First Reaction: "Finally they are fixing the Chaotic Meta Gem."
- Chaotic Meta gems now have a requirement of 3 red gems.
- New meta gems have been added: Agile Shadowspirit Diamond (Agility/3% critical damage), Reverberating Shadowspirit Diamond (Strength/3% critical damage), and Burning Shadowspirit Diamond (Intellect/3% critical damage). These new recipes are unbound and can drop from any Cataclysm creature. The new meta gems have a requirement of 3 red gems equipped.
Second Reaction: "Who cares about the Chaotic Meta Gem?"
This is good news all around, but I'm amused by the new meta requirement. Requiring DPS to socket three red gems is like requiring an active smoker to smoke cigarettes. The requirement is useless because we would have done it anyway. However, that's fine with me. I would rather not have to worry about meeting my meta requirement every time I add a piece of gear. It wasn't a big concern in WotLK either, but now it's not a concern at all.
The addition of the Burning Shadowspirit Diamond and the others is also quite interesting. A guildie of mine commented on the fact that it probably wasn't a good idea to have every single DPS spec want the same meta gem, and apparently Blizzard had the same thought. However, it's not that big of a buff assuming that the Meta bonus on the new gems operates the same way it does on the Chaotic meta gem. Obviously 54 Int is better then 54 Crit, but the true value of the Meta comes from the 3% additional crit damage and everything else is just frosting.
What I find most interesting about these new cuts is how this will affect the economy. Most people will switch to the Chaotic at first because it's widely available, but the advantages of the new gems is obvious. Will the new patterns be so common that the Chaotic is completely abandoned? Could the new patterns be so rare that the new metas will be so expensive to preserve a market for the Chaotics? As a progression raider I will be going for the Burning no matter what the cost assuming it's not astronomical, but I wonder if this is a small return of TBC where everyone was fighting over rare patterns on the AH.
Wild Mushroom Changes:
It's fair to say that Wild Mushroom has been a flop in Cataclysm so far. They are difficult to place. It's difficult to make them affective given their very small radius. Overall they just weren't worth the effort. I've tried to use them in several fights but in most cases they were a waste. The question is will these changes cause people to use them?
- Wild Mushroom is now instant cast, down from 0.5 seconds. In addition, the radius of detonation has been increased to 6 yards, up from 3, and damage done increased by 15%.
Increasing their damage by 15% is nice, but I don't think anyone really thought of them as weak. Increasing their damage probably won't increase the spells usage much on its own. Making the mushrooms instant cast makes it possible to cast them while moving. This could give you something else to do while your running around the room other then spamming Moonfire, but if the mouse is the primary way you move your toon then this will be very difficult to pick up.
The big improvement in this patch is the increased range. Increasing the blast radius from 3 yards to 6 yards quadruples the area affected. This allows for less precise placement and a greater margin of error with out being a full scale AoE spell. Of all the changes this has the most potential to make the Wild Mushroom a useful spell. That said there are some other changes that could be made that I think are both reasonable and and would make the spell more valuable.
First, I would have one mushroom do the same amount of damage as three mushrooms. You could still place three mushrooms if you wanted spread the damage and/or Fungal Growth over a larger area, but the amount of damage done by each individual mushroom would diminish with each mushroom placed. I think this would make the spell easier to use without significantly reducing it's utility.
Second, I would like to see feral druids be able to detonate the mushrooms in feral forms. I don't know how useful this would be because they would obviously be weak in feral gear, but it could be a great tool for a feral tank to pull newly spawned adds and get some burst aggro.
Third, I've been unimpressed with Fungal Growth. It spawns to slowly after the mushrooms have been detonated. I've had several instances where a mob is hit by the explosion but not slowed by fungal growth because they've already ran out of the area before it spawns. Blizzard needs to tighten that mechanic up a little bit. It might be a good idea for the explosion to have a very short duration slow affect as well as the patch on the ground.
Other Druid Changes:
These are helpful changes, but fairly minor. The shooting stars change is more for leveling and PvP in my opinion. As a raider I've rarely not been able to cast Starsurge in the 8 seconds the buff is up. In other forms of play though there is more movement and this makes the talent more useful for people who favor those activities.
- The Shooting Stars buff duration has been increased to 12 seconds, up from 8 seconds.
- Glyph of Wrath now increases damage done by Wrath by 10% and no longer requires Insect Swarm on the target.
From a raid perspective, the Glyph of Wrath change should be a small DPS increase, but not a big one because Insect Swarm should be up on most of your targets. That said, it will be helpful on low health adds where it's not beneficial to put Insect Swarm up and a short cast time spell is favored. However, this may be intended more as a PvP change, since DoTs are dispelled quite frequently in PvP.