Druids have received some significant changes in the coming 2.0.10 patch, but while there's lots of complaint and speculation, there's little agreement on what the changes will actually do for druids. But the loudest complaint is that druids will no longer be able to tank and will be once more reduced to a pure healing role. Note that there are no changes to cat or moonkin effectiveness or damage output, which does leave DPS as an option (in both PvE and PvP) -- but with so many classes able to DPS and so few classes able to heal, druids are reasonably concerned about being marginalized. The facts on bears from the patch notes are as follows:
- Bear/dire bear form's health bonus has changed from +25% health to +25% stamina. While this sounds like a non-change, this means that +health enchants and health-increasing potions or flasks are no longer considered in the bonus calculation, resulting in a loss of health for some druids.
- Dire bear form's armor bonus has been reduced from +450% to +400%.
- The talent Savage Fury no longer affects mangle (bear), maul, or swipe. Savage Fury previously increased damage done by those abilities by 20% for two talent points. The ability lacerate is the only bear ability that is not effected by this change, but only because it wasn't effected by the talent previously. (This talent will still have benefits to cat form, but no longer benefits any abilities in bear form.)
- The talent Predatory Instincts has been changed from a critical damage increase of 3/6/9/12/15% to a critical damage increase of 2/4/6/8/10%.
- The rage normalization equation has been adjusted to grant more rage.