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Posts with tag feral

Shifting Perspectives: Spending feral VP in 5.3

Shifting Perspectives Spending feral VP in 53
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 spend our Valor Points at the corner store.

Patch 5.3 is here, the item upgrade vendors have returned, and it's time to talk about everybody's favorite things; gear. What are the pixels I can pick to push my kitty to the top of the heap? Let's take a look.

Weapons and trinkets first

As a feral, getting a good weapon is your highest priority. It's the jelly to your peanut butter, the ketchup to your french fries...okay, I may be hungry, but you get the point, it's a necessary complement to ensuring you can be an effective damage dealer. You have four choices for weapons; three drops from Throne of Thunder (Shan-Dun, Breaker of Hope, Jalak's Maelstrom Staff, or the Darkwood Spiritstaff) and the weapon with a legendary socket from 5.0, Gao-Rei. The differences in the ToT weapons are fairly minor, so just get the best you can, and upgrade it ASAP. If you can't get into ToT yet, the +500 agility from the legendary gem on Gao-Rei makes it a worthwhile fill-in. Oh, and if you've completed Chapter II of the legendary quest and received an Eye of the Black Prince, don't forget to buy another one when you get a weapon upgrade.

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Filed under: Druid, (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: Feral druid macros of power

Shifting Perspectives Druid macros of power
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 automate (legally!)

So, you might have seen references to macros, macro-ing, or other mac-type things (the non-cheesy variety) in my latest column, and wanted to know just what I'm on about. I've combed through my personal setup, the macro discussion threads over at Fluid Druid, and the excellent tips at Macro WoW to lay down some (automated) beats.

Before we begin, though, a quick introduction/refresher. Macros are an in-game method of grouping up commands or actions so they can be used in a more efficient way. To create a macro, you open the macro UI pane (/macro), type or cut-and-paste the macro text into the field. pick an icon if necessary, and save it. This saves the macro text to an icon that can be dragged to an actionbar, just like one of your regular spells. Macros have two main limitations; they can only be 255 characters or less, and they can only execute one ability on the global cooldown per click. Other than that, go wild! (Just don't miss the litter box.)

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Druid leveling and talents in Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives Druid leveling and talents in Pandaria
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 grind.


Okay, I know this column is a little behind the Mists of Pandaria power curve. That said, if you happened to fall in love with another class (coughMonkcough) for leveling this time around, and you've just now leveling to 90...here's some tips. And yes, that's a moonkin on a mechanostrider by a fish. Why? Isn't it obvious?

Before your arrival in Pandaria

Well, that depends on what level your gear is at. If you didn't play significantly at endgame in Cataclysm, you'll find that the enemies get a lot stronger as soon as you hit ground in Jade Forest. You'll get pieces of 378 green gear as you proceed through the early quests, but if you're still rocking Mount Hyjal greens like some of my alts, you may want to look at picking up some Misthide crafted leather items from the auction house. If none are available, you can also ride to Dawn's Blossom and visit the gear vendor there for some starter pieces. You can skip this if you choose, but in that case expect the initial quests to be fairly difficult, and you won't have the item level to queue for dungeons right away.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The Heart of the Wild and Symbiosis hotfixes

Shifting Perspectives The Heart of the Wild and Symbiosis hotfixes
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 abandon our pretensions.

I knew this was going to happen. I tweeted about it back in August, suggesting that Heart of the Wild was far too powerful for both balance and feral druids; when combined with a weapon swap, the damage potential was significant. Several others warned about it on release, but to no avail, Bosses fell, DPS meters were topped, and all the non-druids complained bitterly. The cry of "Nerf druids!" was heard throughout the land, though most of us were too busy playing PandaFarm to notice.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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: 5.0.4 changes for feral and balance druids

Shifting Perspectives 504 changes for feral and balance druids 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, NUMBER 5 IS ALIVE!

The patch is coming! The patch is coming! Run around screaming wildly! Right. Anyway, if you're just coming back to WoW, here's everything new you'll need to know to get your feral or balance druid up to speed. First I'll hit some of the overall druid changes before drilling down into the spec-specific stuff.

