[Druid] Hoot of the Owl (Long)

90 Night Elf Druid
15215
Owls hoot. At least I think I'm right.

I've been playing Balance for a while, and although I'm not a great player, I do like to think of myself as above average. Age has caught up to me and with time, my response time has gone down, but I'll make an attempt at many of the concerns that Balance Druids have had - and will continue to face if changes are not brought into place.

This is not a complaint thread to buff Balance druids, it is not even a complaint about where our numbers are right now - those are easy to tweak. This is a list of issues of the Boomkin playstyle itself that makes the spec frustrating to play. I've included basic suggestions, but in all honesty, between the 100+ suggestion threads on boomkins since Beta, I don't think that devs are short of ideas. At this stage, I humbly request devs to please communicate on the state of QOL issues of Boomkins.

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Issue: Too much of a up-down cycle in DPS
Cause: Eclipse and out of Eclipse durations / Nature's Grace (NG)

It is incredibly frustrating to have to STOP dps entirely to prevent going into eclipse at the wrong time. When NG procs at the start of every eclipse, the damage goes up a lot and then dwindles down a lot. The other problem it creates is that our Mastery - Total Eclipse - is valued at zero (even if someone had 25% mastery) for the 50% of the time spent outside of Eclipse. It is due to this very fact that mastery - the supposedly knob to fine tune DPS will never be a desired stat for Moonkins over Crit or Haste. Right now, if it has mastery - reforge out of it.

On top of that, we already are the unique spec that needs to "hold" a particular eclipse depending on the time of the fight (AE vs. Single) - which is counter-productive to what we are always told - wanting to cycle through your eclipses.

The solution would be relatively simple - Drop the Eclipse "dead zone" entirely, and reduce Eclipse bonus dmg to bring overall DPS in line. What it allows us to do is then just worry about being in the "right" eclipse and not have to worry about ever being out of Eclipse.
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Issue: AE is very Clunky + Spikey
Cause: Wild Mushrooms, Hurricane/A.Storm, DoTs, Nature's Grace

Balance is now the only spec (to my knowledge) that has almost no secondary interaction with our AE spells. No DoT spread, no "moving" AE, no "fire and forget" AE. On top of this, Nature's Grace is too large a contributor to AE DPS. During NG, casting Hurricane does about 100-150k dmg for a raid-geared boomkin. Out of NG, this number drops by ~ 30-35%. In my relatively bad gear, I did ~ 180k DPS with NG, during Solar and trinket procs. A minute later, it was down to ~ 50k DPS AE just because I was not in Solar and no NG, and no trinkets. This spike is too much to deal with.

We need better interaction with wild mushrooms - even a glyph of Spectral Mushrooms (yea, it's a corny name!) - that would change WM damage to Spellstorm would help during Lunar. DoT spread at a reduced damage level, hurricane fire and forget, and many other ways to make AE less clunky. Challenge modes exasberate this problem further.
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Issue: Starfall hits unwanted targets
Cause: Starfall hits unwanted targets!

Please devs, this is already a huge issue in many fights. Starfall makes up for ~ 15-20% of a raid geared moonkin's total DPS. With 2-PC, that number is even higher. Not being able to use it on fights like Garajal (kills spirit totems), or Wind Lord - this isn't even counting heroic - is a major issue. The glyph of Focus is a step in the right direction, but it still doesn't solve the problem entirely. Making it a smaller radius from your selected target makes it much more manageable.
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Issue: Cooldowns are too powerful
Cause: Inc/NV/CA all synergize a bit too well

This is more of an opinion; I'm sure I'll see be flamed for it. Not being great geared, most tanks cannot hold aggro off a moonkin at the start of a fight. With Pre-Pot, trinkets, and all CDs, boomies are doing upwards of 150-200k (not including Lust/Hero). This is plain stupid. All 3 CDs share a common 3-min CD, and due to their duration, a 15-second portion is always chained together with on-use trinkets etc as well. During this portion, the DPS is way too high.

