Druids in Cataclysm – What should be our 3 new spells?

I was going to do a recap of the druid things from Blizzcon, with a shorter summary than my 8 epic posts. However, I think I may put that off until tomorrow, since I still need to dig through some more information first. I had something else much more interesting to think about today than just rehashing information we already know. I reported Friday that during one of the DTV interviews, we were told that each class will get 3 new abilities in the next expansion (cataclysm).200px-WildKinArt

So, I wanted to spend some time speculating about what abilities the druid class needs. The excitement of a new expansion means the excitement of being able to talk about what the tools and talents of future druids should look like. With cataclysm, it really feels like the developers are taking what we know about the game, turning it upside down, and shaking it repeatedly.

At this point, I don’t see resto druid healing needing that much more help – we already have a bigger & more diverse tool set for healing than we can actually use at one time, and adding more healing abilities to increase complexity probably isn’t the way to go.We also got multiple new heal spells over the last 2 expansions (lifebloom & nourish – along with wild growth from talents). The resto healing tool set feels mostly complete, aside from maybe a revamp needed for tranquility – but at least that’s an already existing spell.

Cat form is also already totally complicated with a ton of buttons to press, and adding another button for cat form’s DPS rotation might not help game play that much – unless it was something mainly designed for PvP play, where the complicated PvE rotation mostly leaves cats pretty frustrated.

That leaves moonkin and bear form as the best candidates for the main focus of the 3 new abilities.

Moonkin would probably be a lot better if they got at least one or two new spells. I’m not 100% sure what spells moonkin need at this point, but they definitely need something. If the expansion doesn’t come with a good moonkin DPS spell, then the spec is probably going to drop out of favor more than it already is. At least one new moonkin spell should be an instant-cast single-target with a short cooldown (like lava burst), where it has an interesting interaction with our other spells, and we can use it on the move without having to worry about breaking crowd control with our AOE, or having other undesired effects.

There has also been a lot of rumbling about maybe needing another nuke spell for moonkin form, maybe something that has a secondary effect to increase the diversity of our tool set. Only having 4 single-target damage spells is really super limiting in terms of how they can make the rotation interesting and complex. Switching back and forth between wrath and starfire (with eclipse) is a neat idea, but wrath and starfire are basically the same type of ability, just with different magic types (which doesn’t mean much), and different cast times. There is nothing inherently interesting about switching between starfire & wrath. Refreshing moonfire & insect swarm adds a little more complexity, but not really – and refreshing them when we’re on the run just feels like it wastes mana if we are moving around too often. Eclipse is also a frustrating mechanic because you have no control over when (or how often) it will proc, meaning that it tends to proc for me at the worst possible times such that my DPS feels like it’s out of my control. When heroism hits, other classes pop a bunch of cooldowns, and just about the only one that moonkin can pop is treants – and then I just have to pray that Eclipse will be kind to me (and most of the time, I’m just not that lucky).

They could also perhaps introduce a new moonkin spell that is more PvP focused to help moonkin stay competitive in arena PvP play – where the limited PvE tool set becomes even more limited with mobility being a really big problem for moonkin’s playstyle.

For bear form, it might be nice to add more complexity, more cooldowns to pop – either defensive or offensive. Or, maybe another spam-able ability that isn’t tied to your next hit (like maul is). I think that our reliance on things like swipe for single targets or faerie fire as something you use to generate threat leans towards bear needing something else in it’s damage repertoire. Like moonkin, it’s also pretty much limited in the range of abilities that it has to use. It’s not quite as limited as moonkin, but it definitely has a less diverse set of tools than cat or resto has. As much as I’d like to see all 3 new abilities be for moonkin, bear form could definitely use at least a little lovin’ in cataclysm.

What new spells/abilities do you think druids need in Cataclysm?

It’s also possible that epic travel form would be one of our three new abilities, in which case – I definitely think bear & moonkin form should get the two “real” new spells.

