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Filed under: Druid

Patch 5.4 PTR: The Rise of Riposte and other tank changes

Patch 54 PTR The Rise of Riposte and other tank changes
Okay, before we get into it, always remember this is datamined information from the next PTR and none of it is guaranteed to make it live. That being said, there are some interesting changes in the pipeline for tanks in patch 5.4, not the least of which is the creation of Riposte, an ability for warriors and death knights. The reason Riposte is interesting is because it seems to be a means to convert parry and dodge into critical strike, which means several things. First, you'll be less likely to stack critical strike as a tank (warriors were at least thinking about it with the change to Enrage, including Shield Slam and Devastate) and secondly, it makes those purely defensive stats work as threat generators, increased the low tank DPS of the warrior tank (and perhaps the DK tank as well, although I'd not heard any complaints about low DK tank DPS) and it must be noted, is not an ability that druid, paladin or monk tanks will be getting.

I find this very interesting, especially combined with the changes to Dark Command, Reckoning, Growl and Taunt. All of these abilities will now not only force a target to attack the tank in question, but will also increase her threat by 200% for 3 seconds. This means that, even if you are tanking a boss or mob that you already have threat on, these four abilities will still increase your threat overall when used, meaning that if you hit a taunt while tanking it will still have a positive effect on your threat. It's worth noting that hunter pet Growl works exactly the same - hunter pets will also get the extra 200% threat over the three seconds.

We're clearly not even remotely done with tweaks and fixes in patch 5.4, but by themselves these changes suggest that tanking is definitely going to see its fair share. The change to taunts is the biggest change to how taunting works that has ever happened, and the inclusion of Riposte goes one step further towards making avoidance also provide threat.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives: Spending feral VP in 5.3

Shifting Perspectives Spending feral VP in 53
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we spend our Valor Points at the corner store.

Patch 5.3 is here, the item upgrade vendors have returned, and it's time to talk about everybody's favorite things; gear. What are the pixels I can pick to push my kitty to the top of the heap? Let's take a look.

Weapons and trinkets first

As a feral, getting a good weapon is your highest priority. It's the jelly to your peanut butter, the ketchup to your french fries...okay, I may be hungry, but you get the point, it's a necessary complement to ensuring you can be an effective damage dealer. You have four choices for weapons; three drops from Throne of Thunder (Shan-Dun, Breaker of Hope, Jalak's Maelstrom Staff, or the Darkwood Spiritstaff) and the weapon with a legendary socket from 5.0, Gao-Rei. The differences in the ToT weapons are fairly minor, so just get the best you can, and upgrade it ASAP. If you can't get into ToT yet, the +500 agility from the legendary gem on Gao-Rei makes it a worthwhile fill-in. Oh, and if you've completed Chapter II of the legendary quest and received an Eye of the Black Prince, don't forget to buy another one when you get a weapon upgrade.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 5.4

Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 54
Yes, patch 5.3 isn't even out yet, and we're already looking towards patch 5.4. Thanks to Ghostcrawler, we have this to think about for the future, namely that Vengeance is getting capped at a significantly lower threshold in raids in the future. If you remember back at August of last year, Vengeance saw some significant changes that increased how fast it could ramp up in raids and also gave it a far larger maximum potential. It's been adjusted over time, but in general what GC said back last August has held true -- tank DPS in raiding really did go up. To the point where on some pulls it's not unusual to see tanks leading the DPS, sometimes by extremely large numbers.

Since this is a big change that will drastically lower tank damage output (25-man tanks with their 600,000 or more health buffed will lose roughly 300,000 AP on fights where Vengeance was capping at 100% of their health) I'm not surprise it won't be coming in 5.3 -- I am a little surprised it's happening at all, because we all knew Vengeance and tank damage would do exactly what it has done when it was changed. Still, I wait to observe if it has much practical difference since aside from AoE tanking where a multitude of hits can roll in a short window of time (that 20 second ramp up period) and the tanks can make effective use of all that AP I'm not sure it will matter. 5-mans and scenarios were not mentioned, so for now I'm assuming this is only for the raids mentioned.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Should you play a druid in WoW?

