Monthly Archives: August 2010

Stand in the healing lava (Cataclysm – Effloresence)

Okay, so for most of people’s raiding experience, they have been trained to move out of bad looking stuff on the ground.

However, in Cataclysm, they have moved to a system where there is going to be positional healing, and you’ll have to stand inside of “good” ground-covering effects. However, Effloresence’s graphic is a little bit over-done, so now it looks like a slime puddle, especially if you have more than one stacked on top of each other.

Also, Effloresence is down to a 4 yard radius, which looks big, except that it’s really not.  So, the beta forums have reports of tanks & DPS moving out of the effloresence procs, because they didn’t know what it was, and it looks more like green lava or Putricide’s slime pools than something beneficial.

The instant-cast regrowth is working in tree form now, which is why some of my pictures are in tree form.

So, please don’t move out of effloresence, or it won’t heal you. /sad face

Personally, I think the graphic may need to get toned down a bit, so it looks less like something designed to kill you (especially when you stack up a couple procs in the same place, like I did for the last picture). Just about anything else in the game I’ve seen resembling effloresence is something that’s going to kill you if you stand in it. I’m not sure they want to train people to sand in green lava, and then move out of the other green lava that has a larger effect (slime pools in ICC and such).

They could also make the radius larger than the graphic, so that when people move out of it, they will still benefit from the heal.

I would discuss the other actual problems with the talent, but it’s hard to figure out what is intended versus a bug in the latest patch, so I’m avoiding making a blog post about it for now…

Posted in Cataclysm, Restoration Healing Trees

Cata beta build 12803 – moonkin

So, I’ve been focusing a little too much on Restoration druids lately, and I think I owe moonkin a post to go along with the latest beta build. Unfortunately, this build has a lot of crashing problems, making testing challenging at best. Also, resto is harder to evaluate this build because some things look like obvious bugs (or not so obvious bugs), but without confirmation on what is intended or not, it’s hard to tell. So, balance is just easier to test this build.

Overall, the moonkin playstyle is starting to feel good. We aren’t quite there yet, but things are really starting to come together.

So, lets start with moonkin form. The current beta build makes moonkin form do 10% more damage when you are in form. This is fine, as we really didn’t need a creative damage increase. Sometimes, passive bonuses on things like shapeshift forms becomes the right way to get the form to be useful, and that’s fine with me. This actually partially makes up for the fact that the int increase from Furor is active outside of moonkin form now. So, moonkin form is essentially fine at this point, in terms of conceptual design.

Next, lets look at Eclipse & our direct damage spells:

Eclipse now requires us to move along a slider from -100 to +100 Eclipse power. When you reach -100, your Lunar Eclipse gives you a bonus to arcane damage. When you reach zero power, your Eclipse proc goes away. When you reach +100 power, you gain a Solar Eclipse proc, and that increases nature damage. It actually is a fun mechanic, except that you have to cast a lot of wraths or starfires to go from one end to the other, so it feels a little spammy. However, it has a neat interaction with Starsurge, since Starsurge will increase how long your Eclipse proc stays up, by moving you away from the mid-point when Eclipse is active (and pushes you closer to an Eclipse proc when Eclipse isn’t active).

So, wrath, starfire, & starsurge have a really great interaction with Eclipse that ends up being pretty fun. We also don’t have to worry about movement as much, since we get more time to use the Eclipse proc than it takes to actually use it. Moonfire & insect swarm do benefit from the damage increase from the proc, which is nice. Starsurge also works pretty well as a burst damage ability, and the cooldown is short enough that you get to use it pretty often.

Changes to Thorns: Has changed to a 20 second duration, 45 second cooldown ability. Only does damage when something hits you. Shifts you out of bear & cat form. Appears to only work as a resto or moonkin PvP ability at the moment.

At level 80, with 2557 spell power (in moonkin form, with moonkin talents), thorns hit for 620 per tick. However, thorns requires something to hit you. So, the current version really has a narrow range of use. At the very least, it’s not something that feral druids or PvE druids of any type will find useful at all in the current beta form.

DOTs (insect swarm & moonfire):

Insect swarm is currently something that packs a lot of punch, but it has no more utility (the -hit debuff is gone). It also has no real interaction with our rotation or talents, other than benefiting from Lunar Eclipse.

Moonfire is currently the weakest link. I’ve spent a lot of time & effort over the course of beta talking about moonfire. At this point, the direct damage portion of moonfire is less than a tick of the DOT portion of the spell. Even with all the talents to boost the direct damage, it still doesn’t pack enough of a punch. It’s not a huge deal, but it makes me feel like those talent points aren’t worthwhile. Basically, my insect swarm ticks for about the same (or more) than the direct damage over moonfire even if I have 3 stacks of Lunar Shower up.

At this point, I’d still like to see moonfire become a stacking DOT (where more of the damage is tied to the direct damage portion, and then the DOT is weak at one stack, but does a respectable amount when it stacks up 3 times). Another option is to leave the DOT as-is, and just boost the direct damage portion so it hits a little bit more respectably (but that balancing can always be done at 85, I suppose).