35 Comments

  1. Tyler
    Posted August 23, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Bears could really use an interrupt that has a short cooldown that is also off the global cooldown, like many other classes already have.

  2. Dave
    Posted August 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    If they make Epic Travel count as a spell I will be rediculously infuriated. Thats like telling mages hey your minor glyph that turns your polymorphed targets into a penguin uses one of your new spell slots. Its not needed. Just put in new modles for regular travel form and we will be all set. Honstly if they give us a 100% increased land speed form or something you know it wont be usable in combat anyway. So whats the point?

  3. Dave
    Posted August 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    A single target damage spell with a CD, which we currently dont have. My idea:

    Dreambolt: Projects a bolt of energy infused with the essence of the Emerald Dream dealing X-Y nature damage and causing the target to fall into a deep slumber for 3 seconds. 2.5 second cast time, 15 second cooldown.

    The damage should be high so it can be used whenever it is off of the CD in pve and used for burst damage in PvP. The 3 second sleep can allow for a free heal or a starfire, which isn’t currently easy to do because of starfire’s long cast time.

    An oh %&@# button! My idea:

    Balance of Nature: Splits the remaining health of you and another player equally. 5 min CD.

    You just got stunlocked and are now at 20% health, you blow this CD on your opponent who is at full and your back in the game; your friend is about to die and your health is fine, you sacrafice some of your life to save his/hers; a bear tank that is about to go down can use this on one of his raid members to potentially save himself.

    I think it sounds very versatile for all 3 specs and “balanced” because its not like lay on hands where you restore all of your health back its dependant on another players ammount of health left.

  4. Posted August 23, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    We need a new balance spell – not specifically for moonkin, but for all of us. We’ve had the same damage spells from day dot.

  5. Posted August 23, 2009 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    I still want my castable-on-friends Barkskin!

  6. Lissanna
    Posted August 23, 2009 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    the new 3 spells we get would be trainable by all specs – they aren’t through talents. :)

  7. Paininabox
    Posted August 23, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s more likely that there will be a new spell for every spec, because I think it’s no coincidence that there are going to be 3 new spells for classes that have 3 specs each. Resto would probably get a cooldown ability, since we pretty much have all the bases covered on our current spells. Balance probably gets a damage ability that synergizes their spells a bit more. I’m not sure what feral would get, but as an off-hand guess I’d say a cooldown for the same reasons as resto.

  8. Posted August 23, 2009 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t mean I expected a talented Barkskin this round – I’ve just always said it would be good to have a damage-mitigating ability to cast on others. I’ve been saying it for years :)

    I’d love to see something similar to Barkskin that we could share with others.

  9. Asrah
    Posted August 23, 2009 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    I’ve already posted this on a Blizz forum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAWVan3L3dg . It could be a great defensive spell for Balance druids with a good mechanic, for example it cannot be dispelled because it have health instead of being a magic spell. You can break it by damage but while its up the druid cannot be hit and the barrier starts to heal him/her. Like a new kind of Iceblock.
    Of course Balance need at least one new damage spell and maybe Wrath or Starfire should be modified to be more different.
    One more thing I really love to see is a way that help with shapeshiftings. Anybody who got stunlocked in caster form and died when running with a mount ?? The worst kind of death for me when rogues pop on me when mounting or shifting out from Moonkin at half health to heal…..

  10. Posted August 23, 2009 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    I made a post on my own blog of new spells and talents I’d like to see in the next expansion, but since we aren’t getting talents, I’ll list the spell ideas I had. There’s no balance nuke here, unfortunately. :-( Most are pretty basic; the last one is the only unique one. Text in brackets just act as notes to explain the abilities.

    Slink (Feral): Instant, 5 minute cooldown, requires cat form
    The druid slinks back into the shadows, entering an improved prowl mode for 10 sec. Also breaks movement impairing effects.

