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Posts with tag feral-tanking-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: Reforging guardian druids for dummies (or better yet, crit)

Shifting Perspectives Guardian druids and the great reforge debate
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, a cheerful question-and-answer session comes to a screeching halt.

The following is a partial transcript of questions I have received ingame or via email since the launch of Mists of Pandaria, accompanied by their answers:
  • What's the hit cap for bear tanks now? Versus a level 93 raid boss, it's 2,550, or 7.5%. If you're only running heroics, it's 2,040, or 6%. Thanks, Arielle!
  • What the hell is going on with resto in raids? I don't know, but I suspect it's a version of the problem that plagued resto in the early days of Cataclysm. More on this next week when I've looked at more World of Logs parses. In the meantime, don't forget that other healers' (cough, monks) being overpowered renders us underpowered only by comparison.
  • Do I need to worry about the "hard" expertise cap? Eh. It should be fairly easy to reach the soft cap (or get close to it) once you're sitting on heroic-level gear. After that, whatever expertise you get up to the hard cap is gravy, because if your rage income is enough to keep Savage Defense at maximum uptime, additional expertise won't really have a serious impact on your survivability.
  • How do you get blood out of a shirt? Hydrogen peroxide.
  • (From my raid leader) When will our scrub-ass warlock get to 90 so we can raid? I don't know, sir.
And the last:

How should I reforge my bear tank?

(Fidgets.) Uh, well ...

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your guardian druid for Mists of Pandaria heroics

Shifting Perspectives Gearing your guardian druid for Mists of Pandaria heroics
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, the four normal dungeons are a fat lot of help.

The subject of today's article is, shall we say, an immediate concern. Due to the demand for tanks and healers in the new 5-mans, my main will hit 90 before she even makes it to the halfway point of questing through the Valley of Four Winds. This is good, because I get to relax and enjoy questing as an extended treat without having to worry about leveling. This is bad, because she's about 20 ilevels off from where she needs to be in order to access Mists of Pandaria heroics.

This guide assumes that you will need an average ilevel of 440 to access heroics, because that was the number Blizzard was using on the beta. (Note: This is only true via the dungeon finder. Nothing prevents you from running out to the new heroics yourself with a group, but either way, 440's a decent number to aim for if you're worried about being sufficiently geared.) There are only four normal MoP dungeons, and only one of them (Mogu'shan Palace) drops gear that will help you clear this threshold.

If I had to condense this guide's advice, it would be:
  • Quest through the Townlong Steppes and the Dread Wastes.
  • Be prepared to spend some justice points.
  • Farm normal Mogu'shan Palace.
  • If you have a good option available from professions (whether primary or secondary), don't ignore it.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The rage extends life. The rage must flow.

Shifting Perspectives The rage extends life The rage must flow TUESDAY
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, fortune favors the furry.

There's been an outbreak of worry among druids concerning the new guardian spec. That's not surprising, as the spec is new, its rotation is different, and bear mechanics got a substantial overhaul as well. Resto wasn't changed anywhere near as much -- indeed, its existing mechanics got easier, leaving us plenty of time to engage in Typhoon Wars with DPS we don't like (more on this when I feel like writing something really, really evil) -- but I think two weeks in a sort of clinic for both specs is warranted.

Bottom line: After the many tweaks it's had on the beta, active mitigation tanking is not as scary as it looks. This is not to say that the bear doesn't have its issues: Arielle outlined several here over on the (Guardian) Consolidated Feedback Thread that you should visit if you want to leave feedback for Blizzard on the problems you're having. But before you do that, let's make sure that the problems you're having can't be fixed some other way.

This, my friends, is your new mantra as you navigate the sociopolitical conflicts of Azeroth:

The rage extends life. The rage must flow.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Guide to patch 5.0.4 for guardian and restoration druids

Shifting Perspectives Guide to patch 504 for guardian and restoration druids TUESDAY
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, the world has changed, as it is so often wont to do.

I had the foresight to park my main in Taunka'le Village last night and set my scribe alt up with an array of inks. However, I belatedly realized that a few balance glyphs that I never bothered to get on my druid (as she hasn't been balance in years) may turn out to number among the new and fun glyphs I enjoyed on the beta. Well, I'll guess we'll find out what I'm missing soon. Man, life is tough for the lazy.

All druids will probably find Chase's recent article on the 5.0.4 changes for feral and balance to be useful, as he included a section on very general changes for the class that I feel is kind of pointless to repeat here. Otherwise, let's go ahead and tackle the more guardian- and restoration-specific information for patch 5.0.4. I'll be publishing new 101 guides for both specs soon, but this should get you up to speed fairly quickly.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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: Scribbles from an alternate universe

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we joyride through Pandaria with fountain pen in hand. Old school, baby.

I'm back to scribbling. Every beta, a pile of poorly organized notes starts to grow at the side of my computer with numbers, observations, witty column titles (these I seem to have misplaced this time around), questions, gripes, and a truly stupefying amount of cat hair. I turn this pile into a series of articles on how druids are doing and try not to think too hard about having possibly misread my chicken scratch to ruinous effect.

(In unrelated news, until linking the above articles, I hadn't revisited the video I shot of a premade druid in level 85 blues off the Cataclysm beta and was horrified by the set of responses. Or better yet, here's the video I shot of female worgen casting animations. Oh, YouTube commenters -- you never fail to deliver!)

This is actually a collection of notes from the last several weeks on the beta. Most of them are bear-flavored, because there's not much point to questing as restoration unless your other hobbies include watching paint dry, snail racing, or the complete works of Schopenhauer.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Level 90 druid talents take a level in badass; shapeshifting breaks roots again

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday was supposed to be an "off" week for the column, but screw that.

You know what? I think I finally nailed why the druid experience on the Mists of Pandaria beta has felt so bizarre at times. We've seen the re-emergence of stuff we used to take for granted (shifting out of roots and the return of permatree among them), and you know what it all reminds me of? Someone once described the boot camp experience as one in which "all of your God-given rights are stripped, only to be doled back later, one by one, as privileges." Yep. That's what this is like.

Anyway, Ghostcrawler hit the forums last night to give us some news on a revamped set of level 90 druid talents that have completely altered the ratio of win to suck in the bracket.

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

Shifting Perspectives: The return of Permatree and other badass glyphs

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, our friends keep mounting us and -- for whatever reason -- we encourage it.

I'm currently prepping a column on the bear experience on the beta, but seeing as to how so much of the recent experience consists of disconnecting, lagging my way to parts unknown, launch problems, and finding colorful new language with which to greet these events, let's put that on the back burner for now.

One of the things that was instantly obvious about the new set of Mists of Pandaria druid glyphs is that a lot of them are, for lack of a better term, really, really fun. One lets us confuse people endlessly about our actual spec. Another lets us be mounted by friends and groupmates for totally platonic purposes. I hope.

Now, these are by no means all of the new glyphs available on the beta right now, but with so many class abilities being retuned and changed, it's tough to evaluate how most of the major glyphs stack up. However, even a few of the major glyphs are things that'll pretty obviously have a positive impact on how you experience a spec, so I've included the ones that really pop out here.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The joy of panic

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, it can happen to you.

Back during The Burning Crusade, I knew an extremely disgruntled warrior tank (not Matthew Rossi) who was generally mad at the world about everything (again, not Rossi) and considered the universe to be implacably biased against his good self (may I repeat, not Rossi). While summoning raid members to Tempest Keep one evening, we were having a nice chat, by which I mean grousing about the hassle of tanking Al'ar in the age of the missable taunt.

"&%*," he said. "Bears have it so easy. I have to &%($*% macro Shield Block to every $#$(%* ability in my &%()#@ action bar so I don't get ^%$(#( crushed. Not like you. You just sit there and ^%*#%( live through everything."

"I'm sorry," I said, although I wasn't really. I envied warriors for many reasons, but Shield Block spam was not among them, and I was privately glad that despite the bear's many issues, I didn't have to keep hammering one button every few seconds just to stay alive.

(Beta players are already reaching for the Valium. They know where this is going.)

I'm not yet in the Mists of Pandaria beta, but while reading through the news emerging from the servers, I had to spare a thought for my Angry Warrior Tank friend of yesteryear and how &%#(%* pleased he'd be to hear that we now know his #$^@%# pain.

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

Shifting Perspectives: This month in WoW druid history

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, those who do not learn from history will be entirely unaffected by it.

My four-year anniversary on WoW Insider came and passed in February without my realizing it at the time, but that's OK. A fourth anniversary is kind of a weird one to single out for special attention, so I think I'll leave any back-patting or celebratory champagne until next year ... assuming the editors still haven't canned me by then.

