FEEDBACK: Druid Class Changes

**Updated August 19 **

In the latest Beta builds, Feral will find some new things and some rearranged things around Berserk, Incarnation, Shred, and Rake. The main goal is to put more power and interest into baseline Berserk.

• Berserk (without requiring a talent) now makes Shred and Rake deal damage as though you were stealthed, and makes finishing moves refund 2 combo points.
• A new upgrade to Shred makes it generate an extra combo point when used from stealth (and by extension, during Berserk).
• Incarnation, as always, lasts 30 seconds and grants all benefits of Berserk, plus one additional effect–now, some energy cost reduction. It continues to allow one in-combat restealth.
• Stealth bonuses to Shred and Rake rebalanced somewhat (Shred higher than live, and Rake lower than live) both to make them more competitive, and to reflect their presence on a baseline cooldown.

Not much more to be said, but Berserk should pay off more as a core cooldown, substantially improving various abilities and amping up the pace of your rotation, without putting you under heavy Energy pressure. Let us know any feedback!


July 27

–Convoke the Spirits can be channeled while moving, in all forms.

–Adaptive Swarm (damage swarm) will try to favor targets that have Moonfire or Rip active. It will not, however, merge/stack two swarms together if it can avoid it. The healing swarm was already pretty smart and there are no further changes to it right now.

–Bloodtalons: trigger changed from “use Shred, Rake, and Thrash” to “use any 3 different generators”. Continuing on from a lot of feedback on this, the goal is to make it more flexible, and cause fewer rotation clashes, while still requiring a moment of planning to trigger.

–Runecarve currently called Druid Runecarve 3 on beta (DoT/HoT tick rate): this was incomplete/ambiguous in the last build, but we are trying a version that compresses both tick rates and durations, taking from old abilities like Jagged Wounds and Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation. That should be in and working next build for testing.


July 15

We’ve made the following changes to Kindred Spirits (Kyrian class ability) in the next build:

• Visual effects have been updated.
• Kindred Spirits now casts a solo version of each buff when bonded with yourself, called Lone Empowerment (Balance and Feral), Lone Meditation (Restoration), or Lone Protector (Guardian). These effects are weaker than when you pair with an ally, and grant simple buffs to damage, healing, or mitigation.
• Kindred Empowerment (the “damager” buff) no longer gives ramping primary stat to your partner. Instead, 30% of all damage dealt grants the partner a pool of Kindred Empowerment, which gets expended to increase their damage, healing, and mitigation until it runs out.

Please continue writing us your feedback. We’d love to hear your thoughts on how the ability plays out in various content, and anything else that comes up while playtesting.


July 8

Feral: Various talents are buffed numerically, to try to open up some choices a bit (Feral Frenzy, Lunar Inspiration, Savage Roar), as well as a baseline buff to Rip that’s related to the below discussion.

One notable talent is nerfed: Sabertooth. This has been the subject of much discussion in feedback. While we like the idea of a talent in this slot that simplifies the rotation somewhat, we generally agree that infinite Rip extension has a lot of downsides. It additionally tends to cause balance problems, as an infinitely-extended snapshot-buffed Rip tends to outpace other options for sustained damage. Sabertooth will extend Rip by a smaller amount–keeping a similar mechanic to now, but requiring it to still be occasionally used on a single target.

Relatedly, we’re adjusting Bloodtalons to make it easier to proc–we’ve seen a lot of feedback that sequencing Rake, Shred and Thrash that tightly is a big hassle when you have competing interests of when you need to refresh your Bleeds, when you have a lot of energy, when you need to use a finisher, and so on. Trying to find the sweet spot where it’s not too onerous to use, but still provides a reward for planning your rotation.

Balance: Notably in this build, starting Eclipse requires 2 spells rather than 3. Doesn’t require a big explanation, but should be strongly felt. In particular, the windup at the start of combat is much shorter (especially when you can precast 1 of the 2 spells).

We’re also trying a version of Celestial Alignment that’s not extendable to arbitrary duration; it was simply going to cause nearly certain balance problems later on. It is now a fixed-duration cooldown that still provides a large damage increase.

Thanks for any feedback, please let us know how this all goes.


June 27

Thanks for all the feedback on Convoke the Spirits. It will have a further update in an upcoming build, focused on being oriented more around shapeshift forms, and including higher-value spells associated with each particular form.

