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Posts with tag moonkin

Shifting Perspectives: If moonkin could fly


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. This week is all about questions, and whether or not moonkin are too fat to fly. Hey, if you can dream it, then anything is possible, right?

Cataclysm
is coming out soon, The Shattering is just around the corner, and the entire world is in chaos. Life certainly is grand, isn't it? During these troubling times, players have many questions about the changes that are occurring and that have already occurred -- questions about rotations, specs, glyphs, questing, leveling, dungeoning, and raiding. I like questions, and I like answering them even more; however, there is nothing so pure as a question. Questions are a beautiful thing, and that is what I would like to focus on in this article.

People (myself included) seem to have a love of asking questions, but the sad thing is that their sole focus also seems to be on the answers, never the question itself. That's a vital flaw; it is never about the answer, but it is always about the question. Asking the right questions can sometimes be far more important than getting the answers -- which is why I want to know your questions.

What is is about balance druids -- anything about balance druids -- that you would like to know? What are your dreams for balance druids? If your balance druid could do anything, anything at all, what would you like it to be? As for myself, I have plenty of questions.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Dungeon diving in 4.0.3 and beyond

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. This week we are going in the darkest, smelliest, most fantastical places around Azeroth in search of epic loot, epic encounters, and hopefully being able to come out alive by more than the skin of our teeth.

It seems that my fellow Shifting Perspectives cohort Allison Robert miffed a few people in her latest installment in regards to druidic lore, so I'm going to add a bit of clarification -- because I'm that much of a nice guy. The tauren were not the first druids; the night elves were the first druids. In fact, the first druids were clearly the blood elves -- who captured the Naaru Elune, sapped her nature-ness and used her holy powers to create a race of super-druids that then spread chaos across Azeroth. Their destruction was so terrible that they were banished to Outland, where they constructed Botanica, an interdimensional spaceship, in an effort to grow their own world tree and conquer the universe as we know it. This conquest was only thwarted by Rhonin going back in time to slay the blood elf druid leader, High Botanist Freywinn, before their project could be completed, leaving the blood elf druids stranded in Botanica until wayward adventurers butchered them all as they made their way toward Kael'thas Sunstrider.

And now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Now that we all have our facts straight, I want to get down to the business of talking about dungeon diving as it will be in Cataclysm. It's common knowledge by now that future dungeons are nothing akin to what we have seen in Wrath; mobs hit really flippin' hard, so hard that tanking an entire pack solo is entirely out of the question. Using CC is a requirement of the new dungeons, and it's not the only change that players need to be prepared for. Focusing on the tank's target, avoiding incoming damage, and possibly even healing yourself in times of trouble also need to be considered. Dungeons, particularly the heroics, can be very dangerous, and you should be as prepared for them as you possibly can.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Delving into balance PvP

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. After indulging in some stunning dance movies by Irarenovo of Shattered Hand, it's time to get back to the not-as-fantastical world of balance PvP. Some hate it, some love it, but everyone needs a little bit of killing in life.

Generally, I start each PvP article that I write with the disclaimer that I am not an avid PvPer; this one is not any different. However, this is a caveat that I need to add to that disclaimer: I am not an avid arena player, and due to the dominance of arena play in WoW PvP, it has pretty much closed out what PvP I do enjoy.

I am a BG player. I love BGs, and given the choice, I could play in BGs night and day. In my opinion, BGs are the truest form of PvP. I don't want to be thrown into a little box and told to fight like a Roman gladiator. I want objectives, I want give and take, I want the tactical aspect of a battlefield. Perhaps it's because I was raised by a massive war nerd who drilled tactics into my head night and day -- understanding the meaning of tactical losses, of forcing hands, of overextending.

There is a reason for bringing up a bit of my own history here, and that's because balance druids (in my opinion, at least) are the experts of tactical PvP play. We are a highly adaptive spec that can take on many forms depending upon gear, spec and glyph choices. We can play as a skirmisher, a powerhouse, a controller or even a tank in the right settings. Balance druids have many PvP faces, and each has seen success in a variety of different ways throughout WoW's PvP history. The tanking form held great success in parts of The Burning Crusade, and although balance wasn't particularly strong in Wrath, some players did manage to garner success playing either heavy control or wrecking balls. Today, we re-evaluate all of those faces and see how they might play out in Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Hopes for balance PvP in Cataclysm

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, we take a quick dip into the PvP pool, as we glance at what the future holds for balance druids wishing to pummel other player's faces.

It is a rather well known fact that I am not the most hardcore of PvP players. I enjoy it from time to time, especially battlegrounds, but when it comes to high-end arena play, that's just a little bit out of my league. I know the theory of it, as much as there can be theory on PvP. I read what those in the higher echelons are doing and say, and I watch those better than me to refine my skills, but it's just not meant to be. I am fine with my own status in the PvP world; I don't particularly seek to top any bracket. I mention this as a preface to the rest of this article because I want to talk about the issues that I have personally seen and read about, with the understanding that I am not a PvP guru.

