Ghostcrawler shares some shifty thoughts

Well, it has been a surprising couple of days for Druid rumors.

Ghostcrawler has apparently taken a break from placating the frantic Paladin masses to talk, at length, to the Druid community about where we are and what they’re thinking.

And since I know some of you read my RSS feed because gaming sites are blocked, I’ve put together a nice roundup of the latest juicy GC news for you.

First, in response to a big roundup of one players’ concerns, we have this massive outpouring of info;

Q u o t e:
1. Feral Mana Pools are very limited, is there a planned fix for this?

GC: It’s something we are still looking at. The way mana regens now when you’re in a form feels like it’s enough to let you occasionally use that mana for something. We think you will probably still go dry quickly if you’re healing a lot (which ultimately isn’t something we want Feral to do a lot) or if you’re chain shapeshifting (which is also something we don’t want you ideally doing a lot, but recognize sometimes you need to — dealing with a Frost mage perhaps.)

Q u o t e:
2. Protector of the Pack limitation mechanic – not very fun, what was the thinking behind this and can the limitation be removed?

GC: I’ve avoided this debate for a long time because it seems to really, really upset people that they can’t do something they really, really want to do in a very niche case. Bear isn’t designed to be something you run around solo to kill things in, and even if you want to do so anyway, your damage reduction shouldn’t be a big deal. It’s designed as a tanking talent and “solo tanking” is sort of nonsensical. Bear itself works fine without it, and in fact you can even tank just fine without it as long as you aren’t doing progression raiding. (If it affected your dps or something, I’d be a lot more convinced.)

Q u o t e:
3. Feral talent point usage in resto tree, means we have to focus too many points on a non-feral tree, also very difficult to get all the “tanking” talents offered, no room for pvp choices in a tanking build – is this intended?

GC: We designed the new Feral tree with Omen as a trade-off. If we ever moved Omen around, we would also juggle Feral talents. We don’t want you to be able to get all Feral talents and OoC. You can be a good bear, good cat, get good PvP talents or get Omen. But you can’t do it all with one build.

Q u o t e:
4. Swipe / Thorns combo (360′) Aoe. Is it possible to get a 360′ upgrade to our bear form aoe ability?

GC: We don’t think too many druids are having trouble using Swipe in its new form. A little difference among class abilities that are otherwise very similar is probably good for the game.

Q u o t e:
5. Feral Itemization issue 1: Too much Armor on some earlier tanking weapons compared to 25 man naxx gear is this intended?

GC: Do you mean you’re going to keep using the older weapon instead of the Naxx bear staff?

Q u o t e:
6. Feral Itemization issue 2: Not enough “Armor” trinkets in game making them invaluable to druids, basically once you have these trinkets you will not grab anything else unless you reach armor cap. – Can more armor trinkets be added, with different usage stats?

GC: My suspicion is you are still over-valuing armor compared to other defensive stats. I realize you don’t want block or parry but that doesn’t mean it’s armor or nothing.

Q u o t e:
7. Feral Itemization issue 3: Tanking gear – PVP gear seems to be better for tanking, more stam, why is this the case?

GC: PvP gear pays a lot more of its item budget on resilience than it did in BC so you’re going to be giving up something else (like Agi) to use it. Also make sure you are comparing PvP gear to PvE gear of the same item level.

Q u o t e:
8. Kitty AOE – Kitty form basically has no aoe ability, which limits damage output in multiple mob situations – we would have to switch to bear / caster which would mean taking a chance on pulling aggro or doing minimal damage with hurricane. Are there plans to add kitty form aoe?

GC: Hurricane and Swipe do pretty good AE, certainly better than rogues have (on which cat was modeled).

Q u o t e:
9. Cat charge being linked to Bear charge. – Why is this the intended mechanic for these two attacks?

GC: We think this would encourage quickly shifting from one form to another, which is something we have actually taken pains to discourage (RIP powershifting).

Q u o t e:
10. Berserk – The current version of Berserk feels weak now that the immunity to all snares has been removed, and its cooldown is too long. – Is there any way the snares functionality of berserk can be restored?

GC: We thought it was too good if it broke all snares and granted such a great dps increase.

Q u o t e:
11. Savage Roar – Is it possible to have it persist through shifting?

