Patch 6.1 will be downloading in your Battle.net clients and the patch itself will go live this Tuesday. There’s a handful of changes to Balance druids you should be aware of. Here’s the notes:
Force of Nature’s Treants has been buffed with a 35% increase to their health and spellpower, and an 80% increase to their armor and attack power.
Stellar Flare (Balance) damage has been increased by 16%, and now has a duration of 24 seconds (up from 20 seconds).
Healing Touch no longer heals for 50% more when cast-on-self for Balance Druids.
Balance Druids now learn a new passive ability at level 38, Nature’s Bounty. – Nature’s Bounty causes Healing Touch to be Critical Strikes for 8 seconds after killing an enemy that yields experience or honor.
Starfall damage decreased by 16.6%.
Starfall and Sunfall now only hits targets affected with Moonfire or Sunfire by default. – Glyph of Guided Stars has been renamed to Glyph of Untamed Stars and is now a Minor glyph. Glyph of Untamed Stars expands Starfall and Sunfall to hit all targets within range.
Displacer Beast is now classified as an Arcane School ability and can no longer be used while silenced.
First up, let’s talk about the Starfall nerf.
Starfall right now accounts for around 20-25% of total DPS by Balance Druids across all ten fights in Blackrock Foundry. The nerf means starfall will only be doing 83.4% of it’s previous damage. The net result is that the average DPS for Boomkins in Blackrock Foundry will drop by 3.32%. Single target fights like Gruul will see no change, while fights like Kromog and Beastlord Darmac will see a much larger reduction. Overall, while no one is happy to get nerfed, this isn’t too bad. There’s no playstyle changes here, you’ll just do a tiny bit less damage.
Next lets talk about the Talent changes; both of them have the same outcome.
A slight damage buff to Force of Nature and a damage & duration buff to Stellar Flare. This makes both talents a little closer to being competitive but at the end of the day you’re still not going to take either. Why? Force of Nature’s problem has always been rooted in the poor AI behavior and this damage buff doesn’t change that. Even despite this buff Force of Nature still won’t compete with Incarnation. As for Stellar Flare, Euphoria is too good for low-targets and Balance of Power is better for multiple targets. To understand just how weak Stellar Flare is, here’s some math:
- Stellar Flare does 39%+156% spellpower over 24 seconds, or 8.125% spellpower/second
- Moonfire does 40.5%+292.5% spellpower over 20 seconds, or 16.65% spellpower/s
- Sunfire does 40.5%+351% spellpower over 24 seconds, or 16.31% spellpower/s
Not only does Stellar Flare do approximately half the damage of Moonfire & Sunfire, but it’s hard casted! The terrible damage combined with the clunky useability of the spell makes it simply not a viable talent choice in a realistic raid scenario. There are extremely niche cases where 6+ high priority adds are alive for 30 seconds or more in which Stellar Flare will outdamage Euphoria or BoP, but this scenario simply doesn’t exist in the current Raid Tier
Next, the change to Starfall’s mechanics.
Starfall is now only going to hit targets affected by your DoTs. This was previously the function of Glyph of Guided Stars, but they are making the Glyphed function baseline, and you can use the new glyph to return Starfall to it’s current state.
Do this immediately. This change is catering to those learning to play Balance or unable to control their Starfall. You are a raiding moonkin and understand the concepts of LoS and range. You do not need this hand-holding to protect yourself from errant Starfall pulls. Glyph of Guided Stars was always a DPS loss and they are now baking this DPS loss into the baseline skill. The first thing you should do when patch goes live is acquire a Glyph of Untamed Stars and stick it in a glyph slot. Fortunately this is only a minor glyph, and not a major (RIP Glyph of Aquatic Form.)
Time for self-healing.
Thanks to PvP, our self-healing got nerfed. Where previously we were healing for diddly-squat, now we’re healing for two-thirds of diddly-squat. This doesn’t change how you use Healing Touch, as if you were desperate enough to spam healing touch on yourself it doesn’t matter if it’s 100 hp or 66 hp, you need it and you need it now. But hey, they gave us Nature’s Bounty so you can get 8s of free Healing Touch criticals when you kill something. Yippie *eyeroll*
Finally, Displacer Beast was added to the Arcane School.
Just a useability issue. If you get locked out of your Arcane School (by say, Hans & Frans roar) you will be unable to cast Displacer Beast. This is pretty important if say, there’s a press coming down on your head and you can’t get out of the way without Displacer Beast. This is what we call a ‘lose more’ change, as if you screw up and get locked out of Arcane, the potential to be punished for your mistake goes up. Just don’t get locked out of your spell schools okay?
Welcome to 6.1. Use the Untamed Stars Glyph, take a selfie of yourself crying about the Starfall nerf, and tweet it to me @Starfeathers.