Posts Tagged ‘ skills ’

The Ball Is Angry

If you know me then you probably know that I’ve been playing a good amount of League of Legends (LoL) lately. It’s a fun game with a certain visceral playstyle that I hope is mirrored in Guild Wars 2.

When playing LoL, it’s not necessary to constantly monitor your skills. You have four character skills (unique to and constant for that character) and two summoner skills (global across all characters which can be changed before a match is begun). Movement is click-to-move and attack, so Q W E R F and G are re-mapped to be your skill buttons. This took some getting used to.

Because there are only six skills to worry about, memorizing them and their effects is relatively easy. There is a health, mana, and experience bar on the bottom of the screen as well as a target box on the top, but these are wholly unnecessary. You, your teammates’ and all enemy units have their health and mana displayed above their head. This is a true Head’s Up Display. I don’t need to look at extraneous bars elsewhere on the screen to monitor the damage I’m doing or the damage I’m taking. It’s right there in front of me. I don’t have to look at a casting indicator to see what the enemy is doing, the skill effect makes it quite obvious.

Area of Effect skills have colored rings to denote friendly or hostile skills. We know Guild Wars 2 is also doing this and it’s a simple and supremely effective tactic. The skill particles and animation conveys the skill’s effect while the border color conveys its friendliness.

All that information is great and very important to an active combat style, but it’s not the most important comparison I’m drawing between LoL and GW2. What I’m talking about is battlefield control, and that’s where my lovely clockwork lady comes in.

Meet Orianna. She’s a bit of an odd duck. All of her skills revolve around her ‘pet’ ball. With her first skill, Command: Attack, she throws the ball. It does a decreasing amount of damage to everything it hits along the way to its destination. So if your goal is to harass and bully some enemy players that are hiding behind a line of creeps (weak NPC trash mobs) you’ll need to execute some flanking maneuvers, or throw the ball twice, once to get through the creeps and again to slam into an enemy champion.

Her second skill, Command: Dissonance, creates an electrical field in an area around the ball’s current location. This field does a middling amount of damage, but more importantly it slows foes and speeds up allies. ArenaNet is making heavy use with this type of mechanic in Guild Wars 2. Look at Ray of Judgement for example. It lances out lightning that bounces between friend and foe alike. When it strikes a foe it causes damage, when it strikes an ally there is a small amount of healing done. Giving a skill multiple effects based on the target adds depth and more utility than most skills. With Command: Dissonance I can use it to kill a mob of creeps, I can use it to slow enemy champions, helping my team net a kill, or I can use it as a speed boost to either chase or get back into the action after a death. It’s an extremely useful skill.

Orianna’s third skill, Command: Protect, has similar utility to her second. The ball flies from wherever it is and attaches to a friendly target. While in transit the ball does damage similar to that from Command: Attack. It forms a protective barrier around the ally (or Orianna herself), absorbing a small amount of damage, but it also generates a weak static field and does damage to any enemy nearby. From one skill we get damage in a line, damage in an area, and protection.

Her fourth (ultimate) skill isn’t worth mentioning in the context of this post. It basically creates a vortex and sucks enemies in and does damage. There is no effect on allies.

So that’s how the ball works in black and white, but once you bring it into an active combat environment multiple nuances of color start appearing. Orianna’s ball cannot be killed, targeted, or attacked, but Orianna can and she can be very fragile. The ball offers extreme range but even more it offers the opportunity to control the battlefield.

Early in a game farming creep kills is paramount to generating experience and gold. Orianna’s ball is used to harass the enemy champions and keep them away from the line of skirmishing creeps, thereby starving them of experience and gold. Doing this I’m not using the ball at all for attacking creeps, I’m taking pot shots at the enemy champions, throwing the ball into the bushes, and generally being as annoying as possible.

Later in game comes the team fights. Gigantic melees where it’s almost impossible to know for sure where exactly the ball happens to be sitting. In these situations the ball is in its prime. Movement here is key. Throw the ball beyond the attacking champions, damaging along the way. Command: Protect to the melee ally that is running in, once again doing damage along the way. When battle is joined cast Dissonance, doing damage, slowing the enemy, and speeding allies.

