Druid Cataclysm Preview Up

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.

New Talents

[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%.

Rarren’s Thoughts

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


30 Responses to “Druid Cataclysm Preview Up”

  1. 1 Alaron June 10, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I’m pretty down on Primal Madness for cat (though not for bear). If it doesn’t give you any energy, just increases your cap, that’s pretty lackluster. I’ve never had any problems with energy-capping on a fight, save for movement-type things, and I already plan those to use cooldowns for maximum on-target effect.

    • 2 Vallen June 14, 2010 at 9:39 am

      In my excitement I think I assumed that it was not only increasing your cap by 12 but also giving 12 additional energy. More thoughts on primal madness at at the bottom of the comment listing.

  2. 3 Finwe June 10, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I may be wrong on this, but I’m thinking that the point of the Ravage talents is to change the opening cat rotation to be Charge – Ravage – SR – Ravage – standard rotation. This should be a nice chunk of opening damage as long as it doesn’t turn out to be too much threat for the tanks. I suspect that the damage per energy of Ravage will be retuned to be better than Shred.

    I also recall reading somewhere that they were going to reduce the base energy cost of Shred so that with the change to Shredding Attacks talent, it would end up being close to the same as before. (maybe 45 energy now?)

    • 4 Peregrines June 11, 2010 at 10:19 am

      I had some discussion about this on my blog when I made a cata post. We’ve reached a pretty interesting conclusion, although we might want to check the math. A lot of the math credit goes to the guy running a blog called “feral instincts.” Essentially, Ravage won’t be good DPE until SR is up. According to my aforementioned source, with SR up (using current Wotlk numbers), the math comes out to:

      .072(damage) + 21.259 per energy for Shred.
      .085(damage) + 39.257 per energy for Ravage.

      So this would most likely make the feral opening become:

      Imp. Feral Charge -> Mangle -> Regen and Ravage -> TF -> Berserk -> Ravage if there’s any time left to do so -> Standard feral dps cycle.

      • 5 Peregrines June 12, 2010 at 11:18 pm

        and this math is incorrect due to it not factoring in mangle or +damage on bleeding targets. However I would not be surprised if blizzard buffed ravage so that such an opener would be viable.

    • 6 Vallen June 14, 2010 at 9:42 am

      I was thinking that too Finwe, or at least a charge -> ravage opener but to be honest (and I’m making assumptions with no math behind it), a bear charge for 8s of haste to open with berserk and procs (like DBW) would probably outweight a single buffed ravage I would think?

      It seems like a lot of extra steps to open just to get 1 ability off without SR. Thats why I believe its more of a PVP based talent to allow ferals the flexibility of chasing down ppl and dropping a ravage off the bat.

  3. 7 Peregrines June 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Like your analysis and thoughts. As far as your thoughts go, I’m surprised you didn’t mention the mastery bonuses we’ll be getting anywhere, as they’ll make up for, and are probably meant to replace in some way the damage removed in the nerfs that you mentioned in your third thought.

    • 8 Vallen June 14, 2010 at 9:43 am

      Decided against mentioning masteries since I dont think that is finalized or officially announced (yet)? I could be wrong, if there is a link to the finalized masteries Id like to read it myself.

  4. 9 Gathros June 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    on the topic of shred costing more energy, i thought they had said somewhere that the base amount of energy needed was going down by 10 so you would get a 40 energy shred, not entirely sure, but pretty sure.
    and yes keep the name of nom nom nom, thats just made out of 100% pure win.

  5. 10 darksend June 10, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    I disagree with primal madness, it seems TERRIBLE. you should almost never be hitting 100 energy much less 112.

    Savage fury was removed and given to sharpened claws, not really sure why they did that instead of removing sharpened claws (must be an RP thing since sharpened claws has been a talent since day 1)

    as was already said shred is 50 base.

    I want to know what feral instincts is going to be when it is done.

    You are confusing talents “Predatory Instincts (3 points) – Increases the damage done by your melee critical strikes by 3/7/10%.” pred strikes was the feral weapon AP buff

    SOTF is not optional for bears

    • 11 darksend June 10, 2010 at 10:14 pm

      to be fair, every talent is “savage” “primal” “predatory” “x instincts” “y fury” so it is a common mistake unless you are looking at an old talent tree while comparing.

    • 12 Ravnika June 13, 2010 at 11:29 pm

      I think the main point of primal madness is to ease the timing of tiger’s fury. If you pop it a bit late (at over 40 energy) you were to waste it, with this talent you have a 12 energy leeway.

      Not sure it’s worth the 2 talent points, but I think it’s a part of blizz’s endeavor of making feral dps more forgiving without changing it too much.

