Balance Druid Spell Ideas

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Bayanni
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Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Bayanni » Wed Jan 03, 2024 8:25 am

Balance druids have come a long way and on TWoW they've received a lot of love. We've got new gear, repurposed gear sets, talent changes, and a lot of other little things that have changed them from being complete meme picks that served as vehicles to apply Faerie Fire when you already had enough healers to legitimate boons. We don't have a lot to complain about.

That said, we do still have a little, and that's what I'm hoping to brainstorm on. Druids bring a lot of raid dps through efficient Faerie Fires on trash, dropping clear times in some raids by tens of minutes, and a now 4% spell crit aura to party members adding a sizable dps boost to everyone, although this is still mitigated by the dps value simply having another caster in your place could offer, and this is the main issue. The raw dps boomkins actually bring is still low. We are at the bottom with priests and shamans for dps, and both of those are still monsters in pvp, definitely more than a boomkin (maybe not any other druid spec though). To this end, how to we bring this dps up without breaking pvp?

I've made posts on this topic before, so I won't rehash old ideas, but they can be found here:
viewtopic.php?p=52095

I don't want to necro the old thread since a lot has changed with 1.17.1, but boomkin damage is now able to hit ~900dps with all consumes and buffs. This is still below every other class's actual numbers in Naxx but is closer to my arbitrary ideal number of 1000dps on a no-mechanics fight like Patchwerk.


With all that context out of the way, I propose an entirely new kind of spell, one that only becomes usable after one of your casts is resisted. Similar to Overpower or Riposte, it's a high-damage low-cost spell with either an instant or short cast time. As a sample that needs refinement:

-Insist-
112 mana, 0.5s cast
Causes 560-670 arcane damage (0.75 scaling) to the target.
Can only be cast after a spell resist.

Most likely the spell would need to be resistible as well or you might run into some weird issue with high arcane resist mobs getting melted because a boomie just spams moonfire and this over and over again.


Additionally, an idol that removes the CD and attack speed debuff of hurricane would be incredibly useful. Buffing Hurricane's CD is hard without addressing just how good the attack speed debuff really is, but this comes at the cost of the spells' damage viability. It's kind of crap as far as AoE dps is concerned especially when compared to over half of a mage's arsenal. I'm not saying boomkins should have great AoE, but having an AoE you can use more than once-per-fight I don't think is a big ask.


Finally, Wrath is bad. It's mana efficiency was always bad but it had the niche of being better dps than Starfire, especially as your gear gets better. With max-rank wrath, I cannot outdps any Starfire above r5. I did a Naxx with Wrath entirely over Starfire and my output dropped by over 30%! It's bad dps, bad single-cast damage, has travel time instead of instantly landing, and is the least mana-efficient option for a boomkin. The only advantage it has is the lower cast time, one that, thanks to GCD, isn't able to take advantage of Nature's Grace, meaning it only ever helps in fights with a lot of pushback while Owlkin Frenzy isn't active (Vael, Firemaw), fights with very small windows to cast (Heigan during dance phase), or fights where the mobs either heavily resist/reduce arcane damage (Shazzrah) or take increased damage from nature specifically (occasionally on Chromatic Dragonkin and Chrommaggus). This is pretty much all of the fights I can think of where this matters at all, and on Chrom/Shazz you're spamming Decurse anyways! Wrath sucks; it really needs better scaling to justify its existence at all. Currently, it's only useful with gimmicks and even then it's a stretch.

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Reploidrocsa
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Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Reploidrocsa » Wed Jan 03, 2024 1:15 pm

Interesting ideas, especially the hurricane rework trough an idol. It allows for different playstyles.

I support this altough I don't play balance myself

Jc473
Posts: 419

Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Jc473 » Wed Jan 03, 2024 4:57 pm

Bayanni wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 8:25 am
Finally, Wrath is bad. It's mana efficiency was always bad but it had the niche of being better dps than Starfire, especially as your gear gets better. With max-rank wrath, I cannot outdps any Starfire above r5. I did a Naxx with Wrath entirely over Starfire and my output dropped by over 30%! It's bad dps, bad single-cast damage, has travel time instead of instantly landing, and is the least mana-efficient option for a boomkin. The only advantage it has is the lower cast time, one that, thanks to GCD, isn't able to take advantage of Nature's Grace, meaning it only ever helps in fights with a lot of pushback while Owlkin Frenzy isn't active (Vael, Firemaw), fights with very small windows to cast (Heigan during dance phase), or fights where the mobs either heavily resist/reduce arcane damage (Shazzrah) or take increased damage from nature specifically (occasionally on Chromatic Dragonkin and Chrommaggus). This is pretty much all of the fights I can think of where this matters at all, and on Chrom/Shazz you're spamming Decurse anyways! Wrath sucks; it really needs better scaling to justify its existence at all. Currently, it's only useful with gimmicks and even then it's a stretch.
Clearly, your whole post is only concentrating on the effectivenss of Wrath in a raiding environment. However, I just want to remind everyone that it is a very strong spell in other aspects of the game (e.g. PvP).

With that being said, I think you are underselling the speedy nature of the spell. In a raiding context, there will be plenty of moments on trash or on 'forced movement' boss mechanics where casting a 3s Starfire just isn't viable. Ask yourself, how many times you could've sneaked a quick Wrath cast in before a trash mob died? Also, as pointed out in another thread, your comment about Nature's Grace isn't true for TWoW. Here's a quote from the thread:
Kangaraxxus wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 3:42 pm
Again, changed on TWoW. The wording is that NG proc will reduce cast time and GCD by 0.5 sec. And it didn't really work like that first year after new talents patch. But in patch 17 they just changed GCD of Wrath specificly. You can test it by spamming rank1 which should be 1s cast if you have Improved Wrath talents.
I can verify this as I'm doing plenty of Boomkin stuff now on my druid.

