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Posts with tag druid-talents

Warlords of Draenor: Major balance druid changes on the way

I have two druids, one Alliance, one Horde -- in fact, the Alliance druid was the first character I ever made. That said, while I initially tried my hand at healing with my first druid, these days, I usually just use the characters for farming purposes. Let's face it, there's nothing better than flight form for nabbing pesky herbs or mining nodes. I will, however, occasionally run a dungeon or a scenario -- and when I do, I'm in cat form. It's the default choice as far as I'm concerned, and I do enough damage to get by, although nobody in their right mind could claim I have more than a bare, passing knowledge of the spec.

But I never could get into playing a balance druid. At first it was the fact that I began playing a druid before balance druids were even something remotely feasible to play. Then I was drawn to other classes, and by the time I got back to the druid, balance looked like a complicated impossibility to learn. Apparently I was not alone in this assessment, as balance druids are headed for some massive changes according to the latest iteration of patch notes from the Warlords of Draenor alpha.

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Filed under: Druid, Warlords of Draenor

What's changing for feral and balance druids in patch 5.4, part 2

What's changing for feral and balance druids in patch 54, part 2 ANY
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 talk trinkets.

In the last part of this column, we discussed all of the changes in the patch notes, and what that might portend for your feral or balance druid. This week, we'll look at the "other stuff" that might affect your play: set bonuses, trinkets, and the legendary cloak.

Set bonuses
  • Feral T16 2-piece: Omen of Clarity increases damage of Shred, Mangle, and Ravage by 50% for 6 sec.
  • Feral T16 4-piece: After using Tiger's Fury, your next finishing move will restore 5 combo points on your current target after being used.
The 2-piece bonus is somewhat boring, but reasonably powerful for single-target fights. It's tied to Omen, which means you'll always get at least one buffed Shred/Mangle out, even if you're low on energy when it procs. The downside? Less than 20% of a feral's damage comes from Shred/Mangle, and frequently less than 15%, which means that this isn't all that special. It's miles better than the dull T15 2P bonus, however, and likely comparable in strength to the T15 4P, meaning you should upgrade ASAP. I'm interested to see if it finds a home in PvP; the significant burst this gives makes much more of a difference there.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

A look at what's changing for feral and balance druids in patch 5.4

Shifting Perspectives A look ahead at what's changing for feral and balance in 54
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 await breaking news.

The PTR has returned with patch 5.4 goodies, and I'm back to discuss what this means for your feral or balance druid. Remember, numbers at this point are completely unbalanced, so focus on the substantive changes!

First, the nerfs
  • Cyclone no longer has a 20-second cooldown for Feral Druids.
  • Predatory Swiftness no longer has a chance to make Cyclone instant, free, and castable in all forms.
Let's face it: some things are too good to last, and one of those things was instant Cyclones from Predatory Swiftness for ferals. Pre-5.2, a feral could go on full offense and reliably keep a second target locked down with Cyclones. The developers attempted to fix this with a tweak in 5.3 that gave feral, and only feral, a 20 second cooldown on Cyclone. However, it was quickly apparent that this wasn't a long-term solution, so now they've taken the somewhat drastic step of removing insta-clone entirely. While this is a large nerf (and one made worse by the removal of Nature's Swiftness, discussed below), I understand the rationale, and hopefully this portends the further removal of other instant CC from the game.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Spending feral VP in 5.3

Shifting Perspectives Spending feral VP in 53
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 spend our Valor Points at the corner store.

Patch 5.3 is here, the item upgrade vendors have returned, and it's time to talk about everybody's favorite things; gear. What are the pixels I can pick to push my kitty to the top of the heap? Let's take a look.

