How would you rework Feral Druids?

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Tinderhoof
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Tinderhoof » Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:34 pm

Doing full cleave on council is a recipe for screwing up who gets pushed when. There really isn't a good fight this tier LI can be used on. Because of the bleed buffs, and the moonfire nerf, it isn't worth it.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Twitchys » Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:42 pm

True enough, I was just stretching for a spread cleave situation. My point was just that even if there was a good fight for LI (maybe Maidens dockside then?) it's still at best marginally better than BT, and probably worse in 6.2 due to numbers, not design.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:24 pm

Twitchys wrote:Isn't LI exactly that. It's use case is specifically long-lived cleave, and especially spread cleave (HF Council). It's not that LI is not designed to fill a niche, it's that it simply doesn't compare numerically even within it's niche due to the strength of BT at emphasizing our natural single-target/clustered 2-3 target cleave niche.
It's not enough of a difference to warrant making a talent specifically to do that. Therefore, it is mostly an alternate playstyle. I assume they put it in because there were people who were not fans of Dream of Cenarius/Bloodtalons and they wanted to give them a second option. As you can see, LI was the only change our class really saw this expansion. If they had not changed anything, that would be unacceptable.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:15 pm

Is it hard for Blizzard to create character animations? Everything I see with animations is recycled. CoS animation is recycled from male worgen skeleton. It doesn't even have a /dance. They added our /mountspecial to our savage roar. It looked ridiculous because you would slide across the floor doing the mountspecial animation. Instead of changing the animation to some kind of roar while running, they just completely scrapped that idea and removed the savage roar animation from the game. I think the last new animation I have seen in this game is from the roll animation in MoP, and before that I can't even remember if this was a new animation added.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Tinderhoof » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:39 pm

Animating and model creation are some of the most time consuming parts of making the game. If you think about how many models (NPC's - PC's) there are in the game that require animations it's pretty staggering. As an example a ready to go model with attach and pivot points was ready for one of the art panels. It took the designer an hour of constant work to make a 2 second animation which involved arm spinning arms and a small hip pivot. If you ever get a chance to go to blizzcon I highly recommend you go to one of the art panels and watch how painstaking it is to do this stuff.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Minibubble » Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:27 pm

Tinderhoof wrote:Animating and model creation are some of the most time consuming parts of making the game. If you think about how many models (NPC's - PC's) there are in the game that require animations it's pretty staggering. As an example a ready to go model with attach and pivot points was ready for one of the art panels. It took the designer an hour of constant work to make a 2 second animation which involved arm spinning arms and a small hip pivot. If you ever get a chance to go to blizzcon I highly recommend you go to one of the art panels and watch how painstaking it is to do this stuff.
Agreed, it is hard i don't doubt it, but suprisingly it seems that other games manage to do it. I don't want to play the devil's advocate but isn't it their job anyways? I know that ferals are just a niche part but they concentrate on things like human eyebrow, nelf and female running animation etc. while the Moonkin looks like an abomination. If we count MoP with 5.4, it was more than enough time to rework things, considered the money and manpower they have. And still WoD looks an feels unfinished, and so one, i don't want to go into details, but recapitulatory they have money and manpower compared to other companies and still lack in a lot of areas.
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:15 pm

I assume they are working on character model and animations for the next expansion currently. Took half an expansion for them to catch up on fixing savage roar animation and the only thing they did to fix it was remove it. Looks like Blizzard is jumping on the bandwagon of shipping incomplete games to get our money faster.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Kraineth » Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:46 am

Polihayse wrote:Is it hard for Blizzard to create character animations? Everything I see with animations is recycled. CoS animation is recycled from male worgen skeleton. It doesn't even have a /dance. They added our /mountspecial to our savage roar. It looked ridiculous because you would slide across the floor doing the mountspecial animation. Instead of changing the animation to some kind of roar while running, they just completely scrapped that idea and removed the savage roar animation from the game. I think the last new animation I have seen in this game is from the roll animation in MoP, and before that I can't even remember if this was a new animation added.
WoD actually added quite a lot of new spell effects for various classes.
Polihayse wrote:I assume they are working on character model and animations for the next expansion currently. Took half an expansion for them to catch up on fixing savage roar animation and the only thing they did to fix it was remove it. Looks like Blizzard is jumping on the bandwagon of shipping incomplete games to get our money faster.
They didn't remove it, the animation for SR/Berserk is now a melee swing, it was a simple fix to a problem that bugged a lot of people, i personally don't mind the quick fix, the buggy animation was amusing for awhile, but got old quick.

The CoS model also had a large number of visual issues that were recently fixed as well, they care about animations and models, but they can't always take the time to make tons of new models and elaborate animations, especially when they have so much on their plate between all the new 6.2 models and what they are inevitably working on for the next expansion.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:33 am

Are the people who do models and animations the same people who were supposed to move this chair?

