Starym

Big Balance Druid Changes on Beta

13 posts in this topic

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Balance Druids have been in a pretty bad place on the beta for a while now and were almost memed out of existence, but there's finally some good news as CM Seph responded to some detailed feedback on the class with a lengthy post explaining plans for the spec. New baseline passives, empowerments that are more significant to gameplay, new and changed talents and a lot of specific skill improvements all add up to make boomkins interesting to play again, so check out the detailed plans for the spec below and check out the recent talent changes.

Blizzard LogoSeph (source)

05/01/2018 12:19 AMPosted by Cyouskin
Solar Empowerment and Lunar Empowerment do not provide rewarding gameplay.
Single-target rotation can be optimized by a CastSequence macro.

This is two-parts and our two most important goals for the spec’s changelist going into BfA (and they tie in with each other):

First is to add something interesting to the base rotation. As many have pointed out, Balance Druid’s baseline rotation is pretty predictable, and doesn’t offer much in the way of procs or reactionary gameplay. New baseline passive: Solar WrathSolar Wrath has a 20% chance to grant Lunar EmpowermentLunar Empowerment. Lunar StrikeLunar Strike has a 20% chance to grant Solar EmpowermentSolar Empowerment. The goal here is to break up the monotony of chain-casting of only one generator with procs that incentivize you to use the other generator.

Second is to make Solar/Lunar Empowerments more meaningful. The damage bonus they provide on live isn’t negligible, but they don’t provide anything interesting other than damage. It’s hard to make a damage bonus with no created gameplay feel like a bonus psychologically, when you know in the back of your mind that everyone’s damage is tuned to be similar at the end of the day. We’re trying two changes here:

Solar EmpowermentSolar Empowerment is changing into: Causes your next Solar WrathSolar Wrath to explode for an additional X% of its damage to all nearby enemies (also hits the primary target). This helps to differentiate the two Empowerments a bit mechanically and visually. It also gives Solar Empowerments, which are now granted by Lunar StrikeLunar Strike, an AOE component so that when it procs while you’re AOEing with Lunar StrikeLunar Strike, you feel good about getting and using the Solar Empowerment proc. Currently the Solar Empowerment bonus is half the value of Lunar EmpowermentLunar Empowerment’s damage bonus, and scales by Mastery at the same half rate.
StarlordStarlord talent is becoming baseline, making Lunar and Solar Empowerment always reduce the cast time of their affected spells by 15%. This is a simple and direct way for Empowerments to be felt and desired. StarlordStarlord is being redesigned into: Starsurge grants you 3% Haste for 15 sec. Stacks up to 3 times. Gaining a stack does not refresh the duration. (Tier 20 4-pc bonus)


This doesn't instantly make Empowerments the most interesting class mechanic in the game, but it should be a step forward.

05/01/2018 12:19 AMPosted by Cyouskin
Fury of Elune, Sunfire, and Lunar Strike do not share the same splash radius.

We’ve increased/standardized the splash radius of Lunar StrikeLunar Strike, Fury of EluneFury of Elune, Full MoonFull Moon, and SunfireSunfire to 8 yds. Many of the 3-5 yd radius AOEs in the game started off as: Let’s make this spell effect that looks explosion-y, but won’t impact AOE damage too much, so let’s make it a small 3 yd radius. In practice, having AOE capability means players want to make use of it, and when it’s 3-5 yds it’s very difficult to and thus can be frustrating. 8 yds means you can more easily hit a basic clump of enemies on you or the tank.

05/01/2018 12:19 AMPosted by Cyouskin
Lunar Strike is insignificant in AOE despite having a splash mechanic.

Lunar StrikeLunar Strike’s radius increasing from 5 to 8 yds should be noticeable, but we can probably safely nudge up the splash damage a bit (25->33%) and see how it plays. Note that next week you’ll see a 10% reduction to Lunar StrikeLunar Strike’s base damage – that’s to mirror a new 10% reduction to its base cast time (2.5->2.25 sec). This makes Lunar StrikeLunar Strike’s cast time and Astral Power generation to be each exactly 50% higher than Solar WrathSolar Wrath, and makes it no longer slower resource generation/ramp with Lunar StrikeLunar Strike than Solar WrathSolar Wrath.

