- Bloodlust, Heroism, Time Warp and Ancient Hysteria can no longer be cast while in Arenas.
- Shapeshifts: Entering or leaving a shapeshift no longer cancels root effects. It continues to cancel movement slowing effects.
- Berserk no longer breaks Fear or makes the druid immune to Fear.
- Barkskin is no longer dispellable.
- Entangling Roots now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
- Hibernate now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
- Nature's Grasp now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
- Infected Wounds now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
- Glyph of Entangling Roots redesigned. It now reduces the cast time of Entangling Roots by 0.2 seconds, rather than making it instant cast.
- Soothe is now instant cast, down from 1.5 seconds.
- Lacerate damage has been reduced by approximately 20%.
- Mangle (Bear Form) weapon damage (at level 80+) has been reduced to 235%, down from 300%.
- Maul damage has been reduced by approximately 20%.
- Pulverize weapon damage percent has been reduced to 80%, down from 100%.
- Shred weapon damage percent (at level 80+) has been increased to 450%, up from 350%.
- Mangle (Cat Form) weapon damage percent (at level 80+) has been increased to 460%, up from 360%.
- Rake damage has been reduced by 10%.
- Rip damage has been reduced by 10%.
- Skull Bash's lockout time has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 5.
The overall Feral changes seem to hint towards Feral being still damage oriented vs finesse oriented. The Shred changes make for fairly strong burst, but the utility loss of being able to swap targets easier or stay on targets with a mage in the game takes a lot of the more fancy kind of playstyle away from Feral. We won't ever come to the point of Feral gameplay where it is an interesting balance of DPSing in cat form, using utility Feral spells in bear form and casting/healing. Sure, Feral druids are going to cast more often now... while sitting in roots waiting for a dispel! That's just a cumbersome way to provoke a unique playstyle. But without a doubt the direction is this: If you maximize your time on target, you're going to do more burst damage via shred, etc. But if you get peeled, bleeds won't solo people.
- Prowl is no longer broken by enemies using Demoralizing Shout or Demoralizing Roar.
- Typhoon mana cost has been reduced by 50%.
- Moonfire mana cost has been reduced from 18% to 9%.
- Sunfire mana cost has been reduced from 18% to 9%.
- The Shooting Stars buff duration has been increased to 12 seconds, up from 8 seconds.
- Total Eclipse (Mastery) benefit from mastery increased by approximately 33%.
- Glyph of Wrath now increases damage done by Wrath by 10% and no longer requires Insect Swarm on the target
- The PvP Balance druid 4-piece set bonus effect has been increased to 20 Solar Energy and 13 Lunar Energy, up from 5 and 13. The effect will also now be more intelligent at choosing whether to give the druid Lunar or Solar Energy (it checks the Balance Power to determine which to give depending on which energy is higher at the time).
- Wild Mushroom is now instant cast, down from 0.5 seconds. In addition, the radius of detonation has been increased to 6 yards, up from 3, and damage done increased by 30%.
- Fungal growth duration has been increased to 20 seconds, up from 10. In addition, it should now be much more responsive when detonating Wild Mushrooms.
Wild Mushrooms still remain completely pointless for restoration and Feral druids. The chances of predicting ahead of time when your enemy would walk into a specific 6 yard range radius, and having the time to set up the mushrooms is so minuscule, we'll only see it be used by Moonkins in Arena and BGs for the slow it provides. The graphic is very rough on the eyes too on most Arenas, being a simple thing to avoid.
- Moonkin Form now grants 15% damage reduction instead of increased armor.
Purge now dispels a single effect instead of two.
- Rejuvenation mana cost has been reduced from 26% to 20%.
- Empowered Touch now also affects Regrowth. In addition, after Tree of Life is no longer active, this talent will only refresh the most recently cast or refreshed Lifebloom, and will not refresh other copies of Lifebloom.
- Glyph of Regrowth now causes the heal-over-time effect to refresh itself on targets at or below 50% health, up from 25%.
- Natural Shapeshifter has been reduced to a 3/6-second increase to Tree of Life's duration, down from 5/10.
