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Posts with tag feral

Shifting Perspectives: More on level 90 feral Mists of Pandaria talents

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!

This week, I want to take a closer look at the proposed Mists of Pandaria level 90 talents for feral druids. This tier of talents has received significant criticism on the WoW forums and other discussion boards, with the most common appellation being "useless." I couldn't disagree more. Given the constraints that Blizzard has to operate under, I think these talents offer up some interesting new game mechanics.

Heresy, yes, I know. Before you bring out the pitchforks, remember these key facts about how talents are supposed to work:
  • Talents are no longer the prime determinants of player power; they are now merely utility skills. You can fulfill your core DPS/healing/tanking role in a raid with no talents at all, you'll just be slightly less good at it. Rogues, as a comparison, only have one tier of talents that affect their DPS, just as we do; everything else is survivability, crowd control, or movement.
  • Talent choices must be reasonably balanced; otherwise, we're back to everybody picking the same thing, which leads to the developers balancing around everyone having that thing, which causes complaints about not having choices. This balance has to extend to both PvE and PvP.
  • The benefits granted by talents can't be so strong that they cause significant changes in class desirability, or we're back to the shaman stacking model again. Admittedly, any advantages are still going to be min-maxed by heroic raiding guilds, but the perception that it's required cannot be allowed to exist.
At least, that's the theory. The ideal is for all six talent choices to be equally valuable for each PvE role and PvP (cynics are free to substitute "equally useless"). Unfortunately, having four specs makes this exceptionally difficult, so I expect we'll likely end up with two to three no-brainer choices and two to three actual decisions after the balancing and theorycrafting is done. That ends up being pretty similar to the Cataclysm model but with much less added cruft -- perfectly fine with me.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral thoughts on the new talents and abilities

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!

Because there are just not enough cute cats around here! This is Hello Kitty Online, right? Where we gossip about how cute our cats are? This is my oldest and grumpiest, Hailey Reagan, in a decidedly non-grumpy pic. ...Oh. Oh. WoW. Right.

Anyway, news! Finally! I've returned from my brief hiatus, and happily, there's lots to discuss. Blizzard has updated the Mists of Pandaria calculator with tons of new info, so let's take a look at what we could be seeing Soon(TM).

Baseline abilities

I won't cover everything that's changed, but here are a few tweaks that I thought were interesting for feral druids:

Bear Hug This is now available to all druids at level 22 and is essentially the replacement for Bash. The damage (30% of your HP channeled over 3 seconds) is fairly decent; I can definitely see this being used as a finisher in PvP for trolling purposes. Personally, I'm just going to macro /hug to it.

Thrash This former Bear ability is now able to be used in all forms, so we might see a change to our AoE rotation from Swipe, Swipe, Swipe, zzz.

Symbiosis This ability probably deserves its own column; a blue post revealed some more details on how it would be implemented. Three abilities signposted as likely to be received are Feign Death, Frost Nova, and Soul Swap. The first two aren't that interesting, obviously, but if I can SS my bleeds? Hello, Mists, you have my attention.

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The 5 top mistakes new ferals make

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!

It was finished.

I spat, again, attempting to purge the taste of gronn from my mouth. Ugh. My ribs still hurt from the powerful backhand which had struck me unawares and knocked me from the ledge, but it was over. Skullcrusher was dead, his minions scattered--and I was ready to take the fight to Deathwing. My eyes lifted, tracing the path of the gigantic corrupted dragon across the sky...

Stones skittered closely behind me, and I whirled to find another druid standing atop a small boulder. His solemn eyes were mesmerizing, but it was the words I heard.

"Bah. Ready for Deathwing? More like, ready to be Deathwing's dinner."

I snorted. "And what would you know, old-timer? Shouldn't you be getting back to your tree?"

The other druid shrugged, and turned away. "As you wish." He abruptly shifted, assuming the form of a great panther, and began to quietly pad away. Suddenly, I noticed that his fur was criscrossed with scars from head to toe, and a nagging feeling arose in the pit of my belly.

"Wait," I said abruptly. "Maybe I've misjudged you."

The strange druid reassumed his elven form, and turned back, smiling. "Good. We've lost too many of our people fighting the Quiraji, Illidan, Arthas, and now this abomination. I don't want to lose another." With that, we began to speak in earnest.

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: A feral guide to the Fall of Deathwing

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!

As the portal from the Eye of Eternity shimmered and closed behind me, I continued to curse loudly.

"Enough, OK? Enough! I've been slimed, tentacled, and now? Frozen solid. You dragons got your precious iris; send someone else to get the next Magic Battery or whatever else you decide you need!"

"Alaron," Tyrygosa began, "perhaps now's not the ..."

"No! Maybe I wasn't clear. I AM DONE WITH DRAGONS."