05/01/2018 12:19 AMPosted by Cyouskin
Stellar Flare suffers from a very heavy cost. A Starfall that costs 60, plus the Stellar Flare (10), plus the fact we aren't casting a filler (8), means Stellar Flare costs a bit too much.

Stellar FlareStellar Flare requiring a StarfallStarfall to be down to get a large portion of its damage felt bad – it’s a kind of weird negative synergy with both being Astral Power spenders. We’ve removed the Stellar Empowerment portion of it, and instead its damage is increased by Balance mastery (the portion that increases Astral Power spender damage), and kept its 10 Astral Power for now.

One use case for Stellar FlareStellar Flare was that it can be a spender for targets that can’t all be covered by a single StarfallStarfall (even though Stellar DriftStellar Drift covers the entire world and pulls the floor above), and this use case pointed even more toward removing the Stellar Empowerment requirement portion of it. I think Stellar FlareStellar Flare is still looking for its place on the spec - we’ll continue to look for opportunities to improve/change it.

05/01/2018 12:21 AMPosted by Cyouskin
AOE gameplay is too reliant on Shooting Stars. Other talents do not come close to the         performance of Shooting Stars.

Shooting StarsShooting Stars looks/feels cool, but provided just a little too much Astral Power. Especially considering that the talent row it’s now on (with Stellar DriftStellar Drift and Stellar FlareStellar Flare) provides no other resources generation, reducing its Astral power proc makes sense.

05/01/2018 12:19 AMPosted by Cyouskin
Force of Nature suffers from scaling issues. The other talents have a notable effect on Astral Power generation.

Agree that summoning some Treants on a long cooldown doesn’t bring much in terms of mechanical interaction. It now generates some Astral Power over its duration.

05/01/2018 12:21 AMPosted by Cyouskin
The current rate of Astral Power generation is pretty low.

StarsurgeStarsurge’s cost hasn’t been changed, but some amount of Astral Power generation has been added to a few places – Warrior of EluneWarrior of Elune, Force of NatureForce of Nature, Fury of EluneFury of Elune (now a generator instead of spender), Nature's BalanceNature's Balance (new design). Additionally, the average cast speed of your two generators has been meaningfully sped up, with StarlordStarlord’s 15% cast time reduction becoming baseline. Definitely will be keeping an eye on pacing feedback.

05/01/2018 05:50 AMPosted by Maruul
And for the love of god remove Nature's Balance, I have never seen a talent that makes me more depressed. I dread the day I have to pick it because it's the best, it is horribly unexciting and makes the rotation even more wrath spam. Don't make it baseline, don't buff it, just delete it.

Agree here. The bonus it provided ended up making the single-target rotation less engaging, even if it was sometimes nice to have in multitarget situations.

The new/redesigned version of Nature's BalanceNature's Balance is: While in combat, you generate 2 Astral Power every 3 sec. While out of combat, your Astral Power rebalances to 50 instead of depleting to empty. It's a combination of the live Blessing of An'sheBlessing of An'she talent (which has been removed and one half folded into this one) and the new effect which removes out-of-combat Astral Power degeneration while below half, allowing you to enter combat with up to 50 Astral Power, which allows a StarsurgeStarsurge or StarfallStarfall on the opener.

05/08/2018 05:18 PMPosted by Gärzen
Welp the new build came out today and another nerf in the form of Soul of the Forest only reduces the cost of starfall by 10 down from 20. Thats the nail in the coffin right there, destroyed the rest of our niche. This was the build we were looking forward to.

