Why Druids are Frustrated

General Discussion
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Man from all the retarded posts about how Ferals are fine and on the same level as everyone else its no surprise we were nerfed. People just have no idea how Ferals work, 100k bleeds? sure if you're in pve gear trying to pvp. bleeds got nerfed so thats a moot point. Having our only CC break being a trinket puts us on par with everyone else? These people don't even know their own class let alone Ferals.

It's sad seeing these people post because to the uninformed what they say may actually influence them to think its true.

And wtf is this about being able to go Bear form and running through roots? More healing than a Paladin? WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE SO DUMB


Yup, people don't understand feral at all unless they have played it more than just the first few levels.

People still write dumb things like "now feral is like all the other melee" when that is completely wrong.

1. We have 2 CCs that only work on us: hibernate and scare beast. Have you ever seen a CC that only works on a warrior or only works on a Dk?

2. We have no way to break out of a root besides trinket. There is not a single class/spec in the game except for feral that is in this situation. (This is what I have heard but I have not played every class/spec in the game for myself yet. Correct me if I'm wrong. Certainly, melee classes are more pertinent since we are the ones that have to actually reach the opponent to hit them. Rooting a ranged isn't that big of a deal.)

3. Our class was designed and balanced around breaking roots since vanilla beta of WoW. That is why we do not have useful CDs like blind, vanish, magic shield, berserker rage or other similar skills. Even our "charge" isn't really a charge cause it doesn't stun the enemy so more likely then not they can blink forward before we can get a hit off or stick us in a root and take step forward.


I think a big part of people's ignorance is that they cannot differentiate what was making us feel strong in the early part of cata. They saw us killing them, and automatically jumped to the conclusion that it must be due to the fact that we could break roots. But the truth is, we have been an underpowered melee class for 8 arena seasons and could break roots that entire time. The reason we were OP at the start of cata was that our bleeds were higher due to the addition of mastery. They have since been nerfed. Berserk breaking fear and shapeshift breaking roots was never OP or you would have seen people begging for feral arena partners during wrath instead of shunning us and telling us to either resspec resto or reroll a good (rogue*, warrior*, DK*) melee class.

*these were the strong and sought after melee classes during Wrath.
haha u mad bro and for you people that look at arena records lets see how well you carry people to 5 wins that have 100 resilience and no heals
Thank you, OP. Really well stated.

To add my own two cents to the dicussion here, I am concerned with Blizzard's approach to balancing this game. Balancing by tweaking a feature or mechanic a bit is one thing. Balance by changing a number of features all at once, plus a fundamental class mechanic that's been around since launch is wholly another.

When altering the status quo, it seems only common sense to change as few mechanics as possible at one time, thus allowing the effect of those changes to be accurately determined. Altering so many things at once, especially a class fundamental, makes it far more difficult to measure the impact of the individual changes. It also looks as ham-fisted and ill-conceived as a teenage male's first fumbling efforts at physical intimacy.

The stated justification for the shapeshifting changes were to avoid hard-counters. This justification is so ill-founded on its face that it strains credulity. By removing the druid's ability to shapeshift out of roots, Blizzard has made mages more of a hard-counter than ever to ferals. The only conclusions I've been able to come up with are either Blizzard (1) lied about its stated justification (or attempted to cobble together an after-the-fact justification for a decision that had already been made); or (2) is so short-sighted that they can no longer be trusted to make reasonable decisions regarding balance. Either way, my conclusion is not a good one.

With changes this big and this ill-conceived being handed down for us to swallow without any meaningful dialogue, it is difficult to continue investing a lot of time, effort and energy into this game. Why put in all that effort when the very basic features of your character could go away for reasons that don't make any sense?

Blizzard, this is your game and you've made a great one. However, an increasing number of your decisions as of late suggest to me that your company has lost its sense of purpose and direction and is floundering about. While you have the right to do what you will with this game, understand that continuing this pattern of questionable decision-making may eventually be this game's undoing.


Thank you, OP. Really well stated.

To add my own two cents to the dicussion here, I am concerned with Blizzard's approach to balancing this game. Balancing by tweaking a feature or mechanic a bit is one thing. Balance by changing a number of features all at once, plus a fundamental class mechanic that's been around since launch is wholly another.



