So if you’ve been following this blog lately, you may have noticed I’ve been quite MIA.  The good news is that I am still writing – just not over here on Lazerchicken.  It’s been a lot of fun writing this blog but I’ve been offered a larger platform to write for over at PVP-Live.com and I’m really excited to share it with all of you.  I will still be writing about Lazer Chickens on PVP-Live, but it won’t be the only thing I’m writing about.  Now I’ll have blogs on alts, different parts of gameplay, and really anything that fits my fancy.  It’s a really great site and we’re getting a lot of attention from Blizzard so it’s an exciting time. 

Thanks to all of my readers, you’ve made the site worth maintaining up until now.  Hopefully many of you will join us over at PVP-Live.com and continue to interact about the future of Moonkin (I have a new post going up in a few days with my thoughts about Moonkin overall).  I appreciate all of the emails of support I’ve received and hopefully we can continue to flourish as a community on the new site.

As always, keep your lazers hot and primed!

Lazerchicken out.

Quick: 2 confessions.

1. My wife is 9 months pregnant, so blogging hasn’t been a high priority for me.  I do plan to write some more, just taking some time to get things up is all

2.  I haven’t touched my boomy much lately /gasp!!  I feel like a boomy break was warranted.  I’ve had Ele and WW monk as my other mains for all of MoP and I’m actually just having a load of fun with them right now.  I’m sure I’ll be back on my Moonkin again pretty soon, especially with the tourney realm active and 5.4 bringing xrealm arenas (yay!), but for now it is what it is

What I can tell you, though, is that Hildegarde (from Arena Junkies) and I are working on setting up a series of Druid podcasts with some top rated players.  Right now we are planning on starting with a Resto pod first, tentatively planned for the July 14/15 weekend, and then Moonkin/Feral would come shortly after that.  

Hop over to the thread on AJ and give comments as to who you’d like to hear from and what kinds of questions you want to hear answered and I’ll do what I can!

And until the dust settles around my RL nest, keep your talons sharp and your wings flapping fellow chickens!

PS I will be trying to throw together a post on the big arena changes if I can over this holiday break.

I won’t apologize for the long gap between posts, since the reason is a really good one (my wife is due for our second child shortly, so life is nuts) and not just sheer laziness.  I still plan on a reflection of 5.3 post, but with the notes on 5.4 being pretty huge for us, I wanted to hit that first.

So let’s talk about the major lazer changes in 5.4

1. Nature’s Swiftness is going baseline for Resto.  Yikes!  Awesome for our leafy brethren, and AWFUL for us.  This, combined with the next change on the list (#2) are making it look like we will be returning to the old dreaded style of ‘train the Moonkin all day erryday’ strategy for melee cleaves.  Definitely going to miss the instant healing touch after coming out of a stun/silence or the instant clone to peel a warrior with cds popped.  Big change.

2.  15% damage reduction on Moonkin form gone!!  Blizz has stated the reason for doing this is trying to make melee more enticing in a raid setting, since ranged have become so much more likely to be chosen.  Unfortunately, this will make us EXTREMELY trainable, unless it’s coupled with another broad change, such as a buff to resil (especially since Locks and Spriests are receiving the same nerf). Again, hoping they are buffing baseline resil or something of the like to compensate (and a blue post did confirm they have something planned, just not announced yet).

3. Heart of the Wild healing cut in half – well, we had to see this coming, didn’t we? Moonkin and Ferals turn into godmode healers (not offhealers, it’s literally as powerful as some healers with fewer spell options) for 45 seconds and it was too powerful.  The good news is that it may make the other talents more interesting with their changes (more on that in a sec).  The bad is obviously it makes 2s a little less viable again, since our offheals were one of the main things that made 2s possible.  

4. Talent tiers are getting changed again!  This is typically a good thing, to make the non-viable talents more interesting choices, though taking NS away from us is really a huge deal.  The changes look like this:

