Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cata Build 12984: A Happier Graylo

It's been a good week for me regarding WoW. First, I got invited to the beta, which I am very excited about. I now have an opportunity to answer my own questions rather then wait on someone else to test them for me. Second, we finally got a beta patch with some real meat on it for moonkin. In fact, it comes with 4 new talents, 3 completely reworked talents, and other tuning adjustments. Not every change is an obvious home run, but this is finally the attention we've been waiting for.

Euphoria:
Euphoria - While not in an Eclipse state, you have a 12/24% chance to double the Solar or Lunar energy generated by your Wrath or Starfire when they deal damage. When you reach a Solar or Lunar eclipse, you instantly are restored 6/12% of your total mana.
If you read my post a couple of weeks ago, then you probably remember I did not have good things to say about Euphoria. The old talent did nothing to improve DPS. Also, the Eclipse Power it provided was very low compared to the power provided by spells that it had little impact on the number of spells cast. This change fixes both of those problems.

First, the fact that it doesn't proc when you have Eclipse is a pretty big bonus. It in sures that Euphoria is always a positive bonus. Other wise the Euphoria procs that happen while Eclipse is down are just cancelled out by the ones that proc during Eclipse.

Second, the amount of Eclipse Power generated has a real impact. If it procs on any spell cast before your last one it reduces the number of casts you need to make to proc Eclipse. That is not something you could say about the old version.

When I plugged this new Euphoria into my simulator it increased the uptime of Eclipse from 55.90% to 60.07%. That's pretty huge since Eclipse is the primary driver of our DPS. The only reservation I have about it is that it no longer procs off of Crits. It's not really a bad thing that it has a flat 24% chance to proc, but I like the extra crit scaling it would provide for us. I'm a little worried that talents like Ignite and Lava Flows will allow other classes to scale better then us at the higher levels of gear. Then again, Blizzard can always make adjustments later.

Eclipse:

These changes were not documented by MMO Champion (I'm sure they would be hard to find by data mining), but they are important none the less.
  • Eclipse no longer decays out of combat.
  • The Eclipse buff now lasts until you reach 0 energy, and no longer has a 45 second time limit. You can go afk and you will still have eclipse when you come back.
  • Starfire and Wrath will move the Eclipse bar in only one direction after you proc Eclipse, but will go both directions after you go out of combat. For example, Wrath will not generate Lunar energy after you proc lunar Eclipse. Starsurge is bugged. Sometimes it gives "smart" energy. Other times it does not.
The first two are fairly big quality of life changes. I've really only been on the beta for a day, but it was obvious that the decay rate on Eclipse was a big pain in the butt. At level 80 my targets were dying before I could proc Eclipse, and when I did proc it I lost all of the power to OOC decay.

The only problem I see is that it will be tempting for some people to try and store up power before a boss fight. It should work well on farm content, but will be impractical for progression content when it would really matter.

The third one kills the strategies of procing the same Eclipse back to back. Ghostcrawler hinted at it a couple of months ago. Plus, we have several talents and a set bonus that make it advantagous to proc Eclipse quickly. So it's not a surprise, but this officially kills the hold Eclipse strategies.

New Talents:
Dreamstate (Tier 5) *New* - When you cast your Innervate on yourself, you regain an additional 10/30% of your total mana over its duration.
This an old name but a completely new talent. It's not a bad talent but I'm having a hard time figuring out where it fits. In raiding, it could be great if we end up having mana issues, but I'm not convinced that will be the case. In soloing/leveling, it's much easier just to sit down and drink. In PvP, it could be great because you are much more likely to innervate yourself in a PvP situation. However, I'm told that Innervate is also dispellable which makes innervating yourself a possibly useless activity.

