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Cata Classic Balance Druid Tuning: June 12th

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Blizzard will be changing the way Moonkin plays in Cataclysm Classic, as they were seen players heavily favor the Solar end of the balance and changed things up last week. Today they have changed things once more, as Insect Swarm is now Spellstorm damage, so that going into Lunar Eclipse is more appealing.

Blizzard LogoBalance (Source)

Greetings Moonkins.

We noticed that Balance druid gameplay was seeing a trend towards sitting in Solar and trying not to leave it, especially in Multi-DoT situations. Not engaging with a decent chunk of your core rotation to stay in Solar Eclipse is not a playstyle that we nor the original developers had intended, so we released a change last week that was aimed at preventing mastery snapshotting pre-pull by resetting Eclipse when engaging a boss.

Having your Eclipse state reset on boss pull does a few things:

  • It lets Balance druids start pulls on a relatively even playing field (even after wiping)
  • It makes you less reluctant to participate in trash pulls instead of saving an Eclipse state, and
  • It also doesn’t punish a player who was recently in Solar, and starts a boss with their bar pushing towards Lunar Eclipse

We acknowledge this change required breaking a few Moonkin eggs and understand this could be a damage reduction in many scenarios. As a result, we went looking for a lightweight change to bring back the DPS lost from not being able to start in a specific Eclipse state, and to attack the core problem that Moonkins were facing that made them want to play ‘Sunkin’ in the first place–it feels bad to leave Solar Eclipse.

To address this, we recently deployed a hotfix that changes Insect Swarm to now deal Spellstorm (Arcane/Nature) damage so it can now benefit from Lunar Eclipse. This means that when you end up in Lunar Eclipse, you will still be buffing your two core DoTs. We estimate this change to be about a 15% damage increase to Insect Swarm, which is typically a Balance Druid’s second most damaging ability on non-single target encounters. There may still be situations where staying in Solar Eclipse is ideal, and that’s totally fine, we just don’t think it’s healthy for that to be every situation and on every pull.

We recognize that the lack of communication when the first change went live was frustrating, but we wanted to get the initial change out quickly so that the gearing meta did not settle in a specific way for Balance Druids, only to have that change a few weeks later while we continued to iterate on this set of changes. We look forward to seeing your Lunar Eclipsed swarms in action and will continue to monitor druid performance after this change.

Thank you!

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