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Feral Druid Discussion


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#41 Lailla

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 04:59 PM

I think the appropriateness of a feral druid relies heavily on your guild's raiding situation and your personal playstyle.

When the feral tree was revamped a few patches ago, I tried out feral on test and loved it. Very fun, very dynamic compared to the healbotting I was used to. Even in good blues, I was doing significantly more damage and farming was infinitely easier and faster.

However, around that time I rolled a hunter and powerlevelled her to 60. With a decently equipped dps class for farming, I didn't really see a need for my druid to be feral. I don't PvP much, so that sealed the deal. 12/0/39 probably forever.

In a guild where there is some competition for raid spots, you'll end up using half your points on feral gear (for your playstyle) and half your points on restoration gear (so you continue to be invited to raids). In this way, you're missing out on really gearing your character the way you want to.

That was a bit of a derail, but I really thing it's feasible to include one (maybe even two) feral druids on raids, especially when you have an instance on farm status. We frequently have a feral druid in a rogue group for the drakes in BWL. He actually keeps his dps in control (favoring AP over crit) so he doesn't pull hate and can provide LoTP longer.

This didn't come out as well as it was in my head, but I have a million things to say about feral druids so it's hard to organize them.

#42 Lord BEEF

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 06:58 PM

Just for the sake of theorycraft, here's how I'd probably spec if I were a druid:

http://www.worldofwa...555503105315001

I don't think you need the threat-generation talents unless you are MTing a raid mob/boss, and while HotW is awesome, I don't think you need it unless you are tanking a full-fledged raid boss like Broodlord. This build contemplates the readily available use of bearform for control, while still retaining significant healing capacity.

I've specced similarly to that before. If I were to do it again, I'd get one point in improved enrage letting you gain 5 rage on demand, and drop furor entirely and replace it with improved regrowth. That way you can still charge shit as soon as you go into bear by using enrage, and being able to pick up improved regrowth is really fucking nice.

As for a situation where a druid would be 'optimal' tanking. The boss would have to have some of the following abilities:

Attack speed reducing debuff
Disarm (dropped weapon style so strongholds wouldnt protect against)
Polymorph/hex
Roots

That's why currently Jindo and Spider boss are the only times where I've heard people say "hey lets have a druid tank this"
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#43 Claudius

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:05 PM

As for a situation where a druid would be 'optimal' tanking. The boss would have to have some of the following abilities:

Attack speed reducing debuff
Disarm (dropped weapon style so strongholds wouldnt protect against)
Polymorph/hex
Roots

Just a thought...
Some boss could instagib anyone that parried/blocked attacks. That would make druids ideal tanks as well.

#44 Praetorian

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:06 PM

Well yeah, you could also have a boss where if anyone other than a druid has aggro he yells "YOU AREN'T A BEAR, I'M LOOKING FOR A BEAR" and one-shots them.

#45 Elerion

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:07 PM

Just a thought...
Some boss could instagib anyone that parried/blocked attacks. That would make druids required tanks.

Fixed.

#46 Claudius

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:12 PM

Well yeah, you could also have a boss where if anyone other than a druid has aggro he yells "YOU AREN'T A BEAR, I'M LOOKING FOR A BEAR" and one-shots them.

Which is basicly like forcing a disarm.

#47 Runnybabbit

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:19 PM

Don't let player skill cloud your ability to analyze questions of theoretical mechanics.

Excellent point. Even for strictly healing purposes, I would rather have a good Feral druid along than a complete dope who's spent all his points in Resto. In fact, I'm inclined to believe that anyone who spends more than 44 (or MAYBE 46) points in Resto is a complete stooge.

#48 Elerion

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:23 PM

Don't let player skill cloud your ability to analyze questions of theoretical mechanics.

Excellent point. Even for strictly healing purposes, I would rather have a good Feral druid along than a complete dope who's spent all his points in Resto. In fact, I'm inclined to believe that anyone who spends more than 44 (or MAYBE 46) points in Resto is a complete stooge.

And if that player was to spec resto, he would be an even *better* healer. Which is why the "who cares what people spec as long as they are good" argument is pointless.

#49 Praetorian

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:26 PM

Obviously a 44 Resto druid is a better healer than a 20 Resto druid, all else being equal.

Is a 44 Resto druid a better raid member than one with a more hybrid build? Depends. Hence the discussion.

#50 Elerion

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:30 PM

Yes, I agree completely with that. But people tend to bring up the "but our players rock, so we don't need to spec x" card in talent discussions far too often. I agree that you don't have to force people to spec something if you can beat the encounter regardless, and you dont want to kick competent feral druids to bring in sucky resto druids, but one spec is inherently superior in a raid. If you are trying to learn an encounter or achieve perfect results, the raid is better off having everyone spec optimally.

#51 Runnybabbit

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:41 PM

I've specced similarly to that before. If I were to do it again, I'd get one point in improved enrage letting you gain 5 rage on demand, and drop furor entirely and replace it with improved regrowth. That way you can still charge shit as soon as you go into bear by using enrage, and being able to pick up improved regrowth is really fucking nice.

I've debated that myself so many times I've lost count. I need to just sack up and eat the 50g to try it and see if the armor debuff is all that bad. I suspect not, since the target of your Feral Charge is (1) immobilized for half the duration of the debuff and/or (2) a caster. I wonder sometimes about Imp MotW, though. It's a great buff, obviously. But here's what you get for your 5 talent points:

~100 more armor (+285 --> +385)
+4 to all stats (+12 --> +16)
+7 to all resistances (+20 --> +27)

And that's on a buff that gets purged with great frequency in PvP by alert warlocks (and shamans if you're Alliance). I still have Imp MotW; since I'm currently 12/0/39, Furor wouldn't be very valuable. If I ever go back to 1/16/34, though, I will probably ditch Imp MotW and just buy a couple stacks of Thornroot to bring along on raids for the druids who do have it.

