How would you rework Feral Druids?

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Kojiyama
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Kojiyama » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:42 am

This might seem like a funny thing, but I would like to see Feral have a slightly larger scale factor from weapon damage--especially given the shiny new artifact thingy everyone is getting.

The reason Feral Attack Power originally existed was to provide more direct scaling from weapon upgrades to our almost fully AP-driven abilities. This mechanic was remove and more weapon-based damage was translated over--both through increased ratio of melee damage and increased number of Shreds--but our scaling coefficient from weapons is still a lot lower than other classes in HFC, for example.

Another thing I would like to see changed is that I honestly feel like they have gone a little too far (with nearly all classes) in regards to the "press a filler button that does pathetic damage" concept. Prior to T18, Shred was pretty poor but at least we avoided pressing it constantly--however, we've really joined a lot of the other classes in just spamming away at a lackluster ability just to fill globals.

We execute nearly twice as many Shreds as every other ability combined and it only does 15-20% of our damage. This isn't quite as bad as something like a Frost Mage (who spends like 50-60% of their time casting Frostbolt to do 10% of their damage) but still not really ideal.

It also has locked us into silly situations like, "oh we can't buff Swipe because Shred is so bad." And because our 'filler' generator is so bad and competes with Swipe as a generator, we have pathetic on-demand AoE since it has to deal even less damage than an already bad ability.

Lastly, there really just needs to be some kind of mechanic with DoTs on short-lived adds. Rogues get an energy refund on Rupture, Warlocks have Soul Swap, and Fire Mages have Improved Inferno Blast. You also have mechanics like Lava Lash and Wandering Plague floating around too. A lot of classes have either ways of easily spreading, copying, transferring, or refunding in these cases. Ferals have absolutely nothing. Our T17 2pc was as close as we've gotten to any kind of AoE-based mechanic and even that was extremely limited.

This could honestly be anything. Energy refund would be fine, but if you don't want to be too much like Rogues it could be a unique mechanic where you get a short-term buff based on the duration remaining on a target when it dies, or even some kind of proc-based damage roll-over effect on our next Rake/Shred following an enemy dying with a DoT on them. Tons of things that could be done, but a lot more design needs to be put into these scenarios.
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Tinderhoof » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:13 pm

I would like a new mechanic that makes our bleeds on short lived targets not be a waste. What I don't want is anything to do with energy refunding. Messing with the amount of energy we have is what got us into the current situation of removing any pooling, or planning when it comes to our rotation. Like you said mindlessly spamming Shred has more to do with an overabundance of energy as opposed to "it’s too weak". If we are going to manage both of our resources in a methodical way like we have in the past, energy regen needs to be consistent. Adding more at a random time like we have now is often wasted, or never comes when its actually needed.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Kojiyama » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:57 pm

Yeah, I mostly agree with that. I think refunds can be OK in some situations (I think it would be fine for Rip, but maybe not for Rake) but generally do feel that the design space for energy gains is not nearly as large as it looks like it is.

There is pretty significant diminishing returns on the value of any type of energy gains because once we reach 100% (ish) DoT uptime, the benefit is marginal.

It's far more interesting for set bonuses and secondary mechanics to give us something more interesting to DO with our Energy than to give us more Energy that we can only do boring things with.

Additionally, I can't help but feel that our base energy situation would probably be fine if Haste was actually a halfway reasonable stat for us, since we could choose to increase our energy regeneration via itemization if we wanted or needed to. However, the befuddling lack of scaling from Haste on bleeds makes this a non-viable route to take. I know that I personally felt like our idle time in Highmaul without the T17 bonus was a little too low, but that felt to me like something they should have just addressed at the core (either by upping the base regen rate or haste scaling rate) rather than using it as relatively boring set bonus fodder.

