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Posts with tag swiftmend

Shifting Perspectives: Lifebloom is like broccoli, and other lies my mother told me

Shifting Perspectives Lifebloom is like broccoli, and other lies my mother told me TUESDAY
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, Lifebloom prevents vitamin deficiencies.

When I was a small child growing up on the mean streets of a rural farming community, my mother used to hector me into eating my vegetables.

"You'll get rickets if you don't eat your broccoli," she said.

"Children in some parts of the world would kill to have string beans," she said.

"You'll flunk your SATs if you don't eat zucchini," she said.

So I'd choke the stuff down in resentful silence, assuming that dessert would be forthcoming in the typical quid pro quo of the childhood dinner table. (My lawyer father lived to regret teaching that phrase to small children.) It took me until freshman biology to realize that my mother was exaggerating the odds of developing scurvy if we didn't eat a sufficient quantity of vegetables at every meal.

And you know what? Playing a resto druid on the beta is kind of like being a small child getting Lifebloom and Harmony endlessly stuffed into your face. In the meantime, there's a bowl of deep-fried, bacon-crusted, chocolate-dipped Wild Mushrooms just ... out ... of ... your ... reach on the table.

I ate the green stuff, Blizz. Now where's my dessert?

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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: Answers to questions nobody asked

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, we get a beta key, and maybe a little sloshed.

After getting a beta key, it was my intent to hit the servers and write an FAQ/reader mailbag-type column, but I'm not going to do that today. I'm going to answer my questions, not yours. I don't care about any of you.

Well, that's not true. I do care. But I've been in the beta for less than a week and:
  • Half the stuff we've read about has been scrapped or just hasn't been implemented.
  • The other half is a writhing mass of angry, toxic bugs.
  • The servers crash like that drunk buddy who swore he'd only be on your couch for a few days but is still there weeks later and you poke him with a stick every morning to make sure he's alive and unfortunately he is.
  • About the most I could do without pulling several consecutive all-nighters was level a worgen and troll druid to level 13 as quickly as I could. Oh, and wipe a Blackwing Caverns group several times over.
Readers beware: while I may not answer any useful questions past the cut, there are still a few serious spoilers here.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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

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: 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.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, 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!

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

Patch 3.02 for Restoration Druids, part 1

The single biggest change for most restoration Druids with patch 3.02 will be the disappearance of at least four commonly-used PvE and PvP specs:
  • 8/11/42 (the traditional resto PvP spec)
  • 11/11/39 (Resto PvP with Insect Swarm)
  • 13/11/37 (Resto PvP with Insect Swarm and Nature's Reach)
  • 11/0/50 (PvE Tree of Life with Insect Swarm).
The first three are kaputski because Feral Charge is now a 21-point talent in the feral tree, and the last three are bye-bye because Insect Swarm is now a 21-point talent in the balance tree. If you still want talents from the balance tree especially, you'll have a ton of stuff to play with (frankly I ran out of space here to discuss the new restokin specs but we'll cover it as soon as we can), but for the moment we're only going to concern ourselves with stuff squarely in the Restoration tree. Shifting Perspectives later today will have a full run-down on moonkin in patch 3.02 and Wrath. Otherwise, there's still a ton of new stuff for tree Druids in this patch, including a resurrected Tier 3 set bonus, a vastly-improved Tree of Life form, an out-of-combat rez, and an insane +haste buff to two of your most-used spells. If you also want a look at what early 5-man healing in the beta is like as a resto Druid, head here.

Read on for a comprehensive look at the new healing and mana regeneration mechanics, Restoration abilities, talents, and glyphs!

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

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

15 Minutes of Fame: Phaelia goes Resto4Life


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

On a list of player names that serious WoW hobbyists should know, Phaelia definitely makes the cut. WoW Insider's Dan O'Halloran summed up why in his post last fall outlining druid blogs you should be reading: "Phaelia started Resto4Life.com back in March to educate herself about playing a better healing Druid. Turns out, she's educating the rest of us as well. Her entries delve into the many facets of a Tree Druid's gameplay: Re-evaluating Spirit, mp5 vs. +Healing and Getting More Out of Innervate are just a few of the many treasures to be found on this blog. Updated frequently with a friendly and informative tone, Resto4Life is the Big Red Kitty for Restoration druids." 15 Minutes of Fame visited with Resto4Life's creator, Phaelia of US Scarlet Crusade-A, about the many attractions of the Druid class.

15 Minutes of Fame: How did you get into WoW, Phaelia? Do you come from a gaming background?
Phaelia: I started playing WoW during the first open beta. To be honest, I was less attracted to WoW than turned off by the idea of giving over another five years of my gaming life to another game from Sony Online Entertainment. I began my MMO career as a sophomore in college, and while quitting EverQuest 1 left a void in my gaming lifestyle, I knew I didn't want to play another game from the same company. Blizzard turned out to be the breath of fresh air and fun that I was looking for!

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Filed under: Druid, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Build Shop: Druid 0/11/50


Hey there Build Shop fans! This week, I'm examining a heavy Restoration build for druids, with a few points from Feral thrown in (you know, for spice). This build comes to us courtesy of reader Arajal of Dunemaul, who had this to say about it: "Overall my build is mainly a healer spec with some utility thrown in. I like to DPS or tank instances sometimes, and my points in both trees help each role. Natural Perfection is pretty handy while tanking."

I disagree somewhat with the usefulness of Natural Perfection for tanking -- if you're a Druid tank with the proper amount of Defense, you shouldn't be getting crit at all. On the other hand, this isn't a full Feral build, and without Survival of the Fittest I'd imagine it'd be pretty tough to put together a leather set with enough Defense to get the job done, so it could be useful for reducing damage after you take the inevitable crit. I'd consider Natural Perfection more of a PvP / utility talent than anything else, but what do you think?

Arajal also has made some choices in the Resto tree that could be considered unconventional, but I'll let you be the judge. Let's take a look under the hood!

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Filed under: Druid, Build Shop

Innervate: Trainable Skill in Patch 1.11

In patch 1.11, the druid's 31-point restoration talent Innvervate will be made a trainable skill.  Replacing Innervate is a new talent called Swiftmend, which will consume a rejuvenation or regrowth effect to produce an instant heal (if you're familiar with the warlock's Conflagrate talent, it seems to be the same concept).  This should come as welcome news for raiding druids, who have long since been forced into restoration talent builds due to many guilds' requirement for Innervate.  Hopefully this change will allow end-game druids more flexibility to pick talent specs based on how they enjoy playing their characters, rather than their guilds' need for Innervate. 

Filed under: Druid, Patches, Guilds

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