The Eclipsed Moonkin Part 2 – What Blizz Haven’t Pursued

 

Sometimes just listing the problems is a good way to stay in focus. Mostly when they are many and you’ve thought about the whole scenario for too long.

Considering historical data and the current state of the art about moonkins in both Live and MoP Beta, how do things look? What are the major issues?

 

1) Single target and AoE rotations are boring;

2) We have no viable means of doing dps while moving;

3) Eclipse contributes with too much of our damage;

4) Solar and Lunar eclipses are the same.

 

Just out of comparison, I’ll list the 4 points I come up with in “The Eclipsed Moonkin” Part 1:

-          The rotation is boring;

-          We have few tools to play with;

-          We don’t have dps for movement heavy situations. Lunar Shower is not attractive;

-          We have close to no burst dps, nor any executes.

It is nice to notice that now at least there are more tools to play with. Those come from both spec spells like CA and AC, but also from talents (Incarnation, FoN, WC, etc).

Sadly the others pretty much remain the same, despite of the different wording. Lets take a more detailed look on things:

 

1) Single target and AoE rotations are boring.

Cast AC til Eclipse before the pull. DoT, Starfall then keep Nuking. Starsurge procs on cooldown.

CA is available, you are at zero eclipse energy? Cast it. After that keep Nuking until next Eclipse.

Repeat. This is everything we have to deal with.

AC pre-fight, DoTs, Starfall and Nukes are mechanical. After a while, your fingers will do it for you without your brain even noticing. Ss procs are warned by big built-in Power Auras animation. Funny thing is, watch Ss to get out of cooldown by NOT procc’ing Shooting Stars is what requires more attention.

Damn.

There is some tiny decisions about using CA on zero Energy, however. Will you need the “burst” in a few minutes? Then save it. Won’t need the “burst”? Do it.

Not what I consider entertaining. To be very honest, I’ve literally slept during fights on Beta.

 

2) We have no viable means of doing dps while moving.

Well, we do. Lunar Shower. This is a treacherous, vicious mechanic to use. It will lead you to mistakenly overwrite an Eclipsed DoT with a weaker, uneclipsed one. Also, just clipping your DoTs is already a dps loss per se.

 

3) Eclipse contributes with too much of our damage.

With that in mind, it is easy to notice that:

In PvE, being out of eclipse for a particular boss phase or action is horrible. This is why they had to give us Celestial Alignment: add water, heat for 3 mins and you get instant fake double-eclipse.

In PvP, Celestial Alignment puts a nice patch over the problem. The thing is, once this shiny new toy is locked under the 3 minute cooldown, you have to rely again on your slow casts to fill that blue/orange energy bar under your portrait. Yeah, in PvP. Dream about it.

In PvE we might have more time to maneuver the Eclipse bar back to one of the ends between burn phases. But it obviously isn’t the case for PvP. Also, if you fail to maneuver this transatlantic in PvE, and CA is on cooldown, your dps goes to the bottom like a rock.

It is also important to notice that we don’t have something separated to serve as our burst tool. Our burst is reaching eclipse, which is something we regularly do, many times, during a fight. In Cata, during burns, an Arcane Mage stops the regular, conservative rotation and burn all the mana. So he can be balanced about just behaving like that for burn situations.

We have to be balanced around having this burst potential happening all the time, from time to time, in an “unstoppable” rhythm (unless we cast the “wrong” spell to stop it). I’m not good at theorycrafting or general class balance, but I can see this being a balance issue.

 

4) Solar and Lunar eclipses are the same.

Ok, this might sound subjective, superfluous, etc. But if Eclipses are the same, we could scratch out one half of it and just go from zero Eclipse energy to Lunar and back. Why do we need the Sun? To cast spells that do the same thing, but have a different color? The best thing I can say is:

“Eclipses should be different. I feel it in my guts. Not by accident, like what happens in Solar Cleave. By design.”

I am happy to see that many, many druids also feel the same way right now in MoP Beta forums. As I think of it, maybe we just got too used to having Solar so much better than Lunar that this perceived need of Eclipse differentiation just got stuck within our mindset.

I don’t care. Make them different. :) Amazing things come into being by accident. This might be one good example. But do it right. Make Solar be meaningful for something, and Lunar being badass for something else. Or maybe make them both awesome for the same thing, but in completely different ways.

With the philosophy that is being used in the Talents design, I honestly can’t understand how can Blizz pass an opportunity to present us a meaningful choice like that.

 

Well, this post is already long enough.

