FEEDBACK: Druid Class Changes

As a feral, I’d give up most of that useless utility for some real utility… An agro dump (cower), a missdirect, an imunity, or an escape (real symbiosis would’ve taken care of that).

Hell, I’d be happy if they just balanced the classes BEFORE piling on all the gimmicks - such as artifact weapons, legendaries, azerite power, essences, corruption, covenants and/or soulbinds.

30 Likes

So I’ve been putting together my feedback for a week or so of testing. For context, I’m a veteran from vanilla who was very hard core back then but slowly got more casual before becoming an on-off player past MoP. I played a lot of Legion and mostly skipped BFA entirely but had a big resurgence with Classic where I put in a lot of time. Of all of this I have mained a Druid for literally all of it outside MoP (where I played a Monk) I enjoy the Classic rpg style leanings lot more than modern Wows on rail leanings but I promise I love both dearly so I apologise if I ruffle feathers.

Warning: Long, Long Post inc:

General Druid -

Unpruning -

  • Can we please have Mark of the Wild back as a baseline?
    It feels weird to think about but I really, really miss our buff the most. The unpruning is a godsend for the most part but the small social stuff is what I miss most and Classic feels so much more friendly. Things like players being able to throw buffs on each other really add to that community and every time I meet someone who lends me a hand I automatically reach for Mark and am saddened to remember it is gone.

  • Heart of the Wild is not something that should be a “talent”:
    I firmly believe this spell is the most “Druid” ability that has ever been in the game (apart from Symbiosis but oh boy was that problematic…). The flexibility it provides and the options it enables is literally the Druid calling card. It says “Hybrid” like nothing else!
    Sooooo, why is this a talent? It should be baseline! I doubt you will never find a better ability to be our capstone ability (reaching level 100 or similiar).

  • Restoration is the only spec that feels completely isolated from the rest of the class:
    A big feeling I have for Druids in Shadowlands is that specializations are being treated as option for focussing on aspects again and not entirely seperate mini-classes. I am thrilled by this and Druids in particular are looking much more like Druids and not just "Moonkin, “Bear” etc. We use Cat and bear in all specs and even things like Moonfire have relevance to Feral in talents etc.

The one exception is Resto, which still feels very oddly seperate. You pretty much can’t heal beyond topping yourself up as a Non-Resto unless you specifically take Resto affinity. No other spec has this issue and its a bit jarring. Furthermore I consider Hots an iconic part of the Druid toolkit and yet the only one we get has a cast time? With so few heals available baseline new players get almost no idea what Resto is like to encourage them to pick that specialization.

I feel this is wrong. Rolling hots on your party between mobs is an important part of Druid flavour and hotting yourself between pulling mobs to “heal as you go” is very iconic and should be experienced by all Druids.

Therefore I propose that Rejuvenation should be a baseline spell. Resto affinity still offers plenty (more than the other options by far I believe actually?) and 2 hots to play with isn’t going to break the complexity bank.

General Irritations -

  • Prowls animation looks ridiculous moving at full speed with a standard run animation. It used to have its own animation for sneaking. It looked a bit silly when they decided you should move full speed in stealth but it looked a lot less silly than a full bounding sprint. Can we have it back or a new version of it back please?

  • Can Druids please get Maul or a similiar ability back for bear form baseline? As any spec other than Guardian, you are just sitting and autoing in between Mangles unless you Swipe (unthematic and risks breaking cc) and thats exceptionally boring. Heck just removing the cooldown from Mangle would work.

Customisation -

  • Can Druid form appearances please be changed at either the same npc that lets you swap epic flight form out or just our general Druid class trainers (lord knows they need something to do now)? It feels incredibly un-thematic for a “barber” to swap my Seal to a Dolphin.

On that note: Consider replacing barbers with something like an Ethereal that alters you magically. With even gender swaps being in-game now, we’re well past just hair alterations here.

  • It would be nice if Moonkin form got a customisation tab option like the other forms too.

