• Bares mostly like the taste of fase!

Feral Changes

Some of you don’t know, and some of you do know, that Arielle and I are apart of something called the Team Waffle Podcast.  In short, it’s an all-druid Podcast made specifically for Druids.  We also record with Lissanna of Restokin, and Clay, some random crazy Physicist that PvPs (and who also has an Author account here, but he hasn’t posted a damn thing!).

Well, we recently teamed up with a follower on Twitter, HackxTV and started devising a craaaaazy plan to do our shows Live.  It was something that was initially discussed when the Podcast started, but not something we were quite able to do.  Until now.  HackxTV graciously offered to stream and host live shows for us and we thought it something we couldn’t pass up.

 

So!  TIB and Team Waffle Followers, I am quite happy to invite you to join us on our first ever Live show, which is sure to be filled with crazy shenanigans, listener participation, and the happy fun times that are technical difficulties.

When do we record?  Every other Friday, if all goes well, at 8pm PST / 11pm EST.  And obviously, we record tonight (Nov. 18th).

You can view the stream here:  twitch.tv

Here:  Team Waffle

Or right here!  Please note that in order to chat with us, you need to make an account for twitch.tv.

 

Happy Druiding!

4.3 Cat Survival Guide

November 15, 2011

Update: Removed Kiroptyric Sigil (E410), recognizes that Glyph of Bloodletting is useless, corrected Starcatcher Compass iLevels, added Vial of Shadows

A new expansion is almost upon us, so we can have a look at the changes that affect us (not much) and what we need to do to adapt to the changes (not much).

  1. The 10% Attack Power raid buff will be increased to 20%. This is supposed to close the gap between melee and ranged DPS that is very apparent for several bosses with movement. A nice little boost. Not going to change much for what we do except Agility increases its lead over the secondary stats.
  2. 2x Tier 13 bonus allows Blood in the Water to be used at under 60% instead of 25%, which is a substantial DPS boost. This will cause a slight shift in stat value from mastery rating in favour of critical strike rating and haste rating.
  3. 4x Tier 13 bonus allows Stampede to be activated whenever Tiger’s Fury is used. Note that with this bonus, there is now a slight change in our priority – You must now spend your Stampede buff (if it is up) BEFORE activating Tiger’s Fury.
  4. Both Tier bonuses combined will increase the value of Glyph of Tiger’s Fury to become better than Glyph of Bloodletting, but ONLY if you are not using Ancient Petrified Seed or the newer Kiroptyric Sigil trinket. This is because a huge part of the trinkets value come from being able to synchronize the trinket’s cooldown with Tiger’s Fury’s cooldown.
  5. Glyph of Shred has become Glyph of Bloodletting, and now works for both Mangle and Shred. The intention of this change is to reduce the penalty whenever we are forced to Mangle instead of Shred. Unfortunately, even with this change, Glyph of Bloodletting is still inferior to Glyph of Berserk, Glyph of Mangle and Glyph of Rip for mangle-spam encounters (Hi Ultraxion!), so this change really does nothing for us. This has been tested with 4T12, 2T12+2T13 and 4T13.

Rough trinket rankings, based on known data. May change before patch is released (especially since we think Vial of Shadows is overpowered and will be nerfed)

  1. Vial of Shadows (E410), Wrath of Unchaining (E416)
  2. Vial of Shadows (E397)
  3. Wrath of Unchaining (E403)
  4. Vial of Shadows (E384)
  5. Wrath of Unchaining (E390), Starcatcher Compass (E410)
  6. Starcatcher Compass (E397)
  7. Kiroptyric Sigil, Matrix Restabilizer (E397)
  8. Matrix Restabilizer (E384), Starcatcher Compass (E384), Ancient Petrified Seed, The Hungerer (E391)

Special thanks to Yawning and Mihir for the help with the information above.

Blizzcon! – Part 2

October 22, 2011

This morning made me remember why I don’t drink that much anymore.  I feel like “bleh” in the morning.

So after staying up until 2:30am putting together yesterday’s blogpost, I rolled out of bed at around 9.  Went and met Lissanna for breakfast and started our day quite late actually, we didn’t make it to the con until 11 or so.

We wandered around for a bit, and met up with Hamlet.  We had a great chat with him about Druids, raid design, game design, mechanics, and various things.  It was a great time.  He even sat with us during the Diablo Q&A panel before leaving to go do his own thing before the WoW Class/Talent/Profession Q&A panel began.

Lissanna and I got into line pretty easily.  We ended up behind another reader of TiB (<3 fans!).  I made sure his question wouldn’t overlap with mine.  Unfortunately the answer given by the devs was pretty terribly worded.  I wanted to follow-up on it and provide a chance for them to dig themselves out of their hole but I was scared I wouldn’t be able to ask my question.

