Tuesday, September 7, 2010

[Cat] Cataclysm cats part 1: the basics

Cataclysm changes a lot of things in terms of stat values - far more than they were changed from TBC to WotLK. While this doesn't have a huge effect on bears (the tank changes were largely around block, which bears don't have), the cat changes are pretty massive.

Agility provides 2AP
AP is gone completely
DPS of a weapon is used to calculate base ability damage
Arpen is gone completely
All bleeds can crit
Mastery exists and improves bleed damage only (the opposite of arpen, basically)
Haste improves energy regeneration as well as attack speed (ETA)

With all that, I thought I'd go through a series of articles that talks about the various ratings and what they mean. Note that I am not going to evaluate them based on the current values of damage, as they are no where near current. Instead, I'll evaluate them based on what they would do given a certain plan. That plan is based entirely on our current ratings of damage, with the savage roar change factored in.

Currently my damage spread (I'm close to BiS, so take that into consideration) is something like this:

Melee: 38%
Shred: 25%
Rake: 15%
Rip: 15%
Ferocious Bite: 6%

Savage roar is being changed from a 33% boost to all damage to a 53% boost to melee only. The new breakdown just from that would be:

Melee: 56%
Shred: 18%
Rake: 11%
Rip: 11%
Ferocious Bite: 4%

I'll be using these numbers to showcase the relative strengths and weaknesses of ratings. Note that this is in no way a perfect scenario of what Cataclysm will be like in terms of damage spread. Here's some quick thoughts on that, however:

  • I do believe melee damage will increase and yellow damage will decrease due to how Savage Roar now works.
  • Ferocious Bite will likely increase in use due to the lengthening of duration of rake and savage roar and the effects of Nom Nom Nom.
  • Because dots cannot be clipped, the uptime of dots should be very high - close to 100% with a near optimal rotation. This should increase bleed damage a small amount.
  • Because there is no armor penetration, non-bleed damage will decrease some.
  • Combo points are going to be harder to come by instantly; 4 or 5 yellow attacks are going to be necessary to get 5 CP easily due to less crit%, at least to start.
  • Hit and Expertise may be required depending on whether refunds on yellow attacks still work. I suspect the refund will be built in, but it may not be.

Now, here are the specific effects of each stat as you gain them:

1% crit:
  • At level 82, it takes 79.15 crit rating to give 1% crit
  • All of your direct damage melee attacks crit 1% more often (for 220% damage)
  • All of your bleeds crit 1% more often (for 200% damage)
  • Shred, mangle and rake provide 1% more double combo points
1% haste:
  • At level 82, it takes 56.5 haste rating to give 1% haste.
  • You attack with melee attacks 1% more often
  • Your Omen of Clarity has a greater chance to proc
  • You regenerate energy at a rate 1% greater
  • Your bleeds tick 1% faster (removed per GC recent comments)
1 point of mastery:
  • At level 82, it takes 79.15 points of mastery rating to get one mastery point.
  • All of your bleeds do 2.5% more damage
1 point of agility:
  • At level 82, it takes 143 points of agility roughly to get 1% crit.
  • Increases your attack power by 2x, increasing all damage by a small amount.
1% worth of hit:
  • At level 82, it takes 53.2 hit rating to give 1% hit.
  • Increases your chance of all abilities hitting by 1%, up to a cap.
  • Does nothing for bleed damage
  • Increases your chance for spells (FFF, hibernate, soothe) to hit by 1%
1 point of expertise:
  • At level 82, it takes 14.05 expertise rating to give 1 expertise skill. (The assumption is that this is the same value for hit as 4 expertise skill would be)
  • Increases your chance of all abilities not being dodge (or parried) by .25%, up to a cap
  • Does nothing for bleed damage
  • Does nothing for spells (growl, FFF, soothe, hibernate)

Of these, does something stand out to you? It certainly does to me. My theory going into this is that haste is going to be a very, very desirable stat for ferals - possibly the most desirable stat by a long margin. In the next few articles, I'll explore that.

Of course, this can be adjusted for ferals or whoever. The problem is that haste isn't that valuable for a lot of other classes due to the energy regeneration. My suspicion is that they're going to nerf that part hard once they see ferals and rogues going nuts with haste, but it'll be a while.


Anonymous said...

Haste will also benefit Warriors' resource generation, as more swings means more rage. Likewise, Death Knights' runes will regenerate more quickly with haste.

I skimmed the other DPS classes quickly in my head, but couldn't think of any other specs that could convert haste to resource.

I think you're right when you say classes that can use haste as a resource-generation mechanic will over-value the stat. I just wouldn't limit the list of said classes to Ferals and Rogues :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot - Enhancement Shamans, too. They'll regenerate mana primarily through Primal Wisdom (40% chance on melee attack to regen 5% mana). More swings, more mana.

Rarren said...

Wicked math, looking forward to more crunching as I dont have a beta key (qq), and HA I was right about haste :)

Kalon said...

