DF Feral Tree is Fundamentally Broken

The Dragon Flight Brutal Slash talent has been updated to clarify that it replaces Swipe as it does on live.

Because Brutal Slash replaces Swipe, it’s an un-pickable talent for any AOE content like dungeons because it takes away your primary AOE ability and replaces it with one that offers far less sustained AOE damage. Taking Brutal Slash for M+ is a massive, crippling DPS loss. It’s currently an optional talent in Shadowlands that’s easily avoided outside of raids.

In the DF Talent tree, Brutal Slash blocks the only path to things we definitely need for dungeons, like Apex Predator and Berserk: Frenzy.

Please adjust Brutal Slash to no longer replace Swipe so that it is an exciting addition to our AOE abilities instead of a massive net damage loss, or recognize that it is only situationally an okay choice in single target raid settings and adjust the talent to be an optional choice without any other talents locked behind it (for example, swapping places with Scent of Blood or Moment of Clarity, preferably the latter since it does so well at smoothing out the spec and compliments Cat’s Curiosity and Berserk: Frenzy on the same path Brutal Slash currently blocks)

(Edit: or the Dreamgrove suggestion of swapping it with Savage Roar, per Ghrell)

Never mind the mental gymnastics that are required to explain why “Improved Bleeds” buffs Swipe’s damage by 20% two talents before Brutal Slash comes in an removes your ability to ever cast Swipe on the same talent progression path.

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Most of both tree’s for Feral feel like the result of brainstorming idea’s before checking to see if it’s a good fit.

I think the Dreamgrove discord had some simple suggestions like more ‘links’ between abilities which would increase the ease in which you can move around the tree rather than getting stuck in a particular ‘path’. The example I can recall off the top of my head was a pair of links between [Berserk: Relentlessness] and [Primal Wrath] and the current [Brutal Slash] location. And then IN ADDITION TO THAT, swapping the location of [Brutal Slash] and [Savage Roar].

Personally I think Feral is overly punished by being a melee dps spec that doesn’t get a lot of role or utility out of the bear form section and the accessible resto/balance section doesn’t synergize well or is too far away to feel good with the number of talent points available. Not sure what the fix might be other than to completely remove all role-functional abilities from the tree, leaving only utility effects or to make the tree ‘3D’ allowing one to pass from left to the opposite right-side and vice-versa. Ex: jumping from [Feral Swiftness] to [Astral Influence].

An example of what I mean by synergize though is that Sunfire is really awkward for feral to even take and with the limit talent points essentially makes it unrealistic or impossible to get Astral Influence or Typhoon. If you’re reaching over from the Resto side then you’re taking Wild Growth to get into Ursols or Entanglement and the fun stun of Innervate and Nature’s Vigil which is also awkward. Then there’s Decurse being early down the Resto path but locks you out from reaching Typhoon. Like, why? It’s not even a choice between two CC abilities.

2 Likes

Druid has felt like an unfinished product for some time now i think.

They have just tuned it to make it work.

I am thinking this is what they will do for DF as well.

Since there is no better mmo atm I will stick around until Ashes of Creation is out…playing bear so i can get content done.

And I was initially pretty excited that brutal Slash would be able to be gotten with Primal Wrath and that it would also be considered a talent ability like Primal Wrath, guess that’s too much to ask for though.

Yeah, if I was going to take a pen to the Druid Class tree, I would:

  • Make Moonkin Form Baseline (like all the other forms)
  • Put Sunfire where Moonkin form is now
  • Put Typhoon where Sunfire is now
  • Remove “new resto passive” and replace it with Ysera’s Gift (which everyone already loves dammit), to match the rest of the row that is made up of existing and well loved Affinity bonuses.

With those changes, there would be good incentive for both Bear and Cat to choose their preferred path through the Resto or Balance lines down to Typhoon. Resto would be useful defense (heals, Ysera’s) and Balance for offence (ranged damage ability, astral influence).

Moonkin form being baseline is one of those things that makes sense, helps fix this tree and doesn’t really add any “power creep” to non-moonkins by being in the spellbook.

If I could really dream though;

  • Make Innervate a choice node where the other choice is Force of Nature

Treant’s are arguably the strongest M+ utility in the druid kit and being locked to Balance Druids spec tree only is absurd and against the spirit of “you shouldn’t have to be a specific spec of a class to bring the required utility”. It shouldn’t really be a power loss to balance because Innervate is almost entirely a raid utility and trees are almost entirely an M+ utility.

3 Likes

Fore just posted this: https://imgur.com/gallery/9q4xBJY
From: https://eu.forums.blizzard.com/en/wow/t/feedback-druids/368397/3

3 Likes

I sort of disagree with that. From a PvE standpoint anyway. It doesn’t take very many points to take all of our damage abilities and we’re going to want to pick up the range extension anyway so all of the Balance utility is closer than it looks. The main things we give up to take it are some Guardian survivability talents but I don’t think that’s the worst trade in the world given that base Feral was already one of the harder specs to kill.

That’s the case for most of the utility anyway. There’s two specific spells that are problematic. Remove Corruption and Cyclone. Both of which require a 3+ point investment in talents that we neither use nor were already picking up on our way to other things. Remove Corruption probably isn’t that bad given that it’s a situational ability and to be fair we’re getting A LOT of new utility in exchange. Cyclone is the bigger deal. Not in PvE since it’s a kind of niche spell in PvE but it’s a MASSIVE deal in PvP.

1 Like

This is awesome lol. But I think some OP stuff.

  • Shroud of Ashmane - I am a huge advocate for Feral Druids and Shadow priests to bring Shroud to M+ instead of it being a Rogue only utility. This is great. The D&D nerd in me prefers “Pass Without Trace” naming.
  • Feline agility would be strong with even one extra charge. But certainly 2 has a fun factor.
  • The Primal Wrath change looks great. The Berkserk: Frenzy change is cool but too complex.
  • Who wouldn’t love LotP to come back. I think the heal would need an ICD though.
  • Bloodmist looks cool, though it does kind of work against blood talons on smaller pulls.
  • Sabertooth/Rend Flesh - unpopular opinion apparently but I’ve always loved big bites. Certainly they could be more balanced, feelz bad man when you look at your profile and its 50% bite damage. But comparing to rogue, Bite always feels good to press in a way Envenom never really does.
  • Protection of Ashmane is busted. That’s essentially Evasion on a 30sec cd.
  • Nine Lives is a great concept but seems like a missed opportunity for a cheat death. I think this would be more thematic and player friendly if instead it was “Fatal Attacks that would have killed you instead reduce you to 15% HP, and you gain the benefits of Survival Instincts”.

My biggest gripe with this redesign is not changing Blood Talons to be more intuitive and not changing Thrash to be a good ability by itself. Instead it does what it kind of does now, and is just a bad ability that happens to make other abilities better.