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  1. #1

    Balance Affinity: Do anybody use this?

    QUESTION:
    Do anybody use the Balance affinity for any Druid Spec (Feral, Guardian or Restoration) for any other reason than the extra 5 yards of range.

    Why do I ask?
    I ask because I don't ever use it myself for anything other than an extra 5 yards of range when tanking or healing.
    I think it is a shame for one affinity to not be used at all (if that is the case).
    I personally use the Feral Affinity (M+) and Guardian Affinity (Raids) often when playing restoration and I often use Restoration Affinity when playing any of the other 3 specs.

    Do I see it as a problem?
    I would love for Balance Affinity to be used in its entirety.
    It would be great if I as a Resto druid could switch into Moonkin Form and do as much damage as i can in cat form.

  2. #2
    They should make it so you also have astral power and can build it up while in normal Form and use the moonkin Form as a small burst CD. But right now its way too undertuned and starsurge cast time just sucks. Doesnt fit the flexibel playstyle as a healer in m+

  3. #3
    I can see it being useful for enemies that drop pools of AoE constantly, so as feral you can still be in range to dance.

  4. #4
    Balance affinity is used a lot as a feral druid for the extra range, That is all its taken for tho.

  5. #5
    Should be noted that the passives are the primary benefit of the Affinities. The rest is mainly for flavour.

  6. #6
    It is only useful for Feral for the extra range. No other reason to pick it.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by huth View Post
    Should be noted that the passives are the primary benefit of the Affinities. The rest is mainly for flavour.
    Swiftmend from Restoration Affinity is actually good :-)

  8. #8
    I like Restoration Affinity as Balance, but as Restoration I couldn't care less about having Balance Affinity.

    Maybe if Balance Affinity had Astral Power and Starfall to work with it'd be more fun.

    Utility abilities (Typhoon, Ursol's) should be their own choice separate from your Affinity choice, in my opinion. I don't really like those being tied up in the same choice.

  9. #9
    The Patient
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    I use it as my dps affinity as Guardian. I can stack lots of agility with my azerite traits, and then drop a few empowered Lunar Strikes and Sunfires. I can do about 27k single-target, more as AoE. I fully use it as a talent, and am looking forward to being able to use it as a DPS cooldown in Shadowlands.

  10. #10
    Warchief Mrbleedinggums's Avatar
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    Agreed, I only would pick balance for the 5 yards as guardian or resto, but having to swap to boomkin form to cast terrible timed spells just sucks...
    "Why of course the people don't want war…. But, after all… it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Mystikal View Post
    I use it as my dps affinity as Guardian. I can stack lots of agility with my azerite traits, and then drop a few empowered Lunar Strikes and Sunfires. I can do about 27k single-target, more as AoE. I fully use it as a talent, and am looking forward to being able to use it as a DPS cooldown in Shadowlands.
    I've been doing the same since Legion. It works nicely in a few situations, and it does speed things up a little. It is the only thing in my opinion, albeit still very different, making Bears feel a little bit like what they used to feel in WotLK, when Bears actually had some punch to their attacks, and add a another layer of fun button presses in a very boring and bland spec that Bear (and Cat) has become. Even if I didn't feel like my Bear could do more damage like this, I'd still use it to make it more engaging.

  12. #12
    The Patient
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niter View Post
    I've been doing the same since Legion. It works nicely in a few situations, and it does speed things up a little. It is the only thing in my opinion, albeit still very different, making Bears feel a little bit like what they used to feel in WotLK, when Bears actually had some punch to their attacks, and add a another layer of fun button presses in a very boring and bland spec that Bear (and Cat) has become. Even if I didn't feel like my Bear could do more damage like this, I'd still use it to make it more engaging.
    Agreed. I actually feel more like a Druid when I do this, as opposed to being a Guardian Druid. It is an important distinction for me, one that began its downward slide in TBC and eventually faded altogether with WoD / Legion. I've made a few changes to my gear and can now push nearly 30k dps single-target, if my procs are good.

    I'm really, really looking forward to the hybrid element having more depth in Shadowlands (assuming nothing changes between now and release).

  13. #13
    Strictly from PvE perspective: The whole affinity system is a horrible design and an outdated concept. Hybrid playstyle is a dead end since 15 years. As a "flavour" or lore element, or PvP talent would be nice, but the problem is that Actizzard considers it as class design, an utility.

    Saving a wipe in a random instance once a month isn't a class utility. No one expects you to save a wipe, no one plans to save a wipe, no one brings a class to save a wipe, Actizzard don't design ANY PvE content around druids saving a wipe or helping the healer and tank. Jet they still removed every single buff druids had, they gutted every utility we had, they turned ferals (and guardians) the least useful and least wanted class in the entire game, and all because they think affinity is a valid class ability.

    As others already mentioned, you pick one for the passive buff and forget it

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Vilendor View Post
    but the problem is that Actizzard considers it as class design, an utility.

    [...]No one expects you to save a wipe, no one plans to save a wipe, no one brings a class to save a wipe, Actizzard don't design ANY PvE content around druids saving a wipe or helping the healer and tank.
    You don't see how those two claims contradict one another? Blizz doesn't design around it. It's just there for flavour.

  15. #15
    I remember basically every Guardian using it - but not for any of the actual spells but merely the increased range.
    But I think nowadays everyone's either Feral or Resto.