I only quoted this much because I think that, first, the OP is one of the better posts I've seen in a long time in terms of being calm, reasoned and clear and should be commended on that alone, but secondly because I think we can take the specifics out of the discussion and come to a broader conclusion.

Its not druids that are unhappy with Blizzard at the moment. Its not people struggling with archeology's RNG, its not people irritated that jewelcrafting's progression is so terribly gated, its not people irritated with the LFD changes, its not people that are upset because noble hops aren't in the game at the moment. Well, all those people are irritated at those things, yes, but the root cause is that the issues go unaddressed.

The communication coming from Blizzard has been, in the opinion of many people, lackluster at best lately. We've come from wanting to have a dialogue to wanting the silence broken. In the absence of good information, bad information reigns supreme. Speculation and guesswork become accepted fact by some.

I understand that the Community Managers do not decide what they post. I know they have to have the information they release approved and I understand why. I also understand that there is a large portion of the community that feels that if a change they want isn't made they are being ignored. Add to that the number of trolls who feed off of people's feelings of unhappiness and it gets ugly quickly.

And, honestly, there's nothing that Blizzard can ever say that will meet with 100% approval. If they decided to give everyone a free month of game time there would be people upset because its not two free months. Ghostcrawler did some pretty progressive thinking when he envisioned a dialogue with the players. I think the community has forced him to reconsider that, however.

Maybe in the future communication with the community doesn't come in the form of forum posts in direct response to questions or points made. Maybe the blog is a better idea in that it doesn't allow hijacking of threads. I don't know. But I think that the vast majority of the outcry we read on the forums could be summed up in the phrase "just tell us something."
02/19/2011 3:28 PMPosted by Speetz
For Blizzard to take away our core shape-shifting snare ability is completely unjustifiable.


It's completely justifyable. The game isn't the same now. That ability made you guys almost invulnerable. Read my other posts on this thread.


Sorry Speetz but after six years of having an ability that nobody considered OP I think the problem lies elsewhere. Between 4.0 and 4.0.6 our bleeds were hitting too hard, our mobility was exceptional, and our damage was relatively high. We were too good. Post 4.0.6 we have 0 mobility (the ability to remove slows is near useless in a pvp environment as so many are auto-applied), we have lower damage than any other melee spec, we have a positional requirement (yes 1 rogue spec does, but you have 3 melee dmg specs, we do not), we have a long ramp up time to do sufficient dps, and we have 0 cc breaking abilities. To say that we are competitive in arena means we are okay isn't how to look at this. We are competitive under very specific circumstances (having a babysitting dispeller) and face more obstacles than any other melee to be competitive. Feral was never topping the arena ladders. We were never a problem in the past with amazing mobility. It was essentially all we had going for us...

In BC we did low dmg, had top mobility, and were able to realistically shift out and heal through damage. That was our niche. We could shift off roots, but a train of 4-6 shifts and you were likely oom. Played well a feral was a very competent pvp class (sadly very few played us well).

Wrath: We had low dmg, top mobility, and less effective healing. In exchange we got ENDLESS shifting, which was never available in BC. Regardless, we were still a mediocre at best melee spec (in pvp) and again, had little top end arena representation.

4.0.1 - We got dmg buffs, had top mobility, had a fear break, and were wreaking havoc on undergeared players. Bleed'ing up a fresh 85 and walking away was viable because of their low resilience. Once people started rolling with 2-3k resil we were hardly a threat to a skilled healer (or warlock or death knight).

4.0.6 - Our dmg got trashed. Our mobility got trashed. Our cc break (Berserk) got taken off. Our heals are still useless. Trust me, shifting to humanoid form and healing with ANY dps on you is just asking to die. We are hands down the worst melee spec in the game. There is no good reason for a 3s or 5s team to replace their rogue, warrior, dk, enhance, or ret with a feral. They would be foolish to do so.

We're not asking to be buffed back to the top. We're not asking to be overpowered. We're asking to be viable. Currently, we are not.

