Apr 202011
 

So with 4.1 having a release candidate finally hit the PTR it is a good time to talk about the upcoming changes. These changes are still subject to change but if they don’t we should be prepared. (OMG am going to get Illidan jokes for that?)

Druids
So what changed for all druids no matter your spec? Two things changed and IMHO they are both good.

  • All non-damaging interrupts off the global cooldown will now always hit the target. This includes Pummel, Kick, Mind Freeze, Rebuke, Skull Bash, Counterspell, Wind Shear, Solar Beam, Silencing Shot, and related player pet abilities.

 Skull Bash has gone from never miss to miss and now back to never miss. Not the greatest planning on Blizz’s part but a change I will gladly take. This will help cats that had to bring hit gear for interrupts on certain fights.  Skullbash is still stupid expensive but this is a nice start.

  • Druids now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Tranquility.
    This is nice. With Nurturing Instinct this is a viable raid heal we have and getting pushback on it was a pain.

Cats
Ah yes the cat changes. Some good, some great, and some…..

  • Prowl has a new icon.

Well thank god! Not what I was hoping for when asking for changes to be made.

  • 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% and is no longer cancelled by cancelling shapeshift form.
  • Feral Swiftness now also causes Dash and Stampeding Roar to have a 50/100% chance to instantly remove all movement impairing effects from the affected targets when used.

OK these 2 changes together make a nice buff. It is situational and many will see it as a PVP buff to make up for losing the shapeshift breakers, but I can live with this. Now they just need to make the range bigger.

  • Berserk is no longer on the global cooldown.

This wasn’t needed but it is helpful. I have hit Beserk early and wasted a GCD to hit it again.  To really see what this change means read Leafkiller’s post.

  • Swipe (Cat) damage has been doubled.

Ah the best for last. This very well might make us go from worst to 1st on AOE fights.  I personally can’t wait to stop tanking on Heroic Maloriak since my AoE is so bad. Our AoE is just plain embarrassing as it stands right now.

Bears
They’re big, they’re hairy, and they got some nice changes.

  • Lacerate bonus threat has been removed and replaced with increased initial damage done.

We complain about initial threat, and this is what they give us? It would have been nice to leave in the bonus threat.

  • Enrage no longer increases physical damage taken.

Speaking of initial threat, this is a nice boost. If we pick up KotJ with this new mechanic, we will have that initial threat. GG, Blizz, I like this one.

  • Savage Defense has been redesigned slightly. Instead of a single charge absorption, it now places an absorption effect on the druid absorbing up to 35% of the druid’s attack power (modified by mastery, if applicable) in damage and lasting 10 seconds. There are no longer any charges on the effect.

This was a needed change. Bear AoE threat was subpar but our AoE survival was worse. This doesn’t make us the best AoE tanks out there but it does expand what we can do.

  • 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% and is no longer cancelled by cancelling shapeshift form.
  • Feral Swiftness now also causes Dash and Stampeding Roar to have a 50/100% chance to instantly remove all movement impairing effects from the affected targets when used.

Like with cats, these 2 changes together make a nice buff. It is situational and many will see it as a PVP buff but I can live with this. Now they just need to make the range bigger.

  • Swipe (Bear) cooldown has been reduced to 3 seconds, down from 6, and is now on trainable at level 18 (training cost has been reduced). In addition, the bonus threat from this ability has been removed and replaced with increased damage done.

And there is the AoE threat to go with the survivability.

  • Thrash bonus threat has been removed and replaced with increased damage done.

Hmmm not bad, but not particularly good either.

  • Berserk is no longer on the global cooldown.

This isn’t as big a deal to bears. But it is a bear thing

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Rake is now Glyph of Pounce, which increases the range of Pounce by 3 yards.

PVP IMO.

Druid Bug Fixes

  • The Troll druid models for Flight Form and Swift Flight Form have slimmed down to be more in scale with other druid flight forms.

So you were fat.  Get over it.

So looking over the changes kind of made me happy-at first.  I saw an improvement to cat AOE damage and bear AOE threat.  I was so happy to see changes I jumped on all the changes at first.  But after re-reading and re-reading, I’m not real happy.  Feral AOE got a decent boost but not a good one.  Had they cut the cost of swipe in half it would have been better.  As it is, we will still swipe the same number of times but do double damage, run out of energy and be done in a matter of seconds just like before.  With the increase in damage all cats will need to watch their threat levels.  There was no attempt made to help us rampup our damage faster or make us better in fights with constent target switching.  The bear changes were all good ones.  So 4.1 is…………….disappointing.

