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Feral Druid Discussion


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#1 Runnybabbit

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 01:15 AM

Per the suggestion of Chupid, starting this thread to consolidate all the various Feral hijacks (assuming they aren't tapped out by now) to prevent clutter of other discussions. And give XI a target-rich environment for AoE flaming. I kid.

Anyway, to get the ball rolling...my guild has been farming BWL for a few weeks now, and some of the druids (myself not included) are getting antsy about speccing out of heavy Resto builds. There's some tension about this since we are just getting started in AQ (eff you, low pop server) and two of our best-geared priests just quit. I am trying to assemble some ammunition to argue on behalf of our druids who are keen on Feral builds, but I have limited experience with Feral specs in general and zero experience playing them in a raid setting. Obviously, this makes me a suboptimal advocate.

I know properly geared Feral druids can acquit themselves admirably when called upon for tanking or DPS. However, the knock on druids has always been that the niche classes (warriors and rogues in this case) are better suited for those roles, so why dick around with Feral druids if you're really focused on PvE progression. This argument sits better with some than others, but I'm willing to concede that point. What I'm more interested in is how Feral druids contribute to a raid in ways that warriors and rogues can't. Do they? And, more importantly, can they do so consistently? Anecdotal "I saved the raid once" stories aren't opinion changers. I want to hear about the unique things you bring to the table each and every time you raid.

#2 Elerion

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 01:35 AM

Coming from a guild that has traditionally had a surplus of warriors and rogues and a low amount of druids, feral hasn't worked out well for us. One of our absolute best players went feral around the time we cleared BWL, got the best feral loot available, and did dps on tons of raids. He was consistently quite a bit below our best rogues, and tasted aggrodeath more frequently due to lack of vanish. He did do a decent job of tanking, but we have always had plenty of warriors. Due to his skill and high gear level he was still a pretty useful addition to the raid, but nowhere near as useful as a similarly geared/skilled rogue/warrior/restodruid.

#3 diospadre

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 02:34 AM

On one hand I really can't hold it against druids who put points in feral because of speed concerns while soloing. Personally I would never go out and farm anything for more than a few minutes, but I do know there are people out there who do enjoy it and the pain felt by resto druids when attempting to farm.

But in raid situations I just don't see the point. Out of all the content in the game, the only time I can possibly see druids' shifting into a form to be of any use is during some of the post-emps pulls and possibly on Sartura. Everything else is just pointless (and honestly an annoyance when I'm trying to pull something off a bear who is about to die because he aggroed a Wyrmguard and just won't stop taunting it.) If your guild is anything like 99% of the other guilds in wow, you have plenty of warriors. Have you ever only had 3 warriors sign up for a raid and found that you wouldn't be able to tank all of Garr's adds unless some druids went bear? Probably not. When is a raid ever hurting for melee dps? Do you somehow have no rogues or warriors in your guild? Probably not. The only times these situations arise are during the catastrophic situations that result in a large chunk of these classes dying, and by then no amount of bears or cats wearing +healing stuff is going to help you regardless of whatever amount of feral points they've got.

Even if class balances were flipped, does it really make sense to have druids that are dedicated to doing damage or tanking? A druid with points in feral can do 300 dps, but it isn't as if a druid with all those points in rest instead can't do any. Does it really make sense to putting points in tanking or dpsing when 1) they really don't do all that much more damage and 2) it wasn't necesary in the first place?

And for the guilds that do have druids with significant amounts of points in feral, do you ever really see druids going feral on raids? Sure, maybe to dps some trash or to tank an add they aggroed, but that's about the extent of it. People say "Hey let Chupid tank MC" (I'm not even going to discuss how it's year old content) but then the warriors just do it instead because they're better at it by measures of both skill and gear.

It's because putting points in feral doesn't impact a druid's healing capacity too severely that most rational people of other classes aren't so adverse to the idea. If your guild is saying that you're not allowed to put points in feral they're only a bit less stupid than the ones that require the shaman to spec Mana Spring or whatever the hell that worthless totem is named, but to try to argue that feral druids make a meaningful contribution to raids is an empty justification for increased solo and pvp prowess.

#4 Bad Luck

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:25 AM

What Dios says makes sense to me.

I like Feral because it gives me a lot more PvP viability and doesn't impact my healing so much to make me a complete bane.

#5 subscience

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:28 AM

Yea, the "compared the number of DDs to Healers and figure out which they're going to want you to do" scenario pretty much sums it up in most cases.

The only time I can see a raid actually wanting Feral Druids is either when there's too many healers and the Druid has LotP or when the raid group has the instance down cold and just wants to clear it quick.

Edit- I agree with Bad & Diospadre. The only reason I'm putting 20 points into Feral myself is namely for Feral Charge, the MoD-equivalent talent, and the +30% Cat Form speed boost. Those just make my life easier when I'm not healing.

