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Posts with tag bear-druid

Shifting Perspectives: Why PvP gear isn't necessarily a stupid idea

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, Allison is somewhat startled to discover that one of her long-held convictions is not necessarily right.

On the few occasions when I can be convinced to do a gear post for bears, I've generally shied away from including PvP gear. This is actually a complete turnaround from our situation in The Burning Crusade, when Arena gear was an absolute godsend due to the bear's desperation for critical strike reduction. The now-vanished talent Survival of the Fittest (the modern Thick Hide) gave us flat 3% crit reduction, and then we had to scrounge the last 2.6% in the interest of not being stomped into oblivion by a raid boss. Not surprisingly, most players wound up using a few pieces of PvP gear to reach the all-important crit cap, because resilience reduced your chance to be crit in PvE as well.

But ever since that changed, I soured on the use of PvP gear in PvE. Resilience is now completely wasted in PvE content, you can't reforge it, and you'll only ever get one other secondary stat on PvP pieces anyway.

"Pooh, pooh," I said.

"Threat generation," I said.

"Why would you want to gimp yourself with so much useless itemization?" I said.

"Three bags full," I said.

However, I couldn't help but notice that PvP gear was still crammed with all manner of agility goodness, and then there's the minor point that Kalon is pretty much always right. So I decided to try a little experiment to see how much the average player would be gimping himself by using a full set of PvP threads. Pay attention, children, because this is the last time for several minutes that I will be heard to utter the following words:

I was wrong.

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

Shifting Perspectives: The druid personality test

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we are impressed by the scientific rigor of human interest publications.

So I was in line at the grocery store the other day when the array of magazines at the checkout stand caught my eye. Useless People Weekly was running a quiz that promised to tell you things you already knew about yourself if you would consent to answer several questions and tally the results.

"Huh," said I. "What a marvelously scientific approach." But it gave me, as they say, ideas.

If you've never played a druid before, are you interested in knowing which spec best suits your personality? If you play a druid, are you interested in being told things you already know about yourself?

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

Shifting Perspectives: Guide to patch 4.2 for bear and tree druids

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we've returned from the Angry Dome.

Well, after pissing off Blizzard for the millionth week in a row, today we're going to turn our attention to slightly less explosive concerns. By the way, "Tank Q&A sucks" is a top search phrase for last week's Shifting. Just thought I'd mention.

As long as we're on the subject of the developer Q&As, I might as well make an uncomfortable segue to observing that Blizzard's now taking queries for the Q&A on healers. Go ask questions! Personally I am very interested in hearing if they're going to update Tree of Life form, or make Innervate a baseline ability rather than the 31-point talent in the restoration tree.

Ha ha! I kid because I love.

On the off chance that patch 4.2 hits today (which it probably won't, but eh), this is a quick and dirty guide to the patch notes that'll concern you if you play a bear or tree druid. If the patch hits next week, we'll keep ourselves occupied making daisy chains or something. Or, if the healer Q&A gets published sooner than expected, I'll write another enraged diatribe for everyone to enjoy.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Revisiting the disappearance of the bear

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, an old and ugly issue rears its head.

I published Shifting Perspectives: The disappearance of the bear in October 2009 during patch 3.2.2. It was a means of collecting and examining eight common arguments as to why bear players had vanished during Wrath of the Lich King, and the column resulted in a number of insightful comments from readers on the issue. I decided it was time to revisit that column and ask: Have things improved in Cataclysm, gotten worse, or not changed much at all?

I have to preface this by stating that we have no hard information on what spec populations look like right now, and it's possible that this column's been written about an issue that's resolving. However, I don't think that's the case. Bear players are still the least represented on the tanking forums, their thread on Elitist Jerks is usually a ghost town, and their appearances through the Dungeon Finder -- at least from what I've seen of it -- are few and far between. Insofar as the Call to Arms system is a sideways acknowledgment of the shortage of 5-man tanks, the apparent lack of bear players (and quite possibly blood death knights as well) is a concern to more people than just druids.

