[Feedback] Balance Druid: Rotation & Talents

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I do like how the talent tree is shaping up to offering play-style choices:
- Tier 15 has more than option for leveling (NB vs FoN), for Mythic+ (all 3 depending of affix), raiding probably will default to WoE, and PvP (3 options depending on map)
- Tier 30 still needs Tiger Dash to have slow immunity, otherwise it will never be picked in any situation. Renewal still seems out of place (avoiding damage > healing damage).
- Tier 45: Can we finally get Resto spells besides Regrowth to work in Moonkin form? If Shadow can cast insta shields and mend, I don't see why we cannot cast Swiftmend and Rejuv in form.
- Tier 60: Can we get Ursol's Vortex instead of Mass Entanglement? Mass Entanglement is not really reliable in PvP where Typhoon shines, breaks too easily as well as in PvE. Had only really used in for a couple of raiding encounters. There's not really much choice in this Tier.
- Tier 75: I like the choice between raining more starfalls (SotF) or speeding up pace (Starlord). Incarnation feels a little bit boring though.
- Tier 90: Another interesting choice of playstyle. Have to say Stellar Flare still needs something to make it not just "another dot". The visuals are cool but its mechanics are boring, its just another dot, and in PvP there's no detriment against dispelling our 3 dots if we like to go to a rot playstyle.
- Tier 100: I'm ok with the choices, though I would've preferred to have Moons remain baseline so we could have a different active spell if we choose to go with Shooting Stars.

On PvP Talents:
- Please take a look at Dying Stars. If we choose a rot playstyle, 3 Astral Power regained on dispels seems too small if we get all 3 of our dots dispelled (3 gcd + 10 Astral Power from Stellar Flare)
- Prickling Thorns damage doesn't feel meaningful for a root that in group play gets broken just by seeing it.
- Why was Deep Roots changed from never broken (legion) to just a 100% increased damage threshold (bfa)? After testing roots barely hold to a Moonfire complete damage. In Legion non breakable roots were actually a choice over Cyclone, but now the opportunity cost of interrupts plus low threshold damage just make one not want to cast roots anymore, not to mention reduces the usefulness of a now longer cooldown Solarbeam.
Tuning aside, how do people feel about the spec's gameplay?

Do you have a favorite talent combination? Does anything spark interest (such as giving FOE a second chance)?
I think the single target rotation is in a good spot. Only major complaint I have about the current iteration is the AOE rotation being super starved for Astral Power. Other than that some minor problems is Stellar Flare being way too far ahead of Stellar Drift (~10%) and Twin Moons (~8%) on single target and Shooting Stars being too far behind Fury of Elune and New Moon on single target (~6%). My suggestion for a quick fix for all of the above:
  • Reduce damage of Stellar Flare by ~75% but make it do ~200% increased damage for each other active Stellar Flare you have (very rough numbers, could have DRs on the damage increase if it goes too high after more than a few targets). This should bring it roughly in line with Twin Moon for single target, and only ~2.5% ahead of Stellar Drift (which is a 0% single target gain), which I think is acceptable.
  • Make Shooting Stars baseline, buff it up to it's legion value and replace it with something simple along the lines of "Your Lunar Strike and Solar Wrath does X% increased damage and generates Y% more Astral Power. Shooting Stars solves the starvation issues on AOE (just look at Legion) while having minimal impact on the single target rotation. Not being able to AOE without it feels terrible. It was okay in Legion since it was not far behind on single target so you didn't lose much by taking it, but it was still a non-choice.


On another note, I still think our defensive toolkit needs a buff.
Yeah, ST is fine, but AOE is way starved. I've been running with NB which is a poor facsimile of ShS in terms of AP trickling in. Even with ShS chosen as well, it doesn't feel quite right. It has no interaction but is borderline required for AOE and it feels like moons and even FoE provide far more firepower on ST, which is unfortunate considering we'd like to get away from ST vs AOE talent rows.

Incarnation now seems too powerful/impactful not to take, with the bloodlust every 3 min, and while I haven't chosen SL in a while, the last time I did it seemed very lackluster and too short as well. SotF is just numbers shuffling so there's almost no need to test it before tuning passes.

The level 90 row seems like the only one where you can freely choose, although with some dungeons as cramped as they are SD becomes a detriment. I've been going TwM but have tried StFl and really want it to work since we have enough AP to throw around in ST, but it gets severely unmanageable in AOE.

So 15: tough to get away from NB, though WoE can see some use
30, 45, 60: Whatever; WC and Guardian basically
75: Inc
90, 100: Kinda choice, but ones that would be greatly improved with steadier AP generation
I still feel stuck having to choose either an ST, 2-3, or 4+ targets build. That was my major gripe in Legion and hasn't really changed.

