Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Starfall Buffed

Update: I screwed the pooch when I first posted this article. I used the numbers provided by Ghostcrawler and didn't compare them to what was happening in game. If I had done that I would have now that my prebuff numbers were way off the mark. Given that we have some new information since then, I am basically rewriting the post, instead of doing a new post.

The PTR Patch Notes were updated with a couple of moonkin changes. If you haven't seen them, they are:

* Nature's Grasp: Now has 3 charges, up from 1. Balance
* Starfall: The damage done by this spell has been significantly increased.
* Typhoon: Mana cost reduced to 25%, down from 32%.
Obviously the Nature's Grasp and Typhoon changes are focused at PvP which is not my thing. The Starfall change did perk my interest however. I know Starfall is not a big part of Moonkin DPS, I wondered how they defined "significant increase." Then I saw this from MMO Champion:

Starfall damage has been increased. Now causes 563 to 653 Arcane damage (Up from 433 to 503) and 101 Arcane damage (Up from 78) to all other enemies within 5 yards.
That is about a 30% increase to the base damage of the spell. I consider that significant, but as we all know base damage is only half the equation. Did the spell coefficient have a similar increase? Luckily Lunarrayne protested the change on the official forums and Ghostcrawler took the opportunity to explain the the change. Here is what he had to say:
The Starfall change is difficult to patch note because of the nature of the spell, but I'll share the numbers so that the theorycrafters among you can plug them in. It's a significant boost to the
spell's damage.

Initially, we had designed the spell to be more AE focused, but that hasn't been super useful for a class that also has Hurricane. Rather than adding another nuke we thought it made more sense to make the 51 pointer something that really delivers on damage. Yes it can be countered. PvP is designed with the intent that things can be countered.

Main shot
Base points 432 -> 562
Coefficient 0.21 -> 0.37

Splash damage
Base points 77 -> 100
Coefficient 0.12 -> 0.13

This is where I messed up and made my first post. Hamlet and Erdluf correctly recognized that that the spell coefficients provided by Ghostcrawler above didn't agree with what the conventional wisdom was for the spell. Specifically, live testing showed the spell coefficient for the Stars to be 4.5% - 4.8% and the coefficient for the splash to be about 1.2%. As you can see this is significantly less then GC posted. Obviously we didn't understand how to apply the numbers GC provided, or there is some other issue. Luckily, GC decided to clear up some of the confusion when he said:

Hey Hamlet, sorry for any confusion. We probably should have just waited until you guys could test it on the PTR.

I think I figured out how you all are calculating the coefficient, so maybe this will make more sense. Again, I'm not 100% sure we're speaking the same language here. If I have time, maybe I will just log in with a moonkin and compare the before and after and post numbers.

Main star
Old coefficient: 4.8%
New coefficient: 37%

Splash damage
Old coefficient: 1.2%
New coefficient: 13%

As I said, these numbers are very generous. If Balance druids melt the world we may have to back off of them. (src)

I have to say I am a little sceptical of these numbers for a few reasons. First, the change from the first post to the second post, only the old coefficient changed. I have a hard time believing that the new rate wouldn't change if the old rate did. Second, we've already had quite a bit of confusion about what these numbers mean. It wouldn't surprise me if we were missinturpreting GC's comments again. Second, that is a HUGE change. It turns a decent spell into a powerhouse.

The Math:

Again, I'm assuming a fully raid buffed moonkin with 4300 Spell damage, and 55% chance to crit. Haste does not matter for this analyses. First I'll look at a single target.
Old SF Star Damage = ((468 + (4300 * 0.048)) + ((468 + (4300 * 0.048))*1.09*0.55))*1.2831 = 1384 Damage per star
New SF Star Damage = ((608 + (4300 * 0.37)) + ((608 + (4300 * 0.37))*1.09*0.55))*1.2831 = 4513 Damage per star

Percentage Increase = (4513-1384) / 1384 = 226.08%
I've looked at a couple of my logs and the star portion of Starfall tends to be about 2% - 2.5% of my Boss fight DPS (excluding Trash). Increase that by 226%% and this buff is around a 4.5% - 5.5% DPS increase, which is excellent.

