ToS Progress, Patch 7.3 PTR - NPC Conversation Lines, Knights of the Frozen Throne

Patch 7.3 - Feral Druid Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Hi Cats,

We have a number of changes to Feral Druids coming soon. The general goals of these changes are:
  • 1. Reduce (but not necessarily displace entirely) the dominance of the big three complexifying and powerful talents: Savage Roar, Jagged Wounds, and Bloodtalons. Each of those talents is (on live) winning by a large margin in terms of throughput against other talents on their rows.
  • 2. Balance out the power level of the last 3 talent rows, allowing more talents builds to be viable.
  • 3. Increase the skill floor and reduce how punishing it can be to error when playing the rotation.
  • 4. Compensate for power-level-reductions of talents with baseline damage increase to the spec so that at the highest level, performance isn’t really affected, but the bottom of the spec is brought up.

The most major changes:

  • All damage done increased by 33%.
  • Jagged Wounds reduced to 20%. (down from 33%)
  • Savage Roar duration increased by 50% at all combo points. Damage bonus reduced to 15%. (down from 25%)
  • Bloodtalons damage bonus reduced to 25%. (down from 50%)

Looking back at the development of Feral Druid in Legion: when Savage Roar was moved from a baseline ability to the talent tree, in order to bring the power level of the ability closer to most talents (+25% damage to everything for a long duration is far stronger than most talents are), rather than reducing its damage bonus, its duration was significantly shortened instead. This contributed greatly to the overconstrained and overly punishing Feral rotation that you see on live today. Additionally, Jagged Wounds was added as a new talent, reducing the amount of free combo points Ferals had available to finishers such as Ferocious Bite (which was basically pushed out of the rotation entirely). Both talents probably would have been fine on their own, but taken together (because they were the strongest) at the live tuning values led to a more pressured Feral rotation than we felt was right.

Additionally, a few talents are being rearranged in the talent tree:


The primary gain here is moving Brutal Slash to a sort of multitarget/AOE lvl 90 talent row along with Sabertooth (which can be well-utilized in a sustained low-target situation), giving the lvl 90 row a solid talent for dungeons. For now, we want to go with an arrangement that keeps Jagged Wounds, Savage Roar, and Bloodtalons on separate rows so the current most common live build is still possible.

Other less major changes include quality of life and tuning adjustments to some talents to balance out the rows:

  • Prowl cooldown reduced to 6 sec (down from 10 sec) for all Druid specs.
  • Rebirth is castable in all forms, and consequently, is no longer affected by or consumes Predatory Swiftness.
  • Sabertooth damage bonus to Ferocious Bite increased to 20%.
  • Incarnation: King of the Jungle energy cost reduction reduced to 50% (down from 60%) and only allows the use of Prowl once. This it to balance out that talent row with the new Jagged Wounds and to reduce the frequency of Rake stuns in PvP while still allowing Incarnation to function as an effective Vanish.
  • Moment of Clarity now causes Omen of Clarity to trigger twice as often and increases the damage of the affected abilities by 25%. This is to better space out what is essentially a large energy proc and reduce slightly the impact that a single talent has on the resource income and pacing of the rotation.
  • Elune’s Guidance cooldown reduced to 30 sec (down from 45 sec) and combo points granted reduced to 5 + 5 over 5 seconds (down from 5 + 8 over 8 seconds).

Overall, with these changes, balance for the last 3 talent rows and consequently overall should be better in general. We expect the current most common build/playstyle of Jagged Wounds + Savage Roar + Bloodtalons to still remain one of the strongest builds, but it should no longer win by a huge margin over other competing talent builds and also should be a little less strenuous to play.

These changes should be available in an upcoming PTR build. As usual, we may make further adjustments – especially tuning – as PTR progresses. (Official Forums)

Feral Druid T21 Set Bonus
The current intention of the Feral 4 piece bonus is that you get a 100% free in every way (except a GCD) Ferocious Bite.

This may change as set bonuses go through some more iteration throughout the 7.3.0 development cycle.

