Edit at 8:08 AM MST: Added changes discovered from comparing the Alpha talent trees to the Beta talent trees.
Edit at 10:26 AM MST: Added static tooltips for some new abilities. Thanks, WotLK WoWHead!
- General Changes Affecting Druids
- General Druid Changes
- Balance Changes
- Feral Changes
- Restoration Changes
- More Information
The Wrath of the Lich King beta has officially started, and Blizzard has lifted the Non-Disclosure Agreement previously prohibiting participants in the Friends and Family Alpha from sharing information about the expansion. Along with the newly-begun beta, a new version of the WotLK-ready game client and patch notes have been released. Much of what has been previously reported and discussed is included therein, but I’ll bold the Druid portion of the notes below with a discussion about things I believe to be new at the bottom of this post:
- All items and effects which grant bonuses to spell damage and spell healing are being consolidated into a single stat, Spellpower. This stat will appear with the same values found on items which grant “increased spell damage and healing” such as on typical Mage and Warlock itemization.
- For classes which do not heal, they should see no change in the character sheet other than new tooltip wording.
- Healing characters will see their bonus healing numbers on the character sheet decrease, however, all healing spells have been modified to receive more benefit from spellpower than they received from bonus healing, with a net effect of no change to the amount healed by their spells. Some talents have had to be rebalanced to accommodate this change, but the amount healed will remain roughly the same. In addition, some talents will provide only healing spell power.
- Overhealing is now reported in the combat log.
- The Warrior skill Hamstring now only has one rank and no longer causes damage.
- Brambles (Balance): Now increases the damage done by your Treants, and also damage caused from your Treants and Barkskin has a 5/10/15% chance to Daze the target for 3 sec.
- Thorns damage reduced to 73 from the Alpha value of 141. With Brambles, that number is 147, down from 246.
- Entangling Roots: Can now be used indoors.
- Improved Mark of the Wild (Restoration): Now a 2-point talent, down from a 5-point talent.
- Nature’s Grasp (Balance): Can now be used and can proc indoors.
- New Spell: Revive – Returns the spirit to the body, restoring a dead target to life with health and mana. Cannot be cast when in combat.
Revive Rank 7
72% of base mana 30 yd range
10 sec cast
Returns the spirit to the body, restoring a dead target to life with 1800 health and 1365 mana. Cannot be cast when in combat.
- Omen of Clarity (Restoration): Now a passive spell. Now also works for spells (healing and damage). Proc rate is roughly 6% with a 10 second internal cooldown.
Omen of Clarity
Each of the Druid’s spells and attacks has a chance of causing the caster to enter a Clearcasting state. The Clearcasting state reduces the Mana, Rage or Energy cost of your next damage, healing spell or offensive ability by 100%.
- Soothe Animal can now be used on Dragonkin as well as Beasts and is now instant cast.
- Celestial Focus (Balance): The stun proc now works with Starfall.
- Focused Starlight (Balance): Now also works with Starfall.
- Force of Nature (Balance): Cooldown reduced to 2 minutes, down from 3.
- Hurricane: No longer has a cooldown (was 1 minute).
- Moonglow (Balance): Now also works with Starfall.
- Moonkin Form (Balance) no longer increases your attack power or causes you to regenerate mana off melee attacks, but now has a chance to cause you to instantly regenerate 2% of your total mana every time you critically hit with a spell.
- Nature’s Grace (Balance): Now also reduces the global cooldown of your Wrath spell by 50% while in effect.
- Nature’s Grasp (Balance): Can now be used and can proc indoors.
- Nature’s Reach (Balance): Now also reduces threat generated by Balance spells by 15/30%.
- Balance-specific threat management for Balance can now be found in the Balance tree, within Nature’s Reach.
- Vengeance (Balance): Now also works with Starfall.
- The proc from Improved Moonkin Form (Balance) now lasts 8 seconds instead of 10 and has a 30 second internal cooldown.
- Tier 10 talent Nature’s Fury (Balance) talent (applies a debuff increasing Nature and Arcane damage taken) has been renamed as Earth and Moon.
- Brambles (Balance) now only increases the damage from Force of Nature by 15% instead of 75%.
- Force of Nature (Balance) cooldown restored to 3 minutes (was 2 minutes in Alpha).
- Faerie Fire (Feral): Now an 11-point talent, down from being a 21-point talent.
- Feral Charge (Feral) is now a 21-point talent, up from being a 11-point talent.
- Feral Charge (Feral): Can now be used in Cat form.
- Feral Instinct (Feral) no longer increases threat generated in Bear form, but now increases damage done by your Swipe ability by 5/10/15%.
- Improved Faerie Fire (Feral): Now also works with spell hit, in addition to ranged and melee hit %.
