Where’d All the Chicken Go?

7 08 2008

Well, I know this still counts as a brand-new blog, but, as you might have noticed there has been a significant drop in postage (ooh, I just made up a new use for that word!) recently and I just thought I’d throw out this little post to let you know I’m not dead or that I’ve already given up.

No, the recent lack of activity on my part is twofold:

1) When my “About the Blogger” section says that I’m a college student, what it really means is that I’m an incoming freshman, and thus have to deal with the whole move-in, register, prepare, etc. steps in order to do so. I also have to tie up some loose ends at work and with all the people around me.

2) I’ve actually been a tad bored recently with the game. I’m trying to get back into leveling my Warlock to 70 (she’s 58 currently) and am half-heartedly grinding Netherwing rep on my Shaman and not actually doing much on Sylv. Part of this is due to part (1), but I think it’s the standard temporary burn-out, whether it’s purely due to the expansion or not, I’m not sure. I am in a less awkward position than some, due to the fact that I don’t raid anymore, I don’t have to worry too much losing all my leet purplz come Q4 (Morhaime’s expected release period). But as we probably all know, with a game which requires (well, politely asks) this level of time-commitment and the standard repetitive nature of the game mechanics, it’s very easy to get burned out and lose your enthusiasm for a while.

So, fear, not! I still poke my head into the forums and read up on WoW (actually, much more so than I play these days, isn’t that sad? yes, it is rather sad…) I am just sort of twiddling my thumbs a bit until Wrath.

Then I must throw in this disclaimer: as a new college student, I can’t even guesstimate (best unreal word ever) about my time committments come… next week. So even if I get a second wind and get back into the game a bit more and posting, I can’t say what the frequency, or, ahem, quality, of it will be. But I’ll try to work something out, because I like the online Druid community as a whole and still like this game.

One thing I will hopefully follow through on is Doomkin’s (or Lucidous’) Balance-orientated guides. He’s asked me to write some sections, and, depending of course on what kind of time I can commit, I will hopefully be joining him with that.

So, thanks to everyone who has kept looking back here for something new, and I hope to have more in the near future.

<3

/wave

-Sylv





A New Day, A New Beta

29 07 2008

Well, we arise today to find a new Beta build implemented and some great changes for Druids and other exciting news. Go here to see the complete listing. 

 

There are not actually a lot of direct Druid changes and especially not for Balance. But scroll down a bit and you get this:

 

