Jan 252013
 

Man, has it really been three weeks since I updated last? What happened to my previous years where it seemed like I had boundless time for everything? (This comic applies; I am definitely in the red zone.) I don’t really have anything game-related to comment about this week, since I haven’t really been keeping up. I did fix the mysterious error that periodically was causing the page not to load, so that’s something. (Bad WordPress plugin! Bad!)

Instead, I’d like to get slightly philosophical for a moment and explore motivations. Most MMO players have heard of Richard Bartle’s “four player types” theory (if not, here’s the original article, and here’s a 30-question quiz). I’d always known I wasn’t much of a killer/socializer type, but I’d always felt I was more of an achiever. Recently, I retook the quiz, and found that “explorer” had rocketed to the top, which stunned me. I’ve never really cared about getting all the World Explorer achievements, for example. I read a little more, and realized that the term explorer covers more than just geography; it covers game systems and mechanics as well.

Now, things started to make sense. Unlike many others, my enjoyment of my game time hasn’t really been tied to multiplayer at all. I’ve done some raiding, but never really formed any lasting relationships. Instead, my enjoyment’s come from two things: understanding the game’s mechanics, and then trying to communicate that understanding to others. These days, though, the mechanics are simpler, there’s more really smart people out there explaining them (hi, Icy Veins!) and with my guild having server-transferred, I have less people I can convince to listen to my ramblings. :) Oddly enough, this leads to a paradox; I like to explain my understanding, but I don’t like to listen to other people explain their understanding, because I like figuring stuff out on my own. (At least, until I get frustrated.)

Still keeping on, though; one of the good things about patch cycles is that there’s always more stuff to figure out. Onward! (Also, if the blog turns into nothing but dungeon soloing and pet battle tips…now you know why. :))

 

Jan 042013
 

The holidays are over and I’m back at it. Did you get anything you liked under the tree/in the stocking/other typical place?

Thrash-a-doodle-doo

Stenhaldi brought up the possibility of inserting bear abilities into the feral DPS rotation; specifically, bear Thrash (which is completely separate from cat Thrash) and Maul. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (Most of SimCs’ bugs have been squashed for DPS specs, less so for others) two simulations have shown bearThrash  to be a 10-15% DPS gain for mass AoE situations. (“Mass” is still under discussion, but it’s definitely 8+ targets, and likely 6+. Below that, tab-raking is better.)

Implementing it is pretty common-sense. You don’t want to screw up cat Thrash or your energy regen, so you simply go Bear->Thrash/Maul->Cat when the following conditions are true:

1. Will not max energy before returning to Cat Form (so sub-50 energy)
2. Bear Thrash is down or almost down
3. Cat Thrash won’t drop for the next few seconds.

It’s still a loss (or a wash anyway) for single-target, though, so don’t try it there. If you’re looking for more info on AoE rotations, check out this thread.

PTR Funsies

Expect plenty of changes to come down the pike still (I did an initial rundown a few weeks ago) but two new things to note. First, they’ve fixed the various Ursol’s Vortex bugs; no more unlimited Predatory Swiftness procs or Rip extensions in 5.2. :( Second, developers appear to be testing a change to the 2pc PvP set bonus. Instead of the 15% outdoor speed buff we’ve had since vanilla, it’s now +8sec to SR. I doubt this will happen (druid rage would be significant) but if it did go live in thie form, PvP gear would be very very competitive for PvE.

Other Stuff

  • AskMrRobot has a beta client up that recommends VP upgrades, gear recommendations based on your inventory, and optimization upgrades. Great site, and Zooper fields questions on our forum from time to time; go check it out if you haven’t already.
  • Elamari has a good roundup of various movement speed increases (and what stacks with what now) on his blog File under Feral.
Dec 302012
 

Another year in the books. Continuing the tradition I started in 2011, here’s a quick look back at what was popular/going on for the year!

