Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cata Build 12857: The Ninja Build

MMO Champion is providing details for a new Beta build that isn't even on the beta servers yet. Don't ask me how that is possible, but it provides me with some interesting goodies to talk about.

The Details:

  • Starsurge now has a 40 yards range, up from 30 yards.
  • Entangling Roots now has a 2 sec cast time, up from 1.5 sec.
  • Starfall now has a 40 yards range, up from 30 yards.
  • Force of Nature now has a 40 yards range, up from 30 yards.
  • Solar Beam now has a 40 yards range, up from 30 yards.
This is really just a continuation of the last beta build. More range for spells. More cast time for CC spells. Nothing to be surprised about here.
  • Hurricane base damage increased by 33%.
  • Starfall base damage increased by 33%.
A lot of the reports coming out of beta indicate that our AoE feels very weak. Therefore this is probably a very welcome change. Though in the end these are going to be hard to gauge until we can see them in an actual fight.
  • Innervate now regenerate mana equal to 20% of the casting Druid's maximum mana pool, down from 33%.
Another one that is hard to gauge. Obviously this is a straight up nerf, but it is hard to tell how big the impact is. A couple of things could be happening here. First, since there isn't a much passive mana regen in the game, mana pools have grown to be very large. As a result a 33% mana return could have become over powered, and Blizzard is just bringing it down to a more reasonable level.

The other possibility is that Blizzard is trying to avoid the "heroism effect." Blizzard insisted that Heroism was not a mandatory raid buff for a very long time despite the insistence from players that it was. Heroism is such a strong buff that it was hard to agree with Blizzard. In the end, Blizzard came around to the players point of view and gave heroism to Mages as well.

It's possible that Blizzard is worried that Innervate might become the next heroism. They've said many times that they want mana to be more significant in Cataclysm, and only one class provides such a specific mana return tool. Blizzard could be nerfing it in hopes that it won't be seen as mandatory by much of the player base.
  • Lunar Shower now increases damage done by your Moonfire by 15/30/45% (Up from 2/4/8%)
Beta testers have been saying that this needed to happen for a while. If Blizzard really wants Moonfire to be a movement friendly spell, then it needs to have some power. In the end, a (2%/4%/8%) buff was pretty weak even if it could stack 3 times. It will be interesting to see if this is enough.
  • Lunar Guidance no longer increases the radius of your Solar Beam.
If I had to guess, this change is to protect Rated Battlegrounds. I am by no means a PvP expert, but on some of the BGs with confined spaces like Warsong Gulch it was probably possible for 1 or 2 moonkin to silence and entire room with the expanded Solar Beam.

No matter why it was nerfed it isn't a big deal for me. At this point I have no plans to pick up the spell in my spec.
  • Moonglow now reduces the mana cost of all your damage and healing spells.
  • Nature's Majesty now increases the critical strike chance with all spells.
These makes sense to me. There really wasn't a point to limiting them to specific spells any more now that everything can crit. It's also a much needed buff for Nature's Majesty which was headed towards being one of the worst talents in the Balance Tree.
  • Furor now increases your maximum mana by 5/10/15% instead of increasing your intellect by 2/4/6%.
  • Heart of the Wild no longer increases maximum mana by 5/10/15%, now increases Intellect by 2/4/6%.
I love this change. Dumping 3 points into the feral tree felt like a waste. They didn't build to anything, and there are additional talents I wanted in the Resto Tree. I predict that most Moonkin will skip Furor unless mana is a huge issue, and Heart of the Wild has become a mandatory talent.

My Cataclysm Build:

I hate to say it but it has become obvious that we are fully in the "tweaking" phase of development for Cataclysm. I had hopes that me might see some new talents and some choice in the balance tree, but we have gone 3 or 4 builds without any big changes. Therefore, it's clear that Blizzard is happy with what we have.

If Cataclysm when live today this is the build I would use. It's easier to go over what I'm skipping then picking up because you have to pick up almost everything.

  • I'm skipping Owlkin Frenzy because it has traditionally been such a bad talent for PvE, and I don't see any indication of that changing.

  • Solar beam also seems to be pretty bad for PvE. I realize it has some situational uses, but there should be enough silences in a raid that it isn't needed from us. Plus, in my opinion it is either Solar Beam or Typhoon, and Typhoon seems more useful.

  • Gale Winds is a little tough to lose, but there aren't a whole lot of fights where it is really useful. If I do really need it I can probably pick it up by taking points out of Perseverance or possibly Lunar Shower.

