When the Crazy for Cats achievement was discovered on the PTR, the first thing players asked for was a title to go along with it. Namely, something to do with being a Crazy Cat Person. Good news! We got what we asked for: The Crazy Cat Lady and the Crazy Cat Man were both added as titles in the latest patch 5.4 PTR build.
Keep in mind that you need 20 out of the 24 cats listed under the achievement. Overall, the achievement doesn't seem too difficult for a battle pet collector to earn, especially since one-third of the cats on the list are purchasable via NPCs. A few felines on the list are harder to come by, including the Nightsaber Cub and Spectral Tiger Cub from the TCG, and the Spectral Cub awarded to players participating in the Shanghai 2012 Battle.net World Championship.
I'm crossing my fingers for the title off the bat when the patch drops!
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."
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
"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?"
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!
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!
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.
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.
Every Tuesday, or sometimes Friday when the writer's internet has gone AWOL between Sunday evening and Thursday afternoon, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we take a look at the upcoming patch 3.0.8. while penning an angry letter to our ISP.
Greetings, folks. Patch 3.0.8 is coming, bringing a few significant changes for the Druid class. Feral attack power is disappearing from the game entirely alongside bonus armor contribution from non-leather items. Restoration is receiving a nerf in the form of a 6-second cooldown to Wild Growth but is otherwise getting some buffs. Balance is also getting a few buffs, including one that will make a big difference to PvP combat versus Rogues and Hunters. But I think, dear readers, we are overlooking the most important part of patch 3.0.8: Fixed a bug with a Wild Mustard plant that was under the ground in Dalaran.
Oh, thank God. That drove me nuts.
(I'd also love to see them do something about the underground Tiger Lily spawn in Sholazar).
Hi, Feral fans! When last we met to talk about a big Ghostcrawler post, he previewed that they were working on changing the bear armor bonus so it didn't work on jewelry, cloaks, and weapons any more, and on doing something about feral attack power (as seen on feral staves). He didn't have details at the time, but said he'd get back to us. As GC is a crab of his word, he's now come back to let us know exactly what's going to happen, and when.
Only cloth and leather armor (excluding capes) will benefit from the armor multiplier on bear forms. This means armor from trinkets, rings, necks, and weapons will not be multiplied. However, Survival of the Fittest is gaining the additional effect of adding an additional 22/33/66% to your armor from cloth/leather. Net armor should stay the same.
Feral attack power will be removed. Instead, attack power in feral forms will scale based on weapon DPS. As with the armor change, this should make no actual difference to your performance - the conversion will be such that your DPS remains the same. What it does do is make it so some staves might be useful to both hunters and druids (for instance), or some two-handed maces might be useful to feral druids. In Ghostcrawler's words: "This does not mean we are no longer going to create bear and cat weapons, just that those weapons will be slightly less niche than they are now."
These changes will be coming sometime before 3.1 (Ulduar), which I've been referring to as 3.0.4 (though perhaps 3.0.x would be more accurate).
Both great changes in my opinion; the armor change should give us more viable options for tanking jewelry and weapons, instead of being forced to hold on to whatever has armor. And the FAP change will just mean we don't always have to DE a feral piece if the one or two ferals in the raid already have it; and conversely, there won't necessarily be only one weapon in a given raid that's of use to ferals (I'm looking at you, Stranglestaff).
We've been hearing rumblings about Feral stuff from Ghostcrawler, but wow. These are some big shake-ups. I'd better get it out on the table before I start raving about it:
Bonus armor on items (rings, necklaces, trinkets, and cloaks) will no longer be multiplied by bear forms. So while leather leg armor with 253 armor will still give us about 1190, a ring with 100 bonus armor will only give us 100 (not about 470, as now). Feral staves will no longer have armor. However, armor modifiers will be adjusted as necessary so our net mitigation does not go down.
An as-yet undecided deep Feral talent (such as Primal Tenacity) will gain the added effect of reducing the cost of shifting to Cat and Bear by 50%, stacking with Natural Shapeshifter for a total cost reduction of 80%. This will help PvP druids shift cheaper if they want to.
Protector of the Pack's group requirement has been dropped. It now simply increases attack power by 2/4/6% and reduces damage taken by 4/8/12%, whenever you're in bear form.
These changes will not be going live with Wrath of the Lich King; instead, they will come in a patch before the 3.1 content patch that introduces Ulduar. Call it 3.0.4 for now.
Patch 3.0.3 is here, and it's almost certainly the last patch before Wrath is released next Thursday. Unlike the other eight classes, we've gotten all our talent points refunded, which makes this a good opportunity to switch up your spec if you want to, maybe to whatever you'll be leveling with in Wrath. This isn't really because we got huge changes so much as it is because two of our talents were reduced in the number of ranks [edited for correctness]:
Earth and Moon is now 3 ranks for 4/9/13% increased spell damage taken, and increases your spell damage by 1/2/3% (old: 5 ranks for 3/5/8/10/13% increased damage taken from Arcane, Fire, Frost, Nature and Shadow, and increases your spell damage by 1/2/3/4/5%)
Moonfury is now 3 ranks for 3/6/10% benefit (was 5 ranks for 2/4/6/8/10%)
Hard to make a change like that without refunding talent points. Further Balance changes:
Eclipse's buff duration was raised to 15 seconds and its bonuses doubled, but the cooldown raised from 30 to 40 seconds. Overall a buff to what I still think is an inspired talent. (Although some of this seems to have already been live in 3.0.2? Boomkin, help me out.)
Apparently Moonkin were getting way too much mana back from Hurricane, so Moonkin form now only gives mana back from single-target spells.
The developers have been communicative to an unprecedented extent (for them) during the final phases of Wrath of the Lich King's development, but several classes and specs still have concerns. One of those is Feral Druids. We've been set up to tank as well as anyone, and DPS as well as most (not with the same spec, but dual specs should make this easy to handle). However, we still have some obvious weak points. For instance, take mana in PvP. Our class's defining feature is our ability to shift between forms, but if we have a puny mana pool (as most Ferals do), we can't do this very often.
Ghostcrawler has a "Feral Q&A" thread up where he answers several questions that he's noticed people asking around the boards. Unfortunately, we're not necessarily going to like a lot of the answers, which (in this blogger's opinion) tend towards "working as intended" and "it's fine, learn to play." To be fair, he gives much more nuanced explanations, but that's the bottom line in most cases. That may be because Feral actually is fine, but I definitely think there are some valid concerns. Protector of the Pack is just goofy the way it is, as well as taking away the fun of being super-durable while out soloing. Swipe should really be 360°; every single other tank class has a 360° AoE, and we don't really have anything to compensate. And don't get me started about feral form customization (which GC says is coming eventually, but they've been saying that for years).