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Posts with tag innervate

Shifting Perspectives: Why the tank Q&A sucked

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we started writing this column last Wednesday.

Don't get me wrong: It's not that I don't like the developer Q&A sessions. They're a great idea, and although they don't make up for Ghostcrawler's absence from the forums, they're a nice insight into the developers' thought process and a peek at the issues that matter most to players. The effort's appreciated even when players ask pointless questions (of which the need to do so appears to be a congenital disorder) or use the opportunity to grandstand about issues no one cares about.

But the tank Q&A was ... not Blizzard's best effort. To borrow a phrase from Harry Knowles, I love hard-working Blizzard, I'm blown away by creative Blizzard, and I'm in awe of big-dreaming and overreaching Blizzard.

But I freaking hate lazy Blizzard.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Mana wars, crowd control and patch 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we swap Innervates with a new air of defiance.

The most interesting part of the proposed patch 4.2 changes is arguably what's being done to crowd control, but that's not the only addition to the game that's going to affect us. At the moment, there actually aren't a metric ton of changes in store for druids, but I expect that itself will change.

As a quick update to my ongoing TankWatch project, I returned to some dungeon-running on my alts between the patch 4.1 and 4.2 PTRs. As of evening Monday on May 9, this is what I've seen of tank representation through the low-level dungeon finder:
  • Druid 9%
  • Paladin 60%
  • Warrior 31%
My goblin priest should hit Outland soon, so we'll see what impact death knights wind up having on the statistics.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

The educational potential of class-based achievements

Early this morning, a player by the name of Koosh posted an idea to the official achievements forum: Why not add class- or role-specific achievements? If implemented, could these achievements be used to help players learn the specifics of their class? Koosh uses Team Fortress 2 as an example, and I think it's an excellent one. If you're unfamiliar with the game, Team Fortress 2 is a competitive (but light-hearted), class-based first-person shooter.

Here are some examples of Team Fortress 2 class achievements:
  • Scout Brushback: Stun 50 enemies while they are capturing a point or pushing the cart.
  • Pyro Hot Potato: Reflect 100 projectiles with your compressed air blast.
  • Soldier Death from Above: Rocket jump and kill 2 enemies before you land.
Achievements like this push you to learn how to play your class and how to play it well. It might be a very strong tool for training players in World of Warcraft. Interrupt 1,000 spells as a rogue? Use Anti-Magic Shell to absorb 1,000,000 damage? Replenish 150,000 points of other players' mana with Innervate, as Koosh suggests?

Readers, do you think this would be a viable way to teach players how to use all of the tools at their disposal? What achievements do you think your class should have?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Achievements

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

Shifting Perspectives: Why (or why not) to play a Druid


Every week (sort of), Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, in the anticipation of a patch likely to bring many new players into the fold, we descend into the depths of an ancient library in pursuit of Druidic history, lean back in our chair considering the modern form of the class, cast a gimlet eye toward the future, and then wonder how many more clichés we can shove into a sentence before readers start writing angry letters to our editor.

Dear new Druids,

Welcome to the class -- and for some of you, welcome back. I've observed a flood of players rolling premade Druids on the PTR to try out with the new bear and cat forms, and with the promise of new moonkin and tree forms arriving at some point in the future, I think it's reasonable to expect lots of you trying (or rediscovering) the class on the live realms. You are most welcome, and we are glad to have you. This is the best class in the game.

Now, I'll grant I'm prejudiced, because I have loved this class since the first day I started playing. I love it so much that it's difficult for me to remember that there are 5...or 8...or...however many other classes there are. I don't know. I haven't checked lately. I'm told Blizzard added another one, but I can't be expected to keep up with every little thing.

So.

It is possible that we have changed more than any other class between the beginning of the game and July 2009 as I write this. I want you to know what the Druid is all about, why it might be a good choice for you, and why (as much as I find this difficult to write) you may wish to steer clear before we start a series on leveling a Druid.

