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Posts with tag bear

Cataclysm: Reaching uncrittable

For those of you who don't know much about tanking, we're going to talk quickly about a stat that won't exist in Cataclysm. This lowly stat is called defense rating, and it's something that tanks need quite a bit of. The nice thing is that it's on just about everything that tanks wear, which means at higher gear levels, we've got it coming out of our ears. The primary point of this stat is to reduce the critical strike ability for incoming melee hits from the standard of 6% to 0%. Druids currently don't need this stat, as they've got a talent called Survival of the Fittest, which means that bosses don't need to drop defense leather.

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.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight

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

[1.Local]: PUGgin' for money and emblems for free


Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

ElderDruid doesn't think we'll be working too hard for our gold and our emblems in 3.3.

ElderDruid:
Look at them yo-yo's, that's the way you do it
You PUG for money on the 3.3
That ain't workin', that's the way you do it
PUGgin for money and emblems for free

Now that's just profit, that's the way you do it
Let me tell you, them guys ain't dumb
Gonna keep subscribers with the epic carrot
Keep 'em till the launch of Cataclysm.

I want my ... I want my ... I want my emblems free ...

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, [1.Local]

Shifting Perspectives: The disappearance of the bear


Every week (usually), Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, confused bears everywhere ask themselves, "Why is no one playing us if we're so awesome?"

I've had an article on this subject percolating for a while. Why people play what they do is a question that endlessly fascinates me, and Nick Yee made a business out of examining the various factors that influenced people's class and role choices in games. Unfortunately, with only fan site numbers to go on, it's sometimes tough to figure out exactly what's happening with demographic shifts ingame. For a while now we've had the sense that, while Feral has lost population since Wrath hit, it's bears in particular who've been hit hardest, and as I've written previously, they've all but vanished from my own server. Because most Armory data sites don't distinguish between bear and cat specs, I never figured out whether all the stories I heard about a shrinking bear population were an accurate gloss on what was going on.

Sometimes, though, Blizzard cuts through the confusion and bluntly states that a class or spec just isn't being played that much. Witness, if you will, the gradual extinction of the bear.

So Xariks on the Tanking forum poses the question; why are bears so underplayed? Any well-designed spec that's a PvE or PvP powerhouse and the frequent target of nerf demands has historically resulted in a huge influx of players (e.g. rogues for most of classic WoW and warlocks in Burning Crusade, among others). In Feral, we have before us a spec that had a 50% share of the druid population in BC and, in the transition to Wrath, received considerable buffs to many of its historic weak spots, the removal of prejudicial encounter mechanics, the addition of another weapon option, and the tanking community's hatred for its highest effective health on average. Yet they've been singled out for especial commentary for being, per Ghostcrawler, an "unpopular spec" in modern raids.

Druids, tanks, and developers all want to know -- what gives?

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

Druid Q&A followup

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the devs have decided to do a followup to the recent Druid Q&A, tackling certain things with more specifics rather than the general approach they took originally. The followup seems mostly aimed at Druid PvP, perhaps an omen of the future. It reminds me much more of the unofficial Shadow Priest Q&A that Ghostcrawler tackled, addressing very specific issues.

For convenience, the full followup can be read below.

Q: Players feel that the effect of Feral Cat Charge isn't as good as the Feral Bear Charge yet the cat charge has double the cooldown. What is the reasoning behind the cooldown difference of these two abilities?
A: Feral Charge Bear mirrors warrior Charge (15 sec), while Feral Charge Cat mirrors Shadowstep (30 sec). They are really different abilities. We just had to put them on a shared cooldown to keep the druid from using them back to back.

Q: Are we satisfied with the damage that Shred does without a bleed/mangle effect on the target compared to how much it does with the bleed effect?

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Class Q&A: Druid

Blizzard's class Q&A is back again, this time with a class that's near to my heart: Druid. I play my Druid more than my Priest these days (who says there's a healer shortage?), and I've grown pretty enamored with the class. But you didn't come hear to hear me talk about me. What did Ghostcrawler have to say on behalf of the dev team?

Every class Q&A so far has started with a section on the class's past and present.

  • In original WoW, end-game Druids were basically healing-only.
  • BC: Bears were pretty good; cats and (b)oomkin were probably still underpowered. This was the era of the hybrid tax.
  • Wrath: all four specs are viable.

Of course, PvP is a bit different, with Resto's dominance in the BC era.

After the break we'll take a look a closer look at a few areas, and present to you the complete Q&A.

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Filed under: Druid, Classes

Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a Druid


Every week (sort of), Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, in the anticipation of a patch likely to bring many new players into the fold, we descend into the depths of an ancient library in pursuit of Druidic history, lean back in our chair considering the modern form of the class, cast a gimlet eye toward the future, and then wonder how many more clichés we can shove into a sentence before readers start writing angry letters to our editor.

Dear new Druids,

Welcome to the class -- and for some of you, welcome back. I've observed a flood of players rolling premade Druids on the PTR to try out with the new bear and cat forms, and with the promise of new moonkin and tree forms arriving at some point in the future, I think it's reasonable to expect lots of you trying (or rediscovering) the class on the live realms. You are most welcome, and we are glad to have you. This is the best class in the game.

Now, I'll grant I'm prejudiced, because I have loved this class since the first day I started playing. I love it so much that it's difficult for me to remember that there are 5...or 8...or...however many other classes there are. I don't know. I haven't checked lately. I'm told Blizzard added another one, but I can't be expected to keep up with every little thing.

So.

It is possible that we have changed more than any other class between the beginning of the game and July 2009 as I write this. I want you to know what the Druid is all about, why it might be a good choice for you, and why (as much as I find this difficult to write) you may wish to steer clear before we start a series on leveling a Druid.

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

The Queue: Where's my bailout Blizzard?


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Dear Blizzard,

I've spent the past year and a half writing about WoW. I need some gold. Can you bail me out?

I can provide you with a promise I'll restructure my daily questing and resource farming, providing a leaner and meaner gold flow for my raiding activities. But I'm going to need some start up help.

Regards,

Adam.

P/S: If I don't get my gold bailout, I'll Blame Canada and not you (which happens to be today's music selection).

Athinah asked...

"I'm so happy that signs of the new druid forms are coming out but...When exactly are they coming out? Is there a chance that they could come out sooner if Blizzard finishes them sooner? If not, what are the chances of the next patch coming out in a month or so?"

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Filed under: The Queue

New Druid form art in patch 3.2


You hear that sound?

That's the sound of a few million Druid players crapping their pants.

Yes, the day has finally come. Hell has frozen over, cats and dogs are living together, and the world is at peace. Two Druid forms (cat and bear) are getting new looks!

I'll just let that sink in for a minute.

Zarhym has announced
on the forums today that this change will be coming during the next major content patch. The new artwork will only be for cat and bear form for the patch, tress are out of luck. Blizzard has only released the new look for the Tauren Bear Form right now, but the others are sure to follow "Soon." Check out a high res image of the new looks.

Additional clarification on the how the forms are selected after the break.

Editorial interjection from Allison Robert:
YES! YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF &$*&@(@( FIX TAUREN CAT FORM YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!

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Filed under: Druid

Breakfast Topic: What it's like to have a Spectral Tiger

Cogfizzle of the aptly named Ace of Spades over on the forums recently came across a Spectral Tiger in the TCG, and has an interesting post up about how people are reacting to his new mount. Most of the people who say something to him simply want to know where to get it (which means to us that more people need to read WoW Insider), but there's also an undercurrent of hostility -- some people think that as a TCG item, the Spectral Tiger mount isn't a "real" achievement in the game, compared to, say, a Netherwing mount or a Zul'Aman bear. True, you can (legally) buy the special loot cards from eBay (or win them from WoW Insider, hint hint stay tuned), when you can't buy those other mounts.

But Cogfizzle, we presume from what he says, got his the old fashioned way -- by buying and playing the WoW TCG. Can you blame him for that? I'm of the second group he describes -- when I see a rocket mount or a Spectral Tiger ride by, I just give whoever's riding it a nod and go on my way. But are these mounts less impressive because they can be bought, even if they were gained the "right" way? Or are you not "impressed" with rare or tough-to-get rep mounts in general? Ezra Chatterton famously came to us with the news that he was the first with the Pheonix mount, for fear that players in game might give him grief for having it.

