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    Old 12-02-2010, 09:06 AM
    greenbeermonkey greenbeermonkey is offline
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    Default Feral Cat Guide

    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?: [url]http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#0ZdbGfRzbbbfz0c[/url]

    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.

    Notable changes:
    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 - [url]http://code.google.com/p/mew-wow-druid-model/[/url] (Formerly know as Toskk's)
    Rawr - [url]http://www.codeplex.com/Rawr[/url]
    SimulationCraft - [url]http://code.google.com/p/simulationcraft/[/url]
    Elitist Jerks Druid forum: [url]http://elitistjerks.com/f73[/url]
    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)
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    Last edited by greenbeermonkey; 12-02-2010 at 10:17 AM.
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    Old 12-02-2010, 09:07 AM
    greenbeermonkey greenbeermonkey is offline
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    What are the best professions?
    The professions you enjoy most. Even though some professions provide a very small amount more DPS than others, they may have other benefits that you prefer. You shouldn't necessarily pick a prof just because it's 10 more DPS than another.

    Alchemy: Mixology +80 Agility
    Enchanting: Enchant Ring - Agility = +80 Agility
    Leatherworking: Draconic Embossment - Agility = +130 Agility - 65 Haste or Crit Rating
    Engineering: (Unknown)
    Blacksmithing: Extra socket on Bracers/Gloves = +80 Agility
    Jewelcrafting: Chimera's Eye Gems (+67 vs +40) (x3) = +81 Agility
    Inscription: Swiftsteel Inscription (+130 Agi/25 Mastery Rating) = +130 Agility - 50 Agility = +80 Agility
    Tailoring: Swordguard Embroidery Rank 2 (Proc: 800 AP/15 sec 45 sec icd) = +266 AP - 22 Agility = +~75 Agility (NB: Depends on stat scaling. Uptime figures used are optimistic.)

    Skinning: Master of Anatomy (+80 Crit Rating)
    Herbalism: Lifeblood (+480 Haste Rating/20 sec, 120 sec CD) = +80 Haste Rating
    Mining: Toughness (+120 Stamina)

    Preliminary numbers show Leatherworking to utterly destroy the benefit of any other profession, however they could easily fix this by adding a +50 Agility wrist enchant, which would normalize it with the other +80 Agi professions.
    Jewelcrafting wins over other "good" professions by 1 Agility.
    Alchemy, Inscription, Enchanting, and Blacksmithing provide identical DPS increases.
    Tailoring is slightly less DPS than other alternatives.
    Skinning and Herbalism are terrible.
    Mining is worthless.
    Engineering is a total unknown.

    What consumables should I use?
    For a raid, Flask of the Winds is the best option. Biggest DPS increase, as well as lasting through death.
    If you're set on using elixirs, Elixir of Mighty Speed or Elixir of the Master or Elixir of the Cobra could be used.
    Potion of the Tol'vir is the best potion. Stack it with other cooldowns/procs for best results.

    What addons are good specifically for feral?
    Try out:
    BadKitty (feral ability timers)
    Droodfocus (similar to BadKitty, different look and features)
    Facemauler or FeralByNight (recommends next ability, to help you get a handle on the cycle)
    Power Auras, to track things like cooldowns and trinket procs

    Glyphs
    In general, most ferals will be using Glyph of Shred, Glyph of Rip, and Glyph of Berserk. Glyph of Mangle is now totally useless except for manglespam builds (which do less DPS than shred builds). Glyph of Savage Roar may be better than Glyph of Berserk at 85 at this point its an unknown.

    Glyph of Rip - A very solid DPS glyph. It increases Rip damage by 15%.

    Glyph of Shred - A staple for boss fights, and our highest DPS glyph unless you cannot get behind your target to use Shred. Increases Rip's duration by 2 seconds for every Shred we use, up to 6 seconds.

    Glyph of Berserk - Extends the duration of Berserk by 5 seconds. It outperforms Glyph of Savage Roar at level 80 due to massive amounts of energy regeneration available and hotfixed yellow damage. Inferior to Tiger's Fury or Savage Roar at T11 levels. Maybe with Deathwing gear it will be an option again.

    Glyph of Savage Roar - Increases the damage bonus of Savage Roar by 5% (additive, total of 55%). An ok boss DPS glyph, increases white damage by a flat 5%.

    Glyph of Mangle - Increases the damage of Mangle by 10%. A great soloing glyph, once you're doing primarily instance/raid DPS it becomes practically worthless.

