Mar 292011

The cat threads across the various forums are littered with people asking questions about what gems and enchants should be used, and how to reforge. The advice is varied and in many cases out of date as people have not fully embraced the changes that 4.06 made. The following three rules are all you need. If you spend more time thinking about gemming, enchanting and reforging than the amount of time it takes to read this post, you are spending your time on the wrong subject. You would be better suiting thinking about your rotation and the various boss encounters your guild is working on if you want to make significant improvements to your dps.

1. Always gem for agility. Agility is generally worth about three times the stat value of any of the secondary stats. Unless a socket bonus is worth 14+ agility for a single gem socket, ignore it. In the current content there are only a few items in the game where it is worthwhile to get the socket bonus (helms, tier chest, Sinestra belt). Everything else should be gemmed with agility (delicate). As it happens, in all three cases where it is worth getting the socket bonus, the socket color is blue – so you will be using agility/hit gems for the blue sockets in those items (glinting).

2. Use the known BiS enchants. The BiS enchants are well understood. Agility/haste for the helm; agility/mastery for the shoulders; agility for the back*, bracers, weapon and boots; stats for the chest; Attack power/crit for the legs; strength for the gloves. Don’t use any other enchants. * 65 crit is a viable alternative for the back.

3. Get mastery on every item. Mastery continues to be the best of the secondary stats and is generally worth about 20% more than the other secondary stats. If an item does not have mastery on it, reforge the highest available secondary stat to mastery. Per my post 4.06 – the Homogenization of Secondary Stats the difference in relative values of all of the secondary stats other than mastery are pretty close and varying them will have minimal impact on your dps. Once you have mastery on every item, then you can reforge selectively as needed (hit until 4.1 for interrupts) or desired (for example some people like to reforge to expertise on Al’akir). In general having haste and crit balanced provides good results, although some people prefer to reforge to hit/expertise in order to have a more stable rotation and consistent results on fights with target switching.

  171 Responses to “Three Easy Rules for Cat Gearing”

  1. Good post. Should probably clear up the confusion about gemming/enchanting/reforging that seem to infest quite a number of people.

    Also, since I haven’t done this yet, welcome to the blog as a blog poster, Leafkiller. Good thing you volunteered on this while Alaron is away, considering your large span of knowledge regarding kitties.

  2. THANK YOU for making this so simple! Now if we could get it simplified for the other specs! But this will help out greatly!

  3. Once you have accumulate about 2 or 3 pieces of heroic gear, is it wise to start reforging some pieces to haste in order to keep our crit and haste equal?

    In 359 gear it seems that haste is hardly useful. Not until 372 gear that is.

    • Use MEW to see when you need to start balancing crit and haste. I am about 80 % to all 359 and I already started balancing slightly

    • You are already spending too much time worrying about your secondary stats. Get over to the training dummy and work on your rotation. Then spend some time figuring out what you can do on each fight to improve your dps on that fight. All the reforging in the world won’t begin to compare to the dps ups you can get from focusing on performance and fight mechanics.

      • I feel that alot of your assumptions based off simulations and training dummies are faulty. I found a massive difference forging haste vs. hit/exp. In a raid situation (25 man) your cats should rarely (or never) be interupting. Perhaps you are basing this off of 359 gear or gear with a few 372 pieces thrown in. In my opinion which I have tested while raiding haste continues to grow stronger and stronger with item levels.

        • It depends on the fights actually. Some will favor expertise (hit being less useful when you can’t get behind) and some other fights with fewer interruptions, the more offensive stats, haste and crit. It depends on your uptime on key parts of the encounter and I’d go as far as saying that the more heroic content you do, the more useful expertise (or hit) becomes: Magmaw HC, Maloriak HC, Atramedes HC, Conclave HC depending on your platform and I’m pretty sure other heroic encounters too that I have yet to try.

        • I have done all those encounters (25 man) and I can tell you that it doesn’t. However I will say that learning the fights, the flow of the fight etc, that your numbers COULD be higher with hit/exp. However once you get the fight timers etc in your head you just lose too much regen to clean up your rotation.

        • Endlessness – the sample size from your own raiding is not sufficient to make judgements on the relative values of the various stats. RNG plays too big a role. Your claim that haste is worth significantly more is not founded in the actual game mechanics but rather personal perception – which has no statistical foundation. It takes thousands of iterations of the fights to reach the point where you can make reasonable assumptions about the relative values of the stats, something none of us will every do individually. The simulations are the only mechanism we have to make somewhat accurate predictions on our rotations and relative stat values.

