Sep 142011
 

I have seen several posts from other Druid bloggers about the feedback they gave on this thread.  I figured I would throw my own 2 cents in.

  • What type of content do you focus on? [PvE/PvP/Both]
    • PVE
  • If PvE, what type of PvE? [Heroics/Raids/Other]
    • 25 man heroic raiding
  • What are your biggest quality-of-life issues?
    • The inability to change targets quickly/efficiently.  When Ferals have to quickly change targets we are often energy starved with lots of combo points sitting on the pervious target.  While we can use SR before we begin building points on the new target it is very expensive (25 energy) and we may have just refreshed it.  This leaves us in a hole when starting on the new target and will make our long ramp up even longer.
    • Feral Faire Fire is on the spell hit table still.  It kind of takes the flow away when being melee hit capped during our opening ramp up and I have 2 FFF misses in a row.  This just steals GCD’s when they are needed most.
    • The inability to switch between AOE and Single Target rotations.  Because Swipe is so expensive (45 energy) just 2 swings will deplete a full energy bar.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t think swipe needs a buff, it’s just fine.  I would just like to see the damage and energy scaled down a bit so I have a little more freedom to choose between the rotations given sudden encounter changes.
    • Skull bash costs too much energy.  Pooling 25 energy lowers my dps output considerably while all other melee classes can use theirs for free or with considerably less resources.
    • Positional requirement.  There were some changes to the Fixed location bosses to widen the degrees that we could shred in.  While this was nice, the benefit is completely negated any time the bosses moves or targets someone other than a tank for an ability.  Mangle isn’t a good back up ability as it cannot extend Rip and does considerably less damage.
  • What makes playing your class more fun?
    • I love the flexibility that Feral DPS gives.  I have been able to do several jobs including off tanking and a few Hero bear moments.
    • Awesome mobility.  I am able to get places faster, help others get there faster and I very decent gap closer.
  • What makes playing your class less fun?
    • It sometimes feels like our mastery is at odds with the rest of our tool box.  With several nerfs to bleeds and buffs to direct damage there sometimes feels like a disconnect between physical damage tools and bleed damage tools (ie mastery)
    • See quality of life issues
  • How do you feel about your “rotation”? (Rotation is the accepted order in which abilities are used to maximum efficiency.)
    • I like the rotation.  It is complex and enjoyable to maintain as well as to tweak for different situations.
  • What’s on your wish list for your class?
    • I had an idea about making use of combo points before a target switch.  Rogues have Redirect on a 1 minute cooldown to let them move combo points to a new target.  What if Ferals could activate an ability that would consume all the current combo points on the target, but would proc the Stampede buff.  A free ravage on a new target to give a little short term burst and get quick combo points up on the new target.  Damage for the Ravage could scale based on how many combo points were consumed.  This ability can only be used on life targets.
    • Move FFF off the spell hit cap.
    • Modify Brutal Impact to also lower the energy cost of Skull Bash.
    • Allow Mangle to extend Rip if attacking from the front.
    • Reduce the damage and energy cost of swipe proportionally.
  • What spells do you use the least?

 

Links to Other blogger/theorycrafter feedback posts (Thanks to Lissanna from Restokin for the list):

 

  1. Murmurs (Tyler Caraway of wowinsider) – Moonkin post: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3123249662?page=11#201
  2. Reesi (of the Inc Bear & Team Waffle) – Feral post: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3123249662?page=2#28
  3. Arielle (of the Inc Bear & Team Waffle) – Feral Post: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3123249662?page=1#19
  4. Beruthiel (of falling leaves & wings) – Resto Post:  Resto post: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3123249662?page=31#616
  5. Derwent (of  Feraltree) – Resto post: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3123249662?page=7#132
  6. Garnaph (of Restokin) – EU Feral Post: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2624978483?page=16#302
  7. Talon (of Think Tank) – http://wowthinktank.blogspot.com/2011/09/druidfeedback-for-devs.html
  8. Lissanna (of Restokin) – http://www.restokin.com/2011/09/druid-class-feedback-resto-edition/ and http://www.restokin.com/2011/09/druid-class-feedback-moonkin-edition/
  9. Konungr (Our forums) – http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3123249662?page=7#134

 

 

Jun 282011
 

There are few things in the feral  repertoire I can think of that have caused as much vitriol on blogs and forums then the positional requirement of shred.  Pretty much at the start of every expansionand the weeks leading up to every major content patch the posts begin to fly demanding the removal of the positional requirement, or defending it.  T11 has been likely the most extreme example of this as we had to deal with several bosses that presented greater then average difficulty to be able to shred consistently.  The good news is that Blizzard has heard the issues and are taking steps to ease the difficulty required for our most potent single target attack.

  • Now there are some encounters where the positional penalty is just too extreme. In 4.2 we have the ability to make the “back” of a boss encompass 240 degrees, and we have done so for bosses like Magmaw, Sinestra and Ragnaros. Furthermore, there are fights where Killing Spree and Feral Charge just kill you. That obviously isn’t acceptable. We have manually added some safeguards to try and manually solve a few encounters, such as Magmaw, but even that isn’t bulletproof and we are investigating more robust and global solutions. But it’s technically challenging given the diversity of our encounters. 
     


This is an all around win for us.  While it might have been nice to have these changes come in a little sooner, it’s nice to know that going forward we are not likely to have to deal with another encounter like Al’Akir.

Note:

While I have you here I wanted to take an opportunity to talk for a minute about a new area of the Fluid Druid Forums.  The Raid Strategies section in the Kitty DPS forums is now open for business!  Please feel free to post questions or tips and tricks you have learned during your experiences raiding in the new tier.  Have a cool way of using Feral Charge?  Post it up.  Getting stuck with a mechanic you can’t seem to get around?  Ask how some of our experts handle the situation.  Have a cool video from a feral prospective?  Show it off!  I will be collecting tips, tricks, videos and faq’s and regularly updating the first post of each thread.  So get cracking and best of luck in The Firelands!

Jun 262011
 

The last few days before a patch are always very painful for anyone who maintains an addon, or in my case a script for an addon. When Cata first came out, I picked up support for the feral Ovale script that we maintain on the Fluid Druid Forums. In keeping with the tradition established by Nightcrowler (the author of FeralbyNight, an addon we used back in BC) I have always based the rotation in my Ovale script on an optimized Mew simulation script. While that sounds simple enough, it means I spend time optimizing the sim script in Mew, then updating my Ovale script to match, and finally debugging the Ovale script on the PTR. And, I pretty much have to wait until just before the patch is released due to the ongoing changes to the feral class that we have seen in 4.2 and the accompanying changes that Yawning has been making to Mew.