Did I forgot anything?

What is your opinion about moonkin current state?

 

If it was up to you, what would you do?

 

- FakeGameDesigner

Mechanic or Resource?

As, one might have noticed by now, I am a big enthusiast of discussing things. I adore to deeply reflect about what someone just said, think of the argument’s strengths and explain perceived flaws. I love to receive counter-arguments and further explanation on something I wasn’t quite able to grasp. Maybe it is because my scientist formation brainwashed me to dig this kinda thing, maybe I am just weird. ;)

Something that got my gaze lately was the two different ways people address to Eclipse, that little blue and yellow bar that moonkins stare like perverts. I believe any reader is already quite familiar with it, but just to emphasize, this bar allow us to proc Lunar and Solar Eclipses. During said procs, our damage is increased, a lot.

The most common term I see being used to describe Eclipse is “RESOURCE”. So far,
I disagree with this common usage. While Eclipse uses “energy” to move the pointer and attune you to the powers of An’she or Elune, I don’t think that this energy is in no way close to it’s Rogue homonymous.

Why? Well, because I believe a resource is something you SPEND. Rogues spend energy to use their skills. We do not spend Eclipse Energy on anything at all.

So, Fakegamedesigner, how do you see Eclipse?

To me, it is a MECHANIC. Pretty much like our Rogue friend’s Combo Points. Combo points are no cost to perform finishing moves, but they empower finishing moves.

But the line between Resources and Mechanics is not always that clear. OMG, Death Knights of course. Do they have 2 resources, since both runes and runic power act as costs to their skills? Or are runes simply a way to unlock their moves, hence being a mechanic?

What about Pallies with both Mana and Holy Power? In this particular case, I believe that it is indeed a dual Resource system.

Well… Mad Scientist white lab coat on, lets go back to Eclipse a bit.

People right now complain about how MoP moonkin rotation seems dull. You pretty much cast a DoT, one of your nukes, proc Eclipse, cast another (kinda, it is the same with different color and kind of damage) DoT and cast your other nuke till next Eclipse. Maybe add Starfall in both ends.

Dull.

As a mean give us more control over Eclipse and to make it a little more exciting, GC announced Astral Communion, a brand new spell that allows you to channel and gain up to 100 Eclipse Energy.

Arguably, it gives us more to think about during combat, and most importantly, might serve as a tool to control Dps burst. There is no cooldown currently, so we can start fights in Eclipse, and during fights if we botch at timing Eclipse right, we just stop nuking and channel Astral Communion for 5 sec tops until we reach Eclipse.

Seems cool. Might lead to weird minmaxing, but let the theorycrafters think about that.

What I see is a shinny, yummy, almost indecent Eclipse Energy power plant. So, what to do with this Eclipse Energy battery besides fixing a screwed timing?

TURN ECLIPSE ENERGY INTO A RESOURCE AS WELL.

Mwa-hahahahhaha!!!

Ok, back to normality *ahem*.

We still have other issues besides control over Eclipse procs. As an incredibly obvious example, the closest thing to a movement dps tool we ever got was Lunar Shower.

What I have growing inside my greenhouse outside the Lab are:

Yup, it is from Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors. If you remember this cartoon, dude, you are old.

You know what? If you remember the name of the bad guy growing on the vase you get a cookie.

Time is up. SAW BOSS!!!

Now back to my beloved evil creations.

 

Dps while moving:

 

Celestial Arch

Cost: 20 Eclipse Energy
You can cast Wrath and Starfire while moving for 5 sec.

——————————-

 

Survivability problems?

 

Cosmic Warden
Cost: 35 Eclipse Energy
Increase Moonkin Form damage reduction by 15% and prevents spell interruption.

—————————-

 

It would address two major problems, it would involve an interesting decision (Can I afford loosing that much Eclipse Energy?) and would give us more to do and to manage in our dull rotation.

If anything gets wrong, there is always our new Astral Communion to recharge us up!

Just a mechanic? Or both Mechanic and Resource?

Thoughts?

What would you do?

-Fakegamedesigner

Mush mush mush BOOM!

Hello folks. This will be a quick post.

Today GC posted on the Beta Forums that Wild Mushroom will not be affected by Eclipse, and that it is something supposed to be used like “plant them down and eventually the need will arise”.

This means that it won’t be “rotational”. We will use Hurricane/Astral Storm for AoEs and that is it.

Well, if WM will not belong to an AoE rotation, it sounds more like a burst cooldown. So I started to think about how this cooldown should work.