So, the already 'fast casting' Wrath can potentially be combined with a moonfire on a mob that's about to die. I bet you there are tonnes of trash situations where you would not be able to land a 2.5s/3s Starfire cast instead of this combo. It's a bit like a Mage breaking up the fireball/frostbolt spam with a quick Scorch+Fire Blast combo. Yes, I know Scorch doesn't have a travel time but I promise you, there are plenty of times this combo will land instead of a 2.5s/3s bolt spell.

As for increasing it's scaling (i.e. spell coefficient), I wouldn't touch that, to be honest. As already mentioned, the spell is very good in PvP already.

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Bayanni
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Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Bayanni » Wed Jan 03, 2024 10:24 pm

Jc473 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 4:57 pm
Clearly, your whole post is only concentrating on the effectivenss of Wrath in a raiding environment. However, I just want to remind everyone that it is a very strong spell in other aspects of the game (e.g. PvP).

With that being said, I think you are underselling the speedy nature of the spell. In a raiding context, there will be plenty of moments on trash or on 'forced movement' boss mechanics where casting a 3s Starfire just isn't viable. Ask yourself, how many times you could've sneaked a quick Wrath cast in before a trash mob died? Also, as pointed out in another thread, your comment about Nature's Grace isn't true for TWoW. Here's a quote from the thread:
Kangaraxxus wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 3:42 pm
Again, changed on TWoW. The wording is that NG proc will reduce cast time and GCD by 0.5 sec. And it didn't really work like that first year after new talents patch. But in patch 17 they just changed GCD of Wrath specificly. You can test it by spamming rank1 which should be 1s cast if you have Improved Wrath talents.
I can verify this as I'm doing plenty of Boomkin stuff now on my druid.

So, the already 'fast casting' Wrath can potentially be combined with a moonfire on a mob that's about to die. I bet you there are tonnes of trash situations where you would not be able to land a 2.5s/3s Starfire cast instead of this combo. It's a bit like a Mage breaking up the fireball/frostbolt spam with a quick Scorch+Fire Blast combo. Yes, I know Scorch doesn't have a travel time but I promise you, there are plenty of times this combo will land instead of a 2.5s/3s bolt spell.

As for increasing it's scaling (i.e. spell coefficient), I wouldn't touch that, to be honest. As already mentioned, the spell is very good in PvP already.

I've raided on twow since 2020, I am very highly aware that there are trash mobs where you can cast a wrath and not cast a starfire. However, those mobs are far less common than you make it seem due to wrath's travel time. In practice, it seems to add a little over 0.5s to the over all time from when you start the cast to when damage lands. This should be obvious from me pointing out Heigan as a raid use for wrath and sounds like exactly what you were trying to point out as a counter-example. As a result, I typically get more damage from just using moonfire twice. Niche use doesn't justify the spell anyway.

Beyond that, as I pointed out in that same thread you quoted, I pointed out that using wrath in a raiding environment without going oom netted about 30% of the total dps of just using starfire/moonfire. We can look at paper and theories or we can do what I did and actual gather some data. I thought at the time that wrath would be better, but it's just not. Some of this is due to no equivalent to CoE for nature spells, some is due to the spell itself.

I honestly hadn't looked at the pvp side of it as it's never seemed worth to me to pvp as a boomkin over any other spec. I've got better boomkin gear than my resto or feral sets but I always performed better as anything else. Maybe it's a skill issue?

One other thing of note: Nature's Grace reducing wrath casts can be affected by ping. If you have high ms, you get less benefit from chaining cast spells. There are third-party-patches to help, but it's not a cure-all. And again, I tested the actual dps in full raids and it didn't perform. I do use it in solo content, actually, but that wasn't really the focus and my post was already a wall.

Jc473
Posts: 419

Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Jc473 » Wed Jan 03, 2024 11:06 pm

Bayanni wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 10:24 pm
I've raided on twow since 2020, I am very highly aware that there are trash mobs where you can cast a wrath and not cast a starfire. However, those mobs are far less common than you make it seem due to wrath's travel time. In practice, it seems to add a little over 0.5s to the over all time from when you start the cast to when damage lands. This should be obvious from me pointing out Heigan as a raid use for wrath and sounds like exactly what you were trying to point out as a counter-example. As a result, I typically get more damage from just using moonfire twice. Niche use doesn't justify the spell anyway.
To be clear, I'm more interested in the Trash damage opportunities when using Wrath. We'll just have to agree to disagree on how common these opportunities present themselves. Either way, the fact is, having Wrath in your arsenal allows for more DPS opportunities during a raid. Does it take a bit of skill/luck to make use of it? Sure, but opportunity to make use of it is very clear to me.

Bayanni wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 10:24 pm
Beyond that, as I pointed out in that same thread you quoted, I pointed out that using wrath in a raiding environment without going oom netted about 30% of the total dps of just using starfire/moonfire. We can look at paper and theories or we can do what I did and actual gather some data. I thought at the time that wrath would be better, but it's just not. Some of this is due to no equivalent to CoE for nature spells, some is due to the spell itself.
In isolation, I don't see adding Nature to CoE as harmful to the game. I think adding these class synergies (where appropriate) is a good thing. But whether they do this or simply buff the spell coefficient of Wrath, what do you want the outcome to be? Are you wanting Wrath spam to be nearer the DPS of Starfire spam? Because it sounds like your latency plus the travel time of the spell would result in you just spamming Starfire anyway.