The good news is, barring any unforeseen additional changes to 4.2 and/or Mew, I just completed my work on the Mew sim script and a first version of a 4.2 compatible Ovale script, which means the changes to the rotation for 4.2 are fresh in my mind.

Starting from the top… in case anyone has not heard, the optimum third glyph to use is now Glyph of Berserk. So be ready to grab some Dust of Disappearance, and swap out Glyph of TF (if you are still using it). This means that the base duration of Berserk will be 25 seconds, and the duration of TF will be 30 seconds. With the 4 piece tier 12 set bonus, we will sometimes see Berserks that are over 40 seconds in length (during Heroism) and will typically see 4T12 Berserks last just over 30 seconds. The result is that the optimum time to cast Berserk is during TF (preferably at the same time). As a matter of fact, the only time you would ever want to cast Berserk without TF is if you are in a situation where the Berserk is coming off of cooldown and is going to be clipped if you wait for TF (like the end of a fight) – and even then, if TF is coming off of cooldown soon (6 seconds seems to be a good rule of thumb) you should wait for it. So make sure you have TF macroed into your Berserk, and hit both together.

Next up, casting Ferocious Bite during Berserk. Clearly, this is important to do if you have the 4 piece T12 set bonus. As it happens, it is also a small dps up to cast FB during Berserk even if you do not have the 4 piece set bonus. No more complaining about endless Shred spamming during Berserk, FB is back. There are, of course, guard times. Make sure there is at least 5 seconds left on Rip and 3 seconds left on Savage Roar when you cast your 5 combo point FBs.

In case people did not get the message in 4.1, trying to refresh Savage Roar early in order to avoid having it come off of cooldown around the same time as Rip is no longer a dps gain. However, Savage Roar has been buffed in 4.2, and the rules around when to refresh it have changed. In the 4.1 rotation, there was a 6 second Rip guard time on Savage Roar. Basically an optimized rotation would wait to refresh Savage Roar if Rip was going to expire within 6 seconds, even if this meant an extended period of downtime on Savage Roar (as much as 8 seconds). The scales have tipped, if Savage Roar is coming off of cooldown, you don’t check for when Rip is going to expire anymore, you just refresh it. Keep in mind, Rip is still higher in the priority list than Savage Roar, and we do try to refresh it about 2 seconds before it expires, so this is really about the cases where Rip has more than 2 seconds left and/or we have less than 5 combo points. Nonetheless, it is trading off uptime on Rip for uptime on Savage Roar.

Did anyone else feel a cool “Wrath-like” breeze blow by just now? Not only is it a dps up to cast Ferocious Bite during Berserk, but it is also a dps increase to cast it other times. The guard times are very restrictive (can you say “level 80 Wrath“?), 14 seconds for Rip and 10 seconds for Savage Roar, but it does happen. I spent time on the PTR training dummy earlier tonight and it popped up in my Ovale script occasionally. Just be fast, because the window closes quickly.

The final change worth mentioning is in the area of energy pooling. Keep doing it, only more than before. When you are not in the middle of TF or Berserk, refreshing a DoT or debuff or hustling to get a few extra combo points because Rip and/or Savage Roar are about to expire, get your energy up to at least 85. This is a good 10-15 energy higher than what was needed in 4.1.

Now, having gone through all of the changes, it is important to remind all of you to keep these changes in context. Specifically we have a complex priority-based rotation, and all of these changes are still subject to a set of well defined priorities. To understand those, you should spend some time reading either my new Ovale script and/or the latest, greatest Mew sim script (which should be released in the next day or two and is available via SVN). If you really want to get a good feel for the rotation, download Ovale, grab my 4.2 script from the Fluid Druid forums, and play with it on the PTR. The 4.2 Ovale script is incredibly close to the sim script, closer than any other script I have done to date. Just get on a training dummy, setup both Ovale and a cooldown monitor of some sort, and follow the Ovale suggestions. You will quickly get a feel for how the rotation has changed, especially if you keep in mind what I have covered here.

In closing, I like the rotation changes. It has brought some life back into feral play. The endless Shred spamming during Berserk was mind-numbing. I think most of you will appreciate the changes. It does feel a lot more like the Wrath rotation did. Also, the best thing about testing with a premade T12 feral was not having to keep SoTP up and running. That is probably my least favorite set bonus ever. I can’t wait to get 2 piece T12 so I can lose the 4 piece T11 set bonus (hopefully forever).

Best of luck to everyone in Firelands. Soon we will be having Fire Kitty processions and dances! I am looking forward to seeing some cool Fire Kitty videos on Youtube ;)

P.S. there will no longer be zero range Feral Charges. We have estimated that the 4.2 changes are on the order of a 9% dps increase over 4.1 , but on fights where we used to be able to Feral Charge on cooldown while standing next to the boss, expect the improvement to be half of that.

Jun 132011
 

When Blizz announced that there was no new raid in 4.1 I was under the impression that major feral changes would happen there and 4.2 would just be a new tier of raiding.  No big changes for any classes.  I was wrong and am I glad.  Unlike previous patches where we had to sift through all the “OMG! The sky is falling, all druids will quit the game” complaining to find real numbers to crunch there is a general feeling of hopeful anticipation in the feral ranks.  Now that a release has hit the PTR it is time to round it all up and present it to you.

Plate wearing Tanks

Agility

  • Death knights, paladins, and warriors no longer receive any bonus to their chance to dodge from Agility. Their base chance to dodge is now a fixed 5%.

This is not a druid change but several people have gotten confused by others stating “tanks” won’t get dodge from AGI.  We keep our dodge benefit from AGI.  This will keep the other tanks from taking our necks and rings to get more avoidance stats.

All Druids

Buffs

  • All class abilities which place a buff on friendly targets no longer generate any threat. This goes for raid-wide buffs like Mark of the Wild and Power Word: Fortitude, as well as triggered effects such as Blessed Resilience or Fingers of Frost, and single-target buffs like Dark Intent and Hysteria. The exception is buffs which directly cause healing or damage, such as Thorns or Renew. Abilities such as these still generate normal threat.

Ummmm….I included this because it is a change to us.  Not really important, but a change.  I have never pulled a boss or aggro by throwning out Paws on someone, and now i guess i don’t have to worry about it.

Crowd Control

  • Many crowd control abilities no longer cause creatures to attack players when they are cast. The creature will not attack the player when the crowd control wears off, and nearby creatures will not become hostile to the player either. However, if a visible player gets too close to the target creature, the creature will remember and attack the player when the crowd control effect wears off. The intent is to make it easier for dungeon groups to manage crowd control assignments and pulling packs of hostile NPCs. The abilities affected by this change are: Hibernate, Entangling Roots, Wyvern Sting (will still cause hostility when it begins to deal damage), Freezing Trap, Polymorph, Repentance, Shackle Undead, Blind, Hex, Bind Elemental, Banish and Seduction.

