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[[Image:Coldbearbanneredit_minus_text.jpg|Beer druid v. Cat Druid]]
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[[File:Coldbearbanneredit_minus_text.jpg|Beer druid v. Cat Druid. Art by Tigrin.net]]
 
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The information in this guide is intended for endgame [[feral]] [[dps]] players in [[group]]s and [[raid]]s. Pool information here and help update this to avoid having multiple out-dated guides on several different websites.
 
The information in this guide is intended for endgame [[feral]] [[dps]] players in [[group]]s and [[raid]]s. Pool information here and help update this to avoid having multiple out-dated guides on several different websites.
   
'''''{{Text|lawngreen|Practice. I’ve spent upward of 50 hours on a target dummy in Stormwind since the launch of WotLK practicing feral dps. The result is that I perform VERY well for the gear that I have. Being good at feral dps means thinking about your buffs/debuffs 10-15 seconds in advance.}}''''' – Gwindor <Aeon> US-Suramar [A]
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== Specs and glyphs ==
   
==Specs and glyphs==
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=== Solid base build ===
<br>
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Solid base build with three points left over for accessory talents. Includes required glyphs (prime) and suggested glyphs (major, minor).
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* [http://www.wowhead.com/talent#0ZdbGfRzMdbfzMcz:MzfVZzm Primary Build]
   
* For Feral DPS specs see [[Druid_builds#Feral_Combat]]
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;Talent notes
   
  +
:;Tier 1
  +
:*{{ability|Feral Swiftness}} 2/2: An important 30% ground speed boost that can provide a decent dps uptime increase on heavy movement fights.
   
*"[[Feral Swiftness]] and [[Survival Instincts]] don't directly increase your damage. But they offer very significant survival tools. Additionaly, both allow you to DPS for a second longer here and there." - Murna, [[ElitistJerks]] Cat DPS Guide for Dummies
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:*{{ability|Predatory Strikes}} 2/2: The primary portion of this talent allows druids to get the most out of Stampede at the start of fights and get a bump in initial combo points as well. The second half can be used to pop self-heals in tight situations to save yourself, or held in the pipe for instant Bres' if things go south in an encounter.
*[[Feral Aggression]] generally affects only a small percentage of most feral dps damage on most raid encounters.
 
*[[Improved Leader of the Pack]] is useless if another feral in the raid covers that buff.
 
*2/2 [[Improved Mark of the Wild]] is a large dps buff.
 
*[[Feral Instinct]] is useless on single-target raid encounters, but helps with trash mobs and adds.
 
*[[Survival Instinct]] adds a large amount of on-demand survivability that is very useful in the hands of a skilled player.
 
*[[Nurturing Instinct]] adds a small amount of survivability and may be useful on some hard mode/heroic raidfights if you have points to spare.
 
*[[Protector of the Pack]] affects Bear Form only.
 
*[[Infected Wounds]] is generally not useful in raids that have an Arms or Prot Warrior, Prot Paladin or Unholy or Frost Death Knight.
 
*[[Improved Mangle]] is generally needed due to the dynamic nature of many raidfights - having to run through a boss or attack adds and bosses from bad angles. YMMV on specific fights or with specific raid compositions. This talent issue is disputed.
 
   
For further discussions on talents, see http://elitistjerks.com/f73/ and the [[Feral Combat]] page.
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:*{{ability|Furor}} 1/2: Filler point.
   
[[Glyph of Savage Roar]], [[Glyph of Rip]] and [[Glyph of Shred]] will give you the most dps as of [[Patch 3.3.0]]. Check [[Rawr]] or Toskk's Dps Gear Calculator for exactly how much each contributes to increasing your dps, and the value of alternatives in subsequent patches. For specific hard mode fights other combinations may be better, e.g. on Heroic Anub'arak it is recommended to switch out the Glyph of Shred for [[Glyph of Berserk]] due to the extremely dynamic nature of the fight, the importance placed on Berserk + Swipe (Cat) on the first wave of adds and the relative lower overall amount of damage from Rip in the fight.
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:;Tier 2
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:*{{ability|Fury Swipes}} 3/3: Since auto attacks make up one of the top 4 damage done abilities, this adds more weight to staying on a target.
   
QUESTION: When and when not to extend a Rip with one more Shred rather than re-apply Rake?
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:*{{ability|Primal Fury}} 2/2: Free combo points on critical strike combo point granting abilities. Saves time and energy when building 5cpts for a rip or Ferocious Bite. Don't pass over.
   
Minor glyphs do not affect dps, though an exception is [[Glyph of Dash]] which can raise your life expectancy and/or improve your effective time in melee range on some fights.
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:*{{ability|Feral Aggression}} 2/2: Simple dps increase over taking more points in Furor or Infected wounds while filling out the tree. If your group lacks the armor debuff, make sure to apply Feral Faerie Fire at the start of a fight and when it's about to fall off.
   
==DPS algorithm/rotation==
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:;Tier 3
  +
:*{{ability|King of the Jungle}} 3/3: Keeping Tiger's Fury on CD as much as possible is a cornerstone of Feral dps. With this talent, all you have to do is adjust when you use it as to not waste the extra energy gain.
   
Feral [[DPS]] relies on a list of priorities, i.e. an [[wikipedia:Wikipedia Article|Algorithm]] - although this is commonly referred to as a [[Rotation]]. The first lines are always more important, i.e. [[Mangle]] is more important than [[Savage Roar]] which is more important than [[Rake]] which is more important than [[Shred]]. Keep in mind that the following algorithm is designed to maximize the raid's overall dps as opposed to your own, and sometimes you will have to switch targets to adds that may die too fast for you to "ramp up" effectively.
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:*{{ability|Feral Charge}} 1/1: Cat version of this talent makes short work of travel time to targets, increasing dps up-time on movement fights.
   
#With 3 or more targets in your frontal 180 degree arc and it doesn’t matter which dies first, use Mangle to keep up Savage Roar and use [[Swipe (Cat)]] whether it’s talented or not. If targets die too quickly or you can't get in a good position to Swipe (Cat), just concentrate on Savage Roar and Mangle/Shred, alt. Mangle/Rake if using [[Idol of the Crying Moon]].
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:*{{ability|Stampede}} 2/2: Cat version allows for the use of Ravage outside of stealth, and makes it free to boot! Charge at the start of a pull as well as when you're away from your primary target and reap the benefits of Predatory Strikes along with it.
#With two targets... pick the one that will last the longest and proceed with single-target dps:
 
#Keep up Feral Faerie Fire unless you have a [[boomkin]] who puts up [[Improved Faerie Fire]] in the first second or two – and keeps it up.
 
#Keep Mangle up - many 25p raids will have a [[Trauma]]-specced Warrior who does this automatically, or a Bear tank. If you're keeping this debuff up for the raid, it's by far the greatest dps contribution you can make, as it greatly affects the damage from Warriors, Rogues and some Hunters using [[bleed]] effects.
 
#Keep Savage Roar up – you want 100% uptime, though in reality it will drop during [[Innervate]]s/[[Rebirth]]/phase-changes/run-in-run-out mechanics etc.
 
#If you know threat will not be an issue or you've already taken steps to deal with it (by talking to a Paladin about getting [[Hand of Salvation]] ahead of time), use Berserk at this point in the intial pull to maximize the chance of using Berserk as many times as possible in a fight.
 
#Keep Rake up but don't clip it - if you clip it, it may cost you energy and give you a combo point, but not overwrite or extend the bleed effect. (This has not been confirmed to be a bug or intended behaviour.)
 
#Shred - a Rip-extending Shred may be higher damage-per-energy than Rake - REFERENCE NEEDED
 
#Get 5 Combo points then [[Rip]] – unless Rip is already up, in which case pool energy and wait
 
#If < 35 Energy then [[Tiger's Fury]] or [[Nature's Grasp]] (which can proc [[Omen of Clarity]])
 
#If [[Omen of Clarity]] procs then Shred unless Mangle or Savage Roar is about to run out
 
#If you have 5 Combo points and there’s 8 seconds or more left on *'''BOTH'''* Savage Roar and Rip, then and only then [[Ferocious Bite]] - ideally you want easy 5 Combo points afterward, e.g. Tiger's Fury coming off cooldown.
 
#anticipate if Savage Roar and Rip will run out concurrently, and clip Savage Roar to desynchronize the timers with a low-Combo Point Savage Roar immediately. Clip Savage Roar, but don't clip Rip unless you're about to lose melee contact with the boss for an extended period of time.
 
#[[Berserk]] as early and as often as possible except:
 
#Save it to take advantage of a boss [[mechanic]]
 
#Try to stack with cooldowns like [[Hysteria]] or [[Shattering Throw]]
 
#Try not to Berserk within 6s after Tiger's Fury except for the first one, nor at low Energy and not at above 85 Energy REFERENCE NEEDED.
 
   
Do everything right, with decent to good gear, on a static fight - according to some calculations in [[SimulationCraft]] you could end up with 40% downtime, i.e. just pooling energy - a key part of becoming a good feral dps player is recognizing when this is a good thing, and how to line up GCDs for best effect as timers collide chaotically.
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:;Tier 4
  +
:*{{ability|Leader of the Pack}} 1/1: Solid party/raid buff. Has a nice self-healing buff as well. If another member of your group provides the 5% crit buff, LotP will override it one your character due to the secondary healing it provides.
   
The above dps algorithm also happens to be one of the most complicated in the game, and according to the World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer [[Greg Street]], a.k.a. Ghostcrawler:
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:*{{ability|Nurturing Instinct}} 2/2: Tranquility is a very strong heal for druids and this talent helps it keep pace while you're in feral. The additional healing done to you is just icing on the cake and shouldn't be overlooked with the changes made to healing for Cata.
   
{{bluepost
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:;Tier 5
| poster = Bornakk
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:*{{ability|Primal Madness}} 2/2: Ups your max energy to 120 during Tiger's Fury '''and''' Berserk. For the first, it allows you to pop T'sF at 60 energy. And while not too impressive for the latter, you can pop TF first to cap out your energy at 120, and then try and burn it all off with half priced abilities.
| body = Ghostcrawler: If you want to do the best damage possible, you need to be able to master a complex rotation. This is one of the features that attracts players to the Feral spec. However, it’s also pretty forgiving. If you just Shred, you’re going to do decent damage. If you Shred and try to keep up Savage Roar, it’s going to be better. If you can also manage your Mangles and Rips and Rakes, then you have the potential to do very high damage (assuming you don’t have to move around much and can reach the target’s back).
 
| title = Class Q&A Series: Druid 07/14/2009 06:00:29 PM PDT
 
| link = http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=18600870072&sid=1&pageNo=1#1
 
}}
 
   
NOTE: The algorithm is not set in stone. Fight mechanics, [[Innervate]], [[Rebirth]], adds, void zones, standing in fire and even things like gear that necessitates that you keep a stackable buff up - will all play havoc it.
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:*{{ability|Survival Instincts (druid ability)|Survival Instincts}} 1/1: Listed as a mandatory talent since a dead dps is essentially worthless. It's worth mentioning that both this talent and Barkskin are off the GCD.
   
==Implications==
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:*{{ability|Endless Carnage}} 2/2: Not having to reapply Rake and Savage Roar as often gives you more energy to spend on higher dps abilities.
   
* Ferals require substantial ramp-up time before the damage really gets going, averaging 5-7 seconds in melee range to get Mangle, SR, Rake and Rip up. You want to draw your raid leaders’ attention to this if needed, so you don’t end up switching targets more than necessary, especially at low energy. Other specs have little to no ramp-up time and much more burst-on-demand, but the situation and raid composition dictate tactics, which means you will have to do the best you can, given what the raidleader needs done. Keep in mind that many other dps players would rather be sticking to one single target as well.
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:;Tier 6
  +
:*{{ability|Rend and Tear}} 3/3: Since you'll have (in a best case scenario) both Rip and Rake up at all times, this talent is solid gold for keeping your Shreds in peek performance.
   
* You will not always be able to remember every step in the algorithm, but in the UI section you will find solutions to this headache.
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:*{{ability|Blood in the Water}} 2/2: Essentially turns Ferocious Bite into an Execute under 25%, refreshing Rip for free. It should be noted that even a 1pt FB will refresh Rip while this talent is active.
   
* "This relatively high complexity pays off; you have the potential to top the charts on any fight without a gimmick stacked against you."- Astrylian of <Aeon> on US-Suramar[A], Author of [[Rawr]]
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:;Tier 7
  +
:*{{ability|Berserk}} 1/1: Plain and simple DPS cooldown. Time it's use for the start of the fight and every 3min thereafter, avoiding points where excessive movement would be involved. Currently, there is a debate as to whether one should use FB during a Berserk as apposed to simply Shred Spamming and refreshing Rip.
   
* No other spec currently in the game needs to be behind its target to do competitive PVE damage. Feral dps players are thus disproportionately concerned with getting and staying behind the boss. Be aware that "behind" the target is defined as anywhere in melee range in the rear 180-degree arc. (IMAGE NEEDED) To the side and just slight behind the middle is fine, and sometimes it's possible to [[Shred]] while technically facing the wrong way inside the target's graphic model. Many bosses and adds rotate quickly and unpredictably, e.g. [[Lady Deathwhisper]], [[Stormcaller Brundir]], [[Lord Jaraxxus]] and it may be worth your while to decide whether to continually adjust or to just refresh the [[Mangle]] debuff instead.
 
If you’re the only feral dps then the raid may be better off positioning to your disadvantage, but if maximizing your dps becomes an issue, the raid may have to accommodate this unique positioning requirement. Keep in mind that most raid leaders are stressed, don’t know everything about every class, rarely have perfect raid comps and face a lot of competing priorities.
 
   
With the increased importance of [[wikipedia:Wikipedia Article|Situational Awareness]] comes a great need to be able to see personal [[melee]] positioning very clearly, while simultaneously being very aware of your health, energy, combo points, target's health, target cast bar, various buffs, debuffs, cooldowns, boss emotes, raid warnings, possible [[Innervate]] targets and possible [[Rebirth]] targets. A common solution to this is to use [[UI]] [[addon]]s to centralize a lot of this information much more effectively than the stock UI does - for details see the [[Feral druid resources]] page.
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;To-do
  +
* Add description of Feral only abilities and mastery.
   
==Stat values==
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==DPS algorithm/rotation==
  +
Feral [[DPS]] relies on a list of priorities, i.e. an [[wikipedia:Algorithm|Algorithm]] - although this is commonly referred to as a [[rotation]]. The list below is in order of importance, i.e. {{ability|Mangle}} is more important than {{ability|Savage Roar}} which is more important than {{ability|Rake}} which is more important than {{ability|Shred}}. Keep in mind that the following algorithm is designed to maximize the raid's overall DPS as opposed to your own, and sometimes you will have to switch targets to adds that may die too fast for you to "ramp up" effectively.
   
