Bare Preview: Beta Build 8885 Talent Release

Posted in Feral, WotLK on Aug 29, 2008

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.


  • At 2008.08.30 00:59, Eglador said:

    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%.

    I think the second part could also interpreted as “all the people in your party take 1/2/3% less damage”.

    • At 2008.08.30 08:07, Runycat said:

      You’re right, however, I’m sincerely hoping that’s not the case.

    • At 2008.08.30 11:07, Kai said:

      Actually, it’d be interesting if it was interpretted as your entire party takes 1/2/3% less damage. Then you could consider it being 15% reduced damage for every single person in your party. Talk about bringing something to the raid!

      • At 2008.08.30 11:15, Runycat said:

        Interesting, definitely, but the talent then fails to address the damage reduction necessary to compensate for our prophesied lack of armor.

        • At 2008.08.31 10:34, Kai said:

          I was looking at the talent calculator on the official site, and it lists Mother Bear as “damage YOU take…” so it looks like it’s just a benefit for us.

          • At 2008.08.31 11:56, Runycat said:

            Works for me.

        • At 2008.08.30 11:16, Runycat said:

          Additionally, I’m wondering if we only see 3% per other party members (not including oneself).

          • At 2008.08.30 15:13, Kai said:

            I’m hoping it is everyone including oneself. That way, if you were soloing, you would still recieve a 3% reduction to damage. I agree, it is nowhere near enough to compensate for the armor nerf (especially with the amount of crit-rating we’re likely to see instead of agi). However, I am hoping that they realize this and fix the problem and just give us our damn tanking gear, or buff Thick Hide. Buffing Thick Hide would be a good way to fix the armor at least.

            • At 2008.08.30 19:06, Runycat said:

              Well, if we (as the tank) are considered a member of the party, then we can theoretically see a 15% overall damage reduction. In a sense, this is even better than straight up armor, because armor doesn’t mitigate spell damage. So, I’m thinking that if I’m wearing my T6/Sunwell gear (which makes me armor capped at level 70) and I have this talent, it’d be ridiculous. Expect a nerf, if that’s the case.

              But basically, I think Blizzard is trying to make a compromise of sorts (and whether it works is something we’ll have to test later); sure, we don’t have the superior physical damage mitigation, but we’re being buffed in that we’ll be able to counter spell damage.

              I did expect to see Thick Hide being buffed and moved to a 5th or so tier talent, but nothing yet. As I’m sure you realize, nothing is finished thus far.

              • At 2008.09.01 04:20, Inzilbêth said:

                I hope not, since that’ll seriously impact my Panzerkin builds (Thick Hide is so nice!)… :-) (Although I can’t really complain if it is, Panzerkin isn’t exactly a mainline build, and most of the time I’m still going to be hiding behind a friendly Feral tank doing DPS…)

                • At 2008.09.02 10:13, Runycat said:

                  Lol, I hate to say it, but I’m not sure Blizzard is too worried about tanking boomkin.

      • At 2008.08.30 16:14, DarkSentinel said:

        Wouldn’t Infected Wounds be good with Improved Mangle? Assuming they all hit, after 5 Mangle Applications (taking 4*4.5 = 18 seconds after the first one), and since Mangle will probably be used every time it’s off cooldown, you could slow attack speed by 20%, reducing damage taken both as tank, OT or in catform (where the debuff will be applied even faster)?

        • At 2008.08.30 19:09, Runycat said:

          I’m legitimately not sure, and I haven’t had the opportunity to test it. On paper, it looks great (although this means taking points out of places where you might be gaining more benefits), but I’ve been hearing that Infected Wounds isn’t working on specific mobs/boss mobs. If that is the case, then it might be something decent to pick up for five mans/leveling/heroics/PVP, but I’m not sure it’d be as useful for raiding.

          While I’m definitely not raiding in beta yet (or ever will be, for that matter), I have run through the first dungeon without incident (using the spec I outlined, minus MB and NR as they’re not implemented). I can shuffle a few points around and see what Infected Wounds looks like.

          And, like I said, that build I outlined was more for projected tanking, not DPSing. I’m pretty sure I’ll be picking up Infected Wounds in a Cat-centric build.

          More to come, definitely.

          • At 2008.08.30 19:27, DarkSentinel said:

            Fair enough.
            I’m still stuck with the hybrid mentality of being Feral spec and being able to perform fine as both cat and bear (slightly weighed towards the latter).
            Let us know how your testing goes ^_^

            • At 2008.08.30 20:17, Runycat said:

              Trust me, that’s how I’d like it, and right now (seeing as how I just got into the beta), I seem to be doing fine doing both. I think as you continue to level you’ll start to see more differentiation, especially at 80.

        • At 2008.09.01 23:24, Kal said:

          My random practice build looked a lot like yours. I decided that I wanted to have some attempt at cat DPS and that bear threat was good enough, so I took the points out of rend and tear and put them in shredding attacks & predatory instincts, with an extra point put in infected wounds. With improved mangle I figure IW should be up enough, assuming it works on boss mobs at all. Currently, not so much.

          Rend & Tear needs some serious work; it’s not nearly as good point-for-point as predatory strikes or even something like naturalist. That being the 45-point talent is pretty weak.

          The thing that this misses out on, cat wise, is the master shapeshifter and the rend and tear. Everything else would be a nice to have, but I figure that wouldn’t make such a difference in overall DPS. Dunno though.

