Jun 122013
 

Druids are the one class in the World of Warcraft that can take on a variety of forms. Sure, the Shaman has her wolf forms, but your Druid forms amount to so much more. Your various forms can run, swim, fly, do massive damage, and so on. This shapeshifting is one of the things that makes the Druid so very versatile and effective in any aspect of the game.

Of course, if you’re going to use all of the Druidic forms well you’re going to have to put in some effort. The class is a little harder than others because of this same flexibility.

So what are these forms?

So let’s do a run down of the various Druid forms that are available to you and what they’re all about in the mists of Pandaria.

First off is your “Caster Form.” This is what you start with as a brand new character and, for a few levels, it’s all you will have. It’s the same as everyone else gets, too. You will be just your basic Night Elf, Worgen, Troll, or Tauren and you’ll be throwing the “Wrath” spell around a lot. 

Cat form and belf friendCat form comes in at level 6 and is where you can really start doing some damage. Of all the Druid’s various forms this is the one that does the most damage, right up close and personal. You get large bonuses to your attack capability and faster movement speed. At level 10 you get even better if you take the Feral spec.

Add in one of the Tier 1 talents and things get even better, movement-wise.

The Druid's Bear formBear form, at level 8, can also do some damage, but that isn’t the Bear’s main forte. Survival is, and when you hit level 10 you can pick the “Guardian” specialization (spec.)

The Guardian is a “Tank,” which just means that in dungeons and raids you get to be the center of attention and your job is to keep the attention of all the enemies in the immediate area. (See what I meant by Survival?)

You will never do as much damage as the Cat, but you will last a lot longer. For leveling, it’s not bad at all, since there are several times when you’re able to round up a group of enemies and destroy them. Too bad that doesn’t work with players. ;)

Druid Travel Form - The StagTravel form, at level 16, is a nice speed increase. You take the form of a Stag, antlers and all, and trot right along at the same speed as a basic mount. If you prefer the old Travel Form (prior to Mists of Pandaria) you can get a Glyph of the Cheetah.

Aquatic form, looking for a fishy lunchAquatic form, level 18 – kinda like SCUBA diving, now you can explore all those underwater places and swim around at a decent speed. As with all Druid forms you cannot be polymorphed by wandering mages while in this form. Want to swim even faster? Get a Glyph of Aquatic Form.

MoonkinMoonkin, at level 29 – This form requires the “Balance” spec and if you aren’t Balanced you can’t do the Boomkin thing. Balance is the Druid’s version of the Mage, you stay at range and lob damage at the opposition as opposed to doing it “face to face.” While in this form you get more Arcane and Nature damage and take less yourself.

You also increase the spell haste of all your party and raid members, which is a nice perk.

Troll Druid Flight FormFlight form, acquired at level 58, allows access to all those high places in the Outlands. You will have to wait until level 60 and then get a Flight Master’s License from your home city to be able to fly in the lands of Azeroth. Cold Weather Flying will be necessary to fly in Northrend and you have to wait till 90 to fly in Pandaria.

Epic flight form, at level 70, allows you to reach those high places even faster. You can keep the same licenses as before, you’re just faster now.

Druidic Tree Form, from the GlyphGlyph of the Treant teaches you the Tree Form. This used to be the form that Druid healers (Restoration) would take, but now it’s optional.

One advantage to the Tree, besides role-playing, is that you stand out in a group. Your team can more easily find you and aid you, such as in PvP or a raid.

One of the additional cool things about shapeshifting is that it allows you to immediately pop out of “Movement Impairing Effects.” If some player or other enemy slows you, for example, you can shift forms and immediately escape. Sometimes you can also escape from other effects. This is a very nice ability to have in PvP.

Lastly, just because you can shift to various animal forms it doesn’t mean that you can talk to them. They’ll treat you just as if you were any other class and will take no note of your awesomeness.

Oh well, can’t have everything, can you?

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Oct 142008
 

The Patch has landed.

1.2 gigs of data, wow. Not so bad if you’ve been playing regularly, the background downloaded already has it. If you’ve taken a break for awhile, well… :)

From the new splash screen when you log in to the modified talents and trees to the new Inscription skill, there are a lot of changes here. Check out the Latest Patch Notes for details. Also keep in mind that the patch has probably broken at least some of your addons. I referred to that previously and linked to an addon update list.

So what I’ve put together here is a collection of posts regarding the new talents and builds. I did this previously (Level 80 WoW Talents And Builds) and this new post links to new and, hopefully, updated info.

Dual Talent Builds and What’s Not in This Patch:

Dual Talent Specs – At last — “…And my personal favorite: Dual Talent Specs. This new feature should be added to the game in one of the content patches following the release of Wotlk. Hopefully in Patch 3.1.” What does that mean? It means you’ll be able to save 2 different Talent Specs for your characters, and that you’ll be able to switch between the two as much as you want, any time you want, besides while in combat or in arenas.

