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Feral Megathread


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#1 dukes

dukes

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 10:04 PM

Attention: The 3.0 Patch (Wrath of the Lich King precursor) invalidates much of this post/thread.



Introductory Post

Introduction
Due to the previous situation of having three (or four?) feral druid threads and another general one that has been taken over by ferals mainly, this post is meant to be a consolidation of all the knowledge that we currently have about feral druiding; what's good, what isn't, and what's new. As of making this, it's entirely a Work In Progress, so 'bear' with me (groan, etc). Hopefully by splitting into more than one post it won't hit the character limit too easily and there'll be plenty of space for additions and things.

The structure of this multi-post is as follows:
  • Introduction post - random stuff.
  • The Cat Post - DPS stuff.
  • The Bear Post - Tanking stuff.
  • The News, Changelog, and Summary post.

Unfortunately the forum scheme isn't always the clearest for seeing links so (at least if I remember) I'll italicise all links.

I'd also like to take the opportunity to thank both everyone who has ever done any work previously on druid theorycrafting and all those who are likely to contribute in the future. This post wouldn't be here without you.

Feel free to use this post as the main discussion thread for feral druid stuff. I'll keep up to date with it and update the main posts with anything interesting to the population at large so that (hopefully) we have less posts of "is this item worth it?" or "so what IS powershifting?" and the like.

Be warned that there is likely to be some opinion in the following posts. I'll try and keep opinion out as much as possible.


Making Posts
Please please PLEASE read through this post and search this thread for information on any topic you're looking for before posting about it. If you don't and there's already information, people will probably be polite and point you to the relevant section, but it's much easier for everyone if you just search for it. At least check the main posts first. Ctrl+F is your friend and generally better than the search function on the forums in my experience.

If you are asking about how good an item is, check the spreadsheets or Toskk's gear generator (DPS) or Rawr (Tanking). If you must post about it, use the tags (without the spaces) to make it show up properly. It's much easier to have a mouseover than have to go to an external site. Most of the time people will just point you to one of the spreadsheets/simulator things anyway, so it's best off actually using them rather than expecting someone else to do it for you. Don't be scared about using them - if you screw something up it doesn't matter (although obviously if you get a result that you think is significantly wrong, question it with the author of whatever you're using). They're all designed to be user friendly so you shouldn't get stuck with any of them.

Additional to this, you need to follow the forum rules, paying attention to both this post and this post. Deciding you're above these or just ignoring them is likely to get you into an arguement with the mods/banned very quickly.


Random Info

One of the standard abbreviations/shortenings I use is: 2t4 = Two pieces of Tier 4 (Malorne). Similar numbering for other sets (2t6, 4t6, etc)

This post here will be referenced quite a few times, as it has all the rating conversions for level 70 players explained. It is important to note that (as of patch 2.3) both Melee and Spell haste rating conversion is now 15.7 rating per 1% of haste, not the values stated in the link. Other values are subject to change in future patch notes, and I will try and make sure this stays up to date.
If you're wondering where I pulled some random numbers from while talking about how stats are affected by things, chances are that this thread or the talent tree will be the best places to look.

Talking of talent trees, if you're looking for a good feral spec this should be your base spec. It includes all the important things you need for being a feral druid. The spare points can be put into many different things. The talents I recommend to put the rest of the points into are:
Brutal Impact
Savage Fury
Primal Tenacity
Natures Grasp (and possibly Control of Nature for a PvP oriented build, although other points may shift around for that. I'm not good at PvP so I won't even try and tell you how to do it).
Natural Shapeshifter
Intensity
All are good talents with usefulness dependant on what you like to do.

If you've read through the main posts and haven't found what you're looking for, have a quick look again and then ask in the thread. Asking repeat questions which are already answered is likely to get people annoyed, while posting new questions that need answers is likely to get people interested in finding out what's going on.


Useful Mods
Some form of energy tick mod is very useful whilst DPSing, as is a timer bar for Mangle/DOT's. Personally I use Pitbull and Quartz (from wowace.com) but there's a lot of other options out there.

Demon is an updated version of pDebuffList, basically a configurable debuff tracking mod. Of course DoT timers, Quartz and the like can track things like Mangle, Faerie Fire and Rip for us, but Demon can be useful for yelling at your Warriors for not keeping up Thunder Clap, or at your Warlocks for not using CoR (or if you have another Druid keeping up Mangle and Faerie Fire for you).



Useful Links
A list of those threads that this information has been pulled from. Some of these are quite old and information in them may be out of date.
Elitist Jerks Threads
Cat DPS - Powershifting
Cat DPS - Value of +hit
Cat DPS - General
Cat DPS - Feral AP Scaling
Bear Tanking - Item Comparisons
Bear Tanking - Pre-Raid Gear
General - 3 roles, 5 stages of grief
Outside Links
WoW-Blues - Blizzard Post Track (Druid section)
The Druid Wiki -->> Main Page

#2 dukes

dukes

    Bald Bull

  • Members
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Posted 09 October 2007 - 10:05 PM

Attention: The 3.0 Patch (Wrath of the Lich King precursor) invalidates much of this post/thread.


The Cat post.
Explains about being a cat in a DPS role. I don't know what other role you could do as a cat, but whatever. Contains stuff like stats to go for, what enchants, items, gems, set bonuses and professions are good, what powershifting is, and some other stuff.

All gear suggestions in this post are summaries which are true for the majority of gear setups. If you're in doubt, use the spreadsheets/DPS calcs at the bottom of this post to put in your own gear and work it out for your own setup!

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The Basics - Stats

Stats and what they give you. Brackets are raid buffed values while the normal ones are unbuffed. All values are assuming HoTW and SoTF. All values are per 1 point of stat. Also see Athinira's Stat/DPS Analysis on the druid wiki, linked at the end of this post.

Strength                  = 2.266 (2.49) AP

Agility                   = 1.133 (1.25) AP, 1% crit per ~25 agility (1% crit per ~22 agility).

Critical Strike Rating    = ~1% crit per 22.1 critical strike rating.

Hit Rating                = 1% hit per ~15.8 hit rating [[You need ~9% hit to 
                            become hit capped, so ~142 hit rating total]] 

Attack Power              = 1.1 AP

Expertise                 = Expertise gives 0.25% less dodge and parry per point. 
                            This makes expertise a lot less desirable in comparison to the 
                            old form of weapon skill for a player that isn't hit capped, and 
                            marginally less desirable than the old form of weapon skill for a 
                            player that is hit capped.

Currently Agility is accepted as the best stat to stack lots of, with good reason (decent AP per point, very good amount of crit% per point). The value of Agility in comparison to Strength varies. There's a chart that shows that if you have minimal raid buffs, that you will always have Agility as more worthwhile than Strength. even without raid buffs, the majority of the time Agility will be better than Strength.

The issue with both Armor Penetration and Haste are that they scale a lot in comparison to what gear you have and what values you have of them. Armor penetration gets better as you get more, for example. You're best off just using something like Rawr to model how much you have/planning to have and see if the items it's on are worth it - remember you can't ever really take a particular stat as a set value, you have to evaluate the piece of gear you may want to get with it on and compare the whole stat set it has to your current/other planned item.

On hit rating: White hits will miss for full damage, as will finishing moves and OoC procs. Standard yellow hits will not be affected as heavily due to the energy use being lower on missed specials. It's more personal preference to get more hit because in a "perfect" world of simulators, agility is still worth more point-for-point than hit, and you will still have a reasonable chance to miss even with hit capped due to dodge (unless you stack a lot of expertise as well).

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Gems
From the stat analysis it can easily be seen that purely +agility gems are the best things to socket with (, . However, you need to have 2 yellow and 2 blue gems for the (generally accepted as the best meta for druids), which are best made up with either () or () for the yellow slots, along with grabbing 2x () for the blue slots, or (if you can get it) a .

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Enchants
Enchants are generally pretty easy to work out. Cenarion Glyph for the helm (16hit/34AP) or the Lower City (17str/16int) if you're hit capped, Aldor/Scryer AP/crit enchant for shoulders, +6 stats for chest, +12 strength for bracers (possible to use +4 all stats if you prefer), +15 agility for gloves, +50ap/12crit for legs, +12 agi for boots, +35 agi for weapon. Some of these are interchangable with more tanking oriented ones dependant on your exact role in the raid/what piece it is on.

