Thursday, November 20, 2008


This is going to get so many of the wrong redirects.

Okay, GC also announced that Feral Attack Power is going away, and instead of FAP we're going to calculate the AP gain based on the DPS of the weapon:

We are no longer going to have weapons in the game which improve feral attack power. Instead, your attack power will scale based on the dps of the item. Practically speaking this means almost no change for any gear you currently use -- you should not see your dps change. What it does mean is that we can create the occasional dps staff that could be used by druids or hunters (or very undergeared warriors), and that Ferals may occasionaly use two-handed dps maces. We are going to convert all existing Feral staves over to this new system (but again, you should not notice any change to your dps). We are also adjusting the UI so that when druids look at these weapons, you will see what the improvement will be to your damage in forms. This does not mean we are no longer going to create bear and cat weapons, just that those weapons will be slightly less niche than they are now.

This is a huge nerf, and I have the ...

Wait a second, this isn't a nerf at all. This is actually pretty awesome. But the more important question is - what does this mean to you? What gear might change? What should you go ninjaloot?

For starters, this beauty becomes one of the best feral weapons in the game:
Inevitable Defeat. Stam, agility, strength, and a ton of expertise - combined with a great DPS value. It doesn't have as much stamina as Origin of Nightmares and not as much agi as The Undeath Carrier, but the expertise is stellar for tanking and it would make an excellent threat weapon for bears. Another nice benefit is that something like Titansteel Destroyer becomes a good weapon too, though probably not as good due to the lack of agility. Still, if you're rich and need a starting weapon, that's not the worst thing you could do. Want something a bit lower end? Well, the Mojo-Masked crusher is a pretty nice drop and should have high DPS. A bit easier to get, the Argent Skeleton Crusher should be decent too, though again the lack of agi makes this subpar.

Based on comments from Jelement and Mitch, here are the values of what the DPS should be for the feral staves. The conversion is simple: the DPS of a staff will be FAP/14 + 55.

Journey's End: 223.1 DPS
Staff of the Plaguehound: 203.9 DPS
Origin of Nightmares: 203.9 DPS
The Undeath Carrier: 203.9 DPS
Staff of the Plague Beast: 186.8 DPS
Staff of Trickery: 186.8 DPS
Enraged Feral Staff: 169.4 DPS
Lightning Giant Staff: 169.4 DPS
Stave of Shrouded Mysteries: 169.4 DPS
Hewn Sparring Quarterstaff: 156.3 DPS
Witch Doctor's Wildstaff: 148.9 DPS
Staff of the Sorrowful Chieftain : 145.5 DPS
Bloodwood Greatstaff: 132.9 DPS
Jailer's Baton: 145.5 DPS
Stanchion of Primal Instinct: 140.5 DPS
Staff of the Forest Lord: 134.3 DPS
Pillar of Ferocity: 130.6 DPS
Wildfury Greatstaff: 125.9 DPS
Earthwarden: 105.9 DPS

Mostly what makes me excited about this is that they can start designing weapons that are built for actual tanking. Why? Because both death knights and druids can use 2h maces, and both want to have tanking stats on those items. It'll be possible to get craftable weapons that don't suck as well, which will be nice, but the shared pool and what could be allowed there is really what thrills me.


Anonymous said...

I do wonder if Predatory Strikes will still increase weapon AP as the tooltip suggests that it does now.

Kalon said...

Hey, Anon -

That's one of my bigger questions too. The general idea is that right now they're basically going to take the DPS of the weapon, subtract the 'base' DPS for a northrend-level 2h weapon (the caster DPS, in other words), and then actually calculate what the FAP will be from that difference. And from that, give you that much FAP.

What I worry about is that they'll just have a straight weapon damage->cat/bear damage modifier. Which would skip things like savage roar and predatory strikes. In which case, nerf city.

But at least right now I have faith that they won't fuck this up too much.

Grumpy Misanthrope said...

