So, there have been 2 posts by Ghostcrawler recently about moonkin druids. I wasn’t going to post on either of them individually, but I think having 2 blue posts gives enough “meat” to analyze. The first talked about Eclipse (again), and said mostly what we already knew. However, it was nice to see it re-phrased and to be remembered. I’ll highlight what I think is the most important part:
The problem with Eclipse (as I’ve stated many times, so I find the comments that we won’t address the issue to be a trifle unfair) is that it now accounts for so much of Balance’s damage that the random element can be punishing. Having to shift positions right when you get a proc should be a little bit of a bummer on the level of missing a few crits in a row, and not a devastating blow to your dps.
We’re keeping Eclipse, but the Cataclysm version is a pretty radical overhaul that we hope to be able to reveal soon. It removes a lot of the random element.
So, there will be something named Eclipse, that likely makes us go back and forth between nature & arcane spells, but we don’t know what the full Cata rotation will look like for moonkin. We don’t know what the “pretty radical overhaul” will look like. So, this will be a change worth looking forward to. You can also be pretty sure that what it looks like in Beta for Cataclysm may not even remain what hits the live servers, so it may take a couple tries to get everything to work (so if you don’t like the new one at first, that’s okay, too – it’s all part of the process). Believe it or not, the very first version of Eclipse was a random proc with a 30 second buff and about a 3 minute cooldown (so, it would randomly proc when you didn’t need it and then wouldn’t be up when you did). He has also mentioned before in previous posts that Eclipse did too much damage and was likely to change, so this is more a reconfirmation of things we knew would be coming. Personally, I’m hoping for a version that buffs ALL nature or all arcane spells, so that our DOTs would benefit & scale when we cast them with Eclipse up, rather than having to worry about whether or not our DOTs are a DPS increase at higher gear levels in Cata like we are right now. However, that may be too radical of a change beyond what they are looking to do.
The second post was about my new favorite spell: Starfall. The Eclipse post wasn’t enough new info for it’s own post. However, I wanted to emphasize the starfall post to address some concerns people have had: the spell hasn’t changed since hitting the live servers on the 3.3.3 patch.
At some point I posted some numbers for Starfall since there hadn’t been a PTR build in some time and druids were chomping at the bit to figure out just how much damage it was going to do. The numbers we went with for 3.3.3 were slightly lower than that if I recall correctly, but we haven’t made any changes to Starfall since the patch went live. The live Starfall numbers are still much higher than they were in 3.3.
I can confirm that the live starfall numbers are significantly higher than what they were pre-patch, and they have a significant impact on my own personal DPS. So, as of now, there’s been no nerfs on the live servers (yay!). The theorycrafters on EJ found that the PTR to Live difference was only a 7% coefficient for the main star. This difference was only maybe 100 or 200 damage per star between the anticipated buff and what we got, which I consider to be pretty trivial, since it took several days for people to even bother checking, and it still hits like a truck). The resulting starfall buff was still very significant. My damage in 5-mans and raids has shot up quite a bit due to starfall accounting for ~15% of my damage (up from ~3% or less usually), even for single-target fights. I find that I feel more balanced compared to other classes, and I feel less like I’m struggling to hang on (like I was pre-patch).
I have also found that starfall makes me like PvP more. I’ve been joining battlegrounds in my full PvE gear (which tricks gearscore mods, lol), and then suicide-bombing horde (and dieing a lot). Since a big starfalling moonkin kinda works like a PvP taunt, I draw everyone’s attention and distract them long enough for my team to catch up. I found that this strategy actually worked pretty effectively at distracting the horde flag runners in WSG. One-on-one, I don’t have enough resilience to survive, so I work to actually be part of the team in the battleground PvP to save my own neck. I haven’t had this much fun with PvP since probably when treants first came out and felt really powerful. I haven’t really had fun with PvP for most of WotLK, but way back in Vanilla, I did nothing but organized group PvP for like an entire month one time. So, it’s fun to go into the BG’s with the new random BG system with a spell that actually can do substantial damage to the hordies, rather than just being a free HK or having to heal my way through it.