Cataclysm Druid Preview

Official Thread

I’m not too sure what to make of all the changes just yet, but here are my immediate thoughts on some.

Boomkin

New ability…

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.

Really not sure about this one, will have to wait and see how much damage it does I think. I’m guessing you’ll only be able to have 1 mushroom down at a time. I’ve not really played a hunter very much (no further than lvl 25) and not really used traps… ever.

New talent…

Balance druids will have a new talent ability called Nature’s Torrent, which strikes for either Nature or Arcane damage depending on which will do the most damage (or possibly both), and moves the Eclipse meter more (details below). The improved version of Nature’s Torrent also reduces the target’s movement speed. 10-second cooldown.

My first question on this is whether or not it will be instant cast. If it is then it could be awesome! Would be good to have something else to be able to cast while moving than just refreshing IS and MF.

We want to make sure Feral and Balance druids feel like good options for an Arena team. They need the tools to where you might consider a Feral druid over an Arms warrior, or a Balance druid over a mage or warlock. Remember that the PvP landscape will probably look pretty different for Cataclysm with a focus on rated, competitive Battlegrounds.

This could be good, I’ve only tried PvP a couple of times in boomkin and barely made a dent in anything before being gunned down. Hopefully they do something for survivability here, then I may give it another go.

Eclipse: We are moving Eclipse from a talent into a core mechanic of the class and making it less random. Balance druids will have a new UI element that shows a sun and a moon. Whenever they cast an Arcane spell, it will move the UI closer to the sun, and buff their Nature damage. Whenever they cast a Nature spell, it will move the UI closer to the moon, and buff their Arcane damage. The gameplay intention is to alternate Arcane and Nature spells (largely Starfire and Wrath) to maintain the balance.

Sounds interesting. I wonder if the idea would be to keep the slider (this is how I imagine it) balanced around the middle, pinging it back and forth between sun and moon, so basically alternating wrath/starfire casts? Or, whether the further you get towards the sun, the more nature damage is buffed. So you might want to string together a bunch of arcane spells to move it all the way to the sun to get the most damage from your nature spells, then all the way back again to the moon etc.? I think there might need to be a little more information on this before making any judgement as to whether this is better or worse than eclipse is now.

Bear

New abilities…

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.

Sounds awesome! Something to add into the rotation is most welcome, as well as giving a little more for AoE tanking.

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.

Sounds interesting. I guess we’ll find out how useful this is when we see encounter mechanics in Cata.

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.

Yes! This is definitely welcome.

Vengeance: 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.

A necessary change, I think, to avoid the issues of DPS who way outgear tanks stealing aggro so easily.

All-in-all most of these changes seem OK, a couple of new abilities and changes to adapt too but I don’t think it’s too drastic as I had feared, but Cata is a long way off and I’m sure there will be other tweaks before we actually get to put any of it into practice.

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2 Responses to Cataclysm Druid Preview

  1. Andy says:

    So what I was gonna say is this:

    Regarding the whole Vengeance thing (and similar buff for warriors), I’m not sure I agree with the thinking that tanks should be able to put out more damage.

    IMO, tanks should be more about generating threat, not damage. DPS are for doing damage, not tanks. On my DK I wouldn’t mind at all if I did less damage in frost presence, but was still able to generate the same threat; it just seems to me like that’s how things “should” be.

    • Kalacios says:

      Yes, I totally agree. What I meant was that it’s a necessary change so as a tank you can actually keep aggro without uber-DPS constantly stealing it. They could just make it so you gain more threat and drop the extra DPS part?

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