I Miss the Mornings

So, I had been working on a little pet project: an IRC client written in Java and QT:Jambi. I'm at the point now where I think it's done-ish, though not complete by ANY standard. I just wanted to see how easy to use this QT:Jambi stuff was compared to Swing, and it DOES seem a lot more straight forward (and powerful, since it's JNI C++ bindings).

So anyways...

Lots of whining going on in the Test Realm Forum as of late. There are a lot of level 10 gnome rogues/warriors coming in to say things like "can you feel the 2.4 resto druid nerfs coming? I can." All this does is amuse me. I'm not worried, because Blizzard knows (and I mean knows) that druids are under represented in 5s and it is because of how weak their group play is. That being said, if any nerfs are coming down the chute for 2.4, I expect we shall see more buffs to the resto (and others) tree than nerfs to accommodate 5v5.

I'm actually looking forward to it. I cannot wait for the "Cyclone has been nerfed into oblivion but regrowth has had its mana consumption reduced drastically and its HoT portion removed in favor of more front-loaded healing." Then we'll see more posts "Cyclone wasn't OP, it was travel form!!!" However, Blizzard won't change travel form... it's been a staple of the druid play-style since the onset. Changing travel form would be like changing warriors to wearing mail only.

Okay, that was a bad comparison, but I only made it because there ARE no comparisons to be made in this regard; a change to travel form is NOT on the way.

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I Don't Know Why I Bother...

I feel that I have an understanding of all the other classes in the game, though not a great understanding. I feel like I can explain each classes strengths and weaknesses without getting too much of it wrong. However, when other people I know tell me that I don't know my own class, let alone other classes, I just get angry.

Why do people think that Dire Bear Form is the answer to a paladin's plate armor and shield? Are they even remotely similar besides the armor value? No, they are not, and the reason is because while druids have to stop healing when they're in bear form and enjoying paladin armor values, paladins just keep on healing. In essence, paladins are bear form healers.

The next argument thrown out there is that paladins don't have any HoTs like druids, and therefore, druids can keep healing in bear form. However, the problem becomes a battle of attrition: the druid is in bear form because he's being beat on, if he leaves bear form he loses the survivability the paladin has, and it costs ~200 mana to turn into a cheetah and run away, then another 660 to heal to full while the druid avoids the opposing dps class[es].

The paladin just sits there, LETS you beat on him, and FoLs himself for 180 mana on bad casts, 90 on good casts, immune to knockback on a 1.5 second cast, and spends a reduced amount of time school locked or silenced. Not to mention that a paladin has bubble if anything goes wrong to the point of not being able to get heals off in time, or hit points get dicey.

Sigh... at this point, most of the opposing arguers will realize they have no grounds for their claims, and start making insults and ridiculous claims like they invented the question mark, or accuse chestnuts of being lazy... the general melees that the insane lament and only the genius possess... okay, maybe that's a line from Austin Powers, but still. They'll usually bash on the ratings of any poster from that point on, and on the next page, ignore my post in its entirety and go back to their original claims as if a counter proof doesn't lay one page prior.

Conclusion (again) - Paladin's healing and survivability is MUCH greater than that of a resto druid's. It's only a question of how each class is played. The paladin is a tank healer, whereas the druid is an Olympic sprinter / healer. The difference is that druids CAN get away and drink a bit, whereas paladins don't have that option, and don't generally need it. The only way a druid+warrior team beats a paladin+warrior team is if the druid has 40 arena waters on hand, and runs to drink at every opportunity while his warrior eventually OoMs the paladin, and they win.

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Blame the Nelfs

This is taken from a post I read on the WoW boards, I thought it was pretty funny.

This was on the old forums a long time ago and there was a recent thread about how the blood elves aren't welcome with the horde because they are responsible for all things bad. I felt I should repost this to support their claim. All credit to the original poster, whose name I do not remember :(


Anyone ever notice how the Night Elves, when faced with important, world-changing decisions, INEVITABLY make the wrong ones? If it weren't for Night Elves and their screwups, I'd be inclined to think Azeroth in general would be a much nicer place.

Mistake 1: Destroying the Scepter of the Shifting Sands

Bronze Dragonflight: "Now that we've finally sealed away the nemesis of all Azeroth, here's a scepter should you need to break the seal and fight them again."
Fandral: "WAAAHH!"
*breaks scepter*
Bronze Dragonflight: "You dumb f*cker."

Mistake 2: Destroying the Well of Eternity

Queen Azshara: "Blahaharrrgh, I'm addicted to magic!"
Night Elves: "Well I guess that's cool."
Queen Azshara: "Blahahaharrrgh, I'm summoning demons!"
Night Elves: "Ok, that's not so cool."
*Bigass War!*
Malfurion: "I've got an idea! Let's blow up the world!"
Tyrande: "Come on, that's your solution to everything."
Malfurion: "No it's not! By the way, hold this."
Tyrande: "Hey, this looks like a-"
Tyrande: "...dammit, Malfurion."

Mistake 3: Recreating the Well of Eternity, Then Leaving It There and Falling Asleep

Illidan: "Hey guys, now that we just got done blowing THAT up, I just made a new one!"
Night Elves: "You stupid f*cker."
Malfurion: "Illidan, you're under arrest for playing the devil rock music."
Illidan: "How wude!"
Malfurion: "Anyway, let's just plant a tree over top of this sucker and call it a day."
Tyrande: "Uh, what do you want us women to do, Mal honey?"
Malfurion: "You all stay awake and keep the stove warm in case we're hungry when we wake up. Oh, and don't go running off having fun with your friends or anything, I want you in the kitchen where you belong."
Tyrande: "But-"
Malfurion: "zzzzzzzzzzzz"
Tyrande: "Dammit."

Mistake 4: Staying Asleep

Orcs: "FOR THE HORDE! And also the Burning Legion!"
Night Elves: "zzzzzzzzz"
Undead: "For the lich king! Also, again, the Burning Legion!"
Night Elves: "zzzzzzSNRKzzzzz"

Mistake 5: Picking a Fight with the Orcs

Night Elves: "WTF?! Orcs cutting down our trees? Gettem!"
Cenarius: "I'LL take the case!"
Night Elves: "WTF!!"
Grom Hellscream: [Orcish] kek

Mistake 6: Releasing Illidan

Tyrande: "We need help, gotta wake the druids up. Oh hey, Illidan! I'm sure 10,000 years of confinement has only rehabilitated him."
Illidan: "GROWLowlorarrrr"
Tyrande: "...although I could be wrong."
Illidan: "OOGHRARGHghhh!" *runs off*

Mistake 7: Blowing up the World, AGAIN

Medivh: "Quit fighting you nubs! Archimonde is coming!"
Night Elves: "Oh crap you're right. Too late now!"
Archimonde: "Bwahahahaha!"
Malfurion: "Hey, I've got an idea!"
Everyone: *groans*

Mistake 8: Stopping Illidan from killing the Lich King

Malfurion: "OMG! Illidan's doing something crazy to Northrend! Gotta stop him!"
Maiev: "I'm kookoo for catching Illidan!" *trips Tyrande*
Tyrande: "Aiiee!" *falls into river*
Malfurion and Illidan: "I'LL take the case!"
Illidan: "So you see, I was trying to DESTROY THE MOST POWERFUL EVIL BEING IN AZEROTH."
Malfurion: "Oh, uh..... my bad."

