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Posts with tag balance-druid-guide

Shifting Perspectives: Building a better Insect Swarm for Mists

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 questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or @murmursofadruid.

Greetings, druids. Last week we talked about the new changes that had been made to the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator, which held a few good changes for us. This week I want to focus in on two criticisms that I've had growing for a very long time. It's no shock to anyone that reads my column or follows me on Twitter that I abhor the new direction of Insect Swarm.

I've talked about this topic before, but I want to discuss it further.

Looking into the why

In the essence of fairness, I feel that I should go into why it is that I believe Blizzard is tweaking Insect Swarm the way that they are. To start with, Insect Swarm has been an extremely problematic spell ever since it was created. In TBC, it didn't deal enough damage in order to be worth using, the same was even true at the start of WotLK, and it nearly fell off the map again late in the expansion as well. It hasn't been until Cataclysm that Insect Swarm has finally become a sold piece of our rotation, and even now it's still the weaker of the two DoTs.

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

Shifting Perspectives: A ray of hope for druid shifting and talents in Mists of Pandaria

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 questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or @murmursofadruid.

There's nothing I like more than news, especially when it's about upcoming content. Each bite of information that is released offers a new insight into the design direction that Blizzard is taking, which is an extremely touchy subject at the moment. On the horizon is a new expansion, and with it comes the generalized revamping of class design that Blizzard tracks on to each time one of these comes around. With Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard really wants to push druids back to their roots, the roots of shifting that is.

Blizzard wants for druids to shift more. It wants us utilizing our various animal forms, talents, and skills instead of the current model where we have a singular form and stick to it -- or at least, that is what Blizzard had originally intended when it first set out designing MoP. Many of the druid community have been rather skeptical of Blizzard's intent, myself included. For us, it seems that this latest batch of updates holds quite the shining ray of hope.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Are druid abilities getting a trim in Mists of Pandaria?

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 questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or @murmursofadruid.

Stop the presses, guys! There's eventually at some point in the distant future going to be a new expansion on the horizon for WoW, and in it, Blizzard is going to completely redesign the ability system again. We saw it happen for The Burning Crusade, and then it happened again for Wrath and once more for Cataclysm. Now, it's going to happen again for MoP.

Every expansion has come with some amount of trimming of useless abilities (hello, Sentry Totem) and even more so, the addition of new abilities to fill in the missing gaps that classes still have. What about optimizing the abilities that we already have first?

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

Shifting Perspectives: What balance druid design can take from SWTOR

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 questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or @murmursofadruid.

Welcome to a new year, balance druids. It's been a flurry of a holiday season for many folks, although things have been rather quiet on the Blizzard front. In terms of any new information being released, all that we've seen thus far is a minor patch announcement that does hold some good news: Our four-piece tier bonus is getting 10% Starsurge damage tacked on. While this isn't monumental in the sense that it suddenly turns the bonus into a must-have, it's a good boost that was sorely needed.

Instead, the major release of the holiday season was the highly anticipated release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, which I myself have been glad to officially have my hands on. WoW-killer, front-runner MMO of the new year, or potential flop, it's far too soon to tell -- but what is telling is how new game designers approach the MMO genre and what Blizzard can learn as other companies look to emulate its success stories. What then could SWTOR possibly have for balance druids? Quite a bit.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Balance druid guide to Dragon Soul, part 2

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 questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or @murmursofadruid.

And we're back once more! In our last edition, we went into some of the tricks that you can use in order to boost your DPS in the first four encounters of Dragon Soul. This time around, we'll be rounding out the rest of the encounters from the instance. Overall, the second half is a bit more challenging than the first half, both in terms of DPS requirements and raid coordination. This is where you're going to have to push yourself the most, so be prepared to pull out all the stops.

Ultraxion
  • You'll need two tanks for Ultraxion, which will taunt off each other as they get Fading Light.
  • There have to be three players who stay out for every Hour of Twilight. These players will have to use heavy damage reduction cooldowns or immunities, or they will die.
  • There are three different crystals that spawn for healers, each that have their own unique buffs to help the raid survive. Let them fight over who gets what.

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Filed under: Druid, Raiding, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Balance druid guide to Dragon Soul, part 1

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 questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or @murmursofadruid.

Overall, the first four bosses of Dragon Soul are a fun lot that focus more on your ability to raid overall and less on your specific capabilities. There is a solid chunk of movement in them, so you should be prepare to deal with that. Practicing how to drop Mushrooms while on the move is a huge asset in this raiding tier. Styling this week's advice after McCurley's 5-second strats, I'll briefly detail the encounter and any tricks that you should know about heading into the game. Keep it simple, after all.

Morchok
  • Morchok should be tanked relatively where he stands. After each Blood phase, the tank can just pick him up where ever he happens to end up. No real positioning is needed unless you start to wander too far to the sides.
  • The raid team should all be grouped up within 25 yards of the boss as often as possible.
  • A dedicated group of ranged DPS should run out to every crystal that spawns. You need seven players for this in 25-man.
  • Run and head behind spikes once they've spawned, positioning yourself either between two spikes or just at the side of one so that you can continue to DPS.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Lunar Shower update and Celestial Alignment

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 questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or @murmursofadruid.

Balance druids everywhere are currently rejoicing. Why, might you ask? Well, you see, the Eclipse energy portion of Lunar Shower has finally been removed from the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator. That it took this long is something else entirely, but that isn't even really the point.

First, I wish to express a slight personal issue with this revelation. When the Pandaria talent calculators were originally released, it was stated directly that Lunar Shower would be "working differently in the future." While I suppose accurate on the most technical levels, reverting a broken talent to the slightly less broken state that it was already in before it was made worse is not working differently.

A bit harsh? To say that Lunar Shower is a broken talent, to suggest that it was always a broken talent? Well, I would apologize or choose better language -- however, this is the case. Lunar Shower has never truly fulfilled the function it was intended to serve, to offer balance druids a mobile DPS option. In defense that the current Lunar Shower on the live servers now is broken, I don't really think I need to put forth much evidence. After all, no one specs into it. Every single guide tells players to avoid it. And there's at least a thread a week complaining about it on the official forums. The issue speaks for itself.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Patch 4.3 gear list for balance druids

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 questions, comments, or requests for something you'd like to see to tyler@wowinsider.com or on Twitter @murmursofadruid.

Hail, druids, and welcome to the wondrous world of a new patch! This patch didn't hold much for us in the ways of personal meat. We got a wicked-awesome new Hurricane animation and a neat new Wrath one as well, but otherwise, things trudge along as normal with our lot. That's perfectly dandy in my book. We're still going along strong as a solid DPS choice, and things are good.

This week I'm dedicating to gearing ourselves up in all of that lovely new content that has just been released. Whether you're a dungeoneer or a hardcore raider, there's tons of new loot to look at, and that's exactly that we're going to do. As a side note, I do have to say that I am super-excited about having patch 4.3. The content so far has been gloriously fun, and though I'm sure I'll change my mind once I've done enough of these heroics to last a lifetime (as with the troll versions of last patch), I'm content to make do with what we have. Let's get to work, shall we?

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The matter of Mists talents and abilities

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 questions, comments, or requests for something you'd like to see to tyler@wowinsider.com or on Twitter @murmursofadruid.

Druids, friends, brothers and sisters, we need to have a right good talk. Earlier in the week, Blizzard released the ability list and talent calculator for every class and spec in the next expansion. As we all knew, there were many significant changes that were made in terms of what abilities each spec received and, in some cases, how these abilities worked. Oddly enough, this seemed to cause something of an uproar within the druid community over several choice changes. It's strange to me that a community preaching patience quickly froths at the mouth, but fret not, nothing is nearly as bad as it seems.

The changes are massive -- of that there is no doubt -- but at the core, everything that we've known is still there. The majority of the balance druid spec as it exists today is virtually intact; as far as changes could go, this is close to the best that we could have hoped for. There are still tweaks that should be made, but those shall come in time. For now, allow me assuage your fears.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Retaining key talents in Pandaria

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 questions, comments, or requests for something you'd like to see to tyler@wowinsider.com or on Twitter @murmursofadruid.

Welcome back to another week, my favorite space turkeys. This week is one of those that I happen to detest and often wish that we could find a way to remove the from the calendar; alas, I've been told that this isn't possible. Next week is a holiday, and the next patch is expected the week thereafter, leaving this week simmering in nothing but anticipation. As anyone will tell you, I'm not a patient person.

Still, that doesn't mean that we're all dead in the water. True to form, I'll be putting a spot of my predictive powers to work. It'll be the last topic about Pandaria for a while, I promise you that, but this one is important to lay some groundwork. All of our talents are going away -- a great idea in theory. However, the problem comes in that some talents are important to keeping the spec engaging. Merely shuttling them off to the nether isn't an option; some will have to be baked into the class as a whole. But which? Let's speculate!

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Why active shifting isn't the solution for druids

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 questions, comments, or requests for something you'd like to see to tyler@wowinsider.com or on Twitter @murmursofadruid.

