Friday, July 23, 2010

Twitter Chat and Cata Builds

I guess it is just my luck that Blizzard would do a Twitter Chat and release two beta builds on the week that I'm on vacation. Sorry that I'm a little late.

Twitter Chat: Eclipse

Q. Moonkin: What are your plans for Eclipse, and why dos it infect so many of our talents? What are your plans for make Moonkin fun?
A. The model we are trying now lets Solar and Lunar Eclipse last for about 45 seconds, and each spell of the appropriate type that you cast moves the bar back closer to the middle again. The buff is canceled by reaching the middle. This should let Moonkin "hold" the buff for short periods of time when they need to move or get out of the fire.
This is an interesting change. It will go a long way to fixing the big issues with the current Eclipse. It doesn't give us charges in a way that we traditionally think of them, but it is basically a charge system since we should be able to get the bar back to neutral long before the 45 seconds is up.

What I find interesting about this mechanic is how it will affect our rotation and stat valuation. Moonkin have a lot of talents that are to help us move along the Eclipse bar. Lunar Guidance causes Starsurge generate "energy." The Euphoria talent gives us extra "energy" when we crit. Therefore Starsurge and Critical hits during Eclipse will effectively shorten the Eclipse buff and have a limiting affect on the value of eclipse. I think this is a clear indication that you won't want to cast Starsurge during Eclipse, since I don't remember an comment suggesting it will be buffed by Eclipse.

Crits during Eclipse is a more interesting dilemma. They will shorten the Eclipse buff, but this doesn't mean you won't want to crit during Eclipse. The extra "energy" from a crit is proportionally smaller then the extra damage you would gain. Criting is still good, but not as good as it was before. Unless there are additional changes I don't see how Crit Rating won't be our least desirable secondary stat (yes, I know we don't know anything about mastery yet).

Since we already know Haste Rating is going to be an excellent stat for us, and Crit Rating is being limited, I wonder if Blizzard will do something to prop of Crit Rating a little bit. I think it would be interesting if Blizzard gave us a way to make our crits do 225% - 250%.

Twitter Chat: Moonfire

Q. Is Mo0nfire designed to be a damage-over-time spell with an instant cast nuke, or the other way around?
A. Both. We want the instant nuke to be more meaningful in Cataclysm, especially on the move.
I find this to be an interesting answer. First, it means that the Glyph of Moonfire is probably gone, since it limits the nuke portion of Moonfire quite a bit. Second, I would like to see how they plan to make both the direct damage and DoT significant. I think it's going to be a delicate balance to make both portions significant without making them over powered.

Cata Build 12604:

When build 12539 was released I was quite disappointed that very few changes were made to the druid trees. The good news is that a second cata build was released a few days later with a whole lot of druid changes.

Overview: At several points in the last talent tree it felt like I was choosing between several bad talents just to advance up the tree. In the new trees they have fixed some of those issues, but they have done it in a cheap way. It seems like they took the easy way out and brought back a lot of old talents rather then doing something interesting and new as they have been talking about since Blizzcon. As a result the tree still feels quite raw to me.

Passive Talents: One of the stated goals of Cataclysm is to get rid of a lot of the passive talents, and build 12604 was the return of a lot of them for moonkin at least. Nature's Majesty is back with the passive 4% crit buff. Master Shapeshifter is back in the Resto tree with the 2% damage buff. Worst of all Earth and Moon is back in tier 5 with the raid buff and the passive personal buff. These talents are better options then what we had in the previous builds, but they feel like a cop out, when one of the stated goals is to get rid of these type of talents.

Lunar Justice and Planetary Alignment: Both of these talents are gone. That isn't a huge deal since neither talent was all that good to begin with. Planetary Alignment while valuable was quite boring. Lunar Justice was pretty much useless. While I am not sad to see either of them go, I which they had redesigned them to make them interesting rather then just replace them with old passive talents.

Where is the Choice? I'm starting to sound like a broken record on this point, but it is a stated goal of Blizzard to provide more meaningful choices in the Cataclysm expansion. If this is still a goal then Blizzard is still failing. I created a couple of possible raiding builds for a level 85 moonkin, and all of the choices center around what I want to do in the resto tree. I am forced to pick up situational talents I may not want like Typhoon, Solar Beam, and Fungal Growth. The Balance three only has 38 points in it in the first place, and most of the later tiers have only 5 points in them. The only way you can skip a talent in tiers 3-7 is if you use extra points in tiers 1 and 2.

