Reminder: T-Shirt Art Contest has 1 week left!

Details, foshizzle, be on the original post!

You have one week from today for your submissions, but if you need a little more time, like Caitlyn, just let me know.

Plus, looks like I’ll be doing the WoW Insider podcast tomorrow.

You can tune in to WoW Radio live tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 Eastern time, you can join the IRC chat directly on WoW Radio in a widget or by sending your IRC client of choice to irc.mmoirc.com and the #wowradio channel. And if you’d like to email the show, which will be read by us but possibly not on the air, you can do that, by emailing theshow@wowinsider.com

What with the beta patch notes, etc, I imagine it’ll be a BIG conversation. Join me and Matthew Rossi and Turpster for the fun!

Yes, I said ‘foshizzle’. Sue me.

Does Blizzard listen to player concerns?

A post up on WoW Insider today highlights a Blizzard Forum Post that recaps times in the past when players’ crying and whining have caused Blizzard to implement changes to the game.

The article was okay, but if we step away from the forum thread for a second, I think it raises a very interesting question.

To what extent do you feel the feedback of WoW players, given by means of forum threads and publicized concerns, affect the future design decisions of Blizzard Developers?

It’s a good topic for discussion. How much voice do we have? What methods of voicing concerns have the best chance to be heard? How much affect does tone and presentation have on being taken seriously?

What examples do we have of changes made to the game or the way we play that arose from player concerns?

I personally wonder to what extent the Blizzard Authenticator owes it’s existence to those that have tirelessly pushed Blizzard for greater account security.

On a more personal level, I would like to quote this section of the WOW Insider article;

TBC is released. About a month later as most people hit 70 and begin running level 70 five mans and heroic dungeons, it becomes apparent that druids are one of the best tanks if not THE best tanks for 5 mans. Massive warrior QQ ensues. Result is that druid tanking is drastically nerfed..

Funny… I don’t FEEL drastically nerfed.

Does this butt look spongy? Soft?

I block with my FACE!

Nerf my big butt. [grumbles]

Cassie’s favorite song – Billie Maclure

Okay, second favorite… Dax’s Pugging Kara Blues is still number one.

But we were chatting about WoW today, as we sat in folding chairs, watching our son play T-Ball, and she mentioned that while listening to the WoW Insider podcast on WC Radio (does it count as a shameless plug if I don’t link it? Nah, I think we’re cool) she enjoys listening to the songs that play before the show and during the break in the middle.

Well, heck, I never get to hear the music, I’m actually doing the show. I feel robbed. I want my live music!

She was telling me that she was listening last weekend, and before the latest episode about the Paris WWI, they played Dax’s song again. Woot Dax!

And then she said that as much as she loved that one, her other favorite that they play on WC Radio fairly often is a little something called Billie Maclure, that they just nailed the quests and even mentioned Hogger and it sounds just like….

Well, it was clear she really liked it.

So I went on out there and found it, just for her.

Here you go dear… love you!

Just a few Feral Druid notes on the Paris Worldwide Invitational

Okay, so I know there is a lot of news coming out, and as we are still a LONG way away from Wrath being released, I am not going to try to analyze stuff… yet.

But just in case you haven’t seen it yet, and so you know it’s out there so you can go look for more info, here are some of the things said at the Blizzard World Wide Invitationaal about Feral Druids…

First, there WILL be a brand new Dire Cat form with a new model, AND there will be a new model for Dire Bear form.

A panelist said that, when asked about changing the appearance of the skins for Druid forms, that they are thinking maybe, but they are afraid of community outcry, after the unanticipated rage they experienced over changes they made to Rogue Stealth animations in previous patches.

So, MAYBE they are thinking of changing the forms to a more beautiful appearance like Andriges’ work, but maybe not.

Shaman’s Windfury Totem WILL affect Druids in forms… AND will coexist with weapon buffs such as Weightstones, because Windfury Totem will be a player buff rather than a weapon buff.

That is a massive change, as far as Feral Druids go. Matt Rossi on the podcast mentioned it first, damn him, but I was gonna say it too… being the main tank as a Bear and having Windfury active? OMIGOD!!!!

Oh, and… Shaman Totems will affect the entire raid, NOT just the 5 man segment of the raid they happen to be in. Hey, that’s what they said. So, not only do you get Windfury Totem as Bear tank (or Kitty), but you also get Strength of Earth and Grace of Air.. oh, and did I mention they are COMBINING Strength of Earth and Grace of Air into one totem? And that is even if the Shaman is NOT in your 5 man segment of teh raid.

