The first 4.2 patch notes

Here are the patch notes & what they mean. Honestly, they feel just as rediculous as the April Fool’s day patch notes (thought the April Fool’s day notes were at least a lot more exciting):

  • Entangling Roots and the equivalent spell triggered by Nature’s Grasp no longer deal damage.

Roots not doing damage seems silly, since one of the things that tree form does for resto druids is to make roots do more damage.

  • Innervate now grants an ally target 5% of his or her maximum mana over 10 seconds, but still grants 20% of the druid’s maximum mana over 10 seconds when self-cast.

The glyph gives us 10% mana if we cast it on someone else, and the ally would get 5% of their mana, meaning that you are about 5% net mana lost if you use it on someone else. Given that right now you gain 10% extra when you cast it on someone else, this is really a huge nerf. This makes it so inefficient to use innervate on someone else that they really should just man-up and make it such that we can only cast it on ourselves, since 5% is so little that no one will notice if we use it on them or not. This change makes it a trap to use it on someone else, and after so many years of using it on other people, setting up this kind of trap is just mean. It would have to be at least 10% of the other person’s mana for casting it on someone else to be worthwhile (because then when you are glyphed, you will largely come out neutral with 10+10). I can see why druids’ gaming innervate with rotations to come out ahead on mana was potentially wrong, but this takes away the only thing interesting about innervate, and when this change goes through, I’ll have it macro’d only to use on myself every 3 minutes and largely forget about how much fun we were having playing with it this expansion.

Balance

  • Insect Swarm now generates 8 Lunar Energy for druids with Eclipse.
  • Moonfire now generates 8 Solar Power for druids with Eclipse.
  • Sunfire now generates 8 Lunar Energy for druids with Eclipse.

This seems to be designed at PvE so that druids won’t sit in an Eclipse’d state for long periods of time. However, what this does is it makes resto a heck of a lot less fun in both PvP and PvE because it took away the only control we had over our Eclipse state, and took away the only meaningful decisions we ever make in a fight (ie. do we moonfire-spam for a couple seconds to hold our Eclipse active, or do we push it to the next one in hopes we make it there before we need burst damage/AOE period?).

The other potential problem with this is that it only seems to push you OUT of an Eclipse state, and I’m not sure how PvP moonkin will ever have Eclipse active if that’s the intended design (as soon as you manage to get an Eclipse, your moonfire/sunfire has now pushed you out of it). Starfire has never been something that moonkin could ever cast in PvP, and before the developers push this live, they need to think about it’s implication for moonkin as a whole. If it’s going to generate energy and mess with our ability to control Eclipse, it needs to do both: it needs to push you out and push you in. At that point, Eclipse just becomes a passive thing where sometimes our DPS is high and sometimes our DPS is low, and our high & low DPS phases won’t match up to when we need burst damage.

For Eclipse, I think there are better designs we can think about. How about we shift some of the base DPS from Eclipse back onto Moonfury’s passive DPS increase? We can leave Eclipse high enough that it’s worth using, and make sure the mastery stat gives us enough to make that stat worthwhile, but not leave our DPS in vs. out of Eclipse so VASTLY different. The pre-mastery value of Eclipse may be too high, and may be the ACTUAL cause of this whole mess. They could also potentially tone down Lunar Shower and move some of that damage back onto starfire/wrath. If they want our DOTs to move Eclipse, then it needs to move Eclipse both in & out of Eclipse so that we can get back into Eclipse faster if needed. There are lots of options, but the patch notes seem to just be punishing moonkin who learned how to play more skilfully.

UPDATE: While I can’t get onto the PTR, the posters over at EJ have started playing with the new Eclipse 4.2 mechanic, which you can read more about here.

15 Comments

  1. Wooglie
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    They are removing the damage to roots, because they are introducing CC that doesn’t pull the rest of the pack.

