I guess I didn't make any announcement or OMG on how they've changed swipe. Heh. Oops.
So yeah, they're changing swipe to have no target requirement and hit everything in an 8-yard range around the druid. It's neat. It's much like playing my pally in TBC was in terms of feel. You always want to reposition yourself, clearly - but now you don't have to immediately, which makes your threat a lot more consistent and your pulls less prone to random mobs wandering off.
The animation hasn't changed a bit, so it still looks like you're just swiping the thing in front of you. I desperately hope for some kind of bear whirlwind when swipe happens.
Swipefarting is damn, damn fun. Basically, instead of kiting mobs by aggroing them, turning around, swiping, turning back and running again, you just run past, swipe, and swipe as you're running. Swipe swipe swipe every 1.5 seconds, and the mobs never run away from you ever again. You might occasionally have to slow down to hit more, but it's not that hard. And with Savage Defense not having positional requirements, you can actually block attacks while swipefarting.
It's bugged right now, of course, and only effects things in a less than 5 yard range. Even with that limitation, the ability to swipe things without targeting them is a huge boon for me. I have onmouseover macros for my FFF, charge and taunt, but it's still very nice to be able to actually target them so that I can charge them and then hit them, for example.
Doesn't work in cat form as far as I can tell. It still requires a target and still requires a cone. I'll test it more thoroughly though.
I do miss not having more fine-grained control of AoE, but not so much that I'll complain. It makes one headache less headachy. I still don't want to spam things as much, but with the maul toggle macro (more on that later today) it's not nearly as much a headache. It does feel less skillful though, which is amusing given some of my earliest posts on Karthis' blog. I still don't think that it's that crucial that they remove the skill components or not, but I also think that having one big AoE "I win" button is a bit lazy and not particularly fun. It's interesting to know how to use a cone effect vs. a 360 one. It's not that interesting to have only one tool without significant limitations. Better tanks will still be more situationally aware, know how to build threat on multiple mobs better, break CC less, do cleaner pulls, use cooldowns more wisely, gear better and do more damage - but now swipe is an Easy button, and it's slightly poorer for it.
But hey, I can swipefart. So it's all good.
What do y'all think about the new swipe?