Looking to make a ranged dps main and have always thought balance looked cool. Are they performing well in mythic plus and raiding? Are they easy to play/learn?
They’re currently top tier in both fields.
As far as learning …it’s pretty straight forward to learn and pick up on. But the nuances to push yourself to be better than the average Balance player may take a little bit to get a handle on, such as manipulating Elcipses, who/when to multi-dot, how/when to pool AP, etc etc.
boomkin go brrrrrr
The dps rotation is pretty straightforward for ST. For AoE its not terribly difficult but may take a bit for you to get used to comfortable with. Like Grizzle said there is a lot of nuance to learn and familiarize yourself with.
For M+, a huge reason for our success is utility. You’ll need to figure out when to use Force of Nature (trees), when to vortex / typhoon / mass roots. Our main interrupt is on a 60 sec CD so you need to be careful what you are interrupting. Especially if there are multiple targets you can interrupt at once since its AoE. You can also help with spot healing (like healing up after pulls during bursting or grievous).
Overall the toolkit is very rewarding and our rotation isn’t terribly punishing. I’d say give it a go to see if you like it.
Offering some alternative perspective…
I find balance druid gameplay extremely awkward, unrewarding, and somewhat punishing.
- It’s awkward because sometimes when you want to do one type of damage, you have to do another.
- It’s unrewarding because it’s very pattern oriented. I don’t feel like I can respond to the needs of a situation, I just have to follow the flow of the eclipse mechanic. Sometimes it can feel good to properly plan ahead and be in the right eclipse when you need it, but many factors beyond your control make this difficult.
- I find it punishing because everything is so rigid. The rotation requires that you spam the ability of the currently empowered spell, but I find I often accidentally incur an extra cast during those transitions, which means I have to really pay attention to it. When that happens, it makes it more difficult to watch mechanics. The default UI isn’t very intuitive and there’s a lot to watch… I even run a WA but still find those transitions challenging. Also, when stuff is going down, it’s annoyingly distracting to make sure I’m pressing the right button (wrath or starfire). Finally, with BoAT, if you don’t prep your AP properly you miss a Starsurge during the transition, and this is quite punishing as well.
Also, it’s worth noting that Balance feels very pushed towards Convoke. When using Convoke with Celestial Alignment, your damage is insane. Outside of that, it’s kinda meh. I keep pace with the other folks in my group, but it’s mainly due to huge burst cycles offset by lower damage sustain.
I’m not saying that Balance is in bad shape and that nobody should play it, or can’t possibly enjoy it. I’m just sharing alternative perspective on how I find the class so that someone coming in and expressing interest in a main switch has all the information and viewpoints at hand before investing the time in it
I know a lot of people feel how you do about eclipse, and that’s just an opinion thing, so can respect that.
But balance sustain AOE damage is outright insane, so calling it “meh” is just factually incorrect.
A good balance druid will do as much AOE damage as a fire mage combusting, if the pack lives 20+ seconds. And they’ll do that with no cooldowns, every single pull.
We have total meme damage every 3mins, but it’s our sustain damage that makes us really strong.
I freely admit I might be doing it wrong, but I’m not sure how…
For AoE I typically throw Starfall up, hit Sunfire, then go into lunar eclipse and just spam empowered Starfire. I keep Starfall going and spam until I switch to solar. If the mobs are still alive I’ll use wrath to keep up enough AP for Starfall while refreshing dots. I’ll work moonfire in there if I think they’ll live long enough. If there’s a lot of adds, I’ll just keep on using Starfire regardless of empowerment since it seems to do more damage than spamming wrath. But only with lots of mobs.
I watched some video from Naguura and these were the suggestions. They work, but again, outside CA/Convoke things feel pretty meh. Definitely not insane.
You want to get into eclipse asap. It’s the most important thing. Cast Starfall and while u position correctly for the pull you cast Wrats to enter Lunar. Then Sunfire and Moonfire if there are less than 5 mobs.
I get you totally wanna be in eclipse as much as possible, but wouldn’t the start of the fight be a special case?
Scenario A) Sunfire, Starfall, 2x Wrath, [3x] Starfire, Starfire spam
Scenario B) 2x Wrath, [3x] Starfire, Starfall, Sunfire, Starfire spam
Scenario C) 2x Wrath, Starfall, Sunfire, [1x] Starfire, Starfire spam
([Xx] represents BoAT casts)
So if you do Scenario A (what I currently do), you’re effectively trading 3 GCDs (~4.5s) of empowered Starfall for 3x Starfire with the crit bonus from BoAT. If you want to get eclipse up ASAP, you have to do either Scenario B or Scenario C, which means you either miss out entirely on your BoAT, or give up two casts of it.
Something tells me Scenario B isn’t really a good way to go. I haven’t done the math, but I could see either Scenario A or Scenario C proving out to be better; however, I wouldn’t expect the difference to take you from “meh” to “insane”.
I’m interested in the thoughts of others on this.
Well you didn’t give more info about how you kill things in dungeons. You should DoT in eclipse windows, not outside of them.
Say, first MOTS pack. You precast a Wrath while the tank runs to the pack, then another wrath. Eclipse. Starfall and Sunfire, then proceed to spam Starfire. Just get into eclipse asap.
