May 082012

Lo, the blues have spoken, and it was good. (Thanks to everyone who linked this to me)

We’re not yet happy with the druid level 90 row. We still like the theme of it playing into the druid’s hybrid nature and we want to reassure you (which I think most of you already know) that druids won’t do lower damage or healing compared to other classes just because some other class has an unambiguous throughput increasing talent at level 90. Classes are balanced around their whole package.

Nonetheless, we want the bottom row of talents to be exciting. In the next (hopefully) build, you’ll see a few changes.

  • Disentanglement — no longer a talent. Shapeshifting for all druids just breaks roots.
  • Dream of Cenarius — increases damage spells by 70% (up from 30%).
  • Heart of the Wild — now also grants 6% passive Agility and Intellect.
  • Nature’s Vigil — replaces Disentanglement. Increases all damage and healing done by 30% for 30 sec, with a 3 min cooldown. While active, all healing spells also damage a nearby target for 50% of healing done, and all damage spells and abilities also heal a nearby friendly target for 50% of the damage done.

Let us know how they feel once you get a chance to try them.

I’ll have a full column up with lots of analysis and such this weekend, but wanted to toss this out now. My quick thoughts as I’m headed to work:

  • 6% passive buff from HoTW is pretty close to +6% DPS, at least for feral. The actual number isn’t important, what’s important will be how it measures against an NV used during Berserk/CA/Incarnation. Being able to stack cooldowns like that could cause some…QQ issues.
  • DoC is still a DPS loss for balance; feral is dependent on how it interacts with Rip. I’d be a bit happier with it if it added a line saying “your next heal will not shift you out of form” but I think it’s the weak sister of the 3.

Feel free to add your comments; I’ll try to respond tonight.

 Posted by at 7:17 am

  12 Responses to “Level 90 Talent Redesign”

  1. DoC is still weaker, but the problem is that the playstyle from the talent ends up being obnoxious if you have to rotate heals into your rotation to have a DPS increase.

    They could also make it such that some of our CDs won’t stack.

  2. The issue I still have with DoC and HotW is that they’re based on role-shifting, which breaks encounters. You really can’t argue that they don’t – a 10-man raid with multiple Druids essentially has additional healers or tanks on-demand in the middle of a fight, which WILL lead to stacking for world-first DPS races or healing checks and so on.
    Role-shifting talents are also a) bad for T6 (why did I level all the way to 90 to get a talent that forces me into another role?) and b) not fun. Sure, once in an expansion you MIGHT save your raid with HotW, but you’ll frequently be called upon to stop your main job (be that DPS or healing, I can’t see tanks being asked to take HotW) and perform a different job that you have specifically specced NOT to perform. I made Cantor in Vanilla to play as Feral; I don’t WANT to heal for 45 seconds. I don’t mind throwing a Tranquility out every now and then, but stopping and spamming heals? No.

    These role-shifting talents need to change to be focused more on off-healing, as the new Nature’s Vigil is. By that, I mean that you can use the talent and be able to offer up healing or DPS without stopping the role that you’re meant to be doing. For example, you could have them look more like:

    Talent 1, 3m cooldown/20s duration: (Feral) Your finishing moves to apply Rejuvenation to the lowest health party members in your raid. Number of people affected are equal to the number of CPs used to activate the finishing move.

    Talent 2, passive: your DoT ticks splash healing equal to 50% of the damage they deal to the lowest health party or raid member within 40 yards; your HoT ticks splash damage equal to 50% of the healing they deal blah blah blah.

    Talent 3, 2m cooldown: instantly heals the 5 lowest health party or raid members for X (fairly significant amount, maybe equal to 75% of a Rejuvenation).

    • “…based on role-shifting, which breaks encounters.”

      I think this point is arguable, though I’ll probably write up a whole entire post about it. Most of the heroic fights have tight enrage timers, so you can’t HOTW a DPS, and most burst DPS checks are accompanied by a burst HPS check as well.

  3. At 50% boost DoC would’ve been DPS neutral for balance. At 70% boost it’s a dps gain when used optimally to boost a moonfire.

    The cost: Delaying our eclipse rotation by the cast of an HT.

    The benefit: A 70% boost to a spell that is worth about 10% of our damage in a full eclipse cycle.

    It’s a net win.

    • Sorry Hercdeisel, still not a DPS boost for Moonkin. See link to Mummers post. Having already done the math prior to the announcement he determined for any DPS boost you would need over a 100% buff to the next ability.

      That said I am very pleased with the changes. I will enjoy not being mage food anymore (I am not great at pvp to start with). I still think that MotW will break 10 man encounters, but with something passive built in, it may be viable for some fights outside of Feral + Air Phase. Between that and Vigil we have a compelling choice per fight which is great.

      • sure, he says that, and of course he’s got credentials, but I’d love to see the math. Do you think losing 2.5 seconds out of a 44second rotation is more than a 7% dps loss?

        • in short if you use the opportunity cost of a starfire, he’s right. But that’s not the right way to think about the opportunity cost.

        • In fact, I believe if you cast Healing Touch as the first spell under eclipse, then moonfire, and that’s the only rotational change you make (which also means 1 more uneclipsed Starfire will be cast without nature’s grace, under a base rotation, you’re adding about 2% DPS. If you do the same thing under solar, and add (for the sake of argument) two non-NG’d uneclipsed wraths, you add very near 4%.

          That 4% dps increase? It’s not bad at all, right in the neighborhood of Incarnation if you don’t sync it properly with Celestial Alignment. SotF is worth around a 5-6% boost, same for Incarnation when it’s synced properly with Celestial Alignment.

        • Not to burst your bubble, but it won’t surprise me if the damage buff ends up only applying to non-DoTs (or just to the first DoT tick, possibly). I will be very surprised if DoC maths out as optimal in a PvE situation, as it falls pretty clearly into the “contorted PvE rotations we don’t want to force players to use” lane.

          PvP is a much more interesting choice, though that, as always, depends on where the healing< ->burst damage balance is.

          • I’d agree with you in the context of Starfall. Starfall does updaters live. Moonfire and Sunfire, however, keep refreshing with whatever buffs were on them when cast. If DoC apples to MF/SuF at all it will likely not just apply to the DD. The only similar case where a buff cast on M/SuF didn’t stay for the duration of the DoT t can think of would be the T11 4pc, but crit updates live on our DoTs already anyway.

            In any case, a ~5% damage bonus would be in line with the other two talents on the tier, even if it would be an ugly way to get it.

  4. Having an option and being “forced” to do something are worlds apart. If you really rolled a Feral in vanilla and you were in any kind of serious raid group you were “forced” not to raid. GC explicitly stated we will not be balanced around these options, that’s not “forced” unless you’re in a cutting edge group, or do you think having gem sockets “forces” you to gem? Heck you could play feral with a fist weapon or a dagger but if you want to play well you are “forced” to use a staff or a polearm.

  5. […] lacking in merit, and I’d like to discuss here. I think Cantor’s comment from my last post summarizes the argument […]

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