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Posts with tag balance-druids

Warlords of Draenor: Major balance druid changes on the way

I have two druids, one Alliance, one Horde -- in fact, the Alliance druid was the first character I ever made. That said, while I initially tried my hand at healing with my first druid, these days, I usually just use the characters for farming purposes. Let's face it, there's nothing better than flight form for nabbing pesky herbs or mining nodes. I will, however, occasionally run a dungeon or a scenario -- and when I do, I'm in cat form. It's the default choice as far as I'm concerned, and I do enough damage to get by, although nobody in their right mind could claim I have more than a bare, passing knowledge of the spec.

But I never could get into playing a balance druid. At first it was the fact that I began playing a druid before balance druids were even something remotely feasible to play. Then I was drawn to other classes, and by the time I got back to the druid, balance looked like a complicated impossibility to learn. Apparently I was not alone in this assessment, as balance druids are headed for some massive changes according to the latest iteration of patch notes from the Warlords of Draenor alpha.

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Filed under: Druid, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Alpha Patch notes for May 23

Well, sometimes we get patch notes updates, and then sometimes we get serious patch notes updates. Today, we got really serious patch notes updates, in fact - more abilities changed or removed, some classes seeing some incredibly significant change. What do we have?

For starters, arms warriors and balance druids have been singled out as having seen big redesigns. Abilities have been moved, removed and redesigned. (Mortal Strike replaces Heroic Strike and Overpower is gone, for example.) The sections on balance druids and arms warriors are extensive. Survival Hunters also saw a new ability, Bear Trap, introduced. In addition, some changes were rolled back - paladins in particular see some roll back on previous changes.

For a full breakdown of the changes, you can go to the patch notes on the official site.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Warlords of Draenor

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 tyler@wowinsider.com. 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: Cataclysm heroics guide for balance druids, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. So, it may not actually be Throne of the Tides, but you don't get to ride a seahorse as a moonkin, so I think it's cooler. That, and the LFG tool did not work with me this week in my dungeon selection. Blame RNG! Seriously!

Well, well, well, another week down, and it's that time again, folks. Last week, we began detailing the various ins and outs of the heroic dungeons that you'll be faced with. This week will be the second and final part of that series. Heroics can be easy or excruciatingly difficult, even now, even with quite a bit of heroic gear. Although gear certainly helps -- our guild heroic runs generally use a lot less CC now -- it is not what is going to make or break the success of a group. Completing dungeons is about strategy: knowing the fights and knowing how to cope with various mechanics. Doing this makes everything significantly easier.

I know the more casual players will cringe slightly at the thought. Heroics can take a lot of time. They can take quite a lot of effort as well, and having to put forth research and energy into a hobby can seem like it saps all of the fun out of the game. To you, I say this: Don't think of guides or strats as a requirement or a chore that you have to do in order to actually play the game. Just look at it as another facet of the game as a whole. Like chess, you wouldn't just move a piece at random; you would think, plan, and have a strategy.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Are DoTs worth it?

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we are going to explore the issues surrounding the use of damage over time effects in a balance druid's rotation, as we figure out if they are pewpew worthy, or just plain peew.

If you are like me and have played a balance druid since before people knew that druids had a spec that wasn't restoration, then this question isn't a new one to you. The sad truth of the balance spec is that a vast majority of our damage potential is tied up into our main nukes; Starfire and Wrath. Moonfire and especially Insect Swarm have, for the most part, always been at the bottom rung of our damage potential. Back in The Burning Crusade, when balance was first considered to be 'viable' by the mainstream, Insect Swarm was never used in a raid setting due to its poor damage. Although Moonfire held strong, by the Sunwell level, balance druids were able to get so much haste and crit that even our staple of staple spells was left in the dust.

Swing around to Wrath of the Lich King, and there have been some major strides to fix this issue. When the expansion first came out, there were two key talents, Nature's Splendor and Improved Insect Swarm, added to boost our DoT damage. Even then, Insect Swarm was falling too far behind by the time players were in Naxx level gear, but this time around there was some quick work on the part of the development team to remedy the situation. Insect Swarm had its scaling and base damage increased to be viable once again. Not to mention that our three standard issue PvE glyphs have all centered around our DoTs. However, we are no longer in Naxx, we are now in Icecrown Citadel, and the issue of DoT damage is coming up once again.

