It looks like we'll have a period with this pre-xpac content and, more importantly, with the new talent trees and glyphs. There'll likely be a period before the xpac hits with all the changes in place, and we'll have to adapt quickly to keep up with raiding as we wrap up the content before the xpac officially launches.
In other news, the tier 11 bonuses were released recently.
- Item - Druid T11 Restoration 2P Bonus - Increases the critical strike chance of the periodic portion of your Lifebloom spell by 5%. / Instant
- Item - Druid T11 Restoration 4P Bonus - Whenever you have Lifebloom stacked to its maximum of 3 applications on its target, you gain 540 Spirit. / Instant
- Item - Druid T11 Balance 2P Bonus - Increases the critical strike chance of your Insect Swarm and Moonfire spells by 5%. / Instant
- Item - Druid T11 Balance 4P Bonus - Whenever Eclipse triggers, your critical strike chance with spells is increased by 99% for 8 sec. Each critical strike you achieve reduces that bonus by 33%. / Instant
- Item - Druid T11 Feral 2P Bonus - Increases the periodic damage done by your Rake and Lacerate abilities by 10%. / Instant
- Item - Druid T11 Feral 4P Bonus - Each time you use Mangle (Cat) you gain a 1% increase to attack power for 30 sec stacking up to 3 times, and the duration of your Survival Instinct ability is increased by 50%. / Instant
The bonuses are interesting. The Resto bonus seems to be gearing towards our tank healing tools and emphasizing us using the new Lifebloom on tanks. It shouldn't be hard to maintain the stacks to proc the four-piece bonus. With the new talents Nourish and Healing Touch will refresh the Lifebloom stack, so once we get the stack up it should be easy to maintain, whether by throwing on a new Lifebloom or topping up the tank with Nourish or HT, and certainly maintainable between covering the raid if we're raid healing. Our tank-healing tools should be a lot stronger in Cata, so we'll be able to do that well as well as covering the raid. It will be interesting to see how all the classes end up working together in Cata as all are going through some big changes, particularly paladins. The healing dynamic will likely be switched up a fair bit.
The Feral bonuses are a bit odd. The two-piece bonus is a pretty straightforward damage increase. The bear four-piece is pretty standard as well, increasing the duration of Survival Instincts. The cat bonus is a bit odd though, mostly that it's currently triggered by Mangle. Mangle's duration was increased to 60 seconds, so it seems odd that the proc is for 30 seconds and stacks up to three times. It's basically encouraging us to Mangle a lot more, and certainly at least every 30 seconds instead of every sixty. I seem to remember hearing that they wanted to increase Mangle damage, primarily so we have an option when we're unable to shred (on caster bosses like Lady Deathwhisper, for example, who are often turning to cast at different people, so we're having to jump around a lot to stay behind her or perhaps have just one hit that would need to be replaced with something other than a shred). It seems like it would be a better idea (and more consistent with previous proc items, like the Idol of Mutilation) if it procced from Mangle and Shred. Perhaps that's something that might come.
The Balance bonuses seem fairly straightforward as damage and critical strike increases. The four-piece bonus is working with the Eclipse proc, so should only help with boomkins working with the new Eclipse mechanics.
Interesting stuff on the horizon!