Bayanni wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 10:24 pm
I honestly hadn't looked at the pvp side of it as it's never seemed worth to me to pvp as a boomkin over any other spec. I've got better boomkin gear than my resto or feral sets but I always performed better as anything else. Maybe it's a skill issue?
Plenty of druids make use of Wrath in PvP whether they are a Boomie, deep Resto or a blend of any of the trees. The speed of spell means that it will always be valuable in PvP. Also, having two schools of magic is very useful in PvP!
Last edited by Jc473 on Thu Jan 04, 2024 12:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Bayanni
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Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Bayanni » Wed Jan 03, 2024 11:37 pm

Jc473 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 11:06 pm
In isolation, I don't see adding Nature to CoE as harmful to the game. I think adding these class synergies (where appropriate) is a good thing.

But whether they do this or simply buff the spell coefficient of Wrath, what do you want the outcome to be? Are you wanting Wrath spam to be nearer the DPS of Starfire spam? Because it sounds like your latency plus the travel time of the spell would result in you just spamming Starfire anyway.
I agree with adding nature to CoE as a good solution. The idea is to give wrath a niche. On retail, it would typically be used for higher dps but at a loss of mana efficiency. This is how I thought it would play our here too and how I feel it should. However, after testing this out multiple times and being proven wrong by the numbers, both on target dummies and actual raid environments, I can conclude it just isn't there.

I'm not the only one, either. Virtually every naxx boomkin I've talked to uses starfire/moonfire pretty much exclusively because the consesus is "wrath just isn't worth it". This tells me it needs a damage buff and, imo, should be better dps than starfire. If this comes from adding nature to CoE, buffing the spell directly, or any of the half-dozen other ideas people have put forward (my personal idea was a stacking damage buff mentioned in a much earlier thread, although the damage can definitely be toned down at this point), I don't necessarily care. What I do care about is a mainline damage spell being relegated to near obsolescence, especially in a kit with so little to use already.

As an aside, latency isn't the entire issue. It can explain a little of the dps loss, as with all casters, and the lack of CoE's damage multiplier for nature and not arcane is another, but altogether that wouldn't explain all of the dps loss. Wrath, being faster, should be less impeded from resists and raid mechanics and result in higher dps, but the results show it isn't the case. I would like this to change.

Jc473
Posts: 419

Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Jc473 » Thu Jan 04, 2024 12:03 am

By the way, Warlocks' Curse of Shadow (https://database.turtle-wow.org/?spell=17937) lowers Arcane resistance by 60 and increase Arcane damage by 10%. So, this (partly) explains the results of your raiding experiences when either focusing on Wrath or Starfire usage.

Bayanni wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 11:37 pm
I'm not the only one, either. Virtually every naxx boomkin I've talked to uses starfire/moonfire pretty much exclusively because the consesus is "wrath just isn't worth it".

The idea is to give wrath a niche.
Not 'worth' it in what way? Are these people just talking about spamming the ability? Sure, in that case, it doesn't beat Starfire because this is not the strength of the spell. In my opinion, the existing niche is clear; it's a quick firing spell. Fundamentally, it allows you to 'land' the spell when there isn't enough time to do so with a Starfire.

So, this very much gives the Druid a third DPS spell to be using throughout a raid (Starfire/Moonfire/Wrath). Speak to a Fire Mage and they will tell you that they have a similar arsenal of 3 spells (Fireball/Fire Blast/Scorch). When I raid as a Fire Mage, I'm constantly slipping in a cheeky Scorch onto Trash mobs when there's not enough time for a Fireball.

So, I don’t think you mean ‘give Wrath a niche’, rather, give it more opportunities to shine. So, if we go down this path, they should do some sort of change to the spell like you suggested;
Bayanni wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 11:37 pm
On retail, it would typically be used for higher dps but at a loss of mana efficiency.
The key is to not disturb other areas of the game like PvP. So, a give-and-take approach is appropriate. To not disturb PvP too much, you'd really have to make it drain your mana quickly (in exchange for some good burst damage).

So, from a raiding perspective, Wrath would still be that fast firing spell when the situation calls for it but also as a mana dump if you really want to maximise DPS, albeit for a very short period of time.

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Bayanni
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Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Bayanni » Thu Jan 04, 2024 12:49 am

I'm going to just have to agree to disagree on wrath. Any notes/ideas on the rest of the OP?

Jc473
Posts: 419

Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Jc473 » Thu Jan 04, 2024 9:48 am

Bayanni wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2024 12:49 am
I propose an entirely new kind of spell, one that only becomes usable after one of your casts is resisted. Similar to Overpower or Riposte, it's a high-damage low-cost spell with either an instant or short cast time. As a sample that needs refinement:

-Insist-
112 mana, 0.5s cast
Causes 560-670 arcane damage (0.75 scaling) to the target.
Can only be cast after a spell resist.
It's a nice idea but the opportunity to use it in various aspects of the game (e.g. PvP/dungeons) would be almost non-existent. For raiding, assuming people are chasing +hit gear, you will have less and less opportunities to use this spell which will just feel deflating.

For your Hurricane idol suggestion, let me use it as a segue into another point. In your opening paragraph, you state that a Druid "brings a lot of raid dps" via indirect means (e.g. FF, crit aura etc). They also bring other major contributions such as switching between roles (i.e. being a Hybrid) and other utility (e.g. Hibernate, Curse/Poison removal, Combat Res, Hurricane, Innervate etc). Personally, I've never really enjoyed the hyperfixation of DPS contribution in a raiding environment. I think it's much more interesting design if classes can contribute to a raid's performance in various ways (i.e. "Raid Contribution").