Mistake 9: Building a new World Tree

Fandral: "Man, I miss immortality. Let's make a new world tree!"
Malfurion: "I don't think that's a good-"
Fandral: "STFU nub."
Fandral: "See? This place is great."
Malfurion: "I dunno, it smells kinda bad... and I think I just stepped in some ooze."
Fandral: "Yeah? Well if you don't like it, why don't you go get lost in the Emerald Dream for a few years?!"
Malfurion: "You know what?! I think I will!" *gets lost in the Emerald Dream*
Night Elves: *facepalm*
Rest of Alliance: "Remind me why we put up with these guys?"
Bronze Dragonflight: "Because you're all a bunch of dumb f*ckers."

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My Rogue

Okay, time to rant about my rogue for a bit. *Ahem* My rogue makes my feral druid of yore look silly. I honestly cannot fathom how Blizz thinks that feral druids are balanced when compared to the slew of utility and dps abilites rogues get. Honestly, my rogue cannot die unless I want him to. Cheat death, vanish, blind, sprint, gouge, shadowstep, insane damage output, all these things add up to a very versatile and survivable dps class.

Who cares!? I do, you dolts. My brother is grinding up a paladin as I write and you read. He has gone from 1-40 in just under 2 days played time (about 3 weeks real time). When he gets to 70 (and my rogue gets some gear), we're going to have yet another 2s team. The question then becomes "Pally+Rogue and Spriest+UA-Lock, or Pally+SL/SL and Spriest+Rogue".

I've seen a number of really high rated Spriest+Rogue teams, because essentially they're outlast / double dps. It's weird, for instance, the spriest+lock team right now is strictly a double dps team, we can't really win a mana war because neither of us can take damage all that well. So, rogue + healer and warrior + healer usually can beat us. However, Rogue+Spriest will have a different style of play, sap one, stun the other and mana burn him down at the same time. Since, rogues can drop tons and tons of damage and keep a stunlock going, that gives the priest plenty of time to drop full dots and start mana burning the healer (who we have presumably stun-locked).

For instance, against paladin, the rogue will sap the dps class, then open the stun-train on the paladin while the priest mana burns. As soon as the paladin bubbles, he's either just inside of cheap shot (which means that the rogue can walk away and restealth) or has been mana burned to the point of 50-75% mana. Either way, your team has an advantage now. Additionally, sl/sl + paladin is almost always an amazing team, so pairing the rogue with the spriest isn't a bad idea.

On the other side of the coin, our spriest + lock team has GREAT synergy. Extra shadow damage all over the place, great cc, good mana draining abilities, CoT, etc. Additionally, rogue + paladin healer would be great because the main drawback of rogues (at least, by their forum complaints) is their lack of mobility (lawl). Teamed with a paladin (the best burst healer in the game in terms of efficiency and ability), the rogue would get Blessing of Freedom (op, imo) and the paladin could put JoJ on any druid target. Essentially, BoF+rogue vs. JoJ+druid = dead druid.

So, we shall see. Because it looks like my rogue will hit 70 before my bro's pally, I'll probably play him with the spriest and see how that goes. If it goes well, it may just fall into place putting the sl/sl lock with the paladin because the paladin doesn't need insane gear for that makeup to win a bunch of matches easily. Oh well, better keep grinding...♦

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Trinket is for PvP... please learn

It might be easier to come up with titles for these things after they're written. BigBoss decided to wait until 8:15 to come in today >_<. Getting my hopes up that he wouldn't show at all is just cruel.

So, my 5s team is mainly a pug group, and while my rogue friend has his (and therefor: my) best intentions in mind, something tells me I could be doing better. He decided that our lineup wasn't cutting it, it needed something. Here's what he decided on: resto druid (me), him (shs rogue), spriest, warlock, boomkin.

Oh man, I had some e'splaining to do. Boomkin doesn't bring any more CC than I have, doesn't bring more damage than a mage, definitely doesn't bring more utility than a mage, and ALL the team's CC could be summed up in two words: diminishing returns.

"Yeah, but think of that +5% spell crit auto, how awesome would that be!?" - My rogue. No, sigh, here's why +5% spell crit isn't great. Spriests and Locks do all their damage from dots (unless the lock is destro, which is kinda lawl in and of itself, but probably rocks if you can sport > 30% spell crit, 1200 spell damage and still maintain 400 resilience... doubt it), so the only person gaining from the +5% spell crit the boomkin brings... is the boomkin. It would be like bringing a feral druid, and no other melee classes.

So we tried out the old setup: warrior+rogue+enh-shamang+paladin+resto-druid. We started off 2-5, which wasn't completely surprising, we kept fighting a team that 4/5 were wearing s3 shoulders (amongst the rest of their s3 gear). Our team is new, we're around the mid 1600 bracket, so this made no sense. Then we checked the armory; the fifth guy on the team was in blues and greens, and probably bought some arena points. Very sad for us.

The last three games we played, we won. We played against a good team (because our wins went 18,17,16), with the paladin, spriest, warlock, warrior, resto shamang makeup. We actually fought them the last 4 games, but lost the first. I decided that trying to take the spriest down first was the best idea. I was wrong. The next game we tried the shamang. For some reason, after we downed him, the match was easy, though not straight forward.

I tried a new tactic that game - start out by lifeblooming their target (usually our enh-shamang), then cycloning their dps. I picked the shadow priest, since he would actually use direct damage, as opposed to the warlock who was throwing dots and mana draining the pally, but that's it. So, I would have one of their dps players out of the fight for a bit while we were knocking the shamang down, then I switched to the warrior when the spriest was immune, then I went for the pally as the shamang hit 30%. With 3 dps'ers on you, all with windfury totem helping, 30% can be NOTHING with your pally out of the fight.

I'm still surprised at how many paladins walk around without a trinket... it's just amazing to me. You are affected by cyclone.
5 - Your main heal target has died
If you throw a trinket in around 1 or 2, you can keep your target up... I just don't get it. Paladins complain about druid's cyclone SO MUCH, but seriously, no trinket means you can't complain.

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Well, I'm sitting here at work at 7:50 thinking to myself, "self, it's raining, it's cold, it's Friday, it's early in the morning; I would be shocked if the big boss comes in today, let alone at an early hour like this," and as I think it, he walks through the door, and turns the light on. This is another thing that peeves me, why turn the light on? We have windows, it's plenty bright, and he has a lamp at his desk just like I do, he could probably use that if he needed to see (not to mention the fact that we sit at computers, so you don't really need any more light than the monitors).

I was reading the druid forums just before he walked in, and I read a post concerning a druid being surprised that a mage dodged his shred. Then a good number of 70s started flaming this rogue who told him he needed more +hit because "+hit only affects misses and you aren't supposed to be able to dodge attacks from behind".

While the former is true, the latter is wrong. Sigh, I'm resto and I know more about feral than most of the Nuids (new + druids). Hot damn my coffee is dark tasting today. Anyway, I miss feral. There, I said it. I like resto, believe me, a LOT more than I figured I would since I'm PvP'ing with my brother on his warrior. I just miss getting kills with skilled play.

