Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

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Harleking
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Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Harleking » Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:43 am

I was watching several Method streams (lexi etc.) for the past week and they also talked about current class balance.

Some things they said:
- Only melees worth bringing are Rogues (due to mechanics) and Unholy DK
- Ferals only have good single target dps (still not the best though) and nothing else to offer
- They are pretty bad on some fights, while other classes are useful on every fight
- AoE is pretty awful

So what is your opinion right now?
Do you think we are good or could still need some buffs? Like being ST king (we are good though), but still having Aoe and short living adds issues. Or just buff Trash + Swipe to be more useful for Aoe?

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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Zarzul » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:34 am

This is my opinion.
I really really really like my Cat, it is fun and Challenge to play.
I tryed boomkin (1st kill kromog mythic) pretty borring.
we are 7/10 Mythic, yes ! iam not in top 5 overall dps on beastlord or kromog, but rest iam or pretty close.

but then i look at pillars at kromog , and boss and mini bosses at beastlord, i do a pretty good job.
pt we are at iron maiden, and i rip the head off mini bosses on boat, i feel importen to bring on raid.
i know cat's dont have a "natural" cleave/aoe in our normal rotation, so we are "bad" at aoe, so i dont focus on that and let other player do that insted.

yes, maybe Cat aint in favor then u rush for BH world first mythic kill, but again Stenhaldi prove that wrong.
Imo did blizz fail a bit with 20 man raid, with the classstacking like 3 rogue, if u had 1 or 3 shouldt benefit from it.
but they nerf those figths yesterday

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Polihayse
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Polihayse » Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:46 am

I don't think feral needs any buffs. I think their talents need to be looked at. For half of the talents there is only one viable option. Why bother giving us a choice of talents if there is none?

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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Tinderhoof » Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:58 pm

I think we could use some talent adjustments, but the only line where there is no choice really is 45. Every other tier has more than 1 talent worth taking. I really think the CC talent lines should be combined into 1, and 90 needs a whole rework, but there are still choices.

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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Zekke » Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:17 pm

We have our place.

Method has a very unique perspective when it comes to classes as they are racing for world first. Personally, I think people are way too pessimistic about Feral's situation because in like 99% of guild's cases it isn't the Cat holding them back, rather player skill and execution. Play to your strengths and you'll find Feral is quite good!
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by inseedious » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:31 pm

Of course our single target is pretty good, and so is our 2/3 targets cleave. I honestly felt pretty useful also in fights like Beastlord and Operator, where my huge damage on boss and men at arms was much more important than aoe, and made the fight way shorter. The problem comes from a world top 500 point of view. I mean, we're not so much worth being brought as main raiders, because it's not the best choice to gear us instead of a hunter/rogue, who are both awesome in single target and aoe, especially at on-demand frequent burst. So, we would be really useful only if our single target damage was something like arcane mages one, or even a bit more. So we would be sure to be a great raid tool for almost every boss, even just ignoring aoe.

That said, feral will gain back a real good raid utility only if his aoe will get a rework (bloody thrash is a really good idea imho, and to make it balanced vs "rake only", it has to be a lvl 100 talent)
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Tinderhoof » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:33 pm

inseedious wrote:(bloody thrash is a really good idea imho
What makes this a really good idea? Rapid burst AoE on short lived adds Thrash already doesn't have enough time to finish ticking. Why would adding Rake suddenly make anything better or more balanced?

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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Kojiyama » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:41 pm

I strongly feel that:
1) Feral talent options need to be further normalized to give more situational options for different fight styles
2) Feral desperately needs an AoE finisher
3) Swipe could afford to do more damage

There seems to be some indication that Feral scaling isn't quite as good as some of the other single-target priority classes, so I wouldn't be too surprised if they have to do another minor damage bump on Feral abilities at some point in the future. I don't feel like it is needed quite yet.

