Moonkin damage “twisting” in 3.2 – more questions than answers

Okay, so in 3.1, the moonkin rotation makes a lot of sense: Put up your dots, Use wrath until Eclipse procs, keep casting starfire until cooldown is almost up, and then wrath until eclipse procs again. Refresh your dots during the Eclipse cooldown as needed. In movement heavy fights, you can use starfire to proc a wrath eclipse buff, so that you can cast more wraths on the run.

In 3.2, since there isn’t really a cooldown time period, it’s a little more confusing to know when to refresh your DOTs, especially since they both last different lengths, and don’t line up that well with the Eclipse timers.

The basics of the 3.2 rotation is to do something like: Cast wrath until eclipse procs, then cast starfire through eclipse and keep going until the wrath eclipse procs, then cast wrath and repeat. When to refresh DOTs is slightly more problematic. You want moonfire up when you are casting starfire, and you want insect swarm up when you are casting wrath. Aside from that, there’s not really a “good” answer for when to apply them.

The DOTs: Moonfire lasts 15 seconds + up to another 9 seconds from casting 3 starfires before it runs out. This means that it should be pretty simple to keep it going long enough to get through each starfire eclipse rotation. The timing may be a little awkward with the wrath side of the rotation when you aren’t casting starfires. Insect swarm only lasts for 14 seconds, so it has to be refreshed more often than starfire, and won’t last through a whole Wrath side of the rotation. With no gear set bonuses or idols taken into consideration, it may make the most sense to refresh it when you are switching to wrath’s eclipse proc, and then just let it run out for when you are switching to trying to proc the starfire side. However, it may add to your overall DPS to try and keep up both DOTs as much as you can, but the community doesn’t seem to have a really good answer on what to do at this point.

Why set bonuses & idols probably matter: From what I can figure out, how much your DOTs contribute to your overall damage is going to depend on their value relative to just casting another starfire or wrath. It may also be possible that you’ll just want to keep both up all the time (or as much as you can). We need a lot of testing to figure it all out, and it’s pretty much beyond what I have the resources to actually test, since I don’t have access to all the gear that would be necessary to test it in person, and the math is messy at best.

What the set bonuses are:

Tier 7 set bonuses:

  • 2 pieces: Your Insect Swarm deals an additional 10% damage.

With the extra insect swarm damage, you likely want to try and keep up insect swarm more, especially if you manage to also get the idol of the crying wind. The 4-piece doesn’t matter much for DOT timing.

Tier 8 set bonuses:

  • 2 pieces: Increases the bonus granted by Eclipse for Starfire and Wrath by 15%.
  • 4 pieces: Each time your Insect Swarm deals damage, it has a chance to make your next Starfire cast within 10 sec instant.

With the 4-piece bonus, you benefit from keeping insect swarm up as much as possible, so that you can get more instant starfires. The 2-piece bonus won’t have that much of an impact on when to refresh DOTs, other than making it bad to refresh the DOTs towards the end of an Eclipse proc.

Tier 9 set bonuses:

  • 2 pieces: Your Moonfire ability now has a chance for its periodic damage to be critical strikes.
  • 4 pieces: Increases the damage done by your Starfire and Wrath spells by 4%.

The two piece bonus here is going to help you do more damage with moonfire critical strikes, and when paired with the Idol of Lunar Fury, you will have a very powerful moonfire spell, where it’s going to be worth keeping up moonfire as much as possible, even refreshing it during Eclipse proc times. The 4-piece bonus won’t effect DOT timing.

What the idols are:

  • Idol of Lunar Fury: Each time your Moonfire spell deals periodic damage, you have a chance to gain 200 critical strike rating for 12 sec.
  • Idol of the crying wind: Increases the spell power of your Insect Swarm by 374.
  • Idol of the shooting star: Increases the spell power of your Starfire spell by 165.

If you are rocking the idol of Lunar Fury, you will want to keep moonfire up as much as possible, which means refreshing it even for the Wrath side of Eclipse, and during Eclipse procs. The idol of lunar fury is also an obvious “best in slot” for moonkin in 3.2. If you are using the idol of the crying wind, you will want to keep up insect swarm more than you would otherwise, so that you’ll actually benefit from using the idol. If your insect swarm has too much down time, then the shooting star idol becomes a clear better choice than the crying wind. If you are still using the idol of the shooting star, then it doesn’t really have an impact on when you refresh your DOTs, and you can base your decisions on other things.

For more information: Mostly what I did in this thread is point out things that should seem obvious to most moonkin, however I think we did need a reminder of how our gear selections are going to impact the importance of keeping up our DOTs when there’s no real cooldown period on Eclipse anymore. Of course, Graylo has some good advice on what to do with your DOTs and the rotations for moonkin in 3.2. I think it’s just going to require individual players to practice out different options for refreshing DOTs or not, which will depend on what gear you are wearing and how the set bonuses & idols interact with increasing your overall damage or not. It may be possible that just keeping both up all the time will end up with the best overall damage for you, or it may be possible that only refreshing them at certain times works better than having near constant up-time. There’s some more advice on the EJ forums. There’s also some discussion going on about what to do in 3.2 in the moonkin repository. I’m hoping that we’ll have real answers to the problem of when to refresh our DOTs, but since they will never line up perfectly in our rotations, and the value of our DOTs actually change with gear, we’re just going to have to use a little guess work and hope for the best.

Posted in Moonkin Balance DPS, Patch 3.2 WotLK

2 comments on “Moonkin damage “twisting” in 3.2 – more questions than answers
  1. Relevart says:

    I think the answer to the DoTs question is simple in concept. Is the damage gained by casting the DoT during the Eclipse greater than or equal to the damage LOST off the corresponding Eclipse spell.

    Calculating this becomes a little more tricky because we’re talking about a DoT that won’t benefit the Eclipse spell being cast but will still deal damage during the Eclipse. If we wait to cast the DoT till after the Eclipse, then we essentially push the DoT cycle back, but we get the extra spell damage to the spell that was effected by Eclipse.

    I did some work on this a while back and I think it becomes even more relevant here. I found that there were certain levels of haste and crit that, on average, provided enough extra time in a Lunar Eclipse to refresh a DoT without losing a Starfire cast. You always lost a cast in a Solar Eclipse, so that’s where we really need to come to the conclusion of whether it is beneficial to cast the off-set DoT. In a Solar
    Eclipse, this is Moonfire. Given the 2T9 and the Idol, I’m going out on a limb and saying yes it is worth it based on the buffed DPS and the related Idol buff that we could be getting (and would desire specifically for a Solar Eclipse).

    That’s my mini post. Maybe i should copy and paste this onto my blog so I have another post before I post about haste again.

  2. anonymous says:

    I think the answer to the DoTs question is simple in concept. Is the damage gained by casting the DoT during the Eclipse greater than or equal to the damage LOST off the corresponding Eclipse spell.

    The simple answer to this is if you crit- no, if you do not crit – yes it is worth putting up the dot.

    This derives from the 100% crit damage bonus talent effect.


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