It figures that this would drop on day that I'm on vacation and don't have regular access to a computer. Idol of the Shooting Star
Needless to say there are some huge changes for Moonkin in the most recent build of the PTR. Lets take a look at them.
Starfall cooldown has been lowered from 3 min to 1.5 min.
This is a definate improvement to the spell. It doubles the spells affectiveness but I'm not sure this will statisfy its critics.
Insect Swarm: The spell coefficent for this spell has been significantly increased to bring it in line with similar spells.Nice. The current Coefficent is 0.76, and I expect them to bring it up to 0.80. If this is the case then it's about a 3% - 4% increase in damage. Not huge but not horrible either. I'll have to check it our on the PTR.
Eclipse now gives you a 33% chance of increasing damage done by Wrath by 30% (up from 20%) when you critically hit with Starfire.
This isn't a huge surprise. Ghostcrawler said a couple of weeks ago that they were going to take a look at the Wrath portion of Eclipse and this is what I expected them to do. I think this kind of shows that they have unrealistic expectations on how Moonkin will be played but I will talk about that a little later.
Owlkin Frenzy now affects all attacks. (Old - Physical melee and ranged attacks only)
Again, not a huge surprise since Ghostcrawler said that they would probalby leave OF the way it was.
Celestial Focus now reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Starfire, Hibernate and Cyclone by 23/46/70% and increases your total spell haste by 1/2/3%.WOOT!!!!!!! The stun has been removed but I can live with that.
To some of you this may not seem like a big deal but its impact is pretty significant. Naxx doesn't have a huge amount of spell pushback but on the fights that do have a lot of damage like Sapp it really hurts our DPS. Plus, if the Burning Crusaide is any indication we will be seeing more raid damage in T8 and T9. On the flip side this makes Owlkin Frenzy less valueable in PvE.
Nature's Grace now increasing your spell casting speed by 20% for 3 sec. (Old - Reduced the casting time of your next spell by 0.5 sec.)An excellent change. For Starfire, you will get the same cast time reduction as the old version but the buff will now last 3 seconds. That means you can probably get it for the next two Starfires you cast. For Wrath, the cast time reduction is cut in half, but you can probably get off 3 buffed wraths in the 3 seconds. This does increase the value of Haste Rating since it will be harder to reach 1 second global cooldown for haste, but Haste will still be haste capped at the higher levels of gear.
Faerie Fire and Faerie Fire (Feral) now reduces the armor of the target for 5 min. (Up from 40 sec)WOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Awesome. There is no reason now not to pick up Improved Faerie Fire. It's basically a static 3% increase to crit. In fact, I think Faerie Fire is now a superior buff to all it's competitors. At virtually no cost you give the raid a 5% armor reduction, 3% chance to hit, and you get the 3% personal chance to crit.
My Reaction Overall:
Overall this is a buff if it makes it to live. Most of it's not huge but there is a lot to be happy about here.
My biggest curiosity here is how is this going to affect our spell rotation. Blizzard seems to think that they can balance Starfire and Wrath to be of equal importance but they can't. One of them is always going to be the primary spell, and the changes to Eclipse and Natures Grace could push the advantage to Wrath.
The fact of the matter is that players are going to try and maximize there damage any way they can. Starfire's primary advantages are that it is more mana efficent, can't realistically be haste capped, and has less exposure to latency. Well, as we all know Mana hasn't been much of an issue in WotLK. The change to Natures Grace makes Wrath less affected by the Haste Cap, and Wrath has about a 10% advantage in Damage. This should be intersting.