I've been away from the game since the holidays due to what I will politely refer to as technical difficulties. (I have a variety of impolite terms for it too, but this is a family blog.) During that time, I've watched the game from the sidelines and have grown bored enough to do some maintenance on stuff that usually gets ignored until I'm rooting through it in a hurry. Add-ons were updated, dead blog links were sent to their folder, interesting ones were added, and then I turned to my collection of bookmarks in order to prune there as well.
I have a pretty sizable cache of druid or druid-related links that's grown over the years, and a lot of them are still pretty interesting. In the absence of the ability to talk about what's actually happening in the game with any fluency, I thought it might make a decent stopgap Shifting. This is a selection that's kept me absorbed for many an hour on a snowy weekend, and it ranges from comparisons between druid and warrior tanks in the classic game to where you fall on a healer's priority list when you're a jackass.
While we have constant tree form back in the game as Glyph of the Treant, unfortunately we now lack Thorns and the pick-and-mix talent system that made the "Tree DPS" spec possible. Oh, progress.
In the unlikely event that another DPS pulls the mob off of you, simply shift to bear, Growl, and shift back to tree form. However, you should kindly point out to your fellow raid members that having to do this several times during the fight will greatly diminish your DPS.
TBC druid tank report at Elitist Jerks This was written in the early part of the Burning Crusade expansion. It's not among EJ's official guides and it shows, but I bookmarked it after realizing it was among the earliest things written about bear tanks in the BC era. The writer touched on a lot of issues that would go on to become a Very Big Deal later in both the expansion and Wrath.
Other blast-from-the-past entries from EJ:
- Warrior vs. Druid Tanks A classic-era question over druid tank viability. A valuable thread to read anytime you feel like bitching about the current state of the game.
- So Druid and Paladin tanking ... Another early BC thread noticing the rise of druid and paladin tanks with a shaky future for them in itemization. The first 6 months of BC saw a lot of quarreling over where each tank stood in relation to the others.
- [Feral Druid] Threat Generation Questions The first few months of BC saw warrior, druid, and paladin tanks sent into Karazhan versus thousands of undead. Thunder Clap hit three mobs. All of the undead were immune to druid bleeds. Paladins had a very different experience.
Must Tova An excellent bear blog that will turn one year old on the 26th. Happy birthday, Tova!
Alysandir's comment on healing priority I've kicked around the idea of doing a series on the best comments that WoW Insider's ever gotten, and this is among the many I've set aside for that purpose. Alysandir carefully explains how your behavior impacts where you stand on a healer's priority list, and what may come before you.
wow_ladies: What is this mod? + Valithria tips (NB: You'll need a LiveJournal account and access to wow_ladies in order to read the full thread, but I'll summarize it here.) This was my first introduction to the wonders of Tidy Plates (still going strong three years later!) and a pretty representative strategy discussion of how to handle Valithria Dreamwalker on 10-man. While resto druids had a good chance of stomping the meters on the average Icecrown Citadel fight, they were often assigned to "outside the portal" healing on Valithria due to other healers' more efficient single-target throughput.
A WarcraftSues Glossary This really doesn't have anything to do with druids, but it's funny. A cynical collection of RP community terms for behaviors they would rather not see.
Arena Junkies MS paint rage thread A collection of disgruntled arena players vents through lolcats and MS paint pieces. As you'd expect, many of these are NSFW, but the thread is still going strong four years later.
Achtung Panzercow's guide to the first ten seconds Still as true now as it was when it was written. Early problems in a pull do not magically go away -- they usually just get worse.
The Wayward Initiative's Wait for it ... How to know when it's okay to start DPSing by watching for graphics that indicate a tank has used an AOE effect. Someone should probably write an updated version for monk tanks. I had been playing a druid since 2007 and I am genuinely ashamed to admit this was literally the first time I realized that Swipe briefly turns its targets red.
SiaKim's gallery I was going to link only to the cat form piece and then realized that I should share the wealth with people who aren't druids.
Miirkat's YouTube channel A feral gladiator's commentary videos.
Esports News: The real reason esports can't go mainstream anytime soon On that note, a really pointed observation from WiNGSPANTT: Gamers have a tendency to be jerks to anyone commenting on a game who doesn't have the "street cred" held by high-profile players. That's a dick move all on its own, but it actively harms the growth of e-sports. Here's where the hammer falls:
Sunnier's Art of War: The death of the bearcat The hybrid bear-cat playstyle that had existed from the beginning of the game (well, sort of ... we can't really argue that cat DPS was truly viable until Wrath at the earliest) was safely dead as of the Mists of Pandaria content patch.
Simply put, e-sports will never become mainstream unless the competitive gaming community can get over itself and open a dialog with lower level players, hobbyists, and unskilled spectators. The average baseball fan can't throw a curveball. The average NASCAR fan would s*** himself if he drove over 140 mph ... Yet despite the fanbases of these sports being almost universally non-competitive (or even non-participating) audience members, sports are incredibly popular, if you haven't realized. Maybe part of that is that they've been around longer, but I'd bet part of it is that the average viewer is allowed to share his or her opinion without getting publicly humiliated by everyone in hearing distance.
Desertwalker Cane Something I bookmarked to include in a future transmogrification piece for anyone who wanted something a little more substantial as an offhand.
Restokin: Druid Healer Survey results, part one and part two Lissanna ran a survey on the druid forums in advance of patch 3.3 asking resto players to weigh in on on spell choices and what they anticipated in the patch. It's a pretty representative look at what resto players were doing before Icecrown Citadel, which was mostly a lot of Rejuvenation and Wild Growth.
Shifting Perspectives: Bear and Resto Edition takes a peek at healer balance in Dragon Soul, discovers why bears and PvP gear are a pretty good mix, lends advice on gearing up to hit the Raid Finder, and helps you level a druid in the Cataclysm era.