What I got is:

“Cooldown: one minute for each Mushroom detonated. Maximum of 6 mushrooms.”

Maybe I went crazy on the maximum number of mushrooms down. But this dynamic cooldown would allow us to use 1 mushroom every minute, if we need spot heals (remind me of Monks healing spheres) or to place, lets say, 3 down, blow them and wait 3 minutes to regain access to it.

Please populate the comments with your impressions!

- Fakegamedesigner

I like to move it move it! MOVE IT!

First of all, sorry about the follow up from my last entry. It is still on the oven. I’ve already worked the data, and yes, Druids are not versatile at all compared to pallies and monks. But I’ll give you proof in a week, tops.

Now for today’s entertainment I decided to give another try on the MoP Talents. As the name of this post suggests, my motivation was to experiment the relocation of our shapeshifting tier to somewhere else besides Tier 6.

While we feel like this to move it move it…

… Blizz is like that:

You know what? Blizz probably has a good reason to do so. Blizz probably was told, on that last huge survey, by many many players, that Druids wanted to change roles during combat.

How it got implemented, however, is the main issue. I agree with most of my Druid comrades that a final tier HAS to affect your main role. It would be terribly weird if it doesn’t. And to be quite honest, the way Blizz gave up and altered her original design intent was not elegant in my modest opinion. Looks like Blizz just cracked under pressure.

Blizzard hybridized the hybrid tier.

I mean, now Tier 6 is a mix between off-role and on-role performance.

… Seriously? To get HotW and forget it exists just because of the passive output boost?

As many of us Druids have suggested on the forums (for quite a while now) I have reverted back the shapeshift tier to just off-role performance and relocated it. This is how things look now:

Tier 1: Cat – Movement
Tier 2: Caster – Survivability
Tier 3: Bear – CC
Tier 4: Moonkin – Management
Tier 5: Shapeshifting – off role performance only
Tier 6: Get one cool thing from one of the old 3 specs and give it to all druids.

And, of course, the link to the talent grid so you can check the details and all the nice icons I took forever to choose. :)

(Thanks again Longwritter for building it!)

As usual, your constructive feedback is greatly appreciated!

- Fakegamedesigner

Mad Science: Druids Proven to Be the Least Hybrid Class!

Welcome readers to another experiment on Druid class design. On this blog, I’ll be more contemplative. I had this hunch about Druids while checking WoWhead MoP talent calculator. It took me a bit, and only had time to analyze a small part of the database (sorry about the sensationalist title, btw). But the results are already interesting.

I was thinking about hybridism and the whole discussion around Heart of the Wild talent. In short, it is meant to put us in conditions to perform off-roles during 45 sec.

The thing is the old talent description has as long as the Bible, because it had to introduce so many band-aids to make the off-role viable.

I had a suspicion that this off-role viability was greatly influenced by active and passive skills out of reach, due to Blizzard’s new division of Class Skills and Spec Skills. Just as a quick example, all Druids have access to Rejuvenation, Healing Touch and Tranquility – they are Class healing Skills (Spells, rather). But a Balance Druid will never have access to Lifebloom, since it is a Restoration Spec Skill. (Note: I am quite aware of the role that Nurturing and Killer Instincs play in off-role performance. They will be widely discussed on my next blog entry.)

I would like to stress this first assumption I had:

“Performing an off-role is limited by the lack passive and active skills out of reach.”

This would imply my second assumption:

“If a Class has more role specific skills available as Class Skills than skills locked out of reach as Spec Skills, this class is more versatile (i.e. more Hybrid).”

Maybe an example is necessary.

Flash of Light is an important Healing spell, which Holy Paladins actually put to use. It is a vital integrant of their main role rotation – depending on how things are going (triage healing ftw). However, it is a Class Skill, meaning it is available to Retribution and Protection Paladins as well. The same could be said about Divine Shield. Signature spell for a Protection Paladin, but a Class Skill nevertheless, available to Holy and Retribution Paladins as well.


So, my methodology was:

1)      Identify Skills that are vital for a given combat specialization. As an example, Arcane Missile is signature for an Arcane Mage, while Teleport: Dalaran is not;

2)      Mark those Skills as Class Skills or Spec Skills;

3)      Count each type and the Total of vital Skills (adding both Class and Spec Skills);

4)      Calculating the % of vital Skills that are available to all combat specializations (i.e. # of vital Class Skills/Total)

5)      The resulting % was considered, based on the 2 assumptions early mentioned, an indicator of Hybrid potential.

