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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

Please don’t re-nerf innervate.

There has been many tears spilled on the WoW forums regarding druids in Arena PvP. Some think they are too hard to kill. Others have decided that innervate is the root of all evil, and have started crusades against my beloved mana regen spell.

Most of what gets posted in “nerf innervate” threads is a LOT of missinformation, general bad forum flavor, and mostly just frustrate me to no end.

While resto druids may be powerful for PvP, it’s not innervate (alone) that makes them powerful. Nerfing the amount of mana returned by innervate would have these consequences:

  1. Make moonkin even worse for PvP
  2. Make hard-mode Ulduar content even harder (as all the druid specs that are able to use innervate on the casters would have less powerful tools)
  3. Generally make resto druids and moonkin have worse PvE raiding mana problems in instances past Ulduar – where our mana pools get bigger and innervate doesn’t get more powerful.
  4. Most importantly –  it would not have any effect on resto arena 2v2 representation that people are QQ’ing about

Something like reducing some of the armor buff from tree form, or changing/removing improved barkskin would have an effect on resto druid PvP, and would have little-to-no effect on the PvE druids, OR moonkin PvE.

We know that balance druids need survivability more than resto druids, so it would be easy to move some version of improved barkskin to the balance tree & remove it from the resto tree. This would force resto arena druids to have to use Line of Sight to help prevent dispells on innervate & other abilities, which should be possible in a lot of the arena settings.

Please don’t nerf PvE resto druids because of PvP. Please don’t nerf moonkin PvP because of resto PvP.

Oh, and have a happy Memorial day!

Posted in Druid - General, Player Versus Player

Thorns nerfed – moonkin further crippled by a resto “fix”

So, after spending all last night and today working on my UI project, I seem to have missed a hotfix that went into the game recently:

The bonus damage from spell power on the Druid ability Thorns has been reduced by half.

This spell power change also effects paladins’ retribution aura. Well crud. I’d go into a long post about how moonkin PvP already sucks, but I JUST finished doing that. Somehow, no one really thought about how changing thorns was going to hurt the few moonkin who were actually desired for any sort of Arena team. That’s the only real reason why I’m being so dramatic-sounding with this post.

Just because restoration druids are powerful, that doesn’t mean moonkin need to be hurt AGAIN by changes designed to balance our resto counterparts. It’s not like moonkin were living long enough for that extra damage to make a huge difference, however for the moonkin who were surviving, the reflective damage was probably about the only damage moonkin are actually doing in PVP half the time. Moonkin don’t even have access to the dispel protection given to resto druids through improved barkskin.

If Blizzard wants to balance resto druids for PvP, then they need to give improved barkskin (in some version) to moonkin druids instead of resto druids. Or, put improved barkskin where brambles is, and move brambles further up the balance tree to put it out of reach of resto druids.

Simply nerfing the only real anti-melee ability anyone had doesn’t really seem like it’s going to fix anything.

Posted in Moonkin Balance DPS, Player Versus Player


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