  • Glyph of Natural Force (Class: Druid) – Empowers a Greater Glyph to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting your Wrath spells by 50%.
  • Glyph of Moonfire (Class: Druid) – Empowers a Lesser Glyph to reduce the rage cost of your Demoralizing Roar by 20.
  • Glyph of Thorns (Class: Druid) – Empowers a Minor Glyph to reduce the mana cost of your Thorns spells by %s1%.
  • Glyph of Wild Endurance (Class: Druid) – Empowers a Minor Glyph to increase the duration of your Mark of the Wild and Gift of the Wild spells by 30 min.
  • Glyph of the White Bear – Changes the appearance of your bear and dire bear forms to that of a polar bear.
  • Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration – While Frenzied Regeration is active, healing effects on you are 20% more powerful.
  • Glyph of Growl – Increases the chance for your Growl ability to work successfully by 8%.
  • Glyph of Mangle – Increases the duration of Mangle by 6 sec.
  • Glyph of Swipe – Your Swipe ability now hits 1 additional target.
  • Glyph of Shred – Increases the damage dealt by Shred to stunned and incapacitated targets by 20%.
  • Glyph of Rip – Increases the duration of your Rip ability by 3 sec.
  • Glyph of Rake – Your Rake ability prevents targets from fleeing.
  • Glyph of Swiftmend – Your Swiftmend ability no longer consumes a Rejuvenation or Regrowth effect from the target.
  • Glyph of Innervate – Your innervate ability now has an additional 20% strength mana regeneration effect on you in addition to the effect on your primary target.
  • Glyph of Rebirth – Increases the amount of health on a character brought back to life via Rebirth by 100%.
  • Glyph of Regrowth – Increases the amount of your initial Regrowth heal by 50% if your Regrowth effect is still active on the target.
  • Glyph of Rejuvenation- While your rejuvenation targets are below 50% health you will heal them for an additional 50% health.
  • Glyph of Healing Touch – Decreases the cast time of Healing Touch by 1.5 sec., the mana cost by -25% and the amount healed by -50%.
  • Glyph of Lifebloom – Increases the duration of Lifebloom by 1 sec.
  • Glyph of Starfire – Your Starfall ability increases the duration of your Moonfire effect on the target by 3 sec.
  • Glyph of Insect Swarm – Increases the damage of your Insect Swarm ability by 30% but it no longer affects your victim’s chance to hit.
  • Glyph of Hurricane – Your Hurricane ability now also slows the movement speed of its victims by -20%.
  • Glyph of Starfall- Increases the duration of Starfall by 2 sec.
  • Glyph of Wrath – Increases the chance you’ll resist spell interruption when casting your Wrath spell by 50%.
  • Glyph of Moonfire – Increases the periodic damage of your Moonfire ability by 75% but initial damage is decreased by -90%.
  • Glyph of Entangling Roots – Increases the damage your Entangling Roots victims can take before the Entangling Roots automatically breaks by 20%.
An awful lot of examples solely for Druids based on the new Inscription profession. From Polar Bears to more useful things like increasing the duration of Starfall. Yet some of these seem to be trade offs. More Insect Swarm damage for less of a debuff. More Moonfire DoT for less upfront damage. I’d rather the buffs were more modest without the side effects personally. 
Primal Tenacity keeps getting changed around as well, but I lack the knowledge necessary to adequately evaluate the constant changes. 
And Replenish got a very, very slight buff (from 4 rage to 5). Hurrah!
Now for some other interesting tidbits:
Improved Scorch – More damage types added, now your Scorch spells have a 33/66/100% chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to Fire, Frost and Arcane damage, increasing damage taken by 2/4/6/8/10% and lasts 30 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times. 
This is poorly worded however. The debuff is 2% and stacks 5 times, not 10%. Another nice buff for our Arcane spells. This was kindly pointed out to me by Phaelia of Resto4Life (a kind soul if ever there was one). Now I wonder if another class will get the other spell types in there as well, as this seems to be noticeably lacking the other half, or 2/3 of the spell types that we would like to see (like, ahem, NATURE). A quick “find” search of the document lists no Nature buffs yet implemented. We can only hope. 
And besides that, if you read the very first list of changes at MMO-Champion, you will see some very interesting things like the Barbershop finally implemented, an ugly skeletal Gryphon mount for the Death Knights and a very significant Potion debuff which prevents more than 1 potion consumption per combat. This means less strain on wallets and probably significantly reworked raid mechanics. I suggest checking out WoW Insider, over there on the blogroll, for some specific posts regarding these changes. 
That’s all I have time for now. Thanks to Phaelia at Resto4Life and MMO-Champion for these updates. 
/wave




Ask Moon Chicken: Leveling as Balance

26 07 2008

Well, Pike comes in with a question regarding how to do better DPS while she is leveling as Balance. Here’s her question:

 

Dear Moon Chicken:

I am a level 40 moonkin and my DPS sucks! I was in an instance the other day and got out-DPS’d by a level 34 rogue and a level 34 enhancement shammy– granted, they had Windfury, but, you know. I was six levels higher than them!

Since then I have been wondering… am I doing something wrong, or is it just hard to do good DPS on moonkins at the lower levels? Is there some big secret I’m missing out on in terms of spell rotation/usage? I don’t want to be the “huntard” of moonkins (I am allowed to use the word “huntard” because I have a level 70 hunter and a level 63 hunter >.> ;) Any advice would be great!

 

Well, first, I’d like to thank you for trusting me with this question. I’ll do what I can. First of all, it’s a well-known issue that leveling as Balance is very difficult in the old world. Well, perhaps difficult is the wrong word, but maybe slow is better. This isn’t due to the talents, which are fine (if a tad bloated after the first few tiers) but rather the itemization. And this ties directly to your issue. You see, back in vanilla WoW, Moonkins weren’t exactly…endorsed, if you will…by Blizzard. Not that they came right out and said “Oi, Moonkins, go spec Resto or else” while menacingly brandishing a sharp shiv. No, rather, they implied as much through the itemization they gave Druids. The end game was dominated by Resto Druids because back then, if you could heal, you did heal. Ferals could get by on Rogue gear, but Balance Druids were left in the dust. 

 

And to this day Blizzard has done little to fix this. Now, although I leveled mostly as Feral, I did spend some time in the old world as Balance, and I know how you feel Pike. Your DPS will skyrocket after you hit Outland, but until then, here are some suggestions and explanations. 

