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Posts with tag feral-dps

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: 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: First thoughts on ferals in the Mists of Pandaria beta

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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 practice our looks of genteel disdain.

So, I've been down for a few weeks (pro tip: try not to have an allergy attack and a scratched cornea in the same week; they do not mix well), but I finally got into the beta with last week's big push of Annual Pass members. Unfortunately, now that I've had the chance to give the initial feral changes a spin, I'm a bit concerned with the current design direction for the class. Let me start out on a positive note, though, and talk about the good things that Mists is bringing us.

What I like

The new talents Some of the new talents are great and force tough decisions. The talent design is clearly trying to make you choose between always-on but weak passive abilities, a short-cooldown ability of moderate strength, and a long-cooldown ability of high strength. While some of the talents and tiers need some adjustment, they generally work on a design level.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: More on level 90 feral Mists of Pandaria talents

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

This week, I want to take a closer look at the proposed Mists of Pandaria level 90 talents for feral druids. This tier of talents has received significant criticism on the WoW forums and other discussion boards, with the most common appellation being "useless." I couldn't disagree more. Given the constraints that Blizzard has to operate under, I think these talents offer up some interesting new game mechanics.

Heresy, yes, I know. Before you bring out the pitchforks, remember these key facts about how talents are supposed to work:
  • Talents are no longer the prime determinants of player power; they are now merely utility skills. You can fulfill your core DPS/healing/tanking role in a raid with no talents at all, you'll just be slightly less good at it. Rogues, as a comparison, only have one tier of talents that affect their DPS, just as we do; everything else is survivability, crowd control, or movement.
  • Talent choices must be reasonably balanced; otherwise, we're back to everybody picking the same thing, which leads to the developers balancing around everyone having that thing, which causes complaints about not having choices. This balance has to extend to both PvE and PvP.
  • The benefits granted by talents can't be so strong that they cause significant changes in class desirability, or we're back to the shaman stacking model again. Admittedly, any advantages are still going to be min-maxed by heroic raiding guilds, but the perception that it's required cannot be allowed to exist.
At least, that's the theory. The ideal is for all six talent choices to be equally valuable for each PvE role and PvP (cynics are free to substitute "equally useless"). Unfortunately, having four specs makes this exceptionally difficult, so I expect we'll likely end up with two to three no-brainer choices and two to three actual decisions after the balancing and theorycrafting is done. That ends up being pretty similar to the Cataclysm model but with much less added cruft -- perfectly fine with me.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The 5 top mistakes new ferals make

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

It was finished.

I spat, again, attempting to purge the taste of gronn from my mouth. Ugh. My ribs still hurt from the powerful backhand which had struck me unawares and knocked me from the ledge, but it was over. Skullcrusher was dead, his minions scattered--and I was ready to take the fight to Deathwing. My eyes lifted, tracing the path of the gigantic corrupted dragon across the sky...

Stones skittered closely behind me, and I whirled to find another druid standing atop a small boulder. His solemn eyes were mesmerizing, but it was the words I heard.

"Bah. Ready for Deathwing? More like, ready to be Deathwing's dinner."

I snorted. "And what would you know, old-timer? Shouldn't you be getting back to your tree?"

The other druid shrugged, and turned away. "As you wish." He abruptly shifted, assuming the form of a great panther, and began to quietly pad away. Suddenly, I noticed that his fur was criscrossed with scars from head to toe, and a nagging feeling arose in the pit of my belly.

"Wait," I said abruptly. "Maybe I've misjudged you."

The strange druid reassumed his elven form, and turned back, smiling. "Good. We've lost too many of our people fighting the Quiraji, Illidan, Arthas, and now this abomination. I don't want to lose another." With that, we began to speak in earnest.

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Filed under: (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

Druid Q&A followup

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the devs have decided to do a followup to the recent Druid Q&A, tackling certain things with more specifics rather than the general approach they took originally. The followup seems mostly aimed at Druid PvP, perhaps an omen of the future. It reminds me much more of the unofficial Shadow Priest Q&A that Ghostcrawler tackled, addressing very specific issues.

For convenience, the full followup can be read below.

Q: Players feel that the effect of Feral Cat Charge isn't as good as the Feral Bear Charge yet the cat charge has double the cooldown. What is the reasoning behind the cooldown difference of these two abilities?
A: Feral Charge Bear mirrors warrior Charge (15 sec), while Feral Charge Cat mirrors Shadowstep (30 sec). They are really different abilities. We just had to put them on a shared cooldown to keep the druid from using them back to back.

Q: Are we satisfied with the damage that Shred does without a bleed/mangle effect on the target compared to how much it does with the bleed effect?

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Class Q&A: Druid

Blizzard's class Q&A is back again, this time with a class that's near to my heart: Druid. I play my Druid more than my Priest these days (who says there's a healer shortage?), and I've grown pretty enamored with the class. But you didn't come hear to hear me talk about me. What did Ghostcrawler have to say on behalf of the dev team?

Every class Q&A so far has started with a section on the class's past and present.

  • In original WoW, end-game Druids were basically healing-only.
  • BC: Bears were pretty good; cats and (b)oomkin were probably still underpowered. This was the era of the hybrid tax.
  • Wrath: all four specs are viable.

Of course, PvP is a bit different, with Resto's dominance in the BC era.

After the break we'll take a look a closer look at a few areas, and present to you the complete Q&A.

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Filed under: Druid, Classes

Skill Mastery: Savage Roar

In Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard is clearly committed to ditching the "master of none" part of Druids' "Jack of all trades" for good. In particular, regarding the topic at hand, they're trying to ensure that Feral druids can be either first-rate DPS or first-rate tanks (though not with the exact same spec). And Savage Roar, I suspect, will be a big part of bringing that first-rate DPS for kitty form:

Savage Roar (Rank 1)
25 Energy, 100 yd range
Instant
Requires Cat Form
Finishing move that increases attack power by 40%. Lasts longer per combo point:
1 point : 14 seconds
2 points: 19 seconds
3 points: 24 seconds
4 points: 29 seconds
5 points: 34 seconds

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Filed under: Druid, Wrath of the Lich King

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