Bare Preview: Beta Build 8885 Talent Release

Posted by in Feral, WotLK

Blizzard’s presumptive answer to fixing tanks is here! I logged into the beta tonight to find that my talent tree had been rearranged and that two new placeholder talents had been added:

  • Natural Reaction: increases your dodge in Bear and Dire Bear forms by 2%/4%/6%, and you generate 1/2/3 Rage every time you dodge in those forms.
  • Mother Bear: increases the bonus attack power for Bear and Dire Bear forms by 20%/40%/60%, and for every player in your party, damage taken is reduced by 1%/2%/3%.

The solution, apparently, is to add more dodge and pray that the RNG treats you right (assuming 40% dodge, 6% of 40% is 2.4, bringing your dodge up to an abysmal 42.4% for a three point talent; however, this may just mean a straight up extra 6% dodge, which still doesn’t seem too fantastic)—and, of course, have four other people in your party (which rather goes without saying in a raid environment). I am under the assumption that, if you have four other players in your party, that gives you a 12% damage reduction. Why is this important? That damage reduction will presumably affect spells. I’m assuming that the damage reduction is BEFORE any other considerations, such as armor. Thus:

Giant Dong hits you for 1000.

Before any mitigation stats, that 12% shaves off 120 damage, bringing that 1000 hit down to 880 damage.

Considerable, but I dislike having to depend on everyone else. Also, I’m still wondering if we get counted as a member of the party as well, which would then boost the damage reduction to 15%.

I didn’t have any threat generation issues in the Nexus last night, and boosting my AP in Dire Bear by another 60%? As long as you’re connecting with the mobs you’re hitting, threat should never be a problem (unless, of course, the DPS starts before you). Bears have always been TPS powerhouses with the amount of damage they were able to frontload, but what I’ve seen thus far in beta suggests that we’ll be seeing another enormous damage boost. Of course, I’m still wearing my T6/Sunwell gear and we have no vague glimmers of the kind of itemization we’ll see in 10 and 25 mans.

Still, I really expected to see a talent fix addressing armor (or a Thick Hide boost and subsequent move down a few tiers) and STA (added as another deep feral talent), as suggested by the ever “eloquent’ Ghostcrawler. As soon as the talents are actually implemented, the following is the build I’ll be trying for tanking:

Note the lack of Shredding Attacks (taking a Rage hit for Lacerate), Feral Aggression (which I previously outlined as useless for raiding when a warrior is present), Brutal Impact, Nurturing Instinct (again, pointless for bears), Primal Tenacity (I couldn’t figure out what else to give up, honestly), and Infected Wounds (seemingly a Cat only PVP talent). I’m considering taking points out of King of the Jungle, but when you figure that you often use your Enrage ability very early on (for initial Rage), having a 15% damage boost for that introductory hit phase seems ideal.

Again, I’m still clinging to Furor (which, with the latest changes I think will be more important for Bears than Cats), Naturalist (for the STR), and Omen of Clarity (for the free attacks). Other than Furor, I’m not entirely convinced these talents are necessary for a tanking build anymore, and I may just reslot those 6 points into Predatory Instincts and Shredding Attacks with one lonesome point left over.

For now, I’m playing with the Berserk build I put together last night, enjoying my Glyph of Swipe. More to come when I’m awake.