WotLK Talent Speculation: Druids finally get the token abilities other classes take for granted! More at 11!

Posted by in Feral, Raiding, Restoration

Over at MMO Champion, the forums are buzzing with the latest WotLK whispers, speculations and skeptics. Usually, I don’t pay attention. Trying to make predictions based on alpha release information is a little like trying to wick away information from a Sales bid: they’ve got an idea they’re really

But because I can’t help myself and, if I’m lucky, it’ll start some tremendous rumor that snowballs into other players using feral druids as mounts or priests getting holy form, I’ll indulge.


What follows are supposed data-mining hacks from WotLK’s alpha release to friends and family, which illustrate some class-defining new “talents”. Normally I’d only list what applies to druids, but let me set the tone with this particular gem from the warrior’s fury tree:

Titan’s Grip: Allows you to equip two-handed axes, maces and swords in one hand, but you attack (insert % here) slower than normal.



Listen, if Blizzard is genuinely dumb enough to let me run around with the Torch of the Damned in one-hand and Cataclysm’s Edge in the other, I’m main-switching back to my warrior. But now, the information most of you are probably hoping for:


Balance

  1. Nature’s Fury: converts (insert % here) of your bonus healing into bonus spell damage. In addition, your Wrath and Starfire spells have a (insert % here) chance of applying the Nature’s Fury debuff on the target. The Nature’s Fury debuff increases Nature and Arcane damage done to the target by 2%. Lasts 10 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.
  2. Starfall: you summon a flurry of stars from the sky on all targets within 30 yards of the caster, each doing (insert % here) Arcane damage, and an additional (insert % here) Arcane to all nearby targets within 10 yars. Maximum 20 stars. Lasts (insert time here).



Feral

  1. Infected Wounds: Your Shred, Maul and Mangle attacks have a (insert % here) chance to cause an Infected Wound in the target. The Infected Wound reduces the movement speed and casting speed of the target by (insert % here). Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts (jnsert time here).
  2. Berserk: Removes all Stun, Fear, Snare and Movement Impairing Effects and increases your energy regeneration rate by 100% while in Cat form, and increases your total health by 20% while in Bear Form. After the effect ends, the health is lost. Effect lasts 20 seconds.



Restoration

  1. Living Seed: When you gain a critical effect from your Swiftmend, Regrowth, Nourish or Healing Touch spell, you have a (insert % here) chance to plant a Living Seed on the target for (insert % here) of the amount healed. The Living Seed will bloom when the target is next attacked. Lasts (insert time here).
  2. Flourish: Heals friendly party or raid members within (insert distance here) yards of the target for over (insert amount here). The healing is applied quickly at first, and slows down as Flourish reaches its full duration.



What do I think? I won’t dismiss the possibility of any of the above outright, since Blizzard has done retarded things before, but let’s take a closer look at the Feral talents first (since I don’t care about the lazer chicken, sorry).


Although Infected Wounds reads like a disease debuff that could then, presumably, be cleansed, it’s basically like hitting a target with Crippling and/or Mind Numbing poison simultaneously—except you know, raking them with your rabid claws. I see little use for this beyond PvP and might represent a diversion in the previously PvP neglected feral tree, but it also might allow a druid tank or DPSer to seriously assume the role of a rogue or warlock whose job it’d be to periodically apply a cast-time increase debuff on a target. Obviously, this “chance” to apply a debuff isn’t nearly as reliable as, say, Curse of Tongues, so I doubt the applicability even there.


As for Berserk, what we’re seeing is a long draught of Thistle Tea, Last Stand and the fear break that the name implies all rolled into one. I cannot possibly envision this as being anything other than an ability that everyone and their mother QQ’s about. How come? Warriors have a Last Stand, why not bear tanks? Warriors can stance dance—why can’t bears get some sort of ability that allow them to tank through a fearing mob without the use of Fear Ward, Tremor Totems and PvP trinkets? I’d argue that point, since I PvE extensively over PvP. But raid buffed, that’d bring my bear from roughly 23k HP to nearly 28k HP—and every single PvPer on the planet will get pissed that the already “overpowered” bear now has something like 5k more HP to cut through, even if it is for 20 seconds.


The two resto talents are actually sort of interesting, but only because it looks as though Blizzard (if datamined info can be trusted, and it can’t) is giving druids a PoM type ability in Living Seed and a CoH type ability in Flourish. I realize that neither seem to be as powerful as the regular priest abilities, but that kind of passive/AOE healing might mean that resto druids can occupy a bigger space in raiding scenarios. This, of course, isn’t to say that every other healing class won’t have something amazingly ridiculous that slides druid stacking the backburner again, but it represents a concession that Blizzard may understand what’s favoring stackingCoH priests and Chain Healing shamans right now for raid healing.


It’s fun to think about right now, but I’ve got to admit that one deep resto talent I’d like to see is this, offered by a fellow druid guildmate:

“I’d like to be able to have some Sprout ability where you grow apples, you know, like Healthstones, and then you pick it off yourself and throw it at someone’s skull to make them fucking eat it.”