Resto: Susceptibility to both swaps and being trained, lacks throughput :|
Balance: Takes too much damage due to forced face-tanking, casting is mostly useless, no kiting ability, and lack of dispel protection pigeonholes the spec into only being semi-viable in one comp (LSD2)
Feral: Instant cyclone is, like Wind Shear and Ret/Spriest defensive dispel, an outdated mechanic; it provides too much instant control that is very hard to avoid.
Now obviously, these issues must be dealt with in a way that does NOT affect PVE DPS -- which means the easiest way to fix these issues is to change spells that don't do any damage.
First on the list, is Travel Form. Having played both a Shaman and a Druid to decent ratings, I can easily say that Ghost Wolf has become far, FAR superior. Travel Form really is a joke right now (moreso for Balance than for Resto, since going back into DPS mode takes an extra GCD, and to shift roots while Travel Form'ing you need to go Moonkin->Travel->Moonkin->Travel->Moonkin). 1. Making Travel Form be unable to drop below 100% movement speed (normal walking speed -- travel form is still snareable from 140% speed to 100%) would be a great start. This gives Resto and Balance druids an escape route, allowing the possibility of gaining distance to get cyclones/heals off. This alleviates the Moonkin facetanking issue and also helps give Resto Druids a possible escape.
Secondly, Resto Druid throughput needs to be addressed. This is tough to do without affecting PVE, but Regrowth's mindboggling HoT being transferred to the direct healing component, along with a 10% healing increase to the spell, would go a long way to making Resto Druid heals matter. Without any majorly drastic changes, a better Travel form plus a better Regrowth could be a simple fix to make Resto Druids stronger without overbuffing them (which is what it seems most Resto Druids are calling for).
For moonkins specifically, some type of dispel protection is needed. Currently, one disc priest completely nullifies a Moonkin, and other healers also have an easy time keeping our damage down (LSD2 excluded). The problem with incorporating Dispel Protection into Moonfire or Insect swarm is that those casts are instant -- and instant, spammable, tabtargettable dispel protection is potentially overpowered and further pushes us into a tabdot role of mindlessness. You could make Moonfire a cast-time Immolate-like spell that offers dispel protection, but this would affect PVE by taking away the spec's mobile damage. You could make insect swarm have a cast time, but this puts yet another crucial cast into our nature school, and given the state of interrupts this would actually be a HUGE nerf. No, instead of doing any of these, Earth and Moon should offer dispel protection that lasts 15 seconds -- this encourages casting to protect dots without nerfing the spell's mechanics themselves. Wild Mushrooms could also give dispel protection through Earth and Moon, albeit on a 10 second cooldown. This would really encourage some skillful mushroom usage and would nicely add to the skill cap of the spec.
Now, what would the dispel protection be? UA and VT have their own unique effects, and so should Earth and Moon: When Earth and Moon is dispelled, the target from which it was dispelled is stunned for 3 seconds (like other DPs, this does not DR).
Meanwhile, Instant Cyclone is removed. Predatory Swiftness remains in its current state -- but like Maelstrom Weapon and Lava Burst, it simply does not effect Cyclone. Most top Feral Druids agree that the spec doesn't need Instant Cyclone, and since Feral Damage can't change for PVE reasons, this is the change that is the most feasible. In compensation, and in solving issues for Balance and Resto at the same time, Thorns now functions differently: After being struck 3 times with Thorns active, you become immune to all interrupts for 3 seconds. Only works while being trained, obviously, but gives Ferals a way to contribute a cyclone while being trained, while also solving Resto Druid trainability (at a high mana cost) and Balance shutdown, while also keeping several counters (stuns, casted CCs, and incapacitates).
None of these changes affect PVE in the slightest, and while Blizzard will never read this, I can't help but think that this is what the class needs right now. Thoughts?
Edited by Ctuhlu, 19 August 2011 - 06:52 PM.