Each [[stat]] will change in dps value for you as you change gear and [[buff]]s/[[debuff]]s and boss mechanics. Toward the end of WOTLK, ferals will be able to meet multiple [[hit]], [[crit]], [[Armor penetration]] and [[Expertise]] soft and hard caps. It’s getting VERY complicated and the values of various stats as you approach these caps will become very skewed to the point that general recommendations no longer apply. For example, as you approach the Armor penetration hard cap the value of hit and Expertise goes up way out of normal proportions. You can either do tons of math and reading and theorycrafting or just let a calculator help you with it, imperfect as [[Rawr]], Toskk’s and [[SimulationCraft]] may be.
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#With 3 or more targets inside 5 yards in your frontal 180 degree arc - and it doesn't matter which dies first - use Mangle to keep up Savage Roar and use {{ability|Swipe (Cat)|Swipe}} whether it's talented or not. If targets die too quickly or you can't get in a good position to Swipe, just concentrate on Savage Roar and Mangle/Shred, alt. Mangle/Rake if using {{item|Idol of the Crying Moon}}.
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#With two targets, pick the one that will last the longest and proceed with single-target DPS:
  +
#Keep up {{ability|Faerie Fire (Feral)}} unless your group also has a [[boomkin]] who puts up {{ability|Improved Faerie Fire}} in the first second or two -- and keeps it up.
  +
#Keep Mangle up - many 25p raids will have a [[Trauma]]-specced warrior who does this automatically, or a Bear tank. If you're keeping this debuff up for the raid, it's by far the greatest DPS contribution you can make, as it greatly affects the damage from warriors, rogues and some hunters, who all use [[bleed]] effects.
  +
#Keep Savage Roar up -- you want 100% uptime, though in reality it will drop during [[Innervate]]s/[[Rebirth]]/phase-changes/run-in-run-out mechanics etc.
  +
#If you have less than 35 Energy, use {{ability|Tiger's Fury}} (or {{ability|Nature's Grasp}} - which can proc {{ability|Omen of Clarity}}).
  +
#If you know threat will not be an issue or you've already taken steps to deal with it (by talking to a paladin about getting {{ability|Hand of Salvation}} ahead of time - or a warrior's {{ability|Vigilance}}), use {{ability|Berserk}} at this point in the initial pull in order to use it as many times as possible in a fight.
  +
#If Omen of Clarity procs, use Shred, unless Mangle or Savage Roar is about to run out.
  +
#Keep Rake up but don't clip it - if you clip it, it may cost you energy and give you a combo point, but not overwrite or extend the bleed effect. (This has not been confirmed to be a bug or intended behaviour.)
  +
#Shred - a Rip-extending Shred may be higher damage-per-energy than Rake - REFERENCE NEEDED
  +
#Get 5 Combo points then {{ability|Rip}} -- unless Rip is already up, in which case pool energy and wait
  +
#If you have 5 Combo points and there's 8 seconds or more left on *'''BOTH'''* Savage Roar and Rip, then and only then {{ability|Ferocious Bite}} - ideally you want easy 5 Combo points afterward, e.g. Tiger's Fury coming off cooldown.
  +
#Anticipate if Savage Roar and Rip will run out concurrently, and clip Savage Roar to desynchronize the timers with a low-Combo Point Savage Roar immediately. Clip Savage Roar, but don't clip Rip unless you're about to lose melee contact with the boss for an extended period of time.
  +
#{{ability|Berserk}} as early and as often as possible except:
  +
##Save it to take advantage of a boss [[mechanic]]
  +
##Try to stack with cooldowns like {{ability|Hysteria}} or {{ability|Shattering Throw}}
  +
##Try not to Berserk within 6s after Tiger's Fury except for the first one, nor at low Energy and not at above 85 Energy REFERENCE NEEDED.
   
STAT CAPS
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Do everything right, with decent to good gear, on a static fight - according to some calculations in [[SimulationCraft]] you could end up with 40% downtime, i.e. just pooling energy - a key part of becoming a good feral DPS player is recognizing when this is a good thing, and how to line up GCDs for best effect as timers collide chaotically.
   
In the context of stats, the term "hardcap" refers to the point at which equipping more of a particular stat will have no additional value. Many [[trinket]]s have [[proc]]s that when triggered put a player close to, or above the hardcap. "Softcap" simply means that you're at the point where, when the [[trinket]] [[proc]]s - you're precisely at the hardcap.
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The above DPS algorithm also happens to be one of the most complicated in the game, and according to the World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer [[Greg Street]], a.k.a. Ghostcrawler:
  +
{{bluepost
  +
| poster = Bornakk
  +
| body = Ghostcrawler: If you want to do the best damage possible, you need to be able to master a complex rotation. This is one of the features that attracts players to the Feral spec. However, it's also pretty forgiving. If you just Shred, you're going to do decent damage. If you Shred and try to keep up Savage Roar, it's going to be better. If you can also manage your Mangles and Rips and Rakes, then you have the potential to do very high damage (assuming you don't have to move around much and can reach the target's back).
  +
| title = Class Q&A Series: Druid 07/14/2009 06:00:29 PM PDT
  +
| link = http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=18600870072&sid=1&pageNo=1#1
  +
}}
   
As the WOTLK expansion cycle nears its end, it's becoming easier for feral raiders to reach various hard and soft caps on [[Hit]], [[Crit]], [[Armor Penetration]] and [[Expertise]]. As you approach these caps the values of some other stats become disproportionately large, e.g. the value of [[Hit]] and [[Expertise]] go up dramatically as you approach the [[Armor Penetration]] hardcap.
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''Note: The algorithm is not set in stone. Fight mechanics, [[Innervate]], [[Rebirth]], adds, void zones, standing in fire and even things like gear that necessitates that you keep a stackable buff up - will all play havoc with it.''
   
ARMOR PENETRATION
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==Implications==
  +
[[File:FeralCatDPSRotation.jpg|thumb|right|Cat DPS extended rotation]]
  +
[[File:Catdps.jpg|thumb|left|Simplified Cat DPS Rotation]]
   
Many feral dps guide authors recommend either gemming for Agility or [[Armor Penetration]] based on how much Armor Penetration you already have on your gear if you are unwilling or unable to use programs like Rawr, SimulationCraft or web apps like Toskk's Dps Gear Calculator. REFERENCE NEEDED
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Ferals require substantial ramp-up time before the damage really gets going, averaging 5-7 seconds in melee range to get Mangle, SR, Rake and Rip up. You want to draw your raid leaders' attention to this if needed, so you don't end up switching targets more than necessary, especially at low energy. Other specs have little to no ramp-up time and much more burst-on-demand, but the situation and raid composition dictate tactics, which means you will have to do the best you can, given what the raid leader needs done. Keep in mind that many other dps players would rather be sticking to one single target as well.
   
HIT
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You will not always be able to remember every step in the algorithm, but in the UI section you will find solutions to this headache.
   
It is normally not recommended that a feral worry about the [[hit]] cap unless the player has a difficult time with the rotation being thrown off by misses, or in extremely dynamic fights where missing a key finishing move can disproportionately lower effective dps. For further information, model your character/fight in [[Rawr]], Toskk's or [[SimulationCraft]] - or see [[ElitistJerks]].
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"This relatively high complexity pays off; you have the potential to top the charts on any fight without a gimmick stacked against you."- Astrylian of <Aeon> on US-Suramar[A], Author of [[Rawr]].
   
* Hit cap against a level 80 target: 164 hit rating or 5% (numbers useful against some adds and in pvp only, not bosses).
+
No other spec currently in the game needs to be behind its target to do competitive PVE damage. Feral dps players are thus disproportionately concerned with getting and staying behind the boss. Be aware that "behind" the target is defined as anywhere in melee range in the rear 180-degree arc. (IMAGE NEEDED) To the side and just slightly behind the middle is fine, and sometimes it's possible to [[Shred]] while technically facing the wrong way inside the target's graphic model. Many bosses and adds rotate quickly and unpredictably, e.g. [[Lady Deathwhisper]], [[Stormcaller Brundir]], [[Lord Jaraxxus]] and it may be worth your while to decide whether to continually adjust or to just refresh the [[Mangle]] debuff instead.
* Hit cap against a level 83 target: 262.32 hit rating or 8%.
 
* With Draenei in your group due to [[Heroic Presence]], against an 83 target - 230 hit rating or 7%.
 
   
EXPERTISE
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If you're the only feral dps then the raid may be better off positioning to your disadvantage, but if maximizing your dps becomes an issue, the raid may have to accommodate this unique positioning requirement. Keep in mind that most raid leaders are stressed, don't know everything about every class, rarely have perfect raid comps and face a lot of competing priorities.
   
It is normally not recommended that ferals worry about the [[Expertise]] cap.
+
With the increased importance of [[wikipedia:Situation awareness|Situational Awareness]] comes a great need to be able to see personal [[melee]] positioning very clearly, while simultaneously being very aware of your health, energy, combo points, target's health, target cast bar, various buffs, debuffs, cooldowns, boss emotes, raid warnings, possible [[Innervate]] targets and possible [[Rebirth]] targets. A common solution to this is to use [[UI]] [[addon]]s to centralize a lot of this information much more effectively than the stock UI does - for details see the [[Feral druid resources]] page.
   
Expertise Cap vs lvl 80 targets: 5% (Dodge)/5% (Parry) = 20 Expertise = 163.9 Expertise Rating
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==Stat values==
Expertise Cap vs lvl 83 targets: 6.5% (Dodge)/14% (Parry) = 26/56 Expertise = 213.13 / 459.1 Expertise Rating.
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Feral DPS is defined as a melee, Agility based, Bleed-damage oriented class. As such, it uses WoW's melee stats to determine what kind of damage your character will do once you hit the button. Since {{cata-inline}} Cataclysm ([[Patch 4.0.1]] and up), several of the older melee stats such as Armor Pen (ArP), Attack Power (AtP) and Feral Attack Power on gear has been removed to simplify measuring what stats are better for which class. In Feral DPS, players concentrate on the following (in no certain order): [[Agility]], [[Critical Strike]], [[Haste]], [[Mastery]], [[Hit]] and [[Expertise]].
Since you should always attack from behind, your target can't parry. Therefore you only need 26 expertise
 
or 213.13 Expertise Rating [to reach the Expertise cap].
 
- Murna, [[ElitistJerks]] Cat DPS Guide for Dummies thread.
 
   
AGILITY
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;[[Agility]]: Feral DPS gains 2 attack power per point of agility. This is increased by talents, buffs and automatically by selecting Feral as your primary talent tree in the form of a 25% flat buff to attack power. Your basic bread and butter stat.
   
If [[Rawr]], Toskk's or [[SimulationCraft]] isn't telling you to gem for Armor Penetration you should generally be gemming for [[Agility]] as it provides the most dps per stat point otherwise. The exception would be if you are close to some of the hard- or soft-caps. UPDATE NEEDED
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;[[Mastery]]: The newest stat for {{cata-inline}} Cataclysm. Mastery for Feral DPS increases the amount of damage Bleed effects you apply do while in Cat form by 25.04%, increased by an additional 3.1% per 1% increase in mastery.
   
STRENGTH
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;[[Critical Strike]]: Determines how often your abilities will deal double damage.
   
[[Strength]] normally provides inferior dps gain point-for-point v.v. Agility, use [[Rawr]], Toskk's or [[SimulationCraft]] to analyze based on your gear.
+
;[[Haste]]: Haste increases two things: how fast your white swings are and how fast you generate energy.
   
CRIT
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;[[Expertise]] and [[Hit]] rating: These two stats are special in that there comes a point where having any more of one will essentially be worthless (otherwise known as the "Hard Cap"). Hit is exactly what it sounds like, it improves the chance of your attacks/abilities of actually hitting the target. The soft cap for it is defined as the amount of Hit rating required for your yellow damage special attacks to have a 100% of connecting with your target, while the hard cap is the amount required so that all of your white swings will hit without missing. Expertise decreases the chance that your target will [[Dodge]] or [[Parry]] your attacks. Since a target can dodge, parry and block attacks from the front, you should concentrate being behind the target as much as possible while DPS'ing since expertise does nothing to negate block. Also, the "soft cap" for expertise is considered to be the amount of expertise required to reduce your target's chance of dodging your attacks to 0%, while the hard cap would be the amount needed to negate being parried.
   
[[Critical Strike Rating]] normally provides inferior dps gain point-for-point v.v. Agility, use [[Rawr]], Toskk's or [[SimulationCraft]] to analyze based on your gear. The exact values of various white- and yellow-attack crit caps is still being researched. It is expected that many ferals will achieve some sort of crit cap in T10 gear levels. REFERENCE NEEDED
+
;To-do:
+
* Add exact stat values with corresponding caps (if app.).
HASTE
+
* Find stat value order.
 
[[Haste]] normally provides inferior dps gain point-for-point v.v. Agility, use [[Rawr]], Toskk's or [[SimulationCraft]] to analyze based on your gear.
 
 
ATTACK POWER
 
 
[[Attack Power]] normally provides inferior dps gain point-for-point v.v. Agility, use [[Rawr]], Toskk's or [[SimulationCraft]] to analyze based on your gear.
 
 
CATACLYSM CHANGES
 
 
[[Cataclysm]] stats will be significantly different, with the aim of simpler, more easy-to-understand gearing decisions that don't require a spreadsheet or 3rd-party application to figure out.
 
 
{{bluepost
 
| poster = Wryxian
 
| body = Attack Power: We're removing Attack Power from items as well. Instead, we're allowing Agility to provide the necessary Attack Power for leather and mail wearers. Strength will provide the appropriate amount of Attack Power for plate wearers. This means leather and mail items will no longer be desirable for plate wearers.
 
Defense: The Defense statistic is also being removed from items so that players no longer have to worry about juggling around "the cap." Tanks will receive the necessary anti-crit from talents, like Survival of the Fittest.
 
<br>
 
Armor Penetration: This ability is too confusing and "mathy." It is being replaced with Mastery, a stat that makes you better at what you do. More on that later!
 
<br>
 
Haste: Will also increase the rate at which you gain energy, runes, and focus. Retribution paladins and Enhancement shaman will have a talent that allows them to take advantage of this benefit.
 
Stamina: Players will notice more Stamina on gear as Defense, Spell Power, Attack Power and Armor Penetration are removed.
 
| title = [BlizzCon 09] Classes, Items, and Professions
 
| link = http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=10543537977&sid=1&pageNo=1#1
 
}}
 
 
STAT WEIGHTS
 
 
Many websites and authors try to assign static values ([[Agility Equivalence Points]] a.k.a. "AEP", [[wowhead]] stat weightings etc.) to different stats in order to give various items, talents, glyphs or professions a static value that can then be condensed into a neat and simple list.
 
 
"[[Rawr]] [and Toskk's Dps Gear Calculator - Editor's Note] does not use SEP or AEP or any other kind of stat weight. The value of an item, or of your character, is based on a mathematical model that takes in all of those numbers. If you're hit-capped and hit provides no further benefit to your character, then an item with 100hit and no other stats will have a score of 0." - ebs2002, Rawr Developer.
 
 
If you're a fan of stat weightings, check out the ThinkTank blog, where the author also discusses many newly available items in-depth.
 
   
 
==Gear==
 
==Gear==
   
HOW TO DECIDE WHAT GEAR TO USE
+
;How to decide what gear to use & Gearing up
  +
Since [[Patch 4.0.1]], Blizzard has simplified the manner in which every class selects gear to use. Classes have 1 primary stat (Strength, Agility, Intellect) that they concentrate on above all others, and then several other secondary stats (Spirit, Critical Strike, Haste, etc.) depending on your spec/class. For Feral DPS, you will concentrate on obtaining '''ONLY LEATHER''' for your gear slots (i.e. Head, Chest, Legs, etc.) that has Agility as its primary stat. The reason behind this first filter is due in part to the new Specializations each class has, providing a flat 5% bonus to your primary DPS stat, if and only if all of your gear slots are filled with your class' armor type (sans trinkets, rings, neck, weapon and relic).
   
