Archive for July, 2010

Remembering Classic Feral PVP

As I mentioned in a recent post, I started my journey into arenas. With RS/ICC only taking 1.5 days a week there’s a lot of spare time which has been filled with Arenas & farming Mimi Heads!

So lets start with an quick PVP update. How am I doing? Surprisingly Well! I started with 5’s three weeks ago and we’ve been steadily going up each week with a successful push past 2k. Last week I picked up my 1800 MH/OH (Wrathful Gladiator’s Blade of Alacrity/Wrathful Gladiator’s Compendium) and on Tuesday I got my Wrathful Gladiator’s Kodohide Spaulders which personally I think are pretty sexy looking. I am pretty amazed at the sustainability of a rdruid in PVP gear and the more gear I get, the harder I’ll be to kill.

Now I only need Wrathful Helm/Pants/Chest & 2200 Weapon which will cost me a grand total of 11,060 points. With 1000+ pts a week & pvp daily (25*7=175) that’s 1175+ pts a week or just over 9 weeks to complete. Maybe I’ll get lucky and pickup the pants via VOA, still hoping for that (fingers crossed).

Forgot to take a screenshot, but here is the armory pose!

I’ve also recently been running a lot of battlegrounds the past few weeks, and so I decided to waste some excess honour points and buy the old Classic Lv 60 pvp set. Back in the day I did participate in the classic PVP grind and achieved the rank of Commander. It was at a time when I was still in school and could afford to play 20 hours a day (yes that number is 20) and on a high pop server like Warsong that’s what it took to get the compete. The Marshall set is not only a beauty but it does bring back some old memories of classic level 60 feral PVP which I did quite a bit of. It also reminded me that feral PVP is actually one of the first things that got me interested in feral in the first place.

There was one person in particular really inspired me to feral PVP and that was Spoh. For those who don’t know, Spoh was a druid back from Vanilla Warsong who made quite the name for himself. He naturally was a Rank 14 (Grand Marshal) but more importantly he made several unique feral pvp videos. In a time when hybrids did not exist and the feral tree was essentially an ignored tree with no viability he showed a very different way of playing druid. He was definitely a pioneer back in the day and I’m sure inspired many others just like myself. Spoh still plays today on another server (armory link) and still consistently does well every Arena season. If you’ve never watched his PVP videos I’d strongly suggest you give em a gander and see what it used to be like back in the day.

#1 – Spoh – Rank 14 Druid PVP Change

#2 – Spoh – True Form  – Rank 14 Druid

#3 – Spoh 3 – Unique

#4 – Spoh 4 – Believe

Salute to you Spoh!


We Love Mimi Heads!

Last week I posted that come Cataclysm, Blizzard would be changing the drop rates on “rare” mounts such as Mimiron’s Head and Invincible. Essentially the logic behind it is to prevent these mounts from becoming a common commodity once lv 85’s go back and destroy lv 80 content. That being said, that doesn’t stop us from doing 3.1 content in 3.3 gear! Yes that’s right folks, its something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but it’s been hard to find time in a busy raid week. But with ICC down to 1.5 nights a week I put my plan into works to start farming Mimiron Heads!

We started this last week by clearing to YS which with about 17 people only took about 2 hrs and this week we put about 4 hrs in and were rewarded with this sexy mount (see below). I will say right off the bat that we are completely cheesing this content and ignoring fight mechanics with the gear we have and while it is significantly easier to do now than it once was, it still does require a little luck (RNG) and a lot of coordination. Its not something that you could just grab 25 pugs and do but I would say it is something any competent guild could do.

1 down, 24 more to go. Yes that’s another 6 months of Ulduar to equip a full raid but hey it could happen? I suspect it will only take about 2.5 hrs total once we do this on a regularly basis so I’m hoping to keep doing this until Cataclysm because we all know that ICC is boring as shit by now and its fun things like this that will help keep people going as we suffer from pre patch/expansion blues. Personally I think its more important that we have lots of Mimi Heads flying around Ironforge than having all 277 gear.

Also, 6/30 Shattered Fragments of Val’anyr, lets hope I get more than 3 fragments next week 🙂

*Edit* Just noticed I broke 200k visits, yay Feral Aggression!

