Jun 022010
 

This post incorporates material from the Cataclysm Alpha. If that bothers you, please stop reading now.

Resto:

The New Tree of Life

  • Tree of Life – 5 minute cooldown. 13% base mana. Shapeshift into the tree of life, increasing healing done by 15% and increasing your armor by 240% but reducing your movement speed by 50%. In addition, some of your spells are temporarly enhanced while shapeshifted. Lasts 45 sec. 5 minute cooldown. Enhanced spells: Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Regrowth, Thorns(NA), Wrath.
  • Lifebloom – While in Tree of Life form: Applies an additional application.
  • Regrowth – While in Tree of Life form: This spell is an instant cast.
  • Wild Growth – While in Tree of Life form: Affects an additional 2 targets.
  • Wrath – While in Tree of Life form: Cast time reduced by 50%, damage increased by 30%.
  • Entangling Roots – While in Tree of Life form: Damage increased by 200%. (Not sure if this is damage done, which is currently laughable and would remain so, or damage taken before breaking, which would be pretty sweet.)

Resto wanted a tank-saving cooldown like GS/PS; it didn’t get one, but hopefully, they won’t be as necessary under the new healing model. 4xLB and extra WG targets are a bit underwhelming, though a 4xLB sustained with Nourish could be pretty solid tank HPS. Now, +15% healing done with insta-Regrowths plus Efflorescence? Very nice. The movement debuff is back, though, and it greatly limits the utility of the cooldown.

Other changes

(Now that I look at it, most of the rest of the patch notes are the same as what was on mmo-champion, so I’ll just review the high points.)

  • Nature’s Bounty [NYI] – Increases the critical effect chance of your Regrowth spell by 10/20/30/40/50% on targets at or below 25% health, and you have a 20/40/60/80/100% chance when you critically heal with Healing Touch and Nourish to reduce the remaining cooldown of your Swiftmend spell by 0.5 sec.
  • Empowered Touch – Your Healing Touch spell gains an additional 10/20% of your bonus healing effects, and your Nourish spell has a 50/100% chance to refresh the duration of your Lifebloom on targets.
  • Gift of the Earthmother [NYI] – Increases the healing done by the bloom effect of your Lifebloom by 2/4/6/8/10%, and your Rejuvenation spell also instantly heals for 4/7/10/13/16% of the total periodic effect.

Nature’s Bounty- The improved crit chance on Regrowth is nice, but hopefully classes won’t be hanging around 25% too often. The cooldown reduction feels underpowered; 1 sec would be better. Feels like a PvP talent.
Empowered Touch- Nourish rolling Lifebloom is very nice; what do we do with the bloom portion of the spell, though?  I guess it can still be used as a form of raid-healing, and it’ll still shine for PvP. Hopefully blooms will be less overheal.
GOTEM- Our best set bonus got baked into a talent. Still meh about blooms.

Balance:

(Again, not totally familiar with what’s new in this build, so just hitting the high points.)

  • Typhoon – Daze time increased to 6 seconds from 3 seconds.
  • Solar Beam [NYI] – (Instant) You summon a beam of solar light over the enemy target’s location, interupting the enemy target and silencing all enemy targets under the beam within 10 yards while it is active. Solar Beam lasts for 10 sec.
  • Starsurge – You fuse the power of the moon and sun, launching a devastating blast of energy at the target. Causes X to X damage to the target and knocks them down.
  • Lunar Guidance – Increases the radius of your Solar Beam by 3/5/7 yds and your Starsurge instantly generates 6/11/16 Lunar or Solar Energy, whichever is greater.
  • Euphoria – When you critically hit with Wrath or Starfire, you instantly gain an additional 3/6 Lunar or 5/10 Solar Energy. When you reach a Solar or Lunar eclipse, you instantly are restored 7/14% of your total mana.
  • Wrath of Cenarius [NYI] – When you cast Moonfire, you gain Wrath of Cenarius. Wrath of Cenarius increases the damage done by your Moonfire by 3/6/9%, and reduces the mana cost by 10/20/30%. This effect is refreshed and amplified when you move, stacking up to 3 times. Effect lasts for 3 sec.
  • Improved Eclipse – Increases the amount of Lunar or Solar energy generated from your Starfire and Wrath by 31%, and when critically hit by a melee or ranged attack, you will instantly generate 7 Lunar or Solar Energy.
  • Fungal Growth [NYI] – When your Treants die or your Wild Mushrooms are triggered, you spawn a Fungal Growth at its wake covering the area within 8 yards, slowing all enemy targets by 70%. Lasts 10 sec.

