Prior to the Dreamstate change, I was able to sustain a solo target dummy rotation (no raid regen) on PTR for about 10 mins. With the change, I can sustain a solo target dummy rotation on PTR for 20+ mins (similar to live). Add in raid regen, and I'd say we don't have to worry about mana. The real question will become, can we or can't we give our Innervate away.
EDIT: change that "20+ mins" to "pretty much forever" . . . if it stays as is and we add-in raid regen, very well may be able to give Innervate away.
I compiled another longish email of feedback (disclosure: to a person at Blizzard who solicited feedback from me). While I have these thoughts written up, I figure I should post them here as well, so people have a sense of what I'm saying. Bonus Resto feedback for people interested. I also included my last long mail (from a few beta builds ago) for context.
Well, I'm finally getting to spend a good amount of time on WoW again, and I've already spent quite a bit with the newest beta build. Time to get caught up on some feedback. Overall I think things are looking great--in fact most of the things I suggested last time have been addressed, so most of my comments are details.
0) Overall complexity. The community had definitely been expressing a complaint that new Eclipse system is too simple/boring to play all through the beta. You seem to have responded by giving 3 new procs in this build (referring to Shooting Stars, Nature's Torment and Euphoria). I don't think the spec is seriously overcomplicated--it's not on the level of WLK Feral or Enhancement, but it's going to be reasonably close. I guess there's no reason to tone it down if it's getting a good response, but it might be something to keep an eye on.
1) Eclipse. I know I suggested earlier that maybe it was a bit too heavy-handed to completely force us to alternate Eclipses, and you should try a simple cooldown. But I think we can both tell that wound up being more trouble than it's worth--I and others definitely kept finding ways to break the rotation. And there were really only ever two issues with being unable to go in any direction at any time:
a) Movement really wants to be in Lunar, due to Lunar Shower. Presumably Sunfire is meant to address this. That should work fine.
b) AoE really wants to be in Solar, due to Hurricane, Typhoon, and Wild Mushroom. This might still be an issue. Now that Eclipse is untimed, is the idea that you can set up a Solar Eclipse and leave it running permanently while you AoE? I think that still might be rough in boss fights with occasional AoE phases. If AoE is coming and you're heading towards Lunar, there's no good way to play it, and a 40+% swing in AoE potential based on the luck of the timing is bad. Also, this might result in players simply leaving Solar up permanently for pretty much all solo content and group trash, because there are so many good spells to use besides Wrath (Wild Mushroom, Hurricane, Typhoon, Sunfire+Lunar Shower, Insect Swarm, Thorns).
2) Starsurge. This build, Starsurge stopped giving "smart" energy; it went back to always moving you towards the next Eclipse. In other words, if you're in Eclipse, Starsurge now acts to shorten the Eclipse. I hope this is unintended--as I discussed in my last long mail where I specifically suggested it, smart energy gain is really what makes Starsurge work. I know the new Eclipse rules disallow moving energy "backwards" to extend Eclipse, but making an exception for Starsurge wouldn't allow any abuses, and it would keep the spell interesting. And with the new Shooting Stars proc that produces Starsurges at any time, it really needs to be beneficial at any point in the rotation.
For what it's worth, smart energy got a really favorable community response, and currently people are assuming this change in unintended. It really makes the player look forward to each Starsurge cast when you can see it improve Eclipse uptime.
3) Wild Mushroom. I hesitate to say it, but I think Wild Mushroom might be way too strong this build. I can't be certain since I'm not 85 on the beta and have rely on the tooltip, but if my numbers are right (coefficient from 0.286 to 0.926 this patch?), casting and detonating 3 WM's is more DPS on a single target than spamming Wrath. That potentially causes serious problems (see comment above about sitting in Solar permanently and only using spells like WM/Sunfire--there could be a danger of that becoming viable against a single target). Even in less extreme cases, wanting to cast WM on cooldown against a single target seems really disruptive.
4) List of bugs and/or minor issues (can't always tell which is which).
--Moonkin DoT's are still unaffected by haste on the beta.
--Because of that, there's no way to way to tell whether Nature's Torment affects the same DoT cast that procs it. Just anticipatorily though, it would be good if it did.
--Eclipse not decaying whatsoever outside of combat means you can just prepare an Eclipse to carry into raid combat. Probably undesirable.
--The Sunfire talent isn't working at all on the beta (for me, at least).
