Sunday, July 25, 2010

Off-topic: Achieving a personal goal (almost)

Many of you have probably seen me from my interview for "The Raid" (here is a link if you have not). That interview was conducted in early February, and at the time I was around 200lbs, just over half way there. Exactly one year ago I was 225 lbs, and today I am just short of my original goal at 185 (my goal was 180). Just before that interview I had actually gained some of the weight back so by cheating and counting that I have lost exactly 50 lbs in the span of a year.

This is a very serious issue for gamers, but it is also a very misinformed stereotype, because it is VERY easy to be a gamer and be healthy. The combination of a poor diet plus a sedentary lifestyle leads to a lot of problems. But there are two types of people, people who are overweight and blame video games and do not care, and the people who know the real problem is that they are making poor choices when it comes to nutrition and lack of exercise. Over the past year, I have been a part of the tankspot team who is helping to raise awareness on the issue. As a tankspot donor, we have a special "Fitness" Forum. I really have to thank all of them for the support and motivation to keep going. When I started gaining weight again it was them who kickstarted me back into my program. I could not have done it without them because let me tell you, it is not easy, not only losing it in the first place but keeping the motivation, to not gain it all back (because believe me I could easily gain back all the weight in a matter of weeks).

My personal journey began when I realized that if I did not do something with my health, I would be at serious risk, especially because in my case, I also have a thyroid condition, which is a major part of my problem and my struggles. The first major change was eating. I was never an unhealthy eater, I would just eat way to much. Cutting back from 6-7 meals a day to 3-5 meals a day, within 2 months I was already down 25 lbs. In combination with that was signing up for a gym and beginning a running plan: the couch to 5K. It was at that point where I platued and backtracked. After not seeing any aditional weight loss for the next month, combined with not being able to move from week 4 to week 5 after 2 months of trying, and I gained 10 lbs back before Christmas. Seemed a lot of people were having this problem because the tankspot fitness forum kind of exploded with activity again at this point and most of us started getting back on track. My mother has been on Weight Watchers for years, so while I had been following the program loosely, I finally decided to sign up and really stick with it. This has been a huge help. By simply righting down and tracking everything you eat, you really begin to notice things and begin to change. I started going running again as well. And since I signed up in the 3 months I have been doing it I have lost an additional 18 lbs.

Pitfalls (and things I need to work on):
- Get back to the doctor and get my thyroid back in check
- When I run, I get out of breath so quickly, I think I might have some kind of exercise induced asthma
- When I do not see a change for 2 weeks I lose a huge amount of my motivation and gain weight that third week
- My gym membership is running out next week and I really do not know how I am going to afford renewing it

Finally, yesterday Aliena announced she is starting a fitness channel for gamers on her youtube channel. So I figured I would help her out a bit and wish her luck as well as for my own continued success as well as my fellow tankspoters and to anyone who wants to change their lifestyle to try and be more healthy, GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My thoughts on the new trees:

In a word UNFINISHED. In another, UNTOUCHED!

Long version:

Honestly seems like they just threw druids away for later because they did not know what they wanted to do. Take ferocity and furor for example, are they increasing the ability cost across the board because right off the bat everything now costs 2 extra rage and energy, and they finally give in and give me a 3 point furor AND IT STILL is 60% chance, my personal record is 10 consecutive shifts without a rage proc (either that or they just removed ranks 4 and 5 and did not update the first 3, for both the ones I mentioned)

I am so upset at how bad these are, and without even having looked at the other classes (besides druid and prot warrior) I doubt there is but 1 maybe 2 trees as bad and unfinished as our feral tree. Everything I am about to right will probably have been for nothing by the time the next patch comes out (read as: 100% overhaul of feral).

Cat: NOW WHAT! there are simply not enough points to use 41 points as a cat.
Bear: -> -> where is out field dressing in either the first or second tier of resto, where is our imp LOTP = Blood craze? So because we have 2 roles in our tree we get nothing but boring non-interactive talents? No, my thoughts are still feral has been completely untouched and anything that had more than 3 ranks just had the last 2 removed and made to look nice so they could release something.

First tier:

See above, but 2 forced points are completely useless to bears (and while great for pvp cats, in pve unless after the first 10 seconds of a boss fight), and the other 3 are only marginally useful for both cat and bear.

Second tier:

Primal fury: Double cp on cat crits removed, This is going to be very detrimental to rotations, although maybe this is what they want, this would turn FB into a true finisher that you would only ever use if you did not have to use rip (see nomnomnom). Depending on rage, we may skip this as bears, but probably not.

Feral Swiftness: 30% is so fast, I am surprised it is still that high (see pursuit of justice). As for the dodge, again I am surprised that is not part of the bear "you get free stuff for picking feral." More on this later (see natural reaction).

Fury swipes: cat white attacks made up suck a small portion of damage compared to other melee, and even with haste effecting energy it was still not a great stat. This will help make haste a competitive stat. Does this swing give rage for bears? Either way with haste effecting rage, more threat is more threat, simply a matter of will we have room for it.

Infected wounds: ravage has been added to applying it.

Third Tier:

(Imp) feral charge: see below

KOTJ: depends on the implementation of enrage. If the armor reduction is not removed, this is worthless for bears, if it is, this is better than imp feral charge.

Fourth Tier:

Imp LOTP: it appears to be missing ...

Skull Bash: Well this is one way to force us to take it, put in in the tier that has even with it a max of 3 points a bear would want.

Fifth Tier:

Natural Reaction: Again, I am surprised this is still there. My suggestion, remove this talent, and role the rage on dodge into feral swiftness, and remove the dodge from both and place it on the mastery

Endless carnage: Picking it because I expect the numbers to be tweaked and pulverize actually worth hitting, because right now there is no reason to.

Primal Madness: see above, although if enrage is no longer a second shield wall, and losses the armor reduction, when we hit it it will be because we want rage, and this would make it more effective in the role it is supposed to play. Unfortunately it is a role that is not needed making the talent lackluster. Cats will only get this because they have nothing else.

Sixth Tier: Again only 4 points a bear would even want.

Rend and Tear: see above about talent ranks and reduced effectiveness. It is nice they reduced maul but I still think this should not effect maul at all but rather give a bonus to mangle.

Pulverize: Wait and See.

Seventh Tier:

Berserk: Only because there is nothing else to get with only 1 point unless I want cat only talents.

Resto: I expected as much, of the 4 tank classes we have by far the weakest sub-secs (frost/unholy, ret, arms/fury). I expect resto to get a field dressing like talent. Only having 3 points to pick as a bear in the first tier of resto is utterly unacceptable.

P.S. I wrote this at 5 in the morning because I could not sleep, please ignore the ramblings and QQ, I know stuff is going to change DRASTICALLY, and I like this post to be a predictions/see how far they came when live comes post.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

OoC from blizzard

Source: Blizzard

If I had to guess, Omen of Clarity will be a trained ability. It's too useful to different kinds of druids. Even if you put it shallow in Resto, Feral wouldn't be able to benefit from it until very high level.

But we'll see....

This is probably one of those "don't quote me on this because things can always change" but if the new 31 point trees are as done as I think they are, OoC will not be a talent in the next beta push.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

25-man Heroic Halion

Complete with tips and tricks.


Outside MT: Position Halion so the center of his hitbox is about 1/2 way between the wall and the center of the room. The portal to get into phase 2 always spawns relative to where Halion is, so keeping it dead center leaves people more open to breaths and cleaves when they zone into phase 2. Your back should be to the firewall but this will also block your camera. When the meteor falls, the big add will be MDed to you, they are not tauntable so if you are main tanking you really should be (god I swore I would never say this I hate this glyph) using glyph of maul to keep agro on it as they get burned down once the AOE ends.

Add tank: SWIPESWIPESWIPESWIPESWIPE. Sometimes a pet can actually pull agro on it (felguard cleave being the biggest culprit) or the MT can get proxy agro and they will not come to the raid. Just target them while spamming swipe and taunt. Otherwise just keep Halion targeted while mauling and swiping to get that extra maul damage on the boss.

Inside MT: you can either go cat to help dps but I recommend staying in bear and helping pick up the little adds. This will be especially helpful if the add tank gets the debuff and has to run out to be dispelled.

Phase 2:

Outside MT: Stay outside and jump around doing nothing. This will allow you to not only get him properly positioned for phase 3 but also everyone will get a threat wipe while you will keep your threat from phase 1.