I've said it several times already, but I am seen very little choice in these new talent trees. In my opinion then need to make tier 2 a little more interesting so that we can skip talents like some of the more PvP focused talents if we want to. I think they also need to expand tier 3 to 8 points with a new talent to allow us to skip more talents higher in the tree.

My Current Spec: After seeing Heart of the Wild the raid build I would currently choose became clearer to me. Obviously, we don't have enough numbers to do any real analysis, but this build seems to be the best to me.

As someone pointed out in the comments you could go for Genesis over Moonglow. Since we don't have a ton of information, which you choose really has to do with what assumptions you make regarding mana. I could go either way, but I think mana is going to be a bigger issue. However, I wouldn't max it out at this point. I would leave Owlkin Frenzy and which every talent I don't choose completely blank. That leaves 10 points to be spent in the Feral and Resto trees.

Once again, we have very limited info, but I can't see passing up either Heart of the Wild or Furor. Since they are a percentage increase to Int they will scale well as well as increase our damage and mana. From there it's a question of do you want Master Shapeshifter or Blessing of the Grove and Perseverance. I have a hard time spending four points to pick up a 2% DPS increase in Master Shapeshifter, but it is probably a bigger DPS increase then BotG. The question is how big of a difference is it? I am still a big fan of Perseverance and the damage reduction it provides. If the damage difference isn't much I would probably make the switch.

(Edited My Current Spec section for info I missed)


Anonymous said...

I like this build best at the moment:

The 12% intellect buff from Heart of the Wild now seems more appropriate than the 6% intellect buff from Furor. Additionally, if Moonfire becomes more important to our dps, Blessing of the Grove may prove worthwhile.

Matt said...

Hey Graylo. FYI you linked the same exact build three times. :-D. I was also wondering why you put all 3 points in Natural Shapeshifter instead putting 2 in Blessing of the Grove and just 1 in Natural Shapeshifter?

Duskstorm said...

I think blizzard's first goal with the talent trees always has been to reduce the likelihood a beginner will choose a horrible spec. That goal has clearly been met; it will be hard to build a balance druid that is not raid viable.

The second goal was to make choices more meaningful; I think I agree that they really haven't done that yet.

The feral swiftness change seems pretty cool, though. It's a nice perk that definitely has a reasonable tradeoff... e.g. -4% spell damage OR feral swiftness. If a fight required lots of mobility to avoid magic damage, who's to say that feral swiftness wouldn't be better for avoiding that damage than a passive magic resistance?

Blizzard can't give a choice between single target DPS and something else.. single target DPS will almost always win (the ONLY exceptions are mana longevity and substantial raid utility). So they basically need to stick "perk" talents in the first two tiers of each of the three trees of every spec. They ALSO need to put cool talents there that are going to help people leveling. It's actually not a trivial corner to design themselves out of.

Anonymous said...

Yeah like Anon above stated you neglected feral thinking it was the same ol. 3 in HotW gives 12% intellect atm

wonder how long that lasts, and how it goes with furor.

unimpressed so far, then again i haven't really played in like 2months so i can walk away

Graylo said...

Don't I look like an idiot. I didn't even look at the Feral tree and just assumed that it didn't have anything for us as usual.

Heart of the Wild is definately a good pick up. I would probably go for it and Furor if it stays in the game. Anything that increases int is a good thing in my opinion.

Weetree said...

Finally, finally, finally - hints that Boomkins will stop losing vast amounts of dps while engaging in the PvP centeric style of raiding that is becoming predominate.

The very first addon that will become mandatory for the raiding Boomkin will be the one that shows exactly how manny more Lunar or Solar spells you can throw before triggering the countdown.

Throw MF, ISS or starsurge now and hold back the upcoming eclipse as festergut makes me puke - then have at him with full damage and procs.

We still lose dps as we hop around like a rogue but at least the proc timer slows down the countdown as we move.

The talents trees still do not deserve comment save that they continue to provide no real meaningful differences in builds.

Anonymous said...

Also, I like WoWhead's calc atm more the mmo's mostly because it has the mastery info, like the 70% reduced pushback, 3% of total mana regened every 2 secs and starsurge as the level 10 spell. Here is the link to the build I will be using

Anonymous said...

yet to understand going for the mana regen in tier 2 over the increased dmg to DoT's.

