Second highest DPS this tier
So…balance druids, as indicated in this post on MMO-Champion from last week, have the second highest DPS on average so far this tier. It is my opinion, as well as many others’, that this is at least partially attributable to our reliance on DoTs for DPS (most of the top rated DPS are DoT-based classes) and the padding of meters on some multi-DoTing fights. That being said, there is a general consensus that our play-style has become very complex, with a lot of questions and variables we must consider on-the-fly. Because of this level of variability, only the very skilled balance druids can accomplish DPS at these levels with any degree of consistency.
The question becomes: is our rotation/priority system too complex for the average Joe Schmo laser chicken? Do similarly geared/skilled mages do comparable DPS to these more average players? Or are only those of us who can very accurately determine when to refresh DoTs, when to clip DoTs, when to extend eclipses, when to pop trees/starfall, etc. capable of achieving equivalent damage output? If the answer to this question is yes, only the most skilled players can compete, then something might be wrong and the #2 ranking might be a little bit skewed.
Fellow blogger Sunfyre, in several of his past blog posts (the most recent of which can be found here), as well as Graylo (last mentioned in his interview with a popular Russian blogger here), have expressed their wishes for an additional cooldown to add to our arsenal. Sunfyre is a proponent for an insta-eclipse cooldown that would allow us to automatically switch from our current eclipse energy level to 100 energy at our opposite eclipse state. This would prove beneficial in many aspects of the game, such as for help in PvP burst damage (a topic about which I am admittedly ignorant, but hear we lack some ability) and in reducing ramp-up time for the beginning of encounters where we are at either 0 energy after a zone-in or if we are simply not currently in an eclipse state.
Graylo, on the other hand, wishes that we have a cooldown similar to a mage’s Arcane Power/Icy Veins or a shaman’s Elemental Mastery. This would provide great utility for burn phases, because as it stands, the only real cooldown we have to burn for heroism is popping force of nature before it is cast, other than the obvious volcanic potion which is the same for everyone. This is, of course, not counting a trinket use if you happen to be using a trinket with an on-use ability. I personally favor this option because it doesn’t really complicate the rotation/priority more than it already is. This cooldown would be used whenever heroism is used, and if it was given a comparable cooldown to force of nature, could basically be used in combination with that to simplify timing. It would remain to be seen, however, if this made druids overpowered, but adjustments to our passives could always be made.
Both suggestions, I believe, are excellent resources that would undoubtedly add to the interesting play style that balance druids have already come to possess. While I personally favor Graylo’s idea if I had to choose just one, Sunfyre’s definitely has its place (especially in PvP and after zoning annoyingly eliminates your eclipse energy).