Another small change that wont affect ferals running in established groups but will help pugs mainly:

Strength nerf

  • Druids now gain 1 attack power per point of Strength, down from 2. They continue to gain 2 attack power per point of Agility while in Cat Form or Bear Form.

When this was first announced it was a “Sky is falling” topic.  We discussed this over and over.  It is a nerf BUT……it isn’t a big deal by any means.  With all the other changes you won’t notice.  This, I believe, is the counter to plate wearing tanks not getting dodge from AGI.  We now won’t grab their strength items and they will keep their grubby hands off of our AGI items.

PVP nerf

  • Entangling Roots and the equivalent spell triggered by Nature’s Grasp no longer deal damage.

I say PVP nerf simply because if you need,depending on the damage caused by Entangling Root in PVE, you are in more trouble than this could ever provide help for.  Really, no one depends on the damage from this.

Innervate

  • Innervate now grants an ally target 5% of his or her maximum mana over 10 seconds, but still grants 20% of the druid’s maximum mana over 10 seconds when self-cast.

Make no mistake,  this is a buff and will scale to be even better.  It is a minimal buff right now, but raid-geared healers have 5 to 6 times more mana then we do.  Crunching rounded numbers from 372ilvl groups show this to be a 3K-5K buff in the amount of mana the healer will recieve.  As we progress in 4.2 and beyond, healers will gain even larger pools of mana making this buff even better.

Cat

  • Omen of Clarity clearcasting buff now lasts 15 seconds, up from 8 seconds.

This can help in very limited capacities but really, you should be popping your ability on proc.  An example of this helping is on the twin dragons fight.  Valiona begins to take off and you refresh your last DOT but 1 more auto-attack goes off and procs OOC.  Valiona is now out of range to use this and Theralion is not yet in range.  A couple of extra seconds to use your proc is very nice here.

  • Ferocious Bite damage has been increased by 15%. In addition, its base cost has been reduced to 25 energy and it can use up to 25 energy, for up to a 100% damage increase.

A buff to FB!  BUT……not enough.  It is still not recomended to FB above 25% health on target until you get the new 4P bonus.  We will talk about the tier gear later.

  • Mangle (Cat) damage at level 80 and above has been increased to 540% weapon damage, up from 460%.

Direct damage buff.  If you have the 4PT11 buff you will notice this right away.  If not it won’t affect you that much.  On fights with alot of target switching requiring you to constently reapply Mangle debuff this will become noticable also.

  • Ravage damage at level 80 and above has been increased to 950% weapon damage, up from 850%.

Direct damage buff but this makes me sad.  This, coupled with the change to bosses allowing FC in melee range, makes me sad.  Imagine the Chim fight with this buff, and no FC min range like it is right now.  Since they are fixing the issue with no min range to FC bosses it is nice that they buffed this to still make it fun to run out and FC back in.

  • Shred damage at level 80 and above has been increased to 540% weapon damage, up from 450%.

So what button do you push more then any other on a boss fight?  Well guess what, that button just got hooked up to a bigger hammer:)

  • Swipe (Cat) now deals 600% weapon damage at level 80 or higher, down from 670%.

I think we all saw this nerf coming.  And so continues the yo-yo that is feral AOE DPS.  On the plus side this isn’t near the level of change our AOE has gotten nerfed in the past so we might be looking at a reasonable balance here.  We still have no sustained AOE but out burst will be nice.

  • Rake initial damage on hit now deals the same damage as each periodic tick (and is treated the same for all combat calculations). Periodic damage now gains 14.7% of attack power per tick, up from 12.6%, and base damage per tick has been lowered from 557 to 56. There is a known issue with Rake’s tooltip being incorrect from this change will be corrected in a future patch

Oh……….My………….Gosh!!!!  With all the direct damage buffs it felt as though we where shifting out of DoTing but this, my friends, is so nice.  This along with swipe nerf has got me in math mode trying to figure out how to AoE again.  More on that to come.

  • Savage Roar now grants 80% increased damage to melee auto attacks, up from 50%.

SR was so weak after Cata drop.  I am glad they did this.

Bear

From Blizz:

Bear damage abilities were scaling too fast with higher gear levels compared to other tanks, so the following balance changes have been made. All the numbers cited are for level 85 characters; numbers will be lower for lower-level characters.

  • Faerie Fire (Feral) base damage has been raised to 2950, up from 679. Attack power scaling has been decreased to 10.8%, down from 15%.
  • Maul base damage has been raised to 35, up from 8. Attack power scaling has been decreased to 19%, down from 26.4%.
  • Pulverize weapon damage percent has been decreased to 60%, down from 80%. Damage per Lacerate application has been increased to 1623, up from 361.
  • Mangle (Bear) weapon damage percent has been decreased to 190%, down from 260%. Bonus damage has been increased to 3306, down from 754.
  • Swipe base damage has been increased to 929, up from 215.  Attack power scaling has been decreased to 12.3%, down from 17.1%.
  • Thrash initial base damage has been increased to 1042, up from 339. Initial damage attack power scaling has been decreased to 9.82%, down from 19.2%. Periodic base damage has been increased to 581, up from 189. Periodic damage attack power scaling has been decreased to 1.67%, down from 3.26%. In addition, a bug was corrected where armor decreased the periodic damage done by this ability.
  • Lacerate initial base damage has been increased to 3608, up from 2089. Initial damage attack power scaling has been decreased to 5.52%, down from 7.66%. Periodic base damage has been increased to 69, up from 16. Periodic damage attack power scaling has been decreased too. 369%, down from 0.512%

All of these Bear changes will result in less bear DPS/Threat but you will be getting new and better gear soon.

  • Natural Reaction damage reduction has been increased to 9/18%, up from 6/12%

Now that is a nice buff.  What bear doesn’t want to take less damage?

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Berserk duration increase is now 10 seconds, up from 5.

The new 4P bonus coupled with this will make for some energy starved Beserks

  • Glyph of Ferocious Bite has been redesigned. It now causes Ferocious Bite to heal the caster for 1% of maximum health for each 10 energy used.

So FB hits harder and costs less.  With this glyph it will now heal a bit also.  Could save your life.

  • Glyph of Innervate now causes the druid to gain 10% of his or her maximum mana over 10 seconds when Innervate is used on a friendly target, in addition to Innervate‘s base effect.

