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Posts with tag druid

Stackable stag coming in patch 5.1

One of the most unintentionally hilarious bugs to hit with patch 5.0.4 introduced the phenomenon of stag stacking. This bug allowed druids in travel form with the Glyph of the Stag to ... well, stack on top of each other. Towers of stags took Azeroth by storm, and a flurry of screenshots littered sites like Reddit until the bug was quite sadly hotfixed, and stags were left solo and inconsolable.

Apparently Blizzard liked this bug, even if it wasn't really appropriate for player use. MMO-Champion datamined a new item called a Stackable Stag from the patch 5.1 PTR. Using the item will summon a stackable stag at a target location, and if there is another Stackable Stag present, it will stack on top of it. It's not quite as laughably horrifying as a giant stack of stags trundling through the streets of Orgrimmar, but I'll take it.

At the moment, it's unclear where one will be able to obtain this item, but it should clear up by the time patch 5.1 is released.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Rage tanks get angrier

Rage tanks get angrier and harder to hurt

Rage tanking is in a weird place right now. Both as a tank and as a DPS in runs I've noticed a certain amount of squishiness that wasn't there before, both due to certain abilities being fairly hard to use (Both Shield Block and a full Shield Barrier are expensive, costing 60 rage) and the loss of a lot of passive mitigation we were all accustomed to. Apparently the devs have noticed it too: Ghostcrawler posted these changes coming for rage warriors on live and the beta fairly soon.

Ghostcrawler - Beta Class Balance Analysis
Tank Time
I mentioned previously (though it very well could have been in another thread) that we have been looking a lot at tank balance. We think tanks surviving short windows of spike damage has been fairly balanced in beta for some time, and indeed we are seeing all tank classes used effectively in beta Challenge Modes and Heroic raid testing.

We have made a few changes to longer-term tank healing required, which will show up both on beta and live very soon. I mentioned that we were initially going to nerf monk and DK, but we now think they and paladins are fine. Instead, the rage tanks required too much healing, so we are causing them to take less damage and have more rage for active mitigation.

Druid
-- Auto attack rage generation increased by 75%.
-- Thick Hide now provides 12% physical damage reduction.

Warrior
-- Rage generation from Revenge increased from 10 to 15.
-- Rage generation from Shield Slam increased from 15 to 20. (Sword and Board continues to give 5 extra, so 25 now).
-- Reduced internal cooldown on Critical Block from Enrage from 5 sec to 3 sec.
-- Increased damage reduction from Defensive Stance from 15% to 25%.
-- Increased armor from Unwavering Sentinel from 10% to 25%.



The rage changes are nice (druids will now get 10.85 rage from an auto attack) because they'll allow for rage tanks to be more often using their active mitigation. Honestly, high incoming rage really isn't an issue for tanks, since we don't use rage abilities for threat anymore (with the exception of rage bleeds like Heroic Strike or Maul) as much as we do for survival.

What impressed me was the change to Thick Hide and the Defensive Stance/Unwavering Sentinel changes. Were they warranted? Absolutely. Warriors in particular have been the squishiest tanks since the patch, with druids not far behind, and this change will help even out some of that sustained damage that erodes healer mana and thus, our lives. This is me, being happy over here.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Druid, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Druid glyph changes in patch 5.0.4

Druid glyph changes in patch 504
When the new 5.0 patch flips over on Aug. 28, will you be ready with glyphs? Blizzard is recycling old glyphs instead of making new spell IDs and charring old ones. Some glyphs are staying the same, some are new, but some share IDs with old Cataclysm glyphs.

Below is our list of new or changing glyphs for druids. This is not a list of changing tooltips, just which glyphs you ought to have if you want to automatically have the new glyphs when the patch flips over.

The glyph switching occurs across roles more often than not, so feral and guardian druids will want some of the current balance and restoration glyphs in order to automatically switch over.

Druids have one new glyph, Glyph of the Cheetah.

Glyphs that are changing into new majors:
Glyphs that are changing into new minors:

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Druid, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: Druid Symbiosis updated (includes tables)

Mists of Pandaria Druid Symbiosis updated
The latest beta build includes the most recent changes to the druid Symbiosis spell. Symbiosis, as you may know, is essentially a spell swap between a druid and any other class. It's not done automatically, so if the druid is in a class-run raid group -- a group where there are no duplicate classes -- the druid can choose to give it to any raid team member.

In return for this generosity, the druid receives a spell back from the target, which appears on the druid's bars and is currently usable with all the usual restrictions of that spell, such as cooldown, range and similar.

The spell distribution follows after the break -- first, the spells that other classes receive from their druid friends.

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Mists of Pandaria Beta: Druids get new default travel form

Mists of Pandaria beta Druids get new default travel form
The folks over at MMO-Champion have a video and images of the new default -- that's right, I said default -- druid travel form, the stag. If you love your cheetah form, don't fret; there's a glyph for that. The Glyph of the Stag, meanwhile, will allow your fellow party members to ride on your back and pretend you're a megaloceros. Well, that's what I assume they'll be doing. I know it's what I will be doing. As for you druids, you can pretend to be Malorne now!

I really like the ornamentation on these forms, and I'll admit I find the small tusks on the Horde form to be adorable. Very nice job on the design here, in my opinion. While these are some pretty awesomely detailed stag forms, I won't pretend I'm not disappointed we're not also getting some variety for certain other forms, like a rhino tanking form. If we had a rhino tanking form, I would be sorely tempted to actually level a druid.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Druid, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Raid Rx: Recap of recent healing changes

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Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

There's been some large changes to healing for some of the classes in recent builds. This week, we'll recap and go through the classes to see what's new. You might be interested to know that at level 89, my priest has 250k mana. Who wants to wager that 300k mana is the maximum cap at level 90? Remember with the new intellect and mana system coming in with the expansion, intellect stats no longer raise the mana pool anymore. Your mana regeneration is governed strictly by your spirit levels.

Priest

Lightwell receives a few tweaks to the healing numbers. More importantly, it now has a glyph that completely changes the functionality of the spell. Glyph of Lightspring turns Lightwell into an automatic healing ability with a catch. Lightwell will only heal players with health lower than 50%. It will only perform the check once every 5 seconds. That is a fair compromise to me. I've never been truly satisfied with Lightwell since my experience has shown me that most players never click on it when it really matters. At least this glyph helps remove control from them and I gain the knowledge of my Lightwell kicking in when it'll be needed.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raid Rx (Raid Healing), Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Horde and Alliance Incarnation moonkin forms

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Things just got real in the Mists of Pandaria beta, folks. With the most recent patch, the new moonkin forms for the druid talent Incarnation have hit MMO-Champion. I don't really have much to say other than Blizzard just might be opening a can of worms here for druid players. Armored moonkin forms actually look pretty awesome.

Druids, run with this one. While Incarnation is going to have its own special models, attaching armor to the existing moonkin form might have proven easier than imagined. Could druids get the option in the future to augment their forms with their own armor choices? Not yet, but Incarnation's forms are already shaping up to be pretty exciting for druids. Now, to dust off my druid ...

Filed under: Druid, Mists of Pandaria

Encrypted Text: Rogues can actually tank

tank rogue
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

In the original WoW beta, rogues were designed to be off tanks. Complete with a high dodge coefficient from agility and a buckler, rogues could survive quite a beating. Evasion was a tanking cooldown, and Vanish was a useful tank-swapping ability. Hunters worked similarly, also sporting bucklers and using Feign Death to lose aggro. Obviously, the developers scrapped both of these ideas before launch.

During The Burning Crusade, Gaeowyn broke the combat table by achieving unhittable status with 102.63% avoidance and using it to successfully slay Illidan. After that, the crew slew Gruul with just five people while it was still relevant content. In Wrath, Jider abused Shadowstep and our amazing damage output to solo several Naxxramas bosses. The upcoming Mists expansion looks to again revitalize rogue tanking, with the advent of the druid ability Symbiosis and our bonus ability, Growl.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Incarnation druid cat forms appear

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Wowhead has datamined some pretty cool new models, which are apparently new druid cat form models coming in for the new druid talent Incarnation. Even though they're not a whole new model, they look slick, and I cannot imagine Blizzard won't have something more to say about them soon, now that we've seen them. Ghostcrawler said that new forms are coming for Incarnation, and this might be the first salvo of models for druids.

Personally, I hope the new forms are a subtle hint at a Blizzard reversal in its reluctance to add in some class-specific content again. While doing something cool for every class is a daunting process and the required resources are extensive, it's been shown that players react favorably to that type of content. In the meantime, check out the epic cat forms for worgen, night elves, tauren, and trolls over at Wowhead.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Druid, Mists of Pandaria

Skill Mastery: Symbiosis -- why you should be nice to druids

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I don't know what class you play. I don't know if you're any good at it. If you're looking for gold, I can tell you I don't have any. But what I do have is a very particular skill -- a skill I have acquired at level 87 after a long career of pleading with Blizzard for relevance. This skill makes me a nightmare for people like you. If you let the contents of your action bar go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you. I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will take everything you hold dear.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Symbiosis -- or as we like to call it around these parts, the reason you need to be nice to druids in Mists of Pandaria.