Most importantly, the spell list is redesigned. It is no longer the same in every form.
–Spells included in every form: Moonfire, Wrath, Regrowth, Rejuvenation, Rake, Thrash
–Caster form only: Wild Growth, Swiftmend
–Cat form only: Ferocious Bite, Shred, Tiger’s Fury
–Bear form only: Mangle, Ironfur
–Moonkin form only: Starsurge, Starfall

When used in any given form, spells assocatied with that form’s role are strongly favored.
Starsurge, Starfall, and Ferocious Bite don’t cost resources. Swiftmend doesn’t remove a HoT. Ferocious Bite does maximum damage. Self-buffs that don’t stack (Tiger’s Fury, Starfall) won’t overwrite themselves.

A bit of discussion about this ability–one dilemma with it is that while it actually chooses abilities somewhat smartly, it can’t claim to do so perfectly smartly. So the tooltip doesn’t promise to always choose the optimal ability, but in reality it does much better than random chance. Some things that were true in prior iterations, and still true now:
–Spells that apply a DoT or HoT are favored on targets that don’t already have it, and generally won’t reapply to targets that do (some exception for Wild Growth).
–It won’t aggro new creatures that aren’t in combat
–It won’t break CC
–Heals will be more favored relative to other spells if there are lower-HP targets
–Thrash is used more often in Bear Form than in Cat Form


June 4

Convoke the Spirits–in this build or an upcoming build:
–Convoke will more strongly favor current-spec abilities than it currently does
–Convoke will be more willing to use the same ability many times within a single activation
–Convoke will not use Thrash if nothing is in range
–In Feral spec, it will more strongly favor Shred over Thrash
–Dodging will work during the channel

Also, this isn’t spelled out, but “current specialization” will use your current Heart of the Wild if you have it active.

A dilemma with this ability is that, on one hand, it’s cooler if it does a wide mix of Druid things. Its power can come from the main-role spells you’re gaining, while some off-role spells contribute flavor, utility, and visual presence. But on the other, reading it can give an expectation of, say, 16 damage spells in a row, which is let down when you get something much less. We’re going to tinker with the mix somewhat to find a better balance here.


April 30

Summarizing some of the biggest points coming out of early feedback:
–General negative feeling on the RNG startup of Eclipse. A few people did notice that there was pretty strong bad-luck protection on the proc, but ultimately that didn’t seem to help in this case.
–The idea of the 30s ICD wasn’t worth all the confusion. It was intended to simply alternate Eclipses in long combats, so it’s clearer to straightforwardly do that.

An important detail of the change (the number of casts to start an Eclipse is now fixed at 3) is that the count is visible in the default UI–highlighting this since it won’t be obvious to people who have only seen datamining. This lets you know, among other things, when you’ve been out of combat long enough to “reset” and be able to start with either Eclipse again, so you don’t have to guess about that. It also makes the mechanics clearer, for example that you can enter either Eclipse immediately after Celestial Alignment ends.

Another problem solved by no longer being random is that you’re not stuck in the middle of a “wrong” cast when Eclipse starts (Eclipse feels a bit longer when you play it in this version, for this reason). You can plan a buffed nuke or Starsurge crisply at the start of Eclipse, as well as allowing more advanced planning around DoT refreshes and movement.

Finally, it’s expected that there are better and worse Eclipse timings in a long encounter based on whether Wrath or Starfire is more valuable at given moments, and there’s some ability to manipulate it as you learn what’s coming. There hasn’t been a lot of opportunity for people to explore this yet, but Starsurge timing, DoT timing, Celestial Alignment, and choice of starting Eclipse are all ways to influence the cycle.


April 16

  • Survival Instincts now gains 1 Charge at Rank 1, and 2 Charges at Rank 2 (Guardian only).
  • With the Bloodtalons talent, now when you use Shred, Rake, and Thrash (was Ferocious Bite) within 3 seconds, the damage of your next 2 Rips (was 1 Rip) or Ferocious Bites is increased by 30% (was 50%).

April 9

In this thread, we’re discussing Druid class changes coming in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.

Read more about initial class changes in the World of Warcraft blog.

This initial post will be updated periodically throughout the Shadowlands test. Please check back here for information about further updates to this class as they are made.

Thank you for your testing and feedback!

24 Likes

Hello!

Initial feedback, mostly concerned with spell interactions.

  1. I’d like to see more interactions with Critical Strike to improve CA. (Something like MOP’s DOT extension, but for Eclipse.)