  • In Tier II, NS is being replaced by Ysera’s Gift, a passive heal for you or your teammates.  Could be useful vs. dot cleaves, but it’s hard to say if it will compete with Cenarion Ward.  Renewal is still garbage, but is the only large instant heal available, and the NS change feels like Blizz wants to force us into taking it if we prefer a large instant heal.  TBD on the best talent, though Cenarion Ward looks like the best at first glance.
  • Tier III only saw the # restriction on mass entanglement removed, so that is a big buff for RBGs and a slight buff for arena vs. mass pet teams (hunter/demo teams, for example) where you can root the entire team if they are grouped up.  Not a huge deal, outside of RBG’s where you can potentially root beam the ENTIRE TEAM in side a solar beam after a dk mass grip.  
  • Tier IV is where things get interesting again.  Incarn hasn’t changed and we already have the awesome new Treants, but they made a really bizarre change to Soul of the Forest that I’m really unimpressed with at first glance.  First off, this was a great talent for beginners to use, as it gave them one less button to push or think about while they learned the spec.  The new talent is quite complex by adding a new spell into your normal spell priority (astral communion) that was primarily used in the passed to get into eclipse outside of combat.  For advanced players it could be interesting, but I can’t see taking it over the other two, especially with the incredible utility of Treants.  And it’s now not a good choice for beginners either because of how complex it is.  Will have to see how it plays out.
  • Tier VI also saw some big changes, including the reduction by half of the healing bonus from HOTW that I mentioned earlier.  Dream of Cenarius had a complete redesign like SOTF, and now boosts your HT casts all the time, as well as giving you a damage bonus for your eclipse after using HT.  So this looks great for feral, since they can use their procs on instant HT’s, but can we really see many Moonkin getting a ton of use out of casting an HT before unleashing damage in each eclipse?  I think it will be near impossible to have good uptime of the buff, unless you aren’t the train target (and with the other changes, I’d be surprised if we weren’t the target), so this may end up being a dead talent for us again – time will tell.  Nature’s Vigil changed largely for Resto, but it has a small change for us – if you cast a heal while it’s up, it will now heal another target for part of that healing.  Could be a good choice vs. dot cleaves, since your rejuvs across your team will heal 1.5 times the usual, and NV has great uptime with a 1.5 min cd.  Still tough to beat HOTW, especially because of the static 6% int.

The only other druid change that might be an issue (not sure yet about the math) is the large mana cost increase on our spells and the larger tie in to eclipse changes to gain mana.  This could start to widdle down our mana to ensure that we keep moving our eclipse bar so that we can afford to offheal, but I haven’t seen math yet to show if the increase is large enough.

Well that’s enough for now – what are your thoughts on the changes?  Hit me on twitter (@lazerchickenwow) and let me know.  Until then – tab dot like a boss!

Lazerchicken out.

Check it – we are even recruiting a lazer chicken! (or any other range class).  I play ele when I raid (I know, i know, the shame) and it’s a really fun guild, with great progress and not full of dbags.  Don’t worry, I still pvp mostly as lazer ;D

http://www.undyingresolution.com/ for more info

11/12 in TOT currently and progressing quickly (four new kills last week alone).  Elune is a really decent mid pop server.  For more detailed info, check the recruitment post below.  Hope to raid with one of you soon.  (Alliance, Elune, 25man, 8-11pm EST Wed/Thurs/Sun)

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/6933913545

 

As requested, this post is a collection of my Do’s and Don’ts for arena:

DO apply faerie fire liberally to all rogues.  It’s literally game changing and reduces their damage and cc significantly.  I sometimes even reapply before the previous one falls off to leave no gap between.

DON’T forget positioning.  It’s really easy to get caught out in mid because you’re chasing a target that you think you can kill.  It’s also really easy for the other team to see you doing that, turn around, and splat you into a pile of dirty feathers.

DO utilize your utility a ton.  I even have to remind myself sometimes when I find myself spamming damage that things like removing a warrior enrage with soothe, placing shrooms to slow around a pillar or on the bridge, tossing out rejuvs to relieve pressure (did you make your party1/party2 rejuv macro yet?) and using a symbiosis purge or mass dispel can change the tide of a game.

DON’T freak out if you’re getting trained.  In past expacs, getting trained was the name of the game for Moonkin and we usually died with low damage because of it.  These days we are a lot tankier and have more outs than we used to.  Relax, cc when needed (through their burst) with a roots/typhoon/roar/bash/vortex/beam combo of some sort and blink/wild charge away.

DO apply pressure to their entire team, even when you’re closing in on a kill.  So that priest is at 20%, and your instincts say “HIT HIM MANY TIMES!!!”  Very rarely do I find this to be the best strategy, unless you’re free to cast an eclipsed starfire/starsurge without fear of interrupt.  Instead, continue to dot the rest of his team and their pets – not only will he have to get himself back to a safe spot, but now the rest of his team is widdling down.  Many a game has been won for Moonkin where all three targets are at 20% because of this multi-dotting, and your partner or a surge proc finish someone off.

DON’T cc just for the sake of cc.  Diminishing returns can quickly come back to bite you when you just root the warrior because he’s annoying, he gets out, and pops his cds.  Now you can’t root him again for full duration.  Choosing when to use cc is hugely important, especially with clone, since it stops your dots from ticking (this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clone).

DO cyclone your target when you’re close to a kill, and they get a big def. cd put on them.  If you are about to kill that dk and all of a sudden he has ironbark/pain sup/life coccoon/full lifebloom stack about to fall off, you can easily counter him by putting him in cyclone, controlling the healer just as it’s about to come off, and then finish him off after the clone ends.  This way his healer can’t top him up while you’re unable to do full damage.

