The future of this blog…
Ok so I know there hasn’t been much content on this blog since I started it. As some visitors will realise when they visit, the aim of this blog was for an assignment for a Web Communications subject for Uni. That being over about 3-4 months ago, this site has pretty much laid dormant. I’ve considered on many occasions whether to actually use it – I want to preserve the elements that were for my assignment for other people to see and hopefully give them some direction for their own assignments, so I will be keeping the exegesis and About page, and probably some of the node links (flickr, youtube, etc). My other issue is that because of university studies and other real life stuff, I don’t play games (i.e. WoW) as much as I was, and my raiding guild is a bit behind the curb in progression because of the difficulty obtaining reliable raid members (from one of only 2 25 man raiding guilds on Alliance in Dragon Soul, to not even being able to scrape together 10 people for current content on raid nights) – anyway, although I would really like to write stuff I don’t feel like I have much to contribute to the WoW or druid/priest community that isn’t already done much better in other places.
So, take a short cut through the long-winded story, all I can really write about is my own experiences and opinions. The slight edge that I have I think is that, unlike Cataclysm, feral has more so gone back to the kind of niche spec – it was very popular in Cata pvp because of the utility, survivability and damage burst (despite the nerfs), but now it seems to be less popular than ever before; even some of the pro PVErs have changed to Monk or quit the game. I’ve been spending the last few hours browsing feral guides and blogs for advice for MOP pvp, and found that many have either stopped running, or haven’t been updated since the expansion release. So maybe my ramblings will count for something!
OK so maybe before I start talking about feral druids and acting like I know what I’m talking about, I might provide a bit of background. My druid was the first character I ever made, and I started playing early WotLK when my older sister finally bribed me to play the game by buying me the first 2 games. So yes, I am a Wrath Baby and I don’t deny it. I chose Nightelf because I enjoyed the Nightelf scenarios in Warcraft III (I think it was). I can’t remember why I chose a Druid but I love animals and cmon, shapeshifting into a massive cat/bear/bird is awesome, so that was probably why. I had no idea what spec to play, or really how to play, but the sister who bought me the game advised me to level as feral and helped me with my spec. I know I was horrible in the early days; I died a lot. Darkshore will always hold dark, disappointing and frustrating memories for me of degraded gear and murlocks sprinting from the water, and their annoying ass gurgling. Anyway, my other sister who is younger, referred me and helped me level a bit with her druid. When I finally hit 80 (and had no clue what I was meant to do) and I asked this sister to help, she said she would only help me if I changed to Balance because feral was crap. By then I really liked the spec and I’m pretty stubborn to change, so I said no. So I did dailies until I was exalted with everything, and bought the rep gear.
It wasn’t until my elder sister raised her prot pally to 80 that I started doing heroics with her help. I won’t deny, I was crap at this point. I’d never played anything like WoW; all I’d ever known was questing which is an extremely different style of playing to damaging in a group environment. After a while my sister pointed me to a site that gave advice on spec and rotation (however I remember the rotation it listed was just Mangle, Rake, Shred x 2 and Rip or something). So I started using this and I did better. I finally stumbled into the world of proper spec guides and learnt the rotation properly and eventually started doing good damage. However, I think like a lot of casual players at the time, I hit a kind of glass ceiling soon after. Dungeons will only get you so far. And in wrath there was no dungeon finder, no raid finder or scenarios. The guild I joined with my sisters is the one I’m currently in, but when I asked if I could raid I was told I wasn’t any use to the guild unless I had a tank or heal offspec. So I got a bit fed up and stopped playing for about 6 months. When I came back, ICC was out I think. I had gotten a lot better at my spec since the beginning, and the guild even took me on a few TotC runs. Unfortunately, my computer and internet weren’t very good at the time, and though eventually I was asked on occasion to fill in spots in raids, my game would crash during the 2 bosses I think. Around the middle of ICC declining raid numbers meant I was invited to a lot of the guild’s ICC raids. It was incredibly frustrating though working out fights through trial and error – as everyone else had done it many times before and knew the strat, but when you don’t know before hand you’re going to be asked to come you have no reason to have learned the fights, and when you do it’s a little out of context because each guild adapts their strategy to suit their raid composition.
At the time raids worked on a DKP system then and I wasn’t a raider so I only got loot that no one else wanted – so heroic tier tokens and trinkets were off the table. I geared up and my DPS improved considerably, and on fights like Saurfang I was I think about 3-4th on DPS when nearly everyone outgeared me considerably. I continued to play as a fill-in for the rest of WotLK, though I did manage to get Deathbringers Will during a guild pug (for the legendary) which I would not have been the running for during a guild run at all, which lets be honest, was one of the best trinkets ever made (that’s useful that is). Before the Cata pre-patch, I was able to pull about 16k on melee friendly fights. After the patch and hot-fix to fix 80- feral, I managed to pull off 18k. ICC was a rather frustrating environment to become accustomed to raiding for me, not least because it was disheartening to know you’re pulling your own weight, performing on par with other people who are more experienced and more geared than yourself, but feeling like you’re being treated second-rate because they were there first. But hey, if you learn nothing else with raiding it’s that things are often shit when you first start out.
Anyway, there’s not really much to comment about my Cata experience. I was finally made a raid member and survived all the nerfs and buffs to the spec. But hopefully by now I’ve demonstrated at least that I have played feral from the start, and never because it’s the flavour, or quit it when it got difficult. And this post has ended up being far longer than I thought it would be so all the other stuff I was going to write about will have to wait until next time!