Feedback: Druids

In this thread, we’ll be testing and talking about Druids in The War Within. Look here for posts from the development team as adjustments and bugfixes are made throughout the testing period.

Please note that off-topic or inappropriate posts will be strictly removed.

The War Within Beta

All classes’ Hero Talent trees are available for testing. Please keep in mind that this is a Beta environment:

  • There may be UI elements on the talent panel that are placeholder, including things like talent icons, text, or final UI art.
  • Some talents may not be functioning yet, or may be marked as not yet implemented (NYI).
  • Some new spell visuals and audio may still be a work in progress.
  • There are some talents that are not fully tuned yet. This is expected, and we will implement tuning adjustments throughout testing.

The combat design team has two big areas of focus at this time:

  • Finish work on changes to talents, especially wherever Hero Talents still need adjustments.
  • Fix bugs that are blocking testing of new talents.

Working from Feedback

Alpha feedback thus far has been of great benefit to us.

Now that we are entering Beta, our focus on Hero Talent trees is shifting away from reworks and design changes and towards tuning and refining. We want to thank you so much for all the forum posts, videos, and discussions all over the internet. Your feedback and impressions have been invaluable for bringing their identities to life and making them fit into what you love about the classes you play.

We are looking forward to hearing from more of you as you get a chance to try Hero Talents for yourself. We are specifically interested in feedback or impressions on these topics:

  • Hero Talents that you feel are “required” for your spec in a type of content, such as raiding or Mythic+, or that push you towards picking a specific tree. This could be due to damage profile, utility, defensives, or something else.
  • Hero Talent trees that you feel are either too strong or too weak in power level compared to other options.
  • Hero Talents whose functionality is confusing, unclear, or difficult to track during gameplay.
  • Hero Talent choice nodes that you feel could offer more meaningful choices.

Again, Thank You

Feedback throughout the Alpha test was highly impactful on our design of the game, and we look forward to refining every class with you in the Beta. Thank you!

The World of Warcraft Combat Design Team

4 Likes

Not sure where all the druids are at… but as a former resto druid I’m going to talk about somet things that have impacted my fun factor, and caused me to quit the class. I hope that these sort of things will be considered when designing the druid class for the War Within.

Restoration:

  • My HOTs felt like I did nothing until I stacked a ton of them up. I want to be able to cast an ability and know that it did something. Please consider reworking our mastery and slightly cutting down the number of HOTs for Rdruid; this way you can buff the HOTs that remain into something that feels satisfying to cast.
  • You have to waste too many points to achieve the true “druid fantasty” of hybridization. Please consider making more stuff baseline so that every druid feels like they can do the basics in each form.
  • Furtermore, the damage you when “hybriding”… sucks! If I’m going to swap into cat form, and do active damage (meaning, I can’t heal at the same time) I should be rewarded with damage that’s actually GOOD.

Feral:

  • There’s way too many buttons.
  • The sound effects are terrible. Every ability sounds like paper shredder.

Balance:

  • The new starfire animation sucks. Please give us a glyph that returns the classic animation and sound effects.
  • I’ve always disliked the eclipse mechanic. It would be nice to get a talent that gives us an alternative to it.
21 Likes

The druid tree feels so constipated. It feels impossible to break out into the next tiers on the left side without taking an active I don’t want. I sat there for 30 minutes staring crosseyed at it trying to find a way to build resto without taking hibernate, or some bear or cat nonsense I’m never going to use. Why do things like hibernate even exist?

20 Likes

While im sure i’ll have more as time goes on and i get to test more challenging content i do have some initial talent feedback just building a new character and playing with the talents as resto.
My prevailing opinion is restoration feels like a direct downgrade in gameplay and build diversity to any of it’s dragonflight iterations.

Mostly due to the complete removal of adaptive swarm and the affective removal of flourish by placing it on a choice node with photosynthesis without any attempt to make it competative after the nerfs done to it dragonflight season 3. Im aware its likely too late in the development cycle to adress how flat the spec feels now but i want to make it clear it does not feel good as someone whose been with the spec since cataclysm.

