Archive for the ‘Changes’ Category

I’ve Made My Decision, Mon.   27 comments

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After much internal debate, I have finally made my decision. As soon as the new race changes are available, Beru will become a troll.

I have struggled with this decision since they announced that Druids could be Trolls. I have loathed the female Tauren casting model ever since vanilla. So much so that Savory Deviate Delight was considered a “raid consumable” to me. When they announced ToL – a form that I got to raid in and hide that god awful Tauren casting animation, I was thrilled. But then they took my ToL away from me, and forced me back into that horrible clunky animation. And shifting still removes all costume effects.

Many times in my debate I have wondered if I would feel weird playing a toon that I have been playing for the past 6 years if she was “different”. I have struggled with if I thought I would lose part of “Beru” by race changing her. I like the gentle giants that the Tauren represent in WoW lore. I think that Thunder Bluff is beautiful. But when push comes to shove – on the day I created my druid, if Troll had been an option, I would probably have never gone Tauren to begin with.

I had thought that I made up my mind a while back on this dilemma…and then they introduced troll flight form. It’s cool, sure. But HELLO – it’s a friggin’ dude. The fact that I was going to morph into a male bat for flight form put a bit of a hiccup in my decision. I understand the lore reasoning for needing a different flight form. And, I do think that the flight form is kinda cool. But IT IS DECIDELY MALE. Seriously, would it have taken much more time/effort to code in a female version of the damn bat?

So here I was, uncertain again.

Sure, just like everyone else I weighed out the pros and the cons of the differing racials, etc. But when it came down to it, my desire to not to be a female Tauren caster is so strong that it outweighs just about everything else – including bat boy. It may seem superficial (and it is), it may seem silly (and it is), but in the end, and after 6 years of hating it, I just don’t want to deal with having to look at the female Tauren casting model any longer.

The more I thought about it, there were only two things I would miss about Beru being a Tauren: The new cultivation racial (hey, don’t knock the power of speed herbing in flight form until you’ve tried it) and warstomp. And in the end – those two things just weren’t enough to hold me.

I think I came to this decision over the weekend, when I made an attempt to “pre-purchase” a race change. (which as a side note isn’t available for druids, you get an “you have no races to change to” error message when you attempt to process the payment). In the end – it’s not permanent. If I hate it, I can always go back to being the gentle giant. Until then, and as soon as they are available, I will enjoy my more svelte figure and relish in the fact that I will no longer sound like a member of the 1976 East German Women’s Olympic Swim Team.

So, I’m curious! How many other of my Tauren brothers and sisters will be feeling the Mojo come Cataclysm?

(image courtesy of mmo-champion).

Posted November 16, 2010 by Beruthiel in Cataclysm!, Changes, Do not feed the Trolls!

Holy Battle.Net Batman!   6 comments

The following is a post that I wrote for the guys over at the Twisted Nether, and if you are unfamiliar with Twisted Nether and Blog Azeroth, I can’t encourage you enough to go over there and explore! Because I think that the new community features are so neat, and I’m sure that not everyone is familiar with Twisted Nether (really! go check them out!), I wanted to share them here as well!

WoW Forums Home

It seems that Deathwing will not be the only person bringing changes to Azeroth as we know it, something new and exciting seems to be afoot over on the new WoW community site, including the introduction of the new battle.net based forums!  My name is Beruthiel and I’m here today to give you a little bit of a primer on how to navigate the new forums.  While you are trying to find your way around this unchartered territory, please take note that there are several new and exciting areas that are still under construction – including the migration of your realm forums over to the new battle.net system.

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Posted November 6, 2010 by Beruthiel in Changes, Community, Forums

The Feedreader Ate My Homework?   7 comments

Something that folks may not know about me is that to date I have never used a feed reader type thing to follow the blogs that I read. I have always individually visited each blog site to see if there was a new update, and to read any posts or what not. I enjoyed this practice because it let me actually see the website design, and get a little bit of a view into the personality of the blogger behind the blog.

However, as I found new blogs and added them to my favorites bar, I would spend a good deal of time individually going to each blog and checking for an update when perhaps there wasn’t one. So much time, that on days/weeks when I was very busy, it was a prohibitive task for me to do, and I would end up missing a great deal, just because I didn’t have time to make it through my list. But not only that, I started feeling guilty for the amount of time I was spending looking for new posts. Something that used to take me 30-45 minutes of my morning while I was settling into the office was now taking much longer. Frankly, I was devoting more time than I should have been looking for everyone’s most recent writings.

