Tier 11 Balance Set Bonuses:
These are pretty hard to evaluate when you don't really know the context that they will be operating in. I still think Blizzard needs to do quite a bit of tuning on moonkin to make them competitive. That said there are couple of things I noticed right off the bat.
- Two Piece Set Bonus: Increases the critical strike chance of your Insect Swarm and Moonfire spells by 5%.
- Four Piece Set Bonus: Whenever Eclipse triggers, your critical strike chance with spells is increased by 99% for 8 sec. Each critical strike you achieve reduces that bonus by 33%,
- Any experienced moonkin is no stranger to the first reason. An 8 second buff is very easy to lose to movement, stuns, or anything else that prevents you from casting for a short period of time. That is one of the main problems of the current version of eclipse that we are trying to fix with the new system. Therefore it doesn't make sense to structure the buff this way.
- The second reason 8 seconds is to short, is because you can barely fit 3 Starfire casts in 8 seconds, and it might be impossible when you consider lag and reaction time if procced early with Euphoria. Plus, while the first two casts are pretty much guaranteed to crit, the third probably had a 60% chance at best. If it does not you've lost that 33% chance to crit because there is not enough time left to cast a fourth Starfire with the buff up.
If it is fixed it will be interesting to see how this affects the Cata rotation debate. The primary way seen discussed to do that would be to extend the Eclipse buff for the full 45 seconds and then instantly proc the same eclipse when the old one drops. That increases the time between Eclipse procs and obviously devalues this set bonus.
Talent Tree Changes:
Has Blizzard abandoned the interesting and fun talent design goal that they couldn't stop talking about 6 months ago? If you remember, Blizzard kept saying they wanted players to have more interesting and fun talent choices and to get away from all the passive bonuses that have traditionally been the glue of talent trees. Now with each patch it seems like a new passive bonus is added or expanded. Two builds ago we had 10% damage to moonkin form. Last build they expanded Nature's Majesty to affect all spells. Now we are getting these changes.
- Nature's Grace revamped - Increases your spell haste by 1/2/3%.
The other impact of this change is that it simplifies the moonkin rotation. With the old version it would be best to cast DoTs while NG is up because it's a large buff that would last for the duration of the DoT. Therefore, turning Nature's Grace into a passive buff should make the moonkin rotation easier. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing really depends on your point of view.
- Balance of Power no longer increases your chance to hit with spells, increases your nature and arcane spell damage by 1/2% instead.
- Lunar Shower now increases the direct damage done by Moonfire by 15/30/45%. (Old - Increased all damage dealt by Moonfire)
There are not a lot of changes to discuss in this new talent build, and the few that we do get are just following the trend of previous builds. Blizzard continues to add more passive damage buffs to the Balance tree despite it being a stated goal of Cataclysm to do away with passive buffs.
The Nature's Grace change is a straight up nerf, but should make our casting rotation easier to manage. I don't think the Balance of Power change isn't horrible, but it's completely uninteresting. Why not just add that 2% the Moonfury mastery. Finally the Lunar Shower change is probably just correcting a mistake.
The 2 piece set bonus seems ok, and would probably be fine if it went live. The 4 piece set bonus leaves a bit to be desired, but if it does survive to live in some form it will be interesting to see how it impacts the rotation discussions that have been going on,
The Blog Birthday:
Gray Matter's blog birthday came and went this past Monday and I didn't even notice it. I've been writing this blog for over three years now and that just doesn't seem possible.
As it seems to become an annual tradition, I want to thank all the people have supported, read, and helped this blog over the years (despite the grammar issues). Though it isn't perfect or flash, I am extremely proud of this blog, and it brings me a lot of satisfaction to know that readers find it useful and entertaining. As cliché as it is to say, this blog wouldn't be possible or as rewarding without you guys.