Jun 192011

So, new patch notes. Huge change for ferals. I thought I’d take a closer look at the numbers here. (All numbers derived using 4.1  and 4.2 Mew; as always, big ups to Yawning, tangedyn, and Leafkiller for their work. I get to just use the thing and report results.)


When looking at ability rotations, one of the key metrics used is DPE, or “Damage Per Energy.” It’s a measure of how efficiently energy is being used; typically, given a long fight, you’ll want to prioritize high-DPE abilities over low-DPE abilities. The ability changes from the patch notes have shifted our DPE around a bit- let’s look at the numbers for toons in BiS ilvl 359 and ilvl 372 gearsets (assuming full buffs, etc).

AbilityDPE(359) 4.1 4.2 Gain
Rip 4271 4173 -2.3%
Rake 1773 1945 9.7%
FB 688 964 40.1%
Shred 542 567 4.6%
Mangle 399 415 4.0%


AbilityDPE(372) 4.1 4.2 Gain
Rip 4770 4667 -2.2%
Rake 2005 2217 10.6%
FB 767 1069 39.4%
Shred 616 651 5.7%
Mangle 456 480 5.3%

So, going from worst-DPE abilities to best: Mangle and Shred are slightly buffed, with the scaling buff having a stronger effect than the strength nerf. FB gets a HUGE buff in terms of DPE, which I’ll talk more about in a moment. Rake gets a nice bump from having the initial Rake hit powered up to full strength. I still need to confirm if the initial Rake hit is still affected by crit depression (the reduced crit chance when attacking higher lvl targets). I’m assuming yes; if not, that’ll bump it up a bit more. Finally, Rip got no buffs, so you see the impact of the strength nerf.

Of course, the burning question: What about FB above 25%  boss health? In 4.1, the loss in Rip/SR uptime (and hence lost DPS) by incorporating FB was too large. Now, though: It’s close. VERY close. I’m still testing different simulator configurations, but as far as I can tell, conservatively using FB and not using it at all are almost DPS-identical, while aggressive FB use remains a DPS loss. (Conservative/Aggressive, in this context, means the amount of time left on Rip/SR.)  Out of all the configs I’ve tested, the best I’ve seen is a ~25 DPS gain from using FB, which is hardly consequential. Blizz needs to bump this just a bit more, and I’ll be happy.


In order to cross-reference with combat logs, here’s what the ability DPS breakdowns should look like in an ideal (Patchwerk) scenario. Obviously, actual fights will look slightly different due to movement, randomness, lag, error, what have you.

AbilityDPS%(359) 4.1 4.2
Rip 26.07 23.87
Shred 25.71 25.85
Rake 19.44 20.23
Melee 18.96 20.28
FB 2.81 3.23
Mangle 2.77 2.67
Fury Swipes 3.64 3.29
Ravage 0.58 0.56


AbilityDPS%(372) 4.1 4.2
Rip 26.31 23.94
Shred 25.09 25.42
Rake 19.71 20.62
Melee 19.03 20.21
FB 2.83 3.28
Mangle 2.86 2.74
Fury Swipes 3.57 3.21
Ravage 0.59 0.57

As you can see, Rake and Melee (from the SR buff) come up a bit, and Rip drops off significantly. This is great – the more damage that comes from frontloaded abilities, the better we’ll do on things like adds.

Total DPS

Ok, TL;DR, you just want the final DPS numbers? Fine.

TotalDPS 4.1 4.2 Change
359 23050 24793 7.6%
372 25624 27748 8.3%

Yep, that good. Hope you’re excited about 4.2, if you weren’t already. :)

 Posted by at 11:00 pm
Jun 162011

I registered a Twitter account for the blog years ago and forgot about it until someone prodded me recently. I’m not a big fan of the Twitter model (Twitter controls all incoming/outgoing traffic and has gradually been cutting back on how much they let third-party developers have access to). Unfortunately, it seems to the the “thing” these days. So. Link. Tweet it, or follow it, or whatever the terminology is (I’m going to have to figure this stuff out…is it bad if I feel old at 27?)