Add tank: go cat and DPS

Inside MT: Make sure you are the first person inside, he will not activate until hit (or after a few seconds if he is not hit) so feral charge him and turn him to your left. This is to make sure the raid does not get breathed on or cleaved, and specifically left because of the rotation of the orbs. Do not run to fast and run into the back of the beam to your left, this is not pleasant.

Phase 3:

Outside MT and Add Tank: same as phase 1

Inside MT: Same as phase 2


Outside MT and Inside MT: The breath is probably one of the weakest breathes of any dragon, use armor neck cape rings organ and sindragosa's flawless fang.

Add Tank: The adds are all fire damage so SFF and either Satrina's/Jugs vit or CSK. Double ring of binding if you have them or ring of binding + devium's or twin valk. I use the Princes's cape (royal crimson) with an FR enchant and I have a spare pair of bracers that I put an FR fur lining on. You can also get the FR helm enchant from Kirin Tor rep if you are so inclined.

MAJOR!!!! Talent change announcement

When we first announced our design goals for class talent trees back at BlizzCon 2009, one of our major stated focuses was to remove some of the boring and "mandatory" passive talents. We mentioned that we wanted talent choices to feel more flavorful and fun, yet more meaningful at the same time. Recently, we had our fansites release information on work-in-progress talent tree previews for druids, priests, shaman, and rogues. From those previews and via alpha test feedback, a primary response we heard was that these trees didn’t incorporate the original design goals discussed at BlizzCon. This response echoes something we have been feeling internally for some time, namely that the talent tree system has not aged well since we first increased the level cap beyond level 60. In an upcoming beta build, we will unveil bold overhauls of all 30 talent trees.

Talent Tree Vision

One of the basic tenets of Blizzard game design is that of “concentrated coolness.” We’d rather have a simpler design with a lot of depth, than a complicated but shallow design. The goal for Cataclysm remains to remove a lot of the passive (or lame) talents, but we don’t think that’s possible with the current tree size. To resolve this, we're reducing each tree to 31-point talents. With this reduction in tree size we need to make sure they're being purchased along a similar leveling curve, and therefore will also be reducing the number of total talent points and the speed at which they're awarded during the leveling process.

As a result, we can keep the unique talents in each tree, particularly those which provide new spells, abilities or mechanics. We’ll still have room for extra flavorful talents and room for player customization, but we can trim a great deal of fat from each tree. The idea isn’t to give players fewer choices, but to make those choices feel more meaningful. Your rotations won’t change and you won’t lose any cool talents. What will change are all of the filler talents you had to pick up to get to the next fun talent, as well as most talents that required 5 of your hard-earned points.

We are also taking a hard look at many of the mandatory PvP talents, such as spell pushback or mechanic duration reductions. While there will always be PvP vs. PvE builds, we’d like for the difference to be less extreme, so that players don’t feel like they necessarily need to spend their second talent specialization on a PvP build.

The Rise of Specialization

We want to focus the talent trees towards your chosen style of gameplay right away. That first point you spend in a tree should be very meaningful. If you choose Enhancement, we want you to feel like an Enhancement shaman right away, not thirty talent points later. When talent trees are unlocked at level 10, you will be asked to choose your specialization (e.g. whether you want to be an Arms, Fury or Protection warrior) before spending that first point. Making this choice comes with certain benefits, including whatever passive bonuses you need to be effective in that role, and a signature ability that used to be buried deeper in the talent trees. These abilities and bonuses are only available by specializing in a specific tree. Each tree awards its own unique active ability and passives when chosen. The passive bonuses range from flat percentage increases, like a 20% increase to Fire damage for Fire mages or spell range increases for casters, to more interesting passives such as the passive rage regeneration of the former Anger Management talent for Arms warriors, Dual-Wield Specialization for Fury warriors and Combat rogues, or the ability to dual-wield itself for Enhancement shaman.

The initial talent tree selection unlocks active abilities that are core to the chosen role. Our goal is to choose abilities that let the specializations come into their own much earlier than was possible when a specialization-defining talent had to be buried deep enough that other talent trees couldn’t access them. For example, having Lava Lash and Dual-Wield right away lets an Enhancement shaman feel like an Enhancement shaman. Other role-defining examples of abilities players can now get for free at level 10 include Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Shield Slam, Mutilate, Shadow Step, Thunderstorm, Earth Shield, Water Elemental, and Penance.

Getting Down to the Grit

Talent trees will have around 20 unique talents instead of today's (roughly) 30 talents, and aesthetically will look a bit more like the original World of Warcraft talent trees. The 31-point talents will generally be the same as the 51-point talents we already had planned for Cataclysm. A lot of the boring or extremely specialized talents have been removed, but we don't want to remove anything that’s going to affect spell/ability rotations. We want to keep overall damage, healing, and survivability roughly the same while providing a lot of the passive bonuses for free based on your specialization choice.

While leveling, you will get 1 talent point about every 2 levels (41 points total at level 85). Our goal is to alternate between gaining a new class spell or ability and gaining a talent point with each level. As another significant change, you will not be able to put points into a different talent tree until you have dedicated 31 talent points to your primary specialization. While leveling, this will be possible at 70. Picking a talent specialization should feel important. To that end, we want to make sure new players understand the significance of reaching the bottom of their specialization tree before gaining the option of spending points in the other trees. We intend to make sure dual-specialization and re-talenting function exactly as they do today so players do not feel locked into their specialization choice.

A True Mastery

The original passive Mastery bonuses players were to receive according to how they spent points in each tree are being replaced by the automatic passive bonuses earned when a tree specialization is chosen. These passives are flat percentages and we no longer intend for them to scale with the number of talent points spent. The Mastery bonus that was unique to each tree will now be derived from the Mastery stat, found on high-level items, and Mastery will be a passive skill learned from class trainers around level 75. In most cases, the Mastery stats will be the same as the tree-unique bonuses we announced earlier this year. These stats can be improved by stacking Mastery Rating found on high-level items.

To Recap

When players reach level 10, they are presented with basic information on the three specializations within their class and are asked to choose one. Then they spend their talent point. The other trees darken and are unavailable until 31 points are spent in the chosen tree. The character is awarded an active ability, and one or more passive bonuses unique to the tree they've chosen. As they gain levels, they'll alternate between receiving a talent point and gaining new skills. They'll have a 31-point tree to work down, with each talent being more integral and exciting than they have been in the past. Once they spend their 31'st point in the final talent (at level 70), the other trees open up and become available to allocate points into from then on. As characters move into the level 78+ areas in Cataclysm, they'll begin seeing items with a new stat, Mastery. Once they learn the Mastery skill from their class trainer they'll receive bonuses from the stat based on the tree they've specialized in.

We understand that these are significant changes and we still have details to solidify. We feel, however, that these changes better fulfill our original class design goals for Cataclysm, and we're confident that they will make for a better gameplay experience. Your constructive feedback is welcomed and appreciated.

Comments to come shortly (once I finish working on something else)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The ICC buff and you: Getting max TPS

(I had not planned on releasing this post until the 30% buff came out, but since you asked nicely O.o)

With the buff now at 25%, even in full DPS gear I have more HP than I did the first week of hard modes in full tank gear (with no zone buff yet). And since most of the fights are completely boring as a tank, what better to do than try and set TPS records.

First, the spec:

Next, the rotation: I like to build up a 5 stack of lacerate first, to let my idol stack up, as opposed to berserking straight away, to give my berserk that extra crit, but mileage may vary. Even if I use it right on the pull, on most bosses I will not get a second one so that really does not matter, and since you probably used KOTJ to get rage for the pull, why not wait and line up berserk with your second enrage. Well anyway after that you can pretty much just macro it and go afk. Assuming a 5 stack is already up, Mangle-> Lacerate-> FF->Mangle->Swipe->Swipe->Mangle->FF->Swipe->Repeat. This is why it is important to cap hit and expertise because you are refreshing that lacerate with under a second to go so if it misses/is parried you need to start your stack all over again. Also MAULMAULMAULMAULMAUL!

After that, the gear: (wowhead does not like my leatherworking for some reason but the bracers have the 102 stam leatherworking lining). Is this the ideal setup, far from it, but it is what I have to use, just to give you guys an idea of the direction to go.

Things to keep in mind, at the 20% buff, I still used my 277 tanking helm (with stam meta) and for the extra armor boost. I also had my tanking belt with 2x30 stam gems and a 51 stam gem until the 25% buff.

