Balance Druid Forgotten

Balance Druid were already not doing great in P3, and they remain unchanged on the P4 PTR.

Some Problems:

  1. Damage. Our damage remains underwhelming, and will be getting worst because of mana issues (see below), itemization (see below) and no additional damage gains from the extra 10 levels / talents.

  2. Mana. Even with full consumables, a shadow priest and a Ret paladin, Balance druids run out of mana very quickly. Innervate is not good for us since it relies on Spirit and pretty much all spirit was removed from caster gear (aside from Healing Priest / Resto Druid pieces), and we’re sort of expected to Innervate healers anyway, that’s part of our diminishing “utility”. We have no tool to manage our mana, besides falling back to a Wrath spam rotation (lower dps rotation, when our “high” dps rotation is already subpar).

  3. Dead talents. We don’t get much for our 10 new talent points from level 60. We get to run 5/5 Imp MotW, but the 1st and 2nd row of Restoration has nothing else for us, so there’s 5 wasted points into Imp Healing Touch or Nature’s Focus for the once-every-three-months hardcast heal we do (remember, we have instant cast HT from Fury rune). Row 3 of Restoration has Reflection, which is worth a tiny amount of mana regen (thanks to having no spirit on our gear) and Insect Swarm. Insect Swarm is another GCD every 12 seconds (so every 2 cycles of Starsurge), deals low damage (bad scaling) and the resto druid can already apply the -2% hit chance debuff anyway, so it doesn’t add to our utility.

  4. Starfall. The only new thing Balance gets this phase is Starfall: a 1-button press DPS ability that’s underwhelming outside of AoE scenarios. This is literally a copy-paste from Wrath (minus the Glyph to reduce its cooldown). This is seemingly where 100% of the dev time for Balance Druid went for P4?

  5. Itemization. The spirit is gone from basically all non-healing caster gear. That means we’re stuck with mana issues and makes innervate bad (except on Priests / Resto Druids). Druids don’t have +Hit talents to easily gear to be able to hit PvE bosses reliably, so you introduced hit on a lot of leather items (including the Sunken Temple set), but that leaves us without the main stat that makes every other DPS class scale well: critical hit. Even when leather caster items are made, they’re never as good as the cloth ones (looking at the gloves and helms in ST for example: both the cloth versions are more desirable).

Other minor problems:

  • Thorns damage was low even before classes damage was multiplied by runes and insane gear, it needs a buff/rework.

  • Tranquility is just plain bad. It needs the Hurricane treatment (or better, honestly).

  • No-rune version of Barkskin is unusable. I was expecting the part of the rune that removes the drawbacks to be made baseline in P4 at least.

  • The proc-based nature of Fury of Stormrage is annoying. It feels nice as a Moonkin to have an instant HT ready to save a teammate, but the fact that it’s completely RNG means it’s super unreliable. Why can’t we have a version that doesn’t rely on a 12% proc, but instead make a HT touch instant every 8-10th Wraths or something?

  • Omen of Clarity doesn’t proc on Hurricane, which really doesn’t help the mana issues.

  • Omen of Clarity’s interaction with instant (from fury of stormrage) Rank 1 Healing Touch feels unintended and weird. HT has a 100% chance to trigger a Clearcast, even if it’s a Rank 1 HT. This leads to the weird rotation of Wrath Spam → Instant HT Rnk1 → expensive spell (hurricane, brez, wild growth, etc).

  • Omen of Clarity having to be cast instead of being a passive. There’s no reason why its not a passive?

Some Suggestions

Some to address the problems above, others just to add some needed QoL.

  • Indoor/outdoor restrictions are outdated. Feral already got their cat speed buff indoor, why not allow us to cast Entangling Roots / Nature’s Grasp indoors?

  • Change how Innervate interacts with spirit OR bring spirit back in some fashion (either on gear or from a talent that converts a % of int into spirit?)

  • Make made-for-moonkin gear desirable so we don’t skip it to wait for cloth gear, competing with warlocks/mages/spriests.

