There are altaholics.... and then there's the rest of us. A Druid blog for the player that never wants to have to roll another character again. A Bear/Tree/Cat blog dedicated to being able to queue for all three roles in the Dungeon Finder.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Point Break

Um... new blue post is up. And I dare say it fills me with trepidation. Still, I'm going to keep the "woohoo!~" in the holster.

Basically, the point is this: Instead of Emblems, you rack up points instead. Hero points (low-end) and Valor points, (high-end) like how we have Honor points and Arena points. (Arena points are being converted to Conquest points, earnable from both the rated BGs and Arena, but that's a different matter.)

When a new tier of raiding gear or PVP gear is released, everyone gets their high-end points converted into low-end points. Fair enough, it'll keep the bloat of different flavors of emblems down to a minimum. (I'm up to 195 EoF, by the way. I think I might just hold onto them all until I can buy the head and chest T10, and the Corroded Skeleton Key all at once. This way, I can keep renting the Skeleton Key from the ICC vendor in the meantime.)

Also according to the devs, there's a cap on high-end points earned weekly:
"To explain the reasoning for the weekly cap on points for the higher tiers, this is to provide flexibility in how players choose to earn the points without feeling like they have to do all of the content as often as it is available. If your Valor income from raiding is sufficient, you may not feel the need to run Dungeon Finder every night, or perhaps even at all. Likewise, a PvP player could choose to participate in a lot of Rated Battlegrounds but no Arenas, or focus on both, and still be able to earn the points they want."
Now, I am *all* for rated BGs. If there is one thing that has consistently irked me, it has been that Arena just doesn't fly for me at all. Either my 3v3 isn't all on, or we suck to much, or whatever, point being, PVP weapons are consistently Top 5 in terms of PvE tanking thanks to the overinflated Stamina and Agility numbers on the weapons. Also,

"We're removing personal rating requirements on almost all items; they're definitely removed for weapons"

There is no guarantee that future seasons' gear will remain overinflated with Stamina and Agility once everyone's stats are revamped, but if they remain even somewhat in-line with their current state, you can bet that you will see a LOT more Ferals in PvP, gearing themselves for raid content.


Monday, April 26, 2010

On Raids in Cataclysm

Well, this was certainly unexpected. I certainly didn't expect things to change in such a drastic manner. And frankly, I'm not entirely sure I approve.

Take whatever side you will on the 10/25 divide, but while I primarily raid 10-man, I learn mechanics in 25-man. I feel that it's easier when you have additional people to pick up the slack when execution fails, and to have the full set of raid buffs/debuffs at hand allows for greater tolerance in... well, greater tolerance in fail.

I'm not completely against these new changes? And I won't make any judgments regarding smaller loot tables = less betterer itemization, because itemization is changing for everyone. But it's an interesting thing that they've put here.

Still, though. Temper your reactions, this is still Blizzard telling us stuff without actually telling us anything, again.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Queuing as DPS

It's a guilty pleasure of mine. And honestly, I don't know why I didn't start doing it sooner. Yes, it's queuing as a Cat. (Argh, the more I look at the word 'queue' and 'queuing', the weirder it looks, and I keep thinking that I'm spelling it wrong.)

But there are problems with Cat DPS in heroics. Given the long start-up time required for our DPS to start rolling in, you really do have to change your priority list to do things well. Here's what I've been doing so far:

  1. Rake if it isn't up already.
  2. Savage Roar as soon as possible after engaging, even if you only have 1 point. Keep it up at all times.
  3. If there are 3 or more mobs within your 180 degree frontal cone, Swipe. Even if you bottom out on Energy, you still do more damage-per-energy with one Swipe than with a mangle on each mob.
  4. Mangle to build CP.
  5. If a mob is going to cast a WTFtanksplode, Maim it.
  6. If a mob is not going to last much longer, and you have 3 to 4 CP, Savage Roar and switch.
  7. Ferocious Bite, and always on a bleeding target.
  8. If you bottom out on Energy, and your Nature's Grasp is ready, use it to give yourself an extra shot at an OoC proc.
Now, I don't claim to be a priority theorycrafter, but this seems to be working well when doing heroics. I might need to tweak it here and there, but this seems to be working well enough.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mangle experiment results:

Quick post, because I *really* don't want to write about the Cataclysm stuff. Really, I don't. Matter of fact, I'm sick and tired of it all.

