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Posts with tag insect-swarm

Shifting Perspectives: An easier rotation for balance druids in Mists of Pandaria

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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 teach our treants how to charge their lasers.

Last week, we covered the issues that moonkin were having in Cataclysm. Happily, I'm able to say that the new design for Mists of Pandaria has corrected many of the glaring issues that I identified. While numbers remain fluid, of course, there's been some large quality-of-life fixes that have made moonkin much easier to play for the newcomer. I'm afraid, however, that somethings still remain that could use a tweak.

A simplified rotation

DoT abilities reworked First, while the mechanic of Moonfire becoming Sunfire while in a Solar Eclipse remains, both spells now have separate timers and no longer overwrite each other. This means that you can cast a Moonfire before entering Solar Eclipse, then cast Sunfire (with the same button, yay) and have two DoTs ticking for damage on the target.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Status update on current patch 4.0.1 issues


Vrakthris (Blizzard customer service representative) posted a list of major issues people are coming across in patch 4.0.1, along with updates and expected timetables on when some of them will be resolved. If you're having issues with any of the following topics, read on to find out what is currently being done about the situation.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Shifting Perspectives: Balance DoTs in Cataclysm

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, are taking a look at those two abilities that some druid seems to have forgotten. What sad, sad times these are.

Do you like that screenshot? That would be what happens when you cross a bugged version of Lunar Justice -- I don't even have the talent, I never had the talent -- with a large AoE group that swarms around you. You can hide entire Ancients in that thing; seriously, you can.

I have something that I must confess to all of you today; I've been a bit remiss in the work that I've done with all of the Cataclysm information that's going around right now. I've spent a lot of time focusing on topics such as Eclipse, mana regeneration and Moonkin Form -- all of which are very important -- yet I have completely failed to take into account the whole picture. How Wrath scales, the way in which Eclipse is influenced by RNG, how useful Moonkin Form may or may not be to a player -- these are all important, but so too is the value of our entire spell arsenal. To that end, I'd like to take you back into the downward spiral that is my life as a beta addict as we take a not so quick gander at how our lovable Moonfire and Insect Swarm are holding up their end of the bargain thus far in the next expansion.

Before that, let me say that I haven't done any testing of the new instances as of yet, mostly because I'm scared to -- very, very scared to -- so everything I've been doing is limited to questing and work on target dummies. These are nice tools, but they aren't quite the same as seeing how everything works out within a boss setting. Movement and other caveats to every boss encounter can heavily sway the importance of any single ability at the drop of a hat, so I am saddened that I haven't been able to actually get in and try my hand at any real encounter. There's a reason for it, though. Like I said, I'm scared; I'm scared because tank threat is really, really, really, really, really screwed up right now, and I have this thing against seeing my face splat against the ground, eating dirt. I cheat on my balance druid with a protection paladin from time to time, and running anything makes me want to cry at the moment. Until that's fixed ... you probably won't see me running much of anything.

Anyway, back on point of DoTs -- let's get right into it, shall we?

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: DoTs, a different direction

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. Once again we are delving into the world of balance druid DoTs and how they fit within our rotation. How can they be improved? Can Insect Swarm and Moonfire ever really be made interesting and fun?

The novelty of the newly buffed Starfall still has not worn off yet for me. Call me very easy to please, but nothing is more exciting to me than getting Omen of Doom, along with Frostforge Sage, then popping Starfall. Not that I particularly wait for this to happen, but that's usually how every pull starts for me; call it luck. Seeing upwards of 8,000 crits from an ability that I'm used to ignoring is thrilling beyond words that I could write. On the other hand, watching my DoTs tick for less than what my level 40 warlock is capable of hitting is more than slightly distressing.

It's no surprise to the balance community that our DoTs have, once again, become a much more insignificant portion of our rotation. Though still worth casting within the rotation, it saddens me when my tier 10 four-piece bonus actually provides more damage than Moonfire or Insect Swarm over the course of a fight. Really, there's a part of me that just can't wrap my head around the concept. It's gotten so bad, now that I'm no longer running Glyph of Insect Swarm, that I don't want to look at my damage reports any more.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Are DoTs worth it?

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we are going to explore the issues surrounding the use of damage over time effects in a balance druid's rotation, as we figure out if they are pewpew worthy, or just plain peew.

