What does this mean for us?
- Bear damage abilities were scaling too fast with higher gear levels compared to other tanks, so the following balance changes have been made. All the numbers cited are for level 85 characters; numbers will be lower for lower-level characters
- Faerie Fire (Feral) base damage has been raised to 2950, up from 679. Attack power scaling has been decreased to 10.8%, down from 15%.
- Maul base damage has been raised to 35, up from 8. Attack power scaling has been decreased to 19%, down from 26.4%.
- Pulverize weapon damage percent has been decreased to 60%, down from 80%. Damage per Lacerate application has been increased to 1623, up from 361.
- Mangle (Bear) weapon damage percent has been decreased to 190%, down from 260%. Bonus damage has been increased to 3306, down from 754.
- Swipe base damage has been increased to 929, up from 215. Attack power scaling has been decreased to 12.3%, down from 17.1%.
- Thrash initial base damage has been increased to 1464, up from 339. Initial damage attack power scaling has been decreased to 13.8%, down from 19.2%. Periodic base damage has been increased to 816, up from 189. Periodic damage attack power scaling has been decreased to 2.35%, down from 3.26%.
- Lacerate initial base damage has been increased to 3608, up from 2089. Initial damage attack power scaling has been decreased to 5.52%, down from 7.66%. Periodic base damage has been increased to 69, up from 16. Periodic damage attack power scaling has been decreased to 0.369%, down from 0.512%.
- Natural Reaction damage reduction has been increased to 9/18%, up from 6/12%.
I'd like to sit here and say I saw this coming. But the truth is that when I see "Base Damage X and AP Scaling Y," I just kinda gloss over. It's never been my end of the game. Too much theory. Gimme application. How do I hold one mob? Two? Five? Ten? How do I make sure I live when that's happening? Where do I need to hold said mobs to give my raid the best chance of surviving? Those are the things I worry more about.
But if you look at the numbers with a little bit of hindsight, it's pretty obvious this was going to happen. Small base and huge scaling percentage? Yeah...your damage is going to run away at some point.
If you're a raid-geared tank, I doubt you'll see much difference when the patch goes live. I have a feeling these numbers were balanced to keep that gear/performance ratio pretty much in the same spot.
Where I think this could have an effect is on Bear tanks still in Dungeon and Heroic blues that are trying to raid gear themselves.
As you may remember from patch 4.1, the threat modifiers of a lot of our abilities where stripped away and were replaced with higher damage output to compensate. If scaling was an issue, specifically in that Tier 12 damage output would be too high, than it stands to reason that Dungeon/Heroic damage might have been a little low. Or at the very least, that with the evening out of the damage curve, it's going to bring Dungeon/Heroic damage up a little bit.
So for you non-raiding Bears out there that have maybe been having some threat and aggro issues, you may have a little easier time of things if/when these changes go live.