Updates to MoP Talent calculator

So, it looks like we got a nice MoP talent calculator update for druids. For this post, I’m just going to go through a handful of the bigger changes. I’ll do more focused critiques for resto & moonkin over the next few weeks. The change list isn’t inclusive of all the changes. I’m just highlighting some of the bigger changes.

Major talent changes:

  • None of the talents force-shift you into shapeshift forms anymore (except for displacer beast which is okay because it activates prowl). The talents are all useable in all forms. One additional awesome change is that all the feral utility abilities (dash, taunt, stampeding roar, etc) will shift you into an appropriate feral form if you are not already in form. So, the effect that used to be on the talents are now just on our baseline feral utility abilities (yay!). For tank swaps, if you are outside of bear form & need to taunt, you wouldn’t have to go into bear before taunting – taunting would just now shift you to bear.
  • All 3 level 15 movement abilities were changed. Wild Charge replaced dash 2.0 in the level 15 talents and they are all relatively caster-friendly now. Displacer beast sends you 20 yards forward (no longer random & dangerous), and feline swiftness increases the movement speed of all specs by an equal 15%.
  • New Talent (Soul of the Forrest) replaced the spot where wild charge used to be (does Eclipse power gains for moonkin & casting haste buff for resto).
  • Bear hug is now a baseline ability. Level 75 talent replaced with Mighty Bash. This requires you to be in melee range to stun the target for 5 seconds, but at least it is useable in all forms. I’m not totally sold on the level 75 talents for caster druids, but the talent set is better now.  They all seem really situational for PvE purposes.
  • Master shapeshifter is gone (as predicted). Replaced with Dream of Cenarius, where using healing spells give you a damage buff & using damage spells give you a healing buff. This is still situational and won’t likely be a DPS/HPS increase for your main role, but is still potentially useful for off-role utility purposes depending on how it ends up being implemented. Requires some beta testing for the mechanic to see if it ends up being useful or not. It’s better than the original horrible talent, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is ready to go live as currently designed. It has more potential for being decent with some tweaks as we test the talents.

Overall talent change impressions:

Druid talents are obviously harder to get right than any of the other specs. Nothing really feels that amazing for PvE purposes in pretty much any tier. However, the are significantly better than the original talent tree versions. The problems with heart of the wild haven’t been addressed, but we are at least headed in the right direction and we can see that they are listening to at least some of the major criticisms about the original set of talents. There is still a LOT of work for us to do over the course of beta, but a lot of these talents now need to  be tested & theorycrafted instead of just being totally laughable.

Moonkin Ability Changes:

  • Eclipse gained an interesting effect, where Solar Eclipse will cause wrath to increase the duration of sunfire & Lunar Eclipse will cause starfire to increase the duration on moonfire.
  • The new insect swarm increases all spell damage by 25% rather than only increasing the damage done by our three nuke spells. I’m not sure what I think about the change or how it impacts what I wrote about earlier.

Conclusions:

All of the dispel abilities have cooldowns now for all the classes, which is the only major change to resto abilities. I didn’t see any other major resto spell changes, and I’m not looking at the cat/bear ability lists for time reasons (because I didn’t memorize the feral tooltips prior to the changes, lol). Symbiosis was clarified to say that it can’t be cast on other druids. The talents are now at a point where we need to test them in beta to really be able to see how they are going to work in the new content. Some of them may be very useful in certain encounters that we just haven’t seen yet, and some of them may turn out to be totally useless.

12 Comments

  1. Stupidhero
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Comparing the druid trees to those of other classes I can say:

    At least I know where all those nice ideas went. Just confirmed what I already thought:

    Blizzard is out of ideas of what to do with druids, right now it looks like we’re heading for:

    You’re class X, just without abilities Y_1, …, Y_n

    For Resto that comes down to: we have our healing toolkit. Other classes got a superior toolkit, and a bunch of superior utility thrown in.

