Jun 272011

I really don’t want to write this post. Every time I write about feral gear or stats, the #1 question I get is “What secondary stat is best? What should I reforge to?” That question has an answer, but before I get there, I want to say this:


Seriously. There is no magical reforging solution that will solve your problems. It’s too bad WoW isn’t like the diet industry. If it was, I could write a book called “Fix your DPS Woes in 8 Weeks with Alaron’s Reforging Guide!” Include a few cherry-picked log parses, some motivational stories, and boom; best-seller. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way.

Before wasting tons of effort on reforging, I would consider checking all of the following:

  • Rotation/skill. If you’re consistently going out of range of the boss, letting your bleeds fall off without refreshing them, or energy capping consistently, it’s going to hurt your numbers.
  • Latency/FPS. Self-explanatory, hopefully. I’m suffering through this right now.
  • Gear. You still need lots of Agility…no getting around that.
  • Raid composition. A raid full of top DPS will boost your DPS naturally – the fight will be shorter, which means you’ll have more time (percentage-wise) under single-use buffs such as a potion and Hero/BL.
  • Raid strategy. Interrupt duty sucks for DPS.
  • Fight mechanics. Ranged mobs we can’t target sucks for DPS.
  • Enchants/Consumables. Of course.

Once all that is sorted, THEN worry about reforging your secondary stats.

Also, consider that stat values have a complex interrelationship. The simple “RSV Charts” that I and other sites used to run are helpful, sure, but it’s important to understand that those values are usually derived from a single data point, typically a BiS gearset. Increasing a stat raises the value of all other stats, and decreases the value of that stat, which makes exact numbers very difficult to come by. That hasn’t mattered so much in the past when we had a clear stat priority, but with numbers this close for this expansion, it’s much much harder to definitively say what’s “best.”

Anyway, rant over, stats, right. In 4.1, Mastery was king due to its strong effect on our bleeds. However, the (relative) nerfing of Rip has devalued it somewhat, bringing mastery back to the pack (and bringing hit/exp up in value somewhat). Haste got a bump in value due to the enhancement of white attacks (from the buff to Savage Roar). The thing to remember, though, is that all the haste/hit/expertise in the world does you little good if you’re not actually in melee range.

Here’s my recommendations:

For new/inexperienced ferals, or those with poor computers/connections: Focus on capping Hit/Expertise. The potential DPS loss is slight, and the actual gain will be much greater from not having to compensate for missed specials.

For exceptionally complex fights: As above, focus on capping Hit/Expertise. One less thing to worry about.

For AoE fights: Again, Hit/Expertise. Unlike single-target abilities, Swipe does not refund energy if it misses. If you can cap Hit/Expertise, go for Haste for more OOC procs.

For heroic 5-mans: Don’t waste gold on reforging/gemming, unless you really want to.

Raiding, Ilvl 359: Mastery still slightly edges out Haste, at this gear level. If you’re still rolling with a full-Mastery setup, I wouldn’t worry about changing it up. Crit remains the best third option.

Raiding, Ilvl 372-378: Mastery and Haste are so close in value that many differing conclusions have been reported. Some live 4.2 experience is probably going to be necessary to determine how much out-of-range time exists in the fights. Crit/Hit/Expertise are almost exactly equal in theoretical value. I’d stay with Mastery until you break 2pT11. (BTW, keep 2pT11 until you can get 4pT12, it’s that good a bonus…more to come when I finish my gear column) After that, I’d probably recommend a Hit/Exp cap, then Haste or Mastery as you prefer.

Raiding, ilvl 391: Haste pulls a bit ahead of the rest at this gear level, from a simulation perspective. It’ll take quite a while for someone to get full 391, obviously, but once you’re raiding H Firelands, try a Haste setup and see how you fare.

Or, ignore all that, and do what you like. It doesn’t make that much difference anyway. (Which, coming from the guy who spent hours running numbers comparing ArPen vs. Agi back in Ulduar, is somewhat depressing.) If you’re really interested in the numbers, feel free to dive into the thread on our forums (here and here are good points to start from). Have fun in Firelands!

 Posted by at 11:57 am

  6 Responses to “4.2 and Feral Secondary Stats”

  1. Yah, I’ve been playing with the numbers myself out of curiosity, and OMG is haste all over the place.

    Was looking at potential upgrades using the mew sim. (100,000 iterations, 25% variable length, looking at upgrades for my gear) I watch haste go from 2nd in patchwork-style to dead last in Atramedes script. I was always a big fan of the fact we didn’t have to hit cap, while all the other DPS were paying the hit tax. I’m considering going that route myself since my PC is starting to show it’s age and I can’t use the “webcam excuse.” ;)

  2. So with the change to savage roar to 80% of auttoattacks I’ve (obviously) seen a great increase of white damage. Seeing as shred and white damage are my top two damage dealers I feel like haste and crit will give me much more benefit now than mastery, because of the added value to my white damage. I know that simulations should provide optimal itemization but my theory can’t be that far off, right?

  3. From what i’ve seen so far, the changes to where our damage comes from essentially means upgrading your weapon is probably the single most important thing you can do…and the choice of secondary stats now favour an all-round build or at the very least choosing what works for your own playstyle (or worse choosing what works for a specific fight).

    Increasing SR’s effect on white damage now means hit/exp are much more values and it’s almost worth getting capped for both just for this damage, but adding in the extra OOC chance for those heavy hitting yellow abilities mean sit’s even better. Haste just takes far too much to make a difference so as you say until 391 gear all-round you just won’t have the stats available to make this as nice as it should be. Mastery still works nicely, but Crit will also do nice things to your numbers…mainly giving all those white hits that are no longer missing the chance to crit and adding a whole lot of dmg to your white hits. All in all it’s much less complicated but a little disappointing that we have no stat that is really worth looking out for like most classes do.

  4. I think the changes to secondary stats being in balance is actually quite wonderful.

    The reason? as a feral/feral druid, I always use my crit/mastery gear for my bear set, and use the haste/exp/hit stuff for my cat set, until I can be so lucky as to get a second crit/mastery piece. Which never happens.

    Now I can have a proper bear set without screwing over my (main spec) kitty set.

  5. What should I do, Stick with 4pc 378 or break it using 2 off pieces 391?

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