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Posts with tag eclipse

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: An easier rotation for balance druids in Mists of Pandaria

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 teach our treants how to charge their lasers.

Last week, we covered the issues that moonkin were having in Cataclysm. Happily, I'm able to say that the new design for Mists of Pandaria has corrected many of the glaring issues that I identified. While numbers remain fluid, of course, there's been some large quality-of-life fixes that have made moonkin much easier to play for the newcomer. I'm afraid, however, that somethings still remain that could use a tweak.

A simplified rotation

DoT abilities reworked First, while the mechanic of Moonfire becoming Sunfire while in a Solar Eclipse remains, both spells now have separate timers and no longer overwrite each other. This means that you can cast a Moonfire before entering Solar Eclipse, then cast Sunfire (with the same button, yay) and have two DoTs ticking for damage on the target.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: 5 moonkin issues that need fixing

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 go fast and furry.

Well, it's happened again. Once more, I intended for this week to be a first look at balance druids in Mists of Pandaria, but as I wrote the article, I felt that much of it was lacking the proper context. Since we haven't had a moonkin post around here in some time, I'd like to step back briefly and discuss some of the issues with the specialization that were identified going into the new expansion. Next week, we'll discuss the changes Blizzard is implementing on the beta and how they fix (or don't fix!) the issues I've described here.

Overpowered AoE/multitarget rotation For the majority of the expansion, balance druids were one of the best AoE DPS classes in the game. This was due largely to two factors, the relative strength of the moonkin DoT abilities plus Wild Mushroom and the ability to remain in a Solar Eclipse nearly indefinitely during AoE phases to buff those two abilities (aka solarcleave). Even for non-AoE fights, it was still very easy for moonkin to supplement their damage on their primary target with DoTs on a secondary target. Heroic Morchok and Warmaster Blackhorn are excellent examples of this for this tier.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

WoW's 18 easiest achievements

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, the phrase "low-hanging fruit" comes to mind.

While I collect suggestions for our next article on evil achievements, I thought it might be amusing to turn toward achievements that are considerably easier to get. The 17 achievements (and one Feat of Strength) in today's column are all things that you can do without any real preparation.

I'm going to ignore the super-obvious picks (Shave and a Haircut, anyone? You don't need me to tell you about that) and head straight for the more esoteric stuff. I'm also going to bypass extremely expensive achievements that, while quick, will bankrupt the average player, so nothing like Grand Ice Mammoth. (Looks like I need to update OverAchiever: Straight to the poorhouse, come to think of it.) I briefly considered including achievements that you can only get at the end of a long quest chain or reputation grind but canned that idea too. For example, Skyshattered is relatively easy these days with a 410% mount and a little practice, but you'll only be able to access it after a quest grind, so nuts to that. I also eliminated You'll Feel Right As Rain, Critter Gitter, and Fungal Frenzy for that reason. They're all easy, but you can't just toddle off to get them unless you've already put some work in.

These are all achievements that the average player -- assuming a friend or two, a tiny bit of luck, and a little time -- can just run out and get whenever he or she wants.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Shifting Perspectives: Building a better AOE balance druid rotation

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

Last week, we talked about the fine art of gaming Eclipse, annoying as it might be. To play a balance druid is an excessively fun experience; to try and deal chart topping damage as one is going to leave you pulling out your hair. Although the so-called "skill cap" for balance is prohibitively high, never let it discourage you from actually playing the spec.

Getting getting to the high damage part of the spec takes some work, but after time it becomes second nature; tweaking Eclipse to work for you just becomes a habit that you do without thinking. That aside, this week we'll be getting into what's honestly the best part of playing as balance.

AOE takes just as much work as balance, but it's a fun type of work and comes with a really sweet pay off. Balance has some of the strongest sustained AOE in the game; now you can enjoy it too.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Building a better balance druid rotation -- gaming Eclipse

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

Out of all of the emails that I get, out of all of the posts that I see on the official forums and other sites, the single most common problem that people have as a balance druid is damage -- which for as a damage-dealing spec only makes sense, right? I mean, it would be a little bit weird if the largest problem we saw from balance druids was that they weren't tanking well enough or something.

The thing is, most of these people aren't "bads." More often than not, these aren't people who haven't a clue how to spec, gear, or enchant. They probably do follow the rotation that's listed on the official forums sticky or in one of my guides. All in all, these aren't bad players -- they just can't seem to get something right. Something isn't clicking. Well, let's talk about what that something is.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for druids in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

Let's try to get you prepared for Cataclysm, shall we? In the new (banged-up, broken and burnt) world of the expansion, battlegrounds play will stand toe to toe with arenas as far as gear acquisition and quite possibly have even better participation. You don't want to miss out on that. Today we'll discuss the best PvP talents you can pick up as a druid, and you can decide for yourself what other talents to round out your PvP spec.