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

Ghostcrawler: Vengeance not a fun toy for PvP

A lot of people seem somewhat terrified of the new Vengeance mechanic and how it might play in PvP. People are always leery of tanking specs in PvP, due to the general tendency of people playing in arenas and BGs to want to, you know, kill the other guys. Tanks are generally designed to be harder to kill, which tends to make people nervous, especially when tanking specs saw increased damage output in Wrath of the Lich King and went from "Hey, guys, look, it's a free kill!" to "Wait, you mean trying to burn down the dude specced and geared to not die is a bad idea?"

The forums seem to be rampant with terror that Vengeance will rule them all. I personally don't see the concern. Vengeance doesn't stack up terribly fast and it falls off fairly quickly; you'd need to focus fire a tank for significant levels of damage while he was being focus healed (and you'd need to completely ignore his or her healers) in order for Vengeance to really be a concern.

But don't take my word for it -- just ask Ghostcrawler. Not only do the developers not think Vengeance will be an issue in PvP, if it turns out to be, they'll just turn it off.

Ghostcrawler - Re: So Vengeance... am I doing this wrong?
Q u o t e:

In group PvP, there is an answer to vengeance. Don't attack the tank. Vengeance is a really good idea imo. If you are sitting on a tank and stacking that buff up, why shouldn't they do comparable damage? And from my experience, even with a max stacked vengeance, the coils between blood and unholy are relatively the same. Also, there is more to DPS between the two specs than Deathcoil. Even if someone is sitting on my blood DK I can assuredly say Unholy and Frost do more overall DPS, in pvp.

If a couple of people are beating on a tank, Vengeance isn't likely to stack very high. You need to take damage that is a big chunk of your whole health pool, which typically only bosses are available to provide.

Now if you have several folks beating on a tank flag carrier, then Vengeance may stack up, but once you have several people, you almost certainly have a way to dispel the Vengeance or just CC the tank.

If Vengeance ever gets to be a problem in PvP, we'll just remove it, plain and simple. The mechanic is only there to help with raid gear scaling, not to give tanks a fun toy for PvP.


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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: Applying to raiding guilds as a druid

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, we are uncomfortably reminded of how similar the job and guild application processes are.

Appearances to the contrary, the waning days of an expansion are actually a pretty good time to apply to a raiding guild. That's when attendance gets choppy, the pool and the grill issue a siren call from the deck, people go on vacation, or -- having "finished" the expansion -- they just take off, period. If you look at the recruitment forums, you'll see a ton of guilds looking for players right now. If you've ever wanted to raid but haven't gotten the chance, I think there is no better time. The Icecrown zone buff is a fantastic buffer for anyone who's not emerging with a bevy of best in slot from tier 9, and the raid itself is one brilliant lore moment from beginning to end.

However, applying to a raiding guild -- particularly if you haven't done much raiding in the past -- can be on the intimidating side. With that in mind, here's a guide on how best to present yourself if you're applying anywhere as a feral or restoration druid.

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

Cataclysm Class Changes: Feral druid analysis

Last night, Blizzard made the druid class announcement for planned changes in Cataclysm. For all those of you who were around for the Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King betas, you'll already know that what we think is going to happen to the class and what actually winds up happening are not necessarily the same thing. For the moment, however, it's a safe bet that we'll see most of these changes around for the Cataclysm beta when it goes live and then tweaked further as testing continues.

As an aside, if any Blizzard employees reading this take issue with my analysis, I welcome any questions, comments or criticism enclosed in the post-script to a beta invitation, which I will totally read.

Resto druids, fear not; your analysis article will go live soon too! I split the articles up for better organization, especially because so much discussion broke out after the announcement concerning Tree of Life form.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: The bear's wish list


Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. Today we gnaw on Alex until he's convinced that we tank, and then restrain ourselves from penning a letter with the salutation, "Dear Santa..."

Today, druids, I crave your indulgence for wading into a potentially volatile topic, but I think the time has come to address an issue that's divided the druid community into two embattled camps:

Can beast mastery raid?

I kid. I don't know who beast mastery is, and whether he raids or not is a matter between himself and his God. So, rather than pestering some poor bastard over his existential crisis in ICC, I figured our time might be better spent with some observations on how the druid class has fared in Wrath of the Lich King, and more particularly on the things that haven't worked out so well for us. Before Cataclysm's beta starts, I figure it'll be cool to air a class wishlist and get some feedback. UPDATE: And Blizzard has pre-empted me on this.