Very rarely do I lead in killing blows, but Orianna is a fantastic support character. Playing her requires one to be hyper aware of the battlefield: where are your allies, where are the enemies, who is low on health and will casting Protect also net you some damage?

This all compares directly to combat in Guild Wars 2. When I started playing League of Legends I watched a tutorial video. If it weren’t for the commentator pausing and pointing out specific things I would have been completely lost. There are so many creatures on the screen and so many different effects going off that for the uninitiated it looks completely chaotic and unmanageable. Do these complaints sound familiar? They should. Remember this video:

When discussing this gem I heard a lot of concern about how chaotic everything looked. The skills going off demanded our attention and since we aren’t familiar enough with the gameplay it all looks like so much noise. This leaves me feeling hopeful. I had a similar reaction when I started playing LoL and now I revel in the fast-paced combat. Between the spare User Interface, the descriptive skill effects, and Orianna’s control the battlefield playstyle I feel like I’m in pre-Guild Wars 2 boot camp.

What have you been playing lately that you feel could be preparing you for combat in Guild Wars 2?

 

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Now Don’t Get Your Tail in a Twist

First off: Arenanet? You are such a tease. But you probably already knew that, and that’s ok.

Secondly, a new article came out about the skill system and weapons. The article advertised some racial info but I found the article to be pretty anemic on that front. That’s ok too, there’s plenty else to chew on there and patient Tiger is patient.

I’m seeing some baaaawing about it on facebook (I should really find a forum to haunt) as well as some misunderstandings. I’ll go ahead and distill the information into short, concise points. I’ll put my personal speculation in parenthesies.

Weapons – Split into three categories:

  • One-Handed: Axe, dagger, mace, pistol, scepter, and sword.
  • Two-Handed: Greatsword, hammer, longbow, rifle, shortbow, and staff.
  • Offhand Only: Focus, shield, torch, and warhorn.

Notes – Some professions can wield One-Handed weapons in their offhand. (This implies such exciting combos as dual daggers, sword/pistol, etc).

Weapon Skills – Yesterday we learned there will be 10 skills, 5 of which will be determined by what you’ve currently got your grubby little mitts around at the time. Further reading in this article reveals that:

  • 3 skills will come from your main-hand weapon.
  • 2 skills will come from your off-hand weapon.
  • Different skills will be supplied when you pick up random bits of detritus.

Environment – Many, MANY things can be interacted with. It also sounds like environmental objects can be manipulated to create new objects.

Example:

Breaking a barstool over the head of a rowdy bar patron can yield a chair leg that can be used to great effect as a club.

Professions – I was right about the number of professions. Excuse me for a moment while I pat myself on the back….

There, now on to the highlights:

Professions are split into 3 groups based on armor class:

  • Scholar: Wears light armor, 3 professions fall into this category. (Elementalist is likely among them. This could also include Necromancer, Monk, Mesmer, Ritualist, and possibly the Dervish from the original.)
  • Adventurer: Wears medium armor, 3 professions fall into this category. (Ranger, Assassin, and possibly the Dervish could fit into this category from the original.)
  • Soldier: Wears heavy armor, 2 professions fall into this category. (Warrior and Paragon could fit into this category from the original.)
  • (I doubt all these professions will be in GW2. They did mention that there would be some new classes mixed in with the old. I for one have got my fingers crossed for the Assassin and Mesmer to make the cut.)

Secondary Professions, sadly, will not be included in Guild Wars 2. This isn’t something that makes me raving mad or makes me want to cry, but it does sadden me a bit. I was never one to make heavy use of secondary professions, but I did think it was a neat mechanic that set Guild Wars apart.

Instead of having secondary professions, however, it appears that there will be some heavy synergy between the 8 single professions.

Example:

the Elementalist might drop a Wall of Fire in front of a group of enemies. The warrior could enter the firewall and use Cyclone Axe, an attack which causes him to spin rapidly, sending the firewall outward and hitting his foes.

Races – It sounds like the second 5 skills are available for racial skills. (What isn’t said, however, is if these slots are only for racial skills or if you can choose between racial and profession skills for these slots. My guess is that the latter will be true.)