Thank you for the feedback. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This article was originally published in forum thread: Patch 7.3 - Feral Druid Changes started by chaud View original post
Comments 90 Comments
  1. Nymrohd's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tradu View Post
    Yeah, so it's not for everybody, which is fine.
    See this is the problem. People may like to play a spec because of other reasons beyond gameplay; they may like the archetype, the aesthetics, the lore around it. Feral had a very complex rotation for middling returns but even worse, the complexity was entirely due to talents and the difference between picking the complex talents and the more passive talents was very significant. Honestly if the simpler rotation was not that far behind, it would have been fine imo.
  1. Tradu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nymrohd View Post
    See this is the problem. People may like to play a spec because of other reasons beyond gameplay; they may like the archetype, the aesthetics, the lore around it. Feral had a very complex rotation for middling returns but even worse, the complexity was entirely due to talents and the difference between picking the complex talents and the more passive talents was very significant. Honestly if the simpler rotation was not that far behind, it would have been fine imo.
    This is where I disagree. Gameplay should come first at all times, and if people don't like the gameplay, that should not be changed just because they like the idea of being a cat.
  1. Doomaz's Avatar
    is survival hunter ok?
  1. TheFuse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Doomaz View Post
    is survival hunter ok?
    It still exists so no, it's not okay.
  1. Tharkkun's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tradu View Post
    People massively overexaggerate how hard Feral is to play. It requires understanding of a few basic concepts, which are very different to most other classes(or at least more pronounced), after you get those basic concepts it's not hard to execute.
    I played feral from BC through MOP. It was made far more complex in both MOP and then Legion. It's always been one of the most difficult specs to master but they took it to the next level in Legion if you wanted the most optimal talents.
  1. Gemini Soul's Avatar
    Whats funny is all these problems were brought up in beta about SR/JW/BT build and now they are finally fixing it.
  1. RelaZ's Avatar
    Overall I really like the changes (maybe we can finally get the absolutely atrocious Bloodtalons talent out of PvP now), would do the following as well:

    Baseline:
    - 5 combo points Savage Roar is 42 seconds like MoP/WoD
    - Savage Roar can be used with 0 combo points for a 12 second duration buff (like the MoP glyph, QoL change - can also do the WoD version where you are granted a full buff if using Rake from stealth)
    PvP talents:
    - Cyclone (Replace Enraged Maim or King of the Jungle)
    - Barkskin (Replacing Thorns, the talent should also remove 1x Survival Instincts charge)
    - A "Druidism" talent which would give the following spells: Mark of the Wild, Innervate, Hibernate, Tranquility, Soothe & Nature's Grasp (replacing Ferocious Wound)
  1. Ishayu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tradu View Post
    People massively overexaggerate how hard Feral is to play. It requires understanding of a few basic concepts, which are very different to most other classes(or at least more pronounced), after you get those basic concepts it's not hard to execute.
    As a feral player for 10 years that just rerolled Frost Mage: Absolutely not.

    The feral rotation was absolutely ridiculous. You have 5 different abilities that snapshot your bleeds. One is a short term cooldown, 2 are medium term cooldowns, 1 is a very long cooldown, and the last one becomes available as a proc, which you must wait until 4 combo points to use. You must get to 4 combo points soon or the proc is lost, which can actually fail because the energy regeneration is so low. On top of that, there's 3 bleeds that needs to be kept up at all times, and every single one of them can snapshot with all of the above, and one of those abilities is a finishers, and one of them is applied whenever you get a Clearcasting proc. Any attempt to deviate from the most punishing spec nerfed your DPS by approximately 25%.

    Overall, the core rotation consists of 13 buttons. On top of that, energy and combo point management is very tight, and any failure to look ahead ~10 seconds will result in a colossal (about 35%) DPS loss.

    While I do like a hard rotation, this thing was completely crazy, and I'm glad Blizzard took a look at it.

    EDIT: Quote the wrong person.
  1. Nasuuna's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ishayu View Post
    As a feral player for 10 years that just rerolled Frost Mage: Absolutely not.