Also, if anyone wants to recommend any good clients, let me know. I’m especially looking for something that will let me tweet via email, since twitter.com is currently blocked at work (but not facebook RAGE). I can successfully read via Google Reader (via Gtweet) but interacting is kinda the point.

Finally – official 4.2 trailer is out. Thoughts? I thought it was pretty underwhelming; still looks like Molten Core 2.0 at the moment (though Rag looks great). Aggra had potential but so far feels totally token. The Ulduar trailer is still the best, IMO.

 Posted by at 1:56 pm
Jun 152011

So, I wasn’t planning on playing WoW while I was deployed, thinking “eh, the latency will be ridiculous.” Well, it’s actually been pretty good…300-400ms, or thereabouts. Jackal Wireless is the shiz.

No, my primary problem is the old laptop I decided to keep running a while longer since I was sure I wouldn’t be playing WoW. :) It’s not that old, actually; bought it around the time my son was born…but he’ll be three in two months (god, miss him terribly already) and this was a budget lappie to begin with. 3-year-old integrated laptop graphics + 25 man raiding = burnt wrists and slideshow screens. Fun times.

Anyway, cool story: So, haven’t played for two months, log in to say hey to the guild, and find out there’s some open spots for the (25m) raid tomorrow. “Well,” I said, “I can come, I guess, if you need to fill a spot. I’m still in some blues, but it’s worth a try. What are we raiding?”

“Oh, probably H Magmaw.”

“That’s not too bad…” I thought. “Mostly a static fight, change targets a couple times, little side to side, good warmup. We’ll see how the laptop handles it.”

Raid time comes (FWIW, that means I get up at 0330…thankfully, my bunkmate works nights), and we’re still a couple short. “Okay, since we’re still missing a few,” our raid leader says, ‘we’re going to go finish up our retro raiding. ICC, everyone…it’s time to finally get Heroic LK down.”


Hijinx ensued (ok, not too many hijinx, it’s not THAT difficult at 85). I’ll spare you the details; suffice it to say that if you can’t dodge Defile at high FPS (me), then you REALLY can’t dodge Defile at low FPS (also me). The ice melted, a rousing cinematic was had, and all became Knights of Ron, or something like that.

As such, I’ve temporarily re-subtitled my blog. No longer am I “Shapeshifting with Style…” I am now “Feral at Five FPS.” If you’d like to help me end this sad state of affairs, you’re always welcome to donate. :)

If not, that’s perfectly fine as well. (BTW, I never realized it was asking for a shipping address before. Doh. /facepalm. That’s off now.) Make sure to check out the forum, especially our epic thread on the 4.2 changes; 184 posts as of this writing. You guys rock!

Some site news (before this post turns into a total rambling loss): Yes, I plan to update the guides for 4.2, and I will be writing a gear guide. Syl and Leaf are working (I think) on some final information about secondary stats; obviously the new patch notes really adjusted the math. I’ll be going through and updating stickies, blogroll, everything, as I get time.

Finally, be sure to check out Reesi’s (creator of The Inconspicuous Bear, and co-host of the Team Waffle Podcast, the best druid podcast out there) new forums. Hopefully, she builds a great bear community like we’ve built a great cat community here. (She also does way better site design than I do.)

Oh, and this. Totally. Especially the bit about Hunters.

 Posted by at 4:40 pm
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


  • 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


  • 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 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.


  • 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.


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?


  • 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)



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.

Jun 112011

The wheel of balance in our favorite MMO, that is. Ferals might have been on the outs for 4.0/.1, but .2 is looking up, baby! From MMO-C:

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. In addition, Cat Form’s scaling rate from gear upgrades was slower than other classes, which was causing them to fall behind in damage with higher item levels. To counter the Strength change and improve scaling, the following changes have been made. All numbers cited are for level-85 druids.

  • Mangle (Cat) damage at level 80 and above has been increased to 540% weapon damage, up from 460%, and bonus damage has been lowered to 302.
  • 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.
  • Ravage damage at level 80 and above has been increased to 950% weapon damage, up from 850%, and bonus damage has been lowered to 532.
  • Savage Roar now grants 80% increased damage to melee auto attacks, up from 50%. The Glyph of Savage Roar remains an unchanged bonus of 5% to that total.
  • Shred damage at level 80 and above has been increased to 540% weapon damage, up from 450%, and bonus damage has been lowered to 302.

