Tag Archives: boomkin

Temporarily Out of Service

I have loved this blog for the past 2-and-a-half years. It started as a way to find other noobkin who wanted to learn to play but got lost in the theorycrafting, and ended up being a place to work out concepts and thought processes behind the game we love so much to play.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, this probably won’t come as a surprise. Life has called me to focus on other areas of my life right now. After 4 years of consistent raiding, I stepped down last week in order to spend more time with my children, to blog about our family, and to advocate for my son and his disability.

I find I have fewer and fewer things to say related to World of Warcraft and more and more things to say about my family and our experiences; I am pulled heavily in that direction.

I doubt I’m done for good; these things have a way of circling ’round. For now, though; I’m signing off.

Be kind and play well, my friends.

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Noobkin to Boomkin: Cataclysm

This post was re-written for patch 4.3 on 2/13/2012. 

Important Note: Noobkin to Boomkin is a quickstart resource for moonkin raiding compiled from my favorite sites and theorycrafters. You’ll find links to all of these sites at the bottom of this page. If you really want to be a competitive moonkin raider, you need to read them.

Speccing

If you want a straight spec to get started with, this will serve you decently:

Functional Raiding Spec:

Balance

Nature’s Grace – 3/3
Starlight Wrath – 3/3
Nature’s Majesty – 2/2
Genesis – 3/3
Balance of Power – 2/2
Euphoria – 2/2
Moonkin Form – 1/1
Typhoon – 1/1
Shooting Stars – 2/2
Owlkin Frenzy – 2/3
Gale Winds – 2/2
Solar Beam – 1/1
Dreamstate – 2/2
Force of Nature – 1/1
Sunfire – 1/1
Earth and Moon – 1/1
Fungal Growth – 2/2
Starfall – 1/1

Resto

Natural Shapeshifter – 2/2
Heart of the Wild – 3/3
Perseverance – 3/3
Master Shapeshifter – 1/1

Some talents are going to be situational, and some are going to cater to your playstyle more than others. If you would like to get the barebones spec and customize it, these are the most highly recommended talents:

Balance

Nature’s Grace
Starlight Wrath
Nature’s Majesty
Genesis
Balance of Power
Euphoria
Moonkin form
Typhoon
Shooting Stars
Dreamstate
Force of Nature
Sunfire
Earth and Moon
Starfall

Resto

Natural Shapeshifter
Heart of the Wild
Master Shapeshifter

When following our normal single-target rotation, mana shouldn’t be much of an issue. If you find yourself having mana problems, though, hop over to the Feral tree and pick up Furor.

Glyphs

Prime Glyphs

Glyph of Moonfire

Glyph of Insect Swarm

Glyph of Wrath

Glyph of Starsurge is useful but  situational. Read up on it before you decide to choose it over Wrath.

Major Glyphs

Glyph of Rebirth

Glyph of Starfall

There are only two mandatory ones, so you’re going to pick one of the following. Personally, I think you should choose from either Glyph of Focus or Glyph of Solar Beam to start out with.

Glyph of Thorns has a specific use, so if you’re interested you’ll need to read about it first. You probably won’t be innervating other people often since you’ll prefer to innervate yourself for Dreamstate, so Glyph of Innervate isn’t that appealing.

Minor Glyphs

Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth

The minor glyphs are completely a matter of preference, but Unburdened Rebirth is the most useful. After that, choose two of the following: Glyph of Typhoon, Glyph of Dash, Glyph of Mark of the Wild.

Rotation

I can’t stress enough that if you want to be truly competitive, you need to read, read, read and learn to maximize Eclipse. It is the single largest source of our DPS. Love it or hate it, we have to use it. Understanding Eclipse, managing it, and playing to it is priority 1.

That said, this will get you started.

Quick Start Single-Target Rotation

1. Open with Insect Swarm and Moonfire
2. Cast Starsurge
3. Cast Starfire until Solar Eclipse
4. Cast Wrath until Lunar Eclipse

If you’re just learning how to moonkin, focus on re-applying Insect Swarm and Moonfire/Sunfire when they fall off the target.

Cast Starsurge every time it comes off cooldown or when Shooting Stars procs, which removes its cooldown and makes it instant cast.

Use Starfall and Force of Nature when their cooldowns end.

Note on Force of Nature: Treants are buffed by Heroism/Bloodlust, but if you can get them out two or more times during the fight, don’t wait for it.

