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Updates at restokin: preparation, guides, & podcasts

So, there are a couple things that I have going on that I wanted to post updates about:

  1. Preparing for the 4.0.1 patch  (for both moonkin & resto druids)! This weekend, I hope to post about things like glyphs & gems that you should be acquiring before patch day hits. Not all of the glyphs will be available on patch day, but you will be able to set up with a temporary glyph set to get you started.
  2. Both my healing and leveling guides will need a facelift the day that 4.0.1 hits the shelves. I will have something in place on release day, but neither will be a full guide, and the guides will stop at level 80 content. So, I will have a guide tailored to level 80 healing with the new talents (mostly with an explanation of what changed and how to deal with the new changes at 80 before mana becomes a problem). I will also have something resembling a 1 to 80 leveling guide ready to go at that point which will receive frequent updates as I have time and we get closer to Cata’s release.
  3. Prior to cata’s release, I will get leveling guide updated for all 3 specs from 80 to 85 ready to go (along with probably getting the resto/bear instance healing/tanking leveling stuff ready to go, which won’t make it in for my 4.0 leveling guide).  I will release a complete version for 85 resto healing after Cataclysm hits the shelves and we see how people are actually healing, and what the raid mechanics actually look like.
  4. I believe that WoW is going to be migrating to new a new forum format, where we will have to start from scratch by re-posting all of our guides and such. Blizzard has done a WoW forum migration once before in previous patches, and has put Starcraft on the new forum format already. They haven’t announced anything about this lately, but I’m still anticipating the move. My leveling guide will likely move to the new forums first, and then the healing guide will follow after I get the leveling guide set up. All guides will also be cross-posted on the blog, and the blog will contain more updates as we work our way through the transition.
  5. Oh, and this month is also Blizzcon, which I’ll be watching from home (since I didn’t get tickets). I’ll report on any big druid announcements over that weekend.

Now that you know my plan for the next ~3 months… I have a fun announcement! I’m planning on joining a bunch of my fellow druids in recording a Druid Roundtable podcast with the Raid Warning Podcast this NEXT weekend. (Date postponed another week...) There will be resto, feral, and moonkin druids. The lineup of people they sent the contact e-mails out to was a rather large list of big druid names from the community. We’ll be recording segments over this weekend, and they plan to release the podcast to everyone on Tuesday, the 5th in mid-October. I’ll let you guys know when it is posted, and will give you links and more info at that point. It won’t be recorded live due to how complicated it will be for the Raid Warning crew to coordinate so many different schedules.

Prior to the podcast, we’re supposed to ask for questions that people want answered. So, if you have a burning question you want discussed by the druid roundtable, you are welcome to put it in a comment to this post. You can also follow @RaidWarning on Twitter, and send your questions directly to them. In addition, if you are on twitter and are not following me (@restokin), you are also missing out on all my fun beta testing rants!

That’s all I have for now. Oh, and ontop of all of this, I’m supposed to be sending my advisor a draft of my dissertation proposal by the end of the weekend. Oh joy!

Posted in Cataclysm, Druid - General, Feral DPS Cat, Leveling, Moonkin Balance DPS, Restoration Healing Trees

Druid glyphs now on Beta

I’m going to scoop MMO-champion by posting the druid beta glyphs before they do.

You can find the full list of glyphs by clicking on this link. (the list was so long that I made a separate page on this site that I can keep updated instead of embedding them in this post).

They have been split into prime, major, & minor glyphs. Note that this list probably isn’t final.

Some Prime  highlights are: The Wrath glyph (Your wrath does 10% more damage to targets afflicted by insect swarm), and starsurge (when starsurge deals damage, it reduces the cooldown on starfall by 5 sec). Lifebloom glyph now increases it’s crit chance by 20%.

The winner for most confusing prime: Regrowth glyph (Regrowth HOT will automatically refresh it’s duration on targets at or below 25% health). I’m not even really sure what that means.

Major glyph highlights: Thorns reduces it’s cooldown by 20 sec, Roots (reduces the cast time of roots by 100%) go moonkin PvP!, and healing touch (each HT reduces the cooldown on Nature’s Swiftness by 5 sec)

So, go see the full list now. I’ve marked which ones haven’t changed with the word (unchanged), but I still kept a brief description of the effect so you could remember what it does now.

Also, regarding the new glyph system: there are 3 prime, 3 major, and 3 minor glyph slots total at max level. The UI looks like this:

Also, it was brought to my attention that bears actually don’t have prime glyphs for tanking (with only 2 prime glyphs even being useable in bear form, 1 of which is mangle’s DPS increase glyph). They obviously need to add in more glyphs in some places, so this is really just a first pass at them.