Really, that's what it took to be a good feral druid. First, you needed a good amount of gear, (I had a decent amount of gear given that it was season one) and second, you needed to know your class and their class better than they did. It was amazing how many rogues I would fight who would thinking CloS would remove bleed effects, or how many hunters thought that concussion shot + aimed shot would ever get off before feral charge would deadzone them. Warriors who didn't know that 1v1 against me they had to go sword-n-board while I was bear form or they'd lose. Priests who didn't know WHAT the hell maim was / did.

I can't remember how many matches in 3s were won because of maim. I would have my shadow priest and my rogue (really weird setup, I know, we never broke 1700) beat down on the first target (the squishiest) and I would beat down on the healer. Basically, all I brought to the table was stuns, cyclone, feral charge school lock, and maim. So, I would cc-train the healer while my other two team-mates would down a dps. Then I would fall out, use the rest of my mana, and heal my team-mates, then go catform and dps the healer 3v2.

It was always fun, but we didn't have a chance, ferals just aren't viable in arena. While ferals can keep up with people (not because of snares, but because cat form moves at 150% move speed. Even with hamstring up, I could keep up with a priest.), they cannot make the entire group keep up with people like a snare provides. I would be beating on the priest, but I'd be the only one. Really, that's what it boils down to. If you bring a feral druid, you're almost always better off bringing a rogue in his place.

Rogues bring sap, kick, snares, negative spell haste (mnpois), gouge blind, stuns, mobility, survivability, and just gobs and gobs of damage. Druids bring decent damage (perhaps comparable to some rogues), mobility, feral charge (will act like kick, but you have to anticipate the cast and be far enough away to use it), maim (only really used as a damage-dealing spell interrupt because in arenas, your other partner[s] will almost always break it immediately), cyclone (though this is laughable as feral since it takes 1/7 your mana and you have to stop dps'ing to cast it), and survivability, but not in the same way as rogues.

Rogues will simply survive as you pelt them with damage, whereas druids will have to stop what they're doing to heal themselves. In this respect, rogues are just MUCH better as a dps component in arena. This is why, pains me as it does, I'm still grinding up my rogue. Even an undergeared rogue will bring more as a dps class in the arena than a feral druid; it's sad but true.

Sigh, guess I'll keep healing on the druid, dpsing on the rogue/warlock. I wish there was simply a healing class... not like paladins. A class that has only 3 trees: utility, healing, survivability. I suppose that if this were implemented, nothing but healing would be NEEDED in the 41 tier, and the other two were just your playstyle. Oh well, I'll keep grinding and whining about my boss turning the lights on, I suppose.

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I don't like hunters. I know they bring good dps and utility, I just don't care for them. In arena, they have so many problems with LoS issues, they go down too fast, etc. My fives team looks like this:

me (resto druid)
holy paladin (can't have a 5s team without one)
enhancement shamang (insane dps boost to melees and brings good dps himself)
rogue (or my bro's warrior from time to time)

That hunter just doesn't have any synergy with the group. It's hard to justify dropping windfury for the rogue because it's just not that great a dps boost for just 1 more guy. What I'd like to see is the hunter get replaced with my bro's warrior, so we'd have mortal strike rolling in there and lose a guy who gets insta-gibbed out the gate against decent teams. That would be good, but what I REALLY want to try is a burst team.

Yeah, bursting people went out the door when resilience was added to the game... in 1v1 and 2v2 scenarios. It's nearly impossible to burst people down in small scale pvp, but in large scale pvp, bursting people down still works. I'd LOVE to see the hunter replaced by an adrenaline rush lethality rogue. That way, we'd have one rogue shs-hemo-lethality, and the other pumping out sinister strikes with hemo up. All the while, the windfury totem would be adding insane burst damage to each of our dpsers. Plus, we would have 2 saps and two blinds, so the match would start by two guys getting sapped, then when they trinket both would get blinded for full duration. Ideally, each of these two targets would be healers so we could gib their dps classes for the easier wins.

While rogues can dish out the pain, they also drop kind of quickly. So, maybe both would end up having to be shs to get cheat death. So far, we've won a couple of matches because of the bugged cheat death keeping the rogue up long enough for a holy-light+healing-touch dropped on them for 10k. If they're both cheat death, then we can bounce them back up during CD and hopefully down their dpsers to keep the rogues rolling.

Although, warrior would work pretty well, but he needs a weapon upgrade. Thunder just doesn't cut it anymore, he needs a s3 weapon.

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Nerf Druids

Yeah, that's right, but only a little.

It has been an odd (long) week for me. Monday night, I was rolling 5s to finish up the week and at around 12:30 Tuesday morning, my girlfriend had horrible stomach pains. After about two hours of trying tums and aspirin and a heating pad and anything else I could think of, I picked her out of bed, and took her to the emergency room. I'm finally back at work (and she's at home resting on codeine and levequin, an antibiotic) after 36 hours of being awake on Monday/Tuesday. I think it's Thursday now...

Last night, my brother and I get on WoW and decide to do some 2v2 on our spriest+warlock team. I got my spellblade on my warlock right before, so we figured we'd take it out for a spin. It turns out that adding 105 spell damage to your arsenal makes a rather large difference. We won 2, lost 1 to a mage in greens and blue teamed with a rogue with the twin blade of azzinoth and full s3 gear >_<, then won 2 against a shamang+warrior team, then lost to the same shamang warrior team because the warrior insta-gibbed me with a mace-stun proc followed by windfury windfury, then we went against a druid+warrior team.

Okay, our team makeup is the BANE of the druid+warrior team. The match starts, we dot up the warrior, then I start pelting him with sbolts. We get him to 20% behind a pillar with the druid feared, but I'm at like 15%. I get shadowburn off, but I die, then sw:d kills the warrior. Now for the fun...

Druid has priest dots and corruption and maybe siphon life on him, but is otherwise at 100% everything. My priest is at 40% mana, 80% health, and thinks he's won. Basically, my priest keeps dotting up the druid, who goes cat form for lawl-dps until he's at 30%, then pillar-humps until his lifebloom brings him back to full while my priest throws a ridiculously mana-efficient gheal on himself to full.


About an hour and a half later, I decide to afk from the match because the druid isn't going to let my priest rez me, it's just not big enough in Nagrand arena to get distance, drop combat, and rez. So, the plan was simple, get the druid thinking he's about to win, with priest at 1000 hp and the druid at 20-30%, then pop shadowform and drop everything you've got on him and hope it's enough... it didn't work for an hour and a half, so I decided to go to bed.

I quit, turn off my monitors, turn off the light in my office, turn off the light in the living room, get my gf's pain pills, a bottle of water, put it on her nightstand, grab her cell phone, turn off the alarm for 7:30AM, take the house phone, put it on the charger... my cell phone rings. My cell phone gets AMAZINGLY bad reception in my apartment. It's my brother, so I call him back on the house phone.