Solar Beam/Lunar Guidance looks to be quite powerful. 17 yds is a pretty big radius; that’s an interrupt and at best a 2 second run time to get clear of it, assuming perfect reactions. I’m assuming mages can’t blink out? Ouch. Will NPC casters have AI to run out of the beam? Will they run to melee?
Starsurge/Wrath of Cenarius looks to be the solution for damage on the move. Moonfire spam FTW.
Likewise, Euphoria seems to be the solution for mana recovery, now that the mana regen talents are mostly gone.
Fungal Growth looks to be far too powerful, especially in combination with Solar Beam. I’d expect them to prevent them interacting somehow. (Let’s face it, a 5-6s AOE silence is OP.) Right now, boomkin look to be quite a force in PvP.

    Jun 012010
     

    This post incorporates material from the Cataclysm Alpha. If that bothers you, please stop reading now.

    A new alpha build dropped a few days ago, and with it, a good chunk of feral changes. Let’s take a look.

    Ravage

    Unlike Rogues, who have more diversity in openers (Ambush/Garrote/Cheap Shot, all buffable with Premeditation), our opening move choices are Pounce and Ravage. Pounce has some good PvP utility, and putting up a bleed effect is necessary for all our other abilities, but its damage is pretty weak and doesn’t scale well. If the stun’s not useful, it’s probably better just to Rake.

    Ravage, like Ambush, is more of a leveling ability; it does decent burst damage when you get it, but it’s unaffected by most talents and is generally useless in max-level PvE content.

    …until now. (dum dum dum). Check out these changes:

    • Ravage – Ravage the target, causing 550% damage plus 236.93 to the target. Up from 385% and 165.98.
    • Shredding Attacks: Now reduces the energy cost of Ravage by the same amount as Shred (5/10).
    • Predatory Strikes: Now increases the critical strike chance of your Ravage by 25/50% on targets at or above 90% health, in addition to previous insta-nature spell ability.
    • Imp. Feral Charge: Ravage will not require stealth for 3/6 sec after using FC.

    Ravage still has the same disadvantages for PvE that it did previously (doesn’t get raid debuffs on the target), but with IFC, that problem is reduced (6s is more than enough time to apply a stack of FF, Mangle, and Rake). This will definitely give us more burst if needed…but threat could be a problem. :) Needless to say, proper opening of a fight will be a bit more complicated now; run in and start rotation is out.

    Interrupts

    Remember that we were promised a non-finisher interrupt? It’s here!

    • Skull Bash – 1 Rage/25 Energy, 8 yd range, Instant, 10 sec cooldown. You charge and skull bash the target, interrupting spellcasting and preventing any spell in that school from being cast for 5 sec.

    It’s basically Kick, with a bit of extra range. I’m not sure about the range/charge thing actually; I suppose it could be like FC with a min/max distance, but that seems really unwieldy for an interrupt that we’re expected to be able to use on command now. I also dislike the name, but I’ll get over it, I suppose. I like Bonk. :)

    Fury Swipes

    This new talent is interesting (not sure where in the tree it is right now):

    • Fury Swipes – When you auto-attack while in Cat form or Bear form, you have a 6/12% chance to gain an extra auto-attack on the same target. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 sec.

    Oh, this’ll be fun to model. Basically, this is more on the theme of making the kitty rotation less punishing for less-skilled players; I’d imagine we’ll see the amount of white damage we do (as a %) going up.