The problem is when a fight calls for short intermittent bursts on a 60-150 second intervals, moonkins start coming up short. This also contributes to the spike in DPS. Normalizing this would be a lot better to make boomkins' CD management smarter instead of just "Fire when they're up. Mostly"
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Cont'd
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90 Night Elf Druid
15215
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Issue: Movement DPS super low
Cause: Only MF/SF spam possible during movement

After 3 expansions, we still can't cast anything on the move. Moonfire spam is getting old. About 8 years old in 6 days to be precise. Please allow for Celestial Alignment to be castable while moving baseline. In addition to this, when moving during a non-eclipse state, we cannot even MF/SF spam since you would be overriding an Eclipse+NG buffed DoT a majority of time (almost always with 4-pc T14)

Please allow for a 15-sec CD, 10-sec duration on use button that allows Wrath/Starfire to be castable on the move, while doing less damage and not generating eclipse energy. Another way is to allow WM to be turned into a grenade for Boomkins, buffed by Eclipse. At least we can throw some grenades out while moving!
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Issue: PVP Casting is impossible to get off, sitting on moonkin is perfectly viable
Cause: Starfire 2.5+ second cast, Wrath hits too low, Eclipse downtime, and train the moonkin works great

While I understand the concerns of many other casters about not being able to get 1.5 or 2 second casted spells off, moonkins are stuck trying to get starfires off in a competitive PVP setting. Moonfire spam, perhaps viable, is not fun. Especially not in arenas. Getting reset to doing 50% less damage every time you are killed in a BG is not fun either.

Every time I have brought up PVP, I am told that we are super slippery. I would like to remind my comrades that I do not have the heals of a resto nor the dodge of a feral. Every time I go out of moonkin form, I'm taking 15% MORE dmg, and I'm cancelling Starfall entirely. Moreover, sitting the moonkin is STILL as viable a strat as ever since we can't do anything while stunned, feared, incapacitated, disoriented, or anything else.

Starfall used to hit very hard because it was countered/suppressed in many ways. Now starfall hits for a lot less, and it is still countered/suppressed easily. Owlkin Frenzy has still not been updated for ~ 4+ years, even though we've stated many many times that it is nearly useless in its current form. Making us immune to fear/stun/interrupt etc would be better (with an ICD).

Lastly, I cannot emphasize enough how GOOD Moonkin PVP felt at the start of Cata when we had instant roots on a 8 second CD. Please bring this back for Moonkins - since now you have a way to categorize glyphs by specs.
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I'll add more when I can take my break off work again! :)
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90 Worgen Druid
6550
I agree with just about all of these concerns. Our aoe is clucky and movement is very detrimental. It's not just the eclipse that bothers me it's losing natures grace haste due to movement or boss downtime along with dots falling off. The dps loss of losing natures grace and dots without being able to move to the next eclipse is big.

Our rotation is way to strict conpared to other dps. You have to try and get as many casts off as you can with natures grace 15% haste active so that you can quickly move into the next eclipse, get natures grace back, and reapply dots. There's no way to mitigate losing NG prematurely and in my opinion it was a bad idea to make make natures grace have the short and strict duration that it does with how much it contributes to our dps.

There's so many QoL issues with balance that your RAID as a whole has to catter to you. You simply can't do what most other dps can because you have to maintain your rotation as best you can. I often get the job of sitting on the boss while other dps go off to do some mechanic that requires movement or down time in general. We will need 2 ranged dps to help with pheramons on garalon but there is no way a guild should EVER allow a boomkin to do pheramones unless they are 2 healing and don't care about his dps contribution. The only thing they could cast is moonfire/sunfire, while trying to sneak in wraths and praying for shooting stars procs.
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90 Worgen Druid
14435
Agree with so many of these things. I think Balance is an outrageously fun spec and I have enjoyed nothing more in wow then playing a laser turkey, but there is so many things that could just function so much better. I feel like our inability to move our eclipse during hurricane to be one of the worst things. Maybe a eclipse channel spends so much energy over x amount of time? I'd imagine something like a full hurricane uses 50 energy so you could get 2 full NG'ed buff hurricanes, and then 1 more would bring you into your next eclipse a la Euphoria. Just an idea.
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90 Worgen Druid
6550
*
Edited by Stratis on 11/18/2012 7:46 PM PST
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100 Goblin Warlock
17100
Saying bump to bump a thread is a temp bannable offense.
Edited by Purebalance on 11/18/2012 7:16 PM PST
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90 Worgen Druid
6550
11/18/2012 07:16 PMPosted by Purebalance
Saying bump to bump a thread is a temp bannable offense.


