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Posts with tag mangle

Shifting Perspectives: Patch 4.0.1 for cat druids


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for bear, cat and restoration druids. Today we stop worrying about those inevitable moments where Rip and Savage Roar are due to fall off within seconds of each other, but are disturbed to discover that the feral damage bug remains.

Cats, in marked (and blessed) contrast to bears and resto, aren't changing a lot in patch 4.0.1 (barring a lingering DPS issue I'll talk about later), and the column I published earlier on the beta cat is still largely accurate if you want an ability-by-ability rundown on specific skills.

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

Encrypted Text: The rotation system


Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, we discuss the rotation model of DPS, and how it defines our class in every way.

Blizzard has a long history of taking popular addons and rolling their functionality into the game's base user interface. The first instance of this that I can remember was when Blizzard introduced its own quest objective tracking overlay, nearly copying MonkeyQuest's original configuration. The dev team also inserted dungeon maps for the various instances, taking a page out of Atlas' book. Their latest invention is a replacement for Power Auras, the popular notification mod that displays custom graphics when a specified event occurs.

Looking at the list of spells for which Blizzard created custom "spell activation" effects (thanks BB!), we see mostly random and reactive abilities on the list. Paladins will enjoy the art for Art of War, and every mage spec has a particular proc to watch patiently for. What intrigued me was that there is actually a spell activation effect for rogues, an orange lightning bolt that represents Slice and Dice. Slice and Dice, as any rogue will inform you, is not a random proc; it's a core part of our DPS and should be up at all times. While having a lightning bolt on my screen at all times sounds like fun, it got me thinking about the rogue DPS model. I utilize Power Auras extensively on every other character I play, yet I don't even have it enabled on my rogue.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

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: Answers to questions nobody asked

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, we get a beta key, and maybe a little sloshed.

After getting a beta key, it was my intent to hit the servers and write an FAQ/reader mailbag-type column, but I'm not going to do that today. I'm going to answer my questions, not yours. I don't care about any of you.

Well, that's not true. I do care. But I've been in the beta for less than a week and:
  • Half the stuff we've read about has been scrapped or just hasn't been implemented.
  • The other half is a writhing mass of angry, toxic bugs.
  • The servers crash like that drunk buddy who swore he'd only be on your couch for a few days but is still there weeks later and you poke him with a stick every morning to make sure he's alive and unfortunately he is.
  • About the most I could do without pulling several consecutive all-nighters was level a worgen and troll druid to level 13 as quickly as I could. Oh, and wipe a Blackwing Caverns group several times over.
Readers beware: while I may not answer any useful questions past the cut, there are still a few serious spoilers here.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Leveling 51-60



Every week, Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we haul ourselves to Outland and are shocked to discover that +spellpower sometimes comes on leather.


The above video is the result of an idle question I was asked recently by a friend: "So how much damage would you guys do in caster form meleeing?" I started to answer and then realized I had no idea. The notion of actually hitting something with a weapon is utterly foreign to the class. We have claws and a can of celestial pain for that nonsense if provoked, but still, the question was pretty interesting, particularly because after seeing Prinnygod's comment from last week I started to wonder about all the different ways you could level as a Druid if you deliberately avoided Cat and Moonkin. Sure, you'd be a gibbering wreck at the level cap, but that's beside the point. Blizzard once had a talent called Weapon Balance in the Balance tree that improved our melee damage with weapons by 10% -- they were expecting us to hit things. I wondered how that would have worked out if Druid talent trees had never been overhauled.

So I took my main to the mobs outside the Argent Tournament and smacked stuff while running a stopwatch. What you'll see here is a level 79 Frostbrood Whelp with 12,600 health which took me 34.4 seconds to kill, with two global cooldowns devoted to casting a Rejuvenation and then a Lifebloom. I'm currently on a Feral (Bear) spec and thus wearing gear that does help one's melee damage, mind you, but that still works out to a godawful 366.28 DPS. The moral of our little story can be found at the end of the video. Master of Arms is going to be a real trip.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Leveling, Guides, (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

Insider Trader: Patch 3.2 profession change analysis


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Over the past few days, some upcoming professions changes for Patch 3.2 have been announced, and although they are not as detailed as they could be, several of the changes will have quite an impact.

First and foremost, every profession-specific buff is being upgraded. This includes an Enchanter's ability to enhance their own rings, a Leatherworker's bracer enchants, and more. For a complete list of the current profession bonuses, check out Insider Trader's guide to Profession-Specific Buffs, parts one through three.

These buffs also answer some of the concerns surrounding the upcoming Jewelcrafting nerf that epic gems might be introduced without a buff to the Dragon's Eyes, which, in combination with the fact that these gems will no longer be prismatic, would effectively squash the Jewelcrafting bonus.

Jewelcrafters will also do well to note that they will be able to acquire epic gems by prospecting Titanium. Combined with a Blacksmith's two extra prismatic sockets, this powerful duo is one of the most popular profession combinations.

In addition, Engineers will be seeing some welcome changes to their profession that may make it more appealing. Unfortunately, some of the details have not been made public, so the competitiveness of their self buffs, for example, remains to be seen.

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Filed under: Fishing, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Jewelcrafting, Features, Insider Trader (Professions)

Shifting Perspectives: The Druid of 2008


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author is completely spaced out on cold medication, and is somewhat concerned that her raid performance has improved under the circumstances.

