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Posts with tag druid-dps

Shifting Perspectives: Patch 4.0.1 for cat druids


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for bear, cat and restoration druids. Today we stop worrying about those inevitable moments where Rip and Savage Roar are due to fall off within seconds of each other, but are disturbed to discover that the feral damage bug remains.

Cats, in marked (and blessed) contrast to bears and resto, aren't changing a lot in patch 4.0.1 (barring a lingering DPS issue I'll talk about later), and the column I published earlier on the beta cat is still largely accurate if you want an ability-by-ability rundown on specific skills.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Applying to raiding guilds as a druid

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, we are uncomfortably reminded of how similar the job and guild application processes are.

Appearances to the contrary, the waning days of an expansion are actually a pretty good time to apply to a raiding guild. That's when attendance gets choppy, the pool and the grill issue a siren call from the deck, people go on vacation, or -- having "finished" the expansion -- they just take off, period. If you look at the recruitment forums, you'll see a ton of guilds looking for players right now. If you've ever wanted to raid but haven't gotten the chance, I think there is no better time. The Icecrown zone buff is a fantastic buffer for anyone who's not emerging with a bevy of best in slot from tier 9, and the raid itself is one brilliant lore moment from beginning to end.

However, applying to a raiding guild -- particularly if you haven't done much raiding in the past -- can be on the intimidating side. With that in mind, here's a guide on how best to present yourself if you're applying anywhere as a feral or restoration druid.

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Filed under: Druid, Raiding, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Pimp My Profile: Elasmind, balance druid


Welcome to Pimp My Profile, the column in which the WoW.com staff turns zeroes into heroes. Don't think you're performing where you should be? Not sure how your class/spec is supposed to be gearing up? E-mail us with your Armory link, and you might be next to receive our help!
Please pimp my druid. I can put out decent DPS in 5 mans if the conditions are right but I want to do more. I'm unsure about some of my talent choices and hope you can put me on the right track to ICC.

- Elasmind
Like a genie in a bottle, your wish is my command. With minimal tweaks, we can certainly get your toon ready to raid in style. When I say style, I mean style, you'll be the talk of Fountain Square. Get your whisper blocking add-on ready, because after we turn you from a moonkin to a doomkin, every balance druid in Dalaran is going to want to know your secret.

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Filed under: Pimp My Profile

Shifting Perspectives: Are DoTs worth it?

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we are going to explore the issues surrounding the use of damage over time effects in a balance druid's rotation, as we figure out if they are pewpew worthy, or just plain peew.

If you are like me and have played a balance druid since before people knew that druids had a spec that wasn't restoration, then this question isn't a new one to you. The sad truth of the balance spec is that a vast majority of our damage potential is tied up into our main nukes; Starfire and Wrath. Moonfire and especially Insect Swarm have, for the most part, always been at the bottom rung of our damage potential. Back in The Burning Crusade, when balance was first considered to be 'viable' by the mainstream, Insect Swarm was never used in a raid setting due to its poor damage. Although Moonfire held strong, by the Sunwell level, balance druids were able to get so much haste and crit that even our staple of staple spells was left in the dust.

Swing around to Wrath of the Lich King, and there have been some major strides to fix this issue. When the expansion first came out, there were two key talents, Nature's Splendor and Improved Insect Swarm, added to boost our DoT damage. Even then, Insect Swarm was falling too far behind by the time players were in Naxx level gear, but this time around there was some quick work on the part of the development team to remedy the situation. Insect Swarm had its scaling and base damage increased to be viable once again. Not to mention that our three standard issue PvE glyphs have all centered around our DoTs. However, we are no longer in Naxx, we are now in Icecrown Citadel, and the issue of DoT damage is coming up once again.

Are Insect Swarm and Moonfire holding up in terms of damage? Is their scaling sufficient to keep them in our rotations? Let's take a look.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Cat 101

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we are polite, professional, and have a plan to kill everyone we meet.

There's a bit of a gentlemen's wager going on here behind the scenes at WoW.com; the author of the weekly feature that gets the most hits by the end of the month will get cookies from Elizabeth Harper.

And I like cookies.

The following is a list of titles that were subsequently rejected by the editors for inclusion in this week's edition of Shifting Perspectives:

Shifting Perspectives: Naked women playing Cataclysm alpha.
Shifting Perspectives: Paladins suck.
Shifting Perspectives: Everyone should be nerfed but me.
Shifting Perspectives: Gear Score is amazing.

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

WoW.com Guest Post: Why Eclipse is broken

Chris Dinwiddie is better known as Graylo from the popular moonkin blog Gray Matter. "I started my blog to talk about all the things in WoW that interest me. It turns out that my interests are fairly narrow, and my blog primarily focuses on moonkin raiding with the occasional aside to celebrate a boss kill or mourn a near miss."

Ahh, Eclipse. The talent the moonkin love to hate, or do we hate to love it? I don't know. It's a complicated relationship, but I would be surprised if there is another talent out there that stirs up as much emotion as Eclipse. On one hand, it is the savior of raiding moonkin everywhere. Without it moonkin would not be raid viable, and would be stuck with what some consider to be a very boring rotation. On the other hand, it can be a source of despair when you look at the WoL parse and face tough questions from a raid leader.

It is widely accepted with in the moonkin community that Eclipse is broken, but many moonkin don't seem to understand what the real issues are. In this post I will take a look at the common misconceptions about Eclipse, and highlight some of the issues that make Eclipse a broken talent.

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Filed under: Druid, Guest Posts

Moonkin may receive a buff soon

Balance druid performance has been noticeably lagging in raids. While moonkin have long had a problem being too easily +haste-capped with Wrath, there's another issue on the not-too-distant horizon in the form of the "lunar +crit cap." Essentially, when a lunar eclipse procs and the player turns to the Starfire portion of the rotation, the combination of raid buffs, gear, and procs make Starfire crits all but inevitable. While this may sound like a welcome DPS increase, it does have the unhappy result of the spec seeing increasingly less benefit from the +haste and +crit that exists in abundance on Icecrown raid gear.

Blizzard has known about this for a while, but the issue with Nature's Grace and the soft +haste cap isn't easily fixable without impacting both Restoration and Starfire (where the NG proc is still useful), and the +crit cap is the effect of unintended stat inflation in Wrath. Enter Zarhym on Wednesday to announce news of a possible change to the Earth and Moon talent in a future mini-patch, granting 2/4/6% spell damage to the moonkin, up from 1/2/3%. While this isn't set in stone (and Balance players are already aware that an overhaul to the Nature's Grace issue probably won't happen until the Cataclysm content patch at the earliest), it's been greeted as a decent short-term fix. It's also a means of improving the scaling of what remains the moonkin's best stat (+spellpower).

Zarhym did warn that the change may not go through in this form, and we're also waiting for news on when this mini-patch will hit. Stay tuned for future announcements.

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Classes, Buffs

Shifting Perspectives: How to be a good PUG druid




Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, everyone discovers (as I have been saying for years, but who listens to the bear tank with an ass the size of Cincinnati? No one, that's who) that PUG's are not so bad.

Moore returns with a ukulele. I'm going to pull out one of the big guns on the folk scene in the Americas -- Richard Shindell. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a high-quality version of this song available anywhere online, and I highly recommend listening to the versions off Shindell's Sparrow's Point or (more especially) the live album Courier. Yes, it starts off slow, but give it a chance. On A Sea of Fleur-de-Lis is a very odd, albeit poetic, song with esoteric lyrics, although they make a little more sense once you know they were written while Shindell was considering leaving Union Theological Seminary. Otherwise, as with many of Shindell's pieces, BYO subtext.

Beat that, Moore.

Anyway, after reading Archmage Pants' article on the new LFG system for mages and Daniel Whitcomb's guide on the same for death knights, I decided it wasn't fair letting a bunch of smelly DPS have all the fun.

"But some death knights tank," you object.