As it currently stands, the Druid is setup perfectly to lean into this dynamic. Instead of looking at ways to increase Druid DPS, why not accentuate their current utility? Here's one of your ideas from the other thread you linked:
Bayanni wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2024 12:49 am
The second is an entirely new talent in very deep Balance, probably tier 6. This new 3/3 talent would increase the duration of Moonfire's DoT by 3 seconds and Insect Swarm by 4 seconds. This would allow one more tic of Moonfire for 15 seconds total (3-second tics) and two more tics of Insect Swarm for 16 seconds total (2-second tics). This doesn't sound like much at first glance, but this would allow both abilities to be used in a much cleaner rotation to current boomkin starfire spam and, most importantly, have them last long enough to always be consumed during their last tic by Swiftmend.
I think this is a neat change which gives Druids a little boost in DPS without breaking PvP. But why not take it further from a utility perspective? What if the talent also increased the Insect Swarm -2% hit chance to 4%? Furthermore, perhaps allow this debuff to stack up to 3 times (capt it at 12% to prevent cheese strategies). This might encourage bringing a few more Druids to a raid.

As for the Hurricane ability, I'd add a 2 point talent which decreases its cooldown by 20/40 seconds. So, this means that you would have a gap of 10 seconds between full Hurricane durations allowing you to cast other spells (e.g. FF). Bring another Boomie and you could have 100% uptime on Hurricane with good teamwork. Is the 100% uptime on the 25% attack speed reduction too powerful? I'm not sure.... remember, you'd need to have two boomies spending most of their time maintaining it whilst not providing much damage.

In my opinion, these sorts of "Raid Contributions" are far more interesting than simply focusing on the pure DPS contribution.

Also worth pointing out that these changes wouldn't have neglible effect on PvP.

Akos1896
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Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Akos1896 » Thu Jan 04, 2024 7:37 pm

I think insect swarm is a good starting point. Instead of pure-damage increase I'd give moonkins more utility spells.
Roots which can be cast anywhere.
Enemy debuffs (not DOT way) which do mild damage etc...
Moonkin as a caster utility with added debuffs would be fun imo.

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Bayanni
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Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Bayanni » Sun Jan 07, 2024 6:50 am

Jc473 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2024 9:48 am
It's a nice idea but the opportunity to use it in various aspects of the game (e.g. PvP/dungeons) would be almost non-existent. For raiding, assuming people are chasing +hit gear, you will have less and less opportunities to use this spell which will just feel deflating.

For your Hurricane idol suggestion, let me use it as a segue into another point. In your opening paragraph, you state that a Druid "brings a lot of raid dps" via indirect means (e.g. FF, crit aura etc). They also bring other major contributions such as switching between roles (i.e. being a Hybrid) and other utility (e.g. Hibernate, Curse/Poison removal, Combat Res, Hurricane, Innervate etc). Personally, I've never really enjoyed the hyperfixation of DPS contribution in a raiding environment. I think it's much more interesting design if classes can contribute to a raid's performance in various ways (i.e. "Raid Contribution").
Exactly the point of the spell would be to both help smooth out boomkin's transition into raiding by somewhat de-emphasizing the importance of 12-13% spell hit right out of the gate. It takes a while to hit those markers through gear and it's what you'll be prioritizing until you get it thanks to just how extremely good FF is. Everyone knows this and no one, at least that I've heard of, discounts a druid's support capabilities.

However, most of that raid flex is given OOC and only really comes into play if you have a respec machine handy. I could list off a bunch of possible ideas/examples but it really comes down to your shift not being nearly as clutch while in caster gear as you might think.


The reason people point to DPS as a big contributing factor is because it's a huge determining factor if the raid even beats a good number of bosses. No matter how good or geared your healers and tanks are, there's limits on every boss besides the enrage timer. They have mechanics and effects that tax the raid constantly and force mistakes or just terrible RNG. Higher dps can aid this greatly and sometimes even lets you bypass entire phases of a boss. Additionally, this determines how long you're in the raid, and generally people don't like being in the same instance for more than 3 hours at a time. I've been in 4 different Naxx raid groups on turtle and not one of them pushed above 3 hours unless they're right on a boss and it's maybe 1-2 more attempts max. This was the same on other pservers too. It doesn't matter how your safety-net mechanics (innervate/brez) can smooth out a run or how good your ability to heal/tank if something goes wrong is (because it's probably a wipe regardless of what you do), at the end of the day if you can't contribute more than just bringing another mid-geared caster you're just not worth it. As a note, top dps in naxx is from a mage that did 3x more than the top dps from a boomkin (~2700 from a mage, I hit ~900 with BiS gear and consumes, Doomkin got 856).

To note, ONE boomkin is definitely always worth it entirely because of faerie fire. It cannot be understated how good this one ability is for raid dps. I'm talking about what it would take to reasonably justify bringing two or more. Small utilities like a 30cd "fix one mistake" button just don't cut it, unfortunately.

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Bayanni
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Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Bayanni » Sun Jan 07, 2024 6:51 am

Akos1896 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2024 7:37 pm
I think insect swarm is a good starting point. Instead of pure-damage increase I'd give moonkins more utility spells.
Roots which can be cast anywhere.
Enemy debuffs (not DOT way) which do mild damage etc...
Moonkin as a caster utility with added debuffs would be fun imo.
I agree totally. If the spells can help OTHER classes bring in more hurt or really save some lives it might be a really great niche for them to fill that I don't think is in the game much currently. Most debuffs just benefit the class or niche that casts them, so what kind of debuffs/DoTs/curses/etc could a boomie deploy that would fit the theme?