I know it is and I could have added something vague if I was that worried about it, but I'm really not (Edit: I removed it if it visually bugged you). They can ban me if they want (doubt it) but I'm more worried about the issues balance druids have to deal with. Those types of bans are rare and I'd say often attributed to someone bumping the same thread over and over for literally pages. You can be very descrete about the way you bump the thread without just saying BUMP (If done so you can't prove I only chose to post to bump it, especially since the thread is only 1 day old).

Currently boomkin has to deal with a clunky rotation and play style that burdens the spec. Other classes don't have these kinds of mechanical issues that we face with our forced rotation, eclipse juggling as a fight demands, natures grace up time, and clunky aoe. I'd throw is movement dps problems if not for elemental and shadow sharing the issue, but boomkin has it really bad there as well.
Edited by Stratis on 11/18/2012 7:48 PM PST
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90 Night Elf Druid
15215
11/18/2012 07:16 PMPosted by Purebalance
Saying bump to bump a thread is a temp bannable offense.


It isn't so much the bumping process that bothers me as much as the lack of moonkin presence in general. I suppose that's why the devs don't need to bother with us since so few of us play this class anyway.

For the most part, all the long and constructive moonkin threads have gone up to 2-15 pages, without any devs replying. Which lead to most moonkins to throw the towel in. This thread will be my last ditch effort as well, after which I'm not gonna bother anymore either.
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100 Night Elf Druid
10890

Lastly, I cannot emphasize enough how GOOD Moonkin PVP felt at the start of Cata when we had instant roots on a 8 second CD. Please bring this back for Moonkins - since now you have a way to categorize glyphs by specs.


After spending years lobbying for instant Entangling Roots, I was absolutely thrilled when we finally got that glyph. So it was a harsh, harsh kick in the gut to have it taken away less than 2 months later, with no explanation whatsoever. I'm still rather dumbfounded about it. I guess having Moonkins approach something resembling parity in BG's wasn't acceptable?

Regarding PvE, it's really demoralizing to see DK's and Warriors doing 80K DPS on AoE trash pulls by hitting one or two instant abilities, while I'm spending the first 3 seconds of the pull just laying down mushrooms (it's impossible to pre-plant them, because PUG tanks won't pull mobs to them). I play 2 other DPS casters (Fire Mage and Elemental Shaman) and it really does seem like I have to work a lot harder on my Moonkin to do the same DPS.

For the most part, all the long and constructive moonkin threads have gone up to 2-15 pages, without any devs replying. Which lead to most moonkins to throw the towel in. This thread will be my last ditch effort as well, after which I'm not gonna bother anymore either.


I definitely feel your frustration. Without any back-and-forth dialog, it just seems like I've been talking to a wall these past few years. I'm resigned to the reality that Balance just doesn't have the same priority as the other 3 Druid specs.
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90 Night Elf Druid
15215
After spending years lobbying for instant Entangling Roots, I was absolutely thrilled when we finally got that glyph. So it was a harsh, harsh kick in the gut to have it taken away less than 2 months later, with no explanation whatsoever. I'm still rather dumbfounded about it. I guess having Moonkins approach something resembling parity in BG's wasn't acceptable?

Regarding PvE, it's really demoralizing to see DK's and Warriors doing 80K DPS on AoE trash pulls by hitting one or two instant abilities, while I'm spending the first 3 seconds of the pull just laying down mushrooms (it's impossible to pre-plant them, because PUG tanks won't pull mobs to them). I play 2 other DPS casters (Fire Mage and Elemental Shaman) and it really does seem like I have to work a lot harder on my Moonkin to do the same DPS.


I think back then, both Resto and Feral were taking that glyph too, and it was overkill for resto I believe. But at least now, they can distinguish glyphs by specs, so I was very hopeful that they will add one for Moonkins by means of a glyph. On topic of Glyphs, we have two total major glyphs:

1. Glyph of Moonbeast - allows casting of healing spells while in moonkin form
2. Glyph of Solar Beam - increases duration of beam (recalling from memory)

We are still the *only* unique spec in the game that has absolutely zero glyphs that interact with our primary spells. Please read that again and let it sink in. There's absolutely no other spec that has no glyphs that interact with their primary spells (healers included). In the case of moonkins, our primary spells are: Starfire, Wrath, Moonfire, Sunfire, Starsurge, Starfall. WM: Detonate to a lesser extent.

If this doesn't spell neglect in design, I'm not sure what else does.