Gear lists like Emmerald's, Think Tank and wowhead rankings - and the Agi/ArPen numbers given in the [[ElitistJerks]] Cat DPS Guide for Dummies thread are quick, simple and easy to understand, but don't take into account the rest of your gear or what you have to work with in the bank, nor help you figure out the opportunity cost of dropping a 2- or 4-piece tier set bonus. To put a number estimate on various gearing issues that hard to intuitively understand, use [[Rawr]], [[SimulationCraft]] or google Toskk's Dps Gear Calculator.
+
After making sure you've selected leather agility gear, the next step is to determine what exactly you are gearing for in terms of content. If you are a fresh out of the gate 85 Kitty, chances are you don't quite have the item level required for heroics just yet and should concentrate on obtaining ilvl 333 gear from normal instances, 346 gear from the Justice Point vendor, and a few 359 pieces from Faction rep and Leather Working. Once you've breached the point were you can queue for heroic instances, concentrate on getting exalted with factions that have epic dps leather pieces, such as Dragonmaw (for Horde Kitties) or the Alliance equivalent, while building up JP to fill in non 346/59 slots in your gear. Remember: if you have the 333 version of a piece of gear, the heroic 346 version will have the same stat layout, but with more of each stat. As for relics, use only ones with agility. Extra care should be given to obtaining a strong staff or polearm as all of your abilities are based off of your weapons dps value, and your white swings off of its speed.
   
GEARING UP
+
;Gems
   
When gearing up a new feral dps character, it is advisable to get fully epic gear in Normal and Heroic 5p dungeons first, then proceed to 10p and 25p raids while attempting to gather as many of the latest emblem/badges as time permits. 10p Heroic/Hardmode fight loot is sometimes on par with, or better than some 25p loot. To decide what to spend [[dkp]] and emblems on, you can first attempt to put a number on how much dps you would gain on a specific new piece in one of the resources below, and then divide that number by how much you would expect to spend on it as a rough guideline. The higher the number, the greater the dps gain per unit of resource spent. This becomes much more difficult when set bonuses are involved.
+
Since {{bc-inline}} Burning Crusade, certain gear pieces have 1-2 colored "Sockets", red, blue, yellow, chromatic or meta. When a gem of the corresponding color is placed into a socket and all sockets on a piece of gear are filled as such, an additional socket bonus is activated. Feral concentrates on filling sockets in the following manner:
   
3RD-PARTY RESOURCES AND THEIR LIMITATIONS
+
* If the socket is red, place a Delicate gem<ref>[http://www.wowhead.com/items=3?filter=na=delicate#0-2+1 Delicate gems sorted by item level (descending)] at [[Wowhead]]</ref> in it as these max out Agility.
  +
* If there are two sockets and one is red and the other yellow or blue and the socket bonus is agility or mastery, then match the non-red socket with either an agi/mast or agi/hit gem respectively. If the bonus isn't agi or mastery, then socket with another delicate agi red gem.
  +
* If there is only one socket, follow the rule for two as above.
  +
* Meta Gem sockets in your head piece should have an {{loot|rare|Agile Shadowspirit Diamond}}. Failing the availability of the Agile meta or cost issues, the {{loot|rare|Fleet Shadowspirit Diamond}} is a decent alternative, as well is the Chaotic.
   
* http://www.wowwiki.com/Feral_druid_resources
 
   
Toskk's Dps Gear Calculator – strenghts & limitations
+
;To do
+
Examples of gear comparisons, stat caps for heroics / raid content hit/expertise, suggested chants/rep items/crafted items, links for feral leather specialization and gems.
* Web-based application that is simple to use and understand, models static fights and is actively supported by a variety of feral dps theorycrafters after the main developer quit the game and received an Honorable Mention in the form of Toskk's_Maximized_Wristguards_(heroic). Does not directly help with figuring out the optimal gear set based on what you have available. Static fight only.
 
 
[[SimulationCraft]]– strenghts & limitations
 
NEED BALANCED VIEWPOINT
 
 
Actively supported project for numerous classes and specs including feral dps, but some mechanics may not be 100% correctly modeled. Not suitable for the beginner without prior [[theorycraft]]ing/programming knowledge.
 
 
[[Rawr]] - strenghts & limitations
 
<youtube>OjRM5SUoOoQ</youtube>
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
Very actively supported project for numerous classes and specs including feral dps, with an emphasis on graphical UI and user-friendliness. The original author Astrylian was recently honored by Blizzard creating an item called [[Astrylian's Sutured Cinch]]. [[Rawr]] does not yet have a fully implemented BossHandler system for ferals and the web-based application is currently in beta testing. It is also very complex and can be confusing at first for new users.
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
ARMOR PENETRATION NUMBERS LISTS
 
<br>
 
Many guides on various forums and blogs have simple to follow lists of [[Armor Penetration]] numbers and what to gem if your other gear has a certain amount of ArPen. Following these guides will give decent to good results, but may cause you to inadvertantly disregard good gear upgrades that don't have that stat on them. NEED BALANCED VIEWPOINT
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
SET BONUSES
 
<br>
 
In order to determine when to keep and when to drop a [[set bonus]] in favour of offset gear pieces you need to do rather complex calculations that's most easily done with the [[Rawr]] Optimizer, though Toskk's Dps Gear Calculator can also help figure it out. The value of each new tier set bonus that's added to the game will depend on your other available gear.
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
BEST-IN-SLOT GEAR LISTS
 
<br>
 
[[BiS]] gear lists are generally not of much use to the average raider, and should only be used as a rough guideline of what's available at a given tier of content. If an item is not on the list, it may still be an upgrade to you depending on the gear you currently have available. These lists, found on many websites such as [[ElitistJerks]], [[MMO Champion]] forums etc. - are still useful for high-end [[hardcore]] raiders who will eventually have the vast majority of all gear available to them from each successive tier of raid content, and need to theorycraft and compare best possible gear sets to decide how to spend their resources such as emblems/badges and [[dragon kill points]].
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
GAMEPLAY-CHANGING GEAR
 
<br>
 
Items like [[Idol of the Crying Moon]] - and [[set bonus]]es like 4T8 - can affect some or all of the normal Dps Algorithm due to needing to keep a self-buff stacked, or by affecting the rate of incoming combo points (already incrementally changing with increasing critical strike chance). For specific guidance, search wow wiki, wowhead, well-known feral blogs listed on the [[Feral druid resources]] page, google and [[ElitistJerks]].
 
   
 
==Enchants==
 
==Enchants==
+
*Head -- Revered with [[The Knights of the Ebon Blade]] for the [[Arcanum of Torment]].
*Head Revered with [[The Knights of the Ebon Blade]] for the [[Arcanum of Torment]].
+
*Shoulder -- Exalted with [[The Sons of Hodir]] for [[Greater Inscription of the Axe]] unless you have [[Inscription]].
*Shoulder Exalted with [[The Sons of Hodir]] for [[Greater Inscription of the Axe]] unless you have [[Inscription]].
+
*Cloak -- 22 Agility from [[Enchant Cloak - Major Agility]] or 23 Haste Rating from [[Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed]] unless you have [[Engineering]] or [[Tailoring]].
*Cloak – 22 Agility from [[Enchant Cloak - Major Agility]] or 23 Haste Rating from [[Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed]] unless you have [[Engineering]] or [[Tailoring]].
+
*Chest -- 10 Stats from [[Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats]]
*Chest 10 Stats from [[Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats]]
+
*Wrists -- 50 Attack Power from [[Enchant Bracers - Greater Assault]] unless you have [[Leatherworking]]. Extra socket if you have [[Blacksmithing]].
*Wrists 50 Attack Power from [[Enchant Bracers - Greater Assault]] unless you have [[Leatherworking]].
+
*Feet -- [[Enchant Boots - Icewalker]] if you could use the +Hit or else [[Enchant Boots - Superior Agility]] - unless you have [[Engineering]] in which case grab [[Nitro Boosts]] and enjoy an extra Dash.
*Feet – [[Enchant Boots - Icewalker]] if you could use the +Hit or else [[Enchant Boots - Superior Agility]] - unless you have [[Engineering]] in which case grab [[Nitro Boosts]] and enjoy an extra Dash.
+
*Legs -- [[Icescale Leg Armor]] unless you have Leatherworking.
*Legs [[Icescale Leg Armor]] unless you have [[Leatherworking]].
+
*Hands -- 44 Attack Power from [[Enchant Gloves - Crusher]] or 20 Agility from [[Enchant Gloves - Major Agility]] unless you have Engineering. The Engineering hand tinker [[Hyperspeed Accelerators]] is best macro'd in with Tiger's Fury and possibly Berserk. Extra socket if you have Blacksmithing.
*Hands – 44 Attack Power from [[Enchant Gloves - Crusher]] or 20 Agility from [[Enchant Gloves - Major Agility]] unless you have [[Engineering]]. The Engineering hand tinker [[Hyperspeed Accelerators]] is best macro'd in with Tiger's Fury and possibly Berserk.
 
 
*Waist - [[Eternal Belt Buckle]]
 
*Waist - [[Eternal Belt Buckle]]
 
*Rings - [[Enchant Ring - Assault]] - only available to [[Enchanting]].
 
*Rings - [[Enchant Ring - Assault]] - only available to [[Enchanting]].
*Weapon your other gear will determine the value of [[Enchant Weapon - Mongoose]] vs. [[Enchant Weapon - Berserking]] or even [[Enchant Weapon - Executioner]] at very high Armor Penetration levels.
+
*Weapon -- your other gear will determine the value of [[Enchant Weapon - Mongoose]] vs. [[Enchant Weapon - Berserking]] or even [[Enchant Weapon - Executioner]] at very high Armor Penetration levels.
 
 
==Gems==
 
(As of [[Patch 3.3.0]])
 
 
Murna of EU-Kargath[H] in [[ElitistJerks]] Cat DPS Guide for Dummies:
 
 
*"There is only one Meta, you always want to have this one activated: [[Relentless Earthsiege Diamond]]. The [[Chaotic Skyflare Diamond]] is coming close, but it require 2 Blue gems and this requirement is worse than one yellow + one blue."
 
 
 
Astrylian <Aeon> US-Suramar[A], Author of [[Rawr]]:
 
 
*"They should use Rawr to be sure, but typically the best gemming configuration is a Nightmare Tear in the blue socket with the best socket bonus, agi/hit or agi/crit or agi/haste (ask Rawr) in yellows with good socket bonuses, and agi or arpen in the rest."
 
 
 
Alaron (http://thefluiddruid.wordpress.com):
 
 
*"Note: If you’re still gearing up, feel free to substitute the blue or green variety of the gem... Bad players blow all their cash on epic gems/top-end chants in ilvl 187/ 200 gear, or worse, don’t gem/[en]chant it at all. Good players realize that in comparison to a 200g epic gem, a 5g green gem has 60% of the stats and a 20g blue gem has 80%."
 
   
 
==Consumables==
 
==Consumables==
  +
Feral DPS raiders usually come prepared with a {{item|Flask of Endless Rage}} for more difficult content, and use the slightly suboptimal {{item|Fish Feast}} for most raids.
   
Feral Dps raiders usually come prepared with a [[Flask of Endless Rage]] for more difficult content, and use the slightly suboptimal [[Fish Feast]] for most raids.
+
If you truly wish to min/max your performance you will need to use the food and flask or elixir that Toskk, Rawr or SimulationCraft estimates is most useful for you based on your buffs, debuffs or raid composition.
   
If you truly wish to min/max your performance you will need to use the food and flask or elixir that Toskk, [[Rawr]] or [[SimulationCraft]] estimates is most useful for you based on your buffs, debuffs or raid composition.
+
The two most common non-feast foods are {{item|Blackened Dragonfin}} and {{item|Hearty Rhino}}.
 
The two most common non-feast foods are [[Blackened Dragonfin]] and [[Hearty Rhino]].
 
 
"Pretty simple: eat for whatever your best stat is. Fish Feasts are slightly suboptimal, but they’re much better than nothing." - Alaron (http://thefluiddruid.wordpress.com)
 
   
  +
"Pretty simple: eat for whatever your best stat is. Fish Feasts are slightly suboptimal, but they're much better than nothing." - Alaron (http://thefluiddruid.wordpress.com)
   
 
==Professions==
 
==Professions==
  +
Min/maxed raiders will likely go with [[Blacksmithing]]/[[Jewelcrafting]] on their feral raiding main, but other professions like [[Leatherworking]], [[Enchanting]] and [[Alchemy]] also have good bonuses. Alchemy will also cut down on the [[consumable]]s cost of raiding a fair amount. Even [[Engineering]] is nowadays no longer the pvp-only profession it used to be, and offers yet another useful high-mobility speed boost in the form of [[Nitro Boosts]]. Mining and [[Herbalism]] are generally to be avoided as they do not currently confer worthwhile dps bonuses, though [[Mining]]'s [[Toughness]] bonus is good for tanking if that is your main role. Keep in mind that these and other long-term and costly player choices can change in relative benefit with any given patch.
   
Min/maxed raiders will likely go with [[Blacksmithing]]/[[Jewelcrafting]] on their feral raiding main, but other professions like [[Leatherworking]], [[Enchanting]] and Alchemy also have good bonuses. [[Alchemy]] will also cut down on the [[consumable]]s cost of raiding a fair amount. Even Engineering is nowadays no longer the pvp-only profession it used to be, and offers yet another useful high-mobility speed boost in the form of [[Nitro Boosts]]. Mining and [[Herbalism]] are generally to be avoided as they do not currently confer worthwhile dps bonuses, though [[Mining]]'s [[Toughness]] bonus is good for tanking if that is your main role. Keep in mind that these and other long-term and costly player choices can change in relative benefit with any given patch.
+
For Engineering, it is useful to macro [[Hyperspeed Accelerators]] to Tiger's Fury and additionally to Berserk, as the on-use hand tinker haste bonus stacks well with the Tiger's Fury buff and with Hysteria and Shattering Throw which ferals generally try to time with Berserk.
 
For [[Engineering]], it is useful to macro [[Hyperspeed Accelerators]] to Tiger's Fury and additionally to Berserk, as the on-use hand tinker haste bonus stacks well with the Tiger's Fury buff and with Hysteria and Shattering Throw which ferals generally try to time with Berserk.
 
 
   
 
==Buffs and debuffs==
 
==Buffs and debuffs==
+
;RAID BUFFS
 
RAID BUFFS
 
 
 
From Alaron's Dps Guide post on his blog The Fluid Druid (http://thefluiddruid.wordpress.com):
 
From Alaron's Dps Guide post on his blog The Fluid Druid (http://thefluiddruid.wordpress.com):
   
While you don’t really have any control over this, here’s a list of the (major) raid buffs/debuffs which will increase your DPS, with a note over who brings what and a rough estimate of how big a buff it is. I’ve included our own buffs for comparison. TLDR version: bribe your RL to bring an enhancement shaman and a ret pally.
+
While you don't really have any control over this, here's a list of the (major) raid buffs/debuffs which will increase your DPS, with a note over who brings what and a rough estimate of how big a buff it is. I've included our own buffs for comparison. TLDR version: bribe your RL to bring an enhancement shaman and a ret pally.
   