So Lissanna went up and asked her question and I could tell she was very excited when they announced healing mushrooms for MoP.

I walk up and I’m super nervous.  I unfortunately forgot to mention Reesi (:() but I did remember to say who I was, and I asked my question.  It was heavily paraphrased on MMO, but WoWHead got a more complete version of it.  I did tell them that the existing restriction on the 4pc bonus won’t prevent Cats from using it, but we’ll see what they do with that information.

Afterwards I watched the rest of the panel and /facepalmed at a lot of the questions.  Sigh.

Got lunch, bought stuff (yay Griffin Hatchling plushie!), and headed back to the hotel.  Right now I’m trolling the Druid forums and putting this blogpost together.

I’ll have a talent breakdown post up either later tonight or more likely, sometime tomorrow.

Blizzcon! – Part 1

October 22, 2011

Alright, so I promised blogposts and I’m already behind.  I blame my hotel’s confusing way of doing internet and my lack of sleep.  Anyways, here we go.

Day 0:

I made the mistake of getting practically 0 sleep before leaving for Anaheim.  It seemed like a good idea at the time and allowed me to get Episode 18 of the Team Waffle Podcast out, but in retrospect it was an atrociously bad plan.  I landed in Anaheim in the early afternoon and made my way to the hotel.  I then made my way over to the lineup to pick up my badge where I found Lissanna, her husband, and another one of her friends.

Got my badge, had dinner, and headed over to the WoWInsider/WoWHead/Gamebreaker TV meet up.  Holy shit that shit was crazy.  Before I go any further I want to emphasize that there’s a HUGE difference between going as just a spectator, and going as a “community member”.  I had to crash before all of the good stuff started happening, but I did get to meet a few people before I passed out:

- Oestrus
- WTSHeals
- Perculia
- Murmurs
- Lore
- and SunnierBear!

It was actually pretty funny.  I was tweeting with Sunnier during most of the meet up, and I had used my deductive reasoning to figure out where she was but was only 99.9999% sure it was her.  Lissanna and I were too nervous to go say hi, and she was too shy to come say hi to us.  I ended up back at the party later, and managed to find her and have a nice chat about Bears.  While we were talking Kutombre – Sen’Jin came over and said hi.  Big shout-outs to him for being a fan of us here at The Inc Bear and Team Waffle.  I didn’t think that there would be any “fans” per se there, but that was super cool to meet him.

And then I went back to my hotel room and passed out.

Day 1:

Lissanna somehow convinced me that getting to the convention centre at 7am was a good idea.  So I only had about 6.5 hours of sleep.  2+6.5 = 8.5 split between over 50 hours makes you really tired.  However the adrenaline kicked in once we got to the lineup and inside the convention centre.

The opening ceremonies were awwweeesommeeeeee.  Followed by the MoP preview and talent discussion.  After that I was too tired and needed a nap, but here are the discussion points I wrote down during the panels:

- D3 Style Talent System: It seems they have been applying their experiences between the different franchises.  We already knew they didn’t like “cookie cutter” builds and were trying to steer more towards having actual choices.  This seems to be going in that direction.

- Druids can’t be Pandas: At least last I heard.  There’s some sort of rumour flying around that they’ve reversed this decision, but I haven’t seen anything official about it.  At first I was happy, but now that I’ve had time to think about it it doesn’t really matter to me either way.  The only thing that would matter are the racials, and the current Pandaren racial hands-down beats any other Druid race for tanking.  At least in current state.

- More Tank Balance Problems: Or potentially less.  They’re having enough trouble now balancing the different tanks in different areas (survivability, utility, single vs AoE tanking), and/or just flat out making broken stuff (DKs, Savage Defense at launch, Enrage) that I’m worried this will just make it worse.  However now they have a lot mor knobs to turn in order to balance them.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

- Share Gear with Monks: This is fine.  With the removal of the hunters being able to claim Agility 2h weapons, and the fact that Druids now share them with another Tank/DPS class, we might actually see a Feral legendary….

- Talent System Revamp: I’ll be honest.  There isn’t much choice in some of the tiers from a Guardian perspective.  Lissanna and I were talking about this and we agree that some of the choices feel very underwhelming not only for Bears, but also for Moonkin and Resto.  That being said I definitely like the idea of “apples-to-apples” comparisons in the future system.

- Cat/Bear Split:  This is a good thing from a balance perspective.  This entire expansion Bears have been subject to having things removed from our toolkit because of Cats.  This will allow Blizzard to potentially give us back the things they removed, while still keeping them away from kitties (if necesarry).  Yes this does kill the idea of the “hybrid” spec, but it’s necesarry if we want to move forward with balancing Cat and Bear effectively in their specific roles (lol unnecesarry 10% AP buff for Bears in 4.3).

