Moonkins in Cataclysm: PvP issues and fixes

Druid
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11/20 - Changed the healing fixes section to make a little more sense both in your head and in game.

All right to start out. I've played balance at gladiator levels on and off since 07 (when TBC hit, till cataclysm). I love the spec, and enjoy it still.

The problem? It still hasn't changed. It's the same class I played 2 expansions ago (which is fun, but come on...).

The current issues I'm seeing/having are as follows:

Issue: Healing
In cataclysm, as well as before, the opportunity cost for us to heal (aka lose all our defensive bonuses and bonus damage) is MUCH too high, not to mention healing too low. Regrowth is highly inferior to the other flash heals offered by shamans/paladins/priests. Compare to elemental shamans, whom lose none of their defensive capabilities to heal.

Fix:
Make some logistical changes, these help resto as well:

Regrowth: 3sec cast. Long hot, high output. Feral is happy because those hot ticks benefit from cat form's extra healing.
Healing Touch: 1.5sec cast. Equivalent to other class's flash heal.
Nourish: 2sec cast. Does the exact same thing as current function. Low mana, low output.

Issue: Eclipse
Do you seriously expect moonkins to be able to get a solar eclipse in pvp? How does spamming a 3sec cast time Starfire in pvp even sound PLAUSIBLE to anyone? I understand in rated bgs, this is a bit easier to do, but it's still ridiculous to ask for anyone.

Fix:
This, however, is an extremely simple and easy fix. You already have the groundwork done! Wrath and Starfire are effectively the same spell - so go with that! Starfire and wrath should do the same damage, and have the same cast time, just different schools. This makes it much easier for us in pvp, and gives you what you always wanted, a middle ground between the 2 spells.

Issue: Defensive abilities
Defensive cooldowns and abilities. Where are they? Still, Moonkins are the most sought out to be trained, and what can we do? Pop Barkskin, pray they don't have a dispel and take it like a mankin. We don't have an escape mechanic, an Iceblock, or anything of the sort. We're basically warlocks without Soul Link and portal - a giant sponge for damage

Fix:
There isn't an easy one. We need a defensive cooldown like spriests get via Dispersion. Personal suggestions are:

Moon Walk: the Druid uses the moon's light to slip into the shadows, becoming invisible for 3 seconds and increasing movement speed by 60%. Usable while stunned. 30 second cooldown

What this accomplishes is the ability for us to escape from being trained, if not only temporarily. We can either LoS for healing, or get heals from partners. Either way, it's simply an example.

Edits and Additions:
Eclipse and Sunfire: another issue is the real benefits from eclipse. Sunfire was an amazing idea, but what's on the other spectrum? Insect swarm needs to change too, let's go full blown with this mechanic, as it's pretty damn cool.

Idea from Ctuhlu over on Arenajunkies:

Instead of Starfire being a standard 2.5s of casting followed by the damage portion, it would be interesting if Starfire was literally charging up a laser. Let's make a full effect Starfire a 3 second channel followed by the damage, but also give you the ability to stop the cast 1.5 seconds in (or 1 second, or 2 seconds, or 2.5, etc) for a half-damage Starfire. The damage of the spell ends up being directly equivalent to the time spent casting it.


Conclusion:
I'm honestly a big fan of what Blizzard has done with moonkins, they're goofy but work well now. The damage abilities, eclipse mechanic, and utilities are very cool and unique. I mean come on, trees attacking you? stars falling on your head? Mushrooms that explode? Hell. Yes. I just want the developers to have a nice sit down for once and FINALLY address the PvP concerns I've seen for years now. It's just laying the framework to actually complete their goal of every spec being viable in pvp, and not just by making them stupidly overpowered (Starfall buff, spriest haste).


