Based on a post from Bornakk (and I know it's April Fool's Day, but still, it seemed real)

We are currently planning to end Arena Season 5 as early as April 14, or possibly a week after this date. At that point we will go through our normal process to determine who is eligible for the end-of-season rewards. This process should take approximately one week. It's very important for players who feel that they may be eligible for the arena-specific titles and/or Deadly Gladiator’s Frostwyrm to refrain from transferring their character to another realm until after Arena Season 5 ends.

The following Arena Season will not begin for at least one week after the current season ends. During this time between seasons, all rated matches will be turned off and only skirmishes will be available. When Arena Season 6 begins, all teams, personal rating, and arena points will be wiped, but matchmaking rating and honor points will remain.

It certainly seems like 3.1 will drop in two or three weeks. More likely than not, if season five ends on April 14, then we will also see patch 3.1 drop that day as well, giving players ample opportunity to test out the various changes during the one week vacation.

That being said, and now that I have regained some of my composure since the last post I made (I was very angry about Primal Gore... admittedly), let's take a look at the patch as if it were going live today.


1) Primal Tenacity only reduces damage in cat form. This really isn't a HUGE nerf... it just makes it so it's not a detriment to stun me in bear form... which is the source of a LOT of QQ from rogues. Basically, on Live, if you stun me while I am in Bear form, it's just a great way to give me 30% damage reduction for the duration of your stun. If you are a melee class... stunning me in Bear form is basically the worst thing you can do to yourself, in 3.1, it won't hurt YOU to stun ME. I did the math for this during the time when they were about to change Protector of the Pack into a flat damage reduction talent, and as I recall, when in Bear form, stunned, with Barkskin up, I would have something like 88% damage reduction from physical sources... that's just not right.

2) Maim changed to a stun and duration reduced to 5 seconds at max rank from 7 seconds. This is a double edged sword, but let's look at it from a nerfs perspective first. Being changed to a stun makes it a worse ability against Mages and any class with stun duration reduction talents (priests and warriors and maybe more). Also, going from a 7 second duration to a 5 second duration is a pretty tough nerf.

3) HotW Bear form stam buff reduced from 20% to 10%. While this is a nerf to be certain... I never take HotW for PvP, and I don't really care about the stamina in PvE... so it doesn't affect me (though it certainly will affect other druids).

4) SotF armor contribution multiplier reduced from 66% to 33%. While this is definitely a nerf of about 5-10% physical damage reduction from armor (yeah... it's not much), I sort of saw it coming. They directly nerfed how armor gains worked for bears as a nerf in the first patch after WotLK was released, then they added back some armor multipliers to SotF... I just didn't see why. Oh well, I will be losing a little bit of damage reduction from armor in bear form... I will still have over 60% damage reduction in bear form in PvP gear from armor, so it's not a huge nerf, but they start to add up (particularly when stacked with the PT nerf).

5) RaT critical strike chance reduced from 50% additional change at max rank to 25% additional chance at max rank. This just means that I'll LIKELY crit with FB in PvP against resil-capped targets rather than REALLY LIKELY crit with FB in PvP against resil-capped targets. A nerf to be sure, but it won't be game-breaking... I'll still try and use FB as an execute until they change the energy->damage portion and up the base damage to be in line with Eviscerate.

6) Glyph of Shred changed from 20% additional Shred damage to incapacitated targets to "increases the duration of your Rip by 2 seconds, maximum of 6 seconds." This is the biggest PvP nerf we will be seeing in 3.1, and in fact there has been a reasonably large movement among ferals to try and get Primal Gore unlinked from Rend and Tear just because Shred and Mangle damage is so close when both are fully talented, than in PvP it wouldn't matter which was used, and an amazing mangle-spam build exists if RaT isn't a prerequisit for Primal Gore. Probably a pipe dream, and without it, Shred will still be a strong PvP ability, just not AS strong against stunned/inc'd targets.

7) Abolish Poison ticks every 3 seconds instead of every 2 and lasts 12 seconds instead of 8. Personally, I read this as more of a fix than a nerf (as priest abolish disease works like this 3/12 implementation), but it is definitely going to have some impact against rogue teams.


