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

Shifting Perspectives: The druid of 2011

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, Allison's grip on reality is less certain than her grip on a bottle of cough syrup.

Sadly, I do not have a cool poem for this past year. 2011 was not a particularly poetic experience, and not just because I spent like two weeks of it without power or with trees on my house or with a new Maine Coon kitten that literally bit through my headphone wires, occasioning a small crisis on my end before I realized they were the cheap ones I got for like five bucks on sale somewhere. But still. If you're new to this tradition (four years running!), I spend the last few weeks of every year catching various illnesses from my relatives, mainlining cough syrup, and then stumbling to a computer to write a year in review column that the editors have to publish because they don't have anything else in the site queue.

So now, dear readers, I will take you on a small tour through the year that was. The other alternative is I take everyone on a run through Zul'Aman, but you'd be safer next to a Cub Scout with matches and poor impulse control, so we're not going to do that.

Oh, and if you care about this sort of thing:
  • The druid of 2008 The first year I got sick and unwisely decided that a surfeit of cough syrup would allow me to finish a column on time.
  • The druid of 2009 "The ridiculously-popular death knight was, in many ways, designed to counter the restoration druid, although I am hedging this somewhat by saying in many ways instead of definitely, and counter instead of annihilate."
  • The druid of 2010 Letitia, the official fashion consultant and Snark Passenger to the Shifting Perspectives column, makes her second appearance to remind me that I am not a shirtless Christian Bale.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Guide to druid leveling in Cataclysm

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we steal from our colleagues.

All three of WoW Insider's druid columnists have collaborated on a Cataclysm-era druid leveling guide, because we love you very much. Also, Alex Ziebart made us do it ... but mostly because we love you very much.

If you're looking for a comprehensive piece on why X talent will give you a 0.072% increase in awesome at a particular level, this guide is not for you. If you're interested in getting a druid from 1 to 85 and successfully convincing everyone that you know what you're doing, this'll be more up your alley.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The best and the worst of patch 4.3

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we chortle our way through 5-man trash.

Oh, patch 4.3. I didn't know what to expect from you after so many bad, ugly, or just plain bizarre PUGs on the public test realm, but you turned out to be pretty cool. I don't have to wear ugly gear anymore, the Dragon Soul raid is live, Vengeance blows up like a grade school volcano science experiment, and Deathwing no longer roasts all my archaeology dig sites with the sadistic glee of an NPC who knows that I will never get the Crawling Claw if I am dead.

On the downside, I have to deal with Echo of Tyrande trash ("Hey, where'd the healer go?"), and Thrall still does not seem to have realized that the rest of the world moved on to epic mounts several years ago.

You win some, you lose some.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: In which Allison makes a stupid prediction

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we take a risk.

Well, I'm bushed. Post-BlizzCon, I reached that dreamy level of fatigue allowing me to hallucinate that I am on a Thai beach being served fizzy drinks by men in loincloths, and that was lovely while it lasted. But just as I had recovered from the delusion that this was ever going to happen, a freak snowstorm hit the American northeast and killed every tree and power line in sight. Folks, I spent a week without power or internet, and I am mad at the world.

Let's see. What did I have on the docket for this week? Responsibly and rationally evaluating what we learned at BlizzCon 2011? The hell with that. Let's start off by completely ignoring the new talents announced, and then getting into a quite possibly asinine prediction that I will try to pretend never happened if it doesn't come true.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Where have all the feral talents gone?

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!

Last week, I broke down the new druid talents that were released at BlizzCon with lots of discussion about how this may lead ferals in a new direction. I've had a week to think about things more, and I'm still blown away by the magnitude of the changes Blizzard is making to the specializations. Much of the fundamental assumptions about what drives our characters is being reworked, and we're not discussing the implications because OMG pandas! (For the record, I have a 3-year-old. Team Pandaren > Team Worgen.)

To quickly review, the traditional model of abilities has always been strongly tied to classes. If you were a druid, you got all the druid abilities as you leveled, regardless of what talent points you invested. There were a few key abilities for each spec that were unlocked via talents, but that was it.

With Cataclysm, Blizzard took its first swipe at reducing talent trees by introducing specializations. This served two purposes. First, it let specs have "cool" abilities earlier, instead of waiting until they were near max level to unlock them. And second, it once and for all eliminated the ability to have hybrid specs, such as the Dreamstate resto druid from The Burning Crusade. Previously, you were merely limited by your talent points; now, if the ability you wanted existed in another specialization, or below tier 2 in an off-spec tree, it was completely inaccessible.

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Druid tanking and healing in End Time

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we reach End Time.

Every so often as a tank or healer, you get the uncontrollable urge to scream various profanities at your group and ragequit in the middle of a pull just to show the bastards who's boss. Unfortunately, there's not much content that's really forgiving to this approach, and it's kind of a jerk thing to do on its own. Most of the time, you either have to suffer in silence as the group blames you for everything that has ever gone wrong with their lives, or else drop group and eat the Dungeon Finder cooldown.

But that is no longer true. In patch 4.3, Blizzard has bestowed upon our little world a heroic boss known as Murozond, who upends the traditional responsibility to our groups and encourages us to care about nobody but ourselves.

The developers have given us the greatest gift that any tank or healer can get:

Revenge.

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

Shifting Perspectives: 3 observations on the tier 13 set bonuses

Druid tier 13
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we ponder tier 13.

Tier 13's set bonuses were revealed this past Saturday night to the delight of many, the disgust of just as many, and the widespread horror of healers, who quickly arrived at the same conclusion that you're going to see me talk about in this column. Which is not to say that the tier set bonuses are bad, mind you -- it's just that they scare the hell out of us.

I'm going to muscle in on Alaron's job this week very briefly, because cats inevitably wind up with the same tier bonuses as bears. In tier 13, that's going to have some pretty serious implications for raid survivability, so we'll touch on that today. Resto itself didn't get anything too striking, but we do have enough information to hazard a guess at how much the set bonuses will add to our healing, and the feral bonuses hint at some tough stuff ahead for healers.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Player thoughts on bears and trees

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we find ourselves scrambling to read 100 pages on the forums in time.

Yes, I used a Troll kitty at the top of a bear and resto article. It was pretty and I liked it. That's my excuse.

Blizzard has an unfortunate habit of either invalidating everything I write shortly after it's been published or rendering an entire column out-of-date before it's even gone live. This past week was a unique variation on this practice, with the class feedback threads going live a few hours after I'd sent Shifting Perspectives: Rolling a new bear or restoration druid in Cataclysm to the editors. The druid class threads (on both the US and EU forums) had already started filling up by the time I reached a computer. Ack.

Make no mistake: These threads mean that the developers are starting to kick ideas around for class changes in the next expansion, so they'll be interested in any common concerns that result. Let's see if I can summarize what players believe really matters to the bear and tree specs.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Rolling a new bear or restoration druid in Cataclysm


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, there can never be enough druids in the world.

Our editors have asked us to write a column or two about leveling new characters in Cataclysm, as we've been getting lots of requests and, uh, we haven't updated our leveling guides in a while. I was horrified to learn that my own were written two years ago.

So, without further ado, here's my comprehensive guide to druid leveling in Cataclysm:
  1. Go anywhere.
  2. Do anything.
  3. Ding!
  4. Go anywhere.
  5. Do anything.
  6. Ding!
I suspect this is not going to pass the laugh test with our editors, so let's see if I can rustle up some slightly more useful advice past the cut.

Update: A few hours after this column was submitted on Monday morning, Blizzard went live with its class feedback series on the forums, seeking input from players on potential changes to their classes. The last time they did this was around the time they were tossing around ideas on class updates that later appeared in the Cataclysm beta, so this is your chance to weigh your experiences in this expansion and write suggestions. The druid threads are here (US version) and here (EU version), and we'll talk about this next week.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Not seeing your gear is no excuse

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, hunter polearms are tossed into the trash bin and are then very quickly retrieved.

As many of you know, transmogrification -- from the ancient Greek trans, meaning "To make one's gear look better," and mogrification, meaning "Than it actually is" -- is coming to the game in patch 4.3. As such, we are joined again by Letitia, the official fashion consultant and Snark Passenger to the Shifting Perspectives column. Some of you may already know her from Shifting Perspectives: Fun with race choice, in which we pronounced one particular human model a perfect in-game example of Stalinist realism, and Shifting Perspectives: The druid of 2010, in which Allison was scraped off a bus station bathroom floor in order to write the article.

In the interests of not seeing a flood of druids run around in uncoordinated ensembles, we have assembled a set of suggestions you may wish to review. They were compiled and ranked according to the scientific rationale of not wanting to flinch whenever I shifted out of form. Our priorities are the helm, shoulder, cloak, and chest slots -- the ones that really define an outfit -- and I'll revisit the series on some future date, or whenever I can get Letitia away from her chosen career of throwing garbage at Los Angeles stylists.

