People love to speculate. Whether it’s oil, futures, gold, or changes to our favorite game, we love to scry the future using dubious methods that range from rolling the bones to data mining. Me? It gives me hives. Okay, not really, but I hate speculating. Why? Because I could be wrong. It’s odd, yes, but that idea that I really don’t know keeps me from wanting to get crazy with preliminary information simply because I know how often I have been wrong. Assumptions are funny that way. Blogging isn’t exactly held to a high standard, let’s be frank, but one thing we try to do here at R4L is ensure that we aren’t just talking out of our knotholes. Even when we are.
That said, it’s hard not to want to know what’s going on and what the loudmouths in the blogosphere like me think about it. So here it is, commentary from a solitary bear in the woods about what may or may not be. Speaking as your unsolicited ursine seer, these are the Feral-relevant points I’ve found.
New Druid Spells
Finishing move that stuns the target and deals damage. Lasts longer per combo point: x points: x+1 seconds (level 75)
Maybe all the BC crying about Druid stunlocks are on their way to fruition. I like this. A lot.
King of the Jungle
While Enraged in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form, your damage is increased by 5/10/15%, and your Tiger’s Fury ability also instantly restores 20/40/60 Energy.
I rarely, if ever, use Enrage. The temporary armor reduction has never sat well with me. It’s a personal choice, I know a lot of Druids that use Enrage frequently to give them the up-front rage they need to hold aggro. I just shift a lot. I start almost every pull in caster form with a Moonfire, then shift to Dire Bear. Regardless, this is nothing but a buff for Bears and could be really nice in PvP. The Tiger’s Fury portion of the ability is, perhaps, the most interesting one. The verbiage is loose enough I can’t quite tell if Tiger’s Fury’s energy restoration only fires during Enrage or if it’s a passive addition to Tiger’s Fury in general when picking up this talent. Either way, Tiger’s Fury suddenly becomes a lot more attractive.
edit: as has been pointed out, Enrage is Bear-only. Disregard the talking out of my backside.
Changed from 50/100% Agility as +Healing to 35/70%.
I never use this. If I specced for some serious PvP I might… then again, if I specced for serious PvP I’d be Resto.
Increases damage done by your Maul and Shred attacks on bleeding targets by 2/4/6/8/10%, and increases the critical strike chance of your Ferocious Bite ability on bleeding targets by 10/20/30/40/50%.
This is worth it for the Shred bonus alone. If you ever do DPS in a group, this is fantastic. The addition to Maul is nice for the aggro, and possibly for PvP. The latter part of the talent is interesting, and I can only see it as a way to encourage the use of Ferocious Bite as a finisher now that they’ve realized none of us use it outside of soloing.
Cooldown changed to 3 min (down from 10).
This would be really cool if Warriors didn’t get it too. I won’t complain, however.
Description changed to “A strong attack that increases melee damage by x and causes a high amount of threat.”
Ooh, a verbiage change! Goodie!
Increases your melee attack power in Cat, Bear, Dire Bear and Moonkin Forms by 50%/100%/150% of your level and 7%/14%/20% of any attack power on your equipped weapon.
More scalability, I assume. As we level this talent gets worse and worse, but perhaps the latter part of the talent will make it more worthwhile. That alone will already outstrip what we get from the first part of the talent. Overall, a very good thing.
Ferocious Bite, Rip
Damage values changed.
As I don’t know the values, I can’t really comment.
Changed from 30/60% energy return on failed finisher to 40/80%.
Interesting talent…I like it! VERY nice for times when you aren’t Hit and Expertise-capped.
Berserk – Changed
Old: Removes all Stun, Fear, Snare and Movement Impairing Effects and increases your energy regeneration rate by 100% while in Cat Form, and increases your total health by 20% while in Bear Form. After the effect ends, the health is lost. Effect lasts 20 seconds.
New: Reduces the energy cost of your Cat Form abilities by 50% while in Cat Form, increases your total health by 30%, and causes your Mangle (Bear) and Maul abilities hit up to 3 maximum targets while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form. Berserk instantly clears all effects which cause loss of control of your character, and makes you immune to them for the duration. Lasts 20 sec.
I won’t comment on the old version, just the new. This is nice. The ability to wipe Fear or Mind Control and be immune for a few seconds is something we’ve needed for a long time, something that will keep us in the running for those MT spots. The Cat bonuses are nice. The Bear swipe-effect is neat, but could be problematic with nearby CC so the jury’s still out on that. The health bonus is like a sweet sweet topping on a talent already full of delicious.
