Legion Patch 7.3 Survival Guide

Patch 7.3 drops tomorrow and with it comes some significant Feral Druid changes. These changes remain unchanged from when they were on the PTR and I covered them then. The TLDR version is:

  • The 33% straight buff is to offset the nerfs to Savage Roar and Bloodtalons, however it should still be a net-positive buff.
  • The devs want to make the spec more approachable to raising the skill floor so the rotation is less punishing. This is why the duration of Jagged Wounds and Savage Roar were extended.
  • Savage Roar no long snap-shots, but updates dynamically. You still want 100% uptime, but it makes up for the dps loss less when you have to pick between refreshing Rip or Savage Roar.
  • Prowl and Rebirth are good quality of life changes. Nothing worse than shifting into humanoid form when battle rezzing.
  • Thrash and Swipe had their energy costs reduced which will help with AOE.
  • Thrash generates a combo point when used. This effect is now baseline from the Tier 19 two piece bonus. This change is a long time coming. You wont have to worry about juggling gear to keep the 2 two piece bonus.

*-*-*-* PATCH NOTES *-*-*-*

  • All Specs
  • Feral
  • Feral’s updates are focused on addressing two issues with the spec: reducing the dominance of complexifying talents such as Savage Roar, Jagged Wounds, and Bloodtalons, and reducing the damage gap between learning the spec and playing it perfectly. Feral has traditionally been a high skill-cap spec, and we have no intention of changing that, but this suite of updates should make the spec more approachable and less punishing for those still learning its nuances.
    • All damage increased by 33%.
    • Bloodtalons damage bonus reduced to 20% (was 50%), and now additionally procs from casting Entangling Roots.
    • Elune’s Guidance cooldown reduced to 30 seconds (was 45 seconds), and combo points granted reduced to 5 + 5 over 5 seconds (was 5 + 8 over 8 seconds).
    • Fixed a bug with Incarnation: King of the Jungle, where Ferocious Bite’s optional additional 25 energy cost wasn’t being reduced by 50% as intended.
    • Incarnation: King of the Jungle now only allows the use of Prowl while in combat once throughout its duration, and now reduces the cost of all Cat Form abilities by 50% while active (was 60%).
    • Jagged Wounds now causes your Rip, Rake, and Thrash abilities to deal the same damage as normal, but in 20% less time (was 33%).
    • Moment of Clarity damage bonus to affected abilities increased to 20% (was 15%), and now affects Brutal Slash.
    • Predatory Swiftness no longer affects or is consumed by Rebirth.
    • Sabertooth damage bonus to Ferocious Bite increased to 20% (was 15%).
    • Savage Roar,duration increased by 50% at all combo point levels, and damage bonus reduced to 15% (was 25%).
    • Tear the Flesh (Artifact trait) now increases damage dealt by Rake by 6% (was 7%) per rank.
  • The following talents have shifted around in the talent tree to provide more choices and allow for better balanced options.
  • The rhythm and pacing of AoE situations should now feel more consistent with the rest of Feral’s abilities.
    • Swipe Energy cost reduced to 40 (was 45).
    • Thrash Icon Thrash Energy cost reduced to 45 (was 50).
    • Thrash Icon Thrash Now generates 1 combo point if it hits a target.
  •   Savage Roar is generally maintained at full uptime, so the “deals increased damage for their full duration” on it provided no gameplay, only added complication. In comparison, Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger’s Fury and Bloodtalons still provide interesting gameplay due to their limited nature.
    •   Savage Roar now increases the damage of Feral damage over time effects dynamically, based on whether Savage Roar is active or inactive at the time of dealing damage. Previously, Feral damage over time abilities dealt a set amount of total damage over their full duration based on whether Savage Roar was active or not when the damage over time abilities were cast. Tiger’s Fury and Bloodtalons functionality remains unchanged.

~Elamari

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Feral Druid Changes in 7.3.0

Blue poster Seph has just posted about some upcoming changes for Feral. I’ve got the post below, but you can also see there original on the official forums – https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20757496609#1.

My Thoughts
Remember to keep in mind that these changes proposed and may not make it to live as it. And don’t be fooled by the 33% straight buff. It is simply to offset the nerfs to Savage Roar and Bloodtalons, however it should still be a net-positive buff.

Back in my Legion Talent Review post, I mentioned the amount of micromanagement that is required with certain talent combinations. It appears that Blizzard has also acknowledged this and sort to address with the duration increases to Savage Roar and Jagged Wounds.

Really happy with the quality of life changes to Prowl and Rebirth. There have often been times where I’ve had to battle rez a raid member and I’ve been unshifted from Cat Form. The game as moved on from the days of being pigeon-holed into roles and poor game design. This will greatly improve the way we execute this raid utility function.

*-*-*-* Blue Post *-*-*-*

Hi Cats,

We have a number of changes to Feral Druids coming soon. The general goals of these changes are:

  • 1. Reduce (but not necessarily displace entirely) the dominance of the big three complexifying and powerful talents: Savage Roar, Jagged Wounds, and Bloodtalons. Each of those talents is (on live) winning by a large margin in terms of throughput against other talents on their rows.
  • 2. Balance out the power level of the last 3 talent rows, allowing more talents builds to be viable.
  • 3. Increase the skill floor and reduce how punishing it can be to error when playing the rotation.
  • 4. Compensate for power-level-reductions of talents with baseline damage increase to the spec so that at the highest level, performance isn’t really affected, but the bottom of the spec is brought up.

