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Posts with tag thorns

Shifting Perspectives: Getting started and leveling 1-9


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we begin at the beginning, and we will go on until the end. Then we will stop. Then we will ask ourselves why we are taking advice from 19th century children's literature rather than the books that are relevant to our interests, like Why Buying a House You Have No Idea How To Renovate Is Probably a Bad Idea, or Smoked Salmon and You: A Guide To Not Eating Yourself Into a Coma.

Greetings, Druids. I took the liberty of rolling a few new Druids to test out the improved leveling process, and if possible I'm going to level a brand-new one all the way to 80 to make sure everything in the guide's been personally tested and accurate as of the 3.1/3.2 game world. Today we'll start off with a baby Tauren Druid on the PTR who's now level 9; later I'll be switching between a Night Elf and a Tauren.

Level Feral.

This is the single best thing you can do for yourself, at least for leveling in classic content. As we've previously discussed, the Druid is still hobbled by its initial design as an endgame secondary healer, but you can skip a certain portion of this early weakness by leveling feral. Piggybacking off all of the DPS leather that went into the game to support the billions of people who rolled Rogues is a nice advantage, but the real attraction of leveling Feral lies in the ability to DPS in forms that don't require mana. Being able to save your mana bar for healing and buffing decreases downtime enormously (more so as you gain levels, as our mana efficiency and damage aren't that great early on).

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

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Druid changes


All right, Druids. I've been rolled out of bed to come look at the new PTR test notes, because apparently this is a big deal or something. As far as I'm concerned, all important business can wait until a reasonable hour in the morning, like 3 PM, but because this site is run by crazy people here I am.

So let's go skim the patch notes quickly -- /flick flick flick -- and try to answer the most important question first:

Is Tauren cat form still in the game?

/flick flick

Yes.

Man, %*#$ this patch.

Leaving aside this EGREGIOUS OMISSION, we're going to take a look at the preliminary Druid changes in patch 3.1 past the cut here, and courtesy of Michael Sacco and some data-mining gnomes, we also have the Druid Tier 8 shoulder graphic, which is pretty cool and reminds me a lot of Tier 5. I'm also seeing some undocumented changes in the game files off MMO Champion, but I'll have to examine those later today. I haven't been able to get on the PTR yet, so I can't confirm whether these changes have actually gone live on the test realm.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features, Guides, Classes

The Queue: Plate, plate and more plate


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Good afternoon, WoW Insider! I have nothing useful to say in my preface today, because I need to go put my new power supply and video card in my PC so I can actually play WoW again. Man, have you seen some of the newer video cards these days? If I had enough of these things I could build a fort capable of surviving a nuke out of them. This thing is a beast.

Trech asked...

A couple questions regarding DK tanking... How much Defense rating am I going to need at level 80 to hit 540 defense skill. How much base defense skill will I have at 80? I'm levelling Unholy with a DPS build. If I throw on a few pieces of +def gear can I safely go tank Nexus or Utgarde Keep at level 72?

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Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, The Queue

Demonology 101: the Imp


Ok, this is fun. Out of all the demons I can summon, I hate the imp the most. Not for any other reason than it has major lip. Fortunately for me, because I prefer Affliction, I don't have to deal with Rupjub's tinny whining in Wrath of the Lich King. On the other hand, Destruction Warlocks will have to suffer them because they're the perfect pets for the tree.

Some basic stuff first... imps don't need a Soul Shard to summon, so it's great for lazy Warlocks. It also has a basic Firebolt that you'll need to set to auto-cast because that's pretty much all it can do once you've toggled it to attack. Firebolt was nerfed to a 2.5 second cast -- up from 2 -- but there are a lot of talents that pump up the imp's DPS (including the silly Demonic Power which brings back Firebolt's casting time to the original 2). It also provides a couple of group buffs -- the Fire Shield, which is kind of like a Druid's Thorns but with a Fire Resistance bonus; and Blood Pact, a Stamina buff that used to get a Warlock grouped with the tank. Blood Pact has been changed to grant a health bonus, rather than Stamina, so it will no longer stack with Commanding Shout.