Some things that can likely still be changed to make the spec tree less confusing or frustrating

  • move the new oath and its improvement node to where springblossom/overgrowth are. Adaptive swarm healed without its improvement node, this does not so it doesnt belong in the center of a bunch of heal only nodes, it also emphasizes shapeshifting for damage so would be more coherent by the master shapeshifter and liveliness node.

  • add some way to access moonkin form back, wether as a passive for 5 second after you starsurge type thing or the whole form made baseline to druid. Youve built an entire hero tree around resto doing damage with balance spells while guaranteeing all resto druids will have to go catform for dps convokes by removing access to the form. The total removal also undermines all the effort you went through designing and players did farming for the new balance options from season 3 for 3/4 specs.

  • add a 2 second cooldown reduction to prosperity. I feel like its been stated before how just adding extra stacks to an ability is only valuable when you have refresh procs to worry about overlapping. With how rotational swiftmend/soul is this talent only stands to add a few extra swiftmends over an entire encounter, and theyll be grid locked by wildgrowths cooldown, it needs anything else added to it for value.

As for some praise, Rejuvination is an iconic resto spell that feels like it was reduced to mastery fodder in keys and an auto spread passive in raids, giving it some love in the hero talents and with thriving vegatation does make me happy. Its also promoting some mobility which is a nice change from the regrowth spamming we’ve been doing since SL.

:dracthyr_heart: Bonus personal recommendation; move flourish to the choice node under tranquility as an improvment that makes it increases hot tick speed and extend duration while channeling.
Tranq is another iconic spell thats been suffering for awhile, it doesnt play into our mobility, didnt play into our ramp much, and even though it felt extremely weak to play during dragonflight got nerfed with the other healer cooldowns.
Combining it with another, now weak feeling cooldown, would reduce button bloat, which was a stated intention of the talent change, and make the spell feel good again without shifting the total power of our cooldowns to much

6 Likes

Keeper of the Grove

Gonna be honest here, this tree is exactly a bad omen for hybrids when compared to the mage tree. The mage tree is filled with active modifications to damage rotations and extra utility/survival spell.

Meanwhile, the balance talents are mostly boring passives whose sole utility is a pitiful 8% DR on a spell that heals for nothing. I’ve been submitting feedback for the past two expansions. REGROWTH HEALS FOR NOTHING. IT HEALS AT BEST FOR 9-10% OF A HEALTH POOL. IT IS NOT MEANINGFUL UTILITY.

Mages get extra barriers, the extra effects of the different elemental barriers, and reduction to their other defensive/CC cooldowns, spells made instant cast and aoe splash nukes, or their main cast gains a snare in the case of fire mages.

Ice Block can be changed to grant mobility. More DPS cooldowns open up to them for free.

Meanwhile Balance druids don’t get treants for free, but it’s even worse. Treants as they exist compared to their prior WoD incarnation of a 30 sec cd 3 charge summon with a utility root/stun are an objectively bad spell. They do not do AoE cleave, and their moonfire application is a pitiful 1 cast per 6 seconds, for a 1 minute cd. If you don’t remove the taunt, they die immediately in any M+ scenario. One of their talents releis on them speccing arcanic pulsar or orbital strike.

Compare this to a fire or frost mage applying living bomb cleaves more often than every 1 minute, and then on their meteor/comet storm spell they get extra aoe burst for M+ with an added comet/meteor complement.

How can anyone consider a node that gives a 12% damage buff to starfire and wrath, when these spells sit at less than 3-4% of our total damage done, a node option worth taking? Moreover, it’s painfully boring.

And boring is what defines this tree. No new spell visuals like frostfire bolt, mostly invisible passives because balance has to share a tree with a healing spec, so the nodes just like Shadowlands or BfA are made generic.

It’s adding injury to insult when the resto version gets a 100% damage boost to their nuke after casting resto spells, but all a balance druid gets after 5 spenders is a pathetic 9% HP heal that’s not even boosted, just instant cast. Most M+ aoe ticks already outdamage a full regrowth cast, it’s that bad for non-resto druids.

