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Posts with tag Feral-Druid

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

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: 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

Shifting Perspectives: 5.0.4 changes for feral and balance druids

Shifting Perspectives 504 changes for feral and balance druids SUN
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, NUMBER 5 IS ALIVE!

The patch is coming! The patch is coming! Run around screaming wildly! Right. Anyway, if you're just coming back to WoW, here's everything new you'll need to know to get your feral or balance druid up to speed. First I'll hit some of the overall druid changes before drilling down into the spec-specific stuff.

Changes for druids

Feral is no longer a tank/DPS specialization. Yes, bearcatting is officially dead for those who practiced it, though it lives on somewhat in one of our new talents. Feral is now solely melee DPS, and a new spec has been added for bear tanks, guardian.

All the old talent trees are gone. You still pick a specialization at level 10, but instead of a 31-point tree, you now have six tiers of talent choices, with one choice out of three options every 15 levels. With the talent tree deletion came an ability shuffle; many druid abilities that were spec-specific, such as Force of Nature or Feral Charge, have been made into talents that can be used by any spec. For more, read my column on talent tiers 1 through 3 or tiers 4 through 6.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Exploring the Dream of Cenarius playstyle for ferals

Shifting Perspectives A Mists talent analysis for cats and moonkin SUN
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 consider the return of John Madden.

As beta patches came and went, a few long-time feral players quietly began grumbling to me about the new changes coming in Mists. "We didn't get anything new," one murmured. "I don't have to make tough decisions anymore," said another. Meanwhile, the wheels of balance continued turning. Moonkin were attracting the lion's share of the attention with their high-flying damage numbers utilizing Dream of Cenarius, but then feral theorycrafters started calculating how to put it to use ...

The evolution of a talent

Dream of Cenarius, in its first incarnation, was relatively useless to ferals. The "30% damage to next melee ability" buff was only granted for non-instant casts of Healing Touch, which wasn't likely to occur in any typical scenario. Most of the discussion revolved around whether the passive bonuses from Heart of the Wild would outpace the burst damage from Nature's Vigil, given that NV could be stacked with Berserk.

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Filed under: Druid, Mists of Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives: A Mists talent analysis for cats and moonkin, part 2

Shifting Perspectives A Mists talent analysis for cats and moonkin, part 2
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 (still) feel talented.

Last week, I talked about talent tiers 1 through 3; this week, we'll pick up the bottom half. Once again, I apologize in advance for the terrible puns in the subheaders. (They're unbearable, I know.)

Tier 4: Soul of the Force of Nature Incarnate

This tier is both the most interesting tier and the least interesting tier in the list. It's the most interesting, because, well, this one directly affects your DPS, unlike all those other "silly" healing talents. Unfortunately, that also makes it the least interesting, because that means theorycrafters will just figure out what works the best, and everybody picks that one. The best-case scenario is that all the talents end up reasonably balanced, so I'm going to approach this discussion with that in mind.

First up is Soul of the Forest, which is a fairly bland passive talent. For easily distracted people like me, though, passive is good. Passive means "I don't have to do anything special to get a DPS increase out of this thing." Joking aside, it'll probably end up (once the balancing is complete) as narrowly the highest-DPS talent for feral and balance, but only if you get to stay attacking the boss 100% of the time. Any off-DPS time starts to cut into its value significantly.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Why play a druid?

Shifting Perspectives Why play a druid SUN
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 consider our origins.

I've spent a lot of time in Realandia and Monkville lately, so I found myself a bit stuck for a topic to discuss this week. Of course, it was right there the whole time, and it took a note from a follower on Twitter to bring it out: Why not revisit why we play this glorious (no offense, Kormac) class in the first place? After all, if you're planning on switching mains for Mists of Pandaria, now's probably the best time to make that decision.

With that, I bring you: Why druids are awesome.

Shapeshifting Let's face it, who hasn't gone to a zoo, looked at the animals, and said, "Man, wouldn't it be cool if ...?" This, above everything else, is what sells me on the class. I'm not a boring biped casting spells or whacking away with swords. Instead, look! I'm a bear, mauling your face off! Now I'm a panther, pouncing on your face! Now I'm a happy little tree! OK, the metaphor breaks a bit here, but you get the point.

If I'm counting correctly, there are six forms that are open to all specializations: Bear, Cat, Stag/Cheetah, Seal/Orca, Bird, and Treant. (Two of those have options via glyphs, hence the slash.) Two more are open to certain specializations (Tree of Life, Moonkin/Astral), which gives us over 10 different options for "Poof! Now I'm a ..."

The little growl your character gives when you shift into one of the feral forms? Love it -- wouldn't miss it for the world. I always would play cool shapeshifting tricks when tanking, too. I remember back in Naxxramas, I would sneak into the middle of an enemy pack while prowling in cat form, then shift to bear with a yell of "Suddenly, BEAR!" I thought it was funny, anyway.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Relooking at feral and balance druids in Mists of Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives Feral and balance druid updates SUN
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 analyze to theorize.

A few months ago, I posted my initial thoughts on the balance changes and feral changes in the Mists of Pandaria beta. Now that the abilities and numbers have gone through a round of fixes and changes, I'd like to relook at some of my initial concerns and see what problems the specs are still experiencing.

Balance issues

Underpowered single-target rotation, overpowered AoE rotation Thankfully, this has been addressed significantly. This specific issue was touched on by Ghostcrawler in the beta class analysis thread:

Quote:

Actually, is the design intention to have both Eclipses with the same damage output for single targets and AoE?