* [[Improved Icy Talons]]/[[Improved Windfury Totem]] (+20% haste, frost DK or enhancement shaman; any shaman can drop regular WF totem for a 16% buff): +6% DPS, +5% unimproved
+
*{{ability|Improved Icy Talons}}/{{ability|Improved Windfury Totem}} (+20% haste, frost DK or enhancement shaman; any shaman can drop regular WF totem for a 16% buff): +6% DPS, +5% unimproved
* [[Abomination's Might]]/[[Trueshot Aura]]/[[Unleashed Rage]] (+10% AP, blood DK/marksmanship hunter/enhancement shaman): +6% DPS
+
*{{ability|Abomination's Might}}/{{ability|Trueshot Aura}}/{{ability|Unleashed Rage}} (+10% AP, blood DK/marksmanship hunter/enhancement shaman): +6% DPS
* [[Horn of Winter]]/[[Strength of Earth Totem]] (+155 str/agi, any DK/shaman, enhancement shamans can talent for an additional +23): +5% DPS, +6% improved
+
*{{ability|Horn of Winter}}/{{ability|Strength of Earth Totem}} (+155 str/agi, any DK/shaman, enhancement shamans can talent for an additional +23): +5% DPS, +6% improved
* [[Sunder Armor]]/[[Expose Armor]]/[[Acid Spit]] (20% enemy armor reduction, any warrior/rogue/certain hunter pet): +5% DPS
+
*{{ability|Sunder Armor}}/{{ability|Expose Armor}}/{{ability|Acid Spit}} (20% enemy armor reduction, any warrior/rogue/certain hunter pet): +5% DPS
* [[Blessing of Might]]/[[Battle Shout]] (+550 AP, any warrior/paladin, retribution paladins /DPS warriors can talent for an additional +137): +4% DPS, +5% improved
+
*{{ability|Blessing of Might}}/{{ability|Battle Shout}} (+550 AP, any warrior/paladin, retribution paladins /DPS warriors can talent for an additional +137): +4% DPS, +5% improved
* [[Blood Frenzy]]/[[Savage Combat]] (+4% physical damage taken, arms warrior/combat rogue): +4% DPS
+
*{{ability|Blood Frenzy}}/{{ability|Savage Combat}} (+4% physical damage taken, arms warrior/combat rogue): +4% DPS
* [[Blessing of Kings]] (+10% base stats, any paladin, +8% version available to all classes via item): +4% DPS, +3% unimproved
+
*{{ability|Blessing of Kings}} (+10% base stats, any paladin, +8% version available to all classes via item): +4% DPS, +3% unimproved
* [[Leader of the Pack]]/[[Rampage]] (+5% melee crit, feral druid/fury warrior): +4% DPS
+
*{{ability|Leader of the Pack}}/{{ability|Rampage}} (+5% melee crit, feral druid/fury warrior): +4% DPS
* [[Arcane Empowerment]]/[[Ferocious Inspiration]]/[[Sanctified Retribution]] (+3% damage, arcane mage/BM hunter/ret paladin): +3% DPS
+
*{{ability|Arcane Empowerment}}/{{ability|Ferocious Inspiration}}/{{ability|Sanctified Retribution}} (+3% damage, arcane mage/BM hunter/ret paladin): +3% DPS
* [[Heart of the Crusader]]/[[Master Poisoner]]/[[Totem of Wrath]] (+3% crit, ret paladin/mutilate rogue/elemental shaman): +2% DPS
+
*{{ability|Heart of the Crusader}}/{{ability|Master Poisoner}}/{{ability|Totem of Wrath}} (+3% crit, ret paladin/mutilate rogue/elemental shaman): +2% DPS
* [[Mark of the Wild]] (+51 all stats, armor/resistances, any druid, +37 version available to all classes via item): +2% DPS
+
*{{ability|Mark of the Wild}} (+51 all stats, armor/resistances, any druid, +37 version available to all classes via item): +2% DPS
* [[Mangle]]/[[Trauma]] (+30% bleed damage, feral druid/arms warrior): +1% DPS (Note: this refers to someone else putting up the debuff, meaning you can drop Mangle from your rotation. No [[bleed]] debuff will drop your DPS by about 10% or so.)
+
*{{ability|Mangle}}/{{ability|Trauma}} (+30% bleed damage, feral druid/arms warrior): +1% DPS (Note: this refers to someone else putting up the debuff, meaning you can drop Mangle from your rotation. No [[bleed]] debuff will drop your DPS by about 10% or so.)
* [[Improved Moonkin Form]]/[[Swift Retribution]] (+3% haste, balance druid/ret pally): +1% DPS
+
*{{ability|Improved Moonkin Form}}/{{ability|Swift Retribution}} (+3% haste, balance druid/ret pally): +1% DPS
   
 
Keep in mind that these buffs will change in upcoming patches.
 
Keep in mind that these buffs will change in upcoming patches.
   
SELF-BUFFS
+
;SELF-BUFFS
  +
*{{ability|Savage Roar}} is the most important buff or debuff a feral needs to keep track of.
  +
*Buffs from idols and other items are generally not as important and happen as a consequence of normal play, but still of concern to the hardcore feral raider trying to stack as many beneficial buffs as possible - even to the point of sometimes keeping track of item's internal cooldown to line them up with on-use items and skills.
  +
*Dps cooldown abilities and [[proc]]cing item buffs tend to all get activated in the first ten-twenty seconds of melee combat, which can stack dangerously high and contributes to feral dps players' sometimes extraordinary [[threat]] problems early in a fight relative to many other melee dps specs, especially if the tanks are undergeared, underskilled or not receiving immediate [[Misdirection]] or [[Tricks of the Trade]].
  +
*Making these easily monitored should be a central consideration in any Feral UI design.
   
* [[Savage Roar]] is the most important buff or debuff a feral needs to keep track of.
+
;DEBUFFS BY YOU
+
*{{ability|Mangle}} is the most important [[debuff]] a feral player needs to keep track of as it dramatically increases the damage of Dps Warriors, Rogues and some Hunters. It is equivalent to the Arms Warrior {{ability|Trauma}} debuff, the presence of which makes the feral dps algorithm much simpler and more effective. Be nice to any Arms Warriors you have in your raid, or they may re-spec to Fury, which means they will now need you to press a button to keep up the debuff they previously effortlessly provided themselves.
* Buffs from idols and other items are generally not as important and happen as a consequence of normal play, but still of concern to the hardcore feral raider trying to stack as many beneficial buffs as possible - even to the point of sometimes keeping track of item's internal cooldown to line them up with on-use items and skills.
+
*{{ability|Rip}} is the another important debuff a feral player needs to keep track of as it does a large amount of damage per energy/combo point spent.
+
*{{ability|Faerie Fire}} is usually provided by a [[moonkin]] in many 25p raids, but since this spec is a bit of an oddball historically - and tanks and resto druids are in high demand, you may be required to provide it if a moonkin is missing.
* Dps cooldown abilities and [[proc]]cing item buffs tend to all get activated in the first ten-twenty seconds of melee combat, which can stack dangerously high and contributes to feral dps players' sometimes extraordinary [[threat]] problems early in a fight relative to many other melee dps specs, especially if the tanks are undergeared, underskilled or not receiving immediate [[Misdirection]] or [[Tricks of the Trade]].
+
*{{ability|Rake}} is a potentially powerful debuff depending on gear and situation, but normally one of the lower-priority concerns on the feral algorithm.
 
* Making these easily monitored should be a central consideration in any Feral UI design.
 
 
DEBUFFS BY YOU
 
 
* [[Mangle]] is the most important [[debuff]] a feral player needs to keep track of as it dramatically increases the damage of Dps Warriors, Rogues and some Hunters. It is equivalent to the Arms Warrior [[Trauma]] debuff, the presence of which makes the feral dps algorithm much simpler and more effective. Be nice to any Arms Warriors you have in your raid, or they may re-spec to Fury, which means they will now need you to press a button to keep up the debuff they previously effortlessly provided themselves.
 
 
* [[Rip]] is the another important debuff a feral player needs to keep track of as it does a large amount of damage per energy/combo point spent.
 
 
* [[Faerie Fire]] is usually provided by a [[moonkin]] in many 25p raids, but since this spec is a bit of an oddball historically - and tanks and resto druids are in high demand, you may be required to provide it if a moonkin is missing.
 
 
* Rake is a potentially powerful debuff depending on gear and situation, but normally one of the lower-priority concerns on the feral algorithm.
 
 
DEBUFFS BY OTHERS
 
   
  +
;DEBUFFS BY OTHERS
 
Included in above Raid buffs section.
 
Included in above Raid buffs section.
   
The Utopia addon will let you monitor in real time the buffs and debuffs you should be concerned with and is especially useful if you think someone in the raid isn’t keeping a certain debuff up consistently. It can also alert you to gaps in Mangle up-time.
+
The Utopia addon will let you monitor in real time the buffs and debuffs you should be concerned with -- and is especially useful if you think someone in the raid isn't keeping a certain debuff up consistently. It can also alert you to gaps in Mangle up-time.
   
 
==Class synergies==
 
==Class synergies==
+
;MANGLE AND FAERIE FIRE
MANGLE AND FAERIE FIRE
 
 
 
Discussed in previous section.
 
Discussed in previous section.
   
HYSTERIA
+
;HYSTERIA
+
Assuming the player is already doing near-top dps, Cat Druids are arguably the best choice for {{ability|Hysteria}} -- doing purely physical dps and able to stack {{ability|Berserk}} and on-use items with it.
Assuming the player is already doing near-top dps, Cat Druids are arguably the best choice for [[Hysteria]] doing purely physical dps and able to stack [[Berserk]] and on-use items with it.
+
Other classes' burst dps cooldowns don't stack with Hysteria or a significant portion of their damage is elemental.
Other classes’ burst dps cooldowns don’t stack with Hysteria or a significant portion of their damage is elemental.
 
   
 
From Murna's [[ElitistJerks]] Cat DPS Guide for Dummies:
 
From Murna's [[ElitistJerks]] Cat DPS Guide for Dummies:
   
*Arms Warrior - Does not stack with [[Wrecking Crew]]. Besides, they don't have strong Cooldowns to blow while Hysteria is up.
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*Arms Warrior - Does not stack with {{ability|Wrecking Crew}}. Besides, they don't have strong Cooldowns to blow while Hysteria is up.
*Death Knights - A significant portion of their damage is magical and not physical. [[Dancing Rune Weapon]] scales only half with Hysteria, [[summon Gargoyle]] doesn't at all
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*Death Knights - A significant portion of their damage is magical and not physical. {{ability|Dancing Rune Weapon}} scales only half with Hysteria, {{ability|summon Gargoyle}} doesn't at all
*Enhancement Shamans - A good portion of their damage is magical. [[Feral Spirit]], their Cooldown, is not affected by Hysteria
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*Enhancement Shamans - A good portion of their damage is magical. {{ability|Feral Spirit}}, their Cooldown, is not affected by Hysteria.
*Fury Warrior - Although all of their damage is physical, they cannot blow their big Cooldown [[Death Wish]] with Hysteria, because it doesn't stack.
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*Fury Warrior - Although all of their damage is physical, they cannot blow their big Cooldown {{ability|Death Wish}} with Hysteria, because it doesn't stack.
 
*Hunter - A good portion of their damage is magical and their pet wouldn't benefit from Hysteria.
 
*Hunter - A good portion of their damage is magical and their pet wouldn't benefit from Hysteria.
 
*Retribution Paladins - A very big portion of their damage is magical.
 
*Retribution Paladins - A very big portion of their damage is magical.
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Cats benefit by far the most from Hysteria. As long as you are quite close to the top DPS in your raid, try to convince your Blood-DK or your raidleader, that you should get Hysteria!
 
Cats benefit by far the most from Hysteria. As long as you are quite close to the top DPS in your raid, try to convince your Blood-DK or your raidleader, that you should get Hysteria!
   
Realistically the minor damage differential between you and a Blood DK isn’t crucial unless you’re attempting content that’s at the limit of what your guild can handle, a.k.a. a progression fight. You might very well see more of a dps increase by min/maxing your professions or working on your skill usage, or trying to optimize the raid composition.
+
Realistically the minor damage differential between you and a Blood DK isn't crucial unless you're attempting content that's at the limit of what your guild can handle, a.k.a. a progression fight. You might very well see more of a dps increase by min/maxing your professions or working on your skill usage, or trying to optimize the raid composition.
   
A [[Potion of Speed]] can also be stacked with Hysteria and/or [[Shattering Throw]].
+
A {{item|Potion of Speed}} can also be stacked with Hysteria and/or Shattering Throw.
   
It’s also possible to stack weapon-enchant procs and trinket procs with Berserk and/or Hysteria, but that involves keeping track of internal cooldowns.
+
It's also possible to stack weapon-enchant procs and trinket procs with Berserk and/or Hysteria, but that involves keeping track of internal cooldowns.
   
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
+
;TRICKS OF THE TRADE
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{{ability|Tricks of the Trade}} is generally reserved for classes/specs that have much more reliable or better threat dumping or [[Aggro Dumping]] abilities. It should only be used on Feral Dps when {{ability|Hand of Salvation}} or similar is immediately available or tank threat is simply not an issue.
[[Tricks of the Trade]] is generally reserved for classes/specs that have much more reliable or better threat dumping or [[Aggro Dumping]] abilities. It should only be used on Feral Dps when [[Hand of Salvation]] or similar is immediately available or tank threat is simply not an issue.
 
 
INNERVATE
 
   
  +
;INNERVATE
 
Mana users will love you for this skill. Using it on will shift you out of cat form and initiate a global cooldown, which will lower your effective dps for the fight unless you do this while not in melee range. It is useful to have mana-users that need an Innervate make a macro with a few lines of "/w INNERVATE ME PLEASE" - or similar. Many raiding addons exist that keep track of other people's cooldowns, if your raid is using a variant of these the mana-users should be able to monitor when your Innervate cooldown is up so as not to bother you needlessly. Keep in mind that many specs have their own mana-return cooldowns available, and responding to a call over vent with an immediate Innervate may lead to several Innervates simultaneously on one target - wasting an important raid resource.
 
Mana users will love you for this skill. Using it on will shift you out of cat form and initiate a global cooldown, which will lower your effective dps for the fight unless you do this while not in melee range. It is useful to have mana-users that need an Innervate make a macro with a few lines of "/w INNERVATE ME PLEASE" - or similar. Many raiding addons exist that keep track of other people's cooldowns, if your raid is using a variant of these the mana-users should be able to monitor when your Innervate cooldown is up so as not to bother you needlessly. Keep in mind that many specs have their own mana-return cooldowns available, and responding to a call over vent with an immediate Innervate may lead to several Innervates simultaneously on one target - wasting an important raid resource.
   
Simple macros are available that can announce who you just Innervated, and it's not difficult to set up a macro that immediately and without de-targeting your current target uses a skill on your focus target if you know ahead of time who you will use a skill on, see [[Feral_druid_resources]] for details. There are also addons that fulfill these functions, and can detect when the skill didn't go off as planned so you avoid spamming "Player X has just been Innervated!" to the raid if the ability was on cooldown still and you accidentally pressed it, or the target was out of range.
+
Simple macros are available that can announce who you just Innervated, and it's not difficult to set up a macro that immediately and without de-targeting your current target uses a skill on your focus target if you know ahead of time who you will use a skill on, see [[Feral druid resources]] for details. There are also addons that fulfill these functions, and can detect when the skill didn't go off as planned so you avoid spamming "Player X has just been Innervated!" to the raid if the ability was on cooldown still and you accidentally pressed it, or the target was out of range.
   