I have a Druid friend who is a hardcore Restoration Druid. He has something like 41 points in Restoration. :unsure:

#6 Graham

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:33 AM

Eh, your raid is a toolbox. Feral druids are a useful tool on some fights and some trash in 40-mans. In 20-mans, even more so.

Do you want 10 druids in your guild all feral? No. Is it damned useful to have a couple along for every raid? Quite often.

If you're a 50 person guild they are even more useful.

Feral druids are damned useful on Satura, and even some fights later in the zone. Not wearing the "OMFG CAT FORM" gear that they use when soloing, but useful none-the-less. They're better tanks than warriors for a couple of fights in ZG, and can tank every tankable fight in AQ20. The biggest failing of the spec is that catform doesnt have the inate aggro reduction that rogues do, and so they aren't really a useful DPS tool.

The 15/31/5 pvp spec isn't really very useful without that aggro reduction.
6/11/34 or 0/11/40 gets you the basic feral tools without sacrificing any healing abilities.
0/30/21 gets you about 85% of a druid's healing capabilities and a ton of feral utility.
24/0/27 gets you pretty good nuking DPS with insane healing effeciency.

THe basic problem is that people are used to thinking of druids as healers with a built in greater dreamless sleep potion once every 6 minutes. They aren't. They're a generalized utility healing class with speciation into either tanking utility, nuking utility (there is some with the new itemization, although it remains to be seen whether aggro will be a limiter like it is with cat) or maximized healing.

Take what you need. If you're in a 100 player guild with 8 druids and you're specifying specs, 4 resto, 3 feral, and 1 balance (24/0/27 not oomkin) is going to give you an astounding amount of flexibility when approaching fights.

#7 XI-

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:36 AM

Coming from a guild that has traditionally had a surplus of warriors and rogues and a low amount of druids, feral hasn't worked out well for us. One of our absolute best players went feral around the time we cleared BWL, got the best feral loot available, and did dps on tons of raids. He was consistently quite a bit below our best rogues, and tasted aggrodeath more frequently due to lack of vanish. He did do a decent job of tanking, but we have always had plenty of warriors. Due to his skill and high gear level he was still a pretty useful addition to the raid, but nowhere near as useful as a similarly geared/skilled rogue/warrior/restodruid.


But in raid situations I just don't see the point. Out of all the content in the game, the only time I can possibly see druids' shifting into a form to be of any use is during some of the post-emps pulls and possibly on Sartura. Everything else is just pointless (and honestly an annoyance when I'm trying to pull something off a bear who is about to die because he aggroed a Wyrmguard and just won't stop taunting it.) If your guild is anything like 99% of the other guilds in wow, you have plenty of warriors. Have you ever only had 3 warriors sign up for a raid and found that you wouldn't be able to tank all of Garr's adds unless some druids went bear? Probably not. When is a raid ever hurting for melee dps? Do you somehow have no rogues or warriors in your guild? Probably not. The only times these situations arise are during the catastrophic situations that result in a large chunk of these classes dying, and by then no amount of bears or cats wearing +healing stuff is going to help you regardless of whatever amount of feral points they've got.

Even if class balances were flipped, does it really make sense to have druids that are dedicated to doing damage or tanking? A druid with points in feral can do 300 dps, but it isn't as if a druid with all those points in rest instead can't do any. Does it really make sense to putting points in tanking or dpsing when 1) they really don't do all that much more damage and 2) it wasn't necesary in the first place?

And for the guilds that do have druids with significant amounts of points in feral, do you ever really see druids going feral on raids? Sure, maybe to dps some trash or to tank an add they aggroed, but that's about the extent of it. People say "Hey let Chupid tank MC" (I'm not even going to discuss how it's year old content) but then the warriors just do it instead because they're better at it by measures of both skill and gear.

It's because putting points in feral doesn't impact a druid's healing capacity too severely that most rational people of other classes aren't so adverse to the idea. If your guild is saying that you're not allowed to put points in feral they're only a bit less stupid than the ones that require the shaman to spec Mana Spring or whatever the hell that worthless totem is named, but to try to argue that feral druids make a meaningful contribution to raids is an empty justification for increased solo and pvp prowess.


These two sum up my feelings completely.

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#8 subscience

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:39 AM

Bah, I couldn't edit this in my post on time:

Edit 2- It seems to me that in most PvE encounters (I can't think of anything off the top of my head where this wouldn't be true), you want to min/max as much as possible in order to get the best results. You want the best tanks tanking, the best DDs doing damage, the best healers healing, etc..

