There’s a lack of love for the new Heart of the Wild talent, with Arielle also joining in saying how useless it is, compared to Displacer Beast. I look at it differently though, as I see the purpose behind the talent. Heart of the Wild is supposed to return to us the hybridness we used to have back in Vanilla but not making it overpoweredly so (like arguably the Cataclysm hybrid feral) by putting it on a (long) cooldown.

Personally I love this idea, and when Mists of Pandaria comes I will be looking for reasons to take it. Unfortunately at the moment the implementation is not done correct, and the talent isn’t really worth taking. Let’s look at the permutations, ignoring Balance <-> Feral switching since it makes little sense to switch from one DPS form to another.

Guardian -> DPS
We’ll get 150% Agility -> Intellect conversion for Wrath-spamming for 45 seconds. If our mana holds up, will that really do more DPS than going into cat form with 100% Agility using just Rake/Mangle/Ferocious Bite?

Restoration -> DPS
Again, would be interesting to theorycraft how Moonfire + Starfire/Wrath at zero mana cost would compare against Rake/Claw (Remember this skill?)/Ferocious Bite with 150% Intellect -> Agility conversion

Guardian / Feral -> Heal
This is actually plausible, with 150% Agility -> Intellect conversion. We’ll of course start off with Tranquility, then Rejuvenation/Healing Touch spam, but will our mana hold up?

Balance -> Heal
I’m not too familiar with the Eclipse mechanics and whether that would be sufficient to make up for not being in Restoration spec.

Feral / Balance / Restoration -> Tank
Will an additional 95% armor really be sufficient to tank with, given that Thick Hide gives Guardians 330% and we will be missing Survival Instinct, Survival of the Fittest and Savage Defense? Interestingly Restoration and Balance Druids are slightly slightly better off than Ferals because of the 150% Intellect -> Agility conversion.

At the moment I think -> Tank is not plausible. It is highly doubtful that we can tank anything except a weak add with simply a 95% armor boost. -> DPS is also lackluster with the lack of the skills that synergizes to give our DPS specs the DPS to match the other classes. ->Healing does seem plausible though, except for the mana issue.

Until there are some improvements to this talent, I would say Blizzard could simply describe the effects of this talent as “Increase the healing done by Tranquility by 50% if you are not Restoration spec”

What is my favourite memory in WoW?

I don’t know if I have an individual favourite, but here are some of the highlights.

  • Chain tanking each of Sulfuron’s adds because the other tanks kept dying one after another (baddies).
  • Tanking Onyxia with Salvation still on because the MT died.
  • Tanking Golemagg with a 2hander because our other tank was too terrible to hold threat.
  • Tanking two of Executus’ adds because one of our other tanks got himself killed.
  • Popularizing the use of Concussion Blow on Executus for my guild
  • Going all the way through BWL with a blue shield from UBRS.
  • Running a 50-59 bracket twink PvP group.
  • Completing Bear runs with no shield tank, no paladin, and no shaman.
  • Getting server 3rd on Ignis.
  • Running random 5mans with Reesi, Lissanna, and other Druids.
  • Blizzcon 2011 (that counts right?).
  • Team Waffle Podcast (that also counts).

Off topic:  I posted my Bear feedback essay on the MoP forums after working on it for most of the night.  I hope you enjoy the read:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3595675354

 

My first day in WoW….

This is going to sound like a cop-out, but I honestly don’t remember it.

I do know that I played a warrior, ran around like a noob, and probably killed a bunch of random mobs for quests.  That’s all I really know.

>.>

Why did I start a blog?

I wanted to have a place to post things that were uniquely my own.  I didn’t have such a thing when I started my original blog, so I made one.  Initially it was just random nonesense that practically nobody read.  It wasn’t until I started talking about Bears that I was getting some significant readership.

About midway through the initial patch cycle Reesi invited me to join TiB.  It made sense since we wanted to consolidated all of the Bear information in one location.  And that’s really about it.

I’m hoping that this series of posts will touch off some new high-level tanking (specifically) topic posts.  Another side-effect of my current job.

So, Reesi and I have been talking.

It’s really cool that TiB has basically become the go-to resource for Bears (and Cats) around the world.  We actually can’t really believe how mainstream the site has become.  However sometimes we forget that TiB is not just a theorycrafting blog.  There are actual real people (not counting Yawning, he’s a math robot) behind all the math and numbers that come out of here.  Maybe it’d be kinda cool if you knew more about us.

Following that thought I had heard about the “20 Days of Wow Blogging” challenge.  I think it’s a great idea.  I don’t know if Reesi is going to do it or not, but I’m making sure to tag these posts as something deliberately “not-mathy” so you can ignore them if you want.

So the topic of the first day of the challenge is to “Introduce Yourself.”  We’ll see how that goes.