All conversation stilled, and heads turned in my direction ... which is how we heard it. Wingbeats. Lots of wingbeats. In the distance, an uncountable horde of twilight drakes came over the horizon, preceded by the largest and ugliest dragon I'd ever seen, and headed straight for the Temple. A soft groan rippled through the room as we prepared yet again for battle.

"You may be done with dragons," Tyragosa murmured, "but they do not appear to be done with you."

Last week, I covered the first four bosses in Dragon Soul, and this week, we'll finish things up. As before, I'll provide a quick capsule strategy for those attempting the fight in the Raid Finder, then describe the changes to the fight for normal and heroic modes.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: A feral druid guide to the Siege of Wyrmrest Temple

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!

I was tired. I'd traveled to the End of Time, participated in one of the biggest moments in the history of Azeroth, and helped the spiritual leader of the Horde kill the spiritual leader of the Alliance (who, admittedly, had tried to kill us first). I'd never felt much of a calling to the Dream, but a few hundred years of meditation sounded great right about now.

Peering over the scales of my drake (I'd have flown myself, but they insisted), I gestured to the large dragon in flight beside me.

"You know, you dragons are always causing trouble," I shouted as the frigid wind of Northrend whipped by. "Can't you just drop me off at the nearest forest and call it a day?"

Nethestrasz chuckled. Through some queer trick of the dragons' magic, they were fully understandable, even in dragon form.

"If a forest existed that would be spared from Deathwing's flames, I might join you," he replied. Unfortunately, any further reply was drowned out by a sudden, loud cracking noise as the earth split asunder before us, revealing a gigantic earth elemental.

"Well, looks like it's time to be troublesome," I thought. Wordlessly, I nodded to Nethestrasz, and our army turned as one and dove for the surface.

This week and next, I'll be covering everything you need to know to DPS your way through the new Dragon Soul raid encounter. I'll provide a quick capsule strategy for those attempting the fight in the Raid Finder, then describe the changes to the fight for normal and heroic modes.

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral tactics for Well of Eternity and Hour of Twilight

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!

As the great dragon crashed down, I turned and began padding toward the entrance to the shrine. The padding quickly became walking as I assumed my elven form, feeling the familiar weight of armor settle around my body. Brushing the sand out of my cloak, I turned to the figure who had silently watched us battle.

"Now that we've killed you," I began, "You can help us?"

"Yes. The path to the Dragon Soul is open. It must be retrieved if we are to have any chance of stopping Deathwing and saving our world. I will now take you there." He gestured, and a portal coalesced into existence.

I couldn't help myself. "Um, I know you're the Aspect of Time and everything, but wouldn't it make a bit more sense to just go warn the other Aspects about Neltharion before he betrays them? This seems rather roundabout."

He stared back at me, expressionlessly.

"Right. I'll just ... take the portal, and Shred something. Sounds good."

The Well of Eternity

Well of Eternity is the second of the new 5-man instances released with Patch 4.3, and it is full of Burning Crusade lore. (In my subjective opinion, it's the best of the three, which further proves that Blizzard needs to go ahead and release The Burning Crusade 2: They're Really On Fire Now.) After a quick intro fight with a demon, you'll meet Illidan, who will promptly enlist you, cloak you, and then lead you around as you kill demons and break things. After a short while, you'll meet Peroth'arn.

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: 2011 for feral druids

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!

Just like last year, this December brings both new beginnings and endings. A new raid, with new toys, but the end of an expansion, with likely no significant changes to mechanics until the release of Mists of Pandaria. As we sit around the fire with mugs of cider, enjoying (or loathing) our new sweaters, let's take a moment to look back at the events of 2011. Those of you who have already set them on fire, feel free to follow along from outside. (Bad cat! Bad cat!)

Patch 4.0 blues

Let's face it: Life was not so hot in early Cataclysm for us ferals. It's long enough ago that it's hard to remember, but our AoE damage was just pathetic. Swipe hit so weakly that our best AoE strategies revolved around multiDoTing, which was quite difficult and even then wasn't very powerful. Heroic Maloriak really brought this out; feral was consistently the lowest DPS spec, a good 10% below the next spec and almost 50% below our fellow balance druids. While most of the balance issues are typically ironed out quickly, this one persisted for quite a while.Thankfully, our single-target damage was passable, but only just.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Feral fighting in End Time

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!

So there I was, just minding my own business and trying to get the smoke out of my gear (being a flaming kitty is cool and all, but the dry cleaning costs are incredibly expensive), when one of those bronze dragons showed up. She looked human, but I can smell dragon a mile away (which incidentally has not helped much, being as the things seem to be around every corner these days -- I thought dragons were rare, mystical creatures?).

"Champion," she said. "My master, Nozdormu, needs your help urgently. The list of heroes powerful enough to assist him in his time of need are few. Please come at once!"

I glanced at the list. Apparently, "few" means half the population of Azeroth. Still, I was bored.
"So," I said, wearily. "What needs killing now?"

