Time for a moonkin post. The context for this post is having done every dungeon, some M+10 keys, and the four bosses that were recently tested.
This is also from a PvE/PvM-er only point of view. I don’t dabble in PvP very much and will not pretend to do so. I will leave that to those much more qualified than I.
The spec from a game-play perspective feels pretty good. Barring number tuning and looking at solely how the spec plays, it’s good. Not great, but good. Starfall feels rewarding to hit, having interactions between abilities (Starsurge extending active eclipses) feels good. The concept of timing eclipses or modifying your opener to hit different eclipses at different times.
Generally, the spec feels okay. I don’t want to spend much time on things that shouldn’t have action taken against them, so let’s jump right into the nitty gritty.
I have to thank that you’ve seemed relatively receptive to feedback for balance, thus leading to my post in hopes that we can see some more positive refinements before release.
What can be improved (from my experience)
For easy navigation, main take-aways are located in bulletpoint lists. Scroll for those and look for bold if you care only about the takeaways.
Numbers feel a little low on the ST side (for extended fights, short term burst is fine). This is also directly connected to the next issue: talents.
This was one of the most annoying parts about BfA: talents had such a minor impact on performance. This is especially the case for the level 50 row.
Shooting Stars vs Fury of Elune vs New Moon
I think most balance players can agree the Shadowlands (and BfA) version of this talent row feels really pointless. You can take any 3 of the talents in any situation and do almost the same damage (barring maybe 5+ target stacked cleave for FoE), within a margin of about 1-2%
What is a solution? Give them roles. This row screams “situational” but doesn’t deliver. Each talent realistically only needs one small tweak.
- Shooting Stars - Remove or lessen the effect of multiple targets on its proc rate.
- Fury of Elune - buff its damage by like 30-40% so that it can compete with shooting stars’ generation on multi-target.
- New Moon - Make the cooldown scale with haste (or just reduce the CD) so that this talent is in line with the prior talents.
This will also help ail ST issues because you’re allowing for a greater astral power generation in cases where SS is likely your main ability, while keeping AoE generation in tact (as to prevent overgeneration of astral power for endless starfall) – I’m aware that the main concern with changing this row can end up enabling Starfall too easily, it’s thin ice to walk on for tuning these.
The level 15 row also feels a bit clunky after the NB nerf, but it’s less impactful than the level 50 row from my experience. Pressing Fury of Elune, a “beam of pure celestial energy”, should feel impactful.
- Next up, eclipses don’t feel like eclipses. I word it like this because it just feels like a trigger to spam an ability for X seconds. There is nothing special about them and are just means of an end to a rotation. In my and many others’ opinion, they need something.
- Some examples I’ve seen thrown around of what could be done (not necessarily should be done)
- Entering Lunar Eclipse summons a full moon on your target. Entering a Solar Eclipse summons a pack of treants to attack your target.
- Bring back “Blessing of the Ancients” from Legion but the two forms are our eclipses. So in Lunar Eclipse, spells generate 25% more astral power and in Solar Eclipse you passively generated 2 AP per 3 seconds.
- Solar eclipse increases damage to enemies (or reduced damage dealt by enemies) within 20 yards by X%. Lunar eclipse does the same, but for enemies greater in the 20-45 yard range.
- Entering Lunar Eclipse enables the trait Orbit Breaker trait from Torghast (every 20 moonfire ticks spawns a Full Moon), this trait would only increment during lunar eclipse and would pause when outside of it. Entering a Solar Eclipse enables the Soulborne Clasp trait from Torghast (enemies that die have their DoTs transferred to a new target nearby) – I’m a huge fan of this approach, as it gives additional reason to enter the opposite eclipse (e.g. solar during aoe, lunar during ST) and can make timing eclipses even more interesting
(removed minor min-max part as it’s ultimately minor compared to other things I mention here)
Now we’ll talk about the Primordial Arcanic Pulsar legendary effect. If we had BfA AP generation, this would be a really really solid legendary. However, because our generation got cut a lot, it feels a little bit weaker than it should be (or at least, Oneth’s feels much stronger). There’s two changes I would propose:
- Reduce the cost to activate from 400 to 350 or, what I think is the more preferable change,
Make the effect activate on damage instance NOT cast
- So many people are making a ratio comparison to BfA Pulsar that is slightly incorrect. They compare 9 SS for 6 seconds of CA, so a 1.5:1 ratio. We currently have a ~13.3 SS to 9 seconds of CA, so 1.47:1 (better than BfA). On paper, this is a cool. However, due to my main point above, we actually lose 1.5 seconds (or gcd equivalent) in the buff! So it’s actually 13.3 SS to 7.5 seconds of CA, so a 1.77:1 ratio (about 18% less efficient than BfA). And no, the SS that would hit after the buff is active does not gain eclipse benefit, unlike in BfA where it would have given a streaking star hit too. Altogether, this makes the legendary feel a bit underpowered since we’re losing effectively 1 of 6 GCDs in the duration.
