Monthly Archives: April 2012

State of the moonkin PvE MOP edition

Now that we have been in beta a couple of weeks, it is time for me to start doing my moonkin beta posts, which I write a couple times each beta. I’m going to try and keep this reasonably short to just highlight some major areas where things are going well and where we still need attention. The beta forum version can be found here.

Overall rotation:

  • At this point, our single target “training dummy” rotation works okay. Solar and Lunar feel relatively balanced. Removing insect swarm works out fine. There is still a lot of skill involved in maximizing moonfire & sunfire “double-DOT” up-time. I’m fine with insect swarm being gone, though I wouldn’t mind if it came back as an instant-cast execute ability to help give moonkin a finisher and more instant-cast damage outside of shooting stars procs and moonfire spam.
  • For AOE purposes, the changes to hurricane (astral storm) makes our AOE rotations more balanced between the two specs. So, it’s likely that our AOE rotation in Mists will feel a lot better. The targeting mechanic for shrooms is also a lot better. Hurricane still costs too much mana, but that will likely be a balancing issue for level 90.
  • Our movement DPS options are still severely lacking. Being limited to moonfire spam is not going to cut it. In terms of how to fix this issue, I’ve been suggesting adding Spiritwalker’s Grace and Aspect of the Fox to moonkin’s Symbiosis spell list (where having either a shaman or hunter in your raid would allow for casting wrath & starfire while moving during the duration). A way to cast wrath & starfire while moving could also be a good option for glyphs.

Talents:

Glyphs:

  • Right now, moonkin lack any sort of real set of major glyphs that impact the spells we use. I do love glyph of moonbeast, since it allows me to be the true “restokin” I always wanted to be (I’ve been wanting to cast heals in moonkin form since moonkin form was created in patch 1.8). However, other classes are still getting glyphs that impact their main role (even if they come at a cost).
  •  Glyph of Focus (inreased starfall’s damage but reduced it’s range) is actually something I think should be added back. It had the cost of sometimes being out of range of the boss for starfall in exchange for sometimes not hitting things you needed to keep alive.
  • Other glyph options: We could have a glyph like glyph of flame shock, that reduced moonfire/sunfire’s direct damage but increased it’s duration.  Glyph of unleashed lightning could be adapted to moonkin, where we could cast wrath & starfire while moving at the cost of an increased cast time. We could have a glyph where starsurge was always instant cast but lowered the chance for shooting stars to proc. Glyph of Mushroom where you drop three mushrooms at once but it increases the bloom cooldown by 5 or 10 seconds.

Symbiosis:

  • Moonkin have a lot of options for PvP, but most of them won’t give you any type of real benefit in PvE at all (and some of the spells just don’t do anything for you). For example, you don’t need misdirect as a moonkin for PvP at all, and if you already have a hunter in the raid, you don’t need it for PvE either. Symbiosis is a good place to add ways of doing DPS on the move. Giving us a couple options that will have minor impacts on our DPS will not be overpowered or problematic as long as we have 3 or 4 different options of things that give us similar PvE benefits. I worked out a google doc spreadsheet thinking about ideas for what moonkin could want, to have a somewhat well-rounded ability list that wasn’t likely to be overpowered for either PvP or PvE purposes.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ow2iKen7eW-HyQ3Qo0u-kypD4BdRjOWrvpt0UMaRSgU/edit?pli=1

Posted in Beta Feedback, Mists of Pandaria, Moonkin Balance DPS, Uncategorized, Written By Lissanna

Symbiosis feedback part 2

So, now that I’ve covered how symbiosis works, lets take a look at how I would assign my 5 druids to their Symbiosis targets in my 25-man raids. Assume for now that Symbiosis looked exactly like it does in Beta right now (see list on MMO-champion).

In this case, lets take a log from DS where we had 5 of our druids all show up for a raid. We have two moonkin, one resto tree, one feral cat, and one guardian bear. We have to decide who those five druids are going to cast Symbiosis on. We have 20 other raid members, including: 1 DK tank, 4 hunters, 1 warlock, 1 mage, 3 rogues, 2 shadow priests, 2 elemental shaman, 1 DK DPS, 1 resto shaman, 2 healing priests, 2 holy paladins.

I’ll highlight the actual decisions in brown so they are easier to see.

Okay, so who gets Symbiosis?

  • We know that DKs get a nice damage reduction cooldown, so someone has to cast it on Ranico (our DK tank). In this case, we’ll assign Ariano (our feral tank) to put Symbiosis on Ranico, since Bone Shield for our bear is probably her best option. This is an obvious trade, so lets lock that one down.

What can the other classes in my raid get from us?

