Archive for the 'Cataclysm' Category

Topics of the Week #7

Damn, things are slow around the blogosphere and wow in general. Its hard to keep people motivated but doing fun things definitely help. In case you’re wondering, we’re up to 4 Mimi Heads total with more to come! Some interesting things to talk about this week, lets get started…

PVP Update

Good News Everyone! As Professor Putricide would say, we broke 2200 in 5v5 this week. Had a good week of 5’s going 12-0 and I now have the rating to get the 2.2k weapon. All that’s left is to wait to get enough points to do purchase. Only on more tier of reward is available in the 2300 Wrathful Gladiator’s Tabard. Nice thing to have, but it definitely won’t replace Tabard of the Lightbringer 😉 2’s on the other hand was good but not as successful. We broke 2000 last week and this week we went 21-9 which on paper looks pretty good but overall we only went up 23 points. But as I’ve been told that is the nature of 2’s. Your comp may be extremely efficient against some but extremely handicapped against others. Its just not as balanced as it used to be which I guess is probably the reason why 2’s has been removed from arena title consideration. Looking forward to stopping 2’s once/if I get to 2200.

Furor, Master Shapeshifter and Savage Roar Changes (Source)

The latest feral kitty changes, note there are a bunch of bear changes too but this ain’t no bear blog! For a full list of bear changes as well, check the source link.

  • Savage Roar now increases auto attack damage done by 50% instead of physical damage done by 30%.
  • Master Shapeshifter bonus increased from 2% to 4% for all forms.
  • Furor now gives you a 33/66/100% (up from 20/40/60%) chance to gain 10 rage when you shapeshift into Bear form and you keep up to 33/66/100 (up from 20/40/60) of your Energy when you shapeshift into Cat Form. Now increases your total Intellect by 2/4/6%. (Old – Only increased in Moonkin form)

While Master Shapeshifter is not a big change (just a stat bump), Savage Roar and Furor are both pretty interesting. Furor first of all, is a change that has been forthcoming for a while. Having only 80% (3/5 points in talent) of your energy persist through a shift is kinda dumb (based on the current talent specs) and really it should have been 100% to begin with. Good on Blizz for recognizing the stupidity of the current situation and making the adjustment.

The real interesting change is Savage Roar. Once again we see a further push towards increased auto attack (white) damage. Couple this along with Fury Swipes, we’ve got some serious white damage boosts. The thing to note here is, Savage Roar now no longer produces any benefits to our yellow damage abilities such as Rip, Rake, Mangle, Ferocious Bite & more. So this is actually a change in the mechanics of feral druid dps. No longer is there that requirement to time your dots to be reapplied before a SR falls off. Seems to me as somewhat of a dumbing down of the feral tree.  Another interesting thought to think about is how will this change the priority of abilities in a dps rotation. With SR no longer affecting yellows, should its priority be well after applying dots and ensuring dots are kept up? This looks like to me as further support that haste will become the primary stat for feral druids in Cataclysm.

Good Bye Idols (Source)

Quote from: Ghostcrawler

You are looking at existing, Wrath of the Lich King, items. Those are currently only used by those classes, so there isn’t a great motivation or need to change them.

Cataclysm-level relics can be used by any paladin, shaman, druid or DK, though there may still be some class-specific ones from time to time.

Cool, if anyone remembers trying to farm Idol of the Emerald Queen from Shadow Labs they know how bad the system was back in TBC. Blizz did make some headway into the problem by changing the idols into badge items so that you wouldn’t be stuck farming a dungeon or raid boss nonstop to get a mandatory item. With greater flexibility amongst all the classes to use Idols this should make for some interesting combination of stats and hopefully better idols in general.

There are some images of new relics with raw stats, secondary stats & gem slots which are kind of neat but they just look off. The thing to take away from the image is that Cata relics will have stats and gem slots just like guns/bows and wands.