  • Furor is now useless in my opinion. The only way I will pick it up now is if moonkin have huge mana issues.

  • Some of you may disagree with me putting only one point in Blessing of the Grove. I can understand that since some of you hate to give up any DPS increase, but a 3% increase to the direct damage portion of Moonfire is likely to be very minor. In the end I think something like Perseverance is much more useful.
Overall impression: To be honest, I am a bit bored/disappointed by this build. There isn't really anything wrong with it, but given all of Blizzard's talk about choice I expected more.

I guess we do have a little choice because I do end up taking Perseverance over Blessing of the Grove or Gale winds, but it doesn't feel all that significant or meaningful. We also have quite a few passive buffs like Master Shapeshifter, Earth and Moon, and Nature's Majesty.

To use an analogy I feel like Blizzard was a car salesman telling us how fun and exciting it will be to drive the new car compared to our old one. In the end, we are just getting an updated version of the same old car. It has a couple of new features, it looks a little different, but it still only really gets us from point A to point B.


Duskstorm said...

Feral swiftness.. it's been at t1 of feral for a while. If you don't think about what you have to give up, it's a really attractive two point talent. Being able to move quickly in dungeons where travel form is not castable seems like a pretty enticing perk. It feels like the kind of talent Blizzard wants us to choose from when after done spending 31 points on mandatory damage buffs.

Honestly, I can't defend taking feral swiftness from a "number crunching" perspective, but I'd personally be interested in being able to switch to cat from to get a movement speed increase while indoors.

I think the reason I don't feel like I have a choice is because there's other talents in the feral and resto trees (well, now only resto tree) that *do* buff my raid performance quantifiably.

In the end, the only way to truly give us choice is to make sure none of the talents in the t1 and t2 trees quantifiably improve our raid performance. Once they do that, we have no choice. But, once the talents DON'T improve our dps (or at least survivability), we're just as likely to complain that there's no "interesting" talents to choose from -- after all, we're only "interested" in pew pewing, right?

Relevart said...

Why would you take fungal growth over Gale Winds? I can't think of a situation where fungal growth would make or break the encounter without someone else having a more reliable snare.

Also, Blizz has talked big about healer mana being important and taking excess damage as the equivalent of casting a mana drain on your healers but I have to wonder if they're really gonna walk the walk on this. If they don't those three points from perseverance could find a much better home. I'm also still hoping for some spell damage reduction built into moonkin form (but I doubt we'll see it).

Erdluf said...

Relevart, there is an interesting dynamic on the talents you take to help with healer mana.

If you take Perseverance, you take 6% less damage. If you take HotW, it might mean you can Innervate a healer, instead of yourself, or help out the healers with Remove Corruption and/or Tranquility.

Relevart said...

I understand the dynamic of mana return for us, the availability of innervate, and the concept of reducing damage to save healer mana. I'm really not sure why you addressed your comment to me, as that wasn't really what I was talking about. I was more interested in WHETHER mana will really be a concern for healers, not if Perseverance vs. HotW would be the correct choice IF mana is an issue for healers.

Graylo said...


"Why would you take fungal growth over Gale Winds?"

Brain fart really. Since we've got so few choices in the higher tiers I've kind of accepted that Fungal Growth would be in my build, but Gale Winds would probably be better as a default. That said, I think if an encounter really needs Gale Winds then Fungal Growth would probably be helpful also to hold them tight.

"Also, Blizz has talked big about healer mana being important and taking excess damage as the equivalent of casting a mana drain on your healers but I have to wonder if they're really gonna walk the walk on this. If they don't those three points from perseverance could find a much better home."

I don't know if mana will be an issue for healers in Cata or not, but at this point I don't think you can find a better home for the three points I have Perseverance either way. The DPS advantage for Blessing of the Grove and Owlkin Frenzy are very minor. Fungal Growth and Solar Beam are very situational. If mana is not an issue we don't need Furor.

I'm heavily in favor of taking less damage all the time. You never know when that 6% saves your life. A lot of players like to think that they are perfect and that if they die it was either someone elses fault or it was unavoidable. I disagree.

Pewpewkitty said...

I'm still having a hard time figuring out your justification on the point in perseverance over a reliable ranged interrupt. I think a 2% reduction in MAGIC damage is much less important then being able to interrupt an AoE Frostbolt attack if the main interrupter gets MC'd or some similar mechanic. In the end I think you'd be able to prevent alot more damage by simply preventing a mechanic as opposed to "healing through it" but that's just my two cents.

voz said...