P.S. - Do not tell me that we do okay in bg's. We honestly don't do that well. We can perform reasonably, but it takes much more effort than it would on my ret or my dk. We currently have 0 answers to cc. If the argument is we can still perform well, then my counter is "We should be able to perform at the relative same level as every other melee when they run solo." Obviously, perfect balance in that regard won't happen. But I currently don't think feral is anywhere close to that. If you want to "bring ferals in line with other melee" as so many people have suggested this change did, then they do not understand what "in line with" really means. We're not in line with. We're sitting at the back of the line, hoping to not be the kid picked last for kickball. Bringing us in line would require a few buffs/changes to the class. Either added survivability CD's, or added burst ability, or a smaller mix of the 2.

As it currently stands, anyone that argues feral is fine in pvp isn't pvp'ing on a feral druid and comparing it to other melee. Pvp on an 85 feral and then pick ANY other melee class and do the same. You will not think feral is okay.
And bear threat, I honestly haven't seen 1 bear tank at all this expansion, between my druid and pally, its always been a pally or dk... no warrior or druid. So, i really have no idea what their threat is like.


TL:DR - just skip to the end.

Hi, my name is Windgrace and I've been a feral tank since before Illidan was even a sparkle in the eye of raiders. I was bear tanking Prince Melchazaar (Kharazan, ter 4) the night Nihilum downed Magtheridon. I bear tanked my way through the entire BC expansion, hello Amani War Bear :). I bear tanked (and MT'ed) for both of my guilds at level 80. Kel'Thuzad plus adds on a progression night? Bring it. Hello Mimoron, how are you feeling today after that smackdown. Northrend beasts...mean ToGC treating beasts like that. Hey there Lich King, I can haz your title? Okay, serious time now. In the past 5 years I've spent bear tanking I have never enjoyed 5 man tanking less than Cata. In BC, we didn't have a swipe that hit every target. It hit 3, we had to tab target, swipe, and use our abilities intelligently. It was challenging and fun. We were a solid aoe tank. Pallies were better aoe tanks. Warriors were better single target tanks. We were the middle. Wotlk shows up. Everyone is an aoe tank. Everyone is a single target tank. Fine. We were equipped to tank 5 mans with ease. All tanks were. It was easier than BC. It wasn't as fun as BC (imo). It was however, enjoying to tank 5 mans for my guildies, friends, and especially random pugs. Oooh, the random pugs.

When the LFD tool launched I spent months queue'ing for random instances simply because I enjoyed helping out under-geared dps. I would intentionally Q without guildmates because I liked getting people from different servers and varying skill levels and helping work with them. I even got to teach a few feral druids how to dps while I tanked for them. i LOVED this aspect of being a bear tank. Often times, you get a fresh-eyed 80 in your run who is so appreciative they fawn over the tank and healer who are just doing their job. Honestly, it was cute...like a little kid oohing and aahing over their favorite sports star. Now, I don't Q for random dungeons on my druid. I don't even offer to tank randoms for guildies anymore.

Bear tanking has become that unenjoyable for me. Thank God I'm 1 of 4 relaible tanks in my guild. I'm basically MS cat dps now (and working my ass off to remain competitive - cat dps needs some loving too). I levelled my paladin to 85. I never miss a random heroic daily on my prot pally. Despite the increased difficulty of Cata heroics I don't get frustrated with my pally. She's less geared than my druid. She is more likely to die than my druid. She is not ever in trouble of losing threat on multiple mobs and making me fret about how to get them back. She has the tools to do her job. Sure, overgeared DPS pull off me. I have 2 taunts on her. I have an aoe ability on a 3 second cd, 15 second cd, and a 30 second cd (that lasts for 10 seconds on the ground <3). My bear has Swipe and Thrash and Demo Roar. Swipe doesn't have a high threat modifier and without the Improved Swipe talent it doesn't hit very hard. Thrash is currently bugged and it's bleed is being mitigated by armor (I believe this hasn't been fixed yet). Hell, I even spent two months as terribly under-geared in relation to other tanks because of a known bug that Blizzard didn't tell us about. Don't think I didn't lose a few hours of sleep trying to figure out how I could improve my survivability or what I was doing wrong to die so often in raids. They never told us about the bug, they just left us to hang in the wind. This definitely contributed to my frustrations. My low threat makes aggro more of a chore. My smaller toolbox makes aggro a chore. The likelihood that I can't produce enough threat drives me insane. I have always strived to be THE tank that doesn't lose threat. It was my personal mission in wow-life. I tanked. I held aggro. Nuke to your heart's content...Wind will keep that mob off you. Wind will make it work. Wind will handle the problem...Wind doesn't have the tools anymore. Wind doesn't love tanking anymore. 5 years as a mainspec tank. 5 years of LOVING to tank. No more.

