Okay, so I was happily surprised to see when I logged on after my airplane flight yesterday that we had some really interesting new 3.2 developments come out. I was going to post something up late last night, but I was too tired and didn’t want to just give you just a copy/paste that you can read from wow insider or mmo-champion. I’m also expecting to see a lot more news coming out in the next several days as people have more time to test the new content up on the PTR. I’m also in California all week, so I can’t work on my normal posting schedule. This means that what I’m posting are just my initial reactions to the set bonuses & idols. We really need to see these in action to get a good feel for how they’re actually going to work.
First, the most exciting part for me is the new idols:
- Druid T9 Feral Relic (Lacerate, Swipe, Mangle, and Shred)– While in Bear Form, your Lacerate and Swipe abilities have a chance to grant 200 dodge rating for 9 sec, and your Mangle and Shred abilities have a chance to grant 200 agility for 16 sec.
- Druid T9 Restoration Relic (Rejuvenation) — Each time your Rejuvenation spell deals periodic healing, you have a chance to gain 234 spell power for 9 sec.
- Druid T9 Balance Relic (Moonfire) — Each time your Moonfire spell deals periodic damage, you have a chance to gain 200 critical strike rating for 12 sec.
What all three of these do is give you a chance to proc additional helpful stats when you use one (or more) spells/abilities. I feel like I’ve been asking for stats on relics for a long time, and we’ve seen similar items before. This solves some of the problem of having to rotate between abilities and having a relic that only buffed one ability (moonkin have been trying to figure out how to swap between relics because of the changes to Eclipse in 3.1). My bet is that these should come out on top for all druid specs, depending on what the proc rate is.
The tanking one even gives druids dodge, which means it’s got real tanking stats on it (yay!). This is also combined with an agility proc. I’m not sure if the AGI proc works in both bear & cat forms, or just cat. My guess would be that it’s only supposed to work in cat form, but I can’t get to the PTR yet (and everything on the PTR is still buggy and subject to change).
The healing one is giving extra spell power, but it also means that they aren’t going to turn the Tier 8 set bonus into a relic – I’m personally likely going to pick this up as soon as I can. Right now, I’m using the one that reduces the mana cost of rejuvenation, but I’m liking the ability to have a huge spell power proc so that it buffs my other spells and overall increases my healing done.
For balance, I’m not sure how helpful the crit will be, but about 4% crit is a welcome addition, especially combined with the new Eclipse mechanics and the Tier 9 bonus. I’m sure that once we’ve had a chance to play with it that Graylo and the other mathy moonkin will get it all worked out soon – BUT I like it just for the fact that you don’t have to swap idols if this new one will do the trick.
Now for the set bonuses:
- Druid T9 Feral 2P Bonus — Decreases the cooldown on your Growl ability by 2 sec and increases the duration of your Rake ability by 3 sec.
- Druid T9 Feral 4P Bonus (Class: Druid) — Increases the damage reduction granted by Barkskin by 10% and increases the critical strike chance of Rip and Ferocious Bite by 5%.
For cats, having an increased duration on rake should be helpful, since that means they have to re-apply it less often. I’m not sure how often you are able to taunt in high-end raids (where you would be picking up this growl set bonus). Increased powerfulness of barkskin has to be nice for absorbing more damage (hey, you got the resto barkskin talent as a set bonus!), and more critical strike for some of your cat abilities is welcome. Then again, they just put crit on… everyone’s set bonuses for druids.
- Druid T9 Balance 2P Bonus (Moonfire) (Class: Druid) — Your Moonfire ability now has a chance for its periodic damage to be critical strikes.
- Druid T9 Balance 4P Bonus (Starfire) (Class: Druid) — Increases the critical strike chance of your Starfire spell by 5%.
We complained when we lost the Tier 8 critical strike chance, so now we’re getting back crit on the 4-piece bonus, but only for starfire. The one I’m really interested to see in action is the moonfire DOT having a chance to crit. Will the improved moonfire talent also give the DOT an increased chance to crit, or will the imp moonfire talent only work on the direct damage portion of the spell? Since we didn’t like the Tier 8 set bonuses all that much, my bet is that we’re going to want to ditch the T8 and bump up to Tier 9.
- Druid T9 Restoration 2P Bonus (Nourish) (Class: Druid) — Increases the critical strike chance of your Nourish spell by 5%.
- Druid T9 Restoration 4P Bonus (Rejuvenation) (Class: Druid) — Your Rejuvenation ability now has a chance for its healing to be critical strikes.
The 2-piece bonus is a “tank healing set” bonus. We won’t likely switch our 4-piece T8 bonus for the 2-piece Tier 9 set -> EXCEPT when we’re assigned to tank healing. My hope is that the new bosses will have less raid damage, and let us actually put more healers on the tank…. but only time will tell. This also goes along with another buff to nourish through talents. The tier 9 4-piece bonus gives the rejuvenaiton HOT a chance to crit. However, keep in mind that you won’t have the insta-heals on rejuvenation anymore. So, it’s going to take rejuv 3 seconds to kick in before it starts healing. Overall, the insta-heals from T8 are more useful than HOT crits without the instant heal. I’m not sure how fast I’m going to want to upgrade sets… mostly because our Tier 8 instant-rejuv bonus is just so powerful in Ulduar. I’m definitely going to have different sets for tank & raid healing until I’m in four Tier 9 pieces. It would be a lot better (for me) if lifebloom also had the HOT chance to crit, as that would encourage us to actually use it again. However, Averna at Nerf this druid is pretty happy and excited about the idea of critting rejuv ticks.
Overall, I don’t see anything in this list that I really hate. For all the set bonuses and idols, I don’t see anything that we’re going to skip over, unlike Tier 8 where we struggled a while to get moonkin in a good place (and still threw out the insect swarm & nourish idols instead of getting them). However, the growl decresed cooldown seems like a lame tanking set bonus unless we’re going to need to taunt a lot in the new raid dungeon. I’m interested in seeing how all of this is going to play out, with the procs and such.