Feb 082013
 

I’m done with you, LFR.

  • 8 Tsulong kills (excuse me, “redemptions”)
  • 7 Spirit Kings kills
  • 15 tokens used
  • 225+ dailies completed to accumulate said tokens
  • 1 legendary gem sitting in my bag for the past month
  • 1 feral still rocking a blue ilvl 463 staff from scenarios

Random loot is random, understandably, and I’m okay with that. That said, just a little more visibility on the numbers (hey, you need to roll a 90 or better to get loot and you rolled 27…better luck next time) would be great. Either that, or a system where items you already had were excluded from consideration, especially for bosses where they drop 3+ things for your spec.

Ugh. Now that my guild’s disappeared, I might look for a big guild that has the occasional normal-mode PUG I could jump into from time to time. Still don’t have the ability to raid on a set schedule, sadly.

Soloing

Even with these constraints, I’m still having fun with soloing. I’ve cleared all of Naxx-10 and most of Naxx-25 (can’t do Gluth, Thaddius, or Patchwerk on  25m), and am mostly finished with hard-mode Ulduar-10. Firefighter was quite entertaining. Also knocked out Obsidian Sanctum-2 drake and Ruby Sanctum on 10. Going to tackle one-light Yogg next, then move on to ToC and maybe ICC.

For Brawler’s Guild, I’ve made it all the way to Rank 7 and Dark Summoner (which is doable, but I stopped there because Battletron is likely not).

If you’re looking for more info, The latest Team Waffle podcast had Ahanss discuss some soloing things, and he’s got a great thread over at MMO-Champion discussing soloing (even if his idea of easy is pretty hard, in my view). I’ll probably be writing up my own soloing guides at some point.

Set Bonuses

I haven’t commented on the set bonuses yet, so here they are currently:

  • Druid T15 Feral 2P Bonus (New)  Gives your finishing moves a 15% chance per cp to add a cp to your target.
  • Druid T15 Feral 4P Bonus (New) After using Tiger’s Fury, you gain 40% increased critical strike chance on the next 3 uses of Mangle, Shred, Ferocious Bite, Swipe, or Ravage.

The 2-piece is just…boring? That said, it’s significantly stronger than the T14 4p set bonus (+4 sec to Rip) so you’ll want to upgrade. The 4-piece looks pretty good; a little bit of that old Stampede feel.

Other Stuff

Jan 252013
 

Man, has it really been three weeks since I updated last? What happened to my previous years where it seemed like I had boundless time for everything? (This comic applies; I am definitely in the red zone.) I don’t really have anything game-related to comment about this week, since I haven’t really been keeping up. I did fix the mysterious error that periodically was causing the page not to load, so that’s something. (Bad WordPress plugin! Bad!)

Instead, I’d like to get slightly philosophical for a moment and explore motivations. Most MMO players have heard of Richard Bartle’s “four player types” theory (if not, here’s the original article, and here’s a 30-question quiz). I’d always known I wasn’t much of a killer/socializer type, but I’d always felt I was more of an achiever. Recently, I retook the quiz, and found that “explorer” had rocketed to the top, which stunned me. I’ve never really cared about getting all the World Explorer achievements, for example. I read a little more, and realized that the term explorer covers more than just geography; it covers game systems and mechanics as well.

Now, things started to make sense. Unlike many others, my enjoyment of my game time hasn’t really been tied to multiplayer at all. I’ve done some raiding, but never really formed any lasting relationships. Instead, my enjoyment’s come from two things: understanding the game’s mechanics, and then trying to communicate that understanding to others. These days, though, the mechanics are simpler, there’s more really smart people out there explaining them (hi, Icy Veins!) and with my guild having server-transferred, I have less people I can convince to listen to my ramblings. :) Oddly enough, this leads to a paradox; I like to explain my understanding, but I don’t like to listen to other people explain their understanding, because I like figuring stuff out on my own. (At least, until I get frustrated.)

Still keeping on, though; one of the good things about patch cycles is that there’s always more stuff to figure out. Onward! (Also, if the blog turns into nothing but dungeon soloing and pet battle tips…now you know why. :))

 

Jan 042013
 

The holidays are over and I’m back at it. Did you get anything you liked under the tree/in the stocking/other typical place?

Thrash-a-doodle-doo

Stenhaldi brought up the possibility of inserting bear abilities into the feral DPS rotation; specifically, bear Thrash (which is completely separate from cat Thrash) and Maul. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (Most of SimCs’ bugs have been squashed for DPS specs, less so for others) two simulations have shown bearThrash  to be a 10-15% DPS gain for mass AoE situations. (“Mass” is still under discussion, but it’s definitely 8+ targets, and likely 6+. Below that, tab-raking is better.)

Implementing it is pretty common-sense. You don’t want to screw up cat Thrash or your energy regen, so you simply go Bear->Thrash/Maul->Cat when the following conditions are true:

1. Will not max energy before returning to Cat Form (so sub-50 energy)
2. Bear Thrash is down or almost down
3. Cat Thrash won’t drop for the next few seconds.

It’s still a loss (or a wash anyway) for single-target, though, so don’t try it there. If you’re looking for more info on AoE rotations, check out this thread.

PTR Funsies

Expect plenty of changes to come down the pike still (I did an initial rundown a few weeks ago) but two new things to note. First, they’ve fixed the various Ursol’s Vortex bugs; no more unlimited Predatory Swiftness procs or Rip extensions in 5.2. :( Second, developers appear to be testing a change to the 2pc PvP set bonus. Instead of the 15% outdoor speed buff we’ve had since vanilla, it’s now +8sec to SR. I doubt this will happen (druid rage would be significant) but if it did go live in thie form, PvP gear would be very very competitive for PvE.

Other Stuff

  • AskMrRobot has a beta client up that recommends VP upgrades, gear recommendations based on your inventory, and optimization upgrades. Great site, and Zooper fields questions on our forum from time to time; go check it out if you haven’t already.
  • Elamari has a good roundup of various movement speed increases (and what stacks with what now) on his blog File under Feral.
Dec 212012
 

So, I was preparing some sparse notes, when…

Patch 5.2’s on the PTR! Changes! Discussion! Yay!

(Below is my quick parse and analysis of the changes, with the standard disclaimer that dataminers gonna datamine; don’t make it real.)

Talents

  • Displacer Beast no longer activates Prowl; instead increases the Druid’s movement speed for 4 seconds. (Well, THAT’s a little more useful. It’s now basically a monk roll, and the movement speed makes it useful as a PvP getaway tool for the caster druids.)
  • Cenarion Ward’s healing increased by 100%. (That just got tossed back into the discussion as a viable talent. Could be interesting if combined with DoC.)
  • Soul of the Forest‘s effect increased for Balance (post-Eclipse energy increased to 40 from 20), Guardian (3 rage from Mangle, instead of 2) and Restoration (haste buff after Swiftmend increased to 75%). (Now, I’m not as up on theorycraft for the non-feral specs, but the balance one seems pretty strong at first glance, especially because Incarnation is losing a bit of value due to the NV change. The rage buff for Guardians is still pretty crap, since most rage comes from autoattacks/crits. Resto…meh, depending on how much it boosts WG throughput.)
  • Mass Entanglement cooldown reduced from 2 minutes to 30 seconds. (RBG options just got a bit more interesting.)
  • Typhoon cooldown increased from 20 seconds to 30 seconds. (See above.)
  • Nature’s Vigil now increases damage/healing by 10% (was 20%) but has a 90s CD (was 180s). 25% off-healing/off-damage buff is unchanged.(This is interesting. DPS/PvP druids will dislike this because the value of the Incarnation+NV combo is diminished. From a off-healing (or off-damage) POV, though, you now get 33% uptime on the 25% buff, instead of 16.66%. That has a few potential applications.)

Bears (Ask @riftmaker, not me)

  • Thrash removed from Balance/Restoration Druids in Bear Form. (Shrug.)
  • Initial mastery bonus (+armor) increased from 10% to 12%. (No clue if they’re increasing scaling as well. If not, it’s just a small armor buff. If they are, mastery probably jumps to the front of the pack for hard-mode bears.)
  • The heal from Frenzied Regeneration increased by 20%. (I’ll let Arielle handle this one, since I know nothing about how well bears are scaling right now.)

Last but not least: MOTW and Revive got their mana costs slashed. Hurray for rebuffing in combat (and being able to rez two people back-to-back for non-resto!) Anything I missed?

(Oh, and one of these days I’m going to go update the Feral guide on the site/WoW forums. May proceed faster if cookies are submitted, just an FYI.)

UPDATE: Official (draft) notes posted. Things the datamine missed/got wrong:

  • Cyclone now has a 30 second cooldown and shares DR with a lot of stuff. (Have to think about this one; more later.)
  • Symbiosis Shattering Blow now has a cast time.
  • Mastery does now scale better, which does make mastery the god stat for bears.
  • Rejuv gets a 9% mana cost reduction, which should help Resto out.
  • Faerie Swarm now can be placed on multiple targets.
  • Force of Nature treants buffed (to an unknown degree, will have to look at this more closely).