So...Cata preview for Druids. Lots of stuff in there, but a lot of it not for Ferals. (Rightly so...but it gives me less to talk about.)
If you haven't seen/read the preview yet (I doubt there's any of you) here's the official blue post.
First off, my absolute favorite thing about this preview:
We want to make the Feral cat damage rotation slightly more forgiving. We do not want to remove what druids like about their gameplay, but we do want to make it less punishing to miss, say, a Savage Roar or Rake.It's not my favorite because they're wanting to make the rotation more forgiving. No. It's my favorite because they're practically apologizing for wanting to make the rotation more forgiving! Leave it to Druids to be the only class where they have to assure us it's okay if they make easier to put up huge dps.
But it's an epeen thing, right? If you see a Cat doing high DPS, you know he knows his stuff. That person is getting high DPS because they're good. I put up 7.2K against Koralon in a VoA group on Sunday and got a whisper from an impressed 'Lock over it. It felt nice. I enjoy playing a class where someone putting up a number like that in gear like mine is something people don't see everyday.
Thrash (Level 81): Thrash deals damage and causes all targets within 10 yards to bleed every 2 seconds for 6 seconds. The intent here is to give bears another button to hit while tanking. Talents will affect the bleed, such as causing Swipe to deal more damage to bleeding targets. 5-second cooldown. 25 Rage.This is an interesting ability (to me) in that the duration is one second longer than the cooldown. Our current AoE "rotation" is to spam Swipe and Maul. We already know Maul is going to be put on the GCD (since it will be instant and not on-next-attack), so that's out. It seems we'll be doing Thrash -> Swipe x3 for our base AoE rotation now, with the occasional Maul (or other ability) replacing a Swipe when we have the Rage to spare and need additional threat on our current target.
Stampeding Roar (Level 83): The druid roars, increasing the movement of all allies within 10 yards by 40% for 8 seconds. Stampeding Roar can be used in cat or bear form, but bears might have a talent to drop the cooldown. The goal of this ability is to give both bears and cats a little more situational group utility. 3-minute cooldown. No cost.Honestly, I felt like (Improved) Leader of the Pack was a pretty big group buff. But, hey...if they want to give us a group-wide "GTFO, now!" ability, I won't complain. I could definitely see the value of this on fights like Sapphiron (air phase) or Festergut (angry poo explosion). Or, for the more offensive-minded, helping the melee dps get to the green oozes faster on Putricide.
We plan on giving Feral cats and bears a Kick/Pummel equivalent -- an interrupt that is off the global cooldown and does no damage. We feel like they need this utility to be able to fill the melee role in a dungeon or raid group, and to give them more PvP utility.Yes, please!
And then there's the Mastery bonuses of buffing our Bleed Damage (Cats) and Savage Defense absorption (Bears).
Overall I'm very excited and nothing but pleased with these changes. Obviously this isn't everything coming our way, but it's a very good start. Hopefully we do end up a little more differentiated from our Warrior brothers, but I suppose we'll have to wait for Beta to see where that goes.