- Insect Swarm now generates 8 Lunar Energy for druids with Eclipse.
- Moonfire now generates 8 Solar Power for druids with Eclipse.
- Sunfire now generates 8 Lunar Energy for druids with Eclipse
"for druids with Eclipse"?
When I first read the patch notes I assumed that Moonfire, Sunfire and Insect Swarm would generate Eclipse power all the time. Unfortunately, I don't think that is correct.
The patch notes are very specific. IS and SF will provide 8 Lunar Energy for druids with Eclipse. MF will provide 8 solar energy for druids with Eclipse. Those notes make a lot of sense. Of course MF wouldn't provide Lunar energy when a druid has Eclipse, because that would move the energy bar backwards. The IS and SF patch notes fall the same pattern.
The question is what happens when the druid is without Eclipse? At this point I have to assume that DoTs don't generate any power when you don't have Eclipse. As I said above the patch notes are very specific. If Blizzard intended to have DoTs generate power all of the time I would assume they would make a more general patch note like "Moonkin DoTs will now generate 8 Eclipse Power".
Plus, having DoTs generate power outside of Eclipse raises additional questions. For Wrath and Starfire it's simple. When you move from Lunar to Solar, Starfire generates power but Wrath doesn't and there is no reason you would want to Wrath in such a situation. For DoT's it's more complicated. The DPET of our DoTs is very high, so it could make sense to cast MF when transitioning from Lunar to Solar when you don't have Eclipse. Plus if DoT's did generate power, what kind of power would they generate? Would DoTs behave like Starsurge or the other Nukes? These problems can be solved, but it's not as simple as some may assume.
Single-Target DPS Impact:
We'll need to check out the PTR and do some simulations to know what the impact is for sure, but we can make some educated guesses right now. My bet is that this will be slight nerf for Single-Target DPS.
On the negative side, DoTs consuming power during Eclipse means you will generally get one less Eclipsed nuke per Eclipse transition. For example, at the moment we can get five Starfires and one Starsurge in during solar Eclipse. Adding in solar power from Moonfire means we will only be able to get four Starfires and one Starsurge without any Shooting Stars procs. The same is true Solar Eclipse, but having two DoTs only reduces the number of buffed Wrath's by one.
On the positive side, there are two things to consider. First, if DoTs generate power then we will be transitioning from one Eclipse to the other more quickly and procking Nature's Grace more often. That should be a slight buff. Second, Shooting Star procs lessen the negative impact a little. In my example above I said that we currently can get five Starfire's and one Starsurges during Lunar Eclipse. If we have a Shooting Star proc during Lunar Eclipse that changes to four Starfires and 2 Starsurges. The good news is if DoTs consume power in 4.2 a Shooting Star proc during Lunar Eclipse won't eat one of your Eclipsed Starfires, because we will still be able to get four Starfires and two Starsurges.
Overall, I think the negatives outweigh the positives, but from a single target perspective I doubt the nerf is huge. Though we can’t know for sure without testing.
Multi-Target DPS Impact:
Multi-Target DPS is where this change really starts to have an impact. On a fight like V&T where you have two viable targets casting additional DoTs takes a way additional Eclipsed nukes. As the number of targets increases the number of Eclipsed buff nukes decreases. This shouldn't in anyway change our rotation during Eclipse, because trading an Eclipsed nuke for an Eclipsed DoT is definitely a good trade, but I would much rather have both an Eclipsed Nuke and an Eclipsed DoT as we do now.
The biggest impact will be to our AoE rotation. If we need to do AoE DPS for an extended period of time then the DoTs will definitely lose their place in the rotation. As of right now there is no indication that Wild Mushroom, Hurricane or Typhoon will consume any Eclipse Power. The goal will still be to maintain Solar Eclipse, but the filler used between WM casts will be Hurricane and Typhoon instead of the DoTs.
If I had to guess this is Blizzard's reason for making the change. Moonkin AoE damage was very strong, and my guess is it didn't sit well with them that moonkin were avoiding the traditional AoE spells. If I'm correct, this change might serve two purposes. First it likely makes Hurricane a part of the moonkin AoE rotation again. And second, it nerfs moonkin AoE DPS which is admittedly very high. That said, there are other classes/specs that are quite high as well that I don't see being nerfed.
Death of Lunar Shower:
I'm going to chalk this one up to unintended consequences but this is going to significantly reduce the usefulness of Lunar Shower. If I have to move during Eclipse there is no way I'm going to cast Moonfire. Consuming my Eclipse power with just the direct damage portion of Moonfire, is obviously a bad choice. The better moonkin out there were also using Lunar Shower and MF spam to delay Eclipse and line it up with significant DPS boosts to get an overall higher level of DPS in the game.
Spamming MF while moving without Eclipse will still be a DPS boost, but it makes our situation a bit more difficult. It creates another choice we have to make in an already complex rotation. It also creates a bit of a DPS trap which Blizzard said they want to avoid in the run up to Cataclysm. Is a new player really supposed to figure out that spamming Moonfire on the move is good without Eclipse but bad with Eclipse?
It's important to remember that this is a very early look at the 4.2 patch notes and that they are in no way complete. A lot will happen between now and when the patch is released. The question I have is will there be a buff for us in the future.
I still don't think moonkin are over powered in any way, and if anything I think we are a little underpowered after the change to Starsurge in patch 4.1. If there is anywhere Moonkin are overpowered it's in our Multi-target DPS and this change definitely takes care of that, but Moonkin weren't alone at the top. Yet, I don't see those other classes getting nerfed as well.
Overall, I'm just confused. I'm having a hard time figuring out what Blizzard's goal is for the Balance spec at the moment.
Here are a couple of other little changes that you might be interested in.
- Many crowd control abilities no longer cause creatures to attack players when they are cast. The creature will not attack the player when the crowd control wears off, and nearby creatures will not become hostile to the player either. However, if a visible player gets too close to the target creature, the creature will remember and attack the player when the crowd control effect wears off. The intent is to make it easier for dungeon groups to manage crowd control assignments and pulling packs of hostile NPCs. The abilities affected by this change are: Hibernate, Entangling Roots, Wyvern Sting (will still cause hostility when it begins to deal damage), Freezing Trap, Polymorph, Repentance, Shackle Undead, Blind, Hex, Bind Elemental, Banish, Seduction.
- Innervate now grants an ally target 5% of his or her maximum mana over 10 seconds, but still grants 20% of the druid's maximum mana over 10 seconds when self-cast.
I like the crowd control change. It should make Trash a little bit easier. We do lose our Entangling Roots damage as a result but that isn't a big deal at least for PvE.
The Innervate change is good for Feral, but bad for Moonkin for Restos. As you know innervate is currently based off of the casters Mana pool. As a result when a feral casts it it provides very little mana because Ferals don't have a large mana pool. So Ferals should be happy about this change.
For moonkin, we lose a big piece of utility. Moonkin were in a unique position in that we didn't have mana issues and could give away our innervate without issue. Now the utility of our innervate is reduced by 75%.
For resto's, this is a bit of a nerf as well. I don't know how much it is done any more, but I know that early on in the expansion Resto druids were trading their innervates to get a greater amount of mana returned. The druids would use the Glyph of Innervate and then cast their innervate on the other resto druid. This way they would get both the mana from the Glyph and the other druids Innervate. Now this practice will result in less mana then just casting innervate on yourself. This basically makes the Glyph of Innervate useless.
Innervate and CC