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Posts with tag druid-pvp

Shifting Perspectives: Resto's dismal PvP performance, and why it might get better

Shifting Perspectives Resto's dismal PvP performance, and why it might get better
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, death is common to all trees.

I'm not much of a PvP player. I enjoy random battlegrounds, particularly when I'm healbotting someone who cares whether I live or die, but I lack a certain something when it comes to better performance. I think that something is called talent, or perhaps just luck. We might even call it gear. Regardless, I'm not a great PvPer, so I usually sit on the sidelines and observe while the people who are great PvPers argue about arena team composition and rated battleground strategy. These people have not been enthusiastic about restoration druids in Cataclysm.

That's not normal. Resto has been a strong PvP spec since season two of The Burning Crusade (although we need to make an exception for the dismal season five at the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King), so it was a surprise to see such widespread ambivalence among the PvP population. However, there does seem to be a broad consensus about why resto has so many problems in PvP, and people are cautiously optimistic that Mists of Pandaria will be better.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The new face of balance druid PVP

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Balance news comes at you every Friday -- learn how to master the forces of nature, and know what it means to be a giant laser turkey! Send questions, comments, or something you'd like to see to tyler@wowinsider.com.

It is fairly common knowledge that I am not an avid PVPer. It isn't so much that the balance spec is weak in PVP (even if it is); nor is it a matter that I find the system frustrating. It more has to deal with my having to be exceptional at what I do, or I won't do at all. Sure, I may not be an instant superstar at everything, but normally I feel I can learn, improve. The PVP learning curve is steep, further complicated by playing a very difficult spec in that environment -- so for me, I avoid it.

That being said, I do throughly enjoy watching PVP, theorizing on the balance of PVP, and keeping up with the scene in general. This week, I want to bring my newest PVP observations to you in hopes that I can help those out there who want to give balance PVP the shot it deserves. We aren't as terrible as people would lead you to think!

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Delving into balance PvP

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. After indulging in some stunning dance movies by Irarenovo of Shattered Hand, it's time to get back to the not-as-fantastical world of balance PvP. Some hate it, some love it, but everyone needs a little bit of killing in life.

Generally, I start each PvP article that I write with the disclaimer that I am not an avid PvPer; this one is not any different. However, this is a caveat that I need to add to that disclaimer: I am not an avid arena player, and due to the dominance of arena play in WoW PvP, it has pretty much closed out what PvP I do enjoy.

I am a BG player. I love BGs, and given the choice, I could play in BGs night and day. In my opinion, BGs are the truest form of PvP. I don't want to be thrown into a little box and told to fight like a Roman gladiator. I want objectives, I want give and take, I want the tactical aspect of a battlefield. Perhaps it's because I was raised by a massive war nerd who drilled tactics into my head night and day -- understanding the meaning of tactical losses, of forcing hands, of overextending.

There is a reason for bringing up a bit of my own history here, and that's because balance druids (in my opinion, at least) are the experts of tactical PvP play. We are a highly adaptive spec that can take on many forms depending upon gear, spec and glyph choices. We can play as a skirmisher, a powerhouse, a controller or even a tank in the right settings. Balance druids have many PvP faces, and each has seen success in a variety of different ways throughout WoW's PvP history. The tanking form held great success in parts of The Burning Crusade, and although balance wasn't particularly strong in Wrath, some players did manage to garner success playing either heavy control or wrecking balls. Today, we re-evaluate all of those faces and see how they might play out in Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for druids in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

Let's try to get you prepared for Cataclysm, shall we? In the new (banged-up, broken and burnt) world of the expansion, battlegrounds play will stand toe to toe with arenas as far as gear acquisition and quite possibly have even better participation. You don't want to miss out on that. Today we'll discuss the best PvP talents you can pick up as a druid, and you can decide for yourself what other talents to round out your PvP spec.

Perhaps the biggest change for druids in patch 4.0.1 is a new mechanic for balance druids called Eclipse, which relies on the buildup of lunar or solar energy conferred by casting either nature or arcane damage spells, respectively. This means that balance druids will be constantly trying to achieve an Eclipse by casting spells from one school, then shifting to another school once they've gotten the bonus. Out of all specs, balance plays the most differently compared to before the patch, but everyone gets fun tools to use in PvP. Let's check out all these toys across all specs.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

Shifting Perspectives: Class homogenization and the cat

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we poke the issue of class homogenization and wait to see if it pokes back.

Before the class announcements hit, I had drafted an article on what I would have loved to see Blizzard do for bears, cats and trees in Cataclysm. You've already seen the expanded bear portion, which was published a few days before the druid announcement was made (no one's ever accused me of great timing), but the cat and tree bits have been (as we say) overtaken by events.

We've already looked at the feral information released, so I don't think it's necessary to recap that. However, I'd like to take a closer look at the cat this week, in much the same way that we turned a critical eye to the Tree of Life's impending disappearance. As much as I generally counsel against reading my own work without access to a prescription stimulant or at least hard liquor, you may find the first portion of the Tree article helpful in giving some background on Cataclysm's class goals.

As a TL:DR on our previous feral analysis, seen through the lens of the tree article's conclusion on Blizzard's design intentions:
  1. Cat damage is in a good place, druids are happy that it's not a "faceroll" spec, and I think Blizzard is happy with that as well. PvE-wise, I don't think we have a lot to worry about.
  2. Many of the changes I saw have more interesting implications for PvP. This is the third expansion in a row where cats are getting more versions of rogue skills, in implicit recognition (I would argue) of the spec's uninspiring arena performance relative to its parent class.
Which leaves us with this week's question: When a spec is literally designed as a copy of a pure class, is a certain amount of class homogenization a good thing? Beware, readers -- arm-waving ahead!

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Filed under: Druid, Add-Ons, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Starfall and Nature's Grasp PTR changes


Yesterday was a very good day to be a balance druid in the World of Warcraft. While things seemed a bit rocky at the start of the PTR, the most recent build held two changes that are certainly going to benefit all of our feathery friends out there. The first of these changes was an increase in the damage and scaling of Starfall, the second was a change to the way in which Nature's Grasp functions.

To start with Starfall, the updated patch notes do not tell the entire story of this change. In order to clarify things, Ghostcrawler made a few statements on the Damage Dealing forums about it. Although there have been several posts on the matter, the most important was this:



The Starfall change is difficult to patch note because of the nature of the spell, but I'll share the numbers so that the theorycrafters among you can plug them in. It's a significant boost to the spell's damage.

Initially, we had designed the spell to be more AE focused, but that hasn't been super useful for a class that also has Hurricane. Rather than adding another nuke we thought it made more sense to make the 51 pointer something that really delivers on damage. Yes it can be countered. PvP is designed with the intent that things can be countered.

Main shot
Base points 432 -> 562
Coefficient 0.21 -> 0.37

Splash damage
Base points 77 -> 100
Coefficient 0.12 -> 0.13
.

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Shifting Perspectives: Balance 101 - A PvP primer



Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them
. This week, we are taking a giant leap into the black hole that has come to be known as balance druid PvP. Brace yourselves, my feathery friends, the ride is about to get bumpy.

I don't have a silly introduction this week. Instead, I have my serious hat on. Before I begin to write this, I want to say a few things about myself. I am no longer an avid balance PvP player. I do PvP on my balance druid, but only in BGs and no longer in Arena. I did do Arenas in The Burning Crusade, where I ranked rather high in a 2v2 with a rogue, but I understand that experience is no longer relevant to today's Arena. I did not give up on balance PvP because I feel it is too hard, I didn't give up on balance PvP because I feel it is broken, I quit playing balance in Arenas because it requires a lot more time investment than I am able to give it in order to succeed properly. I raid pretty much six days a week, not just on my druid but also on several alts, so I haven't the time to properly give to balance PvP, and if I can't do something fully then I don't do it.