    The feral rotation was absolutely ridiculous. You have 5 different abilities that snapshot your bleeds. One is a short term cooldown, 2 are medium term cooldowns, 1 is a very long cooldown, and the last one becomes available as a proc, which you must wait until 4 combo points to use. You must get to 4 combo points soon or the proc is lost, which can actually fail because the energy regeneration is so low. On top of that, there's 3 bleeds that needs to be kept up at all times, and every single one of them can snapshot with all of the above, and one of those abilities is a finishers, and one of them is applied whenever you get a Clearcasting proc. Any attempt to deviate from the most punishing spec nerfed your DPS by approximately 25%.

    Overall, the core rotation consists of 13 buttons. On top of that, energy and combo point management is very tight, and any failure to look ahead ~10 seconds will result in a colossal (about 35%) DPS loss.

    While I do like a hard rotation, this thing was completely crazy, and I'm glad Blizzard took a look at it.

    EDIT: Quote the wrong person.
    quoted me I think :3
  1. Xandrigity's Avatar
    I've played Druids for years its my go to class for healing, tanking and range dps. I excel in three or four specs. I have found feral to be needlessly frustrating as of late. Having a few class spec combos that take more skill to master are healthy for a game but feral has gone too far. Compared to other melee similar classes feral has not felt worth the effort.
  1. Aliven's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tradu View Post
    This is where I disagree. Gameplay should come first at all times, and if people don't like the gameplay, that should not be changed just because they like the idea of being a cat.
    Yep, thats the point - gameplay of feral is a mess and shitty. That's why they are changing it. Hopefully.
  1. Thorim's Avatar
    Aaaaaaand that's me not playing feral any more - I played it *BECAUSE* it was a hard to play and very skill based spec, that's what made it fun...now you're making it 'babies first spec', no thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Xandrigity View Post
    I've played Druids for years its my go to class for healing, tanking and range dps. I excel in three or four specs. I have found feral to be needlessly frustrating as of late. Having a few class spec combos that take more skill to master are healthy for a game but feral has gone too far. Compared to other melee similar classes feral has not felt worth the effort.
    "I've played Druids for years" Not from Wrath then, because it is essentially how it was back in wrath in terms of the short duration timers, and these have been the most fun times for the spec. Just because *you* cannot play it properly doesn't mean it is bad.
  1. Xandrigity's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thorim View Post
    Aaaaaaand that's me not playing feral any more - I played it *BECAUSE* it was a hard to play and very skill based spec, that's what made it fun...now you're making it 'babies first spec', no thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -



    "I've played Druids for years" Not from Wrath then, because it is essentially how it was back in wrath in terms of the short duration timers, and these have been the most fun times for the spec. Just because *you* cannot play it properly doesn't mean it is bad.
    I did say "as of late" which translates to in its current state.

    No I don't like it. But it seems like the developers see fault in its design or they wouldn't be changing it. So I guess everyone is wrong but you.
  1. Thorim's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Xandrigity View Post
    I did say "as of late" which translates to in its current state.

    No I don't like it. But it seems like the developers see fault in its design or they wouldn't be changing it. So I guess everyone is wrong but you.
    Oh yes sorry, the devs who never make a single mistake (except almost every change they ever made, just like when they made DK easymode by removing multiple diseases) - The devs are doing this to help the LFR generation, people who can't even manage a single buff and single debuff. If I wanted to play Wotlk-era Ret paladin where I can just macro all my abilities into one button, I'd play an easy spec.
  1. Zelion's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tradu View Post
    This is where I disagree. Gameplay should come first at all times, and if people don't like the gameplay, that should not be changed just because they like the idea of being a cat.
    I disagree with this logic, the game would be the same as it was in vanilla.

    If it were the other way around would you be saying the same thing?

    They make the changes to gameplay to incorporate the most amount of people as possible, not to satisfy a few people that enjoyed the previous iteration.

    Let's be honest. This is no longer than game for people that are looking just for super in depth gameplay. That ended a long time ago.
  1. MakeMeLaugh's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TheFuse View Post
    It still exists so no, it's not okay.
    I like it, what's the matter? Survival is, in my opinion, the "hardest" spec by far in the game right now. They could change a few things here and there, but I hope melee hunter stays.
  1. PowerGamez's Avatar
    This wont change anything. People will still pick BT and JW as they are so much better than the other alternatives. The only decision left now is BS or SR and I imagine most people will take SR still.

