Oct 24, 2010

Quitting WoW

Life has gotten way too busy. There's no way I can keep playing, I will not be updating this anymore unless I find enough free time to come back to the game.

Happy Shredding!

Oct 14, 2010

4.0 Changes: The New Guide at level 80

So 4.0.X finally dropped and feral dps is in the crapper. When I get some free time I'll sit down and write up how we can not suck quite as bad.

Happy Shredding!

Oct 6, 2010

4.0 Class Changes

It won't be long at all till 4.0 drops. In fact, it will probably be next week. The guide and many of the things on Happy Shredding will be out of date. Please be patient as we figure everything out. Its not going to be quick.

Feral DPS on the PTR is not even raid viable. If the patch really comes out next week and feral hasn't been fixed, we will likely be worthless. The reason for this is because our two best stats, ArP and FAP (Feral Attack Power) are being removed from the game. While ArP is being replaced by crit rating, FAP is not being replaced. I'm not sure how blizzard intends to balance this, but if they don't it will be dark times for our spec.

Happy Shredding!

Sep 26, 2010

Creating an Effective User Interface

Some have asked about my UI. Specifically, what does it look like, and how to create a decent one. I aim to solve both issues in this post.

1. What does my UI look like?

Becaue I would have to reformat all of happyshredding to fit my 1920x1080 screenshot in the margins, here are two external links:

Out of Combat

In Combat

Using these addons:
A. Addon Control Panel
B. Bad Kitty (I disable all parts of this addon except the shred counter)
C. Bartender4
D. Deadly Boss Mods
E. DocsCorporeality (just picked this up, not in the screenshot but useful for Halion)
F. FeralbyNight (I've talked about this before on the blog. I disable everything except the melee stats frame and the time till boss kill.)
G. kgPanels (this is used for the forest background at the bottom of my screen. Here is a link on how to use it.)
H. Omen
I. PowerAuras
J. Prat 3.0
K. Quartz
L. Recount
M. SexyMap
N. TipTac
O. X-perl Unit Frames

A simple google search should produce places to download these mods.

2. How should I create my UI?

One's UI is a really personal thing, however there are several things to keep in mind:

I. Everyone one needs Recount, Omen, PowerAuras, DBM and Unit Frames (there are other addons with the same functionality and they will do just fine)

II. You should bind all abilities to a keyboard button. If you are clicking your abilities are you gimping your play. While many good players are clickers, you simply can't argue that it is optimal. If you have to turn quickly you must turn using your mouse, which means you have to give up dps because you can't click. If you don't use your mouse to turn, you'll probably die from a boss mechanic frequently. I use a Belkin n52te, this allows me to bind all my abilities and never lift my hands in combat. If you don't use a gaming pad, I suggest keybinds like this.

III. If you are a healer, a setup like this one is required (stolen from a guildie), and for everyone else, its useful to put everything you need to see in one place. I, however, have gained enough experiance with the feral rotation, that I rarely watch my timers, I can keep them in my head very effectively. Because of this, I put them off to the side, so I can better view the boss mechanics. I only recommend this for experienced players.

Happy Shredding!

Sep 25, 2010

Feral Tanking BiS List

My offspec is feral tanking, and therefore, it may be useful to post the tanking BiS list. Since it's been requested, here we go:

Offspec Tanking List:
Weapon: [Oathbinder, Charge of the Ranger-General] (LK 25HM)
Head: [Sanctified Lasherweave Headguard]
Shoulders: [Sanctified Lasherweave Shoulderpads]
Chest: [Ikfirus's Sack of Wonder] (25HM Gunship)
Back: [Sentinel's Winter Cloak] (Frost Badges)
Neck: [Bile-Encrusted Medallion] (25HM Rotface)
Legs: [Sanctified Lasherweave Legguards]
Hands: [Sanctified Lasherweave Handgrips]
Bracers: [Toskk's Maximized Wristguards] (25HM Saurfang)
Belt: [Astrylain's Sutured Cinch] (25HM Putricide)
Boots: [Frostbitten Fur Boots] (25HM Marrowgar).
Ring 1: [Devium's Eternally Cold Ring] (25HM Dreamwalker)
Ring 2: [Abomination's Bloody Ring] (10HM Gunship)
Trinket 1: [Unidentifiable Organ] (10HM Putricide)
Trinket 2: [Sindragosa's Flawless Fang] (25HM Sindragosa)

Soon to come:
What my UI looks like, and how to set it up!

Happy Shredding!

Aug 28, 2010

New Look!

You may have noticed the site has a new look!

