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

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

Post by Dysheki » Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:37 pm

Sigh, I thought the hybrid tax idea was finally out-of-sight out-of-mind but apparently not.

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

Post by Nayni » Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:12 am

Itharius wrote: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.
Just because you aren't doing 100k DPS padding some dumb adds that die regardless doesn't mean you're "suffering". Adds on bosses like Beastlord and Operator are so trivial it's not important who does the most damage to them.

I'd personaly hate to see Feral lose ground on ST and get an almost useless AoE buff. I'd rather get stronger in the aspect of single target "swap" scenarios then some padding AoE buff.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Sibylle » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:15 am

I believe there's room for a buff to Swipe without making ferals OP. There are plenty classes/specs with strong single target AND decent AoE damage.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by TheLOOGE » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:01 pm

There are no such things as "trivial adds" in BRF. That is the delusion that we have sort of trained ourselves to believe because our AE damage is totally impotent. Things such as Beastlord Spears or pack beasts, Thogar adds, Kromog hands, Flamebender dogs, Blackhand Iron Soldiers... they all have to die. IF they are so trivial, go ahead and let them roam around or ignore them. I guarantee you you won't get far. At all.

That said, as I've made the case elsewhere, I'm all for a more balanced Feral damage setup. I don't espouse an Incarnation nerf in any capacity, but a SotF buff/rework would be nice. Perhaps a Sunfire effect added to LI where it would spread to other adds in a small 4-5 yd radius. Some form of CP AE finisher so that we have something else to spend 5 CPs on other than single target abilities/Savage Roar has also been pitched and is a nice idea, but likely won't happen this xpac.

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

Post by Kojiyama » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:50 pm

Nayni wrote:
Itharius wrote: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.
I'd personaly hate to see Feral lose ground on ST and get an almost useless AoE buff. I'd rather get stronger in the aspect of single target "swap" scenarios then some padding AoE buff.
Why does it have to be either-or though? It's pretty clear that Hunters and Mages have no issue with being top-tier single target while still having good AoE options. I don't feel like Druids should be very different.

I've said this before, but for sustained single-target damage Blizzard has been pretty careful to balance everyone within a pretty small margin. The same can't really be said of AoE and that's really a problem.

The fact of the matter is that classes like Fire Mages are once again creeping up on Feral in single target damage and as long as we have weak AoE that is a big balance issue. I don't really think the solution is to throw more single-target damage at us. Our single target damage is really quite fine.

Burst damage is fundamentally a result of our cooldowns and has little relevance on sustained single-target. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for more AoE options as long as they are not strictly passive.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Tinderhoof » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:57 pm

I think a lot of adds in BRF are trivial. Most of the adds that you describe are trivialized by free AoE or cleave abilities that improve single target of other classes. We don't have any of those. Our AoE options are poor as they are slow and we lose a big chunk of Single target by using them on adds that die really fast (to fast for us to have made any real difference).
Of all of the adds you listed only the Flamebender dogs really have any reason for us to be on them. The remainder lower your damage on the target that matters and you still look worse on the meters because they die to fast. Sure I would love to have some more AoE to pad with but if it isn't meaningful to the fight why does it matter?

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

Post by Kojiyama » Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:32 am

Well, they are obviously meaningful to the fight--just not relevant to Ferals as it currently stands. That's a big distinction to make.

I'm not sure I totally buy the argument of, "we don't need AoE because other classes AoE better than us and it's not worth AoEing," since it's fairly circular. If our AoE was good, we would be AoEing and it wouldn't be a waste of time.

Right now, our attempts to AoE via Swipe, for instance, are generally considered 'padding' because they are ineffective. They don't have to be ineffective and if they were effective it wouldn't be considered 'padding' anymore.

(Thash, however, is typically still useful as it is almost always neutral for primary target DPS with the 2pc bonus, so it is basically just 'free' AoE DPS. The amount of this DPS is not exactly going to set the world on fire, though, without any kind of reasonable AoE generator or finisher to fall back on.)
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by TheLOOGE » Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:27 am

Koji's got it in essence but you're on to something there too, Tinder.

My mindset pretty much lies in the fact that there is no other class that is super good at single target and completely shit at something else like Feral is currently. I can't think of any other class that is unable to be versatile, swap to a different ability to spend their resources on or talent and be able to burn various "irrelevant" adds down.