    Gift of Thorns (Balance): 64% base mana, instant cast, Reagents: Wild Spineleaf
    Gives the Gift of Thorns to all party and raid members, causing 73 Nature damage to attackers when hit. Lasts 30 min. (I should note that one of my ideas for talents was one that would cause thorns to cause no threat unless the target was affected by defensive stance, bear form, frost presence, or righteous fury.)

    Graze (Feral): 10 rage/25 energy; 15 second cooldown; instant cast; requires cat form, dire bear form
    You graze the enemy with your claws, reducing movement speed by 50% for 15 sec. Also interrupts spellcasting and prevents any spell in that school from being cast for 5 sec. [With the addition of this ability, the interrupt effects would be removed from Bash and Maim.]

    Propagate (Balance): 25% base mana/20 rage/50 energy, 10 second cooldown, instant cast (usable in all forms)
    Causes your next area-of-effect spell or ability to apply a damage or heal over time ability to the targets hit or affected. Effect applied varies by spell.
    Hurricane, Starfall, Typhoon: Moonfire
    Swipe (Bear): Lacerate
    Swipe (Cat): Rake [will cause a combo-point to be applied to your main target]
    Tranquility, Wild Growth: Lifebloom [no mana will be restored when Lifebloom runs out]

  11. Posted August 23, 2009 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Since Vanilla, I have wanted a group Thorns. Yes, I still use that silly spell, even in the latest five man. I won’t let it die peacefully. :)

    I’d like to see a reactive ability for bears, say… after a dodge we get to click an armor buff or health buff which lasts for ten seconds or something. Similar to something DKs have.

    I can’t imagine what Resto’s would need. I have to agree that we are rather well rounded at this point.

    Moonkin do need a nuke that isn’t tied to Eclipse. Wrath and Starfire have been the two staples as long as I can remember and they are due for something else. Something instant would be great (as I am already addicted to my 4pc T8 bonus).

  12. Morality
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    Ferals need a kick that can be used in both cat and bear form. We’ve needed it for a long time. As for the other two spells, Balance needs some love. Resto is fine.

  13. Lotha
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I think Resto should get the ability to throw an apple* that stuns for 3 seconds. Put it on a 1 or 2 minute cool down.

    *wizard of oz reference.

  14. D
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I did a post similar to this for priests and shamans on my blog here:

    http://needhealerplz.blogspot.com/2009/08/what-do-priests-and-shamans-need.html

    My knowledge of druids is about as extensive as “ooh, kitty druids are so cute!”. So I have nothing intelligent to say (not surprising) about your post, other than it makes sense and I do know that every class has certain areas in which they could use improvements. Druids are sort of one of those “I wish I had one at 80″ classes that pretty much everyone seems to want, but they are too busy to level one from scratch. Every druid I know is amazing, though, no matter the spec (though I do see that feral tanks have some problem areas, since my boyfriend plays one), and I do agree with Morality that at least feral tanks and kitties could use an interrupt – would make doing “Less-Rabi” with my boyfriend and my own shadow priest (also no interrupts) much easier if we didn’t have to rely on others to do it (still don’t have the ach. to this day).

  15. Hoots
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Why are we only asking for 3 or 3.5 second stuns? My God, rogues can stun for 10 sec multiple times, Locks can fear for 10 sec and keep killing you while you run around like an idiot, and Priests do the same while draining every ounce of our mana. Every class has long cc except us.

    I want mass cyclone/roots, or wrath that stuns. Or even better yet, put the stun back into our starfire and starfall but increase the duration from 3 seconds to 10 seconds. Ever since they took stun out of starfall, moonkins have sucked in arena. Put it back and make it better.

    Another spell = Shoot feathers (aoe). Kinda like a porccupine. And make them stun for 10 seconds.

    How about Beak Bash. Pokes out and eye and blinds for 10 seconds.

