Wednesday, April 14, 2010

[Druid] The (possible) shape of things to come

Out of curiousity, I went through the feral tree (along with the resto tree's small bits) to look at talents that just boosted x by a certain amount - because in theory most of them are going to be replaced with more 'fun' talents. In addition, I wanted to get rid of any talents that only boosted buffs, as they're going away too. I also looked at what might get cut or pruned down, since only part of it was buffing random stats and whatnot.

Here's the list of things I think will be removed:

Improved mark - almost certainly out
Naturalist - out (at least for ferals)
Master Shapeshifter - out, most likely
Thick Hide - out? (only boosts armor, which might fall into the generic survival part for mastery)
Sharpened Claws - out (flat increase to crit, and that's all; covered entirely by mastery boost in cat)
Heart of the Wild - out (while it does a bunch of things, all of them are either damage or health or intellect, and we don't care)
Protector of the Pack - out. Sorry, Darksend, but both of these things are entirely in the scope of the mastery abilities for bears.
Rend and Tear - out? It only affects damage but does so on certain abilities. It's a definer in terms of damage on cats and bears currently - but is that the sort of thing they want 45-point talents to be?
Primal Gore - out (they've already stated all dots and hots will crit, so this will do nothing)
Here's what I suspect they'll prune or modify:

Feral Aggression - Pruned (may only affect Ferocious Bite, since the Demo Roar part is going away)
Predatory Strikes - Pruned (does too much, and part of it is a pure damage boost)
Natural Reaction - Pruned/in (depends on if 'gains more dodge' is going to be acceptable or not)
Survival of the Fittest - pruned? (the crit reduction in bear form and the armor contribution may stay. The 'all stats are awesome' boost is likely to go or be split out.

And here's what I think is largely going to stay pretty similar:
Furor- sadly, probably in
Natural Shapeshifter - in, possibly
Feral Instinct - In (boost of swipe and boost in prowling, fun talent)
Savage Fury - in (boosts specific abilities, not generic damage)
Feral Swiftness - in (fun)
Survival Instincts - in (fun, new ability)
Shredding attacks - in (specific ability)
Primal Fury - in (rage/CP gain is a spec definer)
Primal Precision - in (though possibly pruned or split)
Brutal Impact - in (useful)
Feral Charge - in (fun)
Nurturing Instinct - in (fun, interesting)
Imp Leader of the Pack - in; while it boosts a buff, it does so in a way that sometimes you may not want, and the buff isn't a generic one
Predatory Instincts - in (though may be split up)
Infected Wounds - in, but probably reduced to one rank
Mangle - in
Imp Mangle - in (though hopefully made a bit more interesting)
Ferocity- In (rage/energy reduction isn't straight +damage or stats)
Berserk - in
Behold, the face of your new tree:

Too soon? Okay, sorry restoers. Keep the tree form alive!

No, this (thanks to my crappy MSPaint skills) is something like what the new tree will not have, or have modified:

What's really interesting to me is the amount of resto talents that are going away. Almost all are boring talents that we take to get to OoC for. I don't know how they can make talents that are interesting to take for all three specs, but these...aren't them. The rest of the tree's not going through (or doesn't have to go through) huge changes. I was honestly expecting it to look like a buzzsaw, but it really doesn't seem that way. I do home more cat and bear abilities become baseline; it's not that much fun to take a lot of talents that basically allow you to function in that role. For example, mangle isn't a 'fun' talent, exactly. It's a necessary one. Giving mangle the shred treatment (making it cost absurd rage/energy if you didn't have it talented) would allow people to have mangle but not clutter up the tree with it.
Also, congrats to Casually Serious, who got down Professor Putricide last night. They're now 11/12 Hard modes. :)


Steven said...

Just wanted to say that I am very happy you are posting again!

quixilva said...

As usual druids and in particular feral druids present the most challenge for their talent design.

In general they frown on lets through all our points in one tree talent design. For that reason you'll still have to take some point from other trees.

There's not actually much synergy between feral and the other two roles, especially when it comes to itemisation. However druid form fluidity is something that they like to push especially in pvp.

For those reasons I think they'll leave some of the hybrid talents in for druids that they might remove for others. I'm thinking in particular Master Shapeshifter, and HotW.