  • Make Omen of Clarity a passive instead of a buff.

  • Why not let us take a page from the Mage’s book and be able to open a Portal to Moonglade?

  • Give us rune options. Right now, every druid spec gets a set of runes. If you play balance, you equip all the balance runes. If you play feral, you equip all the feral runes. If you play resto, you equip all of the resto runes. No choice is being made here by Druid players. The only choice I can think of as a druid player is Hurricane vs Barkskin (which is, a non-choice really, if there’s AoE dmg to be done, you pick Hurricane, if not you run Barkskin).

It’s hard to be excited for P4 when you main a Balance druid right now, it really feels like the spec was not given any dev time at all, but I hope all the PTR feedback will give the team a nudge to change that.

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I made a post a few hours ago, with some ideas on how to fix us, but for the most part, I agree. Maybe its a bit different on the horde side though. (I have no mana issues, start and end fights at 95% mana)

Our time spent in a fight is (especially with the insect swarm joining our rotation) eaten up by applying dots. We have 1 rune that helps prolong the dots, but it also throws them onto three different duration timers, 30 seconds, 21 seconds, and now 12 seconds. It snowballs into a clunky rotation when you add in the 6 second starsurge.

Some things they could do would be to change Elune’s Fires to reset the duration of Moonfire and Sunfire, rather than prolong it, without the restriction of only happening 3 times.

They could change the eclipse rune so that each time we eat a stack of eclipse, Starsurge does more damage… Maybe we could get out of the locked 6 second starsurge rotation.

Im sure the dozens of other SoD Boomkin can come up with other good ideas.

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The mana issue is mostly from PTR testing.

During P3 raids my mana gets low every fight if I only have 1 ret + 1 prot paladin in the group, but it’s manageable (it’s near-infinite with 3 rets). It’s rough with 0 paladins though.

  1. Damage. Reiterating it’s one of the worst pve dps classes.
  2. Mana. Agreed that it’s strange how we have 0 mana wrath and nearly 0 mana starsurge but in PVP I am oom in seconds. In PVE you need full buffs to have a hope
  3. Dead talents - We need more SCALING talents. Natural weapons was a move in the right direction but imp MOTW giving you a self buff would be helpful as well. Insect swam needs MUCH better scaling.
  4. Starfall. - Much needed button but current damage on it seems extremely weak and it does nothing for single target damage.

Other minor problems:

Thorns sucks. = Thorns as a set bonus just feels like a slap in the face. Make it scary enough that melee is afraid to attack a boomie and then it’s powerful enough.

  • Tranquility is useless and I remember loving this button in original vanilla. It felt like a lifesaver back in the day. This should do 10x wildgrowth healing with it’s current cooldown.
    *Barkskin needs to be useable while stunned as baseline. We can’t survive a rogue opener and this would maybe give us a chance to survive.
  • I agree the proc rate on Fury of the Stormrage needs excessive buffing. We oom if we use HT too much anyways so it’s not a power scaling issue to have this proc a lot. Enhance Shaman for instant can shoot their instant casts far more often.
  • Omen of Clarity should definitely be passive. It’s dumb as just another buff to have to cast.

Please stop nerfing fun. Starsurge got nerfed and wasn’t even close to the most damaging ability in the game at that point. It took awhile to get into a balanced place. I still would rather see starfire as a bigger nuke. It doesn’t hit as hard as it’s mage and lock counterparts.

Taking away wild growth from boomkin stomps out 2 of my favorite things in the game. I love healing 5 mans as a restokin. Whether the Fury of the stormrage omen interaction was intended or not it was a really fun playstyle to wrath spam into HT into 0 mana wild growth. I also played moonglow druid back in the AQ days and it felt a lot like that.

In PVP Wild Growth has been a mandatory ability for pvp. Sunfire boomkins were a surefire way to tell someone was a mindless zugger versus a team player with wild growth. My assumption is that a lot of people complain about boomkin healing in pvp but in actuality it’s just Frenzied Regen being a powerful cooldown. Maybe the average player isn’t distiguishing it’s this one CD keeping the boomkin up and not it’s healing. Damage is only going up in the game and stamina is not going up enough to balance. Nerfing healing seems like it’s only making this issue far worse.