TL:DR - Bears currently have the lowest amount of aoe threat and utility. We have to work ten times harder than other tanks. We don't queue for random headache's, erm, sorry, dungeons anymore.
02/23/2011 12:03 PMPosted by Windgrace
TL:DR - Bears currently have the lowest amount of aoe threat and utility. We have to work ten times harder than other tanks. We don't queue for random headache's, erm, sorry, dungeons anymore.


I read your whole post but I'll just quote that part. You don't even have to have played a bear for years to see how bad we are compared to other tanks. Single target raid boss fights aren't an issue, threats fine, Savage Defender does great, and I enjoy raiding as my bear.

But that's not the entire game. I have completely gave up running heroics, it's just not fun. I don't want to micro manage every little ability and cd, and manage threat on packs of 3-5 individually. That's a chore, there is no fun in it at all. Pre 4.0.6 it was fine, I didn't have to constantly monitor threat on all mobs, I could do nice dps, thrash/swipe, tab target lacerate and move on. Now we are so broken it's a joke. Every tank does more ae threat afk than we do and SD is terrible with multi mob tanking, ie 75% of the game.

And as far as being "kings of single target" that's a debate now too. Even using an extended single target rotation (fff, mangle on cd, thrash on cd, maul on cd, lacerate filler x3, keep pulverize up) my guilds evenly geared Pally(both around 358ilvl, but I'm still using a 346 weapon so thats probably why, damn you Halfus drop my weapon already) does more single target dps.
Thats actually really sad, being a druid is about the variations and how many different ways you can do the same thing. refusing to do one of them is basicly putting a damper on your own skill as a druid


Uhh, no. Telling me that I should learn to balance or resto to fix my issues with feral is almost the same suggestions as telling me to reroll. The poster you quoted wasn't asking to be a rogue or a warrior, just to be competitive and as viable. if I want to heal, I play a Holy pally for that. If I want to be caster dps, I play a mage for that. If I want to be a melee dps or tank, I play my druid. Having a second healer doesn't appeal to some of us. Having a second (and less powerful) mage or warlock is also a less than appealing option.

02/22/2011 5:25 PMPosted by Suretia
be a druid and use the adaptability they have


Oh, adapt by respeccing? See above. Adapt by using new abilities? Make my heals relevant as a feral. Give me the mana pool to not oom after throwing 3x Lifebloom, Regrowth and Rejuv. That grand total of 4 GCD instants and a cast timed Regrowth leaves me in humanoid (most vulnerable) for roughly six seconds. The grand total of healing done there will be between 20-25k dmg. Show me a class that can't out dps that healing and I'll acquiesce and try using those skills intelligently. Give me a moonfire and wrath that are relevant as a feral and maybe I won't be so up in arms about the complete removal of all of feral's cc breaks. We don't have adaptability at the moment. Our heals are worthless as feral spec. Our spell damage is laughable.

No feral is asking to be the best spec in the game. We are however kinda demanding we be made competitive again. People argue we were "brought in line" with other melee. As soon as we're brought "in line" and not distinctly behind the line, I'll happily shut up and adapt.
02/23/2011 1:16 PMPosted by Huggee
And as far as being "kings of single target" that's a debate now too. Even using an extended single target rotation (fff, mangle on cd, thrash on cd, maul on cd, lacerate filler x3, keep pulverize up) my guilds evenly geared Pally(both around 358ilvl, but I'm still using a 346 weapon so thats probably why, damn you Halfus drop my weapon already) does more single target dps.


