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Posts with tag druid-guide

Shifting Perspectives: The potential return of Insect Swarm for balance druids

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we go hunting for mosquito nets.

A few weeks ago, I talked about the impact of removing Insect Swarm from balance druids' toolboxes. I was pretty positive about the change; in my view, Insect Swarm was mostly superfluous, as the times you would use it independently from Moonfire were few and far between. Removing it was a welcome simplification to the rotation. Several commenters took an opposite view, however. To them, removing IS (along with some of the other changes) took things too far, and made the spec boring to play.

Well, if you were one of those commenters, you're in luck. Take it away, Ghostcrawler!

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Honey cat don't give a ...

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we gem +10 in awesome.

With apologies to Isaiah Mustafa ...

Take a look at your cat. Now look at me. Now back at your cat. Now back at me. Sadly, your cat isn't me, but if you stopped playing that silly rogue and switched to feral, you could have a cat that looked like me. Look down, back up -- where are you? You're on a boat with an armored cat, the cat your cat could look like. What's in your hand? Back at me. I have it -- it's a clam with patch notes declaring ferals to be epic. Look again; the notes are now the tears of all the classes who wish they could look like me. Anything is possible when you roll feral. Forget horses; I'm a stag.


Yes, I was tempted to end the column right there --but we've got so much good stuff to talk about.

Armored cats

A few weeks ago, Ghostcrawler mentioned that Incarnation would have specific art for cats, bears, and moonkin; in the latest patch, a datamined model showed us what is likely the first example of that. At first, I wasn't too sure about the idea of putting armor on a feral form, but it's really grown on me over the last couple of days. It's obviously difficult to do cosmetic effects for a class that revolves around shapeshifting, but I'm grateful that Blizzard's continuing to add something for forms. I can't wait to see the bear and moonkin armor. (Do moonkin even need armor?)

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Level 90 druid talents take a level in badass; shapeshifting breaks roots again

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday was supposed to be an "off" week for the column, but screw that.

You know what? I think I finally nailed why the druid experience on the Mists of Pandaria beta has felt so bizarre at times. We've seen the re-emergence of stuff we used to take for granted (shifting out of roots and the return of permatree among them), and you know what it all reminds me of? Someone once described the boot camp experience as one in which "all of your God-given rights are stripped, only to be doled back later, one by one, as privileges." Yep. That's what this is like.

Anyway, Ghostcrawler hit the forums last night to give us some news on a revamped set of level 90 druid talents that have completely altered the ratio of win to suck in the bracket.

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

Shifting Perspectives: An easier rotation for balance druids in Mists of Pandaria

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we teach our treants how to charge their lasers.

Last week, we covered the issues that moonkin were having in Cataclysm. Happily, I'm able to say that the new design for Mists of Pandaria has corrected many of the glaring issues that I identified. While numbers remain fluid, of course, there's been some large quality-of-life fixes that have made moonkin much easier to play for the newcomer. I'm afraid, however, that somethings still remain that could use a tweak.

A simplified rotation

DoT abilities reworked First, while the mechanic of Moonfire becoming Sunfire while in a Solar Eclipse remains, both spells now have separate timers and no longer overwrite each other. This means that you can cast a Moonfire before entering Solar Eclipse, then cast Sunfire (with the same button, yay) and have two DoTs ticking for damage on the target.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The return of Permatree and other badass glyphs

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, our friends keep mounting us and -- for whatever reason -- we encourage it.

I'm currently prepping a column on the bear experience on the beta, but seeing as to how so much of the recent experience consists of disconnecting, lagging my way to parts unknown, launch problems, and finding colorful new language with which to greet these events, let's put that on the back burner for now.

One of the things that was instantly obvious about the new set of Mists of Pandaria druid glyphs is that a lot of them are, for lack of a better term, really, really fun. One lets us confuse people endlessly about our actual spec. Another lets us be mounted by friends and groupmates for totally platonic purposes. I hope.

Now, these are by no means all of the new glyphs available on the beta right now, but with so many class abilities being retuned and changed, it's tough to evaluate how most of the major glyphs stack up. However, even a few of the major glyphs are things that'll pretty obviously have a positive impact on how you experience a spec, so I've included the ones that really pop out here.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: 5 moonkin issues that need fixing

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we go fast and furry.

Well, it's happened again. Once more, I intended for this week to be a first look at balance druids in Mists of Pandaria, but as I wrote the article, I felt that much of it was lacking the proper context. Since we haven't had a moonkin post around here in some time, I'd like to step back briefly and discuss some of the issues with the specialization that were identified going into the new expansion. Next week, we'll discuss the changes Blizzard is implementing on the beta and how they fix (or don't fix!) the issues I've described here.

