However, the talent calculator was released by Blizzard and it has some truly interesting stuff worth discussing, and it seems to have answered a lot of my questions.

Firstly, take note that Wild Charge has been updated to include Cat Form, which does exactly what Feral Charge Cat and Stampede do on live - leap behind an enemy and cause your next Ravage to cost no energy, not require stealth, and have no positioning requirement. This means that tier4 largely must be considered as the "Wild Charge Tier" for PvP Ferals. Also worth noting, Wild Charge has effects for non-shapeshifted (which we knew about), Travel, Flight, and Aquatic Forms as well (which we did not). I admit, when I first read about Wild Charge, I thought it would be governed by the specialization chosen by the player, but now I think that it will be given to all Druids who take Wild Charge and the effect will simply vary depending on the form.

What is interesting about this revelation is that the non-shapeshifted version of Wild Charge is actually amazing in terms of survivability; it is essentially Leap of Faith except that the Feral can decide when to use it. The macro possibilities will be rather insane, but the ability itself will be great. Imagine a "cancel cat form, wild charge [target=guntir]" macro - it would be a 30s CD to use as a get out of jail card on maps like Blade's Edge, Sewers, or even RoV in certain scenarios. Similarly, Travel Form is basically Blink plus a 20% damage reduction for 10 seconds. I do not know if these sorts of abilities will remain to live because Wild Charge seems grossly overpowered for Resto, but who knows.

Otherwise, the talent tree is largely unchanged for Ferals. More interesting is the Feral specialization and the abilities given. We still get Bash at level 8, but interestingly it is defaulted to a 5s stun now (instead of 4) and does not matter what specialization is picked (that is, Balance and Resto also get the 5s stun of Bash). Similarly, Pounce is a 4s stun by default and every spec gets it for free.

Of the spec-based abilities Ferals get, Tiger's Fury coupled with King of the Jungle (from live) comes as no big surprise. Mangle only reads "Damage varies by shapeshift form", which I think is funny because Wild Charge looks like the old Shadowform tooltip: "Wild Charge, Chapter 1 ..." Similar to this is Rip, having been given "Glyph of Shred" or whatever it is called now by default - increasing the duration of Rip by 2 seconds whenever Mangle or Shred lands on a Ripped target (max 6). I am truly wondering what is to become of the Glyph system since many of them are now on the abilities baseline.

Blizzard suggested that Mangle would no longer increase Bleed damage and that it would do roughly the same, but slightly less, damage as Shred; however, when we look at Shred (which is a Feral-spec-only ability now) we see the new tooltip says "Shred the target, causing 540% damage plus 335 to the target... Deals 20% additional damage against bleeding targets."

Looking at Mangle on live, it claims to do 540% damage as well, so the real differences here will be 1) positioning requirement, 2) 20% more damage from Shred, and 3) Mangle costs 5 less energy. Obviously, this will require the finalized numbers to make an actual assessment, but I am still not sold on Mangle being "very close to Shred" in terms of damage per second. This is definitely a step in the right direction; Mangle is easier to use in PvP for sure, and without that additional 30% multiplier from Mangle to Shred, it gets much closer. My in-the-head-napkin-maths say that would equate to 9 Mangles for every 8 Shreds and 20% more-again of 8 Shreds is basically 9.6 Shreds at the same damage as Mangle. That is roughly a 6.25% increase in damage for using Shred over Mangle in the long-run.

I also find it interesting that the old tooltip for Savage Roar has returned: "Finishing move that increases physical damage done by 30%." The Savage Roar on live specifically says auto-attacks, but the one on the talent calculator looks a la early Wrath. Forgetting, for the moment, that this is probably just a mistake, this could mean the old rotation comes back in flair in MoP without the requirement of Mangle. Additionally, if we are Mangle-spamming in PvP anyway, this will be easier to maintain and it probably stacks ludicrously with Tiger's Fury. Again, this is likely a mistake (I hope), but it would be interesting otherwise.

