Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cata Build 13183: A Mana Fix?

It looks like Blizzard is releasing a new beta build soon and MMO Champion has the details. It looks to be a balancing build and does show the Balance tree a little love.

Mana Changes:
  • Starfire now costs 11% of base mana, down from 16%.
  • Wrath now costs 9% of base mana, down from 14%.
  • Euphoria now restores 8/16% (up from 6/12%) mana when you reach a Solar or Lunar eclipse.
The big moonkin concern coming out of the beta recently has been mana, and apparently Blizzard has been listening. These changes will definitely help but it's a little early to say how much without testing the rotation.

I do want to point one thing out about the current mana situation. When we talk about mana issues we are primarily talking about two subjects: Mana Consumption, and Mana Pool/Regen.

    Mana Consumption: As a caster DPS spec we cast as much as possible. So, how much mana we use is dependant on the length of the fight and the number of breaks in a fight. If you look at the Instances in WotLK you will notices that fight length does change from fight to fight, but doesn't really change from instance to instance. Therefore our mana consumption should be fairly constant through out the Cataclysm.

    Mana Pool/Regen: Our mana pool is determined by our Intellect, and most of our mana regen is based off of our mana pool. Therefore our mana pool/regen will be highly variable over the course of Cataclysm.
These two things are important to remember because they explain a lot of our mana issues in the beta. As we test our rotations our Mana Consumption is near the maximum that it will be since it is relatively constant. On the other hand our Mana Pool/Regen are at their lowest point because we are using gear from quests and a few instances. Our mana issues are going to be at their worst in the very beginning of the expansion for this reason. The changes above are very helpful, but if they don't seem like enough, don't worry. Thinks will get better.

Thorns Nerfed:
  • Thorns damage reduced by 66%
This change doesn't surprise me one bit. I know a lot of people will be disappointed by this nerf but I think it is hard to argue that Thorns wasn't overpowered. In my opinion a buff shouldn't do more damage the then any of our DPS spells and that was the nature of Thorns.

Hopefully this will turn Thorns into a situational spell for PvE. Best use at the beginning of a fight or when adds are about to spawn. When it comes to PvP I don't know what I'm talking about, but I do know this is a pretty big loss. That said I think it still has some teeth.

Moonfire Buffed:
  • Moonfire base additional damage increased by 50%.
I'm not sure if this is a significant buff or not. If it just boosts the base damage without changing the spell coefficient then it will have little impact. If the spell coefficient was changed as well then this is a pretty huge buff and puts Moonfire on par with Insect Swarm. We will have to test this when it hits the beta.

New Tree of Life:

As a general rule I don't care that much about what things look like in game. I am much more concerned about how things play. That said, we know that Blizzard has an art department, and if they are going to have an art department I want them to produces some things I think are cool to look at.

That said, I like the new tree of life form, and I'm glad it's not just a reskin of an Ancient. Hopefully this means they will get around to redoing the moonkin forms some time soon much like they did the feral forms.

Other Changes:

  • Starfire cast time changed to 3.2 sec, down from 3.5 sec.
  • Entangling Roots now has a 1.7 sec cast time, down from 2 sec.
  • Cyclone now has a 1.7 sec cast time, down from 2 sec.
  • Moonfury now also affects Starsurge.
The Starfire cast time change seems strange and I'll believe it when I see it. My guess is that it is some sort of data mining error or bug within WoW. The changes to CC cast time seem strange as well but I am seeing it on the CC spells of other classes as well.

Raid Warning Podcast: The Druid Roundtable

The Druid Roundtable from the Raid Warning Podcast is now available for you listening pleasure. I had a lot of fun being apart of it and I don't think I sounded to bad.

What I found really interesting was how many moonkin were involved. When I started blogging 3 years ago there were a ton of resto and feral experts, but moonkin experts were few and far between. Of the 13 druids involved in the podcast 9 were noted moonkin and only Lissanna and Hamlet realy did double duty as Resto. We have come a long way.


Anonymous said...

