MOP feedback: Displacer beast

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.

8 Comments

  1. hercdeisel
    Posted April 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    All spot on. I’m torn, however. On the one hand, I don’t want to have a tier with only two worthwhile choices. On the other hand, I worry that talking about the badness of Displacer Beast will only lead to a severe Wild Charge nerf. Wild Charge is easily my favorite talent in the whole tree in terms of being pure fun. Nothing else is even close really. Maybe ursol’s vortex (at least when I could use it frequently.

    • Lissanna
      Posted April 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      See, the problem with the first tier talents isn’t that wild charge is too good. It’s simply that Displacer Beast is worse than vanish & shadowmeld, meaning that the stealth doesn’t actually work well enough to be worth picking up.

      • hercdeisel
        Posted April 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        I hope the designer’s agree with you. The Shadowmeld thing is really the kicker to me and a great comparison. When a talent can’t compete with a racial that has similar function…well…that’s just a devastating condemnation of the talent.

        The other sort of silly thing about Displacer Beast (if it isn’t a worthwhile defense/escape mechanism), which has been pointed out elsewhere, is that druids aren’t rogues and don’t really have much of a stealth toolkit to benefit from their brief stay in stealth anyway.

  2. Vemokin
    Posted April 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Wild Charge is fiveish abilities in one (yes I am counting seal form turbo boost). Can’t really compete with that.

    • Lissanna
      Posted April 30, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Even if wild charge was nerfed, displacer beast would still be bad, just because displacer beast is bad. :(

  3. sound
    Posted April 30, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    The 3min cooldown is there because the ability used to wipe DoTs off you as well. I am not sure why this function was stripped. It has both PVE and PVP applications and isn’t any more overpowered than a Paladin’s Divine Shield, a Mage’s Ice Block or a Rogue’s Shadow Cloak. Given its current function, the ability would need a fairly short cooldown, ie 10 seconds in order for it to be even worth considering. I’d rather they just made Wild Charge baseline and moved Disentanglement down to Tier 1.

    • Chiraa
      Posted May 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      I agree, frankly, I’m quite annoyed that both feral specs don’t have a baseline charge. That’s one of those things that EVERY feral spec’d into. As a bear, that’s my only choice, in that tier. So sorry, its only an illusion of choice.

      I really think they are having a hard time coming up with talents for druids and in general, on beta, it really feels empty, with all the abilities that I don’t have any more. :(

  4. Royalite
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Displacer beast needs to be adjusted to drop dots and be an aggro wipe. I think it is more appropriate to say it needs to be fixed rather than adjusted.

    As a rated bg moonkin/resto, the quality of life of anything but a feral in pvp has been awful. I look at the new talents and abilities and see better tools to help with survivability and control; something non-feral druids lacked. Plus with dispells having a CD I won’t feel neutered by a resto shaman in the bg/arena.

    After reading your latest post, it seems you have been jaded to the changes to the moonkin. That is fine it won’t be for everyone. I had a friend who was currently bored with her druid and wanting to go priest for MoP but after learning about the changes she wants to keep her druid.

    You should enjoy playing! I know I will continue to enjoy my moonkin and hope you enjoy your new direction!