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Feral Druid Changes Coming This Week

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It was obvious, even after the recent buffs to their AoE, that Feral Druids needed a lot of help. The spec is still at rock bottom and its complicated mechanics mean that you have to try harder but still get no result for it.

These issues will be addressed later this week with energy regeneration rate being increased by 10%, RipRip damage increased by 15%, BerserkBerserk duration increased to 20 seconds and energy costs reduced for Brutal SlashBrutal Slash, SwipeSwipe and ThrashThrash - and more! Seph also pointed out some other issues the team is currently looking into, outlining more improvements for kitties in future patches (with 8.1 being a very likely candidate).

We should also expect an overall class tuning pass later this week, right before the release of Uldir.

Blizzard LogoSeph

Feral Druid changes coming soon (this week):
 

  • Energy regeneration rate increased by 10%
  • Rip damage increased by 15%
  • Berserk duration increased from 15 to 20 sec
  • Brutal Slash cost reduced from 30 to 25 energy
  • Swipe cost reduced from 40 to 35 energy
  • Thrash cost reduced by from 45 to 40 energy, and damage reduced proportionallyWe’re reducing the energy cost of Thrash but also proportionally reducing the damage. The goal is easier ramp-up time in AOE situations, while avoiding causing Thrash to be added to the single target rotation (since it's close to Shred's Energy to damage ratio), which we think wouldn’t make for a better overall rotation.
  • The spec's hidden 50% increase to Haste secondary stat value reduced to 25%.This helps alleviate a secondary stat scaling issue, and both the Energy and damage loss should be overcompensated for by the increase to base Energy regeneration rate plus the other changes listed. We eventually want to remove this hidden bonus entirely, but since players have already made gearing choices based on Haste being their best secondary stat, we don’t want to upset that in the short-term, so we’ll do this in two parts.

The sum of these changes is intended and expected to be a increase in Energy income, pacing, and damage in all situations.

Other issues we've been talking about (future patch timeline):
  • Better consolidate Energy-increasing and heavy pacing-impacting talents into the same row, and reduce the pacing impact that a single talent has

The goal is to reduce the Energy/pacing swing between different talent builds, which allows us to bring up the bottom without letting the highest Energy/pacing talent build with endgame/late expansion gear to get near overflow range

  • Better separate Single Target talents and Multitarget Talents into their own rows

This is slightly more of a challenge on Druid specs than most specs, due to Druids having only 4 throughput talent rows (compared to most specs having 5), but it's a goal we have for all specs.

  • Provide better AOE talent options

Echoing suggestions - a combo-point spender is a possible direction. There may be an additional opportunity to do something with Thrash here. It functions as an enabler, but could be doing even more for the spec.

  • Bloodtalons

Bloodtalons does a great job at adding complexity to the rotation, but we're not sure the method in which it does that is right for the spec long-term. Bloodtalons asks you to frequently cast a Regrowth in exchange for its buff, which in a group/raid, means either you're required to keep an eye on group/raid frames (which is a lot to ask) or you make a macro to mindlessly cast Regrowth on yourself (which isn't great).

  • Remove the spec’s bonus to Haste secondary stat (currently on live 50%, soon to be 25%) entirely. Re-adjust Energy/pacing to compensate.

Mentioned above, but now that Bleeds scale with Haste, it's both no longer needed to make Haste a relevant stat for Feral, and is also contributing to expansion-wide scaling issues.

  • Remove cat form’s 40% bonus to auto-attack damage.

This contributes to feedback that abilities don't hit hard enough and have low Energy to damage conversion ratios.


Note that as we've mentioned before, we're watching overall class tuning and plan to make a general tuning pass later next week. (source)

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Guess that's the treatment a class gets when a famous streamer is playing it.

I mean they already flat Nerfed/Buffed other classes numbers and said actual class adjustments are coming after the raids. But they pretty much did a rework on feral right now.

Don't get me wrong I'm happy for you guys since the class was pretty broken but still I feel like there are other classes that need the same treatment.

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Yes, it's all a conspiracy, guys.

2 hours ago, kakodaimonos said:

Guess that's the treatment a class gets when a famous streamer is playing it.

I mean they already flat Nerfed/Buffed other classes numbers and said actual class adjustments are coming after the raids. But they pretty much did a rework on feral right now.

Don't get me wrong I'm happy for you guys since the class was pretty broken but still I feel like there are other classes that need the same treatment.

And those changes will come sooner or later.

Considering they already stated that some classes would get "fixed" after launch, there's a bigger chance this is exactly what they've been working on since beta feedback, and not some conspiracy that only the classes played by streamers get fixed.