The SR and Rake changes, especially, are HUGE. Preliminary numbers are showing a dps gain (from 4.1) in the 7-9% range, which should place ferals solidly in contention for top spots again.

Oh, and FIRECAT. Screw legendaries, this is better:


They’ve convinced me. I’m coming back for 4.2. Raiding might not work out, but dammit, Blizz fixed most of the crap I complained about, they’ve earned my money for a while.

 Posted by at 4:24 pm
Jun 072011

There was a post I made awhile back talking about all the great things this site has to offer, the main of which is the FluidDruid Forums. The forums are again of course where we discuss what we should be doing in game play to increase dps. One of the main responses to this was that “I’m a casual reader and don’t really have the time to read through all the post made of the forums for any updates to changes in rotation.” I’ve always kept that comment in the back of my mind knowing that when there were topics on the forums worth bringing into a larger light I’d be able to jump on them for a post. While there’s nothing ground breaking in the forums in terms of changes to game play, there is a lot of confusion. Confusion which I hope to help clear up for the readers.

First is this thing we call stat values. People think that as a feral if I don’t reforge a certain way that I will largely be impacting my damage potential. This isn’t the case at all. Feral’s don’t work like other dot classes due to our bleeds not being effected by haste. Most classes with dots will tend to get haste all the way up to a magical number which will give their dots that extra tick and then from that point move to the next stat that will boost their damage and start stacking that.

As a Feral all of our secondary stats will net you again of roughly one. Meaning when your wondering if you should stack haste, crit, mastery, hit and exp the answer is always going to be “well what feels right to you.” No matter how you reforge your dps will only be moving plus or minus by a few hundred, which can easily be made up by better play on the boss encounters. So the main question that might be presented is well what is going to dictate upgrades. Again this is going to depend on your play style. I run hit and expertise capped, past those caps I want a high mastery value. So for me I use Fluid Death to help me reach my caps faster and get an overall increase in my mastery numbers.

When looking at gear remember Agility will always be three times more valuable then any secondary stats (stats that do not get buffed by Mark of the Wild) any secondary stats are going to be just as valuable as the next depending on how you play. With that said let’s give Agility a value of 3 and everything else a value of 1.

So let’s look at Sark of the Unwatched first (remember Agility gets a plus 3 while anything else gets a plus 1)

  • 345 Agi times 3=1035
  • 227 Crit times 1= 227
  • 247 Mastery times 1= 247
  • Now remembering the socket rule if changing one gem doesn’t net you a 13 Agility gain then your better off with a 40 Agi gem we would socket this chest with two 40 Agi gems.
  • 80 Agi times 3= 240
  • For a total of 1749! Nice chest.

Now let’s look at the heroic tier chest (remember Agility gets a plus 3 while anything else gets a plus 1)

  • 345 Agi times 3=1035
  • 257 Haste times 1= 257
  • 217 Expertise times 1= 217
  • Here the gemming rule applies. Changing one pure agility gem will gain us 20 Agility on this chest so it’s a bonus we want. One 40 Agi gem plus one 20 Agi/20 Hit gem will gain us the 20 Agi socket bonus for 80 Agi and 20 Hit
  • 80 Agi times 3= 240
  • 20 Hit times 1=20
  • For a total of 1769! Better chest.

Now I know what your thinking, “Q there’s no way it’s that simple your not taking into account what happens under scenario X or Y or even Z…Q what about Z!?” Well you can argue that, but why would you? While what I’ve shown you is the most basic elementary style of looking for an upgrade the method works. Not only does this work, but as you can see it doesn’t take long or much thinking at all. This is something you can do just by looking over two pieces of gear,so we can get into the bigger part of raising dps which is proper play style. Stat values are nice; however, if your not maximizing your debuffs and Savage Roar uptimes then your really focusing on the wrong part of the game when it comes to trying to raise your dps numbers. (Well hopefully that kills any new RSV post that were going to be made in the next week or so.)

