Jacemora: July 2008

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Overheard at the Feral Druid Dept. of Blizzard

Tom: Hey Dick, I really don't think I am going to get around to designing any feral gear by Nov.

Dick: Just let them use Rogue gear

Tom: But all the new Rogue gear has +hit, +haste, you know stats the druids don't care about.

Dick: Well, let's make OoC only proc on white attacks... and while we are at it give feral druids the use of weapon proc enchants, attack with both paws, make windfury totems worth while, and give them talents that make them more like rogues, it is what they have been asking for all along anyway.

Tom: Cloak of Pwnage?

Dick: Of course not! Don't get crazy Tom! Just enough changes so they have no clue how to do the most DPS anymore, that should keep the QQers off our ass at least for a little while... maybe they will just reroll Death Knights so we can get a little R&R.

Well folks that is my half hearted attempt at a BRKesque post.

Must read Feral Druid Blue Post

Druid - Omen of Clarity buff and Feral DPS (src)
In the next data push, you will find Omen of Clarity has been changed a bit. The 10 second cooldown has been removed, the procs per minute has been raised from 2 to 3.5, and melee abilities no longer trigger it. Spell interaction with Omen of Clarity remains relatively unchanged, with its hidden chance to trigger off spells reduced by half (and rolling the dice about 2x as often). What this means is that more auto-attacks landing on the target will increase the benefit from Omen of Clarity. Haste, increased hit chance, and expertise will all make Omen of Clarity better.

We are aware of the concerns with reaching the hit rating cap, and will make sure Druids can pick up Rogue items to wear without exceeding that cap. This means Rogues will likely socket for hit, while Druids socket for Strength or Agility.

Before LK goes live, we will do extensive testing on how much damage classes do, and will increase or decrease their power as appropriate to meet our targets. Cat raid DPS suffered relative to other melee in BC for lack of an Combat Potency equivalent talent (OOC should now be roughly equal), for lack of a scaling finishing move (Savage Roar answers that), for lack of benefitting from Windfury Totem, and for lack of weapon procs (+35 agility != Mongoose). All of those lacks have been addressed. In addition, a change has been made to make the agility rebalance less severe (as I posted in another thread).

In PvP, we are adding many tools to the Feral Druid arsenal, including the redesigned Maim, Infected Wounds, King of the Jungle, and Berserk. We have also made some improvements to the "range bug". Attacks that require you to be behind a target will no longer be able to be parried, nor able to be dodged by a player. Our movement engine will now smoothly interpolate positions of moving units, preventing the "Out of range/You must be behind your target/Out of range/You must be behind your target/Out of range/You must be behind your target..." sequence from occuring any more. In addition, being able to apply a snare makes the Feral Druid able to slow down their target and lessen the severity of the "range bug". Yes, there are still issues with the model, especially when switching into and out of cat form, but many of the issues are being dealt with.

Druid -
Compensation for the agility nerf (
To help deal with this issue, in the next data push, Druids should find their melee critical strike chance is about 5% higher. The conversion of agility to critical strike chance remains the same 40:1 at level 70, but the base amount for 0 agility has been increased by 5%.

Ok, let me give you my thoughts on what we are looking at in WotLK... basically we will now be speccing one of three different ways being feral.

1. Tank Spec
2. DPS spec
3. PvP Spec

As you all know with the exception of a couple points in entangling or natural shapeshifter we really don't currently have a feral PvP spec. That is going to most likely change along with various other adjustments that will make us more viable in Arena. No longer is the feral tree expected to cover 1 spec for Arena, Tanking, and DPS. We will have to choose talents to concentrate in one of the three or pick a mixture depending on what some talents have what effect in PVE... throw in Inscriptions that will allow us to swipe 4 targets instead of 3 and you can start to see that you will most likely need to choose based on if you want to be uber tankage, uber DPSage, or uber PVPer. I am guessing another option will be for the status quo of uber OT balancing tanking talents with DPS talents and maybe some CC talents for raid utility. Looks like druids are going to maintain their flexibility in the expansion and will be very fun to play with.

Monday, July 21, 2008

FOSHIZZLE!... Azgalor Down

So yeah, I said it too... FOSHIZZLE!

After making the gear changes to make my Bear tanking set stronger I took considerably less damage tanking Azgalor this week than I did last week. Dodged 60% of his attacks and had a Disc priest using Pain Suppression on me too which helped.

No T6 gear, no Staff off stingy butt Anetheron, but lots of fun and a couple cool Archimonde screenshots I will put up later today.

Looking forward at WotLK gear

Looking at some of the first leather that drops from quests or mobs or what not... I am seeing gear with STAMINA... some with agility and expertise... and ATTACK POWER.

My guess is the way our DPS is going to scale is going to continue to fall more in line with sharing rogue gear. No matter what I think for leveling we as ferals are going to now have a set of leveling greens and blues to bag with our raiding purples as Stamina and Armor will become more important on our DPS gear for leveling survival.

Adding some of this new gear in Rawr, it looks to be near Kara quality but does not touch badge upgrades from the Isle... I dunno, maybe leveling in Arena S3/S4, badge gear, and 2T4/2T5 will be the way to go with the 2 pieces of tier bonus.... Instant cast HoT's FTW?