  • Well, my raid’s holy paladins don’t need rebirth since we already have more breses than we know what to do with.
  • Maybe we could give our warlock rejuv, but Ponerya has already expressed some disinterest in having that.
  • We could give tranquility to the shadow priests, but we already have 3 DPS with tranquility in the raid at this point, and having more DPS casting healing cooldowns will just hurt our ability to beat enrage timers we’re already struggling with on some of the heroic bosses we are learning.
  • As much as our rogues like pretending they are tanks, giving them a taunt is more likely going to cause raid wipes, though it could help them soak on H Morchok if it didn’t taunt the boss causing them to instantly die and instead just gave them increased armor. However, the taunt pretty much guarantees instant death as they get crit in the face.
  • Giving dash to hunters wouldn’t hurt, I suppose, but they already have a lot of movement tools.
  • Since I haven’t used solar beam like at all in dragon soul, I’m pretty sure the elemental shaman don’t need an ability that is worse than the interrupts they already have.
  •  I’m not sure what my resto shaman could do with the ability to prowl. I’m pretty sure she’d just laugh at me and use it for screwing around on our 10 minute break.
  • I think I’d have to pay Beefbus actual RL money to cast healing touch in dragonsoul, though I could be wrong. Maybe just gold would suffice.
  • Since I haven’t rooted anything in dragonsoul, I’m pretty sure roots isn’t helpful for the healing priests.
  • I’m not sure if my DPS DK benefits from their version of shrooms, since I’m not sure if it is a better spell than the ones they already have in MoP to apply their blood plague and frost feaver.

Okay, so since none of the other people in our raid benefit very much from receiving our potential Symbiosis buffs, what do we get from them for casting it? Maybe that will help us decide.

  • With two moonkin, I’ll assign myself to put it on our mage (beefbus), so I can have mirror images. This will help me unload DPS easier at the beginning of a pull and gives me a minor DPS increase. Go go tree buddies! Oh wait, since mirror image was the only damage increase ability (as incredibly minor as it is), and we only had one mage, that’s going to cause drama issues for Talious who is going to be jealous that I was selfish and stole the mage. Well crap, that means I have to give the mage to Talious instead to prevent hours of  potential drama. Maybe we could take turns and just hope that we never have a raid where all three of our moonkin can make it (since Opalbreeze, our third moonkin, was absent from raid that day). So, the consensus here is that Talious the moonkin gives symbiosis to Beefbus our mage.
  •  Okay, so what do I get if I can’t put it on the mage? Well, I could have antimagic shell or improved barkskin (ie.  unending resolve). Either of those would be helpful on our heroic Ultraxion attempts so I can soak the damage part of that fight. I have no use for misdirect because we already have four hunters. There isn’t any fights where Hammer of Justice seems useful in Dragonsoul. We already have tons of priests with mass dispel for the one fight where people actually dispel things. We don’t really need a fourth purge, since we have three shaman already. I don’t have a warrior for intervene, not that it would be useful anyway. So, I’ll put it on Castela, so I get antimagic shell (which I’ll use maybe two or three times in the raid, while I work on recruiting more mages on our 10 minute break), and Castela will get Wild Mushroom: Plague. Not sure  how helpful that is for our DK, but it’s the best I can come up with.
  • Okay, three down, two to go! Lets do our cat DPS druid next. He likes having things that increase his damage output and would prefer soulswap, feral spirit, or redirect. Well, I can’t let him cast it on a rogue, because the rogues would think it was funny to try and use Symbiosis even if it caused raid wipes. Since soulswap probably doesn’t leave your bleeds on the original target, and there aren’t a lot of fights where you’d need to swap your bleeds, lets go with a shaman so that it’s an ability useful on any fight, even if it’s a tiny DPS increase. So, lets say he gets to put it on Kanedias, the elemental shaman, so that he gets feral spirits, and Kanedias gets a solar beam he won’t ever actually use.
  • Last but not least, we have to figure out what Juvenate gets. He wants the original paladin spell (hand of sacrifice), but since that was deemed too powerful, it got taken away by Blizzard already. The choice then should probably be for Juv to get a personal survivability cooldown. So, he gets to put it on Zweibel the hunter (our raid leader), so that Zweibel can have dash, and Juvenate gets Deterrence.

Yes, that’s right, with 5 druids in my raid, it could take a couple hours to work out symbiosis targets, with no one (other than the tanks) actually getting anything that was worth having to spend an hour before raid every night deciding this, since we don’t always have the same people. It actually gets worse if you need to swap symbiosis targets for different fights. If my moonkin needed mass dispel from a priest for Zon’ozz and then antimagic shell from a DK for Ultraxion, we could start adding on additional layers of complexity to the puzzle, where we may have to stop and switch symbiosis targets, glyphs, and talents between fights – further slowing down our raid progress.

So, what’s the fix for this? I’m not really sure. I hope this at least highlights the fact symbiosis is incredibly complicated any time you have more than one druid in the raid, and that it’s possible that Symbiosis just isn’t going to work for our class. At the very least, we need to be scrutinizing the spell lists to make sure that the druid is getting worthwhile PvE options, and that we’re giving things to other classes that are likely to be useful in many different types of situations.