    Or Owl Screach = Dazes apponents for 10 seconds (aoe)

  16. Wintersdark
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Agreed entirely: A moonkin nuke that makes their rotation both more complicated and more controllable to spice up play, and a feral interrupt ability predominately needed for bear, but should be usable in either.

    It’s frustrating right now, when you’re bear tanking you’ve got no way to get casters to come to you if there’s nothing to LOS around (and unlike TBC, there’s practically never good LOS points anymore). It’s enormously frustrating: Charge your opponent, and he’s interrupted… but also immobilized for a moment >.<

    A short-term short-cooldown interrupt would go a LONG ways for both kitties and bears to really improve the quality of life for ferals.

  17. Naneth
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    When I was leveling Bal through Northrend I found myself consistently wishing I had some sort of interrupt in Moonkin form (yes, Typhoon technically interrupts casting as it knocks them back, but if for any reason at all the target is not in front of the cone and it misses you have wasted a 20 sec cd if it is not glyphed…). But as much as I think that would improve quality of life, I know many Moonkins would rather have some sort of high dmg cd nuke to add to their rotation….wrath spamming waiting for Eclipse is quite boring.

    I do very little feral play, but I see my feelings line up with some of the other posters when I say I think a more reliable interrupt would really benefit them too. As amazing as it would be to have a Vanish for cats, I feel like it won’t happen as then they would have pretty much every core Rogue ability.

    Resto being my main spec, I really do not see what they could add to us. Even though Lifebloom has been nerfed to being absolute abysmal, I really enjoy the current play style of Rejuv, Regrowth is still solid, I have come to absolutely love Nourish as our flash heal and save Swiftmend for an osh*t instant heal…still only use HT with NS so far. I like the functionality of Living Seed. I like where Trees are. Love it. I do wish Tranquility was easier to use…it is quite a long cd for almost always complete overhealing.

  18. Darkraven
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    First i wanna ask what will happen to items with spell power,attack power,defense dodge and parry rating.For druids i want a 1.5 sec casting dps skill like holyfire and lava burst dhen a spell interrupting skill that can be used in normal and moonkin.I have some ideas. 1-dreamstrike 1.5 sec cast-interrupt target casting and make the target dont cast spell for 5 sec.12 sec cd 2-wrath of the nature.1.5 sec cast.Launch an nature bolt toward the target dealing 1200-1850 nature dam.10 sec cd.

  19. Lissanna
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Interrupts with cast times tend to be annoying (since they may finish their cast before you get off the interrupt!).

    Also, I will probably go into more detail about stat changes later (since that’s a good question!). However, in past expansions, when they made changes to stats, they changed ALL the existing gear to match the new stats for every class (otherwise, the whole system would be really broken!). This isn’t the first time they have made changes to stats (remember when they changed +healing and +damage into +spell power? Or when they took off all the bonus +armor from leather bear gear?).

  20. Posted August 26, 2009 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Vanish, Execute, Dispel Magic.

  21. IsAdood
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    We are druids and we traditionally steal from our parent classes, in that spirit I think we should have the following:

    For moonkin: Blink (gogo arena viability)

    For bear: Intervene (awesome in pve and pvp)

    For all: Dispel magic (the one thing we dont have in our healing toolbox – needed for pvp and blizzard already said all healers will get it)

    If they follow this up with making energy persistent in all forms and not reset in and out of cat, remove furor (no more powershifting – it hurts us) and remove mana cost for shapeshifting – I would be VERY happy.

    Also looking forward to faction change into worgen – RAWR.

    /taurendruid

  22. Kiliani
    Posted August 29, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Hm. I think for Moonkin I’d really like a conflag-type spell – instant cast, short cooldown, usable on the run to consume a Moonfire for a burst nuke. That could be usable by other specs, but if you were talented into IS in the balance tree, perhaps you could use it to consume an Insect Swarm. I’d dig it if there was a silence/interrupt attached, maybe as a talented effect attached to Improved IS or something.