Chances are that they will not try to address 2) until the next xpac, which is a real huge shame. I feel like this was a large oversight on their part, since it does not allow us to convert our second resource (combo points) into any meaningful damage during AoE scenarios.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Maldros » Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:06 pm

Zarzul wrote:This is my opinion.
I really really really like my Cat, it is fun and Challenge to play.
I tryed boomkin (1st kill kromog mythic) pretty borring.
we are 7/10 Mythic, yes ! iam not in top 5 overall dps on beastlord or kromog, but rest iam or pretty close.

but then i look at pillars at kromog , and boss and mini bosses at beastlord, i do a pretty good job.
pt we are at iron maiden, and i rip the head off mini bosses on boat, i feel importen to bring on raid.
i know cat's dont have a "natural" cleave/aoe in our normal rotation, so we are "bad" at aoe, so i dont focus on that and let other player do that insted.

yes, maybe Cat aint in favor then u rush for BH world first mythic kill, but again Stenhaldi prove that wrong.
Imo did blizz fail a bit with 20 man raid, with the classstacking like 3 rogue, if u had 1 or 3 shouldt benefit from it.
but they nerf those figths yesterday
100% agree with you. It's kinda naïve take top 10 guilds as a standard.
Also It's great to see our importance at:
Grull
Oregorger
Darmac - Beasts+Boss single target
Thogar - Boss+Men-At-Arms ST
Kromog - Boss+Pillars ST
Furnace - Elementarist + Boss ST
Maidens - Melting Boats
Flamebender - Boss ST+Multi-rake dogs
Hans & Franz - High DPS
Blackhand - Solo one balcony + heavy damage on Boss to haste P1

We are useful fellas, we are not warriors LOL. :P

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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Grizzlebee » Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:30 pm

Maldros wrote:100% agree with you. It's kinda naïve take top 10 guilds as a standard.
Also It's great to see our importance at:
Grull
Oregorger
Darmac - Beasts+Boss single target
Thogar - Boss+Men-At-Arms ST
Kromog - Boss+Pillars ST
Furnace - Elementarist + Boss ST
Maidens - Melting Boats
Flamebender - Boss ST+Multi-rake dogs
Hans & Franz - High DPS
Blackhand - Solo one balcony + heavy damage on Boss to haste P1

We are useful fellas, we are not warriors LOL. :P
You make a very good point along with many others in this thread. While Feral will never be on the top of the damage meters on certain fights we will still be invaluable. No one has burst like Feral (other than Arcane). On fights like Thogarr I am usually top on Man at Arms and Boss damage, on Kromog I am a couple million damage above the next dps, on Darmac I am top 3 for damage on every target except pack beasts.

We have only started doing Mythic Blast Furnace pulls but from what it looks like, Blast Furnace is a single target fight disguised as an AoE fight. The add priority is so important and the single target burst is even more important.

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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by inseedious » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:17 pm

Tinderhoof wrote:
inseedious wrote:(bloody thrash is a really good idea imho
What makes this a really good idea? Rapid burst AoE on short lived adds Thrash already doesn't have enough time to finish ticking. Why would adding Rake suddenly make anything better or more balanced?
It would be a good starting point to me. Also balance needs a bit of time before doing great aoe damage with starfall, but it's still a very good aoe spec. I know there are some classes who spam almost free skills for aoe burst, but a better aoe spell for feral would definitely a good starting point. I can accept to lack of aoe burst, but if a add lasts for more than 5-7 seconds, it would be a great damage increase.
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Kojiyama
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Kojiyama » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:53 pm

I wonder if it might be viable to have FB splash secondary damage to nearby targets.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Ancihcaor » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:19 am

Aoe feral ideas:

First scratch the Enhanced Prowl perk (reason is to remove the prowl movement penalty for all feral and not only those above lvl 92) and replace with:

Enhanced Savage Roar!:

"...also increases the damage targets take from your bleeds by 30% for 1 sec plus 1 sec per combo point".

Reasoning: For a lot of druid, Feral identity = bleed damage, so I was thinking about a short lasting self-buff that applies to bleeds already ticking on enemies, kinda like a bleed version of Assassination Rogues Enhanced Crimson Tempest perk effect (it buffs CT so it also increases the damage targets take from their poisons by 30% for 1 sec plus 1 sec per combo point). Or somehow like an aoe application of the old mangle debuff but with a combo point cost and a way shorter duration (max 6s) if you prefer.

I think it would perfect as an aoe finisher (balanced so it would not be efficient on single target for the bleed buff). It would definitely add some flavor to SR, making it a more interesting button to press by giving it this new versatile dual-nature "aoe finisher+self-buff". It would also probably mean the death of the infamous "glyph of savagery" (I think druids would not shed a tear about it if SR was made this fun/interesting).


Some alternate perk solutions:

- Enhanced Predatory Swiftness!:

"...your finisher moves also increase haste from all sources by 10% and also make your bleed damage benefit from haste for 1 sec plus 1 sec per combo point"
That would mean all finishers could be used as an aoe finisher by buffing Thrash and Rake for 6sec, and make haste a stronger stat for feral, especially for aoe. Aggixx implemented it in his local version of SimC late January for fun (with 20% potency instead of 10%) and it seems not too op, but maybe too difficult to implement.


