Posts Tagged ‘ talents ’

In Which I Whine Most Unbecomingly and Talk About My Hunter Some More

Sorry for the double-post today, but I wanted to get this out into the open before we started raiding this week.

I wish that Swipe = Dust Cloud, and that Dust Cloud = Swipe.

‘Wait’, you’re saying, ‘What the heck does the special Tallstrider ability (that only you in the world care about because you’re the only person crazy enough to run around with a tallstrider) have to do with the Druid tanking ability, swipe?’

Well I’ll tell you.

It’s a targeting/range issue. That’s right, simply a targeting/range issue.

Let’s say I’m OT for Sartharion. It’s my job to gather up the little elemental guys and make sure they don’t get hit by a lava wave and hulk out and kill everybody. Problem is, when they show up they aggro onto random people (often healers) and I have to either distance-growl, or run around like a crazy-face attempting to swipe and catch them up. Another problem is sometimes ranged dps and healers (especially healers) tend to stand all over the place. Here’s a reenactment of me Off-Tanking Sartharion.

Elementals Spawn.

Hit one, hit two.

Healer has aggro, tab-target over & distance-growl.

Healer has aggro again. Growl is on cooldown.

Tab-target over, run over, swipe to keep aggro on horde of following elementals while I’m running.

Target is out of range. dammit.

Don’t swipe, lacerate instead.

Swipe a couple times to keep up threat.

DPS pulls something away. Target in preparation for mangle or lacerate.

Swipe to keep up aggro.

Target is out of range.


More elementals, target, swipe

Out of range. dammit

Swipe again

Out of range


Elementals are now running everywhere.

Challenging Roar to gather the elementals so swipe actually works.

Aggro Sartharion.


Sound like Little Miss Whiney Excuse-pants to the raid lead as you try to explain why you couldn’t keep aggro on a few measley elementals.

Here’s another example:

I’m playing my hunter and running around having a gay old time with my Tallstrider. I’ve got my /cast Hunter’s Mark /petattack macro and I’m workin’ my way down the length of the Barrens.

I click my handy macro button and Floyd runs off with his ear-grating CraaaAAAWwww noise that I love so much. (I also have a fondness for Moa Birds if you’ve ever played Guild Wars)

I notice that he’s running off and a little puff of dust is kicked up. “Oh how cute!” I think, “He’s running so fast he kicked up a dust clou-”


Dust Cloud


When it’s on auto-cast, Floyd casts Dust Cloud as soon as he’s told to attack, and it does nothing because there aren’t any enemies within 10 yards.

Do we see my dilema yet?

If Swipe worked the way Dust Cloud did, it would be AMAZING. I could run around spamming swipe and hit whatever happened to be in range.

If Dust Cloud worked the way Swipe does I could leave the skill on auto-cast and rest assured that Floyd wouldn’t kick up dust until he was actually in-range of our next victim.

By jove I think I’ve got it. Now let’s all go petition Blizzard to make this change so I can stop sounding like a whiney emo-bear when my raid lead asks why I can’t tank a few elementals.


Growl, I’m a Bear!

Building a Bear Druid wasn’t quite as easy for me as building a Cat Druid.

However, I persevered and THIS is what I came up with.

When building a spec there’s a few things I do. I have a process, you might say. I sit down and look at the talent tree and… begin.

  1. First, I load up on one of the 5-point talents. Both Ferocity and Feral Aggression are beneficial to a bear, but my first goal is to get as deep into the tree as I can. So, I started with Ferocity as I always manage to forget to use Demoralizing Roar when I’m tanking (mad apologies to my healers).
  2. As I’m racing like a maniac down the tree, taking only talents that I perceive to be the bare minimum, I’ll eventually come to a level similar to the one that contains Nuturing Instinct. Now, that’s not a skill I want, really… ever. So I skip it, and find I need more points somewhere in feral to get deeper. This is where I’ll go back and start picking up talent skills that I had left behind.
  3. I worked my way deeper until I came face-to-face with Rend and Tear. It’s sitting there, on its own tier, it’s got to be important, right? I have to take it… right? WRONG! Skip it! It only benefits you if your target is bleeding. If you’re a kitty then your target had BETTER be bleeding all the time. If you’re a bear, well, not so much.
  4. So at that point I went back and picked up Feral Aggression so I could buy Berserk. Because all good kitties and bears know that Berserk=win.
  5. After I got berserk I halted and stepped on over to the resto tree. Nothing earth-shattering here, the talents I chose to take have been pretty standard for a good long time.
  6. Once there I was left with just two points. Where, oh where, would I put them? My options were Brutal Impact and Primal Precision. Being able to bash more often is good, especially now that the interrupt component of bash will work on targets that cannot be stunned (Romulo & Julianne anyone?). Primal Precision is of benefit because it adds 10 expertise. Expertise does… something. I’m really not sure what. It hangs out there somewhere in the annals of my mind under the heading of “Important but clueless about”. So, with that caveat I’m reccomending you invest into Brutal Impact. If I’m wrong let me know, hell maybe a point into each is the way to go?