Elite – Aaaah the elite skill. I have many a memory of adventuring way out in the back of beyond with my husband (and any hapless friend I dragged along) in order to hunt out a certain boss to capture an elite skill. In GW2 it’s said that we will have an elite racial skill. I don’t know if our available elites will only be racial, but I for one hope not. There’s also no word on how skills will be obtained. This bears watching.

I hope I can get a new computer soon. I’m already tired of distilling someone else’s news. I don’t suppose anyone knows if an AMD Athalon II X2 3.0Ghz processor is appreciably different from an AMD Phenom II X2 3.1Ghz processor? I’m not going to quibble over .1Ghz. Here’s a link to the comparison. (Psst, I’ll be springing for the Asus Crossfire III motherboard, all other components I’m willing to take second-best so long as it’ll let me run Maya, Photoshop, Firefox, and Winamp all at the same time)

I Killed A Dragon, And Learned Something New

So, you’re runnin’ around in ful feral glory, rocking a bearcat spec, dpsing in the best kitty gear you’ve been able to get your hands on. The 3.1 patch is still somewhere over the horizon and thanks to your abysmal gold-making abilities you’ve barely got enough for regular raiding, so constant re-specs are unheard of.

You’re nowhere near the top of the damage meters and, while leagues ahead of your DK and Warrior tank-offtank counterparts, you still wish you could eke out more DPS.

I made one change in my rotation last night that netted me approximately 300 extra damage per second.

I switched from casting Savage roar on five combo points to casting it on three.

My previous combo point rotation was:

5 cp – Savage Roar
2-3 cp – OOE – Tiger’s Fury
finish up to 5 cp – Rip
5 cp – Savage Roar
5 cp – WAY OOE – Rip falls off, Rip

OOE is out of energy. I’ll end up using Tiger’s Fury, depending on crits, somewhere either before my first Rip of shortly after. That helps get me up to 5 CP again to refresh Savage Roar (which is only about halfway ticked down, but if I don’t refresh it then it’ll fall off entirely)

Then, by the time my Rip is ticking down dangerously low I’m OOE again and have been for quite some time. It’s all I can do to keep Rake and Mangle up with the energy available, let alone squeeze in Shreds. Inevitably, by the time I make it to 5 combo points again Rip has fallen off and my DPS has taken a hit as a result.

Last night I switched things up a bit.

3 cp – Savage Roar
5 cp – Rip
3 cp – Savage Roar
OOE – Tiger’s Fury
5 cp – Rip
3 cp – Savage Roar
5 cp – OOE – Rip
3 cp – Savage Roar
Still OOE – Tiger’s Fury

During the build-up of Combo Points for the third Rip I found myself going OOE again, but since I had cast Savage Roar on 3 cp before instead of 5 I had a cushion of time to wait for my energy to regen and by the time I had 5 combo points I was in plenty of time to refresh Rip without it falling off.

If I get a chance I’d like to try to test these two variations in the rotation against a dummy. I’m thinking 3 minutes of DPS-time for each test, self-buffed, and without using Berserk.

NEW IMPORTANT HUNTER INFORMATION! UNDOCUMENTED!

Yes, the capitals are REQUIRED!

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS SHIZ!!!!

I see lotsa hunters QQing about their missed ammo changes and beasticuffs and stuff and running around in circles and getting under-foot.

BUT!

PH34R NOT!

Venerable Lady Tigerfeet has UNDOCUMENTED infoz for hunters that should send you all scampering in glee.

ready?

They fixed Dust Cloud.

Yep.

All you Tallstrider lovers out there?

Dust Cloud.

Fixt.

….

…………

What? You thought I actually had something important to say?

Feral Charge [Car]

Non-WoW related post today. Skip if you like, but I recommend you take a look at what I have to say. It’s a guide of sorts, and yes I’m putting it on my sidebar.

I’ve got readers from all over the place who I’m sure have family that live all over the place. Holiday season is here and chances are you’ll be driving around. What I’m going to share with you is what I’ve learned about driving in awful weather.

Some History:

I grew up in a small rural town. My first experiences driving involved my Grandfather’s truck and a hayfield. At thirteen I was fetching the car for my parents from the parking lot at Sunday Church. At 15 I began drivers education through my High School but didn’t get around to actually getting my license until I was most of the way towards 17. I took my official test for my license amid heavy blowing snow and passed with flying colors (yes even the paralell parking bit).

At 18 I moved to Chicago for college and learned what city driving was like. (It’s kinda like tanking, you want to max out your avoidance and always be alert). The thing about driving in Chicago is everyone tailgates. If you’re not tailgating someone you’re going to get cut off. Some other idiot is going to speed up on the side of you doing 90-something and swerve in front of you. It sucks, and it only perpetuates the problem. So in Chicago I learned to be alert and defensive in my driving.

Chicago gets a lot of snow, but in the city and the suburbs you don’t learn diddly about driving in adverse conditions. See, there’s a veritable army of snow ploughs and salt trucks that are deployed at the meerest hint of a snowflake. The roads are kept pretty much constantly clear. Unfortunately the ridiculous amount of salt on the roads will rot the bottom out of your car before you can blink, but at least you aren’t going to careen into a ditch because of hard-packed ice.

It wasn’t until I moved a bit east, after college that I learned what winter can truly do.

Some Stats:

I drive a 2000 Saturn SW2. For you non-car-types that’s a little Saturn Station Wagon with those new-fangled fiberglass dent-proof sides. Well, they’re not so new-fangled anymore, and not even in production.

Why?

For a station wagon, my car is cursed light.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee? Well, I’ve got the floating part down. Under the right conditions I’ll float right off the road.

And I have.

Often.

Some Strategy:

First and foremost, as a convicted speeder, I want to tell each and every one of you that if you’re not driving on a dry, warm road, agressive driving won’t get you there faster, it’ll get you there dead. In my state we have a slogan about drunk driving “Arraive Alive”. This works for driving safely under adverse conditions as well.

I’m going to start from kinda bad, and work my way up to conditions that are simply impassable.

Medium Rain:

The important thing to know about rain is that it washes things. This might sound obvious, but let me explain.

During the course of cars and trucks using the roads they put off pollutants. These can be exhaust, oil from the engines, scum that falls off the bottom, dirt, even agricultural run-off contributes to the gunk that’s on the roads. When everything’s dry and warm this really isn’t a problem. Tires get good traction and everything is safe.

When it starts to rain, however, these road pollutants are loostened from the road and mix with the water that is now on the road. Anyone who’s washed dishes can tell you that oil will float on the top of water. This creates a very dangerous surface to drive on, and makes conditions ideal for hydroplaining.

Note: About the first 15 minutes of rain are the most dangerous. After the first 15 minutes most of the road scum has been washed away and you only have to worry about the water, not the combination of oil and water.

  • Hydroplaining: If you’re not sure you’ve ever felt it you probably haven’t. It’s a very curious feeling and one that makes my insides knot and my pulse race every time it happens. As you’re driving, no matter how nice your car, there will be some road vibration. When you start to hydroplane your car is actually ‘surfing’ on top of the skin of water that’s on the road. All vibration ceaces and handling decreases to almost none.
    • What to do: First and foremost, take your foot off the gas. DO NOT slam on the brake, DO NOT make any sudden turns. While hydroplaining your car is NOT under control. Inertia is in charge here and it will keep you going straight (or slightly to the side if there’s a lot of wind). In most cases, once you stop applying forward motion gravity and friction will take over to slow you down and you will regain contact with the road. It’s important to not slam on the brakes either. Some tires may be in contact while others are still skidding. If one tire has traction and brakes it’ll act as an anchor and you could very well skid out of control. So, If you feel yourself Hydroplane, take your foot off the gas and coast until you feel your car reconnect with the road.

Heavy Rain:

Same story as medium rain, except there’s a lot more of it. Visibility will be awful and you have to watch out for ‘curtains’. Btw, if you don’t have your lights on, what’s wrong with you? Even if it’s raining in the middle of the day, even if it’s just a medium shower TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS! In rain during the day they’re not there to help you see better, they’re there to allow other motorists to see you. I almost killed myself driving in rain once because I came up on a silver car going 40 without his lights on. I could not see him until I was almost on top of him.

