FEEDBACK: Druid Class Changes

The ICD was removed outright.

Then eclipse is not working as intended at all. Having to do 3-4 or 5 Of one spell your get my proc shows something isn’t working

Oh? Like, the internal CD? So we can be in an Eclipsed state for quite a while then.

You’re sitting in Solar or Lunar Eclipse for like… 90% of the time once it gets going.

1 Like

Ah, thank you!

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.

4 Likes

Cool, any actual Guardian changes coming, ever?

72 Likes

Can we touch on some old bugs that have existed in Soulshape as long as it has been in the game.

  1. Pressing Soulshape while shifted drops your form entirely. While this might seem at worst a QoL inconvenience at first glance (you can always go back into Cat/Boomie for just a GCD), this does cause issues in Bear Form. Trying to Soulshape will just have the boss Chunk you for 3 seconds while you wait for the Shifting CD to come off.

  2. Soul Shape and Travel Form interact very oddly together. Trying to Soulshape while in travel form does not actually change your form. Trying to travel form indoors while Soulshape is active will deactivate Soulshape.

  3. Activating Soulshape while in form in a rest area, then leaving the rest area will cause your game to crash when Soulshape expires.

15 Likes

Is it in anyway possible for the New Moon druid ability to be baseline, it was first added in legion as a major ability for the artifact weapon and it now feels so iconic yet it is only available as a talent. The problem with this is that most places are telling players that the other talents greatly outperform it. This is a shame for New Moon and many visually pleasing Talent abilities. It would be great if it could be baseline and in its place, perhaps a talent which makes it on par with the other talents in its tree. I think this should be the case with a majority of visually amazing talents for classes. Not being able to have fun with them due to the community of raiding or dungeons ect shunning you over choosing them, makes it feel like a wasted beautiful asset.

11 Likes

Oh. To add onto this. Activating Moonkin form does NOT deactivate soulshape. However leaving moonkin form drops soulshape when you re-enter moonkin form.

2 Likes

Hello everyone!

This post is the long-read feedback from the administration of one of the biggest Russian-speaking discord communities, Dreamgrove. We want to thank one of the Blizzard community managers, Roberto, who were in touch with us, letting almost all of the Russian discord community opinion leaders and theorycrafters to get their alpha invites. This feedback is the compilation of the feedback reports given by several active members who got alpha, each of them is playing this game many years, and have some decent PvE experience, including high keys, almost every Cutting Edge achievements, e.t.c. We tried to make it as rational as possible, focused on the current design flaws we’ve found playing the alpha version of the new expansion, that is why we won’t be talking about balance issues in numbers: they aren’t final now, and we didn’t see any dungeons or raids yet, so it would be hard to discuss is unless we see encounter design and final ability numbers.
Please also be aware that the majority of the players who worked on this report (actually, everyone, but one person), are not too active or experienced PvP players, so all the information below, won’t consider the PvP aspect of the game. We only represent the hardcore and semi-hardcore PvE audience in this post.

Spec utility balance

Druids, among with Demon Hunters, are two unique classes, who’s spec defines the role you’ve been doing in the group. While many other classes have some several options (you may choose one of three DPS specs if you play warlock or mage, or one of two specs if you’re healing priest) within the same role, druids don’t have this option, so issues the player may encounter, especially finding the group to play, couldn’t be solved with respec button.

Restoration druids are pretty strong in 5man dungeons, and even if in raids, they are certainly not the preferred spec, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be declined from the invitation for having the wrong specialization. More or less, it’s the same for balance druids, who have no issues anywhere except some extremely high keys. For feral and guardian druids, the situation is much worse: since the amount of tank and melee spots are quite limited in a group, often due to encounter design, people often prefer to choose some other player of another class to fill the spot.
With last affinity changes, which include the core spec utility abilities into affinity, this utility disbalance did only grow further: while restoration and balance players may now take both Ursol and Typhoon (which is a pretty strong combo in mythic+), Feral and Guardian players don’t have this option available to them. Since Stampeding Roar is now available to the druids of every spec, this lowers the chance of the Guardian or feral druid to finally get the raid spot when you need it, since most likely, this requirement will be fulfilled by the Moonkin who’s already in the group. At the same time, while Guardians and Ferals lost the part of their uniqueness, they didn’t benefit anything from these changes, since even Innervate is still available for Restoration and Balance druids only.

