Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cataclysm Changes!

*chirp*  *chirp*

Kae's back!  Well, a little.

While I begin working on my Cat DPS Primer, I'd like to throw out some thoughts on the recent announcements regarding Druid class changes in Cataclysm.  Yes I'm about a week or so late but hey I've been busy adjusting to having to care for another sentient being!

I'll not quote the entire blue post here, I'll just link to it (and I assume most of you, being relatively interested in the Druid class or at least some Druid-related blogs, have already read it), and then quote individual sections I'd like to comment on.  While I'm at it I'll link up the blue post about Rage changes for Druids and Warriors too... once I can find it again!

Cataclysm Druid Preview

On with the show!

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.

Druids get a second button for AOE tanking!  Yay!!

Seriously, I love this and can't wait.

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.

 I read this and went "... ... ... meh?"  The only fight I can think of that this might be truly useful is the Faction Champions in ToC...  As BBB has said multiple times, we can't judge until after the expansion comes out, but for now... I'm less than impressed.

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.

As a feral druid, this was also very meh for me, but it seems cool and I think I'll like playing around with it if I ever go Boomkin.

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.

I like what I'm hearing, but I'm interested to know more in-depth of what changes are being made to have bears pushing a few more buttons/having a few more tools (hint: a silence that doesn't stun of any form would be nice, so we could actually move casters without having to LOS them.  For example....)

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.

If this would also silence them for a bit, that would be excellent.  It's still nice, but not mind-blowing.

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.

I really don't know what to make of this yet.

Overall I'm very excited about the changes, and I can't wait to see them in action!

Coming soon:  The beginning of the Cat primer!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I'm currently working on a couple of posts, but I just about want to strangle someone today...

Came home from a weekend mostly out of town (hadn't touched my computer since I shut it down Friday night or early Saturday morning) to emails from Paypal stating that Blizzard had cancelled my billing agreement and from Blizzard indicating that my account has been permanently disabled due to violations of policy about selling in-game gold or items for cash.

I have a feeling my account got hacked.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter!

Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday weekend!

... and if you don't celebrate Easter, Happy Noblegarden!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Now For Something Completely Different!

While I lay around and try to build a wall as a base for a shed in my backyard thereby avoiding getting pictures of my new little cub up, I'd like to drop an entry into the "Asshat of the Day" bin.

I hopped on to do a quick random, and finding no guildmates on I went ahead and hopped in as a tank.  The loading screen dropped me into an Utgarde Keep... one that had just barely started already, as they had cleared the group just at the top of the stairs inside the door.  There was a Shaman healing, a hunter, a warrior, and one other (sorry, I can't remember clearly) DPS, and me the big bear.

We said hello and started moving.  I pulled one guy because I could time it right, then pulled one of the two groups.  A little mishap in rage generation left me out at the end of that fight, and my enrage down... and the warrior pulled the next group.  Hoping he was just a little overeager, I waded in and we downed the group with no problems... but while still looting the bodies, he pulled the next two guys.

He then proceeded to pull the first group with a Forge Master before I was even close enough to FFF.

It was at this point that I said, and I quote, "Please stop pulling for me, k thx."  I got no response, but I hoped I had gotten the message across.

Up through the proto-drakes everything went mostly fine, although he continually pushed the edge of what I was doing.  The first group through the door on the far side, though, he just couldn't wait and charged in before I did... but barely, so I just went with it.

We came into the Prince's room, and I moved forward enough to FFF one of the four Vyr'kul in the room, and then I backed up to wait for them to come to me and ensure we didn't accidentally aggro the boss.  This, however, was apparently too slow of a tactic for the warrior, who charged in to the middle of them as I was still moving backward to pull them further.

It was at this point that I decided it was time to invoke the, "You pull it, you tank it" maxim.

After this champ keeled over dead (I apologize if the healer was actually trying to keep him up; the healer was (I think) the lowest-geared character on the run), I charged in and grabbed all of them.  I took my sweet time to make sure we had gotten all of our loot, and then I rezzed his sorry butt.

His response?  "Now you've pissed me off."

I actually think he tried to pull aggro from me for the rest of the run.  Not sure if he taunted or not, I just did my thing and never lost aggro on anything that mattered.  I outgeared him by a fairly significant margin, so I don't think he *could* have taken aggro from me without taunting.  He continually toed the line of charging in before me, apparently trying to time it so that I was already hitting the button when he charged, and on a couple of the less-threatening baddies he did even go in first, and I let him take the things he hit.  If I'd have had more time I'd have let him die another time or two just to make my point, but I was in a hurry and he never did anything incredibly out of line (like charge a boss...) so I went with it.

Let me be clear, folks, when I'm tanking heroics, I may not be the fastest tank out there, but I don't mess around.  I stop after kills only long enough to loot and double-check my healer's mana, and I move again.  If that's not fast enough for you, be ready for a repair bill, and don't get pissed off at me for it, because its your own damned fault.

Amoroso of Malfurion, you are the asshat of the day.