That's just a widely-disseminated myth, as all those of us on the Retaliation battlegroup know. You have tried the new LFG, right? Allow me to be the Virgil to your Dante in this new, more lucrative version of hell. Concerning tanks, by the way --

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

Shifting Perspectives: Druid strategy in Icecrown Citadel - Marrowgar

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we cross our fingers and hope there are more fights like the gunship battle up ahead.

Hail, druids. I'll be continuing a look at Balance gear whenever the gear lists on Wowhead start behaving themselves (down, boy!), which I sincerely hope is going to start happening soon. Right now they're kind of a mess post-patch. In the meantime, I've been able to return to raiding with the benefit of a new computer, and the guild stomped through Icecrown Citadel last night (with, as I previously vowed, Jaina Proudmoore's coin in my packs because it is awesome and lore-appropriate and I could not be a bigger nerd).

As with Ulduar, I'd like to do a series of class-specific tips for each encounter. Again, I go into these assuming you have a basic understanding of the fight's mechanics, and then delve into more druid-specific commentary. Before the next set of Icecrown bosses hits, I hope to have covered Marrowgar (here), Lady Deathwhisper (in which binding Remove Curse to all of your hotkeys plays a significant role in the raid's success), the gunship battle (we wanted to wipe the raid so we could come back and do it again, that's how awesome it was), and Saurfang (who, for some incomprehensible reason, lacks a Cleave ability. Maybe it's a recessive gene).

We'll start with Lord Marrowgar, who will probably be the most commonly-seen Icecrown Citadel boss due to his inclusion in the weekly raid quest. Experienced Burning Crusade raiders will recognize this encounter as an unholy mating of Leotheras, Mother Shahraz, and Naj'entus. It sounds complicated, but it's really not.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Leveling 51-60



Every week, Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we haul ourselves to Outland and are shocked to discover that +spellpower sometimes comes on leather.


The above video is the result of an idle question I was asked recently by a friend: "So how much damage would you guys do in caster form meleeing?" I started to answer and then realized I had no idea. The notion of actually hitting something with a weapon is utterly foreign to the class. We have claws and a can of celestial pain for that nonsense if provoked, but still, the question was pretty interesting, particularly because after seeing Prinnygod's comment from last week I started to wonder about all the different ways you could level as a Druid if you deliberately avoided Cat and Moonkin. Sure, you'd be a gibbering wreck at the level cap, but that's beside the point. Blizzard once had a talent called Weapon Balance in the Balance tree that improved our melee damage with weapons by 10% -- they were expecting us to hit things. I wondered how that would have worked out if Druid talent trees had never been overhauled.

So I took my main to the mobs outside the Argent Tournament and smacked stuff while running a stopwatch. What you'll see here is a level 79 Frostbrood Whelp with 12,600 health which took me 34.4 seconds to kill, with two global cooldowns devoted to casting a Rejuvenation and then a Lifebloom. I'm currently on a Feral (Bear) spec and thus wearing gear that does help one's melee damage, mind you, but that still works out to a godawful 366.28 DPS. The moral of our little story can be found at the end of the video. Master of Arms is going to be a real trip.

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

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Druid Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class guides we take a look at exactly what changes in each class and how the changes will affect your playing.

In case you can't tell, I really loved the series of pictures I got to shoot on the PTR of the new Night Elf cat loping across the frozen wastes of Dragonblight. It is almost impossible to take a bad picture with the new forms, but there's just something about them that inspires you to hit the road looking for the best contexts in which to show them off. I foresee this may prove troublesome in the poorly-lit reaches of certain dungeons, where Druids will be loath to walk for fear that their beauty may only imperfectly grace the monitor. Such is life, my friends.

Where was I? I had to stop there to weep into a sherry. Well, no matter. Patch 3.2 is here, and with it a number of changes for the Druid class, both good and bad.

Read on for a guide to all 4 specs in 3.2 and the changes likely to impact Druids in both PvE and PvP.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Guides

Patch 3.2 Druid changes


3.2 approaches! Sort of. The PTR itself isn't up yet (at least, not as I write this), but nonetheless, 3.2 approaches on little cat feet.