--Now that Moonfire ticks on a 2s period, the +3s Glyph of Starfire refresh is kind of awkward--it produces 1 or 2 extra Moonfire ticks depending on exactly when it happens to land (it's actually possible to get 12 seconds out of 3 "3 second" extensions right now).
--Dreamstate isn't working right. Rank 1 does nothing and Rank 2 only gives 15% total mana.
I know I give mostly criticisms in these emails, but things really have come a long way. These are finishing touches compared to the big fundamental issues I talked about at first. The changes in the most recent build are great (subject to the Starsurge fix above). Not only that, people seem to have reacted amazingly well to this build, so that's good (I have almost no way of predicting what the community at large will like or dislike, but I guess that's something you must be good at by now :P ).
I'm finally getting to turn my attention to Resto lately. Unlike at the beginning of the beta, my current assessment is that Moonkin is in much better shape than Resto. I won't get into anything too elaborate here, but just one or two major things that should probably be looked at sooner rather than later.
1) Deep Healing--Mechanics. Right now, Deep Healing computes its bonus based on the target's HP at the moment the HoT is applied, even if his HP changes while the HoT is ticking. I'm guessing this is largely due to a technical limitation--since all DoT's and HoT's record any %-based bonuses at the moment they're cast or refreshed, it would have taken new tech to make the Deep Healing bonus update on the fly. But if that hurdle can't be overcome, I don't think this Mastery can work at all. Nobody casts a fresh HoT on a dying target--the whole concept is only compelling if the idea is that an existing HoT suddenly ticks strongly when the target is at low HP, while the caster casts a direct heal to help out. Without a solution for this, I really don't think Deep Healing for HoT's should go live.
Even it can be fixed to give its bonus in real-time, there are other issues. Not the least of which is that it's numerically very weak. That ties into the other issue though:
2) Function of HoT's. This is my best current description of what's just not clicking with the spec. There are a lot of things in there that look like good gameplay (and probably eventually will be). But in the attempt to shift the focus of the spec away from the pure HoT's of WLK, and closer to other healers, something in the basic raid healing toolbox has unraveled. And I think the biggest central issue is that while spells are being designed to shift the focus much more towards directheals than in WLK, a lot of the main mechanics implicitly rely on substantial HoT uptime that's simply no longer present.
--Nourish is the only cheap heal (aside from Lifebloom, which is not present in a raid healing context, as it's only on the tank). With the near-elimination of the Regrowth HoT, Rejuv is the only moderate-duration HoT remaining, and it's expensive enough, and unremarkable enough in overall strength, that it's only meant to be used on specific targets who need periodic/delayed healing, not cast as a primary heal.
--But Nourish is weak without a HoT on the target, and Swiftmend is only usable without a HoT on the target. In WLK these were great because there were HoT's sitting everywhere to take advantage of. Now, you're basically only using them as part of multi-cast sequences on a single target (e.g. if someone really needs a lot of healing, Regrowth-Swiftmend, or Regrowth-Nourish).
--Not to mention that Deep Healing, even if fixed, does almost nothing unless a very substantial part of overall healing is in the form of Rejuv.
Basically, all these nice interactions (Rejuv buffing Nourish, Rejuv enabling Swiftmend, Nourish/HT shortening SM cooldown (which only matters if you use SM very frequently), Rejuv proccing mana returns, and most of all Deep Healing), seem to anticipate a world in which Rejuv is simply "around" a lot on many targets, much like it is in WLK. But the basic spell design is moving in a direction to ensure that that won't be the case in Cataclysm.
My previous one from a few weeks ago:
Now that the new Eclipse model is in the beta, here are some of the surrounding issues that are already being discussed. I think the basic idea is sound and that all of these can be ironed out.
1) Starsurge. Still always moves the slider away from the most recently procced Eclipse. With the new system, this is a bit of an issue since it makes it actively bad to cast Starsurge during Eclipse--it moves the bar towards the center and shortens the Eclipse.
Normally I try not to armchair-design talents, but there is a potential solution here that appeals to me unusually strongly, and could help clean up both Starsurge and Eclipse.
a) Make Starsurge generate substantially more energy that the 15 it does now, and b) make it always move you away from the center of the slider (note that this is how the current Lunar Guidance tooltip actually says it will behave).
The point here is that now SS is always good to cast. If in Eclipse, it moves you back away from the center and lengthens the Eclipse, but if outside Eclipse, it gets you to the next one more quickly. Moreover, if the cooldown is tuned correctly (15s is probably about right), you can't do both of these things every Eclipse. There could be some good gameplay in deciding based on the current situation how to use it. Generating more energy is necessary simply so that any of this actually matters (if that makes the spell feel too good, then just knock some damage off of it, or some energy gain off of Starfire and Wrath).