This is normally true, I’m only talking about the start of a fight and in the case of running into a big AoE pack. This is the scenario I originally described and that you responded to
I know what pack you’re talking about. When you do that, you give up the crit bonus on Starfire from BoAT as, in your first 2 GCDs of eclipse, you’re casting Starfall and Sunfire.
Is one better than the other? Probably. Is one significantly better than the other? I don’t know… but my gut is telling me 28% more Starfall damage for 4 seconds vs. a high chance of 2x damage on three starfire casts might not be too far apart.
Once the fight has progressed, everything else would be what I think we both consider “standard”. Keep eclipse up as much as possible. Keep starfall up. Reapply dots inside eclipse windows.
Don’t know what to tell you except sim your character unbuffed on a really long AOE fight to see how good balance sustain is.
Sim 5 patchwork targets for 5 minutes. If you’re only doing the damage you say you are, you’ll probably be surprised at the sustain.
Sim I just ran shows this toon at 11.6k sustain with those parameters.
Single target w/o CA/Convoke?
Remember, the original point I was making was that inside of CA/Convoke, Balance Druids feel like absolute gods. Outside of Convoke, they feel pretty meh.
Also, it’s been my experience that I rarely achieve my sim results. I haven’t done a sim with Balance, but I used to spend a lot of time doing this on this Monk during BFA. I usually landed at around 85% of my sim result on the ST target dummy, no buffs, no hero (all included in the sim setup).
What is your experience? How do you typically perform compared to your sim?
No one does. It’s set to like only 5% margin error by default. And is expect to perform on perfection outside of that. No gaps between spells, no utility taking up GCDs, no wrong spells, no overlapping DoTs outside of pandemic windows, etc etc.
It’s just a baseline for what you could possibly be doing
I said on 5 targets for 5 minutes. Pure AOE sustain sim, with no buffs. To show you the dps is still amazing outside of CD windows.
To answer your question on how I do compared to sims. Whenever I play a new dps, I sim it and then sit at target dummies until i’m very close to simulation dps. I have guides open and review % of ability dmg in sims versus actual, to make continuous tweaks. And I do not leave those dummies until I can do my rotation properly, and am very close to what the sim says.
To me that’s just the basics of performing your rotation. If you can’t even do that, you can’t play the class properly.
Balance is easy to do ok, and hard to do exceptionally well. In AOE at least.
But there sure as heck isn’t any problem with its damage. It’s very rare anyone can even stay close in dungeons.
I’ll give this a try if I have some time later tonight and report back. Which target dummies does one use for this these days… still the ones next to Boralus?
I didn’t say there’s a problem with it’s damage. Not in any way. In fact, I said it does great damage! I just said it doesn’t do very high damage outside of CD Windows, which doesn’t feel super good sometimes. Definitely something someone who is considering switching to the class might want to know about.
Not a make or break thing… WW Monks were like this in BFA and they are still the most engaging DPS class I’ve played in WoW. I just find that lower DPS outside of burst windows, combined with an awkward and uninteresting (to me) rotation, to be something I don’t really enjoy and that probably someone else might want to know too.
This isn’t me telling you that you shouldn’t enjoy Balance.
You have insane burst every time you enter an Eclipse window though?
Not in my experience, no. It’s seemingly the very opposite of insane. The other Balance druid in my guild (which is his main… balance is my off-spec) said he had an experience consistent with my own.
Which is why I’m wondering why folks think otherwise. I don’t think there’s a lot to screw up… see above for the rotations I’m using for AoE.
For those interested, I went to Boralus and tested Scenario A vs. Scenario C… fundamentally no difference (maybe 100 dps but easily chalked up to variance). This was focusing the cluster of 4 training dummies, but starfall hit 4-5 other things. I averaged 10k dps in both runs.
Now I know what you’re thinking… 10k is insane! You’re right, it is… if we’re hitting that many mobs. If we’re hitting the usual 2-4 that a lot of packs have, and dodging mechanics, and using our utility, it’s much lower in practice.
These are my observations, I understand others feel differently.
I don’t know where there are any 4 or 5 target dummy groups where starfall doesn’t hit a bunch of other stuff. Just like your experience.
The figure I gave is from a 5 target sim, for 5 minutes (for the 3rd time). But I see it evidenced every run I do with 5 target pulls.
Dodging mechanics should very rarely affect a boomy’s totation on AOE. Priority #1 is 100% starfall uptime as soon as there’s more than 1 target. We can move while doing our entire rotation as soon as there’s more than 1 target.
Balance has a 3min burst CD. Do you honestly think it’s doing the best dps in dungeons right now, because of a big CD every 3 mins? Yes, that burst is impressive, but it’s not too much more than a good combustion, and fire mages can do that every minute.
Balance is S tier because it does strong sustained damage, on all target numbers, in any situation, without any CD’s. Then it has a mega-nuke every 3 mins, which is basically used for bosses and maybe 1 or 2 pulls between. The timings are super yuck on 3min CD’s.
This only becomes more apparent as the key numbers get higher. Balance is a rampy spec, it takes a few globals to get going, and it takes about 20 seconds to really be ramped up (on AOE). There’s ways to do good damage at all key levels, but it’s a spec that really shines the longer things live. For trash anyway, it’s kinda the opposite for bosses.
You can’t get these results is what i’m hearing. That’s fine. But let’s just be clear that the problem isn’t with the spec.