Graylo, have you seen in your raids a significant increase in dps? I've seen the other casters, warlocks especially, have a huge increase. I've seen our mana efficiency go through the floor (thanks for the article--gave me some hope), I've seen our threat with 0 way to reduce/mitigate it go through the roof and I've seen our complexity go up. DPS-wise we don't seem to have gotten any real boost. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I don't really know about much, but i have at 80 at any rate, seen a huge dps increase as a moonkin. Mana efficency doesnt seem to be a problem (at 80), though admittedly i havent had a chance to raid yet and test all this on something besides a target dummy.

Hyperion said...

@Anonymous, you can't really judge these changes at level 80, but for the the record, dps has gone way way up; I was just looking at a log of someone doing 22-24k on every fight.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

Graylo, first, thanks for the data! I don't have access to the beta, so hearing those sorts of things are an Elune-send. ;-) I did some raiding this week (which was called due to the melee not having gotten their rotations in order), and I did have some mana issues. The rotation is rigid in some ways, a lot more fun in others--your insights have been absolutely invaluable. I'm interested to hear of your initial experiences with your current guild.

As for the first post and with all due respect, while the mana thing is real (and obviously so given the changes in beta that Graylo identified), the dps jury is out imho. I'll work on my rotation and get back to the thread if I get the chance--Thursday is hopefully my next chance.

Hyperion, your words get me a bit psyched! Certainly I have pulse topped out at that on a regular basis depending upon the fight, but from a "sustained dps over the fight" perspective/overall damage done it's been significantly less. I would love to see a link to those fights. Do you please have any you could share?

Which brings up something else. Graylo, have you ever done a post on "DPS: How it is calculated and what does it mean?" Seems like a discussion of DPS over the length of the fight and how it's calculated, vs damage done (which is the important metric I should think) would be fun/useful.

Russ said...

Graylo, you sounded just fine on the podcast. :)

I thought it was a great showing, both the resto/balance discussion and the number of moonkins present. I was disappointed with dearth of feral questions, but those that were discussed were enlightening as well. Exciting times!

Hyperion said...

@Andrew; <--- Top dps in the world on Marrowgar, 27.5k

Getafix said...

With all the addons having gone a bit weird, I deleted everything off redownloaded and started again.

The only thing I'm not liking at the moment is that the eclipse bar is up next to my name and health, when I really want it down next to my buttons so I can see it - can anyone suggest an addon or a way of moving it?

Anonymous said...

Moonfire going up by 50% is huge. Try moonfire spamming bosses. Make sure you have 3/3 lunar shower. I'm seeing 10k to 13k crits in ICC. I got top damage on marrowgar last night just by refreshing insect swarm whenever it ran out and spamming moonfire while moving forward and backward to keep up the lunar shower stacks. And the best part is I ended the fight with 95% mana thanks to the reduced mana cost.

Anonymous said...

Good discussion--looks like some adjustments are upcoming, and only time will tell. I hope this doesn't turn out like BC where we had a huge boost and then were nerfed to hell.

So the DPS reports from Hyperion and others are all from the Beta or PTR? Was wondering if there was anything from Live/current...

As for the moonfire spam, that sort of thing generally means that we're in for a nerf to it--a cooldown perhaps or something similar. Ah well. Again, time will tell.

Aabrahm said...

I was seeing 13k unbuffed on dummies and 19k on marrowgar, deathwhisper, and saurfang. This is on live.

Xaktsaroth said...

You forgot to mention that Insect Swarm got a huge hit by the nerf bat.

Anonymous said...

I will wait for Graylo to weigh in with the numbers, but it appears we got a nerf bat across the board, but IS seemed to me to be huge--a 50%-66% drop in my eyeballing. Back to the bottom again! ;-) (sung to the tune to "Back in the saddle again" by I think AC/DC)

Graylo said...

Just wanted to let everyone know that I am not able to get into the game on Graylo currently. I am in the process of transferring him to another server, but it has been delayed due to a couple of issues.

This means that I cannot get in and test the nerfs. Nor did I get to experance the brief period of OverPoweredness

Andrew said...

Oh no!!!!!! I hope that everything gets worked out soon, Graylo. Why the server xfer?