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Posts with tag feral-tanking

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: 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: Revisiting the disappearance of the bear

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, an old and ugly issue rears its head.

I published Shifting Perspectives: The disappearance of the bear in October 2009 during patch 3.2.2. It was a means of collecting and examining eight common arguments as to why bear players had vanished during Wrath of the Lich King, and the column resulted in a number of insightful comments from readers on the issue. I decided it was time to revisit that column and ask: Have things improved in Cataclysm, gotten worse, or not changed much at all?

I have to preface this by stating that we have no hard information on what spec populations look like right now, and it's possible that this column's been written about an issue that's resolving. However, I don't think that's the case. Bear players are still the least represented on the tanking forums, their thread on Elitist Jerks is usually a ghost town, and their appearances through the Dungeon Finder -- at least from what I've seen of it -- are few and far between. Insofar as the Call to Arms system is a sideways acknowledgment of the shortage of 5-man tanks, the apparent lack of bear players (and quite possibly blood death knights as well) is a concern to more people than just druids.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing a bear druid at 85

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, we prepare to get hit in the face. A lot.

All right, folks -- time to gear your tanks! As with our previous series on gearing a restoration druid at level 85, we'll be going slot by slot to show you the best available options and where you can get them. I've listed recommend enchants previously in Feral Druid Tanking 101, but I've listed them here as well for convenience.

I received some criticism over the restoration gear posts that they were a bit too thorough, and it was (I think) a correct assessment. I'd been aiming for an Emmerald-like opus, but it wound up being an unwieldy mess in blog format. Here, we'll generally avoid gear below ilevel 333. Why? Because you don't want it. I'm sure it's very nice and it has a great personality, but trust me, I've been down that road. It is the way of pain. I've listed the normal versions of some heroic drops here as a courtesy to anyone who's still leveling up, but items are otherwise ranked according to the desirability of their heroic versions.

This week, we'll do the helm through ring slots. Weapons, trinkets, and relics require a bit more discussion, so we'll tackle those next week.

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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

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

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your Feral (bear) Druid at 80

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we take a look at gearing your lolbaretank for the rigors of standing in front of raid bosses and screaming, "Is that the best you've got?"

EDIT: This article has been updated for patch 3.3 and Icecrown content. Please click here to see a guide to gearing a bear druid as of May 2010.

My main spends most of her time tanking, so I have a little more experience with the gear on this list as opposed to others. Dan O'Halloran will be writing a guide to gearing a Cat Druid next week, and with that we'll be rounding up pre-raid gear for all 4 specs.

As with our entry on pre-raid Restoration gear at 80 and our entry on pre-raid Balance gear at 80, this guide assumes that you do not presently have access to either 10-man or 25-man raids, and if I miss any piece that you've found helpful, please drop a comment and I'll make sure it gets added. I should also add that this gear set presumes you are gearing your bear tank with an eye toward main-tanking in raids and/or tanking the more difficult heroics. If you're mostly DPSing or off-tanking, please feel free to swap in more DPS-oriented pieces prioritizing +hit and +crit over +expertise, +dodge, and stamina. Before we get any further, some helpful links:
  • Toskk's Bear Tank Time-To-Live Method, allowing you to look at upgrades from the context of your present set of gear and calculate how long you can go without healing assuming different talents and items.
  • ThinkTank on pre-raid gear: While I don't think that Kalon's been able to update this for patch 3.0.8 yet and he weights items a little differently than I do, this is a terrific list. He'll also give you a much better sense of just how good PvP gear is right now (much to my everlasting annoyance concerning arena).
  • Rawr: Use it. Know it. Love it.

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Filed under: Druid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Features, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: What would you do differently?

Galo of the Ardent Defender blog has responded to a recent blogger meme, asking the question what would you do different in WoW if you got to start all over again? Same character, same server, same friends, same guild, same adventures. But now you have special knowledge of your game playing career to avoid the pitfalls.

For Galo, the answer is to be smarter about making money. Taking two gathering professions, buy bigger bags as soon as possible and focus on getting an epic flying mount to gather even faster. I think he may have some cash flow regrets.

If I had to do it all over again, I would probably have not changed tradeskill professions 4 times. I also would have started tanking sooner as a feral Druid than before. I wasn't a fan of tanking, but got asked to do it as a Druid. Now I enjoy it greatly. And I would have used voice chat more often. Things go a lot smoother on voice, even for the times that I can only listen (playing the game is one thing, being on the "phone" at the same time is another with the significant other.)

What about you? What would you do different if you knew what you know now.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Making money

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