If you’re ready to start playing with Eclipse, here’s what changes:

–DoT Management

Instead of re-applying DoTs just every time they fall off, you should try to re-apply while you’re in an Eclipse state. You need a timer for this, there’s no getting around it. See Add-Ons at the bottom for suggestions.

If your DoTs are going to fall off during an Eclipse, perfect. Re-apply them. If they are going to fall off between Eclipses, you’ll need to re-apply just before you leave the Eclipse you’re currently in, even if they have time left on them.

This will require you having a familiarity with how long it takes you to get from one Eclipse to the next so that you’re not re-applying unnecessarily. You can calculate cast times, but your best bet is to go out there and practice with it until you can reasonably predict it 90% of the time.

–Starsurge & Starfall Planning

You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) wait for an Eclipse to cast Starsurge. However, if you’re just a cast away from entering an Eclipse when Shooting Stars procs or Starsurge comes off cooldown, go ahead and cast Wrath/Starfire, hit the Eclipse, and then cast Starsurge.

Similarly with Starfall, if you can get Starfall casts to fall in line with Lunar Eclipse, do, but don’t hold off casting it for a long time just to get it into the Eclipse.

Multi-Dotting

If you have more than one boss, or multiple mobs during a boss fight, apply Moonfire/Sunfire and Insect Swarm to all of them, preferably Eclipsed. A perfect example is the Blackhorn fight in Dragon Soul, where you can follow your normal rotation while you fight the dragons but also keep DoTs on the melee and sappers.

Pretty much if it moves and you’re allowed to DoT it, do.

AoE Rotation

 Our best AoE Rotation is a combination of AoE and multi-dotting.

1. Start in Solar Eclipse (or get to it as quickly as possible).
2. Wild Mushrooms
3. Sunfire…everything.
4. Repeat 2 & 3 until all you see are corpses.

Note: You can cast single-target and maintain Solar Eclipse by casting Starfire. Because Starfire only moves the bar towards Solar, it will allow you to sit there indefinitely. You don’t want to do this for too long, though; as casting Starfire on a single target during the wrong Eclipse is a dps loss.

Stat Priority

Intellect > Spirit/Hit to 17% > Haste > Mastery > Crit

Very simply, Intellect is our best stat. I see these as three categories: Intellect is in a class by itself. It’s the best. Spirit/Hit is also in a class by itself, because its value is necessary until you hit the cap, and then it’s useless.

Haste, Mastery, and Crit are your secondary stats, and Haste always comes above the other two, with Mastery coming in above Crit after that.

Gems, Enchants, & Reforging

I prefer to use WrathCalcs (Rawr is also useful) to determine how to gem, enchant, and reforge before I lay down a bunch of gold or mats, but these can be used as general guidelines.

Note: Remember to check your professions and make sure that you don’t have a better gem option (JC’s) or enchanting option (Enchanters, Leatherworkers, etc.) for your items.

Gems

Note: Don’t forget to put an Ebonsteel Belt Buckle on your belt before gemming.

Meta: Burning Shadowspirit Diamond

Red: Brilliant Inferno Ruby (or Queen’s Garnet, if you have it)

Yellow: If the socket bonus is less than +20 Intellect, Brilliant Inferno. If socket bonus is +20, Reckless Ember Topaz (or Lava Coral)

Blue: If the socket bonus is less than +20 Intellect, Brilliant Inferno. If the socket bonus is +20 or greater, Purified Demonseye.

Prismatic: Brilliant Inferno

Reforging

WrathCalcs/Rawr is seriously helpful in getting this exactly where you want it, but here are some guidelines:

  • If you need hit, reforge Crit to Spirit/Hit first. If you still need hit, reforge some Mastery to Spirit/Hit until you reach the hit cap.
  • If you’re above the hit cap, reforge Spirit/Hit to Haste. If the piece already has Haste, reforge Spirit/Hit to Mastery. If the piece has Haste and Mastery—well, honestly, move on to a different piece.
  • If your hit is balanced, you can tweak with this: if a piece has Crit but not Haste, reforge Crit to Haste. If a piece has Crit and Haste, reforge Crit to Mastery.

Enchants

Head: Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders: Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Chest: Peerless Stats
Back: Greater Intellect
Bracers: Mighty Intellect
Gloves: Haste
Legs: Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Boots: Lavawalker
Offhand: SuperiorIntellect

Don’t forget that if you’re an Enchanter, you can enchant your rings.

Add-Ons

Add-ons are a matter of personal preference, but to make the most of your moonkin, you need some version of the following:

  • A DoT timer
  • A way to monitor Eclipse

Right now, I use NeedtoKnow to manage DoTs and cooldowns and Balance Power Tracker to monitor Eclipse, but poke around for what works best for you. Squawk and Awe, DoTimer, SexyCooldown, and Power Auras are all useful options.