It's an interesting thought, and of course social quirks like this are why we play this game in the first place. Of course none of you would ever harass anyone in the game (right?) but how do you feel when you see someone ride by on a Spectral Tiger?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Shifting Perspectives: A 3.1 miscellany


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author ferrets around her inbox for several unanswered questions concerning patch 3.1.

Greetings, Druids. For a while now I've been adding to a list of questions I've had for the upcoming 3.1 patch. Some of these are questions I got from other players, some are questions that occurred to me while reading various versions of the 3.1 PTR patch notes, and others are mostly-illegible bits scribbled in the middle of testing Ulduar fights --

dasiewlerjewDIFEEIRKdfklsd? 3349FHDFHDIOJKfkdsfadioer. REIOWEL?


Must've written that one on Kologarn. I believe it is a super-secret, devilishly clever guide to the fight that brilliantly exploits group positioning to produce a clean, one-shot kill on the first attempt, but alas, we will never know. Such are the dangers posed by bad handwriting, people. Study your Palmer Method!

This evening, I will attempt to answer all of the following questions, or to point you in the direction of other bloggers who have. These deal with all three Druid specs, so let's get started!

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

Breakfast Topic: Blizzard's patch 3.1 goals

The blues have been very open lately about the direction that Blizz is taking and the goals that they're trying to achieve. Three, in particular, come to mind when considering patch 3.1 and its effect on tanks and healers in particular:
  1. Bring the player, not the class.
  2. Healing should be more interactive and interesting.
  3. The tanks need to be on par in order to satisfy #1, in terms of performance and stats, yet they do not want to further homogenize the classes.
Obviously, Blizzard has not finished making the 3.1 changes, but we can already see the ways in which they are tackling these goals. Druid healing is getting a controversial overhaul, tanks are having their health and armor adjusted, and some tank talents even seem to be creeping across the board. This leaves some bears, for example, feeling like fuzzy, big-butt warriors.

How are you feeling so far about the direction Blizzard is taking your main character? Even if it isn't perfect yet, are you excited about what you think your class will look like, or are you worried about your favorite spec/role?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Classes

Gorilla Thunderstomp ability given to all tenacity pets

If you've been reading WoW Insider for a while, you probably remember Big Red Kitty's meditations on the Gorilladin. With judicious use of the Gorilla Hunter pet's Thunderstomp skill, you could grind multiple mobs at once and bring Hunter leveling and farming to a whole new level -- enough that Blizzard's had Gorillas under the microscope for a while. Now the word has come down: No more monkey business in 3.1. Gorillas are losing Thunderstomp as a unique pet family ability.

That doesn't mean, however, that Thunderstomp is going away. Rather, it means that all tenacity pets are getting it.

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

Analysis of Druid changes in 3.1

Earlier today, Eyonix released some details on some changes that we can expect in patch 3.1. They're not exactly earth-shattering like some classes' changes, but there is still some interesting stuff in there. Let's get down to analysis.

Savage Defense – this is a new passive ability. When a druid in Dire Bear form deals a melee critical strike, the druid gains a damage shield equal to 25% of their attack power. The next hit completely removes the shield regardless of how much damage was done.

Survival of the Fittest has had its bonus armor reduced to compensate for the above increase in damage mitigation.

I'm going to take these two points together, because they're inseparable. Savage Defense is interesting, and you certainly can't call it a direct copy of some other class's ability (an issue that's plagued us in the past).

Let's look at the numbers involved, since it's hard to make sense of the ability straight off the bat (at least for me). In Dire Bear form with my heroic and crafted blues and epics, self-buffed, I have right around 4,000 AP. So when I crit with a melee ability (I have a 27% crit chance), I get a shield that absorbs up to 1,000 damage from the next hit.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

The Queue: Patch 3.0.8 is here!


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Good news, everyone! We have a guest star today on The Queue! Yes, that's right, a very special guest! Well, sort of. I guess she's not that special after all, but our resident Feral Druid guru chimed in to answer a Bear question yesterday, and she answered it better than I ever could. Our first question of the day is hers to handle, then it's back to me. Because you all love me, right?

thon asked...

I've had a lot of heated debate on the current def cap of Druid Bear Tanks. Is there one if specced into Survival of the Fittest? Is it lower than a normal tank class? I'd love to be able to tell them for certain to pipe down!

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

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