I have not been blind to the state of balance PvP though. I follow every single higher rated balance player, and I follow the vocal PvP players as well. I do play Arenas off and on with one of my alts, and I have played against balance druids. Sometimes I beat them, sometimes I lose. For all of its shortcomings, balance PvP is viable, but if you have any interest in balance PvP then you need to be prepared for what is ahead. It is going to be hard. You are going to struggle. There are going to be times where you want to throw your computer off a cliff and scream until your face goes red. For all of that, if you really put forth the effort, if you focus, and learn how to adapt, then you can succeed.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: 5 observations from a reluctant battleground healer

Every week, Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting druids and those who group with them. Today we gingerly step back into battlegrounds and discover that the world can be a very unfriendly place.

I love writing this column, but there's one thing that bugs me about it -- the druid class is tailor-made to defeat a sole writer's efforts to cover everything she can. No matter how hard I try, I'm never going to cover each spec and playstyle with up-to-the-minute and in-depth experience, because it would require the simultaneous mastery of ranged DPS PvE, ranged DPS PvP, tanking, off-tanking, melee DPS PvE, melee DPS PvP, healing PvE, and healing PvP. Even with all that, I'd be leaving out all the hybrid and kooky specs people dream up. This has been getting to me lately.

Consequently I thought that, before we get to some end-of-year and patch 3.3 business, it might be a good idea to spend some time on topics that -- to be frank -- I haven't been that great about covering. Balance as a whole needs some love and so do our kitties, but before I do that, I'd like to address a topic that, in contrast to Balance and Cat, I've been willfully ignoring -- PvP. It occurred to me that roughly a year after Wrath's launch, it might be a good idea to pop back into battlegrounds and see how the class' most common PvP spec (Restoration) is faring in combat these days, so I dumped badges and gold into a PvP set and went for broke.

And, well...a lot's changed.

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

Patch 3.2.2 changes for Druids


There were only a few changes to the class in this patch, most of which we'd already discussed when they were on the PTR. Interestingly, most are concerned with buffing Balance and Feral PvP performance, which is definitely a good thing given that Resto still vastly outclasses both. However, I am not a PvP kind of person, so my take on this is necessarily going to be somewhat limited; if you think I've missed a potential effect from these changes, feel free to drop a comment.

Moonkin Form: This form now also reduces the damage the Druid takes while stunned by 15%.

A buff to Moonkin defense, pure and simple, and a welcome addition versus the wide array of stuns available to enemy players. As Ghostcrawler's mentioned previously, their main concern related to Balance PvP is survivability, and this is an improvement to precisely that.

Typhoon: The daze duration has been increased from 3 seconds to 6 seconds.

Between this and the increase to Typhoon's knockback distance (20 yards to equal Thunderstorm), Typhoon should be a more useful ability for both offensive and defensive purposes. The knockback distance was so small previously that the addition of a Daze effect seemed superfluous. We'll see how this does.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

Patch 3.2.2 PTR Druid changes


There really aren't a ton of Druid changes on the 3.2.2 PTR as yet, but two of them are rather intriguing means of handling current PvP concerns for the weaker PvP specs (Balance and Feral). Anyway, I wanted to get our commenters' take on them because PvP is definitely not my area of expertise.

MOONKIN FORM: This form now also reduces the damage the druid takes while stunned by 15%.

Ghostcrawler mentioned recently that the main concern for Balance PvP isn't damage or CC -- it's just survivability, pure and simple. This is a very welcome change in that vein, although I'm surprised that it went to us over other casters, who are arguably more vulnerable to melee stuns. Well...maybe not. Shadow Priests have Dispersion, Warlocks have Demonic Circle, Mages have Ice Block and Blink, and so on. All of these are instant-cast, which might be part of why they're more effective "Oh s^$t!" buttons than Roots and Cyclone, both of which can be interrupted and silenced. Travel Form leaves you more vulnerable than you are in Moonkin, Bear Form has limited options given that most moonkin PvP builds I see still don't put any points in Feral despite the change to Survival Instincts, and Nature's Grasp -- well, you have to get hit for that to trigger that anyway.