Site Happenings

  • Winter: “How the **** are we supposed to burst down tendons?” I wrote up a quick guide for this, which ended up being one of the highest-traffic pages on the site. The press event (and subsequent opening of the beta) was the big news in March, and dominated discussion. I made some predictions (which turned out to be pretty good), and then shared my thoughts on the press event reveals.
  • Spring: The big site redesign went live and I started up World of Monkcraft! Sadly, I had these big dreams of being the “Icy Veins of druids/monks” until real life reminded me of responsibilities and such. Lots of beta discussion as we pushed for an additional tier of DPS talents: as you may or may not recall, the original level 90 talents had no DPS benefits. I also defended HoTW to the death against tides of angry moonkin (okay, not really) and am happy to see that it’s retained most of it’s original design.
  • Summer: I predicted the release dates of 5.0 (wrong) and MoP (right, to the day). Lots of pre-release info was written, most of which got incorporated into the guides that still need updating for 5.1. Lots of plans for full guides became…
  • Fall: Real life sucks. I spent six weeks in the hospital with my wife, snatching some occasional playtime on a 4G tethered laptop. On the bright side, Treant Form became ignitable with Patch 5.1, so that’s one dream fulfilled.

Other Games

I got back from my deployment in December, and promptly dived back into all the console and AAA PC games I’d missed out on. A quick list, roughly in the order I tackled them in:

  • WoW: Well, I guess this one has to go first, eh? Came home, jumped back into raiding, got jumped by my wife, stopped raiding (priorities :)). Still playing every week, but totally solo since I like the freedom of calling it quits at any moment.
  • Portal 2: I ended up playing this a LOT because my son loved it (he called it the “robot game” and loved it when I knocked over turrets and things). Great game, never got a chance to try the co-op.
  • Saints Row 3: Good GTA-style game,reminded me a lot of Vice City, which was my favorite in the series (not coincidentally, the last one before they starting taking it “seriously.”) Unfortunately, the multiplayer was buggy as crap and the storyline was hokey. Still good fun.
  • Rift: Hit up a free-trial weekend. Great game, interesting raiding scene, overall good but no room in my heart for what is essentially a prettier clone of Burning Crusade.
  • Red Dead Redemption: Tried it, couldn’t get into it. Too Serious(TM).
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2: Another one of my son’s favorites, and mine as well (though I think I preferred the first SMG).
  • Kingdom of Amalur: Even though it got overshadowed by the collapse of 38 Studios later in the year, this is actually a really good game with some minor flaws (that sadly will never get patched). Play it on hard to postpone the feeling of getting too OP for the content.
  • Skyrim: Played at a friend’s house for an hour or two. I’m just not a sandbox gamer, I guess; the combat mechanics felt terrible compared to something like Dark Souls, and I just lost interest a few hours in. That’s also about where I stopped playing Oblivion, too.
  • Mass Effect 3: Man, this series went and changed fast. The original ME was one of my all-time favorites, even though the RPG mechanics were somewhat awkward. ME2 simplified things, but had some cool plot moments and coherence; ME3 became a corridor shooter with sci-fi elements and a rushed ending that pissed everyone off. (A “good” corridor shooter, mind you, but a huge departure from ME1.)
  • SWTOR: Free trial weekend. Ugly art, dated UI, boring storyline (apparently, the non-Jedi are better). Ugh. Now that it’s F2P, may give it anothe shot.
  • Arkham Asylum/Arkham City: Played both of them, loved them both to bits. Everybody designing a third-person action game needs to take notes from how they did combat. (Yes, Assassin’s Creed 3, I’m looking at you.)
  • Bastion: Fun, but I didn’t find it as groundbreaking as everyone else said.
  • Diablo 3: This is what happens when you design a game by committee. It wasn’t a bad game, but the planning for longevity was really poor, and the always-online requirement for single-player mode…yes, I know, RMT is bad, but so is a million people not buying your game over the long-term because the word-of-mouth was terrible.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles: This was an amazing RPG for the Wii. Sadly, I no longer have time for amazing console RPG’s. :(
  • Orcs Must Die/OMD2: Played the heck out of these. Great action/strategy titles. Less quantity but more quality than Dungeon Defenders.
  • Fallout 3: *crash*
  • Guild Wars 2: I had a really good time in the beta with this, but it really strikes me more as a single-player game with multiplayer elements than an MMO. That means I can wait for a price drop.
  • Borderlands 2: Scratches the checklist part of my brain perfectly. Still playing this actively; am about level 38ish.
  • XCOM: Man, I loved the original X-Com, and this is like a perfect redesign. The only thing I don’t like is not having time to burn attempting to complete a playthrough on the hardest difficulty setting.
  • Planetside 2: I’ve been playing a bit of this recently. I find the give-and-take of the territory and the constant battles to be fascinating; I wish the Battlefield series implemented something like this. I’ll stop playing in a few weeks when I remember how bad I am at multiplayer FPS’s.

