Beta feedback: feral opener feels really slow

I posted this on the beta forums, but often have trouble with bumps through all of the accountwide mount, panda dance, and battle pets threads. If anyone's interested I posted it here as well.

On the beta it seems like feral druids open really slowly and it takes a very long time to set up our bleeds. The best way I have found to open so far with savage roar is as follows:

Global--Move Used------Energy-----------------Combo Points
1-------pounce-----------100 to 50--------------1, 4 second pounce stun applied
2-------savage roar------60 to 35---------------0, savage roar applied
3-------shred-------------45 to 5-----------------1
4-------tigers fury/rake--15 to 75, then to 40--2, tigers fury 15% damage buff applied
5-------shred-------------50 to 10----------------3, pounce wears off here
6 out of energy, waiting-20
7 out of energy, waiting-30
8-------shred-------------40 to 0-----------------5 (5cp assuming 1 crit out of 4, 25% chance)
9 out of energy, waiting-10
10 out of energy, waiting-20--------------------5, tigers fury 15% damage buff wears off
11------rip-----------------30 to 0----------------0, rip applied WITHOUT tigers fury buff

This may change due to more crits allowing rip to be applied sooner, or less crits making you have to wait 4 more seconds to apply rip. Clearcasts are a blessing when opening but are unreliable. If I reforge a lot of haste and take the soul of the forest talent I can get it so my rip will be applied just as tigers fury 15% damage buff wears off.

That's literally 10 seconds of setup! What it really comes down to is this opener feels way too long to set up, very difficult to do in a pvp setting, and feels really lethargic and unenjoyable. I feel that savage roar may be part of the problem, but there are many ways to improve on this opener without removing savage roar. I notice a large portion of our damage comes from white attacks now. Maybe this damage could be toned down in return for improving our crit chance. Also, maybe our energy regeneration could be faster for a bit after leaving prowl much like rogues' energy regenerates faster for a while after leaving stealth. The loss of the free ravage also made this quite a bit worse.

Pred, I'll give you some love.

The Feral opener feels slow because it IS slow.

That being said, I do not think that that is such a terrible thing. In the current state of PvP, openers and pressure must go hand-in-hand for all Feral comps; it's really all we have going for us. In MoP, it is looking more and more like burst will be toned down across the boards in favor of some more sustained pressure with burst cooldowns. Feral already fits this bill, but we are getting some more burst cooldowns in MoP.


We lost Ravage on a 30s cooldown, but our gap-closer was reduced to a 15s cooldown and we got root-shifting back. We also gained additional control on casters via Typhoon (should you elect to take it), Tree Posse (same deal), and either Intimidating Roar or Ursol's Vortex.

The opener is slow, but our ability to lay down burst damage via cooldowns is stronger than ever and our sustained is largely unchanged (except that we must keep SR up now).


Across the board, crit rates have been lowered for just about everything: Warriors no longer have a nigh-guaranteed chance to crit with MS after a Charge; Rogues no longer have 60+% chance to crit with Mutilate/Backstab or a 90+% chance to crit with Ambush; Mages don't have a guaranteed crit against frozen targets anymore (with except to Ice Lance); etc.

Feral now can expect to run around with ~35% crit at the top-end unless reforging/gemming really gets crazy. This is what I am rocking in my setup on the beta (which is geared/reforged exclusively to Mastery) and it comes along with 66% mastery and ~8% haste. It will be interesting to see, but basically it seems like Blizzard is moving most melees away from having guaranteed crits (or extremely high base crit-chance in the case of Feral) and more toward crits being less often and more "critical" feeling.

Honestly, as a Feral who is rocking basically 50% crit on live right now, I feel like crits are nothing special. I am truly annoyed when I get a burst rotation and only the FBs crit, but I don't feel like I guarantee a kill when my burst rotation ALL crits. Critical strikes just don't feel that critical right now. It's even worse for Rogues who are more likely to crit with their big hitters than not, and feel like they are balanced around MOST of their abilities critically striking all the time; that's not good design - that's boring.

I suspect that we will see more damage balanced around sustaining up-time and a rotation, with windows of burst opportunity. At least, I hope that that is the case.

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