So, about those curtains I mentioned. In really heavy rain, more common with lots of wind, rain doesn’t fall evenly. There will be clear patches and there will be heavy patches, and there will be curtains; places where the rain comes down in a sheet so thickly that you can’t see through it. It looks like a wall in front of you. Simply slow down, and be alert. If you have your lights on, and everyone else has theirs on you’ll be fine, but be alert for idiots that think because it’s the middle of the day, no matter how heavy the rain, they don’t need their lights.

And that’s it for rain! Snow is a WHOLE other animal too, I’ll be expanding this guide in the future, but for the sake of getting this out and maybe helping someone here ye be 🙂

Angry Cat Noises

Ok, so at level 77 I’m probably a little late on this. My only defense is that I’ve been training skills whenever I feel like it and usually not until I start having trouble killing things.

Anyway, last night I had the pleasure of running Violet Hold and then completing the Amphlitheatre of Anguish quests… and I ran as DPS. It’s been a while since I’ve run as DPS and there was one very telling difference to my rotation.

Angry cat noises.

If you’re feral, and you’ve reached at least level 75 you’ve probably noticed you have a sparkly new skill you have to make room on your cast bar for (I think I ditched Pounce so I could make room). This skill would, of course, be Savage Roar.

Savage Roar Rank 1
25 Energy    100 yd range
Instant
Requires Cat Form

Finishing move that increases attack power by 40%.  Lasts longer per combo point:
1 point  : 14 seconds
2 points: 19 seconds
3 points: 24 seconds
4 points: 29 seconds
5 points: 34 seconds

Now, I’m not much for crunching raw numbers and making magic pop out. I’ll leave that to those with the patience to do so. The way I enjoy theorycrafting has absolutely nothing to do with theory.

I enjoy going out and seeing what happens!

Last night was the first time I ever worked Savage Roar into my attack cycle. My first impressions were giddy laughter at the sound effect. Like the title states, it’s angry cat noises, sounds that harken back to my days spent glued to the Discovery Channel… I sounded like a savage wild kitty out of deepest Africa!

So, about halfway through Violet Hold I decided to bring my Recount up. I always have it running, but I don’t always have it showing. I figured, hey, as fun as this skill sounds, if it’s hurting my DPS I don’t really want to be using it. So I brought up Recount.

Savage Roar was not hurting my DPS. It was very much doing the opposite. I was, specced somewhat will-he nill-he in a messy hybrid leveling build, pulling 1,300 solid dps at lvl 77.

I also dominated the DPS chart.

Let me repeat, for the first time in my entire furry feral life I was dominating DPS. It felt good. It felt damn good.

Now, I was running with a warrior, a priest, and two warlocks. Warlocks are supposed to be monsters when it comes to DPS. One was 77 like me and the other was 74. I don’t know what specs they were running, but I do know that after last night they’re re-tooling to see how they do.

That’s fine, I’m not looking to get into any epeen contests at this point in the game. I am simply reveling in the fact that, specced messey hybrid as I am, I’m finally able to pull out a respectable amount of DPS when called for.

A few notes on my spec and attack sequence:

  • I’m specced for mangle spam. I haven’t invested many (if any) points into the skills that make Shred worthwhile. I’m usually grinding mobs on my own, tanking, or in PvP. In all those situations I can’t really be bothered with proper positioning, so mangle-spam is best for me at this point in time.
  • I don’t pounce, I don’t ever really use Ravage either. It’s just personal playstyle that, and if I start to DPS in 10 and 25-man dungeons Ravage will probably become my opener of choice.

My attack sequence usually looks like the following:

  • Mangle
  • Rake
  • Mangle to 5 combo points
  • Savage Roar
  • Rake
  • Mangle to 5 combo points
  • Ferocious Bite
  • Insert Tiger’s Fury whenever it’s off Cooldown and I’m low on energy
  • Berserk whenever I feel like it
  • Repeat

You’ll notice the omission of Rip. This isn’t because I think Rip isn’t worthwhile. Honestly, I have no idea if it’s better or worse than Ferocious Bite. I just use Ferocious Bite because when I’m grinding by myself one good FB crit will finish off whatever I’m fighting. I have it arranged on my cast bar so that it’s convenient and I didn’t feel like re-arranging things for that instance. Now, if I get to go DPS something else I’ll replace FB with Rip and see what that does, but I’m not going to sit and crunch numbers.

