So there's been a few minor changes to the game since the last time I had much to say. And I am totally understating things for comedic effect.
The whole rotation is completely different now, spells have been removed, added, and changed, our #1 AoE threat move is now on a cooldown (along with a lot of other things), and our rage generation is based on new and exciting things. And I'm even gonna go out on a limb and say our stat priorities have had some slight subtle alterations.
How To Threat, Or Why I Relearned My Tab Key and Run Around a Lot More
First off, if you can have another druid (preferably resto) in your group, you're gonna love it. Thorns has gone from a 10 minute base buff to a 45 second buff. And it still breaks bear form to use it. So it's become a buff we cast on ourselves at the very beginning of a pull, and when it falls off, it falls off. Unless a resto druid is around to recast it, since they don't have a form to break anymore. Which sucks. Because it's so nice when it's up. But we're gonna die if we try to cast it on ourselves midfight. Thankfully, between swipe when we can, and tabbing around with lacerates all over the place, we can generally get by without it after it's gone.
Once you get into the fight, your priorities are going to be Mangle when it's up, Maul if it's up and you have more than about 70 rage, Swipe when you can, and Lacerate all the time, tab around to anyone you don't have a firm hold on, and throw Lacerate around all the time. When you get to a mob with 3 stacks of Lacerate on it already, don't Lacerate more, PULVERIZE! YAY! Here's why: In theory, you could just roll Lacerate forever, but the bleed effect is not the threat machine it used to be. Lacerate's been changed all around. The threat on Lacerate is now very front-loaded. So you roll Lacerate to 3, then Pulverize it off, which is a massive threat move at 3 stacks. Then roll it up again. Excess Lacerates will do decent threat, but really not as much as the combination of Pulverize and a new stack.
Also, the big thing I've noticed since patch is that now that our rage is generated by dodging IN ADDITION to doing damage, I'm much more conscious of mob positioning in relation to me. I want to dodge EVERYTHING, and why would I gimp my rage and my survivability by letting something hit me from behind? I'm back to funneling stuff like I did when I was leveling. And frankly I'm glad to be back to that. It feels comfortable, and familiar. Just standing in the middle of a giant pack always left me vaguely uncomfortable.
So yeah, to recap the changes: No more thorns for 10 minutes, Swipe's on CD, Maul's on CD, we get a new cool thing called Pulverize.... that's it for now in terms of the core bear abilities. There's a whole bunch of other stuff that's changed but most of it is either stuff for out of combat, stuff for out of form, stuff I only use for PVP, blah blah, whatever. I'll talk about those some other time.
At least, that's all there is *for now*. Level 81 is gonna bring something awesome and change-bringing. That thing is Thrash. I'm so excited to get it. It's Swipe 2.0, with a bleed effect! I think we'll find that our AoE threat will become just like before while alternating Swipe and Thrash. There will be a 3-second delay between them, since they're both on 6-second CDs, but that time will be used for probably Lacerates. Lacerate and bleed effects are the new black, friends. And it's awesome.