This post incorporates publicly available leaked material from the Cataclysm Alpha. If that bothers you, please stop reading now.
A new version of the Alpha was pushed on 17 May with an updated feral tree, and information about the changes has already leaked. Allison’s latest Shifting Perspectives has covered some of the changes already, but here’s my take.
Sharpened Claws: Increases the damage caused by your Claw, Rake, Mangle (Cat), Mangle (Bear), and Maul abilities by 10%/20%. (Previously Tier 3: increases your critical strike chance by 2%/4%/6%.) Renamed version of Savage Fury, a Tier 2 talent with the same description.
Feral Aggression: Unchanged.
Savage Fury: Removed. (Moved to Tier 1, renamed Sharpened Claws.)
Thick Hide: Removed. (Previously increased your Armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 4%/7%/10%.)
Feral Instinct: Unchanged.
Shredding Attacks: Reduces the energy cost of your Shred ability by 5/10 and the cost of your Lacerate by 1/2. (Previously Tier 4: Reduces the energy cost of your Shred ability by 9/18 and the rage cost of your Lacerate ability by 1/2.)
Endless Carnage[NYI]: Increases the duration of your Rake by 3/6 sec and your Savage Roar by 4/8 sec. (New talent.)
Feral Swiftness: Unchanged.
Predatory Instincts: Moved here from Tier 8, unchanged otherwise.
Feral Charge: Moved here from Tier 5, unchanged otherwise.
Improved Feral Charge[NYI]: Increases the damage done by your next 3 attacks by 5/10% in Bear Form after you use Feral Charge (Bear), and Ravage will temporarily not require stealth for 3/6 sec after you use Feral Charge (Cat). (New talent.)
Nurturing Instinct: Moved here from Tier 5, unchanged otherwise.
Predatory Strikes: Attack power boost removed. Finishing moves retain their 7%/13%/20% chance per combo point to proc an instant Nature spell. (Previously: Increases your melee attack power in Cat, Bear and Dire Bear Forms by 50%/100%/150% of your level and 7%/13%/20% of any attack power on your equipped weapon.)
Primal Fury: Unchanged.
Primal Precision: Removed. (Previously: Increases your expertise by 5/10, and you are refunded 40%/80% of the energy cost of a finishing move if it fails to land.)
Brutal Impact: Unchanged.
Heart of the Wild: Moved here from Tier 6, unchanged otherwise.
Survival Instincts: Moved here from Tier 3, unchanged otherwise.
Survival of the Fittest: Unchanged.
Natural Reaction: Removed.
King of the Jungle: Moved here from Tier 9, unchanged otherwise.
Leader of the Pack: Unchanged.
Improved Leader of the Pack: Unchanged.
Primal Tenacity: Reduces the duration of fear effects by 10%/20%/30% and reduces all damage taken while stunned by 5%/10%/15% while in Cat Form. (Previously reduced damage taken while stunned by 10%/20%/30%.)
Protector of the Pack: Unchanged.
Infected Wounds: Your Shred, Maul, and Mangle attacks cause an Infected Wound in the target. The Infected Wound reduces the movement speed of the target by 25%/50% and the attack speed by 10%/20%. Lasts 12 sec. (Previously reduced movement speed by 16%/34%/50% and attack speed by 7%/14%/20%.)
Primal Madness[NYI]: Tiger’s Fury and Beserk also increases your maximum energy by 10/20 during its duration, and your Enrage and Berserk abilities instantly generates 6/12 rage. (New talent.)
Improved Mangle: Unchanged.
Nom Nom Nom[NYI]: When you Ferocious Bite a target at or below 25%, you have a 50/100% chance to instantly refresh the duration of your Rip on the target. (New talent.)
Rend and Tear: Unchanged.
Pulverize: 15 rage. Instant. Melee Range. Requires Dire Bear Form. Deals 252 bleed damage for each of your Lacerate applications on the target, and increases your total attack power by 2% for each Lacerate stack consumed. Lasts 10 sec.
Misc info: Shred base energycost is now 50 (talented 40.) Maul base rage cost is 10 (talented 5), consumes an extra 5 rage for each 20 rage you have. (So, 1-20 rage, Maul costs 5, 21-40, Maul costs 10, etc.)
Definitely some interesting new talents here. As Blizzard has previously stated, they like testing new talents via set bonuses, and apparently all our good ones made it in. :) Endless Carnage is a mashup of our Tier 8 4P and our Tier 9 2P, but better. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either the talent or Rake nerfed…upping a 9s DoT to 15s is pretty strong for a Tier 2 talent. Imp. Feral Charge is pretty interesting, but I see it as mostly a leveling/burst talent more than anything else. Ravage will hit harder than Shred, certainly, but not by enough to warrant major rotational changes. I’d have to look to figure out its DPE…I haven’t used it in ages.
Primal Madness is pretty meh. Good ferals never energy cap to begin with, so having a higher top-end isn’t a big deal (though it makes using TF/Berserk easier, sure). Finally, Nom Nom Nom (best name ever) is huge. Rolling Rips and constant FBs! Sweet! (Of course, this means our regular damage will get a nerf to compensate. Bleh.)
Have some Balance/Resto info as well, but I’ll leave that for now. One tidbit: Innervate is now based on the caster’s max mana pool, not base. Goodbye feral Innervates. :(