The overall issue with these changes is that they getting away some part of the uniqueness from specs, who are struggling to find a group, giving it to other specs, who don’t have this issue. Restoration druids, who are kings in mythic+ runs will get even stronger utility now, cats and bears will stay with the same amount of the useful spells than before.

Balance druid changes

Eclipse, which was firstly introduced in Wrath of the Lich King expansion, and grown to become the core design mechanic in Cataclysm is getting back in Shadowlands. Honestly, I don’t see any issues with getting back something which was the core for years, but the real issue is how this system was implemented in the new expansion.

The first issue is the DPS cycle. For 15 seconds after you activated the solar phase, the only two buttons you’ll be spamming are Wrath and Starsurge. Since this happens a lot, especially in the solo play, which is all about short fights and using single-target DPS spells, it makes the gameplay feel quite boring at times. More than that, it’s hard to explain it to players: since they already have some spec mechanic which is working fine, and now it’s being replaced with something simpler and straight-forward like spamming 1 button for 15 seconds. It gives us the wrong feeling of core mechanics being intentionally replaced with some worse implementation, which is not feeling you want to get while reading your class changes.
Another issue is the way eclipse works at the moment.
In dungeons, to do competitive amounts of damage to several targets, we have to do some preparations: get some astral power, then multi-dot all targets, only then do the final third cast to activate the eclipse state and use Starfall. These preparations take a lot of time, and sometimes, you even have to start them while finishing the previous pack. Some sudden target switching (e.g. to finish the enraged target, break some shield, e.t.c) could be a serious issue if you were unlucky enough to get into this situation without an active eclipse state. In raids, most likely will have to time eclipse for most important battle events (preparations to do burst damage, or aoe down an important set of adds), so players will have to play without eclipse for a long time to time it. We’ve seen it before in Cataclysm on Ragnaros fight, where moonkins had to spend two transition phases and all the entire phase 2 without shifting the eclipse state because we had no time to shift it to lunar and back to solar before another set of adds comes.
We think that the most issue now is that we have pretty much no control over the eclipse bar. This overall system gives us a feeling, that Eclipse state is not the benefit you’re happy to get, but a set of limitations you have to struggle with to be productive. We think that some better control over the eclipse bar would solve most of these issues.

Another issue with mythic+ dungeons is that balance druids, right now, are experiencing serious struggle with the ability to interrupt, which could create serious troubles in dungeons like Shrine of the Storms. Since high mythic+ content heavily depends on interrupt, we believe that giving players an ability to change AoE Silence effect of Solar Beam to cooldown reduction could make a great help, allowing players to choose in between great AoE control capabilities, or better kicks, if your party is struggling with them.

Twin Moons and Stellar drift talents are both designed to make a great help in dungeons, and ideally, you want to take both for comfortable mythic+ gameplay, yet they in the same talent row. Perhaps swapping one of them to the last row where all the options aren’t that strong anyway could be another option to solve current issues of new balance druid design in mythic+ dungeons.

Restoration druid changes

Honestly, the restoration spec is one of the well-designed specs in the game: there’s a room for every spell in the journal in both mythic+ and raids, for players, who want to dive deeper and be extremely efficient, there’s a way to master some of the cat abilities for helping the group with some extra damage. Due to this versatility, and lots of helpful utility spells, restoration druids are the kings of 5man content for several expansions already. It’s actually hard to introduce changes to the spec which doesn’t really require any changes. Yet, we still think that these little adjustments, which still were made, are having a little bit wrong focus.
Right now, the most issue of restoration spec, is that even if it’s extremely effective in mythic+, in raids druids are not that welcome. They do have spots, but usually, it’s the spot of that third healer you took after discipline priest and spirit link totem, because the encounter requires 3 healers, and you had to take someone. So raid players, who were hoping for some little buff, which would help them to be more useful in raids, only got their healing versatile due to Swiftmend change. Yes, we’ve also got some Innervate buff (which still has some weird design, since even if now you’re saving more mana to your raid giving it to someone, for a player playing restoration druid, personally, new Innervate feels like a nerf).

