Well, here we go again.
Just when you think it’s safe to have fun, we’re gonna be changed up a bit.
Eyonix has been posting some advanced warning for changes they are intending in Patch 3.1.
The second installment, with changes for Druids included, can be found here.
Now, the text for Druids in Eyonix’s post is as follows;
- Savage Defense – this is a new passive ability. When a druid in Dire Bear form deals a melee critical strike, the druid gains a damage shield equal to 25% of their attack power. The next hit completely removes the shield regardless of how much damage was done.
- Survival of the Fittest has had its bonus armor reduced to compensate for the above increase in damage mitigation.
- Faerie Fire (and similar debuffs) now reduces armor by 5%. See Sunder Armor in the warrior update below for additional details.
- Thorns and Nature’s Grasp can be cast in Tree of Life form.
- Survival Instincts now works in Moonkin form.
- Replenish – to avoid confusion, this talent has been renamed “Revitalize.” It now also works with Wild Growth.
- We are also looking at increasing the sustained (not burst) damage of feral druids in cat form.
- The armor comment referred to above found in the Warrior section; Creature armor has been globally reduced so that debuffed targets should take about the same damage from physical attacks that they did before this change. The net effect should be that this debuff is slightly less mandatory in PvE and is not disproportionately more powerful against cloth targets in PvP.
Now, that’s some pretty interesting stuff, that to my mind comes a little out of left field.
Some of the changes are pretty simple, tools other forms have access to being added to Moonkin or Tree of Life. Being able to spec into Survival Instincts as a Moonkin should make for some interesting build choices in PvP. At least, I would imagine so, I wouldn’t know a Moonkin build if it Moonfired me into next Tuesday.
The change to Feral Faerie Fire adding an armor reduction is nice, but as I already keep Feral Faerie Fire up at all times on my target, it isn’t going to make me change my tactics during a run. I kept it up before, I’ll be keeping it up in the future. Okay, thank you. Appreciate it!
The phrasing of the armor reduction section from the Warrior changes confuses me, just a little.
From the sounds of things, they are stating that they are reducing the armor of all mobs across the boards, so that the weakened affects of Sunder Armor will have the same end effect as before.
At this time, Sunder Armor (rank 7) reduces the target’s armor by 785 per application, stacking up to 5 times for a total of -3925 armor to a target, regardless of the target’s original armor or level.
The new change, of course, is a percentage of armor is reduced. Period.
I’m interpreting this to mean that they no longer want a squishy low-armor target to be drastically, ridiculously weakened by Sunder Armor.
Armor of course equals physical damage mitigation. Many purely physical tank PvE targets have exceptionally high armor values, and so a Sunder Armor of -3925 is a reasonable debuff.
But for caster style PvE mobs, with a cloth-based physical damage mitigation, -3925 armor can be quite powerful… and falls into the ‘don’t want to have any class be a must bring’ when they look for changes.
The side effect of such a change is going to make the PvP effectiveness of Sunder Armor on cloth wearers get adjusted down a lot… which I’m sure makes everybody but Warriors very happy.
I’m curious what they mean by Creature armor has been globally reduced, though.
Obviously, it’s not live now, this is all the whispering of a pipe dream of the future. But if they really were to reduce all creature armor globally, wouldn’t that cause a corresponding increase in physical damage done to those targets?
It all depends on how much, exactly, they intend to reduce armor… and whether they will reduce the big tank style targets more than squishy caster types.
But it certainly would tend to have the effect of increasing all damage done by physical ranged and melee, though. Even if only by a teeny bit.
The proposed Survival of the Fittest and Savage Defense changes are the most… potentially annoying, however.
It seems to me that the biggest single effect this change will have is to skew our gear itemization priorities so that we want different things after we max our Agility and Stamina.
Without knowing any details I’m certainly not going to deal in any kind of wild ass guess with real numbers.
But they are saying they are going to reduce the effects of Survival of the Fittest, an always-on continuous, trusted steady as a rock Damage Reduction, and replace some of it with a Damage Absorbing shield that lasts for exactly one strike per activation, is activated by landing a successful critical strike, and has it’s Damage Absorbtion based off of Attack Power.
So how often it CAN proc is going to be based off of how fast your attacks occur (Haste Rating), how often your attacks land (Hit Rating and Expertise) , how often those attacks that actually land are Critical Strikes (Agility and Critical Strike Rating) and whose Damage Absorbtion is based off of Attack Power.
So, right now in the game I can happily pass on items that are really primarily oriented towards DPS classes. I can look for items with really high Agility and Stamina first, and let the other stuff go. I may lust after some drops that a Rogue, Hunter, Death Knight, Ret Paladin or Enhance Shammy would want, but I can tell myself that they are better for them than for myself, and they all compete for the same few rare drops, so I can pass and just not worry about it.
Oh, thank you so much for the thought that soon I may have to roll on some of those items… I’m sure they will all appreciate it.
And don’t our healers just LOVE dealing with spiky damage! After all, WoW has become boring for them, they can predict the boring old damage trends… this will certainly spice up the runs! Yay!
Lord knows I don’t want bored healers.
Yes, I know… I am overstating the affect any change will have for dramatic value. Most of our gear, once you get into Naxx and beyond, already has Hit Rating, Expertise, and Attack Power, and of course we already stack Agility to kingdom come. Most of my loose interpretation is intentionally tongue in cheek.
But I wrote it the way I did because it does seem to me to be a change intended to move us away from steady predictable damage mitigation, and bring us more in line with other tanks, having to deal with unpredictable damage spikes.
And in order to try and do the best we can as tanks, it will be our duty to try and maximize those stats we will need to get the shield up as often as possible, as strongly as possible.
And that means we change our itemization weighting again.
Oh boy, just sign me right the hell up.