Just in time for the holidays, the Public Test Realm has arrived with patch 3.0.8, with lots of presents for good boys and girls… and apparently, we were all a little bad, since Mangle (Bear) is getting reduced in damage output (screw it, I’ll say it… NERFED! They nerfed my Mangle! I don’t give a shit what was intended, Blizz gaveth, and now they’re taking it away, blessed be the name of the… whoops, right season, wrong post. Mutter mutter, grumble grumble…)

Thanks to the wonderful investigative powers of MMO Champion, who as always leads the way in reporting changes and keeping us current,  I can share with you the Druid news from the PTR notes.

On a side note, I have no idea what all of us bloggers and the big WoW news sites would do without MMO Champion and Boubouille. Thank you, thank you, and God bless you, Boubouille.

A few small changes in Professions worthy of mention for Druids.

Mining provides the ability Toughness. Previously, Toughness provided a flat Health increase of 500 Health at max Mining, unaffected by the +20% to Stamina buff from Heart of the Wild or the +6% bonus to all Stats from Survival of the Fittest. Now, it has changed to being a 50 Stamina buff. Is it a huge change? earth shattering? No, not really… but it is still a nice, unexpected buff for Feral Druids.

Herbalism provides the darling Lifeblood Heal over Time spell, which remains unchanged… except apparently it will now be able to be cast while stealthed or invisible. Since casting it previously did not break forms, it acted much like Barkskin, I’d say that sounds good for PvP.

Skinning has also been buffed a teensy tiny bit, the critical strike bonus of Master of Anatomy is going from 25 to 32 at max rank. I don’t have Skinning on anyone, but that seems like a nice boost, especially since we’re getting it for free.

Now for the big stuff. Feral Druid changes.

Skills

  • Growl range has been increased from 20 to 30 yards.
  • Maim duration has been increased by 1 second. (3/4/5/6/7 seconds)
  • Survival Instincts now temporarily grants you 30% of your current maximum health for 20 sec. (Old – 30% of your maximum health)

I’d like to take a moment to comment on Survival Instincts. The Growl range increase is very good, thank you, and increasing Maim‘s duration of incapacitation (say that 5 times quickly, class!) is certainly nice for PvP, for those rare moments they don’t trinket out of it.

But the Survival Instincts change is very interesting. It’s not maximum Health, it’s current maximum Health. As in, counting all raid buffs and temporary reductions? Counting things like Commanding Shout? I thought it already did that, so I need to get my butt in gear and test out what is and is not affected by SI right now. 

Talents

  • Feral Instinct now affects all versions of Swipe. (Old – affected Swipe (Bear) only)
  • Swipe (Cat) has now been added at level 71, dealing 260% weapon damage, costs 50 energy with no cooldown. All talents affecting the Bear Form version affect the Cat Form one as well.

Wait, what? Oh glory be, oh glory be… a Cat form multi-mob Swipe… I think I just wet myself.

I don’t even know if I should keep going over changes, that should, like, be a finishing move for the blog post.

Like… Swipe in CAT, bitches! /logoff. (to use a Francis quote, anyway)

EDIT: I walked away from the post, picked up Alex from school, and on the way it occured to me that I left it unclear why I would be so excited at gaining a Swipe in Cat that costs 50 Energy to use, Energy that could be used in Mangles. Yes, it’s clear that it is very nice to have a Swipe added, but it’s not THAT great, right? Well, the thing is, when you are specced Kitty mode, you get 60 Energy right up front from King of the Jungle when you pop Tiger’s Fury… and activating Berserk reduces the Energy cost of all Cat abilities by 50% for 15 seconds. So while it IS situational, if you time things right you should be able to pop Berserk, Swipe to under 50 Energy and pop Tigers Fury to replenish energy and gain the AP boost for all other Swipes, and keep Swiping, and maybe get as many as 6 Swipes out of a Berserk duration. Yeah, I can see myself respeccing from tank spec to try that out… 

All right, what else we got? It can’t be that good….

  • Thick Hide now Increases your Armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 4/7/10%. (Old – affected all items)

Well, we knew that was coming, right?

  • Survival of the Fittest now also increases your armor contribution from cloth and leather items in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 22/44/66%.
  • Bonus Armor: The mechanics for items with bonus armor on them has changed (any cloth, leather, mail, or plate items with extra armor, or any other items with any armor). Bonus armor beyond the base armor of an item will no longer be multiplied by any talents or by the bonuses of Bear Form, Dire Bear Form, or Frost Presence.