Resources

As I said in the beginning, this is a collection of information designed to be quick start reference, not an end-all guide to raiding as a moonkin. If you want to learn advanced rotations, min/maxing, playstyles, and boss-specific strats, you need to check out these sites:

Elitist Jerks > Druids > [Balance] Cataclysm 4.3
WoW Insider: Shifting Perspectives
Gray Matter
The Moonkin Repository

For itemizing, consider using one of these:

Rawr
WrathCalcs

Good luck and great dancing to you all. :-)

 

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When Heroics Really Are Heroic

I hope you enjoyed (or are enjoying!) your trip to level 85 so far. I loved every second of it, but from what I understand, I was lucky. My cutscenes all worked beautifully and I never had a bugged quest. Still, the stories in the new Cataclysm zones are awesome, and I hope you get to experience all of them.

I hit 85 on Thursday. On Saturday afternoon, I finished my first heroic (Stonecore) with a group of friends. These are players I know are extremely competent in their classes and roles, and yet we wiped several times–Ozruk alone got us about 5 or 6 times. Was it bad luck? Were my friends drunk? (trust me, it’s a valid question).

Nope. Heroics once again require practice and skill. Yes, we were running at the bare minimum gear requirement, but that actually had very little to do with it. While some of the encounters would certainly have been faster were we doing 12k dps instead of 6-8k, the mechanics of the fights themselves will keep these bosses from being trivial for quite some time.

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Noobkin to Boomkin: Pre-Cataclysm

>>>This guide has been updated for level 85! Please see Noobkin to Boomkin: Cataclysm!<<<

 

This guide is now outdated. Please refer to Noobkin to Boomkin: Cataclysm for information pertaining to level 85 raiding.

Patch 4.0.1 is the topic across almost every blog this month, and for good reason–this patch is going to dramatically change our specs, stats, glyphs, gems, and rotations.

Note: Sometimes you just want the basics. “What can I do to walk into this raid tonight prepared on my boomkin alt?” or “I don’t really know the class well yet, what can I do to survive until I have more experience?” That’s what I’m all about here. If you’re looking for the straight facts–what spec, what enchants, what gems–you’ll find that information in the blue text.

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Initial Reactions to Boomkin in the Beta

Numbers and I don’t get along (some of you already know this embarrassingly well). I created TLBC to take the very math-driven things I read elsewhere, learn how to apply them, and then chew up that information and spit it out in easy-to-swallow chunks (ewww, I know, sorry).

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of that I can do when it comes to beta.

***Spoiler alert: While there are no story spoilers within, there are screenshots from and obviously lots of talk about the Cataclysm Beta. Proceed at your own risk!***

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At Least I Have Chicken — A Blog Birthday

not a lie!

The end of last month marked one year of Tastes Like Battle Chicken. Of the customary one-year blog posts, “I like this blog because…” feels too much like a school paper, and I kind of already did “Let’s look at the year in review.”

So you get option number C (yes, number C): blog stats you didn’t know you cared about. Since five is my favorite list number, let’s do this in chunks of five.

The Five Most Popular Posts

  1. From Noobkin to Boomkin series
  2. New Tauren Cat Form Released!
  3. Heroic Ulduar: Mimiron Continue reading

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Cataclysm Stat Changes for Boomkin

I’m not even going to attempt to summarize all that Eyonix posted today on the stat changes. I VERY HIGHLY ENCOURAGE YOU to go read it. The stat changes discussed at Blizzcon relating to Cataclysm have been detailed for us. Some stats are going to remain on gear and in some cases, be altered. Some stats are going to be removed from gear but remain as an attribute of your character.

And some things are disappearing altogether, like MP5, Defense, Spell Ranks, and Weapon Skill.

Please, please, go read the post. All this information is pretty overwhelming right now, and I know I can not do it the sort of justice it deserves.

Instead, I want to list the specific changes they mentioned in regards to moonkin Continue reading

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Moonkin Changes in Patch 3.3.3

starfallThe big news of the day for us feathery folks is the changes coming to Starfall and Nature’s Grasp in Patch 3.3.3.

The Starfall buff looks to be exactly that, an excellent buff. But remember, this is PTR patch notes, and they are certainly subject to change before the patch goes live.

However, IF this goes live, the Starfall buff will be an extremely nice one for raiding moonkin, and you’ll probably end up switching out your IS Glyph for Starfall before it’s over if Graylo’s math is right.

