comparing having a healing druid to having a moonkin, isn't really a fair comparison. Either of 2 things is possible:
1. You are a guild that can essentially recruit any class / spec it wants, the pure min/max guild. For this guild, they are not looking at having 1 particular druid, being either moonkin or resto, or feral, they are looking at a raid spot they have, and choosing what class they want to put into it. For this guild, you're looking at a moonkin vs some other ranged damager. Generally, for the sake of group synergy, we're not looking at whether to take a rogue or a moonkin, the options are shadow priest, mage, warlock, elemental shaman. Generally, a shaman or shadow priest are going to provide more for the group if there isn't one in the group, but a second shadow priest or a second elemental shaman just don't bring as much as the first. At this point you're looking at does a group something like:
mage, mage, mage, shaman, sp put out more damage, or does mage, mage, moonkin, shaman, sp put out more damage as a group.
The next question is in raid wide utility. As someone who's always kept hit gear on as a tank, you'd obviously appreciate the benefits of 3% hit for all of your tanks. Over the course of any fight where damagers getting agro is a big concern, that's 3 talent points to up your entire raid's dps by 3% because they can do more w/o getting agro. If all your fury warriors and rogues could trade in some +hit gems and gear for more ap, that's a decent chunk of extra damage there too.
I don't have to go into the benefits of IS with you, but in short, 4% or so less damage taken by tank (assuming he's already avoiding 50% of the attacks)
Generally a mage, or a moonkin, you're basically trading aoe for slightly more damage from the party as a whole, and some raid wide utility. Some fights one is better, some fights another is better. Frankly, at this level, and with the amount of leather healing gear that no one else wants, a druid that is mostly a moonkin can pick up a full set of very good healing gear without taking it over anyone, and provide something a mage never can, a full out healer for 50g. If you really need a resto druid, the solution is to recruit one, not to make someone who has always wanted to be a full out balance druid play a healer.
2. for the other 99% or so of the guilds in the world, that can't just get whatever class and spec they want, the theoretical debate is silly. This guild either has a druid that wants to be 1 spec and people are trying to convince him to be another. For this you have to look at a comparison between that player and his spec, vs what else would be in that spot. A good moonkin far and a way beats out a mediocre mage. A bad moonkin doesn't beat out much of anyone for value added. If you have all amazing mages, that druid would probably be best off taking the spot of a mediocre priest. If all your mages and all your priests are awesome and your druid is just bad, well, no one can help you. If all your mages are good, all your priests are good, and your moonkin is good, you're not this 99% of guilds, see #1. Frankly, if you're anything but that top bit of guilds in the world where you can replace anyone that isn't what your guild needs, a happy moonkin is more beneficial than an unhappy tree.
Having been feral Pre-BC, when I joined my guild I too was eager to test out the new improved Burning Crusade Feral Druid.
However I soon found out that the 5 warriors and 5 paladins regulars left little room either to tank or main heal.
Mind you, this was before 2.1 when melee dps was dismal and paladins were gods. So I thought that if I'm going to primary dps/assist heal in almost
equal amounts balance would serve me best, and suggested respeccing to our leader. Our guild has a very wise policy that encourages to "spec whatever
you're most comfortable with but always be ready to respec for specific fights", and thus I've ended up participating in every single first kill from Gruul to
ROS as moonkin spec. And I've never had so much fun being a druid!
I've been lucky enough to have been in a guild that was very accomodating to an unpopular and mostly untried spec, and I know many have not been so fortunate.
This, I think, illustrates a very important factor when considering balance(and other unpopular specs for that matter): The guild comes first.
As has been mentioned in other threads, 25 slots leave very little room for "DPS ENHANCING" classes, especially when there are other "pure" classes itching to take your spot.
So not only are you expected to pump out as much dps as other pure classes but you're also expected to provide your entire "raid utility" package as well.
Blizzard's "less DPS more utility" hybrid class design makes this a very uphill battle in that there are very limited scenarios where moonkins can truly be
considered optimal in raids. Therefore, don't be discouraged from a refusal, and when accepted, always be prepared to heal. The ability to change roles always
works to your and your raid's advantage.
