Feral Questions:
1) What's the point of Berserk lasting 15-20 seconds if you're only ever going to have ~5 seconds of up-time on a target with it rolling?

2) What's the point of Berserk having a 3min cooldown given how terrible the damage output will be in PvP with it up (given the stuff from #1)?

3) How is Feral still the only melee in the game with zero cooldowns to stop, dispel, reflect, etc magic effects? We have damage reduction cooldowns like everyone else... but if we're getting nuked or have two rows of dots, we're done... there's nothing we can do.

4) Why do Shred, Ravage, Ambush, Backstab, and Garrote still have directionality components?

5) Why is Stampeding Roar so abysmal/useless in PvP for the Feral using it?

6) Why are we the only dps spec in the game with a set bonus with an effect which is reduced by our enemies (snares reduce the effect of our bonus multiplicatively)?

7) Why do we have talents that are terrible? Fury Swipes and Primal Madness top the bill on this one.

8) Why is Feral's kick OP when a) it has a lag component because of the charge effect, so it's easy to juke, b) it cannot be used while rooted because of the charge effect, and c) Rogue's kick (which is the same but without lag) is okay?

9) Why is Berserk's Fear immunity and break OP when Berserker Rage isn't?

10) Why is Feral Charge Cat (our only gap closer) a 30s cooldown that sometimes takes us to our opponents while Charge (Arms' only gap closer) is going to be a 14s CD and Intercept (Fury's only gap closer) a 20s CD and both of these abilities stun the opponent and thus work on HoF'd targets or mobile targets etc?

11) What are Ferals supposed to do for burst damage against high-armored targets with resilience? HPallies and RShammies are nigh-invincible WHILE having infinite mana against Ferals because we have NOTHING that scares them through their high armor (shields) and high resilience.

12) Why does Hibernate not share DR with any other Druid CC effect? Druids are a Feral's worst enemy having 3 different DR-category CCs with no cooldowns.

13) Why does Nurturing Instinct give us bonus healing but not spell power... and why so little?

14) Why was LotP considered OP at 8% returned every 6 seconds with 100% crit when Recuperate is 4% returned every 3 seconds AND a 6% damage reduction component? If the Feral had 100% crit, Recuperate and the old LotP would have been the same... but no Ferals had 100% crit rate, so Recuperate is obviously better AND LotP is the OP one??? That don't make sense...

15) Ferals, Rogues, Locks, Priests, and Mages are all the cloth/leather-wearing classes in the game; why do Rogues, Locks, Priests, and Mages get either a) a LOT more armor than Ferals in Cat Form or b) talents which provide tons of flat damage reduction while Ferals get neither?

16) Why is Savage Roar so lackluster when compared to Slice and Dice (follow-up question+answer: because Feral's white damage is so poor; why is Feral's white damage so poor)?

17) What good is there in being able to break slowing effects via shapeshifting if every slow in the game is either auto-applied or trivially reapplied (Crippling, Desecration, everything a frost mage casts, Hamstring, etc)?

18) Why is Predator's Swiftness still dispellable while Fingers of Frost is becoming non-dispellable?

19) Why does Predator's Swiftness force us to leave Cat Form to use a nature spell? Since we can't break roots anymore, wouldn't it make sense to allow us to use these IN FORM?

20) Why is Pounce a 3 (4 talented) second opener when Cheap Shot is a 5s opener?

21) Why is Maim a 5s stun when Kidney Shot is a 6s stun?

22) Why is cp-gen so amazingly bad for Ferals unless they have 100% crit?

23) Why is being energy-starved the defacto position of Ferals?

24) Why does Shred hit harder than Ferocious Bite (again) on the PTR? (follow-up again: because Shred got buffed and FB didn't... follow-up again... why would I use 75 energy to do what Shred can do for 40)?

25) Why does Blood in the Water only work on targets at or below 25% health while Cut to the Chase (rogue assassination talent) works regardless of target's HP.

26) Why does Tiger's Fury apply a 15% bonus damage buff for 6 seconds... or for as long as Rake and Rip are on the target if they were cast in that window?

Feral Suggestions:
1) Fury Swipes changed to also give 3/7/10 energy when the proc'd bonus hit lands.

2) Tiger's Fury changed from 15% bonus damage for the duration to 50% armor ignore for the duration.

3) Primal Madness changed (Bear version stays as-is) to increase the duration of your Tiger's Fury and Berserk by 1/2 seconds and the effect of your Tiger's Fury by 50/100% (making TF 50%/75%/100%).

