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Posts with tag barkskin

Shifting Perspectives: Clear and present danger

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, Allison extends your life expectancy without the use of exercise or multivitamins.

I recently had the misfortune of healing a druid tank who did not seem aware of the array of cooldowns available to the class. This first became apparent when he died. No, actually, it was probably apparent before that ... maybe when he was taking an absurd amount of damage at the start of every trash pull. Possibly when every boss ability was cause for quiet panic. Maybe when the combat log showed absolutely no cooldown use of any kind. I don't know. There were several signs along the way.

Not acceptable, druids.

Proper use of cooldowns is the difference between a player who goes home from a bar alone in the evenings and one who has to install a deli ticket counter outside his bedroom and periodically step outside, yelling, "Next!"*

*Note: Statement is not actually true.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Do restoration druids need a cooldown?


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration, and balance druids. This Tuesday, we equivocate on whether a point made in Shifting Perspectives: Healers, selfishness, and trouble ahead was prescient or just another beneficiary of Allie's usual dumb luck.

The title of today's Shifting column is maybe a little misleading. Strictly speaking, restoration already has a cooldown -- the still-controversial Disco Soul Patch Groovy Tree that has wildly gesticulated its way into all our hearts (well, some peoples' hearts) -- but now the developers are considering other possibilities in light of some data from tier 11 raids.

Not that we have access to said data (or anything to go on besides our usual rampant speculation), but a few trends have emerged from tier 11 that make the possibility of getting a big cooldown a bit more likely.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Raid Rx: What druid and shaman cooldowns would you like to see?


Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community and the new healing, raiding, and guild management podcast, Matticast.

No beating around the bush today. There were some upcoming healer changes that were announced earlier in the week. I can tell you as of right now, I'm worried about the Power Word: Shield change -- not because I think discipline priests will remain overpowered, but because holy might go the route. I'll explain that later on in the post.

The main focus of today's post is defensive cooldowns for shaman and druids. I'm sure a number of players don't believe there's a need for the two classes to get defensive cooldowns, but in order to compete for utility, I think druids and shaman would benefit greatly from having those spells available. The argument here is that since the four healers are approximately the same across the board (from a throughput perspective), the edge might be given to paladins and priests because of the additional cooldowns they have to offer. Shaman and druids might end up being even more attractive in 10-player raids.

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Filed under: Druid, Priest, Shaman, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

New changes to tanking cooldowns coming for Cataclysm

Blue poster Nethaera informed us today about a number changes coming to tanking cooldowns in Cataclysm (specifically, patch 4.0.3a). It seems an imbalance occurs in the current build when tanks stack mastery, leading to astronomical values of block.

For now, specifics are only available for paladin, druid and warrior tanks. The post hints that cooldown changes for druid and death knight tanks will be coming later, once developers can get a better handle on the complexities of the classes' abilities.

When asked for comment and analysis, Fox Van Allen's orc Grunk posited, "Me Grunk! Grunk fear change! Grunk smash!" Sadly, Grunk lacks the mental clarity to process the full meaning of all these forthcoming changes because as a warrior, Grunk does not stack intellect (and takes repeated physical blows to the head). If he did, the changes would be meaningless to him, as he'd have followed his dream and become an architect rather than becoming Orgrimmar's No. 3-ranked skull cleaver.

In lieu of expert testimony from Grunk, we have the full blue post just after the break.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, News items, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Shifting Perspectives: Tree 1, Arthas 0

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we save the world (of Warcraft).

Originally this week's article was going to concern stomping Karazhan from top-to-bottom as a feral/resto druid, and then I got Big Bad Wolf for the opera event. Suffice it to say that the stomping took an abrupt U-turn, and I never got pictures or video of the other Kara fights that I've successfully solo'd on dozens of other occasions (though I grant they were all occasions that did not include humiliating wipes to an overgrown dog). If I weren't in the middle of a time crunch it probably would've been doable, but regrettably I will have to run a feature on how to make 1,000 gold soloing Karazhan on a later date. In the meantime, Alaron's managed to solo Big Bad Wolf successfully, but my main is in the somewhat sticky situation of not being a night elf.