There’s already lots of information floating around, so instead of rehashing, I’m going to direct you to the places I think do the best job of explaining the changes:

For a strictly PvE understanding with accompanying math, check out Graylo’s post about it: “Starfall Buffed.

For an overview of the changes, especially for you PvPers wondering what this is going to affect, see WoW.com’s “Starfall and Nature’s Grasp PTR Changes.”

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Twitterkin

Most people who read blogs are pretty well-informed in their area of interest, so I’m guessing a lot of you already know about the developer chat with Blizzard through Twitter last night (the second of its kind).  If you haven’t read it, you probably want to check out the entire thread.

For the purposes of my blog, though, we’re going to jump right to the druid/moonkin-related items.

Q. Any plans on looking at balance druids, in particular to Eclipse procs? RNG sometimes is detrimental to our dps.

A: We don’t mind the RNG aspect that much per se, but losing an important proc because it happened at the wrong time (say just before you moved) is a problem. We have a pretty cool solution for Cataclysm if we can make it work. It makes Eclipse cooler but also gives Balance more of a kit in general.

We already knew that we weren’t going to see a drastic change before Cataclysm, but we still don’t really know how.  However, I’m pleased that they realize that seeing Starfire Eclipse hit three seconds before Unstable Ooze Explosion makes us groan, and I’m really excited that they’ve got a “pretty cool solution.”  I think all of us have theorized ways to help us out, so I’m hoping this goes above and beyond all of that.

Q. Both balance druids (moonkin) and elemental shaman feel like their dps is falling behind in Icecrown Citadel. Any damage boosts for these hybrid casters currently planned?

A. We have small buffs coming in the next patch. We’ll see where they are after that when more encounters are open (including the hard modes) and once more players have tier sets and higher gear in general. We have no problem buffing them more if we need to.

My favorite sentence there is “We have no problem buffing them more if we need to.”  While buffs don’t necessarily correct the underlying issue of haste (and soon, crit) becoming increasingly less valuable to us as we accumulate new gear, I think the intent is to help us over the hump as we wrap up WotLK. That they’re willing to continually evaluate our performance and try to give us a hand now and then is something to appreciate, at least.

The developer chat as a whole was much more successful this time, in my opinion.  Last time it felt like the devs coming along to give us a pat on the head and a sucker and tell us to keep being good little players.  This time the questions they answered were mostly thoughtful, specific questions which they answered in kind.

P.S. I’ll be watching my mailbox for that pony, GC.

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Noobkin to Boomkin, Part 3: I Didn’t Take Stats in School

If you are looking to prepare your Moonkin for 4.0.1,

see Noobkin to Boomkin: Pre-Cataclysm.

Updated 5/14/2010 for Patch 3.3.3.

This is a follow up post to Noobkin to Boomkin, and Noobkin to Boomkin Macros.

Do you remember those baby toys with the stacking rings? It’s a perfect visual for stacking stats. The stats with the biggest benefit to your damage must come first, and then each stat gets sequentially smaller.

Understanding Stats

Just in case I have any newbs (the new-to-the-game kind, not the idiot kind), this will be Newb Moment Number 1: What They Are. Stats (yes, it really is short for “statistics.” there is math in WoW, but it hasn’t stopped me from playing yet) are the basic building blocks to your abilities.

Amber new stats

Newb Moment Number 2: What They Do

Bonus Damage: Exactly what you think it does.  It increases the base damage amount of your spells.

Hit:  Hit rating tells you how likely you are to hit a target 3 levels above you.  26.32 hit rating = 1% hit.  17% is hit capped, but I’ll go more into that below.

Haste: Increases the speed at which your spells cast by a percentage determined by your haste rating.

Crit Chance: Describes the percentage at which you can expect critical hits.  More critical strike rating = higher percentage = more frequent crits.

Intellect: Increases your mana and critical strike chance.

Spirit: Increases mana regeneration.

Important difference between intellect and spirit:  Intellect increases the amount of mana you START with, and for most casters, this is the most important mana-related stat.  Spirit, on the other hand, determines how fast your mana regenerates, and therefore is extremely useful for healers.

Due to the way WotLK has blurred the lines on exclusively healer versus exclusively caster dps items, Spirit is still a significant stat for a lot of classes, including, to some extent, moonkin.  But Intellect and Spirit come on the gear you’re likely to choose anyway, so don’t try to stack them specifically.  I’ve left them off the illustration below because they are not stats you need to try to acquire; if you’re wearing moonkin gear, they will be there.