Grats Bearissan!

Topics of the Week #5

Ok this is going to be a lot more than a topics of the week post as I have been slacking a little bit lately on the updates. Instead this will be more of a “topics since the release of 3.3.5” post as that’s how far back I went to catch up on my reading. For those who are keeping themselves up to date some of this information may seem old. My thoughts/comments in blue.

Q. Will there be account-wide Achievements? If so, can we expect to see things like vanity gifts for having multiple characters? (Source)
A. It’s an idea we definitely want to do, but it’s pretty challenging technically, so it’s not on the immediate horizon. We can’t promise anything obviously, but I wouldn’t feel the need to get difficult Achievements on more than one character on the same account.

Being as I am a huge achievement whore, I’m not sure I know where I stand on this. I personally focus 95% of my energy onto my druid which shows based on the quantity of achievement points I have on my druid and how little I have on my alts. In fact I bet nobody even knew I have alts (lv 80 pally/mage). Yes that’s how little I play/focus on them. Sure this above could increase the flexibility and reduce the penalty of wanting to play multiple toons but I could also see this allowing for cheesing achievement points by doing them on classes that make things easier. For example, you could do all reps on a human alt which will give 10% faster reputation gain. Another example is seeing DK’s with loremaster or having 40 exalted reputations, things like that make you think “wow wtf, thats insane, very impressive” but you’ll lose that with account-wide achievements.

Q: Cat and Bear builds are only off by about 3 talent points. Why not just consolidate fully at that point? (Source)
A. This is definitely one of our concerns. We don’t want a player to be able to have an optimal DPS specialization in Cat Form and be able to tank. We will definitely engineer the Feral tree such that being a viable tank, or even off-tank, will have some cost in terms of lost DPS while in Cat Form. The druid talent trees currently in beta are very rough and need more polish.

Good to know Blizzard, good to know. I’ll wait to reserve judgement.

Q. Why was the Feral druid’s mana reduction cost removed from King of the Jungle? And what happened to two combo points on critical strikes? (Source)
A. These are data errors that will be corrected. Neither is intended to be cut.

One of the bigger concerns addressed, but still more to go, seem my list in my previous post

This is a first pass (Source)
While this is a first pass on all of the talent trees, death knight, druid, paladin, warlock, Arcane mage, and Assassination rogue trees are not as far along as other specializations.

Good to hear, every druid I’ve talked to so far has had essentially the same comments about the weaknesses of the current trees, discussed further in my prior post.

Damage vs. Utility Talents (Source)
Those are actually the decisions we’re looking for. Trying to decide between dps and utility isn’t a decision (for PvE anyway) and choosing damage vs. damage is a decision most players make by going to third party sites. We want you to be able to get all of the damage talents you reasonably can, and be making decisions over the utility talents.

While I appreciate they are making this statement about their philosophy/ideology behind the new trees, it clearly isn’t quite applied yet. Let’s wait and see how the talent tree evolves.

Max out the Mastery Bonus (Source)
Furthermore, there should be no way to max out mastery. It’s only just possible to max out things like crit and haste today because of A) overly generous talents, and B) ratings that were never designed for current item levels. We’ve already built the theoretical Deathwing gear, so we can make sure the numbers are more appropriate.

Sounds like a good idea, I don’t particularly like the current system which essentially require you to 1) Arp Cap 2) Hit Cap 3) Crit Cap 4) everything eles after. I’d rather see some additional flexibility to focus on specific stats to cater towards a specific style of play.

Hit % in Character Panel (Source)
We will at least show “hit needed for a target of your level AND hit needed for a target of your level +3.” If we get fancy, we’ll let you pick the target level through UI and examine all of your stats in that context.

Less math = a good thing

Armor downgrading in Cataclysm (Source)
You will get a stat bonus of some kind if you wear “your” armor. You can still wear cloth, mail or leather of a lower armor type if it’s a big upgrade, especially if it would get sharded anyway. But the days of Holy paladins in cloth or warrior wearing leather are probably behind us.