Posted in Beta Feedback, Mists of Pandaria, Written By Lissanna

Symbiosis feedback part 1

So, now that I’ve hit level 87 in beta, I have been able to try out Symbiosis. Sunfyre, in combination with other druids, hit 87 first and mapped out what the current spell list is for Symbiosis. You can find it on mmo-champion right now.  So, to save time, I’m not going to re-map that chart onto Restokin until later in beta. Instead, I’m going to skip over theory-land and right into practical application. In this post, I’ll talk about how symbiosis currently works in beta. In the next post, I’ll talk about what is wrong with symbiosis and what we can do about it.

In this case, I’m going to focus on PvE because just about anything in the spell lists for any of the specs would be okay in PvP except maybe the paladin battle res.

Okay, so how exactly does symbiosis work? Right now, mages get Healing Touch from druids. This Healing Touch is on a 10 second cooldown, has a low mana cost, and can’t be made instant from Presence of Mind.

In return, my moonkin got mirror images. The druid mirror images hit about half as hard as the mage version, making it such that they only hit for about 150 per cast each. So, it’s not that great of a damage cooldown and seems more of a threat reduction you’d use at the start of the pull when you popped all your CDs and went to town. If you are in moonkin form, the mirrors are moonkin. If you are in caster/astral form, then your mirrors are caster/astral form. If you are in bear form, it shifts you out of bear and uses your caster form for the mirrors. With the tree glyph, you do get trees casting wrath, which means you could pop Force of Nature and have six trees casting wrath for giggles.

My resto spec instead gets ice block from the mage, allowing me to use ice block on a 5 minute cooldown, turning my tree druid into frozen broccoli. :)

When you drag the symbiosis button onto your cast bar, after you cast symbiosis, your button turns into the ability that you get. So, you don’t have to constantly drag spells from your spell book as a druid, which is nice. My symbiosis button turned into the ice block button OR my mirror image button.

So, the implementation of how things work seems to be okay (though symbiosis wasn’t staying put for the whole hour – it would randomly unlink me from the mage).

Here are some pictures in action:

Moonkin mirror images

mage casting healing touch (2.5 second cast before haste)

Frozen Tree: Resto Iceblock

Now that we’ve seen how Symbiosis works, part 2 will take a more critical look at some possible problems.

Posted in Beta Feedback, Mists of Pandaria, Written By Lissanna

MoP Beta resto changes from latest build

So, they pushed out a new build last night. The mmo-champion patch notes aren’t particularly helpful for figuring out what the changes actually were for resto druids this build.

Barkskin/Ironbark

First, I have BOTH Barkskin & Ironbark on my bar as a resto druid. So, the text change on Ironbark was intentional to not let you have both up at the same time. Right now, they don’t share a cooldown at all (you can have both up), but I believe that’s just a bug. So, we’ll have to wait and see how that mechanic shapes up in later builds. At the very least, barkskin wasn’t on my bar last build, and now it is back.

Mushroom Changes

As of the latest beta build, they changed how shrooms are placed. This change applies to both the resto & moonkin versions of the spell. The old version required us to click a button and then use the mouse to target the ground to place each shroom. This looked something like:

  • press-click-press-click-press-click + Detonate

In beta, the shrooms button now has 3 charges. While you have charges active, your targeting circle will remain active and you can keep clicking to get more shrooms placed. The targeting circle no longer disappears as soon as you drop a single shroom (unless you only had one shroom charge, and then it goes away when you hit zero charges). So, in beta, if you have 3 charges active, this looks something like:

  • Press-click-click-click + detonate

The charges respawn fairly quickly (looks like one every second when you hit 0 shrooms, since there is a new charge that comes up right after your GCD ends for your last shroom placement. It respawns every ~2 or 3 seconds when you have 1 or more charges – the respawn rate feels about right for making sure you can drop 3 but have access to more quickly if things screwed up).

Taking out the two extra button presses makes the spell placement much less awkward. As someone who runs moonkin in raids a lot these days, I definitely appreciate the change to placement.

However, for resto druids, this doesn’t negate some of the other huge problems with the spell I talked about in the last post (namely, 6 yards is half the radius of the newly increased Healing Rain’s circle which looks like it is now 12 yards in beta, the best we could test. You can’t see where the shrooms are going to heal because the targeting circle & graphic are still significantly smaller than the heal effect). At the very least, an increased radius (8 to 10 yards) along with a graphic that better matches the size of the radius (so you know where you placed it and where to stand to get healed) is still really needed to make the healing shroom spell viable.

Posted in Beta Feedback, Mists of Pandaria, Moonkin Balance DPS, Restoration Healing Trees, Written By Lissanna

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