Monday, August 27, 2012

Level 85, Patch 5.0.4 Survival Guide

The Pre-Expansion patch arrives tomorrow with a lot of changes to adapt to quickly. Granted, this is traditionally a pretty lazy time for raiding and Min/Maxing your toon might not be 100% necessary. That said it is a good time to get a feel for some of the new mechanics and figure out your UI before it does matter in a months time.

When reading the information below, I would like you to keep a couple things in mind.

First, this is a level 85 guide based on the information I have available at the time it this was posted. A lot of this is likely to be relevant to level 90 raiding as well, but there are some differences and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a lot of design changes between now and Sept 25th as well.

Second, I've been doing a lot of analysis using Simulation Craft over the past couple of weeks. Without it significant portions of this post would not be possible, because maintaining my own excel based simulator was a pain in the butt. So I want to thank Starfox and everyone involved with Simulation Craft for maintaining such a great tool.

Important Changes To Remember
The DoT Revamp: Insect Swarm is out, but Sunfire becomes it's own button. Basically, we lost a DoT to put a slightly different one in it's place, but that's not the only change. The duration of Moonkin DoTs are also significantly shorter now at 14 seconds instead of 18, and the DoTs no longer proc Nature's Grace. Nature's Grace now occurs when you enter Eclipse.

Specialized Eclipses: The two Eclipse buffs have never really been equal, but for the first time they are now designed to be different. Lunar Eclipse now favors single target DPS with Starfire being a bit stronger then Wrath and the ability to cast Starfall as soon as you enter Lunar. Solar Eclipse favors AoE DPS as it always has but with a new design. Hurricane is a bit stronger then Astral Storm and Wild Mushroom is still buffed by Solar even though it should no longer be a regular AoE tool.

New Cooldowns: Moonkins will have the potential to have multiple cooldowns in MoP. The only standard cooldown is Celestial Alignment and it does requite some skill to use it correctly, since it consumes all energy when used. The other cooldowns are from talents or other spells which I will tlak about later.
Astral Communion: This is a major quality of life improvement for Moonkin and the critters of Azeroth. With the release of 5.0.4 you can set up your Eclipse prior to the pull of the boss, and if there is downtime in a fight you can skip the phase that you are out of Eclipse. For PvPers with the set bonus can cast AC while moving.

Higher Eclipse Uptime: Euphoria is no longer a random proc but a constant benefit that always doubles energy generation out side of Eclipse. This significantly increases Eclipse uptime

Talent and Glyph Changes

Tier 4 Talents: This is the DPS or Output tier of the talent tree and honestly it's the only significant choice a moonkin has to make before level 90 and Tier 6. I've run a lot of tests on these talents using Simulation Craft and have gotten fairly consistent results about which is the best. Here is the current ranking:
Incarnation > Force of Nature > Soul of the Forest

In every test I ran at level 85 Incarnation beat the other two choices by a significant margin. If you read Elitist Jerks you may have seen some comments that suggested SotF is best at some gear levels, but those tests were done at level 90 and I wasn't able to find any situation where that is the case at level 85. That said, I do think Soul of the Forest is probably best for leveling with quests.

The Other Talents Tiers: Most of the choices in the other talent tiers are fairly situational and not all that significant to be completely honest. I expect to use this build as a general rule, but what you choose depends on the situation and personal preference.

Another Glyph Revamp: I'm not sure if Glyphs can go through an expansion without getting revamped. In MoP the Prime Glyphs have been eliminated and with them most of the reasons why a Moonkin should care about glyphs at all. I honestly don't think I'm being overly dramatic in my assessment either. Any moonkin could pick their glyphs at random and it wouldn't significantly hurt them. However, there are five that I think are a bit better for raid PvE then other choices available.

I am picking Glyph of Rebirth, Glyph of the Moonbeast, and Glyph of Stampede. I'm sure that GoR will still be requited my many raid leaders since it reduces the risk that a battle rez is waisted, and there is really no reason for a Moonkin not to pick it up. GotM is great if you frequently heal yourself or pop Tranquility for the raid. GoS is nice because it gives me an those near me an extra speed buff without having to shift forms.

The other possibilities are Glyph of Stampeding Roar and Glyph of Innervate. Both could be useful in the right situation, but I think the others I've chosen are more universally useful. As far as Minor glyphs go, they don't matter at all. Pick which ever one makes you happiest.

New Rotations

Please keep in mind that I am speaking generally with regard to the rotations below. There are exceptions to all of them depending on the situation, but I am not going to go through all of the exceptions.

