Dire Cat Form = Vaporware

As revealed directly by Class Designer Koraa, there are no plans now or in the future for a Dire Cat Form.

End of story.

Now, you might think that Kalgan had told us something completely different at the WWI Q&A. Did Kalgan lie to us in the World Wide Invitational?

Allow me to quote what Kalgan said, exactly.

Will feral druids get new skins in WotLK?

They talked about it, but while some players would like it, other wouldn’t, like when the Rogue stealth animation was changed.

Will druids get male or female optional forms to choose from?

There is plan for a new dire bear form model and the introduction of the dire cat.

Thanks be to Lisana of the guild Zerg, who brought the question immediately back to Koraa, who says it wasn’t an actual lie… he was just mistaken as to the nature of the Druidic graphics changes that were planned… right? 

Koraa said;

I think what Kalgan meant was that we intend to do different texture variances for Druid forms, including Cat form. Which is true, though not sure how soon we’re going to get that. They may come from a repeatable quest, or through inscription.

Yeah… um, so, Kalgan wasn’t lying, exactly, he was just thinking that something that wasn’t done yet, something a class designer has no idea when they are going to get to, was going to really be Dire Cat Form, and worth mentioning at the WWI Q&A… along with Dire Bears getting a new model. Yeah. Because Dire Cat Form and ‘different textual variances acquired from an Inscription or a rep/quest grind’ sound so much alike in team meetings.

*cough cough* BULLSHIT *cough cough*

But I’ll let you be the judge.

I’m thinking of how it would feel, if I were in France, having paid to attend a series of panel discussions given by the Lead Designers of World of Warcraft, to learn firsthand what the future plans were for my favorite class…

And I were to hear firsthand about various changes to my class, changes that spark my imagination and send excitement surging through me (yes, I’m a Druid fanboy)… and later find out the guy was talking off the top of his head and presenting to us as fact things he did NOT know for certain.

I’d feel exactly like I do now… but additionally, I’d wonder why I should bother going to any panels in the future? Just go to the event and meet the CMs and get fanboy pics taken, and maybe get a goodie grab bag and see the Beta live and hands on of real new stuff… not things some dude made up.

Let’s be honest… it’s things like this that, right or wrong, can make you feel that your class is of no concern to the designers. Clearly, they are more interested in some other class, if they are so far off reality, right?

I am NOT going to drag out the whole “Kalgan loves PvP Warriors, and hates Warlocks” drama that we used to see all the time. I don’t know the man, I don’t know what, if anything, he likes to play in the game. And if he is responsible in a significant way for WoW as it is, then I’ve really got no problems here overall. I love the game.

But there are only so many classes. The game has been out for a long time now. Many folks have 3 or more level 70 characters. We argue over and memorize the Hit Rating cap, the armor cap and if there really ever IS an armor cap or diminishing returns from armor, things that are inherently more micro-scale than, oh… a WHOLE NEW CLASS FORM.

You’re telling me that Tom Chilton (Kalgan’s alter ego), Lead Designer, can’t tell the difference in scope between ‘Dire Cat Form’ and ‘texture changes’?

What the heck am I supposed to think about a new Dire Bear model? Is that all bullshit too?

That’s all I’m going to say about it.

Since I can’t just end on a down note, then let me give you the sunny part of the discussion. It’s not all gloom and doom, not by a long shot. 

In that same thread on the Beta forums, Koraa states that it IS planned for Druids in forms to be able to get the effects from Items or Enchants that have a chance to activate “On Hit”, as previously reported.

Currently, Druids in forms do not get the advantage of such things, because when we are in forms Items and Enchants act very much as though we are using our naked furry paws and claws and teeth to attack, and the only benefit we ever get is from items that boost our base physical stats or have flat ‘always on’ effects.

The thinking, which I have never argued with, is that when you shift, you are no longer holding a physical staff to whack a badguy with, so why would an enchant proc? Hell, as a pen-and-paper RPG GM, I can tell you straight up that I totally agree with the thinking there.

The counter-argument, of course, is one of class mechanics, class balance and math. If a Rogue can get weapon enchant procs and trinket procs ‘On Hit’ and we can’t, like Mongoose and Crusader and Romulo’s Poison Vial, then where is the equality?

 Well, it looks like we don’t get a Dire Cat Form.

But, at least we get to have flaming claws of Windfury!


25 thoughts on “Dire Cat Form = Vaporware

  1. I’ve given the “all bears look alike” issue some considerable thought. I understand the difficulties of making hundreds of armor models fit four legged characters It’s not easy and I’m not sure it can be justified – there are other things I’d rather they spent their time on. But _some_ differentiation would be nice. So… I’m thinking they could change the shoulder mark on the bear and cat forms to whatever is on your equipped tabard (when you enter that form, of course).

    Yes… My mace says “I’m exalted with CE… I did the work”… But when I’m tanking, that’s hidden. I’d be more than happy to wear their mark on my shoulder.