As a further introduction to the topic, it's important to reflect a moment on how balance PvP stands right now. In its current state, balance PvP isn't so much broken as it is excessively difficult; perhaps even "difficult" isn't the correct word to use, either. Balance druids are more of a support class when it comes to PvP, but they rely upon the support of others in order to function. We have never really been able to fend for ourselves, so to speak; we bring great control tools, but only in a limited sense. We have a decent amount of burst, but we still require the assistance of others in order to both finish players off and to help set us up. We aren't exactly in a bad position, but neither are we in a great one. We float along in limbo, and our major hope for change is with Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: The balance of changes for balance druids

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, we are once again delving into the wild world of beta to see what's been fixed, what remains broken and what is just awesomsauce.

Greetings once again, fellow moon chickens. This week has been an exciting one for balance druids everywhere, just in case you haven't been paying attention. The latest beta push made many a remarkable changes to our talent tree and for our playstyle; certainly all of the changes that have been made thus far have been lauded by the community as a significant breakthrough toward everything that we have been pushing for this entire beta cycle. Those who know me, however, know that I am not one to throw parades. Some may call it being cynical; others might say that it's downright pessimistic -- but I like to think that I am merely a perfectionist, and as we all know, nothing can be perfect. To that end, while this is certainly a cheerful week to be a balance druid, let us reflect on those changes that still need to be made, the issues that have remained unaddressed and the problems that beta players are still finding with our spec in the next expansion.

Before going into the humdrum of negativity, the bleak abyss of the perpetual rain cloud of doom that seems to surround me, let's at least bask in the glorious light of everything that has gone right this week in the land of overweight, feathered genetic research rejects.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Cataclysm beta: Balance druid build 12984

There is a new beta build of sorts out there that certainly has the World of Warcraft community all aflutter, and for good reason. Although the build is not yet implemented on the beta servers, MMO-Champion has released loads of new information related to the next build that contains loads of new treats for all classes, particularly balance druids. There's been no doubt over the last few weeks that balance has been in something of a poor state, with several glaring flaws floating about that players in beta and testing on the PTR have pointed out. Blizzard has been listening to those comments, and the newest build reflects that.

Let me reiterate once again that this build is not yet implemented on the beta servers; it is merely datamined information. While it's certainly accurate and reliable information, it does not mean that everything listed will be changed as listed or that all changes are currently listed. Certain game mechanics could still be changed without being listed, and things that are listed may be reverted before being released. With all of the rhetoric out of the way, let's get on with the show, shall we?

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: Balance druids in patch 4.0.1

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, we once again see the return of the infamous shroomkin as we jump onto the newly released PTR for a glimpse at how balance druids will function in the next expansion.

So, it is all finally coming to a close, it seems. The patch that will start the Cataclysm expansion process has hit the PTR, and all players are finally able to test some of the content that the WoW community has been abuzz about for months now. For some classes and specs, this is a day of revelry and excitement as they test their newfound glory, talents, abilities and resources. For balance druids, some are finding themselves more than a little disappointed over the changes that have been made thus far. They're a tricky thing, new expansions -- new abilities and talents, along with completely rebalancing damage potential across a wide array of concepts. Luckily, we are not also undergoing a major shift in DPS philosophy this time. This may seem like all bad news, but there is a load of good to go along with it.

Before I begin a discussion about the available changes, I first want to encourage everyone to download the PTR and test everything that you possibly can for yourself. While there will certainly be many players talking about the changes on the forums and their personal blogs, it is always better to get a first-hand knowledge and see the concepts for yourself; your own experiences are always a far better judge than anything that anyone writes. Remember to try and focus on those things that you love the most; while raiding content may be difficult to try, PvP content, solo content and dungeon content are also on the PTR. Trying specific content will better allow you to judge specific issues that you may personally find within that content. The tools that are useful in each situation vary significantly.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Heroic ICC for balance druids -- Plagueworks and Frostwing Halls

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, we are exploring two of the four wings in Heroic ICC. Be prepared to face some of the most challenging content the game has to offer, folks -- it only gets real from here on out.

Here we are -- it's another week and another great time at the office. Well, the office is merely an internet myth, but my room is comfortable enough as is; it even has a sweet "Life's a Beach" coffee mug and everything. Last week, we talked about the first two wings of heroic ICC, the Lower Spire and the Crimson Hall; this week, we'll continue with the next two wings. Unfortunately, I won't be able to cover heroic Lich King since, well, I haven't yet been able to complete the encounter, and I think it would be remiss of me to try and give out information on an encounter that I'm still working on. If you have any questions on the Lich King encounter, I'd be more than happy to talk shop about it, so just send an email or leave a comment and we can get to it; otherwise, it won't be something that's likely to appear in this article.

