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Posts with tag Moonfire

Pet battles are magic with the Nether Faerie Dragon

Nether Faerie Dragon
At its most basic level, pet battles are a game of rock, paper, scissors. Flying beats Aquatic, Aquatic beats Elemental, and so forth. However, there are a few pets that change up that dynamic and add another level of complexity to the system. The Nether Faerie Dragon, for example, is a Flying pet. Despite its Flying designation, it abandons most stock Flying abilities, possessing a range of powerful Magic abilities instead.

Its abilities are as follows: Only two out of six spells on this Flying-type pet are actually Flying abilities, while the rest are Magic.

Choosing between Slicing Wind and Evanescence is purely a matter of personal preference -- the former provides more offensive versatility while the latter provides more defensive options. However, it almost seems foolish to pass up the deadly combination of Arcane Blast and Moonfire.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives: Further redesigns to the Mists of Pandaria balance druid rotation

Shifting Perspectives Beta changes
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we make ch-ch-ch-changes.

A new week, a new beta patch, and a new design for the balance druid rotation (again)! There are some large changes here, as it appears the developers have scrapped a few of the new ideas that they were trying in the beta and have reverted to more of a Cataclysm-style model. All the theorycrafting on this is still being done, so some caution is in order, but I'm tentatively excited about how this is turning out.

First, here's a quick list of the new changes (thanks to Elrahd):
  • Moonfire and Sunfire are now two separate spells independent of Eclipse. Base damage of DoT component damage for both spells increased by 50% and duration reverted to 18 seconds.
  • When Celestial Alignment is activated, casting Moonfire will apply both DoTs.
  • Crits from Starfire and Wrath increase the duration of Moonfire and Sunfire respectively by 2 seconds. Starsurge crits increases both by 2 seconds. This effect is independent of Eclipse.
  • Fae Empowerment no longer exists.
  • Euphoria is no longer a proc but a passive that guarantees double energy generation from nukes outside of Eclipse.
  • Shooting Stars proc rate now 30%, down from 40%.
  • Astral Communion now channels 25 eclipse energy per second for 4 seconds, from 15 energy per second for 7 seconds.
  • New PvP 4 set bonus allows Astral Communion to be channeled while moving.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: DOT changes for balance druids

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Balance news comes at you every Friday -- learn how to master the forces of nature, and know what it means to be a giant laser turkey! Send your questions, comments, or something you'd like to see to

Oh druids, my lovely little space chickens, I am frankly at a loss. I am at the end of my rope, so to speak. For a while there, I thought I had Blizzard all figured now -- but now? Now, the developers are throwing curve balls left and right, and I just don't know what's going on any more. Things are changing. They want to change something ... But what is it that they are looking to change?

We've all seen the previous changes that attempted to break our multi-DOTing and the random running around in a Solar Eclipse spamming Sunfire. Shortly thereafter (probably due to the numerous reports that the system was absolutely terrible, by all accounts), it was changed once again. Now I don't know what it is that Blizzard is attempting to break anymore, and I don't even feel like guessing.

Don't believe me? Take a look.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Balance DoTs in Cataclysm

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, are taking a look at those two abilities that some druid seems to have forgotten. What sad, sad times these are.

Do you like that screenshot? That would be what happens when you cross a bugged version of Lunar Justice -- I don't even have the talent, I never had the talent -- with a large AoE group that swarms around you. You can hide entire Ancients in that thing; seriously, you can.

I have something that I must confess to all of you today; I've been a bit remiss in the work that I've done with all of the Cataclysm information that's going around right now. I've spent a lot of time focusing on topics such as Eclipse, mana regeneration and Moonkin Form -- all of which are very important -- yet I have completely failed to take into account the whole picture. How Wrath scales, the way in which Eclipse is influenced by RNG, how useful Moonkin Form may or may not be to a player -- these are all important, but so too is the value of our entire spell arsenal. To that end, I'd like to take you back into the downward spiral that is my life as a beta addict as we take a not so quick gander at how our lovable Moonfire and Insect Swarm are holding up their end of the bargain thus far in the next expansion.

