"By the great winds, I come." Classic Balance Druid Theorycraft Spreadsheet v1.4
If you find any invalid information or technical issues with the spreadsheet. Please feel free to reach out to me directly. Let's work together to make a better visible and reliable resource for our community.
The Vanilla Stigma "OOMkin"
Balance Druid's stereotype which has carried through to today has been the notion that they run out of mana exceedingly fast, being coined "OOMkin". This is a verifiably false statement with the capability of being able to last nearly 5-minutes in the current state of the game. In hindsight, Smite Priest, Shadow Priest, as well as Elemental Shaman have more mana management opportunities.
Moonkin as well as the Druid talent tree revamp came very late in the progression of Vanilla. The understanding and knowledge of the specialization couldn't be fully realized even partially through the evolution of Vanilla due to these changes. In tandem with a bottom tier played class made for stand out research and data building incredibly sparse and inconsistent.
The spreadsheet is a resource which is primarily for Excel to utilize the power and functionality of VBA macros. The spreadsheet will not work in Google Docs.
By utilizing VBA macros you may optimize your gear down to the exact value of Hit%, Crit%, INT, Spell Damage, Faction, Classic Phase#, Spell Rank#, Buffs, and Debuffs. This is achievable by clicking "Finding Optimal Gear Set" and "Exact Optimization" features present on the 'Character' sheet. Stat weights will automatically correct and reoptimize using the math derivatives which have been written for the tool.
The Score function is the culmination of the stat weights via each individual item which has been selected. All of these parameters can be saved and called upon at a later load of the resource.
The spreadsheet also comes equipped with a rough estimation of the DPS that you may be able to produce with the given parameters. Please do note that this is not a perfect simulation of damage and does have a inherent margin of error which comes with it.
By the grace of Zephan from the Classic Warlock Discord. We've also constructed a rough estimation of the DPS contribution in which the Moonkin Aura may end up resulting to. Much like the DPS calculations this is not a perfect simulation.
About the Project
This project was developed not out of the desire to play the Moonkin myself, but to justifiably refute accusations within the community as to how Balance Druid performs in a raid environment and if there was any validity to the claims players would make or if everything was hearsay. I went in with a unbiased opinion of the specs performance and detailed the process backed by mathematics. The entire process of the project undeniably has left me tilted and crazed, but I can say with enough assurance that I can speak to the Balance Druid better than most. I hope you all can appreciate and enjoy the resource I'm sharing with you today.
Q: The DPS looks low, is that accurate?
A: Yes. Balance Druid won't shock and dazzle. However it's not terrible by any means. The theoretical limit is ~2800DPS, which is still lower than a Warrior. Your averages will rival that of Feral Druid with the ability to eclipse Smite Priest, Shadow Priest, and Hunter DPS. Our most unique fight opportunities come with Chromaggus's Arcane Invulnerability shimmer which is 400% more damage taken and Loatheb's Fungal Bloom buff which should give you a permanent 100% Critical chance to Starfire, reducing its spell cast permanently to 2.5 seconds.
Q: Will guilds accept me for my utility with a Battle Ressurection, Innervate, and Moonkin Aura?
A: No, atleast they shouldn't. Battle Res and Innervate are handicap utility mechanics which should not be a selling point. Remember that this is 2019 and not 2006. Innervate is yours in this day of age, not anyone else's. Moonkin Aura also isn't going to replace a full DPS. It's roughly a ~100 DPS increase to a group of Warlocks in the early stages of the game and roughly a ~150 DPS to a group of Fire Mage's in the later stages.
Moonkin Aura loses its value the more Crit% your party has. It has great uses for the casters which have died and lost all of their buffs. It will help close the gap between non-world buffed players versus world buffed players for the remainder of the raid.
Q: Do I really resort to Starfire spam?
A: It's your best source of damage. Wrath has very niche uses during specific occasions. We're currently looking into Moonfire a bit more as we're going to encounter a timeline which we've never seen even on private projects. During Phase 1 and Phase 2 we'll have 16 debuffs with no way of filling all 16 slots with optimal effects. At most only 10 can be filled optimally, which leaves 6 open slots. These should theoretically be given to 6 Warlocks and/or 6 Shadow Priests, but if not then there may be room for Moonfire. Stay tuned.
Q: Should I go for 16% Spell Hit as soon as possible?
A: It depends on your play style as well as your raid. If you encounter slower kills then you may want to utilize the extra Spell Hit%. If your fights can be calculated then you may want to utilize the 'Spell Hit Optimization' charts to maximize your DPS potential. Be warned though you will essentially be rolling the dice with RNG. You could either be severely punished or severely rewarded for this style of play.
Q: What does Spell Penetration accomplish?
A: Simple answer is it reduces the resistance a target has for your spell cast much like a curse. The spreadsheet is currently built to incorporate Spell Penetration into the formula, but due to unreliable data from Vanilla it wasn't justifiable to include it in this version. Once we receive better details in Classic I will make another update to the spreadsheet. Stay tuned.
Q: Why is Spirit and MP5 not present in your calculation?
A: Spirit and MP5 only have value if you have run out of mana. This isn't only true for Balance Druid, but for any class. These stats are considered handicaps and hinder your ability to do DPS. It is always more mana efficient to downrank your spell versus trying to stack Spirit and MP5, which leaves no room for prioritizing Spirit and MP5.