          Even if the modeling in Mew is undervaluing haste by 20% relative to the other stats (which is unlikely), you are still only talking about a couple of hundred dps swing in results. You lose more dps than that doing a tranquility in full 372 gear.

          If you want to argue that your in-game perceptions are more valid than the millions of simulated combats that have been run through Mew, I invite you to post over on the Druid Wiki where you have a chance to engage with Toskk, Yawning and Tangedyn on the subject.

          On the bright side, your decision to reforge to haste is not hurting your dps and is consistent with what I said about reforging “as desired” in the third rule. Given how close the secondary stats are in value now, unless you need to do interrupts (10 man raiding) my recommendation is to reforge based on what you are most comfortable with (after optimizing mastery).

        • The great thing about simulations is that they are really really really good players. Show me a player that dps’s as good as a simulation and I will show you a liar. If after the end of any fight you don’t think you screwed the pooch somewhere you are crazy. Simulations are awesome tools to make sure things like rotations and gearing are correct. The whole point of these tools is to help us put up better dps numbers. I am not claiming that your simulation is faulty, I am claiming that in practical raid applications hit/exp do not compete with haste. As “small” as my own and the other druids that I talk to on a regular baisis may be, the numbers, ACTUAL in game numbers don’t lie. Thinking that because a perfectly run simulator says that two things are equal does not make them so in practice.

        • Endlessness – the actual game numbers you keep referring to are extremely hard to quantify, measure and compare. Short of taking a large number of players and gearing them one way and then another and then having them do the same fights over and over, and then either massaging the data to deal with RNG or making sure that the number of iterations on the fights is in the tens of thousands, you don’t really know which gearing strategy is better.

          There are simply not enough secondary stats available at the moment to account for a large swing in dps regardless of what your impressions are – or the impressions of others you talk to. For every feral who prefers haste and swears by it, I can show you a feral who prefers hit, expertise, or crit and swears by that. One day I reforged to a full hit setup (8%) and got the best numbers I ever had on a fight. The next week the numbers were not as good – i.e. RNG at work.

          If you have a preference and you feel that it gives you an edge, then go with it. But do not make the mistake in thinking that you are basing it on hard data.

  4. I thought the general rule of thumb for gemming was that if it gave a +20 agil socket, it was worth it? Especially say yellow, where you can have agil/mastery orange instead of something lame like agil/hit for a blue?

    • That’s what he wrote, isn’t it? There is no piece of feral gear as of writing with a yellow socket (just a yellow or a red+yellow) and a 20agility socket bonus.

      • That is indeed what I wrote. For our current content, as a kitty you will have one meta gem, a bunch of red gems and at most three purple gems (most people will have no more than two purple gems).

  5. Eh? Guess I must have misread it or something last night…

  6. Can it be safe to assume that hit can act as a difficulty limitation. while you are still learning rotation the increased hit less haste will not only make the rotation less clunky but acctuelly slow it down. As player skill gets stronger hit takes a bigger backseat when error is minimized and removed. (missing rip and not noticing only to waste gcd and energy on shred afterwards), i attempted the hit build and went down in nearly every fight except for maloriak.

    • We don’t bother using our cat or enhancement shammy on heroic Maloriak (25man). Your “good” aoe classrs should be more than capable of nuking the slimes down in plenty of time. The cats beserk is far more useful in blowing up the aborations during green phase and getting everyone back on the boss sooner. There is a reason that heroic Maloriak is the best example of why kitties are broken.

      • I can’t help but to say i agree.
        Im glad to be in a guild that wants me as a cat. And we devise strats around this “problem” with the aoe.
        Magmaw HC for example i don’t attack the small larva only the skeletons.

        On Maloriak HC i mangle -> rake which is a real pain.

        • Yeah I just stay on the boss on Maloriak. We don’t need the extra add damage and the extra taken off Maloriak sends us to the last phase immediately after the 2nd green phase if stuff goes wrong. If it is a clean attempt we are standing the twittling our thumbs waiting on the 2nd green phase. You guys kill the little adds of Magmaw Hard? We just use 4 tanks and have them kited the whole fight. We could probably use 3 tanks and still kite them but we have the dps that can switch to tank. It makes the fight sooooo easy.

  7. ya my guild insists on making me aoe on maloriak, and it really irritates me considering i go down to like 15th dps (am around 4-6th on every other fights), and im so miserable i ask to be sat on that fight… it really is so stressful to tab rake and mangle since my guild tanks aboms with the slimes making targetting so difficult
    but ya ill try a put me on boss or ill leave ultimatum :P see if that works!

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  12. Three Easy Rules for Cat Gearing – The Fluid Druid

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