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Posts with tag growl

Patch 5.4 PTR: The Rise of Riposte and other tank changes

Patch 54 PTR The Rise of Riposte and other tank changes
Okay, before we get into it, always remember this is datamined information from the next PTR and none of it is guaranteed to make it live. That being said, there are some interesting changes in the pipeline for tanks in patch 5.4, not the least of which is the creation of Riposte, an ability for warriors and death knights. The reason Riposte is interesting is because it seems to be a means to convert parry and dodge into critical strike, which means several things. First, you'll be less likely to stack critical strike as a tank (warriors were at least thinking about it with the change to Enrage, including Shield Slam and Devastate) and secondly, it makes those purely defensive stats work as threat generators, increased the low tank DPS of the warrior tank (and perhaps the DK tank as well, although I'd not heard any complaints about low DK tank DPS) and it must be noted, is not an ability that druid, paladin or monk tanks will be getting.

I find this very interesting, especially combined with the changes to Dark Command, Reckoning, Growl and Taunt. All of these abilities will now not only force a target to attack the tank in question, but will also increase her threat by 200% for 3 seconds. This means that, even if you are tanking a boss or mob that you already have threat on, these four abilities will still increase your threat overall when used, meaning that if you hit a taunt while tanking it will still have a positive effect on your threat. It's worth noting that hunter pet Growl works exactly the same - hunter pets will also get the extra 200% threat over the three seconds.

We're clearly not even remotely done with tweaks and fixes in patch 5.4, but by themselves these changes suggest that tanking is definitely going to see its fair share. The change to taunts is the biggest change to how taunting works that has ever happened, and the inclusion of Riposte goes one step further towards making avoidance also provide threat.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Encrypted Text: Rogues can actually tank

tank rogue
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

In the original WoW beta, rogues were designed to be off tanks. Complete with a high dodge coefficient from agility and a buckler, rogues could survive quite a beating. Evasion was a tanking cooldown, and Vanish was a useful tank-swapping ability. Hunters worked similarly, also sporting bucklers and using Feign Death to lose aggro. Obviously, the developers scrapped both of these ideas before launch.

During The Burning Crusade, Gaeowyn broke the combat table by achieving unhittable status with 102.63% avoidance and using it to successfully slay Illidan. After that, the crew slew Gruul with just five people while it was still relevant content. In Wrath, Jider abused Shadowstep and our amazing damage output to solo several Naxxramas bosses. The upcoming Mists expansion looks to again revitalize rogue tanking, with the advent of the druid ability Symbiosis and our bonus ability, Growl.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

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

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

Shifting Perspectives: So. Um, do bears suck?

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we shelve the column we originally intended to run due to a rather pressing matter.

OK, folks. I have a confession to make. This week's Shifting Perspectives was originally meant to be a full guide to gearing your Restoration Druid at 80, and I'm still going to post that, either this week or next. A lot of people have (correctly, I think) observed that this column has historically paid more attention to Feral than to Restoration or Balance, and it's my aim to balance (har!) that out a bit. Part of it is just that the people who play Druids on staff here at WoW Insider are usually feral, and part of it is that -- at least as of the last numbers we had on it -- most people playing Druids are also feral. I confess I would love to see the demographics on Druids post-Wrath, because I get the sense that Balance in particular has become markedly more popular.

But the Resto post is going to have to wait a few days, not least because my eyes are swimming from so much Wowhead. We found out today that Swipe's threat is getting a significant buff, but over the course of reading the pertinent forum thread and some back-channel discussion here, I ran across a few things concerning bear tanking that really made me sit up after the hell of tanking last night's heroic Old Kingdom and go, "Wait. It's not just me?"

Personally whenever I encounter serious problems in a dungeon I tend to chalk it up to the fact that I suck. I find this to be an efficient and typically accurate means of pinpointing the source of an issue. However, my fellow Druids, our problems may actually be more wide-ranging than that.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Features, Classes, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

The great hunter nerf of 2008

I quote Ghostcrawler: "Hunters of all specs, and particularly Beastmaster, are doing too much damage in PvE."

