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Posts with tag Tranquility

Level 90 druid talents take a level in badass; shapeshifting breaks roots again

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday was supposed to be an "off" week for the column, but screw that.

You know what? I think I finally nailed why the druid experience on the Mists of Pandaria beta has felt so bizarre at times. We've seen the re-emergence of stuff we used to take for granted (shifting out of roots and the return of permatree among them), and you know what it all reminds me of? Someone once described the boot camp experience as one in which "all of your God-given rights are stripped, only to be doled back later, one by one, as privileges." Yep. That's what this is like.

Anyway, Ghostcrawler hit the forums last night to give us some news on a revamped set of level 90 druid talents that have completely altered the ratio of win to suck in the bracket.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Synergizing with druids and shaman

shaman paladin druid
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

When I asked my favorite restoration shaman (David the shaman) what the resto spec's weaknesses were, he had listed off several areas he'd like to see improved. I posed the same question to a restoration druid, and he replied back with an emphatic "There isn't one!" Restoration druids are currently the most powerful healers in the game, and by a large margin.

Every other healing class might pale in comparison to a druid's massive HPS capabilities, but resto druids aren't the indomitable healers that they might think themselves to be. Holy paladins have a diverse and robust toolkit of spells that allows us to complement restoration druids and shaman. We can focus on each class' strengths and weaknesses to choose our healing spells and strategies effectively. We learned how the two priest healing specs vary and how to work with each, and now we'll cover the two restoration healers.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Shifting Perspectives: Why the tank Q&A sucked

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we started writing this column last Wednesday.

Don't get me wrong: It's not that I don't like the developer Q&A sessions. They're a great idea, and although they don't make up for Ghostcrawler's absence from the forums, they're a nice insight into the developers' thought process and a peek at the issues that matter most to players. The effort's appreciated even when players ask pointless questions (of which the need to do so appears to be a congenital disorder) or use the opportunity to grandstand about issues no one cares about.

But the tank Q&A was ... not Blizzard's best effort. To borrow a phrase from Harry Knowles, I love hard-working Blizzard, I'm blown away by creative Blizzard, and I'm in awe of big-dreaming and overreaching Blizzard.

But I freaking hate lazy Blizzard.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Bear and resto druid changes ahead for patch 4.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, we look at the patch 4.1 PTR and, when so inclined, drink heavily.

Hail, druids. We've got another exciting patch coming up, and this week I wanted to take a look at the changes currently in store for both bear and tree druids (with a few notes that inevitably touch on cats as well, as some feral changes are pretty general).

And far be it from me to omit the most important change:

Zarhym
Prowl has a new icon.

Well, thank God for that.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Restoration 101

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, a quick and dirty guide to raising one's tree from a young sapling to a mighty oak, or other suitably impressive arboreal species.

Whenever other columnists here write really good columns, I sit at my computer and swear a blue streak, for I am a jealous god. Sacco, damn him, turned out a great article on the basics of elemental shamans, and for a while I've been kicking around bits and pieces of 101-esque columns for all four druid specs. This was the last shove I needed to get that done. While I expect our new balance blogger (a.k.a. Murmurs, the person I will be forcing to do all my number-crunching in the future with bribes or, when necessary, threats) will address moonkin, I'll cover bears, cats, and today, trees.

A quick note on what I want to accomplish here: I'm addressing this to people with no prior knowledge of the spec who want the tools to become reasonably competent healers quickly. By necessity, that means we're going to gloss over a few finer points; this is a cheat sheet, not an encyclopedia. When I say (for example) that Improved Tranquility needs to be dragged out behind a barn and killed with an axe, I'm not going to spend paragraphs explaining why that is, or examining situations where you could actually get some use from it. If you think I've glossed over something truly important, please drop a comment and I'll direct readers to anything they really need to know.

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

Patch 3.3 PTR: WoW moves towards shorter cooldowns

If you checked the most recent Patch 3.3 PTR patch notes, a comparison of spells would show that Blizzard has reduced a lot of spells' cooldowns by a notable amount. This makes a significant impact on the playing environment on numerous levels, as most of these spells on long cooldowns were long considered to be powerful abilities whose use were once thought situational.

These shorter cooldowns will see more abilities in play, figuring more into dungeons, questing, or world PvP. Most of these abilities still won't see action in Arenas, where the allowable spells have been limited to abilities with cooldowns below ten minutes (down from fifteen). The change appears to be a direct result of many spell cooldowns being reduced.

