It’s 6am and the servers are already down and 4.06 is upon us. No I’m not up this early in anticipation of 4.06 but this is what happens when you have a baby at home, you’re up at all hours of the day and night. Lets take a look at whats coming in 4.06 and how it affects us kitties. Full patch notes can be found here.
4.06 Druid Changes
- Rake damage has been reduced by 10%.
- Rip damage has been reduced by 10%.
- Mangle (Cat Form) weapon damage percent (at level 80+) has been increased to 460%, up from 360%.
- Shred weapon damage percent (at level 80+) has been increased to 450%, up from 350%.
Lets start by discussing the PVE implications, first off the biggest and most important change to hit us in 4.06 is the reduction of overall bleed damage (rip & rake reduced by 10%). This change is primarily fueled by the current strength of feral dots in Arenas which is too strong. To compensate the reduction in damage, we are getting an increase in Mangle and Shred damage. While its hard to say whether the damage will normalize to the same level as it was previously, one thing is for certain is that the strength of the Mastery stat will not be as high as it was previously. Currently our dot damage between Rip/Rake makes up more than 50% of our damage spread, which will undoubtedly decrease with 4.06. The effectiveness of Mastery will now affect less than 50% of our damage which can give rise to to increase valuation of other stats like hit/haste. With current ilv 359 gear, you still will not reach the crit cap so current gear choices should not change. However with heroic (ilv 372) gear that may be a possibility. I haven’t actually looked into it but probably should in the near future. For now, all existing thoughts previously discussed remain valid. For a summary of my gear discussion, you can find it here.
- Barkskin is no longer dispellable.
- Entangling Roots now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
- Hibernate now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
- Nature’s Grasp now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
- Skull Bash’s lockout time has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 5.
- Infected Wounds now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
- Berserk (instant Mangle proc) now has a new Spell Alert identifier. In addition, Berserk no longer breaks Fear or makes the druid immune to Fear.
- Shapeshifts: Entering or leaving a shapeshift no longer cancels root effects. It continues to cancel movement slowing effects.
- Bloodlust, Heroism, Time Warp and Ancient Hysteria can no longer be cast while in Arenas.
The PVP implications are pretty significant for kitties, not only are our dots being reduced, we are also losing our mobility within arena as well. One of the reasons why feral is so effective is our ability to get out of any snare and stick to targets, keeping obscene amounts of pressure with little downtime. With Berserk no longer breaking/immuning fear and the removal of the ability to shift out of snares, I have to question the future ability of feral druids in arena. Granted, you still have instant Cyclones and shortened Roots, you still have the ability to control, just not as strong. I still have yet to put a real focus into arena (just doing my 5 wins a week to cap for now), one thing is for certain it will be more challenging going forward.
- Mount Up: This guild perk now applies to Flight Form and Swift Flight Form as well.
- Omen of Clarity can no longer trigger from helpful spells (aka heals), unless the Restoration talent Malfurion’s Gift is chosen.
- Prowl is no longer broken by enemies using Demoralizing Shout or Demoralizing Roar.
- Worgen and troll druids now have new art for Swift Flight Form.
- Blood in the Water: Timing on this effect has been improved so that Ferocious Bite will immediately refresh Rip, rather than be slightly delayed (which gave a chance for the Rip to expire despite being refreshed)
- Feral Charge: Cat should always turn the druid around to face the back of the target.
- Glyph of Ferocious Bite now correctly augments the Ferocious Bite tooltip.
Finally some general updates, the two of interest with PVE implications are that Feral Charge will always turn your kitty facing the back of a target. A change which isn’t really necessary but kind of nice, one less thing to worry about. Finally, the FB glyph change. I’m not really sure what this means, does it mean it wasn’t working properly before? What is the intended effect then?
4.06 Druid Related Changes
- The Honor Commodities and Justice Commodities Vendors now sell raw tradeskill materials. These are not intended to be a cost-effective source of these materials, but an option for players with lots of Justice or Honor Points who have already purchased all of the gear that interests them.
