So, we finally got the new druid class mechanics, and they came at just the right time (when I was sitting down at a computer in New York City, where I didn’t want to be wandering the streets by myself, anyway). Overall, I kinda feel like I got coal in my stocking for Christmas as a resto/moonkin druid. Moonkin felt VERY ignored in the preview, other than Eclipse changes. Resto feels like it’s getting possibly worse instead of better. Feral seems to be the only spec really getting attention in the preview, and even then, with having 4 specs, the preview just leaves you wanting more. This isn’t comprehensive, but it’s a snapshot (with some commentary) that I put together for all the druid specs. I will be posting more in-depth about these changes & more after I get back from NYC. (also, since I had internet access, my BF didn’t have to do a guest post for me. I work hard just for you guys!).
Here’s what we have so far:
- Resto druids don’t get new spells (which I actually predicted in the original “what new spells?” thread I wrote months ago).
- No more constant tree form. Instead, tree form will be a temporary buff (more like metamorphasis). I personally hated having to stay in tree form when it first came out, but I’ve grown to appreciate it more. It seems lame at this point to take it away from being a constant thing. This is something a lot of resto druids are likely to be angry about. However, I really want to see what the new tree mechanic would actually look like before I start freaking out. Also, there is a chance that they may change their mind between now & when Cata actually goes live many months from now.
- HOTs benefit from crit/haste.
- New talent related to regrowth. After you crit, you sprout flowers around that person, which does some healing. lol.
- Druid mastery will have HOTs heal for more when the targets are lower on health. This should be an interesting mechanic, I think.
- Eclipse mechanic was totally changed. Now, when we cast arcane spells, our nature spells will be stronger. When we cast nature spells, it makes our arcane spells stronger. This has the possibility to either work great or become a really frustrating mechanic. My hope is that it will be on the really great, but this is something where I can’t even conceptualize what the playstyle will look like without seeing it in action. We really need to beta test this and give it a lot of attention.
- New ability: Magic Wild Mushroom (available at 85): You plant a magic mushroom which can explode on your target and do damage. Intended to be an ability used for AOE or single targets. Looks like it was designed to work for PvE and PvP purposes (if you can detonate it yourself, rather than it having to be stumbled upon by your target). Also… lawl magic mushroom grenades…
- New Ability: Nature’s Torrent – Seems like frostfire bolt type mechanic, but only possibly more annoying because of how it will interact with Eclipse. The description of it was so vague that it makes it almost impossible to give feedback about.
- Moonkin DOTs will scale with haste/crit. It should be feral bleeds, as well (since they said not ignite or deep wounds).
- One of the moonkin’s mastery bonuses is spell haste. This seems inherently bad since moonkin have had terrible scaling problems with the haste stat on gear. I’m not sure I want haste as my mastery bonus. I would think that spell crit would make a better mastery bonus for moonkin, so that we don’t run into problems (AGAIN) for another expansion with spell haste having to use wrath.
- My thoughts: Other than Eclipse & a few new abilities, moonkin didn’t get very much attention in the class preview, leaving me worried about: PvP mobility & having enough diversity of tools to succeed. They talked about wanting moonkin to be Arena viable, but said nothing about HOW they will get moonkin to that point. That leads me to believe that they still have a lot of work to do with moonkin, to the point where I’m still really concerned. WTB new beta talent trees.
- My requests: I would like Stampeding Roar to work in moonkin form. Moonkin are the ones who need to move faster! Also, we’re big & fat, so a moonkin stampeding could be really terrifying. lol. Moonkin also want the interrupt that is possibly being given to cat-bear. GC promised me a pony, but all I got in my stocking was a lump of coal & some magic mushrooms!
Feral (bear & cat) – combined because there is overlap in where they talk about these specs.
- New ability: Thrash. Bleed damage ability for bears. Will help round out bears’ damage dealing ability list.
- New ability: Stampeding Roar (for both bear & cat): Group movement speed buff. Group Utility. This should be interesting for PvP purposes, or maybe for helping people move out of fires faster in PvE.
- Bear & Cat may be getting an interrupt & other new tools. They want bear pushing more buttons, and they want cat to have more tools (but cat won’t have more “core” DPS buttons for PvE rotations). This seems reasonable to me. Also, they’re buffing mangle (yay), and wanting cat DPS to be more forgiving. I agree with these types of direction goals, though they don’t talk about how they plan on reaching these goals.
- My thoughts: Their preview completely neglects thinking about the first 20 levels of druids (before you get cat form), where leveling is incredibly painful. This is particularly concerning since they discussed quality of life issues for leveling for other classes that have fewer very early leveling issues compared to druids. (UPDATE: “It won’t be super low level, but we might switch the levels at which you get cat and bear.“)
- Savage Defense is moving to a mastery bonus for bears, and something called “vengeance” as the mastery bonus for bear should help with tanking damage (by buffing bear’s damage done).