Thursday, September 30, 2010

[Druid]The 4.0.1 specs/gear/glyph post

Still working on the haste articles, which is proving a bit difficult in the mathy departments. The short answer is that haste is going to be awesome as long as bleeds aren't more than half our overall dps - but there's some good evidence that this might actually be the case. In which case...mastery is teh bombzors, and haste is teh sux.


Since it's very, very likely that the 4.0.1 patch is going to come out next week, I thought I'd prepare folks for the coming...uh...cata...err...patch day. Yeah, patch day. There's lots of articles about what you should be farming or what you should be doing in the final days. I just want to let you know how to gear and how to spec.

At level 80 you won't be able to get either perseverance or master shapeshifter, so you might as well go for some of the less useful talents in the tree - like Stampede and Fury Swipes. You could consider taking King of the Jungle instead if you have 4pT10, but I wouldn't bother - and definitely don't if you don't have 4pT10. Otherwise it's about as cookie-cutter as you can get; there are almost no talents in the bear arsenal that are nice to have, and most of the skipped talents are either entirely for cats or are super weak for bears.

For glyphs, here's what I'd use:
Glyph of Rip (right now you literally only have two prime glyphs for bears, so might as well)

Glyph of Maul (substitute Glyph of Rebirth for this if you like)

Not horrible, but I hate having that rip glyph.

For gear, you'll lose a LOT of extra armor from your armor rings/trinkets/cloak, so it's a good idea to pick up the higher ilvl gear without extra armor and get some of that stamina back. Double stamina trinkets are likely not a bad idea if the armor nerf on gear continues. Do consider getting non-'tank' rings and amulets as well for dual use; they'll have as much stamina as the tanking jewelry, and should be good options. As an example, the often hated Seal of Many Mouths is probably going to be one of the better pieces you can get. Remember that you'll be losing 10 expertise right off the bat, so replacing that should be up on your list; while things won't parry haste, it will be good to keep threat high. Similarly, Sindragosa's Cruel Claw should rival some of the better tanking necks out there. Gemming should almost certainly be stamina, since it now provides both health and some mitigation via vengeance-fueled Savage Defense

On reforging: haste is the least useful stat for bears given how GCD-focused they are; while it does increase rage income, it won't do so insanely well. As a result, you should consider reforging all the haste you can into mastery or dodge. My gut feeling is that your dodge% will be ridiculously high, so mastery will likely provide a better overall result of reduction of damage per point. If you really need to, get expertise or hit, but try to get pieces that have that instead.

For raiding, Bears are actually in a pretty decent spot. Their threat has been rebalanced significantly and mangle proccing off of lacerate combined with mauls every 3 seconds and very high frontloaded swipe threat and lacerate threat puts bears in a good spot. Savage Defense in a weird, backwards way ends up scaling with bosses...kinda...and certainly is better than it is now. Reforging helps bears quite a bit, and all that extra stamina on agility pieces gives bears tons of options they didn't have before. Skull bash even acts as a mini-charge of sorts, and the cooldowns are significantly better than they were. If you were tanking at a high level before, I think you'll be in great shape to tank now.

Similarly to bears, as a cat you can't get master shapeshifter, so those points have to go into the feral tree. This time, though, there are a lot more options. This build focuses more on utility and survivability, picking up Nurturing Instinct and Furor and skipping Predatory Strikes. In fact, that's the only dps-related talent that was skipped, and it was skipped because at level 80 you will have an absurd crit rate and don't need the boost to ravage.

The rotation hasn't changed at all, though the length of some of the buffs have. At level 80 it should be absurdly easy to maintain a rotation, given how fast you are with haste.

As to the glyphs, there's some interesting ones:

Glyph of Claw (which will be Glyph of FB)

Not the best options for DPS in the major glyph categories, but hopefully these will change soon.