Finally, no more “Sorry, blame Blizzard for bad itemization, I’m taking your items” bullshit excuses from Ret Pallies/Warriors/Hunters etc from taking our leather gear. We get it you want to be a feral druid, reroll then

Proto-Drake and Rare Mounts in Cataclysm (Source)
This is all tentative and could change, but we don’t really have a problem with protodrake farming. What we will probably do with really unusual mounts like Mimiron’s Head and Invincible is make them a rare drop. The 100% drop rate won’t make sense when you can overpower the content.

If you want to overpower the content for a drake though, go for it. Players who did it “legit” had the benefit of having the achievement and mount earlier than anyone else. The most prestigious mounts will change in Cataclysm.

If only they would start removing proto drakes that are extremely outdated (Ulduar). Considering how long the Ulduar protos have been in the game, it would have been nice if they had left the Naxx/OS/EOE drakes in longer too. I do agree that making Mimiron’s Head/Invincible as rare drops otherwise they will lose the “epicness” that they currently hold. With all content down (No, we’re not even bothering with Heroic Halion or Heroic LK) I’ve decided to start Mimiron Head farming groups, more on this later.

Molten Core/Blackwing Lair/Thunderfury in Cataclysm (Source)
We aren’t removing MC or BWL as of this writing. We aren’t going out of our way to remove old legendaries. The only risk there in a case like Thunderfury is if we change a zone like Silithus so much that the quests become hard to keep intact.

Looks like those of you out there still farming for Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros can breath a sigh of relief (for now).

“If there is a quest item you really love, you might want to grab it now.” (Source)
Almost every quest reward in the 1-60 content will be changing. If there is a quest item you really love, you might want to grab it now.

For those who don’t have it already, go grab your Dartol’s Rod of Transformation now before its too late.  Any other awesome items from Vanilla WOW I’m missing?

Epic items in Cataclysm (Source)
We’re actually working on restoring the epic feeling to epic items in Cataclysm. Epic loot should be epic, and something to be very proud of. Our plan is to try and get the Heroic -> Blue Gear and Raid -> Purple Gear balance back.

I give this the Vallen, stamp of approval. I thoroughly enjoyed walking around in T3 back in Vanilla WOW when majority of the population were in blues. The differentiation of those who PVP, who PVE and who are casual are important. It can be considered egotistical or it could just be considered a way to display your success in game.

Q. Why was the Feral druid’s mana reduction cost removed from King of the Jungle? And what happened to two combo points on critical strikes?
A. These are data errors that will be corrected. Neither is intended to be cut.

Feral Aggression Makeover!

Topic says it all, after 15 months I’ve decided to change the theme I’ve been using here at WordPress. I’ve been wanting to change for a while as it was getting a little stale but its been hard to find a theme that I like and that fits well. So here’s the new theme, hope you like it as much as I do. The one thing I don’t like is the small header which I will have to be creative with screenshots in the future.

Kitty DPS 31 Point Talent Tree Review

So much news, so hard to keep up.

Lets start with the biggest news of the past week (which also happened to be released yesterday) which is the unveiling of the talent trees. As you know we currently have 51 point talent trees and in an effort to downsize the current talent trees, Blizzard will be reducing them to 31 point trees, similar to how they were in Vanilla WOW.

31 Point Talent Calculator – Beta Build 21479 (link)

Remember, this is still a beta build and naturally it will change over time. I did say in a previous post that I didn’t want to speculate on talent builds (guess it was a good idea after all since it was completely revamped!) and this is somewhat contrary to what I said before but seeing as this is a complete overhaul of the talent tree system, I think this warrants a discussion.

So to start off, I will say something just doesn’t look/feel quite right.

