Mar 012011

So, the 4.1 changes so far:

  • Cyclone duration has been reduced to 5 seconds, down from 6.
  • Lifebloom‘s bloom effect has been reduced by 20%. In addition, it now costs 11% of base mana, up from 7%.
  • Stampeding Roar‘s duration has been increased to 8 seconds, up from 6. The movement speed effect has been increased to 60%, up from 40%.
  • Swipe (Bear) cooldown has been reduced to 3 seconds, down from 6.
  • (Death Knight) Raise Ally has been redesigned to be a battle resurrection, analogous to Rebirth. It is instant cast, but costs 50 Runic Power to use, and has a 10-minute cooldown. It shares the same global battle resurrection cap with Rebirth and Soulstone.

Let’s recap. For PvE, feral druids needed a slight damage bump, a quicker rotation ramp-up, a tweak to Ferocious Bite, and better AoE. (Fixing the latter problems will likely fix the first.) For PvP, druids needed a survivability/mitigation increase to compensate for the inability to self-break snares. (Among with many other things, but this is the glaring one.)

Instead, we got: 1) a nerf to our primary PvP control mechanism; 2) a nerf to our healing in PvP (Resto druids typically don’t let LB bloom; however, with the ToL change, this may be directed at druids rolling LB in ToL); and 3) a further reason for a 10-man to bench a feral druid for a DK. Meanwhile, the Stampeding Roar buff doesn’t fix the main problem, which is the energy cost (for cats) and range. At least the bear Swipe change is nice, and a good solution to bear AoE issues. On balance, the first round of proposed changes are definitely not persuading me that Blizzard is understanding the issues we’ve been trying to communicate.

Other stuff:

– My guild and I suffered through a 0.2% and a 1% wipe on Cho’gall on Sunday. Bah! Bah I say!

– My column hasn’t disappeared from WoWI – just some technical difficulties with screenshots. Should be up soon.

– I definitely don’t PvP at a high level, but I enjoy reading the discussions of those who do. Definitely give this post by Reygahnci about feral PvP a look, and add his blog to your feedreaders.

 Posted by at 2:13 pm

  26 Responses to “Not impressed so far”

  1. All I can say is that in these uncertain times, I’m just happy I’m the best DPSer in my guild >.>

  2. Thanks for the link, Alaron, and for the comments on the changes. Still kinda depressed about my druid – she’s not nearly as fun to play anymore.

  3. Blizzquote from 5 days ago:

    [on bear threat]
    “we don’t think AE threat generation is a problem”

    Today in patch notes:
    Swipe (Bear) cooldown has been reduced to 3 seconds, down from 6.

    Just shows blizzard have a hard time finding out what to do with druids. And lack in communication.

    • That will make a fairly small difference in aoe threat at max level. Swipe is still barely worth pushing. That is mainly aimed at low level bears who don’t have thrash. Once you get thrash there isn’t that much reason to push swipe.

      It will make it a bit easier to pick up streaming adds when you only have to overcome healer threat, but against real AE damage, you will still want to thrash on CD and mix in a lot of single target abilities while tabbing around.

  4. The stampeding Roar buff is stupid. It wont make people use it more. If they are going to do anything with it they should make it’s range more.

  5. I’m convincesd they will address some of our issues for 4.1, they must. Other classes already in a better place than us are seeing buffs. If they don’t, that’s me done.

  6. Two things:

    First off, on our Chog’all kill night, one of our earlier attempts was with him at 80k. I feel for you, you’ll get him!

    Second, at the risk of sounding petty, I find it amusing that Blizzard is nerfing the ONE thing that ferals could do while rooted by an ice mage: LB themselves, and hope the mage was dumb enough to dispel it. (Yes, some of them are.) As it stands, this and the cyclone nerf are yet another nail in the coffin of an incredibly under-represented spec in arena. I am perplexed.

    The swipe reduction is eh, and bringing us one step closer to Wrath’s mindless swipe spam.

    Stampeding Roar is a dumb ability — almost as dumb (for Feral) as Mushrooms. Blizzard’s parses must see that no one is using it.

