View Full Version : Balance Druid Queries

12-06-2009, 05:49 PM
Hi. I play wow as a balance druid with an offspec of resto. With my main spec being balance i'm doing my best to improve each day and I seem to be stuck at a measly 2.3k-2.6k dps level when dpsing heroics. This gets quite embarrasing most of the time especially when i'm sittin just above the tank on the recount addon.

Here's my armoury: The World of Warcraft Armory (http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=khadgar&cn=Azasha)

I've enchanted my gear as best as I can see how to and filled sockets appropriately i think but still can't boost the dps.

I know the enchant on the shoulders isn't too good. I'm working on boosting my sons of hodir rep to get "greater inscription of the storm" added to them.

My most frequent rotation goes like this ish.. FF>IS>MF>Wrath to eclipse>Starfire until wrath eclipse then wrath refreshing FF, IS and MF when appropriate. I use Force of nature when it's not on cd, and same for starfire depending on the situation. Occasionally using these boosts the dps to 2.9k.

Could anyone suggest any improvements? what to do next? where to go from here?
Which raids/instances should I be running now?

Thanks for your thoughts.:)

12-07-2009, 11:04 AM
Don't really be discouraged too much by DPS measurements in a Heroic Dungeon. Simply put, trash doesn't live long enough to effectively gauge how well you are doing. The Moonkin standard DPS rotation is around 36 seconds long. If the trash is dead in 5 seconds, it's hardly a measure of your capabilities.

You do meet hit cap requirements for Heroic Dungeons, though you are significantly below hit cap for raid bosses. Hit cap for an alliance druid grouped with a Draenei is 237 hit rating (9%) or 263 hit rating (10%) without a Draenei.

You have four pieces of gear with mana per 5 on it, this stat should actually be avoided if at all possible by a Balance druid. It comes at too high of a cost in item stat points and ideally all of your mana efficiency should come from talents. You also have a trinket which only adds spirit, which even though it is better than mana per 5, is the second weakest stat for Balance. You should look at replacing that with something more useful to a caster DPS class.

Gemming, you have two blue sockets filled with gems that are Spell Penetration. This stat is worthless in PvE. Blue sockets should be filled with Purified (Spellpower/Spirit) or Nightmare Tear (10 all stats), provided the socket bonus is worth going for.

You are using a helm without a meta socket, that's always a mistake. The benefit of using the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond meta alone would make a 80 dungeon blue better for DPS the helm you are currently wearing which is spellpower and spirit and mana per 5.

Now for your spec, since you are in early progression, basically tier 7 itemization, your spec should be focused on the core dps talents, hit rating talents, and efficiency talents (since you don't have a 25,000 mana pool yet). Your spec should look something like this.
The World of Warcraft Armory (http://www.wowarmory.com/talent-calc.xml?cid=11&tal=5032003125331303213305301031000000000000000000 000000000000205003212000000000000000000)
If you find yourself needing higher efficiency you could drop 1 point in Improved Insect Swarm in favor of the last point in Intensity. Since you are below hit capped you must take all of the hit talents without question. Also your current spec has a point in Intensity and a point in Dreamstate, though currently for you point for point Intensity wins so it would be better to have more points in Intensity than any in Dreamstate.

Glyph selections are right, only 3 logical options for majors and Unburdend Rebirth is the generally required minor.

First, work on your hit rating. The majority of your hit rating is coming from a PvP trinket (which in PvP you generally don't care for hit rating). Replace every piece of MP5 gear you have with items that have hit, haste, or crit in that order of priorities since you are significantly below the haste soft cap (401 with Wrath of Air, 585 without). Ideal trinkets at your current progression level would be the Hit trinket from Naxx25, Dying Curse, and Illustration of the Dragon Soul from OS25 though Eye of the Broodmother from Ulduar10 would be even better. Farm heroics and buy two pieces of tier 8. The helm in particular has hit rating on it. Since you are so low on hit rating, hybrid gems might be useful. Using Veiled cuts (Hit/Spellpower) instead of Runed would help a little. Rigid cut (just Hit) if you have any actual yellow sockets would be great until you get yourself up to the hit cap.

Enchants you should work on replacing the shoulder one with the Hodir spellpower/crit enchants. Also, the leg one should really be 50 spellpower 20 spirit rather than 30 stamina.

Don't be discouraged though by DPS numbers in heroics. These are hard to gauge cause it is mostly AoE everything down and the class with the best AoE wins. I'm specced into Gale Winds and can usually only get around 5k DPS in heroics simply because things don't live long enough (I do about 7k DPS on Koralon in VoA by comparison).

As for what are you ready for. You're ready for Ulduar10, Ulduar25, ToC10, and Ony10. Though you should focus on filling in the gaps in your gear in your current level first. Get hit capped. Get rid of MP5 pieces.

12-07-2009, 11:09 AM
Also, check out Moonkin PvE DPS (updated for 3.3) - Elitist Jerks (http://elitistjerks.com/f47/t66856-moonkin_pve_dps_updated_3_3_a/) for more information on Moonkin DPS. Attached at the bottom is WrathCalcs the Moonkin DPS spreadsheet updated already to account for 3.3 changes. This spreadsheet shows you the actual value of talents. How much MP5 do I gain from this talent? How much DPS? The spreadsheet tells you.

12-07-2009, 01:03 PM
Wow! I didn't realise I was so poorly specced! Thanks for enlightening me!:)

Seems that I have a lot of work to do ingame.

