Shadowlands Feral Concerns and Problems

I hope so, but I’m also not a fan of burst. I like damage consistency much, much more than burst.

Odd coming from someone who doesn’t want a bleed-focused build, since DoT classes have historically been better at sustained damage than burst.

Also, for the past few expansions burst has tended to be more valuable than steady damage.

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That’s why I like the infinite bleed. It was a bleed I didn’t have to worry about.

What can I say, I’m a bit of an outlier. I’m literally depressed by the news today. I’ve poured so much time and effort into my spec and getting things right where I like them and the announced change to Sabertooth is just… it’s crushing. I’m seriously worried I won’t be able to put out good numbers anymore once this change comes into effect.

Despite that feral needs much more attention to changing it’s kit (baseline and talents), and that I do think the spec needs a smooth playstyle, Sabertooth is extremely unhealthy for the spec as a mechanic.

Of which has been explained numerous times, and now agreed upon by the developers.

While it’s reduction was absolutely needed for the health of the spec, I would have preferred the outright removal of the talent.

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Yes. It absolutely does. I really don’t want to go back to the Savage Roar days.

Also, your being right doesn’t change the way I feel about it. It’s still depressing. In fact, I’d prefer long duration or even permanent bleeds over snappshotting any day.

I agree with pretty much everything you said except the passive buffs bit. I think having something like LotP or MotW makes Druids unique.

Currently feral bleeds do just a bit more damage than… some… trinkets - yeah - they know what the hell they are doing. I remember a time our our FIVE POINT FINISHER RIP was our top damage. Talk about degenerative gameplay. In fact, with that logic they should just absolutely stop beating around the bush and revert all feral changes since the end of MoP.


Here is that same fight you linked to try to “highlight” his rip damage looked from a correct perspective. That feral’s damage done to nzoth (not all the trash in which he applies rip via PRIMAL WRATH - but you knew that obviously cause that’s why you want people to check it out right?). In the end, his Rip damage does less damage on Nzoth than (wait for it…) his white swings.

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2ndly - that old style of play is gone. It will NEVER come back because they lack the know how and the resources to balance it for 95% of the game play which revolves around INSTANT BURST and INSTANT AOE damage.

Oh cool, We’re cherry-picking data to suit our arguments? I can play this game too.

Top feral on Ra-den. *boss damage only, no primal wrath

Carapace. Fury damage only.
*no primal wrath.

Weird. Rip is up there above white damage. Huh… almost as if the lack of invulnerabilities and the absence of short dps windows can affect dots. (the “t” in dot stands for “time”)

Listen kid, I’m not saying rip will be top damage on every fight. You’ve lost focus of the point. I’m simply showing everyone that rip is not weak by any means. It’s accounts for a considerable amount of our damage. To say otherwise is just pure hyperbole and not constructive to the class.

If zilverstram has his way with feral and his requests were met, the class would be completely broken and unbalanced.

He wants everything to be ez mode.
1 button rotations that top meters
1 button heals that top to full.

No thanks dude.

Your aching heart will see no sympathy here, you are a Feral traitor, a mere house cat who has no place in the jungle amongst us true predators. Your saberteeth were mere dentures, lacking other means to fight unlike the rest of us. You may give up and reroll now, and surrender yourself to this cage I lay before you so that I may add you to my battle pet collection, little tabby.

I think people underestimate how much Rip’s relative damage is due to the current talent setup rather than due to Rip being weak on its face. The current meta, especially with Sabertooth and big bad crits, leans heavily into buffing Bite’s damage and Biting frequently. (When you never need to refresh Rip, more energy means more Bite.)

When you take away Sabertooth and you place more demands on our energy pool Rip is going to represent more of our total damage output. And we haven’t had a tuning pass yet, something people need to keep in mind is that Blizzard is never going to allow Feral to just hang out doing 50% of the DPS of other specs. We will be doing comparable damage.

Feral is going to feel extremely different in Shadowlands despite the lack of changes to our core kit. Talents affect our core rotation pretty significantly and our top talents in Shadowlands will NOT be the same ones as in BFA and won’t be leaning heavily into that strong Bite playstyle. Rip is hardly weak now, if you think it is run some bosses without applying it and watch your damage plummet. It’s going to represent even more of our total relative damage in Shadowlands. I don’t think there’s cause to panic yet.