  16. #16
    Surprised no one has mentioned it (although it's not surprising honestly), I believe Moonkin Form for bears/kitties has a 2min CD associated with actually entering the form in BfA... so there's even more incentive to be pretty stingy with using the non-passive portion of the Affinity. I've tried using the Balance Affinity for things other than the passive, but unfortunately it suffers from the standard power balance issue with hybrids concerning flavor vs function that comes with optional abilities.

    If you're using Affinities, you're mostly using it for passives unless you're Resto at this point in the game with respect to Feral affinity. Guardian/Resto Affinity probably both get a fair amount of use, especially in PvP. Switch Hitter trait amps these specific Affinities, with the absorb applied when you Swiftmend or nearly capping your avoidance with Frenzied Regen, and they provide situational survival benefits even without the traits. I know personally I use Wild Growth and Swift Mend fairly frequently in M+, as well as Guardian affinity for M+/raid for the FR usage in conjunction with Switch Hitter. Balance Affinity... yeah, there's basically nothing offered here outside of the passive range increase that functionally works, especially with the cooldown on using Moonkin Form.

    With how these Affinities work, I'm still a bit leery with the SL changes thus far, as well as the HotW implementation. Only spec I could easily see getting benefits out of this is Resto druids, Guardians maaaaaybe a distance second depending upon how things are balanced, Balance/Feral probably won't care. Attaching crowd control abilities to the Affinities just doubles down on the mentality that the Affinities are not really about function but flavor. Flavor is fine, but I'd prefer flavor options be baseline versus talent, where power gains should be considering the design of the talent trees.

    This is partly why I wish HotW were a baseline ability versus a talent, as the talent turns the Affinity from a flavor talent to a function talent... but it takes two talents to make this work. If HotW was baseline, Affinity row would be a flavor and function choice. Still not my ideal scenario, but this is where we get into subjective arguments. For example, I would prefer Affinity talents would augment your current form to perform more like the associated Affinity. We already have some cross-over of spells associated with specific roles, such as Moonfire being castable as a bear and kitty (with a talent). Affinity could just amp this up or alter abilities to be added to your output without hindering your main role. While it'd certainly be more work, function capabilities provided by Affinities could be part of the class balancing so that it could have planned power gains built in.

    However, this butt heads with people wanting to juggle forms as being the flavor identity of druids, which is a legitimate stance to have. This just runs into issues from a balance/implementation standpoint for druid DPS specs when it comes to non-flavor components. If your Affinity DPS role is just as good as your other DPS role, you'd have Ferals just staying Moonkin Form and vice versa... which would not be ideal to say the least outside of saving us some bag space for gear. In BfA, this is probably the current implementation and design intent, which is why there are such limited uses for Affinities beyond their passives.

    In general, the Affinities have to be weak if they are completely divorced from the druid's primary spec instead of integrated into spec design. However, I view the currently alpha version of Affinities in conflict, as Affinities were a solution to pruning abilities and moving them to individual specs and druids wanting some role cross-over. Now that we're getting almost all our spells back outside of a few spells across the class, the non-passive benefits of the Affinities matter even less (which is probably another reason why they shoved CC abilities into the Affinities). I get the impression that the design philosophy for druids is lacking historical context concerning old changes/talents and why they were implemented/removed/altered over time, which explains quite a few of the changes we've seen thus far on the alpha.
    “Society is endangered not by the great profligacy of a few, but by the laxity of morals amongst all.”
    “It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the 'right' to education, the 'right' to health care, the 'right' to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle.”
    ― Alexis de Tocqueville

  17. #17
    I think it's useless ;\

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by exochaft View Post
    Surprised no one has mentioned it (although it's not surprising honestly), I believe Moonkin Form for bears/kitties has a 2min CD associated with actually entering the form in BfA.
    Nobody mentioned it because it's wrong. You can switch back and forth as you want beyond the standard 1.5s CD.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by huth View Post
    Nobody mentioned it because it's wrong. You can switch back and forth as you want beyond the standard 1.5s CD.
    It does have a 1.5 minute cooldown for Feral.

    Something like Guardian and Resto's Master Shapeshifter PvP talent would be nice to have baseline for all specs with the Affinities.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by akthalion View Post
    It does have a 1.5 minute cooldown for Feral.
    Yeah, I couldn't remember exactly the spec/CD duration (as I mentioned in my original statement) was because the actual Moonkin Form gets almost no use for any spec... plus I don't Feral very often as much as the other three specs. Point does still remain that there's a cooldown on the ability as a safety measure for a scenario that does not exist: the Balance Affinity non-passive aspect is useless. If it was powerful, a cooldown would make sense else you'd have Ferals staying in Moonkin Form and DPSing. Irony is the reverse isn't the same, where Moonkins would have a CD on going kitty with Feral Affinity, which leaves me to think that the design philosophy was abandoned at some point in the alpha/beta phases of BfA.

    At this point, SL alpha does show they want to revisit the issue, but what I've seen thus far doesn't inspire a palpable change to the status quo.
    Last edited by exochaft; 2020-04-17 at 04:21 PM.
    “Society is endangered not by the great profligacy of a few, but by the laxity of morals amongst all.”
    “It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the 'right' to education, the 'right' to health care, the 'right' to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle.”
    ― Alexis de Tocqueville

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