Thursday, June 18, 2009

Take That Feral Druids

These are some of the new patch notes that are coming with 3.2, we already knew about the changes to our forms with the whole Bedazzled cat, but I figured that while they were at it, they are gonig to take a nerf bat to feral druids to make them pay for doing DPS on fights where the player is simply good and following their rotation. And even though we were technically 8th or so in the actual DPS meters according to most Boss tracking meters [thanks to movement, etc] to many of your fellow DPS was complaining that on fights like XT-002 where we can stand still and get almost our entire rotation out [assuming no light or gravity bombs] and put out close to 6-7k DPS if they are really pushing it. Because of this Blizzard has made it know that almost every single cat ability is being scaled back in damage

Here are the full patch notes:

* Flight Form: Can now be learned at level 60. Flight speed increased to 150%.
* Innervate: Duration reduced to 10 seconds, and cooldown reduced to 3 minutes. This means each use of Innervate will give half as much mana as before, but it will be available twice as often.
* Lifebloom: The final heal that occurs when this spell blooms has been reduced by 20% on the base and on the spell power coefficient.
* Mangle: Ranks 4 and 5 base points reduced by about 11%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
* Rake: Ranks 6 and 7 base points on initial and periodic damage reduced by about 7%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
* Rip: Ranks 8 and 9 base points and points per combo point reduced by about 6%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
* Savage Defense: The animation for gaining this buff will no longer make the bear stand upright
* Shred: Ranks 8 and 9 base points reduced by about 10%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
* Swipe (Cat): Percent of weapon damage done reduced from 260% to 250%.
* Travel Form: Can now be learned at level 16.
* Talents
o Balance
+ Balance of Power: Now reduces all spell damage taken by 3/6%, rather than reducing the chance to be hit by spells by 2/4%.
+ Eclipse: The Starfire and Wrath buffs from this talent are now on separate 30 second. cooldowns. In addition, it is not possible to have both buffs active simultaneously.
+ Owlkin Frenzy: Now also restores 2% base mana every 2 seconds for the duration (10 seconds) in addition to its current effects.
o Restoration
+ Empowered Touch: Now also increases the amount of bonus healing effects for Nourish by 10/20%.
+ Improved Barkskin: No longer provides dispel resistance to all effects on the druid, but now reduces the chance your Barkskin is dispelled by an additional 35/70%.

As a druid, that is just a bit annoying, you'll also notice that Barksin is no longer keeping us from getting dispelled, apparenlty the Arena QQ was so much with regards to us staying alive [not doing any damage mind you, like ever other healing class can]. I think in that regard that blizzard is afraid of another Arena season 2, where Restoration druids who spec'd deep into balance were simply eating everyone else alive.

So lets try to break down each change.
Flight Form Now at 60: We no longer have a two level advantage on flying that we used to, but Blizzard has reduced all flying to 60. This is perhaps to admit that they will never see any more new players and that they have finally hit the cap for incoming revenue, so its just best to appease those who love their alts, so they can fly the instant that they make it through the dark portal. I assume their cost have been reduced as well, given that flight form was simply an ability purchase, I don't think we'll notice any real difference, other than getting through Hellfire and Zangermarsh a little quicker once we hit outlands. Though that does really kind of destroy that quest in Zangermarsh where you are turned into a bird by a local druid to scout out the area.

Travel Form now at 16: Again to appease those who love their alts, and maybe because they took a note or two from Warhammer online, they have lowered the mounts to 20 for the base mount and 40 for epic ground mount respectivly. As such our travel form has taken a leap from level 30 to level 16, [ignoring the fact that Shaman's had their travel form dropped to 20 when level 30 mounts came out]. The only real affect is 1.) we get it at the same time as aquatic form [now without its quest], and the level 19 twink battlegrounds will I'm sure be crying for weeks

Rip, Mangle, Rake, Shred, and Swipe: All having their base damage reduced for the final two ranks. This is that side effect of other DPS QQ'ing because we can top the meters when we get a chance to sit still. Mind you, I haven't seen what they did to rogues, but if they haven't done anything I'm going to be very dissapointed, because lets face it they were way above on any single target meters and fan of knives is much easier to spam than swipe.

Innervate now cut in half in every way: This seems to be a direct result of arena QQ, and disturbing that the mechanic for this spell has changed so dramtically in WoTLK. It is now only going to restore half of what it was but on a shorter timer. So essintially if you were using it, you'll probably want to look into doing it when you have much more stable mana rather than say when you're approcahing 4,000 - 2,000 as the restore will only get you back to say around 10,000-12,000 at best [if I am understanding the new mechanic correctly]. I'll play around with it on fights like Ignis and Patchwork [the only times I can remember using it] though with patchwork that tends to be more based off how bad the tanks avoidance is, and its been a while since I healed for that fight, it may be much less painful now that I'm actually geared.

Lifebloom: Will no longer be blooming for those nice 19,000-20,000 crits and 10,000 easy, apparenlty they didn't want it blooming for that much. I'm going to pretend that there is some sort of reason for this, as in PvE the only time that even matters is if Lifebloom actually blooms when its supposed to. I'm sure again there is a PvP reason for this and the rest of us are going to be made to suffer because 1500 rated Arena teams don't know how to play, and face rolling DK's are finally dropping from their 2200+ ratings. Luckily of all the changes, this will probably effect us the least because lets face it, most of us aren't using lifebloom any more anyway, Blizzard wants us to go Rejuv > Wild Growth > Nourish, and forget the rest of the spells on our bar [save maybe swiftmend and nature's swiftness.

I dare not speak on Boomkin changes, because I don't know enough about the spec to open my mouth. See if I can't wait until the PTR comes out to see how it will be affecting things, though I imagine we will be seeing a drop across the board of Cat DPS.

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