SR change is probably buff for us. In AoE situation to do good dps you need waste 60e to have SR up (and its only for short time, on next pack you need do it again) now you can simply start with Swipe.
Swipe's damage in cat form is ridiculously miniscule; it's very rare that you would use it for actual high damage relative to your single target rotation. That may change in the future or not, but currently boosting swipe isn't that special.
Also note that while SR has changed to only affect white damage, yellow attacks have not been increased by 30% to compensate. Again, unknown whether or not this is what they want. Especially since currently the weapon DPS hasn't been baked into basically anything, so everything is doing ridiculously subpar damage for ferals.
Frenzied Regen does increase max health by 30% and it's duration has been increased to 20 seconds, but the healing per rage has been unchanged. 3% health per rage is a typo.
Feral Faerie Fire no longer costs rage in bear form.
Savage Roar does increase white damage only, by ~53% with the glyph.
Barkskin is still usable in forms, not sure yet if this will stack with the new Survival Instincts.
I am still benefiting from Predatory Instincts (+10% crit damage) despite it being removed ages ago; I may have to use a premade character if this a result of transferring over a character with the talent, since it's hard to say what other talents I may be benefiting from that I shouldn't be.
Originally Posted by kalbear
Especially since currently the weapon DPS hasn't been baked into basically anything, so everything is doing ridiculously subpar damage for ferals.
This is incorrect - all of our abilities except bleeds scale off of weapon damage, which is directly increased by the weapon dps of your currently equipped weapon. There does seem to be a bug, at least with the skull level training dummies (renamed Raider's Training Dummy), where you only crit or glance (with white attacks at least, didn't test yellows) and glance reduces your damage by an absurd amount, on the order of 80%.
My quick thoughts on the Savage Roar change: this is another instance of reducing the feral dps skill cap, but in a different way than Endless Carnage. That talent makes it easier to keep up the rotation, while the Savage Roar change doesn't make the rotation any easier to sustain but it does reduce the damage loss you suffer by letting it drop (Endless Carnage, while making the rotation easier to perform, actually makes you pay a larger damage loss for Rake downtime since it increases Rake's DPE).
I'll update the OP when I'm able to con a couple guildies into helping me confirm the other changes.
First thing I thought when I read the change to Survival Instincts was, "Will it stack with barkskin, and if so, how?" I can't imagine Blizzard would allow us to have 80% damage reduction for nearly 12 seconds, that just doesn't seem right. More likely the percentages would be applied in some order (barkskin would add an additional 20% of the 60% increase from SI, which is 12%, effectively totalling 72%) than a linear combination of the two values.
If it doesn't stack, well, that just makes SI seem like a pretty redundant ability to me.
I see the SR change as more PVP orientated. Drawing the parallels to Rogue SnD again, it will be nice to use when target switching or sticking on a target, but won't be incredibly punishing when it drops. Especially with the changes to Soothe (Animal), other druids would have been able to just spam dispel cats effectively permanently reducing our damage by a third (it's already annoying enough with hunters who bother).
I just checked the beta and noticed something that hasn't been picked up anywhere yet. I'm not sure if my character is just bugged but my Shred costs 30 energy. Mangle and Rake were both 27.
Can anyone else confirm this? Possible compensation for the SR change?
It maybe a bug. Are you specced into Infected Wounds? If so, it maybe an off-shoot of that talent and reducing your energy cost by 25%. Only reason I say that is because those energy costs were changed to 40 energy for shred and 35 energy for Mangle and Rake in patch 12694 (two patches ago).
The primary effect I can see from this, assuming they keep it at three points and put it where Heart of the Wild was, is that for cat specs, where we'd likely only put in 1-2 points, we'll need to spend at least one 1-2 points of filler in the first four tiers of talents. Shouldn't really affect bear specs at all.
I strongly suggest not to draw any conclusions from the current state of the beta. Things keep changing a lot from one build to the next, and several class abilities (+all professions) are still only partially implemented and/or non-functional (improved feral charge was not working, last time I checked). The energy costs looks more like placeholders than anything else, thrown in just to allow players to test the content. I would be very surprised to see them remain at current values. From the changes one week to the next, I'd say that balancing on the classes has not even started, as confirmed by the fact that there are no class-specific beta forums.
Edit: I scrapped this post, was based on old builds with assumptions it couldn't use anymore and was thus misleading.
The main bit of this post was originally:
The goal of this was mainly to get the concept of Pulverize consuming Lacerate into some context.
I assumed the talents Feral Aggression (triple Feral Faerie Fire) and Endless Carnage (+6 sec on Pulverize) are used.
Pulverize, Laceratex3, Manglex5, Feral Faerie Fire or Demoralizing Roar (alternating those each cycle)
But current changes make the above unviable.
The current situation behaves more like the priority list of buttons:
1. Maul on 3 sec cooldown, rage permitting and attempting to use omen procs for this (off the GCD)
2. Pulverize a Lacerate 3-stack shortly before it expires.
3. Get Lacerate to a 3-stack and allow to tick down
4. Mangle on 6 sec cooldown
5. Demo Roar every 30 seconds if needed/wanted
6. Faerie Fire any spare GCD when low on rage or everything is on cooldown
7. Skull Bash for 1 rage for fun and profit