Not enough talent points in the balance tree:

Just about every other beta, I’ve complained about “bloat” (having too many talent points). However, we currently don’t have enough talent points to make anything resembling interesting choices in the talent trees. Tiers 3 has five points, tier 4 has six points, and tier 5 has 4 points.

I don’t really feel like I get to make interesting choices much at all. I think that one more talent, worth 2 or 3 points – in either tier 3 or 5 would have a huge impact on the ability to choose what talents I really want. Since we’re badly in need of something making our DOTs more interesting, I would suggest putting a DOT-related talent in Tier 3 or 5, to give us the option to better spice things up a bit (something that isn’t just a flat damage increase, but adds some of the interesting synergy back into the trees).

Waiting for glyphs:

One big unknown is what glyphs will look like. They are supposed to impact our rotations in interesting ways and allow for choice (and most of the existing moonkin glyphs won’t work that well in the Cata rotations). Glyphs could be where our DOTs are better tied into the rotations (I hope!).

Conclusions:

The design of the current Eclipse is fine. How our direct damage spells work is fine. Our DOTs need a little more attention & need to be better tied into the overall playstyle to make it a little more fun. We have a lot of good elements that just need more glue to hold it all together. Eclipse is fun, but it’s going to be either predictable or frustrating. I’d rather have something in addition to Eclipse to watch for that adds a little more spice.

Posted in Cataclysm, Moonkin Balance DPS

Under construction: New blog theme at restokin!

So, we have a new blog theme that Lavata/Malchome put up on my blog today. We kept the same banner art, but we moved the location of the pages to go across the bottom of the banner, instead of being in the sidebar. The theme had to change to take advantage of some of the new wordpress features.

One of the neat things that it does is it allows me to be able to actually use blue post text coloring a lot easier. I’m generally happy with how it came out. We’ll probably change more & get things looking even nicer over time. It feels a little plain, but I think I’ll get used to it after a while (I got used to my old theme, to be honest. Change is hard, lol).

In other news, there is a beta patch going out today with a lot of new goodies.  Yay! According to mmo-champion, it has things like a reduced mana cost on wild growth (/happy dance). I’ll post more about the latest beta build once I can actually log in and verify changes in person (sometimes, mmo-champ datamining does strange things).

Posted in Cataclysm, Uncategorized

Cata druid build 12759 & blue posts (part 2)

So, a lot of stuff happened while I was off at the beach. I had to split this into two posts, to help concentrate the good announcements that are improving druids versus the continuing discussion on AOE/raid healing. So, these were the announcements related to everything else:

Moonkin Form Ghostcrawler’s post (click here):

At first we were trying to make it more of an option, so that cuddly-hating Balance druids could choose the spec without the shapeshift. After much discussion though, we’re going to go back to a Balance druid = Moonkin Form design. We’ll put some more damage into the Moonkin Form.

So, part of the problem that people had with moonkin form in Cata was that there wasn’t enough damage tied to it. With Furor giving the same int bonus in & out of moonkin form, that made it even more true (at this point, moonkin form is basically just an armor bonus & the group haste buff on the current beta build). So, it sounds like they’re going to have to make moonkin form more useful by adding more damage back to the form. That should make it something people still want to use. They did increase the damage portion tied to Master shapeshifter, but I think they should tie some damage increase directly back into the form.

Tree form’s movement speed debuff – GC’s post (click here):

I suspect we won’t end up keeping the snare on Tree of Life. We knew that we could try snare and then remove it. We would have a hard time trying no snare and then adding one. Our intent was to make you think about when was the best time to push ToL rather that just hitting it the second it’s off cooldown. In practice though we just think it feels crappy so even if it accomplishes our goal, it’s probably not worth it.

Part of the problem with the tree snare is that it doesn’t just make us have to think about when to use it – it makes the form dangerous to the guild’s progress if we use it at the wrong time. We should be choosing to use it when we need to do more healing, not when we know we’ll have a chance to stand still for 45 seconds (how often does that actually happen?). I’ve been saying for a while that I wanted the snare reduced or removed. I’ll be happy if it goes and we can actually choose to use it at the points in the fight when we need to do the most healing.

Changes to restoration Tier 1 & 2:GC says for the feral druids that:

”We have actually swapped Furor (now in Feral) and Heart of the Wild (now in Resto).”

In addition, Naturalist is now in Tier 2 restoration (reducing the cast time on nourish & healing touch

The latest talent announcements have done a good job of increasing the number of useful talents that are early resto tree so that now you get to make actual choices in your early talent decisions. There are still probably too many passive healing bonuses in the resto tree, but now you at least get to choose the talents. Beta talent changes are usually a slow process. One step at a time. 😉

Posted in Cataclysm, Druid - General, Moonkin Balance DPS, Restoration Healing Trees

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