Response to Druid Feedback!

Here is the response Ive received from the designers after giving them your feedback. We sat down and discussed these various points. Ive described whats going to be changed where applicable and given explanations as to why aspects of the class were designed in a certain way. I hope you find this an informative and enlightening read!

Shapeshifting to Escape Movement-Impairing Effects What Should Work and What Shouldnt

Many of you have expressed concern about the Shamans Frost Shock and the Mages frost spells. The slow effect remains on a Druid even after shapeshifting. This is not acting as intended and should be fixed in time. The Daze effect, however, is not meant to be removed by this act. The thought behind escaping through shapeshifting is that your physical form is difficult to hold through entangling. The philosophy is similar with polymorph in that the Druid has greater control over his physical form and cannot be transformed against his will when in animal form. Even with frost effects, youre changing your shape and shaking off the frost clinging to you. Daze, however, exists to ensure there is some risk from running away -- it is a mechanic in place for balance reasons, and no class can dispel it. The effect is equivalent to a knock on the head and thus would not be dispelled by changing ones form; it is a mental effect rather than a physical one.

Lack of a Focus Statistic The Large Wardrobe Dilemma

Druids sometimes feel they need to have multiple equipment sets with different focus statistics to be effective, as there is no one obvious statistic that is the primary focus of the Druid. This is an issue with any hybrid class, however; the Shaman faces similar choices, for example. The problem lies in that there is no optimal play-style for the class; several different strategies work and work well. I can tell you that, unlike Rogues, cat form relies on Strength more than Agility for damage. Point for point, youll find your damage is aided more by enhancing Strength. Spirit is one statistic that can be a great help for Druids or not benefit their build much at all depending on style of play; remember that mana regenerates while in beast form. Another point, also, is that it isnt just Druids that have to consider multiple outfits depending on the situation many high level areas can be made easier with certain gear, and this affects everyone.

The general consensus on this issue is that its a natural consideration of a hybrid class. Examine your style of play, look at what would most benefit you, and outfit your character along those lines.

Cat Claws Arent So Sharp Looking at Cat Form Damage and Abilities

On the subject of animal forms, one of the top concerns of the community has been that cat form DPS is somewhat lacking past level 40 or so. The designers acknowledge that this is a problem and they plan on adjusting the higher-level damage to be more in line with the original concept. Keep in mind that a Druid in cat form is not supposed to have roughly the same DPS as a similarly-leveled Rogue; however, it should improve from its current incarnation.

One of the changes planned is the addition of a direct-damage finishing move. This should help the Druid cat form significantly.

The Ups and Downs of the Feral Combat Talent Tree

When examining the Druid talent trees, the Feral Combat tree has been noted to be somewhat lackluster in comparison to Balance and Restoration, especially concerning the one-point abilities (Feral Charge, Feline Swiftness and Primal Instinct). Naturally the task of designing a single tree to enhance what are essentially two mini-classes of the Druid isnt easy. Its important not to favor one form over the other in the creation of such talents, which is why there are three one-point talents in this tree alone: one for bear, one for cat, and one for all. Now, that said, the designers are aware that its not the most popular of talent builds to follow, and so they will be taking a good look at the talent tree with the intention of improving it where they can. The planned enhancements to the forms should hopefully boost the number of Druids staying with this tree, also

Speaking of enhancements to the forms, I feel this is a good time to mention the new, upcoming Bear Form ability currently being worked on that causes rage generated to heal the Druid instead of actually generating rage.

As a side note, some of you noted that there are form-based talents in the other trees and have questioned why they are not in the Feral Combat tree. The reasoning behind these choices is primarily that Druids are meant to use their forms, regardless of their talent build. Those talents are there to encourage you to do so and to give benefits in that regard no matter your specialization.

Rebirth Its Purpose and the Myth of Wipe Recovery

When it comes to filling the primary healer role, many Druids are concerned that Rebirth does not help in wipe recovery, and thus they are less desirable in groups. The kicker is this: technically, Priests do not have wipe recovery either when theyre alone, and yet theyre also primary healers. The ability to recover from a complete wipe (i.e. everyone is dead) is given to Shaman primarily; Paladins and Warlocks can also aid in wipe recovery combined with a resurrecting class (or engineer with jumper cables, even). The Druid is not meant to fill the wipe recovery requirement.

However, what Rebirth can do is prevent a wipe. Having someone critical die mid-fight can be devastating, but bringing them back can turn the tide and give you that extra edge to win. Of course, in order for this to be true, the resurrection timer must no longer affect this spell, and that is indeed going to take place. Once the change is made, your target should be able to come back to life immediately. We are also reducing the mana cost of this spell line so it should be more viable in combat. We hope that these changes will help Rebirths utility in combat and make Druids more desirable in groups and raids.

Hurricane It Hurts Being the Eye of the Storm

The channeling aspect of the Hurricane spell has met with some unpopularity in the Druid community. The spell was designed with channeling in mind its previous casting type was a bug. The way it worked in its bugged form, it was comparable to the damage dealt by the Mage. The Druid is not meant to be strong in dealing area-of-effect damage, and the fact that Hurricane was nearly as good as a core AE spell of the Mage the class that does specialize in such damage was a balance problem.

The spell is not meant to be used as a strong solo spell. There are group situations, however, where theres no such thing as too much area-of-effect damage. Many high-level instances have areas where its ideal to whip out a spell such as this; it is meant to be situational, however. Mind you, the developers will be watching the relative popularity of the spell and how often its used; for now, however, it is going to remain in its current form.

Why Cant I Root? The Strangest Trees Grow in Azeroth

One of the longest and loudest laments of the Druid has been the inability to use Entangling Roots (and by extension, Natures Grasp) indoors. I discussed this with the designers, but their stance is firm; this will remain an outdoors-only spell.

The designers want to keep crowd control limited and specialized. The content of the world is balanced with crowd control spells in mind, depending on the type of monster and the area in which they dwell. Root does not discriminate between monster types, and as such it is very powerful outdoors. Outdoor content is balanced with root in mind, as are outdoor flagged instances such as ZulFarrak. Adding the ability to root indoors would call for a great deal of rebalancing indoor content, as now they would have to account for one creature possibly being rooted in addition to all other forms of crowd control. It would also give Druids more crowd control power than they are intended to have.

As Im sure you know, though, the Spider Belt was indeed changed to have a 30-minute cooldown, which should help somewhat on the PvP side of the Druid game.

More to Come!

These were the top concerns I drew from the feedback you posted, and I hope you find this information satisfactory. I am not abandoning this forum now that this post is done, however please, let me know what else youre concerned about that I did not cover, or what new issues have arisen from the information listed, and Ill do my best to follow up. Thank you again for all your wonderful feedback, and know that you are heard!