Official talent calculator for Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard finally released an official talent calculator for Mists of Pandaria. I have Opinions when it comes to the druid talents. This should not be a surprise.

(I’m aware all this isn’t final. It’s kind of obvious from the fact that there are things missing from several classes and specs. Still, they put out a preview, I get to have an opinion.)

First of all, there are two new spells. Might of Ursoc, at level 72, is a standard, class-wide Last Stand (30% extra health for 20 seconds). Symbiosis, at level 87, looks quite interesting:

Creates a symbiotic link which grants the Druid one ability belonging to the target’s class, varying by the Druid’s specialization.

In exchange, grants the target one druid ability based on their class and combat role.

Lasts 1 hour and persists through death.

Needs more information, of course, but so far, so interesting.

Now, as for the rest of the changes… this’ll get long, so I’ll just put it behind a cut.

Stampeding Roar now drops you into bear form if you push it outside of bear or cat form. Doesn’t make a difference for me (especially since the wording makes it pretty clear that it’s still usable in cat form), and removes some of the fiddliness involved in using this ability when you’re not a feral.

Similarly, Bash drops you in bear form when used, Dash drops you in cat form when used, and Faerie Fire now is one single ability usable in all forms that just so happens to deal damage when used in bear form.

Swipe is still baseline. It also now deals 20% more damage against bleeding targets, which will make both AoE tanking and AoE melee DPS rotations more interesting, since you’ll want to rotate between Swipe and Thrash. (Yes, cats get Thrash too.)

Nature’s Grasp only has one charge. Hm. Not that I use it much, but it was convenient when soloing.

Restoration druids don’t get Barkskin. Instead, they get something called Ironbark. This is a version of Barkskin castable on others as well, with the same 20% reduction in damage taken, but on a 2-minute cooldown rather than the 1-minute cooldown of Barkskin. Notably, this ability is not usable while stunned, frozen, incapacitated, feared or asleep, and will not protect the target from spellcasting delays.

However, Restoration druids now get a passive ability called Nature’s Focus, which reduces (but doesn’t remove entirely) the pushback suffered by taking damage while casting Healing Touch, Regrowth, Tranquility, Rebirth, Entangling Roots, Cyclone and Nourish.

Regrowth, Nourish and Lifebloom are Restoration-only. Rejuvenation and Healing Touch remain baseline, as does Rebirth.

…waaaaaaaaaaaait a second. Where’s Revive? You know, the basic resurrection spell we finally got in Wrath of the Lich King?

…oh. It’s Restoration-only now. I guess that sort of makes sense, if other classes with non-combat resurrection spells also only get them when they spec into healing…

…no. No, no they don’t. Paladins, shamans and priests still have their resurrection spells no matter what spec they pick.

I have no words. Let me find an appropriate image to convey my feelings, one moment…

Yeah. That’ll do.

Remove Corruption is now Balance-only. Restoration druids get Nature’s Cure, which removes a magic effect in addition to one curse and one poison. Feral and Guardian druids get… nothing.

Not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, I’m incredibly happy that I will never again be forced into an offtank or, worse, a “oh just DPS, somebody else will tank” role because the fight calls for as many decurses and depoisons as possible. On the other hand, I kind of mourn the loss of utility. I’m also kind of grumpy because paladins of all specs get to keep Cleanse. Bleh. I guess that’s unavoidable, since paladins don’t have to shift out, but they could just have made Remove Corruption usable in all forms.

Restoration gets their healing shrooms. Balance keeps their DPS shrooms. Feral and Guardian now have no shrooms. I don’t mourn the loss, I didn’t use them anyway.

Starfire is now Balance-only, while Wrath and Moonfire are still baseline. Insect Swarm is now Balance-only, deals no damage, increases the damage done by Wrath, Starsurge and Starfire to the target and is limited to one target. Doesn’t seem to have a duration.

Skull Bash is restricted to Guardian and Feral druids. Balance gets Solar Beam. Restoration gets no interrupt. The only thing that kinda chafes here is Solar Beam is available at level 28, while to get Skull Bash you have to wait until level 64. I guess that’s offset by the much longer cooldown on Solar Beam, though.

Savage Defense, now obtained at level 12, is Guardian-only and gets turned into an activated ability. 20 rage, instant cast, no cooldown, reduces physical damage taken by 60% for 3 seconds. Huh. Guess that’s what they meant by making mitigation more active. That works, I suppose, although it’s going to be useless when tanking bosses whose melee attacks deal magical damage, or spellcasters. Hum.

Note that Savage Defender, the Guardian mastery, still “increases the damage absorbed by your Savage Defense ability” by a flat 15% plus an extra 2% per point of mastery. Wonder how that’ll work with the redesigned Savage Defense.

Frenzied Regeneration is now Guardian-only and back to being only a self-heal, but slightly changed. Now it converts a maximum of 2 points of rage per second into health for 10 seconds, with each point of rage healing for 2% of max health – in other words, 4% of the bear’s max health per second, for a total heal of 40% that costs 20 rage. The current version of Frenzied Regeneration burns up to 10 rage per second for 20 seconds, with each point of rage healing for 0.15% of max health – in other words, 1.5% of the bear’s max health per second, for a total heal of 30% that costs 200 rage. The new version heals faster and for more, and sucks up much less rage. I like this.

Survival Instincts is identical to the current version, but Guardian-only. Ditto for Lacerate.

Thrash is Guardian and Feral only. Usable in cat form as well.

Nurturing Instincts is now baseline for Guardian and Feral druids. All this means for me is if I shift out to cast an emergency Tranquility, it won’t suck quite so much. Yay?

Tiger’s Fury, Shred, Rip, Savage Roar, Ravage and Infected Wounds are now Feral-only and thus inaccessible by bears.

And yes – Feral Charge is gone.

As for the actual talents…

No new information for the first, second and third tiers. They’re still a “no duh” choice as far as I’m concerned.

Tier four… buh. Still no information on what exactly Force of Nature does. Incarnation is now revealed to be a threat throughput cooldown for Guardians (cooldown on all melee abilities reduced to 1.5 seconds for the duration). Wild Charge is indeed Feral Charge for bears and cats, but can also be used in travel form (leap forward by 20 yards and take 20% less damage for 10 seconds – essentially a form-restricted Blink), flight form (20% extra flight speed for 30 seconds) and aquatic form (200% extra swim speed and 20% less damage taken for 10 seconds).

Ehhhhh.

Still withholding  my final judgement until I know how Force of Nature works, but now the choice doesn’t seem nearly as bad. Unless Force of Nature is absolutely spectacular, I’ll probably pick Wild Charge in both Feral and Guardian.

Tier five has no new information and my choices remain the same.

Tier six has some new information in terms of what Heart of the Wild does, but yeah, no. Still sticking with my choice of Disentanglement here.

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