I'm not sure if I'm confused by you or you possibly misread my post. I never claimed we were the kings of single target. I did say warriors were back in BC (although I don't even know if it was in this thread that I said it now). Currently, no tank is lacking in single target capability. I still feel like I'm working harder on my feral than on my Pally, but that would likely be fixed with a very minor threat modifier buff or addition.

AoE is where we're garbage. New tanks feel it, and they're right. Long time tanks (like myself) definitely notice the difference. The fact that it's not just new ferals calling out these problems means there is very good evidence that there is a problem. When you have lifetime ferals wondering why we have to work so hard now, in comparison to every other tank as well as our entire history as a bear, we have a problem.
Mana regen is the only issue druids have ever had since the changes as far as healers go.
Hey Saviodrood, first off, I wanted to say thank you for taking the time to put together a constructive post. It's always appreciated. We also acknowledge that there have been a lot of other constructive posts such as these and have continued to read them and pass along feedback. Keep in mind that we don't look at the amount of pages a thread has, and one with more replies does not always necessarily indicate its value, but we do read as much as we can and take in the constructive feedback as it comes. Also keep in mind that our participation in good solid threads can sometimes have a negative effect and essentially "corrupt" what was a very good discussion as others join in the attempt to get "blue" attention for their particular thoughts and ideas. It's a catch 22 that we try to keep in mind as we take on different threads and read through them.

That said, I asked Ghostcrawler about your points and have some information to share in return.

To your first point, we do think this is a legitimate concern. While we spend most of our fine-tuning at max level, we also want things to feel good at lower levels as well.The new bear AE rotation was based around Thrash, which is a high level spell. It works at high level, but without Thrash there is a lot of down time and it can be hard to AE tank. Since lower level dungeons don’t tend to be balanced on a razor’s edge, AE’ing is the norm, which can feel bad for lower level druids. We do think this is a problem and we’d like to address it at some point in time.

On the second point, we’ve been over this issue quite a bit, but the core issue is that Ferals used to not have a lot of utility in PvP, but were also really hard to control. We watched as players told us over the years that they wanted more utility so that they could actually be a valuable member of their team, so we gave Ferals a lot of utility they didn’t have before, but in turn we thought it was fair to make them slightly easier to control. We realize there are a few different ways we could have gone on this and that some players would no doubt have preferred to keep the iconic ability to not be crowd controlled instead of gaining things like an interrupt and better crowd control of their own.

On the third point, we just don’t see this issue at level 85. All four of the tank classes seem to be performing well in both 5-player dungeons and in raids. We see all four tanks being used at a variety of levels. We just disagree that the difference is that obvious. Savage Defense might make bears take more damage on AE pulls in 5-player dungeons than other tanks, but we don’t think AE threat generation is a problem (again when in reference to max level). Bears don’t have an ability that mimics Shield Slam as a very hard-hitting ability that can help establish initial threat, but that is more of a raiding problem in encounters with frequent spawning adds and not really an issue with Swipe or Thrash.

All of this said, and as we've mentioned before, we are keeping a close eye both on what is being said on the forums and what is happening in the game. We take in a lot of information from a variety of sources and keep it in mind for changes we make or changes we put into consideration. We're not blind to concerns that are being expressed, but sometimes we just don't agree with all of them and are seeing something different on our end. Sometimes we agree with the concerns and just haven’t figured out yet how we want to resolve the problem.
To your first point, we do think this is a legitimate concern. While we spend most of our fine-tuning at max level, we also want things to feel good at lower levels as well.The new bear AE rotation was based around Thrash, which is a high level spell. It works at high level, but without Thrash there is a lot of down time and it can be hard to AE tank. Since lower level dungeons don’t tend to be balanced on a razor’s edge, AE’ing is the norm, which can feel bad for lower level druids. We do think this is a problem and we’d like to address it at some point in time.

On the second point, we’ve been over this issue quite a bit, but the core issue is that Ferals used to not have a lot of utility in PvP, but were also really hard to control. We watched as players told us over the years that they wanted more utility so that they could actually be a valuable member of their team, so we gave Ferals a lot of utility they didn’t have before, but in turn we thought it was fair to make them slightly easier to control. We realize there are a few different ways we could have gone on this and that some players would no doubt have preferred to keep the iconic ability to not be crowd controlled instead of gaining things like an interrupt and better crowd control of their own.

