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Posts with tag druid

How to go tribal with transmogrification

Do you like hugging trees? Did you want to see more of D.E.H.T.A. in Wrath of the Lich King? If you answered yes to either of those questions, this week's transmogrification guide is for you. This week, we're going to be exploring that super-chic tribal look the tauren of Azeroth love so much. So if you happen to be a druid who wants to look more the part (or just want to be a rogue who inflicts cognitive dissonance), keep reading.

First off, you should know that at the end of the day, there's a lot of flexibility to this outfit. Anything with wood, leaves, feathers, animal hide, fur, or antlers has the potential to be swapped in. Just be mindful of how you incorporate color. When using earthy-looking armor models, you want to try and keep the earth tones in the same color family. So for example, if your chestpiece is a mustard-colored brown, you may want to make sure most of your browns have a similar hue. When it comes to accents and contrasting color, try to make all of those little details match. So if you get a red headband, trying using a red belt or weapon to tie it all together.

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Filed under: Transmogrification

All-druid guild shreds Dragon Soul by tooth and claw

Druids of the Beast
Why is there something inherently funny about a bunch of druids all together in one place? Whether it's a flock of squawking, Moonfiring moonkin or a genial pack of dancing bears, even the most dedicated lore fiends among us have to admit that the design for these characters is all a wee bit silly. No matter how you cut it, the mere thought of a gathering of all druids evokes a grin every time.

What's not so silly, though, is this all-druid guild's rampage through WoW's most challenging raid content. Druids of the Beast is no gentle gathering of roleplaying night elves, drifting through Darnassus to pluck at the tangled knot of druidic lore -- no, this is a full-on, endgame raiding guild that also happens to be comprised entirely of members of the druid class. You'll find no army of declawed alts in this guild, no buffing machines parked outside raid instances. Druids of the Beast's roster represents pure, unadulterated druidic power, and its progress through Dragon Soul is among the world's leaders for all-druid raiding.

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Filed under: Druid, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Encrypted Text: More rogue poison news from Ghostcrawler

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.

Two weeks ago, I asked you to throw out everything you knew about rogue poisons. I was being silly, because I know that would be a lot to ask. Many of us have spent years learning the intricacies of the poison system, studying PPM charts and evaluating our options. Unfortunately, it looks like there was actually no hyperbole in my original request. With the latest round of info we've received, every single poison mechanic in the game will be overhauled in Mists of Pandaria.

We already know about the new lethal/non-lethal designations and how we'll be able to have two poisons on both of our weapons at all times. We already know that poisons will be critting for double damage in Mists and that their crit chance will be calculated based on our melee crit rate. These improvements are just what we needed to increase our utility options and to boost crit's viability as a secondary stat. In addition to these sweeping changes to poison crit mechanics, we've learned that poison's hit mechanics are also being revamped.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

A priest's guide to class romance

It's a troubling yet underpublicized fact that four out of five shadow priests respecced shadow for the first time after experiencing a romantic break-up. Recent studies show that priests are 63% more likely to respec shadow within 72 hours of a break-up, while a separate poll found that 78% of healing priests had seriously considered respeccing to shadow after having an argument with their spouse or significant other. To the tenderhearted healing priest, shadow probably seems like a quick way to steel yourself and mend a broken heart; unfortunately, too few priests realize the two points they're putting into Masochism 'til they're staring down into an empty bottle of Volcanic Potion and wishing they could do the same DPS as a warlock.

The simple way to avoid all these drastic courses of action is, of course, to skip getting your heart broken in the first place. Easier said than done, you think? Perhaps, but knowing the battlefield of love will certainly help you avoid the more obvious pitfalls. Want to know what your best match is? What about your worst? This week, I've got the answers in a special guide to the classes.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

How could tanking design be changed?

Tanking is designed around holding threat and using abilities to stay alive. The current paradigm, wherein tanks work hard to passively gear themselves for predictable incoming damage in order to make healing them easier, has its drawbacks. Tanks usually ignore stats that contribute to threat generation (to a degree that baseline threat generation has repeatedly been increased, currently sitting at five times damage dealt by the tank), which has led to the discussion of active mitigation in the tank design of Mists of Pandaria. The goal is to make tanks desire threat generation stats such as hit and expertise by making them not just threat stats, but also to tie them into survivability.