The most important thing to do is cap hit and expertise before anything else, although what the parry cap actually is is anywhere between 54-60 depending on who you ask (I think 14% or 56 is the right number but don't quote me). The three pieces I love for this are the trinket, the cape, and the chest. All very easy to obtain (10 man HM trial, 10 man Morrowgar, 25 Gunship) which combined give 5% hit and 30 expertise skill (40 on the character sheet because of talents).

The other important thing is still use 4pc t10. With KotJ, you will be using enrage a lot. If you do not have the bonus, the armor loss from using enrage, combined with already reduced stam and armor from the dps gear, will be very deadly.

Lastly, Fights I use this on (all heroic mode):
  • LM
  • LDW (swap the bracers for the identical ones just with a 70 frost resist fur lining, and change the runestone to Sind's flawless fang)
  • LOLship
  • Deathbringer
  • Rotface
  • Festergut (this may surprise people, and you may think this is because I am the first tank, but I am not. Surviving the 3 stack is about using cooldowns nothing more)
  • BQL
Putricide is a moderatly difficult attempt boss better safe than sorry, Princes I tank 2 of them and they kinda hurt, stuff dies to fast on Dreamwalker so might as well use tank gear to let the healers heal the boss more, and sind I am the offtank so while my DPS contribution could be better, I have had some bad luck with healer blocks on that fight.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Make that 4 new posts:

If you would like to give feedback on any of the changes, or would like something posted in the beta forums, please visit the Bear thread in the tankspot beta forums: Anyone with solid feedback and/or suggestions will be better served writing a well-written post there as opposed to a chicken-scratch blog comment which will most likely never be seen by anyone important. the "official" bear beta thread.

GC post that really pissed me off

Tanks have a lot more cooldowns to use than they used to. Fundamentally though, our difficulty model is dependent on requiring a stable of healers to keep the tank up. If the tank has too much control over whether he or she lives or dies, then your success or failure has a lot more to do with the skill of that one player rather than the coordination of the raid as a whole (which is where we want it).
Right now, it feels exactly like GC is describing, tanks live or die depending on the skill of the healers and the tank does not have enough control over our own lives. Sure, the days of 30 minute shield walls are gone, but only because encounter designs require it. To many bosses in cata have followed the "I have a hard hitting ability that I use exactly once a minute and if you do not CD it you die". Fusion punch, Sarth's breaths, Vezax "kite" phase, Soul Repear, Mimiron's plasma blast, Festurgut's 3 stack. I hate being forced to used a cooldown on a script, and not as an O SHIT SOMETHING BAD HAPPENED.

I guess this is more of a rant about encounter design as opposed to lack of cooldowns or tanks controling their own life, but there is no such thing as a "CLUCH COOLDOWN" that saved the tanks life anymore like there used to be.

The last part: "coordination of the raid as a whole," this can easily be solved by balancing the external cooldowns, in which paladins are still way to strong in that category and new tree form notwithstanding for a tank cooldown, have none. Working with healers so the raid does not use 5 cooldowns at once and as a result have none for the next ability falls into what GC is talking about but again feels to scripted because of the way big boss abilities have worked in LK.

New though thanks to kalon

Source: Felhoof:

I'd rather have mangle apply the armor debuff automatically and keep FF the way it was. FF fulfilled a lot of needs for a bear, and these changes essentially ruin it.

My reply:

FFF IS our ranged puller, taunt should never be used to pull. I have been against this change from the first time I saw it.

The way FF should work, is that on live it should have a rage cost, and have it be removed in Cata, which is the opposite of the way it is. (since on live it works as a range pull but is also being used every 6 seconds since it does so much threat). Having not really tested bear at all, I am told FF (bear) is doing about 2/3 the damage/threat it does on live. This creates 2 problems. 1) no bear will ever spec into feral aggression because we will only use FF as a range pull and not part of our standard rotation, regardless of FF's CD 2) our only ranged pull HAS A COST.

Armor should be moved to mangle, which would give give us a reason to use berserk at the start of a fight (to get the 3 stack up faster), furthermore a reason to even spec into it at all as bear which at the moment most bears will not. And it will also let you remove the rage cost from from FF, redesign feral aggression, and INCREASE to CD on FF (bear) to really fulfill the role of a ranged pull.

The big thing is, if the damage of FF really has been cut by that much, there is no reason blizzard cannot double or even triple the cooldown to solidify that it is indeed our ranged pull and not supposed to be part of our rotation.


Just a couple of notes, because I am on a crusade right now (see here).

  • Skull bash is terribly implemented, forcing bears to spend 2 points in brutal impact, they might as well not give us an interrupt at all.
  • We have no dire bear form, I guess the plan is to have bear form scale with level but as of right now it apparently does not.
  • FF and other similar abilities need to share a slot. Right now, if a balance druid uses FF and a bear uses FF(bear), even those do not stack, let alone sunder. Having to spend 5 talent points to stack up a debuff faster is a bad talent. Feral Aggression needs to be completely reworked and the armor debuffs fixed.
  • Maul is the elephant in the room, if it stays as is, mangle will be used once a minute for the debuff and FF will be used on the pull and that is it. The rotation is in a bad place right now.
  • Cooldowns, shield block is on a shorter cooldown than barkskin and provides more mitigation (even if it is melee damage only), IBF can be talented to 60%, we still have no spell exclusive cooldown, and our mastery is probably the worst of the 4.
That's all I got for now, working on the feral write-up for tankspot which I will cross-post here once I finish.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

25% HP

And I could actually get higher than this too if I had changed my cape

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

25 HLK

we sucked big time, until we change one thing and we get to phase 3 consistently after months of wiping at the exact same spot.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cata preview v2


  • Tier 1

    • Sharpened Claws (2 points) - Icreases the damage caused by your Claw, Rake, Mangle (Cat), Mangle (Bear), and Maul abilities by 10/20%.
    • Ferocity (5 points) - Reduces the cost of your Maul, Swipe, Claw, Rake and Mangle abilities by 1/2/3/4/5 Rage or Energy.
    • Feral Aggression (5 points) - Increases the attack power reduction of your Demoralizing Roar by 8/16/24/32/40% and the damage caused by your Ferocious Bite by 3/6/9/12/15%.

  • Tier 2

    • Shredding Attacks (2 points) - Reduces the energy cost of your Shred ability by 5/10 and the rage cost of your Lacerate ability by 1/2.
    • Feral Instinct [TBR] (3 points) - Increases the damage done by your Swipe ability by 10/20/30% and reduces the chance enemies have to detect you while Prowling.
    • Thick Hide (3 points) - Increases your Armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 4/7/10%.

  • Tier 3

    • Feral Swiftness (2 points) - Increases your movement speed by 15/30% in Cat Form and increases your chance to dodge while in Cat Form, Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 2/4%.
    • Predatory Instincts (3 points) - Increases the damage done by your melee critical strikes by 3/7/10%.
    • Feral Charge (1 point) - Teaches Feral Charge (Bear) and Feral Charge (Cat).

      • Feral Charge (Bear) - Causes you to charge an enemy, immobilizing and interrupting any spell being cast for 4 seconds. This ability can be used in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form. 15-second cooldown.
      • Feral Charge (Cat) - Causes you to leap behind an enemy, dazing them for 3 seconds. 30-second cooldown.

    • Improved Feral Charge [NNF] (2 points) - Increases your melee haste by 15/30% after you use Feral Charge (Bear) for 8 seconds, and Ravage will temporarly not require stealth for 3/6 seconds after you use Feral Charge (Cat).

  • Tier 4

    • Nurturing Instinct (2 points) - Increases your healing spells by up to 35/70% of your agility, and increases healing done to you by 10/20% while in Cat Form.
    • Fury Swipes (3 points) - When you auto-attack while in Cat Form or Bear Form, you have a 4/8/12% chance to gain an extra auto-attack on the same target. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds.
    • Primal Fury (2 points) - Gives you a 50/100% chance to gain an additional 5 Rage anytime you get a critical strike while in Bear and Dire Bear Form, and your critical strikes from Cat Form abilities that add combo points have a 50/100% chance to add an additional combo point.

  • Tier 5

    • Brutal Impact (2 points) - Increases the stun duration of your Bash and Pounce abilities by 0.5/1 seconds, and decreases the cooldown of Bash by 5/10 seconds.
    • Heart of the Wild (5 points) - Increases your intellect by 4/8/12/16/20%. In addition, while in Bear or Dire Bear Form your stamina is increased by 2/4/6/8/10%, and while in Cat Form your attack power is increased by 2/4/6/8/10%.
    • Survival Instincts (1 point) - When activated, this ability temporarily grants you 30% of your maximum health for 20 seconds while in Bear Form, Cat Form, or Dire Bear Form. After the effect expires, the health is lost.
    • Predatory Strikes (2 points) - Increases the critical strike chance of your Ravage by 50/25% at or above 90% health, and your finishing moves have a 10/20% chance per combo point to make your next Nature spell with a base casting time less than 10 seconds become an instant cast spell.