Oh, and as an important aside -- Anne's World of Wardrobe series has a lot of good tips for anyone looking to put together a complete tier set. Reddit's WoW Transmogrification subreddit also has a lot of good tips, as do Wowhead's blogs on unique items and NPC sets to copy. The Visual Roleplay Gear List is also an incredibly addictive site, though not all of the sets it features will be possible to use for "mogging."

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

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing a bear druid in patch 4.2, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we want the damn fire kitty staff.

Hail, bears. This week, we're going to finish off our look at bear gear in the post-4.2 world. Our first installment, covering the helm through boot slots, went up last week. Today, we're going to look at rings, trinkets, weapons, and relics.

As a note on the PVE versus PVP discussion that broke out in the comments last week, I have to admit that I'm still not very fond of PVP gear. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say I'm not fond of an overdependence on PVP gear. The more arena and battleground pieces you add to your set, the more that you're likely to encounter threat generation issues.

Even haste (garbage stat that it is) does more for us than resilience, which does precisely nothing in PVE content. So I'm hesitant to endorse widespread use of PVP gear in PVE. If you have the opportunity to use a few suitable pieces, go for it; just check its ilevel to see the gear to which it's roughly comparable. Be aware that its use comes at the cost of stat allocation that could've gone to something useful.

As before, if your bear is completely new to level 85, our first set of bear gear guides may be more immediately useful to you.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing a bear druid in patch 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, it's not like we're doing dailies for our health.

Mmmm. Fresh meat gear, nicely charred by all that flame-broiling action in the Firelands these days. High time to update our gear lists!

Stat priority for bears in patch 4.2 remains armor, stamina, agility, mastery, crit, expertise, hit, and haste. Rather than rehash territory we've already covered in our first set of bear gear guides for Cataclysm, the lowest piece I'm going to list in each slot is the best available piece from 5-mans, reputation, or the new Molten Front vendors. If you're starting from absolutely nothing and need some ilevel 333/346 gear to tide you over, I would recommend the previous bear guides. Otherwise, your goal should be to get to at least the lowest piece in each slot on this list.

As always, I'm bypassing PVP gear because so much itemization is wasted on resilience. However, if you want to use it and you've got a better piece than would otherwise be available from PVE, knock yourself out. This week, we'll cover the helm through boot slots, and next week, we'll tackle rings, trinkets, weapons, and relics.

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

Shifting Perspectives: The druid personality test

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we are impressed by the scientific rigor of human interest publications.

So I was in line at the grocery store the other day when the array of magazines at the checkout stand caught my eye. Useless People Weekly was running a quiz that promised to tell you things you already knew about yourself if you would consent to answer several questions and tally the results.

"Huh," said I. "What a marvelously scientific approach." But it gave me, as they say, ideas.

If you've never played a druid before, are you interested in knowing which spec best suits your personality? If you play a druid, are you interested in being told things you already know about yourself?

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

Shifting Perspectives: Guide to patch 4.2 for bear and tree druids

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we've returned from the Angry Dome.

Well, after pissing off Blizzard for the millionth week in a row, today we're going to turn our attention to slightly less explosive concerns. By the way, "Tank Q&A sucks" is a top search phrase for last week's Shifting. Just thought I'd mention.

As long as we're on the subject of the developer Q&As, I might as well make an uncomfortable segue to observing that Blizzard's now taking queries for the Q&A on healers. Go ask questions! Personally I am very interested in hearing if they're going to update Tree of Life form, or make Innervate a baseline ability rather than the 31-point talent in the restoration tree.

Ha ha! I kid because I love.

On the off chance that patch 4.2 hits today (which it probably won't, but eh), this is a quick and dirty guide to the patch notes that'll concern you if you play a bear or tree druid. If the patch hits next week, we'll keep ourselves occupied making daisy chains or something. Or, if the healer Q&A gets published sooner than expected, I'll write another enraged diatribe for everyone to enjoy.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Why the tank Q&A sucked

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we started writing this column last Wednesday.

Don't get me wrong: It's not that I don't like the developer Q&A sessions. They're a great idea, and although they don't make up for Ghostcrawler's absence from the forums, they're a nice insight into the developers' thought process and a peek at the issues that matter most to players. The effort's appreciated even when players ask pointless questions (of which the need to do so appears to be a congenital disorder) or use the opportunity to grandstand about issues no one cares about.

But the tank Q&A was ... not Blizzard's best effort. To borrow a phrase from Harry Knowles, I love hard-working Blizzard, I'm blown away by creative Blizzard, and I'm in awe of big-dreaming and overreaching Blizzard.

But I freaking hate lazy Blizzard.

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

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