GC: Same answer. We don’t want to add anything else to the class that encourages you to say go cat, use an ability, then go back to bear. Changing forms is cool. Changing forms to buff yourself in one form then going to another isn’t what we’re going for. If you’re a cat and shift to humanoid to heal or decurse or bear to survive when being attacked — that’s cool and what the Feral design is all about. It’s when you start to chain several shifts together that we get uncomfortable.

Q u o t e:
I use cat in short bursts when I feel like the opportunity to survive is there, but this seems to indicate you want people staying in cat OR bear for extended periods.

GC: No, that’s not exactly it. Using cat in short bursts is awesome. Shifting out of feral to Innervate or Rebirth is cool, even if you immediately go feral again. Where it starts to cross the line is being a bear, going cat to hit a button, then going back to bear to benefit from the cat button. Doing feral charge bear, shifting and doing feral charge cat is not what we want. Anything that starts to feel like the old powershifting (changing just to generate mana) is what we’re trying to avoid. If it helps, think about it this way: shifting once in a small window is cool. Shifting several times in a small window is less cool.

Q u o t e:
So we will pay a penalty for having versatility that we can only use to poor effect, occasionally. Nice!

GC: We considered a model where the druid was the jack of all trades and master of all, but decided that might cause problems.

Q u o t e:
GC, this is simply not true. PvP gear at the same ilvl of PvE gear has at least as much and often more stamina and agility as that PvE gear. What it gives up is AP, armor pen, haste and crit rating – which is not all that special for tanking right now. I’ve done this comparison a number of times, but if you look at the same ilvl items in PvE and PvP for the belt/boots/bracer slots and include gems, the PvP gear comes out better for tanking than the PvE gear.

GC: If you can give me a few specific examples, I can look into it.

Q u o t e:
The Beast Within is too good? The Beast Within is a raw increase of damage at about the same level with the changes to BM, 10 points lower in the tree, on a talented/glyphed cooldown of about 35% of Berserk’s cooldown. How is that significantly less powerful than Berserk?

GC: You can’t just compare abilities between two different classes. I’m sure hunters would gladly trade Freezing Arrow for Cyclone or the ability to shapeshift to break CC (or heal, or Inneverate, or…).

Q u o t e:
Basically its a mechanic which hurts us in smaller, non-optimal parties doing heroics.

GC: I get that, but you must admit that is a pretty niche situation – not that you’d be doing small heroics, but the fact that being a bear really hurt you when trying to do so. My take on it is that the people who hate the limitation on the talent just hate the idea of the limitation, not for how it actually limits them (which is still a totally valid way to feel). It would be similar if the talent said “You gain damage reduction but only while wearing a ridiculous green hat.” It is in there just for flavor, but it has been controversial enough that we have talked about removing it. I’m not sure if we will yet, but I believe we understand your concerns.

Q u o t e:
One comment though .. on beta, it a niche situation. On live it is an almost every raid situation. Is it earth shattering? No, of course not. It is just an annoyance — and you are right that it is perception (not restating issues, you know them).

GC: I just want to understand – how is it almost every raid situation? We have tried valiantly to give all 4 tanks very similar tools. They aren’t identical, and we don’t want players to have the expectation that they will be identical. I don’t think this is necessarily the ability in which to put a stake in the ground, because we might end up changing this one, but you get my point.

Q u o t e:
Hateful Glad Robes vs. Heroes’ DW Raiments – ilvl 200
73 Agi 74 Agi
103 Stam 90 Stam
44 Crit 54 Crit
90 AP 132 AP
35 Exp
59 Res
Again, Glad has -1 Agi, +13 Stam. Dreamwalker has +10 Crit, +42 AP, +35 Exp.

GC: Okay, yes I have seen these examples before. If you are willing to give up 42 AP and 35 Exp (which is a nominal mitigation stat), then you can increase your health by 130 (plus modifiers). I don’t predict many tanks will take that trade, but we’ll see. I am sure there are other situations in which you could take an even lower item level that grants you more Stam than that. You are giving up an awful lot of threat stats though. If we start getting a lot of reports about how bears can’t hold aggro, I’m going to immediately look to see if they are wearing resilience gear. 🙂

And finally, a little more talk about graphics from Ghostcrawler;

GC: New art for forms, customization per form, and even the possibility of showing some gear in a form is all stuff we are talking about. When we have a firm plan we’re ready to unveil, I’m sure you’ll hear about it.

Okay, let me give you my impressions about this whole ‘shifting’ thing.