So yeah.. Shamans are going to be MASSIVELY buffing Feral Druids with Windfury… I love it.

And they said that they are working on the Feral Druid range bug, and they MAY have it fixed by the time Warthof the Lich King is released. LOL.

They are NOT removing Diminishing Returns from Cyclone as they had discussed. Instead, they are making Entangling Roots work indoors AND out! Viable Druid CC! Without long cast times! Yay!

So…. that’s what we got so far… and as Wrath is playable at the WWI, I bet we are going to get tons of hands on impressions.

I hope that this encourages you to go seek out more info… I know that WoW Insider has been doing a great job at covering everything. While I pugged Kara last night with Cassieann and Doodlebug until 1:00 AM, WoW Insider were up all night long freaking out and transcribing and going nuts.

So now that I’ve whet your curiosity.. go! Have fun!

Oh, and just cause I can’t help myself… Hunter’s PETS get their own talent trees, three trees, Utility, DPS and Tanking. God, that is gonna be fun to play with.  AND, there will be new pet classes… AND some pet classes will have unique abilities in their trees! Expect BRK and Mania to go nuts… I wish I could see the look on Mania’s face right about now. OMIGOD TALENT TREES, GREAT… BUT, (here it comes…) when asked about new Pet Stable Slots.. a single word answer from the panel… NO.

WTF?!?

WOW Insider Show Today

BBB will once again be on the WOW Insider show today at 2:30 CST/3:30 EST.  It should be a busy show as they talk about all the new class changes that were announced at the WWI ’08 WoW Dev panel (see here for some overall details about the fantastic changes coming).

You can go here at the time of the show to listen to it live.  We’ll also post the link Tuesday or Wednesday when it’s available for download if you can’t make it today.

Thanks!

Cassieann

Speculating about new Feral Druid Talents

The Family and Friends Alpha for Wrath of the Lich King is going on as we speak.

I’m not in it.

In fact, if I got all whiny, I could make a case that someone at Blizz doesn’t like me very much, if you go by the dozen-plus emails I got from them when my account was hacked Christmas a year and a half ago and my main had all of her end-game 40 man resto raiding gear wiped out, emails that strung me along for over a month before I got a final form email basically saying “We don’t believe you had any gear, so have some random greens, buy Burning Crusade, and STFU.”

And I do still have all those emails, not because I’m all bitter, but because I don’t use that email much, so it’s never had the archives purged. i fuond them when digging through my ancient email looking for my CuteFTP software activation key to install it on Cassie’s new computer.

It’s been a long time since those days. Do I feel angry towards Blizzard for this? Do I love the game any less? Well, all I can say is, read my blog and you be the judge. I think I am mature enough to differentiate between the way some folks in one small department of a company deal with customers, and the way others go about creating the game I love. I can love the game and the designers and programmers, the art folks and creative people and be a big fanboy, without having any sympathy whatsoever to their customer service department.

Now, while I won’t do anything to hurt the game, I know I for one love seeing glimpses of what’s in store, so long as there are no blatant spoilers about the lore or storyline. We all do, right?

I’m not in the Alpha. I ain’t in any way involved with them in any capacity, official or unofficial. And guess what? That means I didn’t sign or agree to an NDA.

So I have no problems with seeing the information that is being leaked from the Alpha by others, and sharing what I think is neat information that would be of great interest to you guys.

I wrote an article this morning for WoW Insider where I discuss in general terms the new Talents in the Feral Tree in the Alpha, and speculate on what this means for the future of bear tanking.

BUT, depending on if the War Tools site is active or accessible, you may or may not be able to see the tool tips for the abilities I talk about there.

So this post is going to be me linking to the pictures of the new Talents, so you can see exactly what they look like at this point in time. 

I hope you feel the same excitement when you see these Talents and speculate on the fun of using them in battle that I did. I’m sure things will change, maybe stuff will be removed or added before it goes live. It’s the Alpha, stuff will ALWAYS change somewhere.

But ain’t it cool to see it and know we get to keep tanking on?

And hey… while I would love to be contacted by Blizzard and offered the chance to interview someone about the future of Druids in WoW, or get access to a Beta, or any of a host of other things that would let me see something I could share with you in the future, let’s be realistic. I write a blog about Druids, and my audience ain’t Blizzard. It’s other Druids. And you don’t really come to me for inside scoop, you come here, if it’s about Druids, to see my cranky opinions on existing Druid stuff.