 
Knowing who is a good target for Innervate and when is a hallmark of a good feral player and one of the reasons a feral player can rarely get away with not having a full set of raid frames visible at all times on the UI, in contrast to many other dps specs who are rarely concerned with who is alive/dead or out of mana.
 
Knowing who is a good target for Innervate and when is a hallmark of a good feral player and one of the reasons a feral player can rarely get away with not having a full set of raid frames visible at all times on the UI, in contrast to many other dps specs who are rarely concerned with who is alive/dead or out of mana.
   
Your raid members will have to be coaxed into asking for early Innervates. If you don’t use Innervate on a progression fight, you’ve wasted a significant amount of class synergy as the skill is seldom worth much to you, and always try to Innervate a battle-rezzed mana user, though they will usually pop a potion or cooldown right after.
+
Your raid members will have to be coaxed into asking for early Innervates. If you don't use Innervate on a progression fight, you've wasted a significant amount of class synergy as the skill is seldom worth much to you, and always try to Innervate a battle-rezzed mana user, though they will usually pop a potion or cooldown right after.
   
* Pro Tip: Keep track on your UI by having Grid set up to put a purple dot on whoever is below 40% mana.
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*Pro Tip: Keep track on your UI by having Grid set up to put a purple dot on whoever is below 40% mana.
   
REBIRTH
+
;REBIRTH
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{{ability|Rebirth}} has a long and glorious history of chain-rezzing numerous people and saving a fight, or making an already lost battle last longer, or simply causing one of your frenemies a double repair-bill.
[[Rebirth]] has a long and glorious history of chain-rezzing numerous people and saving a fight, or making an already lost battle last longer, or simply causing one of your frenemies a double repair-bill.
 
   
 
Ideally you and your raidleader would keep track of all available Rebirth cooldowns, and always consider rezzing a fellow druid if you have multiple victims to choose from to get a Rebirth chain going, where one druid rezzes the next who rezzes another who rezzes someone who has appropriately bribed the druids.
 
Ideally you and your raidleader would keep track of all available Rebirth cooldowns, and always consider rezzing a fellow druid if you have multiple victims to choose from to get a Rebirth chain going, where one druid rezzes the next who rezzes another who rezzes someone who has appropriately bribed the druids.
   
* Another reason to keep a full set of raid frames visible on screen.
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*Another reason to keep a full set of raid frames visible on screen.
   
 
As the long cooldown on this skill recently was cut in half, it has never been more important to learn how to use this skill quickly, efficiently and with a minimum of fuss in an already clogged vent communication channel.
 
As the long cooldown on this skill recently was cut in half, it has never been more important to learn how to use this skill quickly, efficiently and with a minimum of fuss in an already clogged vent communication channel.
   
STACKING COOLDOWNS
+
;STACKING COOLDOWNS
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{{ability|Hysteria}} stacks with {{ability|Berserk}} stacks with {{ability|Shattering Throw}} stacks with {{item|Potion of Speed}} stacks with {{item|Hyperspeed Accelerators}} and many on-use trinkets. Learn the different cooldown lengths of all these skills and communicate with your fellow raiders ahead of time on how to best use your skills together. Coordinating these and various tanking/healing cooldowns is one of the hallmarks of successful WOTLK raiding, not unlike how raid composition was a major issue in TBC raiding.
[[Hysteria]] stacks with [[Berserk]] stacks with [[Shattering Throw]] stacks with [[Potion of Speed]] stacks with [[Hyperspeed Accelerators]] and many on-use trinkets . Learn the different cooldown lengths of all these skills and communicate with your fellow raiders ahead of time on how to best use your skills together. Coordinating these and various tanking/healing cooldowns is one of the hallmarks of successful WOTLK raiding, not unlike how raid composition was a major issue in TBC raiding.
 
   
 
One of the things you should ask the raid prior to each progression fight is:
 
One of the things you should ask the raid prior to each progression fight is:
   
* Hey <WARRIOR'S NAME> - are we getting any [[Shattering Throw]]s and if so, when - and how will you notify us?
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*Hey <WARRIOR'S NAME> - are we getting any Shattering Throws and if so, when - and how will you notify us?
   
With some prompting, most Warriors can be cajoled into putting a /yell somethingsomething macro'd with [[Shattering Throw]] - enabling you to more easily keep track of their usage of this skill, not unlike what's already common practice with Shaman's Bloodlust/Heroism usage.
+
With some prompting, most Warriors can be cajoled into putting a /yell somethingsomething macro'd with {{ability|Shattering Throw}} - enabling you to more easily keep track of their usage of this skill, not unlike what's already common practice with Shaman's Bloodlust/Heroism usage.
   
[[Bloodlust]]/[[Heroism]] generally doesn't affect Feral Dps skill usage very much since Berserk doesn't receive much additional benefit from stacking with them. It does mean slightly higher chance of [[Omen of Clarity]] procs and does stack with Tiger's Fury or any trinkets that add Attack Power.
+
{{ability|Bloodlust}} / {{ability|Heroism}} generally doesn't affect Feral Dps skill usage very much since Berserk doesn't receive much additional benefit from stacking with them. It does mean slightly higher chance of {{ability|Omen of Clarity}} procs and does stack with Tiger's Fury or any trinkets that add Attack Power.
   
 
==Threat management==
 
==Threat management==
  +
[[Cower]], the feral [[threat]] reduction skill, only lowers your threat by a flat 2432, which is a silly low number, less than the average white auto-attack. It doesn't scale at all, which means as everyone's gear gets better it just gets WORSE.
   
[[Cower]], the feral [[threat]] reduction skill, only lowers your threat by a flat 2432, which is a silly low number, less than the average white auto-attack. It doesn’t scale at all, which means as everyone’s gear gets better it just gets WORSE.
+
You're better off just pulling out to save energy, since in the GCD that you use Cower, you will also auto-attack, immediately negating the threat-reduction.
   
You’re better off just pulling out to save energy, since in the GCD that you use Cower, you will also auto-attack, immediately negating the threat-reduction.
+
This is where adds become important -- try to attack some adds whenever you can if you know threat will be an issue.
   
This is where adds become important try to attack some adds whenever you can if you know threat will be an issue.
+
It's entirely possible for Feral DPS'ers to be top on threat but behind "pure" damage-dealing classes on damage, even given reasonably equivalent gear and skill.
   
It’s entirely possible for Feral DPS’ers to be top on threat but behind "pure" damage-dealing classes on damage, even given reasonably equivalent gear and skill.
+
Plan accordingly, recognize the warning signs of a problem early and ask for {{ability|Vigilance}}
+
or {{ability|Hand of Salvation}} as early as possible or just back off. Make sure Hunters are using
Plan accordingly, recognize the warning signs of a problem early and ask for [[Vigilance]] or [[Hand of Salvation]] as early as possible or just back off. Make sure Hunters are using [[Misdirection]] and the Rogues use [[Tricks of the Trade]] on the tank.
+
{{ability|Misdirection}} and the Rogues use {{ability|Tricks of the Trade}} on the tank.
Watch out or the Blood DK might try to get you to pull aggro by giving you [[Hysteria]] even when you don’t ask for it. A third class-synergy thing is [[Intervene]], which requires a Warrior in Defensive Stance (or with a good macro) who's around 8-25 yards away and not busy tanking and/or moderately to very skilled.
+
Watch out or the Blood DK might try to get you to pull aggro by giving you [[Hysteria]] even
  +
when you don't ask for it. A third class-synergy thing is [[Intervene]], which requires a
  +
Warrior in Defensive Stance (or with a good macro) who's around 8-25 yards away and not
  +
busy tanking and/or moderately to very skilled.
   
 
Before a progression hardmode/heroic bossfight when there will be a tanking warrior and you know you may have threat problems, ask the raid:
 
Before a progression hardmode/heroic bossfight when there will be a tanking warrior and you know you may have threat problems, ask the raid:
   
* Who's getting [[Vigilance]] ?
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*Who's getting Vigilance ?
   
 
==Fight mechanics==
 
==Fight mechanics==
[[Image:Icehowl_Rocket_Boots.jpg|thumb|right|Mobility is a Feral's main strength.]]
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[[File:Icehowl Rocket Boots.jpg|thumb|right|Mobility is a Feral's main strength.]]
All the gear and skill in the world won’t help you if you don’t know the fight mechanics. Read up on the fight and watch a video or two before the raid (Google, StratFU, TankSpot, BossKillers or use Wow Wiki's own [[Instances by level]] page), use Berserk asap unless there’s a time in the fight when the boss takes extra damage.
+
All the gear and skill in the world won't help you if you don't know the fight mechanics. Read up on the fight and watch a video or two before the raid (Google, StratFU, TankSpot, BossKillers or use Wow Wiki's own [[Instances by level]] page), use Berserk asap unless there's a time in the fight when the boss takes extra damage.
   
 
Ferals excel at mobility in WoW - no other class has so many movement options. Leverage this to your advantage by maximizing time in melee range as well as what you do while not directly causing melee damage. Don't try too hard or you'll push the limits too far on waiting for a melee nova to go off, or get tunnel vision trying to get in range to use [[Rebirth]] only to have them rez in a slime pool/void zone/fire. Commonly used class-defining skills are [[Feral Charge - Cat]] and [[Dash]].
 
Ferals excel at mobility in WoW - no other class has so many movement options. Leverage this to your advantage by maximizing time in melee range as well as what you do while not directly causing melee damage. Don't try too hard or you'll push the limits too far on waiting for a melee nova to go off, or get tunnel vision trying to get in range to use [[Rebirth]] only to have them rez in a slime pool/void zone/fire. Commonly used class-defining skills are [[Feral Charge - Cat]] and [[Dash]].
   
Time away from the boss or out of melee range is time best spent making sure you'll be able to get back in range asap, glancing at your raid frames to see [[Innervate]] targets and Rebirth targets generally healers or top dps players.
+
Time away from the boss or out of melee range is time best spent making sure you'll be able to get back in range asap, glancing at your raid frames to see [[Innervate]] targets and Rebirth targets -- generally healers or top dps players.
   
 
If you know you will have enough time to shift back into Cat Form and regen to full energy, it may be worthwhile to get a free [[Omen of Clarity]] proc by using [[Gift of the Wild]] while away from melee range.
 
If you know you will have enough time to shift back into Cat Form and regen to full energy, it may be worthwhile to get a free [[Omen of Clarity]] proc by using [[Gift of the Wild]] while away from melee range.
   
 
==Predator's swiftness==
 
==Predator's swiftness==
+
The Predator's Swiftness buff from the [[Predatory Strikes]] talent now allows us to instantly battlerez someone. Therefore make sure [[Rebirth]] is easily accessible somewhere not on your primary [[Action Bar]] , as you need to be able to just press the [[hotkey]] without having to shift out first.
The Predator’s Swiftness buff from the [[Predatory Strikes]] talent now allows us to instantly battlerez someone. Therefore make sure [[Rebirth]] is easily accessible somewhere not on your primary [[Action Bar]] , as you need to be able to just press the [[hotkey]] without having to shift out first.
 
   
 
[[Cyclone]], [[Entangling Roots]] and [[Abolish Poison]]/[[Remove Curse]]/[[Healing Touch]] (or [[Regrowth]]) and [[Innervate]] should all ideally have buttons not on your form-specific [[Action Bar]] , though with the massive amount of different skills a feral druid has to keep track of, this is easier said than done without UI addons.
 
[[Cyclone]], [[Entangling Roots]] and [[Abolish Poison]]/[[Remove Curse]]/[[Healing Touch]] (or [[Regrowth]]) and [[Innervate]] should all ideally have buttons not on your form-specific [[Action Bar]] , though with the massive amount of different skills a feral druid has to keep track of, this is easier said than done without UI addons.
 
   
 
==Double Potion, Double Trinket==
 
==Double Potion, Double Trinket==
+
*On a progression fight you might use two [[Potion of Speed]] per serious attempt -- one right before going into combat and one during any burst dps availability like [[Hysteria]]/[[Shattering Throw]] or increased-damage boss mechanic.
* On a progression fight you might use two [[Potion of Speed]] per serious attempt one right before going into combat and one during any burst dps availability like [[Hysteria]]/[[Shattering Throw]] or increased-damage boss mechanic.
+
*If you find yourself with two very good [[proc]] trinkets that both semi-randomly give you a large buff to one stat to the point that the stat is pushed over the hardcap - you may wish to explore other gearing options. The alternative is to remove one of the trinkets and re-equip it (possibly with a macro) right before going into combat. This causes the internal cooldown to activate on the trinket that was just equipped, while the other one is ready to go off, with the result that the two trinket procs become de-synchronized and you get full value from both. This is an advanced technique useful only for a very few.
 
* If you find yourself with two very good [[proc]] trinkets that both semi-randomly give you a large buff to one stat to the point that the stat is pushed over the hardcap - you may wish to explore other gearing options. The alternative is to remove one of the trinkets and re-equip it (possibly with a macro) right before going into combat. This causes the internal cooldown to activate on the trinket that was just equipped, while the other one is ready to go off, with the result that the two trinket procs become de-synchronized and you get full value from both. This is an advanced technique useful only for a very few.
 
 
   
 
==Analyzing your performance==
 
==Analyzing your performance==
 
 
See the [[Combat Log]] page for a list of 3rd-party programs that serve as central data collections where your raid members can analyze individual and group performance after or even sometimes during the raid.
 
See the [[Combat Log]] page for a list of 3rd-party programs that serve as central data collections where your raid members can analyze individual and group performance after or even sometimes during the raid.
   
How to use these different websites and programs is complicated and beyond the scope of this guide, though you should at least learn how to check your [[Savage Roar]] and [[Mangle]] uptime on any fights which don’t require significant time away from melee range.
+
How to use these different websites and programs is complicated and beyond the scope of this guide, though you should at least learn how to check your [[Savage Roar]] and [[Mangle]] uptime on any fights which don't require significant time away from melee range.
   
Anything less than 90-95% on those types of fight means you’re probably doing something wrong.
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Anything less than 90-95% on those types of fight means you're probably doing something wrong.
   
 
"Another easy thing to check is how often you Berserked on a fight. If the fight lasted 3 minutes and 30 seconds and you only Berserked once, then you probably ****ed up." - Allev of <Serious Casual> on US-Mal'Ganis[H], feral [[theorycraft]]er
 
"Another easy thing to check is how often you Berserked on a fight. If the fight lasted 3 minutes and 30 seconds and you only Berserked once, then you probably ****ed up." - Allev of <Serious Casual> on US-Mal'Ganis[H], feral [[theorycraft]]er
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Some of the combatlog-parsers offer real-time feedback, but usually you need to use an instant combat log-parsing damage meter like Recount or Skada for that - the latter of which also serves as a threat meter.
 
Some of the combatlog-parsers offer real-time feedback, but usually you need to use an instant combat log-parsing damage meter like Recount or Skada for that - the latter of which also serves as a threat meter.
 
   
 
==UI==
 
==UI==
  +
For commonly-used Feral UI addons, see [[Feral druid resources]].
   
For commonly-used Feral UI addons, see [[Feral druid resources]] .
+
It is possible to play as feral dps using only the stock UI. It's just very difficult to do so effectively.
 