My greatest love for the Feral Druid class has always been the versatility.  The flexibility.

The thought that, live or die, it’s not all about standing still and mashing buttons. That maybe we can do that, stand there and mash buttons and play as ‘normal’, but for those of us willing to be aware of the flow of battle, of the events unfolding around us, and be poised to respond to changing events, we are capable of doing more. Much more.

To be able to tank a boss while the adds are swirling around you, like in the fight against Moroes when it was fresh and new and everyone was still in Blues, quest rewards and Heroic epics, learning the fight.

Tank Moroes knowing that you must stand your ground, keep aggro up at number one or two so Moroes always comes back at you, and know you have to trust each member of your raid to perform splendidly.

Tank Moroes knowing that, during the actual fight itself, the only variables you have to work with are Frenzied Regeneration and FFF and Threat rotations….

But that, for those willing to stay flexible, you can master moving your camera around that big bear butt to keep an eye on placement and member activity, and mana and health levels, and range to player targets, and be poised. 

Poised to take advantage of that split second when Moroes vanishes, and you are not about to get pounded as a tank, where you could shift to caster, and use your judgment to decide what is more valuable to the raid; throw an Innervate to who it would be most valuable to, or perhaps throw down a battle resurrection, or to pop a Lifebloom or Rejuvenation instant cast on someone Garotted, and then pop back into Bear to pick Moroes back up on the run.

The feeling that being prepared and on top of things and able to perform at that level was being a better Feral Druid than anticipated… doing something a little out of the ordinary you could take pride in. 

With what I keep reading from Ghostcrawler about where they plan mana levels to be, and how they position Talents in trees, and what they want to work when and in what form, and get tied to what….

I have lately been feeling like, we are no longer expected to be at one level, and how far we push ourselves past that determines how far we can take it.

Instead I feel like we are being balanced around the idea that we will always be flexible and taking advantage of every situation where it is possible for us to shift to another form for a planned, specific purpose, and we are being balanced to specifically limit how often, and in what way, we can shift. That how we shift and what we do when we shift is a standard, planned-for routine application of our core abilities, and using them beyond what was originally planned is not approved of.

And that using our shifting in this way is an intended function, and that our stats and abilities are being balanced with that in mind.

That we are, as a class, intended to have (purely as an example) lower DPS in Cat form than other melee DPS classes or lower Threat generation and survivability in Bear than other tank classes, to compensate for having the capability of shifting and throwing down an Innervate or instant cast HoT during the rare fight where there is a 1 to 2 second window.  

Is it a big deal?


So long as all Feral Druids are aware of it, and use their shifting opportunities every time the arise. Because if you’ve been balanced around shifting for HoTs and Battle Rez and Innervate and you do not shift, then you are performing below expectations, aren’t you? 

You’re not comparable.

I think the uncertainty over where we are balanced is unfortunately an opportunity for some to whine about lower DPS or survivability or threat, and others to howl ‘unfair OP!’, depending on what our eventual numbers look like, and whether it is clearly understood by everyone that our shifting and using off-spec abilities is working as intended and balanced in.

I am truly grateful I don’t have to try and balance a ton of classes for both PvE and PvP, and keep everyone happy, and put up with second guessing on what this, that or the other could do. I can’t even imagine how they have gotten things as awesome as they are. The sheer number of input variables and counters and output scenarios are ridiculous.

I can certainly see the point of trying to anticipate what we could do, and I can also see why they would try to take that into account and move against it or adjust for it.

But let’s also be honest… if we are going to be balanced across the board based on a playstyle that they are using as an example of how we are ‘intended’ to do things…

Wouldn’t it be nice if they shared that baseline playstyle with us, so we knew what the hell they were thinking we are supposed to be able to do?

Because I bet if they described the way they expected a Feral Druid to be able to perform during a single, 8 minute long multi-phase boss fight, it would open a lot of eyes to our capabilites, and what we can do… and what is balanced in. 

And please, dear Lord, please don’t let us find out that how they expect every Feral Druid to play is based off their observations of how one Feral Druid player in one of the most elite and capable world-class raiding guilds, taking on the highest difficulty of end game content, performs in battle.