Overall, I find Balance just to be significantly less interesting than Legion.
I really want FOE to work :( Its so cool.
I haven't tested the new stellar flare and mastery yet, but the fact that it is now a generator instead of a spender and that stellar empowerment was just removed to buff the dot baseline with the mastery look really good.
This allows a possible 3 dot playstyle that does not require 100% uptime starfall for optimal dps and starfall is now a dump for aoe dps. I do think that it might be time to add something more to starfall since its just a dump and forget about it spell now with no interaction with the dots, but I still really like that stellar empowerment is no more. It felt so bad not having 100% starfall uptime even tho it wasn't hard to keep up in aoe pulls, but mixing it with Stellar Flare did not feel good.

Reducing the recharge time of new moon by 5 second is better than nothing, but I would still reduce it further to 20sec and make it a round 1min for every full moon.
The nerf to damage is just tuning which can always easily be changed so I don't really mind.

The starlord buff might make it more interesting to use now since 15sec duration was way too low.

I still feel like Shooting Stars has nothing to do with the t100 as I would never want to use it over New moon or Fury of Elune.
Both add something to the rotation and are way more interesting than a random proc ap generation.
If they keep it to offer a passive option for more casual players and it ends up being the best in dungeon or aoe fight, I will be sad about it.
06/19/2018 08:59 PMPosted by Liandryl
I haven't tested the new stellar flare and mastery yet, but the fact that it is now a generator instead of a spender and that stellar empowerment was just removed to buff the dot baseline with the mastery look really good.
This allows a possible 3 dot playstyle that does not require 100% uptime starfall for optimal dps and starfall is now a dump for aoe dps. I do think that it might be time to add something more to starfall since its just a dump and forget about it spell now with no interaction with the dots, but I still really like that stellar empowerment is no more. It felt so bad not having 100% starfall uptime even tho it wasn't hard to keep up in aoe pulls, but mixing it with Stellar Flare did not feel good.

Reducing the recharge time of new moon by 5 second is better than nothing, but I would still reduce it further to 20sec and make it a round 1min for every full moon.
The nerf to damage is just tuning which can always easily be changed so I don't really mind.

The starlord buff might make it more interesting to use now since 15sec duration was way too low.

I still feel like Shooting Stars has nothing to do with the t100 as I would never want to use it over New moon or Fury of Elune.
Both add something to the rotation and are way more interesting than a random proc ap generation.
If they keep it to offer a passive option for more casual players and it ends up being the best in dungeon or aoe fight, I will be sad about it.


Lunar flare hits kinda like a wet noodle now, but it generating is nice? I haven't fully tried it yet but it being the only real st option hitting so weak kinda makes it feel meh ish?
Quick thoughts, from what I've looked over.

While I'm sure some will miss the gameplay, I'm glad Stellar Empowerment was removed.

New Stellar Flare excites me. A third DoT and another generator? Sign me up. Wish it had a protection mechanic, would make it far more appealing in PvP especially since it's casted. Protection could be a PVP talent.

DoTs being boosted by Mastery is great and I don't mind the reduction of values in exchange for higher base values on the spells.

A bit worried about the Moon spell cooldown being reduced considering how good the talent already is on the tier. Unless the Elune damage buffs are significant, I doubt we'll ever pick it.

Disappointed Shooting Stars wasn't touched.

Starlord's increased duration helps but still feels incredibly unusual. Not a fan, despite the change being good.

Twin Moons range reduction feels almost unnecessary.
06/19/2018 10:10 PMPosted by Auntehbelz
06/19/2018 08:59 PMPosted by Liandryl
I haven't tested the new stellar flare and mastery yet, but the fact that it is now a generator instead of a spender and that stellar empowerment was just removed to buff the dot baseline with the mastery look really good.
This allows a possible 3 dot playstyle that does not require 100% uptime starfall for optimal dps and starfall is now a dump for aoe dps. I do think that it might be time to add something more to starfall since its just a dump and forget about it spell now with no interaction with the dots, but I still really like that stellar empowerment is no more. It felt so bad not having 100% starfall uptime even tho it wasn't hard to keep up in aoe pulls, but mixing it with Stellar Flare did not feel good.

Reducing the recharge time of new moon by 5 second is better than nothing, but I would still reduce it further to 20sec and make it a round 1min for every full moon.
The nerf to damage is just tuning which can always easily be changed so I don't really mind.

The starlord buff might make it more interesting to use now since 15sec duration was way too low.

I still feel like Shooting Stars has nothing to do with the t100 as I would never want to use it over New moon or Fury of Elune.
Both add something to the rotation and are way more interesting than a random proc ap generation.
If they keep it to offer a passive option for more casual players and it ends up being the best in dungeon or aoe fight, I will be sad about it.