    1. Wrath crits extend Solar Eclipse by 2sec.
    2. Starfire crits extend Lunar Eclipse by 2sec.
    3. Starsurge crits extend the current Eclipse states by 4/6sec.
    • Is Astral spells double-dipping intended? (That changes my feeling here.)
      .
  2. Astral Power generation and Astral Power costs seem funky.

  • Starfall costs 50 AP, and lasts 10sec.

    • This will probably play out okay.
    • Other sources of Astral Power may soften Starfall’s setup requirements.
  1. Stellar Drift is bonkers. (Casting while moving is really, really strong.)

    1. I’m not saying it’s overpowered, but it’s definitely strong.
    2. We always need to be casting, and this feels okay so long as the punishment for missing casts is reasonably harsh.
    3. Other talents on the row will need to be very strong.
      .
  2. Twin Moonfire (I’m a bit worried about competing with Stellar Drift)

    1. Both are great talents, but just picking one won’t feel great.
    2. The other talent needs to be just as awesome.
    3. Difficult choices are totally fine.
    4. Many folks feel it should be baseline, I disagree to an extent.
26 Likes

Maybe it’s just me, but I think druids have gotten way too much compared to a lot of other specs. I know druid mains are going to rally against me here, but the amount of utility and CC piled into this class, especially resto druids are just going to cause them to dominate.

They have roots, soothe, rebirth, innervate, hibernate, ursol’s vortex, stampeding roar, cyclone, a stun if they take feral affinity/a knockback if they take balance affinity, another stun if they take mighty bash or +30% increased feral damage for 45 seconds per 5 minutes if they take heart of the wild.

Either the other classes need a lot more love or this one just has a bit too much.

77 Likes

Question about Feral survivability - Is Survival Instincts being permanently removed from Ferals?

I’m sure many will disagree with me on this one, but after using SI as a Feral Main for two expansions, I’d hate to part with it. In my opinion it’s one of the best and most satisfying “oh crap” buttons Druids have across all of their specs and has saved me countless times in M+ and raids - not just when I’d mess up, but when I’d have to take an unavoidable hit due to circumstances beyond my control. In the alpha I’ve noticed that Feral does not have this skill in their books anymore. Only Ironbark remains.

Why was this one removed? Or is it being reworked in some way?

EDIT: Guardians didn’t lose it I’m just dumb. Ferals did lose it, though.

71 Likes

Hey Tuarri,

I think you’re only looking at part of your skills. In your spellbook there are actually 3 active tabs now instead of 2. The first one is a general non-class specific tab with armor skills etc. The second one is a class related tab where you find the generic all-druid abilities. The third tab is where you’ll find SI and other spec related abilities.

1 Like

Thanks for the heads up. I am not seeing it anywhere in any of the three tabs as Feral spec (Guardian still has it - I messed up that part in my last post). Looks like it was removed completely for Ferals. :frowning_face:

I’d give up Ironbark for it back as Feral. Ironbark works for Balance as their only mitigation because Balance is ranged (more reaction time) and they have a passive armor boost. If the tank went down, SI would give me the extra second I needed to weather the beatings from enemy aggro, bail out, Mass Entangle/Dash, Battle-Rez, etc. I’m going to miss it big time. This sucks.

25 Likes

One very minor note – mostly for tuning reasons…

Shooting Stars is Astral.
Fury of Elune is Astral.
New Moon is Arcane.

Can we update New Moon to Astral? This is only requested because of the double-dipping interactions on Eclipse with Astral damage. And this could make Full Moon a monster.

Also, simulations are needed here, but I feel the Astral Power generation of New Moon doesn’t feel powerful. It’s probably a lot to ask for, but I’d be really interested to see a complicated build around Full Moon. Requested: 15/30/60 AP

27 Likes

Another note, but probably more meaningful.

I have no idea what the ICD of Eclipses are. Even though we’re still learning the gameplay, I really struggled on this detail.

I feel like I must have a WeakAura that simply tells me “this is on cooldown.” That way I don’t spend 10sec casting the wrong filler. I don’t know how much of this is related to muscle memory, but there’s no visual indicator to assist me.

15 Likes

Hey Cyouskin, I believe that’s actually on the tooltip. It says each eclipse cannot happen more than once per 30 seconds. It does feel a little odd not knowing when it cannot occur though.

Feedback for Ferals (I am speaking primarily about PvE):

Please do not remove “Survival Instincts” in favor of Barkskin. Survival Instincts is a stronger, more satisfying skill to use as a Feral. If removal of Survival Instincts is written in stone, Ferals need a non-convoluted way to temporarily empower Barkskin in their kits.