17 thoughts on “Ghostcrawler shares some shifty thoughts

  1. So I am probably quite late on this thread. However I really wanted to post my thoughts on the talent PotP, as well as GhostCrawlers responses to the questions of it. I really think GC dropped the ball on this one a bit. I had quite a few thoughts and posted them on the forums. If anyone takes a chance to look at them and post I would love to see your opinions on the talent. Though I have to say I am a bit less angry (if that is even the right word) at the talent than when I first read it. Im not completely sold and I don’t really like it, but Im not hating on it as much as I used to. I just think there would be a better way to do it. Here is the link to what I have posted. I would post it here, but it is already up and it’s a bit long.


  2. /agreee’s with BBB

    The fact we’re versatile doesn’t chant. Some nuances change from adjustment to adjustment when Blizz massages us, but, we do not loose the fact we’re versatile and great fun to play.


  3. I’m not sure I 100% share your interpretation of GC’s comments and position, but granted, I play a Hunter, and only in my dreams am I a bear tank.

    Seems that they want all tank classes to be relative equals in the tanking department. Subtle differences here and there, but a reasonably skilled, situationally aware player should be able to tank an encounter using any of the four classes.

    My take on GC’s comments is that the situational use of shapeshifting is a good thing. Your description of Moroes and using the vanish for an Innervate is spot on. A good bear will take the opportunity to do those things in BC or in WotLK. Some players aren’t firing on all cylinders, and they might miss out on those unique situations that can make their class shine.

    Likewise, I’ve been in High King Maulgar fights with Protection warriors who know how to stance dance, and Protection warriors who do not. A good warrior will use his class mechanics to practically remove the fear mechanic from the HKM fight, while other tanks who cannot play their class with that same skill will make the same fight into a totally chaotic mess akin to the 5v5 fight in Magister’s Terrace.

    Maybe I’m being short sighted, but most of the stuff I’ve read from GC, in this post and in others around the blogosphere, seems that WotLK will be featuring players much more than toons. But only time will tell, and I’m pretty excited to see how it plays out.


  4. /agree

    We still have our versatility. It changes from time to time due to massaging by Blizz. But our versatility has not changed.


  5. I’m not going to pull any punches. Thanks to the latest patch and the changes Blizzard made to Feral Druids which they feel were “for the better” are the reason I have all-but hung up my T5/T6 geared Druid tank. He’s nothing more than a leather farmer now and the occasional tank when needed by guildies for an achievement quest. I am absolutely disgusted with the changes they made to the Feral class. I now take more damage, have less dodge (both due to talents and the change to the Night Elf racial), and I don’t care what Ghostcrawler or anyone else says, the “adjustment” they made to us that no longer requires us to have high armor is either broken or non-existent. I lost over 10,000 armor because of their gear restructuring and in no way do I see any compensation for that loss in mitigation and my talents are all tank-specific.

    I was in a heroic OHB the other night and boy, was I getting my ass kicked. Prior to the patch however, I could breeze through that instance, to the point where my healer would be bored. Now, its pathetic.

    Ok, so the changes to swipe are nice and our “last stand” ability comes in handy at times, but to be honest, I was much happier with my pre-3.0 tanking. Sadly, I’m done with my druid until Ferals are fixed and made viable, especially now that we have to spec for Bear or Cat specifically. Maybe I will try Boomkin.

    Right now, I’m all about my mage and the sheer beauty of deep fire.


  6. Whoops that comment should say if you hit Escape so you are not targeting anything, then hit swipe it will grab a target for you. Apologies.


  7. This tab-swipe issue is more of a problem with the tab function than it is with swipe. It would be easier if we could tab, but usually if you hit so that you are not targeting anything, then hit swipe, it will automatically target a mob that you can use to swipe with. 🙂 At least that has worked for me.


  8. The group based mitigation stat is not something I’m overly worried about, it seems I’ve got enough news toys to allow me to solo anything I used to still without it being a DPS race.

    As for the constant shifting for versatility …
    Netherspite fight as a DPS kitty/OT has always been fun. Start as bear, demo-roar and then kitty like crazy till flight phase. Go caster form and throw HoT’s till I get enough agro to eat the flame debuff instead of squishy healers, back to bear so the debuff doesn’t hurt (frenzied regen too) and swipe skellies. Cat form and cower for when he lands, bear and demo-roar if the first phase was dicey and back to kitty. Rinse repeat.

    This used to get a little taxing on the mana prepatch, enough so I was in the habit of carrying mana pots.

    Post patch … there is less time for mana regen while in form between the phases .. but I still end up with a full mana bar from the active mana regeneration provided by ILotP.