Largely because one, everyone has pretty much beaten it all to death, but also:

  • I know that Blizzard is still going to be changing more than they just told us
  • Blizzard told us stuff, without actually telling us stuff, so any theorycrafting is utterly useless.
  • I believe that Blizzard has some seriously intelligent minds working on game design.
  • I am very laid-back. Do *not* harsh my chill.
So I'm going to talk about Glyph of Mangle, instead.

A week ago, after tanking 25-man Deathbringer, I forgot to replace my Glyph of Mangle with Glyph of Maul. And I kind of have been too lazy to fix that. That being said, I seriously have not missed it at all. Single-target tanking only benefits from the 10% damage boost to Mangle, Boss + Add situations also benefit during Berserk, and large-pull tanking still seems to be just fine. I mean, I already tab around with my Swipe + Maul macro, like a Cleave-spamming Warrior, it wasn't a stretch to have to do it for extra targets. Just spam Swipe until Maul hits (look for the Infected Wounds debuff to show up), tab to the next, throw out a Mangle if it's up, or wait for the next Maul, tab to the next, and so on and so forth.

And my PVP performance certainly hasn't hurt either. Since I don't Shred, (positioning behind during battles royale is something that I am so woefully incompetent at) I mangle, and the 10% extra damage is wonderful too.

So I'll say this. If you are really intent on Hybrid-ing, you cannot go wrong with a Glyph of Mangle.


Monday, April 19, 2010

If I Had To Write Another Blog: Making Gold Edition

I like making gold. That being said, it tends to flow out of my hands like water, since I'm always lending it to guildies.

I don't mind gold blogs. The resources are there for people to find them if they want to find them, and to put them into practice if they're smart enough.

I hate the Gold Capped weekly articles on They give away a lot of secrets wholesale. That's not to say that I don't make money off of them. On the contrary. More often than not, when goes live with a Gold Capped article, the markets for whatever it is they just showed everyone in the world will, invariable, tank, allowing me to buy everything up for dirt cheap, hold onto for a bit until prices come back up, then flip for a profit.

My objection to Gold Capped is that it doesn't make sense to reveal your secrets to the whole wide world on a whole. Nine times out of ten, people are going to read what they see in a guide, and then execute it to the letter. This works just fine for things like build, talents, and gear, but the AH is a shifting, mutable, living organism. You can't just follow a recipe and expect to get results. But yet, there they go. And every time they reveal a core money-making operation, like the Saronite Shuffle, I suppress an frustrated scream.

Now, on the other hand, if I were to write another blog, oh man, I would love to share things with you guys. But, since I'm writing this blog, you guys will just have to settle. =3


Saturday, April 17, 2010

One-button mount? Pff, that's old news.

By now, if you *haven't* seen My Starry Pwny yet, you clearly have been living under a rock. Go ahead, take a loot. Drool at it. And then come back.

Done? Okay, good. Now, one of the benefits that this mount provides, since it scales itself from a 60% speed mount, to a 100% speed mount, to a 150% speed flying mount, to a 280% speed flying mount depending on your riding skill, (And if you have a 310% speed flying mount, it will scale up to that too.) is that you only need to have one button on your action bars for an all-purpose mount.

....except that that's what I kind of have been doing all this time*. With a little bit of clever macroing, you can accomplish the same thing. All you need to do is to fill in the name of the mount of choice.

#showtooltip Great Gray Kodo
/castrandom [flyable] Bronze Drake; [noflyable] Great Gray Kodo
/cast Great Gray Kodo

Make sense? No? Okay, here's how it works. The #showtooltip lets you pick the icon that you want for it. Replace "Great Gray Kodo" with whatever you like.

The /castrandom part lets you define a couple of different mounts to use. All you need to remember is to prepend [flyable] if it's a flying mount and [noflyable] if it's not. And if you really want to be clever, you can define the mounts by spell ID instead to save space.

This would normally be all fine and dandy, but there are a few places where just that line fails, such as Lake Wintergrasp. You *can* fly in Wintergrasp, but whenever there is combat going on, a flag is turned on, which disables flying. But because it is an outdoor zone, something doesn't work right, so the second line is the failsafe. That way, if you can't use either of the previously defined mounts, it will default to the second line.