At this point you can stop reading if you're a Hunter and just assume the worst. But if you want to see how you're getting nerfed to the ground, read on.

The rationale behind the changes is that Blizzard has been doing a lot of internal testing, along with the beta of WotLK, and has determined the other classes have not been able to keep up with the Hunter DPS output.

The list of nerfs is wide ranging. Volley nerfed by 30%. Steady Shot now gains 10% of Attack Power instead of 20%. Kindred Spirits has been nerfed by 25%. Readiness no longer affects the cooldown of Bestial Wrath.

The list of changes is not exhaustive. Ghostcrawler makes a point to say that these are just the ones they feel are ready for testing. He hopes to see them up on the PTR before they go live.

The full 14 point list of changes after the break.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, News items

Scattered Shots: Wrath of the Hunter


Welcome to Scattered Shots, where Daniel Whitcomb is totally making plans to walk with rhythm so that he can attract the worm.

So with Wrath less than a week away, we got our work cut out for us, so to speak. Luckily, 3.0's early release has given us time to learn to handle our pets and respec to take advantage of new talents, but now the big push is upon, as 10 levels and a whole slew of new zones opens up for us. When you step off the boat or zeppelin in Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord, where will you go? What will you do?

Here's a few quick Hunter specific tips to getting started in the Wrath of the Lich King.


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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Leveling, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Autocast bugs and other animal handling issues in 3.0.2

I shall call him Squishy, and he shall be mine. And he shall be my Squishy.
Welcome to Scattered Shots, where Daniel Whitcomb loves his Hunter Judgement, but wishes he got the cool looking shoulders too.

So between 3.0.2, the Scourge Invasion, and Hallow's End, my Hunter's seen a lot of play as I've been going after the title and the undead armor and playing with all the new changes on a live server and all, and in that time, I've had some chance to see how stuff works out when it's thrown into the crucible of live server playing. Most of my observations have ended up focusing around pets, which is probably to be expected. After all, they've changed quite a bit. Here's what's I've learned from 3.0.2 in the last few weeks about managing your pet:

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

The little mod that could

I'm not the world's most sophisticated interface tinkerer. In comparison to people like Taeo, my UI looks like it was a low-bid government contract job by Oog & Sons. I'll grant that Taeo's UI probably isn't a fair comparison anyway (I maintain that it's hands-down the most beautiful UI we've ever run on Reader UI of the Week), but the point still stands. I download mods I need. After reading Addon Spotlight and getting curious, I often download mods I don't need. I get them up and running while trying to navigate an oft-bewildering number of options. If they're movable, they're irritably shoved around the screen depending on the job I'm doing in a raid or just ignored entirely (e.g. Decursive while tanking). Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Where'd my screen go?

Man, it's a cruel world out there for the lazy. But every so often you find offbeat but amazingly helpful mods that just work, and best of all, work unobtrusively without having to be diddled with every day or between characters and specs. For my part, I am completely ready to nominate OptiTaunt for whatever Total Slacker's Mod prize might exist. It's a tiny mod for tanks that tells your group, raid, and the player you're trying to taunt off of when a taunt is resisted or when the target is immune. It can also announce when you've had to blow mega-cooldown abilities like Challenging Roar, Shield Wall, and Frenzied Regeneration. Best of all, it whispers cute class-specific messages to the player who's pulled aggro (e.g. for Priests: "Warning! My Growl was resisted! Time for a final prayer!"). And you don't need to spend time worrying about settings between characters or specs as the mod will simply never activate on a toon that won't have to (or can't) taunt anything.

