Feedback: Druid Updates

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Community Manager
#1 - April 18, 2024, 8:57 p.m.
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In this thread, we’ll be testing and talking about Druids in The War Within. Look here for posts from the development team as adjustments and bugfixes are made throughout the testing period.

Please note that off-topic or inappropriate posts will be strictly removed.

Thank You

Before we continue testing The War Within, we’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who read and responded to the Hero Talent previews we posted over the last few months.

Looking to the Alpha

In this first Alpha build, every single class has at least one new Hero Talent tree available for testing, with the rest coming in the following weeks. We’re asking testers to initially keep several things in mind:

  • There are UI elements on the talent panel that are placeholder, including things like talent icons, text, or final UI art.
  • Some talents may not be functioning yet, or may be marked as not yet implemented (NYI)
  • New spell visuals and audio for several new Hero Talent trees are still a work in progress. Many trees are using placeholder assets for now that will be updated over the course of Alpha.
  • There are some talents that are not fully tuned yet. This is expected, and we will implement tuning adjustments throughout testing.

The combat design team has two big areas of focus right now that we are prioritizing over other concerns such as tuning or generic class updates/maintenance:

  • Finish building the remainder of the Hero Talent trees that are not yet available.
  • Fix bugs that are blocking testing of new talents.

With the Alpha build being playable and all of the discussion that will occur around the flood of data, we wanted to reiterate that the responses to our blog previews were highly valuable. The feedback we received allowed us to make some early improvements or revisions while we didn’t yet have a public test environment. It allowed us to take some big early swings on certain trees, and then react to early feedback quickly.

Going forward, we aren’t planning to publish any additional Hero Talent previews in blog form, since we’ll add the remaining classes to the Alpha as soon as they reach their ready-to-test state.

Working from Feedback

Several Hero Talent trees have received changes after reading feedback to the blog posts. Some of these were tuning changes to ensure that the Hero Talent tree felt competitive, while others were significant design changes. The feedback thus far has been of great benefit to us.

Going into Alpha, we feel good about the shape of the Hero Talent tree designs. Keeping a consistent number of utility and defensives nodes across all trees, having parity between number of choice nodes, and the overall structure of the trees are things we’re confident in.

We’re also working on tweaking some core class designs as well. In some cases, it was necessary to make adjustments to the class or specialization talent trees before significant work was done on a Hero Talent tree. In other cases, we did work seeking to improve base class talent tree designs.

Alpha Feedback

Now that we’re in Alpha, we’re looking for feedback on how it feels to playtest these trees. We’re specifically curious about:

  • Hero Talents that you feel are “required” for your spec in a type of content, such as raiding or Mythic+, or that push you towards picking a specific tree.
  • Hero Talents that create frustrating or unsatisfying gameplay or rotations for your spec.
  • Hero Talents whose functionality is confusing, unclear, or difficult to track during gameplay.

Throughput comparisons of Hero Talent trees are helpful, but we’re more interested in gameplay, feel, and choice feedback at this stage. Also, when possible, we appreciate it when you focus posts or articles on a single spec and Hero Talent tree, rather than combining feedback about multiple issues.

Again, Thank You

We greatly appreciate all your feedback on Hero Talent trees and are very excited for you to see everything else we’re working on. Thank you!

The World of Warcraft Combat Design Team

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Community Manager
#6 - April 18, 2024, 8:59 p.m.
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We greatly appreciate your feedback and we’re looking forward to your thoughts on Druid changes. There are a few topics we’re especially interested in hearing from you on:

  • How does it feel to build characters for different types of content? Do you feel you are able to get the tools you need?
  • How do the changes help or not help in specific situations that are relevant to you?
  • Are there sections of the talent trees that you feel don’t have enough meaningful choices?
  • Do you see any degenerate or unintended impacts on rotations, including:
    • Using single target abilities in AOE or vice versa.
    • Being flooded with resources faster than they can be spent.
    • Feeling forced to use (or never use) particular abilities due to how the class is played.

Overall, our goal is to provide interesting choices and options in talent trees that deliver the fantasies of druid and its specializations, including appropriate tools for different types of game content. Do you feel the talent trees for your specialization enable builds you’ll enjoy?

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#8 - May 9, 2024, 8:19 p.m.
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We’ve been playtesting, and iterating, and reading your feedback about Feral.

We hear that you’re sad to lose the combo of getting AOE value out of Ferocious Bites cast with Apex Predator, and we do want Apex Predator to be an appealing AOE talent. Since we also want to bring significance back to maximizing Tiger’s Fury windows, we’re also not happy with compelling you to overwrite Rips benefitting from Tiger’s Fury with Primal Wrath in AOE to deal damage with Tear Open Wounds. So we’re trying a different version of AOE gameplay by restoring Rampant Ferocity and removing Tear Open Wounds.

This retains the rotational clarity that’s a priority for us - in AOE you’ll maintain Rips with Primal Fury and spend additional combo points and Apex Predator procs on Ferocious Bite. The bonus to Rip and Rake damage from Predator will remain single target, as we don’t want this to feel like a maintenance buff in AOE and would prefer to keep its role funneling damage into your priority target.

