TLDR: We’re bringing back WoW Classic Feral Druid powershifting by moving Druid Energy regeneration to the constant 2-second slow tick loop. Cat Druids will receive 20 Energy every 2 seconds, their Energy will never get a partial tick outside of that 2-second loop, and with careful timing, they can receive their full 20 energy regeneration tick immediately after shifting.
We’ve been discussing Druid Energy regeneration a lot the last few weeks. There has been a great deal of community discussion about it on every channel and platform that we read and listen to, and that discussion started almost immediately after we implemented the Burning Crusade Classic power regeneration change first introduced in patch 2.2.0. At that point in the original Burning Crusade, the game would grant a partial tick of regeneration whenever any regeneration rates changed, and it would reset their regeneration clock, so the next tick would happen about 2 seconds later. While this improves some abilities like Evocation, it has the side effect of removing a Druid’s ability to time their shapeshift into Cat form immediately before a regeneration tick to order to quickly receive 20 Energy.
That playstyle, often called “powershifting”, was greatly missed by some players.
As we’ve worked on this, one of the people we spoke with was the original systems designer who requested the change to energy regeneration. Those conversations have made it clear that the patch 2.2.0 regeneration change in late 2007 was not intended as a nerf to Druids. It’s therefore a pretty solid case of change results not matching up with design intent. In a #somechanges world, we think it’s important to consider both the original intent and the original execution of changes, and this looks like an example where version 2.4.3 (the patch that Burning Crusade Classic 2.5.1 is based on) exhibits a behavior that was unintended at the time. We can see that both Druids and the energy regeneration system were changed again in patch 3.0.2.
Our implementation of the authentic regeneration behavior, combined with the removal of spell batching, has caused a persistent timing issue for Druids and we’d like to try a straightforward solution. With a hotfix that we’ve now deployed to our PTR environment, we’re testing moving Druid Energy regeneration back to a 2-second cycle that is unaffected by regeneration rate changes.
This should result in Cat Druids receiving Energy at a more constant rate, and additionally, Druids can once again powershift by timing their shapeshifts to optimize their Energy use. After this change, Druids should (almost) never receive less than 20 Energy in a single regen tick.
Thanks for reading, and thank you for all of your feedback on this.