    The swipe issue? I mouse target same as I used to but instead of mangle/maul/swap target, I swipe/maul/swap target while turning back and forth about 45 degrees. So far I’ve not had much issue, but level 80 will be interesting.

    I’m personally a fan of our current changes, even the lower armor. Hitting the armor cap made me feel … unclean.

    Besides, if I wanted to be able to AOE tank without having to work at it … I would have rolled a pally to begin with.


  9. I kinda agree with the fact that we still have an over emphasis on armor. They basically reduced our armor (at least mine) by about 10k. That should tell you that it’s not as valuable as a stat anymore. These days I do almost all of my tanking with the 150 badge staff and leave my earth warden in my bags. The only reason I could ever see bringing it out would be if I had crappy healers or in a fight where I am getting hit really hard. Remember that they took away crushing blows, which was the main reason we needed that armor.

    As far as soloing is concerned I have actually found that the new changes have made it a hell of a lot easier. Sure we might have lost some mitigation in bear when alone, but we gained a lot in dps. Honestly, solo baron runs in strat have gotten a lot easier. The survival instincts / frenzied regen trick has saved my butt many times. In fact I always seem to end up with near full health after poping at about 1/3rd health. Plus we can has barkskin, which makes up for that mitigation loss occasionally.

    I was doing some of the scourge quests you get in epl (I went to winterspring). Things were going slow in cat so I decided to go bear, run around the shard and pick up 10-15 of those guys. Spamming swipe and glyphed maul I was doing over 900 dps (IN BEAR). Once or twice I needed the SI/FR trick, and I died when I got sloppy once, but otherwise I would normally have about 60-80% health after a 10 pull.

    As far as shifting, try HH without a healer (granted he is easy). That will make you feel OP. I three manned it the other day, healing myself between phases, never got lower than 60% health, never had to hit SI. Now I just form groups with 4 dps and me. It gets funny when people freak out when they dont see a healer in the group. Although a flaming pumpkin did kill a person here or there, hey if I can heal myself, they can bandage right?

    Oh, kara isn’t even fun anymore. Pretty much no point in using CC anymore. All I have to do is roll my face across the keyboard. I shudder to think about what has happened to ZA. That used to be my favorite raid, I dont want to see her all nerfy like.

    I agree with the swipe comments. I love the new swipe, but it can be improved. I hate the target requirement. Many times my target is in swipe range, but not hit range. The zerg of whatever right before the baron in strat does take a few swipes, but as far as I could tell i basically hit all of them. I used to have to barkskin hurricane, then swipe around almost dying. Now I kill them with almost full health. In the end, swipe has gotten better, not worse, but it can become awesome.


  10. BBB,

    I have to totally agree with you on using all your Druidy abilities to the fullest while tanking. My favorite tanking moment in BC happened while I was MT’ing the Dragonhawk boss in Zul’aman. Our OT died while clearing out the first side of hatchlings….when the boss started throwing out his firebombs I backed out and prepared to battle rez the OT. Right after I changed to caster form a firebomb landed right at my feet and the raid leader screams in Vent “What the hell are you doing, you’re standing in a bomb!” Well the bombs take three to five seconds to actually detonate and a battle-rez only takes two seconds to cast…so while standing “on a bomb” I rezzed the offtank, then shifted back to bear and moved away ASAP. I started tanking the boss again and calmly replied to my raid leader, “I was saving a wipe, is that ok?”

    I wasn’t really thrilled about GC’s response to the question about swipe though. If one of the loyal BBB readers who has access to the Beta reads this comment and happens to agree with the problems I am going to list with Swipe I would love for them to copy it to the Beta forums so maybe Blizz can fix the issue before LK arrives.

