Feedback: Druids

Please use this thread to post feedback on the Druid class, once you’ve tested it in the Dragonflight Alpha.

Thank you!

16 Likes

Convoke the Spirits for Guardian.

• When learnt this spell does not go into the Spellbook.
• Writing a macro for it doesn’t function.
• The spell states that it requires Night Fae.

There are a few tooltips which are missing spaces in the talent tree which are making the colouring not appear. Example:

There’s also this wild monstrosity:

Some passive spells automatically go on your bars when learnt. An example of this is Ursoc’s Fury.

10 Likes

Balance Druid
Some initial wish-list stuff I have for some of the spells/talents of Balance druid.

Adaptive Swarm

  • I would like to see the option to also take Unbridled Swarm, similar to how Resto and Feral specs have it.

Syzygy

  • This talent sounds real fun, however since it is tied to Celestial Alignment, this effect will essentially be a 3 minute cooldown and it would be great if you could have this happen a bit more often. One solution could be to separate this choice node so you can also take Primordial Arcanic Pulsar, allowing you to proc the Syzygy effect from Pulsar.

Stellar Inspiration, Umbral Intensity, Improved Starsurge, Starfall [Rank 2]

  • Starsurge empowering Wrath damage and Starfire critical chance has felt like a basic mechanic of the spec, but 5 talent points (Improved Starsurge, Stellar Inspiration, and Umbral Intensity) dedicated to this mechanic seems excessive and doesn’t have any gameplay change.

  • Starfall extending the duration of Moonfire and Sunfire on targets feels like a solid mechanic to Starfall, but 4 talent points (Starfall [Rank 2], Stellar Inspiration) dedicated to this again seems a little excessive.

  • The above mechanics are alright, but I’d like to see these effects combined into less talent points, or a lot of spice added to these talents to make it worth the amount of points.

Stellar Flare

  • This spell should interact with all Moonfire and Sunfire mechanics. At the very least proc Shooting Stars.

Power of Goldrinn

  • Perhaps my favorite talent, thank you for bringing it back. If I could take it without needing to take Solar Beam that would be even better.
37 Likes

Balance Druid Feedback

I agree with the points above in regards to Stellar Inspriation, Umbral Intensity, Improved Starsurge, and Starfall rank 2.

I am positive we’ll have plenty of options for raid bosses (single target and the occasional spread cleave) but I’m still a little concerned for how we’ll look in dragonflight m+. As of right now we are still missing a meaningful way to spend our astral power in AoE situations; this will become a bigger issue as we produce more astral power with better gear but can’t use our resource spenders for additional AoE. I believe the Stellar Drift talent space is a good spot to address this; it could be perhaps a [pick 1 of 2 options] talent and offer stackable Starfall as the other option.

Speaking of the [pick 1 of 2] talents, I fear some of them will be theory-crafted and will result in a “best” option and an “unused” option, no matter how fun they appear. I do think this might be fixed with a little rearranging.

  • Currently Incarnation and Convoke share a tile. Without the covenant soulbinds Convoke is only decent for single target whereas Incarnation is great for both single target and AoE. If Incarnation yields better single target damage than Convoke, there will likely be no case for ever choosing Convoke in PvE content.

  • Primordial Arcanic Pulsar and Syzygy. One of these we’re very familiar with and the other is still NYI but I feel it will once again be a situation where Pulsar may be the go-to pick and Syzygy might only be taken in a very niche situation where burst AoE is needed once every 3 minutes. Ultimately, I think these should be separated so they could be used together for m+. These with orbit breaker just visually sound like a lot of fun to me.

  • My suggestion would be to tie Incarnation and Pulsar to the same talent; two abilities that augment Celestial Alignment sharing a spot feels like it makes sense to me. That would free up Convoke and Syzygy and to share a spot with one maybe being better for single target and one better for AoE.

On a related note, how will Pulsar work once the new CA is implemented to be a targeted effect? In the alpha we are still testing using old CA.

I think Solar Beam should be moved into the base druid tree, similar to Skull Bash.

We’ve introduced charged spells this expansion and I think Power of Goldrinn may be the perfect spot to apply this technology. With the talent Starsurge would be chargeable; instant cast does the same as it does now, but charging the spell would produce more spirits to attack more targets and cost a little more astral power (essentially another AoE spender).

My last item to address for now is Nature’s Vigil in the base druid tree. I could be very wrong, but I believe in Cata this ability healed for a larger percent and it healed multiple people at a time? This is a bottom of the tree option lined up with Furor and Heart of the Wild, I feel 20% damage done converted to healing to one target that we don’t even get to pick is very weak for its placement.

13 Likes

Balance druid remarks:

I spent a few good hours the other day going through the tree making various “scenarios” for what might be nice where and when, and came up with mainly what I think (which is subjugated) for a decent Single target boss, 2+ (stacked) boss, and M+/AoE builds.

Of course I don’t necessarily have any proof of what may be the best except the 10 years of experience of balance druid I have, so I mainly picked what would both keep me engaged in the combat while also (hypothetically) keeping the numbers up.

My initial Single boss target talents mainly went for: Goldrinn, Convoke/Incarn, and then leading the far right line towards Orbit breaker. Goldrinn I see as an excellent perk because it is basically a bonus .5 Surge. I’ve always been a fan of convoke, so the likely chance I take it again is high, but I can understand that it’s on a 2 min CD vs CA is on a 3 min CD, so they dont line up if you pop them at the same time. That then also leads into the Pulsar talent picked for the bonus CA proc.
How I plan this tree to effectively run is wanting to get Pulsar to proc as often as possible to go into CA, thus activating Solstice for Shooting Stars for more rapid Full Moon drops. Plus if Pulsar still works like it does in SL, if you are in CA/Incarn and you trigger pulsar it extends your current timer and keeps the same % multipliers you have.

2+ stacked bosses is almost the same, except trading the Orbit for Twin Moons and Circle, thus freeing up some GCD by having to recast dots on the bosses as often.

M+/AoE I got real funky and went with the full Starfall kit, and going down the Twin moon, Circle, and also Adaptive Swarm. When testing, you can effectively be spamming Starfall, all the dots, swarms, and everything everywhere, but a key point I noticed was the inclusion of Warrior of Elune. Warrior is off the GCD, so I got thinking and made a macro that would cast Warrior and then Starfire and make that my Starfire key, ergo every 45 secs I would get the 3 free Starfires to really ramp if the damage and Power charge to recast Starfalls. The only if I have is this case, and it may be a skill thing I got to work out, but taking Stellar Drift is great, but it does add that CD onto Starfall, so that is always something to bring in to account.

Now… for the things that are on the lower side of my pick list.

New Moon/Fury is so out there by itself, so personally I think it may be a wild pick, but I could see some use of it, but more Fury over the Moons. Since Legion Balance druid changed to be a bit faster, so I personally see it casting the moons almost less effective unless you are not casting them during an eclipse because you arn’t benefiting from the boosts. Fury I can see use for the Aoe stuff though + just being on a minute CD

TImeworn/Oneth’s: … I tried to play with these. I really did. But at best Timeworn only gets its best use at about 100 saved energy, and you can only hold the 2 stacks AT BEST for a single eclipse. If we could find other ways to gain a lot of energy and fast, this might be on the lower side. Oneth’s is just what it is: and RNG to cast a free spell. I like the idea, but at the same time it may be hard to build around that RNG factor for anything.

Blessing are literal broken. They have the same effect as when we had them in the past and dont actually stay on the player, so that needs to be fixed.

But that’s all I have for now. I really want dungeons to unlock maybe at some point because I feel like that will be the best way to test my trees as using a training dummy only gets you so far.

4 Likes

Balance Druid Feedback

Hello.
Stellar Drift and Starfall
Perhaps our most important/iconic ability is once again misunderstood and needs further development. Stellar drift, while hard to balance, should NOT incur a CD when using starfall. In my opinion starfall was extremely FUN and cool to use in legion when we were generating a lot of astral power through dotting a big pack with shooting stars. Being able to press starfall more than once and having multiple out is ultimate theme and provides smooth fun gameplay. Understandably, the worry is unchecked out going crazy; this wasn’t even a problem in legion when the game was wild.