Should you play a druid in WoW
Just getting started in World of Warcraft and not sure what you want to do? Or maybe you've been playing for a while but aren't sure which class you like best. We're here to help by taking a look at what each class can do and leading you to the right one. Today, we're talking druids.

Druids harness the powers of nature to help their friends or harm their foes. They can wield magic to harm like a mage or heal like a priest and can shapeshift into animal forms to dive into melee fighting. Like the monk and paladin, druids are a hybrid class that can fill any role in the game they wish: if you play a druid, you have the flexibility to do whatever you please. But are you up to the task of wielding the raw elemental power of nature? We'll take a look at just what druids can do and try to decide if it's the right class for you.

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Filed under: Druid, WoW Rookie

Resto druids vs. the world 2: War harder

Resto druids vs the world, round two War harder TUE
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we may hate numbers, but oh, they add so much to our lives.

Story time!

I first got a lesson on how to read healing meters while raiding Serpentshrine Cavern. One of our healers, an otherwise very competent holy priest, consistently ran OOM early on Morogrim Tidewalker and was next to useless during the final phase of the fight. The head of the heal team took an hour to look over the logs, and decided to give me a lesson on how to read them while doing so. It quickly became apparent that the priest was unwittingly covering for a resto shaman, who not only wasn't pulling his weight, but also seemed to take an unusual amount of damage.

"Why aren't you doing anything during the add phases?" asked the head, a paladin.

"Because our off-tank can't hold aggro for s$#t and I'm tired of dying to murlocs."

This was actually true. Our head healer pondered for a moment. "Can't you just Chain Heal after he's already gotten all the murlocs?"

"No, I die that way too. And we have to save BoP for the clothies who have to AOE the murlocs." Also true.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Spring cleaning

Shifting Perspectives The sound and the furry
Every week (sort of), WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, the bookmarks folder gets the root cellar treatment.

I've been away from the game since the holidays due to what I will politely refer to as technical difficulties. (I have a variety of impolite terms for it too, but this is a family blog.) During that time, I've watched the game from the sidelines and have grown bored enough to do some maintenance on stuff that usually gets ignored until I'm rooting through it in a hurry. Add-ons were updated, dead blog links were sent to their folder, interesting ones were added, and then I turned to my collection of bookmarks in order to prune there as well.

I have a pretty sizable cache of druid or druid-related links that's grown over the years, and a lot of them are still pretty interesting. In the absence of the ability to talk about what's actually happening in the game with any fluency, I thought it might make a decent stopgap Shifting. This is a selection that's kept me absorbed for many an hour on a snowy weekend, and it ranges from comparisons between druid and warrior tanks in the classic game to where you fall on a healer's priority list when you're a jackass.

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

Ghostcrawler and Daxxarri talk classes in patch 5.2

mage talents screenshot
With the advent of patch 5.2, World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg Street "Ghostcrawler" and Community Manager Daxxarri have been posting a series of class overviews and changes. Part one went up on Tuesday, covering death knights, druids, and hunters. Part two was posted Wednesday evening and covers mages, paladins, and priests. Part three, on rogues, shaman, and warlocks, went up yesterday evening, and part four, covering warriors and monks, was posted earlier today. For many classes, most of the changes involve PvP balancing as well as trying to improve a number of talents in some way to make them more useful and thus more attractive to players, at least situationally. If you're curious about either the philosophy of class balance design or just want to know what happened to your class this patch, make sure to check it out.

What I love about these posts is that little glimpse of insight they provide into the thought process that goes into balancing the class mechanics in a game like World of Warcraft. I'll be honest, I'm glad I'm not one of the people involved in that job. To me it seems like an endless headache to try and make sure all classes are different enough to feel unique, but similar enough such that a raid or dungeon group isn't punished for lacking one indispensable class, and I wouldn't have the patience for it. But I certainly admire and respect those who do!

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, News items, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler and Daxxari present Patch 5.2 Class Reviews

If you're wondering how your class has changed in patch 5.2, Blizzard's Ghostcrawler and Daxxari have joined forces to give you details on exactly that. This installment covers Death Knights, Druids and Hunters, so it's working alphabetically in case you're wondering where your class is.