#52 Kaubel

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:49 PM

I agree that you don't have to force people to spec something if you can beat the encounter regardless, and you dont want to kick competent feral druids to bring in sucky resto druids, but one spec is inherently superior in a raid. If you are trying to learn an encounter or achieve perfect results, the raid is better off having everyone spec optimally.

Which changes this discussion from feral druids to all playable classes and begs the question regarding min-maxing.

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#53 Praetorian

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:54 PM

Perhaps, though I think it's also a viable discussion within the realm of min-max'ing, which this is to an extent.

The separate question of "spec optimally for raiding vs. allow more freedom and get by with what you have" has been done a million times.

I'd argue that having a range of specs among your druids, and having druids with the gear to back up those choices, may be min-max preferable to having an army of Resto-clones. Sure, when you're fighting, say, Huhuran, you'd probably prefer everyone to be Resto with Innervate and max healing capacity. But unless you plan on porting out to respec before every boss, you have to approach content in the aggregate rather than the specific. And having more tactical options because you have certain people with certain talents is always a good thing.

Having a couple of people with Conc Blow is really damn useful in AQ. Do you want everyone to have it? Fuck no. But it doesn't mean it isn't "optimal" in a raid sense.

#54 Lord BEEF

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:58 PM

Yeah people bring player skill into the equation a lot more than they should.

There's a big difference between having 20 in restoration and being able to "heal just fine", and having 44 in restoration and being able to heal your fucking ass off.

Restoration is an amazing talent tree and the fact that you can actually spend 44 points there and say "hey all these points are well spent and make me a better healer" means a lot. I certainly don't see any other class spending 44 points in a single tree to optimize their raiding ability.

However having every one of your druid spec that way isn't optimal for raiding I don't think.
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#55 Mochiloc

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 08:06 PM

However having every one of your druid spec that way isn't optimal for raiding I don't think.

Why?

I'm not trying to be a dick, but in a perfect 5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5 raid, what would be the disadvantage of having 5 44-restoration Druids?

#56 Praetorian

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 08:07 PM

Having no one with Feral Charge and thus having a much, much, much harder time keeping certain encounters under control with only 5 tanks.

Edit: Of course, it'd be great to have 5 druids innervate 5 priests at 31% on Huhuran, or to have cycling innervates throughout the Twin Emps fight, but in most situations wipes aren't caused due to raidwide OOM.

#57 Lord BEEF

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 08:10 PM

I've specced similarly to that before. If I were to do it again, I'd get one point in improved enrage letting you gain 5 rage on demand, and drop furor entirely and replace it with improved regrowth. That way you can still charge shit as soon as you go into bear by using enrage, and being able to pick up improved regrowth is really fucking nice.

I've debated that myself so many times I've lost count. I need to just sack up and eat the 50g to try it and see if the armor debuff is all that bad. I suspect not, since the target of your Feral Charge is (1) immobilized for half the duration of the debuff and/or (2) a caster.

The armor debuff from enrage is only 75% of your caster form armor, which ends up being around 1300ish. It's not a big deal usually for the reasons you mentioned, as well as the fact that there's a good chance you'll want to follow up the charge with a bash.

As for improved mark, we generally just try to keep at least 60% of our druids with improved mark, the rest can bring thornroot. This ensures that the raid gets the better buff.

A typical conversation in our druid channel goes like this:

"Ok I'm thinking of respeccing, how many of you slackers don't have improved mark?"
"Uh I think chupid, shamancraft, and tokay don't"
"No I respecced I have it again"
"Oh I respecced I don't have it anymore"
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#58 Kaubel

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 08:12 PM

Essentially what I'm thinking of doing once the priests get their update:
http://www.wowhead.c...vM0scbZxEsoxa0o


Feral Combat (20 points)

5/5 Ferocity
4/5 Feral Aggression
2/2 Brutal Impact
1/1 Feral Charge
3/3 Sharpened Claws
3/3 Predatory Strikes
2/2 Blood Frenzy

Restoration (31 points)

5/5 Improved Mark of the Wild
5/5 Improved Healing Touch
5/5 Nature's Focus
1/2 Improved Enrage
3/3 Reflection
1/1 Insect Swarm
5/5 Tranquil Spirit
1/1 Nature's Swiftness
4/5 Gift of Nature
1/1 Innervate

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#59 Mochiloc

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 08:38 PM

Having no one with Feral Charge and thus having a much, much, much harder time keeping certain encounters under control with only 5 tanks.

Feral Charge does not a Feral Druid make. There are plenty of Restoration Druids with Feral Charge. So, beyond that, what is the advantage? With 11 points in Feral you can get 3 key talents (-5 Rage to Maul, +15% Threat while in Bear Form, and Feral Charge), and if that can't help you offtank with adequate healing, then it's a personal problem, not a spec problem.

So, same question, different wording - With the same makeup, what is the advantage of having a few Feral Druids over 5 Druids with 40/11 or some variant that still stays close to it?

To go from 7/0/44 to 0/11/40, it's simply dropping 4 points in Subtlety, which quite obviously doesn't effect your healing ability.

#60 Praetorian

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 08:41 PM

Personally I agree with you. That's why my preferred build was heavy Resto with a bit of Feral.

If I could hand-pick everyone's talent specs and we had a 5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5 raid, I'd probably want one druid with 44 Resto, 3 druids with 0/11/40 or 0/1X/3X, and one druid with LotP.




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