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Posts with tag rejuvenation

Blood Pact: A pewpewer's notes from tanking and healing

Blood Pact A pewpewer's notes from tanking and healing MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill muses about tanking, healing, and why she really does play a DPS.

I have a confession: I was once a tank. Technically I could have been half a tank, because I think I healed just as often, but once upon a time I rolled a druid with the intent of getting a melee DPS perspective.

One night in Wrath of the Lich King, my first guild had some trouble with kiting the adds on Gluth. So we upped the tank count to 3: the paladin tank moved to the back for holy tag with the undead while the former-bear warrior walked me through my feral spellbook as I sat in bear form on that pipe. I think it was the extra Mauls that hooked me. I became a bear tank with a branch-waving offspec.

I have fond memories of alt or PUG raids where I had cooldown-busting health pools and hero-bear resurrections between Gormok's death and the arena entrance of Acidmaw and Dreadscale. But as my guild tore apart in the beginnings of Icecrown Citadel, I've been back to pewpewing from the back as a warlock. My bear is merely an alt.

But my bear has made my warlock a little stronger.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives: When healers run out of options

Tree of Life in patch 4.3's new heroic 5-man, End Time.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, the upcoming Wild Growth nerf gets us thinking.

As with our previous Shifting Perspectives on tanking and healing the Zandalari 5-mans introduced in patch 4.2, I'd like to run an edition on tanking and healing the new Hour of Twilight, Well of Eternity, and End Time heroics. While I prep that, we've been left with an unpleasant but perhaps not totally unexpected nerf to Wild Growth as of last week's PTR patch notes.

Let us be frank, my brethren. Is Wild Growth overpowered? Yep.

Is it doing too much healing for too little effort? Probably. When even I can keep your ungemmed, unenchanted premade group's collective ass alive on my first trip into a new heroic despite getting lost and arriving at the group a minute late, a spell is way too good.

But is that completely irrelevant to why Wild Growth is really a problem? Yep.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Healers, selfishness and trouble ahead


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we stress the importance of pattern recognition.
Cirocco: I enjoy a healing model based around triage, quick reactions and maximizing output. I very much doubt I'll enjoy a healing model based around parsimoniously doling out mana and yelling at people who snipe my HOTs.
I've been guilty of a little pessimism concerning the restoration tree in Cataclysm. Many of my experiences healing on the beta haven't been good, and while I'm willing to allow for the likely possibility that that's just because I suck, it hasn't escaped my attention that a lot of druids have had the same hard time. Normal Cataclysm instances aren't bad if people are well-geared and play sensibly, but when things go wrong, it feels like you're emptying your mana into a group with nothing to show for it.

To be frank, it really is too early to evaluate whether the 5-man experience is representative of what we can expect in raids at 85, but I'm not worried about the numbers themselves. As Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) has reminded us, numbers are pretty easy to fix. What worries me is more systemic; right now, it's hard to escape the conclusion that what made the restoration spec succeed in Wrath of the Lich King is a bad fit for Cataclysm, and a lot of our effectiveness is going to depend on player behavior that I'm not sure is going to change.

EDIT: Naturally I had to finish this article shortly before new information concerning beta build 12857 became available. It's not live on the beta servers yet, and may not be (12857 might be a purely internal build, in which case I wonder who Boubouille paid off), but there are a few things there that would have impacted how I wrote this column.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: A limited number of people know the troubles I've seen

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, we equivocate on the best means of filling a bottomless pit.

Beta build 12759 dropped early Saturday morning, and with it the introduction of mastery and quite a few changes to the feral and restoration specs. I think Blizzard may even have fixed some of the issues with feral damage, but the newest bug on the block is making that a little difficult to tell. The default scrolling combat text is now broken -- you can't see how much damage or healing you're doing to hostile mobs or friendly players, respectively -- so at best, you're confined to guesses based on how much health the mob's losing when you hit it. For me, this requires squinting at a very small portion of a laptop screen with my nose two inches from the monitor, and I'll be damned if I'll wind up financing the purchase of another Maserati for my ophthalmologist.

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Filed under: Druid, (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

Shifting Perspectives: 5 observations from a reluctant battleground healer

Every week, Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting druids and those who group with them. Today we gingerly step back into battlegrounds and discover that the world can be a very unfriendly place.

I love writing this column, but there's one thing that bugs me about it -- the druid class is tailor-made to defeat a sole writer's efforts to cover everything she can. No matter how hard I try, I'm never going to cover each spec and playstyle with up-to-the-minute and in-depth experience, because it would require the simultaneous mastery of ranged DPS PvE, ranged DPS PvP, tanking, off-tanking, melee DPS PvE, melee DPS PvP, healing PvE, and healing PvP. Even with all that, I'd be leaving out all the hybrid and kooky specs people dream up. This has been getting to me lately.