As I shared my blog surfing habits with others, they were shocked that I didn’t use some sort of feed reader. And so as my favorites tab grew, I started looking into some of the more popular feed readers that were available…only to find out that the majority of them were blocked by my office. Which didn’t help my situation – at all. However, yesterday I found a feed reader that I could access from the office (for now, anyhow), and so I decided that I would convert over from physically visiting each site to having a feed reader pull information for me.

Once I got everything entered in, I realized that I follow almost 100 different blogs. No wonder it had become so overwhelming! My hope is that moving over to a feed reader will make keeping up with everyone more efficient and help me manage what has seemingly become a massive amount of wonderful writing and thoughts.

So I want to apologize if I no longer see the hard work that you’ve put into the structure of your blog with the frequency that I used to, but I also hope that you understand :)

And on a more WoW News Related Note, here are some snippets of today’s news!

* The Soulstone/Rebirth conundrum has finally been clarified for us! The short of it is that in a 10 man raid setting you can only have 1 in combat resurrection; and in a 25 man setting you can only have 3 in combat resurrections.

*As you may have already noticed if you visited an official forum, the new WoW forums are active! Apparently there are some formatting issues with them, so prepare to be frustrated if you want things like, oh, paragraphs, until that gets resolved.

*Also along those same lines, there is a new WoW Armory! From what I can tell, it looks very cool, so if you haven’t taken a gander over there yet, I would strongly encourage you to do so. And hey! It shows reforging!

Happy Friday Everyone! If I don’t talk to you before then, I’ll see you on the flip side of the weekend!

Posted November 5, 2010 by Beruthiel in Changes, Community

Some Quick PTR Tidbits   6 comments

Due to the server crashing (and my body crashing, and me being ill), I had a little bit of time to play about on the PTR yesterday. I didn’t do much, and haven’t healed an instance or raid on the yet – but I am going to get in there and give it a try when I have a little bit of extra time. I will wait to offer any commentary on how the new abilities will affect current raiding until I have the time to test it out some.

I did do some number gathering on what my spells are hitting for on the PTR and on live, but I haven’t had time to sit down and do a comparison as yet. I am hoping to be able to spend some time with that this weekend. I am also running with my standard glyphs, and haven’t had the chance to play around with some of the others.

However, in my short time there, I did have a chance to look at a few interesting things that I hadn’t seen much mention of anywhere yet, so I thought I’d point them out. Let’s talk about what did stand out to me a bit right away though, shall we? Potential Spoilers Ahead
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Posted September 16, 2010 by Beruthiel in Cataclysm!, Changes

Please Forgive My Bullet Dust   8 comments

So sometime between yesterday and tonight when I got home my blog theme took a shit on me. For some unknown reason the “entry” boxes for comments and the search function reverted back to the blue color that was part of the original style sheet. No matter what we tried to do, it wouldn’t fix it.

Fine.

We made a few changes and I am now running the blog solely from the “Custom CSS”. Which is all well and good. Except for some explicable reason certain things are just fucked. Even though the only change I made to the original style sheet were to some of the colors (none of which were the text colors!). One of the guys in our guild spent a couple of hourstonight getting me mostly straightened out, and the blog is largely still readable and functional because of his help.

However – you will find that any and all bulleted posts/pages the body text is black, instead of the light blue that the rest of the body of the post is in. You will also see this to the left in my WoW RSS feed. I have tried about 50 different things to get the damn thing fixed and I am at my wits end with it. So – until I can figure out how to get it fixed, some of my older posts and pages will be botched – and will be difficult to read as a result of the black text on brown background.

I really apologize for this.

However, I have no clue as to how to fix the damn thing, and every last thing that I have tried and every last tidbit of information that I have found on the internet so far has failed to resolve the issue.

Yes, I feel like screaming like a 2 year old who just got told that they couldn’t have the candy from the isle at the grocer’s.  I have spent my entire evening, which was supposed to be a nice relaxing night, trying to deal with this mess and growing increasingly frustrated when I couldn’t fix the problem.

I promise that I will try to get this fixed ASAP, as I know that I do A LOT of my posts – especially strategy posts – utilizing bullet points.

Additionally, if anyone has any clue on how to fix the damn thing I would love advice. Hell, if you do it for a living I will pay you to un-fuck my blog. Even though I love the way that the new layout looks – I find that I am starting to regret having ventured into the custom CSS, as I don’t have the time or patience to deal with it when it goes haywire :(

Posted August 24, 2010 by Beruthiel in /rant, Blog Design, Changes

Some Thoughts on Healing as a Tree in Cataclysm   17 comments

OMG! A druid…posting about druid things?! INCONCEIVABLE! (*****SPOILERS AHEAD*****)

Ok, maybe it’s really not, and I just wanted to be able to shout the word “inconceivable!”.

