Sylvaneart

Jun 132011
 

When Blizz announced that there was no new raid in 4.1 I was under the impression that major feral changes would happen there and 4.2 would just be a new tier of raiding.  No big changes for any classes.  I was wrong and am I glad.  Unlike previous patches where we had to sift through all the “OMG! The sky is falling, all druids will quit the game” complaining to find real numbers to crunch there is a general feeling of hopeful anticipation in the feral ranks.  Now that a release has hit the PTR it is time to round it all up and present it to you.

Plate wearing Tanks

Agility

  • Death knights, paladins, and warriors no longer receive any bonus to their chance to dodge from Agility. Their base chance to dodge is now a fixed 5%.

This is not a druid change but several people have gotten confused by others stating “tanks” won’t get dodge from AGI.  We keep our dodge benefit from AGI.  This will keep the other tanks from taking our necks and rings to get more avoidance stats.

All Druids

Buffs

  • All class abilities which place a buff on friendly targets no longer generate any threat. This goes for raid-wide buffs like Mark of the Wild and Power Word: Fortitude, as well as triggered effects such as Blessed Resilience or Fingers of Frost, and single-target buffs like Dark Intent and Hysteria. The exception is buffs which directly cause healing or damage, such as Thorns or Renew. Abilities such as these still generate normal threat.

Ummmm….I included this because it is a change to us.  Not really important, but a change.  I have never pulled a boss or aggro by throwning out Paws on someone, and now i guess i don’t have to worry about it.

Crowd Control

  • Many crowd control abilities no longer cause creatures to attack players when they are cast. The creature will not attack the player when the crowd control wears off, and nearby creatures will not become hostile to the player either. However, if a visible player gets too close to the target creature, the creature will remember and attack the player when the crowd control effect wears off. The intent is to make it easier for dungeon groups to manage crowd control assignments and pulling packs of hostile NPCs. The abilities affected by this change are: Hibernate, Entangling Roots, Wyvern Sting (will still cause hostility when it begins to deal damage), Freezing Trap, Polymorph, Repentance, Shackle Undead, Blind, Hex, Bind Elemental, Banish and Seduction.

Another small change that wont affect ferals running in established groups but will help pugs mainly:

Strength nerf

  • Druids now gain 1 attack power per point of Strength, down from 2. They continue to gain 2 attack power per point of Agility while in Cat Form or Bear Form.

When this was first announced it was a “Sky is falling” topic.  We discussed this over and over.  It is a nerf BUT……it isn’t a big deal by any means.  With all the other changes you won’t notice.  This, I believe, is the counter to plate wearing tanks not getting dodge from AGI.  We now won’t grab their strength items and they will keep their grubby hands off of our AGI items.

PVP nerf

  • Entangling Roots and the equivalent spell triggered by Nature’s Grasp no longer deal damage.

I say PVP nerf simply because if you need,depending on the damage caused by Entangling Root in PVE, you are in more trouble than this could ever provide help for.  Really, no one depends on the damage from this.

Innervate

  • Innervate now grants an ally target 5% of his or her maximum mana over 10 seconds, but still grants 20% of the druid’s maximum mana over 10 seconds when self-cast.

Make no mistake,  this is a buff and will scale to be even better.  It is a minimal buff right now, but raid-geared healers have 5 to 6 times more mana then we do.  Crunching rounded numbers from 372ilvl groups show this to be a 3K-5K buff in the amount of mana the healer will recieve.  As we progress in 4.2 and beyond, healers will gain even larger pools of mana making this buff even better.

Cat

  • Omen of Clarity clearcasting buff now lasts 15 seconds, up from 8 seconds.

This can help in very limited capacities but really, you should be popping your ability on proc.  An example of this helping is on the twin dragons fight.  Valiona begins to take off and you refresh your last DOT but 1 more auto-attack goes off and procs OOC.  Valiona is now out of range to use this and Theralion is not yet in range.  A couple of extra seconds to use your proc is very nice here.

  • Ferocious Bite damage has been increased by 15%. In addition, its base cost has been reduced to 25 energy and it can use up to 25 energy, for up to a 100% damage increase.

A buff to FB!  BUT……not enough.  It is still not recomended to FB above 25% health on target until you get the new 4P bonus.  We will talk about the tier gear later.

  • Mangle (Cat) damage at level 80 and above has been increased to 540% weapon damage, up from 460%.

Direct damage buff.  If you have the 4PT11 buff you will notice this right away.  If not it won’t affect you that much.  On fights with alot of target switching requiring you to constently reapply Mangle debuff this will become noticable also.

  • Ravage damage at level 80 and above has been increased to 950% weapon damage, up from 850%.

Direct damage buff but this makes me sad.  This, coupled with the change to bosses allowing FC in melee range, makes me sad.  Imagine the Chim fight with this buff, and no FC min range like it is right now.  Since they are fixing the issue with no min range to FC bosses it is nice that they buffed this to still make it fun to run out and FC back in.

  • Shred damage at level 80 and above has been increased to 540% weapon damage, up from 450%.

So what button do you push more then any other on a boss fight?  Well guess what, that button just got hooked up to a bigger hammer:)

  • Swipe (Cat) now deals 600% weapon damage at level 80 or higher, down from 670%.

I think we all saw this nerf coming.  And so continues the yo-yo that is feral AOE DPS.  On the plus side this isn’t near the level of change our AOE has gotten nerfed in the past so we might be looking at a reasonable balance here.  We still have no sustained AOE but out burst will be nice.

  • Rake initial damage on hit now deals the same damage as each periodic tick (and is treated the same for all combat calculations). Periodic damage now gains 14.7% of attack power per tick, up from 12.6%, and base damage per tick has been lowered from 557 to 56. There is a known issue with Rake’s tooltip being incorrect from this change will be corrected in a future patch

Oh……….My………….Gosh!!!!  With all the direct damage buffs it felt as though we where shifting out of DoTing but this, my friends, is so nice.  This along with swipe nerf has got me in math mode trying to figure out how to AoE again.  More on that to come.

  • Savage Roar now grants 80% increased damage to melee auto attacks, up from 50%.

SR was so weak after Cata drop.  I am glad they did this.

Bear

From Blizz:

Bear damage abilities were scaling too fast with higher gear levels compared to other tanks, so the following balance changes have been made. All the numbers cited are for level 85 characters; numbers will be lower for lower-level characters.

  • Faerie Fire (Feral) base damage has been raised to 2950, up from 679. Attack power scaling has been decreased to 10.8%, down from 15%.
  • Maul base damage has been raised to 35, up from 8. Attack power scaling has been decreased to 19%, down from 26.4%.
  • Pulverize weapon damage percent has been decreased to 60%, down from 80%. Damage per Lacerate application has been increased to 1623, up from 361.
  • Mangle (Bear) weapon damage percent has been decreased to 190%, down from 260%. Bonus damage has been increased to 3306, down from 754.
  • Swipe base damage has been increased to 929, up from 215.  Attack power scaling has been decreased to 12.3%, down from 17.1%.
  • Thrash initial base damage has been increased to 1042, up from 339. Initial damage attack power scaling has been decreased to 9.82%, down from 19.2%. Periodic base damage has been increased to 581, up from 189. Periodic damage attack power scaling has been decreased to 1.67%, down from 3.26%. In addition, a bug was corrected where armor decreased the periodic damage done by this ability.
  • Lacerate initial base damage has been increased to 3608, up from 2089. Initial damage attack power scaling has been decreased to 5.52%, down from 7.66%. Periodic base damage has been increased to 69, up from 16. Periodic damage attack power scaling has been decreased too. 369%, down from 0.512%

All of these Bear changes will result in less bear DPS/Threat but you will be getting new and better gear soon.

  • Natural Reaction damage reduction has been increased to 9/18%, up from 6/12%

Now that is a nice buff.  What bear doesn’t want to take less damage?

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Berserk duration increase is now 10 seconds, up from 5.

The new 4P bonus coupled with this will make for some energy starved Beserks

  • Glyph of Ferocious Bite has been redesigned. It now causes Ferocious Bite to heal the caster for 1% of maximum health for each 10 energy used.

So FB hits harder and costs less.  With this glyph it will now heal a bit also.  Could save your life.

  • Glyph of Innervate now causes the druid to gain 10% of his or her maximum mana over 10 seconds when Innervate is used on a friendly target, in addition to Innervate’s base effect.

I included this becouse of the changes to Innervate itself.  DO NOT use this glyph.

Druid Bug Fixes

  • It is no longer possible in some encounters to use Feral Charge when closer than its minimum range.

Well it was fun while it lasted but really this needed to happen.  I don’t like feeling like I must use a broken mechanic to play.

And now the biggest change of them all.  I seriously need to embed a music file here with something truly epic. No not epic, LEDGENDARY!!!!!!!