  1. 2/2 Predatory Strikes is a requirement to get out of the 1st Tier which as I mentioned last time really feels like a PVP talent.
  2. To move from Tier 4 to Tier 5 you need to spend at least 1 point in survival/raid buffing talents (Infected Wounds, Nurturing Instinct)
  3. To move into Tier 6, you will need to spend at least 2 points in survival/raid buffing talents (Infected Wounds, Nurturing Instinct, Survival Instincts)
  4. Once Berserk is obtained at (0/31/5) there are 5 excess points with no kitty dps friendly talents to spend them on again forcing talent spend on survival/raid buffing talents

My Choice: 2 points in Nurturing Instinct, 5 Excess Points

To use all 41 talent points, you essentially have to pickup every talent that isn’t “Bear Only”. Perhaps this is the what Blizzard is trying to achieve? But if that is the case it seems like there isn’t much room for error/tweaking anymore. If I were completely new to playing a feral druid all I would have to do is keep clicking on anything that had Cat in the talent and I would end up with essentially the same spec as I have below. Does the talent tree really have to be that simplistic?

Proposed Cataclysm Spec

What Talents/DPS Bonuses Have we Lost?

  • Feral Aggression – 15% damage to Ferocious Bite
  • Savage Fury – 20% damage to Rake/Mangle
  • Feral Instinct – 30% Swipe Damage
  • Sharpened Claws – 6% Crit
  • Shredding Attacks -Minus 18 energy on Shred
  • Primal Precision – 10 Expertise, 80% energy refund on miss
  • Primal Fury – Extra CP on Crit
  • Survival of the Fittest – 6% Stats
  • Improved LOTP – 4% life, 8% mana
  • Predatory Instincts – 10% increased melee critical damage
  • Primal Gore – Rip dots can crit

Ok, clearly this is an absurd list but I’m just listing all the bonuses that we currently have now from the current talent tree and won’t have later in the new talent tree.  If you recall, the mastery bonus that was announced was Melee Critical Damage and the unique effect was “increased damage from bleed effects”. So, I am positive that some of these things will be accounted for via Passive Bonuses and Mastery Bonuses. To be honest, the real concern is Primal Fury, having double combo points is a very important aspect for feral dps and to lose this talent would dramatically change the flow and gameplay of kitty dps. I mean, who really wants to sit around pooling energy anyways?

Blizzard’s Ideology on Cataclysm Talent Trees

For the benefit of everyone that may not be keeping up here is the concept/ideology of what Blizzard is trying to achieve with talents in Cataclysm. There’s a lot of information but I’ll just skim over the points that I think are the highlights (link), and also give a few thoughts as well (in blue)

  • One of the basic tenets of Blizzard game design is that of “concentrated coolness.” We’d rather have a simpler design with a lot of depth, than a complicated but shallow design. The goal for Cataclysm remains to remove a lot of the passive (or lame) talents, but we don’t think that’s possible with the current tree size. (Seems to be moving in the right direction)
  • The idea isn’t to give players fewer choices, but to make those choices feel more meaningful. Your rotations won’t change and you won’t lose any cool talents. What will change are all of the filler talents you had to pick up to get to the next fun talent, as well as most talents that required 5 of your hard-earned points.  (Didn’t lose cool talents and gained a few cool talents, but at this moment, we are forced to spend 7 points on utility talents that don’t improve dps)
  • When talent trees are unlocked at level 10, you will be asked to choose your specialization (e.g. whether you want to be an Arms, Fury or Protection warrior) before spending that first point. Making this choice comes with certain benefits, including whatever passive bonuses you need to be effective in that role, and a signature ability that used to be buried deeper in the talent trees. These abilities and bonuses are only available by specializing in a specific tree. Each tree awards its own unique active ability and passives when chosen. (Not enough information to discuss)
  • A lot of the boring or extremely specialized talents have been removed, but we don’t want to remove anything that’s going to affect spell/ability rotations. We want to keep overall damage, healing, and survivability roughly the same while providing a lot of the passive bonuses for free based on your specialization choice. (See point above about Primal Fury, without it the mechanics flow of kitty dps will change)
  • The original passive Mastery bonuses players were to receive according to how they spent points in each tree are being replaced by the automatic passive bonuses earned when a tree specialization is chosen. These passives are flat percentages and we no longer intend for them to scale with the number of talent points spent. (Not enough information to discuss)
  • The Mastery bonus that was unique to each tree will now be derived from the Mastery stat, found on high-level items, and Mastery will be a passive skill learned from class trainers around level 75. In most cases, the Mastery stats will be the same as the tree-unique bonuses we announced earlier this year. These stats can be improved by stacking Mastery Rating found on high-level items. (Not enough information to discuss)

PVP, the Final Frontier

For those who have been reading and following me for a short or extended period of time, they will have probably noticed that I essentially ignore the PVP aspects of WOW. I’ve always been a fan of PVE and achievements as described in my about me section, you could say I’m a PVE Hero, PVP Zero (har har). The problem for me is, being as that I am an achievement whore, I have essentially exhausted majority of places to obtain more points which has left me with nothing left but to do PVP achievements, specifically Arena.

