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[Feral Druid] Impressions updated for 15799

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[Feral Druid] Impressions updated for 15799

Postby Tinderhoof » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:18 pm

Hey everyone. I made a big post over on the main forums detailing what I think to be some good things we see for the feral spec and some things that need improvment. It would be really helpful to get some more comments from the rest of the community on how their experience in the beta is going. Remember please try and keep your feed back constructive and positive. Here is a link to the thread http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/6076977745?page=1 and I have posted the details below.

Hey everyone. The pervious Feral PVE discussion thread has gotten a little out of date and doesn't have many posters offering level 90 experiences. I figured I would start a new thread so we could get the latest information in front of the community and the designers.
To start off I don't think we are in as bad a shape as we first looked. We have several things going for us well for us. There are also a few issues that could use some improvement. All of my below experiences are at level 90 with the best gear available fully gemmed and enchanted (Still cata mats though). I have spent several hours at the target dummies and also running heroics as both Guardian and Feral.

The Good Stuff:
Damage in general - Our damage is in pretty good shape right now at 90. If you can keep the rotation together we hit hard. I don't really feel like I am behind any classes I have played with so far except Guardians. They be crazy yo!

Burst - We have 3 possible long cooldowns (Berserk, Incarnation, Natures Vigil) all on a 3 minute timer. Not only does Berserk (and TF) line up with Incarnation and Natures Vigil it compliments them so perfectly that there isn't an incentive to use them in anything but a single "BLOW EVERYTING" macro. Any fight with a predictable burn phase we will be very strong in.

AOE Rotation - We have one now that isn't just Swipe spam! Putting Savage Roar + Thrash + Swipe together is satisfying and makes a noticeable difference. The addition of generating combo points on your main target is a welcome change and allows us to keep Savage Roar going without interrupting our AOE.

What Needs improvement:
Savage Roar - I like most Ferals don't really understand the logic of this change. I suspect the change was due to a vocal majority of Ferals during the class feedback 8 months ago asking for a harder rotation. One of the biggest issues I have with this change is that it does not actually make the rotation harder. As it stands we are having to keep the same number of debuffs and bleeds on the same timers for the same energy cost as before (no I didn't forget about Mangle). What this change does do is massively increase the penalty for making a mistake. This may make some people happy because the gap between skilled Ferals and less skilled Ferals grow, but I just think it will frustrate most people and drive them away from the spec. There is a glyph for Savage Roar that does help a little. More on this later.

Faerie Fire - This change hasn't seen a lot of press on the blogs or the forums. While the debuff to prevent the target from entering stealth is still 5 minutes, the Armor debuff portion has been reduced to 30 seconds. It seems this is replacing Mangle as another short term debuff to keep up. In general I am ok with this change. It's not exactly like we are GCD capped, so working it into the rotation shouldn't be an issue. This wouldn't really be a big deal except that every other class who can apply this buff will do so as part of their dps or tank rotation. There just isn't really an incentive to have a Feral do it, but a big down side if not used properly.

Stampede - I understand why they removed Stampede from Wild (Feral) Charge. To give Wild Charge as an option with Stampede still attached would make the talent a no brainer. The fact is though that PVE and PVP Ferals will always end up choosing this talent because it is still so much better than the other two options. What we lost though was a very important ability that was critical for target swaps and openers. I am not saying that Wild Charge should have Stampede again, but I would like to see something like it come back. Perhaps attached to TF like our 4p T13.

Target Swaps/Ramp up time - These have always been our biggest weakness. In cata it still wasn't a strong point, but we were a lot better off due to Stampede. Between the loss of Stampede and the change to Savage Roar we have taken a big step back in our ability to keep a consistent output on anything but a Patchwork style fight. While we do have the option of Symbiosis on a Rogue for Redirect, or a Warlock for Soulswap, we really can't count on always having one of those options in a 5 man challenge group or a 10 man raid.

White Damage - Alaron brought this up in his initial impressions and it is still the case at 90. With a lot of dummy practice and several heroics under my belt our white damage usually ends up being about 30% of our damage. On single target fights it is far ahead of Rip which comes in around 23%. This is with a set just below the hit/exp caps. It does hurt us more when we have to shift out of cat form. This isn't as big of a deal as we first thought as we aren’t going to be doing as much shifting as it seemed 3 months ago. For me it does kind of take away some of the satisfaction of executing a perfect rotation when so much of my damage didn't come from anything I did. It's really a minor (and personal) quibble and far down on my list of worries.

AOE Rotation - I know I put this as one of the better things about the spec. I really do like the direction it's going, but I think it just needs a minor tweak. Like our single target rotation our AOE takes a long time to ramp up and is VERY expensive. We have to spend 25 energy on Savage Roar and then 50 energy on Thrash to get the bleed up on all the targets. Assuming full energy we only have enough for 1 swipe (counting regen). This ramp up hurts for burst AOE passes as everything ends up dead before we get going, and just swiping by itself hits pretty weak. Thrash doesn't hit very hard, and doesn't generate combo points so there is no reason to spam it. It's only use is to buff Swipe. I don't mind dropping the damage from both initial hit of Thrash and its bleed if we can drop the cost a little.

