Okay, so for the last couple days, I’ve been following Murmur’s post in the damage dealing forum about haste & wrath.
The problem has a couple layers:
- Wrath has a short cast time
- The global cool down (GCD) can’t go below 1 second
- Wrath is able to have a cast time below 1 second with haste (from gear, talents, buffs).
- Having a cast time below the GCD is bad.
- Eclipse makes us have to cast wrath even if we don’t want to
- So, we gear for less haste to not have as bad GCD clipping problems
- but then we have to avoid haste on our gear.
The best fix for this problem, after reading everyone’s feedback from that thread would be to change Nature’s Grace to just give less haste, so that we have a higher haste cap before Wrath clips the GCD. However, we can’t change Nature’s Grace in patch 3.3 for obvious reasons, as Ghostcrawler points out:
I agree Nature’s Grace is a big part of the problem here. We changed Gift of the Earth Mother for pretty similar reasons. However, Nature’s Grace is a Really Big Deal. We honestly keep talking about changing it, but we’re also paranoid about screwing it up because Balance dps is dependent on it. NG is probably an overbudget talent, but in this case if we nerfed iit, we’d have to mess with Balance in a lot of other areas to compensate. We’ll almost certainly do it at some point, but I worry about messing with it for 3.3.
Nature’s Grace is a talent that all caster druids (should) pick up: For PvP, PvE, tree healing, & moonkin damage dealing. It would hurt all these aspects of the game to just nerf Nature’s Grace. I also don’t think resto could handle a NG and GotEM nerf in the same patch without really having problems.
So, what are the other options?
- Lowering the global cooldown below a second
This is a terrible idea for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one being that it takes time for human beings to react to stimuli presented on the computer screen, and the internet/server latency combined with human reaction times makes lowing the GCD below a second a horrible idea, since people with quick RT’s and lower latency would be the only people who really benefited from this. You don’t want to end up with a 500 millisecond Global cooldown, but 800 millisecond internet latency. This would be a horrible precedent to set, and wouldn’t really “fix” the problem.
- Increasing wrath’s cast time directly
This would ruin wrath for PvP, since PvP relies on the short cast time for wrath. So, we can’t nerf PvP for PvE in patch 3.3 for an already suffering spec. This is why starlight wrath can’t really be changed at this point. Introducing a glyph to re-increase the cast time of wrath isn’t a good idea, either, because we’d have to waste a glyph slot to undo the effect of 5 talent points we spent.
- Change the Celestial Focus & drop that 3% haste from talents at that point in the tree.
Just giving us less haste through talents would be an okay short-term band-aid fix. They could change Celestial Focus to give a PvP survivability buff, and compensate for the damage loss in other ways (much to the grumbling of the resto druids who wanted to pick up this talent to help off-set the GotEM nerf). This is probably the best place to make a change for 3.3, and it would essentially just raise the gearing cap for haste by 3% – so it would be a temporary band-aid fix at best, but a band-aid fix for 3.3 may be all that we really need at this point.
- Leave it alone & wait for Cataclysm
This is another viable option. We could just “deal” with it for Icecrown Citadel, and wait for a whole new revamp to take care of the problem. We’ll get at least 1 new balance DPS spell for our PvE rotation (because they would have to do that to “fix” a lot of our problems), they could make us less reliant on Wrath for PvE, they could revamp the whole talent tree to give us less haste but still keep us viable. They could easily change Nature’s Grace at that point along with the dozens of other changes, so we won’t even notice the loss. With the other Cataclysm stat & talent system changes, it will be really easy to compensate for any re-balancing that has to be done to make haste a more attractive stat for us.
What do we do until then? I’m really not sure there is a good answer…