Weapons and trinkets first

As a feral, getting a good weapon is your highest priority. It's the jelly to your peanut butter, the ketchup to your french fries...okay, I may be hungry, but you get the point, it's a necessary complement to ensuring you can be an effective damage dealer. You have four choices for weapons; three drops from Throne of Thunder (Shan-Dun, Breaker of Hope, Jalak's Maelstrom Staff, or the Darkwood Spiritstaff) and the weapon with a legendary socket from 5.0, Gao-Rei. The differences in the ToT weapons are fairly minor, so just get the best you can, and upgrade it ASAP. If you can't get into ToT yet, the +500 agility from the legendary gem on Gao-Rei makes it a worthwhile fill-in. Oh, and if you've completed Chapter II of the legendary quest and received an Eye of the Black Prince, don't forget to buy another one when you get a weapon upgrade.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Breakfast Topic: Talent chaos

mage talents
Choosing talents is a fun aspect of playing WoW. Many talents are situational, or work in concert with certain glyphs to produce unique effects. Some healers and tanks use their second spec not for a solo or questing DPS build, but as another healing or tank spec specifically tuned to certain encounters. Some people have a PvE and a PvP build, or a battleground build and an arena build. The bottom line is that talents add options and choices, leaving players to determine what they like and what works best for them.

New expansions and available levels bring us new spells and abilities, and with talents, we often get even more. I'll admit, I pretty quickly fall into the "overwhelmed by options" box. For me, the first question I ask myself when picking a new talent is, "Does this tier have a passive option?" I love passive options. I don't have to figure out where to keybind another button!

This doesn't mean that I'll always take the passive option, of course. Sometimes it's just really not a good idea. For example, as a resto druid, there was no way I was ever going to pick Soul of the Forest over Incarnation. But for my feral spec, I picked Dream of Cenarius (though I am considering switching to Heart of the Wild), and both specs get Feline Swiftness. Though I can justify those choices in other ways, I won't pretend that the fact that they are passive abilities wasn't also a huge draw. My kingdom for extra spaces on my bars!

How about you? Do you, like me, groan at the thought of having to rearrange your action bars yet again to make room for some new ability you can't pass up? Do viable passive options bring you inordinate glee? How do you deal with the glut of choice in this game?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Resto druids vs. the world 2: War harder

Resto druids vs the world, round two War harder TUE
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we may hate numbers, but oh, they add so much to our lives.

Story time!

I first got a lesson on how to read healing meters while raiding Serpentshrine Cavern. One of our healers, an otherwise very competent holy priest, consistently ran OOM early on Morogrim Tidewalker and was next to useless during the final phase of the fight. The head of the heal team took an hour to look over the logs, and decided to give me a lesson on how to read them while doing so. It quickly became apparent that the priest was unwittingly covering for a resto shaman, who not only wasn't pulling his weight, but also seemed to take an unusual amount of damage.

"Why aren't you doing anything during the add phases?" asked the head, a paladin.

"Because our off-tank can't hold aggro for s$#t and I'm tired of dying to murlocs."

This was actually true. Our head healer pondered for a moment. "Can't you just Chain Heal after he's already gotten all the murlocs?"

"No, I die that way too. And we have to save BoP for the clothies who have to AOE the murlocs." Also true.

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

Ghostcrawler and Daxxarri talk classes in patch 5.2

mage talents screenshot
With the advent of patch 5.2, World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg Street "Ghostcrawler" and Community Manager Daxxarri have been posting a series of class overviews and changes. Part one went up on Tuesday, covering death knights, druids, and hunters. Part two was posted Wednesday evening and covers mages, paladins, and priests. Part three, on rogues, shaman, and warlocks, went up yesterday evening, and part four, covering warriors and monks, was posted earlier today. For many classes, most of the changes involve PvP balancing as well as trying to improve a number of talents in some way to make them more useful and thus more attractive to players, at least situationally. If you're curious about either the philosophy of class balance design or just want to know what happened to your class this patch, make sure to check it out.

What I love about these posts is that little glimpse of insight they provide into the thought process that goes into balancing the class mechanics in a game like World of Warcraft. I'll be honest, I'm glad I'm not one of the people involved in that job. To me it seems like an endless headache to try and make sure all classes are different enough to feel unique, but similar enough such that a raid or dungeon group isn't punished for lacking one indispensable class, and I wouldn't have the patience for it. But I certainly admire and respect those who do!

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, News items, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives: An early look at 5.2 for druids

Shifting Perspectives An early look at 52 for druids

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 the future.

Happy New Year!

Hmm. I guess I'm a little late for that. Anyway, my no-notice household move is mostly complete, and I've finally had a chance to start breaking down the new changes for druids in 5.2. With the exception of Feral PvP, things look pretty positive across the board, so let's dive in!

Cyclone a-no-no

Cyclone is the crowd-control effect that everyone loves to hate. Unlike the vast majority of other CC effects in the game, Cyclone does not share a diminishing return category with other effects, meaning you could couple it with another CC from a teammate to lock down an enemy target for a long period of time. By itself, this wasn't the end of the world. While a "clone" was powerful, it had a short range and a cast time, making it difficult to land in the first place.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Resto druids vs. the world: Healer balance in tier 14

Resto druids vs the world Healer balance in tier 14
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Today, it isn't enough that mistweavers are taking our gear -- now they're taking our jobs.

The beginning of an expansion is usually a bad time to write deep, meaningful, and typically pompous posts on the "state of the class" and whither the druid and all that crap. For that matter, the beginning of Mists of Pandaria struck me as an especially bad time, because so much of what we were used to in WoW got changed and sent everyone scrambling. Toss in a brand-new hybrid class (the monk), and you've got the perfect storm of elements that make evaluating healer performance a dicey proposition at best. I poured myself a nice cocoa, kept an eye on World of Logs and Raidbots, and watched as the numbers rolled in and a legion of holy priests tore their garments and cried out in despair.

Given that patch 5.1's now live, it seems an appropriate time to swirl that cocoa, take a look at how healers did in tier 14, and ask what's likely to change. As of now, it seems apparent that:
  • Holy priests were actually right.
  • Monks kicked your dog, seduced your mom, stole your XBox, and drove off in your car.
  • Paladins are still topping the charts on certain encounters, but they're no longer dominating all of them.
  • Shaman have improved a lot from their lackluster performance in Dragon Soul.
  • Resto druids are back in same boat we were in at the beginning of Cataclysm, and it's not a very nice boat.
Just for fun, here's a Shifting I wrote almost a year ago on healer balance in Dragon Soul, if you'd like to see how classes fared in the last tier of raid content.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Reforging guardian druids for dummies (or better yet, crit)

Shifting Perspectives Guardian druids and the great reforge debate
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, a cheerful question-and-answer session comes to a screeching halt.

The following is a partial transcript of questions I have received ingame or via email since the launch of Mists of Pandaria, accompanied by their answers:
  • What's the hit cap for bear tanks now? Versus a level 93 raid boss, it's 2,550, or 7.5%. If you're only running heroics, it's 2,040, or 6%. Thanks, Arielle!
  • What the hell is going on with resto in raids? I don't know, but I suspect it's a version of the problem that plagued resto in the early days of Cataclysm. More on this next week when I've looked at more World of Logs parses. In the meantime, don't forget that other healers' (cough, monks) being overpowered renders us underpowered only by comparison.
  • Do I need to worry about the "hard" expertise cap? Eh. It should be fairly easy to reach the soft cap (or get close to it) once you're sitting on heroic-level gear. After that, whatever expertise you get up to the hard cap is gravy, because if your rage income is enough to keep Savage Defense at maximum uptime, additional expertise won't really have a serious impact on your survivability.
  • How do you get blood out of a shirt? Hydrogen peroxide.
  • (From my raid leader) When will our scrub-ass warlock get to 90 so we can raid? I don't know, sir.
And the last:

How should I reforge my bear tank?

(Fidgets.) Uh, well ...

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral druid macros of power

Shifting Perspectives Druid macros of power
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 automate (legally!)

So, you might have seen references to macros, macro-ing, or other mac-type things (the non-cheesy variety) in my latest column, and wanted to know just what I'm on about. I've combed through my personal setup, the macro discussion threads over at Fluid Druid, and the excellent tips at Macro WoW to lay down some (automated) beats.

Before we begin, though, a quick introduction/refresher. Macros are an in-game method of grouping up commands or actions so they can be used in a more efficient way. To create a macro, you open the macro UI pane (/macro), type or cut-and-paste the macro text into the field. pick an icon if necessary, and save it. This saves the macro text to an icon that can be dragged to an actionbar, just like one of your regular spells. Macros have two main limitations; they can only be 255 characters or less, and they can only execute one ability on the global cooldown per click. Other than that, go wild! (Just don't miss the litter box.)

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Druid leveling and talents in Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives Druid leveling and talents in Pandaria
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 grind.


Okay, I know this column is a little behind the Mists of Pandaria power curve. That said, if you happened to fall in love with another class (coughMonkcough) for leveling this time around, and you've just now leveling to 90...here's some tips. And yes, that's a moonkin on a mechanostrider by a fish. Why? Isn't it obvious?

Before your arrival in Pandaria

Well, that depends on what level your gear is at. If you didn't play significantly at endgame in Cataclysm, you'll find that the enemies get a lot stronger as soon as you hit ground in Jade Forest. You'll get pieces of 378 green gear as you proceed through the early quests, but if you're still rocking Mount Hyjal greens like some of my alts, you may want to look at picking up some Misthide crafted leather items from the auction house. If none are available, you can also ride to Dawn's Blossom and visit the gear vendor there for some starter pieces. You can skip this if you choose, but in that case expect the initial quests to be fairly difficult, and you won't have the item level to queue for dungeons right away.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The Heart of the Wild and Symbiosis hotfixes

Shifting Perspectives The Heart of the Wild and Symbiosis hotfixes
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 abandon our pretensions.

I knew this was going to happen. I tweeted about it back in August, suggesting that Heart of the Wild was far too powerful for both balance and feral druids; when combined with a weapon swap, the damage potential was significant. Several others warned about it on release, but to no avail, Bosses fell, DPS meters were topped, and all the non-druids complained bitterly. The cry of "Nerf druids!" was heard throughout the land, though most of us were too busy playing PandaFarm to notice.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your restoration druid for Mists of Pandaria heroics

Shifting Perspectives Gearing your restoration druid for Mists of Pandaria heroics
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, masochists eager to heal a pack of early dungeon-runners sort through gear options.

This picture's already a bit dated -- my main's been 90 for about a week now -- but you'll probably find yourself in Mogu'shan Palace for several runs trying to get some useful gear to drop. As an aside, the rush of leveling monks continues apace, and more and more of them will start appearing in your level 85+ groups. Get gear now, people!

As NocturNamos pointed out in last week's article on how to gear a guardian druid for Mists of Pandaria heroics, the ilevel requirement for heroics (or more accurately, queuing for heroics through the dungeon finder) has been lowered to ilevel 435. As such, I've included some ilevel 437 quest rewards in this guide that I didn't think were usable last week.

Again, most of this guide's advice can be condensed to the following points:
  • Quest through the Townlong Steppes and the Dread Wastes.
  • Be prepared to spend some justice points.
  • Farm normal Mogu'shan Palace.
  • If you have a good option available from professions (whether primary or secondary), don't ignore it.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your guardian druid for Mists of Pandaria heroics

Shifting Perspectives Gearing your guardian druid for Mists of Pandaria heroics
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, the four normal dungeons are a fat lot of help.

The subject of today's article is, shall we say, an immediate concern. Due to the demand for tanks and healers in the new 5-mans, my main will hit 90 before she even makes it to the halfway point of questing through the Valley of Four Winds. This is good, because I get to relax and enjoy questing as an extended treat without having to worry about leveling. This is bad, because she's about 20 ilevels off from where she needs to be in order to access Mists of Pandaria heroics.

This guide assumes that you will need an average ilevel of 440 to access heroics, because that was the number Blizzard was using on the beta. (Note: This is only true via the dungeon finder. Nothing prevents you from running out to the new heroics yourself with a group, but either way, 440's a decent number to aim for if you're worried about being sufficiently geared.) There are only four normal MoP dungeons, and only one of them (Mogu'shan Palace) drops gear that will help you clear this threshold.

If I had to condense this guide's advice, it would be:
  • Quest through the Townlong Steppes and the Dread Wastes.
  • Be prepared to spend some justice points.
  • Farm normal Mogu'shan Palace.
  • If you have a good option available from professions (whether primary or secondary), don't ignore it.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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