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Druid Class Changes Clarifications: April 13th

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Blizzard today responded to some questions surrounding Druid changes coming in Shadowlands.

Blizzard outlined changes coming to Druids in Shadowlands in their Class Changes blog post.

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Druid

Druids are the masters of shapeshifting—a versatile hybrid class than can adapt their form to suit a wide variety of situations—and Shadowlands reinforces this core identity by giving them even more flexibility. We’re bringing several abilities back to the class and making others more widely available. Most notably, the Affinity system has been expanded to offer utility abilities along with passive bonuses.

Druid Class and Specialization Changes

General Changes

All Druids will be able to use Ferocious Bite Ferocious BiteBarkskin BarkskinCyclone CycloneStampeding Roar Stampeding Roar, and Ironfur Ironfur regardless of their active specialization. Druids of any specialization will also now be able to use Cyclone Cyclone and Stampeding Roar Stampeding Roar. In addition, Heart of the Wild Heart of the Wild has returned as a Talent, providing an option for Druids who want to use off-role abilities during combat.

The Affinity Talents associated with each specialization (Balance, Guardian, Feral, and Restoration) also gain an additional utility ability. Balance receives Typhoon Typhoon, Feral gets Maim Maim, Guardian gets Incapacitating Roar Incapacitating Roar, and Restoration can use Ursol's Vortex Ursol's Vortex.

Balance

Solar Empowerment Solar and Lunar Empowerment Lunar Empowerments are being strengthened and updated into Eclipses. Reminiscent of past expansions like Wrath of the Lich King, Wrath Wrath and Starfire Starfire will grant each other alternating Eclipse (Lunar) Lunar and Eclipse (Solar) Solar Eclipses for a longer duration, with special moments of Celestial Alignment Celestial Alignment allowing both to occur at once. Balance Druids who master the flow of these Eclipses will be able to ensure a period of sustained power to either Wrath or Starfire Starfire at key moments of a fight. Starsurge Starsurge will extend the current Eclipse to continue focusing power into either Wrath Wrath or Starfire Starfire, while Starfall Starfall instead extends your current Moonfire Moonfire and Sunfire effects, giving the main Arcane Power spenders distinct roles based on situation.

Starfall Starfall will also return to its previous design, used from Wrath Wrath of the Lich King through Warlords of Draenor. Instead of needing to telegraph the affected area, Balance Druids again call down waves of stars, which strike the surrounding ground while they stand, run, or flap for its duration.

Feral

Fierce felines will see their Bloodtalons Bloodtalons Talent reimagined, tapping into their primal power. When Feral Druids use Shred Shred, Rake Rake, and Ferocious Bite Ferocious Bite in quick succession, the damage of their next Rip Rip will increase dramatically.

Guardian

Guardian Druids in the Shadowlands can once again embrace (or bear hug) their brutish side with Berserk Berserk, reducing the cooldowns of Mangle Mangle, Thrash Thrash, Growl Growl, and Frenzied Regeneration Frenzied Regenerationsubstantially, while also halving the cost of Ironfur.

Renewal Renewal also returns as a Talent choice, instantly healing the Guardian Druid for a fair bit of their maximum health.

Restoration

Swiftmend Swiftmend will return to its historic functionality of consuming a heal-over-time effect on the target, but with a substantially reduced cooldown and cost. And for moments of special need, the classic Restoration staple Nature's Swiftness Nature's Swiftness will again allow a Regrowth Regrowth, Rebirth Rebirth, or Entangling Roots Entangling Roots to be cast instantly. Communing with the wild spirits in death’s realm has reawakened Restoration Druids’ inert knowledge to cast Nourish Nourish, a Talent option that heals an ally for a significant amount. Nourish Nourish receives triple the boon from Mastery: Harmony Mastery: Harmony, which increases the healing for each active Restoration heal-over-time spell on the target.

WoW Developer Sigma responded to some questions regarding Druid changes on the official forums and clarified that:

  • Astral spells receiving double benefit during Celestial Alignment Celestial Alignment is intended;
  • Astral Power costs and generation are slightly reduced to allow for better pooling in Shadowlands;
  • The main goal of the Bloodtalons Bloodtalons rework was to get rid of using Regrowth Regrowth as a trigger;
  • The goal is to make Eclipses alternate while in continuous combat and allow restarting with either Eclipse after any break, but the 30-second internal cooldown may be drawing more attention than intended;
  • Swiftmend Swiftmend will try to consume Regrowth Regrowth > Wild Growth Wild Growth > Rejuvenation Rejuvenation;

Check out the developer reply below for more information.

