But there's always an exception to the rule. Take, for instance: Feral Druid. Hmm...still a little ambiguous, isn't it? You don't know for sure what that person does. Are they a Tank or a DPS? Are they specced/geared to excel at one of those roles or to be able to do an adequate job of both? (DKs also fall into this category.)
This brings us to yesterday, when I touched on one of the stat changes coming in Cataclysm that I wanted to explore a little more thoroughly.
Mastery - This is a new stat that will allow players to become better at whatever makes their chosen talent tree cool or unique. It's directly tied to talents, so what you gain from improving this stat is entirely dependent upon your class and the talent specialization you choose. We’ll talk more about specific Mastery benefits in the future.Do you see where I'm going with this?
Let's go back to the other specs we've already mentioned: Holy, Enhancement, Prot, Frost, Arcane, Combat, Ass (*cough*)...I don't think it would be too hard to come up with, at least on a general level, what kind of Mastery stats each of these specs would have.
But what about Ferals? What kind of Mastery bonuses could we get that apply across our two roles effectively?
I know it's been a while, but they did cover some Mastery stats info at BlizzCon last year. While Rogues are the specific example in that post, you can get an idea of where they're going.
So Ferals? What would we get?
I could see a flat damage increase of some kind. That would help Bears with Threat and Cats with DPS numbers. That's good.
Armor Pen? Again, good for cats. But now 2 out of 3 stats are going towards increasing a Bear's threat output. That's not fun. Nor is it particularly useful.
Health or Armor increases? Great for Bears, useless for cats.
Haste? Okay, maybe. But again, its seems like that would do little to help Bears beyond threat. Rage generation if we see that from Haste somehow, but as said yesterday, Rage starvation isn't really an issue until you vastly outgear content.
The basic theme running here is that Bears care about Survival and Mitigation, while Cats care about damage output. There's really no good cross-section there. They're incompatible insofar as I can see. Either each role only benefits from 2 of the 3 Mastery stats, or Bears really get the short end of the stick. And either way, we end up feeling inferior to just about every other spec in the game because they get tangible benefit from all 3.
Now obviously Blizzard is aware of this. But we're going to have to wait and see how it's handled. I'm definitely very curious.