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Patch 7.3: Feral Druid Changes

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Blizzard has just announced major changes planned for Feral Druids in an upcoming Patch 7.3 Build. They want to reduce the dominance of their complexifying and powerful abilities, balance out the power level of last 3 talent tiers (create more build diversity), increase the skill ceiling, reduce rotation punishment, and so forth.

Major Changes

  • All damage done increased by 33%
  • Jagged WoundsJagged Wounds reduced to 20%. (down from 33%)
  • Savage RoarSavage Roar duration increased by 50% at all combo points. Damage bonus reduced to 15%. (down from 25%)
  • BloodtalonsBloodtalons damage bonus reduced to 25%. (down from 50%)

Moving Talents Around

Various Quality of Life Improvements

  • ProwlProwl cooldown reduced to 6 sec (down from 10 sec) for all Druid specs.
  • RebirthRebirth is castable in all forms, and consequently, is no longer affected by or consumes Predatory SwiftnessPredatory Swiftness.
  • SabertoothSabertooth damage bonus to Ferocious BiteFerocious Bite increased to 20%.
  • Incarnation: King of the JungleIncarnation: King of the Jungle energy cost reduction reduced to 50% (down from 60%) and only allows the use of ProwlProwl once. This it to balance out that talent row with the new Jagged WoundsJagged Wounds and to reduce the frequency of RakeRake stuns in PvP while still allowing Incarnation to function as an effective VanishVanish.
  • Moment of ClarityMoment of Clarity now causes Omen of ClarityOmen of Clarity to trigger twice as often and increases the damage of the affected abilities by 25%. This is to better space out what is essentially a large energy proc and reduce slightly the impact that a single talent has on the resource income and pacing of the rotation.
  • Elune's GuidanceElune's Guidance cooldown reduced to 30 sec (down from 45 sec) and combo points granted reduced to 5 + 5 over 5 seconds (down from 5 + 8 over 8 seconds).

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Hi Cats,

We have a number of changes to Feral Druids coming soon. The general goals of these changes are:
  • 1. Reduce (but not necessarily displace entirely) the dominance of the big three complexifying and powerful talents: Savage RoarSavage Roar, Jagged WoundsJagged Wounds, and BloodtalonsBloodtalons. Each of those talents is (on live) winning by a large margin in terms of throughput against other talents on their rows.
  • 2. Balance out the power level of the last 3 talent rows, allowing more talents builds to be viable.
  • 3. Increase the skill floor and reduce how punishing it can be to error when playing the rotation.
  • 4. Compensate for power-level-reductions of talents with baseline damage increase to the spec so that at the highest level, performance isn’t really affected, but the bottom of the spec is brought up.

The most major changes:
  • All damage done increased by 33%.
  • Jagged WoundsJagged Wounds reduced to 20%. (down from 33%)
  • Savage RoarSavage Roar duration increased by 50% at all combo points. Damage bonus reduced to 15%. (down from 25%)
  • BloodtalonsBloodtalons damage bonus reduced to 25%. (down from 50%)

Looking back at the development of Feral Druid in Legion: when Savage RoarSavage Roar was moved from a baseline ability to the talent tree, in order to bring the power level of the ability closer to most talents (+25% damage to everything for a long duration is far stronger than most talents are), rather than reducing its damage bonus, its duration was significantly shortened instead. This contributed greatly to the overconstrained and overly punishing Feral rotation that you see on live today. Additionally, Jagged WoundsJagged Wounds was added as a new talent, reducing the amount of free combo points Ferals had available to finishers such as Ferocious BiteFerocious Bite (which was basically pushed out of the rotation entirely). Both talents probably would have been fine on their own, but taken together (because they were the strongest) at the live tuning values led to a more pressured Feral rotation than we felt was right.

Additionally, a few talents are being rearranged in the talent tree:
The primary gain here is moving Brutal SlashBrutal Slash to a sort of multitarget/AOE lvl 90 talent row along with SabertoothSabertooth (which can be well-utilized in a sustained low-target situation), giving the lvl 90 row a solid talent for dungeons. For now, we want to go with an arrangement that keeps Jagged WoundsJagged Wounds, Savage RoarSavage Roar, and BloodtalonsBloodtalons on separate rows so the current most common live build is still possible.

Other less major changes include quality of life and tuning adjustments to some talents to balance out the rows:
  • ProwlProwl cooldown reduced to 6 sec (down from 10 sec) for all Druid specs.
  • RebirthRebirth is castable in all forms, and consequently, is no longer affected by or consumes Predatory SwiftnessPredatory Swiftness.
  • SabertoothSabertooth damage bonus to Ferocious BiteFerocious Bite increased to 20%.
  • Incarnation: King of the JungleIncarnation: King of the Jungle energy cost reduction reduced to 50% (down from 60%) and only allows the use of ProwlProwl once. This it to balance out that talent row with the new Jagged WoundsJagged Wounds and to reduce the frequency of RakeRake stuns in PvP while still allowing Incarnation to function as an effective VanishVanish.
  • Moment of ClarityMoment of Clarity now causes Omen of ClarityOmen of Clarity to trigger twice as often and increases the damage of the affected abilities by 25%. This is to better space out what is essentially a large energy proc and reduce slightly the impact that a single talent has on the resource income and pacing of the rotation.
  • Elune's GuidanceElune's Guidance cooldown reduced to 30 sec (down from 45 sec) and combo points granted reduced to 5 + 5 over 5 seconds (down from 5 + 8 over 8 seconds).

Overall, with these changes, balance for the last 3 talent rows and consequently overall should be better in general. We expect the current most common build/playstyle of Jagged WoundsJagged Wounds + Savage RoarSavage Roar + BloodtalonsBloodtalons to still remain one of the strongest builds, but it should no longer win by a huge margin over other competing talent builds and also should be a little less strenuous to play.

These changes should be available in an upcoming PTR build. As usual, we may make further adjustments – especially tuning – as PTR progresses.

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Haven't played Feral since the beginning of MoP. Would love to get back into it, if this brings them back to relevance, but my group, and most others that I have seen, seem to be starved for ranged this xpac (with the resurgence of most melee classes). Gonna have to stick with my hunter if I want to keep my spot.

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On 10/07/2017 at 3:53 PM, Sharknad0 said:

Haven't played Feral since the beginning of MoP. Would love to get back into it, if this brings them back to relevance, but my group, and most others that I have seen, seem to be starved for ranged this xpac (with the resurgence of most melee classes). Gonna have to stick with my hunter if I want to keep my spot.

The introduction of another melee (DH) can't have helped this either.

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