310% Mount Speed for Everyone (Source)

I’m pretty sure Blizz already stated this was going to happen but in case you didn’t’ know or haven’t heard here it is. 310% Mount Flying Speed will be available for purchase in Cataclysm for the low low price of 5000 gold. If you already have 310% mount speed then you will not have to pay for it once Cata hits, and no there is no faster mount speed past 310% (as far as I know). There are a few ways to obtain 310 right now, you can either do it via PVP (get Gladiator) or via PVE (via raiding drakes, world event drakes or rare drops like Mimiron’s Head). The easiest/fastest way to obtain it is to probably go after the Ulduar 10 proto drake (Glory of the Ulduar Raider)


Topics of the Week #6

It’s been a busy few weeks with long weekend and lots of people on vacation. Hope everyone had some time to enjoy the time off and the good weather. Beta posting continues to be frequent while most of it is just bug updates and talent updates which I’m going to avoid talking about. No point in ranting when they’re likely to make the changes (like last time). If something big comes out we’ll discuss but until then lets just point out some of the more interesting class changes.

Class Masteries Announced (Source)

  • FeralIncreases the damage absorbed by your Savage Defense ability by 32% and increases the damage done by your Cat Form bleed abilities by 20%. Absorb and damage increased further by mastery rating.

First thought immediately is, wonder what this will max out at, 20% is already pretty neat but if it scales with mastery rating, it could get very nifty.

Raid Buffs for Cataclysm (Source)

More homogenization is on the way, this is what Feral Druids bring to the raid come Cata. Or in other words, who you’l be fighting for for spots (especially in 10 mans which will start becoming much more popular with much fewer raid slots)

  1. 5% Crit (Shared with Fury Warrior, Feral Druid, Subtlety Rogue, Elemental Shaman)
  2. 5% Stats (Shared with Paladin, Druid)
  3. 12% Armor Debuff (Shared with  Warrior, Rogue, Druid, Hunter)
  4. 30% Bleed Damage Debuff (Shared with Arms Warrior, Feral Druid, Subtlety Rogue)
  5. 10% Melee Attack Speed Debuff (Shared With Warrior, Death Knight, Feral Druid, Protection Paladin)

Armor Specializations (Source)

Not sure if this stacks but it sounds like it would, so that’s an additional 10% agility from wearing only leather which we (feral druids) already do and would have no reason not to. Hurray for no more rets and warriors trying to be rogues and blaming poor itemization!

I’m on a Shark (Source)

I know its just a gag but that is fantastic

Sign me up for one of these bad boys

Mimi Head Farming – Update

Week #4 of Mimi Head Farming happened last night which I obtained my mount. That makes 3 so far,  22 more to go before Cata hits!

Here are some sexy screenshots up close of the mount and the great details given to it. Cudos to Blizz on the attention and care put into the best mount in the game.

P3Wx2 Lasers go Pew Pew Pew!

Top view of the interior console

Could have at least added some cushion on the seat amirite?

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.

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)

Druid Cataclysm Preview Up

Its been pretty stagnant lately around the blogosphere as there isn’t too much to talk about and also due to the massive amount of burnout of a lot of ppl. While the expansion is quite a ways away still, I can definitely feel the general vibe of the game’s population has already hit the pre expansion blues. Sad but true, I’m still enjoying the game a lot and I guess that’s what counts.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m not really interested in talking about Alpha material (which has been out there) mostly because I’m not a fan of talking about things that most likely will change in the near future. That being said, the wait is over as Blizzard has shared talent previews with sites like MMO-Champion and World of Raids. There are some pretty freakin cool new talents/updated talents which will make for some pretty interesting changes to feral dps mechanics.

Blizzard has made a bunch of notes to identify what is still in the works and what is finished. Fortunately, the feral tree seems almost complete. There are no NYI/PH talents and only one TBR talent in Feral Instinct. So its a pretty good indication of how things will look in the future.  Below is the legend of footnotes of in progress talents:

  • NYI: Not Yet Implemented, talent has yet to be fully built
  • PH: Place Holder
  • TBR: To be Re-designed, or to be removed
  • NNF: Name Not Final, will be re-named

Its important to note that the change summary does not sync up 100% with the talent calculator that MMO generated so, for the purpose of analysis I’m basing my information on the talent tree post vs the talent calculator. Ok, lets get started on analyzing whats in store for kitty dps in cataclysm.