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya…

Wait, I’ve seriously started to digress! Where was I going with this post again? Oh yes, I remember now, the Druid Talent Preview! Well, if you haven’t heard yet Blizzard has released an official preview of the druid talent trees for Cataclysm (http://cata.wowhead.com/talent). Kae (www.dreambound-druid.blogspot.com) and Keeva (www.treebarkjacket.com) have already done some fantastic write ups of what has changed, what hasn’t, as well as what’s new and what’s not there anymore. I highly recommend that you check them out for a comprehensive listing of the changes.

Me? Well, I’m going to talk a little bit about where I feel these changes are going to take healing in Cataclysm and some things I find interesting about the talents. Keep in mind that these are largely my thoughts are PURE speculation. I could be completely wrong and then have to come back and eat my words when it goes live. As such, I am going to flavor this post strawberry, so that my words are at least tasty when I have to eat them.

Naturalist

The first thing in the new talents that caught my eye is that Naturalist is now a required talent to access Nature’s Grace. As such, it’s basically moved from a “nobody takes this” talent to a “required” talent for resto druids. While that is somewhat interesting to me, what makes it more interesting is that it is one of several shifts in the talents that lean towards direct healing for us. I’ve commented on it a bit before, but I’m really a bit leery of the push towards our direct healing spells that I have been seeing for Cataclysm.

If it’s done well, I think it could be fine. But for that to happen, I also think it’s going to be vital for the developers to remember that we are HoT healers, not paladins. I think this might work…as long as they find a way to permit us to creatively thread our HoTs, and utilize our direct healing spells as fillers, but not our main source of healing. What I do not want to see happen is a revert back to Vanilla style healing. Having done Rank 4 HT/cancel spam for an entire expansion and having seen the role of a resto druid grow into one of the most complicated classes to master with what I feel the most immersive healing (and I have all 4 healing classes with some raid experience on all of them!), I very much want to continue to be required to master the use of my HoT arsenal and not become a healer with a largely single target focus.

Something else to consider: If direct heals are going to be a large part of our healing rotations and mana is as much of a concern as it’s been hinted at, does this make tranquil spirit, another talent nobody puts points into, a necessity?

Fury of Stormrage/Imp Tree of Life

The next thing that worries me a little bit is the focus on damage. Fury of Stormrage give you insta-cast, no mana wraths on HT/Nourish crits (again with those direct heals), and Imp ToL boosts that damage by 15%.

I am of two minds on this. Right now, I am looking at this as a boost for PvP resto druids. This is giving druids the ability in arenas or battlegrounds to do a little more in a pinch than just heal. (As a side note, it seems that we will not be limited to only healing in ToL form). In this mind, I think these talents are fine. But, I am also going on the assumption that Fury of Stormrage is going to largely be considered a PvP talent (all resto druids will still take imp ToL for the 90 second cooldown it offers).

However, what has me slightly nervous is what if the devs aren’t on the same page with me here, and they are considering these PvE talents? I don’t think that is the case, but what if? I guess what is making me wonder is the way that Imp ToL has the damage component worked into it. Personally, I really don’t want to have the expectation that I will be doing damage when my primary task is healing. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s probably going to be great for our PvP folks, but it could be completely disastrous if it’s intended to be carried over into PvE.

Tree of Life

This is still completely lack luster. It has the given spell power boost (hello click on use trinkets, how I have avoided you this entire expansion!), but then the description still doesn’t tell us what the OMG AWESOMENESS is going to be. That tells me that the devs have no clue wtf they are going to do with it yet. As an additional downside the snare is back.

Um…wha?

I am hopeful that it doesn’t go live that way. There was good reason that they took the snare out in the first place, I am quite honestly a little bit surprised to see it back as part of the tree of life mechanic. Hello OMG HUGE DAMAGE, I need to ToL STAT! But I…can’t…quite…get…out….of…the…fire…fast…enough. Owie, one burned up tree. Anyone, remember Gruuls as a tree with that snare still active? How about Shade of Aran and trying to move from the blizzard? Yea…good thing we had barkskin!

It really does seem a bit harsh to put the snare back in, what other druid class is PENALIZED in their main roll for shapeshifting? This seems very counter-intuitive to the statements that Ghostcrawler has made for why they are removing trees from the game. I just don’t get it, honestly. Here’s hoping that it’s removed during the beta and doesn’t see live.

