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

Advertisements

3 comments on “The Eclipsed Moonkin Part 2 – What Blizz Haven’t Pursued

  1. 1) AoE rotation would be a lot more fun if Hurricane behaved like Earthquake. You cast a 2-3 second and then the Hurricane remains. Then you would have the remaining seconds to place WM, multidot, SFall, or nuke. This would make it much more interesting than channeling a 10s spell.

    Single target I’m at a loss now on how to fix it. Maybe if IS returned like a stacking DoT not affected by Eclipse that could burst casting the current Eclipse opposing nuke? Something you should maintain but could trigger a burst in the right circumstance? I don’t know…

    2) I think if AC was able to cast while moving, we could at least live with Lunar Shower. You would use AC if out of Eclipse and then use LS in Eclipse.

    3) Agree, but I dont think theyll change it by now…

    4) I’ve been saying this for a long time, but usually people just care about the numbers, ignoring that if they did get something like this they would feel the gameplay much better. Something like Wrath’s Eclipse bonus could work, Lunar = Crit, Solar = Damage would be something at least…

  2. I’ve seen a lot of people say that the balance rotation is boring but basically what you described is every other WOW rotation out there. The rest of us are all having tons of fun with out ‘boring’ rotations. Also, making Eclispe less a part of Balance’s damage means that it would devalue any fancy mechanics you put on either eclipse. Finally, if you make each eclipse significantly different, that could lead to very punishing situations for Balance, where you need to be in Solar, but you happened to end up in lunar due to things outside of your control (pacing of the raid’s DPS pushed a phase earlier than you anticipated, RNG on boss abilities means you had to move instead of hard cast and you are behind on your eclipse energy).

    The eclipse mechanic causes balance to have to do too much meta-planning. All most DPS have to plan for is whether to use their CDs right away or save it for a specific moment. Balance has to do that AND plan out their eclipse switching. It’s too much.

    Reduce the damage bonus you get from Eclipse and give balance something decent to cast while on the move, and leave everything else the same.

    One thing they could do is make ‘outside of eclipse’ another state that actually gives a damage buff. Make either side of the eclipse bar a good place to do AOE rotations (just a different one for solar and for lunar), and increase single target damage while outside of an eclipse. You’d want a single target rotation that still wanted to go to each side of the eclipse bar, though. Perhaps make Nature’s Grace only proc when an eclipse state falls off, but still only get the cooldown reset when you hit an eclipse state. You still would want to go back and forth across the bar ASAP, but you wouldn’t really want to sit in one state, at least for single targets.

    • I’ve seen a lot of people say that the balance rotation is boring but basically what you described is every other WOW rotation out there.

      Well, we agree to disagree then. I’ve played, as one example, monks in Beta, and they are awesome, compeling, and not nearly as no-brainer as Moonkins are right now. But of course it could be a subjective matter. At least I feel comfortable enough about feeling like this, since a big chunk of the other moonkins on Beta forums also agree. It might be ok if compared to other classes, but it is certainly not ok compared with what we had before (more complexity, choices, decision making) and not even close to what we perceive as ideal.

      Also, making Eclispe less a part of Balance’s damage means that it would devalue any fancy mechanics you put on either eclipse.

      If said mechanics involves damage, which is explicitly what I would NOT do. What I would put on an “eclipse proc” would be something like this: “You can cast on the move while in Solar”. Making the Solar Proc closer to uneclipsed damage would not affect this additional effect at all.

      But just to make it clear, I’ve only listed in this post perceived issues from most of the Druids I’ve spoke to. It doesn’t mean that I agree with them all. Just as an example, I think that Eclipsed damage should be MUCH MORE spiky than it is right now, much bigger than uneclipsed damage.

      Finally, if you make each eclipse significantly different, that could lead to very punishing situations for Balance, where you need to be in Solar, but you happened to end up in lunar due to things outside of your control (pacing of the raid’s DPS pushed a phase earlier than you anticipated, RNG on boss abilities means you had to move instead of hard cast and you are behind on your eclipse energy).

      Everything you said there is right, if we leave things as they are right now. But in my oppinion, to make the Eclipses different would involve additional changes, like:

      1) Give us more control over energy gains. I’ve discussed on previous blog entries some ways it could be done. Also on Beta forums.
      2) Use the (damn) mirrored spells to prevent total failure. Lets say we have now Solar better on AoE, and Lunar good for single target dps. If you, by accident, end up in Lunar for AoE, you still have Astral Storm. Using it in Lunar Eclipse will make you better than using any uneclipsed versions, but you will suck compared with Solar-Eclipsed Hurricane. The same applies to the other mirrored spells: Wrath/Starfire, Sunfire/Moonfire.

      To reinforce, this is just MY personal view on the subject, but I do believe it is pretty much stablished that people identify a “good moonkin” by his capacity to be in the right Eclipse for the right situation. The thing is, as I’ve said before many times, we only had one right eclipse (Solar) for one given scenario (AoE). All it takes to balance things up, and to give us one more oportunity to show our player skills, would be to design Lunar for single targeting and to make Solar INTENTIONALLY good for AoEs (not by accident, like it is on Live).

      But again, this is just what I would do in order to make Eclipses different. Other people surely have different ideas, possibly brighter ones. 🙂

      I would love to discuss them, but above anything else, I would love to see them implemented. Because, right now, the Eclipse mechanic was rendered uninteresting in order to be effective.

      One thing does not necessarily excludes the other.

      – FakeGameDesigner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s