Anon - I think DKs are probably a reasonable comparison because they are (for the most part) rune bound, but I suspect warriors aren't as much. For starters, while haste improves their swing time that doesn't specifically equate to more rage without hit and expertise values. They also tend to have other ways to gain rage and manage their rage too; their rotation and actions aren't entirely ragelocked.

Similarly, shamans aren't mana-locked either, and while they'll gain mana more quickly most of their spells have long CDs and are cast when they're off CD. Now improving those CDs is going to help a little bit.

At the same time, no other class I know has their resource system improved by haste, their DoTs improved by haste AND their main damage ability improved by haste. Warriors gain resources but don't have significant DoTs. Shamans gain quicker attacks but don't have much in the way of DoTs. Paladins are similar to DKs. DKs don't have a ridiculous amount of DoTs either. All save the feral/rogue rely on actually hitting to regain that energy.

Anonymous said...

Would you say that Haste is valuable enough for Cat Ferals to exclusively use Bear Feral Charge to reap the benefit of the 15% extra melee haste at the beginning of a fight?

Anonymous said...

Just read a post by Ghostcrawler that said that melee DoTs won't tick faster with haste. So cats will benefit from faster swings and energy regen (so more similar to other melee).

Anonymous said...

just read a post that...nom nom nom is going to be change to feast of flesh!!!


Helistar said...

I find your post way too premature.

- You use ratings at lvl82, but ratings change enormously during 80-85.
- no skills have final numbers in them, so all the % you use may be wrong.
- we still have no idea about glyphs, we know that they won't be earth-shattering, but the 3% SR glyph may very well go.
- we don't know what to expect on stuff at raid levels, crit will be a lot lower (and will stay a lot lower, probably), but we don't know how much.

I think we should wait for final values before discussing optimization and stat scalings....

Kalon said...

Anon 1 (on bear feral charge): probably not, but that's an interesting idea. If it carried over to cat, it'd certainly be a more valuable boost than the 3 ravages at the start of the fight.

Anon2: I read the same thing. I'll amend the haste bit. It still makes haste pretty good though. :)

Helistar, you raise good points. I'm not trying to establish the AEP of the various ratings at this time, as I agree - that would be way too premature. But let me counter some of your arguments.

While ratings change enormously from 80-85, they do so in a completely linear way. As long as you are comparing ratings to each other at the same level and using that as the basis of evaluation, it doesn't matter what the actual rating values are. In other words, while it will certainly be the case that it will take more than 53 expertise to gain 4 expertise skill, hit and expertise will require the same rating to reach the 1% mark regardless of level. And they'll remain 25% cheaper than mastery or crit rating.

No skills have % in them, this is true. I'm not bothering with trying to evaluate how much AP improves things, and will instead base it entirely on a prior, known rotation with the caveat that it will change. As you'll see, the primary goal is to showcase how if certain things are true (like if melee damage is high, or bleed damage is high) what will be better or worse. It is not to give an idea of exactly how good things are.
Glyphs are completely unknown, but we do know that they either improve a specific abilities's DPS output or overall DPS. Ultimately you're right, but again I'm not concerned about figuring out an optimal rotation right now or what the exact percentages are. This will continue to change as things move on. This set of posts is entirely designed to describe how the new ratings will affect you, and what that means.

So yes, I agree - I won't be talking about optimization or stat scalings except as a thought exercise. But I still think it's valuable to talk about how haste works, or how good hit will be if there are no refunds. If you don't feel the same, I apologize; there will be more heavy theorycrafting when more solid numbers are available.

Anonymous said...

This is the very first "Anonymous" from this comment thread, posting again. I just read some comments from GC regarding haste and melee dots.


"Garrote and Rupture are not affected by haste. I am not aware of any melee dots that are."

"We want haste to apply to as close to 100% of your damage as possible .... For melee, it improves your auto attack damage but also grants you more resources, therefore improving your special attacks as well."

"Our general philosophy is that melee dots do not need to be sped up. Melee benefits from haste by generating more resources."

Interesting development. Looks like they don't want us triple-dipping into haste after all.


quixilva said...

I've got a question?
Does mastery also increase shred damage?

The way I see it haste not affecting DoTs is a big problem for at least 2 melee specs, feral and unholy.

Mugio said...

Anecdotally, on the beta I initially reforged all the haste on my cat gear to mastery only to notice it was taking longer to kill mobs. Once I went back to all haste I was able to kill them quicker. Of course this makes sense on single mobs as the more specials I can get off means I can kill quicker but it was interesting to see the effect haste has on energy regeneration.

Regarding the damage breakdown, I'm hoping that the savage roar change will be accompanied by a comparative increase in our special damage which will make feral more effective in PVP.

Anonymous said...

Hunters will also be affected very nicely on haste :)

Kalon said...

quixilva - currently shred is not affected by mastery boosting. If it were, that would go a long way towards making it better.