Last week, I forgot to issue a fair warning, and for that I do apologize. Everything that I discuss here is my opinion based upon how my guild has completed these encounters and the things that I have experienced while doing them. There are multiple ways to complete every encounter, and your guild may have a completely different strategy depending on group composition that works for you. This doesn't make either you or me any less wrong, just different. That's the beautiful thing about WoW; even in the rigid isolation of PvE encounters, there are always multiple methods to deal with every encounter or boss ability depending on the resources that a guild has available to them. I cannot promise that the methods I describe will work for your guild, but I will try and offer as many different options as I possible can and allow you to make the best choice for yourself.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Heroic ICC for balance druids -- Lower Spire and Crimson Hall

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, we are exploring two of the four wings in Heroic ICC. Be prepared to face some of the most challenging content the game has to offer, folks -- it only gets real from here on out.

I know, I know: No one cares about ICC any more ... Everything is all about Cataclysm ... So why bother talking about it? That's far from the truth, though. ICC still matters to many people. However, if you happen to be of the more pragmatic sort, then hear me out for a little bit. Most of the server-first and world-first kills may have already been claimed, but there is always loot to be had, gear that can be helpful for either soloing things now or leveling in the expansion. Beyond simple gear, heroic ICC is simply fun. People have argued that hard modes aren't quite the same as a truly difficult raid encounter because they are the same as the standard encounters -- perhaps true to a point, but heroic modes are really fun when they are done correctly. Heroic Putricide feels like a completely different encounter when done on heroic mode and is extremely fun.

Perhaps this issue is a little bit late in coming, and for that I apologize -- but it's better late than never, aye? To start with, the first order of business is to ensure that your guild is prepared to go against heroic encounters. The ICC buff can be very intoxicating to some players, and it may make you feel more prepared than you really are for these encounters. Perhaps, in some cases, you are, and perhaps in others, you are not. Not all heroic encounters are created equal; some are far more difficult than others. Since this issue will deal with the opening Lower Spire and the Blood wing, the three encounters you'd want to start with would be Marrowgar, Gunship and Blood Princes; Deathwhisper, Saurfang and Blood Queen Lana'thel would be the three more difficult encounters in these two sectors.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The sun and the moon

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. We've totally got this one down, right folks? You know the drill, huge army of baddies, you all by your lonesome; it's time to show them why we don't mess with moonkin. After all, who would want to try and tango with a creature powerful enough to cause a localized eclipse? And Eclipse is exactly what we're talking about. Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Greetings again, fellow moonkin. It's probable that I may start to sound like a broken record, but barring any significant changes of note, I want to visit the concept of Eclipse one last time. I know, I know ... It is something that I've spoken about before -- several times, in fact -- but it is a highly important concept for all of us. One might argue that it is the most important concept. I am not interested in the rotational aspect of Eclipse this time, although it is a factor that will be mentioned; instead, I would like to discuss the other aspects of Eclipse.

You see, there is a very specific reason why I feel compelled to speak about Eclipse one last time. Since its inception in Wrath, Eclipse has become everything to balance druids. It is the focal point of our damage; it is the core of what we are balanced around. Balance druids will rise or fall with Eclipse; should it fail, then we too shall fail. Gloom and doom as all that may seem, I am not attempting to suggest that Eclipse is, in its current state, a terrible concept that will be the end of balance druids. Quite the contrary -- I think the current version of Eclipse on beta is rather workable. I am merely attempting to stress the importance of why this has to be said. If Eclipse does not function as it should, then there is simply no hope for us. There are no other options, no other avenues to pursue; Eclipse is the final destination.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Cataclysm Beta: Balance druid changes

Blizzard snuck in another beta build last night, and it was more than a little exciting for the balance druid side of the world. Although I wouldn't say that druids or balance in particular were the "primary" focus of this build, as paladins have been in the past few builds while Blizzard fixes the new holy power mechanic, it certainly held quite a number of changes that we've been looking forward to for a long time. I've dawdled on long enough, though, so let's just get right on with it.

Spell changes
  • Faerie Fire range increased to 35 yards, up from 30 yards
  • Insect Swarm range increased to 40 yards, up from 35 yards
  • Starfire range increased to 40 yards, up from 35 yards
  • Entangling Roots range increased to 35 yards, up from 30 yards
  • Moonfire range increased to 40 yards, up from 35 yards
  • Wrath range increased to 40 yards, up from 35 yards
  • Cyclone cast time increased to 2 seconds, up from 1.5 seconds
  • Thorns now lasts 20 seconds, down from 10 minutes; damage increased by 1,400%
  • Wild Mushroom is now limited to 3 mushrooms, down from 5

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing up your moonkin for Cataclysm

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. Itemization in Cataclysm is changing, and this week we'll be talking about how you can prepare yourself for the oncoming storm.

