In response to a player inquiry about when we could expect to see Dire Cat Form added to the beta, Blizzard Poster Koraa responded with the following:
We have no plans to implement a “Dire Cat” form at this time. “Dire Bear” exists for the sole purpose of upgrading the Feral Druid’s armor value to match the Warrior/Paladin etc. (Druids get no shield)
We do, however, intend to allow Druids to be able to use items and enchants with procs in forms, which I believe will work in the next beta build (don’t hold me to it though).
One player immediately responds with claims about Dire Cat Form having been mentioned at the Worldwide Invitational, to which Koraa responds:
I think what Kalgan meant was that we intend to do different texture variances for Druid forms, including Cat form. Which is true, though not sure how soon we’re going to get that. They may come from a repeatable quest, or through inscription.
Regarding the “Feral Range Bug,” that really is not a bug. Have a Warrior, Rogue or any melee class play without using a snare and you’ll encounter the same issue. The issue is that the server and client are not sync. When you try to do damage to the target, while your client shows him on your screen, the server disagree’s and gives you an error. Snares help alleviate the problem, which is what we’re giving Feral Druids in the form of “Infected Wounds” for the expansion.
If you encounter the same thing (not being able to hit your target) while playing a Rogue or a Warrior if you don’t use their snare, perhaps it would have made sense to give Cat Form a snare, too?
And what Kalgan meant was that Druids would be getting something called a Dire Cat Form that would be considered an “upgrade.” The direct quote can be heard by watching video footage from the Developer Q&A Session via WorldofWar.net. You can skip to the relevant portion by moving the video cursor to 29:00. (Note: WorldofWar.net is unresponsive this morning so I’m unable to confirm.) Here is a transcript of what was said:
Question: Will feral for example get male or female options for forms?
Answer: Frank Pierce: We’re thinking about swapping out flight form for male and female forms in the feral. No? (jokingly)
Answer: Tom Chilton: Hello, we do plan to do is actually put a new model for the Dire Bear Form, um, we also plan to release the Dire Cat. So um at the very least those should get some new upgrades.
Given the small pool of beta testers, this issue hasn’t generated the outrage that it would have otherwise, though there’s currently a 12-page thread in the official, non-beta forums. I am personally quite frustrated that they would pretend that this was never promised. This was not some tested whim on the Alpha or Beta servers. This was a change specifically mentioned at an official Blizzard event by the lead developer!
There was a considerable amount of frustration from beta testers at Koraa’s dismisal of the “Cat Form range bug” as something needing to put into quotes, despite the fact that the internal bug report at Blizzard dates back to 2004. In response to player outcry over the validity of this concern, she wrote:
Is this on a creature that is not moving? If so, please take a video of it occurring and post it on the bug forums.
When you reference the “cat form range bug” you could mean many different things:
- Fighting a creature for a set amount of time and your specials (i.e. Mangle) are not able to hit, but your white attacks (auto attacks) can: White attacks and specials have two different ranges, sometimes your combat range and spell combat range can be different. We’ve added AI for the creature to re-align itself when you shift into cat form, moving him within ideal range of your special/combat abilities. If the mob is rooted or stunned etc, you can still experience problems. (If you notice instances where you are within range to auto-attack, but not use Mangle for instance, try moving your character slightly. If the mob does not re-align, or it does not resolve the issue, please take a video and post it on the bug forums).
- You are chasing a player or creature at equal speeds. Your client (your WoW) shows you within range (even on top of) the target, yet it says you’re out of range: This is in result of latency/delay with the server and the client. The server says you are out of range, yet your client says you are on top of them. The server makes the decision whether you’re allowed to hit the target or not, and as far as it’s concerned you are out of range. You can test this yourself by having two WoW clients open or side by side and have one of them walk, and observe it on the other WoW client. You’ll notice a delay. We actually added some “slush” between the server and client, where the server will actually extend your range if you’re moving.
- Cat form’s “hitbox”: From what I can understand, this is setup correctly.
I just had a chat with our programmers and we do have some new tech for WOLK intended to help solve the melee range issue. The server will try to “predict” the range between you and your target, which we hope will make the issue less evident. This has not yet been implemented in beta, but I’ll let you know when we do finally put in the change.
Btw, there is no need to rant that we are “ignoring” or “don’t understand” the issue… we are actually quite aware of it, as I’m looking at our internal bug report on this exact issue dating back to 2004.
So apparently they are trying something else to correct the issue. Given the fact that the issue is four years old, I can’t say I’m particularly optimistic.
On a somewhat related note, it seems that shapeshifting out of a Feral Form after activating one of a couple of specific abilities — Berserk and Dash — does not cause you to lose those effects if you shift back into the form where they were activated. Though this does not appear to apply to the Enrage effect, it hasn’t been determined whether this applies to other abilities such as Frenzied Regeneration.
- Despite what was stated by Tom Chilton at the 2008 Worldwide Invitational, a Blizzard Poster has said that there are no plans to implement Dire Cat Form.
- There are official, confirmed plans to allow Druids to use potions and weapon procs in forms, and this change should be live in the next beta build.
- Druids will have the opportunity to customize their forms to their liking, either through a repeatable quest or through the Inscription tradeskill.
- Efforts are once again being made to address what is perceived as a “range bug” by players using Cat Form.
- Activating Dash or Berserk and shapeshifting out of the form and then shapeshifting back will see the effect still active.
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