The old layout was a little boring, so I made it look a little better. I'm a fan of simple, clean, webpages. I think the new look still fits that description, but isn't quite so boring.

Happy Shredding!

Aug 4, 2010

Feral DPS BiS List

Here's a list of our Best in Slot gear now that the Ruby Sanctum info has been out for a few weeks:

BiS list
Head: [Sanctified Lasherweave Headguard]
Neck: [Sindragosa's Cruel Claw] (Sindy 25HM)
Shoulders: [Sanctified Lasherweave Shoulderpads]
Back: [Shadowvault Slayer's Cloak] (Gunship 25HM)
Chest: [Sanctified Lasherweave Raiment]
Wrist: [Toskk's Maximized Wristguards] (Saurfang 25 HM)
Hands: [Aldriana's Gloves of Secrecy] (Rotface 25HM)
Waist: [Astrylian's Sutured Cinch] (Putricide 25 HM)
Legs: [Sanctified Lasherweave Legguards]
Feet: [Frostbitten Fur Boots] (Marrowgar 25HM)
Ring 1: [Frostbrood Sapphire Ring] (Dreamwalker 25HM)
Ring 2: [Ashen Band of Endless Vengeance]
Trinket 1: [Deathbringer's Will] (Saurfang 25HM)
Trinket 2: [Sharpened Twilight Scale] (Halion 25HM)
Weapon: [Oathbinder, Charge of the Ranger-General] (LK 25HM)
Relic: [Idol of the Crying Moon] (Frost Emblems)

Happy Shredding!

Aug 2, 2010

Nightcrowler is back!

One of the great feral theory crafters has come back from absence from the game and he has redone his addon Feral by Night (FBN).

There are two important functions that this addons serves.

1. For beginners it is a great rotation helper. HOWEVER: I only recommend using this functionality if you're playing feral as an alt or for some reason it isn't going to be a serious endevor for you. Using any rotation addon is a bad crutch. What happens if the addon gets broken in a patch and it's not updated in time for raid? Are you just gonna sit out for the night? Secondly, while the FBN rotation helper is probably the best I've seen in terms of correct move prediction, it's not perfect. After testing out this part of the addon I can safely say that it does not give rake high enough priority. While it will suggest using rake when there is energy, its not already up, and other timers aren't about to end, it is our highest DPE ability especially with the 4pt10 bonus.

2. For more advanced players, both bear and cat alike, this addon has a new tool. Its the "stat monitor." This is a moveable box which instantly calculates all stats such as hit, savage defense shield value, and crit when a target is selected. These stats are specific to the target and change on the fly as new targets are selected. For me, this is a godsend. I'm very close to the crit cap with the hit and expertise caps (about 1% off with procs that have 100% uptime). This means that when something with enough crit procs I'm over the cap, but its very difficult to know how much uptime I have over the crit cap, even using WoL parses. With FBN, the boss crit % is easily displayed on my screen so I can see for myself.

In other words, if you need a rotation helper and don't want to be a serious/good cat, get FBN. For the rest of us, its a great way to track important stats on the fly.

Happy Shredding!

Jul 19, 2010

The Melee Hit Table

So you get a new piece of gear right? Its awesome. Some agility, some Armor Penetration, a little crit rating, and maybe some haste. These are all nice stats for feral dps, but can you explain exactly what each stat does to increase your dps? Most people know they are good, but knowing why they are good, will help better itemize your gearing.

From The Fluid Druid with my notes in Red:

What is the combat table?
Every time you attack an enemy, WoW creates a hit table for that attack that determines the result. There are two different systems, one for standard melee (or white) attacks, and one for special (or yellow) attacks. We’ll look at the standard table, and then see how yellow attacks differ. Also note that these numbers are only for level 83/boss mobs.

White Attack Table:

Miss: Your character has a base 8% chance to miss. This is mitigated by Hit Rating. 32.8 points of +Hit will reduce this chance by 1%, so you need 263 +Hit to be hit-capped, or reduce your miss chance to 0%. A Draenei in your party adds a 1% hit aura, reduces the hit cap to 230. Any hit above cap is wasted in terms of melee attacks (though it does help for spells and taunts.)

Dodge: Your character has a base 6.5% chance to have its attack dodged. This is mitigated by Expertise Rating. (Expertise Rating is the number displayed on gear and on the tooltip when you mouseover; expertise skill is the displayed value.) 32.8 points of Expertise Rating (which equals 4 expertise skill) will reduce this chance by 1%, so you need 214 Expertise Rating (26 expertise skill) to be expertise-capped, or reduce your dodge chance to 0%. If you are talented into Primal Precision (and you should be as a feral DPS’er), that gives you 83 points of Expertise Rating (10 expertise skill), which reduces the expertise cap to 131.

