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

Shifting Perspectives: Feral cat raiding strategies, part 3

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

In the previous installments of our series on raiding strategies for feral cat druids (part 1 and part 2), we've looked at some of the easier bosses in this raid tier. This week, we'll finish up Nefarian's minions in Blackwing Descent and clear out Bastion of Twilight.

First up: Chimaeron in Blackwing Descent.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Druid feral cat raiding strategy for Cataclysm, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

Last week, we began our detailed look at feral raiding by discussing the "easy 5" raid bosses this tier. This week, we'll head over to the Throne of the Four Winds to discuss the Conclave and take a look at two of Nef's minions.

First up: Conclave of the Wind, Throne of the Four Winds.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral cat raiding strats for Cataclysm, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

So, you've done all the prep work, and you think you're ready to raid. You've geared yourself appropriately; you have the right enchants, potions, and consumables; and you've set up your awesome UI. Well, congratulations, you did your homework. Now comes the test. Think of everything you've done to this point as building your potential; now comes the time to activate that potential.

I'll go over each encounter in the current raiding tier and give you what you need to know to maximize your contribution to your raid. (Hint: That doesn't always mean maximizing your personal DPS.) I'll only briefly cover fight elements that are not feral-specific; for more detail, I highly recommend reading through Tyler's posts on raiding as a balance druid. I'll tackle the fights roughly in order by difficulty (easiest to hardest), as most guilds generally follow that path for progression.

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Filed under: Raiding, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Embracing the hybrid nature of feral druids

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

One of the recent 4.1 changes was a revision of the DK ability Raise Ally, enabling it to be used as a battle resurrection on a player. While DKs were pleased (naturally), many druids were upset at the sharing of a previously unique ability. As one feral confided to me in a private message on my forums, "Now that DKs have brez, anything we could do, another class could do better." Given the generally poor state of top-end feral DPS at the moment, these charges have some merit.

Well, guess what? There's still one thing that ferals can do, better than any other class/spec combination in the game, and that's play a hybrid tank/DPS build. This isn't for everyone, certainly -- but for certain fights and raid combinations, it's almost like adding an 11th or 26th member to your raid team.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Amazing addons for feral cat DPS

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

Over the last few weeks, we've covered how to properly gear your cat for raiding in a Cataclysmic world. Unfortunately, all the gear in the world won't help you if you can't establish a good rotation. Today's column looks at some addons that will help you maximize your performance.

Custom buff/debuff trackers

Let's face it: The default UI is pretty horrible for tracking buffs and debuffs. The interface has vastly improved over time, but it still uses an icon-based scheme, and it appears in the top corner of your display, drawing your attention away from the action. As the feral rotation is very dependent on maintaining a self-buff and enemy debuffs, having a good way to track this information is important.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your feral cat for raiding, part 3


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

In this final installment to our feral cat gearing series, let's take a look at augmentation. No, not that kind of augmentation, silly -- the ones that make your character better at laying down the smack, DPS-wise.

A word to the thrifty: A character with no enchants versus a character with full enchants loses about 10% DPS potential. If you don't use consumables, that knocks off another 10%. A 10-20% shortfall is certainly significant but not critical. I wouldn't worry about enchanting gear for tackling solo content or normal-mode dungeons. Once you get into heroic dungeons and raids, though, you're doing your fellow group or raidmates a disservice by not putting forth the best effort possible, and that effort includes fully maximizing your potential.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your feral cat for raiding, part 2


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

In this continuation of my previous article, I'll look specifically at the items that drop from the various tier 11 raids. Your first priority is getting two pieces of tier 11 gear, as the two-piece set bonus is a nice DPS increase. The four-piece set bonus isn't quite as good and complicates your rotation a bit, but it's still better than just stacking off-set pieces. For normal mode gear, your best off-set slot is the head, specifically, Tsanga's; for heroic modes, the best off-set slot is shoulders.

I won't be including any epic PvP items here, with a couple of exceptions. With the patch nerf to the four-piece PvP bonus, wearing PvP gear is generally suboptimal. An epic PvP item is usually roughly equal to a rare PvE item. I'm also not listing the few 379 items; chances are good that if you can beat Sinestra, you probably don't need to use a gear list for help.

