Balance Druid Feedback (PVE)
In this forum post, I plan on going over a list of talents and spells that members of the Balance Druid community are looking to change to give more dynamic gameplay options as well as provide a higher quality of gameplay for the class. This post is primarily addressing high end pve such as end game raiding and high level mythic plus.
We will be discussing the abilities or items that are in a less than attractive spot.
Solar Wrath and Starfire - These are really just generators right now. They are generally rather bland abilities but they do their job. Having to cast 5-10 fillers to 1 spender seems to be a pretty poor ratio considering they are the largest source of generation by a large margin.
Starfire is a bit of a different matter. Inside its main niche of clumped multi-target damage, not even burst damage, it just falls flat to Starfall. Inside its niche it should feel impactful but it really does not. This is more of a tuning issue.
Moonfire and Sunfire - These guys are in a very rough place. You put them on a target and that is it. On a single target they are rarely worth the global inside an Eclipse state and on multi-target it comes down to global efficiency. Sunfire can be spread and Moonfire can be extended and even still they are barely worth their damage per effective second.
For most classes, their DoTs are an integral part of their rotation. They provide additional resources apart from the initial application or they interact directly with the rotation through a proc or buff of some sort. Many of these problems also tie into Shooting Stars which we will talk about later.
Starfall - While a large improvement over the Battle for Azeroth version, there are still several quality of life changes that could be implemented to further improve it. Firstly as a buff, it really should be refreshable within the pandemic duration or the ability stackable. Right now we have problems maintaining it with our poor generation but when we are able to get more Haste on our gear you have to wait for it to fall off entirely or risk wasting damage.
Eclipse - Eclipse management should be the epitome of decision making within our rotation. Right now eclipse management is in a very awkward spot for multiple reasons. For starters we have Eclipse duration. There is almost no incentive or reward for a long duration Eclipse and you just go from one Eclipse to another so quickly. With the release of the newest Critical Strike legendary you are more incentivized to just chain eclipses as quickly as possible.
Eclipse interaction with our cooldowns should be more fluid. Right now it just overwrites and consumes the remaining Eclipse duration. While acting as an Eclipse state reset is an interesting idea, it just seems that the idea is just counterproductive to the flow of the class.
Finally, we should talk about DoT interactions inside our Eclipse state. Right now there is little to no reason to apply DoTs inside our precious Eclipse duration due to their meager damage and Astral Power generation. You only refresh the Eclipse appropriate DoT because it is just barely worth the damage per effective second not because it accomplishes anything of importance like extension or additional generation to further extend Eclipse.
Soul of the Forest - Soul of the Forests power is tied directly in the power of Eclipse state. As it stands, there is no reward for long duration Eclipses in fact it is sometimes better to not have a long eclipse (new crit legendary). If the class and Eclipses remain in their current state, it could potentially be a z-DPS talent at best and a DPS loss at worst.
Stellar Drift and Twin Moons - Lumping these two together because they suffer a rather severe identity crisis. They both can not co-exist within the same balance iteration. If Starfall is good, Stellar Drift will be picked. If Starfall is bad and Moonfire is good, Twin Moons will always be picked.
This is especially now so that Moonfire is not that good and when you do have Moonfire up while AoEing and you Starfall, it extends the duration making the Twin Moons GCD conservation aspect moot.
Shooting Stars - A very underwhelming talent from all aspects. This is something that should really be baseline and that would be all our DoTs needed but it would probably be best to just make this the sustained AoE talent by removing the diminishing returns or heavily reducing the severity of those effects. This would also fix the rather large problem of AoE Astral Power generation. Its generation is already rather pitiful and with the current state of our DoTs we sometimes do not even have 100% uptime on a single target.
New Moon: Currently all moon variants are Arcane damage making our Eclipse Mastery only affect it during Lunar Eclipse. If changed to Astral damage, it would stay consistent to the rest of its row (Fury of Elune and Shooting Stars are both Astral) and allow it to be castable in both Eclipse states.
Additionally, it seems that the Full Moon spell is using the Legion formula for splash damage as opposed to the new formula for Shadowlands making it weaker on AoE than it should be.
Unnamed Critical Strike Legendary - This legendary frontloads all of our damage inside Eclipse, breaks certain covenants, and devalues Haste and Critical Strike severely. It makes us want to chain Eclipses and avoid extending as long as possible.
Oneth’s Clear Vision - Pretty watered down from its Legion glory days. With the reduced Astral Power generation (which has been reduced twice since its introduction) as well as nerfing the proc change by 25% it just does not feel as good as it should. Tacking on a buff duration also makes it rather less attractive in Mythic+ where you could previously carry a proc from one pack to another.
Timeworn Dreamcatcher - This effect does not ring true to the Starsurge machine gun days of the Legion version. It more often facilitates the fluidity during hybrid rotations which is the same effect as that of Oneth’s Clear Vision. Even still, it can be difficult to keep the buff up with our current generation speed when Starfalling.
Primordial Arcanic Pulsar - Good in theory, currently there is a bug with Celestial Alignment. If you are in an Eclipse state and cast Celestial Alignment or proc Pulsar you cancel the Eclipse and do not get the cooldown.
Convoke the Spirits - Very good single target spell but not particularly good in AoE. It could potentially cast Starfire and maybe even prefer to cast spells corresponding with our current Eclipse State.
Additionally, 45-yards is a very long range to be attacking targets and while normally range is good, it currently is rather difficult to position properly to hit your preferred target if possible at all. If Convoke could favor your target or maybe be less likely to target enemies further away or immune targets, it would make for a much smoother ability.
That being said, this ability is the most satisfying single button that we can possibly press this entire expansion and we would like these sort of visually stunning, fun abilities in the future as well.
Adaptive Swarm - It has no target scaling beyond two targets and its power is tied to our DoT damage meaning it is just not a very good ability for this class at this time.
Kindred Spirits - The value of this ability heavily depends on the bonded partner meaning that depending on which specs you are playing with it can be extremely strong or nearly useless. In addition to that it requires (or at least heavily rewards) you to track cds/buffs or be in direct communication with the bonded person which is not always possible and can take a lot of attention during a fight.
Ravenous Frenzy - For a 3-minute cooldown, it is wholly underwhelming. It syncs up well with Celestial Alignment but in the end, even when global capped on Solar Wraths which forces you to spam Starfires, the output is rather poor.
Single Target - Single target is in a relatively ok spot pre-tuning. The rotation is a bit bland but for a builder-spender rotation, but it does the trick. The big problems with single target lie largely in Eclipse rewards. The Eclipse management system is currently largely inconsequential due to the large amount of time spent inside Eclipses. The static bonuses given to our filler abilities do not do much apart from granting us mildly increased resource generation for our big spenders.
Multi-Target - Resource generation does not improve with additional targets and in cases where you want to apply DoTs to targets it is actually slower that on a single target. If we enter a multi-target situation without enough Astral Power for a Starfall, it feels like the game is on pause if we want to apply our DoTs and that is not always the correct play.
In an ideal world, we spend a portion of our time applying DoTs, placing a Starfall, and Starfire should be our last priority. DoTs do nothing in the way of maintaining Eclipse either through resource generation or some form of extension making it incredibly difficult to find optimal times to cast them.