Balance Spec (My main spec of recent) -

  • Controversial Opinion: I have always disliked Moonkin and thats only gotten worse over time with the removal of effects like Moonkin aura that are actually tied to the form. Now it really just feels like a restriction on our casting that happens to make us a bit more tanky. I am aware that it is the holy grail of the spec to many so I would never advocate its removal. Rather it should be a talent.

My request is that you baseline Treants for Balance and replace the ability on the first talent tier row with Moonkin form so those who love the form aren’t forced to go without it long for levelling. Then just tie a small dps increase to it so it competes fairly with the other 2 passive options on the row. Boom, Moonkin lovers keep their form, the rest of us take a passive. No-one loses dps or active abilities and those of us who want to be traditional Druids like Malfurion can.

  • Can the Level 40 talent options for Balance please get an active ability option? All 3 being passives or a replacement feels bad when ones forced to pick between some very cool spells later. Swapping one of the options with New Moon or Fury of Elune would be my personal hope as I loved having both during Legion and choosing makes me sad.

  • I like the return of Eclipse but it isn’t exactly user friendly to figure out. I’d suggest a tab for the spellbook giving a rough rundown on how your specs unique mechanic works. I think such a system would likely benefit everyone not just Balance Druids. Alternatively, the idea someone mentioned earlier for reusing the old Blessing of the Ancients is a very good one.

  • Moonfire is not under my “Balance” spell book tab, only the main “Druid” tab. Bug?

Feral Spec -

  • Feral feels a bit under-equipped utility wise compared to Balance. I see little reason to take it over the other but I also think making spells exclusive like Stampeding Roar is a bad option as Druids finally feel whole again. Instead I advocate for Feral spec alone to get something new to emphasise their focus (cat form).

I propose a blast from the past, give Feral “Play Dead” from way back in Classic beta and it was also one of MoPs “Symbiosis” options. (For those unaware: https://wow.gamepedia.com/Play_Dead ). I feel this would emphasises their rogue aspect well and provide some great general utility that isn’t just a straight group buff like LotP.

Note: I like Lotp but in a world where such utility isn’t common it would only throw the pendulum out the other direction and make Balance look terrible. That and its an incredibly unexciting passive. General sentiments to BFA passives seems to be quite clear we have quite enough of that gameplay as is.

  • Dislike that Shred has become a “catch all” ability, it requiring you be behind the target was iconic. Please restore that function and just return mangle to Cat as well as Bear.

Phew, got it all out. More eventually but i’m glad I got my initial writeup done!

19 Likes

Balance druid feedback - first impressions
Long term balance druid feedback - have been playing balance since WotLK and experienced every different iteration of the spec

Abilities:
Stampeding roar and typhoon baseline - Yes. extremely welcome additions.

Core rotation:

  • The core single target rotation of Wrath/Starfire + starsurge is OK.

  • The rotation flows well, and is very predictable.

  • Eclipse is interesting at first, but ultimately, due to high uptime, i feel this effect loses its “wow factor”. The proc happens, and you continue on autopilot casting the same spells you would be anyway. If eclipse was not part of the toolkit, i dont think it would ultimately affect the spec that much

  • Eclipse does add a “challenge” of being in the right eclipse at the right time. This may be seen as interesting, but as in prior expansions may lead to odd cases where you simply do not want to trigger a new eclipse

  • Dots do not seem to fit well into the single target rotation. They lack any form of interaction with the spec whatsoever outside of shooting stars and the starfall dot extension. - should we cast during eclipse and lose out on increased builder damage? should we let them drop and only recast out of eclipse?

  • The Aoe rotation maintaining dots, extending with starfall and then building astral power is enjoyable.