Changes for druids

Feral is no longer a tank/DPS specialization. Yes, bearcatting is officially dead for those who practiced it, though it lives on somewhat in one of our new talents. Feral is now solely melee DPS, and a new spec has been added for bear tanks, guardian.

All the old talent trees are gone. You still pick a specialization at level 10, but instead of a 31-point tree, you now have six tiers of talent choices, with one choice out of three options every 15 levels. With the talent tree deletion came an ability shuffle; many druid abilities that were spec-specific, such as Force of Nature or Feral Charge, have been made into talents that can be used by any spec. For more, read my column on talent tiers 1 through 3 or tiers 4 through 6.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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: Relooking at feral and balance druids in Mists of Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives Feral and balance druid updates 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 analyze to theorize.

A few months ago, I posted my initial thoughts on the balance changes and feral changes in the Mists of Pandaria beta. Now that the abilities and numbers have gone through a round of fixes and changes, I'd like to relook at some of my initial concerns and see what problems the specs are still experiencing.

Balance issues

Underpowered single-target rotation, overpowered AoE rotation Thankfully, this has been addressed significantly. This specific issue was touched on by Ghostcrawler in the beta class analysis thread:

Quote:

Actually, is the design intention to have both Eclipses with the same damage output for single targets and AoE?

Actually, no. We're currently intending for Lunar to be slightly better at single target damage and Solar to be AoE damage. When you have time between phases or situations where you can use Astral Communion to quickly switch sides, you should be able to further optimize performance by tailoring which Eclipse you line up with which boss phases. The difference should not be significant enough, however, that in a Patchwerk-style scenario, you are compelled to only DPS in one eclipse.
As a side note, I posted incorrect information about Mushrooms. They DO count as Solar, and we think that's fine.


Of course, now we get to debate what "slightly better" means. Current theorycrafting suggests that Starfire (aka Lunar) and Hurricane (aka Solar) are about 20% better then their counterpart abilities in the other Eclipse. I agree with Graylo that this difference is probably too large and makes Eclipse-twisting feel more mandatory and less like an "optimization." Dropping this to the 5% to 10% range would still allow theorycrafters to come up with optimizations, but it wouldn't be necessary for players to use; they could ignore Astral Communion entirely and still do reasonably well.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion

Shifting Perspectives: Honey cat don't give a ...

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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 gem +10 in awesome.

With apologies to Isaiah Mustafa ...

Take a look at your cat. Now look at me. Now back at your cat. Now back at me. Sadly, your cat isn't me, but if you stopped playing that silly rogue and switched to feral, you could have a cat that looked like me. Look down, back up -- where are you? You're on a boat with an armored cat, the cat your cat could look like. What's in your hand? Back at me. I have it -- it's a clam with patch notes declaring ferals to be epic. Look again; the notes are now the tears of all the classes who wish they could look like me. Anything is possible when you roll feral. Forget horses; I'm a stag.


Yes, I was tempted to end the column right there --but we've got so much good stuff to talk about.

Armored cats

A few weeks ago, Ghostcrawler mentioned that Incarnation would have specific art for cats, bears, and moonkin; in the latest patch, a datamined model showed us what is likely the first example of that. At first, I wasn't too sure about the idea of putting armor on a feral form, but it's really grown on me over the last couple of days. It's obviously difficult to do cosmetic effects for a class that revolves around shapeshifting, but I'm grateful that Blizzard's continuing to add something for forms. I can't wait to see the bear and moonkin armor. (Do moonkin even need armor?)

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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: Mega moonkin, fabu ferals, and Symbiosis specs

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 how fast to deny hunters Symbiosis in exchange for all those taming attempts.

This is apropos of nothing, but I love how the current Incarnation effect for balance druids simply makes them huge. (For comparison, here's the before image, and thanks to Lissanna at Restokin for the screenshots.) This totally reminds me of the first time I got a Mega Mushroom in New Super Mario Bros, actually. "Yes, I'm just going to walk through everything in the level; maybe I'll pick my teeth with the flagpole."

