Archive for June, 2009

3.2 Kitties – What you need to know – Preview

***An updated summary post has been made with all 3.2 kitty changes. Click here to jump***

With all the new material coming out for 3.2, I figured I would wait a little before posting. Now that majority of the information has come out, it seems like an appropriate time to try and consolidate all the changes that are happening for 3.2 and how it will affect us kitties.

Kitty Nerfs

As I’ve discussed in previous posts, we are slated for a nerf in 3.2. 

  • Mangle (Cat) now causes 200% normal damage plus 566 (down from 634) damage at max rank.
  • Rip now causes [ 6/12/18/24/30% of AP + 774/1332/1890/2448/3006 ] damage over 12 sec at max rank. (Down from [ 6/12/18/24/30% of AP + 828/1422/2016/2610/3204 ] damage)
  • Shred now shred the target for 226% damage plus 666 at max rank. (Down from 742.5)
  • Swipe now inflicts 250% weapon damage. (Down from 260%)

It seems that Blizzard is on the right track though as they are nerfing the base damage instead of our scalability. This should in essence reduce the damage a new kitty druid can do when they first hit 80 (as an example) vs a fully Ulduar geared kitty kat while at the same time, keeping the mechanics the same. Some good discussion posts have already started to crunch out the numbers which show minimal effects (less than 5%?). Also remember that if you’re lucky enough to have a mangle/trauma bot, the only reductions you’ll be facing are from Rip, Shred & Swipe. The easiest post to identify how the changes will affect us were made by Anubisck on EJ

T9 Sets Released

Here are the three sets for the next raid instance Crusader’s Colliseum. Traditionally since the release of WOTLK we’ve had 2 sets (10 and 25) however with the new release of this upcoming instance, Blizzard is moving to a 3 tier system. The ilevels of the 3 upcoming sets are 232, 245 and 258, the natural assumption being:

Stats for each set can be seen in the hotlinks above. The models are just placeholders (t7/t8) and will be replaced with the proper ones in due time.

T9 Set Bonuses

Here is the proposed sets for feral druids, while the 2pt9 bonus is pretty sick, the 4pt9 bonus is not. It seems like this may be a placeholder as almost all the 4pt9 bonuses across all classes are some sort of +5% bonus. Lets hope this isn’t the finalized version else it looks like we’ll be going back to carrying a 2pc bonus only.

2pt9 – Decreases the cooldown on your Growl ability by 2 sec and increases the duration of your Rake ability by 3 sec.

4pt9 – Increases the damage reduction granted by Barkskin by 10% and increases the critical strike chance of Rip and Ferocious Bite by 5%.

New Druid Forms

The old forms will be going away, and the new forms will be coming whether you like it or not. Details and samples can be found in my old post here and also here on Blizzard’s page here.

New Badge Items

A full list of the new badge/profession gear is available on MMO-Champion which can be purchased through Emblem of Triumph.  Due to all the new badge change where all raid instances & heroic dungeons will be dropping Emblem of Triumph, ilevel 245 gear (better than Ulduar) will be accessible to all, making gear extremely available (casuals win again?). It is very apparent that all of the new gear will have a tonne of ArP, which will allow most people to scale back on the amount of gemming for ArP and back to gemming for more Agility once you’ve hit the cap (100%).

Pro Tip: Exchange your Emblem of Conquest badges for Runed Orb and sell them now before they decrease in price!

Probably the most exciting item is a cat & bear idol (Idol of Mutiliation) which will eliminate the need to be carrying two idols at the same time. Perhaps I can finally toss my Idol of Terror (lol?)

That’s it for now, as more information comes I’ll add to this post.


How am I doing?

So folks, it’s been about two months now (and 2500 hits later!) since I started this blog and I’ve seen it steadily grow to a good following so I thank you all for coming to see what I have to say and for continuing to come back as well. I wanted to do a checkpoint to see how you think I should proceed with this blog. I’ve been working on getting a good rhythm going in regards to posting style, posting frequency and whatnot but I’d love to hear your input so I can cater towards you, the reader.

Special thanks to the following blogs who have been gracious enough to link me up and help me grow:

I have a lot of ideas for future posts, including my series on Pimp your Druid which I have yet to start. For now, any feedback is appreciated, if there is something else you’d like to see feel free to leave it in a comment.

Orbit-uary

This post has been a bit delayed but a few weeks ago we killed the Flame Leviathan hard mode (Orbit-uary) which consists of leaving  all four towers of FL’s defensive towers up. While previously it was a very RNG based fight which required a bit of luck, it has since been nerfed (as all content in Ulduar) and probably is now in line with where it should be in terms of hard mode progression being as it is the first hard mode people should encounter.