Q: Are you sure I will have enough mana for raids?
A: In Classic the majority of fights will take you no longer than 60 seconds to finish. Once your raid has farmed enough gear you'll push over raid bosses like they were trash, i.e. Lucifron dead in 10-15 seconds. There are a few exceptions:
1. Progression during some raids may end up being a bit more mana intensive. In this instance I would educate using R1 Starfire when you've depleted your consumables and Innervate.
2. Loatheb and Patchwerk can be considerably long, to the point where you're just barely finishing the fight with mana. You may have to utilize R1 Starfire in this instance.
Moonkin Aura, Ignite, and Shadow Oil
Please consider the Moonkin Aura tab as a blanket statement of sorts. Ignite is a incredibly challenging and difficult mechanic to properly determine. For this reason it is essentially busted on the spreadsheet. It also doesn't equate the value of Shadow Oil, which in practice would have direct DPS contribution values from Moonkin Aura via Warlock's increased uptime with Improved Shadow Bolt.
I did not include this buff as it's from a one time event that will never occur again during a servers life span. Whenever possible during the Scourge Invasion it should always be sought after.
+10% Stat Buffs
There have been many conflicting reports on how buff effects such as Blessing of Kings, Spirit of Zandalar, Celebrate Good Times!, and Elune's Blessing really work. Some sources state some of these effects only modify the characters base stats with others modifying base plus gear. Once there is concrete information in Classic I will readjust the spreadsheet accordingly.
About the Author
I've played World of Warcraft from Beta through Wrath of the Lich King. Proficient in Restoration Shaman for the majority of my career with my beginnings as a Restoration Druid in Vanilla.
I predominantly played in a hardcore raiding guild, Coalition, on Nost. During the Nost to Ely transition I became integrated into the QA team. During my time on Nost, as well as being apart of the QA team, the development of Balance Druid theorycraft began.
I've been an integral part of the Classic World of Warcraft theorycraft community and have been a reliable resource of information and knowledge on the inner workings of World of Warcraft emulation as well as how technical mechanics worked in Vanilla.
Daemon, Viper, Nano, Brotalnia, Taladril, Shedo, Zephan, Guybrush, Ayz, Nost Guilds: Coalition and NOPE, Discords: Classic Theorycrafting and Druid Classic, and Azuregos.
It is nice to see all the work you put on Balance Druids that don't normally get that much attention, great quality!
Can't wait to raid as a Moonkin. Thanks for the additional information. I'll be putting it to good use
Also can't wait to learn more about melee moonkins. Would it be better for horde druids because of WF? Also isn't there a 1h weapon druids can use that gives a chance for additional hits as well to proc Omen?
Sorry it was Hand of Edward the Odd that I was thinking for Melee moonkin. It would make Starfire be an instant cast when proct. Would be interesting to see how frequent you could use it to give you a boost instead of moonfire spams.
@Aunuxa Two things about Melee Moonkin's current status:
- The Nost core where Melee Moonkin has been getting developed on is highly inaccurate for the melee formulas for a caster. Additionally, Moonfury is incorrectly weighted with Moonfire.
- With the understanding of the above parameters, Windfury parsed lower than Shadow Oil. I'm fairly confident this will continue to be the case in Classic, but it would have to be checked again.
If only I had beta...
@Keftenk Thanks for the reply. Did you take a look at the Hand of Edward the Odd? Or would stacking Spell Power be better dps than some free insta cast starefires.
@Aunuxa I have played with Hand of Edward the Odd, yes. The proc rate is horrible though so it makes it very inconsistent. Some fights I would see 3 procs and skyrocket my DPS and other fights I wouldn't even see a single proc. Even more so I sometimes would go 3min+ before seeing a proc.
I will revisit it come Classic, but it's a weapon you roll the dice with. On top of that you must stack a bit of haste to even make it work within the GCD parameters.
I see you calculated stuff for a nightelf Moonkin. In theory Blessing of kings and wisdom as well as salvation (dunno how much aggro is an issue as moonkin?) seem much better, than what my preferred faction, the Horde has to offer with Shamans
Especially because you probably don't want to put a Moonkin into a group with a Shaman, do you?
Furthermore I'm curious about the potential value of 3% crit for Healpaladin and shamans and if the loss of dps would be worthwile?
@Michael-Klüpfel You can switch the parameters to calculate for Tauren Druid.
Moonkin is going to benefit Warlocks the most until Phase 5 and then it shifts to Fire Mage's. There is no need to ever give a DPS stat to a healer in the current meta. What does that crit offer a Paladin? Mana return? Why do you need that? A stronger heal? Why not uprank instead since mana is a non-issue?
The spreadsheet has been updated and released for version v1.2.
We're still waiting on Spell Penetration data. Another update will be rolled out once there is sufficient information.
Version 1.3 is uploaded and ready to be used.
BG items have been properly allocated to the list, the spell optimization tool formula went through a rehaul, and other various bugs and edits were made.
Version 1.4 uploaded.
Spelling issues fixed and a tweak to the weighting formula. It shouldn't change entire BIS lists, but it should make it even more accurate. Additionally, I've succumbed to adding a Paypal donation link if anyone wishes to help out. I will take requests on specific features for larger $donations if that is a way you wish to contribute, i.e. Moonfire damage calculations and weighting, or a SIM, optimization per boss, etc. PST me to talk more on details.