Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag shifting-perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: An Ulduar class preview, part 4


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, another Ulduar boss dies to moonkin nukes, feral claws, and tree slaps.

Chase Christian from Encrypted Text recently started a series of guides on doing Ulduar as a Rogue, and I must admit that the relative ease and simplicity of describing the role of a pure DPS while raiding is enough to make me sob quietly into a hanky. Meanwhile, I'm driving myself to the nuthouse trying to describe four entirely different roles for a single class. Pardon my saying so, but this column was the hell of a lot easier to write back when we sucked at everything that wasn't healing. Damn you, multi-spec viability! Damn you to HELL!

Before we get started, I'm going to continue what I did with the last Ulduar preview column, link to general strategy guides, and assume you have a basic familiarity with the encounter before delving into more Druid-specific advice. Today we're going to confine ourselves to Freya, as it's one of the few Ulduar fights I have now seen outside of the PTR. With luck, my computer is going to cooperate for a full clear this week plus a few hard modes, so I will be revising (and, as necessary, expanding) our current Ulduar Druid guides to reflect changes that Blizzard has made to the fights and a few notes concerning hard mode issues. Any changes made will be noted in next week's column.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The day has come

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we contemplate whether the phrase "the agony and the ecstasy" can be properly applied to graphical improvements in MMORPG's.

So once I finished sobbing tears of joy over the new bear art that debuted last week (and looking up pictures of Bull Terriers after seeing the new version of Tauren cat form), I started tabulating reactions online, and held the following conversation with myself:

Me: Is there an unusually high level of stupidity in the forums over this issue?

Myself: Can the level of stupidity in the forums ever be correctly described as "unusually high?"

While forced to admit that my good bifurcated self had a point, it remains that the sheer amount of dumb in the forums threatens to explode from its containment area and slosh down the hallway carrying off screaming bystanders. This is Bad. Some of those bystanders might be the artists working on making sure the new version of Tauren cat form goes live without bugs, and I don't want that. I worked hard to ensure that this site is ranked #1 by Google for the search phrase "I hate Tauren cat form," but I'd like to be able to retire that tag permanently.

Anyway. Let's take some time here and address some frequently asked questions, common misconceptions, and whether Blizzard owes the American Kennel Club a kickback:

Read more →

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

Shifting Perspectives: A brief history of time

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we plagiarize from Stephen Hawking, jack a WABAC Machine, and begin a joyride through the evolution of the Druid class.

Dear Blizzard,

There are too many bosses to write about in Ulduar. I find this vexing. Please eliminate 5.

Sincerely,

Sleepless in Silithus


Salutations, Druids. As is probably obvious, we're going to take a detour out of Ulduar class strategy this week, because I'm going to shoot myself if I have to write about another boss I haven't been able to smack around since the PTR. We'll be back for Freya, Thorim, and assorted vaguely Norse-sounding entitites wishing to destroy the world for some unspecified reason but they drop phat lewtz so who cares next week.

Anyway, one of the things that's fascinated me about the Druid class since Burning Crusade is the growth in its popularity. Historically we have never been among the more commonly-played classes, and for a wide swathe of classic WoW and BC, were actually the least-played class or within the bottom 3. While there are various reasons for this (and I could devote a column to how this probably happened), Druids became more popular as time went on, and an increasing number of people began to play the class without knowing just how far it's come.

A little time spent reading through Wowwiki's list of the game's patches makes for interesting reading. A little more than 5 years ago, Druids could Feign Death, the Feral 31-point talent was Improved Pounce, and Moonkin form wasn't even in a gleam in a designer's eye.

Read more →

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

Shifting Perspectives: An Ulduar class preview, part 2


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we watch the Ulduar trailer again and ask ourselves over and over why Jaina Proudmoore couldn't have been a Druid. The obvious answer is that she just wasn't cool enough, but this is the source of much cognitive dissonance at the moment.