Empowered Touch

This is interesting. Again, a push towards single target healing, but the added lifebloom bump with nourish could be very good. Well, at least for tank healing anyhow! Unless of course lifebloom becomes a raid healing spell again. I sort of see this two ways: another push towards single target healing (boo), but also a bump up for an largely abandoned spell this expansion. I don’t think this is bad, per se. We will have to see how it plays out on live.

Efflorescence

I am a little bit excited about this, actually. It’s one of the first spells regarding our HoTs that has had a boost to our HoT healing. I also think it’s a bit of an interesting mechanic…and is the first thing that I’ve seen that leans towards making “interesting” healing decisions. I would think that you would want to pop that regrowth on a person that is clumped with other people to get the maximum benefit from the effect. The spell wants you to think about where you put it, and to use it smartly. To me, that is a little bit interesting.

Of course…if we have huge movement fights, I could also see people running right out of it. But then again “run to the flowers as you flee!” may have some promise. All in all, I think it’s going to be great…or terrible. I’m hoping for great!

Revitalize

I’m not really sure what to think about this change. I liked the way it worked before, and resto druids brought something very unique to the raid that no other class did. Of course, that is probably why it is being removed with the push towards homogenizing the healers. Another talent that is leading us back to our HoTs though…but oddly just regrowth and lifebloom. Two HoTs that weren’t widely used in 25 man raiding. (I think that we are starting to see a trend here).

However, anything that can return mana is probably going to be good. And it seems that the mana return that is going to be provided is greater than what revitalize currently offer. And think about the possible mana return with multiple lifeblooms ticking every second (even with the internal cooldown on the revitalize proc!), could be very om nom nom-y for mana.

Gift of the Earth Mother

This is a very interesting change. Very interesting indeed. I guess Blizzard really didn’t like the haste effect it provided previously, or don’t want to offer us so much haste upfront and want us to make smarter gearing decisions. But again with the push to lifebloom. I really think they are trying to get this spell back on our plate. However, I am happy to see an “empowered renew” type ability for our rejuvs go here. One of the biggest weaknesses today in druid healing is our lack of burst healing (somewhat covered by Wild Growth). I like that the T8 set bonus was a big enough success that they are incorporating it into our talents.

All and all, I think this is a good change. I think it will make for interesting decisions both in gearing and in choosing a spec. It also gives druids a boost in an area they were slightly behind the other healers, in my opinion. However, one thing that I think it may caution a little bit is perhaps we are going to move from a more pro-active healing style to a more re-active healing style.

What could be interesting about this is that our HoTs would still remain pro-active, to an extent, but the push to our direct heals will fall into a more re-active healing category. I think this could be a fairly cohesive way to tie everything together for us. At the minimum it has potential!

Empowered Rejuv/Nature’s Bounty/Genesis (Balance)

Two talents to boost swiftmend…and hey! Look! Push regrowth! Really, I like that swiftmend is getting a little bit of love. We have very few panic buttons as healers, and it’s good to see one of our two get a boost. I really don’t see a downside here.

Wild Growth

We knew that they intended to nerf the cooldown on this by adding 4 seconds. Really, I don’t think this is terrible. There were only a handful of encounters in WotLK that I tried very hard to stick to a 5:1 rotation with WG. Usually I use it when I think it’s needed but I don’t find myself leaning on the spell. Honestly, I just don’t see that extra 4 seconds being a huge deal.

As there is discrepancy on if the amount healed was nerfed also, I am going to be bold and say it’s not…and then hope for the best!

A brief few thoughts about the balance changes for resto druids

I don’t want to go into too much detail on it, and honestly I don’t have a whole lot to say about it, but what I find very interesting is how deep into the tree we have to go in order to access Nature’s Splendor. It seems strange to me largely because we’ve got to take some potential crap just to get to it. Why? It was clearly moved deeper into the tree for a reason, but I really don’t see that reason. Am I missing something here?

I also find it interesting that Celestial Focus no longer gives haste, another nod to needing to make different gearing decisions, and the fact that perhaps we aren’t to be casting every global cooldown and thinking more about what and when we are casting.

We also get a silence. Hmmm. Ok. Why not. (Although, I think this is more to help support Moonkins in PvP than anything else).

What I Think Is Missing

Druids still do not have any mitigation abilities or offensive protection abilities, such as paladins and priests. I was really hoping to receive some kind of cooldowns for us to use in case of emergency. A barkskin that is castable on another target, for example, would be really great. Even though they’ve given Swiftmend a few boosts here and there, we are largely missing some sort of mitigation ability. Even if it was a cooldown, it would be nice to have a way to temporarily “save the day” that didn’t involve just flat out healing.