Jc473
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Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Jc473 » Sun Jan 07, 2024 10:19 am

Bayanni wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2024 6:50 am
Exactly the point of the spell would be to both help smooth out boomkin's transition into raiding by somewhat de-emphasizing the importance of 12-13% spell hit right out of the gate. It takes a while to hit those markers through gear and it's what you'll be prioritizing until you get it thanks to just how extremely good FF is. Everyone knows this and no one, at least that I've heard of, discounts a druid's support capabilities.
For me, I don't think adding a spell for this transitional period is a good idea. It's too niche and, as mentioned, redundant for almost all other situations. I think we can come up with something better than that :) As you've said, the benefits of FF are just that good so why not add another DPS enabling passive/ability. I don't think many people like the idea of 'Wild Strikes' from SoD because it steps on the toes of Windfury. But, what if feral druids gave their party a haste buff whenever they landed a crit with an ability (e.g. Shred)? So, for example, 5% haste for 5 seconds. With decent gear, I reckon you could have 50% up time. If it was strong enough, it would certainly lead to people wanting a few feral druids in their raid for the melee groups. What if an equivalent passive was given to Boomies? Starfire crits --> haste buff for party.

Bayanni wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2024 6:50 am
However, most of that raid flex is given OOC and only really comes into play if you have a respec machine handy. I could list off a bunch of possible ideas/examples but it really comes down to your shift not being nearly as clutch while in caster gear as you might think.
Yeah, I highlighted the flexibility of hybrids in TWoW exactly because of this respec machine (very likely one is in each raid). This really does open up the doors for 'proper' hybrid play in a raiding environment. I say this because the general design of raids in WoW doesn't really allow hybrid classes to shine. If the general mechanics on bosses/trash actually 'stretched' the raid groups healing/tanking requirements, you'd see hybrids' versatility shine. However, at least TWoW you can actually adapt your roster roles throughout the course of a raid allowing hybrids to bring more value.

Bayanni wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2024 6:50 am
The reason people point to DPS as a big contributing factor is because it's a huge determining factor if the raid even beats a good number of bosses. No matter how good or geared your healers and tanks are, there's limits on every boss besides the enrage timer. They have mechanics and effects that tax the raid constantly and force mistakes or just terrible RNG. Higher dps can aid this greatly and sometimes even lets you bypass entire phases of a boss. Additionally, this determines how long you're in the raid, and generally people don't like being in the same instance for more than 3 hours at a time. I've been in 4 different Naxx raid groups on turtle and not one of them pushed above 3 hours unless they're right on a boss and it's maybe 1-2 more attempts max. This was the same on other pservers too. It doesn't matter how your safety-net mechanics (innervate/brez) can smooth out a run or how good your ability to heal/tank if something goes wrong is (because it's probably a wipe regardless of what you do), at the end of the day if you can't contribute more than just bringing another mid-geared caster you're just not worth it. As a note, top dps in naxx is from a mage that did 3x more than the top dps from a boomkin (~2700 from a mage, I hit ~900 with BiS gear and consumes, Doomkin got 856).

To note, ONE boomkin is definitely always worth it entirely because of faerie fire. It cannot be understated how good this one ability is for raid dps. I'm talking about what it would take to reasonably justify bringing two or more. Small utilities like a 30cd "fix one mistake" button just don't cut it, unfortunately.
I agree that better direct DPS contributions correlate to; 1) a greater chance of a boss kill, 2) quick trash clearance and 3) less consumables used. All of these lead to more efficient raiding and, depending your mindset, will lead to a more sustainable experience. However, as per my earlier comments/suggestions, wouldn't buffing a given spec's indirect DPS contributions also achieve this goal? You've already examplified it with the use of FF. People have figured out that this indirect DPS contribution is absolutely worth bringing a spec which does, what, 40-50% ish of a prime DPS? So, why not add more of these tools but make it so the contributions are group-wide rather than raid-wide.

Also, as for your benchmark, I'm going to assume that is a Fire Mage who is the one 'owning' the majority of the Ignites throughout that particular raid/boss fight. If so, balancing around this, would be unwise.

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Bayanni
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Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Bayanni » Tue Jan 09, 2024 10:51 pm

To clarify, you believe adding a new spell would be bad because we're in a "transitional period" and you believe it would be redundant, but then you suggest adding a new effect that makes starfire crits scale with the entire party or just wildstrikes but caster-focused? You don't think that would be bad for a transitional period? If you think balancing is the issue, pretty sure one direct-damage spell is better than a substantial party-wide damage boost.

I'd argue this is exactly the time to look into ways to modify a class/spec, certainly a lot better than if the class is firmly established with a good rotation and clearly-defined roles. Right now you seem to want to steer boomkin towards a full support playstyle, while I want it to push closer to mainline casters with its current support suite intact, but would very much like to explore the debuff approach (think "hexmage"). It's the only way I can make sense of saying adding an ability is a bad idea while wanting to add an ability.

The hybrid flex isn't as good as you're making it out to be. For one, flexing from boomkin to anything else is done better by other classes. DPS to tank? Warrior's got that easily. DPS to heals? Paladin all the way. And this is assuming you NEED that transition when you very very often don't. It's "nice", it's not "needed", and that's the big problem with it, same as innervate or brez. It's a cool idea, but in execution it's very rarely used. I use it in exactly one instance in all of TWoW and that's going from Gothik to 4hm. That's a legitimate use-case for hybrid flex, and the only one, due to the extreme role requirements of that one fight. The rest are niche uses at best and trying to save a bad raid comp at worst.


The benchmark is the best ever mage vs the best ever boomkin. It's not about balancing around insane ignites, it's about demonstrating the massive canyon that is the difference in output. I've posted other top class benchmarks previously, but to clarify a ret paladin on patchwerk maxed out at 1250dps while not being BiS. I am BiS. Entirely. Completely. Everything. I'm still less than 75% of that. Hunters max out a little over 1400. Rogues around 1500. Warriors can top 1800 with warlocks, sometimes a little more. FF on trash, a substantial raid-wide dps boost, is enough to overcome this for one boomkin, but not two.