In a nutshell, my Balance druid is still playing more or less the same since patch 3.0 (late BC -> LK expansion patch). I'm still casting Wrath, Starfire, Dots, Starfall. Starsurge was added to the mix in Cata - but that's it. Same old situation -> cast wrath a lot, refresh dots, cast starfire a lot, refresh dots.

Many other development changes were added into the game after this: Glyphs interacting with spells, casting while moving, Fire and forget AE on ground, AE that moves with your target, dot and spell spread, multi-target leech, stacking buff triggers, etc etc. So over time, most specs have evolved with these new ways that the devs could program. We're still stuck on the same page from 5+ years. To be honest and fair, we did receive our eclipse energy bar, spellstorm damage (via starsurge), and starfall as a non-targetted AE as "evolution" of our spells.

Most of our spells and abilities are reminiscent of Vanilla WoW - and they are getting very boring.
Edited by Owlcapwn on 11/19/2012 6:42 PM PST
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100 Night Elf Druid
10890

Many other development changes were added into the game after this: Glyphs interacting with spells, casting while moving, Fire and forget AE on ground, AE that moves with your target, dot and spell spread, multi-target leech, stacking buff triggers, etc etc. So over time, most specs have evolved with these new ways that the devs could program. We're still stuck on the same page from 5+ years. To be honest and fair, we did receive our eclipse energy bar, spellstorm damage (via starsurge), and starfall as a non-targetted AE as "evolution" of our spells.


To wit: Elemental finally got Earthquake to be "fire-and-forget" (it's still not a great spell, but at least there was improvement), and they can now use Totemic Projection to place a Magma Totem into the fray without going there themselves. Meanwhile, we're still channeling Hurricane. Admittedly, placing mushrooms requires fewer clicks now, but it's still the clunkiest AoE ability by far.
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100 Night Elf Druid
10890


I think back then, both Resto and Feral were taking that glyph too, and it was overkill for resto I believe.


This has been a constant irritation of mine. Whenever a certain spec is over-performing (Resto in TBC, Feral in early Cataclysm), Blizzard responds by nerfing the entire class. Consequently, Moonkins fall even farther behind. To me it's more evidence that we're not getting equal consideration.
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90 Worgen Druid
6550
I'm resigned to the reality that Balance just doesn't have the same priority as the other 3 Druid specs.


It feels more like balance doesn't have the same priority as other dps in general. It's irritating that many have given up and just try to deal with it the best they can, in hopes that the spec will get some much needed attention that it hasn't gotten since the complete revamp when cata hit. Elementals and Spriests could use a little love too but balance rotational issues on top of aoe and movement puts them in the clunkiest position of them all.

There's absolutely no other spec that has no glyphs that interact with their primary spells (healers included).


This is also bothersome, but it doesn't seem as bad as long as the spec retains some helpful options and the primary spec issues get adjustments. We could DEFINATELY get a couple more glyphs for balance druids. Stampede and rebirth are great and all but aren't all that useful. It feels more like we are forced into taking them out of lack of anything interesting or useful to use in thier place than it does from them being the best options.
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90 Troll Druid
15945
Owl I am a big fan of your posts in general Not sure I could agree with you anymore.

Don't mind the feral gear , despite the 16 ilvl difference it is faster to do dailies feral ( having pretty much no idea what I'm doing. )><

I would love to just see them come out and say that they don't give two !@#$s about moonkins under performing. We got nerfed almost every patch during cata in one way or another , our dots got raped coming into MOP , But We got these great Cds !!!

God mode for 10 seconds every 3 mins. Woooo
Edited by Forestoreo on 11/20/2012 9:32 AM PST
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90 Night Elf Druid
15215
Owl I am a big fan of your posts in general Not sure I could agree with you anymore.

Don't mind the feral gear , despite the 16 ilvl difference it is faster to do dailies feral ( having pretty much no idea what I'm doing. )><

I would love to just see them come out and say that they don't give two !@#$s about moonkins under performing. We got nerfed almost every patch during cata in one way or another , our dots got raped coming into MOP , But We got these great Cds !!!

God mode for 10 seconds every 3 mins. Woooo


I think you intended to say I could agree with you any more. :) The words you used actually deliver the opposite context. Had that been your context, then I take my words back!

The problem with Moonkins is that our CDs are all 3 mins, and we have no short-CD damage abilities other than Starsurge. All are cast-time based as well, which makes us prone to interrupts in PVP, or cannot be done while moving in PVE.

