So, I haven’t talked about the movement ability tier yet in my feedback. Mostly, I had been waiting a few beta patches to see if they would do something about displacer beast. Since they haven’t done anything about it yet, lets take a look at why displacer beast will largely be ignored if it goes live as-is.
Level 15 movement talent tier
The talent tier dedicated to movement/escape has three talents.
- Feline swiftness increases movement speed by 15% all the time. The other 15% from the original feral talent is baked into cat form baseline. There are plenty of times where a baseline movement speed increase will work great. Since PvE movement tends to involve a lot of small movements that you want control over, just being able to get where you want to go faster will end up increasing your DPS as a moonkin, and is generally helpful to any specialization.
- Wild Charge is probably the most interesting talent out of all the talents in the tree. This is definitely a winner for PvP most of the time, where you can gain a different ability for each form that you are in: the original feral charge effect for bear and cats, plus some additonal options for humanoid form, moonkin form, or our land/sea travel forms. The short cooldown (15 seconds) makes the ability really quite powerful.
- Displacer beast is supposed to work like vanish, where it will teleport you away and put you in cat form’s prowl. Lets talk about this ability in more detail.
Displacer Beast versus wild charge.
Displacer beast is on a 3 minute cooldown. When compared to wild charge’s 15 second cooldown, it’s obvious that wild charge wins for the movement portion of the spell, since doing the same thing on a shorter cooldown is always better. For displacer beast to be worthwhile, then, the vanish portion has to be worth giving up the ability to have wild charge or feline swiftness.
Displacer beast versus vanish
However, when the talent hit beta, they forgot to add in something to actually make displacer beast work like vanish. So, how does the rogue vanish work? Well, when the rogue hits the “vanish” button, they can’t be unstealthed by things like DOTs ticking on them for three seconds. Rogues can get a glyph that increases that duration to 5 seconds.
Originally, the druid version was supposed to remove DOTs from us so that the DOTs wouldn’t break the stealth. They removed that portion, and so being shifted into cat form and stealthing basically does nothing because unless you are fighting against a target dummy, you are likely going to be unstealthed pretty much immediately if DOTs are ticking on you. Since displacer beast doesn’t actually work like vanish, it makes the talent really bad – because it’s missing the one thing that makes vanish actually work well.
Displacer beast versus shadowmeld
So, night elf druids already have something vanish-like. It’s called shadowmeld. So, for displacer beast to be worth picking up, at the very least, it has to be better than the shadowmeld button that I already have. Shadowmeld is on a 2 minute cooldown, compared to the 3 minute cooldown of displacer beast. When I’m out solo farming in the world, shadowmeld drops threat on my targets (they stop chasing me). When I try displacer beast, the PvE mobs actually chase after me and keep attacking me again. So, it’s not dropping threat/combat even when you are soloing quest mobs out in the world. I tried it on the lowbie wolves outside of stormwind, so it’s not just that the mobs saw through my stealth, but that they just never dropped aggro (and those same exact mobs dropped agro when I used shadowmeld). Thus, using wild charge followed by shadowmeld actually does more for me than investing in displacer beast.
Displacer beast is bad.
Since displacer beast loses out to both vanish and shadowmeld, my conclusion is that the problem is with displacer beast and not with the other two talents in that tier. Displacer beast needs to actually work like vanish and not just activate prowl. It needs some sort of protection from being automatically broken and at least a PvE threat drop or something to be worthwhile.