Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.
Alex is doing the Queue on a Saturday? What is this madness?
Is there any reason why Pandarans can't be druids? the Pandaran's main lesson was about balance so that (and the elemental - or alemental) are why they are shaman. Balance between light and dark is why they are priests. So wouldn't balance with nature and the giant turtle that is The Wandering Isle allow them to be druids?
Just getting started in World of Warcraft and not sure what you want to do? Or maybe you've been playing for a while but aren't sure which class you like best. We're here to help by taking a look at what each class can do and leading you to the right one. Today, we're talking druids.
Druids harness the powers of nature to help their friends or harm their foes. They can wield magic to harm like a mage or heal like a priest and can shapeshift into animal forms to dive into melee fighting. Like the monk and paladin, druids are a hybrid class that can fill any role in the game they wish: if you play a druid, you have the flexibility to do whatever you please. But are you up to the task of wielding the raw elemental power of nature? We'll take a look at just what druids can do and try to decide if it's the right class for you.
Leveling up a monk is good fun and rather speedy. Starting from level 20, monks can complete daily quests that allow them to practice key skills and also reward an experience buff that stacks up to 48 hours. All they have to do is use their Zen Pilgrimage skill to send their spirits to the Peak of Serenity and interact with their Monk trainers. No other class has this kind of training, but the druids used to have something similar in Moonglade.
Once upon a time, leveling up a druid was much more difficult than it is now, and arguably more fun. Each form had a class quest to go with it and the Moonglade teleport spell was used to get these quests, as druids needed to speak to the druid trainers in the Cenarion Circle in order to advance as a shape-changer. Granted, the Aquatic Form quest was a royal pain, but it was a rite of passage that I thought made sense. There were no daily quests, nor was there repeated training as to how to use the forms, but the class quests did make advancing as a druid more rewarding.
I think they should revamp Moonglade to return it to its former glory and use the Peak of Serenity as a model for training druids how to use their forms and other key skills.
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.
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!
The story is always the same: I find a particularly intriguing piece of transmogrification gear, one that will totally make that midnight blue set I've been working on piecing together. And the piece is pretty easy to get, relatively speaking; it's a drop off of a boss in one of those old Burning Crusade-era heroics. Easy enough to solo at level 85, so it should be a snap to get, right?
Well ... not quite. Because for some reason, all of these old heroics still have their old lockouts in place. Despite the fact that you really don't get anything of consequence from these dungeons and you haven't been able to for years, you still can't repeatedly head into these dungeons. Now I realize there is a five-dungeon-per-hour limit to keep people from excessively farming, and I get that. I really do. But when you introduce a game feature that encourages farming old content, it seems silly that you not only have to cross your fingers that the item drops, but you can only attempt to get it once a day.
And really? That's not the only thing that could use an update in today's World of Warcraft.
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?
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.
Garrosh Hellscream is probably one of the most contentious additions to the Cataclysm expansion. Oh sure, he existed all the way back in The Burning Crusade, but he wasn't Warchief at that point in time. Nobody thought for a moment that the depressed Orc in Garadar would one day be leading their characters into battle against the Lich King. And nobody dreamed that Garrosh would one day be sitting on the Horde's throne.
It wasn't so much the surprise of the situation that people took issue with, however. Instead, it had much to do with Garrosh's attitude throughout Wrath of the Lich King. Headstrong, ruthless and downright bloodthirsty, Garrosh's decisions in Wrath didn't ring right or true with the playerbase. Even more jostling to players was the notion that despite the player dislike of the character, the NPCs of the world loved the guy. It may very well be the first time that a large chunk of a faction's players have blatantly disagreed with a fictional NPC faction -- and the NPC faction won out.
The Shattering makes it clear that Garrosh's position is only temporary, but in Cataclysm, he's certainly attacking the job with gusto.
Today's Know Your Lore contains pretty much every possible spoiler that exists for the novel The Shattering by Christie Golden. If you're avoiding spoilers, run away! Run away!
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!
World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music, fan fiction and more. Sample the whole spectrum on our Arts and Crafts in WoW page.
Welcome to Monday! To help stave off the Monday blues, today we've got a collection of adorable druid kittens created by Serthida of Bloodhoof (US-H). Astute readers may recognize the name -- Serthida was also responsible for some spectacular flickpainting as well as a couple of moonkins, one conventionally colored and one in a bright shade of pink for Raid for the Cure. Needless to say, all this crafting is old hat to Serthida. Tauren, troll, night elf and worgen -- there's a cuddly kitten for every race here!
Check through the gallery below for a close-up look at each of the druid kittens in the litter, and continue on for a short chat with Serthida about the little beasts!
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.
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.
There have been a lot of new models and textures datamined out of the current Cataclysmbeta. 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?
Fear not, my fellow druids; your feral analysis post is going live later tonight, and resto sometime tomorrow. Daniel Whitcomb and I have been talking about the incoming changes to the spec, and particularly the decision to change the tree of life from a constant form into a cooldown. I honestly didn't know how to feel about it at first. But before we get to that, Ghostcrawler stayed up hellaciously late last night to answer questions from druid players about the Cataclysm changes currently planned, and we've collected all of them here for you.
Balance druid performance has been noticeably lagging in raids. While moonkin have long had a problem being too easily +haste-capped with Wrath, there's another issue on the not-too-distant horizon in the form of the "lunar +crit cap." Essentially, when a lunar eclipse procs and the player turns to the Starfire portion of the rotation, the combination of raid buffs, gear, and procs make Starfire crits all but inevitable. While this may sound like a welcome DPS increase, it does have the unhappy result of the spec seeing increasingly less benefit from the +haste and +crit that exists in abundance on Icecrown raid gear.
Blizzard has known about this for a while, but the issue with Nature's Grace and the soft +haste cap isn't easily fixable without impacting both Restoration and Starfire (where the NG proc is still useful), and the +crit cap is the effect of unintended stat inflation in Wrath. Enter Zarhym on Wednesday to announce news of a possible change to the Earth and Moon talent in a future mini-patch, granting 2/4/6% spell damage to the moonkin, up from 1/2/3%. While this isn't set in stone (and Balance players are already aware that an overhaul to the Nature's Grace issue probably won't happen until the Cataclysm content patch at the earliest), it's been greeted as a decent short-term fix. It's also a means of improving the scaling of what remains the moonkin's best stat (+spellpower).
Zarhym did warn that the change may not go through in this form, and we're also waiting for news on when this mini-patch will hit. Stay tuned for future announcements.
Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.
Listening Music: Modeselektor's Tetrispack. Allison Robert offered a challenge to our most beloved columnist last week. Ms. Roberts has chosen a clever and palatable piece with Richard Shindell's On-A-Sea-Of-Fleur-De-Lis. And now we come to my retaliation. My wife recommended our musical selection today -- it just happened to be on the absolute opposite end of the spectrum. How fitting. We love this song, albeit mostly for the intro. Upon your first listen, if you correctly predict the timing and type of shift in the first thirty seconds, serious e-props to you.
To wit, Robert: pan flute > no pan flute. Your move.
Last Week: part two of our beginner's arena guide. We featured the cute ukulele kid who pretty much controls the internet right now. After that, we discussed frequently asked questions from new arena players. We talked about how to spec and what team composition to choose, with two different types of answers (easy and long).
Today, we'll be talking some very basic class strategy. If you know your class inside and out, you'll know what I'm going to say when it comes to your class and arena. You can still learn about other classes here. I've written over 2500 words about individual class perspective inside arenas, that's a lot. Full article after the break.