Filed under: Druid
Posts with tag bear-form
All in all, the stat is kinda boring, as while it does still do nice things after you reach the defense cap of 690 rating (or 540 skill), most people don't bother with it and stack stamina or other avoidance. So Blizzard decided that they're going to get rid of it.
Around BlizzCon 2009, we were told that the crit reduction we formerly got from defense rating was going to be tied into things that were available to all members of each tanking class. Examples used were baking it into Bear Form for druids, Righteous Fury for paladins, Defensive Stance for warriors and Frost Presence (or rather, Blood Presence in Cataclysm) for death knights. That means that if a retribution paladin or arms warrior wanted to tank, all he'd need to do was swap to vaguely appropriate gear (or just over to a sword and shield), pop his respective abilities, and away he'd go. That's not how it appears things went down, though.
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?
Complaining aside, I don't think many people will mind too much (although a few surely will). The new Night Elf cat forms are not my favorite, but I do think they're better than the old one. I wouldn't use the old one if it was available (I'll be Drama Club Cat, thank you very much). And the old models would look incongruous next to the new high-detail ones.
Thus a long era will end, as we proceed into the round-pawed future. While we try to forget our hideous forever-open mouths, remember the lessons of Alamo. Durids is very storng, and durids is must always halp eech other. And ultimately, every1 is like a fun time durid!!
Gallery: Revamped Druid forms
UPDATE: Apparently, Allison was jumping up and down from, uh, being underwhelmed. She's kind of weird that way.
ALLISON UPDATE: Hey, I am totally whelmed here. Maybe they're less a shock to the senses after the initial change to Tauren bear form!
There are too many bosses to write about in Ulduar. I find this vexing. Please eliminate 5.
Sleepless in Silithus
Salutations, Druids. As is probably obvious, we're going to take a detour out of Ulduar class strategy this week, because I'm going to shoot myself if I have to write about another boss I haven't been able to smack around since the PTR. We'll be back for Freya, Thorim, and assorted vaguely Norse-sounding entitites wishing to destroy the world for some unspecified reason but they drop phat lewtz so who cares next week.
Anyway, one of the things that's fascinated me about the Druid class since Burning Crusade is the growth in its popularity. Historically we have never been among the more commonly-played classes, and for a wide swathe of classic WoW and BC, were actually the least-played class or within the bottom 3. While there are various reasons for this (and I could devote a column to how this probably happened), Druids became more popular as time went on, and an increasing number of people began to play the class without knowing just how far it's come.
A little time spent reading through Wowwiki's list of the game's patches makes for interesting reading. A little more than 5 years ago, Druids could Feign Death, the Feral 31-point talent was Improved Pounce, and Moonkin form wasn't even in a gleam in a designer's eye.
It's definitely been a big request for a long time, and surely even the devs have seen the awesome work of artists like Andrige to update and enhance the models currently in the game. Zarhym says artists are "very actively working" on redesigning the Druid models, and that "it's way beyond being an idea at this point." He doesn't think they'll show up as soon as 3.1 (and neither do we), but he says that it's in progress. You have to think, then, that there's concept art, if not working models somewhere ready to go into the game in the future. Excellent news for Druids seeking a slightly more updated look than what they've had since the game began.
I'll level with you; we have a huge Druid post in the pipeline that's going to round up the changes to the class in Wrath, new talents, new skills, new everything, and frankly I'm sick to death about reading or writing anything having to do with the expansion. So, just to buck the overwhelming trend that threatens to drive us all to the nuthouse, I'm going to turn to a topic that's plagued Druids for a while.
By this I mean the perennial form issue, something that my Druid colleagues on the blog have previously termed the Same Old Animal Posterior, or SOAP. But it's one that we've been given reason to believe will change in...Wrath. Well, that didn't last long. You'll note that David's article was written in October 2007, more than a year ago, but the same thing could have been posted in 2006 as well. Druid forms haven't changed since launch*, and while they were never really at the cutting edge of Blizzard's art direction as a result**, they look more and more shabby in relation to the higher-polygon models and landscapes. As everything around you gets better and better -- more evocative lighting, more intricate details, fantastic animation -- it's hard not to feel a strange sense of displacement as you shift into a 2004 form within a 2008 game.
But at long last we may see Druid form customization, an overhaul to the default forms themselves, or possibly (hopefully?) both.
We had a little bit of controversy in the first installment, so I'm just going to state this as baldly as possible; if you hated what I wrote last time, there's a good chance you'll walk away from this one thinking I eat babies. Delicious, delicious babies. While I never mean to offend people, I reserve the right to tell them the truth, or at the very least a highly entertaining and plausible lie.
Truth, she be at times an ugly mistress. And she ain't gettin' any prettier as we move from DPS to tanking.
Tanks have significantly more responsibility, both in groups and raids, and they face the competing directives of maximizing mitigation (to keep their healers happy) and maximizing threat production (to keep their DPS happy). I've healed dozens of Death Knight tanks at this point, and while the average pugged DK tank has gotten noticeably better, there are still a few trends you'd want to be aware of as a healer. The problems in beta right now are made worse by Blizzard unintentionally overselling the ease of tanking on a Death Knight in 5-man runs. Many people seem to have interpreted the statement that they should be able to tank well with Blood, Frost, or Unholy specs as being tantamount to saying they can tank well regardless of how their talent points are spent in those trees.
Any experienced tank can tell you right now that this is not true, but people believing that it is is how you wind up with 11K-life Death Knights taking 7-8K enraged hits from Keristasza in the Nexus. If you've never tanked before but you're interested in tanking on a Death Knight -- or pragmatic enough to know you'll probably wind up tanking a certain number of 5-mans on your DPS Death Knight -- I hope this article helps you avoid what I went through in May 2007 when I started tanking and sucked at it.