By making threat gen stats also generate resources that are used to actively mitigate incoming damage, the goal is to make tanks want those stats, rather than simply aiming as close to complete coverage of the combat table as they can get, reducing incoming damage to something as reliable and easily anticipated by healers as possible. Tanks currently value dodge, parry, and their mastery stats well over any potential threat generation from hit and expertise.

Since we've already seen quite a bit of the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator, we know that design of the new tanking system is probably fairly well advanced. We also know that the monk, another tank/DPS/healing hybrid class, will be debuting with the expansion. Therefore, it's worthwhile to examine tanking changes that could be implemented, even to stretch our vision of tanking significantly past where it is now and most likely past where it will go in Mists.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight, Monk

Breakfast Topic: Do you love to shapeshift?

Don't tell moonkin blogger Tyler Caraway, but I sort of like druids. Whether or not they're the best at tanking or the best at DPS never really matters to me, though. I just like being able to change shapes and forms. Beating things up as a bear is cool. Being a ferocious cat is cool. Being a ferocious cat that's on fire -- even cooler.

There's only one thing I can think of that would make me even more excited to play a druid: more shapeshifting forms. So how about it? Do you like playing in shapeshifted form, even if you have to rely on trinkets to do it? Is there a new shapeshifted druid form that you'd like to see? Maybe the ability to play as a naga or a ferocious timbermaw?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The New Class: Monks and class balance

I've wanted to talk about this for a while. The game's hybrid vs. pure debate is about to swing into high gear. With the monk, not only will there be a third class that can tank, heal or DPS, but it will be doing these things with entirely new mechanics. What does the monk mean for everyone, both those who will adopt and love it and those who will have to compete against it?

The first change the monk brings along with it is simple: the class numbers game. Not only will we have 11 classes now, but all sorts of other numbers change as well. For instance, there will now be five classes capable of tanking and five capable of healing. We'll have four pure DPS classes and seven hybrids that can DPS. There will be a total of 33 specializations (although it may be easier to balance with talents shifting to the new system) to design around.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

BlizzCon 2011: Screenshots of the new Pandaria talents for all classes

If you wanted to look at the new talents that will be debuting in Mists of Pandaria, I would hope you followed our liveblog of the talent system overhaul. The short version is you get to pick 1 talent from a pool of 3 talents every 15 levels. By the time you hit the new level cap of 90, you will have 6 talents. Each set of talents does the same thing, more or less, in different ways.

Now, for your perusal, we present a class by class gallery of the new talent system as it stands today. Remember this is subject to change, alot, before Pandaria, launches.
Make no mistake, this is a significant game changer for everyone. This is the dawning of unparalleled flexibility in personal customization choice. Arms warriors with Shockwave, fury warriors with Bladestorm. This is the biggest change to the game since reforging.

There are no tree examples for the upcoming Monk class yet. Galleries of each class's talents after the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon

Patch 4.3 PTR: New druid Hurricane animation

Patch 4.3 has been updating many player spells including Wrath, Shadow Bolt, and Lightning Bolt. Another spell in the druid's arsenal, Hurricane, is getting a visual upgrade. Now, the spell actually calls down tornadoes in the area of effect zone, with a cool sound associated with it. The new animation looks pretty neat, and you should definitely check out the video of the new effects at Blizzplanet.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Druid, Cataclysm

Patch 4.3 PTR Video: New spell effects for shaman, warlocks, druids

Lightning Bolt, Shadow Bolt, and Wrath, three staple spells for the shaman, warlock, and druid classes respectively, all have new animations on the Public Test Realm. You can check out the new spell animations in the video above. Lighting Bolt's effect now leaves a blue trail and has more oomph than just the small blue ball that was fired from the shaman beforehand. Shadow Bolt's skull-headed projectile now leaves a greenish wake. Wrath looks completely different, eschewing the green lightning bolt effect for a more nature-based zap.

[Edit]: Video was re-shot for some better angles/views of the spells. Sorry about that, guys and gals.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Druid, Shaman, Warlock, Cataclysm

Is it time to kill pure DPS?

Hi guys, you may remember me from last week when I threw a rock into a hornet's nest. I was frankly blown away by the responses, some of which were very well thought-out, that supported, refuted, or elaborated on the issue of tanking and if it is here to stay or on its last legs. Since I find that kind of discussion valuable, I thought, "Well, I can always find another rock, right?" And so here we are.

