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Posts with tag feral-dps-druid-shifting-perspectives

A look at what's changing for feral and balance druids in patch 5.4

Shifting Perspectives A look ahead at what's changing for feral and balance in 54
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 await breaking news.

The PTR has returned with patch 5.4 goodies, and I'm back to discuss what this means for your feral or balance druid. Remember, numbers at this point are completely unbalanced, so focus on the substantive changes!

First, the nerfs
  • Cyclone no longer has a 20-second cooldown for Feral Druids.
  • Predatory Swiftness no longer has a chance to make Cyclone instant, free, and castable in all forms.
Let's face it: some things are too good to last, and one of those things was instant Cyclones from Predatory Swiftness for ferals. Pre-5.2, a feral could go on full offense and reliably keep a second target locked down with Cyclones. The developers attempted to fix this with a tweak in 5.3 that gave feral, and only feral, a 20 second cooldown on Cyclone. However, it was quickly apparent that this wasn't a long-term solution, so now they've taken the somewhat drastic step of removing insta-clone entirely. While this is a large nerf (and one made worse by the removal of Nature's Swiftness, discussed below), I understand the rationale, and hopefully this portends the further removal of other instant CC from the game.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Spending feral VP in 5.3

Shifting Perspectives Spending feral VP in 53
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 spend our Valor Points at the corner store.

Patch 5.3 is here, the item upgrade vendors have returned, and it's time to talk about everybody's favorite things; gear. What are the pixels I can pick to push my kitty to the top of the heap? Let's take a look.

Weapons and trinkets first

As a feral, getting a good weapon is your highest priority. It's the jelly to your peanut butter, the ketchup to your french fries...okay, I may be hungry, but you get the point, it's a necessary complement to ensuring you can be an effective damage dealer. You have four choices for weapons; three drops from Throne of Thunder (Shan-Dun, Breaker of Hope, Jalak's Maelstrom Staff, or the Darkwood Spiritstaff) and the weapon with a legendary socket from 5.0, Gao-Rei. The differences in the ToT weapons are fairly minor, so just get the best you can, and upgrade it ASAP. If you can't get into ToT yet, the +500 agility from the legendary gem on Gao-Rei makes it a worthwhile fill-in. Oh, and if you've completed Chapter II of the legendary quest and received an Eye of the Black Prince, don't forget to buy another one when you get a weapon upgrade.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: An early look at 5.2 for druids

Shifting Perspectives An early look at 52 for druids

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 discuss the future.

Happy New Year!

Hmm. I guess I'm a little late for that. Anyway, my no-notice household move is mostly complete, and I've finally had a chance to start breaking down the new changes for druids in 5.2. With the exception of Feral PvP, things look pretty positive across the board, so let's dive in!

Cyclone a-no-no

Cyclone is the crowd-control effect that everyone loves to hate. Unlike the vast majority of other CC effects in the game, Cyclone does not share a diminishing return category with other effects, meaning you could couple it with another CC from a teammate to lock down an enemy target for a long period of time. By itself, this wasn't the end of the world. While a "clone" was powerful, it had a short range and a cast time, making it difficult to land in the first place.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral druid macros of power

Shifting Perspectives Druid macros of power
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 automate (legally!)

So, you might have seen references to macros, macro-ing, or other mac-type things (the non-cheesy variety) in my latest column, and wanted to know just what I'm on about. I've combed through my personal setup, the macro discussion threads over at Fluid Druid, and the excellent tips at Macro WoW to lay down some (automated) beats.

Before we begin, though, a quick introduction/refresher. Macros are an in-game method of grouping up commands or actions so they can be used in a more efficient way. To create a macro, you open the macro UI pane (/macro), type or cut-and-paste the macro text into the field. pick an icon if necessary, and save it. This saves the macro text to an icon that can be dragged to an actionbar, just like one of your regular spells. Macros have two main limitations; they can only be 255 characters or less, and they can only execute one ability on the global cooldown per click. Other than that, go wild! (Just don't miss the litter box.)

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Druid leveling and talents in Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives Druid leveling and talents in Pandaria
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 grind.


Okay, I know this column is a little behind the Mists of Pandaria power curve. That said, if you happened to fall in love with another class (coughMonkcough) for leveling this time around, and you've just now leveling to 90...here's some tips. And yes, that's a moonkin on a mechanostrider by a fish. Why? Isn't it obvious?

Before your arrival in Pandaria

Well, that depends on what level your gear is at. If you didn't play significantly at endgame in Cataclysm, you'll find that the enemies get a lot stronger as soon as you hit ground in Jade Forest. You'll get pieces of 378 green gear as you proceed through the early quests, but if you're still rocking Mount Hyjal greens like some of my alts, you may want to look at picking up some Misthide crafted leather items from the auction house. If none are available, you can also ride to Dawn's Blossom and visit the gear vendor there for some starter pieces. You can skip this if you choose, but in that case expect the initial quests to be fairly difficult, and you won't have the item level to queue for dungeons right away.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The Heart of the Wild and Symbiosis hotfixes

Shifting Perspectives The Heart of the Wild and Symbiosis hotfixes
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 abandon our pretensions.

I knew this was going to happen. I tweeted about it back in August, suggesting that Heart of the Wild was far too powerful for both balance and feral druids; when combined with a weapon swap, the damage potential was significant. Several others warned about it on release, but to no avail, Bosses fell, DPS meters were topped, and all the non-druids complained bitterly. The cry of "Nerf druids!" was heard throughout the land, though most of us were too busy playing PandaFarm to notice.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Mists of Pandaria feral druid 101 guide

A Misty Catfight The feral druid 101 guide
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 put four on the floor.

Feral (also known colloquially as cat or kitty) is the melee DPS specialization for the druid class. It's styled similarly to a rogue, but instead of sneaking around and using poisons, you just make things bleed. Copiously.

A feral druid's primary resource is energy. It is a 100-point pool that regenerates at 10 energy/sec, in and out of combat, though this rate can be increased with haste, and is used to power your basic attacks. This energy is used to power a variety of attacks, many of which build combo points (abbreviated cp's). Combo points are stored on a target and can stack up to 5; if you change targets and use another cp-generating attack, the stored points are lost. These points are used for powerful finishing moves.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Mists of Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives: 5.0.4 changes for feral and balance druids

Shifting Perspectives 504 changes for feral and balance druids SUN
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, NUMBER 5 IS ALIVE!

The patch is coming! The patch is coming! Run around screaming wildly! Right. Anyway, if you're just coming back to WoW, here's everything new you'll need to know to get your feral or balance druid up to speed. First I'll hit some of the overall druid changes before drilling down into the spec-specific stuff.

Changes for druids

Feral is no longer a tank/DPS specialization. Yes, bearcatting is officially dead for those who practiced it, though it lives on somewhat in one of our new talents. Feral is now solely melee DPS, and a new spec has been added for bear tanks, guardian.

All the old talent trees are gone. You still pick a specialization at level 10, but instead of a 31-point tree, you now have six tiers of talent choices, with one choice out of three options every 15 levels. With the talent tree deletion came an ability shuffle; many druid abilities that were spec-specific, such as Force of Nature or Feral Charge, have been made into talents that can be used by any spec. For more, read my column on talent tiers 1 through 3 or tiers 4 through 6.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Exploring the Dream of Cenarius playstyle for ferals

Shifting Perspectives A Mists talent analysis for cats and moonkin SUN
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 consider the return of John Madden.

As beta patches came and went, a few long-time feral players quietly began grumbling to me about the new changes coming in Mists. "We didn't get anything new," one murmured. "I don't have to make tough decisions anymore," said another. Meanwhile, the wheels of balance continued turning. Moonkin were attracting the lion's share of the attention with their high-flying damage numbers utilizing Dream of Cenarius, but then feral theorycrafters started calculating how to put it to use ...

The evolution of a talent

Dream of Cenarius, in its first incarnation, was relatively useless to ferals. The "30% damage to next melee ability" buff was only granted for non-instant casts of Healing Touch, which wasn't likely to occur in any typical scenario. Most of the discussion revolved around whether the passive bonuses from Heart of the Wild would outpace the burst damage from Nature's Vigil, given that NV could be stacked with Berserk.

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Filed under: Druid, Mists of Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives: A Mists talent analysis for cats and moonkin, part 2

Shifting Perspectives A Mists talent analysis for cats and moonkin, part 2
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 (still) feel talented.

Last week, I talked about talent tiers 1 through 3; this week, we'll pick up the bottom half. Once again, I apologize in advance for the terrible puns in the subheaders. (They're unbearable, I know.)