On a personal note I am sorry I havn’t posted much as of late.  There simply isn’t much going on besides te patch and i didn’t want to post about it until closer to the release.  Then i got sick.  I mean really sick.  I am better now and can’t wait to discuss ferals with all of you. 

As always be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed and use the forums.  Are you on Twitter?  I am, follow me @Sylvaneart.  Feel free to PM me with any questions you might have, but the forums on this site are your best bet. This will help to answer one question one time instead of one question multiple times. This site is a posting spot for many great cats. If you are the noob with a noob question and are a little embarrassed then a PM will do fine. I will never ridicule you.

Sylvaneart

  217 Responses to “4.1 Here it comes.”

  1. If they cut Swipe cost in half and kept damage the same, all you’re doing it increasing the number of GCDs you need to use to get the dmg out. No, this works better. Less GCDs and better use of OoC procs.

    “With the increase in damage all cats will need to watch their threat levels.”

    But that’s awesome, isn’t it? Pull out that Cower button!

    • Notwithstanding the fact that you risk energy capping during Berserk if they cut Swipe’s cost in half.

    • Right now a geared feral can hit 60K easily with swipe. If you where at full energy and started to swipe you would do 3 swipes before you got energey starved. If you don’t get an OOC proc from your whites your pretty much done. Nothing dies that fast and your DPS plumets from there. If the energy was cut in half you could maintain that level twice as long. With the current change you will have to wait longer to engage hit a really hi number then your done in 3 seconds if you don’t have a TF or Beserk to hit. With the way fights are right now a sustained AOE would do more good in AOE.

      • I think the sweet spot is just to increase the OOC proc chance during Swipe.

      • Not really. What you need in fights right now is just pure damage. The only reason why you’d want sustained AOE is if you had a large number of weak adds that trickled in over time.

        H Maloriak adds just needs pure damage, plain and simple. Having your damage do 2x as much is better than making swipe 50% more efficient. You’re thinking that being able to swipe more often is better, but there’s not much reason for it at the moment.

      • You know…you can simply swipe, WAIT, swipe, WAIT, swipe. You can have plenty of sustained DPS that way. There’s nothing stopping you, and that would actually allow you to get a lot more out of OoC procs.

  2. Isn’t Cower for your target only?

  3. So with the change to Savage Defense (I’ve sadly been asked to tank for the foreseeable future), does that make mastery a more desirable stat?

    IE – Would it increase the value of the Symbiotic Worm?

    • Mastery MORE desirrable = yes. Mastery MOST desirrable = No, I feel the savage defense wont change they way we tank as much as it will change what we can tank. We simple arn’t good AOE tanks. This will make us better. If your guild has a shield tank i would still use them on AOE like Halfus whelps.

    • No, not in any reasonable way. The only situation where mastery is more desirable is in heroic dungeons. Everywhere else things just hit too hard for it to matter and avoidance is better.

      • The question was is it more desirable and that is a yes but maybe i wasn’t clear with the other part. The mastery you have will work better but it still isn’t good enough to gem/enchant/reforge too.

        • In every single raid scenario mastery is exactly as desireable as it was prior to this. It hasn’t changed.

          It’s not more desirable. Not to any reasonable extent – unless you’re running a lot of heroics.

  4. I am most excited about the swipe change, being that I’m still in heroics with my cat and my aoe damage was abysmal. That is just awesome.

    • BE CAREFUL ZEL!!!! In a random 5 man with soso tanks and no tricks or MD swipe threat will be off the charts. You might be dead before omen even calculates a number.

      • Pft. I don’t do randoms with unknown tanks! Not as a healer and definitely not as aggro monkey dps. (Plus the queue is too long without a tank buddy.)

        • So true about the Q. I don’t remember the last time I DPS’d a random without Qing with a guild tank. Personelly I can’t wait for those side mobs in BoT. the big group around the orbs. I have it planned. Starting with last mob to die from pat group. Refresh T114P>5CP SR>Survival Instincts>Swipe>Beserk>Swipe……TF>Swipe…..release>run back and check recount LOL.