Flame Leviathan Hard Mode – Orbit-uary

Vehicle Reponsibilities

  • Seige Engine Driver: Interrupt Flame Vents
  • Seige Engine Turret: Kill Freya Adds and shoot down Pyrite
  • Demolisher Driver: Ensure pyrite is rolling (10 stack) at all times and launching player onto Flame Levithan to induce shutdown.
  • Demolisher Turret: Kill Freya Adds and pickup Pyrite
  • Chopper: Pick up launched players and drop oil slicks

General Strategy

  • The vehicles used should be 2 Demolishers, 2 Seige Engines and 1 Chopper, in other words 1 demolisher will have 1 person loaded to start, and another person in the passenger side. 1 Chopper should be empty.
  • Only 1 caster should be launched onto Flame Leviathan at a time and should kill both turrets alone. This will allow both demolishers to have someone picking up pyrite at all times, ensuring pyrite can continue rolling throughout the whole fight
  • After the first shutdown, the person (caster) who was previously in the passenger turret should load up and be launched, while at the same time, the chopper picks up the person that was previously launched and is brought back to the demolisher to continue picking up pyrite.
  • An excellent diagram of positioning is located here

General Tips

  • Use the highest ilevel gear you have (regardless of spec/gems/enchants etc). Vehicle HP and damage done is based entirely on your total ilevel of your gear.
  • During your learning process, do not repair!!! Broken gear (0% durability) will still give you the same amount of hp/damage done.
  • Before the fight starts, start shooting down Pyrite (lasts 3 mins now) so that there is ample supply for pickup
  • It is the demolisher drivers responsibility to be aware of where pyrite is available and to drive to those areas
  • If your demolisher is being chased, use boost often, it is possible to boost turn and keep your pyrite stack rolling
  • You should always have two people in the demolisher passenger seat picking up pyrite
  • People in turrets should never attack Flame Leviathan as the damage is minimal, their focus should always remain on killing freya adds & shooting down pyrite/picking up pyrite.

flhardmode

Is Kitty Pew Pew Too Good?

Since the release of 3.1 there has been a lot of controversy as to whether cat dps is too high. Although there have been a lot of threads of discussion (and by threads I mean mostly qq) there have been few and far Blizzard responses. However, Ghostcrawler has finally come out and made a somewhat definitive statement on the issue. My thoughts are his statement is pretty spot on so lets try and break it down.

Quote from: Ghostcrawler (Source)

Kitty dps is probably a little too high. It’s tricky though because it is a very demanding spec to play well and if nerf it for the best players, the less-skilled ones might really see their dps plummet.

I’ll say again that we purposely designed Ulduar to have a great diversity among the bosses. Depending on which bosses you look at, the list of whose dps is too low or too high changes. If Ulduar had 3 additional or 5 fewer bosses, the answer would probably be different.

“It’s tricky though because it is a very demanding spec to play well and if nerf it for the best players, the less-skilled ones might really see their dps plummet.”

It’s been stated on multiple occasions that kitty dps is a very demanding spec to play effectively. It’s best illustrated by this image. When you first look at the flow chart you may laugh and say “lol funneh!” it’s actually pretty accurate in terms of the thought process you need to go through. Couple this with the fact that majority of feral druids out there are primary bear MT/OT’s and offspecced as cat, there are few and far cat only druids out there who can truly push the theoretical limits effectively. While the theoretical maximum dps of a feral druid is quite high, in reality the execution to obtain those type of numbers is extremely hard and not plausible on many of the fights in Ulduar.

If we take a look at the top dps rankings from  Wow Meter Online we see that the ratings are generally dominated by pure dps classes. Yes of course you have your ferals and other hybrids up there in some situations but relatively speaking you can see that the breakdown favours pure dps. Some will say “well those meters are your best guilds and best players with full buffs”. Well duh? This game may be casual but if you want to maximize your dps to your theoretical limits, you have to use every buff available to you. Can a player really complain about not being able to outdps another class without maximizing their own?

“I’ll say again that we purposely designed Ulduar to have a great diversity among the bosses. Depending on which bosses you look at, the list of whose dps is too low or too high changes.”