      • 13 darksend June 14, 2010 at 2:41 am

        does it do that though? if you have 52 energy and hit TF, we have no way to testing if it gives you 100 and adds the 12 energy to your total but not your actual amount, or if it jumps you straight to 112 energy

    • 14 Vallen June 14, 2010 at 9:50 am

      Hey DS,

      Thanks for catching my error, definitely just grabbed the wrong talent. Seems just as crappy though losing out on AP for a ravage buff? I’ve updated my post to reflect the change.

      As for SOTF, naturally you still need it as a Bear to be uncrittable but there’s no reason a pure kitty should take it anymore. It seems like there may be spare points in the end so I guess some kitties may take SOTF just for the added flexibility. You never know when your tank will die on LK and you’ll have to tank Arthas for oh.. 2 phases…

  6. 15 Jarr June 11, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Certainly some interesting stuff coming. It seems that most of the feral changes are in line with making kitty and bear feel more powerful. Not necessarily in raw numbers but in truly augmenting the fact that you’ve shifted from a humanoid to a ferocious beast. I like it.

    Nice write up!

  7. 16 Vallen June 14, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Ok, got a lot of thoughts and feedback on Primal Madness, thanks to all the posters for their contributions.

    As I mentioned in a comment to Alaron, I definitely just got a little giddy too fast and assumed it was an increase to maximum energy +12 and also +12 energy which is not the case.

    However, is it still a useful talent? I think so, but situational. With Fury Swipes generating more auto attacks and a much greater focus on haste in Cata, I am speculating that OOC procs will be a lot more frequent. In situations with plentiful energy it might a common sight to be at half energy with full dots rolling. Endless Charge will keep rake up for 6s more which means less energy required so I think there will be a lot more energy to play with.

    Or in other words, it will be a lot more likely in Cata that full dots will be rolling with at least 50 energy so if thats the case Primal Madness will bump you to 110/112 which means its still got uses.

    Counter Thoughts?

  8. 17 Anonymous July 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    about the omen of clarity stuff, i dont even think it exists in cataclysm, i got a chance to look at the beta tree and was dismayed not to see it. perhaps i’m wrong

  9. 18 Anonymous October 12, 2010 at 3:18 am

    So far, I’m not impressed at all by Cata feral DPS. Still the same unforgiving rotation, much lower DPS, and the only exciting new ability is a handicapped interrupt that requires you to get in ranged distance, and use the ability hopefully before the cast finishes. I haven’t seen Omen of Clarity proc yet, so haste might be just as useless as it’s always been for feral DPS (including the laughable affect it has on energy regen). And Stampede….. maybe there will be two fights per raid that might require it.

    Not to step on anyone’s paw’s here, but i think feral DPS niche is something for the feral OT to do when there’s nothing to tank. i.e. Burning Crusade. Some of you are going to deny this, but pass judgment when you can try it for your self. Oh well, maybe things will change before Dec. 7th.

    • 19 Vallen October 12, 2010 at 10:02 am

      Unforgiving rotations is what attracts people to Feral DPS.

      While you can look at all changes as being negative, you need to look and what we had previously in comparison. Skull Bash is an interrupt that does not negatively effect our dps rotation unlike Bash/Maim. OOC procs just fine (not sure why you would, or what mathematical proof you have that would state otherwise). And finally Stampede is an ability meant to push higher end players to balance your dots while at the same time providing added haste to the raid. aka more JOHN FUCKING MADDEN. (if you can handle it)

      While I have no intention of trying to change your opinion (because I clearly won’t) I will say what I always say to those who have a negative outlook. Play the class/spec you want because you love it, not because its easy/op/does the most dps. If you dont like kitty dps, just dont play it.

  10. 20 Anonymous October 12, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I love Kitty DPS, rotation and all. Been playing one since I started playing wow. But one fact for the forthcoming xpac is feral DPS is way, way down. Of course number are going to go up with better gear, but at what amount?

    From a PVE stand point (I know this point is premature and will get flamed), a small run speed boost with a long CD, and bRez, doesn’t outweigh the low situational DPS of a feral druid in any raid content.

    At least in WoTLK, feral DPS was on par with other hybrid melee classes for single target dmg from tier 7-10, providing that you didn’t have to move.

    Look, be honest. Patch 4.0 was released today. Are you content with the changes and damage output? Can u see this being viable for Cata raids, with lvl85 gear? Oh and have you seen OOC proc yet?

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I’m Retired!

As of 04/04/2011, I have officially retired from WOW. This blog will remain as a archived resource for those who know that CAT DRUID IS 4 FITE!

About Me

A blog for the ramblings and thoughts of Vallen, a full time raiding cat druid from Auchindoun-US with a passion for raiding & achievements. An avid wow player since 2004.

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