"16 points... I almost wish we lost..." -Guntir

"16 point win? I'm fine with that... just wish you did it a little faster." -Me

An hour later, I realize that I didn't post my nerf suggestion: no mana regen in feral forms other than travel. I.e., if you don't have a mana bar, you don't regen mana. Done. This won't really affect ferals, but something way up the feral tree should also reduce shifting by a bit more, so it would only cost like 90 to travel, and 200 to get into everything else, since they spend the majority of their time in feral forms without mana bars. This won't affect druids' 5s viability because it's less of a turtle-n-outlast game.

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Overpowered; Another Look

Okay, there have been some postings in the druid forum by some players with brains. Admittedly, I'm not at the top of my bracket, but I'm starting to see a trend in the mid-brackets. It seems that resto druids only really became overpowered because of the introduction of arena drinking.

This theory amused me at first because it sounded ridiculous, but after reading more compelling data, it seemed that it may indeed be true. Resto druids were not in the top brackets of 2v2 (or any arena for that matter) at the end of season 1, there were barely any resto druids above 2100. Why? Well, it was because paladin+warrior was the craze to beat, which was impossible as a druid+warrior combo with equal gear. Why? Well, simply because paladins can heal through MS and warrior damage for ~135 average mana.

Flash of Light costs 180, crits half the time it's cast, and when it crits, it costs 90 and heals well over 2.5k. It has a 1.5 second cast time, and paladins have talents that reduce the chance they are interrupted, and have a talent that reduces silenced / school-locked durations in half. So, an amazingly well-timed pummel will only school-lock a paladin for 1.5 seconds, then they can cast again with zero knockback.

Let us compare this to the druid's best heal, lifebloom. When a druid gets lifebloom to a 3 stack, it has cost him 660 mana (a far cry more than 135), and keeping it up costs him another 220 every 6 seconds (another far cry more than 135). On the plus side, Lifebloom doesn't have a cast time, so it can't be interrupted, but silence still hits the druid for the tooltip duration, whereas paladins don't suffer that long.

Additionally, a 3x stack of Lifebloom will heal for 550 every second and cannot crit (except at the end, but if you let it bloom, you've just wasted another 660 mana for about a 2k heal at best, 1.5k more often than not), so in that same casting time for Flash of Light, a druid will heal for ~750 vs. the paladin's 2k-2.5k and used double the mana (if you can keep Lifebloom from blooming the entire match on a 3-stack).

My conclusion is that a paladin's mana efficiency (even before Blessing of Wisdom) is far superior to a druid's. The only reason that paladin+warrior is now losing to druid+warrior is because druids have more escape mechanics than paladins, and can run off and drink water in a corner to try and keep up with the paladin's mana efficiency. This is why we're seeing more hunters in the 2v2 arenas now, they can keep the druids from drinking then entire fight.

What obvious steps can be taken to balance the playing field? Simple, improve the healing efficiency of other classes to be more in line with the efficiency of paladins and remove drinking from arenas.

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It's lame, but it feeds my WoW addiction. I spend most of the day (as you may notice) writing these blog posts. I'm supposed to be debugging this back-end for a website we're pushing live tonight, but there are so few bugs that I'm mostly just sitting here staring at Eclipse typing jibberish every now and again so people will think that I'm working harder than I am.

The plus side of working here: we just got brand new Steelcase chairs in on Wednesday and they are amazing. They have a reclined position perfect for typing due to the awesome head-rest. Man, so awesome... so awesome that blood is pooling at the back of my head and causing me to type stupid things, like "Man, so awesome."

Let's talk turkey for a bit. What the hell is with all the nerf cries in the Druid forum lately. I know that like Tattooine (sorry, not a huge star wars fan, spelling/quoting might get botched), the druid forum is a cesspool for villainy unmatched throughout the galaxy. However, the incessant requests for ridiculous nerfs don't seem to stop. Every thirty minutes there is a level 14 something-or-other posting his favorite nerfs that will "balance" (read: destroy) the resto druid class.

Here are some of my favorite:

  • 3 second cooldown on travel form
  • 15 second cooldown on cyclone (ha)
  • 30 second cooldown on cyclone (lawl, wut!?)
  • allow mana burn / mana drain to work on cat/bear form
  • reduce bear form's armor and no longer give a stam buff (lawl...pve tanks would be pissed)
  • remove the 4-set bonus from resto set (lmao...they didn't even say replace it, just drop it)
  • make all arenas indoors
  • make all 2v2 arenas indoors
  • make 2v2 and 3v3 arenas indoors
  • put a 10 second cooldown on lifebloom (lmao, clearly no understanding of the spell)
  • remove the instant healing from dispelling rejuv (rofl, yeah, fine, this one I can get behind)
  • 50% to remove a movement impairing effect when shifting
  • move feral charge to the 21 point talent in feral (scary, this seems possible, but at least I could go 24/37 or whatever)
  • put roots and cyclone on the same diminishing returns (this would be horrible, I'd stop using roots altogether probably as cycloning one target then switching to the other is one of the best strats in the 2v2 game right now)
Holy shit on a biscuit, there were some funny ones. There were also some that made me scared because it seemed like the type of thing that Blizzard would do without fully understanding the implication of the change (the roots/cyclone dr, for example).

Bottom line: Blizzard CANNOT nerf resto druids without buffing them for 5v5 play, so my guess is that any nerfs aimed at 2v2 would be balanced out by 5v5 buffs (which usually end up better for 2v2 than 5v5, but who knows).

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I guess I should speak briefly about 5v5. I'm on one... it's not great. We've only done 14 games as our current setup, we're at 1647 or something. The thing is, Druids whine a lot about 5v5 showing, etc., but I just think we don't play to our advantages. I'm going to talk to my 4 other guys and tell them this new strat:

I'm going to pick a guy who isn't our dps target and cyclone him. I'm going to cyclone him again. Then I'm going to cyclone him a 3rd time. If he's ranged or a healer, I'm going to pick a different guy now, and cyclone him three times. If at the end of 3 cyclones the player in question is a melee dps, I'm going to root him and move on to my next cyclone target.

I think this will work wonders, because it essentially guarantees that one person will be out of the entire match. Of course, I'll OoM somewhere in the midst of it all ( I mean, I have to throw out some lifeblooms here and there as well as cycloning, don't I? ), but hopefully by then it'll be something like 5v4 or 5v3, so I can innervate self and continue the amazing cyclone spam. Saturday will show...

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My Favorite Strategy

In the Blade's Edge Arena, there is a trick I do against EVERY warrior-comprised team I see (in 2v2). The way I see it is that the warrior will HAVE to fight my warrior a bit up on the bridge while my warrior tries to lay the beat-down on the healer. What I do, is stealth over onto one of the pillars and keep my LoS on my warrior. Then I start healing on the end, but with about 2 in-game-feet of distance between the edge of the pillar and myself. Otherwise I'm on the front corner...


Warriors LOVE seeing a druid, we're squishy, and just about the only thing that happens (in my guess) is that on vent the healer starts yelling about "DRUID DRUID DRUID PILLAR DRUID" and the warrior clicks over to me and starts mashing intercept.