Shooting Stars/Solstice
In order for us to enable more starfall interactions, these 2 talents need to generate more astral power and be taken off of diminishing returns. At the moment, and on alpha, it seems that around 3-4 targets+, these start to generate little to no astral power and in order for us to fulfill the wish of having more starfalls out, they need to give more astral power. It feels AWFUL to press your dots and have such little interaction on AoE, especially when we are a 3 min CD class and don’t have a lot of options outside of cds to do damage with.

Stellar Flare
How has this talent made it this far honestly, without zero to little attention on how weak/bad it feels to play? The talent does less than a baseline dot like moonfire, isnt spreadable easily, has a cast time, and generates low astral power for pay off (aware it was changed to 8 astral power on alpha). This talent, even on a single target encounter similar to Skolex, feels so bad to press and use. It provides little to no gameplay value and fun. A suggestion for it would either be to let it proc shooting stars, be removed completely cause honestly it seems like a headache, or perhaps something to spread it?

Stellar Inspiration/Umbral Intensity
Perhaps the two most boring, uninspiring talents (conduits) to come back, are extreme blockers in what we want to achieve on the balance tree. Even at 2/2’s they provide blocks in our AoE rotation. In order to get good capstones and AoE properly, you need to take these blockers at the cost of getting kick on AoE encounters and dungeons. Currently, the ST iterations of the tree can fit kick in (hardly), but on AoE templates; taking kick would either remove a capstone or severely hinder gameplay options. My honest suggestion would either be to remove these as they added ZERO gameplay in Shadowlands and are extremely weak anyway or make them 1/1 options to allow us to get better capstones/kick.

Solar beam
I’m quite the fan of being able to talent into something that allows us some wiggle room on a long kick and getting lower cooldowns on it. However, kicks are an integral part of the game and putting them on the tree as a baseline seems hurtful to gameplay all around. I get there is some sort of fantasy of power of choice and fitting a “niche” but sometimes when you run into a brick wall over and over again, it isn’t fun. Honestly I don’t think any classes/specs kicks should be on a tree, maybe on their baseline trees so that it’s accessible to all specs of respected class with something similar to Light of the sun to build gameplay upon taking kick/beam/whatever your specs kick is. I’m not sure if others feel similar but, i’m willing to bet people are gonna have an awful time pugging without the kick option. A lot of conversations of “if I take kick, I lose a major capstone” are gonna come up and be way more of a headache than just giving people an ability they have had for years and years.

The future of Cooldown Bonus on Incarn/Convoke (bottom of the tree under Incarn)
Balance has suffered in Mythic Plus scenarios ever since BFA from having a 3 minute cooldown tied to such little bonus. Incarnation/Celestial Alignment give crit/haste or just haste on a 3 min CD as well as both eclipse bonuses, in retrospect that seems cool, but other classes get wayyyy stronger CDs that are on such short cooldowns. In culmination with lack luster burst AoE and starfall feeling extremely weak with its CD in stellar drift/only being able to use one; it seems like in a dungeon we lose out way to much. In raid it’s so and so… you offer a good cooldown every 3 minutes, but current raid design/older raids from legion till now have favored 1-2 min CDs as premier choices. Obviously that makes sense since the more CDs you can pump out, the more favorable you are to fit a situation. My feedback for this would be to PLEASE add impeccable fel essence (legion legendary for astral power spent = CDR on Incarn/Celestial alignment) instead of perhaps adaptive swarm or perhaps somewhere else. Adaptative swarm might be the worst CD I have ever had the displeasure of pressing. I literally feel my life dwindle away when I see this as an option for balance.

The eclipse system at a baseline
The eclipse system at a baseline provides such strange gameplay. The fact that we have to starsurge on AoE situations is a little baffling. Starsurge provides bonuses to generators like starfire, so in AoE situations while starfall is on a COOLDOWN, pressing starsurge feels so pathetically weak and boring. This all stems from starfall getting a CD as well as only being able to use 1 at a time. Putting more power into starsurge is going to lead to a bad line similiar to BFA where starfall was nearly obsolete. Making starsurge increase AoE damage is just a flat out misunderstanding on what balance should be doing and provides horrible gameplay.

Things I like so far
Really really love the goldrinn trait. I love the noise it makes when it procs, I love the visual, and I love what it means; a love letter to something so beautiful that was legion artifact weapon design. I am a fan of being able to get twin moons and stellar drift even though stellar drift feels so so bad, twin moons is def iconic and feels cool to use. The druid baseline tree on the left is also pretty well designed, it offers a lot of options to mess around with and natures vigil is def a cool talent to be able to use (furor not so much lol). Syzygy also looks flavorful and interesting so I commend you on that, it reads interesting (not yet testable). Orbit breaker is also super cool but, with current shooting stars and diminishing returns, not such a good talent.

Thank you so much for allowing me to test and hopefully this gets read with a grain of salt, I love moonkin, it is my absolute favorite spec and seeing it get back to roots and having fun with starfall again would be a delight.

TL;DR
stellar drift CD bad, starsurge effecting AoE bad, shooting stars and solstice DR bad, adaptive swam depressing and bad feeling, druid baseline tree mostly good (except furor), Eclipse system needs tending to, stellar inspiration and umbral intensity feel so so bad and block many gameplay options.

21 Likes

Feral Feedback

I’ve main’d Feral all this expansion in midtier m+ and raid content so I want to give some feedback on my experience. I’ve also tried to take some feedback from the Feral discord on how they feel about the current talent tree.

My personal hope for Feral in DF is that we can see a move away from 45% of our damage being Ferocious Bite. Feral, imo, should be about heavy bleed damage. Seeing big Ferocious Bites is fun it feels bad having other abilities seem so weak.

Our current m+ build is Sabertooth, Primal Wrath, Bloodtalons (or MoC), with either Frenzyband legendary or Apex Predator’s Craving. Apex is the goto for more chill m+ content. In my opinion, Convoke becoming a 1 minute CD was life saving for m+ as was having CDR for Berserk. We’re losing both of those (in the current trees state anyway).

Talent placement is weird and generally disliked it seems.
Looking at other talent trees so far, Ferals seems more restrictive and more difficult to come up with ST and m+ builds. Paths seem much more rigid than the DK and Hunter paths.
Feral Frenzy, Brutal Slash, Primal Wrath, Apex Predator’s Craving and Survival Instincts all seem disjointed in random parts of the tree.

Energy regen/max increase
Do we really need 8 different talents that either increase our energy regen or our energy pool? Most of which consume more than 1 talent point.

Brutal Slash replacing Swipe
This is a big issues for Ferals. In the new tree Brutal Slash is mandatory if we want to take SI, Apex or Cat-Eye Curio. Brutal Slash replaces Swipe, taking away our primary spammable combo generator on cleave packs and replacing it with 3 charges of a weak hitting ability. Spamming Swipe in m+ is fun, waiting for a Brutal Slash charge to come up is not.

Survival Instincts
Survival Instincts is also locked behind BrS. It’s a solid personal defensive locked behind a talent we don’t want to take for m+.

Berserk back to 3 min CD
Being able to create our own custom Berserk sounds cool but Berserk being back on a 3min CD is awful. We need some form of CDR for Berserk like Frenzyband or for Berserk just be set to a 2min CD for good. I’m hoping this will come in the form of the Modal Cooldown Bonus talent. Would love to know the intentions there, the current “shifting out of incarn” does not sound like a fun mechanic.

Minor, QoL?
Rebirth shouldn’t have a cast time.
Feral needs some kind of utility to justify a raid spot, though the option to take Innervate is nice. A passive party/raid wide crit buff for example.
You can’t currently change to any form while mounted on a dragonriding mount. You can on a regular mount.

Bugs
Improved Well-Honed Instincts does not currently have an internal CD. It procs each time you drop below 40% health, which is awesome, but obviously broken.

Switching spec to Guardian then back to Feral causes Feral to lose all talented abilities, even though the tree shows points designated. After switching spec you need to redo your talent choices to get talents back.

The “Personal Resource Display” is janky for Feral. It shows Rip, Primal Wrath and Savage Roar (when it’s NOT active) as if they were all personal buffs.

70 Likes

It’s worth pointing out that this is also particularly awkward due to the fact that Swipe is a talent on the class tree: One might think that picking Brutal Slash means that you can forego picking Swipe on the Class Tree, but this isn’t true; if you fail to pick Swipe on the Class tree, picking Brutal Slash simply does nothing. If you pick Brutal Slash, you are also now no longer able to use Swipe in Bear form, which feels bad for pretty obvious reasons.

