Beta Balance druids where are your voices?

#0 - July 30, 2008, 10:49 a.m.
Blizzard Post
I check the beta forums all the time, and it is full of good feedback from Feral druids, I am a bit disappointed that balance beta druids aren't saying much, or maybe it's because balance druids are so few, actually not that many or any are in the Euro beta.

The developers listen and look in at your feedback, so you are in a prime position to let them know what you feel and generally what the balance community feels, in no other stage of the game do you have direct communication between the actual game programmers and developers than at beta. Undoubtedly balance community is small because it is such an underwhelming spec for a druid and for a dps caster, we've been hailing WotlK ever since we saw the alpha talents as the expansion that final puts us level with the other druid specs and on par with the other dps caster specs.

However a series of nerfs to our power and buffs to other builds have underwhelmed us. Remember though we are a far more decent spec with wotlk abilities, remember that as underwhelming as we are now in live, we have always been viable, so what we really wanted to be was actually on par with the other specs. Despite all the nice things, we are looking weaker and weaker.

1. Are you going to bring Thorns damage to the attention of the devs? it is suppose to be at 141 final rank, but final rank in beta is at 73, this could be an error. Or it could be a nerf, if a nerf it is literally ridiculously unfair, we have few enough abilities as it is, and can't afford thorns to remain underwhelming, not with Lightning Shield at 380 damage, and Retribution Aura at 112, thorns has always sat in between the two, and this shouldn't change now.

another thing about Thorns is that the other two have their talents give an additional effect to them, Ret aura understandably gets 3 new effects to it outside the 50% damage boost, Lightning shield gets the ability to be applied on melee in addition to 3 extra orbs in addition to it's damage increase. Thorns in alpha had a chance to daze, this was good, but in beta it was removed and it's damaged seems warped. Let them know we as balance druids really want a decent Thorns ability. Thorns has been useless after level 20 for too long and it is a Hallmark druid ability, it was present in Warcraft 3, it was one of the few spells mentioned in the lore books.

Frankly i'd be content for it to be returned to what it was in alpha, 141 base damage, boosted by spell damage (like ret aura & lightning shield are), and the daze effect, which really should be about 6secs instead of the crappy 3 secs.

2. Are you going to mention Improved Moonkin Aura? for raids every other buff they've given including AoE functionality is a nicety, remember mages/locks have better AoE than druids with starfall/typhoon & hurricane, and have better CC than druids with roots/cyclone, more nukes etc and they also have buffs and utilities, as do Shaman, the only thing that set us apart and heralded to Azeroth the Moonkin has finally come of age was the Alpha version of Improved Moonkin Aura. I see no mention of consternation of this nerf in the forums. With a 30sec cooldown it has become laughable and weak, clearly inferior to even wrath of air totem, and giving tiny burst when sustained dps is needed.

The thing is they nerfed it after complaints from other classes especially shaman, locks and mages who were complaining before they got buffed. yes, the nerf was introduced at the same time elemental shaman got a substantial buff, and 2 days ago, warlocks and mages got quite a big buff themselves, in light of those, the nerf to improved moonkin aura because other classes moaned or were envious seems very heavy handed. And though it might have been for other reasons, in light of the buffs and increase power of the other classes, the nerf regardless of moans remains harsh and in place underwhelms the most exciting upgrade to the build.

I rated in order of potency from Wotlk Alpha most exciting features:
1. Improved Moonkin Aura (few seconds cooldown) - this almost single handedly brings us level
2. Roots indoors
3. Thorns upgrade
4. Starfall and Typhoon with Hurricane
5. Eclipse (even though weak)
6. Owlkin Frenzy
7. Earth & moon (though a tad weak)

3. Nothing said about the bloating of the tree. If you don't say, they think everything is okay, and we're satisfied. Very few trees have the amount of bloating balance build has, VERY FEW, most of the powerful class trees, check hunters, locks, shaman, mages etc don't have that kind of bloating, one or two do have, but even then they seem more manageable and point investment good.I play paladin, hunter, mage, shaman and rogue and even cloggy assassination, marksmanship, protection and frost i feel i get more out of than I do balance.

The point investment is a shrewd thing. Two many 5 pointers that could be cut down:
Vengeance, Moonfury, Wrath of Cenarius - these all could be cut to 2 or 3 with the same effect.

Talents like Lunar Guidance and Dreamstate - no one has brought up why Lunar Guidance remains nerfed for balance druids only which off course directly hits our scaling with damage, and what about dreamstate, not a patch on intensity, and the fact that most of our gear is going to have a lot of spirit, perhaps suggesting they review Dreamstate, possibly add some sort of spirit component like spirit to crit seeing that crit would be scarce on our gear and is integral to our build.

Weak talents, Why would you want to spec more than 2 or 3 points in Earth and Moon? seeing that Master shapeshifter on 2 points does more, same with Eclipse, yeah, Master Shapeshifter beats eclipse in it's current form.

Eclipse is a nice talent, love the concept that allows rotation, it's as good if not better than having a new spell and better than a flat damage increase, but as it is, it is not quite as good as even master shapeshifter, Cooldown too long, i mean with a down time of about 30secs max, and possibly proccing off 60% of any spell hit rather than crit - would substantially improve it, better still if it also gave a cheaper moonfire on wrath eclipse and could refresh an insect swarm on starfire Eclipse, - that's the sort of level you expect of a WotlK 41-51 talent point.

Anyway, there are concerns, serious concerns, and for a player that players other casters, my verdict so far is that balance is falling short and looking gloomier, biggest problem is not the variation of our spells, we have all the different components I could have wanted, altogether it's just weaker, not enough power with nerfed thorns, nerfed improved moonkin aura, wonky eclipse, slight Earth and Moon, these are all lovely ideas, just not very robust at the moment and in the middle of an over bloated tree.

Stand up for us in the beta forums and in-game suggestion, otherwise as usual blizzard will think that druids feel balance is fine and there are no concerns because the only people that speak up or out are feral and restoration druids. LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD.

4. There is a fourth point, and it is about synergy, but i will leave that to another time because we cannot go live with the state of balance as it is, a weak spell caster, synergy is an important but secondary aspect and deals with the fact every class is getting synergy between their spell schools except druids, but that is a druid wide topic although the most affected of the druids is the balance druid, let that one lie for the time being till we get points 1 to 3 looked at.

--EDIT (addition)---
Also PvP and Typhoon
Concerns across the board both for PvP and PvE. I strongly believe a 5 or 10sec slow effect to Typhoon is just the extra touch it needs, 5 yrds knock back in pvp is not that effective, and more than 5yards will make typhoon annoying for PvE, the perfect solution is to add a slow, and gosh we need some sort of slow, shaman don’t have as good CC as druids, I don’t expect as good a slow as they have (they can continuously slow you) but seeing ghostwolf form can remove snares, they do have 3 slows and a CC, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for balance druids to have a slow as part of Typhoon it makes the Typhoon mechanic work much better. Typhoon maybe having a 5 or 10 sec slow effect. [Feral druids can already slow through infected wounds - resots don't need, simply, just don't nerf them fine as they are]
#133 - Aug. 7, 2008, 1:03 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Q u o t e:
yeah.. Lissana and Koraa, kudos to you, Wryn too and Moonswarrior, we indeed are small, and it's good that this sorta of cross region communication can take place, i do hope they continue to look at both threads, and that the French/German/Russian & Spanish balance druids if they can also add something here.

Well this thread was reported to us as informative and constructive, so I thought it only wise to try and get it brought to the attention of the beta testers. I didn't realise it'd get as far as the US beta forums, but I'm glad it did! ;-)