  • Tier 6

    • Natural Reaction (3 points) - Increases your dodge while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form by 2/4%, and you regenerate 1/2 rage every time you dodge while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form.
    • Endless Carnage (2 points) - Increases the duration of your Rake by 3/6 seconds and your Savage Roar and Pulverize by 3/6 seconds.
    • Survival of the Fittest (3 points) - Reduces the chance you'll be critically hit by melee attacks by 2/4/6%, and increases the contribution from cloth and leather items in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 11/22/33%.

  • Tier 7

    • King of the Jungle (3 ranks) - While using your Enrage ability in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form, your damage is increased by 5/10/15%, and your Tiger's Fury ability also instantly restores 20/40/60 energy.
    • Leader of the Pack (1 point; Requires 1 point in Heart of the Wild) - While in Cat, Bear, or Dire Bear Form, Leader of the Pack increases ranged and melee critical chance of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 5%.
    • Improved Leader of the Pack (2 points; Requires 1 point in Leader of the Pack) - Your Leader of the Pack ability also causes affected targets to heal themselves for 2/4% of their total health when they critically hit with melee or ranged attacks. The healing effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds. In addition, you gain 4/8% of your maximum mana when you benefit from this heal.
    • Primal Tenacity (3 points) - Reduces the duration of fear effects by 10/20/30% and reduces all damage taken while stunned by 5/10/15% while in Cat Form.

  • Tier 8

    • Protector of the Pack (3 points) - Increases your attack power by 2/4/6% and reduces the damage you take by 4/8/12%, while in Bear or Dire Bear Form.
    • Infected Wounds (2 points) - Your Shred, Maul, Ravage and Mangle attacks cause an Infected Wound in the target. The infected Wound reduces the movement speed of the target by 25/50% and the attack speed by 10/20%. Lasts 12 seconds.

  • Tier 9

    • Primal Madness [NNF] (2 points) - Tiger's Fury and Berserk also increases your maximum energy by 6/12 during its duration, and your Enrage and Berserk abilities instantly generates 0/12 Rage.
    • Mangle (1 point) - Mangle the target, inflicting damage and causing the target to take additional damage from bleed effects for 1 minute. This ability can be used in Cat Form or Dire Bear form.
    • Improved Mangle (3 points) - Reduces the cooldown of your Mangle (Bear) ability by 0.5/1.0 seconds and reduces the energy cost of your Mangle (Cat) ability by 2/4.

  • Tier 10

    • Nom Nom Nom [NNF] (2 points) - When you Ferocious Bite a target at or below 25% health, you have a 50/100% chance to instantly refresh the duration of your Rip on the target.
    • Rend and Tear (5 points) - Increases damage done by your Maul and Shred attacks on bleeding targets by 4/8/12/16/20%, and increases the critical strike chance of your Ferocious Bite ability on bleeding targets by 5/10%.
    • Pulverize (1 point; Requires 5 points in Rend and Tear; Requires Dire Bear Form) - Deals 100% weapon damage plus additional 786 damage for each of your Lacerate applications on the target, and increases your melee critical strike chance by 2% for each Lacerate application consumed for 10seconds.

  • Tier 11

    • Berserk (1 point) - When activated, this ability causes your Mangle (Bear) ability to hit up to 3 targets and have no cooldown, and reduces the energy cost of all your Cat Form abilities by 50%. Lasts 15 seconds. You cannot use Tiger's Fury while Berserk is active. Clears the effect of Fear and makes you immune to Fear for the duration.


  • Tier 1

    • Blessing of the Grove (2 points) - Increases the healing done by your Rejuvenation by 2/4%, the direct damage of your Moonfire by 3/6% and the damage done by your Claw and Shred by 2/4%.
    • Nature's Focus (3 points) - Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Healing Touch, Wrath, Entangling Roots, Cyclone, Nourish, Regrowth and Tranquility by 23/46/75%.
    • Furor (5 points) - Gives you a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to gain 10 Rage when you shapeshift into Bear and Dire Bear Form, and you keep up to 20/40/60/80/100 of your energy when you shapeshift into Cat Form. In addition, your total intellect is increased while in Moonkin Form by 2/4/6/8/10%.

  • Tier 2

    • Perseverance (5 points) - Reduces all spell damage taken by 2/4/6/8/10%.
    • Subtlety [TBR] (3 points) - Reduces the threat generated by your Restoration spells by 10/20/30%.
    • Natural Shapeshifter (3 points) - Reduces the mana cost of all shapeshifting by 10/20/30%.

  • Tier 3

    • Naturalist (5 points) - Reduces the cast time of your Healing Touch and Nourish spells by 0.1/0.2/0.3/0.4/0.5 seconds and increases the damage you deal with physical attacks in all forms by 2/4/6/8/10%.
    • Omen of Clarity (1 point) - Each of the druid's damage, healing spells and auto-attacks has a chance of causing the caster to enter a Clearcasting state. The Clearcasting state reduces the mana, rage or energy cost of your next damage spell, healing spell or offensive ability by 100%.
    • Master Shapeshifter (2 points; Requires 3 points in Natural Shapeshifter) - Grants an effect which lasts while the druid is within the respective shapeshift form.

      • Bear Form - Increases physical damage by 2/4%.
      • Cat Form - Increases critical strike chance by 2/4%.
      • Moonkin Form - Increases spell damage by 2/4%.
      • Tree of Life Form - Increases healing by 2/4%.

Talent calculator:

Monday, June 7, 2010


In before some smart ass says unbind sit, x is bound to frenzied regen.

Monday, May 24, 2010

10 HLK Down


I really dislike that the part of the fight you need to learn is 10 minutes into the encounter. Perfect phase 1 and phase 2 only to mess up the first defile in phase 3 for the past 3 weeks, and then not even being able to get back there more than 50% of the time for the rest of the night.

Well even from the first attempt lasts night I knew we were going to get it down. First attempt I died the first reaper of phase 3 and they got it to 19% before they ran out of soaks and wiped to vile spirits. 3 attempts later we had a kill. Flawless too, amazing DPS, and an amazing level of envy at my guild group who killed it with lower stacks of the buff weeks ago (especially you joy for being able to keep mov alive lol)

So what do I do now while waiting to get more tries in on 25 H-LK?

PLAYING GOLF AND RIDING ROLLER COASTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (What I like golf, so sue me)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Just no

As far as I am concerned, everything posted on MMO this morning is still protected by the NDA and I will not be touching on any of it.

Simply looking at the talent trees you can see how much work blizzard still has to do, especially in removing the "fluff" talents. Hell, the DK trees are still 3 dps and 3 tanking trees. My guess would be they are still not sure what they want to do with tanks yet. So do not come around here and expect me to speculate on them.

But if you want my speculation, ignore MMO champ and let blizzard fix the game because I suspect there are still WAY TO MANY CHANGES that need to go in before even the alpha ends let alone the beta. So let blizzard get all the changes they want in before crying bloody murder.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dear Blizzard,

If you want me to keep playing this game in the expansion there is something you must do . . .


Simply sitting at LK while people port up I can watch my FPS drop, no one up but me, 200 FPS, 2 people port up, 100 FPS, 10 people ported up, 60 FPS, the entire raid up here and buffing, 20 FPS.

I do not care where my ret paladin has his consecrate (except to intentionally move out of it) I do not need to see my warlocks shadowbolts and my mages firebolts flying at the mob and then glowing under the bosses feet for the next 10 seconds. But doing yogg phase 1 or LK heroic phase 1 without enemy spell detail on max, YEA good luck with that.

/end rant

Sorry guys, recently got a job and have not been playing but 3 days a week and even then I hardly have time to do it, pretty much done posting until the official cata notes are released because everything I had slotted for pre-release a day or two before the scheduled release a blue post pops up and says O YEA YOU ARE GETTING THAT DONT WORRY, invalidating my entire post.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Furor is terrible!