I think the best outcome is if Brutal Slash simply doesn’t replace swipe and becomes a 2nd ability that you can use in addition to swipe, with swipe filling in gaps while you wait for Brutal Slash charges. This would also create super sexy synergy With Blood Talons and Scent of Blood where you can Thrash → Swipe → Brutal Slash → Bloodtallons + Primal Wrath in AOE Situations. I know that this seems extremely powerful, but numbers aside, that sounds fun. I would think the numbers can be adjusted to keep it in line.

But overall, Brutal Slash being a required pick in order to get to Surival Instincts, Cat-Eye curio, Berzerk: Frenzy, and Apex Predator / Draught of Deep Focus is very odd. Those are all talents that are usefull in all situations, both single target and AOE alike (with pex Predator / Draught of Deep Focus arguably being a much more single-target specific node), so having them locked behind an AOE-only ability is strange. (well, alright: Brutal Slash is used in Single Target too, but that’s a completely different problem)

50 Likes

So I’m going to make this a short one-ish for now since it’s late and there’s so far only a few things that I have to put two cents in for (As I’ve recently been playing Evoker since I know how Bear plays) I’m going to spend time in Bear this week giving it more look through to see what else might need fixed and all that.

But first and current glaring issue/bug that I’ve found is -

Frenzied Regeneration does not have any charges like it does on live. On live we have 2 charges. On Alpha - there’s no charges at all.

I’ve looked and there’s no talent to give any additional charges for Bear but the talent Layered Mane states toward to bottom half of it : Frenzied Regeneration has a 10% Chance to not consume a charge.
I took this talent and whacked away on the training dummies to see if I could get it to proc for 10 mins and nothing happened with it either.

The following are just requests/dreams/wishes that I already submitted feedback for via F6 for spells - even though I know they probably wont be heeded due to bear just wanting more fun stuff.

Could we get Sunfire to be able to be castable in bear form?
This is just from someone who supremely loves moon bear build and thinks that having another beam that can be specced into AOE - would just be phenomenal to play alongside with moon build with Elunes Favored.

I was excited to see that I could take Sunfire without taking Moonkin form - I took the talents to get Sunfire - and my disappointment when it popped me into caster form. :frowning:

My reasoning for why I’m an advocate for bears to get this in bear form is - it’s a beam like Moonfire and Moonfire dosnt take me out of Bear form. Why should Sunfire take me out of Bear form?

And can we also get Innervate able to be castable in Bear form as well?
Possibly for the ferals as well - I dont know if it pops them out to cast it if they take it too. I love that I can take it - but I hate that it pops me out of bear form to cast it. I love having the option to have utility - I do not love having utility that pops me out of bear to get clobbered by mobs or boss if I’m the only tank/druid that has Innervate available and the healer desperately needs it.

I’m sure I’ll have more as I play Bear more since I did a run through of the zone in Evoker for test run and more as I remember / think of stuff as it’s late and all.

PS : Berzerk / Incarn is showing up in the General Spells tab - which is weird.
PSS : Since the cats and chickens are asking for it too – can we get a better CD on Berzerk/Incarn too? :smiley:

30 Likes

Additional Feral Feedback

I’ve played Feral every expansion since I started playing back in WotLK (although I haven’t mained it since MOP). These are a few changes/rough spots I see with the class, some of which are carrying over from Shadowlands into Dragonflight.

Damage Profile
As was mentioned earlier in this thread, ~45% of feral’s damage profile in Shadowlands consists of Ferocious bites while the bleeds (Rip, Rake, Thrash) contribute only ~15% of the damage profile. I know there are talents like Draught of Deep Focus, Circle of Life & Death, adaptive swarm, and blood talons which all play into feral’s dots a bit, but our dots already do such little damage that I’m not sure if taking all these talents would have a worthwhile impact. So overall, I’d like to see a shift in feral’s damage profile to emphasize bleeds more

Playstyle
Feral used to be a very slow, methodical spec. It was a lot of managing energy to pre-plan your next set of bleed resets and trying to figure out when you can fit in a ferocious bite. You still have to preplan your finishers and bleed resets today, yes, but it’s become much more trivial thanks to a few reasons, but I don’t think it has to be this simplified.

  1. There are 9* energy-related talents in the tree which seems excessive. Feral has traditionally had energy problems, but this just feels like overcompensation. The spec feels more spammy now than ever which feels like reduces the thought process for planning out your finishers.

  2. Sabertooth functions like the old Blood in the Water talent which caused ferocious bite to fully reset the duration of Rip on targets below 25%. Today it increases the duration of the active rip on a target by 1 second per combo point used. This again lessens some of the thought process that goes into feral since it makes Rip feel a bit like a fire and forget ability even after it was nerfed to just extending rip by 1 second.

Talent Tree
The talent tree feels a little off balanced. The right side just feels like it’s getting a lot more value with options like Survival Instincts, Berserk: Frenzy, cat-eye curio, etc. The entire right side of the tree feels like it’s mostly catering to a spammy, fast-paced, Ferocious Bite-focused build with a couple random bleed effects added (like Circle of Life & Death / Draught).

The left side of the tree feels like it’s got some very low-impact talents. it mostly revolves around the improved stealth talents (Improved Shred, Improved Rake, Sudden Ambush, Jungle Stalker). Feral hasn’t really had much of a synergy with stealth and that combination of 4 talents feels very lackluster. Next we have Predatory Swiftness which has always been a great utility passive for feral, but it feels like it’s just a little too far down the tree and if we are looking at the same row, it competes with Survival Instincts on the right side of the tree.

In the middle of the tree, infected wounds doesn’t feel good to take. The slow is so minimal for it being on a single target skill while also being very far down the tree. Incarnation feels like a very weak option for feral, especially considering all the energy regen options we have now. In order for Incarn to be taken, you’re going to need to have more than a 20% energy cost reduction on cat form abilities. And to expand on incarnation, the Cooldown talent for shifting out of incarnation feels very odd. I’m not sure when you’d want to take this talent.

This is more of a personal want than anything, but I would like to see the right side of the tree focused on ferocious bites (getting away from bleed damage) while the left side of the tree focuses more heavily on amplifying bleeds at the expense of some ferocious bite damage.

Edit for V10.0.0.44707: Just a thought, but what if we connect the Lunar Inspiration/Savage Roar to Predator Swiftness/Survival Instincts. This would give both sides of the tree a “single target” and “aoe” option on both sides of the tree without being forced into taking Brutal Slash/Primal Wrath in scenarios they feel bad to be used. Would alos remove the need to swap any talents around in this row, imo.

Carnivorous Instinct feels ways less impactful compared to Cat-Eye Curio on the other side of the tree. I think this could be moved into the Infected Wounds slot which would provide more synergy to Tiger’s Fury since it would link directly into Eye of Feaful Symmetry. Infected Wounds could then maybe be reworked to amp bleeds in a fashion similar to the Ferocious Wounds pvp talent (5cp ferocious bites apply a debuff)

Berserk
Berserk still feels like a very lackluster cooldown. It’s cool to have a Build-a-Berserk talent tree, but the fact they all enhance a 3-minute cd that’s not very strong feels bad. I would like to see some way to reduce the cooldown…or just reduce Berserk to a 2min cd base.

AoE
This has been said multiple times, but the placement of brutal slash feels very bad considering it replaces swipe. In an aoe situation, this is going to be rough.

Druid Class Tree
I like this tree a lot. There are a lot of utility options that all feel attainable. The only thing I’d have a very minor complaint about is moving innervate up a little earlier in the tree, but that’s not a major issue.

Edit: my personal wishlist for feral is to see some way of ferocious bite interacting more interestingly with the bleeds. We have interactions where bleeds interact with ferocious bite (Apex giving free bites, bleeds increasing ferocious bite damage, etc). Sabertooth isn’t engaging enough of an interaction between ferocious bite and rip.

Bug Reports
V10.0.0.44707

  1. Unbridled Swarm is not splitting into 2 swarms when it jumps. Spent nearly 15 minutes on a dummy testing and never split into 2 swarms
  2. Berserk is going into the General page on the spellbook. I’d think Berserk should go into the feral or druid spellbook
38 Likes

Feedback on the Guardian talents/positioning

  • Blood Frenzy – feels off in the way that a that talent that currently on live is a Level 15 talent and in Dragonflight it moves it so far down the talent tree down in row 9.