Finally, an imp can Phase Shift, a sort of self-Banish that only breaks when the imp attacks. A Phase Shifted imp used to be standard for Affliction Warlocks with Dark Pact, because of the imp's high mana pool and monstrous regeneration rate. That's all set to change in Wrath, however, with the improvements to the Felhunter. The imp blows things up, that's kind of its nature, so in Wrath of the Lich King, if you're a Warlock that likes to blow things up, the imp is the demon that blows things up right with you.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath Beta patch notes: Balance Druids


Now that the Wrath of the Lich King Beta is live, and the patch notes are up, we have some solid information on Druid talents as they're being tested. Here is what the patch revealed:

Balance tree
If you were to invest three points into your Brambles tier three talent, you will not only have the current 75% boost to damage caused by Thorns and Entangling Roots, but your Treants will have their damage boosted by 15%.

In addition, all damage caused by Treants, and any attacks done to you while Barkskin is active, have a 15% chance of dazing the target for three seconds. Actually, Force of Nature, which summons your Treants, is having its cooldown reduced from three minutes to two.

This will be a nifty talent for Moonkin in battlegrounds and arena, although it won't be enough to convert all of those Restoration druids to the ways of the Giant Chicken.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Features, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Midsummer Fun: The bonfire buffs

When headed out to level, farm, or grind during the Midsummer Fire Festival this year, be sure to head to the zone's bonfire for your side (there's one outside of almost every Horde or Alliance settlement) and throw in a blossom. You'll be glad you did, no matter what your level. You'll get one buff right off the bat: The Fire Festival Fury buff. This 60 minute buff will not only give you a straight 3% to your critical strike chance, but you'll also get a damage shield that will do fire damage equal to your level to all who attack you. That's right, Thorns, eat your heart out.

But what's even better is that it doesn't stop there.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Events, News items, Leveling, Guides, Making money, Buffs

Breakfast Topic: Should Blizzard support Hunter pet diversity?


While looking over the new "fake" pet skills page at Petopia earlier today, one of the biggest things that struck me is that the whole Thorns skill that the temporary Crab pets get for the lowbie Hunter taming quests would be a great thing for normal Crab pets to get. Right now, They're stuck learning nothing but Claw, placing them right near the bottom of the pet pantheon - very close to Sporebats, who can't learn any special abilities at all.

My two high level Hunters tamed a Carrion Bird and a Boar, respectively, so I'm lucky enough to have a good selection of skills to use, but I think there should be more options for people who love their offbeat pets like Sporebats or Hyenas or Crocs. They can even use some of the old rumored alpha skills for pets that popped up around the time of Burning Crusade's alpha. I'm hoping that Blizzard shows more types of Hunter pets some love in WoTLK with a wide selection of new skills, be it thorny shells for Crabs, a Cannibalism-type skills for Raptors, or anything else that lets us see Hunters fighting alongside fewer Cats and Ravagers (or in the case of arenas, Scorpids).

What do you think? Should Blizzard focus a bit more on a wider variety of options for Hunter pets? Or should Hunters just take what they can get and be grateful for it? If the former, what types of new pet skills would you like to see?

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Popular hunter pet site Petopia gets a facelift, new informational pages

Here's a nice little bit of news for all leveling Hunters, people looking into starting a hunter alt, or people looking to switch out or tweak out their current pet: the popular depository of all things Hunter pet related in WoW, Petopia, has gotten a facelift and a few handy new reference pages. The quick links and references seem to be a lot more streamlined now, and it should be even easier to find information. Some pages are still making the transition, and some of the pet pictures have not been updated to the new color scheme, but Mania assures us she is working on that.

In the meantime, she's also added a few new pages to the library, namely the Retired Pet page and the "Fake" Pet Skills page. The former deals with formerly tamable pets that can no longer be tamed, while the latter deals with pet skills that are present during the newbie hunter taming quests, but not on any permanently tamed pet.

I rather like both of the new pages. Not only should the information be helpful (if sad) to any newbie wondering where they can get that awesome ghost wolf, but the pages were a nice walk down memory lane for this old hunter. I remember when I made first Tauren Hunter, I was always disappointed that Swoop wasn't an actual bird pet skill, and I was considering a pet crab for my Dwarf Hunter at one point, and would have loved to have a thorny pet to add a bit more damage and threat power for tanking. Crabs could probably use some love anyway, as they seem to be competing with the likes of Sporebats and Bears for most neglected pet family.

But anyway, if you're a Hunter, and you haven't checked out Petopia in a while, it's worth a look, there's some pretty cool stuff going on over there.

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

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