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.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

On topics that change while you write:

So I figured at some point, I should write some articles about actual Druid issues in general again. But let's face it, I can't bring myself to write about the stuff that's going on now, not when there are others who are still writing excellent articles about things like tanking cooldowns.

(That, and it's kind of hard to hold a candle to the Big Bear, y'know?)

So then I decided that I should look forward to druid tanking in Cataclysm. Specifically, cooldowns.

Mechanically speaking... we really ARE becoming like Warriors. Survival Instincts is becoming the bear's AND cat's Shield Wall, while Frenzied Regeneration picks up the old Survival Instincts's effect in addition to its old regeneration effect. Barkskin, thankfully, remains just the same. Skull Bash is Intervene + Gag Order. Bash is becoming Concussion Blow.

My criticism of the druid tanking experience in general still holds, namely, that it is becoming incredibly close to Warrior-style tanking, that is, tanking in the buff. (An awesome shirt, by the way, even if it *is* a Night Elf. *rolls eyes*) Recent changes to the game bear this out as well, given that Swipe is no longer spammable, and the threat values of our attacks have been shuffled around. At this point, it appears that we will likely deal with trash packs as Warriors do now; Feral Charge in, (Note the lack of an interrupt effect.) Swipe, Thrash, Demoralizing Roar, then tab-target around and Lacerate, (Only stacks to three, now) Mangle, and Feral Faerie Fire. (which is now a Sunder Armor effect. Both only stack to three.) The only appreciable difference is with the new changes to Maul/Heroic Strike, (Maul hasn't gotten the tooltip updated to reflect the changes to it yet.) where we can no longer macro these in with every attack, and instead now save those abilities to burn off excess rage.

For reference, the current Cataclysm Warrior setup is to Charge in, Shockwave, Thunderclap, Demoralizing Shout, then tab target around with Revenge, Shield Slam, and Devastate, using Heroic Strike or Cleave to burn excess rage. As I understand it, Warrior tanking is not fundamentally changing.

I suppose homogenization is inevitable, really. Even as big a studio as Blizzard is, I really don't expect them to try and create two completely different tanking methodologies with two completely separate toolkits using the same energy source. It's a Herculean task of asinine proportions.

But I still have a number of reservations about this setup.

Namely, uptime. Between all of our abilities, in order to maintain the absolute maximum threat on a group, we need to, in no particular order:

1) Keep 3 stacks of Lacerate going
2) Keep Pulverize going
3) Keep 3 stacks of Feral Faerie Fire going
4) Keep Mangle up
5) Possibly keep Thrash up, depending in how the numbers bear out.
6) Keep Demoralizing Roar up

Of particular contention is the difficulty of maintaining stacks of two abilities on multiple targets. Warriors only have the one to deal with, Sunder Armor, which not only is automatically applied with Devastate, but is neither consumed for any ability, and when glyphed, applies multiple stacks at once, or if a glyphed Sunder Armor is used, affects two targets at once. Sadly, the glyphs are purely speculation at this point, given that the new glyph system is not yet implemented, especially with the added tier of glyphs.

It's pointless for me to complain about this, given that I don't have a beta key with which to test things and see just how difficult this task is going to be, but I do hope that the consumption effect of Pulverize is either changed into a "Adds a charge of Lacerate" a la Devastate, or "adds X seconds to the duration of Lacerate" or "refreshes Lacerate to its full duration".


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On deflation:

Like taking an icepick to an inflatable bounce house, seriously.

So, found this on

Jason asked:

So ... I'm concerned about the guild achievements, in particular the 50,000 quest achievement. I've heard that any quests done prior to Cataclysm don't count towards that total. If that's true, then my guildies and I who earned Loremaster are looking like we're screwed. Also, can someone explain what's meant by the top 20 players in a guild being the only ones who count towards guild achievements? Is that based on guild rank or total achievement points?

You might be misunderstanding what a guild achievement is. It isn't "if 20 people in your guild have Loremaster, your guild has the Loremaster achievement." While you might have an achievement for being in a group that kills Cho'gall, your guild has a separate achievement for killing Cho'gall in a raid where 20 or more people are from your guild.

