First Impressions – 5.4

WoWScrnShot_091313_113242New content! New raid! New zone! Finally, something exciting to do and write about other than level alts!

First of all, Timeless Isle is awesome! Even on a server like mine that is dominated by the other faction, I can still say it is a lot of fun. Especially when you have the joy of throwing people off high ledges who deserve it.

By the way, don’t stand near any ledges.

The legendary cape only took an hour or two after arriving to get, though we were very lucky with our faction scraping together enough to defeat the Celestials. Plus there is a section up on a huge ledge that you can only get to with the legendary cloak, that has lots of elites and a few rares that spawn. The elites give around 20 rep each, compared to about half that much from other mobs on the island, and drop somewhere between 50-100 coins each. They do hit very hard so you would need a tank to efficiently farm them. We managed to get some guild members up there to farm who didn’t have their capes yet by getting them to ride a multi passenger mount of someone who did have it. However if they try to go into the fortress type place, they will be sent back to the arena.

Oh, and 496 BoA items for all my alts who haven’t dinged 90 yet? Hell yes! Unless it’s the Monk who tried to tank LFR last night without gemming/enchanting/reforging that gear, then it’s hell no.


I really miss Nature’s Swiftness. And my instant cyclone for world PvP, mostly just for getting rid of annoying gankers. On our raid on Wednesday several times I pressed my Renewal macro to buff my Rip, forgetting I didn’t have NS there anymore. I really didn’t think I got that much use out of NS except for the opener, but when we did Immerseus on Flexi, everytime he re-emerged from the add phase and I had to work my bleeds back up on him, I mourned for the loss of some more. So far Dream of Cenarius doesn’t feel that fun anymore, but I may change my mind later.

Ysera’s gift, well, it looks nice on the healing metres, that’s for sure. When I tried it, it did a large portion of my overall healing, and very little overhealing at this stage. I do prefer the feeling of having an on-use heal but the lazy part of me likes to get away with using something that just heals for me.

Siege of Orgrimmar

I haven’t really got much to say for this so far, as we decided to do Flexi on the first night and take some of our casual guild members along. The first two bosses seem very easy on Flexi, maybe a little too easy. As I mentioned the target swtiching on Immerseus is not fun. It also feels like a lot of melee is a hindrance on this fight with the aoe that drops on the ground, making it necessary to both spread out but also stay within reach of healers and stay behind the boss.

And more target switching on Fallen Protectors. We did not manage to defeat the third boss on Flexi, mostly because of very low dps. We had 15 people and only 3 orb spawns, so several people who were last in line for their orbs were doing very low damage and we hit the berserk timer.

More on this when we do normals, but with one of our raid members taking some personal time off, this may take a while.

Proving Grounds

WoWScrnShot_091313_110049Also, proving grounds? How fun are they?! As with all of the trials it seems, bronze and silver are a breeze, until you get to Gold. I reached a brick wall when I got up to the Sha trials (around round 7), since you have a very small burst window to do real damage to the Sha. This is more difficult when it sounds when you take into consideration that Feral has both weak burst (without Incarnation, and if you use that you’re energy starved after Berserk ends) and poor target switching. So after breezing through Bronze and Silver I won’t deny it took me over an hour probably for gold, and the more annoyed you are, the more likely you are to mess up to small things that you didn’t have problems with before, so take a deep breath and remember it’s only a game! Eventually it will all fall into place.


I also attempted the healer one. I found it very difficult come Gold on my disc priest, and slightly easier as holy. I think it’s that Disc is great for stopping people from dropping in health, but not so great for healing them up again. I then tried as Resto Druid and finished gold on the 3-4th try. Glyph of Efflorescence, that’s all you need to know. I also found ~wave 5 to be the hardest to heal overall, and then the tank takes a lot of spike damage in further waves.

Some pointers for Gold as Feral:

– If you get hit by amber, you’re pretty much going to lose. The timer is very tight, and I’ve found not that accurate.

– Use amber to your advantage. I usually find when there’s 2 ambershapers (?) I prefer to kill one and let the other one cast. Beware that if you’re standing too close to the mob you’re trying to encase, you can get hit too. The larger mobs (with the shields) seem to need a larger area for you to not get hit also.

– Bleed cleaving is very strong, and that’s where a lot of your damage will come from, especially on targets that are, or will be, encased in amber.

– Save the Berserk spawns for the first and last Sha. They don’t despawn. I found I had to save my Berserk cooldown for the very last Sha. While the shield is up, it is worth beating down his health, but you should be pooling energy for when the ghost/adds come out, and before you know his shield is about to come down.

– As may be apparent if you read up on it, gear is all scaled down to 463 (5 man Heroic level), set bonuses, meta gem and legendary cape don’t work.

– Mobs won’t turn to face you or hit you, so there is no need for Glyph of Shred or Glyph of Cat Form.

What doesn’t seem fair at the moment, and I’m not sure if this is an oversight or on purpose, but you cannot use Symbiosis on anything as DPS, but you can as Resto.

