Cata: Eclipse – It’s like charges, but not

Okay, so right after I had decided that nothing good was going to be in the twitter #blizzchat for druids, they finally decided to drop an Eclipse bomb on us. According to the Blizzchat, in an upcoming beta build, we’re going to try out a new Eclipse mechanic that goes like this:

Q: Moonkin: What are your plans for Eclipse, and why does it infect so many of our talents? What are your plans to make Moonkin fun?
A. The model we are trying now lets Solar and Lunar Eclipse procs last for about 45 seconds, and each spell of the appropriate type that you cast moves the bar back closer to the middle again. The buff is canceled by reaching the middle. This should let Moonkin “hold” the buff for short periods of time when they need to move or get out of the fire.

How Eclipse works on the beta server now:

  • You start at zero eclipse power. When you hit 100 power, you gain an Eclipse buff. It lasts for 15 seconds, and even if you never use it in that 15 seconds, you lose it when that timer runs out.
  • Then, you have to get from +100 to -100 power for the next Eclipse to proc. If you are standing still, you may be at the half way point before the buff falls off, but probably only when fighting Patchwerk and training dummies. Otherwise, you tend to waste the buff by not really being able to cast standing still for prolonged periods of time.

How Eclipse might work “soon”, according to the Blizzchat:

  • You start at zero eclipse power. When you hit 100 power, you gain an Eclipse buff that lasts for 45 seconds. However…
  • If it takes you 10 casts to get from 100 power back down to zero, then you get 10 casts worth of Eclipse. If it takes you 5 casts to get back to zero, then you get 5 casts worth of Eclipse. That basically means that Eclipse will work like it has “charges” that get used up, only it just gives you a timer and the buff will disappear when the bar hits zero in the middle.
  • This could essentially mean that it could benefit you to cast things like moonfire or insect swarm when Eclipse is up so that you could benefit from Eclipse without moving the bar. However,questions about whether or not things like insect swarm will move the Eclipse bar will have to be seen “soon” when the new Eclipse version gets implemented in the future.
  • In pvp, if you get stunlocked for 15 seconds, you’ll still be able to benefit from Eclipse when you break free, which has never happened in the earlier versions of Eclipse.

Conclusions:  I really like the idea of this new design, since we will benefit from doing what we would be doing anyway, and it won’t punish us so darn heavily in either PvP or during movement-heavy PvE fights.

Also, during the twitter #Blizzchat, they confirmed that Typhoon will still be a moonkin talent in Cataclysm. For now, it doesn’t seem to be going baseline. Other than that, all we really learned for druids is that they’re working on the talent trees and such to be better. We’ll have to wait and see how things turn out in the end.

I will be ready to report back about all the new Beta changes once we have another build where I can stay connected to the server and the druid class isn’t so broken. I can’t wait to see the new Eclipse in action, if this version ever hits the beta server!

20 Comments

  1. Neyuna
    Posted July 16, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for explaining the new Eclipse in more detail. There have been so many versions, it’s hard to tell the good from the bad. ^^;

    They said “Spirit Tap and other purely “leveling talents” are being re-evaluated.” So that should include Lunar Justice. I wonder what they will do.

    Here’s hoping “soon” is in the next week or so!

  2. Posted July 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    “# You start at zero eclipse power. When you hit 100 power, you gain an Eclipse buff that lasts for 45 seconds.”

    You forgot to mention “or until you hit 0 energy.”

    Yeah, I just missed you on gchat when I saw this :P , but I was going to say I like it. It finally addresses the long-standing “double penalty” issue we’ve always talked about. I’ll probably put something longer on EJ when I’m done working for the day.

    • Lissanna
      Posted July 17, 2010 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      I’m going to be out most of today, so I wanted to get a quick post out last night. I’ll work more on it Sunday probably. We really need to see what the new druid talent tree changes look like with a new Eclipse in-game before I’ll really get a feel for how the new mechanic all works.

  3. MrX
    Posted July 17, 2010 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Cant wait to see this in action

  4. lordkyanr
    Posted July 17, 2010 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    I really like how the eclipse change sounds. It sounds fun and usable and something that youre not going to rush to use and in the process hurt yourself or the raid. You can now time when it goes off and when you use the buff, so yes some people will be stuck in a rotation to get to the buff the fastest, but other people are going to realize that there are good opportunities of when to use it and when to not and they will play accordingly.

  5. Verdus
    Posted July 17, 2010 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Hooray for a sensible-sounding Eclipse implementation!

