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Thread: Druid Preview

  1. #1
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    Druid Preview

    In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm we’ll be making several changes to class talents and abilities. Here you will get a glimpse into some of the changes we have in store for the druid. The information you’re about to read is certainly not complete, and is only meant to act as a preview of some of the exciting new things to come. Let’s kick things off by checking out some of the new druid spells and abilities!

    New Druid Abilities

    Thrash (Level 81): Thrash deals damage and causes all targets within 10 yards to bleed every 2 seconds for 6 seconds. The intent here is to give bears another button to hit while tanking. Talents will affect the bleed, such as causing Swipe to deal more damage to bleeding targets. 5-second cooldown. 25 Rage.

    Stampeding Roar (Level 83): The druid roars, increasing the movement of all allies within 10 yards by 40% for 8 seconds. Stampeding Roar can be used in cat or bear form, but bears might have a talent to drop the cooldown. The goal of this ability is to give both bears and cats a little more situational group utility. 3-minute cooldown. No cost.

    Wild Mushroom (Level 85): Grows a magical mushroom at the target location. After 4 seconds the mushroom becomes invisible. Enemies who cross the mushroom detonate it, causing it to deal area-of-effect damage, though its damage component will remain very effective against single targets. The druid can also choose to detonate the mushroom ahead of time. This is primarily a tool for the Balance druid, and there will be talents that play off of it. No cooldown. 40-yard range. Instant cast.

    Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

    In addition to the new abilities listed above, we intend to make changes to some of the other abilities and mechanics with which you’re already familiar. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of our goals for each spec.
    • All heal-over-time spells (HoTs) will benefit from crit and haste innately in Cataclysm. Hasted HoTs do not reduce their duration, but instead add additional HoT ticks. Haste will also benefit Energy generation while in cat form.
    • Unlike the other healers, Restoration druids will not be receiving any new spells. They have plenty to work with already, and our challenge instead is to make sure all of them have a well-defined niche. A druid should be able to tank-heal with stacks of Lifebloom, spot-heal a group with Nourish and Regrowth, and top off lightly wounded targets with Rejuvenation.
    • We want to add tools to cat form and depth to bear form. If a Feral cat is going to fill a very similar niche to that of a rogue, warrior or Enhancement shaman, it needs a few more tools -- primarily a reliable interrupt. Bears need to be pushing a few more buttons just so the contrast between tanking and damage-dealing is not so steep.
    • Barkskin will be innately undispellable.
    • We will be buffing the damage of Mangle (cat) significantly so that when cat druids cannot Shred, they are not at such a damage-dealing loss.
    • Druids will lose Abolish Poison with the dispel mechanics change, but Restoration druids will gain Dispel Magic (on friendly targets) as a talent. All druids can still remove poisons with Cure Poison and remove curses with Remove Curse.

    New Talents and Talent Changes
    • Tree of Life is changing from a passive talent to a cooldown-based talent, similar to Metamorphosis. Mechanically, it feels unfair for a druid to have to give up so much offense and utility in order to be just as good at healing as the other classes who are not asked to make that trade. We are exploring the exact benefit the druid gets from Tree of Life. It could strictly be better healing, or it could be that each heal behaves slightly different. You also will not be able to be banished in Tree of Life form (this will probably be true of Metamorphosis as well). Additionally, we would like to update the Tree of Life model so that it feels more exciting when you do decide to go into that form. Our feeling is that druids rarely actually get to show off their armor, so it would be nice to have at least one spec that looked like a night elf or tauren (and soon troll or worgen) for most of the time.
    • We want to make the Feral cat damage rotation slightly more forgiving. We do not want to remove what druids like about their gameplay, but we do want to make it less punishing to miss, say, a Savage Roar or Rake. The changes here will be on par with increasing the duration of Mangle like we did for patch 3.3.3.
    • Balance druids will have a new talent ability called Nature’s Torrent, which strikes for either Nature or Arcane damage depending on which will do the most damage (or possibly both), and moves the Eclipse meter more (details below). The improved version of Nature’s Torrent also reduces the target's movement speed. 10-second cooldown.
    • Restoration druids will have a new talent called Efflorescence, which causes a bed of healing flora to sprout beneath targets that are critically healed by Regrowth.
    • We plan on giving Feral cats and bears a Kick/Pummel equivalent -- an interrupt that is off the global cooldown and does no damage. We feel like they need this utility to be able to fill the melee role in a dungeon or raid group, and to give them more PvP utility.
    • We want to make sure Feral and Balance druids feel like good options for an Arena team. They need the tools to where you might consider a Feral druid over an Arms warrior, or a Balance druid over a mage or warlock. Remember that the PvP landscape will probably look pretty different for Cataclysm with a focus on rated, competitive Battlegrounds.

    Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

    Balance
    Spell Damage
    Spell Haste
    Eclipse

    Feral (Cat)
    Melee Damage
    Melee Critical Damage
    Bleed Damage

    Feral (Bear)
    Damage Reduction
    Vengeance
    Savage Defense

    Restoration
    Healing
    Meditation
    HoT Scale Healing

    Eclipse: We are moving Eclipse from a talent into a core mechanic of the class and making it less random. Balance druids will have a new UI element that shows a sun and a moon. Whenever they cast an Arcane spell, it will move the UI closer to the sun, and buff their Nature damage. Whenever they cast a Nature spell, it will move the UI closer to the moon, and buff their Arcane damage. The gameplay intention is to alternate Arcane and Nature spells (largely Starfire and Wrath) to maintain the balance.

    Bleed Damage and Savage Defense: Feral druids will receive two sets of passive bonuses depending on whether the druid is in cat or bear form. Bleed Damage will be improved for cats. Savage Defense is the current bear mechanic for converting crits into damage absorption and will be improved for bears.

    HoT Scale Healing: HoTs will do increased healing on more wounded targets. The mechanic is similar to that of the Restoration shaman, but with HoTs instead of direct heals. In Cataclysm, we anticipate druids using a greater variety of their spells so there is a distinction between healing and HoT healing.

    Vengeance: This is a mechanic to ensure that tank damage (and therefore threat) doesn’t fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs will have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus. Whenever a tank gets hit, Vengeance will give them a stacking attack power buff equal to 5% of the damage done, up to a maximum of 10% of the character’s unbuffed health. For boss encounters we expect that tanks will always have the attack power bonus equal to 10% of their health. The 5% and 10% bonuses assume 51 talent points have been put into the Feral tree and the druid is in bear form -- these values will be smaller at lower levels. Remember, you only get this bonus if you have spent the most talent points in the Feral tree and are in bear form, so you won’t see Balance, Restoration, or Feral druids in cat form running around with it. Vengeance will let us continue to make tank gear more or less the way we do today -- there will be some damage-dealing stats, but mostly survival-oriented stats. Druids typically have more damage-dealing stats even on their tanking gear, so the Vengeance benefit may be smaller, but overall the goal is that all four tanks do about the same damage when tanking.

    We hope you enjoyed this preview, and ask that you provide your initial thoughts and feedback on what was presented here. Please keep in mind, what you’ve just reviewed is a work in progress and as we move closer to the Cataclysm beta, you’ll see these changes as well as others continue to develop in response to testing and feedback.


