This is an update to my previous post on Feral armor changes.
As previously announced, we are changing the way bear armor works so that bonus armor on items does not receive the bear armor multiplier. Specifically this means that weapons, trinkets, rings, necks and cloaks with bonus armor will not be multiplied by the bear bonus. Only cloth and leather will benefit from the Bear and Dire Bear multiplier.
We are compensating Ferals for this armor loss by improving the Survival of the Fittest talent. In addition to its current effects (stats and crit prevention), it will now also increase armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 22/33/66%. That should be very close to your current armor bonus. This makes Survival of the Fittest rather over-budget by talent standards, but we figured it was one talent we can be pretty certain most tank-oriented druids will have (and to be honest nearly all Ferals).
These changes will be in place in the next patch. This patch will ship sometime before the 3.1 major content patch featuring the Ulduar raid.
With respect to the esteemed bloggers Karthis and BBB, the recent announced change to armor and how it works is a huge nerf.
It is bad.
It is not good.
I did the math before this and showed that, but this time other folks jumped in and did the math for me. On the main forums, we have this nice bit of math:
armor from leather: 3326
other armor: 3980
total armor: 7306
bear armor: 37772
mitigation %: 69.42
after this nerf takes effect we will see the following, with no gear being changed out.
armor from leather: 3326
bear armor: 28544
other armor: 3266
total armor: 31810
mitigation %: 58.46
That can't be right, can it? Yes, yes it can:
Surprise, surprise Blizzard botched itI mentioned what the 'right' number was going to have to be in order to make this not a nerf, and how hard it would be to balance early tanking if that number was used. However, if it was NOT used, bears suddenly have a huge gulf of mitigation relative to other tanks. And that's what we're seeing now.
Tier Set (10 man) : 2294 + 952 (item level 200 bracers, belt, waiste) = 3246
Tier Set (25 man) : 2350 + 978 (item level 213 bracers, belt, waiste) = 3326
Stuff getting lost :
Cloak of the Shadowed Sun http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40252 490
Defender's Code http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40257 850
Offering of Sacrifice http://www.wowhead.com/?item=37638 550
Amulet of Autopsy http://www.wowhead.com/?item=39246 350
Keystone Great-Ring http://www.wowhead.com/?item=37784 490
Gatekeeper http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40370 448
Origin of Nightmares http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40280 714
Old multiplier : 5.17 = 37.3K
New Multiplier 8.58 tier + 1.1 other = 28.5K + 4.3K = 32.8K
Enjoy the nerf and broken scaling mechanics. The correct number for it not to be a nerf was .91 if anyone cares.
Essentially what we're seeing is that druids lost the ability to wear two armor trinkets at all. Or if you like, they took out the usefulness of Defender's Code. Here's the thing though - druids were balanced around trinkets like that. This change was supposedly specifically made so that druids wouldn't have to go to extreme efforts to get something like it or Offering of Sacrifice, but with this change it is essentially like not having armor trinkets at all.
Which leads to druids at the higher end of the scale having significantly less mitigation than every other tanking class. Yes, DKs will actually have more mitigation.
As I've mentioned elsewhere, the way to fix this was to do exactly what they did in some form and give some other scaling mechanism back. When they removed bonus armor from leather before, we got Protector of the Pack. With this...there's nothing. I argued before that some kind of nerf was necessary so that druids didn't hit the armor cap too early, and I still believe it - but they also needed to change something in druid mechanics to compensate.
We didn't get that change.
So...basically we're looking at being the tank with about the same mitigation as a warrior from armor, less avoidance, less ohshit buttons, and no block mechanic to increase mitigation.