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Posts with tag healing-touch

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: Lifebloom is like broccoli, and other lies my mother told me

Shifting Perspectives Lifebloom is like broccoli, and other lies my mother told me TUESDAY
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, Lifebloom prevents vitamin deficiencies.

When I was a small child growing up on the mean streets of a rural farming community, my mother used to hector me into eating my vegetables.

"You'll get rickets if you don't eat your broccoli," she said.

"Children in some parts of the world would kill to have string beans," she said.

"You'll flunk your SATs if you don't eat zucchini," she said.

So I'd choke the stuff down in resentful silence, assuming that dessert would be forthcoming in the typical quid pro quo of the childhood dinner table. (My lawyer father lived to regret teaching that phrase to small children.) It took me until freshman biology to realize that my mother was exaggerating the odds of developing scurvy if we didn't eat a sufficient quantity of vegetables at every meal.

And you know what? Playing a resto druid on the beta is kind of like being a small child getting Lifebloom and Harmony endlessly stuffed into your face. In the meantime, there's a bowl of deep-fried, bacon-crusted, chocolate-dipped Wild Mushrooms just ... out ... of ... your ... reach on the table.

I ate the green stuff, Blizz. Now where's my dessert?

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Beta build 12803

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, we ponder change.

Beta build 12803 dropped late Friday, and with it a number of changes to the feral and restoration specs. Some are what you'd expect after some recent forum conversations with Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer), and others came out of left field. We'll take a look past the cut.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: A limited number of people know the troubles I've seen

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, we equivocate on the best means of filling a bottomless pit.

Beta build 12759 dropped early Saturday morning, and with it the introduction of mastery and quite a few changes to the feral and restoration specs. I think Blizzard may even have fixed some of the issues with feral damage, but the newest bug on the block is making that a little difficult to tell. The default scrolling combat text is now broken -- you can't see how much damage or healing you're doing to hostile mobs or friendly players, respectively -- so at best, you're confined to guesses based on how much health the mob's losing when you hit it. For me, this requires squinting at a very small portion of a laptop screen with my nose two inches from the monitor, and I'll be damned if I'll wind up financing the purchase of another Maserati for my ophthalmologist.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Tree 1, Arthas 0

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we save the world (of Warcraft).

Originally this week's article was going to concern stomping Karazhan from top-to-bottom as a feral/resto druid, and then I got Big Bad Wolf for the opera event. Suffice it to say that the stomping took an abrupt U-turn, and I never got pictures or video of the other Kara fights that I've successfully solo'd on dozens of other occasions (though I grant they were all occasions that did not include humiliating wipes to an overgrown dog). If I weren't in the middle of a time crunch it probably would've been doable, but regrettably I will have to run a feature on how to make 1,000 gold soloing Karazhan on a later date. In the meantime, Alaron's managed to solo Big Bad Wolf successfully, but my main is in the somewhat sticky situation of not being a night elf.

With the upcoming Icecrown raid buffs going all the way to 30% damage/healing/health/absorbs eventually, more and more raids are going to find their way to Arthas. Buffs aside, a lot of Arthas' difficulty lies in execution, and I started jotting down a few notes that I hope might be helpful to other druids likely to attempt the fight. We were fortunate to get both the 10- and 25-man version down, and I got astoundingly lucky on one 10-man attempt with back-to-back selections as a Harvest Soul target while I was running a video capture. I've seen a lot of comments online that caster druids aren't well-suited to dealing with this, and that's just not true at all.

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

Shifting Perspectives: In defense of a glyph everyone hates


Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we make a dangerous segue from curling to the issue of Healing Touch in raids, shattering our once-promising career with a finger cramp.

I'd be the first to admit I don't take the game quite as seriously as the hardcore theorycrafters at EJ. To be fair to WoW, it's hardly the only game in that position; with the Olympics on, I've had the opportunity to acquaint myself with many questionable pasttimes like curling. Someone even went so far as to set hipster music to a series of clips featuring expert players crouching on the ice, staring down the run with the coiled alertness of a Serengeti hunter. The athletic grace is impressive until you consider that they are watching a large rock slide down the rink at the speed of a miniature dachshund while teammates scrub frantically at the ice in the hopes that the rock will travel a few more inches. One realizes: a). the fundamental absurdity of the human condition, and: b). that the effort to maintain a dignified façade has caused you to soil your pants.

The inability to treat what is meant to be a fun hobby with the gravitas due, say, a shuttle launch or an Irish wake, has occasionally resulted in problems when readers take material more seriously than I do. The official forums have also convinced me that any deviation from the standard imposed by theorycrafters and spreadsheets is going to be greeted with hostility by anyone who decries the notion of individual choice in a game, which makes today's topic -- finding a place for the druid's worst heal in progression raiding -- a bit touchy.