- Mangle (Feral): Now increases the damage done by Maul in addition to Shred.
- Primal Tenacity (Feral) now reduces damage while stunned by 5/10/15%, and reduces the duration of fear effects by 5/10/15%.
- Survival of the Fittest (Feral): Increased to 2/4/6%, up from 1/2/3%.
- The mana regeneration penalty when in Bear Form, Dire Bear Form and Cat Form has been removed.
- Lockjaw (Feral) (Finishing move that dealt damage and stunned for X+1 seconds.) has been replaced with Savage Roar:
Savage Roar Rank 1
25 Energy 100 yd range
Finishing move that increases attack power by 25%. Lasts longer per combo point:
1 point : 9 seconds
2 points: 12 seconds
3 points: 15 seconds
4 points: 18 seconds
5 points: 21 seconds
- Improved Tranquility (Restoration): Now also reduces the cooldown of your Tranquility spell by 25/50%.
- Nature’s Focus (Restoration): Now a 3 point talent, down from a 5-point talent. Also moved to Tier 1, up from Tier 2. Now also includes Nourish.
- Subtlety (Restoration): Now a 3-point talent, down from a 5-point talent. Also moved to Tier 2, up from Tier 3. Also now only reduced threat for Restoration spells, and reduces the chance that your healing over time spells (Lifebloom, Regrowth and Rejuvenation) will be dispelled, rather than all Druid spells.
- Tranquil Spirit (Restoration) now also includes Nourish.
- Tree of Life (Restoration): 30% snare penalty has been removed.
- Tree of Life (Restoration): Can now cast Dispel Curse.
- Tree of Life (Restoration): You can now cast all Restoration spells (Healing Touch) in the form, but Tree of Life now only reduces the mana cost of your healing over time spells (Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, Regrowth and Flourish) by 20%.
Tree of Life Shapeshift
28% of base mana
Shapeshift into the Tree of Life. While in this form you increase healing received by 25% of your total Spirit for all party and raid members within 45 yards, and you can only cast Restoration and Barkskin spells, but the mana cost of your healing over time spells is reduced by 20%.
The act of shapeshifting frees the caster of Polymorph and Movement Impairing effects.
- Improved Tree of Life (Restoration) now only grants 100% additional armor instead of 360%.
- Improved Tree of Life (Restoration) now boosts the Tree of Life aura by 15% instead of 3%.
Improved Tree of Life Rank 3
Increases your Armor while in Tree of Life Form by 100%, and increases the effect of your Tree of Life Aura by 15%.
- The healing done by Flourish (Restoration) has been increased from 672 to 4410. The mana cost has been tripled from 450 to 1425.
Flourish Rank 4
1125 Mana 40 yd range
Heals up to 5 friendly party or raid members within 15 yards of the target for 4410 over 7 sec. The amount healed is applied quickly at first, and slows down as the Flourish reaches its full duration.
There were several very nice surprises for those who have been following the Alpha changes. I think I’m most excited about Omen of Clarity as a passive effect that procs on both healing and damage spells. Finally, Restoration Druids will have a viable form of clearcasting, making this talent a must-have (and fun)! Tree of Life is losing its silly movement restriction and gaining the ability to cast Remove Curse and Healing Touch. This means we’ll no longer have to shift out to use our Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch macro. All positive changes that shouldn’t prove unbalancing. The news of an out of combat resurrection spell, while expected, is definitely a welcome confirmation. In terms of PvP, Subtlety no longer providing dispel resistance to Innervate is a very annoying change.
Balance Druids are probably Chris Farley dancing in Moonglade with the incredible changes to their Chicken Form. No more silly melee/AP mechanic! Maybe they heard the Epic Dolls podcast where that was lamented… The change to Nature’s Grace so that it actually lowers the Global Cooldown of Wrath is phenomenal, making Eclipse-based rotations like those described by Graylo more viable. Brambles will no longer add a Daze proc to Thorns as previously reported but instead will give the Daze effect to Barkskin. Interesting change; I now hope that Daze doesn’t increase threat because it will make Barkskin a less desirable means of dealing with unwanted aggro.
I admit I didn’t pay as much attention to the Feral changes over the course of the Alpha (but certainly welcome commentary from readers). One significant new development is the change to mana regeneration in forms. I was under the impression that Druids in Cat and Bear Form were regenerating mana at the same rate as in caster form in live, but apparently such was not the case. It was also rumored in the Alpha that Ferals wouldn’t regenerate mana at all in forms, which would have been a blow to both PvP and PvE. The Feral ability Lockjaw (a CP-based stun) has been replaced with a Finishing Move similar to the Rogue’s Slice & Dice that buffs Cat Form’s AP for a duration based on the number of CP when used.
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