  • Managing eclipse throughout the redotting/extending process during aoe appears simple enough

Talents:

  • T15:

    • Natures balance appears quite weak at first glance. passive option, with “math” making it the best choice, or not the right choice.
    • Warrior of Elune fits nicely with the eclipse mechanics. Enjoyable to use during Lunar eclipses
    • Force of nature appear strong and great thematic ability still. Fun to play
  • T25: No change

  • T30:

    • Really like the additional utility brought in with these rows. i left similar feedback in BFA beta, and im glad to see it implemented. Being able to pick up ursols vortex alongside typhoon and mass entangle make you feel like you are a master of control. Really happy with this
  • T35:

    • Bash and Mass entangle remain fine.
    • Heart of the wild - LONG cooldown and LONG duration. i will probably give this one a miss, the days of HotW tranquility from boomies is gone, and unless fights are designed around this effect (or other similar “tricks”) i dont see an incredible need for this.
  • T40:

    • Soul of the forest: Could be interesting/fun to be in eclipse for the extended periods on occasion, but ultimately i feel adds to the issues with the rotation. Now we are in eclipse for even longer, casting the same 2 spells for extended periods of time, and dots seem to not fit in even more.
    • Starlord : passive haste gain is a stable choice and doesnt require too much management to be effective. ultimately not the most “fun ability” but i dont feel this contributes to any issues.
    • Incarnation: no real change here, very powerful 3 minute cooldown. feels great to use.
  • T45:

    • Stellar Drift - Makes multidotting and starfalling feel great. Takes the pressure off building asp between starfalls and allows osme extra surges in, combined with the movement. Great ability.
    • Twin moons - no change
    • Stellar Flare - another dot to manage, and another dot detracting from eclipse. Does not benefit from starfalls dot extension, severly limiting the number of targets this spell is useful on. even on 3 targets this begins to feel not great.
  • T50:

    • Shooting stars remains passive and a decent choice for a more passive gameplay.
    • Fury of Elune - fun to press, nice cooldown. seems to fit well.
    • Moons - another spell that doesnt tie in to eclipse. Finding the time to cast this feels odd to me when the goal is to be back in eclipse. The long cooldown kind of detracts from the big impact.

Overall i feel like the base rotation is OK, albeit a little bland.
Very little in the moonkin toolkit is available to spice up the rotation much, and many aspects seem to contradict or go against the idea behind the eclipse proc.
Dots appear to be taking a back seat for moonkin and do not tie in well with the spec currently which is unfortunate, so i would hope to see something done in that area. Maybe an extension of the eclipse mechanic that applied to dot refreshes within their respective eclipse.

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Spec: Guardian

First I want to mention the change to Swiftmend feels really bad for Guardian. I loved being able to shapeshift out of bear form, pop a swiftmend on myself or party member, and quickly go right back into bear from. This type of versatility is part of what made druid fun to play despite its rather basic tanking “rotation”. Please reconsider this change for non resto druids at minimum.

Some of our talents feel out of place. This problem was created by attaching Typhoon and Vortex to their respective affinity. You created 2 completely unnecessary holes in the talent tree that were replaced with talents that don’t fit the theme of the talent tier they were placed in. Renewal should not be competing with movement talents. Heart of the wild should not be competing with CC abilities. Please revert the changes to Typhoon and Ursol’s Vortex and make renewal and heart of the wild baseline.

Dead talents. Lunar beam is still awful. Not sure I can really give any more feedback on this that hasn’t already been said a hundred times. There are going to be even more dead talents in Shadowlands because of the awkard positioning of Renewal and Heart of the wild.

Maul still feels weird. I understand the design goal of giving us a rage dump when we don’t need to use ironfur but it still feels lacking. The baseline guardian tanking feels like it needs one more button and maul seems like it should fill that void.

21 Likes

Some assorted minor changes in an upcoming build, just noting here:

–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.

24 Likes

Something I feel is missing is a deeper reason to bring underrepresented specs like ferals and guardians to raids and mythic+. In a raid it’s not super hard to get a monk in - but in keys, you rarely see ferals and once in awhile have a guardian.

Adding 5% physical debuff (mystic touch) to them would definitely give a really compelling reason to have a feral druid over a ww monk (or brm). It could possibly round out guardian quite a bit better as well.

19 Likes

And still nothing for Guardian.

