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Posts with tag feral

Night Elf cat forms coming tomorrow


We've already seen the graphics for three out of the four new feral forms we know are coming for druids in patch 3.2: Tauren bear and cat forms, and Night Elf bear forms. This only leaves Night Elf cat forms left to be seen. (They might be redesigning moonkin and tree forms too; they're being cagey about that when people ask. My guess would be no.)

I've been anxiously refreshing pages all day to see if the Night Elf cat forms would come. In vain, apparently, as Zarhym has just posted to let us know that the forms in question will be unveiled tomorrow "later in the day," which probably means mid-afternoon (PST) sometime. In the mean time, we've got the other three sets of forms in the gallery below. What would your ideal Night Elf cat look like?

Filed under: Druid, Patches

New Tauren cat forms revealed


As you probably know by now if you play a druid, new feral form graphics are finally coming in patch 3.2. Druids will have their choice of five different versions for each race and form (bear/cat); what form you get corresponds to your hair color for Night Elves and your skin tone for Tauren, both of which will be changeable at the barber shop.

So far we've already seen the bear forms for Tauren and Night Elves. Today, Blizzard unveiled the replacements for the much-maligned Tauren cat form. You can see the results above. My initial reaction is that they're still a bit ugly, but way better than the previous Tauren cat form (which is marked "Old Cat form" above).

Here's what a few of our staff members thought:
Elizabeth: "A million times better. Still not as cool as night elf, but better."
Allison: "The eyes are way too small. Still going to be glad I play a bear."
Lesley: "Those horns are evil."
Alex: "I'm gonna roll a Tauren Druid so I can play that black one with the grey mane. I'm going to RP an old grizzled war vet Druid."

What do you think?


Filed under: Druid, Patches

Shifting Perspectives: A brief history of time

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we plagiarize from Stephen Hawking, jack a WABAC Machine, and begin a joyride through the evolution of the Druid class.

Dear Blizzard,

There are too many bosses to write about in Ulduar. I find this vexing. Please eliminate 5.

Sincerely,

Sleepless in Silithus


Salutations, Druids. As is probably obvious, we're going to take a detour out of Ulduar class strategy this week, because I'm going to shoot myself if I have to write about another boss I haven't been able to smack around since the PTR. We'll be back for Freya, Thorim, and assorted vaguely Norse-sounding entitites wishing to destroy the world for some unspecified reason but they drop phat lewtz so who cares next week.

Anyway, one of the things that's fascinated me about the Druid class since Burning Crusade is the growth in its popularity. Historically we have never been among the more commonly-played classes, and for a wide swathe of classic WoW and BC, were actually the least-played class or within the bottom 3. While there are various reasons for this (and I could devote a column to how this probably happened), Druids became more popular as time went on, and an increasing number of people began to play the class without knowing just how far it's come.

A little time spent reading through Wowwiki's list of the game's patches makes for interesting reading. A little more than 5 years ago, Druids could Feign Death, the Feral 31-point talent was Improved Pounce, and Moonkin form wasn't even in a gleam in a designer's eye.

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

Raid Rx: 10 clutch healing and tanking abilities

Raid Rx has returned from retirement! Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related. This week, we examine the relationship between tank and healer. More importantly, we look at the raid saving cooldowns that can mean the difference between a boss kill and a wipe.

I read a post last week on the Orly Factor. It was about communicating with healers. Now if you visit the blog, the first thing you'll discover is that it's a Warrior tanking blog!

But Matt! Why on earth are you reading a tanking blog? Have you forsaken us?

No, I have not. I've always been first and foremost a healer. However, this does not mean I do not pay attention to tanks. The relationship between tank and healer is a harmonious one. A tank places their lives in the arms of their healers. Healers have to pray to Elune (or whichever deity you happen to follow) that their tanks are exceptional at pissing off mobs.

Two way communication between tank and healer is a must. If not cultivated or exercised properly, your team will face difficulties down the road.

There is one particular topic I want to zero in on.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Warrior, Tips, Raiding, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Shifting Perspectives: An Ulduar class preview, part 3

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, as other people continue their march through Ulduar, I continue to ask myself if it wouldn't be more cost-effective in the long run just to take my ailing graphics card out behind the woodshed and end its pathetic misery once and for all.

Greetings, fellow Druids. There have been a few changes to Ulduar of late which I haven't yet seen play out on the live realms, but most of the changes concerned are nerfs, which should have little impact on overall raid strategy apart from giving you a bit of extra breathing room. Today we're going to address what you can expect from Auriaya and Mimiron. Mimiron in particular was the subject of some concern from feral tanks on the PTR and, well, the mechanic driving that concern is still a problem, but less of one than you might think.