Granted, mana is supposed to be more of an "issue" in Cata, but I'll believe it when i see it. Won't spec into it until i see the need.

At first glance, there doesn't really seem to be much of a choice with the 10 points to spend outside the balance tree. 3 in feral, 7 in resto (Furor and the 2 shapeshifters). The DD moonfire talent doesn't appear to be worth the investment.

I agree overall with the lack of choice in the tree, but i think the problem is not to be cured by adding more lower tier talents, but more valuable higher tier talents (one's you're not looking to skip). If you're avoiding the deep talents, seems like the obvious way to fix that is to improve them, not give you ways to avoid the poor talents.

Redhawks said...

One of the things I'm currently thinking with Starsurge is that it will somehow extend the Eclipse because it will give more power based on which is higher. Thus if you have more lunar power than solar power, you will increase the time of a Lunar Eclipse, allowing for a few more Starfires.

Great blog post. Definitely one of my favorite blogs.

Lespaul said...

Genesis is still as bad as it ever was, I wouldn't be surprised to see it removed in the next build. While OkF might not be brilliant it still has some single target application which GW doesn't. I also don't see the point in having Typhoon and FG so as Typhoon pretty much has to be taken in this tree FG isn't. Also with the extra intell from HotW and Furor Im guessing the percieved mana issues won't be as bad.

Anonymous said...


Maybe you're right about Genesis, but it's still a DPS increase. I'll put points into it over moonglow until i see for sure that i have mana issues.

And while your build that you posted might work on wowhead's calculator for now, I seriously doubt that you'll be able to get to Master Shapeshifter without putting 3/3 into Natural Shapeshifter. So you're likely going to have to give up the moonfire talent in Tier 1 of the resto tree.

And correct me if i'm wrong, but Graylo wrote a pretty insightful post about OkF a while back, and that post was enough to convince me to put points into Genesis over OkF. Am I remembering the numbers incorrectly?

Anonymous said...

Are you sure that putting 4 points to get only 2% increase damage(master shapeshifter) worth it???

Lespaul said...

Whether you want to put a point in Genesis or Moonglow to reach the third tear isn't going to make any more difference to what it currently does now so its really a case of personal preference.
In Graylo's post about OkF I believe part of his conclusion was that it was worth about the same per point overall as Genesis, however in some encounters it is much more of a dps boost. Had genesis remained a 5% boost for 3 points I may have been more convinced but at 3% I would rather have the situational use of OkF.
Similarly, if you had to put 3 points in Natural Shapeshifter and 1 in Master Shapeshifter just to get a 2% damage increase it would be too expensive. As it stands we have to spend 5 points for a 4% boost and that is expensive enough.
In any case, there are likely to be many more changes in the future, I wouldn't be surprised if some of these points are quashed by the next build.

Euin said...

Thanks for the post. I'm curious how your drawing your conclusions on the effect of Starsurge and Euphoria on shortening of Eclipse.

The way I read them are similar to a reply above, where they charge up whichever is higher. So if we've charged up for a Lunar Eclipse, critting or using Starsurge would "reboost" the meter into the Lunar phase after a few Starfires had balanced it back towards the middle.

If it's a proc that goes off once a certain level of "charge" is hit, then no charging can be done while in the Eclipsed state, I can see how where you're coming from. But if it's a constantly swinging meter, I see these talents as giving us a little control over keeping the meter where we want it.

I guess I'm still not sure how the Eclipse mechanic works.

Touk said...

@Redhawks and Euin: While that is what the descriptions seem to suggest and what would be most beneficial, that is currently not how Eclipse works in beta. Currently Starsurge will always push the meter away from the last activated side. If it stays this way, it means that it's actual detrimental to use SS within an Eclipse (brings you closer to the end of the buff without actually gaining the damage bonus). On the same hand, I'm pretty sure that Euphoria also pushes the bar closer to 0. Hopefully Blizzard will adjust these effects to actually be smart, but for now we can only cross our fingers.

As for the rest of the Druid trees, I really don't think I could justify spending 4 points in the Resto tree just for a 2% increase in damage. It seems to me that even OkF is a cheaper damage boost.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that haste will no longer scales as well with eclipse. A charged system means that there is no way you can get your haste high enough to fit in an extra nuke before eclipse expires. Given that crit doesn't benefit either we will scale very badly with gear.Relevart had some good ideas on his blog about this.


mattrickhoffman said...

