Feral Druid Changes

Sickening

So I visited HERE and just watched the video (specifically the Q&A from the feral at 28:50) and the response from the crowd (and the Dev.) just sickened me.

Did I miss when Feral druids became Uber in PvP? Ferals in PvP won’t be able to put up a rip and turtle in bear and just watch you bleed to death anymore in MoP, That’s why we created the extra tree to split bear and cat talents out. Audience cheers? Really? WTF? I don’t remember Feral PvP ever being easy. I remember it being tolerable with ArP though still a pain in the arse as I was always expected to do things like cyclone and heal which fundamentally as a feral sucked. Even then they killed ArP. They took away our ability to shift out of snares. They took away the nice vial trinket proc (O.K., that was OP for more than just ferals). But when the hell was feral PvP put up a rip, go bear, I win? WTF? What crappy ass players are these ferals going up against?

Honestly, I don’t really have a strong stance for either keeping BearCat or losing BearCat. But tying that change due to PvP was just a WTF moment for me. For PvE I don’t this change is a big deal because most ferals are just going to dual spec into bear tank and kitty dps since at endgame collecting caster and physical DPS sets is just too much a pain in the arse. That and when a tank doesn’t show usually the first glance comes our way as a sub. All BearCat was good for in PvE was really the oh crap moments and in good guilds these are few and far between.

Maybe that is what I should be doing before MoP releases. Griefing people in arena with a rip, shift bear, win. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Semi excited about Feral Kitty in MoP

Ok, just in case… MoP = Mist of Pandaria

Lets take a look at the new talents available, and let me start by saying it’s weird to have a bunch of talents to choose from that don’t necessarily give any kind of advantage to my main role as a damage dealer. Here is a LINK to the full descriptions of every talent.

The first choice is between Feline Swiftness, Displace Beast, and Tireless Pursuit. I think the constant 20% increase to speed while in cat form is a no brainer here, the others look more useful for PvP. Granted there might be particular PvE boss encounters that might favor one of the others but in general I think FS is the way to go.

The next level we choose between Nature’s Swiftness, Renewal, and Cenarion Ward. Let me say that I like the last option the best as it gives us the ability of an instant cast HoT while in Cat form. This screams raid utility to me and from a kitty that prides himself on helping the raid beyond just dealing damage I like the difference this could make in a PvE encounter.

Next we choose between Faerie Swarm, Mass Entaglement, and Typhoon. I think here Typhoon will be what I choose, an in Cat form knockback… SWEET! Faerie Swarm is replacing FF and depending on raid comp might be needed instead but I raid 25 man I am going to wager the debuff can be applied by someone else. The ME talent might be useful in certain encounters but is not castable in Cat form so I kinda don’t like it.

The next level we have Wild Charge, Incarnation, and Force of Nature. From a shear DPS vantage point I kinda like Force of Nature if the trees do high damage. It’s castable in Cat form and easy DPS. The other 2 talents sound similar with one having a charge component and the other one not. Wild Charge seems pretty dumb actually, It puts me behind the boss and lets me ravage without a positioning requirement… ah… yeah, ok. Incarnation looks the best, which allows ravages from behind without the need of being in stealth. It looks like with this talent we would open with berserking and ravaging our butts off with the 50% increase to crit with ravage at boss health above 80%…. interesting.

The next level is my first disappointment. 2 of the 3 choices are basically for bear as using them puts us into bear form automatically. So we choose from Demo Roar, Bear Hug, and Ursol’s Vortex. I am so picking UV here, not that as a kitty we have much choice. It’s an AoE grip usable in Cat form. That is just sick OP if you think about it. In PvE we get to suck mobs to us and swipe… I freaking love it. It makes us an adds magnet (or lets us pick a spot for the magnet) for 15 seconds. Honestly this is probably an awesome raid utility on fights with a pesky add phase.

Our last selection at level 90 is a complete disappointment. Heart of the Wild, Master Shapeshifter, Distanglement. HotW is most likely the given as it takes Hit to 100% and gives us an INT boost from agility which will improve our utility heals. The other 2 look very PvP centric.