And again, these adds are irrelevant. But they are only irrelevant to us because we are simply incapable of contributing any meaningful damage to them. That doesn't mean that it's just "padding." Have you ever tried to do Mythic Kromog without a single Balance druid? It's a fucking nightmare. It's even worse when I have a half decent Balance spec and other raiders are kinda looking at my hands damage and thinking... "Jesus why are you still playing Feral?" Of course, my pillar damage more than makes up for that deficit, but there again, Balance druids can equal our damage on pillars and still destroy hands. See where I'm getting at? I don't want extra AE potency to simply 'pad.' I want to be useful outside of the pigeonholed ST role. I think you share this sentiment as well if I'm not mistaken.

Scumbagging dps is just dotting everything on Blast Furnace and hitting Starfall when available. Security guards are super low priority but at some point, they still have to die. But that's the only encounter where I would be able to square with you and say, "Okay. This is what I could call 'padding.'" But on every other fight in Foundry (or even Highmaul), anything that spawns usually has to die fairly quickly otherwise shit goes awry fast. And in most of these cases, Feral isn't just the weakest class; we're off by an enormous margin.

I think we're all on the same page, but how we get there is another story. Are we 'fine' right now? Yes. Could we be a fuck ton better and fill more raid roles? Of course. Only thing I'm here to clear up is this assertion that most adds in Foundry encounters are not important or irrelevant or what have you. They most certainly are. Only thing that isn't relevant is our contribution to them. Very important distinction, as Koji pointed out.

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

Post by Nayni » Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:23 am

TheLOOGE wrote:But on every other fight in Foundry (or even Highmaul), anything that spawns usually has to die fairly quickly otherwise shit goes awry fast. And in most of these cases, Feral isn't just the weakest class; we're off by an enormous margin.

I think we're all on the same page, but how we get there is another story. Are we 'fine' right now? Yes. Could we be a fuck ton better and fill more raid roles? Of course. Only thing I'm here to clear up is this assertion that most adds in Foundry encounters are not important or irrelevant or what have you. They most certainly are. Only thing that isn't relevant is our contribution to them. Very important distinction, as Koji pointed out.

Does it really have to die within 2 seconds? No, and I say that with confidence because since I've switched guilds and raided with them for 4 weeks now I can tell you that we never focus on any of these trivial adds, and it's because they are trivial.
  • Beastlord packbeasts, don't have to die in 2 seconds. We kill them with almost no cleave and this even gets to a point where I gain single target damage from them because I can apply a full duration Thrash and gain all the energy from it with 4 piece.
  • Operator, we focus the boss so hard, the fight is over in 4 minutes, We skip so many actual mechanics by ignoring most of the trivial ones.
  • Blast Furnance, fine, I'll give u the benefit of the doubt and say that during transition from p1 to p2 you have to somewhat mass AoE the leftovers down because you can start with the elementalists. But guess what, if you kill those all in 1 go, which Feral is really good at: https://www.warcraftlogs.com/reports/23 ... rget=222.1 and after that it's p3 which is pure boss damage, which again Feral is really good at.
  • Kromog, we're a beast when it comes to pillars and the hands, I call them trivial, they were never a problem during progress and I can't see how they can ever be a problem.
  • Flamebender, possibly the only boss in this instance where spawning Adds are on a timer that's deadly when not met. But during progression you should've always carried the 2nd set pretty well with Incarnation.
  • Blackhand, Feral can solo a balcony, and is a melee class meaning it can't be targetted by Mark of Death. We are one of the perfect classes to go up and deal with one of the important mechanics of the fight.
And I know not everyone here, or every Feral for that matter is clearing Blackrock Foundry atm or is even doing Mythic. But I personally believe that we are in a very good spot right now. The biggest problem that still lives from previous expansions is the perception of overall damage. There are indeed classes that are going to "look" alot better at overall numbering but in no way has this todo with actualy contributing to the fight. Our toolkit and damage sources come into play almost perfectly in Blackrock Foundry. The biggest problem is getting someone else, who doesn't play Feral, to actualy understand it.

And last, can we stop comparing everything to Mages and Hunters, nobody is going to deny, they are just blatantly OP right now.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Stenhaldi » Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:10 pm

Thogar: During progression, we had a significant number of wipes to not meeting an AoE DPS check during splits, especially if anything went wrong with a grip or one of the good AoE classes was dead/made a mistake. I always pooled resources to AoE as much as I could, and even sometimes had to use ferocious bite on a straggler.

Kromog: I switched to balance early on because we were dying to hands.