With the way I've positioned myself, the warrior should have to cross the rope-bridge to get to me (if you're too close to the edge, the warrior will be able to hit you from the other side of the rope-bridge and will end his intercept there). Because of how intercept works, he should be facing me square away after intercept, but because of how I've positioned myself...he ended up on the corner-edge of the pillar, and moving ANY DIRECTION AT ALL will make him fall off the pillar.

What's worse?

I usually have popped Nature's Grasp before this encounter and he ends up rooted, under the bridge, while my warrior is DESTROYING the healer, and I'm not losing mana. I usually keep the warrior rooted, cycloned, then drop combat for stealth, pounce him under the bridge, 3-point maim him, then run far back and start the roots/cyclone train again.

Long story short, unless the healer is a pally, we usually end up killing their healer without me dipping below 80% unless the warrior is smart enough to KNOW this positioning and NOT intercept me just yet, but wait for me to start running. My brother (my warrior) knows about this and doesn't usually intercept people on the edge like that, so we sometimes catch other druids off guard.

I'll try and get some pics up of this or even a vid eventually.

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I know, not Druid-related, but I need to get some stuff off my chest. Time Warner Cable is going to start rolling out "Tiered" broadband subscriptions as opposed to their currently implemented "All You Can Download Buffet" system. What does this mean for the power users (the BitTorrenters, the people who run their own servers and get some traffic, the people who play games)? It means that you'll end up having to pay more for something you already have. What does it mean for the people who just browse gmail everyday? It means that you'll end up paying a fixed amount for something you aren't strictly using.

This isn't a violation of Fair Use, but it does seem to be a step backwards. Instead of updating a 20-year-old network system (the actual cables carrying the data), ISPs are deciding that it's just easier to throttle most users with price, and give what they currently offer today to the people willing to pay through the nose for it. Unless someone stands against these types of moves, Corporate America will end up running the internet instead of the people (just like the country, might I add).

Personally, if Time Warner does go through with the Tiered Packages, I will be switching my services to another ISP that doesn't.

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BRD Update

There just HAS to be a faster way. Man, I ran BRD last night with my druid showing my rogue the ropes, and there HAS to be a faster way. We stealthed to Incendius, simple. Jumped down and ran to the launch-pad-ledge (overlooking the island of fire elementals), simple. Killed the roaming fire elemental in the lava, simple. Got to the island, simple. Got to the other side without agro'ing the universe, simple. Did the torch room, simple. Killed the molten giant boss, simple.

Man...the Emperor's room is easy to clear, it just takes forever, a day, and 10 stacks of water: rogue saps the elite, then druid agros everyone into a corner, rejuv, barkskin, hurricanes, and everyone dies while the elite is incapacitated. Then wrath-spam the elite. The problem is that there are 10 of these blasted groups, and occassionally your hurricane won't kill everything, but sliver them all. So, you have to chase and use a high-rank moonfire to kill them. However, sometimes they pull another group.

BAH, it was enfuriatingly drawn out... but simple.

The Emperor and his Princess... well, at least killing them wasn't hard, it just takes some time and some doing. Eventually, the princess runs out of mana for heals, so your insect swarm and moonfire combos (you usually don't have time or LoS for wrath) eventually kill her. I was at 85% mana when she went down... but that took a long time AND I spent a lot of time out the five second rule.

The Emperor has a buff... I don't know what it is, but essentially it's Cloak of Shadows a la fire. He becomes immune to your damaging spells, so if you see this buff, don't cast, just keep running. Again, this is a little easier because your insect swarm and moonfire combos kill him off pretty easily. Also, you can occassionally get some wraths in as he chases you, but it makes for a longer chase ultimately as you hit him in his Cloak of Fire mode a lot.

I did one run (my g/f's rogue was tagging along too, hence only one run), and neither the Hand of Justice, nor the Ironfoe dropped. Sadness ensued. So much so, that I went back to Un'goro and grinded a bit.

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2.4 Predictions

Will there be a restoration nerf?
Probably not.

What about their dominance in 2v2?
You haven't been reading my blog, have you?

Essentially, we can boil the situation down like this:

1) Does Blizzard claim (or actually) balance the game around the 2v2 arena? No, they don't claim to and I have not yet seen any action taken against something that is quite clearly overpowered in 2v2 and mid-grade in 5v5.

2) Does Blizzard think druids are balanced in 5v5? Well, it's hard to say. Patch 2.3 yielded some unexpected changes for restoration druids in all settings, but primarily the 5v5 setting. Does Natural Perfection help in 2v2? Sure. Is it obviously the best thing since sliced bread with one guy beating on you? Yeah. Do you see improvement from one rogue beating on you to three rogues beating on you? Not a chance. Did Blizz accidentally buff restoration druids more in the 2v2 bracket than the 5v5 bracket with patch 2.3? You bet.

3) Will Blizz buff feral/balance/resto in 2.4, if so - how, and if not - why?

Oh man, that last one is hard (and I came up with it...)
Okay, well I would expect that feral and balance will get buffs. Their representation in 5's is so small that it's hard to deny that they need buffs. This will also, most likely, affect 2v2 and 3v3 play as well (which I care more about). I listed some buffs I'd like to see below this post, but I'm guessing none of them will be implemented. Maybe the Nature's Grace proc knocking the gcd down 0.5 seconds too, but probably not. More likely, something weird will be put into place along the lines of the 2.3 buffs to ravage and ambush.

Those were randomly added for unknown reasons. Look, if we wanted to improve the state of those specs, we should have buffed shred and backstab instead. However, I like the vein that Blizzard is getting in to. It seems as if they are beginning to recognize fundamental flaws in base class abilities, and are buffing them accordingly. 2.4 is SUPPOSEDLY about PvP balancing. Sort of a "class-review" for all classes (if anyone besides me remembers those days).

What about resto? Well, my guess is that perhaps certain things will be tweaked, but we won't see any real buffs or nerfs in 2.4. Blizzard seems entirely petrified at making changes that will potentially cripple or invigorate a currently strong class/spec. Although, we may see some changes after all, because 2.3 showed the Natural Perfection change; something aimed at buffing 5v5 prowess, and accidentally buffing 2v2 survivability more. Maybe that will be reverted and I can go to an x/y/31 build. Maybe Tree of Life will get some PvP buffs...

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Wishful Thinking: Druid changes for 2.4

Let's play.


1) Cyclone is left in tact, physical ability that cannot be dispelled save a trinket click.

2) Cyclone is made into a magic ability, but is accompanied by a physical debuff that slows movement speed by 50% and casting/attack speed is increased/decreased by 25% and lasts 10 seconds after Cyclone is removed (either dispelled or finished normally).

3) Cyclone is left a physical attack, but subjects can now take healing and damage but cannot move or make actions themselves, chance to break on damage (moonkins rejoin, you can finally nuke one of your cc'd targets).

4) Roots is made into a physical attack...link blind... (I wish this one would happen more than the others).

5) Moonkin Form and Tree of Life form can now ride mounts.


1a) Improved Leader of the Pack is replaced with a 2 point talent "Ligament Tear" which increases Bleed damage done by 5/10% and will reduce the target's movement speed by 30% when affected by your Bleeds.