    I’m not much of a lore guy, but it really does not make much sense for a bear to be able to swipe in a complete circle and I agree tanks should be somewhat different with their abilites. Nevertheless, there are a few issues with Swipe in it’s current form that could cause Bears significant problems that other tanks won’t face. I was in MH the other night tanking the trash waves. There were a few significant issues I found. First, when a wave would come over the hill I would target the first mob I saw and fire off a FFF to get some aggro on the pack. Sp the first time I target a Spider and hit it with FFF it runs to me, then I start swiping, AoE rains down and all is well in Druidland. However, sometimes the Spider would stop and spit and me and most of the other mobs would run to me, but not the original Spider. Ok, not so bad, i’ve got some threat on him I can start swiping his buddies. The problem is i’ve already got him targeted and 15 of his buddies are wailing on me, so I hit a quick tab to change targets to one of them…..but the tab button decides to target one of the other spiders standing next to him that is also out of swipe range spitting at me. I still can’t swipe the pack of ghouls/abominations/banshees/etc. that are hitting me from melee range so I tab again, and the tab decides to target a Necromancer standing 10 feet behind the spiders, so I have to mouse click a mob in melee range or the spiders finally run in and I can start Swipe spam. By now it’s been around 4-6 seconds of messing around with tab and the AoE starts and the mobs get pulled off right away. Even if AoE waits another second or two, i’ve only got one or two Swipes in and I should have 4-5 Swipes off already.

    Yes I realize I can target a mob that won’t have a range attack and just react quicker but sometimes, what i’ve started calling the Swipe range bug, is unavoidable. On the next pull I had an Abomination targeted and was Swipe spamming and I had all the mobs on me in a huge pile. Well in the shuffle to back up and move around so all the mobs were in my Swipe cone the Abomination decides to re-shuffle and stand in the back half of my huge group of mobs….I can no longer hit Swipe because he’s 3-5 feet away and he is out of range. Now I can switch to a target closer to me, and Swipe and that swipe will actually hit the Abomination 3-5 feet away I had previously targeted, but with that 3-5 feet away Abomination targeted I can no longer press my Swipe key. You can work around it, but it’s really annoying. It can cost you Swipe time and it is seemingly unnecessary.

    Another problem can be illustrated by doing an old school Stratholme run. Right after you kill the Boss that comes out of the Baron’s structure, you get about 50 wimpy zombie adds that come out of one of the gates. They couldn’t be simplier, they all run in a straight line right to you. They don’t have much health but in tank gear they take 2-3 swipes to kill. Even if you stand in one spot and start Swiping as soon as they begin arriving, by the time they all stack up, some of them move far enough to the sides, you’re Swipe does not hit them. If you turn left to hit the ones off to the left you miss more of the ones on the right. Now you could kill these mobs with no gear on so it’s not a big problem, but it demonstrates the issue pretty well. What happens when this is a group of 15, lvl 80 mobs and you don’t hit the one on the far left or right….I wouldn’t want to be the Mage that is AoEing them down because they are going to die superfast.

    So I see two fairly easy fixes to these problems. First, remove the targeting requirement for Swipe. When you press Swipe you paw at the area in front of you for the set distance and area of effect it has now when someone right in front of you is targeted. There really shouldn’t be a need to have an aquired target. This can help fix any range bug issues where your target mob takes 1 or two steps back and is still in your Swipe damage range if you swiped, but you can’t start a Swipe because he’s too far away.

    Second, make the “targeted area 270 degrees not the 180 it is now, with the extra 45 percent being on the right and left sides. That doesn’t seem crazy lorewise, the Bear is just reaching a little further back and following through with his paw a little more. It makes us different from the other tanks because it won’t hit mobs behind us, but it will solve the issue of tanking huge packs of mobs where there are so many they start to stack to the sides of you.

    These issues go together because to solve the problem of mobs on the right and left of you being missed you can try to re-position yourself backwards, but try that out a few times, you’ll notice sometimes the mob that was in the center-front you had originally targeted will end up in the back after the re-position and you can’t swipe till you re-target a closer mob….and good luck using tab, it always seems to pick another mob that’s out of Swipe range….(and of course that’s not out of the range of the Swipe, just out of the range the game will let you press the Swipe button and have it perform a Swipe).

    I hope this makes sense, and I do realize you can work around these issues to some extent, but when these AoE packs are lvl 80-82 and you are appropriately geared, not overgeared for doing progression runs, those extra seconds or missed mobs on AoE pulls will make Druids start hearing, “Ugh, let’s get a pally tank this isn’t going to work with a Druid”.