Overall, General Opinion: They are really pushing spells that have fallen to the wayside very hard. Regrowth, Lifebloom, Healing Touch and Nourish all see some changes, while Wild Growth gets nerfed and Rejuv remains largely the same with a small burst buff. I think that this is a good thing. I tend to utilize all of my tools when I heal, but I certainly favor my powerhouse heals: Rejuv and Wild Growth. I think equalizing our other HoTs is a positive change, if that does in fact happen. The danger, however, is that we will just find a new “go to” heal. I hope that isn’t the case, but if history has anything to say…

They are also really pushing some of our direct heals. I am unsure how I feel about this as yet. I don’t want to just spam my HT and nourish buttons. But, there is some potential here if everything is done well to give us the option to fully use our HoTs and provide solid single target healing as well. I hope that we keep our identity as HoT focused healers, because that is one of the things that I enjoy most about my druid.

I also remember reading a post from GC where he said that in Cataclysm there is not going to be the expectation that the green bars remain full. So where currently we want everyone “topped off”, in Cataclysm the goal is to heal enough to “survive”. I think I like that. In that I think that it does mean that you have to make some choices on who to heal, and how to heal them. It also means that healers will have to make decisions on what heals to cast again. If someone only needs a little bit of life, maybe x heal will work, where y would be overkill. I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out. I think it has great potential to improve healing.

Right now, I’m going to go with cautious optimism. The only thing that I am definitively unhappy about is how lackluster ToL currently is. I have a few worries here and there, but I don’t think I can get worked up about them at this stage of these things.

So…what do you think?

Posted June 10, 2010 by Beruthiel in Cataclysm!, Changes, Druid Healing

My Bags, My Business!   6 comments

I am an EJ benefactor. What does that mean? Well pretty simply that I support EJ by giving an annual donation to help support the maintenence of their forums.

Beru, I hear you say, wtf does this have to do with your backpack size?!?! Well…I’m gettin’ there!

Anyhow, one of the “perks” of being a benefactor is access to forms that are only open to benefactors. Within these forums there is all manner of topics discussed. The other day, I read a comment from another benefactor who indicated that he had no pity for anyone complaining about bag space who was carrying around a titanium seal of Dalaran…

And I thought “damn, it’s a good think this guy can’t peak into my bags!”, because, um, yea…

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Do you see my backpack?! It is full of what I consider “fun” things that enhance my gameplay! Let’s take an inventory of the kind of “junk” that I am carrying around:

A Party Bomb – because sometimes you’ve just got to dance!

A Toy Train – um, hi, choo choo; ’nuff said.

One Red Ribbon Leash – I have 129 non-combat pets! You seriously don’t expect me to walk them without a leash, do you?

One Super Simian Sphere – Monkey Ball. That is all.

Pet Biscuits – My pets get hungry!

One Train Wrecker – uh…who can resist a tiny mechanical gnome who dances?!

One Murloc Suit – Hi, I can dress up as a Murloc whenever I want! This really doesn’t need justification, does it?

One Titanium Seal of Dalaran – because WoW doesn’t have a “coin flip” app!

An Ogre Pinata – You can loot bubble gum. BUBBLE GUM! *pop*

One Imp in a Ball – “will we kill HM LDW tonight?” “ask again later” yes, folks, this right here is the best raid planning tool available to you!

One Orb of the Sin’Dorei – Because WoW has yet to add a plastic surgeon to make Tauren as sexy as BELFs.

One Iron Boot Flask – ok…I’ll admit that these wired mechano-dwarfs kinda freak me out. But, sometimes I’m feeling short and stout dammit!

The Whistle of The White Raptor – tiny little dinasaurs that I can ride? Yes please.

One Foam Sword Rack – ever had a key person like a tank run late or go link dead before a pull? I promise this sucker will make everyone forget they are sitting with their thumb up their ass while waiting! Plus, um, “bonked” owns.

A spectral tiger sandbox toy thingie – because I can’t afford the real thing!

One Timbermaw Trinket – You never know when you might need your Furlbog guardian!

A Haunted Memento – I know it’s creepy…but at least I know I’m never alone!

Sure, perhaps these doo-dads aren’t mandatory to any sort of progression success, but they are a lot of fun! And why shouldn’t I carry around a veritable toy shop if it makes me laugh now and again? To me those little gadgets are just valuable in my bags as the gear sets, flask mats and glyphs that are required for raiding.

I guess maybe different people find different things important when considering how to allocate their precious bag space!

What kind of “essentials” are you carrying around in your bags?!

Posted May 6, 2010 by Beruthiel in Bling Bling, Changes, Just for Fun!

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