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Patch 3.2 druid changes in PTR patch notes – A first look

From the official PTR patch notes for 3.2.

#  Flight Form: Can now be learned at level 60. Flight speed increased to 150%.

# Travel Form: Can now be learned at level 16.

These we already knew about. It’s being changed to go along with mount changes.

# Innervate: Duration reduced to 10 seconds, and cooldown reduced to 3 minutes. This means each use of Innervate will give half as much mana as before, but it will be available twice as often.

This is neither a buff or a nerf. It’s kindof a nerf for PvP, and this should make all the PvP QQ’ers happy, as in innervate won’t return “A whole QQ bar at once”. In most raid situations, being able to use it more often should make up for it returning less mana at each application. This means that we’ll “use it early and often” in PvE situations, and all the PvP QQ can stop the QQ (when combined with one of the below changes).

# Lifebloom: The final heal that occurs when this spell blooms has been reduced by 20% on the base and on the spell power coefficient.

Oh, look. A PvP nerf to lifebloom. Lets make lifebloom even more useless for PvE? Then again, it’s pretty much all overheal anway. Why force us to let it bloom and then nerf the amount healed by the bloom? This is a pretty crappy move overall to a spell that most druids are starting to stop using, anyway.

# Mangle: Ranks 4 and 5 base points reduced by about 11%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
# Rake: Ranks 6 and 7 base points on initial and periodic damage reduced by about 7%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.

# Rip: Ranks 8 and 9 base points and points per combo point reduced by about 6%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
# Shred: Ranks 8 and 9 base points reduced by about 10%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
# Swipe (Cat): Percent of weapon damage done reduced from 260% to 250%.

Holy crap, this looks like it’s going to equal a lot of DPS loss, if “base points” means a reduction in the base damage of the spell. Maybe I’m reading it wrong? But I don’t think so. Without doing any math, I can pretty much feel my head exploding from too many feral DPS nerfs all in one list. Maybe I’m overreacting, but I see this change creating more problems than it solves. This feels like it is going to be way too much over-nerfing. I look forward to all the math and crying that comes from the feral community. There are too many changes & just way too much reduction of the abilities base damage. Since this is a nerf to the pre-gear amounts for the most part, it’s going to nerf entry-level druids a lot more than I think the developers really want. Way to swing the nerf-bat way too hard and not pair it with ways to compensate. Lets have a cat DPS rotation that is more complex than other classes, and now have that paired with also not having a chance of keeping up with other people in raids unless we completely out-gear and out-skill our teammates? I don’t like nerfs to the base damage done by our abilities, as it nerfs entry-level raiders a lot, who don’t have the gear to compensate for it. I don’t like it, not at all. I’m hoping that math proves my initial gut reaction to be wrong, but I’m pretty sure this is going to be bad for our poor Hello Kitties. I expect much controversy over this to explode pretty soon…  EDIT: Think Tank has a better look at it, which makes it sound a lot less dramatic…


# Talents

* Balance
o Balance of Power: Now reduces all spell damage taken by 3/6%, rather than reducing the chance to be hit by spells by 2/4%.

o Eclipse: The Starfire and Wrath buffs from this talent are now on separate 30 second. cooldowns. In addition, it is not possible to have both buffs active simultaneously.
o Owlkin Frenzy: Now also restores 2% base mana every 2 seconds for the duration (10 seconds) in addition to its current effects.

These are really interesting changes. Balance of power should actually go a long way to helping moonkin survive in PvP, in addition to Owlkin Frenzy having a HUGE buff to moonkin mana in PvP. The Eclipse change is actually really the most interesting of all, and will actually be a HUGE PvE buff, since that means we’ll almost always have Eclipse of one type or the other active. I’m expecting a lot of good feedback from the moonkin community over these changes. At least one of the druid specs gets to be happy in 3.2…

* Restoration
o Empowered Touch: Now also increases the amount of bonus healing effects for Nourish by 10/20%.
o Improved Barkskin: No longer provides dispel resistance to all effects on the druid, but now reduces the chance your Barkskin is dispelled by an additional 35/70%.

Well, here’s the nerf to Imp Barkskin so that innervate can be dispelled in PvP, thus reducing the powerfulness of druids in 2v2 arenas. I totally called this one a while ago, sorry 2v2 resto druids. The change to empowered touch is interesting, since it’s actually a buff to Nourish when you use it with or without HOTs. I wasn’t quite expecting nerfs to lifebloom & innervate to be paired with more nourish buffs.

Posted in Druid - General, Feral DPS Cat, Moonkin Balance DPS, Patch 3.2 WotLK, Player Versus Player, Restoration Healing Trees

New to healing? Practice in Battlegrounds!

My last post here was on being able to handle healing while still paying attention to your surroundings. A great place to get practice at doing this is battlegrounds (of just about any type). All you need is a group of people to heal, in a situation where you could be stabbed in the back at any minute.

pvp-healin

A couple of the Feral bloggers I follow (such as Big Bear Butt) have recently started trying out healing. I also have a fair number of readers of this blog that are new to the druid class. So, I wanted to highlight this tactic for getting better at raid healing without having to get locked into a raid instance to see if you’ll make the cut.