Cats and Kettens I give you(pause for effect)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FIRECAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

firecat

Honestly I couldn’t care less what the stats are….but they are really good.

I also don’t care what the staff looks like…..but it’s really cool.

All I really care about is that it will make me look like this

firecat 2

And here is a nice video.

So how does it work?  First the staff drops off of Fandral Staghelm.  He is the next to last boss in Firelands.  You might need to bribe/maim/beg/kill the hunters in your group as it is a good staff for them.  Once you have the staff of course equip it.  It works 2 ways.  If you have the staff equipped, you will turn into FIRECAT whenever you enter combat.  Otherwise, it has a 2 hour cooldown that lets you right click it and turn into FIRECAT anywhere you like.  The effect of the use lasts until cancelled or you leave your current zone.  Floofles reported on our forums that he macroed a cancel aura into ALL of his abilities and while raiding was able to make his cat go in and out of FIRECAT mode constantly during fights making what he called a “Disco Cat”.

Well that wraps up 4.2, people.  Of course, 4.2 hasn’t gone live so there is still time for Blizz to make changes, but I like what they have done so far.

As always be sure to subscribe to the RSSfeed and use the forums. Are you on Twitter? I am, follow me @Sylvaneart. 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.
Sylvaneart

May 272011
 

In February of 2011 Alaron asked for help with the site, as he was about to embark on his military commitment.  Leafkiller, Qbear, and myself answered the call.  Since then we have brought you pretty pictures and explanations of a Proper UI tables of stats and information to min/max your toon,  A You Tube channel to show the feral way of doing things and so many more articles.  We have also spent countless HOURS on the forums offering help, analysis, and slight moderation(I have deleted many Viagra advertisements).  As we introduce a new contributor (in Tinderhoof) I felt it was time to recognize a little milestone we have reached.  The Fluid Druid has added 100 users since we started.  While this isn’t Charlie Sheen getting 2,000,000 followers in 48 hours it is pretty big for a Feral Blog.  The 3 of us don’t take credit for this growth-we thank you.  Unlike most WoW websites TFD dosn’t need moderation.  Our users have made a home for both long in the tooth cats and kettehs just starting out.  So thank you TFD followers.  Keep reading and asking questions and we will all keep answering them.

As always be sure to subscribe to the RSSfeed and use the forums. Are you on Twitter? I am, follow me @Sylvaneart. 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.
Sylvaneart

 

 

 

 

Apr 272011
 

Hey everyone, I would like to announce a new area over on our forums.  Sylv’s Snippets.  This is a new area I have started for smaller articles that aren’t enough for a full article.  These are WoW, feral, and off-topic articles meant to start conversation and get some good discussions going.  Think of it as sitting around in a bar and talking shop.  Please stop by and join in.

As always be sure to subscribe to the RSSfeed and use the forums. Are you on Twitter? I am, follow me @Sylvaneart. 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.
Sylvaneart

Apr 202011
 

So with 4.1 having a release candidate finally hit the PTR it is a good time to talk about the upcoming changes. These changes are still subject to change but if they don’t we should be prepared. (OMG am going to get Illidan jokes for that?)

Druids
So what changed for all druids no matter your spec? Two things changed and IMHO they are both good.

  • All non-damaging interrupts off the global cooldown will now always hit the target. This includes Pummel, Kick, Mind Freeze, Rebuke, Skull Bash, Counterspell, Wind Shear, Solar Beam, Silencing Shot, and related player pet abilities.

 Skull Bash has gone from never miss to miss and now back to never miss. Not the greatest planning on Blizz’s part but a change I will gladly take. This will help cats that had to bring hit gear for interrupts on certain fights.  Skullbash is still stupid expensive but this is a nice start.

  • Druids now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Tranquility.
    This is nice. With Nurturing Instinct this is a viable raid heal we have and getting pushback on it was a pain.

Cats
Ah yes the cat changes. Some good, some great, and some…..

  • Prowl has a new icon.

Well thank god! Not what I was hoping for when asking for changes to be made.

  • Stampeding Roar’s duration has been increased to 8 seconds, up from 6. The movement speed effect has been increased to 60%, up from 40% and is no longer cancelled by cancelling shapeshift form.
  • Feral Swiftness now also causes Dash and Stampeding Roar to have a 50/100% chance to instantly remove all movement impairing effects from the affected targets when used.

