From the Balance perspective I’m pretty happy with what we’re seeing thus far in the Druid class preview. While there is still some vagueness in the Eclipse mechanic and how it works with the newly announced Nature’s Torrent, and I’m not entirely certain Moonkin are getting the buff in burst DPS they require, I’m optimistic in what we’ve seen thus far. The Eclipse mechanic issue, haste issue, and burst DPS issue were the three biggees on my radar as well as others, and it looks like at least one of them is definitely being addressed head on. The announced change to the Eclipse mechanic sounds like it does exactly what we were hoping it would do — Removes some of the randomness, and lessens the detrimental impact of movement during an Eclipse. Given the change in the nature of Eclipse, which is essentially creating charges, that sounds exactly like what we need right now. Eclipses become more predictable, and movement will not have such a detrimental impact on DPS. However, it does perhaps indicate that much of DPS will remain tied up with Eclipse. As long as the mechanic is predictable, and no longer penalizes us to such a degree because of movement I’m okay with that.
I was already pretty happy with the state of Balance right — outside of the Eclipse problem – so I’m looking forward to Balance in Cataclysm. What isn’t yet known are the specific changes to the talent trees. The question all Balance players have on their minds right now is how will Blizzard change the trees to shed all that haste? I love 1.6 second Starfires, but hate the .5/.6 second Wrath casts during Heroism. I actually hate when Heroism is called for when I’m raiding on my Boomchicken because the extra haste causes me casting issues. And all that isn’t to say there still aren’t other problems with Balance in areas like PVP, but I always PVP as Resto anyway so I don’t focus on that myself.
Lastly I’m waiting on more information regarding our new level 85 spell – Wild Mushrooms. As it was particularly marketed for Balance, it’s of great interest to me. I’ve made up entire scenarios in my mind where I’m able to inundate a chokepoint on some battle ground with my invisible mushrooms, which utterly decimate an invading Horde mob. Yet I know that would probably never happen as being able to have multiple mushrooms out at the same time would probably be OP. Which leads me to believe that this will be strictly a situational tool. I guess on PVE fights with multiple targets and requiring movement this might be something I’d want to use, but other than that I’d probably stick with Hurricane and Starfall. Also seems to be something I could use in PVP but that might depend on how it treats stealthed opponents. As I would primarily look to use it as a sort of early detection system, if it didn’t have an ability to detonate off stealthed individuals I’d probably find this to be a very situational tool in PVP as well.