Haste buff on party being enough to approach a pseudo-meme's damage? You think you can balance a party buff enough that it doesn't trivialize dps output and is still useful? You're looking at giving approximately 300dps to the party from a single buff to approach a ret's dps. However, haste scales hard. 300dps for who? Endgame-geared players? No, that would be too weak and wouldn't justify a second boomkin. 300dps for fresh 60? No, too strong, that's over half their output sometimes. Maybe full BWL BiS? Oh man, that's still a lot, and how much good would this do for a 2h team vs a DW team? Or just warlocks v mages? Or even healers? Just that idea alone is impossible to balance well as shown by the scrapping of double-haste for casters. I wouldn't push the crit-based caster class towards haste.

If you're dead-set on just not adding a new damage spell to the kit, why not a debuff then? Another FF-like ability that you need to spec into that gives a similar effect but for casters? Slight spell vuln on the target and lowers resistances or something like that.

And finally, the uses aren't niche for an overpower-like ability for spell resists. You would use it every raid boss even if you're max hit-capped. Every boss and mob still has an innate chance to resist spells regardless of how much spell hit or pen you have. The damage I posted is slightly above starfire's with a much lower mana cost, so you're looking at a slight dps loss on a starfire resist while an actual dps boost for a wrath resist. The balance is intentionally set up to promote the use of wrath since it's still currently even more niche than spec-swapping.

Templar85
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Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Templar85 » Tue Jan 09, 2024 11:11 pm

What do you guys think about my suggestions viewtopic.php?f=14&t=12598

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Studbucket
Posts: 43

Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Studbucket » Tue Jan 09, 2024 11:33 pm

Bayanni wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2024 6:51 am
Akos1896 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2024 7:37 pm
I think insect swarm is a good starting point. Instead of pure-damage increase I'd give moonkins more utility spells.
Roots which can be cast anywhere.
Enemy debuffs (not DOT way) which do mild damage etc...
Moonkin as a caster utility with added debuffs would be fun imo.
I agree totally. If the spells can help OTHER classes bring in more hurt or really save some lives it might be a really great niche for them to fill that I don't think is in the game much currently. Most debuffs just benefit the class or niche that casts them, so what kind of debuffs/DoTs/curses/etc could a boomie deploy that would fit the theme?
I love this train of thought. Insect Swarm and Faerie Fire both provide these types of benefits, plus you already have Moonkin's crit aura.

Just trying some brainstorming, not sure how good these ideas are:
  1. Balance spell crits adds nature vulnerability (can stack up to 5)
  2. Add a second Innervate spell. Think like Pally Bubbles: 1 for self, 1 for others (but slightly less effective). Have the "innervate for others" be on a shorter cooldown, but less useful than "Innervate for self".
  3. Entangling roots when cast indoors has a different effect. Instead of rooting, it "grasps" onto the enemy, reducing melee, casting, and movement speed by 20%.
  4. "Charm creature" - basically priest's mind control, but only for Beasts. Or maybe turns a beast friendly, making it attack its allies for 15 seconds.
Member of <Grey Haven>. Mains: Koukouvagia, Awsploda, Gordoba.

Akos1896
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Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Akos1896 » Tue Jan 09, 2024 11:49 pm

I'd maybe consider a warlock like curse for nature and arcane
Would also buff ele shamans and arcane mages at raids and those two really need some love

For utility spells I'm imagining for example an improved insect swarm talent which would also decrease crit and crushing blow chance on the target (enemy can't hit properly since insects are buzzing around him)
Would be a tank utility and could help prot pala have some chance to shine with the mitigation added by the moonkin

A third option would be some kind of fearward effect
Raids are too reliant on dwarven priests and tremor totems for one mechanic
Something like 'nature's calmness'

Jc473
Posts: 419

Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Jc473 » Wed Jan 10, 2024 12:27 am

Akos1896 wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2024 11:49 pm
I'd maybe consider a warlock like curse for nature and arcane
Would also buff ele shamans and arcane mages at raids and those two really need some love
I've already posted this in this thread but I'll put it here again:

""By the way, Warlocks' Curse of Shadow (https://database.turtle-wow.org/?spell=17937) also lowers Arcane resistance by 60 and increase Arcane damage by 10%. So, this (partly) explains the results of your raiding experiences when either focusing on Wrath or Starfire usage.""

Jc473
Posts: 419

Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Jc473 » Thu Jan 11, 2024 2:03 pm

Bayanni wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2024 10:51 pm
And finally, the uses aren't niche for an overpower-like ability for spell resists. You would use it every raid boss even if you're max hit-capped. Every boss and mob still has an innate chance to resist spells regardless of how much spell hit or pen you have. The damage I posted is slightly above starfire's with a much lower mana cost, so you're looking at a slight dps loss on a starfire resist while an actual dps boost for a wrath resist. The balance is intentionally set up to promote the use of wrath since it's still currently even more niche than spec-swapping.
Are you referring to the inescapable 1% chance to miss a spell? Surely this perfectly encapsulates a niche situation? Or are you referring to partial resists as well? Interestingly, because of the lack of Nature debuff in Curse of Elements, perhaps this would lend itself towards promoting Wrath spam on certain boss fights where they have a certain level of Nature resist. Either way, I still think having a spell that is 99% used for raiding is not a good choice. It simply feels like a waste to have a spell that would get almost next to no use in other aspects of the game (e.g. PvP, dungeons etc).

