Its been pretty stagnant lately around the blogosphere as there isn’t too much to talk about and also due to the massive amount of burnout of a lot of ppl. While the expansion is quite a ways away still, I can definitely feel the general vibe of the game’s population has already hit the pre expansion blues. Sad but true, I’m still enjoying the game a lot and I guess that’s what counts.
If you haven’t noticed, I’m not really interested in talking about Alpha material (which has been out there) mostly because I’m not a fan of talking about things that most likely will change in the near future. That being said, the wait is over as Blizzard has shared talent previews with sites like MMO-Champion and World of Raids. There are some pretty freakin cool new talents/updated talents which will make for some pretty interesting changes to feral dps mechanics.
Blizzard has made a bunch of notes to identify what is still in the works and what is finished. Fortunately, the feral tree seems almost complete. There are no NYI/PH talents and only one TBR talent in Feral Instinct. So its a pretty good indication of how things will look in the future. Below is the legend of footnotes of in progress talents:
- NYI: Not Yet Implemented, talent has yet to be fully built
- PH: Place Holder
- TBR: To be Re-designed, or to be removed
- NNF: Name Not Final, will be re-named
Its important to note that the change summary does not sync up 100% with the talent calculator that MMO generated so, for the purpose of analysis I’m basing my information on the talent tree post vs the talent calculator. Ok, lets get started on analyzing whats in store for kitty dps in cataclysm.
[Tier 1] Blessing of the Grove (2 points) – Increases the healing done by your Rejuvenation by 2/4%, the direct damage of your Moonfire by 3/6% and the damage done by your Claw and Shred by 2/4%.
The one new update for ferals in the Restoration Tree. Great new talent to give 4% added dps to Shred. A nice passive increase and naturally a must have.
[Tier 3] Improved Feral Charge [NNF] (2 points) – Increases your melee haste by 15/30% after you use Feral Charge (Bear) for 8 seconds, and Ravage will temporarly not require stealth for 3/6 seconds after you use Feral Charge (Cat).
This is a pretty interesting talent, after reading it a few times and looking at what else was changed I’m going to say this is a PVP focused talent. In PVE it would be pretty situational depending on the boss and whether there is any mobility to utilize a charge. For example, Rotface would be a good example of a mobility fight that could utilitze a charge whereas a fight like Saurfang has no situations where you would charge. I’m also thinking that the 15% haste from a bear charge is more advantageous than a ravage in a cat charge so there might be some shifting of forms. Looks like some added complexity to push kitty dps to the next level.
[Tier 4] Fury Swipes (3 points) – When you auto-attack while in Cat Form or Bear Form, you have a 4/8/12% chance to gain an extra auto-attack on the same target. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds.
The breakdown of rogue dps vs feral dps is pretty different in that white damage is much higher for rogues than for druids. This talent looks like something to bridge the two classes closer together and yet again another passive dps boost (cool!). The even cooler part of this talent is not only does it increase white damage, but it also increase the # of auto attacks which will generate more OOC procs which will lead to more free shreds, which will lead to more combo points for other specials like Rip.
[Tier 6] Endless Carnage (2 points) – Increases the duration of your Rake by 3/6 seconds and your Savage Roar and Pulverize by 3/6 seconds.
One of the bigger issues with Rake these days is the quick duration that it has and how it falls off very quickly. This will increase the duration from 9s to 15s. To give some perspective on the increase in duration, 4pt10 provided a 3s boost so this is twice as long.
[Tier 9] Primal Madness [NNF] (2 points) – Tiger’s Fury and Berserk also increases your maximum energy by 6/12 during its duration, and your Enrage and Berserk abilities instantly generates 0/12 Rage.
112 energy pool during TF and Berserk? Do I really need to explain why this is good?
[Tier 10] Nom Nom Nom [NNF] (2 points) – When you Ferocious Bite a target at or below 25% health, you have a 50/100% chance to instantly refresh the duration of your Rip on the target.
FINALLY, druids have an execute ability! The neat thing about this is not only is it an execute but it basically changes your whole sub 25% “rotation” and how you approach feral dps. Being able to keep rip up at all times and dumping combo points through FB will pretty interesting. Also I vote for Nom Nom Nom as the finalized talent name.
Changes to Existing Talents
[Tier 1] Sharpened Claws (2 points) – Icreases the damage caused by your Claw, Rake, Mangle (Cat), Mangle (Bear), and Maul abilities by 10/20%.
Previously was an increase in crit by 6% and now an increase in overall damage by 20%
[Tier 2] Shredding Attacks (2 points) – Reduces the energy cost of your Shred ability by 5/10 and the rage cost of your Lacerate ability by 1/2.
Previously was a decrease in energy cost by 18 and now is a decrease by 10. While the overall cost of Shred seems to be going up, recall above that Fury Swipes somewhat compensates by added OOC procs for free Shreds (or at least I hope that’s the intent).
[Tier 2] Feral Instinct [TBR] (3 points) – Increases the damage done by your Swipe ability by 10/20/30% and reduces the chance enemies have to detect you while Prowling.
TBR means To be re-done, so just take note that this will change.
[Tier 5] Predatory Strikes (2 points) – Increases the critical strike chance of your Ravage by 50/25% at or above 90% health, and your finishing moves have a 10/20% chance per combo point to make your next Nature spell with a base casting time less than 10 seconds become an instant cast spell.
Previously increased AP to Kitties by 150% of your level and added 20% AP to your weapon. Seems like a pretty big loss in AP in exchange for a situational talent that is more than likely a PVP talent.To extend my thoughts on Imp Feral Charge (above), again this seems purely like a PVP talent. Clearly no benefit from a PVE perspective but I could be wrong.
*Thx to Darksend for the correction
[Tier 6] Survival of the Fittest (3 points) – Reduces the chance you’ll be critically hit by melee attacks by 2/4/6%, and increases the contribution from cloth and leather items in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 11/22/33%.
Previously increased all attributes by 6%, and now that aspect has been removed so SOTF has now turned into purely a Bear talent and is optional.
[Tier 10] Rend and Tear (5 points) – Increases damage done by your Maul and Shred attacks on bleeding targets by 4/8/12/16/20%, and increases the critical strike chance of your Ferocious Bite ability on bleeding targets by 5/10%.
Previously increased Freocious Bite by 25% and now has been reduced to 10%.
- New Talent Spec: While I have a pretty good idea of how the new tree will look, I’m not going to bother posting yet until the talents are completely finalized. No point in putting up specs that wont be relevant. It is probably safe to say that we’re looking at a 0/58/18 spec.
- Passive DPS Increase: Increased white damage, rake, mangle, shreds and longer rakes are all things that will improve your dps without having to change anything in your current play style. This looks to be part of the solution to assist more casual players to make kitty more forgiving.
- Removal of DPS Increases: Higher Shred energy cost, -6% stats, removal of 10% crit will decrease dps but I’ve go to hope/believe that the above increases from point #2 will compensate.
- JOHN FUCKING MADDEN: To counteract the greater forgiveness, Blizzard has added a bunch of new talents to increase the difficulty of feral mechanics to appease those of us who want it to stay challenging and exciting. Greater focus on OOC Shred procs, utilizing imp bear charges for 15% haste and maximizing our new Nom Nom Nom execute will be awesome and I’m very much looking forward to it. JFM JFM JFM!!!
Heroic Lich King 10 Update: 26% best attempt but ran out of attempts, Bane of the Fallen King inc next week.