    The SR duration increase and JW being 80% instead of 66% is nice as it means we're refreshing SR 33% less and refreshing dots 17% less. which should allow for a smoother rotation with more FB.

    I don't think the 33% is enough though - will depend on how much more shred damage and FB damage you get in. Rough napkin math on our dots.

    (Base Damage * patch modifier) * JW * SR * BT = Bleed Damage
    7.2.5 = (100 * 1) * (1/0.66) * 1.25 * 1.5 = 284
    7.3 = (100 * 1.33) * (1/0.8) * 1.15 * 1.25 = 239

    239/284 = 0.84

    Therefor our bleeds will deal 16% less damage. So you'd need the 1.33 x all other damage to be more than 16% to keep our damage neutral.
  1. Darth Dracula's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mariovsgoku View Post
    "All damage done increased by 33%" well okay then.

    How could they have been so bad they needed to be buffed by 33%?? What is Blizzard smoking? Bout time feral got a buff and I don't even play them.
    did you even read the entire paragraph before it so you had context or did you do what most idiots on this forum do and lookk at the numbers without context and start autistically screeching.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Tradu View Post
    This is where I disagree. Gameplay should come first at all times, and if people don't like the gameplay, that should not be changed just because they like the idea of being a cat.
    "people shouldn't get to play what they want effectively because I want to play a convoluted class so I can flex my e-peen"

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Zelion View Post
    Let's be honest. This is no longer than game for people that are looking just for super in depth gameplay. That ended a long time ago.
    Let's be honest. There was rarely any super indepth gameplay to begin with.
  1. Sylar Hao's Avatar
    As a feral main since vanilla, and passionate hater of Savage Roar ever since it was introduced in WotLK as our level 76 ability, I very welcome these changes.

    I've always topped metters with my druid, I'm not the best player in the world at all, but I know my spec very very well. Yes, like others has pointed, the spec is not that hard to play once you've interiorized and muscle trained the full rotation, but even then, the failure punishing is wayyy to high compared to other specs, and this causes that feral suffers a lot in both competitive PvE and PvP.

    And yes, one of the things I liked back then was the complexity of the spec, but even then you could stare to what was going on. Right now, with the SR+JW+BT talents you just simply cannot move your eyes from your actionbar/weakauras/or whatever addons you use to track the 1097823974234 things a feral must track to dps properly. It gets even worse if you play with Ailuro Pouncers, like I do.

    As much as I like a well designed rotation with some level of complexity, the current feral optimal spec it's overwhelmingly tight and prone to failure, not only by the player's mistakes, but also because of mechanics of bosses and other players in pvp. Stunned? Big damage lose. Target switching? Big damage lose. Has to stop dps for whatever reason (phase change, cc...), mob dies faster than expected? big damage lose... and all of these situationes fuck up your rotation... Finally you get your 4 pieces bonus from X tier? Your rotation becomes even more complex... and so on...

    Lately I've been running Incarnation, Sabretooth and Brutal Slash in pve... and I've been having a blast. My dps did drop, but I finally can watch the encounters, the textures of the zones, the spells, the... everything. And it's impossible to fail the rotation. I've also tried Soul of the Forest+Moment of Clarity and honestly, my energy never ever was a problem, but neither the direct damage nor bleeds are strong in this one, although the dps is very sustained, so I prefer the other talent combo. And I don't regret it.

    So yeah, excuse me if I say: go fuck yourself Savage Roar, finally
  1. Dreyen's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tradu View Post
    Yeah, so it's not for everybody, which is fine.
    I don't agree. Making a spec overly punishing compared to everything else is just bad design. However, it is fine if you can choose certain talents that are more punishing for some increase... but right now you have to choose all the complex talents to be decent, which is what they did to fix it.

    IMO I've loved feral back in wrath when it was the hardest class, but they were just making it less and less accessible for new ferals. Last time i tried playing feral again, i was definitely rusty, but i felt like i had to devote 100% of my time on the rotation rather than the actual game.

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