Suffice to say, Pre-Savage Roar I was piddling about at 700-800 DPS. Now I’m pulling 1,200-1,300 DPS.

So roar kitties! Roar to the skies! *myao-waaah-yoooow!*

I will be spending Thanksgiving with my family. WoW time will be limited and most likely blogging will be non-existant. I hope everyone has a happy holidays and drive safely!

Alas Poor Powershifting, I Knew Thee Well

So, didja hear the news? Apparently all the clever little kitties out there have been exploiting the system by Powershifting. Apparently, instead of saying “Hey, what a neat unintentional consequence of furor our players discovered! How can we use this to make the game more interesting yet still keep things from being Overpowered?” Nope, it’s getting a general nerf-bat. That’s right kids, thanks to Kal for giving me a heads-up, but Powershifting, as we know it, will be no more.

I could continue to QQ about the vanilla-izing nerf-bat and mention other games where unintended consequences were discovered and embraced, but that’d spawn a rant, and not something I’m trying to accomplish here.

What I want to talk about is an ability that’s near and dear to every druid’s heart, the reason we all chose to roll druids and my very favorite thing in the whole wide world about playing a druid. That’s right, our adaptability! Nerf balance? I’ll go feral! Nerf that I’ll still rip faces (somehow)! I don’t care what you do to me, I’ll adapt!

Here’s the posts, both blue and non, about the energy changes coming in WotLK, and their affect on the ever-resourceful druid community.

Jimmythenumbers says:

The Cat Form energy regeneration mechanics you are seeing in the current beta build are a bug resulting from “powershifting” being partially fixed. We changed energy regeneration on Cat Form so that it occurs continuously no matter what form the Druid is in. However, the second half of the change did not make it in before the data pull for the build. When Furor triggers on shifting to Cat Form, your energy will be set to the minimum of its current value and 40. So, if you are over 40, it goes to 40. If you are less than 40, you gain no energy, but keep the amount you gained through normal regeneration. If Furor does not trigger or you do not have the talent, energy is set to 0.

“Powershifting” was never an intended mechanic. However, it has become so prevalent among Feral Druids that if we did not eliminate it, we would have to balance around it. So, this change effectively eliminates the possibility to gain extra energy regeneration through the Furor talent. For the intended use: shift out, heal self a bit or Innervate or Tranquility or Rebirth, go back to Cat Form, it will work as well as it ever has.

Followed by:

Astrylian!, who says


Q u o t e:

This part is true.

Furor IS still giving you energy….you can shift out and cast spells and assuming your energy would have ticked back anyway, you will shift back to cat with 40. The only difference is that now powershifting is pointless.

It’s quirky things like powershifting that have made the devs hesitant to buff our dps. It’s always felt more like an exploit than a cool ability, imo, and I’m fine with them taking it out so long as they man up to their promises to make cat dps competitive.


I just confirmed that nothing has changed since 8820 on beta currently. I’m asking Jimmythenumbers about which of his contradictory lines is correct, not your guess at it. As is,


Q u o t e:
When Furor triggers on shifting to Cat Form, your energy will be set to the maximum of its current value and 40.


…directly contradicts…


Q u o t e:
So, if you are over 40, it goes to 40. If you are less than 40, you gain no energy, but keep the amount you gained through normal regeneration. If Furor does not trigger or you do not have the talent, energy is set to 0.


If the first line is true, it’s a minuscule buff from on live (only difference besides the tick timing is you wouldn’t lose energy if you powershift when energy>40), and still allows powershifting, which contradicts the whole point of his post.
If the second line is true, it’s a significant nerf, actually reducing the energy gain when powershifting (to 0, in most PvE), and goes in line with the point of his post.