Priests got 3 little homies and that was a stand out ability yet druid were the original class with 3 little homies and we didn’t end up with Treants. Seemed like no brainer ez cooldown that has some counterplay to prevent the damage.

Did you spend any time in Doomkin Discord like you said you planned to? I seemed to miss any devs coming in to ask questions. If you did join the discord you would know that the people demand their egg. Make it happen.

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Another thing that’s annoying is that if Moonkin is supposed to be a support more than a main DPS, our support abilities are sort of lacking.

Shadow Priests got debuffs from Homunc, warlock curses from the helm rune pet last phase, and now they get mana return from Vamp Touch. That’s an awesome toolkit on top of their group heals, and makes them a very desirable spec even when their raid damage is low (note: their AoE damage is also insane, that helps a ton with their viability for raid speed running)

Meanwhile all they seem to give Moonkins is … some damage. But like, not even good damage, just enough to bring up from bottom of the list to middling at best. Where’s OUR added utility?

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When I look at our new cloak rune… Wow a 1.5 minute CD that isn’t going to do much of anything for me dps wise. To me this is would have to be like what was it the Legion(?) version that was passive. With some % chance to proc off other things. Because this 1.5 minute CD for underwhelming damage isn’t going to cut it.

Then as others said we don’t have utility to speak of. Oh it’s fine they’ll bring you for innervate and BR and maybe for your aura for the caster group. Well that was pretty P3 for me… I just feel like this is seriously lacking.

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I feel you Dakanai. The last couple of ST’s with the guild, I have really felt like I’ve only been brought to be in the casters group, innervate our mage, and BR anyone who was pumping too hard to do the mechanics. Im no slouch, my parses when I have world buffs are all purple or higher, but in the end, im not beating anyone on the DPS meter. The mages started calling me “Crit Buff” and haha, guess thats my role.

Our DPS could be helped if we werent constantly having to time re-applications of dots so that they don’t clip. I forget who got it, warlocks or priests, but one of them got a rune that lets them reapply their dots, and the remaining time is added to the new debuff. Something like that would be great for us. (Though I would prefer a change to Elune’s Fires to just make it fully reset the timer on Moonfire, Sunfire, and Insect swarm, but thats me and my wishful thinking.)

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What’s funny is our crit buff is only 3%, that’s pretty low in the “world buffs to perform” meta that Classic SoD is in, when you can get 10% crit from Songflower + Temple Explorer. I really hope they do something about world buffs, or give us something so that Moonkin Aura isn’t so deeply overshadowed. What if we gave casters in our group Nature’s Grace (would probably have to be a lesser version of it)?

Damage is reaaaaaaally lacking, starfall is super underwhelming at 60. If balance does not get something major, it will be vanilla all over again, bottom of the meters and out of mana, or worse yet, not brought to raids.

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Yeah, early reports and first hand experience are not… great. Im trying to remain optimistic, but all we can do right now is explain what we think can be changed, and hope that next week, we see a new round of changes.

Feral DPS complained a lot during P3 (their complains are valid) and they got attention, but they also had every Alliance player echo their complaints because those players know no feral means not melee DPS.

Balance will never get that amount of traction, so I doubt we’ll see significant changes from PTR feedback beyond “we’ve increased Starfall damage by 10%” or something.

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I hope that you are wrong. Maybe we will all be eating our hats next week. Wouldnt that be nice? I think it would be. I love being a Boomchicken, but it feels bad knowing the raid would do better with a different class.

To be honest, I’m so disenchanted with SoD boomkin treatment after several months, I have mostly lost interest. Low damage, low/no utility, mana issues and poor performance if you do anything outside of your base rotation to try and be a “hybrid”.

Trying to think of things that would make me interested in playing again, because Starfall ain’t it.