Well, what have I found? Druids look bad. Really bad. Here are my results:

Druid

Balance

 

Feral

 

Guardian

 

Restoration

Class Skills

3

Class Skills

6

Class Skills

6

Class Skills

3

Spec Skills

15

Spec Skills

9

Spec Skills

10

Spec Skills

18

Total

18

Total

15

Total

16

Total

21

%

17

%

40

%

38

%

14

Average %

27

Mage

Arcane

 

Fire

 

Frost

Class Skills

5

Class Skills

4

Class Skills

5

Spec Skills

6

Spec Skills

7

Spec Skills

7

Total

11

Total

11

Total

12

%

45

%

36

%

42

Average %

41

Paladin

Holy

 

Protection

 

Retribution

Class Skills

10

Class Skills

12

Class Skills

9

Spec Skills

16

Spec Skills

13

Spec Skills

12

Total

26

Total

25

Total

21

%

38

%

48

%

43

Average %

43

Notice that, just for kicks, I analyzed Mages, that don’t fit either the classic Hybrid description “being able to perform multiple roles whithout changing combat specialization” nor the most derived one “being able to perform multiple roles if changing the combat specialization”. But it can be seen as filling two purposes here: it still indicates versatility (i.e. a mob is immune to Fire, you can cast an Arcane spell and kill it), and function as a control group. How much versatility between specs does a pure class have?

On this tiny tiny sample size, the pure class showed a Hybrid / Versatility potential comparable to the other classical hybrid class studied – Mages have an average of 41% of their vital spells available to all specs, and Paladins have 43%.

Druids, in average, have 27% of their vital spells available to all combat specializations.

Druids, who are being designed to “be hybrids again”, in Blizzard’s words.

I think it might indicate a new approach to the whole hybrid class design thing. A better approach than consuming an entire talent tier to bake in hybridization. Especially if we are talking about our last talent tier.

Of course, I have a suggestion already designed, and I’ll post in a couple of days. I don’t want to overwhelm you guys with too much info. Plus, I would LOVE feedback based on the present blog entry. It will, of course, help me to polish my suggested design.

Do you see any mistakes? What do you think about it?

- Fakegamedesigner

Everyone gets a Tranquility!

I was wondering something, and I want your opinions.

Currently we have Tranquility as a powerful Class Skill healing cooldown. All druids can pop Tranquility to help on heals if needed. But the same is not true about our other roles.

I think it might be an improvement for Druid design in MoP if the other specs got a powerful, long cooldown similar to Tranquility, because it would make the hybrid flavor easier to design.

Lets imagine 3 new Class Skills:

 

Frenzy

29 energy

8 min Cooldown

Increases Melee damage of 5 nearby allies with lower attack power. Lasts 8 sec.

———————————

Trance

29% of base mana

8 min Cooldown

Increases Spell damage of 5 nearby allies with lower spellpower. Lasts 8 sec.

——————————-

Territoriality

29 Rage

8 min Cooldown

Reduces damage taken of 5 nearby allies with lowest health. Lasts 8 sec.

—————————–

Now, imagine Dream of Cenarius (people, this is just an example!) like this:

 

Dream of Cenarius

Frenzy and Trance increase your healing done by 30% for 10 sec.

Territoriality and Tranquility increase your damage done by 30% for 10 sec.

Oh, so nice of you! You just stopped healing to help up burning the boss! Here, take some 30% healing boost with you.

Does it make sense? Do you think it would be a reasonable hybrid talent?

What would you do?

-Fakegamedesigner

Mad Science: MoP Druid Talents Experiment

Hello there readers!

As promised, I’ll release an attempt for new and reworked Druid talents.

But first I would like to congratulate Longwriter for his amazing tool to design MoP talent “grids”, as he would call them.

You should TOTALLY check it out: http://mop-talent-grid-maker.appspot.com/

I would also like to thank Lissanna for her inspiration and guidance to build this talent tree.

Go take a look so I can explain changes and news a bit.

http://mop-talent-grid-maker.appspot.com/talentgridmaker?theAction=view&gridId=40001

(Note: I’ll not spoil it 100% so you can have the pleasure to look yourself. :D)

First alteration lies in Displacer Beast. Currently on Beta DB is just a bad version of Blink. I’ve drawn inspiration from the original AD&D Displacer Panther, which exact location cannot be precisely seen. So, in this version, if you use an active skill to enhance your movement speed, you will rock!