The above is the example that I use on my bankalt. This is the version I use on my druid:

#showtooltip Swift Flight Form
/cast [flyable] Swift Flight form; [noflyable] Mechano-hog;
/cast Mechano-hog

Now, one last thing before you head off to use this: Ostensibly, you're all druids, right? Remember, if you use the new shiny Algapony, you lose the benefit of Swift Flight Form's instant cast time, (Which, if you're an avid world PVPer like I am, is a gift from heaven.) as well as the ability to loot things without dismounting. So choose wisely!


 *You can take my Swift Flight Form and Mechano-hog away from my cold, dead, deathgripping fingers! Seriously, I don't know if the Sparkulpony has enough height to cause issues with a Tauren rider, but I vehemently refuse to use anything other than those two, just so I don't have to freaking dismount to get into doors. Drop a line, if you can clarify one way or the other?

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Professor Putricide down, we got 10M Plagueworks!

Sadly, I was the abomination, so I didn't get to tank much except at the end. Oh well.

Also, like the fool I am, I forgot to take a screenshot. Ugh.

Oh well, on to Blood Princes!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finally, some sanity.

I've expressed respect and admiration for Allison Robert of to others before, but she's recently written an article that that makes me breathe a sigh of relief that reassures me that yes, Virginia, there are people who are looking at the Tree of Life forms rationally, and don't need to be talked down from the ledge*. It's a good article that expresses pretty much how I feel about what they're doing as well, except that while we both play female tauren**, the casting animations don't matter to me one bit.


*Ouch. Bad turn of phrase. I just watched the first episode of the latest season of House.
**I was not about to roll a character that liberally scratches its ass every five seconds. The exasperated sigh works much better, especially given the nicknames that get thrown around the poor girl's, and, by extension, my direction. "Steak", usually. But "Bear butt" is a close second.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On Glyphs: Cat Edition

Man, I'm not even going to go into a big fuss, but here's the thing. Since we're approaching Feral from a hybrid perspective here, one, Survival Instincts is more useful to us, since we reap its benefits in both Bear and Cat. Two, since I am giving up Shredding Attacks for a massive cooldown reduction on my Bear stun Bash, my combo point generation is primarily Manglespam. Which means that the newly redesigned Glyph of Mangle becomes a very attractive option when I am DPSing in earnest.

Now, I know you're going, "But what glyph would we replace?!" For me? Likely Maul. Since I'm already tanking 25-man Deathbringer Saurfang these days*, I already have a stack of Glyph of Survival Instincts and a stack Glyph of Maul to swap back and forth between when we get to that fight. Since my current glyphs are Frenzied Regeneration, Growl (because I HATE missing taunts), and Maul, I should probably go to Survival Instincts, Growl, and Maul, then swap Maul with Mangle depending on whether I am tanking normally, or tanking AoE-sensitive fights/DPSing.

Remember that without a second target for Maul, the glyph does absolutely nothing for us. If anything, Glyph of Mangle is clearly and DPS and threat increase when we are restricted to single-target attacks.


*ICC10's Deathbringer is stupidly easy. I sigh in annoyance every time we fight him. Since we have found that the best way to beat Deathbringer is to just burn the Blood Beasts down in place, ignoring their Blood Power mechanic, kiting be damned, I no longer bother to switch glyphs, so I *can* hit the one Blood Beast that invariably gets stuck in melee. So lacking in finesse!


Just a month in and bearly a fistful of blog posts later, I have to change my blog name. Why? Because I started Kitty DPSing. You see, at first, I didn't *want* to Cat DPS at all. I wanted to be the renegade, the rebel, the maverick! I wanted to make a full-on bear tank spec, with no regard for cat DPSing at all, the hybrid nature of Druids be damned!

Hand me that bottle of Tabasco, will you? This foot is a bit bland.