    I feel like it should be moved up to middle of the tree or even toward the top of the tree in another choice node or even tied to one of the Thrash Talents as an off shoot of it.

    Maybe swapped out for Brambles on the first-choice node? And a new choice node could be made with Brambles – by tying it to Reinforced Fur? Or another node.
    I just thought of Reinforced Fur as it’s a Ironfur node - Or even make it an off shoot of on of the IF Nodes?

  • Fury of Nature and to an extent Elunes Favored – just hanging out in the middle of the tree above Incarnation dosnt seem right. It Forces people to take it in order to get to Incarn. Regardless of if they want it or not.

    But if you’re playing a build where you don’t want or are going to utilize the Moonfire off to the right – you’re forced to take FoN and drop 2 pts into it. You cant skimp and do just 1 point and get half of it to go to the next node. You have to get the whole thing. Even if you’re playing a Maul centric build, etc - you have to take that +Arcane Damage talent to get to Incarn if you want it.

    Maybe swapping this out for a more neutral option for people to take to get to Incarn would be better - Switch it out with the Berserk: Persistence that’s on the right with FoN + EF.
    It’s a neutral party - not tied to something that not every Bear may not take – in order to get to something they do want. FoN/EF would be on the right with the other Moonfire buddies in their own Moonfire community. Not hanging out in the middle under the IF and Maul nodes.

  • Earthwarden – way off to the side feels just bad. Since EW is one of our strongest defensives.
    If this could change spots with Tooth And Claw and Vulnerable Flesh – I think it would make the tree feel much better as it would give better access to EW and Maul - yeah it has defensive stuff tied to it its still more of a DPS talent and DPS should be more on the sides.

13 Likes

To echo the above, the Guardian talents are just a giant mess and all over the place. Our capstones are not very exciting (except for Rage of the Sleeper, I guess) and the chaff you have to take on the way down feels really clunky and awful.

Please stop trying to make Maul happen, or, if you’re going to insist on trying to make it happen, make it do enough damage where we feel good about hitting the button.

Also, it’s really frustrating that we have to pick between Mighty Bash and Incapacitating Roar - those shouldn’t be two different options, because right now we can easily have both.

I’m reserving further comments because it feels like the Druid/Guardian tree in particular are due for a makeover and update, given a lot of the NYI and placeholder attributes of it.

29 Likes

Echoing some thoughts about odd placement of Guardian talents… the path down to Incarnation needing to take “Arcane build” synergistic talents (Ex. Fury of Nature and to a lesser extent Circle of Life and Death) feels like a waste. Putting those two talents on the right side path after Scintillating Moonlight and Twin Moonfire would make a “Moonbear” build more efficiently built.

Swapping the talent lines Fury of Nature, Circle of LnD and Elunes favored with Bezerk: Persistence, Survival of the Fittest and the Blood Frenzy/Soul of the Forest choice would have less wasted talent selections for both builds.

13 Likes

Balance Druid - some early impressions and hopes going forward.

Perspective and opinions are from a raiding (world 134) and M+ point of view.

Furor

  • An interesting and controversial talent, its current identity leads to some odd gameplay. Right now, you can shift out of moonkin form, cast Starfall > Surge > Surge, go into moonkin form, and Surge > Surge, all for free.
  • I suspect the implementation here simply checks the last time you used the Form spell, not last time you were in that form, which is allowing you to cast for free when re-entering Moonkin Form instantly after leaving it.
  • This has some quite insane interactions with Primordial Arcanic Pulsar, since every 15 seconds you can (for free) get 170 of the 300 AP requirement. Even if they fixed the moonkin portion, it’s still 110 AP for free every 15 seconds, which is quite a lot (even if unempowered by moonkin form bonus damage).
  • This can be abused with Timeworn Dreambinder and Oneth as well, although to not quite such an large degree. For dreambinder, you can ramp up to 2 stacks without using any of your own AP and maintain the buff for a fair bit longer than normal. For oneth, you will on average get a Starfall reset by the time you finish the Furor windows, which will allow for two full drift empowered starfalls back to back.
  • I’m not sure what the right direction is here, since I’m sure this node can lead to some cool things for other specs who can utilize this spell without the restriction of Pulsar/Dreambinder/Oneth. Just some food for thought, mostly.
  • edit: As an additional concern, you can shift into ineligible forms (e.g. Cat/Bear) and queue a Starfall/Starsurge, which will cast for free before pushing you into Human Form since you’re casting those spells in an invalid form. Perhaps the best solution is simply to have different spell IDs that only let you cast for free with the resource appropriate for that form (energy for cat, rage for bear, astral power for moonkin, mana for human)

Stellar Inspiration / Umbral Intensity / Starfall (upgrade)

  • To re-iterate Sang’s point, as I wholly agree, these nodes feel like too large of an investment for how little power you gain and how little gameplay effect these have.
  • They are, however, nice passive effects to have so I wouldn’t suggest removing them. They just feel slightly bad to invest so many points into.
  • Whether it’s making certain effects baseline and replacing them with new effects, combining them together in some regard, or reducing point investment, I would love to see some kind of update to this area.

Solar Beam

  • It feels bad that Solar Beam is directly blocking a throughput node (and a very loved one, our good boy Goldrinn) and there is no other way to circumvent that.
  • There are many cases where we won’t ever need our interrupt, especially because our class has a very niche interrupt.
  • In my opinion, there should be a way to access Power of Goldrinn without taking Solar Beam (for example, a path from both Improved Starsurge and Shooting Stars), or to move Solar Beam to a location that doesn’t directly block it (e.g. where Improved Moonkin Form is right now).

Syzygy

  • I’m a fan of this talent, but I’ll hold any major judgments until we see it implemented in a future build. I think depending on the tuning of its damage and how the Modal CD Bonus (directly below incarn) scales, this may be end up needing more since it’s locked behind a 3(ish) minute cooldown.
  • In a similar regard, I hope Modal CD Bonus does not restrict the tuning of this talent. It would be a sad day to see Syzygy have a terrible base damage simply due to having to compensate for Modal CD Bonus enabling it to happen faster.

Modal CD Bonus (incarn cdr / convoke exceptional)

  • Need to see the tuning of this when available, but the convoke part here feels lackluster at first glance. If it truly is the wording as it is in retail, it’s simply half of Celestial Spirits and is still lacking the punch that Niya mastery gave it (although Convoke’s interaction with Power of Goldrinn is cool)

Stellar Flare

  • This spell needs some extra interactions or tweaks. Whether we make it instant, scale with other modifiers to our dots (e.g. shooting stars, increased duration nodes, is applied by Syzygy, etc), or both, this spell has sat without quality of life changes for a long time.

Starsurging on AoE (M+)

  • Something we’ve suffered with in Shadowlands especially as of recently, it doesn’t feel good to Starsurge on AoE. AP generation, especially if one takes multiple of our many generators/enhancers on the tree (assuming Nature’s Balance as a baseline: Force of Nature, Warrior of Elune, Blessing of An’she, Soul of the Forest, Fury of Elune, New Moon, Orbit Breaker), has been high enough that we inevitably end up having to blow AP on Starsurge during AoE
  • One of the many solutions echoed in feedback is to allow Starfall to stack like in its Legion form. Another could be add a node that enhances Starsurge to cleave (perhaps as a capstone, and having it only cleave to targets with both Sunfire/Moonfire as a way to dial it back and also promote Syzygy) sort of like a reverse Lightning Rod from elemental shamans
14 Likes

Hey Devs and Testers,

So I wanted to start cataloging my initial feedback and allowing it to grow into a larger thread over time. My hope is that you can draw some inspiration from my post or from other testers in this thread to help shape the future of the balance class/tree.

:fire: A little bit about my History: :fire:

  • I’ve been playing Balance druid as my main since Firelands. As you can imagine I have seen several iterations of the class. In previous alpha testings I’ve shied away from sharing my insights on class development. Truthfully, I didn’t feel my opinion mattered as it’s been several years since I was one of the Balance Druids ranking top 10 in the world on parses and pushing for Top 30 kills. My goal however now is to update the thread with feedback as Dragonflight testing continues and changes are made and hopefully inspire the devs to bring something new to the spec.

:fire: Initial impressions and first moments In-Game: :fire:

Initially I was super pumped with the announcement of the new talent tree.