Raiding feral druids are going to have a lot of options depending on your leveling style I suppose.

Friday, July 18, 2008

WotlK Wowhead Beta Site


Green quality Idol from a quest...

Idol of the Plainstalker

Basically the Idol of Terror with 10 less agility on proc.

This is a reward about 2 levels into the expansion. This alone speaks volumes as to what our current gear is really worth in the expansion IMHO.

The Good...

People with fresh 70's have no need to run Karazhan, they most likely can just focus on getting to level 80 just like it was when BC released. This will also be great with alt toons that people put very little effort into once they hit 70 because they were spending all their time raiding and getting rep on their main.

The Bad...

The majority of work people put into raiding goes unnoticed since their gear will be replaced quickly into the expansion. Let's hope the new achievements systems address this. I know it is unlikely but I would like to see under achievements not only that I ran and killed every boss in Karazhan but that I cleared the place X amount of times... would be nice for the game to tally that info. I hope it also shows the world boss kills in there somewhere as well. Heck, it might make going back and clearing MC worth while.

Also, even more level 80 toons that have no clue what it is to raid.

Another WotlK beta tidbit... Hurricane has no cooldown! Druid AoE farming low level mats FTW! Barkskin, Hurricane, clear Deadmines... woot! LOL

On a serious note though, I love pulling 5 mans with hurricane and now it will go even faster. As a feral I can also do a weapon swap and maintain 2500DPS AoE while pallies continue to be Uber crowd meat shields.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Made some gear changes...

Well, I made some gear changes on Jace in order to improve his tanking gear.

Switched helms so I am now tanking with Vengeful Gladiator's Dragonhide Helm and going Kitty with Stag-Helm of Malorne. I did this for 2 reasons.

A. Improve my tanking gear for tanking Azgalor
B. Improve my arena gear for more survivability

I wanted to gem and enchant my PVP helm for arena survivability instead of DPS. So I went with the SSO helm enchant of 18 stamina and 20 resilience. This in turn helped me stay uncritable while upgrading to Ring of the Stalwart Protector and allowed me to shift back to Agility enchant on my cloak and Stamina enchant on my bracers. I also socketed the helm with a Powerful Earthstorm Diamond so now with talents I have 20% to avoid a stun attack... I love the look on Tauren faces when they stomp and I keep ripping thier face.

Since adding T5 gear to my tanking mix I no longer was using the 4T4 bonus for tanking so it just made more sense to shift to helm and shoulders for the 2T4 bonus in Kitty. I am now using Gloves of Dexterous Manipulation in my DPS set. I am pretty sure this did cause a little drop in DPS which I could most likely make up by spending some badges on Nyn'jah's Tabi Boots and Handwraps of the Aggressor but my goal really is to sacrifice a smidge of PVE DPS in hopes of getting my arena ranking high enough to grab Brutal Gladiator's Dragonhide Helm and Brutal Gladiator's Dragonhide Tunic as well as Guardian's Dragonhide Bracers and save my badges incase I need more tanking upgrades such as Embrace of Everlasting Prowess and Tameless Breeches.

Even with gimping my DPS a little by the gear switch I still managed to come in 3rd in TD on our Naj kill last night. Unfortunately I was also in the tank group with no shammy totems or other DPS buffs.

Healing myself after every shield break definately took a pretty big toll on my damage output since I lose energy by not staying in Cat form but you have to do what you have to do to stay alive and beat a boss. FYI for feral druids, pop barkskin before the shield burst and then cast a full rank Healing Touch followed with 1 instant cast full rank Rejuv and your mana should hold up for the whole fight while giving the healers time to catch up.

High Warlord Naj'entus Down!

Yay, on our 2nd trip ever to Black Temple we downed High Warlord Naj'entus. Everyone did an awesome job looting the spike and keeping everyone alive. I can see us very soon getting the first 2-3 bosses down in BT in one night. We cleared the trash to Supremus which was WAY EASIER than expected and picked a fight with the big guy just to take a look at how the fight goes. Then we all promptly died in phase 2 to volcanoes. Fun stuff, I definately prefer BT raiding to the monotony of trash killing in Hyjal. Hopefully next week we will be getting some of our first T6 gear in Hyjal.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Patch 2.4.3

What this patch means to me...

1. Future runs of Heroic MrT for my Shard of Contempt just got easier. Parts of the instance were nurfed most noticeably the 2nd boss.

2. My lock now has the ability to make a 28 slot herbalism bag... this might come in handy when the expansion hits when leveling Jace and his herbalism.... druid gathering FTW!

I will not drop 1200G on a 22 slot bag. That is insane and there is no way adding 2-4 slots on my person can make back the gold spent for the space. The fact that people would even buy the other crap she has I find a little nuts. Maybe if you could see accessories on your person I could see it for some of the more vain players but outside of that happening I just don't get it.

My level 30 Horde hunter that my daughter created got her mount.

Nether Ray Fry... I see no point, I just don't have the bag space and I really am not big on collecting pets.