Breaking News: Patch 3.0.2 will not contain all major class changes – There were spells and abilities missing, talents not enumerated, and generally the notes looked as if they were lifted from a version of the game done a few weeks ago. Apparently this was intentional. Ghostcrawler made a post moments …

Class Talent Discussions:

Hunters: BigRedKitty: 3.0.2 Hunter talent trees – The major purpose of this column is to give you, the WoW Insider reader, a point of reference. You know our writing, you know our play-style. You should know our limitations and the areas at which we’re not too shabby. …

Warlocks: Patch 3.0.2 primer for Warlocks – In fact, out of all the 11-point talents, Soul Link is the only one that should give us any pause for thought. Considering that for about a month, we can only allocate up to 10 points in another tree if we choose to get a 51-point …

Mages: Mage WotLK Talents & Developer Q & A - She has done a great job already working with many of classes and now she’s finally making it to the mage class, particularly the information regarding the new spell frostfire bolt. Initially I really didn’t understand the purpose of …

Priests: Spiritual Guidance: Patch 3.0.2 – Holy and Disc Priest talent review – This post will cover all of the new Holy and Discipline talents that will be accessible when the patch becomes live. Not only that, I’ve offered up some suggestions on different builds to remain raid viable (at least to the rare few …

Shaman: Going Resto in Three-point-Oh – New Talent: Cleanse Spirit (Requires 5 points in purification and 30 points in Restoration) – 1 point – Cleanse the spirit of a friendly target, removing 1 poison effect, 1 disease effect, and 1 curse effect. Shaman get an all-in-one …

Warriors: The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The Door Swings Open Pt 1 – Honestly, the difficulty here is not in finding good protection talents you can spec into, it’s in picking which ones to talk to you about now. Some of these talents (like Gag Order) only get really good once you have abilities you …

Ferals: 3.0.2 for Feral Druids – In a few hours, when the servers come back up, patch 3.0.2 is going to hit, and WoW will change drastically. Every tree is get revamped to a greater or lesser extent, and extended up to 51-point talents. The Feral tree changes, …

Rogues: Four Seasons of TBC, Rogue 3.0 Specs – However, without prep which mutilate doesn’t get until WOTLK, the spec is severely lacking in outs and terrible at catching mages, one of the most dominant classes in 3.0. For offensive comps, perhaps a prep spec is still worth …

Paladin: Prot Paladin Talent Build – Block hurts them afterall. We’ll see. Lastly no Holy, nothing in the Ret tree beyond the above, and as the levels tick toward 80, they’ll all get spent in the Prot tree. Tagged: build, Paladin, pally, prot, talent.

Tankadin Preparing Your Tankadin for Patch 3.0: Part 3: Changed Tools – 10/8 – Part 3: Changes to Existing Talents and Spells 10/9 – Part 4: New Talents, and suggested Trees 10/10 – Part 5: The New Threat Rotation or 96969 10/11 – Part 6: Threat Stats for Protection Paladins and Tank Gear Reitemization …

That should be enough to chew on for now. Feel free to comment or, if you like the post, use the share buttons below.

PS: Wrath is bringing a lot of changes and Northrend is a pretty good sized place with a lot going on. Take a good look at the Killer Guides’ Wrath of the Lich King guide – It will make your trek to 80 much easier and much more lucrative.

Sep 212008
 

The Wrath is coming. Time to hide.

Of course, one of the big changes in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion is the changes to all the various talent trees. As you probably know, Blizzard isn’t just adding a few new talents or increasing the level cap to 80. No no no, there’s a little more to it than that – they’re making large changes to existing talents and shuffling around their exact position in the talent trees.

So what I’ve put together here is a collection of posts, from various places, that discuss the level 80 talents and changes. Some of these also offer build suggestions, both from raiding and PvP points of view. In addition, If you want to play around with talent builds for your own characters you’ll find the level 80 WoW talent calculator here.

Of course, the changes aren’t 100% finished, all of this is still in beta test, and Blizzard has been known to make big last minute changes. We can count on more changes along with the usual collection of nerfs and maybe some buffs. Still, it’s a place to start thinking about how you might spec your characters when you upgrade to Wrath.

Update 10/14: The 3.0 patch has arrived and here’s an update post on what’s happening with the WoW Talents and Builds.

’nuff said, here ya go!

WotLK: Build 8962 – 4 Extra Points for Frost – When the WotLK expansion hits, as I level up, I will start filling in the Arcane tree until I get Focus Magic. When I hit 80 and start raiding again, the talent build that I will most likely be using is this: 80 PvE/PvP Frost.