Any ideas/issues others find feel free to bring them up, any input is good. The point of this thread is to throw out ideas, and get a nice consolidated list of issues and concerns. I really came back to the game solely to play my balance druid, but it's about time we got a good looking at in a non-pve related sense.
  • It's just in my small belief that Moonkins where aimed to be like Mages and Destro/Demolition warlocks..No significant heal but thus because you are no longer in a healing spec, but yes, compared to our Feral spec with Predatory strikes we need some kind of quick heal otherwise we're just a sitting bag of sand that shoots stars..But I can't Disagree with anything you have said here.
    It's just in my small belief that Moonkins where aimed to be like Mages and Destro/Demolition warlocks..No significant heal but thus because you are no longer in a healing spec, but yes, compared to our Feral spec with Predatory strikes we need some kind of quick heal otherwise we're just a sitting bag of sand that shoots stars..But I can't Disagree with anything you have said here.

    I don't disagree, but that's also where my last point comes out of. If they want us to not really heal much at all, then they really need to bump us up to a full caster spec with our utility and defenses.
    Bear in mind (pun, lol) that bearform+frenzied regen is our 'shield' now - which is as it should be. Bear health & armour boost + FR temp health + healing when rage builds.

    However, having said that I've been struggling to stay alive in PVP since the patch - seem to be getting ripped down in no time whatsoever now [37K health and 1500 resil in balance gear - about 50K health in bear]. Prepatch I was lasting a lot longer than this but now just can't seem to escape an endless slurry of stuns/fears/slows that's making even the bear-faced escape impossible.
    PVP is not really well balanced right now, wait until 85 :)
    PVP is not really well balanced right now, wait until 85 :)

    If you read the title of the thread, it's not really about 80. It's about major issues that (mostly) have existed for ages and STILL have not been addressed, and are still a problem in cataclysm.

    Bear in mind (pun, lol) that bearform+frenzied regen is our 'shield' now - which is as it should be. Bear health & armour boost + FR temp health + healing when rage builds.

    However, having said that I've been struggling to stay alive in PVP since the patch - seem to be getting ripped down in no time whatsoever now [37K health and 1500 resil in balance gear - about 50K health in bear]. Prepatch I was lasting a lot longer than this but now just can't seem to escape an endless slurry of stuns/fears/slows that's making even the bear-faced escape impossible.

    That's just silly. I highly doubt that bear form is our go to defense, or is anyone's except feral and and kinda sorta resto (and even then, you can't heal if you're hiding in bear form). I'm also not really caring about current damage/survivability. I'm actually quite able to destroy multiple people, albeit - without actually casting much (wtb 1.5sec wraths again).
    We're hybrids. The reason we don't have an Ice Barrier or a shielding spell of some kind is because we can go bear. I doubt very much if Blizz wants each of our specs to become 'pure' variants thereof. I can't see them having balance druids match other caster DPS classes in their versatility of spells.

    If they tried to give us spells for each eventuality in each spec we wouldn't have enough room on the default bars for a start. Moonkin's armour might hold up a single rogue for a few seconds more but it's not much - no thanks, I'd prefer to go rawr! and increase my chances dramatically.

    The good thing about the new feral abilities is that they're useable by any spec of druid: FR now gives the temporary health boost as well as a heal if you've got rage; Skull Bash is a cool little mini-charge that'll stop a caster long enough to hit kitty and escape.

    Bear form has become more viable for us now (was a huge joke before) - even in PVE: I went a bit mental on Deathwhisper a few weeks back and pulled aggro (think it was some kind of mind-virus caught from standing too close to our arcane mages) and I went bear to drag her back to the tank spot - much to my surprise I survived long enough for the MT to rebuild his aggro again.

    I'd prefer it if Blizz continued in this vein and have druid gameplay involving more shapeshifting in combat. We shouldn't end up looking like poor cousins of the pure specs.
    We're hybrids. The reason we don't have an Ice Barrier or a shielding spell of some kind is because we can go bear. I doubt very much if Blizz wants each of our specs to become 'pure' variants thereof. I can't see them having balance druids match other caster DPS classes in their versatility of spells.

