Man... bgs are fun as feral. I completely forgot about that. On the one hand, you don't outlast as well as restos do, but on the other hand you can actually do damage. I am using those adamantite weightstones in bgs now, and it seems that they actually do work as I hoped they would. They add 12 damage to your melee swing before multipliers are taken into account. This is pretty awesome, but on the other hand, they are kind of expensive to make constantly... who knows. I will probably figure out a decent way to farm eventually and make some primals for cash.

I am worried about arena. I am reasonably sure that warrior+feral is going to be bad. We have done a number of bgs, but it always seems to degrade (in 2v2 situations) to me popping out to heal the warrior up to full (for a full mana bar), then going back to feral form and hoping to down the opposition. While we don't have much trouble with this in bgs... it is only a battleground... so likely we are facing undergeared opponents with low resilience... and we still have trouble insta-gibbing healers. Priests go down fairly well since we're both pretty impervious to fear, but shamangs take a while to down... we ARE pretty much gibbing rogues fairly regularly even with healers... though evasion makes it less about me and more about kurrin, so I just go bear form and try to cc-lock the healer until the rogue dies... wednesday will be more telling.

... I really miss bearform doing ANY damage at all ... I wish they would revert the patch that nerfed Savage Fury and bearform Mangle ...

I am going to make a stack of grenades for bgs... but they are SOOOO hard to play with well unless you aim at the flag while someone is trying to cap it. That is hilarious and well worth the mats, imo.


I have been thinking about ferals a lot, obviously. Lately, I have been thinking that taking 3/3 Control of Nature is probably going to be more useful than the damage I would be giving up in 2s. Reason being -- when focusing on the dps class of a healer+dps team, the healer will NEED to be cycloned at the end so they cannot get their "omgHEALZ" move off (ns-ht, ns-hw, bubble, w/e), and I cannot really afford 1.5 seconds casting barkskin just to get a 1.4 cyclone on the healer... it would take 3 seconds of me not dps'ing to get the cyclone off... even 1.4 seconds not attacking is a long time, but at least it is a little more manageable. I doubt I will change spec this week, but if we do poorly and I attribute it to not being able to getting cyclones off, I will respec for next week.

THIS IS NOT MY MAIN POINT. Bah, sorry, my tangental mind is screwing me over while writing. The point I should be making is this: whilst looking over the druid talent trees, I have decided that feral is just too bloated. I blame this on the tanking abilities in the tree...


Okay... the tree is NOT bloated... rather... it's too confined. So, the main complaint that got druids nerfed in the first place was a distinction made to developers from non-druids that ferals in bear form are considered tanks, and should not be doing damage. As a hybrid, I was a little insulted by this, but many feral druids (who WERE tanking) thought of this topology as adequate. So, the devs decided to make it so that bear form was (essentially) only for tanking, and this was brought about by the damage nerfs of 2.0.11. However, this does not seem to quell the main complaining of non-druids. Now, the complaint has become "why can druids have a pvp build and a pve-tanking build in the same tree?" Again, because I am a hybrid by nature of play, this is insulting to me... though it is correct.

When looking at the key differences between a tanking build and a pvp build as feral, one notices that there are truly only 3 different talent points spent: Survival of the Fittest goes to tanks, Primal Tenacity goes to PvP-ferals. In essence, it IS possible to get all 6 of these talent points, tank, and dps in pvp scenarios rather well... and this seems to be the crux of the argument. I, for one, am fine with more fine-toothed granularity to present itself as a cost. The reward would then be finer toned specs, one for tanking and one for dps'ing. This would, of course, bloat the feral tree quite a bit (so there would HAVE to be some overlapping ability as there is currently; see Feral Instinct, Feral Swiftness, etc). The gain from doing this would be the ability to break down the spec into two sub-specs; a realization of two different talent trees. For this to work and still be fair to other classes, the talents would have to be extremely link-driven; that is, to get the tanking 21-point talent, a druid would have to have taken a majority of the tanking talent in the tree, driven by the requirement links a la Savage Fury requiring Sharpened Claws.

This scenario breaks the feral tree into two separate talent trees, really, with the end result being that other classes will either complain of the build being unfair to pure-classes because a druid could spec feral to tank AND dps, or the dichotomy of a tanking|dps tree where each would be exclusive would muddle the tree up to the point of givin druids a fourth talent tree, in essence, or there would be a need to scrap an existing talent tree, give up on one aspect of being a druid, or actually add a fourth talent tree specifically for druids.

Woo, these solutions are NOT simple in any manor. Giving druids a fourth talent tree specific to tanking in bear form, and making fear into the dps talent tree is probably the best idea in terms of ease of design, synergy between specs, and straight-forward nature. However, this would cause such a backlash of QQ from the community of non-druids that Blizzard could never truly give this idea much thought without giving every other class a fourth talent tree, which many of these classes would either have no use for the new abilities, or no abilities to add at all. The solution of removing one aspect of the druid play style is almost certainly out of the question since there are druids of every specialization who have spent 3 years perfecting and enjoying their various play styles.

This leaves developers with no other choices other than changing the feral tree into a jumbled mess of kitty-dps abilities reliant on other kitty-dps abilities all the way down and bear-tank abilities doing the same but with other bear-tanking abilities, OR leaving the class as is, and suggesting that the feral tree is mainly a PvE build that simply is not as strong as other pure builds.

Revelation (read: TL;DR): the devs have already chosen the latter as their plan of attack. Redesigning the feral tree for a fourth time would be a daunting task with WotLK on the horizon and it would only lead to more unbalances among the various specializations. Sigh... the devs will likely make minor tweaks to the feral talents without fundamentally changing the mindset that bear is for tanking while cat is for dps. With this in mind, I expect we will see continued talent tweaks that will give cats one ability while giving bears other abilities for minimal talent points. This will cause an uproar from the non-druid community... but it is the only way to make feral a viable option in either pvp or pve; tanking or dps.