    • Lissanna
      Posted February 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      it’s okay. We can just steal other classes abilities with Symbiosis and give them crap in return as their punishment for being better. ;)

      It is also likely that a lot of things will change between now & ship. :)

      • Stupidhero
        Posted February 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        They had Wild Charge on the cooldown tier, and yet they HAD to move it (although in a incredible weak version, which pales in comparision to 15% increased movespeed) to tier 1.
        In it’s place we got: Soul of the Forrest. Seriously, you cannot place a passive on a cooldown tier, even more so for a class, which is already on the lower side in the cooldowns/utility department.

        That’s just to point out how clueless blizzard is. Not to mention the following:

        Healingshrooms are nice, yet blizzard added even more healing spells and/or utility spells to other classes toolkit, leaving us in the very same spot we currently are:
        Merely desired for raw throughput – i.e. we’ll just have cataclysm/lichking all over again.

        And right now it doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon, given that we’ve yet to see the final shaman tier (which I’d bet will just add more utility to the shaman class …)

        • Lissanna
          Posted February 15, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          wild charge was more of a movement cooldown & DPS couldn’t really pick it up. What they put in it’s place may still be a little uninspired.

          • Stupidhero
            Posted February 16, 2012 at 4:48 am | Permalink

            Our entire tree is uninspired in view of what other classes trees look like. Especially the Pally/Shaman/Mage trees.

        • Treeboi
          Posted February 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          The new Wild Charge will be an amazing PvP ability, far more useful in PvP than a 15% speed increase or a 3 minute blink, no matter what your spec is.

          Instantly closing the distance to an ally or an opponent (with a bonus daze / root) cannot be underestimated in PvP.

          I even see it as being more useful in PvE than +15% speed. For a raider, it gives you an instant teleport (throw a person on focus, macro it to target your focus, unshift, and Wild Charge). For a feral/guardian soloer, it instantly moves you to your next mob.

          Now if +15% speed stacked with 310% flight form, then *that* would be game changer.

          While I agree that there are some really useless druid stuff, Wild Charge is not one of them.

  2. Kat
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    I was excited at first about Mop talents and spells but overall I feel they have ignored the problems with resto druids. Switching lifebloom targets/tanks will still be annoying and time consuming. I hope they improve the mechanics for the mushrooms. Tree of Life would be great if it was more like the cooldown that resto Shammys are getting, but it’s still just stacking lifebloom and regrowth clearcasting procs. Lifebloom in BC and Wrath was more fun and being able to stack it on more than one target made tank switching a lot easier, still annoying but you could pre stack it to help.

    Ironbark is an ok mitigation cooldown, Cenarian ward is still just healing. Other healing classes have a lot more utility. The spells for Symbiosis sound ok but still nothing exciting as the spells available depends on classes available.

    Overall some nice pvp and situational pve talents available. There is always hope that Blizz will change things.

  3. stupidhero
    Posted February 16, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Other classes look like they have developers working together on a concept, creating something fun, synergetic and supplementing with the ability/talent grid setup.

    The druids on the other hand looks like each dev hat 1-2 cells/spells assigned to him, trying to make the best out of it (which usually is: leave at is, cause they do not know better), lacking a concept (and it better not be “bring back hybridness”, that’s been shown to fail miserably in the past).

    Symbiosis is the pinnacle of this mess, it basically tells us “we have no clue what fun abilities we could create for you, so you can at least pick something fun from other classes”.

    Further, Shaman/Pally get their personal cooldown for free (as a spell), druid on the other hand have to choose. Shaman/Pally get one additional in their talent grid. This of course will just repeat cataclysm all over again, just this time it isn’t one cooldown versus no cooldown, but one cooldown versus 2-3 cooldowns. Blizzard just doesn’t learn. (Symbiosis after this whole Dark Intent mess – seriously?)