  7. Hi,

    First of all thank you Alaron for writing analyses guides etc have helped me alot ^^

    I have bin playing WOW since the game came out :p on my druid I have bin playing since WTLK and befor that I have played on my Hunter… the reason why i rerolled druid was 1. to manny good Hunters in my guild .. 2 I liked feral cat really much and that I could if nessecery go Tank aswell. And in whole WTLK it have bin fun playing feral cat ( well after i figured out the rotation ) . But nowadays with blizzards changes on cats rotation … the low energy regenaration .. the frustration I allways have when i am put on as an interupter on Nefarion i feel depressed and raiding is not as fun as it have bin . I am no Pvper well I play some arenas sometimes but I am no really pvper actually I suck in pvp :p So I would like to see some changes for uss who are raiding aswell :p In the druidforums the most discussions I see are about pvp wich I think is a little sad =(

    Is there mayby a chance Alaron that you mayby can write a letter to blizz for uss raiding feral cats and bears ?

    thanks a lott and sorry for my bad english I am tired today.

    // Elüne


    A lot of people seem to think the Swipe cooldown is aimed at lvl 85 bears. According to that post, I think it’ll be a negligible change at best, aimed first and foremost at low-level bears that have been struggling badly.

    It might help at level cap with streaming adds, but I don’t believe it will become any more useful otherwise at endgame.

  9. I’m also incredibly under-whelmed by the 4.1 changes revealed so far. Those final two words are important, as Blizzard could still pull something out of the bag, but as it currently stands I think the silence is deafening.

    Good post Alaron.

  10. I cancelled my subscription around 4.0.6 not directly because of the pvp nerfs, more in-spite of them because they have consistently failed to address any of the bear or kitty quality of life issues that have been evident since the beta / 4.0.1.

    I got the to point where tanking instances was just an exercise is frustration and no real fun at all.

    I was keeping an eye on mmo-champs to see if they address any these issue but it seems that they sticking their collective heads in the sand so it looks like I am going to permanently quitting.

    Thanks Alaron for the work on the ovale script in WotLK it worked a treat when i had to dps instead of tanking.


  11. Think that those changes were tought by Blizzard a month ago at least. The PTR/hotfix changes are always lagging behind his current inhouse design.

  12. Brilliant, I had been keeping my eyes open for a PvP feral blog and haven’t had much luck. Thanks a bunch for that link!

    Now if only Blizzard could get around to properly adjusting feral…

  13. It realy makes me sad what they have done to Feral druid, i have not tried pvp since the patch and wont even bother.
    As for pve in wotlk, i missed 1 heroic first kill from start of the expansion untill lich king hc 25 man, Now i already missed maybe 3 or 4 out of 8 heroic kills and its only the first content patch.
    And i think its mostly becuase this content favors ranged dps so much, but the fact that feral is behind other classes doesnt help either.
    I am sorry fellow Ferals, i might just reroll.

  14. Patch notes I’d like to see:

    Stampede- Make it also remove roots when you use feral charge cat (and cat only) and grant the usage of pounce or ravage.
    Reason- Our mobility sucks right now, we are the least mobile melee. It gives us a much needed root break and is similar to death grip in an inverse sort of way. It has a dead zone as well, so that when we are rooted, good players can use this to their advantage. We have no vanish unlike rogues, it provides more utility to us to use pounce while not stealthed while not making us just like rogues.

    Nurturing Instinct- Add to it, a buff that makes you immune to any snares for 5 seconds after you shift, that will also allow you to cast any nature spell instant cast (much like predatory strikes, but without combo points, that we can’t use effectively anyway without a freedom or dispeller) which also consumes the buff
    Reason- It makes shifting out of snares a something you have to think about. Do I want to be immune to slows or do I want instant cc or should I heal? Many snares are reapplied so fast (or a ground effect) it doesnt matter if you shift anyway (earthbind, rogue poison, desecration, piercing howl, hunter traps, the list goes on). It’s pretty dumb to have a melee class that can be interupted as well as silenced. With the dr’s on roots and cyclones (not to mention the lower duration) I don’t think it will be a huge issue. It also makes players think, do I want to sit in dead zone while i root, and risk an instant cyclone or should I risk him breaking out with feral charge cat by being over 20 yds.

    Cyclone- Make it dispellable. Possible boomkin talent to make it undispellable. If cats can instant cast it, I don’t think its really an issue. Resto has plenty of other options. If it does hurt them too much, adjust something else in their toolkit.
    Reason- I think it is part of the reason we ate the movement nerf. If it’s dispellable, it makes it less powerful against healer teams. It also makes the healer make decisions and that is a good thing.

