*Updated below*

Polymorph and many other CC abilities are being reduced to 8-second durations as well. I showed you the latest shaman changes coming in the next round of patch notes. It's important to note though that the next draft of the 4.0.6 patch notes to be posted are double the size of the notes currently on the home page of our website. There are many new notes for virtually every class yet to be posted.

Great googly-moogly... I never thought I would see the day. We will have to wait and see what Blizz ends up doing, but supposedly tonight the PTR will be updated (as well as the patch notes) and they will be "double the size" of the current notes... which are already quite long.

I will, of course, post my thoughts on all the changes to come, but one thing I have to note here is that all the CCs which are not currently longer than 8 seconds in duration will be seeing a relative buff versus those CCs which are over 8 seconds in duration (Cyclone and Psychic Scream come to mind).


Well, that was entirely too long a break to not have posted a comment on the changes that went up on the PTR on Thursday night. Essentially, no real changes went up on the PTR except for this bombshell:

Shapeshifts: Entering or leaving a shapeshift no longer cancels root effects. It continues to cancel movement slowing effects.

Eventually, Blizzard realized that this would be a pretty harsh nerf to all specs of Druid, so they added the following two quotes:

Disentanglement (new specialization): Causes shapeshifting to remove roots in addition to snares.
We will share additional information with you regarding our plans for Balance as soon as we can, though it'll probably have to wait until after the holiday weekend.

So, we can read this pretty plainly: "Feral's ability to self-break root effects is overpowered." I must admit that I do see both sides of this argument: on the one hand, it is hard to balance a game where Feral can entirely counter a class reliant on roots, so there ends up being an arms race there that is unfair to the other melees; on the other hand, Feral being able to shapeshift out of root effect for the last 6 years has only been considered overpowered for about four days by the devs... why the change?

There is a thread on the PTR boards that I suggest all my readers hit and post their feedback. The post-cap has been bumped a number of times now, and as of this writing we are up to ~95 pages of responses, mainly from Druids suggesting that this change makes no sense or is unfair, partially from morons who make mouth-breather-esque comments akin to "Druids immunity to all forms of CC ends with this patch", and then there are some posts by myself and others (mainly Miirkat, though there are others) who try and make suggestions to further this change to improve balance in the game.

I would like to point out that every melee class in the game has at least 2-3 abilities on top of their trinket to break a root effect and/or stop incoming magic if they do get rooted:

Warrior - Brostorm breaks roots, Spell Reflect can stop roots or magic spells when the Warrior is rooted.
Rogue - Vanish, Cloak of Shadows, Shadowstep (talent), Improved Sprint (talent), Smoke Bomb (will keep them from casting on you while rooted).
DK - AMS, AMZ (talent), Gnaw, Strangulate, Deathgrip (as an interrupt).
Enhance - Grounding Totem, Windshear.
Ret - self-Cleanse (talent), Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection (for physical root effects only), Bubble.

Feral - Nothing

In this vein, I have decided to be proactive and try to suggest some things that Feral would need in order to continue doing PvP if this change goes through. Let us look, first, to the problem areas.



1) Feral is the only melee in the game now which has no root break and/or no way to stop incoming magic spells.

2) Stampeding Roar is a useless ability for Feral PvP (again, this is an old topic, but we should bring it up again: Costs 30 energy which is too much, only increases run speed by a 40% non-stacking amount which is less than Feral's normal movement speed, has a 2min CD which is too long, only has a 10y range which is tiny in most PvP scenarios, and only lasts six seconds). To put this into perspective, I decided to perform an experiment: I have not trained Stampeding Roar or Mushrooms (and had Guntir not suggested we run instances while grinding I would not have purchased Thrash either... but here we are).

3) Feral damage is too dependent on ramp-up which is directly proportional to up-time. We need to get bleeds on a target BEFORE we can deal real damage and that takes the majority of our resources. In addition to this, once we have dealt significant damage to a target, we are almost always energy-starved or CP-starved; landing a killing blow on a target at or below 25% HP is nigh-impossible against resilience-wearing targets... particularly ones in Plate with a Shield.



1) Add a new major glyph to the Druid class: Glyph of Stampeding Roar - Reduces the cooldown on Stampeding Roar by 60 seconds and the cost by 20 energy.

2) Add the following text to the Feral-only talent "Stampede" - In addition, the range of your Stampeding Roar is increased by 10y, and causes your Stampeding Roar to grant you immunity to movement impairing effects for the duration.

3) Change Glyph of Mangle - "Increases the damage done by your Mangle by 10% and causes your Mangle (Cat) to award an additional combo point when used."

4) Change Blood in the Water - "Additionally, when your target is at or below 25% HP, your Ferocious Bite will ignore 100% of the target's armor."



1+2) This will give Ferals a 1min CD Stampeding Roar which will ONLY break and immune Roots/Snares on themselves for 6 seconds while improving the range to something more likely in a PvP scenario and reducing the cost to a reasonable price. This makes the ability more like a utility-button like Cloak of Shadows (though CloS is free and doesn't require glyphing). Now, Ferals can break Roots once a minute when their healer is pressured or use it offensively (like CloS can be) and stay in a Mage's grill.

3) Mangle needs to be the button of choice for PvP Ferals. In order for it to do this the damage either needs to be on par with Shred (which it isn't, even when glyphed), or it needs to combat the problem differently. In this case, providing more combo points to use our vast finishing moves on will be a welcomed change. We cannot hardly use Ferocious Bite or Maim in PvP scenarios because we must keep Rip up 100% to deal appropriate damage. Additionally, Shred deals more damage, but when there are multiple targets to swap between, going from a target with Mangle, Rake, and Rip up to a target with nothing up means that in order to deal the best possible damage, 3 GCDs minimum have to be used before full-damage Shreds can be used (Mangle, Rake, and FFFx3... could be worse if you don't have 2/2 Feral Aggression). Obviously, using a Mangle-centric build will allow for faster swaps (you would still hit Mangle/Rake/FFF first, but that first Mangle will have dealt your big damage, and your next attack wouldn't require you to get behind them). Further, the positioning aspect of PvP is always tricky for Ferals, even while we currently HAVE the ability to break roots; this gets much more difficult when we cannot break them... Mangle-centric builds simply mean that we will have to make range on the target and can start dealing damage.

4) Again, we have tons of trouble actually landing a killing blow against someone because the majority of our damage comes from our bleeds, which become rather healable once resilience comes into play (instead of 6-12k Rip ticks, I get something like 3-6k Rip ticks). That being said, Blood in the Water is a difficult-to-use ability in PvP simply because of the timing required, which is why I believe a lot of Ferals do not take it now. Changing this to be a button you can use on a target even if Rip isn't applied would be a welcomed change, and having SOME ability to pressure a plate+shield class when they hit the red zone is something Feral has needed forever.


Again, these are ideas that I think should be considered IN ADDITION TO the root-breaking nerf to Shapeshifting. If you have ideas on how to keep Feral from becoming a free kill again in PvP, please feel free to post them here OR (probably the better option, though I will re-post any good ideas on the PTR and give credit to commenters) post the ideas directly in the thread on the official PTR boards. Here is the link again: Please, Blizzard, don't remove powershift!