8% DR on regrowth is also really bad, and clearly aimed for resto druid balancing. For one, a balance druid won’t preemptively cast it and waste the healing portion just to gain DR, even as it is the squishiest spec in the game alongside shamans.

This druid hero talent tree needs to baseline treants and any affected talents its nodes interact with, and for balance druids you’d do well to revert the treant to their old WoD incarnation of 1 treant per charge on 30 sec cd that casts wraths and casts entangling growth/stun on summon. The current version of treants for balance druids is not taken for a reason. They’re a bad summon that needs to chase in melee with no target priority and no charge to keep up. Reverting to the summonable treants on a charge system from WoD would give balance druids a much needed mobile damage option with a CC utility that is still worse than mass entangle or frost nova, but it’s something.

I’ll also comment how the frostfire mage bolt proc makes it both aoe and instant while balance druids for a 1 min cd, which happens less often, are stuck hardcasting wraths and starfires for the aoe explosion proc. This is a spec with significantly impaired mobile damage yet it’s mages who get even more instant casts and spells on the move despite shimmer/ice floes.

In summary:

You can literally find ZERO youtube videos for Keeper of the Grove for balance druids or even any discord or twitch video footage. It’s that bad. Literally only resto druids are using it because their treants are actually well designed, functional, and powerful.

Unlike the really bad version of treants balance has. Bring back WoD 3 spell charge treants where it summons a treant that casts wrath or starfire based on target count and casts entangling root at the target when summoned.

Even better, take a look at Diabolist warlock. Look at how Ritual summons entities periodically. Do the same for Keeper of the Grove. Summon treants, dryads, ancients, or keeper of the groves periodically with spells, with one big spell culmination (your starfall or starsurge is empowered into a new spell at the end of the ritual count).

The Chosen of Elune tree also suffers a similar issue of highly passive tree with not much gameplay value added.

Shapeshifting is a curse, not a boon in PvE

Tying so much of our class utility, mobility, and survivability functions to shapeshifting is not a boon at all, it is an outright inferior mechanic in PvE.

To summarize, since you removed the 15% DR from moonkin form, we are made of wet toilet paper to magic damage. Our regrowth heals for a measly 8-9% HP, and rejuvenation is a waste of a GCD as we actually take more damage than we recover in the 2 GCD’s of shifting since rejuvenation and wild growth take us out of moonkin form and we lose all that armor.

So instead of relying on our heals for survival, since they’re the worst of the hybrids in the game, we have an even worse feature of having to sit on our thumbs in bear form, doing literally nothing for several GCDs, to have some modicum of survival.

This is not enjoyable. You changed Divine Shield for paladins and mage defensives for this reason. Yet druids have to sit in an otherwise useless bear form just to trigger frenzied regeneration, then waste other GCDs shifting back into moonkin form after sitting in bear form for 3 seconds.

Shapeshifting doesn’t feel good in this game’s PvE environment, because the benefits do not outweigh the costs. It is extra steps to get an inferior version of what other classes can do with half the GCD cost and access to all their spellbook at the same time.

Polymorph immunity and root clears are mainly PvP boons, these are very niche benefits in PvE that barely see use, so it does not balance out what the balance druid needs to pay to perform basic functions like mitigating damage, mobility, or healing.

AoE ramp up and mastery

Going to keep beating on this dead horse, because it is still not addressed.

Balance druids have an unreasonable ramp up to their aoe because of needing to have DoTs up to benefit from a large part of damage. This makes them feel pretty bad in everything but high M+ keys, and in raids adds die too quickly for their cleave and aoe to kick in.

You have some solutions available:

1- Wild Mushroom has been in complete disuse no matter your number increases.

You can tune wild mushroom to be our version of eyebeam, make it a strong burst aoe spell on a 25-30 sec cd with charges, so we can get burst damage out in short lived aoe encounters.