Are Insect Swarm and Moonfire holding up in terms of damage? Is their scaling sufficient to keep them in our rotations? Let's take a look.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Starfall and Nature's Grasp PTR changes


Yesterday was a very good day to be a balance druid in the World of Warcraft. While things seemed a bit rocky at the start of the PTR, the most recent build held two changes that are certainly going to benefit all of our feathery friends out there. The first of these changes was an increase in the damage and scaling of Starfall, the second was a change to the way in which Nature's Grasp functions.

To start with Starfall, the updated patch notes do not tell the entire story of this change. In order to clarify things, Ghostcrawler made a few statements on the Damage Dealing forums about it. Although there have been several posts on the matter, the most important was this:



The Starfall change is difficult to patch note because of the nature of the spell, but I'll share the numbers so that the theorycrafters among you can plug them in. It's a significant boost to the spell's damage.

Initially, we had designed the spell to be more AE focused, but that hasn't been super useful for a class that also has Hurricane. Rather than adding another nuke we thought it made more sense to make the 51 pointer something that really delivers on damage. Yes it can be countered. PvP is designed with the intent that things can be countered.

Main shot
Base points 432 -> 562
Coefficient 0.21 -> 0.37

Splash damage
Base points 77 -> 100
Coefficient 0.12 -> 0.13
.

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Patch 3.3 PTR: Druid changes (so far)


Hail, druids. There really aren't too many known changes to our class on the patch 3.3 PTR. As I write this, the only gameplay change you're likely to notice will be the buff/nerf to pet avoidance, which will only affect the Balance talent Force of Nature. More experienced Balance players will have to chime in here, because the wording on the change makes it sound like they're referencing an existing feature. I'm racking my brain trying to remember if Blizzard's ever done anything to tinker with the treants' survivability versus AoE damage, and I don't think they have. My guess is that the wording is just in line with similar changes in other classes with access to pets. Anyway, the change reads as follows:
Avoidance (passive): Now reduces the damage your pets take from area-of-effect damage by 90%, but no longer applies to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.
For PvP, I think this is going to be business as usual, because the treants have historically been weak to AoE, and a key part of Balance arena strategy is timing a treants cast when your enemy's AoE or escape abilities are on cooldown. For PvE, it's a considerable buff, and it means that you'll no longer have to /headdesk over losing a key damage cooldown to a boss AoE.

Apart from that, the only other known change to the class is a bug fix on rank 15 Rejuvenation (correcting the base duration from 15 seconds to 12 seconds), but we'll keep an eye on the PTR for you, and any additional changes will be noted here.

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

Azeroth Idol

In the absence of a ranged weapon or wand, Druids, Shamans, Death Knights, and Paladins all have an interest in filling the little slot directly to the right of their weapons with something good. You won't get the stats from idols, totems, sigils, or librams that pure classes will get from that slot, but with luck you'll significantly improve a core ability or two. However, because these items usually affect only one or two spells or attacks, they tend to be somewhat hit-or-miss in terms of usefulness, and many specs go for a while without having anything particularly good to put there.

Graylo at Gray Matter takes a look at the new idol available to Balance Druids from Ulduar-25, the Kologarn drop Idol of the Crying Wind. After running the math on its stats versus the Balance idols available for badges (Idol of Steadfast Renewal and Idol of the Shooting Star), he reaches the conclusion that this new i-level 226 item is a significant DPS loss compared to its i-level 213 cousins, even if the Druid in question is using Glyph of Insect Swarm and has the 2-piece Tier 7 bonus granting 10% additional damage to Insect Swarm. While I think it's probably a damage increase on very high-mobility fights, Graylo's math is pretty damning. It's hard to argue that a Tier 8 idol providing less than a third of the damage granted by a Naxx piece represents ideal gear scaling.

Bears in Ulduar-25 are looking forward to their first upgrade since the i-level 128 (!) Idol of Terror, but I'm not too sure about other classes. Do you have some hard choices ahead of you, or do you plan on using an older piece?

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your Balance Druid at 80

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we start to wonder where the hell all the +hit from "Burning Crusade" went.

Greetings, fellow Druids, and welcome to another installment on Wrath gear at 80, and this week it's the boomkins' turn. Next week I'm going to tackle Bear gear at 80; Dan O'Halloran will take care of our Cat colleagues.

As a number of people have observed, it's tougher to get +hit-capped pre-raid in leather as opposed to cloth, so you're going to find an awful lot of cloth on the list. I realize this represents a new and exciting development in the history of moonkin itemization. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. That's French for "We're screwed."

Supplementary reading:
As with our previous entry on pre-raid Restoration gear at 80, these guides assume that you do not presently have access to either 10-man or 25-man raids.

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Filed under: Druid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Raiding, Guides, Enchants, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Faction gear for Druids, part I


Every Tuesday/Wednesday/some day that ends in -y, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we take a look at faction rewards available to Druids in "Wrath of the Lich King" and wonder if that Mysterious Egg of ours -- the only faction reward we could truly be said to care about -- is ever going to hatch.

Like most of you, I'm still running a lot of dungeons and getting acquainted with the array of drops available on both normal and heroic mode, and I'm not anywhere near as familiar with the Northrend 5-man drops as I am with Outland's after tanking them all eleventy-billion times. For the moment, my ability to compare all of the reputation gear available from Wrath factions with potential dungeon drops is fairly small and mostly confined to feral equipment, so I apologize. What I can say is that I've noticed a fairly clear trend favoring Balance if you're planning on getting a lot of your gear at 80 from faction reputations (although if you go that route there's a sizable pitfall in the form of a serious lack of +hit on most pieces). Feral is a little more hit-or-miss. Restoration seems to have the hardest time getting its best pre-raid or heroic pieces from rep grinds, and I'm not going to lie; get used to most of your best pieces being cloth.

With what are essentially four different specs to cover for all the new factions available in Wrath, this got a bit long. So this week we'll discuss the rep grinds that become accessible a little earlier in the trek to 80 -- namely, the Tuskarr, the Alliance Vanguard/Horde Expedition, Wyrmrest Accord, Kirin Tor, and Oracles/Frenzyheart. Next week we'll cover the Knights of the Ebon Blade, the Argent Crusade, and Sons of Hodir, as you're not likely to see these guys as early as you'll see the others. Indeed, before a quest line that phases the lady into existence, you won't see the Knights of the Ebon Blade quartermaster at all.

EDIT: Now that the faction guides are finished, here's a set of quick links in case you're looking for information on one faction in particular:

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

Wrath of the Lich King: Druid round-up


Welcome to Wrath of the Lich King, my fellow Druids -- and welcome, I hope, to another expansion full of great things for the class. In general I believe the future is very bright for each spec, and with dual specs coming to the game, it's going to be a lot easier to enjoy the Druid's versatility without having to finance your class trainer's boat payments.

THE DRUID CLASS IN WRATH

  • Restoration: Resto, covered here, has probably taken the biggest blow in terms of both PvE and PvP viability in the form of a Lifebloom nerf and the disappearance of now-classic PvP specs, but we still got a lot of big buffs. Tree of Life has been vastly improved and we've gained both a flash heal (at 80) and an AoE HoT. Unfortunately, Wild Growth may be facing a nerf in the form of a cooldown soon, but nothing's certain yet. I don't want to sound too down here. You will notice the Lifebloom nerf in the post-3.0.2 world, but resto's gained a tremendous amount of raw healing output coupled with its customary mana efficiency. Stay tuned; healing is likely to undergo some major changes soon.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Guides, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

Misery and company

Yes, this may be the third post I've made in a few days that mentions the Shadow Priest talent Misery. You got a problem with that? Previously on "Eliah talks about Misery:" Misery gets nerfed in the beta from +1/2/3/4/5% spell damage, where it is now, down to +1/2/3% spell hit. Eliah complains that this makes it either required or useless. OK, now that you're all caught up, let's move forward.

In the comments on my last post, several people made the helpful observation that Misery isn't the only debuff that gives +spell hit against the mob. Balance Druids' Improved Faerie Fire is now going to give the same effect of +1/2/3% spell hit (the +melee/ranged hit is getting removed). And of course, in the new raid buff/debuff system, these effects will not stack. So you only need one Shadow priest or one Balance druid to give that +3% spell hit.

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Filed under: Druid, Priest, Raiding, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

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