Mailbag: What is the difference between moonkin & healing gear?

So, I got an e-mail from Berinna, a level 75 druid, who asked:

I will hit 80 pretty soon and i will be aiming for a restokin balance/druid. Im not sure if u wanna answer this question but any referred links will do fine. Resto and balance gear looks the same to me. As far as stats what do resto gear need and what does balance gear need. more int, more spirit. ect…..

So, there are some subtle differences between healing gear and moonkin gear when you hit 80. There isn’t much of a difference for leveling, since there isn’t much leather caster gear to go around. However, when you are 80, the first major difference is that moonkin need to reach a +hit cap for PvE raiding. Since heals don’t miss, healers will have zero hit rating. For moonkin, there are a couple different hit cap options, depending on what group makeup you have. From the moonkin sticky on the WOW forums come the hit caps:

  • Untalented: 445.91
  • BoP specd: 340.99
  • BoP w/ Misery(IFF): 262.3
  • BoP w/ Misery(IFF) and Draenei: 236.07

These numbers are what moonkin need for raid bosses. Most people will either want the 262 cap (since you will have the BoP talent, and the Imp Faerie Fire talent). Alliance may be able to get down to needing 236 hit rating if they are grouped with a Draenei.

Other stat differences (and similarities)

  • Set pieces. Moonkin and resto have different tier sets, which give different set bonuses. Most moonkin and resto set bonuses are worth having, so try and get the best set pieces you can for either set.
  • Idols are another obvious difference. You want a different idol for moonkin & resto, to buff their different spells respectively.
  • Moonkin values int a little more than resto most of the time (from having lunar guidance). However, this stat isn’t really a focus for either spec. You kinda just take what you get for this stat.
  • Resto values spirit more than moonkin. While moonkin has talents that can use the spirit on that gear, it matters more for resto. Any time you can reduce the amount of spirit on your moonkin gear, the more your DPS will go up, since those stat points can be better spent on other things. However, most of the pieces your two sets will share have spirit on them, and that’s okay for now.
  • Both moonkin & resto want about 400 haste rating. For both sets, my goal is to be around this number. Sometimes it’s higher, sometimes it’s lower.
  • Spell power increases damage or healing, so this is a stat that the two specs share. More is good.
  • Moonkin values crit more than resto. For one of my moonkin trinket slots, I have a +crit trinket, which I don’t wear in my resto set. Since moonkin relies on Eclipse for damage at level 80, the crit you get makes Eclipse proc sooner. So, once you have your +hit cap for moonkin, and around 400 haste, you want to stack as much crit on your gear as you can. For resto, you just kinda take whatever crit you get, since your HOTs don’t crit. Resto may focus their trinket slots more on spell damage and mana regen stuff.

There are some areas where they overlap. So, I do share some pieces of gear between the two sets, especially when I was first trying to put together a moonkin set. I might have 5 or 6 slots at any one time that overlap between my two sets. Plus, it gives me a lot of flexibility for tweaking my moonkin set when I get a new upgrade (ie. my +hit too high? It’s okay, I’ll swap out one moonkin piece for a resto piece so my hit rating will go back down).

3 Comments

  1. Dennis (berinna)
    Posted August 30, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the information this helps me out a lot. :)

  2. Sae
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Thanks a lot for this. I had figured out most of this but it’s nice to have confirmation XD. As a (stupid) individual who leveled resto (all the way until I got dual spec – never switched =P) I wasn’t totally sure about the moonkin gear. I have a friend who’s a great moonkin, but she hardly ever has the time to have a long conversation about what’s good/bad for a moonkin in terms of talents, glyphs, gear and rotation (though she did let me copy-pasta her awesome spec =D). Right now, my moonkin gear (w/ a couple exceptions) is pretty much just my resto gear. Somewhat nice, since I hardly ever run oom even on boss fights, but I’m sure my DPS isn’t what it could be.

    Just as a side note, I’ve been finding that having crit on the healing gear is actually pretty nice, especially if you heal w/ Regrowth mostly and have Living Seed. Currently, I’m trying out a spec where I’ve got points in the balance tree all the way down to Celestial Focus, so having the extra crit can also make Nature’s Grace proc at convenient times.

    Thanks a bunch for the info =D

  3. Posted September 2, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Great info! Even still as a seasoned Resto, I feel like sometimes we all need to be reminded on what we look at.

    One thing I will disagree with is the haste vs. crit choice of stat. I personally find I’m successful with less haste (mine’s around 320 or so and bounces around with +/- 30 points…ish) and more crit. I grind my teeth as I say this as it sparks memories of countless retarded /2 conversations, but heals (not HOTs as you said) do crit. While we are HOT-centric healers, our latest major heal, Nourish, is not. It’s very much a crit-based heal, especially with the HOTs applied (and the set-bonus for those who still have it and glyph). Add that along with the final bloom on Lifebloom (despite the ability’s constant beatings with the nerf-bat), the instant heal offered by Swiftmend (!!!) and crit is more of a big deal than just “taking whatever we can get”. I believe there is a good balance, but it all depends on what kind of healer you want to be. If you like to constantly be doing something, stack haste and take the lower crit, and if you’re opposite, do the opposite by stacking crit and less haste. Either way, it’ll get the job done but I thought I’d throw another flavor of kool-aid into fridge!

    Mmmm, now I’m thirsty.