The most major changes:

  • All damage done increased by 33%.
  • Jagged Wounds reduced to 20%. (down from 33%)
  • Savage Roar duration increased by 50% at all combo points. Damage bonus reduced to 15%. (down from 25%)
  • Bloodtalons damage bonus reduced to 25%. (down from 50%)

Looking back at the development of Feral Druid in Legion: when Savage Roar was moved from a baseline ability to the talent tree, in order to bring the power level of the ability closer to most talents (+25% damage to everything for a long duration is far stronger than most talents are), rather than reducing its damage bonus, its duration was significantly shortened instead. This contributed greatly to the overconstrained and overly punishing Feral rotation that you see on live today. Additionally, Jagged Wounds was added as a new talent, reducing the amount of free combo points Ferals had available to finishers such as Ferocious Bite (which was basically pushed out of the rotation entirely). Both talents probably would have been fine on their own, but taken together (because they were the strongest) at the live tuning values led to a more pressured Feral rotation than we felt was right.

Additionally, a few talents are being rearranged in the talent tree:

The primary gain here is moving Brutal Slash to a sort of multitarget/AOE lvl 90 talent row along with Sabertooth (which can be well-utilized in a sustained low-target situation), giving the lvl 90 row a solid talent for dungeons. For now, we want to go with an arrangement that keeps Jagged Wounds, Savage Roar, and Bloodtalons on separate rows so the current most common live build is still possible.

Other less major changes include quality of life and tuning adjustments to some talents to balance out the rows:

  • Prowl cooldown reduced to 6 sec (down from 10 sec) for all Druid specs.
  • Rebirth is castable in all forms, and consequently, is no longer affected by or consumes Predatory Swiftness.
  • Sabertooth damage bonus to Ferocious Bite increased to 20%.
  • Incarnation: King of the Jungle energy cost reduction reduced to 50% (down from 60%) and only allows the use of Prowl once. This it to balance out that talent row with the new Jagged Wounds and to reduce the frequency of Rake stuns in PvP while still allowing Incarnation: King of the Jungle to function as an effective Vanish.
  • Moment of Clarity now causes Omen of Clarity to trigger twice as often and increases the damage of the affected abilities by 25%. This is to better space out what is essentially a large energy proc and reduce slightly the impact that a single talent has on the resource income and pacing of the rotation.
  • Elune’s Guidance cooldown reduced to 30 sec (down from 45 sec) and combo points granted reduced to 5 + 5 over 5 seconds (down from 5 + 8 over 8 seconds).

Overall, with these changes, balance for the last 3 talent rows and consequently overall should be better in general. We expect the current most common build/playstyle of Jagged Wounds + Savage Roar + Bloodtalons to still remain one of the strongest builds, but it should no longer win by a huge margin over other competing talent builds and also should be a little less strenuous to play.

These changes should be available in an upcoming PTR build. As usual, we may make further adjustments – especially tuning – as PTR progresses.

~Elamari

 

 

Feral Druid Addon Review – dotfocus

Since early Wrath of the Lich King, I have used the Bad Kitty addon to track my bleeds and Savage Roar. It could be customised to show icons and a few other things, but I used it for the timer bars. Unfortunately it has not / is not being updated for Legion, which means I have to find a new addon. Enter DotFocus.

DotFocus is a buffs / debuffs tracker that can also monitor energy, combo points, and much more. This is the followup addon of the very successful DroodFocus by Meranannon, now adapted for Legion compatibility. While it has huge functionality, I want it just for timer bars to replace Bad Kitty. In this post I will go through the process I used to set up.

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Legion Patch 7.2 Survival Guide

First I would like to apologise for the lack of content. Real life has been happening a lot lately.

Patch 7.2 goes live tomorrow. This post will cover just the changes relating to Feral Druids. As usual, MMO Champion has a detail on all of the patch features, WoW Head has survival guide up, and there is a good summary guide of things to do on Reddit that I recommend. As always, be sure to check out the Fluid Druid.

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Legion Patch 7.1.5 Survival Guide

Patch 7.1.5 goes live today. It brings with it a lot updates and new content. This post will cover just the changes relating to Feral Druids. As usual, MMO Champion has a detail on all of the patch features. Icy Veins has a video and a post about the changes, and WoW Head has survival guide up.

Feral Changes
Most of the changes are buffs, which is always a good thing. However there are a few nerfs. Talent choices remain the same and our spell priority (rotation) stays the same.

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Legion Feral Druid Hidden Artifact Appearance

Each artifact weapon has a hidden appearance associated with it. This post will cover how to obtain the Feral Druid hidden appearance.

Acknowledgements
I would like to acknowledge the comment contributors at WoW Head for this in depth detail which greatly helped me. I am also not the original author of the macros and scripts in this post. Credit to the authors in the comments at WoW Head.

What is the Feral Druid hidden artifact appearance?
Feral Druids get what is called Feather of the Moonspirit. It is a bird like appearance complete with feathers and a beak for your Cat Form. Pretty much identical to the cat mobs in Azsuna.

The Feral Druid hidden artifact appearance - Feather of the Moonspirit

The Feral Druid hidden artifact appearance – Feather of the Moonspirit. (Image source: WoW Head)

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Which item is better? How to compare items

Sometimes when a item drops it can be difficult to tell if it’s an upgrade over your currently equipped item. Especially if the secondary stats are different. Maybe haste is your best stat, and is on your current gear, and the new item has crit, which isn’t as good as haste, but the item also has more main stats. How do you tell if it is really an upgrade?

Luckily, there is a way to mathematically calculate if this new item is a true upgrade over you current gear i.e. increase your throughput. It is done using stat weights and some simple multiplication and addition.

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