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Regional Flag[Balance Druid] Initial impressions/feedback! (Show MVP Posts)Source
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Amairgen
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#1 - 2014/06/06 11:13:00 PM
I'm sorry if this gets posted twice. There was an error with my first one when I hit submit and I lost it, then had to re-write it.

I wanted to give my balance druid feedback from what I've experienced so far! I've been playing a balance druid as my main since BC, though specifically in raiding, I don't really do PVP. I'm not a theorycrafter, I don't plug numbers into spreadsheets so right now I am only guessing at what I think is optimal and trying things that look fun out.

So, my first impression is most definitely the shock of the new Eclipse energy mechanic. It is very, very different. It definitely gives the class its own feel, but in comparison to the current balance mechanic, where there's lots of control, this one feels like it has very little. I am not yet sure how my spellcasting influences it, and it doesn't seem very clear watching the behavior. It is, however, more transparent in where my energy is at and what I can do than the days of Wrath of the Lich King, which was very RNG based. Also, I can see what's going on and where it's going next. I am not unprepared to deal with how things are changing, but I do not feel much control over how they are changing. Not saying I need to, but that is the experience I'm having.

One thing I do not like is it seems to start whenever anything hits me. It's frustrating to have my ideal opener or line-up cut off because something hit me first.

The general nature of it made me want to try Stellar Flare right away once it became available, though after getting quite used to it, I want to try other things. Stellar Flare felt very nice at first as it gave me a clear opener and something that was defined as beneficial to cast at balanced levels (at least, I assume the power being at 0 means "balanced". If it doesn't, then I have massively misinterpreted things.)

Before and after Stellar Flare though, I got a general pattern that I followed. Devs, if these are the sorts of behavior you were going for, then congratulations!

Normal:

Moonfire > Starsurge > Starfire until close to 0 > Wrath > Starsurge > Sunfire > Wrath until close to 0 > Starsurge > Moonfire > Starfire, repeat from Wrath phase.

I just opened with Moonfire so I could get the Lunar Empowerment buff when the Eclipse meter is closer to the top, meaning both Starfires are close to or at max to benefit from maximum empowerment. Similar reasoning with Wrath.

With Stellar Flare:

Stellar Flare > Starsurge > Moonfire > Starfire until halfway > Stellar Flare > Starsurge > Sunfire > Wrath until 3/4's of the way down > Repeat.

Nicely enough, Starfall doesn't get factored in unless there's multiple mobs. It's pretty nice, I think. I usually have a charge available if I need it, but using it on one mob feels like a waste. I also love the new graphics for it! When I saw Tyrande do her Starfall outside Org in SoO, I said I wanted a Starfall like that, and now I have it!

AOE is a little tricky though. With Starfall being explicitly Lunar, and Hurricane being explicitly Solar, and the Eclipse thing constantly cycling, I can't just hit Solar Eclipse, Starfall, and Hurricane towards freedom (though there were rarely enough mobs to make that efficient anyway.) It makes Hurricane feel limited or out of place. I can still do it during Lunar Eclipse phases, but I just end up dotting things instead, because I'm very unsure of myself and my interpretations.

I haven't switched my talents around much. This has been my current setup:

Feline Swiftness
Ysera's Gift
Typhoon
Soul of the Forest (+15% all the time sounds so great to me, less cooldowns to worry about.)
Incapacitating Roar
Nature's Vigil (I want to experiment a bit with this tier)
Stellar Flare (I want to experiment a lot with this tier)

I've run a few dungeons, and what I've noticed is that I tend to forget about or drop Stellar Flare, especially in movement fights. It just seems to line up poorly in that very active environment, and frequently I can find other things to do (multi-dot, for example.)

The biggest thing I get from the Balance cycling is that it's very fleeting to know that one moment a spell is at full power, or that it'll be at full power in just a second or two, and you have no idea what to cast just that moment.

Bugs:
- Stellar Flare's graphic appears to be extremely delayed
- Moonkin Aura is not appearing in groups. I know I'm personally benefiting from the haste buff, I do not know if other members of my group are. I've asked. They said, "Whatevs, lets pull," or something similar.

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Game Designer
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#10 - 2014/06/10 02:51:00 AM
Slight tweak to that, BTW. We changed that '110' to '105'.

EDIT: Oh, and we raised the duration of the Lunar and Solar Empowerments from Starsurge to 30sec.

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#12 - 2014/06/10 03:34:00 AM
Aye, doesn't really change much gameplay-wise. Just little tweak so you feel it slowing down more at the ends. Empowerment change makes it less punishing to use Starsurge and an inopportune moment (the penalty is temporary; you still get the benefit, just later).

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#18 - 2014/06/12 07:52:00 AM
Yeah, the biggest problem I think is that Moon/Sunfire do too much direct damage at the moment.