All caster classes have had a long standing love-hate relationship with spirit (or in some cases, hate-hate).
Spirit has generally been an accepted stat by resto druids because we use it with:
- Innervate (not after 3.1.2)
- Tree form (15% spirit -> +healing)
For moonkin, it’s not as accepted, but it would work with:
- Intensity (if they spec for it)
- Innervate (not after 3.1.2)
- Improved moonkin form (15% spirit -> damage)
However, moonkin has 2 other sources of mana regen stats:
- Crit (moonkin form – nice for PvE, but sucks for PvP ’cause of resilience)
- Intellect (dreamstate – even though dreamstate is worse than intensity for even PvE moonkin)
That said, in patch 3.1, the value of spirit out of the 5-second rule got reduced for all casting classes. So, all the casting classes that are supposed to wear spirit started complaining about all the spirit on their gear (not really a big surprise to me). The only reason that spirit got as powerful as it did was because the WoW community kept complaining about it not being useful enough & not wanting it on our gear. It’s really just an endless cycle between hating the stat and feeling like we’re being forced to like it. I don’t really see the end in sight any time soon.
GC’s response to moonkin complaining about all the spirit on their T8 set is:
We aren’t taking Spirit off of gear. It’s a stat in the game and we need to use it. “Sub-optimal” is not the same as “worthless.” Spirit on plate is worthless. We did improve the set bonus by quite a bit, and we are considering increasing the amount of spellpower provided by Improved Moonkin Form.
Long term we would still like to evaluate whether we’re happy with there being so much crossover of Int becoming a mana regen stat and Spirit becoming a dps stat.
So, basically, moonkin are supposed to just deal with spirit being on their PvE gear. Why do people generally think that it’s good for tree form druids (who use intensity) and not for moonkin druids (who can also use intensity)?
While somewhat outdated since the 3.1 patch changed the out-of-casting regen, Phalia claims that you can still get pretty good information from her blog guide on spirit & regen. However, she also said in a comment to one of my innervate topics that innervate no longer scaling with spirit will make spirit less of a valuable stat to resto druids:
This isn’t actually the case. Innervate was THE thing that made Spirit so incredibly attractive to Druids. With the reduction to Innervate’s effectiveness, Spirit took a major hit, moreso for Resto Druids than anyone else (including Holy Priests who can’t bank on always taking advantage of it).
If Phalia (who isn’t even playing anymore) is concerned about spirit being useful after the changes to innervate, I figured it was worth bringing to people’s attention.
However, it’s really not the change to innervate that I am concerned about. It’s that spirit just isn’t a very well-defined stat, and every time they change what spirit does, they change how much people want it… and I’d just like to have less of it on all our gear.
For example, my spark of hope gives me 100 spirit. When I equip it I get:
- 17 spell power in tree form.
- 60 mana/5 while not casting
- 30 mana/5 while casting
That’s not bad. However, with 1172 spirit and 925 intellect, and 17 mana/5, my total regen numbers feel really unrewarding:
- 619 mana/5 while not casting
- 321 mana/5 while casting
Orbits of the Beware Splinter’s blog still claims that the spark of hope is one of the better trinkets for us, especially because of the mana cost reduction effect. Without the mana cost reduction effect, I think I would be trying to swap it out for a spellpower trinket, personally.
Okay, so back to the problem & a possible solution for moonkin:
Making Innervate based on Spirit is not a great way to make Spirit an attractive stat.
Making Improved Moonkin Form grant 30% Spirit to spellpower instead of 15% is the kind of thing that would make Spirit a more attractive stat.
If GC is thinking of making moonkin form give 30% of spirit as spellpower, I’d like to argue that tree druids would benefit from having their spell power numbers increased, too, and that other classes (mages, priests, etc) that use spirit as a spell damage stat would probably like it increased, too. However, moonkin probably need it more, so I’d rather just give it to moonkin and have the other classes & specs just deal with it for now…
Why is spirit suddenly a problem? Well, because the developers decided to throw gobs of spirit on everything in Ulduar in the same patch that they de-valued spirit as a regen stat.
The problem continues to be murky if we increase the use of spirit as a +spell power (damage or healing) stat. I think that’s why they gave up trying to make paladin healers & shaman healers like spirit. Why is it that mages & moonkin need to like spirit, but two of the healing classes doesn’t?
Spirit is a problematic stat that needs a really big “looking into” very soon. Otherwise, please just give us all options with more or less spirit on it. Being forced into picking up gear that is all basically itemized the same gobs of spirit on the majority of cloth and ALL the leather pieces. I know you guys are trying to homogenize gear, but we need to actually have choices, or gearing up just isn’t interesting.
In conclusion, the recent changes to spirit really de-value it as a stat for both druid caster specs, and likely other casting communities. However, since it’s all over every single leather piece in Ulduar, you don’t get to choose how much spirit you wear – you just take what you get. This is, however, something that is going to turn into a problem that will need to be addressed as a long-term goal for Blizzard. Maybe in the next expansion they can revamp caster stats again?