(It is also fairly problematic to balance core resources via bonuses when things like challenge modes or PvP exist that disable said bonuses.)
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Tinderhoof » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:11 pm

What we need is a short cooldown that will consume all bleeds on the target for 100% of their total damage. This would give us a reason to swap to short lived priority targets, and a reason to save combo points for them as well as manage the cooldown of that ability. It would give us a reason to make use of our bleeds instead of ignore them.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Minibubble » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:28 pm

Tinderhoof wrote:What we need is a short cooldown that will consume all bleeds on the target for 100% of their total damage. This would give us a reason to swap to short lived priority targets, and a reason to save combo points for them as well as manage the cooldown of that ability. It would give us a reason to make use of our bleeds instead of ignore them.
Yes my thought too, a Finisher that is like Genesis from the Resto druid. Also one of the abilities i liked and was useful to some extend, i.e. Kokoron Dark Shaman on SoO, was Soul Swap,instead of Lunar Inspiration. It would work on melee distant obviously.
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by teddabear » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:20 pm

Energy refunds are ok as long as you do it intelligently. We had a small steady energy increase in first tier and a damage increase. This tier we get 2 large spiky energy increases. Bigger energy refunds would have been nice in the first tier but this tier we didn't need them at all. Also refunds of up to 50 energy when you are capping at 120 is not good design.

Some more interesting choices would have been Ferocious Bite refunds all combo points if the target dies, Thrash spread Rake to all targets hit, Haste effects all your Bleeds.
Last edited by teddabear on Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:00 am

I think it would be cool if you could glyph rake to have it not stun. It is annoying when I do trash and the stun from my rake ruins the DR on everything.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Tinderhoof » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:22 am

Minibubble wrote:
Tinderhoof wrote:What we need is a short cooldown that will consume all bleeds on the target for 100% of their total damage. This would give us a reason to swap to short lived priority targets, and a reason to save combo points for them as well as manage the cooldown of that ability. It would give us a reason to make use of our bleeds instead of ignore them.
Yes my thought too, a Finisher that is like Genesis from the Resto druid. Also one of the abilities i liked and was useful to some extend, i.e. Kokoron Dark Shaman on SoO, was Soul Swap,instead of Lunar Inspiration. It would work on melee distant obviously.
Not a finisher. An ability with a cooldown. Finisher for an ability like this would be to punishing.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Terias » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:34 am

Or just plug it into our mechanics, this is the kinda stuff that could be defined in our talents so we can specialize on each fight.

Maybe make bleeds passively haste on lower health targets (either scaling up based on target health or a threshold trigger). Could replace FB/rip refresh.

Making talent choices a bit more interesting is something I think they really need to do, their current choices are really poor, even if they were competitive on the numbers.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Kojiyama » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:46 am

Well, an ability like Tinderhoof suggested wouldn't be out of line for a level 100-style talent choice. It would be conditional based on fight style, which is basically what we would want out of a talent tree.

Claws of Shirvallah really needs to go. Should have been a major glyph (shared exclusive with the other Cat Form glyphs) instead of wasting a talent slot on a 99.99% PvP talent.

(Hopefully it will just get moved into the PvP talent tree instead.)
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:06 pm

They never added a dance animation to CoS. Could that mean that they are going to scrap it? Maybe they will simply make it a minor glyph for looks. Even stag form has a dance animation.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Tinderhoof » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:34 pm

CoS was a last minute addition to replace the Savagery talent. I believe they announced it like 2 months before launch. I think the model was the best they had available at the time because it had to be visable in PVP. It's pretty bare bones and I hope it becomes a PVP only talent. It isn't useful at all in PVE.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:27 pm

CoS did have a dance animation though. I think it was the male worgen dance. They removed it though.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Ancihcaor » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:13 pm

Bake it into SR? something like 10 to 20% instant bleed damage per CP? or if you don't like it tied to a finisher why not make it tied to TF instead?

"Increases physical damage done by 15% for 8 sec and instantly restores 60 Energy, also causes your Thrash, Rake and Rip abilities to instantly deal 50% of their total damage."