For Ring Enchants, +2 weapon damage is very marginally better in terms of pure DPS to +4 stats when fully raid buffed, however +4 stats will also give you extra stamina, int and spirit so is probably more worthwhile when taking everything into account.

Runspeed enchants can sometimes be the best option for boots, especially Cats Swiftness and Boar's Speed (6agi+runspeed and 9stam+runspeed respectively).

A table of how run speed enchants stacks with other bonuses can be found here.

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Set Bonuses
Two pieces of tier 4 is good. Very good. So damned good you probably won't believe it. The only thing that comes close to it is four pieces of tier 6, and even then that's personal preference really. I personally prefer 4t6 to 2t4.

The upshot of 2t4 being so good is that 4t5 is practically worthless. 2t5 is nice to have, but 4t5 means you give up 2t4. 4t4 is also rather good, but it depends on what you're upgrading to as to whether it's worth upgrading and needs to be taken on an individual basis. Using the stat "weights" above you should be able to work out whether it's an upgrade or not.

For the 2t4 bonus, it depends on what you're using in other slots as to which pieces of t4 are best. Using the 2t4 bonus should still be considered as best regardless of what pieces you're giving up - it's only T6 set pieces with the 4 piece bonus or the new Sunwell loot that is better than keeping the 2 piece bonus. The best way to work out which pieces of t4 are best to use is to use one of the DPS spreadsheets/calculators linked at the bottom of this post to see which parts are best for your own situation. In general, the shoulders and helm are the best pieces to keep for the bonus.


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Idols
The main idols for comparison are , the and the . All other idols are pretty sub-par, mainly because of switching an idol in combat causing the loss of a white attack (reset of the swing timer) which is a lot more damage than an idol swap will gain within a short period of time.

Idol of the Raven Goddess gives +0.9% crit to everyone in the party. Assuming an average person in your party does 1500 DPS with a direct 1%crit->1% damage ratio (which isn't far off), it's a gain of ~13.5DPS per member of your group, or 54 DPS + your own gain (more likely to be 12-13 or so). Remember that it's ~13.5DPS per physical DPS member of your group! Still, you only need 2 other physical DPS people in your group for the Idol of the Raven Goddess to come out as the best idol for RDPS.

Everbloom idol is 88 damage per shred. Assuming you shred once per 4 seconds (general average based on using some energy for mangles/rips, losing some through dodges/etc), that gives 25-30 DPS factoring in crits and armour reduction and everything else.

The Idol of Terror is another easily available idol from Heroic badges, and is almost as good for personal DPS as the Everbloom but is also useful for tanking. Personal preference again prevails, so some people use the Everbloom and some the Terror. The disadvantage of the Terror is that it is chance based, although it does have a very high % chance, so it's always possible to get very low uptime on a fight which may make it look bad in comparison to the Everbloom.

You should always use the Idol of the Raven Goddess if in a tank/melee/hunter group with more than 2 other physical DPS. If you aren't in a group with other physical DPSers, using the Idol of Terror or Everbloom Idol is more of a personal choice than a pure DPS choice.

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Trinkets
The main options for trinkets are (listed top to bottom in approximate order of goodness):
- Bad. Very bad for where it is. Not even really worth it if you're going to be in bear form half the time really (which is very few fights anyway).
- Quite good, but not quite as good as some of the other trinkets. There's been a lot of discussion in the past about it, because it depends on how much/when you mangle as to how effective it is. Because of the standard DPS cycle meaning that it's not possible to have it active when you're about to rip, it loses some of it's effectiveness. It's still alright trinket though, but probably not one of the best.
- A very good trinket for where you get it. ((proc = 45 second cooldown, 10% chance))
- Easy-ish to get and very effective. ((2 minute cooldown))
- Quite hard to get, but also quite good once you get it. How good it is depends on fight more than anything (lots of movement = bad).
- One of the best trinkets to get, and very easy to get too. ((1 minute cooldown))
- Upgraded version of the Hourglass. Not much more to say.
- Upgraded version of the Bloodlust Brooch.
- Very nice for the Expertise available - proc is similar to Tsunami Talisman.
- Hard to get but very good, as long as you aren't hit capped. ((not sure on proc rate))
- Apparently still the best around, even after all the nerfs. Be warned that you may recieve some skepticism from other physical DPS classes if you express an interest in it.

The three main types of trinkets listed are Activate trinkets (which sometimes have a passive effect), Random-passive trinkets (which also sometimes have passive effects), and purely passive trinkets. The majority of trinkets in the Burning Crusade are of the first two types. Active trinkets are preferred by some because of the controllability of the effect, while random-passive are preferred by others because they don't have to worry about activating them. Random-passive effects generally have a "hidden" cooldown, and then a good chance to proc giving them approximately a 1 proc per minute total proc rate.

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Other Items
Due to the interest in Idols and Trinkets I've put them separately. In general for other item slots it's pretty clear what to go for, because there isn't much choice. There's a lot of rings that are very similar, and the tier pieces are very well itemised.

The best place to look for a good estimate of how gear will affect you is the DPS spreadsheets/charts/analysis section at the end of this post.

Malazaar has posted values for stats depending on general levels of gear here, which gives values for stats to be used for comparing items dependant on what gear level you're at.

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Professions
The main professions in the game are Tailoring (craft), Leatherworking (craft), Blacksmithing (craft), Alchemy (craft), Jewelcrafting (craft), Engineering (craft), Enchanting (gather/craft), Herbalism (gather), Mining (gather), and Skinning (gather). The general rules are that gathering professions are good for making money, and crafting professions are good for making lumps of money if you can get rare items, or making nice stuff that you can use.

The interesting ones in terms of feral druids are Leatherworking, Jewelcrafting, Engineering, and Enchanting. Gathering skills are good if you want to make money (generally herbalism and mining are better than skinning) or to support a main skill (skinning is good if you have leatherworking, generally). Alchemy is useful for making pots, but there's normally a lot of alchemists around so you can get pots made elsewhere anyway.

Leatherworking
Leatherworking provides a number of decent benefits some of which are useful all the way through the game as it currently stands.

Provides armour patch crafting ( are the two interesting ones). Also provides some items which are good for their slots - see , and . Both the belts are BoE items with the plans being BoP, but leatherworking is generally not a common profession, so being a leatherworker may end up with you being the only one available to pick up the plans. The boots are a good investment at the point you get them (~SSC/TK level, can buy the plan off the AH/guilds before that). Leatherworking also allows you to create Drums, the best of which for a feral druid is the . These are both instant, and usable in forms which makes them very useful.

All the items made from being a leatherworker (other than the armour kits, which are more of an enchant than an item) will get outdated once you start getting to t6 content (i.e. the boots). It's certainly still worth being a leatherworker for the benefit of both making armour patches and being able to use (and make) drums, even if the other items get outdated or can be made by other people.

Jewelcrafting
Jewelcrafting provides a few minor benefits, such as special gems and craftable trinkets.

The main useful thing for a feral druid is the 18 stamina, 12 crit rating and 24 attack power gems. Neither the AP or crit rating gems are better than 8 agility, but may be useful in a situation where you need a yellow socket for a bonus (insidious bands for the +2 agi bonus, for example). There is a possibility 12 agility and 12 strength gems will be introduced - they are in the databases (wowhead/etc) but the plans for crafting them are not. Be aware that all these gems are unique-equipped!

The trinkets that may be useful dependant on where you are in the game are the , and although none are better than a lot of other fairly easily available trinkets at any level.

Engineering
Engineering is more of a PvP profession, but also has a couple of minor benefits for PvE.

Enchanting
Enchanting provides a couple of nice things such as ring enchants and never having to find an enchanter/pay an enchanter.

The ring enchants that are of worth are +4 to all stats and +2 weapon damage. These are approximately equal in DPS terms, although +4 stats is better in an overall sense (more mana/health on top of the dps stuff). +4 stats is becoming available from Honoured with Lower City in patch 2.3, instead of being a Scale of the Sands (Hyjal Summit) rep item.

