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Possible feral (bear & cat) builds for 3.1


This weekend, I’m planning to work on the update for the feral section of my leveling guide for the 3.1 patch. However, before I sit down and work on the leveling build, I wanted to take a look at cat, bear, & feral PvP builds that could be useful to think about when planning out what we are likely doing for feral dual specs at level 80.

So, Lavata and I came up with what we think is likely to be the most reasonable PvE and PvP specs for ferals in 3.1. These are still preliminary specs. I welcome feedback and discussion, so that I can further shape these specs as we get closer to the 3.1 release. Also, I consider the following three specs to be level 80 end-game builds, and not necessarily the best for leveling if you don’t have access to the dual-spec system.

The bear spec would look something like this.

This seems to be a standard 0/60/11 tanking build. I picked the Frenzied regen, Maul, & savage roar glyphs for this tanking spec. If you aren’t relying on Furor that much, you can shift 2 points into Improved Mark for the 2% stat increase.

The cat spec would look something like this.

This is another 0/60/11 build, but now for cat damage dealing. I picked the shred, mangle, & savage roar glyphs for this DPS spec.

The PvP spec was a little bit harder to put together, however the PvP spec could look something like this.

For the 0/55/16 PvP build, I tried to pick up mostly damage dealing with some survivability & reduced mana shapeshifting costs. The glyphs I went with were: barkskin, savage roar, & shred for the PvP spec. There are likely other PvP specs that would be good (with either more or less points in resto). I can probably work on a few other possible pvp specs at some point.

This is what I have worked out so far. Again, these are preliminary and I welcome feedback (and, what specs you end up with will likely be different than these above “guidelines”).

Posted in Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Patch 3.1 WotLK, Player Versus Player

Feral PvP – The DD forum discussion and suggestions

Ghostcrawler posted a lengthy response in the feral druid PvP “nerf” thread, which contained a decent amount of information about how the developers think about PvP balance, but nothing that was really helpful for the ferals that felt their chance at pvp success in 3.1 had been taken away from them. Here’s an excerpt with what I consider to be the “meat” of GC’s post:

We made some adjustments to Feral damage in both PvE and PvP settings. Most of the nerfs are pretty straight forward, so it’s probably easy to understand what we were trying to accomplish with them.

We understand the point was to nerf feral PvE and PvP, I am still not sure why feral PvP needed to be tuned down. It’s possible that when the developers made massive sweeping changes to other classes recently, including a significant nerf to fear mechanics, that feral stood out too high on their internal testing, but that almost just doesn’t make sense. I’m fairly convinced at this point that it’s not possible to balance all the classes for arena pvp, that there will always be complaints about PvP balance on the forums, and it could all just be a lost cause at this point.

I tend to not write a lot about feral PvP, since it’s usually my weakest area of mechanics & theorycrafting knowledge. However, I think the problem with the latest round of changes is that most of the changes came because of feral being too strong at PvE (in raid DPS on Ulduar testing), and not necessarily related to any PvP testing at all on the PTR. Thus, I think some of the PvP nerfs weren’t really intended to be PvP nerfs. So, that’s why it’s really not obvious to people like me. I’m even more concerned since I have been directing people to pick up feral PvP specs for arena, as resto & balance druids aren’t looking so great for arenas in 3.1 the last few weeks, either.

Now that I’m done with the “doom and gloom” segment of this post, lets get to what we can do about it, and where the weaknesses actually are. The most constructive post about feral’s PvP weaknesses (and how to fix the problem) in PvP comes from Deep in the Damage Dealing forums.

I really wanted to draw attention to Deep’s main point. Feral druids rely on finishing moves (rip and savage roar) to boost their damage. Both of these are easy to keep up in PvE raids, but are hard to use correctly in arena PvP (even if they look theoretically good on paper and lead to bursty damage on rare occassions).

The “savage roar” problem described by Deep is similar to what is probably causing moonkin druids a lot of problem in PvP. A lot of moonkin damage now comes from Eclipse, which is unreliable in PvP settings, and thus moonkin automatically take a damage hit when they enter arena settings. Being able to do high PvE damage seems to overshadow moonkin survivability and mana issues in PvP.

Dependency on spells or abilities that are great for PvE and not so great for PvP make balancing the pvp aspects of our class a lot harder than it should be. At this point, I just hope that other classes got tuned down enough that feral and moonkin will be able to do well enough to keep druids in the arena game.

Then again, the complaints coming from the balance PvP community has little to do with damage done, and more to do with survivability/mana regen/utility issues. Maybe damage done by druids is less of a problem than the damage done to druids by the other classes that are performing well in pvp situations.