  6. Posted July 17, 2010 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    You know my feelings on many of the changes. You have probably caught on to the fact that I have generally been positive on the changes so far. But i think it might be the time for me to put on my no-hat. But that might also just be because I just woke up, and haven’t thought it all through yet.

    With the new proposed system, where eclipse gets cancelled in the middle, we suddenly lose the chance to scale with haste – at least on some part. Its great that the buff would last long enough to allow us to move, be stunlocked and still have benefit of our eclipse, but what happens on a standstill nuke period? If the spell does not get cancelled, we will be able to get more spells out when we have eclipse up. If it gets cancelled at the middle, then no matter if we have 0 haste or 5000 haste, we would still only get the same amount of spells out.

    Then again, maybe Starsurge – if used before we reach the middle – could be used to prolong the time before we reach the middle, as it would generally make the eclipse meter go back towards what we just procced. And I admit that, obviously, with more haste we would go from middle to the other side faster. But it really does just translates to half of our spells being eclipsed and the other half not being eclipsed. That sounds like poor scaling.

    • Tulveli
      Posted July 17, 2010 at 3:23 am | Permalink

      If one of our talents reduced the amount that the bar moves while under the effects of eclipse, to the point that on a stand-still we are able to use… say 35 seconds of the buff (I’m assuming that it would take 20 seconds to move the bar back to neutral, in the next build) we wouldn’t have the problem of half our spells being eclipsed, but we’d still benefit from haste, and have a bit of wiggle room if we have to move out of fire.

    • Lissanna
      Posted July 17, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      We don’t need Eclipse to scale well with haste because haste is such a great stat that we already almost want to stack it above anything else in Cata now that wrath’s cast time is longer, since it’s going to still benefit us way more than crit right now. It doesn’t matter how much haste effects a proc we don’t ever get to fully use. The bigger problem right now is the talents that give more Eclipse power and moves Eclipse faster means we’ll get fewer casts per Eclipse, even if we’ll proc the next one theoretically faster. That means we need the theorycrafters to work out if the talents that move the Eclipse bar faster are even DPS increases anymore under that new Eclipse system.

      They wouldn’t want to reduce the speed at which we gain Eclipse power, because that just delays when the next one would proc, and really defeats the purpose of what they want to do with the new system.

      • Posted July 17, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Tulveli’s system only affects the meter during eclipse. So that, once you reach the middle, it will move at normal speed again. In any regard, i think that might be a tad too complicated, both from a theorycrafting perspective, and for players that just want to play.

        But, as you said yourself, with more crit, we would be getting fewer eclipsed casts with this new proposed system. But with the haste issue, it would really bug me if our bread and butter didn’t scale with all stats. With the current beta system (which i quite like, as ive said before), haste will allow us to get more casts out during an eclipse, and to get eclipses faster. With the proposed system from the dev chat, we are locked in half of our spells being eclipsed and the other half not. That makes little sense.

        • Lissanna
          Posted July 17, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          Well, it’s a minor inconvenience to have it scale worse with haste, and a HUGE inconvenience to have it wasted while moving (ie. wasted all the time). So, I’ll take the minor drawback compared to having much more reliable DPS in all types of fights.

    • lordkyanr
      Posted July 17, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      It really does not matter if the Eclipse mechanic “scales” with haste, because it will scale with haste no matter how it is implemented. Because it is based on spell casts more haste is going to give you the buff more. In other words, youre going to get to the buff faster, and youre going to use it faster (at least with this proposed change), but that is not a bad thing. The faster you get to and use the buff the more the buff will actually be up in a boss fight (trash, at least in wotlk, doesnt really matter when it comes to Eclipse).

      So it does scale with Haste, just not how it does now.

      • Posted July 18, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        This does not make sense to me. Getting the buff faster also means losing the buff faster. You would still spend half of your time without the buff. Because its based on spell casts, more haste means you drop the buff faster, but after the same amount of spell casts.

        • Lissanna
          Posted July 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          and my point is that I don’t think we can have a movement-friendly proc that still scales with haste. I would rather have a reliable Eclipse proc where you are much more guaranteed to have a certain number of spells benefit from it than have movement hurt us every time. I’m pretty sure right now that the moonkin community loses more spell casts to movement than it gains from haste. It’s a trade-off where I’d rather error on the side of being movement-friendly. It doesn’t matter if you can squeek out an extra spell standing still if all the mechanics are going to force us to move around all the time and waste that potential gain anyway.