  2. I think people can’t make enough fuss about not implementing an upgrade to Dire Cat… the survivability in Catform isn’t great and since they’re reducing the gains on agi to dodge/crit Catform is going to be even more squishy, with rogue loot on them that doesn’t have any additional armour and stuff like hitrate and haste rating… it’s not going to cut it.
    The catform needs an overhaul when it comes to its mechanics, it’s now or never or we’ll not see any use of Rogue loot which we obviously will be getting according to their new item-designing philosophy.

    The only thing that might save us if they reveal something more between the levels 77 and 80, or the damage upgrade in Dire Bear is really that great that it can be successfully used to actually PvP in. Otherwise it’s not going to make us PvP viable by a long shot with that 5min cooldown Berserk -_-
    Although we came out better for PvE than before… it’s not really where many of us perhaps would like the only improvement to be…


  3. It really can’t be that tough to just make several models and have it all based on stats. Like lets say I have T7 level armor/dodge then I should have a new model shown for my bear. When I get up to T8 level armor/dodge then a new and more bad-ass model will show up. Same for T9. And maybe have it be subjected to resilience too just so the PvPers don’t get left out.

    And for cats just have it based off of AP and crit.

    If we do that we’re talking about 3 new models for each. It really can’t be difficult.


  4. only, you won’t be getting claws of windfury. the weapon enhancement is shaman-only, and the totem is being changed to provide flat melee haste…


  5. I’m of the same opinion, how does someone that involved with the design and direction of the game get new skins and an entire new form/ability confused? Somebody is full of shit and needs to get their stories straight.


  6. I think its fair enough that they were not clear on their plans for cosmetic changes. If there was some lack of communication between Blizzard staff on this particular point – well, I forgive them for that. I never thought “dire cat” meant anything more than cosmetic, since “dire bear” is just what bear is called past a certain level.

    I bet cosmetic changes are pretty trivial for them, so it makes sense they’d make off the cuff comments. For players, though, cosmetic changes are often huge.

    Though I dont quite get it myself, nor do I really care. I know where my gear is at, and we all get see it when I’m not shifted. I spend enough time posing around in Shatt like most people 😛 But I’m a bear. Pretty purplely green glowy gear aside, I tank with my face!!!!!


  7. @ARA – Dire Bear and Bear are two different forms with 2 different sets of stat modifications. Bear form increases your armor by 180% whereas Dire Bear increases it by 400%. They do both have the same 25% boost to sta though.

    So for me, the term “Dire Cat” would suggest something superior to the normal “Cat” form.

    It goes back to my D&D days…all the “Dire” animals were significantly more powerful than their non-Dire counterparts.


  8. Khy, thank you for letting ARA know why this is such a big deal for Druids.

    As Khy said, Dire Bear is not just a cosmetic change, but a significant upgrade for bear tanking over starter-grade bear form.

    When someone mentions Dire Bear to me, I don’t think about the visual difference. The only thing I think of is the massive armor multiplier upgrade it gives us over default bear form.

    The question Tom was asked, specifically, was about graphical changes… “will there be male and female models”.

    He chose, of his own free will, to mention Dire Bear getting a new model (which has nothing to do with male or female variations), and in the same statement said they were going to “Introduce Dire Cat”.

    Introduce Dire Cat.

    He brought up Dire Bears first… not just bear, DIRE bear… which stands out for it’s superior performance in the role that form is used for, and then mentions the introduction of something brand new, using the words “DIRE CAT”.

    I immediately inferred he was intentionally saying Druids were, at the highest level, perhaps even as a 51 point talent, going to get a version of Cat Form that had improved mechanics for what cats are about… DPS. A form we didn’t haev, that would be introduced.

    If he had just said “No, Druids are not getting forms differentiated by sex.” there would be no issue.

    If he had said “We are not planning on making form models specifically for female or male models, but we DO plan on adding ways to change your shifted forms’ cosmetic appearance, perhaps through questing or Inscriptions or some other method we are still testing” then we would have been delighted.

    He went there. We didn’t. And now poor Koraa has to try and make it right.


  9. I think I’m out of the loop. I didn’t know cats needed so much improving it necessitated a whole new form level. Not that it wouldn’t be neat and all. New graphics etc are surely needed though.


  10. Sigh.

    I didn’t say we did, Awl.

    I said that’s what we were told, and it would have been neat, and I was looking forward to it, and from what I’ve seen, so were a whole ton of other Druid players.


  11. I’m hardly surprised. It’s probably even morbid of me.

    Roots will never work indoors! Yet now it is supposed to.
    Weapon procs will never work in forms. Yet, apparently they will.
    Potions can’t be used in forms. Until now?

    The hit box issue doesn’t exist/can’t be fixed! Well, apparently they were right on that one!

    Gawd, just change the drooling monkey tauren cat form. 😦


  12. I am thinking lots of people will be excited about a Minor Glyph/Quest/Set Bonus to change the appearance of your forms. Polar Bear Tank anyone?