Actually, the new eclipse model WILL scale with haste, just not in the same way. The more haste you have, the faster you can cast, meaning the faster you will use up your eclipse buff. This allows you to proc more eclipses in the same amount of time as you get more haste. Same applies to crit since crits will move the eclipse meter more. More crits means faster eclipses and more procs.

Anonymous said...


Sorry but I fail to see your point. If you have many small eclipses or a few long lasting ones isn't the amount of time spent in eclipse the same? Whether I have 2 eclipses lasting 15 seconds or 3 eclipses lasting 10 seconds isn't the amount of time spent in eclipse still 30 seconds in both cases? Why would I want many short duration eclipses? No matter how high your haste or crit eclipse uptime will always be the same. I don't see how eclipse benefits from more haste or crit.

Lespaul said...

@ anon

You always get the same number of casts in one eclipse, it doesn't last 15 seconds anymore. By increasing haste you increase the number of eclipses you can effectuate in a given period of time, thus increasing dps.
You cast Wrath to hit the SF (lunar) eclipse, then SF during eclipse til neutral again (end of eclipse), continue casting SF to proc solar eclipse, then Wrath through the eclipse til neutral again and start over. This means we will be spending less time in eclipse as we won't be able to chain eclipses, but that we won't loose any time in eclipse due to movement or RNG as the buff isn't timed.
if you have more haste, you get through your eclipses faster (given identical scenarios) but do the same amount of damage. The more eclipses you can fit into an encounter the more damage and dps you do.

Graylo said...

@Mattrickhoffman & Lespaul

I think you guys are a little confused. The affect you guys are discribing is Haste Scaling with Starfire and Wrath, not Haste scaling with Eclipse. Let me use the current eclipse to show my point.

For a moonkin, one of the key factors in maximizing DPS is maximizing Eclipse uptime. In the current Eclipse the buff time is set at 15 seconds and will not change, but the proc time is variable. Haste reduces the time it will take to proc Eclipse but it has no impact on the duration of th buff. So, more haste means you have greater Eclipse uptime. Therefore, there is a synergy between Haste and Eclipse.

In the new Eclipse that Synergy does not exist. Yes, more haste does mean you will proc Eclipse faster, but it also means you will use up Eclipse faster. Since Haste will now impact both the proc time and the buff duration, it has no impact on buff uptime and therefore there will be no synergy between Haste and Eclipse.

The DPS increase you see from haste is much more simple then that. Casting more spells in the same period of time means more DPS. If you took Eclipse out of the equation you would see the same percentage increase in DPS.

Lespaul said...

"Quote Graylo - In the new Eclipse that Synergy does not exist. Yes, more haste does mean you will proc Eclipse faster, but it also means you will use up Eclipse faster. Since Haste will now impact both the proc time and the buff duration, it has no impact on buff uptime and therefore there will be no synergy between Haste and Eclipse."

Firstly, I dont remember ever saying or insinuating that eclipse 'scales' with haste. Just that you will proc eclipse more often due to using it up faster.

As eclipse is essentially now going to be a +damage buff due to no longer being timed, it stands to reason that the more often you have it, regardless of how long it lasts, it will be a dps upgrade. Using it up quicker doesnt mean you do less dps under it.
No, haste wont directly make eclipse a stronger buff, but it will make it a more valuable buff due to letting you proc it more often.

Anonymous said...


It is the uptime of eclipse that adds damage not how often you proc it. Therefore proccing it and using it faster and more often does not mean it is giving you the damage buff for a longer period of time. That is why haste does not benefit eclipse in the new model no matter how often you proc it. If you proc it and use it fast but the uptime is the same as it would have been if you procced and used it slower then the bonus damage eclipse has given you is also the same in both cases. 30 seconds of eclipse uptime is 30 seconds buff no matter if it is 3 eclipses 10s long or 2 eclipses 15s long.


The Bitter Fig said...

Hrm. The crit thing is disturbing. The coolest solution I can think of, howerver, would probably be hard to implement. Make crits-during-eclipse generate less power rather than more, so that crit will speed up an eclipse while you are out of one, but prolong one while in one.

it'd be cool, but kinda complex, so i highly doubt they'd come up with anything like that. however the anti-synergy with crit, as opposed to a soft-cap on something like crit and haste like in live, where the stat still clearly adds damage, just less than it might...