Jun 092010

Let me get mathematical on you for a second. In any given boss fight, we have a potential maximum DPS, based on our stats (from gear and buffs), our skill (determining the best ability priority order to follow and then following it perfectly) and luck (crits, procs, etc.) Since luck is uncontrollable, we discuss how to maximize our stats and our skill.

With that in mind, let’s look at Ferocious Bite. Using my current gear (ICC25N level) as a rough measure in Simulationcraft and my current derived optimal rotation, I can pull 11402 DPS given perfect conditions (pre-ICC buff). If I eliminate FB from the rotation, my DPS drops to 11386, a 0.15% reduction. QQ. Even for a BiS feral, who has the gear to fully maximize FB, the DPS drop goes from 14104 to 13992, or a 0.8% reduction. Meh.

Here’s my postulate: For the vast majority of players, attempting to use Ferocious Bite as part of a DPS rotation (not counting target-about-to-die situations) will complicate the rotation more, which will lead to more errors in executing that rotation. This will lead to overall lower DPS.

Feel free to discuss in the comments. :)

 Posted by at 12:41 am

  12 Responses to “Question for the day: Ferocious Bite…why?”

  1. I would cautiously say that you’re probably correct, if you give it any type of regular priority in the rotation (just based on my experience).

    Personally, I used FB during Berserk, or when the boss was almost dead, or if OC was proccing like mad and energy was abundant. Or right before an air phase if Rip wasn’t renewable. Some fights could be 6-8 minutes long, but Recount would show that I still only used 3-5 FBs at most.

    That’s just what worked for me, though. I found that many times, if I was tempted to throw an FB outside of the most favorable conditions, the rest of my priorities could get screwed up for a short while, and I’d be kicking myself.

    So personally? What you described was me. I used FB whenever I could justify it, but kept buffs, debuffs and Shreds as much higher priorities. :)

    • *Sorry… by buffs, debuffs and Shreds, I mean the normal kitty drill. I’m not trying to sound like a noob by leaving the bleeds off the list! :D

    • I agree. its simply a CB dump for me. Any extra 20k+ that i can throw out there rather than just shredding it up dosent hurt right? I look at it this way. the more damage i do the faster the boss dies. Since I can put up over 20-25k when I FB. How is that bad? I would rather use it than let my points sit there. Also it helps a great deal on the LK fight to drop the Valks. health as quickly as possible so my guildies arent carried away to the neather.

    • Using FB during berserk isn’t the best timing. You can better time FB before you use berserk and use berserk to fastly recover your CP to keep SR and Rip going and FB right after it again. Because you burn ALOT of energy with FB which is painfull during berserk, you can better spend it on 3/4 shreds instead.

      And yes this was a long going discussion on EJ a few months back. And basicly they agreed FB has the best dps, but most of the time its better to shred a few times more allthough you allready have 5 CP, because else you could risk down time on the other debuffs which is ofc a dps rather than a gain.

      Allso it greatly depends on your ArP and if its hard or softcapped i gues…

  2. At this point I look at FB as a combo point dump and nothing more. So, I guess it’s kind of part of my “rotation” in that sense. ~12 seconds left on both Rip and SR along with a full rake, FF and Mangle… I’ll toss it in. No sense letting those CPs sit there unused until something wears off. Without FB we’d just have to refresh something that may not need refreshing.

    And of course, as you mentioned, I’ll throw one out seconds before the mob/boss is about to die.

  3. 100% right, you can never FB and your life will just be easier and it won’t even remotely be apparent in your final DPS value. The standard deviation of the DPS value is usually higher than the amount given by FB (around +-500).

    Personally, even if I’m a fan of optimization, I like to throw in FB for the “risk” it represents and the resulting fun in trying to see if I can manage to keep up everything just the same.

  4. @Russ: Yes, in general, this is what I try to do as well.

    @WF: Yes, it’s very good for burst situations, etc. That’s not what I’m arguing. Yeah, it hits for a lot(if you have 60 energy), but it also empties your energy bar. Berserk/TF can bail you out, but if those are both off CD and you have some bad luck with crits, you’re going to lose some Rip uptime.

    I guess I’m just saying that the mentality of “omg I’m wasting cp’s” is bad, especially for a new player. If I remember correctly, my optimal ability rotation wasted like 50-60 CP’s over a 5 minute fight. Focusing on rip/rake uptime is the way to go, even if that makes you waste a TON of CPs.

    (Also, I have my suspicions about the Rawr rotation. 97% Rip/Rake uptime AND 12 bites in 5 minutes? Not possible. Hell, I’d be happy with 97% r/r uptime with 0 bites.)

    • I agree with what you’re saying about “wasted CPs.” There were many occasions where throwing in more Shreds with 5CP, to bide time until the next Rip, felt like it got the best results for me. Also, if I ever went heavier than usual on FB at the dummy, the results were never as strong.

    • Regarding Rawr’s calculations, IIRC, those are almost purely mathematical and human error isn’t considered. After a quick glance through the Rawr.Cat code, the general idea is: calculate total energy available, subtract what’s used for Roar/Rake/Mangle/Shred/Rip, subtract some duration from mangle/rake/roar/rip conflicts, and whatever’s left is CP for Bites. There’s some variance built-in, but the results are repeatable given the same inputs.

      I think Bite is another piece of a complex DPS priority system, and knowing when it’s useful or not is part of being a good kitty.

  5. Given the changes that are currently planned for FB (based on the Alpha notes that you’ve posted), it looks like the Devs agree with the general sentiment going on here. They want to make it more than a huge-energy-cost CP dump, which is exactly what it is right now. And you could make the case that if it doesn’t crit, it was a huge waste, as it won’t do much more damage than a Shred crit.

    All that said, I get really giddy when I look at my Rip and SR timers and realize I have the time I need to use FB. I realize it adds extra complication to the Feral rotation, and if used at the wrong time it can seriously gimp your DPS. But I love see those 23K-ish crits pop up. It’s like the game is saying to me “San, you’re clearly a master of your rotation. Here’s a little present for you. Congratulations.”

    And when circumstances combine such that I get to use it as my finisher twice in a row…all smiles.

  6. For the most part I think you’re correct, though at high gear levels the limiting factor isn’t the CP generation recovery – it’s the energy. And most of the time a FB is used incorrectly not because of the CP vs when rip/SR is going to be done, but because you use it when you have way more than the minimum energy.

    I would in general advice most cats to not do it, and only do it if you really know what you’re doing.

    • Kal, good to hear from you as always.

      I did test your suggestion in SC, and found that restricting FB usage to only 35 energy and below was a slight DPS loss for the BiS profile. Much higher DPE, but too much waiting meant very few FB’s actually went out.

      You do bring up a good point though- many people don’t realize how poorly the extra 30 energy translates to damage.

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