According to MMO Champion, Blizzard has updated the official talent calculator with what we assume are changes coming to the WotLK beta environment. Here is a summary of all the Druid changes with discussion to follow:
Moonkin Form mana cost has been changed from 22% base mana to 538 mana.The report of this change has been retracted by MMO Champion.
- Typhoon mana cost has been increased from 475 to 645 and the range changed from 20 to 24 Yards.
- Force of Nature mana cost has been changed from 12% base mana to 284 mana. Cooldown has been reduced from 3 to 2 minutes.
- Starfall mana cost has been increased from 655 to 866. Range increased from 30 to 36 yards. Damage seems to be changed as well but it looks like the version displayed in the talent calculator isn’t the first rank of the spell.
- Faerie Fire range has been increased from 30 to 36 yards.
- Primal Tenacity now increases your chance to resist Stun and Fear mechanics by 5/10/15% (Old version : Reduces the duration of Fear effects by 5/10/15% and reduces all damage taken while stunned by 5/10/15%)
- Improved Mangle now reduces the cooldown of your Mangle (Bear) ability by 7% (instead of 0.5 sec) and reduces the energy cost of your Mangle (Cat) ability by 2.
Tree of Life mana cost reduced from 28% base mana to 978 mana.The report of this change has been retracted by MMO Champion.
Flourish mana cost decreased from 585 to 450. Amount of healing decreased (Rank 1 now heals 672 HP instead of 1610).It appears that this change may have been made in error. Current talent calculator lists the amount healed at its previously reported value (Rank 1, 1610).
Of course, the biggest hubbub (in my head) surrounds the change to Flourish, a change that can only be described as a nerf with its mana cost reduced slightly and its healing output decreased dramatically. Disappointing, but I’m curious what Rank 3 will look like. On a related note, reader Thalosar asked a question about the 15 yard radius associated with Flourish and what we could expect to use it for. In my opinion, it’s preferred use may end up for the MT and surrounding melee since it will count as another HoT and therefore benefit from Gift of the Earthmother (which restores 5% mana on Nourish and Healing Touch per HoT on your target).
Interesting changes to the shapeshifting mana cost, not only of Tree of Life but of Boomkin, too. I’m scratching my head over the rationale, as reader Zaira points out in the comments on yesterday’s Flourish Preview:
Tree Form mana cost shift was changed from 28% base mana to 987 mana (static) which seems a wee bit harsh for level 50 when you can get it, but lacking a movement penalty, and being able to cast all spells in it at the moment, it seems like we won’t be practicing shifting-in-and-out rapidfire, and with master-shapershifter being so conveniently located it will probably be more affordable.
For comparison, at level 70 a Druid has 2370 base mana, 28% of which is 663.6 mana. For a Balance Druid, Moonkin Form costs 521.4. That makes this a nerf at level 70, though it’s not clear how much base mana we’ll have at level 80. Maybe they’re trying to make Natural Shapeshifter more attractive, though I can’t imagine forgoing it since it unlocks Master Shapeshifter, increasing healing done while in Tree of Life by 4%.
The Mangle (Bear) cooldown change represents a nerf of 0.08 seconds since the change means its cooldown will go from 5.5 to 5.58 seconds. Even worse, the energy reduction for Mangle in Cat Form has been cut by 66%, down from 6 to 2. Primal Tenacity is being changed back to its current, live description which is actually a nerf since it removes the mini, perma-Barkskin (while stunned) that they were getting in Alpha. This is definitely a disappointing change for Feral PvP. I asked Runycat of Unbearably HoT for her impressions. Here’s what she had to mew:
Blizzard has apparently reverted to the kind of language we currently see: 5/10/15% resist to stuns and fears. Why? I can only postulate, but I’m assuming they deemed it over-powered — and I may tend to agree.
In terms of PVP, you might think hey, getting damage reduction while feared or stunned (you know, when you’re super dotted or getting the @#$% kicked out of you by a Rogue or a cheap-ass mace Warrior) is pretty great! You could even go so far as to argue that Warriors can pick up 2/2 Second Wind and regenerate health and rage… But if you have a Druid anticipating the fear or stun, shifting into Bear Form, gaining an extra 500-550% armor (depending on whether or not you’ve got all points in Thick Hide) and 25% STA and then having an additional 15% damage reduction? It’s admittedly a little ridiculous. I suppose you could argue, "Hey, that won’t even happen that much if each Fear and stun’s duration is reduced by 15%, but there’s a problem there, too.
I realize that S4 is seeing a massive influx of counter-comp teams (and that those may seem "unfair" to specific teams), but certain classes rely heavily on the key timing of their fear effects (notice I used "Fear" and not "Horrify") to survive, and we certainly wouldn’t want to reduce the effectiveness of mace-stuns (I’m not bitter) either. Apparently Blizzard has decided that it’s better to just give us the "chance" to resist entirely (15%+5% base chance = 20% total chance to resist a fear or stun) rather than give us a straight-up advantage across the boards. While I’m not one to underestimate minor advantages, would riding out a 20 second fear really be worse than a 17 second fear? Maybe; that extra 3 seconds could mean the difference between a quick Cyclone/heal and your teammates dying. But is it worth spending 3 points in the Feral tree? I doubt it.
I admit that I’m shocked to see the mana associated with Balance spells like Typhoon and Starfall increased. One of Balance’s major concerns right now — and apparently in the Beta, too — is mana usage. An increase in mana cost without some improvements to the availability of mana regeneration seems ill-conceived. WTB Line-of-Reasoning on that change.
Moving Pictures of Moving Kitties
And now for something completely more fun and enjoyable than reading about how you’re going to be nerfed before you even get the fun abilities to try yourself (admittedly, it’s probably a lot less painful this way). First up, I have a couple of videos from Felidae of Outland (EU) to share for the new Pounce animation which is really cute (cuteness mileage may vary for mouth-breathing Tauren Cat Form):
And here’s a second video recording from Felidae of the new Feral Charge animation in Cat Form.