- Tree of Life duration has been reduced to 25 seconds, down from 30.
- Nature's Bounty no longer affects Swiftmend, but now has a new effect. When the druid has Rejuvenation on 3 or more targets, the cast time of Nourish is reduced by 10/20/30%.
This brings Nourish to roughly 1.5 second cast if you take Naturalist, but the mana efficiency of druid heals makes me question how we would get the time to cast a 1.5 second heal when we could be cycloning someone instead. The amount of damage stopped by a 6s cc is a lot greater than the minuscule 8~k nourish heal. Once again this seems to be a great PvE change with no PvP usability.
- Symbiosis (Mastery) benefit from mastery increased by approximately 16%.
- The night elf racial trait Shadowmeld can now be used while shapeshifted.
- The tauren racial trait War Stomp can now be used while shapeshifted.
Both are nice but minor buffs, giving night elf Feral druids the ability to use shadowmeld as a nice way to avoid spells once in a while (and sometimes to regain stealth), while taurens can do something about getting fakecasted in form of warstomp.
The druid class came into cataclysm with high hopes for both Resto and Feral druids. The damage potential of Bleeds, and the strong defenses against polymorph and hex, along with magic dispels, made Feral and Resto druids quite powerful in the first couple of months of arena gameplay. However, the overall design of the class as taken as a whole in Cataclysm remains somewhat perplexing. While we received possibly the largest amount of new abilities (solar beam, mushrooms, starsurge, magic dispel, skull bash, pulverize, stampeding roar, thrash), the overall amount of usable spells in arena for each spec was underwhelming. Feral druids got an interrupt, Restoration druids got a magic dispel while having to now play a GCD game with hex/polymorph, and Balance Druids got a whole bunch of weirdly designed spells that will take a lot of time to get buffed to be usable. There simply isn't a time where a Restoration or Feral druid says "Oh, I've got a prime Pulverize/Thrash/Stampeding roar/Solar Beam/ Wild Mushroom coming up" because those spells simply have no arena usage for the currently viable specs. Where as any spec of a rogue can use recoup/combat readiness/redirect/ smoke bomb, the new abilities we got were simply too situational or PvE oriented. That is the curse of having three completely different arena classes rolled into one
This patch saw a big nerf in Feral mobility and unstoppable damage. These were mostly rightfully deserved changes, but nothing was given to Feral druids to compensate from taking away their preferred playstyle of killing someone in the opener (except bigger shred crits?). The opportunity to shine as an exceptional Feral druid with great game awareness doesn't seem to be there.
Moonkins have received some buffs as the spec was abysmally absent and nowhere in sight in Arenas. I still doubt the changes will be enough, as dispels and being tunneled will plague the spec no matter how many cool toys we get. The lack of an off-the-gcd interrupt, along with the shortest range CC makes the moonkin an inferior choice in the wizard echelon, tying Elemental shamans for last place.
The Restoration druid still remains the most versatile and mobile choice for competitive arena gameplay for a druid. The basic design of the class with instant cast abilities and the opportunity to provide CC yields to that, however our healing output remains a little bit questionable when the opponent knows to target switch based on lifebloom stacks.
Overall, I see only Restoration remain a viable top tier Spec for druids. The synergy with DKs and Warlocks continues to grow, however strong Wizard comps still can make quite a dent at the very top ladder positions. The Feral nerfs will make Feral druids even more reliant on finishing the game early by outputting sheer damage, and the buffs to Moonkins just aren't enough. It will be curious to see how some spells scale when we have, say, 10,000 spellpower or the equivalent ilevel of agility. I see Feral druid damage once again hit a very respectable level of pressure, I see lifebloom HoT scaling fall behind while the mana regeneration would give us the opportunity to gem/reforge haste for stronger CC, and I see Boomkin survivability and mana regeneration hit a point where we can pretend to be mini affliction warlocks and rely on strong Starsurge procs for damage while playing an AoE DoT pressure game.
Edited by Yes, 08 February 2011 - 03:08 PM.