New female tauren aren't the only shiny new player character models this week -- our friends at Wowhead have datamined the new druid cat forms that will go along with the level 100 talent Claws of Shirvallah. The talent allows druids who take it to cast all non-damaging druid spells while in cat form, and the half-humanoid half-cat model is a visual indication of the talent's hybrid nature. The animations are fluid and certainly make the model look intimidating. The worgen snow leopard version is my favorite, however, I do wonder if the models will be available in all the same color variations of the normal cat form models, or if the colors displayed are the only ones.
While I can appreciate the skill and care put into these new cat form models, I'm not entirely feeling it, at least not yet. I just can't imagine my druid looking like that! Fortunately, it doesn't seem as if the talent is really relevant to my personal playstyle -- Lunar Inspiration seems more my speed -- but I can see how it may be very important for PvP'ers in particular. What about you? Are you going to grab Claws of Shirvallah at level 100? Is the model part of the reason why or why not?
Check out Wowhead for the full 3D models of all four forms in their modelviewer, as well as video of the new forms in action.
When the new 5.0 patch flips over on Aug. 28, will you be ready with glyphs? Blizzard is recycling old glyphs instead of making new spell IDs and charring old ones. Some glyphs are staying the same, some are new, but some share IDs with old Cataclysm glyphs.
Below is our list of new or changing glyphs for druids. This is not a list of changing tooltips, just which glyphs you ought to have if you want to automatically have the new glyphs when the patch flips over.
The glyph switching occurs across roles more often than not, so feral and guardian druids will want some of the current balance and restoration glyphs in order to automatically switch over.
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!
Wowhead has datamined some pretty cool new models, which are apparently new druid cat form models coming in for the new druid talent Incarnation. Even though they're not a whole new model, they look slick, and I cannot imagine Blizzard won't have something more to say about them soon, now that we've seen them. Ghostcrawler said that new forms are coming for Incarnation, and this might be the first salvo of models for druids.
Personally, I hope the new forms are a subtle hint at a Blizzard reversal in its reluctance to add in some class-specific content again. While doing something cool for every class is a daunting process and the required resources are extensive, it's been shown that players react favorably to that type of content. In the meantime, check out the epic cat forms for worgen, night elves, tauren, and trolls over at Wowhead. It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!
Feral druids, rejoice! Majordomo Staghelm turns into a pretty cool-looking flame cat during his encounter in patch 4.2's raid, The Firelands. Druids have been clamoring for Blizzard to in some way or another give feral cat druids that awesome flaming cat form. Well, your hopes and prayers were answered -- Fandral's Flamescythe, a drop from Majordomo Staghelm, will shift you into flame cat form when in cat form as long as it is equipped.
This is wonderful news for druids, as more customization is always welcome. Blizzard's design philosophy of You went to the Firelands and came out looking like the Firelands is in full swing. Feral druids went to the Firelands, looked Fandral Staghelm in the eyes, and left with a tangible reward -- a sweet new form. This also paves the way for other items to also change players' forms, much like Deathbringer's Will from Icecrown Citadel in Wrath. The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!
I had the pleasure of meeting a completely new player on my server not all that long ago. He'd rolled a rogue and was slowly making his way through both levels and the avalanche of bewilderment common to new players. I haven't forgotten what it was like to be tossed into a world of frequent acronyms and gamer parlance, and I spent some time giving him tips. Between making helpful suggestions like, "Wow, I guess you can't jump off the Thunder Bluff elevator at that point" and "Did you ever consider rolling a druid?", I discovered that he was in the habit of dying a lot.
For new players, that's not unusual, but it was how he was dying that really got my attention. Starting most fights from Stealth, he'd sneak up to a mob, most typically from the front, and then attempt to circle to the side or rear for a Backstab opener. A good 90% of the time, the mob would attack him midway through the process, which -- as you can imagine -- is a disconsolate state of affairs for someone who aspires to be an invisible ninja.
