Lots of stuff to talk about; no video this week (yet... I have a few short clips I might throw together and get up later in the week, but we didn't run 2s this week). I will get a post up as soon as possible, but work is slamming me lately, so it might be a bit later today. The following are the changes for Feral Druids in this build:

Tiger's Fury - now increases physical damage by 88.8% (this seems like a bug... but I will get in game and test this out as soon as possible; it could also mean that it only increases white swing damage, but who knows).
Stampede - Changed to last 10 seconds and allow you to use Ravage for that duration at 50/100% cheaper cost. This means that you can Feral Charge (Cat) and have 10 seconds to land a free Ravage with 2/2 Stampede.
Fury Swipes - Changed to a 5/10/15% chance to cause an additional white-swing attack at 200% weapon damage with a 3 second internal cooldown.
Blessing of the Grove - No longer applies to Shred (that means you no longer have to spend points in this talent).

Okay, these all sound like Feral buffs, right? So, the problem I am seeing now is that my utility-based PvP spec is now much less effective because my damage is going to be balanced around picking up all these damage-oriented talents which are now worth-while. Most notably, Stampede has gone from an obvious waste of two talent points to a non-decision must-take talent. Stampede, particularly, is not as big a problem because it is only two points and we are gaining two more points by not having to take Blessing of the Grove any more; however, we start running into trouble when we notice that Fury Swipes is so appealing in this build and still costs 3 talent points. I have no idea where to get these talent points at the moment; it may cut into my utility talents which will make me sad :-(.

Here is an example build I am looking at roughly for a PvP mold. The only DPS talent I am missing, at the moment, is Master Shapeshifter (yes, some of you will argue that Primal Madness is a DPS talent, but in reality you are mistaken. PM is actually a dps zero-gain at best and a dps-loss in practice... don't take it unless they change it drastically), which really only amounts to 4% more critical strike chance and 20% cheaper shapeshifting costs.

I want to touch on shapeshifting for a moment. A lot of stuff is up in the air and I wanted to settle a few things right now. First, shapeshifting costs without any talents at level 85 are essentially 5% of your base mana (Cat and Bear only, everything else is 8%), which means that at level 85 when talented without Natural Shapeshifter Cat and Bear form cost around 1000 mana while you have around 20k mana in mostly Greens. Second, on Live with 3/3 Natural Shapeshifter, the best you can get your Shapeshifting costs down to is ~12% base mana, and you tend to feel like you have infinite mana for shapeshifting if you have 3/3 NSS on Live while on Beta it costs MUCH less than that at baseline (so you don't need NSS at all). Third, Polymorph does indeed "work" on Druids now; if you are in Caster Form and get hit with a Polymorph, you will be stuck in that Polymorph for its full duration or until it gets dispelled or is broken from damage, but if you are in a Feral Form (Cat or Bear etc), Polymorph will still get "immune"d when cast on you (Resto nerf, doesn't really affect Ferals or Boomers). Okay, now that we have cleared the air about Natural Shapeshifter, you can see why no one but PvE-spec'd Ferals would ever consider going after Master Shapeshifter at the moment. Sure, things may change and I think we are ALL hoping that Natural Shapeshifter goes away entirely, but I worry that Blizzard WANTS Feral PvP'ers to take Natural Shapeshifter, so they might up the costs... but I'm hoping not.

Okay, so we still have a PvP build which takes some utility talents and brings the hard-core damage-dealing (minus 4% crit). Let's talk a little bit about gearing choices! On my level 85 druid, I have basically 22% crit without wearing much critical strike rating gear (in fact, the crit rating I did have on my gear was largely reforged into haste for testing purposes) in greens with a blue or two. I believe that in season nine gear (the first tier of PvP gear in Cataclysm), we will be able to get roughly 30% Critical Strike change without gemming or gearing Critical Strike rating. This means that we can focus all our item points (or as much as possible) on Haste and Mastery. Largely, Haste is where I am leaning my gear points towards simply for the increased energy regeneration rate. I am aiming for something around 33% Haste with 30% crit and hopefully ~20% Mastery damage for my bleeds. The goal would mean rather strong bleeds, but much strong damage output from yellow attacks like Shred and FB.

I do worry that Primal Madness will be changed in the next couple patches to make it a "mandatory" dps talent, or at the very least a dps upgrade in all cases. I am just unsure where I would get the additional two talent points. Ultimately, I am willing to part ways with Endless Carnage in the scenario where Primal Madness becomes awesome; having 6 fewer seconds on Rake does not feel like the end of the world, particularly if I have some staying power with my other dps abilities and the utility I get from Natural Reaction.

Let's talk PvP for a moment. Guntir and I have been thinking about potential PvP comps in Cata and area seriously considering Feral+Unholy+Priest. The idea behind this comp is simple: in PvP, it feels like mana will actually matter and 3s matches can go to the long game; therefore, we would want a comp which can put out strong pressure while also causing havoc against a healer's mana pool. Ferals, obviously, fulfill this role by bringing Skull Bash and 2/2 Brutal Impact. 30% additional cost on heals feels pretty strong in this new PvP model. The DK brings Necrotic Strike regardless of the spec he is, which means that we can chain control on a healer like this: Mind Freeze interrupt (4 sec), Skull Bash interrupt (5 sec), Necrotic Strike in there while we deal damage; now the healer is behind on healing having been locked out for around 9 seconds of non-casting and in the hole for healing because of Necrotic Strike, he has 30% slower casting until he gets out of that hole as well as 30% additional cost on healing basically all the time because of Skull Bash. I feel like Unholy will be the better of the two dps specs for DKs because of the utility gotten from the Unholy tree, but having Hungering Cold wouldn't be too bad either as keeping a dps off of Guntir for a bit would be huge.