Starting Rotation: The main thing you are trying to do with your starting rotation is maximize your buffs and cooldowns.
  • Use Astral Communion until you are one Wrath away from Lunar Eclipse.
  • After the pull cast Starfall and then Wrath. This uses your Starfall cooldown and immediately resets it by entering Lunar Eclipse.
  • After entering Eclipse cast Incarnation, followed by Moonfire and Sunfire to get both DoTs on the target.
  • At this point you want to start casting towards Solar Eclipse. Cast Starsurge on cooldown and fill the rotation with Starfire. Also make sure to recast Starfall when it falls off, and before you leave Eclipse.
  • Once you leave Eclipse Cast Celestial Alignment and recast Moonfire no matter how much remains to apply both Moonfire and Sunfire
  • Again cast Starsurge on cooldown and fill the rotation with Starfire. Also make sure to recast Starfall when it falls off. It's also a good idea to cast a Moonfire at the end if both DoTs don't have much time left.

With this rotation you are casting three Starfire's fairly quickly, getting two Nature's Grace Buffs and a whole lot of buffed nukes and DoTs.
Single Target Rotation: After the Starting rotation, the single target Moonkin rotation is fairly close to what you are used too, but with less guess work. Here are the main things you want to remember.
  • The buffed DoT should always be recast when you enter Eclipse no matter how much is remaining on the current uneclipsed DoT. For example, if you have 6 seconds left on MF and you enter Lunar Eclipse recast MF on the target.
  • In my testing I found very little benefit to clipping a DoT at the end of Eclipse. My Simulation Craft tests did indicate that you could improve your DPS by 0.20% by clipping a DoT with 3 or 4 seconds left at the end of Eclipse, but that benefit is so small and risky that it's not really worth it.
Recast DoTs when they fall off, however I would recommend that you delay the casting the DoT if you are one nuke away from entering the Eclipse relevent to the DoT's school. Simulation Craft didn't show that doing this made a significant difference but I have a feeling that has more to do with the gear level I tested then anything else.
  • Cast Starsurge and Starfall on cooldown and fill with Starfire and Wrath depending on the direction.
  • Incarnation should always be used at the start of an Eclipse and then cast normally until you leave that Eclipse. Then Celestial Alignment should be cast followed by Moonfire. Then cast Starsurge and Starfire until the end of CA ending with a Wrath or Moonfire depending on what you have time for. Incarnation and Celestial Alignment should aways be used in this way to maximize their benefit.

  • AoE Rotation: The Moonkin AoE spells are changing in two big ways in MoP.
    First Hurricane now has a Lunar version called Astral Storm and both have been buffed compared to what we saw in Cata. Astral Storm is a little bit weaker then Hurricane, but is buffed by Lunar Eclipse. This means that you want to be in Solar for AoE if possible, but AoEing in Lunar Eclipse is a lot better then it was if you get stuck.

    Second, Wild Mushroom is much easier to use, but was nerfed quite a bit. Wild Mushrooms should only be used for AoE if they can be placed ahead of time. Otherwise they don't keep up with the improved Hurricane. Also, it is important to remember that they are still buffed by Solar Eclipse despite there being some talk of them not being buffed by either version.

    Movement Rotation: Movement DPS hasn't really improved for Moonkin in MoP but it is a little different then what we have on live currently. Lunar Shower still has problems, but it no longer generates energy in MoP. Therefore you can spam MF or SnF while moving, but be careful which one you spam because you don't want to overate and eclipsed DoT with the uneclipsed version. Wild Mushroom is also still available for movement DPS and as said before is now easier to use.
    Stat Changes

    Hit Cap Change: For casters the base chance to miss a Skull level boss is being reduced from 17% to 15% in patch 5.0.4. This means the hit cap is shrinking from 1743 to 1535.
    Crit > Haste = Mastery: The stat equation is getting flipped in MoP. It's clear that Crit Rating should be the best secondary stat for most players at level 85.

    How players will value Haste and Mastery is not clear at all, and really depends on the individual. Some of my tests slightly favored Haste. In other's Mastery was a little bit better. How you value these stats depends on what gear you have an you have reforged it. I had to run 3 or 4 simulations to figure out what was the best set up for reforges. If you are looking to maximize your gear you will have to do the same.

    Other Changes

    Balance Power Tracker: This is the addon I used to track Eclipse in Cata and there is a new version for MoP. You can find it here.

