Patch notes for the Public Test Realms were released on Friday and include several changes to the druid class along with the addition of the druid epic flight form quest.
The Class Eliminator™ in its most recent incarnation
Druid Epic Flight Form:
The Druid Epic flight form will be available through a series of quests, similar to the Warlock and Paladin Epic mount quests before it. This quest series will also open up a new boss in Sethekk Halls, and ultimately lead to the epic flight form.
- The Druid Epic Flight Form is now available through a series of quests.
- Barkskin now reduces all damage taken, with its duration reduced to 12
seconds and cooldown reduced to 1 minute. The tooltip has been adjusted to indicate this ability can be used while frozen, incapacitated, or cowering in fear. That functionality was already present, but not listed in the tooltip.
- Bear Form and Dire Bear Form: The bonus health from shapeshifting into these forms will again be removed correctly when shifting out of these forms.
- Cyclone: This ability will no longer work on hunters with The Beast Within active or hunter pets with Bestial Wrath active.
- Feral Charge now suppresses all Slowing effects while charging the target.
- Fixed a data error that caused Swiftmend to generate more threat than intended.
- Force of Nature: These pets will now come into the game with full health, including that gained from a percentage of their master’s stamina.
- Gift of the Wild, ranks 1 and 2, are now available on trainers.
- Gift of the Wild: Rank 3 of this ability now has the same range as ranks 1 and 2.
- Improved Leader of the Pack: This ability will no longer generate threat.
- Lacerate: The tooltip has been adjusted to indicate it does initial bleed damage when the ability first lands.
- Lifebloom: Each additional application of this spell will now include the full bonus from effects which increase healing. The final heal, however, is still unaffected by stacking multiple applications of this spell.
- Mangle(Bear): Damage increased by 15%, but bonus threat reduced so that overall threat generation will be unchanged.
- Nature’s Grace: This talent is now triggered by Swiftmend and Lifebloom, and is triggered by and affects Cyclone.
- Nature’s Grasp: The mana cost has been removed from all ranks as intended.
- Omen of Clarity: This spell is no longer castable in Tree of Life Form or Moonkin Form.
- Prowl will now be broken correctly by damage shields such as Oil of Immolation.
- Rake: The tooltip has been adjusted to indicate the initial damage done is bleed damage. In addition, Rake can now always be re-applied, even when Mangle is active.
- Shapeshifting will no longer remove the Rotting Putrescence creature debuff.
- Subtlety (Restoration Talent) now applies to all spells, not just healing spells.
- Swiftmend: This ability will now be correctly penalized for casting low rank Rejuvenations and Regrowths just as other healing spells are penalized.
- Teleport: Moonglade: This spell is no longer castable in Tree of Life Form.
- Tree of Life Form: The tooltip has been corrected to indicate Nature’s Swiftness and Rebirth are castable in this form.
I think that the epic flight form looks amazing. I was afraid that we’d have to spend vast sums of money on material quest components the same way that paladins and warlocks do for their epic mount quests,
but judging from an epic flightform quest walkthrough, that doesn’t look to be the case. One of the rewards in the quest chain is a 10% to flight speed trinket which compensates for the leatherworked riding crop not affecting flight form (and saving me 110 gold), and the form looks amazing so I’m quite pleased.
They keep fiddling with Barkskin and Tranquility, I suspect because they’re so often used together for the interruption prevention. The additional reduction for spell and ranged damage is great, even with the duration reduction. I’m ashamed to admit I wasn’t aware that I could use Barkskin while incapacitated but look forward to utilizing the ability more often in PvP.
The range increase on Rank 3 of Gift of the Wild will help a lot during wipe recoveries in Karazhan, and I’m glad that I wasn’t just imagining that the range was larger on Rank 1 and 2 pre-BC.
Lifebloom stacking is finally a viable strategy, and I’m surprised they didn’t have the spell function this way from the outset. As for the changes to the spells castable while in Tree of Life, I’m disappointed to see the form remain unable to perform one of the primary roles of a healer: decursing and removing poisons. It’s frustrating enough to have to shift in an out to cast Mark of the Wild and Thorns, but the decursing is one factor preventing the form’s use in large portions of several 5-man instances.
The change to Subtlety is nice for Restoration druids (and particularly Balance druids who suffer from threat problems across the board), but I know that some ferals pull groups using direct damage spells. This change discourages them from bolstering their healing ability with a talent I consider essential for any main healer, further widening the gap between Restos and Feral/Resto hybrids. Of course, overall it’s a very positive change for the class, especially for our Boomkin brethren.
Overall there are a couple of nice changes for Restoration druids on the immediate horizon (Lifebloom stacking and a versatility increase for Barkskin), though nothing so exciting that I’d want to try it out on the Public Test Realm. The epic flightform looks really promising, but I have a whole lot of farming and fishing to do before I even consider beginning the questline.
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