  13. Oh I agree, I’m looking forward to any tantalizing info that suggests we will get to change our form appearance.

    I guess I’m easy to please. Tell me what you are going to do, and then actually, eventually, do it.

    I know that sounds hard.


  14. ah well i love my druid and hav canceled my sub for some time now but i am still reading up the news on wotlk.

    i think one of the greatest problems in wow is, that the mechanics are severely flawed when it comes to scaling.

    i suggested the change the now make to spell damage about a year before and i made some suggestions for proper scaling when it comes to melee classes (or physical damage dealers).

    warriors and rogues will continue to scale better than any other class because they benefit from weapon damage AND attack power. my suggestion would be to remove weapon damage from the game and scale only via attack power- just like druids do now.


  15. Well the thing is, it seems most of the classes are getting equal amounts of treatment from blizz. If they started with a new Cat form and Bear form, thats 4 new 3D models that have to be created, with matching animations. No other class has had major modelling or animation reworks.

    I think Dire Cat may be like Epic flight form, it might be introduced early in Wrath, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Actually I think hunters have probably got the most work done to them out of all the classes for wrath.


  16. [quote]Will feral druids get new skins in WotLK?

    They talked about it, but while some players would like it, other wouldn’t, like when the Rogue stealth animation was changed.[/quote]

    This is the answer that completely removed my will to game, really. Take a look at the druid forums once in a while…
    (rant about how out of touch designers are with the community deleted)
    … anyway, the number one non-mechanics issue druids have is that we want some differentiation between us when in forms. This should be obvious, but for some reason the dev team is squeamish about implementing graphics changes that are actually wanted by the public, while pushing out crap like the tauren weapon scaling changes that they had to revert.


  17. Just to point out, dire bear and bear form are, cosmetically exactly the same. So when I head dire cat, I didn’t think of a cosmetic change.

    Second, cats do need to be improved some. I’m not a super high end raider, but the truth is that kitty’s don’t scale in damage. Despite being a “dual” role concept, that isn’t really what’s going on. Feral’s can tank, more or less, equally with other tanks. Cats cannot really, without big gear discrepencies, dps more or less equally with other dpsers. Another way to say it is that you could take a bear only in a raid, but a cat only would never really make it. None of that is meant to be harsh, btw.

    Resto druids are equal healers to other healers. Feral tanks are equal to other tanks. Boomkins are maybe not equal, but pretty close to other range dpsers. Cats lag behind in melee dps. I was hoping that dire cat would fix some of the scaling issues and close the gap. Maybe they’re doing that anyway.

    And yeah, we need new skins. I’m glad they plan on doing it, I just hope they hurry up.


  18. Tizoc- There are a ton of models and animation in WoW allready with different skins for bears and cats…all most druids are asking for is a choice. Blizzard spends so much time putting in different armor sets… well they did in bc and regular in WotLK we will all be using the same gear so probably all look alike. So when all the priests start complaining they look like the other mages and locks… we must remind them that all druids look the same in forms.


  19. Boojah- What cats lose in dps they add to the dps of others. Between Faerie fire, LoP and Mangle cats give alot back to the group. Boomkins are often the same way with crit bonus and insect swarm.

    As far as dps I’ve topped the charts in raid as a moonkin and as a kitty (for the fights I wasn’t tanking) alot of it comes down to group make up and proper gearing. Since none of the undead bosses are immune to bleed there is no reason cats can’t keep up with other dps. Will you be #1 every fight? of course not but if I wanted to be straight dps I would have rolled a rogue.


  20. so no new form this expansion. but some glyphs but we will probably only allowed so many glyphs. so it will be a combat verses looks choice for many.
    im not really impressed.


  21. Well some good points have been brought up: cosmetics have and always will be a HUGE deal to most players (just look at how much effort goes into getting a tabbard); and even moreso it’s a rather big deal when anything drastic is done to the classes mechanics. This, hence, is why the “fabrications” were such a big deal.

    Now on a sidenote with the disputed “poor scaling” of the DPS, it is absolutely essential to note that while the feral cat will NEVER do as much DPS as a warrior or rogue, it can make that difference up with utility; otherwise it is missing the point of its role as a specialized hybrid class. So as to confirm on the necessity of the dire cat, I would say perhaps not as drastic a change as the dire bear.

    I must (on a very personal note) agree that cosmetic versatility would be a blessing!! I know I don’t speak alone in expressing my disdain towards the tauren lion. This is something that is extremely easy to implement (as far as new skins) and is a slight reflection of Blizz’s lack of enthusiasm towards this goal (or perhaps for once we were told honestly and they are simply trying to figure out how to implement they “system” of feral cosmetics.)

    Just some thoughts…


  22. @nefer

    I doubt anyone will be reading this, but warriors and rogues scale above you because they have to be in melee range. Also they have very few aoes, and if any they do very little damage.

    And to the thought of dire cat… bears upgrade to dire bear at 40 so they may be “plate” wearing tanks like the others. Until rogues get a major upgrade such as being able to wear mail armor (yeah right) dire cat will not exist for anything other than cosmetics.


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