You could use TF snapshot for boss fight of high hp adds that need focus, or use it to deal AOE damage: 5 adds + boss? Rip boss then Thrash+tab Rake, then TF+Swipe for massive bust aoe (50% of their total damage+TF 15% + 60 energy for Swipe, it would need some ramp time still but much better AOE damage potential than what we have now.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by AsgardFM » Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:25 pm

Why would a new effect need to be tied to a current ability? Linking it to SR would cause issues when you already have high SR duration but need that burst. Less so with linking to TF but you'd often want the 60 energy to apply bleeds, not after everythings already loaded up. Adding a new ability with a "dot-burst" seems an easier solution.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Kojiyama » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:55 pm

I'll go on the record (although I've said this in the past) that I absolutely hate Savage Roar. I think it is a horrible skill and completely lacking in anything remotely resembling fun or even gameplay. It's a button pressed infrequently enough that it feels little more than annoying, yet frequently enough to mess with the rotation at critical points.

The argument has been 'well it adds gameplay/complexity' but, let's be honest here, I think we'd all be better off by filling that GCD with a different ability that is actually fun to use. How this ability survived the pruning effort when it literally does nothing that couldn't just be a passive is beyond me. Ditch it and fill the place on the bar with something that is actually cool.
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Tinderhoof » Sat Sep 05, 2015 12:18 pm

Our rotation would be really boring with out it. There would be no depth at all anymore. As it is we are hardly complicated. What kind of resource management would be left? Shred to 5 rip, shred to 5 fb, refresh rake, repeat. Snooooooore.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Kojiyama » Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:58 pm

Tinderhoof wrote:Our rotation would be really boring with out it. There would be no depth at all anymore. As it is we are hardly complicated. What kind of resource management would be left? Shred to 5 rip, shred to 5 fb, refresh rake, repeat. Snooooooore.
Add another ability that does something. That's the whole point.

It would be silly to try to cram in another button to our bars as our abilities currently stand, but that's mostly because we are wasting ability slots on silly things like Savage Roar that are pointless and add nothing fun to our gameplay at all.

Remove Savage Roar and we have room for another finisher that might actually do something that feels fun to press.
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:22 am

I think we should have slower auto attacks. It would reduce the lost damage from running between targets. We could also have actual spell animations rather than seeing the constant pawing and the occassional rake and fb animation. All of our abilities would be a little more powerful too. You are a 500 lb cat. Your attacks should have some force behind them. Make feral dps a spec with less frequent attacks that have more power. It would be unique among the energy classes. It does not necessarily need to affect the pace at which the class plays.

I feel like that is sort of what they were trying to do in wod, but it did not feel like enough. Shred still feels like a wet noodle imo.

I agree that savage roar is for the most part a pain in the ass. Keeping up savage roar is basically the same as managing your energy except that it inhibits you pretty often when you think you are going to use your combo points on a powerful finishing move only to figure out that you are using it for a passive in order to not suck for the rest of the fight because you know if you fuck it up that that is exactly what is going to happen. Almost all classes that use mana as a resource do not need to manage it and this is just the weirdest thing to me. Why do they even have mana? Lore? idk. Energy management is enough. We don't need another restriction to our abilities when the mana users do not need to worry about anything.

Our abilities need to scale better. Clearly there is something wrong with the class design if we need a large buff at the start of every new raid tier. Haste affects bleeds. Max 6 combo points instead of 5 with our finishers still costing only 5 will increase the value of crit slightly due to never wasting a combo point. Make bloodtalons a passive and make our mastery increase the damage increase that it gives. Also, buff bleeds to compensate for the damage loss. Bloodtalons should be introduced at a lower level anyway since it is such an important part to maximizing the damage at 100. Introducing it at 100 is just a little bit too late.

I think we should have another finisher with the removal of savage roar. Also, increase the duration of rip to allow for its use. From 24 to around 36 seconds. Fb could still be large front loaded damage. Maybe put in a 6 combo point only finisher? Have combo points be valuable enough and the effect be similar enough so that you don't only use one over the other. Or maybe you could have a finisher that is like a weaker fb that also applies savage roar if you don't want to completely get rid of managing that passive.

It seems like Blizzard wants feral to play faster. It should be more wild, so energy pooling, which requires patience, is a little contradictory. I'm not saying that energy pooling should be removed. I just came to the conclusion that they have this in mind because of this fact. So I came up with this talent idea that fits with the wild aspect of feral.