Actually, no. We're currently intending for Lunar to be slightly better at single target damage and Solar to be AoE damage. When you have time between phases or situations where you can use Astral Communion to quickly switch sides, you should be able to further optimize performance by tailoring which Eclipse you line up with which boss phases. The difference should not be significant enough, however, that in a Patchwerk-style scenario, you are compelled to only DPS in one eclipse.
As a side note, I posted incorrect information about Mushrooms. They DO count as Solar, and we think that's fine.


Of course, now we get to debate what "slightly better" means. Current theorycrafting suggests that Starfire (aka Lunar) and Hurricane (aka Solar) are about 20% better then their counterpart abilities in the other Eclipse. I agree with Graylo that this difference is probably too large and makes Eclipse-twisting feel more mandatory and less like an "optimization." Dropping this to the 5% to 10% range would still allow theorycrafters to come up with optimizations, but it wouldn't be necessary for players to use; they could ignore Astral Communion entirely and still do reasonably well.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion

Shifting Perspectives: Honey cat don't give a ...

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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 gem +10 in awesome.

With apologies to Isaiah Mustafa ...

Take a look at your cat. Now look at me. Now back at your cat. Now back at me. Sadly, your cat isn't me, but if you stopped playing that silly rogue and switched to feral, you could have a cat that looked like me. Look down, back up -- where are you? You're on a boat with an armored cat, the cat your cat could look like. What's in your hand? Back at me. I have it -- it's a clam with patch notes declaring ferals to be epic. Look again; the notes are now the tears of all the classes who wish they could look like me. Anything is possible when you roll feral. Forget horses; I'm a stag.


Yes, I was tempted to end the column right there --but we've got so much good stuff to talk about.

Armored cats

A few weeks ago, Ghostcrawler mentioned that Incarnation would have specific art for cats, bears, and moonkin; in the latest patch, a datamined model showed us what is likely the first example of that. At first, I wasn't too sure about the idea of putting armor on a feral form, but it's really grown on me over the last couple of days. It's obviously difficult to do cosmetic effects for a class that revolves around shapeshifting, but I'm grateful that Blizzard's continuing to add something for forms. I can't wait to see the bear and moonkin armor. (Do moonkin even need armor?)

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Another look at what Symbiosis means for druids


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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 disagree with the world while glorying in the real-life beauty of symbiosis.

So my plan for this week's column was to talk about how balance currently looks in the beta (short version: pretty good), but judging by a quick scan through the beta forums, that's not what druids want to talk about. It's Symbiosis, all the way down ... and judging by the discussion, most people don't like what they're seeing. Allison's already written about it once before, but the topic's grown enough to where it deserves another treatment. (My blog contains a full breakdown of what each class currently gets and receives from the ability, along with more in-depth recommendations and strategy.)

I'll be blunt: I still love the unique concept of Symbiosis, and I think most of the criticism is shortsighted. I do have quibbles about some of the specific abilities. Overall, though, I think that the concept works and will provide access to some entertaining abilities we haven't had previously.

To be fair, however, let's look at some of the more common arguments against Symbiosis and attempt to deconstruct them. One important thing to note: Many of the abilities gained/given from Symbiosis are modified from their original forms, so read tooltips carefully (and realize that many are not updated). The Symbiosis version of Mirror Image, for example, is much weaker than the version used by mages.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: First thoughts on ferals in the Mists of Pandaria beta

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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 practice our looks of genteel disdain.

So, I've been down for a few weeks (pro tip: try not to have an allergy attack and a scratched cornea in the same week; they do not mix well), but I finally got into the beta with last week's big push of Annual Pass members. Unfortunately, now that I've had the chance to give the initial feral changes a spin, I'm a bit concerned with the current design direction for the class. Let me start out on a positive note, though, and talk about the good things that Mists is bringing us.

What I like

The new talents Some of the new talents are great and force tough decisions. The talent design is clearly trying to make you choose between always-on but weak passive abilities, a short-cooldown ability of moderate strength, and a long-cooldown ability of high strength. While some of the talents and tiers need some adjustment, they generally work on a design level.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Mega moonkin, fabu ferals, and Symbiosis specs

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 how fast to deny hunters Symbiosis in exchange for all those taming attempts.

This is apropos of nothing, but I love how the current Incarnation effect for balance druids simply makes them huge. (For comparison, here's the before image, and thanks to Lissanna at Restokin for the screenshots.) This totally reminds me of the first time I got a Mega Mushroom in New Super Mario Bros, actually. "Yes, I'm just going to walk through everything in the level; maybe I'll pick my teeth with the flagpole."

Sadly, this effect isn't going to make it to live. Happily, though, we've got plenty of other stuff to talk about this week, such as several new glyphs and a mostly complete reveal of Symbiosis.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral soloing Ulduar and other dragons in the 4.3 era

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we discuss proper defrosting techniques for animal fur.

As you'll recall, last week we decided that we might need something to do while we're waiting to explore Pandaria, so we decided to go kill things solo in Northrend. Soloing Naxxramas, save a few encounters, isn't too much of a challenge. But Onyxia? Malygos? Ulduar, even? Now we're talking ... or dying -- frequently, as the case may be, while testing these strategies. (If you need a quick primer on how to get up to speed with bearcat soloing, check out the Naxxramas article.)

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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