I am required by law and contract to be sensitive to the needs of the differently-minded in our community, and as such, I am going to borrow (read: steal) a technique first employed by the humorist Dave Barry in a 1991 column.

Yes.

The following article has been closed-captioned for the humor-impaired.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Restoration 101

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, a quick and dirty guide to raising one's tree from a young sapling to a mighty oak, or other suitably impressive arboreal species.

Whenever other columnists here write really good columns, I sit at my computer and swear a blue streak, for I am a jealous god. Sacco, damn him, turned out a great article on the basics of elemental shamans, and for a while I've been kicking around bits and pieces of 101-esque columns for all four druid specs. This was the last shove I needed to get that done. While I expect our new balance blogger (a.k.a. Murmurs, the person I will be forcing to do all my number-crunching in the future with bribes or, when necessary, threats) will address moonkin, I'll cover bears, cats, and today, trees.

A quick note on what I want to accomplish here: I'm addressing this to people with no prior knowledge of the spec who want the tools to become reasonably competent healers quickly. By necessity, that means we're going to gloss over a few finer points; this is a cheat sheet, not an encyclopedia. When I say (for example) that Improved Tranquility needs to be dragged out behind a barn and killed with an axe, I'm not going to spend paragraphs explaining why that is, or examining situations where you could actually get some use from it. If you think I've glossed over something truly important, please drop a comment and I'll direct readers to anything they really need to know.

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

Patch 3.3 PTR: Undocumented druid changes


Our esteemed colleague Boubouille has datamined some undocumented changes to druids on the patch 3.3 PTR, so while I'm waiting for it to download (53 more minutes.../sigh), let's take a look:

BALANCE

NATURE'S GRACE: Now procs from non-periodic spell criticals (old: all spell criticals).

So direct-damage spells (e.g. Wrath, Starfire, Moonfire's initial hit) or direct-healing spells (e.g. Regrowth's initial heal, Nourish) will be the only ones that can trigger the 20% haste effect from 3/3 Nature's Grace. This is definitely a nerf for Balance concerning Starfall and Hurricane crits, but it's also a nerf concerning specific gear sets. Moonfire's DoT component can crit if you're using Balance 2-piece Tier 9, and a Restoration druid rocking 4-piece Tier 9 gains the ability for Rejuvenation to crit.

For Balance's AoE situations and Starfall cooldowns, it's an out-and-out nerf, albeit a limited one given Starfall's cooldown and the unlikelihood of Hurricane playing a major role in any given boss fight. Otherwise, it's also a nerf directed at Tier 9 bonuses, unless Blizzard's planning on future tier bonuses (or class changes) that will make periodic damage and/or healing crits a routine thing. Stay tuned.

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

Patch 3.2 Druid changes


3.2 approaches! Sort of. The PTR itself isn't up yet (at least, not as I write this), but nonetheless, 3.2 approaches on little cat feet.

I'm going to examine the 3.2 PTR patch notes line by relevant line, just because there are several changes that impact Druids while not being class-specific. If you want a quick summary without being massively spoiled, Balance is getting a huge and welcome change to the functionality of Eclipse, Cats are getting bonked by the nerfbat, and PvP-Restos are really getting bonked by the nerfbat. Bears, well...not much is going to happen to bears this patch, which is a little demoralizing given the improvements being made to Pally tanks, but that's OK. We still have our, uh, amazing Tier 8 set bonuses and...um...the best -- sort of -- tanking cooldowns in, uh, the...uh...

...Oh, screw it, just stack the hell out of stamina and pray to the gods of RNG if your guild's dumb enough to try Ulduar on hard-mode. Congratulations; you have now done all you can possibly do to prepare yourself for modern tanking.

Sad lolbare is sad. But cough syrup for everybody! Is nise! Now let's take a look:

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

Shifting Perspectives: State of the class, part 1 - Balance


Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer votes on Tuesday and spends Wednesday screaming and beating her laptop over formatting errors, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert steals John Patricelli's column once again, secure in the knowledge that she will never be forced to atone for her crime as long as she writes something nice about ferals and keeps a respectful distance from Dan O'Halloran's whip.

I hate Tauren cat form.

Good. I got that out of my system and can write something productive. Although, believe me, if I could get away with it, an entire Shifting Perspectives would be devoted to just how much I hate Tauren cat form. I mean, just look at it! Look at the angle on the horns! The cat can't bite anything! Christ, I just -- hi, Dan. Yes, I'm totally writing the column! Look at me go!