Before that, let me say that I haven't done any testing of the new instances as of yet, mostly because I'm scared to -- very, very scared to -- so everything I've been doing is limited to questing and work on target dummies. These are nice tools, but they aren't quite the same as seeing how everything works out within a boss setting. Movement and other caveats to every boss encounter can heavily sway the importance of any single ability at the drop of a hat, so I am saddened that I haven't been able to actually get in and try my hand at any real encounter. There's a reason for it, though. Like I said, I'm scared; I'm scared because tank threat is really, really, really, really, really screwed up right now, and I have this thing against seeing my face splat against the ground, eating dirt. I cheat on my balance druid with a protection paladin from time to time, and running anything makes me want to cry at the moment. Until that's fixed ... you probably won't see me running much of anything.

Anyway, back on point of DoTs -- let's get right into it, shall we?

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: DoTs, a different direction

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. Once again we are delving into the world of balance druid DoTs and how they fit within our rotation. How can they be improved? Can Insect Swarm and Moonfire ever really be made interesting and fun?

The novelty of the newly buffed Starfall still has not worn off yet for me. Call me very easy to please, but nothing is more exciting to me than getting Omen of Doom, along with Frostforge Sage, then popping Starfall. Not that I particularly wait for this to happen, but that's usually how every pull starts for me; call it luck. Seeing upwards of 8,000 crits from an ability that I'm used to ignoring is thrilling beyond words that I could write. On the other hand, watching my DoTs tick for less than what my level 40 warlock is capable of hitting is more than slightly distressing.

It's no surprise to the balance community that our DoTs have, once again, become a much more insignificant portion of our rotation. Though still worth casting within the rotation, it saddens me when my tier 10 four-piece bonus actually provides more damage than Moonfire or Insect Swarm over the course of a fight. Really, there's a part of me that just can't wrap my head around the concept. It's gotten so bad, now that I'm no longer running Glyph of Insect Swarm, that I don't want to look at my damage reports any more.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Are DoTs worth it?

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we are going to explore the issues surrounding the use of damage over time effects in a balance druid's rotation, as we figure out if they are pewpew worthy, or just plain peew.

If you are like me and have played a balance druid since before people knew that druids had a spec that wasn't restoration, then this question isn't a new one to you. The sad truth of the balance spec is that a vast majority of our damage potential is tied up into our main nukes; Starfire and Wrath. Moonfire and especially Insect Swarm have, for the most part, always been at the bottom rung of our damage potential. Back in The Burning Crusade, when balance was first considered to be 'viable' by the mainstream, Insect Swarm was never used in a raid setting due to its poor damage. Although Moonfire held strong, by the Sunwell level, balance druids were able to get so much haste and crit that even our staple of staple spells was left in the dust.

Swing around to Wrath of the Lich King, and there have been some major strides to fix this issue. When the expansion first came out, there were two key talents, Nature's Splendor and Improved Insect Swarm, added to boost our DoT damage. Even then, Insect Swarm was falling too far behind by the time players were in Naxx level gear, but this time around there was some quick work on the part of the development team to remedy the situation. Insect Swarm had its scaling and base damage increased to be viable once again. Not to mention that our three standard issue PvE glyphs have all centered around our DoTs. However, we are no longer in Naxx, we are now in Icecrown Citadel, and the issue of DoT damage is coming up once again.

Are Insect Swarm and Moonfire holding up in terms of damage? Is their scaling sufficient to keep them in our rotations? Let's take a look.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Patch 3.3 PTR: Undocumented druid changes

Our esteemed colleague Boubouille has datamined some undocumented changes to druids on the patch 3.3 PTR, so while I'm waiting for it to download (53 more minutes.../sigh), let's take a look:


NATURE'S GRACE: Now procs from non-periodic spell criticals (old: all spell criticals).

So direct-damage spells (e.g. Wrath, Starfire, Moonfire's initial hit) or direct-healing spells (e.g. Regrowth's initial heal, Nourish) will be the only ones that can trigger the 20% haste effect from 3/3 Nature's Grace. This is definitely a nerf for Balance concerning Starfall and Hurricane crits, but it's also a nerf concerning specific gear sets. Moonfire's DoT component can crit if you're using Balance 2-piece Tier 9, and a Restoration druid rocking 4-piece Tier 9 gains the ability for Rejuvenation to crit.