I've talked quite a bit about various changes that are happening with balance druids in the coming expansion: the Eclipse changes, the talent tree changes, Moonkin Form and a slew of other topics as well. One vital change that I have somewhat neglected, however, is that to spellpower and intellect. Blizzard announced many moons ago that, come Cataclysm, the spellpower stat would be completely removed from the game; instead, raw intellect from gear would passively provide spellpower for all classes. The only exception to this rule would be caster weapons, which would still retain pure spellpower as a stat in order to balance the difference between a melee player's gaining strength/agility and weapon DPS versus a caster's simply gaining intellect. Unfortunately, this is a change that's come and gone untouched.

As a core concept, removing spellpower to allow intellect to provide the same bonus is a strong change. To start with, it significantly reduces the time required to revamp lower-level quest rewards (despite the fact that most previous low-level quests are gone anyway, and thus, rewards would have had to be redone to a certain degree regardless), given that all of them already have intellect on them yet more often than not lack spellpower. This also allows for more commonality between all of the "base" stats: agility, strength, stamina and intellect (spirit is technically a secondary stat, not a primary stat). In removing spellpower and attack power as well, Blizzard allows for better balancing between spellpower and attack power values. Just as with spellpower, intellect is the new top dog in the caster stat options, especially for balance druids due to Heart of the Wild, Furor and leather armor mastery.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Moonkin mailbag, Cataclysm edition

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. Does anyone have a mailbox? I've had that little mail flag over my minimap for ages now, and it's time to go in an check out what I've got this week. That's right, it's time for another session of the moonkin mailbag!

Hey there again kids, it's that time of the week again! You know, there's something great about writing on Fridays. I get to kick off the end of the week, which to some people is the best part of every week. I'm not one of those people; every day is the same to me. There are no weekends or week beginnings -- just weeks. Instead, my weeks are tied to two entirely different days: Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tuesdays of course are WoW maintenance/patch days, which we all must obey; Thursdays are beta patch days. Perhaps that's a little bit nerdy, even a little bit excessive -- but apart from two-for-one drink specials (which you can find every night of the week somewhere, to be honest), there's little else to mark the passing of the days.

Unfortunately, this Tuesday and Thursday passed by rather uneventfully. There wasn't much new for balance druids on either front. People are still famished for Cataclysm information, though, and I aim to please. While there isn't much new to report, there are still a lot of things out there that haven't been covered; a lot of questions that people have been asking that I haven't answered as of yet. So here are the answers for you now -- all the random stuff you might have been wondering about. If you have another question that isn't answered, feel free to ask! I'll answer everything as best I can.

As a generalized disclaimer, there might be some spoilers in this edition. I've tried to keep them down as best I can, but you never know ... So read at your own risk.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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: Recreating balance druids in Cataclysm

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, we are watching a moonkin dance with a mushroom once again, mostly because it amuses me, and talking about all the recent beta goodies. Mmmm, I like goodies.

I do believe I made a promise last week that I'd discuss some Cataclysm information this week, and I intend to make good on that promise. There's certainly quite a lot of information to talk about, should you actually be a person who sleeps at a decent hour like most folks; luckily for all of you, I am not one of those people. As per usual, later into the night for most of us, Blizzard released another beta patch with a number of balance changes: a talent tree polish (a basic one, but a polish pass nonetheless) and yet another revision of Eclipse. There's actually a good deal to be excited for this time around. Now, we aren't paladins, so I wouldn't be jumping out of your chain to go running naked down the street screaming in joy ... But a little "whooo!" is appropriate.

Before we get started talking about all of the new changes, let me first mention a few things that are currently missing, bugged or simply not yet implemented. First and foremost, Eclipse in of itself does not currently work in beta. The bar works, you can shift the bar in every direction that you like, and the procs certainly work; however, the procs currently don't actually do anything. There's no bonus damage there at all, but this a bug from the mastery change when they switched over the talent trees. This actually brings up the next point: We still do not have any specialization effects as of yet, and frankly, I'm a bit at a loss as to what they might end up being. Previously, I assumed that they would merely be the old mastery effects, but looking at elemental shaman, I don't think that will be the case.

It is safe to assume that one of our mastery effects is going to be Vengeance, to help difference ourselves from other druids. Another will likely be pushback resistances, and I'd venture to guess that the old Wrath of Cenarius benefit will also be baked in there. If there will be anything else, I cannot really say. Last but certainly not least, there are still a few things missing from the talent trees -- the effects of Improved Moonkin Form still haven't been found anywhere else that I've seen, anyway -- so I still wouldn't expect this to be the last pass on the druid talent trees. Things are still very likely to change from how they stand now, so don't get too upset. With that out of the way, let's get started.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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