I am surprised at how perfect Survival Instincts is as a Feral player. I do not want to see it removed from Ferals. Ever.

Personal:

I was under the impression classes weren’t getting pruned. I cannot put into proper words or articulation how disappointing this change would be. I am no expert Feral player, but I would definitely classify myself as a passionate one.

I also apologize for the format in which this post is. All I have to go by are my own personal experiences. I feel like people who don’t play Feral don’t realize how massive this change would be. This would be like Rogues losing Cloak of Shadows or Paladins losing BoP. Maybe because Feral isn’t played much outside of PvP, though, not much attention gets paid to it.

But Holinka (?) Did say at Blizzcon 2019 that “I’m worried/unhappy” is legitimate feedback, so here goes.

Overall:

In Legion and BFA, I would disagree when people would say “Feral has bad survivability in PvE” - we can, without interrupting our rotation, constantly self-heal during our rotation (even if BT wasn’t taken). We have Bear form for transition phases if we cannot DPS temporarily, and the biggest middle-finger(claw?) we have to dying is Survival Instincts. 50% damage reduction for 6 seconds (2 min CD, stacks to 2 uses).

This cannot be overstated - Barkskin is a much weaker replacement with less-satisfying player input. 20% mitigation will not save a feral who has had an entire group of enemies turn on them due to the death of a tank. 20% mitigation will not save a feral who has been cornered by poor puddle placement from fellow raid/party members. 20% mitigation will not save a feral trapped in an imminent cone AoE from the boss because someone else stood in the wrong location. 20% is not going to cut it in PvE. We don’t have Displacer Beast from Legion to get out of sticky situations, either.

Survival Instincts has saved me from situations like these on numerous occasions. If it was Barkskin, I’d just be a cat-shaped stain of burnt guts on the ground on those fights. I’d reroll something with more mitigative “middle-fingers,” like Paladin. I don’t have passive armor buffs like what moonkins have. Ferals are also in melee range, which means they have even less time to react to sudden shifts in the battle - and therefore need stronger instant cooldowns of mitigation than ranged classes/specs.

Duration vs Mitigation %:

Barkskin has twice the duration time of Survival Instincts, which sounds amazing on paper, but I can promise you this extra duration will go largely unused. When you are about to take a huge hit, or two huge hits, or dash through a poorly-placed puddle to reposition, you need mitigation percentage, not duration of effect. A single second can make a huge difference in this game (looking at you, GCD). Math aside, anecdotally, 6 seconds of 50% mitigation is way more useful than 12 seconds of 20% mitigation in all situations, except for ones where the healers are going to save you anyway.

Gameplay satisfaction:

Survival Instincts isn’t just powerful, it’s a satisfying skill to use and is perfectly-made for risk/reward, and player choice/consequence as it currently stands. You can allow it to gain up to 2 stacks. You can frontload both of the SI cooldowns into a 12-second chain if you wanted, but be unable to use it for another 2 minutes. This can get you killed later if some bad luck arises, but it was your choice to take the risk.

Landing SI on an otherwise life-ending attack is like landing a shield parry on a mechanical guardian’s laser beam in Breath of the Wild, Aegis-blocking a knockdown in Guild Wars 2, or Parrying an attack in Dark Souls. Satisfying snap-reaction moves like this are rare in MMOs and are more often found in Action RPGs. Most WoW classes have one or two of these death-cheating skills. SI is Feral’s only one.

You can use SI in creative ways as pseudo-utility as well. as one M+ example, mitigating enough damage to bait Sweete’s cannon-barrages into hitting you a few times before moving, giving the rest of the group more space to work with (if you skipped final trash packs in Freehold).

SI can protect you from bad luck and random-targeting boss mechanics. In this way it serves as a Bad-RNG mitigator.

SI takes practice to use well - it doesn’t protect you from CC, and it has a tiny duration window which means you have to know a burst-damage was coming and react. When I first started in Legion I didn’t even have it on my bars, and I died a ton. I learned to love it and now use it frequently.

SI fits the theme of cats being capable loner-survivors, and having multiple lives.

Barkskin is a “Spray and Pray” skill that won’t save you in late-game content if a boss or trashpack decides it’s your time to meet the Arbiter. You will put it up when you think you will need it, and IF (big if) you survive the big thing the enemy does, you get to watch the other 6-10 seconds of its duration go to complete waste. If the boss targets you again, well tough luck, Barkskin doesn’t stack to 2 like SI does. You get to die.