While the patch notes serve to give you the details on the changes, this series of posts exists to give you the motivation and reasoning behind the changes to the classes. Why did they buff this or nerf that? The motivations towards each change are explained in detail, letting you get a sense of just what's going on for you in patch 5.2.

Ghostcrawler and Daxxari - Patch 5.2 Class Review Part 1
In terms of talent adjustments, while we're still happy overall with the Mists of Pandaria talent overhaul, we do recognize that there were some talents that weren't tuned as well as they could be or just weren't attractive. That's not to say that all talents should be all things to all players all the time; some talents are situationally quite attractive, and we're happy with those. On the other hand, others just never see much use and we would rather provide players real options for each talent tier.


Part one is up now, so keep an eye peeled to the official site for more.

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Death Knight, Mists of Pandaria

Should Moonglade return to being the druid's Peak of Serenity?

Should Moonglade return to being the druid's Peak of Serenity
Leveling up a monk is good fun and rather speedy. Starting from level 20, monks can complete daily quests that allow them to practice key skills and also reward an experience buff that stacks up to 48 hours. All they have to do is use their Zen Pilgrimage skill to send their spirits to the Peak of Serenity and interact with their Monk trainers. No other class has this kind of training, but the druids used to have something similar in Moonglade.

Once upon a time, leveling up a druid was much more difficult than it is now, and arguably more fun. Each form had a class quest to go with it and the Moonglade teleport spell was used to get these quests, as druids needed to speak to the druid trainers in the Cenarion Circle in order to advance as a shape-changer. Granted, the Aquatic Form quest was a royal pain, but it was a rite of passage that I thought made sense. There were no daily quests, nor was there repeated training as to how to use the forms, but the class quests did make advancing as a druid more rewarding.

I think they should revamp Moonglade to return it to its former glory and use the Peak of Serenity as a model for training druids how to use their forms and other key skills.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Monk

Shifting Perspectives: An early look at 5.2 for druids

Shifting Perspectives An early look at 52 for druids

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we discuss the future.

Happy New Year!

Hmm. I guess I'm a little late for that. Anyway, my no-notice household move is mostly complete, and I've finally had a chance to start breaking down the new changes for druids in 5.2. With the exception of Feral PvP, things look pretty positive across the board, so let's dive in!

Cyclone a-no-no

Cyclone is the crowd-control effect that everyone loves to hate. Unlike the vast majority of other CC effects in the game, Cyclone does not share a diminishing return category with other effects, meaning you could couple it with another CC from a teammate to lock down an enemy target for a long period of time. By itself, this wasn't the end of the world. While a "clone" was powerful, it had a short range and a cast time, making it difficult to land in the first place.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Patch 5.1: Treant Form now combustible

Patch 51 Treant Form now combustible
Apparently, we haven't seen the last of self-immolating lumber. Back in Firelands, the Moonkin 2-piece bonus allowed you to summon Burning Treants to attack your foes. Blizzard wasn't content with that, however, and took the next step: As of patch 5.1, treant form can now catch on fire. Yes, fire.

As discovered by Sunfyre of Sunfyre's Nest, simply activate Treant Form and gain the Cozy Fire buff from a basic campfire to see the theatrics. Have fun igniting your druids! (Sadly, paladins remain incombustible.) And, above all else, remember this: we didn't start the fire.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Druid

Resto druids vs. the world: Healer balance in tier 14

Resto druids vs the world Healer balance in tier 14
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Today, it isn't enough that mistweavers are taking our gear -- now they're taking our jobs.

The beginning of an expansion is usually a bad time to write deep, meaningful, and typically pompous posts on the "state of the class" and whither the druid and all that crap. For that matter, the beginning of Mists of Pandaria struck me as an especially bad time, because so much of what we were used to in WoW got changed and sent everyone scrambling. Toss in a brand-new hybrid class (the monk), and you've got the perfect storm of elements that make evaluating healer performance a dicey proposition at best. I poured myself a nice cocoa, kept an eye on World of Logs and Raidbots, and watched as the numbers rolled in and a legion of holy priests tore their garments and cried out in despair.

