To anyone that reads this, add a like if you like it, add your own suggestions.
What is in it for you? (Blizzard)
The fantasy of playing a cat. I’m sure you’ve heard of a certain Stray going around. People want to play as a cat, to lean into that fantasy of being one. The biggest hurdle to doing that in your game, of becoming a subscriber, of being a paying customer is the perception of feral in game.
This is a large untaped market that has been sitting there waiting for you to capitalise on it.
Feral has always been there in the Warcraft universe, in the opening cinematic.
We are cat. Tigers jumping out of the shadows, leaving gaping wounds from sharp claws. Cheetahs launching at high speed towards prey. Jaguars leaping down catching the unaware. Lions as leaders of the pride. Our natural weapons of tooth and claw, used to gouge, rip, tear and batter prey until it is exhausted and bleeding on the ground so we can lick our wounds and live for another day after relying on our survival instincts to avoid or lessen the damage from hooves and horn.
Cats are ambush predators, the accumulation of wounds and exhaustion win us prey. To bite is to finish off what we caught but bleeds are essential.
The past, the now and the future
Our main kit has mostly stayed the same over the years. Build combo points to place a Rip on the target, to always maintain our bleeds from that and Rake. Energy gain from Tigers Fury and making sure that Fury stays by the Rip and Rake affected throughout the lenght of their durations. And when all that is done, to pool energy for Bites.
Tuning over the years and into the latest expansion of Shadowlands has pulled power out of our bleeds to put it all into Bite and its now time to put it back for the new Expansion of DragonFlight.
A differentiation between direct physical damage and bleeding damage builds.
Shred, Swipe, Brutal slash, Ferocious Bite
Rake, Thrash, Rip, Primal Wrath
Now, I’m not saying that one should be used exclusively above the other. Hardly so. We have been a spinning plates class for since forever and I would like it to remain that way. But as it stands right now, and how it looks currently, on Bosses we cause anywhere between 40%-50% of our damage with our Bites, and we only bite, outside of Convoke, once every 3-4 attacks.
What can we do with this? If damage over a period of time was more equal between rip and bite, between shred and rake, swipe/brutal slash and thrash, then that would open up the talent tree to new ideas of blood pools to pick up, of sepsis setting in, diseases bringing down huge hulking dragons, of going for their throat
Which brings us to the energy that we would use in these efforts. Tigers Fury is a staple choice in the feral kit. 50 energy and the 15% damage that we can use in snapshotting with our bleeds (we are one of the last ones to be able to use the snapshotting mechanic and I’d like that to remain please) that we need to spend 4 points to get the whole benefit… other classes get this all as 1 point.
Same with the extended energy bar, 3 points. Throughout the Feral tree, we have 16 talent points simply for saving or generating extra energy. This is just a little bit much out of the 46 total in the tree, tweeking to our energy recharge rate and generation to a smaller amount but no less powerful talents can open up space for innovation in fullfilling the damaging role we are in.
On a small seperate note, a talent point for 20% slow. While we are the fastest cats in the game, not everyone can keep up with us. More slow would be helpful for our back up and or switch it to be applied by our aoe Thrash.
Beserk. A fury untamed… that you have split up into 3/4 talents spread across the whole tree so far. It is a cool idea but in practice it falls a little bit flat in comparing it to other class ultimate abilities. I’ve heard good things about Sickle of the Lion, the 4 set bonus. If Shred and Rake had a bigger bonus, then that would work towards improving the power of this which again would require that Bite wasnt 40-50% of our total damage. If Bleeds were of a higher damage then a bleed speed up would work with Beserk too.
Brutal Slash / Swipe. I’ve seen many comments on this and I’ll try to condense it all here. Bloodtalons requires 3 different spells to proc and in an aoe environment it would be very fun to use thrash, swipe and brutal slash into primal wrath. Also Brutal slash is a seperate talent from swipe but it replaces swipe which negates a talent point on the general tree we could use elsewhere. But we cant as a physical damage buff, our interupt and iron fur are behind Swipe. On another note I’ve heard of issues with trying to swipe as a bear while Brutal slash is talented as we simply just wont have it in our spell books. Divorce Brutal Slash from replacing Swipe. It is an extra button but we can deal with it.
On the note of Brutal Slash, as it is at the moment, M+ users who would prefer using Swipe will not take it, which locks them out of our big damage reduction and apex… and a third of beserk. This requires an immediate fix. There are too many issues with having Swipe replaced.
Predatory Swiftness, this has been a staple of Feral since more or less the beginning of WoW, to be honest this should be baseline rather than. We have been trained for the longest time to heal after using a 5cp (combo point) ability to improve our survivability, and speaking of baseline, the stealth damage improvements should be baseline on shred and rake too, they shouldnt just be locked to feral but be available to the other druid specialisations. Especially since it would require them to be stealthed as all good kitties should be at the start of fights.
