Coming Changes

How to keep having fun with an expansion looming.

So a little update…

My 10 man raiding has completely stalled as of the first week in April…. so we have dropped to 2nd on the server… /sigh. Our MT had to take a series of trips and now our OT is out of town as well… what can you do, RL crit us worse than Sindragosa.

Our 25 man raids have been hurting too… Spring Break… people looking ahead to the new expansion and playing less… bads… people jumping ship thinking it’s different for other guilds… same old, same old. 25’s is quickly on the way to getting fixed thanks to some hard work by 2 new officers in our guild and a blogger or two advertising beyond our website and trade chat. Looks like we are getting some real talent and people with good FPS and Latency.

So with raiding stalling like it has been here are some suggestions of things you can do in order to still enjoy playing WOW…

  • Achievements – I know this isn’t for everyone but they can be a ton of fun with friends or alone. Personally I am trying to get to 9K and I am 16 more 10pt achievements away. This leads to my 2nd suggestion…
  • PVP – As far as gear goes we have heard that rated battlegrounds are the thing of the future. Start getting good now and beefing up your PVP set and resilience. Queuing with friends (Premades) can be lots of fun and there are a lot of PVP related achievements to be had. PVP as feral is much better than it used to be. When you start off and don’t have PVP gear just burst down a caster… I recommend locks as an easy start, Pounce, Mangle, Shred, Berserk, Maim, Shred… just kill them. The key on that series on locks is Berserk so you won’t get feared away. Once you get comfortable start going after priests and shammies. Hunters are a little more challenging and I recommend putting mages last on your to kill order, especially those of a frost variety… let the DK’s kill them. Once you have a decent PVP gear set you will be able to do more than burst down an enemy in exchange for your life… something to look forward to. For some real good pro tips head over to Starmist, though most tips are for arena he has a lot of good PVP advise and some sweet video that can be a lot of help.
  • Farming mounts, pets, gold, and other fun stuff – A good place to start is Rarren’s blog where you can learn how to pimp your druid. If gold is your thing you better be selling now before everything becomes worthless after the expansion, head over to the Greedy Goblin for some tricks of the trade.
  • Level and gear alternative characters – You never know what an expansion will bring, have your other toons ready to go just in case druids are no longer fun. They took away tree form and boomkins got an invisible mushroom… I guess it can only get better. It also helps to learn other classes to better understand the game and lingo. It will improve your raiding and give you a PVP edge the more experience you have playing other classes so give it a try or a little bit of your time if it is something that sounds like fun.
  • Start a blog – We have lost quite a few druid bloggers and there are even less blogs of classes that don’t have pets for some reason. It can be a lot of fun learning how to create and design your website. Joining the Warcraft blogging community has other perks like helping new players, spreading good tips to experienced players to better represent our class, and even in some cases if you really contribute getting items in game named after you like the BRK-1000, Phaelia’s Vestments of the Sprouting Seeds, Astrylian’s Sutured Cinch, and Toskk’s Maximized Wristguards. Jacemora’s Helm of Reason anyone? Named after my lack of over theory crafting for just a few DPS here and there… ok, so maybe not…
  • Run 5 mans – With the new random system in place this can be a fine way to meet new people, possible new recruits, or just get a good laugh at the various noobs and crazies that also exist in our online world. You can also get emblems for PVP gear, second spec gear, or to buy and sell items for gold.

Anyway, that is just a start of some of the things you can do in game if raiding is slowing down.

Have fun!

Feral in Cataclysm

If you have not read the coming class changes head over to MMO-Champion and take a gander.

Let’s look at the changes coming up for ferals.

  • Thrash (Level 81): Thrash deals damage and causes all targets within 10 yards to bleed every 2 seconds for 6 seconds. The intent here is to give bears another button to hit while tanking. Talents will affect the bleed, such as causing Swipe to deal more damage to bleeding targets. 5-second cooldown. 25 Rage. Ok… quick summary… more AoE threat and damage than we have now by adding a second AoE ability… sounds fun.
  • Stampeding Roar (Level 83): The druid roars, increasing the movement of all allies within 10 yards by 40% for 8 seconds. Stampeding Roar can be used in cat or bear form, but bears might have a talent to drop the cooldown. The goal of this ability is to give both bears and cats a little more situational group utility. 3-minute cooldown. No cost. Um… ok… so obviously handy for PvP I guess… and now instead of just running away in PvE raids we hit this ability then run away… sounds fun I suppose.
  • Wild Mushroom (Level 85): Grows a magical mushroom at the target location. After 4 seconds the mushroom becomes invisible. Enemies who cross the mushroom detonate it, causing it to deal area-of-effect damage, though its damage component will remain very effective against single targets. The druid can also choose to detonate the mushroom ahead of time. This is primarily a tool for the Balance druid, and there will be talents that play off of it. No cooldown. 40-yard range. Instant cast. Blizzard fans, please stop sending the homemade brownies to the Devs. This looks like a balance PvP spell but I guess it might have bear pull potential depending if we have it without being spec balance and how long the CD might be… sort of like pulling with Hurricane but without the channel component.
  • We are getting our own version of rogue kick for a reliable interrupt. This is a very nice addition for both PvE and PvP.
  • Barkskin is undispellable. This is inline with Blizzard trying to make PvP encounters less bursty. If you don’t PvP this is meaningless.
  • We will be buffing the damage of Mangle (cat) significantly so that when cat druids cannot Shred, they are not at such a damage-dealing loss. So instead of removing the positional requirement of shred they buff Mangle… I guess this will give us something to debate as Mangle spam builds will be looked at once again. Obviously another decent buff to our PvP ability.
  • We want to make the Feral cat damage rotation slightly more forgiving. We do not want to remove what druids like about their gameplay, but we do want to make it less punishing to miss, say, a Savage Roar or Rake. The changes here will be on par with increasing the duration of Mangle like we did for patch 3.3.3. I am going to go out on a limb here and say they give Savage Roar a Horn of Winter like CD. This would go a long way to making our rotation a little easier.