In terms of gear, you won't have any armor pen - you'll be swimming in crit and haste. Your first goal should be to regem to hit the hit/expertise caps if you aren't already (including the missing 10 expertise from Primal Precision) then go pretty much all in on agility or haste. As I state below consider going for agility, since you can reforge to haste. Ignore crit rating; at level 80, in T10 gear that wasn't BiS, I had something like 82% crit rate. Because of that, the Arpen trinkets lose value compared to Herk or WFS, since you'll have such high crit rates anyway. DBW is still kinda awesome because of the trigger, however.

For reforging, you can't reforge to agility, so consider reforging to either haste or mastery. My money's on haste, but this is one of those things I'll have to test and retest. Numbers are (still) not remotely set in stone for ferals, so this is likely to change some. My gut feeling is that if the 4.0.1 patch comes out on Tuesday and it's anything like what we currently have, cats are going to be doing ridiculously low damage compared to what they do now - likely around half the damage. I'm not sure they're a reasonable option for any hardcore raiding at this point. Hopefully they fix things a bit more.


Jey said...

I have been trying to piece this together for myself from the information floating around but i havent had much luck.

What are we gonna be doing with our abilities as far as a rotation or a priority?
Are we using maul when it comes off cooldown?
Should we be pulverizing when we get three stacks of lacerate up or letting the bleed tick until we need the buff from using pulverize or at this point with the amount of crit we have is it almost not worth it?
I am going to assume we mangle whenever we can.
Is FF still used when not on CD or are we just trying to keep the debuff up?

One last thing is that if we are using FF all the time is feral aggression worth it or could we put those 2 into KotJ if we have the 4pT10 and get that 10% extra dmg.

Any insight you could give would be nice as i dont have a beta key so i cant really test it out and it would be nice to have an idea going in to the patch.

Anonymous said...

A couple things...

1) you left glyph of growling up even though it will be for solar beam which we don't have

2) Why didn't you take the increased 4% shred dmg in your cat spec?

Anonymous said...

Disregard the second part. I must have missed a change to blessing of the grove somewhere along the line.

spda242 said...

According to a post on MMO-Champion ( there seem to be a Prime Glyph called Glyph of Lacerate on beta?

Glyph of Lacerate - Increases the critical strike chance of your Lacerate ability by 5%.

If this will be available in 4.01? Only Blizz knows....

Doug said...

I'm going to use:

And just have 1 feral spec. So I can play with either boomkin or resto as my OS.

The difference in bear vs cat spec is so small in Cata that having one for each seems pointless. Would be more logical to have DS for healing or boomkin. Especially with the glyph changes making changing them as easy as changing gear.

* There is no Shred from BotG any more, so no need for that in cat spec.

* Maul is for OoC or rage burning now unless I missed something.

* Lacerate is front loaded and not as DoT heavy so Pulv is worth it as Lacerate is very threaty.

* FFF is good unless they nerfed it and no one told me.

* The whole KotJ while we still rock the 4t10 is interesting/a good idea but the lose energy part makes it not fit my uni-spec.

If the difference between cat and bear is going to be as minute as it currently seems I can't justify having two feral specs as my guild often could use the healer or ranged DPS and it will also make me a better OT. Which seems lame but big picture makes sense in a for the good of the raid sense.

I'm would prefer a stronger split between the roles but I don't make decisions on how these things work.

spda242 said...

Concerning the Bear Build. I think I'll go with 1/3 in Fury Swipes and 2/2 in the insanely crappy NSS instead to open up MSS and Perservance and the last point will be 2/3 FS.

Well, this is ofc. if Blizzard doesn't remove NSS and for example make HotW pre req. for MSS as make Naturlist give a Feral Buff.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear you think bears are in a good place, but how are bears going to be between the release of the 4.0.1 patch and the release of Cataclysm. At 80 will we be struggling trying to tank without Thrash and with Swipe on a long CD? Do you think they will do something to help bears till we can level?

Anonymous said...

Are cats really in that bad shape? Is it all beacuse the 4000+ attack power we lost or is there some more problems that need to get fixed too?

Kalon said...