The time has come (the Allie said)
To talk of many things.
Of Roots and Bash and Travel Form,
And Strength (which scales with Kings).
Why Tauren cat form sucks so hard,
And whether trees have wings!

And, yes, before anyone asks, I'm tripping on too much cough syrup and ibuprofen after receiving a belated viral Christmas gift from a relative. So I'll just put this out there right now; this column's probably on the weird side. I took a long look at all three Druid specs over 2008 and saw a few sad things, a few happy things, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants, and now I'm channeling the famous Mary Tyler Moore episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust," and that has to stop because I do not believe Mary Tyler Moore ever played a Druid.

If you're completely uninterested in reading an account of any spec that's not your own -- although that would make me weep into my little cup of generic label cough syrup -- here's a set of quick links to each:

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, The Burning Crusade, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

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

[UPDATED] I was a teenage Zombie


You probably heard about that cool, new World Event that just started today. It's not related to Hallow's End, although it seems thematically perfect, doesn't it? It's really all part of the Arthas' plan to invade Azeroth, and I have to say that being part of the Lich King's army isn't at all bad...

First, you have to get infected. This is easy to do as there are Conspicuous Crates all over -- I clicked on some from Booty Bay -- which will give you a 10 minute debuff called 'You're Infected!'. The only way to cure the debuff is to be in the vicinity of an Argent Healer [EDIT: It can be cured by Paladins, Priests, and Shamans, too. Those killjoys!], who will heal you automatically with several yards. If you want to serve the Lich King, stay away from the major cities until you get turned. If you don't get cured within 10 minutes, you will, like me, turn into a zombie!

[UPDATE: If you transform into a zombie, you will need to keep on killing things. Otherwise, you will constantly lose health until you die and return to your normal state. The ability Bite! is a passive effect that happens whenever you attack, so you'll constantly need to keep attacking. This prevents zombies from traveling very far without killing.]

When you turn into a zombie, you'll get a whole bunch of unique abilities. The first is Mangle!, which is your basic melee attack on a 3 second cooldown. It's fairly weak, but the best part of the ability is that it seems to shave minutes off infections. Attacking players or NPCs will infect them, so be ready to spread the plague. Players and NPCs that die with infections will transform into zombies immediately, as will players whose infections run the course naturally or through zombie attacks. With a little cooperation, you'll soon have a zombie army of your own!

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Filed under: Events, Wrath of the Lich King

Skill Mastery: Berserk

Berserk, the new 51-point talent in the Druid's Feral tree is...what day is it? Thursday? They change it a lot. Anyway, the talent originally combined elements of The Beast Within with Last Stand, but they've disengaged the +health component and made it a separate talent entitled Survival Instinct. The talent that remains affects both Bear and Cat form and does the following:
  • Mangle (Bear) will automatically hit up to 3 targets and is spammable (i.e. no cooldown)
  • Cat form abilities cost 50% less energy
  • Breaks Fear and makes you immune for the duration of Berserk
Berserk lasts for 15 seconds and Tiger's Fury is unusable while it's active, at least in the talent's current form. But odds are pretty good you'll be too busy rolling your face across the keyboard and shouting, "Faster, pussycat! Kill! Kill!!" to notice this.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Guides, Classes, 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

Shifting Perspectives: Leveling and Talent specs

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, sometimes known as the Big Bear Butt Blogger, continues the new Druid leveling guide with leveling Talent specs from 10 to 70.

Welcome back to tips on leveling your new Druid!

In previous articles, we've talked about getting your UI and Addons set up the way you'd like, the basics of casting tactics and timing your abilities, and leveling up to 10.

We finished the last article by getting your bear form, unlocking your Talent trees and getting your very first Talent point.

In this section, we're going to explore Leveling Talent specs in more detail, and not just levels 11-20, but leveling all the way to 70.

So let's get started!

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, Talents, Alts, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The forgotten feral form

Shifting Perspectives is the Druid column normally written by someone else other than Ryan Carter, but he is currently cutting his level 68 teeth on everything that moves, so he is filling in for your regularly scheduled Druids, who are on vacation in Nagrand and points beyond.

Moonkins, mongeese, and bears oh my! Is there a reason that everyone hates cats, or is it that no one likes them? As a Druid, I hear about Dire Bear tanks, I hear about those party-animals, the Moonkins dps-ing their way into the lime light, and of course those restro Druids, who hang out with healers. What about the feral kitty? Why does no one play them but me? Is it harder to be a cat, or is it just a misunderstood sub-class? Personally, I love playing the cat, since there are many advantages to this spec. Sure, bears, owlbeasts and trees are great, but since I am biased, let me explain what I consider to be the distinct advantages of playing a kitty.

First off, Prowl (stealth) is an extremely powerful tool in groups, solo, or in an instance. Rogues have this ability too, but putting 3 early talent points into Feral Instinct makes it even harder to detect you when roaming around (like a talent rogues have). Stealth is useful for recon, figuring out the best way to pull a difficult group in an instance or for doing things other classes can't even dream of doing, like soloing LBRS to get your own Smolderweb Hatchling or Worg Pup. I was a level too low to be running LBRS in daylight, yet was inside stealthing through LBRS to get my pets, all alone. Wanna be the talk of the town or do the impossible before it should be possible, roll a druid.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Talents, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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