  2. Tuethis
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    not that I ever cast roots in tree form (I don’t pvp much), but this removes some of the utility of tree form, hopefully they will decide to replace it with something useful to pve. The balance stuff and innervate stuff is frustrating since it seems to remove interesting tactics that made the specs fun. Eclipse gaming was really fun and the center of moonkin AoE, which will now be worthless. Innervate trading was a nice complex thing you could work out in a 25 man group that was fun. some have talked about the return of feral innervates but the math below makes me suspicious of that claim.

    unbuffed feral innervate today = 18635*0.20 = 3727 mana for target
    unbuffed feral innervate after change = 105000*0.05 = 5250 mana (just a guess at unbuffed healer mana)

    not really a very big improvement, I doubt raid leaders will be calling for feral innervates after this change so that shoots the “feral innervate is back” story.

  3. Posted May 3, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Wow. I think balance is in a steady nerf period after peaking some time in BC (minus all the drinking).

    As a casual player, the innervate change bothers me the most. I’m not gaming anything, and with PUGs, being able to keep an eye on questionable healz to drop an innervate often band-aids rough groups through even normal instances very well. With the glyph and the Corrupted Egg Shell as a sort of self-innervate (rarely needed in normal PUGs), I’d just gotten comfortable tossing out innervates in PUGs without considering cooldowns. I enjoyed off-healing pre-innervate, and I guess I’ll start doing that more instead, but with all the Recount-facists, I’m going to have an even tougher time playing balance casually than perhaps ever before.

    QQ, I know. ;^D

  4. Ed
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    idk what blizz is thinking sometimes. Can they mess up balance druids anymore? The innervate change is just mean and underhanded and until you explained it, not very clear. But the SF/IS/MF change might be the final straw.

    In PVE, timing the SF is critical on some fights, Mag and Cho’gall, esp for raid composition. In my raid (10 man) downing the slime adds in cho’gall is rough and as the balance druid I have to be in solar eclipse for shrooms and SF.

    In PvP, getting to sunfire is challenging, 2+ second cast to move the bar to solar? Not very feasible. But when you do get to solar, you can at least start having some fun. No boom has any fun in PvP if not in solar.

    I guess it will be easier to get to that state by being able to spam moonfire till sunfire.

    Why does it seem every other class gets buffed (rogues, no stealth movement penalty, mage ice lance damage buff, hunter multi-shot damage buff, rogues get even more healing etc.). My alt is a hunter and he easily does just about as much single target damage as my boomkin with less gear (hunter has instance level gear, boom is 80% raid level gear). The only time my boom does more damage is with adds, such as Mag. BUT, the hunter isn’t that far behind and to be honest, placing a trap, then multi-shotting is MUCH more fun than placing 3 shrooms, GCDs, and detonating – By FAR. Shouldn’t the game be FUN to play.

    I was seriously considering switching my main to a hunter. With the feral shapeshift nerf now these, I think my mind is made up.

    In short is seems like blizz is always trying to ‘fix’ druids because of certain situational ‘benefits’ we may get based on the game design. (e.g. the only reason for the starfire nerf was PvP, the ONLY reason, seems these other changes are along the same lines)

  5. Ed
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I guess I can’t read or would rather be blind than read the patch notes for druid is says that IS/MF/SF will only generate while IN and eclipse state, not while out of it. Can things get any worse?

  6. Ed
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    PS: There was already a penalty for staying in solar eclipse, because proc’ing a GCD starfire would move you out of eclipse by using it, so you have to decide to cast a starfire and move out of eclipse or not use it to stay in solar.

  7. stiubhart
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I’m going to give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt on the IS/MF/SF change wording and assume that ‘with Eclipse’ means those druids with the Eclipse mastery, i.e. Balance druids. This distinguishes them from resto and feral. Therefore, the dot spells will generate 8 points of the appropriate energy at all times, allowing them to start and end an eclipse state. AOE does take a big hit either way though.

    Removing damage from roots makes sense. I hate when the damage they did was worthless but still enough to break the cc’ed mob out of cc by itself. That’s just a dumb mechanic.

    The innervate change is brutal if it goes live. Just call it evocation then and be done with it.

  8. Maven
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    The innervate change is frustrating.

    I raid lead my guild, and as our only healer who never has mana problems, I also coordinate all of our mana cooldowns, trading regens, etc. A lot of our progression kills are facilitated by my sending innervates during Hymns on the right target during the right proc etc. This move… blows. I hate the move to target max mana as well, because it takes a great deal of the skill out of great innervate usage. The move will make things less fun on my main, and make me consider switching mains.