Speaking of staples of the Feral. We can, using Predatory Swiftness, cast Regrowth and Entangling Roots in cat form, free, within Cat Form and with no cast time. Along with this we also have Remove Corruption. Onto the wish, it would be fantastic… since other specialisations of druid have it and can do it, to be able to cast Rebirth while in Cat Form. And for the PvP Cats, Cyclone. We can still have a cast bar, but shifting out of Cat Form isn’t what we are meant to do, especially since we’ve had years and decades to learn these spells.
Lunar Inspiration. Personally I want to use this all the time, but because of the past few expansions reliance on buffing Ferocious Bite, I couldn’t play at being a moonfire kitty. And while it is not one of our main bleeds, I do think it should be included in the Dot mastery bonus since it is essentially an extra Bleed.
On the note of Lunar, we have a decidedly low amount of godly inputs into our talent selection. Ashamane gave us Feral Frenzy although the one in our talents is in a reduced form only for single target than the Legion weapon’s aoe skill, it would be nice to have it expanded back to legion capability. Alongside this we could revive Shadow Rip and Shadow thrash into the talent tree as they existed back on the legion weapon. Goldrinn, Elune, Malorne, Kimbul especially can be used in naming some skills. Adept of or otherwise.
If people still liked the spam Ferocious Bite, it could be into a keystone talent along the lines of each tick of bleed damage or bleed damage total among all enemies increases the damage of Ferocious Bite, this would give a reliance on building for bleeds and rewarding high uptime, leading into this could be another idea like when an enemy has 3 bleeds on it then you gain a damage buff. Or for each tick of a bleed, the enemy gains a stack that can be consumed by Bite for extra damage. This would all take us away from talents like Each bleed increases FB by % and open up the spec to talents that can complement both bleed and straight up physical damage builds along with opening up magical effects that would compliment Moonfire kitty or the Bees build.
Bees. From Shadowlands came the Necrolord ability Adaptive Swarm with a new spinning plate to learn and keep going but in turn, the 2nd point that allows the swarm to start splitting is a bit expensive. Simply giving the full benefit for a single extra point or baking it right into Adaptive Swarm would keep this going along with numbers change to keep it being worthwhile as gear is acquired
Take damage from Ferocious Bite, put it into Shred and Rake, and make Rip more equal to FB damage.
Less talents spent on energy. Make Tigers Fury generate 50 energy with its talent point or at most 1 more point.
Extra Energy, only 1 point, not 3.
Cull energy talents from the 16 we have in the tree down to a manageable amount. Keep Omen of Clarity.
Scent of Blood > increased energy regen per target affected by Thrash. Can increase cost and damage of Swipe + BrS but then that makes this a required talent
Bake in the 20% slow to Thrash and Rake as too weak to be a talent.
Seperate Brutal Slash and Swipe as buttons
Beserk, consolidate the talents into 1. The damage equalisation from above (more shred/rake damage) should improve Beserk’s viability as an actual dps button. Reduce Point req on stealth rake/shred to 1 or bake it baseline.
Predatory Swiftness is to be baked in or one of the first talents available.
Cast Regrowth, Entangling Roots, Cyclone, Rebirth, Remove Corruption in Cat Form. Talent Idea, early mid tier or one of the first talents available.
Lunar Inspiration, add it to mastery. Other talent options, on physical or bleed damage, cause more arcane. Or spread a small dot when you thrash a target with moonfire on them, when those hit by 2 aoe abilities, cause the target to flare up with moonfire cauterising any wounds but inflicting massive Lunar damage.
Keystone idea, to make up for reduced Ferocious Bite, each bleed tick or % of bleed damage stored per target or on self to add to the next Ferocious Bite.
Adaptive Swarm (Rename/New Visual to be Faerie Fire?) The splitting Talent point should either be baked in or only costing 1 point.
Wild Fleshrending (Thrash gives bonus damage to Shred/BrS/Swipe)
Blood Mist (Beserk chance on Rake)
Power of the Moon (When it front loaded moonfire damage from DoT to hit)
Feral Instinct (% damage buff during Beserk)
Shadow Thrash (25% chance on shadow damage over time)
Open Wounds (15% armour penetration while Rip is active)
Ashamane’s Bite (10% chance on combo point generator use to proc a shadow duplicate of Rip)
Mangle (40% increase in DoT damage for x seconds… although Adaptive Swarm does this)
Leader of the Pack (5% crit, heal on crit)
Displacer Beast (teleport a short distance and gain some movement speed)
WoD PvP 4 piece (Shred Crit causes target to take 10% more bleed damage)
Faerie Fire (Increases physical vulnerability)
Symbiosis (Gain a spell when using symbiosis on another class based on their specialisation)
Cower (Reduce threat, I’ve heard of issues on the current feral opener due to Convoke)
Incapacitating Roar (Cat Version)
0 combo point use on Savage Roar (SR used to be useable with 0 CP)
Feral Adept (Use cast time helpful spells in Cat form like Cyclone and Rebirth)
Blood pools (generate from chance on bleed proc, increase a stat or physical damage)
Disease on bleed (when at 3 bleeds, add a dot damage % increase disease or DoT)
Scent of Blood(% increase energy regen per enemy affected by Thrash, also reduce duration on Thrash to 6 sec from 12, same damage over shortened duration)
Bloodtalons more central of the tree