    Cataclysm will be (for Resto):

    You have X utility, Shammy/Pally/Priest has X utility, AND Y, Z. (leaving monks out of the picture for obvious reasons :P)

    Shammy/Pally/Priest have a fluent toolkit, you still have that clunkiness Reju/LB and now Mushrooms will be. Why do we still need 3 GCDs to apply LB ?, Why can’t we get a Life Swap ? Even more so, cause we now need 3 GCDs for Shrooms (one will not save the day, without making three op)

  4. Orrak
    Posted February 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    This new tree is functional. Most all of the talents have at least some small conceivable use, and none of them are particularly detrimental. Damning with faint praise to be sure. If druid talents existed in a vacuum, they would be totally fine. But taken in perspective with what blizzard has come up with for the other classes, it looks positively primitive in comparison. It just further illustrates how the new talent design is wholly incompatible with the druid class. I said it last fall and I’ll keep saying it till the tauren come home. Blizzard needs to separate the druid talent trees. They were willing to ‘break the rules’ and give us 4 specs, they need to just go all the way and split the tree in two, one for balance/resto and another for feral/guardian. There is just no way that tree that is required to functional across 4 different roles, with 4 separate resource systems can even remotely compare to the other 9 which are only bound to a single resource system, and 2 roles . It will never happen.

    the comparison between the druid tree and the Warlock or Mage trees for example is just staggering. There are incredible game changing abilities in there. There is no way that anything in the druid tree will ever approach that level, because every talent is pulled in so many directions at once they can only be generic utility spells, lest you remove choice altogether.

  5. Treeboi
    Posted February 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I see a couple of WTF talents.

    15/Displacer Beast is worse than the other alternatives at level 15, due entirely to the 3 minute cooldown. Especially when the other two talents at 15 are either passive, or have a very short cooldown, and are just as good. It needs something like “allows prowl in combat” in order to justify the 3 minute cooldown.

    30/Cenarian Ward is a leveling only talent, probably good for only 30 levels before the healing is too small to be worth it. It sucks to waste a talent spot for something that’s only useful while leveling.

    45/Mass Entanglement, like Displacer Beast, suffers from its 2 minute cooldown. With only a 6 second or 20 second cooldown on the other talents, it’s hard to justify a 2 minute cooldown, especially when the other talents are just as good. Give it a 30 second cooldown, similar to Frost Nova, and then it would be worth it.

    60/Ursol’s Vortex seems rather pointless. It’s just a small knockback on a short cooldown. Unless it has additional effects, like a spell interrupt, root, or grounding totem effect, I don’t see the point. Especially when it has such a short range.

    • Lissanna
      Posted February 16, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      The actual amount healed by spells is going to scale with level, so you can’t look at the actual healing/damage amount listed in a tooltip unless it’s a % of health.

  6. Asrah
    Posted February 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Before I comment on the talent changes. My opinions are about the pvp perspective of a balance druid and a little about pve content. Here it goes:

    15 row:
    Much better than the last versions. I prefer Wild Charge over the other options, because its a fantastic gap closer and escape mechanism at the same time. Feline Swiftness is nice but with the 8% speed enchant its just 7% more movement speed. Thats not a huge advantage. Displacer became less dangerous without the random direction part, but will it help if we have dots up on us? Being good in the whole fight is better than being able to run away with a few % health before we lose. Wild Charge have a very low cooldown. We can jump away all the time a wari charges at or a rogue shadow steps behind us. Displacer might be good if the add the dot purge part again or at least make this Prowl do not break from damage for a few seconds.

    30 row:
    30 sec vs 60 sec vs 180 sec. Higher cooldown, higher healing done. Renewal is the most capable at saving our life but the other two are more versatile. Cenarion Ward can be cast on others and it have the lowest cooldown. With a current numbers it nearly heals as a Reju but 2 times faster and can be casted in forms. This would be my choice if Nature’s Swiftness couldn’t grant 50% longer Cyclone. It is a very good row, I can barely figure out which is better. They are all usable in forms. What we like depends on what cooldowns do we prefer. I’m usually for the shorter cooldowns. 1 fight in pvp can be very fast, a long cooldown spell usually usable only once before we win or die. I find FoN management problematic because I can’t decide if I use up now or not unlike with the short cooldown spells.

    45 row:
    Faerie Swarm is the easiest to use kite spell. Not so special but very effective. Mass Entanglement could use a shorter cooldown. 2 minutes is a bit much for a root spell. We have to deal with casters and root breakers all the time. It might be effective with a Solar Beam, also good for a 5 man dungeon. We can catch a whole group with it for a short duration. Typhoon, why so buggy? I like this spell very much and tend to choose this because I used it so much. Its like a friend I couldn’t replace. They removed the damage element of this spell. I like it and not at the same time. It was a very good instant against the rushing enemy at the northen entrace of Lumber Mill in AB. Tons of damage and knockback at the same time (when it actually worked…). Its very likely to be fixed since all the druid can use it now and now only 1 spec. If they lower the Mass Entalnglement cd I will probably want that for 5 mans and Swarm or Typhoon for pvp. With 8 sec dispel cd Swarm will actually keep one from coming at me for a short duration.

