Folks, if you are hearing that Kitty DPS stinks at that we are bottom of the barrel you need to correct people. Have them check out some WOL parses and let them know that Simulators are not indicative of what is happening in actual raids and that stateofdps.com is not the end all be all of what is going on with WOW DPS balance.
Looking at the parses from my own raids and guild, including groups with Hunters, DPS DK’s, Mages, Rogues… (all in the preferred specs) I consistently fall above, even, or just slightly below the top DPS.
Now, if you are finding this is not the case there are things you can do…
- Get Unheeded Warning. it is our new BiS and you should be able to buy it of the AH for 10Kish gold.
- Buy Epic Gear. We have a lot of BoE Epics we can get… Helm, Chest, Boots, Cloak, Neck, Belt, Ring, Trinket (see #1).
- Grind Rep. We have a some slots we can get Epics from rep. Wildhammer gloves and Earthen Ring, Ring come to mind.
- Grind 5 mans for VP and T11 gear.
- Stay on bosses and adds as much as possible. If I have learned nothing else it is that we lose a lot of DPS from moving away or between targets. Use Feral Charge, Dash, and even Barkskin and SI to stay in melee range with your target. I recommend key binding Feral Charge it’s so important for DPS.
- Get an Addon to track your DoTs and Abilities. I personally still use Fbn even though it’s broke. It really does not matter that it is broken because I just use it to know when Rip, Rake, and SR need refreshing and when Berserk and TF is off CD. It doesn’t know for example that I should be refreshing Rip with FB under 25%… but I do, so it works fine for what I need. (Disclaimer, it is broke other ways so only use it as a timer, not a true move suggestion)
- If you happen to be an herbalist create a Lifeblood/Tiger’s Fury macro… or use Lifeblood during a berserk moment.
- Save Berserk and other DPS increase CD’s like on use trinkets when the provide the biggest bang. Like when the head is down on Magmaw for example.
- Balance your gear so that your rotation feels natural and smooth. This comes with experience and playing with gear and stats. Although expertise and hit can be ignored for other more important stats you might want to add some back if you feel your rotation is getting wonky due to misses and what not.
- Make sure you understand fights so you can strategically do what you need to do. If that means explaining to your raid up front that you will be staying on the boss when they are expecting you to move, let them know your plans and how you will come with whatever mechanic that would require you to move out. For example on Maloriak when he goes to the blue vial if you are running DBM you will see a cool down timer for Flash Freeze
and you can safely continue DPSing the boss until you have to get out of range of the tank and it hits someone else. (P.S. I sometime use a Feral Charge here to break out a fellow raider quickly). Analyzing other fights will help you find other opportunities like this.
- Lastly, get and Addon like DBM which times fight events… for reasons like the last point.
I am by no means an awesome Kitty druid. But by doing things like the above I can definitely hold my own in my guild. If you find you can’t do well enough for a raid spot in your guild… well, you either need to improve or you need to find another guild less hard core.
So the latest patch hit last week.
About the only thing that changed for feral (once the energy bug was fixed) was that Unheeded Warning is now near BiS or is BiS until Heroic ilvl trinkets.
Agility is still king, Mastery is still next, Crit and Haste seem to be about even or close enough that you shouldn’t fret over it.
We downed Twilight Ascendant Council.
We have started on Cho’gall and we are learning that this is going to be a tough fight with 3 melee and only 2 ranged.
I have slowly been working on my Boomkin set. Unfortunately my Kitty set is so epic I can’t get near my DPS output to switch over and help at range. Should have a Volcano card soon which will help and hopefully some caster gear will start falling for us that isn’t cloth pants.
I am going to update my gear page to reflect my current kitty gear. I am going to ditch any references to bear gear on that page as it is perfectly acceptable to tank 5 man heroics in my kitty set and I don’t tank raids.
Don’t let anyone tell you feral DPS is toward the bottom of DPS charts. If you are doing it right and you are geared properly you should be toward the top on just about ever encounter. This takes holding certain abilities at certain times, using kitty leap, keybinding and using macro’s, using Dash, and giving 110% effort. It’s not a face roll to top charts, but it is entirely possible.
So I decided to try and find a little time today to update on our raiding progress.
So far we have downed…
- Argaloth (If your guild can’t down this guy by now, you are behind methinks)
- Omnotron Defense System
- Halfus Wyrmbreaker
- Valiona & Theralion
- Conclave of Wind
So far I think we have all been pretty pleased with the level of difficulty, mechanics, and enjoyment. We are only raiding less than 6 hours per week and so far so good with quality over quantity. It helps of course that our 10 man group has 7 players from our Wrath 10 man so the familiarity is there and that the 3 that have joined our ranks have meshed nicely and are awesome in their own right. Also, we are only running with 2 ranged DPS and thus far have not had any real problems.
I thought I would go over each fight from a Kitty perspective. These fights can all be a lot of fun for melee DPS in general and maybe I can give some tips for maximizing DPS while staying alive and helping others.
- Argaloth -Pretty easy boss however we get stuck without the ability to swipe for half the fight in order to stay out front and help split damage from Meteor Slash. I would say we kitties have an edge on this fight with our speed increase while running around to avoid fire. Try to pick up DPS in the reoccurring phase 2 of this fight by stick and move, stick and move… out of the fire. As long as your healers don’t suck and people are getting cleansed of Consuming Darkness this fight is very easy. 2 Tanks, 5 DPS, 3 Heals.
