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Posts with tag entangling-roots

Recent in-game fixes for 12/14/2009

Bornakk has just posted a new round of in-game hot fixes, some bug fixes, some actual quick balancing fixes. They include some relief for Affliction Warlocks after that last hotfix nerf, as well as a nerf to 10-man Lord Marrowgar. For a complete list of hotfixes, check after the break.

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Filed under: Druid, Warlock, Patches, Bugs, Odds and ends, News items, Death Knight

Patch 3.3 PTR: Undocumented druid changes


Our esteemed colleague Boubouille has datamined some undocumented changes to druids on the patch 3.3 PTR, so while I'm waiting for it to download (53 more minutes.../sigh), let's take a look:

BALANCE

NATURE'S GRACE: Now procs from non-periodic spell criticals (old: all spell criticals).

So direct-damage spells (e.g. Wrath, Starfire, Moonfire's initial hit) or direct-healing spells (e.g. Regrowth's initial heal, Nourish) will be the only ones that can trigger the 20% haste effect from 3/3 Nature's Grace. This is definitely a nerf for Balance concerning Starfall and Hurricane crits, but it's also a nerf concerning specific gear sets. Moonfire's DoT component can crit if you're using Balance 2-piece Tier 9, and a Restoration druid rocking 4-piece Tier 9 gains the ability for Rejuvenation to crit.

For Balance's AoE situations and Starfall cooldowns, it's an out-and-out nerf, albeit a limited one given Starfall's cooldown and the unlikelihood of Hurricane playing a major role in any given boss fight. Otherwise, it's also a nerf directed at Tier 9 bonuses, unless Blizzard's planning on future tier bonuses (or class changes) that will make periodic damage and/or healing crits a routine thing. Stay tuned.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Patch 3.2.2 PTR Druid changes


There really aren't a ton of Druid changes on the 3.2.2 PTR as yet, but two of them are rather intriguing means of handling current PvP concerns for the weaker PvP specs (Balance and Feral). Anyway, I wanted to get our commenters' take on them because PvP is definitely not my area of expertise.

MOONKIN FORM: This form now also reduces the damage the druid takes while stunned by 15%.

Ghostcrawler mentioned recently that the main concern for Balance PvP isn't damage or CC -- it's just survivability, pure and simple. This is a very welcome change in that vein, although I'm surprised that it went to us over other casters, who are arguably more vulnerable to melee stuns. Well...maybe not. Shadow Priests have Dispersion, Warlocks have Demonic Circle, Mages have Ice Block and Blink, and so on. All of these are instant-cast, which might be part of why they're more effective "Oh s^$t!" buttons than Roots and Cyclone, both of which can be interrupted and silenced. Travel Form leaves you more vulnerable than you are in Moonkin, Bear Form has limited options given that most moonkin PvP builds I see still don't put any points in Feral despite the change to Survival Instincts, and Nature's Grasp -- well, you have to get hit for that to trigger that anyway.

We'll see if this helps, although if the root of Balance arena issues lies in the vulnerability of caster form (which was one of the factors driving the "tankiness" of Trees in Season 6), this change just nudges the Druid to stay in moonkin more than they already are. Still, I'm curious to see what effect this will have.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Classes

Shifting Perspectives: Getting started and leveling 1-9


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we begin at the beginning, and we will go on until the end. Then we will stop. Then we will ask ourselves why we are taking advice from 19th century children's literature rather than the books that are relevant to our interests, like Why Buying a House You Have No Idea How To Renovate Is Probably a Bad Idea, or Smoked Salmon and You: A Guide To Not Eating Yourself Into a Coma.

Greetings, Druids. I took the liberty of rolling a few new Druids to test out the improved leveling process, and if possible I'm going to level a brand-new one all the way to 80 to make sure everything in the guide's been personally tested and accurate as of the 3.1/3.2 game world. Today we'll start off with a baby Tauren Druid on the PTR who's now level 9; later I'll be switching between a Night Elf and a Tauren.

Level Feral.

This is the single best thing you can do for yourself, at least for leveling in classic content. As we've previously discussed, the Druid is still hobbled by its initial design as an endgame secondary healer, but you can skip a certain portion of this early weakness by leveling feral. Piggybacking off all of the DPS leather that went into the game to support the billions of people who rolled Rogues is a nice advantage, but the real attraction of leveling Feral lies in the ability to DPS in forms that don't require mana. Being able to save your mana bar for healing and buffing decreases downtime enormously (more so as you gain levels, as our mana efficiency and damage aren't that great early on).

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Filed under: Druid, Features, Leveling, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Druid changes


All right, Druids. I've been rolled out of bed to come look at the new PTR test notes, because apparently this is a big deal or something. As far as I'm concerned, all important business can wait until a reasonable hour in the morning, like 3 PM, but because this site is run by crazy people here I am.

So let's go skim the patch notes quickly -- /flick flick flick -- and try to answer the most important question first:

Is Tauren cat form still in the game?

/flick flick

Yes.

Man, %*#$ this patch.

Leaving aside this EGREGIOUS OMISSION, we're going to take a look at the preliminary Druid changes in patch 3.1 past the cut here, and courtesy of Michael Sacco and some data-mining gnomes, we also have the Druid Tier 8 shoulder graphic, which is pretty cool and reminds me a lot of Tier 5. I'm also seeing some undocumented changes in the game files off MMO Champion, but I'll have to examine those later today. I haven't been able to get on the PTR yet, so I can't confirm whether these changes have actually gone live on the test realm.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features, Guides, Classes

Shifting Perspectives: Moonkin in 3.02 and beyond

Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer realizes that nobody writing about moonkin DPS on the internet agrees with each other, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert, having Hibernated John Patricelli and run away as fast as her laser-chicken legs will carry her, examines the new moonkin talents and glyphs in 3.02 and Wrath.

I do apologize about the wait here, folks. There's been a lot of contradictory information from both the beta and an array of Druid bloggers on how moonkin are shaping up for Wrath. While a lot of this is just the normal ebb and flow of changes in the alpha and beta, most of it is fueled by a few new talents and the set of glyphs that will become available. All of these have the potential to seriously impact your gameplay and rotation choices, so Balance DPS is going to be (at least, from current appearances) a lot twitchier and more proc-dependent than its counterpart in the feral tree. In addition, you'll probably have to make a few hard choices that will be affected by what your raid's going to need from you (although there is a truly amazing talent deep in the balance tree that, no matter what else you pick, is going to be a significant raid DPS contribution). As Balance is the only spec that I haven't gotten to raid on, I didn't want to go live with this until trying to figure out which pieces of information were accurate and which ones weren't. Bear in mind that Blizzard is still tinkering with Balance as I write this.

For the guide to feral in 3.02, head here; for the guide to resto in 3.02, head here. You'll probably want to be familiar with the resto changes, as balance has traditionally depended on a few key talents in that tree, some of which have changed. Otherwise, read on for a comprehensive look at balance's new talents, updated skills, and glyphs!

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.02 for Restoration Druids, part 1

The single biggest change for most restoration Druids with patch 3.02 will be the disappearance of at least four commonly-used PvE and PvP specs:
  • 8/11/42 (the traditional resto PvP spec)
  • 11/11/39 (Resto PvP with Insect Swarm)
  • 13/11/37 (Resto PvP with Insect Swarm and Nature's Reach)
  • 11/0/50 (PvE Tree of Life with Insect Swarm).
The first three are kaputski because Feral Charge is now a 21-point talent in the feral tree, and the last three are bye-bye because Insect Swarm is now a 21-point talent in the balance tree. If you still want talents from the balance tree especially, you'll have a ton of stuff to play with (frankly I ran out of space here to discuss the new restokin specs but we'll cover it as soon as we can), but for the moment we're only going to concern ourselves with stuff squarely in the Restoration tree. Shifting Perspectives later today will have a full run-down on moonkin in patch 3.02 and Wrath. Otherwise, there's still a ton of new stuff for tree Druids in this patch, including a resurrected Tier 3 set bonus, a vastly-improved Tree of Life form, an out-of-combat rez, and an insane +haste buff to two of your most-used spells. If you also want a look at what early 5-man healing in the beta is like as a resto Druid, head here.

Read on for a comprehensive look at the new healing and mana regeneration mechanics, Restoration abilities, talents, and glyphs!

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: Reputation, crowd control, and more


We all know how this goes by now, so let's jump right in. If you don't know how this goes, click back through a few of the previous editions of Ask a Beta Tester. You'll catch on, I'm sure.
Xaktsaroth asked...

How does reputation work in general in Wrath? Are there turn-in quests? Rep for killing Mobs? Quested Rep? If you just quest, how far along does that reputation take you?

It's a little different for every faction, but I can say that I have not yet seen turn-ins like we had to do for the Aldor or Scryer. Most of the rep gains seem to be via quests or dungeons depending on the faction. On beta, I'm nearly Exalted with the Valiance Expedition exclusively from quests. Strangely, I'm Neutral with the Kirin Tor as of a couple of beta patches ago when I had been Friendly. Curious! Either way, I haven't seen much in the way of rep via quests from them. You'll probably need to do dungeons or some other thing.