Currently I haven’t found a spec combination that can do the Feat of Strength achievement to complete silver as a different Specialisation. I tried the tanking one as dps, but either I take too much damage or can’t keep the mobs off the healer. So I thought I could try the healer one as Feral but the damn squishy tank takes too much damage, and your Healing Touch doesn’t heal enough. It also seems that Blizzard thought of this, and you do not seem to regenerate mana properly in cat form. My suspicion is that the healer as dps may be possible by a hybrid class such as Balance Druid or Shadow Priest.

I hope to write up a guide for Feral Gold in the near future.

That’s it for now, more to come soon!


Bloopers for this week

Ah, the facepalm worthy moments that I somehow feel it’s therapeutic to share with strangers…

On Wednesday, two rogues were in the Mage Tower in Stormwind trying to gank, so I decided to take my druid there and show them a lesson ^_^. I just equipped my PvP trinket and left my PvE gear on, because I’m lazy. First attempt they killed me though I got one to about 30% health and had 5 combo points about to do a rip when they managed to pull together and stun me to death. Then somehow they got separated and I managed to kill both of them. Good times.

So that night we did Heroic Jin’Rokh who we’ve done a few times before. Except this time we wiped half the night to things we know how to do. On top of that I just couldn’t seem to do decent numbers and was considering changing to Incarnation to burst during the pool phases, when after about an hour, we finally got him down.

No heroic helm for me, no trinket. So I used my coin.
Damn! Ring.
Wait, Heroic thunderforged ring.

So as I go to equip it and reforge it the same as my old ring (which was the same one, only normal TF), I realise that this entire time, I’ve had my PvP trinket equipped.

The rest of the night was pretty mediocre, and so was my damage, except on Tortos, where lets face it, AoE. ‘Nuff said.

So last night we were doing attempts on Heroic Ji’Kun, which we hadn’t managed to down yet, mostly just because of either tank deaths or messing up nest rotations. Again I feel like my DPS is terrible even though I was getting as many Primal Nutrient buffs as I could. But I figured, I always got them at the worst possible times (i.e. right before downdraft). But somehow, on the 5th or so attempt, things came together. We finally got it down.

That moment, where someone says “just burn it!”. Love it. Happy kitty.

Next was Durumu, who was on Normal. During this fight I was able to pay a bit more attention, and something odd was happening. When my Rune of Re-origination procced, my Droodfocus was telling me the bleeds were weaker than the ones I had on currently. Several times.
This can’t be right?
And my damage on Durumu was only about 150k, where last week I managed 200k.
At the end of the fight I look at my gear, and my stats… and haste is higher than mastery. /facepalm. All I changed was my TF ring to H-TF!
I’d done all the bosses, from Horridon to Durumu, proccing haste on my Rune without even realising it, and blindly reapplying my bleeds with 0 mastery.

Rambling Moments #2

Yes, this may become a regular thing.

Since I don’t have a lot of content to be providing at the moment, and to prevent this blog from becoming stagnant, I’ll try to do some smaller, regular posts.

First thing to mention, patch 5.4 is expected to be released in a week or two, so everyone make sure you get your stuff ready; lesser charms, valor (assuming it will not be reset) and so on. At this point it doesn’t look like the Nature’s Swiftness issue for feral will be addressed before the patch goes live, so expect to settle for using HotW if that is the case.

Despite unreliable numbers, our guild has actually done something I didn’t expect; we’ve started attempting heroic modes. Last night was our 3rd H Jin’Rokh kill, though he has still not managed to drop a single agility item. The only difficult part of the fight seems to be the transition and avoiding the annoying little sparks. The other we are attempting is Ji’Kun, and just seems a matter of perfecting the nest rotations.

So between that and levelling alts, on which I finally got my Double Agent achievement:
that’s about all I have to talk about.

Until next time!

Shaping Up: more on Patch 5.4 and beyond

Wow has it really been over 2 weeks since my last post?! Apart from not really having any actual ideas for a post, even part time Uni has got me writing essays and pitches for media creations… the latter though should be fun in practice, but not the part where you have to try to explain what you plan to do.

The other reasons include just very little happening in-game. It seems most guilds have caught up and gotten their “ahead of the curve” achievement, and there’s not really a whole lot to do but wait for the next patch.

And speaking of patch 5.4, well, there’s not a whole lot of feral druid love. Why? Probably because the feral community doesn’t have the numbers to make a huge noise like Warlocks, and Blizzard are probably dealing with the concerns that affect the most players first. There’s a thread on the PTR forums that is outlining the issues currently relating to feral druids and some ideas to fix many of those issues, and I highly recommend you go have a look if you haven’t put your thoughts forward. The more people who contribute the higher chances of the issues being addressed.

I’ll just quickly outline and summarise the current issues affecting feral druids discussed in aforementioned thread, though I don’t claim to have come up with these ideas, so check out the thread for further reading.


Armour art and set appearances – Getting dull and boring?

xmog setsI’m a big fan of transmog sets and hunting down unusual pieces, sometimes spending a lot of time farming the mats or mobs for an old or unusual piece.