With the upcoming Icecrown raid buffs going all the way to 30% damage/healing/health/absorbs eventually, more and more raids are going to find their way to Arthas. Buffs aside, a lot of Arthas' difficulty lies in execution, and I started jotting down a few notes that I hope might be helpful to other druids likely to attempt the fight. We were fortunate to get both the 10- and 25-man version down, and I got astoundingly lucky on one 10-man attempt with back-to-back selections as a Harvest Soul target while I was running a video capture. I've seen a lot of comments online that caster druids aren't well-suited to dealing with this, and that's just not true at all.

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

Patch 3.2 Druid changes


3.2 approaches! Sort of. The PTR itself isn't up yet (at least, not as I write this), but nonetheless, 3.2 approaches on little cat feet.

I'm going to examine the 3.2 PTR patch notes line by relevant line, just because there are several changes that impact Druids while not being class-specific. If you want a quick summary without being massively spoiled, Balance is getting a huge and welcome change to the functionality of Eclipse, Cats are getting bonked by the nerfbat, and PvP-Restos are really getting bonked by the nerfbat. Bears, well...not much is going to happen to bears this patch, which is a little demoralizing given the improvements being made to Pally tanks, but that's OK. We still have our, uh, amazing Tier 8 set bonuses and...um...the best -- sort of -- tanking cooldowns in, uh, the...uh...

...Oh, screw it, just stack the hell out of stamina and pray to the gods of RNG if your guild's dumb enough to try Ulduar on hard-mode. Congratulations; you have now done all you can possibly do to prepare yourself for modern tanking.

Sad lolbare is sad. But cough syrup for everybody! Is nise! Now let's take a look:

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

World of Warcraft Patch 3.1.3 Initial Patch Notes

After the break you'll find the patch notes for Patch 3.1.3. This patch will not be appearing on the PTR, and will instead be making its way directly to the live realms. There is no date set for the live realms release at this time.

These notes are only the initial notes and subject to change. You have been warned.

Some highlights:
  • Druid Tier 8 Balance Set: The 4-piece bonus no longer has its effect consumed by Starfire casts in progress when it triggers. The chance for the effect to be triggered has been reduced down to 8%, as it was originally inflated to compensate.
  • Hunter's Mark: The ranged attack power bonus from this ability has been increased from 300 to 500.
  • Improved Barkskin: This talent now also grants 80/160% additional armor while in Travel Form or not shapeshifted.
  • Overkill: Talent redesigned. Now increases energy regeneration by 30% while stealthed, and for 20 seconds after breaking stealth.
A friendly reminder: the new Druid forms artwork will not be present in this patch. This is not a major content patch.

The full notes after the break!

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Filed under: Patches, News items

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, "Wrath," and crushing blows


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we examine the roots of the uproar over the proposed Heart of the Wild nerf, and also ask ourselves if it wouldn't just be easier to reroll a Death Knight and have done with it.

"Why would you title the column this way?" you ask, as you reach for your "Please fire _______ from WoW Insider" form letter. "Crushing blows are out of the game, dipwad."

Well, yes. The crushing blow is technically out of the game, but another and worse mechanic has taken its place.

In this article I'm going to try to explain the source of "shield tank" frustration over health pools -- and why they are correct to see it as a problem -- and the Druid tank's unhappiness over the nerfing of Heart of the Wild -- and why Druids are also correct to see it as a problem.

Why the crushing blow was important

One of the biggest differences between pre-Wrath and Wrath tanking is the absence of the crushing blow. If you're unfamiliar with the term, then as a very simple explanation: any given raid boss had a 15% chance per melee hit to perform a 150% damage attack, which was also known as the crushing blow. It was typically a big damage spike and could lead to a wipe on progression content, with healers struggling to compensate in the small window of time before the boss' next attack landed. Burst damage is very unwelcome as it's often the greatest contributing factor to tank death. This is why reaching crit immunity is still so important to all tanks, and why the ability to avoid or absorb crushing blows was a fundamental part of pre-Wrath tanking mechanics.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Druid glyphs and undocumented changes


Personally the change I'm still plotzing over most in relation to 3.1 is the sheer locational chutzpah of the Argent Tournament. I'm not sure I understand why the northern portion of Icecrown is considered an appropriate spot. It's like seeing some Milwaukee strip-mall developer parachute into the middle of Mordor and exclaim over the retail and tourist opportunities within a 100-yard radius of Sauron's eye. What does the Scourge think about this tournament? Did they get a cut of the concession stand's profits as a means of buying their cooperation? Who else was bribed in order to make this happen? These are all questions to which I think we deserve answers.

