Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them
. This week, we are peering into the destructive future and what it holds for one of the most controversial talents we have. Also, a notice that I am in need of some screenshots of pro balance druids doing whatever it is that balance druids actually do. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org; put something akin to "Balance screenshot" or "Moonkin screenshot" in the subject line, and don't forget to list the name you would like to have credited for the shot.
Stop right there. I know what many people are probably thinking at this point. Why bother talking about Eclipse
? We know next to nothing about the change to Eclipse that we'll be seeing in Cataclysm
other than the fact that it will now be our mastery bonus instead of being a talent. Why bother discussing something that is nothing more than utter speculation? The answer is quite simple: Eclipse is the single most important change for balance druids in the next expansion. Even if Eclipse weren't going to be our mastery, it is now and always, until the day that Blizzard decides to remove it, going to be the cornerstone of our rotation. It will be the one and only thing that determines how our rotation functions, how we play, how we scale and how viable we'll become. There are other important factors, such as Nature's Grace
, but Eclipse is by and large the most important aspect of our spec. If Eclipse fails, we fail. To that end, I think we should talk about Eclipse; we should be speculating as much as possible about this change, and running it into the ground like the dead, overworked horse that it is.
For those who are still out of the loop on this change, Eclipse is getting a major overhaul in Cataclysm
. No longer will it be a talent within the balance tree; instead, it is going to our third mastery bonus that you acquire merely by speccing down into balance. Instead of the current proc mechanic, Eclipse will now add a new UI element to our screen, a sliding scale of sorts that displays a sun and a moon to represent nature and arcane, respectively. As it stands from the class preview, casting any nature or arcane spell (not just Starfire
) will impact this scale and cause it to shift in one direction or another. As you progress towards one end of the scale, the damage of one school of magic will be increased by a percentage. It's kind of like how Eclipse works now. You cast Starfire, an arcane ability, in order to buff Wrath, a nature ability. In that sense, under the new system, using nature spells will buff your arcane spells and vice versa. Here is the full extent of the blue posts on the matter.
: We are moving Eclipse from a talent into a core mechanic of the class and making it less random. Balance Druids will have a new UI element that shows a sun and a moon. Whenever they cast an Arcane spell, it will move the UI closer to the sun, and buff their Nature damage. Whenever they cast a Nature spell, it will move the UI closer to the moon, and buff their Arcane damage. The gameplay intention is to alternate Arcane and Nature spells (largely Starfire and Wrath) to maintain the balance.
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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives