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Posts with tag balance-druid-cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: Balance druid gearing and stat break points

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Balance news comes at you every Friday -- learn how to master the forces of nature, and know what it means to be a giant laser turkey! Send your questions, comments, or something you'd like to see to

I think I have said it once before, but I swear I'll end up saying each and every raiding tier: I do not like gear guides, especially best in slot lists. While it is good to have a list of gear that you want and a goal to reach for, aside from Graylo's posts back in Wrath, I have never seen an actual list that is realistic. Yes, it's nice to know what you'll want to have once you've been farming a zone for months, but when you're just starting out, you take what upgrades you can get. Period.

More so now with reforging, getting new gear is a huge PITA, and I've yet to see a gear guide that could actually help a player address those issues. I wouldn't ever expect it to; it's unreasonable to make a contengency plan for every single gearing combination possible. Plus, half the slots are always Get the only pair of X that drops in this raid or Get the tier gear. Duh.

What I do like, however, is information on gearing. Gearing can be tricky, and it's nice to know some of the ropes so that you can make informed gearing choices. With that in mind, let's talk about gearing.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Raiding late Blackwing Descent as a balance druid

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. This week, we'll be mopping up our adventures into a dragon's lair. That's always a fun task ... assuming you don't get eaten. Remember, you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup, so be careful.

Welcome back to another week of basking in the glory of being an overweight hybrid space create that probably belongs in a zoo. Love me some Moonkin and all, but, let's face it people, we're a tad on the fantastical side; and I don't just mean the fact that we shoot crazy green balls of something that only the flying spaghetti monster knows what. In case you missed it, last week's part 1 of Blackwing Descent can be found here.

As an aside, I should say that I am stoked to be a raiding balance druid for the first time in the history of WoW. It was a blessing to be one of only a handful of balance druids raiding back in vanilla, but I always felt that I was really only there because the guild liked me as a player and to prove that it could still be done. TBC was an improvement, but it was never about damage then; we were just group buff bots that offered an increase in group damage while only being mediocre ourselves. Wrath got a lot better where balance was finally recognized for the damage that it could pump out, but we never really had a moment in the sun where we were considered to be a powerhouse DPS spec to the point that a guild felt they were missing something by not having us. Now though? Now I cannot fathom to be a guild without a balance druid, and it's even worth it to have two sometimes! Our damage is more than acceptable; we're far more viable than we ever have been for raiding, and I love it.

So let's talk about downing some bosses, shall we?

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Raiding early Blackwing Descent as a balance druid

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Triple moonkin! All across the sky! It can only mean one thing, that's right kiddies: It's raiding time. Strap on your big boy pants -- things are about to get serious. Seriously.

OMG, OMG, OMG it's here! Yay, I actually did something that I said I would do. This is such a drastic change for me that I think I'll write a whole article on how important this momumentous event is, instead of actually writing about boss tactics and annoying things like that. No? Not feeling it? I suppose I can go ahead with the normal plan, although I think the other idea was much better.

Raiding thus far has been rather hit-or-miss, in my opinion. Perhaps I'm jaded, but many of the encounters feel a tad ... simplistic, or at least far easier than they should be. Certain encounters, and especially the end encounters of all three raids this tier, are tough and fun, but the in-betweens seem a little weak at times -- but again, that's just me. For example, I spent more time wiping on the first boss of Grim Batol when it showed up as my first heroic ever than I did on Magmaw. Maybe that's just us; I don't know.

Whether or not you agree, raiding is about being prepared. We've covered gearing yourself up for raids to death, so let's get on with the second part of those preparations.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: PTR 4.0.6, balance and you

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids.This week, I'm going picture hunting. If you happened to send any in last week, chances are I didn't get them. Our emails over here recently changed, and I can now be reached at So send your pics!

Okay, okay, so I know that I had originally promised to start doing the raiding guide this week, and I was so totally going to do that, but the information that's currently up on the latest PTR is just too juicy to pass up. Like the mythical GC pony, the raid guide will come next week, I promise.

