Cata Build 12984 – GC gave druids a puppy

So, MMO-champion has up a new build (codename puppy) which has a TON of moonkin changes, and a sprinkling of resto & feral changes as well. I don’t have a lot of time to comment, but I suggest going and reading through the notes (and looking at their updated talent calculator). I usually try to actually test things before I comment on beta builds, but it’s possible this one may not go live until something like Monday, so I wanted to at least briefly comment on it now (I’ll post more once I get some actual in-game testing data).

There is an amazing list of changes for moonkin, where all my wildest dreams came true (and then some), with things like shooting stars (your moonfire/insect swarm have a proc that makes starsurge instant & resets the cooldown), which looks like the DOT/direct damage interaction that people have been asking for. It feels like Christmas. :)

There are a couple changes to resto druids, including more utility in the form of replenishment now being tied to Revitalize (so you can be the replenishment source for your 5-man or 10-man group!). They changed fury of the stormrage to be a better damage talent, and changed Nature’s Ward to a proc that lifebloom gets put on you when you drop lower on health (a potentially neat PvP effect). So, at least they are giving some attention to the tree. I would hope to see even more resto changes coming in the next couple of builds.

They’ve also started tweaking some of the feral bear abilities (like Mangle & lacerate)  to hopefully create a better bear tanking rotation.

In addition, I did a run-through of Halls of Origination yesterday, where I healed and took screenshots after every boss fight. That run felt pretty good, so I’m going to share the results of that run with you guys “soon”.

Update for the wow insider crowd – see also: the post about the new resto mastery announced on the forums here.

17 Comments

  1. Verdus
    Posted September 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    The Balance tree changes are pretty nice. I like the added synergy between our DoTs and Starsurge, and having an AoE, instant (via glyph), targeted root will be pretty amazing. I’m not entirely sure what the Sunfire talent is supposed to accomplish, since we already have a Nature DoT and no way of getting an extra Arcane one, but that’s okay. It’s not like we can’t afford the point.

    The Resto changes, on the other other hand, are crap as usual. Adding Replenishment to Revitalize doesn’t really accomplish much since everybody and their kid brother *already* brings it. When druids were asking for utility, I think that even though nobody expected it to be really unique we were kind of hoping it would be something not already provided by half the bloody raid. Also, hiding Malfurion’s Gift, the only truly useful new talent we’ve gotten in months, behind Fury of Stormrage, a useless-outside-PvP damage talent, is a total dick move. It’s the same solution they tried with Holy priests and Lightwell: if people refuse to take your crap talent, force it on them via prereqs. The fact that we can afford to do so now, given that Nature’s Torment has been made terrible for Resto thus denying us entry to tier-2 Balance, doesn’t do much to alleviate that.

    • Verdus
      Posted September 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Almost forgot… The Dreamstate change to Balance is kind of irksome from a Resto perspective. It’s bad enough that Resto will be balanced around using Innervate on themselves, but now moonkin are basically being told, “Don’t ever Innervate anyone but yourself! Ignore those healers over there, they’re not real people anyway!”

      • Tulveli
        Posted September 18, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        I was a little upset by that talent as well! I’m a moonkin, but I’ve always liked the idea of innervating healers instead of myself (even if I had mana issues). I hope they change it so that it gives more mana when you use it on someone else (kindof like the selfless healer talent for ret pallies).

    • Jallel
      Posted September 24, 2010 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      I agree with Nature’s Torrent is now horrible for Resto. They really should consider swapping it with either with Moonglow or Genesis to allow Resto Druids to get to the second tier of Balance.

      Also, why is Natural Shapeshifter still there? Resto is quite bloated already, and I don’t that talent is adding anything interesting, even more now that Cat and Bear form’s mana cost has been reduced quite much.

  2. Posted September 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    The change to ‘Nature’s Torment’ is perplexing, as it now makes Nature’s Majesty the only really desirable resto points in t1 Balance, and restricts access to Genesis and Moonglow. If Genesis was swapped with Nature’s Torment to t1, that would make a lot more sense, and would actually make it easier to be able to max out Moonglow and max out Revitalise for the replenishment. A moving Genesis to tier1 change I actually would like quite a lot, as that would work out great. But unless they actually want Resto druids to be using Moonfire frequently while healing, Nature’s Torment is a bizarre talent to add for t1 and really limits Resto druids choices down the Balance tree.

  3. FloofahuMG
    Posted September 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Its moonkin yuletide! Though I will admit the dreamstate change kinda threw me for a “So never innervate anyone else” loop

  4. Tralia
    Posted September 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Just a bunch of changes that doesn’t really solve any of the major issues with the spec. In fact it created a new one in that Tier 1 balance is practically worthless for Resto. I’m even less happy about the across the board nerfs to spells and mana regen they have apparently done for all classes.

