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Posts with tag druid-healer

Shifting Perspectives: Lifebloom is like broccoli, and other lies my mother told me

Shifting Perspectives Lifebloom is like broccoli, and other lies my mother told me TUESDAY
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, Lifebloom prevents vitamin deficiencies.

When I was a small child growing up on the mean streets of a rural farming community, my mother used to hector me into eating my vegetables.

"You'll get rickets if you don't eat your broccoli," she said.

"Children in some parts of the world would kill to have string beans," she said.

"You'll flunk your SATs if you don't eat zucchini," she said.

So I'd choke the stuff down in resentful silence, assuming that dessert would be forthcoming in the typical quid pro quo of the childhood dinner table. (My lawyer father lived to regret teaching that phrase to small children.) It took me until freshman biology to realize that my mother was exaggerating the odds of developing scurvy if we didn't eat a sufficient quantity of vegetables at every meal.

And you know what? Playing a resto druid on the beta is kind of like being a small child getting Lifebloom and Harmony endlessly stuffed into your face. In the meantime, there's a bowl of deep-fried, bacon-crusted, chocolate-dipped Wild Mushrooms just ... out ... of ... your ... reach on the table.

I ate the green stuff, Blizz. Now where's my dessert?

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: When healers run out of options

Tree of Life in patch 4.3's new heroic 5-man, End Time.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, the upcoming Wild Growth nerf gets us thinking.

As with our previous Shifting Perspectives on tanking and healing the Zandalari 5-mans introduced in patch 4.2, I'd like to run an edition on tanking and healing the new Hour of Twilight, Well of Eternity, and End Time heroics. While I prep that, we've been left with an unpleasant but perhaps not totally unexpected nerf to Wild Growth as of last week's PTR patch notes.

Let us be frank, my brethren. Is Wild Growth overpowered? Yep.

Is it doing too much healing for too little effort? Probably. When even I can keep your ungemmed, unenchanted premade group's collective ass alive on my first trip into a new heroic despite getting lost and arriving at the group a minute late, a spell is way too good.

But is that completely irrelevant to why Wild Growth is really a problem? Yep.

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

New Tree of Life form in all its video glory


The new Tree of Life form went live on last night's beta build, and I've shot a short video to show you what it looks like in action. As mentioned previously, the Tree currently shares the male orc skeleton and animations, so you won't see anything too unfamiliar here, but the new form is just beautiful. If anything, it's kind of depressing that it's now a cooldown.

The new forms are colored by race, and here's the breakdown:
  • Night elves get the purple form.
  • Tauren get the brown and green form.
  • Worgen get the dark brown form.
  • Trolls get the light brown form.

Filed under: Druid, News items, Cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: A limited number of people know the troubles I've seen

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, we equivocate on the best means of filling a bottomless pit.

Beta build 12759 dropped early Saturday morning, and with it the introduction of mastery and quite a few changes to the feral and restoration specs. I think Blizzard may even have fixed some of the issues with feral damage, but the newest bug on the block is making that a little difficult to tell. The default scrolling combat text is now broken -- you can't see how much damage or healing you're doing to hostile mobs or friendly players, respectively -- so at best, you're confined to guesses based on how much health the mob's losing when you hit it. For me, this requires squinting at a very small portion of a laptop screen with my nose two inches from the monitor, and I'll be damned if I'll wind up financing the purchase of another Maserati for my ophthalmologist.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The tree in Cataclysm raids

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, a square peg meets a round hole.

Yeah, this is another week with a video that has nothing to do with druids, but it's summer and I plead: a.) residual schoolgirl mischief, and b.) mounting hysteria from home renovation and the effort to convince my grandmother to jettison a garage full of canning jars before we can move her.

Anyway. As a few people have figured out, the beta came at an ugly time for me personally, and we've got some ground to cover. Before we do, I'd still like to address an issue raised two weeks ago when we talked a bit about the changes that resto players will see going into Cataclysm. This week's article is a more in-depth examination of how the new Tree of Life cooldown fits into Blizzard's wider sense of raid design in the new expansion. With the advent of the closed beta, we're getting a closer and better sense of how the class will function in the Cataclysm world, but we still have no real idea of how it'll play at 85 in a vastly different raiding landscape.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Battle resurrections may get increased cooldowns

This was actually an offhand remark of Ghostcrawler's a few days ago, but it didn't seem to get much attention. In a thread devoted to the possibility of extending buffs like Blessing of Kings to additional classes in Cataclysm, Ghostcrawler mentioned the following:

Ghostcrawler
Obviously things like Rebirth can't just be handed to out to more classes unless we did something like a second exhaustion mechanic for battle rez or whatever. For now we're going to try the cooldown at 30 min again. In Icecrown's world of limited attempts, a 30 min cooldown likely meant you just cooled your heels until the cooldown was available again. In Cataclysm the hope is sometimes you'll have the benefit available but not every time, which scales back on how much of a game-changer it is.

An alternative to a longer cooldown for Rebirth is something where one druid using it would trip everyone's cooldown for a few minutes. That it's a bit gamey, but might solve the problem.

Also keep in mind that Rebirth is much more useful in today's game where people tend to die from massive damage. In a world where people sometimes die because the healers have run out of mana, then Rebirth doesn't buy you quite as much.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion

Shifting Perspectives: In defense of a glyph everyone hates


Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we make a dangerous segue from curling to the issue of Healing Touch in raids, shattering our once-promising career with a finger cramp.

I'd be the first to admit I don't take the game quite as seriously as the hardcore theorycrafters at EJ. To be fair to WoW, it's hardly the only game in that position; with the Olympics on, I've had the opportunity to acquaint myself with many questionable pasttimes like curling. Someone even went so far as to set hipster music to a series of clips featuring expert players crouching on the ice, staring down the run with the coiled alertness of a Serengeti hunter. The athletic grace is impressive until you consider that they are watching a large rock slide down the rink at the speed of a miniature dachshund while teammates scrub frantically at the ice in the hopes that the rock will travel a few more inches. One realizes: a). the fundamental absurdity of the human condition, and: b). that the effort to maintain a dignified façade has caused you to soil your pants.

The inability to treat what is meant to be a fun hobby with the gravitas due, say, a shuttle launch or an Irish wake, has occasionally resulted in problems when readers take material more seriously than I do. The official forums have also convinced me that any deviation from the standard imposed by theorycrafters and spreadsheets is going to be greeted with hostility by anyone who decries the notion of individual choice in a game, which makes today's topic -- finding a place for the druid's worst heal in progression raiding -- a bit touchy.

I am required by law and contract to be sensitive to the needs of the differently-minded in our community, and as such, I am going to borrow (read: steal) a technique first employed by the humorist Dave Barry in a 1991 column.

Yes.

The following article has been closed-captioned for the humor-impaired.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Restoration 101

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, a quick and dirty guide to raising one's tree from a young sapling to a mighty oak, or other suitably impressive arboreal species.

Whenever other columnists here write really good columns, I sit at my computer and swear a blue streak, for I am a jealous god. Sacco, damn him, turned out a great article on the basics of elemental shamans, and for a while I've been kicking around bits and pieces of 101-esque columns for all four druid specs. This was the last shove I needed to get that done. While I expect our new balance blogger (a.k.a. Murmurs, the person I will be forcing to do all my number-crunching in the future with bribes or, when necessary, threats) will address moonkin, I'll cover bears, cats, and today, trees.

A quick note on what I want to accomplish here: I'm addressing this to people with no prior knowledge of the spec who want the tools to become reasonably competent healers quickly. By necessity, that means we're going to gloss over a few finer points; this is a cheat sheet, not an encyclopedia. When I say (for example) that Improved Tranquility needs to be dragged out behind a barn and killed with an axe, I'm not going to spend paragraphs explaining why that is, or examining situations where you could actually get some use from it. If you think I've glossed over something truly important, please drop a comment and I'll direct readers to anything they really need to know.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Druid healing strats for Icecrown Citadel

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we look at Grid and realize that the dumb buggers are dropping like flies again.

Before I write anything else, I want to send a shout-out to Kalon, who is ending the influential feral theorycraft blog ThinkTank. Like many of you, I've been reading ThinkTank for a while and fell in love with both Kalon's analysis and the theorycrafting that he made understandable even to Luddites like myself. To this day I've been experimenting with an idea he suggested concerning Bear DPS (no, really) that I've been planning to devote a column towards for a while, and I now regret not doing it earlier.

So, to my druidic colleague -- /hug and /salute. Kalon, you will be greatly missed.

For strategy articles, I've gotten into the habit of trying to describe all four roles, and have arrived at the conclusion that it's more efficient to take matters one spec at a time. With all of the Icecrown raid content clocking in at a little more than a month old under the best of circumstances, I'm better off describing the roles I've done personally therein (tanking and healing). Because we've already covered Lord Marrowgar, we're going to take the rest of the bosses necessary for the Storming the Citadel achievement, and cover them from a restoration point of view.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Healing's evolution in Cataclysm

Ghostcrawler, when not directly occupied with the pack of idiots harassing him on the Damage Dealing forums, stopped by the Healing forums this past month to share some information on how healing is likely to change in Cataclysm. Of particular interest is Blizzard's changing design philosophy with respect to what makes healing challenging. Right now tank avoidance is so high that, as GC's previously observed, bosses have to hit like a freight train in order to pose any threat to tank survivability at all. Between that and what's universally acknowledged as the "never running OOM" ethos of Wrath, the unfortunate effect has been healers spamming their largest heals on anyone within range.

The model that Blizzard's looking to move towards is getting a test run of sorts in Icecrown Citadel -- lower tank avoidance, bosses hitting for more reasonable amounts, and -- in Cataclysm -- higher health overall. In other words, we'll be healing for roughly the same amount we're healing now through less damage that nonetheless occurs more frequently. This will lead to a greater risk of running OOM as the encounter progresses if you dump a ton of mana on damage that should have been healed more efficiently. Even now, there are encounters like hard-mode Vezax where you do have to do this, which I thought made for a pretty interesting fight.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Forums

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

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

Shifting Perspectives: Restoration and the Tree Druid's future

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, rather than plagiarizing from Stephen Hawking, we plagiarize from ourselves, and for the second time in column history, we shelve our Previously Scheduled Guide in favor of an emergency summit concerning Tree conservation.

A question for Druids from Ghostcrawler himself; is Tree of Life form fun?

I'd like to get the question a bit more exposure both here and on the forums, because it's a thought-provoking issue. No other healer, as he observes, has to sacrifice anything in order to use a key talent in their healing tree/s, and from how Ghostcrawler's worded his post, it seems pretty clear that the PvE and PvP healing output of the Restoration spec is explicitly balanced around the use of Tree of Life. That's fine -- it is our 41-point talent, and a good one at that. It's not unreasonable for Blizzard to expect that we'll use it. However, It does have implications for game balance when 3 of 4 healing classes retain all of their offensive capabilities, crowd-control, and interrupts while healing, and the Druid relinquishes all of the above in order to provide the same level of healing throughput.

I took a look at the thread in question, and if you want my honest opinion, some of the issues being described are the logical evolution of problems from October 2005 when Tree of Life went live. The game has changed, and while the flagship Restoration talent has slowly changed alongside it, the inherent design of the form still reflects realities from the classic game rather than Wrath. Interestingly, many of these same problems affect moonkin as well.

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

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

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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