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Posts with tag druid-feral-dps-shifting-perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: More on level 90 feral Mists of Pandaria talents

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

This week, I want to take a closer look at the proposed Mists of Pandaria level 90 talents for feral druids. This tier of talents has received significant criticism on the WoW forums and other discussion boards, with the most common appellation being "useless." I couldn't disagree more. Given the constraints that Blizzard has to operate under, I think these talents offer up some interesting new game mechanics.

Heresy, yes, I know. Before you bring out the pitchforks, remember these key facts about how talents are supposed to work:
  • Talents are no longer the prime determinants of player power; they are now merely utility skills. You can fulfill your core DPS/healing/tanking role in a raid with no talents at all, you'll just be slightly less good at it. Rogues, as a comparison, only have one tier of talents that affect their DPS, just as we do; everything else is survivability, crowd control, or movement.
  • Talent choices must be reasonably balanced; otherwise, we're back to everybody picking the same thing, which leads to the developers balancing around everyone having that thing, which causes complaints about not having choices. This balance has to extend to both PvE and PvP.
  • The benefits granted by talents can't be so strong that they cause significant changes in class desirability, or we're back to the shaman stacking model again. Admittedly, any advantages are still going to be min-maxed by heroic raiding guilds, but the perception that it's required cannot be allowed to exist.
At least, that's the theory. The ideal is for all six talent choices to be equally valuable for each PvE role and PvP (cynics are free to substitute "equally useless"). Unfortunately, having four specs makes this exceptionally difficult, so I expect we'll likely end up with two to three no-brainer choices and two to three actual decisions after the balancing and theorycrafting is done. That ends up being pretty similar to the Cataclysm model but with much less added cruft -- perfectly fine with me.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: A feral guide to the Fall of Deathwing

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

As the portal from the Eye of Eternity shimmered and closed behind me, I continued to curse loudly.

"Enough, OK? Enough! I've been slimed, tentacled, and now? Frozen solid. You dragons got your precious iris; send someone else to get the next Magic Battery or whatever else you decide you need!"

"Alaron," Tyrygosa began, "perhaps now's not the ..."

"No! Maybe I wasn't clear. I AM DONE WITH DRAGONS."

All conversation stilled, and heads turned in my direction ... which is how we heard it. Wingbeats. Lots of wingbeats. In the distance, an uncountable horde of twilight drakes came over the horizon, preceded by the largest and ugliest dragon I'd ever seen, and headed straight for the Temple. A soft groan rippled through the room as we prepared yet again for battle.

"You may be done with dragons," Tyragosa murmured, "but they do not appear to be done with you."

Last week, I covered the first four bosses in Dragon Soul, and this week, we'll finish things up. As before, I'll provide a quick capsule strategy for those attempting the fight in the Raid Finder, then describe the changes to the fight for normal and heroic modes.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: A feral druid guide to the Siege of Wyrmrest Temple

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

I was tired. I'd traveled to the End of Time, participated in one of the biggest moments in the history of Azeroth, and helped the spiritual leader of the Horde kill the spiritual leader of the Alliance (who, admittedly, had tried to kill us first). I'd never felt much of a calling to the Dream, but a few hundred years of meditation sounded great right about now.

Peering over the scales of my drake (I'd have flown myself, but they insisted), I gestured to the large dragon in flight beside me.

"You know, you dragons are always causing trouble," I shouted as the frigid wind of Northrend whipped by. "Can't you just drop me off at the nearest forest and call it a day?"

Nethestrasz chuckled. Through some queer trick of the dragons' magic, they were fully understandable, even in dragon form.

"If a forest existed that would be spared from Deathwing's flames, I might join you," he replied. Unfortunately, any further reply was drowned out by a sudden, loud cracking noise as the earth split asunder before us, revealing a gigantic earth elemental.

"Well, looks like it's time to be troublesome," I thought. Wordlessly, I nodded to Nethestrasz, and our army turned as one and dove for the surface.

This week and next, I'll be covering everything you need to know to DPS your way through the new Dragon Soul raid encounter. I'll provide a quick capsule strategy for those attempting the fight in the Raid Finder, then describe the changes to the fight for normal and heroic modes.

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Your patch 4.3 feral cheat sheet

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

Patch 4.3 is upon us. It's time to take down Deathwing. Are you prepared? If not, fear not: This handy cheat sheet will sum up all the feral changes you need to know to keep you performing at your best. (As always, thanks to Tangedyn and Yawning for their invaluable analysis; make sure to check out Mew, if you haven't already.)

I'm going to put this right up front, since this is easily the most frequent question I receive: What should I reforge to, and what are my stat priorities? Easy -- it doesn't matter.

Seriously. All of the secondary stats (mastery, haste, crit, hit, expertise) are roughly equal in value for DPS purposes. This was the case in 4.2, and it remains the case in 4.3. (To put a more exact number on it, it's a roughly 1% DPS difference, which is well within the margin of error for any given fight.) My personal preference remains the same: Cap hit and expertise (960/780 rating, respectively) to reduce rotational unpredictability, which has benefits that aren't captured by computer simulations that play perfectly. By all means, however, reforge to whatever you prefer; just make sure you're still gemming and enchanting your gear, going for agility wherever possible.

OK, on to the interesting stuff.

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Where have all the feral talents gone?

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

Last week, I broke down the new druid talents that were released at BlizzCon with lots of discussion about how this may lead ferals in a new direction. I've had a week to think about things more, and I'm still blown away by the magnitude of the changes Blizzard is making to the specializations. Much of the fundamental assumptions about what drives our characters is being reworked, and we're not discussing the implications because OMG pandas! (For the record, I have a 3-year-old. Team Pandaren > Team Worgen.)

To quickly review, the traditional model of abilities has always been strongly tied to classes. If you were a druid, you got all the druid abilities as you leveled, regardless of what talent points you invested. There were a few key abilities for each spec that were unlocked via talents, but that was it.

With Cataclysm, Blizzard took its first swipe at reducing talent trees by introducing specializations. This served two purposes. First, it let specs have "cool" abilities earlier, instead of waiting until they were near max level to unlock them. And second, it once and for all eliminated the ability to have hybrid specs, such as the Dreamstate resto druid from The Burning Crusade. Previously, you were merely limited by your talent points; now, if the ability you wanted existed in another specialization, or below tier 2 in an off-spec tree, it was completely inaccessible.

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The state of feral raid DPS in patch 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

Now that we've got several weeks of 4.2 data under our belt, I'd like to take a look at DPS across the classes to see how feral shakes out comparatively. Obviously, this is a topic that is always heavily controversial, so I'm doing my best to document my opinions using hard data rather than anecdotal observations.

My primary tool for this is going to be the charts from Seri's wonderful site, raidbots.com, which aggregates public data from World of Logs reports. I know several guilds don't report to WoL, but it's still a wonderful data source for information.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral cat strats for the Firelands, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

All of us want fire kitty staff, but there are a few obstacles in the way ... mounds of trash and five or so bosses. For my next few columns, I'll take a look at feral DPS strategies that will get you through mostly unscorched.

The first thing you'll have to deal with is trash. There's a nice Firelands trash guide right here on WoW Insider, but let's start this week's study with a brief overview.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Firelands gear for the feral cat

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

Gear, gear, everybody wants gear! Happily, we get our first piece of visible progression gear in, well, forever. A flaming kitty is a raiding kitty ... awesome.

This update to my gear list focuses on items from new 4.2 content and bottoms out with ZA gear. If you're just starting out, the list compiled a few months ago is still quite good.

A few notes before we get to the items:

One of my most common questions is "Which secondary stat is best?" Well, the small Rip nerf, plus the eventual loss of the two-piece T11 bonus once you upgrade into tier 12, knocks mastery down a peg. The buff to Savage Roar boosts haste up a peg. Unfortunately, this means our secondary stats are pretty much even. I've tested this extensively, and at the 359 to 378 gear levels, reforging to different stats affects simulated DPS by less than 1%. Personally, I'd recommend sticking with mastery until you break two-piece T11, then try a hit/expertise cap setup; see how it works for you. As always, any fight with little to no off-boss time will favor haste, while fights with large interruptions in DPS time will favor mastery.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral cat druid raiding strategies, part 4

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

In our previous installments (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), we've covered every fight in this tier of raiding except for two. Now it's time for the toughies: Al'Akir and Nefarian. Get your snack of choice ready, as it'll take your raid team several nights to get these bad boys down.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Guest Posts

Shifting Perspectives: Feral cat raiding strategies, part 3

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

In the previous installments of our series on raiding strategies for feral cat druids (part 1 and part 2), we've looked at some of the easier bosses in this raid tier. This week, we'll finish up Nefarian's minions in Blackwing Descent and clear out Bastion of Twilight.

First up: Chimaeron in Blackwing Descent.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Druid feral cat raiding strategy for Cataclysm, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

Last week, we began our detailed look at feral raiding by discussing the "easy 5" raid bosses this tier. This week, we'll head over to the Throne of the Four Winds to discuss the Conclave and take a look at two of Nef's minions.

First up: Conclave of the Wind, Throne of the Four Winds.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral cat raiding strats for Cataclysm, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

So, you've done all the prep work, and you think you're ready to raid. You've geared yourself appropriately; you have the right enchants, potions, and consumables; and you've set up your awesome UI. Well, congratulations, you did your homework. Now comes the test. Think of everything you've done to this point as building your potential; now comes the time to activate that potential.

I'll go over each encounter in the current raiding tier and give you what you need to know to maximize your contribution to your raid. (Hint: That doesn't always mean maximizing your personal DPS.) I'll only briefly cover fight elements that are not feral-specific; for more detail, I highly recommend reading through Tyler's posts on raiding as a balance druid. I'll tackle the fights roughly in order by difficulty (easiest to hardest), as most guilds generally follow that path for progression.

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Filed under: Raiding, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your feral cat for raiding, part 3


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

In this final installment to our feral cat gearing series, let's take a look at augmentation. No, not that kind of augmentation, silly -- the ones that make your character better at laying down the smack, DPS-wise.

A word to the thrifty: A character with no enchants versus a character with full enchants loses about 10% DPS potential. If you don't use consumables, that knocks off another 10%. A 10-20% shortfall is certainly significant but not critical. I wouldn't worry about enchanting gear for tackling solo content or normal-mode dungeons. Once you get into heroic dungeons and raids, though, you're doing your fellow group or raidmates a disservice by not putting forth the best effort possible, and that effort includes fully maximizing your potential.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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

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