- All PvP 4-piece bonuses have had their flat stat values cut in half. Primary stats are very powerful in Cataclysm, so much so that players were considering using PvP gear in PvE just because of these primary stat bonuses.
- PvP enchants are properly valued and attached to Honor Quartermasters and Tol Barad/Baradin Hold Quartermasters.
- Three new bracer enchants are available. They increase Agility by 50, Strength by 50, or Intellect by 50 respectively. Item level 300 or higher required. These new recipes are rare world drops.
- Meta gems with the Chaotic and Relentless prefixes now have a requirement of 3 red gems.
- New meta gems have been added: Agile Shadowspirit Diamond (Agility/3% critical damage), Reverberating Shadowspirit Diamond (Strength/3% critical damage), and Burning Shadowspirit Diamond (Intellect/3% critical damage). These new recipes are unbound and can drop from any Cataclysm creature. The new meta gems have a requirement of 3 red gems equipped.
- Vivid Dream Emerald (new gem) provides resilience/spell penetration and can be purchased for 3 Illustrious Tokens.
From the PVE perspective, thank you Blizzard for finally fixing Meta requirements. It was absurd to try and meet the requirements of existing metas and really the only thing that makes sense is to have a 3 red gem requirement. So its nice to finally see this corrected after at least 3 months? Not really sure why this was changed in the first place. Keep in mind that not only will you looking for a new Meta but also a new bracer enchant (+50 Agility) come 4.06. Remember that regardless of any changes, Agility is still your top stat so the more agility you can get through the new Meta/bracer enchant the better.
From the PVP perspective, we are finally getting PVP related enchants from TB. I assume they will use the TB tokens, which I’m sure will be nominal in cost. Also with the new resil/spell pen gem you can actually reach the spell penetration cap with less excess and less gem slots. The cap in Cataclysm is 195 and currently all that is available is the Enchant Cloak – Greater Spell Peircing (+70) as well as Stormy Ocean Sapphire (+50). So technically at this time if you wish you cap, you can either do Cloak + 3 Gems (70+50+50+50 = 220) or do 4 Gems (50+50+50+50 = 200). With the introduction of the new gem, we can use Cloak + 3 Gems (70+50+50+20 = 190) leaving us just 5 under the cap and saving a gem slot.
4.06 Other Changes
- All guild banners now reward bonus reputation in addition to honor and experience.
- Once a guild hits level 23, the daily cap on experience gained is removed.
- Players can now see the status of Tol Barad on the World Map no matter where they are. The time to the next battle is displayed by zooming into the Tol Barad section of the map. The current controlling faction can be seen on the Eastern Kingdoms map.
- Daily quest creatures, herbs, minerals, etc. will only spawn when Tol Barad is in the quest phase between battles. There will be 5-minute and 1-minute warnings before the quest phase ends. The quest phase ends 15 minutes before the battle for Tol Barad begins and queuing is made available. At that time any players in the daily micro dungeons will be ported just outside. This does not apply to Tol Barad Peninsula or the daily quests there.
Finally just some minor details, with the adjustment to guild banners to affect reputation these will be useful for boosting rep during grinds (or even for The Insane? yay). The other point I’d like to discuss is the removal of the guild cap once a guild hits lv 23. This kind of makes sense but doesn’t at the same time. By removing the cap, it gives guilds the ability to push the lvling of their guild for the Realm First! Guild Level 25 It is only fair that a guild should be able to dictate their ability to rush if they choose to. However at the same time, now you have a disgusting grind ahead of you to try and hit 25 first. While I understand its only a Feat of Strength I don’t like the fact that larger guilds have a much bigger significant advantage purely based on size and not skill.
4.06 overall has some needed and warranted changes so I am looking forward to seeing how things will turn out. Expect some simple dummy tests similar to what I did previously to see if there are any significant changes to our gameplay.