Okay, we finally have an answer - Predatory Strikes is back in full force: finishing moves have a 20% chance per combo point to cause the next nature spell with a cast time less than 10 seconds to become instant cast and cost no mana. Things are still early on, but it would be interesting to see if Blizzard has plans to, like Nature's Swiftness, allow the nature spell to be cast in form. I am holding my breath and crossing my fingers, but that might be way too overpowered. Additionally, while Predatory Strikes does nothing for Ravage, Ravage now simply has an innate 50% additional critical strike chance against targets above 80% hp.

Interestingly, also still present is Dash and Stampeding Roar in their current forms and causing the removal of all roots and snares. In the case of Stampeding Roar, I understand this completely as it is useful for your teammates, but with Disentanglement on the table, why Dash? Additionally, with these abilities still granting root-breaking, why does Tireless Pursuit exist if it is simply another Dash? I would say that this is going to mean much steeper costs on shapeshifting, but we still have Leader of the Pack to restore 8% of our total mana, so I am sort of at a loss.

Notably missing is Remove Corruption; it seems that only casters will have access to dispels of these types in MoP. For instance, Balance has Remove Corruption which removes a Poison and a Curse, but Feral does not. Oddly, both Elemental and Enhancement Shammies have Cleanse Spirit to remove a curse. No idea if this is intended or not, but it is early-on in development, so who knows.

A new ability, near as I can tell, is called "Might of Ursoc", which increases maximum health by 30% and increases health to 30% if below that. Lasts 20 seconds on a 3min CD. This is obviously a survivability ability, but it does not specify Bear Form, so that is a bit odd. I would have though at least it would say "activates Bear Form" as Demoralizing Roar and whatnot does.

Additionally, something interesting about these sorts of abilities is that they all "activate Bear Form" now, rather than requiring the form. This is interesting because canceling a form never caused a GCD before, and using a form used to cause a GCD; I wonder if Blizzard is finally getting around this by allowing abilities out-of-form which cause the form to fire at the same time as the ability. This makes the game play more fluidly depending on whether Shred/Mangle/Rip/etc get the same treatment. That is, say you are in Cat Form and you want to land a long stun and also use Rip, you could, potentially, hit Bash which would stun the target for 5 seconds and activate Bear Form on the same GCD, then when that GCD ends hit Rip and get back into Cat Form on the same GCD that Rip was applied. At the moment, no Cat Form abilities which deal damage state "activates Cat Form", so this might be a non-issue, but it is something to think about.

I have been saving the best for last, of course; Symbiosis is a new ability learned at level 87:

4% of base mana
30 yd range
Instant cast
Creates a symbiotic link which grants the Druid one ability belonging to the target's class, varying by the Druid's specialization.

In exchange, grants the target one Druid ability based on their class and combat role.

Lasts 1 hour and persists through death.
Okay, well... that is insane. This does not say whether the target must be friendly or hostile (or either), but based on the wording and the fact that it lasts 1 hour and persists through death, I have to imagine that it is only usable on friendly targets. If I am understanding the ability correctly, and I make no guarantees that such is the case, then Symbiosis will allow me to gain an ability from Guntir based on my role (dps) and give him an ability based on his role (healer). Maybe this is like a friendly-only version of Dark Simulacrum? I am having a hard time even speculating on exactly how this will work.

I AM excited, however.

I hope that it does not steal an ability from my friend and myself, but I could see that happening as well. Something like, I "take" Mind Blast as a Feral from a Priest so that priest can no longer use Mind Blast, but instead they "take" Regrowth from me (haha, I just looked; Feral will not have Regrowth, Nourish, or Lifebloom).

More than likely, this will mean that Guntir would receive a new ability in Rejuvenation or something, and I would get access to Shadow Word: Death or something. We would each still "have" these abilities, but we each gained one of the others' abilities based on our specs.