    Cataclysm Stat & System Changes: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...25636414&sid=1

    Mastery System Preview: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...10210871&sid=1



  2. #2
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    Thrash (Level 81): Thrash deals damage and causes all targets within 10 yards to bleed every 2 seconds for 6 seconds. The intent here is to give bears another button to hit while tanking. Talents will affect the bleed, such as causing Swipe to deal more damage to bleeding targets. 5-second cooldown. 25 Rage.
    Finally, druid-thunderclap w/o the slow. Will suck for things that need to be CCed if they intend to get rid of the AOE game but that is nothing those of us who tanked in BC are not used to already.
    Stampeding Roar (Level 83): The druid roars, increasing the movement of all allies within 10 yards by 40% for 8 seconds. Stampeding Roar can be used in cat or bear form, but bears might have a talent to drop the cooldown. The goal of this ability is to give both bears and cats a little more situational group utility. 3-minute cooldown. No cost.
    WHAT...THE!!! This is amazing. This probably will not go live as is, hits way to many targets, will probably be reduced to 5 yard range or at the very least party (physical 5 man party) only.

    Wild Mushroom (Level 85): Grows a magical mushroom at the target location. After 4 seconds the mushroom becomes invisible. Enemies who cross the mushroom detonate it, causing it to deal area-of-effect damage, though its damage component will remain very effective against single targets. The druid can also choose to detonate the mushroom ahead of time. This is primarily a tool for the Balance druid, and there will be talents that play off of it. No cooldown. 40-yard range. Instant cast.
    This 100% will not go live like this, unless it costs like 5K+ mana. Will be an amazing pulling tool (thinking back to the days when the druid would have to be in caster form in heroics and use a hurricane on the pull to get initial agro).

    Haste will also benefit Energy generation while in cat form.
    We knew this already but good to hear it again.

    Unlike the other healers, Restoration druids will not be receiving any new spells. They have plenty to work with already, and our challenge instead is to make sure all of them have a well-defined niche. A druid should be able to tank-heal with stacks of Lifebloom, spot-heal a group with Nourish and Regrowth, and top off lightly wounded targets with Rejuvenation.
    DID NOT expect that. Very surprising revelation. Almost as surprising as the lack of a druid healer "cast on person to reduce damage taken" spell. Maybe it will be a new talent.

    We want to add tools to cat form and depth to bear form. If a Feral cat is going to fill a very similar niche to that of a rogue, warrior or Enhancement shaman, it needs a few more tools -- primarily a reliable interrupt. Bears need to be pushing a few more buttons just so the contrast between tanking and damage-dealing is not so steep.
    Good to know, maim was terrible as an interrupt because it needed combo points. Not sure what they mean about the bear thing, difference between tanking and damage dealing as a bear?

    We will be buffing the damage of Mangle (cat) significantly so that when cat druids cannot Shred, they are not at such a damage-dealing loss.
    Not what I wanted to hear, REMOVE THE POSITION FROM SHRED!

    We want to make the Feral cat damage rotation slightly more forgiving. We do not want to remove what druids like about their gameplay, but we do want to make it less punishing to miss, say, a Savage Roar or Rake. The changes here will be on par with increasing the duration of Mangle like we did for patch 3.3.3.
    This is good, increases in the duration of even rake would be HUGE for rotations but if they do more than that it will probably be too good.

    We plan on giving Feral cats and bears a Kick/Pummel equivalent -- an interrupt that is off the global cooldown and does no damage. We feel like they need this utility to be able to fill the melee role in a dungeon or raid group, and to give them more PvP utility.
    YES YES YES YES YES !!!!!!!!!

    Savage Defense is the current bear mechanic for converting crits into damage absorption and will be improved for bears.
    good, it is pretty weak right now.



    Negatives: No furor change announced, no new bear tanking cooldown although maybe that is what they meant about "bears needing to be more tanky not just DPSing from in front as a bear"
    Last edited by Darksend; 04-09-2010 at 06:24 PM.



  3. #3
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    Tree of life changes are very vague, but i agree the lack of offensive spells in tree form vs healing penalty in humanoid form is pretty annoying.

  4. #4
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    I don't like the tree of life change. Mostly for my PvP enjoyment, but I don't play a druid so eh.

  5. #5
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    I think the bear changes look promising.

    Thrash will give us another button o push and is said to amp up swipe damage? I wonder if they will make the Bleed critically hit with Primal Gore?