I included this becouse of the changes to Innervate itself.  DO NOT use this glyph.

Druid Bug Fixes

  • It is no longer possible in some encounters to use Feral Charge when closer than its minimum range.

Well it was fun while it lasted but really this needed to happen.  I don’t like feeling like I must use a broken mechanic to play.

And now the biggest change of them all.  I seriously need to embed a music file here with something truly epic. No not epic, LEDGENDARY!!!!!!!

Cats and Kettens I give you(pause for effect)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FIRECAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

firecat

Honestly I couldn’t care less what the stats are….but they are really good.

I also don’t care what the staff looks like…..but it’s really cool.

All I really care about is that it will make me look like this

firecat 2

And here is a nice video.

So how does it work?  First the staff drops off of Fandral Staghelm.  He is the next to last boss in Firelands.  You might need to bribe/maim/beg/kill the hunters in your group as it is a good staff for them.  Once you have the staff of course equip it.  It works 2 ways.  If you have the staff equipped, you will turn into FIRECAT whenever you enter combat.  Otherwise, it has a 2 hour cooldown that lets you right click it and turn into FIRECAT anywhere you like.  The effect of the use lasts until cancelled or you leave your current zone.  Floofles reported on our forums that he macroed a cancel aura into ALL of his abilities and while raiding was able to make his cat go in and out of FIRECAT mode constantly during fights making what he called a “Disco Cat”.

Well that wraps up 4.2, people.  Of course, 4.2 hasn’t gone live so there is still time for Blizz to make changes, but I like what they have done so far.

As always be sure to subscribe to the RSSfeed and use the forums. Are you on Twitter? I am, follow me @Sylvaneart. Feel free to PM me with any questions you might have, but the forums on this site are your best bet. This will help to answer one question one time instead of one question multiple times. This site is a posting spot for many great cats. If you are the noob with a noob question and are a little embarrassed then a PM will do fine. I will never ridicule you.
Sylvaneart

Mar 292011
 

The cat threads across the various forums are littered with people asking questions about what gems and enchants should be used, and how to reforge. The advice is varied and in many cases out of date as people have not fully embraced the changes that 4.06 made. The following three rules are all you need. If you spend more time thinking about gemming, enchanting and reforging than the amount of time it takes to read this post, you are spending your time on the wrong subject. You would be better suiting thinking about your rotation and the various boss encounters your guild is working on if you want to make significant improvements to your dps.

1. Always gem for agility. Agility is generally worth about three times the stat value of any of the secondary stats. Unless a socket bonus is worth 14+ agility for a single gem socket, ignore it. In the current content there are only a few items in the game where it is worthwhile to get the socket bonus (helms, tier chest, Sinestra belt). Everything else should be gemmed with agility (delicate). As it happens, in all three cases where it is worth getting the socket bonus, the socket color is blue – so you will be using agility/hit gems for the blue sockets in those items (glinting).

2. Use the known BiS enchants. The BiS enchants are well understood. Agility/haste for the helm; agility/mastery for the shoulders; agility for the back*, bracers, weapon and boots; stats for the chest; Attack power/crit for the legs; strength for the gloves. Don’t use any other enchants. * 65 crit is a viable alternative for the back.

3. Get mastery on every item. Mastery continues to be the best of the secondary stats and is generally worth about 20% more than the other secondary stats. If an item does not have mastery on it, reforge the highest available secondary stat to mastery. Per my post 4.06 – the Homogenization of Secondary Stats the difference in relative values of all of the secondary stats other than mastery are pretty close and varying them will have minimal impact on your dps. Once you have mastery on every item, then you can reforge selectively as needed (hit until 4.1 for interrupts) or desired (for example some people like to reforge to expertise on Al’akir). In general having haste and crit balanced provides good results, although some people prefer to reforge to hit/expertise in order to have a more stable rotation and consistent results on fights with target switching.

Mar 142011
 

FIRST:  forget all you know or think you know about T10 raiding and before.  It is obsolete.  The name of the game is World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.  Unless you are in a top world progression guild with many geared alts, chances are you won’t have the optimal raid comp.  When this happens your guild will need people to fill roles that they normally don’t do.  Now, I am not talking about a cat trying to heal (maybe I am?) or casting Wrath.  What I am talking about is many of the unused abilities that people complain about.  Let’s see what we have to work with here.

Raid Buffs

  • Mark of the Wild – Increase the friendly target’s Strength, Agility, Stamina, and Intellect by 5%, and all magical resistances for 1 hour.

Pound for pound this raid wide buff is still the best there is.  A Paladin’s Kings is the same now, and the 2 don’t stack. But what if you don’t have a Pally, or the only 1 is buffing something else?

  • Leader of the Pack – While in Cat Form or Bear Form, the Leader of the Pack increases critical strike chance of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 5%.

Oh yes, LotP.  We love you.  And our raid loves us because of you.

  • Stampeding Roar – The druid roars, increasing all nearby friendly players movement speed within 10 yards by 40% for 6 sec.

OK this doesn’t have a lot of uses right now besides helping people run back from a wipe faster.  But put it on your bar somewhere.  It is great for fire runner on Atramedes.  Body and Soul is considered better since it can be cast at range but if you have no priest (or he isn’t any good) then it’s up to you.  I try not to mention patch 4.1 too much but Stampeding Roar is getting a buff.  The duration and speed increase are increasing to 60% for 8 sec.  If you have talented Feral Swiftness (and I am sure you have) SR now becomes a 10 yard root breaker. /purrrrrr

Boss Debuffs

  • Mangle – Mangle the target for 460% normal weapon damage plus (315*460/100) and causes the target to take 30% additional damage from bleed effects for 1 min.

Ah Mangle.  How we love you.  So many people in your raid will love you for making sure this never falls off.  It does not stack with Arms Warrior’s Trauma, but then an Arms Warrior should not be raiding.

  • Infected wounds – Your Shred, Ravage, Maul, and Mangle attacks cause an Infected Wound in the target.  The Infected Wound reduces the movement speed of the target by 50% and the attack speed by 20%. Lasts 12 sec.

Many will point out that the tanks can do this.  And well they can, but when you get into fights with multiple mobs and such, some tanks don’t apply their debuff.  Is this the tank’s fault? Yes, but sometimes you just have to deal.  You will need to move points around for this and should talk to your tanks to see if they need you to do this.

  • Demoralizing Roar – The Druid Roars, reducing the physical damage caused by all enemies within 10 yards by 10% for 30 sec.