Anyway, I seem to be one of the unlucky souls doomed to disconnect every 10 minutes from the PTR (although I'm not anywhere near Dalaran), but I'm sure it'll get fixed. One minor suggestion for all those Druids porting to Moonglade in order to pick up dual-specs immediately; have 1,000g in hand before you do so. As we all know, getting into Moonglade is rather easy. Getting out of Moonglade tends to be rather more time-consuming unless you're willing to burn your hearth in a world newly free of ghetto-hearthing.

Some of the undocumented changes we've actually already talked about, so if you don't see something here but missed our first article, you should find them here.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features, Guides, Classes

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Druid changes


All right, Druids. I've been rolled out of bed to come look at the new PTR test notes, because apparently this is a big deal or something. As far as I'm concerned, all important business can wait until a reasonable hour in the morning, like 3 PM, but because this site is run by crazy people here I am.

So let's go skim the patch notes quickly -- /flick flick flick -- and try to answer the most important question first:

Is Tauren cat form still in the game?

/flick flick

Yes.

Man, %*#$ this patch.

Leaving aside this EGREGIOUS OMISSION, we're going to take a look at the preliminary Druid changes in patch 3.1 past the cut here, and courtesy of Michael Sacco and some data-mining gnomes, we also have the Druid Tier 8 shoulder graphic, which is pretty cool and reminds me a lot of Tier 5. I'm also seeing some undocumented changes in the game files off MMO Champion, but I'll have to examine those later today. I haven't been able to get on the PTR yet, so I can't confirm whether these changes have actually gone live on the test realm.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features, Guides, Classes

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

Skill Mastery: Survival Instincts

Survival Instincts is one of the surviving (har!) aspects of the now-defunct 51-point Berserk talent in the feral tree (the other is the new version of Berserk, which we discussed here). It's fairly straightforward; for 11 points in the feral tree and a 5-minute cooldown, you get 30% of your maximum health in bear or cat form for 20 seconds. Essentially it's Last Stand for Druids, albeit a Last Stand with a significantly shorter cooldown.

During 5-mans in the beta while tanking, I saw an HP boost into the 26-27K range from a health pool of 19-20K. That's certainly nothing to sneeze at and it's situationally useful, although it'll probably find better and more consistent application under the same circumstances in which Last Stand's typically popped, i.e. progression raid content and/or "Oh S**T!" moments. The latter is particularly welcome as Druids have often complained about bear form's worrying lack of options in the event of an emergency. As many Warriors will tell you, proper use of the ability involves letting your healers know both when you've popped the ability and when it ends. Mods like OptiTaunt can relay this information automatically, but you can also macro it if need be.

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

First impressions: 5-man healing in the beta


I specced resto in the beta the other week to try out the new talents and abilities Druids are getting in Wrath, and decided to brave the horrors of LFG and scribble some notes for your sake, dear readers. By the way, the aspect of beta that I will miss most? The 1 copper respec fee. Can we keep this?

Please note that this is written from the perspective of a 70 Restoration Druid, so unfortunately I can't comment on whether Priests, Shamans, or Paladins might have had an easier or harder time healing the instances. I have a good but not jaw-dropping resto set, and on the live realms clock in around +1998 to +2100 healing unbuffed. If your gear's better or worse, then just adjust the potential difficulty level as needed. And even if you're not a healer, you still might find something useful here:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Bosses, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath Beta patch notes: Balance Druids


Now that the Wrath of the Lich King Beta is live, and the patch notes are up, we have some solid information on Druid talents as they're being tested. Here is what the patch revealed:

Balance tree
If you were to invest three points into your Brambles tier three talent, you will not only have the current 75% boost to damage caused by Thorns and Entangling Roots, but your Treants will have their damage boosted by 15%.

In addition, all damage caused by Treants, and any attacks done to you while Barkskin is active, have a 15% chance of dazing the target for three seconds. Actually, Force of Nature, which summons your Treants, is having its cooldown reduced from three minutes to two.

This will be a nifty talent for Moonkin in battlegrounds and arena, although it won't be enough to convert all of those Restoration druids to the ways of the Giant Chicken.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Features, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

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