If you look closely at Wild Charge, you will see some sweetness going on. Moonkins and Resto, I’m looking at you!

Cenarion Ward was altered because it worked like Living Seed, blowing after you receive the huge strike. It now has a brand new function. I’ll admit that it might be a little bit OP, and I would love feedback on it.

Tier 3 is all that is left of our 2 CC tiers. While I’ve kept Ursol’s Vortex and Faerie Swarm, I’ve altered Mass Entanglement so it became barely useful.

The new Tier 4 is about Shapeshifting! But don’t worry, it doesn’t suck as much as Blizzard’s. There are some bold experiments there, which means feedback is more than appreciated again. HotW suffered a complete overhaul. DoC a light one, and Archdruidism is a brand new off-role performance talent. Go check them! :D

Tier 5 is an output tier that is almost 100% new. No spoilers, go read them.

Tier 6 has SotF, our lazy output enhancer talent, FoN and Might of the Ancients. This last talent is Incarnation with a new flavor. I went extreme on Blizzcon explanation that this tier was supposed to grab one skill from each Druid spec, and Incarnation was “giving ToL for everyone”. Read the talent and you will agree with me that NOW it provides ToL for everyone.

Hope you guys like it!

- Fakegamedesigner

The Eclipsed Moonkin – What Blizz Won’t Deliver

Ok, this post is being written as an escape tool for my sore heart, after the latest Mists of Pandaria beta build. Right now, I can’t help myself but think that Blizz either don’t know what to do with Moonkins, or we just can’t grasp what this is so far.

Well, I’ll tell you what I want for my spec. Maybe on a future entry, I’ll tell what I want for our talent “tree” as well.

Well… release the kraken.

First off, we would need to revise how our spells work right now on Beta.

We have one might morphing (power ranged?) DoT, Moonfire/Sunfire. It recently had its base damage nerfed and the duration shortened. But this is not relevant. The relevant part for this post is what the DoTs do for us. 1st, they provide damage. Second, they allow us to fish Shooting Stars procs. Shooting Stars procs make our Starsurge, a spellstorm nuke, to become instant. This means additional damage and, most importantly, +20 Eclipse energy.

TL;DR: Our DoTs do damage and make our Eclipse energy gain be more random.

We also have 3 hard cast nukes: Wrath, Starfire and Starsurge. Right now they fill 2 roles: being our only sources of direct damage and building up Eclipse energy. At beta, Wrath provides 15 Lunar energy, while Starsurge and Starfire both provide 20 Solar energy.

TL;DR: These 3 spells fill both roles as main source of direct damage and Eclipse energy builders.

We have one baseline cooldown called Celestial Alignment, that instantly puts us on fake double eclipse state and sets our Eclipse energy to zero, plus preventing energy gain for a while. It is important to notice that this allows Moonfire and Sunfire to be applied at once.

TL;DR: Press Celestial Alignment at zero Eclipse energy or if you fail to time eclipse.

Last, but not least, we have AoEs. Well. Sorta. Kinda. Well…

Starfall has always being meant for filling 2 roles: AoE during Lunar and dps boost during single target situations.

Wild Mushrooms is a powerful AoE spell. However, since our mobile dps sucks so hard, many moonkins use movement situations to plant 3 Mushrooms on the go. This way, as soon as Solar is up, BOOM!

Hurricane/Astral Storm in Beta are supposed to be our reliable and powerful AoEs. They are actually one morphing spell like Moonfire/Sunfire, which means we always have an option appropriate to the Eclipse we have active.

Which make me think: damn, we have a TON of AoEs. One of them is Lunar-only (Starfall), one is Solar only (Mushrooms) and the third is a morphing spell, good for both Eclipses. It is fair to point that Shrooms are not sustained AoE dps, it is burst AoE dps. Let’s save this info for latter.

Now, what are our most common critics about Moonkin in Beta MoP?

1)      The rotation is boring.

2)      We have few tools to play with.

3)      We don’t have dps for movement heavy situations. Lunar Shower is not attractive.

4)      We have close to no burst dps, nor any executes.

Well… what would I do?

I would give Starfall a rework and a new function. I would also create a Solar counterpart for it, with the same function. At last, I would rework Shooting Stars passive spec skill.

Note: I’m suggesting this alteration while trying to keep in mind the impression that a good balance druid is the one that knows how to time and manage Eclipse wisely.

Let’s take a look:

————————————-

SPELLS:

Sunfire/Moonfire – DoTs, periodic crit can proc Shooting Stars for instant Starsurge.