Parry: Your character has a 14% chance to have its attack parried. This can be reduced by expertise, or eliminated completely by attacking the mob from the rear (so always attack from the rear). This is also why expertise is so good for a tank’s threat generation, as they are forced to attack from the front.

Glancing Blow: Your character has a 24% chance to have its attack be a “glancing blow.” This does less damage than a normal attack, but more importantly, there is no way to mitigate glancing blow chance.

Block: Your character has a 5% chance to have its attack blocked. This can be eliminated by attacking from the rear. (I’m not sure if this falls on the combat table, or if you simply have a 5% chance to have a crit/hit blocked if attacking from the front. Either way, it’s not really relevant to a DPS discussion, as we’re attacking from the rear regardless.)

Crit: Your critical strike chance. Against a level 83/boss mob, 4.8% of your crits are reduced to hits. (This was previously thought to be a crit reduction; however, it has since been shown that it is a conversion, and therefore cannot be mitigated. EDIT: It’s now a crit reduction again.)

Hit: If an attack doesn’t fall into one of the previous categories, it’s a standard hit.

So how does this work?
For every white attack, the WoW engine builds a hit table using the above stats, and rolls a 1-100 to see where that attack lands on the hit table. Let’s use an example to show how this works.

I have 0 hit, 0 expertise, no Primal Precision talent, and 50% crit, attacking a boss from the rear. The hit table would look like this:

1-8: miss
9-15.5: dodge
15.5-15.5: parry (eliminated due to attacking from the rear)
15.5-39.5: glancing blow
39.5-85.7: crit
85.7-90.5: hit (crit reduction)
90.5-100: hit

Yellow attacks are slightly different, as they follow a two-roll system. For each attack, the game rolls once to determine if the attack hits (100% – miss/dodge/parry chance). If the attack hits, the game rolls again to determine if the attack is a crit. The jury is still out on this, but it appears that the crit conversion is simply a crit reduction for yellow attacks, so 104.8% crit should give you 100% crit on yellow attacks.

Why is this important?
Well, looking at the example above, extra crit will only convert that bottom 9.5% of white hits to crits. Anything over that is wasted for white attacks. Put another way, with full hit and expertise, the crit cap is 76% (100% – glancing blows.) With no hit or expertise, the crit cap drops to 60.5%. This isn’t that hard to reach; my average crit self-buffed is about 55% before procs. Depending on your gear and situation (raidbuffs), this can devalue agility and crit for gemming/enchanting/trinkets. (Death’s Verdict is the worst for this.) Yellow attacks don’t have to deal with glancing blows, so the crit cap for those is 95.2%, or 79.7% with no hit/expertise. (EDIT: These are ACTUAL numbers…apologies for not being more clear. Your character pane numbers will be 4.8% higher than actual, since they assume attacking a same-lvl mob. For example, your character pane critcap would be 80.8%.)

A good way to judge how each type of hit is played out in your own boss fights is to look at World of Logs. If your guild doesn't log runs, then you should start, it's a great tool. In order to evaluate your hits using WoL, go to a nongimic fight, like saurfang for melee, choose damage done, and choose yourself from the list of raiders. Look first at your uptimes in the buffs cast section (here's one of mine), and then look at your Damage by Spell. If you hover your mouse over my melee swings you will get a breakdown of all the melee hit table. Notice here that I have misses, hits, crits, etc. The parries are likely from when saurfang turns around to cast. Looking at this I can see that I am not crit capped because I still have hits. Once all of those hits go away then I know I'm crit capped. If I still have misses at that point, then getting more hit will start bringing back those hits and with enough crit, make them crits. The object is to get it down till your hit table consists of ~24% glancing blows and ~76% crits.

So what do I do?
First of all, nothing drastic. Agility is still a good stat, since it will continue to increase your yellow crit rate, and it only devalues slightly if you’re over the crit softcap (from procs). However, if you are in an environment where you can count on being over the white crit hardcap, then it’s probably time to regem, probably to ArPen for reds (if not capped) and agi/haste, agi/expertise, or agi/hit for yellows. I’ll explore this more in a later post. Secondly, if you’re not hit/expertise capped, those stats become MUCH more valuable past the crit cap, as each miss/dodge is almost always a missed crit. We were swimming in hit in previous tiers; now, it’ll be much harder to come by.

Happy Shredding!