Grants an effect which lasts while the Druid is within the respective shapeshift form. (Bear Form: +2%/4% Physical Damage) (Cat Form: +2%/4% Critical Strike Chance) (Moonkin Form: +2%/4% Spell Damage) (Tree Form: +2%/4% Healing)
The only new Resto talent is worth looking at. If you can squeeze this in, it comes after Natural Shapeshifter. I’ve always liked Natural Shapeshifter, less for powershifting and more because I’m in and out of Bear a lot when I tank, and even more when I PvP. The reduction in cost has always made this worthwhile. Now there’s this juicy little tidbit that helps not only your tanking, but also your DPS in Cat Form. So yeah… snag this if you can fit it in. I wouldn’t call it crucial yet, but it sure is tasty.
General Changes Affecting Ferals
Entangling Roots can now be used indoors as well.
OMG… wow. Good for all Druids regardless of spec.
Base damage of Maul, Rake and Ravage has been increased.
Yay! Not super-fantastic, but a nice change.
Demoralizing Roar now removes more attack power than before.
Okay. I only ever use it for the teensie bit of aggro now and again anyway.
Soothe Animal is now instant cast.
Has anyone issued an Amber Alert for this ability yet? I can’t remember what it looks like.
Tiger’s Fury no longer costs Energy, but now has a 30 second cooldown.
In and of itself, this change still doesn’t make the ability useful. The cooldown means you’re still going 3 seconds between useful abilities and only 4.5 seconds (at best) of the Tiger’s Fury is usable. Talented, however, Tiger’s Fury may find a spot back on my bar.
Hurricane cooldown has been removed.
O.o Interesting. I don’t use Hurricane that often except for gimmick pulls, but maybe you Restos and Balance types use it more. Either way, it’s a nice change.
Frenzied Regeneration now only has one rank. Frenzied Regeneration will now restore 0.1% of your max health per rage instead.
In Bear Form, running only Mark of the Wild, I have 16,974 health. That’s what… 170 health per tick? Right now it’s giving 250 per tick. Now, obviously, health pools are likely to be significantly larger come the expansion, but let’s face it: that means that this ability will be just as dismal then as it looks to be now. As it stands it’s only used when there are no other options and rage is plentiful. Potting macros work better. Maybe there will be another way to scale this at release but as written, this’ll see less use than it does in its current form.
Ferocious Bite’s damage for extra energy now scales with attack power.
Hmmm… I am starting to think they want us to use Ferocious Bite.
Nature’s Grasp can now be used indoors as well.
Very nice change. Enhanced indoor Druid CC. Finally.
Brambles now gives your Thorns and Treants a 5/10/15% chance to daze the target for 3 seconds when dealing damage in addition to it’s old effect.
Thorns? Hmmm…nice for PvP, that’s for sure, and a dazed target runs slower even in PvE so it could be helpful in controlling runners if you can fit it in. I don’t currently see an elegant way to do so, but I’m sure the talent trees still need to be revised before release.
Omen of Clarity is now a passive effect instead of a self-cast buff.
Wow! For this alone I could keep playing. *falls to knees to praise Blizzard gods*
Feral Charge is now available in Cat Form as well.
Rocket Kitteh! This looks to be a lot of fun. Shadowstep for cats! Sorta. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been trailing behind someone in PvP barely out of combat range. Maybe this will occasionally allow me to grab one of them. Of course, they may just turn around and kill me, but hey, we Druids like to live on the edge.
Improved Mark of the Wild has been reduced to a 2 point talent, increasing the effect of Mark of the Wild by 20/40%.
I still wouldn’t take this over Furor. Besides, if you take it you’ll have to do the buffing.
Survival of the Fittest’s effect has been doubled.
Okay, this really throws me. Doubled? So… we won’t need Defense gear… AT ALL? I have to be misreading this. Phae! Pinch me!
Mangle (Bear) now increases the damage of your Maul ability instead of the Shred ability.
This is both a practical change, and a somewhat disappointing one. With a Bear tank I could generally ignore Mangling and just use Shred like it was going out of style. Still, since I mostly tank, I like the Maul damage buff. A minor downturn to Cat raid DPS, perhaps… very minor.
I’m going to have to go visit the pages for the other classes to get an idea whether this is — overall — a buff or if it just keeps us in the running. I do know, for instance, that Rogues can now Sap kitties and bears. That will hurt in PvP if they can catch you. Warriors, as I mentioned earlier, also get a reduced cooldown on their AOE taunt, so it’s not really a buff for either of us when you come right down to it. The implication is that we’re going to need greater AOE threat management.
Point being: without context many of the changes are neither good nor bad, they’re just… changes. Still, several of these are exciting and I’m looking forward to the expansion.
Oh, and Phae has threatened me with bodily harm if I don’t post more. Expect to see photos of my mangled bear carcass soon.
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