Tier 4: Soul of the Force of Nature Incarnate

This tier is both the most interesting tier and the least interesting tier in the list. It's the most interesting, because, well, this one directly affects your DPS, unlike all those other "silly" healing talents. Unfortunately, that also makes it the least interesting, because that means theorycrafters will just figure out what works the best, and everybody picks that one. The best-case scenario is that all the talents end up reasonably balanced, so I'm going to approach this discussion with that in mind.

First up is Soul of the Forest, which is a fairly bland passive talent. For easily distracted people like me, though, passive is good. Passive means "I don't have to do anything special to get a DPS increase out of this thing." Joking aside, it'll probably end up (once the balancing is complete) as narrowly the highest-DPS talent for feral and balance, but only if you get to stay attacking the boss 100% of the time. Any off-DPS time starts to cut into its value significantly.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: A Mists talent analysis for cats and moonkin

Shifting Perspectives A Mists talent analysis for cats and moonkin SUN
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 feel talented.

So. New talents! Awesome, right? This week, I'm going to take a closer look at the tiers and make recommendations on which talent you'll want to pick up for your Mists of Pandaria adventures. (Yes, I've looked at the new talents before, but we've had several months' worth of discussion and changes since then.) I apologize in advance for the terrible puns in the subheaders.

Tier 1: We like to charge it, charge it

No way around it: Displacer Beast is flat-out terrible. In theory, the ability serves as a way to escape from enemies; in practice, it completely fails at this because it lacks the threat-dropping capabilities of Feign Death or the temporary damage absorption of Vanish. DoTs will still immediately snap you out of stealth, as will spells in the air (sometimes). Non-players will keep all their threat and keep attacking you. I could maybe sorta kinda see it being used offensively in PvP for feral (open from Prowl, dump some energy, DB out and reopen), but that's pushing things. At this point, I don't think the talent is fixable, and I'm hoping they scrap it and replace it with something that buffs Dash and/or Stampeding Roar.

Luckily, we have two other talents that are much better. Feline Swiftness's passive movement speed increase is boring but very helpful in any situation. Unfortunately, it has one key downside: It does not stack with boot enchants, which makes them an integral part of the decision. Feral will almost certainly be using the Blurred Speed enchant anyway for the agility bonus, so it's really more like a 7% bonus for them. Balance has a little more choice here; they can choose between move speed + 140 mastery or 175 haste, which will likely be a superior DPS option.

Wild Charge, in contrast, has a wealth of situational uses, especially in PvP. The cooldown being so short means you can use it pretty much every time you need it, which is great. Of course, that means you have to use it to gain any benefit from the talent. If you'd rather focus on your rotation, just go with Feline Swiftness. Basically, it's a pretty close call. I probably prefer Wild Charge for feral and Feline Swiftness for balance, but it can go either way.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Why play a druid?

Shifting Perspectives Why play a druid SUN
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 consider our origins.

I've spent a lot of time in Realandia and Monkville lately, so I found myself a bit stuck for a topic to discuss this week. Of course, it was right there the whole time, and it took a note from a follower on Twitter to bring it out: Why not revisit why we play this glorious (no offense, Kormac) class in the first place? After all, if you're planning on switching mains for Mists of Pandaria, now's probably the best time to make that decision.

With that, I bring you: Why druids are awesome.

Shapeshifting Let's face it, who hasn't gone to a zoo, looked at the animals, and said, "Man, wouldn't it be cool if ...?" This, above everything else, is what sells me on the class. I'm not a boring biped casting spells or whacking away with swords. Instead, look! I'm a bear, mauling your face off! Now I'm a panther, pouncing on your face! Now I'm a happy little tree! OK, the metaphor breaks a bit here, but you get the point.

If I'm counting correctly, there are six forms that are open to all specializations: Bear, Cat, Stag/Cheetah, Seal/Orca, Bird, and Treant. (Two of those have options via glyphs, hence the slash.) Two more are open to certain specializations (Tree of Life, Moonkin/Astral), which gives us over 10 different options for "Poof! Now I'm a ..."

The little growl your character gives when you shift into one of the feral forms? Love it -- wouldn't miss it for the world. I always would play cool shapeshifting tricks when tanking, too. I remember back in Naxxramas, I would sneak into the middle of an enemy pack while prowling in cat form, then shift to bear with a yell of "Suddenly, BEAR!" I thought it was funny, anyway.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Relooking at feral and balance druids in Mists of Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives Feral and balance druid updates SUN
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 analyze to theorize.