At this point I would leave it out of my talent build, but I think it is a nice talent.
Sunfire (Tier 5) *New* - While in Solar Eclipse, your Moonfire spell will morph into Sunfire.
It sounds cool, but I was a little confused when I first read the discription of this talent. I wasn't quite sure how it would work. Could you have both Moonfire and Sunfire on the boss? If Moonfire was on the boss and I procced Solar Eclipse would the Moonfire on the boss already convert to Sunfire?

I did a little testing. Moonfire and Sunfire are the same exact spell that does the same damage as far as I can tell. It is impossible to have both Moonfire and Sunfire on the boss, because they over write each other. If you cast Moonfire right before Solar procs then it stays Moonfire after Solar procs. If you cast Sunfire right before you lose Solar it stays Sunfire and buffed by Solar Eclipse after you lose the Solar Eclipse. If you have the Glyph of Starfire equipped then Starfire will extend Sunfire but it's impractical given the nature of Eclipse. In short, Moonfire and Sunfire are the same exact DoT except that Sunfire is a nature version that is cast during Solar Eclipse and is buffed by Solar Eclilpse.

It sounds pretty cool. I wonder if it will be possible to keep Moonfire/Sunfire buffed by Eclipse close to 100% of the time.

Shooting Stars (Tier 3) *New* - You have a 2/4% chance when you deal damage with your Moonfire or Insect Swarm to instantly reset the cooldown of your Starsurge and reduce its cast time by 100%. Lasts 8 sec.
I like the idea of this talent. It feels like a moonkin version of Hot Streak. Starsurge is a great DPS spell because it has a much higher spell power coefficient then it's cast time would indicate, so the more often you can cast it the better. It also makes Starsurge instant cast. So you can use it on the move.

The main question I have here is will it proc enough? A 4% chance sounds very low, but then a gain we have two dots that will be ticking fairly quickly. I estimate that it should proc once every 30 - 40 seconds. That doesn't sound to bad, but I will have to put it in simulator to see how it affects DPS.
Overgrowth (Tier 2) *New* - Your Entangling Roots and Nature's Grasp have a 50/100% chance to also root all enemies within 8 yards of the target
As a raider, this is just a situational talent. I would love to have it for Dreamwalker in ICC. It might be ok for the Val'kyr phases on Lich King in a pinch as well, but I don't see it be a standard part of my build. Could be a great anti-melee talent for moonkin in PvP.

Revamped Talents:

I already went over Euphoria above, but some other talents got an overhaul as well.
Nature's Torment - You gain 5/10/15% spell haste after you cast Moonfire or Insect Swarm, lasting 15 sec. This effect has 1 minute cooldown. When you gain Lunar or Solar Eclipse, the cooldown of Nature's Torment is instantly reset.
Nature's Grace was redone and renamed Nature's Torment. This is a very interesting talent, and I'm not sure how I feel about it just yet. Overall, it feels like a good thing, but it raises a lot of questions. We are not going to proc Eclipse every 15 seconds so it will have more down time then the current Nature's Grace does, so what is the best way to optimize it. Would it be worth it to clip a DoT right after you proc Eclipse? How will Moonfire and Insect Swarm interact with a temporary haste buff? How frequently will it be wasted on movement mechanics in boss fights?

The only thing I know for sure is that it improves how we scale with Haste Rating. The quicker we cast, the more frequently we will proc Eclipse, and the greater uptime Nature's Torment will have. This might make up for the fact that Euphoria doesn't proc on Crits anymore.
Genesis - no longer increases the damage done by your periodic spells and increases the duration of your Moonfire and Insect Swarm by 6 sec instead.
I'm not sure what impact this change will have on moonkin DPS. Trading 6% damage for 6 additional seconds is pretty hard to compare on the fly, but my first impression is good. If I had to guess, I would think the extra cooldowns saved with the new Genesis more then make up for 6% damage lost. Also on the plus side, longer DoTs are easier to manage and anything that makes a rotation easier is generally a good thing in my book. At 12 seconds both Moonfire and Insect Swarm felt very short.