Blast Furnace: Feral can do well on the first primal elementalist (and maybe another later on), which is useful. Meanwhile, BM hunters can do just as well on the first elementalist, better on the other elementalists, and also do good AoE damage (in fact my alt hunter can top damage on the elementalists while keeping beast cleave up during the burns). Before 6.1, replace BM hunter with demonbolt warlock. In general, feral does well enough on the elementalists alone but does not do well on the other important target in that phase, firecallers, nor can it effectively suppress guards and elementals.

Blackhand: Marked for Death doesn't matter for balconies, as (due to a pre-mythic hotfix) the impaling throw always fires before the smash and not after. Feral is still pretty good for balconies, but not better than balance. I played feral because it was better for p1/p3.

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

Post by teddabear » Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:34 pm

Nayni wrote:
Itharius wrote: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.
Just because you aren't doing 100k DPS padding some dumb adds that die regardless doesn't mean you're "suffering". Adds on bosses like Beastlord and Operator are so trivial it's not important who does the most damage to them.

I'd personaly hate to see Feral lose ground on ST and get an almost useless AoE buff. I'd rather get stronger in the aspect of single target "swap" scenarios then some padding AoE buff.
I disagree that an AoE buff would be useless.

AoE can easily be fixed by changing Swipe.

How would you buff single target swap?

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

Post by Rayen » Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:29 pm

I'd like to see a change to our talents. While I like LI it's kinda meh and doesn't get much use- I think something more creative can be found other than kitty moonfire. Tier 90 and Tier 45 could use some work. Just give treants back to balance and give us something new?

Overall I'm very happy with how feral is playing in terms of style and performance at the moment. I just wish the rest of the raiding would get over the "moonkin is superior in all things" mentality most raid leaders seem to have. Mine thankfully does not but I can imagine there are a few kitties that are still pressured to squawk instead of purr.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by teddabear » Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:27 am

Rayen wrote: Overall I'm very happy with how feral is playing in terms of style and performance at the moment. I just wish the rest of the raiding would get over the "moonkin is superior in all things" mentality most raid leaders seem to have. Mine thankfully does not but I can imagine there are a few kitties that are still pressured to squawk instead of purr.
AoE is not the only way in which Ferals are worse than Moonkins. It is just the one that is extremely obvious right now.

That is actually 2 categories, sustained AoE and burst AoE, Feral is bad at both.

For example target swapping has been and is a Feral weakness. Imo Blizzard has buffed Feral target swapping as much as it can so I wouldn't expect any more improvements in that area.

Feral brings one of the weaker Raid CDs although the same can be said for Moonkins. Plus all of the usual melee vs ranged limitations.

The large buff to burst due to Incarnation is a valuable raid tool, although it appears not all are happy with the tradeoff in sustained damage.

I don't believe any logical reason can be presented to justify Feral's AoE. It seems unlikely to me that Blizzard has purposely made Feral AoE so bad. I can only think of 2 explanations.

Feral is extreme low priority due to representation, or to properly fix Feral AoE Blizzard would have to undo the combo point change and they don't want to do that.

It appears Blizzard wanted to bandaid Feral AoE with set bonuses but then the bonuses turned out to be too strong so that didn't work out.

In the end Feral will always be compared to Moonkins and Rogues due to loot, you could also include Windwalkers but I think they are also in the less desirable category right now.

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

Post by Ayleena » Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:27 pm

I'm nowhere near Mythic raiding but my anecdote shows how useful our niche is on many fights. My guild had been doing Operator for about an hour before I logged in and I got in and we killed it on my first try. I'd like to think it was because of the 8mil more damage I put on the boss, which was more than anyone in the raid. If you have the right raid setup, it's not a detriment to have at least one dps-er drilling the boss (or main target) on some fights.

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

Post by rahba » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:21 am

I made a longer post about this that I deleted, but anybody that says feral doesn't need an AoE buff is just plain wrong. AoE in general needs to be normalized. It's fine for classes to have niches, ferals do about 12% more damage than the lowest class on gruul (enhancement shamans). On a more AoE focused fight like blast furnace ferals are doing 36% less damage than demo warlocks, and 20% less damage than the second, worst class hunters.

I intentionally eliminated the top two classes as outliers that might need a nerf when making this comparison. You can see the statistics on warcraft logs.

