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Posts with tag moonkin

Shifting Perspectives: Balance druid talents and the illusion of choice

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Balance news comes at you every Friday. Learn how to master the forces of nature, and know what it means to be a giant lazer turkey! Questions, comments, or something you'd like to see? Email tyler@wowinsider.com.

I often wonder how many people still remember beta. I mean, people will sometime reference beta now and again, but I often wonder how many people really remember everything that even just their own class or spec went through. For balance, one of the larger issues that we had was one of talent choices. The talent spec then was excessively bland. There was no choice, no variation, only the single option.

Balance has changed since then -- quite a great deal, in fact -- yet how much of a choice is there within our talent choices? How much of a difference does choosing the "right" or "wrong" talents really make in our performance? There are lots of variables to choose from, but how much of them are actually a choice and how much of them aren't truly an option?

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Starsurge and the balance druid outlook for patch 4.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Balance news comes at you every Friday. Learn how to master the forces of nature, and know what it means to be a giant lazer turkey! Questions, comments, or something you'd like to see? Email tyler@wowinsider.com.

New patches -- I'm still not sure how I feel about them every time that they come around. Sometimes, you get the overjoyed feeling of being buffed; other times, you get the heart-wrenching experience of nerfs. I'm not quite sure if the pleasure is always worth the pain. All in all, though, I am not seeing 4.1 as being a major class balancing patch -- if Blizzard is to be believed -- so this should hopefully be a quick, short rollercoaster ride.

As of right now, there aren't too many druid changes in the patch notes, but what there is seems to be rather disheartening for balance. More specifically, though, I want to brush up on the hot button issue of the day: the nerf to Starsurge. There are a lot of opinions floating around out there and a lot more misinformation. Although I wanted to avoid posting about the patch notes until there was more to tell, I think now would be the best time to go into this issue before something gets out of hand.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Balance druids vs. the Twilight Ascendant Council

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Balance news comes at you every Friday. Learn how to master the forces of nature, and know what it means to be a giant lazer turkey! Questions, comments, or something you'd like to see? Email tyler@wowinsider.com.

Greetings, most beloved druids. I find myself in an unfortunate circumstance this week in that I am slightly under the weather, which may be a bit of an understatement -- but I refuse to believe I am actually sick. So if the article is a bit more light or difficult to understand this week, then I do apologize in advance. My medication is being a little harsh on me.

Personal issues out of the way, last week's column saw the fall of the exalted Cho'gall. Continuing with our strange, backwards running of the instance, this week brings us against the Twlight Ascendant Council, a rather vicious combination of elemental lords that will do anything it takes to prevent you from reaching their master. Prepare yourself for a rather difficult encounter with this one, folks, and the best of luck to you all. It's dangerous out there alone, so take a friend -- I'm all out of kittens.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Balance in Throne of the Four Winds

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. This week, we'll fight a giant blob of wind ... or air ... or something like that. It'll be totally awesome guys -- I promise!

Greetings once again, my druidic companions! In the previous weeks, we valiantly struggled once again to end the life of two of Deathwing's children. It wasn't an easy victory, to be sure. This week, we put ourselves against a new foe: the elemental lord of air Al'Akir. The elemental lords have always been quite chaotic in nature, once serving as a part of the Old Gods' armies when they ruled Azeroth. It comes as no surprise, then, that the wind king (much like the fire lord) has thrown his lot in with Deathwing.

On a side note, I think this creates the perfect opportunity to bring up why this proves that druids are vastly superior to shaman. Sure, both groups may harbor some control over the natural forces of the world, but the shaman rely upon the elements in order to perfect their art. These elements are quite fickle. Oh sure, they can beg and plead to have the elements bless them, but what do they do when the elements say "no"? Druids don't have this weakness. We control nature itself; we are the rightful caretakers of this world. Personally, I say the next war should be between the Cenarion Circle and the Earthen Ring. We've pretty much fought against all of the elemental lords in one form or another; I think it's high time we targeted the root of the problem. I'm just sayin'.