I havn't been following the beta that much, but most of the changes seem 'meh', except the thorns change. Now its another CD for us to use, and a purly defensive one! Moonkin & resto never had any "oh shit" buttons, thorns is our mini ohshit button. Typhoon was a semi-defensive spell, but it wasn't a spell that made people want to switch targets.

I hope this will change the way rogues think about druids, and have to treat thors the same way they do againts arms warriors (blade storm).

In a raiding point of view, it has limited aspects for dps, but its still usful for running through lower instance for the resto druids who dont have starfall, and for moonkins who dont want to pull a whole room with starfall.

thorns seems to be the only new change worth any mentioning.

Graylo said...


1. "a 2% reduction in MAGIC damage"

You say that like magic damage is minor and unimportant. In actuallity almost all the damage that ranged takes during a raid is magic damage. So, a 2% reduction in the magic damage a moonkin takes is almost a 2% reduction in damage the moonkin takes.

2. "I'm still having a hard time figuring out your justification on the point in perseverance over a reliable ranged interrupt."

I guess it is a matter of opinion but let me put it this way. There are only 2 bosses in all of ICC where a ranged silence MIGHT be helpful. Not only that there are other classes capable of providing it without having to use a talent point to get it.

Survivability is useful in every fight. The 2% reduction may not seem like much but you never know when it means you live instead of die or have Infest drop off or something of that nature.

Pewpewkitty said...

Admittedly ICC isn't very intense on interrupts. I would say that ToC was much more interrupt heavy as well as some of the other instances. But just going over yesterday's log, I see over 20% of my damage (boss kills only) was due to mechanics that could be interrupted, such as adds on LDW or VD. AoE frostbolt volleys or casts from adherents. As a class without a baseline interrupt it would seem like having one of the most powerful interrupts would be worth 1 talent point.

Its also worth noting that we have no idea how boss fights in CATA could work. They could possibly have little to no range damage (as healers are stressed on mana). We should also expect to see much more "optional" damage that would be along the same lines that dispels have gone. Where people can waste resources to try and prevent that damage (ie interrupting / CCing) or choose to forgo it and do more damage instead, much like how dispelling will be an active choice instead of a reactive one.

All in all, seeing as they are killing off what I love about resto, I'll probably have a secondary spec boomkin that I can pick up the full 6% magic reduction for raid heavy fights (like festergut or BQL).

Seleria said...

If it makes you feel any better... I've been watching multiple class trees. For a good 5 beta builds, holy priests stayed almost exactly the same. I was pretty sure it was going to just be tweaked and be done. Then last beta they swapped a LOT of stuff up. It looks to me that they're doing one or two classes at a time. Maybe boomkin just haven't had their turn yet. We can hope.

Anonymous said...

"I see over 20% of my damage (boss kills only) was due to mechanics that could be interrupted, such as adds on LDW or VD."
Are you really saying here that you would stop your dps rotation to interupt a 2 second cast spell that does 10k damage to a random person (likely not even you) on an add (Adherent) you shouldn't even be attacking as a magic ranged dps?
On Dreamwalker the adds have even less health and would die quicker if you just dps them down.

As ICC has 2/12 fights were intrupts MIGHT save you from damage, and 11/12 fights were AOE magic damage is not interuptable I find it hard to agree with your arguement.

Pewpewkitty said...

Our strat involves grouping them up and AoEing them down. Mobs do not need to be targeted to AoE, so I generally wait to target the boss again till adds are dead and I know that i'm not being doubly targeted. I'm not saying that I do interrupt them, because I cant, I'm just saying that sometimes when survivability comes into play I'd like to prevent that cast on me whenever possible and especially when healers are spread out across a massive room. The interrupt is more a general mechanic that would be preferred as a tool. The interrupt has very little use in ICC which I agree, but I'd say its along the lines of typhoon. Also it is more about the tradeoff between the 2% reduction in damage and the AoE 10 second silence mechanic.

Lêspaul said...

Where there is a choice between Typhoon and Solar Beam I would be taking Solar Beam every time for the silencing ability.
OkF is going to be a bone of contention as always and it will depend on what damage procs it as to whether its worth putting points into, aswell as whether or not 3 points in Moonglow will be required.
That said, I think Ill be looking at 31/0/6 +4


with the option to put points into mana management, defences, or extra MF damage. With the buff to Lunar Shower, 2 points in Blessing of the Grove look like they might become mandatory for movement heavy encounters. If both Moonglow and Perseverance start to become needed the points from OkF would of course be moved int Moonglow.