    Blood in the Water- Also add to it, a buff that makes your next number (1 or more, depends on dps) of shred(s) or mangle(s) to ignore armor.
    Reason- FB is pretty useless sub 25% in pve. We need a reason to use it. It also gives us a slight pvp buff vs plate. With our nerfed bleeds and movement plate has become alot more difficult to deal with.

    Frenzied Regen (cat)- recoup anyone? Another finisher in pvp to think about. Base it around the heals that current feral cast cast via his instant buff from nurturing instinct.
    Reason- Even with Nurturing Instinct buff (current on live and what I have listed) feral healing blows. Many other melee classes have tons more healing. This would make us choose between more damage or defensive on spending our combo points.

    Predatory Strikes- Leave the ravage part as is take out the instant cast part but leave in the chance per combo point to reduce mana cost.
    Reason- meh, have to do something here, makes it better than nothing if you have extra points but not a “must have” talent.

    Survival Instincts- Make this talent also make barkskin reflect the next nature spell cast at you (only 1).
    It gives us some defense against resto druids specifically in pvp. Between hibernate, cyclone and root, they have tons of control over us…too much. It also adds to a feral tanks toolkit for pve, which is abysmally small. Balance it like spell reflect when concerning pve mobs and bosses.

    Savage Roar- Adjust as needed.
    Reason- We dont use this much in pvp and use it when possible in pve. This is the knob to use to turn up our pve damage while not messing with pvp damage.

  15. Yeah, the changes for us in 4.1 are seriously ho, hum.

    Al, are you Boom for Cho? We were having problems on him and I switched to boom… starfall, typhoon knockback, and glyphed hurricane are serious haxs on that fight for the oozes. It definitely made the difference.

    We are starting to work on Nef tonight, should be fun as it is much more melee friendly than the majority of this raiding tier.

    • Chimaeron is the ONLY fight this entire expansion that favors feral over boomkin. In all other fights including Nef boomkins kill ferals in dps.


    Feral Swiftness has a new effect – In addition, your Dash and Stampeding Roar have a 50/100% chance to remove all movement impairing effects from affected targets when used.

    From the patch notes.


    • A very small concession from all the griping that has gone on in the feral community but I guess we can take it. I would also like to see Feral Swiftness reduce the CD on one if not both abilities – specifically SD.

    • While always grateful for any improvements this is a very minor one. First off it’s mostly for PvP, which is fine. But because of the CD (SR) it means it can only be used once per arena fight. that said a well timed SR could wreck a mages day.

      I would have loved to see feral charge and SR instead of dash.

      • I’m happy with the change! Through Dash and Stampeding Roar we now have two root breaks. Hopefully they don’t take away shapeshifting’s snare break to compensate.

    • For one thing, we have a glyph for Dash reducing the cd on it.

      Between that and SR that gives us two 2m root-break cooldowns, and one of those is an AoE (albeit, short-range).

      That’s a HUGE bunch better than what we had (trinket only?!?), making us controllable without completely gimping us. Plus, it gives a new, sensible use to a skill we didn’t have a lot of use for (SR).

      I know I’m a lot happier… sure it’s not what we used to have, but after 4.0.6 it was just plain depressing to be able to do nothing but sit and wait out a root. This gives us back some options.

  17. I agree that feral charge would have made more sense, but hey, Blizzard is trying to polish what many ferals consider a less-than-stellar ability.

    A polished turd is still a turd. I don’t understand why they didn’t merely revert the mana cost of shape-shifting to BC levels — or even drastically increase the mana cost of shape-shifting when using it to break out of a root/snare.

    These changes, supposedly in the name of PvP, are going to create many more problems than they solve.

    If I may veer off topic, the homogenization of CCs to 8s in PvP is something that looked great (to someone) on paper, but will translate to many more imbalances which will require further patches, hotfixes, and headaches.

  18. I’ll take the root breaking and increased range on pounce, looks like blizzard at least listened to some of our complaints, although the were focused entirely on the pvp side of things.

    Lets hope they still plan to address some of the issues that remain on the PVE side of things, like our AE weakness and maybe make FB better Dpe than shred (Hopefully not by nerfing shred)

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