Conclusion:

This change feels like yet another PvP-centric nerf in a series of PvP-centric nerfs that spill over into Feral’s PvE QoL. As someone who adores the Fangs of Ashamane Transmog forms and loves the idea of playing an all-in-one class that can be good at overworld farming and raiding alike, this breaks my heart. Everyone sleeps on how great and fun Feral is to play, and it’s a shame. There is no other class in any MMO quite like Feral. I even tried outlaw and assassin rogue specs and disliked them compared to Feral. Feral spec is my main reason for playing this game. If I can no longer survive basic hiccups in end-game content, I’m going to have a bad time.

130 Likes

As a quick first impressions bit of feedback, new Blood Talons is kinda weird. It almost feels monk-ish having to do a 3 hit combo to activate. That in itself isn’t necessarily bad, just… different.

Feels aside, it’s kind of hard to get much use out of it while questing since most stuff tends to die shortly after a bite/rake/shred combo. While it will be more useful on bosses/rares/healers, squeezing the bite and eventual buffed rip into a Tiger Fury window can be a bit awkward. Although part of this could mainly be just a (un)learning curve thing.

As such, and being that the name of the talent implies claws, maybe it would make more sense if it was a thrash/rake/shred combo? On one paw, this might make it “easier” to use than intended, but on the other paw there’d be some synergy with weaving in clearcast thrashes.

23 Likes

For Guardian I’ll make two posts, one on existing Shadowlands changes and one on adjustments that are still needed.

Current changes:

*Pulverize nerf - Pulverize had only 2 advantages: it applied to ALL damage (including environmental damage) and it could be kept up 100% of the time. Both of these benefits have now been removed, leaving it as a bad talent. While “20% a third of the time is as good as 6% all the time” might sound good on paper vs Rend and Tear, in reality, with a 30 second cooldown, Pulverize will be saved to use during heavier damage periods. These don’t happen a third of the time, meaning its functional uptime will be far less, and even from a math perspective it will be more like “6% reduction all the time vs 20% reduction a fifth of the time” (or worse).
Solution: Make the damage reduction apply to all sources, like Pulverize does now, by making it a buff on the Druid, not a debuff on the target. Lowering the uptime from 100% to 33% is one thing, but changing the functionality in addition goes too far. If people aren’t taking Pulverize, then buff Pulverize. Don’t nerf it into a different spell like you are now.

*Kiting nerf - When kiting (esp. Necrotic weeks), bears have 2 tools: Vortex & Typhoon. We usually need both to make a clean getaway. Now we will have only 1 or the other. Keep in mind Guardian is the only tank in the game without a snare after you removed it in BfA (we had a snare since 2002…). We NEED multiple CC options to kite, more so than any other tank.
Solutions: We need both, I don’t care how you do it. Make Vortex baseline. Or Typhoon baseline. Or leave the talent tree the way it is now. Or see my Renewal comment, below. Or just give us back Bloody Paws.

*Renewal - Nobody will take this over Wild Charge.
Solution: Buff the heal and lower the cooldown, and even then most people will still take Wild Charge.
Actual Solution: Make Wild Charge baseline (long overdue), move Heart of the Wild to the Level 25 row so that Heart of the Wild competes with Renewal. Put Typhoon back in the level 35 row with the other crowd control.
^Really cannot stress this one enough.

*Berserk - Berserk is a really old ability with some problems: (1) it’s on the GCD so its 15 seconds is actually 13.5, (2) its effect is the same as Incarnation, except Incarnation is better (buffs mangle, increases health), and (3) other tank cooldowns, like Avatar and Avenging Wrath, are just head and shoulders above Berserk.
Solution: For some reason you don’t want to give us back Rage of the Sleeper, which everyone loved, but at least roll its utility into Berserk. Give Berserk the loss of control immunity, and the Leech, that Rage of the Sleeper had. And a shorter cooldown wouldn’t hurt…

*Incarnation change - Incarnation increasing health instead of armor is fine, except it turns us into a mana sponge. Have it increase Mastery instead, which will also increase our healing received, AND that Mastery will boost our attack power for the duration to make it a better DPS cooldown, too.