I'm going to take a quick moment from the rest of the column and just write, in case any of the people who made it are reading this, that the Ulduar trailer was so stuffed with win that pieces of win are dribbling out of it into little win puddles and spilling over into the Sewer of Awesome. And, as NaitFury on the MMO Champion thread points out, "Those of you who say it is boring should probably go back to watching another Undead Rogue 1-shot people with Linkin Park in the background." Amen!

We're one week into Ulduar (and by "we" I mean "other people," because the game has become virtually unplayable for me post-patch, and having the game crash my computer every 5 minutes is forcing the Sewer of Awesome to run to the Vast Delta of Self-Pity), so let's pick up where we left off and tackle the Deconstructor, the Iron Council, and Kologarn.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Ulduar class preview, part I


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author pretends to know more about Ulduar than she actually does, which makes a refreshing change from pretending to know more than she actually does about things that are already in the game.

Hail and well met, Druids. For the next three Shifting Perspectives columns, I'm going to take a look at Druid class roles on Ulduar fights. If patch 3.1 hits earlier than expected (I'm currently betting that it hits in late April/early May), I'll try to squeeze these in a little bit faster than once per week. But with luck (and, I hope, a parade of annoying bugs for Blizzard to hunt down and squash before they let the patch go live), we should have some information to chew on before we set foot in a live Ulduar.

Now watch Blizzard deploy the frickin' patch next week.

I have not gotten the opportunity to test all of these fights personally because I'm only on the North American PTR, and some fights -- like Yogg-Saron -- haven't been available for testing at all. What I write here is going to be a compilation of personal experience, details concerning boss abilities available on the PTR version of Wowhead, information I've gotten from pestering various people on both PTR's, and news available around the web, principally from WoW Insider's previous PTR testing, Wowwiki, MMO Champion, and World of Raids. Bear in mind that some things here may wind up being very different when Ulduar actually goes live, so take numbers and conjecture here with a grain of salt. I'm going to assume that basic boss mechanics are likely to remain the same or similar, so let's get started with the first three encounters.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

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!

Read more →

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

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your Feral (bear) Druid at 80

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we take a look at gearing your lolbaretank for the rigors of standing in front of raid bosses and screaming, "Is that the best you've got?"

EDIT: This article has been updated for patch 3.3 and Icecrown content. Please click here to see a guide to gearing a bear druid as of May 2010.

My main spends most of her time tanking, so I have a little more experience with the gear on this list as opposed to others. Dan O'Halloran will be writing a guide to gearing a Cat Druid next week, and with that we'll be rounding up pre-raid gear for all 4 specs.

As with our entry on pre-raid Restoration gear at 80 and our entry on pre-raid Balance gear at 80, this guide assumes that you do not presently have access to either 10-man or 25-man raids, and if I miss any piece that you've found helpful, please drop a comment and I'll make sure it gets added. I should also add that this gear set presumes you are gearing your bear tank with an eye toward main-tanking in raids and/or tanking the more difficult heroics. If you're mostly DPSing or off-tanking, please feel free to swap in more DPS-oriented pieces prioritizing +hit and +crit over +expertise, +dodge, and stamina. Before we get any further, some helpful links:
  • Toskk's Bear Tank Time-To-Live Method, allowing you to look at upgrades from the context of your present set of gear and calculate how long you can go without healing assuming different talents and items.
  • ThinkTank on pre-raid gear: While I don't think that Kalon's been able to update this for patch 3.0.8 yet and he weights items a little differently than I do, this is a terrific list. He'll also give you a much better sense of just how good PvP gear is right now (much to my everlasting annoyance concerning arena).
  • Rawr: Use it. Know it. Love it.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Features, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your Balance Druid at 80

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we start to wonder where the hell all the +hit from "Burning Crusade" went.

Greetings, fellow Druids, and welcome to another installment on Wrath gear at 80, and this week it's the boomkins' turn. Next week I'm going to tackle Bear gear at 80; Dan O'Halloran will take care of our Cat colleagues.

As a number of people have observed, it's tougher to get +hit-capped pre-raid in leather as opposed to cloth, so you're going to find an awful lot of cloth on the list. I realize this represents a new and exciting development in the history of moonkin itemization. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. That's French for "We're screwed."