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Minibubble » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:42 am

Polihayse wrote:I assume they are working on character model and animations for the next expansion currently. Took half an expansion for them to catch up on fixing savage roar animation and the only thing they did to fix it was remove it. Looks like Blizzard is jumping on the bandwagon of shipping incomplete games to get our money faster.
Yes, agreed. In 5.4 lot of people were angry that it took so long, while i said to my friends that this is normal for Blizzard. It is done, when its done, because they value quality. I couldn't be so wrong with this statement. My friendlist shrunk rapidly, with some player only log in for Heartstone. Its really frustrating.
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:52 pm

The next time you clear the trash before Fel Lord Zakuun, look at Vazeel'fazag's charge animation. He is swimming through the air. Best example of recycled animations.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Synesis » Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:40 pm

Well yes, development is a lot of copy paste cause creating new assets does take a lot of time. Take into consideration one enemy with custom animation.

First they need to create what he looks like and agree on a general rough draft, create the 3D model, create the "skeleton (at this point the coders can start working on it), tweak the model to look and feel right and god forbid they change their mind midway. The most time consuming part is actually the coding and skeleton step, if a model requires to be coded in with 5 moving parts but then is changed to 6 or even 4, you have to redo the entire process again.

A single update to a player character can take up to months to just get right, as those have the most interaction with players. Are you saying Blizzard should give that kind of time to all mobs? I can assure you that something called development creep then comes into play and can easily make a 6 month project take years.

Also remember WoW's engine is 10 years old, what we can do today might not be applicable with what they use for WoW. Hell I wouldn't be surprised if free version of Unity is far more advanced than WoW's engine. I also didn't touch on enemy logic, event triggers, bug removal, and the testing of almost every single itteration, which could be in the 100s for something that has a lot of things going on.

Yea... it an't simple sometimes and you bet your ass as a dev I am going to take whatever shortcut for a random dungeon mob.

PS: the pic you featured of chair and person in the wrong spot. Actually its the game programmer's job (Enviroment devloper probably). The model/animation team do not generally touch that sort of stuff

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:09 pm

I just feel like they could do a lot of stuff to balance PvE for all classes if PvP wasn't a factor to consider. They could give classes the ability to do extremely fun things that give all classes and specs equal value if it didn't carry over to PvP. I often wish there were two different move sets for PvE and PvP. Removing these restrictions would greatly improve the quality of gameplay.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Itharius » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:40 pm

Better yet, just remove PvP and don't waste developer resources on it.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:09 pm

Itharius wrote:Better yet, just remove PvP and don't waste developer resources on it.
The idea I'm proposing is no where near as extreme as that. Other games have used this idea and they are fine. I wasn't joking.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Kojiyama » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:47 am

I don't disagree with you.. although I can't imagine PvP is at all the reason that Ferals have pathetic AoE. :)
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:17 am

Feral is meant to have crappy aoe. It is mostly that pvp causes feral to fall a little short in the niche that it is supposed to fill. If pvp was not a factor to consider, then they could buff single target until it is completely reasonable compared to the other specs despite its design.

When you look at our tier bonuses and the way they buff feral throughout the patches, it appears that they are dancing around the pvp issue. They buff bleed damage because feral needs more damage in pve and that does not have as great an effect on feral burst. They design t17 4 piece to increase our burst before they realize how much of an issue it is. They nerf incarnation shred to keep feral burst in check in pvp despite it not needing a nerf in pve. t18 set bonuses don't affect our burst in any way maybe because they came up with the idea after they realized the issue with feral burst in pvp. Class trinkets can't be used in pvp, but the design of the feral trinket increases our damage by lengthening our burst rather than making our abilities more potent. It suggests that they were looking for another solution around the pvp issue before it was decided that class trinkets would be unusable in pvp. All of the decisions they have made can be explained this way which shows the restrictions of feral due to pvp. This is why it bugs me.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Ancihcaor » Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:52 pm

I disagree, I really don't see how feral's weak AoE and strong pvp ST burst are related to each other, or even affecting one another. ST burst in pvp is basically Incarnation, Berserk and FB crits. That leaves plenty of room to buff pve ST dps abilities or even secondary stats without buffing pvp burst out of control; Rip, Rake, SR, haste, multi-strike, mastery, passive energy regen, auto-attack (white damage) AP scaling, etc, etc, etc.

So that being said, I don't understand how it could be hard for devs to buff Feral PvE ST dps while keeping pvp burst ceiling the same. I don't understand how pvp burst potential limit devs abilities to buff aoe, since no one use Swipe or Thrash in arena and mastery is 3rd stat behind crit and versatility in pvp stats priority if I recall correctly. They could buff Swipe and Thrash, with no impact whatsoever in pvp so why not? PvP doesn't seem to be the reason.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Twitchys » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:18 pm

I think Poli's point regarding AoE was that pvp doesn't explain the weakness, as you said, so it is likely a design decision.