Hey, wait, that is for bears.  Well, don’t laugh but I have had to do this.  If you have a tank with awesome mitigation/survival their threat is usually lacking.  I have gone in on pulls with the tank and put up demo roar at the start of the fight so they don’t have to use a GCD.  Then I go cat and do my thing.  By the time demo falls off, they have a comfortable threat lead and can do it themselves.  This rarely happens.

  • Feral Fairy Fire – Decreases the armor of the target by 4% for 5min. While affected the target cannot stealth or turn invisible.  Stacks up to 3 times.

If you talent Feral Aggression (which I am sure you have) this applies at 3 stacks.  Tanks love this for initial threat.  Every other non caster will love you for it also.

Utility

  • Entangling Roots – Roots the target in place and causes 370 Nature damage over 30 sec.  Damage caused may interrupt the affect.

Not a strong CC but it is a CC that may be needed.

  • Cyclone – Tosses the enemy target into the air, preventing all action but making them invulnerable for up to 6 sec.  Only 1 target can be affected by your Cyclone at a time.

This is a really nice CC to put on Mind-controlled raid members.  It takes them out of the fight without causing any extra damage for your healers to have to deal with.

  • Hibernate – Forces the enemy target to sleep for up to 40 sec. Any damage will awaken the target.  Only one target can be forced to hibernate at a time.  Only works on Beasts and Dragonkin.

This CC has limited uses as far as targets go, but it is VERY powerful.  40 seconds is a lifetime in a fight.

  • Innervate – Causes the target to regenerate mana equal to 20% of the casting Druid’s maximum mana pool over 10 sec.

Many think this is worthless now-not so.  Remember in progression the slightest difference separates a kill and another wipe.  Think of this.  Healer goes down and gets rezzed.  They still have no mana.  Pop MotW + Innervate.  It isn’t much, but some mana is better than no mana.  It might buy you that extra 10-20 seconds you needed.

  • Rebirth – Returns the spirit to the body, restoring a dead target to life with 20% health and 20% mana.

Here it is.  Rebirth!  People love us for it.  Most are jealous of us for it, an in-combat resurrection.  If you glyph it (no reason you shouldn’t) your target comes back with 100% health.  In 4.1 DK s will get this.  That’s nice for them but give me the druid that has been doing this for years.  A druid can do it better IMHO.  Example: A mage goes down.  You pop Rebirth (glyphed) + MotW + Innervate.  You now have a mage with full health, the major raid buff, and 20% of his mana plus 20% of mine.  Like I said before, these are the little things that can make or break your attempt.

  • Remove Corruption – Nullifies corrupting effects on the friendly target, removing 1 Curse and 1 Poison effect.

Healer job?  Yes.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t help in fights where there is massive damage going out taking up the healers’ time.  At least get yourself cleaned off.

  • Skull Bash – You charge and skull bash the target, interrupting spellcasting and preventing any spell in that school from being cast for 4 sec.

This costs too much and is slowed by travel time, so many have said that if your RL puts a feral on interrupts they are bad.  Well ya know what, I interrupt all the time.  I do it because I am reliable.  I do it because I am good at it.  I do it because we don’t have the perfect raid setup and someone has to do it.

  • Soothe – Soothes the target, dispelling all enrage effects.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Healing

  • Tranquility – Heals 5 nearby lowest health party or raid members within 30 yards with tranquility every 2 sec for 8 sec.

With Nurturing Instincts talented, this becomes very powerful.  With its 8min CD you will only use it once per boss.  This is another of the game-changers we have.  This can save a wipe in the final seconds of a Cho’gall kill.  We also have other heals but Tranquility + Nuturing Instincts is the big 1 for your raid.

Virtually NOTHING I have shown you here will help your personal DPS, but raiding isn’t about you alone.  One person’s DPS will not carry a group to glory.  Your #1 job should still be to max your DPS.  But remember, a druid is so much more than a face ripper.  We have utility in many areas.  What really sets us apart is the caliber of player.  From what I have experienced there aren’t a lot of good players in a specific class besides the druids of the world.  Some classes still just mash buttons and do great DPS but those easier classes also have a ton of players that stand in fire or say, “you want me to do what?  I don’t have that on my bar.”  A good RL will recognize your class’s deficiencies but also expect you to get the job done.  This is where we start seeing the great player move to the lead.  It is time to step up and be the leader.  Avoid avoidable damage.  Keep your buffs/debuffs going.  DPS the bosses eyes out.  BR, MotW, Innervate, and ect….  At all times make sure you are doing everything you can to help the raid.  Your raid members will notice and be glad of it.

OH MANGS!  I am on twitter now (@charliesheen is cracking me up).  Follow me @Sylvaneart.  As always be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed and use the forums. Feel free to PM me with any questions you might have, but the forums on this site are your best bet. This will help to answer one question one time instead of one question multiple times. This site is a posting spot for many great cats. If you are the noob with a noob question and are a little embarrassed then a PM will do fine. I will never ridicule you.

Sylvaneart

Jul 082010
 

So, I’m a little late to the RealID condemnation party, but I’d like to add my thoughts on the new real name commentary policy.

Why this is a bad thing

  • The death of escapism: I interact with my professional contacts as me. I interact with my gaming contacts as my handle (Alaron). When I’m playing WoW, I don’t want to be Joe Schmoe, I want to be Alaron, the druid. I get heals from my guildy Elassar, not John Smith from Los Angeles. My guildy Valerian tanks bosses, not Sarah Jane from New York.  One of the major draws of the Internet is the ability to create new identities, for good or ill, and this policy eliminates that.
  • The end of privacy: While I believe that this will change eventually, gaming currently suffers from a negative stigma. While I believe that my line of work (the Army) is reasonably tolerant of gaming in general, all it takes is one intolerant boss writing one negative comment on my evaluation reports to damage my career. (For that matter, they’re not too happy about bloggers, either.) This is the primary reason why I’ve taken steps to separate Alaron from my real identity. I applaud those who are in the position to communicate under their real name, but many are not.

Why this is a good thing

  • The restoration of a community: It’s a generally accepted rule for Internet discussion that as the size of the audience increases, the usefulness of the discussion decreases. Blizzard is taking a bold step towards being the exception to the rule with this change. I expect official forum activity will decline DRAMATICALLY, which will make it possible for the existing moderators to do their jobs. I’m not sure that this will lead to the result Blizzard expects (all the good posters stay, all the bad posters go) because I expect that many of the best posters are also the ones with the most to lose, and will chose not to participate. Either way, though, forums will become legitimately useful again for new players, which is the primary target for Cataclysm.
  • Compliance with Korean law: In 2009, Korea passed a law requiring realname identification for sites with more than 100,000 visitors/day. Starcraft is a huge part of Korean culture. (There are two cable channels devoted to showing matches, frequently showing the same match from the perspective of each player. A pro-league for SC2 players exists, complete with wagering and match-fixing.  Blizzard announced SC2 in Korea. Etc.) While Blizzard could probably have pressed for an exemption to the law, they may have not wanted to risk it.