Blizzard Logo(Source)

Responding to miscellaneous questions/topics:
–Astral spells getting double benefit in Celestial Alignment Celestial Alignment is currently intended. We’ll have to see if the mastery double-dip is too much.
–AP costs and generation are generally slightly reduced to allow for better pooling (a few weren’t, such as New Moon New Moon, with the intention of buffing them). Starfall Starfall instead got a big damage increase, so you cast it less often but it’s more of a moment when you do. Stellar Drift Stellar Drift’s utility may still be too good with the new Starfall Starfall.
Bloodtalons Bloodtalons: The goals of Bloodtalons Bloodtalons were 1) to keep the things we think people saw as cool about it (adding some planning to the rotation, snapshot bleeds are a good payoff for a bit of complexity) while getting rid of the weirdness of using Regrowth Regrowth as a trigger. Many people dislike the latter, and frankly we think it’s pretty weird too. We don’t have an exact further revision to report yet, but the feedback is making me think it still needs to somehow buff spells other than Rip Rip.
Stampeding Roar Stampeding Roar can still be used in Cat Form Cat Form.
–The “30 sec ICD” on individual Eclipses sounds like it’s drawing more attention than intended. The goal is to make Eclipses alternate while in continuous combat, but allow restarting with either Eclipse after any break. Since Eclipses often last 16 sec, plus a short gap between them, the idea of an “ICD” that matters while you’re in combat shouldn’t be too relevant or need to be tracked. There might be a clearer way of doing this.
Swiftmend Swiftmend will try to consume Regrowth Regrowth, then Wild Growth Wild Growth, then Rejuvenation Rejuvenation, so that its behavior is predictable.

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Everyone: We loved Legion, it was a great expansion, the game is going in the right direction.

Blizz:  Eh, lets convert everything back to Wrath and WoD type builds. 

 

All this stuff is looking more and more like they are taking the game backwards instead of forward. I absolutely loved the direction of the game in Legion.. I even enjoyed BfA a bit in the beginning. I also tried Classic, and absolutely did NOT like it. It feels like blizz saw so many people come back for classic that now they are taking things backwards instead of forwards with the game. 

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10 minutes ago, Mis said:

Everyone: We loved Legion, it was a great expansion, the game is going in the right direction.

Blizz:  Eh, lets convert everything back to Wrath and WoD type builds. 

 

All this stuff is looking more and more like they are taking the game backwards instead of forward. I absolutely loved the direction of the game in Legion.. I even enjoyed BfA a bit in the beginning. I also tried Classic, and absolutely did NOT like it. It feels like blizz saw so many people come back for classic that now they are taking things backwards instead of forwards with the game. 

I really thought the spell book pruning was appropriate considering how bloated they were. What's important is that core rotations are looking to be relatively unchanged. Some specs will have some different pacing, but the massive overhaul they did in Legion is still very much at the core of Shadowlands spell books.

It looks like a lot of what they are bringing back is flavor abilities and non-game breaking type stuff. A lot of the cross-spec class abilities are going to be fairly niche in their use and are meant to offer capable players and extra wrinkle of gameplay. Most players, especially elite ones, are still going to ignore a lot of these options in favor of the meta core rotation of impact abilities (that will largely resemble its current rendition). 

The basic rebuke from the community was fairly legitimate: specs that should have had more hybrid utility seemed suddenly very limited. A change back in philosophy that still uses the revisions as a base could be the best of both worlds. I'd be happy if I could actually play a retribution paladin that offered worth-while healing support or add-tanking in a raid.

The biggest problem I see is how quickly new players will be overwhelmed with new abilities to master, give how many more abilities were getting back and how much shorter the leveling experience will be.

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7 hours ago, Stan said:

Balance Druids again call down waves of stars, which strike the surrounding ground while they stand, run, or flap for its duration.

Just why... what the *filtered* is wrong with ground targeting? Now we will have *filtered* up Star Fall pulls all over again beause nobody has a clue what the range of their Star Fall really is. Imagine a dungeon like Tol Dagor with the old Star Fall - pure horror.

3 hours ago, Mis said:

All this stuff is looking more and more like they are taking the game backwards instead of forward.

Exactly this. It feels they are bringing back a lot of bad / boring / uncomfortable designs just because "good old" times. Hunter's Mark is another prime example to me - who the *filtered* asked for this? It's boring and low quality-of-life, but very retro..

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41 minutes ago, ShiftyBro said:

Just why... what the *filtered* is wrong with ground targeting? Now we will have *filtered* up Star Fall pulls all over again beause nobody has a clue what the range of their Star Fall really is. Imagine a dungeon like Tol Dagor with the old Star Fall - pure horror.

Exactly this. It feels they are bringing back a lot of bad / boring / uncomfortable designs just because "good old" times. Hunter's Mark is another prime example to me - who the *filtered* asked for this? It's boring and low quality-of-life, but very retro..

If I remember correctly, I'm pretty sure the current form of placing starfall down used to be a gylph back when starfall used to follow you around. They can just as easily add that back.

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2 hours ago, ShiftyBro said:

Just why... what the *filtered* is wrong with ground targeting? Now we will have *filtered* up Star Fall pulls all over again beause nobody has a clue what the range of their Star Fall really is. Imagine a dungeon like Tol Dagor with the old Star Fall - pure horror.