2a) All shapeshifting reduced in cost to 13% base mana (same as travel form)

2b) Int removed from feral gear and replaced with stam, resilience, defense, and strength where apt. (These two will have the affect of increasing Feral's potency in pvp settings without making them horribly overpowered because of healing. Ferals will have about 2500 mana in full pvp gear, and can thus shapechange 10-20 times per fight without abusing heals/cyclone/roots/etc.)

3) Sharpened Claws has been replaced by Omen of Clarity and Omen of Clarity is now passive instead of a magic effect.


1) Removed melee for mana aspect of Moonkin form, replaced with spell critical strikes have a 50% chance to return 75% of their mana to you and your group.

2) Force of Nature given a pet bar that controls all three pets simultaneously.

3) Nature's Grace reduces your next spell's cast speed by 0.5 seconds and removes your next cast from the global cooldown. (so wrath can be continually chain-cast without the annoying "you can't do that yet" popping)

4) Moonkin restriction changed to cannot cast spells that are of type healing (healing touch, lifebloom, rejuv, regrowth) but can cast abolish poison and remove curse.


(Not many buffs needed here)

1) Tree of Life's speed snare is removed.

2) Tree of Life now has a built in 15% damage reduction to physical damage.

3) Tree of Life can cast any spell that isn't offensive (starfire, insect swarm, roots, wrath, moonfire) but can cast anything else (cyclone, abolish poison, remove curse, lifebloom, etc).

4) Tree of Life's bonus healing is now int-based rather than spirit based

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Let's Talk About PvP, Let's Talk About You and Me...

Sorry for singing.

Player Versus Player combat. The epitome of a good time in the world of warcraft. Well, for some anyway. There has been a lot of complaining over the druid class lately, mostly concerning their "dominance in 2v2". My main problem with this statement is that I don't actually think that druids DO dominate the 2v2 bracket. Why do I say this, with the overall lead in healer representation is druids on teams between 2000 and 2500 rating?

Well, I suppose that there are a number of top-rated resto druids in the 2v2 brackets, but there are also a good number of paladins and priests (sorry shamangs, you are just not efficient outlast healers, and Blizz should give you some love in that department). I would say that season 1, the best 2v2 team bar-none was pally+warrior. Season 2 introduced arena drinking and druids arose to their seat of power along side paladins, perhaps even higher because paladins weren't used to having to apply JoJ in the beginning. Season 3 is just more of the same.

Paladin+warrior is a team that can (and does) beat druid+warrior more than half the time if equally geared and skilled. Essentially, this is the match-up where the paladin's infinite mana pool and ability to keep the druid within the warrior's reach simply outdoes any and all utility the druid can bring to the table. "oMGWtFBbqCyClOnEisOP!?!?"

Nah, cyclone can't save a judged druid from a warrior. SURE, it can keep the warrior from killing you right then...RIGHT THEN... but aside from the extra 6 seconds of life, you're still doomed if JoJ is on you. Many top-rated druid will counter with "just don't get justiced". Well, that's not so easy sometimes against really good warrior+paladin teams. Intercept, mace-stun (luck), hammy-piercing-rotations, eventually the pally walks over to you with hammy on him and gets you.

Roots? HA. BoF lasts entirely too long in my opinion, and it can be cleansed/dispelled. Priest and paladin teams simply cannot be rooted. At least, it's not wise to in most cases. Although, there is something funny about using rank1 moonfire for 20 mana and seeing a priest or paladin spend 200 removing the dot portion. Sadly, these teams are usually bad enough that we don't need to oom the healer, so that tactic is fruitless.

Really, in 2v2, another matchup that druids really can't deal with as healers is the double dps teams. If they can really dish out the dps, then druids can't really compete with just HoTs alone. Mage+rogue is a prime example. Warrior charges the mage (or worse, gets sapped and waits for 5k damage to land on him) and gets rooted, then poly'd. At least poly will keep him healed a while longer whilst we hope the rogue gets flushed out. However, the damage that rogue+mage can drop in the first 5 seconds of a fight is simply staggering. Even without wound-poison active (which would be amazing but ultimately will never be the case because of Vile Poisons), no one paying attention to me, and me spamming healing touch, they can blow through that healing. Not to mention poly used as an interrupt, then silence once I've gotten back to caster form, then Blind if I'm not paying attention.

Really, druids don't have everything in 2v2, they just happen to have an advantage over teams with limited mobility. For instance, druid+warrior walks ALL over any team whose dps isn't 1) ranged or 2) mobile as a rogue. That is: enh shamangs, warriors NOT teamed with Blessing of Freedoms, rogues who don't have imp sprint, rogues who don't have BoF, rogues who don't have shadow step, and feral druids of any team makeup. It wouldn't really matter if feral druids WERE super-mobile, they don't have wound poison or mortal strike so against any team with a healer, the druid's dps < the healing...always.

Why do paladins rule 5v5, dominate 3v3, and simply own in 2v2? Drain teams are more likely to work in 2v2. I know that's how we play our spriest+warlock against pally+warrior. We can burn down a bad warrior, but equally geared, we just ignore the warrior save for UA and a few dots to keep him damaged to spread the pally's healing and drain mana + mana burn the pally (who's curse of tongues'd). Eventually, the pally ooms and dies. However, in 5s, pallies have a heal that takes 1.5 seconds to cast and crits more often than not AND heals for around 2000 AND costs 90 mana on most casts. Druids have something similar to this, except it critically heals 3000 up front, has a 1000 healing hot (not much), takes 2.0 seconds to cast, and costs 900 mana.

Wait, what? That's right, 900 mana versus 90 mana. Well that's just maddeningly unhelpful. What about Holy Light versus Healing Touch? Holy light heals for about 500 less than healing touch, but takes 2.5 seconds versus healing touch's 3.5 seconds. The only redeeming factor is that healing touch costs 100 more mana.

Yikes, well those are almost all the paladin's heals, whereas druids have Rejuv and Lifebloom. Lifebloom, at my best, will tick every second (yes, every second) for about 550 on a 3x stack. Rejuv will tick every 3 seconds for about 600. Rejuv isn't great, but it helps, and it can be swiftmended, which makes it a staple on my hotbar. The thing about lifebloom is that it costs 220 versus a paladin's flash of light averaging between 90-180 mana. It's true that I can cast lifebloom on the move, but it's also true that if I want that full 550 a tick, I need to spend 680 mana up front, then 220 for every cast after that. Really, the 3x lifebloom is more important than getting a regrowth/rejuv/swiftmend cast thrown in there, because the most detrimental thing I can do is let that 3x stack fall.

Damn, these posts are too long. Long story short, druids are powerful against many makeups in the 2v2 bracket, simply good against many makeups in the 3v3 bracket, and a waste of space most the time in the 5v5 bracket because of spread healing and mana-inefficiency, plus mobility is nigh useless in the smaller arena settings. Dear paladins: QQ more please, here have a cyclone whilst I'm JoJ'd.

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Ranting to the Wind

To whom it may concern, and at this point I am very aware that it may be no one...

I would like to talk briefly on the subject of expansions in MMORPGs. I have not been privy to a successful expansion except for The Burning Crusade, but I have seen a few crash and burn. Ultima Online died during an expansion, except for a handful of loyal supporters. I didn't play it much myself, but I was told by my brother who was a pretty loyal fan to ShadowBane, that it's expansion lost much of its player-base. In many of the WoW boards, people talk about Galaxies and how its expansion is why they are playing WoW now.

