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Posts with tag druid

Raid Rx: Analyzing tier 12 healing set bonuses

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading on the Matticast.

Good news, everyone! Patch 4.2 information is heating up! I've already fired up my PTR client, and I'll be eagerly testing any new encounters. Some of the new information that has been released includes the new tier bonuses, which I'm sure you're burning with desire to know more about. I'll see if I can help stoke the flames of your anticipation. I suspect we'll have some players returning to see if new content is going to rekindle their interest in the game.

Too many fire puns? Okay, let's just blaze on through and look at healing tier bonuses.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Class revamp breathes new life into alts

Transformation -- I'm not specifically talking about the shapeshifting ability of my new feral druid, I'm actually talking about the widescale changes made to druids (and all classes, really, but specifically druids) that suddenly made playing one fun for me. For the past four and a half years, druids were my second least-favorite class, beaten only by mages. I still hate mages, don't worry.

Cataclysm, even more so than any previous expansion, really redesigned how classes level up and their basic functionality. Some classes, like paladins, saw an entirely new resource mechanic. Others found themselves turned away from previous core concepts (like a death knight's ability to tank or DPS in any tree) or given a more clearly defined role from the start.

In the process, while many players had to relearn their classes, someone like me can come along and try again on a class that feels much more fluid and dynamic to level. I have started 16 druids over the years, only to delete them by level 20, so the sleek, compact redesign of the class was a revelation to me.

This, of cours,e does beg the question of the inverse. If a redesign makes the class easier to pick up but turns off the long-term players, did we gain or lose something?

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

The Daily Quest: Druids druids druids and a side of wands


WoW Insider's on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

When I first rolled a character during the original WoW beta, I had a tough choice to make. Would I be a sword- and shield-bearing warrior? A sneaky rogue? A mage who cast brilliant and shiny spells, or a warlock who trafficked with demons and the shadowy arts? The answer was none of the above; I went with a druid, and the druid became my first "official" WoW character upon game launch as well.

I wish I could say it was because I was fascinated with being able to heal or tank or with the rich lore behind the druid class. But in the end, it was because I could turn into a kitty. Kitties are awesome.

Today, we've got a few posts from around the blogosphere regarding everyone's favorite shapeshifting, tree-hugging class:

Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment, and you may see it here tomorrow! Be sure to check out our WoW Resources Guide for more WoW-related sites.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

Raid Rx: What druid and shaman cooldowns would you like to see?


Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community and the new healing, raiding, and guild management podcast, Matticast.

No beating around the bush today. There were some upcoming healer changes that were announced earlier in the week. I can tell you as of right now, I'm worried about the Power Word: Shield change -- not because I think discipline priests will remain overpowered, but because holy might go the route. I'll explain that later on in the post.

The main focus of today's post is defensive cooldowns for shaman and druids. I'm sure a number of players don't believe there's a need for the two classes to get defensive cooldowns, but in order to compete for utility, I think druids and shaman would benefit greatly from having those spells available. The argument here is that since the four healers are approximately the same across the board (from a throughput perspective), the edge might be given to paladins and priests because of the additional cooldowns they have to offer. Shaman and druids might end up being even more attractive in 10-player raids.

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Filed under: Druid, Priest, Shaman, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

In defense of gear simulations

Josh Myers is not a scientist. The closest he's ever come to being one is winning the Science Fair in 8th grade and getting straight As in physics in high school. Despite these clear signs telling him to look for a career in science, he decided instead to go for a degree in English. His wallet hasn't forgiven him since.

"Just sim it" is a phrase almost everyone who has played World of Warcraft in the past few years is familiar with. Should my enhancement shaman use Tunic of Failed Experiments or Voltage Source Chestguard? Sim it. How much of a DPS increase is the four-piece Firelord's Vestments bonus? Spreadsheet it. How much DPS am I losing since I can't afford a Flask of the Winds on my hunter? SIM IT!

I'll be the very first to say that saying "just sim it" isn't a constructive thing to say. Beyond being slightly rude, it doesn't explain why simming is such a good idea. However, while I find "just sim it" to be in poor taste, the actual act of simming or spreadsheeting gear choices is a really good idea. This post aims to address why we encourage spreadsheeting your DPS choices.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Cataclysm

Raid Rx: Patch 4.0.6 healing thoughts

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community and the new healing, raiding and guild management podcast Matticast.

Even though I wasn't responsible for it, its nice to believe that my little story in last weeks column might have influenced the Mana Tide change. What is the change, you ask?
Mana Tide Totem has been redesigned. The totem no longer multiplies the Spirit of those affected by it. It instead gives a flat amount of Spirit equal to 400% of the casting shaman's Spirit, exclusive of short-term Spirit buffs affecting the shaman when the totem is dropped. In addition, its effects are now raid-wide.
It won't be an overpowered mana reset ability anymore. I have to admit, I do miss having that synchronizing aspect that all the healers share. Having a shaman give a 3-second warning that he is going to drop a Mana Tide cued the rest of the healers to activate their spirit trinkets. I thought that was a neat little interaction. I wouldn't mind seeing more of it somehow later on -- little ways that help promote (but not so much require) healing coordination would be a cool addition. I'm just not sure what other ways methods can be explored.

On the bright side, I don't need to figure out which players have the lowest mana regeneration in order to stack them into the healing group.

But hey, enough about resto shaman already! Some additional healing changes (both nerfs and buffs) will be coming soon. No idea if any of this stuff is going to stick. Tell me what you think.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Cataclysm Beta Live Stream: Choose my worgen druid adventure

Choose the adventures of WoW Insider's Robin Torres as she levels multiple alts in the Cataclysm beta, live every Monday and Wednesday at 1 p.m. EST.

Note: The stream is of the Cataclysm beta. It and the chat below are full of spoilers. You have been warned.

Update: The stream is now over. Please click on the image above for the video replay.

Hello and welcome to the live version of Choose My Adventure (beta edition). Monday, Monday. So good to Robinella the druid worgen. Today we continue her adventures.

Join me after the break while I narrate, read quests and take requests from the chat room. The show will run for at least an hour and be viewable on video, if you weren't able to watch it live. Also after the break are some notes and polls.

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Filed under: It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

New changes to tanking cooldowns coming for Cataclysm

Blue poster Nethaera informed us today about a number changes coming to tanking cooldowns in Cataclysm (specifically, patch 4.0.3a). It seems an imbalance occurs in the current build when tanks stack mastery, leading to astronomical values of block.

For now, specifics are only available for paladin, druid and warrior tanks. The post hints that cooldown changes for druid and death knight tanks will be coming later, once developers can get a better handle on the complexities of the classes' abilities.

When asked for comment and analysis, Fox Van Allen's orc Grunk posited, "Me Grunk! Grunk fear change! Grunk smash!" Sadly, Grunk lacks the mental clarity to process the full meaning of all these forthcoming changes because as a warrior, Grunk does not stack intellect (and takes repeated physical blows to the head). If he did, the changes would be meaningless to him, as he'd have followed his dream and become an architect rather than becoming Orgrimmar's No. 3-ranked skull cleaver.

In lieu of expert testimony from Grunk, we have the full blue post just after the break.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, News items, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Sunflower sings about blood elf druids

It's no secret that we love Laura Shigihara, the composer for Pop Cap's amazing Plants vs. Zombies and now the voice of Cataclysm's singing sunflower pet. Shigihara has stepped into the WoW machinima world with her own original song and video, Blood Elf Druids, an adorable song making a plea to Blizzard for the inclusion of blood elf druids. Shout-outs to Tooga the turtle are pretty obscure, which makes it even more fun.

It's adorable, catchy and a great first shot at machinima. There's even a behind-the-scenes video posted here. If this is the quality of song we're getting for the first video, I cannot wait to see what's coming next. An orc ballad, perhaps? I can only hope.

Filed under: Machinima

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)

New Tree of Life model datamined

Boubouille at MMO-Champion has datamined the long-awaited new Tree of Life model from an upcoming beta build (click the image above for a high-res version), and commentary's already starting to fly on the forums. Some players are really enthusiastic, others are not (Cirocco of Rexxar's notable soundbite: "Hunchback of Notre Lame"), and others think it's a little too masculine-looking in comparison to the older treant model.