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Shifting Perspectives: Raiding late Blackwing Descent as a balance druid

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. This week, we'll be mopping up our adventures into a dragon's lair. That's always a fun task ... assuming you don't get eaten. Remember, you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup, so be careful.

Welcome back to another week of basking in the glory of being an overweight hybrid space create that probably belongs in a zoo. Love me some Moonkin and all, but, let's face it people, we're a tad on the fantastical side; and I don't just mean the fact that we shoot crazy green balls of something that only the flying spaghetti monster knows what. In case you missed it, last week's part 1 of Blackwing Descent can be found here.

As an aside, I should say that I am stoked to be a raiding balance druid for the first time in the history of WoW. It was a blessing to be one of only a handful of balance druids raiding back in vanilla, but I always felt that I was really only there because the guild liked me as a player and to prove that it could still be done. TBC was an improvement, but it was never about damage then; we were just group buff bots that offered an increase in group damage while only being mediocre ourselves. Wrath got a lot better where balance was finally recognized for the damage that it could pump out, but we never really had a moment in the sun where we were considered to be a powerhouse DPS spec to the point that a guild felt they were missing something by not having us. Now though? Now I cannot fathom to be a guild without a balance druid, and it's even worth it to have two sometimes! Our damage is more than acceptable; we're far more viable than we ever have been for raiding, and I love it.

So let's talk about downing some bosses, shall we?

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Raiding early Blackwing Descent as a balance druid

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Triple moonkin! All across the sky! It can only mean one thing, that's right kiddies: It's raiding time. Strap on your big boy pants -- things are about to get serious. Seriously.

OMG, OMG, OMG it's here! Yay, I actually did something that I said I would do. This is such a drastic change for me that I think I'll write a whole article on how important this momumentous event is, instead of actually writing about boss tactics and annoying things like that. No? Not feeling it? I suppose I can go ahead with the normal plan, although I think the other idea was much better.

Raiding thus far has been rather hit-or-miss, in my opinion. Perhaps I'm jaded, but many of the encounters feel a tad ... simplistic, or at least far easier than they should be. Certain encounters, and especially the end encounters of all three raids this tier, are tough and fun, but the in-betweens seem a little weak at times -- but again, that's just me. For example, I spent more time wiping on the first boss of Grim Batol when it showed up as my first heroic ever than I did on Magmaw. Maybe that's just us; I don't know.

Whether or not you agree, raiding is about being prepared. We've covered gearing yourself up for raids to death, so let's get on with the second part of those preparations.

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Shifting Perspectives: PTR 4.0.6, balance and you

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids.This week, I'm going picture hunting. If you happened to send any in last week, chances are I didn't get them. Our emails over here recently changed, and I can now be reached at tyler@wowinsider.com. So send your pics!

Okay, okay, so I know that I had originally promised to start doing the raiding guide this week, and I was so totally going to do that, but the information that's currently up on the latest PTR is just too juicy to pass up. Like the mythical GC pony, the raid guide will come next week, I promise.

The PTR doesn't hold a lot of information for balance druids overall, but what it does hold is amazingly amazing. (Props to those who know where that one comes from.) There are a few nerfs, and they come in areas where we really needed buffs instead, but there are quite a number of buffs out there as well that can certainly whet the palate. There are also some important profession and general changes that will help everyone, including balance druids. I'm normally not a fan of huge balancing patches such as these that come out so soon after an expansion is released -- rage, what good was beta, and all that -- but at least we are finally getting these changes now.

And what changes are those? Oh, why, I'm so glad that you asked.

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Shifting Perspectives: Balance druid raiding gems, enchants and glyphs

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids.This week, I'm going picture hunting. If you have any screenshots of your moonkin being the awesomeness that s/he is, then send them to tyler@wow.com. I promise to abuse them liberally.

You've got your gear, you've read all the strategies, but there's always that little something more. I know that gearing is perhaps getting a little overdone at this point, but there are still a few points to cover, after which it's on to boss guides. Yes, there was much rejoicing. Mostly it's more so a matter of getting these bosses down myself. Perhaps it's different for some of you, but I am a very tactile learner. I can read day in and day out on what to do, how to stand, where to move, but none of it really helps me until I've actually gone and seen the encounter itself. For that reason, I like to experience bosses at least once before I write about them.

