After a week of commenting on WoW news, I thought it was time to bring the attention back to moonkins. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have had some great teachers on how to be a good moonkin and I have done a lot of research. However, there are some traits that I have seen in moonkins that are things that have to be watched for and corrected if they are seen. Here are some of the major signs of a bad moonkin player:
1) Any Points in the Moonglow Talent - This is a mana conserving talent. While somebody who may be leveling may have points in Moonglow in the Balance tree to get there mana back and thus less down time, for a raiding moonkin, there is no reason. Especially on 25 mans where many classes have ways to increase mana. Unless I'm spamming hurricane on trash, I rarely get low on mana even in 10 mans. Moonglow is a pretty much useless talent for a raiding moonkin.
2) Gemming Straight Spellpower - A moonkin should never gem straight spellpower for several reasons. One, if they are using the proper meta gem, they need to have two blue gems at least. Second, while spellpower is important, you cannot ignore gems for haste or crit. Elitist Jerks recommends gemming for any spellpower bonus +5 or over. I have some issues with that however which is why I recommend gemming for spellpower bonus +7 or over. If you go for +5 or over, either of the gems you will use in that spot whether yellow or blue (I will have a whole post on gems later, plus I don't have Wowhead at work so I can't link the proper names for the gems), you will have +12 spellpower plus some other stat. If the bonus is +5, this means you will end up with a net of +17 spellpower. If you would have gemmed straight spellpower, you would have lost 6 spellpower. Multiply that by the possible gear that could have those bonuses (head, neck, shoulder, chest, wrist, waist, hands, legs, boots, two rings, and a staff), you get a loss of 72 spellpower, which could be significant. If you gem for +7 or better, you will either lose +4 or +2 depending on the bonus. Even worst case scenario, you are only losing 50 spellpower. You are trading 50 spellpower for more crit or haste, which seems like a fair trade. In most cases, this is less because several pieces of tier gear and weapons have +9 spellpower. In many cases, you will also get the bonus by just gemming spellpower. The tier hands, shoulders, and head come to mind with this. This would also make the loss less if you gem for +7 or above.
3) They Consider DPS More Important Than Staying Alive - This is actually just a general bad player rule, but it especially holds true for moonkins. Both of our major attacks at least have a cast time of 1 second, with Starfire having even a longer cast. However, if it is a choice between casting and dieing and moving and staying alive, you should always move. Remember, dead = 0 DPS.
4) They Stop Casting - As a moonkin, there is the ABC rule, which is Always Be Casting. Even while moving, you can be refreshing DoTs or casting Starfall. If you are standing still, you should be proccing your Eclipses and having more control over your DoTs, which brings me to
5) They Clip DoTs - This is something that even the most experienced players have trouble with. If you are moving, it is ok to refresh DoTs if they are low. However, as a general rule, you should try not to clip your DoTs. Clipping DoTs involves resetting the timer before the timer goes off. If you do that, you could cost yourself DPS because you clipped off a DoT tick. This will become less of an issue in Cataclysm with how they are reworking DoTs and make it where you add on time, but even that will have a limit.
6) They Continually Cast Wrath on Lunar Eclipse or Starfire on Solar Eclipse - I give myself a one cast rule due to travel time. If I see a Lunar Eclipse proc, I have one cast before I should be casting Starfire since there is no reason to cut a Wrath when it is mid-casting. Same with Starfire proccing a Solar Eclipse. You need to get to the higher damage outputing spell as quickly as possible.
7) They Glyph Typhoon - This is somebody who can't control themselves. You should be able to not cast Typhoon on trash packs. Plus, if you glyph Typhoon, you are giving up the two beneficial effects from Typhoon in the first place, the knockback and the snare.
8) They Typhoon at Inappropriate Times - Everybody has the accidental button press where they Typhoon where they are not suppose to, but in general, you should not Typhoon unless the situation is appropriate. I thought at one time that you should Typhoon every boss. However, the more I'm testing it, you really should not. The DPS gain from a global cooldown of Typhoon versus even a global cooldown of Wrath is not worth it. Times where it is appropriate to Typhoon include the following: Saurfang and Lich King Phase 3. And if you are doing Onyxia, for the love of all that is good and holy, do not Typhoon whelplings. Quith's Quips just had a really good article recently about the use of Typhoon, and I would direct you there for a more in depth discussion of Typhoon.
9) They Do Not Use Treants - The Treants actually provide a fair amount of DPS and should be used on cooldown if possible. There are some fights where it is tough, like Dreamwalker where the adds are dying really quickly. The ideal would be use them at the beginning of the fight and before Heroism if you know it is coming.
10) They Pull Threat - If you go all out at the beginning of a fight, especially in 10 mans, you can pull threat pretty easily. I did it with just a normal rotation on one of my 10 man Lich King fights. Use Omen and just wait if needed. Now, I stick my treants on the Lich King and cast Faerie Fire until he is in position, then bring the fury.
11) They Are Not Soft Hit or Soft Haste Capped - Every moonkin should be soft hit capped, which is 263 without Heroic Presence and if appropriately specced. (A post coming later about proper raid specs as well). Even in 25 mans where a dranaei is almost a guarantee, I would still aim for 263 so you are not dependent on another person to be hit capped. The other important cap is the soft haste cap, which is 408. This makes your Wrath casting time equal to the global cooldown. This will allow you to proc your Lunar Eclipse quicker. Beyond that, it gets more into max/min areas. I would forward you to Elitist Jerks threads on the balance of crit versus haste.
12) They Do Not Cast Faerie Fire - This is the biggest one. Even at the soft hit cap, you will still not hit the boss without Faerie Fire because it improves hit by 3%, which with other talents in your spec, will put you at the total 17% hit cap. It also gives you a 3% crit bonus. One of the interesting situations is the possibility that this will override Faerie Fire from your feral tank. The answer is no. Feral Faerie Fire and Balance Faerie Fire are two different spells and both can be on the boss at the same time. However, if any Faerie Fire is on the boss, you will get the 3% crit bonus. It should also be noted that Misery by a shadow priest can give you the 3% hit bonus as well.
Edit: Thanks to Qieth for correcting me on the Moonglow and Faerie Fire issues.