New Talents

[Tier 1] Blessing of the Grove (2 points) – Increases the healing done by your Rejuvenation by 2/4%, the direct damage of your Moonfire by 3/6% and the damage done by your Claw and Shred by 2/4%.

The one new update for ferals in the Restoration Tree. Great new talent to give 4% added dps to Shred. A nice passive increase and naturally a must have.

[Tier 3] Improved Feral Charge [NNF] (2 points) – Increases your melee haste by 15/30% after you use Feral Charge (Bear) for 8 seconds, and Ravage will temporarly not require stealth for 3/6 seconds after you use Feral Charge (Cat).

This is a pretty interesting talent, after reading it a few times and looking at what else was changed I’m going to say this is a PVP focused talent. In PVE it would be pretty situational depending on the boss and whether there is any mobility to utilize a charge. For example, Rotface would be a good example of a mobility fight that could utilitze a charge whereas a fight like Saurfang has no situations where you would charge. I’m also thinking that the 15% haste from a bear charge is more advantageous than a ravage in a cat charge so there might be some shifting of forms. Looks like some added complexity to push kitty dps to the next level.

[Tier 4] Fury Swipes (3 points) – When you auto-attack while in Cat Form or Bear Form, you have a 4/8/12% chance to gain an extra auto-attack on the same target. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds.

The breakdown of rogue dps vs feral dps is pretty different in that white damage is much higher for rogues than for druids. This talent looks like something to bridge the two classes closer together and yet again another passive dps boost (cool!). The even cooler part of this talent is not only does it increase white damage, but it also increase the # of auto attacks which will generate more OOC procs which will lead to more free shreds, which will lead to more combo points for other specials like Rip.

[Tier 6] Endless Carnage (2 points) – Increases the duration of your Rake by 3/6 seconds and your Savage Roar and Pulverize by 3/6 seconds.

One of the bigger issues with Rake these days is the quick duration that it has and how it falls off very quickly. This will increase the duration from 9s to 15s. To give some perspective on the increase in duration, 4pt10 provided a 3s boost so this is twice as long.

[Tier 9] Primal Madness [NNF] (2 points) – Tiger’s Fury and Berserk also increases your maximum energy by 6/12 during its duration, and your Enrage and Berserk abilities instantly generates 0/12 Rage.

112 energy pool during TF and Berserk? Do I really need to explain why this is good?

[Tier 10] Nom Nom Nom [NNF] (2 points) – When you Ferocious Bite a target at or below 25% health, you have a 50/100% chance to instantly refresh the duration of your Rip on the target.

FINALLY, druids have an execute ability! The neat thing about this is not only is it an execute but it basically changes your whole sub 25% “rotation” and how you approach feral dps. Being able to keep rip up at all times and dumping combo points through FB will pretty interesting. Also I vote for Nom Nom Nom as the finalized talent name.

Changes to Existing Talents

[Tier 1] Sharpened Claws (2 points) – Icreases the damage caused by your Claw, Rake, Mangle (Cat), Mangle (Bear), and Maul abilities by 10/20%.

Previously was an increase in crit by 6% and now an increase in overall damage by 20%

[Tier 2] Shredding Attacks (2 points) – Reduces the energy cost of your Shred ability by 5/10 and the rage cost of your Lacerate ability by 1/2.

Previously was a decrease in energy cost by 18 and now is a decrease by 10. While the overall cost of Shred seems to be going up, recall above that Fury Swipes somewhat compensates by added OOC procs for free Shreds (or at least I hope that’s the intent).

[Tier 2] Feral Instinct [TBR] (3 points) – Increases the damage done by your Swipe ability by 10/20/30% and reduces the chance enemies have to detect you while Prowling.

TBR means To be re-done, so just take note that this will change.