        • Syl said somen about the Q being true, I felt the need to reply for some reason. Awesome write up btw good to have all the post nicely laid out. Better name for the article would of been Spring Cleaning! haha speaking of which I’m off to find a mop.

        • Been doing this lately on my Mage 25-30 min queues, and that damn toon is way OP. But nowhere enar as fun as feral DPS.

          Almost 600-700 wowheroes points between my mage and kitty and mage is pulling like 13-14k DPS on heroics, lol.

  5. FYI Update – Build 13914 has been deployed on PTRs but doesn’t bring any significant change to the game, looks like Blizzard is just wrapping up things for a live release. So hopefully everything is set for Tuesday.

  6. Still sadly disappointed we didn’t get any single target buff…”ooh look at me, I can kill mob trash! Easily!” And no, I haven’t gotten to heroic Maloriak yet (cleared the other 2 for HM access, but not BWD yet) so I can’t speak from that perspective, but it still seems to me of all the pressing issues, they fixed the one that has overall less impact on all bosses as a whole…

  7. Why so glum, sylvan? For the most part these are great quality of life changes. Especially for bears.

    We complain about initial threat, and this is what they give us? It would have been nice to leave in the bonus threat.

    This is at worst threat-neutral and actually a small buff to lacerate. The reason is that that bonus threat built into lacerate could not crit and did not scale with AP, so any time you crit with lacerate – sorry, it just did the same amount of threat. This is a good thing.

    Same thing with thrash and swipe. For thrash and swipe, both of these moves are doing 1.5x more damage than they were before. This makes them killer filler when tanking and makes putting out damage very, very good as a bear. I fully expect this to get nerfed, it’s so good; between adding 50% more swipes and adding 1.5x more damaging swipes and thrashes AND taking the thrash bleed off the armor reduction, bears are going to be seriously ripping through things.

    Put it another way: just increasing swipe and thrash’s damage by 1.5x increases a bear’s AoE damage by 150%, or close to it. Adding another swipe adds another 30% to that. These changes are almost doubling the damage output of a bear in an aoe situation. And the lacerate change makes it do more than double the damage it used to.

    • I would actually term it a small buff in threat to both Lacerate and Thrash. It may threat-neutral now, but it will make for better threat scaling down the road, because the threat that we produce from those two will now scale with crit, (remember, agi also = crit, and crit = crit, and since we’ve got so much stacked, and it’s only going to inflate over time…) whereas bonus threat does not, assuming if how I remember that works, still works.

      • Oh yeah, and the whole swipe getting its cooldown halved helps too. Yay for an AoE rotation!

        Mmmm, DR, Swipe, Thrash, Swipe, Mangle/Lacerate/FF, with Maul to taste.

      • For thrash it is threat neutral; it was a 1.5x multiplier to threat before, now it’s a 1.5 multiplier to damage. Same amount of threat. That was the ‘bonus threat’ it had.

        Lacerate will scale significantly better down the road. It’s about time.

    • I do like the bear changes. Been talking alot with my guild as to how they want me to change my spec for Bear. What to drop that will be covered by another tank and such so I can get KotJ. LOL since i was sic I must have wrote in a sic not happy mood. But our main topic here is the kitteh and I am just not impressed there.Guess I just wanted more TBO. The swipe change is good although not how I would have done it but they still havn’t addressed our other problems. I don’t need to top meters. As long as my raid is progressing I feel good. But I want to feel like they are progressing with me and not inspite of me. BTW is that a Wisconsin Badger icon?

      • It’s a badger icon from the badger badger badger thing. Long story.

        I think the swipe change will improve feral dps significantly more than you’re thinking. On stationary fights (of which Chim is basically the only one) ferals do pretty well. Where they suffer is on add fights and on target switching. Well, on add fights like Maloriak, Cho’gall, Magmaw (to an extent), Omnotron (to an extent), Halfus (holy crap), council and Sinestra there should be a significant gain in DPS – possibly too much of one. On the others, the biggest problem is melee in general, and there’s not a lot they can do to fix that short of making ferals ridiculous outside of it. I wish that FB was a bit better and that the rotation was a bit more interesting, but swipe being buffed was a huge quality of life change, and berserk being off the GCD is another big one.

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