The last cool thing to note, and I don’t know how the heck they are going to actually get this to work in game is Symbiosis. Basically we get to target another player and grab an ability belonging to that targets class within the limits of our specialization. This has buggy written all over it imho. Our target gets one of our abilities, also based on our spec. It sounds pretty cool as we get the special for an hour and it lasts through death so basically we will be doing this before a fight starts but I might see where a mid fight application might prove useful. If we get to use this attack in kitty form I say cool, Kitty Pyro? Kitty Chain Lightning? Ok, probably not since we would have to be in boom spec for that I would guess. So Kitty FoK / Swipe AoE craziness? Lots of possibilities here and I am sure some leet guild will figure out some way to exploit this running a party of half druids to down some heroic boss.

All in all, I guess these changes have the ability to drastically change the way we play our kitty. The question is do we use this stuff? Does it matter in terms of DPS? Will it make playing more fun? My guess is at first playing might be more entertaining but in the end if my damage sucks I won’t be happy.

Kitties be ready

Patch 4.0.1 is on the way. As most know this is the start of the Cataclysm event and many things will change. The following is going to dramatically change your ability to DPS…

  1. Loss of FAP (Feral Attack Power).
  2. ArP is no more, your ArP gems become Crit gems (and that sucks)
  3. Talents change (You will lose expertise and crit)

There are a thing or 2 changing as well, but these are the big 3… well, and the change to Savage Roar… you can read about it.

A few good sources of specific changes that detail why our DPS is going to stink come the patch…

The Summary:

In order just to keep your DPS above hunter and lock pets you will need to re-gem Agility, Reforge for either Mastery or Haste, and switch gear or gem to pick up a little expertise.

OK, so maybe that explanation is a little melodramatic, however that is honestly what it looks like is going to happen. A 14K DPSing kitty in Icecrown will be putting out about half the DPS they were… probably about 8k-ish. People are saying Bear DPS is higher than kitty post patch.

My short term advice…

  1. Be prepared to respec to Boom. Hopefully you have been picking up caster items that would have been otherwise DEed.
  2. Be prepared to take a vacation until Cata hits where your low DPS won’t really matter during leveling. If you stay kitty don’t bother dropping a bunch of gold on new agility gems, just take a break and replace your gear a week or 2 into Cataclysm.
  3. Finish out Wrath having fun playing your Hunter or other Alt.

My long term advice…

  1. Level Boom in Cata, because you will be less broken. Continue to check back to my site and I will let you know when Feral Kitty is again viable.
  2. Keep caster gear rewards where there are no melee / melee leather rewards. Where there are good melee DPS rewards be cautious if there is a good caster reward instead.
  3. Consider doing more quests for gear even after hitting 85 so you have options.
  4. Do not suddenly spend Justice points until things get sorted out. If your friends are ready for Heroics and Raiding at some point you might have to commit to casting in Cataclysm at least for the first tier if they don’t fix our DPS way before then.

Kitty DPS has been really fun in Wrath, I hope it can continue in Cataclysm but I am not holding my breath. A return to Bear/Cat Utility spec, Tanking, or becoming a caster looks to be in our future.

BREAKING NEWS!

From MMO Champion…

Item – Druid T8 Feral 2P Bonus (Class: Druid) — The periodic damage dealt by your Rake, Rip, and Lacerate abilities has a chance to cause you to enter a Clearcasting state.

This is HUGE!

To refresh your memory the old 2T4 Proc returned 20 energy. This will basically give you a free special on your next attack which as we all know is more than 20 energy.

Depending of course on the proc rate and internal CD this is potentially a bigger deal than the old 2T4 proc and I am sure everyone remembers what a huge deal this was. It was OP enough that Blizzard had to remove the 2T4 bonus @ 80 and scale back the proc rate after level 70 to make sure we stopped wearing 2T4 as we went into Wrath content.

I would assume with the proc happening from periodic damage it will happen a little less and that they are going to make sure through the proc rate that it is not as OP as the old 2T4 but as a feral druid this bonus has to get you excited about wearing T8 4 sure.

And look at the 4 piece bonus…

Item – Druid T8 Feral 4P Bonus (Class: Druid) — Increases the duration of Savage Roar and Survival Instinct by 8 sec.

This is one happy Hybrid Feral Druid (Soon to be dual spec Tank/DPS feral druid). I mean I have been really happy with my Tanking and DPSing ability since going with a Hybrid build, check it out… top 5 on Thaddius last night (WTB Ret Pally Nerf :P or DK faceroll ability :P )

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