Jev, I'll do a Bear FAQ that answers those questions, but currently maul only gets used in higher rage situations or on OoC procs, pulverize should be used to keep the buff up but should otherwise keep lacerate around, mangle whenever it's off CD and FF in lower rage situations when it's off CD. Also swipe when it's off CD.

You should still have the FA talent because getting 3 stacks of sunder armor up immediately is going to be a net win for DPS for the raid.

Anon1 - oops, link has been corrected. Sorry!

Spda242 - I hadn't seen that. I'll check it out today or tomorrow. The glyphs are a bit undiscovered and some are datamined artifacts that don't exist, but if that did exist it would clearly be the bear's third prime.

Doug, missing Fury Swipes as a cat is going to be a fairly big DPS loss. It's probably better to lose FA and take swipes instead, especially if you're an offtank. It was already as easy as you're saying to switch glyphs; it's being made slightly easier, but not so amazingly so. And yeah, I agree - a bigger differentiation between cat and bear would be good. At 85 it becomes perseverance vs some of the cat DPS talents, but they really need to have more bear-focused talents that require big investments in points.

Anon2, I think bears will likely be fine for most things. Heroics are still trivial, there isn't so much AoE trash that you need swipes all the time, and swipe puts out a LOT of threat. In many ways a 6-second swipe that is frontloaded threat is better than spamming it all the time; it is doing about 4 times the threat it does now, and you do that all at once. Thrash would obviously make that better, but it's not really that bad - and single target is a lot more fun and interesting now. And honestly? Savage Defense as it is is broken for the current content. Just broken.

Anon3, yes - cats are in that bad of shape. The link I posted has a pic of recount from a top-ranked feral at level 85 in heroic gear. They were doing 9.2k to a target dummy. I'll say that again - this is a feral at level 85 who is geared better than the premades doing 9.2k. I can do that much right now on live without too much effort.

I personally found cat DPS to be doing around 4k in the gear I had when I switched over, and close to 5k if I optimized it. It really stinks right now. The main reasons are the loss of Savage Roar, bad scaling in general, the loss of armor pen, and that rip and rake no longer scale with the weapon AP (just straight AP). These can be fixed, but I am unconvinced that they will be by the time 4.0.1 hits.

lissanna said...

I have actually been tracking druid glyphs on my blog by going through the tooltips on beta glyphs every patch. They added a couple more feral ones recently.

The glyph of lacerate (prime) is in beta, along with tiger's fury (prime), ferocious bite (major), Faerie Fire (major) and feral charge (major) that have been added really recently (last week or 2).

Kalon said...

lissana, thanks. I was going off of wowhead, so those glyphs are likely not available yet to be actually tested. If so, they're pretty decent if not spectacular.

Jey said...

Thats really cool to hear that you are going to do a post on the bear stuff as i think it is changing a fair amount.

I did a little napkin math just to see if i agree with you on FA and here is what i got:
w/o:6sec at 4%, 6sec at 8%, rest of fight at 12%
w/:whole fight at 12%
For a 5 min fight i worked it out te be 12% with it and 11.76%w/o it
As the fight gets longer the difference is going to decrease.
KotJ: 10sec of 110% and 50sec of 100%. worked this out to 101.666% if you use it on CD everytime.

I know this is a really short span of time for this to affect anything but i am just interested in your thoughts on it. If i happen to be right that would be cool but if you prove me wrong it would be good to just know.

Dont feel any pressure to comment back you can just throw this in the bear facts post if you want...i have to wait a couple days anyway.

Kalon said...

Jey - keep in mind that the 3 stacks of sunder armor are going to apply to the whole raid, not just you. It's a significant DPS upgrade, especially when dealing with trash or with quicker fights.

Jacemora said...

Kitty's, do what I am doing and invest in Boom gear now. I have been collecting in ICC 10 and 25 with low DKP instead of having it DEed and I plan on leveling as Boom and playing as Boom in Cata until we get fixed.

I wish I understood why Blizzard kills kitty DPS at the beginning of every expansion. If I remember correctly I start bear every expansion while it is OP over kitty and then end kitty as bliz nerfs bears and fixes kitties... kinda annoying.

