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.
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?