- Magmaw – The key to Magmaw for kitty is positioning and blowing your DPS cooldowns while he is impaled. At first glance this fight looks like a Kolo repeat from Ulduar however there is a small sliver of real estate you can access to stay behind. Keep an eye open however to switch sides if where you are standing gets ignited with fire… steam coming up from the ground means move to the other side. Be prepared to switch to bear form and barkskin if you draw agro during a Mangle on the tank… this will only be reliable if you are running a hybrid bear cat spec where you can’t be crit. As long as your healers are on point and ranged DPS kill parasites quickly you will be good to go. 1 Tank, 6 DPS, 3 Heals.
- Omnotron Defense System – Only specific Kitty tip I can think of is to use barkskin and bear form when needed to reduce damage and help your healers. Make sure DPS is stopping DoTs when they reach 60% to shield. DoTs rolling can potentially break a shield and wipe the raid so be careful. With heads up folks this fight isn’t rough. Stay out of bad stuff, stand in good stuff, don’t break shields, run away from others when appropriate, switch targets when it’s time, collect loot. 2 tanks, 5 DPS, 3 healers.
- Maloriak – One of the tougher nuts to break. It took a little time for us to get positioning down, timing (especially on adds interrupts), and fine tuning all the DPS we could muster. If your run is having trouble on the adds during the green phase save berserk for it and add some extra DPS with swipe. Convince your raid to let you stay behind the boss in the red phase and to stay in during blue at least until the DBM timer shows Flash Freeze off cooldown. It’s a good idea to spec into Brutal Impact for this fight alone if you have not already. Having a stun with a short cool down is helpful. In the last phase use barkskin to mitigate damage and help the healers while avoiding Absolute Zero(which are usually in melee so stand off to the side of him when possible) and the flame trails on the ground. 2 tanks, 5 DPS, 3 healers.
- Atramedes – This boss I would say was one of the easiest to master. As kitty take the gong after his air phase begins since we can Dash and stay away from his Searing Flame. Even without Dash we pretty much have an edge with speed. His hit box is large so stay back quite a bit to avoid Sonar Pulse. One thing we didn’t that made a difference was to use a gong if any raid member was unlucky and found themselves high in sound. We ended our first kill with no gongs remaining due to this but it kept the party from wiping if a healer was high in sound. So, stay out of bad stuff and be good on gong use and the fight is cake. This was also a fight that lets you take advantage of running just one tank and 2 healers. 1 tank, 7 DPS, 2 healers.
- Chimaeron – As kitty I find myself doing a lot in the fight. You have to pull quite a bit of DPS to pull this off, Dash in the last phase if you get targeted, Innervate a healer at some point(or 2), use barkskin when grouped, and maybe toss in a Tranquility and Battle Rez along the way. Make sure you DPS close to the boss while staying 6 yards from others so that you are in range of the healers. The key to this fight is your tanks swapping correctly so that the tank without Break takes the Double Attack and the tank taking that is always topped off for it. That and good healing of course… a reoccurring theme. 2 tanks, 5 DPS, 3 healers.
- Halfus Wyrmbreaker – This fight changes slightly week to week along with it’s difficulty. As kitty DPS there is nothing special unless you are chosen to do the interrupts. DPS strong is all you can do. Once you get down some drakes and you switch to him it should be game over. 2 tanks, 5 DPS, 3 healers.
- Valiona & Theralion – As kitty nothing special again. Tank and spank with some movement. Use kitty charge, don’t mess up, don’t stand in the proverbial fire, collect loot. Try to have a ranged group and melee group for stacking during the Theralion phase to split meteor damage. 1 tank, 6 DPS, 3 healers.
- Conclave of Wind – As kitty you should be on Anshal with the other melee. DPS boss, make sure to let the tank know if he needs to be moved out of healing circles, kill plants when they spawn. Head to Nezir when Anshal hits 70 Strength unless you need a couple more seconds to kill a plant. DPS Nezir while there to share Sleet Storm. Go back to Anshal and repeat until you are ready to down Anshal and Rohash at the same time. Everyone goes to Nezir and collects loot. The key to this fight is to communicate a lot during it. The tanks need to swap correctly, no plants should be up at the swap, and DPS should help out when needed on a different boss. 2 tanks, 5 DPS, 2 healers, 1 healer/tank.
Of course, all of these are not complete as there are many videos and strategies already out there. Just a cliff notes from a kitty POV. I hope to update my gear page soon as I have scored things like Malevolence and Lightning Conductor Band.
Anyway, happy raiding!
By now most everyone knows that our our best Meta gem in the new expansion is an old Meta… /sigh… Relentless Earthsiege Diamond
Most everyone also knows that due to bad gemming requirements of the meta (and a pending fix by Blizzard that has to wait until the next major patch) that this Meta isn’t worth wearing at this time either.
Use 2XAdept Ember Topaz to satisfy the yellow gem requirement. Put Delicate Inferno Ruby everywhere else unless activating a gear gem bonus of +20 agility at which time you can use the previously mentioned Adept or a Shifting Demonseye.
So I decided I was going to get this list together tonight… and BAM, I had already been beaten to the punch…
So what can I add to this…. well, not a whole heck of a lot. The list and explanations at the Fluid Druid at first glance look really good to me.
I am sure things will change somewhat post release and pre raiding so stay tuned. I will definitely do my usual tweaking of the list to highlight how to best utilize your time and still gear up as best as possible.