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Feral-Cat Megathread


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#1 Rannasha

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:47 AM

Introductory Post

Introduction
This is the WotLK-Cat edition of the "Feral Druid Megathread", a thread originally created and maintained by dukes. Large portions of this post are blatantly copied (with permission) from dukes set of posts and updated where it was needed.

Due to dehybridization of the feral tree, the Feral Druid Megathread now has a cat and a bear version, to keep tanking discussion and dps discussion separate. If you're looking for the the bear-thread, you can find it here: Feral Druid Megathread v2 - The Bear Edition.

The structure of this multi-post is as follows:
  • Introduction post - random stuff.
  • The main post - Most of the information on stats, gear, rotations, etc..
  • The News, Changelog, FAQ post - latest news and commonly asked stuff. If you're new to the thread and have a question, chances are it's answered here.

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 cat 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 "what benefit does this talent give me for that encounter?" 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 (DPS and 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 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: 2t7 = Two pieces of Tier 7 (Dreamwalker). Similar numbering for other sets (2t8, 4t8, etc). Raid-sets from 10man dungeons are typically denoted by T7.10 (for the Naxxramas set) and similarly T7.25 for 25mans. Set bonusses are the same for both 10 and 25 man sets however.

Talking of talent-trees, it is important to realize that there is no longer a single best Feral build. The first thing to consider is what you want to focus on. Feral builds for DPS, tanking and PvP differ on some crucial points. Hence the differentiation between the two threads. Even within a certain spec, there are variations possible depending on personal preference, your raidsetup and the encounters you're facing.

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
A timer bar for Mangle/DOT's is very handy when DPSing. There are plenty available to choose from. Personally, i use DoTimer. Browse to your favorite addon-website (curse.com, wowinterface.com, etc...) to find out more.


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
[Druid] Feral talents/abilities - WotLK discussion
Feral Druid Megathread
Combat Ratings at level 80
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[/QUOTE]

#2 Rannasha

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:47 AM

The main 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 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 (+10% stats, +10% AP) 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                  = 2.332 (2.82172) AP

Agility                   = 1.166 (1.41086 AP), 1% crit per ~78.62 agility (1% crit per ~71.47 agility).

Critical Strike Rating    = ~1% crit per 45.91 critical strike rating.

Hit Rating                = 1% hit per ~32.79 hit rating [[You need ~9% hit to 
                            become hit capped, so ~295 hit rating total]] 

Attack Power              = 1.21 AP

Expertise rating          = -1% dodge/parry per ~32.79 expertise rating.

Haste rating	          = 1% haste per ~32.79 haste rating.

Armor penetration rating  = 1% armor reduction per ~15.4 armor penetration rating.

Strength is the most powerful stat at level 80. This is due to good AP scaling very well with talents and buffs. Note that in the table above, Savage Roar is not included, which makes AP values lower than what they are in practice. With raw Strength being hard to find on our gear, AP is the next best thing. Agility follows, being weaker than what it used to be before WotLK due to changes in the amount of Agility needed to gain 1% crit.

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 (unless specced for Primal Precission) and OoC procs. Standard yellow hits will not be affected as heavily due to the energy use being lower on missed specials. Hit-rating is a matter of personal preference, to a point. Simulators and spreadsheet model an ideal world with an ideal player who will benefit less from having a stable combatcycle that you get from capping hit. Note that after capping hit, you also need expertise rating to counteract the 5.6% dodge-chance of the boss in order to ensure that your moves never fail to land.

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Gems
From the stat analysis it can easily be seen that purely +strength gems are the best things to socket with. However, you need to have a yellow and a blue gem for the (generally accepted as the best meta for druids), which are best made up with either a +strength/+crit gem or a +agility/+hit gem for the yellow socket and a +strength/+stamina gem for the blue socket.

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Enchants
Enchants are generally pretty easy to work out. for the helm (50AP/20crit), sons of Hodir AP/crit enchant for shoulders, +10 stats for chest, +50 AP for bracers, +22 agility for gloves, +75ap/22crit armorpatch for legs, +16 agi for boots, [undetermined yet] 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.