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

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: 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

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

Combat stats and spellpower consolidated on Alpha

You may never look at this window the same way again.Sources are saying that a new Alpha build showed up on the WoTLK Alpha servers yesterday, featuring a few interesting changes. Kalgan's promised spellpower change we have mentioned, and it now appears to be on the Alpha servers. In addition, it looks like the dev team is working on consolidating even more stats. As of the latest build, all instances of haste rating, hit rating, and critical strike rating on gear will now modify both physical attacks and spells at the same time.

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

Shifting Perspectives: The Druid-Shammy double whammy

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them.

Lately I have been leveling a Shaman, and I was surprised to learn that Druids (my all-time favorite class) and Shamans (might become my second favorite) are quite similar. I know I am a Shammy noob, having never leveled one before, but am quickly learning to love them and hoping to suck in all the knowledge I can in coming days.

Not only with Shamans and Druids, I guess you could say that there is a lot of class crossover in many areas, for example, a Warlock functions much like a Hunter, being a long ranged fighter with a pet, or how druids double up on many of the Rogue's trademarks, at least in feral form. The list is endless, and I could go on, but after all, this is a Druid column, so let's get to it.

I don't think crossover is all that uncommon, nor is it detrimental to any class, in fact, much of the time, the class crossover actually helps and can fill a void especially in instances when your (insert loser class here) bailed on you at the last second before a big fight. This is what makes druids the cream of the cat, um, crop. We druids can do almost everything, but with varying degrees of effectiveness depending on spec, motivation, and of course fun-ness index. Shammies are also quite versatile and varied in their skills, which makes me like them for sure, and thus our first class crossover comparison between Druids and Shammies today.

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

Patch 2.3 and you: Druid Edition

With Patch 2.2 out the door, the official information about 2.3 hasn't stopped all afternoon. Here's what's in store for Druids as confirmed on the official forums by blues:
  • Spell damage added to Healing gear. This was hinted at during Blizzcon and confirmed today: All +Heal gear will receive one-third of the healing bonus as +spell damage. So a chest piece with +750 healing will now also have +250 spell damage. The addition of spell damage is a bonus and will not lower any other stat on the equipment. (source)
  • Intensity is changing. Currently, this Restoration talent increases your mana regeneration in combat 5%/10%/15%. After Patch 2.3, the mana regeneration will increase to 10%/20%/30%. (source)
  • Druid combat rez is having its cooldown reduced from 30 minutes to 20 minutes. CM Bornakk went on to confirm that the cooldown will not be reduced any further since that would seriously imbalance PvP. (source)
  • Zul'Aman is ready to go in Patch 2.3. This is important news for druids as some Balance spec itemization issues were promised to be addressed in this 10-man post-Karazhan instance.
  • New relics for Druid, Shaman and Paladin PvP players. Blues didn't have specific details but promised they would be tailored for many different specs. (source 1, source 2)
  • Moonkin's PvP viability will get a boost: they will be able to cast Remove Curse while in Moonkin form. (source)
  • Tree of Life form will be able to cast Cure Poison and Abolish Poison. (source)
  • No changes planned for feral druids in this patch. (source)
What these changes mean to druids after the jump.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, News items

Innervate: Trainable Skill in Patch 1.11

In patch 1.11, the druid's 31-point restoration talent Innvervate will be made a trainable skill.  Replacing Innervate is a new talent called Swiftmend, which will consume a rejuvenation or regrowth effect to produce an instant heal (if you're familiar with the warlock's Conflagrate talent, it seems to be the same concept).  This should come as welcome news for raiding druids, who have long since been forced into restoration talent builds due to many guilds' requirement for Innervate.  Hopefully this change will allow end-game druids more flexibility to pick talent specs based on how they enjoy playing their characters, rather than their guilds' need for Innervate. 

Filed under: Druid, Patches, Guilds

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