So, there you have it, Tiger’s Top Bear Talents.

I’m delving into the world of being a Bear this morning because last night I finally dinged 80. It was somewhat anti-climactic, but I made it before our guild ‘officially’ stepped into Naxxramas. So, ‘officially’, I’ll be elegible for guild ‘firsts’.

I’m still not sure what I want to do, be it Bear or Cat. What I most want to do is fill the role that is most needed by my guild. But I also want to do both, tank and dps. This is pretty cost-prohibitive right now though because of the lack of a dual-spec system. I’ll have to wait and see what the roster holds.

For now, I’m ready with my bear spec!

Ok, I’ll Come Clean…

I don’t really have any idea what I’m doing.

Mr. Tigerfeet patched his WoW yesterday while the servers were down, and neglected to patch mine. As a result I attempted to drag the installer form his computer over to mine so that I didn’t have to download the darn thing. Long story short, I couldn’t find the installer, tried to overwrite my game files with his, and broke the whole freaking thing.

I had no WoW last night (not that many did) and I was frustrated and tired and cranky. I went to bed, had another short battle with Nibbles the Pirate (our new kitten, he likes to sleep on faces) and finally fell asleep.

This morning I awoke to wander downstairs bleary-eyed to find my computer screen glowing a chilling blue with a Frost Wurm roaring challenges at me. Well, while nibbling on some of last night’s leftovers I managed to log in just long enough to make a quick trip to Orgrimmar for my Shave and a Haircut. I’ve now got long braids and I’m missing one of my horns. Hey, I figure this character is old enough she’s probably a bit the worse for wear.

Mooving on…

I got to work and people are chittering about talent specs and… this is when the panic starts to set in. I’ve been playing as a druid for 2-3 years. You would think I’d know what I was doing, you would think I’d have enough confidence in myself to boldly click my talent buttons and choose my destiny, firm in the belief that I know what I’m doing. You’d think that, wouldn’t you?

You’d be wrong.

I’m not really the kind of person to race headlong off of a cliff (despite the number of times this has happened in-game). I prefer to analyze, over-analyze, and re-analyze everything. I want ONE spec, I want ONE job, and I want to be AWESOME at it. Well, maybe I shouldn’t have rolled a Druid…

No, my consternation comes from the split in the Feral tree. I shall be cat, or I shall be bear. If I do both I’ll miss out on Berserk and I won’t be killer at either. Jack of all, master of none right?

I figured this would be a simple decision. Do I want to tank, or shall I be DPS now? The problem comes from my own conflicting desires and promises… well, maybe not promises, more like agreements I’ve made with my guild.

I was recruited as a feral tank. Once upon a time feral tanking scared the bajeezus out of me. (I’m notorious for not trusting my healers) But since that time I’ve come to enjoy it, I enjoy it quite a bit in fact. I enjoy being a very important person, I enjoy that my job is necessary and that there’s really only 3 (4 come wrath) other classes who can do the same job as I.

Running as DPS doesn’t confer the same level of importance. Yes, DPS is important, if you don’t have enough the fight takes forever and there’s a good chance you’ll run up to the enrage timer and then, well, it’s game over.

Thing is, I want to push the envelope on DPS now that I’m told I’ll be able to. I also don’t want to give up the ‘glamor’ that comes with being a tank. When I was geared enough to go on guild progression runs I would be cheered when I said I was available. Perhaps it’s all in my head, but being ‘just another DPS’ seems to lend itself to a life of obscurity.

Now that I’ve said all that…

I’d like to let everyone know what a wonderful and therapeautic thing a blog can be. I’ve finally typed out everything that I think, my hopes and fears for the expansion, and I have a plan. It’s so painfully obvious, but it’s not something I could accept unless I came to the conclusion on my own.

I’ll do both, of course!

Blizzard is giving us two specs, there is no excuse for me not to have a dps spec and a tanking spec, no reason at all. As of right now I think I’ve been able to plan something out. Relying on my tier bonuses and my current stats I’ve tried to make a hybrid bear-cat build for between now and the expansion. This very well may end up being my leveling build, I’m not too sure.

I’m very much looking forward to being able to test it out in some group environments.

So now, without further ado, here’s

Tiger’s Top Idontknowwhatthecrapimdoing Feral Hybrid Build

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.


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.

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?