 

First, the Shaman and Rogue were probably just better geared. This is no offense to you, it’s just that Enhancement Shamans can wear Rogue gear and be fine, and that might be what was going on. And the quality of their weapons are very important, so they might have had a good two-hander, which just gives insane burst damage. And Blizzard loves Rogues, so he probably had fine gear. And Windfury is HUGE. So don’t worry too much about that, let’s just worry about trying to improve you. 

 

First, let me suggest this spec (link). I don’t know what your spec is, but I personally like this one at this level. Celestial Focus is nice for soloing. Now Lunar Guidance and Dreamstate are very good to pick up. The problem is that the talents get bloated around those tiers, so some tough decisions abound until you get past level 50. Moonglow might help the most though, so I would recommend finishing that out and then going for Lunar Guidance. The problem is that you don’t really have much in the way of spell damage (if any) at this level, and that is the Moonkin’s primary damage stat. The treants will help you a lot, and Wrath of Cenarius is great once you do get some spell damage, but if you have none, fill out the other talents first, those will help you no matter what. 

 

Second, don’t be afraid to wear cloth. You didn’t mention your itemization, but if you are trying to wear all leather you will do less DPS. It gets better in Outland, but not much. The great thing is that you can hide the nasty looking assortment of gear everyone struggles with by hopping into Moonkin Form! Cloth is all over the place in the Old World and will have the stats you need, which are mostly Intellect, Spell Damage and Stamina. Spirit doesn’t help much until you get Intensity (which won’t be until almost level 70) but it’s not bad and comes on a lot of cloth. Now, you need to be careful not to step on the toes of other clothies you run with, but be polite and ask if you can roll Need as well. And of course, pick up cloth upgrades from quests if they exist. Your 400% armor increase will help you out if you have come cloth. And it’s cheaper to repair!

 

As for DPS rotations, there are a few depending on what you want to do. For most trash pulls before bosses, a good old Wrath spam will be nice. Right now Nature’s Grace limits how quickly you can chain Wraths together, but don’t worry about that. They will go down too quickly to really be worth a Moonfire or Insect Swarm, and Starfire will miss them on the last cast sometimes. So as long as your mana is OK, just go with Wrath. Now if you need to conserve mana or you are on a Boss in an instance, put up Moonfire and Insect Swarm then cast Starfire until the Moonfire DoT runs out and reapply it. You might have heard that Moonfire is inefficient, but this is a myth. It is very efficient. It is only inefficient if you don’t let the DoT do its thing by spamming Moonfire over and over again. You see, casting a new Moonfire resets the DoT and because you can cast every 1.5 seconds but the DoT takes 3 seconds to start doing damage, it never does any damage! If you do need to have both mobility and damage, cast Moonfire and then cast the second highest rank of Moonfire you have. It will do almost as much upfront damage but won’t replace the higher-ranked DoT, giving you much better mana efficiency. 

 

Summary: Wrath = DPS, Starfire = DPM (damage per mana). Let Moonfire’s DoT do it’s damage. And Insect Swarm is one of the most efficient spells in the game.

 

Another thing I might suggest is getting the AddOn Quartz, if you are familiar with AddOns. This AddOn is a special cast bar which shows you your latency in real time by creating a red bar of varying length at the end of your cast bar. When you see your cast reach that red box, it is time to press the button for your next spell. This is because latency affects what you see yourself as doing and what the server sees you as doing. But by using this sort of AddOn you will fit in many more spell casts than if you just pressed the next button when you saw that it was over, because technically it was over a fraction of a second ago. I know it might not seem like much, but it can be a huge boost to your DPS. Rogues and Enhance Shamans don’t need to worry as much because they do a lot of auto attacks. But you’ve gotta be on your game. You said you had a hunter, so if you use that AddOn which shows you your auto shot timer in order to weave in other shots correctly, it is sort of like that. 

 

Those are the best suggestions I have. If I left something out, I profusely apologize, and hopefully some kind soul will comment with another suggestion. Yes, Balance Druids will have a hard time topping DPS charts at your level, but they are a lot of fun as well, and it gets much better around your level. Best of luck to you and have fun!

 

/wave





Moonkins Can Do Everything

25 07 2008

It’s true! We can DPS, CC and Heal! But what else can we do, you so politely ask? Well, we can do pretty much everything, if VooDooRay is to be trusted.   

I just had to link to this video from WoW Insider because this video is fully made of win:

  And if you’re in the mood, check out the all-Moonkin Arena team Moonfire Cannon:

 

 

Enjoy!