    Bears possibly getting a short 10-12 second interrupt? That'd be so awesome in my current raid group, I don't even know how to express how that makes me happy.

    The Mastery, while not as impressive as I had hoped, is still a solid choice, I just wonder how it will work since having it function off AP while we have Vengeance stacks seems a bit strong.

    Toning down the difference between Cat and Bear complexity is a good thing imo. Some of the changes to Balance look promising and I can see how the Eclipse change would be more ideal then the RNG version there is now.

    Not sure how I feel about trees not being trees all the time anymore tho.

  6. #6
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    "Magical Mushroom".... this feels like a belated April Fools joke, though I'm digging the concept.

    I know tons of trees that'll be pretty sad to see ToL turned into a CD, but happy that the model will get an upgrade. Hopefully druid armor will be a little more epic in Cata for the poor restos.

    Efflorescence also seems pretty nifty. Can't wait to see the graphic on it.

    Interesting that they are aiming to make druids viable tank healers. I wonder if holy paladins will become viable raid healers? If so, it looks like healing role homogenization will be complete, with only a variance in style and mechanic.



  7. #7
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    "Thrash (Level 81): Thrash deals damage and causes all targets within 10 yards to bleed every 2 seconds for 6 seconds. The intent here is to give bears another button to hit while tanking. Talents will affect the bleed, such as causing Swipe to deal more damage to bleeding targets. 5-second cooldown. 25 Rage."

    so... they gave druids my bloodbath? Hrm.

    My resto droods are going to feel shafted.

  8. #8
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    I'm very, very dissapointed in the removal of Tree of Life as a permanent form. I really hope it doesn't go live and I see a ton of replies on the WoW forums asking them to put it back in.

  9. #9
    I can't stand Blizzard's hard desire to make every spec viable for everything. They are doing such a shitty job at balancing it simply because of this. 10 specs being balanced is hard enough. 30 is impossible. And Druid's are the epitome. Druids don't need to be effective PvE rogues, Mages, Warriors, healer and effective PvP Warriors, Rogues, Shaman, Mages.

    It's not like classic where rerolling meant the next few months of rebuilding. If you are forced into a role you don't like, you can get to 80 and have ICC capable gear in a week nowadays. 100% versatility shouldn't be the goal, imo. The game should be balanced above all else.

    Arghhhh

  10. #10
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    I agree with some of the things you are saying kamani but there are some things we desperately need, such as a bear for interrupt.



  11. #11
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    The change to tree of life had been announced some time ago. They will have to rebalance the healing spells for it.

    Priests get YOINK!, druids get a patch of flowers. I guess there wasn't that much to do for both of them

    SIMON DE MONTFORT, EARL OF LEICESTER
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    killed in the Battle of Evesham on 4 August 1265.


  12. #12
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    Looks good overall to me, the interupt will be especially welcome, and I'm thrilled to use at least 1 more button while aoe tanking.

    Am I the only one that feels like Vengeance is unnecessarily clunky in its implementation? I mean I know it's not live yet but maybe I just don't understand something. What benefit is there to having it be 'activated' on being hit? Is it just too boring to give us a percentage of our stamina or health as attack power?

    It's not a complaint so much as a misunderstanding - I don't get why they're setting it up the way they are, and it almost feels like they're trying to make it more interesting than it needs to be.

    Input welcome.
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    I'd like to see some sort of a sword and board/bloodsurge style proc for bears in the future. Maybe increase the cd of bear mangle but critting has a chance to cause magles cd to instantly finish and cost no rage. I know it's just a copy and paste of sword and board but something like this would make bear tankng a bit more interactive. I suppose the changes to maul will make things a bit more interesting too. We shall see.

    Also, i agree that vengeance seems like it's being made more complex than it needs to be. Sorta like calling a cab to get to mcdonalds when you have your own car.
    Last edited by Chakka; 04-09-2010 at 08:27 PM.