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The Rip buffs make me excited, but I’m worried about his younger brother, Rake. A lot of emphasis being placed on Rip, yet Rake is the one that loses its BT 25% bonus in SL. We’ve been wanting stronger bleeds, but a lot of the satisfaction of Feral was getting multiple snapshot buffed bleeds up on a target; we should look at the whole package. Even Thrash should be addressed, but at least it’s not reverting like Rake seemingly is. Granted if SR becomes the go, that will offset some of this, but small Rip buffs may not mean that much more bleed damage if Rake is a wet noodle.

With that said, LI buffs get me excited. Managing Rip+Rake+LI, with SR, would more than compensate for the BT change for me.

Please do correct me if my Rake ‘theory,’ for lack of a better word, is incorrect. I haven’t been following the forums/discord/wowhead as much lately.


I do wish rake packed a little more punch as well, but a more exciting change would be to make rake a cleave. Affecting all mobs in front of us. It wouldn’t change much in terms of damage, since were tab targeting on cleave fights already, but it would certainly cut down on energy costs.

We need to be cautious when we ask for rake buffs though, because Rake has a damage plateau.


Little trip down memory lane for a sec…

Who remembers how absurdly powerful rake was in early mop? It’s direct damage hit so hard that it was actually better to just spam rake than to use shred at all.

If we buff rake too much, then shred has to be adjusted proportionatly, else we find ourselves repeating history.

Same reasoning behind why thrash has low damage.

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That is not exciting, that waters down the fun of multi-dotting and tracking dots on multiple targets. Also would lead to broken AOE, in fact it pretty much makes Rake an AOE ability, we don’t need that. Strong bleeds for classic Feral dotting and multi dotting plz.

Also it’d take a very significant buff to overtake Shred, but regardless, it wouldn’t be difficult to make a Rake buff just affect the dot portion of it, should it ever be at risk of overtaking Shred (it won’t be, and remember that was nearly a decade ago too).

I didn’t say aoe.
I said cleave.
Place a 2 target cap on it if you wish.

Tab targeting 2-3 targets is not skillful. It’s time and energy consuming. That’s not fun. It’s a chore, really.

For aoe packs, it would fall under the same thought process for FB vs PW usage, meaning time till death and mob count would determine if it’s more beneficial and cost effective to just swipe or rake. It adds more choice and decision making into our rotation. Quite the opposite of what watered down means.

The reason for that story was to explain to you that it already happened.

You can’t directly buff rake or else you run the risk of it happening again, as rakes damage scales with mastery, and shred doesn’t.

No because it’s not as simple as tab targeting. Most multi dot scenarios involve ads that spawn on timings or enter in and out of melee range of the main boss or various other scenarios where it’s not just ‘ok here’s 3 targets in front of you at the same time.’

Thinking back on all multi dot fights it’s rarely as simple as tab targeting, likewise with mythic+, I might use some rakes on large packs if there’s priority targets, and consequently I would need to track when to refresh these particular targets rather than just press one button and not worry about it. In that sense it also adds more choice, so I think you are mistaken thinking that way.

Above all else, is we want stronger ST bleeds, turning Rake AOE or semi-AOE won’t accomplish that. I respect your thought process, but it seems unnecessary by balancing it as an AOE ability.

And yes the MOP thing let’s just drop that, my point was more just you often bring up anecdotes from MOP when the game and numbers were vastly different to today. With that said I believe Mastery only affects the DOT portion of Rake, could be wrong here though.

Just picking at this log from Maut.

Shreds average damage was 36.1k
Rakes direct damage was 29.5k

Not too far off already
Account for the loss of WFR in shadowlands and we’re now we’re closer to that plateau again.

Rake costs less every. Even if shred hits harder, DPE wise. Rake will pull ahead.

It’s happened before, and blizzard is very much aware of it. Even if you’re not.

Dot Ticks for 6k at ilvl473

Thats a lot of damage!!

  1. Rake is used with Bloodtalons every single time, Shred only now and then (meaning every Rake is +25% damage).
  2. Rake is always refreshed with TF, meaning not just the 15% damage every application (whereas Shred less than half), but the bonus crit from JF.
  3. He is running 1x WFR.
  4. Only 7 rake casts, one of them would have been the opening 100% bonus damage with BT+TF, skewing the numbers a bit.

Rake does far less than half the baseline damage of Shred, and that’s BEFORE factoring in the 20% bonus Shred gets from having a bleed on a target.

It’s a nothingburger concern, let’s move on.

Yes. You are.

Are you suggesting that you plan on refreshing rake without TF in shadowlands? Moot point.

Yes, yes he is. Subtract that damage.

You have a point with BT affecting rake. Or rather… not affecting rake in SL. That leaves room for a 25% buff to rake. After that, you run the risk of pushing that plateau.