It's going to vary from faction to faction, they're not all the same. Some are quest heavy, some are not. If you prefer dungeons, however, just get to Friendly with someone, pick up their tabard, and you can get rep with them in any dungeon you want.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Moonkins aiming to get DPS and group utility

Paladins weren't the only ones to get some attention from the crab last night. The Balance Druid post wasn't an especially information-filled post, but mostly served as a reminder that even though the devs may not respond to your threads, they are paying attention. Ghostcrawler explains that whlie she may be focusing more heavily on Feral Druids, that doesn't mean she isn't aware of Balance's needs. She clarifies their role in a raid (caster, duh), and states a Moonkin's needs to meet that role. She lists the following:
  • Competitive dps. Mages and warlocks just tend to get a lot of attention, maybe because there are more of them, or more races of them, or they are more archetypal classes (in the familiarity sense).
  • Good AoE utility. Encounters and dungeons tend to get designed with the assumption that the ranged DPS can do AoE. Hurricane is phenomenal now. I healed a run today and did really competitive dps with Hurricane on the ranged pulls. And I wasn't even Balance! I love Starfall. It's a rare spell because it feels new -- it isn't single target and it isn't classical Hurricane-style AoE either.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Downranking changes some key Druid abilities

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, Michael Gray's going to take a look at the recent downranking changes, and how they affect our furry, furry class.

So, one of the big news pieces to hit the streets about the Wrath of the Lich King beta is that "downranking" has been nerfed. There's a little bit of history that you need to know to get why that matters.

Downranking isn't actually that complicated, in and of itself. When you learn a new rank of a spell, you keep the lower version of the spell available in your spellbook. Not all classes function that way, but all spell casting classes do. When you "downrank," then, you're casting a lower level version of a spell than the highest one you have available to you.

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

Wrath Beta patch notes: Balance Druids


Now that the Wrath of the Lich King Beta is live, and the patch notes are up, we have some solid information on Druid talents as they're being tested. Here is what the patch revealed:

Balance tree
If you were to invest three points into your Brambles tier three talent, you will not only have the current 75% boost to damage caused by Thorns and Entangling Roots, but your Treants will have their damage boosted by 15%.

In addition, all damage caused by Treants, and any attacks done to you while Barkskin is active, have a 15% chance of dazing the target for three seconds. Actually, Force of Nature, which summons your Treants, is having its cooldown reduced from three minutes to two.

This will be a nifty talent for Moonkin in battlegrounds and arena, although it won't be enough to convert all of those Restoration druids to the ways of the Giant Chicken.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Features, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

WWI '08 Panel: Druid (UPDATED)

While there isn't quite as much shocking news for those of us in the furry set as there was for our totem-spouting Earth brothers, there's still enough information to get us excited about our futures in Wrath of the Lich King.

I have to admit that I was a little surprised to hear Tom Chilton say in the first WWI dev panel that Blizzard isn't planning any Cyclone changes. When an audience member asked if there would be any alterations for Cyclone, Chilton answered in a pretty clear, unambiguous manner: Nope. But he did give us some explanation for it.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

Shifting Perspectives: Poledancing and you

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, Michael Gray fills in for John Patricelli, to discuss more about mobility for healing Arena Druids.

Allison Robert wrote a pretty solid summary of a Druid's life in PvP as a moving target. This week in Shifting Perspectives, I'm focused on a specific aspect of your life as that moving target. I'm talking about one of the most quintessential Resto-Druid skills in small-group Arena play: Poledancing.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Arena

Scattered Shots: The line of sight between hunters and the Arenas

I'd like to take a break from the hunter leveling goodness we've had the last few weeks in Scattered Shots to take a look at where hunters stand as a class in Arena PvP, and where we might be going in the future. Blizzard developer Kalgan's measurement of how the different classes are faring in the Arena got me thinking quite a bit about the state of hunters -- currently functioning at the lowest place with 50% or less representation in the three Arena types at high rating brackets, followed by mages and shamans, in the 2vs2 Arena especially.

What in the world is causing such a huge discrepancy between hunters and other classes when it comes to high-rating arena representation? When I play in Arenas and Battlegrounds, I don't feel like my class is somehow deficient or underpowered. My team's Arena rating is average -- we're not the best, but not the worst either. When I get beaten, I usually feel like the other team actually played better (or outgeared us, at least), so it's rather hard to see what's so messed up about hunters.

The most obvious issue I can think might be the issue is that of Line of Sight. Hunters obviously have a rough time shooting at things behind sort of obstacle. In battlegrounds there are more wide open spaces, so it seems less of an issue there, but in Arenas it can get fairly annoying. Classes like warlocks and shadowpriests can just put a damage-over-time spell on you, and then hide behind a pillar, while druids can move freely around obstacles to give them plenty of time to heal themselves between your attacks. Warriors and other melee classes can hide for a bit, then get in so close that you can't use your best ranged abilities on them for a few seconds until you can somehow get away.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP, Arena, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Shifting Perspectives: New Druid Leveling - 6 through 10

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, sometimes known as the Big Bear Butt Blogger, continues the new Druid leveling guide with levels 6 through 10.

So far in our series of Druid leveling tips, we started with preparing to play a Druid, and then covered the basic strategies of levels 1 through 5. Today we're going to talk a little about weapon skills, Entangling Roots and your first real Druid specific challenge; the level 10 Bear Form quest chain.

Go ahead and dive in after the break!

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Leveling, Guides, Alts, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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