Majority credit by Yawning @ Crushridge, edited by GBM.
OMG they hotfixed our DPS!: That's not a question. That being said, yes they did. Savage Roar has been devalued a lot because of the massive buff to yellow damage, but it's still worth using.
Where did my AP go?: Feral AP is gone.
How do I spec?: http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#0ZdbGfRzbbbfz0c
How do I glyph?: Berserk (or Savage Roar), Shred, Rip (Ferocious Bite is a DPS loss) Note that Savage Roar vs Berserk is extremely gear/encounter duration dependent.
How do I gem?: With leveling in mind. Agility. Make sure your meta is activated.
How do I enchant?: Agility where appropriate. Mongoose is good again, but if you have Berserking on a weapon already it's not worth the cost of swapping it.
Reforging huh?: Reforging Crit Rating to Mastery Rating (Haste to Mastery if no Crit on gear) appears optimal. Chances are if you are crit capping before reforging, you won't be after, meaning that Hit/Expertise is optional. Derive your crit rate to find out. For me, Crit->Mastery wins out due to getting more Mastery out of the deal (reforging Hit/Exp + Mastery was simming out as a net loss. This is gear dependent and Haste->Hit/Exp/Mastery may be a net gain).
Savage Roar kind of sucks now, if I used Bite more would I gain DPS?: Not in most cases. If your weapon was incredibly behind the rest of your gear, it may, but it would take a considerable discrepancy for that to happen. Everyone should prioritise Rip uptime over Savage Roar uptime though.
Armor Penetration: Gone. Gems are converted to Crit Rating. Armor Pen. on gear is converted to either Crit or Haste Rating.
Feral AP: Gone. Weapon DPS is added to paw DPS in a normalized manner.
Rake: Periodic crits are 2.0x damage. Scaling is entirely AP based.
Rip: 16 second base. Periodic crits are 2.0x damage. Scaling is entirely AP based.
Glyph of Rip: Increases Rip damage by 15%.
Finishers: Failure only costs 20% energy by default. (Previously required Primal Precision)
Energy: Regeneration is affected linearly by haste (but not Melee haste).
Savage Roar: Affects white damage only.
Tiger's Fury: Adds a flat multiplier to physical damage dealt for the duration of the buff. Buff is no longer clipped when Berserk is used.
Idols: Stat carriers now. They are no longer unique and special Feral Druid specific snowflakes.
Lasherweave 4-piece bonus: Now increases Rake damage by 10%. It's good, and you should still get it.
Bleeds: Can be refreshed after the last tick with no DPS loss. Anything before that is less of a loss than before but still wastes energy.
Are cats competitive DPS?
After the buff to ability scaling made shortly after 4.0.1, it appears that Feral is competitive once again. Woot. Cataclysm has a few changes that makes target swapping somewhat less painful but as a good amount of damage is DoT based, frequent target swapping still massively hurts Feral Druids though this is dependent on mob HP and time on target.
What's the DPS rotation?
There isn't one. It's all about refreshing timers and prioritising::
- Keep Feral FF up, unless you have someone else responsible for the debuff in the group
- Keep Savage Roar up
- Keep Mangle up, unless you have a bear or arms warrior in the group
- Keep Rake up, if Tiger's Fury and Rake refresh happens to line up, Rake with the Tiger's Fury buff up
- Keep a 5-point Rip up, and try to apply it when Tiger's Fury is up if possible, but do not trade more than 3.3 seconds worth of uptime for this.
- Use Ferocious Bite when Blood in the Water is active since it will refresh Rip
- Use Shred for combo points
- Use Tiger's Fury on cooldown
Why Shred? Mangle costs less energy and does 240% damage to Shred's 225%!
No, no it doesn't. If you read the tooltips on Shred, Mangle, and the Rend and Tear talent, you will discover that using Shred when the target is mangled and bleeding will do about 50% more damage than Mangle, while costing only 5 energy more. In addition, correctly glyphed, Shreds increase the duration of your Rip up to 6 seconds, Mangles do not.
How do I gear?
The best resources for this question are:
Mew - http://code.google.com/p/mew-wow-druid-model/
(Formerly know as Toskk's)
Rawr - http://www.codeplex.com/Rawr
SimulationCraft - http://code.google.com/p/simulationcraft/
Elitist Jerks Druid forum: http://elitistjerks.com/f73
All are excellent sources of information and theorycrafting.
How much hit rating do I need?
- The melee hit cap on raid bosses in Cataclysm starts at 8%. For heroic bosses it's 6%. The developers are planning on scaling bosses per raid tier, so higher amounts of hit may be needed depending on the encounter.
- 120.109 hit rating is required for 1% hit
- The hit cap against raid bosses for feral druids starts at 961 rating.
- You do not need to hit cap as a feral druid. Explanation to this further below.
How much expertise do I need?
- Raid bosses have approximately a 6.5% chance to dodge. This should also scale with raid difficulty.
- Since we attack from behind, bosses cannot parry, unless they turn.
- 120.1088 Expertise Rating is 1% dodge reduction.
- The dodge cap against raid bosses starts at 26 expertise. It takes 781 rating to reach 26 expertise.
- Like hit, you do not need to cap. Assuming you are not capped on either, 1 hit rating and 1 expertise rating will increase your DPS by the same amount.
What's the crit cap?
If you're going by your character sheet, the white crit cap on a raid boss is 80.8% - chance to miss - chance to be dodged.
So if you have 6% hit and 4% dodge reduction, your white crit cap is 80.8% - 2% - 2.5% = 76.3% crit on your character sheet. See more in section 3.
What gems should I use?
For most druids for instance/raid DPS, Agility is the best stat to gem for. With current numbers, Hit/Expertise will only surpass Agility at 104.8% crit, which is extremely unlikely given the harsh rating decay.
Gemming with leveling in mind, mindlessly zerging Agility is recommended. If you chose to reforge gear, reforge your weakest stat to your strongest, while keeping in mind that in some cases reforging a stronger stat can give increased yeilds (Crit->Mastery appears to solve crit capping issues. Crit vs Haste is more delicate and requires experimentation.
What glyphs should I use?
Glyph of Shred, Glyph of Rip, and Glyph of Tiger's Fury, Savage Roar, or Berserk. Glyph of Mangle is only for manglespam, soloing for instance. Preliminary modeling with 4t11 ranks them in the order of Tiger's Fury > Savage Roar > Berserk, however it is important to keep in mind that Mew will play feral at a level that you can only dream of accomplishing (and will not waste any of the cooldown reduction).
What's the best weapon enchant?
- Yes, weapon proc enchants work in feral forms, they have since Lich King launched, you can stop asking now.
- The best DPS enchant is a toss-up between Landslide, Hurricane and Mighty Agility, depending on how valuable haste, agility and AP is to you. For most people Landslide or Mighty Agility will end up being better.
- Enchant weapon Avalanche is probably not worth using. (10% proc rate, 463 - 537 nature damage)