DON’T let losses get you down.  Learn from your mistakes and find things you did well to make sure you continue to do them.  One thing I like to do when looking to improve is to pick one spell that I think I don’t utilize enough – let’s say it’s Nature’s Swiftness – and make sure I’m using it to it’s fullest potential.  Anytime a game ends, I look to see if it’s off cooldown and if I didn’t use it, I make sure to note points that I could have.  Maybe I could have NS cloned/rooted a dps.  Maybe a big NS healing touch would have relieved pressure.  If you do this with a different spell each night, before you know it they will all become part of your subconscious playstyle.

And finally, DO make sure you’re having fun.  I’m a big proponent of taking a break or calling it a night when you get very frustrated.  We play this game to be competitive, sure, but it’s also for leisure.  If you find you’re not having fun or getting really angry, take a break.  You can always come back in an hour after catching an episode of Dexter or eating a sandwich (or doing both at the same time?!?!)  It happens to all of us (I mean hell, thug cleave this season??) but learn to get up and walk away when you need to.

Hopefully some of this helps and I’m planning to post some additional comps to my play style series soon, including the one I’ve been running that I find VERY different than any of the others previously (hint: I’m playing with a class that’s been historically HORRIBLE for us to play with because of lousy synergy).  Until then, 200k starsurge crits FTW!

So for those of you that frequent Arena Junkies (or AJ, as many call it), you will probably notice that there has been something of a renaissance going on over the last couple of weeks.  Posters are fed up with the low quality of posts, lack of content, and general decline of the site.  Some people have gone about doing something to fix it, and that’s where this site comes in.

Vanguards asked me to post the Moonkin guide on the site, and now you can find it in the Druid forums (as a stickie)!  Stoked to be able to give back to AJ, after years of learning from the site.  In just the last week four new guides have been posted (Hpal, Spriest, Enhance, and this one) and it shows a very positive trend.  Have a look next time you’re over on AJ.

On a side note, I got a couple of emails lately with some column requests, and i will definitely look at doing them shortly – just finished up the AJ guide, so now I have a little more free time.  Thanks for the responses, and one day when I get some more ‘free time’ (if you have kids, you’ll understand why that’s hilarious to pretend you actually get free time anymore) I will finally transition the blog to a format that allows commenting, so we can have more open discussion. 

Until then, pop Incarnation and scare the crap out of people in arena!

So with 5.2 barely off of the burner and placed on the arena table for consumption, Blizz has already been pouring on the additional PvP changes for the new PTR.  PvP developer Holinka (follow him on twitter @Holinka) has been awesome about communicating with the community and working together to create good changes for the game.  Just wanted to talk about some of the live changes first, and then I’ll hit a few of the PTR changes after –

Live (5.2)

  • Rogues are INSANE (didn’t I tell you to go find one?).  If you can’t beat em, join em.  Dancing with the Stars is a stupidly powerful comp and lots of fun.
  • DKs are actually viable partners!  I always wanted to play with some DK friends, but found that it was a bad idea in the past, due to their lack of peels when I’m being trained.  With a 30 sec. CD asphyxiate, they now have the tools to shut down burst on a regular basis as needed.
  • Crit baby!  Stacking crit all the way is much more rewarding IMHO than the ol’ staple of haste.  Not only are the starsurge procs more frequent, but they are also critting on impact for some awesome burst.  Yes my clones are super slow to cast, but I personally like this playstyle better, especially playing with a disc priest (he gets clone from symbiosis, so I rarely cast it anyways)
  • Mass Entanglement is meh =/  I had high hopes for this talent, but so far haven’t found it as useful as Typhoon outside of RBG’s.  It breaks far too easy from damage (while hunters can turret damage into their rooted targets?!?!) and seems too situational.  I’ll still be working with it, but I was hoping for it to be better TBH.

PTR (5.3)

  • LOVE the gear change.  Being able to start gearing a new toon in bgs without getting decimated because of your awful gear will be great.  Sure you’ll do almost no damage, but at least you won’t get one shot non stop.  Make sure to check out some of the great write-ups done by Olivia Grace on wow.joystiq.com.
  • Ele is finally getting some purdy buffs (lightning bolt casted while moving is baked in, and the glyph now gives a 10% damage reduction) and yes I’m happy for my alt!  They are finally getting close with Ele not being such a glass cannon.  Great partner for a Moonkin, too!
  • Shadow Priests are finally seeing nerfs to Mass Dispel and Life Swap (totally warranted), hopefully bringing them down to earth with other casters.  Up until now they have had the perfect storm of damage, utility, and off-healing.  Glad to see them moving back to having some weaknesses.
  • Ilvl upgrades is NOT returning to PvP!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I never even got close to full upgraded last season and when I tried to play with an honor geared partner at the beginning of this season he literally got steamrolled because of the stat difference.  It will be fun to get fully geared, and then work on offsets for messing around maybe as a guardian FC, for example.

That’s it for now.  Make sure you follow what Holinka is up to on Twitter and communicate often.  He is a great ally for our community and can only utilize our feedback if we give it to him.

Until next time, it’s lazer time baby!