Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I just wanted to mention, because I'm super happy about it.

We downed Brutallus. Go Go Gadget Bear Tankage!

And of course, in the Victory Screenshot, the bloody Giant Draenei Mage jumps right in front of me.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hewo? I has a Beta Key!

So I'm not exactly the best in the world when it comes to updating anything. I spend weeks at a time playing with old addons, I pay bills sparadically in the month, and I shift around my workout schedual so often I'm suprised I still go. As such, it's not really a suprise to me that it has taken me so long to update this blog with anything.

I wish I could say it was because nothing important has happened, but that'd be incorrect. Here's a short rundown:

- My guild killed Vashj
- My guild killed Kael
- My guild killed Archimonde
- My guild killed Illidan
- My guild killed Kalecgos
(see? lots has happened!)
- I have 5 pieces of t6
- The pocketwatch finally dropped...and I stopped using it when the Commendation dropped
- I have a Beta key!

So yes, I shall just have to give myself a sharp rap on the knuckles with a ruler, and a shy thank you to Phaelia for getting me back to posting...even if it still manages to be about as often as a solar eclipse!

In anycase, I'm now Main Tanking on Brutalis, which is both exciting and frustrating. It's exciting because it is quite simply the most challenging encounter for tanks that I've yet to come up with. Taunts have to be darned near perfect, communication has to be top notch, and we simply cannot afford any failing of any sort in DPS or Healing. At this point, our DPS is on, our tanking is (of course) PERFECT (okay, mostly perfect. I've been known to taunt a moment too early and get Meteor Slashed for a wonderful 4 stack...oops.), but our healing is not quite there.

Don't get me wrong. Our healers are FANTASTIC. So fantastic, I'm suprised I haven't seen Alanis Morissette walk out of a church and gift us with her deadly voice. But while I have full confidence in their ability to keep me up with my current zomg-status stats, sometimes we are unfortunate and miss out on a heal over the course of a 2.6-3.3 second period, which against Brut, is quite simply a call for death.

However, there have been a few nights that the healing has been perfect, and it was the DPS slowing us down, so perhaps I'm being overly critical. I know my GM thinks I'm overly critical sometimes...but then again, she IS one of my healers. So I understand that.

Ah well. So what do I do to deal with the stress of such a boss encounter? Well, I've got a few things!

Firstly, my baby-druid Kaibear is currently level 59! I'm slow to work on her (which is probably obvious by now), but when I do, I definitely enjoy playing a younger version of myself.

Secondly, I have a level 62 Enhancement Shaman, who is by far the most attractive space-cow you'll ever see. Super cute, and eats things alive with her insane windfury proccing joy. She'll hit 70 soon, I'm sure. It helps to have a friend whom I convinced to level a druid (yay instance friend!) leveling with me.

Thirdly, I read. A lot. I re-read the entire Harry Potter series again. Sometimes, getting away from WoW is just what the doctor ordered. I'm currently reading Elantris, by Brandon Sanderson, for the second time, and enjoying it even more than the first. Don't know what I'd do without my library.

Lastly....I'm playing in the Beta! I got myself a lovely haircut, and promptly launched myself into the world, looking for any nasty monsters to slay in my quests! Well, that, and explore a bit (which is fantastic fun, might I mention). One of the first things that I found in my exploration was the Northern Lights. I am so happy they put them in, because they're gorgeous out here in Howling Fjord (click the image to the left for the screenshot of me checking them out!).

In any case, I'm off to continue my exploration for another short while, before I join the slumberland. I wish everyone luck in getting their very own beta key! That way we can all get together and create a wonderful guild of druids, and strive to have our very own Critter Form Shapeshift! inc!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Gear Selection

I've spoken with a few druids recently who have either just hit 70 and begun looking into tanking, or have been 70 for a while, but just recently specced feral to tank. Many of these druids have had ideas on tanking stats that were either almost right, or completely off track. I figure, heck, why not explain the benefit of the stats:

Strength is a generally unimportant stat for two reasons. The first reason is that all it does is increase your damage, which doesn't matter a whole heck of a lot in bear, and the second reason is that it increases your damage, which doesn't really mean a whole heck of a lot in bear. Yes, it's nice for increasing your threat, but you shouldn't go looking for it because bear threat is already so high, and what we mainly need is mitigation and survival(being that we lack the 'oh shit!' buttons of our other tanking counterparts).

EDIT: I will reiterate that, yes, it is very nice for threat. The more damage we do, the more threat we gain. The same, however, is true of agility where the more crits you do, the better damage you get(10% increased from talents) and the more threat you gain. More on that in the next section, but just know that as you increase your agility and stamina and such, strength is tacked on to your gear. But don't look for it. Be happy that it's there, be thrilled when you see your mangles critting for 1400, but don't go looking. It'll come to you.