WotLK Paladins May Have “Shocking” Potential – All of the above said, the following, were I to PvP as a Shockadin at level 80, would be my talent build without question:.  Allow me a couple caveats with the above build: …

Tanked! Revaluing Feral Combat Talents in Beta Build 8926 – The pictured talent build is essentially what I’d like to be using at 80. All PH NYI (place holder, not yet implemented) talents are now “live” on beta, and it’s pertinent to note that the talent “Mother Bear” has been renamed to the …

Want to hit level 80 fast? Looking for ways to familiarize yourself with Northrend without wasting valuable playtime running around in circles? Check out the Killer Guides’ Wrath guide and get ready to go before the expansion hits.

Shock and Awe: The Art of Dual Shockadins in WotLK – Both of these assumptions are based off of items I found in the WotLK database at WoWhead situated around an item level of 200 (the item level which seems to be the base for epics at level 80). In addition to these two assumptions, …

Why 3.0 will change Arena entirely – Much like when Blizzard imeplemented the WoW 2.0 41-point talent trees into the game shortly before TBC, and much of the dissaray it caused, the WoW 3.0 talents are almost entirely based around players being level 80 and consequently …

Truckload ‘o Changes – At level 80, this 80 spellpower. Much higher than it was before. I believe it is still weaker than Flametongue Totem and doesn’t stack with it. Twin Disciplines – The tooltip was fixed to read: Increases your spell power on instant …

8926 DK changes, Blue Posts, and Site News – They may be fun in that you get a lot for your money, but they work against the design goal of being able to build a customized talent tree for your character. They also make spec parity or class balance a lot harder when there are …

A look at our Bear Tanking future in Wrath – Clearly (I hope) a class that could do rogue-level dps and warrior-level tanking with the same talent build is the kind of thing that makes other players a little miffed. But we’re reevaluating a lot of old (and some admittedly tired) …

[Druid] The 3.0 patch – cat build edition – That’s about .66% dps per talent point, which just isn’t that good. This may not make the cut at level 80; it’s still lower per point than master shapeshifter. Rend and Tear barely makes the cut. Assuming that you’re only hitting …

WotLK Hunter Pets – Major Changes – Pets will still have to level to some degree, but it will be a lot more transparent than it is now. A level 1 beast trained by a level 80 hunter will hop to level 70 instantly. That way the pet isn’t completely useless while you try

Edit: Big Red Kitty says – Beta Talent Builds, Just Say No – “OK, see? The hunter class is going to be totally mixed up. Anything and everything people have said, including us, is kaput and moot.”

Edit: By the way, don’t forget to grab your free Death Knight Starter Area Leveling Guide.

Aug 282008
 

WoW Insider has a fun post on the Great Dwarf Hunter Nesingwary, seen in Stranglethorn Vale and Nagrand. Nesie, of course, is all about hunting the various beasts in the area.

Now one could argue that he’s just thinning herds that grow impossibly fast or maybe he’s just a minion of evil with his wanton slaughter of innocent raptors, er… critters.

The Wrath expansion seems to be bringing in some competition for Nesie:

But that, of course, doesn’t keep the hippie animal lovers from fighting back — as you might know by now, in the expansion Nesingwary is going to face some opposition in the form of D.E.H.T.A., or Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals.

Here’s the post: Nesingwary’s extinction plan (hasn’t worked)

Now let’s say that Nesie gets tired of these guys. Imagine one part of the quest chain being to harass (ie: kill) DEHTA members: “Ok dude, it’s a Druid. Get 15 of your closest friends…”

Or that the DEHTA crowd gets a quest to harass (ie: kill) Nesie’s hunters.

I’m not saying that this will happen, or is even likely, but it’s fun to think about. Especially on an RP (Role Playing) PvP server.

Anyone have any other suggestions to spice this up a bit?

Jun 182008
 

Agility is the most wanted stat for [tag-tec]Rogues[/tag-tec] and [tag-tec]Hunters[/tag-tec], but a few other classes have some degree of use for agility as well. So what does a point of Agility get you, if you’re  Rogue? Here are some numbers, taken from WoWwiki.

At all levels, 1pt of Agility (for Rogues, [tag-tec]Warriors[/tag-tec], and Hunters) = 1 Ranged Attack Power (AP)

At all levels, 1pt of Agility (for Rogues, Cat Druids, and Hunters (not Warriors)) = 1 Melee Attack Power (AP)

Other classes get no benefit to their Attack Power from Agility.

At all levels, for anyone, 1 point of Agility = 2 armor points

It also adds to crit rating and defense, but in a variable amount.

At level 70, Rogues and Hunters need 40 agility to gain 1% crit chance, Warriors need 33, and everyone else needs 25.

For their Dodge chance, druids need 14.7, rogues need 20, most everyone else needs 25, and hunters need 26.5.

Gear and Agility

For comparing different items of gear there is the Agility Equivalent Points (AEP) system. This attempts to take any of the value any particular piece of gear might have and give it a value in AEP. As I understand this, you can now campare item A (with X Ag and whatever other goodies) with item B (having Y agility and whatever bonuses.)  So each point of Agility, Stamina, Armor, Hit Rating, Attack Power, etc. will all have AEPs.

Of course, how many AEP each item is worth will vary depending on whether you’re leveling, grinding, PvPing, or Raiding. For example, Resiliance gets a fairly high rating in PvP, but very little for raiding.

Talent builds will change the values as will exactly how you play your characters.

Here’s an example set of values, for PvE (Raids,) from the Pawn Addon Forum where it’s discussed in more detail:

Agility 1

Stamina 0.5

CritRating 1

HitRating 1

Ap 0.5

Strength 0.5

RedSocket 8

YellowSocket 8

BlueSocket 8

For PvP one might use these values:

Agility 1

Stamina 1

Resilience 1

CritRating 1

HitRating 1

Ap 0.5

Strength 0.5

RedSocket 8

YellowSocket 8

BlueSocket 8

Note the increase in the value of Stam for PvP and the addition of resiliance.

Here’s an example: If we take the Gladiator’s Leather Helm, one the the PvP items, we can take it’s numbers and get an AEP value: 34 (Ag) + 53 (Stm) + 8 (Red Socket) + 13 (Crit) + 23 (res) + 18 (1/2 AP) = 149.

You’ll have to come up with a value for armor, the meta socket, and the set bonuses, but it’s a start.

The Elitist Jerks forum has a long discussion on how it all works, oriented towards Hunters, but generally useful for those of you who are more into the exact calculations.

So if you’re looking at nice items from raiding, PvP, or crafting you can use this system to compare them and make a reasonable estimate of which is best.

More on AEP:

Rogues: AEP (MAEP) and you! – Around May of 2005, Ming started a thread on the Rogue forums where he was devising an Agility comparison system for comparing gear using the formula 10 Agility = 10 Stamina = 20 Strength = 20 Attack Power = 1% Crit. …

Jun 052008
 

For those of you starting a Druid, your class has several rather long and involved quest chains to obtain certain powers. At about level 14 you can do the five-quest chain to obtain the cure poison spell. Some detailed information, maps and screenshots are always nice to see before embarking on these quests.

To assist you in your quest for the cure poison spell we’ve put together a detailed walk through for the Druid’s Power over Poison quest chain: one for Alliance and one for the Horde.

  1. Alliance Druid – Power over Poison Quest Chain
  2. Horde Druid – Power over Poison Quest Chain

Let us know if you find these guides helpful. We’ll be coming up with more soon.

You might also be interested in the guides we made for the Druid Bear form quest chain and the Alliance Druid Sea Lion form and Horde Druid Sea Lion form quest chain.

Gotta Druid?

 Druids  Comments Off
May 242008
 

For those of you who may be new to Druids, there are a few quests that you’ll have to go through to get access to your various forms, lions, tigers, bears, oh my.

Well, bears and big cats, anyway.

Of course, like any decent Blizzard quest the Druid shapeshift quests will take you all over the place, hunting high and low for certain items. It’s even more interesting if you’re on a PvP server, since high level n00bs like to lurk in some of the quest area and kill any lowbie they see. (That’s what Guilds are for: Revenge.)

So if you want to check out a complete walkthrough of the first couple of Druid quests, the Bear and Aquatic forms, check out these links:

  1. Druid Bear form, for Alliance and Horde
  2. Druid Aquatic Form, for Horde
  3. Druid Aquatic Form, for the Alliance

If you have any comments regarding those guides, or questions, or improvements, leave a comment on those pages.

Here’s a guide that provides you with a unique chance to learn how cutting-edge raid and PvP druids handle their character, plus tons of help on leveling, gold, and Druid specific abilities. Check it out, here: The Killer Druid Guide

May 162008
 

The next form that the up and coming Druid can get is the Aquatic Form. More so than the Bear Form, this quest has you running all over hither and yon to collect the bits to complete the quest. Some of these bits are a little hard to find. For a complete walk-through of this Druid quest check out this page:

For the Beginning Druid

 Quests  Comments Off
May 162008
 

The Bear form is the earliest Druid shapeshift that you get and, naturally, you have to do a quest to get it. Now the quest isn’t hard, as such, but it can be confusing and if you live on a PvP server your quest might suffer some … interuptions.

For those up and coming Druids who might want a few tips on completing the bear form quest you should click on over to this Squidoo page: WoW Druid Bear Forms Quests