Possible bear upgrades for the future class balancing:
The "Bear" Druid
'The Druid was designated as a multi-option class, dps, tank, offensive caster and healer, with the idea that you would move in one direction but have flexibility to change (somewhat) to other rolls. The shape change is supposed to offer a very different feel on how they work, interact and function. They are ultimately masters of nature and from reviewing the update 15 new class announcement they are the guardians, and portal keeper'. This is a paraphrase and summary as I understood it.
Overview of suggestions focusing specifically on Nature’s Warden, The Bear (dog too I guess, but he might have fleas):
1) Increasing base damage in animal forms;
2) more stages to animal form
3) Add a new spell point reclamation feature, maybe called ``Elemental absorption``;
4) Additional 9th level spell;
5) Pet options.
1) Natural attack base damage should scale. currently a lv 28 full bear hits like a soft fuzzy kitten.
I would like to see Base damage increase with more druid levels similar to how the monk works with unarmed. -AND/OR- the equipped weapon providing it's multiplier to the damage. formula would be base 'Paw' damage times the weapons multiplier. this would represent the same type of growth from simple weapons to weapons with larger base numbers and higher multiplier.
Note: it feels like the bear attacks are very slow, not sure if it's just animation and all attacks are there or it really is slow.
2)Animal form could be lesser bear, greater bear, lesser dire bear, greater dire bear, and maybe supreme dire bear as a capstone this is granted form upgrades as you gain more druid levels.
The animal form are not only a stat increase but also were a size increase (larger base weapon category size, 4 legs bonus to forced movement includes trip, knockdown and pushes, pin/grapple(bear) and tendon slice(dog)). The bear is big and it should have base damage step ups (sneaky dogs not sure what they get...very stealthy).
3) A new feat or enhancement called ``elemental absorption`` could be added demonstrating how Druids are attuned to nature. For example, when a Druid is magically damaged they are rebated a small number of spell points back as a natural sacrifice. This feature would be truly unique and set the Druid apart from other classes.
Elemental absorption would function similar to fire/cold shield but would be 30% elemental absorption with 60% to damage, and 10% spell points rebate. Quick example: A fire trap does 50 points 30 absorbed by a protection spell, if applicable. Of the remaining 20 points, 30% (6) would be absorbed by the shield, 60% (12) taken as damage, and 10% (2) rebated into spell points.
Same example using a 300 point fireball would be:
boat buff or spell elemental resistance (30) leaving 270 points
Shield (30%) -81
Damage (60%) -162
Rebate (10%) -27
Note: Absorption/damage/rebate could be affected by seasons.
4)A level 9 spell for the Bear would be appreciated as current there is none. I would suggest something like 'Nature Warrior': Calling forth spirits of fallen spirits to aid you. Your base becomes the same as a fighter of you level and you gain +1 to critical range for melee attacks
Another spell option would be a natural banish. A similar effect as turn undead, the druid could have an option to dismiss (area/mass) animal, vermin, magic beasts, or command the animal(s) to be passive on partial success unless it is successfully attacked.
5) Pet companions could have masters link, the pet receives/shares all healing and buffs cast on the owner, but based on the stance of the pet. Also a new pet ability might be snap arrow, snapping projectiles out of the air and tossing them harmlessly aside. This is to help keep the pet near and not running off getting into trouble without direct orders.
6)Capstone: Supreme Dire Bear spirit: True Beast Form -spirit claws and spirit form -take on the true nature of the animal form. You have become the master of the nature wardens drawing on the best nature and the spirits have to offer. In animal form you gain evasion, ghostly attacks and your shield and armour become one with the spirit plane (changes any armour and shield to spirit form 'changing the base material to 'spirit' you are considered un-armoured.
In summary, these are some ideas to focus the animal form of the Druid into a uniquely playable form as an alternative to some of the other melee classes. Thanks for taking the time to consider these suggestions.
Paws For the Cause
note this is a rewrite from a much early post.