View Full Version : Increasing my Kitty DPS
14-02-2008, 12:20 PM
I've, for the past few months, started to take my Druid a little more seriously. Getting the 'right' enchants for my gear, getting the 'right' spec and changing my play completely to support my now none clicking style. I've tanked most bosses in Kz, tanked 4 bosses in Zul'Aman (haven't got any further), but find myself increasingly drawn to my kitty rather than my bear.
My current skill rotation is Shred, Shred, Shred, Shred, Mangle, and then Rip, depending on crits and whether the mob can bleed (I hate Kz). When I Rip I try and time it so I have over 70 Energy so I can start Shreding again.
My DPS is okay, coming second in ZA when I'm just there as kitty, however I want to up my DPS as much as I can with the gear I have, and that would be, I am guessing, by becoming more energy efficient. I am getting better gear, mainly from badgers, plus bits and bobs from Heroics and PvP (none yet, been lazy PvP wise). I try and get agility/crit and strength as much as possible - my crit is about 35% unbuffed and just about 3k AP.
Any pearls of wisdom from other, more experienced Druids would be appreciated.
14-02-2008, 12:35 PM
Right, first thing. Your cycle is way off.
It should be Mangle, Shred to 4/5 points, then wait for energy, Rip and Mangle again. Unmangled Shreds is cry worthy, the reason for the mangle at the end is to make sure every rip tick is boosted by mangle and it's the cue for you to start shredding again.
For gemming, what you want to do is replace that meta with the +12agi/+3% crit damage one, primarily you will be using +agi gems (+8 ones in your case) with 2 +hit/+agi and 2+agi/stam gems to activate the meta. Basically crit + AP is everything and agility gives you both.
Talents, you can drop Feral Agression to pick up Predatory Instincts. You will almost never use FB outside of solo grinding and the demo shout is overwritten by the warrior one if they have improved as well, it's good enough as it is without needing boosting. Personally I don't have enrage, natural shifter or savage fury but those are mostly just filler things as they aren't deal breakers when dpsing/tanking
To increase your dps further you'll need to master powershifting, which is basically Just shifting out of kitty and back in again to instantly regain 40 energy from furor. You can macro it with the following:
/cast Cat Form(Shapeshift)
Just make sure you aren't on GCD when you do so as it'll shift you out, but not back in again. If you do it once you hit 0ish energy (or close enough) your net gain will be greater then just letting it tick over, even if you have to wait for a free GCD to finish.
Your gear is fine, but you'll definitely want to be picking up T4, the 2piece bonus for it is immense. It'll stick with you up until 4t6 and even then it's a matter of preference. The Darkmoon Card will get increasingly less worthwhile the better your gear gets. You might want to do the Ogri'la quests and pick up the Crystalforged trinket as it's a straight up 2dps increase just by equipping and the use sits on a 1min CD and fits perfectly with a dps cycle, for best results use it before a rip and with some crit luck it'll still be up for your next rip.
Edit: It's a bit daunting, but read through this thread: http://elitistjerks.com/f31/t16902-feral_druid_megathread/ . It'll answer every question you could have for all aspects of feral.
14-02-2008, 12:53 PM
Thanks for the fast reply.
It goes to show I should read the tooltips on skills. I just thought that Mangle increased the bleed damage and not the Shred.
I'm using Power Shifting to a degree but way off getting used to it, ie forgetting to use it, but will work with it. Macro I use is: /cast !Cat Form
I'll grab a few PuGs later and see if I can increase my damage.
Get used to powershifting, its indeed that good when used properly. If you really intend using it extensively (which you should), drop 2 points from Intensity and put them to Natural Shapeshifter. Normaly you shouldn't get oom from purely powershifting, but I had a couple of occasions when agresive powershifting left me with too little mana for Bres (thank god pot was on cd only once). Rare occasion indeed, but can turn out quite uncofortable "sorry oom" which can mean a whipe.
As Jun already said, get 2 parts of t4 asap. 2 part bonus is best thing druids have in game at the moment by far margin.
Get the shred idol. Think it was 20 badgers and its best thing available atm. Overall your gear is in good direction. Get to farm badgers hardcore, which shouldn't be a problem as feral tank. It should allow you to upgrade bracers, boots, darkmoon trinket (neither of those 3 you own are bad, but badger dps pieces for those slots are either best or close to best in game). Overall, gear wise you should be looking into 25 man loot tables already.
Don't forget the tank gear either=P Focusing on both DPS and Tank gear is where druids beauty comes. Being capable of only 1 of these 2 roles will not get you far;)
15-02-2008, 11:54 AM
Thank you Saha for the post and information. Will continue to play with shifting, I can see it's advantage when energy starved, especially after a bite.
Put Alverion's advice into practice yesterday on the SP heroic daily and saw a good increase in damage, although I had to watch my threat more closely as it shot up very fast. I have respecced to Alverion's suggestion and it has made a marked improvement, also changed the gem in my helm and picked up the trinket from Ogri'la.
I have tanking gear, defense is around 420-30 depending on what I wear, seems to be situational. Sometimes I can't get rage as I dodge alot, so tend to deliberately drop my dodge. With the Lynx boss I tend to run my dodge trinket (Moroes Pocket Watch) and the Terror Idol when he pops enrage, we sometimes lack a hunter so that extra dodge has saved my fuzzy butt a good number of times. I'll log out in my tanking gear if I remember tonight, chest/legs are clefthoof set, rest a mishmash of other suggested items.
I'm after the druid helm or legs (T4) for the set bonus, been drooling over it for some time, but seem to get out rolled alot, I've got a seriously crap rolling streak after I won the stave from SSC with a 99 (yes we roll if we need). Got some badgers for the idol and will pick that up when I log in, been looking at it for a while.
As long as its over 415, you don't need more defense.