    (Note for those who are saying we won’t get new talents – there won’t be deeper talent trees but they have said they’re going to be taking out a lot of existing passive talents and giving us more “fun” and active ones)

    I know most of y’all don’t think resto really needs anything, but I normally heal on my holy priest alt, and when I rolled my feral/resto druid alt and started healing the same content my priest was doing, I really was missing a Prayer of Healing type spell – a decent sized direct heal that would hit multiple people. Tranquility is overkill a lot of times and has far too long of a cooldown, but the WG HOT isn’t always enough for reacting to heavier damage on multiple people. In a melee heavy HTOC group, for instance, when you have the rogue, and the rogue FOK poisons and then drops the poison bottle on the melee – someone’s going to die, especially if you also have the warrior MSing the tank.

    Raid healing on fights like Hodir, it’s easier to keep a 10 man raid up with alternating POH between two groups while Frozen Blows is being cast instead of trying to keep Rejuv pre-emptively ticking on everyone in the raid and spamming WG every 6 seconds, and hoping the tank healers can help catch those who are getting low if Swiftmend is on cooldown. I don’t think we need a direct copy of that spell, but something that allows for direct healing multiple people – even 2-3 at once – would be a nice addition.

    For feral, well… I haven’t thought very much about what gaps there are that a new ability could fill. Cat certainly has enough tools to keep their rotation complex and interesting, so if anything, a new bear ability would be nice. I’m still personally rooting for bear form parry and/or block, since a freaking viscous oil blob with no arms, much less a shield or weapon, can both block and parry. >.<

  23. Antalayah
    Posted August 30, 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    For ToL I’d like a CC, some sort of MC, and perhaps a serious revamp alt a new AoE heal.

    Also, please drop the celery stalk look, I’d prefer looking like a birch tree personally…lol… maybe to be able to choose from different trees, sort of like the cats

  24. Cullie
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    From a personal view playing kitty(main spec), bear and resto (no balance xp as of yet) kitty is fine apart from the interupt mechanic, let me explain, I feel it is a bit heavy handed that our interupt is a copy of kidney shot. On vezax 10 man I was an intrupter and couldn’t dps as hard becasue I had to keep at least 1cp up for maim. Kitty’s i think need a kick type of ability.

    An execute ability wouldn’t go a miss either :P

    Oh and the big one _ a GOOD threat dump. at my gear level TOTC24 – ICC cower lowers my threat by ONE melee strike – according to EJ. The kitties are constantly under the tanks in an encounter. Maybe make cower like Soul shatter without the shard cost ofc :P. In 25 raids threat from tanks dosen’t really seem a problem with lots of threat redirectors going around (tricks, misdirect etc) but for 5 and 10 mans this will make a huge difference.

    Bears are really quite boring imo I play one because as of 3.3 the LFD takes 2 secs to pop = fast frost emblems. adding a form of intervine and a shorter interupt (linked to kitty interupt) or maybe another defenive ability and another nuke for when 5 lacerates are up so you don’t have to fill with FF and swipe between mangles.

  25. taj
    Posted January 19, 2010 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    A moonkin spell interrupt would be great. All remember Illidari Council from BT. Spell interrupts were mandatory! Also as much as the eclipse mechanic is fun it is too random. Sometimes I can go for a good 40 seconds with it not procing. Other times is procs first wrath. Im not complaining about moonkin dps but it can be a little all over the place at times.

    A druid version of Ice Block would also be nice. They could call it Roots of Life or something. Instant, 5 min cooldown and wraps the druid in a cocooon of roots granting immunity to all attacks and healing them for a certain amount. This might be a little OP but as much as barkskin is handy it only delays the inevitable.