        • lordkyanr
          Posted July 20, 2010 at 12:20 am | Permalink

          Right now the way Eclipse works with haste is that the more haste you have the more spells you can fit into the buff, which is nice to be sure, but the buff is on a timer and a cooldown meaning that you will only ever have so many Eclipse buffs in a given fight. This number is always going to be static (ie not change no matter how much haste you have). The only way Ecplise uptime is affected is if you do not always get the buff right away due to RNG (which means less uptime).

          The proposed change means that the duration of the buff does not matter.

          Reasons why this is good.
          1. We can fit more buffs into a given amount of time depending on haste. Basically this is the same as it is now, just different. Instead of a fixed number of Eclipse buffs in a boss fight we now can fit in more buffs (instead of more casts per buff). This is theoretically the same. Note the theoretically because the next benefit is WAY better than what we have now.

          2. It gives us the ability to choose when we explode in a fire of dps and epic numbers. Right now you get eclipse and then holy crap you’re standing in fire and thats 2 casts wasted due to movement. Or for example you get Eclipse and a Valk grabs you, all that time the buff is ticking off of you getting closer and closer to the cooldown time.

          Basically the way that Eclipse will scale with haste is different than it is now, but it is still scaling.

  7. Moonlyt
    Posted July 19, 2010 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    I am grateful for this change. People have asked for a charged buff and they listened. It seems like whatever Blizz gives us we complain and want the other one. We had a timed buff and we complained that we lost eclipse on movement. They give us a charged one and we want the timed one back. I for one would rather have a buff that isn’t lost when moving. That being said I would still like to scale well with gear which leads me to my question.
    Does the bar move more depending on how much damage a spell does? If so this means that at high gear levels the eclipse buff will last less not only due to haste but also due to pure spell damage. How will this affect gear scaling?

  8. paperclip
    Posted July 19, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I could imagine a rotation where you proc the better eclipse, cast down to just before the middle of the eclipse bar, then twiddle between schools to hold the buff until the timer expires vs. rushing to the opposite end. This would certainly be a more dynamic rotation. Lots for theory crafters to work out. As Lissanna points out though, I think the biggest question is the relative value of the talents which speed up the bar movement. The last thing the balance tree needs is more talents of questionable value.

  9. Sean
    Posted July 19, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I really like the eclipse change, but at the same time it seems that the 45 second timer is just not necessary. If the eclipse buff lasts so long that no moonkin in any reasonable situation (PvP or PvE) will ever miss any of the eclipse buff, why have the timer on it? In theory it is no different than having a stack.

    Naturally, they could try to cut back on the length that eclipse stays up, but we’ll just end up arguing whether or not it is or isn’t long enough and perpetual complaints about it.

    What I’d rather see is a new talent that says something like “During an eclipse, all movement by the player extends the duration of the eclipse by of time spent moving.” The would be some fraction of the time the player spends moving and not casting. So if I end up running in fear from the boss for 8 seconds, maybe I get eclipse extended by 4 seconds ( = 50%). It shouldn’t be 100% since most of the time we’d run because of some boss mechanic, like fire or adds, and during that time we can MOONFARE SPAM or IS, etc.

    That way we would still actually care about the length of the eclipse buff and preserve the timed nature of it without worrying so much about having it fall off due to movement.

    This doesn’t deal with stunlocks for PvP, so perhaps that needs some thinking as well. Maybe it’s just something like “whenever you’re not casting (excluding instant casts), the eclipse buff lasts longer.” But I think the idea of adding time to Eclipse could be interesting, if difficult to master. If nothing else, it would certainly be a way for awesome Moonkins to stand out from the mediocre.

    • lordkyanr
      Posted July 20, 2010 at 12:26 am | Permalink

      I don’t know the answer to the buff time for one reason – we don’t have any number values on how much our spells are worth. If moonfire, insect swarm, wrath, starfire, starsurge and all our spells that help move the eclipse bar are worth different values then having it as a stacked buff would mean that each of our spells are worth the same amount. it gives no decision making or choice.

      Your proposed addition (movement increasing length of the buff) seems very hard to implement correctly compared to the long timer. They’re not trying to remove the punishment of moving and not casting, they’re just trying to make it more forgiving on the nature of our dps.

      • Posted July 20, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        It’s not even about being more forgiving. It’s about double dipping on the movement penalty. Not only were we not able to cast due to movement, but we lost uptime on our primary DPS mechanic. I have a lot more to say about this change but I’ll keep it short here until it hits beta and I can play with it.