Aug 052012

Since I think the talent tiers are about as done as they’re going to be, (though I hope Displacer Beast still gets changed, for its owns sake) I went ahead and wrote up a longer article on the first three Druid talent tiers for balance and feral. You can find it over on WoW Insider, as always. Next week, I’ll tackle Tier 4-6, and hopefully get some reasonably solid SimulationCraft numbers. Last time I checked, I think balance favored Incarnation and feral favored FoN, but that was a while ago and they’ve made changes this then.

I’d like to discuss Heart of the Wild some more as well, but I don’t have a good feel as to where it is in terms of off-role performance. (I’m not talking about the passive buff. That’s boring and OP.) I’ve heard 50-60% thrown around; if anyone has any date, I’d be interested in seeing it.


 Posted by at 11:52 pm
Jul 312012

For my forum-ites…

Haven’t been jumping into discussions on the forums much (which broke 7k posts a while ago, looks like) because, well, I’ve been lazy and haven’t been checking for new posts every day :) Mucking around with some things today, and I noticed that phpBB has a “post feed” option. I’ve enabled it now- see if it works for you and helps you keep track of things better. Link: (or just click the RSS icon in your browser’s address bar)

(This is just an “all posts” feed for testing; I’ll look at configuring options and stuff later, if it needs it.)

 Posted by at 12:08 am
Jul 262012

I’ve completed the guide page for the Mists of Pandaria druid talents, located here. Feel free to check it out and comment as you see fit; I’ll be revising it as talents change for the beta.

Also, I know everyone in the world’s covered it already, but just in case you missed it, the travel form model is now a stag by default. Previously, you had to glyph it to get that effect; now, though, they apparently like it enough that it became the default, and you have to glyph if you want the old cheetah form back. You can also glyph to allow your stag form to be ridable by others, if you choose. Works for me; cheetah and cat were too similar for my liking. Hit the link for pics.

(man, defaults to stag sounds like me in college.)

 Posted by at 10:25 am
Jul 242012

So, my column this week for WoW Insider was a “wait, why am I playing this class again?” screed, and it apparently struck a communal nerve. My columns don’t usually get 90 comments. :)

I don’t think I need to share with this audience why druids are awesome (Seal form + Vash’jir…fun times) but I just wanted to reassure people that I wasn’t going anywhere. Yes, I have a brand-new monk blog; yes, I’ve been enamored with them lately. As of right now, though, I don’t see my monk getting past “main alt” status. I just love Flying Serpent Kick. :)

Anyway I’m beginning work on the full guide pages that will be up for the Mists release, so you’ll start to (finally) see more options appearing on the drop-down menus. If there’s anything specific you’d like to see, let me know!

 Posted by at 3:01 pm
Jul 202012


So, the Twisted Nether Blogcast has this thing where they interview WoW bloggers, and it’s my turn. :) Come hear me wax lyrical, or at least grumble a bit, this Sunday at 11pm ET.

Maybe I’ll actually write a blog post between now and then and be considered a blogger still! Yay! (I blame Blizzard for not making more interesting druid changes. Seriously. It has nothing to do with the coincidental Steam sale that I most definitely have not bought ten games from.)

 Posted by at 2:56 pm
Jul 132012

A lot of people are pointing to the Mists trailer being shown at Gamescom (August 16th) as a signal that the expansion will be released in late August.

I don’t buy that. Why? Couple reasons.

  • DS nerf needs more time.  The Dragon Soul nerf won’t hit 30% until early August. If we look at Cataclysm, ICC hit 30% in July, but the expansion didn’t release until December. Yes, if you’re reading this you’re sick of DS already, but there’s hundreds of guilds still progressing who might get over the hump at 30%.
  • Trend of betas being longer. Adam had a great post on this back in April. BC beta was 95 days, Wrath was 128, Cata was 159. This beta started on March 20th, so a 190-200 day beta would see Mists land in late September/early October.
  • Jade Forest still isn’t done. That seems rather…major.
  • Guild Wars 2 releases August 28. This is the biggest reason people are predicting August…but the fact is, Blizzard generally doesn’t program expansion releases against competition. Patches, though? Sure. I could definitely see the 5.0 mechanics hitting on that date.
  • Datamined Brewfest items are Mists-caliber. Brewfest starts on September 20th. While I don’t think that’ll hold things up significantly if it went longer (they’d just move Brewfest back a week, most likely), it’s a good indicator.
  • First wave of Annual Passes ends in late October. Assuming they announce a new Annual Pass (likely) that won’t contain Mists (very likely), then they’ll want to make it available very close to the Mists release date. The WoW AP came out on October 21st, so a new one needs to be out or announced a week or two before then.

Back in January, I said “D3 in April, Mists in October.” Even though D3 slipped to May, I still think I’m pretty close. My guess:

Late July: 5.0 patch date announced.
16 August: Gamescom trailer, Mists release date announced.
28 August: 5.0 patch released.
4 September: 5.0.1 patch released to fix all the stuff 5.0 broke, Mists world event starts.
11 September: Not going to happen. Too many negative connotations still.
18 September: Possible release date.
25 September: More likely release date, with Brewfest being moved back a week and shinied up some.
Mid-October: Annual Pass 2 announced, reward is free HotS when it releases (plus free SCII if you don’t have it yet). No beta access this time, or at least restricted better.

(Yes, this is all part of my “prove me wrong, release it in August” ploy.) What do you think?

 Posted by at 9:31 am
Jul 122012

So, our very own Tinderhoof (yeah, I claim him) is going to take over as the feral representative on the Team Waffle podcast! Go check out his first appearance! I feel proud, almost…like I’ve had a litter of kittens or something. :)

As for me, I’ve been playing detective. The military has this lovely thing where officers get appointed as investigators for incidences of wrongdoing. I’ve been interviewing witnesses, running down leads, dealing with paperwork, all kinds of fun. (On the positive? side, there haven’t been any beta builds recently, so not too much to talk about.) I just completed my ~70 page report, so I’ve got a bit more writing time available to me now. I’ll start writing up some spec guides for MoP over the next few weeks, since I think druids are pretty much done in terms of major mechanics changes (not balance changes; feral’s too weak, guardian’s too strong, don’t really have a feel for the other two).

Also, I now have a Galaxy S III, which is an amazing device. I now have more games I won’t have time to play. Yay?

 Posted by at 12:30 am
Jul 012012

My latest column is up over at WoWI on the latest changes for balance druids: Fae Empowerment and more Starsurge  procs. TLDR version: FE is decent, but it’s complicating the rotation for little benefit. (Kinda like FB for ferals back in early Wrath…you stood to gain a little or lose a lot, depending on how you timed it, and this is the same.) I like the extra Starsurge procs though, and I think both changes help smooth out the “turret” feel moonkin have.

I’ve also gone back and updated the Symbiosis page, which is now complete (yay!) though it may not be 100% accurate (boo!). If you see any mistakes, please let me know and I’ll correct them.

 Posted by at 9:06 pm