    Bears I am happy with but as people have said a spell interrupt that has range would be handy. Kitty for me needs a lot of work. Too squishy for starters and the rotation is a little messy. A talent for energy regen like a rogues Vitality could be interesting or the removal of Shred’s “must be behind the target” nonsense. I understand backstab having positional requirements but to me a kitty shredding something doesnt require you to be behind the target.

    Resto is fine but please we need a new tree form! Im sure im not the only one who thinks this.

  26. Archlight
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    I think feral and resto are fine, pvp wise. Balance needs major buffs, my fav spec to play is too weak in pvp. “Lunar Protection: Tied to starfall’s talent ability. Lunar Protection is activated when starfalls duration ends, unless killed. An enormous moon slams into the ground, near the Druid and incapacitates all enemies within 36 yards for 6 seconds. The druid is also graced with a 3 stack of lifeblooms as a favor from Elune. The druids cooldown on typhoon is also reset.”

    So basically, barskin early when you get jumped. Dps as normal and use “Lunar Protection” when you or your friends are getting low. It will give time to either run or tranquiliy/heal up. It is like a cold snap from a mage, but not as effective as double ice blocking or double water elemental. This would deff give balance the survivability it needed in arena.

  27. Scoobydoom
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Moonkin need a finishing move like warrior, rogue feral druid.

  28. Posted February 27, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    balance need buffs badly every class can almost stun and once they are close to you are done for.

    Feral sucks till like lvl 80 u do shit dmg for me my main spec is feral i have the best items but when it comes to attackin plate they do a shit load dmg while i do crap dmg on them

  29. Theidolon
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    i want a new ”buff” (self only) who hit me will take nature damage or slow their speed or something :D

  30. Warcheifer
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    what i want is a silence ability for feral.
    My greatest threat as bear tank is a group of 4 casters.
    I keep running from target to target; zig zag, and so on. so a silence ability for feral would be an improvement to my playing, something like the death knights brain freeze (silence ability)

  31. Warcheifer
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Warcheifer again,
    add to last comment.
    The spell interrupt should have range, maybe same as fairyfire feral, or less. but defendly needs range. and maybe a works for 5 sec silence and 3 for pvp. something like that but bear tanking needs that spell interupt. should work like strangulate from Death knights. paladins have avenger shield and death knight have a whole veriaty of spell silences and interrupts, and warriors have shield bash and pummel. druids are the only one without a spell silence ability

  32. Centaur Wardbraden
    Posted March 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think they will give the new spells only to a specific spec, like only for moonkin or bear, they must give the new spells so every spec can use, like all other classes will get.

    An epic travel form and new abilities that become cool and popular like cyclone is.

  33. Dinosaur Killer
    Posted March 16, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    EPIC TRAVEL FORM + NEW FERAL FORM (because feral druids are the only ones that dont get a new form -.-) that worth the damage like bear tanking and cat dps =D

    another spell to interrupt casters =D

  34. Dinosaur Killer
    Posted March 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Dont give new spells only to one spec, not only to balance or bear, all other classes will use the new spells, make druid no different -.- every druid can use, good spells like cyclone is

    EPIC TRAVEL FORM + NEW FERAL FORM (because feral druids are the only ones that dont get a new form -.-) that worth the damage like bear tanking and cat dps =D

    another spell to interrupt casters =D

  35. Antimushroom
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    For all the Druids Moonkins i find it hard to understand why u cant get eclipse to work i find it easy to use. eclips has 30 sec cd and will proc when u get crits. it has a rotation that u change from one to other one so if u get wrath first then u get starfire one after.

    download addon for eclips so u got the cd for it to turn your rotation around better. for more dps.

    what i do seek as a boomking is insect swarm longer on mobs insted of the normal 15 sec. maybe get a talent for more time on insect swarm.

    and a spell like lava burst as shammys have would also be good.

    i also hate that Owl Frenzy, wich gives more dps for 10 sec only proc, when u get hits from mobs sucks.

    we need it as a spell insted of a proc if we only have it for 10 sec so we can combine it with eclips.