the vanilla boomkin

Druid
So my love for the boomkin really started occuring around the middle of WotLK (I started playing the last couple months of BC)

I recall I was doing VoA on my shadow priest* and next to me was a Boomkin. I remember watching the spells and just being super intrigued by how odd they looked. I went on to make one** and I was instantly hooked.

I'm now pretty fanatical of the balance spec which has made me spend some time wondering what the balance druid of vanilla was lke. I'd love to hear anything about what they were like. Here're some examples of some things I'm curious of, but feel free to post any cool or interesting memories you have of the vanilla boomkin! I'm really stoked to hear from the veteran boomkins so please don't hold back! Thanks for your input =D

-Was there always a moonkin form?
-What was at the bottom of the talent tree?
-Were there quirky things about them that got nerfed?
-How was their DPS?
-What made you want to play balance?


*http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/lethon/Koldstare/advanced
**http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/lethon/Leaflock/advanced
-Was there always a moonkin form?
-What was at the bottom of the talent tree?
-Were there quirky things about them that got nerfed?
-How was their DPS?
-What made you want to play balance?


#1 - Nope. It came initially in patch 1.8. I'm not entirely sure what the official theory was behind it, but I guess blizzard just figured Balance needed something 'interesting'. A new form fit the profile, as neither resto or balance had one.


#2 - Erm... Was that hurricane?

#3 - Eh. A few maybe.

We had a 15% stun on starfall and starfire once upon a time, but that was dismissed when blizzard decided to murder most of the random stun effects (stunherald, mace spec, celestial focus, blackout, etc).

Back in the middle of burning crusade, up until roughly the hyjal raid... If you played a moonchicken, you were needing to play like a god in order to compete with the mediocre/lousy players of most other classes with a couple of exceptions.

You grabbed cloth because there were no useful leather options.

Once hyjal hit though... Blizzard had a shift in design philosophy, and they buffed us. They made (A talent? or was it baked in somewhere?) starfire extend your moonfire by 3 seconds. WITH NO LIMIT. So essentially, you could start the fight with a moonfire, followed by starfire spam, and have your moonfire duration upwards of 2-3 minutes by the end of the fight.

It amused me greatly. It was nerfed however to be a limit of 3 extends before it became ineffective.

Cyclone used to be a fair bit longer of a range than it is now.

Ooh. And not so much of a nerf as it was just how the game progressed... There used to be a concept called 'panzerkin tanking'. Essentially you go moonkin form, you blast the stuffing out of everything, and you are officially the tank. I used to try it from time to time in Mechanaar, and succeeded to some degree. The healers probably cried a bit... but it was doable.

But, once mid/late wrath hit, and especially cataclysm, that theory is out the window.

#4 -

Classic: Bad. The only balance druids who raided as progression were either having special relations with an officer, were family, were great friends with an officer, etc.

I realize that someone can pipe up and state that this wasn't their situation, but I am using exaggeration for a reason. It was pretty bad back in the day, even with the addition of moonkin form.

Early BC: Better, but still difficult to keep up, and you had the added problem of antagonizing every clothy in your guild by walking off with their cloth gear which was far better itemized.

Late BC: Better still. PVP was still a gongshow, but things weren't quite so bleak. Those chickens who played well and got the gear they needed weren't doing badly. Only 15-25% behind most of the DPS classes.

Wrath: Sufficient. Gear was still a problem given that awful spirit talent and itemization... but between vendors and tier sets, things were looking up. ... Until eclipse was introduced.

Cata: Your decision to make on this one ;)

#5 - A friend from college mentioned that we didn't have any balance druids in the guild at the time, and that they took a large amount of skill to play properly. I decided to try it out and see how it went.
-Was there always a moonkin form?
-What was at the bottom of the talent tree?
-Were there quirky things about them that got nerfed?
-How was their DPS?
-What made you want to play balance?


1) No
2) Hurricane
3) In the beginning? No... the balance tree was all kinds of messed up; the first two tiers were devoted to healing and physical damage-dealing talents.
4) Really bad, but that didn't stop a few from becoming gods. I have pics from back in the vanilla days of Starfire critting for 5k from some guys (read: that's a tank's entire health bar sometimes in Vanilla)
5) It was s8 and I needed a 2200 5s team to get Arena Master. I was 2200 in all other brackets as Feral and started amassing a Boomer set for funsies and found a team to roll 5s.

EDIT:

Found some of my packed up stuff in DropBox.

Here's a boomkin one-shotting a warlock - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/97347/wow/starfireisforfite.jpg
OOH!

HEY!

ANYONE REMEMBER MELEE'ING FOR MANA? :D
02/24/2012 07:28 AMPosted by Teranin
ANYONE REMEMBER MELEE'ING FOR MANA? :D


I'm a Feral, I've meleed for mana since TBC.
Solid response Teranin, thanks a lot. Hurricane at the bottom of the talent tree? So funny! But this is the type of stuff I'm trying to learn!

From my own experience, I really love the changes they made in Cataclysm. I'm not trying to sound like a fan boy either. I think there's still a lot of room for improvement (WTB burst CD) but I feel like the eclipse idea definitely gave balance a really good direction. And it's the nuances associated with the eclipse management that makes me love the spec.

