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

 

 

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.

Continue reading

Legion Patch 7.1 Survival Guide

This week Patch 7.1 was released on October 26. With it comes some new content including:

  • New Karazhan mythic dungeon
    • Entry to the dungeon require attunement. There is a guide at WoW Head. It involves running several mythic dungeons and a few short quests.
  • New Trial of Valor raid
    • A new 3 boss raid that opens two weeks after Patch 7.1. Again there is a guide at WoW Head that explains the quest chains and shows the loot.
  • New Suramar questline
    • Continue the Nightfallen quest chain with these new quests. They should also help with your Nightfallen reputation grind. See WoW Head’s guide.
  • More world quests
  • Blood of Sargeras trader
  • New Raiding with Leashes
    • Pets are available from Wrath of the Lich King raids: Ulduar, Trial of the Crusader, and Icecrown Citadel.
  • Class changes

A few updates for Feral Druids:

  • (Balance, Guardian, Feral) Druids how have Regrowth in place of Healing Touch.
    With this update, our Healing Touch Macro will need to be updated with Regrowth. Here is the new macro

    #showtooltip
     /console autounshift 0
     /use Regrowth
     /console autounshift 1
  • Activating Incarnation no longer triggers a global cooldown for any spec.
    This is a quality of life change I’ve wanted for two expansions. It’s frustrating that it comes at a time when Incarnation is not the talent of choice. A welcomed change none the less.

It appears that the farm in Mists of Pandaria (Sunsong Ranch) has been fixed also. I have been working my farm to collect the mats to craft some Sky Golem mounts to sell. They have been going for 100-110k. Mostly due to the price of herbs being high, and the ability to pick herbs in this mount without being dismounted. At the farm, the master plough was bugged only ploughing 1 square instead of 4, and there were other bugs with some of the other mechanics, pulling weeds etc. With the Blood of Sargeras trader coming with this patch, the price of herbs will likely drop through the floor, which means the price of the Sky Golem will likely drop. Hopefully not by much, maybe around to 60-70k. I’m two thirds of the way through the mats, so I will finish these batch off and see what the price is.

What are your thoughts on Patch 7.1? Too soon? Should have the problems it fixes been fixed before launch? Let me know what you think. Feel free to leave a comment on the post, send me an email at fileunderferal@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @Elamari_ or like and comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.

~Elamari

Legion Pre-expansion Patch Survival Guide

The Legion pre-expansion patch has been announced for July 19, this Wednesday. As with all pre-expansion patches, we will have access to most of the features of the expansion except for being able to level past level 100, artifact weapons, and the new zones. For the Legion pre-patch this means you will get:

  • New wardrobe transmog system
  • New UI changes
  • Class changes – spells, talents and glyphs
  • Stat changes
  • Pre-expansion event – Demon invasions.

In this post I’m only going to cover changes relevant to Feral Druids. WoW Head has a full guide to the pre-patch and the latest PTR patch notes at battle.net.

Continue reading

Final Boss Feral Druid – Second Pass

Final Boss earlier this week posted a video on Feral Druids in the current Legion beta build. The quick and dirty summary:

  • New spell animations
  • No major game mechanic changes
    • Still Rake, Rip, Ferocious Bite
    • Snap-shotting still exists with Tiger’s Fury, Blood Talons and Savage Roar
  • Savage Roar is now a talent, not baseline
  • Thrash and Swipe now hit 360 degrees instead of a frontal cone

Link to video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-jb5-YsbT0

I plan on doing separate posts for talents and the artifact weapon in the future. Stay tuned.

~Elamari

Legion Expansion Release Date – 30th August

As you can tell from the title, the release date for the next World of Warcraft expansion Legion has been announced. It is scheduled for the 30th August, which is about 4 and a half months away.

Official Blizzard press release – http://blizzard.gamespress.com/THE-LEGION-INVADES-WORLD-OF-WARCRAFT-AUGUST-30

By pre-purchasing the expansion you get 1 boost to level 100. Pre-purchasing Legion will also grant early access to the Demon Hunter prior to the expansion’s release. During the pre-launch early-access period, players will be able to complete the Demon Hunter’s unique starting experience on the shattered, Legion-corrupted world of Mardum and achieve level 100, leaving them fully prepared to join their allies on the Broken Isles the moment the expansion launches.

Stay tuned for more content – coming soon (TM).

~Elamari

Cat Nap #15 – Feral Druid Design Discussion

There was a good summary on MMO Champion of some discussion between the Feral Druid Community and the developers recently. The main talking point was around the lack of value haste currently has and how that interacts with class design, specifically bleeds vs direct damage.

Link to MMO Champion Post – http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/5530-Frost-Mage-Artifact-Intro-Vodka-Done-Raiding-Blue-Posts-Zarhym-Leaves-Blizzard

Link to Official Forums – http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/20742735372?page=2#23

Where do I stand?
I tend to agree with the intent of the developers, in that I would like to see better balance between direct damage and bleeds. When we become to focused in one particular area not only does it highlight our strengths, it also highlights our weaknesses e.g. too much bleed focus penalizes us switching targets. However this hasn’t been seen in game much if at all. All through MOP Swipe and Ferocious Bite were hit like a wet noodle. The Rune of Re-origination pushed the spec further down the bleed focused path.

I agree with the design that haste should not affect the speed that bleed tick at. That would just push us further down the bleed path rather than balancing bleeds vs direct damage. This quote sums it up perfectly:

‘Rake currently does ~500k, and Shred does ~130k. Again, no wonder Haste sucks, when all it gives you is more of those ~130k Shreds, not more Rakes.’

I’m hoping in Legion we can see this balance between bleeds and direct damage become a reality.