The top 20 earners count toward guild advancement, not achievements. Your guild can gain levels by people PvPing, killing bosses, doing quests, etc., and only the top 20 earners for the week will contribute to end-of-week XP gain. You also get guild XP for getting guild achievements, and Blizzard says it grants a "big chunk" of XP, so it feels good to get them.

The quests you completed prior to Cataclysm's launch won't count toward your guild's total for the 50,000 quests achievement -- but that's so when the system becomes available, everyone will be on equal footing. Note how all of the achievements say "as a guild" in them, too.
Dude. Top 20? And 50,000 quests? We don't *have* 20 active people in our guild. And let me tell you, doing Loremaster was the Worst. Thing. Ever. I mean, yes, I wanted the title, so I cheerfully made like a Korean and ground my way through them all, but Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick with Mary and Judas, but I do NOT want to do anything remotely even LIKE Loremaster again. Never again!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On disappointment?

You know, I don't often get excited about kill achievements. Especially when there's a pity buff ticking along in the background. Taking down The Lich King and, in effect "beating" WotLK was not very exciting for me, but everyone else in the guild seemed to have the jitters and immediately ran off to get celebratory alcohol. Me? Quite literally, I was more excited to finally make Anzu my bitch, or to get my Cenarion War Hippogryph than beating the Lich King, even if I *did* have to tank him after most everyone else was dead, so our DK and Mage could burn him for the last couple of percentage points. (Again! You may may remember my previous heroics in stepping in and tanking Sindragosa during a connection blip.)

Oh well.

Now, we move on to Ulduar, and knock out those hardmodes so we can get 310% speed mounts before the expansion hits, save everyone 5K gold. Again, not as excited for this, because you know that I am only ever going to use Swift Flight Form, anyways, although the extra speed boost will be nice. (Exceptions are given for when I feel like showing off with the Hippogryph. Did I mention how much of a druid-nerd I am?)


Monday, August 9, 2010

On advertising

Hooray, I got linked by John Patricelli! You guys may have heard of him. He's kind of a big thing amongst Druid tanks. And we don't mind when he decides to go on a tirade, either. =3

It's been a while since I've posted, obviously. Between a two-week break in raiding because people were getting burnt out, and the subsequent release of Starcraft II, things have been very quiet on the home front. Pretty much the only thing that stands between us and our shiny Kingslayer titles is Harvest Soul. And then after that, we take a break from ICC, and go clear out our older raid achievements. Ulduar is first on the list, so we can get those shiny 310% speed mounts, and then who knows what we'll do from there. (Really, it's not like I ever use anything other than Swift Flight Form anyhow. The only mounts I ever have bound to my bars are SFF, my Mechano-hog, my Raven Lord (YES! I FINALLY GOT HIM AFTER A YEAR OF FARMING! (Woo! Parenthetical abuse!)) and my Cenarion Hippogryph. I just want the mount for the 310% speed.)

Still steadily whacking away at achievements, though. Since I finished Loremaster, AND beat Anzu into submission, I've been looking for some new, overarching project to complete. Insane in the Membrane is an option. Twenty-Five Tabards, en-route to 40 Exalted Reputations is on the list as well. These are also on top of the Venomhide Ravasaur I'm doing daily. Since I just got exalted with Scryers as well, I'm inclined to start farming the materials needed to switch over the Aldor and get Hero of Shattrath as well. One of the other  non-achievement things, that I mean to do as well is roll that second druid for Boomkin, but I've been inclined to hold off on that so I can try the new Mulgore and re-learn Cataclysm druid tanking from scratch. I've also been pondering letting out some slack on my altitis as well. There's an Arms/Prot warrior I've been meaning to make, as well, and a Frost DK that needs levelling from 70 to 80. I'm giving up on the priest as well. The cost-benefit for making a threadbot isn't worth it, seeing as Fox told me that the epic spellthreads are rep-earned, and therefore out of the reach of a level 65 profession-only alt. Oh right, and I need to make a rogue for that Insane in the Membrane too.

....yeah, I've got a lot on my plate. Any suggestions?