New Talent: Euphoria
Euphoria (2 Points): When you critically hit with Wrath or Starfire, you instantly gain an additional 2/4 Lunar or 4/8 Solar Energy. When you reach a Solar or Lunar eclipse, you instantly are restored 6/12% of your total mana.I am not surprised by this talent, given Blizzard's goals for Eclipse and some of the other changes in the Balance Tree.
Blizzard has said many times that they don't want an entirely predictable rotation of SFx5 then Wrathx10, and the Energy on Crit mechanic helps with that. The real question is how big of an impact it will have. Will it mean that you will only cast 4 Starfires on average instead of 5, or could you possibly get an Eclipse in just 2 or 3 casts if you get very lucky with crits?
I am very happy to see the second aspect of the talent. Blizzard has said many times that they want Mana to be a bigger issue for healers. As a result they are changing the way everyone regens mana quite a bit by removing the 5 second rule and nerfing Replenishment. For Moonkin, they are also removing Intensity and the leaked talent tree no longer included the mana on crit mechanic in Moonkin Form. All these combined I was very worried about where Moonkin would get mana from with just Dreamstate and the weak new talent Lunar Justice.
My first reaction is that I like the Mana on Eclipse concept. Moonkin will never be Oom on the highest DPS section of your rotation and should be procing Eclipse regularly by default to regen mana. I still question if the current implementation is enough to support the needs of moonkin, but it should be fairly easy to balance by changing the rate at which Eclipse Procs or the rate at which mana is returned.
Starfall - You summon a flurry of stars from the sky on all targets within 30 yards of the caster, each dealing 303 to 348 Arcane damage. Maximum 20 stars. Lasts 10 seconds.
It's hard to say if this is a buff, nerf or neutral change. The splash component of the spell has been removed, but the base damage of the spell has been more then doubled from the 145 to 167 damage of the current version. The question is if the Spell Coefficient has been increased as well. Either way, it seems as they are abandoning this spell as an AoE spell entirely.
Moonkin Form - While in this form the armor contribution from items is increased by 120%, and increases the spell critical strike chance of all nearby friendly and raid targets within 100 yards by 5%. The moonkin cannot cast healing or resurrection spells while shapeshifted. The act of shapeshifting frees the caster of Polymorph and movement impairing effects.
Obviously it is a nerf, but not as big of one as was leaked last month. The 5% crit buff is still with the main talent, but mana on Crit is still gone and the armor contribution is nerfed from 370% to just 120%.
As primarily a PvE player the loss of armor isn't that big of a deal for me. Armor rarely matters in PvE and I will be wearing more Leather, it's not like I'm loosing 70% of my armor. It's probably more like 60%. This could be big for PvP players, but most seemed to think the 370% armor increase was overrated. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Improved Moonkin Form - You also grant 2/3/5% spell haste to all nearby friendly party and raid targets within 100 yards while in Moonkin Form.
This change was hinted at last week, and I commented on it here. As I said before, it is likely that this won't stack with Wrath of Air or the Improved Shadowform buff from Shadow Priests. However, I like that this buff is getting spread around.
These talents aren't all that different then what was leaked in early may, but they are still on the tree and I have issues with them.
Lunar Justice - When you kill a target that yields experience or honor, a ray of moonlight will shine underneath the fallen enemy instantly restoring 2/4/6% of your base mana to you or the first ally who stands underneath it. Lunar Justice lasts for 15 seconds.
This would be great for leveling or grinding, but I don't think it would be useful in any kind of Raiding or PvP build. I assume that the moonkin has to get the kill shot for the LJ to proc and that is just not going to happen often even in an add heavy PvE fight. In PvP there just aren't enough targets to make it all that useful when it would be necessary and not all that necessary when there are enough targets.
Fungal Growth - When your Treants die or your Wild Mushrooms are triggered, you spawn a Fungal Growth at its wake covering the area within 8 yards, slowing all enemy targets by 35/70%. Lasts 10 seconds.
Fungal Growth could be very handy. Saurfang is a great example of a fight where slowing abilities are very useful. My problem is that it combines a slow with two DPS abilities. Most of the time I want to damage my targets without slowing them. If I slow them unnecessarily that hurts the tank trying to position adds or even the boss. Therefore, it's likely that this talent will never be a part of my standard build, but I may spec into it if I know I need it for a specific fight.
Optional Talents Revisited:
Clearly the talent trees are not done, but I have made a stab at what would be my spec if Cataclysm was released tomorrow. I would advise people to use this as their base spec and spend the last 6 points as they like.
In the base spec, I have 8 options to spend 6 talent points. On the surface this sounds like a success for Blizzard given their new goals for the talent trees. I disagree though. I consider Gale Winds and Fungal Growth to be situational and the other 6 to be practically useless. I spec into Gale Winds by default, and would change specs when needed for Fungal Growth. The other 4 points I don't really care how they are spent.
As I said before, Situational and Useless talents aren't good talent options. Situational talents will be picked up by default like I would pick up Gale Winds. If you don't pick them up by default then there is something wrong with them, and not really optional. The useless talents I could care less about. It doesn't matter to me if I pick up Brambles or Genesis, because neither are very good. In the end I go with the lesser of two evils.
In my opinion the talent trees are not good enough yet and don't provide real options. Yes I could spend the points in more PvP friendly talents but that is not an option when there are no real alternatives.