47 Likes

The problem with your “re-imagined” Bloodtalens is that you require us to overwrite Thrash, Rake, and/or Moonfire (2 of those listed in combination with Shred) regardless if we have a stronger Thrash, Rake, or Moonfire already on the target. Remember, Ferals still snap shot like it or not (also try to remember that Thrash, Rake, and Moonfire are dots NOT filler spells whether you like it or not). Please go back to the drawing board with this crap.

8 Likes

Big thanks to quality of life change of bloodtalons. It’s really great to see you actually change this talent to be more logical in case of AE damage.
But can ferals and guardians finally get some unique group utility? There’s no any point of taking feral or guardian to a group just because resto or balance have the same abilities and even more.

26 Likes

Let me expand on this - I am really liking Adaptive Swarm and this seems to be one of the stronger choices for feral atm. It makes sense, we are a bleed based class and this increases our bleeds by 20%. However, you are making us over write 2 of those bleads every time we need to “reacquire” blood talons buff. It just doesn’t work.

While many didn’t like the “old” Bloodtalons because it didn’t feel right casting a heal in your rotation - I guess I never looked at it like that. I looked at it like I was wasting that GCD on a buff. What other class in the game would cast a short lived buff that ALSO healed them. That “buff”, which also healed, added to our survivability and it didn’t require re-applying our dots to a target which may or may not already have a more powerful version of that dot on it.

Again - Thrash, Rake, and Moonfire are DOTS not filler spells.

11 Likes

Thrash is more +20% to swipe damage thing. It’s not a damage spell.

Thrash is an AoE bleed - an AoE dot. We do not have azerite in shadowlands to do what you are saying at the ferals base (no Soulbinds).

Further more… what ever happened to “it feels bad to be forced to cast AoE abilities in single target” which is why Thrash got nerfed 2? expacs ago.

13 Likes

Hey, thanks for taking all our feedback about Guardian and doing something about it during the Alpha and Beta cycles.

Oh, just kidding, I guess you all think the class is fine. :slight_smile:

Well, maybe when Mythic comes out and the representation of Guardian is less than 1% and there are 0 druids doing Mythic+ past 15 in Shadowlands you’ll eventually figure out the problems with the class.

Or maybe not! Maybe you’ll all just keep being so very communicative with us over it! Oh, who am I kidding, I’ve given up hope on Guardian for this expansion even before it’s come out - thanks so much! :slight_smile:

46 Likes

The lack of response to anything guardian related is concerning.

I’m not going to go into detail the issues with guardian, as others have outlined them far more clearly than I can in the thread above, but I did want to respond with my support for the fact that the class needs changes.

I’ve been a guardian main since wrath, this is the first expansion I’m seriously considering another class, and that makes me really sad. I feel like we were already the tank with the least utility, and we’re going into SL with less.

Pay attention to us. Several people have given very detailed posts about the problems with guardian on beta that have gone unacknowledged.

51 Likes

The arcanic pulsar themed legendary feels really bad to play with. You only want to starsurge during eclipse so you’re likely to trigger this effect during an eclipse. Triggering this legendary with incarnation as a talent puts a 30s buff for both eclipses up, overwriting any active eclipse you have. The triggered eclipses can’t be extended but expire as soon as the temporary incarn expires. When the incarn expires it drops you out of the eclipse you were in when you triggered it.

Oneth’s feels good to play for the most part but it is lacking a default ui poweraura.

Pawsitive Outlook themed legendary feels terrible as guardian. Fishing for burst threat feels like twilight dev on live and based on instinct it seems like the Luffa’s would be the strictly better choice as it provides more damage and a defensive benefit through rend and tear. I loved this as an artifact trait with Luffa’s in Legion but it seems like putting this as a direct competitor to Luffa’s leaves guardian with one less legendary option until we can equip multiple legendaries.

The Barkskin legendary feels like an extremely powerful defensive option and I’m really grateful for this as an option. Having this to fill in the major guardian weakness of spike damage on pull feels excellent.

Rage of the Sleeper legendary feels great.

5 Likes

Does anyone else think the Venthyr ability Ravenous Frenzy shouldn’t have a downside?