Consequently I thought that, before we get to some end-of-year and patch 3.3 business, it might be a good idea to spend some time on topics that -- to be frank -- I haven't been that great about covering. Balance as a whole needs some love and so do our kitties, but before I do that, I'd like to address a topic that, in contrast to Balance and Cat, I've been willfully ignoring -- PvP. It occurred to me that roughly a year after Wrath's launch, it might be a good idea to pop back into battlegrounds and see how the class' most common PvP spec (Restoration) is faring in combat these days, so I dumped badges and gold into a PvP set and went for broke.

And, well...a lot's changed.

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

Shifting Perspectives: A 3.3 miscellany


Every week, Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting druids and those who group with them. Today we root around our inbox and herd a series of scribbled notes across our desk, trying to get what we actually know about patch 3.3 in order. Also, Zach Yonzon's PhotoShop skills for the win, but we already knew that.

This week's column is going to be a little bit of a grab bag in much the same way that our patch 3.1 miscellany post was, because there have been a few changes on the PTR recently that we haven't yet discussed.

Before we get any farther, I'd also like to give a shout-out to our readers and commenters on last week's column, "The disappearance of the bear." I was a little antsy over how it was going to be received (lengthy articles on what's going wrong with a spec can get derailed into QQ-fests pretty easily, and that wasn't my intent), but was heartened to see so much quality discussion. One of the things I realized after reading through the comments was that Blizzard may actually have succeeded a little too well in their quest to make tanking more attractive and fun to the average player. WoW's four tanking classes (warrior, paladin, druid, and death knight) comprise 4 of the 5 most popular classes in the game right now. As I've written previously, the druid functions as the proverbial canary in the coal mine as a harbinger of class balance concerns, and with each of the game's plate classes numbering among the most played at 80, it's impossible for this not to have an impact on druid spec choice.

Anyway. For the moment, we are going to turn away from this rather depressing situation, and concern ourselves with what's going on in patch 3.3.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, (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

Patch 3.3 PTR: Druid changes (so far)


Hail, druids. There really aren't too many known changes to our class on the patch 3.3 PTR. As I write this, the only gameplay change you're likely to notice will be the buff/nerf to pet avoidance, which will only affect the Balance talent Force of Nature. More experienced Balance players will have to chime in here, because the wording on the change makes it sound like they're referencing an existing feature. I'm racking my brain trying to remember if Blizzard's ever done anything to tinker with the treants' survivability versus AoE damage, and I don't think they have. My guess is that the wording is just in line with similar changes in other classes with access to pets. Anyway, the change reads as follows:
Avoidance (passive): Now reduces the damage your pets take from area-of-effect damage by 90%, but no longer applies to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.
For PvP, I think this is going to be business as usual, because the treants have historically been weak to AoE, and a key part of Balance arena strategy is timing a treants cast when your enemy's AoE or escape abilities are on cooldown. For PvE, it's a considerable buff, and it means that you'll no longer have to /headdesk over losing a key damage cooldown to a boss AoE.

Apart from that, the only other known change to the class is a bug fix on rank 15 Rejuvenation (correcting the base duration from 15 seconds to 12 seconds), but we'll keep an eye on the PTR for you, and any additional changes will be noted here.

Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Shifting Perspectives: A 3.1 miscellany


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author ferrets around her inbox for several unanswered questions concerning patch 3.1.

Greetings, Druids. For a while now I've been adding to a list of questions I've had for the upcoming 3.1 patch. Some of these are questions I got from other players, some are questions that occurred to me while reading various versions of the 3.1 PTR patch notes, and others are mostly-illegible bits scribbled in the middle of testing Ulduar fights --

dasiewlerjewDIFEEIRKdfklsd? 3349FHDFHDIOJKfkdsfadioer. REIOWEL?


Must've written that one on Kologarn. I believe it is a super-secret, devilishly clever guide to the fight that brilliantly exploits group positioning to produce a clean, one-shot kill on the first attempt, but alas, we will never know. Such are the dangers posed by bad handwriting, people. Study your Palmer Method!

This evening, I will attempt to answer all of the following questions, or to point you in the direction of other bloggers who have. These deal with all three Druid specs, so let's get started!

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

Spiritual Guidance: Secondary stats and what to stack

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. Some requests were made recently to help newer Priests figure out what secondary stats are important and what to aim for. Matticus shall help!

I know when I started playing World of Warcraft, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to secondary stats. To be fair, stats like Hit didn't exist back in the day. This post is meant for newer Priests who aren't quite sure what these secondary stats do or what they mean. Just to be clear, primary stats are base attributes like stamina and intellect. Secondary stats are things like haste and critical strike rating.

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Filed under: Priest, Tips, Raiding, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Wrath of the Lich King

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Druid

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the nineteenth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Nature is a system of life energy in constant flow, peaceful one moment and turbulent the next. All living things draw their life from it, and depend upon its balance for their existence. Druids are the protectors of this balance, who harness the energies it contains and try to live their lives according to its laws and principles. In this way, they become intimate members of the natural system, embodying the very force that they seek to protect. The druid is not merely a spellcaster who draws on nature to do cool stuff -- he is nature, in himself, completely one with it in every way. The world is his body, and he is an inseparable part of the whole.

