Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What's new in the Beta

Even though I'm not in the beta, nor do I have plans to be, I do want to keep tabs on the new abilities and changes coming out so that I will have a solid plan come release day. For example, I can say with great certainty that I will probably want to make room on my bar for Revive, it looks kinda good.

It's no good to far ahead, for example if you listen to what a developer has to say about changes they might possibly implement one day, you might end up thinking the sky is falling, and that your dearly beloved Druid has been reduced to the lowly rank of Herb Mule. So I will stick to what has been implemented, and what is out on the beta.

On the 8th, released a new patch for the beta. I've already looked at the talents and what's out, so we'll skip that and just look at the new stuff for today. According to WotLK Wiki, this is the extent of the damage for Ferals:

  • Swipe damage has been slightly reduced (120 to 108 for rank 8 ).
  • Maim now interrupts the victim's spellcasting for 3 seconds.
  • Feral Instinct increases swipe damage by 10/20/30% now. (Previously was 5/10/15%.)
  • Feral Swiftness speed increase now works indoors.
  • Savage Fury now increases damage caused by Mangle (Bear) and Maul in addition to the previous abilities.
  • Infected Wounds reduces attack speed by 4% and stacks up to 5 times. (Previously was 3%)

That's not too bad, let's look at the changes in detail.

Swipe seems to have gotten nerfed, so let's look at the other change to be sure. Feral Instinct (now no longer with a threat component) received double the damage increase to Swipe. Old swipe did 120 + 15% for a grand total of 138 damage per swing. Now, it does 108 + 30% for a grand total of 140.4 damage. This is a buff for sure, though the base difference is too low to really notice. I imagine it begins to show with more AP, as the new version of the talent should provide for more scalability (assuming of course that the 30% is calculated after the AP bonus. If not, well phooey.)

Maim now interrupts the target's spellcasting for 3 seconds. Thank. God. We've needed some kind of interrupt for sometime now. You know, one that didn't require you to run out 8 yards first. Though this requires combo points, with careful planning, you will be able to use this effectively whenever needed at the cost of some, if not all, of your rip DPS. That's not insignificant, but such is the cost of utility. Try to opt for Kicks, Pummels, and Counterspells first if you can.

Feral Swiftness now works indoors. I don't think this will change much on the PvE side of things. Maybe Druids will be called in to rez the whole raid now, especially if there are respawns. This will be bad. I hate the punks that just sit there waiting while the healer runs back. But I doubt this will really be the case.

Savage Fury now affecting Bears, too... hmm... this is reminiscent of when the talent was first introduced, I think, though that version affected Swipe, too. Anyway, apparently Bear threat is gonna need the extra oomph in the expansion. This change makes the talent worth looking over again.

I think Infected Wounds is a great talent, assuming the attack speed component works on bosses (I doubt the slowing component will.) If that is the case, this is a decent buff that speaks for itself.

  • Omen of Clarity now only procs off Spells and autoattacks. (Previously was Spells and any attack)

And I almost missed it, but the change to Omen of Clarity is exclusively a Feral nerf. I don't have too much of a problem with it though. I do wonder if Blizzard will ever change it too an untalented passive skill. The only reason I can think of right now that it's not is to force a Druid into restoration if they want this talent at level 20.

All in all, Ferals still aren't walking away gimped or forced into a choice between Cat and Bear. While the talents we are receiving are mostly rehashes of stuff from other classes, that's okay with me. After all, the entire basis of the Druid class is unique, and while there are imitators, nobody changes roles as quickly and as sharply as we do.

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