This week, mindful as always of American election-year politicking, I'm going to borrow a page from presidential duties and write a little something I like to call "State of the Class." Druids have undergone a number of changes in the transition to Wrath of the Lich King, and will acquire even more as they level to 80. We are one of Blizzard's primary targets for both gear and role consolidation, which raises a few questions over how comfortably we're going to scale in relation to pure classes and what we can realistically expect on the march to a new level cap.

The TL:DR version of this article -- I believe our future is generally bright, the Druid community continues to have a few concerns over certain aspects of the class, our focus in PvP seems to be changing the most, and I hate Tauren cat form. This is a three-part post, so let's get started with balance. However, if you want to jump ahead to feral, you'll find that here; and the third part, restoration, is here.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Patch 3.02 for Restoration Druids, part 1

The single biggest change for most restoration Druids with patch 3.02 will be the disappearance of at least four commonly-used PvE and PvP specs:
  • 8/11/42 (the traditional resto PvP spec)
  • 11/11/39 (Resto PvP with Insect Swarm)
  • 13/11/37 (Resto PvP with Insect Swarm and Nature's Reach)
  • 11/0/50 (PvE Tree of Life with Insect Swarm).
The first three are kaputski because Feral Charge is now a 21-point talent in the feral tree, and the last three are bye-bye because Insect Swarm is now a 21-point talent in the balance tree. If you still want talents from the balance tree especially, you'll have a ton of stuff to play with (frankly I ran out of space here to discuss the new restokin specs but we'll cover it as soon as we can), but for the moment we're only going to concern ourselves with stuff squarely in the Restoration tree. Shifting Perspectives later today will have a full run-down on moonkin in patch 3.02 and Wrath. Otherwise, there's still a ton of new stuff for tree Druids in this patch, including a resurrected Tier 3 set bonus, a vastly-improved Tree of Life form, an out-of-combat rez, and an insane +haste buff to two of your most-used spells. If you also want a look at what early 5-man healing in the beta is like as a resto Druid, head here.

Read on for a comprehensive look at the new healing and mana regeneration mechanics, Restoration abilities, talents, and glyphs!

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath Beta patch notes: Feral and Restoration Druids


Continuing on from the analysis of the changes to the Balance druid talent tree, as shown in the first patch notes for the official Wrath of the Lich King Beta, we'll now examine the Feral and Restoration trees.

Feral tree
The Feral tree is seeing changes to limit the benefits that the other two trees, specifically Restoration, can gain from investing a few points into the first few tiers. We are also seeing changes to the ways in which bears will be generating aggro.

The Faerie Fire (Feral) and Feral Charge swap
Feral Charge is currently an 11-point talent into the Feral tree, which contributing to the advantages that Restoration druids currently have in arena. It allows Restoration druids the ability to charge, immobilizing their target and interrupting spells for four seconds.

Instead, Faerie Fire (Feral), which is not something that a Restoration druid would likely spend 11 points to get, will take up the 11-point spot, with Feral Charge taking its place in the tree 21 points in.

In addition, Feral Charge will be usable in cat form, dazing the target and moving the cat behind it. This will help address the concerns that cat form is not especially viable in PvP, although their crit dependency is still a weakness. It will also be useful in dungeons to catch runners and other out of place mobs.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Features, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Hybrid Theory: Performance Assessment

Last week we discussed the fact that raw DPS is not a good indicator of the strength of a hybrid. The quality of a hybrid, or a person that plays a hybrid, will not easily be seen by looking at traditional damage and/or healing meters the same way you would for 'pure' classes.

Before I go on, I'd like to reiterate my disclaimer on this topic: Just because your class or spec is not expected to top damage meters, that does not mean you should become complacent about your DPS or Healing effectivenessity(use it, love it) in a raid. You should always strive to be a better player and find ways to improve yourself. If you think you've hit the ceiling of what you can accomplish, work harder to break through it.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Bosses, Hybrid Theory

Talents you hate


My main is a tanking feral druid who respecs to PvP resto pretty regularly (you know you're playing a hybrid class when your local trainer publicly thanks you for financing his boat payments), and every week I find myself staring at my talent calculator wanting to take a shillelagh to Nature's Focus. The Druid restoration tree has a lot of talents that leave you wondering what you're supposed to be using them for, and I nominate this one as winner, class, and show. Which says something, given the number of resto talents there are that either: a). make no sense if you take the 41-point talent Tree of Life, which virtually every raiding resto does, or b). also make no sense if you mostly PvP.

Rant after the cut.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Classes, Talents, Battlegrounds, Arena

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