I was originally going to include Freya in this installment as well, but noticed that her two erstwhile comrades were starting to consume rather a lot of space. Suffice it to say that trying to describe these two fights is awkward at best, so I'm restricting myself to as much Druid-centric information as possible rather than describing every possible means of handling the fights.

Oh well. Batting first for us today is sad spinster Miss Auriaya and her smelly cats, although she's a bit complicated to describe:

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Achievements

Shifting Perspectives: An Ulduar class preview, part 2


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we watch the Ulduar trailer again and ask ourselves over and over why Jaina Proudmoore couldn't have been a Druid. The obvious answer is that she just wasn't cool enough, but this is the source of much cognitive dissonance at the moment.

I'm going to take a quick moment from the rest of the column and just write, in case any of the people who made it are reading this, that the Ulduar trailer was so stuffed with win that pieces of win are dribbling out of it into little win puddles and spilling over into the Sewer of Awesome. And, as NaitFury on the MMO Champion thread points out, "Those of you who say it is boring should probably go back to watching another Undead Rogue 1-shot people with Linkin Park in the background." Amen!

We're one week into Ulduar (and by "we" I mean "other people," because the game has become virtually unplayable for me post-patch, and having the game crash my computer every 5 minutes is forcing the Sewer of Awesome to run to the Vast Delta of Self-Pity), so let's pick up where we left off and tackle the Deconstructor, the Iron Council, and Kologarn.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Ulduar class preview, part I


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author pretends to know more about Ulduar than she actually does, which makes a refreshing change from pretending to know more than she actually does about things that are already in the game.

Hail and well met, Druids. For the next three Shifting Perspectives columns, I'm going to take a look at Druid class roles on Ulduar fights. If patch 3.1 hits earlier than expected (I'm currently betting that it hits in late April/early May), I'll try to squeeze these in a little bit faster than once per week. But with luck (and, I hope, a parade of annoying bugs for Blizzard to hunt down and squash before they let the patch go live), we should have some information to chew on before we set foot in a live Ulduar.

Now watch Blizzard deploy the frickin' patch next week.

I have not gotten the opportunity to test all of these fights personally because I'm only on the North American PTR, and some fights -- like Yogg-Saron -- haven't been available for testing at all. What I write here is going to be a compilation of personal experience, details concerning boss abilities available on the PTR version of Wowhead, information I've gotten from pestering various people on both PTR's, and news available around the web, principally from WoW Insider's previous PTR testing, Wowwiki, MMO Champion, and World of Raids. Bear in mind that some things here may wind up being very different when Ulduar actually goes live, so take numbers and conjecture here with a grain of salt. I'm going to assume that basic boss mechanics are likely to remain the same or similar, so let's get started with the first three encounters.

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

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Druid glyphs and undocumented changes


Personally the change I'm still plotzing over most in relation to 3.1 is the sheer locational chutzpah of the Argent Tournament. I'm not sure I understand why the northern portion of Icecrown is considered an appropriate spot. It's like seeing some Milwaukee strip-mall developer parachute into the middle of Mordor and exclaim over the retail and tourist opportunities within a 100-yard radius of Sauron's eye. What does the Scourge think about this tournament? Did they get a cut of the concession stand's profits as a means of buying their cooperation? Who else was bribed in order to make this happen? These are all questions to which I think we deserve answers.

Anyway, I seem to be one of the unlucky souls doomed to disconnect every 10 minutes from the PTR (although I'm not anywhere near Dalaran), but I'm sure it'll get fixed. One minor suggestion for all those Druids porting to Moonglade in order to pick up dual-specs immediately; have 1,000g in hand before you do so. As we all know, getting into Moonglade is rather easy. Getting out of Moonglade tends to be rather more time-consuming unless you're willing to burn your hearth in a world newly free of ghetto-hearthing.

Some of the undocumented changes we've actually already talked about, so if you don't see something here but missed our first article, you should find them here.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features, Guides, Classes

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Druid changes


All right, Druids. I've been rolled out of bed to come look at the new PTR test notes, because apparently this is a big deal or something. As far as I'm concerned, all important business can wait until a reasonable hour in the morning, like 3 PM, but because this site is run by crazy people here I am.

So let's go skim the patch notes quickly -- /flick flick flick -- and try to answer the most important question first:

Is Tauren cat form still in the game?

/flick flick

Yes.

Man, %*#$ this patch.