We'll see if this helps, although if the root of Balance arena issues lies in the vulnerability of caster form (which was one of the factors driving the "tankiness" of Trees in Season 6), this change just nudges the Druid to stay in moonkin more than they already are. Still, I'm curious to see what effect this will have.

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

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: 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

More Druid changes on the 3.1 PTR

The above headline is a polite, succinct means of saying "I went AFK for a few hours yesterday and returned to 2/3 of the Druid class wanting to throw itself in front of an oncoming train."

Additions to the latest PTR build aren't extensive for Druids but include a 10% nerf to stamina returns from Heart of the Wild in the feral tree, and a doubling of Lifebloom's mana cost (and reworking of its bloom mechanics) in the Restoration tree.

Well, no point checking our watches waiting for the next harbinger of welcome death by way of light commuter rail. Let's take a look.

HEART OF THE WILD: Stamina bonus changed to 2/4/6/8/10%.

Ouch, baby.

Before I write anything else, a quick note to the people spamming the Tanking and Druid forums with End-of-the-World proclamations; it's the frigging public test realm. None of this is set in stone. Calmez-vous.

I can finally stay on the PTR without disconnecting every 5-10 minutes, so I hopped on and started comparing the character sheet to my main's live version. The biggest problem right now is that the HotW change (in addition to the Survival of the Fittest armor nerf) has gone live on the PTR without Savage Defense going live alongside it. If you get any toons copied to the PTR or can just finally log on successfully, you'll find yourself down several thousand armor and several thousand HP without Savage Defense active to compensate.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Guides, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Druid glyphs and undocumented changes


Personally the change I'm still plotzing over most in relation to 3.1 is the sheer locational chutzpah of the Argent Tournament. I'm not sure I understand why the northern portion of Icecrown is considered an appropriate spot. It's like seeing some Milwaukee strip-mall developer parachute into the middle of Mordor and exclaim over the retail and tourist opportunities within a 100-yard radius of Sauron's eye. What does the Scourge think about this tournament? Did they get a cut of the concession stand's profits as a means of buying their cooperation? Who else was bribed in order to make this happen? These are all questions to which I think we deserve answers.

Anyway, I seem to be one of the unlucky souls doomed to disconnect every 10 minutes from the PTR (although I'm not anywhere near Dalaran), but I'm sure it'll get fixed. One minor suggestion for all those Druids porting to Moonglade in order to pick up dual-specs immediately; have 1,000g in hand before you do so. As we all know, getting into Moonglade is rather easy. Getting out of Moonglade tends to be rather more time-consuming unless you're willing to burn your hearth in a world newly free of ghetto-hearthing.

Some of the undocumented changes we've actually already talked about, so if you don't see something here but missed our first article, you should find them here.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features, Guides, Classes

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Druid changes


All right, Druids. I've been rolled out of bed to come look at the new PTR test notes, because apparently this is a big deal or something. As far as I'm concerned, all important business can wait until a reasonable hour in the morning, like 3 PM, but because this site is run by crazy people here I am.

So let's go skim the patch notes quickly -- /flick flick flick -- and try to answer the most important question first:

Is Tauren cat form still in the game?

/flick flick

Yes.

Man, %*#$ this patch.

Leaving aside this EGREGIOUS OMISSION, we're going to take a look at the preliminary Druid changes in patch 3.1 past the cut here, and courtesy of Michael Sacco and some data-mining gnomes, we also have the Druid Tier 8 shoulder graphic, which is pretty cool and reminds me a lot of Tier 5. I'm also seeing some undocumented changes in the game files off MMO Champion, but I'll have to examine those later today. I haven't been able to get on the PTR yet, so I can't confirm whether these changes have actually gone live on the test realm.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features, Guides, Classes

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