Given that patch 5.1's now live, it seems an appropriate time to swirl that cocoa, take a look at how healers did in tier 14, and ask what's likely to change. As of now, it seems apparent that:
  • Holy priests were actually right.
  • Monks kicked your dog, seduced your mom, stole your XBox, and drove off in your car.
  • Paladins are still topping the charts on certain encounters, but they're no longer dominating all of them.
  • Shaman have improved a lot from their lackluster performance in Dragon Soul.
  • Resto druids are back in same boat we were in at the beginning of Cataclysm, and it's not a very nice boat.
Just for fun, here's a Shifting I wrote almost a year ago on healer balance in Dragon Soul, if you'd like to see how classes fared in the last tier of raid content.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Reforging guardian druids for dummies (or better yet, crit)

Shifting Perspectives Guardian druids and the great reforge debate
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, a cheerful question-and-answer session comes to a screeching halt.

The following is a partial transcript of questions I have received ingame or via email since the launch of Mists of Pandaria, accompanied by their answers:
  • What's the hit cap for bear tanks now? Versus a level 93 raid boss, it's 2,550, or 7.5%. If you're only running heroics, it's 2,040, or 6%. Thanks, Arielle!
  • What the hell is going on with resto in raids? I don't know, but I suspect it's a version of the problem that plagued resto in the early days of Cataclysm. More on this next week when I've looked at more World of Logs parses. In the meantime, don't forget that other healers' (cough, monks) being overpowered renders us underpowered only by comparison.
  • Do I need to worry about the "hard" expertise cap? Eh. It should be fairly easy to reach the soft cap (or get close to it) once you're sitting on heroic-level gear. After that, whatever expertise you get up to the hard cap is gravy, because if your rage income is enough to keep Savage Defense at maximum uptime, additional expertise won't really have a serious impact on your survivability.
  • How do you get blood out of a shirt? Hydrogen peroxide.
  • (From my raid leader) When will our scrub-ass warlock get to 90 so we can raid? I don't know, sir.
And the last:

How should I reforge my bear tank?

(Fidgets.) Uh, well ...

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral druid macros of power

Shifting Perspectives Druid macros of power
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we automate (legally!)

So, you might have seen references to macros, macro-ing, or other mac-type things (the non-cheesy variety) in my latest column, and wanted to know just what I'm on about. I've combed through my personal setup, the macro discussion threads over at Fluid Druid, and the excellent tips at Macro WoW to lay down some (automated) beats.

Before we begin, though, a quick introduction/refresher. Macros are an in-game method of grouping up commands or actions so they can be used in a more efficient way. To create a macro, you open the macro UI pane (/macro), type or cut-and-paste the macro text into the field. pick an icon if necessary, and save it. This saves the macro text to an icon that can be dragged to an actionbar, just like one of your regular spells. Macros have two main limitations; they can only be 255 characters or less, and they can only execute one ability on the global cooldown per click. Other than that, go wild! (Just don't miss the litter box.)

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Druid leveling and talents in Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives Druid leveling and talents in Pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we grind.


Okay, I know this column is a little behind the Mists of Pandaria power curve. That said, if you happened to fall in love with another class (coughMonkcough) for leveling this time around, and you've just now leveling to 90...here's some tips. And yes, that's a moonkin on a mechanostrider by a fish. Why? Isn't it obvious?

Before your arrival in Pandaria

Well, that depends on what level your gear is at. If you didn't play significantly at endgame in Cataclysm, you'll find that the enemies get a lot stronger as soon as you hit ground in Jade Forest. You'll get pieces of 378 green gear as you proceed through the early quests, but if you're still rocking Mount Hyjal greens like some of my alts, you may want to look at picking up some Misthide crafted leather items from the auction house. If none are available, you can also ride to Dawn's Blossom and visit the gear vendor there for some starter pieces. You can skip this if you choose, but in that case expect the initial quests to be fairly difficult, and you won't have the item level to queue for dungeons right away.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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