Mar 102011

Recently the Feral community has lost some great people, Yawning and Alaron to be specific. While Yawning has left to find greener pastures, Alaron has real life commitments to handle. He will still be around,  just not as much. Both have expressed concerns with the current state of Feral cats and the future of our class. I applaud them for what they have done for us and wish them good luck in their future endeavors.

That being said, many want to know where we are and what we do now. First, we are right here. We haven’t gone anywhere. We are still a tight community, and on average from what I have seen a higher caliber player. Second we continue to eat face and have a great time doing it. PVE Ketteh players can be broken down into 2 main groups. This doesn’t include everyone but it does handle a majority.

  • Group A picked the cat because the rotation was hard-hard but rewarding. If you were bad at it, you were really bad, but if you were good you could really shine. Great cats stuck out in a crowd and were well known. The complexity of the feral “rotation” was the real boss.
  • Group B picked a cat because it was just cool to shapeshift and eat face. A lot of these players didn’t like the complicated rotation and rejoiced as the “rotation” got easier.

Whatever your reason for picking the class, it was a good one. This is a game, and as long as you have fun, you are doing it right. The Feral PVE rotation has been made much easier. It is forgiving if you mess it up. While this no longer appeals to those that wanted a challenge, there is still some challenge to be found Do your rotation flawlessly and you can still compete on DPS meters.  You still have an innervate (although weak). You still have a CC, you still have a BR and you still have an interrupt. Do other classes do it better? Sure, but not every raid group is going to have the perfect setup. Druids have utility that in almost every case another class can do better. But can the player of that class do it? You still have a chance to shine. You still have a chance to make a difference. BR the tank, pop MotW, shift into cat and eat face. Good job. Did the pally do Kings when the person popped? If not thank goodness you did. Hunter pet broke CC on a dragonkin. Hunter pulled pet off but did anyone reapply CC? Throw a sleep on it, shift to cat, eat face.

Druids are not worthless. They can still be great fun and bring a lot to each fight. Do we have broken mechanics? Yes. Do we have bad mechanics? Yes. Can we still have a good time? YES. All is not lost my friends. Druid cats are still great.

Keep checking back as I conduct a couple interviews with some great PVE cats that we all love and admire. As always be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed and use the forums. Feel free to PM me with any questions you might have but the forums on this site are your best bet. This will help to answer one question one time instead of one question multiple times. This site is a posting spot for many great cats. If you are the noob with a noob question and are a little embarrassed then a PM will do fine. I will never ridicule you.


  26 Responses to “All is not lost!”

  1. Would love to see some interviews get conducted on some top feral cats. If you ever decide you wish to talk to me, let me just go ahead and toss out the answer to the question I know is on everyone’s mind. Yes ladies, I’m single, meeeeeow.

  2. Group C decided to try Cat DPS because what the hell, it was only three talent points in KotJ to turn a bear spec into a hybrid anyways. =P

  3. Fear this site becoming the place where single cats meet. Anyway – welcome both of you!

    • Haha, I wouldn’t worry about all that quite yet. There’s some posts in the works to further show the readers that fluiddruid will remain a top source of information for the growing kittens out there.

      • What Q said. Right now we are kind of getting into this and letting you get to know us. Q has an awesome articla going out tonight i think that will really help out the kittens.

    • Are single cats cougars? :P

  4. Really nice post Sylvaneart, I’ve often felt this way about my druid too. My main since I started playing, originally as a tank when they took away defence on leather and I felt my mechanics were broken but I was still there and still tanking. Then again in Wrath when feral became two distinct specs (which I now agree was a needed change but at the time I felt my versatility had gone) and now in Cata with the shapeshifting change. I understand that Blizzard are standing firm on the shapeshifting change but it would be great to see some of our other problems acknowledged or, even better, addressed. Despite all this, I am still here and still playing kitty in raids.

  5. Nice post Sylvaneart.

    As for group A feral’s right now the real “boss” is paying attention entire fights due to the total lax in rotation.

  6. Hello everyone…first time comment here. I`m a reader of your web since a time. Each post its always interesting.
    Thanks for that Sylvaneart.
    I have a night elf druid in EU RAGNAROS…my game the big part of the time is pvp but this last days i reading and doing some pve fight.
    Love my druid, the class and history. I have 3 years playing WoW (only 6 months in offcial server) and always play with a druid.
    Well, sorry with my english…is so bad…see you soon people.


  7. Nice post.

    I started my druid at the end of BC and been a cat for most of the way (tried one level as boomkin). I love it and don’t plan on changing.

  8. First off welcom Qbear, nice to see you here.

    Sylvaneart real nice post. I was a mix of both but really became reason A as I played more and got much better. You are right 100% that a good cat was well known on their server. It was common for the top kitties to be as much as 40% better then the rest of the class and sometimes even more. And as we fine tuned our rotation we began to ‘feel’ the play flow from us and our dps went up even more.

    One way to determine this was to take top 200 or top 400 logs and check the standard deviation on dps. Feral cats had one of the highest which implied a hard rotation to master. Hit it right and you were at or near the top for the raid. Mess it up even a little and you lost 10 to 15%. This made even the boring fights fun as I felt I had to pay attention.

    The thing is this also led to more raid awareness. You started to know when the boss would do certain things so you could better time your rip and rakes, not to mention TF, SR and FB. I found that I was almost the last one to die and started to give warnings to the rest of the raid. Those were the glory days.

    In looking at the standard deviation feral cats are nowhere near the widest spread. Once again that distinction goes back to affliction warlocks (remember TBC days for them). All too often that average cat has dps just a few percent below yours. After all its not hard to just shred all the time. This change along with much lower dps compared to other classes means we just don’t stand out anymore. While not as bad as the single button mage or the shadow bolt destruction warlock of days past we are getting there.