Overpowered AoE/multitarget rotation For the majority of the expansion, balance druids were one of the best AoE DPS classes in the game. This was due largely to two factors, the relative strength of the moonkin DoT abilities plus Wild Mushroom and the ability to remain in a Solar Eclipse nearly indefinitely during AoE phases to buff those two abilities (aka solarcleave). Even for non-AoE fights, it was still very easy for moonkin to supplement their damage on their primary target with DoTs on a secondary target. Heroic Morchok and Warmaster Blackhorn are excellent examples of this for this tier.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Another look at what Symbiosis means for druids


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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we disagree with the world while glorying in the real-life beauty of symbiosis.

So my plan for this week's column was to talk about how balance currently looks in the beta (short version: pretty good), but judging by a quick scan through the beta forums, that's not what druids want to talk about. It's Symbiosis, all the way down ... and judging by the discussion, most people don't like what they're seeing. Allison's already written about it once before, but the topic's grown enough to where it deserves another treatment. (My blog contains a full breakdown of what each class currently gets and receives from the ability, along with more in-depth recommendations and strategy.)

I'll be blunt: I still love the unique concept of Symbiosis, and I think most of the criticism is shortsighted. I do have quibbles about some of the specific abilities. Overall, though, I think that the concept works and will provide access to some entertaining abilities we haven't had previously.

To be fair, however, let's look at some of the more common arguments against Symbiosis and attempt to deconstruct them. One important thing to note: Many of the abilities gained/given from Symbiosis are modified from their original forms, so read tooltips carefully (and realize that many are not updated). The Symbiosis version of Mirror Image, for example, is much weaker than the version used by mages.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: I am starting to hate resto druids

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, one of our specs appears to be faring better than others. Much, much better.

Certain people have it made. For example, a relative of mine phoned the other night to let us know that she's thinking about buying a beach property in Costa Rica and that in order to supplement her six-figure commodity broker's salary, she'll probably rent it out whenever she isn't there to surf and drink mojitos herself. "Gotta go," she said. "I think the Mercedes dealership is trying to call me back."

Now, this is a fairly soul-destroying thing to hear, and not just because you had to interrupt a shouting match with your family over getting a real job in order to go look up Costa Rica on a map. But let's be fair: Nobody gets that lucky by accident. Does it involve hard work? Yep. But it also involves the ability to zero in on a path in life that pays out like a broken slot machine, and then tireless effort to keep your boxcar hitched to the gravy train. Let's not blame the folks who are simply more astute than we are at picking one of life's better roads.

After a little more than a week in the Mists of Pandaria beta, something has become horribly obvious: If this relative ever picked up WoW, she'd be playing a resto druid.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: First thoughts on ferals in the Mists of Pandaria beta

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we practice our looks of genteel disdain.

So, I've been down for a few weeks (pro tip: try not to have an allergy attack and a scratched cornea in the same week; they do not mix well), but I finally got into the beta with last week's big push of Annual Pass members. Unfortunately, now that I've had the chance to give the initial feral changes a spin, I'm a bit concerned with the current design direction for the class. Let me start out on a positive note, though, and talk about the good things that Mists is bringing us.

What I like

The new talents Some of the new talents are great and force tough decisions. The talent design is clearly trying to make you choose between always-on but weak passive abilities, a short-cooldown ability of moderate strength, and a long-cooldown ability of high strength. While some of the talents and tiers need some adjustment, they generally work on a design level.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The joy of panic

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, it can happen to you.

Back during The Burning Crusade, I knew an extremely disgruntled warrior tank (not Matthew Rossi) who was generally mad at the world about everything (again, not Rossi) and considered the universe to be implacably biased against his good self (may I repeat, not Rossi). While summoning raid members to Tempest Keep one evening, we were having a nice chat, by which I mean grousing about the hassle of tanking Al'ar in the age of the missable taunt.

"&%*," he said. "Bears have it so easy. I have to &%($*% macro Shield Block to every $#$(%* ability in my &%()#@ action bar so I don't get ^%$(#( crushed. Not like you. You just sit there and ^%*#%( live through everything."

"I'm sorry," I said, although I wasn't really. I envied warriors for many reasons, but Shield Block spam was not among them, and I was privately glad that despite the bear's many issues, I didn't have to keep hammering one button every few seconds just to stay alive.

(Beta players are already reaching for the Valium. They know where this is going.)

I'm not yet in the Mists of Pandaria beta, but while reading through the news emerging from the servers, I had to spare a thought for my Angry Warrior Tank friend of yesteryear and how &%#(%* pleased he'd be to hear that we now know his #$^@%# pain.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Mega moonkin, fabu ferals, and Symbiosis specs

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we discuss how fast to deny hunters Symbiosis in exchange for all those taming attempts.

This is apropos of nothing, but I love how the current Incarnation effect for balance druids simply makes them huge. (For comparison, here's the before image, and thanks to Lissanna at Restokin for the screenshots.) This totally reminds me of the first time I got a Mega Mushroom in New Super Mario Bros, actually. "Yes, I'm just going to walk through everything in the level; maybe I'll pick my teeth with the flagpole."

Sadly, this effect isn't going to make it to live. Happily, though, we've got plenty of other stuff to talk about this week, such as several new glyphs and a mostly complete reveal of Symbiosis.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: This month in WoW druid history

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, those who do not learn from history will be entirely unaffected by it.

My four-year anniversary on WoW Insider came and passed in February without my realizing it at the time, but that's OK. A fourth anniversary is kind of a weird one to single out for special attention, so I think I'll leave any back-patting or celebratory champagne until next year ... assuming the editors still haven't canned me by then.

But the anniversary did poke me into trawling through old team email lines and reading my older articles on the site. (That's how much I love you guys: I read my stuff so you don't have to.) I started kicking around the idea of doing a March 2008 through March 2012 retrospective. March 2008 and March 2009 (my first and second years on the site, respectively) jumped out as being especially compelling months for druid players, with a lot of issues being discussed that wound up being pivotal to the class' development. But March 2010 and 2011 weren't quite as interesting, although it would probably be more accurate to say that they were interesting in ways that weren't very class-specific.

Since we haven't gotten any major class news from the recent Mists of Pandaria press event (although you'll probably want to see the five new druid glyphs), I thought we'd buck the dominant trend this week and spend some time in the past rather than trying to get a handle on the future. Predicting the future is a difficult business that is best left to people who charge $5.99/minute over telephone hotlines.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral soloing Ulduar and other dragons in the 4.3 era

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. This week, we discuss proper defrosting techniques for animal fur.

As you'll recall, last week we decided that we might need something to do while we're waiting to explore Pandaria, so we decided to go kill things solo in Northrend. Soloing Naxxramas, save a few encounters, isn't too much of a challenge. But Onyxia? Malygos? Ulduar, even? Now we're talking ... or dying -- frequently, as the case may be, while testing these strategies. (If you need a quick primer on how to get up to speed with bearcat soloing, check out the Naxxramas article.)

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Troll druids at the end of Cataclysm

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, they see me trollin'. Whether they hatin' is ultimately a matter of conscience.

In November 2010, before Cataclysm hit, I wrote a series of articles on why (or why not) to play a particular druidic race for theorycrafting, lore, and roleplay purposes. These articles turned out to be a really big hit with readers, and you can find them here:
This week, we're going to finish the series with a look at how trolls are faring in the transition to Mists of Pandaria. For such a cynical and often brutal race, the trolls are ending Cataclysm on a note they find extremely novel, which is to say -- not under anybody else's bootheel. It's a welcome feeling.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Soloing Naxxramas for feral druids in the 4.3 era

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. This week, the editors refuse to let me write the column in Elcor.

Let's face it: Mists of Pandaria isn't going to be released any time soon, and Dragon Soul is starting to become Draggin' Soul, for those of who you starting raiding it on the release of patch 4.3. Of course, many of us are off saving the galaxy from annihilation, but if you're staying in Azeroth, you need something to do -- a new challenge. This week, I'm resurrecting my old series on druid soloing. A new tier of gear has made possible many feats that were not before, so pack your bags. We're heading back to Northrend to fight the undead ... since they cannot die. (/sunglasses)

Before we start, however, a quick refresher for those who missed the earlier series. Druids are one of the best raid soloing classes in the game for one simple reason: Prowl. While we don't have the solo survivability of a blood DK or the DPS of a hunter, we can skip the annoying trash most of the time. If you're doing a full clear, that isn't much help -- but in most cases, you can get in, kill the boss, and get out without ever having to wait to kill a trash mob.

In terms of strategy, I use this bearcat talent spec and glyphs. The primary source of your survivability will come from Leader of the Pack heals and Savage Defense shields, using Barkskin and Survival Instincts on cooldown, and popping Frenzied Regeneration as your oh-crap full heal. For some fights, you'll also be mixing in Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, and Predator's Swiftness-procced Healing Touches. For your rotation, you'll be using the default bear priority list (FF once, Demo Roar, Mangle, Thrash, Lacerate to three, Pulverize). For trivial bosses, feel free to go Cat part-time or full-time to speed things up. Finally, note that my ilevel was about 390 when I did these bosses, so this may be a bit easier or harder depending on what you're packing. (Also, credit where it's due to Reesi for helping me nail down bear details and Braindwen for his soloing guide.)

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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