Everyone probably knows me by my Druid’s name: Arielle.  However I did not always play a Druid (omg heresy!).  Back when I first started playing WoW in April of 2005 I played a Warrior named Katarn (bonus points if you know where that name comes from).  I actually levelled to 60 as Prot over a 56k dialup connection in Vanilla.  Back in those days my college had fucked over my education so I was working at a restaurant as a line cook at night, and surveying forests during the day.  On my rare days off I spent them with my (then) girlfriend (who was a senior in high school at the time).  For obvious reasons I couldn’t keep this up for long.  The restaurant was going to hell in a hand-basket so I ditched that first.  The forestry field work kept going for a few months, but eventually that ended too.  For that summer I actually ended up being unemployed and just chilled out leveling my Warrior to 60 and hanging out with the girlfriend.

Once my Warrior got to 60 (I was actually the 2nd person in our guild to 60), I started running dungeons but I had no fucking clue what I was doing.  In late August my brother (whom I’m sure you’ve heard me mention before) got me invited to a 40m raiding guild.  Unfortunately I couldn’t quite raid because on 56k well, it just doesn’t work.  Let’s leave it at that.  What I did do though is move to Victoria BC in the fall of 2005 with my girlfriend to go to the University of Victoria.  She was studying music and I took Computer Science (lol surprise).  Not only that but I also had a part time job as an inventory clerk. 

A Warrior by the name of Dastin took me under his wing, and started teaching me everything about tanking.  To this day I credit him with teaching me most of what I know today.  I gradually got to be the 4th tank in our MC/BWL raids, even though I really should’ve been #2.  When my girlfriend and I went home for Xmas that year, we randomly ran into my brother while shopping and he told me that the guild was splitting and he was going to be an officer in the new group.  I was invited along as 2nd tank to Dastin.  I jumped at the opportunity.

Meanwhile I was becoming more and more bored with my university education.  I just didn’t want to be there.  My 2nd semester was nowhere as good as my first, and at the end of the 2nd semester my girlfriend and I spilt up and I stopped raiding.  I got a new job as a sub-contracted CS rep for AT&T mobility (then Cingular Wireless) and moved into a tiny little room in a basement shared with 4 other asian students.  I became a workaholic and started doing 10, 11, or even 12 hour days to earn money.  Not only that, but I was also working my inventory job at the same time.  In retrospect that was probably stupid, but like any student I was trying to save as much $$ as I could during the summer.  When I wasn’t at work I would be playing computer games.  I started a new toon, a mage named Mdnite (there’s only 2 other people in the entire world that know where that came from, and if they read this I hope they giggle).  This was a PvP toon.  I spent hours upon hours in BGs.  I ground to exalted with WSG by level 39.

In the fall of 2006 some friends at my inventory job suddenly had an opening at their house for a roommate.  Since they all played WoW (2 guys, 1 girl) it seemed like a perfect fit.  I moved in and xferred my Mage to their server.  For the remainder of Vanilla I ran a 50-59 bracket PvP group with them and some other friends we randomly made.  There were between 8-10 of us and holy hell was that fun.  There was only one other group in the BG that could take us, a premade from another server.  We were completely twinked.  For WSG we ran double AP-PoM-Pyro Mages for flag returns.  It was awesome.  One of my roommates was kind enough to grind me to Exalted with AB while I was working.  So at 59 I was exalted with both WSG and AB.  I think a week or two before TBC’s release all of us ticked over to 60 while still in Q for a 59 BG and promptly put on all of our PvP gear.  Our last hurrah was a complete stompfest.  We crushed them.

In TBC I joined a 25m raiding guild on my mage while still retaining the two jobs.  I was given the Mage Officer position, and was competing for top DPS in the guild with a Destruction Warlock.  We had a really awesome friendly rivalry going.  Raiding Kara in those days was one of the best times of my life.

Unfortunately the guild imploded because leadership was a bunch of tools.  I was left going “durrrr”.  I switched over to my Druid and started leveling her.  About this time I was starting my first semester of my second year at university.  I’ll be honest, I really did not want to fucking be there.  I was moving up in the ranks at my call center job, where I worked with tons of really amazing people.  Not only that, but a lot of them played WoW.  I half-assed my university courses while putting together my first raid team.  In November of 2006 I formed the <Wyrd Sisters> 10m raid team.  We would raid Kara and ZA while also putting together pug Gruul runs.  Not only that, but we would get ZA Bears while having nothing more than Badge Gear and T4 drops.  Something I consider to this day to be a pretty amazing accomplishment.

In the summer of 2007 we stopped raiding to have fun with our families.  Almost everyone in my raid team had children, so we all agreed that summer would be spent with family.  In the spring of 2007 I had a bit of a breakdown at my inventory job.  I was nearing the end of a 6 hour job (at like 1am) and suddenly realized that the job was a fucking joke.  I quit the next day.  Not only that but in the fall of 2007 I left my CSC job for a tech support job.  It was a great switch for me, and would actually lead to where I am today.

We would start raiding again in January of 2008.  We formed our first raid and went right into Naxxramas, promptly killing 11/12 in our first week.  Disappointing to say the least.  Subsequent weeks saw us kill all of Naxx and Sarth 0D.  We moved on to Malygos, which was actually quite difficult in 10m.  At this time I had switched to playing a DK tank to provide greater raid diversity for our team.  Before T8 came out we would end up killing both Malygos and Sarth 1d.  We would come close to Sarth 2d, but unfortunately wouldn’t have time to come back and get it.  During this time I had a falling-out with my roommates.  I moved to where I live now with my best friend (who happens to be female, and no it’s not a harry/sally thing).  I love my apartment and we’ve been here for over 3 years.

In the end of the patch cycle of T8 I burned out.  We had killed everything up to Yogg, but couldn’t take him down.  In our team’s defense I had been a total moron and we were actually attempting Yogg+0, not Yogg+4.  Regardless I took a break from WoW.  IRL I had dumped university partway through the second semester of second year, choosing instead to focus on my career.  I was moving up in the ranks, quickly becoming the top dog in our department.  I even started receiving training to transition me to the company’s network support department.  Unfortunately this wouldn’t last and at the start of August 2009 I moved to the company where I work now.  At the time I was doing customer service.

In August of 2009 I went to my first Blizzcon.  There I met a couple of my guildies with whom I hung out the entire time.  They were in their early 40′s.  One of them was our MT (Paladin), and the other was our Fury Warrior.  It was really cool to meet them, and I felt weird being young (24 at the time).  At this Blizzcon I was entirely a spectator.  Wanting to be given a reason to come back to WoW.  I got them.  Extended Lockouts (previously the bane of our existence in Ulduar), expanded Heroic raiding, and a preview of ICC.  I re-formed the raid team once I got back from Blizzcon.  We cleared ToC on our first day.  When we went to attempt heroic, we ran into a brick wall.  I was not pleased.  Regardless we continued to farm ToC and old content (WTF TRINKETS?!?!).  Then ICC dropped.  We were all stoked until we cleared 3/4 on our first week.  Fortunately we then adjourned for xmas and would return once the next gate opened.

We would go on to get 11/13 normal before the 10% buff.  However Sindragosa proved to be a problem.  We wiped on her for weeks on end.  Eventually I had had enough.  I took a step back, and decided then and there I would never lead a raid ever again.  Something my brother had wisely decided a longgggg time ago.

Que Cataclysm announcement.

Immediately I wanted back in.  I found a new 10m guild for myself where I now am – <Inception>.  They would go on to get me my Frostblood Vanquisher, and I got my brother to come back and join me.  At this point I had now solidified myself as the main tank on my Druid.  We would farm ICC/Ruby Sanctum until Cata launched.

It was around the tail end of Wrath where I really started getting into Theorycrafting.  4.0 had dropped and suddenly Swipe was basically useless.  I did a bunch of testing and investigation to try and figure out what was going on.  At first I thought it was suffering from the same problem that Backstab was at the time (stuck at level 1 base damage), but it turns out they had nerfed it into the ground.  That got me noticed by Fasc and Reesi.  Then once the new forums were announced I was one of the first that moved over, along with Reesi and Lissanna.  At this point I was using Fasc’s and Tangedyn’s spreadsheets to generate T11 BiS and Pre-Raid lists.  Shortly after Reesi invited me to join her on TiB since it seemed silly to have us all spread around.  And as they say, the rest was history.

In December of 2010 we founded this podcast you may have heard of: The Team Waffle Podcast.  As far as I know we’re still the only podcast devoted to Druids.  We’re averaging between 4,000 and 5,000 listeners per episode.  Special episodes (like our Feral Roundtable) spike upwards of 13,000.  Just this week we started broadcasting it live with the help of Hackx.  It’s all very exciting.

As of May 2011 I was promoted into the position I hold now, a Business Analyst.  I still work at the same company (Home Health Care software), but I now basically get to do RL theorycrafting for my job, and get paid for it.  It’s fucking awesome.  Not only that, but I think it has made me a better WoW theorycrafter as well.

I guess I should probably include some things I enjoy outside of WoW.  I like to watch eSports (Idra fiiightinnnngggg!!), specifically Starcraft 2.  Day[9] is my hero.  John Carmack and Chris Metzen are the two people I would pick to have dinner with.  Being a community representative is a lot more pressure than you think.  I love computer games, RPGs and FPS in particular.  I also like rock climbing, the company of friends (off or online), and I have a passion for TV and Movies.  Someday I would love to be a game designer at Bethesda, Blizzard, ValvE, or Bioware.  My close 2nd choice is database program design (which I am conveniently already doing, BOOYAH!).

I realize this is probably way longer than the contest originator had intended, but I’ve had a few to drink.  And I like to ramble.  I’ll answer any questions posted, but it’d be cooler if you held onto them for the TWP anniversary show.  >.>