Wait a second, this isn't a nerf at all. This is actually pretty awesome.

Ghostcrawler has already shown he can't do math and you have faith??

I think we are well on our way towards druids being told "Caster or no."

Kalon said...

Grumpy Misanthrope - that's a good point. It may very well be that they'll screw this up too, but I doubt it; the math is really simple and is basically a conversion they're already doing. At the very least, I think that if they screw it up they'll fix it soon.

I don't have that faith for bears, but I do for fixing weapon damage. Odd how that is.

Anyway, it's silly to get worked up over changes that you have no idea about. If they provide the math or the actual change, that's one thing. But if they say 'we're going to fix it' I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Mitch said...

Haha, I'm sure I don't trust them much either, but this does seem to be too easy to mess up . . . but I have one discrepancy right now.

My current weapon (Jailor's Baton) actually has much lower DPS at the moment than anything else. Unless wowhead is wrong (and it very well could be) the Jailer's Baton has 1,267 FAP and 75.1 DPS and the Staff of the Sorrowful Chieftain has 1,267 FAP and 97.p DPS >.<

But otherwise the numbers seem to be in line. And I'm going to assume I'll get a better weapon than the baton over the weekend anyhow, so it would be a moot point for me, lol.

But for the most part I cheer on more of a choice rather than the wide open BC progression (/facepalm) of EARTHWARDEN < WILDFURY - PILLAR

Jelement said...

Kalon - your comparison between items such as Inevitable Defeat and Origin of Nightmares seems to be missing something. If we go to weapon DPS in place of FAP, all of the existing weapons with FAP will have their DPS increased. Right now any FAP weapon is getting the caster/FAP penalty to the listed DPS, which should be refunded with this change. Since Inevitable Defeat and Origin of Nightmares are both iLevel 213 epics, the DPS of Origin of Nightmares should change to 203.7 as well.

As for what it does to our item selection, just looking at the iLevel 213 non-PVP gear, it looks like we'd add Inevitable Defeat and The Jawbone to our list of usable feral weapons, and in the iLevel 200 category it looks like it will open up about six 2H maces to be viable for ferals. With armor on these weapons being removed as well, I guess their value will depend on how the points spent on armor will be reallocated.

Kalon said...

Hey, Mitch - thanks for coming by.

I probably should put the actual conversion value from FAP to DPS in the post, since it's well-known at this point. The formula for FAP to DPS is:
FAP/14 + 55

The actual DPS of the weapon doesn't matter right now, but of course it'll be changed in that next patch.

So for the Jailer's baton, you're looking at 1267/14 + 55, or 145.5 DPS. Same with Staff of the Sorrowful Chieftain. I'll go ahead and amend the post to indicate what the DPS values are for various common staves - that should make it easier to compare apples to apples.

Kalon said...

Hey, Jelement - thanks for coming by. :)

I'll be amending the post soon to have the 'actual' DPS values for the FAP gear, but you're right - Origin of Nightmares has the same DPS, roughly, as Inevitable Defeat. There's a reason I didn't mention it; basically all staves and 2h weapons of the same ilvl are very likely to have the same DPS, so as long as they're the same ilvl we can just compare the stats on the weapon themselves. I didn't make that very clear though.

I'm very curious how the armor will be refunded on the staves as well. Armor's pretty cheap, itemization wise, but it'll still be something. My suspicion is that the tanking staves will remain the best tanking item post-change, but the difference will be fairly close.

Jelement said...

Following up on the expected DPS list - the current non-FAP weapons have their DPS calculated based on their iLevel - for iLevel 213 items all 2H melee weapons are either 203.6 or 203.7, so I don't think we'll see 203.9 for the reworked feral items. I guess what I'm getting at is non-FAP weapons don't have their DPS calculated by running them through a FAP conversion, so we should just expect the DPS of our current FAP weapons to return to that of other 2H melee weapons with the same iLevel.

