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charriu

Druid Changes Patch 3.1

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This thread is meant for discussion of the upcoming changes in patch 3.1.

Today, Eyonix posted some first bits of information about the class changes. Here are the druid ones.

DRUID

Savage Defense – this is a new passive ability. When a druid in Dire Bear form deals a melee critical strike, the druid gains a damage shield equal to 25% of their attack power. The next hit completely removes the shield regardless of how much damage was done.

Survival of the Fittest has had its bonus armor reduced to compensate for the above increase in damage mitigation.

Faerie Fire (and similar debuffs) now reduces armor by 5%. See Sunder Armor in the warrior update below for additional details.

Thorns and Nature’s Grasp can be cast in Tree of Life form.

Survival Instincts now works in Moonkin form.

Replenish – to avoid confusion, this talent has been renamed “Revitalize.†It now also works with Wild Growth.

We are also looking at increasing the sustained (not burst) damage of feral druids in cat form.

From World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Upcoming Class Change Highlights (Part 2)

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I'll note that Savage Defense sounds very much like a non-talent, free ability as oppossed to another talent. An attempt to get druids more tanking stats to scale with and corresponds roughly to block, with crit matching block rating and AP matching block value. Obviously it's a bit different, notably not being as good for AoE tanking with only proc'ing off your attacks and vanishing after single hits, but might scale better than block on single targets.

Replenish (now Revitalize) was like that for a bit in alpha I recall. With WG now having a cooldown, and practical evidence showing the weakness of the talent in general, I guess they decided it could be brought back. The notes posted today don't say anything about whether or not the proc rate is different for WG compared to Rejuv.

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Using every GCD and Mauling/autoattacking leads to an attack speed of ~1,07

Factoring in some haste gear/buffs, some lag and using FFF/Demo Roar we have an

attack speed of lets just say 1 attack/second for a quick guess.

Raidbuffed AP in Bear ist ~5-6k AP, so 25% of that is a damage shield of 1250-1500

With around 35% crit this means a damage shield every three seconds, or reducing your

incoming damage by ~400-500 dps

Strongly depens on the Sotf-nerf if I'll like it or not ^^ And it also depends a lot on the Boss!

No use in proccing the damage shield if the Boss hasn't even attacked you since the last procced.

For trash tanking the shield will be up much more, with 5 targets it should procc 90% of the time.

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As long as it doesn't have a cooldown it seems decent. Lame that it uses the same mechanic as ILotP, my guess is you'll get it from there instead of the lame 6 sec CD heals...

Edit: Feels weird that Cat gets 4% crit and Bear 4% damage from Master Shapeshifter when they clearly would want the opposite with this change.

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I know that other classes have similar problems (DKs, in particular), but the wedding of mitigation to attack based procs makes the immunity shield granted by Shadron's acolyte much more of an annoyance then it already is.

Hopefully the art/animation for it won't be something recycled.

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Where is the Moonkin love?

At least, looks like Starfall buff may show earlier than Ulduar -- or way after if it is forgot.

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I still don't get why they're throwing these buffs to Feral PvP and leaving Balance and Resto completely untouched.

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So what role do they think we play? Savage Defense seems to be targeted at tanking single, slow-hitting targets. I would also suggest it's targeted at targets that deal spell damage since the shield is more effective against spells than melee because it's most likely pre-armor. I wonder if they're trying to make us caster tanks--can any other class take a cut off the max hit of spell damage like this?

edit: I'm actually wondering if they are trying to specialize the tanks, with us as a primary or backup anti-caster tank. (I guess the first post came across as a complaint, which it was not intended to be.)

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Where is the Moonkin love?

At least, looks like Starfall buff may show earlier than Ulduar -- or way after if it is forgot.

These preview lists are not comprehensive. The Survival Instincts change is most likely a flavor change to match things like Feral AP weapons where you see bear, cat, and moonkin together.

The Starfall buff is a hotfix item, so it will be pre-3.1.

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So what role do they think we play? Savage Defense seems to be targeted at tanking single, slow-hitting targets. I would also suggest it's targeted at targets that deal spell damage since the shield is more effective against spells than melee because it's most likely pre-armor. Are they trying to make us caster tanks?

I thought all shields were post armor/damage reduction.

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Given current raid Jewelry itemization, would the shield change make some dps rings/necklaces better for tanking than the current "tanking" pieces?

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I thought all shields were post armor/damage reduction.

They have to be, otherwise shields with ~3k absorb values would be pretty much meaningless against anything outside a non-heroic 5man instance.

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I like the idea behind the SD mechanic, gives us another chance at scaling, however the reduced armor makes us much more vulnerable to RNG spikes, which isn't that great.

No love for the tree though. This is another nerf to resto PVP imo, being as I'll flip to bear to survive, with the hybrid 33/38 build, I won't be doing melee crits to get this up.

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Let's make a comparison between Savage Defense and armor. Let's assume that you have 38k armor, 7k AP, and that the boss hits for 40k pre-mitigation. 38k armor reduces that hit to 12,179. Now let's say that you had a Savage Defense shield up, which knocks off 1750 damage, and the final hit was 12,179. In that case the original hit was 13,929, which occurs if you have 31,136 armor. That means the shield was worth 6,864 armor. Of course, it's less reliable than straight armor, but it's quite powerful and probably works on spells too.