So, the new Ferlol test of 2009 is, does the Feral Druid have any points in SotF? If not, you can safely say “eBay”.
We’ve talked about it before, but these changes are to reflect that armor from non-cloth or leather items will no longer be affected by the Bear and Dire Bear armor multiplier. The armor will STILL be armor, and perfectly viable, it just won’t be multiplied to be worth more than what it says right there on the item.

  • Primal Tenacity now also reduces the mana cost of Bear Form, Cat Form, and Dire Bear Form by 17/33/50%.
  • Protector of the Pack now Increases your attack power by 6% and reduces the damage you take by 12% while in Bear or Dire Bear Form. (Old – Only worked with Bear/Dire Bear Form, damage reduction was dependant of the amount of players in the group)
  • Berserk now hit up to 1 target instead of 3. (Error ?)

Well, the Primal Tenacity change is interesting. In an apparent attempt to make tanking Druids consider dumping points into a pure Cat-onily talent, they are adding a mana-cost reduction to shifting. At least, that is how it feels. My personal hope is that this is being added purely for PvP players that want to swift-shift a LOT, but spend most of their time in Kitty form clawing faces and get sick of being feared and stunned from hell to breakfast. But as a tank, all I see is, here is another Talent I’d LIKE, but that I won’t take.

We knew Protector of the Pack was moving to have it’s benefit without any group limiter. that they are carrying through with it is huge YAY from me.

  • Feral Attack Power: All weapons now have the potential to grant feral attack power based on their dps (as compared to the best superior-quality weapons available at level 60).  Players will see their existing feral weapons grant roughly the same attack power as they did before (+/- 2 or so), but many new weapons will be options for the feral druid.  Some feral weapons have had strength converted to attack power to be more appealing to other classes able to equip them.  All druids will see the amount of feral attack power granted by an item in the item tooltip, if it grants any, but other players will not see that information.

Okay, there were brief mentions and whispers about something coming for Druid weapons… from how I’m seeing this, basically ALL weapons that a Druid can use will display, for the Druid player, an additional tooltip showing what bonus Feral Attack Power it provides, and that value will apparently scale based on base weapon DPS. It says grant in that description, and to me that means ‘added to’, not ‘in place of’. An interesting item to note is the idea that Strength will somehow be converted to Attack Power… I take that as meaning that Strength might add to bonus Attack Power. After all, if they remove Strength from existing items, that would nerf the item for other classes, right? Right?

  • Remove Curse and Abolish Poison can now be used in Moonkin form. (yay!)
  • Genesis: Now works with Tranquility and Hurricane.
  • King of the Jungle – The Bear effect is now physical, and thus cannot be dispelled.
  • Nature’s Grace – Now also effects Revive.
  • Savage Roar: The buff now persists outside of Cat Form but only provides its benefits while in Cat Form.
  • Starfall will now be cancelled by any shapeshifting.
  • Wild Growth now has a 6 second cooldown.

And here we go, the one they slipped in under the radar, the one that IS the finishing move for this blog post…

  • Druid: Savage Fury – Mangle (Bear) damage was being increased by a higher percentage than intended. This has been fixed, and in result Mangle (Bear) should see roughly a 16% damage reduction.
  • Also fixed a bug with Savage Fury where the Rake bleed effect was not being increased.

Doh!

/cry

15 Responses to “Druid changes they are a-coming!”
  1. Mooriah says:

    Wow. I don’t know what I am going to do. I leveled my fuzzy butt to 76 then go burnt out and have made an Unholy DK that I love. I spent all this time on a great bear tank with the new 81 stam engineering trinkets and now Blizz is really going to screw me it seems. I guess in fairness to Blizz, I’ll play my druid to 80 after my DK gets there but I might have to move to become a healer or boomkin. Tanking isn’t looking so great anymore. Yay for kitty multi-target swipe but that isn’t enough to take the armor beating and the Survival Instincts beating.

    I’m confused on two point…

    (1) Survival Instincts says current health. So say I am down to only 5k hit points, does that mean the effect is based on my 5k hit points? That’s how I read that and if so that is total garbage. I might as well pop Survival Instincts at the start of a boss fight and get 30% of 26k rather than as a last resort buffer toward the end of a fight and get 30% of 5k hit points. /sigh

    (2) The armor multiplier change…how does it affect weapons with a base armor on it? Do I get the dire bear multiplier of a weapon that came with armor or does it only effect items that are worn on the body that came with base armor?