 

/wave





Ask Moon Chicken

23 07 2008

Well, I was over at WoW Insider reading the final post regarding starting your own Warcraft blog (guess how this one got started…) and saw a commenter leave his blog address. So I moseyed on over to Warcraft Trade and lo-and-behold there was an Ask Wow Trader post up. His site is fantastic by the way. If you have an questions regarding the WoW economy, go take a look. It’s a pleasant read. 

 

Well, I thought I’d try and see if there was any interest for a similar thing on this site. So this is the post where I put out requests for any sort of questions you might have regarding Balance Druids or Druids in general or the Wrath Beta or even Shamans! I like to think I’m reasonable knowledgeable but if you stump me, I’ll confess as much as well. 

 

Well, if you’ve got any questions you can think of, please send them to Lazerturkey@gmail.com or just post them in the comments here. Depending on what the interest level is (i.e. how many questions I get), I’ll post maybe every week, maybe more often. So go get me some questions that need answerin’. 

 

I think I’ll roll this into a Stump Moon Chicken post too. Think of a question you know the answer to (regarding Druids, please, or WoW in general; no sports please =/ ). Let me know that you’re trying to stump me and then when I post the answer to questions I do know about, I’ll also attempt to answer your question. If you win, congratulations! I obviously have no prizes to offer, but maybe it’ll add a smidgen of fun. 

 

So if you have any questions, just email them to lazerturkey@gmail.com or post them at the end of this post. I hope to hear from you!

 

/wave





Forum Highlights

23 07 2008

 

Phaelia's Community Spotlight

Phaelia's Community Spotlight

Well, I’ve found some great little threads poking around the Druid forums (live and Beta) and I wanted to let you in on the news. 

 

 

First, we start with a wonderful little theorycrafting of Eclipse, and the nice Beta tester went above and beyond what I attempted earlier. He goes deeper as well, trying to work out whether more than 1 point in Eclipse is worth it mathematically. It’s an interesting read if you can follow the math (and I admit I got kind of confuzzled, yes, confuzzled, there at times). But if all you want is his answer and you trust the man, well, scroll down. The thread continues with some interesting suggestions regarding Eclipse. A good read. 

 

Second, we have a nice analysis of Resto talents also from the Beta forums. While this is primarily a Moonkin blog, I know lots of people switch back and forth. And really, I just love our Resto brethren. I mean, they do have the only form that can dare to compete with Moonkin Form, amirite? So check this out if you’ve been out of the loop. 

 

Next up we have a friendly and helpful high rated Moonkin offering some Arena advice. His advice is somewhat limited because he appears to play mostly with a Rogue, at least for 2v2, and throws in a Shaman for 3v3. But his analysis and strategy is solid, and often times applicable in other situations. If you are interested in PvP at all, and especially Arenas, I suggest you take a look. I admit my experience in the Arena is miniscule and almost always PuGed, so organized strategy escapes me. Give me a 1v1 in AV any day though, and I’ll rip you apart. Okay, well, only sort of. But I’ll try!

 

Also on the normal forums, a Beta tester by the name of Bighealbob (gotta love it) started up a popular thread where you can get some questions and suggestions in for the Beta testers. Because the Beta forums are only available to those with Beta access, this was a great idea. And the testers are very responsive. Lissanna has been very helpful for Balance Druids, and even was kind enough to copy and paste some of my talent bloat suggestions to the Beta forums, where, I believe, the Devs probably pay more attention. If you have any burning questions, they’ve probably been answered, or at least asked. So skim it and keep an eye out. And if you don’t find your answer, ask away! It’ll likely become to unwieldy soon, but until then it’s a great resource in this early Beta confusion. 

 

And last, but certainly not least, if you’ve been wondering what’s going on in the Blogosphere regarding Druids, take a look at Phaelia’s community spotlight over on Resto4Life. She was even kind enough to add me, and there are some other great additions there, for all three specs. So take a look! Don’t forget to check out her blogroll too, with even more good Druid blogs. 

 

Post a comment if you have found any good threads or Blog articles out there for me to highlight here. 

 

/wave





Treants: Now with More Pet Bars!

22 07 2008
Now with pet bars? 

 

Now with pet bars?

 

This just in! A Beta tester mentions off-hand that Treants have pet bars! Here’s the link. Decide for yourself! Hurrah!

 

Possibilities:

 

1) He has tried the spell in Beta and know for sure we have pet bars

 

2) He read somewhere that there are pet bars and makes an off-hand comment in a forum thread.

 

3) Well, aren’t those the only 2 real options?

 

Sure would be nice if it was true. 

 

/wave








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