Theorycrafting Part 1 : Ferals and the Restoration Tree

Alright folks listen up! Wrath of the Lich King is just around the corner, and it was announced by Bilzzard that they will be releasing patch 3.0 in the ‘coming weeks’. I’ve finally decided that it’s probably about time I took a long hard look at the new talents offered and try to build accordingly. Links will be added to this mini ‘table of contents’ as the posts are made.

Part 1 : Ferals and the Restoration Tree

Part 2 : Feral Skills Tier 1-3

Part 3 : Feral Skills Tier 4-6

Part 4 : Feral Skills Tier 7-11

Part 5 : Skill Options Breakdown

Wrath Kitty DPS Leveling Build 1.0

Wrath Kitty DPS Leveling Build 1.1

Wrath Kitty DPS Leveling Build 1.2

I’m going to go ahead and break down every skill in each tier and talk a little about why I’m either choosing or not choosing to take it. Keep in mind that I’m attempting to build this as my DPS spec. Blizzard has stated that they want ferals to have to choose to either dps or tank through their spec, and this is something I’ve seen to be true in trying to build a spec from scratch.

First I’ll start with the restoration tree: (I’ll only comment here on the skills I did choose to take)

Furor: Rank 5/5

Gives you 100% chance to gain 10 Rage when you shapeshift into Bear and Dire Bear Form or 40 Energy when you shapeshift into Cat Form.

This skill, all 5 ranks of it is not only necessary to gain access to the goodies farther down in the resto tree, but it is absolutely essential to being able to Powershift. Powershifting is the act of shifting out of then back into cat or bear form when energy/rage is at 0 in order to gain the ‘free’ 40 energy/10 rage that furor gives you. I don’t reccomend doing this as a bear, leave the druid stance dance to the kitties k?

Naturalist: Rank 5/5

Reduces the cast time of your Healing Touch spell by 0.5 sec and increases the damage you deal with physical attacks in all forms by 10%.

First glance at this you might thing ‘huh?’ but notice the last part. ‘Increases the damage you deal with physical attacks in all forms by 10%’. This scales as 2% – 4% – 6% – 8% – 10%. This is my first sticking point I’m not alltogether sure about. I don’t need all 5 points to be eligible for the next tier and if I sacrifice some points in this skill I can put them elsewhere. (I’ll go more in depth about my different options in another post.)

Natural Shapeshifter: Rank 3/3

Reduces the mana cost of all shapeshifting by 30%.

At first blush this is a skill I’m tempted to write off. It’s something that is very handy to have in PvP when you’re changing forms almost constantly, but during the regular course of PvE I don’t find myself running out of mana much, even with copious use of Powershifting. Investing 3 points in this talent, however, is necessary to unlock Master Shapeshifter. (More on that in a moment)

Omen of Clarity: Rank 1/1

Each of the Druid’s spells and autoattacks has a chance of causing the caster to enter a Clearcasting state. ┬áThe Clearcasting state reduces the Mana, Rage or Energy cost of your next damage, healing spell or offensive ability by 100%.

As of right now this skill is the whole point of a feral going this deep into the Restoration tree. Free attacks = good. However, with the next skill I intend to take I’m beginning to re-think OOCs necessity. Like I said before, I’ll hunker down and get to the nitty gritty in a following post. Suffice to say, this is one I’m wavering on. A note: As of BC this skill needs to be cast. It was said that in WotLK it will be passive. I don’t see anything about it being passive on the tooltip but I’m assuming it will say something about that when it shows up in our spellbooks.

Master Shapeshifter: Rank 2/2

Grants an effect which lasts while the Druid is within the respective shapeshift form.

Bear form – Increases physical damage by 4%.

Cat form – Increases critical strike chance by 4%

Moonkin form – Increases spell damage by 4%.

Tree of Life form – Increases healing by 4%.

This talent scales from 2% on all effects. I am very seriously pondering dropping Omen of Clarity to be able to afford two points into this talent instead of 1. The increased critical strike percentage for kitties is invaluable. There’s a fine line that cats have to tread between attack power and crit chance in order to maximise DPS. (I’m very sorry, but I saw a nice graph on AP vs Crit Chance on Elitest Jerks once but I can’t for the life of me seem to find it.)

That’s it for the Restoration tree as far as ferals are concerned (both Kitties and Bears). Tomorrow I’ll post the first third of the feral tree. As I’ll be touching on every skill there weather or not I choose to invest points on it I’ll be splitting the feral tree up into 3 separate posts. Post 2 will be to the 3rd tier, post 3 will be tiers 4 through 6, and post 4 will be tiers 7 through 11. That leaves post 5 for going in-depth about the skills I’m unsure about.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Feel free to post in the comments section or e-mail me (info on my about page) If you see I’ve stated something wrong or have some constructive criticism please supply pertinent links or the theorycraft behind what you have to say yourself. I’m a very novice theorycrafter and I don’t pretend to know everything.