Leaving aside this EGREGIOUS OMISSION, we're going to take a look at the preliminary Druid changes in patch 3.1 past the cut here, and courtesy of Michael Sacco and some data-mining gnomes, we also have the Druid Tier 8 shoulder graphic, which is pretty cool and reminds me a lot of Tier 5. I'm also seeing some undocumented changes in the game files off MMO Champion, but I'll have to examine those later today. I haven't been able to get on the PTR yet, so I can't confirm whether these changes have actually gone live on the test realm.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features, Guides, Classes

Shifting Perspectives: The dual-specced Druid

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, in the interests of keeping our writer away from editors of the opposite faction on PvP servers, we examine dual specs.

Between lollygagging here at WoW Insider Central and engaging in some extracurricular indolence, I've often wondered where I'd take the column after finishing the bear pre-raid post. I could write something on how to theorycraft the highest-HPM tree, I thought, or get around to testing whether weapon skill has an unintended effect on bear threat. Look at the potential return from Eclipse procs as a function of fight mobility? Argue whether it's worth it to take Feral Aggression in a hybrid feral build? Or compose an entire column as a mockument to T.S. Eliot's most famous poem:

Q: Let us go then, you and I --

A: No.

All good ideas. But then we received the following missive from that enemy of all that is good and right in the publishing world, the editor:

MEMO: To all WoW Insider class columnists

FROM: You know who.

TEXT: Write something on how your class will deal with the upcoming dual-spec system in patch 3.1, or Dan "One-Eye" O'Halloran will "remember" where he left his whip.

"Well," I thought. "That sounds like a good idea too."

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

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

Analysis of Druid changes in 3.1

Earlier today, Eyonix released some details on some changes that we can expect in patch 3.1. They're not exactly earth-shattering like some classes' changes, but there is still some interesting stuff in there. Let's get down to analysis.

Savage Defense – this is a new passive ability. When a druid in Dire Bear form deals a melee critical strike, the druid gains a damage shield equal to 25% of their attack power. The next hit completely removes the shield regardless of how much damage was done.

Survival of the Fittest has had its bonus armor reduced to compensate for the above increase in damage mitigation.

I'm going to take these two points together, because they're inseparable. Savage Defense is interesting, and you certainly can't call it a direct copy of some other class's ability (an issue that's plagued us in the past).

Let's look at the numbers involved, since it's hard to make sense of the ability straight off the bat (at least for me). In Dire Bear form with my heroic and crafted blues and epics, self-buffed, I have right around 4,000 AP. So when I crit with a melee ability (I have a 27% crit chance), I get a shield that absorbs up to 1,000 damage from the next hit.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

WoW Insider's gearing up in Northrend guides

We probably have at least an hour (or seven) of maintenance and downtime before realms start coming back up, so this is as good a time as any to make a nice list of the Wrath of the Lich King gear guides we've done so far. Not every class and spec is complete, but progress is progress, right?

If you don't see the spec/role you're looking for in our list below, never fear! Our columnists are always working on these things, and the best inspiration for all of our writers is knowing what everyone is looking for. Don't see what you're looking for? Just let us know. Don't be afraid to look at guides for similar classes, either. They might just have the information you need. For example, the Shadow Priest spell hit guide will work for most casters.

But enough talk, on with the show!

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

The Queue: Patch 3.0.8 is here!


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Good news, everyone! We have a guest star today on The Queue! Yes, that's right, a very special guest! Well, sort of. I guess she's not that special after all, but our resident Feral Druid guru chimed in to answer a Bear question yesterday, and she answered it better than I ever could. Our first question of the day is hers to handle, then it's back to me. Because you all love me, right?

thon asked...

I've had a lot of heated debate on the current def cap of Druid Bear Tanks. Is there one if specced into Survival of the Fittest? Is it lower than a normal tank class? I'd love to be able to tell them for certain to pipe down!

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Shifting Perspectives: Patch 3.0.8 for Druids

Every Tuesday, or sometimes Friday when the writer's internet has gone AWOL between Sunday evening and Thursday afternoon, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we take a look at the upcoming patch 3.0.8. while penning an angry letter to our ISP.

Greetings, folks. Patch 3.0.8 is coming, bringing a few significant changes for the Druid class. Feral attack power is disappearing from the game entirely alongside bonus armor contribution from non-leather items. Restoration is receiving a nerf in the form of a 6-second cooldown to Wild Growth but is otherwise getting some buffs. Balance is also getting a few buffs, including one that will make a big difference to PvP combat versus Rogues and Hunters. But I think, dear readers, we are overlooking the most important part of patch 3.0.8:

Fixed a bug with a Wild Mustard plant that was under the ground in Dalaran.


Oh, thank God. That drove me nuts.

(Really).

(I'd also love to see them do something about the underground Tiger Lily spawn in Sholazar).

(It's just south of River's Heart).

(Really annoying).

(Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?).

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

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