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Posts with tag feral-druid

Ask the Devs Round 9 mitigates your tanking questions

Ask the Devs is back for Round 9, which deals with the most awesome role in WoW ever -- tanking. Of course, coming from a tank, that might be a bit biased -- but deal with it, healers and DPSers. I've got creatures to keep from punching you in your squishy little faces.

Of note this time around is Blizzard's tough time dealing with tanks wanting threat stats (hit and expertise) and the current struggle with making it work. Currently, in cutting-edge content, threat stats are pretty good for initial aggro, but over time, Vengeance does its job admirably and keeps bosses on tanks with relative ease. I think that design decision is hitting the sweet spot, but it begs the question of why even have the threat stats in the first place?

Blizzard also discussed the mastery bonuses for each tank. The devs feel that death knights and druids are doing pretty well, all things considered, and that paladins and warriors have a similar problem in "capping" mastery, but that paladins are more susceptible to problems. There is still the sentiment in the community that Blizzard needs to add its own visual threat meters or some type of aggro status, but there is a reluctance on Blizzard's part to clutter up its own default UI -- understandable, but this may potentially be a part of Blizzard's forthcoming (but not discussed) "how to tank" solution.

Buried in this discussion, however, was a little tidbit about patch 4.3. Blizzard states that the design for the patch 4.2 legendary, Dragonwrath, has wide appeal to a number of staff-wielding ranged DPS classes. However, it then mentions the "patch 4.3 legendary" and its more narrow appeal. Will we be seeing a tanking legendary in the near future, or potentially another healer item? We do know for sure that it will not be as widespread, class-wise, as Dragonwrath, so we can only sit back and assume. What is interesting, though, is that patch 4.3 also looks to be a raid tier and not a patch 4.1-style dungeon content update. Could patch 4.3 be bringing us the War of the Ancients raid that we have been eagerly anticipating, especially with the return of Nozdormu and his crazy time antics? Only time (heh) will tell.

Also, don't expect a new tanking class any time soon. Hit the jump for the full question and answer session.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Blizzard responds to feral druid Savage Defense concerns

Savage Defense, the tanking feral druid's absorption mechanic, is undergoing some changes in patch 4.1 to ramp up its effectiveness to be on par with the mitigation mechanics of other tanks. Forum blue Daxxarri responded to one player's concern that the new implementation of Savage Defense isn't working out so hot. The response discusses client latency, the appearance of shields working or not, and how the combat log displays certain types of information.

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Filed under: Druid

Shifting Perspectives: A history of feral weapons

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, we visit a now-vanished world.

Once upon a time, feral druids had their own specialized set of weapons. This was very good, because it meant that you weren't rolling against half the raid when an upgrade dropped. This was also very bad, because it meant that 98% of the game's weapons were completely useless for us.

This was before the dark times. Before gear consolidation. Before every two-bit jackass with a hard-on for agility thought himself entitled to the armory of the game's noblest class.

They were elegant weapons for a more civilized age.

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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: 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 Druid Tanking 101

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, sum durids is still bare, despite it all.

Players who have been around for a while will recognize this as an update on Shifting Perspectives: Bear 101, written in February 2010 after the Icecrown Citadel patch had gone live. The spec feels like it's in a weirder place than it was a year ago, consequence of some early improvements on the beta followed by a few unpopular developer decisions. As far as I'm aware, bears are still the least-played tank, and I'm not really optimistic that our numbers are going to rebound as things stand.

As with our earlier 101 guide, I'm addressing this to people with no prior knowledge of the spec who want the tools to become a reasonably competent tank quickly. Readers looking for an extended and mathier version of this article should look for the Feral Bear -- Cataclysm Release guide recently published at Elitist Jerks.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Cataclysm tanking changes expanded

If you read Fox's post yesterday, well, I hope you braced yourself for more changes. Because here they are. When the devs said more specifics were coming soon, they were not kidding us. Also, Fox is mean to tanks, but he's a DPS player; we're used to their silly little ways. Anyway, let's take a look at the newly announced changes, shall we?