The Splash damage of Starfall tends not to be a big portion of Moonkin DPS but lets take a quick look at that also.
Old SF Splash Damage = ((78 + (4300 * 0.012)) + ((78 + (4300 * 0.012))*1.09*0.55))*1.2831 = 266 Damage per splash
New SF Splash Damage = ((101 + (4300 * 0.13)) + ((101 + (4300 * 0.13))*1.09*0.55))*1.2831 = 1355 Damage per splash

Percentage Increase = (1355-266) / 266 = 409.25%

Obviously the splash damage is not as significant as the star damage, but a 409% increase is pretty big. I till definately help on fights like Arthas where you need to get a couple of closely grouped mobs down quickly.

Glyph of Starfall:

The first question I had was what does this mean for the Glyph of Starfall vs Glyph of Insect Swarm debate? Lets do a little more math. First, how does the Glyph of Insect Swarm affect the damage of IS.
Unglyphed IS DPS = ((1290+(4300+1.2)) * 1.2831) / 12 = 690 DPS
Glyphed IS DPS = ((1290+(4300+1.2)) * 1.2831*1.3) / 12 = 897 DPS
So, Glyph of Insect Swarm increased the DPS of the DoT by 207 DPS.

Now lets look at the Glyph of Starfall. Remember, I already calculated that with the new Starfall each star will do 4513 damage, and I am doing the math for a single target.

Unglyphed SF DPS = (4513 * 10) / 90 = 501 DPS
Glyphed SF DPS = (4513 * 10) / 60 = 752 DPS

So, after the Starfall buff, the Glyph of Starfall will increase the DPS of Starfall by 251. Compared to the gain form Glyph of IS, it seems to me that Glyph of Starfall will become the standard glyph for most fights.

Glyph of Focus: There are also several comments about what this may mean for the Glyph of Focus. Unfortunately I don't have time to detail the math, but I did run it on a spreadsheet. Assuming you had the Glyph of Starfall as well, the Glyph of Focus win increase the DPS of my hypothetical moonkin about 150 DPS. That is much better then before, but if I remember correctly both Glyph of Starfire and Glyph of Moonfire were above that. I will try and provide the math another time when I have more time.


After posting some obviously incorrect information, Ghostcrawler cleared up some of the confusion and posted some new spell coefficients for the buffed Starfall. I am still a little sceptical of the numbers provided, but if they are correct this is a HUGE boost for Starfall, and a very nice increase for moonkin DPS as a whole. Assuming it goes live, I'm sure Glyph of Starfall will be come one of the standard glyphs for moonkin.

All that said, I have a hard time believing this will go live as is. The problem isn't with necessarily PvE, but in PvP this would allow moonkin to put out a ton of DPS in a very short period of time. That being said it is fairly easy to counter if you have the spells to do so. So, who knows.


Once again my guild is recruiting. If you are looking for a guild that has very good progression but on a more limited schedule, the LoE might be the place for you. We are looking for a variety of classes, but specifically a Hybrid DPSer with a Healing off spec. That includes Moonkin. If you would like more information you can find the recruitment post here. You are also welcome to ask me questions if you have any.


Anonymous said...

What do you think about glyph of moonfire -> glyph of starfall switch?
There are many "run-like-hell" fights in ICC, especially on hardmodes. It's better to have more instant spells (+unglyphed moonfire) to cast while you're running. Don't you think so?

Miimsy @ Shadowsong EU said...

I wonder if they will change IS and MF to be able to crit/scale with haste before the patch goes live.

Seems they have done this for many classes this patch.

If this happens, I assume that MF and IS (+glyph) will be back to old form and worth keeping up all the time again.

Does your math back me up on this? And what DPS increase would we be looking at with a change like this?

Tradeek said...

Are you sure about your maths concerning the current damage per star? I'm 4250SP raid buffed, and my stars only hit for 810, crit for 1740. With splashs being about 155 and 318, respectively.

I just can't see how that'd equate to your listed numbers of 2800 damage per main star?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, i agree with Tradeek. I'm over 4k spd raidbuffed and my stars hits for 822/1745 normal/crit.

Owl said...

4k5 per star... Just imagine this in 5vs5 arena context ^^
It would be overpowered.

Anonymous said...

umm and what about glyph of focus?
too much?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you already thought of this or not, but would IS even be worth using once it is no longer glyphed? And if not, would dropping it from the rotation mean that IIS would not be worth picking up either?

-Vanadis, Alleria

Jay said...

Did you sanity check these numbers at all? When the last time you saw Starfall average out to 2800 damage per star?

