Oct 132010
 

From GC:

    Rather than try and address multiple threads, I’m just going to plop our current thoughts in this one post. Please excuse the brevity.

    1) We think Fury, Arms, Feral cat and Retribution dps is too low and we will be buffing them.
    2) We think mage dps is too high, especially Fire, and will be nerfing it.
    3) We think Shadow priest dps is too high, but that’s largely a result of Shadow Word: Death spam, which is tough on healers. We’ll be fixing that.
    4) We think Destro warlock dps is too high, but that’s largely a result of Searing Pain spam, which is tough on tanks. We’ll be fixing that.
    5) As we suspected, PvP dps is just too high given that the health pools of Cataclysm haven’t kicked in yet. While competitive PvP is over for the moment, we still want the environment to feel better so we will be buffing resilience. This change might be reverted at level 85.

    There will probably be more changes after another night of raiding and BGs. Many of the bug fixes we have made today will affect dps as well. Stay tuned.

Couldn’t resist the pun in the title…and Boomkins are okay, apparently? Time to go spam some moonfires in WG, I guess :)

 Posted by at 11:23 pm  Tagged with:
Oct 132010
 

I hate using terms like “broken,” as I think they’re incendiary, but I think it applies in this case. I’d half-written a post when Yawning pointed me to a much better post he’d written on the official forums. Please take a look, and comment as you see fit.

P.S.:  My perception of DPS right now looks like this…is this about right? (Just curious)

Mages
.
Locks/Ele
Boomkin
SPriests
.
Rogues
DK’s
Hunters
Enhance
Ret? (No clue)
.
.
Warriors/Feral Druids (not sure which is worse)

 Posted by at 5:15 pm
Oct 132010
 

Well, I was going to do some combat logging last night to compare to Mew, but a good chunk of my addons that were supposedly “4.0 compliant” still didn’t work. Considering that the patch (which I had conscientiously pre-downloaded) took 2.5 HOURS to install, I kinda ran out of time and patience once things actually loaded up. Anyway, here’s a quick roundup of the state of kitty addons from my perspective:

Need to Know (timer bars):

It worked (kinda) but it’d throw an error every time I turned it on. I’ll have to try deleting the saved data and recreating the bars from scratch. Thankfully, I don’t have a raid to get prepped for any time soon. :) I might start looking at other timer bar addons if it’s a big issue, but I’ve been really happy with NTK. (That said, if someone wants to recommend something that works in 4.0 in the comments, I’ll listen.)

Ovale:

Ovale has been updated for 4.0, but my script threw errors for me as well. Based on a comment on the Curse page, I believe changing the Rake spellid from  59886 to 1822 should do it, but I won’t be able to test that until tonight. Once I get Ovale working, I’ll start updating the script for 4.0 logic, using information gathered via Mew.

FeralByNight Lite:

Don’t use this personally, but this version should work.

Baud Manifest:

Okay, this isn’t really cat-related, but this was the thing I was most dreading about 4.0…my beloved Baud Manifest addon would no longer work, and I’d have to go back to looking at a grid of icons again. :( Thankfully, a fan update is here. You may want to go into the LUA (line 14) and disable debug, though.

Oct 122010
 

Just a quick note to give everyone something to chew on while waiting for the servers…

Yawning is reporting that they did a stealth buff on some of our abilities’ coefficients on the PTR, which everyone missed. (Amazingly, when you actually test stuff, you find out sometimes the dataminers miss things. Shock! Horror!) Changes below:

  • Rake (Direct): 176 + AP * 0.015 (Was AP * 0.01)
  • Rake (DoT): 358 + AP * 0.09 (Was AP * 0.06)
  • Rip (DoT): (36 + 93 * nrCPs) + AP * 0.015 * nrCPs (Was AP * 0.01 * nrCPs)
  • Ferocious Bite: 132 + 319 * nrCPs + AP * 0.077 * nrCPs, 286 + 319 * nrCPs + AP * 0.077 * nrCPs (Was 120 + 290 * nrCPs + AP * 0.07 * nrCPs, 260 + 290 * nrCPs + AP * 0.07 * nrCPs)

By my napkin math, that looks to be a 50% buff to the scaling coefficient on Rip and Rake, and a 10% buff to the scaling coefficient on FB. That (this is the napkin part) would be about a 10% buff to our bleeds (less for FB) which should push our overall DPS up 5% or so.

The changes are incorporated in the latest version of Mew…go get it if you haven’t already. (Yawning also fixed the bug where the Strength of Earth/Horn of Winter/Battle Shout buff was incredibly OP…blame Wowhead, they have it wrong too.)

 Posted by at 7:20 am
Oct 112010
 

UPDATE: There’s been some significant hotfixes since I wrote this. Please visit my full 4.0.1 Feral DPS guide for the most up-to-date info.

4.0.1 will (presumably) drop tomorrow. Here’s what you need to know for your two remaining months at level 80.

(If you’re looking for bear info, Kalon’s got you covered, as he usually does.)

Talent Spec:

Cat DPS: 0/33/3. (wowhead talent link)

I’ve focused heavily on survivability and utility over marginal DPS talents; hence the inclusion of Brutal Impact and Nurturing Instinct, and the exclusion of Stampede and Predatory Strikes. Feel free to switch those points around if you’d like.

Cat/Bear Hybrid: 0/32/3, one point free to get Feral Aggression or Stampede 1/2. (wowhead talent link)

In order to run a hybrid spec, you lose a lot of utility. This spec is the best compromise I can come up with; 1-2% DPS loss and less cat survivability, but fully tanking capable.

Glyphage:

Majors: Rip and Shred are clearly superior; the third choice is much less clearcut. Savage Roar is probably the best, but Tiger’s Fury and Berserk are pretty close. A hybrid spec could fit a bear glyph here, such as Mangle, if desired. Update: My intuition is that the TF and possibly Berserk glyphs are better than the SR glyph now, but more testing is needed.

Primes: Only one I’ll say is mandatory is Faerie Fire; after that, take your pick. The Ferocious Bite glyph is interesting, however. With perfect play at 80, it’s better to not have it, but if you regularly bite then have trouble refreshing Rip/Rake/SR, then it’s a good choice. At 85, it may be much more useful. We’ll have to see how it plays out.

Minors: Take your pick, though I’d definitely recommend Dash.

Stats (Gemming/Reforging):

ArPen is gone. Anything ArPen you had will become crit. Reforge/regem to meet the new hit/exp caps…caps have gone down slightly for 80, but the loss of Primal Precision means much less expertise. (New expertise cap is 200 rating/26 expertise; hitcap is 246.) Once you’ve  reached hit/exp cap, gem agility (yes, even if you’re at critcap, the AP + yellow crit is best) and reforge mastery. (Yes, that means we’re back to Blackened Dragonfin as our consumable…hello, 3.0.) Update: Lots of questions about whether it’s better to go all +agi gems and forgo socket bonuses or not. It’s marginal. Right now, I think all +agi is superior, but more testing is needed. Either way, reforging to hit/exp/mastery is still your best bet.

Raiding:

Update: No longer true; new buffs have fixed the nerfs, but final numbers still being worked out.

DPS sucks at the moment. If you were crushing everyone before, you won’t be now. Overall DPS loss looks to be in the 20-25% range, putting our DPS (with best gear) in the 10k range (14k for ICC). This is down from the 14k (18k for ICC) that top ferals were getting. Yes, this sucks; no, it probably won’t get fixed unless it persists to 85, which looks likely at this point. It’s not just us…any class that was dependent on ArPen took a big nerf, though ours was arguably the worst.

Anything I forgot? Post a comment and let me know.

 Posted by at 8:21 am
Oct 102010
 

During WOTLK, regular readers will remember that I frequently advocated the use of simulators, such as Toskk’s, Simulationcraft, and Rawr, to help definitively answer gear/rotation questions for your character. Well, the first simulator to support 4.0 has arrived, and it’s a doozy. Welcome to Mew.

Using Mew is very simple; the interface is based off of Toskk’s. Plug in your character’s stats (unbuffed caster form) and proceed through the windows, selecting your set bonuses, any trinket procs, talents, glyphs, consumables, and raid buffs. Once done, click “Calculate.” The program will take your inputs and spit back what it considers to be your estimated DPS, plus loads of stats if that’s your thing.

Now, in and of itself, this is great, but not super-special. What’s really awesome about Mew is how Yawning and Tangedyn have incorporated both Toskk’s formulation engine and a version of Simcraft’s simulation engine in the same package. (Formulation uses models to predict your character’s average DPS; simulation actually simulates an encounter, for a given number of attempts, and calculates actual DPS. Simulation is slower, but probably a better measure. (For more, see Yawning’s Formulation vs. Simulation wiki page.) Furthermore, the simulation engine does not use hard-coded logic, but like Simcraft, allows for custom rotations to be written and loaded in. I’ve dabbled quite a bit, and it’s a very powerful and effective tool. (Yawning has graciously incorporated some of my suggestions into the default simulation script.)

“Okay, enough pictures,” you say. “Where can I get this hotness?”

Three options, in increasing levels of freshness. (All require Java.) First, an online applet version of the program is located here. Second,  the downloadable binary is located here. Finally, developers (with more skills than me) can grab the code and compile it themselves directly off SVN (link here). Please remember that this is still alpha code, and things may change drastically. Many new features are planned, including Armory integration once 4.0 goes live.

I’ll be writing up my initial findings from this tool and posting them tomorrow, and I’ll also write a third post going into more detail on the custom simulation logic (the current default script can be obtained here). I’m also creating a forum thread to discuss Mew: feel free to ask questions or discuss there.

 Posted by at 7:44 am
Oct 062010
 

Erm, okay, that title is a little unnecessarily combative…but is there any good reason that I should resubscribe before 4.0 hits? Only things I can see right now are to buy heirlooms with badges (since the badge->JP conversion is pretty poor) or get some glyphs so I can learn them permanently. Anything else?

(I’m still having fun with LOTRO…the only thing I’d be doing in WOW is testing the new feral mechanics, really, and I’m waiting on that until 4.0 goes live.)

 Posted by at 2:34 pm
Oct 042010
 

I’ve been spending some time playing LOTRO, now that it’s gone F2P…and it’s really got some interesting things in it. Game-design wise, it feels quite a bit like Classic WOW, which has both its good and bad points. (Much of this is from reading, not necessarily from personal experience.)

Good:

  • Skirmishes are AWESOME. Imagine the Dungeon Finder. Now, take away the PUG matching capability, but allow it to scale instances to a selected group size, from Solo to Raid(which is 12 in LOTRO) and difficulty level. Furthermore, have it give you a semi-controllable pet that can be “traited” (talented) to do melee/ranged DPS, tank, or heal.
  • Epic quest line, that follows a consistent story from lvl 1-65, which loosely tracks the books. The first volume (up to lvl 55 or so) is now fully soloable; you get a buff if attempting the group instances by yourself.
  • Much less cookie-cutterism; lots of debate over which traits/trait lines are superior.
  • It’s F2P, and very generous F2P at that.
  • The server community is much better…individually, players are probably less informed then their WoW counterparts, but much nicer.
  • Player housing (not that I have a house yet…been alting)

Bad:

  • Raiding is very reminiscent of classic WoW. A good bit of grinding is required to maximize your character. (LOTRO has “Deeds” which are analogous to WoW’s achievements…except many Deeds on completion give you a point to a “Virtue,” which is similar to a WoW talent point.) Raid composition requirements are pretty strict. Few challenges for hardcore raiders, from my limited reading.
  • Virtually no addons. A few are in development, now that Turbine has just allowed addon functionality, but again, very Classic WoW-like. I’d forgotten how much I hate icons and the fun of looking for a specific one through several bags.
  • Only one faction (you can play as the monsters and do PvP, but only in a specific zone).
  • No Wowhead. :(

I’ve enjoyed it enough that I’ve purchased the game and its first expansion, and will keep playing until my VIP time from those purchases runs out (which should be sometime in November, conveniently close to Cata’s release date.) :) If anyone’s curious, I’ll be happy to answer any questions or help out in-game as much as I can. (Alarron/Alarric on the Elendilmir server)

Oh, what class? Captain, of course.

 Posted by at 4:30 pm