Monthly Archives: February 2010

Moonkin basics for the new level 80 Raider

So, you just hit 80 and want to be a moonkin raider? Great! Lets get started.

First, you have to be aware of how many great resources there are for new moonkin players, such as the Balance 101 guide on WoW.com. Murmur’s guide covers a lot more than what I’m going to talk about here, and he covers it in greater detail. I am also including lots of links in this post to places where other people explained things, so if you are a new moonkin, I expect you to read all those other links, too! The more resources you read, the better you will understand the moonkin mechanics.

This guide will also assume (in places) that you haven’t raided before on another character. Murmur’s guide is very specific to things unique to moonkin, but a lot of the time, people who are very new to WOW raiding will miss over other important basics (like why you need addons, or how to learn the boss fights in advance). This is also going to be more of a resource list of things you need to know, and where to go find out about them.

The most important thing you need to remember is that it is your job to NOT be a faildruid:

From CAD-Sillies by Tim Buckley

How should you spec?

Talents are a very, very important thing. Having the right talent build can take you from being a failkin to being a boomkin. When you hit level 80, you need to choose a good talent spec for raiding. There is a little bit of flexibility, but not that much. Instead of explaining all the talents, I’m just going to give you 2 “template” specs that you can use:

For more discussion on talents, see Graylo’s talent guide, and Hamlet’s moonkin basics for more advanced raiders.

Get to know your spells.

Priority/rotation basics:

  • In a raid, always attack what your raid leaders/tanks tell you to attack. If they put a Skull symbol over something’s head, it means you should attack that. At the very least, follow directions about what kill targets you are supposed to be on. For example, there are often adds that spawn that you will need to single-target kill in boss fights. The raid leaders will ask you to kill those adds FAST and then go back on the boss.
  • For 3 or more mobs that are standing near each other (usually on the “trash” packs before bosses), you can AOE instead of doing single-target damage (ie. hurricane & starfall). If you have enough space to not aggro a bunch of other crap, then you can use starfall when it’s off cooldown. If you aren’t sure how big your AOE radius is on starfall, then skip it and stick to just using hurricane.
  • For your single-target rotation, you will basically be refreshing DOTs, using your cooldowns, and switching back and forth between wrath and starfire based on having a solar (orange = switch to casting wrath) or lunar Eclipse (blue = switch to casting starfire) proc. For how this all works, See Graylo’s “spells and rotations” guide. Graylo has great advice about being able to master the art of doing good damage as a moonkin druid, and should be considered “required” homework for you.

Addons/Interface.

  • You have to WATCH your Eclipse buffs and your DOTs closely so what you should do is to install an addon called Squawk and Awe. (Advanced moonkin can find other options, such as Quartz, power auras, etc).

Here are some other addon things I find helpful. In general, try to keep your interface CLEAN and SIMPLE. Make sure you can see the world around you so that you can pay attention and your screen isn’t covered in windows, spam and crap. If you are a new player without other high level characters, here is a couple really basic addons that are helpful for raiding:

Gear for Success

  • Gem & enchant all your gear, and use the right kinds of gems & enchants. The worst mistake that you can do is to apply to a serious raiding guild without any enchants or gems in your gear. Even running PUGs, they will likely not accept you if you do poor damage and you look like you don’t care about your gear at all.
  • Run Random Heroics to get your triumph badges for the Tier 9 set pieces (which you will eventually replace with Tier 10 from frost badges) & make sure that you get a good idol, trinkets, and pick up enough stuff to replace all your blues with dungeon epics. Running 5-man dungeons will also be a good way to practice your rotations before you try to start raiding. Graylo has good loot lists to help you evaluate raid-level gear.
  • Make sure you have enough hit rating that your spells don’t miss (263 without a draenei, or 236 with a draenei in your group). You want to hit these marks, but not have a ton of extra, since you get zero benefit from hit after these points.
  • Try to have between 400 & 500 haste rating, and then focus more on crit after that point as you are gearing up.
  • Don’t forget your glyphs! What the “best” glyphs are will change in patch 3.3.3, but before the next patch, you would want moonfire, starfire, & insect swarm glyphs. You will likely trade out your insect swarm glyph for a starfall glyph when the next patch day hits, however this is subject to change.
  • Use flasks (Flask of the Frost Wyrm), and food buffs (usually fish feasts, but make sure you have your own spell power-increasing food if you need it).
  • Since you need to run 5-mans before you start running 10-mans or 25-mans, you may also want to read this wow.com rookie guide for advice on preparing to run 5-man dungeons at level 80.

Know the boss fights.