There are multiple posts about how that coefficient doesn't make sense to us:

I know you want to quick to get a blog post up when something new happens, but think a little before claiming that Starfall will be doing 4500 per star (and simultaneously claiming that it currently does 2800 per star, which is obviously false).

Graylo said...


You are correct, I posted this late last night my numbers are clearly wrong.

Anonymous said...

"PvP is designed with the intent that things can be countered."

sure that is why most finishing moves are


moonkin pvp will continue to suffer till they figure out how to fix this class and actually put the effort in.

starfail is the wrong place to buff it since we are getting to the point where dots are not worth casting....and buff starfail and it makes IS even more worthless

Anonymous said...

Well it looks like the GC just posted a change in the coefficient per star. Currently the coefficient is 0.048 and the new coefficient is 0.37.

Time to redo the math.

Anonymous said...

any math on glyph of focus over MF glyph (without 2t9). if its dps decrease on single target, how many mobs should be there to make an increase?

Parasha Aszune EU

Jay said...

My initial commensts here:

Also, ironically given my above post, the buff will in fact make Starfall do over 4500 per star.

Eruantien said...

It is a big change for this spell, but I think it will go live with a lot of that damage for two reasons:

1) Moonkin are very bad in PvP. I PvP as balance and its very hard killing anything because we don't have a stun or interrupt (that we can keep doing damage in). The starfall change will allow us a few seconds of extra power to overwhelm someone quickly.

1a). It can be countered fairly simply. Blizzard likes for people to pay attention or be punished for it, and this fits that model perfectly. As Moonkin, we have to pay attention to available stuns and the other faction has to pay attention to theirs to "reserve" one for you. I don't think there will be any "omg a moonkin team /quit" moments but we should be a more viable now.

2) It's a solid way to increase our PVE damage without touching anything having to do with Eclipse, which they are on record as not going to touch until Cataclysm.

2a) It frees up the hit debuff from IS for us to bring to raids. I think this is worth noting since a lot of the on proc auras are going permanent. It's another thing we can bring to the table.

3). The big deal is the Nature's Grasp change. If I understand correctly, we could theoretically have an Enhancement shaman and its dogs on lock down. Another example is keeping that Ghoul Stun Ghoul locked down. It's amazing. The Typhoon mana reduction is nice as well.

I look forward to some Moonkin PVP next patch as well as some increased DIPS in ICC.


Valr said...

Once you move into 4t10 from 2t9, glyph of focus does come out ahead of glyph of moonfire in may of the gear scenarios I ran. This is on paper, and there will certainly be fights where focus cannot be utilized fully, and moonfire will prevail.

For example; in my current gear (swapping 2t9 for 4t10) glyph of moonfire is worth 142dps, while glyph of focus is worth 174.

On a patchwerk style fight, it would seem focus does win out, but its close, so any significant delay between starfall coming off cooldown and using starfall (inside 21 meters of the boss) will probably tip the balance in favor of moonfire.

PS: If you have 2t9, moonfire is too strong to drop glyph of moonfire.

Anonymous said... 3.3.3, with 4xt10, are we going to drop completely the dots unless in empty gcds ? (while moving for example).

anyway, once you have glyph of starfall+focus, i honestly find difficult to believe as third glyph, starfire better than moonfire..

Shem said...

Glyph choices are going to be really interesting.

Given my gear the theoretically BEST Glyph set up is Insect Swarm/ Focus/ Starfall with Moonfire being dropped from my rotation.

It pulls about 20 more DPS than a Starfire/Starfall/Moonfire set up (dropping Insect Swarm from my rotation- 200 more DPS without dropping Insect Swarm).

I think I'm going to go for the more versatile combo and use SF/SF/MF. It is marginally worse DPS but gives me the option of more tank avoidance and gives more range on my Starfall so I don't need to worry about being within 21 yards. I value versatility.

Nightedahs said...

I don't get it. I've run Simcraft with 3.3.3 patchdetails multiple times, included my current gear, BiS gear and the gear easy to obtain for me and I changed the spell rotation in many ways.
On ElitistJerks Forums the are even talking about IS, Starfall and Focus and dropping MF out of the rotation or Starfall, Focus and MF and dropping IS.

But I always end up with keeping all spells and use MF, SF and IS glyphs as best DPS result.

Could someone who is familiar with Wrathcalcs oder the ElitistJerks Spreadsheet verify this with this built?

Thanks so far
Nightedahs @Khaz'Goroth(EU)