Zarhym - Re: Upcoming Tanking Changes
Here are a few additional changes we are making which will be applied in patch 4.0.3a:

  • Guardian of Ancient Kings -- Damage reduction changed from 60% to 50%. Cooldown still 2 minutes (talented). Duration still 12 seconds.
  • Icebound Fortitude -- Damage reduction changed from 30% to 20% (or 60% to 50% talented). Cooldown still 2 minutes. Duration still 12 seconds.
  • Shield Wall -- Damage reduction changed from 40% to 50%. Cooldown still 2 minutes (talented). Duration still 12 seconds.
  • Glyph of Shield Wall -- Now buffs damage reduction by 10% (to 60%), but only adds 1 minute of cooldown.
  • Survival Instincts -- Damage reduction changed from 60% to 50%. Cooldown reduced from 5 minutes to 2 minutes. Duration still 12 seconds.
  • Bear Form -- Stamina bonus lowered from 20% to 10% and Heart of the Wild health bonus from 10% to 6%. Bear health should be close to plate tank health with this change.
  • Vigilance -- No longer reduces damage by 3%, but will still reset Taunt cooldown and provide Vengeance for the warrior.

In addition to these changes, there was much expounding on the tanking design philosophy, which we will cover after that jump I hear so much about. Being a tank (and thus kind of slow mentally, according to Fox ... man, see if anyone taunts for him in Cataclysm dungeons), I need to go over these things in detail.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Beta: Feral druid specialization and talents

Cataclysm information is currently all the rage in the World of Warcraft community, where it seems as though players certainly can't get enough. Who can blame them, though? Just recently, Blizzard announced that it was hacking all of the talent trees down to 31 points, similar to their state when WoW was first released, and that players would now choose a talent tree to specialize in upon hitting level 10. It's a massive change to the game that's come just after Blizzard released the new talent trees that had previously held 51 points. Without a doubt, this is exciting stuff, people.

Normally, I would say that feral isn't my cup of tea, but I must admit that how Blizzard intended to pull off the seemingly impossible has me more than a little intrigued. Feral is perhaps the most unique talent tree in the entire game as it currently stands -- or at least, it will be now that death knights are having their tanking tree shifted to blood, where it's the only tree that is capable of having two separate specs for two wildly different purposes. To make the tree diverse enough within the limited confines of 41 talent points (the total number of talent points that a level 85 player will have) is a serious task -- more so when you add in attempting to create non-mandatory talents that offer a player, say, utility instead of a raw damage or mitigation increases. Things are certainly going to get interesting for feral druids as beta progresses, and I'm surprisingly excited to see how it all pans out.

With this latest beta push, though, Blizzard finally released the initial preview of the new specialization system and a chance to look over the new 31-point talent trees. Before you get too thrilled about this bit of news, let me be the first to tell you that the druid class as a whole is probably one of the least developed talent trees and specializations at this point. Blizzard has already openly stated this within the beta patch notes; we aren't the only class in such a state, but we're certainly pretty bad at this point. Don't be alarmed if things seem excessively sloppy at the moment.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: Revisiting Cataclysm talents

Every Tuesday week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, Allie gulps Motrin and predicts your future.

Hey folks. I apologize for the lateness of the column this week. As an aside, those of you interested in old home renovation may want to rethink your purchase if: a). the home inspector crashes through the porch within 5 minutes of stepping onto the property, and: b). you have to extract a nail from an inconvenient portion of his anatomy before the inspection can continue. Just saying.

An official set of Cataclysm talents broke last week, which was highly irritating to all those of us who had spent hours scraping together a look at their (ahem) unofficial but still largely accurate counterparts back in mid-May. Today we're going to start off with the full set of official feral talent changes, and next week we'll cover restoration.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Applying to raiding guilds as a druid

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, we are uncomfortably reminded of how similar the job and guild application processes are.