Rotation as a whole - In general the Feral "rotation" works. Most of the time we are able to keep our bleeds, debuffs, and buffs going. However right now with crit and energy regen levels (even after the base crit bump) things are VERY tight. A bad run of luck can detail the rotation no matter how perfect we execute. We aren’t really able to use TF situationally or save it for target swaps/AOE because have to use it on cooldown just to keep the rotation going. This situation will improve with gear, but without some changes now we won't likely see relief until higher gear levels of Tier 15.

Things that might help - Like I started off saying I don't Ferals are in a really bad place. I think some minor tweaks could really help us out without being over powered.
- I mentioned the Glyph of Savagery earlier. It allows us to use Savage Roar with 0 combo points and gives us 12 seconds of the buff. This is pretty good for just before a pull as we don't have to waste our first combo point(s) to get started. The downside to this is because it still costs 25 energy to use with 0 combo points it's too expensive to attempt to weave into our rotation. If the glyph dropped the energy cost of Savage Roar to 0 or even 10 with no combo points we could use it more strategically (think target swaps and prepping for AOE). Also there with this glyph there a less then desirable side effect. If you fat finger, or plane just make a mistake and hit Savage Roar at 0 combo points no matter what time the Savage Roar buff is at, it will be set to 12 seconds. I would love to this blocked if we tried to over write a longer buff with a shorter one (ie A stronger buff already exists).
- Let us have a way to proc a free (or even reduced cost) Ravage again. I will be honest I love the burst of Ravage, but I would even take something else that doesn't hit that hard but gave extra on demand combo points.
- Reduce the cost of Thrash in cat or, or allow Swipe to be buffed by anyone’s bleeds.

I do have a real positive outlook as we aren’t very far from being in excellent shape to start off MoP. Let's keep the
feedback and suggestions as constructive as possible. Thanks everyone!

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Re: [Feral Druid] Impressions updated for 15799

Postby Sibylle » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:10 am

I can't post on the US forums, so I'm cheering you on from the sidelines here. Thanks for the analysis, this really looks a lot better than it did months ago. Although I have to admit that you being about equal with other classes' damage doesn't entirely put my mind at rest. You *are* one of the best ferals we have, Tinder, and if it takes that level of skill to keep up then I admit I'm a little intimidated ;)

I wish I had the time to do more testing myself but real life's got me in its claws right now. I'm glad I can live vicariously through you for now, and hope I'll be back up and running by the time Mists rolls in.
-Sibylle

"Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious." (Brendan Gill)

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Re: [Feral Druid] Impressions updated for 15799

Postby adianar » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:13 pm

I second Sybille..

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Re: [Feral Druid] Impressions updated for 15799

Postby Leafkiller » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:53 pm

Tinder,

Have you done any testing with SR and Rake/Rip to see when the buff is applied (beginning/on each tick)?

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Re: [Feral Druid] Impressions updated for 15799

Postby Tinderhoof » Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:09 pm

Leafkiller wrote:Tinder,

Have you done any testing with SR and Rake/Rip to see when the buff is applied (beginning/on each tick)?

Ya I did. The bleeds are a snap shot at the time applied. So you must have SR up before applying a bleed. Same as LK days.

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Re: [Feral Druid] Impressions updated for 15799

Postby Leafkiller » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:34 am

I think you are underestimating the value of the gylph of Savage Roar in your post. The ability to apply SR with 0 combo points, even for only 12 seconds is huge. It will be interesting working on a new rotation with that in mind.

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Re: [Feral Druid] Impressions updated for 15799

Postby Tinderhoof » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:27 pm

Leafkiller wrote:I think you are underestimating the value of the gylph of Savage Roar in your post. The ability to apply SR with 0 combo points, even for only 12 seconds is huge. It will be interesting working on a new rotation with that in mind.

I am not really sure that I am. After spending a lot of time on the dummies the glyph doesn't really get that much usage unless a really bad mistake happens. The only time it can be made use of is if you have just hit a finisher and SR will run out in 6 or so seconds. If I hit SR then I have spent 25 energy and am likely below 20. I have to spend the next 12 seconds getting combo points to just to spend 25 more energy to get back on track and now I will struggle to get enough combo points to get Rip refreshed in time. While I have no math to back me up it feels smoother in the rotation refreshing SR early to desync it with Rip.

In the case of target swaps or air phases the glyph will be really handy to help us start the rotation over again, just like pre pull. I don't think the glyph is bad. I just think it might become a trap that can derail the rotation.

I think the PVP impact is much greater though. With this glyph it lessens the pain of having SR be so critcial to our damage.