I don’t know if it was the nostalgia of the old tree design or the excitement that I could have a direct impact on how I played my character on an encounter by encounter basis. Finding small nuances in a fight where I could move a point or two around to maximize my contribution in any group content has always felt rewarding to me.

Purposefully I waited until I was in game to play around with the calculator because I wanted to make sure I had the ability to actually explore how the class FELT with different builds.

:fire: AoE Throughput and Starfall: :fire:

As many have already talked about Starfall as a spender just doesn’t feel engaging. “Adds in 3.2.1…” (Presses Starfall) :zzz: WIN

The addition to a CD with Stellar Drift in 9.1 was completely reasonable and the popular topic of stacking starfall will be touched on later in this section. However, something I’ve missed from the class kit is a button that many people probably have never heard of called “Wild Mushroom”.

For those that have no idea what I am talking about, Wild Mushroom was a spell that I believe was introduced to the druid kit in Cataclysm. At that time Starfall was on CD and reset every Lunar eclipse with a 1 min CD, but to offset not having Starfall at all times moonkins had Wild Mushroom.

You had 3 charges of mushrooms which you could place anywhere and detonate. Placing a mushroom was on the GCD but detonating was off the GCD if memory serves correct. They would not only do AOE but also add a slow effect to enemy NPC’s in the area. This allowed you the freedom to place them all in one spot creating a surge of damage to anyone in that ~10m radius, or place them in different locations targeting different spawn points of adds etc.

For boss fight and interaction it was an ability that felt rewarding to master and something you could micromanage on a fight by fight basis. If you knew adds were spawning in a general location you could preemptively place your mushrooms and the moment they spawned detonate. You could also use it to help your tanks kite big packs. For those min-maxers you could place it under the boss and the moment you hit your eclipse and popped cd’s you could pop it for a slight increase in single target dps on your opener.

Most importantly it made you FEEL engaged in the fights. When there was a moment of down time where you could inch out 3 GCDs you could pre-place your mushrooms for the next phase or transition.

Mushrooms went on to have other iterations and eventually there was a removal of the ability to detonate them.

I think something as a whole our kit is missing right now in general is those buttons that make the kit feel good and with introducing the revamped talent tree I think it’s the opportune moment to bring something such as Wild Mushroom back.

I only spoke in depth about mushrooms because of how interactive it was, but there were also abilities over the years such as Hurricane/Astral Storm which in my opinion didn’t have the level of enjoyment that mushrooms had. It was a channeled AOE with no utility and depth of play as the aforementioned.

Starfall was and has always been a staple of the class, however originally it would reset every lunar eclipse (until the rework in WoD).

:fire: Probably an unpopular opinion but a suggestion: :fire:

Make starfall a base kit ability for Balance, however only have its CD reset upon entering Lunar Eclipse. Leverage the talent tree to allow Starfall in the 2nd tier to be a full time spender where it ignores what eclipse you are in, with eventually progressing to Stellar Drift.

Find space outside of the Starfall portion of the tree to include a new ability such as Wild Mushroom. Now Moonkins can rejoice, feel like they’re impacting their gameplay, and most importantly have more depth to AoE rotation.

For far too long I’ve heard the Moonkin community cry for stackable Starfall. Why not embrace this option? Now is the time. But make it one of the hardest choices in our tree where it influences the play style so much of the class that you have to sacrifice nearly every other aspect of our 3rd tier to play it.

As I said, this is an early opinion and I will update the thread as we see changes.

:fire: The Druid Class Tree: :fire:

Kudos to the devs here, all choices feel impactful and super well thought out. The only thing I was truly hoping for was for Tranquility to be an option once again for non-resto specced Druids. Although it isn’t there hint hint I would rate the current iteration of it a solid 9/10.

Thanks again for all of the hard work on Dragonflight, I can’t wait to see you add Wild Mushrooms … I mean… I can’t wait to see the next set of changes :slight_smile:

-Aidmaro

5 Likes

The other Guardian posts make good points.
I’m sorry in advance for being back with a wall of text.
I’ve come back today with more opinions on Berserk for Bears and for the Cats.

Berserk/Incarn –
I’d like to see if we could get a Dev to touch on why Berserk is the way it is now for us and not like this for any other class.
At least not that I could find.
I went through all the classes / specs with revamped talent trees to see if any of their 3 Min CD’s – more specifically that do multiple things like Berserk does – to see if they had been split up like Berserk has been.
They havnt.

For example – the best that I could find (I mean there’s a few other’s I could make comparisons with but this felt the best) is Outlaw’s Adrenaline Rush -
Its a 3 min CD - Increases Energy regen, max energy and attack speed.

Is this split into multiple like ours?
1 pt for getting the Increased Energy regen and max energy
1 pt for the attack speed.

Nah.

They spend 1 talent to get it as it is in its entirety.
Nothing with the ability being split.
Its all just as it is now in Live.

They just get a couple of new talents – 2 that work with it , 1 that gives an effect when Roll the Bones is used and 1 Talent to reduce CD of many rogue skills per CP Spent - AR is on that list. (Mind you I don’t know much about Rogue if it’s all the spells on that list that get the CD reduction with each CP spent – or if it’s just one at a time)

As it is now for Bears – Berserk - 3 Min CD – reduces CD of Mangle, Thrash, Growl and FR by 75% and IF by 50%.
For Cats – Rake and shred deal dmg as if you were stealthed – gives finishing moves 20% chance per CP to refund 2 CP.

With the new talent trees
Bears :

  • 1 Pt to get the CD of Mangle, Thrash, Growl reduced by 100% - Sure its a 25% Bump but still.
  • 1 pt to get FR Reduced by 100% and IF reduced by 50%.
  • 1 Pt to get 15% haste and reduce cost of maul by 50%.
  • 1 Pt for Incarnation if you want that – that’s fine it can stay a separate node. No issue with this.

For Cats :

  • 1 Pt for – Rake and shred deal dmg as if stealthed and use of prowl once while in combat.
  • 1 Pt for - finishing moves 20% chance per CP spent to refund 2 CPs. Shred and Rake deal dmg as tho stealthed.
  • 1 Pt for CP gen abilities bleed the target for an additional 150% of their dmg over 8 sec and can use prowl once in combat. CP Gen abilities reduce CD of Berserk by 0.3 Secs.
  • 1 Pt for Incarn.

My question is why do we have to spend 2 points to get back what we originally have at the moment?

Granted - I love the increased % to it for Dragonflight - that’s great. I don’t think its justifiable to put it on a separate talent node for a 25% Bump – if that’s why it’s on a talent by itself - I’ll take the back to normal Berserk and lower it back down to 75% and put it all on one talent node.

The first two listed talents in the section above – are both already in Berserk for Shadowlands.

We shouldn’t have to spend 2 talents to get back what we already have – for a 3 min CD. It feels really kind of bad.

The talent that adds the new stuff – sure ok that’s ok being a new talent imo.

As for the brain thoughts I had about it :
if things could be managed about to put them around the Berserk in the middle (even if you guys reject the idea of making it into a 2 pt cost to for Berserk) - that would be great.

Cause then if you wanted to go down one side, or the middle - you could easily drift over and make Berserk as good as you want to. Without having to take a detour over to the other side - if you dont want to go over to the other side, just to get that one pt thats way over in Narnia. That might be on the opposite side of whatever build you’re going for – but you want that last node for Berserk.

A couple of other suggestions that would make it feel better -
If you guys really -really- wanted to keep it as a 3 pt total for Berserk and 1 for Incarn - at least smoosh the OG abilities of Berserk back into 1 talent.

1 Talent for the new abilities of it.

And 1 new talent for (kinda taking the talent from the Rogues Restless Blades and playing around with it a bit) - reducing the CD on Berserk per Rage, Energy or CP (whichever, I don’t know which would be better – I don’t play cat)

Oooooor – Alternatively – If you don’t want to add a talent to give it a XYZ reduces the CD on it -

Could we get a talent like something like Resto and Balance has except for Berserk/Incarn? What I mean is -
Resto has - Ephemeral Incarn that they can take where they get Incarn for 9 sec after 3x Swiftmend’s.
For Balance – they get Primordial Arcanic Pulsar – 300 Astral Power, they get Celestial Alignment for 12 secs.

Or something akin to those?

Like - Spending Rage, Energy or CP – Grants you Incarn or Berserk for 9-12 secs.

