Thursday, December 8, 2011

MoP: Celestial Alignment and other Talents

There is a new Mists of Pandaria talent calculator up with some fun stuff to discuss. Many of the changes are Mana cost changes and error corrections. For example, Moonkin Aura grants 5% haste again instead of crit. Nature's Grace is back up to 15% instead of the 1% listed before, but nobody is interested in this small stuff. On to the good stuff.

New Ability: Celestial Alignment
Celestial Alignment: Grants you the simultaneous damage benefit of both your Lunar Eclipse and Solar Eclipse, increasing damage done by your Nature and Arcane spells by 25%. Activating this ability consumes all Lunar and Solar Energy and prevents gaining more during its duration. Lasts 15 sec.

Having an additional DPS cooldown will be very nice, but I would like to learn a little bit more about the ability before I get all giddy. The way the tooltip reads I've had a couple of thoughts about how this could work, but some of them seem a little strange.

My first question is how does the buff work? Does it just proc the existing Lunar and Solar Eclipse buffs or does it proc a new buff that gives our nature and arcane spells and additional all 25%? Having the buff use the existing Lunar and Solar buffs would be bad because it would make it easy to waste the buff by using it during eclipse. I think this option is unlikely, because it would be a clear trap for players, and Blizzard has said they don't want to create traps. It makes much more sense that the buff would stack with what ever other buffs we have at the moment including Lunar and Solar Eclipse.

My second question is how does the ability consume our Eclipse energy? Does it move you to neutral once you proc the ability or does it consume the energy at the end of the buff. If it consumes the energy at the start of the buff it's probably that it would shift you out of Eclipse, since we loose the Eclipse buff when we reach zero energy. This would create another trap where it is bad to use the cooldown at the wrong time.
Even if it consumed your Eclipse energy at the end of the buff, I'm not sure how I feel about the consuming mechanic in general. Since the buff both consumes your energy and prevents you from generating more energy. There are points within the eclipse cycle where it would be better to use Celestial Alignment then others. For example, it could be best to use the cooldown at the end of Eclipse so that you can extend the existing buff and have the spell consume as little energy as possible. This would ultimately give the better players a bit of a skill advantage that I know a lot of you would support, but I'm not as sure that would be a good thing.

Incarnation Change:
Balance: Chosen of Elune - Improved Moonkin Form that also halves Lunar and Solar Power generation while in an Eclipse, and doubles it while not in an Eclipse.
It's hard to know how significant this change is given how little we know about DPS in MoP. However, I do think this change is interesting given the creation of the Celestial Alignment cooldown discussed above. First, the two abilities clearly shouldn't be used together. Since, Celestial Alignment prevents you from generating energy, clearly a buff that changes how you generate energy would be a bad thing. This again creates a potential trap since one buff could possibly negate another in a way that is not obvious to more casual players.


Anonymous said...

They also fixed lunar shower so that it doesn't generate energy, which is nice.

Faunus said...

The way I read Celestial Alignment, it will grant both solar and lunar eclipse buffs and sets you at 0 energy for 15 seconds. I honestly think this is something that was not particularly well thought out, and will change before launch. I think they imagined alternating nature and arcane spells back to back, forgetting that we have a pretty much mutually exclusive repertoir for each. i.e. There's no benefit to alternating wrath/SF (though it would be interesting if they added into the talent a stacking benefit to twisting those two). Also, I wonder how this will affect MF/SuF?

lissanna said...

As far as I can tell, Celestial Alignment will be somewhat trap-like. We'll have to make sure we only hit it when we are not in an Eclipse. We also have to avoid using it with Incarnation up, since Incarnation now just effects our Eclipse power gain & we can't gain power when CA is up.

Anonymous said...

The way I thought about Celestial Alignment when I read it is that it was a way for us to make sure we can AoE on demand even if we aren't in solar eclipse to make use of shrooms. I think blizz sees the futility of trying to balance eclipse aoe capabilities by allowing hurricane to be arcane damage but doesn't want us to camp solar by spamming starfire while we wait for an aoe phase. Instead they give us AoE on demand without need to manipulate our eclipse bar.

Instead: aoe? not in solar? Celestial alignment->shrooms->starfall

It also gives us the ability to hard on demand without needing to camp an eclipse. New add that needs to die NOW? Not in eclipse? Celestial alignment->starfire/wrath/starsurge for on demand burst without needing to camp an eclipse stage.

Anonymous said...

in my previous post i omitted 'hit' in the last paragraph. The first sentence should read: 'It also gives us the ability to HIT hard on demand...'

Nebulose said...

I am all for the abilities working against each other as a show of skill. But I doubt it really will be. More like a show of who reads forums.

It probably will be a moderate dps loss to accidentally use incarnation during alignment but they could have a lockout like Tigers Fury and Berserk have.

I am loving the idea of not having to camp solar for 10+ seconds waiting for adds to spawn. With alignment the on demand AOE burst will be nice.

Using alignment right after the spell that takes you out of eclipse and treating it as though it will be an eclipse that you end with 0 energy on single target fights seems the likely way they want it used.

Berdache said...

I think Anonymous has got it right. This will allow us to do on demand burst damage to kill that add that must die now or help us when we need to AoE adds down outside eclipse.

Madmerco said...

Well if you think of it like this, you can pop Celestial realignment at the beginning of a fight so that you don't have to build up eclipse at the beginning then when it expires you are 50% closer to your next eclipse. When the CD expires you should probably hold off on casting CA again until you enter and exit your next eclipse phase getting you two back to back eclipses and putting you 50% closer to your next eclipse. that is how I would use the spell. Assuming of course that using it set you back to zero in the middle of the eclipse meter.

Rotterjin said...

Hi there

You're wondering when to use those two new cooldowns, well, it seems like a no-brainer to me:
You'd use celestial alignment to extend a burn phase past eclipse (or, later, anytime it is up and you just left eclipse, due to combat ratings munching). That way you deal more DPS, at the expense of delaying the next eclipse. As for the Chosen of Elune form, it can be used in two situations: either you want to reach eclipse faster, or you want to extend the duration of said eclipse. I'll refrain from criticizing the bad design just now. Two new cooldowns is better than no cooldown. As soon as Cataclysm was released, I changed race to troll to have a cooldown, so right now I'm all for it. We'll figure out a way to use it eventually, and as someone posted, then everyone else will read our posts on the forums and do the same thing we do =P

Anonymous said...

instead of tossing in new tricks they need to just up our dps period. the rotation is bad enough. I love hearing other classes talk about how all they have to do is hit 2 keys or spam one ability and I still cant gear near them in the meters. booms are just screwed at the moment and I dont think throwing more spells in the mix is the way to remedy it.