My lock now just casts Curse of Elements and everyone gets bonus damage... YAY... more DPS on Hyjal bosses since another lock can now use a different curse.

One of my FAVORITES...
Zoning into an instance on a PvE realm will now drop your PvP flag.

Awesome, horde if you are flagged and I am sitting around around waiting for a raid to start you are getting ganked.... nice to have something more to do pre raid while waiting than dancing as a little flaming tart.

Don Carlos' Famous Hat... yeah, I got it. The hat really looks awesome on male NE's and having a full size hunters pet follow me around is kinda cool... I don't know when I will use it much but looks neat nonetheless... Druid, don't think you can solo this guy... he scatter shots and nets you constantly and has a good amount of health.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bad Economy

Ok, Explain to me this... if the economy is so bad why...

Can't about 50% of the people that want Wii's find them to buy?
Wii Fit? Yeah right.
New Apple Iphone... no.

and the reason I am on this rant, my new Sunpass mini sticker... everyone is out.

Just look at the Blizzard Authenticator, gone. Heck, they could have sold these for $19.99 and charged shipping and they would have sold them out.

I once read a BRK blog about a good way to tell if the economy is doing bad is by the quality of service in lets say a fast food joint... well guess what, that lady that took my order at McDonalds today.... no way she had a degree and was slumming.

Sure, home values are down and gas prices are up but really it just means those of us that were able to get out of debt, get nice homes, maybe even a 3rd car for fun and still live high on the hog before the turn just have to go back to being middle class and watching our budgets again... it's really not that bad. My guess is someone, somewhere didn't like all the Americans coming out of debt and somehow the economy is getting manipulated to put us back into it.

A possible answer to the Scryer's SSO neck

Check out this thread for a possible explanation behind why the Scryer's version of the SSO neck ranks so high.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I updated the gear post

I decided to add in the Kara gear since so many people are running Kara now even on a pug basis. Kara really is the single best place to upgrade your kitty gear if you are not running 25 mans. ZA is another place to go but requires a better geared and coordinated group to make it work.

I highly recommend getting to Kara as often as possible before the expansion if your goal is to get equipped for feral for expansion leveling. You get 23 badges per full clear and you can see all the possible kitty gear that can drop in there in my gear post.

The only gear you can't get from Kara drops is a good DPS trinket (The vial from Opera sucks) so that say's a lot about the importance of running this instance if you want to gear up for feral. Fortunately though there are many alternatives of gear that is better or on par with these drops and that gear is listed first in my gear thread as the fastest way to get geared instead of waiting months for a certain upgrade to drop and win the roll on.

Again, the post does not go into gear that is available past Kara. No 25 man raids have been considered in the post.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Back to Hyjal

And on our first try we get Azgalor to 1.7K health and wipe.


That was the best we were going to do last night.


More wiping on trash.


I really am starting to hate Mt. Hyjal with it's trash waves. It is so much nicer getting to do multiple attempts on a boss with only having to clear trash once per 2 hours or so. I am now almost exalted with Sands.

I got Pepe's Shroud of Pacification last night which I know will come in handy once I am at the armor cap or with a caster tank set for now with the added stamina I suppose.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

YES! We one shot the first 3 bosses in Hyjal

Now tomorrow we start our raid evening with the 4th boss who we got to 70% tonight and that was with a very messy attempt.

P.S. The talk about feral DPS not scaling... well so far it is just that, talk cause so far I have not seen a problem. Maybe the changes in 2.3 and new SSO gear has made a difference but the WWS speaks for itself... Yes, tanking Hyjal trash, emergency tanking a boss or 2 if need be, a battle rez here or there, and then topping the meter on the boss kill... Druid life is good.... but don't tell Blizz that :)

P.S.S. I only got strength totem but I still love being in a shammy group... can't wait til we proc WF in forms and even get GoA when they combine the strength and agility totems... going to be sick.
I would have put up numbers on rage which historically have also been high but I grabbed Medallion of the Alliance this weekend and forgot to update my ItemRack so when I changed to my Hyjal set, which I have named my raid set with Insignia of the Alliance instead of Crystalforged Trinket I ended up not getting my trinket which I had deleted already to make bag space... so I died REALLY fast... ugh.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gearing up for Feral DPS

Ok, here is a post detailing the fastest way to get geared for feral kitty DPS. Whether you are currently a balance or resto druid or a feral tank that ignored getting DPS gear, follow this guide to getting the best possible gear for killing stuff. This should be useful considering pretty soon we will all be in Northrend trying to kill new and exciting mobs. This is for those of you that are not raiding anything past Kara or not raiding at all, obviously there is some better gear that can be had from 25 mans that you might be able to get for your offspec but I am not covering that in this post. I had to bold this last part for the quick to flame trolls that some how missed it (see comments)

Final Tips

Kaz'rogal Down

Honestly, I was expecting much worse... but we one shot him last night. The thought of people exploding right and left filled our heads with expectations of at least some wipes and a learning curve... nope, dead demon.

For you feral druids out there, this is the absolute least friendly melee fight I have ever been in. He stomps what seems to be constantly so I spend most of my time stunned doing nothing.

A hats off to the casters, hunters, and healers that made this happen without killing the raid.