Appearances to the contrary, the waning days of an expansion are actually a pretty good time to apply to a raiding guild. That's when attendance gets choppy, the pool and the grill issue a siren call from the deck, people go on vacation, or -- having "finished" the expansion -- they just take off, period. If you look at the recruitment forums, you'll see a ton of guilds looking for players right now. If you've ever wanted to raid but haven't gotten the chance, I think there is no better time. The Icecrown zone buff is a fantastic buffer for anyone who's not emerging with a bevy of best in slot from tier 9, and the raid itself is one brilliant lore moment from beginning to end.

However, applying to a raiding guild -- particularly if you haven't done much raiding in the past -- can be on the intimidating side. With that in mind, here's a guide on how best to present yourself if you're applying anywhere as a feral or restoration druid.

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Filed under: Druid, Raiding, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Breakfast Topic: What you miss most

I miss feral staves. I know that nobody else liked or wanted them, but I loved that my spec had its own weapons. They didn't drop frequently (and, in the case of Pillar of Ferocity, sometimes not at all) and you invariably waited months for an upgrade, but when you finally got one, it was always beautiful and it was always yours. I made a point of saving every single feral staff I got in Burning Crusade, and they're still in my bank today. When the developers finally eighty-sixed feral weapons, we were sad but understood why they weren't a sustainable solution for the spec. Since then we've been competing for mostly hunter-themed polearms, and between that and all the hideous rogue leather we have to wear, it feels like feral's trapped in a permanent case of Outland Clown Syndrome.

A lot of things have disappeared from WoW over the years, and more are set to go the way of the dinosaur as the game evolves into Cataclysm. More than five years into WoW, what do you miss most from now-defunct abilities, items or practices?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Spiritual Guidance: Discipline and ICC raid buffs

Every Sunday (and the occasional weekday) Spiritual Guidance offers holy and discipline priests advice on how to wield the holy light and groove to the disco night. Your hostess Dawn Moore will provide the music.

Last week, Blizzard activated the first stage of the scaling raid buffs in Icecrown Citadel. When entering ICC now, you'll see either Varian Wrynn's hair (and the rest of him, attached) or the conglomeration of cliches we refer to as Garrosh Hellscream. Each NPC grants a faction specific buff to your raid party which increases your health, healing done, and damage done by 5%. Periodically, the strength of these buffs will be raised a notch by Blizzard, thus allowing guilds of various commitment levels to see all of Icecrown Citadel.

So, what does this little news item have to do with priests any more than the next other class? Well, if you're a discipline priest and your lip gloss be poppin' bubbles be poppin', you'll notice that they are not poppin' with any more oomph than they did the week before. That's because, for whatever intended or unintended reason, the buff does not apply to Power Word: Shield.

Don't have a panic attack, disco priests. In this article I will be addressing the issue, particularly for non-priests who might have misconceptions about the validity of a disc priest. I'll also be rehashing some older arguments. That's right folks: it's that time again! When all of Azeroth asks! *Cue game show music* What good is a disc priest?

Update: Blizz has announced in the notes for patch 3.3.3 that Power Word: Shield will now benefit from the ICC zone buff. While that makes portions of this article obsolete, keep reading to learn more about the benefits of bringing a discipline priest to your raid.

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Filed under: Priest, Raiding, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Upcoming tier 10 tank armor stat changes

With Icecrown Citadel's unpopular Chill of the Throne debuff, or as we like to call it, "Getting out of Dodge," tanks have had to re-prioritize in terms of avoidance and mitigation stats to the point where tier 10 gear might not be as desirable as Blizzard intended. Thankfully, they appear to have realized this, and change is coming! To tier 10 tank gear, anyway. Blizzard CM Zarhym posted a note on the official forums announcing their plans for said gear:
"We recognize that many plate tanks are making their gear choices based on the amount of armor they're provided, as this is currently the most preferred stat. In order to make the tier-10 plate tanking sets more desirable, we will be adjusting the stats on the gloves and chest pieces in order to inflate the amount of armor they provide in the next minor patch. This will apply to all item levels of the tier-10 death knight, warrior, and paladin tanking gloves and chest pieces."
He also noted that Emblem gear will continue to be comparable to the tier gear in terms of stats and, for those concerned about Feral tanks, they'll be keeping an eye on gear scaling on druid tank gear as well.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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