4) Berserk changed to a 6 second duration and 1 minute cooldown.

5) Glyph of Berserk (Prime) removed but Glyph of Shred renamed to "Glyph of Hemophilia", but has the same effect as before but includes Mangle (Cat) as well as Shred.

6) Blood in the Water changed to give your Ferocious Bite and Rip abilities to have a 50/100% chance to refresh your Savage Roar to it's 5 combo point maximum duration in addition to causing your Ferocious Bite to refresh Rip on a target at or below 25% hp.

7) Maim removed from the game entirely.

8) Stampede changed to allow one Ravage or Pounce for 10s at 50/100% reduced energy cost.

9) Feral Charge changed entirely... now just one ability: charge an enemy immobilizing them for 4 seconds, 20s cooldown, can be used in Cat or Bear form.

10) Bash's stun duration lowered to 3 seconds.

11) Brutal Impact FIXED... wtf. It currently is a 2-point talent that increases the duration of your Pounce and Bash by 1/1 second. Fixed to increase the duration of your Pounce and Bash by 1/2 second (both would be 5s with 2/2)

12) Natural Reaction changed to read "Reduces damage taken when in Bear or Cat Form by 6/12%, increases your dodge while in Bear Form by 3%, and you generate 1 rage every time you dodge while in Bear Form."

13) Stampeding Roar changed to a 1min cooldown, cost removed entirely.

14) Glyph of Stampeding Roar (major glyph) causes your Stampeding Roar (Cat) to grant you immunity to movement impairing effects for the duration but no longer affect friendly targets.

15) The bonus healing component of Nurturing Instinct has been replaced with "and causes your Barkskin to remove all non-physical harmful effects on you when used in Cat Form."

16) Feral's 4-set PvP bonus changed to "15% bonus movement speed in Cat and Bear Form", but it will be applied additively after the calculation.

17) Predator's Swiftness is no longer dispellable.

18) Predator's Swiftness now allows that instant-cast nature spell to be used without leaving Cat Form.

The explanations:
Okay, so you might browsed this list a bit and said to yourself "Self, I see a bunch of changes here, but nothing really fixing the shapeshifting nerf." This is true. I am operating under the assumption that the shapeshifting nerf will indeed come to pass as-is and these suggestions will aim at improving Feral in the following patch (which will take 2-3 months, likely). Yes, this is a dismal view of the world (of warcraft) to come, but I simply do not believe that any more changes will be included in this patch, and I do not think that Blizzard cares that the removal of shapeshifting to break root effects will destroy Ferals. All that being said, the spec is moving in a new direction and what else can I do but try to ride that pony to the finish line and hope to place.

Might as well address each on a line-item basis, right?

1) Fury Swipes is bad, we're constantly energy-starved... give it some minor energy-boost when the hit lands. There... we aren't ALWAYS energy-starved now.

2) Tiger's Fury is a cooldown, and a good one (60 energy is nice). The 15% bonus damage is OKAY, but it gets prioritized to Bleeds because it still lasts full duration. Even if it were changed to affect Bleeds ONLY while TF's buff was active (as it is supposed to), then it would force Ferals to prioritize burst damage during the TF window... good. HOWEVER, the problem Ferals are currently having is that we cannot do ANYTHING to high-armor and resil'd targets. Holy Pallies and RShammies have 20-30% more physical damage reduction than Disc Priests and Resto Druids... that extra 15% simply doesn't equate. Change it to a decent armor-ignore effect so that we get a good damage boost against ALL armor-types, not just low-armor classes.

3) Primal Madness is awful as-is... but it's because TF isn't super-great (and Berserk is going to be awful next patch if nothing changes). However, with #2, TF is a good cooldown that lasts 6 seconds... make Primal Madness improve TF and Berserk's duration and increase the armor-ignore component of TF. Bam... meaningful talent revolving around cooldowns.

4) Berserk is awful as a 3min CD... we're going to just get CC'd through the majority of it anyway and/or not have enough up-time to make it count. Lower the CD to 1min and lower the duration to 6 seconds. Boom... burst damage that you have to time in accordance with CCs and it isn't the end of the world if you DO get CC'd through it because it's a 1min CD (similar to shadow dance in these regards). From a PvE point of view, this would actually be a slight buff because it would last 8 seconds talented on a 1min CD (the CD would be cut down by 2/3, but the up-time would be increased to ~1/8th up-time from 1/15th up-time).

5) With Berserk being a shorter cooldown and getting buffs from Primal Madness, we'll just drop this glyph entirely with the idea being that players will take Glyph of Hemophilia instead and improving it to allow Mangle-spammers to gain the benefit.