No other ability from what I see has a negative to it like this. Lets say you use it during heroism and get to 15 stacks but then a mechanic happens where you are idle for 1.5 seconds suddenly you are hit for 45% of your hp.

It is basically useless in arena from what I can tell. I still need to test it to see but happens if the other team sees you pop this, lets you build up to 10 stacks then los you for 1.5 seconds or stun you? (Does getting stunned trigger it? ) You will have 30% of your hp drop and get stunned for 1 second. No other ability from what I have seen can be taken advantage of by the other team and possibly cost you a match. It is going to feel bad for players that want to go Venthyr, maybe go boomy for most content and venthyr seems good with haste buff but then want to heal in arena as pressing their covenant ability will come with a large risk.

On top of that as a bear, losing ~30% of my health and being stunned for 1 second could wipe my party if I am not careful.

17 Likes

I guess it depends on who you’re weighing it against. Versus the covenant abilities that say, paladins or mages have, this one is incredibly strong and deserves the downside. Versus some of the ones for death knights or warlocks though, then yeah maybe not so much. So I guess it depends on where that balancing stick is supposed to be.

So, now that I’ve played SL Balance as in an intro character, a max level character, a few other premade SL characters and an imported character, I have to say that I really dislike Eclipse in its current form, at least for leveling and open world content. Most non-elites die too fast for Solar Eclipse to be useful, and for rounding up enemies and using mass AoE, it feels like extending Lunar Eclipse with Starsurge is way less effective than just maintaining Starfall. Also having Starsurge tied to the Eclipse empowerments disincentivizes me, personally at least, from using Starsurge outside of an eclipse for fear of “wasting” it. And while this might be due to my hesitance to use Starsurge outside of Eclipse, Starsurge feels like it’s lacking heft, even when it crits.

It’s quite possible that for dungeons and raids the current Eclipse will feel alright, but for just running around wrecking up the place, I feel like it’s less an ignorable mechanic than a mechanic that you really have to strain to work into your rotation, so for outdoor content it’s not really useful or fun. And I don’t know how to make it more enjoyable.

But I’m on record as never being a fan of Eclipse, and I’ve been in the Balance game since all we had was Hurricane. I think this is the best version of Eclipse that we’ve had since Wrath, but that version of Eclipse was barely comparable to all the others we’ve had since. I don’t think “Eclipse as the core mechanic” has ever worked well, and I don’t see it working well this expansion either, at least not in its current form.

TL;DR - I feel like Eclipse as a “core mechanic” is too awkward/clunky to fit into leveling and outdoor content.

5 Likes

re: Travel Form.

I don’t understand why Travel Form is being changed at all. The way it currently is, in this build, we don’t get equivalent movement speed on the ground until levels 24 and then 36. As for Flight speed, Travel Form is now limited to 150%? So if we want to fly at the fasted possible speed we are required to use a regular mount? Why? Because Travel Form is instant cast? IMO that is a pretty lame excuse.

More choice, not less. I am hoping this will change before Shadowlands goes Live.

41 Likes

Hello!

M+ Bear here with some first thoughts on the feel of Bear in dungeons in Beta. I tank 24s-26s in live at the moment which may give me a unique perspective.

Pros:

  • Not having to take Vortex over Wild Charge is really nice! I love having charge again. It always feels bad having bear as my only spec without charge.
  • Really excited about the new Incarn/Beserk legendary giving us damage plus leech when active. This is really going to give us a better big button to press.

Cons:

  • Swiftmend feels really bad at the moment. It has been said already, but needs reiteration as being able to instant cast Swiftmend on yourself or an ally is clutch in special circumstances. I cannot tell you how many times I have Bullrushed out of combat, Swiftmended myself, went right back into bear and lived when I would have died in that circumstance in Beta.
  • Losing the ability to Typhoon is rough. Typhoon and Vortex go together like peanut butter and jelly (or perhaps you prefer lamb and tuna fish?). Missing out on Typhoon, as there really isn’t a choice of affinities in high keys, is bad. We won’t notice it nearly as much in beta, but not having it on Sanguine week or on a caster heavy dungeon like SotS for grouping mobs, is going to feel bad.