    I guess the days of my berserk and spamming mangle and maul and watching those massive yellow numbers fly up on my screen are over :( It’s bad enough that I can’t do some of the defensive measures of a warrior but now that I lose my massive armor boost I am really sad. It was all that extra armor and health that allowed me to tank as well as a protection warrior who could parry and such.

  2. bigbearbutt says:

    Doodle can do maths?

    /swoon!

  3. menglor says:

    My biggest fear has always been that weapon changes will make it harder for us to get them, When I first saw what they are doing, I thought, great not only can hunter up on everything, they will now want weapons that have been previously druid only.

    I am always hopefull with the removal of Feral AP, people may look at other weapons that they might not have.

    and if you look at GC’s comment about polearm’s maybe they will be opening that up for us as well!!

    one can only hope!

    http://blue.mmo-champion.com/28/13393670958-feral-druid-weapons.html

  4. Neil says:

    @Mooriah: “current maximum health”. If your max HP is 25K, and then you get buffed and it’s 30K, and then you pop Survival Instincts, you’ll get 30% of 30K HP.

    @BBB: Here’s what I understand of feral attack power.

    Every weapon we can use will have Feral AP based on the weapon DPS. This will not be part of the item’s budget … it’s just an ability druids have. When you equip a weapon, you gain Feral AP proportional to its DPS.

    Some weapons are having +Strength replaced with +AP to “make them appealing to more classes.” There is only one thing that this can mean. What class can use staves, likes the mix of Agility, AP, Crit, Haste, etc found on feral staves, but doesn’t like Strength?

    That’s right. Hunters. Hunters will be rolling on our weapons.

    HUNTERS. WILL BE ROLLING. ON OUR WEAPONS. \facedesk

    That said, at least we’ll be able to pick up some great 2H maces. Check it out: http://www.wowhead.com/?items=2.5&filter=qu=4;minrl=80#0-2+1

    I think this is the kind of change about which we can make many assumptions, but it won’t do us much good until we actually see it in action :)

  5. wewhoeat says:

    Yeah I can’t see primal tenacity having any appeal to a tanking druid. I’ve never run out of mana while in a tanking roll, not even on phase 3 vashj (shifting out of vines), if I can remember, I think only while DPSing najentus did I have mana issues (providing emergency healing support for bubbles). There are already too many other talents that are appealing to a tanking druid that we don’t have the points for.

    concerning Hunters rolling on these staves. Maybe I’m missing something, but aren’t all they are changing is converting the feral AP and Str item point usage into item points spent on DPS? As far as I know, hunters could care less what the DPS is of the item in their weapon slot, so why wouldn’t hunter have already been rolling on these items if they cared for the agi, crit, etc.? These items didn’t have a druid restriction on them earlier

  6. Shasmo says:

    The thing I am wondering is where they limit the armour multiplier to cloth and leather items only. I understand that rings/trinkets/neck pieces are excluded from this, but what about cloaks? They are made by a tailor or a leatherworker, but they don’t actually have the cloth/leather description.

    I am cautiously excited by these changes. I need to go download the PTR client when it comes up.

  7. Neil says:

    @wewhoeat: They’re converting the Feral AP (which hunters don’t want) to weapon DPS (which hunter’s still don’t want), but they’re converting Strength (which hunters don’t want) to AP (which hunters do want). Imagine if http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40388 had 228 AP instead of 114 STR. I know I would definitely roll on it for my hunter.

    @BBB: One more thing. You can’t use Tiger’s Fury while Berserk is up. The best bet for maximum Swiping would be two Swipes, Tiger’s Fury, Berserk, and then Swiping until Berserk ended and praying for Omen procs along the way.

    @Doodle: I hadn’t even realized! That is fantastic! Now, when I am drunk and fishing and my guild summons me into a raid for one boss, I won’t even have to change out my weapon!

    (This is something of a running joke in my guild … ever since I tanked half of Kara with Seth’s Graphite Fishing Pole instead of the Staff of Primal Fury … and complaining about my TPS being really low that day).

  8. ARA says:

    I’m not surprised about the bug with mangle: my damage was way too high when I was able to hit beserk every 3 mins on trash pulls in raids – head and shoulders above warriors, and even a long way above pallies. I was pretty happy about it of course – but it makes sense now that it was a bug. mmo-champ says something about beserk only hitting 1 target with mangle: there is nothing in the ptr notes about this, unless I’m missing something. If not, then from me at least, I’m far from grateful to mmo-champ for reporting false information about a major nerf that does not exist.