6) Blood in the Water is a PvE-only talent because of how hard it is to time using Ferocious Bite on a target at or below 25% hp without wasting 50 energy on a 1-point FB just to refresh Rip. Additionally, if a HoT (or Recuperate... BAH) ticks and gets them to 25.001% hp, then Rip does not get refreshed and you wasted energy, combo points, and damage output by not just ramping up to 5-cps and reapplying Rip. Changing it to ALWAYS refresh Savage Roar is a step in the right direction in that it will always keep your SR up by using EITHER of your DPS finishers.

7) Maim is useless... it's a 5s stun that takes WAY too much energy and combo points, and usually leaves us energy-starved and cp-starved... so it kills our damage output. Just remove it and work with #8 instead...

8) Stampede is good... the devs basically got this right. Ravage doesn't require you to be behind your opponent, it doesn't cost energy, it doesn't take CPs... this is just a good talent. With the removal of Maim, Ferals will still need some control, so we'll just make Stampede the "after FCC, you can use an opener when not stealthed" talent by appending "or Pounce" to the Ravage bit. The idea is that a Feral would choose between using FCC to a target and a) dealing damage or b) using control without destroying his damage output by dropping CPs and Energy into the target.

9) There is no reason, with the root-breaking nerf to shapeshifting, that Feral Charge (Cat) should be a 30 seconds cooldown... that's just ridiculous. Instead, all the Feral Charges should share CDs (just like Charge/Intercept) and they should all have a root component (just like Charge and Intercept both have stun components) and they should both have a 20s CD to keep from DR'ing themselves (as opposed to Charge, but just like Intercept).

10) Bash should only be a 3-sec stun by default because...

11) Brutal Impact is bugged (imho) at the moment... it gives 1 additional second to Bash and Pounce for 1 talent point, and 1 additional second to Bash and Pounce for 2 talent points. BAH... 2/2 Brutal Impact should increase the stun duration on Pounce and Bash by 2 seconds making them both 5 second stuns.

12) Natural Reaction should just give the Feral damage reduction regardless of the form he is in... we need some additional survivability at the moment.

13) Stampeding Roar is pretty awful... it should have been a 1min CD from the onset, and the cost is laughable... just remove the cost entirely.

14) Glyph of Stampeding Roar would replace Glyph of Entangling Roots (since it will be useless next patch) and allow the Cat version of Stampeding Roar to be used as a poor-man's Hand of Freedom for the casting Feral only. It won't give a bonus movement speed buff to everyone else, so it will not be picked up by PvP Ferals, and it won't be used by flag-running Ferals because it will only work for Cat Form. The 1-min cooldown keeps it from being overpowered.

15) The bonus healing component of Nurturing Instinct is just bad filler from TBC. There is no reason for this talent to exist as-is. We don't need to heal... we don't want to heal... and our heals are terrible even WITH this talent. Just remove it and allow Barkskin to blank harmful non-physical effects as well when it is used. This is, again, like a poor-man's Cloak of Shadows in that it will blank the abilities, but not immune us to them for the duration. The tradeoff being that Barkskin can be used while under the effects of Stun, Fear, etc (but not silence, interestingly enough).

16) For example, if a Feral (moving around around 149% speed with 4-set and 2/2 Feral Swiftness) gets hit with Crippling, he would be moving at ~45%. After this change, Ferals with the 4-set and 2/2 Feral Swiftness would be moving 145% (exactly), and getting hit with Crippling Poison would make us move at 54% speed (1.0 * 1.3 * 0.3 + 0.15).

17) This is a no-brainer; training a Feral in PvP is the best course of action... you don't need to decide whether to attack the Feral or not... you just train him because he can't do anything about it. On top of that, you're dispel-training him, too, because the healer is trying to keep him up and dispelling is a great way to cancel that... so Predator's Swiftness (a defensive proc to try and peel a guy off you via Cyclone) gets insta-dispelled. Just make it a physical buff already.

18) Since we cannot shapeshift to break roots anymore, and we don't really shapeshift to break snares either because they get auto-applied back onto us, we no longer have any reason to go back to caster form... we shouldn't have to spend an extra GCD on using our instant-cast ability. Rogues don't have to spend 2 GCDs to use Blind, DKs don't have to use 2 GCDs on Hungering Cold, Warriors don't have to spend 2 GCDs on Intimidating Shout, etc.


These are just some things I think are worth looking into for patch 4.0.7, codenamed: "Oh shit we dun goof'd on Ferals."