Would you be able to suggest a more suitable helm that i could maybe work towards getting? I've been looking at that helm thinkin I needed to change it:D Your right, i'll ditch the gear and replace it with better to increase my hit rating straight after i've respecced to your suggested talent set as it makes sense to me.

i'll come back for advise along the way;)

Thanks alot! very informative post.

12-07-2009, 01:31 PM
The simplest helm to go for would be the tier 8 helm which you can buy for 58 (I think) Emblems of Conquest. You just need to run enough heroics and gather enough badges. That's easiest one for you to attain. The tier 7 helm would be alright too, but would recommend jumping straight to tier 8. One of the big reasons the helm is weak, other than the MP5 is the lack of a meta socket. Chaotic Skyflare Diamond is alone worth more than 50 DPS to you self buffed. So even if that helm has like 30 more spellpower than another helm, the lack of a meta socket hurts it extremely. Also the effect of this meta will improve as your overall DPS improves.

For a balance druid generally 4 of your 5 set piece positions (at least) will consist of set pieces. The set bonuses generally aren't worth breaking for a slightly better itemized piece except in one of the 5 slots. Belt, bracer, and feet you generally just use the best you can get your hands on. If you need hit, generally look for cloth in these spots. A simple stat breakdown for you. 10% of all caster leather in the game has hit rating on it (Moonkin gear). 30% of all cloth gear has hit rating on it (Mage, Warlock, Shadow Priest gear). If you're lacking in hit rating you might want to look at cloth pieces, particularlly in those three spots.

Other tidbits.

1. Don't apply Faerie Fire unless the target is a boss. Using it on trash is worthless because it doesn't live long enough to justify the cost of the GCD.
2. Moonfire and Insect Swarm are your top two DPET abilities in your normal rotation (damage per execution time). Even during an eclipse, they are statistically better than Wrath or Starfire. This is largely due to the lack of haste on your gear, all that MP5 gear is only buffing your spellpower and not your other DPS stats. While you should try to maximize the use of your Eclipse buff, you need to make sure to renew DoTs inbetween all the time because they are your strongest. Never clip your DoTs though either and don't apply DoTs to targets that will die before the DoT can run it's full duration.
3. AoE. If you don't have gale winds, typically the break even point is 4 mobs. If there are 4 or more, use Hurricane. If you are speced into Gale Winds break even point is 3 mobs. If there are fewer targets than this, your single target DPS should be higher.
4. Insect Swarm is your highest damage per execution time ability. Therefore if there are two mobs, and both will live more than 14 seconds, applying Insect Swarm to both is worth while. Only use Moonfire though on the target being killed and only if it will live longer than 21 seconds so the DoT can last the full duration when extended by Starfire.

12-07-2009, 02:14 PM
Excellent! I couldn't have asked for better help than this :D i really appreciate the time and effort you have put in to answering my questions. I think i have the required amount of emblems of conquest to get that helm so I'll do that when i go online tomorrow. Just lacking the emblems of triumph at the moment but that comes later:p
So as i understand it, i should be putting Chaotic Skyflare Diamond in the meta socket in the head item once I have got it?
I wish i could get in-game right now :rolleyes:

12-07-2009, 02:43 PM
Gems should always follow these general guidelines.

Chaotic Skyflare Diamond, never anything else.
Nightmare Tear, all the set pants except T10 have a blue socket, I personally used this in pants at every tier since its a unique gem, though will likely not have this gem at all in T10.
Purified cut
Rigid cut if you are significantly below hit cap
Veiled cut if you are slightly below hit cap
Reckless cut if you are hit capped but not soft haste capped
Potent cut if you are hit capped and near or above haste soft cap
Veiled cut if you are below hit cap
Runed cut
Prismatic (belt extra socket)
Rigid cut if you are below hit cap
Veiled cut if you are slightly below hit cap
Runed cut
Should also mention there is a crit soft cap as well (where your Starfire Eclipse stops benefiting from crit rating anymore) though it is unlikely that you would approach this mark until tier 10. Until then you generally keep an eye on Hit and Haste for those caps.

12-07-2009, 03:00 PM
Ok this is going to sound a rather dumb question but you've mentioned different types of 'cut' for the gems. Is this something the the jewelcrafter does? or how do you determine which way its cut?

12-07-2009, 03:05 PM
You should also look at getting +Hit food in the meantime, it will serve you better than a Fish Feast or Spellpower food. Hit is top priority for a caster DPS, until you have enough you focus on getting more. Too much is also a bad thing. Avoid going above 14% hit because you should always keep the Improved Faerie Fire talent. You can drop Balance of Power talent if you get higher hit rating, but you should never drop Improved Faerie Fire because the 3% crit alone is a stronger DPS talent than the alternatives. My current spec for example I have high hit rating on gear and droped those points and put them into Gale Winds (personally I like the increased 30% AoE DPS versus the like 20 DPS I'd gain out of Brambles or Genesis).

12-07-2009, 03:08 PM
The "cuts" are the gem prefix.

Rigid = Hit
i.e. Rigid King's Amber = 20 Hit Rating
Veiled = Hit/Spellpower
i.e. Veiled Ametrine = 10 Hit Rating / 12 Spellpower
Purified = Spirit/Spellpower
i.e. Purified Dreadstone = 10 Spirit / 12 Spellpower

Nightmare Tear = Nightmare Tear
That's a special case.

But when I refer to the "cut" that is just the prefix of the gem which determines what stats you get from it. The type of gem then would determine how much.

Veiled Monarch Topaz = 8 Hit / 9 Spellpower
Veiled Ametrine = 10 Hit / 12 Spellpower