Agility does so many things. It increases your dodge (the most important!), your crit (the second most important!) and your armor(...ya, I know, 2 per agility, but hey, it does!). The more you dodge, the less often you are hit, and the easier you are to heal. Your dodge percentage should be about equal to the combined Dodge+parry of a warrior counterpart with equal gear. Being that Dodging is our only way to avoid taking damage and saving our healer's mana, it is a very very important stat.

On top of that, critting is how we generate massive amounts of rage, as well as increased threat(because of increased crit damage - see the talent Predetory Instincts for increased Critacal Hit Damage). With a high enough crit rate, you can sustain your threat on your damaging hits alone, and not have to rely on being hit (like Warriors and Paladins do). To break it down, More Agility = More Crit = More Rage = More Threat. Agility is your most important stat because it gives you both mitigation as well as threat generation.

Stamina increases your hit points. In bear form you get an increased amount of stamina from both Bear Form and Heart of the Wild. The point of stamina is to survive the hits you DO take. With 50% dodge, you will still take half the hits dished out- surviving them is important.

Hit Rating
Increases your chance to hit the target. Although this is nice, and other druids will arguably tell you to look for +hit gear, I find it an unimportant addition to your tanking gear. If you get the Earthwarden (as all Feral Druids better) you can make up for the lack of +hit with the Feral Combat Skill Rating. But really, even without it, the amount of threat we dish out on any hit what-so-ever is enough to make up for not hiting 100% of the time. Don't bother with it unless it's already on it (Sun Gilded Shoulder Pads and the Boots of Natural Grace for example).

Defense Rating and Resillience Rating
Stack enough of these to get a 2.6% reduced chance not to be crit in addition to the talent Survival of the Fittest then stop getting it. Defense rating is more expensive than Resillience, so if you can get it through resillience alone, have at it. It's unlikely, however, but if ya can feel free. We only get half the benefit of defense rating that warriors get (miss and dodge, discounting crit reduction), so why waste points?


I left out Crit Rating and Dodge rating because of the simple fact that Agility gives both of these, and we need less points of it to get the same benefit. I also left out armor because, well, you should know what it does. The only important thing to know is that armor caps out at about 37k, so don't stack beyond it. There's no point.

Now, all high end druids will agree with the uses of the stats that I've explained above. You will, however, find some druids that focus more on stamina than agility, which is still a good way of looking at it. For 5 mans, high stamina is very nice because you'll want to get hit. Why? Well, it's unlikely that you'll have salvation on your dps as you would in a raid, and also highly likely that your dps will be, well...special. You know the ones. The rogues that cheap shot right as you hit him, not allowing you a moment to get aggro or the possibility of building rage off their hits. The mages that open up with a PoM Pyro. The locks that Searing Pain(why? Who knows.). Or the Elemental Shamans that add a shock in the rotation (Zomg threat!).

In these situations, you might find that Stamina > Agility, because you'll WANT to be hit as many times as you can get out. You may even find a little hit rating useful so that if they pull aggro, you can always get it back. But generally, the progression of stats after you gain crit immunity should look like this:
Agi > Stam > Armor > Hit Rating > Strength > Dodge Rating > Crit Rating

For information on Threat, I recommend you read Druid Threat Values on the Of Teeth and Claws blog. It lists out the threat of each ability, so you can see the importance of strength and other such stats in mathmatic form! =D

On a side note, Kailora hit #1 dps on Tidewalker today about one minute before a wipe! Who says ferals can't dps? =)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Potatoes Anyone?

So as you can see, it didn't drop. Again. The Emerald Ripper drops as if it were candy on Halloween, and the Girdle seems to simply be a static drop. I don't think I'll ever get the pocketwatch. It's funny, though. The Stranglestaff (who I've affectionately named "Tenny") and the cloak (both of which drop from the Druid Hating Illhoof) both dropped for me in the first two times I killed him. But this pocketwatch has not dropped in any of the times I've gone, and I feel like I live in Kara sometimes. It's a good thing I don't absolutely need it, but the bonuses are so stellar it's hard not to want.

In other news, I was speaking with a newly feral druid in the guild about his gear choices and why his damage was so low in Mechanar the other day, as well as why he cannot generate more than 600 threat per second...and I was at a loss. His gear isn't great, but it's headed in the right direction. He says he's using the exact same attack combination that I use, both for tanking and for dpsing, but his damage is final damage output is 12% lower than mine, and his max threat is what I can do while sleeping (I'm not kidding on the sleeping thing; I actually fell asleep in a Slave Pens run when I was 65ish and was still tanking when my flatmate poked me awake because I needed to move the boss.) I just don't understand it. I think the only thing I can think of that would make the that he doesn't button mash.

