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Shifting Perspectives: Patch 2.4 druid roundup


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, sometimes known as the Big Bear Butt Blogger, postpones the final part of the bear tanking strategy guide once again to focus on druid changes in today's patch 2.4.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Leveling guides still need to be written, tanking strategy article gets put off yet another week.

If anyone ever told me before I started this gig that I'd have too many breaking news stories to discuss to write big posts in a long series, I'd have laughed at 'em.

I guess the lesson here is that World of Warcraft is a continually growing game, and sometimes we have to act fast to stay on top of the changes.

As much as I'd like to hand you Episode III: Return of the Bear Strats, I bet with the patch hot and heavy, most of you are a lot more interested in knowing how we stand with the excellent druidy goodness.

Sigh. So long, bear strategy. Hopefully next week. Unless we get a hot annnouncement of new druid content coming in the next expansion, or shocking undocumented patch changes, or something.

One thing you can be sure of... there will be some folks that have every badge reward they want on patch day, and others will continue, like me, to scrimp and save.

Either way, look on the bright side. It'll be nice to have at least a week before people start complaining of being bored again.

Let's do a nice roundup of all the various changes and additions coming to the druid class, so everybody can plan what they want to do first. Just follow along past the break!

Class changes

The first thing of concern to most druids will be the class changes that are coming. So that we start fresh, here are the most current changes listed in the patch notes;

  • Cyclone range is now 20 yards, down from 30.
  • Empowered Rejuvenation: This talent now properly affects the final heal from Lifebloom.
  • Gift of Nature: This talent now properly affects the healing from Tranquility.
  • Insect Swarm: Casting lower ranks of this spell is now properly penalized like other healing and damage effects.
  • Lacerate: This ability now deals additional damage based on the attack power of the Druid.
  • Lifebloom: The bonus coefficient on the final bloom effect has been reduced by 20%. This spell will no longer cause error messages when interacting with Spellsteal or while the Druid is under the effects of Mind Control.
  • Mangle (Bear) now properly triggers a 1.5 second global cooldown, increased from 1.0 second.
  • Many shapeshift form tooltips have been updated to be consistent with each other.
  • Natural Perfection: This ability will no longer be triggered by taking critical strikes while sitting. In addition, it is now affected by the Subtlety talent and reduces damage by 2/3/4%, down from 1/3/5%.
  • Nurturing Instinct increases your healing spells by up to 50/100% of your Agility, and increases healing done to you by 10/20% while in Cat form.
  • Regrowth: The mana cost of this spell has been reduced by approximately 20%.
  • When a Druid in cat form casts Pounce it will now properly animate.

In a previous article, I covered the changes to Empowered Rejuvenation, Gift of Nature, Insect Swarm, Lacerate, Mangle and Natural Perfection.

Allison Robert did an outstanding job covering the changes to Nurturing Instinct.

The many changes to Lifebloom can be followed both in this post about the druid community concerns over the early version that reduced the amount of healing done by the tick, and then the subsequent final version with the HoT returning to normal and the final bloom being reduced was covered here.

The Cyclone range being reduced was talked about here, a change I am sure many druids will be very unhappy to see go live.

Surprisingly, the change that had previously been announced that allowed Swipe to automatically ignore Crowd Controlled enemies within range did NOT go live. I say again my last, it did NOT go live. You've been warned.

On the other hand, certain changes to game effects that I did not expect to see the light of day apparently DID go live, and for that I thank Blizzard. And I'm talking about Sharpening Stones and Weightstones.

General Changes

Some of the other changes that do not specifically pertain to druids, but will certainly affect us, include;

  • Characters will now retain talented spell ranks so when they retalent they do not have to relearn the spells from trainers.

No more forgetting to purchase your increased spell levels when respeccing. Oustanding!

  • Resilience: Now reduces the magnitude of mana draining effects by the same amount that it reduces critical strike damage. The Tooltip has been revised to reflect this.