    That whole “hunter rolling on my staff” debate ??? I’m staying well clear of it.

  9. Lenaiya says:

    Mooriah,

    “The armor changes are a nerf if your bonus armor is >= 45% of your total armor, which a top of the line naxx druid was. If you are in full Wrath blues then it should be a buff, however if you are still using some TBC tier/PVP gear then it may very well be a nerf for you as well.”

    Check the EJ thread here: http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t38785-druid_changes_patch_3_08_a/p2/

    For some it’s not a nerf, for others a buff, and in the cases it is a nerf, it’s not a huge one.

  10. Stealthfire says:

    I think that the way SI works now is that it takes whatever your maximum health is when you pop it and increases that by 30% for the duration of the effect. In most cases, your maximum health wouldn’t change during it. However, say you had two weapons, one with a ton of stam and one with more mitigation stats. You put the high stam wep on, pop SI, then switch to the high mitigation one. You’d still have the extra health from the high stam staff, even though you no longer had that staff equipped. With the new SI, it would recalculate your health based on what it would be with the mitigation weapon.

    Anyway, that’s just my wild guess. I’m kinda sleepy so sorry if it doesn’t make sense. I don’t really see why this change was necessary, since when I’m popping SI it’s usually because things are going very wrong and switching weapons around is the last thing I would think of. But I guess this would apply to buffs falling on and off too…maybe if you didn’t have commanding shout to start with and the warr put it up mid-SI. Who knows.

  11. shaubis says:

    BBB,

    I miss your druid posts and guides. I have no idea why did u go hunter and abandon your druid progress. You said something about the upcoming changes…. The changes are visible now so please come back and give us some guides…
    Naxx tanking would be awesome or gear up for naxx….

    Thanks!!
    Shaubis

  12. Zeplar says:

    About SI:

    I took it to mean that any class or boss that has an ability that reduces your max health (for example, Netherspite), will reduce the effect of SI. I think buffs have already been increasing its effect.

  13. Tigerfeet says:

    @Doodle – Mangle is for kitties? Not on a 3-pull with a retadin that won’t follow targets and mages that just INSIST on starting AOE RIGHT THAT SECOND! Beserk +mangle and I see 3-4k crits x3 on each mob… ain’t NOTHIN’ getting away from me! But I did think those crits were a bit high. I’ll miss the numbers, but for the sake of balance I support this change.

    @BBB’s first edit – your math looks a bit odd, are you remembering that you can’t use Tiger’s Fury while Beserk is active? Or, maybe that’s what you mean by timing it right.

    Swipe for kitties is great, and I’m sure it’s going to be nice to have, but it’s just another step down that slippery slope towards homogenezation. Tigerfeet does not support this change.

  14. Drayd says:

    For my kitty dps gear in Wrath I was planning on using +Agi gems, pretty much just like I did before Wrath. Maxdps.com and a lot of the blogs I’ve read seem to agree with this, but the newest version of RAWR (v2.1.4) is telling me to stack +Str gems over +Agi in all my sockets. Both when I optimize gear or if I just take any single piece and compare it with +Str and +Agi, Str always wins out in RAWR. So what gives? I’ve always trusted RAWR a lot in the past. So does it know something everyone else doesn’t or is it improperly putting Str over Agi?

  15. Merkat says:

    I have been a long time cat-raider, well since someone told me I couldn’t.

    :D~

    I originally leveled my druid to 70 with STR over AGIL because it seemed everywhere I looked there were bonuses to both and they both fraught with savage intent, and failed to win.

    Then just before WoTLK came out I gave in and joined the Agil crowd. Now I am not sure really what to do. I’m banging my head against the wall of out of date blogs, new information that’s not confirmed and a lack of knowing these things called THE MATHS.

    In the past I always took To Hit, Agil and AP, Crit. Those were my beloved stats and I stacked them as high as the deck of cards they balanced on would allow. However there’s this new Expertise all Crit all the time.

    I am still trying to find information on what my new beloved stats are so I know what gear to have made, trade my soul for etc.

    Some day I picture Merell sitting in a capital city when they pull the plug to the last server saying ‘Meow?’….. I truly feel like the last cat on the block these days.

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