    If they tried to give us spells for each eventuality in each spec we wouldn't have enough room on the default bars for a start. Moonkin's armour might hold up a single rogue for a few seconds more but it's not much - no thanks, I'd prefer to go rawr! and increase my chances dramatically.

    The good thing about the new feral abilities is that they're useable by any spec of druid: FR now gives the temporary health boost as well as a heal if you've got rage; Skull Bash is a cool little mini-charge that'll stop a caster long enough to hit kitty and escape.

    Bear form has become more viable for us now (was a huge joke before) - even in PVE: I went a bit mental on Deathwhisper a few weeks back and pulled aggro (think it was some kind of mind-virus caught from standing too close to our arcane mages) and I went bear to drag her back to the tank spot - much to my surprise I survived long enough for the MT to rebuild his aggro again.

    I'd prefer it if Blizz continued in this vein and have druid gameplay involving more shapeshifting in combat. We shouldn't end up looking like poor cousins of the pure specs.

    I get what you're going for here now. Unfortunately, the reality of it all is this: in competitive pvp this doesn't work. It's the same way you can't expect us to do mediocre dps because we could easily just go start spamming hots and healing our partners.

    That's actually how druids USED to work in vanilla, and it was pretty cool. A jack of all trades class, master of none. Unfortunately, the game is a lot different now, and especially with competitive pvp, I'm playing a straight caster. I can't be going bear form to turn around and tank people dealing zero damage.

    Not to be mean, but your responses basically show you don't pvp competitively (armory confirms =s). I do miss those days though (balance actually used to be a melee/caster hybrid. Omen of clarity was a balance spell and you'd have to melee to get clearcasting procs xD). Vanilla was pretty awesome, for however terrible it was.

    EDIT: added in Ctuhlu's idea from arenajunkies that sparked my interest in making this thread.
    Bear in mind (pun, lol) that bearform+frenzied regen is our 'shield' now - which is as it should be. Bear health & armour boost + FR temp health + healing when rage builds.

    However, having said that I've been struggling to stay alive in PVP since the patch - seem to be getting ripped down in no time whatsoever now [37K health and 1500 resil in balance gear - about 50K health in bear]. Prepatch I was lasting a lot longer than this but now just can't seem to escape an endless slurry of stuns/fears/slows that's making even the bear-faced escape impossible.


    Thats because you're a retard, you won't last a second in bear form because what allows you to survive as a moonkin in pvp is your ability to CC, not having insane amounts health or armor. Once you can't CC you're justa big fluffly meat shield running around and the people chasing after you are craving fried chicken.


    Issue: Defensive abilities
    Defensive cooldowns and abilities. Where are they? Still, Moonkins are the most sought out to be trained, and what can we do? Pop Barkskin, pray they don't have a dispel and take it like a mankin. We don't have an escape mechanic, an Iceblock, or anything of the sort. We're basically warlocks without Soul Link and portal - a giant sponge for damage


    Nature's grasp. I use it all the time, pops a snare on anyone but hurting me. Gives me time to run and heal or run and moonfire spam.

    Shapeshift into bear form to increase your armor generate some rage and bash.

    Kitty form and dash also works nicely.

    Also barkskin.

    I fully expected this, but honestly. It's a thread about competitive pvp.

    You don't even have step into the arena. If blizzard read arena junkies as much as the wow forums this would be over there in a heartbeat.
    While I don't actively PVP, I do farm for stuff in wintergrasp. I have destroyed priests, locks, warriors, shamans, paladins and DKs in either my balance or restoration spec one on one, in my PVE gear. Haven't run into any mages. The only time I get but hurt in world PVP is when the other player actually is wearing full on PVP gear.

    Also in kitty form you can track humanoids and sneak attack.

    glyphed correctly you can keep thorns on you almost all the time.

    Someone that knows how to take full advantage of the class capabilities and is speced it can hold their own in PVP as a druid.

    Apparently you don't get what this thread is about, and why you shouldn't be here. You have no idea what I'm talking about.