I have a feeling I have written this before (or maybe I just thought I did when lissanna wrote something about it) but

The biggest quality of life issue since ulduar, FUROR! Until Ulduar came out you almost never saw a feral druid with improved mark of the wild and thus would always have 5/5 furor. So what a wake-up call it was when suddenly improved mark became a required talent for feral druids and we have to stand there and shift 5+ times to get the 10 rage proc. Do the math all you want, what the odds of a 60% chance not happening 5 times in a row, and I could care less, I have seen it happen time and time again. Waiting before Anub one I had to shift so many times just to get 10 rage I ran out of mana and had to drink.

Now granted this was a much bigger problem in the past, and since the buff to enrage and bloodrage it is not nearly as big a deal, but it is still a royal pain.

1) Make it a 3 point talent at 33/66/100% chance to grant 10 rage.

2) Leave it at 5 points and make it always a 100% chance for 2/4/6/8/10 rage.

3) Make it 3 points and make it a 100% chance for 2/4/6 rage.

4) and probably the most radical idea because it is my favorite. Just remove furor completely, make natural shapeshifter a 5 point talent and move it to tier 1 where furor is right now, and make it 6/12/18/24/30% mana reduction and a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to get 10 rage.

Nothing pisses me off more than when I am shifting for rage as DKs are using army, and the retards' armies pull the boss when I have shifted 4 times and still have 0 rage. What really upsets me about furor is bosses that you start an event and it starts in x-seconds and you have a limited amount of shifts to get a proc.
After reading what GC said about removing talents that buff buffs, and kalon for sniping a post I was in the process of writing, improved mark will probably be gone. But what does this mean for the passive stat increase it provided? Will that be made up somewhere else or will everything I just wrote about above be completely pointless because we will need 5/5 furor to advance to the next tier anyway?

Which brings up point 2: Naturalist will probably be gone too, with vengeance making up some of the difference for bears and the cat mastery is just straight up damage. Same with MSS, and as a bear there is really no reason to go that deep in resto just for that.

So I guess what I am trying to get at is, will a bear tank have any reason to not spend every single talent point in the feral tree (or all but the 5/5 for furor). Should furor be made up somewhere else in the feral tree, since that is where it really belongs anyway, and just give moonkin something somewhere else to make up the stat difference?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bring back fun trinkets in Cata!

(read more here)

I as a tank no longer feel like a tank, I feel like someone who just DPSes from in front of a boss instead of behind. Here is why (thanks kaz):
Our survival is rarely within our control, outside of standing out of stuff, and blowing our cooldowns on scripted fights, survival is all in the hands of our healers,
THIS needs to go. So in the comments either leave your thoughts on this idea or create your own idea on how to give tanks more "tank" buttons as opposed to "DPS threat only" buttons. While it is agreed this is a problem, where is the balance between having to many situational buttons (see below), avoiding the old shield block "spammy" scenario, and just making the 4 tanks carbon copies of each other (which actually may not be a bad thing, again see below).

Trinkets used to be a key part of tanking, especially during the days of spammed shield block, no barkskin in forms, and no last stand for druids, trinkets were one of the only real cooldowns we had.

I am sure this is something we can all agree on, trinkets with on use effects are being wasted in LK, especially avoidance trinkets. Back in BC, when you hit the use on Moroe's, you felt like a god, a true 15% dodge was so good for locking in kills when healers were on fumes and you were out of everything else. If blizzard wants to go the route of making healers choose between regen/haste/crit, and make tank average damage taken matter for healer mana, than things like trinkets are going to be a big part of that. Choosing an avoidance trinket over a stam trinket in today's game is just unjustifiable right now, and avoidance clickies are completely wasted making things like the 25 TOC trinket use so good. A trinket that is supposed to give me 10% dodge on use is giving me one, MAYBE two percent.

I propose remove rating from "on-use" effects on trinkets and make them straight %, thus giving the user the full effect from it and not the DRed value which is next to nothing right now, to make gearing more interesting. Older trinkets will still be kept in check by passive stats THAT ARE rating still for avoidance or stam or armor. Personally I have a love/hate relationship when I think that a drop from the first instance, a 10 man even, was still the best trinket in the game even on the last boss of the expansion. Love it because it proves that iLvl =/= best which in LK the only thing that matters for tanks is iLVL, but hate it because if it never drops you are left at such a huge disadvantage.

So hopefully blizzard can improve on trinkets in Cata because in LK they are just another armor piece that you pick whichever has the most stam or armor. And hopefully interesting effects can trump the iLvl=better mentality that LK has forced us into.


After talking about this on tankspot for a bit I realized there is something I failed to consider, I am a druid, we hardly have anything to push, but some warriors already feel like they have to many situational abilities that another one would just be problematic, things like spell reflect, disarm, intim shout, etc that druids do not have equivalents of. After discussing it a bit I realized he was right, but we both agreed on the fundamental point of my post: tanks, regardless of class, are just people who stand in front of the boss and position it. Tanks are not tanks anymore, we are DPS who DPS from in front and do less damage. Bring some of the fun back to tanking, we as tanks have almost no control over our own survivability anymore and that is not fun. Obviously shield block was way to spammy but tanks want more tank buttons and less DPS buttons. We should be rewarded with increased survivability for pulling off a perfect rotation not simply just helping to kill the boss faster. Earlier I said there is no reward for doing a perfect rotation as a druid because maul is literally so much of our threat we could probably get away with hitting nothing but maul and still never lose agro. Well what if the penalty for not doing a perfect rotation was not a DPS pulling agro but instead we did not gain a bonus to survivability we could have gained by doing a better rotation.

Another thing that was brought up was homogenization. Making 3 than 4 viable tanking classes that operate in such a different manner really was bad for the game. Either go all the way with homogenization or get rid of the other tanking classes. First, it limits the encounter design team by making sure all fights are able to tanked by any of the 4 tanking classes. Things like shield blocking shears or spell reflecting deaden or even shifting stances to break fears are what made warrior tanking fun in the past. Sure it would be unfair to the classes that cannot do those things, but those things made you feel like a tank and not just a person DPSing from in front.

(credit Veneretio for his input on this)

Blue posts:
We do want to make sure that 10 player raids can get all of the major buffs a little easier. You should feel like most reasonable comps (3 warriors and 7 rogues is not what we'd consider reasonable) give you all of the major buffs and several of the more minor ones. There will be a little more consolidation than what we've described so far.

We are scaling back the magnitude of some of the buffs, as we did with Sunder Armor. We want you to feel awesome when you have strong good synergy, but we don't want the buffs to overwhelm say your gear or skill. We're also planning on getting rid of any talent that buffs a buff. Any buff that is earned solely by talent needs to have a selfish component thrown in so that you don't feel like you should respec if someone else with that buff comes along.

Obviously things like Rebirth can't just be handed to out to more classes unless we did something like a second exhaustion mechanic for battle rez or whatever. For now we're going to try the cooldown at 30 min again. In Icecrown's world of limited attempts, a 30 min cooldown likely meant you just cooled your heels until the cooldown was available again. In Cataclysm the hope is sometimes you'll have the benefit available but not every time, which scales back on how much of a game-changer it is.
I really really really what some talent trees are going to look like. At this point it seems like can spend every single point in some trees and not have enough to unlock the 51 point talent. But on a serious note I wonder if this extends to things like Feral Aggression, not having to spend 5 points to buff our debuff to be equal to a paladins would be nice, but at the same time "Any buff that is earned solely by talent needs to have a selfish component thrown" sounds like we are being punished because paladins do not have demo shout as a base ability.

And battle rez at 30 minutes is going to suck, 15 would be the most realistic option.

Friday, April 9, 2010

My thoughts on the druid changes: (full notes in the post below)

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.
Finally, druid-thunderclap w/o the slow. Will suck for things that need to be CCed if they intend to get rid of the AOE game but that is nothing those of us who tanked in BC are not used to already.
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.
WHAT...THE!!! This is amazing. This probably will not go live as is, hits way to many targets, will probably be reduced to 5 yard range or at the very least party (physical 5 man party) only.

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.
This 100% will not go live like this, unless it costs like 5K+ mana. Will be an amazing pulling tool (thinking back to the days when the druid would have to be in caster form in heroics and use a hurricane on the pull to get initial agro).

Haste will also benefit Energy generation while in cat form.
We knew this already but good to hear it again.

Unlike the other healers, Restoration druids will not be receiving any new spells. They have plenty to work with already, and our challenge instead is to make sure all of them have a well-defined niche. A druid should be able to tank-heal with stacks of Lifebloom, spot-heal a group with Nourish and Regrowth, and top off lightly wounded targets with Rejuvenation.
DID NOT expect that. Very surprising revelation. Almost as surprising as the lack of a druid healer "cast on person to reduce damage taken" spell. Maybe it will be a new talent.