It can be rather hard for those of us living in the concrete jungles of modern city life to get a feeling for what nature really is, or what it feels like to be a part of it. Perhaps if you have ever ventured off the paved highway into the distant reaches of the world, you will know the feeling of connection to the greatness of the natural world in which the human race evolved, long, long ago in a state of mind far, far away from billboards and electronic devices, pop culture and prime-time TV programming. It may no longer be possible for human beings to simply return to its ancient state, nor would that necessarily be a good thing. Today, people look out at the world outside the closed-off bubble of material civilization and wonder their new relationship with the ancient balance of nature could be.

To play a druid in WoW as a class in a game is one thing, but to try and get inside the druid worldview and understand what they might be thinking is something else. To start, it would help to look inside ourselves and see what sort of connection to nature exists there. Is there a balance? What would balance look like? How would it feel to be in complete harmony with the natural world? What would it be like to channel all the power of nature through your body or indeed feel the world itself as an extension of your body?

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Tips for new Death Knights from a fellow tank, part 2


Dear corpsified bundles of beautifully-armored joy (but more particularly those who tank Azjol Nerub while wearing Expedition Bracers of the Bandit),

We had a little bit of controversy in the first installment, so I'm just going to state this as baldly as possible; if you hated what I wrote last time, there's a good chance you'll walk away from this one thinking I eat babies. Delicious, delicious babies. While I never mean to offend people, I reserve the right to tell them the truth, or at the very least a highly entertaining and plausible lie.

Truth, she be at times an ugly mistress. And she ain't gettin' any prettier as we move from DPS to tanking.

Tanks have significantly more responsibility, both in groups and raids, and they face the competing directives of maximizing mitigation (to keep their healers happy) and maximizing threat production (to keep their DPS happy). I've healed dozens of Death Knight tanks at this point, and while the average pugged DK tank has gotten noticeably better, there are still a few trends you'd want to be aware of as a healer. The problems in beta right now are made worse by Blizzard unintentionally overselling the ease of tanking on a Death Knight in 5-man runs. Many people seem to have interpreted the statement that they should be able to tank well with Blood, Frost, or Unholy specs as being tantamount to saying they can tank well regardless of how their talent points are spent in those trees.

Any experienced tank can tell you right now that this is not true, but people believing that it is is how you wind up with 11K-life Death Knights taking 7-8K enraged hits from Keristasza in the Nexus. If you've never tanked before but you're interested in tanking on a Death Knight -- or pragmatic enough to know you'll probably wind up tanking a certain number of 5-mans on your DPS Death Knight -- I hope this article helps you avoid what I went through in May 2007 when I started tanking and sucked at it.

I came to the beta to slowly lose my mind trying to heal insane tank damage and gulp Extra Strength Tylenol. And I'm all out of Extra Strength Tylenol.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Expansions, Features, Humor, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: New Druid Leveling - 1 through 5

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, finally starts his series on leveling a new Druid, covering the strategies of your first 5 levels.

In this week's column, we're going to begin to have some fun with our brand new level 1 Druid!

Check out our Level 1 Tauren Druid off to the right... isn't he a handsome devil? And modest, too!

Your first five levels set the tone for how your Druid will feel.

It's all about casting spells for ranged combat.

You're going to want to spend as much time burning them down on the run as you can, and minimize the time you spend whacking them in the face with your stick.

In many ways, the lessons you can learn here about casting strategies will form the foundation of your play style, at least until you finally get that workhorse of Druid leveling at 20; the Cat form.

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

To shield or not to shield? Rage is the question.

The forums are abuzz with the debate on when to use the ability "Power Word: Shield" on the tank in your group. The original poster on the forum asked why pre-shielding the tank was looked down upon, and the response was abundant!

Warriors and feral Druid tanks need to generate rage to use their abilities to generate the rage required to hold a mob's agro so that it doesn't run rampant in the group, slaughtering the squishies. They generate rage by being hit by a mob and also by hitting the mob as well. In order to be a raid/heroic tank, you have to have your mitigation and avoidance up to a point that you're almost always dodging, parrying, or blocking, in order to not die from a single hit, but in turn that will decrease the amount of rage you can generate. "Power Word: Shield" only decreases the rage generated, while not protecting the tank from that much damage.

On boss mobs, it gets even more tricky. In order to successfully hold (most) bosses, you have to front-load your agro and maintain that agro lead throughout the fight. This means that they need an abundance of rage up-front in order to establish that agro, and they also need time to build up that buffer to keep them ahead. Most tanks only need a few seconds to accomplish that, but the shield just prolongs that time. This also hinders the raid on fights where time is a factor. For example, the old Kazzak enraged after 3 minutes of fighting (he probably still does), and every second of dps counted.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Classes, Buffs

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