2- Wild mushroom’s dot could count for both types of our mastery, to reduce our ramp up.

3- Wild Mushroom could be our shadow crash, applying both dots to affected targets.

15 Likes

Druid class tree needs to be looked at again. The bottom sections all being gated by 2-pointers is a major annoyance. The guardian druid was similar in 10.0 launch and it was changed to allow more movement in the tree. We’re going backwards with the class tree.

We also can still pick Improved Stampeding Roar without picking Stampeding Roar (as well as the Druid of the Claw talent that increases the duration). That is a major design issue.

Hopefully some things are in the work aboutt that!

On another topic, it would be nice to have a glyph for flight form to lock it in old flying style, so we can have dragon riding for our mounts, and old flying for our flight form. We are losing a lot by locking ourselves to one flying style.

28 Likes

Agree here - something happened to feral sounds. They used to be way more cruel and fitting.

15 Likes

I am not a theory crafter, but as the Denizens of the Dream was a talent I had suggested back when Blizzard was first redoing talents, so this one is near and dear to me.

It seems as if the Hero talents are facing players down a pre-determined path. If I pick Elune’s Chosen option, I am forced to give up Denizens of the Dream because the Hero talents lean into Fury of Elune. Even the starter build ignores Denizen of the Dream to push you down the Fury/New Moon talent.

The starter build also ignores Goldrinn, the other awesome talent that came from the Legion Artifacts.

But even Keeper of the Grove doesn’t lean into Denizen of the Dream, and you would think that the Hero talent that is basically a “summoning” build (with treants) would favor Denizens and Goldrin.

Ultimately, I am saddened that the two, cool, visual talents have been made obsolete when part of the reason they were included was to reinforce the class/spec fantasy of Balance.

I’m not a designer, so I can’t say how to modify the tree, just that Blizzard has sacrificed class fantasy.

Frankly, I would move Solar Beam to be baseline for Balance and use the two talent spots for Goldrin and Denizens. This benefits both the balance class fantasy, and Restoration (and through that Keeper of the Grove), which is themed around entities of the Emerald Dream. So yeah, let rest druids grab a talent that procs the faerie dragons when they cast their dots, and let Goldrin make an appearance with starsurge for rest druids. Maybe an additional talent that returns mana when either are procced.

What the replacement capstone should be? I am not sure. Again, I am not a designer.

If nothing changes, I will defy the theorycrafters, and Blizzard’s own design intent and keep my proc companions.

I also want to say, Solar Beam is a totally underbudget spell in PvE.

Its radius of effect is too tiny to function as a true aoe interrupt without using DK mass grips, and here’s the kicker:

IT ACTUALLY DOES NOT SILENCE MOBS FOR ITS DURATION, IT JUST INTERRUPTS THEM.

So why are we stuck with an outrageously long 1 min cd on an interrupt for a spell that in most realistic PvE M+ scenarios is maybe interrupting 2 mobs at most?

Other casters have a 24 sec cd on their interrupts. The ridiculously long cd on solar beam really puts a disadvantage to the group for making up for the druid’s abysmal interrupt availability. You almost invariably have to stack melee with even shorter cd interrupts to compensate.

As far as survivability nodes, Oakskin and Well Honed Instincts are underbudget.

Oakskin should provide an extra charge of barkskin.

WHI should have a cd of 60 seconds. It’s a capstone, and the druid class capstones are all horrendously bad. Heart of the Wild being the biggest offender and it should be replaced by the PvP talent master shapeshifter instead.

