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Shifting Perspectives: Dude, where's my armor?

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, takes a brief look at the changes to Feral Bear armor in the upcoming Patch 3.0.

Welcome back, my furry, feathery and barky brothers and sisters!

Last week, I did a brief rundown of the many ways the Feral Druid mechanics are going to change in Patch 3.0 and Wrath of the Lich King.

This week, I'm going to touch briefly on the changes to tanking changes and bear armor in general, and how they may change the way we view our class.

Oh, and by the way... finding a picture of a slightly stoned-looking bear wasn't as easy as I expected. The lengths I'll go to for a joke!

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: A brief taste of Bear Tanking in 3.0

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, takes a brief look at what we can expect as Bear tanks, right now, when Patch 3.0 goes live. And prepares for the onslaught of QQ.

The release of Wrath of the Lich King is still a long ways away, but Patch 3.0 could drop, technically, at any time.

With the announcement that today will see some hardware upgrades to the servers, it's unlikely it'll be now. But it might very well happen next Tuesday.

I've been holding off on any real discussion of the class changes that are coming, because things are liable to shift at any time.

Let's be honest, there are always some people that seem to have a tendency to panic at any change, and start calling anything new or anything unchanged a 'slap in the face', or 'the death of our tanking viability', or whatever. I would much prefer waiting until the situation stabilizes before opening the discussion up to rants.

But that's really not fair to all the Feral Druids that may not be following the Beta forums or PTR discussions closely, but have heard that with Patch 3.0 a lot will change for our class.

So I'm going to try to briefly hit the highlights of how our class will change, in terms of Feral Bear Tanking, since that is where the group dynamic is affected the most for Ferals.

Read on, my friends, read on!

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Dealing with Crushing Blows

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives is supposed to explore issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, does what no one seems to want, and discusses playing a druid in the game as it is still known, rather than the expansion that is still two months away. Although it is likely Wrath of the Lich King will worm it's way in somehow.

I'd like to take a minute to talk about a mechanic that has defined the Feral Druid tanking philosophy, even though you might not know it.

I'm talking here about Crushing Blows.

A Crushing Blow is an attack made only by NPCs that does 150% of normal attack damage.

A Crushing Blow can happen if the NPC you are fighting has a base weapon skill 15 or more points higher than your base defense skill. Base defense skill is the only thing that counts towards the chance of a Crushing Blow; Defense Rating and Expertise are of no help whatsoever.

At level 70, if you are fully trained up, your defense and weapon skills should be 350 each.

Raid Bosses are level 73. They have 365 weapon skill. That's 15 weapon skill points higher than your possible defense.

Do you see the connection, my friends? If you are main tanking a raid boss that is level 73, then you are susceptible to Crushing Blows

As you might expect, tanks wish to know how to avoid taking these suddenly massive chunks of damage, if at all possible.

You may have heard before that Paladins and Warriors can "push Crushing Blows off the table", but you might not know what that means, exactly.

What kind of table is it? A nice mahogany? Teak? Perhaps inlaid parquet? Are they pushed off the table vigorously, so that they clatter all over the floor?

You may also have heard that having your attacks Parried by a raid boss can cause BAD THINGS to happen, especially if you can suffer from Crushing Blows.

Well, let's talk about this whole thing a little more after the break, shall we?

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Bosses, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Having fun with all Druid runs!

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, takes a trip down memory lane, and looks once more at the crazy hijinks Druids get up to.

In the months before Burning Crusade was released, when players knew that the raiding rules were about to change and a new game-changing patch was imminent that would cause everyone to re-examine their specs and gear choices, many guilds eased up on the raiding focus a bit.

As the focus on raiding changed for some guilds, and players suddenly had a bunch of extra time on their hands, folks that had been raiding relaxed and looked for new ways to have fun.

Being WoW players, the desire to try new and wacky things just for the heck of it flourished.

Dire Maul tribute runs, Baron Rivendare speed mount run competitions, naked gnome raids on Hogger, and many other antics were seen.

Of all the classes out there, though, In my opinion, players that roll Druid style just seem to look for more fun and crazy ways to goof around and try to take on stuff together.

Sure, I'm biased. But while there are plenty of hybrid classes in the game, it just seems that it's always the Druids that I hear about going off and trying crazy things together.

For example, look at the evidence of Druid fun and games, from before the Burning Crusade as seen in this video from back in November of 2006.

More recently, of course, we had the infamous Murder of Crows that swept Dark Iron, terrorizing the Horde server wide. As far as I know, the Penny Arcade Alliance of guilds remain unchallenged after that one.

Doesn't that look like a lot of fun?

Well, here we are at the same point in the life of the game, where a new game-changing patch is imminent, a huge expansion of goodness is coming soon, and some raiders are relaxing a bit in anticipation... and looking for different ways to have fun.

Continue on after the break for more neat all Druid hijinks!

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Filed under: Druid, Guilds, Raiding, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral Druid advice for Karazhan Part 2

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, continues to offer up some tips for new feral Druids that aspire to Karazhan greatness... or who at least want to have some idea of what they can expect.

Last week, we talked about preparing for Karazhan as a feral Druid.

Okay, enough of the preparation. It's time for some fun!

The first question often asked is, what will your main role in the raid be?

The typical answer; it varies, depending on your group.

Okay, enough of the safe answers, I'm going to actually make my own recommendations and give you my own opinions for playing a feral Druid in Karazhan.