Additional Moonkin Resources:

Conclusions:

  • Moonkin CAN do respectable damage, but often don’t live up to their potential.
  • The biggest places where moonkin lose out is by having a bad spec, not gearing correctly, not understanding the “rotation” well enough to maximize damage output, not using good raiding addons, not knowing enough about the fights (so you lose more damage time by moving too much or too little), and not using the resources available to learn how to do it right.
  • Try to run other raids (like Naxramas, Ulduar, ToC, VoA, etc) before jumping into Icecrown Citadel if you haven’t really raided much before. You can usually tag along with PUGs running 10-mans for the weekly raid quests.
  • Learn to maximize your potential – so that you can be a contributing raid member and to help your team to succeed.
  • Also, don’t forget that this is supposed to be fun!
Posted in Leveling, Moonkin Balance DPS

Recap of Twitter answers for druids

There were 2 questions relevant to druids in the latest twitter #blizzchat.

  • Q. Is there any ETA on tree / moonkin form graphical update?
    A. Moonkin is hard because Moonkin players are so in love with that form. It’s tough to change it at all. We currently hope to do a new tree form for Cataclysm, but no promises.

I think what moonkin would like more than a complete revamp is just color customizations of the already existing forms. A quick re-color (tied to our hair colors) would be a lot of fun, even if the basic forms weren’t changed for moonkin. Color customization is more important for trees & moonkin, really. More colors, please!

Also, moonkin & tree form (and ALL the forms) need to look different for Worgen & Trolls compared to their NE & Tauren counterparts. Since we won’t likely be able to fight outside of forms as druids, the new races need very distinctly different forms so that the new races can be fun.

  • Q. Has there been any thought of changing Eclipse to charges so that Moonkin dps doesn’t suffer so much from moving?
    A. Yes. Expect a major overhaul in Cataclysm that keeps the same basic idea (alternating from Arcane to Nature) but in a way that is more core to the class. Like everything though, there is the risk that we may decide this idea sucks once we see it in action.

This is something I’m super excited to see. I can pretty much promise you that the moonkin players will give you great feedback on anything that you tinker with during Cataclysm testing. We can’t wait to see what the developers ideas are for making moonkin a more fun spec to play! If their first idea for the Eclipse mechanic comes out funky, we’ll do whatever we can to help it work out in the end.  I think moonkin need to see a lot of revamp & change to bring us into a better place in Cataclysm, but that’s what expansion talent revamps are really all about.

I’m glad that they are at least willing to consider fundamentally changing how Eclipse works, which gives me hope that maybe they’ll make the changes necessary to moonkin so that we don’t feel like we’re always an expansion behind everyone else and just trying to play catch-up all the time. I’m really excited to see what may be coming for moonkin in the future. This next expansion will be really fun for moonkin (yes, I can still sound hopeful from time to time).

Posted in Cataclysm, Moonkin Balance DPS, Patch 3.3 WotLK, Patches, Restoration Healing Trees

3.3.3 Druid changes – for moonkin pvp (or not)

First, the changes:

  • Typhoon mana cost has been reduced from 32% of base mana to 25% of base mana.
  • Starfall damage has been increased. Now causes 563 to 653 Arcane damage (Up from 433 to 503) and 101 Arcane damage (Up from 78) to all other enemies within 5 yards. Spell Power coefficients also increased.
  • Nature’s Grasp: Now has 3 charges, up from 1.

Typhoon:

First, the typhoon mana change is designed to help make typhoon not cause moonkin in PvP to go OOM. Typhoon needs to be something that moonkin can use often, so making it slightly less of a drain on their mana pools is a helpful change.

Starfall:

Designed to help starfall feel more useful. Gives probably a small-ish DPS increase for PvE (depending on how much you use starfall already). Unlikely to do anything significant for moonkin PvP. If each tick does a couple hundred more damage (at most), and you only get off 2 or 3 ticks in a PvP situation (at most), then it’s not really going to do what the developers had hoped it would do. Starfall is always going to be interrupted by Crowd Control, and no amount of crying is going to convince the developers otherwise, so the best hope for making starfall more useful for PvP is being able to capitalize on getting off the first couple ticks when you can.

UPDATE: It looks like starfall should be doing somewhere around 3x’s more on the PTR compared to what it is on Live. Should be a nice PvE boost. Not sure for PvP yet how it’s going to work out.

Nature’s Grasp:

Now has 3 charges? I’m really confused on how this could actually work for moonkin in terms of being something useful. It’s much more likely to help resto druids escape, since resto has the mobility to keep HOTs going while root-kiting. Feral  already has instant-cast cylones & roots with their cat form talent, which doesn’t require them to get hit in the first place. Moonkin can’t rely on nature’s grasp as an actual escape mechanism. Moonkin PvP’ers are worried that more procs that go to waste is not going to be helpful because it will just contribute to the diminishing returns (or just snag pets that you don’t want snagged). Unless it could root all 3 targets at once, then the charges won’t help moonkin (and it’s unlikely that they would give feral & resto an AOE root).