It is possible to play as feral dps using only the stock UI. It’s just very difficult to do so effectively.
 
   
 
Feral DPS players have to keep track of:
 
Feral DPS players have to keep track of:
 
 
*positioning/situational awareness
 
*positioning/situational awareness
 
*target facing
 
*target facing
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*[[Omen of Clarity]]
 
*[[Omen of Clarity]]
   
…and that’s on top of cooldowns, moving out of void zones, not pulling aggro, attacking the right target, adds, listening to calls over vent, making sure you’re behind the boss, running out, running in etc etc. - no wonder that some stressed out feral player created this: http://coldbear.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/catdps.jpg?w=500&h=1312, also known as the JOHN ****ING MADDEN cat dps flowchart.
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…and that's on top of cooldowns, moving out of void zones, not pulling aggro, attacking the right target, adds, listening to calls over vent, making sure you're behind the boss, running out, running in etc etc. - no wonder that some stressed out feral player created this: http://coldbear.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/catdps.jpg?w=500&h=1312, also known as the JOHN ****ING MADDEN cat dps flowchart.
   
Watch the UI tutorials made by Daniel Moy at http://www.pvptutorial.com/ and then decide how you’d prefer to deal with this issue. His UI philosophy translates very well to a feral dps pve environment. Other UI tutorials are also available on YouTube or on the addons' hosted websites.
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Watch the UI tutorials made by Daniel Moy at http://www.pvptutorial.com/ and then decide how you'd prefer to deal with this issue. His UI philosophy translates very well to a feral dps pve environment. Other UI tutorials are also available on YouTube or on the addons' hosted websites.
   
 
The most important information should ideally be within a short radius of where the player's eyes are usually focused on the screen.
 
The most important information should ideally be within a short radius of where the player's eyes are usually focused on the screen.
Scrolling combat text is a good tool for this, but if you like to keep your number of addons to a minimum you’ll find it useful to only display the information you really REALLY want or your screen will just become a cascading waterfall of green text. A popular way to get things more centralized and effective is to use one of many timer addons, a frame addon and an actionbar addon, or simply an addon to move the default Blizzard frames around to a more convenient location. For more information, see the [[Feral druid resources]] page.
+
Scrolling combat text is a good tool for this, but if you like to keep your number of addons to a minimum you'll find it useful to only display the information you really REALLY want or your screen will just become a cascading waterfall of green text. A popular way to get things more centralized and effective is to use one of many timer addons, a frame addon and an actionbar addon, or simply an addon to move the default Blizzard frames around to a more convenient location. For more information, see the [[Feral druid resources]] page.
   
 
Any ideal Feral UI would also make it easier to keep track of some important buffs and debuffs from other players:
 
Any ideal Feral UI would also make it easier to keep track of some important buffs and debuffs from other players:
 
[[Horn of Winter]], [[Sunder Armor]], [[Totem of Wrath]] or [[Heart of the Crusader]] or [[Master Poisoner]], [[Blood Frenzy]] or [[Savage Combat]] Poison, [[Hysteria]] and [[Shattering Throw]].
 
[[Horn of Winter]], [[Sunder Armor]], [[Totem of Wrath]] or [[Heart of the Crusader]] or [[Master Poisoner]], [[Blood Frenzy]] or [[Savage Combat]] Poison, [[Hysteria]] and [[Shattering Throw]].
   
NOTE on Spell Recommendation addons: Due to the nature and complexity of the Feral Dps Algorithm many feral dps'ers like to use a spell recommendation addon like Feral By Night or the newly developed and updated Ovale scripts. These are only ever accurate on static fights, and care must be taken to avoid slavishly following the recommendations since it will lead to standing in fire or ignoring how much target-switching and extremely dynamic fight situations play havoc with the algorithm. For more information, see the [[Feral druid resources]] page and [[ElitistJerks]].
+
''Note on Spell Recommendation addons: Due to the nature and complexity of the Feral Dps Algorithm many feral dps'ers like to use a spell recommendation addon like Feral By Night or the newly developed and updated Ovale scripts. These are only ever accurate on static fights, and care must be taken to avoid slavishly following the recommendations since it will lead to standing in fire or ignoring how much target-switching and extremely dynamic fight situations play havoc with the algorithm. For more information, see the [[Feral druid resources]] page and [[ElitistJerks]].''
 
   
 
==Macros==
 
==Macros==
 
 
If you want to be successful at feral dps, you will have to learn how to use Macros.
 
If you want to be successful at feral dps, you will have to learn how to use Macros.
   
For commonly used feral macros, see [[Useful macros for druids]] .
+
For commonly used feral macros, see [[Useful macros for druids]].
   
 
A "/startattack" line in each non-stealth, direct-damage, melee skill macro means you start auto-attacking even when you don't have enough [[energy]] to use the skill you just pressed.
 
A "/startattack" line in each non-stealth, direct-damage, melee skill macro means you start auto-attacking even when you don't have enough [[energy]] to use the skill you just pressed.
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Experiment and search Wow Wiki, the EJ and official forums for macros that suit you.
 
Experiment and search Wow Wiki, the EJ and official forums for macros that suit you.
   
Count yourself lucky at least you don’t have to deal with [[Powershifting]] anymore!
+
Count yourself lucky -- at least you don't have to deal with [[Powershifting]] anymore!
 
   
 
==Hardware and keybindings==
 
==Hardware and keybindings==
+
It is possible to play a melee dps spec by using your keyboard to turn and the mouse to click skills. It is NOT possible to do this efficiently. If you're a keyboardturning “clicker” and want to learn how to do things faster & better, play a first-person shooter game for a while on your computer.
It is possible to play a melee dps spec by using your keyboard to turn and the mouse to click skills. It is NOT possible to do this efficiently. If you’re a keyboardturning “clicker” and want to learn how to do things faster & better, play a first-person shooter game for a while on your computer.
 
   
 
Many players find the default "WASD" set up constraining, and re-bind their keys to "ESDF", with S and F for strafing - and just turn with the mouse. Your left hand stays stationary, but you have more keys within reach. There are many variations to this.
 
Many players find the default "WASD" set up constraining, and re-bind their keys to "ESDF", with S and F for strafing - and just turn with the mouse. Your left hand stays stationary, but you have more keys within reach. There are many variations to this.
   
It’s also possible to play WoW with the stock mouse that came with your computer, but it’s inefficient, slow and getting a good mouse can dramatically improve your gameplay for less than $100. Though new computer hardware is released continually, the best solutions for WoW players typically involve extra buttons, a gamepad, and/or keyboard with more/better features than the stock one.
+
It's also possible to play WoW with the stock mouse that came with your computer, but it's inefficient, slow and getting a good mouse can dramatically improve your gameplay for less than $100. Though new computer hardware is released continually, the best solutions for WoW players typically involve extra buttons, a gamepad, and/or keyboard with more/better features than the stock one.
   
 
Bind your most used abilities to the mouse buttons available. If you spend $100 to acquire a second monitor you will be able to do research and browse the internet during downtime in the game.
 
Bind your most used abilities to the mouse buttons available. If you spend $100 to acquire a second monitor you will be able to do research and browse the internet during downtime in the game.
   
 
Example keybindings:
 
Example keybindings:
+
*http://elitistjerks.com/blogs/yes/214-my_keybindings_druid_edition_all_85_them.html
* http://elitistjerks.com/blogs/yes/214-my_keybindings_druid_edition_all_85_them.html
 
 
   
 
==Research and development==
 
==Research and development==
 
 
To keep up with new developments and patches you can visit various blogs or websites like [[ElitistJerks]] once in a while, especially a little while after a patch once the really knowledgeable people have had time to figure out the new mechanics and priorities using tools like [[Rawr]], Toskk's Dps Gear Calculator and [[SimulationCraft]]. You can also stop by the official forums or just read Wow.com.
 
To keep up with new developments and patches you can visit various blogs or websites like [[ElitistJerks]] once in a while, especially a little while after a patch once the really knowledgeable people have had time to figure out the new mechanics and priorities using tools like [[Rawr]], Toskk's Dps Gear Calculator and [[SimulationCraft]]. You can also stop by the official forums or just read Wow.com.
   
Line 340: Line 342:
   
 
For a list of websites and blogs, see the [[Feral druid resources]] page.
 
For a list of websites and blogs, see the [[Feral druid resources]] page.
 
   
 
==Video guides==
 
==Video guides==
 
 
{| class="darktable"
 
{| class="darktable"
 
|-
 
|-
Line 350: Line 350:
 
! colspan=2 | [http://www.viddler.com/explore/parl2001/videos/2 Full movie]<br />[http://www.filefront.com/14885557/Guide%20How%20To%20Feral%20DPS.mp4 Full movie download]
 
! colspan=2 | [http://www.viddler.com/explore/parl2001/videos/2 Full movie]<br />[http://www.filefront.com/14885557/Guide%20How%20To%20Feral%20DPS.mp4 Full movie download]
 
|-
 
|-
|<youtube>_nuc5MhpekM</youtube>
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|[[File:Guide How To Feral DPS part ONE of two|425px]]
|<youtube>Eb5jMXJnv9k</youtube>
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|[[File:Guide How To Feral DPS part TWO|425px]]
  +
|-
  +
|colspn="2"|Author's note: For update/errata check http://coldbear.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/things-i-got-wrong
 
|}
 
|}
   
Author's note: For update/errata check http://coldbear.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/things-i-got-wrong/
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== See also ==
+
[[File:Cbicon.jpg|thumb|right|Cat wins. Bear is carried. <br>Art by Tigrin.net]]
+
; Calculators and simulators
==References==
 
[[Image:Cbicon.jpg|thumb|right|Cat wins. Bear is carried.]]
 
 
* [[Feral druid resources]]
 
* [[Useful macros for druids]]
 
 
* [[Rawr]]
 
* [[Rawr]]
 
* [[SimulationCraft]]
 
* [[SimulationCraft]]
* http://druid.wikispaces.com/ToskksDPSGearMethod - Online Dps Gear Calculator
 
* http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t63774-cat_dps_guide_dummies/ by Murna of <Legenden der Horde> EU-Kargath[H]
 
* http://thefluiddruid.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/the-33-cat-gearing-guide-part-1/ by Alaron
 
* http://www.tankspot.com/article.php?id=308463 by Geros on US-Anub'arak [H]
 
* http://www.stratfu.com/classes/druid/feral-dps-guide-work-progress by Ark of <Prophecy> on EU-Darkmoon Faire
 
* http://www.mmo-champion.com/class-druid/feral-druids-the-cat-guide-3-2!-edition/ by Paskgotsheal
 
* http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=20140812425&sid=1
 
* http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=15864788935&sid=1
 
* http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=18031239854&sid=1
 
* http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=20677862018&sid=1
 
* http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=8864888005
 
* http://www.ensidia.com/home/guides/complete-feral/ by Tun of <Ensidia>
 
* http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t16902-feral_megathread/ by Dukes of <DarkStorm> on EU-Al'Akir[H] - included here for historical purposes only
 
[[Category:Druids]]
 
[[Category:Guides]]
 
   
  +
; Resources
  +
*[[Feral druid resources]]
  +
*[[Useful macros for druids]]
  +
  +
== External links ==
  +
*[http://druid.wikispaces.com/ToskksDPSGearMethod Toskks Online Dps Gear Calculator]
  +
*http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t63774-cat_dps_guide_dummies/ by Murna of <Legenden der Horde> EU-Kargath[H]
  +
*http://thefluiddruid.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/the-33-cat-gearing-guide-part-1/ by Alaron
  +
*http://feraldps.blogspot.com/2010/05/blog-post.html
  +
*http://www.tankspot.com/article.php?id=308463 by Geros on US-Anub'arak [H]
  +
*http://www.stratfu.com/classes/druid/feral-dps-guide-work-progress by Ark of <Prophecy> on EU-Darkmoon Faire
  +
*http://www.mmo-champion.com/class-druid/feral-druids-the-cat-guide-3-2!-edition/ by Paskgotsheal
  +
*http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=20140812425&sid=1
  +
*http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=15864788935&sid=1
  +
*http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=18031239854&sid=1
  +
*http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=20677862018&sid=1
  +
*http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=8864888005
  +
*http://www.ensidia.com/home/guides/complete-feral/ by Tun of <Ensidia>
  +
*http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t16902-feral_megathread/ by Dukes of <DarkStorm> on EU-Al'Akir[H] - included here for historical purposes only
   
   
 
{{Classfooter|Druid}}
 
{{Classfooter|Druid}}
  +
[[Category:Druids]]
  +
[[Category:Guides]]

Latest revision as of 19:13, June 20, 2013



Coldbearbanneredit minus text

The information in this guide is intended for endgame feral dps players in groups and raids. Pool information here and help update this to avoid having multiple out-dated guides on several different websites.

Specs and glyphs Edit

Solid base build Edit

Solid base build with three points left over for accessory talents. Includes required glyphs (prime) and suggested glyphs (major, minor).

Talent notes
Tier 1
  • [Feral Swiftness] 2/2: An important 30% ground speed boost that can provide a decent dps uptime increase on heavy movement fights.
  • [Predatory Strikes] 2/2: The primary portion of this talent allows druids to get the most out of Stampede at the start of fights and get a bump in initial combo points as well. The second half can be used to pop self-heals in tight situations to save yourself, or held in the pipe for instant Bres' if things go south in an encounter.
Tier 2
  • [Fury Swipes] 3/3: Since auto attacks make up one of the top 4 damage done abilities, this adds more weight to staying on a target.
  • [Primal Fury] 2/2: Free combo points on critical strike combo point granting abilities. Saves time and energy when building 5cpts for a rip or Ferocious Bite. Don't pass over.
  • [Feral Aggression] 2/2: Simple dps increase over taking more points in Furor or Infected wounds while filling out the tree. If your group lacks the armor debuff, make sure to apply Feral Faerie Fire at the start of a fight and when it's about to fall off.
Tier 3
  • [King of the Jungle] 3/3: Keeping Tiger's Fury on CD as much as possible is a cornerstone of Feral dps. With this talent, all you have to do is adjust when you use it as to not waste the extra energy gain.
  • [Feral Charge] 1/1: Cat version of this talent makes short work of travel time to targets, increasing dps up-time on movement fights.
  • [Stampede] 2/2: Cat version allows for the use of Ravage outside of stealth, and makes it free to boot! Charge at the start of a pull as well as when you're away from your primary target and reap the benefits of Predatory Strikes along with it.
Tier 4
  • [Leader of the Pack] 1/1: Solid party/raid buff. Has a nice self-healing buff as well. If another member of your group provides the 5% crit buff, LotP will override it one your character due to the secondary healing it provides.
  • [Nurturing Instinct] 2/2: Tranquility is a very strong heal for druids and this talent helps it keep pace while you're in feral. The additional healing done to you is just icing on the cake and shouldn't be overlooked with the changes made to healing for Cata.
Tier 5
  • [Primal Madness] 2/2: Ups your max energy to 120 during Tiger's Fury and Berserk. For the first, it allows you to pop T'sF at 60 energy. And while not too impressive for the latter, you can pop TF first to cap out your energy at 120, and then try and burn it all off with half priced abilities.
  • [Survival Instincts] 1/1: Listed as a mandatory talent since a dead dps is essentially worthless. It's worth mentioning that both this talent and Barkskin are off the GCD.
  • [Endless Carnage] 2/2: Not having to reapply Rake and Savage Roar as often gives you more energy to spend on higher dps abilities.
Tier 6
  • [Rend and Tear] 3/3: Since you'll have (in a best case scenario) both Rip and Rake up at all times, this talent is solid gold for keeping your Shreds in peek performance.
  • [Blood in the Water] 2/2: Essentially turns Ferocious Bite into an Execute under 25%, refreshing Rip for free. It should be noted that even a 1pt FB will refresh Rip while this talent is active.
Tier 7
  • [Berserk] 1/1: Plain and simple DPS cooldown. Time it's use for the start of the fight and every 3min thereafter, avoiding points where excessive movement would be involved. Currently, there is a debate as to whether one should use FB during a Berserk as apposed to simply Shred Spamming and refreshing Rip.