    The most ironic thing was in Wrath blizz really couldn’t mess with us too much. On average cats were lower middle of the pact. Their numbers showed this. But with great play we shined bright. Any changes to tone down the best meant killing it for the rest. It was a catch 22 for them.

    I remember a blue post that claimed they wanted all classes to be like this. Unfortunately it seems they went the other way which really took the fun out of the game for me.

    • Mongo,
      I too was an “A”. Like you said the rotation has been dumbed down but there is a place for us that goes along with our rotation. My next article (insert catchy name here) will discuss our need to do more then shred butts. And how best to do it.

  9. Thanks for keeping us informed while Alaron is out of pocket!

  10. I fall into the “None of the above” group.

    I started out as a bear back in TBC where hurricane pulls and mouseover macros were the norm.

    When wrath hit I joined a 25man. They had enough tanks so I moved into a backup tank role and discovered kitty dps. I learned to love the spec and became a regular in the top seven dps slots. This while tossing innervates and brez’s.

    So I guess you could say I learned ketteh out of necessity, but realized how much depth it adds to be able to act as a true hybrid and manage multiple specs effectively. This is especially true on 10mans. The difference stands out on Cata single tank fights like the twins. Being able to tank when necessary and turn around and crank out 15k to 20k dps.

  11. I’d like to suggest that ‘B’ is a myth. In all the time I have read forums I have never really seen a post begging for a greatly simplified rotation. There has always been many suggestions to smooth the rougher parts of our life, but rarely to dumb down the scheme. All I’ve seen is dozens of posts and guildmates trying feral alts, and were just overwhelmed. But what overwhelmed them?

    IMHO, there is a major learning gap to get ‘good’ at feral, and I think that the gap that separates new people from doing serious cat dps is NOT the rotation, it is the Blizzard UI. Classic DPS for most classes can be boiled down to mashing buttons that come off CD – with some complexities of course, but that’s what it amounts to. They have to only monitor a small set of timers but otherwise their button bars contain everything they need to know about what to do next. Its easy to learn the button-mashing part, so they are quickly receptive to the skill part.

    Not so for feral and buff/debuff/DoT juggling classes – the Blizzard UI makes us search our character pane for tiny buff icons and the boss character pane for tiny debuffs/DoTs, and make decisions based off all these. When you combine this with a button bar of abilities that are mostly always available at any time, you can see why a new player is overwhelmed with the “What do I push first? Or next?” syndrome.

    We tend to forget about this, because we all know to load certain mods to fix the UI and stick all this information in one spot. Had Blizzard gone and fixed their UI to better support buff/debuff/DoT-based combat, they would not have needed to majorly dumb down our scheme like they have. They’ve done nothing to make the UI more accessible. Feral needs to be playable AND enjoyable with the stock UI, and only then will new ferals begin to have the “Aha” moments faster as they learn (what was) a rewarding DPS scheme.

    • FWIW I am a feral since classic, when I raided as a 0/30/21 healer/OT.

      • My spec was 0/19/32 – feral/resto with innervate. Cat DPS/OT on trash and the occasional boss fight but mostly healing (remember spamming decursive on Chromaggus?). Innervate was a 31 point resto talent that we were required to get for our priests.

        I believe the operative term was a pre-1.8 feral…

    • Sadly B is not a myth. I have seen the posts on MMO-Champion and wow druid forums. People complaining about how hard the rotation is and how much it needs to be made simpler. I like the complicated rotation myself. As to your comments about the Blizz UI i totally agree. Qbear and i have some articles in the works for setting up a raiding UI with add-on help. Wait and see dear readers. There is alot to cover and won’t get done in a short time.

      • I look forward to that article, I’m always looking to find ways to tweak mine. If there are “B” ferals however, I’d be willing to wager most of them are basing their opinion off of trying to DPS from the stock UI or from a poorly modded UI. As much as people like you guys and the modders are a huge assistance to the feral community, the sad reality is that forum/blog-readers are only a small portion of the population, and that real “sea change” gains will really only come from changes in the Blizzard UI.

        @LeafKiller – I remember four things from classic raiding – decursive mashing, endless HT4 stopcasting (which was really all the 0/30/21 “max mana” spec was good for), my utter hatred for the ‘shrubbery’ shoulders, and living for that occasional request to offtank something. :)

  12. Thank you for posting something like this. These days we see a lot of the high-profile WoW community faces (like Totalbiscuit for instance, as much as I love his work) rail on about class homogenization and how it causes people to lose raid spots because their class “isn’t up to snuff” and it doesn’t get said enough that high theoretical DPS

    • Web browser, thank you for interrupting me.

      … Doesn’t get said enough that high theoretical DPS is only a portion of the puzzle and an exceptional player will *always* do exceptional with their class. It’s refreshing to see leaders in DPS communities acknowledging the things like just because BR is going to two other classes doesn’t suddenly mean Ferals everywhere are going to be out of a job.

      Be a good raider, pull exceptional DPS for your class and know the fights and you’re going to (more than likely) have a raid spot waiting for you post-4.1 when BR goes to DK and Warlock. Very few guilds are in the position where they can afford (or would desire) to bench a dedicated and skilled DPS simply because someone else in their guild does 800-1000 more DPS.

  13. My next article discusses the many uses of a druid besides just sitting there and DPSing. I think it is a good read. Hope you will too.

  14. I love the articles you have been posting and am looking forward to whats to come!

  15. I like Cats because they are cool…And I’m a tiger…And My hair is green…And I sorta suck at the rotation…But, I’m having fun. That’s okay, right?

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