How could they do this to me... I swear I'm going to spend the next month perfecting my bars only to learn a few new abilities getting to 85 and be screwed all over again. Ok probably not that bad.
The problem is that cat form and bear form only get 12 action bar slots, but there are a few more than 12 abilities unique to each of those forms. This has been true forever, but with creative use of macros it was possible to get everything to fit. Combining stealth only cat abilities into other abilities with macros solved the problem for cats and bears really didn't have a problem although sticking maul into macros was convenient.
My cat bar was perfectly filled and I mean perfectly, in comes skull bash which destroys the order of my feline universe. Cat DPS is pretty high paced you really do need everything at your fingertips, especially when considering PVP. Skull bash is likely going to knock dash off the bar, not the end of the world as dash is on a relatively long cooldown and clicking the ability wouldn't kill me. Having a real live honest to goodness interrupt goes a long way towards appeasing me.
Still I really don't like having abilities on my bars that don't apply to my current form. I already have a sprint/nitro boost slot tucked away on my action bars I use for my rogue and engineers, but those are always active. My plan is to macro it to enter cat form if not already in it and otherwise cast dash.
/use [noform:3] Cat Form; Dash
I'll show the tooltip and icon for dash all the time since it would be confusing to see another cat form icon somewhere and have it change all the time.
The bear bar is a whole different story. I want 2 more slots than currently available. Worse than that I want both of those slots highly accessible. I want to shove faerie fire, maul, mangle, lacerate, pulverize and growl in the space of 4 keys. No I don't like modifiers. It is a little ridiculous really that bear form has more buttons to push than is required for cat DPS. I've already compromised and took the duplicate faerie fire off my bear bar since I have it hanging out in F1 which I use in cat form. It's a little reach, but doable. That leaves 5 abilities and four buttons. The only choice really is to macro maul into my abilities again, but this time rather than not maul when a modifier is pressed I will only mail when a modifier is pressed.
I'm not sure what the reasoning behind giving bears 7 buttons to hit more or less every 6 seconds (I included swipe in addition to the 6 I mentioned earlier). Even mid fight after all the growling and faerie firing is finished there are still 4 or 5 abilities being spammed out the wazoo depending on whether it's single target or AOE. Pretty much all other classes and specs have 3 or 4 tops. I think the bear rotation is more complicated than the cat rotation now and you also have to tank on top of that. I'm sure with some practice it will become seconds nature, but at first glance it seems a bit much. Oh and don't forget at 81 we get yet another AOE ability, thrash, to add into the mix for a total of 8 buttons to spam, 4-6 mid fight. That one is pretty self explanatory and just gets castsequence macroed with swipe, but how stupid is that to have two abilities to do pretty much the same thing.
To add insult to injury for bears, thorns can't be cast in forms despite the new short duration. It is good for the start of a pull maybe, but totally useless most the time unless you want to get smushed caught tanking in caster form. Pretty stupid that the only form that was meant to get hit is the one that can't use thorns. Casters who shouldn't ever get hit can use it just fine though, go figure. They should have just removed it for what it was worth.
I heard a rumor that bear tanking now more closely resembles warrior tanking my next step is to check out how warriors are handling their abilities. Do they even have as many?