Cata Preview: Druid talent draft released

So, there is a somewhat official talent version released to some of the big fan sites (ie. wow.com, mmo-champion). You can find the whole list of the current draft of Cataclysm talents here. In addition, GC said that people can talk about them.

When reviewing the talents, please remember that these are still in the very early stages of development, and that they will probably look substantially different by the time they go live. In addition, the talent preview doesn’t show you the context of other changes made to actual spells & abilities. So, with that in mind, lets look at some of the best & worst in the tree right now:

First, up for least useful talent is Lunar Justice (from the balance tree). The tooltip indicates that you’ll have to run and hug the mob you killed to get your mana back, meaning that it will likely have little (to no) usefulness outside of leveling.

Best talent name: Nom Nom Nom. I think they should keep the name. After all, isn’t the point of the game to have fun? :)

Most interesting change (not sure if good or bad): Damage increase in tree form, combined with instant wrath casts from fury of the stormrage, for resto druids to have more offense in PvP. I’m not sure yet if I like the idea of these damage increase talents for resto (that balance specifically wouldn’t have access to). I guess we’ll see once things are in Beta and we can really test it out if trees are going to be doing some damage dealing in PvP.

Biggest winner: Effloresence. This talent was announced in the preview, and I’ve always liked the idea of this proc, which will potentially make regrowth a better “raid” healing tool.

Biggest problem in a talent: A 50% snare built into the tree form cooldown talent is too much. Any movement reduction at all would be bad, but if we need one – then 10 to 20% is about the most that it should have. In raids and PvP, pretty much having to stand still the entire duration defeats the purpose of needing a strong cooldown to help you get through tricky situations (since tricky situations are almost always when you need to move & heal the most at the same time).

Biggest reversal of a spell’s role: So, back before WotLK, we used moonfire’s direct damage as actual direct damage from time to time (lawl moonfire spam). During WotLK, we glyphed moonfire so it didn’t do very much direct damage, and we used it primarily as a DOT. Now, we’ve got multiple (three) talents designed to buff moonfire’s direct damage, so we will probably need to return to moonfire spam in more situations, especially since we don’t have much else we can do while moving.

Overall, there are a lot of great things in the talent trees, but there are still lots of things that need to be changed, and a lot of things will likely be changed before the talents go live. I’ll dive more into things at a later date.

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17 Comments

  1. Posted June 10, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this post! I agree with your choices and I am excited to try everything out. I played around with the talent calculators for a while last night and I can see many options for PvP. Looking forward to it all!

  2. Ben
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Anyone else thinking that it looks like there’s actually less choice now? It seems like there’s not any useful balance talents past NG, so there will be a ton of points to dump into restoration, and so you won’t really have too many tough decisions, since you can get almost everything, at least for PvE.

    Still I know it’s not finalized. For example I assume they will change Master Shapeshifter, since right now it still just increases our healing by 4% while in Tree form, which will only be, what, 1/3 of the time? So 5 points for about 1% increase in healing atm.

    Last observation, there are a few talents that say “requires 1 point in x”, even when you can put several points in x (eg, nature’s swiftness “Requires 1 point in Naturalist”, but you can put 5 in Naturalist). Just an interesting deviation from the norm, or possibly just a typo. The wowhead talent calculator obeys it as written.

  3. Bennet
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Reduced movement in tree form? Haven’t we been here before? And didn’t it get pulled because it was, well, punishing and lame and generally not fun?

  4. Posted June 10, 2010 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Agreed with most of these. I already put some comments here as well:
    http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t97230-going_forward_cataclysm_discussion/p12/#post1668406

  5. Thorn
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Have to agree with Lunar Justice looking useless, in any group situation melee with mana, paladins shamans and possibly even feral druids depending on whether their mana can be ‘seen’ by the spell will benefit from this more than balance and resto druids.

    Improved barkskin deep in the resto tree looks nice for any druid caught in caster/travel form, I don’t understand why its only deemed needful for restos to get extra armour & reduced damage when running away though

  6. Lissanna
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    We still have a long way to go before the talents will be ready to go live. :(

  7. Fangtastic
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I have two healing toons right now – my tree and my disc priest. Looking at these notes side by side, I’m pretty sure I’m going to hang up my spellpower robes for the druid and go bear/cat.

    50% movement speed reduction sounds horrible – while other classes (mages) get a boost to speed by blowing a cooldown, we get a reduction.

    I have an intense (irrationally so?) dislike of being snared which makes me want to get rid of the debuff ASAP. We’ve been conditioned to GET OUT OF THE GROUND EFFECT the moment our toon’s movement feels weird. Now having a snare as part of a cooldown feels like sand in a yummy sandwich.

    At the same time, disc priests seem to be getting the ability to cast penance on the run… that is so full of win.

  8. Ben
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t have a problem with the 50% ms. This isn’t even the first time they’ve announced it, I don’t think. Just look at it this way, the more “negatives” there are with an ability (long cd, slowed movement, not all spells available) the more powerful they can justify making it.

  9. Lissanna
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    The problem is that they’re giving most classes more movement speed BUFF abilities, ways to move out of crap on the ground – and then they’re snaring tree form druids, so that the trees will have to spend the whole time healing themselves, since they won’t be able to move out of anything in time. A 50% movement debuff on ourselves is game-breakingly bad, regardless of how good the cooldown is. The speed snare is one thing that I’ll /rage about all day long.

  10. Posted June 10, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    maybe a 50% movement speed reduction with a 50% damage taken reduction at the same time. Like the shaman 10% reduction while casting. I think the MS reduction should be equaled by an equal buff of something related. Not counting the normal bonus you get while blowing a cooldown.