To-do
  • Add description of Feral only abilities and mastery.

DPS algorithm/rotationEdit

Feral DPS relies on a list of priorities, i.e. an Algorithm - although this is commonly referred to as a rotation. The list below is in order of importance, i.e. [Mangle] is more important than [Savage Roar] which is more important than [Rake] which is more important than [Shred]. Keep in mind that the following algorithm is designed to maximize the raid's overall DPS as opposed to your own, and sometimes you will have to switch targets to adds that may die too fast for you to "ramp up" effectively.

  1. With 3 or more targets inside 5 yards in your frontal 180 degree arc - and it doesn't matter which dies first - use Mangle to keep up Savage Roar and use [Swipe] whether it's talented or not. If targets die too quickly or you can't get in a good position to Swipe, just concentrate on Savage Roar and Mangle/Shred, alt. Mangle/Rake if using [Idol of the Crying Moon].
  2. With two targets, pick the one that will last the longest and proceed with single-target DPS:
  3. Keep up [Faerie Fire (Feral)] unless your group also has a boomkin who puts up [Improved Faerie Fire] in the first second or two -- and keeps it up.
  4. Keep Mangle up - many 25p raids will have a Trauma-specced warrior who does this automatically, or a Bear tank. If you're keeping this debuff up for the raid, it's by far the greatest DPS contribution you can make, as it greatly affects the damage from warriors, rogues and some hunters, who all use bleed effects.
  5. Keep Savage Roar up -- you want 100% uptime, though in reality it will drop during Innervates/Rebirth/phase-changes/run-in-run-out mechanics etc.
  6. If you have less than 35 Energy, use [Tiger's Fury] (or [Nature's Grasp] - which can proc [Omen of Clarity]).
  7. If you know threat will not be an issue or you've already taken steps to deal with it (by talking to a paladin about getting [Hand of Salvation] ahead of time - or a warrior's [Vigilance]), use [Berserk] at this point in the initial pull in order to use it as many times as possible in a fight.
  8. If Omen of Clarity procs, use Shred, unless Mangle or Savage Roar is about to run out.
  9. Keep Rake up but don't clip it - if you clip it, it may cost you energy and give you a combo point, but not overwrite or extend the bleed effect. (This has not been confirmed to be a bug or intended behaviour.)
  10. Shred - a Rip-extending Shred may be higher damage-per-energy than Rake - REFERENCE NEEDED
  11. Get 5 Combo points then [Rip] -- unless Rip is already up, in which case pool energy and wait
  12. If you have 5 Combo points and there's 8 seconds or more left on *BOTH* Savage Roar and Rip, then and only then [Ferocious Bite] - ideally you want easy 5 Combo points afterward, e.g. Tiger's Fury coming off cooldown.
  13. Anticipate if Savage Roar and Rip will run out concurrently, and clip Savage Roar to desynchronize the timers with a low-Combo Point Savage Roar immediately. Clip Savage Roar, but don't clip Rip unless you're about to lose melee contact with the boss for an extended period of time.
  14. [Berserk] as early and as often as possible except:
    1. Save it to take advantage of a boss mechanic
    2. Try to stack with cooldowns like [Hysteria] or [Shattering Throw]
    3. Try not to Berserk within 6s after Tiger's Fury except for the first one, nor at low Energy and not at above 85 Energy REFERENCE NEEDED.

Do everything right, with decent to good gear, on a static fight - according to some calculations in SimulationCraft you could end up with 40% downtime, i.e. just pooling energy - a key part of becoming a good feral DPS player is recognizing when this is a good thing, and how to line up GCDs for best effect as timers collide chaotically.

The above DPS algorithm also happens to be one of the most complicated in the game, and according to the World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg Street, a.k.a. Ghostcrawler:

Blizz
Class Q&A Series: Druid 07/14/2009 06:00:29 PM PDT Bornakk
Ghostcrawler: If you want to do the best damage possible, you need to be able to master a complex rotation. This is one of the features that attracts players to the Feral spec. However, it's also pretty forgiving. If you just Shred, you're going to do decent damage. If you Shred and try to keep up Savage Roar, it's going to be better. If you can also manage your Mangles and Rips and Rakes, then you have the potential to do very high damage (assuming you don't have to move around much and can reach the target's back).

View original post

Note: The algorithm is not set in stone. Fight mechanics, Innervate, Rebirth, adds, void zones, standing in fire and even things like gear that necessitates that you keep a stackable buff up - will all play havoc with it.

ImplicationsEdit

FeralCatDPSRotation

Cat DPS extended rotation

Catdps

Simplified Cat DPS Rotation

Ferals require substantial ramp-up time before the damage really gets going, averaging 5-7 seconds in melee range to get Mangle, SR, Rake and Rip up. You want to draw your raid leaders' attention to this if needed, so you don't end up switching targets more than necessary, especially at low energy. Other specs have little to no ramp-up time and much more burst-on-demand, but the situation and raid composition dictate tactics, which means you will have to do the best you can, given what the raid leader needs done. Keep in mind that many other dps players would rather be sticking to one single target as well.

You will not always be able to remember every step in the algorithm, but in the UI section you will find solutions to this headache.

"This relatively high complexity pays off; you have the potential to top the charts on any fight without a gimmick stacked against you."- Astrylian of <Aeon> on US-Suramar[A], Author of Rawr.

No other spec currently in the game needs to be behind its target to do competitive PVE damage. Feral dps players are thus disproportionately concerned with getting and staying behind the boss. Be aware that "behind" the target is defined as anywhere in melee range in the rear 180-degree arc. (IMAGE NEEDED) To the side and just slightly behind the middle is fine, and sometimes it's possible to Shred while technically facing the wrong way inside the target's graphic model. Many bosses and adds rotate quickly and unpredictably, e.g. Lady Deathwhisper, Stormcaller Brundir, Lord Jaraxxus and it may be worth your while to decide whether to continually adjust or to just refresh the Mangle debuff instead.

If you're the only feral dps then the raid may be better off positioning to your disadvantage, but if maximizing your dps becomes an issue, the raid may have to accommodate this unique positioning requirement. Keep in mind that most raid leaders are stressed, don't know everything about every class, rarely have perfect raid comps and face a lot of competing priorities.

With the increased importance of Situational Awareness comes a great need to be able to see personal melee positioning very clearly, while simultaneously being very aware of your health, energy, combo points, target's health, target cast bar, various buffs, debuffs, cooldowns, boss emotes, raid warnings, possible Innervate targets and possible Rebirth targets. A common solution to this is to use UI addons to centralize a lot of this information much more effectively than the stock UI does - for details see the Feral druid resources page.

Stat valuesEdit

Feral DPS is defined as a melee, Agility based, Bleed-damage oriented class. As such, it uses WoW's melee stats to determine what kind of damage your character will do once you hit the button. Since Cataclysm-Logo-Small Cataclysm (Patch 4.0.1 and up), several of the older melee stats such as Armor Pen (ArP), Attack Power (AtP) and Feral Attack Power on gear has been removed to simplify measuring what stats are better for which class. In Feral DPS, players concentrate on the following (in no certain order): Agility, Critical Strike, Haste, Mastery, Hit and Expertise.

Agility
Feral DPS gains 2 attack power per point of agility. This is increased by talents, buffs and automatically by selecting Feral as your primary talent tree in the form of a 25% flat buff to attack power. Your basic bread and butter stat.
Mastery
The newest stat for Cataclysm-Logo-Small Cataclysm. Mastery for Feral DPS increases the amount of damage Bleed effects you apply do while in Cat form by 25.04%, increased by an additional 3.1% per 1% increase in mastery.
Critical Strike
Determines how often your abilities will deal double damage.
Haste
Haste increases two things: how fast your white swings are and how fast you generate energy.
Expertise and Hit rating
These two stats are special in that there comes a point where having any more of one will essentially be worthless (otherwise known as the "Hard Cap"). Hit is exactly what it sounds like, it improves the chance of your attacks/abilities of actually hitting the target. The soft cap for it is defined as the amount of Hit rating required for your yellow damage special attacks to have a 100% of connecting with your target, while the hard cap is the amount required so that all of your white swings will hit without missing. Expertise decreases the chance that your target will Dodge or Parry your attacks. Since a target can dodge, parry and block attacks from the front, you should concentrate being behind the target as much as possible while DPS'ing since expertise does nothing to negate block. Also, the "soft cap" for expertise is considered to be the amount of expertise required to reduce your target's chance of dodging your attacks to 0%, while the hard cap would be the amount needed to negate being parried.
To-do
  • Add exact stat values with corresponding caps (if app.).
  • Find stat value order.

GearEdit

How to decide what gear to use & Gearing up

Since Patch 4.0.1, Blizzard has simplified the manner in which every class selects gear to use. Classes have 1 primary stat (Strength, Agility, Intellect) that they concentrate on above all others, and then several other secondary stats (Spirit, Critical Strike, Haste, etc.) depending on your spec/class. For Feral DPS, you will concentrate on obtaining ONLY LEATHER for your gear slots (i.e. Head, Chest, Legs, etc.) that has Agility as its primary stat. The reason behind this first filter is due in part to the new Specializations each class has, providing a flat 5% bonus to your primary DPS stat, if and only if all of your gear slots are filled with your class' armor type (sans trinkets, rings, neck, weapon and relic).

After making sure you've selected leather agility gear, the next step is to determine what exactly you are gearing for in terms of content. If you are a fresh out of the gate 85 Kitty, chances are you don't quite have the item level required for heroics just yet and should concentrate on obtaining ilvl 333 gear from normal instances, 346 gear from the Justice Point vendor, and a few 359 pieces from Faction rep and Leather Working. Once you've breached the point were you can queue for heroic instances, concentrate on getting exalted with factions that have epic dps leather pieces, such as Dragonmaw (for Horde Kitties) or the Alliance equivalent, while building up JP to fill in non 346/59 slots in your gear. Remember: if you have the 333 version of a piece of gear, the heroic 346 version will have the same stat layout, but with more of each stat. As for relics, use only ones with agility. Extra care should be given to obtaining a strong staff or polearm as all of your abilities are based off of your weapons dps value, and your white swings off of its speed.

Gems

Since Bc icon Burning Crusade, certain gear pieces have 1-2 colored "Sockets", red, blue, yellow, chromatic or meta. When a gem of the corresponding color is placed into a socket and all sockets on a piece of gear are filled as such, an additional socket bonus is activated. Feral concentrates on filling sockets in the following manner:

  • If the socket is red, place a Delicate gem[1] in it as these max out Agility.
  • If there are two sockets and one is red and the other yellow or blue and the socket bonus is agility or mastery, then match the non-red socket with either an agi/mast or agi/hit gem respectively. If the bonus isn't agi or mastery, then socket with another delicate agi red gem.
  • If there is only one socket, follow the rule for two as above.
  • Meta Gem sockets in your head piece should have an [Agile Shadowspirit Diamond]. Failing the availability of the Agile meta or cost issues, the [Fleet Shadowspirit Diamond] is a decent alternative, as well is the Chaotic.


To do

Examples of gear comparisons, stat caps for heroics / raid content hit/expertise, suggested chants/rep items/crafted items, links for feral leather specialization and gems.

EnchantsEdit

ConsumablesEdit

Feral DPS raiders usually come prepared with a [Flask of Endless Rage] for more difficult content, and use the slightly suboptimal [Fish Feast] for most raids.

If you truly wish to min/max your performance you will need to use the food and flask or elixir that Toskk, Rawr or SimulationCraft estimates is most useful for you based on your buffs, debuffs or raid composition.

The two most common non-feast foods are [Blackened Dragonfin] and [Hearty Rhino].

"Pretty simple: eat for whatever your best stat is. Fish Feasts are slightly suboptimal, but they're much better than nothing." - Alaron (http://thefluiddruid.wordpress.com)

ProfessionsEdit

Min/maxed raiders will likely go with Blacksmithing/Jewelcrafting on their feral raiding main, but other professions like Leatherworking, Enchanting and Alchemy also have good bonuses. Alchemy will also cut down on the consumables cost of raiding a fair amount. Even Engineering is nowadays no longer the pvp-only profession it used to be, and offers yet another useful high-mobility speed boost in the form of Nitro Boosts. Mining and Herbalism are generally to be avoided as they do not currently confer worthwhile dps bonuses, though Mining's Toughness bonus is good for tanking if that is your main role. Keep in mind that these and other long-term and costly player choices can change in relative benefit with any given patch.

For Engineering, it is useful to macro Hyperspeed Accelerators to Tiger's Fury and additionally to Berserk, as the on-use hand tinker haste bonus stacks well with the Tiger's Fury buff and with Hysteria and Shattering Throw which ferals generally try to time with Berserk.

Buffs and debuffsEdit

RAID BUFFS

From Alaron's Dps Guide post on his blog The Fluid Druid (http://thefluiddruid.wordpress.com):

While you don't really have any control over this, here's a list of the (major) raid buffs/debuffs which will increase your DPS, with a note over who brings what and a rough estimate of how big a buff it is. I've included our own buffs for comparison. TLDR version: bribe your RL to bring an enhancement shaman and a ret pally.

Keep in mind that these buffs will change in upcoming patches.

SELF-BUFFS
  • [Savage Roar] is the most important buff or debuff a feral needs to keep track of.
  • Buffs from idols and other items are generally not as important and happen as a consequence of normal play, but still of concern to the hardcore feral raider trying to stack as many beneficial buffs as possible - even to the point of sometimes keeping track of item's internal cooldown to line them up with on-use items and skills.
  • Dps cooldown abilities and proccing item buffs tend to all get activated in the first ten-twenty seconds of melee combat, which can stack dangerously high and contributes to feral dps players' sometimes extraordinary threat problems early in a fight relative to many other melee dps specs, especially if the tanks are undergeared, underskilled or not receiving immediate Misdirection or Tricks of the Trade.
  • Making these easily monitored should be a central consideration in any Feral UI design.
DEBUFFS BY YOU
  • [Mangle] is the most important debuff a feral player needs to keep track of as it dramatically increases the damage of Dps Warriors, Rogues and some Hunters. It is equivalent to the Arms Warrior [Trauma] debuff, the presence of which makes the feral dps algorithm much simpler and more effective. Be nice to any Arms Warriors you have in your raid, or they may re-spec to Fury, which means they will now need you to press a button to keep up the debuff they previously effortlessly provided themselves.
  • [Rip] is the another important debuff a feral player needs to keep track of as it does a large amount of damage per energy/combo point spent.
  • [Faerie Fire] is usually provided by a moonkin in many 25p raids, but since this spec is a bit of an oddball historically - and tanks and resto druids are in high demand, you may be required to provide it if a moonkin is missing.
  • [Rake] is a potentially powerful debuff depending on gear and situation, but normally one of the lower-priority concerns on the feral algorithm.
DEBUFFS BY OTHERS

Included in above Raid buffs section.