But the anniversary did poke me into trawling through old team email lines and reading my older articles on the site. (That's how much I love you guys: I read my stuff so you don't have to.) I started kicking around the idea of doing a March 2008 through March 2012 retrospective. March 2008 and March 2009 (my first and second years on the site, respectively) jumped out as being especially compelling months for druid players, with a lot of issues being discussed that wound up being pivotal to the class' development. But March 2010 and 2011 weren't quite as interesting, although it would probably be more accurate to say that they were interesting in ways that weren't very class-specific.

Since we haven't gotten any major class news from the recent Mists of Pandaria press event (although you'll probably want to see the five new druid glyphs), I thought we'd buck the dominant trend this week and spend some time in the past rather than trying to get a handle on the future. Predicting the future is a difficult business that is best left to people who charge $5.99/minute over telephone hotlines.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Making life hell for groups with Mists of Pandaria druid talents

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we are delighted to discover that we are still able to create localized black holes in the next expansion.

To me, the best thing about Mists of Pandaria talents is how they benefit me so much more than the rest of my colleagues on this column. Tanks and healers do not, as a rule, care about anything that affects their damage. They care about survivability and a lot of stuff that looks suspiciously like what we call utility and -- perhaps most of all -- outrolling the hunters on Kiril. To see a talent tree full of things that do not improve anybody's damage gives me great pleasure.

After finishing this article, I realized that I had considered many of these talents largely in the context of how annoying I could make life for a 5-man group by using them. Hmmm.

We meet again, Mr. PuG. But this time, the advantage is mine.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Symbiosis, druids, and you

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, sum durids is covetous of others' skills.

SCENE: A 25-man raid of Lord KillMeIHaveCandy in Mists of Pandaria. The raid is buffing before the pull while class officers discuss strategy. Allie opens the bidding war.

Allie: Alllll right. Who gets Symbiosis? Let me think.

Paladin: Me!

Allie: Last time I gave it to you, you blew my Rebirth cooldown on the guy who dies every fight. You are now my mortal enemy, and I will remind you of this on your deathbed.

Death knight: I could use it.

Allie: I don't know what I get from you yet. Bug off.

Warrior: Me me me!

Allie: Oh, come on. Enrage isn't that great.

Monk: I could use it.

Allie: You roll on my gear and want a favor from me. You're funny.

Priest: Oh, look! I accidentally tripped over 5,000 gold on the ground for which I have no earthly use. Would you like it?

Allie: Let's talk.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Clear and present danger

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, Allison extends your life expectancy without the use of exercise or multivitamins.

I recently had the misfortune of healing a druid tank who did not seem aware of the array of cooldowns available to the class. This first became apparent when he died. No, actually, it was probably apparent before that ... maybe when he was taking an absurd amount of damage at the start of every trash pull. Possibly when every boss ability was cause for quiet panic. Maybe when the combat log showed absolutely no cooldown use of any kind. I don't know. There were several signs along the way.

Not acceptable, druids.

Proper use of cooldowns is the difference between a player who goes home from a bar alone in the evenings and one who has to install a deli ticket counter outside his bedroom and periodically step outside, yelling, "Next!"*

*Note: Statement is not actually true.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Why PvP gear isn't necessarily a stupid idea

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, Allison is somewhat startled to discover that one of her long-held convictions is not necessarily right.

On the few occasions when I can be convinced to do a gear post for bears, I've generally shied away from including PvP gear. This is actually a complete turnaround from our situation in The Burning Crusade, when Arena gear was an absolute godsend due to the bear's desperation for critical strike reduction. The now-vanished talent Survival of the Fittest (the modern Thick Hide) gave us flat 3% crit reduction, and then we had to scrounge the last 2.6% in the interest of not being stomped into oblivion by a raid boss. Not surprisingly, most players wound up using a few pieces of PvP gear to reach the all-important crit cap, because resilience reduced your chance to be crit in PvE as well.

But ever since that changed, I soured on the use of PvP gear in PvE. Resilience is now completely wasted in PvE content, you can't reforge it, and you'll only ever get one other secondary stat on PvP pieces anyway.

"Pooh, pooh," I said.

"Threat generation," I said.

"Why would you want to gimp yourself with so much useless itemization?" I said.

"Three bags full," I said.

However, I couldn't help but notice that PvP gear was still crammed with all manner of agility goodness, and then there's the minor point that Kalon is pretty much always right. So I decided to try a little experiment to see how much the average player would be gimping himself by using a full set of PvP threads. Pay attention, children, because this is the last time for several minutes that I will be heard to utter the following words:

I was wrong.

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

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