One way to start healing is just to jump right into instances at level 80. However, if you really have no idea what all those healing buttons on your screen are for, some quick PvP practice healing a random group of noob DPS in Arathi Bain or Alterac Valley battle grounds is a good way to get used to what healing feels like.

It’ll even make you start to be good at watching your own health bar and paying attention to your surroundings; while also dealing with people running out of range, and trying to keep people topped off while they’re taking a beating… all at the same time! It’s a low risk environment to practice healing, and in most battleground pugs, there aren’t many people who actually want to heal there, so you’ll be a welcome force that tags along behind people. It will also help you with things like testing to see whether or not your bars are going to have the right information on them, or if you really feel like something is wrong with your UI.

Of course, the only way to learn the boss fights is to practice those fights. However, just for getting used to the healing spells and techniques you want to use, you can practice that part of it anywhere. If you are better at making the healing part more automatic (IE. my spaceship knows the right way to go), then you’ll have more attention resources that you can allocate to other things like moving out of the fire.

Posted in Leveling, Player Versus Player, Restoration Healing Trees

An interesting Blue perspective on PvP balance

On the damage dealing forums, GC posted a general statement about PvP balance, that I thought was interesting.

Having all specs viable in PvP is a goal, but it’s a long term goal. It’s more important that every class has at least one PvP option.  Having all specs viable in PvE is also a goal, and we’re a little closer on that one, but not quite there yet.  PvP is harder to balance, which should be no surprise to anyone. When to make a change to PvE you often only affect one class or spec. When you make a change to PvP, you affect everyone.

This means that since tree form is almost always good in arena, and the druid class is represented in arena as a whole, having all 3 druid specs be pvp viable isn’t a primary short-term goal. Thinking in terms of having to balance 10 classes with 3 specs each, having 30 specs to worry about is a LOT of work. It’s hard enough getting some classes (as a whole) to be well represented in the first place…

In the long-term, the good news is that moonkin should get attention they need to be viable. I mean, they have buffed things like innervate and typhoon to try and help moonkin pvp (which has probably helped a little).

I tend to spend a lot of time talking about moonkin pvp here, mostly because it’s one of the weakest areas of the druid class (in my opinion).  Feral pvp could also use some attention, as well.

The class-based approach to PvP balance makes sense, and I’m not really going to disagree with it. In the end, the long term goal of having all class specs be represented in arena is a good goal. It’s not like balancing druids with other classes is easy, since we (ideally) should have 4 roles in PvE, and need 3 viable PvP specs, too!


Posted in Druid - General, Player Versus Player

Improved Barkskin: Explaination and suggestions

Okay, it has taken me a few days of watching the forums to get a really good handle on what’s going on with the improved barkskin change.

Originally, I thought the extra armor bonus would only be active when barkskin was (which made sense in my head). However, ghostcrawler clarified what the talent will do here:

The caster and travel form armor benefits occur if you have the talent even if Barkskin is not up.

While we were succesful getting Resto druids into tree form in Arena, we were a little too succesful. We’re not sure it’s fun for either the druid or the people trying to kill the druid to be locked in tree form all the time. This change will hopefully make the fights a little more dynamic.

Okay, so it’s a constant armor bonus for caster form and travel form for a 2 point investment, in addition to the original benefits (dispell protection  & more powerful barkskin damage reduction).

I think a lot of resto druids really wanted access to their crowd control tools (ie. cyclone) which can’t be cast in tree form. So, the armor bonus for caster form gives PvP trees a chance to not get instantly killed by melee the minute they shift out of form. Yay for resto druids. However, there is another point I need to emphasize when talking about this talent:

This new talent seems like something moonkin needed.

Right now, improved barkskin is super high in the restoration tree, and only restoration druids have access to it.

Seriously. What’s one of the worst parts of moonkin PvP? Having to shift out of moonkin form to heal and thus losing the armor bonus when you are out of moonkin form. If moonkin had more armor in caster form, then they could heal themselves without it being such a high risk of stunlock-death. So, the resto side of me thinks this is a great idea for encouraging resto druids to be able to shift out of tree form in arenas, but the moonkin side of me is incredibly jealous and confused about why resto keeps getting more and more survivability in heaps, wheras the moonkin pvp community has basically vanished due to lack of viability and survivability in general.

I think it would really help moonkin if this talent was low enough in the tree that they could pick it up, however that would cause problems for feral druid tanks who would pick up the extra barkskin bonus for tanking. I still think Improved Barkskin should be moved to the balance tree, probably where Brambles is (and then GC could take away Brambles from resto PvP and solve their thorns problem). Feral druids aren’t going to waste 12 points just for a 5% more powerful barkskin shield. This would make moonkin viable without hurting resto PvP in any serious way. So, why not make the switch?

I’m sure you guys are probably tired of me making so many posts about moonkin PvP, but I have a long-standing tradition of finding the weakest areas for druids and repeatedly asking for fixes for what I think is broken…

Posted in Moonkin Balance DPS, Player Versus Player, Restoration Healing Trees

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