Other Changes:
•Starsurge now generates 15 Solar or Lunar Energy, up from 10
•Lunar Guidance is gone.
With all the new talents I'm glad to see that they got rid of one, and Lunar Guidance was a good choice in my opinion. It be came pretty weak when it boosted Starsurge by only 6 power. The only thing I am surprised about is that Starsurge only gives 15 power now instead of 16. One point isn't a huge deal, but it caught me a little off guard.
•Wild Mushroom now becomes visible after 6 sec, up from 4 sec. Base damage increased by 400% (from 269-304 to 1300-1573 damage)
•Wild Mushroom: Detonate no longer costs mana, now has a 10 sec cooldown, and affects target within 10 yards, down from 15 yards.
I've only gotten to play with Wild Mushroom on a premade toon, but they did feel very weak. The premade's gear is horrible, but the mushrooms were only hitting for 350 damage or so. I'm glad to see they've gotten buffed.
•Earth and Moon now increases spell damage taken by 8%, down from 13%.
I think this was just a tool tip error. Ebon Plague and Bane of Elements were already at 8%, so it is not surprising that Earth and Moon is brought in line with them. The only thing I wish is that Earth and Moon could be spread as an AoE just as Ebon Plague and Bane of Elements can.

18 comments:

Voink said...

Lots of interesting and good changes.

Also, does roots actually work on Val'kyr on LK? If so, I'll be busy bashing my head against a wall as I had always operated under the assumption it hadn't.

Good luck testing, Graylo.

Andreas said...

I would see us use Nature's Tormet by refreshing a dot right at the end of the eclips to procc the haste får the none eclips part of the rotation.
Having haste up for Eclips would increese DPS, but it might be a greater overall DPS increase to use it to shorten the Eclips downtime.
It would be interesting if you could come up with soem math to compare those two uses.

Althgouh weäre still in early stages for detaild math, some overall calculations can be made still.

But overall I'm defenetly thriled with this latest build

Anonymous said...

One other PvP-oriented note that got a bit hidden in all the changes is that the knockdown effect seems to have been removed from Starsurge (both the tooltip and my own testing seem to confirm this). We have more PvP tools than ever with this patch, but I still shed half a tear over that one.

Andreas said...

It also made för an exelent tool for soloing. the 2 sec knockdown makke killing mobs so much easier.

Pewpewkitty said...

Wouldn't the refreshing of the dots during the end of an eclipse seem ideal now? assuming that they don't fall off during the eclipse you would be shortening eclipse by casting them at the beginning. The haste buff would also likely fall off before the next eclipse was proc'd. But if you cast it during the end of eclipse it would result in higher eclipse uptime and shorter downtimes.

Has anyone figured a good time to cast starsurge? or is it just whenever its up and eclipse is down.

Also for fellow boomkin bretheren, if your not in the beta, the 4.0 patch is up on the test realms so you can see the new eclipse and mess around with it.

Graylo said...

A couple of you have suggested that we should proc nature's torment to maximize Eclipse uptime. While this would maximize the Eclipse uptime from a time perspective, I don't think it would have any impact on DPS.

The thing to remember is that Eclipse is no longer a timed buff. So, the same number of casts is always going to buffed by eclipse, and it's always going to take the same average number of spells to proc eclipse for a given level of stats.

In the end, I doubt it matters when you proc Nature's Torment as long as you proc it once every eclipse phase, and don't over write it with a new one.

Anonymous said...

No, roots do not work on Valks in Lich King. Only slows (typhoon's daze) and stuns.

A better example of where aoe roots would be useful is on suppressors before they get to Dreamwalker.

Conghaile said...

A minor correction: Ebon Plague, as it is on Beta, can no longer be applied as AoE.

Icc said...

Sunfire seems to exist so that you can have equal DPS on the move whether you're on a Solar or Lunar Eclipse. It's not a rotational effect, it's to even out boss mechanics since you can't spam IS.

Anonymous said...