I'm going to examine the 3.2 PTR patch notes line by relevant line, just because there are several changes that impact Druids while not being class-specific. If you want a quick summary without being massively spoiled, Balance is getting a huge and welcome change to the functionality of Eclipse, Cats are getting bonked by the nerfbat, and PvP-Restos are really getting bonked by the nerfbat. Bears, well...not much is going to happen to bears this patch, which is a little demoralizing given the improvements being made to Pally tanks, but that's OK. We still have our, uh, amazing Tier 8 set bonuses and...um...the best -- sort of -- tanking cooldowns in, uh, the...uh...

...Oh, screw it, just stack the hell out of stamina and pray to the gods of RNG if your guild's dumb enough to try Ulduar on hard-mode. Congratulations; you have now done all you can possibly do to prepare yourself for modern tanking.

Sad lolbare is sad. But cough syrup for everybody! Is nise! Now let's take a look:

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

Shifting Perspectives: An Ulduar class preview, part 3

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, as other people continue their march through Ulduar, I continue to ask myself if it wouldn't be more cost-effective in the long run just to take my ailing graphics card out behind the woodshed and end its pathetic misery once and for all.

Greetings, fellow Druids. There have been a few changes to Ulduar of late which I haven't yet seen play out on the live realms, but most of the changes concerned are nerfs, which should have little impact on overall raid strategy apart from giving you a bit of extra breathing room. Today we're going to address what you can expect from Auriaya and Mimiron. Mimiron in particular was the subject of some concern from feral tanks on the PTR and, well, the mechanic driving that concern is still a problem, but less of one than you might think.

I was originally going to include Freya in this installment as well, but noticed that her two erstwhile comrades were starting to consume rather a lot of space. Suffice it to say that trying to describe these two fights is awkward at best, so I'm restricting myself to as much Druid-centric information as possible rather than describing every possible means of handling the fights.

Oh well. Batting first for us today is sad spinster Miss Auriaya and her smelly cats, although she's a bit complicated to describe:

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Achievements

Are DPS helper mods cheating?


Karthis at Of Teeth and Claws raises an interesting question concerning "helper" mods for DPS rotations -- should they be considered cheating? He observes that, whie they may be a godsend for classes and specs with more difficult rotations, many of them remove the need to think about anything other than following the mod's instructions on what skill to use and when. He writes, "If a chimpanzee was trained to press the key that corresponded to the skill that Face Mauler popped up, then it would put out insane DPS without understanding even the very basics of what it means to be a feral cat."**

The issue leaves me somewhat torn. There's no way around the fact that Karthis is right; mods like these -- and they exist for several classes -- make it possible for players to do great, or at least acceptable, DPS without understanding the class and spec they play. They also have the side effect of encouraging tunnel vision on the mob/s rather than what's happening in the raid (and, as someone who plays a tank, I must admit I hate dealing with an utterly oblivious DPS). Nobody wants to see a lazy player rewarded with excellent DPS for no other reason than their ability to install a mod and then do what the mod tells them to do.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Instances, Bosses

Shifting Perspectives: An Ulduar class preview, part 2


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we watch the Ulduar trailer again and ask ourselves over and over why Jaina Proudmoore couldn't have been a Druid. The obvious answer is that she just wasn't cool enough, but this is the source of much cognitive dissonance at the moment.

I'm going to take a quick moment from the rest of the column and just write, in case any of the people who made it are reading this, that the Ulduar trailer was so stuffed with win that pieces of win are dribbling out of it into little win puddles and spilling over into the Sewer of Awesome. And, as NaitFury on the MMO Champion thread points out, "Those of you who say it is boring should probably go back to watching another Undead Rogue 1-shot people with Linkin Park in the background." Amen!

We're one week into Ulduar (and by "we" I mean "other people," because the game has become virtually unplayable for me post-patch, and having the game crash my computer every 5 minutes is forcing the Sewer of Awesome to run to the Vast Delta of Self-Pity), so let's pick up where we left off and tackle the Deconstructor, the Iron Council, and Kologarn.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

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