StarfallStarfall’s base Astral Power cost has been reduced to 50. We probably should have waited to make that change to Soul of the Forest along with the rest of the changes to the spec. Overall, that reduction to Soul of the ForestSoul of the Forest is still the right thing (I think many of you agree) - 1/3 off the cost of StarfallStarfall for a talent is pretty overboard – but without the context of the rest of the changes it’s understandable that it doesn’t look right.

05/13/2018 03:53 PMPosted by Comfybundles
Please give us a way to spread Moonfire on multiple targets.

Twin Moons is a new talent that causes MoonfireMoonfire to deal additional damage and also hit a second nearby enemy within 20 yds of that target. (a.k.a legendary shoulders) This was useful functionality that helped with ramp in multitarget situations and was also visually satisfying.

One other change is to Celestial AlignmentCelestial Alignment/Incarnation: Chosen of EluneIncarnation: Chosen of Elune. Instead of providing +50% Astral Power generation on Lunar StrikeLunar Strike/Solar WrathSolar Wrath, they now provide 15% Haste (and their damage bonus has been tuned down slightly for now). The spec’s resource is a bit of a not-super-stable balance of Astral Power and Lunar/Solar Empowerment generation/consumption, and Celestial AlignmentCelestial Alignment/Incarnation: Chosen of EluneIncarnation: Chosen of Elune sometimes caused resource/Empowerments overflow, a problem that a Haste bonus doesn’t have.

Thanks for all the well-written and constructive feedback, especially from the original poster.

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Well those are some interesting and much needed changes, as it was when I tried Balance on Beta it felt like a slightly nerfed version of live.

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OMG OMG OMG OMG, This is it! This is the changes I want to see for boomkin. When I first read the very few changes in the alpha for Boomkin I was devastated, it is my main spec since the start of Legion and seeing it getting so few changes and even nerf in BfA alpha is just sad. But now, I am totally on board with these changes, can't wait to test it in Bfa.

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1 hour ago, Yunaeska said:

can't wait to test it in Bfa.

I think it's going to be Legion all over again. Some classes/specs get altered to make it flow more nicely/intuitively, only to change exactly the part you fell in love with, making you feel disconnected from the character you've been playing with all this time.

 

/feels

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1 hour ago, Yridaa said:

I think it's going to be Legion all over again. Some classes/specs get altered to make it flow more nicely/intuitively, only to change exactly the part you fell in love with, making you feel disconnected from the character you've been playing with all this time.

 

/feels

I understand but it's inevitable in every expansion. My biggest concern after leaving Legion is the legendary system. In legion this system has become the peanut and butter to the playstyle of every class and so far they have trying to maintain some of its effects to Bfa for example void torrent for spriest or the phoenix flame for fire mage, but boomkin was received non until now. This is such a relief.

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5 hours ago, Yridaa said:

I think it's going to be Legion all over again. Some classes/specs get altered to make it flow more nicely/intuitively, only to change exactly the part you fell in love with, making you feel disconnected from the character you've been playing with all this time.

 

/feels

Isn't that what happens in every expansion ever?

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1 hour ago, Valhalen said:

Isn't that what happens in every expansion ever?

I think that depends on what classes and specs you've been playing I guess. I totally loved the Holy Power resource mechanic for Holy Paladins ever since it was introduced in Cataclysm, but then they went back on their decision and introduced more homogenization. Now we're back to the ever dull "You have a very large mana bar but just don't cast too inefficiently for too long".

 

It is removing mechanics like those that makes it very uninspiring and uninteractive. Making a split second decision to either spend your special resources on a powerful single target heal or wait for 2 seconds to do an AOE heal were things that made it cool. Now it's just "I'll just spam my only single target heal until I drop dead and spam AOE when I need to spam AOE."

 

Typically, I really like resource generation and spending mechanics, especially so if it's topped off with a proc here and there that allows for more generation and spending (Or sometimes free instead of spending) (And Holy Paladins had a lot of those, but definitely not exclusive to them of course). But for some of these classes or specs, Legion (And perhaps BfA depending on those legendary item skill replacements) set them back to before the cataclysm era.