    Fewer Heals: Many of the healing spells Moonkin are used to having are no longer standard for druids. If you have self healing macro please realize that you only have Rejuv and Healing Touch after the patch.
    No More Stat Sticks: The Ranged weapon socket is being removed from the game which means no more relics for druids.

    Things You Won't see

    Tier 6 Talents: These talents require level 90 and obviously won't matter until MoP is released and we level up. Therefore there is no point in talking about Dream of Cenarius vs Nature's Vigil in this post.

    Symbiosis: The Symbiosis spell is gained at level 87 and not available at this point. That said, I think it's a big disappointment for PvE.

    Fae Empowerment: This was a failed experiment that was scrapped a little over a month ago. If you are Moonkin three is no reason to cast Faerie Fire unless your raid needs the debuff.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Nerfs and Random Stuff I Missed

    The end is near and it's time for me to stop being slack and write another blog post. At this point in development the big changes have been made, but there are a lot of little things to talk about. Plus, as I prepare for the release I am discovering some things that I've missed. Lets take a look.

    Nerf, Nerf, Slight Buff:

    Over the last three beta builds we've seen a lot of balancing changes. Most of them nerfs, and to some this looks like the sky is falling, but really it's not. Please think back to June 25 when Ghostcrawler said:
    Please note that these changes are straight DPS buffs, and we don’t think Moonkin need a buff right now, so we need to reduce overall damage (probably across the board) so that overall DPS stays the same. These nerfs may take a few builds, because we need to evaluate if these rotation changes are worth doing. However, don't be surprised when you see them (source)

    Yes, that quote is from a month and a half ago and the straight DPS buffs GC was talking about was Fae Empowerment which no longer exists. However, just because they got rid of Fae Empowerment doesn't mean the nerfs weren't coming after all. When they got rid of FE they didn't revert back to the old design. They changed Euphoria so that Eclipse has a much higher uptime. They made Sunfire a separate DoT with a separate button to push. And they buffed the heck out of both Moonfire and Sunfire to make Moonkin a more DoT centric spec.

    In short, those were a lot of buffs and Moonkin became a bit overpowered on the beta, and the modeling was showing that. In my opinion the best modeling available right now is coming from Simulation Craft and prior to these nerfs there were models having Moonkin Doing 141k DPS with Dream of Cenarius and 126k without it. Those are very high numbers and put Moonkin well ahead of the other classes. Moonkin needed a nerf, but the question now is if Blizzard has gone to far.

    I usually put a lot of trust in the numbers produced by Simulation Craft, and that is why I'm worried that Blizzard has been a little heavy with the nerfs. Here is a link to the Simulation Craft results. You may see something different then what I'm saying, because they do get updated, but at the time of this posting Moonkin DPS in this ranking is well behind most of the DPS classes. Moonkin are doing around 100k DPS with most of the other DPS specs doing between 115k and 125k.

    While these results are a bit distressing it is important to not panic and view them with the proper perspective. First its important to remember that Simulation Craft is not perfect. I have a lot of respect for the Simulation Craft developers, but with the amount of changes coming through it's not unreasonable to assume that there are some bugs in the system that skew the data. Blizzard does have it's own internal models, which they claim disagree with the Simulation Craft numbers.

    At this point it's impossible to tell which model is right, but the models are really the starting point rather then the end. Models are built on assumptions. They can end up being very wrong if those assumptions prove to be incorrect, and players have been very good in the past about proving those assumptions wrong. Take the Solar Cleave rotation as an example. It wasn't anticipated by Blizzard and made all of the balancing done before the expansion useless because players didn't play in the way that Blizzard had expected.

    This is the reason why it's best to balance the game around actual game data when possible. And remember Blizzard isn't shy about making changes quickly with hotfixes if one class turns out to be way overpowered or another proves to be significantly behind. Right before Cataclysm Moonkin were extremely over powered due to the DoTS and we were nerfed within a week. If the proves to be an issue this time, I trust that Blizzard will make the necessary adjustments.

    Dream of Cenarius: How Did I Miss This?

    • Dream of Cenarius Nourish, Healing Touch, and Regrowth increase the damage done by your next 2 Moonfire or Sunfire casts by 100% (build 15961)
    • In Build 15972, the damage increase to Moonfire and Sunfire is being reduced to 50%.
    I am embarrassed to admit that the change to Dream of Cenarius happened without me even noticing it. That said, I'm glad it's getting nerfed. My only question now is if it's enough.