OK these 2 changes together make a nice buff. It is situational and many will see it as a PVP buff to make up for losing the shapeshift breakers, but I can live with this. Now they just need to make the range bigger.

  • Berserk is no longer on the global cooldown.

This wasn’t needed but it is helpful. I have hit Beserk early and wasted a GCD to hit it again.  To really see what this change means read Leafkiller’s post.

  • Swipe (Cat) damage has been doubled.

Ah the best for last. This very well might make us go from worst to 1st on AOE fights.  I personally can’t wait to stop tanking on Heroic Maloriak since my AoE is so bad. Our AoE is just plain embarrassing as it stands right now.

Bears
They’re big, they’re hairy, and they got some nice changes.

  • Lacerate bonus threat has been removed and replaced with increased initial damage done.

We complain about initial threat, and this is what they give us? It would have been nice to leave in the bonus threat.

  • Enrage no longer increases physical damage taken.

Speaking of initial threat, this is a nice boost. If we pick up KotJ with this new mechanic, we will have that initial threat. GG, Blizz, I like this one.

  • Savage Defense has been redesigned slightly. Instead of a single charge absorption, it now places an absorption effect on the druid absorbing up to 35% of the druid’s attack power (modified by mastery, if applicable) in damage and lasting 10 seconds. There are no longer any charges on the effect.

This was a needed change. Bear AoE threat was subpar but our AoE survival was worse. This doesn’t make us the best AoE tanks out there but it does expand what we can do.

  • Stampeding Roar’s duration has been increased to 8 seconds, up from 6. The movement speed effect has been increased to 60%, up from 40% and is no longer cancelled by cancelling shapeshift form.
  • Feral Swiftness now also causes Dash and Stampeding Roar to have a 50/100% chance to instantly remove all movement impairing effects from the affected targets when used.

Like with cats, these 2 changes together make a nice buff. It is situational and many will see it as a PVP buff but I can live with this. Now they just need to make the range bigger.

  • Swipe (Bear) cooldown has been reduced to 3 seconds, down from 6, and is now on trainable at level 18 (training cost has been reduced). In addition, the bonus threat from this ability has been removed and replaced with increased damage done.

And there is the AoE threat to go with the survivability.

  • Thrash bonus threat has been removed and replaced with increased damage done.

Hmmm not bad, but not particularly good either.

  • Berserk is no longer on the global cooldown.

This isn’t as big a deal to bears. But it is a bear thing

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Rake is now Glyph of Pounce, which increases the range of Pounce by 3 yards.

PVP IMO.

Druid Bug Fixes

  • The Troll druid models for Flight Form and Swift Flight Form have slimmed down to be more in scale with other druid flight forms.

So you were fat.  Get over it.

So looking over the changes kind of made me happy-at first.  I saw an improvement to cat AOE damage and bear AOE threat.  I was so happy to see changes I jumped on all the changes at first.  But after re-reading and re-reading, I’m not real happy.  Feral AOE got a decent boost but not a good one.  Had they cut the cost of swipe in half it would have been better.  As it is, we will still swipe the same number of times but do double damage, run out of energy and be done in a matter of seconds just like before.  With the increase in damage all cats will need to watch their threat levels.  There was no attempt made to help us rampup our damage faster or make us better in fights with constent target switching.  The bear changes were all good ones.  So 4.1 is…………….disappointing.

On a personal note I am sorry I havn’t posted much as of late.  There simply isn’t much going on besides te patch and i didn’t want to post about it until closer to the release.  Then i got sick.  I mean really sick.  I am better now and can’t wait to discuss ferals with all of you. 

As always be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed and use the forums.  Are you on Twitter?  I am, follow me @Sylvaneart.  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.

Sylvaneart

Mar 192011
 

                Welcome back Cats and Kittens!  We have taken time lately discussing different things to help make us better cats.  Mainly these discussions have covered free tools available to you like Mew.    Now let’s talk about a basic tool that everyone paid for already, but may not be using correctly-the WoW UI.  Ask any raider and they will tell you how important your UI is.  You must track cooldowns, DOT timers, procs and more with accuracy.  Most importantly, you must do this efficiently.  Your camera is centered on you.  Your attention will mainly be focused on yourself in relation to the boss.  Things can happen so fast during a boss fight you need to be able to concentrate the information available to you.  But at the same time this information can not take your attention away from the fight.  Many new raiders make the mistake of “overloading” their UI with so much information that it takes away from what you can do.  As smart as you are (or might think you are) the human brain can only take in so much information at a time and efficiently process that information.  So let’s get into it shall we?