To be frank, there's something a bit fool's-errandish about the whole enterprise, because we have no idea what kind of content awaits us in Cataclysm, and today's problems may not even exist there. It's an old saw that generals like to prepare their armies to fight yesterday's war, and I'd be lying if I said there weren't an element of that here. I guess it might be more accurate to describe this article as "Things I wish I'd written two years ago" -- when Wrath's beta was on the horizon -- but one of the irritating things about hindsight is that things actually need to be behind you.

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

Shifting Perspectives: How to be a good PUG druid




Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, everyone discovers (as I have been saying for years, but who listens to the bear tank with an ass the size of Cincinnati? No one, that's who) that PUG's are not so bad.

Moore returns with a ukulele. I'm going to pull out one of the big guns on the folk scene in the Americas -- Richard Shindell. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a high-quality version of this song available anywhere online, and I highly recommend listening to the versions off Shindell's Sparrow's Point or (more especially) the live album Courier. Yes, it starts off slow, but give it a chance. On A Sea of Fleur-de-Lis is a very odd, albeit poetic, song with esoteric lyrics, although they make a little more sense once you know they were written while Shindell was considering leaving Union Theological Seminary. Otherwise, as with many of Shindell's pieces, BYO subtext.

Beat that, Moore.

Anyway, after reading Archmage Pants' article on the new LFG system for mages and Daniel Whitcomb's guide on the same for death knights, I decided it wasn't fair letting a bunch of smelly DPS have all the fun.

"But some death knights tank," you object.

That's just a widely-disseminated myth, as all those of us on the Retaliation battlegroup know. You have tried the new LFG, right? Allow me to be the Virgil to your Dante in this new, more lucrative version of hell. Concerning tanks, by the way --

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

The single greatest thing that has ever happened in this game



And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Til touch-down brings me round again to find
I'm not the bare they think I am at home
Oh, no no no
I'm a ROCKET BARE
Rocket bare!
Bottom full of boom out here alone!

Hats off to Tree Bark Jacket for capturing this utterly magnificent video from Icecrown's gunship battle encounter, and a plea to any and all developers reading this; you can never go wrong combining lolbares with explosives. Or rocket launchers. Or laser gun-sights with auto-lock targeting on the rogue who just stole our new tanking belt.

Filed under: Druid, Fan stuff, Humor, Raiding

Shifting Perspectives: Why effective health needs to die, part 1


Every week (usually), Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we brace ourselves for the howling pack of tanks likely to descend upon us, but -- as we have previously observed -- we are used to staying at the top of someone's hate list.

If you've tanked at all over the course of Wrath, you've probably become familiar with the phrase "effective health." It's a concept that's cropped up with increasing frequency on the tanking forums, and not necessarily in a good way. If you knew nothing of the idea beyond how players tend to use it, you'd be forgiven for thinking that "effective health" is the only metric by which all tanks are measured, and proof that Blizzard either can't (or won't) balance the game. There are very real differences between the tanking classes when it comes to average EH, and this has resulted in some angry discussion when the term is thrown around by players who either don't really understand what it means, or don't know that it was meant to be used in context. Consequently, "effective health" as used on the tanking forums has become an endlessly parroted phrase that's not only starting to lose all meaning, but is also guaranteed to derail a thread once it makes its inevitable appearance.

When I say that effective health needs to die, I don't mean that the concept itself is intrinsically wrong. It's not. But the twisted version of it so frequently used to bludgeon players over class differences is getting more ridiculous by the day, and it prevents or distorts more reasonable commentary on things that are much more likely to kill tanks on hard-mode content.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Leveling 51-60



Every week, Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we haul ourselves to Outland and are shocked to discover that +spellpower sometimes comes on leather.