    The 100% version of Dream of Cenarius was extremely powerful. The Simulations done by Starfox with Simulation Craft showed that it was by far the best talent option in the Tier 6 talents. However, from a moonkin perspective it is a bad design and created a situation where players would use the talent in a way that was not intended by Blizzard.

    Please remember that Tier 6 is not intended to be a DPS tier. The DPS tier is tier 4. Tier 6 is and has always been the "Hybrid" tier where Blizzard is trying to get players out of their specialized roles that we have barricaded ourselves in for the past 8 years. We could argue whether the Hybrid concept is a good idea or not. Many people including myself have argued that it's not a good idea, but the fact of the matter is Blizzard is committed to it and we have to deal with it whether we like the concept or not. So the question becomes, what should a Hybrid talent look like for players?

    Ideally, a Hybrid talent is one that allows you to perform an alternate role at a reasonable strength for a limited amount of time. From a Moonkin perspective all three Tier 6 talents fit this idea of a Hybrid pretty well. Heart of the Wild is a activated buff that buffs a Moonkin's healing and tanking ability temporarily. Dream of Cenarius ideally allows a Moonkin to use a buffed heal or a resto to use an improved DoT. Nature's Vigil caused your primary role to perform the secondary role in a limited sense temporarily.

    The problem with Hybrid talents, is that why would anyone ever rely on one. If you know your going to need extra healing at one point in the fight you bring an extra healer, not moonkin who can pop HotW or NV. If a Moonkin can rely on the healers to heal him up a majority of the time why would he pick up Dream of Cenarius. My point is that the need for a Hybrid talent is rare and unpredictable and as a result these talents would be useless 90% if they relied on their Hybrid ability alone to make them interesting. This is why Blizzard added the DPS aspects to the talents, to what I must admit are varying degrees of success. Nature's Vigil is the true winner in this regard, since it allows a Moonkin to heal by DPSing and Resto to DPS by healing. Adding 6% Intellect to HotW isn't an elegant way to make it useful, but it does get the job done. Dream of Cenarius is where the real mistake was made.

    The 100% version of Dream of Cenarius wasn't a mistake because it was weak or wasn't useful. In fact the problem was that it was too useful and minimized Hybrid aspect of the talent. As I said above, ideally a hybrid talent should buff the secondary role temporarily, but Dream of Cenarius did the opposite. It created a situation where your secondary role buffed the primary role so that players would cast heals even if they weren't need purely to get more DPS. On top of that it turned Tier 3 into a DPS choice as well because Nature's Swiftness then became mandatory to maximize Moonkin DPS.

    In short, I think the Dream of Cenarius nerf is a good thing.

    The New Gem Design:

    You may remember that I made a series of "MoP Wish List" posts, and in one of them I talked about changes I would like to see made to the Gem system. Though that post got a lot of positive response from readers, but I didn't see any official changes until recently when I as making the first gear list for MoP.

    In the past Primary stats like Intellect and Secondary stats like Haste have been treated as equals when it comes to gem itemization. The Brillant Queen's Garnet gave 50 Int and the Quick Lightstone gave 50 Haste. In MoP, that appears to be changing with the Brilliant Pandarian Garnet providing 120 Int but the Quick Sunstone providing 240 Haste.

    When I first saw this I was excited, because I thought it might change the way we consume gems, but it doesn't. All it does is shift the focus away from the Red Gem to the Yellow gem for most classes. It may make Blue and Green gems slightly more valuable as well, but I would have prefered to see a more radical change.

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

    Balance Rotation: Take 3

    The end is near, and that's not a big surprise. People have been guessing that it would be a late summer early fall release for months. With the expansions cinematic being released on August 16th and the new novel Tides of War coming out on August 28th, it wasn't hard to guess that the expansion things were almost done. Then Blizzard made it official by announcing the release date of Sept 25th.

    In years past, I would have taken this as a sign that almost everything was done. The rotation was the rotation and it was up to us to make the best of the tools we have been given. However, that is not the case this time with Blizzard making significant changes to the rotation just two months before MoP's release. It's hard to say how much time we have to influence these the design at this point but lets take a look.

    Fae Empowerment: We Barely Knew You

    The first big change is that Fae Empowerment has been removed and rightfully so. Fae Empowerment was a failure on almost all fronts. At first, it provided little or no DPS boost even when used perfectly and lowered DPS when used incorrectly. Blizzard did fix the DPS problem by increasing the duration on the buffs, increasing the buffs, and adding Astral Empowerment, but that wasn't the ability's only problem.