Stat Stacking

Okay, that being covered, let me give you an illustration of moonkin stacking:

Let’s go a little more into detail about why I chose this order.

HIT

Hit is worth more than spell damage for one very simple reason: spell damage is useless if the spell misses.  You need to work on accumulating hit until you’re hit capped.  You are hit capped when adding any more hit would be useless, and that number varies with a couple of things.

The hit cap is 17% for spellcasters.  That sounds like a lot (and it is), but thankfully our talents and raid buffs help make that number a little easier to obtain.

Spec into Balance of Power (this is a must, even if you don’t use the spec I provided in Part 1), as this will give you 4% additional hit.  That drops the percentage you need to acquire down to 13%.  See?  It’s already getting easier.

Spec into Improved Faerie Fire.  Not only does it give you a constant 3% buff for 5 whole minutes (which is longer than most boss fights), it also increases your likeliness to hit by 3%.  Now you’re looking at only needing 10% hit.  Nice, huh?

And if you have a draenei in your group, that will give you another 1% hit.  Don’t count on this, though, unless it’s a recurring pattern.  Our raid leader sets our raids up so that all DPSers have a draenei in their group, but that can’t always be the case.

Bottom Line: Most heroic-raiding moonkin will need 10% hit (that’s 263 hit rating) to be hit capped.

SPELL DAMAGE

This is pretty easily understood, but since I made a ring for it, I guess I’ll say something about it.  Hit can only take you so far.  Once you’re capped, it’s value drops to below zero, and since you’re no frost mage (har har), you won’t need to go there.  Spellpower is going to be the stat nearest and dearest to your heart now.  More spell damage = more pwnage.  It’s simple.  It comes with gear, and if you’re hit capped, you should be filling in gem slots with it.

Bottom Line: Spell damage = win.

HASTE & CRIT

Haste is super valuable, to a point.  Haste effects how fast your spells cast, and if you cast faster then more spells hit the target and that equals more damage.

However (you knew there was one), the Global Cooldown (GCD) of all spells can never be shorter than 1 second.  For this reason, having any of your main spells casting at less than 1 second is a waste, because you’ll still have to wait on the GCD before you can cast again.  If you’ve played Balance at all, you know that Wrath is already a pretty short cast time.

If you’re somehow in a raid without a shaman (no shaman?!  noooo!) dropping Wrath of Air totem, the soft cap (the point at which your Wrath spells are casting at 1 second) is 585 haste.

With Wrath of Air (most 25-man raids have this, but double check with your raiding shaman or raid leaders if you’re not sure), your haste cap is 400.

Once you’re haste capped, then you’ll want to focus on accumulating crit.  Crit also has a cap, but you won’t see it until you’re in ICC gear, and it’s hard to give you a specific number to shoot for. If you’ve hit the haste cap and you’re choosing ICC-level gear, you’ll probably want to figure out your Lunar crit cap. Once you’re capped on both (yes, it happens; I’m currently both haste and Lunar crit capped) then the rating values return to spellpower>haste>crit, with haste being valued above crit as long as you stay above your Lunar crit cap.

*A note on gemming:* In Noobkin to Boomkin, I advised you to put spellpower gems in all your sockets and let the bonuses ride. This is still mostly true, but if you’re getting ICC-level gear, you’re going to start noticing some larger spellpower bonuses on your gear. If you have an item with +7 or +9 spellpower socket bonus, do some quick addition and figure out which will be more dps: filling the sockets and getting the bonus or going with pure spellpower.

The gems you’ll need to use if you consider filling sockets are Purified Dreadstone for blue and either Reckless Ametrine (if you’re already lunar crit capped) or Potent Ametrine (if you’re not).

Bottom line:   Get your haste to 400 and then focus on crit until you reach the cap.

One more note about stats: Stats are liquid. They change with every piece of gear, every enchant, and every gem. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that once you’re capped in something, you’ll always be capped. It’s totally possible to be hit capped one minute, equip a new item, and be under hit cap. Or you could go overboard with the haste and end up losing your Lunar crit cap.

Managing this is a constant balancing act. You might find that an upgrade is awesome, but that you need to throw a hit gem in it to keep from losing your hit cap, or you might need to swap out trinkets here and there to meet different caps. Every time you make a change to your gear, look over your stats again. Are you still hit capped? Haste capped? How high is your crit? Don’t get carried away and put so much weight one one stat that you ignore others–you’re a moonkin, balance is what you’re all about!

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