- OR... Enhanced Tiger's Fury! "...also empowers Swipe, refreshes Thrash dot duration on all targets hit while TF buff is active". So every 30s, you get a 30% physical damage buff AND a Swipe that refreshes Thrash to max duration.


-Finally, we could maybe just change Swipe into an aoe finisher? removing the +20% bonus damage on bleeding targets, instead it would do:

"Swipe nearby enemies, inflicting 100% Physical damage per cp and increasing the damage targets take from your bleeds by 20% for 1 sec plus 1 sec per cp".

Don't know about you guys, but a 500% Swipe requiring 5cp and 45 energy kinda looks balanced to me. Bleed damage would spike for 6 secs after casting Swipe @5cp, while we regen energy to start building cp again. if we would go this way, Thrash would have to awards a cp. So with that new Thrash cp generator + Swipe aoe finisher, the priority would be like: keep SR up > keep Thrash up > keep Rake up > dumb cp into Swipe.

what do you think? any of those ideas would make sense to you guys?

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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Naltalah » Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:56 pm

Actually I think the ideas for different AoE finishers are nice and pretty balanced, maybe some number tweaking and we have a good alternative for AoE. However, I feel that would make Ferals "too op", since we already have our strengths. For as much I like the idea of a higher skillcap when playing any class, I also believe any of these changes would make Feral too hard to play for new players and we are already lacking players choosing Feral just because it isn't easy to master right now.

Nevertheless, talens definitely need to be looked at. We don't have any alternatives in choosing talents. The only things I ever change is Feline Swiftness/Displacer Beast and Lunar Inspiration/Blood Talons. The rest is pretty standard and why the ef would you change it.

I enjoyed playing PvP with trees when snapshotting from trinkets was still a thing and I also did it in a PvE environment, just for the lulz and it was kind of viable. But I would really like to kill one boss without that stupid wooden cat armor.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Nayni » Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:49 pm

I feel that Blizzard has done a pretty good job pulling Feral back on the "raiding market" compared to how dire the situation was looking in Highmaul.

Currently I feel like a valued raidspot, Feral is good at alot of things and the encounters in Blackrock Foundry all have a design where our raid-kit can do something well in almost every encounter, making Feral not the most needed spec but definitely not the most useless spec. We bring something good for the majority of the fights.

I know alot of people here, and more are complaining about the whole single target vs AoE imbalance but personaly I don't need any buffs, nor nerfs. I think we're pretty spot on in terms of numbers. Sure there are classes who excel at AoE and therefor "seem" to be more valued but the reality is, they're not. Atleast from my perspective (a 10/10 Mythic farming guild) Feral does just fine at what it does best.

There is not a single boss in Blackrock Foundry where I feel not valued as my current spec. I pretty much do or can do something that'll help us kill the boss or kill it faster or more efficient. Which is what I think should be the attributes you'd look into when making a raidcomp, just looking at overall damage done is just beeing stupid. A good Feral isn't a deficit to the raid, and I think Stenhaldi has proven this point pretty well. Midwinter ended top 3 in the race and he was there for every prorgression kill, doing almost everything as Feral.

What I do agree with is:
Polihayse wrote:I don't think feral needs any buffs. I think their talents need to be looked at. For half of the talents there is only one viable option. Why bother giving us a choice of talents if there is none?
If there is anything Feral needs, and maybe even druids in general is a couple of talent choices to be revamped. But apart from that I'm very happy where we are right now. Besides who likes to play the OP anyway, root for the underdog!
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by rahba » Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:33 pm

It would be nice if soul of the forest got a buff. The burst we get from incarnation+berserk+4p is great in a lot of situations. There are other situations though, with more frequent high priority targets, where a more consistent dps buff would be useful. I suppose treants should be useful in that kind of scenario too but I hate treants.

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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Kojiyama » Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:43 pm

I do generally agree with your assessment Nayni, although I would point out that given your exceptional performance you are probably reflecting the extreme high end of Feral viability. This is obviously not a "problem" as it puts you in a great position to show what the class is capable of, but do feel like toolset improvements are something that would help the 'average' Feral (early Heroic or Mythic progression) justify their raid spot against other players.

I totally agree with you that Feral brings a lot to the table right now and has ways on virtually every fight to contribute. I think the issue with the current design, however, is that the inherent lack of flexibility can be problematic as it means one's raid slot relies more heavily on comp than many other classes.