1) Savage Defense has been implemented, which causes the druid to gain a shield after critically striking in bear form which absorbs 1 hit for a maximum amount of damage equal to 25% of the druid's attack power. This is just a straight buff to PvP bear form survivability, particularly against slow attacking players (Arms warriors are going to be more prevalent next patch... probably even the FotM). I have enough crit to basically guarantee this being up for half the match AND I have enough attack power to basically keep a 1000 damage shield up after every crit... it's a good change. Oh... and it's TRAINABLE at level 40... it's not even a talent, I just get it.

2) Feral Faerie Fire lasts 5 minutes in PvE. This is an awesome buff that doesn't touch PvP at all, but it's still awesome.

3) Feral Faerie Fire damage in bear form substantially increased. I don't know what the actual damage is, but it crits for about 800 on live... so I would have to assume that it's going to be hilarious on a 6 second cooldown for 3.1. Rogues hate me enough as it is... this is basically a direct rogue change.

4) Innervate costs no mana now. While this is awesome, the spell is still pretty lackluster for me and merely decent for my priest. On the other hand, I never run into the situation where I have no mana AND need to cast Innervate... maybe this is a lateral rather than a buff.

5) Swipe (Bear) now hits in a 360 degree area of effect like Thunderclap, rather than a conal attack like Shockwave AND it doesn't require a target... this is kind of a cool tanking change.

6) Savage Roar changed from 40% attack power to 30% damage. While this SHOULD mathematically scale the same as the Live version, it is actually a BUFF once it goes live because it will actually increase the BASE damage of all my abilities as well.

7) Glyph of Savage Roar increases the damage done by Savage Roar by an additional 3%. While it seems that this is additive (based on a reply to a similar ability from GC) it might also be multiplicative. Either way, it makes the new Savage Roar better than the current Savage Roar.

8) Glyph of Berserk increases the duration of your Berserk ability by 5 seconds. This is neat in theory... but really you only care about Berserk being up as long as you have energy, otherwise it's just wasted time. This basically means that I can get another quick Shred off during the duration, which is good, but it's only one more attack for the cost of a major glyph... hard to tell how good this will actually be. It might be better than I make it out to be but at least more glyphs are always buffs.

9) Maim is now a stun. Again, this is both a nerf and buff. Against classes without stun duration reduction talents, this is a buff EVEN with the 7 second duration nerfed to 5 seconds. The reason is because the Live version almost NEVER lasts 7 seconds... and really how often do ferals Maim one target as a form of CC? Very rarely is the answer. That being said, the Live version will break after 1 Shred more often than not... so it's actually a buff since I can actually get off 2-3 Shreds during the duration of a 5 second stun. The only bummer here is that it shares diminishing returns with Bash, but I'm basically going to be able to macro Bash to my focus and Feral Charge (Bear) + Bash the healer of the opposing team and hit him with a 5 second stun after a 4 second school lockout. We'll have to practice some healer-nuking to get this working perfectly, but it'll be a neat thing to try.

10) Pounce no longer shares diminishing returns with ANY stuns. This is neat, though it will matter less to me as I very rarely get a chance to Pounce more than once per fight. However, when I DO Pounce in fights besides my opener, it will be nice to know that even with the 5 second Maim I just hit him with, I'll have another 5 second stun following it in Pounce.

11) Primal Gore ! ! ! ! Yes, this is just a straight buff. In PvE it's going to give me roughly 1000 dps in sustained damage, and in PvP it's just going to be more pressure I can apply with finishing moves. To really get a nasty Rip off, you have to have Savage Roar up when you apply the 5-point Rip... but I can do that against most teams currently, so it will take relatively low amounts of tweaking to perfect.

12) Improved Mark of the Wild now grants an additional 1% extra stats per point (2% total). This is just weird... but it is pretty nice for PvE... so I'll take it!

13) Glyph of Shred changed to increase the duration of Rip by 2 every time you Shred (maximum of 6). I know I listed this as a nerf, but it's also a buff! If you think about it, Glyph of Shred never helped in PvE at all, and now it's a strictly PvE Glyph (and the best one in the game for PvE feral dps).

Well there you have it... feral is getting some nerfs next patch, but it seems to be highly outweighed by the amount of buffs feral is getting.