Jun 5, 2010

The Question of Armor Penetration

How To Get Your Pussy The Right Amount of Penetration

Since 3.1 Armor Penetration as a stat has been very attractive to feral druids. It is, after hit and expertise the number one tanking threat stat, and for cats, it greatly increases shred, mangle, FB, and melee damage. If it's so good, why don't all cats just go for pure ArP?!

The answer lies in the way armor scales and the way ArP caps. Armor it's self is a great defensive stat for tanks, but bosses also have a specific value for armor. Armor, the stat, suffers from diminishing returns. This means that the more armor a tank stacks, the less damage reduction each new point of armor will grant. Therefore, armor begins to be less valuable the more you have.

Armor Penetration does exactly the opposite of armor. Each point of ArP will reduce the armor value of the target by a percentage. We know that armor gets less valuable the more you have, so armor penetration benefits from exponential returns. This means that for each point of ArP, a larger and larger amount of non-bleed physical damage is able to penetrate the target's armor. In other words Armor Penetration gets better and better the more you have.

The cap for ArP is about 1400 rating. At this point all of the target's armor that can be ignored, will be ignored. The target will still have armor, but adding more ArP will not change that (ArP used to be able to work past 100% but it was hot fixed because classes like feral druids were seeing dps much higher than anyone expected).

So, when should cats begin using ArP? Well, because ArP gets better the more you have, when you only have a little, its not all its cracked up to be. Since the general non-raiding casual players have access to triumph badge gear and the new ICC 5 mans, its easier than ever to get to the point where ArP is useful. This is, for most, the soft cap.

Like other stats, ArP has a soft cap, and a hard cap. The hard cap, as stated above is 1400, which can only be achieved by those running 25 man ICC or 10 man ICC hard modes. The soft cap however, is dependent on a proc from a trinket. There are 3 trinkets currently in the game that can be used to soft cap ArP. They are the [Grim Toll] (Nax 25), the [Mjolnir Runestone] (10m Ulduar Hard Mode), and the [Needle-Encrusted Scorpion] (Heroic Forge of Souls). When the trinket is proc'd and the ArP on your gear/gems reaches 1400, you are soft capped. This happens at 735 for the Grim Toll, 788 for the Mjolnir Runestone, or 722 for the Needle-Encrusted Scorpion.

Does all of this seem a little too... "mathy?" Well, I enjoy it, but if you said yes, blizzard agrees with you. In Cataclysm ArP will be gone.

The guide talks about gemming around ArP so check that out if you're still unsure. In the end the question of armor penetration comes down to a cat-by-cat basis. While the guide goes over some simple rules for itemizing properly, Toskk's and Rawr are more specific tools that can be helpful.

Happy Shredding!

May 19, 2010

The Guide

Edit: Up to date for current patch: 3.3.5

Recent Updates:
- (8/28/10) Updated the weapon enchants section
- (7/20/10) Added link to the very important melee hit table article.

As a class druid's are quite diverse, and therefore have more play styles than any other class. Kitty dps is becoming more and more popular despite being undoubtably the least played druid spec for a while, and as my main spec, it is my duty to inform those that wish to master the most difficult rotation in the game.

Table of Contents:

A. Spec
B. Itemization
C. Enchants
D. Gems
E. Glyphs
F. Rotation
G. Things to Note

A. Spec

The feral tree is comprised of talents that buff cat and bear form, only bear form, and only cat form. It is possible to create a hybrid spec that will allow both forms to be played with some degree of fluency, however, those that wish to master cat dps here is the suggested spec and the one that will be used in this guide:

(0/55/16) - Feral DPS Single Target

This spec includes 2 points in Feral Instinct instead of Improved Leader of the Pack. It might be more beneficial to the raid if one feral druid has ILotP, however all feral tanks should have it, so cats will often not need to include it.

It is acceptable to take one point out of Feral Instinct and put it in Survival Instincts If the encounter lends itself to lots of heavy but predictable damage like Festergut, however in encounters like Dreamwalker as well as trash pulls extra swipe damage is better.

It is important to note that once a decent set of tanking gear is obtained it is possible to tank in this spec, as I have tanked multiple 25 mans with no problem.

In this spec, the 2/2 points in Feral Swiftness is not directly related to cat dps, however the 30% indoor speed increase is very helpful both in and outside of raids and while it won't greatly increase dps, it will greatly help damage done on movement based fights.

B. Itemization

When choosing items, feral druids seem to be the most in the dark. When walking through Dalaran it is rare to find a cat gemmed and enchanted correctly. The reason for this is partially from the itemization back in BC and the misunderstandings about which stats are better to stack.