However, the Druid, fundamentally, falls short on each aspect but obviously has the adaptability change roles. But as someone above mentioned, if you're short on DDs, an extra Rogue or Hunter is generally not hard to come by. Nor are Warriors. However, healers can be and as a result you have a non-optimal (of course, this is debatable) Druid replacing a Priest's role - and the gap will probably widen after the 1.10 Priest updates. Of course, there are a few things a Druid brings to the table that no one else can but one the healers' favorite spells, Innervate, requires 31 points into Restoration thus further placing Druids into the "heal-bot" roles.

#9 diospadre

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:39 AM

They're better tanks than warriors for a couple of fights in ZG

Can bears be hexed?

#10 XI-

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:43 AM

They're better tanks than warriors for a couple of fights in ZG

Can bears be hexed?

No, and they can't be MC'd.

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#11 newladin

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:45 AM

They're better tanks than warriors for a couple of fights in ZG

Can bears be hexed?

Nope, and the extra dps from warriors, not tanking, helps lots.
That bear just doesn't move unless he get ported.
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#12 Graham

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:45 AM

No, and they can't be MC'd.

Hakkar MC varies depending on to whom you ask about it. Jin'do definately cannot hex them though.

#13 Bad Luck

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:47 AM

They're better tanks than warriors for a couple of fights in ZG

Can bears be hexed?

Nope, and the extra dps from warriors, not tanking, helps lots.
That bear just doesn't move unless he get ported.

And that is where our short cooldown Feral Charge comes in. :)

Edit: I'm pretty sure Hakkar would be able to MC you, I know I've been MCed by Prophet while in Bear form.

#14 newladin

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:47 AM


No, and they can't be MC'd.

Hakkar MC varies depending on to whom you ask about it. Jin'do definately cannot hex them though.

I think he is just talking about the hexxer fight.


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#15 diospadre

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:48 AM

They're better tanks than warriors for a couple of fights in ZG

Can bears be hexed?

No, and they can't be MC'd.

Well no hex and they're not going to get MC'ed anyway unless Gilliam is in the raid.

edit: Yeah Bad cause insanity isn't just plain old MC.

#16 Graham

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:49 AM

I think he is just talking about the hexxer fight.

Ah right, no bears can't be Jin'do MC'd AFAIK.

#17 Lord BEEF

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:50 AM

What I'm more interested in is how Feral druids contribute to a raid in ways that warriors and rogues can't. Do they? And, more importantly, can they do so consistently? Anecdotal "I saved the raid once" stories aren't opinion changers. I want to hear about the unique things you bring to the table each and every time you raid.

Well firstly, it'll take a good chunk of AQ loot to truly determine the effectiveness of a feral druid. You can't compare a druid using various blue gear to a rogue in bloodfang and expect the druid to compare.

Essentially, in a cat form DPS role, a druid provides X% of rogue dps, also has the ability to heal themselves and others in a limited fashion. In addition, they have the ability to res another player of their choosing. They can also remove curses and poisons. Finally if specced for it they provide a 3% crit aura to their group.

Compared this to a rogue, who does 100% of a rogue's damage, and also can stun things in some fights. That's ultimately all a rogue offers.

The question ultimately comes down to this:

Is the % of DPS a cat form druid provides high enough so that a feral druid's utility makes their net worth beyond the dps that you'd get by subbing in another rogue?

If their % of DPS is only 60 of a rogue you could bring, and you get to a boss where you have to burn them down as quickly as possible otherwise the raid gets wiped, then no, of course you're better off with a rogue.

But if their % is closer to 85%, and early in the fight you battle res a DPS class, letting them do their very high dps for the rest of a fight, then of course you're better off with a druid.

If a druid can get to 100% of a rogue's damage (not gonna happen), then there's no reason to bring a rogue at all except for the fact that they have the 20% passive threat reduction and vanish.
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#18 Krag

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:52 AM

Can bears be hexed?

Nope, bears can't be hexed :)

I doubt I'll ever spec feral personally, but I have no problems with others doing it. For most of the raids you'd, as others have pointed out, most likely have to be a healer for the simple fact that on most challenging fights tasks at hand are best done by the classes specialized for it. Which means warriors and rogues do the jobs a feral druid could do in feral forms. Druids on the other hand are very, very good healers and rival priests (at least until 1.10) on that front.

(speeling edit)

#19 newladin

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:54 AM

What I'm more interested in is how Feral druids contribute to a raid in ways that warriors and rogues can't. Do they? And, more importantly, can they do so consistently? Anecdotal "I saved the raid once" stories aren't opinion changers. I want to hear about the unique things you bring to the table each and every time you raid.

You can't compare a druid using various blue gear to a rogue in bloodfang and expect the druid to compare.

Hmm, this sounds familiar.
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#20 Lord BEEF

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 04:08 AM

For bear tanking on the other hand, there's a really interesting thread comparing a warrior and druid using all "ideal" tanking gear that I found very interesting:

http://forums.worldo...mp=1#post744351

The basic summary is that druids are very comparable in tanking if both classes have their ideal sets of gear.
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