[Tier 5] Predatory Strikes (2 points) – Increases the critical strike chance of your Ravage by 50/25% at or above 90% health, and your finishing moves have a 10/20% chance per combo point to make your next Nature spell with a base casting time less than 10 seconds become an instant cast spell.

Previously increased AP to Kitties by 150% of your level and added 20% AP to your weapon. Seems like a pretty big loss in AP in exchange for a situational talent that is more than likely a PVP talent.To extend my thoughts on Imp Feral Charge (above), again this seems purely like a PVP talent. Clearly no benefit from a PVE perspective but I could be wrong.

*Thx to Darksend for the correction

[Tier 6] Survival of the Fittest (3 points) – Reduces the chance you’ll be critically hit by melee attacks by 2/4/6%, and increases the contribution from cloth and leather items in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 11/22/33%.

Previously increased all attributes by 6%, and now that aspect has been removed so SOTF has now turned into purely a Bear talent and is optional.

[Tier 10] Rend and Tear (5 points) – Increases damage done by your Maul and Shred attacks on bleeding targets by 4/8/12/16/20%, and increases the critical strike chance of your Ferocious Bite ability on bleeding targets by 5/10%.

Previously increased Freocious Bite by 25% and now has been reduced to 10%.

Rarren’s Thoughts

  1. New Talent Spec: While I have a pretty good idea of how the new tree will look, I’m not going to bother posting yet until the talents are completely finalized. No point in putting up specs that wont be relevant. It is probably safe to say that we’re looking at a 0/58/18 spec.
  2. Passive DPS Increase: Increased white damage, rake, mangle, shreds and longer rakes are all things that will improve your dps without having to change anything in your current play style. This looks to be part of the solution to assist more casual players to make kitty more forgiving.
  3. Removal of DPS Increases: Higher Shred energy cost, -6% stats, removal of 10% crit will decrease dps but I’ve go to hope/believe that the above increases from point #2 will compensate.
  4. JOHN FUCKING MADDEN: To counteract the greater forgiveness, Blizzard has added a bunch of new talents to increase the difficulty of feral mechanics to appease those of us who want it to stay challenging and exciting. Greater focus on OOC Shred procs, utilizing imp bear charges for 15% haste and maximizing our new Nom Nom Nom execute will be awesome and I’m very much looking forward to it. JFM JFM JFM!!!

Heroic Lich King 10 Update: 26% best attempt but ran out of attempts, Bane of the Fallen King inc next week.

Cataclysm Raiding – Two Thumbs Up

This post is definitely much later than most, but as per my last post I have good reason to be behind! Mommy and baby are both doing fantastic and its unreal how fast they grow even in the span of 3 weeks. Even though this is stale news I did want to share my thoughts on the new Cataclysm raiding structure and how I plan on approaching it when the time comes. The full summary & follow-up discussions are located here.

New System Highlights:

  • 10-Man and 25-Man raids will share the same lockout.
  • 10-Man and 25-Man raids difficulty will be as close as possible to each other.
  • 10-Man and 25-Man raids will drop the exact same loot, but 25-man will drop a higher quantity of items (items, badges & gold)
  • Normal versus Heroic mode will be chosen on a per-boss basis in Cataclysm raids, the same way it works in Icecrown Citadel
  • Achievements will be universal to 10 & 25 man, can be obtained from either

Cause and Effect

The question is what is Blizzard trying to achieve with these changes? Lets look at how raiding has evolved in the past 6 years.

