Feral Frustrations

Druid
Hey fellow druids. Not quite sure how to start this since I am not very active in these forums (more so on the discord). This is a relatively long post so I wanted to say I appreciate all of those who read it.

A little about myself, I'm a Legion 11/11M CE feral druid who picked the game back up in November after a long hiatus. I've been playing my feral druid since BC, it is my main and I have very strong ties with this Character.

After leveling and gearing up as guardian in BFA, I started accumulating feral gear. I kept up to date on rotations and specs while leveling. After getting decent gear, I began to practice feral. Today I did all 8 non gated mythic dungeons with guildies and I wanted to share some of my experiences.

First and foremost: our overall damage output is and feels the worst. I am ilvl 337 with feral gear and I have appropriate azerite traits. I was being out dpsed on trash by a 323 DH tank most of the time (if packs took longer than 10 seconds and brutal slash was on cool down). All of my abilities felt lackluster. I felt like spending combo points was a waste of time. At a certain point, I just went bear form and started spamming swipe. I did more damage than in cat form. Playing feral actually made me sad.

Second: single target boss fights. Although I maintained decent damage (about 10k on average for most boss fights) and was ahead of the other two DPS, I still felt energy starved and found myself waiting to pool energy. The build felt like I put too much effort in for no damage.

Third: Bleeds are extremely weak. Even after stacking 1000 mastery (getting to about 43%), the difference between a 5 point combo rip is 2000 damage over 19.2 seconds. Losing out on the haste/verse/crit to stack mastery without any significant damage increase is disheartening. We are supposed to be a bleed spec but only 20-40% of my damage actually came from bleeds.

Fourth: Utility. Every class/spec brings something unique to a party/raid. Other than battle rez (which is used maybe once or twice a dungeon), feral druids bring nothing unique. Stampeding roar is extremely niche (it's actually a crutch most of the time).

I almost quit my druid tonight. The only thing keeping me playing is my attachment to this character and the support of my guild mates. There are so many things that can be done to improve the feel and play style of ferals while bringing it in line with other classes. I understand that ferals should specialize in single target damage (even though we perform very low), and I am not asking to be leader of the pack in AoE, but we need something. This is the worst I have ever felt playing WoW since Vanilla.

If anyone here is thinking about leveling a druid to play feral, don't do it. Trust everyone else when they say we are broken, hopefully blizzard will fix us, if not, well at least we got swole bear.

Thanks for reading.
Feral is sitting in the worst position it's ever been in.

Overall bleed damage needs a 40-50% damage buff.
Overall SINGLE TARGET abilities need their damage DOUBLED to even be viable.

For the effort involved in pulling off a perfect rotation, the reward is pathetic.

High skill cap, Low Damage.
Low skill cap, High Damage.

Blizzard hates rewarding players for putting in effort.
I think all we need is an AOE finisher, Rip get a 10% buff, and Shred and swipe like 30%. The rest will come with gear.
08/25/2018 11:42 PMPosted by Xargon
I think all we need is an AOE finisher


This. I was just in a mythic. After applying thrash and swipe to 5cb, im wondering do i bite or rip. meanwhile the DH is going bat!@#$ crazy next to me, mashing buttons and doing immense aoe.

Please devs give us an AOE finisher and buff our damage
An aoe finisher would be nice, on top of something to help with energy regen. There's nothing more frustrating than watching your energy drop to nothing while crossijg your fingers for a talented omen of Clarity or a single add to drop while talented with predator, or otherwise you'really stuck with an infuriatingly long gap of downtime- for doing your rotation properly...
I could give 2 shizas about AOE damage and PVE rotation.

Ferals are bottom of the run in PVP damage, PVP defenses and PVP healing. Behind NON hybrid classes like rogues, warriors, etc.

Blizzard does this every patch, either over buffs or nerfs us to the ground. Why can't they just come out and admit "We have no idea how to program ferals".

Then at least we can put feral away for good and go play the 3 button DESTROY EVERYONE classes.
All of your points are valid and we can only hope that Blizzard realizes this as well.

Feral is the only spec in the game that has remnants of snapshotting left, which back in the day added a whole nother layer of awareness that separated good from bad.