  • Focus Area:

        The first thing we should define is your “Focus Area”.  The Focus Area is where your eyes should spend the majority of the fight.  This is represented by the green oval in the illustration below.  This is where your toon is and, by default, where the boss is.  Great raiders take in the whole screen but concentrate their efforts on this green area.  When building your UI this is where the, “I have to know this right now” stuff is placed.  When placing these things, be sure not to cover up anything you need to see.  Out a section from there (represented by orange) is your next area of focus.  Here we will place important information that is easily accessible but doesn’t need to be in my face the whole time.  Finally we have the red area.  Whatever you place here will take your eyes away from the fight and thus away from a potentially game changing occurrence.  Information placed in this area is not typically needed during a fight but is usually what you need to know before the fight starts.

Focus Area

  • DOT Timers:

        The core of a feral’s DPS comes from applying DOTs on the target.  Optimal DPS comes when you refresh these DOTs at the right times and maximize your energy usage.  Therefore, it is vital for us to track DOTs on the boss.  My personal favorite is Class Timer.  Many great ferals use DroodFocus.  They both work fine IMO.  The important thing is to get a visible DOT timer.  As you can see in the picture below it provides nice timers to the debuffs and DOTs I have currently placed on the boss.  The importance of this is to know how long before I need to reapply a DOT.  This needs to be in the green area.

DOT timer

Some argue that all my bars are the same size and will burn down at different speeds.  That is why I configured it so that the 1st thing that will end is always on top.

  • Personal Buffs:

        It is also vital to track your personal buffs, but not all buffs are vital the entire fight.  Things you’re your food buff and MotW do not need to be front and center.  With 1 hour durations they just need to be somewhere you can see them before a fight starts.  The ones that need to be tracked constantly are things like trinket procs, Omen of Clarity, 4pT11 and such. 

        For the stuff that “lasts” a long time I use the standard blizz buffs frame.  Many use an addon to track these things by the second, but I choose not to.  Part of the reason for this is that I looked at this frame for so long in my early days, I can now just glance at it and tell every totem I am getting and such.  This should be in the Red area.

Long Buffs

For MY personal on-use procs I use Class Timer.  This works well for seeing how long Berserk has left or TF and SR.  It is also nice to track your T11 4 piece bonus.

bufftimer

For trinket procs, I use Ovale with Leafkiller’s Script.  It is fast to set up and Leaf did all the work for you.  Thanks, Leaf.

Trinket Timer

It is also important to have a combo point counter near the action.  Your combo points are make or break to your DPS.  You can’t take time to search for your combo points to know if you can Rip or not.  It needs to be right there in your focus in the green area.

Combo Points

  • Boss Timers:

        I don’t care what people say.  You have to run boss timers.  If you feel you don’t need them I can guarantee someone in your raid does and you can help by calling out abilities.  People point out that world-first guilds don’t use them since they aren’t updated yet.  This is true, but are you in a world-first guild?  I am not and 99% of WoW players aren’t either. 

        DBM works great.  You can use Big Wigs instead, but I use DBM.  Now that you have the mod,  it needs to be set up.  Don’t put everything to the side (Red).  But don’t put everything in the middle (Green).  That takes your focus away from the action or covers it up.  My preference is to have the timers start on the side and have them move into the center top at 5 seconds left.  This gets the big bars out of your way for a majority of the time until it is actually time to react.  So the first picture below is the center right side of my screen which is the red area.  I can see these bars if needed and they aren’t covering any action going on.

DBM Small

At 5 seconds remaining the bars will move to the center top of my screen, or the orange area, and get bigger.  This lets me know that NOW is the time for a special and I need to do something or be prepared to react.

DBM Big

  • Raid Frames:

        Raids frames are needed even for DPS.  It is important to see the state of the raid.  This doesn’t need to be in your primary field of view but it does need to be on your screen.  With 4.1 allowing you to click raid frames to do BR it makes them even more important. 

        I use Grid myself.  I can set it up to track whatever I want on my raid members and it is small and clean.  In fights where I would have to tank swap I used to just focus the other tank and watch his debuff counter.  This worked 9 out of 10 times until we started working on Heroic Halfus.  I had to tank a drake while watching the Halfus tank’s debuffs and interrupt Halfus.  I was using a focus macro to interrupt Halfus before, but that would no longer work since I was focusing the Halfus tank.  I adjusted grid to show only the debuff on the tank.  This allowed me to focus Halfus for interrupts while watching the tanks stacks.  In many videos you see on you-tube the raid frames of the filmer are right in the middle of the screen.  These videos are usually shot by a healer and seeing the entire raids health is a focus for them.  The same is not true for us.  Your raid frames will do the job needed sitting up in the red area.

