This is part 2 of my moonkin PvP analysis series. Part 1 can be found here (read part 1 before part 2). There was also some good feedback from part 1 in the moonkin repository cross-post. I suggest reading the moonkin repository comments, as well.
So, lets jump right in!
If typhoon was the answer, what was the problem?
Moonkin survivability has been the #1 moonkin PvP complaint, that crops up in many different forms ever since we all hit level 80. The developers toned down some of the burst damage, which allowed resto specs to regain their standings in arenas, but somehow moonkin still got left behind.
I found a PvP guide for moonkin on the laser chicken blog, when I was doing a google search for reference material for this post. I read through it and thought a lot of the advice was pretty good, and then I realized that the advice was over a year old, and it was still pretty much the advice that I would give people today. It also highlights problems that are still present in moonkin PvP. Yes, you can tell that in some ways it’s out of date, but in other ways, it’s really not. The only new PvP tool we got was Typhoon (another nature spell). It works as a knockback, with a 3 second daze. It’s the “get out of my face” PvP ability, on a moderate cooldown.
Typhoon on it’s own isn’t enough to make moonkin PvP strong enough. We’re still dieing too quickly in stunlocks and such, with no real counter to a lot of the abilities that lock us down. We’re not a burst-damage spec. We’re not a high survivability spec. We’re not really a kite/dot spec. We were supposed to be casters that could soak up damage with our high armor – however after multiple armor nerfs due to the bear form changes, we can’t soak up anything. We didn’t get any good PvP survivability talents in the WotLK talent tree revamps, and we are really just squishy chickens. While Arena PvP is about being part of a team, it feels like moonkin hold back their team members rather than having anything to contribute.
What goes up must come down
One problem right now with moonkin PvP seems to be that moonkin damage is too strong when moonkin are allowed to stand still and nuke. I know, at this point you would say “wait, how is having good damage a problem?!?” This is what I mean: In PvE, moonkin are dependent on a large chunk of their damage to come from Eclipse procs. In PvP Eclipse is really, really worthless – because the last thing anyone is going to do is let a moonkin stand still and nuke them to death. So, the moonkin is either locked down (in ways we can’t counter), or they are forced to move around in ways that makes Eclipse pretty pointless.
I think the problem with 3.0 when it first came out was that moonkin were probably being ignored too much, and thus moonkin were able to get off big starfires that they hadn’t been able to do before. In addition, starfall was actually a good PvP tool before the multiple nerfs (no more mana return, stun, unstealthing rogues, or shapeshifting to bear/travel/cat), and we also had a stun proc on starfire.
So, right now, moonkin are suffering from a lack of survivability, since no one would listen to moonkin asking for survivability talents when moonkin were doing okay at level 70 PvP with the WotLK talents. Once everyone leveled up to 80, as I predicted, everyone else passed by the moonkin and moonkin became a horrible PvP spec. Since arena PvP is not about the individual, but about the team, it comes down to moonkin just not fitting well on any team combination – compared to the BETTER tools they can get from other classes.
So, now that we know what the problems are, how do we fix moonkin pvp?
A while back, I suggested another survivability talent should be added to the balance tree. I’m not going to go over it again, because I stand behind my last post on that subject here. We got some good typhoon fixes after that post, but we didn’t get the survivability buff to go along with it. Since we needed both for moonkin PvP to be viable, it’s still hanging on in a pretty weak place. It’s much, much easier to spec resto and HOT your way to a high arena rating, rather than struggle and hold teams back as a failing moonkin. We could stand to have something that reduces the damage we take while stunned/feared.
Another option is to add in another PvP spell (arcane, NOT nature), following what I wrote in my last post. It could do something like consume insect swarm or moonfire’s DOT and turn it into direct damage (with the ability to glyph for the DOT to not get consumed).
We could also maybe have something like “strangling roots” that would be a channeled spell that roots the target and does damage to them.
Or, they could change cyclone (just for moonkin) to allow us to do damage to them. Or, they could give us just about anything offensive or defensive that will help us:
- Last long enough to get through the initial burst
- actually be able to kill people if we last through the initial burst
- and be taken seriously enough that we aren’t holding back our team, but rather adding to it in a valuable way. At this point, anything moonkin bring, so do resto druids (and resto druids are powerful enough to keep their party alive while cycloning/nature’s grasp/rooting/hybernating!).
We’re lacking both of these in a major way. Typhoon helped, but we’re a spec designed for stand-and-nuke PvE encounters, and not at all designed to be good for PvP. This is going to need to change “soon”. Just buffing innervate is also not enough, since it’s more likely that the moonkin will die before being able to cast enough to run OOM in the first place.
In the end, it’s not really my place to say how to fix moonkin PvP. I can give ideas and options, and I can restate other people’s good ideas, but it’s the developers job (that they get paid for) to develop the classes – so it ends up being their problem to figure out how to fix it.