*Heart of the Wild - This ability isn’t nearly as useful as it used to be, because we don’t have the abilities we did when it used to be in the game, like Tranquility. Our mana pools are also so small that our healing is already bad, so doubling it doesn’t get us much.
Without Heart: 1 Wild Growth, 1 Swiftmend, 2 Regrowths, then OOM.
With Heart: 1 Wild Growth, 1 Swiftmend, 9 Regrowths, then OOM.
But the biggest problem here is that Bear & Cat don’t have access to the spells we’ll be using with this, unless we shift out of forms. Resto & Balance can use each others’ abilities without penalty, but bear & cat don’t have that luxury. So Heart is a much bigger buff for resto/balance than it is for bear and cat.
Solution: Reduce cooldown by half for Feral & Guardian druids. We won’t get as much out of this ability because of the shapeshifting GCD loss and form restrictions on our abilities, so at least let us use it more often.

*Cyclone return - Nice in theory, but without being castable in forms, this will have far less use for cat & bear druids than for resto & balance druids, so it’s a buff to resto. Why are you buffing resto more than the other specs? It’s easily the most powerful druid spec already in both PvE and PvP.
Solution: Make it castable in forms. Or at a minimum let cats do it with Predatory Swiftness.

*Incapacitating Roar nerf - Forcing you into bear form is a nerf for world content, since you can’t zip around in travel or cat and daze things while you pick up objects, but whatever. This is a minor nerf in the grand scheme of things. (But a nerf nonetheless.)

*Mighty Bash nerf - Cooldown increased, duration nerfed. Why? Bears have always suffered compared to other tanks when it comes to stuns. Leg Sweep/Shockwave hit multiple targets, Hammer of Justice is longer duration. I can see nerfing it for Resto/Balance, but Guardian Mighty Bash should have a duration & cooldown on par with other tanks.

(Added April 18) Swiftmend nerf - The change to Swiftmend so it requires a HoT on the target makes it much less useful when taking Resto affinity. You used to be able to pop out of bear form if you had a moment, Swiftmend yourself or an ally, and then pop back into bear form before taking another hit. I’d use this a lot when an enemy was casting a spell, or did a charge ability and was running back to me afterwards. With the change to Swiftmend, we can’t do this anymore, since you have to pop out, HoT the target, THEN cast Swiftmend. Suggest eliminating the HoT requirement to Swiftmend for Feral & Guardian who take Resto affinity.

110 Likes

This post will be about utility/gameplay only, not talking numbers or survivability.

Guardian was pruned heavily over the last 3 expansions, and so far in the great unpruning of Shadowlands, our situation hasn’t gotten any better. For improvements, I’m focusing on things that could and should be brought back to make our gameplay more robust again.

(Please keep in mind that Guardian was a lackluster spec until Legion, when it finally received a revamp to work with modern WoW (Ironfur, etc.). Unfortunately, most of the Legion improvements were then removed after 1 expansion. Fortunately, this is easy to fix.)

#1. Bloody Paws.
Infected Wounds was our snare since vanilla, which was upgraded to Bloody Paws in Legion. That was removed, but we didn’t even get Infected Wounds back. Guardian is the ONLY tank in the game that cannot consistently slow its enemies.
In BfA, we’ve had to rely on Vortex, or the Vortex/Typhoon combo (which is being removed), or the Honey Pot Pie food buff. Relying on a food buff for a basic class function is silly.
Bloody Paws needs to return so that bears can slow and kite, particularly during Necrotic weeks in M+.
Every other tank has an ability that slows enemies, some as much as 90%. Bears have nothing.

#2. Rage of the Sleeper (or equivalent) utility
As I said in my previous post, Blizzard seems loathe to put this back in, so we’re getting the older (and inferior) Berserk, instead. At least roll over Rage’s loss of control immunity to Berserk (Berserk used to break fears, at least, but doesn’t even do that anymore). The Leech would also be welcome. And the cooldown on Berserk is too long for what it does, Rage of the Sleeper was much shorter.
It was said that popular artifact abilities would be rolled over into specs after Legion, but this didn’t happen for us, which is especially troubling since we had abilities removed in order to make room for the artifact abilities, but didn’t get a refund afterwards when the artifact abilities were also removed.

#3. Gutteral Roars
A lot of bears and cats are concerned because our only unique utility (Stampeding Roar) is going to resto & balance druids, who are already far more played than feral or guardian. An easy solution is to return the Gutteral Roars talent to increase radius for our roars. For Guardian, put it back on the talent tree in place of Tiger Dash (which is rarely taken).

#4.Fae Silence
We lack a way to deal with caster mobs, other than to run around a corner (if there is one). Fae Silence from Mists/WoD would fix this.