For Balance's AoE situations and Starfall cooldowns, it's an out-and-out nerf, albeit a limited one given Starfall's cooldown and the unlikelihood of Hurricane playing a major role in any given boss fight. Otherwise, it's also a nerf directed at Tier 9 bonuses, unless Blizzard's planning on future tier bonuses (or class changes) that will make periodic damage and/or healing crits a routine thing. Stay tuned.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Breakfast Topic: High definition

There are some things that define us. The way we carry ourselves, our manner of dress, our tiny affectations... a lot of tiny things that make up who we are. The same goes for the game's classes... there are abilities and motifs that belong to a class' so-called kit. I mean, when I think of a Druid, for example, one of the first things that comes to mind is Moonfire. Blame it on the dreaded Moonfire spam made popular back in the day. Sure they probably use much more abilities now, too, but their reputation as Moonfire spammers is set in stone. Druids are also all sorts of leafy.

One ability that used to define Shamans was the dreaded Frost Shock, although it's fallen out of fashion lately now that Flame Shock is the precursor to a 100% crit Lava Burst. Still, I'm old school, and Frost Shock is still one of my favorite spells. Of course, Shaman are also defined by gear that hearkens to the elements -- and the Tier 8 looks like sheer amazing. Although the different classes have various powers at their disposal, what do you think are the defining abilities of each class? Just name one or two of the ones that stand out for you. What motifs fit the classes best? Skulls aren't just the domain or Rogues, but knives seem to be exclusive to those backstabbers. What abilities and themes define the classes best?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

The Queue: Proto-drakes, Brilliant Glass, and more

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Since you all need to sit through an extended maintenance today, we're going to have an extended version of The Queue! Well, a little. I guess about two more questions than usual. Or just one, really. Actually, I'm not sure it's extended at all. Maybe if you read through it twice? Yeah, let's do that. Just read it twice, that works.


Do Death Knight enchants (rune enchant) stack with regular weapon enchants? If not what would be the best choice rune or regular enchant?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Jewelcrafting, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Shifting Perspectives: State of the class, part 1 - Balance

Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer votes on Tuesday and spends Wednesday screaming and beating her laptop over formatting errors, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert steals John Patricelli's column once again, secure in the knowledge that she will never be forced to atone for her crime as long as she writes something nice about ferals and keeps a respectful distance from Dan O'Halloran's whip.

I hate Tauren cat form.

Good. I got that out of my system and can write something productive. Although, believe me, if I could get away with it, an entire Shifting Perspectives would be devoted to just how much I hate Tauren cat form. I mean, just look at it! Look at the angle on the horns! The cat can't bite anything! Christ, I just -- hi, Dan. Yes, I'm totally writing the column! Look at me go!

This week, mindful as always of American election-year politicking, I'm going to borrow a page from presidential duties and write a little something I like to call "State of the Class." Druids have undergone a number of changes in the transition to Wrath of the Lich King, and will acquire even more as they level to 80. We are one of Blizzard's primary targets for both gear and role consolidation, which raises a few questions over how comfortably we're going to scale in relation to pure classes and what we can realistically expect on the march to a new level cap.

The TL:DR version of this article -- I believe our future is generally bright, the Druid community continues to have a few concerns over certain aspects of the class, our focus in PvP seems to be changing the most, and I hate Tauren cat form. This is a three-part post, so let's get started with balance. However, if you want to jump ahead to feral, you'll find that here; and the third part, restoration, is here.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

First impressions: 5-man healing in the beta

I specced resto in the beta the other week to try out the new talents and abilities Druids are getting in Wrath, and decided to brave the horrors of LFG and scribble some notes for your sake, dear readers. By the way, the aspect of beta that I will miss most? The 1 copper respec fee. Can we keep this?

