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Posts with tag swipe

Five more must craft neutral Hearthstone cards

It turns out that people get oddly passionate about card lists, which is honestly a pretty great sign for Hearthstone. The first list we dropped two weeks ago was met with agreement, and also a lot of 'where is this card?!', despite warnings that there would be more to come. There was also some disagreement with the Wild Pyromancer choice, but I'm hoping that Amaz and his skilled use of the fiery minion at Dreamhack Summer has opened some eyes. It's incredibly powerful with the right complements.

This week we'll take a look at another five sub-epic cards no one should be without. The only ranking to the list is mana cost, so we're not saying that one's more important than another. That decision is up to you and what decks you want to play.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Shifting Perspectives: Bear and resto druid changes ahead for patch 4.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, we look at the patch 4.1 PTR and, when so inclined, drink heavily.

Hail, druids. We've got another exciting patch coming up, and this week I wanted to take a look at the changes currently in store for both bear and tree druids (with a few notes that inevitably touch on cats as well, as some feral changes are pretty general).

And far be it from me to omit the most important change:

Zarhym
Prowl has a new icon.

Well, thank God for that.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (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

The Queue: I want a siege tank IRL

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today's edition of The Queue is brought to you by my bruised ego after a half-dozen rounds of crushing defeats in StarCraft II. Seriously? Twenty mutalisks in my base while I'm still trying to figure out where my dragoon buddies went? I hate everyone and everything. Yes, even you. Especially you, Taylor. You know who you are.

Tethra asked...

"Any idea when we're going to get our Olympics pets, other than 'soon'?"

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Filed under: Druid, The Queue

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

Shifting Perspectives: Leveling 51-60



Every week, Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we haul ourselves to Outland and are shocked to discover that +spellpower sometimes comes on leather.


The above video is the result of an idle question I was asked recently by a friend: "So how much damage would you guys do in caster form meleeing?" I started to answer and then realized I had no idea. The notion of actually hitting something with a weapon is utterly foreign to the class. We have claws and a can of celestial pain for that nonsense if provoked, but still, the question was pretty interesting, particularly because after seeing Prinnygod's comment from last week I started to wonder about all the different ways you could level as a Druid if you deliberately avoided Cat and Moonkin. Sure, you'd be a gibbering wreck at the level cap, but that's beside the point. Blizzard once had a talent called Weapon Balance in the Balance tree that improved our melee damage with weapons by 10% -- they were expecting us to hit things. I wondered how that would have worked out if Druid talent trees had never been overhauled.

So I took my main to the mobs outside the Argent Tournament and smacked stuff while running a stopwatch. What you'll see here is a level 79 Frostbrood Whelp with 12,600 health which took me 34.4 seconds to kill, with two global cooldowns devoted to casting a Rejuvenation and then a Lifebloom. I'm currently on a Feral (Bear) spec and thus wearing gear that does help one's melee damage, mind you, but that still works out to a godawful 366.28 DPS. The moral of our little story can be found at the end of the video. Master of Arms is going to be a real trip.

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

Patch 3.2 Druid changes


3.2 approaches! Sort of. The PTR itself isn't up yet (at least, not as I write this), but nonetheless, 3.2 approaches on little cat feet.

I'm going to examine the 3.2 PTR patch notes line by relevant line, just because there are several changes that impact Druids while not being class-specific. If you want a quick summary without being massively spoiled, Balance is getting a huge and welcome change to the functionality of Eclipse, Cats are getting bonked by the nerfbat, and PvP-Restos are really getting bonked by the nerfbat. Bears, well...not much is going to happen to bears this patch, which is a little demoralizing given the improvements being made to Pally tanks, but that's OK. We still have our, uh, amazing Tier 8 set bonuses and...um...the best -- sort of -- tanking cooldowns in, uh, the...uh...

...Oh, screw it, just stack the hell out of stamina and pray to the gods of RNG if your guild's dumb enough to try Ulduar on hard-mode. Congratulations; you have now done all you can possibly do to prepare yourself for modern tanking.

Sad lolbare is sad. But cough syrup for everybody! Is nise! Now let's take a look:

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

Gorilla Thunderstomp ability given to all tenacity pets

If you've been reading WoW Insider for a while, you probably remember Big Red Kitty's meditations on the Gorilladin. With judicious use of the Gorilla Hunter pet's Thunderstomp skill, you could grind multiple mobs at once and bring Hunter leveling and farming to a whole new level -- enough that Blizzard's had Gorillas under the microscope for a while. Now the word has come down: No more monkey business in 3.1. Gorillas are losing Thunderstomp as a unique pet family ability.

That doesn't mean, however, that Thunderstomp is going away. Rather, it means that all tenacity pets are getting it.

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

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?).

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

Shifting Perspectives: The Druid of 2008


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author is completely spaced out on cold medication, and is somewhat concerned that her raid performance has improved under the circumstances.

The time has come (the Allie said)
To talk of many things.
Of Roots and Bash and Travel Form,
And Strength (which scales with Kings).
Why Tauren cat form sucks so hard,
And whether trees have wings!