If the posture looks a little familiar, it's because the Tree apparently shares the male orc's skeleton and animations (at least for the moment), although I'm having difficulty locating the YouTube video that a player claims to have seen of this. The new model isn't yet live on the beta, so unfortunately I can't yet get a video for myself. EDIT: Thanks to our readers, it's been located -- go here.

I really like the new model, but I'm surprised that Blizzard thought it was a priority for an update given the Tree of Life's new status as a Metamorphosis-like cooldown. Bears and cats finally got their update in patch 3.2, so I'm hoping that Moonkin, Travel and Aquatic Form are next on the list. At any rate, it's a spot of good news (well, to me, anyway) in a patch where cat DPS has nose-dived, bears are going crazy trying to hold aggro in 5-mans, and trees are ... well, no longer trees. Past the cut you'll find a quick note on the WoW Insider team's take.

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Filed under: Druid, Cataclysm

Status update on current patch 4.0.1 issues


Vrakthris (Blizzard customer service representative) posted a list of major issues people are coming across in patch 4.0.1, along with updates and expected timetables on when some of them will be resolved. If you're having issues with any of the following topics, read on to find out what is currently being done about the situation.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Raid Rx: No pally? No problem

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host, Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus, is on vacation.

Hello readers! Your favorite Canadian priest is off on some sort of an adventure this week so I'm here to cover for him. (I don't know the specifics, but I heard something about a Princess Leia metal bikini and twenty boxes of tropical flavored Fruit Roll-Ups. Your guess is as good as mine.) Usually I just handle priest healing over at Spiritual Guidance (thus, don't be surprised by the heavy priest bias) but I figured I could take a stab at this. I should warn you though: I'm no phlebotomist. I might need to stab you multiple times. No big deal right? I've got Flash Heal.

Anyway, when I asked Matt what topic I should cover, he relayed a story to me on how his raid leader refused to start their 25-man ICC because the group had no holy paladin. The raid leader wanted someone who could "heal the tanks." This forced them to wait 90-minutes for a healadin while available healing priests, shamans, and druids were turned away. Sounds frustrating, yes? Matt suggested I tackle the topic in his place (probably so I can take all the flames), so here I am.

So here's the situation: you're putting together a raid and either your normal pally is absent, for some reason (read: debauchery), or you're in a pug and there are no paladins to be found in ye ol' trade chat. What do you do? Can your other healers handle the tanks or are you doomed to a wipe fest?

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Raid Rx: Healing talents trimmed

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related.

First, I just want to say that members of my guild and I scored ourselves a set of drake mounts from Glory of the Icecrown Raider. Took a few weeks, but we managed to pull it off. Hard modes and other achievements are an excellent way to keep your healing in form!

Anyway, those experiences can come at a later time. Some big announcements this week about talents! Have you seen the new looks yet? They're by no means finalized. We're still months away from anything resembling completion. Many talents have been removed from the tree entirely.

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

Breakfast Topic: Which in-game art would you update?

There have been a lot of new models and textures datamined out of the current Cataclysm beta. Cities are getting face-lifts, bridges are being finished, and entire zones are getting made-over. Even the water in the game is getting overhauled.

The problem is sometimes things appear to get missed. Let's take the druid forms as an example. The old druid cat and bear forms were around long past their prime before finally being updated. The aquatic and regular flight forms for both night elves and tauren have the long, elvish ears instead of each race getting something more unique like the art above. The land travel form itself is nothing more than the cheetah monster model without any tweaks for either current druid race.

Another example is our old enemies, the murlocs. In Wrath we got cousins to the murlocs know as the gorlocs which have a newer and shinier model than their non-arctic brethren. We've even seen a few glimpses of deep-sea murlocs coming in the expansion which are also up to the modern modeling standards which put the old murlocs to shame.

Hopefully, all of the old art will be brought up to what we're come to expect for new content. It would be a shame for something to get left behind. Which things do you hope they'll update the art for?

Filed under: Druid, Breakfast Topics, Cataclysm

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