The whole discussion between pure and hybrid dps is ludicrous. The only pure dps classes in this game are: Mages/Warlocks/Hunters/Rogues. Every other class has the ability to spec into a healing, dps and/or tanking spec which qualifies that class as hybrid. That being said, the only classes that have any justification to say their dps should be higher than a feral druid (or hybrid) would be one of those. Does that mean a Mage should be capable of an arbitrary % dps than a feral druid? No, because you can’t compare a mage to a druid. It’s like trying to compare apples to oranges. You just can’t do it. Unlike Naxxramas, there is no true universal dps stress test to determine what class has the best potential dps. There are fights that cater towards casters and fights that cater towards melee. Naturally a feral druid will destroy all casters on a fight like XT, whereas a caster will destroy all melee on a fight like General. The only class that you can effectively compare to a feral druid is a rogue which in essence is the same type of dps class. That being said, a rogue of equivalent gear and equivalent skill will always beat a feral druid regardless of the fight. If a rogue is having issues keeping up with a feral druid then they personally have skill issues that they need to address that.

What about all the utility a feral druid brings vs a rogue?

True, a druid brings a lot of utility such as lotp, innervate and battle rez. If we assume a feral druid and rogue of equivalent gear and skill, what class is better to bring to raid? The answer I think is, it depends on your raid. How strong are your healers? Do you find your raid in need of rezzing bad players who die a lot? How much AOE is needed on the fight? Does your raid already have a FT bear or arms warrior? Does your raid have none of those isues and can sacrifice all that for more dps? The answer to these questions are probably variable again depending on what fight you are doing in Ulduar.

To Summarize

  • A good rogue will always out dps a good feral druid of equivalent gear
  • You cannot compare feral dps to another classes unless you take into consideration the context of the fight
  • What is better for raids? Feral druid or Rogue? Answer? It depends!
  • A nerf may be in order but must be done extremely carefully to ensure the spec remains viable for players of all levels

EDIT: Another blue post by Vaneras, thanks for the catch Mitch!

Quote from: Vaneras (Source)

It is true that Cat DPS may be a little too high, but it is important to also highlight that this is not merely a matter of throwing in a nerf here or there. Adjusting Cat DPS is rather complicated because of the fact that it is a demanding spec to play well.

If we are to adjust Cat DPS, we will have to avoid doing it in a way that makes it a simple matter for the more adept players to adjust, but harder for those of less experience. It is not our intent to punish the less skilled players with a massive loss of damage output.

Finally, a hotfix that Blizz got right

Nothing particular to post today but I read a few interesting articles that I thought I would share.

1) Freya Hard Mode gets hotfixed

It was posted yesterday that a guild named Something Diabolical managed to zerg Freya hard mode down without having to deal with the mechanics of the fight (aka adds). You can read about it further here. This naturally is a flashback to Sarth3D where guilds were ignoring all the drakes and getting their plagued proto drakes just prior to 3.1. Personally this annoyed be quite a bit as that was by far the most challenging fight in the game (at the time) and seeing a lot of punks getting their plagued proto just didn’t seem quite right. At the time Blizzard did nothing to fix this but this time around it seems they decided to do something about it. Cudos to Blizz to keeping the integrity of the challenge in tact.

Quote from: Bornakk (Source)
6/15/09

  • The additional healing Freya receives, through the Attuned to Nature buff, has been increased.

While the strat doesn’t work anymore, here is the vid of their zerg kill

2) Game Fuel Video

The new mountain dew game fuel has a commercial out now. Wonder what class the NE is?

3) Updated Cat Models

This is a little old but might as well add to my smorgasbord of posts, def want these models instead of the ones Blizzard announced!

Battle Bots Released!

Today the Mountain Dew promotion released their battle bots. You can obtain yours now but you need to merge your WOW account to a Battle.Net account first. Not sure how to get the fuel yet but will add to the post when I figure it out

Link to do so can be found here: http://www.mountaindewgamefuel.com/redeem.php

battlebot

How Blizzard keeps PVE alive

Monedula over at Omen of Clarity has written a very interesting post regarding his point of view of what PVE has become.  You can read the post here: How Blizzard killed PVE While I agree to some respects, I also disagree in a lot of ways as well. I think the points that Monedula and a lot of posts made by the commenters have made are based on the fact that they have a successful, stable guild on a server that is stable, resulting in not enough challenge for their guild.  While I am in a stable progressive guild, the issues we have make us walk on a fine line which could collapse on us at any time. I can offer another point of view due to my situation and my server.

Lets start with a little history:

I play on Warsong-US which was once one of the most dominant and renown PVE progressive servers in it’s heyday. Unfortunately due a massive influx of BR’s and Russians and an infamous blue post stating that Warsong had amazing pvp balance, the server was flooded with users which inevitably drove away majority of the PVE progressive guilds to transfer. This leaves Warsong as a backwater server with minimal recruiting oppourtunities with majority being casual players that don’t even speak English.