Wrath – Provides 15 Lunar energy. The main function now is to charge Lunar Eclipse.

Starfire – Provides 20 Solar Energy. Main function now is to charge Solar Eclipse.

Starsurge – Provides 20 Solar or Lunar Energy. Make energy gains more random through Shooting Stars talent.

Solar Flare – NEW SPELL. Provides heavy single target nature damage while generating considerably less Lunar energy than Wrath (maybe 10 Lunar energy).

Starfall – REWORKED SPELL. Provides heavy channeled, single target arcane damage while generating considerably less Solar energy than Starfire (maybe 15 Solar energy).

Hurricane and Mushrooms – Only AoEs available (calm down). Wild Mushroom: Detonate generates 5 Lunar energy and Hurricane generates 10 Lunar energy.

————————————-

Passive Spec Skill:

Shooting Stars (An AMAZING suggestion provided by Falerin in Beta Classes Forum!)

You have a 20% chance when you deal critical periodic damage with your Moonfire or Sunfire to instantly reset the cooldown of your Starsurge and generate a stack of Shooting Star. Your next cast of Starsurge to be instant and consume a stack. Max 3 stacks.

————————————-

With just these changes in mind, we would already have a better scenario:

We would have our normal rotation, but upon entering Eclipse we would have the option to change to a second, more optimal, spell that provides less Eclipse energy (keeps us longer in Eclipse) and do a bit more damage, or to hush through it by not changing to the new spells. Our rotation is no longer boring! :D There are decisions to be made.

Plus, stacked Shooting Star procs would allow more control over Eclipse, since we could use repeated instant Starsurges to get the Eclipse bar moving faster.

Also, a flurry of instant Starsurges can be used both as dps on the move and as burst dps for emergencies.

We just gained more tools, more options and more control over Eclipse.

But what about our AoE? We lost Starfall and Arcane Storm! And why Solar Flare does just a bit more damage than Wrath, while the new Starfall does a lot more damage than Starfire?

Well, because in this design we are supposed to be in Lunar for single target dps situations and in Solar for AoE situations. This is what is perceived as an indicator of a good moonkin player: the ability to use the right Eclipse at the right time for the right scenario. This concept is vital for understanding the design I’m proposing.

Example: Yor’sahj. A Dark Globule (Black Slime) shows up and will be absorbed, because the raid leader commanded the Shadowed Globule (Purple Slime) to be burned down. You use Lunar to burn Purple Slime, bursting stacked Starsurges right after leaving Lunar to quickly reach Solar, and then unleash Solar AoE Hell at the adds summoned by Black Slime with Shrooms and Hurricane.

If anything goes terribly wrong or for unpredictable scenarios (adds showing up without warning, sudden burn phases), there is always Celestial Alignment.

I would like to stress that Starfall has always been used by Moonkins as both an AoE and a single-target damage enhancer. But since it got the splash damage removed, it doesn’t actually fulfill the AoE niche so well. Plus, we already have Hurricane and Mushrooms as 2 nice AoEs (even better, one for standing still and one that can be used on the move). I really think we can redirect Starfall for single targeting purposes without any harm done.

The only real concern I have is how will the 3 stacked Shooting Star procs behave in PvP. Too bursty? Honestly, I don’t think so. The most dangerous situation would obviously be 3 stacks being shot repeatedly at someone. But notice that to be able to make this, one would had to previously use of Moonfire/Sunfire to fish the stacks, and save for the burst purpose instead of casting mobility in a PvP scenario, which seems possible but not usual.

Plus, it would require 3 Starsurge crits in a row to one shot a player with no resilience, which is improbable (depending on Crit Chance) and unusual, since players in arenas and BGs tend to wear their resilience gear. ;)

Speaking of burst, what about an execute? Maybe it is an overkill to ask for it in this design, one could argue that Lunar single target dps is already spiky enough. But if totally desired, this is what I would suggest:

————————————-

Shooting Stars

You have a 20% chance when you deal critical periodic damage with your Moonfire or Sunfire to instantly reset the cooldown of your Starsurge and generate a stack of Shooting Star. Your next cast of Starsurge to be instant and consume a stack. Max 3 stacks. The chance for critical periodic damage to generate a stack is 50% on targets below 25% health.

————————————-

We would Starsurge moribund bastards to the ground with lots of Shooting Star procs! :D

Thoughts?

What would you change in this experiment?

Any flaws to fix?

- Fakegamedesigner

Symbiosis!

Hey peeps! Long time no see!