"He does," she replied. "We must kill his future self, who is preventing us from going to the past to get the item needed to save the present."

"Right. Wait, what?" I answered, confusedly. "If he has a future self, than that means we've already succeeded, and ... fine. Just tell me where to go, before I have to think about it again."

End Time, the first of the new 5-man instances, is arguably the easiest. In order to get to not-Nozdormu, you'll have to go through two of four echoes, which are alternate future versions of today's faction leaders. There's a bit of trash, but nothing that can't be AoEed down. As such, we'll jump right to talking about the echoes, which are more interesting.

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Your patch 4.3 feral cheat sheet

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!

Patch 4.3 is upon us. It's time to take down Deathwing. Are you prepared? If not, fear not: This handy cheat sheet will sum up all the feral changes you need to know to keep you performing at your best. (As always, thanks to Tangedyn and Yawning for their invaluable analysis; make sure to check out Mew, if you haven't already.)

I'm going to put this right up front, since this is easily the most frequent question I receive: What should I reforge to, and what are my stat priorities? Easy -- it doesn't matter.

Seriously. All of the secondary stats (mastery, haste, crit, hit, expertise) are roughly equal in value for DPS purposes. This was the case in 4.2, and it remains the case in 4.3. (To put a more exact number on it, it's a roughly 1% DPS difference, which is well within the margin of error for any given fight.) My personal preference remains the same: Cap hit and expertise (960/780 rating, respectively) to reduce rotational unpredictability, which has benefits that aren't captured by computer simulations that play perfectly. By all means, however, reforge to whatever you prefer; just make sure you're still gemming and enchanting your gear, going for agility wherever possible.

OK, on to the interesting stuff.

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: 4 tips for intermediate ferals

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!

This week, we're going to break away from Mists of Pandaria talent speculation and look more at concrete matters: how to improve your DPS in a raid. Judging from the mail I've received recently, several newer feral players have mastered the basic rotation but are having troubles dominating the meters. Forgive the Cosmopolitan-esque title, but I've compiled four helpful tips to help ferals in their quest for blood, destruction, and nice purples.

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Filed under: (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

Breakfast Topic: The feral bond

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

There's obviously a certain understanding based on shared experience among the various WoW races, classes and specs, no matter what your faction. When you meet, even if you can't understand each other in chat, you might tip your hat, wave or do some other emote that signifies your recognition of a fellow traveler who is just like you were, are or will be. True, sometimes it's more of a rivalry, with the occasional threat, challenge or insult. But just as often (if not more so), there is flirting, cheers and exchanging of baby spice and hugs.

I think this is even more true for druids and particularly feral druids. My main is an Alliance bear/cat, and often when I bump into another druid while going about my business, we start dancing or roaring at each other, or some other emote/interaction occurs that doesn't normally happen with every passing stranger (if it did, we'd never get anything done, I guess). The resulting hijinks are often quite comical, but even more so if we are both in an animal form.

This seems to happen just as much when I meet Hordies as anyone else. Maybe not in a battleground (probably a good thing), but when I see another feral in passing, it seems like we become alert to each other's presence and make a quick little event out of it, then go on our way. The other races and classes are there, sure, and they certainly command my awareness and interaction as the case may be. But first and foremost, I'm checking out the other ferals. It seems there's something about ferals that makes us want to interact, be it a playful romp, chase or even the occasional threatening/rude gesture to show who's boss or who doesn't want to be messed with. It makes me wonder if this is how a dog feels in the park.

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Filed under: Druid, Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Cataclysm: Reaching uncrittable

For those of you who don't know much about tanking, we're going to talk quickly about a stat that won't exist in Cataclysm. This lowly stat is called defense rating, and it's something that tanks need quite a bit of. The nice thing is that it's on just about everything that tanks wear, which means at higher gear levels, we've got it coming out of our ears. The primary point of this stat is to reduce the critical strike ability for incoming melee hits from the standard of 6% to 0%. Druids currently don't need this stat, as they've got a talent called Survival of the Fittest, which means that bosses don't need to drop defense leather.

All in all, the stat is kinda boring, as while it does still do nice things after you reach the defense cap of 690 rating (or 540 skill), most people don't bother with it and stack stamina or other avoidance. So Blizzard decided that they're going to get rid of it.

Around BlizzCon 2009, we were told that the crit reduction we formerly got from defense rating was going to be tied into things that were available to all members of each tanking class. Examples used were baking it into Bear Form for druids, Righteous Fury for paladins, Defensive Stance for warriors and Frost Presence (or rather, Blood Presence in Cataclysm) for death knights. That means that if a retribution paladin or arms warrior wanted to tank, all he'd need to do was swap to vaguely appropriate gear (or just over to a sword and shield), pop his respective abilities, and away he'd go. That's not how it appears things went down, though.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight

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

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

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