  11. I think they don’t mind that we can shift out while tanking or in cat form, and do something else.

    I think what they want to prevent is for the ideal cat damage rotation to be:

    1) Shift to bear
    2) Mangle
    3) Shift to cat
    4) shred
    5) shred
    6) Rip
    7) Repeat

    I don’t think they have any objection to cats and bears being perfectly good DPS and tanks in their main forms; able to be competitive. And they expect us to shift out if one of our forms isn’t ideal for the situation (i.e. doing AOE) or to use abilities like battle rez and innervate. But I don’t think we’re getting nerfed for that…


  12. Shifting out whilst tanking is always going to be a dicey proposition, it’s far too easy for lag or just bad luck to result in an insta-wipe — most of the time the risk/benefit ratio just isn’t there, and the benefit, especially with the risk, isn’t sufficient to justify taking an otherwise second-rate tank class.. If we’re to be balanced around the notion that we can innervate/brez, those should be usable in forms, imho.

    At the moment it’s pretty hard to tell what we’re being balanced around, really. They remove the AoE protection because it made us superior on certain fights, yet seem unperturbed that said removal makes us now the worst on those same fights — this is balance? The PvP gear/itemization issue remains, clearly that will carry over from BC. GC’s comment on valuing armor too highly just makes me go “Huh?!?”. What else are we supposed to value, parry and block? Health and dodge, yeah, but dodge has a DR now and health isn’t a big deal once you’ve got enough for a decent TTL.

    Honestly I can’t figure out where we’re supposed to be going.

    As for PotP/Mother Bear, I have to strongly beg to differ with you, Eberron. Every tank has a PoTP-type talent, most of them better than and not as deep in the tree. None have the group limitation, none. Until a real reason (“flavor” is not a real reason, any more then it was for pots or procs) is given for this, people will rightfully feel that it’s an unreasonable limitation that should be removed post-haste.


  13. Great article, slightly depressing for me as a druid but hey…at least i’m not a rogue! I think its sad that they are taking away that jack of all trades master of all attitude. I hate having to respec 2-3 times a day (if not more). I can’t afford that!

    And feral is only good for tanking (i can only offtank) or solo grinding/dailys. I ran SSC raid buffed i had up to 5k AP or so in very decent pvp/pve gear all epics 1 blue and I think i came in 16th in dps or something? And this wasn’t with an all t6 guild….this is more of your run of the mill wannabe t5/ZA/barely t6 guild. There weren’t even any mages with us! I’m talking green ret pallies/hunters.

    Resto, I got booted out of a kara pug yesterday because I wasn’t “all resto spec.” I was 32/0/29 which is a pvp/arena build that I’ve been experimenting with (based it off of graymatter’s build?). With 1021 spellpower unbuffed 400-500 regen up to 250 while not casting UNBUFFED and they kick me. (course they wiped on trash right after booting me so I didn’t mind missing out on a noob group).

    Boomkin, while still considered “legit” boomkins are usually only average in pvp/arena. In Pve we can do ok for a straight up caster type raid but if things are going south don’t look at us. Our heals are for the most part pathetic (unless we have on healing glyphs) and the best you’re going to see is an occasional Brez of a healer. We are not going to offtank/pick up heals when the healer dies. We are pathetic pew pew furballs.

    I HATE being a jack of all trades master of none. Unless we are WAY overgeared compared to rest of raid we are not going to even come within the top 3 of a kara/ZA type raid as feral dps, and we are only equal to an average mage when we are boomkin. Resto…with the lifebloom nerf its becoming a little harder for me to hold my own…although with the nerfs of HMGT it took us about 30 min last night with only 2 noob wipes. Thanks! ~Draxios


  14. I share your final concern, BBB. Far too much of the game design is already built around the hardcore endgame raider. I can understand that it’s those hardcore lovable wingnuts that carry the addiction, er, subscription numbers, but they aren’t the only people playing the game.

    I can also admit to being a little sad about the appearance of Druid flexibility being reduced or channeled into something more… rote. I can understand it from a game balance perspective, but I can still be sad about it.


  15. Enlightening to read. I think it’s a bit of a bummer as rapid shifting for maximum benefit was something I thought was integral to the feral druid experience. That being said, I understand now where they’re coming from. People complaining about their ability to solo while in bear need their head examined. I’m wearing t4, some s1 and badge gear all gemmed for stamina (or stam/agi) but managed to do my Quel’Danas daily out in Shadowmoon Valley in two 9 mob each pulls while bear-grinding.

    Nine mobs. Two pulls. I spent more time on that daily flying to/from Shadowmoon Valley then I did actually killing the mobs!


  16. Sorry about the early formatting issues. I put the rough live and got called to the floor before I got the chance to even look at it, and with this kind of nested crap embedded from MS Word, it always gets messed up the first time.


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