I also got caught on the Symbiosis hype that is trending in WoW Forums and blogs. Hands on the steering wheel, foot on the gas, here we go!

At first, I think it is pretty clear to assume everyone knows Symbiosis will be a pain for everyone in raids. Raid leaders will have a nightmarish time if they decide to meddle in the distribution, druids will get poked one million times if they can provide anything too interesting for someone, and of course people will compete each other for the skill traded.

So, the first thing I addressed on this experiment in Symbiosis was to make it easily accepted. The way I did that was to make Symbiosis buff a class skill instead of trading them. If it enhances something that every spec uses, and something they ALREADY use in a regular basis, there is no drama. They will be happy to be made a bit stronger, and don’t have to worry about something new on their bars.

Second, getting a semi-useless utility SUCKS. Common, getting Mirror Image at level 87, while mages get it on lvl 47? Really?

“Oh, but you get 10 skills, not just one.”

10 times zero equals zero, in my opinion. Ok, maybe I’m overreacting, since Moonkins really got the short end of the stick when it comes to Symbiosis. But I believe we can make sure we get spells that are more druidish, that really feel they are the product of a symbiotic relationship between the 2 classes.

Sadly, I had not enough time to fully fill the skill chart. It opens, however, a nice opportunity for us to exercise creativity! What would you do? You already know the rules:

1)      The other class gets on of its spells/skills enhanced. Notice that the Symbiosis is determined by class instead of spec, so choose spells/skills that all specs uses.

2)      The Druid gets a skill that is related with the skill the other class got enhanced. As an example, in the symbiotic relationship between DKs and Druids, they get their Ghoul traded by a Corrupted Treant, that is stronget and can heal the DK. Meanwhile, we gain the skill to summon an “Army of Fungus”. It imitates Army of the Dead, but it uses the fungoid humanoids like the ones we find inside Underbog, and they have skills that fit your role (an Army of Fungus of a Resto Druid would randomly cast weak heals like crazy, as an example).

3) Each skill gained by the druid should feel as powerful as the other lvl 87 skills that other classes gain.

Please notice that there is no strong obligation: Raise Dead is about dealing with a ghoul, Army of the Dead is about having many. But it is all about ghouls anyways, so it fits. Plus, fungus and decaying things fit well together, so (at least for me) the results of Symbiosis feel… well… natural.

Here it goes!

Class

Spell

Effect

Death Knight Gets

Corrupted Treant

Ghoul is replaced by Corrupted Treant, which is stronger than regular ghoul and heals the Death Knight.

Druid Gets

Army of Fungus

Summons shit ton of Underbog Lurker-like mobs.

Hunter Gets

Ancient Companion

Pet gets Ancient form that makes it stronger.

Druid Gets

Tame Spirits

Druids can tame Spirits, Elementals and similar (tamed elemental or spirit vanishes if killed or if the Symbiosis ends).

Mage Gets

Byway

Replaces Blink. If the Mage takes a Byway through the Dream, his mana is fully replenished.

Druid Gets

Teleport: Emerald Dream

The druid briefly (2 sec) enters the Emerald Dream, instantly recovering 30% life and mana (pretty much like Heroic Will).

Monk Gets

Living Statues

Instead of stones statues, you summon Ancient Animal Spirits that have stronger effects and can be moved to new locations.

Druid Gets

Feng Shui

The Druid can place Trees that alter the flow of energy in battle. Bamboo Tree drastically reduces threat of nearby allies (Guardian). Peach Tree removes all diseases, curses, venoms and magical effects when clicked (Resto). Sakura Tree doubles movement speed when clicked (Feral). Chrysanthemum blossoms increase effects of potions, brews and teas on nearby allies (Balance).

Paladin Gets

?

?

Druid Gets

?

?

Priest Gets

Soar

Replaces Levitate. Targets of Soar can cast while moving. Also if cast on himself, the Priest can move freely through the air.

Druid Gets

?

?

Rogues Gets

Insect Toxins

Your poisons works on your ranged skills.

Druid Gets

Venomous

Your periodic effects also have Neurotoxins (slower nerve response – bigger cooldowns), Necrotoxins (kills tissue – bigger periodic damage), Hemotoxins (numbness – reduces damage taken) and Mycotoxins (catalyst – increases spell damage taken), deppending on spec.

Shaman Gets

?

?

Druid Gets

?

?

Warlock Gets

Nightmare Knowledge

Your Healthstones also provide 10% mana.