  5. Posted September 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I think people are looking at this a little too negatively. I’m in agreement with Lissanna on this one. The changes to Balance are pretty phenomenal. Our rotation has gotten a bit more interesting. Barring movement, in theory we want to bring up Nature’s Torment each time it drops off, and then again each time we proc Eclipse (probably…that will be even more movement dependent, most likely). This gives us more reason to know the fights, know the movement aspects, and think about when to use it. It may also give us reason *not* to refresh DOTs during short movement phases, though I imagine we’ll still want to spam Moonfire during longer ones even if it means missing some of the Nature’s Torment benefit (though maybe not if we’ve just proc’d Eclipse? we’ll have to see). Euphoria is not an actual net gain, and Shooting Stars gives us something to watch the action bar for. I’m glad that we aren’t quite as whack-a-mole as Enhance Shammies, but it’s nice to occasionally blast something something as soon as it pops off cooldown. It means that we can’t just fall into a completely robotic rotation, even on Patchwerk-type fights. Combine that with the crowd control abilities we now have, between Overgrowth, Solar Beam, and Fungal growth, which should be useful in PvP and possibly open to imaginative possibilities in some PvE encounters.

    In general, it means that our rotation is more interesting. We have more synergy between different spells and abilities (especially our DOTs and our nukes, given Torment). We need to make more interesting decisions, that will allow for more player skill in maximizing DPS and utility. I like it :)

    The changes to Resto are comforting mainly insofar as they indicate that Blizz is still actively looking at it and willing to make major changes (i.e. adding and removing talents). I still want Efflorescence to have a substantially larger range. 7 or 8 yards at least. Speaking as a 10-man raider who was often in raids with no replenishment, I certainly don’t object to us having it, even if a number of other specs bring it as well. I like Malfurion’s Gift. It should proc an average of 3-4 times a minute if we have 100% Lifebloom uptime, and that will help our mana issues substantially. Of course, some minutes may go by when it doesn’t proc at all, but that’s life. I like the idea behind Fury of Stormrage and Nature’s Ward, but I’m not sure if I would ever use them outside of PvP. In theory, they make is substantially easier to solo as Resto, but not until relatively high level when you have access to the talents, at which point I think everyone will be dual spec’d. We’ll have to see how it plays out. But I’m encouraged that the design team is still actively and critically looking at druids. I’d like to see a change to our Mastery as well, since it really is theoretically a bit self defeating. Most useful at times when it would be most foolish to use.

    The Balance changes make it trickier for Resto to put points into that tree. In a way, this is good. There are finally enough things in the Resto tree that I want to spend points on that I actually have to make choices and trade offs in order to reach Moonglow and Genesis.

    Anyways, I’m relatively happy with the changes, though I do think that Resto at least could use a little more work.

    • Verdus
      Posted September 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      The Balance changes are pretty rad, yeah. The tree is shaping up nicely. Personally, I think the only thing left that they really need to address is lowering the decay rate of Eclipse energy outside combat. With that and a numbers pass, the spec is probably ready to go live now.

      Resto still has way to many problems to get excited about, though. Yeah, Malfurion’s Gift is nice, but it requires wasting two points in Fury of Stormrage as a prerequisite, sharply diminishing its attractiveness. I still don’t see the big deal about gaining Replenishment, especially now that it’s been nerfed to return less mana; personally, I think it should just be removed from the game entirely. Plus, none of these build changes do anything to alleviate the issues we have with an inadequate raid/AoE healing toolset, a completely backwards mastery, or a woeful lack of real utility. My views on the spec may be negative, but they’re hardly unjustified.

      • Silinix
        Posted September 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        The replenishment nerf needs to be taken in context. Replenishment returns a percentage of your actual mana pool, not your base. Actual mana pools in Cataclysm will be starting in the 70k range and will likely be increasing sharply with raid gear. I believe that Replenishment will still be handy, even in its 1% every 10 form. That said, if Blizz balances every encounter around it then it’s pretty much the same as just removing it and rebalancing. Given that we didn’t need to give anything up to get it (we’re likely to be refreshing Lifebloom already), I’m glad that we’re slated to have it.

        Yes, our raid healing needs some work, and this is felt even more sharply because we’re king of raid healing right now. To some extent, I think this is because Blizz doesn’t want overall raid healing to be in such a happy place come Cataclysm…the design team has pretty much stated that it shouldn’t be possible to keep the entire raid up at full health. But I agree that the 5-man dungeon runs right now don’t feel good at all. I think that strengthening Efflorescence (at least the radius) would actually go quite a ways towards improving that, but we’ll have to see.

        As for utility…yes, we do need some some panic button(s). We still don’t have an external cooldown or shield. There are two obvious ways blizzard could try to work with this. First, they could change our Mastery so that HOTs on low-health targets put a shield on them. I’m not sure if that could be properly balanced or not, but it would be fun. Second, they could work with the Tree cooldown that we already have. I feel like I haven’t really gotten to test it properly, b/c my healing is always limited by mana instead of by GCDs. I literally can’t pop the cooldown and then spam instant Regrowth. After 10 seconds, max, I’m out of mana. If the Tree were adjusted to also greatly reduce the mana cost of our spells, it could be an interesting solution to both our mana issues and our lack of an “oh shit” button ala shield or pain suppression.

