1. Low Level Tanking--When Cata came out, there were countless changes and it was obvious that a lot of thought had gone into class design all around. 3 out of 4 tanking classes were given excellent, very powerful tools to help them breeze through low lvl dungeons and hold agro from heirloomed mages and warlocks. Low lvl dungeons are not like Cata dungeons. Warriors, DKs and Paladins almost never stop running while they are in them. We can clearly see that thought went into their design so they could do their job. Feral has no such tools. I shouldn’t have to explain how horrid feral tanking is before lvl 81, because I am confident that you already know it since it is your game. We feel like you put thought into the other classes and then just skipped us entirely.
To your first point, we do think this is a legitimate concern. While we spend most of our fine-tuning at max level, we also want things to feel good at lower levels as well.The new bear AE rotation was based around Thrash, which is a high level spell. It works at high level, but without Thrash there is a lot of down time and it can be hard to AE tank. Since lower level dungeons don’t tend to be balanced on a razor’s edge, AE’ing is the norm, which can feel bad for lower level druids. We do think this is a problem and we’d like to address it at some point in time.
2. Feral PvP—Many classes complain about PvP and nerfs, but the reason it hurts us feral so much is that through our entire existence, we have never been a good class that you would want as your partner in arena. We were always overshadowed by the other melee classes. For a SHORT time at the beginning of Cata, we were strong in large part because our bleeds were stronger than they were in Wrath. In response to this, not only was the bleed problem fixed but we, as a pvp class, lost so much utility that we are now in a worse situation than we were in the 3 previous expansions. In addition, we felt that our most unique abilities were the ones being targeted. Mangle is not unique and bleeds are not unique. But shapeshifting is who we are. But the reason we felt so frustrated about this was how easily it seemed to us that the decision was to throw it out. We made posts with more than 100 pages of feedback that are still active today but we have heard only a vacuum from you regarding this complete change of our spec and our identity.
On the second point, we’ve been over this issue quite a bit, but the core issue is that Ferals used to not have a lot of utility in PvP, but were also really hard to control. We watched as players told us over the years that they wanted more utility so that they could actually be a valuable member of their team, so we gave Ferals a lot of utility they didn’t have before, but in turn we thought it was fair to make them slightly easier to control. We realize there are a few different ways we could have gone on this and that some players would no doubt have preferred to keep the iconic ability to not be crowd controlled instead of gaining things like an interrupt and better crowd control of their own.
3. Bear threat—The reason we feel frustrated, primarily, is that in the first patch of cata there were 2 obvious conclusions to be drawn from bear tanking: our single target threat was too high and our aoe threat was too weak (both are relative comparisons to the other 3 tanks). We expected fixes. However, it really irked us that you were so selective in choosing what to address. ONLY our good point was addressed and our bad point has been left untouched even though virtually every player will admit that in a dungeon, you better be EXTRA careful with your dps if your tank is a bear because bears are weaker than the other 3 tanks at holding multiple mobs even if they do everything perfectly. It removes a lot of fun to be thought of as the “gimpy” one especially if there is nothing you can do about it (it also discourages us from tanking which then hurts everyone because of the tank shortage). Again, this can be dealt with by begging the dps to take it easy on you but it is no fun to know you are the only class that has to beg like that. Sure, Cata has less aoe tanking and more CC, but there is no reason for 1 tank to continue to be significantly weaker than the others when the difference is so obvious.
On the third point, we just don’t see this issue at level 85. All four of the tank classes seem to be performing well in both 5-player dungeons and in raids. We see all four tanks being used at a variety of levels. We just disagree that the difference is that obvious. Savage Defense might make bears take more damage on AE pulls in 5-player dungeons than other tanks, but we don’t think AE threat generation is a problem (again when in reference to max level). Bears don’t have an ability that mimics Shield Slam as a very hard-hitting ability that can help establish initial threat, but that is more of a raiding problem in encounters with frequent spawning adds and not really an issue with Swipe or Thrash.
AoE threat generation isn't a problem at max level, so they say. Sounds like they want to fix it pre-Thrash though.