Elune’s Fires could have the extension cap removed. Let the timer on my DoTs stack to the moon if I’m maintaining a rotation. When I’m busy doing mechanics or moving, hopefully the timer on them won’t run out so I have to find my pacing and restart another slow opener.

More crit on our gear, less hit now that ring runes give us hit cap. The reason DPS play DPS is for the big numbers, yeah? People like to point out the “massive” Starfire crits as an example of being OP, but those aren’t that big compared to other DPS (even smaller in some cases), and those crits only have a ~10% chance to happen after Starsurge (6s CD) and a long hardcast.

Make DoTs crit. I think every other class has this functionality now. Why not boomkin?

Make moonkin aura give something like windfury, but for spells. Give my low performing caster buddies a 20% chance to fire off a duplicate, mana free spell with each cast. Can’t see this being too OP since all casters are a league behind all melee. It might put some demand in for a boomkin like there’s a demand for ferals.

Make Fury of Stormrage apply to Wild Growth and also count as clearcasting (0 mana cost). If we’re pushing the hybrid narrative, give us tools to play as a hybrid.

Reduce the mana cost of Hurricane more, or increase the damage more. Reduce the cooldown of Starfall by a lot. Boomkin AoE still pales in comparison to every other class that can AoE, be it melee or ranged. Why give us spells and runes for AoE and have it perform so poorly in comparison?

Just some thoughts off the top of my head. Tired of seeing a class I love and enjoy playing have such a dead weight spec.

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Those are all great suggestions Barahart. I especially like the Elunes Fires change, dots critting, and the Fury of Stormrage one.

I like the idea of leaning more into the hybrid model. If I was a half DPS, half healer, that wouldnt be the worst thing. A good raid could drop a healer, bring a boomie, and hit a much better stride.

Nothing does beat that big meaty Starfire crit though.

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I want the devs to pick a direction with boomie and lean hard into it.

Are we DPS? Give us the DPS tools we need to fill that role well.

Are we hybrid? Give us the hybrid tools we need to fill that role well.

Very tired of being told I’m a hybrid so I need to be bottom tier DPS while also having no hybrid tools.

Just makes the class good for one innervate per boss fight and 2 battle res per raid. Absolutely no reason to bring a boomie, or even play one unless that’s what you want to log in for.

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What you suggest is basically the shaman mechanic, which I feel doesn’t fit Balance very well.

You know what would? Nature’s Grace. Let us be able to share Nature’s Grace (possibly a halved version of it or something, because some casters have craaaaazy crit% compared to us).

I think the head rune should just be baseline for Balance to be honest.

Our AoE numbers are good (with Starfall), we’re only behind 2 specs on longer AoE pulls, the problem is that our aoe isn’t sustainable even with the rune because our mana is terrible, but that’s mostly a separate issue with just every druid spell costing too much, our gear not having spirit/mp5 and druid mana in general being too tight for all 3 specs (bears are the only druids that don’t care about mana).

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I think a Nature’s Grace aura or even a flat haste aura would be great. Haste is already in Classic so it wouldn’t be out of place.

Caster’s need something for them like melee have windfury and a dozen other buffs that all stack.

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Yeah, it is pretty sad how reliant melees are on Windfury, and it’s such an established part of the game at this point that removing it or nerfing it is only going to be met with a meltdown by half the SoD population. And it’s such a powerful buff that it warps the entire melee vs caster dynamic.

Shameless bump for druid threads because I don’t want us to get forgotten yet again in p4.

Casters need something to bump them up in PvE like windfury bumps up melee. They have so many stacking buffs that elevate them so high, but casters don’t really get much.

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Druids are already beasts in PVP and youre asking for more damage, like STV boomie groups werent bad enough, difficult to kill, hit for a tonne, high survivabilty + mobility if they in a pinch.

I dont agree with these posts at all. Druids are in a good spot, stop trying to replace other classes, the kit that you have is already powerful

The benefits of a hybrid class without the tax and with damn good damage, and youre asking for more