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First time playing WOW, and Feral is my main, and I don't understand a thing that is mentioned here, but I know I could 1v1 all those mini bosses (still leveling) that say it's for 2 players and most of those that are for 3 players... 

I am far from pro level of play, but I've learned rotations decently to do stuff well...  

Do these changes mean it will be even easier to do it? 

 

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3 hours ago, kakodaimonos said:

Guess that's the treatment a class gets when a famous streamer is playing it.

I mean they already flat Nerfed/Buffed other classes numbers and said actual class adjustments are coming after the raids. But they pretty much did a rework on feral right now.

Don't get me wrong I'm happy for you guys since the class was pretty broken but still I feel like there are other classes that need the same treatment.

Heard shamans and shadow priests are getting some "love" on 8.1... 😌

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Mentioned above, but now that Bleeds scale with Haste, it's both no longer needed to make Haste a relevant stat for Feral, and is also contributing to expansion-wide scaling issues.

I'm curious what he means by the last part of this. How is Feral's bonus to haste contributing to expansion-wide scaling issues?

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3 minutes ago, Brutalis said:

I'm curious what he means by the last part of this. How is Feral's bonus to haste contributing to expansion-wide scaling issues?

It means that for most specs they expects a steady trend in regard to how haste affects the spec, but for feral they start out awful and then as they get more and more haste they're actually getting 50% more haste than anyone else which means that gradual curve steepens by 50% or more since energy was a large part of feral's problems.  We'll have to see the overall effect these changes net.

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3 hours ago, kakodaimonos said:

Guess that's the treatment a class gets when a famous streamer is playing it.

I mean they already flat Nerfed/Buffed other classes numbers and said actual class adjustments are coming after the raids. But they pretty much did a rework on feral right now.

Don't get me wrong I'm happy for you guys since the class was pretty broken but still I feel like there are other classes that need the same treatment.

you must be living under a rock if u think any other class deserved the changes ASAP over feral. Ferals is currently in a VERYYY bad position compared to all other specs/classes going in to this raid tier. Not to mention that have been that way ever since Nighthold... u cant sit there and act like ferals havent been ignored, unless u just started playing or only raid on heroic or lfr difficulty, in which case i can see why ur completely oblivious to this.

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9 hours ago, Zadina said:

Better consolidate Energy-increasing and heavy pacing-impacting talents into the same row, and reduce the pacing impact that a single talent has

This really should have been done right after or maybe even during Legion. The difference between the "keep uptime on everything and don't let your bleeds drop, also cast them at the right time and only with blood talons while landing a 747 on an aircraft carrier" and the "just rip once and sabertooth, lol" built in terms of difficulty was ridiciulous.

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28 minutes ago, TedxBundy said:

you must be living under a rock if u think any other class deserved the changes ASAP over feral. Ferals is currently in a VERYYY bad position compared to all other specs/classes going in to this raid tier. Not to mention that have been that way ever since Nighthold... u cant sit there and act like ferals havent been ignored, unless u just started playing or only raid on heroic or lfr difficulty, in which case i can see why ur completely oblivious to this.

So you say if someone doesn't raid on Mythic difficulty one has no clue of balancing or the game altogether? Yeah no need to argue with people like you.

And never did I say they didn't need the changes nor did I say I'm specialist in every class and every spec just like you are. Still I know there are classes that are pretty much broken atm as well. And I wonder if in the next weeks they will do something about it or if they have to wait for all classes to get their changes.

So no need to get cocky... you can play your kitty now again.

55 minutes ago, Seksi said:

Heard shamans and shadow priests are getting some "love" on 8.1... 😌

Sadly not with the start. So you have to deal a few weeks in raids with the imbalance atm. Which sucks I'm with you on that one.

 

2 hours ago, Weltenfeind said:

Yes, it's all a conspiracy, guys.

And those changes will come sooner or later.

Considering they already stated that some classes would get "fixed" after launch, there's a bigger chance this is exactly what they've been working on since beta feedback, and not some conspiracy that only the classes played by streamers get fixed.

We will see about that in the upcoming weeks.

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Just looking at the talents and I think the best way to do it would be to move a few around a bit and then add in the combo point AoE ability as a talent.

Moment Of Clarity, Soul Of The Forest, Feral Frenzy on the 90 row - makes this the "pick a resource-based talent"

Savage Roar, Blood Talons, and then maybe a buffed Incarnation on the 100 row - now this is the rotational impact talent. Will take some tuning to have all these balanced against one another but a maintenance buff/snapshot bleed/burst damage decision sounds alright to me.

