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"Don't tell me I'm allergic to feathers." [Balance Druid]

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:45 am
by Keftenk
The Balance Druid
Moonkin is a hybrid specialization class which main focus of damage comes from Starfire with its high spell coefficient and even higher critical damage return. It provides supportive DPS with its party wide Spell Critical aura and can offer additional raid utility in terms of Innervates, Battle Resurrections, and off-healing.

Download the spreadsheet: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... dv1.1.xlsm

The Vanilla Stigma
Everyone has heard it at least once, Moonkins often being referred to as "OOMKin". Which immediately trounces the willingness of most guilds to even allow someone to try and develop the specialization. In reality, players who would select the roll in Vanilla were poor players, across the board. We know so much more about Vanilla today where we can counter the label.

Balance Druid isn't the bottom performer when it comes to mana consumption and management and it isn't the bottom performer in terms of raw DPS. In fact, it has better mana consumption and conservation than both Shadow Priest and even the hog of all hogs, Elemental Shaman.

Additionally, far too many players don't have a basic understanding between "viable" and "optimal". Balance Druid is viable, much like how Retribution Paladin is viable, Elemental Shaman is viable, and Shadow Priest is viable, etc. These classes however are not optimal. The specializations aren't going to be better than the best Mage and/or Warlock or the best Warrior and/or Rogue.

Starfire
Starfire is the bread and butter of the Moonkin's DPS. There is no better spell in the specialization's aresenal than this spell. There will be times where Wrath is more optimal, but those are very unique situations.

Wrath
As previously mentioned, Wrath has very limited uses. It's useful on any trash which dies within 3-seconds and is great vs raid bosses such as Azuregos which has Arcane Immunity. It is possible that Wrath may scale even better with Spell Penetration in Classic, but due to private servers setting custom resistances without much of any evidence of what it should be. We sadly can't test this reliably.

Moonfire
Moonfire isn't a priority debuff in a optimal raid setting. It should never be applied for its DoT effect. Even though Moonfire is instant cast, due to the GCD it can be considered as if it were a 1.5s cast spell.

If you could guarantee a critical strike with Moonfire, say on Loatheb with Fungal Bloom, it still would net as a DPS loss due to the hefty GCD penalty. Weaving it with Wrath is still a net-loss compared to Starfire's ceiling.

On a moving target, Moonfire is almost always going to be a DPS increase, but the question whether it's the optimal choice in that scenario has yet to be answered.

The Spreadsheet
Due to the spreadsheet utilizing VB Macros I was unable to make this into a Google Doc. You will need to use Excel in order to view and edit the sheet.

The sheet is quite easy to use. You may organize and optimize your gear selections depending on what patch the server in which you're playing on is currently using. Furthermore, you can cater these gear sets via the Optimization Tool for both Starfire as well as Wrath independently, saving whatever you select. You may notice that some gear will behave differently with different buffs and debuffs which you can also apply on the main sheet.

The Moonkin Aura tab allows you to receive a fairly accurate estimation as to how much DPS the aura will truly reflect in terms of your party and raid wide DPS.

All gear and enchantments have been cataloged to their respective patches on when they were implemented as well as when they change during the timeline of Vanilla WoW. This is a incredibly helpful tool for those playing on progressive itemization servers. It possibly may be valuable if Classic goes this route as well.

I urge everyone to take a look at the spreadsheet. By no means do I guarantee all of the information is accurate or even all there, so please if you experience any errors in the data that is being represented. Please leave a note.

A taste of what is possible:
Image
* Level 63 Target Dummy with a controlled raid setting seeking ceiling damage. This damage is not ideal.

Come join the Druid Classic Discord: https://discord.gg/z6NZrDX
Join the Theorycrafting Discord: https://discord.gg/x4nbhte

Fire Mage and Ignite
We're still looking for a very knowledgeable Fire Mage that is able to math out Ignite accurately and correctly so we can add necessary and relevant information for Moonkin Aura. If you're unlike every other Fire Mage out there that blindly presses Fireball, knows a thing or two about the specialization, and could help out. Please find me or one of the other knowledgeable Druids on the Druid discord or Theorycraft discord linked above.