In the same time, in mythic+, where restoration druids are extremely powerful, and maybe deserve some nerf, we’ve got pretty much nothing, but small changes in the spec mechanic (even Swiftmend change, again, probably wouldn’t affect class in mythic plus, because, in a five man format, there’s a high chance of the player who requires healing to already have Rejuvenation on them), due to new Heart of the Wild, Stampeding Roar, and Typhoon, Ursol, and Mass Entanglement could be taken all together, which gives restoration druid just an insane amount of CC spells, specialization is only receiving even more buffs in the format, where we’ve been doing just great already.
So our feedback, again, just like in the situation with spec balance, these changes right now are making the druid even more powerful in the format where the spec is extremely popular already, and have quite less impact on raiders, who are hoping for little changes which could make them be more useful in raids.

Guardian druids

All tanks except bears are having some kiting possibilities, yet right now bears are the only tank spec that struggles with it. Right now it could be fixed using the Typhoon + Ursol combination, yet in Shadowlands, this combination is unavailable for tanking druids.
There are no active defense abilities available to Guardian druids at pull. Before we can pop the first Ironfur, we need to spend 2-3 global cooldowns, which could be a big issue in mythic+ dungeons where some creatures hit really hard. Doubling the rage gain from shifting to bear form could resolve this issue.
Another issue with bears is that historically, we’re quite vulnerable to the magic damage. This comes from TBC/Wotlk era when all tanks were different, but right now, all other tanks are having some tools to deal with magic damage, while bears don’t, which is another issue putting bears low on the priority list.
Some talents are dead. Lunar Beam should be replaced with good old artifact ability Rage of the Sleeper with Nightmare’s embrace upgrade. Guardian of the Elune should be completely passive to compete with Earthwarden. Survival of the Fittest can be reworked to something like Adaptive fur: each stack of Ironfur reduces incoming magic damage by 10%. This can solve the previous problem with magic vulnerability.
Galactic Guardian seems a bit illogical. Since our abilities proc Moonfire on target, and give us an ability… to empower another Moonfire, which you’re going to most likely use against the same target.

Feral druid feedback

The first thing we’ve noticed during questing is that currently, feral druid has some real issues with survivability. The only unless many other specs, ferals cannot avoid damage either by standing in range zone/kiting, or using AE effects. The only healing spell, Regrowth, heals only 10% of hp bar, and you can only cast it 4 times in a row. We believe that using food during questing is an outdated design, so it would be nice to address this issue (perhaps double Regrowth healing if cast via Predatory swiftness? Could affect the PvP aspect too much tho).

Just as it was said earlier, feral druid doesn’t really have any viable unique effects, which he could help the group with. Demon Hunters are having AE stun, perfect burst damage, and 5% magic damage debuff. Rogues have Cloak of Shadows and perfect survivability, Monks have 5% irreplaceable physical damage, and AE stun, Warriors gives AP buff. While adding new buff into the game is questionable topic (yet maybe we can get back to the idea of Cataclysm model with some buffs being shared among several classes?), we think that adding Solar Beam to Balance affinity could make a great change for 5-man dungeons (yet, it would buff restoration druids to an insane utility level): having both Solar Beam and Skull bash feral druid would have great interrupt capabilities, which could help him some niche in high keys. Actually, here we see another issue with feral talents: too much of them are overlapping with other specialization. It’s hard to balance this spec without affecting the others.
Bloodtalons is a great talent but feel like needing an AE trigger like Swipe or Brutal Slash as a quality of life increase, as for now, we’re forced to use Shred while doing AoE damage.
Berserk in its current form is weak to a point of being not worth wasting GCD for such a low impact on our DPS.

Another issue which is worrying us is how dependant the specialization on critical strike as a stat. This could both give us some issues at the beginning of the expansion, as we don’t have too much of it on the gear, and it could create the situation, where the spec is constantly requires tuning as gear go up after.

The final thing which some players are worried about is their artifact forms given to other specs as a part of barbershop redesign: while the nature behind this change is understandable (feral and guardian druids still have their unique weapons, just like any other specializations in the game), these special forms were something which distinguished those rare specs in the game world, so now, as these forms are being allowed for others to use, these players are now feeling like they lost part of the most important of their spec special bits and uniqueness.