As soon as I saw this, I said, "Well, that's your problem right there."
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.
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.
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.
This is no surprise, but the new bear and cat models (which you can see in the gallery below) are going to be the only bear and cat models as of patch 3.2. You won't be able to keep the old models even if you want to – Zarhym confirmed it in a post from last night.
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!!
You have probably seen the new Night Elf cat forms by now, the last of the four feral forms that are going to be revamped in patch 3.2. Reaction to them has been mixed; many players love them, while many think they leave something to be desired in the ferocity department. As our newest columnist Eddie put it, "You have to love the little 'bells' on the colors. Just like a nice little kitty cat." I fall on this side as well - they look more delightful than dangerous.
Evidently Anik of Rexxar agrees with me and Eddie, because he was inspired to make the above image showing the logical extension of the direction the cat forms seem to be taking. What gets me is how little editing really needed to be done - they really look like that already, for the most part.
Of course, several of our writers are extra-excited about these newest forms; Zach and Manda both promise that they are rolling druids just to get access to them. Sailer Moon Cosplay Cat and Scene Kid Cat are their picks, in case you were wondering.
Yes, Druids, it's that time again! After eking out their reveal of the Tauren and Night Elf bear forms and the Tauren cat over the past fortnight, it's finally time to see what your Night Elf Druid cat form is going to look like come patch 3.2. We told you earlier how Zahrym let everyone know they would be announcing the final revamped druid form today, but it seems Allison is nowhere to be found so you get to hear my impressions instead. However the rest of the team really don't seem to like the new look at all.
My first thoughts are actually quite positive. I love the cat versions of the Night Elf tattoos and the shiny gem collars are a lovely touch, even if the leather bracelet/anklet/pawlet seem a little weird and out of place. When did Night Elves get a leather fetish exactly? The colours are nice, all a variation on Night Elf skin tone but I confess I prefer the colouration of the old cat design. Over all it's quite a nice selection of designs and I think players are going to be rather pleased come patch day to be able to stand out in a crowd of druids, even if not everyone is going to like the new look. My only question is: what's the deal with the different coloured eyes? It's nice but somewhat creepy looking. To learn more about all the new Druid forms, don't forget you can check out Blizzard's in development page.
We've already seen the graphics for three out of the four new feral forms we know are coming for druids in patch 3.2: Tauren bear and cat forms, and Night Elf bear forms. This only leaves Night Elf cat forms left to be seen. (They might be redesigning moonkin and tree forms too; they're being cagey about that when people ask. My guess would be no.)
I've been anxiously refreshing pages all day to see if the Night Elf cat forms would come. In vain, apparently, as Zarhym has just posted to let us know that the forms in question will be unveiled tomorrow "later in the day," which probably means mid-afternoon (PST) sometime. In the mean time, we've got the other three sets of forms in the gallery below. What would your ideal Night Elf cat look like?
As you probably know by now if you play a druid, new feral form graphics are finally coming in patch 3.2. Druids will have their choice of five different versions for each race and form (bear/cat); what form you get corresponds to your hair color for Night Elves and your skin tone for Tauren, both of which will be changeable at the barber shop.
So far we've already seen the bear forms for Tauren and Night Elves. Today, Blizzard unveiled the replacements for the much-maligned Tauren cat form. You can see the results above. My initial reaction is that they're still a bit ugly, but way better than the previous Tauren cat form (which is marked "Old Cat form" above).
Here's what a few of our staff members thought: Elizabeth: "A million times better. Still not as cool as night elf, but better." Allison: "The eyes are way too small. Still going to be glad I play a bear." Lesley: "Those horns are evil." Alex: "I'm gonna roll a Tauren Druid so I can play that black one with the grey mane. I'm going to RP an old grizzled war vet Druid."
Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we plagiarize from Stephen Hawking, jack a WABAC Machine, and begin a joyride through the evolution of the Druid class.
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.