    60 row:
    Soul of the Forest should also make us start from 20 power and not only after we finish an Eclipse. Its important in a battleground if we die we won’t have to start from 0 again. In the current form we need to go through half of our rotation to actually get the bonus. Thats a long time. Make the first casted energy generating spell do +20 energy. (ie. Starfire 40 or 60 with Euphoria). This way we get the bonus at the start and not after a half done rotation. Incarnation: not bad but I prefer Soul of the Forest. That feels more dinamic and not just a rare help. Incarnation puts us in Eclipse very fast and lasts as long as we reach 0 again. This is a “one fast reached very long Eclipse” spell. FoN: We still don’t know what abilities will they get by specializations. I’m looking forward to it. If they will be weak I will take the first one in the row.

    75 row:
    I find Vortex the most interesting from here. Its ranged now and also its a spell I thought up about a year ago (I called it Artemis :) ) Its just the same effect. Can’t wait to try out if its effective. Bash if probably the weakest one, rogues dodge mine all the time…. Even if I can use in every form, I fear they will dodge it in MoP too. It should always hit our target to be effective in a casters hand. Disorienting Roar feels like a druid version of Dragon’s Breath. I like this spell too.

    90 row:
    Don’t like them, except Disentanglement. Thats a good chunk of heal and a our usual root breaker in one. I do not want to loose my ability to break roots. Dream of Cenarius is a close one. Same cooldown but it will be much less effective in healing. 30% of a Healing Touch must be really really far from 20% of our total health. Disentanglement heals at least 4 times more than that little 0.3 Touch and breaks roots too!! This is good mechanics but I think they should buff it seriously either by lowering the cd and/or increasing the amount of damage/healing upgrade. I don’t like Heart of the Wild at all. This is the most useless from all in the current version. Its because 2 reasons: 1 – based on Eclipse, an emergency healer can’t wait for energy charges to get their ‘more heal’. 2 – we don’t have base tools to work with even if we get the extra healing power. The second part might be good, but we lack tools in Bear too. As I suggested before, they should use the spell transform mechanics for this one to grant us spells from the other specializations for the duration. For example Starfire turns into Lacerate in Bear Form and Lifebloom in caster form while it is still usable as a Starfire in Moonkin.

    Few words about specialization abilities. Insect Swarm shouldn’t reach live in this form. Its a totally useless spell. The only thing it does is makes us slower at target switching and probably more vulnerable to dispels. Our rotation seems nearly the same. Eclipse mechanics were improved, also we have Celestial Alignment, Soul of the Forest and Incarnation the make it more spicy. My one problem is Starfire cast time. Its still very slow, and as we’ve lost 1 dot, our direct damage will be more determining. Direct damage was already more than 70% of our single target damage. If they don’t buf Moonfire to 2 times more damage it will go up even up to 80-90%. A few of this is instant Starsurge, but still a very hardcasting rotation. Easy to interrupt and helps melee to cacth up while we try to cast one spell at them. Starfire should be a bit faster. Its one of the longest spell a player uses and we have to cast it in rows of tens.

    I like they direction they are going. All the changes are good in my opinion. I can only point a few things I don’t like, but all the new talent rows have at least 1 very good for pvp and depending on the new content they will be good in pve too. I hope so.
    These are the talents I find the weakest from my perspective of playstyle: Displacer Beast, Renewal, Mass Entanglement, Mighty Bash, Dream of Cenarius and Heart of the Wild. I like the others and see them as possible choices in my play. This is not an opinion comes from comparsion with other classes. I can’t say for sure, we will be good or not in a group or in 1v1 situations. I’ve checked them too, but with this amount of changes it whold be hard to see how we perform in an actual fight.
    Thx for reading.