Why this is irrelevant

  • Forum posters <<< WoW players: I don’t know the actual numbers, but I suspect that the amount of people who actually use the official forums is incredibly low compared to the number of players. As of this writing, the number of posts in the official announcement/comment thread stands at 41k…the amount of players worldwide is over 11 million.
  • Existing forums: Many, many forums already exist outside of the official forum for WoW discussion, and those forums aren’t going away.

The end of the day

If Blizzard wants to gut its forum traffic…go ahead! It’s their choice, after all. At the end of the day, this doesn’t stifle any discussion; it just moves it to another location. I was initially opposed to the decision, but if this means that Blizz can spend less resources on forum moderation and more on game development/responses to player concerns, I’m all for it.

Jun 022010
 

This post incorporates material from the Cataclysm Alpha. If that bothers you, please stop reading now.

Resto:

The New Tree of Life

  • Tree of Life – 5 minute cooldown. 13% base mana. Shapeshift into the tree of life, increasing healing done by 15% and increasing your armor by 240% but reducing your movement speed by 50%. In addition, some of your spells are temporarly enhanced while shapeshifted. Lasts 45 sec. 5 minute cooldown. Enhanced spells: Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Regrowth, Thorns(NA), Wrath.
  • Lifebloom – While in Tree of Life form: Applies an additional application.
  • Regrowth – While in Tree of Life form: This spell is an instant cast.
  • Wild Growth – While in Tree of Life form: Affects an additional 2 targets.
  • Wrath – While in Tree of Life form: Cast time reduced by 50%, damage increased by 30%.
  • Entangling Roots – While in Tree of Life form: Damage increased by 200%. (Not sure if this is damage done, which is currently laughable and would remain so, or damage taken before breaking, which would be pretty sweet.)

Resto wanted a tank-saving cooldown like GS/PS; it didn’t get one, but hopefully, they won’t be as necessary under the new healing model. 4xLB and extra WG targets are a bit underwhelming, though a 4xLB sustained with Nourish could be pretty solid tank HPS. Now, +15% healing done with insta-Regrowths plus Efflorescence? Very nice. The movement debuff is back, though, and it greatly limits the utility of the cooldown.

Other changes

(Now that I look at it, most of the rest of the patch notes are the same as what was on mmo-champion, so I’ll just review the high points.)

  • Nature’s Bounty [NYI] – Increases the critical effect chance of your Regrowth spell by 10/20/30/40/50% on targets at or below 25% health, and you have a 20/40/60/80/100% chance when you critically heal with Healing Touch and Nourish to reduce the remaining cooldown of your Swiftmend spell by 0.5 sec.
  • Empowered Touch – Your Healing Touch spell gains an additional 10/20% of your bonus healing effects, and your Nourish spell has a 50/100% chance to refresh the duration of your Lifebloom on targets.
  • Gift of the Earthmother [NYI] – Increases the healing done by the bloom effect of your Lifebloom by 2/4/6/8/10%, and your Rejuvenation spell also instantly heals for 4/7/10/13/16% of the total periodic effect.

Nature’s Bounty- The improved crit chance on Regrowth is nice, but hopefully classes won’t be hanging around 25% too often. The cooldown reduction feels underpowered; 1 sec would be better. Feels like a PvP talent.
Empowered Touch- Nourish rolling Lifebloom is very nice; what do we do with the bloom portion of the spell, though?  I guess it can still be used as a form of raid-healing, and it’ll still shine for PvP. Hopefully blooms will be less overheal.
GOTEM- Our best set bonus got baked into a talent. Still meh about blooms.

Balance:

(Again, not totally familiar with what’s new in this build, so just hitting the high points.)

  • Typhoon – Daze time increased to 6 seconds from 3 seconds.
  • Solar Beam [NYI] – (Instant) You summon a beam of solar light over the enemy target’s location, interupting the enemy target and silencing all enemy targets under the beam within 10 yards while it is active. Solar Beam lasts for 10 sec.
  • Starsurge – You fuse the power of the moon and sun, launching a devastating blast of energy at the target. Causes X to X damage to the target and knocks them down.
  • Lunar Guidance – Increases the radius of your Solar Beam by 3/5/7 yds and your Starsurge instantly generates 6/11/16 Lunar or Solar Energy, whichever is greater.
  • Euphoria – When you critically hit with Wrath or Starfire, you instantly gain an additional 3/6 Lunar or 5/10 Solar Energy. When you reach a Solar or Lunar eclipse, you instantly are restored 7/14% of your total mana.
  • Wrath of Cenarius [NYI] – When you cast Moonfire, you gain Wrath of Cenarius. Wrath of Cenarius increases the damage done by your Moonfire by 3/6/9%, and reduces the mana cost by 10/20/30%. This effect is refreshed and amplified when you move, stacking up to 3 times. Effect lasts for 3 sec.
  • Improved Eclipse – Increases the amount of Lunar or Solar energy generated from your Starfire and Wrath by 31%, and when critically hit by a melee or ranged attack, you will instantly generate 7 Lunar or Solar Energy.
  • Fungal Growth [NYI] – When your Treants die or your Wild Mushrooms are triggered, you spawn a Fungal Growth at its wake covering the area within 8 yards, slowing all enemy targets by 70%. Lasts 10 sec.

Solar Beam/Lunar Guidance looks to be quite powerful. 17 yds is a pretty big radius; that’s an interrupt and at best a 2 second run time to get clear of it, assuming perfect reactions. I’m assuming mages can’t blink out? Ouch. Will NPC casters have AI to run out of the beam? Will they run to melee?
Starsurge/Wrath of Cenarius looks to be the solution for damage on the move. Moonfire spam FTW.
Likewise, Euphoria seems to be the solution for mana recovery, now that the mana regen talents are mostly gone.
Fungal Growth looks to be far too powerful, especially in combination with Solar Beam. I’d expect them to prevent them interacting somehow. (Let’s face it, a 5-6s AOE silence is OP.) Right now, boomkin look to be quite a force in PvP.