Druid Gets

Fel Seeds

The druid can conjure Fel Seeds that change the % of health and Mana, Rage, Energy, Focus, Runic Power, etc on use.

Warrior Gets

Roaring

Your shouts and howls lasts 30% longer.

Druid Gets

Furious Roar

Increases the druid’s attacking and casting speed by 20% for 10 sec.

So, what do you think? I would love to hear feedback from this attempt, suggestions for the blank spots and for alterations, and brand new ideas for the spell!

If it was up to you, what would you do?

-FakeGameDesigner

Stand Tall, Basidiomycota!

Hello folks!

All the discussion that’s been brought to Beta Class forums by Lissanna made me wish my hands were on the steering wheel once again! But this time I’ll not be talking about Moonkins. This time, it’s all about heals!

It seems fitting to me that I’ll be discussing a Restoration spell that came from something that is fundamentally Balance: Wild Mushrooms. As you know, in Mists of Pandaria Resto Druids will get a healing version of Wild Mushrooms: Detonate, called Wild Mushrooms: Bloom. It has been suggested in WoW forums for a while, and Blizzard liked the idea (which is amazing btw).

However, the way WM works can be awkward for Resto Druids. As a moonkin, we can pre-cast 3 mushrooms before fights without any downside. We can also place 3 of them right before DBM warns us of a big pack of adds showing up during a boss fight, once again without hurting too much our job. When we are forced to move during combat, we can plant mushrooms on the go, compensating the time running around to our great benefit.

Resto Druids already have to look out for many things. First of all, there is Lifebloom on the tank. But one cannot think of Lifebloom without thinking of our Mastery: Harmony, that is dependent on direct heals. If I’m not mistaken, we have to refresh our Mastery with a direct heal once every 10 sec. In a mid-fight scenario, we will be casting a direct heal to keep Harmony up, at least one Rejuv, a Wild Growth when it fits, Swiftmend on cooldown and the rest depends on the situation at hand. Now, if we are talking about an AoE situation, where Wild Mushrooms: Bloom would shine, we need to add another 5 actions on the player’s part: click shrooms, place, place, place, bloom.

Do you think all that fits in 10 sec? It doesn’t, I dare say. Even if it does, it will be tight, awkward, won’t flow naturally.

Come on, healing job is stressful enough already.

So, what would I do?

MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!

Let’s go crazy:

First of all, Resto version of Wild Mushroom is a single, and huge, shroom. Big like the ones that this Hungarfen boss casts in Coilfang Reservoir. Maybe even bigger.

Imagine a big mushroom, with it’s cap at least as big and the Efflorescence effect. Once the Resto Druid casts it, the raid/group seeks shelter under it. But why? To fight in the shadow? Nope.

I would make this one giant mushroom clickable, pretty much like a Lightwell. If anyone clicks it, spores gently fall from the cap, placing a weak HoT on all targets below. Yeah, people literally shake it, and the spores shower. Notice that it is KEY that this HoT is weak, because the mushroom itself can still be detonated.

Calm down. Let’s see the big picture:

1) This single big healing shroom is easily seen by the raid, unlike the current version on Beta servers.
2) It takes only 2 actions to place.
3) From the moment it is placed, it is already in effect, with some minimal effort from other players.
4) When the time is right, the caster can still detonate it for a burst AoE heal.

The fact it is easy to place and that it somehow works as soon as it’s placed would make “mush room”, I mean, much room (damn, this pun was awful) for all other spells and stuff we have to keep working in “harmony” (someone make me stop!). That combined with how easy it would be to spot it would be sweet in my opinion.

I can imagine someone arguing that the cap of a shroom this big could hide too much. Well, personally I feel much more sure about if I’m inside a huge holy dome of healing than some bluish glow on the floor. Specially considering that it might have 5, 10 or even 25 people trying to stand over it.

Someone could also argue that Lightwell is a rather controversial spell, since it depends on the raid to click on it. Well, notice that this “clumsy” way to trigger the spores is intentional. In the big picture, we are getting a faster and much stronger mushroom, with an additional healing component. The healing spores are a bonus, something to put your 2 actions taken in use right away. Having to click the shroom is a minimal price to pay. Also, one player clicks it, but the healing spores affect everyone under the shroom cap.

I am not that bad after all. But not that good as well. If I was on Santa Claus mode, I would allow this weak HoT component from the spores to trigger Swiftmend… ;)

Stand tall, Basidiomycota! Bring us your healing spores, your healing bloom and the celerity that any healing scenario needs!

- Fakegamedesign