Patch 6.2.2 Feral Changes

Patch 6.2.2 (the flying in Draenor patch) is scheduled to be released on September 1st. There are some small buffs coming in for Feral which we will discuss in this post.

A screen shot from MMO Champion of the Feral changes coming in Patch 6.2.2.

A screen shot from MMO Champion of the Feral changes coming in Patch 6.2.2.

Rake now deals 20% more damage. In PvP combat, Rake now deals 20% less damage.
Rip now deals 20% more damage. In PvP combat, Rip now deals 20% less damage.

  • This looks to be about a 5-7% damage increases according to the theorycrafters over at the Fluid Druid. While buffs are nice, the issue I have is that the devs continue to buff the strengths of the class without addressing the weaknesses, mostly our AOE. Sure we get a little bit of cleave damage, but on short lived targets or in situations where there are lots of targets (I’m looking at you Hellfire Assualt) we will continue to fall behind.
  • The PVP changes are inline with what was announced when the next expansion was unveiled. Balancing PVP separately to PVE has been a request for a long time and now should allow the classes more movement for changes, and less susceptible for nerfs purely for PVP, such as during Cataclysm when Feral’s were nerfed due to complaints from PVP’s from a PVE trinket.

Thrash in Cat Form now deals 10% more damage.

  • While the small buff to AOE is nice, but not very useful, this has a greater impact on our single target rotation. With the incremental buffs Thrash has received each patch, it’s now finally to the point where we can use in our single target rotation on Omen procs. Before this buff, you would only use it if you had 4 piece tier 18.
  • On a minor note, the keybind I have currently for Thrash – scrolling my mouse wheel – currently doesn’t work very well. I’ll have to either create a new keybind or replace my mouse. I recommend that you all check your Thrash keybind to make sure it’s easily accessible for when you react to Omen procs.
Pawkets Twitter

Pawkets confirming that Thrashing on Omen procs is a dps gain single target.

Racial Buffs
The Horde racials have received a buff, which I suspect is in preparation for Legion PVP balancing.

Racial Changes

Screen shot from MMO Champion of the Patch 6.2.2 Horde racial changes.

I don’t PVP so I can’t really comment on the effects of the racials, but having them buffed has to be an advantage. Should be something to be aware of for Horde players non the less.

That’s it for Feral changes. What do you think of the buffs, were they enough? Do you like the play-style of strong single target damage in exchange for weaker AOE damage? Let me know what you think. You can leave a comment on the post, send me an email at fileunderferal@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @Elamari_ or you can like and / or leave a comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.

~Elamari

Hellfire Citadel Part 1

I thought I’d get on the ball nice and early and post the first part to Hellfire Citadel. There is a dedicated Raid Strategies forum over at the Fluid Druid where you can share your experiences and see what other Feral’s are doing. I recommend that you have a look.

Hellfire Assault
Not a great first encounter for Feral’s given it’s an AOE fight with lots of short lived adds. What I’ve found is best is to tab Rake and Thrash, but mainly focus on the mobs with the larger health pools such as the Hulking Berserkers. You don’t want to be wasting energy on Shred’s. Using Swipe may yield some extra combo points so I use it when I see Savage Roar coming close to an end, usually around 10-15 secs to ensure I get to 5 combo points. It would be really interesting to hear what other Feral’s do on this encounter given how poor it is for us.

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Patch 6.2 Feral Druid Changes

Patch 6.2 arrive tomorrow and with it comes the new raid Hellfire Citadel. Feral’s are also receiving a small single target buff, much like most other patches. Patch notes can be found here, an (old) Shifting Perspectives right up is at Blizzard Watch, and the PTR discussion at the Fluid Druid is still going.

Single Target Buffs
Again we are receiving some single target buffs.This is to keep us competitive in the single target / two target cleave niche. However I think this highlights our poor scaling. We saw similar sized buffs in Patch 6.1 and in mid-cycle patches in past expansions. Savage Roar has something to do with it I’m betting. They can’t really buff it more than what it’s currently at so we see buffs in other areas.

  • Rake now deals 10% more damage.
  • Rip now deals 10% more damage.

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Cat Nap #11 – Final Boss Feral Druids in Warlords

Final Boss are doing another episode on Feral Druids. This time Stenhaldi is back along with Pawkets. I’ve come up with a few questions which I’ve sent in, but I’m not sure if they’ll make it on the show. We’ll have to watch and see. They steam their show live at http://www.twitch.tv/FinalBossTV. The show starts at 6am Australian Time or 4pm EST (American time). If you miss the show live you can see it on the Final Boss YouTube Channel or via podcast.
Main Show
After Show
1. What can be done to address Feral’s weak AOE damage? Does the buff to Thrash help at all?

