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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 additional dimension for the balance druid rotation

Shifting Perspectives An additional dimension for the Balance druid rotation
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 ready our spreadsheets for battle.

Well, it looks like those who said the balance rotation was dull carried the day. Insect Swarm isn't back, but interesting developments are afoot. A few days ago, Ghostcrawler dropped a minor bombshell on the balance rotation, and I'd like to do a bit of theorycrafting and explore the implications.

Ghostcrawler
We are experimenting with some changes to the rotation. No promises that these changes will stay, but we definitely look forward to your feedback (both in terms of theorycrafting and how fun it is). Shooting Stars should occur much more frequently, and Starsurge should be a more important (read: high damage) button. Additionally, we're adding a new passive that has some interesting implications. Should you choose to ignore it, your DPS will likely be only a few percentage behind someone who uses it optimally, but it should hopefully provide some more varied gameplay. To use some game designer jargon, we're happy with Moonkins' macro level rotational gameplay, but think they needs some more mirco-level decisions.
  • Shooting Stars chance increased from 20% to 50%.
  • Starsurge damage increased by 30%.
  • Fae Empowerment: New passive for Balance Druids. When you cast Faerie Fire, you gain Lunar Empowerment and Solar Empowerment.
  • Lunar Empowerment: Increases the damage of your next 3 Starfires within 15 sec by 15%.
  • Solar Empowerment: Increases the damage of your next 3 Wraths within 15 sec by 20%.
Please note that these changes are straight DPS buffs, and we don't think Moonkin need a buff right now, so we need to reduce overall damage (probably across the board) so that overall DPS stays the same. These nerfs may take a few builds, because we need to evaluate if these rotation changes are worth doing.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Broken things that aren't

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. It's time again folks! A new expansion is on its way, and I want all of the cool shots you can snag of your balance druid living the life in the new world. Send anything you like to tyler@wow.com!

Welcome, balance druids! It's the week before Cataclysm, and all of the WoW internet is abuzz with excitement. This is the week of leveling guides; what zones are the best to quest in, which quests to avoid, which are a must, what spec and glyphs you should use to maximize your damage and uptime -- all that good stuff. If you are looking for such information in this week's Shifting Perspectives, then I'm sadly going to disappoint you this time. Fortunately for me, I've grown a thick skin that can withstand anyone's stare of disapproval, and I've got the Rent soundtrack blaring, so everything is splenda.

Instead of focusing on the leveling experience that everyone will soon get to enjoy, I want to talk about those quirky little things about balance druids that have become a bit of a topic as of late. A few of these issues are things that were brought up during the beta process; some of them are issues that only developed on live servers. A lot of things have changed recently, and the new WoW forums are all a-twitter with concerns both from and about balance druids. Will we "suffer" -- though I doubt anyone who's been playing a balance druid since release would call Wrath "suffering" -- another expansion with faulty mechanics? Not likely at this point, but there are always things worth improving and looking into.

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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)

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