Blizzard released a new set of “crash courses” for learning various classes. Each crash course covers one damage dealing spec for each class. For the druid class, they chose moonkin. Thus, the video teaches you the basics of the Eclipse single-target rotation for people who have newly reached level 90.
The video does a great job of showing how Eclipse and our primary damage spells work. The video doesn’t, however, cover more of the advanced topics, such as what to do when there is more than one target. It also doesn’t cover talents and glyphs. These more advanced techniques are outside the scope of what these short videos were designed to cover. Thus, for more advanced druid techniques, Cyous has some videos, that while potentially slightly out of date may help fill in some of the advanced techniques. Cyous also took over the moonkin sticky guide on the official druid forums. You can also visit Hamlet’s EJ forum post. Icy Veins also has a moonkin guide.
Since Blizzard only did one starter guide per class, we don’t have a starter video for feral, resto, or guardian druids. There are, however, plenty of community resources to help teach you how to druid!
With 5.3 likely to come out in the next few weeks, I thought it might be helpful to write a recap of the 5.3 changes for resto & moonkin druids. Since this is still on the PTR, it is, of course, subject to change. The full PTR notes are available here.
We still don’t have an official release date, but I thought it would help to cover some of the changes in more detail.
- Both resto & moonkin benefit from general druid changes. First, Force of Nature is undergoing some changes in 5.3. It is now going to be one big tree (without a pet bar) that is a little bit smarter, and should chain-cast spells (instead of pausing so much). For moonkin, the casting of roots in PvE is still likely problematic. However, the resto druid version (that now casts swiftmend in addition to healing touch) is likely a more viable option than it was previously. As a “fire and forget” spell, now off the global cooldown, it may be worth trying out, especially for new players .
Balance 5.3 changes
- The main balance changes for 5.3 are really about PvP, with some solar beam changes.
- In addition, the glyph of Omens seems like it could be used to fish for eclipse procs in PvP situations. However, most of the utility spells that generate Eclipse energy with this glyph aren’t often used in PvE.
Restoration 5.3 changes
- Ironbark cooldown will be 1 minute instead of 2 minutes (the PvP set bonus change means that this won’t really impact PvP). This gives you the ability to sometimes cast this on non-tanks to save raid members from harm, rather than feeling forced to always save it for tanks. You can, alternatively, cast it more on the tank if that works best for the fight. The important part is that this should just generally be used more often to reduce the damage members of your raid are taking.
- For 25-man raids, Tranquility will hit 12 people. In 10-man, it will continue to hit 5 people. Several other AOE heals of other classes (such as the priest divine hymn) were changed to also have a different target number for 10 & 25-mans. This will help druids scale better for 25-man raiding, where a weakness of druids was that our tools were really limited in the number of people we could heal at a time in 25’s.
- Our “smart” heals will be smarter. One of the problems with smart heals was that they frequently targeted pets over players, leading to what looked like a lot of healing done, but was really wasted healing. So, now, these “smart” heals will now more consistently choose wounded raid members over their wounded pets. In addition, since pets should take a little less damage in raids, they won’t really be at risk of dieing. Note that if players are at full health, it will still do healing on the pets.
- The radius of Swiftmend‘s Efflorescence AOE effect has been increased to 10 yards. With how spread out people tend to be, this still will be used more often in melee on 10-mans. However, you now have a higher probability of hitting both your tank and melee for bosses with smaller hit-boxes. In addition, for ranged spread-out times, there is now an increased chance of having more people hit by Efflo (and given the 3 person limit, anyway, that’s not so bad).
- Wild Mushroom: Bloom was given two buffs. First, it has the same increase in radius to 10 yards that Swiftmend’s AOE got. Second, the baseline healing (and scaling with rejuv overhealing) was also increased. However, this doesn’t change the fundamental flaws that makes the ability feel more situational. That said, it will be worth using more often in times where you are likely to stack on one spot for AOE healing.
- It is also important to note that some of the problems druids are having is with how HOTs don’t play well with discipline and paladin absorbs. The paladin absorb mastery is targeted for a minor nerf for 5.3, which may indirectly help out druids to look better on meters. 😉
A new patch has been found by both MMO-champion and WOWhead. It looks like moonkin are getting a substantial DPS buff (9% to wrath, starfire, & Starsurge). There are also adjustments to mages (a 23% buff to frostbolt for frost mages – which addresses some of my concerns about frost mage damage for the next patch) and also buffs to several other classes. In general, the patch notes really look like:
(except for arcane mages, though, since their stand-still damage came out too high. Also, thank you to whoever added this to the meme generator, lol).
That out of the way, it looks like the 5.2 patch is shaping up to overall be a net positive for Moonkin and Restoration druids. With the patch going live in a few weeks, things are really looking good for my feathered and leafy friends. I will have my 5.2 healing guide updates (along with any important updates for the leveling guide) ready to go on patch day.
Happy patch day Tuesday! Here are a list of some of the resources here at Restokin and other places to get you set up for Mists of Pandaria.
Restoration druid resources
Balance druid 5.0 resources
Feral druid 5.0 resources
Guardian (Bear tank) 5.0 resources
Resources for other classes
- Icy Veins has guides for most classes. Though, blogs specific to certain classes are more likely to have more complete information about things like rotations (and some guides may be better than others).
- A list of other class guides are available at cannot be tamed (I don’t want to just copy & paste that list)
- Mage: Lhivera’s compendium. Use the menus on the lower left side of the screen to navigate between pages. Covers all mage specs (and not listed in the above list).
- Frost mages are viable for PvE now. MMO melting pot has a quick frost mage starter guide.