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Posts with tag dire-bear-form

Shifting Perspectives: A brief history of time

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.

Dear Blizzard,

There are too many bosses to write about in Ulduar. I find this vexing. Please eliminate 5.

Sincerely,

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.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Let my kitties go!


Every Tuesday/Wednesday/some sort of day occurring midweek, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert yanks John Patricelli's column again, hoping to make good on a threat previously made concerning her "dissatisfaction" with Tauren cat form. And by dissatisfaction she might mean something else.

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.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Bear armor woes in Wrath to be addressed

You may recall a while back that we covered the problem with bear tanks in Wrath of the Lich King. In short, the new shared gear itemization between Rogues and Feral Druids is leaving bear Druids incredibly starved for armor and stamina. Extra stamina and armor is wasted on rogues, but is mandatory for Bears. Bears, therefore, have suffered.

Ghostcrawler has now let us know that the dev team has noticed the problem. The justification, of course, is as usual: They want less useless stuff to drop. Ideally, itemization should be tight enough that there is a high chance of people getting stuff they can use off a boss, even if that means 12 other people in the raid can use it as well.

Filed under: Druid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

Itemization and the plight of the bear tank in Wrath of the Lich King

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.

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Filed under: Druid, Rogue, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath Beta patch notes: Feral and Restoration Druids


Continuing on from the analysis of the changes to the Balance druid talent tree, as shown in the first patch notes for the official Wrath of the Lich King Beta, we'll now examine the Feral and Restoration trees.

Feral tree
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.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Features, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Shifting Perspectives: Yummy treats for bears to eat

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, brings you some choice tidbits of knowledge on level 70 consumables for the beary furry crowd.

We've talked about the gear you can get to build your tanking set up to Karazhan, but to actually tank in a raid, you need to bring along plenty of tasty consumables to buff you up to tip-top shape. And that's what we're going to cover today.

There are four basic types of consumables you can have active buffs from.

You can have active at one time;

  • Flask or Elixir buffs (One Flask, or One Guardian and One Battle Elixir effect)
  • Multiple scroll buffs (as long as the buffs do not overlap with player spell casting)
  • One Weapon buff
  • One food buff

Also, there are tons of potions and items that can be darn handy to use in the middle of a fight, especially when things are looking their bleakest, and with the changes to how Druids shift forms in Patch 2.3, there are some very simple macros that you can use to make your own 'oh no!' buttons. Use at your own risk!

What will help you in your fight is situational, but knowing what you have to choose from can make creating your own shopping list a lot easier.

Hopefully, this post will help you plan ahead!

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Scare Beast Change: Does it make Hunters the new anti-Druid?

In what could be the biggest change in 2.4.2, Hunters are getting a pretty generous buff to the spell Scare Beast. Not only is the range ballooning from 10 yards to 30 yards, but it will have an instant cast time as well. Well it does have limited application in PvE, this will be huge in PvP, for one simple reason: It will work on Druids in forms.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Arena

Shifting Perspectives: The same old animal posterior

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them, brought to you by Dan O'Halloran and David Bowers.

Some people say that Blizzard is lazy. Players tend to start voicing this sort of opinion when it seems like Blizzard hasn't done something they think should have been done a long time earlier, such as adding new dungeons they won't visit, or new features they won't use. Sometimes there's just one particular thing that grates and grates on the players' nerves so much that they simply cannot understand why Blizzard hasn't done anything about it yet.

Even I have been guilty of this sort of thinking now and then. But ultimately, it becomes apparent that, whatever the status of Blizzard's list of flaws -- laziness is not one of them. Indeed, we simply do not realize the massive extent of work that is required to achieve some things, especially the things we don't personally desire, and therefore fail to give credit for hard work done where we don't realize such credit is due.

The topic at hand today is a prime example of such a problem, a druid pet peeve which has gone on for a long long time. Exhibit A, above, is the Tauren Cat Form, or rather, what some of us might wish the Tauren Cat Form looked like -- a player's own suggestion submitted in Blizzard's own art contest of 2007. The Tauren Cat Form that Horde druids have been seeing since 2004 is pictured to the left here in Exhibit B [Update: Tauren cat form has been slightly updated in patch 2.3]. Whether or not Exhibit A is the perfect replacement for Exhibit B can be left up to the good judgment of the reader, but for the purposes of this article, it is sufficient for us if we all agree that something must eventually be done about the feral druid's monotonous appearance problem. That's to say -- we tire of staring at the Same Old Animal Posterior (or SOAP).

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

/silly: Dire Straits


Greetings, my brothers in arms! Once again it is time to delve into the land of my artistically rendered personal views on this walk of life we call World of Warcraft. A few hours of private investigations deep into my inner psyche brought forth this small one panel sight gag, aimed at those sultans of swing, the Feral Druid. Since this ended up being a mere one panel affair, I invested extra time into the quality of the art, so no one should feel that they wasted their money for nothing.

Addendum: Check after the jump for a nifty bonus pic!

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Filed under: Odds and ends, Humor, /silly, Comics

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