We want to add tools to cat form and depth to bear form. If a Feral cat is going to fill a very similar niche to that of a rogue, warrior or Enhancement shaman, it needs a few more tools -- primarily a reliable interrupt. Bears need to be pushing a few more buttons just so the contrast between tanking and damage-dealing is not so steep.
Good to know, maim was terrible as an interrupt because it needed combo points. Not sure what they mean about the bear thing, difference between tanking and damage dealing as a bear? (see the bottom)

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.
Not what I wanted to hear, REMOVE THE POSITION FROM SHRED!

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.
This is good, increases in the duration of even rake would be HUGE for rotations but if they do more than that it will probably be too good.

We plan on giving Feral cats and bears a Kick/Pummel equivalent -- an interrupt that is off the global cooldown and does no damage. We feel like they need this utility to be able to fill the melee role in a dungeon or raid group, and to give them more PvP utility.

Savage Defense is the current bear mechanic for converting crits into damage absorption and will be improved for bears.
good, it is pretty weak right now.

Negatives: No furor change announced, no new bear tanking cooldown although maybe that is what they meant about "bears needing to be more tanky not just DPSing from in front as a bear"

Listening to a podcast right now so not giving it my 100% focus. Will have better, more complete thoughts on this after that is over.

Druid Preview

Second or third, who wants to play!

I WIN!!!!!!!!!! SECOND

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm we’ll be making several changes to class talents and abilities. Here you will get a glimpse into some of the changes we have in store for the druid. The information you’re about to read is certainly not complete, and is only meant to act as a preview of some of the exciting new things to come. Let’s kick things off by checking out some of the new druid spells and abilities!

New Druid Abilities

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.

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.

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.

Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

In addition to the new abilities listed above, we intend to make changes to some of the other abilities and mechanics with which you’re already familiar. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of our goals for each spec.

* All heal-over-time spells (HoTs) will benefit from crit and haste innately in Cataclysm. Hasted HoTs do not reduce their duration, but instead add additional HoT ticks. Haste will also benefit Energy generation while in cat form.

* Unlike the other healers, Restoration druids will not be receiving any new spells. They have plenty to work with already, and our challenge instead is to make sure all of them have a well-defined niche. A druid should be able to tank-heal with stacks of Lifebloom, spot-heal a group with Nourish and Regrowth, and top off lightly wounded targets with Rejuvenation.

* We want to add tools to cat form and depth to bear form. If a Feral cat is going to fill a very similar niche to that of a rogue, warrior or Enhancement shaman, it needs a few more tools -- primarily a reliable interrupt. Bears need to be pushing a few more buttons just so the contrast between tanking and damage-dealing is not so steep.

* Barkskin will be innately undispellable.

* 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.

* Druids will lose Abolish Poison with the dispel mechanics change, but Restoration druids will gain Dispel Magic (on friendly targets) as a talent. All druids can still remove poisons with Cure Poison and remove curses with Remove Curse.

New Talents and Talent Changes

* Tree of Life is changing from a passive talent to a cooldown-based talent, similar to Metamorphosis. Mechanically, it feels unfair for a druid to have to give up so much offense and utility in order to be just as good at healing as the other classes who are not asked to make that trade. We are exploring the exact benefit the druid gets from Tree of Life. It could strictly be better healing, or it could be that each heal behaves slightly different. You also will not be able to be banished in Tree of Life form (this will probably be true of Metamorphosis as well). Additionally, we would like to update the Tree of Life model so that it feels more exciting when you do decide to go into that form. Our feeling is that druids rarely actually get to show off their armor, so it would be nice to have at least one spec that looked like a night elf or tauren (and soon troll or worgen) for most of the time.

* 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.

* Balance druids will have a new talent ability called Nature’s Torrent, which strikes for either Nature or Arcane damage depending on which will do the most damage (or possibly both), and moves the Eclipse meter more (details below). The improved version of Nature’s Torrent also reduces the target's movement speed. 10-second cooldown.

* Restoration druids will have a new talent called Efflorescence, which causes a bed of healing flora to sprout beneath targets that are critically healed by Regrowth.

* We plan on giving Feral cats and bears a Kick/Pummel equivalent -- an interrupt that is off the global cooldown and does no damage. We feel like they need this utility to be able to fill the melee role in a dungeon or raid group, and to give them more PvP utility.

* We want to make sure Feral and Balance druids feel like good options for an Arena team. They need the tools to where you might consider a Feral druid over an Arms warrior, or a Balance druid over a mage or warlock. Remember that the PvP landscape will probably look pretty different for Cataclysm with a focus on rated, competitive Battlegrounds.

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

Spell Damage
Spell Haste

Feral (Cat)
Melee Damage
Melee Critical Damage
Bleed Damage

Feral (Bear)
Damage Reduction
Savage Defense

HoT Scale Healing

Eclipse: We are moving Eclipse from a talent into a core mechanic of the class and making it less random. Balance druids will have a new UI element that shows a sun and a moon. Whenever they cast an Arcane spell, it will move the UI closer to the sun, and buff their Nature damage. Whenever they cast a Nature spell, it will move the UI closer to the moon, and buff their Arcane damage. The gameplay intention is to alternate Arcane and Nature spells (largely Starfire and Wrath) to maintain the balance.

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.

HoT Scale Healing: HoTs will do increased healing on more wounded targets. The mechanic is similar to that of the Restoration shaman, but with HoTs instead of direct heals. In Cataclysm, we anticipate druids using a greater variety of their spells so there is a distinction between healing and HoT healing.

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. For boss encounters we expect that tanks will always have the attack power bonus equal to 10% of their health. The 5% and 10% bonuses assume 51 talent points have been put into the Feral tree and the druid is in bear form -- these values will be smaller at lower levels. Remember, you only get this bonus if you have spent the most talent points in the Feral tree and are in bear form, so you won’t see Balance, Restoration, or Feral druids in cat form running around with it. Vengeance will let us continue to make tank gear more or less the way we do today -- there will be some damage-dealing stats, but mostly survival-oriented stats. Druids typically have more damage-dealing stats even on their tanking gear, so the Vengeance benefit may be smaller, but overall the goal is that all four tanks do about the same damage when tanking.

We hope you enjoyed this preview, and ask that you provide your initial thoughts and feedback on what was presented here. Please keep in mind, what you’ve just reviewed is a work in progress and as we move closer to the Cataclysm beta, you’ll see these changes as well as others continue to develop in response to testing and feedback.

Cataclysm Stat & System Changes:

Mastery System Preview:

Have not read any of it yet, it could say druids are being removed from the game for all I know, gimmie a few minutes to comment

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Warrior Preview

Druid implications in the warrior preview:
Battle Shout, Commanding Shout, and possibly Demoralizing Shout will work more like the death knight's Horn of Winter ability. Specifically, these shouts will cost no resources, generate rage in addition to their current effects, and be on a short cooldown.
Hopefully they do not put a cooldown on demo shout and demo roar. Paladins already have vindication, which is passive, and with blood DKs getting a demo shout equivilent which will probably be attacked to a strike like melee slow is to icy touch, it seems like druids and warriors are being penalized for being the 2 original classes with demo shout. A resist just would not be fair when you compare it to pallies and DKs. Although druids are lacking the "horn of winter" type rage generator they gave to warrior shouts and demo seems like a place to do it, but not at the expense of having a cooldown on it unless they make it not able to be resisted.
Critical Block Chance: As we mentioned in the stat changes preview, block rating is changing to a chance to block 30% of a melee swing's damage. Protection warriors have a chance that the block will be a critical block and block for 60% of a melee swing's damage instead. There will likely be talents available to push the amount blocked even higher.
Block is now a more powerful cooldown than barkskin and on a shorter cooldown. This gives me hope for the druid preview that we as druids may gain an additional, melee-only reducing cooldown, death knights as well (although possibly not since they already have an anti-magic only ability).
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 un-buffed health. For boss encounters, we expect that tanks will always have the attack power bonus equal to 10% of their health. The 5% and 10% bonuses assume 51 talent points have been put into the Protection tree. These values will be smaller at lower levels. Remember, you only get this bonus if you have spent the most talent points in the Protection tree, so you won't see Arms or Fury warriors running around with it. Vengeance will let us continue to make tank gear more or less the way we do today – there will be some damage-dealing stats, but mostly survival-oriented stats. Druids typically have more damage-dealing stats even on their tanking gear, so their Vengeance benefit may be smaller, but overall the goal is for all four tanks do about the same damage when tanking.

