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Shifting Perspectives: A first look at Mists of Pandaria talents for feral druids

At BlizzCon 2011, druids received the groundbreaking news that we were changing to a four-specialization model. With this news, plus the new talents that were revealed, obviously large changes to the spec are planned. With today's column, I'd like to look at the talents that were revealed during Blizzcon, and make some first guesses as to what players will be looking for. Of course, the standard disclaimer applies: this is pre-alpha stuff, so I won't be commenting on numbers specifically, just the design choices. Feel free to follow along on the Wowhead MoP talent calculator. Onward!

Tier 1: Movement

  • Feline Swiftness: Increases your movement speed by 10% and by an additional 20% while in Cat Form.
  • Displacer Beast (Instant, 3 min cooldown): Teleports the Druid up to 20 yards in a random direction, purging all periodic damage effects and providing stealth for 10 sec. Attacking or taking damage cancels this effect. Using this ability activates Cat Form.
  • Tireless Pursuit (Instant, 3 min cooldown): Removes all roots and snares, and increases movement speed by 70% while in Cat Form for 15 sec. Does not break prowling. Using this ability activates Cat Form.

I'm happy that movement choices come first. At level 15, you spend a LOT of time walking from place to place, so any movement talents are welcome.

Feline Swiftness is likely your default choice, replacing Feral Swiftness. The vast majority of your playtime is spent moving your character from place to place, after all, so let's get there faster! Let's face it: the stationary tank-and-spank model is mostly dead, so being able to move faster is a key part of good DPS. Not to mention, it's always annoyed me when playing my resto off-spec that I didn't go faster in cat form, so I'm glad I'll be able to pick this up there as well.

Now, I think this choice is a pretty good example of the "optimal, but..." design. The other choices are clearly more intended for PvP, but they could very well be useful for survival on encountersthat feature large periodic damage effects or roots/snares. Displacer Beast is interesting if the Charge->Ravage mechanic stays in (my guess is it does) but the random component will make it confusing to use, so it will likely be only useful as an escape in PvP. Finally, my guess would be that Tireless Pursuit heralds the removal of Stampeding Roar, or possibly Dash.

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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