Update 1: Unhappy with the 3.1 Arena abilities for druids? Go test them out Tuesday-

Focus testing in the arenas on the PTR has been tentatively rescheduled for Tuesday, March 31.

UPDATE 2: Ghostcrawler responded a few more times in that original thread, with a little more clarity and helpful information. Check out the newer GC feral comments starting here.

Posted in Feral DPS Cat, Moonkin Balance DPS, Player Versus Player

Go play in the PTR arenas today – Thursday the 26th!

Druids’ representation in the current arena system on the live servers (and the arena servers) are low. We all know that druids just aren’t playing very much in arenas. Some of it is the backlash against druids doing so well as resto in Burning Crusade.

Anyway, the devs are looking for people to go and do some arena PvP testing on the PTR, and they’re asking people to queue up for arena battles on Thursday the 26th on the US PTRs (the devs are more likely to be watching during work hours & the evening…).

It would be great to see some druid PvP’ing while the devs are watching you.

Maybe that’ll help us get some needed moonkin PvP fixes… if they can actually see some moonkin PvP’ing. It would also be great to see what resto and ferals look like in the arenas, as well, after all the 3.1 changes. Also, please leave feedback on the WoW forums after your PvP testing (please post constructively there), about what needs fixes. There may still be time to get stuff done before 3.1 goes live…

/end public service announcement.

UPDATE: Realms taken down (to apply new patch). Why did they ask us to play in arenas if the servers were going to be down? Great planning guys! Maybe we’ll be able to queue up when the servers come back up.

According to Zarhym:

Due to the extended down time of the test realms today, we are looking to reschedule this focus testing for a day next week. We will provide an update to this thread when we have a day chosen.

Stay tuned for more PvP fun….

Posted in Patch 3.1 WotLK, Player Versus Player

The Moonkin PvP fix: Typhoon & survivability talent needed

Cross-posting on the Damage Dealing forums and here:

With the moonkin PvP community really falling to pieces over the lack of information and changes, here are some simple band-aid fixes that would make moonkin PvP okay in the short-term, to buy time for long-term fixes later down the line:

1) The fix for Typhoon: The typhoon knockback needs to be 10 yards. A 5 yard knockback only works as a weak spell interrupt, which isn’t even reliable because of the way the spell mechanic works. Five yards is too short for the talent to be worthwhile.

In addition, if Typhoon is supposed to be the “get out of my face” ability, PvP moonkin need the typhoon glyph changed. Instead of lowering the cooldown by 3 seconds, it needs to add a 3 second root ability to hold people in place. This would get melee off your back just long enough to either escape or to be able to cast something, while still alowing people to attack and cast things. This gives moonkin a PvP a really good glyph that they would want to use, without it being overpowered, and without having to add something like a stun (which people would QQ about) or slow (which would be ineffective). You could add a silence type effect to it, but it wouldn’t effect melee, and I think typhoon is supposed to be more about getting melee off your back for a bit.

2) Need a PvP survivability talent: I actually recommend taking some more time to look into possibly gutting Owlkin Frenzy now. Keep in mind that I love the current version of owlkin frenzy, and would prefer another solution, but I’m running low on other ideas. We didn’t want you to gut it for PvE nerfs, but it would be possible to take away the PvE appeal by giving it really awesome PvP survivability at the expense of PvE damage increases. You can take off the spell pushback effect (that we can now get from celestial focus or the resto tree for things that matter), and add a defensive ability to the proc. It would, however, still need to proc off melee/cast/ranged, or it won’t be worth changing at all. If you did a really good job of making it appealing for PvP survivability, it would be possible to reduce the bonus damage to it, and make it more about surviving long enough instead of being able to do more damage, and reduce the “lol pve standing in a fire” problem you were originally trying to fix.

If you didn’t want to change owlkin frenzy, you could change Gale Winds to the PvP survivability talent, since it has the increased cyclone range. You could take off the hurricane damage increase, and move hurricane’s effect to another talent (wrath of Cenarius, maybe?), and then add PvP survivability directly to Gale Winds and make it a very clear PvP talent, instead of mixed PvP/PvE talent.

Both owlkin frenzy and gale winds are high enough that they wouldn’t have a strong influence on specs for either restoration or feral druids, so these two make the most logical choice of where to put the PvP survivability without having to add a completely new talent to further bloat the tree.

(I swear I’ll go back to posting about PvP soon, lol).

Posted in Moonkin Balance DPS, Player Versus Player



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