I'm having nightmares already... but yes the glyph return would be welcomed too

 

Overall I understand having some spells back, some are quite missed, some will never be used still, but generally not game changing.

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2 hours ago, ShiftyBro said:

Just why... what the *filtered* is wrong with ground targeting? Now we will have *filtered* up Star Fall pulls all over again beause nobody has a clue what the range of their Star Fall really is. Imagine a dungeon like Tol Dagor with the old Star Fall - pure horror.

Exactly this. It feels they are bringing back a lot of bad / boring / uncomfortable designs just because "good old" times. Hunter's Mark is another prime example to me - who the *filtered* asked for this? It's boring and low quality-of-life, but very retro..

Starfall change is a good one, and no it isnt the old one the new starfall only hits enemies in combat so it wont pull unless allrdy pulled ?

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10 hours ago, Mis said:

Everyone: We loved Legion, it was a great expansion, the game is going in the right direction.

Blizz:  Eh, lets convert everything back to Wrath and WoD type builds. 

 

All this stuff is looking more and more like they are taking the game backwards instead of forward. I absolutely loved the direction of the game in Legion.. I even enjoyed BfA a bit in the beginning. I also tried Classic, and absolutely did NOT like it. It feels like blizz saw so many people come back for classic that now they are taking things backwards instead of forwards with the game. 

The problem is that the WoW playerbase is the most contradicting ever, that is why.

If Blizzard adds new mechanics, people complain saying they liked the old ways better.

If Blizzard tries to revert some of the changes and people complain yet again saying they're not trying to innovate.

My guess is much like yours, that with Classic being this huge success, Blizzard is taking a look back at the most popular expansions and mechanics within and trying to give that feeling of nostalgia as a way to attract veteran players again. I'm fine by that, when it makes sense.

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Feral changes are just wierd,The regrowth and bloodtalons synergy was good, it felt good and most of all you could see a better feral druid player who pays attention and uses it correctly.Feral is not supposed to be a mindless 3 button spec to begin with,it had a certain charm to it and now it just seems to go to the bland side ( the talent tree is not something that would make you go '' Hey this is interesting '' either)

What blizzard should have done is (and this is just my personal 2 cents  as a feral druid player ) '' Add more impactfull class abilities that make specs feel more of what they are '' ( And yes they said they want to switch back focus to a class as a whole, to which i want to say why? I know that they want to pander to the most people but that just makes it worse, having a strong distinguished spec adds more flavour to the class as a whole ( giving a class everything just makes it bland )

Ferals are missing a bit of ( dare i say it ) ompf to their rotation or spec in general . The legion artifacts and legendaries brought one of the most satisfying feeling to ferals and i am sure they did the same with a lot of different classes and specs but this just seems that they are going backwards from something that added to the class and are taking it away instead.

.Legion artifact skill felt good and added to being a feral druid

.Energy regen was good paced with legendaries and felt like i am a 'Feral feline'' trying to save things from the legion( after legion they  just used tranquilizer shots on my feral).

.Making specs  more ''accessible'' does not mean they should be watterd down

Long story short , make the spec stand out more by making it look like im playing a feral druid and not a ADD druid who just preferst to be in cat form.

Ferals just need some love in general

 

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Yes there is a God! Idk why they ever changed the rotation of boomies.. I misss the old rotation and is the reason why I quit wow, they screwed them over.. guess I’ll go ahead and pre purchase the next xpax! Thank you blizz ❤️ 

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On 4/13/2020 at 9:50 PM, Mis said:

Everyone: We loved Legion, it was a great expansion, the game is going in the right direction.

Blizz:  Eh, lets convert everything back to Wrath and WoD type builds. 

 

All this stuff is looking more and more like they are taking the game backwards instead of forward. I absolutely loved the direction of the game in Legion.. I even enjoyed BfA a bit in the beginning. I also tried Classic, and absolutely did NOT like it. It feels like blizz saw so many people come back for classic that now they are taking things backwards instead of forwards with the game. 

Legion was a decent expansion. But not the most popular by any means. Wrath is still the most popular point of the game's history. Players liked the class builds, and the way the game flowed. 
Expansions after Cata started to pigeon hole classes into their "blizzard designed" rotations and very forced abilities. Players have been against this for a long time. 

Classic is extremely popular. People that never played it or TBC, may not enjoy actually working for their levels and gear. There is  far less handed out to the players in comparison to Retail. 

Blizz is smart to look back at the things people loved about Classic, TBC, and Wrath and and implement them into the current game. BFA is a hot mess. And they know it. Azerite failed miserably. Legion started strong and dropped off due to largely similar issues. Infinite AP grinds that force obligatory chores on players leading to an environment largely unkind to players that enjoyed alts. 

The current game lacks replayability and is extremely unkind to alts. It feels like a chore, not a game. 

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