    The balance IS/MF/SF change I am not opposed to, as long as there is going to be damage moved around (and increased) to make up for it. While I like that balance has what was until 4.1 the strongest AoE in the game, I also like that it required a ridiculous amount of skill to use properly (get into solar state without wasting dps, lay 3 shrooms, boom em, typhoon, switch target dotting, reapplying, the combination of gcds and non). That said our AoE was FAR too swingy, and the difference in throughput between solar state and non solar state was WAY too big. We go from below to WAY above the power curve depending on state, and I consider that a problem both for us and probably for encounter design. I can see a lot of ways where this move makes sense, but it is going to need to be accompanied by a LOT of tweaking to moonfury/mastery/spells damage etc to make it work.

  9. Zy
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I agree, the innervate change is stupid and annoying. All the mana returns are supposed to require a bit of thought, the consideration for Innervate was “Is it better to use it myself or give it away?”. Paladins have to make sure to use Divine Plea at a time when they can afford to MS affect. Shamans have to consider positioning and the mana of all the other healers (and sometimes, “When is it okay to give up the resistance since I’ve got Healing Stream glyphed”). Like you said, we might as well macro Innervate now because it couldn’t be any less interesting.

  10. Galashin
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    “The glyph gives us 10% mana if we cast it on someone else, and the ally would get 5% of their mana, meaning that you are about 5% net mana lost if you use it on someone else.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. I don’t see where the 5% came from, based on the patch notes. Do I have this right?

    The current 4.2 patch notes also includes a glyph of innervate change:
    “Glyph of Innervate now causes the druid to gain 10% of his or her maximum mana over 10 seconds when Innervate is used on a friendly target, in addition to Innervate’s base effect.”

    So self-cast is still 20% of our mana. Cast on someone else, they get 5% of *their* mana, we still get 10% of our mana.

    Outside of trading innervates,
    So you, the druid, have exactly the same mana gains whether it’s cast on someone else or yourself.
    You, the raid as a whole, lose (20%*druid_mana – 5%*target_mana). Assuming roughly equal mana pools, that’s a total loss for the raid of 15%*mana_pool in return.

    In the specific case of druids trading innervates, it’s a loss of 10%, not 5%:
    Currently, you gain 10% of your pool from your own, and 20% of your pool from the second druid’s.
    With the current 4.2 notes, you would gain 10% of your pool from your own, and 5% from the second druid’s…meaning it’s better for you each to just self-cast for 20%, independently. The loss is 10% each.

    Thus, we go from 30% total per druid (trading) to 20% total per druid (not trading). Cast on another target without trading, we go from 30% of our own mana pool total (10% us and 20% them) to 10% of our own mana pool (us) plus 5% of their mana pool (them). I’m not clear where you got your figure of 5%.

    Seems to me that the point of the change is to kill innervate-trading, while also allowing for easier balance of other healers’ regen abilities (Blizz can stop worrying about third-party regen, except replenishment). I’m purposefully not addressing if I feel that’s a good or bad change.

    Interestingly, a feral druid’s innervate will now improve as gear scales (5% of ever-increasing caster/healer mana pools), instead of being effectively static (20% of base int + buffs). The immediate difference will be minor, but actually improve (raiding) feral innervates slightly.

    • Galashin
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      I think I see. The 5% you mentioned was that self-cast will be 20% of your own mana pool, while cast on someone else grants a total of (10%*your_pool + 5%*their_pool) for ~15% total. My mistake.

      • Lissanna
        Posted May 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I wasn’t talking about now vs. 4.1, i was talking about in 4.2 using it on self vs. other.

        So, if they put it at 20% on yourself vs. 10% on other (unglyphed), that would be better, since you could glyph it and largely come out neutral in terms of usage which would cut down on the innervate-trading druids are doing now, but still allow it to be useful when cast on others.

        • Galashin
          Posted May 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          While I also disagree with the decision, I suppose we should have seen it coming. Policy has definitely been to make each healer’s regen largely static, so as to be more easily taken into account by encounter developers. Our innervate wild card was the spanner in the works.

  11. Rofer
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    I guess they might actualy put something a bit more useful to the ToL function if there removing the damage from roots.

  12. whocares
    Posted May 8, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Play Rift it is far more interesting than WoW in its current state.