What does a balance druid bring to a raid?
1. Great DPS
Burning Crusade has matured to the point where no one really denies the DPS potential of balance druids. It is extremely difficult to acutally top dps charts(as in #1)
due to mana constraints(especially of one is battle-rezzing) but other than that there are no fundemental class mechanics barriers that bar moonkins from getting close.
The oft cited issue of threat is a non-factor in raids provided you have any semi-decent tank, and unlike shadow priests, itemization designed for other classes still
works very well for moonkins.
2. Great healing
This is actually the most important selling-point of moonkins. Anyone who's reasonably skilled can pump out good dps; no other spec can also primary heal with a simple
gear swap. In the course of raiding, moonkins should not only PREPARE to exclusively heal, they should EXPECT to exclusively heal for many fights. This is not only
because your guild might be short on healers on a particular day, but as anyone whos been through BT would attest, there are some fights that require everyone
that has a healing spell to heal(Shahraz, Gurtogg etc), and there are some fights where ranged DPS with no AOE are simply better off doing something more productive
(Morogrim, Solarian, Hyjal trash)
3. Great survivability
No, I'm not talking about the armor(although it does help from time to time). BARKSKIN is the ultimate survival tool unmatched by anything less than shield wall.
Very short cooldown, massive damage reduction to both spells and physical, and no downsides. Coupled with Balance of Power 4% resists, a moonkin should never
die to anything short of a wipe. This is tremendously important considering that a moonkin is also the raid's primary battle rezzer.
Also, no moonkin should underestimate the value of self-healing. There's a reason Nature's Focus is a low tier talent.
4. The Aura
Ok, even I admit %5 crit is pretty lackluster. Still, some mages and destro locks think otherwise depending on who you ask. Actually it's not too bad considering that
it works in mass AOE situations as opposed to misery or warlock curses.
5. Improved Faerie fire
There is considerable debate concerning the utility of IFF ranging from the "best thing since innervate" to "complete garbage". Ultimately, this is a raid
composition judgement call, and expect/carefully consider requests for speccing IFF. In many cases the physical dps/tanks will have a point. 3% hit WILL help out
physical DPS quite significantly, especially all those warriors in your raid. On the other hand, sometimes it would be an acceptable loss to you pulling aggro and
wiping the raid. One thing to keep in mind is that there's no absolute need to put all 3 points in IFF. Another is that IFF is one of the very few raid perks
that only deep Balance can provide(any degree of resto druid can spec insect swarm).
What is balance lacking?
1. A better DPS enhancer
As said before, 5% crit = not very sexy; 3%hit/3%crit, 121 damage, 5% more damage = sexy.
But more importantly, what compounds this issue is that the moonkin aura has a relativly short radius. That means every fight where you can't arrange parties
by position moonkins loose all of whatever's left of even that small raid utility. And ranged DPS clumping up is generally very very bad.
Concerning IFF, I do agree with many that for raids it's too weak to be so high up the talent tree, and it's irrelevent for soloing and PVP.
In the end, it's better for your sanity and the raids sanity to consider yourself a fire mage and let your own dps jusify your raid slot.
A moonkin who cannot perform as well as a typical fire mage isn't doing one's job anyway.
2. Mana Longetivity
Blizzard has put a lot of work in improving balance druid's mana longetivity and I understand any hesitation to potentially making dreamstate better than tree.
Stll, aspiring moonkins should know that Super mana potions will become your best friend. Knowing when to time your innervate and strategicaly placing yourself
within mana spring totem range will become second nature. Even doing so, you will BARLEY get by. I know many raids bring multiple shadow priests and good for
you if you get one, but as said earlier, you must be able to justify your raid spot soley on your own( = no shadow priest ). You are not alone in chain chugging
mana pots; every else is chugging them too.