I came to the beta to slowly lose my mind trying to heal insane tank damage and gulp Extra Strength Tylenol. And I'm all out of Extra Strength Tylenol.
Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, takes a brief look at the changes to Feral Bear armor in the upcoming Patch 3.0.
Welcome back, my furry, feathery and barky brothers and sisters!
Last week, I did a brief rundown of the many ways the Feral Druid mechanics are going to change in Patch 3.0 and Wrath of the Lich King.
This week, I'm going to touch briefly on the changes to tanking changes and bear armor in general, and how they may change the way we view our class.
Oh, and by the way... finding a picture of a slightly stoned-looking bear wasn't as easy as I expected. The lengths I'll go to for a joke!
- Faerie Fire (Feral) is going to be a core ability. This doesn't make much of a difference for feral druids, since we tended to pick it up anyway and we'll probably pick up the talent that's replacing it (more on that in a moment), but it will be nice for other specs, I suppose.
- FFF is getting replaced with a talent that gives the Last Stand component of Berserk (temporarily grants 30% of your maximum health), but usable in both cat and bear form.
- Berserk for bears is getting reworked as follows: last stand component split off as detailed above; Mangle goes back to hitting three targets; Maul doesn't, but it doesn't matter, because for the duration of Berserk, Mangle has no cooldown (aside from the GCD). Fear immunity is still there as well. Cat Berserk does not change.
- Brutal Impact is trading places with Savage Fury to make it harder for non-Ferals to get to; and remember, from yesterday, it now lowers the cooldown of Bash as well as raising its duration.
Unfortunately, it's not all flowers and happy time in Feral land. Ghostcrawler also had to give us the bad news that barber-shop type customization of druid form skins will not be done in time for Wrath, saying "it's a high priority after Lich King" (which I read as "content patch"). This is pretty disappointing. We still might be able to use glyphs to change the appearance of our forms, but I was really looking forward to a more developed system, and one that didn't cost me a glyph slot.
Everyone knows that bears are actually pretty good fishermen, but for some reason Ferals have to shift back out of form and use a pole like everyone else. That may be changing, however. Andrige, the same person who bought us the new data-mined Hairstyles, has discovered the animations showcased in the above video, which point to the possibility of more life injected into the old Druid Feral forms.
One animation called EmoteEat shows the bear bracing a piece of food against the ground with his paw while tearing off a chunk with his teeth, while another is a fishing animation where the bear looks to be pawing at the water, waiting to slap out a fish. The other exciting thing in the video is the possibility of a closed mouth on my bear! Do you know how many flies he's caught with that constantly open mouth of his?
I logged onto my Druid on the Beta servers to check on the status of the animations. While you can now eat, drink and use potions in Feral forms on Beta, there are still no animations associated with the act (You simply sit down while eating). In addition, you can't fish at all in Feral forms (Trying to cast my line put me back in Night Elf form).
Unfortunately, the fact that these animations haven't been implemented yet does lead me to a bit of pessimistic thought: They simply be meant for bear mobs, and not for Feral bears at all. Blizzard's been adding a lot of cool little idle animations to mobs, such as mama beasts who flush out critters for their cubs to chase and eat, so this may simply be one more set. Still, since they exist, they could easily be added on to the Feral bear's animation list in a future patch even if they aren't originally meant for Ferals. Here's hoping we see them there!
One of the biggest concepts coming with Wrath of the Lich King is gear consolidation. Stat are being folded into each other and classes are being changed even on very basic levels so that fewer gear types can work for more classes and specs. Feral Druids have seen this happen as well, with talents such as Survival of the Fittest and Heart of the Wild tweaked so that they can get more benefits from Rogue gear.
Unfortunately, this hasn't worked out that well for bear tanks.
The Feral tree is seeing changes to limit the benefits that the other two trees, specifically Restoration, can gain from investing a few points into the first few tiers. We are also seeing changes to the ways in which bears will be generating aggro.
The Faerie Fire (Feral) and Feral Charge swap
Feral Charge is currently an 11-point talent into the Feral tree, which contributing to the advantages that Restoration druids currently have in arena. It allows Restoration druids the ability to charge, immobilizing their target and interrupting spells for four seconds.
Instead, Faerie Fire (Feral), which is not something that a Restoration druid would likely spend 11 points to get, will take up the 11-point spot, with Feral Charge taking its place in the tree 21 points in.
In addition, Feral Charge will be usable in cat form, dazing the target and moving the cat behind it. This will help address the concerns that cat form is not especially viable in PvP, although their crit dependency is still a weakness. It will also be useful in dungeons to catch runners and other out of place mobs.
Logan: Your peskiness being unleashed on Connor brings me joy. Annoy, tiny blonde one! Annoy like the wind!
-- Veronica Mars, "An Echolls Family Christmas"
With apologies to Diane Ruggiero, the writer of the episode quoted above, but I find Logan's snarky comment (did he even have another kind?) to be a perfect, albeit general, means of describing successful Druid PvP.
Let us be frank; I am not, nor am ever likely to be, a hardcore PvPer, and to a great extent this post is directed mostly at people like myself. If you're one of those Druids carrying a 2K+ rating in full Vengeful, then I invite (nay, implore) you to leave comments and corrections based on your own experience, but the article's mostly for regular folks like me, who may not even particularly like PvP but recognize that it is desirable or perhaps necessary, given our ingame goals. As such, most of this applies to battlegrounds, and on a later date we're going to get into arena. Today, we are simply going to talk about how to avoid letting your PvP experience turn you into a miserably unhappy player who would rather undergo an appendectomy via Roto-Rooter than set foot in another EOTS.