Bayanni wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2024 10:51 pm
To clarify, you believe adding a new spell would be bad because we're in a "transitional period" and you believe it would be redundant, but then you suggest adding a new effect that makes starfire crits scale with the entire party or just wildstrikes but caster-focused? You don't think that would be bad for a transitional period?

but would very much like to explore the debuff approach (think "hexmage"). It's the only way I can make sense of saying adding an ability is a bad idea while wanting to add an ability.
I'm confused at how you've arrived at this position. You've suggested adding an ability to cover a "transitional period" and I've given my reasons why I don't think its design is a good approach. Instead, I then suggested enhancing a Druid's raid contribution via other means (e.g. a proc) which would also not fall foul of being redundant in other aspects of the game. To be absolutely clear, my suggestion has absolutely no intention of addressing this "transitional period". Personally, I don't think this "transitional period" is even an issue. It's just a natural part of the game which all DPS classes go through; as you acquire gear, you overcome the problem of struggling to hit the boss reliably.

Bayanni wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2024 10:51 pm
If you think balancing is the issue, pretty sure one direct-damage spell is better than a substantial party-wide damage boost.

Haste buff on party being enough to approach a pseudo-meme's damage? You think you can balance a party buff enough that it doesn't trivialize dps output and is still useful? You're looking at giving approximately 300dps to the party from a single buff to approach a ret's dps. However, haste scales hard. 300dps for who? Endgame-geared players? No, that would be too weak and wouldn't justify a second boomkin. 300dps for fresh 60? No, too strong, that's over half their output sometimes. Maybe full BWL BiS? Oh man, that's still a lot, and how much good would this do for a 2h team vs a DW team? Or just warlocks v mages? Or even healers? Just that idea alone is impossible to balance well as shown by the scrapping of double-haste for casters. I wouldn't push the crit-based caster class towards haste.

If you're dead-set on just not adding a new damage spell to the kit, why not a debuff then? Another FF-like ability that you need to spec into that gives a similar effect but for casters? Slight spell vuln on the target and lowers resistances or something like that.
I'll be honest and say I didn't give the actual boon (i.e. haste) much thought. Would an amplifer buff be hard to balance? Sure, so why not make it provide flat values for some other stats instead?. On a similar note, can you imagine if the Windfury totem didn't exist in the game and then somebody suggested it, right now? Surely it would've also provoked a similar response from you, right? Afterall, it is one of the best amplifier buffs in the game that would be seemingly impossible to balance.

The reason why I suggested having a dynamic (either a new spell or proc) which provides a party wide buff is because this is one of the major ways of promoting more Druid spots in a raid roster. Current examples of this include; Shamans for Windfury, Hunters for Trueshot Aura, Feral Druids for Leader of the Pack and Shadow Priests for great mana sustain. If you get this 'right', then it opens up the door for having way more Druid representation than what you are probably experiencing. Currently, from a min-max perspective, the raid roster has one Resto (because HoTs don't stack) and one Boomie (FF duty).

I'm not against your proposal of having another debuff spell (caster equivalent of FF which requires a talent point). In fact, I like it a lot. If I had to choose between a party buff or another debuff, I'd choose the former because it promotes more Druid representation. However, if both were on offer, I'd take it in a heartbeat :)

Bayanni wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2024 10:51 pm
I'd argue this is exactly the time to look into ways to modify a class/spec, certainly a lot better than if the class is firmly established with a good rotation and clearly-defined roles. Right now you seem to want to steer boomkin towards a full support playstyle, while I want it to push closer to mainline casters with its current support suite intact,
One of the main reasons why I'm pushing for this type of class change is because adding party buffs or enemy debuffs doesn't impact PvP nearly as much as increasing a Druid's personal DPS.

Bayanni wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2024 10:51 pm
The benchmark is the best ever mage vs the best ever boomkin. It's not about balancing around insane ignites, it's about demonstrating the massive canyon that is the difference in output. I've posted other top class benchmarks previously, but to clarify a ret paladin on patchwerk maxed out at 1250dps while not being BiS. I am BiS. Entirely. Completely. Everything. I'm still less than 75% of that. Hunters max out a little over 1400. Rogues around 1500. Warriors can top 1800 with warlocks, sometimes a little more. FF on trash, a substantial raid-wide dps boost, is enough to overcome this for one boomkin, but not two.

The hybrid flex isn't as good as you're making it out to be. For one, flexing from boomkin to anything else is done better by other classes. DPS to tank? Warrior's got that easily. DPS to heals? Paladin all the way. And this is assuming you NEED that transition when you very very often don't. It's "nice", it's not "needed", and that's the big problem with it, same as innervate or brez. It's a cool idea, but in execution it's very rarely used. I use it in exactly one instance in all of TWoW and that's going from Gothik to 4hm. That's a legitimate use-case for hybrid flex, and the only one, due to the extreme role requirements of that one fight. The rest are niche uses at best and trying to save a bad raid comp at worst.
So, both of these paragraphs accentuate the fact that you are min-max raider. This is not a slight, fyi. I'd also like to point out that I raided like this in Classic/SoM. With that being said, let me ask you a question; if you were to buff a Boomie's damage by 10-20% so that it was closer to that of the pure damage dealers, do you honestly think your guild will bring more than one? I think the answer is pretty clear... why bring another Boomie when it is only doing 80% of what a pure damage dealer (e.g. rogue) is capable of? I promise you, if you pull on this thread, it will only cause people to question why there is a gap at all....