3. About Itemization
Raid itemization in itself is not a problem(in fact theoreticaly one should be able to out-dps many casters based on current existing itemization). Convincing your
guild for equal access is a problem. Unforunately there is no straightforward answer to this. In my case, because every single caster in the guild started off with tailoring
gear there was no objection to equal bidding rights to cloth. No one wanted it anyway. And by the time we reached BT/Hyjal there was leather spell damage gear for non-tier
slots(not that it mattered, Belts and Boots of Blasting were too good). However this can be a sensitive issue and quite untractable because moonkins become severely
gimped without T5 raid cloth drops. If this is a problem, you must come to some sort of diplomatic solution or else you might as well forget about continuing as balance.
Another not so frequently disscussed issue concerns healing drops. It is very important to not neglect healing gear. You WILL heal. A LOT.
Therefore it only makes sense you get at least some access to healing gear. This is even more important because raid healing by nature requires no weak links in the
healing team, and yet you're not really specced for healing. The bright side is, that because there is so much NON-TIER healing gear strewn out throughout raids
you can accumulate a VERY impressive healing set with little competition. (My healing gear currently is actually a lot better than my DPS gear)
Spend equal amounts of dkp on healing and DPS gear!
Well, I tried to list the ups and downs of being balance most of the way to Illidan and a few pointers to help you help your raid. (I had to spec tree for Shahraz, Council,
Gurtogg, and Illidan, mostly for the auras)
Balance is viable.
Balance can be desirable(if you put your effort in it).
It doesn't require "Rocket Surgery" hunter-esque rotation analysis and it doesn't require Uber Epixxx. I've started from 11% crit 50 spell damage and made all the way to Illidan,
and if someone like me can do it anyone can.
It's more about knowing your position in any given fight and finding your niche whether it concerns loot, role, or strategy and being active about it.
If you think healing would better serve the raid, don't wait for the raid leader to assign you to healing, request to be put on the healing team.
Likewise if you think your Dps will help, prove that you're worthy of your spot
Last edited by Erinshe : 08/28/07 at 8:46 PM.
I've been Moonkin since they sucked, just because I have always enjoyed playing the class. I didn't do much recurring raiding until more recently, but as folk are sharing their experience, so will I.
I have fought more then my fair share of battles trying to get myself a raid slot, and still do even to this day...as I am trying to gear up from where I am, T4 is really the next step, hence one reason I push to raid for it.
Here was my WWS from a Gruul encounter recently: Wow Web Stats
and to show that even balance spec, we can hybrid heal, I had to this week: Wow Web Stats
The DPS encounter where I was 560DPS was before I had a single T4 piece (I now have one), and Gruul is an encounter where you do have to move around, and I had to b-rez.
Im a bit new to this kind of forums, so im sorry if what i ask something that is being grinded to sand elswhere.
at this moment im in a casual raiding guild we have gruul on farm and work on ssc and voidreaver, i have no mana problems whatsoever and manage well if im innervating a healer.
In the past i could sleep while dpsing and still make top 3, as other dps classes get more gear it seems they scale better then me and im finding myself being pushed to 7th/8th place.
I can keep IS and MF at all times while spamming wrath(which is supposed to more dps then ST) and still not get oom, was wandering if theres any way cycle wise(and not gearwise) to enhance my damage.
Will really appriciate an ansewr or a link to a thread you know which discusses this.
It seems the same thing that happened to warriors at the release of TBC is still happening to balance druids now, a lack of items that support their needs as a class. I have both a Moonkin and a Warrior and I am having gear dejavu even as I progress into higher level raiding situations. It is fun to see my damage rise quickly as I make gear changes and even enchants. I think Moonkin will become more and more viable as items grow in value points and they will eventually be able to fall just short of Mages in DPS, but still bring their utility.
We used a Moonkin druid in one of my old guilds, he always managed to sustain high DPS, this ofcourse was at the time when we were still around Hydross. He was always in the top 5 but they usually do go OOM rather fast.
Moonkins need to be well geared in order to sustain high DPS, if they arn't bring a Mage.