    Apr 272010
     

    Well, I was considering writing a post about soloing one boss in ZA this weekend, and picking up Mojo (sadly, bears don’t do well solo against bleeds or magic damage). I also considering writing a post about how our 25-man LK raid successfully killed the first Val’kyr spawn and dodged the first Defile with no deaths…once. (Now we’ve got to figure out how to handle healer positioning for Infest.) However, the raiding world changed today, as Blizzard announced dramatic new plans for raid structuring in Cataclysm. In brief:

    • 10’s and 25’s will share a lockout and drop the exact same gear. It may be possible for raidleaders to switch between 25-man and 10-man modes for different bosses.
    • 25’s will drop a higher proportion of gear to compensate for the logistical difficulties of forming them. Other 25-specific rewards are still TBD.
    • Achievements will be independent of raid size.
    • 10’s and 25’s will be much closer in difficulty.

    Wow. Just wow. Blizz’s stated goal is they want people to go where they enjoy- they want people who like 10’s to do 10’s, they want people who like 25’s to do 25’s, and not feel shoehorned into the other type because of progression demands. Hypothetically, this will reduce burnout (less raiding + slower progression). So, what happens when they do this? Let’s look at some different player perspectives.

    • Casual-Raiding Carl will struggle at first, as there will be very few raiding PUG’s. (No more bored guild raiders pugging the opposite size.) However, he’ll probably be occupied in 5-man content for a while; and once he’s ready to raid, there should be many more earlier-tier PUG’s as people gear alts. These PUG’s will almost uniformly be 10-man; nobody will want to spend the extra time and effort for the same return.
    • Hardcore Harry will stick to 25’s at first, for the extra gear potential. If 10’s turn out easier, though? /wave.
    • Ten-Strict Tom will be ecstatic. Hopefully, his guild’s efforts will finally be seen as worthy.
    • Average 25=Man Raider Annie will stick it out for a while; however, when progression becomes difficult, and all the normal raider issues crop up (RL, Internet problems, etc.)…she’ll be mighty tempted to listen to calls to split the guild into two 10-man teams.
    • Officer Olivia will ask, seriously, if it’s worth the effort to field a full 25-man roster every raid night, when 2×10 offers much more flexibility. The temptation will be very strong to field a top 10 “A-Team” and a lesser “B-Team.”

    Having raided (and recruited for) both 10 and 25-man, if you take the gear advantage away, I don’t see what 25-man has to offer. Is the “epic” feeling worth the logistical headaches, the multiplied organizational time, the reduced FPS, etc? It’s up to you.

    That said, I HIGHLY doubt that Blizzard will be able to balance the difficulty of the two, without overly homogenizing classes or encounters. Void zones mechanics favor 10’s (more space to move…see Defile.) Raid composition mechanics can cause vast swings in difficulty (some mechanics become much easier with certain classes…see Disc Priests and Infest.)

    Overall, though, I’m largely in favor of this change. Combined with the info about a new weekly cap on top-tier “badges” (points), this shows that Bliz is really trying to slow down content and reduce burnout…which is great in my book.

    Apr 092010
     

    Yay! The druid notes are up! Let’s take a look…notes in blue quotes, analysis as we go.

    New Druid Abilities

    Thrash (Level 81): Thrash deals damage and causes all targets within 10 yards to bleed every 2 seconds for 6 seconds. The intent here is to give bears another button to hit while tanking. Talents will affect the bleed, such as causing Swipe to deal more damage to bleeding targets. 5-second cooldown. 25 Rage.

    Okay, this is cool, kind of like an AOE Lacerate. Of course, they’ve already said we won’t have as many AOE situations as in WOTLK, so it remains to be seen how useful it will actually be. Hopefully, it will be part of the single-target rotation as well.

    Stampeding Roar (Level 83): The druid roars, increasing the movement of all allies within 10 yards by 40% for 8 seconds. Stampeding Roar can be used in cat or bear form, but bears might have a talent to drop the cooldown. The goal of this ability is to give both bears and cats a little more situational group utility. 3-minute cooldown. No cost.

    Hmm…seems I said something in my last post about movement being a key thing in Cata? :) It’s hard to really judge the value of this ability without seeing the encounters that it’ll be designed for. Right now, it feels a bit weak with the 3 minute CD. (We’ll probably see something like Mimiron or Sindragosa where you have to leave point X within Y seconds…unfortunately, the run-out timers are tight enough that you really need to use this preemptively to save someone who’s slow.)

    Wild Mushroom (Level 85): Grows a magical mushroom at the target location. After 4 seconds the mushroom becomes invisible. Enemies who cross the mushroom detonate it, causing it to deal area-of-effect damage, though its damage component will remain very effective against single targets. The druid can also choose to detonate the mushroom ahead of time. This is primarily a tool for the Balance druid, and there will be talents that play off of it. No cooldown. 40-yard range. Instant cast.

    Please tell me this is a joke. Mushrooms? MUSHROOMS? WHAT THE HELL? Lord, and moonkin get laughed at now… Um, as for the actual spell, not really sure what to say. It’s basically a proximity mine, which won’t have a lot of PvE application. (…trails off, mumbling something about design committee deadlines)

    Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

    In addition to the new abilities listed above, we intend to make changes to some of the other abilities and mechanics with which you’re already familiar. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of our goals for each spec.

    All heal-over-time spells (HoTs) will benefit from crit and haste innately in Cataclysm. Hasted HoTs do not reduce their duration, but instead add additional HoT ticks. Haste will also benefit Energy generation while in cat form.

    About what we expected from the previous class notes. Unresolved is the exact nature of how the haste works on the HOT…is it stepwise or linear? If it’s stepwise, then gearing is complicated again, as we have to gear for the haste level where we get 7 Rejuv ticks instead of 6, or something. If it’s linear, then how does it work? Also, nothing about Feral or Moonkin DoTs.

    Unlike the other healers, Restoration druids will not be receiving any new spells. They have plenty to work with already, and our challenge instead is to make sure all of them have a well-defined niche. A druid should be able to tank-heal with stacks of Lifebloom, spot-heal a group with Nourish and Regrowth, and top off lightly wounded targets with Rejuvenation.

    As expected from previous discussion. I assume Healing Touch will get some love, Nourish/Regrowth will be differentiated, and Tranquility will be made raid-wide (and probably nerfed to compensate).

    We want to add tools to cat form and depth to bear form. If a Feral cat is going to fill a very similar niche to that of a rogue, warrior or Enhancement shaman, it needs a few more tools — primarily a reliable interrupt. Bears need to be pushing a few more buttons just so the contrast between tanking and damage-dealing is not so steep.

    Yep! Yay for new interrupt. Pretty sure that was the #1 thing on my list for Cata.

    Barkskin will be innately undispellable.

    Yay for PvP, though trees won’t have quite the survivability anymore (because they won’t be trees…see below).

    We will be buffing the damage of Mangle (cat) significantly so that when cat druids cannot Shred, they are not at such a damage-dealing loss.