It’d almost feel cohesive for the class as a whole. All specs can get a pop of their CD for a small window at a time.

21 Likes

Balance Druid Alpha Feedback

TLDR:

  • Starfall and our AOE in general needs some changing desperately. We should not be limited to one starfall when it is our only spender
  • Astral Power generation on AOE is far too low. With T29 it is fine, but from a base kit perspective it is problematic.
  • DOTs still suck to press on AOE. This could be alleviated by tuning up Shooting Stars to old levels.
  • Diminishing Returns feel very oppressive on a few abilities (Fury of Elune & Shooting Stars) that are supposed to be AOE focused.
  • Talent Tree could use some node movement.

Catching up on old problems

This chapter will, as the name implies, focus on the problems the Balance Druid is carrying over to Dragonflight Alpha from Shadowlands.

AoE and Astral Power

In Shadowlands, Starfall is the only way to spend Astral Power on AoE and you can only have one out at a time. Starfall was reverted back to the Warlords of Draenor version where the spell was centered around your character. This old version of Starfall with the Astral Power system, and not the charge based system it had in Warlords, leads to capping out useful AoE Astral Power generation.

To show the full extent of not being able to effectively spend Astral Power in AoE, below are several examples of this issue:

  • Any Astral Power generation is close to irrelevant once 100% uptime of Starfall is achieved
  • You end up overcapping Astral Power at enough targets (6+ in Shadowlands)
  • The effect of Oneth’s and any other effects based on casting spenders become bad or useless in AoE

One thing to note is that higher Astral Power generation always feels more fun as has been highlighted by the T28 set and passives such as Shooting Stars and Nature’s Balance. However, using almost exclusively single target spender abilities on multi-target once you hit the early 100% Starfall uptime threshold, feels quite terrible.

DoTs and Shooting Stars

DoTs have been a rollercoaster over the last few expansions with them being close to overpowered in Legion, slightly better than a filler in Battle for Azeroth, to a mess in Shadowlands. DoTs are closely connected to Shooting Stars which received a diminishing returns nerf in BfA and retained this nerf after becoming baseline in Shadowlands. This results in poor Astral Power scaling in AoE starting on 2-targets, though this means less given the issues with how we use our Astral Power on AoE as discussed in the Starfall section. If that problem is fixed, this would be next in line.
To show how bad DoTs have gotten in Shadowlands, we will describe the conditions required to cast Moonfire in AoE:

Refresh Moonfire outside of Eclipse if ALL of the following are true:

  1. The next Eclipse you will enter is Lunar Eclipse

  2. All targets can be hit by Starfire

  3. There are 5 or less targets (10 or less with Twin Moons).

  4. All targets will live through the entire Lunar Eclipse

  5. You will not lose Starfall uptime.

This is mainly caused by Soul of the Forest scaling Starfire with more targets together with Moonfire doing very little damage.

On top of the obscure requirements to cast Moonfire, casting DoTs just feels bad in AoE since you spend your GCDs generating less damage and Astral Power the more targets you are DoTing. To put it frankly, DoTs have limited interaction with our kit and are just there to be kept up.

2 target diminishing returns everywhere

Shooting Stars, Full Moon, and Fury of Elune all suffer diminishing returns at two targets. By extension, Solstice and Orbit Breaker will also have the same issues.

While it makes sense to stay on Full Moon while Orbit Breaker exists, having all other forms of AoE except Starfall have steep diminishing returns is bleak. AoE is where specs usually overflow with resources while Balance Druid actually gains fewer resources or are just outright unable to use what resources we do have. Even implementing a 5-8 target diminishing return like many specs have, would be an improvement.

Mastery and 3-minute Cooldowns

Shadowlands has been the expansion of cooldown stacking and our Mastery has fully embraced this by making us do less damage outside our cooldowns the more Mastery we stack. The multiplicative nature of Mastery also meant that any non Astral damage spells became less relevant which also includes DoTs. This has brought us to the point of being reliant on encounter design to fit our specialisation or have our damage be underutilised.

Since we are the only spec with a non-reducible 3-minute cooldown, this is rarely the case and naturally less likely to happen with longer cooldowns. In previous expansions, we had strong sustain damage with a mediocre cooldown. In Shadowlands we have strong cooldowns and weak sustain.

Sanctum of Domination had the entire raid play around 3-minute cooldowns due to healing requirements which was not the design that even the developers wanted based on interviews surrounding this topic. This also extends to Mythic plus where pulls are often planned around cooldowns and having your cooldown line up with noone elses. This creates the situation where either the entire group plays around you or you rarely have cooldowns for bigger pulls.

It just seems as though the design around Balance Druid damage does not easily fit into the general scope of content. We are often good to have for utility and when our damage fits into an encounter, it is extremely good. A 3-minute cooldown just does not have the flexibility required for most modern day encounters.

Starsurge Empowerments

Starsurge Empowerments were added as a replacement to Starsurge extending the active Eclipse shortly before the Shadowlands launch. The Empowerment bonus system is not noticeable outside of cooldowns. If they were tuned higher they would be abused during Incarnation and with the use of Arcanic Pulsar. A common theme in this post is the constricting design of our cooldowns.

Starsurge Empowerments also work to punish the player with respect to forced movement without any counterplay. Generally, casters lose damage when they move unless they previously planned for each movement. Each spec is then given the tools to fully mitigate the damage loss by utilising their skills and knowledge of the spec and/or encounter. While not all such instances need to be countered, there at least exists a tool to fully counter some instances. For the modern incarnation of Balance Druid, this tool has historically been the skillful timing of Starsurge casts to coincide the instant GCD with movement.

Starsurge Empowerment breaks this toolkit by punishing the player for delaying their Starsurge casts for movement windows. Because the empowerments reset with a new Eclipse, and because Eclipse timings cannot be precisely controlled on-demand by the player, the player is left with no counterplay at all if they have to move. Sometimes a movement event will coincide with the start of a new Eclipse, but this is not a skillful move with player agency. Instead the player is forced to either cast Starsurge early in the Eclipse and not have it available as a tool to mitigate movement, or use it as a movement tool and have no method available to fully mitigate the damage loss in any instance.

As mentioned earlier, the issue isn’t that Balance Druid can’t fully counter damage loss from movement with good play, it’s that it can never fully counter even one instance of damage loss by utilising tools within the player’s control. Also as mentioned because Starsurge Empowerments are tuned low with minimal impact, the practical effects of this loss in mobility toolkit is minimal. But it nonetheless exists and as it can become a practically relevant factor depending on tuning, it represents a present problem with the current concept of Starsurge Empowerments.

Eclipses

An extension of the Empowerment system of Shadowlands, the Eclipse system has been met with mixed reception. The only change to this system in the new talent tree, has been the introduction of the Blessing talents which move 3-seconds from one Eclipse to the other. The idea behind the talent is good: Giving more control over the best Eclipse for the content. What it fails to achieve is giving meaningful control. What Eclipse you have active is not impactful on single target while on AoE, it’ll only be a minor increase when Soul of the Forest is talented.

The main problem here is that Eclipses barely have any impact. Solstice, Balance of all Things, and T28 2-piece alleviate some of this monotony. The Eclipse design seems counterintuitive in some ways. Offering ways to speed up your ramping Eclipse but there is no payoff from committing more Astral Power to any of your Eclipses.

The new Balance talent tree

This section will look at the Balance tree specifically as the Druid tree does not have any nodes that impact Balance Druid gameplay (with the exception of Furor). For the Balance tree, the chosen nodes are good for the most part with the exceptions listed in the following sections. One thing to note is that some of these talents will be brought back into good standing if any of our cooldown, Starfall, Eclipses, and Empowerments receive positive changes.

The top of the tree

The top of the tree is kept fairly simple as is expected from the core abilities. Both Celestial Alignment and Starfall, at least for any non full single target fight, are core abilities so the other talents are picked around those. Due to the recent change of making the Eclipse cast time reduction have two ranks, we will likely end up only being able to choose one other node in this part.

There is only one free point to play with in the first tier of the tree. You will either finish out 2/2 points on Eclipse or DoTs, or you will go into Warrior of Elune or Force of Nature. This will eventually just come down to what is tuned for best results or allow more customization if tuned in a way to offer flexibility. Rank two Moonkin Form being in the talent tree is a weird choice because it has not had a single use in PvE since its inception. Even in PvP it is a mediocre choice as there are other valuable nodes in a point starved tree that do more damage or more consistent damage than Improved Moonkin Form.