  14. #14
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    I don't understand the hate vengeance receives. It seems to scale well.

    SIMON DE MONTFORT, EARL OF LEICESTER
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mačl View Post
    I don't understand the hate vengeance receives. It seems to scale well.
    Because of how it limits the encounter design team. The most fun fights are fights where there are tank transitions on taunt immune bosses and yo uhave to play the threat game with the other tank to swap at the right time. Twins is still one of my favorite fights to this day for that reason.



  16. #16
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    Vengeance could always just remain active until combat ends. It seems like Blizzard's way of making tanks deal more damage in PvE while making it difficult to do drastically more continual damage in PvP. Of course initial aggro is usually when threat matters the most, so having damage ramp up is kind of annoying in that respect.
    Last edited by Vorps; 04-10-2010 at 12:42 AM.

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    Eclipse functionality for a balance druid isn't very well specified and honestly what it looks like it promotes is...

    /castsequence Wrath, Starfire

    A completely dumbed down version of the balance rotation where litterally you would alternate constantly.

    For example, say that when you charge up Arcane spells, nature doesn't really have a penalty, it just doesn't get buffed. So you fully charge it. Cast an arcane spell, it takes part of your charge away but you just alternate it with a nature spell. Thus maintaining a high eclipse all the time. This functionally means you will theorycraft which is more benefitial, Starfire or Wrath, and just buff that one spell fully and then alternate back and forth.

    As an alternative, they can make it so that the other school becomes weaker, but that is unlikely.

    Balance DPS is reduced to charge your meter and just keep alternating to keep the maximum effect on the more benefitial spell. While it does promise to increase balance DPS over all, it seems to defeat the purpose a little. Instead of making us want to change spells back and forth, they are now forcing us to change after each cast. I'll be curious to see how this actually gets implemented.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinafoi View Post
    .

    For example, say that when you charge up Arcane spells, nature doesn't really have a penalty, it just doesn't get buffed. So you fully charge it. Cast an arcane spell, it takes part of your charge away but you just alternate it with a nature spell. Thus maintaining a high eclipse all the time. This functionally means you will theorycraft which is more benefitial, Starfire or Wrath, and just buff that one spell fully and then alternate back and forth.

    As an alternative, they can make it so that the other school becomes weaker, but that is unlikely.

    Balance DPS is reduced to charge your meter and just keep alternating to keep the maximum effect on the more benefitial spell. While it does promise to increase balance DPS over all, it seems to defeat the purpose a little. Instead of making us want to change spells back and forth, they are now forcing us to change after each cast. I'll be curious to see how this actually gets implemented.
    What if the charged spell costs more mana the more it is charged? Lets say at full "charge" the bonus is 25% more damage from that spell but the mana cost scales up to 50% more mana required per cast. You would have to decide if it's worth it to have a 50% mana cost debuff to gain the 25% damage buff.

    As your gear improves and you have better mana regen you could run the buff/debuff meter farther "into the red" and stay at a higher damage bonus since your gear can now support a higher mana cost on spells.

    Im no boomkin pro btw. Its just a thought.

  19. #19
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    Aaaaaaaaa LOT of people are pissed about the ToL change.

    In a way I understand why Blizzard is doing it but if you look at it, the class has become the iconic shapeshifting class. By changing the mechanics of ToL and removing this as a shifting form, you're going to have a lot of very angry people and it shows considering the thread's nearly 150 pages long the last time I looked (Will not be surprised at a 200 page break for this.)

    They really may wanna consider what GC said and put in a minor glyph to keep tree form.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krenian View Post
    They really may wanna consider what GC said and put in a minor glyph to keep tree form.
    This is a good compromise, I think. Honestly, I don't know why the graphic is the issue here. I mean, one could say the same thing about balance having to be in form to compete with other DPS, while not being able to cast their healing spells. The problem isn't the model, its the mechanics.



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