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Re: [Feral Druid] Impressions updated for 15799

Postby Wicks » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:41 pm

My biggest completely personal issue is: where do I keybind SR now? I do not remember a time when hitting a button at the wrong time or by mistake could cost so much: if I put up a 5cps SR and I hit it again by mistake, I spend energy and destroy the 5cps one, wasting them, which will be a far higher risk than it is now. If you could in any way emphasize how punishing this is Tinderhoof, I would be very grateful. If there is a chance for a fix so that shorter version can not overwrite the longer, it would make things that much easier.

If it cost 0 or 10 energy as you suggest, it would be less painful, but then it might turn out to be better to use without combo points as a part of the rotation (I dont have the capacity to do math, just speculating), which could bring another set of issues or even nerfs to compensate.

I will miss the Stampede! procc from TF as much as from WC, it was such a nice recovery tool, in case you made mistakes, and brought good stability to the rotation.

On a general note I was worried about the fact that there were almost no Feral voices in the class balance thread, which for me meant that we were either ok, or broken beyond efforts to ask for repairs. I am glad it is not the latter :)

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Re: [Feral Druid] Impressions updated for 15799

Postby Tinderhoof » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:18 pm

Cross posting results of some Symbiosis testing:

So I had an interesting time testing some of our Symbiosis abilities last night. I have some good news and some bad news.

First there is a bug with Wild Charge Feral. After we charge we are facing whatever direction we were facing when we started the charge. This is a change from the behavior on live and the pervious beta build where we are turned to face the back of the target when we land. I have posted the bug in the bug forums. If you see this as well you can add to the [Bug] Wild Charge Feral thread.

Ok on to the good stuff:
Redirect
•This ability we get from Rogues lets us transfer our combo points from one target to another. As far as I was able to tell this ability works great. As it does not incur a GCD and is energy free I was able to macro it to Wild Charge which worked like a champ. This also works in transferring points from dead bodies to live targets. I did see that these points on dead targets can expire, but I wasn't able to tell if it was time (no more than 30 seconds) or distance from the dead target. If you are in a fight that has target swapping a Rogue is a good Symbiosis target.

Soul Swap
•This ability we get from Warlocks lets us transfer any bleeds we have on a target to a new target. Like Redirect this is another ability that does not trigger a GCD and works great macro'd to Wild Charge. The interesting part is when you do move the bleeds to a new target any combo points you had on the previous target are still there and useable. This means we can move a Rip/Rake to a new target and then return to the first target and use the combo points there to Rip again right away (energy permitting). This has interesting implications for PVP but I am not good enough in that area to really comment how good or not it is. From what I could tell you cannot transfer bleeds to another target from a dead target. Another good Symbiosis target for target swapping.

Feral Spirits
•This ability we get from Enhancement Shaman summons 2 Feral Spirits that attack your target and heal you. Right now they seem to be bugged and do not gain any of our attack power. The full 30 second summon yields about 17-19k damage total. The healing is likewise kinda weak, but that may be by design. I have posted about this in the Class Balance thread to see if this is just broken or intended. Until this is resolved Feral Spirits are not useful at all in PVE or PVP.

Death Coil
•This is the Death Knight ability. It costs 40 energy and deals 15k damage unmodified by seemingly any of our stats and has a 30 yard range. This ability will not generate a combo point. It can also heal a friendly undead character for 58k also unmodified. Note Death Knights do not count as undead unless under the effects of the Lichborn talent. I hope this is getting reworked as the damage portion is weak and the healing portion can really only be used by the Horde. Until this is reworked this ability is not useful in PVE, and only useful to Horde in PVP if you have a Forsaken ally.

I still need to test Shattering Blow (Warrior), Clash (monk) and Consecration (Paladin). I will likely need to form dungeon groups to test these out so if anyone wants to help out with this I am on Lost Isle as Tinderhoof. I am on most nights after 9pm.

I haven't included Dispersion or Play Dead as they are VERY niche ability’s that really require an encounter to need them. I can test these as well if folks are willing to help out, but they arn't high on the priority list.

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Re: [Feral Druid] Impressions updated for 15799

Postby adianar » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:49 pm

Tinder,
I'd be happy to assist you in testing. I'm not sure if you mean 9pm server or something else. I am actively trying to acquire a beta key though, so I won't be much help yet. PM me and I'll give you realid for invite info. I'd love to get a jump on this before the patch drops and i'll learn it better/quicker/faster watching you than anyone.

Adi

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Re: [Feral Druid] Impressions updated for 15799

Postby Mootate » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:06 pm

Feral Spirit actually summons 2 Feral Spirits and not 3 as you said above.

And will try to log in after 9PM to help you if needed. :)

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Re: [Feral Druid] Impressions updated for 15799

Postby Tinderhoof » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:50 pm

Doh. Thanks for spotting that. Fixed on the main forums. Tonight is raid night so I won't likely be on till 10 or later. But thanks for the help last night.

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