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Posts with tag druid-restoration-shifting-perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Probing healer balance in Dragon Soul

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, some numbers frighten us more than others.

Frostheim's work to compare DPS specs in raid content has always interested me, and for a while, I've been toying with the idea of doing a healers' version. However, healing's always been a lot tougher to analyze from meters than DPS. The whole point of DPS is to do as much as you can, but healing is more about doing as much as you can as efficiently and intelligently as you can. There's no point to topping the meters one minute into the fight if you're running OOM doing so. And then there's the minor point that it takes a lot of experience to parse healing meters accurately. I imagine most discipline priests have at least one horror story about a PUG raid leader trying to kick them for "low healing." Nevertheless, we shall do the best we can.

Frostheim uses Raidbots, which in turn pulls its data from World of Logs. World of Logs I was already familiar with, as my guild has used it to upload data after its raid nights, but I'm still new to Raidbots. For both that reason and my comparative inexperience trying to use these tools to generalize about a huge player population, I'll be blunt: This is going to be a much more tentative outing than you'd get from Frostheim. While acknowledging these limitations, I wanted to take at least a quick peek at how healers are faring in Dragon Soul less than two months into patch 4.3, with the promise that we'll revisit this topic in a few months with a much more in-depth look.

Fortunately for me, some trends are so obvious that even I can't screw them up.

(I think.)

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Filed under: Druid, (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: Reconsidering Wild Growth

An Hour of Twilight trash pull on the PTR.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we are still mulling over last week's subject.

When you blog professionally, you get used to an unfortunate truth: Most of the time, you could have written a better column if you'd had the advantage of reading the comment section first. Unfortunately, none of you jerks had the decency to comment on Shifting Perspectives: When healers run out of options before I published it, so I was stuck writing it without that advantage. Bad commenters! No biscuit.

Suffice it to say that people wrote a lot of interesting stuff on last week's article, and I've been mulling it over ever since.

In news unrelated to this or any other article, I would just like to state that the name Nosferatmoo (glimpsed on a tauren death knight from Misha-US while I was pugging on my goblin priest for the Low Level Tank Project™) is pretty much the best name ever.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Druid tanking and healing the new Zul'Gurub

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, Allison suffers humiliating wipes in new 5-man content so you don't have to.

I got a little more experience in the revamped Zul'Gurub this week on the patch 4.1 PTR and have returned in triumph (and toting many a repair bill) with a comprehensive guide to surviving one of two new Rise of the Zandalari heroics. This guide should help you avoid the dungeon's knottiest problems as either a bear or a tree, although I've had to be less specific than I would have liked. Turns out that most boss abilities aren't up on the PTR version of Wowhead yet, and while tanking or healing, most groups frown on my tabbing out to record exactly how much damage stuff like Breath of Hethiss does ("Would you say that 26,000 damage per second is too much, not enough, or just right?").

(Cats and moonkin, I'm very sorry, but I'm not sure what DPS does. It's been my experience that bosses drop dead for inexplicable reasons, whether it's congestive heart failure, bad oysters, or old Sicilian curses. DPS is involved in some hazy manner here, but damn if I know how.)

Keep in mind that I've pugged all of my groups on the PTR, so any estimates of the content's difficulty will necessarily be colored by that. If you're going to do the new ZG with guild groups on the live servers (particularly if your guild's outfitted in tier 11), you probably won't be as worried about some of the issues I encountered.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing a restoration druid at 85, part 3

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, we finish our series on how to gear a restoration druid at level 85.

Hello, folks. This week, we're going to finish our series on gearing a resto at level 85, and next week, we're going to change course and address bears with a Cataclysm 101 guide and then gear post. For the kitties out there, Dan O'Halloran will be splitting off a cat-oriented Shifting soon, so we'll eventually have three Shifting articles per week -- one for bears/resto, one for cats, and one for moonkin. I'm so rarely DPS these days that it's a bit of a relief to focus on the two specs that get my play time, so I hope I'll be able to bring a bit more depth to bears and resto in the Tuesday Shifting column.

On that note, the low-level Tank Watch project continues. I regret to say the numbers are slightly more depressing than last week if you'd been hoping that the bear population would rebound this expansion. So far, this is the tank representation I've seen in dungeon finder groups between levels 15 and 40:
  • Paladin: 66%
  • Warrior: 23%
  • Druid: 11%

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

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing a restoration druid at 85, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, we continue our series on how to gear a restoration druid at level 85.

Before we get into this week's edition of our series on gearing a resto druid at 85, I wanted to drop a note here concerning an upcoming article on the plight of low-level bear tanks. Right now, the annoyance value of tanking on a new bear is pretty high; you don't get Swipe until level 36; the arrangement of talents in the feral tree means your mitigation is behind that of paladins and warriors for a while; and everything in your arsenal with the exception of Demoralizing Roar is a cooldown until you get Lacerate at level 66 (!). I'm curious if this is having an impact on druid tank representation among the new flood of people instancing in low-level content, and I have started keeping track of the tanks I'm getting through the dungeon finder.

So far, this is the class representation I've seen among tanks from levels 15 through 31. Because leveling in this range is fairly quick, the sample size isn't large. I don't know whether it's representative of what I'll see on the way to 85 (and obviously I won't encounter any death knights until level 58 at the earliest), but time will tell:
  • Paladin: 55%
  • Warrior: 30%
  • Druid: 15%

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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