Kae's back! Well, a little.
While I begin working on my Cat DPS Primer, I'd like to throw out some thoughts on the recent announcements regarding Druid class changes in Cataclysm. Yes I'm about a week or so late but hey I've been busy adjusting to having to care for another sentient being!
I'll not quote the entire blue post here, I'll just link to it (and I assume most of you, being relatively interested in the Druid class or at least some Druid-related blogs, have already read it), and then quote individual sections I'd like to comment on. While I'm at it I'll link up the blue post about Rage changes for Druids and Warriors too... once I can find it again!
Cataclysm Druid Preview
On with the show!
Thrash (Level 81): Thrash deals damage and causes all targets within 10 yards to bleed every 2 seconds for 6 seconds. The intent here is to give bears another button to hit while tanking. Talents will affect the bleed, such as causing Swipe to deal more damage to bleeding targets. 5-second cooldown. 25 Rage.
Druids get a second button for AOE tanking! Yay!!
Seriously, I love this and can't wait.
Stampeding Roar (Level 83): The druid roars, increasing the movement of all allies within 10 yards by 40% for 8 seconds. Stampeding Roar can be used in cat or bear form, but bears might have a talent to drop the cooldown. The goal of this ability is to give both bears and cats a little more situational group utility. 3-minute cooldown. No cost.
I read this and went "... ... ... meh?" The only fight I can think of that this might be truly useful is the Faction Champions in ToC... As BBB has said multiple times, we can't judge until after the expansion comes out, but for now... I'm less than impressed.
Wild Mushroom (Level 85): Grows a magical mushroom at the target location. After 4 seconds the mushroom becomes invisible. Enemies who cross the mushroom detonate it, causing it to deal area-of-effect damage, though its damage component will remain very effective against single targets. The druid can also choose to detonate the mushroom ahead of time. This is primarily a tool for the Balance druid, and there will be talents that play off of it. No cooldown. 40-yard range. Instant cast.
As a feral druid, this was also very meh for me, but it seems cool and I think I'll like playing around with it if I ever go Boomkin.
We want to add tools to cat form and depth to bear form. If a Feral cat is going to fill a very similar niche to that of a rogue, warrior or Enhancement shaman, it needs a few more tools -- primarily a reliable interrupt. Bears need to be pushing a few more buttons just so the contrast between tanking and damage-dealing is not so steep.
I like what I'm hearing, but I'm interested to know more in-depth of what changes are being made to have bears pushing a few more buttons/having a few more tools (hint: a silence that doesn't stun of any form would be nice, so we could actually move casters without having to LOS them. For example....)
We plan on giving Feral cats and bears a Kick/Pummel equivalent -- an interrupt that is off the global cooldown and does no damage. We feel like they need this utility to be able to fill the melee role in a dungeon or raid group, and to give them more PvP utility.
If this would also silence them for a bit, that would be excellent. It's still nice, but not mind-blowing.
: This is a mechanic to ensure that tank damage (and therefore threat) doesn’t fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs will have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus. Whenever a tank gets hit, Vengeance will give them a stacking attack power buff equal to 5% of the damage done, up to a maximum of 10% of the character’s unbuffed health. For boss encounters we expect that tanks will always have the attack power bonus equal to 10% of their health. The 5% and 10% bonuses assume 51 talent points have been put into the Feral tree and the druid is in bear form -- these values will be smaller at lower levels. Remember, you only get this bonus if you have spent the most talent points in the Feral tree and are in bear form, so you won’t see Balance, Restoration, or Feral druids in cat form running around with it. Vengeance will let us continue to make tank gear more or less the way we do today -- there will be some damage-dealing stats, but mostly survival-oriented stats. Druids typically have more damage-dealing stats even on their tanking gear, so the Vengeance benefit may be smaller, but overall the goal is that all four tanks do about the same damage when tanking.
I really don't know what to make of this yet.
Overall I'm very excited about the changes, and I can't wait to see them in action!
Coming soon: The beginning of the Cat primer!