Posted by Reygahnci on Monday, June 25, 2012
There was some interesting discussion over at the beta boards regarding Feral Incarnation (and Force of Nature as well), so I thought I would give it some spotlight:
So let's pick the best scenario possible. By getting 18 Ravages off you'd get a 890 DPS increase with Incarnation. Sounds like a very solid DPS increase, huh? Well.. not really. As soon as i started testing Force of Nature, i realized that Incarnation is a really poor choice. Let me elaborate.This is basically inline with what I experienced on the Beta boards and have been trying to convey to Druids: Incarnation is hilariously weak when compared to Force of Nature from all aspects. Force of Nature is one-third the cooldown of Incarnation for three times the burst damage, a huge increase in sustained damage, does not cost resources, and gives a free 5s stun to boot. The only problem with Force of Nature, now, is that it is on the radar for the developers thanks to this maths:
Force of Nature will summon 3 Treats to fight for you for 15s and it's on a 1min CD. This means that i can use FoN 3 times in the 3min Incarnation window. So all we have to do is figure the expected value for the DPS increase on that 1min and then multiply it by 3. By doing that, we can compare these two abilities with respect to DPS. To do that, i simply had to measure the average damage and how often each of the Treants would attack my target. After some time, i saw that each of the Treats would attack my target ten times in that 15s window.I also noticed that Treants attacks are classified as white hits and are affected by Glancing. The average damage based on a 68 normal hits sample was 4790. Since each of the Treants will attack ten times, we get a total of 30 hits over 15s. To calculate the expected value i considered my 30% crit chance and did the following:
From 30 hits - Expected 9 crits, 5 Glancing and 16 normal hits. So the damage would be:
9*9580 + 16*4790 + 5*3592.5 = 180822.5 expected damage.
This is a straight 3013.70 DPS increase.
The problem I have with this GC quote is two-fold: first, it ends up suggesting that he did not actually read the maths from the post because Berserk and Tiger's Fury were included in the calculation; and second, it shows that the devs think that Force of Nature should not be so strong for Feral. Bah!Your analysis of Incarnation looks about in line with our expectations; we expect that the fact that you can line Berserk and Tiger’s Fury up with it will be significant. Force of Nature’s damage for Ferals looks rather out of line; we’ll investigate that.
Getting back to Incarnation for a moment, even if one lines it up with Berserk, the ability is lackluster and on a long cooldown. I am not sure why this is considered acceptable; Incarnation (for Feral, anyway) might as well read "Improved Berserk" and simply be a tie-in to that ability... which is boring. Personally, and I know that I am in the minority on this one, I do not want all my damage and burst revolving around a single ability which can be avoided via CC. There is something to be said for skilled players who know how to counter burst with control, but when all of my meaningful damage can be avoided by a trivial CC train, then the game gets annoying.
Specifically, when I played Boomkin for fun at the end of Season 8, I really did enjoy the cooldowns I had; there were basically a bunch of mid-length cooldowns to manage/use and if I got CC'd through one of them, I still had the potential to apply some pressure with the others. I am still hoping that Force of Nature remains a viable burst cooldown, but it looks like GC did not realize how much damage the trees were putting out, so we are likely to see that "toned down" in the next few patches.
Another thing that changed in the last patch that I did not bring up is that Displacer Beast has been getting more and more buffed. Keep in mind, the devs have no intent on making DB into Vanish+Blink, so it can only be improved so much, but the cooldown keeps getting lowered. As of the last patch, Displacer Beast is down to a 1min cd that teleports the Druid forward 20 yards, puts him in Cat Form, and attempts to Prowl the Druid. I write 'attempts' because any DoT will immediately break the prowling, so it has extremely limited use. Additionally, if there are any effects on the Druid which prevent stealth abilities (such as Faerie Fire), then Displacer Beast cannot be used at all.
This brings up he question of talent-balance again (I thought I had a quote to put here, but I guess I don't). The devs have expressed in the past (again, I cannot find the quote, so this is from memory) that if a particular talent is the 'obvious' choice at a tier, it probably means that the other talents at that tier are undertuned or the 'obvious' choice is overtuned. When I look at the first tier of the Druid talent tree, I feel like the other two talents simply do not exist. I will never look at Feline Swiftness as a viable talent unless it is buffed rather extraordinarily; 15% bonus movement speed just is not very strong in any context as a talent.
Similarly, I will likely never see Displacer Beast as a viable talent choice, either. Being able to blink and stealth would be useful, but only if it were given the same treatment as Vanish. Giving Displacer Beast the same implementation as Vanish will never happen because Vanish is a powerful ability that is a Rogue-flavor ability; it is a staple of the Rogue's kit that will never be shared entirely with another class. What is more is that Displacer Beast also has the blink function built in, so it would actually be better than Vanish (in some sense) in that it would position you away from the fray and activate Prowl. Saying nothing else on the matter, if Displacer Beast acted the way described above, then I would certainly consider taking it on a 1m cd. However, it would be blatantly overpowered for Restos and Boomkins, as it would given them a 'get out of jail free' card once per minute, making them non-viable targets (and Restos already are pretty non-viable for Ferals).
No, the real issue here is that a 15s cooldown Wild Charge is so blatantly overpowered that anything else at this tier is really a second thought to the matter. Why on earth would I want an ability like Displacer Beast which will put me 20y in whatever direction I am facing once per minute when I could use Wild Charge to get back to Guntir who is 40y away and safe at a pillar once every quarter-minute? It is just bonkers! Many will claim that it will be used to close gaps on the kill-target more than anything, but at a 15s cooldown, I can easily stay on my target with Wild Charge and mash my "get out of dodge" macro to charge out when things get dicey. Mark my words - if Wild Charge goes live as-is, there will be SOOOOOOO much complaining about how mobile Feral is in a PvP context.