Lastly, some scaling issues.
- Make Starfall scale with haste – enough said, really. This will deal a flat 11 ticks per cast regardless of haste level. No partial ticks like regular DoTs, nor does it have bonus ticks at haste thresholds.
Let Celestial Alignment duration be arbitrary again – However, cap it’s duration gain (and potentially even reduce the extension to 1.5 per starsurge instead of 3 for double eclipses). Just like you did to the MW Rising Mists haste corruption build in the current tier, cap it for CA’s extension mechanic.
- This was one of the most iconic parts of using SotF/Starlord and also starts to allow for mini-breakpoints in haste. This should hopefully prevent any sort of crazy scaling issue down the line and also provides an interactive point for stats (though in the negative direction here, to make you want to gear away from haste if you meet this threshold).
- This change also enables Convoke the Spirits to fill a gap that a low amount of haste exposes, since we can use Convoke’s starsurges as a “steroid” to get us a large amount of the way there when we lack the haste to do it ourselves.
tl;dr – fix the level 50 row to be impactful and situational, add an additional layer of functionality to eclipses, some minor minmax stuff, pulsar legendary should have lower proc threshold or proc off hit not cast, make starfall scale with haste, revert CA change but cap the extension,
These have likely been reported many times by myself and others. But just in case,
- Casting Celestial Alignment while an eclipse is active will consume the eclipse, not grant the buff, and put it CA on cooldown. This is making playing anything but Incarn too sub-optimal to bother with.
- Convoke the Spirits, if cast between 41-45yds from an enemy unit, will cast ONLY healing spells. Despite Balance druids having a 45 yard range on moonfire and starsurge, it will only cast healing abilities. This feels REALLY bad to think you’re about to pop a damage CD only to start spam healing the raid. You don’t even cast starfall to enable yourself to move back in range of the boss during the cast to get some benefit.
So we currently have two legendaries left that are unreleased. Here’s some things I would like to see:
- If not introduced as part of another system, the Orbit Breaker trait could make Twin Moons a viable choice on AoE instead of pretty much strictly Stellar Drift due to how powerful Starfall is.
- Some sort of CA/Incarn reduction legendary would be really cool. Whether it’s a flat % like VoP minor or we re-introduce Impeccable Fel Essence from Legion, being able to adapt your major cooldown for different fight timings would help us remain relevant on different types of fights.
- A generic extra-talent legendary would also go a long way. Particularly for the first or last row to give extra astral power generation.
- Dark Star and Star Shower are A+ conduits, keep these 100%. Dark Star especially pushes the earlier point on making eclipses feel more impactful
- The other two are pretty unimpactful and bland. Instead of Chase the Sun, I would love to see a Dark Star variant for Solar Wrath, basically enabling us to use eclipses as a way to refresh DoTs, mostly useful for ST, if we have both equipped.
- For the last, instead of “every 3rd SS is 30% increased damage” make it “every 3rd SS gains #% increased benefit from mastery” so that it scales with a stat and has gains scaling potential later into the expansion – this also punishes starsurging outside of eclipses, reinforcing good habits.
Other side notes, mostly minor ramblings:
- A pipe dream, but I do hope to see New Moons go baseline and a talent replace it that can enable that row to be balanced as a heavy DPS row (it’s hard to balance with moons being a decently high generation talent)