In some ways the masteries are mostly a distraction. You only get the ones applying to the tree you have the most points in, and there'll almost be a cap on the maximum value they can have (my guess is it'll actually be tier based, so open up another tier get the next level of the bonus)

This means that other than the third one which depends on your mastery stat, they're more or less free talents for specialising in that tree (does the strength of the third mastery depend on the number of talents as well?)

Thus we can basically say ferals will get +x% melee damage and +y% melee crit damage in cat form and z% DR and vengeance in bear form.

I think the crit mastery will replace the part of predatory instincts rather than sharpened claws.

As a side question do bleeds count as melee?

My point is, they're either going to have to rebalance everything across a lot of classes (I guess they have to do a fair bit of that anyway), or you'll still be stuck with some boring talents. I think for the most part they'll just try to make them interesting in other ways.

In terms of specifics, I'm pretty sure rend and tear will stay (or maybe split). It only buffs certain attacks, and is triggered by something (that's pretty easy to achieve).

One of the other issues is they still need to differentiate between bear specs and cat specs. I assume that's still a goal, and as such I suspect a lot of hybrid talents might get split up.

Feral's will of course still be the best emergency tanks despite the other classes getting automatic crit reduction, the dual masteries more or less guarantees that.

At the moment there isn't really many fun or optional talents in the feral tree, and I can't really see them being able to add many, because ultimately for most purposes give the option ferals would just take the talents that make them better as a cat then those that make them better as a bear or vica-versa

Cainman said...

Grats to CS, it's a tough fight.

Personally, I hope they go back to being able to tank and dps with one spec. I liked that in TBC. And now that we have dual spec, I'd prefer to be able to have a non feral pve second spec, but I can't do that. Most guilds expect a feral to be able to tank and dps so that always fills both specs.

Anonymous said...

I don't think rend and tear is going anywhere. Its not just about talents that are 'fun' but also ones that change the way you play and R&R supposedly does this by making you want to have a bleed up before using another ability.

I also wouldn't be surprised if they made us a special case and wrapped up some 'boring' talents into some more interesting ones rather than removing them completely. This would make sure there is enough destinction between cats and bears. For example, King of the jungle could get split and the cat half mixed in with the AOE reduction of Predatory Instincts (the crit part is now the second tier mastery) and the bear half mixed with thick hide.

Darksend said...

if it was still called mother bear I would have a problem with them taking it out

as for your conclusions (if I dont mention it I agree):

all the +% stats- these will be interesting, because none of the masteries increase straight stats.

Naturalist - Will probably see a reduction to the base cast time on HT so this talent will not be needed even for resto

Thick Hide - this will be the interesting one, I think damage reduction is specifically PotP type reduction and the armor buff will be rolled into SotF and become like a 50% armor increase

Rend and Tear - by your own reasoning for later talents this will be left in because it is only specific abilities (the "unfun" for a 45 pointer has viability though)

Feral Aggression - talents that buff buffs =/= talents that buff debuffs, likely this will be reduced to a 2 point talent as vindication is 2 points

Natural Reaction - again, dodge is not covered by masteries, so this will be another one to watch. The rage on avoidance will stay for sure though.

Survival of the Fittest - see above about stats and armor

Furor- if imp mark does go than there is no reason not to get 5/5 again

Copey said...

Well howdy do, look who's back!

Thats all I have to say for now.

Anonymous said...

So glad your back. Hope all is well with you.

-Torok (Darkspear)

Anonymous said...

Ooooh!! moar posts!!!

keep it coming Kalon :D

Anonymous said...

I was bored at work and I'll be honest, went to your site to get to another feral blog (which I had forgotten the URL) but to my surprise you are back at it. Awesome! Let's just say that I never made it to that other blog. maybe tomorrow =).

Warpîg (Moonrunner)

Asp said...

If you are still out there reading this, what do you think of the first round of Alpha talents? Not that they've done much, but that 10% less spell damage sitting nice and low in the Resto tree is interesting, and I'm guessing there will be more soon.

We miss you!

Kalon said...

Hey, Asp -

I'm sticking with Darksend and a couple others; there's simply not enough information on the new trees to really state anything on what the feral build is going to look like. Virtually nothing was changed, in any case, and it's hard for me to imagine that the extra 5 talent points we're going to get are going to be spent in the resto tree.

It's interesting, but I don't think it's going to be the end result.

Though the 'improved feral charge' talent looked awesome (gain 6% damage on a charge for 10sec)