It doesn’t help that my battlegroup (Retaliation) is god awful and Alliance seem to lose majority of bg’s. It’s really not a fun or happy place to be as it tends to generate more stress then it relieves. While I did do the PVP grind way back in the day, that was a very long time ago, and the game was very different back then. Since then, PVP has evolved and Arena has emerged within the game and quite frankly I have no experience, desire or interest to participate in them. However, I digress as I have no choice but to try and figure out how to Arena if I want to continue pursuing my whoring of achievement points. It feels completely foreign and I have no flippin clue what I’m doing half the time which is quite strange considering I’ve played this game for almost 6 years.

So last week, we started a 5’s team (no daddy not there, no it wasn’t my idea for a name) and so far so good. Perhaps its just that the popularity of Arena has died out but it really seemed to me like the quantity of teams were few and far (probably a 5’s thing). Really good or really bad, there didn’t really seem to be a happy medium. I assume it is probably better in 3’s which is where most people play these days. First week has netted Hot Streak, Mercilessly Dedicated and Last Man Standing.

If anyone has any suggestions on information resources feel free to drop me a shout in a comment. Any advice would be welcome.

Time to teach a kitty new tricks!

ps. Playing as a Resto Druid! Feral PVP will have to wait another day…

Icebound Drakes, Lasers, Beta & More!

Progression, Achievements, Beta information galore.

Sounds like an exciting time but really it doesn’t feel like it. All we’re doing is killing content that we’ve already killed that is slightly harder with better gear.

So whats been going on? Well first off, we (Daybreak) finally killed Heroic Sindragosa in 25 man last week so this week we punched out all the remaining meta achievements and we got some pretty drakes. Unfortunately they are very similar to the ICC10 drakes (and to Glad Frostwyrms too if you had one of those) so really there’s not much excitement here. Personally I’m not a big fan of these drakes being available for such a long extended period of time. While I understand that Blizzard has to give time for guilds to work and earn these drakes there should be a set duration. For example if the next level of content is out, the prior drakes should be removed. A good example is Ulduar proto drakes, whats the point of having them still available now?

Either way, just another thing off the “to do” list before Cataclysm hits. Grats Daybreak!

10 and 25 drakes look too similar :/

We started working on Heroic Halion this week (guess my break wasn’t so long after all). I didn’t kill Halion on normal mode last week so this was my first exposure to the encounter. Personally I don’t like the encounter at all. It has some new and rehashed concepts which is fine but the thing that pisses me off the most is this feels completely out of place. After killing Heroic LK on 10 man doing this on 10 man just feels stupid. It does not compare in anyway to HLK10 in difficulty or challenge and all it really feels like (and is) is filler content to get us closer to Cataclysm. Heroic Halion was killed by a lot of 25 man guilds in the first week and if you compare that to the challenges of HLK25 it seems unjust to give away 284 gear just like that.

We put in 3 hrs on this so far and we’ve gotten to a best of around 45% (Phase 3) but haven’t quite worked out the strategy yet. As I mentioned above this really isn’t that fun nor is it that “epic” so there’s not too much drive to push more than 1 day a week so we’ll probably wait until next week to try again.


The NDA was lifted by Blizzard and we’ve essentially been flooded by information about Cataclysm. Its to the point where its hard to keep up if you skip a day or two of reading. Will I be posting about all the feral goodness that is coming? Probably but its going to take some time to catch up on my reading. Stay tuned for some of that soon (hopefully).

Lastly, I’ve been contemplating making a character change, no not dropping my druid I mean a gender change. I’ve been male since wow was released and I’m really started to get bored of it. Should I change to female NE? Thoughts? 🙂

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

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