On the third point, we just don’t see this issue at level 85. All four of the tank classes seem to be performing well in both 5-player dungeons and in raids. We see all four tanks being used at a variety of levels. We just disagree that the difference is that obvious. Savage Defense might make bears take more damage on AE pulls in 5-player dungeons than other tanks, but we don’t think AE threat generation is a problem (again when in reference to max level). Bears don’t have an ability that mimics Shield Slam as a very hard-hitting ability that can help establish initial threat, but that is more of a raiding problem in encounters with frequent spawning adds and not really an issue with Swipe or Thrash.



I'm glad you guys are considering the difficulties bear leveling has. When that change was put in, it only affected me for one level, but it just felt like it would be a major turn off towards people who were wanting to try out Bear tanking from the beginning.

In regards to pvp, it's not the lack of shapeshifting that's killing us. It's that we went from being one of the most difficult to lock down classes to the easiest, hand's down. Generally, this is the form of nerf that you guys usually add some sort of spell/talent change to soften the nerf or to compensate for that area we are now lacking in. I'm glad you actually addressed it, and I realize you may not have answered any questions you DID at least acknowledge it and that I thank you for.

If it's possible to get any answer though, are you guys looking at any way to make up for the shape shift nerf, something along the lines of the oft suggested Stampeding Roar changes?
A blue! I feel loved!
Thanks for that, Neth. It helps to know you guys are listening! Please continue to keep a close eye on catbears in PvP.
02/23/2011 3:05 PMPosted by Nethaera
On the third point, we just don’t see this issue at level 85. All four of the tank classes seem to be performing well in both 5-player dungeons and in raids. We see all four tanks being used at a variety of levels. We just disagree that the difference is that obvious. Savage Defense might make bears take more damage on AE pulls in 5-player dungeons than other tanks, but we don’t think AE threat generation is a problem (again when in reference to max level).


out of interest, would this have been before, or after a lot of us lost 6% AP when 4.0.6 fixed Protector of the Pack?

Thanks!


02/23/2011 3:05 PMPosted by Nethaera
but in turn we thought it was fair to make them slightly easier to control. We realize there are a few different ways we could have gone on this and that some players would no doubt have preferred to keep the iconic ability to not be crowd controlled instead of gaining things like an interrupt and better crowd control of their own.


and on this topic - a lot of the discussion I've seen seems centered around how black and white our mobility was. Eg, we simply don't have anything other than shapeshifting to counter snares because shifting itself was always such a powerful answer to that.
It seems we've gone well beyond a 'slight' easing of controlability and in a single tweak gone from one of the least controllable specs in the game, to one of the most.

is there no middle ground we could be looking for here?

(ps, any chance you could move/hide this thread over to the Druid Class forums? ;)
Is it possible to get someone from Blizz to put some advice up on what the new rotations should be now. I think a lot of players are still using the old rotations and that i think is where the problem lies. Both as Tank and Cat DPS.

Also you stated that most rotations are based on Thrash ,that is fine at higher levels but what about lower levels like when you do Wailing Caverns or Stockades. Seem like most of the focus has gone from the lower levels to High End. Most of the time in Cat DPS i am struggling with rage and CD"s on most of our useful skills.

as a bear i just mash mangle, lacerate, and maul (if i have decent rage gen) most of the time and it works fine

whatever that spell is that eats up lacerate ticks to do more damage is, i hardly ever find a use for it. and the 2 aoe's (swipe and...whatever the crappy bleed one is) are very bad, for soloing anyway. I can pull 10 mobs but I kill them faster with single target spells than my aoe's
02/23/2011 3:37 PMPosted by Sephres
whatever that spell is that eats up lacerate ticks to do more damage is, i hardly ever find a use for it.


That 'spell' my friend is called Pulverise, and it gives you 3% bonus crit for each application of Lacerate. In other words, it's a free 9% crit buff for (I think) 18 seconds.

You should use it!
removed for lack of relevance

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