Originally, I was hoping they’d remove powershifting in WotLK, because I didn’t want to have to code it in Rawr cause it’s nasty complex. But after playing with the powershifting mechanic in beta, I found it so fun, I would hate to play without it, and found it would be easier than I thought to code.

Which is then ‘clarified’ as:

Jimmythenumbers says:

You are right, I typed faster than I was thinking. Your energy will be set to the MINIMUM of your current amount of energy and 40, or, from another point of view, it will be maxxed at 40. Sorry. I’ll correct my post.

Here’s an example:

At time 0 I have 0 energy and I shift out of Cat Form, but I’m on global cooldown for 1 sec. from the last Cat Form ability I used. I cast Rebirth on a fallen party member, that takes 2 sec. During that 3 sec, I gained an additional 30 energy. I shift back to Cat Form with the Furor talent and have 30 energy. WIthout the talent, I have 0.

Another:

At time 0 I have 0 energy from killing a mob with a critical Ferocious Bite. I shift out of Cat Form. Once the global has passed from the FB (1 sec). I regrowth myself (2 sec). and Lifebloom myself (1.5 sec.) I go back to Cat Form. 4.5 seconds passed, so I am entitled to 45 energy, but Furor cuts me off at 40 energy when it fires.

Another:
I’m in Bear Form as an off-tank. My mob dies, and I shift to Cat Form to help kill the next target. I’ve been in Bear Form for longer than 10 seconds, so my energy bar is full, but Furor cuts me off at 40 energy.

Yes, there are some cases like the first one, where if I have no latency, never pause for any decision-making, and only cast one spell out of Cat Form, I get less than 40 energy. However, in most cases I will always be at at least 40, and so Furor will give me the intended amount of energy without creating the degenerate “powershifting” case.

Ok, so I don’t know about you, but the first time I read through this it was about as clear as mud. After knuckling my brow and picking out pieces that made sense (‘current amount of energy and 40’ could be taken to mean any number of things) I’ve come to my own conclusions.

Powershifting, in the past, has been a way for druids to convert mana into energy through the Furor talent, thus allowing us to attempt to be viable dps in end-game. (we really are kind of borked on the dps side of things, even at my best in my full dps kit it’s a struggle for me to maintain 600dps)

This conversion of mana into ‘free’ energy was not intended and it’s being ‘fixed’ in the following manner (as I understand it):

Energy will continue to tick while in caster form. If you’re running along, have been in caster form and have a full energy bar then shift into cat your energy bar is wiped.

Taking the skill furor (5 ranks) will allow you to keep up to 40 of those energy points.

If you’re dpsing and you have 0 energy and execute a powershift (/cast !Cat Form) you will find yourself back in cat form with 0 energy.

So, in essence, there is no point to shifting out and back in to cat form without doing something else in between (like casting some heals or a rebirth). In essence, it’s a soft cooldown on furor. Furor is designed as a skill to soften the blow when a druid finds it necessary to shift forms and perform some other task as opposed to an energy-gaining buff skill. (I believe there’s been some druid changes that give us one of those now, more on that in another post)

You might be thinking that you can now ditch that /cast !Cat Form button, but I wouldn’t reccomend it. Personally, I’m pretty bad at powershifting, but I do find that button extremely handy for getting out of snares. I used to simply click my cat form button twice but between server lag and my own unremarkable reaction time I’ve found myself stuck, stunned, or dead in caster form more often than not.

You would use this macro in a number of situations

  1. Getting away from the Shade of Aran when he gets ready to cast his huge AoE explosion. (Powershifting removes the movement debuff)
  2. Getting away from Rage Winterchill when he freezes everyone in place just before he ice blocks someone. (I like to run in the direction of the healers)
  3. Running after that pesky little mage in BG who thinks they can frost nova you to the ground, or that foolish druid that thinks rooting you would actually accomplish anything. (Seriously now, why would you ever try to root another druid? Waste of time and mana when a feral can just be sleeped)

I’m sure there’s more applicable circumstances to use Powershifting, even after 3.0, but I’m sure you get the idea now.

For those of you that have never done much Powershifting life will continue as normal. For those of us who do well, we’ll just have to put Tiger’s Fury back on our cast bar now won’t we?