Here's an interesting thing I noticed while looking into a lot of these numbers. DPS is supposed to be a factor of iLevel, and then you have a DPS penalty to a weapon when it is granted FAP or spellpower, so two weapons with the same FAP and iLevel should have the same current DPS listed. But Origin of Nightmares and The Undeath Carrier are 137.6 and Staff of the Plaguehound is 143.0. It makes me wonder why OoN and TUC are being penalized an additional 5.4 DPS over SotP. It will be interesting to see what happens, though I suspect we'll just see 203.6/7 from them all when they're redone.

Olvar said...

First of all, with the removal of armour on staves my Wildfury Greastaff will be replaced by Staff of the Forest Lord for tanking. The latter has more Stamina, and according to RatingBuster the Dodge Rating just gives me an advantage of 0.09% over the Agility at level 73 (yeah, I'm a little behind, since I'm currently skilling Leatherworking on my Hunter).

This means that we can use the same weapon for cat and bear, as long as it has fairly high Stamina and Agility.

Kalons point is a good one as well. Not only do we have the option for a lot of two-handed maces now, but those will also be nice for Death Knights as well, which probably means that we might see more of those in the future.

One thing I simply don't understand is, why they didn't do it that way several years ago, just like the fact that you don't switch to humanoid when you pick something up in feral form now (to name just one thing that was long over due).

Toup said...

Although I'm not feral (playing the two other specs), I've been monitoring your blog for a couple monthes and find it to be very insightful, thanks for the neat and documented content.

I couldn't resist the urge to comment when I saw this brilliant title. Was a nice kickstart for this friday morning :)

Mekias said...

A change as simple and elegant as this makes you wonder why they didn't do this first instead of creating a whole new stat (Feral AP). I guess it just didn't occur to them at the time.

I hate having to immediately vendor 95% of the weapons I get. This should help in that regard.

Kalon said...

Olvar - thanks for coming by. :)

While in theory we can use the same staff for dps and tanking, in practice I suspect there will be definite 'tanking' weapons and 'dps' weapons out there. While Wildfury Greatstaff is going to have its armor removed, we don't know what will replace it. My guess would be something like agility, which would make it better for tanking than staff of the forest lord. So keep an eye out for how those items are modified and check back. Chances are something that is itemized well for cats (with lots of str, crit rating) won't be itemized for bears (lots of expertise, agi, and dodge).

Toup - thanks for the kind words. :) I haven't gotten a horrible search yet, but I'm hoping today that FAP BEAR PRON wins.

Mekias - thanks as well. And yeah, this is a very simple change that was suggested sometime before beta...of TBC. I honestly don't know why they didn't do it before. It's easy for them, it makes it easier on druids...what gives? Probably some UI work.

Bulamis said...

Something that may or may not happen right away:
On all Staves, Strength will or should get Converted directly to 2xAP.

It will be minor nerf (.06% loss), but it will make all the staves actually viable for Hunters.

Kalon said...

Hey, Bulamis - thanks for coming by. :)

It's a bit more than .06%. It's be a 6% loss normally (from factoring in Survival of the Fittest) but you also have to factor in blessing of kings. It would end up being a 16.6% loss in AP if it was a straight str->2AP conversion.

But I'd be okay with that if it meant more people could use the things and more were made.

Epicurias said...


First time visitor to this site and i really like it. Im mainly looking to go super DPS kitty-mode, rahter than tanking atm, so im not sure if this is the right place, but i have a Qu. about FAP.

Will the FAP conversion to DPS add to the current DPS of the weapon ?

For Example i currently use the PvP 2 Handed Mace with +1010 FAP

Using the conversion given here gives 127.1 DPS. Will this figure be added to the DPS the weapon currently has, or will this become the "new" DPS value of the staff.

If the latter is true it seems as though i will be at a major disadvantage, as my AP currently adds about 217 DPS.