Even if you go about it differently, I have a strong sense that the niche you want for SS is "the thing that's used to help control Eclipse." That fits biggest current need with both of those abilities.
2) Scaling. One potential issue with the new Eclipse is that it results in exactly 50% uptime by default, and things that improve energy gain don't improve that in any way (since they get you out of Eclipse more quickly than the get you into it). You've removed Planetary Alignment already, but Euphoria has the same problem.
3) DoT's. I won't go into a long thing about these, but would imagine they do need at least one talent affecting them in some way (besides Wrath of Cenarius, which doesn't affect normal stationary use). I've posted recently that some sort of Hot Streak or Molten Core-like gameplay could be just right for this rotation (i.e. occasional random proc that makes you use a different spell), since it's at risk of being a bit static with the new Eclipse. Basically, DoT's need something attached to them, and the rotation overall might need some kind of reactive element added in, and maybe there's a way to do both at once.
4) You seem to have made it completely impossible to proc the same Eclipse twice in a row without exiting combat (or there's something else I'm not seeing). I know you need to prevent people from continually using only one of the Eclipses (as I've pointed out on the forums, without any preventative measure this will always be the danger, as one Eclipse will do more damage than the other). But this is a bit of overkill--if for whatever reason I haven't gotten an Eclipse in a while (long movement phase, or you've been AoE'ing), I might be in the middle of the bar without Eclipse, but only able to proc one of the two Eclipses for no particular reason. Moreover, there's no way to tell by looking which one I have to proc next, which may be more of an issue for beginners. Possible alternatives:
a) A simple cooldown, much like in WLK. It shouldn't be hard to find an appropriate length that doesn't interfere with the intended use at all.
b) For a neat option that avoids hidden cooldowns, you can allow Eclipse to persist until some place slightly past the midpoint or the bar (instead of exactly at the midpoint). This would remove the incentive to double back to the same Eclipse, since I'll be closer to the other one when the buff fades. Might be a potential option for an Eclipse-affecting talent if you're looking to add one back in (e.g. "Planetary Alignment: allows Eclipse to persist until you have 10/20/30 of the opposite type of Energy.").
The quote is true (about designed to use our own innervates), but its also hard to say anything about sustainability since we do not know quite the pools of mana we will be having in raidgear, the regenbuffs effects on our sustainability and the frequency of eclipse-procs(euphoria) in raidgear.
At this point, I'm just trying to make sure when 4.0 patch goes live (pre-Cataclysm), that we are viable in current gear through the end of WotLK. We've got some time beyond that between Cataclysm launch and raids to fine-tune for end-game lvl 85 Cata gear.
On that note, it's somewhat disappointing that we can't get to Master Shapeshifter (4% Boom damage) at lvl 80 :*(
Arawethion: Do you think that they may have changed Starsurge back to 'force the next Eclipse' because of Shooting Stars? Wouldn't it be possible to generate good dps by
1) Proc Solar Eclipse.
2) Cast Wrath to get close to (but not 0).
3) Ensure both DoTs are up
4) Cast Starsurge on CD to move the Eclipse bar back.
5) Use Wrath with the 'extra' energy from the Starsurges.
I think this may be what they're afraid of. Now, the 15s Nature's Torment proc may be good enough to want us to move between Eclipses rapidly (it certainly seemed like that way to me in 4.0 testing). This may be a good counterargument to use if this is indeed the argument.
On Wild Mushroom this is the blurb original class preview (emphasis mine):
Wild Mushroom (Level 85): Grows a magical mushroom at the target location. After 4 seconds the mushroom becomes invisible. Enemies who cross the mushroom detonate it, causing it to deal area-of-effect damage, though its damage component will remain very effective against single targets. The druid can also choose to detonate the mushroom ahead of time. This is primarily a tool for the Balance druid, and there will be talents that play off of it. No cooldown. 40-yard range. Instant cast.
Now, I'm not in beta so can only go by what is posted here and other places, and I do agree the burst from 3 shrooms may very well be an issue judging by the numbers presented, but it does seem that the intention (at least originally) was that the spell should be somewhat usable even on single targets.
I disagree with your 0) point.
I think the rotation is this beta build is way more simple than in LK. First of, i'm using an addon which shows me what to cast next, something like a dot and eclipsetracker into one button. Something like that, perhaps the ingame PowerAuras, makes it very easy to react to procs.