Or for drama. Or wierd stories. Sometimes, I get confused as to what the heck I’m doing here, myself.

Anyway, on to the links! (And just for Valthan, I added the text descriptions.)

  • Berserk – (1/1) Removes all Stun, Fear, Snare and Movement Impairing Effects and increases your energy regeneration rate by 100% while in Cat form, and increases your total health by 20% while in Bear form. After the effect ends, the health is lost. Effect lasts 20 seconds.
  • Improved Mangle – (3/3) Reduces the cooldown of your Mangle (Bear) ability by -20%, and reduces the energy cost of your Mangle (Cat) ability by -6.
  • Infected Wounds – (5/5) Your Shred, Maul and Mangle attacks have a 100% chance to cause an Infected Wound in the target. The Infected Wound reduces the movement speed and casting speed of the target by 10%. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts 12 seconds.
  • Primal Aggression – (3/3) Increases the critical strike chance of your Maul and Shred abilities by 5%.
  • Primal Precision – (2/2) Increases your expertise by 10, and you are refunded -60% of the energy cost of a finishing move if it fails to land.
  • Reinforced Hide – (3/3) Reduces all spell damage taken by 10%, and increases your Armor contribution from items by an additional 10%.
  • Resto – Master Shapeshifter – (2/2) Grants an effect which lasts while the Druid is within the respected shapeshifted form. Bear form – increases physical damage by 4%. Cat form – increases critical strike chance by 4%. Moonkin form – increases spell damage by 4%. Tree form – increases healing by 4%. 

Seriously… enjoy!

Contest winners and podcast craziness

First, and I think it’s official now, the votes have cast Orphan vs Illidan as the winner.

This means that Logan of Fear, Dot, Dot, Dot is the grand champeen and prize winner of the ‘Take your Orphan to work day’ contest.

Congratulations, Logan!

The much loved ‘Orphan drowning in steaming pool of lava’ screenshot was created by none other than Squirrelz, the husband of Nasirah of Alts Ahoy. He definitely deserves a big round of applause, and while he doesn’t get to wave his epeen as the best in this contest, he will also get a button as a consolation prize.

Squirrelz and Logan, make sure you email me at bigbearbuttedone AT yahoo DOT com to send me your address info so I can get your prizes mailed out.

You know, one of the reasons I love blogging is that I get to write lines such as “The much-loved orphan drowning in steaming pool of lava screenshot”.

I want to see what kind of search results lead people here after that one.

And I can picture in my minds’ eye the CSI episode where an investigation leads the cops to cluck their tongues in disgust over the incredible sicko on the internet that would be so terribad as to write that. Cause, like, I must actually want to drown real orphans in lava.

And you KNOW that’s how it would be portrayed. And I would be turned into a fat white guy that failed high school living in mom’s basement and afraid of ‘grrls’. Eating cheetos.

Hollywood has never met a stereotype it didn’t like. And I don’t like cheetos, they’re too crunchy. I prefer cheesy-POOFS.

Hey, remember how CSI:Miami treated people who played first person shooters? In that one episode loosely mocking the developers of Grand Theft Auto as publicity hungry mass murderers, organizing players to rob banks and kill folks to bring more publicity to their video game to rack up sales? Huh? Do ya?

Of course, I stopped wathcing CSI: Miami when they killed Speed. (Rory Cochrane, who I loved in Empire Records. I still quote him from that movie a lot. What do I quote? When he tells his boss that he is doing a superb job. And keeps repeating ‘superb’. Craxks me up. Anyway, I digress. I know he wanted to leave the show himself, but when he died, I lost interest. And how the hell did I get on that topic?)

Anyway, people think I make this shit up. I wish. Just ask Penny Arcade about crazy people that assume all game players are violence-driven freaks. Of course, THEY went and created a wildly-successful children’s charity in protest. Me, I just complain. Rock on.

Anyway, moving on, and damn I’m cranky today…

Okay, so this Saturday there will be another wonderful episode of the WoW Insider show. And this week I WILL be on it.

I have no choice.

You see, I’m hosting it this week. It’s gonna be the Big Bear Butt show. I’m kinda gonna have to be there. They don’t let you host one without being there. I said I’d phone it in from the jakuzzi, but no dice.

It’s gonna be awesome!

