Monthly Archives: July 2010

Beta Resto & moonkin changes build 12604

So, tonight Blizzard sprung a surprise Cataclysm Beta patch on us that had some druid changes.

They are mostly fixes where they fleshed out the talent trees a little bit more so that we could actually beta test without being totally broken. In the previous build, we were fighting bugs like some of us having our talents reset after every time we logged or turned in a quest.

The new current build actually looks a lot like the “fake” feedback talent trees I made a couple patches ago, after they put in the first draft of their 31-point talent trees. That mostly just means that we got important talents put back in (like moonkin form, typhoon, etc), and that they didn’t really do much new designing to the actual talents.

That means they still have a lot of work to make druid talent trees a lot more fun before things go live.

That said, lets look at the goodies we got this patch:

Highlights of the Latest talent changes for moonkin:

  • Lunar justice is gone – this is a good change, since the talent was pretty lame in the smaller talent trees, since it was something anyone would skip for PvP or raiding since you’d never be in melee range to benefit from it. It was essentially a leveling talent or a “neat” toy that didn’t really serve a functional purpose.
  • More resto-friendly talents in the first 2 tiers (For example, Nature’s Majesty crit % increase is back)
  • Earth & Moon is back, along with moonkin form & typhoon.
  • Improved Eclipse removed – this is good, since it was incompatible with the change to Eclipse that makes faster Eclipse Power gains make the buff shorter, negating any real damage bonus. I already didn’t like how many points we were spending on improving Eclipse, anyway.

Highlights of the latest talent changes for resto:

  • Master Shapeshifter added back into the talent trees, requiring Natural Shapeshifter. This is going to be an interesting decision, since that puts 9 talent points-worth of talents for feral & moonkin in the first 2 tiers of the resto tree, and you’ll have to decide if Natural/master shape-shifter is worth the 4 point investment.
  • Gift of the Earth Mother was properly added back into the talent tree, so we got back the instant heal from rejuvenation.
  • Other talents were shifted around to compensate for Swiftmend being properly removed from the talent tree.
  • Empowered Rejuvenation is marked as “to be redesigned”, most likely because there are too many flat bonuses to increased HOT healing in the talent trees and it’s still redundant.

Conclusions:

Feral also got a couple bug fixes (like Mangle working now). Also, as Verdus pointed out in the comments, Heart of the Wild is back in Tier 1 feral, which would be an interesting addition to any resto or moonkin’s talent builds.

I basically consider this build to be the “bug fix” patch, since they mostly just added back in the talents required to have a functional talent tree, without really making any of the super interesting changes they have been making to other classes. At this point, I feel like the druid talents got back to where all the other classes were last patch, and now everyone else is still ahead of us in development. Notice how I didn’t talk about talents other than ones that already existed before. rather than new talents. There are also still a ton of really boring talents that do nothing but increase damage or healing, and feral doesn’t have many changes this pass.

However, now that we have all these fixes to the talent tree, I finally have something I can give actual feedback on, since I couldn’t test balance druids without things like moonkin form in the talent tree. I’ll have more feedback posts later on over the next couple days as I do more testing.

Slowly but surely, we’ll keep working on things to get something a little more fun for druids in Cata.

Posted in Cataclysm, Druid - General, Moonkin Balance DPS

No sleep for you!

So, in the latest patch, MMO-champion had something strange show up in it. It was showing an ability/talent for druids that didn’t match up what was in the actual beta when you logged in. It was called “sleep”, and seemed to be another AOE crowd control ability.

However, GC has confirmed that druids will not get to have “sleep”:

  • Sleep is not a new class ability. I assume it refers to a creature ability.

So, it was just something strange with the way MMO-champion data mined the files, and “sleep” is not something to get excited over. That said, this latest beta build isn’t that interesting for druids. They did add the new Eclipse version (where it lasts 45 seconds and cancels when you hit zero Eclipse power). However, it is hard to evaluate, since the buff gives a zero percent DPS increase at the moment, along with moonkin form and typhoon still not being in the data files.

To make leveling even more difficult, my level 82 druid’s talents reset every time I either log or turn in a quest. Yay beta!

I’m hoping that the next beta build will be more exciting for druids. When we get a nice round of talent changes and bug fixes, I’ll have a lot more to report. Until then, it feels an awful lot like being in limbo. At least this build doesn’t seem to be crashing as much.

Posted in Cataclysm, Druid - General, Moonkin Balance DPS

SPOILERS: Cata Beta Quest turnin UI

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Okay, so a while back (in a blue comment a while back) a new quest UI feature was discussed: the ability to turn in some quests without running back to the quest giver.

However, I’ve only found a handful of those sequence quests with remote turnin ability.

So, I had to level up a whole new character to reach level 10 where I could find that first sequence I ran into on my horde-side alt testing.

This quest sequence is one of the first quests from the new Azshara zone. It’s not really a lore-heavy quest, so the quest text shouldn’t give anything major away, however you should still stop reading this post if you are trying to avoid any new zone or quest related spoilers.

So, here we go!

This first picture has the mini-map and quest UI that you see on the right side of your screen, if you aren’t using any addons. The new quest turn-in system is using the quest tracker UI to do it. You can see the question mark on the mini-map where the quest giver for that quest is. You can still turn it into the quest giver if your remote turn-in system isn’t working. Also, on Beta, it’s been bugging sometimes and not letting you pick up the next quest after it turns in, so you CAN still pick up the next quest at the quest giver.

The remote UI is great for this one, since you have to capture a new shredder after each quest right now, so not having to dismount and find a new shredder each time is really a good thing!

This type of turn-in quest UI is not reserved just for vehicle quests. Sometimes, they use it when you are far enough from your quest giver that running back would just be really disruptive to the lore sequence or whatnot. However, it’s important to note that I had to seek out quests that had this system to show you, since it’s not every chain quest in the game that will do this.

When you hit the “click to complete quest” button, the quest text box pops up and lets you complete the quest. If everything is working well, it lets you pick up the next quest in the series right there on the spot!

In this particular sequence, I don’t have a picture of accepting the next quest, since it’s still bugged and doesn’t always work for me. So, I dismounted and went back to the quest giver. It basically just tells me to go retrieve some of the log bundles that are laying around.

There are several parts to this chain quest, and you go through the turn-in sequence about 4 times or so before the quest chain is finished. It ends up being a lot of fun for a vehicle quest.

I’ll go through the next quest sequence for you so you can see what it looks like in action (especially since the next quest in the sequence wasn’t bugged). What happens in the next chain is that I have the “click to complete” box pop up, followed by verifying I had enough logs, then I get the XP and other rewards, then I’m offered the next quest, which I accept and my shredder blades are activated so I can chop down trees to kill the snipers that are hiding in the branches. You can click on each picture to make it bigger so you can read the details if you desire.

Posted in Cataclysm

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!

Posted in Cataclysm, Moonkin Balance DPS

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