Hunters and Mages, for instance, have strong single target and strong AoE and therefore can be flexibly assigned to most tasks on the majority of fights. A fantastic player for these classes most likely does not need to worry about being benched quite so much due to a fight needing 'something else' to push the fight to a kill. 'Oh, we need more single target... alright, I'll go Arcane. Oh, we need more AoE... alright, I'll go Fire.'

So, ultimately, I'd just be concerned long-term about flexibility overall. I feel like tools and options would be good. Although the way that Ferals play now make sense to be their 'default' strength (great burst, good single target, reasonable support healing toolset) but having a talent swap to do something strong on AoE fights at the expense of single-target damage would be a great option to have.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Sibylle » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:11 pm

D'you know, I've been thinking about that lately.

I remember when aggixx pointed out to me, that there are relatively few ferals in the higher tiers of raiding (that which is heroic and mythic these days). I wonder whether there isn't a "pro bias" in the perception of the spec, perhaps even by Blizzard. What I mean is, a disproportionate number of raiding ferals are exceptional players, and their numbers make up a, well, disproportionate percentage of available parses. This could create the impression that the spec is in a better place than it is.

Could feral be a little too tightly tuned because of that?
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Nayni » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:19 pm

Kojiyama wrote:Hunters and Mages, for instance, have strong single target and strong AoE and therefore can be flexibly assigned to most tasks on the majority of fights. A fantastic player for these classes most likely does not need to worry about being benched quite so much due to a fight needing 'something else' to push the fight to a kill. 'Oh, we need more single target... alright, I'll go Arcane. Oh, we need more AoE... alright, I'll go Fire.'
While I think it's obvious that Mages and Hunters are abit over the top and I'm fairly sure that even the people playing the class would agree they're just too good in every aspect. But I feel they're issues tied to the Mage/Hunter class and has nothing todo with other classes beeing underpowered. They're still a DPS only class (just as rogue is aswell) while Druid is a hybrid class which can actualy end up playing any role in the game which can also be seen as a benefit and something that can supstitute for the fact we don't have any "real" talent choices to go from 1 strength to another in the same actualy Class specialization.

Especialy since WoD Blizzard has done a fairly good job of giving Hybrids to option to actualy see that other side of their class and give it alot more chance to have a go at playing it with the whole gear/stat changing mechanic. I personally think it's a bonus that with just a little bit of left-over gear I was ready at all times to play Boomkin if it was ever required for the raidcomp.

But I get your point about flexibility, but I think that'll always be something tied to Feral as it is a spec that's always been "not needed" but also "nice to have if you have a good one". Which personaly is something that attracts the class/spec for me in some ways.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Nayni » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:34 pm

Sibylle wrote:D'you know, I've been thinking about that lately.

I remember when aggixx pointed out to me, that there are relatively few ferals in the higher tiers of raiding (that which is heroic and mythic these days). I wonder whether there isn't a "pro bias" in the perception of the spec, perhaps even by Blizzard. What I mean is, a disproportionate number of raiding ferals are exceptional players, and their numbers make up a, well, disproportionate percentage of available parses. This could create the impression that the spec is in a better place than it is.

Could feral be a little too tightly tuned because of that?
I disagree, If you'd look at pure metrics the amount of people doing Mythic raiding in the first place is the minority of the player base. Blizzard still caters to the more casual group of the playerbase which are the people doing Normal/Heroic or PvP or whatever they want todo.

I personally don't think Feral can be compared to any pure DPS class. You also can't forget (as I already mentioned in my previous post above) we're still a class that can do everything this game allows you to do: Tank, Heal, Ranged DPS and Melee DPS which is actualy something special on it's own and something that alot of classes just can't because of design. But I think this "hybrid" design has always had it's downfall which is that regardless of the role you do end up choosing is going to be good at 1 or maybe 2 aspects of that specific role and will be mediocre to bad at the rest. Where as other classes who focus on that 1 (or 2) role(s) only are going to be given the option to actualy be good at 2 or 4 aspects of that specific role. Giving them a heads up and the flexibility to switch within the same role. We do end up having flexibility but it's revolves around going outside of that role (for example going from melee to ranged DPS, or from tank to healer). Which I think can be very valuable, but from a player PoV it requires a context switch and the ability to master multiple playstyles.