It doesn't take much to write out a generic boss guide -- and I do not mean that as a bash on TankSpot or the various other guide sites; they are all highly useful -- but writing for a specific class is different. There are small little tweaks and adjustments that every class and spec can make for each boss that simply can't be conveyed in a general guide. There isn't enough room for it. So, next week, I promise.

Until then, let's go into the final touches that need to be made to all that wonderful gear that you've collected at this point.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Cataclysm heroics guide for balance druids, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. So, it may not actually be Throne of the Tides, but you don't get to ride a seahorse as a moonkin, so I think it's cooler. That, and the LFG tool did not work with me this week in my dungeon selection. Blame RNG! Seriously!

Well, well, well, another week down, and it's that time again, folks. Last week, we began detailing the various ins and outs of the heroic dungeons that you'll be faced with. This week will be the second and final part of that series. Heroics can be easy or excruciatingly difficult, even now, even with quite a bit of heroic gear. Although gear certainly helps -- our guild heroic runs generally use a lot less CC now -- it is not what is going to make or break the success of a group. Completing dungeons is about strategy: knowing the fights and knowing how to cope with various mechanics. Doing this makes everything significantly easier.

I know the more casual players will cringe slightly at the thought. Heroics can take a lot of time. They can take quite a lot of effort as well, and having to put forth research and energy into a hobby can seem like it saps all of the fun out of the game. To you, I say this: Don't think of guides or strats as a requirement or a chore that you have to do in order to actually play the game. Just look at it as another facet of the game as a whole. Like chess, you wouldn't just move a piece at random; you would think, plan, and have a strategy.

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Shifting Perspectives: Running heroics as a balance druid, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. This week, we start the long dive into dungeons that will be consuming your life for the next few years. At least, until the next expansion.

You know all of the gear that you want to get out of heroics. You know that you need to get your one random heroic done each day. But you are constantly finding yourself struggling to get through the instances that you are placed in. Don't fret; this is actually a fairly common experience, even for those players who have done more heroics than they would have liked to by this point. Even when I do random PUGs, things can get rough. Sometimes the tank and/or healer is undergeared; sometimes the players are just new to the instance and don't quite have the feel for how things work.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong in a Cataclysm heroic dungeon, and anyone stepping into them should be prepared to wipe multiple times no matter how prepared they are. However, there are things that you as a balance druid can do to make any heroic instance you run more smoothly. Sometimes it's through CC, sometimes it's through knowing what does what, and sometimes it's by making use of every single tool that you have in your toolbox. This week is the first of a two-part series explaining in detail how balance druids can best assist their groups in heroics.

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Shifting Perspectives: Balance druid pre-raid gear guide

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. If you've been like me and chain running dungeons day in and day out, there are probably a few things that you are ready to wish never existed. Don't worry, I've got a plan to get rid of all those pesky rogues ...

Another week, another week. It seems that every week is another week, which I suppose it is. It's all philosophy, of course, which is a topic that I happen to enjoy just about as much as theorycrafting. That is why I also want to start today off with a little bit of both, but in a very light sense.

Now that most players have their mains up to level 85, the next grind is for gear in order to enter raids. Gearing is an essential part of the game; in fact, I'd say that half the battle for downing a boss starts before you even make that first pull. As during every new tier of gear released, everyone and their mother makes a best in slot list. I hate BiS lists.

Best in slot is highly debatable terminology, and there aren't many cases wherein any one particular item actually fits into that category -- even more so now, with the introduction of mastery and reforging. Generally speaking, an item is only going to be the universal best if it falls into one of two categories. Either that particular item is over-itemized in comparison to similar choices -- it's usually trinkets that fall here -- or there simply aren't any other choice at that item level. When you build a gear set, there really is more than one way to skin the proverbial cat. That is why I rarely ever refer to things as being BiS, and that is why I am writing a gear guide and not a BiS list.

The other issue I have with BiS lists is that they are highly specific. In many cases, they are only going to work out to be the best if you have all of the items on the list, particularly in respect to hit. That simply isn't always a feasible goal, especially if you run in a 25-man raid and there are multiple items that you have to win over several other people.