Supplementary reading:
As with our previous entry on pre-raid Restoration gear at 80, these guides assume that you do not presently have access to either 10-man or 25-man raids.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Raiding, Guides, Enchants, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Patch 3.0.8 for Druids

Every Tuesday, or sometimes Friday when the writer's internet has gone AWOL between Sunday evening and Thursday afternoon, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we take a look at the upcoming patch 3.0.8. while penning an angry letter to our ISP.

Greetings, folks. Patch 3.0.8 is coming, bringing a few significant changes for the Druid class. Feral attack power is disappearing from the game entirely alongside bonus armor contribution from non-leather items. Restoration is receiving a nerf in the form of a 6-second cooldown to Wild Growth but is otherwise getting some buffs. Balance is also getting a few buffs, including one that will make a big difference to PvP combat versus Rogues and Hunters. But I think, dear readers, we are overlooking the most important part of patch 3.0.8:

Fixed a bug with a Wild Mustard plant that was under the ground in Dalaran.


Oh, thank God. That drove me nuts.

(Really).

(I'd also love to see them do something about the underground Tiger Lily spawn in Sholazar).

(It's just south of River's Heart).

(Really annoying).

(Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?).

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Faction gear for Druids, part II - Argent Crusade


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we continue our examination of the faction gear available for Druids in Wrath and have a serious conversation with our aesthetic conscience regarding the hideous Kirin Tor tabard: "Is the tanking staff we get at Revered worth the humiliation of wearing that purple monstrosity?" The answer, dear readers, is no.

In the first part, we covered Druid gear available with the Tuskarr, the Alliance Vanguard/Horde Expedition, Wyrmrest Accord, Kirin Tor, and Oracles/Frenzyheart. This week, we're going to finish with a look at the Knights of the Ebon Blade, the Argent Crusade, and the Sons of Hodir. You're unlikely to encounter any of these three factions while leveling between 70 and 74, but all three figure prominently in mid to late '70's leveling. Read on for the last three factions, but if you want a quick set of links to each individual faction, here you go:

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Factions, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Faction gear for Druids, part I


Every Tuesday/Wednesday/some day that ends in -y, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we take a look at faction rewards available to Druids in "Wrath of the Lich King" and wonder if that Mysterious Egg of ours -- the only faction reward we could truly be said to care about -- is ever going to hatch.

Like most of you, I'm still running a lot of dungeons and getting acquainted with the array of drops available on both normal and heroic mode, and I'm not anywhere near as familiar with the Northrend 5-man drops as I am with Outland's after tanking them all eleventy-billion times. For the moment, my ability to compare all of the reputation gear available from Wrath factions with potential dungeon drops is fairly small and mostly confined to feral equipment, so I apologize. What I can say is that I've noticed a fairly clear trend favoring Balance if you're planning on getting a lot of your gear at 80 from faction reputations (although if you go that route there's a sizable pitfall in the form of a serious lack of +hit on most pieces). Feral is a little more hit-or-miss. Restoration seems to have the hardest time getting its best pre-raid or heroic pieces from rep grinds, and I'm not going to lie; get used to most of your best pieces being cloth.

With what are essentially four different specs to cover for all the new factions available in Wrath, this got a bit long. So this week we'll discuss the rep grinds that become accessible a little earlier in the trek to 80 -- namely, the Tuskarr, the Alliance Vanguard/Horde Expedition, Wyrmrest Accord, Kirin Tor, and Oracles/Frenzyheart. Next week we'll cover the Knights of the Ebon Blade, the Argent Crusade, and Sons of Hodir, as you're not likely to see these guys as early as you'll see the others. Indeed, before a quest line that phases the lady into existence, you won't see the Knights of the Ebon Blade quartermaster at all.

EDIT: Now that the faction guides are finished, here's a set of quick links in case you're looking for information on one faction in particular:

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Factions, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath of the Lich King: Druid round-up


Welcome to Wrath of the Lich King, my fellow Druids -- and welcome, I hope, to another expansion full of great things for the class. In general I believe the future is very bright for each spec, and with dual specs coming to the game, it's going to be a lot easier to enjoy the Druid's versatility without having to finance your class trainer's boat payments.