I say this to say, a spec with snapshotting, if done properly, SHOULD perform better than anything else, especially in single target. You're telling me an Outlaw Rogue who mashes 3 buttons should be beating a snapshotting Feral? I mean it's obvious to tell this is the direction Blizz has been pushing the game ever since MoP with the removal of general snapshotting, but wow.

As you mentioned, the spec is energy starved, half the time you're waiting on a clear casting proc while you're pooling energy, that's atrocious gameplay.

This spec is bottom of the barrel, I haven't ran into a single Feral in dungeons, normals, heroics or mythics since launch night. SPreists are right there with y'all too.
It seems like druid as a class is in a garbage position right now, with Feral feeling the most pain. BfA's balance is the worst I've seen in the game in a long time. Blizzard really needs to get their **** together and fix their terrible design choices that were (most likely) heavily influenced by the Azerite system (which is not only less interesting than Legion's Artifact system, but not nearly as cohesive, either).
ferals are insane in pvp 1v1 though, if you buff their pve damage (as you probably should) you will make them stupid OP in pvp. they can just bleed you, kite you and heal themselves to full, even if you spellsteal their hots as a mage they still somehow 100% HP
I can maintain good damage and compete fairly well without a damage buff due to berserk. I dislike damage buffs from devs because it makes the class slated for nerfs later on.

So what I would love instead of damage buff is ENERGY fix. For our cost to generate CP is immense. Normally you spend high resource to obtain something good. In our case I spend high resource to get minimal return. Shred, rake, thrash, swipe, bite, rip all cost too much energy for our regeneration. Increase my baseline energy regen. We have no SYNERGY which is either needed/appreciated passively as rogues do. Simple fix is to reduce the cost of energy for feral.

Secondly change our mastery. I do not want to be pigeon-holed into just bleeds. I dislike babysitting damage. I have suggested before turn bloodtalons into our mastery that increases our damage dealt to target affected by our bleeds. That also would fix the TUNING for the class
Thank you for taking the time to reply.

08/26/2018 08:17 AMPosted by Dna
I can maintain good damage and compete fairly well without a damage buff due to berserk. I dislike damage buffs from devs because it makes the class slated for nerfs later on.


If you want to be "fairly" competitive 15 seconds every 3 minutes (8% of the time) be my guest. I, on the other hand, am totally okay with pooling energy to use abilities if they actually hit hard. In resto spec, ALL of my feral abilities (with feral affinity) do 40% more damage than when in feral form. The simple fact is that feral abilities scale terribly with main stat compared to other specs. Even when guardian, my shred hits 10% harder than feral shred.

When I was resto/feral, equipping an intel staff increase shredd damage from 2200 to 3700. When I was feral, equipping a 2h agility staff increase shred damage from 1900 to 2300. There is something wrong with the scaling, it is unacceptable.

Your proposition to increase energy regen is a possible solution but then our class gets very spammy and lowers the skill ceiling. I like having a high skill cap but we should be rewarded with for gameplay. If I want to spam moves I'll dps as a guardian and thrash/swipe(which does more damage than feral atm).
single target is a much greater concern
08/26/2018 08:16 AMPosted by Drogok
ferals are insane in pvp 1v1 though, if you buff their pve damage (as you probably should) you will make them stupid OP in pvp. they can just bleed you, kite you and heal themselves to full, even if you spellsteal their hots as a mage they still somehow 100% HP


PvP is not balanced around 1v1s. Ferals being strong in duels is nothing new. Mage are super OP in organized PvP. Ferals are unplayable
Im starting to change from complaining about my poor damage and now being more upset with how much fun im not having on my feral...
Im OVER waiting for energy... Im non stop waiting for energy... after waiting for the energy to make 5CPS, i again have to wait for 50 energy for a full damage FB... then i have to wait for energy again to start building again....

im just not having alot of fun... i want to have fun...
08/26/2018 08:16 AMPosted by Drogok
ferals are insane in pvp 1v1 though, if you buff their pve damage (as you probably should) you will make them stupid OP in pvp. they can just bleed you, kite you and heal themselves to full, even if you spellsteal their hots as a mage they still somehow 100% HP


bud you're doing it wrong. just get close enough to cough on the cat and it will die in a few seconds.
08/26/2018 08:29 AMPosted by Valmian
Your proposition to increase energy regen is a possible solution but then our class gets very spammy and lowers the skill ceiling. I like having a high skill cap but we should be rewarded with for gameplay. If I want to spam moves I'll dps as a guardian and thrash/swipe(which does more damage than feral atm).