 

Blizzard just keeps lowering the skill ceiling by removing important decisionmaking on what to use when, and then complain that people just use castsequence macro's and introduce GCD to skills that didn't have them to make it interesting, only to realize months later that it's just yet another step backwards. It's like they're digging their own grave, complain about it, and realize that it wasn't a smart thing to do.

 

 

Man I just keep on ranting, I'll stop. :P

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7 hours ago, Yridaa said:

I think that depends on what classes and specs you've been playing I guess. I totally loved the Holy Power resource mechanic for Holy Paladins ever since it was introduced in Cataclysm, but then they went back on their decision and introduced more homogenization. Now we're back to the ever dull "You have a very large mana bar but just don't cast too inefficiently for too long".

 

It is removing mechanics like those that makes it very uninspiring and uninteractive. Making a split second decision to either spend your special resources on a powerful single target heal or wait for 2 seconds to do an AOE heal were things that made it cool. Now it's just "I'll just spam my only single target heal until I drop dead and spam AOE when I need to spam AOE."

 

Typically, I really like resource generation and spending mechanics, especially so if it's topped off with a proc here and there that allows for more generation and spending (Or sometimes free instead of spending) (And Holy Paladins had a lot of those, but definitely not exclusive to them of course). But for some of these classes or specs, Legion (And perhaps BfA depending on those legendary item skill replacements) set them back to before the cataclysm era.

 

Blizzard just keeps lowering the skill ceiling by removing important decisionmaking on what to use when, and then complain that people just use castsequence macro's and introduce GCD to skills that didn't have them to make it interesting, only to realize months later that it's just yet another step backwards. It's like they're digging their own grave, complain about it, and realize that it wasn't a smart thing to do.

 

 

Man I just keep on ranting, I'll stop. :P

 I completely understand what you're saying. I like the idea of  resource generation mechanic  they borrowed from D3 and implemented in WoW (which itself was a refined mechanic borrowed from Warriors and Rogues in WoW). I think all classes should have that instead of the typical mana bar; not only this would make combat more dynamic and engaging but also remove that pestering problem of going out of mana and becoming useless for the rest of the battle.

Edited by Valhalen

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On 19.05.2018 at 7:48 PM, Weltenfeind said:

Slightly OT: I wonder if this signals bigger changes to some of the other classes as well.

Not sure if any class or spec was nearly shit as balance druids, and need that much attention.

The only thing i could want more for moonkin would be moon spells, cause it still kind of blocks the talent row as it is kind of mandatory to generate astral power but don't think boomkins get more attention.

Anyone knows when the changes will be implemented?

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How many expansions have we had Stellar Flare now, and it has never been any good. A single-target DoT that required Starfall to be down, and required Astral Power, was a horrible design. If that Stellar Empowerment requirement goes away then it becomes a very good option for specializing in spread cleave or even single-target.

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      You're going to approach guards and tell them you've lost a puppy. Dark Ranger Lyana goes by the name "Marion Sutton" when transformed.
      The guards were super drunk last night and they do not recall anything. It must have been fairly easy for Saurfang to pass by the Three Corner watchpost unnoticed. Now you question Darcy Parker about what happened last night.
      The search continues in Lakeshire at Inkeeper Brianna. She informs you that guards are staying upstairs at the Lakeshire Inn. After searching the room for clues, you find an Official-Looking Note from Shaw:
      Signs of Saurfang
      With the guards drunk at their posts, Saurfang would have had little trouble passing Three Corners undetected. The path splits up ahead. The back roads of Redridge are poorly-patrolled and infested with gnolls and spiders. In other words, a perfect path for an orc trying to not to be noticed. His most likely path is Lakeridge Highway, we should continue our investigation there.
      You'll find ripped webbing, ichor, and plenty of killed spiders in Lakeridge Highway.
      Defeat the Injured Bristlequeen to complete the quest.
      Ever Eastward
      All signs point to our quarry heading farther east. To what end, Im an not sure, but I have my suspicions. I am going to scout the area from the air, let's meet up at Redridge Pass.
      Tracking Tipoff
      Look there, down the hill, one of the Alliance hunters that roams the area. No one knows these pathways like them. If our quarry passed through this area, they would certainly have seen the tracks. Their dogs may even have noticed. Here is another dose of the potion. Let us question this one while he is alone.
      It's time to drink  Humanizing Potion again and question Hunter McAlister who is later killed, because his dogs notice you're not actual humans.
      Killing Hunter McAlister and his dogs makes Zappyboi appear! Zekhan offers the next quest while Lyana informs you she must return to the Warchief.
      Zekhan tells you that Saurfang's hiding at a nearby farm.
      Grim Tidings
      Ey mon, dat dark ranger, she lied to ya'! Saurfang knew they'd be comin' for him. He sent me to watch the pass, see who his assassins were, try to warn him if I could. She's not reportin' back nothin', she's goin' to kill him. Probably got a whole group of deathguards just waiting for her to give the signal. We gotta stop dem! You with me?
      Dark Ranger Lyana lied to you and she wants to kill him. Better hurry and inform Saurfang who's located in the Swamp of Sorrows.
      A Warrior's Death
      She gonna try an' take him in, and then no one ever gonna see Varok Saurfang again. Dis was never a rescue mission, dis was about power, an' control, an' Sylvanas think she be holdin' all the cards. But she didn't count on us! Let's go.
      Turns out Sylvanas actually tricked you and wants Saurfang dead.
      Completing the quest rewards a fun cloak toy - Worn Cloak. A scripted event will begin as soon as you accept the quest and you must defend Saurfang.
      Dark Ranger Lyana and her crew die, but now you must come up with something to fool Sylvanas.
      Queen's Favor
      I have two things to ask of you, and I do not ask them lightly. First, I need you to retain the favor of the warchief. She will undoubtedly have questions, and seeds of distrust may begin to grow, but she cannot lose you as an ally, not now. She would not so willingly part with one of her greatest champions. In order to do so, it will have to look like you faced me in combat, and lost. I trust you can take a hit. Second, I ask you not to follow me further. I must make this journey alone.
      Talk to Saurfang and tell him to punch you. The screen turns black for a second and you will be afflicted with the "Convincing Blow" debuff for 10 minutes.
      Finally, go to Orgrimmar and talk to Sylvanas in Grommash Hold to complete the Queen's Favor quest that rewards Artifact Power.
      The story ends here. Sylvanas doesn't know you defeated the dark ranger and her forces along with Saurfang and Zekhan. Let's see what the future holds for Varok. Let us know what you think about his story so far and Sylvanas wanting him dead.
      Characters Involved in the Questline
      Dark Ranger Lyana
      Veteran Dark Ranger appointed by Sylvanas to help you track down Saurfang. In the beginning, it all looks like a rescue mission, but further down the questline you learn that she was deceiving you all along. She's later killed by the player, Saurfang, and Zekhan.
      Varok Saurfang
      Saurfang escaped the Stockades and you find him hiding at a farm in the swamps with simple armor and without the "High Overlord" title, indicating his discontent with Sylvanas' Horde. You confront Dark Ranger Lyana and her forces as you uncover her vile intentions and learn that the rescue mission was actually a lie and Sylvanas wants him dead. He doesn't want you or Zekhan to follow him, because he clearly states that he must travel the path alone. The character of Saurfang remains the embodiment of the Horde's long-lost honor.
      Zekhan
      Zappyboi makes an appearance during the questline and fights alongside Saurfang. Blizzard did a really great job at portraying him loyal to Varok at times of need as we saw in the Old Soldier cinematic.
      Lady Sylvanas Windrunner
      Another lie has been told by the Warchief. First, she makes you believe it's of utmost importance to track down Saurfang, who recently escaped the Stockades, so that the Alliance does not kill him. Later, she accuses Varok of treason against the Horde and she wants him dead. After you kill Lyana and her forces, you fool her into believing that Saurfang did all that. Blizzard confirmed in an interview that Sylvanas will not be Garrosh 2.0 in Battle for Azeroth.
      Gameplay Video
      Saurfang-Sylvanas relations hit an all-time low in Tides of Vegeance.
    • By Jovovich
      World of Warcraft - [Horde][US-Arthas]Unhuman - Francais - Uldir 3/8M  -  www.unhuman.ca
       