As I already said, Feral has always been a spec that's "Not required" purely I think because of the hybrid design Druid has gotten from the start. But it's always been that raidspot that can be very valuable when it's filled with a good/exceptional player. Because that person is going to highlight those 1 or 2 aspects so well that it's worth taking it, or simply because the fight highlights those aspects, or both.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Kojiyama » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:18 pm

Nayni wrote:While I think it's obvious that Mages and Hunters are abit over the top and I'm fairly sure that even the people playing the class would agree they're just too good in every aspect. But I feel they're issues tied to the Mage/Hunter class and has nothing todo with other classes beeing underpowered. They're still a DPS only class (just as rogue is aswell) while Druid is a hybrid class which can actualy end up playing any role in the game which can also be seen as a benefit and something that can supstitute for the fact we don't have any "real" talent choices to go from 1 strength to another in the same actualy Class specialization.

Especialy since WoD Blizzard has done a fairly good job of giving Hybrids to option to actualy see that other side of their class and give it alot more chance to have a go at playing it with the whole gear/stat changing mechanic. I personally think it's a bonus that with just a little bit of left-over gear I was ready at all times to play Boomkin if it was ever required for the raidcomp.
Yeah, I certainly see your point there.

I love the hybrid nature of Druid and it was the reason I made one originally way back when WoW first launched. Blizzard has come a long way since the more blatant 'hybrid tax' days, though, which I think is a good thing.

Balance being so strong on AoE is probably a big reason that Feral AoE has not been a major priority. I basically have done the same thing as you during BRF in regard to collecting Balance gear, although I have never really felt that I have been able to stay enough ahead of the gear curve to be truly using that aspect to its maximum potential.

Personally, though, I have always preferred having my secondary spec as Resto or Guardian, so the emphasis on having a strong Balance off-spec available has not really been my favorite development in Druid history. However, I don't think I would mind going Balance more often if I did not feel like I was always lagging behind my Feral spec due to the non-optimal gear availability. (Obviously, this is the best time in WoW history to be doing this, though... so I guess I can't complain too much.)
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by teddabear » Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:56 am

It seems to me everybody except Blizzard agrees that Swipe needs a massive buff. Not many Ferals have a guild that will feed them both Moonkin and Guardian gear so they don't have to sit certain bosses. There are other issues to be sure but its hard to put them in perspective when everything is dwarfed by Swipe.

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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Sibylle » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:19 am

Thanks, Nayni and Koji. No need to disagree, I wasn't stating a formed opinion, it was a genuine question :) Something I've had on my mind and wasn't sure about. Thanks for the replies, it does make sense.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by inseedious » Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:11 pm

I always liked the hybrid concept of feral. It was really enjoyable when we also had intellect (and even bonus healing) on some pieces. I would even accept to sacrify 50% of my damage to gain 50% of a healer's healing, in order to bring one less healer for a more aggressive strategy. The problem is that the game evolved in a way that made this hybrid thing almost useless at all, thus all druid specs are competitive in what they do, becoming incoherent with the initial concept/design of the whole class. So, I understand but I don't agree with justifications like "if you can't do decent damage, you're a hybrid, you can always switch to healer or tank" (ofc no one wrote this here, but can be a line blizzard is following when making priorities about class reworks/important hotfixes).

I have no doubt feral is useful for its great single target even in fights with a lot of aoe. I just think that balance currently has a great single target too, with almost the same 3 min burst (inc+allignment), and is very competitive, if not among the very best, in aoe damage. It also doesn't have to sacrify its single target damage to make great aoe, just hitting starfall button. Thus, I don't understand why a world top 200 raid leader would bring a feral instead of a balance. I always played feral because of my huge love for the spec, but I'm looking at it from a raid leader's point of view.

Feral doesn't need any buff, but definitely needs a rework. Single target is ok, even if some can hate it's huge dependence on CDs and fight duration. Just a little aoe tuning is needed, and a new finisher is as good as a new lvl 100 talent to replace CoS at this.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Itharius » Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:42 pm

If ferals remained the same but were given a huge buff to aoe, they could potentially be very overpowered because of their incredible single target and, more importantly, their 3 minute single target burst (making them the best class for mechanics like mythic kromog pillars and iron maiden boat phase). What I'd like is some sort of rake spreading mechanic similar to enhancement shaman flame shock spreading, with a moderate single target nerf and less of an emphasis on 3 minute berserk burst. That way, we'll be a much more versatile spec that relies less on cheesy 15 second burst. Our spec right now is way too niche, so we suffer on fights like Beastlord and Operator that are purely about aoe or cleave damage.

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