Philosophy and theory out of the way, let's get start on that gear list, shall we?

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Shifting Perspectives: Balance druid leveling in Cataclysm

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. This week, I'm running myself ragged trying to level and getting no sleep, relying purely on the soothing sounds of Coheed and Cambria and Dragon Force to keep going. Remember, I could still use your leveling screen shots, so send them in!

And the race is on! Cataclysm is finally here: new zones, new races, new quests, new dungeons, new raids -- everything new. By now, most of the hardcore types are probably already level 85. I remember the sadness of getting home from work at eight in the morning to see that half my guild was already level 83. Even this "late in the game," as it were, I would still like to bring up a bit about leveling specs. Not just leveling from 80 to 85, but starting fresh from level 1; alts do exist, you know, and some of us have more than one druid. (Guilty.)

Before we begin on this little journey, I want to say one thing; everything listed here is merely a suggestion from my point of view after leveling during beta and on live. There are other ways to spec for leveling, there are multiple ways to spec even at level 85, and what is written here is not a gospel. OK, well, some of it is -- but for the most part, you are always free to make up your own mind. Without further ado, here we go!

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

WoW Moviewatch: In My Moonkin Life

Beebles created In My Moonkin Life to help raise the community's awareness of the Moonkin Hatchling. For every hatchling sold through the Blizzard store between Nov. 29 until Dec. 31, 2010, Blizzard will donate 50 percent of the purchase price to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The video features Beebles taking a tour of Azeroth with his loyal companion. It's a great little video that's trying to help a great charity, so my hat's off to Beebles for the effort.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at machinima@wow.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Shifting Perspectives: Broken things that aren't

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. It's time again folks! A new expansion is on its way, and I want all of the cool shots you can snag of your balance druid living the life in the new world. Send anything you like to tyler@wow.com!

Welcome, balance druids! It's the week before Cataclysm, and all of the WoW internet is abuzz with excitement. This is the week of leveling guides; what zones are the best to quest in, which quests to avoid, which are a must, what spec and glyphs you should use to maximize your damage and uptime -- all that good stuff. If you are looking for such information in this week's Shifting Perspectives, then I'm sadly going to disappoint you this time. Fortunately for me, I've grown a thick skin that can withstand anyone's stare of disapproval, and I've got the Rent soundtrack blaring, so everything is splenda.

Instead of focusing on the leveling experience that everyone will soon get to enjoy, I want to talk about those quirky little things about balance druids that have become a bit of a topic as of late. A few of these issues are things that were brought up during the beta process; some of them are issues that only developed on live servers. A lot of things have changed recently, and the new WoW forums are all a-twitter with concerns both from and about balance druids. Will we "suffer" -- though I doubt anyone who's been playing a balance druid since release would call Wrath "suffering" -- another expansion with faulty mechanics? Not likely at this point, but there are always things worth improving and looking into.

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Shifting Perspectives: Balance racials and new abilities

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. This week, I am recovering from the after-effects of indulging in far too much food and reflecting on the changes to come -- oh, and getting some ever important Thanksgiving achievements done!

What a wonderful world we have entered. Thanksgiving has come and gone -- or just happening for some of us -- and the world of Azeroth has been shattered completely by the coming of Deathwing. Aside from the fires, destruction, earthquakes, and other destructive forces wrecking havoc across the land, everything seems to be going rather well. One of the biggest things to do at this point in the game is collect the new pets made available or level a new alt to check out new class/race combinations and the new quests that have appeared. Content for level 80s is a little bit dry at this point. Still, everything else aside, there are plenty of other issues to deal with.

Even though 4.0 has been out for a long while, there is still quite a bit of misinformation and questions out there that need to be addressed. I know that some of this is going to be a re-hash of "old" information, but please indulge me just this once on the matter. My concern, and the focus of this piece, is to bring to light issues that we're facing as well as to present options that we can use to work around those problems. Some of it is a little fluff, some of it may not seem exclusively balance-related, but all of it is important in the long run; trust me on that.

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