Eclipse: Changing the mechanics:
The major point that a lot of players take issue with. Although the damage contribution from Eclipse is predominately to blame for a vast majority of its drawbacks, the mechanics of the talent itself are what players focus on most. To many, Eclipse is somewhat clunky, excessively RNG heavy, and doesn't play nice-nice with encounter mechanics. It is far too easy to 'waste' an Eclipse proc, or for Eclipse to simply take forever and a day to proc, and that's frustrating. There have been many, many, many, many suggestions on how to change Eclipse. Here are some of the most common ones:
Eclipse procs charges instead of a timer:
- There is a limited chance to ever 'waste' an Eclipse proc due to movement.
- Very easy to balance the damage contribution of Eclipse.
- Much easier to use in PvP.
- Does not scale with haste as a timed version would.
- Reduces the 'skill' in making the most out of Eclipse.
- Still needs to have a timer to prevent abuse.
- Charges would have to be dispellable due to balance reasons.
- Perfect control over when to use eclipse
- Less RNG based on how Eclipse procs (parameters depending.)
- Somewhat more skill based on how Eclipse is used.
- Natural lag between meeting specific parameters and ability to use Eclipse would cause frustration. (Go play a paladin and witness how it would function with Hammer of Wrath.)
- Doesn't actually help against the movement issue since you'd still want to use it as soon as possible; the conditions for not using it right away would be limited and very specific.
Consecutive Wrath crits increase the chance to proc Eclipse:
- Somewhat reduces the RNG associated with proccing a Lunar Eclipse.
- Blizzard likes the RNG. QQ
Leaving Eclipse how it is:
- Some measure of 'skill' in how to use Eclipse.
- Some haste scaling on the out-put of the effect.
- No control over procs
- Procs can be 'wasted' by movement
- Clunky/difficult to use in PvP
Despite the flaws of the system, I actually favor keeping Eclipse how it currently is mechanic wise. While there are those that disagree with this, I have yet to see any suggestions for Eclipse that keep to the nature of the talent and actually fix the problems of the mechanics in an eloquent way.
The most popular suggestion is to implement a charge based system for Eclipse. Personally, I am against this entirely, though I can understand why it is appealing. The number of charges can easily be balanced against a standard haste variable, and aside from Potions of Speed and Heroism/Bloodlust, the haste scaling of Eclipse really isn't high enough to make a major impact on anything. I simply just don't like the design of having the buff effect a set number of spells no matter what you do. Call it elitist postulating, but I like the idea that, if I play well enough, position myself correctly, and stay aware of what it going on around me, that I can increase my DPS by more than someone who doesn't do these things. While there is some movement that is a result of RNG, not all of it is. I feel that having good raid awareness should benefit a player. Yes, it still would do so since higher DPS uptime always results in higher DPS, but it simply isn't the same in my eyes.
That being said, a good case can be made for using charges. There are times where an Eclipse proc can be completely wasted and it isn't the fault of the druid. During those times, I would kill to save my Eclipse proc by any means possible. My position on account of 'flavor' or 'elitism' isn't a solid leg to stand on, I admit that much, but it's the one I like.
The benefits of using the charge based system, however, do far outweigh the nasty side effects. The only issue that would need to be done to improve the system would be that the cooldown would have to be refreshed upon the buff falling off. So far as I know, it would be possible for Blizzard to code it in such a way, but I could be wrong. A nice bonus of this would be that the system actually would have some nominal amounts of haste scaling in a sense. If the cooldown was based upon how quickly you could drop the charges, then the faster you can drop the charges, the faster you can refresh the buff. The cooldown on each proc would have to be adjusted, however, probably down to 15 - 20 seconds. Since the cooldown resets after the buff expires instead of when the buff is activated, 30 seconds could easily leave you in a situation where both of your Eclipse buffs are on cooldown during a Heroism/Bloodlust or via other haste procs. 20 seconds would be much more reasonable, but could still clash if haste is too high, so 15 seconds is a much more practical option.
As an on-use ability, it would not be as good as people think, nor would it really solve any of the issues that Eclipse has. There is always going to be that annoying amount of lag between when the ability should be active and when it really is active and it's an issue that gets really old really fast. Plus, you are still going to want to use Eclipse as soon as you can, thus you don't actually gain much of a benefit. There are specific times when you would delay the use of Eclipse, such as when you know Professor Putricide is about to use Tear Gas, you're about to move out of Death and Decay or Malleable Goo, or pretty much during any boss phase change, but these situations are very limited. It would be a benefit, but a very minor benefit that honestly isn't worth changing the talent over.
As for reducing the RNG on Lunar procs; I would love it, but Blizzard most likely isn't going to do it anytime soon. Getting a nice string of Wrath crits that refuse to proc Eclipse is the most annoying thing in the world, yet it is exactly that RNG that Blizzard seems to approve of. We hate it, they love it. We cry, they laugh and sip gin.
Every week, Shifting Perspectives treks across Azeroth in pursuit of truth, beauty, and insight concerning the druid class. Sometimes it finds the latter, or something good enough for government work. Whether you're a Bear, Cat, Moonkin, Tree, or stuck in caster form, we've got the skinny on druid changes in patch 3.3, a look at the disappearance of the bear tank, and thoughts on why you should be playing the class (or why not).