Tier 4 talent idea: Rampage - Gain a large burst of speed and your abilities are affected by bloodtalons for 15 seconds. You cannot choose your target and your abilities hit your closest target. 30% faster gcd too.

I think this ability would be fun. It would allow you to dot multiple targets. You would not need to rely on the awful tab targeting system that almost never works the way you want it to. It would fit nicely with berserk if they were both 2 minute cds.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Kojiyama » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:53 pm

I want this!

https://youtu.be/5A6Ri5S8ZWE?t=33

(I basically agree on the majority of your input there. I like the idea of having some channeled abilities and less of a constant spam. I definitely agree on the haste issue and the scaling in general. I would also be concerned about weapon scaling, but with the class weapons that is less likely to be an issue.)
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:48 pm

I created a chart showing the percentage of the time a combo point is wasted due to criting at 4 combo points depending on your crit rating.

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On a 4:06 minute fight I reached 5 combo points 32 times. My crit after suppression is 42.85%. With the weapon enchant, it is about 47.63%. Factoring in the uptime of the weapon enchant, I get an average crit chance of ~45.24%. Since the graph is pretty linear around the crit chances I am working with, I use interpolation to figure out the percentage of the time that I am wasting a combo point every time I get to 5 combo points. This happens to me 27.31% of the time when building from 0 to 5 combo points. Reaching 5 combo points 32 times means I lost about 32*.2731 = 8.74 combo points on average. This calculation does not factor in incarnation. 8.74 combo points = ~1.75 finishers. These finishers would be ferocious bites. My average ferocious bite damage was 215k. 215000 * 1.75 = 376250. 1.75 ferocious bites costs 87.5 energy. This energy would be used for shreds. My shred averages about 26600. 26600*(87.5/40) = 58188. The end result is a 376250-58188 = ~318k increase in damage. I did 24.28 million damage over 4 minutes and 6 seconds. Add 318k to that and it is a 1.3% increase in damage.

Now if you consider the fact that Incarnation wastes a crap ton of combo points, the number gets bigger. I did not do the math on this one, but I estimate about 4 out of 6 finishers during incarnation probably waste a combo point. I get incarnation twice during that fight. 8 out of 12 finishers waste a combo point. That leaves 20 finishers. 20*.2731 = 5.46. 5.46+8 = 13.46. 13.46 combo points = 2.69 ferocious bites. 2.69 ferocious bites = 134.5 energy. 134.5 energy = 3.36 shreds. 3.36 shreds = 89376 damage. 2.68*215000 - 89376 = 486824 damage. That is a 2% damage increase.

As you can see, we waste more combo points as we get higher in ilvl. This penalty is pretty small though and could be pretty negligible if you have a trinket like Skull of War.

TL:DR - Increasing our maximum combo points from 5 to 6 will result in about a 2% damage increase due to never wasting combo points.

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Minibubble » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:06 pm

@Kojiyama: It looks like the Rogue talent Killing http://www.wowhead.com/spell=51690/killing-spree with modified animations.
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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by kuriara » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:57 pm

Curious Poli, how would we fare if they reduced the combo points to 4?

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:45 am

Do you mean if our finishers still did the same damage and everything at 4 combo points?

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Re: How would you rework Feral Druids?

Post by Polihayse » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:10 am

If we had maximum of 4 combo points, the chart would look like this:

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The formula of this curve is y = -x^4 + x^3 - x^2 + x where x is crit chance (0<x<1) and y is percentage (0<y<1)(Actually, I think I messed this up due to something with crit suppression and translation or something, but it close enough and I'm tired. Gonna go sleep. The point is that crit scaling with this setup seems much better.).

If I were to try to figure out how much of a dps increase this would be if our finishers had the same effects at 4 combo points, then it would probably be a very rough estimate. You need to consider the fact that you will have bloodtalons more often and also find yourself in more situations in which you cap on energy. I would need to know the total energy gained in the fight and all that stuff. It seems like it would be a pain to calculate.

Also, while doing this in excel I ran into this problem that confused me. It had to do with the order of operations. Here is a video showing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TtB-__ ... e=youtu.be
Does anyone know why this happens?

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