Once again, I'd like to reiterate that this thread isn't about buffing Moonkin DPS - we're not in a terrible spot - someone has to be at the lower end, and that's okay. But the actual delivery of the said damage is bland, boring, clunky, and far too susceptible to both gear and encounter mechanics, or in the case of PVP, interrupts of all kinds.

P.s. It isn't quite god mode for 10 secs - it's demi-god mode for 15 secs, then true god mode (Inc+NV) for 15 secs (Inv+NV+CA)
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90 Tauren Druid
9105
I think what is most depressing about this is how easy some of the changes are. AC on move? How hard can that possibly be to balance?

I love my moonkin. I recently switched from kitty dps and I have to say I'm having a lot of fun with it. But there are some really significant issues with the class.
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90 Troll Druid
15945
11/20/2012 06:35 PMPosted by Owlcapwn
I think you intended to say I could agree with you any more. :) The words you used actually deliver the opposite context. Had that been your context, then I take my words back!


I was in fact saying that I love your posts. It is nice to have a well spoken voice for the moonkin community. I'm sure if we could cap a 26 page thread like the mages did to get their fire nerfs undone . that they might pay attention to us as well.

Until then let's hope they take a read through your threads.

-Oreo
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90 Night Elf Druid
15215
I'm gonna necro this thread once because something on the blue tweets caught my attention.

Several days ago, GC tweeted:

Ian ‏@woahbroawesome
@Ghostcrawler any thoughts on boomkins in pve? no blue responses on forums or mentions in patches. feels like we are being ignored as a com

Greg Street @Ghostcrawler
@woahbroawesome "Ignored" got so over-used that it stopped catching my eye expansions ago. :(

Source: https://twitter.com/Ghostcrawler/status/266291986842128384


I agree that using the word ignored, or many other negative words is not the proper way to communicate. However, I'd also like to point out that many Moonkins have been waiting for a very long time about many of our spec issues.

This post, I would like to think, was fairly constructive, and addressed not the numbers of the Balance druid DPS, but the QOL concerns. In addition:
A post about Starfall: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/6893699724
A post bout Moonkin AOE: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7004443805

Moreover, I've played Balance throughout LK/Cata, and there's several questions that are still pending your point of view:
1) Why was Entangling Roots being instant was overpowered for Moonkins? (You have a way to distinguish them now) - this was asked a lot during Beta

2) Why is Owlkin Frenzy still giving damage increase instead of damage reduction when the moonkin is getting beat up?

3) How do devs feel about getting 2.5 second starfires off in a competitive PVP setting, especially arenas. For a good 30-40% of the time.

4) Why does Starfall still attack CC'd targets at time, and pull completely random mobs? Glyph of Focus was added, and then removed without any explanation - even when starfall is the unique snowflake - it is a direct damage spell, that hits a large area of effect (40 yards). For e.g. trash dogs in MV @ start take 90% less dmg from AE sources, but take full damage from starfall.

5) Why are challenge modes so bad for Balance druids (We lack sustained DPS - which is what you need for a "timed" instance and being uber demi gods for 30 secs every 3 mins does not fall into sustained DPS)

On Challenge modes - I'm not saying we aren't warranted, but the skill level / amount of work required to successfully pull off as a balance druid is a lot higher than most other specs in my experience.

6) Why are there still zero glyphs that interact with our primary dps spells?

There's many other questions that I can post, but I know that devs have seen them over and over again. Yet, when you don't do a single post about the concerns (even so much so as "Balance druids are close to perfect, and we feel they don't need any adjustments in the areas you have suggested" would tell us that we're thinking in the wrong direction)

Overly reliant on SS procs, gear dependant, very small margin room for error and nearly no movement DPS makes this spec unfun to play. I'm not suggesting that I'll retire my druid or stop playing it - I've hardened over time I guess.

Anyway, I just wanted to rant off I suppose because GC seems to have time to post about the word ignored, yet post nothing about the spec itself. The last time I raged about it, and asked for a 1 month ban, we received 2 blue posts the day after. Dont know what we need to do now.
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90 Worgen Druid
6170
Hoot! Ty for being way more constructive than I could ever be on the issuse's that are present w/Balance atm....As much as I've tried movement and dps just dont mix well atm for us Balance druids.
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