Lunar flare hits kinda like a wet noodle now, but it generating is nice? I haven't fully tried it yet but it being the only real st option hitting so weak kinda makes it feel meh ish?


Blizzard have mentioned that they want row to have aoe talent against each other or ST talent against each other so the idea would be that there are no "good" st talent in that row. I already talked about that and was against it at first, but it can work only if the spec feels good on aoe or st with less talent affecting the playstyle.

If Stellar Flare stays the best which is likely since SD is useless in ST and Twin moons is pretty weak as well in ST, our ST rotation will now have 1 more dot added to it which some will like and some will hate. If you don't care about min max and SF gets nerfed, Twin moons could be used to not bother with a third dot.
We will see how they tune it because if they nerf it then it wouldn't be good for cleave fight either.

Some players talked about making it so Stellar Flare does low dmg on ST and ramps up with more target becoming affected by it which could fix that situation, but we will see.
06/20/2018 12:07 AMPosted by Tewdee
Quick thoughts, from what I've looked over.

While I'm sure some will miss the gameplay, I'm glad Stellar Empowerment was removed.

New Stellar Flare excites me. A third DoT and another generator? Sign me up. Wish it had a protection mechanic, would make it far more appealing in PvP especially since it's casted. Protection could be a PVP talent.

DoTs being boosted by Mastery is great and I don't mind the reduction of values in exchange for higher base values on the spells.

A bit worried about the Moon spell cooldown being reduced considering how good the talent already is on the tier. Unless the Elune damage buffs are significant, I doubt we'll ever pick it.

Disappointed Shooting Stars wasn't touched.

Starlord's increased duration helps but still feels incredibly unusual. Not a fan, despite the change being good.

Twin Moons range reduction feels almost unnecessary.


New moon's damage was also nerfed to compensate with the reduction in its recharge time and I would rather see it that way. Waiting 30 sec for a recharge is a long time and have 1 full moon every 1min30 felt really bad. I still feel like it is a bit too long tbh.
New Moon's AP was what made it good, it's damage was just gravy.
Starlord doesn't feel very good to play with in ST at the moment.

At the end of every cycle (when the 3 stacks are about to end) I often find myself
at full AP, especially at higher haste levels. It feels bad to use a SS when there is only 1 or 2 seconds left on the buff. It almost seems like I'm encouraged to overcap on AP to maximize the stack count and duration for the next cycle, and to take talents that generate the least amount of AP (treants and Fury of Elune).

Although I really like Starlord as a talent, and enjoy playing with it, the current iteration doesn't feel good. The stack size should either be increased to 4 with a 20 second duration, or the duration should be lower and the haste % increased significantly per stack.

Stellar flare needs to be buffed for it to feel worth a cast. doing 8-10% of my damage on 3 targets is WAY too low. Turning Stellar Flare into a generator would have felt better when Starfall buffed dot damage. Now, its just kind of meh. I'd honestly rather it compete with Starfall since we have to sacrifice two synergistic SF talents to take it. The changes is pointless if SotF + Stellar Drift are the best option.

Overall, however, I'm liking some of the changes to AOE. Removing MF and SF's dependence on Starfall is good for balancing talents like SotF and our ramp up.
I still find the spec to be slow and much less interesting than Legion. Oneth's really made the spec more fun, and the decision to go with just adding more lunar and solar empowerments is a lot less fun. Now, if empowerments made the spells instant . . . then we'd be talking.

Also, my biggest gripe in Legion was that I had to pick between ST and AoE builds and they were set. That hasn't changed. Sure, talents have been shuffled, but Tiers 90 and 100, in particular, both have clear ST and AoE winners.

Yes, Balance is better than it was a month ago, but it remains dramatically less fun than Legion.
06/21/2018 03:41 AMPosted by Mistycal
I still find the spec to be slow and much less interesting than Legion. Oneth's really made the spec more fun, and the decision to go with just adding more lunar and solar empowerments is a lot less fun. Now, if empowerments made the spells instant . . . then we'd be talking.

Also, my biggest gripe in Legion was that I had to pick between ST and AoE builds and they were set. That hasn't changed. Sure, talents have been shuffled, but Tiers 90 and 100, in particular, both have clear ST and AoE winners.

Yes, Balance is better than it was a month ago, but it remains dramatically less fun than Legion.


I do agree that tier 100 has shooting stars that is only good for AOE and new moon that is the obvious best choice for ST, but for Tier 90, unless Stellar Flare's damage is tuned really high, Twin moons could be as good in single target as Stellar Flare which makes it a non-factor for ST unless you use Stellar Drift in AOE. Stellar Drift would be the only AOE talent that you must switch out for ST for a dps gain and it feels quite weak now that stellar empowerment was removed. It serves a niche role for aoe fight where mobility is key, but I would be surprised to see it being that good in dungeons in comparison to Twin moons. The tuning for the time being makes stellar flare quite weak even in ST. I feel like that row is way more focused on AOE and does not really affect ST.
Stellar Flare is pretty clearly the single target winner at current tuning. Just with some hypothetical numbers from gear (15% haste from gear, 15% bonus mastery from gear) here's how things shake out.