Things to Improve:

  • Having Cyclone is a great addition to our toolkit in M+, but it might be beneficial to allow us to cast it in bear form. Having to spend valuable time casting a CC is already rough tanking, but having to pop form to do this makes it near impossible in combat. With a 6 second duration, it’s not very practical to clone a mob pre-pull so it is going to be a spell that is widely unused. I would love to either see this castable in bear, or have its duration on mobs be increased to 30-60 seconds to give it some value.
  • We haven’t seen Druid conduits yet, but I would love to see a conduit that would decrease the CD of Incarn/Beserk by X for every Y rage we spend similar to Anger Management from Warriors. Having a big CD every 3 minutes is nice, but having it up more frequently would be nicer. This alone would increase bear representation in M+ significantly.
  • Night Fae ability Soulshape needs to let us stay in Bear form if we cast it in Bear. Some times, as with most tanks, there are gaps in mitigation/healer CDs, so having an out is extremely effective at living a pull where you should die. Soulshape feels really great for this, however popping form to cast it feels really bad. Say for instance we are trying to distance ourselves from some mobs on Necrotic week, but there are 1-2 casters/ranged mobs in the pack. We pop Soulshape and we lose the ability to survive the next pack.
  • Night Fae ability Convoke the Spirits seems to value Thrash very little while in Bear form. I haven’t been able to do extensive testing on this, but my last three didn’t even include 1 Thrash in the rotation. This seems like it might be bugged?

Overall Bear Issues Not Related to Beta:

  • Mentioned above about surviving while popping form. This is a problem Bears have had for a while. Being 100% dependent on being in Bear form is rough for our survival in niche circumstances. For instance, in Motherlode, back in Seasons 1-3 when people were skipping the RND section. Most tanks could just mount up and gather the mobs away while the group death ran to the next section, not bears though, because we can’t mount in Bear. We had to speed pot into stampeding roar to cover the distance. If something went wrong, we would have to wait for CDs to attempt this again. And with the changes to consumables in SL, speed pots will be an even bigger problem when grouping mob packs. The same issue came up in non-rogue runs of Tol Dagor where a normal tank could enter the cannon and get healed through a couple of shots. Bears cannot enter vehicles in Bear form so we lose that. I am not 100% on the solution here, but it is a common problem. Maybe let us mount in Bear form similar to how you can mount in Moonkin form?
  • Frenzied Regen on the GCD is really rough. Losing a potentially rage generating GCD to cast a heal that costs rage itself often times gives us further gaps in survival by missing an Ironfur. It’s not just the reaction time of hitting Regen, a tank shouldn’t be as reactive and should prepare to use it, I agree, but not being able to hit our abilities simultaneously feels really bad. This one button I would strongly recommend for consideration of GCD removal.
  • Skull Bash being a charge interrupt is awful. There is a really rough range mechanic to our interrupt that means if we are just outside melee range, we charge in to the center of a mob’s hit box, some times forcing us to take hits to the back. Just last week I was tanking 26 JY and charged in to interrupt a toxic bolt and got melee hit from “behind” from the toxic monstrosity for over 1 mill damage. I have to be extra cautious when interrupting to avoid situations like this. Take Shrine of the Storm as well. I assign interrupts on 3rd boss to our melee dps as it can be lethal to be forced to charge in with my interrupt when the balls are floating around. Same goes for Yazma in AD with the spiders. I have to assign a range interrupt as backup. Easy solution for this, make Skullbash Charge a talent choice in place of Renewal, and either remove Renewal for Bears or make it baseline. It will never be more valuable than charge. I think if you do this, you will see a large % of the playerbase that prefers having a standard interrupt.

Despite the issues with Bear, I love playing it as I also enjoy playing ranged DPS in raid and playing Healer in M+. I play Bear primarily as I like playing multiple specs/roles for content I enjoy without having to do weekly chores across multiple characters. So I play arguably a sub-par tank. I am excited for a lot of potential in SL to improve an already fun tank to play.

37 Likes