I remember when I first started playing, I was in Stormwind with my buddy that was showing me the game. I saw a boomkin standing by auction house and I asked what class that was. His response was something like, "Boomkin, they're not that great and no one really plays them." xD
02/24/2012 07:25 AMPosted by Reygahnci
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/97347/wow/starfireisforfite.jpg


This...little gems like this, plz keep them coming. This is great :)
02/24/2012 07:39 AMPosted by Draelan
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/97347/wow/starfireisforfite.jpg


This...little gems like this, plz keep them coming. This is great :)


I have a huge number more on my laptop, but the fiance has it with her. If I remember (and I promise NOTHING), I will try and get them into my dropbox later today and link 'em here.

I have a TON of Stian pics. There was (may still be, for all I know) an addon that would keep track of your highest crits with each ability, and when you broke a record, it would automatically screencap for you. Stian was a boomkin in a VERY good raiding guild at the time (one of the few to actually clear Naxramas in vanilla on a regular basis), so he had amazing gear (in the days before resilience) and would roll into BGs, grab the Berserker buff, and just go nuts on people.

His claim to fame was simply 1-shotting people with Starfire... I KNOW I have a good Wrath pic that went absolutely ballistic and crit for like 5k as well.
02/24/2012 07:53 AMPosted by Reygahnci
it would automatically screencap for you


I'd love to find an add on similar to this. Such a great idea.
02/24/2012 07:57 AMPosted by Draelan
I'd love to find an add on similar to this. Such a great idea.


Oh god... let my old man brain think for a moment...

CritLine -

http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/critline

It may take some setup, and by the look of it it does other stuff as well, but I have a folder full of "huge" oldschool crits.
Great, I'm getting it soon as I get home. :)

Teranin, there were no glyphs in BC. You couldn't start a fight with MF and have it last forever.

You could also outdps all the other classes without much work. I didn't use a single piece of cloth in BC (sorry, was a leather elitist) and I was running around with 1100 spell power, 31% crit and hit capped in T5 content and it was always me and a ele shaman fighting for the top position in damage. Mages, locks, rogues, hunters? No contest.
Teranin, there were no glyphs in BC. You couldn't start a fight with MF and have it last forever.


Glyphs were a neat idea gone wrong, imo.

They have the same rough problem as talents - you choose some glyphs, and there are really only 3 options that maximize your output (be it healing, nuking, or meleeing).

Hopefully, in MoP this will be addressed and Glyphs will be something interesting but with no "wrong choices" - similar to how talents are being developed at present (though there is still a long way to go here).
So in the vanilla and BC days, what determined if you should be casting Wrath or Starfire?
Since I was on my hunter then I'll give you a non-Druids viewpoint on what balance dps was like in vanilla.

It was beyond bad. My guild was awful and we didn't even have room for a moonkin. From what I understand back then they might get brought for an extra innervate, and even then they were expected to spend a lot of time off-healing. Although with how important threat was back then even if they would have been capable of doing decent dps they would have been a liability with no threat drop mechanic.
02/24/2012 08:21 AMPosted by Draelan
So in the vanilla and BC days, what determined if you should be casting Wrath or Starfire?


Whether you had 3.5 seconds to cast or not.

Starfire > Wrath, back in the day. You would cast Starfire unless you only had 2.0s.

No... my cast-times are not off... that's how long they were back then. Starfire WAS a 4.0s cast time with a 5-point talent that would reduce it to 3.5s. The spell damage coefficient was insane.

The ONLY thing that made Wrath worth casting was in PvP that it was faster and it would do tiny damage unless it crit... at which point it would do WAY more damage.
http://wowvault.ign.com/View.php?view=Talents.View.Test&category_select_id=8

Here, this will be fun. Play with the old 1.9 calculator; this was vanilla after Boomkin was created. Good times... for some people.
02/24/2012 08:21 AMPosted by Draelan
So in the vanilla and BC days, what determined if you should be casting Wrath or Starfire?


In BC, gear level and particular phase of the fight. Starfire was always the mana efficient nuke while Wrath had better DPS. Mobs were generally killed with Wrath while Starfire on bosses, switching to Wrath if you had the mana to spare and the boss was going to die soon. Due to how nature's grace worked back then though, which procced off spell crits, as you got better gear with more haste, wrath would start hitting the gcd cap, while starfire approached wrath's level of DPS. At the same time, we started dropping DoTs off our rotation because Starfire was just a better use of a gcd, Insect Swarm being the first to go if your tanks didn't need the 3% miss debuff.

In Vanilla, I wasn't raiding yet. Spent Vanilla pvping and tanking as a balance druid.
02/24/2012 08:29 AMPosted by Elrahd
Gear level and particular phase of the fight. Starfire was always the mana efficient nuke while Wrath had better DPS. Mobs were generally killed with Wrath while Starfire on bosses, switching to Wrath if you had the mana to spare and the boss was going to die soon. Due to how nature's grace worked back then though, which procced off spell crits, as you got better gear with more haste, wrath would start hitting the gcd cap, while starfire approached wrath's level of DPS. At the same time, we started dropping DoTs off our rotation because Starfire was just a better use of a gcd, Insect Swarm being the first to go if your tanks didn't need the 3% miss debuff.


Haste was not a stat in Vanilla.

In Vanilla, Starfire was better DPM and Wrath was better DPS (but you'd OOM spamming Wrath).
http://wowvault.ign.com/View.php?view=Talents.View.Test&category_select_id=8


Lol @ Natural Weapons? What was that about? Seems a really odd talent for a casting class.

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