5 Likes

I play Feral and played around with some talent builds on a target dummy. Here’s my thoughts so far:

First to get it out of the way, and this has already been said, the class tree needs another look. No matter what I do there’s no way to avoid taking completely dead talents. The best build I found took a total of 4 points in talents that I have no intention of ever using and was just using for pathing. The biggest offender from a Feral point of view are the three talents on the bottom right-hand side of the tree. Rising Light, Falling Night is a required talent in all builds and Innervate is the most important piece of Druid utility in high-end raiding. So that’s also a lock. Fluid Form is just about required when I’m running a Druid of the Claw build that plans to swap between Cat and Bear on a regular basis. Nature’s Vigil is the most expendable talent here but it was one of my favorite buttons in Dragonflight and I would be very sad to lose it in Mythic +. These talents mean I’m forced to take two points of Lore of the Grove as well as Rejuvenation and Wild Growth. All of which are nearly useless for me. Given how the tree is laid out I’m already losing utility compared to Dragonflight (I had to give up Typhoon and Feline Swiftness) and picking up situational utility like Remove Corruption, Maim, or Hibernate seems out of the question since I don’t have any points to spare. Heart of the Wild would be great for both hero trees but lol that’s two points away so that’s not happening. The tree would be much comfier with 4 additional talent points and that feels really bad when I’m staring at 4 talent nodes I wish I didn’t have to take. This tree is very very close to being the best version of Druid I’ve played but at the moment I can only see what I’m losing in order to take Lore of the Grove. (Which does nothing.) From what I hear the other specs have similar problems on the other side of the tree. I like how we trimmed a lot of the fat from the DF tree and added in a couple valuable tools for Druid, especially defensively, but at the moment even though I think the TWW class tree is closer to the ideal Druid tree I would prefer to actually play with the DF tree. This is currently my top issue and even if Blizzard isn’t planning on addressing it anytime soon, it would be nice to see a blue post at least saying that this feedback has been heard. Otherwise having weeks and weeks go by with no Druid changes at all gives the impression that Blizzard thinks the tree is perfect and it’s very much not. (And minor nitpick, Fluid Form makes this much better but would it hurt to put Rebirth back on Predatory Swiftness? Given how often our utility kit is compared to Balance it kinda sucks that we have to pay an extra tax to use Rebirth that they don’t.)

On Feral specific stuff, I love the new talents. I actually think the Feral spec tree is perfect. I was easily able to make whatever build I wanted whether it was AoE, ST, bleed, or cooldown focused and I never felt like I was sacrificing too much AoE for single target or vice versa. Many of the clunky talents I disliked in Dragonflight are either gone or reworked. I love it.

On the hero talents, both trees fee distinct and I was able to come up with fun seeming builds for both. I like the idea of Wildstalker’s offhealing and DotC’s defensiveness and I like shifting into Bear Form on a moment’s notice with Fluid Form as a defensive tool. I like the look of the Wildstaker vines, feels very Druid-y. I honestly look forward to playing with both hero talents.

I was disappointed by DotC’s Ravage though. Given that a big part of hero talents is making our characters look and feel cool in the middle of combat, it felt odd that Ravage has such a subtle animation and a weak sound effect. It actually feels like Ferocious Bite has more punch! Especially compared to how commanding the blood seeker vines look, it was a bit of a letdown. I’m also kind of sad that you’re confirming that Wildpower Surge isn’t intended to be a damage increase. This makes it strictly worse than its choice node Empowered Shapeshifting since that not only actually does increase damage, but grants better survivability on top of that. Wildpower Surge was one of the talents I was looking forward to the most with the idea of “bear-weaving” as part of my damage rotation but now I struggle to find any reason to take it as opposed to Empowered Shapeshifting.

Overall I’m optimistic for Feral. It’s not there yet but I see a very real chance for this to be the best version of the spec I’ve ever played. I like that this version of Feral feels closer to being an actual Druid that specializes in animal forms rather than just a big cat.

4 Likes

While not about our rotation or class power, I do want to bring up how clunky Flight form with Skyriding feels. Our flight form is instant cast, but we then have to wait for a global cooldown to take off. It’s incredibly clunky and non intuitive.

I couldn’t figure out why my bird was just jumping in the air when transforming, but then I realized that turning into flight form uses a GCD and you then have to wait for your global cooldown to be up to use takeoff or surge forward.

This just feels bad. There’s no point in having an instant cast flight form if you have to wait to take off. I think that removing flight form from the Global Cooldown might be the best move, or make it so that it doesn’t trigger your Skyward Ascent’s global cooldown. As it stands, it’s just not good at all and feels bad to fly anywhere.

