I usually don’t do a lot of pure speculation post, but I’m gonna try on this one. We know that the Eclipse mechanic is changing in Cataclysm to a bar that tells whether you are closer to the lunar eclipse or the solar eclipse. If you cast nature spells, it moves you closer to the lunar eclipse. If you cast arcane spells, you move closer to the solar eclipse. Here is how I’m thinking some of this maybe useful, if it does work like I think it will work.
1) Loading Lunar Eclipse before a boss – I do not know if the bar will reset after each fight, but if it does not, this could make for an interesting mechanic. On trash, you would have more incentive to use Wrath versus ever using Starfire. Also, Hurricane is our most used trash mechanic, which is also a nature spell. I could see where you use nature spells to get yourself into the lunar eclipse state so that you can have full lunar eclipse right at the start of the boss fight. In other words, you are talking about increasing our burst DPS greatly at the start of a fight. This in turn may lead to the second thing, which is…
2) Moonkins More of a Threat in PvP – As if Starfall wasn’t enough, if you can front load your Lunar Eclipse and can bust out with 25k + crits of Starfire right at the beginning of PvP, you are talking huge up front burst damage. Of course, they will break this for arenas by resetting your bar at the beginning of arena fights.
3) Moving Less of a DPS Loss – Nothing hurts me more than getting in a fight like Festergut and just as my Lunar Eclipse procs, I have to move to a spore. I know because that means that at best, I will be able to reapply my Insect Swarm and my Moonfire, but no huge Starfire crits. With this new mechanic, it moves it away from a strict timer to something that can be used over time.
4) Nature’s Torrent Will Be Used When The Bar is in the Middle – From what they have said of this spell, it sounds like it is going to push the bar, one way or the other. This is the thing that I hope will give us more variety. If we can’t front load our Lunar Eclipse, I could see where after we apply Faerie Fire and DoTs, our next spell will be Nature’s Torrent. This will move the bar one way or the other and tell us which to start casting.
5) Degradation Over Time – I can’t imagine that they will let us stay at one state for any longer than about a minute. I can imagine that after a minute, the bar will return to the middle if no action has taken place. We can still front load Lunar Eclipse if we are fast, but it won’t be forever. The longer before it returns to the middle, the better for us moonkins.
6) Eclipse at Level 10 – This is honestly the most exciting thing for me. While I’m sure moonkin form will still be down the talent tree, if somebody puts points into Balance at level 10, they get Eclipse immediately. It will be interesting to see how the mastery system will affect Eclipse. My guess is that higher mastery will give higher crit chances on Eclipse or increase your haste.
So what are you thoughts on the new Eclipse mechanic? I am very optimistic for what Cataclysm will bring to the moonkins in the game. And, Blizzard, please don’t take away our owl form. Don’t do to us what you did to the trees.