(And MP’s a great blog anyway, so if you haven’t subscribed already, you’re wrong.)
- Thrash (Bear) now deals 15% of AP + 243 damage, down from 19% of AP + 304 damage. Bleed effect reduced from 3% of AP + 189 to 3% of AP + 152.
- Swipe now deals 171 base damage, down from 214.
- Brutal Impact now causes victims of Skull Bash to have a 5/10% increased mana cost on their spells, down from 15/30%.
- Stampede now increase melee haste by 30%, up from 15%. Causes Feral Charge (Cat) to cost 100% less energy, down from 50%.
- Rebirth now has a 10 min cooldown, down from 30 min.
Bears got a small nerf (hard to know how much it matters until we know how much AOE tanking we’ll be doing). Stampede got reduced to 1 rank (at least, that’s how I’m translating the change), which is nice, but I’d rather they changed Feral Aggression to 1 rank (still holding out hope for that one). Finally, REBIRTH IS 10 MINUTES AGAIN. Heck yeah, my extra lives are back (I hope my Wild Mushrooms are green). 30 minutes was unnecessarily punishing, in my view, and could have caused real issues for attempt-limited fights. The only worry, of course, is if there’s some raidboss mechanic that’s trivialized by stacking Rebirths. (Well, not a worry for us…more a worry for everyone else. Heh.)
The gaming crowd overlaps (to some degree) with the tech crowd, but not always, so I figured I’d post this link to an interview with Greg Street (“Ghostcrawler”). (haven’t seen it on any of the wow news sites yet).
- Cataclysm content enough for two expansions
- Thinks 3.1 (Ulduar) and 3.2 (TOC) could have been held a bit longer, to not make 3.3 (ICC) last so long (Agreed. A LOT of guilds were still working on Ulduar content when TOC came out.)
- Hopes that people will start posting DTPS meters and yelling at people who took a lot of damage (and sucked up healer mana)
- Explains why they can’t just “hire more people” to do stuff
Since the 4.0.1 patch, many ferals have reported an issue with what I’m referring to as “intermediate threat.” Unlike pre-patch, where threat issues were either on the pull (tank missed, I didn’t, oops I’m dead) or late into the fight (sustained DPS > sustained tank TPS), we’re having an issue around 30-45s in. Why? Couple reasons:
- Tricks of the Trade / Misdirection no longer giving permanent threat (fades after 30s). This is the biggie, as threat meters are not accounting for this drop. Your average raid has 3-4 rogues/hunters, and they’ve been well-trained to use TotT/MD on the pull. Everything looks good, you give the tank a few seconds, then open up full blast, no issues…and you zoom from 80% threat to 110% threat at 30s in (when all those TotT/MD’s expire simultaneously) and go splat. If you’re fast, you can run out of melee range/Shadowmeld (NE’s) to save yourself, but your mileage may vary.
- Vengeance issues. Vengeance is pretty complicated in how it works, but it essentially gives tanks more attack power (thus more DPS, thus more TPS) as they tank damage. Unfortunately, it takes time to stack, and it starts to decay far too quickly. Combine this with a tank’s very high avoidance at level 80 (50%+), and vengeance is likely not well-stacked when it’s needed.. Unfortunately, vengeance can increase a tank’s DPS/TPS by as much as 50%, so swingy is bad. Very bad. (For what it’s worth, I think the concept of vengeance was good, but the implementation has been horrible. It’s supposed to be somewhat “optional,” but now tank threat is too weak when it’s low (heroics/lower tier raids, offtanking) and too strong when it’s high. I’ve seen parses from lvl 85 boss fights on beta where the tank finishes first on DPS.)
Solutions (for cats):
- Save Berserk. We’re used to hitting Berserk ASAP so we can use it again sooner, but that’s not going to do you a whole lot of good. I’d recommend waiting until after your second’s Tiger’s Fury (so 30s delay). As always, a pro move is to figure out the estimated fight duration; if you know you usually down, say, BQL or Festergut in 4m 30s, then using it at 30s and 3m 30s isn’t any loss over using it at 5s and 3m 5s.
- Preemptive Cower. While initial cowers are somewhat ineffective (10% reduction off 100k does less than of 1m, obviously), you’re still dropping quite a bit. I’d recommend going ahead and using a Cower after you’ve gotten your initial DoTs up and your TF’s worn off (so about 10-15s in), use it again when it’s off CD, and then evaluate.
- Thorns on the tank. Toss this up during the pull (check with other druids, though, since I don’t believe it stacks). This will add a bit of TPS and rDPS, essentially for free. If you’re high on threat still, start using it on the tank on cooldown. (If the tank has multiple mobs, glyph it and use it on cooldown anyway, as is it just became your highest DPS ability.) For more fun, toss on 3p T1 prepull (yes, Tier 1!) for 10s extra of thorns time…just don’t get caught in combat with T1 on.
- Hand of Salvation. Enough said, though if you have mages or boomkins, they’re probably soaking up all the salv’s. :(
- Cataclysm will fix it. Maybe.
Solutions (for bears):
- If you can’t coax another druid into it, get used to using Thorns pre-pull, and during a fight if you have a few seconds of not getting hit. (Admittedly, I need to check if shifting out drops your Vengeance stack; not sure.)
- Have your hunters/rogues stagger their threat-transfer abilities. Your DPS can throttle back, if they have some warning. Avoiding the “30s chain-threat-drop” is key here.
- Wear DPS jewelry/trinkets. Not recommended for raid tanking (where the stamina saves you from dying to spike damage) but for tanking lower-tier stuff, very useful.
- Preemptive Challenging Roar/Growl on an accessible keybind. CR doesn’t affect threat, but it forces enemies to target you. Growl adds enough threat to you to vault you to the top of the threat table. You probably can’t react in time to save a melee DPS, but you should always be able to save a caster at max range, unless you’re using the following strategy:
- Let the aggro monkeys die. Satisfying, though not optimal.
- Cataclysm will fix it. /hopeandpray.
I’ve added a Q&A based captcha to the registration page, so I’ve turned comment moderation off again. We’ll see how it goes. Thanks to those who offered suggestions. (FWIW, I wish I’d realized that I needed to clear the phpBB cache after changing the captcha template…I spent HOURS yesterday trying to figure out how my theme was broken.) I’ve left moderation on for the 100+ accounts that were created over the past week; if this includes you, I apologize, once I approve one of your comments you won’t be subject to moderation anymore.
Now that the forums are somewhat sorted out, I’ll be doing some work to the website, so apologies if things look broken around here for a bit. Adsense is going away, and I’ll be experimenting with Project Wonderful. (Runycat, if you’re still around, I DID listen to you….eventually.) Feeds should still work fine. Again, I appreciate those of you who’ve donated; I’ve been getting quite a bit of traffic lately, and I may need to up my plan with my hosting provider.
(If anyone has any particular ideas/suggestions for feral content, let me know. I’m going to do some bear stuff next, and I may overhaul my 3.0 bear guide for 4.0.)
The forums have been under low-grade attack by spammers over the past few days (seeing about 4-5 users/day register and post nothing but spam). I IP block them and delete their posts when I see them, but it’s getting somewhat tiresome. If anyone has any phpBB experience or knowledge of a better system, let me know. If it keeps up, I’ll have to make the registration process more difficult, and I hate to do that.
Also, to the gentleman who sent me a donation after reading my guide: thank you. You didn’t know it, but that donation actually came through on my birthday, so was very cool. :P
I actually got some free time last night, and joined my guild for a fun run in Ulduar 25 HM. (Background: I haven’t raided since July, am currently on casual raiding status.) This has been my first chance to actually raid and test some of the crap that I’ve been talking about. Notes:
- We are still very competitive, DPS wise. I was #1 or #2 on every boss (admittedly raid was a lot of alts so that’s not saying much) pulling between 10-12k DPS on each boss, with a modified version of the hybrid Cat/Bear spec from my Feral DPS guide. (I took the point out of FA and put it in Stampede to try the Ravage functionality on XT. Was not overly impressed with a single 30 point Ravage; not sure that it’s a DPS improvement over a glyphed Shred.)
- Rotations feel much less frenetic with the longer Rake. My bigger problem was trying to not energy cap, especially during Heroism. Haste keeps getting worse and worse as a stat for us; not sure I like that state of affairs.
- Even not talented in Nurturing Instincts, Tranquility still does a LOT of healing. I threw it out during a XT Tantrum and got about 120k healing out of it…not bad for a 8s (reduced to 6ish from haste) channeled spell.
- Rebirth on a 30m CD again sucks. If they keep 30m CD + limited attempts, that puts raid leaders in a very bad position.
- I blew past our MT on threat, died, and wiped our raid (because we were on Steelbreaker HM and I was the only one with a brez left for the tank…oops) USE COWER, IT WORKS NOW. /duh.
If I can, I’m going to try to get some bear time in and see how that feels; give him a spin in Kara, see how that goes.
It took a week, a 12-pack of Mountain Dew (diet…I’m a healthy geek), and 5,000 words, but it’s done. Please take a look and let me know what you think either here, or on the forums.
See title. Got about 3,500 words in so far, should be done sometime this week. Still needs a lot of cleaning up/formatting.
- Feral DPS Advantages/Disadvantages
- Talent Tree Analysis
- Talent Specs for 80/85
- Primary/Secondary Stats
- Combat Resources (energy/combo points)
Sections under construction:
- Ability Analysis
- Rotation Analysis
- Advanced Tips
- Recommended Addons
IF you have questions, please ask them here and I’ll try to address them in the FAQ.
Leafkiller and tBot have created some great cat (and bear) Ovale scripts, integrated here. Mihir has also created a cat script, with a slightly different style, here. I haven’t had a chance to test the latest versions personally, so please let me know how they work. :P
(Seriously…I’ve spent so much time working on Mew/guide that I’ve actually PLAYED probably 15-20 minutes. I’m still gemmed all crit, haven’t reforged, etc. Don’t armory me. :P)
As I’ve posted on the EJ forums, I’ve made several tweaks to the Mew default script, located here.
Please post any comments or feedback. I’ll be reworking this into an Ovale script over the next couple days. Quick hits:
- Trying to stack TF with Rip/Rake is probably a DPS loss except under very unique conditions.
- Agility/Mastery are amazing. Stack these like crazy. (Better then hit/exp, but usual qualifier about infrequent misses causing large DPS drops due to adjustment applies. I’ll go more into detail on this later.)
- Normal rotation in a sentence: Keep Mangle/FF up, use Berserk/TF on CD, Rip up, Rake up, Roar if it drops or early if you need to desync Rip/SR, Bite if Rip has more than 10s left, Pool energy to 70, Shred.
- Shred/5CP Bite on OOC.
- Stop worrying about 5CP SR’s during BITW; just do normal rotation, FB at 5 CP’s, and put SR up with whatever you have when it drops.
- Glyph of Berserk is looking like the best 3rd choice now, but it’s still a very small difference between the last three. Berserk > SR > TF.