On a smaller note because I actually have been doing this wrong and am so glad to have finally been corrected on it. Did you know that it is actually a dps gain to always FB below 25% once you have 5 combo points. That’s right always, of course keep up rake and savage roar. Doing so will gain you 200 dps (I think it was to lazy to read my notes) in 4.2 and much less currently but still worth doing.

That was really all going around the forums this weekend. As always feel free to comment or PM me with any questions or suggestions or anything you got. On a funny note Leaf said that he’s amazed no one has sent him a PM lately with questions about his Ovale script so I do expect his inbox to be full come Friday. Make it happen.

 Posted by at 1:41 am
May 302011

::Warning Big Post, But Loads of Fun!::

Feral PVP is something I know nothing about; however, running around in end game raiding gear and 2 shotting alliance in this world of ours is something I’ve grown very found of. When I decided I wanted to look into getting better at the PVP side of this spec of ours I knew I had to find the someone who knew what it meant to be on top of the feral PVP world. Miirkat has become the face of feral PVP as a seven-time gladiator of the feral spec no one is more knowledgeable of beating the odds as arena has become a game riddled with flavor of the month classes and huge imbalances.

Miirkat works as a contributor of Skill-Capped.com where he frequently writes articles and releases videos with commentary discussing strategies, tips, and tricks for both novice and advanced Feral gameplay. Skill Capped also provides a method to directly ask Miirkat any questions through private messages or on their forums, as well as positive discussions with other members of the site. Skill Capped is a great resource for starting Ferals to plunge into PVP with the necessary information and tools to succeed. Miirkat also maintains a Youtube channel where he showcases entertaining and high rated PVP matches, however, if you’re looking for the in depth strategies and commentary, check out his videos on Skill-Capped.com. With the introducions done lets get into what Mirrkat and myself had to talk about.


  • Q: So pretending the fluid druid readers are complete novice for arena battles we both know how easy the bloodthirsty gear is to obtain now. When getting ready to start a new season of Arena how much resilience do you try to have between your gems and gear and if you could take a moment to walk us through while you feel it’s the best number?
  • Miirkat: Of course, the more gear you get, the higher Resilience you get. Resilience is an extremely powerful stat, especially as you obtain more of it. While I can give you a good number of Resilience to work with, there is a much better way to think about it so that you can be educated and make an opinion for yourself. The aim for Resilience is for a defensive stat that will help you live. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Am I dying? Do I feel squishy? Is my healer having a lot of stress keeping me up?” If you answer yes to any of these, then you probably need more Resilience.
  • Now, dipping down in health isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it’s normal. Healers are often controlled or locked out causing you to take a few seconds of damage with no healing. This will make your health drop. But, you want to be at a point where you won’t die while your healer can’t get you, as well as being able to get you back up once he does.
  • Once you get to a point where you can survive, you start considering your offensive pressure. “Maybe I need more Agility or Mastery?” This is where you start getting a feel of where your Resilience needs to be at and gem and reforge accordingly.

For anyone who has ever been forced to go bear for their guild I believe that feral PVP runs the same way as the infamous Agi vs Stam debates. If damage is too high then you prolly need more Resilience. As you get comfortable with the damage you have coming into you; you can now move with more Agi in order to have more outgoing damage.


  • Q: Well now that your gear is ready for the match up, what do you suggest in terms of first timers? Is it better to hope straight into a 3v3 match or should people get more comfortable to the pace of 2v2 before entering into 3’s. With that in mind currently what classes mesh well for ferals in 2s and 3s and from your experience why do we play so well with those classes in particular?
  • Miirkat: Experience is experience. Don’t worry about getting your feet wet and just dive in. Try everything from dueling, world PVP, different brackets of arena, and battlegrounds as well as rated battlegrounds. The idea is to just get comfortable with playing your class, but really experience for yourself the flow the PVP. Each form of PVP is different, and that’s something you’re going to notice the more you play, and force different play styles and thinking.
  • With that being said, you’re going to make mistakes, and tons of them. I constantly make mistakes even at my level. The big issue I see with less experienced players (not just Ferals) is that they lock up because they’re too afraid to make the wrong move. None of us were born with amazing PVP skill. You have to go out and make those mistakes, fall down, but get back up and learn from those mistakes. These mistakes will strengthen when you do make the right decision and build confidence with how you play.
  • Some of the strangest things happen when you make mistakes or do things you don’t actually intend on doing. You may find different ways in improving your rotation, or even ways on pressuring or juking your opponents. This is where experimentation also comes in.
  • As for meshing with other classes, I believe Ferals had a lot of justice done to them in Cataclysm to allow them be a lot more universal. In fact, I think that many comps can and do work, even if they aren’t a tier 1 Feral comp. I don’t think this is something lower Ferals should concern yourself with. Just find partners who are willing to play, and understand that you are all learning. The best partners are those who can remain chill while losing, but also work with everyone on the team to improve! These are the kinds of people you want to mesh with, not the class they play.

Just like walking into a new raid you really can’t be scared to wipe (a lot) I myself have never been above 1800 in arena but that hasn’t stopped myself from playing well over 300 games. I myself have ran with many different classes and it is very rewarding to get a feel on how these classes work as far as their CDs and abilities. Things you never really learn in a raid setting but are much more aware of in PVP.

  • Q: Alright so I just walked into an arena game what classes would one want to hop on first if any and what makes those classes such good targets for us?
  • Miirkat: With arena it’s important to keep in mind it’s not just you, but a team effort. While a particular class may be squishy for you in a duel, that may not be the best class to have as your target in arena. You have to take into consideration the ability of your other partners and if they can also do well against that target, offensively or defensively. Sometimes the best target for you will be the worst class damage wise, just because you have the ability to protect your team mates when you are on that target. It really comes down to whats the best for your team against that other team.

Like I said from my personal experience you really do get an appreciation for other classes and their abilities in PVP, Using that knowledge in your matches as Miirkat has pointed at becomes vital to landing those kills.

  • Q: So lets hear some stories Miir I’m sure your full of them, what’s been the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you in an arena match that really just left you rolling on the floor?
  • Miirkat: The first day my Warrior, Tenk, got his Shadowmourne in S8 we played a game to try it out. Kitty Cleave back then was easily countered by many teams at the time, specifically Wizard Cleaves. Low and behold, the very first game we get were against Bobsauce and Chaimer – Rank 1 LSD players.
  • I just remember struggling against that team because they typically go on me. I manage to get back in line of sight with our healer, and I say to Tenk “Hey you’re out there alone!” His response is “Don’t worry, I got this!!!”, instantly gets swapped to, and feels the angry wrath of wizards release all over his face and body.
  • “Hahaha, I just had to do it!”
  • While I was really upset, I was laughing because I’d probably do the exact same thing.
  • There is one more I’d like to share that’s more recent.
  • We’re playing Kitty Cleave and I end up getting caught in a bad spot and blew up against a team that we were farming, and lose a lot of points. Holepunch, our healer, starts going off on me about how I need to be smarter and that I don’t need to overextend. All I need to do is stay alive because pretty much Tenk can easily get a kill by himself when they are training me.
  • The conversation is really uneasy and we’re all frustrated from the loss. I suggest then that if I just need to survive that I just pop all my Resilience gear. Holepunch retorts that “No! You don’t need to do that, it’s not like you’re taking unbearable damage!”
  • “But I am taking unBEARable damage… they’re killing me in Cat Form!”
  • A few seconds of silence, and Holepunch just goes “Oh my God…” and we all end up all laughing. Being able to break the ice and continue playing without any frustration is what I love about playing with these guys :3

Haha, it’s important to remember how frustrating losing matches can be. It happens to everyone no matter what rating you are and just like Miirkat being able to brush off a lose with some hummer can be the difference between a losing streak and a simple loss.

  • Q: Everyone who reads this site knows how neglected ferals can be in terms of balancing through different patches. Have you ever hit the moment were you thought you should just put your druid on the shelf and roll a more flavor of the month class? What made you decide to just stick it out on Miirkat and prove season safter season you don’t need to be FotM to do awesome in arenas.
  • Miirkat: That time was actually once they announced the removal of shapeshifting breaking roots, and seeing Resto and Balance Druids retain the ability, but my issues started way further back. In vanilla, we were considered a hybrid “Jack of all Trades” class that was good on supporting others. This mentality went on through Burning Crusade. However, once Wrath of the Lich King came out, Blizzard shifted their class design for Ferals to be a competitive class in PVE (in Cat Form because Bear Tanks were amazing in BC).
  • By improving damage in PVE, you have to take away the utility in PVP or else the class is becomes glaringly overpowered with too much utility, control, and damage. Healing was also changed in WotLK making it nearly impossible for Ferals to do any sort of healing while worrying about shapeshifting costs.
  • Now flash forward to Cataclysm, Ferals get even more PVE buffs and a bit of utility that PVP Ferals were asking for (like Skull Bash). As anyone who has played in the last few months know, Feral damage – namely bleeds, were ridiculous. While some of the damage was a bug, we had not only our damage nerfed, but Berserk having its Fear immunity removed and the shapeshifting nerf.
  • Let’s be clear, I agree with most of the nerfs, and I can understand where they were coming from. But this is where I have reservations about the Feral class, as well as many others.
  • Having one of the main aspects of being a Feral, and the reason for picking one, being removed from us is just shocking. Why did someone pick a Feral over another class? I would assume it’s for a few reasons: The ability to shapeshift into an animal, to be the fastest class in terms of attack speed and mobility, and high crit. There is also the aspect of being a hybrid support class which I really enjoyed, and something you find out as you are playing a Feral, or observing other Ferals.
  • Now as I look back over the years, I see our class slowly homogenizing to every other DPS class. In fact, I see lots of classes heading in that direction. The biggest thing I hate about Ferals right now is the feel and need to play like we’re a Rogue. Bear Form is extremely weak, and sometimes trivial. Feral heals are just lackluster and completely counter productive. We’ve been put into a situation to just do damage damage damage.
  • This is where I find it difficult to justifying playing Feral. While we may have some cool stuff now, it’s not the same as when I first rolled a Feral Druid, and there is no guarantee that Blizzard won’t further homogenize the class.
  • With that being said, there are reasons to keep me playing Feral. For one, I absolutely love the Druid community. I find that most Druids tend to be really laid back and chill people who really love to have a good time. I think those who have played a Druid for a long time really accepted the fact that Balance and Ferals, and at some points Restoration, were really sub par classes, but we enjoyed it all the same and had fun.
  • How many other classes can say they have dance parties with the same class on the opposing faction on a regular basis? :P
  • I also like that you don’t see too many other Ferals (or Boomkins). This gives a sense of uniqueness. Up until now, I prided myself in playing a class and comps that weren’t “faceroll” or easily achieved high ratings. I felt it was a sort of achievement to work hard and prove I could succeed with the limitations I faced.
  • For now I think Ferals are in a good spot. We definitely need a solid look at though.

As the PVE’rs we mostly are on this site we more often then not get upset with the fact that a lot of PVE nerfs seem to come from out PVP brethren. However, we never really take the time to think just how drastic a lot of the things we take for granit in our raids really effects us in arenas, Ferals do have the best community in the game and no matter what happens between our buffs and nerfs definitely Miirkat and myself are both very proud to be part of it.

  • Q: Well that’s really all I have for you man, I do just want to thank you for taking the time to work with me on this, who knows maybe we can work together in the future if there’s ever a call for more pvp articles from our community. Now that you have the floor is there anything else you’d like to add for ferals starting in arena’s or just any shout outs you want to toss out there?
  • Miirkat: The biggest thing is to have fun. I know a lot of people say this, but playing a game that you’re frustrated with isn’t good at all. Find ways to really sit back and enjoy the game. PVP can be frustrating, especially in group scenarios. No one likes playing with angry or irritated people. Just relax and have fun. I think once you and your partners can do this, you’ll get a lot farther than angrily slamming your head against a wall.

Well said Miirkat. Again I just want to thank Miirkat from Skill-Capped.com for taking the time to talk with me, I hope you found his insight into the world of feral PvP beneficial. If so, be sure to check out his articles and videos on Skill Capped for insight and instruction, as well as his Youtube channel!
For our readers why don’t you share with us some of your stories from arena matches in the comment section or as always toss up some thoughts onto our forums. Feel free to PM me any questions but it might take a moment to get back to you, I currently have an arena set to grind out for…


 Posted by at 8:00 am
May 282011

Hi everyone.  I am very excited to have this opportunity to be here and nursing papers talk to you all.  Many of you may have seen me hanging out in the forums for a while but I figured it was about time I stepped out in a more public way and see what I can give back to this amazing community.  I think that to be able to fully explain why I am here I should tell you the story of how I got into raiding.

I first started playing in mid 2008 right in the middle of the Burning Crusade.  I chose to roll druid because I would be able to play a cow (huge fan of Cairne from WC3) and a friend told me druids could do just about any type of role in the game.  I leveled up to 70 with some local friends and thought I would try my hand at tanking for their raiding group.

I believe my first raiding experience can be summed up in two words, “You Suck!”.  Or at least those were the two words a good friend of mine had used to describe the night I had just had tanking Karazhan for the first time.  I was a little stunned as this was coming from the friend who had been encouraging me to play a bear the whole time I was leveling.

 “You would make a great tank” had been thrown around a few times.  As I recovered from my shock she went on, “The other officers asked me to talk to you about what is going on.  Your TPS is really low for a bear.”  “TPS?”  “Yeah, Threat Per Second.  As a bear you should be going crazy, but you don’t seem to be able to hold anything.  What addon are you using to track your threat?”  “Addon?”  I am sure you can see were this was going.  I was a full on inexperienced, keyboard turning, click every ability, Nub.  Now because this was a very close friend who I know wasn’t just being a jerk it made me realize I was missing something.  The two things which define me as a gamer are, 1.  I hate losing, and 2.  I can’t stand not knowing something.  Because no one else in the guild had any experience with playing a druid I was on my own.

The next day I started a seach for how to “Do feral right”.  I came upon the blog that would totally change my Warcraft exerience forever.  The blog was “Of Teeth and Claws” written by Karthis.  The amount of information he had on his site was amazing.  There were awesome articles about gearing, the threat rotation (single target and multi target), and UI modification.  Karthis was my first intro to a very large Druid community that I had no idea even existed.  While being much farther advanced in content then most of his readers he always took time to answer even the smallest questions.  I devoured all of the content I could from the site, and made a lot of changes to how I played.  The next week in Kara was a totally different experience.  I ended up pulling Moroes off our Warrior tank (something I am super proud of to this day).  In the weeks that followed that I was further exposed to other awesome feral bloggers,  Flyv of Flyv’s Warcraft blog and Kalon of Think Tank (we know him here as Felhoof).  Using the information I gained from these blogs I continued to push myself to be better.  By the time Wrath had come out I had completed all of Tier 4, 5/6 SSC, 3/4 TK in Tier 5, and 6/9 in BT.   Not the most amazing progress but I was very happy with it.  I continued to progress through Wraith, trying my hand at both Boomkin and Kitty and having success at both.  By this time Karthis and Flyv had retired from wow, and Kalon was stepping back to be with his family.  That was when I discovered Alaron and The Fluid Druid.  I have pretty much been lurking around the site and the forums ever since.

This game has given me years of joy and I have met many friends here.  Without all of the patient, helpful and just all around amazing folks in the Druid community I would not be in the spot I am now (which I think is a pretty darn good one).  I feel compelled to give back to the community that has given me so much.  So please feel free to ask questions, it doesn’t matter how small.  Even if I don’t know the answer I am pretty sure I could find someone who will know.  Thanks a lot everyone!

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.





May 262011

Hey all, just checking in with an ironic note for today. I have been massively busy (80-hour weeks) training my guys on how to make all the nasty red network icons turn green, but now that they (mostly) stay green, things have calmed down a bit. I go to pull up TFD last night to start working on a blog post, and find out that all the Army’s web filtering systems now specifically block the site. Yay for popularity! Time to start a new new blog for being bored at work, I guess. (Kidding. Seriously.)

On a happier note, with things settling down I should be able to post a bit more frequently. I hope everyone’s having fun with the new content; I just got a welcome back offer, so we’ll see how well WoW runs on my old C2D laptop with integrated graphics, over a 128kbps link. (I’ve been downloading patches for a while; I only get about 2 GB’s of data/week before I’m capped.)  Much love all, especially to Q and the rest for keeping things running.

 Posted by at 3:02 am