The issue in pvp isn't only burst. In MoP (iirc) feral's strength in pvp largely came from the high power of bleeds instead of burst. We could run in, get our bleeds rolling on a target, then get on another target (or around a pillar to safety) while maintaining as much as 60-70% of our dps on the bleeding target. Buffing bleeds could bring this back and make feral cleave much more powerful. I don't pvp much anymore so I can't say what the effect of this would be, but it was ostensibly one of the reasons blizzard put more of our output into direct damage in the first place for WoD. Without snapshotting, I imagine that more of our damage could be put into bleed without a huge negative impact on pvp balance, but I'm not going to claim any confidence in that idea.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Kojiyama » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:33 pm

I have strongly felt that the whole single target 'niche' is more of a rationalization than anything else.

There is very little correlation between single target DPS potential and AoE DPS potential across any of the specs currently in the game. In fact, some of the highest single-target specs are also the highest AoE specs.

It is fairly clear to me from their balancing patterns that single-target DPS has been pretty closely balanced with targeted fixes whereas AoE has mostly been ignored outside of dramatically broken things (e.g. nerfing Starfall in 6.1) and minor tweaks that aren't really large enough to matter one way or another.

Feral is poor at AoE because it was not executed well. Some of their design goals (tab-Rake, for instance) simply fell flat and too many changes were made late in development to really properly balance Feral AoE potential. Basically, I'm pretty sure this is more or less a Hanlon's razor situation than anything else.

(P.S. If they wanted to remove feral burst, they could easily just nerf the crap out of Incarnation so we actually had some choices to make on that tier.)
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:34 pm

What Twitchy said. PvP isn't the reason why we have bad aoe. The philosophy of feral design is the reason why we have bad aoe. PvP weighs on our single target niche, so this is a little unfair. A fair compensation would be to buff our aoe, but this goes against their design idea of what feral should be.

I couldn't agree with what you said more, Kojiyama. I feel like going on a rant that no one cares about in my guild's chat after reading what you wrote. I think I'll get a lemonade and spare them this time.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Minibubble » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:55 pm

I think the problem with the AoE damage was, that we could Trash in Feral and Bear. There were discussions when the game was in Beta and changes, and it was overpowered and such. With the whole content cutting and not delivering, it seems that they have little time to fix those things, so they put a weak AoE and postponed it to the next expansion. There is no logical explanation why Swipe is so weak. Whats the point in having Swipe in the first place? It was ok in MoP.

As for the PvP part, a lot of skills from the Talent Tree looks like its designed for PvP and is almost only useful in PvP. I rarely switch talents and almost never Glyphs. In comparison i do it alot as Brewmaster. Most of the spells as a Monk has their niche. From damage reduction ( Dampen Harm, Elexir or Magic), Movement (Lust, Roll etc.) till healing (Zen Sphere etc.).
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Ancihcaor » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:11 pm

Sorry I misunderstood you about AoE and PvP. I still disagree about ST and PvP, because the damage balance between bleeds and direct damage is a LOT less biased toward bleeds in WoD so they still have plenty of room before running into the MoP bleed kiting gameplay "problem" they had back then (which was also caused by feral mobility and op disc symbiosis combo made kiting and peeling so easy). I understand they had the "tab rake" philosophy for multi cleave early in beta (bloody thrash talent?), but months later after launch, the feral aoe situation remains baffling (when I am talking aoe I mean 5+ targets).

When talking about class niche/design philosophy and then you look at other classes performing very well in ST and still being strong on aoe as well (mages, hunters, warlock, warriors, etc) you wonder wtf is going on?? why not adjust Swipe to be just on par with the average class aoe abilities. I just don't get it and they haven't explained it as far as I know. Have you heard them express their design philosophy on feral aoe somewhere? I can't recall ever seen that in blue posts and vlog/interviews. That whole design/niche explanation makes no sense to me.

"There is no logical explanation why Swipe is so weak. Whats the point in having Swipe in the first place?" agree 100%!

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Kojiyama » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:30 pm

Feral glyphs are pretty garbage in the choice department, although that is not restricted only to Feral. Some other high-profile classes (like Arcane Mages) also have really shallow major glyph "decisions" to be made.

A lot of our useful utility is based around talents and since glyphs don't generally modify talent abilities (other than in some wide circumstances where talents replace core abilities) there is really not a ton to work with in the glyph department.

When I mentioned earlier about FB cleaving to nearby targets, for example, I think that would be a nice glyph option similar to Splitting Ice for Frost Mages.
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Nayni » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:51 pm

In current tier, AoE isn't even the deal breaker.

It's our massive penalty and inability to burst down short lived priority targets. It's just frustrating that swapping to a blank target requires so much build up to do any form of damage, and that our main source of damage comes from massive 3 minute cooldowns which is useless when a priority target pops up every minute.

If anything this expansion has shown to me is that with the direction they want to go with classes and balance, is that special snowflakes are just getting shafted. I mean, at the moment we shouldn't even complain if you'd compare us to enhancement shamans who are pretty much not even a worthy class right now. Feral is basically has the opposite strengths of enhancement shaman, the thing is that single target is actually a semi-viable niche, while aoe is just a instant-bench-niche at the moment.
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