Please note that this is written from the perspective of a 70 Restoration Druid, so unfortunately I can't comment on whether Priests, Shamans, or Paladins might have had an easier or harder time healing the instances. I have a good but not jaw-dropping resto set, and on the live realms clock in around +1998 to +2100 healing unbuffed. If your gear's better or worse, then just adjust the potential difficulty level as needed. And even if you're not a healer, you still might find something useful here:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Bosses, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Downranking changes some key Druid abilities

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, Michael Gray's going to take a look at the recent downranking changes, and how they affect our furry, furry class.

So, one of the big news pieces to hit the streets about the Wrath of the Lich King beta is that "downranking" has been nerfed. There's a little bit of history that you need to know to get why that matters.

Downranking isn't actually that complicated, in and of itself. When you learn a new rank of a spell, you keep the lower version of the spell available in your spellbook. Not all classes function that way, but all spell casting classes do. When you "downrank," then, you're casting a lower level version of a spell than the highest one you have available to you.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Earth Shock replacement to be implemented due to downranking changes

People are still reeling from the downranking change on Beta, but as the dust clears and Blizzard continues to stick to their guns, it may be that we'll have to live with it. One thing Blizzard has said, however, is that if it looks like there's genuine void created somewhere by the loss of downranking, they'll fix it.

One genuine void is that of rank 1 Earth Shock. Shamans have longed used the spell as a spell interrupt when they can't afford to spend the mana on a max rank shock, both in PvE and PvP. With the new mana cost rules, that cheap interrupt is now gone, complicating a shaman's already touchy mana preservation issues.

Luckily, not all is lost for Shamans, as Koraa says that they are creating a rank 1 Earth Shock spell equivalent that should show up in the Beta at some point in the future.

This, at the least, is a good indication that Blizzard means to make good on plugging up holes left by the abolishment of downranking -- or at least the holes that the dev team sees as needing to be plugged. Will we see a replacement for rank 1 Moonfire for totem killing, or for rank 1 Arcane Explosion or rank 1 Consecration for flushing out stealthers? That remains to be seen, but it seems much less likely, since those are roundabout ways of using a damage spell for a non-DPS reason rather than the straightforward purpose of using rank 1 Earth Shock as a cheap spell interrupter.

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath Beta patch notes: Feral and Restoration Druids

Continuing on from the analysis of the changes to the Balance druid talent tree, as shown in the first patch notes for the official Wrath of the Lich King Beta, we'll now examine the Feral and Restoration trees.

Feral tree
The Feral tree is seeing changes to limit the benefits that the other two trees, specifically Restoration, can gain from investing a few points into the first few tiers. We are also seeing changes to the ways in which bears will be generating aggro.

The Faerie Fire (Feral) and Feral Charge swap
Feral Charge is currently an 11-point talent into the Feral tree, which contributing to the advantages that Restoration druids currently have in arena. It allows Restoration druids the ability to charge, immobilizing their target and interrupting spells for four seconds.

Instead, Faerie Fire (Feral), which is not something that a Restoration druid would likely spend 11 points to get, will take up the 11-point spot, with Feral Charge taking its place in the tree 21 points in.

In addition, Feral Charge will be usable in cat form, dazing the target and moving the cat behind it. This will help address the concerns that cat form is not especially viable in PvP, although their crit dependency is still a weakness. It will also be useful in dungeons to catch runners and other out of place mobs.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Features, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Things that annoy me

Or, how to celebrate the birth of a nation via an ugly series of Horde losses in Arathi Basin:

1. Every single Alliance character in the game has a Black War Tiger.

2. Every single Horde character in the game has a Black War Raptor (yes, myself included).

3. I could be wrong, but I don't think "Lich King" is pronounced "Lick King," as I keep hearing it pronounced on my server.

4. However, it might be because the word looks somewhat Germanic, and I will be unable to keep a straight face for the duration of the next expansion.

5. To the point of losing it completely if I hear "World of Warcraft: WRAAAAAAATH OF THE LICK KING" intoned by the Deep-Voiced Serious Trailer Guy.

6. How male human characters run. There's a lot of great animation in the game. This is not one of them.

7. Practically every main-tank of every Hordeside raiding guild is a male Tauren.

8. An egotistical male Tauren. Look, Spanky, just because Bulwark of Azzinoth is bigger on you than anybody else does not mean that the same is true of appendages elsewhere.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Bosses, Battlegrounds

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