The above video is the result of an idle question I was asked recently by a friend: "So how much damage would you guys do in caster form meleeing?" I started to answer and then realized I had no idea. The notion of actually hitting something with a weapon is utterly foreign to the class. We have claws and a can of celestial pain for that nonsense if provoked, but still, the question was pretty interesting, particularly because after seeing Prinnygod's comment from last week I started to wonder about all the different ways you could level as a Druid if you deliberately avoided Cat and Moonkin. Sure, you'd be a gibbering wreck at the level cap, but that's beside the point. Blizzard once had a talent called Weapon Balance in the Balance tree that improved our melee damage with weapons by 10% -- they were expecting us to hit things. I wondered how that would have worked out if Druid talent trees had never been overhauled.

So I took my main to the mobs outside the Argent Tournament and smacked stuff while running a stopwatch. What you'll see here is a level 79 Frostbrood Whelp with 12,600 health which took me 34.4 seconds to kill, with two global cooldowns devoted to casting a Rejuvenation and then a Lifebloom. I'm currently on a Feral (Bear) spec and thus wearing gear that does help one's melee damage, mind you, but that still works out to a godawful 366.28 DPS. The moral of our little story can be found at the end of the video. Master of Arms is going to be a real trip.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Leveling 10-20 and how to spec


Every week, Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we begin to enjoy our brand-new Bear and Cat forms in earnest.

Hail and well met, Druids. I apologize for my lack of comments on the last Shifting Perspectives, but I was away that week on vacation with abysmal hotel wireless. After spending 20 minutes trying to send a single reply, I gave up and decided that my time on vacation was better spent gorging myself on the offerings of the resort's culinary school. 4 days of coquilles St. Jacques, filet mignon, and venison sausage in puff pastry left me unable to move, but fortunately I have recovered sufficiently to roll myself, Violet Beauregarde-style, in the direction of the laptop for today's column.

Levels 10 through 20 will be among your most interesting and frustrating as a Druid, and they're certainly among the most volatile; as of patch 3.2, you will gain 4 of the Druid's possible forms within these levels, with the biggest alteration to your playstyle likely to occur at 20 with Cat form. Be forewarned that this resulted in a fairly lengthy, 3-part article.

Ready to go?

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

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Druid Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class guides we take a look at exactly what changes in each class and how the changes will affect your playing.

In case you can't tell, I really loved the series of pictures I got to shoot on the PTR of the new Night Elf cat loping across the frozen wastes of Dragonblight. It is almost impossible to take a bad picture with the new forms, but there's just something about them that inspires you to hit the road looking for the best contexts in which to show them off. I foresee this may prove troublesome in the poorly-lit reaches of certain dungeons, where Druids will be loath to walk for fear that their beauty may only imperfectly grace the monitor. Such is life, my friends.

Where was I? I had to stop there to weep into a sherry. Well, no matter. Patch 3.2 is here, and with it a number of changes for the Druid class, both good and bad.

Read on for a guide to all 4 specs in 3.2 and the changes likely to impact Druids in both PvE and PvP.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Guides

Rage as a liability

Rage is a problematic mechanic, and has been since its implementation. It can be a lot of fun, but it can also be frustrating, and it contributes to Warriors' gear dependance. Blizzard is probably working on a way to redo rage entirely, but in the mean time, I'd like to highlight this suggestion for a rage revamp from Alveredus, a commenter on a recent post of mine.

Here's a quick rundown of Alveredus's proposal:

  • Rage increases over time by itself.
  • The more rage you have, the lower your attack speed, but the higher your crit chance.
  • When your rage is at maximum, you start losing resilience.
  • Your abilities vent rage instead of costing rage - same thing really, but a different way of looking at it.

I'm not certain about the specifics of it, but I like the general idea of rage being something you want to get rid of instead of something you want to spend. It makes sense: being in combat makes you angry; when angry, you may be less accurate, more vulnerable, or generally imbalanced.

On the other hand, a system like this runs the risk of feeling like Rogue energy with a penalty. Rogues get their resource back at a constant rate and use it on abilities, but nothing bad happens to them when they cap their energy (aside from losing out on some potential DPS). The comparison could feel unfair for Warriors, who already have their share of penalties for core abilities. But rage definitely could use some work, and I'd like it to stay an interesting mechanic.

Filed under: Druid, Warrior

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