The two main difficulties with the LK rotation, imo, are a) when should I cast a dot and b) when does eclipse procs, am i wasting some time by casting the wrong spell in the eclipse.
a) is very simply, the cata dots are always worth casting and you will never wast eclipse uptime. only thing is, will the ticks react on eclipse on cast or on the fly. But there be a clear statement when to cast the dot, not a LK like discussion.
b) can be predicted very easily with the energy, theres only a 24% chance that this cast will proc eclipse and not the next one. This chance maybe drops even more, depending on what SS will become.
So in my eyes, with the only small uncertainty Euphoria, you will know what to cast next while you are casting so the rotation will be straight forward.
Arawethion's feedback is spot on from my perspective.
This current Eclipse model is exactly what I proposed months ago when we were still fighting with the double-penalty for movement, but the difference is that Eclipse Energy isn't really a resource we have to worry about managing. It's too simple, in a sense. I think that's what makes the rotation as a whole feel a little less dynamic.
However, I think you might be underestimating Shooting Stars procs Eresh. I'm not sure if you have any background as a Warlock, but the proc is no different than Nightfall, which I found to always be random enough to mix up what I was doing without becoming something I could easily predict. It takes 17 DoT ticks (either Moonfire or Insect Swarm) to even reach a 50% chance of having a proc.
The problem is that the effect of Starsurge on Eclipse Energy is negligible without it acting as Smart-Energy. The effect of the proc (particularly back to back procs) is much stronger when it dramatically lengthens or shortens your Eclispe rotation. If it goes back to being a smart effect, it will be able to make a more meaningful impact on our rotations.
These are some facets of optimal play that I thought about in the course of actually playing long enough to make that:
--Ideal DoT refresh time is between the second-last and last tick. So it's a bit subtler to check for a DoT refresh on the next GCD than it is in WLK, when you have to wait for the buff to go away.
--If a DoT refresh is coming up only 1 or 2 casts away from a the relevant Eclipse, you want to wait until the first cast after the Eclipse to cast it.
--If a DoT refresh is coming up soon before the opposite Eclipse, you still might want to hold up briefly (depending on the duration of the other DoT) to get a timely Nature's Torment proc after the Eclipse.
--If you think you're two casts from Eclipse, you might proc immediately due to Euphoria. If you have an instant ready to get, you want to use it right in that gap to see whether Euphoria procced (similarly to the current technique of using instants to watch for Eclipse procs).
--Solar procs as soon as the last Starfire is done. Lunar has to wait for its travel time to proc after the last Wrath. Not only is it really easy to cast an extra Wrath until you get used to this, but it also means you have to be careful not to Moonfire before it lands.
--But, the travel time of the final Wrath is the ideal time to Starfall, because that doesn't rely on Eclipse being up right as you you press the button.
--If you Starsurge once in Lunar, you have 5 energy left after casting 4 Starfires and still wind up with 5 Starfires.
--If at that moment when you're at 5 energy, you Starsurge again, Eclipse won't end right away. You can get 2 Eclipsed Starsurges and 5 Starfires in one Lunar. So if you get a Shooting Stars proc during Lunar, you want to use it this way.
--Same concept for Wrath, but again, you have to take the Wrath travel time into account to make sure you Starsurge at the right time.
That's just a list of non-obvious things that come to mind when thinking about factors that affect what spell to cast next. It's hard to say exactly, since there's been so little time to play with it yet. The details of the above aren't the point, they'll change with every little patch that comes along--I'm just illustrating what all factors arose in even a few minutes of trying to learn to play it optimally.
Major issue with Cata Rotation right now is dot refreshing -- you say it's simpler -- I say it's more complex.
In live there is a very precise time to refresh each dot, directly after the last cast of a spell that will start inside but fall outside of the prior Eclipse. This is when you refresh and you only refresh the dot that will buff the ensuing Eclipse. Crazy simple and there's never an issue of overwriting an existing dot unless you are casting something on the move.
Now, on PTR / Cata 12984 build, there are constant issues on dot refreshing due to the way they are currently working on PTR (i.e. their damage is calculated based on the buffs that are up when they are cast and not recalculated and revised with each tick). So, let's take some examples of what I'm talking about.
1) You have just crossed zero, heading toward Solar Eclipse. Your Insect Swarm has two seconds remaining. One Starfire cast later, IS drops. Do you:
a) refresh it now and then refresh it / overwrite it again in about 6-8 more seconds when you proc Solar?
b) leave it down and don't refresh it until Solar procs.