Posted in Cataclysm, Druid - General, Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Moonkin Balance DPS, Restoration Healing Trees

Cata druid leveling: 1 to 20 is more fun

So, I wanted to take a break from my regularly scheduled crying about how frustrating high level healing is on Beta (especially with the 84 & 85 quests not itemized) to talk about something much more exciting – druid leveling from 1 to 20!

So, now we have 4 different races to choose from when leveling a new druid, which gives us 4 starter zones: Night Elf & Worgen for the Alliance, and Tauren & Troll for the Horde. Trolls even have a new level 1 to 5 starter experience that I tried out a couple times and have had a lot of fun with.

The new talent trees are actually better for people who are new to the game and starting out leveling, since it will be harder to make the wrong decision (like going and putting 10 points in each talent tree at the start), as there should be fewer bad talent traps for people to fall in.

The biggest improvement for druids, however, is the level at which we get early abilities in the 1 to 20 level range.

Leveling 1 to 20 as feral in Cataclysm:

  • You still have to caster level from 1 to 8, which shouldn’t be that bad, given the staring area questing improvements and having pretty much unlimited mana.
  • At level 8, you get: Cat form, claw, Rake, & Ferocious Bite.
  • At level 10, you get mangle
  • At level 15, you get: bear form, maul, growl, & demo roar (engough tanking abilities to start tanking).

Leveling 1 t0 20 as balance:

  • From 1 to 8, you pick up: wrath, moonfire, thorns, roots & starfire.
  • At level 10, you get Starsurge from the talent tree.
  • At level 20, you get insect swarm.

So, both feral & balance druids have enough spells & abilities to level fairly quickly up to 20 and beyond!

For feral, getting cat form at level 8 is a HUGE quality of life improvement, and you still get bear form at the level where the random dungeon system opens up and you can start tanking. I have had a lot of fun leveling a lowbie troll kitty druid up to the mid/late 30’s just because cat form has been so much fun for leveling through all the new & improved quest zones.

Balance druid leveling hasn’t been changed that much, with the biggest improvement for leveling coming from having starsurge as our level 10 balance spell. The knockdown effect helps with survivability, since it reduces the damage you take. As a cooldown ability, starsurge has higher burst damage and will help to break up rotations so that they feel less spammy. They also gave us starfire earlier. In addition, insect swarm is trainable now, rather than a talent, which means you actually get Insect Swarm earlier now than you used to, as well.

They seem to be front-loading a lot of our damage abilities so that we have access to more buttons sooner for feral & balance. An earlier cat form means that feral druids can now actually be feral druids sooner, and overall the changes to leveling design will make druids actually fun to level from 1 to 20, rather than the first 20 levels being what you wanted to get past so that the fun could start.

So, at the very least, I’m excited to start my new worgen druid when Cataclysm comes out in a few months. I’ve even avoided doing alliance leveling quests from level 15 to 60, so that I could have some fun surprises in store for me when I started on my leveling adventure. This is the one thing I am really excited about.

Posted in Cataclysm, Druid - General, Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Leveling, Moonkin Balance DPS

Should the Moonkin Repository “branch out?”

So, the Moonkin Repository is a forum designed for moonkin to post on (as the name implies), and moonkin of all types (pvp, pve, experts, novices, newbies, alts) come to the forums to discuss, well, anything related to being a moonkin! If you are a moonkin and haven’t been to the moonkin repository, you should check it out!

Recently (as in late last night, or early this morning) I got suckered recruited into being a moderator on the Moonkin Repository’s forums, to help out with keeping things running smoothly. (The position comes with a free can of troll repellent, or so I hear).

In addition to adding me as a moderator, there are other changes up for discussion related to TMR. The most exciting of which (that impacts a lot of my readers) is the possibility of expanding into having a restoration druid & feral druid forum, in addition to the currently existing moonkin one. These new forums (after some discussion) will likely be separate forums that are all cross-linked together (so, you would have something like: the moonkin repository, the resto repository, and the feral repository – or whatever the name of each forum would be).

There is one discussion going on in the WoW druid forums. There is also additional information in the original post on TMR, as well as more recent updates about conclusions made from the feedback they received. Please go and express your opinions on the idea (either positive or negative feedback is welcome). You can also give your opinion on what the new forums should be named.

Also, if the resto & feral forums DO go live, we’re going to need the support of other resto & feral druids to help with increasing publicity, generally posting there and being helpful, and potentially even volunteers to help moderate those forums.

If it’s something you think we should do and something you think you would visit, please let me know. I know one person expressed concern about the resto forums possibly stepping on the toes of other forums like the Plus Heal forums, however I haven’t seen a big resto druid presence on the plus heal forums in a while.

It’s going to take some time to get a resto & feral forum up and running, but I will make sure to post updates here as things develop.

So, what do you guys think? Are the new forums a good idea? bad idea? Is a new feral & resto forum something that you would use, or think the community needs?

Posted in Druid - General, Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Moonkin Balance DPS, Restoration Healing Trees


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