And, yes, before anyone asks, I'm tripping on too much cough syrup and ibuprofen after receiving a belated viral Christmas gift from a relative. So I'll just put this out there right now; this column's probably on the weird side. I took a long look at all three Druid specs over 2008 and saw a few sad things, a few happy things, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants, and now I'm channeling the famous Mary Tyler Moore episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust," and that has to stop because I do not believe Mary Tyler Moore ever played a Druid.

If you're completely uninterested in reading an account of any spec that's not your own -- although that would make me weep into my little cup of generic label cough syrup -- here's a set of quick links to each:

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, The Burning Crusade, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: So. Um, do bears suck?

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we shelve the column we originally intended to run due to a rather pressing matter.

OK, folks. I have a confession to make. This week's Shifting Perspectives was originally meant to be a full guide to gearing your Restoration Druid at 80, and I'm still going to post that, either this week or next. A lot of people have (correctly, I think) observed that this column has historically paid more attention to Feral than to Restoration or Balance, and it's my aim to balance (har!) that out a bit. Part of it is just that the people who play Druids on staff here at WoW Insider are usually feral, and part of it is that -- at least as of the last numbers we had on it -- most people playing Druids are also feral. I confess I would love to see the demographics on Druids post-Wrath, because I get the sense that Balance in particular has become markedly more popular.

But the Resto post is going to have to wait a few days, not least because my eyes are swimming from so much Wowhead. We found out today that Swipe's threat is getting a significant buff, but over the course of reading the pertinent forum thread and some back-channel discussion here, I ran across a few things concerning bear tanking that really made me sit up after the hell of tanking last night's heroic Old Kingdom and go, "Wait. It's not just me?"

Personally whenever I encounter serious problems in a dungeon I tend to chalk it up to the fact that I suck. I find this to be an efficient and typically accurate means of pinpointing the source of an issue. However, my fellow Druids, our problems may actually be more wide-ranging than that.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Features, Classes, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Druid's Swipe now generates 50% increased threat

Ghostcrawler mentioned last night that the Druid ability Swipe was on their radar for a fix. Blizzard, and many Druids, felt that when you combined Swipe with the global cooldown it wasn't generating enough threat. There have also been extenuating issues concerning Swipe's effectiveness in picking up mobs in a uniform manner, often requiring the druid to have near perfect positioning.

That's now been "fixed" today via a hotfix.

Swipe's threat has been increased by 50%.

Previously the limitation on the number of targets swipe could hit was removed, along with other classes AoE tanking abilities like Thunder Clap.

The immediate effect of this won't be known beyond "it'll let Druids AoE tank better." There might be some backlash from the other classes that Swipe will now cause too much threat compared to their abilities (thus tipping the scale in favor of a Druid tank). There also might be some concern that people will just spam Swipe.

Only time and everyone's reaction will tell.

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Filed under: Druid, News items

Changes to AoE in patch 3.0.4

Ghostcrawler let us all know today of a few changes for classes that are being left out of the "AoE fun." He's only talking in relatively broad terms right now, and will give specifics later when things are more locked down.

Some of the changes include:
  • Shaman: Removing threat from the Fire Nova Totem and Magma Totem, and increasing the damage done by the Magma Totem.
  • Rogue: Fan of Knives cooldown removed. Daggers more useful for Fan of Knives.
  • Druid: Swipe will now be a baseline ability.
He mentions that these changes will be seen in the next minor content patch. Ghostcrawler also hints that they will be available in the next PTR push (which we're expecting relatively soon)

Filed under: Druid, Rogue, Shaman, Patches, Instances, Classes

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.

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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

Blizzard leaning toward AE Tanking for all

You may recall earlier yesterday that we reported on Thunder Clap losing its target limit, thus quite suddenly making Warriors have a very good chance of being viable AE tanks. One thing that you might have also noticed is that the Druid's Swipe is getting the same treatment (no word on whether it will also be getting the ability to go 360 degrees, but it seems likely, if it's going to be a Thunder Clap/Consecrate equivalent). In addition, Death and Decay, the Death Knight's AE mainstay, recently received a bump to threat gain. That means that all 4 tank classes, in theory, will have the ability to do some Protection Paladin style AE tanking should they want to.

This all seems to be in line with the tanking philosophy Blizzard has been pushing for Wrath, one which Ghostcrawler recently reiterated: Blizzard wants to make sure that all tanks are as equal as possible. There should be no reason to take one class of tank over another, all things being equal, and no reason to sideline your tank because he or she is not the right class. Certainly, if this is to be realized completely, you do have to give every tank a good amount of AE capability, and this latest round of announced tank changes seems to be tailor made to do just that.

As the former player of a Druid tank and the future (current beta) player of a Death Knight tank, I'm very pleased to see these changes. I know that there was nothing more fun that running through a dungeon like Shattered Halls as a DPS with a Paladin Tank leading the way, and the idea that every tank class might be able to do that to some extent in Wrath makes me incredibly excited. It also allows groups to be more flexible in what DPS they take, including DPSers that traditionally have had a hard time getting groups due to having poor CC abilities, such as Cat Druids and Retribution Paladins.

If this change is handled right, it will go a long way toward solving the tank shortage for PuG groups, and, in fact, make the 5-man dungeon run fun again in general.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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