The PTR doesn't hold a lot of information for balance druids overall, but what it does hold is amazingly amazing. (Props to those who know where that one comes from.) There are a few nerfs, and they come in areas where we really needed buffs instead, but there are quite a number of buffs out there as well that can certainly whet the palate. There are also some important profession and general changes that will help everyone, including balance druids. I'm normally not a fan of huge balancing patches such as these that come out so soon after an expansion is released -- rage, what good was beta, and all that -- but at least we are finally getting these changes now.

And what changes are those? Oh, why, I'm so glad that you asked.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Balance druid raiding gems, enchants and glyphs

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids.This week, I'm going picture hunting. If you have any screenshots of your moonkin being the awesomeness that s/he is, then send them to I promise to abuse them liberally.

You've got your gear, you've read all the strategies, but there's always that little something more. I know that gearing is perhaps getting a little overdone at this point, but there are still a few points to cover, after which it's on to boss guides. Yes, there was much rejoicing. Mostly it's more so a matter of getting these bosses down myself. Perhaps it's different for some of you, but I am a very tactile learner. I can read day in and day out on what to do, how to stand, where to move, but none of it really helps me until I've actually gone and seen the encounter itself. For that reason, I like to experience bosses at least once before I write about them.

It doesn't take much to write out a generic boss guide -- and I do not mean that as a bash on TankSpot or the various other guide sites; they are all highly useful -- but writing for a specific class is different. There are small little tweaks and adjustments that every class and spec can make for each boss that simply can't be conveyed in a general guide. There isn't enough room for it. So, next week, I promise.

Until then, let's go into the final touches that need to be made to all that wonderful gear that you've collected at this point.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Running heroics as a balance druid, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. This week, we start the long dive into dungeons that will be consuming your life for the next few years. At least, until the next expansion.

You know all of the gear that you want to get out of heroics. You know that you need to get your one random heroic done each day. But you are constantly finding yourself struggling to get through the instances that you are placed in. Don't fret; this is actually a fairly common experience, even for those players who have done more heroics than they would have liked to by this point. Even when I do random PUGs, things can get rough. Sometimes the tank and/or healer is undergeared; sometimes the players are just new to the instance and don't quite have the feel for how things work.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong in a Cataclysm heroic dungeon, and anyone stepping into them should be prepared to wipe multiple times no matter how prepared they are. However, there are things that you as a balance druid can do to make any heroic instance you run more smoothly. Sometimes it's through CC, sometimes it's through knowing what does what, and sometimes it's by making use of every single tool that you have in your toolbox. This week is the first of a two-part series explaining in detail how balance druids can best assist their groups in heroics.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Recreating balance druids in Cataclysm

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, we are watching a moonkin dance with a mushroom once again, mostly because it amuses me, and talking about all the recent beta goodies. Mmmm, I like goodies.

I do believe I made a promise last week that I'd discuss some Cataclysm information this week, and I intend to make good on that promise. There's certainly quite a lot of information to talk about, should you actually be a person who sleeps at a decent hour like most folks; luckily for all of you, I am not one of those people. As per usual, later into the night for most of us, Blizzard released another beta patch with a number of balance changes: a talent tree polish (a basic one, but a polish pass nonetheless) and yet another revision of Eclipse. There's actually a good deal to be excited for this time around. Now, we aren't paladins, so I wouldn't be jumping out of your chain to go running naked down the street screaming in joy ... But a little "whooo!" is appropriate.

Before we get started talking about all of the new changes, let me first mention a few things that are currently missing, bugged or simply not yet implemented. First and foremost, Eclipse in of itself does not currently work in beta. The bar works, you can shift the bar in every direction that you like, and the procs certainly work; however, the procs currently don't actually do anything. There's no bonus damage there at all, but this a bug from the mastery change when they switched over the talent trees. This actually brings up the next point: We still do not have any specialization effects as of yet, and frankly, I'm a bit at a loss as to what they might end up being. Previously, I assumed that they would merely be the old mastery effects, but looking at elemental shaman, I don't think that will be the case.

It is safe to assume that one of our mastery effects is going to be Vengeance, to help difference ourselves from other druids. Another will likely be pushback resistances, and I'd venture to guess that the old Wrath of Cenarius benefit will also be baked in there. If there will be anything else, I cannot really say. Last but certainly not least, there are still a few things missing from the talent trees -- the effects of Improved Moonkin Form still haven't been found anywhere else that I've seen, anyway -- so I still wouldn't expect this to be the last pass on the druid talent trees. Things are still very likely to change from how they stand now, so don't get too upset. With that out of the way, let's get started.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: What are optional talents?

