Saturday, March 27, 2010

General News: Owlkin Frenzy, BQL, and the Crab

So, 3.3.3 is finally here with our new world melting Starfall. Reading some of the comments on the various forums it seems like most people are happy with it. Personally it feels a little odd to have it be such a big part of our DPS now. On our last 25man Lich King kill it accounted for almost 17.4% of my damage, and I'm wondering what it will do on Heroic Anub this Monday.

With everyone's attention focused on Starfall, some of you may have missed some of the other little nuggets of Moonkin related news that have come out since the patch. Here are a couple of topics that I want to comment on and make you aware of.

BQL and Owlkin Frenzy:

The BQL ability Shroud of Sorrow has been modified so that it no longer procs Owlkin Frenzy.
Before patch 3.3.3 I would easily have 15 or 16 Owkin Frenzy procs per kill attempt on BQL. In my latest attempt I had zero. It's not a huge surprise that the change was made. I think everyone realized it was a bug, but it was nice to have a little extra DPS on a fight that is so obviously DPS race. The question now is how to react to this change.

In reality, you don't have to change anything. Owlkin Frenzy was always a pretty minor PvE talent for all fights except BQL. The talent still has some uses. The change just makes it as minor of a talent for BQL as it has been for all the other fights. Assuming you had only your two extra talent points in there there is no reason to change your spec since the other options are very minor DPS upgrades as well. That said, there is no reason to keep it either if another talent appeals to you more.

Personally, I'm not sure what I will do, but I doubt I will keep OF for long. The big question is where will I move those points to. Gale Winds seems like a good option because serveral strats are recommending an AoE strategy for Heroic Lady Deathwhisper. Having an extra 30% damage to get down the adds is a big deal for a fight that is all about add management. The other option is to put one point in Typhoon and put the other point pretty much anywhere. I don't plan on using typhoon in most fights, but I hate having a second spec that I only use for Typhoon. It would be nice to free it up so I can play with feral some more. The final option is putting them in Brambles. If you are looking to maximize single target DPS this is probably your best option.

I've got to think about want I want most and make the change, but in the end it doesn't matter a whole lot.

Ghostcrawler Talks about Eclipse:

The purpose behind Eclipse was to encourage Balance druids to cast something besides their hardest hitting spell over and over again. From this thread it appears at least some of you were content with a "rotation" like that, but you'll have to believe me that it was a very common complaint we heard from druids as to what they disliked or why they didn't play Balance.

Now it's possible to base a rotation around a single spells. Mages are designed to do just that. However, they also have a lot of procs, cooldowns, secondary effects and other situational events that mean that even though you're getting most of your damage from one button, you're managing a lot.

We could have gone that way with Balance druids. We didn't largely because part of the kit of Balance is balance, and we thought that manifested itself nicely in switching between Arcane and Nature spells, or Starfire and Wrath, or Lunar and Solar.

The problem with Eclipse (as I've stated many times, so I find the comments that we won't address the issue to be a trifle unfair) is that it now accounts for so much of Balance's damage that the random element can be punishing. Having to shift positions right when you get a proc
should be a little bit of a bummer on the level of missing a few crits in a row, and not a devastating blow to your dps.

We're keeping Eclipse, but the Cataclysm version is a pretty radical overhaul that we hope to be able to reveal soon. It removes a lot of the random element. :)
GC's comment doesn't contain any information that is particularly earth shattering or new, but it is good to know that they are still thinking about the issues.

If there is an interesting part of the comment it is the last line where he talks about the Cataclysm version of Eclipse. I think like many of you I've been eagger to see what changes they have in store since mentioning they had some new ideas several months ago. Is it going to have charges? Are we going to have to build a stack of the buff kind of like combo points for rogues and cats? Is it something completely different that will blow my mind?

Who knows but I am looking forward to learning more. Hopefully when he says soon he means in the next couple of weeks rather then Cataclysm is coming out soon and you will know by then.

That said I do want to point out one thing. At the end of the comment he said that the new Eclipse removes a lot of the random element. The key words there are "a lot of." It doesn't sound like they are removing the random element of Eclipse but are trying to make it less important. In the past, GC has said that they don't have a problem with the ability being random.

I point this out, because I bet the talent will still be based off of critical strikes to some extent. I don't want to see a bunch of people flaming GC because he supposidly said that Eclipse wouldn't be random in Cataclysm.


Duskstorm said...

No idea how they'll make eclipse work, but I like the "capacitor" behavior of the 4p10 bonus. You "charge it up" by critting, but once you stop critting (generally at high levels of crit this means moving) the charge is "released."

I think they can actually use eclipse to even out our dps and overcome movement and RNG by allowing us to "store" the proc via charges and release it either over time or possibly even at our discretion.

Another idea would be to fundamentally change either Starfire or Wrath to make one the better single target, mana inefficient, max dps spell, and give the other one a bit of splash damage, better mana efficiency, and lower dps.

If they craft the fights with mana management more in mind, we'd be forced to choose which eclipse we want to proc situationally. Perhaps Lunar for an add phase, then Solar for a heroism/bloodlust "burn" phase.

Zosima said...

I haven't checked since the change to BQL, but previously I was getting more than 10 procs of Owlkin Frenzy on Lich King. A 16-18% up time is nifty. This was with 3/3 talented. I'll know more in a day or two after getting back in there after the reset.

Dillybear said...

I still stand by typhoon as a useful spell when moving since if your dots are up you really cant do much else besides cast GotW. I would recommend at least trying it as a spell you cast on the move, on most fights it only equals about .5-1% of my damage, but that is free damage that I would not have made use of otherwise. It also has a use to get NG going for a hurricane if you actually need to aoe things on demand(of coarse you would glyph it for this).

Zosima said...

On oour 10 man Arthas kill last night I had Owlkin proc 18 times (and I died with 10-15% to go) 11.5% uptime is nice. The extra damage was nice on the transition phases since we don't run with a shaman in 10 man. BQL may have been fixed but the Lich King has no problem letting you Chicken Roar.

Anonymous said...

A bug? Really? How is that a bug? "Attacks done to you..." That's an attack. Not sure how I would consider it anything but a nerf.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but I have a stupid question--does Recount or something count the Owlkin Frenzy procs for you? How can I find out?