The middle of the tree

This is where our tree becomes spread out and everything chosen here heavily affects what you can choose in the bottom of the tree. The first big outlier is Starsurge Empowerment being after Starfall and going into more Starfall talents. Solar Beam feels like the kind of utility talent that is suited to be more out of the way or in the Druid tree and not right in the middle of the Balance tree while blocking a single target node. This includes the Light of the Sun node which always results in a large DPS loss for a minor utility gain. This node is one that you will likely never see chosen for the entirety of Dragonflight and would be better off in the Druid tree or baked back into Solar Beam.

Lastly, the added benefits of Stellar Inspiration suffer the same issues as mentioned in the Eclipse and Empowerment section. This talent is lacking in substance and cannot be buffed as it will make our cooldowns even more overloaded.

The bottom

These are meant to be the meaty talents that define the build that you are trying to create. Due to their spread out nature, it’s important to note what has to be taken in order to get each capstone. Oneth’s and Dreambinder, both fun effects, are located on the bottom left and are gated by Stellar Drift. While Stellar Drift is located in the previous section, this is a talent that devalues Astral Power generation which leads into three out of four nodes that allow the use of more Astral Power in your rotation.

The blessings are a good idea but with the way they currently work, they only have a minor impact on AoE (with Soul taken) since Eclipses matter little on single target.
Soul of the Forest is still solely responsible for making Lunar Eclipse and Starfire relevant in AoE with its absurd increase to Starfire AoE damage. This leads to a larger problem with the tree: there is a sense of counter intuitiveness in how these talents work together dependent on their location. AoE and DoTs are somewhat interconnected since DoTs are naturally better with more targets but Starfall and DoT talents are on completely opposite sites. The mentioned Starfall talents also lead into mostly single target abilities (Oneth’s, Dreambinder, Umbral Infusion, Fury of Elune and Moons). What this results in is that every build you can come with has a high probability of taking dead capstones.

Some more weird things found in the bottom part of the tree include the Improved Incarnation node. This is a weak effect as long as it stands and will only be relevant with an overtuned Syzygy. A capstone that makes your cooldown worse is not a great capstone.

Adaptive Swarm and Circle of Life and Death seem like a strange choice for deep Balance Druid nodes seeing as they have seen little to no use in Shadowlands. Circle’s placement is also before Swarm, which actively makes Swarm worse. The chosen effects outside those two on the last rows are mostly good but are all unfortunately either only single target or use 1-target diminishing formulas. The New Moon and Fury of Elune capstone feel out of place against some of what is available in this row power wise but that is only going off of how they were valued in Shadowlands, where the trade-off choice was the passive talent Solstice.

Conclusion

Balance Druid is a class that a huge amount of people play and enjoy and this feedback is only intended to improve the quality of life for those playing. Overall, the spec is in a spot where it is VERY close, but needs some further iteration on a base level.

130 Likes

Mass Entanglement is not being added to the spellbook and when dragged from the talent tree to bars, a placeholder ability named “Nature’s Control” is placed instead. The tooltip of “Nature’s Control” reads: “Instant - Placeholder for level 60 talented active ability.”

Feral Talent Tree Feedback II

TLDR: The tree feels random, with few interesting options, talents we don’t use/want being mandatory (which is fine for a few talents, sure) and feels like we need to invest way too many points to get a weaker version of our current selves.

It’s been said previously but the talents feel all over the place.

I get wanting to mix things up and I love that we have choices like Cat-Eye Curio and Circle of Life and Death.

ST vs. Cleave. To build our current m+/cleave build we need to work down both the left and right side of the tree, which seems to differ from other specs/classes.

Pathways. There are very few pathways between talents, reducing flexibility and forcing us to take underwhelming or useless talents.

Brutal Slash’s placement has been discussed previously. After running some dungeons it really does feel clunky as heck in dungeons.

Sudden Ambush The tree currently forces us to place 3 points into this, which seems excessive to say the least. Edit: I’ve been told my original take that we don’t use this conduit was incorrect. Non-Nightfae druids liked this and it was quite fun. It does sound fun, but forced 3 points is an issue.

Infected Wounds is currently passive on live yet is required for us to take to get down to signature abilities Convoke or Incarn, which feels bad.

Blood Talons could be placed with MoC as a choice, like it is on live. BT is loved by a lot of Ferals. Leaving it with MoC currently allows for players to opt in or out of a more complex playstyle of BT.

Primal Wrath could also be a choice between PW and Brutal Slash as it is on live.

Feral Frenzy feels like it should be in a Single Target branch of the tree, not locked behind Primal Wrath.

Energy. 8 or 9 talents that increase Energy Pool or reduce Energy Cost seems excessive.

Furor is a talent I’m not understanding. I’m not going to switch out of Cat form to cast Star Surge. I can’t cast enough Heals in 4 seconds to care about the mana cost. I could switch to Bear and cast Ironfur? But then I’d need talent into Ironfur. If it’s not intended for Cats then which end point in the class tree is?

Incapacitating Roar. Being able to take Incapacitating Roar is a nice addition however it’d be nice to see it not pull us into Bear form. Though I understand there is a mindset that Druids should shift.

3 Point Talents. We have 4 different talents that take 3 points each, which appears to be more talents than any other spec, with less impact. Not to mention build-a-berserk requiring 3/4 for full effect.

Hopefully this feedback is useful!

42 Likes

Preface: This is not my post. A friend I’ve known a while is on alpha but unable to post on the forums and I offered to post her feedback for her. :slight_smile:


Hi there, I’m Caelus on Proudmoore! I’m known as MissMarvel_ on other platforms. I raid Cutting Edge and push high Mythic+ as a feral one-trick. I’m in the alpha, and my friend Maizou has offered to leave my alpha feedback for me while I’m unable.

Dragonflight has been a blast so far when it comes to questing, dragon riding, dragon races, the zones, the lore, returning home to Azeroth, and the idea of talent trees.

I want to be clear that not everything on the druid trees is bad. I’m an optimistic person about WoW most of the time, but I’m also very passionate about feral. I’d like to see it be good. It holds a negative stigma from expansions ago, and I’d like to see that stigma gone. I’d also like feral to be playable, and that’s my main critique here.

As a summary, I have been testing feral builds in the Azure Span and alpha dungeons and I want to highlight that this version of feral is very stressful to think about and play. It is exactly what we are in Shadowlands, but worse. I’ll dive into detail below.

Before getting to the trees, I want to ask that Rebirth is castable with Predatory Swiftness again. This was how it worked originally, but per feral request it was removed, because PS was required to proc Bloodtalons. Bloodtalons was changed for Shadowlands to no longer use PS, but as an oversight, Rebirth wasn’t put back on it.

Druid tree:

A lot of cool options have opened up for feral. My main gripe is that we have to spend almost all of our talent points to retrieve our required damage, while other specs are more free to roam the tree and have fun. Most of the really valuable utility is on the resto/balance side.

I’m VERY excited that I can drop Maim and get Incapacitating Roar. Maim has very little value in PVE when compared to Incap/Vortex/Typhoon. It should be kept around because it’s useful for PVP, but stay unrequired.

Feral tree:

My impression of the feral tree is that it lacks input from a feral player. There is very little in the tree that is exciting, and what little is exciting leads to an immediate letdown when you see how you have to get there.

Starting from the top, it’s very disappointing to spend 5 talent points to get back our baseline builders. Improved Shred, Rake Stealth bonus, and Shred bleed bonus are what these spells do for ALL druid specs right now. I’d like to see those continue to be baked into our base spells, and to make up the space, there are a lot of ideas for interesting choices from past expansions that would be really exciting to get back. I’ll mention those toward the bottom.

Next, Sudden Ambush costs 3 talent points, for some reason. Sudden Ambush is good, but it’s not valuable enough for 3 whole points. Its position on the tree, opposite Taste For Blood, is also odd, as it makes them both essentially baseline, despite Carnivorous Instinct being what we’ve run with TfB all of Shadowlands. Swapping Sudden Ambush and Carnivorous placements would make more sense, and it would also place Sudden Ambush near Swarm, where it characteristically belongs.

Infected Wounds: Rake slows a target by 20% for 12 seconds. This talent has nearly zero use and is another “improved builder” talent that should be baked into base Rake. Still, we have to spend a point on it because of its location.