The nature’s grasp change, combined with all the other changes, really need to be tested on the PTR, and people need to post constructive feedback about why they are (or aren’t) working. However, anything that makes this a viable escape mechanism for moonkin would likely be overpowering for resto druids. In fact, resto probably benefits the most from this in PvP because they have improved barkskin and other mechanics (like instant-cast spells) that help them escape while also being able to cast something worthwhile on the run. We really need to see this in action to get a better idea of how it’s effecting the 3 specs.

UPDATE: GC says that the roots from Nature’s Grasp can apply to other people without breaking the previous roots (so you could potentially have 4 people rooted at once if you were super lucky).

Conclusions:

All 3 of these are buffs. The typhoon one buffs PvP moonkin’s mana. The second one buffs moonkin PvE. The third is likely to benefit resto druids the most. None of these are the actual moonkin PvP fixes that they were looking for, which is why there has been a string of rather non-productive posts on the damage dealing forums. The lack of focus in all the moonkin threads, however, makes it particularly hard to see if the buffs are actually going to help moonkin PvP or not. I’m hoping that people will start talking about their actual PTR PvP results once things settle down. I gave up on moonkin PvP so long ago that I don’t even think I could do any worthwhile PTR PvP testing at this point. The good, productive, posts are also being lost in the low signal-to-noise ratio on the forums.

UPDATE – More info on Starfall:

Hey Hamlet, sorry for any confusion. We probably should have just waited until you guys could test it on the PTR.

I think I figured out how you all are calculating the coefficient, so maybe this will make more sense. Again, I’m not 100% sure we’re speaking the same language here. If I have time, maybe I will just log in with a moonkin and compare the before and after and post numbers.

Main star
Old coefficient: 4.8%
New coefficient: 37%

Splash damage
Old coefficient: 1.2%
New coefficient: 13%

As I said, these numbers are very generous. If Balance druids melt the world we may have to back off of them.

Posted in Moonkin Balance DPS, Patch 3.3 WotLK, Patches, Player Versus Player

BA shared topic: Warm fuzzies?

I recently volunteered to help be a moderator at Blog Azeroth, along with a handful of other people. So, now, it’s not just one person burdened with keeping the forum community going, but now there is a whole team of people helping!  It’s nice to see that Phaelia’s BA community keeps growing every day!  If you are a new blogger, you can post in the Introduction forums and then get started on posting about other topics!

One good thing about Blog Azeroth is that there is a weekly shared topic, so that when you get stuck on what to write about, you can choose one of the topics there and do a post for it. One of these topics is on Warm fuzzies from positive random dungeon experiences. Only… not this kind of warm fuzzies:

These two new super adorable plushies just went live in the Blizzard store (with in-game non-combat vanity pet also available when you buy the plushies). However, that’s not the kind of warm fuzzies I’m supposed to be talking about today.

No, instead, he is asking about positive experiences you have in random dungeons, since most people only post about negative experiences they have had.

The most positive experiences I’ve had is running into people I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to run with in-game. I’ve run into several people I knew, and several people recognized me from my blog.

Getting randomly put into a dungeon with people you know from other servers on your battlegroup can be a lot of fun and totally unexpected.

Other than that, positive dungeon experiences seem to not really be that memorable. The best heroic random runs with PUGs tend to be the ones that go smoothly, where nothing out of the ordinary actually happens, and you are going to be unlikely to want to blog about something totally ordinary happening. Instead, people tend to dwell on the negative experiences because they stand out, and actually end up being a deviation from the norm. I think that overall, people have more positive experiences in random dungeons, but all those positive experiences usually don’t get translated into something worth blogging about.

I also tend to do a lot of partial guild runs, where we may pick up 1 or 2 PUG players, rather than having all the other people be PUGs, so my most positive experiences tend to be with my guild members or friends that I’m having fun instancing with. However, since I’ve been running the heroics so frequently for so long, it’s hard to talk about a singular positive event that has been better than the others.

Pugs also tend to not talk to each other much at all, so that makes it particularly hard to have super positive conversations with them. With the exception of people who I recognized, or who recognized me, I haven’t been spending a lot of time talking to the random people from random servers, almost to the point where sometimes I try to talk & start up conversations, which may or may not actually work.  However, for as much as I cry to my guild about not wanting to PUG, I’ve actually had primarily good experiences with PUGs and the random dungeon system. I’m actually really happy that they put in the random dungeon system, and that they made it so easy to get those groups going. I think that’s why I’ve been able to have so many positive experiences that none of them stand out in my mind.

What about you guys? If you are bloggers, you can write about your positive experiences with the dungeon system on your blog and post it on the BA shared topic!

Posted in Blog Azeroth, Druid - General

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