Unfortunately, this is simply a self-made problem for the elite raiders. The way in which they play the game drastically diminishes the value of hydrids switching between roles or certain utility spells (e.g. combat res/innervate). They are playing in such a hyper optimised way that almost everything can be distilled down into direct damage contributions. From a dev perspective, this is absolutely not a good benchmark to work from because the majority of the raiders are having a completely different experience.
Last edited by Jc473 on Thu Jan 11, 2024 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jc473
Posts: 419

Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Jc473 » Thu Jan 11, 2024 2:13 pm

Studbucket wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2024 11:33 pm
Bayanni wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2024 6:51 am
Akos1896 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2024 7:37 pm
I think insect swarm is a good starting point. Instead of pure-damage increase I'd give moonkins more utility spells.
Roots which can be cast anywhere.
Enemy debuffs (not DOT way) which do mild damage etc...
Moonkin as a caster utility with added debuffs would be fun imo.
I agree totally. If the spells can help OTHER classes bring in more hurt or really save some lives it might be a really great niche for them to fill that I don't think is in the game much currently. Most debuffs just benefit the class or niche that casts them, so what kind of debuffs/DoTs/curses/etc could a boomie deploy that would fit the theme?
I love this train of thought. Insect Swarm and Faerie Fire both provide these types of benefits, plus you already have Moonkin's crit aura.

Just trying some brainstorming, not sure how good these ideas are:
  1. Balance spell crits adds nature vulnerability (can stack up to 5)
  2. Add a second Innervate spell. Think like Pally Bubbles: 1 for self, 1 for others (but slightly less effective). Have the "innervate for others" be on a shorter cooldown, but less useful than "Innervate for self".
  3. Entangling roots when cast indoors has a different effect. Instead of rooting, it "grasps" onto the enemy, reducing melee, casting, and movement speed by 20%.
  4. "Charm creature" - basically priest's mind control, but only for Beasts. Or maybe turns a beast friendly, making it attack its allies for 15 seconds.
I also echo this sentiment. I think these ideas are better than increasing a Druid's personal DPS.

I'm torn on the 'indoor roots' simply because it is really interesting that Druids are more capable in the outdoor environment. It's in keep with their class fantasy. I know it sounds less interesting but, as a compromise, I'd simply make 'indoor roots' a less potent spell. For example, what if the roots were more likely to break? Or the duration was half as long? Or cast time was increased? Or more mana to cast?

Jc473
Posts: 419

Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Jc473 » Thu Jan 11, 2024 2:17 pm

Templar85 wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2024 11:11 pm
What do you guys think about my suggestions viewtopic.php?f=14&t=12598
I'd love to address some of your concerns (which are very valid!) but I don't want to derail this thread which is specifically looking at Boomkin contributions in a raiding environment.

Vision0228
Posts: 12

Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Vision0228 » Thu Jan 11, 2024 3:31 pm

What moonkins really lack is a long cd burst ability, similar to what they gave feral - Berserk.
It can be something like this:
6 min cooldown. Removes all charm effects and increases casting speed by 20% while reducing threat generated by harmful spells by 30%. Only usable in Moonkin form.
Nothing too crazy, but it gives moonkins the possibility to rush when it's needed, rather than keep dealing damage at a more or less fixed pace regardless of the situation.
Otherwise I don't have any complaints about moonkin dps and their raid supporting role as aura providers atm.

Jc473
Posts: 419

Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Jc473 » Thu Jan 11, 2024 4:12 pm

Vision0228 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2024 3:31 pm
What moonkins really lack is a long cd burst ability, similar to what they gave feral - Berserk.
It can be something like this:
6 min cooldown. Removes all charm effects and increases casting speed by 20% while reducing threat generated by harmful spells by 30%. Only usable in Moonkin form.
Nothing too crazy, but it gives moonkins the possibility to rush when it's needed, rather than keep dealing damage at a more or less fixed pace regardless of the situation.
Otherwise I don't have any complaints about moonkin dps and their raid supporting role as aura providers atm.
I think tying this sort of ability might be OK to not disturb PvP too much. I've already mentioned in this thread that balance druids are very effective in PvP but I'm not actually sure if that is also true for those who go as far as the Moonkin form talent.
The question is, how effective is a deep Balance Druid (i.e. Moonkin) in PvP? If the answer is, not particularly, then this burst spell idea might work.

Vision0228
Posts: 12

Re: Balance Druid Spell Ideas

Post by Vision0228 » Sat Jan 13, 2024 12:25 pm

Jc473 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2024 4:12 pm
Vision0228 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2024 3:31 pm
What moonkins really lack is a long cd burst ability, similar to what they gave feral - Berserk.
It can be something like this:
6 min cooldown. Removes all charm effects and increases casting speed by 20% while reducing threat generated by harmful spells by 30%. Only usable in Moonkin form.
Nothing too crazy, but it gives moonkins the possibility to rush when it's needed, rather than keep dealing damage at a more or less fixed pace regardless of the situation.
Otherwise I don't have any complaints about moonkin dps and their raid supporting role as aura providers atm.
I think tying this sort of ability might be OK to not disturb PvP too much. I've already mentioned in this thread that balance druids are very effective in PvP but I'm not actually sure if that is also true for those who go as far as the Moonkin form talent.
The question is, how effective is a deep Balance Druid (i.e. Moonkin) in PvP? If the answer is, not particularly, then this burst spell idea might work.
Moonkins are doing not bad damage-wise in pvp, like any other caster classes, you can't leave them free-casting. Their weakness lies in their lack of effective defense and hard cc. When under attack by more than one player especially melee, they either run, or die. They can't blink themselves out of a stun or iceblock to prevent ganking. They have only one root not to mention it can't be used indoor.
The proposed 'remove all charm effects' is to bring it on par with Berserk, as moonkins are still considered as humanoid, they're prone too most of the hard cc.
Although I much prefer to see Barkskin reducing all damage taken and can be used in all forms, I doubt they'd allow it.

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