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Shifting Perspectives: An early look at 5.2 for druids

Shifting Perspectives An early look at 52 for druids

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 discuss the future.

Happy New Year!

Hmm. I guess I'm a little late for that. Anyway, my no-notice household move is mostly complete, and I've finally had a chance to start breaking down the new changes for druids in 5.2. With the exception of Feral PvP, things look pretty positive across the board, so let's dive in!

Cyclone a-no-no

Cyclone is the crowd-control effect that everyone loves to hate. Unlike the vast majority of other CC effects in the game, Cyclone does not share a diminishing return category with other effects, meaning you could couple it with another CC from a teammate to lock down an enemy target for a long period of time. By itself, this wasn't the end of the world. While a "clone" was powerful, it had a short range and a cast time, making it difficult to land in the first place.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for druids in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport, with the inside line for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

Let's try to get you prepared for Cataclysm, shall we? In the new (banged-up, broken and burnt) world of the expansion, battlegrounds play will stand toe to toe with arenas as far as gear acquisition and quite possibly have even better participation. You don't want to miss out on that. Today we'll discuss the best PvP talents you can pick up as a druid, and you can decide for yourself what other talents to round out your PvP spec.

Perhaps the biggest change for druids in patch 4.0.1 is a new mechanic for balance druids called Eclipse, which relies on the buildup of lunar or solar energy conferred by casting either nature or arcane damage spells, respectively. This means that balance druids will be constantly trying to achieve an Eclipse by casting spells from one school, then shifting to another school once they've gotten the bonus. Out of all specs, balance plays the most differently compared to before the patch, but everyone gets fun tools to use in PvP. Let's check out all these toys across all specs.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

Shifting Perspectives: Tree 1, Arthas 0

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we save the world (of Warcraft).

Originally this week's article was going to concern stomping Karazhan from top-to-bottom as a feral/resto druid, and then I got Big Bad Wolf for the opera event. Suffice it to say that the stomping took an abrupt U-turn, and I never got pictures or video of the other Kara fights that I've successfully solo'd on dozens of other occasions (though I grant they were all occasions that did not include humiliating wipes to an overgrown dog). If I weren't in the middle of a time crunch it probably would've been doable, but regrettably I will have to run a feature on how to make 1,000 gold soloing Karazhan on a later date. In the meantime, Alaron's managed to solo Big Bad Wolf successfully, but my main is in the somewhat sticky situation of not being a night elf.

With the upcoming Icecrown raid buffs going all the way to 30% damage/healing/health/absorbs eventually, more and more raids are going to find their way to Arthas. Buffs aside, a lot of Arthas' difficulty lies in execution, and I started jotting down a few notes that I hope might be helpful to other druids likely to attempt the fight. We were fortunate to get both the 10- and 25-man version down, and I got astoundingly lucky on one 10-man attempt with back-to-back selections as a Harvest Soul target while I was running a video capture. I've seen a lot of comments online that caster druids aren't well-suited to dealing with this, and that's just not true at all.

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

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

Talents you hate


My main is a tanking feral druid who respecs to PvP resto pretty regularly (you know you're playing a hybrid class when your local trainer publicly thanks you for financing his boat payments), and every week I find myself staring at my talent calculator wanting to take a shillelagh to Nature's Focus. The Druid restoration tree has a lot of talents that leave you wondering what you're supposed to be using them for, and I nominate this one as winner, class, and show. Which says something, given the number of resto talents there are that either: a). make no sense if you take the 41-point talent Tree of Life, which virtually every raiding resto does, or b). also make no sense if you mostly PvP.

Rant after the cut.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Classes, Talents, Battlegrounds, Arena

Shifting Perspectives: That special versatility

It's often been said that druids are the three-in-one class: we can mimic warriors, priests, rogues (and even mages), but can't fulfill their respective roles as well as they themselves can. While in recent times druids have been able to gear up and perform as well as their parent classes in many respects, we are far from "warriors with stealth" or "rogues that can heal" or "priests that can off-tank in a pinch."

Our problem as druids is that we cannot but neglect the full breadth of our abilities when we must specialize in only one aspect of our class. Of course, any class works best in situations where most or all their abilities might be needed to succeed, sometimes even in the course of a single fight -- it's just that for druids these abilities include tanking, damage, and healing all together.

If you're playing with an experienced group, each player is likely specialized to one of these three roles, and his or her whole purpose is to minimize the chance that backup tanks, healers, and damage-dealers will be needed. That leaves druids trying to compete with warriors, rogues and priests (and mages), trying to do just as well at the same task, but with fewer abilities to call upon in the fight. Locked into these smaller roles, we must gear up and spend our talents in such a way that even if we were to shift out of our main role into another when the need arose, we wouldn't be able to do very well at it at all.

This brings me to the adventure at hand: Today we will go on an journey of the imagination together, exploring the potential future of druids, considering how this problem of specialization versus versatility might be approached. Indeed, as I gaze into my crystal-ball-shaped paper-weight, I see two possible futures: one, called "The Path of the Pandering Pedant," seeks nit-picky perfection in a class designed for breadth and scope, while the other, "the Way of the Multitudinous Master" brings the full manifest of all our abilities into harmonious use with one another.

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

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