2. Does the buff to Thrash make it worth using in the single target rotation?

3. Has Feral’s bad AOE affected the specs representation in mythic content? I see a lot of hyperbolic comments of people being “forced” to play a different class or switch to boomkin or being sat entirely. Do these claims have any merit?

4. Is Savage Roar set too high at 40%? How does this affect the spec with regards to:

  • How punishing is it for new players and does it make the skill cap too high? Or is that the design intent of the spec? Seems counter intuitive with the Glyph of Savagery.
  • Scaling – We get incremental buffs each patch, could something else be done?
5. Any thoughts on reworking Druid Talents?
  • We have two CC tiers with little impact on game play, some options have extremely rare niche uses.
  • More diversity of the level 90 talents, with Dream of Cenarius being the only real option.
6. Thoughts on Claws of Shivallah? Has it been successful? Does it get much use by PVPers or new players? It’s told to be avoided in all PVE guides. Should it be reworked or removed?
7. Haste historically has been a bad stat for Ferals. Any ideas on how to address this moving forward?

 

Hope you are feeling refreshed after our Cat Nap.

~Elamari

The Fast & the Fur-ious – Guest blog by Cantor, Challenge Modes as Feral in Warlords

So young kitten, you’re interested in the most challenging 5-man content that Warlords of Draenor has to offer? Well, you’ve come to the right place; I’m Cantor, guild leader of Omen on Emerald Dream EU, Mythic raider and 10 year veteran of World of Warcraft, and I’m here to guide you toward your dreams of those shiny, shiny Gold timed medals. I managed to take Cantor, my Feral Druid, through 9/9 Mists of Pandaria Challenge Modes in late 2013, and 8/8 Warlords Challenge Modes in April 2015.

What should I know?

  • Challenge Modes are intense, difficult, timed dungeons that reward a little gear, but mostly bragging rights.
  • Gear is scaled down to item level 630 (heroic dungeon blues). Gem sockets, tertiary stats and set bonuses don’t work in here, and the best way to gear up is just to chain-run heroics until you find pieces with the stat combo that you want; for Feral, this is crit and mastery. Crafting 3 pieces of WoD gear and using the re-roll items until you get the correct item suffix (Of The Peerless) is also a good way to do things.
  • The dungeons are basically the same as in Heroic, but either with mechanics added or the damage ramped up to insane levels.
  • Feral is one of the weakest DPS specs thanks to our abysmal AoE damage; Shadow Priests and Balance Druids also suffer, and Guardian Druids are one of the weaker tanks thanks to their total lack of utility abilities like Anti-Magic Zone, Army of the Dead, Heroic Leap, Roll, Breath of Fire and more; if you want an easy time, go Resto, as they are the strongest healers by a country mile thanks to their run-and-gun healing ability. But hey, we didn’t pick Feral for an easy ride did we?

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Just the tip?

This post is going to be a little different. Rather than focusing specifically on Feral Druids, I want to talk about social norms, expectations and my personal experiences.

The “Event”
A few weeks back asked in trade chat to use an enchanters hut. I was immediately invited to a group by a person, no whispers or anything. I used their enchanters hut and after about 2 minutes when I was finished, I found the player and attempted to trade them a 50 gold tip. This is where things started to go south.

The player cancelled the trade, then began to abuse me through whisper. See the image below for the whisper transcript. I was basically being called cheap for only offering 50 gold, because I would be able to make money of the shards + the service being provided. While this is certainly true in a vacuum there are some issues I’d like to point out in making my case.

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Blackrock Foundry Part 1

My raid team as been steadily progressing through normal Blackrock Foundry and I thought it’s about time to take a look at it from a Feral Druids point of view. One of the advantages of BRF is it’s winged design, allowing for each team to clear bosses in multiple orders. In this post, bosses will be listed in the order we defeated them.

Gruul
This boss is a good single-target dps encounter, perfect for Bloodtalons. There is very little movement and no adds or AOE required. From a DPS perspective, there are only two things you need to worry about. The first is the Cave In ability. This places a void zone on the ground you need to avoid. This is only moderately annoying. It may cause your group to have to move or may block you exit if you get targeted by his next ability Shatter. If you get targeted by this ability, you need to run out of the raid and make sure you are at least 8 yards away from any player. Gruul has quite a large hit box and I’ve found it possible on several occasions to far enough away to avoid Shatter damage, but still be able to dps the boss. This is a good thing to try to increase your dps uptime. However it’s really susceptible to RNG e.g. two people running the same direction, or the tank moves the boss etc… Good introductory fight. Practice your single target rotation.

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