    Erm…they’re not really losing that much damage right now, if it’s Glyphed. I detailed this in a previous post. Hey, why not just make Shred usable from the front?

    Druids will lose Abolish Poison with the dispel mechanics change, but Restoration druids will gain Dispel Magic (on friendly targets) as a talent. All druids can still remove poisons with Cure Poison and remove curses with Remove Curse.

    As already noted. I thought they were rolling them together into one spell?

    New Talents and Talent Changes

    Tree of Life is changing from a passive talent to a cooldown-based talent, similar to Metamorphosis. Mechanically, it feels unfair for a druid to have to give up so much offense and utility in order to be just as good at healing as the other classes who are not asked to make that trade. We are exploring the exact benefit the druid gets from Tree of Life. It could strictly be better healing, or it could be that each heal behaves slightly different. You also will not be able to be banished in Tree of Life form (this will probably be true of Metamorphosis as well). Additionally, we would like to update the Tree of Life model so that it feels more exciting when you do decide to go into that form. Our feeling is that druids rarely actually get to show off their armor, so it would be nice to have at least one spec that looked like a night elf or tauren (and soon troll or worgen) for most of the time.

    Uh-oh. Blogstorm coming in 3…2…1… Seriously, I understand the reasoning behind it, but healing really demands consistency, not cooldowns. A lot of people really like their Tree form, and will push HARD against this change.

    We want to make the Feral cat damage rotation slightly more forgiving. We do not want to remove what druids like about their gameplay, but we do want to make it less punishing to miss, say, a Savage Roar or Rake. The changes here will be on par with increasing the duration of Mangle like we did for patch 3.3.3.

    This was expected, though I’m not sure how you make it “slightly” less punishing. Perhaps our DoTs will ended up being a lower proportion of our damage, and/or SR will be less of a buff.

    Balance druids will have a new talent ability called Nature’s Torrent, which strikes for either Nature or Arcane damage depending on which will do the most damage (or possibly both), and moves the Eclipse meter more (details below). The improved version of Nature’s Torrent also reduces the target’s movement speed. 10-second cooldown.

    See? This is a good name for a balance spell. Is the mushroom committee taking notes? Moonkin needed another instant, and it looks like they’re getting it.

    Restoration druids will have a new talent called Efflorescence, which causes a bed of healing flora to sprout beneath targets that are critically healed by Regrowth.

    This is cool. I wonder if this will replace the HOT component on Regrowth.

    We plan on giving Feral cats and bears a Kick/Pummel equivalent — an interrupt that is off the global cooldown and does no damage. We feel like they need this utility to be able to fill the melee role in a dungeon or raid group, and to give them more PvP utility.

    About time…though if we get one, the rets will want one too, I’m sure. I’ve successfully been a part of an interrupt rotation with Maim, and it’s absolutely destructive to your DPS.

    We want to make sure Feral and Balance druids feel like good options for an Arena team. They need the tools to where you might consider a Feral druid over an Arms warrior, or a Balance druid over a mage or warlock. Remember that the PvP landscape will probably look pretty different for Cataclysm with a focus on rated, competitive Battlegrounds.

    Sounds good.

    Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

    Balance

    • Spell Damage
    • Spell Haste
    • Eclipse

    Eclipse: We are moving Eclipse from a talent into a core mechanic of the class and making it less random. Balance druids will have a new UI element that shows a sun and a moon. Whenever they cast an Arcane spell, it will move the UI closer to the sun, and buff their Nature damage. Whenever they cast a Nature spell, it will move the UI closer to the moon, and buff their Arcane damage. The gameplay intention is to alternate Arcane and Nature spells (largely Starfire and Wrath) to maintain the balance.

    Erm, okay, this seems contradictory. I can boost my damage in one school by primarily casting in that school…but I’m supposed to maintain a “balance?”

    Feral (Cat)

    • Melee Damage
    • Melee Critical Damage
    • Bleed Damage

    Lessee, way back on March 9th I said, “…bonus 1 will be Bear +damage reduction / Cat +damage increase, bonus 2 will be +agility, and bonus 3? Dunno. Maybe Cat +bleed damage, Bear +%HP?” Looks like I came pretty close. :P It doesn’t surprise me that they’re boosting crit damage instead of crit rate, with all the cap issues we’re having now.

    Feral (Bear)

    • Damage Reduction
    • Vengeance
    • Savage Defense


    Bleed Damage and Savage Defense: Feral druids will receive two sets of passive bonuses depending on whether the druid is in cat or bear form. Bleed Damage will be improved for cats. Savage Defense is the current bear mechanic for converting crits into damage absorption and will be improved for bears.

    Vengeance: This is a mechanic to ensure that tank damage (and therefore threat) doesn’t fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs will have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus. Whenever a tank gets hit, Vengeance will give them a stacking attack power buff equal to 5% of the damage done, up to a maximum of 10% of the character’s unbuffed health. For boss encounters we expect that tanks will always have the attack power bonus equal to 10% of their health. The 5% and 10% bonuses assume 51 talent points have been put into the Feral tree and the druid is in bear form — these values will be smaller at lower levels. Remember, you only get this bonus if you have spent the most talent points in the Feral tree and are in bear form, so you won’t see Balance, Restoration, or Feral druids in cat form running around with it. Vengeance will let us continue to make tank gear more or less the way we do today — there will be some damage-dealing stats, but mostly survival-oriented stats. Druids typically have more damage-dealing stats even on their tanking gear, so the Vengeance benefit may be smaller, but overall the goal is that all four tanks do about the same damage when tanking.

    Kalon’s (Yes, THAT Kalon, he’s back, sorta. :)) got a long post up about Vengeance, so I won’t discuss it too much. I don’t really share his pessimism…I think Vengeance gives the developers a very easy option with which to boost tank damage/threat if needed.

    Restoration

    • Healing
    • Meditation
    • HoT Scale Healing

    HoT Scale Healing: HoTs will do increased healing on more wounded targets. The mechanic is similar to that of the Restoration shaman, but with HoTs instead of direct heals. In Cataclysm, we anticipate druids using a greater variety of their spells so there is a distinction between healing and HoT healing.

    This is better for us then for a Shaman, I’d imagine, as this will help directly with what HoT’s are best at…high-efficiency HPS.

    Overall? Ferals got a few new toys, but nothing overly special. We didn’t need much, honestly. A ranged silence would have been nice, but I’ll take the new interrupt for kitty form and be happy. Meanwhile, restos lost their iconic form, and got nothing of substance back in return, while moonkin got…mushrooms. Exploding mushrooms. Yeah, I’m happy to be a feral.