This continues a trend in shortened cooldowns, reflecting what Ghostcrawler said in one thread about how Blizzard "in general (has) been moving away from long cooldowns, anyway." Players saw this when the iconic long-cooldown ability Lay on Hands -- an inevitable Patch 3.3 candidate for a nerf -- became usable every 20 minutes from a formerly mind-numbing one hour. More abilities are now being adjusted to be usable more often and, when necessary, balanced accordingly. Check out the full list after the jump.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Patch 3.3 PTR: Undocumented druid changes


Our esteemed colleague Boubouille has datamined some undocumented changes to druids on the patch 3.3 PTR, so while I'm waiting for it to download (53 more minutes.../sigh), let's take a look:

BALANCE

NATURE'S GRACE: Now procs from non-periodic spell criticals (old: all spell criticals).

So direct-damage spells (e.g. Wrath, Starfire, Moonfire's initial hit) or direct-healing spells (e.g. Regrowth's initial heal, Nourish) will be the only ones that can trigger the 20% haste effect from 3/3 Nature's Grace. This is definitely a nerf for Balance concerning Starfall and Hurricane crits, but it's also a nerf concerning specific gear sets. Moonfire's DoT component can crit if you're using Balance 2-piece Tier 9, and a Restoration druid rocking 4-piece Tier 9 gains the ability for Rejuvenation to crit.

For Balance's AoE situations and Starfall cooldowns, it's an out-and-out nerf, albeit a limited one given Starfall's cooldown and the unlikelihood of Hurricane playing a major role in any given boss fight. Otherwise, it's also a nerf directed at Tier 9 bonuses, unless Blizzard's planning on future tier bonuses (or class changes) that will make periodic damage and/or healing crits a routine thing. Stay tuned.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Shifting Perspectives: Patch 3.0.8 for Druids

Every Tuesday, or sometimes Friday when the writer's internet has gone AWOL between Sunday evening and Thursday afternoon, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we take a look at the upcoming patch 3.0.8. while penning an angry letter to our ISP.

Greetings, folks. Patch 3.0.8 is coming, bringing a few significant changes for the Druid class. Feral attack power is disappearing from the game entirely alongside bonus armor contribution from non-leather items. Restoration is receiving a nerf in the form of a 6-second cooldown to Wild Growth but is otherwise getting some buffs. Balance is also getting a few buffs, including one that will make a big difference to PvP combat versus Rogues and Hunters. But I think, dear readers, we are overlooking the most important part of patch 3.0.8:

Fixed a bug with a Wild Mustard plant that was under the ground in Dalaran.


Oh, thank God. That drove me nuts.

(Really).

(I'd also love to see them do something about the underground Tiger Lily spawn in Sholazar).

(It's just south of River's Heart).

(Really annoying).

(Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?).

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

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Druid

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the nineteenth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Nature is a system of life energy in constant flow, peaceful one moment and turbulent the next. All living things draw their life from it, and depend upon its balance for their existence. Druids are the protectors of this balance, who harness the energies it contains and try to live their lives according to its laws and principles. In this way, they become intimate members of the natural system, embodying the very force that they seek to protect. The druid is not merely a spellcaster who draws on nature to do cool stuff -- he is nature, in himself, completely one with it in every way. The world is his body, and he is an inseparable part of the whole.

It can be rather hard for those of us living in the concrete jungles of modern city life to get a feeling for what nature really is, or what it feels like to be a part of it. Perhaps if you have ever ventured off the paved highway into the distant reaches of the world, you will know the feeling of connection to the greatness of the natural world in which the human race evolved, long, long ago in a state of mind far, far away from billboards and electronic devices, pop culture and prime-time TV programming. It may no longer be possible for human beings to simply return to its ancient state, nor would that necessarily be a good thing. Today, people look out at the world outside the closed-off bubble of material civilization and wonder their new relationship with the ancient balance of nature could be.

To play a druid in WoW as a class in a game is one thing, but to try and get inside the druid worldview and understand what they might be thinking is something else. To start, it would help to look inside ourselves and see what sort of connection to nature exists there. Is there a balance? What would balance look like? How would it feel to be in complete harmony with the natural world? What would it be like to channel all the power of nature through your body or indeed feel the world itself as an extension of your body?