So on Wednesday, there was this small little thing that you may have heard about called a little live Q&A with the devs about classes and systems in WoW. While there were a few mentionings of things in the near future, most of the night's focus rested on the next expansion rising over the horizon. Highly understandable. There are a wide variety of changes coming in the next expansion for all of the classes, and I don't think that druids can claim to have a monopoly on the biggest ones.

The latest direction that Blizzard wants to steer druids, however, is certainly an odd one, and it may not be all that it's cut out for. After BlizzCon, I spent some time talking about the released talents and the design considerations that came along with it. I also spent a spot of time guesting (is guest a verb now?) on Team Waffle Cast along with Arielle and Lissanna, when we talked about the druidic future. In the live chat, I fear that my suspicions were confirmed. Join me for a trip to the future that will never be.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Eclipse, AOE, and energy gains

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 questions, comments, or requests for something you'd like to see to tyler@wowinsider.com or on Twitter @murmursofadruid.

Last week, we talked about the oncoming change to the talent system and what the previewed talents mean for balance druids. Understanding that everything we see now is very much in the pre-alpha stages and bound to change, talents are still but one aspect of the class that is going to need to see some changes in the next expansion. As we all know by now, Eclipse too needs to change. I'm sure that this is one topic that people are about tired of talking or hearing about, but it's simply unavoidable. Eclipse is the core of our DPS; it is everything to us. If it fails, we fail, pure and simple.

Unlike the past, we won't particularly be discussing the same old boring flaws that we have with Eclipse today. Many of those are known factors, and we already know that Blizzard is looking at addressing them. Instead, we'll be discussing some of the things that balance druids have known for a long time that Blizzard has not, as of yet, mentioned. We'll also be looking into the way in which the system does need to change in order to survive into the next expansion.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Upcoming talent changes for balance

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 questions, comments, or something you'd like to see to tyler@wowinsider.com.

We are back for the first article post-BlizzCon, and as with many of the other writers for WoW Insider, it's time to talk about what the next expansion holds for balance druids. Mists of Pandaria looks to hold many exciting new features for the game on top of an entirely redesigned talent and specialization system. While how everything will pan out is still nothing but speculation, there are a few things in particular which are worth exploring, especially for druids.

I'm no stranger to hand-waving, crackpot theories; today's article is no exception to that. No one knows precisely what the next expansion is going to hold for WoW, not even the people working on it, but I can give you my observations from the outside looking in. Keep that in mind, however, this article is merely how things seem from the glimpse of the future that BlizzCon provided. Everything is subject to change, rebalancing, and various other changes. That over and done with, let's get started.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Balance history in review

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 questions, comments, or something you'd like to see to tyler@wowinsider.com.

Greetings from the slums of BlizzCon! Although I sit at home in eager anticipation as I write this, by the time you read it, things have likely already spirialed far beyond control. The build-up, the thrill, all of it finally releasing on this day -- and look, I get this poor little column fighting against all of the headline news. How special I must be. While at the time of your reading, there is undoubtedly a barrage of new information to sort through, I want to take a slightly different turn, to change the relative pace of the day, if you will.

Many, many months ago, back when I first joined the WoW Insider staff, I wrote at length on the history of balance druids, how we had changed as the face of WoW itself developed beyond anything that we could have possibly imagined back in the days of Molten Core. I would like once again to reflect upon our past, the trials and tribulations that led to what we are today. It has not always been easy to be a balance druid, and certainly we have much to be thankful for. In tune of celebrating all things Blizzard, I want to take joy in the strides that have been taken in making balance the respectable spec that it is today.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Moonkin abilities to look forward to in the next expansion

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 questions, comments, or something you'd like to see to tyler@wowinsider.com.

Once again, we're in another slow patch week. Oh, sure, there've been some good developments in regards to enchanting and alchemy, but nothing that really impacts balance druids (or any class) as a whole. If you're of those professions, grats on your gains, minor as they may be, but really it's all inconsequential. Oh yes, and there's some deal about Hurricane getting a new animation; it's pretty cool, if only I used the spell with any frequency.

With that aside, it's time to get serious about looking into the next expansion. Although we still have a raid to go in this one, we all know that Blizzard will be announcing plans for the next expansion at BlizzCon next week, and it's never too early to look ahead. That in mind, we'll be spending our time looking at things that balance druids lack. Getting new abilities is a mainstay of every expansion, and we all know that this is quickly becoming a touch-and-go endeavor; characters can only hold so many abilities. Given that, let's look at what it is balance druids are currently missing from their tool set, those abilities we could use to really flesh out our gameplay.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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