A question that's occurred to me just now with the latest beta changes: how does Starsurge move the eclipse meter now? It used to be a smart move, pushing you for greatest eclipse uptime and lowest downtime, but if the meter can't move 'backward' now does it only push forward, or is it still smart enough to not push at all while in an eclipse?

-- Erthshade

Anonymous said...

Graylo doesn't the implementation of Sunfire seem rather strange? I mean now when we proc Solar Eclipse well have two dots to refresh (IS and Sunfire) whereas when we proc Lunar Eclipse we only have 1 dot to refresh, MF.

Is it because 2 dot casts + wrath = about the same cast time as 1 dot + starfire?

I guess im just confused about the purpose of having moonfire morph into nature damage and not having insect swarm morph into an arcane version of the dot

Cevan said...

Graylo, stop trying to take my Ebon Plague. Without it I'm useless. Maybe not I can still proc nekked ladiez :)

Anonymous said...

The way I see it we have a bit of a conflict in how dots work. We will want to clip them at the end of eclipse in order to keep the buff on them. We'll also want to ensure we get Nature's Torment when possible. We we will also be clipping moonfire frequently on high movement fights.
All this clipping however will decrease the value of Genesis and glyph of Starfire. So we have a bit of a conflict there.
Also as the haste on our gear increases, we will be proccing eclipse much more often. If this is less than 15 secs, do we lose the haste buff on each eclipse, or does the spell cooldown just reset?

Moonlyt

Graylo said...

@ICC

I agree that Sunfire isn't ment to have a rotational impact, but I don't think it was done to purely to balance out movement DPS. If that was the case then it has some issues. For example, if you cast Sunfire at the end of Solar Eclipse, and then you have to move when Eclipse is down, you will be over writing an eclipsed Sunfire with an uneclipsed moonfire and lose some DoT damage.

I think it's just an interesting mechanic that adds some DPS, and does create a few small DPS questions.

@Erthshade

I guess I miss spoke in my post. Starsurge is provides "smart" power. The bar can only move in one direction with regards to Starfire and Wrath. That said Starsurge is bugged a bit in beta. It currently doesn't always move in the right direction and for the right amount.

@Anon4

I do think Sunfire raises some interesting rotational questions, but I currently don't expect to refresh Sunfire at the start of ever Solar Eclipse. However, if we do I don't see it as a problem. DoTs supply any power so they don't cost your nukes any DPS.

The question is when will it be a good idea to delay or clip a moonfire/sunfire to maximize DPS. That is a complicated question.

@Cevan

So far Shadowmourne has been a let down for me. I haven't seen any of the nekked ladiez it's supposed to proc.

@Moonlyt

Those are definately potential issues, but I'm not sure how big of a problem they might be. When Nature's Torment happens doesn't realy matter as long as you use all 15 seconds of it and you proc it once every eclipse cycle.

You have a point about the Glyph of Starfire, but I don't think Genesis is hurt by clipping. The damage was already done if you lose a cooldown to movement.

Jar said...

Since we are not under the constraint of time anymore during eclipse, is it the correct play to reactive both DoT's whenever they have expired regardless of when that occurs? I would assume keeping the chance for Shooting stars active is a high priority.

Also, when Starsurge's cooldown comes up just as you are casting the last spell to trigger an eclipse what is the best plan of attack? Do you simply cast Starsurge right then and there and lose the "smart power" or do you cast your first spell for eclipse and then cast starsurge. I would suppose this would apply more towards Lunar Eclipse as Starfire's damage is a bit close to Starsurge's, though Starfire benefits more from a percentage haste bonus iirc. I'm all sorts of confused and could use some assistance.

Anonymous said...

you can use your wild mushrooms to aoe spread earth and moon.

Dominium said...

Nice post, always interested in Boomkin news. Really good changes for PvP. Also checkout my new blog at www.wowdistrict.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

That's great news. :-) I don't suppose you have a post/link to your latest thoughts on a moonkin spec?