Think about it this way. In a single target context, Stellar Flare is basically a super wrath that scales with mastery on a 24 sec CD. In other words, every 24 seconds you're replacing a wrath with a Stellar Flare. In a single target context, Twin Moons only increases Moonfire Damage by 20%.

So, at the stat levels I mentioned before, Moonfire is doing 12.38% SP worth of damage per second. With Twin Moons, that goes up to 14.86% SP dps. So, in a Single Target context, Twin moons increases by 2.48% SP dps. There are no GCD savings with single target so nothing else about the talent is worth taking note of.

Factoring in the Eclipse proc chance, an Unempowered wrath (at the gear levels mentioned above) does about 67% SP damage. A Stellar Flare does about 139.83% SP damage. So, every 24 seconds, replacing an UnEmpowered Wrath with a Stellar Flare, you are adding about 72.67% SP damage. That's a DPS gain of about 3.03% SP. Stellar Flare and Wrath generate same AP and have same cast time so that's a wash.

So, in a Single Target Context, Stellar Flare is a comfortable winner. As soon as you get 2 targets, though, Twin Moons is better because it also increases your AP generation by allowing you to replace a Moonfire cast with a wrath cast. Obviously for AoE Stellar Drift is the choice.

I wouldn't mind if Stellar Flare was a bit stronger but it's already the choice for single target. The row has pretty clear choices. AoE is Stellar Drift, Flexibility and small target number cleave choice is Twin Moons, Single Target is Stellar Flare.
In terms of talent tuning, the T90 and T100 rows seem to move together in Lock Step.

For 3 and more targets you want Shooting Stars and Stellar Drift. For lower target counts but still reliably multiple targets you want Twin Moons and Fury of Elune. For Single target you want Stellar Flare and Moons.

I haven't put too much number crunching into SotF/Starlord/Inc yet. I'd guess that the way that tier shakes out is basically, SoTF for low skill cap play of making your AP spenders more powerful, Starlord for consistent AP Gen increase with something of a skill cap around pooling play, and INC when burst is especially valuable.

The only place I'd like to see some more aggressive talent tuning is at T15. As far as I can tell, Treants get their own little niche. When the taunt is useful, awesome. When it's not, you're probably going to one of the other two.

Right now WoE needs to be stronger either by boosting the LS damage as well or further increasing the AP gen. WoE is most potent when you can use WoE to replace Unempowered wraths rather than to pump out Empowered LS more quickly. However, even under BEST circumstances, its AP/sec gain is less than Nature's Balance. With the extra DPS from upgrading Unempowred Wraths to Instant Lunar strikes, you basically come out to an expected damage gain equal to NB. But WoE is also active and takes much more skill to utilize. It should have higher theoretical output than NB.

WoE with more AP gain or more damage into LS or boosting the splash damage for LS would be ideal. It just needs something to make it more worthwhile.
I don't like that they took away stellar empowerment, but I know I'm in the minority. some of the other changes have been nice, but 2 interactions really kept balance together for me over Legion - OI or ED.

I didn't get OI until late into the expac, but I loved ED even through all it's ups and downs.

The spec needs something else besides just CDs and a few extra empowerments.

Starlord is ok, and I'm glad they are making Stellar flare useful ST, but there is a real notice in the gap still left by Nature's Balance in ST.
06/22/2018 11:07 AMPosted by Tylliance
I don't like that they took away stellar empowerment, but I know I'm in the minority. some of the other changes have been nice, but 2 interactions really keep balance together for me over Legion - OI or ED.

I didn't get OI until late into the expac, but I loved ED even through all it's ups and downs.

The spec needs something else besides just CDs and a few extra empowerments.

Starlord is ok, and I'm glad they are making Stellar flare useful ST, but there is a real notice in the gap still left by Nature's Balance in ST.


They didnt take stellar empowerment away. They just made it up 100% of the time with our mastery. Tho I agree with what youre saying. I wish they gave us OI as a talent and made ShS baseline.
06/22/2018 11:11 AMPosted by Ahloon
They didnt take stellar empowerment away. They just made it up 100% of the time with our mastery. Tho I agree with what youre saying. I wish they gave us OI as a talent and made ShS baseline.


They took away the interaction, the damage is not what I'm worried about.

Mastery buffing our dots =! Starfall buffing our dots.

It's a small issue but one I will miss

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