  1. Vanilla WOW: 40 man raiding
  2. TBC Raiding: 25 man & 10 man raiding, achievements introduced
  3. WOTLK Raiding: 25 & 10 man raiding, hard modes introduced
  4. Cataclysm Raiding:  25 & 10 man raiding merged

Personally I think Blizzard has done a good job of understanding the age and age limitations of the game. As the game aged, they made the necessary adjustments to reduce the personnel commitments and introduced new ways (achievements & hard modes) to entice people into raiding. The elitist hard core gamers will say this game has been ruined since Vanilla due to the “casualness” of it, but realistically, how many people would still be raiding if we were on 40 man content? I definitely wouldn’t be. Spending 6 nights a week busting your face into content was fun when the game was new but not after 6 years. Top end guilds will always exist (as in any game) but the raiding population would be significantly smaller if it weren’t for the adjustments that Blizzard has made over the years. As Blizzard has stated, whats the point of developing fantastic new content if only 1% of the population will see it? They want as many people as possible to experience it. Finally, there naturally are potential negative side effects that should be considered as well,

  • 10 and 25 man raid sharing same ID will result in a smaller recruiting pool for 25 man raids
  • Same loot/achievements in 10 and 25 mans results in less reason to participate in 25 man raids
  • Similar challenge in 10 and 25 man raids, does this mean further simplification of 25 man content or increased challenge of 10 man content?

Rarren’s Predicted Cataclysm Experiences

Personally, I really would prefer to only participate in 10 man raids. Simply because there is a lot easier to rely on 9 ppl vs 24 ppl. The ability to play with the same people week after week greatly improves the cohesion and skill level of a group, which is significantly easier to accomplish with 9 people. Not only that but the bonds you form with 9 people are a lot tighter than with 24 people. I’ll be the first to admit that I do not chat with all 24 people in our 25 man raid and without those kind of bonds its hard to drive a raid to success.

If content is similar to WOTLK difficulty, we’ll probably be able to finish content within 1-2 days of raiding which is fine by me. In fact, if I really wanted to push our my raid schedule what I foresee happening is actually raiding with two characters in Cataclysm, both in 10 man situations. Healing/Tanking in every raid can become mundane and having an opportunity to flip to dps helps to keep things fresh. Our initial ideas were to have healers/tanks in our 10 man go dps and dps go healing/tank in our alt 10 man group.

While I may be ecstatic about the upcoming changes, there are many out there who probably hate this as well. It really depends on your WOW experience and how successful you have been in 10 vs 25 man content. What are your feelings on the upcoming changes?

Contrary to one negative anonymous poster, no I am not quitting wow or blogging. If I were I would done so by now. Have no fear, I am still here! (Hey, it rhymes!)

Topics of the Week #3

I decided to create a new category (Topics of the Week) as I find sometimes (more and more often) there will be random bits of information that don’t warrant a whole post but I do want to share so I think I will be creating more of these types of posts in the future. Here are the topics for Week #17 of 2010.

Blue Posts of Interest

Blizzard just had another Twitter Developer discussion and here are the points that were of interest to me. A full summary can be found here.

Q: Do you intend to have all 280% flying mounts scale to 310% when a 310% mount is earned, or will only purchased mounts do so?
A: Our current plan, is that in Cataclysm, you can learn a new rank of flying that lets all flying mounts move at 310% (even current 280% mounts). That will probably be as fast as mounts will ever get. We don’t like it that when you get a 310% mount that you stop using your old ones.

I expect a lot of complaints from this but I don’t see why every player shouldn’t be entitled to the same flying speed. Whether it be a PVE raider, PVP centric player or just a casual.

Q: With armor class bringing mastery bonuses, will players never want to “downrank” from, say, leather to cloth?
A: That’s the idea, really. They still can wear the older armor, but they’ll lose some stats from doing so.

Fantastic! Now hopefully rets/war’s will stop trying to take my leather gear!

Q: How will haste affect channeled spells. Will it be similar to DoTs and HoTs?
A: They will channel faster but their duration will remain unchanged. You will get more ticks on the same cast.

Something we already knew but more confirmation that haste will become an extremely important stat in Cataclysm

Q: Can you make crowd control in raids and 5-mans an important aspect of the PvE game again?
A: An emphatic yes.

*Two Thumbs Up* While I am not a huge fan of extremely complex trash packs (ex. C’thun Trash), I am a big proponent of having trash that gives a preview of the next bosses abilities so that you have some experience and practice by the time you reach the next boss. Its important that trash be something challenging so that people don’t afk/zone out and just mash aoe buttons until its dead. Blizzard has always stated there is a purpose to trash so I am glad to see they are bringing it back.