I know, button mashing is BAD! It's unskilled, and it just means you have no idea what you're doing, right?


Button mashing is the way classes that have constant cooldowns deal with their attacks. I spam Lacerate hoping for the ability to go off the moment it gets the chance. Maul is always queued, but I have to mash it to make sure it queues up at a time where Lacerate isn't hit (it's weird. Who knows?), and I hit Mangle from 1 second before the cooldown is up until the moment it's gone off.

Maybe he doesn't mash? But maybe it's what is needed.

I want a T-shirt now. "Do You Mash?"

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Things Bears Should Know

Agility is always superior to hit rating.

415 Defense is not needed. 2.6% chance not to be crit and SotF is. Reach that, then get more agility.

Socket bonuses are generally worse than gems. Get what you want.

Aggro is yours, and yours alone. Don't let anyone else have some. Ever.

Especially the mage. He's a hog anyway.

Rage gains cause aggro.

Feral Faerie Fire is free aggro. Don't use it if you have a full rage bar.

Your healer is your best friend. Don't piss her off.

You don't have a problem getting threat. 15 agi > 2% threat. Always.

If you have the Heavy Clefthoof set, 2.6% CNTBCrit, 20% dodge and 12k hp unbuffed, you can tank in Kara.

Bash is long enough to gain aggro back from a loose mob. Don't bother increasing the time of the stun.

Lacerate two targets. Swipe three. Stop being lazy with two mobs.

You can't do everything. But what you can do, you can do damn well.

You're the best Off Tank in the game. Relish it. Your job will never get boring.

Dancing with someone usually alleviates anger.

Purring helps too.

Honey! Murlocs Ate the Kids!

You know, I found out very recently, that although I have a large amount of tanking knowledge (I'm modest! I swear! ...okay, maybe not), I really have no idea where to begin sinking my teeth in and sharing it. I've written a few drafts on a few different subjects (namely, gear choices, the mid-tanking innervate, and how to make leveling easier), but none of them have really made me purr in contentment.

So I've given up!


Just kidding. Instead, I'll do exactly what I said! YAY FOR STORY TIME!

So I was leveling my baby druid yesterday. She's feral at the moment, mainly because my shadow priest friend has yet to reach an equal level so I can just heal her and go on with my day. But I was outside of Southshore killing murlocs when my kitty got attacked by five at once! Murlocs are so mean, always ganging up on one poor soul.

As I'm running away in my cheetah form, I see a warrior come and charge into the group.

All I could think was "Yay! I can heal him!" I know, feral? Healing?

But my main is 70. I have 5 sets of gear (two of which are various resists). I started my baby's early. I exited combat in moments, hit my "Healz" keybinding for Item Rack, popped a mana pot, and started healing up a storm.


So the warrior was a really bad tank. But I got to use my Battle Rez for the first time, and then had him charge into a group of 8 a few seconds later! It's the most fun I've had on her yet, and I cannot wait to turn 70.

34 more levels to go!


On a side note, Kailora is going to be helping out the guild alts in Kara tomorrow night. Everyone pray for my pocketwatch!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Marking The Territory

Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.
~Benjamin Disrael

Yes. You almost feel dirty for thinking about it, for even contemplating it- but it's true. You've found another World of Warcraft Blog. Do you feel ashamed? I should hope not. But if you do, let me ease your mind!

I'm a druid. Doesn't that make you feel better?

It has been in recent days, from reading the amusing and educational posts from Phaelia over at Resto4Life that I've considered writing in my own blog. Not neccessarily to teach anyone anything, but more to entertain myself and hopefully others as I explain my own amusement and frustration with this game that has taken over such a signifigant part of my life.

But more importantly, this class has taken over. I am a druid lover. I admit it! I hug Tree druids, I dance with Boomkins, and I run wild with Ferals. I just can't help the love I feel every time I even consider my class. Yes, there's problems, but as it has been pointed out, if there weren't problems with a class, they may as well implement an "I Win" button and delete all the classes forever.

So who am I?

Quite simply: I'm Kai. Or rather, Kailora. I'm a Bear in the guild Relic, an Alliance raiding guild that spends as much time raiding as they do PvPing. In short? They play a lot. I absolutely love to tank, and find that I don't have as much fun if I'm cat-scratchin' it up. There's just nothing better than sinking my teeth into the enemy, and Mauling to my heart's content, simply to dodge their incoming attacks and dishing out many more attacks in return.

But perhaps more amusing and more important...I'm leveling another druid. Yes. A second one. Why?

I miss healing.

So I hope you come join me in my adventures, both at 70 in Raiding content, as well as the adventures I have on my baby druid.