Heart of Wild

Heart of Wild is back after a few years of absence, which is something we’re happy to see. Yet, right now the design of this talent works for restoration druids only. Healers could take cat affinity (which they doing a lot), or maybe balance affinity if it would work better in some situation, and empower it with Heart of the Wild, a great deal. Yet, for other specializations? Well, playing a feral you may have an idea to use it with a bear form to be able to tank the boss for some time to reset the stacks on Main Tank, and use only one tank in the situation where two are required, yet… I don’t think that it would work, since, in reality, you most likely won’t survive.

You may take restoration affinity and toss some heals? Well, again, restoration druid HPS is based on the synergy of some abilities, e.g. you’re tossing some Rejuvenations, put Efflorescence on, and use WG + Flourish once some major damage was done to the group. Having no access to these spells, it is unlikely that other druids could put a lot of effort into group healing.

For DPS specs, the current Heart of Wild design doesn’t look any good. Considering how weak this talent is comparing to the others, perhaps moving it to the baseline abilities, and get Ursol or Typhoon back on this row is something most of Guardian and Feral druids would love to see. Or, some improvements to HoW + Guardian Affinity / HoW + Restoration affinity could be made, so the talent could feel like an option you’re happy to trade your mass roots for.

252 Likes

Спасибо!

The feedback from Russia is great and echoes what we’ve been saying. The part about Heart of the Wild particularly needs to be looked at, since although it’s been marketed as a “druid buff” in reality it’s just a Resto boost.

50 Likes

I had thought of this myself as well, but one of the things to consider with this is that it creates a pretty obvious single-target talent choice and rotation. Thrash does less damage on single target than Shred, even if marginal by comparison of a Shred vs. Swipe in AoE. The numbers are something like Thrash = 86 + 280, vs. Shred = 480, including the bonus damage from bleed, just from numbers I’ve tested on the current build, so even using Thrash in single target, while not terrible, is still worse than using another Shred for the same energy cost.

However, my suggestion is as follows:
Bloodtalons: When you use any three of Rake, Shred, [Swipe/Brutal Slash], or Thrash within 5 seconds, the damage of your next 2 Rips or Ferocious Bites is increased by 30%.

This way, the core idea behind Bloodtalons design stays the same, where you’re trying to use different skills in succession. What this does is that it opens up the opportunity for a straightforward, clear single-target build, where you can use Brutal Slash, a skill normally designated to replacing Shred in single target when possible, and burst AoE otherwise, would make it into the ST rotation very cleanly to help proc Bloodtalons, where as Thrash would no longer have to be used in ST.

An issue I, and other Feral druids, wanted to bring up with the current Bloodtalons design, though, is playing around with it, yes it requires quite a bit of planning ahead, especially when you’re trying to line up Tiger’s Fury to snapshot DoTs. However, the inherent design of the talent causes us to sometimes overwrite Tiger’s Fury snapshotted Rakes and Thrashes in favor of trying to get a Bloodtalons proc to buff a Bite. (I’ve noticed that in general when I’m doing the early part of the ST rotation well, my finishers end up being Rip, Bite, Bite, Rip, so not always alternating. And this is without Sabertooth as well!) Because of this, sometimes we want to power up our Bite, but we overwrite a snapshotted Rake, (30% extra damage on a Bite is definitely gonna be better than the rest of a snapshotted Rake and not powering up Bite) which doesn’t really feel good since our entire spec is based around snapshotting (and we love that!). Adding Swipe/Brutal Slash to the list of skills that can be cast to activate BT would alleviate this issue as well, since I don’t think many people are that worried about overwriting a Tiger’s Fury Thrash as opposed to a Rake in single target. In AoE, you likely have a target you need to refresh Rake on anyway, and you could use Swipe/Brutal Slash, followed by a Shred if you didn’t want to overwrite a snapshotted Thrash.

Overall, I think the suggested change would help Feral be a bit more free in their rotation both on ST and AoE, and it would help us with avoiding messing up the core part of our rotation while using Bloodtalons, which is trying not to overwrite our bleeds when we don’t have Tiger’s Fury up.