If you are like me and have played a balance druid since before people knew that druids had a spec that wasn't restoration, then this question isn't a new one to you. The sad truth of the balance spec is that a vast majority of our damage potential is tied up into our main nukes; Starfire and Wrath. Moonfire and especially Insect Swarm have, for the most part, always been at the bottom rung of our damage potential. Back in The Burning Crusade, when balance was first considered to be 'viable' by the mainstream, Insect Swarm was never used in a raid setting due to its poor damage. Although Moonfire held strong, by the Sunwell level, balance druids were able to get so much haste and crit that even our staple of staple spells was left in the dust.

Swing around to Wrath of the Lich King, and there have been some major strides to fix this issue. When the expansion first came out, there were two key talents, Nature's Splendor and Improved Insect Swarm, added to boost our DoT damage. Even then, Insect Swarm was falling too far behind by the time players were in Naxx level gear, but this time around there was some quick work on the part of the development team to remedy the situation. Insect Swarm had its scaling and base damage increased to be viable once again. Not to mention that our three standard issue PvE glyphs have all centered around our DoTs. However, we are no longer in Naxx, we are now in Icecrown Citadel, and the issue of DoT damage is coming up once again.

Are Insect Swarm and Moonfire holding up in terms of damage? Is their scaling sufficient to keep them in our rotations? Let's take a look.

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Filed under: Druid, (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

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

Shifting Perspectives: Moonkin in 3.02 and beyond

Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer realizes that nobody writing about moonkin DPS on the internet agrees with each other, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert, having Hibernated John Patricelli and run away as fast as her laser-chicken legs will carry her, examines the new moonkin talents and glyphs in 3.02 and Wrath.

I do apologize about the wait here, folks. There's been a lot of contradictory information from both the beta and an array of Druid bloggers on how moonkin are shaping up for Wrath. While a lot of this is just the normal ebb and flow of changes in the alpha and beta, most of it is fueled by a few new talents and the set of glyphs that will become available. All of these have the potential to seriously impact your gameplay and rotation choices, so Balance DPS is going to be (at least, from current appearances) a lot twitchier and more proc-dependent than its counterpart in the feral tree. In addition, you'll probably have to make a few hard choices that will be affected by what your raid's going to need from you (although there is a truly amazing talent deep in the balance tree that, no matter what else you pick, is going to be a significant raid DPS contribution). As Balance is the only spec that I haven't gotten to raid on, I didn't want to go live with this until trying to figure out which pieces of information were accurate and which ones weren't. Bear in mind that Blizzard is still tinkering with Balance as I write this.

For the guide to feral in 3.02, head here; for the guide to resto in 3.02, head here. You'll probably want to be familiar with the resto changes, as balance has traditionally depended on a few key talents in that tree, some of which have changed. Otherwise, read on for a comprehensive look at balance's new talents, updated skills, and glyphs!

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

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

Tanking Rogue 3: Return of the Gaeowyn, or Illidan dies


You've seen him tank Shahraz and a 5-man Gruul run, and now Gaeowyn, of the Shards of Existence guild (US Illidan-A), has struck again. Technically, he gave us some teaser footage about this back at the end of his Shahraz video, but he's now released a full video of a successful Illidan tanking. As on his last 2 videos, Gaeowyn was able to use gear, talents, and buffs to stack enough dodge and parry to fully avoid all physical attacks (with a little help from Scorpid Sting and Insect Swarm, of course).

Alas, it looks like this will be his last video. He says that he doesn't want to wear out the concept -- after all, there's only so many videos you can make of a rogue standing in front of a giant monster and dodging a lot. In addition, he's switched characters to a priest to help his guild with a shortage of healers. I'll miss the series, myself, if only because it's great to see people conquer challenges in unconventional ways. It makes the game a little fresher and a little more interesting.

[Thanks for the forward, Allen!]

Filed under: Rogue, Machinima, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

The tanking Rogue strikes again, 5-mans Gruul


You may remember Gaeowyn, the Rogue from Shards of Existence who tanked Mother Shahraz thanks to an insane amount of dodge via agility. She's struck again, this time taking down Gruul with herself tanking, along with a Paladin (with Blessing of Kings), a Shaman (with Grace of Air), a Hunter with Scorpid pet Sting, ad a Druid (using Insect Swarm in addition to Mark of the Wild, of course). After all the buffs and debuffs, she had 76.31% dodge, 12.16% parry, and 14.16% chance to be missed, resulting in 102.63% avoidance. She posted a link to her spec and gear for tank mode, too. The video's short, but it took them a little over 23 minutes to down him. They also got to discover that his Growth caps out at a 30-stack, and that it expires after 5 minutes.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Buffs

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