According to MMO Champion’s latest patch 4.1 update:

  • x Swipe (Bear) cooldown has been reduced to 3 seconds, down from 6.

  • What else can I say? Except about bloody time!

    No, wait, there is ONE other thing I could say…

    Why the hell are obviously needed things like Swipes’ cooldown being reduced left as something to go live at some future date, but they can completely jerk Priest healers around on a whim every other day on hotfixes?

    Never mind, happy Bear is happy that of my two AoE abilities, Thrash and Swipe, one of ‘em might be useable against trigger happy DPS in pugs a touch more often. (No I don’t call Maul an AoE any more, lol)

    Just you wait, though… next update on the PTR will be a 50% reduction in Swipe damage output. Just sayin’.

    Oh, and Death Knights… grats on your new Rebirth!

    20 Responses to “About bloody time!”
    1. Iphigenia says:

      I can hazard an educated guess about the hotfix v. patch changes. When a hotfix is applied, it changes things only on the server, not in the client. Client changes require a patch. Look at a change like the hotfix that changed the cost of a druid’s Rejuvenate. The hotfix note said something like, “Rejuvenate’s mana cost reduced from 33% base mana to 25% base mana. Until a patch is applied, the tooltip will still list 33%, and 33% will still be required to cast the spell.”

      It’s because some parts of ability usage are handled by the client. The client checks to see if you have sufficient mana, or if the ability is off cooldown. (The server also checks, to avoid hacks, but first the client has to allow you to use the ability.)

      So you can change something like the passive damage boost from a talent tree via hotfix, because it happens server side. But changing a cooldown requires a patch because the client needs to know about the reduced cooldown in order to let players use the ability.

    2. Chris says:

      I’m getting absolutely disgusted with these changes. They keep giving death knights all our abiliities they take away and in better forms. Death knights can now battle rez and self heal without having to go into a vulnerable caster form, and they can now blast through any CC in pvp just by having both unholy used.

      • bigbearbutt says:

        For myself, I’ve always felt that if another class has good times, that’s no reason to be jealous.

        I never want to see another player’s class cut down to suffer just because I’m not happy with where I am at the moment. I’d much rather see my own class uplifted instead.

        This would be a better change… but for some reason, every time I see a Bear change that looks to be an improvement, something else always gets lowered as if the issue is we are perfectly balanced now, and any increase must correspond to an equivalent decrease.

        Personally, I’m not feeling balanced… but that’s just my own perception, and not backed up with facts.

        • Chris says:

          It’s not a matter of being jealous. It’s more of a feeling like, if it’s good enough to give to them, why was it so OP to take from us. I like playing bear, I had a lot of fun after 4.0.1, and all that’s happened is we get stripped more and more, while the abilities that are getting stripped are handed to other classes. All the things that made bears fun to play are going away. Not only that, the more they nerf us relative to other tanking classes, the harder it is to find groups to run. I just *finally* got done convincing ppl bears stack agil not stam, and now this.

          It really does feel like blizzard is saying, “we really just don’t like druid doing anything other than healing.” There have been no blue posts explaining their vision of bear tanking (if any) while we’ve been going through a lot of ups and downs with the tweaks. Every other class has gotten the “this is our vision” blue post. Not us. The only thing I have to go on is their actions. There’s been a lot of robbing from us to give to DKs. I don’t know any other way to interprit that then go play a DK if you want to tank.

          • bigbearbutt says:

            Yep, you’ve got some very good points. It is very tough right now, especially after having our day in the sun and feeling good. I have to keep hoping that everything will work out all right by the time they see us hitting some serious raiding content.

            • Fangtastic says:

              I’ve been playing a warrior and bear tank and there is one thing that really bothers me – savage defense is great, but it doesn’t do anything for when you’re not hitting mobs and then when its up it seems to last not as long. For instance, when on the first boss in hHoO, when we run back up after pulling the levers with the snakes chomping on your butt, on my warrior, I seem to take way less damage because I’m strafing and able to block a large number of hits. On my bear, given swipe and thrash have a CD, there are several seconds where I am getting no mitigation from my mastery. And in ICC it seemed like the SD bubble would be up for a few hits that came in at the same time (lots of mobs), but now it seems like it just goes POOF on the first hit.

