Second highest DPS? And should we be asking for another cooldown?

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.

Another cooldown

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).

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6 responses to “Second highest DPS? And should we be asking for another cooldown?

  • sunfyre

    Become a troll and you already have another DPS cool down. ;)

  • Tuscarora

    On the other hand, moonkins scale well with haste, and that means they get more benefit from Heroism/BL than most classes. Eclipse also acts as some cooldown-like mechanic sometimes, for example by saving Eclipses for the Sons of Flame on Ragnaros or the Meteors in Alysrazor. If I had to think of a new DPS cooldown for Moonkins, I would redesign Starfall.

  • Titnichal

    @Tuscarora

    I disagree that eclipse works as a cooldown. Our entire mastery revolves around being inside an eclipse state, so in order to not be gimped during aoe portions of certain fights (two of which you mentioned), we must time these phases to land during solar eclipse. In many cases, that means casting un-eclipsed starfires sitting at 5 solar energy for 20-30 seconds. Because it is crucial that the adds die quickly, it is also crucial to be in solar eclipse. But I would hardly call this a sort of cooldown, because our single target damage suffers for it.

    I do, however, like your idea of transforming starfall into a different cooldown. This would be an interesting way to balance out an increase in dps with the new function by removing/altering the dps we gain from the current starfall. Our aoe capability as it stands is strong enough with wild mushrooms in solar eclipse to remove the aoe component of starfall and redesign it as an interesting cooldown.

  • Sunfyre

    I would also love a mushroom launcher that would drop all 3 mushrooms together. Even if this had a 30 second cooldown.

  • Tuscarora

    Yes, you lose single-target DPS (that’s why it doesn’t work exactly like a cooldown), but it should average out if moonkins are balanced. The point I was trying to make is that since moonkins have higher-than-normal-damage phases (Eclipse) and lower-than-normal-damage phases (out of Eclipse), you have, well, a way to deal more damage than average during the 10 sec an Eclipse lasts. That’s the way it resembles a cooldown.

    If you want a real cooldown that is not Starfall and not a plain “+dmg/+haste” buff, an idea I just had is a spell that can only be activated during Eclipse and does something like “Your spells do not move the Eclipse meter during the next 10 seconds [or so]. Resets the cooldown on Nature’s Grace”. If we are going to get a cooldown (unlikely, on the short term), let’s get an Eclipse-related one.

    On the Solar AoE problem, by far the easiest fix is changing the Wild Mushroom damage type to Spellstorm, or make them morph to arcane damage Astral Mushrooms during Lunar Eclipse. Or add a talent that makes stars fall on targets hit by WM during Lunar Eclipse, tuned to make them fill the mastery gap. Lunar Moonfire does the same damage as Sunfire, so our two main AoE spells would do equal damage under either Eclipse if Wild Mushroom is fixed. Hurricane and Insect Swarm are a lot less relevant, the main issue is WM.

  • Titnichal

    I like the idea of having Wild Mushrooms morph into “Astral Mushrooms” or something. Would help resolve the gimped aoe out of solar eclipse for sure. I’ve always thought IS should morph in lunar eclipse as well, personally.

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