I love Titan, Cartographer is amazingly helpful, and we all depend on things like Omen, but OptiTaunt still wins the proverbial desert island contest for me. Sean could probably name dozen of mods like it off the top of his head, but I find any mod announcing a thinly-disguised version of "YOU'RE ALL SCREWED NOW!" pretty tough to beat. With that said, I'm trying to level some taunt-free classes to 70 before Wrath hits, so I'm on the lookout. Any suggestions for, say, a Shaman?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons

Scattered Shots: Beastmastery in Wrath of the Lich King

Ok, so it's actually an old PTR bug, but a pet panda would be awesome.Scattered Shots is for Hunters. Your host this week will be Daniel Whitcomb, who will continue his foray into the wide world of Wrath of the Lich King talents.

Beastmastery has pretty much dominated the world of Hunters in Burning Crusade, with Serpent's Swiftness alone nearly singlehandedly allowing for the most efficient damaging shot rotations possible -- With a little bit of wrangling between haste and ranged weapon speed, of course. While the changes to Auto Shot clipping in Wrath will likely make shot rotations as we know them a thing of the past, Beastmastery is still looking to be a very viable tree in Wrath of the Lich King, thanks to some clever synergies and some amazing pet buffs.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Hunter pet aggro may be fixed in Wrath

The story of Hunter pets and aggro in Burning Crusade, especially since patch 2.4.2 or so, has been a very stormy one. Even deep Beastmastery Hunters have had to learn to kite, as pet aggro grows worse and worse. Growl in 2.4.2 was supposed to scale, but almost every Hunter that tested it said it didn't, despite Hortus' insistence that it did.

Luckily, it looks like there may finally be some real relief coming in Wrath of the Lich King.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath Beta Patch Notes: Hunter

By now, I am sure you've heard that the Wrath of the Lich King Beta is going live and the patch notes are up. There's a rather extensive section devoted to Hunters on this iteration. We have a few more insights into the pet talent trees that were announced at the Worldwide Invitational, as well as a few changes to existing talents and a nice Steady Shot buff.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Hunter Growl and Scare Beast changes not so sweet after all

One of the biggest surprises Hunters found when they logged on after this morning's patch was that all was not as it was supposed to be. Although the tool tip for Scare Beast reads as instant cast, the old 1.5 second cast time is still intact. Netheara confirmed that the reversion of the cast time was, in fact, intentional. It was considered too strong and reverted, although the 30 yard range buff is still intact. The instant cast designation in the tool tip is an error that will be fixed.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Patch 2.4.2 is live


Yep, as expected after the test realm ended, patch 2.4.2 has hit the live servers, and is now available for download and installation. Daniel did a terrific roundup of what you can see in the new patch this morning. The patch notes aren't available online yet, but the only change I can see between the PTR notes and what's live is that the Druid Natural Perfection change didn't go through -- otherwise, everything else is in there as expected, including the Arena changes and the Growl changes (whatever they are).

Enjoy the new patch (and if you're an Outlands Hunter like me, enjoy your new pet!). This might be the last one we get for a while.

Update: BigDownload's got the patch, in case you haven't seen it yet.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Tuesday Morning: Maintenance time

Good Morning Azeroth! It's Tuesday, May 13, 2008, and that means maintenance. As we mentioned earlier, it's an extended maintenance, from 3 AM to 11 AM PST (That means you have about a half an hour of play time left), and it's looking rather likely that 2.4.2's going to drop. Exciting news, but that still means that you'll have at least 8 hours in which it is impossible to play World of Warcraft.

Of course, this means the perfect thing to do is browse WoW Insider. Since 2.4.2's probably on it's way, why not browse all our 2.4.2 news?

But enough about 2.4.2, what about the big news? First, of course, is the fact that Blizzcon 08 was announced. Check out the details and look back on some old Blizzcon 07 memories in our announcement post.

You may also recall all the Wrath of the Lich King news that dropped this week. Of course, you know we have it all for you on WoW Insider. Check it out after the break.

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Filed under: Patches, Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

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