    The original goal was to spice the moonkin rotation up a little bit by making it more dynamic and adding a little more choice. Unfortunately Fae Empowerment did neither. Instead of making the rotation more dynamic it added another predictable button to an already very predictable rotation. In the end, FE became a very complicated ability with three different buffs that didn't add anything significant to the rotation.

    Given how close we are to the release of Mists, I think it is important to give Blizzard some credit for scrapping this change and trying something new. It would have been easy for Blizzard to move forward with Fae Empowerment despite it's problems, and force us to deal with it. No matter how the new changes turn out, we have to give Blizzard some credit for trying something new this late in the game.

    The Big Changes:

    MMO Champion has datamined most of the changes and you can find them here on their web site,  but there are three main changes that I want to focus on.

    • Moonfire and Sunfire are now two different buttons. Plus, both spells have been buffed and the duration of both spells has been increased to 18 seconds.
    • Critical Strikes from the nukes will now extend the duration of one or both DoTs by 2 seconds depending on the school of the nuke and DoT. Nukes no longer refresh the DoT for the full duration during Eclipse.
    • Euphoria doubles the amount of Eclipse energy generated outside of Eclipse.

    There are a lot of other little changes as well but these are the main three that will significantly change how a Moonkin is played in MoP. Don't be at all surprised if we see more balancing changes to other spells and probably the Mastery bonus as well. As a result, it's hard to say definitively how this will affect the rotation since we don't know what the final numbers on all of these spells will be, but there are really only two ways it can go: DoT Clipping and No DoT Clipping.

    No DoT Clipping: If the moonkin rotation returns to the traditional strategy of letting the DoTs run out before you cast them again, this could be a pretty interesting rotation mechanically. The core of the rotation would be the nukes generating and consuming Eclipse energy, but the DoT casts would vary because we can't predict how often DoTs would be extended. Not only that, since Starfire only extends Moonfire and Wrath only extends Sunfire, then the two DoTs will quickly fall out of sync and would make tracking the DoTs more challenging.

    In theory this sounds great because it would create a fairly dynamic rotation that I think most players would enjoy. However, I'm not sure this play style would generate the best DPS give what we've seen in Cataclysm.

    DoT Clipping: What we've learned from Cataclysm is that Clipping a DoT is sometimes the best option if it causes toe spell to receive a significant buff that it wouldn't have otherwise. This is why it is often a good idea to recast Sunfire and Insect Swarm as we leave Solar Eclipse even if they have just 5 or 6 seconds left. Having the Eclipsed DoT up for an additional 12 seconds over the normal version could be worth the GCD it costs to cast, and that could be a big problem for the "fun" of this rotation. It would also completely undermine the benefit of having Crits extend the DoTs.

    The problem is that Eclipse could act like a timer and determine when it is best to recast DoT rather then the duration of the DoTs themselves. For example, if Sunfire has just 5 seconds left as you leave Solar Eclipse Clipping the last couple of ticks off the spell is likely a good idea if the Eclipse buff is strong enough. What if you are entering Lunar Eclipse but you already have a normal Moonfire on the target with 10 seconds left? If you clip the moonfire then you are cutting off more then half of the DoT. If you don't clip, then your Starfire Crits would be extending an inferior version of the DoT.

    I don't know the answers to these questions, but if Clipping is frequently the best option in MoP, then the rotation will be very static and boring rather then the dynamic rotation I illustrated in the No DoT Clipping strategy.

    How to Avoid Clipping:

    The primary cause of the clipping problem is the strength of Eclipse. If the Eclipse buff is too strong then the DoTs hit like a wet noodle without it. Therefore, we clip some DoTs to maintain the stronger version on the target. If Eclipse was weaker, the difference between a normal DoT and an Eclipsed DoT would be smaller. As a result Clipping would be less desirable because the benefit to clipping would be smaller as well.

    My toon Graylow on the live servers currently gets more then a 50% buff from Eclipse, which I think most would agree is a very significant buff. That is why it often makes a lot of sense to clip in Cata. In the current Beta version of MoP Eclipse is is even more significant. Not only has the base buff been increased, but the per point increase has been buffed and a new raid buff was added that gives every raid member 5 points of mastery. If I copied Graylow over to the Beta servers today, Eclipse would buff his spells by 76% with full raid buffs.