Back when I started playing my Druid, it was because my guild had hit GUILD DRAMA, and we'd lost a rogue DPS and our warrior tank. Because of this, raiding was pretty much out the window because we only *had* 10 people, and until our raid leader found someone to replace the two slots we weren't going anywhere. So we had a month of downtime, and I was getting more and more disillusioned with my Shaman. I'd originally wanted to make her an Elesham for raiding, But like any good Trekkie, I held to Spock's famous words, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few," and converted her into a Restosham. But something rubbed me the wrong way about it. As time went on, I found myself growing to rely more and more and more on Chain Heal spam to heal my raids. And that was getting seriously boring for me, just mashing the same button over and over again. I've had many arguments with my Discipline priest raid leader over this. I think she still considers me a moron for giving up such a great spell. But I hated it. My line of thinking was that when that one spell becomes the *only* thing you do, something needs to change. So I went looking for a new healer to make. Now since, my favorite Shaman healing spell is Riptide, I naturally started looking at the most HoT-centric healer I could find, the Restoration Druid. And so I bought some heirlooms, and started to level.

Along the way, we discussed a number of things in guild chat. We also recruited friends from other servers to help us. In the end, it was concluded that if I were to go Bear with my druid, we could source another Resto Shaman from our alliance guild and, along with a guildie's roommate, we would be 10-man ready once again. This wasn't really a problem for me, since I was absolutely loving being a bear. A Repurposed Lava Dredger enchanted with Crusader, with a Darkmoon Card: Heroism in one trinket slot, a Mark of Conquest in the other slot, and Improved Leader of the Pack meant I could get away with all kinds of stupid antics overpulling and still get away, alive.

So I sped towards 80 blindingly fast, and geared myself up. Heck, the Restoration offspec that I originally wanted was rapidly left by the wayside, untouched from levels 40 to 80.

Now, since I was gearing a pure Bear tank, this required me to spec and gear in a certain way. All gems? +30 Stamina gems, except for one Nightmare Tear! Forget Improved Mangle, I gotta have Bash down to thirty seconds! Shredding Attacks? Who needs a reduced Lacerate energy cost, those points are going to go into 5/5 Furor instead. I want instant rage when I shift! And.... I kind of have one point left over. Eh, let's reduce shapeshifting mana costs and drop it into King of the Jungle. And I'll get a small 5% damage boost when I pop Enrage, too.

And off we went. We went through all of Ulduar 10-man and ToC 10-man, and I blissfully upgraded my gear as we went along. But as we went along, there weren't always fights that needed two tanks. Or four healers. So as to actually be contributing and pulling my weight during those one-tank fights, I started shifting into cat and whacking things, throwing down 5-point Rips before shifting back to refresh Lacerate, and struggling to even do that, with only 1/3 King of the Jungle. I even started to gem my new gear with a mix of red and blue gems, slowly inching along towards hybridism. But I still resisted, putting myself as a tank first, and using cat to help the raid burn things down faster.

And then T10 came along. If you've been playing for quite some time, you know the four-piece bonus by heart now. That was pretty much the last straw I needed to finally respec. As soon as I was able to buy an Ikfirus's Sack of Wonder off the auction house, I bought my T10 pants, and then respecced from 5/5 Furor and 1/3 KotJ into the more mainstream 3/5 Furor and 3/3 KotJ.

Which brings us to the last two weeks. My guild has been running heroic 5-mans a lot, lately. Several of us have gotten freshly-80 alts. A veritable DKpalooza, really. One of our hunters has been picking up tanking on his DK, and we've been having him Blood tank instances to practice. Our main tank's DK finally hit 80 as well, so she's feeling out Unholy DPS. And since I wasn't needed to tank, and we had healing in various forms, ranging from the aforementioned guild alliance Restosham, picking up Elemental gear for his long-neglected DPS set, to another hunter's trying out her Retadin's Holy spec.... I started DPSing as well.

And I've been liking it so far. It's only in the past week or so that I decided that I was going to embrace all three roles, Tanking, Healing, and DPS fully. So that's my story. That's going to be the focus of this blog. There are going to be Druid blogs left and right. There are going to be dozens of Feral blogs, both Bear and Cat. There will be Restoration blogs as well. But this is going to be the blog that focuses on the druid (population: me!) that wants to do all three roles with one character, and never wants to roll another alt to slog from 1 to 80 and Loremaster AGAIN.

Welcome to Bear-y Leafy Kitty, folks.