One side effect of this change is that Ferocious Bite and Rampant Ferocity will become a higher percentage of your damage dealt in AOE. We know that part of feeling like a bleed-focused spec is seeing your bleeds being a big component of your damage dealt, and this change will reduce that. We’re still committed to bleeds and DoTs remaining a critical component of your gameplay and rotation.

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#9 - May 9, 2024, 8:43 p.m.
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Please note that the updates described above will be coming in future Alpha builds.

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#10 - May 14, 2024, 11:31 p.m.
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Hello Druids,

There are a couple pieces of feedback we received on Keeper of the Grove that informed today’s updates.

Keeper of the Grove

  • Dream Surge: Dream Burst damage reduced by 15%.
  • Harmony of the Grove: Force of Nature treants increase spell damage by 5% (was 3%).
  • Power of Nature now increases Force of Nature Treant melee damage by 100% (was 20%).
  • Bounteous Bloom: Each treant generates 6 Astral Power per 2 seconds (was 3 Astral Power).
  • Early Spring: Now reduces the cooldown of Force of Nature by 15 seconds (was 10 seconds).
  • Cenarius’ Might design updated: Balance: Entering Eclipse / Restoration: Casting Swiftmend increases your Haste by 8% for 6 seconds.
  • Power of the Dream no longer affects Cenarius’ Might.
  • Control of the Dream’s maximum effect increased to 15 seconds (was 5 seconds).
  • Grove’s Inspiration: Wrath and Starfire damage bonus reduced to 10% (was 12%).
  • Persistent Enchantments has been replaced by Potent Enchantments:
    • Balance: Orbital Strike applies Stellar Flare for 8 additional seconds and deals 30% increased damage.
    • Greater Alignment increases the duration of Celestial Alignment by an additional 20% and increases Eclipse damage during Celestial Alignment by an additional 5%.
    • Reforestation grants Tree of Life for 2 additional seconds.

First, we heard your concerns that maximizing Cenarius’ Might’s value would significantly restrict your rotations as both Balance and Restoration, so we replaced it with a simpler bonus that lets you play how you want while still empowering your burst phases.

We also heard that you felt 5 seconds on Control of the Dream wouldn’t give you meaningful flexibility, so we are trying it at 15 seconds. There are also some tuning updates and a change to Persistent Enchantments to reflect design changes to Balance Druid.

Thank you!

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Community Manager
#11 - May 14, 2024, 11:34 p.m.
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  • Symbiotic Blooms now prioritize growing on injured targets.
  • Strategic Infusion’s chance for your periodic heals to crit is decreased to 8% (was 10%), but its duration is increased to 10 seconds (was 6 seconds).
  • Wildstalker’s Power has been updated: Rip and Ferocious Bite damage increased by 5%. Rejuvenation, Efflorescence, and Lifebloom healing increased by 10%.
  • New Talent replacing Wildstalker’s Persistence: Lethal Preservation: When you remove an effect with Soothe or Remove Corruption / Nature’s Cure, gain a combo point and heal for 4% of your maximum health. If you are at full health an injured party or raid member will be healed instead.
  • Root Network now increases the healing of all your abilities, not just Lifebloom and Wild Growth.
  • Implant has been updated: When you gain or lose Tiger’s Fury, your next single-target melee ability causes a Bloodseeker Vine to grow on the target for 4 seconds. Swiftmend causes a Symbiotic Bloom to grow on the target for 4 seconds.
  • Twin Sprouts’ chance to grow new vines increased to 20% (was 10%).
  • Resilient Flourishing can now cause Bloodseeker Thorns to spread to any nearby valid target, preferring ones currently unaffected by Bloodseeker Thorns.
  • Bursting Growth has been updated: When Bloodseeker Thorns expire or you use Ferocious Bite on their target they explode in thorns, dealing physical damage to nearby enemies. Damage reduced above 5 targets. When Symbiotic Blooms expire or you cast Rejuvenation on their target flowers grow around their target, healing them and up to 3 nearby allies.
  • Entangling Vortex now immobilizes affected units for 3 seconds.

This round of updates to Wildstalker has a couple goals. First, we’re increasing the number of Thriving Growth vines and blooms you’ll see at any moment. We heard that you feel the tree is on the passive side, so we’re adding some more effects that interact with vines and blooms, without those interactions taking over your rotations.

The new Implant will give both Feral and Restoration Druids more control over what targets they want vines growing on, and the update to Bursting Growth rewards you for targeting allies or enemies with your vines with your other abilities.

We’re also simplifying and strengthening several effects that worked on a subset of your abilities, like Wildstalker’s Power and Root Network.

We appreciate all of your feedback and testing!

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#13 - May 21, 2024, 9:30 p.m.
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Hello Feral Druids,

As part of a clarity pass, we’re adding Omen of Clarity’s Clearcasting buff to the personal resource bar and removing the icon highlights it puts on Shred, Swipe, and Thrash. This is an experiment to reduce the visual noise on Feral’s action bars - the highlights can be active frequently, lighting up a significant section of your action bar, and the vine overlay graphics provide the same information.

We’re open to feedback on how this change affects your play.

We’re also reviewing ability icons to eliminate duplicates, such as swapping the Ravage and Dreadful Wound icons so Ravage doesn’t share an icon with Bloodtalons.