    Blizzard knows that the MoP Eclipse numbers are too high and I know that they plan on nerfing Eclipse at some point in the future. The changes to Euphoria alone made a nerf to Eclipse necessary since it significantly increases the uptime of Eclipse as a whole. However, I would argue that a more significant nerf is necessary then one that would be based solely upon the increased uptime of Eclipse. In fact, I think that the Eclipse buff needs to be weaker then what we currently see on Live. The base buff needs to be less then the current base of 16%. Total Eclipse should provide fewer then 8 points of Mastery when it is trained at level 80. And the Mastery per point increase should be less then the current 2.0%.

    I don't know what those numbers should be. It's actually more complicated then it sounds, because you have to adjust it in such a way that doesn't destroy the value of the Mastery Stat. However, if Blizzard wants to avoid widespread clipping in MoP then they need to nerf mastery more then they are probalby planning./

    Other Thoughts:

    A Movement DPS Improvement: I'm not sure if this is an intended outcome of the change or a happy accident but this actually helps a Moonkins movement DPS a little. As you guys know, Lunar Shower and spamming Moonfire was intended to be the primary source of movement DPS for moonkin in Cata. Unfortunately, there are several problems with that strategy and it didn't work out as in tended. One of the big problems is that spamming an uneclipsed Moonfire would overwrite an Eclipsed version of Sunfire or Moonfire.

    Changing Moonfire and Sunfire to be two separate buttons eliminates that problem. With a little heads up play a player can realize that he Sunfire on the target is buffed with Eclipse and therefore they should spam Moonfire if they have to move and not worry about overwriting the Eclipsed spell. Granted this isn't that big of an improvement because Lunar Shower still has other problems like ramp up time, but it does help a little.

    Is Crit the Stat of the Future? Crit has been the least favorable DPS stat for most of my WoW career. There was a brief period in WotLK were it was better then Haste, but that was the exception rather then the rule. However, Blizzard has made three changes that should make Crit Rating a much more desirable stat in MoP.

    1. No Crit from Int: In case you didn't know (and I assume some of you don't) Intellect no longer increases you a players Critical Strike chance in MoP. While I know some of you will bemoan the loss, but this is actually good for the value of crit since Crit Rating has very high diminishing returns. This will lower a players base crit chance and as a result increase the overall value of Crit Rating.

    2. Shooting Stars based on Crit: Having Shooting Stars procs based off of DoT crits rather then DoT ticks increases the value Crit rating for obvious reasons. Having two DoTs again actually makes this impact more significant now because more DoTs means more Crits. That said, I don't expect this impact to be huge since Shooting Stars has only a 30% chance to proc on the crits.

    3. Nuke Crits Extending DoTs: Again, if Nuke Crits extend the duration of the DoTs then that obviously improves the value of Crit rating. That said, this impact will be significantly diminished if Clipping happens frequently in MoP.

    I don't know where crit will fall in the stat hierarchy in MoP, but I won't be surprised at all of Crit becomes more valuable then Mastery on a point for point basis. My guess is that Crit will end up falling between Haste and Mastery as the second best Secondary DPS stat. I will have to do some testing on this later.

    The Lunar and Solar Similarities: In Cataclysm Lunar and Solar are quite different, and Solar ended up being the better buff because of the number of spells it affected. In MoP Blizzard has made several changes to correct that. Hurricane now has a arcane version called Astral Storm. Insect Swarm was eliminated balancing out the DoTs, and now that Moonfire and Sunfire are two separate buttons it is difficult not to notice how similar Lunar and Solar have become.

    I know that number wise Lunar favors single target DPS and Solar favors multi target DPS, but in terms of structure there are really only two difference left. The first is that each has a unique spell that they buff. Lunar has Starfall and Solar has Wild Mushroom, but all of the other Druid DPS spells have version for both types of Eclipse or are buffed by both types of Eclpse.

    The other difference is the cast time of Wrath and Starfire and as a result the amount of energy each of them generates. While they still have different cast times, that difference has been shrinking. After talents Wrath had a cast tome 1.5 seconds and Starfire was 3.0 seconds prior to Cataclysm. In Cataclysm the difference is much smaller. Wrath now has a base cast time of 2.0 seconds and Starfire's base cast time was lowered to 2.7 seconds. Wrath's cast time was increased to avoid creating a haste cap, and Starfire's cast time was lowered to make the Eclipse energy math work out better.

    I agree with both of those changes, but two spells that used to be 1.5 seconds apart are now just 0.7 seconds apart. I now wonder why there is any difference at all. Is there any situation in PvE or PvP where Wrath has an advantage for being 0.7 seconds faster? Why not just increase Wrath's cast time and energy generation to match Starfire. This would make the Eclipse energy math much easier since all spells would then generate 20 energy.