Also, the Bat forms are currently using the same animations as birds which looks incredibly weird to see them fold their wings in and twirl in the air.

40 Likes

Definitely can’t remove it from the GCD, because that would introduce all sorts of other issues, but I agree that the way it is currently feels weird.

The cast-time of a mount is a GCD, so having to wait for the GCD essentially makes flight form almost* the same as any other mount for taking off with Skyriding.

Perhaps just have Flight Form activate Skyward Ascent as well? Might cause other problems, but could be worth testing.

*You can still keep moving while on the ground at least.

1 Like

Honestly all I’d want is the ability to set sky riding vs. steady separately for mounts vs. Flight Form. I already use a macro that dismounts me and swaps to Flight Form in midair and I’d hate to lose that functionality.

17 Likes

I’m not sure if it could cause problems, because we can cast it while already midair too. (Which feels great to jump off a cliff, shift and then nose dive for speed or whirling surge for take off).

You could make it so that casting Flight form does not cause Skyward Ascent to trigger it’s GCD. I don’t know how difficult this would be.

But you’re exactly right, it’s about the same as a normal mount at this point, and the extra movement forward amounts to nothing when it’s a 100% speed that will easily be lost once you start zooming at 700-900%.

Well, if Flight Form were off the GCD, you could basically fight in mid-air using abilities and immediately switching back into flight form. Even if those abilities weren’t very powerful due to not being in any form, that seems like something they’d want to avoid introducing.

But you’re definitely right that something should change. It just doesn’t feel right as it is now.

2 Likes

Unless im misinterpreting your comment, that wouldnt be a problem at all because you cant flightform in combat, trying to will turn you into ground mount form and youll plummet.

You could maybe do a single moonfire from max world height and hope the other person doesnt follow you to keep you in combat or waste a 3 minute cooldown while specifically in feral spec to get your one free restealth in the air and re-flightform but those are so niche i dont think they really need to apply.

1 Like

I prefer to keep the instant cast static flying flight form.

Not liking these changes already.

13 Likes

You’re absolutely right. Wasn’t thinking :upside_down_face:

Can you guys make our hero spells and procs more flashy like our artifact weapons spells used to be? Right now it doesnt look hero or special or anything and it is like that for most classes with a few exceptions. Could you make ravage more like druid pulverize from d4 for bear tanks at least could even re use ele shaman earthquake spell effect that everything that is in that area is hit by a bunch ans instead of the bleed they would take physical dmg from the the earthquake on the ground.

9 Likes

I mostly play resto with the other specs being OS.

With regard to resto:

I am confused by the removal of Moonkin form from restoration. This removes some spell power (though I know this can be handled by tuning) the main issue is without the form there are far far too many buttons.

When a restoration druid has use of the Moonkin form for DPS it resets the main row of buttons allowing me to use the DPS without 4 to 5 more (if not more) hotkeys to have access to those abilities.

When using Feral or Guardian skills I still have to shift into those forms so the reason for removal of Moonkin form cannot be for “ease of use” as it does not follow to the other forms.

Sadly, in the current form I feel many, including myself, are going to only use Feral as the Moonkin dps does not feel like a good flow to how I heal and dps. With that said when looking at the Hero Talents, I feel that one tree is meant for a style which means that most resto druids will never touch the Keeper of the Grove talents without over-tuning forcing us into playing something clunky and, in my opinion, unfun gameplay to be considered “viable” by the larger community.

I appreciate the ability to use my voice, I only hope this is at least looked at, and at a minimum, have an explanation for the design choice and where the developers see this going.

I was also wondering about the rational of removing adaptive swarm from resto but keeping it for feral.

Finally, in its current form I feel forced into 1 hero tree and 1 set of druid skills; not by hps from meters but by the core gameplay. With the removal of Moonkin form we see these harmonic effects which is going to force many that love the spec to play something else as they feel limited or forced into a style of play.

11 Likes