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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.



  • 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.


  • 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.

Posted in Beta Feedback, Mists of Pandaria, Moonkin Balance DPS, Uncategorized, 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.


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

MoP Beta: More on moonkin & tree form shapeshifts

Hey guys, we got updates on the EU forum from Wryxian about moonkin form not being forgotten!

Well, we agree. And this is why an improved moonkin model is indeed in the schedule. But alas I have no due date to announce. In the meantime, we hope the various new cool shape-shift glyphs will provide a little distraction while the moonkin model gets the loving it needs. :)

So, it looks like while Glyph of Stars allows the moonkin haters to just not have moonkin form, there will eventually be a moonkin graphic update. Some day. This gives us a little bit of hope at least. So, peeps who don’t want moonkin at all can have glyph of stars, and people who want moonkin can just keep waiting.

Glyph of stars overall is a decent glyph. You can mount in that form, and it will be really great for PvP, I think. I personally, however, just feel empty without moonkin form, so the glyph of stars just isn’t for me.

Incarnation for moonkin right now is just making moonkin comically large, rather than putting you in a new form (though for some reason, my NE druid’s comically large moonkin is actually the Worgen coloring). I’m avoiding posting pictures of it just because I still assume this is a placeholder and not “working as intended” so to speak.

Tree form Glyph & Incarnation Clarifications

So, I keep getting questions about how the tree form glyph works & what happens with the cooldown tree. I didn’t include this in my shapeshift posts because the graphics haven’t changed. However, I figure that I’ll include it all here so you guys can see.

Here is my feral-spec druid in Perma-Tree form from the glyph. Note that any spec can use the tree form glyph (it is not spec-restricted). I also checked, and the tree form glyph is not slowing my movement speed. Treant form runs at normal run speed. You can cast spells in treant form, so you can heal in treant form as a resto druid. There is no time restriction on shifting into cosmetic tree, so you can hang out and dance in tree form all day if you want to.

Below is my resto druid with Incarnation. Note that incarnation doesn’t put a shapeshift form on my shapeshift bar. Instead, incarnation gives me a spell in my spell book that I drag onto my normal casting bar. I hit that spell to activate the cooldown. So, the tree form cooldown isn’t a shapeshift button on your shapeshift bar anymore.

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

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.


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.

Posted in Cataclysm, Druid - General, Moonkin Balance DPS, Restoration Healing Trees, Written By Lissanna



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