The Brutal Slash situation:

Many options for AOE (Frenzy, Apex Predator’s Craving) are locked behind Brutal Slash. (And also, for some reason, Survival Instincts) Brutal Slash replaces Swipe with a spell that only has 3 charges. Since BFA, we use BrS as a ST builder because it is slightly more efficient to cast than a Shred, despite being on the “AOE talent row”. We can’t use BrS in AOE content because after we’ve spent all 3 charges and have our bleeds up, we have no AOE builder at all. There’s actually nothing to press. We have to Shred. I did a dungeon on alpha trying this build and I would not do it again. Feral’s builders already do so little damage and Shredding in AOE should not be a requirement to get other AOE talents. BrS needs to be either moved to the far end of a tree, or separated from Swipe so we can still do dungeons.

In the next dungeon, Neltharus, I went the left route of the tree, getting Bloodtalons and Swarm. Losing Survival Instincts (??? Why is our biggest defensive locked behind a restrictive spell???) and losing my legendary AOE options felt instantly so much better because I had access to Swipe and could proc BT.

My dream right now, one that I know is shared by much of the feral community (hi #feral channel i love you) is that Brutal Slash can be returned to what it was in Legion: an extremely powerful AOE spell with a much longer CD. This version of BrS had us think about when to spend or save charges, and was very exciting when you had all 3 charges up for a big AOE moment of a boss or a dungeon.

The next part of this idea is to separate BrS and Swipe. In alpha currently, you talent into both of these, but only use one. Separating the spells is a personal idea that I think could be really fun. Allowing Legion-esque BrS and Swipe to co-exist would give us a filler AOE, a powerful AOE, and a bleed AOE (Thrash, which is extremely weak btw please buff all builders). Being able to weave these spells together efficiently, using BrS for burst, and proccing Bloodtalons without requiring a ST spell could be a blast. My only hold is that this would increase button bloat. Regardless, I don’t care and I’d make it work if it’s fun.

Primal Wrath also shouldn’t be required to pick for any route, and would best be at the end of a tree.

Moving on,

Please put Bloodtalons in a central part of the tree. Bloodtalons is Feral’s spec-defining talent that gives it much of what it is, and on the tree, it’s tough to get to. It needs to be an option for all builds. This node choice should probably be in the middle, around where Relentlessness, MOC, or Infected Wounds are.

Bleed VS Bite:

There are ferals who have preferences for either, so it’s nice to see that there are options for both. However, Savage Roar (commonly used in bleed builds) is locked behind Taste For Blood (a key bite build talent). There are a few other occurrences of this on the tree. Other bleed talents include things like Lunar Inspiration, Circle of Life and Death, and Swarm.

AOE VS ST:

I already gave my piece about BrS being misplaced and locking AOE talents behind a ST talent. There are other occurrences of this on the tree. AOE talents include things like Primal Wrath, Apex Predator’s Craving, Swarm, and Frenzy.

Build-a-Berserk:

Berserk/Incarrnation is split into 4 nodes on the tree, spread out to all corners. When the tree came out, there was a theory that it might be more damage to not pick Berserk at all. This is because Berserk is bad. I can’t exaggerate enough or sugar-coat it. It’s a 3-minute CD that does negligable damage. The idea of having different Berserk options is interesting, but most options aren’t strong enough to be considered pathing to. Right now in SL, nearly all of Berserk’s value comes from the soulbind Niya and the Feral 4-set, both of which we’re losing. It also doesn’t work well with a theoretical bleed build, where getting to 5 CPs to Bite isn’t a priority. Additionally, we haven’t picked Incarnation since WoD, so pitting it against Convoke, which is our strongest spell, is a no-brainer. Incarnation needs a lot of changes to be considered in any content.

I played with Berserk: Relentlessness in both alpha dungeons and it had virtually no effect on my damage or play. It could be combined with Berserk: Jungle Stalker and be a decent pick. Right now, It seems the only enticing pick will be Berserk: Frenzy because of the additional bleed. Regardless, we are forced to pick Berserk: Relentlessness because we want the talent after it.

Next, Frenzy gained a CDR this week. This sounds fun, but it won’t change how feral plays in raid, because we mostly hold Berserk for Convoke anyway. It’ll change Berserk’s CD by maybe 20 seconds and we’ll just be sitting on it for that much longer. It will have slight benefit in M+ where we send CDs as soon as they’re up, but not much because the CDR is very weak on its own.

I like to compare Berserk in Shadowlands to Beastmastery’s CDs because it changes both rotations from (generally) 1112-1112-1112 to 121212. However, Beastmastery has a passive CDR that lowers it to something much lower, I think around 1 minute. Having 1-minute CDs feels much more fun, like 1-minute Convoke, and Berserk being as weak as it is could benefit from a lower CD or a stronger CDR like BM.

There was a NYI description last week for Berserk as a gap closer/AOE bleed that sounded interesting. I don’t know if it would have been good, or if it’s still planned, but I look forward to testing it if it’s being reworked.

To summarize, Berserk needs help, and to maybe not be a 3min.

Way at the bottom of the tree, the bonus talent after Convoke increases Convoke’s chance to cast Feral Frenzy. The value in the Convoke legendary is that it lowers it to a 1-minute CD, not the Feral Frenzy cast. For this reason, this talent isn’t as valuable as other options.

Sabertooth

This is a talent that is bad for Feral. It’s powerful, yes, but that makes it required, forces us into a specific playstyle, removes Rip from our rotation almost entirely, and makes swapping to other targets very punishing. Biting a target other than your main target means you’re losing uptime on Rip on your main target, and thus future Bites. There’s more to say, and fortunately Guiltyas (very good feral druid) has a Sabertooth Manifesto here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vTBSno3gIDzjEDwc8KVI5pB_oA1AE4ifOZfTFijh1QTfPOjG4jsZdAhyycnl_cfjmrzbA50DddyURJZ/pub

I think this talent can exist with Feral in harmony if it has a different function. It used to be an execute that made Rip essentially permanent after 30% or so, which was totally fun and nifty. Maybe it could benefit all targets with Rip in some ways, or something else altogether. Either way, I agree with Guiltyas that it can’t exist the way that it does now.

Draught of Deep Focus

This is an incredibly unfun talent that is unfortunately powerful in many situations that are not single-target. It’s not engaging, and it makes swapping targets to focus an add down or fight something else feel really bad. You want to multi-dot, but you can’t. I’d ask that this talent is just deleted from feral forever.

New Talents: There’s More Than Just Shadowlands Feral

There are so many cool abilities Feral used to have that would be fun to see back. Ideally, I’d like to see all the “improved” builders removed, and for some fun Feral talents to return, such as:

The Wildshaper’s Clutch
Jungle Fury
Wild Fleshrending
Ashamane’s Rip
Shadow Thrash
Sickle of the Lion (maybe in place of a Berserk or Incarnation talent)
Protection of Ashamane
Cower (aggro reduction is needed if Convoke is staying)

and finally,
Leader of the Pack

Since we’re going the group buffs route in Dragonflight, I want to see LotP return for feral druids. It was REALLY fun having this back when WoW had a bunch of raid buffs, because I felt like I brought something valuable to my team. Commonly in modern WoW, there is no reason to take a feral druid into any content, because there is always another spec that can do what feral does better than feral, and also bring more. In Shadowlands, I often feel like I’m a burden playing this spec that I love instead of something like a rogue. That is not ideal spec design. LotP would bring a reason for my friends to be excited that I’m in their key.

Lastly, there is one more problem with feral that could be solved in Dragonflight:

Feral’s AOE situation:

Once upon a time, it was acceptable for a spec to be good at either ST or AOE. However, since Legion introduced Mythic+, being “the king of single target” locks us out of an entire form of content. All specs need to be good at AOE. Feral’s only AOE spender is a bleed that we constantly overwrite called Primal Wrath. It’s worth overwriting because it does an initial hit of damage, but this hit could be a lot stronger. I’d like to see it buffed, and also affected by Bloodtalons like it used to be. If there’s an option for another AOE spender that hits heavier, or something that alters how PW works between casts of the bleed, that’d also be neat. It would be nice if feral could get to a stronger point in M+.

That’s all I’ve got so far after 2 weeks of testing. Thanks so much for taking the time to read it, and thank you to Maizou, who offered to post this for me.

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