    I'm honestly trying not to be mean, but it's about competitive player versus player, something which you have ZERO (literally) knowledge about.
    With the new 4pc for moonkin and shooting stars, getting to an eclipsed state isn't much of a problem anymore. The main problem with eclipse is how imbalanced they are - You don't ever want to leave solar eclipse, save every minute or so for starfall.
    With the new 4pc for moonkin and shooting stars, getting to an eclipsed state isn't much of a problem anymore. The main problem with eclipse is how imbalanced they are - You don't ever want to leave solar eclipse, save every minute or so for starfall.

    5 solar every 6 seconds (assuming you're getting crit every 6seconds).

    That's 25 every 30 seconds. Add in a couple starsurges. Looks like a minimum of about 50seconds, whilst being attacked and crit for that, to get solar eclipse off without casting starfire. Also, you're forgetting the fact that you have to spam starfire to get OUT of a lunar eclipse.

    EDIT: on the solar eclipse imbalance - I brought that up in the additions section as well. It really is way too good compared to lunar.
    In an arena setting I'd agree with you, however battlegrounds are a different story. If you're getting pressured, you cast your instants, use instant SS and the 4pc will get you to an eclipse. If you're not getting trained then you can free cast starfires to your hearts content. Either way, you're getting to an eclipsed state.
    In an arena setting I'd agree with you, however battlegrounds are a different story. If you're getting pressured, you cast your instants, use instant SS and the 4pc will get you to an eclipse. If you're not getting trained then you can free cast starfires to your hearts content. Either way, you're getting to an eclipsed state.
    I can agree with you there. However, this isn't just about bgs - and even then, expecting people to cast starfire at this length is still a bit ludicrous. Not to mention basing our 4 set around getting crit...

    It's honestly like they expect us to be trained =/
    That starfire channel idea is an interesting one... Might take a bit of mechanic wrangling though to take into account individual latency or 'clunky' behaviour though perhaps.


    Moon Walk: the Druid uses the moon's light to slip into the shadows, becoming invisible for 3 seconds and increasing movement speed by 60%. Usable while stunned. 30 second cooldown


    Another interesting and what would by and large be a unique mechanic... I'm not sure we'd get away with it only being a 30s cooldown though just from an idle speculation perspective.
    That starfire channel idea is an interesting one... Might take a bit of mechanic wrangling though to take into account individual latency or 'clunky' behaviour though perhaps.


    Moon Walk: the Druid uses the moon's light to slip into the shadows, becoming invisible for 3 seconds and increasing movement speed by 60%. Usable while stunned. 30 second cooldown


    Another interesting and what would by and large be a unique mechanic... I'm not sure we'd get away with it only being a 30s cooldown though just from an idle speculation perspective.

    @ the starfire mechanic - we talked about that in the original thread as well. A .5sec "tick" would have to be used, rounded down (like it ticks every .5sec, like any channeled spell, but the tick is "saved" and added all together when the spell goes off. Effectively a reverse mindflay). It could work I'm sure. I still prefer if they just make both starfire/wrath the same - it's simpler for everyone.

    I get what you're saying. I chose 30seconds because it's only 3 seconds, it's a quick, I gotta get out of here, but not long enough that it needs a large cooldown. Not to mention, if that's really our only defense, it needs to be a short cooldown. It's not like we have ice barrier/mage armor, or soul link to mitigate anything else. Just barkskin (which is simple to dispel). I can't see it going beyond 1min, and that's if they bumped it up to some 5seconds (I prefer the shorter duration/cd so you can keep in the action, alternative is to make it similar to, say, iceblock - not in immunity, but that you could just cancel it early and it lasts some 10 seconds). This ability is actually based partially on Bloodline Champions, in which one of the Bloodlines' defensive ability is to go invisible for a few seconds and able to move somewhere else.

    EDIT: I just realized it's almost identical. Didn't realize it increased movement speed too! http://www.bloodlinechampions.com/bloodline_psychopomp.php

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