Grid

  • Threat Meter:

        While feral cats might be sinking down the DPS charts we are still freaky high on the threat charts.  You need to know where you are on threat.  Don’t screw up a tank rotation by pulling the boss off and making the tank have to taunt at an inopportune time.  Also, on a fight like Chimaeron, in the final phase he just runs down the list 1-shotting people.  You need to be ready if you are next.  Omen is the best threat meter I have seen.  It has been around for a long time and it simply just works.  This is not really something that needs to be in your focus area.  I keep mine in the red area because you can set a screen flash and audio tone to warn you when your threat is getting too high.

Omen

  • Buttons/hotkeys:

        We, as ferals, can have our hands full at times.  It is important to hotkey your buttons.  You can also use mouse-over macros and such.  I personally use Bartender and the WoW Cataclysm mouse.  This allows me to hit what I want when I want.  Once you set up your hot keys you must practice and memorize them.  You don’t have time to search for an ability in the middle of a fight.  In the picture below, you might notice some odd groupings.  That is simply due to most, if not all, of my stuff being on my mouse, so I don’t really care where it is on the bottom 3 rows.  Since you have hot-keyed your abilities, memorized them and practiced with them it is not advisable to put them in the green area.  Orange will do just fine.

Bartender

  • Optional:

        If you are new to the cat or are still working out your rotation, I highly recommend using Ovale with Leafkiller’s script.  It is a next move indicator that will really help you.  Spend time on a dummy with it and learn why it is suggesting a move.  Don’t just pound out what it says.   If you do decide to use it, it should be in your green area as you will need to keep a close eye on it the entire fight.

Ovale

  • Damage meters:

        I am honestly up in the air on this one.  You need to know what you are doing and Recount will help.  It is nice after a fight to be able to go back and quickly see your rotation in graph form and see what you are doing wrong or right. However, DO NOT stare at this during a fight.  DO NOT worry about where you are on the meter during a fight.  That is a selfish thing to do and it is to the detriment of your raid.  Do not take your focus away from the fight at hand. Keep this in the red area.

Recount

  • Scrolling Text:

        I like to use Parrot because during the times I am tanking I want to see what heals are coming in.  I also like to see what damage I am putting out per ability during testing.  It is also good to see incoming damage. This should be in the orange area.

Scrolling Txt

  • The Final:

        Now we need to put all this together.  Your focus should be the middle of your screen.  That is where your cat is so that is where your eyes need to be.  Highly important information needs to be close to this area but not covering.  The less important info can be spread out from there.  Now, before I show you my UI you need to understand I have some OCD issues with things being symmetrical :)  I included Ovale with Leaf’s script in this shot.

SS

        My main focus is me.  I am always right in the middle of the screen so this is where my eyes are looking.  There I have the most important information that I need to know immediately.  My health, my energy, my Combo Points, my target, my target’s target (tank hopefully), boss’s health, dots, and procs.  Spread out from here is information I would like to have access to on a less frequent basis.  This includes incoming heals, incoming damage, outgoing damage, outgoing heals, final seconds of boss timers and raid warnings.  Just above the boss’s head is where my DBM timers are when an ability gets to 5 seconds.  The rest of the information is spread out along the edges to help not obstruct my view.

        I realize I did not go over every add-on I have.  This is intentional as I am trying to show the basic setup, not show you my cool looking map in the corner.

        Is this the best UI ever?  No, but it gets the job done.  There are a couple things I could strip off to clear space but I have been using this for sometime now and would just feel naked without it.  The important thing is to remember your Focus Area and how to work around and within it.

       As always be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed and use the forums.  Are you on Twitter?  I am, follow me @Sylvaneart.  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.

Sylvaneart

Mar 142011
 

FIRST:  forget all you know or think you know about T10 raiding and before.  It is obsolete.  The name of the game is World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.  Unless you are in a top world progression guild with many geared alts, chances are you won’t have the optimal raid comp.  When this happens your guild will need people to fill roles that they normally don’t do.  Now, I am not talking about a cat trying to heal (maybe I am?) or casting Wrath.  What I am talking about is many of the unused abilities that people complain about.  Let’s see what we have to work with here.

Raid Buffs

  • Mark of the Wild – Increase the friendly target’s Strength, Agility, Stamina, and Intellect by 5%, and all magical resistances for 1 hour.

Pound for pound this raid wide buff is still the best there is.  A Paladin’s Kings is the same now, and the 2 don’t stack. But what if you don’t have a Pally, or the only 1 is buffing something else?

  • Leader of the Pack – While in Cat Form or Bear Form, the Leader of the Pack increases critical strike chance of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 5%.

Oh yes, LotP.  We love you.  And our raid loves us because of you.

  • Stampeding Roar – The druid roars, increasing all nearby friendly players movement speed within 10 yards by 40% for 6 sec.

OK this doesn’t have a lot of uses right now besides helping people run back from a wipe faster.  But put it on your bar somewhere.  It is great for fire runner on Atramedes.  Body and Soul is considered better since it can be cast at range but if you have no priest (or he isn’t any good) then it’s up to you.  I try not to mention patch 4.1 too much but Stampeding Roar is getting a buff.  The duration and speed increase are increasing to 60% for 8 sec.  If you have talented Feral Swiftness (and I am sure you have) SR now becomes a 10 yard root breaker. /purrrrrr

Boss Debuffs

  • Mangle – Mangle the target for 460% normal weapon damage plus (315*460/100) and causes the target to take 30% additional damage from bleed effects for 1 min.

Ah Mangle.  How we love you.  So many people in your raid will love you for making sure this never falls off.  It does not stack with Arms Warrior’s Trauma, but then an Arms Warrior should not be raiding.

  • Infected wounds – Your Shred, Ravage, Maul, and Mangle attacks cause an Infected Wound in the target.  The Infected Wound reduces the movement speed of the target by 50% and the attack speed by 20%. Lasts 12 sec.

Many will point out that the tanks can do this.  And well they can, but when you get into fights with multiple mobs and such, some tanks don’t apply their debuff.  Is this the tank’s fault? Yes, but sometimes you just have to deal.  You will need to move points around for this and should talk to your tanks to see if they need you to do this.

  • Demoralizing Roar – The Druid Roars, reducing the physical damage caused by all enemies within 10 yards by 10% for 30 sec.

Hey, wait, that is for bears.  Well, don’t laugh but I have had to do this.  If you have a tank with awesome mitigation/survival their threat is usually lacking.  I have gone in on pulls with the tank and put up demo roar at the start of the fight so they don’t have to use a GCD.  Then I go cat and do my thing.  By the time demo falls off, they have a comfortable threat lead and can do it themselves.  This rarely happens.

  • Feral Fairy Fire – Decreases the armor of the target by 4% for 5min. While affected the target cannot stealth or turn invisible.  Stacks up to 3 times.

If you talent Feral Aggression (which I am sure you have) this applies at 3 stacks.  Tanks love this for initial threat.  Every other non caster will love you for it also.

Utility

  • Entangling Roots – Roots the target in place and causes 370 Nature damage over 30 sec.  Damage caused may interrupt the affect.

Not a strong CC but it is a CC that may be needed.

  • Cyclone – Tosses the enemy target into the air, preventing all action but making them invulnerable for up to 6 sec.  Only 1 target can be affected by your Cyclone at a time.

This is a really nice CC to put on Mind-controlled raid members.  It takes them out of the fight without causing any extra damage for your healers to have to deal with.

  • Hibernate – Forces the enemy target to sleep for up to 40 sec. Any damage will awaken the target.  Only one target can be forced to hibernate at a time.  Only works on Beasts and Dragonkin.

This CC has limited uses as far as targets go, but it is VERY powerful.  40 seconds is a lifetime in a fight.

  • Innervate – Causes the target to regenerate mana equal to 20% of the casting Druid’s maximum mana pool over 10 sec.

Many think this is worthless now-not so.  Remember in progression the slightest difference separates a kill and another wipe.  Think of this.  Healer goes down and gets rezzed.  They still have no mana.  Pop MotW + Innervate.  It isn’t much, but some mana is better than no mana.  It might buy you that extra 10-20 seconds you needed.

  • Rebirth – Returns the spirit to the body, restoring a dead target to life with 20% health and 20% mana.

