Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Feral Talents Runthrough

So my initial thought on the Cata talent trees was to leave them alone as a blog topic until they were closer to the release trees but I have thought of nothing better to write on so I am doing this.

Overall I think if they were to polish up the tree and release it right now I wouldn’t be too put off but a couple things seem slightly wrong to me but ill talk about them as they come up. I am going to try to show equal respect to bear and cat but I am a tank at heart so no promises. This is current as of build 12857 and I will try to keep it updated.

Feral Tree
Tier 1
Feral Swiftness

For Bears this is pretty much a no brainer same as in live right now, more dodge is good. For cats it is move speed, if you want more move speed over something else go for it.
This is the same as live at full now and scales at 33/66/100% but otherwise unchanged
Predatory strikes
This is absolutely useless for bears so leave it alone. For cats this is mostly just a choice if you want to move faster from feral swiftness or if you want to have an occasional instant spell such as a Brez when dpsing, I would probably take the move speed
Tier 2
Infected Wounds

This is the same as live for both specs so all the same arguments apply
Fury Swipes
I think this is a very cool talent for both specs and will probably take it in both. For cat it is an obvious dps increase but for bears there has been some skepticism around its actual benefits. I think with the normalization of rage however this will become an increasingly valuable talent but that is just my initial thoughts at the moment.
Primal Fury
This is the same as live and is just as good, you should be taking this.
Feral Aggression
Having faerie fire stack up to three instantly from one use and i think that the rage cost of faerie fire has been removed meaning that the feral version of faerie fire will be the same as live except that it will be 12% armor reduction instead of 5%.
Tier 3
King of the Jungle
Same as live? For cats it should be taken but for bears it is kinda still useless unless you have 4piece T10 and those 3 points are better spent elsewhere imo
Feral Charge
Same as live. Take it for both.
Improved Feral charge
I am iffy on this for both specs. For cats it seems useful as ravage does more dmg than shred and it would be a good way to open a fight or use after running away. For bear im just not so sure about this. For some fights it will probably turn out to be fantastic as you are charging all over the place but for other fights where you don’t charge at all this is totally useless. It seems like the kind of talent where you would almost have to make a point of taking advantage of it. Im not sure.
Thick Hide
Same as live and the same outcome for the talent. Take it for bear leave it for cat. This now also includes the crit reduction that was previously baked into survival of the fitest for tanking.
Tier 4
Leader of the Pack

I would say just take it, other classes may have the same thing but 5% crit is 5% crit. In the last build this was changed to also have the effects of improved leader of the pack but only for the druid that has the talent, if i read that correctly. This means that the buff will never become obsolete by another class having it.
Brutal Impact
With the new skull bash ability this gives cats and bears their reliable interrupt on a short CD. Definitely worth taking.
Nurturing Instincts
I am biased against this talent because of the current raiding environment but in Cata when mana is more of an issue you might see a niche for this talent. Obviously cat only.
Tier 5
Primal Madness

If you are like me and didn’t take king of the jungle for bear then this doesn’t matter anyway, other wise I think it is rather sub-par for the exact same reasons. For cats it was improved so that not only does it increase your max energy but also grants you extra energy.
Survival instincts
This ws redesigned int eh latest beta build to be the same as shield wall and have a 5 min CD instead of 3 min. It now, for those not staying up to date, it reduces all dmg taken by 60% for 12 seconds. hopefully this doesn't mean that they are taking away barkskin from ferals. The current effect of survival instincts is now tied into frenzied regeneration so that not only does it regen loads of health but also increases your max health by 30% for the duration. This should not be a big deal because i suspect that most people use survival instincts and frenzied regeneration together anyway to get the most bang for their buck and this just puts those two abilities in the same button.
Endless Carnage
This is obviously good for cats to ease the rotation and improve dps and it is looking like we will be balanced around having the buff from pulvarize using up lacerate stacks and so having the increased duration could mean the difference between it falling off or having full uptime.
Natural reaction
Bear only talent and all bears should have it
Tier 6
Nom Nom Nom
Aside from having the best name of any talent ever this looks very nice for cats in situations where the enemy is low and you don’t necessarily want to use 5 combo points that you happen to have on another rip that isn’t going to last. Not useful at all for bears.
Rend and Tear
We will have to see how much maul gets used in Cata but I see this being good for both specs, this could very likely get changed to be more than just maul or a different ability entirely.
This will very likely be a core bear talent but I want to see it in action personally. Not useful for cats.
Tier 7
Ahh berserk, how I love you and how I hate you. I love this ability in cat form, it is a great dmg increase and burst cooldown for use on longer fights and has a fear break to boot. I really have an issue with this for bear tanking. It kinda sucks. Having looked at the new tree i think that i will still take it given the amount of points that we are to need.

Tier 1
Blessing of the grove
Looks good for cats and cats only
Natural Shapeshifter
Has not changed and probably would only get taken if you want master shapeshifter
Heart of the Wild
For both specs this should be taken. More health for bears and AP for cats. In the newest beta patch the it increases your max man instead of your intellect making it markedly more useful for ferals that have to shift alot.
Tier 2

This is a tank ability or a cat ability if you suck at getting out of fires really bad. But seriously only take it if you are a bear.
Master shapeshifter
I don’t know where to stand on this. For bears it will probably get picked up because you are getting pretty much forced to take at least two points in natural shapeshifter but cats have more options and I can see this losing for furor but that is just me. However right now this talent is all just passives so maybe it will change. This was changed from 2% to 4% lately.

I have mostly determined the path my spec will take in live however i have to do a little napkin math based on a raid and i don't think i have a recount parse saved so i may have to wait a little bit for some more information, that being said i will post my spec options here with the info that right now I am trying to decide between master shapeshifter and improved feral charge as far as dmg goes.

For the 2 specs above and the one below note that the position of Heart of the Wild and Furor have been switched but it makes no difference in the way you distribute your points. I am not going to redo the pictures for bear because they are more of a pain than cat and nothing has changed. These will be the main choices for almost all feral druid tanks out there. The spec on the left contains improved feral charge for the increased haste after a feral charge and the spec on the right contains master shapeshifter instead for the passive 2% dmg increase. For the small percentage of bears there is one more option however:

This spec is for those lucky druids that have the benefit of having someone to put up the attack speed reduction almost 100% of the time. If you have someone that is very reliable doing that for you, you have the option of dropping infected wounds and picking up both improved feral charge and master shapeshifter. And now a spec for cats.

So this is what i think will be the cat spec so far come cata. Keep in mind that there are 2 points missing to put wherever you want. Being a feral tank who has to take infected wounds that is where i think you should put it but i think most everyone disagrees with that so probably nurturing instincts would be good to turn down the strain on healers. I am inclined to say that you should not get predatory strikes as ravages with 50% more crit which will probably be joined with imp. feral charge and that just sounds like a good way to die at the beginning of the fight.

That is all I have to say for now. I will try to keep up with the changes but this is a very solid point unless the tree gets a major overhaul. So have fun on live or in the beta if you got lucky and have a good day.

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