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

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Set Bonuses
The 2T7 bonus is okay for both cat and bear, but it's not something that you'll want to focus on keeping. The 4T7 bonus is fairly useless for cat, it's okay, though not briliant for bear.

TBC set bonusses are of limited value. The powerful 2T4 bonus has its procchance drop down with level, to 0% at 80. 2T6 and 4T6 are still decent at 80, a spreadsheet/program will tell you exactly how and when they're replaced best.


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Idols
is the L80 replacement of the , the choice for DPS.

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Trinkets
To be filled in at a later time.

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Other Items
There hardly ever is a "single best item" for a given slot. An items power depends strongly on your current stats, your precise talentspec and the raidbuffs you're getting. Therefore, when deciding which items to shoot for, consult your favorite theorycrafting utility.

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Glyphs
Major glyphs relevant for cats are:

- Essential for your DPS-cycle unless you consistently raid with an Arms Warrior providing the Trauma debuff.
- For solo PvE only, but even then it's of questionable worth.
- Not necessarily a DPS-glyph, but one worth considering nonetheless.
- Essential for your DPS-cycle.
- Mainly for solo PvE and PvP, has some use in 5mans, where mobs are still stunnable, but that's minimal.

Minor glyphs:
- For the regular swimmer.
- More of a tank glyph.
- This one is quite handy, being able to get to places more quickly can be a great boost in some encounters.
- Convenience mostly, though chances are your spec won't include imp MotW and another Druid will handle the buff.
- Nice for soloing, little use for raids as you won't be getting hit as DPS.
- Saves you one bagslot, nifty.

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Professions
The main professions in the game are Tailoring (craft), Leatherworking (craft), Blacksmithing (craft), Alchemy (craft), Jewelcrafting (craft), Engineering (craft), Inscription (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.

All crafting professions have some sort of crafter-only benefit, ring-enchants being one example. These benefits are generally fairly balanced. For all the details, see WotLK Profession Thread. Right now, there are no really worthwhile BoP craftable items available. Chances are that these might be added in later raid dungeons, but only time will tell.

Ignoring perks that have no effect on raiding (such as desirable trading products or cost reductions), Jewelcrafting gives you access to BoP gems that have 35% more stats than epic gems of the same type (27 instead of 20). Additionally, these Dragon's Eyes are so-called "prismatic gems", which means they count as all colors, making it easier to obtain socket bonusses and meta-gem activation. The number of prismatic gems you can have equipped is limited to 3.

Leatherworkers gain the ability to apply "fur lining" to their bracers. This doesn't stack with enchants and increases AP by 120 (compare to the +50 AP from a normal enchant). Enchanters gain ring-enchants, +32 AP per ring for cats. Blacksmiths can add a socket to their gloves and their bracers. Scribes will be able to make BoP shoulder enchants (details unknown to me as of yet). Tailors can create "Embroideries", which are cloak enchants. The DPS one gives you a chance that your attacks ignore 1000 armor. Alchemists have a passive ability that increases the duration of flasks and elixirs by 100% and increases the effect by ~30% (exact value differs per flask/elixir). In addition, alchemist stones are available that increase the effect of potions by 40% as well as provide stats (100 AP, 50 critrating) in a trinket slot.

Engineers can create special enchants with various effects such as rocket launcher on gloves, a 340 haste for 8 seconds clicky on gloves or a sprint-clicky on boots.

As for the gathering professions, skinners gain 25 crit rating, miners 500 health. Herbalists get a 3min cooldown HoT (self-only) that heals for 1800.

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). The gathering perks are generally not as strong as the crafting perks and only skinning provides a direct DPS benefit.

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Consumables
is the Battle elixir of choice. Alternatively, there are elixirs that give 45 haste, hit, expertise or crit rating or 45 agility.
provides better stats and lasts longer than the elixir.
There is very little useful stuff in the area of Guardian elixirs. is the best one, though it gives no direct DPS benefit.
is the food of choice, though there are similar options with the other offensive stats rather than strength.

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Powershifting in WotLK & the new Furor
Due to changes in the way Furor works, powershifting is no longer possible. Before WotLK, shifting into cat form would reset your energy to 0. Furor would give you 40 energy, which resulted in the fact that by shifting out of cat form and directly back in (this could be macroed to become truely instantaneous), you'd end up with 40 energy from Furor, where you might've started out with alot less. This energy gain was a decent DPS boost and a way to turn your manabar into added DPS.

Since the 3.0.2 patch, Furor no longer gives you 40 energy when you shift into cat form, but instead it allows you to retain 100 energy between forms. Energy keeps on ticking while you're in other forms. So for example, if you shift out to combat rezz someone while you're at 30 energy and you spend 4 seconds out of cat form, you'll reenter cat form with 70 energy.

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DPS Cycle
When speaking of cycles, people usually think of a strict order in which to perform their moves: Move A -> Move B -> Move B -> Move C -> Move A -> repeat. With WotLK, this is no longer the case for cat DPS. Instead, we now use what's called a "priority rotation". Here there is a list of priorities for each ability and the condition under which it should be used. You then use the ability whose conditions are met that is highest on the priority list.

The optimal cycle has not been entirely fleshed out yet. And again, it depends a bit on your gear and precise choice of talents. However, it will most likely look somewhat like this:

1. If Savage Roar is down and you have more than 1cp, use Savage Roar.
2. If you have 5cp and Rip is not up, use Rip.
3. If Mangle is down, use Mangle (skip this if another Feral is doing Mangle or there's an Arms Warrior applying Trauma).
4. If Rake is down, use Rake.
5. If you're at 3+ cp, Rip still has 8+ seconds left, Savage Roar still has 8+ seconds left, use Ferocious Bite.
6. If you're at <40 energy and the TF cooldown is up, use TF.
7. If you have 42+ energy, use Shred.
8. Reapply Faerie Fire (Feral)

NOTE: I'm not claiming that this is the perfect DPS cycle. Work on this is still being done. The above is just to demonstrate how a priority rotation would look. It has some sensible parts, but alot of it is still open for speculation on what the best course of action is.

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Linked DPS Tools/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.

Rawr - A theorycrafting tool for alot of classes/specs, including cats and bears
Toskks DPS Gear Methodology + webbased gear calculator
WoWCatSim by Nightcrowler
Sumlans DPS simulator, allows you to practise your DPS cycles in a flash application or simulate optimal scenarios using one of several rotations

#3 Rannasha

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:48 AM

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

13/11/08 (NA/EU) - WotLK goes live.

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

12/11/08 - Expanded professions section.
12/11/08 - First posted.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do proc-enchants (like Mongoose) work in forms?
As of 3.0.2, these enchants (finally) work in all feral forms.

Can i use potions in forms
Also as of 3.0.2, potions are usable in forms without having to use a shifting-macro.

The Mangle tooltip no longer says that it improves Shred! Is this a nerf to our DPS?
No, look at the Shred tooltip instead, it says that Shred is improved by anything that affects bleed damage and this includes Mangle. The reason for this change is that the Arms Warrior talent, Trauma, also increases bleed damage and was overwriting Mangle, which would've meant that feral Shred would do less damage whenever an Arms Warrior was around. Now you can drop Mangle from your rotation if an Arms Warrior is present.

What is powershifting? How does it work?
First of all, powershifting no longer works due to the Furor changes. For those interested in feral history, before 3.0.2, shifting into cat form would set your energy to 0 and Furor would then generate 40 free energy. Instantly shifting out and back into catform when you were low on energy, would give a small boost of energy and allowed for more special attacks to be used.

What rotation is best for leveling?
There are 2 schools of thought here. The first says that you don't bother too much with stealth, but instead just pull with Faerie Fire (Feral), spam Mangle and finish with FB if needed. This scheme is greatly enhanced by the 2T6 (-5 energy on Mangle) and 4T6 (+15% FB damage) set bonusses as well as certain talents. The other scheme involves stealthing up to the target and opening with Pounce, followed by Mangle and then Shred. If the mob isn't nearly dead, Maim and Shred again. The advantage is that the mob is stunned for a decent amount of time, which reduces the damage you take considerably. Therefore this approach works well for players with lesser quality gear. It greatly benefits from and talents that improve Shred and the Pounce stun duration.

What is Savage Roar? When should i use it?
Savage Roar is a new ability we learn at level 75. It's a selfbuff that increases AP by 40%. It is cast as a finishing move, so it requires a target with combopoints built up and the duration depends on the number of combopoints. In this sense, it's very similar to Slice and Dice, the Rogue ability. And just like SnD, Savage Roar is something you want to keep up as much as possible when you're DPSing bossmobs.

#4 Rannasha

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:48 AM

-reserved for possible future use-

#5 manapaws

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 08:48 AM

They changed the leatherworking (and tailoring for that matter) pants patches to be the same stats as their boe counterparts. The difference is the mats involved - ie the bop ones are significantly cheaper.

#6 Rannasha

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 08:55 AM

In regards to the intial post, you say that strength is clearly mathematically the best gem to use, yet do not provide any mathematics.


Granted, i didn't mention the source on the same spot as the statement was made, but the STR/AGI numbers were done by Toskk and the results are listed on his Druidwiki page (The Druid Wiki � ToskksDPSGearMethod) that i linked at the bottom of the post. Scroll down past the calculator bit.

In general, i think the opening post should contain the conclusions rather than the actual derivations and simulations, which can be found in threads and websites linked in the opening post

#7 Nathariel

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 12:15 PM

Quick note, the AP Fur Lining is now 114 AP rather than 120. You get the same benefit as you would if you got 2 ring enchants.

#8 Druidiful

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 03:17 PM

A major glyph that you might want to add to the list is since it helps on AOE pulls when you go bear to swipe since all the extra damage is nice when we don't have any AOE in cat.

#9 Pharmacon

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 03:28 PM

Quick note, the AP Fur Lining is now 114 AP rather than 120. You get the same benefit as you would if you got 2 ring enchants.


Semantics, but that's assuming you enchant your bracers with assault as well.

Fur Lining - Attack Power = 114
Enchant Ring - Assault x 2 = 64
Enchant Bracers - Greater Assault = 50

Similar story for shoulder enchants with inscription:
Master's Inscription of the Axe = 104
Greater Inscription of the Axe = 40

These 3 increase your AP by 64 compared to what you can get without having the profession. I can't speak as much to JC, BS.

To add to enchants:
Swordguard Embroidery = 300 over 15s or average of 75 AP/min (assuming 1 ppm - unsure)

#10 manapaws

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 03:40 PM

To add to the above post, Bold Dragon's Eye are 27 strength vs 16 strength from Bold Scarlet Rubys. Since they're unique(3) that equates to 33 more strength or 66 more AP. Obviously slightly adjusted from druid talents, but comparable to other professions.

#11 kalbear

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 03:41 PM

It would be good to mention how good (or not) is here as well. Yes, it doesn't provide that much crit any more, but it still should be competitive in a melee and hunter-heavy raid.

#12 Rannasha

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 03:44 PM

To add to the above post, Bold Dragon's Eye are 27 strength vs 16 strength from Bold Scarlet Rubys. Since they're unique(3) that equates to 33 more strength or 66 more AP. Obviously slightly adjusted from druid talents, but comparable to other professions.


The Dragon's Eyes have the added bonus of being able to unlock socket bonuses and activate your meta gem though, making their benefit strictly greater than the 33 additional strength. The precise value will depend a bit on your socket-colors and their bonuses.

#13 kyneas

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 04:10 PM

Some time ago, during WOTLK beta, there was some talk about full talented mangle with 2p6, using shred on OOC procs, being on par on dps with full talented shred. It had a little dps decrease, but more combo points allowing better mantaining of rip and SR while using FB from time to time. At least until the damage added from replacing the 2p6 for better pieces was too important.

I didn't see how did the discussion end or if there was some change that made this aproach not viable. Does anyone remember or made new theorycrafting about this?

Sorry about my english.

#14 Maeltne

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 04:40 PM

I'm respec'ing and using my excess badges for DPS orientated gems, and getting up my leveling gear set. Some questions:

Assumptions:
I'm going to level with simple Mangle/FB spam. Stealth/Pounce requires too much thought for mindless grinding

Consequences
All models (Tossk/Rawr) are built around the final endgame dps rotations, and so aren't terribly useful for this model.

1) STR or AGI for gems?
2) or
3) or

#15 Monfalaris

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 05:17 PM

I didn't see how did the discussion end or if there was some change that made this aproach not viable. Does anyone remember or made new theorycrafting about this?

Sorry about my english.


You might want to check out this link: The Druid Wiki » ToskksDPSGearMethod » discussion » THE ultimate dps rotation?
It is all about state-of-the-art rotations used for maximized damage output.

For quick information: Shred takes an important role in these rotations and a mangle-spam is behind by approximately five to ten percent.

#16 Janraea

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 05:38 PM

I'm respec'ing and using my excess badges for DPS orientated gems, and getting up my leveling gear set. Some questions:

Assumptions:
I'm going to level with simple Mangle/FB spam. Stealth/Pounce requires too much thought for mindless grinding

Consequences
All models (Tossk/Rawr) are built around the final endgame dps rotations, and so aren't terribly useful for this model.

1) STR or AGI for gems?
2) or
3) or


If you're in epics, levelling will be trivial - not really worth theorycrafting for. (I'd go with harness and leggings). Technically you'd want agility gems till 75, then strength gems, but it hardly matters.

#17 Rannasha

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 05:54 PM

I'm respec'ing and using my excess badges for DPS orientated gems, and getting up my leveling gear set. Some questions:

Assumptions:
I'm going to level with simple Mangle/FB spam. Stealth/Pounce requires too much thought for mindless grinding

Consequences
All models (Tossk/Rawr) are built around the final endgame dps rotations, and so aren't terribly useful for this model.

1) STR or AGI for gems?
2) or
3) or


I'm leveling with AGI gems using the following (not mathematically backed) reasoning: Your attacks doing 1 damage more isn't going to kill the mob any faster, since your last attack generally has a fair bit of overkill. Critting your specials more is going to make a non-trivial difference in the time it takes to kill a mob. Additionally, AGI decreases the amount of damage you take, where STR does not.

#18 Druidiful

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 06:13 PM

I'm respec'ing and using my excess badges for DPS orientated gems, and getting up my leveling gear set. Some questions:

Assumptions:
I'm going to level with simple Mangle/FB spam. Stealth/Pounce requires too much thought for mindless grinding

Consequences
All models (Tossk/Rawr) are built around the final endgame dps rotations, and so aren't terribly useful for this model.

1) STR or AGI for gems?
2) or
3) or


I wouldn't really bother with spending badges on the epic gems because the green gems that JC are going to be able to make as soon as they get to Northrend will be better, although if you aren't a JC or miner it might take a little while to find the gems.

#19 Maeltne

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 06:14 PM

If you have something more useful to spend Badges of Justice on, I'd be glad to hear it.

#20 Micka

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 09:14 PM

Glyphs
Major glyphs relevant for cats are:

[Glyph of Mangle] - Essential for your DPS-cycle unless you consistently raid with an Arms Warrior providing the Trauma debuff.
[Glyph of Rake] - For solo PvE only, but even then it's of questionable worth.
[Glyph of Rebirth] - Not necessarily a DPS-glyph, but one worth considering nonetheless.
[Glyph of Rip] - Essential for your DPS-cycle.
[Glyph of Shred] - Mainly for solo PvE and PvP, has some use in 5mans, where mobs are still stunnable, but that's minimal.

Minor glyphs:
[Glyph of Aquatic Form] - For the regular swimmer.
[Glyph of Challenging Roar] - More of a tank glyph.
[Glyph of Dash] - This one is quite handy, being able to get to places more quickly can be a great boost in some encounters.
[Glyph of the Wild] - Convenience mostly, though chances are your spec won't include imp MotW and another Druid will handle the buff.
[Glyph of Thorns] - Nice for soloing, little use for raids as you won't be getting hit as DPS.
[Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth] - Saves you one bagslot, nifty.


Just a heads up that this portion of your main post is difficult to read as the links don't show up with a white background.




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