Anywho, although I am in the beta I have not tried Boom but it sure does sound like that is where they focused a lot of effort and I am guessing it we be more rewarding than feral at least in the beginning.

Jey said...

Yeah i got that it applies to the whole raid but on say lich king where the fight can run like 12 min i worked that out to like .1% armor difference (if my math is right). now obviously that is the longest fight right now but i was just wondering if it would be competitive.

Also i think our viewpoints are different as atm i am only doing 10 man to bide my time till cata; whereas, i believe you are doing 25 man in which case it would have a much larger impact.

Jey said...

also thanks for the quick replies

Anonymous said...

How have the changes to kitties in the recent build affected our dps / competitiveness? Are we there yet or still in need of loving?

Kalon said...

Aww, Jace - that's sad. But probably wise, and moonkin looks really hawt right now. If I didn't like the new troll forms so much I'd consider it.

Jey - while the fight lasts 12 minutes, on LK it's actually more important to have instant sunders. There are so many targets you want to swap immediately on (raging spirts, valks) that being able to immediately apply it is a big win. It's even bigger on LK too since you lose the stack every time you do a phase change and every time you go into the throne room. Being able to apply sunders from range on any target is a big win.

Anon, I've seen nothing to believe that cat dps is at all improved any time recently whatsoever.

Acornbrain on Scilla said...

I am confused about reforging and what to move where. On the PTR my bear has an average ilvl of 271 which gives me the following with MotW:

Dodge 266 49.34%
Haste 500 15.25%
Crit 758 48.87%
Hit 270 08.78%
Exp 349 45
Mastery 000 10

Now I am seeing some people say reforge everything to Dodge, others a mixture of Mastery and Dodge. What should be the approx target for a level 80 bear to hit for Dodge and Mastery?

Helistar said...

I'd love to hear how that guy manages to do 9.3k DPS. My stats are similar (a bit lower) and I'm sitting at 5.4k with 80-90% DoT uptime. My feeling is that the screenshot has been taken when there was the +88% damage given from TF, as right now there's no way on earth to get that DPS.
The damage distribution is a lot more balanced: rip/melee in 1st place, followed by shred/rake. Total bleed is around 40%, which is to be expected.

Dabeasty said...

I finally shifted my druid over to the PTR too. I noticed a drop from approx 8.2 to 7.1k dps on the heroic test dummy. I had regemmed everything to either agi or agi/haste (plus 1 nightmare tear). I was hit capped and close to exp cap. I tried messing about reforging some crit to mastery and later to haste...neither set ups made much difference, all performed about the same. I did find it hard without any of my timer addons but cant imagine I would have done much more dps with them. So all in all it looks like about a 15% dps loss self buffed for me...not sure how it will work out in 25 raid.

My lock mate came and popped out 10k on the same dummy without trying....I used to beat him on the meterz

Kalon said...

Acorn - I'd reforge everything to mastery at this point; you'll get bigger overall gains, at least until they fix mastery and make it less broken. Dodge probably won't help you that much at your dodge level.

Helistar, you might be right, but I've seen reports of 7-8k by well-geared ferals who know their stuff and are prioritizing going full agi. I really need to find the time to test this...

Dabeasty, that sounds about right to me. Supposedly bleeds are even doing more damage than they were, which is kinda gross - but it also points to mastery being ridiculous for ferals. More testing is needed, of course. :)

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or is broken. I click the link:

and all I get is a blank talent page.

Anonymous said...

Interesting... Im Darkdruud on Hellfire EU and Im gunning for mastery and keeping crit rate over 60% and Last night in ICC iwas doing 13K dps (best output was @ 17K). Mastery is the way to go.Haste helps energy gain a little but it helps more in the form of OoC procs. Open with faeriefire then jump in with feral charge and ravage, mangle, rake and maybe shred and then rip after that shred your socks of and do a 5CP savage roar. Never ever clip rip and always try to keep it up and only with 5cp. And try not to clip rake either it has the best DPE value. Goodluck.