Here it is.  Rebirth!  People love us for it.  Most are jealous of us for it, an in-combat resurrection.  If you glyph it (no reason you shouldn’t) your target comes back with 100% health.  In 4.1 DK s will get this.  That’s nice for them but give me the druid that has been doing this for years.  A druid can do it better IMHO.  Example: A mage goes down.  You pop Rebirth (glyphed) + MotW + Innervate.  You now have a mage with full health, the major raid buff, and 20% of his mana plus 20% of mine.  Like I said before, these are the little things that can make or break your attempt.

  • Remove Corruption – Nullifies corrupting effects on the friendly target, removing 1 Curse and 1 Poison effect.

Healer job?  Yes.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t help in fights where there is massive damage going out taking up the healers’ time.  At least get yourself cleaned off.

  • Skull Bash – You charge and skull bash the target, interrupting spellcasting and preventing any spell in that school from being cast for 4 sec.

This costs too much and is slowed by travel time, so many have said that if your RL puts a feral on interrupts they are bad.  Well ya know what, I interrupt all the time.  I do it because I am reliable.  I do it because I am good at it.  I do it because we don’t have the perfect raid setup and someone has to do it.

  • Soothe – Soothes the target, dispelling all enrage effects.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Healing

  • Tranquility – Heals 5 nearby lowest health party or raid members within 30 yards with tranquility every 2 sec for 8 sec.

With Nurturing Instincts talented, this becomes very powerful.  With its 8min CD you will only use it once per boss.  This is another of the game-changers we have.  This can save a wipe in the final seconds of a Cho’gall kill.  We also have other heals but Tranquility + Nuturing Instincts is the big 1 for your raid.

Virtually NOTHING I have shown you here will help your personal DPS, but raiding isn’t about you alone.  One person’s DPS will not carry a group to glory.  Your #1 job should still be to max your DPS.  But remember, a druid is so much more than a face ripper.  We have utility in many areas.  What really sets us apart is the caliber of player.  From what I have experienced there aren’t a lot of good players in a specific class besides the druids of the world.  Some classes still just mash buttons and do great DPS but those easier classes also have a ton of players that stand in fire or say, “you want me to do what?  I don’t have that on my bar.”  A good RL will recognize your class’s deficiencies but also expect you to get the job done.  This is where we start seeing the great player move to the lead.  It is time to step up and be the leader.  Avoid avoidable damage.  Keep your buffs/debuffs going.  DPS the bosses eyes out.  BR, MotW, Innervate, and ect….  At all times make sure you are doing everything you can to help the raid.  Your raid members will notice and be glad of it.

OH MANGS!  I am on twitter now (@charliesheen is cracking me up).  Follow me @Sylvaneart.  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.

Sylvaneart

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.

Sylvaneart

Mar 082011
 

Greetings, and welcome to you, avid feral follower. With Alaron needing to take some time off for real life, he has asked for some help with his blog. Enter one cool cat with a mission, Sylvaneart. I have been playing this game long enough to realize that:

  • If you have been playing since vanilla, you know that style of play is out of date.
  • If you have been playing since BC, you know what a crushing blow is.
  • If you have been playing since WotLK, you might have cried to lose our good swipe.
  • And if you have been playing since Cata, you could probably care less about the old ways. LOL!

Stupid intro? Maybe. In all honesty, I am a student of the feral class. The math, the lore, and the player. For years I have sat back and collected as much information as I can on the cat. I write regular posts for my guild and server. My mission as stated above is two-fold. First, I aim to convince the world that feral cat is the greatest class there is. Just kidding. I love feral and I want to see you enjoy it too by accomplishing part two. Part two is to bring you the information you need to enjoy the greatest class there is. This is my first foray into being a regular contributor so I hope you enjoy reading and learning all I have to show you.

As a player I started as a hunter. I quickly saw the huntard generalization and decided that wasn’t going to be me. This hunter was my main all the way up until the start of WotLK. When the hunter pet was made a trivial thing I no longer cared for the class. But I had this druid. This great thing in my possession. It was so much better than my hunter in every way but my guild at the time needed my hunter. I basically told my guild I was going feral and it wasn’t up for discussion. Best choice I ever made. My enjoyment of the game has increased so much. My current guild is 1/13 HM. This isn’t impressive to many but I can say I am loving every minute of it. I don’t PVP so my discussions will be of a pure PVE basis only.

So come along for the ride with me. Let me help show you why your class IS relevant. Let me show you why switching into a ferocious cat and ripping face is so fun. 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 that are willing to help the noob learn why claw is laughed at and # in a line of code is called a REM to most coders. 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.

Sylvaneart