14 Likes

That’s exactly what I’ve wanted to say in this part of our feedback: add swipe/brutal to talent activation sequence. Just use any 3 different spells from given pool.

17 Likes

I am really trying to figure out how to make Soulbinds work for Druid in general. Let’s make the following assumptions:

  1. Druids have 4 specs.
  2. It should be reasonable for a player to want to spec out their character/covenant/soulbinds in such a way that they can reasonable play all 4 specs at their pleasure. Yes, they will have to wait a while to unlock all the soulbinds and all of the legendries, but there is a reasonable belief that the end-state of being able to play all 4 specs is attainable.
  3. Conduits are both spec-specific and semi-permenant choices that you make when speccing out a Soulbind.
  4. There are only 3 soulbinds.

So how am I supposed to kit my 3 soulbinds such that I can reasonably play my 4 specs? Is the idea that 1 of my Soulbinds will have a “feral” path, and the other will have a “moonkin” path? This doesn’t seem feasible, because every soulbind has conduits that are “universal”, where every path goes through that conduit. If every conduit is spec-specific, it is impossible to make a single soulbind work for multiple specs.

So as it stands, in seems impossible to reasonably kit the conduits of my 3 soulbinds such that I can reasonable play all 4 druid specs. without having dead (or at the very least extremely subpar) conduit slots.

24 Likes

Mine is real simple.

I am just curious as to why Druids don’t get the Journeyman riding speed until level 24 for their Travel Form, yet you get that speed on your regular mount at level 20. Thanks!

10 Likes

With Druid legendaries still not fully finalized, I created a video on my Balance Druid legendary wishlist.

Some of the favorites are;
Oneth’s Intuition
Impeccable Fel Essence
Echoing Stars / Lunar Shrapnel
The Torghast Orbit Breaker
Arcanic Pulsar

and more linked in the video below.

As for conduits, I think an interesting conduit could be to give Balance a 24s interrupt but to remove the blanket silence component to it.

8 Likes

I absolutely agree.

If the encounter design team wishes to continue to create fights similar to that of Vol’zith where interrupt management across the group as a whole is critical, then Balance druids and Shadow priests need some form of adjustment of their interrupt so that it aligns with other casters.

I’m personally all for encounters that make a player think about their toolkit and maybe forces you to use a spell that you might not often use; that’s good game play imo; however, when an encounter is clearly designed without the thought of certain specs or group compositions in mind, then I believe we’ve diverged off a good game play path.

A dungeon should not be designed where a group feels compelled to take an all melee or all ranged composition, anything but spec X b/c of something so silly as interrupts. There are far better things to design advantages around than that.

10 Likes

Long time balance druid here; dabbled in vanilla and mained since BC. After toying with the new Eclipse, I just wanted to post a few observations for the devs.

Firstly, I actually really like the fluid feel of the new rotation, and I like that it only takes two casts to get back into Eclipse. The rotation feels very smooth and the high uptime is very nice.

On the other hand, I will say that it lacks some umph. The rotation being on rails doesn’t really feel that rewarding. It’s smooth, and it’s fun because it’s chill and smooth, but the linear way of casting makes me fell like… well, what’s even the point of Eclipses?

I’m one of those weirdos who actually enjoys BfA Eclipse because it has a lot of choice and keeps me on my toes. I’m still in control of it, but the way I react to Astral Power and Empowerments is fun. Sure, we have to cast specific spenders to get rid of Empowerments and whatnot. But the order isn’t set in stone. We have a general map of priorities, but the way those are carried out can be varied.

With SL Eclipse, it just feels dull and kinda of useless in a way. I just keep thinking “Wow this smoothness is fun… but why is this even here?”

9 Likes

Feral Beta Thoughts

DPS
Bloodtalons Interactions
When playing Blood Talons (BT) Ferocious Bites during Convoke the Spirits (CtS) window will consume BT procs but thrash, rake, shred used as part of the CtS window will not generate BT procs.
Therefore you end CtS window with 5 combo points and 0 BT charges so have to use an unempowered finisher.

