Druid Class Feedback

Posted by in Cat, Cataclysm

Once I got back from the East Coast and recovered from a brutal cold, I decided to gather my thoughts regarding Blizzard's request for class feedback. When I tried to post in the thread, however, it was already at its post limit. So if any of you Blizzard types are out there, here's my two copper.

What type of content do you focus on?

PvE. I haven’t been even remotely interested in PvP since Resilience stopped being important for Bear tanks.

If PvE, what type of PvE?

Heroics and raids; admittedly just moving back into a raiding schedule.

If PvP, what type of PvP?

Gross!

What are your biggest quality-of-life issues?

  • Position-based DPS. Obviously it’s best to stand behind your target anyway, but we don’t always have that option thanks to some less-than-stellar raid design. This really seems to be a disadvantage limited primarily to ferals and subtlety rogues.
  • Inability to shapeshift out of snares. One of the best things about being feral was always the ability to be supremely mobile.
  • Inability to use Berserk to break an initial fear.
  • High cost of Skull Bash. I’m grateful that Skull Bash was added to our repertoire, but I’m unsure why it has such a high energy cost (25 energy) as compared to Kick (15 energy). This discrepancy requires that ferals pool more energy than rogues to perform the same job.
  • Feral Faerie Fire still on the spell hit table. This is pretty self-explanatory. Why should I have one spell that falls under a caster hit table? It may not miss often, but when you’re really trying to fine tune your rotation, it’s annoying to re-cast.
  • Lengthy DPS ramp-up. Anything that needs to die quickly from burst damage (especially frontal burst damage) isn’t best handled by a cat—unless they’re little critters you’re swiftly able to swipe to death. I don’t have a problem with our reliance on debuffs and bleeds, but it requires a certain amount of time investment to make them worthwhile.

What makes playing your class more fun?

Mobility and versatility. I like being fast, and I like being able to hero-tank every once in a while.

What makes playing your class less fun?

Anything that’s at odds with what I’ve listed above. Please see “Quality-of-Life Issues”.

As a note, it seems like the changes to shapeshifting out of snares and breaking fears with Berserk were specifically tailored to address PvP complaints. While these complaints were probably legitimate, I despise that PvP concerns end up making changes to my PvE environment. Is it really too difficult to make certain changes and abilities apply only to battlegrounds and arenas?

How do you feel about your “rotation”?

In my mind, feral DPS was the most fun back in Ulduar before changes were made to Mangle: excellent DPS truly felt like a direct product of maintaining a (relatively) complex rotation of bleeds, buffs, and debuffs. I’d almost like to see a bigger penalty for letting Rip or Savage Roar drop off; however, I’m pretty comfortable with the rotation as it stands right now.

What’s on your wish list for your class?

  • Removal of the positional requirement for Shred. If that’s not an option, it’d be great if encounters (specifically raids) could be designed so that there’s always a possibility to get behind the target—even if it’s tricky. A Mangle-spam rotation is not competitive with a Shred-based rotation.
  • Reinstatement of shapeshifting to remove snares. If this remains a PvP concern, bump up the cost of shapeshifting. Although there’s a certain amount of shapeshifting during heroics and raids, the mana cost should never be as prohibitive as it will be in a PvP environment where the druid is under duress.
  • Removal of Feral Faerie Fire from the spell hit table.
  • A better marriage of Razor Claws and stat priorities. We’re a class that relies on bleeds and bleed amplifiers, yet we seem to be moving back to favoring hit and haste (direct damage) over mastery (damage over time).
  • A solution to the lengthy DPS ramp-up mentioned earlier. Quite a few people have suggested a feral-flavored Redirect; I like this.
  • Reduction in energy cost for Skull Bash. This should be baked into Brutal Impact.
  • The ability to display capes in cat form.

What spells do you use the least?

There are a plethora of spells I don’t use, specifically in the Balance and Restoration spell books, but if we’re looking at Feral DPS, I’d have to point to Claw. I also rarely seem to use Innervate anymore. It’s been nerfed so far into oblivion (for ferals) that it’s barely any help except in the most desperate of situations.