New Dungeons & Raids in Cataclysm

Some pretty exciting new posts describing what content is coming in Cataclysm. I’m particularly interested in Mount Hyjal which I am hoping wont be a rehash of the old version but will be a new and improved experience. From the description it sounds like it will, and seeing as this heavily involves Malfulrion Stormrage, can we say Feral Legendary? (Please?)

New Blizzard Store Items

Blizzard introduced two new items recently into the Blizzard Store for purchase which had a pretty big impact on in game life. First off it was the extremely annoying Lil’XT which for those who actually play with game sounds undoubtedly have turned it off by now. Hearing XT’s whiney game sounds within Ulduar is one thing but to hear it nonstop in front of South Bank is extremely painful. So annoying that Blizzard has decided to “temporarily” turn it off.

Quote from: Vaneras (Source)
A hotfix was recently applied, which temporarily disabled some of the sounds Lil’ XT makes.The issue was that some of his sounds were flagged in such a way that they play for everyone around him and not just the player that owns the pet, an annoying problem to be sure. We can’t alter volume or who the sounds play for through a hotfix so the temporary workaround is to disable them completely right now until the proper fix can be patched in later.

The second and probably the most controversial is the introduction of the Celestial Steed. This marks the first time that Blizzard has moved away from in game pets and introduced an actual mount for real currency. During the data mining of 3.3.3 when this mount was discovered it looked fantastic and there were tonnes of speculation as to where this mount came from. I won’t lie as I was definitely on board with getting one until I found out that it was obtained through the store and when I logged on to see every fucking person on Auchindoun with one. While it has a great look its quickly turned into the default mount for casuals replacing Reins of the Bronze Drake (From Culling of Stratholme) or the Jenkins Mount as I like to refer to it. We all play this game for different reasons and some may call it elitist but I don’t like using items/titles that everyone else uses. I invest time into earning titles/achievements/mounts and I for one will display it (flaunt it) every chance I get. For all those out there showing off your Celestial Steed, just remember 3 letters: TRH

Flying at South Bank

A few weeks ago I made a post describing the different places that you can fly on your flying mount within Dalaran. A commenter added some feedback which greatly simplifies the challenge of landing in South Bank. Thanks to Samskeyti for the tip! Updates can be found on the original post here.

Hello from South Bank!

Counteracting Pre Patch/Expansion Blues

Jace has recently posted about things to do to counteract the pre expansion blues. Most casuals and casual raiding guilds have probably already hit their road block and are starting to tail off and its something that always happens. While we (Daybreak) haven’t quite hit that point yet, things are noticeably starting to slow down. We have made some fantastic progress through ICC Heroics and we’re standing at 11/12 ICC10 Heroic and 9/12 ICC25 Heroic. I think my goals are to complete ICC10 heroic and to complete 11/12 ICC25 heroic. I’m realistic, I know my guild isn’t bleeding edge and if we do happen to manage to kill Arthas on 25 man heroic, that’s just gravy on top.

What else am I doing to keep busy?

  1. The Insane (Yes really)
  2. Trying to get 100% of all enchanting recipes (Sitting at 96.3%)
  3. Doing a lot of old content

Rarren the Insane?

As mentioned above, I decided recently to start my quest for The Insane title. Yes it’s insane, its crazy what the hell am I thinking? I am not pushing hard to complete it in the shortest amount of time but I figured it was time that I at least start and work on it casually. I decided to add a tab to track my progress and I will post and give some insight into how things are going. If you’re interested in tracking my progress you can find it here.

Shadowmourne Rewards – Once Per Legendary

World of Raids is reporting that the flavor items from killing LK with a Shadowmourne is a once per legendary drop (link). Say it ain’t so Blizz, say it ain’t so!

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
Flying Mount
Mimiron's Head
Amani War Bear
Master Builder's Shirt
Tabard of the Lightbringer

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