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonus

Feral (Cat)

  • Melee Damage
  • Melee Critical Damage
  • Bleed Damage

Feral (Bear)

  • Damage Reduction
  • Vengeance
  • Savage Defense

Bleed Damage and Savage Defense: Feral druids will receive two sets of passive bonuses depending on whether the druid is in cat or bear form. Bleed Damage will be improved for cats. Savage Defense is the current bear mechanic for converting crits into damage absorption and will be improved for bears.

Vengeance: This is a mechanic to ensure that tank damage (and therefore threat) doesn’t fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs will have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus. Whenever a tank gets hit, Vengeance will give them a stacking attack power buff equal to 5% of the damage done, up to a maximum of 10% of the character’s unbuffed health.

So nothing crazy fun for us kitties or bears really from what I can see. I was going to list some of the more interesting changes for other classes but there are so many you should visit MMO Champ and just take a read of all the classes for things like Hunters getting unlimited pets finally and rogues getting an AoE smoke cloud which makes melee impossible within it.

I know we will find out sooner than later but…

Now I am really freaked out. Read the following post pertaining to the pending DK change of only tanking as blood spec…

In Cataclysm, we are introducing the concept of passive talent tree bonuses and we think that feature is a lot stronger when the talent tree has a particular focus (such as damage, tanking or healing).

So what does this mean for the feral tree which includes both DPS and Tanking talents? Ferals really have 4 trees now.

My guess is 3 possibilities…

  1. We are back to being feral hybrids of tank and dps in 1 build and not be able to do either as well as the other classes (my fear from my previous post)
  2. The Balance tree will become the DPS tree and will merge Kitty and Boom somehow (would be fun if not for the gearing stats issue)
  3. Send balance over to the Resto tree with passive stat bonus going to spell power or haste and split up the DPS and Tank trees.

I guess all we can do is wait and see. My guess is we end up with useless passive stat bonuses for kitty and maybe become the tanks with the most threat?

Worried about Cataclysm.

Maybe I am just being a little paranoid here but the lack of feral kitty talk by the blues in such a long time is making me nervous.

Feral kitty is in a really good place atm, a complex rotation that rewards high DPS along with good raid utility. Mind you we gave up the ability to be good DPS and a good tank in the same spec but still… how long will Blizzard allow us to be competitive with the other pure DPS classes?

Maybe my memory of Burning Crusade is still too fresh.

I just don’t know if I could stand being sent back to mediocre DPS results becuase they feel they need to rework hybrids… again… This blue post is what got me thinking:

Hybrid Tax System
We’ll continue to polish it, but we’re not fundamentally changing the design. We think there is plenty of evidence to suggest that pure dps would die off if more flexible classes could do everything they could do and more. Again though, in most cases gear or skill will have a much bigger influence on your performance than the potential maximums we engineer into the classes. While the averages more or less follow our general design (with some exceptions that we need to address), you can find plenty of individual parses where a hybrid “wins” or a pure “loses.” (Source)

So with all the changes coming to Talents Trees and stat changes in Cataclysm I just prey we are not the exceptions that they need to address.

Note to Blizzard, leave us kitties alone we are just peachy… k? thx

3.3.3 and the Mangle Change

Patch 3.3.3 should be out tomorrow and some of us feral kitties managed to get a buff from the following change…

Mangle: The debuff from this talent now lasts 60 seconds, up from 12 seconds.

For those of us having to keep up Mangle this will equate to a small buff now that instead of wasting energy on a Mangle reapplication we can get in more shreds. Most ferals in 25 mans won’t see a change if they already have a bear or warrior keeping up the bleed debuff.

Also, there is talk on EJ and other forums about the new Glyph of Mangle: This glyph now provides 10% increased damage done by Mangle instead of increasing the duration of the debuff. The talk is about how viable a Mangle spam build might be. To save my readers from a lot of reading I can answer it here for you… it’s not.

Two changes were made to give us a little more edge in PvP. One is the new Mangle Glyph and the 2nd are the charges added to Nature’s Grasp (Now has 3 charges, up from 1.) Make sure to put Nature’s Grasp on your bars, at 3 charges this can be a game breaker in all kinds of PvP situations and maybe even in PvE in encounters with CC’able adds… It should also be handy when leveling in the next expansion.

There is also talk on Mangle spam being viable for certain encounters where staying behind a boss is difficult or impossible… There is really only one and that’s Kologarn in Ulduar and you will be better served from a pure DPS and damage standpoint standing in the middle swipe spamming… trust me, I have tried the various other methods of maintaining high DPS on this fight and Swipe spam works the best. It’s retarded and cooky to swipe spam on this fight just to boost your personal DPS but blame blizzard for creating a fight that does not allow our main damaging attack. Swipe spam while using mangle just to keep up SR and amuse your friends with your high DPS.

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