Who are my co-podcasters?

I have absolutely no idea yet!

What are our topics?

I have absolutely no idea yet!

Well, I do have an idea, since the WoW Insider show takes readers emails for the first section, covers the top viewed WoW Insider articles of the past week, and then ends with some shout outs and IRC fun. So you can pretty much be sure that I’ll be reading some viewer mail, I’ll be talking about WoW Insider hot topics, and then doing some shout outs.

Did you know that the readers of WoW Insider control the content of the podcast? It’s true! The articles that are read/viewed the MOST, and commented on the most, become the topics we choose from. It’s that simple. Scary, huh? The power you wield?

Why, if a couple hundred gamers formed a coalition to pick one topic and hammer the shit out of it for a week, it would be guarenteed to be on the show!

[Hmmm… gotta write that down, that’s a good idea, how many people do I know?]

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of organizing still to do, but I wanted to warn you in advance… no Mike Schramm this week on the podcast, so the organizing is gonna be rocky as hell. I hope the Turpster will be there, since I personally love his sense of humor, and there is something about those European and Asian accents that I enjoy hearing in conversation, and there will hopefully be other guests.

Will Matt of World of Matticus be on? He hasn’t done a WI podcast before, but he certainly has the option since he writes the Priest column over there now. I don’t know, I think that would be pretty fun. Get the inside scoop on one of the new WoW Insider column writers. And see if we can’t get him to drop the professional facade long enough to rant about Hockey. That should be good for some ‘color’.

Or maybe I can go it alone, and just ramble on drunkenly for an hour about the way things were back in the good old days, before this damn graphics card thingie changed computer games for the worst. Back in the glory days of MUD, damn it! Now THAT was an MMO!

And Zork! You’re in the dark, and you’re gonna get eaten by a Grue, mother-f&*(er! Now THAT’S tension! That’s fear, damn it!

Or maybe I can just be a good boy and run a nice, clean, respectable show.

I guess you’ll just have to tune in and find out!

Shifting Perspectives will go up today

Which is why I ain’t been writing here today.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, to be honest.

I come up with what I think will be a simple idea for a Shifting Perspectives article. I even avoid the topics I know are ten hour manifestos, saving them for later, like a Kitty Gear to Karazhan guide, and a Tanking threat generation part 3 guide, and just come up with something simple.

The next freaking thing I know I’ve got a 5000 word monstrosity, and 6 hours have passed.

If I’m lucky, it’s only 6 hours.

Cassie tells me I’m an idiot, and Dan at WoW Insider keeps telling me to break my articles up more into smaller chunks, but I see a subject, and I try to be as complete on that one subject as I can…

And therein lies my problem. I really need to learn where to break things up into manageable pieces.

Anyway, my feral druid friends, at about 3:00 PM Eastern time today, my newest Shifting Perspectives article will go live, and the topic is… consumables for bear tanks, updated for the win!

Wait, you may ask, didn’t I cover that once before?

Yes, but… I have applied an increased wisdom to the subject, for a more thorough and useful list. At least, I hope that you will find it useful.

EDIT: Thank you to Cassie for letting me know my original link to the article was going to Ferocious Bite instead. I had given her credit in my article for opening my eyes to powershifting months ago, and must have kept that link in my clipboard. Fixed! 

Of course, for the observant, this means that Mooire can now expect that a flood of WI readers will come invade her blog today… and chcek out her fishing updates. That’ll teach ya!

Mooire, you’ve got 1.5 hours to come up with a new post. Bonus bear points if you screw with their heads with accurate sounding but false bear info. Go!

WoW Insider Show Download

Hi All,

Just a quick post to let you know the WoW Insider show from last Saturday (that BBB was on) is now available for download.  You can go here to see a quick summary of the topics or go directly here to access the download link.

Thanks!

Cassieann

 BBB edit => Wait, wait, wait a minute… isn’t that the show that, like, the freaking car broke down and I didn’t have my cell phone to tell you I was screwed with a dead car and when it finally got started I literally came blazing down the road doing 100mph with Dragonforce blaring on my speakers trying to go so fast I’d move backwards in time to make the show opening? And failed? And the show started, like, 15 minutes late after a 30 minute music intro and me being out of breath with no freaking clue what the topics were supposed to be or what the hell we were doing?

Why in the name of all that’s holy would you TELL people to go listen to that?

You hate me, don’t you. No, no, it’s okay. You can tell me. I can take it.