While not new, something I had actually not seen before was brought back to light yesterday by Kalon:
Ferals will have passive bonuses that say Cat: melee damage done, Bear: damage reduction.

Almost all dots will crit. The exception will be things like Deep Wounds and Ignite because those are already the product of a crit. Rend will crit.
Is primal gore being removed and lacerate, rip, and rake critting becoming a base part of the ability?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dual-Spec, My take on the future of it.

How great would it be to have a third spec, for most of us it would be amazing, but it would also take a lot of decision making away. Also, Blizzard has said they are not likely to give us a third spec (for what that is worth WoW is an ever-evolving game so things said 6 months ago cannot be held as law).

My gripe with the dual-spec system since it was put in was that you had to use the glyph set with that talent set. What if the talent and glyph options could be selected independently? This would give you 4 talent options without needing to add the option to purchase additional specs.

One thing that comes to mind is I have been using glyph of growl in every tanking spec this entire expansion, despite the amount of bosses that do not require taunts. In my post last week I mentioned that I would probably be using glyph of mangle soon. Wouldn't it be nice if I could do one glyph spec for SI, maul, and mangle and the other Growl, SI, SR? Consider, 25 man raid with a ret or prot paladin on a fight that needs taunts, but my spec without feral aggression has SI, mangle and maul glyphs. I could run the entire night with my ferocity spec and swap only my glyph specs depending on fight instead of having to run a feral aggression spec on taunt fights even though we already have that debuff provided by someone else.

Blue posts:

This one comes to us from the damage dealing forums:

Read the whole thing from a blue-tracker, there is a lot in there about healer mana and how tanks are going to play a much bigger role on tank mana in the expansion, and how healer's having to play with more spells for the sake of mana will make tanks change their mentality.

OT rage from damage will be almost as high as a dps warrior (haste, crit, and any specific talents would be the only differences). Plus you'll have abilities like shouts to tide you over for short periods in which you're not taking enough damage. OTs do often take incidental damage in many fights.

It's definitely something to keep an eye on in the sense that the new mechanic doesn't completely solve the problem, but it should feel better than today.

There will be a little more information when we're ready to share more details on warrior and druid specific changes.
If there are more fights on taunt immune bosses where you are trying to do tank swaps with druid or a warrior offtank, hunters and rogues are going to be very unhappy. WHICH I HOPE THERE ARE BECAUSE LDW IS A LOT OF FUN!!!!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cata Rage Changes

This is to important to wait till tomorrow (it also means I will have to rewrite part of tomorrow's post)

We are going to take the opportunity in Cataclysm to try and fix some of the problems with the Rage mechanic for both warriors and druids. Some of these problems include:

  • Warriors/druids in the lowest levels of gear can be Rage-starved.
  • Warriors/druids in the highest levels of gear no longer have to manage their Rage when it becomes infinite.
  • Warrior/druid tanks lose Rage income as they improve their gear and take less damage.
  • The gameplay of warrior and druid tanks loses a lot of depth when massive boss hits means never having to manage Rage.
  • Heroic Strike and Maul are effective, but tedious abilities for using up extra Rage.
  • In general, warriors and druids don’t have enough control over their Rage.

To resolve these issues, Rage will be normalized in Cataclysm. This will make the Rage gained by characters more consistent and avoid drastic differences between low-end and high-end gear.

The concept of normalized Rage may leave a negative impression on some veteran players, as we tried it once before in The Burning Crusade and it wasn't successful, resulting in them feeling weakened. However, we think that the concept is still sound -- it was just that the previous implementation didn't balance the values correctly, leading to players being Rage-starved. That is not the goal. As part of the change, we want to give warriors and druids a lot of ways to control their rage, so even in the worst-case scenarios they won’t feel like they lack the resource to do their job.

Here are some of the ways the Rage mechanic will change in Cataclysm:

1) Rage is no longer generated based on damage done by auto-attacks. Instead, each auto-attack provides a set amount of Rage, and off-hand weapons will generate 50% of the Rage main hands do. This amount is based on a constant formula which factors in the base swing speed of the weapon. This means the Rage gained should be averaged out between fast and slow weapons. The constant formula also gives us the ability to easily increase the rage gained if it feels too low (or reduce it if is too high). We are also implementing the following mechanics, which will still allow rage to improve to some extent as you improve gear:

  • If the attack is a critical strike, it will generate 200% Rage.
  • Haste will accelerate swing times to generate Rage faster.

2) Rage from damage taken will no longer be based on a standard creature of the character’s level, but instead will based on the health of the warrior or druid. Again, there is a constant that is multiplied by the rage generated in order to allow for fine-tuning. This calculation ignores all damage reduction from armor, absorption, avoidance, block, or similar mechanics, so improving your gear will not reduce Rage gained.

3) We will provide warriors and druids with more instant sources of rage. For example, the warrior shouts are changing to work more like the death knight ability Horn of Winter. Instead of Battle Shout consuming Rage, it will generate Rage but have a short cooldown. Both classes will have additional methods to generate Rage in an emergency or bleed off Rage when they have too much.

4) All “on next swing” attacks in Cataclysm are being removed. Heroic Strike and Maul will be instant swings that cost a variable amount of Rage. For example, imagine Heroic Strike costs between 10 and 30 Rage. You must have at least 10 Rage to use the attack, but it will consume all available Rage up to a maximum of 30. Any Rage consumed above the minimum will cause the ability to hit harder, and in some cases much harder. We will tune the ability so that it’s generally not a good idea to hit it when you have low Rage (unless everything else is somehow on cooldown) but becomes a more attractive button the higher your Rage.

We understand this change may be scary for many players, but keep in mind that the constants in the formulas for gaining Rage will give us the ability to make quick adjustments if we feel Rage generation is too low. Our goal is for each character's Rage to not be always high or always low, but rather a resource that needs to be managed properly by the player.

Thinking about this more lead me to some conclusions, mostly that a druid needs only 10 rage per second to do a full 13.5 second rotation with no mauls. Second, warrior HS threat vs total warrior threat when compared to druid maul threat vs total druid threat is so imbalanced that they are going to have to do some serious tweaking to druid threat so we don't just do mangle-FF-hs over and over and over and ov......... Lastly, WE DO NOT NEED a lot of rage unless we plan on replacing every single mangle and FF with maul as well, we needed extra rage because we ALWAYS had something to spend it on, now we still have something extra to spend it on but it is INSTEAD of something else not in addition to our norm.

read here and here for more of my thoughts as I get them.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How the hell did I miss this? And BLUE posts
Sooooo apparently I am a bit slow, but with the new patch and the duration increase on mangle, the glyph was redesigned. (This is a lead in to an article I am writing for next week) Since I have 2 bear specs at the moment, one with 5/5 feral aggression the other with 5/5 ferocity, I am considering reglyphing the ferocity spec. Mangle is by far the best threat glyph we have, o wait, isn't it also the only single target threat glyph we have? ABOUT TIME BLIZZARD!

So here is how I will probably be glyphing tomorrow. My ferocity spec will have mangle, SI, and growl (possibly maul not sure on the third one) while my feral aggression spec will have SI, FR, and growl.

Now, with a development cycle for Cataclysm coming into full swing I will be monitoring Blue Tracker more closely.

I'm going to vote for not interesting gameplay.

At the very least, you should be able to reduce your chance to miss a Taunt to zero if you reduce your chance to miss with a weapon to zero. It's also possible we'll just let them always hit.
This is a nice proposal, but I wonder how this will affect glyphs if it goes in (talking about the first option here). Since spell hit cap is 17% and melee hit cap is only 8%, the way I look at it they gave us the taunt glyph in the first place to even this out. If taunt becomes melee hit cap, than the glyph will allow taunt to never be resisted naked. Are they going to leave the glyph in and leave us the option to be hit capped naked? Are they going to lower the amount given by the glyph? Or are they going to remove the glyph completely? Obviously this means misery and moonkin FF will no longer affect taunt.
It is called "Thunder" and "Clap." That implies some noise. :)

Seriously though, silence isn't a dispel. Dispels are tied to magical effects. Silences are just tied to things that (more or less) logically require an audio component (in the game fiction -- I'm not talking about your sound card) to work. Most caster spells qualify but some other abilities do too.

