Hey again Druids!
Our first Roundtable discussion has ended and I, personally, think it was amazingly fun and successful. We talked about a wide variety of topics, some of which went off-topic at times, but all of it was in good fun. I'll use this post to highlight some of the fine points of our conversations. Keep in mind when raiding all of this that everything is purely speculation based off on some very limited information. How we think or believe a spell will function may not be accurate, and changes are that it won't be accurate at all, but it's the best that we could come up with with what we have.
There were many things thrown out about how this spell would function in both PvE and PvP, as well as how the spell would fit within the Balance Druid's rotation.
In PvP, the thoughts were mostly that this would be a primarily surprise or defensive based ability. By defensive, it won't exactly be the same thing as Barkskin, but rather act as more of a 'trap' spell that you have to use proactively. Using the spell overtly offensively might not work out too well since the effect will be fairly easy to avoid. To this end, players will probably have it set somewhere, like near where their healer will use lots of LoS, to set it up a clean burst. For Arena play, it adds some interesting kiting mechanics to how Balance will function. In Battlegrounds, Wild Mushroom will clearly be amazing for choke points and prevent flag caps.
In PvE, the spell holds a lot of potential. The current line of thinking is two-fold. The first thought is that Wild Mushroom will be highly useful during extended periods of movement. This is based on the thought that Wild Mushroom will be limited to a single mushroom at a time and that placing a new mushroom will cause the old one to explode. Since the spell is instant cast and has no cooldown, you could effectively spam the spell while on the move to supplement damage when you can't cast anything else. The other potential use for Wild Mushroom is as an effective 'Cleave' type skill. Generally speaking, Hurricane is only useful when there are a large number of mobs, around 4 or 5, and sometimes there is one 1 or 2 adds that need to be killed. In these situations, Wild Mushroom could provide the highest access to DPS by hitting all the targets more higher amounts of damage.
Other random thoughts on Wild Mushroom are how it could relate to our talents. GC has stated that Wild Mushroom will interact with our talents, but nothing as to how. One of the thoughts that came up with the ability to proc Earth and Moon on multiple targets. Having the 13% spell buff on multiple targets is a very big deal for add fights and AoE encounters, yet only one spec of one class can effectively provide this. Allowing Wild Mushroom to proc Earth and Moon on multiple targets would be a huge boost to group utility and allow AoE content to be easier to balance.
Since a lot of discussion already took place on this mechanic in the talent preview thread, not too much was talked about this spell. We all agree though that this is going to be one of the key things that can make or break Balance Druids in the next expansion. How it interacts with Eclipse and fits within our rotation is going to be a big players in Cataclysm. I'm personally really excited about it, but only time can tell how it will actually work out.
Eclipse is getting a major change, yet still too little is known about the effect. We talk a little bit about possible rotations, how things could or could not work, issues that could come up, and how much more awesome it was. Here are things that we talked about.
Eclipse decay - GC has said that Eclipse is probably going to have to have some form of decay. We all agree to this point due to the fact that players really shouldn't be encouraged to go farm up Eclipse power before a pull in order to game DPS. The decay in combat is a little bit more tricky. Having some in combat might be okay, but it all depends on how it works out with movement. If the drain is too step, then it could re-enforce the current system we already have with movement.
Eclipse gain - How rapidly Eclipse is gained or lost is going to be a major factor in just about everything. Right now there are too many systems out there to guess at anything solid.
The controversial topic. Some people hate it still, some people love it. The biggest complain is just that Moonkin Form is too flat right now and really needs to be updated. Blizzard has thankfully said that one is eventually coming, though it may end up being slightly delayed. Hope exists!
From our thinking, there's going to be quite a few talents that will probably have to be removed. The biggest of these was Nature's Grace. At this point, very few people present seemed to think that a nerf would be enough for this talent and that the best option would simply be to get rid of it completely. Doing so would hurt Balance Druids a lot, obviously, but with a new expansion coming out there is plenty of opportunity to re-balance use around this change. Another talent that is up for debate is Improved Faerie Fire. We know that the +Hit portion of the this talent is going to be removed, however we don't know if anything new is going to be added to it to replace that. Right now, a lot of people seemed to think that merely +3% Crit really isn't interesting enough to keep around. It would be a DPS increase that we certainly take, but it would lose a lot of flavor. Many people would either like to see something else added on to the talent or for the talent to be removed completely.
Improved Moonkin Aura will probably become our talent which allows us to scale Spirit into Hit. Since the talent already does this with Spell Power, it seems most logical that it would be transferred this way. Talents such as Vengeance will most likely stick around, and things like Improved Insect Swarm will probably be expanded upon - even though it will upset Hamlet.
All in all, the whole thing was a lot of fun with so many people stopping by. I pretty sure I can speak for everyone when I say that we all had a great time just talking it up about all the different random things that popped into our heads. With how great this turned out, I'll definitely be continuing this when Beta starts so be on the look out for future posts!
Stay classy Druids,
(inside joke from vent)