Having some control over when Eclipse procs is a good thing, so that we can try not to proc it right before we have to move or whatnot. We also have much better haste scaling, so that we’ll be less likely to easily cap haste (and all 3 of our primary “nuke” talents, along with our HOTs, will greatly benefit from the haste).
PvP moonkin have several more useful tools, which should help off-set the change in wrath’s cast time. Without having actually done pvp testing, it looks like moonkin PvP should be in much better shape in Cataclysm, if things like solar beam really work well. Obviously, moonkin PvP needs more testing, but it seems to be in good shape.
Eclipse – like a broken record:
On the Beta server right now, Eclipse feels pretty much like it does on Live. It really doesn’t have a different feal.
I would like to see the Eclipse buff changed to being charges instead of an amount of time. That way, if we needed to cast an arcane spell while the nature buff was active (ie. needing to moonfire spam on the run), we didn’t necessarily lose out on anything. You could make the number of charges substantially fewer than what it would take to re-proc Eclipse in a fair and balanced way, but it would allow us more freedom for movement without having to worry about “losing” out on the proc that we worked so hard to get. Eclipse would still need to buff nature & arcane damage with the charges, but charges would be much more movement forgiving, and would add more flexibility to our rotation.
Right now, we really don’t have a good movement mechanic for moonkin, and so moonkin are still going to be one of the least mobile DPS in Cataclysm (if not the absolute least mobile), since Eclipse still sucks for any fight that requires random moving (which is… every fight).
With so much of our DPS & rotation tied to Eclipse, if Eclipse isn’t designed right, we have a high chance of not being any better off in Cata than we are right now. Our rotation doesn’t feel any different at all, and we lost improved Insect Swarm, so we have even less interaction between our DOTs and direct damage abilities. We don’t really have a functional rotation – we have Eclipse and then some spells that interrupt our Eclipse cycle and delay the next Eclipse proc, and it really feels like Moonkin are just an Eclipse gimmick experiment.
In addition, moonfire can’t decide if it wants to be a DOT or if it wants to be a direct damage ability, so it’s losing the battle altogether (it’s neither good as a DOT or a direct damage ability). Insect swarm lost its’ miss chance debuff, and is now just a high-damage DOT with nothing else that it does – which I suppose is okay, but doesn’t feel purposeful or meaningful, especially since insect swarm is basically not effected by talents much at all. There should be something that ties in abilities like insect swarm and wild mushrooms into our rotation. We’ll have to spam moonfire on the run, so it seemingly has a purpose for that, but nothing at this point is really feeling cohesive.
Not feeling very talented:
– Genesis is a resto druid talent that doesn’t benefit balance druids much at all.
– We have pushback protection split between multiple talents still (celestial focus, nature’s focus, and owlkin frenzy). Celestial focus lost the haste bonus, and now only gives the pushback protection. Owlkin frenzy could be useful for PvP, but it almost never procs in PvE anymore. Nature’s focus is really not a talent moonkin should invest in.
– Brambles looks like a “fun” talent, but it has very little (if any) real PvE usefulness, due to how little of an overall DPS boost it is (and the utility daze not having a purpose in PvE).
– Lunar Justice has very little usefulness in either PvP or PvE (it’s worse than Priest’s lightwell, since we likely have to land the killing blow to proc it).
-Too many talents tied to making Eclipse proc faster (Lunar guidance, Euphoria, & Improved Eclipse). What other clas/spec has to spend 8 talent points to make their Mastery stat work better?
– Moonfire’s direct damage is too low so that the 7 talent points that do nothing but prop up moonfire’s direct damage actually have very little impact on our overall DPS.
– Imp moonkin form is just a group buff with no personal buff, making it potentially unnecessary to spec into if you have someone else who can provide the buff.
The Eclipse change feels cosmetic, and moonkin feel really incomplete, due to not having a PvE rotation that will be functional in a PvE world where encounters have a lot of movement.
Our talents feel like filler designed to have something to invest in that won’t actually do a whole lot other than make Eclipse more and more of a focus of what we do (essentially encouraging 3-button spamming), without any sort of real movement-friendly mechanic at all (other than making moonfire less useful as a DOT). We need a lot of work to get a functional PvE rotation, and most of the changes will have to come in the form of changes to Eclipse.
Now, it’s still very early in Beta, and I’ve said a lot of these points already on the Beta forums. However, moonkin went live without feeling cohesive for either PvP or PvE in Wrath of the Lich King, and we only have a short amount of time to get moonkin feeling like we aren’t always an expansion behind everyone else.
I also have this posted on the Live damage dealing forums to get a discussion started over there.