Using Thrash on ST and Shred on AOE to proc BT feels really inefficient as Thrash does very little damage for the energy cost and is only worth using to propagate BT.
Shred on large AOE does not compete with Thrashing or Swipe spamming and again is only used to propagate BT.
Changing BT to “Shred/Swipe, Rake, Thrash” is a more ideal solution.

Another issue with BT is when you leave combat you want to ensure you have as many combo points as you can and have BT procced so you can re-enter the next segment of combat with an immediate BT snapped finisher. However, this becomes an issue as that means raking and thrashing a mob on sub 10% health which is not good. Failing to do this instead results in entering combat with 5 CP and no BT or always starting combat with no pre-generated CP so requires higher ramp up time - this will make us look awful especially in lower level keys at the beginning of the expansion where things die before you’re done ramping.

Jagged wounds would help alleviate the need to refresh bleeds midway through their uptime in order to reproc BT - an occurrence that will become more prevalent as we gain more secondary stats (specifically haste/crit).

Shred deals 20% increased damage to bleeding targets. Could improve Shred without Wild Fleshrending (WFR) via 20% increase damage PER bleed. Encourages Thrash on ST. Change Swipe to function in the same manner.

CtS is casting Feral Frenzy. Balance casts Full Moon. These are not included in the tooltip but must be added flavour?
The damage of Feral Frenzy in this scenario is very poor.

Sabertooth/Rip need to be rebalanced around the new Sabertooth effect as we’ve just lost a number of Ferocious Bites over the course of a fight.

Adaptive Swarm can jump to allies that aren’t engaged in combat with you (jumped to nearby players when near a target dummy testing). If Adaptive Swarm is active on a friendly player and they target a mob that you aren’t engaged in combat with, Adaptive Swarm will jump to that enemy target upon expiration (fun ninja pull scenario ensues).

With the recent AOE cap Scent of Blood (SoB) has now lost value on an already dead talent. It would be nice to see this talent revamped. A passive talent works well for newer Ferals.

Berserk still feels like a useless CD as it’s effect is reduced during Bloodlust. And it has little to no effect on AOE. All that on a 3min cd :(. Please do not nerf Tiger’s Fury to compensate a Berserk buff.

Utility

Cyclone + BR usable in cat form - via predatory swiftness? I personally feel the instant cyclone is too strong but BR is a must.

In SL
Balance: Gain Stampeding Roar + Ursol’s Vortex
Resto: Gains Stampeding Roar
Feral: Stays the same
Guardian: Loses either Typhoon or Ursol’s Vortex.

This is an issue as Resto and Balance retain innervate and Balance retains Treants. Guardian luckily has the benefit of being a desirable role - Tank. Feral does not have anything to allow to compete with Balance. Treants + Innervate would at least cause people to say “we want a Druid dps” rather than “we want a Balance Druid”.

Leader of the Pack (LotP) is a big point of contention for me. I personally feel if LotP was implemented, as many Ferals desire, then we’d be guaranteeing ourselves a raid spot. Is that necessary? Is that fair? However, for the average guild trying to progress through Heroic raiding and potentially a few bosses of Mythic at a slower pace than World First Raiders composition is way less likely to be an issue. Therefore, being able to bring a few warm bodies that can benefit your team the most could be a welcome solution to Feral’s inclusion?

Defense

Barkskin can be surprisingly nice to have. It’s ability to act as a minor defensive and be used whilst incapped/stunned/sleep/feared etc makes it beneficial to have.
Survival Instincts should still be on a 2 minute CD - even with 1 charge. It in no way is comparable to an outright immunity nor is it as powerful as say DH darkness - so why the long CD?

Legendaries

Currently without legendaries implemented all we can do is speculate.
I’m quite happy to receive near enough any of the Legion legendaries should that be the case.

An interesting choice could be a “Ferocious Bite deals the remaining damage on Rip to the target (without consuming the Rip)” could throw in a “can only occur every ‘x’ amount of seconds”
Or
“Ferocious Bite deals x% of it’s damage to surrounding enemies (capped to 3 / 5)

Jungle Fury Azerite Trait could be reintroduced via a conduit.

Legendaries centered around improving bleed damage/reducing bleed time are favoured by many.

86 Likes