As I haven't raided in content more difficult than Gruul and Magtheridon, I invite the more experienced Druids in the community to offer your own suggestions on this part in the comments. But as I am still weekly leading friends into Karazhan as a feral Druid (and a Shadow Priest), these are the things I have learned along the way.

So, what roles can you, the feral Druid, expect to play?

Over the course of one Karazhan run, you could expect to main tank, off-tank, melee DPS, AoE DPS and heal. Yes, all in the same run. Seriously.

So wipe that "I got a tank set, lols I is ready" thought out of your mind.

Continue on after the break!

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: A Feral Druid's Advice on Karazhan Part 1

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, tries to roll a bunch of feral druid advice together to help new druids get up to speed in Karazhan.

"Hi, I'm Windshadow, and I'm a Feral Druid."

This is a statement of pride, not of shame.

I am absolutely, now and forever, a feral Druid, unable to be restrained or 'tamed'... although I'm aware some folks suffer from a case of wishful thinking.

In the past, I've released a bunch of articles about gearing up for Karazhan.

Breaking them up by spec like I did, I'm afraid some folks might get the wrong idea about how we play our class.

The assumption may be that only one of those sets is important to you... if you are a feral Druid, you only need a bear tanking set, for example. Even some of those that play Druids may start to think, we have only one fixed role in a run.

That's not the impression I wanted to give.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Epic Dolls and Phaelia on all things Druid

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, encourages you to check out a wonderful podcast that spent an entire recent episode talking about our fun filled class.

I wanted to take a moment to cast the spotlight on a wonderful World of Warcraft related podcast that recently devoted an entire episode, Episode 43 to be exact, to a fun-filled discussion of all things Druid, and even had Phaelia, writer of Resto4Life, on as a special guest!

Epic Dolls is the name of the podcast, as well as the name of the guild on Perenolde server Horde side which is home for many of the podcasts' hosts, cast and crew.

Epic Dolls bring a fresh perspective and a lot of positive energy to their podcast, and I find it a joy to listen to.

Read on after the break for more on the podcast, the Epic Dolls, and a brief Q and A with Leala Turkey, host of the show!

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Podcasting, Virtual selves, Guilds, Classes, Interviews, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your Moonkin for Kara Part 2

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, brings the second part of our Moonkin gear guide with Nasirah, the Moonkin master, the driving force behind A Tale of Two Druids until her terminal altitis took over. Now, she writes Alts Ahoy, but she danced like a Moonkin once more to share her wisdom for this guide.

This week we complete our two part Moonkin gear guide for preparing for Karazhan.

In part one, we covered most of the basics about gear choices, and the reader comments that followed offered excellent additional advice. This week, since we are covering Belt slots through Weapons and Idols, there are just a few more notes to cover before we begin.

A few notes about weapons:

If your guild already has Kara on farm and you're just getting your character ready to join in, you may expect to get upgrades fairly quickly. The Staff of Inifinite Mysteries drops from Curator and the Nathrezim Mindblade drops from Prince, so some of the epic weapons listed here may not be worth the effort to attain. However, to the character whose entire guild is now getting ready to start Kara, or simply someone who has the time/gold to spare and wants the best gear they can get, the options are certainly there.

Also worth mentioning, is that while the majority of Season 2 PvP gear is worth looking at for any equipment slot you feel weak in, the weapons available from Season 2 really shine. Even the Season 1 weapons blew most pre-Kara options away, and now that Season 2 is available for honor, it's really no contest. But, if you don't enjoy PvP, these other avenues for gear are perfectly acceptable; these are the weapons that people were "meant" to be using when going into Kara for the first time.

And of course, when upgrading from a 1H/off-hand to a staff, be sure to hold onto those two items. You never know when you might get a really awesome 1H weapon or off-hand that will make the combo better than your staff.

And now, let's get on to the gear!

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Filed under: Druid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Guides, Alts, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Preparing your Moonkin for Karazhan Part 1

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, finally brings some death chicken love with Nasirah, the Moonkin master, the driving force behind A Tale of Two Druids until her terminal altitis took over. Now, she writes Alts Ahoy, but she donned the feathery mantle of Moonkin once more to share her wisdom for this guide.

According to Nasirah, knowing when you are ready for Kara is much easier for tanks and healers. Tanks have certain stats they need to strive for in order to not get killed. Healers have certain stats they need to strive for in order to not let their tanks die.

As a damage caster, however, you personally need a certain amount of stamina to survive splash damage, but the group as a whole needs to have the DPS to beat an encounter within a given time frame (either an enrage timer built into the encounter, or simply before the healers' mana runs dry).

This means that people just entering Karazhan for the first time will probably be on the low end of damage output, while veterans who just need a couple more drops or are running for badges will be on the high end. It's a team effort, and you should talk to your raid leader if you want to know how you're contributing.

But you still need to have some idea of what goal you should be aiming for to help you know when you're ready to 'bring the goods'.

Continue on for more on what to look for, what goals to set and a list of gear to hunt!

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Filed under: Druid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Guides, Alts, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your Resto Druid for Kara Part 2

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, presents the second part to the Resto Druid gear guide to help you prepare for Karazhan, with the haelp of the lovely and talented 4 Haelz.

Welcome to the second and final part of our guide to gearing up your Resto Druid in preparation for entering the fabled black gate of Karazhan.

Today we pick right back up where we left off last week, by jumping into gear lists, starting with Belts and carrying on through until we're done.

Whether you are a hopeful raider looking for ways to improve your gear, or a seasoned raider about to take a nostalgic trip through the past items you've now grown out of, I hope there will be something of use for you in the lists still to come.

So let's head on in and take a look!

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Alts, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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