If I had to pick a GOTY…hmm. Arkham City. Yes, I know it came out in 2011, but I only played it this year, so it works for me.

The Future (ooh, scary)

Well, last year, I was planning on taking the blog big-time, and that didn’t pan out so well. Now? We’ll just take it a week at a time. I’ve got another deployment coming up soon, so I’ll be stockpiling lots of indie games for that, I suppose. We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, if you’re still reading this, thank you for visiting! Have a happy 2013!

 Posted by at 4:44 am
Dec 152012
 

A I mentioned on WoM, I’ve been struggling with writer’s block lately. As I did there, I’m going to designate one day a week where I MUST write something (even if I think it’s terrible) in order to get something out there, even if it’s just an aggregation of links I find interesting.

(EDIT: Of course I would write this and then forget to hit Publish. That’s not very interesting. So, I added an interesting story to the d’oh thread linked below. :))

Rip Bug (Error in your Favor; Collect DPS)

So, I’ve deliberately kept quiet on this for a little bit to give those that found it some time to play with it, but it’s time to go public. :)

Stenhaldi (and others) discovered that if you cast Rip on targets inside an Ursol’s Vortex, that Rip becomes infinitely extendable via Shreds instead of just  That means you can prep a super-Rip (via trinkets, potion, DoC, etc.), apply it, and keep it rolling for as long as your energy/OoC procs hold out.

This isn’t gamebreaking by any means, as you won’t have the energy to keep the Rip rolling once Berserk/Heroism is over, but it’s certainly a damage gain. I’ve seen DPS increase estimates from 5% to 20%. Don’t get accustomed to it though, it’ll get hotfixed fairly soon.

More in the forum thread.

Talent/Trinket Rankings and Stat Weights

This thread is epic enough that it’s worth an article of its own, but I’ll just highlight it here and let you go read. Big thanks to aggixx for putting all this together.

Other Stuff

  • Weapons: N Tsulong’s staff (w/epic gem) beats H Spirit Kings polearm, LFR staff w/gem beats N polearm. Seeing that question a lot.
  • If you’re looking to spend VP on upgrades: Weapon >>> Trinkets > Other stuff. Of course, do your research and don’t upgrade things that you’ll be able to get a dropped upgrade for.
  • The d’oh thread keeps on rolling. :) Want to share about something silly you did during a raid? Post!
  • A good discussion on my forums about tips for harder bosses in Brawler’s Guild. (Need to figure out how much invites are running for that…but I may just wait until 5.2, as the consensus seems to be that you need raiding gear to finish through Rank 8.)
  • Congratulations to kaiadam (aka Dought) of our forums for snagging the World First Glory of the Pandaria Raider as part of his guild, Midwinter!
 Posted by at 8:30 am
Oct 092012
 

Thankfully, my wife’s condition is finally starting to improve, so I’m trying to get playing and posting again! Alaron’s currently level 86, and just about to start questing through Krasarang. I ended up taking my monk to 90 first (heresy, I know) just because I was so enthralled with the storyline, but now that I’m there I’m switching back to my favorite elf.

I gotta admit, though, I’m not real fond of leveling with the new form of Feral. I never used SR while leveling during Cataclysm (except for the occasional “boss” with extra HP), and the need for it now to do non-pathetic damage is annoying. Once the rotation is rolling, it’s fine, but you know how ferals aren’t great at target switching? Questing is like target-switching over and over again. :( I’m considering going Guardian, but I’d be interested in hearing what you guys thought about leveling as feral!

 Posted by at 5:46 pm
Sep 282012
 

(xposted on TFD and WoM)

So, the good news is I got two weeks off of work. The bad news is that it wasn’t to play WoW, it was because my wife is in the hospital again. :( Thankfully, since I have no plans to raid at the moment, I’m not under any social pressure, but man. Talk about your funsuckers.

Some quick-hit thoughts from the limited time I did have to play (RAF’d the monk to 80, working through Cataclysm content now):

  • I made a last-minute decision to play my Monk as my “questing” toon, and my Druid as my “dungeon” toon. So, Alamonk (creative, no?) will knock down all the story segments, and Alaron will relearn how to play all the non-feral specs in a group setting again. :)
  • So far, the monk’s been as fun as I expected from the beta, though windwalker remains kinda eh. It works, don’t get me wrong, but it’s still missing something. I’ll have to think on it a bit more. In contrast, Brewmaster is crazy good. I did a couple of Stonecore runs just for kicks, and the whole “manuever to pick up Gift of the Ox” orbs thing is pretty entertaining, especially when you’re AoEing so you get 10-12 lying everywhere. I wish picking them up would be a little more responsive, though.
  • Feral’s pretty fun, but I still don’t like having to SR “before” every questing pull. I’m still going Ravage/Rake/dammitSR.

Once I get to 90, I’ll likely be working on some Ovale scripts for monks, and tweaking all my guides. Anyway, what are your impressions so far?

 Posted by at 4:28 pm
Sep 122012
 

It’s here…the thing you’ve all been waiting for…(yes, all four of you)…the 5.0 Feral Guide!  /applause

As always, I’ll put an excerpt here, but go to my blog to read the full guide.


IntroductionHorkin Figluster, Art by Dave Kendall

What are feral druids? Well, we’re the druid melee DPS class, and we kill things, fast and stylishly. Overall, we’re similar to rogues (we have stealth, energy, and wear agility leather), but there’s less stealth and poison and much, much more bleeding.

Our primary resource is energy. It’s contained in a pool that regenerates at 10 energy/second, which can be increased with haste, and has a maximum capacity of 100. The majority of our abilities use this energy to generate damage.  Now, if that was all we had, things would be boring, but we have a secondary resource: combo points.

These combo points serve to create an ability rotation that is wave-like in nature. Many of our damage abilities will generate a combo point (or two) on a target. These combo points will stack up to 5, and can then be consumed by other abilities known as “finishers” to increase their damage. In almost all cases, you will want to use finishers with a full 5 combo points to maximize their effectiveness. Now, both of our primary finishers (Rip and Savage Roar) have relatively short timers, so doing good DPS revolves around keeping those two abilities up as much as possible, while using as many of our other abilities as we can.

(Oh, and if things are looking bad, we can turn into birds and fly away. Everyone else can have their sparkleponies; give me instant Swift Flight Form any day.)

Feral Strengths
  • Speed. With Feline Swiftness, Dash, and Stampeding Roar, cats are one of the most mobile roles in the game, bar none. As raid encounters continue to get more complex and require more movement, the ability of cats to open and close range quickly becomes essential.
  • Self-sufficiency.  We have two damage-reduction cooldowns and multiple self-healing abilities; we also can glyph for a permanent 20% healing done (to us) increase. We will not stress healer mana.
  • Best off-role potential. With the Heart of the Wild talent, we can jump into tanking or healing temporarily and “save the day,” if necessary.
Feral Weaknesses
  • Complicated rotation. Feral is easy to learn, but hard to master. Unlike a, say, arcane mage who gets all of his damage from direct abilities, a vast chunk of our damage potential comes from damage-over-time effects and self-buffs; you have to juggle these to keep them up.
  • Target switching. Once all our abilities are up, we can dish out pain like no one else, but it can take a while to get there. Unlike a rogue/warlock, we have no built-in way to “transfer” effects or combo points from one target to another, so we suffer in this area. (There’s always Symbiosis…but I’ll talk about that later.)

Primary Abilities

These are the abilities you’re going to use most often, so know them, love them, hotkey them.

Ability Icon Discussion
Shred 40 energy. Basic attack. Increases combo points by 1 (2 on crit). Does a good bit of damage, and does more if the target is bleeding (which thy should be). Your primary direct-damage ability, but it only works from behind, so paying attention is key; it’s far too easy to miss the error message that your attacks aren’t hitting.  If you are stuck attacking frontally (certain fights, no tank, etc.) sub in Mangle instead. (For experienced ferals, note that Mangle no longer has a bleed debuff.)
Rake 35 energy. A damage-over-time ability that hits (or “ticks”) six times over 15 seconds. Increases combo points by 1 (2 on crit). You’ll want to keep this up and ticking as much as you can.
Savage Roar 25 energy. Finishing move that provides a 30% damage buff for 18 to 42 seconds, depending on the number of combo points used. By far, this is the most important finisher you have. Above all else, you want this up at all times. If possible, you want to refresh it at 5 combo points to cut down on energy use, but if it drops, put it up immediately with whatever combo points you currently have. Note the glyph, which allows you to use it with 0 combo points for a 12 sec duration.
Rip 30 energy. Finishing move that ticks 8 times over 16 seconds; damage is based on number of combo points used. If Rip is on the target, the next three Shreds (or Mangle/Ravage) will add 2 seconds and an additional tick. Second in priority to Savage Roar.
Ferocious Bite 25-50 energy. Consumes all your current energy (minimum of 25, maximum of 50) and combo points for a large direct-damage attack. If the target is under 25% health, a Ferocious Bite will also refresh Rip’s duration. (This is known as the Blood in the Water or BitW effect, after the Cataclysm talent.) You can use this if you’re finishing something off, but you won’t use it too much in groups above 25% health; you won’t have the energy or combo points to spare.
Tiger’s Fury 30 sec CD, immediately generates 60 energy and increases damage done by 15% for 6 seconds. Off-GCD, so you can use this anytime. USE THIS ON COOLDOWN. I can’t stress this enough; people try to save it, which is a bad idea 99% of the time. If it’s available for use, use it UNLESS you’re above 30 energy (don’t want to waste the benefit). In that case, toss a Shred or two, pop TF, and keep going.
Berserk 3 minute CD. For 15 seconds, all of your abilities cost 50% less energy. Unlike TF, this one you have some flexibility on; use it when you’ve got a chance for some uninterrupted damage time. Note that Tiger’s Fury is locked out while Berserk is active; to best combine the two, pop TF and then immediately Berserk.
Soul of the Forest /
Incarnation
Force of Nature
You get ONE of these as your level 60 talent choice. Soul of the Forest is a passive bonus that effectively lowers the cost of all your finishers. Incarnation is a 3 minute burst cooldown that gives you a sweet armored form and some extra damage (by swapping Ravage for Shred).  Force of Nature is the old balance treants on a 1m CD that also stun your target. Overall, SOTF is the best choice, though certain fights may demand one of the other options.
Heart of the Wild / Dream of Cenarius / Nature’s Vigil You get ONE of these as your level 90 talent choice. Heart of the Wild is a passive bonus that also adds the ability to do off-role stuff temporarily. Dream of Cenarius completely changes up your rotation by asking you to weave in healing casts to buff your damage abilities; Nature’s Vigil is another burst damage cooldown that also adds some splash healing. Overall, Dream of Cenarius has the best theoretical DPS, but the DoC rotation is very difficult to use optimally, so I generally recommend Heart of the Wild.
Swipe 45 energy, basic area-of-effect (AoE) attack. Also generates combo points, so you can swap in Swipes for Shreds when you have a primary target and a few extras running around (known as a “cleave” effect).
Thrash 50 energy, AoE damage-over-time ability that ticks 6 times over 15 seconds. If a pack of enemies will last for a while, you want to Thrash them first then Swipe away.

That’s it! Master those 10, and you’ll know 90% of what you need to do.


This is an excerpt – full guide available here.

 Posted by at 2:24 pm
Sep 112012
 

Mostly changes for ferals; haven’t seen much for any of the other specs, but I’ll be happy to add them if there are any.

Cat Form’s 25% speed boost no longer stacks multiplicatively with Dash. An expected bug fix, though it remains to be seen exactly how all the different speed combinations are going to shake out. There’s LOTS of different ways of adding movement speed now.     (permanent–Cat Form, Travel Form, Feline Swiftness, PvP set bonus, boot enchant, metagem; temporary–Dash, Stampeding Roar, Nitro Boots, many others) and figuring out how all this stacks together now is going to take some comprehensive testing.

Rake damage reduced by 17%, Shred/Mangle/Ravage damage increased by 25%. This is from the class analysis thread, and is in direct response to us finding and exploiting Rake’s scaling last week. :) This change is going to shake everything up a bit; Dream of Cenarius/mastery will come down in value in relation to Incarnation/FoN and other secondary stats, and the Rake filler rotation is pretty much dead. (It might still be a small DPS gain at 85, but not at 90, looks like.) More details in the forums.

Glyph of Shred is bugged. For some reason, Glyph of Shred causes Shreds while under Tiger’s Fury to hit weaker, instead of stronger. Oops. I don’t see any mention of a fix to this in the patch notes, so we’ll see if it’s still like this when servers come up.

 Posted by at 1:51 pm
Sep 062012
 

After long hours of wowheading, I’ve finished up the 5.0/Mists of Pandaria gearing list for ferals! I’ve included an excerpt below: hit this link for the full list.


Here’s your feral gearing list for Mists! Some quick notes:

Slots to fill!

  • PvP gear doesn’t suck! I haven’t listed PvP gear here, but the low-level stuff is very comparable to equivalent item-level PvE gear, since you no longer lose a secondary stat on most items. Crafted Contender’s gear is great for starting 5-man heroics; Dreadful gear is perfectly acceptable as a 5-man heroic drop replacement. (Malevolent gear isn’t as comparably good, since you start losing socket bonuses/set bonuses.)
  • Your basic leveling/gearing strat will be to quest through Kun-Lai at 87 (to unlock Vale/Golden Lotus and gain Shado-Pan rep), then Townlong Steppes at 88 (more Shado-Pan), then Dread Wastes at 89 (Klaxxi). Once you ding 90,  run dailies in the Vale of Eternal Blessings for Golden Lotus rep: once you get GL to revered, daily hubs will open for the other factions. You shouldn’t need dailies to get to honored (except August Celestials) but anything past that will take some daily quest grinding.
  • Justice Points are used for buying honored rep gear, Valor Points are used for buying revered rep gear. Don’t stress too much about Valor Points, as you’ll have to do a lot of daily grinding before you can use them anyway. (If you heard about VP’s being used to upgrade gear, that mechanic’s been pushed to 5.1.)
  • If you are in well-gemmed/enchanted raid gear, I wouldn’t start trying to replace gear until level 88, and don’t break your set bonus until 90. The free OOC proc when you use TF is great for leveling.
  • In general, mastery >> crit  > hit/exp = haste. If you choose to hit/exp cap (7.5% for each), you’ll take a small theoretical DPS loss, but you’ll likely make up for it with a cleaner rotation. I expect bleed damage to get reduced a bit though, so mastery will likely fall back some.
  • Expect crafted gear to be very expensive because of the Spirit of Harmony requirement, which isn’t tradable.
  • Neither set bonus is very good. The 2pc set bonus is worth about 0.5% DPS. The 4pc set bonus is worth about 0.75% DPS. That said, I wouldn’t break them unless you’re upgrading at least two pieces a full tier, or at least three pieces a half-tier.
  • Off-sets: The head, shoulder, and chest slot off-sets are a half-tier lower than the tier gear, so don’t prioritize those. LFR/Normal-mode raiders will likely prefer to go offset gloves, since the Murderer’s Gloves (crafted) are much better itemized than tier gloves. Progression raiders will likely prefer to go offset legs, since the “elite” off-set legs are better itemized and a half-tier higher than the tier legs.
  • I’ve cut this list off roughly around 440/450; a full set of 437 gear can be obtained in Dread Wastes to fill missing spots.
2H Weapon

As always, weapon DPS remains a feral’s best friend, so go for the best you can find. The archaeology spear is actually the best pre-raid weapon you can get, if you want to take the time to go dig it up.

Name ILvl Source Difficulty
Gao-Rei, Staff of the Legendary Protector 509 Tsulong, Terrace of Endless Spring Heroic
Screaming Tiger, Qiang’s Unbreakable Polearm 502 Spirit Kings, Mogu’shan Vaults Heroic
Gao-Rei, Staff of the Legendary Protector 496 Tsulong, Terrace of Endless Spring Normal
Screaming Tiger, Qiang’s Unbreakable Polearm 489 Spirit Kings, Mogu’shan Vaults Normal
Gao-Rei, Staff of the Legendary Protector 483 Tsulong, Terrace of Endless Spring LFR
Inscribed Tiger Staff (BoA) 476 Inscription N/A
Screaming Tiger, Qiang’s Unbreakable Polearm 476 Spirit Kings, Mogu’shan Vaults LFR
Snowdrift’s Bladed Staff 463 Master Snowdrift, Shadow-Pan Monastery H 5-man
Firestorm Greatstaff 463 Brother Korloff, Scarlet Monastery H 5-man
Ghostheart 463 Xin the Weaponmaster, Gate of the Setting Sun H 5-man
Amber Spear of Klaxxi’vess 463 Exalted with Klaxxi N/A
Spear of Xuen (BoA) 463 Archaeology N/A
Kaleiki’s Lost Training Staff 450 World Drop? N/A
Scar-Shell’s Scintillating Staff 450 Arena of Annihilation, Kun-Lai Summit 5-man

This is an excerpt – click here for the full guide.

 Posted by at 5:29 pm
Sep 032012
 

After reading an interesting report on the CBAT II about Rake scaling (thanks Melenkor!), our intrepid theorycrafters got to work and discovered that as of 5.0.4, Rake is now outdoing Shred for damage on the initial hit. Combined with some other rotational tweaks (deprioritizing the extension of Rip for finishers due to SOTF’s cost reduction), this is translating to a 5-10% DPS increase over our previous “best” rotation.

I don’t expect this to stay; it’s clearly an unintended consequence of the Rake buff that occurred late in beta.  Fixing it, though, will be more difficult, as any nerf to Rake would disrupt the balance at level 90. I’d say it’s 50/50 they hotfix it or just wait until a pre-release patch to implement changes;  we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, if you’d like to experiment for yourself, all you need to do is reforge to mastery, then use Shred ONLY if you have less than 5 CP’s and it will extend a current Rip. Otherwise, use Rake for CP generation, and Bite a little more. If that went over your head, no worries: the Ovale scripts are located here. 5.4.11 is the traditional Shred script, 5.4.12 is the Rake-heavy one. Please share your feedback on what increase (or decrease) you’re seeing with these changes.

(And thank Leafkiller/Tinderhoof/Aggixx, they do all the work, I just play nosy reporter.)

Oh, and in other news, I now own the feral sticky on the battle.net Druid forums. Yay!

 Posted by at 2:56 pm