This leaves Sabertooth + Jagged Wounds + Brutal Slash up in the air, though. Honestly I'd make Sabertooth a PvP talent because that's it's best use or remove it completely to satisfy the " reduce the pacing impact that a single talent has" condition and then put the other two in the same row as the AoE combo point ability. Jagged Wounds would be what you pick for ST but in AoE it should be outshined by Brutal Slash and the new talent.

Edited by Brutalis

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1 hour ago, Xhopeon said:

First time playing WOW, and Feral is my main, and I don't understand a thing that is mentioned here, but I know I could 1v1 all those mini bosses (still leveling) that say it's for 2 players and most of those that are for 3 players... 

I am far from pro level of play, but I've learned rotations decently to do stuff well...  

Do these changes mean it will be even easier to do it? 

 

Yes. But im assuming you mean group bosses at low levels. Ferals in BFA content were drastically weaker than any of the other 4 classes I've gotten to Max level. And in Max level dungeons my feral spec is doing half the damage of my balance spec in equivalent gear and feral is far more complicated than balance.  

Go level a Warlock or Demon Hunter through BFA content and you'll notice the difference. These changes were needed because feral was unplayable.

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1 hour ago, Frai said:

Yes. But im assuming you mean group bosses at low levels. Ferals in BFA content were drastically weaker than any of the other 4 classes I've gotten to Max level. And in Max level dungeons my feral spec is doing half the damage of my balance spec in equivalent gear and feral is far more complicated than balance.  

Go level a Warlock or Demon Hunter through BFA content and you'll notice the difference. These changes were needed because feral was unplayable.

oh, crap... 

yeah, I am really low currently (70+), I hope I that changes are good when they get live so I don't need to learn other spec, feral life is best thing I've played so far... 

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loved Feral in Legion and I did some great DPS even though Legion was my first time playing Feral.  I think the loss of the Artifact really made generating CPs feel bad.  I tried doing some WQs once I got to 120 but it was better in every way to just go Bear and pull everything.  Might go back and try Kitty again once these go Live.

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3 hours ago, TedxBundy said:

you must be living under a rock if u think any other class deserved the changes ASAP over feral. Ferals is currently in a VERYYY bad position compared to all other specs/classes going in to this raid tier. Not to mention that have been that way ever since Nighthold... u cant sit there and act like ferals havent been ignored, unless u just started playing or only raid on heroic or lfr difficulty, in which case i can see why ur completely oblivious to this.

 

Little bit of hyperbole considering Shadow and Ele are probably worse.

Edited by Dabrixmgp

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Shadow and ele are not worse than feral. Feral is rock bottom on dmg charts no matter what. Lets not even talk about aoe. Both ele and shadow have more single target dmg, far more aoe dmg and way more utility. Ferals only advantage is the heal he can offer thanks to restoration affinity.

Other classes definetly need major tweeking too, but nowhere near as much as feral. Plus feral was pretty much ignored by blizzard the whole last expansion apart from one little rework that made it viable for about 1 week.

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Feral's biggest issue right now is just how hard it is to push the spec to it's limits and achieve the optimum DPS with the tools you have. Sure, elemental shaman isn't doing that much more dmg but it's so much easier to deliver that damage whereas Feral players have to work their assess off in order to get their low numbers.

http://simulationcraft.org/reports/PR_Raid.html

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Sorry but I see this as a net nerf. Precisely what we do not deserve AT ALL given the current state of our damage. 40% decrease in auto attack. Nerf to haste rating. Very minuscule increase to energy regen. Very small buff only to RIP without tweaking mastery to improve it. 

It feels like all they’re doing is shifting the problem around. 

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Feral is somewhat easier to play now than it was at the start of Legion. The mix of talents that you needed to take in order to be viable in 7.0 was ridonkulous. It was way too much juggling to try and perform while also dealing with raid mechanics and movement. Even that was less difficult than it had been back when Feral Tank was a thing.

That said, it remains the case that Feral is unforgiving of errors. The high impact carried in each button press, and the mechanic of bleed snapshotting, means that you need to understand the mechanics of the rotation inside and out and be able to execute them flawlessly with grace under fire. Even with the Brutal Slash build, the best Ferals knew how to manage their Combo Points and Energy so that Brutal Slash was used with Bloodtalons stacks. That provided some pretty impressive AoE burst.

Also, the idea of giving Feral a buff to Haste was a miscalculation on their part. Since Cataclysm, Feral has always fed off Critical Strike (to smooth out the rotation with combo point generation) and Mastery (to fuel big bleed numbers). Haste has never been a good kitty stat. So seeing them move away from Haste stacking is a sign to me that they are moving to restore the spec's identity.

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