Finally, the items from Throne of the Four Winds are randomly enchanted, with four possible combinations: Stormblast (crit/hit), Windflurry (crit/haste), Windstorm (crit/mastery), and Zephyr (haste/mastery). This makes them tough to rate. Your best choices are the pieces with mastery, but any epic will be better than a rare.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your feral cat for raiding


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

So you've read my previous column covering the basics of feral DPS in Cataclysm, and you'd like to give it a try at endgame. Awesome! Let's get you equipped for the task at hand with the gear you'll need to begin raiding.

Most of the items I'm listing are item level 346 and typically come from Cataclysm heroic 5-man instances. You'll have to acquire a mostly full set of ilvl 333 gear to be eligible to enter heroics (via the dungeon finder); questing through Twilight Highlands should get you most of the way there, but I'll include a representative ilevel 333/325 item for each slot to help fill out any holes.

Also, since our best stats (by far) are weapon DPS and agility, ilvl 352 honor PvP gear is a perfectly acceptable substitute until you get the heroic drop you're looking for. Until the patch, four pieces of PvP gear are actually more powerful than equivalent PvE gear, due to the overly strong four-piece set bonus. After the patch, PvP gear will be weaker, but not by much.

Finally, our secondary stats will be very close in value to each other, so don't worry too much about which ilvl 346 item you get. Generally, though, mastery > crit/haste > hit/expertise, for reforging purposes.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral DPS changes in patch 4.0.6

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Today marks the beginning of our new weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

The rate of PTR changes has slowed to the point that we can reasonably expect patch 4.0.6 to drop soon, so let's take a look at its effects on feral cats. Unfortunately, there's more bad than good to report here.

The day the cat stood still
  • Shapeshifts: Entering or leaving a shapeshift no longer cancels root effects. It continues to cancel movement slowing effects.
This is an immense change to a mechanic that has existed since beta, which I'm somewhat at a loss to even begin to discuss. Many PvPers rolled druids solely for this mechanic; I didn't personally, but my absolute favorite part of playing a druid is their mobility in both feral and restoration specs. The loss of this ability (and the attendant loss of mobility) completely mystifies me. It removes one of the most fun things about playing a druid, it guts a spec that was already fairly rare in arenas, and it wasn't necessary for balance. If I'm spamming shapeshifts to break roots, I'm not doing any appreciable damage or generating any CPs for an instant Roots/Cyclone.

If this change has to go live, I'd like to at least see a deep feral talent or glyph that enables shapeshifting to Root break on an ICD, or perhaps buffs the mostly harmless Stampeding Roar with a reduced CD and root-breaking abilities. If not, we'll need a new ability of some sort to defend against spells, something akin to Anti-Magic Shell. At least it doesn't affect PvE overmuch (we have to jump on Asaad now! Darn).

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The druid of 2010

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, Allie chugs cough syrup and hallucinates while sprawled on a bathroom floor. Truly the stuff of great literature, folks.

It has long -- or, okay, over two years -- been a tradition at WoW Insider for me to exploit the germs conveyed by my relatives to the domicile in the interests of writing a yearly druid post. How does this work? I get sick, go out and buy cough syrup, get trolleyed on the devil's own brew, and then stagger to a computer with no one on the editorial staff able to stop me from publishing in time.

This year, I didn't get sick around Christmas, nor immediately after it. In the interests of not disappointing our readership, which seems to enjoy articles written while under the heady influence of dextromethorphan, I secured lodgings on the floor of a bus station bathroom overnight and came back trying to restrain myself from barfing up a lung. Holding my head above the toilet was a certain semi-but-not-entirely-fictional person by the name of Letitia, whom you will have met earlier in Shifting Perspectives: Fun with race choice. Keep in mind that no small portion of this article was written from that position.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral cat druid DPS 101

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Today marks the beginning of our new weekly feral cat edition brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

Tired of being a laser chicken or green-glowing broccoli? Just got your druid alt to 85? Mostly a bear, but want to up your DPS during non-tank phases? This guide's for you. It will cover the basics of the feral druid DPS spec at level 85 for you Cataclysm cats, including rotation, gear stats, talent and glyphs. I'll be focusing on PvE -- but don't worry, I'll address the many sorrows of feral PvPers soon.

Feral DPS strengths
  • Strong single-target DPS Currently just a bit behind that of assassination rogues and unholy DKs.
  • Excellent survivability With Survival Instincts, Barkskin, and Nurturing Instinct, we definitely don't overwork the healers.
  • Excellent mobility Most melee have a passive +15% run speed buff available to them, but we're the only one that gets +30% via Feral Swiftness. Combined with Feral Charge, we're typically the first melee DPS to reach an add.
  • Lots of raid-wide buffs, including +5% crit and some small raid-wide heals via Leader of the Pack. Also +30% bleed damage via Mangle and -12% armor reduction with Faerie Fire.
  • Tranquility is awesome and not just for restoration-specced druids. Often overlooked, it remains a great raid-wide party heal when paired with Nurturing Instincts. My feral Tranquility has healed for over 200k. That's a lot of healing for 8 seconds. Between LotP heals and Tranquility, I'm often the largest source of raid-wide heals not coming from a dedicated healer.
  • Battle rez Not as overpowered now that you're limited to one rez (or three in 25-man), but still game-changing.
  • Hybrid spec potential A shared talent tree with bears makes a combined DPS/tanking spec very viable.
  • A challenging, interesting, and dynamic DPS rotation

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Patch 4.0.3a and the road to 85

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, we write ourselves a cheat sheet to haul ass to level 85.

Last week, I promised I'd take a look at individual articles' popularity after the "Why (or why not) to play a druid" series finished, and here it is. In order of most to least popular:

  1. Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a worgen druid
  2. Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a night elf druid
  3. Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a tauren druid
  4. Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a troll druid
I'll look at the numbers again a few months to see if they steady a bit; the troll article hasn't been up for as long as its night elf counterpart, so I wouldn't have expected it to be competitive regardless. I will say that the Alliance druids enjoy a significant pageview advantage over their Horde counterparts, and that doesn't give me hope that future population numbers will equalize.

I wrote a lot of today's article because I'm lazy as sin and wanted a quick reference guide available. Past the cut you'll find information for bear and cat druids on hit caps, reputation grinds, the numbers you should have before stepping into heroics, reforging, and a host of other things that would otherwise have required me to get off my butt and Google something. Resto players, I haven't forgotten about you! Your version will go live later this week.

By the way, the above video is a quick look at healing one of the earliest pulls in heroic Grim Batol. I was sorting through my beta videos and realized I'd forgotten to upload it for the worgen lore article.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Patch 4.0.1 for cat druids


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for bear, cat and restoration druids. Today we stop worrying about those inevitable moments where Rip and Savage Roar are due to fall off within seconds of each other, but are disturbed to discover that the feral damage bug remains.

Cats, in marked (and blessed) contrast to bears and resto, aren't changing a lot in patch 4.0.1 (barring a lingering DPS issue I'll talk about later), and the column I published earlier on the beta cat is still largely accurate if you want an ability-by-ability rundown on specific skills.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Predictions for Cataclysm druids


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, Allison hauls out the crystal ball again.

I enjoy the business of prognostication. Nobody remembers the crap you'll get wrong -- and if you get anything even vaguely right, you'll be considered a visionary, thanks to a wonderful little thing called confirmation bias. Personally, I've had it up to here with beta dungeon groups. I'm sick of idiots who start to AoE off the pull while I'm tanking and tanks who say, "Give me 10 minutes to fix my bars" while I'm healing. I've had quite enough of titchy little numbers that insist on changing from patch to patch. It's time to return the Tuesday portion of this column to form -- hog-wild speculation and completely baseless conjecture!

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: A peek at the beta cat


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we wonder why Shred doesn't seem to appear in our combat logs.

My main is now 85 on the beta, and I've parked her at a training dummy from time to time to see what cat DPS looks like. Truthfully, I'm not sure that the resulting information is worth a damn, but it is representative of what you'll be seeing on a beta cat at the moment in questing gear.

Of the three specs we cover in the Tuesday column, cats have changed least, which I think is all to the good. Cats are emerging from Wrath in the best place we've ever been, with an interesting rotation and high damage potential subject to player skill and fight conditions. Blizzard seems to have concerned itself mostly with not changing what ain't broke and has instead moved to address some of the factors that have historically crippled cat DPS unfairly.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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