    Bear Changes

    • Feral Aggression – Reduces the cooldown of Faerie Fire (Bear) by 1/2/3/4/5 sec, and increases the damage caused by your Ferocious Bite by 3/6/9/12/15%.
    • Faerie Fire (Bear) – Rage cost increased to 15. Decreases the armor of the target by 3% for 30 sec. While affected, the target cannot stealth or turn invisible. Stacks up to 3 times. Deals [AP * 0.05 + 1.0] damage and additional threat. (Previously did AP * 0.15)
    • Savage Defense – Each time you deal a critical strike while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form, you have a 50% chance to gain Savage Defense, reducing the damage taken from the next physical attack that strikes you by 75% of your attack power. (Previously 100% chance for 25% of AP)

    Some significant changes here to FFF and SD. FFF’s damage is cut by two-thirds, but you have the option via talents to make it a spammable attack. Very interesting. This reduces FFF’s single-target damage below Swipe, which means either Swipe won’t be spammable without several mobs being on you, or it’s single-target damage will be reduced somehow. (Or maybe Mangle on CD+Lacerate+Pulverize will form the mainstay of the rotation now.) A spammable ranged attack, though, will help a LOT with keeping threat on casters.

    SD’s uptime gets cut in half, but its effectiveness triples. Overall, I’d see this as a net buff. For multi-target situations, multiple Swipe crits generally meant you were getting many wasted refreshes anyway. On a boss, you’ll definitely see a reduction in uptime, but face it, a 2k absorption wasn’t really all that significant with 50K+ HP and bosses hitting for 20K. 6K, however, will be very nice. It’ll make damage intake burstier, but that hopefully won’t be as much of a problem for Cata.

    Resto/Balance Changes (including the new Tree Form’s abilities!)

    Come back tomorrow. :)

    May 312010
     

    Now that I’m a Kingslayer (aside: it would be great if the title changed to X, Slayer of Kings, after you killed him twice. Or wait, we killed Ymiron in UP, didn’t we? Aren’t we already Kingslayers? /aside), I’m at a bit of a loss to find my next goal. I’ve already decided to cut back on the raiding a bit, and I’ve told my guild as such. Frankly, ICC hard-modes don’t look overly interesting…waltz through the first 6 or so, work a bit on the rest, then wipe on H LK for a few months until we abandon it for Cata. Yay. (Not to mention, my ever-patient wife deserves some couple time.) As such, I’m looking into some more solo pursuits.

    My Pre-Cataclysm To-Do List (In Pretentious Case):

    In-Game:

    • No more Alliance alts until Cata. :)
    • Level my DK’s blacksmithing/enchanting to 450 (currently 200ish/150ish) This gives me 6 max-level profs for Cata (currently have alch/LW on druid and mining/JC on pally). If I end up transferring my lock over from Cael, I’ll drop his enchanting and pick up herbalism/inscription to go with his tailoring.
    • Get some good badge tank gear for my DK to play around with some instance soloing.
    • Finish out World Explorer on my druid (Loremaster’s probably too much of a stretch). Maybe some other achievements…my achievement lust tends to come and go.
    • Maybe get into Arenas…have a mediocre resto PVP set put together.
    • Level my poor unloved Horde toon (belf mage) to check out Horde-side lore.
    • Have mats on all toons to prepare for the tidal wave of Cataclysm demand. (Which reminds me…guild bank for bank alt would be good, what with the online AH letting you list stuff out of your bank.)

    Blog/Forums/Other Out-Of-Game:

    • Keep working on the Ovale code for the feral DPS script. Play around with Simcraft to better set options.
    • Keep posting on feral topics; still have a lot to discuss. Got some hot new alpha info, a discussion on optimum FB usage, tanking in cat gear, and some other things.
    • Clean up the sidebar some, redo blogroll, etc.
    • Get rid of that silly Google Adsense thing. (FWIW, I’ve supposedly made $8.85, in the three months it’s been up, and I need to make $100 before I get a payment. Yay?)
    • Spend some time working on the forum. I know NOTHING about phpBB.

    Other:

    • Stop staying up until 3AM playing silly flash games on Kongregate. (Curse you Elements! And you too, Zubon, for leading me to it.)
     Posted by at 11:58 pm
    May 282010
     

    Finally. :) 20% really swung it for us…check this out:

    One-shot.

    Seriously. (Holy crap, I am so stoked right now.)

    No deaths leading into P3.

    I got to kill the Spirit Warden inside Frostmourne.

    I even got to play Hero Bear…we’d lost a few ranged, and at about 15%, three Vile Spirits started heading towards melee, and I went bear, popped everything (SI/Barkskin/Enrage) and took em all out. Unfortunately, there were actually 4, not 3. Oops. (EDIT: Wow…I didn’t realize, but our MT had gone down due to a missed Harvest Soul, and I took a LK melee hit as well after the second spirit!)

    AWESOME!

     Posted by at 12:29 am
    May 252010
     

    Successfully soloed Molten Core over the weekend; going to start working on some Northrend 5-mans, as I tried Magtheridon and got smacked down pretty good. Unfortunately, bear isn’t even close to Pallies or DK’s for solo ability; not enough self-healing. All I have is Imp. LOTP and Survival Instincts-boosted Frenzied Regen every 3 minutes.  My strategy’s pretty simple- I basically rely on gobs of avoidance and Savage Defense for most bosses, and kitty DPS with Predatory Strikes insta-heals + HoTs boosted by Nurturing Instinct for certain encounters. I’m going to start gearing my DK for solo tanking, I think. Something to do, while we struggle to make numbers to work on LK some more.

    (Has anyone had problems with DBM not resetting properly? Occasionally after a LK wipe, I lose all my DBM timers/functionality. Sucks for Defile.)

     Posted by at 10:39 am
    May 242010
     

    As I promised in an earlier post, I’ve rewritten Furion/Leaf’s Ovale script to bring it more up-to-date. I’ve posted it in my forum here. Please provide any feedback either in comments or on the forum post. Info below. I’ll be posting it to EJ in a few days, but existing readers get the first shot. :)

    # Version History
    # v1.0:
    # Full verification of action list against Simcraft.
    # Corrected TF condition. Loosened Berserk condition (slight deviation from SC).
    # Prioritized Rip/Mangle. Removed Manglebot option, no point anymore with 60s duration.
    # Added options for OOC icon and Shred on OOC proc.
    # Hopefully fixed bug with Rake being recommended even though it’s already on target.
    # Added user-selectable logic for No FB/Few FB’s/Many FB’s. Default is no FB’s which is best for most players.
    # (FB logic still needs some testing)
    # Rewrote several lines to track Simcraft closer, to make user-editing easier.
    # Added a few lines to catch bad situations (energy-cap, energy pooling while Rip is down).
     Posted by at 1:39 pm
    May 202010
     

    MMO-Champion’s got the loot list from Ruby Sanctum up, and there’s some good feral pieces there. Let’s take a look.

    271 Neck Melee.DPS Neck Penumbra Pendant
    271 Finger Phys.DPS Finger Signet of Twilight
    271 Trinket Phys.DPS Trinket Sharpened Twilight Scale
    271 Trinket Tanking Trinket Petrified Twilight Scale
    258 Leather Phys.DPS Chest Gloaming Sark

    EDIT: Changed links to wowhead since mmo-champ tooltips aren’t working on my site for some reason.

    The big prize from RS-25 for feral DPS is the Sharpened Scale trinket. The massive chunk of ArPen makes it superior to any other trinket in the game, save Heroic DBW, and the ability to have two ArPen trinkets will make reaching the ArPen hardcap much easier. The Signet ring is very nice as well, and should be your choice for your 2nd ring slot (after your Exalted ICC repring), unless you have the Frostbrood Sapphire. (Heroic Frostbrood is clearly superior; normal is a tossup.) Finally, the Penumbra Pendant is decent, but it’s a strength item, so let your plate DPS have first dibs on it. If you’ve had bad luck on neck drops for some reason, it’s about equal to an ICC-10 neck. (Or you could just buy a Wodin’s, if you have the gold to spare.)

    For bears, the Petrified Scale tank trinket is very nice as well, but it depends on your personal preference–it’s basically an upgraded Glyph of Indominability, with the same issues. Great mitigation trinket, but no extra HP to swallow burst.  I’d still prefer 2 of Organ/Fang/Key for progression, I think. Come Cataclysm, though, when healer HPS will be more limited, the ability of armor trinkets to reduce DTPS will be much more important. I could see this trinket lasting you until 85, easily.

    Unfortunately, there’s not much from RS-10. (Yet another argument for gear equalization.) The loot list may still grow a bit. The Gloaming Sark is pretty terrible for feral DPS, but it’s an excellent tanking piece if you don’t have the badges for Shadowseeker’s or the cash for Ikfirus. There’s a strength ring, also, but it’s pretty bad. (The 245 EoT ring is better.)

    We successfully got to Phase 3 once on LK25 with nobody dead on Tuesday, so high hopes for tonight. We’ve successfully kicked the Defile bug, happily. :) More to come on Simcraft/Ovale next week.

     Posted by at 3:41 pm
    May 192010
     

    This post incorporates publicly available leaked material from the Cataclysm Alpha. If that bothers you, please stop reading now.

    A new version of the Alpha was pushed on 17 May with an updated feral tree, and information about the changes has already leaked. Allison’s latest Shifting Perspectives has covered some of the changes already, but here’s my take.

    Tier 1:

    Sharpened Claws: Increases the damage caused by your Claw, Rake, Mangle (Cat), Mangle (Bear), and Maul abilities by 10%/20%. (Previously Tier 3: increases your critical strike chance by 2%/4%/6%.) Renamed version of Savage Fury, a Tier 2 talent with the same description.

    Ferocity: Unchanged.

    Feral Aggression: Unchanged.

    Tier 2:

    Savage Fury: Removed. (Moved to Tier 1, renamed Sharpened Claws.)

    Thick Hide: Removed. (Previously increased your Armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 4%/7%/10%.)

    Feral Instinct: Unchanged.

    Shredding Attacks: Reduces the energy cost of your Shred ability by 5/10 and the cost of your Lacerate by 1/2. (Previously Tier 4: Reduces the energy cost of your Shred ability by 9/18 and the rage cost of your Lacerate ability by 1/2.)

    Endless Carnage[NYI]: Increases the duration of your Rake by 3/6 sec and your Savage Roar by 4/8 sec. (New talent.)

    Tier 3:

    Feral Swiftness: Unchanged.

    Predatory Instincts: Moved here from Tier 8, unchanged otherwise.

    Feral Charge: Moved here from Tier 5, unchanged otherwise.

    Improved Feral Charge[NYI]: Increases the damage done by your next 3 attacks by 5/10% in Bear Form after you use Feral Charge (Bear), and Ravage will temporarily not require stealth for 3/6 sec after you use Feral Charge (Cat). (New talent.)

    Tier 4:

    Nurturing Instinct: Moved here from Tier 5, unchanged otherwise.

    Predatory Strikes: Attack power boost removed. Finishing moves retain their 7%/13%/20% chance per combo point to proc an instant Nature spell. (Previously: Increases your melee attack power in Cat, Bear and Dire Bear Forms by 50%/100%/150% of your level and 7%/13%/20% of any attack power on your equipped weapon.)

    Primal Fury: Unchanged.

    Primal Precision: Removed. (Previously: Increases your expertise by 5/10, and you are refunded 40%/80% of the energy cost of a finishing move if it fails to land.)

    Tier 5:

    Brutal Impact: Unchanged.

    Heart of the Wild: Moved here from Tier 6, unchanged otherwise.

    Survival Instincts: Moved here from Tier 3, unchanged otherwise.

    Tier 6:

    Survival of the Fittest: Unchanged.

    Natural Reaction: Removed.

    Tier 7:

    King of the Jungle: Moved here from Tier 9, unchanged otherwise.

    Leader of the Pack: Unchanged.

    Improved Leader of the Pack: Unchanged.

    Primal Tenacity: Reduces the duration of fear effects by 10%/20%/30% and reduces all damage taken while stunned by 5%/10%/15% while in Cat Form. (Previously reduced damage taken while stunned by 10%/20%/30%.)

    Tier 8:

    Protector of the Pack: Unchanged.

    Infected Wounds: Your Shred, Maul, and Mangle attacks cause an Infected Wound in the target. The Infected Wound reduces the movement speed of the target by 25%/50% and the attack speed by 10%/20%. Lasts 12 sec. (Previously reduced movement speed by 16%/34%/50% and attack speed by 7%/14%/20%.)

    Tier 9:

    Primal Madness[NYI]: Tiger’s Fury and Beserk also increases your maximum energy by 10/20 during its duration, and your Enrage and Berserk abilities instantly generates 6/12 rage. (New talent.)

    Mangle: Unchanged.

    Improved Mangle: Unchanged.

    Tier 10:

    Nom Nom Nom[NYI]: When you Ferocious Bite a target at or below 25%, you have a 50/100% chance to instantly refresh the duration of your Rip on the target. (New talent.)

    Rend and Tear: Unchanged.

    Pulverize: 15 rage. Instant. Melee Range. Requires Dire Bear Form.  Deals 252 bleed damage for each of your Lacerate applications on the target, and increases your total attack power by 2% for each Lacerate stack consumed. Lasts 10 sec.

    Tier 11:

    Berserk: Unchanged.

    Misc info: Shred base energycost is now 50 (talented 40.) Maul base rage cost is 10 (talented 5), consumes an extra 5 rage for each 20 rage you have. (So, 1-20 rage, Maul costs 5, 21-40, Maul costs 10, etc.)

    Definitely some interesting new talents  here. As Blizzard has previously stated, they like testing new talents via set bonuses, and apparently all our good ones made it in. :) Endless Carnage is a mashup of our Tier 8 4P and our Tier 9 2P, but better. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either the talent or Rake nerfed…upping a 9s DoT to 15s is pretty strong for a Tier 2 talent. Imp. Feral Charge is pretty interesting, but I see it as mostly a leveling/burst talent more than anything else. Ravage will hit harder than Shred, certainly, but not by enough to warrant major rotational changes.  I’d have to look to figure out its DPE…I haven’t used it in ages.

    Primal Madness is pretty meh. Good ferals never energy cap to begin with, so having a higher top-end isn’t a big deal (though it makes using TF/Berserk easier, sure). Finally, Nom Nom Nom (best name ever) is huge. Rolling Rips and constant FBs! Sweet! (Of course, this means our regular damage will get a nerf to compensate. Bleh.)

    Have some Balance/Resto info as well, but I’ll leave that for now. One tidbit: Innervate is now based on the caster’s max mana pool, not base. Goodbye feral Innervates. :(

     Posted by at 12:58 pm
    May 182010
     

    I’m working on a post detailing how Simulationcraft is, by far, your best friend when optimizing your rotation/gear for specific encounters. In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of my current optimal priority list, given my current gear. It looks complicated…and it is, sorry, can’t sugarcoat it really, but just read from the top down and go line-by-line. (Yay for superfluous advice.) This may not be optimal for everyone; some will want to FB more (high ArPen folks), some less (ICC 10). More FB’s = less Rip/Rake uptime. This list assumes you never clip DoTs.

    1. Feral Faerie Fire, if FF/FFF down.
    2. Tiger’s Fury, if available. (Energy below 30.)
    3. Berserk, if available. (Energy between 80 and 90.)
    4. If SR is down, immediately SR with any CP.
    5. Shred on Omen of Clarity proc.
    6. Rip if you have 5 CP’s.
    7. Mangle if Mangle debuff is down.
    8. Fun one: If there is less then 9 seconds on SR and Rip will expire 3 seconds or less before SR, refresh SR if you have 3 or more CP’s. (Desyncs timers to give you time to rebuild CP’s to reapply Rip with little downtime. I’m still playing with the logic on this one to determine an optimal setting. If you relax the SR remaining condition or the sync condition, you’ll refresh SR more often, which leads to better Rip uptime but wasted CP’s and thus less FB’s.)
    9. FB with 5 CP’s if Rip and SR have at least 12 seconds remaining or target will die in 5 seconds or less. (Another place to mess with timers to balance FB/Rip.)
    10. If Rip has less than 4 seconds and you haven’t Shredded 3 times yet (Glyph of Shred), Shred, unless SR will expire within 3 seconds.
    11. Rake.
    12. Shred, if less than 4 CP’s or Rip has more than 1 second left, AND if Rake has more than 1 second left, AND if energy is greater then 80, or TF is within 3s of going off cooldown, or you’re berserked.
    13. Shred if target will die within 10 seconds, or you have 0 CP’s and SR is about to expire/expired.
    14. Otherwise wait to regain energy.

    I’ll be rewriting an Ovale script to incorporate this logic, when I have the chance. I’ve posted the Simulationcraft actionlist in the forums if people would like to modify it for their own toon.

     Posted by at 12:21 am