    Glyph of Tiger's Fury - Reduces the cooldown of Tiger's Fury by 3 seconds. In theory it's great since Tiger's Fury is rather strong, but in practice it is not as good as models will predict because it is suprisingly difficult to take advantage of the 3 second shorter cooldown.

    Glyph of Ferocious Bite - Removes the energy conversion fixing the cost at 35. This is a net DPS loss, assuming that the excess energy conversion does not reduce SR/DoT uptime. (Ferocious Bite is more energy efficient than Shred.)

    Glyph of Dash (minor) - Yes, this is a DPS-increasing glyph. Reducing the cooldown of Dash on a long fight with a lot of movement will give you more time on target, increasing your DPS marginally.

    Idols
    Idols as of 4.0.1 now are static stat carriers. Pick something with primary DPS stats on it, and treat it as you would any other peice of gear.

    DPSing
    Feral DPS does not have a solidified rotation like, say, arcane mages or blood death knights. Doing maximum DPS as a feral relies on maximizing the uptimes of your different buffs and debuffs.

    Abilities
    Mangle - Although many ferals rely on it primarily for soloing and PVP, Mangle typically takes a back seat in raid DPS. Its primary function is to keep the target debuffed to increase bleed and Shred damage, and cheap initial combo points to get Savage Roar up. Bleeds check for the mangle debuff each time they tick; if it drops, their damage will drop. If reapplied, ticking bleeds' damage will increase again. Thus is is not vital to have mangle up at the moment you Rip, but it IS important to have it up before Rip starts doing damage. With its new 1 minute duration, it is now much easier to keep up.

    Rake - It has amazing DPE (damage per energy), and will increase Shred damage by 20% through Rend and Tear if you haven't yet got Rip up. Rake should be kept up as much as possible on everything you kill, but you need to wait till there is less than or equal to one tick remaing or you waste energy.

    Shred - Your primary combo-point builder. Comparing the tooltip directly to Mangle it doesn't look like much, however it benefits from both the Mangle debuff and Rend and Tear, causing it to ultimately outdamage Mangle by a very large amount. Its final damage is 351% + 1039. That said, if your target is not mangled or is not bleeding, don't use Shred until you've corrected that.

    Swipe - Similar to the Bear version, hits everything in front of you for approximately Mangle-like damage. Doesn ot award combo points, is mostly for use on trash. But it is incredible for trash. AOE damage caps apply.

    Rip - Your primary finishing move. It doesn't give you big numbers on your screen like Ferocious Bite, but over its duration it will do more damage. Unlike Bite, it ignores armor, and doesn't consume extra energy. It has great DPE, serves as a bleed to buff Shred's damage, and fully glyphed, lasts for 16-22 seconds on just one application. Like with Rake, only refresh it with Rip if there is less than 1 tick remaining, or you are wasting energy.

    Savage Roar - Increases your white damage by 50%. This is the single greatest damage increase you have (assuming sufficiently high weapon DPS). Like a Rogue's Slice and Dice, you should get it, and keep it up all the time. Its potency doesn't change with the number of combo points you use, only its duration, so most druids fire it up with 2 points to start, and refresh it with 5. Note Rip uptime should take precedence over Savage Roar uptime (though you will be able to maintain both comfortably regardless).

    Ferocious Bite - This is the finisher to use on a target that won't live for the duration of a Rip, when Blood in the Water is active, and occaisionally as a combo-point dump. Note that Ferocious Bite converts up to 35 leftover energy into damage. It will consume the extra energy even if you have Clearcasting. Use it at 5 combo points (Unless not using it will cause you to lose your Rip sub 25%), and only if your target is bleeding.

    Tiger's Fury - Increases all of your damage, and restores 60 energy through King of the Jungle. This ability has a 30-second cooldown and is free - essentially you want to hit it every time it's up. You should hit it when you have less than 25 energy, otherwise latency or unforseen events such as the target moving or a clearcasting proc can cause you to cap out on energy and waste some of your regen. Currently the Tiger's Fury effect persists for bleeds applied while it is up, and does not retroactively apply to existing bleeds.

    Berserk - Decreases the energy cost of all your abilities by 50% for 15 seconds and renders you immune to Fear effects. You cannot use Tiger's Fury while under the effects of Berserk, so it is best used when Tiger's Fury is on cooldown. Berserk does not clip the Tiger's Fury buff, so stacking the abilities is perfectly acceptable. This is our big DPS cooldown, See below for some Berserk use tips.

