19 January 2009

The caster druid 3.0.8 wrap-up

All 3.0.8 Posts

Is patch 3.0.8 going to hit tomorrow? I asked my Magic 8 Ball, and it said "Most Likely". Last Thursday, Blizzard poster Zarhym said he'd wager it's imminent. The patch has been up on the PTR for something like a month now, so it does feel like it's getting close. I'd give it about a 70% chance.

Anyone in Naxxramas has dealt with painful lag at times, and there are 3.0.8 fixes to deal with that. Hopefully it will help. There are also fixes in the works for Wintergrasp. When it's under attack, it causes lag throughout Northrend, which is both incredibly annoying and horribly funny. I can speak from experience that the lag in a pitched courtyard battle is insanely bad, as in a personal FPS of something like 0.5 to 0.2. Hopefully that gets fixed as well.

There have been a few more tidbits in the latest builds. One is a nerf for Moonkin, most significant for PvP:

- Celestial Focus (Balance) no longer includes Starfall.
Translation: you'll no longer get a random stun-chance on Starfall hits. Blizzard poster Ghostcrawler has stated that their goal is to remove random-proc stuns. Basically, it's OK to decide to stun someone and use an ability to do it, but it's not OK to randomly stun someone as a natural result of something else you're doing. That's why mace spec stuns for Rogues are gone, for example. Thus, we'll probably see an eventual wholesale replacement for Celesital Focus as it stands.

But that won't happen in 3.0.8. For full details, start with the patch notes. I have also written a few posts on 3.0.8. But the biggest caster druid changes are:
  • 6 second cooldown on Wild Growth.
  • Wild Growth now affects Nourish (as other HoTs do).
  • Moonglow now affects Nourish (3/6/9% reduction in mana cost)
  • The Genesis talent now affects Tranquility and Hurricane.
  • Starfall now cancels if you shapeshift into an animal form.
  • Abolish Poison can be cast in Moonkin form.
  • Set bonuses for the Deadly Gladiator's Refuge, Dreamwalker Regalia, and Valorous Dreamwalker Regalia sets are changed.
  • [Idol of the Emerald Queen] is getting a bug fix (which is a nerf).

All in all, caster druids won't be majorly buffed or nerfed. The Wild Growth and Starfall changes are definite nerfs, and may change your playstyle significantly. However the subtle talent changes to Moonglow, Wild Growth, and Genesis will balance that out.

The big changes are really for feral druids, including serious changes to both armor calculations and feral attack power on items. I haven't found a great overview source, but this ThinkTank article is a good start. Suffice to say that you'll change how you rate gear for both DPS and tanking.

All in all, it will be an interesting patch, with a huge number of small changes, affecting just about every aspect of the game. Will it drop tomorrow? We'll see!

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