  11. Intravax
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    As far s the move debuff while in tree form…so many talents seem to buff healing across all classes when health dips below 50 or 35%. Add that along with the increased health pools on all classes and movement might not be such a big issue. Blizz has already stated that keeping everyone topped off is not going to be a good strategy in Cata as much as managing mana usage will be for healers.

  12. Fangtastic
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    50% damage reduction with 50% speed reduction does not make sense for PVE. Why? Because someone without the debuff may be able to get out of the void zone and not take any damage from it – on the other hand, the tree may find more damage coming in than it can heal through even with the 50% mitigation.

    Some examples where in the current game this would be game breaking – Defile on LK (50% reduced movement speed? really?!?!), Pact of the Darkfallen on BQL, Sindragosa’s Blistering Cold.

    If you want to go back a little further to early WOTLK – Thaddius, 4 horsemen, grobbulus (when you got injected), Heigan’s dance…

    Granted, these are situations that come up in the current game but I find it difficult to imagine that Cata won’t have movement heavy fights.

    And yes, you can avoid some of these problems by not popping the cooldown but thats stupid then because we have a cooldown that can kill us when really its something to lean on when things are going badly.

    I’d be more willing to go for something like 25% more mana used by all spells, this movement speed debuff just soured me on the whole idea of resto in Cata.

  13. Verdus
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    As I’ve said elsewhere, the new Tree of Life form will live or die by the secondary effects that it grants our spells, and we still have no idea what most of them are. A simple 15% healing boost seems rather paltry for such a long-cooldown ability that comes saddled with heavy drawbacks. The idea that it could also boost our damage done is flat-out ridiculous.

  14. Sedirex
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Agreed on tree-form. Popping a cooldown and being weakened by it is really quite the opposite of fun, and can you imagine how bad it would feel to have to right-click tree form because RNG gave you defile or whatever?

  15. Neyuna
    Posted June 11, 2010 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Wouldn’t Lunar Justice be okay for battlegrounds as well as leveling though? There are a lot of instances where you could AoE packs of monsters while leveling too.

    Also, what do you think about our spell pushback talents? Balance druids will need to get Celestial Focus and Nature’s Focus (6 points in all) while other casters only have to spend 2 or 3.

  16. Chezza
    Posted June 11, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I noticed that Nom Nom Nom is listed as being (NNF) which indicates that will not be the talent’s final name. I think that’s a shame, as the Druid class has one of the best user communities complete with its own sense of humor.
    Now, if they’d just implement something to do with waffles (#) :)

  17. Shingetsu
    Posted June 14, 2010 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    Yeah personnaly i like alot of the new tree but the wording for some of it seems off, like the direct damager multiplier for moonfire.
    Tbh i like the way moonfire is now actually puts some sense into using the dot portion of it but if we are buffing on the direct damage then surely whats the point of using as a dot :S.

    Onto other things that come to my mind i actually had an idea about how to completely rework a particular talent and make it accessible and fun for all trees with either mid level talents and glyphs.

    Treants – Base Spell( lvl 30 )

    Force of Nature – Summons 3 treants to the caster
    []Spell considerably weaker then current
    []Modified by talents
    []Spell power and attack power scales with caster

    Moonkin – High tier talent
    []Changed to summon 1 treant
    []Casts Wrath/Starfire
    []Dependent on eclipse
    []1.5 sec cast
    []Damage scales with casters eclipse efects
    []Moves with caster unless told to root
    []CD Cast, entangling growth
    []Entangling Roots on a given area
    []Does not stack with casters entangling roots
    []Maximum 3 targets
    []Roots targetable, unaffected by friendly damage
    []3 sec hold or until killed
    []Freya Style Roots
    [#]Lasts 1 min
    [#]CD 3 Min
    [*]Glyphed – 2min to infinite( balanced accordingly )
    [*]Glyphed – Treants cast has a 2% chance to cause casters next wrath/starfire to be instant cast.

    Feral – Timer does not reset apon shapeshifting
    []Caster Form – Standard force of nature
    []Shapeshift Form – Check individual description

    Feral( Bear ) – Mid tier talent( shared )
    [~]Bear form - []Treants dispurse and encases bear form
    []Attacks cause rebarking
    []Buffs Caster with encasing bark
    []Improved thorns damage( scales with health )( upto 200% extra thorn damage )
    []Damage made by Encasing Bark is 150% additional threat
    []Debuffs attacker with embarked blows
    []Reduces all damage made by 3%
    [#]Lasts 30 sec
    [#]CD 2 min
    [*]Glyphed – Encasing Bark also reduces attackers movement speed by 30%
    [*]Glyphed – Encasing Bark reflects upto 3% of attackers damage

    Feral( Cat ) Mid tier talent( shared )
    [~]Cat form – []Treants shatter and attach’s to paws on cat form
    []All attacks have thorn like addational dmg
    []Chance on hit to cause shattering bark
    []20 Charges
    []AoE style damage
    []Stacks onto area below druid
    []Thorn like damage stacked
    []Shattering Bark decays after 6 sec
    [#]Lasts 30 sec
    [#]CD 2 min
    [*]Glyphed – Increases stack size to 25
    [*]Glyphed – Shattering bark decays after 8 sec.

    Restoration – High tier talent
    []Changed to summon a swarm of mini Treants
    []Heals a given area( pulsing pillar of )
    []Pet bar allows movement in much the same way there summoned
    []Untargetable
    [#]Lasts 20 sec
    [#]CD 2 min
    [*]Glyphed – Resets cd on Tree of Life
    [*]Glyphed – No longer movable but all targets hit get a short rejuvenation

    The idea here would be to make this semi powerful high level talent fairly weak and base lane, then through mid to high level talents give them function for each build and form for extra benefit.

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