Many more examples, I'm sure, however I will have to say that thus far, the Burning Crusade was immensely enjoyable. I remember watching a druid video called End of Dreams 2. In fact, give me a moment while I turn it on and get nostalgic. It starts playing a slow, sad sounding, song with text fading into view with statements such as "druid is broken", "cannot dps or tank", "druid is a healer, l2p and respec". Any long-time druid will tell you about playing something other than a healer as a druid.

I know, for myself, that I was feral since level 40 until level 70 (about 2.5 years). I never once respec'd over to restoration, and consequently I never did Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Onyxia, etc. Reason being, I didn't want to be told how to play, and many wouldn't accept anything but a healer in their raid. This was and still is completely fine with me because, as I have said numerous times, I do what I want, and that is PvP, not PvE.

After the sad music plays, it goes into faster house music and remixes of other songs that are pretty upbeat. I remember watching this during TBC's beta period and thinking how awesome it was going to be to finally get some new stuff in feral, how feral would finally be a force to be reckoned with. Am I let down, now that I'm resto and have been 70 for a good long while? No, I'm not.

In all honesty, TBC was horribly fun grinding. I've done the 60-70 grind twice now, and I'm about to do it a third time. The zones kept you moving along quickly without stagnating, and the first time entering a zone is amazing. I can remember the exact feeling I had at 4 A.M. release day when I hit 62 and entered Zangarmarsh with my new ability: Maim. Holy moly, this was a game I had never played before (not having my rogue at this time)... Maim was a breath of fresh air, I can tell you. Also, you went into this marsh area and you REALLY felt the presence of the marsh. Everything had a damp feel to it, the sounds were muffled and dark, which made the dampness all the more palpable. You didn't know what was over the next hill, or on the other side of that lake, etc. It was a really fun feeling that was different.

I can only say that currently, I'm not salivating for WotLK as much as I was for TBC. This is probably mainly due to the lack of information provided at the time this is written. However, I'm also a little underwhelmed by the idea of the Death Knight class. It seems that Blizz should probably balance the classes there are currently rather than adding another. Additionally, before TBC was released, it felt like the feral game-play was unfinished, as if abilities were missing or omitted, etc. When TBC finally dropped, it seemed like those abilities were added, and the feeling of gratitude for finally implementing all those features was unexplainable by us, and not understandable by anyone else.

For the release of WotLK, there haven't been any announcements concerning druid play-styles or additional abilities or anything, but I can't think of anything really missing from the druid class. It will be hard for the Blizz devs to give me anything that I don't think we already have without completely overpowering the druid class, in my view.

Only time will tell... I suppose I'm not prepared after all...

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The Hand of Justice

I've decided that my rogue should probably get the Hand of Justice since it's the best rogue trinket in the game until the mid 60s. This shouldn't prove to be especially difficult because my druid is on a different account than my rogue, so I can just run the rogue in stealth with my druid doing all the clearing.

The ninja-run looks like this: enter BRD, cut straight left to open the first door, duck right to open the second, on the left wall there is another door, open it up (normally one would open the shadowforge lock...but we don't care for this run. Follow the left hallway all the way to the locked door (because we didn't open the shadowforge) and jump out the right window onto the ledge. If you agro, it doesn't matter, eventually the guys will bug out and evade themselves so you'll drop combat. Next you stealth past the little patrol below and between all the fire elementals. You can kill Lord Incendius or not... it really could matter less because the gear he drops is garbage, but if you're enchanting... might be worth it in mats. Next, we drop down from Incendius's room (yes, into the lava) and head to the wall as soon as we can. That lava is nasty, and there are elementals roaming in it...so getting out without a pull is good. Next, we walk the wall all the way until we have no more wall to walk, it will incline upwards slightly, and you should be able to see an island with fire elementals on it in the distance.

We're almost to the hard part now. There is a fire elemental in the lava that has to be pulled and killed if the rogue is going to survive this swim. After he's dead, HoT up the rogue with regrowth and rejuv and start him on his hopping-swim over to the island. Depending on the level of the rogue, he should be able to stand on a corner without agro'ing or dying from the lava. If he agros, he should sprint, run through the crowd straight, and make for the furnace landing, if he dies, no worries, that's what battle rez is for, but if he doesn't, have him vanish and wait for the druid. The druid is 70, so he won't agro the pack, and heal up on the island, then jump around the left side and make his way over to the rogue. Walk up the ramp and down the stairs and open the door.

The rogue waits here. This room CAN be tricky...but doesn't really have to be. The guys in this room don't shield bash or silence or anything, so with a decent amount of +healing, a druid can kill a full pack of guys with hurricane and still be above 75% health and mana. I look for the torch-carrier packs and rejuv, barkskin, hurricane to kill the pack. Then take the torch and light the brazier. Rinse-repeat until the doors open. Have the druid wait on the newly opened doors side, and have the rogue maneuver to him. At this point, since I'm playing both, it's hard to make the rogue go to the right place. I just point the rogue at a far corner (behind this boss), and put him on auto-run (make sure he's not running at the door, because when the boss dies, the doors will open and that could be bad).

This boss is simple. I use insect swarm versus my lifebloom stack. Essentially, it's 200 mana per cast, and my lifebloom easily outdps's the bosses. There isn't an agro wipe, so don't worry about the rogue. You can throw wraths in there if you want to speed things up and can maintain the 3-stack and insect swarm rotations.

The next room is NOT hard...it's just time consuming. Essentially, there are a bunch of packs, each with an elite. So you take down each pack 1 / min. There are 10 packs total, so this can take a while. Rejuv, lifebloom, barkskin, hurricane, then wrath-spam the elite (who WILL run when he gets low). Once the packs are all dead, you can drink up and start the boss fight.

Personally, I like killing them both... but it takes longer. There are a few ways to do this battle, personally, I prefer kiting, it just seems to work better. I start on one of the two ledges and starfire the Princess 2-3 times until they break LoS and start coming up the stairs, and I move to the middle of the ledge, but don't jump off yet. Wait until the Emp hits you once, then jump off, insect swarm the Emp and the Princess, then lifebloom yourself up to the otherside and bombard them with starfire/wrath as they cross the middle with you up top. It takes some doing to get this timed right. Also, the Emperor can use his 5 second stun on you to deliver an Ironfoe payload...which even at 70 hits pretty hard (unless you're in pvp gear like me).

Eventually, the princess oom's because she only has enough mana to heal 10-12 times, and her heals don't do all that much compared to your starfire/insect swarm combos. She drops, then you can focus on the Emperor. Meanwhile, your rogue is sitting in the back of the room watching these shananagans go on...staying stealthed and out of danger.

Hopefully you get a Hand of Justice to drop... with around a 15% drop rate, it shouldn't be very hard at all. Additionally, you have a chance to get the Ironfoe to drop (about 1%, so not great, although I HAVE seen it drop before and a shamang won it before they nerfed the windfury-ironfoe-windfury-ironfoe-etc combos that would sometimes sum to 5k or more >_<). Essentially, that's what I'm trying for my rogue.