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These preview lists are not comprehensive. The Survival Instincts change is most likely a flavor change to match things like Feral AP weapons where you see bear, cat, and moonkin together.

The Starfall buff is a hotfix item, so it will be pre-3.1.

Yes, giving Moonkin Last Stand is clearly just a flavor thing, and definitely not a PvP buff.

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OK--I must have just been wrong about pre- and post-armor. You're right it would be worthless otherwise.

Are feral tanks the best damage reducers now? Big, slow-hitting boss mob would hit any other tank for 14k, but hits the feral tank for 12.25k? Or do the other tanks have similar always-up reduction values?

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I guess Blizzard is expecting us to put damage reduction in favor of some DPS (check for some other classes new abilities, ie PW:Barrage), so we all have needed survivability for Ulduar - I remember Blizzard telling in the past "if you are stacking Stamina or Haste gear, then you are looking forward to Season 6 or Ulduar".

Right now, many classes are already doing some serious damage, and it appears Moonkins are on this list. And the new Ulduar gear may fix this survivability so we can all get back to damage dealing as we were used to.

Still, I am not excited at all for any of the announced changes.

And yes, I am still confident we should get Startall fixed as a hotfix.

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Assuming the shield works against spells (the text says "next hit" which is ambiguous) it won't be better against them because a) spells tend to be fewer, larger hits, and b) avoidance won't improve your uptime.

Also treating your yellow and white/maul attacks as a single combined swing timer is not the right way to figure out uptime on this. It's (odds of a crit after you take damage before the next boss swing) to get the shield up, and (odds of the boss dealing damage to you) that it drops again--since it doesn't stack, you can't just use your crit rate and average swing speed to determine net mitigation.

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I assumed it wouldn't stack--but I have seen speculation in other threads that it would. Each hit reduces 1 charge, each charge shields up to 25%AP. It seems more likely that it won't stack, however. I think they would have told us the max number of stacks if it did.

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SD is a pretty unique concept that scales bear mitigation with crit and AP, although the number may or may not need fine tuning. Now we get to play with strength vs agility for bear form too, haha.

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So what role do they think we play? Savage Defense seems to be targeted at tanking single, slow-hitting targets. I would also suggest it's targeted at targets that deal spell damage since the shield is more effective against spells than melee because it's most likely pre-armor. Are they trying to make us caster tanks?

Damage shields/blocking is more effective against weak hitting Bosses. The larger the Hit the less of a percentage

is the damage shield. Reducing a 5k hit by 1.5k is way better then 15k->13.5k

One more thing that kinda worries me: it will be MUCH harder to determine the defensive value of an item.

Let's say you have one with lot's of Agi and Haste against one with Crit and AP.

Now you can say: the one with agility is better, because it gives dodge while the second item doesn't give any

defensive stats.

With 3.1 that won't be possible any more because all 4 stats offer defensive values...

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Savage Defense is pretty much a passive Bear Block which is reliant on both own attack speed and opponent's swing speed, as opposed to opponent's swing speed like Shield Block is. Now all stats will influence a bear's mitigation value (i guess not ArP), even haste is going to play a minor factor in faster autoattack/maul for higher uptime on SD.

This solves a lot of issue with bears just scaling poorly with Rogue gear.

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Yes, giving Moonkin Last Stand is clearly just a flavor thing, and definitely not a PvP buff.

True, I was very much exaggerating and a little bit too negative at first about Feral point spending. Thinking more about it, you could do something like this to pick it up, which could be quite nice for the extra armor as well. I'd be slightly concerned about mana, but you could shift points around in Balance for Dreamstate. There was a GC post about eventually deleting or changing CF, so perhaps that could come into play for extra DS points as well.

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Honestly, this change is entirely dependent on the nerf to SotF and if any sort of hidden cooldown is attached to it as well.

A CD on the proc would be bad to say the least. I would rather have the 6864 armor and be less dependent on my crit chance to proc damage reduction in a boss fight.

I like that they are trying to give us another scalar but am unsure about this mechanic until I see more details.

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Haste will still be a marginal stat. It will improve the chances of getting another crit, but the majority of your attack speed and crits will come from GCD attacks, not from autoattack.

I very much like the idea, though having it be more controlled would be welcome. This should be up 100% of the time against multiple mobs, though past a certain point it won't be all that good. Assuming you get a shield every 1.5 seconds from swipe and a shield every 2.5 seconds from maul (this is on the high end), this means in 15 seconds time you will get 16 shields. Assuming 50% avoidance, that means 32 attacks in 15 seconds. That's the maximum shields that you could get in that time, no matter what. As long as you have enough targets to reasonably get a high likelihood of swipe getting one crit, more targets will not help you.

I suspect that this probability will top off around 4 mobs. Which is still far better than it is currently for multimob tankng, but weaker than shield wearers.

Ironically this is almost precisely the recommended change that Kazanir had for druids back in beta: remove all bonus armor from jewelry, give bears a shield based on AP. The outcry at the time was severe, because he was suggesting that 45k health and 40k armor were too powerful and bears needed to be brought in line with other tanks.

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