The Utopia addon will let you monitor in real time the buffs and debuffs you should be concerned with -- and is especially useful if you think someone in the raid isn't keeping a certain debuff up consistently. It can also alert you to gaps in Mangle up-time.

Class synergiesEdit

MANGLE AND FAERIE FIRE

Discussed in previous section.

HYSTERIA

Assuming the player is already doing near-top dps, Cat Druids are arguably the best choice for [Hysteria] -- doing purely physical dps and able to stack [Berserk] and on-use items with it. Other classes' burst dps cooldowns don't stack with Hysteria or a significant portion of their damage is elemental.

From Murna's ElitistJerks Cat DPS Guide for Dummies:

  • Arms Warrior - Does not stack with [Wrecking Crew]. Besides, they don't have strong Cooldowns to blow while Hysteria is up.
  • Death Knights - A significant portion of their damage is magical and not physical. [Dancing Rune Weapon] scales only half with Hysteria, [summon Gargoyle] doesn't at all
  • Enhancement Shamans - A good portion of their damage is magical. [Feral Spirit], their Cooldown, is not affected by Hysteria.
  • Fury Warrior - Although all of their damage is physical, they cannot blow their big Cooldown [Death Wish] with Hysteria, because it doesn't stack.
  • Hunter - A good portion of their damage is magical and their pet wouldn't benefit from Hysteria.
  • Retribution Paladins - A very big portion of their damage is magical.
  • Rogues - A good portion of their damage is magical.

Cats benefit by far the most from Hysteria. As long as you are quite close to the top DPS in your raid, try to convince your Blood-DK or your raidleader, that you should get Hysteria!

Realistically the minor damage differential between you and a Blood DK isn't crucial unless you're attempting content that's at the limit of what your guild can handle, a.k.a. a progression fight. You might very well see more of a dps increase by min/maxing your professions or working on your skill usage, or trying to optimize the raid composition.

A [Potion of Speed] can also be stacked with Hysteria and/or Shattering Throw.

It's also possible to stack weapon-enchant procs and trinket procs with Berserk and/or Hysteria, but that involves keeping track of internal cooldowns.

TRICKS OF THE TRADE

[Tricks of the Trade] is generally reserved for classes/specs that have much more reliable or better threat dumping or Aggro Dumping abilities. It should only be used on Feral Dps when [Hand of Salvation] or similar is immediately available or tank threat is simply not an issue.

INNERVATE

Mana users will love you for this skill. Using it on will shift you out of cat form and initiate a global cooldown, which will lower your effective dps for the fight unless you do this while not in melee range. It is useful to have mana-users that need an Innervate make a macro with a few lines of "/w INNERVATE ME PLEASE" - or similar. Many raiding addons exist that keep track of other people's cooldowns, if your raid is using a variant of these the mana-users should be able to monitor when your Innervate cooldown is up so as not to bother you needlessly. Keep in mind that many specs have their own mana-return cooldowns available, and responding to a call over vent with an immediate Innervate may lead to several Innervates simultaneously on one target - wasting an important raid resource.

Simple macros are available that can announce who you just Innervated, and it's not difficult to set up a macro that immediately and without de-targeting your current target uses a skill on your focus target if you know ahead of time who you will use a skill on, see Feral druid resources for details. There are also addons that fulfill these functions, and can detect when the skill didn't go off as planned so you avoid spamming "Player X has just been Innervated!" to the raid if the ability was on cooldown still and you accidentally pressed it, or the target was out of range.

Knowing who is a good target for Innervate and when is a hallmark of a good feral player and one of the reasons a feral player can rarely get away with not having a full set of raid frames visible at all times on the UI, in contrast to many other dps specs who are rarely concerned with who is alive/dead or out of mana.

Your raid members will have to be coaxed into asking for early Innervates. If you don't use Innervate on a progression fight, you've wasted a significant amount of class synergy as the skill is seldom worth much to you, and always try to Innervate a battle-rezzed mana user, though they will usually pop a potion or cooldown right after.

  • Pro Tip: Keep track on your UI by having Grid set up to put a purple dot on whoever is below 40% mana.
REBIRTH

[Rebirth] has a long and glorious history of chain-rezzing numerous people and saving a fight, or making an already lost battle last longer, or simply causing one of your frenemies a double repair-bill.

Ideally you and your raidleader would keep track of all available Rebirth cooldowns, and always consider rezzing a fellow druid if you have multiple victims to choose from to get a Rebirth chain going, where one druid rezzes the next who rezzes another who rezzes someone who has appropriately bribed the druids.

  • Another reason to keep a full set of raid frames visible on screen.

As the long cooldown on this skill recently was cut in half, it has never been more important to learn how to use this skill quickly, efficiently and with a minimum of fuss in an already clogged vent communication channel.

STACKING COOLDOWNS

[Hysteria] stacks with [Berserk] stacks with [Shattering Throw] stacks with [Potion of Speed] stacks with [Hyperspeed Accelerators] and many on-use trinkets. Learn the different cooldown lengths of all these skills and communicate with your fellow raiders ahead of time on how to best use your skills together. Coordinating these and various tanking/healing cooldowns is one of the hallmarks of successful WOTLK raiding, not unlike how raid composition was a major issue in TBC raiding.

One of the things you should ask the raid prior to each progression fight is:

  • Hey <WARRIOR'S NAME> - are we getting any Shattering Throws and if so, when - and how will you notify us?

With some prompting, most Warriors can be cajoled into putting a /yell somethingsomething macro'd with [Shattering Throw] - enabling you to more easily keep track of their usage of this skill, not unlike what's already common practice with Shaman's Bloodlust/Heroism usage.

[Bloodlust] / [Heroism] generally doesn't affect Feral Dps skill usage very much since Berserk doesn't receive much additional benefit from stacking with them. It does mean slightly higher chance of [Omen of Clarity] procs and does stack with Tiger's Fury or any trinkets that add Attack Power.

Threat managementEdit

Cower, the feral threat reduction skill, only lowers your threat by a flat 2432, which is a silly low number, less than the average white auto-attack. It doesn't scale at all, which means as everyone's gear gets better it just gets WORSE.

You're better off just pulling out to save energy, since in the GCD that you use Cower, you will also auto-attack, immediately negating the threat-reduction.

This is where adds become important -- try to attack some adds whenever you can if you know threat will be an issue.

It's entirely possible for Feral DPS'ers to be top on threat but behind "pure" damage-dealing classes on damage, even given reasonably equivalent gear and skill.

Plan accordingly, recognize the warning signs of a problem early and ask for [Vigilance] or [Hand of Salvation] as early as possible or just back off. Make sure Hunters are using [Misdirection] and the Rogues use [Tricks of the Trade] on the tank. Watch out or the Blood DK might try to get you to pull aggro by giving you Hysteria even when you don't ask for it. A third class-synergy thing is Intervene, which requires a Warrior in Defensive Stance (or with a good macro) who's around 8-25 yards away and not busy tanking and/or moderately to very skilled.

Before a progression hardmode/heroic bossfight when there will be a tanking warrior and you know you may have threat problems, ask the raid:

  • Who's getting Vigilance ?

Fight mechanicsEdit

Icehowl Rocket Boots

Mobility is a Feral's main strength.

All the gear and skill in the world won't help you if you don't know the fight mechanics. Read up on the fight and watch a video or two before the raid (Google, StratFU, TankSpot, BossKillers or use Wow Wiki's own Instances by level page), use Berserk asap unless there's a time in the fight when the boss takes extra damage.

Ferals excel at mobility in WoW - no other class has so many movement options. Leverage this to your advantage by maximizing time in melee range as well as what you do while not directly causing melee damage. Don't try too hard or you'll push the limits too far on waiting for a melee nova to go off, or get tunnel vision trying to get in range to use Rebirth only to have them rez in a slime pool/void zone/fire. Commonly used class-defining skills are Feral Charge - Cat and Dash.

Time away from the boss or out of melee range is time best spent making sure you'll be able to get back in range asap, glancing at your raid frames to see Innervate targets and Rebirth targets -- generally healers or top dps players.

If you know you will have enough time to shift back into Cat Form and regen to full energy, it may be worthwhile to get a free Omen of Clarity proc by using Gift of the Wild while away from melee range.

Predator's swiftnessEdit

The Predator's Swiftness buff from the Predatory Strikes talent now allows us to instantly battlerez someone. Therefore make sure Rebirth is easily accessible somewhere not on your primary Action Bar , as you need to be able to just press the hotkey without having to shift out first.

Cyclone, Entangling Roots and Abolish Poison/Remove Curse/Healing Touch (or Regrowth) and Innervate should all ideally have buttons not on your form-specific Action Bar , though with the massive amount of different skills a feral druid has to keep track of, this is easier said than done without UI addons.

Double Potion, Double TrinketEdit

  • On a progression fight you might use two Potion of Speed per serious attempt -- one right before going into combat and one during any burst dps availability like Hysteria/Shattering Throw or increased-damage boss mechanic.
  • If you find yourself with two very good proc trinkets that both semi-randomly give you a large buff to one stat to the point that the stat is pushed over the hardcap - you may wish to explore other gearing options. The alternative is to remove one of the trinkets and re-equip it (possibly with a macro) right before going into combat. This causes the internal cooldown to activate on the trinket that was just equipped, while the other one is ready to go off, with the result that the two trinket procs become de-synchronized and you get full value from both. This is an advanced technique useful only for a very few.

Analyzing your performanceEdit

See the Combat Log page for a list of 3rd-party programs that serve as central data collections where your raid members can analyze individual and group performance after or even sometimes during the raid.

How to use these different websites and programs is complicated and beyond the scope of this guide, though you should at least learn how to check your Savage Roar and Mangle uptime on any fights which don't require significant time away from melee range.

Anything less than 90-95% on those types of fight means you're probably doing something wrong.

"Another easy thing to check is how often you Berserked on a fight. If the fight lasted 3 minutes and 30 seconds and you only Berserked once, then you probably ****ed up." - Allev of <Serious Casual> on US-Mal'Ganis[H], feral theorycrafter

7 minute fight? Probably should have Berserked three times, first time in the first ten seconds of the fight, second at or before 3:30 mark, then at or before 6:30 and so on.

Some of the combatlog-parsers offer real-time feedback, but usually you need to use an instant combat log-parsing damage meter like Recount or Skada for that - the latter of which also serves as a threat meter.

UIEdit

For commonly-used Feral UI addons, see Feral druid resources.

It is possible to play as feral dps using only the stock UI. It's just very difficult to do so effectively.

Feral DPS players have to keep track of:

  • positioning/situational awareness
  • target facing
  • bossfight event timers
  • player hp
  • energy/combo points
  • target hp
  • buff/debuff timers - at least 2 buffs and 5 debuffs
  • cooldowns
  • Rebirth targets
  • Innervate targets
  • Omen of Clarity

…and that's on top of cooldowns, moving out of void zones, not pulling aggro, attacking the right target, adds, listening to calls over vent, making sure you're behind the boss, running out, running in etc etc. - no wonder that some stressed out feral player created this: http://coldbear.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/catdps.jpg?w=500&h=1312, also known as the JOHN ****ING MADDEN cat dps flowchart.

Watch the UI tutorials made by Daniel Moy at http://www.pvptutorial.com/ and then decide how you'd prefer to deal with this issue. His UI philosophy translates very well to a feral dps pve environment. Other UI tutorials are also available on YouTube or on the addons' hosted websites.

The most important information should ideally be within a short radius of where the player's eyes are usually focused on the screen. Scrolling combat text is a good tool for this, but if you like to keep your number of addons to a minimum you'll find it useful to only display the information you really REALLY want or your screen will just become a cascading waterfall of green text. A popular way to get things more centralized and effective is to use one of many timer addons, a frame addon and an actionbar addon, or simply an addon to move the default Blizzard frames around to a more convenient location. For more information, see the Feral druid resources page.

Any ideal Feral UI would also make it easier to keep track of some important buffs and debuffs from other players: Horn of Winter, Sunder Armor, Totem of Wrath or Heart of the Crusader or Master Poisoner, Blood Frenzy or Savage Combat Poison, Hysteria and Shattering Throw.

Note on Spell Recommendation addons: Due to the nature and complexity of the Feral Dps Algorithm many feral dps'ers like to use a spell recommendation addon like Feral By Night or the newly developed and updated Ovale scripts. These are only ever accurate on static fights, and care must be taken to avoid slavishly following the recommendations since it will lead to standing in fire or ignoring how much target-switching and extremely dynamic fight situations play havoc with the algorithm. For more information, see the Feral druid resources page and ElitistJerks.

MacrosEdit

If you want to be successful at feral dps, you will have to learn how to use Macros.

For commonly used feral macros, see Useful macros for druids.

A "/startattack" line in each non-stealth, direct-damage, melee skill macro means you start auto-attacking even when you don't have enough energy to use the skill you just pressed.

With 10 slots on your primary Cat Action Bar and TWENTY-THREE abilities commonly used in Cat Form you simply have to find a way to double up some skills on the same hotkeys or use an Action Bar Addon, a lot of modifier keys and/or the non-form-specific action bars.

Experiment and search Wow Wiki, the EJ and official forums for macros that suit you.

Count yourself lucky -- at least you don't have to deal with Powershifting anymore!

Hardware and keybindingsEdit

It is possible to play a melee dps spec by using your keyboard to turn and the mouse to click skills. It is NOT possible to do this efficiently. If you're a keyboardturning “clicker” and want to learn how to do things faster & better, play a first-person shooter game for a while on your computer.

Many players find the default "WASD" set up constraining, and re-bind their keys to "ESDF", with S and F for strafing - and just turn with the mouse. Your left hand stays stationary, but you have more keys within reach. There are many variations to this.

It's also possible to play WoW with the stock mouse that came with your computer, but it's inefficient, slow and getting a good mouse can dramatically improve your gameplay for less than $100. Though new computer hardware is released continually, the best solutions for WoW players typically involve extra buttons, a gamepad, and/or keyboard with more/better features than the stock one.

Bind your most used abilities to the mouse buttons available. If you spend $100 to acquire a second monitor you will be able to do research and browse the internet during downtime in the game.

Example keybindings:

Research and developmentEdit

To keep up with new developments and patches you can visit various blogs or websites like ElitistJerks once in a while, especially a little while after a patch once the really knowledgeable people have had time to figure out the new mechanics and priorities using tools like Rawr, Toskk's Dps Gear Calculator and SimulationCraft. You can also stop by the official forums or just read Wow.com.

Some really good feral blogs currently active are Think-Tank, The Fluid Druid and Feral Aggression.

For a list of websites and blogs, see the Feral druid resources page.

Video guidesEdit

Parl2001's Guide - Part 1 Parl2001's Guide - Part 2
Full movie
Full movie download
Guide How To Feral DPS part ONE of two

Guide How To Feral DPS part ONE of two

Guide How To Feral DPS part TWO

Guide How To Feral DPS part TWO

Author's note: For update/errata check http://coldbear.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/things-i-got-wrong

See also Edit

Cbicon

Cat wins. Bear is carried.
Art by Tigrin.net

Calculators and simulators
Resources

External links Edit



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