Well, I said I wouldn’t rehash my previous thoughts on the new talents…and I was wrong. :) I’ve seen some good writeups from other feral bloggers, and I’ve changed my mind on a few. I’ve linked the new talents to Wowhead, but they’re not in the database yet- check here for the text.
- Improved Feral Charge: Increases your melee haste by 15/30% after you use Feral Charge (Bear) for 8 seconds, and Ravage will temporarly not require stealth for 3/6 seconds after you use Feral Charge (Cat). Moderately useful for bears, mostly a PvP talent for cats. The extra damage after a charge for bears is very nice to avoid threat pulls; however, GC has previously commented that threat past the few seconds should not be a major issue, so I see this more as a 5-man talent. For cats, this is highly unlikely to be used in a PvE scenario, due to threat. Yes, you could theoretically go Prowl->Feral Charge->Stealthed Ravage->Savage Roar->TF->Unstealthed Ravage for some nice burst, but the mob will then eat your face. Some have speculated on EJ that you could Bear FC and then shift to Cat, keeping the damage buff; I think not only would that be a DPS loss, it’s a misreading of the tooltip.
- Fury Swipes: When you auto-attack while in Cat Form or Bear Form, you have a 4/8/12% chance to gain an extra auto-attack on the same target. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds. Poor for bears; meh for cats. At the moment, this talent is pretty underpowered, especially for bears. Cats have 60 auto-attacks per minute (before haste); this bumps that up to 64-65ish, which boosts our white damage by 6-8% or so, which increases our overall damage by 3-4%ish (much depends on how much more damage (proportionally) will come from our white damage in Cata; now, it’s only about 35%). Bears only get 24 auto-attacks a minute, though, so so you’re only looking at 2-3 extra attacks a minute for the 3 points, and white attacks have never hit that hard anyway. I’d like to see the 6s CD dropped some; I don’t expect it to be removed entirely due to PvP burst complaints (OMG ferals have windfury QQ), but 3s would be a little better.
- Predatory Strikes (redesigned): Increases the critical strike chance of your Ravage by 25/50% at or above 90% health, and your finishing moves have a 10/20% chance per combo point to make your next Nature spell with a base casting time less than 10 seconds become an instant cast spell. PvP talent. See the Imp. FC discussion above.
- Endless Carnage: Increases the duration of your Rake by 3/6 seconds and your Savage Roar and Pulverize by 3/6 seconds. Exceptionally powerful talent for bears and cats. A 66% increase in Rake’s duration is VERY strong. Rake was already one of our strongest abilities by DPE but was hard to consistently keep up with the 9s duration, since it was prioritized behind Rip/Savage Roar/Glyph of Shred shreds. The duration increase to SR is nothing to sneeze at, either, and will make low-cp SR’s less painful. For bears, longer Pulverize duration means that you should be able to keep Pulverize up nearly 100% (depending on rage) which means more threat and (more importantly) more Savage Defense.
- Primal Madness: Tiger’s Fury and Berserk also increases your maximum energy by 6/12 during its duration, and your Enrage and Berserk abilities instantly generates 0/12 Rage. Situational for bears; poor for cats. Unless something changes dramatically, a good feral DPS never energy caps, so bumping our cap up temporarily doesn’t do anything for us and actually encourages bad habits. Bear-wise, more rage is nice, but it’s stuck behind KOTJ, which isn’t really a great bear talent either. I speculate that they plan to permanently drop the armor debuff from Enrage, or at least make it less painful: why would they keep buffing it otherwise?
- Nom Nom Nom: When you Ferocious Bite a target at or below 25% health, you have a 50/100% chance to instantly refresh the duration of your Rip on the target. Very powerful for cats. First, is there anyone that doesn’t like the name? KEEP NNN BLIZZ! Second, this brings a welcome change to the kitty DPS rotation and brings us more in line with other melee DPS classes who have a stronger(“execute”) attack sub-25%. Anything else will have to wait for actual numbers, but it’s good to see FB being rehabilitated. This may finally make Feral Aggression worth taking for cats (but don’t count on it.)
- Pulverize: Requires Dire Bear Form. Deals 100% weapon damage plus additional 786 damage for each of your Lacerate applications on the target, and increases your melee critical strike chance by 2% for each Lacerate application consumed for 10 seconds. Very powerful for bears. This will drastically shake up the bear single-target rotation, which is good. Since FFF’s cooldown will be greatly reduced, I’d imagine its power will be drastically weakened, taking it out of the general bear rotation. I like the Pulverize-Savage Defense synergy.
Overall, I’m very excited with the direction in which Feral is going right now. Bring on Cata already! :)