              We do have our cool toys though – I love skull bash’s charge component. I truly think its an awesome interrupt!

              Also, grats to the DKs on their brez. I mostly run 10mans though so our group is still limited to one rez per encounter. For parity’s sake I wish they’d make it castable in bear form – a DK tank may be able to battlerez (still can’t parry or dodge while casting) but as bears we also loose our armor during casting which makes it much tougher for us.

          • Tsudrats says:

            Not sure they even like us healing … my tree spent most of Northred getting rogue gear … oh sorry … feral kitty gear dropping leading to many guild jokes that I should run as a cat with hardly a leather heal piece to be seen other than off emblem purchases … and then any decent cloth healing gear I couldn’t need on because it was cloth and in the wisdom of the almighty blizz they saw fit to remove the need option if it was not deemed appropriate to your class.

            I think we were all supposed to be cats and they just forgot to tell us … wait … no we were supposed to be rogues and they forgot to tell us

            • Herr Drache says:

              I’m still appalled at player’s ignorance about all things druid!
              Pre-Cata, you had to beat it into people that being “def capped” meant you specced bear.
              Now you have to explain to them again and again that agi is actually pretty good.
              My wife plays balance. And yet again she has to defend herself ever freakin’ turn when she rolls on gear with spirit on it. Perhaps she’d like to NOT have to GEM for hit?! I don’t care what T12 looks like, I don’t care that there MIGHT be another drop SOMEWHERE – here and now is a major upgrade piece for the next boss. Here. Now.

              On another note, when I geared my DPS toons via the dungeon finder, I’ve run into:
              - bad paladin tanks
              - bad warrior tanks
              - bad DeathKnight tanks. Really bad DKs!!!
              but never, ever into a bad bear tank. I guess once you go bear, you read this blog (or the other way around), and you’re too afraid of the Wrath of John, and you end up a great tank :)

              I’ve always admired bear tanks. Regardless of what Blizzard throws at you, you just shrug it off and find a way to excel. What’s hardest to overcome is the ignorance of the playerbase…

            • bigbearbutt says:

              Speaking purely from my own point of view…

              I’ve been trumpeting that Agility is critical to Bears since before Wrath. When asked about Agi versus Stam DURING Wrath, I advocated the benefits of increased crit and avoidance. (And the teeny armor it used to give).

              It was only at the tail end of Wrath that the “stack stam” fanatics took over with justification, and I hated it. And I still talked Agi for 5 mans, left the stam stacking to the serious raiding druid main tanks.

              So now… it’s business as usual around here.

              It seems so ironic to be telling Druid players… “Adapt or die”.

      • thebitterfig says:

        I don’t mind much that bears don’t have meaningful self-heals outside of caster form (Warriors can’t heal at all). Every class has it’s style and that part doesn’t bug me. However, Rebirth really needs to be usable in Bear form. Maybe some sort of tweak where the target is slightly weakened for a few seconds, or maybe bear-version has half the life/mana restore of caster-version, if they really feel the need for PvP balance, but there needs to be some way for a Bear tank who’s getting beat on to battle rez someone without getting creamed.

        • Fangtastic says:

          Warriors do have a fairly potent self heal now in the form of Victory Rush. On a fight with lots of adds, like the first boss in heroic deadmines, or even some trash we can use it several times. Glyphed, Victory Rush is available every time you land a killing blow and it heals you for 36% of your health. Warriors also have Enraged Regeneration on a 3 minute cooldown which heals you for 30% of your health, stacked with last stand etc it can be quite potent.

          We have to keep in mind that the only tanks that can cast self heals are Paladins but then while casting they can’t parry/dodge/block and they have a pitiful mana pool compared to their health. I think the real champions of self healing and blood death knights. And THEY get a battle rez! :D

          Maybe they could give us some variant of heroic leap – so we can get far far away, do the brez and be back in bear form for when the ugly gets to us. :)

    3. Trangor says:

      Before 4.0 came out my trash rotation consisted of running circles around mobs like a sheep dog and spamming Swipe. After I did have some issues with the 6 second cast but since I got Thrash there hasn’t been any issue. I don’t argue with lowering CDs though.
      I will argue with the fact that since Cataclysm came out they’ve reduced bear damage so much that I’m doing less DPS now than when I was 80.