A few months ago, I posted my initial thoughts on the balance changes and feral changes in the Mists of Pandaria beta. Now that the abilities and numbers have gone through a round of fixes and changes, I'd like to relook at some of my initial concerns and see what problems the specs are still experiencing.

Balance issues

Underpowered single-target rotation, overpowered AoE rotation Thankfully, this has been addressed significantly. This specific issue was touched on by Ghostcrawler in the beta class analysis thread:

Quote:

Actually, is the design intention to have both Eclipses with the same damage output for single targets and AoE?

Actually, no. We're currently intending for Lunar to be slightly better at single target damage and Solar to be AoE damage. When you have time between phases or situations where you can use Astral Communion to quickly switch sides, you should be able to further optimize performance by tailoring which Eclipse you line up with which boss phases. The difference should not be significant enough, however, that in a Patchwerk-style scenario, you are compelled to only DPS in one eclipse.
As a side note, I posted incorrect information about Mushrooms. They DO count as Solar, and we think that's fine.


Of course, now we get to debate what "slightly better" means. Current theorycrafting suggests that Starfire (aka Lunar) and Hurricane (aka Solar) are about 20% better then their counterpart abilities in the other Eclipse. I agree with Graylo that this difference is probably too large and makes Eclipse-twisting feel more mandatory and less like an "optimization." Dropping this to the 5% to 10% range would still allow theorycrafters to come up with optimizations, but it wouldn't be necessary for players to use; they could ignore Astral Communion entirely and still do reasonably well.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion

Shifting Perspectives: Being mean to tanks, healing the unhealable, and the 132% speed bear

Shifting Perspectives Mean things to tanks, healing the unhealable, and the 132% speed bear
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we do not get much pleasure from what we are about to say.

I don't like being mean. However, after a certain amount of beta testing for each expansion and the slew of questionable experiences that that tends to bring, I've noticed that I will eventually write something that veers into the realm known as "unpleasant." For Wrath of the Lich King, it was over the raft of players rolling death knights who had never played a melee class before and were making life hell for their groups. (Although it turns out that "Most of you are awful" was a less controversial opinion than anticipated.) For Cataclysm, it was to Blizzard over the fact that resto druids couldn't hit anything except Nourish or Lifebloom without gasping for mana, and I'm pretty sure our subsequent experience in tier 11 bore me out there. (In short: It sucked.)

In the Mists of Pandaria beta, I figured I'd hit the old Cataclysm heroics first for a more forgiving playground with the new skills and talents, and lots of other players had the same idea. Consequently, I've run into a pretty wide variety of tanks and healers with different gear and skill sets, and something has become horribly obvious after running a slew of 5-mans. Nor can I blame unfamiliarity with the content for poor performance, including my own. We know these dungeons. The only new variable is whatever's in your spellbook that wasn't there before.

This is where things get mean, and I apologize:

If you are a bad tank and aren't interested in getting better, Mists of Pandaria might be a good time to find something else to do.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Honey cat don't give a ...

Image
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 gem +10 in awesome.

With apologies to Isaiah Mustafa ...

Take a look at your cat. Now look at me. Now back at your cat. Now back at me. Sadly, your cat isn't me, but if you stopped playing that silly rogue and switched to feral, you could have a cat that looked like me. Look down, back up -- where are you? You're on a boat with an armored cat, the cat your cat could look like. What's in your hand? Back at me. I have it -- it's a clam with patch notes declaring ferals to be epic. Look again; the notes are now the tears of all the classes who wish they could look like me. Anything is possible when you roll feral. Forget horses; I'm a stag.


Yes, I was tempted to end the column right there --but we've got so much good stuff to talk about.

Armored cats

A few weeks ago, Ghostcrawler mentioned that Incarnation would have specific art for cats, bears, and moonkin; in the latest patch, a datamined model showed us what is likely the first example of that. At first, I wasn't too sure about the idea of putting armor on a feral form, but it's really grown on me over the last couple of days. It's obviously difficult to do cosmetic effects for a class that revolves around shapeshifting, but I'm grateful that Blizzard's continuing to add something for forms. I can't wait to see the bear and moonkin armor. (Do moonkin even need armor?)

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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