The DPS classes in World of Warcraft present us with a conundrum. If we consider the holy trinity of tanking, damage dealing and healing to be a pyramid that the game relies on, then the base of the pyramid is most easily envisioned as cornered by the tanking and healing classes and the apex occupied by the DPSers. The issue is, only four classes can hold up the tanking corner, only four can hold up the healing corner (and two of those classes are also in the tanking corner), and absolutely every single class in the game can stand on the top of the pyramid. This results in a pyramid that's metaphorically heavier on top than at the bottom.

Furthermore, of the game's 10 classes, four of them (the rogue, mage, warlock, and hunter) can only stand at the top. Whether or not they want to do something else is immaterial (although one assumes that they do not, elsewise they might have chosen a different class), because they simply cannot do so -- at least if we continue to visualize the game as based around the tanking/damaging/healing triad. So what to do?

Well, we can get rid of DPS classes entirely.

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

Is it time to kill tanking?

Please note I said "tanking" and not "tanks." If you know a tank, give him or her a hug. He or she isn't clad in cold metal or an angry bear that will tear off your face because of you; it's those pesky mobs.

The tanking system has long been somewhat problematic in World of Warcraft. While it scales to some degree, from 5-man dungeons to 10-man raids, the scaling falls apart when we get to 25-man raiding, which currently demands about the same amount of tanking as 10-man. You can get through most of Firelands with two tanks, no matter your raid size. Majordomo Staghelm only requires one tank, again, no matter your raid size. This means that the scaling from five to 10 works, but as soon as you go from 10 to 25, instead of needing 2.5 times more tanks, you need no more tanks.

The other problem is simply that there already aren't enough tanks for every 5-man group. When the Call to Arms feature was announced for the Dungeon Finder tool, it was created out of the simple fact that we're not seeing the distribution we'd expect in the playerbase. In order for the Dungeon Finder to work without significant group queues, we would need 20% of the people queuing up to be tanks (1 in 5 = 20%). This is not the case.

People simply don't want the perceived group responsibility of tanking. It's why changes were made to CC mechanics that allow groups to CC on the fly without pulling. It's why Call to Arms exists. And yet, despite both of these changes, tanking was still so unattractive to players that threat itself needed to be redesigned. All of this work to try and get people to tank. Maybe the problem isn't the players here, though. Maybe it's the role.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight

Patch 4.2: Fandral's Flamescythe turns feral cats fiery

Feral druids, rejoice! Majordomo Staghelm turns into a pretty cool-looking flame cat during his encounter in patch 4.2's raid, The Firelands. Druids have been clamoring for Blizzard to in some way or another give feral cat druids that awesome flaming cat form. Well, your hopes and prayers were answered -- Fandral's Flamescythe, a drop from Majordomo Staghelm, will shift you into flame cat form when in cat form as long as it is equipped.

This is wonderful news for druids, as more customization is always welcome. Blizzard's design philosophy of You went to the Firelands and came out looking like the Firelands is in full swing. Feral druids went to the Firelands, looked Fandral Staghelm in the eyes, and left with a tangible reward -- a sweet new form. This also paves the way for other items to also change players' forms, much like Deathbringer's Will from Icecrown Citadel in Wrath.

The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!

Filed under: Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: The sources of magic, part 3

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Last week, we talked about arcane magic (including fel energy and shadow) and the magic of the Holy Light (which also has shadow as a kind of opposite force). If that's not confusing enough, this week, we talk about the magic of shaman and druids, either of which could in its own way be called natural magic.

In part 1 of this series, we talked about the various means by which magical energy can be tapped. One of these magical "fonts" is the Emerald Dream, a kind of palimpsest dimension that lays beneath and mimics Azeroth. It is, essentially, the first draft of creation, the blueprint to which the world would be returned to in the event of reorigination. It's Azeroth before the original Sundering, before intelligent life, as it was the second the Titans considered their creation complete. The reason Ysera of the dream is charged with protecting and safeguarding the Dream is that it is the world's base state.

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Filed under: Druid, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm

Ask the Devs Round 9 wants your tanking questions

At precisely noon today (that's right now!), Ask the Devs Round 9 will be up on the official forums. This time, the devs want to know what you want to know about tanking. Are you interested in the incoming 4.2 change that strips dodge from agility for warrior, paladin and death knight tanks? I'm personally interested in why they bothered to do that. Maybe you're more curious about the general direction of tanking in 5-mans, raids and even tank specs in PVP, or you're wondering about how good mastery is going to be for your paladin tank in 4.2.

Whatever your questions are, now is your chance to answer them. So go! Go, my legion of the tanks, go and get the developers' aggro and do not let it go until your questions are answered!

The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

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