I did not play during Vanilla or BC, but I would have to say that my favourite pieces so far are the sets and pieces from that content. Actually a few of the “green” sets from those expansions are my favourites, such as the Battleforge set, Ornate Mail set, Felcloth, Revenant Plate set, Conqueror’s Plate (which was a nightmare to farm for my Paladin), and many others besides. Dungeon sets from those times also feature prominently, such as  Feralheart/wildheart and Shadowcraft. (more…)

Shaping Up: Patch 5.4 PTR

Within the last few weeks patch 5.4 PTR has become available, and there’s a large assortment of Druid changes to pay attention to. The other big news, of course, is Flex Raiding which should prove to be a very interesting change, not only for casual and experienced raiders, but also to see if it will bring back some of the lost subscribers.

There’s still a lot of room for changes to 5.4, but here is a run-down of the current state of planned changes relating to Feral Druids, complimented by my fascinating commentary:


Must-Have Addons for Raiding Feral Druids

Ideal addons should be able to tell you what you need to know in the most unobtrusive way with as little effort involved as possible in getting this information. Think of it like the dash on your car. There’s a lot of information there, and you don’t want to take your eyes off the road for too long to get this information, or you risk veering off the road or into oncoming traffic. A quick glance is all it takes to see how fast you’re going, how much fuel you have left, your engine temperature, if your high beams are on, and so on. A good UI should do the same thing. You don’t want to spend 5 seconds looking for something while you stand in fire or run off a ledge because you can’t watch what you’re doing and look for this piece of information at the same time.

The purpose of addons:

Addons are to tell you things you need to know, or change the appearance of the UI, that aren’t directly supported by the default UI.

For some excellent pointers on how to set up your UI optimally, have a look at by Elamari’s User Interface post at File Under Feral. There are also many YouTube guides solely for this purpose (but make sure the addons they recommend are updated for the current patch).

I’ll be going through a list of addons (and some viable alternatives) which I feel are really important if you want to get the most out of your raiding feral. Basically what you need as a Feral Druid (in my opinion) is: A way to track necessary buffs and debuffs, combo points, defensive and offensive cooldowns and procs. Raid awareness – this includes raid frames to see the state of the raid. A clean UI, where you don’t get spammed with numbers, enemy bars and graphics that take over your screen will aid raid awareness.

I can’t resist showing the difference between an overcrowded UI illustrated by a UI posted by my Guild Leader back in Wrath (I’m not sure if he was serious when he posted this, my senses are telling me he was) contrasted with an *ahem* clean’er’ one which is my own (not perfect, but it’s easier than stealing someone else’s picture).


Throne of Thunder: Feral DPS Guide P2

Bosses 7-12 Throne of Thunder


If all spec/glyph choices are not mentioned, assume it’s the basic build for DoC (or HotW, whatever be your preference). These are from the PoV of 10 man but may be applicable to 25 as well.

In the interests of getting this guide out sooner rather than later, it may still be a work in progress. As always, advice and comments are welcome.


5.4 DoC Changes

After starting a post before which turned into a rant post and probably making little sense, I’m just going to outline my sentiments.

The change for Feral is stupid. Numbers aside, there’s no reason to mess up a perfectly good talent. If you don’t like the complexity of Dream of Cenarius then use Heart of the Wild. If you don’t like the play-style then a small difference in DPS is all it costs to use HotW and have some major raid utility. There is no rule that says “to be good you must be using DoC”, and I’m pretty sick of people saying that they feel like DoC is mandatory to do good dps. It’s not. Don’t like it? Don’t use it. Simple enough.

Anyway, there is some good discussion going on on the official forums, so if you feel like contributing some constructive input (hopefully on why this change is so stupid), head over to the forums and have your say.

PTR Thread:
Druid Forums:

Rambling Moments

So while I wait for my sister to be distracted by something shiny and leave her computer so I can listen to the Feral Roundtable podcast without being yelled at for downloading and lagging her, I may as well write something!

As I said in my last post, last week we were wiping on Lei’Shen, so we decided to extend our lockout to try it for another week, so if we are able to, we can begin Heroic Modes. So Thursday was decided on for the next raid night (because State of Origin was on Wednesday). Things went better. There seems to be a certain amount of rng involved – if the people heading to the furthest segment get selected before they’re into place it can cause major havoc.

I was trying out Displacer Beast for this, and I think this is the only fight I know of where it’s viable. Arguably Feline Swiftness probably works out with similar results. Benefit of DB for this is essentially a Blink to swirls or into position on the far section during intermission. It is rather frustrating though that the cooldown is 30 seconds for a glorified blink. I also glyphed Stampeding Roar to have a radius of 30 yards. The benefit of this as we get more experienced at the fight is kind of losing it’s value, as people are getting ready to move before the boss reaches 65% (?) health. DB to get to my final destination is pretty helpful but I’m not sure if you could argue that Feline Swiftness would get you there sooner anyway.

See what I mean about ramblings? (more…)

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