That response is certainly possible, but I figure part of what I can do out here (in exchange for all the feedback we get) is offer the occasional intent behind a game decision. Sometimes players can get us to question those decisions, but in cases like this it's going to take more than "It doesn't seem to *me* like silence could stop a Thunder Clap." Trying to arbitrate how the physics of magic should work is a pretty futile exercise. :)

Warriors complaining about not being able to use ONE ABILITY while silenced? Really? Not being able to barkskin while silenced is fun on hard mode lich king when tanking ragings, not to mention FFF being locked out. I do not even want to guess what it is like to be a DK or paladin in a situation where there are silences on tanks.

I do think there are some things that need to be taken off silence lock-out for paladins and DKs from a quality of life issue. Those two classes get almost completely locked out while silenced and become almost useless but warriors and druids are still completely capable of doing anything they could while not silenced. On the flip-side I like GC's response, it gives us a nice glimpse into the design process while still providing a comedic and RP-based response.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Upgrading 264 to 277? Here's how!

Short and to the point:

277 order:
  1. Legs:;51142
  2. Helm:;51143
  3. Shoulders:;51140
  4. Hands:;51144
1 and 2 are a toss up and 3 and 4 are a toss up so all that really matters if you get the legs and helm with your first two and then it really does not matter .

Since this blog is so short I want to talk about wowhead's item comparison tool as well. It is an amazing tool when all the items are loaded properly (which by now I think they all are and only really does not happen on winged instances like this) . It is not simply a means for me to be lazy when putting up posts like this (and confession I do these posts as much for myself so I remember what I said I wanted to get yea yea laugh it up) but it is actually how I figure out which piece I will use for my own token. The best part of it though is by far the ability to use groups like I did in my last post.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Raid: The Interview!

Yes, featuring yours truly.

For more info or to help support the project visit the kickstarter page at

edit: not sure how to get it to show the HD box as an embed so to view it in hd check it out on youtube.

edit 2: something ttocs brought up, part of the reason this came out so well is because kev did an amazing job conducting the interviews that day we all met up and at least for my part I had a great time that day. Thanks for allowing me to contribute and organizing that.

edit 3: no, that freeze frame is not me, just for the people who don't watch it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Revisit: 10 man raiders, 251 4pc vs the 264 items

First, I would like to announce that tankspot has finally switched over to vB4. Visually some work still needs to be done but most of the features are working properly. This includes an RSS feed which one anonymous reader will be happy to hear about.

Preface: while writing this post I came to realize that wowhead is a little slow to update things and as a result certain drops from the second and third wings not showing up on searches because "they have not been seen on live servers yet" so when looking for items try the wowarmory search found here.

So it was brought up on tankspot, how good is 4pc if you are stuck using the 251 items vs buying the 264 badge items and getting the crafted legs.

Well first, STILL DO NOT BUY THE CHEST FROM FROST EMBLEMS! the 264 offset item you use with 264 4pc is the chest, which is BOE. It is worth the price and I highly recommend saving your badges because there is just so much good stuff from the vendor.

Looking at the 10 man drops vs the 251 set pieces, it is very clear the 10 man drops are made for DPS.


The set has 8 more agi, 47 more stam, 88 crit instead of 80 haste, 8 less ArP, and 59 less AP.

Set wins.


The set has 16 more agi, 26 more stam, 16 more crit, but 8 less ArP, 36 less AP, and one less socket.

The socket is still not enough to counter to lack of stam on a clear DPS piece, set up 2-0.


The set has 12 more agi, 51 more stam, 96 crit instead of 99 haste, 1 more ArP, but 41 less AP, and one less socket.

Same as above, the socket cannot offset the stam deficit of a DPS piece, set up 3-0.


The set has 31 more stam, 8 more ArP, 63 haste instead of 63 crit, but 8 less AP, and one less socket.

This one is a toss up. If you happen to get the scourge ones to drop you can safely use those and save your badges until if and when you need the set gloves for a set bonus.


The set has 24 more agi, 18 more stam, 80 expertise instead of 103 crit, 36 more ArP, but 47 less AP and one less socket.

This tier has a severe lack of hit and expertise compared to the past ones giving the set legs the edge.


The set and offset legs have the same amount of stam and agi, it looks like these legs are the exception to the 10-man for DPS rule. In addition, the set legs have more AP (16 more) for a change, and it trades 96 ArP on the set for 96 haste on the off-set and 80 expertise on the set legs for 72 crit on the off-set. Again though this comes at the cost of a socket which makes the off-set better for pure survivability which includes more savage defense procs because of extra crit (still not sure where the trade off comes in on this because with the less expertise you wont be hitting as much so less change to crit so this last part might be inaccurate).


Not considering any 264 items, you still want 4pc simply because all the 251 drops are designed for dps. There are 3 different ways I would do this in this order:
  • 4-pc with the second off-set legs gives you the best survivability
  • 5-pc set gives you a significant threat boost over the above option at the cost of a socket which is probably the better option
  • 4-pc set and off-set gloves if you just cannot get the off-set legs to drop (which unfortunately means once they do drop you basically wasted the badges buying the legs)
There is another reason I would use the legs instead of the set legs if you do not run 25 mans (besides the obvious chance of them dropping once the VOA boss is released):
Scanning that list reveals one BOE, the crafted legs. The thing is, this will probably cost about the same to craft (unless you have about 5 alts farming 2 badges a day from the daily and using them to buy the saronite) as it would cost to just buy the Sack of Wonder.

Comparing the Sack of Wonder and the 251 set legs against the crafted legs and the 251 set chest leaves us with this.

Dark, can you please just get to the part of this post we all want?
Ok, ok, fine!

Looking at those same lists, it reveals no helm better than the set helm for a strict 10-man raider, and the same goes with the shoulders. That leaves the badge gloves and the crafted legs.


The badge gloves have 13 more stam and agi, 18 more armor, 3 more AP, 80 more crit, and an extra socket, all for 7 less ArP, and 63 less haste.


The crafted legs have 18 more stam and agi, 25 more armor, 9 AP, 4 ArP, 92 crit, and an extra socket all for 80 expertise.

Question 1: I want 4pc no matter what but I can only get 251 set items, which of the 3 is my best choice?

Looking at this, you guys can decide for yourself. My opinion is biased because you know how I feel about hit and expertise, but just so I can see myself writing, chest+4pc.

The three different breakdowns if you were interested:
  • Badge gloves vs Crafted legs, is 80 expertise worth: 5 stam, 5 agi, 7 armor, 6 AP, 11 ArP, 12 crit, and 63 haste? For me, yes, but for pure survivability, no.
  • Sack of Wonder vs Badge gloves, this one will probably cause some controversy, but since the badge gloves have already been knocked out, and I love my hit and expertise, I want to see how the chest stacks up vs the legs.
  • Sack of Wonder vs Crafted legs, that is equal to 20 expertise skill and about 3 and a quarter percent hit, I cannot say no to that unless I am at hard cap without it, which in this gear we will not be.
Question 2: Dark, shut up and listen, I DO NOT CARE ABOUT 4PC I just want the best gear. What do I gain by using the chest, legs, and gloves and only 2 pieces of the set?

Fair enough, considering this is the entire reason I wrote the article and it will be the easiest and shortest to answer makes it kind of anti-climatic.
  • Chest
  • Gloves
  • Legs
  • Combined: Is the 4pc set bonus, 83 ArP, and 63 haste worth 33 agi, 49 stam, 72 armor, 53 AP, 76 crit, 12 expertise, 100 hit, and 3 sockets.
Going back to my last post:
  • 277: Is the 4pc set bonus, 16 agi, and 82 ARP worth 60 stam (2 yellow sockets) and 66 haste?
  • 264: Is the 4pc set bonus, 16 agi, and 72 ARP worth 60 stam (2 yellow sockets) and 56 haste?
The answer in both those cases was yes because you only lost sockets, but with the different iLvls the passive stam difference makes it over 2K health in bear form if you use 3 stam gems. You also gained agi by using 4pc, in this case again because of the iLvl difference you are losing a significant amount. Also remember, you will still be able to use 1 264 item from the combined comparison so it is more like this.

One final note: hard modes will be out soon giving even 10 man raiders access to the 264 tier items. The hard mode versions of the dps loot ARE STILL dps loot. This combined with the new VOA boss dropping 264 gloves and legs (although in reality we still do not know how this will work) and you already using 251-helm and shoulders.... I think it would be a waste of gold to craft legs and badges buying either the gloves or the saronite for the legs if you have any plan on doing hard mode 10-ICC.