Sadly, this effect isn't going to make it to live. Happily, though, we've got plenty of other stuff to talk about this week, such as several new glyphs and a mostly complete reveal of Symbiosis.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral soloing Ulduar and other dragons in the 4.3 era

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. This week, we discuss proper defrosting techniques for animal fur.

As you'll recall, last week we decided that we might need something to do while we're waiting to explore Pandaria, so we decided to go kill things solo in Northrend. Soloing Naxxramas, save a few encounters, isn't too much of a challenge. But Onyxia? Malygos? Ulduar, even? Now we're talking ... or dying -- frequently, as the case may be, while testing these strategies. (If you need a quick primer on how to get up to speed with bearcat soloing, check out the Naxxramas article.)

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Soloing Naxxramas for feral druids in the 4.3 era

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. This week, the editors refuse to let me write the column in Elcor.

Let's face it: Mists of Pandaria isn't going to be released any time soon, and Dragon Soul is starting to become Draggin' Soul, for those of who you starting raiding it on the release of patch 4.3. Of course, many of us are off saving the galaxy from annihilation, but if you're staying in Azeroth, you need something to do -- a new challenge. This week, I'm resurrecting my old series on druid soloing. A new tier of gear has made possible many feats that were not before, so pack your bags. We're heading back to Northrend to fight the undead ... since they cannot die. (/sunglasses)

Before we start, however, a quick refresher for those who missed the earlier series. Druids are one of the best raid soloing classes in the game for one simple reason: Prowl. While we don't have the solo survivability of a blood DK or the DPS of a hunter, we can skip the annoying trash most of the time. If you're doing a full clear, that isn't much help -- but in most cases, you can get in, kill the boss, and get out without ever having to wait to kill a trash mob.

In terms of strategy, I use this bearcat talent spec and glyphs. The primary source of your survivability will come from Leader of the Pack heals and Savage Defense shields, using Barkskin and Survival Instincts on cooldown, and popping Frenzied Regeneration as your oh-crap full heal. For some fights, you'll also be mixing in Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, and Predator's Swiftness-procced Healing Touches. For your rotation, you'll be using the default bear priority list (FF once, Demo Roar, Mangle, Thrash, Lacerate to three, Pulverize). For trivial bosses, feel free to go Cat part-time or full-time to speed things up. Finally, note that my ilevel was about 390 when I did these bosses, so this may be a bit easier or harder depending on what you're packing. (Also, credit where it's due to Reesi for helping me nail down bear details and Braindwen for his soloing guide.)

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: How top feral cats provide essential value to their guilds

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!

You finally did it. On your last Raid Finder run, you finally outrolled that silly heroic-geared rogue who kept auctioning gear you could use and completed your four-piece tier 13 set. An extra Ravage every 30 seconds! Free damage! Awesome!

Take another look. Guess what? It's the other part of that set bonus that's really special. Don't get me wrong, I love Ravage to death (Tendonnnnn!!), but it's just a bit of extra damage. Raidwide Frenzied Regeneration, in contrast, is so powerful that progression guilds regularly work it into their cooldown rotations. In some isolated cases, it may allow you to run with one less healer than normal.

Why is it so powerful? Two reasons. First, it's the only one of the four raid-wide tank cooldowns granted by four-piece tier 13 set bonuses that's accessible to a DPS class. (Well, theoretically, DPS plate-wearers could get it, but they'd take a large hit to their DPS from having to wear tank gear. It's effectively a free bonus for feral DPSers, since they share gear with feral tanks. This is exhibit A for why the feral tree is being split in Mists.)

Second, it's the most powerful raid-wide cooldown in the game at this point. Other cooldowns come close in strength, such as Power Word: Barrier, but none come close in duration. It can't stop damage spikes, true -- but assuming you can take it, it'll help your healers patch things back up ASAP and keep them patched up for a good, long time.

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Filed under: Druid

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