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Skill Mastery: Mark of Blood


While Blood is not quite as as powerful as it once was, it remains, at the least, a solid DPS tree and one quite a few Death Knights will probably choose to level with. The wide array of self healing abilities means that a Blood Death Knight has a very hard time dying, and nothing interrupts a good grinding session quite like a death.

In Skill Mastery today, we'll look at one of the Blood Death Knight's signature talent abilities, the 21-point talent Mark of Blood. Mark of Blood is placed on an enemy, and every time that enemy deals damage, their target is healed for 4% of their max health. It costs 1 Blood Rune. It lasts for 30 seconds, and has a cool down of 3 minutes.

It's a straightforward skill to use. Throw it on your target and keep fighting. Using it effectively, however, may take a little bit of thought. Here's some tips to figuring out the best way and time to make your mark:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Talents, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.02 for Restoration Druids, part 1

The single biggest change for most restoration Druids with patch 3.02 will be the disappearance of at least four commonly-used PvE and PvP specs:
  • 8/11/42 (the traditional resto PvP spec)
  • 11/11/39 (Resto PvP with Insect Swarm)
  • 13/11/37 (Resto PvP with Insect Swarm and Nature's Reach)
  • 11/0/50 (PvE Tree of Life with Insect Swarm).
The first three are kaputski because Feral Charge is now a 21-point talent in the feral tree, and the last three are bye-bye because Insect Swarm is now a 21-point talent in the balance tree. If you still want talents from the balance tree especially, you'll have a ton of stuff to play with (frankly I ran out of space here to discuss the new restokin specs but we'll cover it as soon as we can), but for the moment we're only going to concern ourselves with stuff squarely in the Restoration tree. Shifting Perspectives later today will have a full run-down on moonkin in patch 3.02 and Wrath. Otherwise, there's still a ton of new stuff for tree Druids in this patch, including a resurrected Tier 3 set bonus, a vastly-improved Tree of Life form, an out-of-combat rez, and an insane +haste buff to two of your most-used spells. If you also want a look at what early 5-man healing in the beta is like as a resto Druid, head here.

Read on for a comprehensive look at the new healing and mana regeneration mechanics, Restoration abilities, talents, and glyphs!

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Talents you hate


My main is a tanking feral druid who respecs to PvP resto pretty regularly (you know you're playing a hybrid class when your local trainer publicly thanks you for financing his boat payments), and every week I find myself staring at my talent calculator wanting to take a shillelagh to Nature's Focus. The Druid restoration tree has a lot of talents that leave you wondering what you're supposed to be using them for, and I nominate this one as winner, class, and show. Which says something, given the number of resto talents there are that either: a). make no sense if you take the 41-point talent Tree of Life, which virtually every raiding resto does, or b). also make no sense if you mostly PvP.

Rant after the cut.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Classes, Talents, Battlegrounds, Arena

Patch 2.3 and you: Druid Edition

With Patch 2.2 out the door, the official information about 2.3 hasn't stopped all afternoon. Here's what's in store for Druids as confirmed on the official forums by blues:
  • Spell damage added to Healing gear. This was hinted at during Blizzcon and confirmed today: All +Heal gear will receive one-third of the healing bonus as +spell damage. So a chest piece with +750 healing will now also have +250 spell damage. The addition of spell damage is a bonus and will not lower any other stat on the equipment. (source)
  • Intensity is changing. Currently, this Restoration talent increases your mana regeneration in combat 5%/10%/15%. After Patch 2.3, the mana regeneration will increase to 10%/20%/30%. (source)
  • Druid combat rez is having its cooldown reduced from 30 minutes to 20 minutes. CM Bornakk went on to confirm that the cooldown will not be reduced any further since that would seriously imbalance PvP. (source)
  • Zul'Aman is ready to go in Patch 2.3. This is important news for druids as some Balance spec itemization issues were promised to be addressed in this 10-man post-Karazhan instance.
  • New relics for Druid, Shaman and Paladin PvP players. Blues didn't have specific details but promised they would be tailored for many different specs. (source 1, source 2)
  • Moonkin's PvP viability will get a boost: they will be able to cast Remove Curse while in Moonkin form. (source)
  • Tree of Life form will be able to cast Cure Poison and Abolish Poison. (source)
  • No changes planned for feral druids in this patch. (source)
What these changes mean to druids after the jump.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, News items

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