Does that +5% Crit Aura, Innervate, Combat Res match up to the DPS of another Mage, Warlock or Shadow Priest? I'd like to know somehow.
Moonkins are great at around level 62-66ish, I have one myself, I'm always top of the damage meters but then again, perhaps im playing with people who are incapable of beating moonkin druids or just perhaps moonkins arnt scaled as well as they are at 62 as to when they are 70?
Who knows? People just dont want to risk a Moonkin when they can guarantee good damage with another class.
I played druid as my first character for a long time up until near when the Burning Crusade came out, The druid sucked at first, then it got new talents, people loved it because it was literally overpowered compared to the shitty talents we had at first, then bear got nerfed and no one wanted us for tanking anymore (although, it is a warriors job tbh?) and now people are hopefully realising that talents need another rethink for this class, I feel sorry for people who struggle with playing Druid knowing that, their dps can never be the best and their healing can never be the best (Putting into perspective with an equally geared rogue or paladin) But each classes have advantages, its just a druids advantages arnt as great as other classes. ill stop whining, i whined long before TBC and nothing really happened. K.
The mage set is clearly better, and even though it's not a lot better, a mage in T4 is actually considered a weak mage, as you should be wearing spellfire and spellstrike and not T4, and have a lot more than those stats from those gear slots. And the pre-raid craftables for moonkin druids are an absolute joke in comparison to the cloth gear.
The lack of itemization is imo the primary problem with moonkins (and elemental shamans, to a lesser degree). If you're forcing yourself to stick with leather you're getting into an even worse position, as there are very few leather moonkin pieces aside from T4 and those that do exist aren't as good as their cloth counterparts, although at least in non-set items you can actually grab the cloth. But what moonkins *really* need is a good craftable set style spellfire/spellstrike/fsw (or T6... Hadn't really looked at that). This adds up to the other problems with moonkins to the point where raids just don't bring them.
At low levels it's very easy to beat people on DPS. With any minimal skill you will deal more damage than most players that play WoW's pre-raid content. I got #1 DPS or close to it on my ret paladin while tanking and holding aggro using 1h/shield... Paying attention and knowing wtf you're doing is by far more important than any gear or spells etc. It's just that when you raid high-end stuff everyone already more or less know how to, you know, attack stuff, so the gear/spells/etc actually make a more noticeable difference, although even at high-end you see DPS differences due to pure skill difference.
We have a moonkin and she definitely earns her spot. We have two really good fire mages, usually topping damage meters so the group set up is usually:
Fire Mage Fire Mage Shadow Priest Elemental Shaman Moonkin
The group consistently does well as a whole. My experience is if your moonkin has skill and puts effort into it they are worth bringing. I can provide some WWS's if people want but it would only be of Gruul, Magtheridon, Lurker stuff probably.
My alt is a moonkin and last time I checked (like 1½ months ago in karazhan) I had a sustained dps of about 650. The thing is: I Went to vashj with my druid, my job was to keep one quarter side cleared. I had to use 2 mana pots and the innervate went to a mage in phase 3.
Also, where everyone talks about spamming Wrath, I dont... Starfire and Moonfire for the win, with Curse of Shadows. Spamming wrath makes moonkins go OOM and besides that, you are wasting a wonderfull talent called nature's Grace; spamming Starfire/moonfire makes the druid do more dps (in my experiences) but is slower and more sensitive for interrupts.
As stated before, the main concerns about moonkins is their mana pool and their aggro control. Yet it is allways the shadow priests who the innervates should go to, and the shadow priests who pull aggro while I tank with my warrior on aggro sensitive fights like Hydros and leotheras and void Reaver.
My final conclusion is that Moonkins can definetely be a viable raid spot, if you reserve a spot for it (like done with elemental/enhanc shamans). The concerns that everyone talks about could be just an example of 'but player X told me so, and he got told so by personY'. If you really want to find out if it works for you, you should just give it a shot and think progressively!
Last edited by Grimnork : 10/31/07 at 8:07 AM.
Reason: Typo's :P