It all depends, really. There's not a cut-and-dry answer to anything, which is perhaps the one annoying thing about playing a balance druid. In regards to Starfall, you generally want to use it as soon as it comes off cooldown. Remember, it isn't an AOE spell anymore; it is nearly purely single-target, despite the fact that it can hit multiple targets at random. Unless you happen to be pushing close to a Lunar Eclipse, then there isn't a reason at all to wait for the cooldown.
Wild Mushroom is a little bit more tricky. In any AOE situation, you want to use it without question. Ideally, all AOE should occur during a Solar Eclipse, but there a times where that simply won't be possible. No matter what, though, WM should always be on cooldown. If you happen to be close to a Solar Eclipse, then spend your cooldown time pushing toward it, but always keep WM on cooldown.
Finally, always keep in mind the encounter at hand. Right now, the only big encounter where these spells can be problematic is Rhyolith. The adds spawn at relatively set intervals, but they spawn in semi-random locations and the tanks need time to pick them up. Try not to have Starfall active while tanks are attempting to get threat on new adds.
@glyneth only boom on 1 tank fights & can't seem to break 10k dps. Ideas where to start looking for how to improve?
Absolutely! I've written a few DPS guides, which can be found here
. I would also suggest checking out the balance druid sticky on the official forums and any of Calculated's threads over at The Moonkin Repository. All of them offer a great resource for learning the basic ins and outs of the balance druid rotation.
Beyond that, I'd say to submit logs either to myself via email, posted on the official forums or on The Moonkin Repository
. Using raid logs, there are tons of helpful balance druids out there who can do a stellar job of pinpointing exactly where it is that you might be having issues and suggest methods for fixing it.
@radda why aren't balance druids as cool as resto druids or even shadow priests?
I laugh at your feeble insult. I've nothing against my previously leafy brethren -- they're pretty much all right in my book -- but shadow priests have nothing on a balance druid. Good day, sirrah!
@xvkarbear Is it worth popping three stacks of faire fire on mobs if you're the only druid?
It depends. The only situation where this will come up is when you have no other means of applying the debuff in the raid at all. Any spec of hunter should be able to bring along a pet that provides this debuff, while assassination rogues spend relatively little to keep the debuff up. The best alternative, though, is going to be a protection warrior. When it comes to arms or fury warriors, I honestly cannot say which has the better choice in bringing the debuff; I'd have to do some more checking into warrior mechanics in order to figure that out.
I will say this: If you are the only source of this debuff, then yes, it is absolutely worth putting it up. Really, this should only ever happen in a 10-man setting -- it wouldn't really be worth it in a 5-man -- and things can get a little tricky. Marksman hunters and any physical DPS, honestly, rely heavily on having that debuff for their DPS, making it essential to a raid. It should only cost you three GCDs at the start of the fight, which is pretty trivial. You should only have to refresh it once or twice after that, which you can easily do while on the move. Encounter mechanics make this rather tricky for some encounters, but keeping it up is still worth it.
@LisaPoisso How many boomkin til feathers does it take to make a nice standard-size pillow?
Did you mean to say tail feathers? That's actually a misunderstanding. Moonkin tails do not have feathers on them; rather, they are the bear portion of our body. In fact, the main portion of a Moonkin's body is covered with small, tough feathers that would be terrible for any pillow-making. You'd want to use the feathers from our shoulders.
You'd need a couple of hundred or more in order to fill a full pillow. A good place to snag them would be the moonkin nests in Winterspring. They are used in the construction of the nests themselves, so you can collect a large amount without harming any of the glorious creatures. Just don't get caught; they don't tend to like people putting their hands in their beds.
@San_Lear Balance is the only spec I've never tried on my druid. What do you enjoy from it? What makes you pick it over the others?
I am very much a caster/ranged player. While in most single-player RPGs I tend to favor rogue-type characters, given the choice, I will always pick an archer or caster in any multiplayer setting. This spans across every single game that I've played. Despite that, I hate the basic mage archetype. I don't particularly like pure damage-dealing characters, preferring to play caster support instead. The only reason this doesn't carry over into single-player games is because there's nothing to support, and those characters generally end up being fairly weak.
Balance fit that bill perfectly way back at the dawn of WoW
. I got to destroy things in the name of nature and support my fellow players at the same time.
What I enjoy the most (and perhaps is now no longer as strong a selling point for the spec) is the versatility of balance. As a DPSer, I bring a strong amount of damage to the table, yet as a hybrid, I bring a vast amount of support as well. Much of that has been killed off over the years, but I've never been able to leave balance. Much as I hate it, the Eclipse mechanic still keeps me playing. I've played every other class WoW
has to offer, yet none of them give me the same sense of depth that I feel while playing my balance druid. Having to time and work around that stupid, frustrating bar is the best and worst part of being balance.
@JustinChanley Why won't Blizz give my Troll Boomkin some epic tusks in addition of the typical long ears!
Tell me about it! I was so hoping through all of beta that troll moonkin would get to be an epic shade of neon green or blue, with massive tusks jutting out to ward off any who dare challenge me. Alas, we've been stuck to a terrible re-skin of the night elf model and even have to deal with having their silly ears! One can only hope that Blizzard will fix this soon. We've waited long enough. It's time to update Moonkin Form!
@sarahxgilbert what do boomkin smell like?
@sarahxgilbert ok serious question, short term buffs, procs and cooldowns, what do you track and how? Show me your power aura strings! Yeah, I'd be interested in what a really high level boomkin displays and *how*. Timers/art etc.
You won't be getting any Power Aura strings from me! I honestly don't run with PA for any of my characters strictly because of the setup that is involved in the mod. I love high customization, and I find PA to be one of the best mods out there, but having an alt of every single class in the game, it gets excessively tedious to set up for all of them. Instead, I tend to use add-ons that are specialized toward whichever spec it is that I am playing, or based on what I think I can troll people into thinking I use. Aggro
For balance druids, I use TellMeWhen to track longer cooldowns. Starfall, Wild Mushroom, and Force of Nature
are really the only things that I bother tracking. Shorter-term buffs and procs from trinkets or enchants are really as essential for balance druids as they are for other classes. Primarily, this is due to Eclipse. Getting a temporary spellpower increase is great, but it really isn't worth overwritting our DOTs for -- especially if you would be replacing Eclipsed DOTs with non-Eclipsed ones. Eclipse is so strong as it is that everything else pales in comparison.
If you'd like to use Power Auras, though, then Calculated has a great set of strings up
at TMR. What the top-end balance druids use varies, though. From the Rag kill video, I don't think Lappe uses PA or any such trackers from what I can tell. Just seems like a basic DOT tracker on the side.
@the_lesserevil Addons, UIs, any tips? You did one for Warlocks, but I couldn't find a Balance Druid one. Suck at dots, need help. :(
Similar to the one above, I suppose -- but I couldn't pass up a chance to show off my own work. I actually have done a similar post for balance druids
Wondering about some obscure balance druid fact? Curious about whether or not you're doing it right? Well, here are your answers! If you have a question that you don't see answered here, have no fear. I can always be reached at my email address, in the comments, or you can Tweet in questions to be answered. Promise, I'll play nice.
That's all for this week, folks. Enjoy!
Every week, Shifting Perspectives: Balance brings you druidic truth, beauty and insight ... from a moonkin's perspective. We'll help you level your brand new balance druid, tweak your UI and your endgame gear, analyze balance racials and abilities, and even walk you through PVP as a balance druid.