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week we are looking into the future, pondering what may be in store and learning a little bit about ourselves along the way. Talents are the in thing this week, so let's talk about 'em.

Many of you know whom I am; I am Tyler Caraway, also known as Murmurs, and I am a balance druid. I deal mostly in theorycrafting about how things work for us -- spells, rotations, talents and the like. I'm not the only one who does this, though. There are others such as Hamlet who do great work as well; however, probably one of the most well known public figures is a guy who goes by the name Graylo. If you don't know about Graylo, then I have to ask if you live under a rock -- but you probably also know of his blog, Graymatter.

It is no surprise to those who happen to follow both Graylo and myself that we often don't happen to see eye to eye on many topics. Graylo is a brilliant man -- bloody brilliant, I must say -- and one of his more recent blogs is something that I would really like to discuss. Apologies to Graylo if I am stealing any of your thunder in this, but this does happen to be a topic that I am highly touchy about.

That topic, of course, is one of optional talents. With Cataclysm, Blizzard is hoping to shake up the cookie-cutter mold by composing talent trees primarily out of talents that are not direct DPS increases in the strictest sense of the word. Right now, it is fairly easy to argue that a talent such as Nature's Reach is excessively valuable within a talent build. Nothing about the talent actually increases the damage that you do, but the utility that it provides -- additional range and threat reduction -- hold an extremely large theoretical DPS gain. Having the capacity to not move as much to remain within range of a mob or the ability to output more damage before becoming threat-capped are essential parts of being a DPSer -- so essential, in fact, that every single caster class in the game has similar talents. It is these type of talents that Blizzard wishes for trees to be made of, but that means adding in a lot of additional utility to classes. How can we know what utility is actually useful, though? More importantly, does it even matter anymore?

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Cataclysm Talent Preview: Balance druids

By now, I am sure that you have all read the glorious post about the recently released Cataclysm talent previews. If you haven't, then I don't know what you are waiting for; you better go and check it out now! Like, right now. Go, go! If you have read it or just got back from reading it, then I'm sure your mind is slightly frazzled just a teeny-tiny bit right now. Or maybe it's just me that's like that -- I've had so much coffee that it's hard to tell at this point.

The release of the druid talent trees can only mean one thing -- that's right, that balance druids are so much more awesome than anyone else. I mean, clearly, this validates that. Druids were first on the list, and balance is the first tree of the class, so naturally we're the best. If you follow that logic (and I really don't see how you couldn't), then I'd like to invite you to keep on reading as we dive right on into the new talents: what they mean for balance druids, what's good, what's bad and what's giving me nightmares.

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Shifting Perspectives: Mana in Cataclysm

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week we are taking a look into the concept of mana and the changes that it will undergo in the next expansion. Time for fun!

Last week I made a pretty stern comment that I did not want to discuss leaked alpha content. I am still holding true to that principle; however, that does not mean that I am against speaking about things which have already been released, which is why I wish to talk about mana regeneration this week. As with all of my Cataclysm articles at this point, everything contained herein is pure speculation existing in a void of what-if. I do not work for Blizzard, I do not know Blizzard's design goals; I only know what the rest of you know that post of the forums know.

Mana is a very important resource mechanic. I want to bring attention to this thread that is currently running in the damage-dealing forums that has so far held a lot of very good discussion on the topic of mana. Mayeli makes a number of very good points, but most important of all is that this view is very consistent with Blizzard's views on how mana regeneration is going to work in Cataclysm. I am sure most of you remember this following post by my favorite dragonling two months ago, right?

Spirit - Come Cataclysm, this stat should only be found on healing gear. Non-healing casters will have other systems in place to regenerate mana, and we are designing special solutions for Elemental shaman and Balance druids who often share gear with healers (more on this below). Raid buffs that currently boost Spirit (such as Blessing of Kings) will only boost the primary stats of Stamina, Strength, Agility, and Intellect. We are also likely changing the five-second rule and other quirks of the current regen system.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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