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:
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:
- This is a pretty good starter raid spec.
- What if I keep running OOM? In a raid where you may not have a replenishment source, if regen becomes problematic, you can shift points into Intensity and/or max out moonglow. The OOMKIN regen spec would look more like this.
Get to know your spells.
- Debuffs: Faerie Fire
- Damage over time (DOTs): Moonfire and Insect swarm
- Primary single-target nukes: Wrath and starfire
- Cooldowns: Force of Nature and Starfall
- Area of Effect (AOE’s): Hurricane & starfall
- Eclipse Procs: Solar Eclipse & Lunar Eclipse
- 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.
- 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:
- It helps to have a bar mod to help you organize your spells. For that, you can either use Dominos or Bartender.
- Another mod that can be really helpful for beginners is called Xperl. Allows for a lot of customization with player frames, party frames, and raid frames, and more! Very good beginner mod, with a lot of neat features and customization.
- Another thing I can’t live without as a raiding moonkin is some type of boss mod to tell me when I need to move. The one I use is called Deadly Boss Mods.
- Track and evaluate your own performance using a mod like Recount or Skada Damage Meter. These are great for seeing if the changes you are making have improved your own performance. Please do not spam meter reports in any chat channel. Use them for your own self-improvement purposes. You can see damage done, what % of your DPS came from what spell, etc. If your guild uses something like World of Logs, you can also evaluate your performance in more detail after the run.
- I also use Mikscrolling battle text, so that I can cut down on the amount of spam scrolling across my screen. I turn off parts of it that I don’t need and customize it to just show me the damage I’m doing and other important things, rather than spamming every time I gain mana or something silly.
- More on addon basics can be found here.
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.
- If you go into a situation blind, you are going to die in fires, and dead people can’t do damage. So, how do you learn about fights? Well, you read strategy guides. I usually start at wowwiki, such as their guide for Icecrown Citadel, and then follow their links to additional resources.
- Another guide source that I really like is Bosskillers, who do really good guides (with pictures!).
- Watch videos! Tankspot has a ton of really great boss strategy videos. They show you the fight and talk you through it.
- Don’t die in fires. Switch to other targets when you need to. Know the boss mechanics, and follow your raid leader’s instructions. Keep in mind that you aren’t going to be perfect your first time, but that you need to work on improving over time and working on learning how to do damage while also being aware of your surroundings.
- Wow.com also has some good raiding guides, with their Ready Check column.
Additional Moonkin Resources:
- Wisp has a guide for moonkin stickied on the druid forums with a lot of the basics.
- There is also a really great resource, called The Moonkin Repository. This is an entire forum dedicated to moonkin, where you can go to ask questions about anything moonkin related.
- 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!