This sounds like a very good change for us, not just for PvP but for using Resilience gear in PvE in certain special situations. I haven't played with the numbers yet, but it might be fun to explore having a set of high Resilience gear for use as a healer in mana-draining encounters, espeically with the release of the Arena 0.5 sets with high Resiliecne available from Reputation vendors. (More on that later!)

  • Spirit-Based Mana Regeneration: This system has been adjusted so that as your intellect rises, you will regenerate more mana per point of spirit.

I could try talking about this, but I'll instead point you towards the masterful breakdown and analysis of 2.4 Mana Regeneration that Resto4Life wrote in two parts, The Basics and The Calculator. I know enough to bow down to the master in these things. :)

  • Weightstones and Sharpening Stones: The bonus damage from these temporary enchantments now works while shapeshifted.
  • Non-corporeal Undead and Mechanical creatures are now susceptible to bleed effects.
  • Many changes to Druid Idols.

These three sets of changes were also covered in a prior article, where I professed my love for making ghosts Bleed and having Sharpened kitty claws. Yes, I will now devote a bag slot or two to carrying the correct Sharpening or Weightstones. Ah, more consumables to bring along to raids. No, I'm not complaining! I'm not!

Equipment Changes

As far as the Idol changes I mentioned briefly, here are the new Idol stats;

It's nice to see so many Idols gain more utility across the board.

  • Players will now be able to purchase level 70 Superior quality PvP items from reputation vendors.

This addition is one of my favorites, but not for the reasons you might think.

Yes, it's true that I just formed a 2v2 Arena team with my wife, purely for our amusement. But I'm not excited about the Arena 0.5 gear sets as upgrades. When I say it's our goal to see how badly we can do in PvP, it's more honest to say that it's our destiny to be horrible, so we might as well tell people "We meant to do that."

No, what excites me about this is that I have never, ever had every piece of a set, except for the Blackened Defias armor. Everytime I get close, new upgrades come out that push 'completing a set' to the back burner. I'll be running out and getting every piece of Dragonhide, just so I have one complete set of something.

So here we will have access to level 70 PvP gear, one set for each spec, available for purchase from reputation vendors in Outlands at the Honored level.

There are three sets of what's being called Arena Tier 0.5 armor, Dragonhide Battlegear, Kodohide Battlegear and Wyrmhide Battlegear. All are purchasable with gold from the appropriate faction Quartermaster at Honored reputation. No honor or arena points are involved.

Dragonhide Battlegear

Kodohide Battlegear

Wyrmhide Battlegear

I find it interesting to see that the Shoulderpads of Assassination now have some competition as the starter level 70 bear tanking shoulders, since it will be far easier to grab the PvP Dragonhide Spaulders rather than run Sethekk Halls and compete with rogues for gear that, rightly, they would like first dibs on, no matter how good they may be for druids.

Since we're talking about new gear in the patch, I think it is only appropriate to direct you to Allison Roberts' brilliant breakdown of all of the druid Badge of Justice rewards that are now available. She did an outstanding job on this, and when I have enough Badges, sometime around 2009, I'll be delighted to gear up.

And yes, Allie, I do read the italicized portion of the article. And you have a lovely singing voice.

Finally, on a lighter note.

  • Two new cooking recipes, Charred Bear Kabobs and Juicy Bear Burgers, can be purchased from either Bale (Horde) or Malygen (Alliance) in Felwood. These recipes requires 250 skill to learn, and are created from meat found on level 48-56 bears. This will aid players in leveling up their cooking skill to 300 without fishing.

Now, I don't know who they think they are coming up with those, but if you think you can carve a slice out of MY butt and serve it on a bun, we're gonna have us some words.

That's all for me, and I wish you all stable addons and fast patch downloads, and have a great week!

Patch 2.4 sounds great, but what's in it for you? Find out on our Sunwell Isle page where we list the impact on classes, professions, PvP, Raiders and many other playstyles and interests. Looking for more great info? Check out the WoW Insider Directory for the best of our guides and analysis.

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