The patch 3.2 has a LOT of changes. It’s a huge patch. It’s taken a really long time to go through everything, see what feedback people have had, and to overall evaluate the changes for the druid class. I still haven’t quite digested everything, especially the non-druid changes that are coming. I’ll go back through and take a second look at the druid changes real quick, with some updates based on having some time to really look through things…
Feral: So, after some calm collection of information, it looks like the feral nerfs aren’t as bad as I originally thought it was going to be. According to Think Tank, it’s not a huge nerf. There is also some actual number crunching up on EJ now. So, all the evidence I’ve found points to maybe a 2% dps decrease (at most). That’s not nearly as bad as the patch notes made it look. Then again, this assumes that things work the way that the theorycrafters think it will. There were also almost no feral tanking changes announced in the patch.
Restoration: Mostly PvP nerfs came for resto druids. The nerf to the bloom (although I complained about it on the WoW forums) is not going to drastically change anything about the game for us. The PvE aspects of resto druids is really only influenced by the changes to replenishment and innervate, and those two changes will probably cancel eachother out in terms of mana in PvE raiding. However, the nerfs for PvP are all things that won’t really destroy PvP for the spec, so it should come out okay and not really be a problem.
Balance: The change to Eclipse is going to have a large impact on the rotation for balance druids, and we really won’t quite understand the best rotation until we’ve had some time to practice it on the PTR. It’s going to take a while before we really know the DPS implications of the Eclipse change. I don’t really feel like working out the math, since Murmurs & Graylo are better at it than me. It probably won’t be a huge DPS increase, but it’s going to have really interesting implications. You may get a couple hundred more DPS out of having one of the Eclipse procs up so much of the time. It doesn’t really change some of the core problems that moonkin have, but I figure that Eclipse buffs are just something that’s supposed to happen all the time. I’m worried that the constant Eclipse buffs are going to make that talent really far over-budget, but I’m not going to complain about being more powerful.
I’m still a little too scatered from the amount of patch notes and changes that have been announced recently that I’m having a hard time focusing on just one change or another. So, I kinda feel like I’m repeating myself a lot in this post, but I wanted to try and have an overall more positive spin on the changes. It’s mostly not that bad. So, maybe the sky isn’t falling for druids in 3.2.
Update for Balance/Resto: Looks like I missed a blue post that got put up around the time I’d finished this entry and went to bed. Lets take a look at what GC said about a couple of the druid changes. Click here for the original link.
Owlkin Frenzy is caused by all types of damage, not just physical. We were considering making that change a few patches ago (3.1?) but ended up not doing it.
Right, we promised that moonkin wouldn’t die in fires so it wouldn’t get nerfed.
The resilience change does nothing to the relative damage caused by crits and non-crits. If you are a crit-dependent class, this change does absolutely nothing different for you. If 40% of your damage came from crits before, 40% of your damage will still come from crits. The only way I can imagine it having an effect is promoting more players to wear resilience which makes you less likely to crit. However the same phenomenon will also cause you to live longer.
The resilience change overall means that people in pvp will take less damage. They also pretty much shut down 2v2 arenas, with the gear rating requirement change to limit the best gear for 3v3 and 5v5 teams. This means that overall, people will live longer. We’ll have to see how these changes play out in arenas before we even know if moonkin will have survivability issues or not.
The spell miss chance was very RNG, which was frustrating for both the druid and casters attempting to get binary spells off. Changing it to spell damage will also include melee attacks from DKs and paladins that struck for Holy and Shadow damage, for which the Moonkin’s prodigious armor did nothing.
I think that overall, it is likely that the change from a % miss, to a flat damage reduction, will actually be a nice help to moonkin survivability, taken together with the resilience change. It will be nice to see this in action.
We realize the Lifebloom nerf does hit Balance druids too, but unlike critical damage above the resilience change does affect the relative power of healing — it buffed it. Consider that it is harder to cause damage to someone in PvP now but no harder to heal it. As such, the LB nerf will either not be felt at all or will be a slight buff relative to the amount of damage you take. At full resilience, you are going to take ~12% less damage in PvP. That’s a lot.
I could see the bloom on lifebloom being problematic for resto in PvP, and it looks like GC’s hope is that it just won’t impact feral & resto that much. They were probably running into “unkillable trees” during internal testing, and thus made the changes most likely to not hurt PvE. I think I can live with that.