#5. The “Rage on Pull” problem.
A huge problem for bears, especially in M+, is that we start pulls with no mitigation. We can’t get Ironfur up until several GCD’s to build rage. This is easy to fix by matching Ironfur’s cost to the starting rage of bear form. If Ironfur is going to cost 40 rage, then shifting to bear form should start us at 40 rage.
We shouldn’t have to pop Barkskin at the start of every pull just so the healer won’t freak out.

#6. Innervate!
Ferals & Guardians still don’t have innervate, which is strange because it’s been cited by Blizzard staff as the reason why Mark of the Wild wasn’t put back in the game. Not only should Ferals & Guardians get this back, but it should be usable in forms.

#7. Spells in Forms (in general)
A long-standing problem is the inability of Feral/Guardian to use our spellbooks. No other class or spec in the game has this problem. A big reason that resto & balance are so popular is because they are able to dip into each others’ toolkits with no issues. Using resto or balance (mana-casting) spells - even if nominally available to us - are extremely disruptive for cat/bear because we have to leave forms.
For bears, this makes us a sitting duck while tanking, but even if not tanking it wipes our rage bars (a problem between pulls for M+) and costs us a GCD to get back into bear form afterwards (which didn’t used to be the case before shapeshifting got slapped on the GCD, several expansions ago).
The recent nerf to Feral druids where they can’t even battle rez in cat form is particularly jarring.
Making mana-using spells available in forms is long overdue. And while some might scoff at it, it was also at one point unthinkable that bears and cats should be able to use potions or healthstones in forms… but that was eventually changed, too.

#8. Pawsitive Outlook
This was just fun. Seeing how many Thrashes your streak would last was a real joy, would love to see this return. (Also the best name ever.)

#9. Primal Fury
This passive was the biggest thing that used to make Critical Strike a worthwile tanking stat for bears. Since its removal, Crit has been last on stat priority and is considered nearly worthless by many, with a stat weight approaching zero. Pruning was supposedly about button bloat, which made the removal of this passive even more mysterious, especially since it’s still in the game as a Feral passive, just with its bear component removed…
Add the rage-on-crit passive of Primal Fury back, and restore that bear functionality to Feral Druids’ version, too.
Bonus synergy: If Primal Fury was restored, and Pulverize always crit (similar to Lava Burst, etc.), that would make Pulverize better, too.

(Bonus!)
10. Gore change - adding rotation variety
A frequent complaint about bears is that they’re boring. This can easily be fixed with an adjustment to Gore.
Current Gore: Thrash, Swipe, Moonfire, Maul reset & buff Mangle.
Suggested Gore: Moonfire, Maul, Thrash reset & buff Mangle, but Swipe resets and buffs Thrash.
Mix it up a bit, give us something to react to during rotation!

122 Likes

So far I am loving the empowerment changes for balance. I never liked it in BfA where I had three stacks sitting in each spell and felt almost obligated to cast lunar strike even on a single target. Yes it hits a bit harder, but cast time was longer and it just felt like wrath, lunar rinse and repeat.
I feel the new system let’s me choose the spell I want/need for the encounter opposed to swapping back and forth for an added perfect of extra damage

7 Likes

I feel like that’s not truly the case. It feels like instead of kind of going back and forth between having each empowerment, now you’re going to get into lunar eclipse and spam nonstop starfires and arcane surges to stay in that eclipse until you proc the other eclipse then do the same. Since both are dps increases to stay in and it’s not really a choice of which you’d rather do, but rather which you should now be spamming. If you ignore lunar eclipse and continue to spam wrath for example you’ll not only miss out on the damage of lunar eclipse’s bonus to starfire, but you’ll also never have the opportunity to proc solar eclipse because it procs from starfire casts.

11 Likes

I don’t really want to lose survival instincts either but so far I am not missing it.

With ferals being able to do some damage and with barkskin, Shadowlands is starting out a heck of a lot better than BfA was. I was dying constantly when questing in beta BfA, so far this hasn’t been the case in Shadowlands.

6 Likes

Hello,

Having played through Bastion, I am overall happy with the direction Balance Druids are in! I think the flow between benefiting from Wrath and Starfire feels like a smoother version of Cata’s Boomkin. However, I do feel Astral Power restricts Balance to be a builder-spender class. I found myself often wanting to use Starfall as part of my opening, but needing to build up Astral Power, only to have killed everything by the time I get enough AP.

Personally, I’d like to see Boomkins resource go back to mana, like it’s WotLK version, similar to Enhancement Shaman. I think turning Starsurge and Starfall into getting damage boosts from your Eclipses would be a more fun interaction, allowing for a larger skill expression from players who best utilize their Eclipse.

