Patch 6.1 Survival Guide

Patch 6.1 is dropping this week and Ferals are in for some buffs! Let’s have a look. Patch Notes for the PTR are here and MMO Champion has a guide here and a notes here.

Single Target Buffs
Feral single target damage has dropped off as other classes have geared up. Ferals have historically not scaled well with gear increases and often need buffs as the expansion goes on (Savage Roar was buffed to 40% from 30% in Siege of Ogrimmar). To help address this we see some buffs to Ferocious Bite, Shred and Rip.

There is some concern from the Druid community that this minor buffing of direct damage abilities is the beginning of shifting our damage away from primarily dots and that it will lead to changes in the damage niche that it occupies. I’m not as concerned as this section of the community but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. From a class balance perspective, it’s important to remember that “middle of the pack” is perfectly fine. We don’t need to be at the top to be considered ‘balanced‘. This is a common argument point on the forums but is not the way the developers approach class balance.

AOE / Cleave Buffs
The state of Feral AOE damage is pretty poor and a common complaint amongst the Druid community. However I would like to point out that our burst AOE is not as bad as people claim when properly planned for – knowing the fight mechanics & energy pooling, though it’s not fantastic either. However there are some encounters were some sustained burst is required, Imperator Mar’gok & Beastlord Dramac for example. Swipe is receiving a much needed buff along with Thrash.

  • Moonfire (Feral) damage increased by 5%.
  • Thrash (Cat Form) damage increased by 20%.
  • Swipe damage increased by 20%.

I’ve included Moonfire because it’s for the Lunar Inspiration talent, which is mostly for 2-3 target fights. There is some discussion here about how the buff to Moonfire interacts and its potential damage loss / opportunity costs. Personally I’m not a fan of the talent and I’m happy to stick with Bloodtalons. The 20% buff to AOE is great, though not fantastic. People complain that Swipe hit’s like a wet noodle, but I feel they are forgetting Swipe’s other benefits; it generates combo points now and is affected by Primal Fury. Swiping multiple targets can net several combo points which can be good for keeping Savage Roar up and getting Rip on multiple targets. Also something to note, Thrash isn’t worth using single target yet as it was last expansion.

Talents Buffs
There were a few tweaks to talents for other specs, but the only one that remotely applies to Feral’s is the buff to renewal. That said, it’s a talent not taken very often by PVE Feral’s, it may see more play in PVP but I’m not really qualified to comment.

  • Renewal now instantly heals for 30% of max health (up from 22%).

It has been buffed back to it’s original percentage value. It was nerfed it Patch 6.0 along with all other percentage based heals due to the damage and healer redesign. The purpose behind most of the talent changes in this patch was to make each talent in it’s row more competitive rather than their being a clear cut choice. However I don’t think this enough to make it a more competitive choice with a passive smart / raid heal and a strong on demand preventive shield.

That’s it for Feral changes. What do you think of the buffs, were they enough? Do you think that Feral’s niche should move away from dots to a more direct damage style? Let me know what you think. You can leave a comment on the post, send me an email at, follow me on twitter @Elamari_ or you can like and / or leave a comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page



5 thoughts on “Patch 6.1 Survival Guide

  1. I was positive that pretty much all these feral changes were already hot-fixed and that the 6.1 had lots of tool-tip updates… But, any buff is a great thing from my point of view!

    It’s funny people always use the term class balancing. I think they’re getting pretty close, what people need to remember, is when you’re looking at you’re class, and how you play it.. that’s your point of view. But classes have their own strengths and weaknesses. If every class were great at cleaving, and healing, and damaging.. why have distinct classes in the first place?

    For example, im playing feral, and I’m burning down this disc. priest. but.. he doesn’t die.. he keeps bubbling… he’s more OP than me…. (we aren’t even comparing similar aspects of the classes, and we’re ignoring the fact that our damage has in the past been based on sustained dots, and that means the disc bubbles should be our bane… god, not every class should be easy feral food…)

    I don’t think anybody should be complaining about feral at the moment. In terms of balancing classes (which I think is more of a PVP thing), 1v1, feral is better than almost any other class in the game. Simply because the current state of sustained dots, insane single target burst, and even more insane instant cast self heals. I would disclaim that there are amazing players who play every class; and what’s even cooler about this class “balancing”, is that an “OP” class isn’t a substitution for hard earned talent.

    • Balancing between PVP and PVE, balancing between specs, balancing between classes, balancing between healing and dps. It is definitely a hard job. Middle of the pack is fine, balanced doesn’t mean your class / spec is on top. I can’t really speak for PVP so I’ll leave that to you. These changes are absolutely buffs. What some people confuse for buffs which are tool tip changes is when the whole tool tip is listed in the notes with sections crossed out of in different colours.

  2. Those are some great points! And while I am starting to get more into raiding… most of my guild focuses on PVP.. so I guess when I hear bitching about balancing etc, it’s always like, it’s hard to fight a WW monk as a ret pally because they move too much… stuff like that…

    This brings some new insight!

    And yes, I think thats what confused me… I my Damage today does seem oddly higher, dps in PVE grinding (with a Sotf/DoC/BT build) It’s difficult to measure as you move from zone to zone just grinding things, but it’s noticable

    • Of course it would be hard to fight against those classes. Windwalkers are highly mobile and paladins have really strong defensive cooldowns. Those are defining characteristics of those classes. That’s what they are designed to do. I don’t want to smack talk, but maybe these people need to just get better if they are complaining about defining characteristics that are rarely going to get changed (though they do get tweaked) or play a different class themselves, or change their team composition or change their strategy when playing against those classes. Not ever class is going to be equal in every measure, that said, most classes have tools available to them to offset their weaknesses and it’s up to the player to utilise them to their maximum.

  3. Pingback: Patch 6.2 Feral Druid Changes | File Under Feral

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