    Faerie Fire (Feral) - Reduces your target's armor by 4% per stack. It's free, and 12% less armor on the boss multiplied by all the physical DPS in your raid is a good raid DPS increase. It should be kept up all the time, and due to the lack of cost and the non-GCD locked nature of Feral DPS, cats are one of the ideal classes to provide this debuff.

    Ravage - Formerly not worth using at all, Ravage got a lot of love in Cataclysm. It's damage was buffed considerably, and with a proper spec, it will have a near 100% crit rate and 0 cost when you use it. See the Rotations/Cycles section for more information. Use in conjunction with Feral Charge, but be mindful of aggro.

    Pounce - Pounce's damage is too low and its cost too high to be worth using, and most mobs in raids and many in instances are stun-immune anyway.

    Skull Bash - The Feral Druid equivalent to Kick/Pummel. Since it also has a charge component, you can abuse it for added mobility. Otherwise only use it if you need to interrupt a cast.

    Cower - Changed to provide a 10% threat reduction which is considerably more potent and scales with the Druid's DPS. Use it if you are in danger of pulling aggro, but try to delay it for as long as possible since you will get a bigger threat reduction if you do so. You will probably find that this will initially take a prominent position on your hotbar in the cataclysm ‘retraining’ that we will all encounter.
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    Last edited by greenbeermonkey; 12-02-2010 at 09:18 AM.
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    Old 12-02-2010, 09:18 AM
    greenbeermonkey greenbeermonkey is offline
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    Rotation/Cycles
    All of this assumes that you are responsible for keeping Mangle up yourself. If you have another druid or an arms warrior keeping a bleed damage debuff up, you can obviously mostly ignore your Mangle button. All of this also assumes that you have a DPS spec which includes 2/2 Stampede and 2/2 Predatory Strikes.

    Opening
    Step 1 of DPS is to let the tank get aggro. If they get a parry right off the bat and you open up, you end up thinly pasted on the floor.
    Assuming you are able to, you should Feral Charge into position (to get Stampede up) and start your cycle. Do not bother with stealth at all.
    Get Feral FF up as soon as possible. It is identical to fully stacked Sunder Armor, and with a proper spec, it costs you 0 energy and 1 GCD.
    Get Rip up as soon as possible, I recommend opening with Mangle, Shred, Tiger's Fury, Ravage then Rake. If you do not have 5 CPs at this point, Shred. Rip once you are at 5 cps. Get Savage Roar up after your next combo point builder. Assuming you did not get the Feral Charge off, just replace the Ravage with a Shred.

    Trash DPS - single-target
    Single-target trash is all about burst. Once you have Roar up, make sure Rake is up, and spam Shred, using Tiger's Fury whenever it's up. At 5 points, judge how long your target will live - use Rip if it'll be up a while, or Ferocious Bite if it will die soon.

    Trash DPS - AOE
    On the occasions where you will use AOE, you use Swipe.
    You still should get Roar up as white damage is a large fraction of a Druid's DPS. Once Roar is up, just spam Swipe - Cat wantonly, again using Tiger's Fury to replenish energy as you can. Be careful, it's easy to pull mobs that are being AOE-tanked, AOE trash is the prime cause of death of raiding cats.
    Use Berserk at the start of big pulls whenever it's up, but don't use it on the pull right before a boss.

    Boss
    Simple version is, once you've got the mob debuffed as described under "opening", your next objective is to get any number of combo points and then Savage Roar. At this point, depending on how much time is left on Rake, you might want to pool a little energy so you can refresh Rake right before it falls off, or you might Shred again, then pool for Rake refresh. Either way, Shred and Rake appropriately to 5 combo points again. If you have a lot of time left on Rip and Savage Roar, Bite. Otherwise refresh as appropriate. From here you will most likely end up weaving Rips and Roar, and repeating until the boss's health drops below 25%. At this point, Blood in the Water kicks in, and using Ferocious Bite will refresh Rip, so you start using Ferocious Bite instead of Rip, unless Rip happens to fall off (and it shouldn't).

    Remember:
    - Keep Feral FF up, unless you have someone else responsible for the debuff in the group
    - Keep Mangle up, unless you have a bear or arms warrior in the group
    - 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.
    - Keep Savage Roar up
    - Use Ferocious Bite when Blood in the Water is active since it will refresh Rip
    - Keep Rake up, if Tiger's Fury and Rake refresh happens to line up, Rake with the Tiger's Fury buff up
    - Use Shred for combo points
    - Use Tiger's Fury on the cooldown

    Berserk
    Berserk is kind of a complicated animal to use perfectly. It's perfectly adequate just to use it on the cooldown, though.
    - Try to Berserk with about 80 energy, depending on latency. You'll regenerate another 10 during the global cooldown, and can then start spamming abilities with close to 100 energy.
    - Don't Berserk with Tiger's Fury available, or about to become available in the next 15 seconds, as Berserk prevents use of Tiger's Fury.
    - While Berserk, you should mostly use Shred. Refresh Rip, Rake, Mangle, and Roar should any of them expire, but otherwise continue to spam Shred, even once you reach 5 combo points. Unlike in WotlK, you can use Ferocious Bite while Berserk is up assuming it won't adversely affect bleed or SR uptime.
    - On a fight less than 3 minutes long, you should save Berserk until the end if the boss has a low-health enrage, to help power it down during the dangerous phase quickly.
    - On a fight more than 3 minutes, use Berserk as soon as the tank has a safe aggro lead. This should allow you to use it again before the end of the fight.
    - Because Berserk only affects yellow damage, and Bloodlust/Heroism only affects white damage, it doesn't particularly make any difference whether you use Berserk at the same time as Bloodlust or not.
    - You should try to use Berserk when your best procs are active. This frequently occurs right at the start of the fight.

    Pro-tips
    1 - On Clearcasting procs, always Shred. Always. Unless Mangle is actually down, then Mangle.

    2 - If possible, try to apply bleeds when Tiger's Fury is up, as their damage is calculated the moment they are applied, not on the fly. If you Rip without Tiger's Fury up, then Tiger's Fury, Rip's damage does not increase. If you Rip with Tiger's Fury up, Rip's damage stays the same when Tiger's Fury falls off. Mangle, however, will change the damage of bleeds if it is applied or falls off after they are already ticking.

    3 - If you find yourself with 5 combo points, plenty of time left on Roar, and Rip still at at least half duration or so, you can use Ferocious Bite to dump combo points. The amount of energy that you do this at does not matter as long as it does not adversely affect Roar/Rip/Rake uptime. Early on you won't be able to do this at all, as your crit improves you'll be able to fit it in occasionally, although it still won't be frequent. On fights with a crit-increasing gimmick such as Loatheb, however, you can do it practically every cycle.

    4 - If you find yourself in a situation similar to the above, but in which you do not have enough time on one of your timers to comfortably use ferocious bite without crashing your cycles, just hang out and only do enough to keep yourself from hitting full energy. Refresh Mangle or Rake if they drop, or just Shred to keep your energy under about 80. Wasting a couple combo points is a far lesser sin than wasting energy regen.

    5 - Take a deep breath and relax. The path to the greatest DPS is not to spam abilities, but to wait patiently. Don't Shred unless you get up over 60-ish energy. If, while waiting to get there, a timer comes up for renewal, renew it. If you just mash Shred every time you have 40 energy, you can end up waiting several seconds for enough energy to reapply a Rake or a Mangle, and suffer a DPS loss. Careful planning and lots of practice on target dummies are important.

    6 - If you have fairly low energy, Rake has dropped, and Rip is about to drop, but you haven't shredded 3 times on this Rip (mods like Droodfocus and Badkitty provide Shred counters), you should Shred rather than refreshing Rake.

    7 - Berserk is often best used between 0 and 15 seconds after Tiger's Fury. It no longer removes the +damage effect if used immediately after TF, so stacking them is perfectly acceptable, so you want to use it in the window between TF's going on cooldown, and the ability coming off cooldown again.
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    Old 12-02-2010, 09:19 AM
    greenbeermonkey greenbeermonkey is offline
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    Manglespam build
    Manglespamming, with Glyph of Mangle instead of Glyph of Shred, is sup-optimal. It is slightly easier, however it also results in somewhat less DPS. It's still viable, but you won't be at the very top of the meters doing it. If it's really too hard to press a different button once a minute, I won't stop you from manglespamming, but I don't recommend it.

    However, learning to use Shred is relatively simple, and you will be far more effective in the long run.

    Stampede and You
    Stampede is a new talent added in Cataclysm that reduces the cost on Ravage and removes the stealth requirement following Feral Charge. Unlike Vanilla through WotlK, Ravage does not suck, so this is a good thing especially when combined with the crit chance boost on high health mobs from specing into Predatory Strikes.
    With 2/2 Stampede, Ravage costs zero energy, and the buff lasts a reasonable amount of time. With this in mind, you should *never* open with Ravage. Get Feral FF up first, since your free crit Ravage will hit harder. If Tiger's Fury will come off cooldown while your Stampede buff is up, burn energy off so you do not overcap if you Tiger's Fury, and then TF->Ravage to boost it's damage even higher.

    Tiger's Fury and You
    Tiger's Fury now increases all physical damage done for the duration of the buff. This is a considerable improvement over the previous incarnation where it merely boosted weapon damage. Also unlike in WotlK, Berserk no longer clips the Tiger's Fury buff, so you are now free to Tiger's Fury directly into a Berserk without losing DPS. As noted in the "Pro-tips" section, when it comes to bleeds, the effect persists for the full duration of the bleed assuming it is applied when Tiger's Fury is up.

    When considering the damage tradeoff to Tiger's Fury-ing bleeds, the thing to keep in mind is that the moment you lose over 15% of the bleeds duration worth of uptime, you are losing DPS.

    Rip with Glyph of Shred breaks even at 3.3 seconds worth of downtime.
    Rake with 2/2 Endless Carnage breaks even at 2.25 seconds worth of downtime.

    What this means in practice is that you can Tiger's Fury every other Rake for a minor DPS gain. In theory it is also possible to have Tiger's Fury a fair number of Rips but combo point management gets considerably more complex. Currently I view it as "Yes, you should Tiger's Fury every Rip, but don't stress over it if you can't", especially because trying to maximize this requires using Rip/Tiger's Fury with sub 100 msec precision and monitoring the TF cooldown and Rip tick timer in addition to other things.
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    Old 12-02-2010, 09:26 AM
    greenbeermonkey greenbeermonkey is offline
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    How should I gear?

    Feral druids use leather with agility as the primary stat.

    Stats
    Weapon DPS - Directly scales white damage, Ravage, Mangle and Shred. All of our attacks are normalized, so weapon speed is irrelevant. Weapon Top End damage is irrelevant. The higher the Weapon DPS, the better, and it is a considerable DPS gain when increased.

    Agility - Our best DPS stat that we have direct control over. It's also the stat you'll find most on gear, and the stat you'll want to gem and enchant for in most cases.

    Strength - Grants flat attack power. Due to multipliers, Agility will always be better. Since it does not appear on leather gear and we can gem for either strength or agility (and agility has a edge, plus can be used for tanking as well), the only place you might find it is on accessories such as rings, and on a few weapons. It's not a stat to seek out, and should be avoided if at all possible.

    Hit rating - Hit rating gets passed by almost all other stats at most gear levels according to calculators. It should not be gemmed for, although it is still useful to have a reasonable amount on gear to smooth your cycles. The exception is if you are crit-capping, when it becomes very valuable.

    Expertise rating - Expertise has exactly the same effect (reducing the number of attacks that fail to land, only by reducing dodges rather than misses) as hit, and the same conversion, and so it has exactly the same DPS value up to the dodge cap. If you're the sort that obsessively hit caps, don't forget to expertise cap too.

    Mastery rating - Increases the damage of our bleeds. Usually is our strongest secondary stat.

    Crit rating - crit rating provides a little more crit per point than agility, but no AP. It comes in at a fairly similar DPS value to hit, expertise, and haste.

    Haste rating - Increases white damage and energy regeneration (both directly and through increased Omen of Clarity procs). It also increases the number of procs from PPM based weapon enchants such as Berserking and Mongoose. A solid stat. Attack speed is calculated as 1 / (1 + haste%/100). e.g. with 9% haste, your attack speed is 1 / 1.09 = 0.917. Yes, ferals can attack more than once per second.

    Attack Power - A stat that does not appear on gear anymore for the most part. If there is no other choice, it can picked up, but Agility will be better DPS.

    Stat conversions
    1 Strength = 2 AP (3.17625 AP with talents and full raid buffs)
    1 Agilty = 2 AP + 0.00307831% crit (3.335063 AP + 0.003393836% crit with talents and full raid buffs)
    1% Hit = 120.109 Hit Rating. The cap starts at 961.
    1% Dodge = 4 Expertise = 120.1088 Expertise Rating. The cap starts at 781.
    1% Crit = 324.8536 Agility = 179.2801 Crit Rating. White cap is 80.8% character sheet.
    1% Haste = 128.0572 Haste Rating
    1 Mastery = 179.2801 Mastery Rating = 3.1% increased bleed damage.

    Gems
    Meta: Relentless Earthseige Diamond (+21 Agility/3% critical damage), Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 Crit Rating/3% critical damage) (Cataclysm equivalent of Relentless Earthseige Diamond currently unknown.)
    Red: Delicate (Agility)
    Yellow: Adept (Agility/Mastery), Deadly (Agility/Crit), Deft (Agility/Haste)
    Blue: Glinting (Agility/Hit Rating), Shifting (Agility/Stamina)

    Unless a piece of gear has a particularly good socket bonus, it's best to primarily socket pure Delicate gems. A 14 agility socket bonus will usually break even, it's worth using Orange gems to get a socket bonus at or past that point. In general it is not neccecary to gem for Hit or Expertise. Preliminary math indicates that the WotlK Relentless Earthseige Diamond is better for DPS than the Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond. A Cataclysm equivalent that provides Agility along with the crit damage increase however would be superior.

    Also keep in mind that all of the Crit multiplier increasing metas currently have "requires more Blue Gems than Red Gems" as a requirement. Unless your gear has a lot of blue sockets with Really Good socket bonuses, gemming to meet it will result in a net DPS loss (However the secondary effect can be good enough to offset the stat loss). For certain gearing configurations using Fleet Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 Mastery Rating/Minor Run Speed Increase) or Destructive Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 Crit Rating/1% Spell Reflect) may be better. (Yes, it is retarded. At this point I've mostly given up in disgust at trying to provide feedback to the developers, someone else is welcome to try.)

    Enchants
    Helm: Arcanum of the Ramkahen (+60 Agility/35 Haste Rating)
    Shoulders: Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal (+50 Agility/25 Mastery Rating)
    Cloak: Greater (+65) Critical Strike or Major (+22) Agility
    Chest: Mighty (+15) or Peerless (+20) Stats
    Bracers: Greater Speed (+65 Haste Rating) or Greater (+65) Critical Strike or Draconic Embossment - (+130) Agility (Leatherworker only)
    Gloves: Mighty (+50) Strength or Greater (+65) Mastery
    Legs: Dragonscale (190 AP/55 Crit Rating) Leg Armor
    Boots: Major (+35) Agility
    Rings: Agility (+40, Enchanter only)
    Weapon: Landslide (Proc: +1000 AP for 12s) or Hurricane (Proc: 450 Haste Rating for 12s) or Mighty (+130) Agility

    Reforging
    New to Cataclysm this allows you to convert 40% of a secondary stat on given peice of gear to another secondary stat. Reforgable stats are Critical Strike Rating, Dodge Rating, Expertise Rating, Haste Rating, Hit Rating, Mastery Rating, Parry Rating, and Spirit. It is not possible to reforge to a stat that is already on a given peice of gear. For example, if it has Hit and Crit, you cannot reforge the Hit to more Crit.

    There is nothing special about min/maxing this. Simply reforge your weakest secondary stat to your strongest while keeping in mind Hit and Expertise caps.
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    Old 12-02-2010, 09:26 AM
    greenbeermonkey greenbeermonkey is offline
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    The Hit Cap And You
    One of the biggest falsehoods that gets perpetrated on the druid forums is that the first thing you should do is stack hit to the cap. This is not exactly true.

    Feral druids do not suffer a huge penalty from misses or dodged attacks in PVE DPS. Our white damage is a modest portion of our DPS compared to most classes, and we don't have significant damaging procs like rogues' poisons or DK's Blood-Caked Blade. Our missed specials only cost 20% energy. We are not GCD-limited or on a fixed rotation, so we don't lose much time. Mathematically, hit and expertise rating are simply not as good, point-for-point, as agility.

    This doesn't mean that hit rating is bad. Hitting more often DOES increase DPS reasonably well. Reducing misses smooths your cycle out, allowing you to pay less attention to whether or not your last attack connected, which makes DPS easier. It simply means that if you have a choice between exactly-equal amounts of hit rating and agility, you should probably take the agility.

    The Crit Cap and You
    Once you start collecting a lot of very good gear, you may start to bump up against the crit cap. Due to the way the combat table works for white attacks, if your chance to glance, miss, be dodged, and crit all add up to 100%, you cannot increase your white crit rate any further. For ease of use by average players, all final crit cap numbers are as they would appear on your character sheet in a standard 25-man raid, and assume the presence of all raid buffs. This number will be higher than your actual crit rate on the boss, due to the level difference. You should check it in combat, with permanent effects active.

    To find your white crit cap, add your hit chance and your dodge reduction from expertise to 66.3%. If your crit chance was higher than that, your white attacks would all be crits, glances, misses, and dodges, and adding more crit would not increase your white damage any further, however your special attacks, which are calculated differently, would still increase.
    Even if you hit the crit cap, the models for Cataclysm still indicate that Agility is your strongest primary stat. However Hit and Expertise rating overtakes Mastery/Haste and Crit for the strongest secondary stat. You would want to consider capping out Hit and Expertise at the expense of secondary stats but it would be a net DPS loss to sacrifice Agility even at this gear point.
    Since this guide's aim is for you to have to do as little math as possible, I give the number that you will get if you look on your character sheet while in combat. Assuming hit and expertise caps, you will become white crit capped when you have 80.8% crit on your character sheet.

    Set bonuses

    Stormrider (Tier 11) 2-peice: Increases the periodic damage done by your Rake and Lacerate abilities by 10%. This is decent.

    Stormrider (Tier 11) 4-peice: Each time you use Mangle (Cat) you gain a 1% increase to attack power for 30 sec stacking up to 3 times, and the duration of your Survival Instinct ability is increased by 50%. This is decent but you end up having to Mangle twice as often as you would otherwise to keep the buff up. Preliminary experimentation with full T11 shows that it's not important to get to 3 stacks within the opener, but once it's stacked to three, keeping it that way is the single most important thing you should be focusing on (Restacking it costs *a lot* of damage).

    Complex Mechanics

    For people who like math, and understanding what's going on behind the scenes.

    Weapon Normalization
    Weapon Tooltip Top End / Weapon Speed (Unhasted) + AP / 14 = Cat Top End
    Weapon Tooltip Bottom End / Weapon Speed (Unhasted) + AP / 14 = Cat Bottom End
    For example:
    Distant Land (Heroic): 625 - 939 Damage Speed 2.40
    Cat Top End = 939 / 2.4 + AP / 14 = 391.25 + AP / 14
    Cat Bottom End = 625 / 2.4 + AP / 14 = 260.41 + AP / 14
    Bloodfall (Heroic): 886 - 1330 Damage Speed 3.40
    Cat Top End = 1330 / 3.4 + AP / 14 = 391.17 + AP / 14
    Cat Bottom End = 886 / 3.4 + AP / 14 = 260.58 + AP / 14
    Top end damage does not matter. Speed does not matter. Look at Weapon DPS. Assuming they're equal, look at the stats.

    Total AP from character sheet
    Mew (the tool that succeeds Toskk's) uses unbuffed character form stats so determining cat form AP without logging into the game should no longer be neccecary.

    For those that are curious this is how you can calculate it.
    GearAP <- ArmoryAP / 125 * 100 (Character sheet value includes Aggression's 1.25x multiplier)
    GearAP <- GearAP - (Str - 10) * 2 (Character sheet value includes Attack Power from Strength)
    CatAP <- (((Agility - 10) * 1.05 + (Strength - 10)) * 2 + GearAP + Level * 2) * 1.1 * 1.25

    If you've done it right, you should have your total AP, plus or minus rounding error.

    PPM Enchants
    Many weapon enchants, most notably Berserking, Mongoose, and Executioner use the Proc-Per-Minute, or PPM, mechanic. They are set to proc on average a certain number of times in one minute - most of them set at one proc per minute.

    The PPM mechanic works by assigning a proc chance which depends on two factors: the PPM of the effect, and the base attack speed of the weapon. Since a 3.5 speed weapon attacks 17.14 times in one minute, a 1 PPM enchant on that weapon would have a 1 / 17.14 = 5.83% chance to proc anytime the weapon hit the target. If you put it on a 2.5 speed weapon instead, its chance would drop to 4.16%.

    Haste does not affect this chance, and it applies to special attacks as well. So if you add 20% haste, you get 20% more procs from autoattacks. And each special attack keeps that original chance to proc the effect as well.

    Now, cat druids have a fixed 1.0 attack speed. This means that weapon enchants have a paltry 1.66% chance to proc on any given attack, which is why they are less effective for us than other classes - while we should get on average the same number of procs per minute from autoattacks, our special attacks have a much much lower chance of proccing the enchant, and we do not attack on every GCD like some other classes.Crit Cap
    Because white damage uses a one-roll system, with "hit" as the default result for an attack that doesn't fall into any other category, it is possible to push hit completely off the attack table for white attacks. This happens when your chance to miss, chance to be dodged, chance to get a glancing blow, and your crit chance all add up to 100%, leaving no room for regular hits. With no hit or expertise, this is at 100 - 8 - 6.5 - 24 = 61.5% crit.

    The hard white crit cap, when you have pushed dodge and miss off the table through hit and expertise, is 76% - at this point, all attacks will either crit or glance. Beyond this point, nothing you do can increase the number of white crits you get.

    When you reach your crit cap, but are not yet hit/expertise capped, the value of hit and expertise increases by 50-80%. This is because, under the crit cap, adding hit converts misses into regular hits, essentially. Over the crit cap, however, you're converting misses straight into crits, which of course do more than double damage. Therefore, once you reach the crit cap in raid buffs with just your idol procced, hit and expertise become your best stats until you are once more under the cap, or until you reach their respective caps.

    There is a further 4.8% difference between your character sheet crit rate and your actual chance to crit the boss, due to the three level differential between you and your target. If your character sheet says 50% crit, you'll actually crit 45.2% of the time. This is why the actual crit cap of 76% is different from the number you will see in section 3 of this FAQ, since my goal in this guide is to write primarily for non-theorycrafters, and it's easier for them to work with their character sheet.

    AOE Damage Caps
    Swipe is affected by AOE damage caps. The maximum damage that can be done by a single Swipe is equal to the amount it would do to 10 targets. This allows it to scale with gear but still limits its damage.
    For instance, if your swipe hits a single target for 1000, when used on 10 targets it would do a total of 10,000. If you hit 20 targets, swipe will still do 10,000 damage, which means it would hit each of the 20 mobs for 500 damage. Increasing your stats so that it hits a single target for 1500 increases your cap to 15,000.
    Crit chance and damage is applied after AOE caps.

    Hit cap at 85 Like the bear, the cat is considered a one-handed attacker, so your hit cap in tier 11 will be 961 hit versus a raid boss or 721 hit versus a heroic 5-man boss. Again, the hit cap is likely to rise in tier 12. As with the bear, hit isn't something you should go out of your way to get. Most of our damage is yellow with an inherently better chance to hit, and there's only a small penalty for missing a finisher given that the now-vanished talent Primal Precision's energy return component has been baked into the spec.

    Expertise cap at 85 Try to get to the soft cap (26 expertise/781 rating), beyond which expertise is functionally useless for a melee DPS. Mobs can't parry from behind, so once you've knocked dodge off their avoidance table you don't need more expertise. As with hit, don't drive yourself nuts trying to get it.

    What reputation should I grind first? As with bears, you'll want to get started on Therazane as early as possible for their shoulder enchants. However, your helm enchant will come from Ramkahen in Uldum, which you probably won't encounter as early as they'll find the Earthen Ring. Once you've gotten to revered with Ramkahen, schedule a trip to their quartermaster (Blacksmith Abasi at 54,33 in Uldum) for both the Arcanum and the Quicksand Belt.

    As with the bear, keep an eye out for Guardians of Hyjal rep as well; their Sly Fox Jerkin can last you all the way to heroics, and you can get it as early as level 83.
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    Old 12-02-2010, 09:58 AM
    greenbeermonkey greenbeermonkey is offline
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    Reserved for future musings.
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    Old 12-02-2010, 10:05 AM
    Akee Akee is offline
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    Oooh, i'm interested in learning about cat dps, I think I'll read this thr WALL OF TEXT CRITS YOU FOR OVER 9000!!!

    Only joking, nice work Twi, i'll have to read it in more detail later
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    Old 12-02-2010, 10:15 AM
    greenbeermonkey greenbeermonkey is offline
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Akee View Post
    Oooh, i'm interested in learning about cat dps, I think I'll read this thr WALL OF TEXT CRITS YOU FOR OVER 9000!!!

    Only joking, nice work Twi, i'll have to read it in more detail later
    Of all the cheek!

    Granted its a big wall - but a pretty darn solid one.

    It needed a pretty thorough review from my last one that i cobbled together and mangled (no pun) from different experts throughout the web.
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    Old 12-02-2010, 10:16 AM
    Cataclysmic Cataclysmic is offline
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    Awesome stuff Twlight, stickied
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