Ironfoe + Hand of Justice. Ironfoe is STILL believed to have a 10% proc rate rather than a PPM proc rate, so on any given swing, it can proc two additional attacks. Tied with the Hand of Justice, which is now (I believe) a PPM proc rate of 1, essentially, you're damage per second should be much more than your paper-doll would have you believe.

Sorry for the long post, but now you know how to do a stealth and quick Emperor run, and that's the important thing.

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Ouch... my head...

So, it's school time again. Not for me, thankfully, but for my brother. His return to the scholarly world (in the same major as me: computer science) will probably mean fewer pvp hours logged for our teams. He assures me that it will be different this semester, what with him not having any group projects that require him presiding over like a parent to children, but I cannot help but be a bit skeptical. Only time will tell, and I suppose this week will be a good idea of how the semester will go. I suppose that in the worst case, it will only be five months until he graduates and is in my mind-numbing position of life and ready for some WoW every night... except the weekends...

So, I went out for my buddy's birthday last night. I had a lot of fun, but I'm so severely hung over that I'm really contemplating putting a fork in my ribs just to move the pain away from my brain. I didn't get a chance to play much yesterday, but I did get my rogue to 52. He's hemorrhage shadow-step, which I find is an interestingly hard-hitting build. For some reason, hemorrhage does more damage than sinister strike (with hemorrhage's extra damage debuff up) and costs 10 (or 5) fewer energy.

My brother and I played golf yesterday, as well. We talked about how ridiculous hemorrhage is, and he wonders if hemo-dagger-shadowstep is a good build now. His belief is that the hemorrhage damage gets added before the multipliers for backstab, which may be true (and if it is... then I REALLY need to spec that direction and try it out).

It turns out that hemorrhage really does improve your damage output better with faster weapons more so than slower weapons. Reason being, if a dagger and a mace have the same damage per second, and the mace swings slower, adding a flat, non-scaling, amount to the damage done will increase the faster weapon's damage the same as the slower weapon, but then the faster weapon's divisor in the damage-per-second calculation is smaller, so the quotient ends up being bigger. I don't know... maybe I'll try out daggers for a bit and see what that's like.

I know this is a druid blog, but I felt like talking about one of my alts. That happens sometimes.

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Bad News Boy and Girls

It seems that discipline is finally becoming the pvp healing spec of choice for priests. Why is this a bad thing for druid healers? Mainly because that's just another class out there guaranteed to take bigger hits from my warrior. Additionally, priests are starting to wise-up to the fact that they can burn me while I'm running away from them in cheetah form.

Mana burn isn't a huge deal against priest+hunter, or priest+rogue. P/H boils down to the fact that the hunter can't dps me OR my warrior if my warrior is in his face laying down the pain while I sit in bearform and annoy the priest who's trying tirelessly to keep his hunter alive. When the freezing trap gets laid, I have to move quickly to feral charge the hunter to 1) keep him near my warrior while he's scatter-shot and 2) eat the freezing trap myself. Usually the hunter will have a pet on me and if he isn't careful, freezing trap will get broken from the pet (or from poisons if he's using scorpid). Also, I annoy the priest with lacerate so that when I eat the trap, he still has a bleed on him for a few second while I try to get back on him so he can't drink.

Priest rogue is a lot of the same, except after my warrior gets jumped by the rogue (and my warrior will have sword-n-board out to start hopefully), I come in, toss abolish, lifebloom, and rejuv, the rogue will turn on me. Either the rogue will shadowstep, then get intercepted and pwned while the priest is far away getting cycloned by me, or the rogue will toe-to-toe with my warrior and EVENTUALLY go do because warriors can dish-n-take better than rogues when they're squared up.

HOWEVER, in matches like warrior+priest, warlock+priest, mage+priest, etc. in which the priest is healing, I am forced to run away in cheetah form and eat up the mana burn hits (or worse, drain mana if the lock is in the middle and I need to get past him). All we can do is put warrior on the priest and hope our dps is faster whilst I cyclone their dps and root him behind pillars, etc. Mage is a special case because, given free reign, an icemage will just SPANK my warrior through my heals, but if we put the warrior on the mage, he will get the cc-train run on him while the priest loses little to no mana. We sword-n-board that team and hope spell reflect is awesome.

EDIT: I have been thinking about the problem here, and it really only happens in Nagrand arena when you're trying to run from side A to side B. Going from pillar to pillar in travel form really doesn't give the priest enough time to burn you unless he's REALLY on his game, has great ping, and great angle. This leads me to think about changing my spec to this to try out faster cat form. The differences in mana are pretty low (actually cat form costs about twice as much as travel form), and the difference in speeds are 161% travel form vs. 150% (149.5% really) in cat form. So, while I won't be jetting away like I do in travel form, it may occassionally be worth the ~250 extra mana just to guarantee not losing 1000 mana and 500 hp. Only problem is I would have to give up insect swarm, which may not be awesome against dispelling classes, but it is the defining factor against druid+warrior mirror-matchups since we get an extra 1100 damage dot for 110 mana..... maybe I'll try the catform one out until we get higher in the rankings and start seeing more warrior+druid mirrors.

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The First of Many...

Welcome to my blog, let's dive in, shall we!? (Is it customary to use title capitalization in blog titles?)

So, I was reading a blog by a fellow named "the-ooglar" who has a pretty prominent blog which has a few posts concerning druid affairs and various other aspects of WoW. I liked it...so much so that I decided to start my own. Let's not beat around the bush - I have had my druid since about May 2005 (I love the wowcensus sometimes), which isn't exactly since beta, but also wasn't rolled lately with the flavor of the month arena resto druids. He has been feral until about 3 months ago when I switched him over to resto to play with my brother in the 2v2 bracket on his warrior (we also play his shadow priest with my warlock...yes...I'm a cliché player like madness, aren't I!?).

At least I can claim to have started that team before the druid+warrior rise to power.

Don't get me wrong, I love feral, I just love player versus player combat more, and currently one cannot PvP properly as feral...it's just not built that way and it seems as if Blizzard doesn't want that to change.

Let's talk about purpose: what's the purpose of this blog? Well, first off I plan to talk about ridiculous things that my brother and I do just for the shear sport of it (like when we tried to 2-man the Molten Giants in MC just to see if we could). Secondly, I am going to talk about PvP, a lot...because it wreaks havoc on my mind when I'm trying to sleep at night, and this could very-well be an outlet for my insane thoughts. Lastly, I'm going to complain about game balance, again - a lot. Why??? I don't think Blizzard is doing a very good job balancing the game for PvP.

Am I going to talk about traditional PvE? Am I going to talk about last night's run on Mag or how we just downed Illidan? No. Plain and simple. The only PvE I (will ever) do is running my girlfriend's rogue through instances, and farming lower instances for enchanting mats to sell (more on that front later). PvE is a waste of time; if I wanted to play PvE, I would buy ANY fantasy game on the market, and beat it. Killing Sephiroth is PvE...not Mag.

Okay, well that felt like a pretty good start. Hopefully, some of these things interest people and I can warm up some frequenters. Only time will tell.

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