Or as we also like to call it, the endless, numb suckhole where raid balance goes to die.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Dumb things are fun

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Opinions were pretty mixed when druids lost permanent Tree Form going into Cataclysm, but two distinct camps emerged. Lots of people who'd been playing since classic WoW resented having to be in a low-poly model all the time just to be competitive with other healers. Others really liked playing a tree, missed the form, and have sulked their way through Cataclysm with only temporary access to the (admittedly awesome) Captain Disco Soul Patch Groovy Tree.

When Glyph of the Treant was introduced on the Mists of Pandaria beta, I was among those who hurried to glyph it in order to enjoy the form again and subsequently found myself running around Azshara like an idiot, one-shotting the mobs as a tree again. I have difficulty defending this. It literally adds nothing whatsoever to the class. It takes up a valuable glyph slot, gives no combat advantage, and exists only to be enjoyed.

And then I realized -- a lot of the stuff I've liked about Mists has absolutely nothing to do with the druid's combat effectiveness. Something that contributes to tanking, healing, or DPS always has to be balanced with other classes, and a degree of homogenization results because you can't have wildly different mechanics without usually getting wildly different results. Something that doesn't contribute to combat can just exist to be fun and doesn't have to be balanced with similar abilities elsewhere.

What skills, spells, or abilities does your class have that are only for fun? And on a more thoughtful note, would the game benefit from more "dumb stuff"?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Heart of the Wild controversy: Should players be allowed to change specs in combat?

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In a recent Mists of Pandaria beta build, the tooltip for one of the currently inaccessible druid talents, Heart of the Wild, was significantly rewritten and updated. The full tooltip is long, but the key assumption is that every six minutes, a druid of any spec can click a button and automatically be able change to another combat role for 45 seconds, with little drop-off in effectiveness. Restoration druids can start dealing damage, DPSers of either persuasion can throw around some heals or tank an add, and guardian tanks can even spread around a few HoTs without having to leave Bear Form and turn into paste. That's the theory, anyway.

As you can imagine, this idea generated some heated debate in the druid blogger community. The noted Lissanna of Restokin called it "(likely) the the least used talent out of any talent tree in the history of the game" Murmurs also agreed, saying "HotW has a pure functionality problem. It can never truly fulfill the position that it is attempting to grasp."

In opposition, Tangedyn, the co-creator of the Mew feral druid simulator and frequent contributor to The Inconspicuous Bear, wrote "... there's no reason to deny druids that want the versatility the capability to perform to their best of their abilities."

So who's right? Well, let's take a closer look at both sides of the argument, since this debate brings up several important issues to any WoW raider.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Mists of Pandaria

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

GuildOx player analysis highlights the warlock decline

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The folks at GuildOx have gone through their database and done some simple filtering that reveals some fascinating things about who is raiding heroic Dragon Soul. GuildOx started with level 85 characters, filtered for characters with ilevel 400 gear, and then filtered out anyone with PvP gear. What you see in the chart above is the result of that work -- a representative sample of who out of the over 13 million level 85 characters in the GuildOx database is raiding heroic Dragon Soul.

If you remember the post about the complexity of systems and player retention that I made a couple of weeks back, you'll remember that I mentioned Cynwise's excellent posts about the warlock decline. Well, here it is again reflected in GuildOx's data. Warlocks are the least played class in heroic raiding.

Warriors aren't doing much better, really. Most other classes seem fairly healthy, with classes that have healing specs doing fairly well and rogues absolutely ruling heroic raiding despite being one of the least-played classes in the game overall. It gets even more interesting once we get to look at the GuildOx spec-by-spec breakdown.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Raid Rx: Mists of Pandaria healing changes

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

You'll notice that there are a ton of new glyphs that have been added for all the classes. That list is by no means exhaustive. I also noticed some slight changes in the way certain spells work. I can assure you it won't be anything too drastic, but these changes are enough to keep you interested and wondering. This week, I'll be rounding up what we know healers will be getting, as well as any other notable modifications.

New for druids

Cenarion Ward appears to be a Prayer of Mending-like spell without the subsequent charges. Good spell to open with before an engagement. Won't have to pre-HoT as much. Just remember to pre-Ward.

Wild Mushroom: Bloom! Hope you love 'shrooms, since you'll be gaining the use of these in addition to your Balance friends. Anticipate a moment where big AoE healing is needed, and plant 'shrooms. Detonate after raid group takes a hit, and relish in the healing spores that explode.

Regrowth can be glyphed to remove the HoT component. Benefit? 40% increased chance of a critical heal. I guess you can configure a HoT-based class to switch to a non-HoT direction.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Raid Rx (Raid Healing), Monk, Mists of Pandaria

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