If content were like it were in Vanilla WOW or Sunwell in TBC

The sheer obstacle/limitations of preventing guilds from clearing content would ensure that my guild (Daybreak) would definitely not exist. Players who are not invested to a guild/end goal would drop like flies/transfer to greener pastures and the recruitment pool available to us on the server is slim to none with 90% of the server speaking Portuguese. Cross server transfers is not an option as we are not the most progressive guild. Being a middle of the pack progressive guild, it is extremely challenging  to find players locally (especially pre class homogenization) to fill gaps.

How do we survive?

Bringing new folks into raiding that started playing in TBC or even in WOTLK. Blizzard made content accessible (perhaps too accessible) providing an avenue for users to get interested or reinterested in raiding and participating in PVE content. If the content were so challenging that it wasn’t clearable the talent pool available to continue raiding dries up. I am sure a lot of the stable guilds out there have at least a few TBC/WOTLK raiders that picked up the game recently. No guild can  The % of wow players that PVE in Ulduar are small as it is, but the number of stable progressive guilds is even fewer. Only through new players are guilds like mine able to survive and still be able to experience content.

How would other survive?

If you are a hard core raider and you want to be with the best, you will most likely transfer to play with the best. However, not everyone is of that mindset. While I am sure I could transfer to a much more progressive guild, I have enjoyed the time on Warsong and have made many friends that I have no intention of leaving. Warsong is my home (regardless of how shit it is) and it will probably continue to be my home until I stop playing. PVE the way it is allows me (and majority of my guild who are of the same mindset) to be semi hard core and experience all easy and some hard mode content while staying with friends.

Summary:

Monedula is absoluetely right in it’s a marketing move to maximize their return from their investment/development into the game, it’s what a sound business does.

While there are those who enjoy trying to race for a world/region first trying to conquer content regardless of how many months it may take. There are few and far of the 12 million users that enjoy that and Blizzard needs to tailor the game towards the majority of the populace. Tailoring the game to the small percentage of folks that enjoy that challenge is not a sound business decision for a 5 year old game that will inevitably be replaced.

My thoughts on what Blizzard could do better:

  • You’ve casualized instances for more players to experience it. Fine. Then make more than 1 hard mode only encounter and if you’re going to make it geared towards hard core raiders, make it extremely hard core. Don’t just make it hard because you have 1 hr to work on it. Make it near impossible (or just flat out impossible, lol C’thun?) and let those who want to ram their heads into a wall for 6 months do it.
  • Make hard modes more worth while. There are few and far gear upgrades/reasons that I would want to pursue 25 man hard modes and only a few 10 man hard mode items that are worthwhile. If you want people to do hard modes, you have to make it worth a lot more appealing.
  • Differentiate gear between 10/25 & hard modes. There is nothing more annoying than seeing a casual player running around in the same gear as me or even better gear than me due to RNG. Reward those that invest more time than others.
  • Stop nerfing content on the fly every week. Let people learn and in the process become better players. Simplifying content constantly is reducing the talent pool of PVE players.

My thoughts to all those that  are not happy:

  • This game has changed dramatically over the 5 years of existence and it will continue to change for however long it is running. Those who have played long enough know this and learn to accept it.
  • This is a game you choose to play, if the game no longer suits your style of play, it’s probably best you stop playing. Nobody is forcing you to play/pay, if you enjoy the game, play it!
  • Don’t forget, Ulduar and 3.2 are your mid expansion instances (SSC/TK/Hyjal/BT), I am sure (at least I hope) WOTLK’s Sunwell will make us all cry like little girls

In case you’re wondering:

  • I’ve been raiding since T2 dropped from MC
  • Sunwell did cockblock my guild (midnight) into collapsing at Felmyst (pre 3.0)
  • While I still continue to do 25 mans, my focus has shifted to 10 man as it’s alot more fun and a lot easier to progress.

I’m Retired!

As of 04/04/2011, I have officially retired from WOW. This blog will remain as a archived resource for those who know that CAT DRUID IS 4 FITE!

About Me

A blog for the ramblings and thoughts of Vallen, a full time raiding cat druid from Auchindoun-US with a passion for raiding & achievements. An avid wow player since 2004.

For any questions or concerns contact me via comments or e-mail

Achievement Points
12250
Flying Mount
Mimiron's Head
Mount
Amani War Bear
Shirt
Master Builder's Shirt
Title
Commander
Tabard
Tabard of the Lightbringer

Blog Statistics

  • 453,098 hits