      Unhuman est à la recherche de nouveaux visages qui seraient intéressés à joindre ses rangs!
      Forum: http://forum.unhuman.ca/forum/7-recrutement/
       
      Raiding:
      - [Raid] Hex Uldir: 3/8M, 2soir, Mercredi et Jeudi 8pm à 11pm  (EST)
         Leader: Fangpriest / Assistant: Pandov et Starbender
      - [Raid] Unknown (Heroic only) Uldir: 4/8H, 1soir, Mercredi 7pm a 10pm (EST)
         Leader: Felfâllen / Assistant: Flos,  Falmortis 
      - [Raid] Casual Uldir: 0/8N, 1soir, En formation
         Leader: Legitdh 
      - Raid ouvert a tout les membres de la guilde (normal only) uldir: 8/8N, samedi matin 10am a 1pm (EST)
         Leader: Jovovich
       
      PvP:
      - [PvP] Unhuman RBG: 1200 rating, 1soir Dimanche des 9hpm (EST)
       
      Communauté:
      - Plus de  445 accounts
       
      Unhuman est plus qu'une guilde de raiding performante, c'est aussi la plus grosse communauté Francophone sur World of Warcraft US. Depuis sa création en 2006, Unhuman cherche à offrir à ses raiders un environnement de jeu qui favorise la progression et ce avec des joueurs d'excellent calibre. Nous sommes constamment à la recherche de nouveaux joueurs que ce soit PVE ou PVP, mais aussi des masters du Pet Battles, des champions de l'Archéologie ou peu importe ce qui vous branche ingame. Vous êtes donc assuré de trouver ce que vous cherchez chez nous peu importe votre style de jeu.
       
      Pour toutes questions...
       
      - http://unhuman.ca/
       
      - Jovovich-Arthas, Guild Master
      - Falmortis-Arthas, Officier
    • By Jovovich
      World of Warcraft - [Horde][US-Arthas]Unhuman - French - Uldir: 3/8M - www.unhuman.ca
       
      Unhuman is RECRUITING!
      Forum: http://forum.unhuman.ca/forum/7-recrutement/
       
      Raiding:
      - [Raid] Hex Uldir: 3/8M, 2day, Wednesday and Thursday 8pm to 11pm  (EAST)
         Leader: Fangpriest / Assistant: Pandov et Starbender
      - [Raid] Unknown (Heroic only) Uldir: 4/8H, 1day, Wednesday 7pm to 10pm (EAST)
         Leader: Felfâllen / Assistant: Flos , Florih et Falmortis 
      - [Raid] Casual Uldir: 0/8N, 1day, in formation
         Leader: Legitdh 
      - 1 more raid in formation...
       
      PvP:
      - [PvP] Unhuman RBG: 1200 rating, 1day Sunday starting at 9hpm (EAST)
       
      Community:
      - More than 445 account
       
      Unhuman is a performing raiding guild with multiple raid groups, it's one of the biggest, for not saying the biggest one, french community on World of Warcraft US. Unhuman has been created in December 2006 and will continue to live for a long time, Unhuman is trying to give to our raiders everything they need to be focus only on good progression!. Unhuman is always looking for new players of all kind, PvE or PvP, even with Battle pets or Archeologists or anything else you can do in the game....You will be sure to find your way with Unhuman!
       
      For any question...
      - http://unhuman.ca/
      - Jovovich-Arthas, Guild Master
      - Falmortis-Arthas, Officier