This mentality is why our spec is garbage. Someone in the dev team thinks this is an accurate portrayal of the feral base and it is not. The classic babysit bleeds is why its a "you" only spec. They tuned the spec around THIS playstyle incorrectly or correctly and now we have a problem. This is perhaps why the feral base is so small because I do not find it fun and I am pretty sure others agree.

There is always a skill ceiling in all the specs and if you want be a snob and babysit bleed god speed to you. As I said before, I do not. And as stated before, I said when berserk is active the class plays good. Thus meaning energy regen is ok with reduced skill costs.

I do not want to be forced to play feral like this person. It was good in late legion bring back the fun times.
08/26/2018 11:53 AMPosted by Dna


There is always a skill ceiling in all the specs and if you want be a snob and babysit bleed god speed to you. As I said before, I do not. And as stated before, I said when berserk is active the class plays good. Thus meaning energy regen is ok with reduced skill costs.

I do not want to be forced to play feral like this person. It was good in late legion bring back the fun times.


Fair enough, It would be nice to have options though between specs. A difficult playstyle rewarding higher damage versus a spammy shred build for mindless heroics.

Thanks for your input.
is it just me or are other feral druids taking more damage than other classes/spec's because i have played other toons and none of them take as much damage as my feral and i keep up on all my cd's and it dont help
(TLDR at bottom)
Dna hit it right on the head...feral feels so bad right now because the energy problem is accentuating the most fundamental problem of the class...namely, it's a "hurry up and wait" spec. As he says, a babysitting spec.

And that was just fine, in the olden days, like WotLK and before. You could have a hard, tight(as in unforgiving), ramp-up spec, and it was just fine--because most encounters allowed for that. Back in the "John Madden" days, a complicated spec like ours could work, because you weren't ALWAYS getting randomly interrupted from your rotation. Fights were just simpler: less stuff to move out of, fewer target swaps, AoE was more straightforward.

Nowadays, a GOOD dps class needs to be dynamic. It NEEDS to have leeway in its rotation, because it needs to be able to throttle or unload dps at a moment's notice, in very short windows sometimes. It needs to not lose much damage when random interruptions occur to the rotation.

Ferals can't pool energy to unload on a burst target, because pooling energy is already required for our normal rotation. There is no flexibility, and therefore no control over when and where we want to unload damage.

If you think about it from a raid leader perspective, that is just a poorly-designed dps class. Most encounters these days have a ton of movement, target swaps, burn windows...and all of these on less-predictable, shorter timers than they used to be. Also something a RL wants is for their dps to swap targets or get out of the fire NOW, not wait a second because it's gonna be a huge dps loss if I don't get this snapshotted Rip up.

If we were to design feral to be a good dps in the modern day, it would need to have some flexibility in its rotation, the ability to pool resources for on-demand burst, decent AoE. Mobility we have just enough of, utility is lacking but that's a different topic.

So, we'd want more energy regen, and be able to pool it better for more control. Maybe SoTF should be baseline. Rip probably should be halved in duration, because this isn't 2008 and the rest of your raid is sick of waiting for your damage. Have a short CD that lets rake bleed stack for a short time at a reduced duration. Or w/e, there are tons of ways to help our burst out without making it FB spam. I was just thinking of Afflocks, and how their UA gives such good control of where they can dump damage, while still being a dot-based class.

TLDR: feral isn't just bad because of the raw damage(that too), but the energy starvation brings out what is the most fundamental flaw in our ancient spec: It's brittle. Non-adaptable. It's locked into its rotation like a prison compared to other classes, and has been for a very, very long time.
08/26/2018 08:16 AMPosted by Drogok
ferals are insane in pvp 1v1 though, if you buff their pve damage (as you probably should) you will make them stupid OP in pvp. they can just bleed you, kite you and heal themselves to full, even if you spellsteal their hots as a mage they still somehow 100% HP

PvP and PvE abilities have different coefficients.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum