I am now a little over half way through level 84. Leveling 84-85 seems to be taking a lot longer than the previous dings. Kills and quest completion are still giving crazy XP it just looks like the last level is just a lot of work.
I am questing in the Twilight Highlands to finish up, this is also the location of Grim Batol and the new “Ring of Blood” called Crubicle of Carnage. I have not done it yet, maybe I can get some people together to help me out here soon.
I am still a Worgen… what a rip as I am still running around as a Human Druid… bletch… I don’t know what bletch means but it came up in my spell check so I went with it.
Patch 4.0.1 is on the way. As most know this is the start of the Cataclysm event and many things will change. The following is going to dramatically change your ability to DPS…
- Loss of FAP (Feral Attack Power).
- ArP is no more, your ArP gems become Crit gems (and that sucks)
- Talents change (You will lose expertise and crit)
There are a thing or 2 changing as well, but these are the big 3… well, and the change to Savage Roar… you can read about it.
A few good sources of specific changes that detail why our DPS is going to stink come the patch…
In order just to keep your DPS above hunter and lock pets you will need to re-gem Agility, Reforge for either Mastery or Haste, and switch gear or gem to pick up a little expertise.
OK, so maybe that explanation is a little melodramatic, however that is honestly what it looks like is going to happen. A 14K DPSing kitty in Icecrown will be putting out about half the DPS they were… probably about 8k-ish. People are saying Bear DPS is higher than kitty post patch.
My short term advice…
- Be prepared to respec to Boom. Hopefully you have been picking up caster items that would have been otherwise DEed.
- Be prepared to take a vacation until Cata hits where your low DPS won’t really matter during leveling. If you stay kitty don’t bother dropping a bunch of gold on new agility gems, just take a break and replace your gear a week or 2 into Cataclysm.
- Finish out Wrath having fun playing your Hunter or other Alt.
My long term advice…
- Level Boom in Cata, because you will be less broken. Continue to check back to my site and I will let you know when Feral Kitty is again viable.
- Keep caster gear rewards where there are no melee / melee leather rewards. Where there are good melee DPS rewards be cautious if there is a good caster reward instead.
- Consider doing more quests for gear even after hitting 85 so you have options.
- Do not suddenly spend Justice points until things get sorted out. If your friends are ready for Heroics and Raiding at some point you might have to commit to casting in Cataclysm at least for the first tier if they don’t fix our DPS way before then.
Kitty DPS has been really fun in Wrath, I hope it can continue in Cataclysm but I am not holding my breath. A return to Bear/Cat Utility spec, Tanking, or becoming a caster looks to be in our future.
So I am sure a lot of you are wondering, when will I be switching out my 264 or 277 Wrath gear for Cata greens?
Let me start by saying all your ArP gems will convert to Crit gems, so one might want to stock up on agility gems before the xpac… however, I plan on just leveling in the Crit gems with the knowledge that greens and blues before or by level 83 will be replacing my Wrath gear.
Let me tell you why you will be replacing gear rather early.
- Mastery – Old Wrath gear has none, most of the quest rewards has lots. Look below for the Mastery tooltip in the character screen for an idea of what this means to DPS.
- Stamina – All the new gear has a lot of added stamina. If you plan on tanking new 5 man content early in the xpac you will be harder to heal with your old gear.
- Agility – The new gear rewards come level 83 content starts surpassing old gear stats on more than just stamina and mastery.
- Leveling not Raiding – For leveling, pure stats not set bonus or procs tend to be more beneficial. Fights are short and usually trinket procs are wasted as you run between mobs.
This being said I am at level 83 and I still have not seen a weapon worth switching out my Heroic Wrath weapon for (though I hear a blue polearm at the end of deepholm questing fits the bill). I think there was a weapon or 2 with tons of mastery but I wasn’t sold on the stats over my current staff.
Note also that Idol’s are becoming uninteresting in the xpac and are expected to no longer be limited to certain classes. For example I was surprised when I headed to the bank hoping my old idol would be better for leveling….
Note the new gems sockets. Notice the lack of interesting procs. Meh.
So, level 83 and here is my new look…
I geared myself in greens and blues to max stats like Hit and Mastery… see below…
Notice you can now get a quick answer to your hit chances in your current gear, this is the new Hit Tooltip.
With all old Wrath Epic gear Mastery was at a base of 20%.
Here are my melee stats in old Wrath Epics. It doesn’t tell the whole story as you don’t readily see procs but as I said, leveling wastes them more than not and the lack of stamina will hurt when running instances especially as bear.
I wish I could do some test dummy parses but with no recount and the chance that some things are not working (not sure Mastery is functioning) I can’t do much. Notice I lose about 7% Crit. Not sure yet if that loss is worth the added damage from higher AP or the mastery bonus, but as I start leveling again I will report back on my findings.
I am in a holding pattern atm in beta since I am at the level cap, as soon as they break that open I will start leveling Jacemora again. My plans are to start leveling my hunter in beta… I need to find the new foxes.
I am currently leveling in Deepholm and I about 75% to 83.
I saw this blue quote on MMO Champ…
In terms of gameplay, our goal was to take advantage of the changes to the environment and use them to help address previous issues with quest flow. It was an opportunity to streamline progression within Darkshore so that the overall experience for players would be much smoother and require less running back and forth.
Leveling in Cataclysm will go faster as they are changing the questing design quite a bit and limiting the need to fly back and forth from quest giver and quest area. Some quest givers now actually allow you to complete quests at that location through a spiritual link instead of flying back.
How many night elves can look at that blue quote and remember all the running back and forth in Darkshore to level… it was horrible and really drug out questing in the zone. Low and High level characters alike will most likely benefit from the new questing linearity of moving through zones and it should speed up leveling. My guess is leveling in Outland will be the worst it will be as Northrend was a lot better than BC or Pre BC.
If anyone from Blizzard (unlikely) or anyone that knows someone at Blizzard (still unlikely) reads this could you hook a brother up with a Beta for Cataclysm?