- DEMO ROAR IS GONE: That is all.

After the talent panel I had to take a nap because I was exhausted.  Afterwards I relaxed in my hotel’s lobby to watch the costume contest, and then headed over to the Twisted Nether meetup.  It was much smaller than the Thursday night party, and I got to hang out with Kutombre again.  We had some pretty interesting discussions about tank balance and the upcoming talent changes.  I had a great time.

Also met BossyPally, and won something at the raffle!

And now it’s 2am and I desperately need to sleep.

PS: If you’re a Moonkin or Resto Druid and somehow ended up here (or you know a Moonkin or Resto Druid), go here for Lissanna’s post about the new talent system.

First of all, it’s a Saturday Night.  Not only were we told the PTR would go up soon, but we’ve now just gotten the news on the T13 bonuses for everybody.  It’s a Saturday night.  I was expecting a nice quiet night of leveling more druids (because we all know I’m a little crazy), but no.

What the hell?

Whatever.  Ok.

As if you haven’t seen this listed around enough, I’m going to list the bonuses here too!  Just in case you don’t have eyes… and now somehow you do.

  • Feral 2pc – While Berserk is active, Savage Defense absorbs are 100% larger, and your Blood in the Water talent now causes Ferocious Bite to refresh the duration of your Rip on targets with 60% or less health.
  • Feral 4pc – Frenzied Regeneration also affects all raid and party members, and your Stampede talent now grants two charges after using Feral Charge (Cat)

Time to break it down:

2pc Bear – I can’t imagine that Berserk will stay as it is right now.  Not only is 25 second Berserk too powerful a duration in various settings, its cooldown is too long for 2pc to have any consistent value.  Choosing when to use Berserk with that long of a CD would make it very tedious, and heaven forbid we mess it up because it ain’t comin back until half the fight has gone by (or it’s nearly over).  It also wouldn’t make sense for it to consider the Lacerate Berserk procs to be the buff they mean (they are the same name) since we tend to use Mangle within the next GCD.

Double the Savage Defense size.  Assuming they overhaul berserk, this could be quite interesting.  At face value, as I have not gone too far into theorycrafting this, this could raise Agility’s importance.  It could also change how we value Mastery.  Knowing what they choose to do with Berserk, if anything, will give a better picture and starting block for crunching numbers.

4pc Bear – Frenzied Regen, while it is often used as an Oh Shit cooldown, is one of those things that we don’t usually have to worry about.  As such, it doesn’t seem all that hurtful for us to withhold using it and saving it as a raid CD.  Depending on how it interacts with the Glyph, it would seem to be an incredibly potent raid CD, seeing as Cataclysm is the World of AoEcraft.  Does the glyph affect it?  Will Frenzied Regen actually grant the extra HP this time around?  Or is it just a Rallying Cry without the healing bonus?

Oh, and if you haven’t already figured this out, Feral DPS have access to this.  Consider that for a moment.

PTR Please

2pc Cat – Uh.  Hi.  My name is execute range for over half the fight, how are you?  And yes, you’re reading it incorrectly.  You do not need Berserk up for Blood in the Water to go into effect.  Execute range is being raised to 60%.  Good Game, Ferals.

4pc Cat – Erm.  Okay?  This feels like the 2pc Bonus, and the 2pc should be the 4pc.  I don’t really understand the reasoning behind this bonus, unless they intend to riddle Dragon Soul fights with lots target swapping and lots of required mobility.  Or get rid of the Min. range for Cat Charge (seriously, I miss that).  Shrug.

Also, Frenzied Regen raid CD.  Probably need to stay in Bear, so it’ll be a DPS loss, but good job giving 1 DPS TWO raid cooldowns.  (2/2 NI Tranq + Frenzied = Lol I win?)  I almost wonder if they considered the implications of this set bonus.

 

Now, on to the rest of the post.  Paladin, Warrior and Druid 2pc bonuses are all minor forms of active mitigation.  Revenge is up all the time, thanks to CTC, Judgement is on a short Cooldown, Berserk will likely be remade (I hope)… all of these imply the changes to come in forcing tanks to choose when to use their abilities for extra mitigation.  Now, to obviously get the most smoothed out damage reduction, they will be used on CD at all times.  But we all know there will be periods of high damage, perhaps forcing the tanks to think twice about using the necessary abilities.  If this is the direction they hope to move in, to prep us, it doesn’t seem so bad.

Consider this, however; Blizzard is unintentionally pigeonholing all progression guilds to gear out their Tanks and Feral DPS first to have those potent raid CDs as soon as possible.

And for heaven’s sake, the PTR needs to go up.  Now.