Tuesday, November 4, 2008

[Druid] WHOA.

Short and sweet: armor from non-leather items (ALL non-leather items) will no longer be part of the druid armor bonus:

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 trinkets, rings, necks and cloaks with bonus armor will not be multiplied by the bear bonus. The normal armor on leather will still be multiplied by this bonus. We are also going to remove bonus armor from Feral staves. You’ll get your bonus armor from the leather you acquire.


We will adjust the bear armor modifiers so that your net mitigation does NOT go down with these changes. Let me repeat: this is not a nerf to Feral armor. It is a change to the amount of armor you get from gear with bonus armor.

I'll revise the bear item for pre-naxx later this week. The early info would mean that Essence of Gossamer is Really Good, a couple of epic items get better, and naturally things like Badge of Tenacity get worse.

Also ironically, the Living Root of the Wildheart stays awesome.


felkan said...

Wonder what they are going to replace staff armor with?

Kalon said...

Felkan, my guess is nothing at all, or a mitigation ability based on attack power. I actually asked that feral staves not have armor counted towards the multiplier on the beta forums, and I did so because as long as there was armor on staves they could never reasonably get rid of feral AP. With this change they likely can.

A side note is that they're not removing this for WotLK launch, so armor on things is still going to be very valuable for a while. Just don't freak out if you can't get Defender's Code or Offering of Sacrifice.

Udder Madness said...

Excellent change, giving us so much more in the way of choices in itemisation.

Anonymous said...

Oh this is so awesome, I'm so happy about it, been in a state of frenzied over-excitement for the last 45 mins.

This shows they're committed to allowing our gear choices to be more flexible, and making up the differences with talents.

I wonder how they'll do away with FAP? I really hope they do, but i also like using staffs. I dont want to start carrying swords & axes around, its just not the druid way :) Do you have any ideas about how they could do this, and have you posted them on the forums? For once I'm in wholeheared agreement with you!

Figgster said...

@anonymous (lol)
Don't worry about carrying around swords and axes, you can't use those anyway ;)

There was discussion on the beta forum about having a conversion so that the dps of a weapon modifies your feral dps appropriately. This means they would take those staves, bump them up to normal dps levels for their iLvL, but we would also have the choice of weilding some badass 2H Maces.

Might even someday see the possibility of wielding a mace and offhand or dagger and offhand.

Marco said...

Looks like you'll have to update your list from October 31.

E.g. all weapons you've mentioned won't have armor anymore if I'm reading that correctly?

Anonymous said...

I think that the new changes are great!
We are less dependent on gear, we get to powershift, and we can get in small groups and not be gimped!

It just goes to show that Blizz does listen to us after all.

Grumpy Misanthrope said...

There was discussion on the beta forum about having a conversion so that the dps of a weapon modifies your feral dps appropriately. This means they would take those staves, bump them up to normal dps levels for their iLvL, but we would also have the choice of weilding some badass 2H Maces.

Sorry, This is blizzard we are talking about and anyone who has played the game for the last 4 years knows that 1) Kaplan hates druids, and 2) the developers really don't understand the class.

This change just sets us up to be gimped to nothingness like and relegated to a nothing but healer role like we were before 1.12

Anonymous said...

@Grumpy Misanthrope: hear hear!

It has been specifically stated by blues that we did too well in BC.

They did not want us tanking as well as we did, nor dps-ing as well as we did. It really speaks to the general awesomeness of the players and the druid community that there were many ferals out there tanking every encounter and dpsing as well as any melee class in that melee unfriendly expansion.

However, forewarned is forearmed, sadly on blizz's part this go-round. I have the horrible feeling that four tanking classes are one too many and they damn well know it. We are the class that they keep backing off the level playing field ideal on.

We have overcome the developers distaste of our class before by theorycrafting and doing surprising things with our gear and enhancement choices, but this time I am not particularly optimistic.

Kalon said...

Marco - thanks for coming by. :) I did update my list slightly to compensate for the lack of armor on staves, and the end result was...not a lot of change. DPS staves still have a lot less stamina than tanking staves do. It did make the Stave of Shrouded Mysteries a lot better.

Anon - powershifting is dead, at least for the purposes of gaining energy. It's nice that we can actually shift to bear, cat and caster without running oom after ten shifts, which is what it was like before. Good for PvP at least; I don't exactly do a lot of shifting when tanking. :)

Grumpy Misanthrope - thanks for coming by (and love the name). I honestly think that this sets us up for the best chance of success along with a less frustrating route to get there. With the way things were headed they were basically going to be the same as they were in BC; few upgrades, armor capped at the end of the second tier of dungeons, specialty gear and/or running PvP to get optimal PvE gear. That's not that fun for me.

With this, we have the potential to have some balance.

I don't guarantee that we'll get there; Blizzard does not have a hugely successful track record balancing druids as ferals. Keep in mind though - in BC they made druids too powerful. Sunwell Radiance was put in specifically because druids could have ridiculous avoidance and be armor capped; no other tanking class could come close to this, and against bosses that could not crush that was just insane. Druids in BC weren't balanced in any reasonably way; they were at best considered off-tanks by the developers, but the mechanics weren't really examined. They were assumed to need huge armor to eat crushes, but no one thought about what happens when a boss doesn't crush. They were told to stack strength yet given such good gains from agility that you would be insane to ignore them.

All of that is being examined now, and talked about in public. There's genuine discourse between blizzard and the fanbase that does know better. This change isn't a result of blizzard deciding arbitrarily; this is the result of a lot of people, myself included, who advocated some kind of change along these lines. Why? Because it will make druids better in the long run and not relegate them to those 'weird' items.

Jason - thanks as well. And I think you are right - druids did better than anyone really thought they should, and they did so in spite of blizzard designing encounters to screw them. But I've not seen anything to indicate that blizzard is out to screw us again. Let's look at what we're getting from BC to WotLK that helps:

Instant crit immunity. We are the only tank that can walk immediately into Naxx using exactly the gear we have on right now.
Ohshit buttons.
No crushing blows.
Magic mitigation.
Anti-rage starving ability.
Innate dodge.
Better threat generation and even better snap threat generation
Ability to tank infinite mobs
better damage as a tank

I mean, seriously - the main things that are left to address are the 'unfun' part of tanking (we still aren't all that reactive, and the rotation is really dull), the itemization (which is the #1 focus and is getting worked on), and the scaling (which they've committed to fixing).

I do agree that it's frustrating as fuck all to have to be the 'work in progress' tank when warriors and death knights come awesome out of the box, and paladins get such shiny toys. But I do have faith that things are going to be better, and in the meantime take heart that you'll be able to start leading 10-man raids before those other classes are even crit-immune.