Perhaps the biggest change for druids in patch 4.0.1 is a new mechanic for balance druids called Eclipse, which relies on the buildup of lunar or solar energy conferred by casting either nature or arcane damage spells, respectively. This means that balance druids will be constantly trying to achieve an Eclipse by casting spells from one school, then shifting to another school once they've gotten the bonus. Out of all specs, balance plays the most differently compared to before the patch, but everyone gets fun tools to use in PvP. Let's check out all these toys across all specs.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

Shifting Perspectives: The balance of changes for balance druids

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, we are once again delving into the wild world of beta to see what's been fixed, what remains broken and what is just awesomsauce.

Greetings once again, fellow moon chickens. This week has been an exciting one for balance druids everywhere, just in case you haven't been paying attention. The latest beta push made many a remarkable changes to our talent tree and for our playstyle; certainly all of the changes that have been made thus far have been lauded by the community as a significant breakthrough toward everything that we have been pushing for this entire beta cycle. Those who know me, however, know that I am not one to throw parades. Some may call it being cynical; others might say that it's downright pessimistic -- but I like to think that I am merely a perfectionist, and as we all know, nothing can be perfect. To that end, while this is certainly a cheerful week to be a balance druid, let us reflect on those changes that still need to be made, the issues that have remained unaddressed and the problems that beta players are still finding with our spec in the next expansion.

Before going into the humdrum of negativity, the bleak abyss of the perpetual rain cloud of doom that seems to surround me, let's at least bask in the glorious light of everything that has gone right this week in the land of overweight, feathered genetic research rejects.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The sun and the moon

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. We've totally got this one down, right folks? You know the drill, huge army of baddies, you all by your lonesome; it's time to show them why we don't mess with moonkin. After all, who would want to try and tango with a creature powerful enough to cause a localized eclipse? And Eclipse is exactly what we're talking about. Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Greetings again, fellow moonkin. It's probable that I may start to sound like a broken record, but barring any significant changes of note, I want to visit the concept of Eclipse one last time. I know, I know ... It is something that I've spoken about before -- several times, in fact -- but it is a highly important concept for all of us. One might argue that it is the most important concept. I am not interested in the rotational aspect of Eclipse this time, although it is a factor that will be mentioned; instead, I would like to discuss the other aspects of Eclipse.

You see, there is a very specific reason why I feel compelled to speak about Eclipse one last time. Since its inception in Wrath, Eclipse has become everything to balance druids. It is the focal point of our damage; it is the core of what we are balanced around. Balance druids will rise or fall with Eclipse; should it fail, then we too shall fail. Gloom and doom as all that may seem, I am not attempting to suggest that Eclipse is, in its current state, a terrible concept that will be the end of balance druids. Quite the contrary -- I think the current version of Eclipse on beta is rather workable. I am merely attempting to stress the importance of why this has to be said. If Eclipse does not function as it should, then there is simply no hope for us. There are no other options, no other avenues to pursue; Eclipse is the final destination.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Recreating balance druids in Cataclysm

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, we are watching a moonkin dance with a mushroom once again, mostly because it amuses me, and talking about all the recent beta goodies. Mmmm, I like goodies.

I do believe I made a promise last week that I'd discuss some Cataclysm information this week, and I intend to make good on that promise. There's certainly quite a lot of information to talk about, should you actually be a person who sleeps at a decent hour like most folks; luckily for all of you, I am not one of those people. As per usual, later into the night for most of us, Blizzard released another beta patch with a number of balance changes: a talent tree polish (a basic one, but a polish pass nonetheless) and yet another revision of Eclipse. There's actually a good deal to be excited for this time around. Now, we aren't paladins, so I wouldn't be jumping out of your chain to go running naked down the street screaming in joy ... But a little "whooo!" is appropriate.

Before we get started talking about all of the new changes, let me first mention a few things that are currently missing, bugged or simply not yet implemented. First and foremost, Eclipse in of itself does not currently work in beta. The bar works, you can shift the bar in every direction that you like, and the procs certainly work; however, the procs currently don't actually do anything. There's no bonus damage there at all, but this a bug from the mastery change when they switched over the talent trees. This actually brings up the next point: We still do not have any specialization effects as of yet, and frankly, I'm a bit at a loss as to what they might end up being. Previously, I assumed that they would merely be the old mastery effects, but looking at elemental shaman, I don't think that will be the case.

It is safe to assume that one of our mastery effects is going to be Vengeance, to help difference ourselves from other druids. Another will likely be pushback resistances, and I'd venture to guess that the old Wrath of Cenarius benefit will also be baked in there. If there will be anything else, I cannot really say. Last but certainly not least, there are still a few things missing from the talent trees -- the effects of Improved Moonkin Form still haven't been found anywhere else that I've seen, anyway -- so I still wouldn't expect this to be the last pass on the druid talent trees. Things are still very likely to change from how they stand now, so don't get too upset. With that out of the way, let's get started.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Thoughts on the "new" Eclipse

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week we are getting into the Cataclysm spirit and taking a good look at the biggest change that balance druids have been expecting for a long time coming. That's right, we're talking Eclipse.