Sources:
gruul https://www.warcraftlogs.com/statistics/7#boss=1691
BF https://www.warcraftlogs.com/statistics/7#boss=1690

If you are in a guild where you can feel like you're useful on mythic blast furnace it's because you outgear the content or have an abundance of high AoE dps classes like mages. Not every guild is so lucky, and it sucks not being able to contribute meaningfully on fights like this. It's a problem, and it needs to be fixed. It's fine if feral remains the worst AoE class but 36%-50% is too huge of a gap.

full disclosure: I'm a bitter feral that spent most of the time on the bench during our blast furnace progression

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

Post by ecolove » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:08 am

I know this probably falls beyond the scope in which we normally gauge viability, but I think the off-healing potential has been largely ignored in this discussion.

For instance, looking at a clutch phase like P3 Blast Furnace: While the healing is inevitably mostly on yourself (DoC) it's still throughput and still highly appreciated (at least, the healers in my raid team did).

I don't know if this belongs in a discussion on the state of feral, but I feel it's certainly an element of contribution I feel that I can bring to the table in a raid. It's something I find myself trying to improve constantly and at the end of this raid tier I have yet to master it. Honestly, it brings a lot of fun to the spec.

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

Post by Kojiyama » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:57 pm

Feral self-healing is very solid, but I would be happier if Nature's Vigil was a little stronger for Feral.

I feel like raid leaders are more likely to want Druids to spec NV than DoC and use it during high-damage periods, however I don't really feel like it is quite as strong as it reasonably could be for these situations.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Dysheki » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:43 pm

My problem with NV is the only time it does a noticeable amount of healing is during inc/berserk usage.

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

Post by Kojiyama » Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:20 pm

The other issue I've noticed with it is that things like Amplify Magic actually do more effective healing (via buffing the other healers) than Nature's Vigil does most of the time. Leader of the Pack's self-healing component is also just kinda silly small now too.
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Re: Are ferals fine right now or still in need of a buff?

Post by Synesis » Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:25 pm

I feel we still have some work, the 6.1 did improve things immensely I do agree our AoE could do with some rework. In terms of BRF we mechanically have our place in raid for mythic content, even on beastlord and thogar but as it stands on fights where there requires heavy AoE or constant target switching we're just "good enough". Blast furnace is one fight where I know I am more of a liability playing feral than boomkin if we don't have the proper makeup. Kromog is another, though we excell at it as feral you do need down those hands.

I know for me, my raid leader knows that I myself bring substantial single target dps (boss damage I am usually first if not top 3) but I know exactly what feral brings to the table and when AoE matters, which it does in mythic as much as single target dps does, we offer very little and it shouldn't be like that.

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

Post by Itharius » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:08 pm

Kojiyama wrote:Feral self-healing is very solid, but I would be happier if Nature's Vigil was a little stronger for Feral.

I feel like raid leaders are more likely to want Druids to spec NV than DoC and use it during high-damage periods, however I don't really feel like it is quite as strong as it reasonably could be for these situations.
I've switched to NV because DoC is kind of wonky. if you use a targetoftarget macro and either the boss isn't targeting anyone or your tank is out of range, you get hung up on healing touch and it messes up your bloodtalon timing. Unless someone has a better macro.

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

Post by Flyx » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:12 pm

#showtooltip Healing Touch
/cast [@mouseover,help,nodead][help,nodead][@player] Healing Touch

Use with grid/raid frames.

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

Post by Itharius » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:18 pm

Flyx wrote:#showtooltip Healing Touch
/cast [@mouseover,help,nodead][help,nodead][@player] Healing Touch

Use with grid/raid frames.
Problem with that of course is that you necessarily have to mouse over frames to actually heal other people, and the same problem arises if you try to heal someone out of range. Wish I could make it heal the targetoftarget on the condition that the tank is within range, else heal self. But it's a more elegant solution than [@targetoftarget].

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

Post by Flyx » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:18 pm

Most raid frames change the colour of people out of range, it is quite easy to tell who is and isn't in range with grid f.ex

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

Post by Stenhaldi » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:29 pm

I always add

/use 3

to the end of any mouseover macro. It tries to use your shoulder piece, which doesn't do anything except get rid of the "spellcasting" cursor if the mouseover was invalid for some reason.

My healing touch is just

#showtooltip Healing Touch
/console autounshift 0
/cast [@mouseover] Healing Touch
/use 3
/console autounshift 1

I always have to mouseover someone to cast it (even if it's just myself), but I prefer that to keep from getting lazy on healing.

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