Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Pre-4.2 Blog Post

All signs point to the Firelands being released next week. Therefore it's probably a good time to take a look back and remind everyone what's coming with the new patch and to update my guides.

Lunar Shower:
  • While under the effects of Lunar Shower, Moonfire generates 8 Solar Energy, and Sunfire generates 8 Lunar Energy. The amount of Lunar/Solar Energy gained does not change based on the number of points spent in the talent, or stacks of Lunar Shower. Those druids who wish to delay transition in or out of an Eclipse state should now cast the one of their two basic attacks which will not move the Eclipse bar (either Starfire or Wrath)
After 4.2 Lunar Shower will still increase your Movement DPS potential, but it how has the above caveat attached. There has been a lot of talk about this change, so I won't make a big detailed comment.

This change has turned Lunar Shower into a "blah" talent. On movement heavy fights having the moving DPS will be nice despite the asymmetric way it generates power. On multi target fights it definitely makes sense to drop Lunar shower to make multi-doting easier. However, I suspect that most fights will fall between those two possibilities and won't have much of an impact one way or the other. At this point I am not planning to spec out of it, because I don't have a better way to spend those points. That said, I will drop it in a heart beat for any fight that favors multi-doting.

Nuke Buffs and 4T11 Nerf:
  • The 4-piece Balance druid tier 11 PvE set bonus, Astral Alignment, now provides a total of 15% critical strike chance with 3 charges, decreasing by 5% per charge, instead of 99% decreasing by 33% per charge. This change was made because the set bonus proved so valuable it was not possible to upgrade out of the set into tier 12. To compensate, changes have been made to Starfire and Wrath.
  • Starfire damage has been increased by approximately 23%.
  • Wrath damage has been increased by approximately 23%.
This is the other big change of this patch cycle. In an effort to prevent a Tier 8 situation, Blizzard nerfed the 4T11 set bonus so that players would upgrade their gear in tier 12.

I am a big fan of this change. I didn't like how Astral Alignment complicated our casting rotation and the net result of these changes should be an overall buff. This change also simplifies our glyphing strategies a little bit. Glyph of Starfire is falling to the bottom of the pack. Glyph of Wrath will be best for single target situations and Glyph of Starsurge will be better when Starfall can be fully utilized.

One final thing, I've seen some people question what impact this change will have on how we use Starsurge. As far as I can tell it won't have any impact on Starsurge. At this point I will still be casting Starsurge on Cooldown no matter what phase of my rotation I am in, because Starsurge is still our highest DPET nuke.

Other Changes:
  • 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.
  • Glyph of Innervate now causes the druid to gain 10% of his or her maximum mana over 10 seconds when Innervate is used on a friendly target, in addition to Innervate's base effect.
Blizzard thought that healers were getting to much mana from Innervate so they nerfed Innervate for everyone but the druid casting it. The change to the glyph is intended to be a neutral change where where the druid casting it gets the same mount of mana before and after the patch.
  • Wild Mushroom: Detonate can now also trigger Earth and Moon, in addition to Starfire and Wrath.
  • Earth and Moon's duration has been increased to 15 seconds, up from 12.
My guess is that this change is being made to make life a little easier on 10mans, and improves moonkin utility a little. I doubt this will have any impact on 25man raiding, but this is a big boost for 10man guilds that don't have a DK or Lock able to apply the spell power debuff.
  • Fungal Growth spell visual effect has been updated to be less visually intrusive and more aesthetic.
  • Solar Beam has a new spell effect.
The Solar Beam graphic is still a little blinding, but these are two good quality of life changes.
  • Many crowd control abilities no longer cause creatures to attack players when they are cast.
  • Entangling Roots and the equivalent spell triggered by Nature's Grasp no longer deal damage.
Another quality of life change designed to help 5man dungeon groups. Should make CCing in raids a little easier as well, but druids aren't major CCers in general.

Gear Guide Updates:

Overall, the updates to the gear guide are what you would expect. I would like to bring your attention to the point for point valuation of Hit Rating/Spirit.

How we value Hit Rating and Spirit is highly dynamic with regards to gear level. Since the amount of hit rating we need is capped at 1743, it's point for point valuation below that cap goes up dramatically as our Int, Haste, Crit, and Mastery increased. Since we are moving from T11 to T12, I am assuming a higher gear level when I evaluate the options and the value of Hit Rating/Spirit increased dramatically. By the end of the tier I expect it will be more valuable then Int on a point for point basis below the cap.

Please keep that in mind while reviewing the list. As always you can't take every item at the top of the list because that valuation is based upon a high valuation of Hit Rating. It is up to you to manage your Hit Cap and to make the right choices to stay as close to it as possible.

Raiding Guide Updates:

The raid guide didn't change all that much, but there were a few changes that needed to be made to accurately reflect the 4.2 raiding environment.
  • Talent Section: I now treat Lunar Shower as an optional talent.
  • Glyphs: I limited the third Prime Glyph choices to the Glyph of Wrath and Glyph of Starsurge since Glyph of Starfire has fallen behind. I also updated the Major Glyph section to include a few more situational choices.
  • Professions: This section was changed to account for the longer internal cooldown on the Lightweave buff. I also was a bit harsh on the Engineering buff and have adjusted my valuation as a result. Finally, I added a small section on the Race choices available to Druids.


jam said...

I think you are missing a closing color tag.

Korda said...

Thanks for the summary on 4.2 and your work on updating the gear list.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your work and updating so quickly, however i believe a rogue's Master poisoner replaces our earth and moon as well... not just dk/lock... truth? :(