The Fast & the Fur-ious – Guest blog by Cantor, Challenge Modes as Feral in Warlords

So young kitten, you’re interested in the most challenging 5-man content that Warlords of Draenor has to offer? Well, you’ve come to the right place; I’m Cantor, guild leader of Omen on Emerald Dream EU, Mythic raider and 10 year veteran of World of Warcraft, and I’m here to guide you toward your dreams of those shiny, shiny Gold timed medals. I managed to take Cantor, my Feral Druid, through 9/9 Mists of Pandaria Challenge Modes in late 2013, and 8/8 Warlords Challenge Modes in April 2015.

What should I know?

  • Challenge Modes are intense, difficult, timed dungeons that reward a little gear, but mostly bragging rights.
  • Gear is scaled down to item level 630 (heroic dungeon blues). Gem sockets, tertiary stats and set bonuses don’t work in here, and the best way to gear up is just to chain-run heroics until you find pieces with the stat combo that you want; for Feral, this is crit and mastery. Crafting 3 pieces of WoD gear and using the re-roll items until you get the correct item suffix (Of The Peerless) is also a good way to do things.
  • The dungeons are basically the same as in Heroic, but either with mechanics added or the damage ramped up to insane levels.
  • Feral is one of the weakest DPS specs thanks to our abysmal AoE damage; Shadow Priests and Balance Druids also suffer, and Guardian Druids are one of the weaker tanks thanks to their total lack of utility abilities like Anti-Magic Zone, Army of the Dead, Heroic Leap, Roll, Breath of Fire and more; if you want an easy time, go Resto, as they are the strongest healers by a country mile thanks to their run-and-gun healing ability. But hey, we didn’t pick Feral for an easy ride did we?

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Warlords of Draenor Wish List

I am going to be very busy of the next few weeks to months with uni work so unfortunately posts may be few and far between. Hoping to churn out a few ideas I’ve got back logged. Here is a quick list of some changes I’d like to see for Feral’s in Warlords of Draenor.

Button Bloat
The dev’s have said that they would like to address button bloat by pruning abilities that are not in your core rotation, are not fun abilities and don’t see much use. For Ferals I think this could mean that abilities like Innervate and Hurricane could become Resto / Boomkin only and I think Soothe could be removed from the game, but there are other options as I discussed in my enrage effects post. Additionally with the removal of spells requiring positional requirements I can see something happening with Shred and Ravage.

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Dispelling Enrage Effects – Soothe, the forgotten dispel

Dispels have undergone numerous changes of the course of the game, evolving as Blizzards design philosophy has. Moving away from particular classes having unique abilities to a more uniform design with multiple classes being able to fill the dispel role – “bring the player not the class” e.g. all of the healing classes are able to dispel magic effects plus at least one of the other common dispellable effects (poison, disease & curse). When discussing the topic of dispels, enrage effects are often forgotten in a PVE context for a variety of reasons; the mechanic is rarely used (compared to the other types of dispels), the duration of the enrage is quite short or the mob dies quickly so the mechanic becomes trivial or the mob can be stunned / crowd controlled, and/or there are only a limited number of classes that are capable of dispelling enrage effects (Druids, Hunters & Rogues) so the mechanic sees limited use in current encounter design.

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Addon review: Clique and Feral Druids

Following up from my post on raid frames for Feral Druids I am going to talk about an addon that compliments raid frames nicely. Clique is an addon that enables click-casting and hover-casting on unit and raid frames much the same as mouse over macros do. The biggest advantage of this addon is that it allows you to more quickly select both the spell to cast and the target of the spell without requiring an extra click.

Clique is very versatile. It allows the use of modifiers (shift, alt, control) when binding spells, it can be used with any unit / raid frames including the standard Blizzard frames and it can activate macros. Clique also has a number of customizable settings such as dual spec profiles, activation based on whether you are in combat or not and activation based on the type of target i.e. friendly or enemy.

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Why Do Feral Druids Need Raid Frames?

Raid frames are a visual and interactive element of your User Interface (UI) that allow you to view a representation of party and raid members on your screen through a portrait, bar or icon. They can provide you with a wide array of information such as raid member status (alive, dead, ghost), raid member current health & mana pools, current buffs & debuffs etc. The standard UI provided to players includes raid frames. Through the use of addons they can be replaced with different ones or modified in various ways.

Blizzard Raid Frames

This is a screen shot of the standard raid frames. They display what peoples roles are from a role check (tank, healer, damage dealer) in the top left corner of the individual raid frame and buffs like a Priests Power Word Shield.

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