Forgive my lack of precise stats, im at work and get block pages on all the data sites.

ANy info on this topic would be REALLY appreciated as i cant get my head round it.

Many thanks.

Kalon said...

Hey, Epicurias - thanks for coming by.

The way it'll work is that for weapons with FAP, their FAP will basically stay the same - though they'll say what the DPS is like I listed. For weapons without FAP currently, they'll convert to FAP.

Your FAP shouldn't change at all, and your overall damage shouldn't change at all. And remember that a weapon damage is the base damage - which is multiplied by shred, mangle, and rake. So it won't just be a 127 DPS weapon, that'll just be the base damage you can expect.

Korhaug said...

Hi Kalon,

One thing you've mentioned but haven't fully expanded on is the new competition for these weapons. All feral weapons suddenly became viable (though sometimes non-optimal) weapons for hunters, warriors, and death knights, while we've only gained a couple of 2H maces.

If druids were suddenly able to use 2H swords, axes and polearms this would be a different story, but it has been explicitly stated that this is not happening.

The result is that druids suddenly face much greater competition for the few weapons they want, while getting only a few new options to choose from.

Gear consolidation is great - more items that work for everyone. But in a non-symmetrical situation such as this, druids are clearly losing out.

Cuer said...

One clarification: per Ghostcrawler's latest comments, the armor on Druid weapons is not going away. It will just no longer be multiplied by any bear form/talents.

So, for the time being, there will still likely be a reason to keep taking the "druid weapons" for tanking.

Kalon said...

Hey, Korhaug - thanks for coming by. :)

One thing you've mentioned but haven't fully expanded on is the new competition for these weapons. All feral weapons suddenly became viable (though sometimes non-optimal) weapons for hunters, warriors, and death knights, while we've only gained a couple of 2H maces.

Yep, and that means there's going to be more competition for those items, hopefully. And that is great. One of the things that was awesome was that in our last Sunwell run before 3.0.2, Stanchion dropped. One of the things that sucked is that in our next run, Stanchion dropped. I don't believe that such an important slot like a weapon should ever be only wanted by one spec of one class (and in this case, one subspec of one spec of one class). Having more specs be able to use the same gear means less wasted loot, and it also potentially means they can increase the drop rate. These are all good things for the health of the game.

And you forget - while the staves that ferals use can now be rolled on by hunters and the maces by DKs, the converse is true too. Right now it's not such a benefit, but it may be. Mostly, I hope it means less loot is wasted.

Cuer - thanks. And yeah, I'm confused about that since it directly contradicts an example he gave before. We'll see, I suppose - I hope they do remove the armor, since it'll make things more easily used by others. I won't cry too much if the armor stays, but one way or another the result is the same; some staves will be better for avoidance, some for threat, some for mitigation. And that's all good.

Keith said...

An idea I proposed on the main thread, is:

What about 1-handed weapons?

Many of them have DPS that are at least somewhat competitive.

All they have to do is let off-hands drop with some melee (DPS and tanking) stats on them, and... :-)

Kalon said...

Keith -

the problem with 1-handed weapons is their DPS. Take the best 1-h weapon a druid can currently use: Calamity's Grasp. It has an ilvl of 226, so it's already the best in the game that way - and it has a dps of 171.3. That's the equivalent of a 1628 FAP weapon. Compare to Journey's End and it's 2354 DPS, and you've got a lot of making up to do. Especially since mainhands tend to not have a lot of stats on them, since people that use them are expected to dual wield. And there aren't any real one handed maces of note for tanking either, so that's out. You'd need to make up that 700 FAP in addition to the stat loss - and you'd also need to make offhands that were basically shields or a second weapon but an off-hand thing which, well, only ferals would be interested in.

It's a kind of neat notion, and it means odd things like the Iron-Bound tome with its 200 armor wouldn't be so odd - but you would be introducing an item that no one else really wants. I don't like that all that much.