    4. Savvy-Savvage says:

      @BBB: Swipe damage getting cut in half is exactly what I thought when I saw this. Thornsing myself before pulls has increased my AOE threat by 1/3 in the mean time. I was wondering if the spell power part of thorns was “locked in” so that I could macro-swap my caster gear in and out before charging… hrm…prolly not but EJ says it works for the mushrooms so there is that.

      @ Whoever: I spend most of my time keeping up with the news and arguing politics with my family so patch day is invariably a huge dose of comic relief for me. I get to listen to the “voice of the downtrodden” as it organizes itself and makes vocal its demands and they do it in almost exactly the same terms but with much more passion than their real world counterparts. If people were able to be as pissed off by actual oppression as they are by nerfs in wow, then civilization would be centuries ahead.

      @QQ: As a person who plays every class in the game on a regular basis, I don’t care what they change as long as the game gets better as a whole. Nothing was ever Nerfed that wasn’t OP and nothing was ever buffed that wasn’t under powered as far as I’m concerned. There have been some awkward and temporary fixes to things and the keyword is temporary. I urge other players to consider the delicacy of the struggle for balance versus diversity in class design and have fun or well.. gtfo.

    5. Lazaros of Llane says:

      For having a druid main, I oddly think it’s about time that someone else gets a battle rez, despite how iconic it is. As a boomchicken main, I can rez save a wipe by rezzing the healer out of the way and throwing down a glyphed innervate. Things are peachy. On my new tanking DK (80, just picked him back up over the weekend), I get the glee of battle rezzing a dumb melee who stands in the frontal cone… right in the frontal cone.

      Win, win.

      Savvy covered anything else I was going to say, and pretty well. Were this Reddit, he’d get my upvote.

    6. Kaleesh says:

      Loving the Stampeding Roar buff as well, it’s actually usable now rather than blink-and-miss… Well, two blinks and miss now. But still.

    7. Ursa says:

      Stampeding roar is nice, but I’d like the range bumped out just a bit more. 10 yards is a little small on some fights.

      The only battle rez out there (aside from shammy self-rez) has been the druid’s. It’s nice to see a new one, but on a melee class? I’d rather this went to an actual healing class/spec.

      The nerf to lifebloom’s bloom kinda hurts though =( It was nice to have that for damage spikes.

    8. Solitha says:

      Posted this on Eao’s blog, and now here too…

      http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2089112630?page=8#152

      The buff to Swipe is not meant for bears with Thrash. It’s meant for the low-level bears that, Blue acknowledged, are having too rough of a time holding aggro. In the same post, she said they see no problems with level-capped AoE bear threat.

      Despite that, I’m going to enjoy having an easier time picking up adds that are streaming past me towards the healers.

    9. Catal says:

      Fang, I always have a hard time using victory rush on my warrior ’cause you have to get the killing blow to use it. Works for me mostly when there’s trash around that’s so little even the high-aoe people aren’t bothering to kill it and you finish it with a cleave or tc. Which is never. I’m pretty sure I get more healing from Leader of the Pack than Victory rush.

      To whomever said “Blizzard wants all druids resto:” May be true at level cap, but they sure don’t want you leveling it. Nothing but swiftmend and rejuv ’til OL! I respeced my troll bear/boom. Maybe I’ll go resto again someday. Maybe I won’t.

      I agree that low-level bears were really, really challenging, but I kinda enjoyed it. Maybe I just spend too much time on level capped dk and warrior, but having to actually think about how to hold more than one mob is kinda fun. Yeah I had one or two really bad instances, but usually I was running with one of those dps that out-dpses normal people 10 levels above him. (2.3k dps in reg UK? I’m pretty sure any of my tanks would have had an issue with it at-level.) I’m not saying they shouldn’t change it; I’ve been telling people not to use a bear to learn to tank since the change, it would be really nice to be able to say “I love being a bear! You try it too!” again. I just don’t feel like I’m as ecstatic as I should be.

      • Catal says:

        And a further thought about swipe: for me, the hardest bear tanking was ’til 25 when I could glyph maul. They’re not changing the level of swipe. It’s still not ’til 36. So I still won’t be recommending new tanks play bears in the really low levels.

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