19 Likes

I haven’t tried the other healing specs just yet but I do agree that resto druid probably has too much utility.

Baseline is Cyclone, Entangling Roots, Hibernate, Soothe, Stampeding Roar and Ursol’s Vortex.

Then there are two talent choices for more control:

  • Balance vs. Feral affinity vs. Guardian affinity - gain a knockback (Typhoon) or a stun (Maim) or an aoe incapacitation (Incapacitating Roar)
  • Mighty Bash vs. Mass Entanglement (does not replace roots) vs. boosted damage for 45 seconds if you chose Balance/Feral affinities or damage reduction if you chose Guardian affinity.

So at minimum you have 6 ways to deal with mobs and a group benefit. Then you either get a 7th way to deal with mobs or extra damage/damage reduction.

Maybe the other specs do have that much control and I just haven’t gotten to them yet, but that just feels like a lot.

As for the healing side at the moment Nourish just isn’t worth it. I tried it out when healing in Necrotic Wake and found it was worse when compared to Swiftmend.

Even with triple the bonus from Mastery, Swiftmend would heal more than Nourish. Now, the downside of Swiftmend is that it eats one of the hots on the target, but two are instant to re-apply (Lifebloom, Rejuvenation) and one comes with a quicker cast than Nourish (Regrowth, 1.3 seconds vs. 1.8 seconds for Nourish at my haste level). That makes only Wild Growth getting eaten a bad outcome, but I can control that by trying to make sure that WG isn’t on the target when I SM. So really, I am only kind of having to deal with the GCD since I am doing two spells, but given the healing difference it felt worse casting Nourish than it did SM + whatever spell I needed to add back.

7 Likes
  • Crowd Control

Simply put there are too many abilities for Druid specs in terms of Crowd Control at one time. Baseline for Moonkin right now is Cyclone, Entangling Roots, and Hibernate with another option coming from the Affinity choice and another from the middle talent row that’s 6 options.

Maybe make Roots and Cyclone baseline for all specs and Typhoon given to Moonkin with the option of one more ability. Maybe Heart of the Wild would be required to get the Crowd Control ability from your Affinity choice. Hibernate feels super niche so it has my vote to be removed.

Moonkin

  • Eclipse

(Wrath and Starfire empowerments) very clunky style of play.

Single target rotation yes Eclipse can work fine as intended.

Multiple mobs however does not feel like it will work at all unless you can purposely proc Lunar Eclipse with a single Wrath since Wrath does not do any AoE damage. During an AoE pull you want to do AoE not a single target Wrath multiple times till you randomly proc an 8 second window for Lunar Eclipse.

The old Eclipse resource bar (back in WoD) would be a better way to handle the Eclipse system with a few changes from it. Eclipse bar would move from Lunar to Solar normally then hold on either sides end for 8 seconds for empowerments. 24 second rotation 8 seconds both empowerments with an 8 second delay inbetween. Perhaps Starsurge could skip time if you want to get out of either empowerment or skip the delay inbetween. Visuals are always nice because the way it is now will definitely require addons.

  • Stellar Drift (45 Talent)

Seems like a useless choice if the duration is increased by 25% and the damage also by 25% which means going from 8 seconds to 10 is the same amount of dps.

  • Movement

Stampeding Roar baseline feels like it is taking away from the Guardian Druid or Feral think it would be better as an option on the level 25 talent row.

Feral

Felt good leveling through Bastion but its definitely no Demon Hunter.

  • Thrash

The bleed damage on Thrash needs to be higher to the point where it is usable during a clearcasting and also does more damage per execution compared to Swipe.

  • Bloodtalons and its synergy with Primal Wrath

50% increased damage for an AoE applied Rip is insane to the point where you don’t really need a three choice talent system because the other choices are useless.

If this AoE damage change of capping out at 4-5 targets is going to stay then swipe needs to get its cap removed and it would need to be put onto Primal Wrath. With the way Primal Wrath works if it is possible to just add its effect onto normal Rip to save up a button.

  • Leader of the Pack

Why bring a Feral to anything if it doesn’t bring what other classes can. Mages have Intellect buff and it is big same with Warriors bringing 5% attack power. So to bring one Mage or Warrior is a big gain no matter what you are doing but after the initial person they lose some value but Druids don’t bring any initial value. Maybe Stampeding Roar counts but does it really?

3% or less critical chance for Feral/Guardian and a 3% haste from Moonkin or Resto would bring that value that the class is missing.

60 Likes