There can not be too much dodge, can be only too weak hitting mobs=P Basicaly, if you're confident in your healer and dps doesn't suck try using a mix of your DPS gear while tanking in 5 mans. This should both prevent you rage starving as well as increase TPS a lot and let your dps relax and nuke like there is no tomorow. Normaly I equip tank gear only on heroic bosses, that is if dps of party is at least over 2.5k and healer is not in greens.
Generaly, when rage starving avoid using maul until you have at least half rage bar filled unless you know that there is good amount of damage incoming soon and you will not be left without rage. White hits combined with high crit % of bears give significant amounts of rage when needed. If tanking 3+mobs, swipe non stop. Rage coming back from crits and ability to crit on any of 3 mobs basicaly makes swipe close to free of rage ability.
Use enrage wisely. Rage starved? Enrage while in combat. This will lower your armor which means you will get more rage from getting hit. Only on trash obviously=P
Abuse criters before pulling. Its walking 15-30 rage. Slap silly rogues who run around like idiots and kill them. Its yours. Have half of rage bar and damn casters need a mana break again? FF criter, this will put you in combat for ~10 seconds and prevent rage going poof.
Considering DPS and threat issues... 60-70% of druids damage is coming from yellow attacks. This obviously cause a good burst at the begining of the fight when you burn through 120 energy with mangle+shred+shred. Don't rush it;)
Noticed you mentioning FB. Generaly don't use it unless you're grinding or mob is about to die. Even when using it, I'd suggest macroing it so you powershift right after FB.
15-02-2008, 05:44 PM
Just out of curiosity, how much DPS were you hitting with that old cycle?
15-02-2008, 07:01 PM
Saha - thank you again for your input. I've been abusing critters for a long long time, used to whack them when I was tanking on my warrior to keep my rage running. Found out the faerie fire one by accident in Slave Pens. We got to Quagmirren (sp?), cleared the group on the left near the lost elf. Out of just general messing I whacked a FF on a frog nearby, it came up to me and started hitting me for 1 point of damage :) Now whenever I'm tanking I'm actively looking for critters while the casters are drinking.
Out of curiosity, I'd like to clear something up. I was told that Druids need 416 defense; reason given was that when 414.6 defense is hit it turns to 415 in the paperdoll, was suggested to have 416 just to be sure the cap was reached - not really sure how true that is.
I do have issues with regards to keeping aggro on adds with swipe, the damage I do is quite low from the swipe and rarely seems to hold the mobs I need to hold. On a pull I rage up, FF pull, line up a Maul for when the target gets to me and a Mangle, then swipe to keep the additional adds hoping to keep them, rarely I manage it. My bear gear gives me only 2000AP (approx ) so I'm guessing that's an issue.
Wartauren - I couldn't possibly tell you the DPS. I haven't used damage metres for a while, since I get obsessed with them and get annoyed with myself when my damage is shit. I know for sure though that changing to the suggested routine has made an improvement. I have seen a marked increase in my threat which I now have to balance a little better. It never registered with me when I was getting 1200 from a Shred some times and only 800 other times that it was Mangle related, it's made a huge difference.
15-02-2008, 08:02 PM
Ok, and as for the uncrittable part; for following macro can tell you wether or not you're uncrittable.
/script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage(2.6-(GetCombatRatingBonus(CR_DEFENSE_SKILL)*.04+GetCom batRatingBonus(CR_CRIT_TAKEN_MELEE)),1,0.5,0)
15-02-2008, 08:42 PM
Thanks for that, it threw up an error though :(
Regarding tanking, I dug up a macro which seems to be quite interesting:
/cast [target=mouseover] Lacerate
Got it from this site
I've bound it to my last remaining free mouse button and it's actually pretty good. I have to test it in a tanking roll tomorrow, so will mess with it in Kz. Kitties are sad when mobs no bleed :(
15-02-2008, 09:19 PM
From the 2.4 patch notes:
Non-corporeal Undead and Mechanical creatures are now susceptible to bleed effects.
So your kitty dps will be getting a buff in the next patch, at least for Kara.
Considering swipe- it will probably never keep the agro alone, you need to rotate targets with magles/mauls. My suggestion with 3+mobs doing swipes was more of a rage shortage suggestion, due to 5 rage returning on each crit. Admitedly, good gear allows to be lazy arse and I find myself rarely using lacerate these days=P Until you actualy get swipes dmg up by getting better gear, swipe should remain only as a starter or rage starved multiple mob tanking. Swipe does become better than lacerate somewhere in range of 250 damage non crit on single mob. God knows what blizz is doing with lacerate on ptr with the increased bleed damage from scaling, haven't seen any decent research done whether lacerates initial threat is still the same and was cba myself on PTR.
Considering 415 or 416... To be honest I never bothered to check. Runing with exactly 415 def and 0 resi atm:)
16-02-2008, 11:11 PM
Thanks again. My swipe is a little low, averaging at around 180 for a normal one and critting 300-350 (400 tonight), so it's no doubt an AP issue there, I'll work on that. The mouse over macro works surprisingly well, although it's hard to tell if a mob's hitting you when there's a few melee in there, have to get my old tank alert mod running again.
Just had a clear run of Kz, picked up the legs from Netherspite and acquired the full compliment of badgers. Looking at the bracers I'm tempted to go with the swift paw ones as they seem good for both kitty and bear.
19-02-2008, 10:19 AM
Regarding tanking, I dug up a macro which seems to be quite interesting:
/cast [target=mouseover] Lacerate
I've bound it to my last remaining free mouse button and it's actually pretty good.
I'd recommend modifying it slightly to:
/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Lacerate; Lacerate
Then just bind it to the old button you assigned standard lacerate with. Then no extra buttons to remember and you still get the extra functionality.
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