          Still wish they’d give ferals some way to make rogue leather actually scale in both threat and mitigation. As it stands we’re going to be swimming in threat, but really taking a beating thanks to the lack of parry/block/miss and the small amount of dodge.

          • At 2008.09.02 10:00, Runycat said:

            Tonight I’m going to try playing around with IW in the Nexus (while tanking) and see how it holds up. I’m honestly so confused as to where all these changes could possibly be leading, and I’m exceptionally glad I have the gear I do so that it’ll be easier to weather the ridiculousness in the expansion.

            Blizzard has mentioned some sort of different itemization for raid gear, so maybe we’ll see some different scaling there. I still can’t believe that they’re legitimately trying to address Cat damage and make it competitive with rogues, but the latest blue posts haven’t illustrated any clear direction on where they’re taking Bears.

            I do have to tentatively disagree about Rend & Tear for right now, at least for tanking. With 5/5 Rend & Tear, coupled with the Improved Mangle and Savage Fury, I see ridiculous front-loaded damage in the form of Maul and Mangle, numbers I don’t even see fully raid buffed in Sunwell. It’s nuts. I may try speccing out of it and trying this build to see what the damage/threat difference is.

            • At 2008.09.02 10:02, Runycat said:

              Of course, that’s missing Feral Faerie Fire, so who knows. I find it a little ridiculous that I can come up with at least four different builds, all theoretically for the same thing–and at level 71, it’s hard to predict whether or not any of these (especially since I’m still using BC gear) will be viable at 80.

              • At 2008.09.02 10:15, Runycat said:

                I’m also looking at this build and contemplating taking a point out of Faerie Fire and moving it into Naturalist.

                Really, I think what it will come down to is whether or not Master Shapeshifter is better in every way, shape or form than Rend & Tear (for tanking).

                • At 2008.09.02 12:10, Kal said:

                  I’m not sure that master shapeshifter or rend & tear are going to make the cut, tbh. Threat doesn’t appear to be an issue, and with rogue leather I doubt it’ll be an issue. 4% overall physical damage compared with 10% boost on mauls is pretty close to the same; R&T comes out just slightly better given unlimited rage, I believe. But it’s still less than 1% damage boost per talent point (you have to spend 5 to get the 2 in master ss). It compares reasonably to predatory instincts, save that predatory instincts scales better as you get better gear (it scales with crit and damage, and becomes much better as you get a higher crit rate).

                  I also hate taking useless talents, which makes me biased against master SS.

                  • At 2008.09.02 12:16, Runycat said:

                    Honestly, if I can get away without the Master Shapeshifter bullshit, I’m going to, especially if we nearly break even (Master SS v. R&T). I’m finding that initial Rage is still a pain in the ass (considering Sunwell gear) in the Nexus, but as soon as everything’s hitting me, there’s Rage coming out my ass (and then, presumably, I’ll be gaining Rage for dodges as soon as NR gets implemented).

        • At 2008.09.02 03:48, DarkSentinel said:

          The mitigation question had better be addressed soon.
          Although if it’s simply a higher armor % bonus, then people will just hang on to their Badge of Tenacity/Thoriumweave Cloak-type items, and fill in the Stam/Agi requirements in other slots

          • At 2008.09.02 09:42, Runycat said:

            I think that the mitigation issue has been addressed, as far as Blizzard is concerned. In one of the latest blue posts, they mentioned something along the lines of: “If warriors end up with more armor, it won’t be by a huge margin. We still want bears to be able to tank Naxx and Ulduar, and we want as many talents and abilities as possible to scale with end-game gear.”

            My first reaction was, lolwut, because isn’t that what bears have always been famous for? I still don’t think they’ve carved out any sort of effective “niche” for us.

            I believe Mother Bear, with the 12% damage reduction (assuming four other party members; obviously this will not apply when we do anything solo, which is rather bullshit) is the “mitigation” answer.

          • At 2008.09.02 12:02, doomilias said:

            I actually lol’d at “giant dong…”

            • At 2008.09.02 12:06, Runycat said:

              What really makes me laugh is that everyone just takes my stupidity in stride and glosses that kind of stuff over every time.

              • At 2008.09.02 15:32, Kal said:

                I’d be disappointed and would comment if there wasn’t a giant dong or giant donglike equivalent in every post.

            • At 2008.09.09 18:59, Corinsenok said:

              Just as an aside…. You really thought that the + dodge could/would be based off your CURRENT dodge? Since the (darn) when has it worked like that?

              The ability as it stands is +4%, this is +6%. And 6% dodge is F**king significant.

              Apply common sense. If you lack it, talk to someone else who doesn’t and let them apply it for you. I would guess the damage reduction purely comes into effect when grouped (common sense), and includes you (as you’re a member of the party too). So it’s a 15% mit. Which is huge. You won’t be walking around with 3% off the top ungrouped though. Active-on-party buff, woo hoo. I see many people grouping with lowbies to do quests now :p.

              • At 2008.09.09 20:26, Runycat said:

                I used current dodge (and a low estimate, at that) as an example, not as a prediction for 80, although it is pertinent to note that we’re going to be seeing AGI scaling the same way it does for warriors as compare to what we’re presently used to.

                As all the new talents are currently NYI PH (Not Yet Implemented, Place Holders), I’m not making any assumptions as to whether or not we’re being counted as a party member; Blizzard can be pretty obtuse sometimes. And yes, 15% is great. 12% is great, especially since it applies to spell damage as well as physical damage.

                No need to be rude; I’m not completely retarded.

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