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Filed under: Druid

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

Shifting Perspectives: The Heart of the Wild and Symbiosis hotfixes

Shifting Perspectives The Heart of the Wild and Symbiosis hotfixes
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 abandon our pretensions.

I knew this was going to happen. I tweeted about it back in August, suggesting that Heart of the Wild was far too powerful for both balance and feral druids; when combined with a weapon swap, the damage potential was significant. Several others warned about it on release, but to no avail, Bosses fell, DPS meters were topped, and all the non-druids complained bitterly. The cry of "Nerf druids!" was heard throughout the land, though most of us were too busy playing PandaFarm to notice.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your restoration druid for Mists of Pandaria heroics

Shifting Perspectives Gearing your restoration druid for Mists of Pandaria heroics
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, masochists eager to heal a pack of early dungeon-runners sort through gear options.

This picture's already a bit dated -- my main's been 90 for about a week now -- but you'll probably find yourself in Mogu'shan Palace for several runs trying to get some useful gear to drop. As an aside, the rush of leveling monks continues apace, and more and more of them will start appearing in your level 85+ groups. Get gear now, people!

As NocturNamos pointed out in last week's article on how to gear a guardian druid for Mists of Pandaria heroics, the ilevel requirement for heroics (or more accurately, queuing for heroics through the dungeon finder) has been lowered to ilevel 435. As such, I've included some ilevel 437 quest rewards in this guide that I didn't think were usable last week.

Again, most of this guide's advice can be condensed to the following points:
  • Quest through the Townlong Steppes and the Dread Wastes.
  • Be prepared to spend some justice points.
  • Farm normal Mogu'shan Palace.
  • If you have a good option available from professions (whether primary or secondary), don't ignore it.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your guardian druid for Mists of Pandaria heroics

Shifting Perspectives Gearing your guardian druid for Mists of Pandaria heroics
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, the four normal dungeons are a fat lot of help.

The subject of today's article is, shall we say, an immediate concern. Due to the demand for tanks and healers in the new 5-mans, my main will hit 90 before she even makes it to the halfway point of questing through the Valley of Four Winds. This is good, because I get to relax and enjoy questing as an extended treat without having to worry about leveling. This is bad, because she's about 20 ilevels off from where she needs to be in order to access Mists of Pandaria heroics.

This guide assumes that you will need an average ilevel of 440 to access heroics, because that was the number Blizzard was using on the beta. (Note: This is only true via the dungeon finder. Nothing prevents you from running out to the new heroics yourself with a group, but either way, 440's a decent number to aim for if you're worried about being sufficiently geared.) There are only four normal MoP dungeons, and only one of them (Mogu'shan Palace) drops gear that will help you clear this threshold.

If I had to condense this guide's advice, it would be:
  • Quest through the Townlong Steppes and the Dread Wastes.
  • Be prepared to spend some justice points.
  • Farm normal Mogu'shan Palace.
  • If you have a good option available from professions (whether primary or secondary), don't ignore it.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Tanking Temple of the Jade Serpent

Tanking Temple of the Jade Serpent
While working on the warrior column this week, I realized I could give you guys a general guide to tanking the various Mists of Pandaria leveling dungeons, so here we go. The dungeons this time out are pretty fun and varied, and not particularly onerous to tank through.

First up is the Temple of the Jade Serpent. It's a lovely dungeon, with just enough bosses and trash to take up about 30 to 40 minutes of your time. What I like most about the temple is how the trash is all linked very specifically to the events of the temple's corruption. Which is totally our fault, by the way. Oops. Sorry, August Celestials. It's up to us to free Yu'lon's temple from the Sha.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Mists of Pandaria feral druid 101 guide

A Misty Catfight The feral druid 101 guide
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 put four on the floor.

Feral (also known colloquially as cat or kitty) is the melee DPS specialization for the druid class. It's styled similarly to a rogue, but instead of sneaking around and using poisons, you just make things bleed. Copiously.

A feral druid's primary resource is energy. It is a 100-point pool that regenerates at 10 energy/sec, in and out of combat, though this rate can be increased with haste, and is used to power your basic attacks. This energy is used to power a variety of attacks, many of which build combo points (abbreviated cp's). Combo points are stored on a target and can stack up to 5; if you change targets and use another cp-generating attack, the stored points are lost. These points are used for powerful finishing moves.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Mists of Pandaria

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