        Mostly, I’m just glad that Blizz is still actively making changes to the spec, and not just doing numbers balancing.

  6. Lissanna
    Posted September 18, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t post all that negative feedback because it would just make you guys freak out more. I’ve actually made the decision to not post negative resto feedback on my blog for a while at this point (and honestly, I have better outlets for some of the developer-directed feeback than a blog that may or may not get read by anyone who can change things).

    *HUGS*

  7. Wharep
    Posted September 18, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I think that’s a good idea Liss. As I said in your previous post about our mastery, I think the resto druid community are reacting too negative to the general situation, given that we’re still in beta and changes are still rolling in. I really enjoy some of the utility/raid healing/role discussions I’ve participated in, but I’m also seeing way too many ‘sky-is-falling’ posts.

    I actually don’t mind the changes to the resto tree. Yes, a lot of specs bring replenishment (it was removed from (MM?) hunters though), but I’ve still seen a lot of 10 mans raids w/o it. That won’t be the case anymore. The extra regen we gained through the previous talent design is just a number issue.
    Fury of Stormrage still serves a purpose as a pretty good lvl’ing and PvP talent. I probably wouldn’t pick it up, unless we really are having too many free talents, but I definitely see a role for it.
    Nature’s ward is also mostly a PvP talent, which I don’t mind, as we’re pretty low on good PvP talents and I really like having different specs for PvP and PvE, just for the added flavor:)

    Malfurion’s Gift is pretty much a new regen talent, and possibly something you’d want while your regen is low, but want to skip once your gear improves. That’s a pretty fun decision imo.

    And lastly: The moonkin changes we’re really impressive. They made my heart beat just a bit faster when reading them. And I’m not even a moonkin on a regularly basis:)

  8. Tralia
    Posted September 20, 2010 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Really? I read your Blog to know what you think about the changes implemented even if that included some not so rosey pictures of what is going on. If something stinks I want to know it, if something rocks I want to know that too.

    *disappointed*

    I love the Moonkin changes, although not real pleased with how the top of the tree affects Resto.

    • Wharep
      Posted September 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Problem, as I see it, is that Liss is in a role where a lot of people read her blog and forum posts, respect her opinions and trust her data etc. However, as this is the internet, things will get mis interpreted, used in the wrong content, blown out of proportions or whatnot. (Reading the normal boards should indicate that it happens to GC _all_ the time).
      If you’re reading different druid related forums (with the possible exception of EJ) you’ll also notice that the druid community is in a terrible mood atm. People are (imho) overreacting or reacting very prematurely to a game that’s still in beta.
      We’ve just seen some very nice additions to the moonkin spec and just a few mins ago GC mentioned that the druid mastery bonus isn’t good enough (http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=26850267419&pageNo=2#36).
      There’s plenty of time to get things changed, but QQ’ing about how horrible and unplayable our class is, how much better everyone else is and how many other classes you’ll reroll just don’t help us _at_all_.
      So I don’t think the druid community need any more fuel on the current rage-quit-fire or whatever you wonna call it.

      PS. There’s nothing here against you Tralia. Neither do I have any problem with all the excellent druids out there who still participate in and make sober discussions, I really love to read their posts. There’s just a lot of garbage too atm, which is really depressing to read through.

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 20, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      The problem this build is that I didn’t want to comment on things before I could test it, and this build got pushed out with a couple really big bugs, so all I could do this build is continue to talk about what I’ve already been saying (making people more depressed), or I can wait another build until they fix the problems that are hindering my ability to give quality testing & feedback in a more general sense.

      My blog is also not an outlet to give feedback directly to the developers – something like the Beta forums is much more effective in that role. So, for the actual community at large, I have limitations on how much of my blog posting can be super negative before I’ll just burn people out before Cata comes out.

      I am overall happy with changes made in this build, but most of that happy comes from the moonkin side of things. We’re still waiting on our next big resto druid push.

  9. Tamarin
    Posted September 21, 2010 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    If other healing druids are like me, they’re interpreting all the resto changes through the filter of overwhelming grief at losing treeform.

  10. Tralia
    Posted September 21, 2010 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    I’m not asking for a bunch of QQ ( lord knows we get enough of that on the regular forums) but just saying if something feels wrong don’t sugar coat it. If i want sugar coating I’ll just read what GC puts out there :P

    If its great changes then obviously say its great! If its bad I don’t wanna just read about the 1 good thing while there are 5 others that are horrible.

    Obviously if things need to be tested first thats fine, thats kinda what most of us are expecting to see from you ( sorry dudes wont’ let us in ). It just sounded more like you weren’t going to post anything negative at all, even if it needed to be said. We are all big boys and girls I’m sure we can handle it :P

    P.S. Ok most of us are, the rest we can justMoonfire to death! >.>