Solar and Lunar are not Equal:
Q: Actually, is the design intention to have both Eclipses with the same damage output for single targets and AoE?
A: Actually, no. We’re currently intending for Lunar to be slightly better at single target damage and Solar to be AoE damage. When you have time between phases or situations where you can use Astral Communion to quickly switch sides, you should be able to further optimize performance by tailoring which Eclipse you line up with which boss phases. The difference should not be significant enough, however, that in a Patchwerk-style scenario, you are compelled to only DPS in one eclipse.
This explains a lot. You may remember about a month ago beta build 15726 did some fairly strange things based upon the information we had up to that point. Hurricane and Starfire were buffed while Astral Storm and Wrath were nurfed. A lot of people wondered what the hell Blizzard was doing and I speculated that it was some sort of tool tip or data mining error, but now it makes sense.
My first impression was pretty positive. A lot of players believe that the current MoP moonkin rotation is to simple and therefore boring. I don't agree with them 100%, but I can see their point. As it stands right now, when you enter eclipse you cast your dot and maybe starfall and then just cast nukes until you reach the next eclipse.
This doesn't change the rotation, but having Solar favor AoE and Lunar favor single target adds a little thought and planning back into the rotation. The better players should be able to set themselves apart by being in the right eclipse and that should make them at least a little happy. Additionally under this system mistakes aren't punished as harshly as they currently are since you will still do decent AoE damage in Lunar and decent single target damage in solar.
All that said, after a little more thought I do have a couple of concerns.
Is the Difference Too Big:
My first concern is about the size of the difference. As you may remember, Hurricane and Starfire were buffed by 10% in beta build 15726 while Astral Storm and Wrath were nurfed by 10%. This means that Hurricane and Starfire will be about 22% stronger then their counterparts and that fells a little to large for me. I would prefer to see a difference in the 10% - 15% range.
Timing Eclipse Again:
I have found timing Eclipse in Cataclysm to be extremely problematic, and in my opinion one of the best things about the new MoP rotation (prior to the specialized eclipses) was that timing Eclipse should have been a much smaller issue. While miss timing Eclipse in MoP won't completely destroy your DPS the way it does in Cataclysm, having specialized Eclipse buffs makes it a much more significant issue.
I know a lot of you see this as a good thing because it theoretically allows skilled players differentiate
A good example of this is Heroic Ragnaros. As we all know, being in Solar Eclipse is extremely important for phase two of heroic rag to DPS down the adds quickly. At the end of T12 raiding my Phase one DPS was timed just about perfectly. If I was a little short, when the boss phased I could push Solar Eclipse during the transition and would have it when I needed it. Everything was right with the world. However, as I started doing Heroic rag to farm mounts and get the legendary quest items during T13, my eclipse transitions stopped lining up with the bosses transitions and has reduced my overall DPS on the fight.
Making this complaint and using heroic Rag as an example might not be entirely fair because I am using a level of gear that this fight was not designed for. However, I do see the same thing happening in Dragon Soul with the ever increasing damage buff that Bizzard provides so that everyone can get the kill. Zon'ozz is a good example of this, because I want to be in solar for the black phase to dot up the tentacles, but I've seen my timing change every time the buff is increased.
Making the different Eclipse buffs specialized reintroduces the timing problem into the rotation in a significant way. Messing up the timing in MoP won't be as devastating to moonkin DPS as it is in Cataclysm, but I don't like any situation where my DPS could suffer due to things not entirely in my control.
Another Look at Astral Communion:
After that last section I know some of you are thinking "Hey, What about Astral Communion? Doesn't that fix the control issue?" To that, I say yes and no. Astral Communion is a great tool that helps in a pinch, but it is extremely limited because it is a channelled spell. For Astral Communion to be useful you have to be standing around doing nothing or being in Eclipse for the next phase has to be so important that it's worth the DPS Loss. How many situations fall into one of those two categories? How many times are you standing around in a boss fight with nothing to do? In my experience, there haven't been many of those times. Even during boss transitions there is usually a stack up point or something of that nature that I have to move towards eliminating the possibility of using Astral Communion.
This leads me to the first change I would like to see made regarding Astral Communion. I would like to be able to cast Astral Communion while moving. Not only would this help you out during transitions when you need to get into a new position, but it also acts as an indirect movement DPS option that Moonkin currently don't have.
My second issue is, what do you do when you need to do high single target DPS but you are already half way through the Lunar Eclipse bar? Astral communion isn't a good option because it will take you at least 21 seconds to get back to the top of Lunar Eclipse. Staying where you are at isn't great because you will be leaving Lunar Eclipse soon. There are other options as well, but none of them are all that good, because they require you to DPS in a less then optimal way.
To address this, I think it would be neat to have a way to move the Eclipse bar backwards. I'm not exactly sure what would be a good way to do this. Having a single button that always moved you to the closes Eclipse wouldn't work, because if you were in Solar and wanted to be in Lunar, it would move you in the wrong direction, Having two buttons that moved the bar in one direction only, would work but it feels pretty confusing.