2) You are approaching the end of Solar Eclipse, Insect Swarm has about 10 seconds left on it, and Phylactery procs -- do you:
a)overwrite the last 10 seconds before Solar drops or
b) do you just ride it out and refresh IS when the existing drops.
3) You just proc'd Solar. The MF you cast during Lunar has been extended by Starfire glyph and still has >10 seconds on it. Do you:
a) refresh / overwrite it with Sunfire
b) let it ride and refresh it when it drops or right before you hit zero and Solar ends
4) Both MF and IS have more than 10 seconds left on them as you proc Solar. You want to cast a dot to get Nature's torment up. Which do you refresh? Or do you refresh both?
Between trinket procs and Eclipses, the time to refresh dots is not entirely clear and it becomes problematic. Long duration dots (and MF extended by Starfire) only ensure that the dot refreshes do not line up cleanly and you need to make these decisions repeatedly. If they could recalculate each tick based on current buffs as well as truly "morph" an existing Moonfire to Sunfire (rather than needing to recast it), some of these decisions go away. I'm not sure what the coding issue would be or if that's even being evaluated however. As long as DoTs get their power at cast time, this will continue to be challenging. And I say this without haste affecting our DoTs yet. Longer DoTs for Balance Druids may not scale as well as with other classes due to mechanics that cause it to make sense to clip the existing dot due to procs.
Honestly, I was having an easier time last build (12942) when I was only trying to keep IS up fulltime and refreshing MF only after a Lunar proc. Also, "smart" Starsurge was helping me control and extend Eclipse cycles such that Lunar lined up very well with Starfall every time. Right now, in current build, everything is all over the place and I'm having difficulty optimizing. I was at 12k sustained last build. I'm at 11.5k sustained this build (granted this is without Sunfire working). I figure with Sunfire working, I'd be about the same this build as last (maybe slightly higher). But I feel like I'm being inefficient and I am definitely clipping dots at times based on timing of procs and this was pretty much non-existent last build. The vid I built of 12942 rotation (posted earlier in this thread) felt very good. I haven't built one yet for 12984 due to Sunfire not working but, really, I don't think I've got a solid enough rotation for it yet either way.
EDIT: Started post and it landed after Arawethion. I would like to echo that I've definitely cast MF after the Wrath that I know will proc Lunar and it of course hits first thus making me want to recast to get the buff. This is like muscle memory from WotLK rotation and hard to stop doing. Learning to Starfire then Moonfire . . . slowly Again, all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth and dots that recalculate between each tick. As it is now, to be optimal is going to take a bit more tunneling than will be wise in a raid environment. So, we will be sub-optimal at best.
Definite advantage to overwriting dots when DFO is mature in its proc or anytime when Phylactery is proc'd (especially if it's near the end of an Eclipse as well). If both trinkets are up simultaneous, clipping be damned, the DPS advantage is too much to pass up. As long as there are sp based trink / ring / whatever procs (i.e. pretty much always), this will be a bitch to model and to maintain . . . and that's before we even start in on the Eclipse mechanic itself. I do have to say that it's pretty consistent -- with all the variation, over 20 minutes or so I always end up right around 11.5k in this build.
This is, of course, without Sunfire, as it's still broken.
1. The breakdown looks very nice. No more of our nukes making up 80% of our damage done.
2. Consistent DPS. Live at the moment has such a wide swing of DPS that you can go from 40k+ peak all the way down to ~2k.
3. Clearcasting isn't proccing nearly as much as it is on Live. Does anyone have a proc rate yet?
4. Is your haste so high that using HSA (gloves) on Wrath a waste? Particularly with Nature's torment?
Okay, I'm seeing it from the programming an addon point of view. The decision to reach maxdps are not random any more (just euphoria). Today there are some tricky things depending on proc of eclipse or crits in lunar where it would have been better to have casted something else. I see that the decisions you have to make are perhaps not that simple if you have to make them on your own.
On the other hand, the DoT mechanism hasn't been rewritten yet, and i assume that a system which reacts on the fly to haste and procs will react the same way to eclipse. So i think the only timing will be to refresh between the last tick and the end of the dot duration (or last and second last tick, if it falls of after the last tick, im not in beta, i dont know how it works or should work). But even there will be a clear number in seconds when to refresh. For example when your next cast ends 2s after the drop of the dot it's better to refresh now and "overwrite" the last tick, but if it's 1s it's better to let it fall of.
We will have to see how DoTs and Eclipse will interact in the end, it's a bit annoying there is no blue post of how they want this to work.