Well, this has certain been a major week for Cataclysm news, if I do say so myself. If you happen to have been living under a rock the past couple of days or just read the only important article the gets sent out every week, then you should know that talents are taking a major change here in the next couple of weeks. That's right, the talent trees are getting cut down to 31 points, while players will only be getting talent points approximately every other level instead of every level as they do now. It's a major change, one that's going to impact the way every class in the game picks talents -- but honestly, for balance druids, I really don't think that it makes much of a difference.

Allow me a moment to clarify. The balance tree, at the moment, is already fairly heavy with talents that you are going to end up taking no matter how you wanted to choose to spec (mostly because there simply isn't much else to take). This lack of choice for balance druids has been something that I've been commenting on rather frequently the past few weeks, along with several other balance druids. It's mostly due to a disconnect between what Blizzard believes is an optional talent and what the players see as optional. The new talent system isn't something that I want to focus on, however, as there still needs to be more information released before we can really get down into it. What I would really like to talk about is our primary mastery, Eclipse.

Eclipse has been the single most fickle talent that balance druids have dealt with all throughout Wrath, and it came as no surprise to the community when Blizzard announced that they would be making some very big changes to it. After all, the core of Eclipse has been broken for quite some time -- we've managed with what we had to, but it hasn't been a very pretty sight. Still, for those who have been following along or those who are in beta, you may have noticed that the new Eclipse really isn't all that new at all. This is problematic and really the focus of what I'd like to discuss today.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Eclipse come Cataclysm

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; 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 or Wrath) 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.

Eclipse: 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

Shifting Perspectives: Changing Eclipse

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we're going to be looking at the most common gripe of the balance druid. That fickle little talent that every balance druid loves to hate: Eclipse. What's really wrong with it? How can we make it better? Why do we misname the procs?

Every time that I visit the Damage Dealing or Druid forums, I often feel like I am back in Wrath of the Lich King beta. During that time, every day there was some thread about some balance druid issue that needed to be addressed, usually it was Eclipse. For those that currently take up an issue with Eclipse, I want to personally apologize for the state that it has come to today. Although I am not a design for WoW, nor do I have any direct influence on the design philosophy of any class, I can't help but thinking every day that I, along with several other notable figures, paved the way for Eclipse to become what it is today.

For those that do not know what I am talking about, let me explain. During WotLK Beta, Eclipse was a terrible talent. By terrible, I don't mean that it was on par with Genesis. No, it was worse than Genesis. Eclipse was so bad during the early stages of Beta that there was more than several incarnations of the talent where it was a DPS loss to spend any talent points into it. Eclipse started out where you could only gain one proc every minute and the proc was either 10% increased damage to Wrath or 10% increased crit chance to Starfire. I shouldn't say it was all Eclipse's fault that it sucked, at the time the Glyph of Starfire had no extension limitation which certainly complicated the matter as well. Even without that, though, Eclipse simply wasn't worth it. There was no point in proccing Eclipse to buff Starfire at that point because 10% was too at the mercy of RNG to have a noticeable effect, and Wrath did not play well enough with Nature's Grace at the time to make its Eclipse proc viable.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The state of balance address

Every week, Shifting Perspectives on Fridays explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. Today we brush the tip of the iceberg on the intricacies of our larger, feathered kin; exploring what makes them tick, and how the clock might be tuned too tight.

Friends, beasts, strange owl-bear-man-pig creatures; patch 3.3 has been a troublesome time for balance druids. Things have been in utter chaos, there have been reports of a rioter in the streets flailing a giant fish around. There is no order, no law - there is no balance. At least, if you are a frequent visitor to the World of Warcraft Forums, that is what people would have you believe. I take a little bit of different perspective on things.

Since the release of Icecrown Citadel, there has been an out-cry from balance druids. They claim that the ability for balance to remain on a competitive level in a raid environment has plummeted off Azeroth. While the recent buff, and the current listing of balance druids on all of the top parse websites, is a good source of credit to these claims, they are still more speculation than they are factual. I am going to say right here, right now; balance druids are, at current, perfectly capable of bringing their fair share of pain during a raid encounter. This is not to say that we are not without our issues, which is what I am going to take time to outline. Beyond our issues, however, there are methods to work around all of our failings, and I will outline those as well.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives Guest Post: Why Eclipse is broken

Chris Dinwiddie is better known as Graylo from the popular moonkin blog Gray Matter. "I started my blog to talk about all the things in WoW that interest me. It turns out that my interests are fairly narrow, and my blog primarily focuses on moonkin raiding with the occasional aside to celebrate a boss kill or mourn a near miss."

Ahh, Eclipse. The talent the moonkin love to hate, or do we hate to love it? I don't know. It's a complicated relationship, but I would be surprised if there is another talent out there that stirs up as much emotion as Eclipse. On one hand, it is the savior of raiding moonkin everywhere. Without it moonkin would not be raid viable, and would be stuck with what some consider to be a very boring rotation. On the other hand, it can be a source of despair when you look at the WoL parse and face tough questions from a raid leader.

It is widely accepted with in the moonkin community that Eclipse is broken, but many moonkin don't seem to understand what the real issues are. In this post I will take a look at the common misconceptions about Eclipse, and highlight some of the issues that make Eclipse a broken talent.

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Filed under: Druid, Guest Posts

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