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Consumables
is the best food choice, is an equivalent for fishing. The bottom left of Terokkar is the best place I've found for farming Warped Flesh (80/hour or so), and Figluster's Mudfish can be easily found in Nagrand, where there are pools of them. Alternatives are and .
is the best battle elixir choice, although isn't bad.
There is no "best" guardian elixir choice, however is good.
is the best Flask choice for DPS. It's approximately equal in terms of outright DPS to the Elixir of Major Agility, but cannot be used with a guardian elixir. It also provides no dodge, which may (or may not) be useful dependant on your role and what fight it is.
is the best potion for DPS (they provide ~25% haste). Using haste potions on cooldown will gain you approximately 25 DPS (4 extra hits at ~600 each over a 120 second period).
's are good for big numbers, but not as good as haste pots over time - averages to approximately 35AP over 2 minutes, which according to Toskk's DPS sheet gives around 5-10 DPS.
's can be very useful if you powershift a lot and still get called on to combat res/etc. They stack to 10 and can be bought for battleground tokens.
is also a reasonable DPS flask if you're going to be tanking at some point during the time. It's a good mixed use flask and is worth it in a lot of situations.
's are the best weapon buff for us.

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Powershifting
Many people ask what powershifting is. The basics: Furor gives the player 40 energy when they switch out of form and back in. This means you can shift out and in for a net gain of 40 energy, every time. This is essentially a conversion of Mana to Energy, as it will always cost you mana to shift. By timing the shift you can make it so you lose as little energy as possible (from the residual energy in your bar when you shift and the energy you lose while out of form), and this is essentially the skill of Powershifting. By doing it correctly you should be able to gain about 30-35 energy, and even doing it badly the gains should be in the region of 20 energy or so, although it is possible to gain no energy or even lose energy if you do it badly. By doing this you can gain a decent amount of DPS, a general analysis of the DPS gain you can expect follows:

Over the course of two minutes or so, you should easily get around 125 energy (5 shifts worth, minus a few per shift for "imperfect" shifts) if you pay attention. 125/42 = ~3 extra shreds (126). 3 shreds at around 1500 damage each = 4500 extra damage without crits, or ~10000 damage with (40-80 DPS or so), plus 3-6 combo points (probably another 20-30 dps on it's own). Total DPS gain of around 70-80 or so, which is pretty nice.

It's now possible to powershift instantly. The following macro will shift you out of form and back in to form with no "lag" as it's all client side:
/cast !Cat Form


IMPORTANT INFO

It has recently come to light that there are some very useful macros that greatly enhance the use of Powershifting. Allev has set up a very useful thread to collate and discuss these macros, as found here.


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DPS Cycle
The standard cycle is:
Mangle -> Shred to 5 combo points -> Wait for 70+ energy (preferably 80+), Rip->Mangle, start again.

Due to the way Rip scales with combo points, a four combo point rip is almost as effective as a 5 combo point rip (there is a static gain, AP doesn't scale between 4 and 5). This makes it quite effective to use a 4 combo point rip if your mangle has already run out (as a non-mangled shred is pretty pathetic in comparison to a mangled one).

Extra Strength Rips
There is currently a bug with the Mangle debuff and Rip. If you apply Rip at the correct time then you can get a Rip that gains double the mangle benefit.

To do this apply Rip at the point that Mangle wears off. Think of it as trying to replace the Mangle debuff with the Rip debuff. Then apply Mangle as normal. This should give you double the Mangle benefit on that rip.

This post details how this works on a technical level, while this post details how much of a DPS gain it is.
The posts in this thread from around 4398 and up discuss this mechanic. The post number is at the top right of each post.

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Linked DPS Spreadsheets/Charts/Analysis
These links are provided as is - support for these links lies with the owners, and I take no credit or responsibility for the content.

Lolaan's DPS Spreadsheet - Put gear in, get DPS value out.
Voldin's Spreadsheet - Put stuff in, get stuff out.
Mijae's spreadsheet - DPS and Tanking Stats Spreadsheet.
The Druid Wiki -->> Toskks DPS gear analysis thing - Put in stats, get some gear recommendations, stat weightings and estimate of DPS out.
The Druid Wiki -->> Athinira's Blog - Stat Values for High End DPS - pre 2.3 detailed analysis of the interaction between Agility and Strength for Raid DPS gear setups.
The Druid Wiki -->> Gear Theorycrafting Program -- Rawr - Put in items, get stuff out. Works for both Cat and Bear forms. (See here for a much better explanation of how it works, direct from the author)

#3 dukes

dukes

    Bald Bull

  • Members
  • 2,034 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 10:06 PM

Attention: The 3.0 Patch (Wrath of the Lich King precursor) invalidates much of this post/thread.

The Bear post.
Explains stuff like what you need to be normally uncrittable, what the stats mean and how you should be looking to gear yourself.

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The Basics - Stats
I'll start off similar to the Cat post, by explaining the (important) stat conversions. Bear form is for tanking, therefore your tanking stats are the most important part of your gear, in general. Each is explained per point.


Mitigation Stats
Stats and what they give you. Brackets are raid buffed values while the normal ones are unbuffed. All values are assuming HoTW and SoTF. All values are per 1 point of stat.
Agility         = ~0.07% ((~14.7 agility per % dodge, or ~13 agility on gear per %dodge with 
                  SotF and BoK)) [[Same crit conversion as for Cat form]] [[Grace of Air is 
                  77 agility (88.55 improved) which comes out as approximately 6% dodge (~7% 
                  improved) in a raid environment]]
				  
Dodge Rating    = ~0.05% ((18.9 dodge rating per % dodge))

Stamina         = 15.45 health (17hp/point)

Defence         = ~2.4 rating per skill, 1 skill = 0.04% dodge, miss, anti-crit ((25 defence,
                  or ~59.15 rating, for 1% less crit/more dodge/more miss))

Resilience     = ~0.025% anti-crit ((39.4 resilience for 1% less crit and 1% less damage 
                  from DOTs))

Armour          = 35880 armour to be capped at 75% reduction versus level 73 mobs.

The main priorities as a bear are to become un-crittable (for which you need 2.6% anti-crit against a level 73), get decent amounts of health and armour and, if in an OT or hybrid role, stack agility. 2.6% anti-crit is 154 defence rating (415 defence total) or 103 resilience. You can mix and match, but make sure you check afterwards that you have a total that comes out to more than 2.6% to be safe. Remember that although you need more defence, you do get some avoidance out of it so it's not always most worth getting pure resilience.

If you want to skip a point in SotF, you need 1% more crit immunity to make up for it (39.4 resilience or 25 defence (~59.15 defence rating)). To get to the full cap (i.e. no points in SotF) you need 221 resilience or 140 defence (332 defence rating) in total.


The Value of Avoidance

Defence gets you avoidance at a rate of 1% more dodge/miss per ~59.15 rating.
Agility gets you 1% more dodge per 14 agility.

See first graph from here (fear my mad excel skills, done in between bits at work). Avoidance has more effect once you get to the crushing range (it should be 101.2% for a 73 boss mob but its the same principle).

Getting a good balance of all stats or stacking stamina will almost certainly be easier to heal overall than stacking avoidance to the point at which you start to push crushings off the hit table (86.2% total avoidance against a lvl73), even with the raid debuffs that you can take advantage of (insect swarm/scorpid sting is 7% extra avoidance).

See second graph from here for the worth of 1% avoidance as avoidance increases.

Note that if you're on 60% dodge + 6% miss (total 66%) and you don't have insect swarm/scorpid sting while they are available in the raid, you're missing out on about 15-20% damage reduction.

Threat Stats

In general Bear tanks have less trouble with threat than Warrior tanks, and this is seen as a major strength of Feral Druids. The stats that have value for threat are detailed below, with normal values being unbuffed and bracketed being buffed, assuming HoTW and SotF.
Strength                  = 2.06AP per point (2.266 AP per point)

Agility                   = ~1% crit per 25 agility (~1% crit per 22 agility)

Critical Strike Rating    = 1% per 22.1 rating at 70

Hit Rating                = 1% hit per ~15.8 hit rating  

Attack Power              = 1 AP per point.

Expertise Rating          = Expertise gives 0.25% less dodge and parry per point.

Agility features pretty heavily in both the tanking and mitigation stat lineups - it's a very good multipurpose stat, and will be very useful on gear that you use for both bear and cat forms.


Hit Rating and Expertise

Hit rating gives 1% hit per ~16 rating.
Expertise gives 1% less parry and 1% less dodge per ~16 rating.

There are a lot of good available items now that contain hit or expertise. Expertise is of approximately double the value of hit rating up to approximately 96 rating (24 expertise), then levels out to about the same value. This amount of expertise is not easily attainable and so it can be said that, at this time, expertise is always better than hit rating for a bear as a solo stat. Consideration of the item that it is on needs to be made.

Expertise has a secondary effect of reducing parries. Mob's have an effect where when they parry it hastens their next swing by ~40%, therefore reducing/removing their ability to parry can have a large effect on incoming burst damage.

Hit rating has the secondary effect of increasing taunt hit. This can be very important for particular fights and so it may be worth putting together a secondary set of gear with capped hit rating (~9%, ~142 hit rating). Although this will not cap your taunt resists (as taunt counts as a spell for %, meaning you need 17% to cap it, or 268 hit rating) it will reduce the resist rate to 8%, which is more than half the previous chance for a resist. It is not really practical to put together a >142 hit rating gear set due to the hit only increasing taunt hit rate, and the reduction in survival stats that you would otherwise gain.

One item stands out among the rest for hit and expertise, which is the . The cost of obtaining this item along with the amount of hit and expertise gained from it makes it a very highly recommended item to use for threat reliant encounters. The cost of this item is also relatively low and can be obtained by pretty much anyone at level 70 in a small amount of time.

Other items containing expertise that could be used are (in no particular order):





- another very good entry level piece that has hit too.

There are a lot of items that include hit rating. The S3 arena gear is very good for tanking due to resilience along with hit (especially with the 2 piece bonus). There is a large number of other pieces with hit rating on them, so I won't list them all here, but a quick WoWhead filtered search for druids can be found here.

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Roles, Gems, Enchants and Professions
There are two main roles that you will take as a feral while tanking: Main tanking, in which you are the number one tank tanking the boss, and offtanking, where you are either soaking damage on a fight such as Gruul or Supremus, or tanking a mob for a short amount of time/limited periods, like Morogrim, Karathress or Lurker. In the first instance, stamina is generally king along with armour. Due to the amount of stamina that a bear tank can setup on their gear, they can become great tanks for certain fights. Armour generally comes with good gear anyway, but it's still worth paying attention to. As a MT you want to be at the armour cap if possible to do so without sacrificing too many good pieces of gear. As an OT/Hybrid you want to maximise the value you can get out of your gear if you happen to switch to DPS mid-way through a fight, and help the healers mana along while tanking. This means that agility is generally king, as long as you have a decent amount of armour.

Coming on to the topic of gems, this makes it fairly easy. You either go for pure Stamina ( or , Stamina/Agility ( or - useful for if you MT some fights and use the same gear for other fights you DPS on), or pure Agility ( or ). If you are in need of a tiny bit of extra anti-crit, a resilience/stamina gem or pure resilience gem is probably the best choice, although 12 defence is not a bad enchant for bracers.

Again enchants are dependant on role in the raid these can vary. Many are shared with the DPS equivalents, especially if you are in a hybrid/offtank role.

Runspeed enchants can sometimes be the best option for boots, especially Cats Swiftness and Boar's Speed (6agi+runspeed and 9stam+runspeed respectively).

A table of how run speed enchants stacks with other bonuses can be found here.

For Professions see the Cat post.

For a list of items that are a good base to build on for pre-raiding/early raiding, see the Bear Tanking - Pre-Raid Gear thread.

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Consumables
and are the best foods. or equivalent is also good, along with or equivalent.
is my recommended battle elixir, but is also a good choice.
is a good guardian elixir; alternatively is a good choice if you want to get a bit more resilience for crit immunity.
is the best flask choice, however is also good dependant on what role you're taking in the overall raid/fight.
is also a reasonable DPS flask if you're going to be tanking at some point during the time. It's a good mixed use flask and is worth using in a lot of situations.
Since 2.3 it has been possible to instantly shift (using /cancelform with macros) to use potions during combat, heavily reducing the chance of being hit while switching to take a potion. The only real survival potions are Protection potions (Fire/Shadow/etc) and 's.

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Threat Generation
In a general sense, threat generation for bear tanks is very good in comparison to other tanks. Mangle is exceptional as a threat generator, and white hits give a lot of rage, along with the talent Primal Fury which gives 5 rage on a crit (works on every individual crit, so a triple-crit swipe gives 15 rage back). Also see the hit and expertise section earlier in this post, as gear can play a big role in threat generation.

In rage starved situations a good tip is NOT to use maul. Maul is good for threat generation, but severely reduces rage generation by removing the rage that would otherwise be gained from the white hit it replaces. A crit in good tanking gear can be upwards of 1000 damage, generating a significant chunk of rage (30+) along with the extra 5 from Primal Fury. By converting this attack into a maul, you "lose" the rage you would have gained from the white hit, but it also costs you the rage cost of Maul (10). This means that maul costs you an effective 40 rage or more, which could be used for other special attacks if you're rage-starved (especially useful to note when you're offtanking something like Gruul). Maul is very useful for getting "snap" agro on mobs though, as it will activate as soon as you are in range.

In no particular order, the threat moves you should be using:
- Mangle. You should always be using this if it is off cooldown.
- Swipe. You should be using this if tanking more than 1 mob, as long as it doesn't screw up crowd control (sheep/etc).
- Lacerate. This is (generally) for tanking one mob in a low damage/high armour situation (i.e. the mob has high armour or you're doing low damage to it because of lack of buffs or similar). The bleed part of lacerate has little impact on threat in the overall scheme of things, but Lacerating just to keep up 5 stacks is worth it.
- Maul. As above, use when you have a lot of rage and don't use if you're rage starved a lot.

Generally the point where swipe overtakes lacerate in terms of threat output is when it's doing ~225 damage to the target normally - this value varies dependant on bleed immunity and whether you're keeping 5 stacks up as well as crit chance (see this post). It is always worth keeping 5 stacks of lacerate running (although obviously bleed immune mobs don't count), regardless of your AP.

Lacerate now scales its damage with attack power - this has very little effect on the actual threat of Lacerate. Lacerate works by having a lot of "static" threat, and then generating a very, very small amount extra from the damage done (0.2 * damage). This means that even if you were to get 100 extra damage from your AP over the 15 second dot with 5 stacks, it would increase the threat by 20, which is not really a significant amount over 15 seconds.

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Boss List
This is intended to give a guide as to what favours or does not favour being tanked as a Bear in Raid instances. Most guilds will favour Warrior tanks as standard due to better itemisation choice and access to both Last Stand and Shield Wall which can seriously increase the chances of making a screwed up attempt into a kill.

T4:
- Karazhan: All bosses other than Juliet (spell interrupt), Maiden of Virtue (emergency buttons), and possibly the Prince (debatable) are fine for tanking as a druid.
- Maulgar and Gruul: Maulgar himself favours a druid tank (doesn't crush with specials, armour mitigation is very good as a druid at this level compared to other tanks). Gruul prefers a warrior as MT (emergency buttons for silence) with a Druid OT (threat generation is generally better than warriors).
- Magtheridon: No preference either way really. Druid tanks are good on the initial adds (threat generation).

Zul'aman (credit to Anathor for the original list).
- Trash: no special requirements, although feral charge is very useful on scouts to root them.
- Nalorakk (Bear): 2 tanks required, druids are well-suited for this fight since a large health pool helps. Using some hit gear may be a reasonable trade off for other stats due to taunt being important to land. Possible advantage for warrior tanks (defensive stance vs bleeds).
- Akil'zon (Eagle): No problems for a druid to tank this.
- Halazzi (Lynx): 2 tanks required, druids are good to soak the saber lash type of ability (split damage on targets standing on top of each other) due to high armor/hp.
- Jan'alai (Dragonhawk): 2 tanks required. Druids do fine on either the boss or on adds.
- Malacrass: No problem for a druid although interrupts are useful on this fight. Druids also work fine tanking an add in dps gear and then moving to a DPS role.
- Zul'jin: Druids can tank him but intervene for warriors while in the lynx phase is useful, and therefore a warrior is a good choice for a tank although he doesn't necessarily need to be the MT.

Serpentshrine Cavern
- Hydross: Lack of level 70 crafted Nature/Frost gear means that Hydross favours plate wearers as MT's in general. Druids are good as offtanks due to "snap" threat and overall threat generation.
- Lurker: No real advantage either way.
- Morogrim: No real advantage either way. Crushes but possible a warrior would not be crush immune (extra effects eat shield block charges).
- Karathress: No real advantage either way, although Tidalvess (the Shaman) possibly favours a druid tank because of health/armour advantage over other tanks.
- Leotheras: Doesn't especially favour any kind of tank. Snap agro generation of bears is good for pickup from Whirlwind stages.
- Vashj: No real advantage either way (except emergency buttons).

Tempest Keep
- Al'ar: Melt armour screws over any tank. Add pickup may be easier as a druid (feral charge with 15 second cooldown, snap agro from mangle).
- Void Reaver: Threat generation while off-tanking is generally better for a druid.
- Solarian: Hardly matters.
- Kael: Add tanking - tanking Kael is left to those who can use shields.

Hyjal Summit
- Rage Winterchill: Possibly better with a druid (threat generation) - he channels a spell for 10 seconds every so often which reduces rage income from hits.
- Anetheron: No advantage either way really.
- Kaz'rogal: Possible druid advantage due to lack of shield block while stunned. No real difference.
- Az'galor: Does not crush. Emergency buttons are good (silence). Advantages for both warrior and druid tanks.
- Archimonde: Cannot Crush. Fears. Possible this won't be an issue if you have a Dwarf/Dranei priest (fear ward), or post 2.3 if you have 4 priests who can organise themselves well.

Black Temple
- High Warlord Naj'entus: Small amount of magic damage, but quite a lot of burst. Prefers warriors slightly due to ability to mitigate crushings with defensive stance reduction on the explosion damage which reduces the maximum possible burst damage by a significant amount.
- Supremus: No benefit either way for MT.
- Shade of Akama: Tanking adds, no real benefit either way.
- Teron Gorefiend: No real benefit either way. Druids have more health/armour (in general) but he does crush and hits very hard.
- Gurtogg Bloodboil: No real advantage either way - threat generation and emergency buttons are both good.
- Reliquary of Souls: Virtually requires a Warrior for Phase 2 (spell reflect). Possibly favours a Druid for Phase 3 (threat generation).
- Mother Shahraz: No real advantage either way (magic damage mitigation compared to armour mitigation).
- The Illidari Council: Tanking the Priest Warriors have an advantage (interrupt), Tanking the Paladin Warriors have an advantage (spell reflect).
- Illidan Stormrage: Tanking Illidan requires shield block for Shear. Phase 2 doesn't really favour any type of tank; Druids generally have a slight health and threat gen advantage along with SotF, while warriors can have 10 to 16% total magic reduction ([Improved] Defensive Stance).

The Sunwell Plateau
- Kalecgos: No real advantage either way for normal tanking, does have an enrage so at least one Warrior for shield wall is useful.
- Brutallus: One Druid and one Warrior is good - both have advantages/disadvantages but having all debuffs is useful.
- Felmyst: No real advantage either way - Druid healthpool/armour is good but so is improved def stance for Warriors.
- The Eredar Twins: No advantage either way for tanking Sacrolash.
- Mu'ru: Warrior optimal for Sentinels (spell reflect), Paladin optimal for Void Spawns (aoe threat), no real advantage for any classes on sides. Druids work well on sides since there are 3 mobs (swipe), damage from two can be heavily negated through avoidance, and ferals can DPS during P2.
- Kil'jaeden: Feral in DPS gear is an optimal tank. High health pool, high threat generation, can feral charge the knockback effect. By no means necessary though, some guilds prefer to use warriors or warlocks.

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Macros
This macro will check for Global Cooldown before shift-pot-shift for bear form - it's instant (client side) and so you should never be hit while out of bear form while using it. If you feel that you may be at risk using it, then simply don't use it.

/script local gcd=GetSpellCooldown("Dire Bear Form"); if gcd==0 then CancelPlayerBuff("Dire Bear Form") end;
/stopmacro [stance:1]
/use Master Healthstone
/use item:32905
/use item:32784
/use item:28100
/use item:22829
/cast Dire Bear Form

Which will use: Master Healthstone, Bottled Nethergon Vapor, Red Ogre Brew, Volatile Healing Pot and Super Healing Pot (in that order). If you wish to switch out items (as you know you don't have them) or replace them with other items, go to Allakhazam.com: World of Warcraft and search for the item you want - then look at the URL in your address bar and take the number from it and add a line reading "/use item:####". For example, if you search for "bottled nethergon vapor" and select the item, you get a link reading "http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/item.html?witem=32905;source=live" of which you want the number 32905. The macro can only have 255 characters at maximum, so you can't just add every item.
It will use healthstones in the order you have them in your bags, not the highest first. The first slot will ALWAYS be the top left of your backpack (right hand bag from the default UI, the one you can't replace) and reads right -> down
i.e. for your backpack the slots are ordered such that slot 1 of the below will always be used first. If you use a UI mod I have no idea how it might change the order.
1  2  3  4
5  6  7  8
9  10 11 12
13 14 15 16
In order to get them in the right order, stick your highest health healthstone in slot 1, second highest in slot 2, third highest in slot 3. All bags are ordered like this, so as long as they're in the right order, it doesn't matter where in your bags they are.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

In order to discuss macros and collate information more easily than in this (now rather bloated) thread, please make your way to this thread that Allev has set up for them.

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Other Things

The Druid Wiki -->> Gear Theorycrafting Program -- Rawr - Put in items, get stuff out. Works for both Cat and Bear forms. (See here for a much better explanation of how it works, direct from the author)

#4 dukes

dukes

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 10:06 PM

Attention: The 3.0 Patch (Wrath of the Lich King precursor) invalidates much of this post/thread.


News
Dates are DD/MM/YYYY for clarification, and I will try and link the source wherever possible.

14/10/08 + 15/10/08 (NA/EU) - 3.0 released on Live.

25/03/08+26/03/08 (NA/EU) - 2.4 Released on Live

09/02/08 - 2.4 PTR class mechanics system - Drysc has stated on the official forums that the 2.4 notes look slightly bare of class changes because they're starting slow and adding changes, instead of starting with loads of changes and removing/changing them as they have done with previous "point release" patches
In case the blizzard forums break or anything (as they tend to) I've screenshotted it: Drysc post.
This means more changes could be incoming. Keep your eyes open.

09/02/08 - 2.4 PTR Notes - Patch notes are out for the 2.4 PTR. I've picked out some of the more interesting parts below:

  • Characters will now retain talented spell ranks so when they retalent they do not have to relearn the spells from trainers.
  • Lacerate: This ability now deals additional damage based on the attack power of the Druid.
  • Mangle (Bear) now properly triggers a 1.5 second global cooldown, increased from 1.0.
  • When a Druid in cat form casts Pounce it will now properly animate.
  • Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter Hyjal.
  • Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter the Black Temple.
  • Gems obtained through Heroic difficulty instances are no longer Unique-equipped.
  • Idol of Feral Shadows: The bonus damage to Rip has been increased.
  • Idol of the Raven Goddess: The bonus healing, critical strike rating, and spell critical strike rating from this item have been increased. In addition, it no longer sometimes fails to apply the healing bonus.
  • Idol of Ursoc: The bonus damage to Lacerate has been increased and the tooltip clarified to indicate it applies to both initial and periodic damage.
  • Idol of the White Stag: Duration increased.
  • Weightstones and Sharpening Stones: The bonus damage from these temporary enchantments now works while shapeshifted.


07/02/08 - Mechanics stuff - This post here which is on the official WoW forums (no need to look at me like I'm a loony, it's a legitimate post) is attempting to find if there's a problem with LotP not affecting druids, or the crit rate just generally being crap. If you have any constructive information to add to it, go for it. If you want to discuss it here, feel free, but it's probably of more worth over there seeing as you might actually get a blizz response. Maybe.

02/02/08 - 2.4 News - Lacerate is to scale with Attack Power.

12/01/07 - 2.3.2 News - Ravage damage bonus increase (350%->385%). It appears shapeshifting quickly through the use of macro's is also slightly broken - a fix for this has been suggested in replacing form shifts in macros as below:
Old: /cast xxx Form
New: /cast !xxx Form

02/11/07 - 2.3 News - Growl and Challenging Roar affected by +hit instead of +spellhit

18/10/07 - 2.3 News - New command - /console autoUnshift # - Setting this value to 1 will allow use of spells which will automatically unshift you from form to cast it, similar to auto-dismount. Setting the value to 0 will mean that you still need to manually shift out of form before casting the spell.

15/10/07 - 2.3 News - Cancelform not working as intended? - /cancelform is now working correctly - you can use it to powershift/use items in between shifts. The mana cost still applies for the shift. It may not work on PTR right now, but it has been corrected and will be in the next build/on live when 2.3 hits.

12/10/07 - 2.3 News - New Idol and Leather Items (links from World of Raids).

12/10/07 - 2.3 News - FAP Weapons post - PTR values
Syntax: Weapon = New (Current)
Pillar of Ferocity = 1059 (826)
Merciless Gladiator's Maul = 1010 (788)
Wildfury Greatstaff = 992 (733)
Gladitor's Maul = 829 (697)
Terestian's Stranglestaff = 829 (647)
Earthwarden = 712 (556)
Total approximate buff of 28% AP. Remember that due to the HoTW change this is a total relative buff of ~40% in comparison to the old values (826 -> 1164 = ~40%).

08/10/07 - 2.3 News - Heart of the Wild changing from +20% Strength in Cat Form to +10% AP in Cat Form. Feral Attack Power Items to be reviewed.

27/09/07 - 2.3 News - /cancelform recognised instantly (client side command)

Changelog
I'll try and keep this up to date with notes on what has been changed and when in this post.

09/10/07 - First posted.
10/10/07 - Intensity replaced with Reflection (talents). Seminarca quote (useful mods). Larisroth quote (bear/cat enchants). Added /cancelform to news. Added /cancelform (things to add). Added Spreadsheets section + link to Lolaan's. Added Useful Threads section. Added more useful threads (things to add). Attempted to clarify agility (bear stats). Clarified windfury (cat section). Added other items note and Toskk's link to spreadsheets. Seminarca quote (feral combat skill). Clarified defence part (bear stats). Haste rating change (stat rating link). Added threat generation part (bear post). Added crit immunity without SotF (bear stats). Clarified DPS gain from Raven Goddess idol. Trinket list + text (cat form). Added ashtongue talisman (cat trinkets). Added Malazaar AEP values post (cat-other items). More links (thread links - main post). Gems -> Itemlinks (cat stuff).
11/10/07 - Updated weapon skill-> Expertise (2.3 stats - cat form). Added Athinira blog + Rawr links (cat/bear posts).
12/10/07 - News on FAP weapons, and new items on PTR.
15/10/07 - /cancelform thread about implementation added (news). Cleaned up news section to be more consistent/easier to read. Added ring enchants (cat).
16/10/07 - Consumables sections idea "procured" from the Rogue thread (cat/bear).
17/10/07 - Added bear tanking boss list.
18/10/07 - auto-unshift command added to news.
24/10/07 - added Professions list (not completed yet).
29/10/07 - added Volden's spreadsheet.
31/10/07 - Corrected consumables summary(cat) - thanks Hobbes!
02/11/07 - Clarified swipe/lacerate threat crossover. Finished off the professions section (although could do with a better summary of engineering). Added links to the pre-raid bear tank set thread. Added growl/chall roar news.
09/11/07 - Added Flask of Chromatic Wonder to both cat and bear consumables, updated version of Voldin's spreadsheet, added another mixed bear/cat spreadsheet.
14/11/07 - Added "Making Posts" section, updated To Do list.
21/11/07 - Added Valerian's summary of set gear (Cat, Set Bonuses).
23/11/07 - Updated stuff for 2.3.
04/12/07 - Added Zul'aman list for Bear tanking (based from this post). Re-added "The Cat post" title and explanation on the second post. Revised the summary of windfury in this post.
10/12/07 - Removed reference to weapon skill from cat summary. Added hit rating and expertise section to bear post.
18/12/07 - Clarified bear tanking list (Illidan entry).
31/12/07 - Fixed Jewelcrafting trinket links (thanks caladein). Added Idol of Terror to the idols section (thanks the KRIS).
07/01/08 - Fixed armour value in Bear post (thanks Liar for pointing that out).
09/01/08 - Added "The value of avoidance" to the Bear post.
12/01/08 - Added "Threat Stats" to Bear post. Cleaned up stats sections of bear/cat posts to be in code boxes (much easier to read). Added news item about 2.3.2. Updated some of the formatting to better break up the sections in the posts, should make it easier to read/find bits.
13/01/08 - Added link to speed interaction chart (thanks for the link Mijae). Updated Voldin's spreadsheet link to 2.3.2 version.
18/01/08 - Changed High Warlord Naj'entus tanking description in the bear post.
19/01/08 - Removed 12 hit rating/added 24 attack power under jewelcrafting specific gems (thanks Pokkai).
22/01/08 - Added note about announcements in the making posts section of introductory post.
27/01/08 - Added Rawr to Cat spreadsheets/etc section, updated note in bear section to show it can be used for Cat too.
30/01/08 - Updated powershift macro (removed /cancelform.)
12/02/08 - Updated idols section for Raven Goddess in 2.4 (cat post + summary).
13/02/08 - Changed the set bonuses section to be clearer about 2t4 benefit (cat post).
28/02/08 - Changed Ashtongue Talisman of Equilibrium description/list order (cat post, trinkets).
25/03/08 - Added macro for pot-shift-pot with GCD protection (thanks Sadirin, bear post).
26/03/08 - Updated idols to make it clearer with 2.4 change to Idol of the Raven Goddess (cat post (idols) + summary). Updated hit rating to show that it uses the spell hit % but physical hit rating for taunt resists (bear post (stats) + summary). Added note about lacerate scaling with AP but it not having much effect on threat due to the way lacerate threat is calculated (bear post (threat gen) + summary).
01/04/08 - Adjusted Lacerate threat text for ability summary (bear post, threat gen).
20/04/08 - Updated Lacerate text and post link (bear post, threat gen) due to thread conversation.
30/04/08 - Added Haste and Armor Penetration text (cat post, stats).
16/05/08 - Added links to Allev's Macro's post in the Cat and Bear sections (powershifting and macros).
11/07/08 - Added extra strength rip section to Cat post (in DPS cycle section).
12/07/08 - Added Sunwell Plateau bosses section to Bear Post.
22/07/08 - Fixed defence conversion in Bear post, quick fix of a few grammar/spelling errors. Fixed the spelling of Resilience (thanks Astrylian).
02/08/08 - Fixed defence conversion in Bear post (fully this time).
11/08/08 - Fixed Improved Grace of Air value (Bear Post, Stats).
18/08/08 - Added hit rating blurb to stats (Cat post).
05/09/08 - Added adamantite weightstones to consumables (Cat Post). Removed Windfury comparison due to being out of date and changes to Windfury in 3.0 (Cat Post).
14/10/08 - Added things saying this post is going out of date with 3.0.


Summary

Catform:
- Stats: Agility is very good (primary stat).
- Stats: ~9% hit (142 rating) for the hit cap.

- Gems: Pure agility gems are the best. Still worth meeting the requirements for the Relentless Earthstorm Diamond though.

- Enchants: Most are "obvious", Runspeed can give more gains than is obvious though. Ring enchants (+2wpn dmg/+4 stats) are approximately equal in pure DPS terms.

- Set Bonuses: 2t4 ~= 4t6 >> *

- Idols: When in a group with 2 or more other physical DPS, is the best idol. If you are the only physical DPS, ~=~ .

- Trinkets: All high-ish end level trinkets are good, as long as it's not the Living Root.

- Consumables: Elixirs for non-wipe content, flasks for wipe content. Both are pretty comparable (major agility vs relentless assault). Food is easy to farm, use it! Adamantite Weightstones are the best weapon buff.

- Powershifting: Making use of Furor to convert mana -> energy through shifting.


- DPS Cycle: Mangle -> Shred to 4 // 5 Combo Points -> wait for energy (70+, 80+ preferably), Rip->restart.

Bearform:

- Stats: Agility is good, Stamina is good, Armour is good. A split of three is probably the best.
- Stats: You need 154 defence or 103 resilience to be crit immune with SotF. Mixing the two stats is fine, just make sure you check that you're still crit immune with rounding errors!
- Stats: Hit rating is good, Expertise is very good. A small amount of both can make a major difference! Hit rating will increase taunt hit (but 17% or 268 hit rating worth is needed to cap it).

- Gems: Agility is good. Stamina is good. A mix of both is also good.

- Enchants: Runspeed can give more gains than is obvious.

- Consumables: Major Agility elixir with Major Fortitude is the best combination, but for 'wipe content' you may want to use a flask of Fortification. Food is easy to farm, use it!

- Raid Boss Tanking: There are a couple of bosses which seriously favour Warriors due to abilities only they have. In most other situations Druid's are either slightly favoured (threat generation) or perfectly acceptable (disadvantages/advantages either way).

- Threat Generation: Mangle is very good. Swipe scales with DPS, Lacerate does but very minimally. Generally, if swipe does 225 damage or more on a default hit, it will do more threat than Lacerate (but keep a 5 stack of Lacerate running if you can).
- Threat Generation: If you're rage starved, don't use Maul. It's effective rage cost is a lot higher than you might think.

#5 Larisroth

Larisroth

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 10:20 PM

Awesome Dukes.

A couple of things that might be worth adding.

FAP conversion: The Feral AP added to a weapon is 14 x (1H dps - 41.3) where 1H dps is the DPS on a 1H weapon of the same item value. This is easy to establish using the various pvp weapons. It is also being changed in 2.3.

Run speed: Getting a runspeed boost is often the best thing you can do for your dps and sometimes required for tanking.

Also mention the /cancelform change. Although i'm somewhat sceptical of its use. Which I guess could also allow you to add a procs and pots section. 2t4 has a 4% fixed proc rate, and so gets some benefit from haste rating. None of the druid trinkets/idols proc enough to be better than the other options. No weapon procs in forms rules out WF and mongoose too.

In other news I used the The Druid Wiki » ToskksDPSGearMethod to work out some stat weightings for 2.3, and the rogue set gear came out to be the best items for dps in most slots and tiers. Good because it suggests that the new approach will help, bad because our set gear is now poorly optimised for dps as well as tanking.
The feral druid is a different beast altogether.

#6 Zeln

Zeln

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 10:26 PM

A couple of good threads from here for you to link to:
The Powershifting thread has some great info in it:
http://elitistjerks...._powershifting/
Tunah's to hit thread is a great one for AEP stuff
http://elitistjerks....y_hit_good_dps/

Another Spreadsheet
Lolaan's Cat DPS spreadsheet
https://forums.world...33967389&&sid=1

#7 seminarca

seminarca

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 10:47 PM

Fantastic effort dukes, great to see someone from our community step up and create a unified source of information and discussion for Feral Druids.

Couple things:

Feral Combat Skill = 4 rating per skill. Generally accepted as 20 rating (shapeshifters signet or similar) = 0.5% crit, ~2% hit, ~1% less dodge.

I believe it was concluded in the Weapon Skill Adjustment thread that the first 20 rating / 5 skill gives exactly 3% hit, 0.4% for skill points 1 through 4, then 1.4% for the 5th.

Also worth mentioning that the rating to skill conversion doesn't round values, it floors them. So the 18 rating on only gives you 4 skill, leaving you shy of the 5 skill sweet spot.

Agility = ~0.07% ((13-14 agility per % dodge (can't actually find the exact value for some reason))) [[Same crit conversion as for Cat form]]

The agility to dodge conversion is somewhere in the vicinity of ~14.7 agi per 1% dodge. The power of agility is greatly amplified for us in a raid environment with BoK and GoA.

edit:

Useful Mods

Demon is an updated version of pDebuffList, basically a configurable debuff tracking mod. Of course DoT timers, Quartz and the like can track things like Mangle, Faerie Fire and Rip for us, but Demon can be useful for yelling at your Warriors for not keeping up Thunder Clap, or at your Warlocks for not using CoR (or if you have another Druid keeping up Mangle and Faerie Fire for you).

#8 Malazaar

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 11:34 PM

First of all, very good work with the summary. I'd like to do my part by providing a basic introduction to item evaluation.

"How much attackpower is a percent crit worth ?

Due to the fact that crit becomes better the more attackpower you have, it's impossible to say. The best you can do is to provide an estimate given a certain reference point. So if you say you have 3000 attackpower and 40 % crit you can make a relatively good estimate as to how much ap or crit influence your damage. Keep in mind this is only fairly accurate as long as your final values are not too far away from your reference point.

As the exact gain from each point results in pretty weird numbers, it's often expressed in AEP (attackpower equivalence points). This basically means how much attackpower a point of the given stat is worth.

I'm now giving some examples of AEP values for different reference points. I'm using my own calculator for it, other sources may differ (depending on how much factors they consider). Values in brackets are estimated for 2.3. and the upcoming HotW change.

4973 AP/ 52.10% Crit, "Ultimate List 2.2.x" (1558 DPS)

Attackpower: 1.0000 AEP (1.0000 AEP)
Strength: 2.7192 AEP (2.2660 AEP)
Agility: 3.1167 AEP (2.9363 AEP)
Critrating: 2.0797 AEP (1.8906 AEP)
Hitrating: 2.1996 AEP (2.0000 AEP)
Armorignore: 0.4427 AEP (0.4025 AEP)
Weapondamage: 11.1193 AEP (10.1085 AEP)
Hasterating: 1.9330 AEP (1.7573 AEP)"

I'll add some more gearsets to this soon, like Karazhan, T4 and T5.

Edit: Hmm i just checked out ToskkDPS Calculator and figured it's probably easier to use -> Link: The Druid Wiki » ToskksDPSGearMethod

#9 Chilifaner

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 12:04 AM

In regards to Dukes awesome posts, I do have a few things I would like to bring up. I was wondering if anyone was aware that druids are not affected by Windfury totem. I spent 5 minutes killing trash with a shaman and her WF totem and I recieved 0 procs.

I also have to question if Druids benefit from + weapon damage trinkets like [Crystalforged Trinket] .Since we don't use a weapon, we do not get weapon procs. So how can we get + weapon damage. We do however benefit from the [Formula: Enchant Ring - Weapon Might], note the physical attacks in the description.

I also have to comment on only using pure agility gems in your sockets. I have read the patch notes for 2.3 and see no change to HotW. Even so the art of feral is to have a combination of Strength and Agility on your gear. Strength is not something to pass up just to get more agility. There is such thing as too much crit, for crits generate more threat. As in a white crit of 400 will generate more threat than a white hit of 400. Doesn't help your dps if you have to Cower every 10 seconds. Also I have notice that when my crit gets over 40% im building up combo points to fast to stick the the DPS cycle. So I stay at 40% and just go for Strength to increase my attacks.

And last time I checked. my stats raid buffed were 800 str, 650 agility, 4500 ap and 44% crit.
I think the idea would be to get your crit to a certain point to maintain you dps rotation and work on AP after that.

#10 Malazaar

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 12:24 AM

There is such thing as too much crit, for crits generate more threat. As in a white crit of 400 will generate more threat than a white hit of 400. Doesn't help your dps if you have to Cower every 10 seconds. Also I have notice that when my crit gets over 40% im building up combo points to fast to stick the the DPS cycle. So I stay at 40% and just go for Strength to increase my attacks.


Crits don't generate more threat than they do damage, i don't know how you got that idea. Thus, stacking crit instead of ap doesn't influence you threat if your dps is the same.

Even if you sometimes have to shred despite already having 5cp, agility is still superior to strength - do the math yourself if you don't believe it.

And err, i thought it was common knowledge that windfury doesn't affect druids and +weapondamage does.

#11 vorda

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 12:28 AM

edit: Actually, my post was stupid, delete it please.

#12 Bloodwood

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 12:31 AM

As in a white crit of 400 will generate more threat than a white hit of 400. Doesn't help your dps if you have to Cower every 10 seconds. Also I have notice that when my crit gets over 40% im building up combo points to fast to stick the the DPS cycle. So I stay at 40% and just go for Strength to increase my attacks.

Both will generate 280 points of threat (400x0.7 cat form threat multiplier), crits don't increase threat, you're just doing more damage which leads to unpredictable threat output (ie; crit strings which can often leave you to generating too much threat early on before the tank has had enough output).

Edit: Nevermind, was too slow at replying

#13 Chilifaner

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 12:49 AM

Thank you for clearing up the threat issue. I also have seen that + weapon damage does factor into our dps (maybe rephrasing it would clear up this common misconception). And that with the [Relentless Earthstorm Diamond] will make your crits do more damage.

What is this change in 2.3? I have read nothing according to any change regarding agility and str. regardless strength is not something to be laughed at. In fact I only socket str for pvp since everyone has 250+ resiliance now. I know this is not the case for pve but is there such a thing as too much crit?

#14 YagerMyster

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 01:12 AM

I'm delighted that we're finally getting a summary posting of the various feral threads.

edit: Slow reader/typer... deleted the questions i bared (ugh) to you all.

Actually, I do have a constructive question/observation. You only evaluated idol/trinkets for cat form. Please add recommendations to the bear thread for these slots.

Additionally, if 2.3 will give us +10% more AP, doesn't that make 1AP = 1.1AEP?

#15 grayrest

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 01:26 AM

As a non-druid reading this thread, it is not at all clear in the cat post why AGI is better than STR given the 2.3 change. I gathered from Malazaar's post that it's due to the crit in addition to the AP. Adding the info in Mala's post at a few stepped gear levels would make it a bit clearer for the clueless.

#16 seminarca

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 01:51 AM

Agility is already better than Strength pre-2.3 in most (if not all) common gear setups given current ingame itemization, the 2.3 changes make it even markedly better. It might not seem clear because it is widely recognized as common knowledge amongst Druid theorycrafters (or consumers of said crafting) and sort of skimmed over in the post, so I can see value in explaining it in more detail.

#17 david0925

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 02:07 AM

In regards to Dukes awesome posts, I do have a few things I would like to bring up. I was wondering if anyone was aware that druids are not affected by Windfury totem. I spent 5 minutes killing trash with a shaman and her WF totem and I recieved 0 procs.

I also have to question if Druids benefit from + weapon damage trinkets like [Crystalforged Trinket] .Since we don't use a weapon, we do not get weapon procs. So how can we get + weapon damage. We do however benefit from the [Formula: Enchant Ring - Weapon Might], note the physical attacks in the description.

I also have to comment on only using pure agility gems in your sockets. I have read the patch notes for 2.3 and see no change to HotW. Even so the art of feral is to have a combination of Strength and Agility on your gear. Strength is not something to pass up just to get more agility. There is such thing as too much crit, for crits generate more threat. As in a white crit of 400 will generate more threat than a white hit of 400. Doesn't help your dps if you have to Cower every 10 seconds. Also I have notice that when my crit gets over 40% im building up combo points to fast to stick the the DPS cycle. So I stay at 40% and just go for Strength to increase my attacks.

And last time I checked. my stats raid buffed were 800 str, 650 agility, 4500 ap and 44% crit.
I think the idea would be to get your crit to a certain point to maintain you dps rotation and work on AP after that.



At 44% crit, you need at least 5k ap for 1 strength to be even close to 1 agility. Someone plotted a graphh separating the regions of agility vs strength, and I'll try to pull it up later

#18 seminarca

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 02:18 AM

That graph (or a similar one) is on Toskk's page. Including the graph in the original post with Toskk's permission would probably be a good idea.

#19 iLyanse

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 02:31 AM

DPS Cycle
The standard cycle is:
Mangle -> Shred to 5 combo points -> Wait for 70+ energy (preferably 80+), Rip->Mangle, start again.

Due to the way Rip scales with combo points, a four combo point rip is almost as effective as a 5 combo point rip (there is a static gain, AP doesn't scale between 4 and 5). This makes it quite effective to use a 4 combo point rip if your mangle has already run out (as a non-mangled shred is pretty pathetic in comparison to a mangled one).


While you mention that 4 CP is almost as effective as a 5 CP rip I think you're conveying here that people should use the Mangle, shred to 5 CP then rip as their standard option when they should not.

The optimal cat form DPS cycle for a bleed vulnerable mob that won't die within 12 seconds is as follows:

Mangle
Shred to 4 CP, if you crit on 3 CP then you will get bonus damage on 5 CP for free.
RIP

Furor

Rinse repeat.

The important things to remember for this cycle is that furor will pay for a mangle immediately after your RIP finisher without having to wait for energy and will allow you to keep your 4 CP RIP cycle as close to 12 seconds as possible, wasting no energy to crits at 4 CP and taking 5 CP RIPs as a bonus.

There are also a few other things to look for here like 2 piece T4 proc which if it procs near or after your RIP means you don't need to furor as you will gain the energy to mangle at the same rate and you can furor during your cycle or after your mangle to get the energy you need for 4 CP within 12 seconds.

This method also allows you to control your energy "bleed", energy regen that exceeds your 100 energy limit, very well as the more you crit the less you need to shift and the easier it becomes to maintain a 12 second rip cycle. With tools like SCT or other debuff monitors it becomes quite easy to predict excess energy which can be converted to shreds as you meet 80 energy or will achived 100 energy within a second or so.

It is often wise to execute a shred when you're sitting at 80 energy and about to tick to 100 as OoC can cause energy bleed over 100 and if you're wearing 2 piece T4 it can proc at any time. It is better to be sitting at 58 energy than get to 100 and proc 20 energy that immediately bleeds.

Overall this is a good post and I like it. :)

#20 seminarca

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 03:03 AM

Your cycle screams all species of odd to me. You don't need to complicate things that much and your comments about 2t4 procs near the Rip meaning you don't need to powershift just eventuates in the standard "(mangle on first contact only) shred to 4/5, wait for energy, rip, mangle, repeat" cycle. Timing powershifts needs to be completely dynamic dependant on how many OoC procs, 2t4 procs and special crits you're getting. Crits at 4cp don't waste energy, they waste cp, which is perfectly acceptable if you're still mid-cycle and in danger of energy spillover.

edit: The main benefit I can see of waiting for ~80 energy before Rip/Mangle is to make sure you have enough time to Shred up enough cp to minimize Rip downtime as much as possible IF none of your specials are critting and OoC/2t4 aren't proccing.

After the powershift/Mangle you're now sitting at 0 energy at worst, or a partial tick amount of energy at best (due to the changes in energy tick mechanics). Whereas a Rip/Mangle at ~80 energy means you'll have ~30 energy leftover (80 - 30(Rip) - 40(Mangle) + 20(tick)) from the inevitable tick that would have happened in that time.

Now, if that Mangle doesn't crit, and neither do your next 3 Shreds, you need to wait 14 seconds before you can build up 4 cp in the former case (i.e. lost Rip uptime) and only 10 seconds in the latter (no loss in Rip uptime).

Another problem with powershifting after Rip is that you need to make sure you are as close to 30 energy as possible before Ripping or you'll waste energy powershifting. Not to mention that it's unwieldy to time perfectly due to client/server travel time until 2.3 /cancelform changes are in place.




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