So, tonight Blizzard sprung a surprise Cataclysm Beta patch on us that had some druid changes.
They are mostly fixes where they fleshed out the talent trees a little bit more so that we could actually beta test without being totally broken. In the previous build, we were fighting bugs like some of us having our talents reset after every time we logged or turned in a quest.
The new current build actually looks a lot like the “fake” feedback talent trees I made a couple patches ago, after they put in the first draft of their 31-point talent trees. That mostly just means that we got important talents put back in (like moonkin form, typhoon, etc), and that they didn’t really do much new designing to the actual talents.
That means they still have a lot of work to make druid talent trees a lot more fun before things go live.
That said, lets look at the goodies we got this patch:
Highlights of the Latest talent changes for moonkin:
- Lunar justice is gone – this is a good change, since the talent was pretty lame in the smaller talent trees, since it was something anyone would skip for PvP or raiding since you’d never be in melee range to benefit from it. It was essentially a leveling talent or a “neat” toy that didn’t really serve a functional purpose.
- More resto-friendly talents in the first 2 tiers (For example, Nature’s Majesty crit % increase is back)
- Earth & Moon is back, along with moonkin form & typhoon.
- Improved Eclipse removed – this is good, since it was incompatible with the change to Eclipse that makes faster Eclipse Power gains make the buff shorter, negating any real damage bonus. I already didn’t like how many points we were spending on improving Eclipse, anyway.
Highlights of the latest talent changes for resto:
- Master Shapeshifter added back into the talent trees, requiring Natural Shapeshifter. This is going to be an interesting decision, since that puts 9 talent points-worth of talents for feral & moonkin in the first 2 tiers of the resto tree, and you’ll have to decide if Natural/master shape-shifter is worth the 4 point investment.
- Gift of the Earth Mother was properly added back into the talent tree, so we got back the instant heal from rejuvenation.
- Other talents were shifted around to compensate for Swiftmend being properly removed from the talent tree.
- Empowered Rejuvenation is marked as “to be redesigned”, most likely because there are too many flat bonuses to increased HOT healing in the talent trees and it’s still redundant.
Feral also got a couple bug fixes (like Mangle working now). Also, as Verdus pointed out in the comments, Heart of the Wild is back in Tier 1 feral, which would be an interesting addition to any resto or moonkin’s talent builds.
I basically consider this build to be the “bug fix” patch, since they mostly just added back in the talents required to have a functional talent tree, without really making any of the super interesting changes they have been making to other classes. At this point, I feel like the druid talents got back to where all the other classes were last patch, and now everyone else is still ahead of us in development. Notice how I didn’t talk about talents other than ones that already existed before. rather than new talents. There are also still a ton of really boring talents that do nothing but increase damage or healing, and feral doesn’t have many changes this pass.
However, now that we have all these fixes to the talent tree, I finally have something I can give actual feedback on, since I couldn’t test balance druids without things like moonkin form in the talent tree. I’ll have more feedback posts later on over the next couple days as I do more testing.
Slowly but surely, we’ll keep working on things to get something a little more fun for druids in Cata.