THE DRUID CLASS IN WRATH

  • Restoration: Resto, covered here, has probably taken the biggest blow in terms of both PvE and PvP viability in the form of a Lifebloom nerf and the disappearance of now-classic PvP specs, but we still got a lot of big buffs. Tree of Life has been vastly improved and we've gained both a flash heal (at 80) and an AoE HoT. Unfortunately, Wild Growth may be facing a nerf in the form of a cooldown soon, but nothing's certain yet. I don't want to sound too down here. You will notice the Lifebloom nerf in the post-3.0.2 world, but resto's gained a tremendous amount of raw healing output coupled with its customary mana efficiency. Stay tuned; healing is likely to undergo some major changes soon.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Guides, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: Let my kitties go!


Every Tuesday/Wednesday/some sort of day occurring midweek, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert yanks John Patricelli's column again, hoping to make good on a threat previously made concerning her "dissatisfaction" with Tauren cat form. And by dissatisfaction she might mean something else.

I'll level with you; we have a huge Druid post in the pipeline that's going to round up the changes to the class in Wrath, new talents, new skills, new everything, and frankly I'm sick to death about reading or writing anything having to do with the expansion. So, just to buck the overwhelming trend that threatens to drive us all to the nuthouse, I'm going to turn to a topic that's plagued Druids for a while.

By this I mean the perennial form issue, something that my Druid colleagues on the blog have previously termed the Same Old Animal Posterior, or SOAP. But it's one that we've been given reason to believe will change in...Wrath. Well, that didn't last long. You'll note that David's article was written in October 2007, more than a year ago, but the same thing could have been posted in 2006 as well. Druid forms haven't changed since launch*, and while they were never really at the cutting edge of Blizzard's art direction as a result**, they look more and more shabby in relation to the higher-polygon models and landscapes. As everything around you gets better and better -- more evocative lighting, more intricate details, fantastic animation -- it's hard not to feel a strange sense of displacement as you shift into a 2004 form within a 2008 game.

But at long last we may see Druid form customization, an overhaul to the default forms themselves, or possibly (hopefully?) both.

Read more →

Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, (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.

Read more →

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

Shifting Perspectives: Moonkin in 3.02 and beyond

Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer realizes that nobody writing about moonkin DPS on the internet agrees with each other, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert, having Hibernated John Patricelli and run away as fast as her laser-chicken legs will carry her, examines the new moonkin talents and glyphs in 3.02 and Wrath.

I do apologize about the wait here, folks. There's been a lot of contradictory information from both the beta and an array of Druid bloggers on how moonkin are shaping up for Wrath. While a lot of this is just the normal ebb and flow of changes in the alpha and beta, most of it is fueled by a few new talents and the set of glyphs that will become available. All of these have the potential to seriously impact your gameplay and rotation choices, so Balance DPS is going to be (at least, from current appearances) a lot twitchier and more proc-dependent than its counterpart in the feral tree. In addition, you'll probably have to make a few hard choices that will be affected by what your raid's going to need from you (although there is a truly amazing talent deep in the balance tree that, no matter what else you pick, is going to be a significant raid DPS contribution). As Balance is the only spec that I haven't gotten to raid on, I didn't want to go live with this until trying to figure out which pieces of information were accurate and which ones weren't. Bear in mind that Blizzard is still tinkering with Balance as I write this.

For the guide to feral in 3.02, head here; for the guide to resto in 3.02, head here. You'll probably want to be familiar with the resto changes, as balance has traditionally depended on a few key talents in that tree, some of which have changed. Otherwise, read on for a comprehensive look at balance's new talents, updated skills, and glyphs!

Read more →

Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Pandamonium
The gaming artwork of Jessica Dinh
Mists of Pandaria Raid DPS Analysis
Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition
Death Knight plague epidemic
Mega Bloks: Goblin Zeppelin Ambush
Mists of Pandaria Beta: Ruins beneath Scarlet Halls
Mists of Pandaria: New warlock pets
Female Pandaren Customization

 

Categories