As with all other dps class it is nice to be hit capped, however, it is not a priority stat. The reason for this is Primal Precision. Because 80% of the energy is returned for missed attacks, the penalty for misses is much less than for other classes. Also, while gearing, most cats can become hit capped, or hit capped with draenei, easily, without gemming for it. This is less and less true as Icecrown gear is acquired. Most of the t10 and non tier gear does not have any hit at all and with enough gear, it will be important to make sure you do not lose all of your hit.

Being expertise capped is also a worry of cats. While it is nice, expertise is not as important as other stats for the same reasons as hit.

One should also realize that hit and expertise are increasingly important as gear increases. Each hit will hit harder, and therefore the penalty for misses increases, but the main reason hit/expertise become important stats is when the crit cap is reached. More on that later.

Hit & expertise, therefore, will be itemized separately from the other stats that one must stack as cat dps, but the caps for both hit and expertise are below.

Previously increasing attack power was the single most important aspect of feral itemization. This is not true anymore. With changes in talents and stats it is now important to look into other benefits, however the numbers break down is as follows:

Assuming all important feral talents and cat form. Numbers in parenthesis include Blessing of Kings. Most important numbers in bold.

1 Str = 2.37864 AP (2.616504 AP)

1 Agi = 1.18932 AP (1.308252 AP)
1 Agi = 0.0129744% Crit (0.01427184%)
77.05 (70.07) Agi = 1% Crit

1 Sta = 10.812 (11.8932) Health

Critical Strike Rating
1 CritRating = 0.022% Crit
45.91 CritRating = 1% Crit

(Be sure to factor in crit gained from an idol proc)
76% – White crit cap (+ 24% Glancing Blows = 100%)
79.8% – Ferocious Bite Crit Cap (+ 25% Crit from Talent – 4.8% Crit Suppression = 100%)
104.8% – Yellow Crit Cap (- 4.8% Crit Suppression = 100%)
You have to subtract any avoided attacks from these caps. For example: If 4% of your attacks are avoided due to not reaching the Hit and/or Expertisecap, then your white crit cap would be 72%.

If there is a Retribution Paladin in the raid spec'd into Heart of the Crusader and you are hit/expertise capped, the crit caps are reduced by 3% and play out as follows:
White Crit cap: 73%
Ferocious Bite Crit Cap: 76.8%
Yellow Crit Cap: 101.8%

Haste Rating
1 HasteRating = 0.030% Haste
25.22 HasteRating = 1% Haste

Hit Rating
1 HitRating = 0.030% Hit
32.79 HitRating = 1% Hit
Hit Cap vs lvl 80 targets: 5% Hit = 163.95 HitRating
Hit Cap vs lvl 83 targets: 8% Hit = 262.32 HitRating
Hit Cap vs lvl 83 targets with Heroic Presence: 7% Hit = 229.53 HitRating

Expertise Rating
1 ExpertiseRating = 0.030% less Chance of getting parried or dodged
32.79 ExpertiseRating = 1% less Chance of getting parried or dodged
8.2 ExpertiseRating = 1 Expertise
1 Expertise = 0.25% less Chance of getting parried or dodged
Expertise Cap vs lvl 80 targets: 5% (Dodge) / 5% (Parry) = 20 Expertise = 163.9 Expertise Rating
Expertise Cap vs lvl 83 targets: 6.5% (Dodge) / 14% (Parry) = 26 / 56 Expertise = 213.13 / 459.1 Expertise Rating

Since you should always attack from behind, your target can’t parry. Therefore you only need 26 expertise or 213.13 Expertise Rating.
But every serious Cat skills Primal Precision, which gives 10 Expertise or 81.97 Expertise Rating. So if you skill this talent, your cap will be:
Expertise Dodge-Cap vs lvl 83 targets and with Primal Precision: 16 Expertise = 131.16 Expertise Rating

Armor Penetration Rating
1 ArP Rating = 0.07145% Armor Penetration
13.9957272 ArP Rating = 1% Armor Penetration
Hard Cap 1399.57272 ArP = 100% of the target’s armor is ignored

Currently Agility does not provide as much attack power per point as strength, however due to Primal Gore and the t10 4 set Bonus, the crit benefit from agility makes it the most important stat.

Once you've begun to learn more about the feral rotation and things effecting your dps be sure to read this post about the melee hit table and how it effects your damage.

C. Enchants

A list of all the required enchants for cat dps:

Helm: Arcanum of Torment (Ebon Blade quartermaster).
Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Axe (Sons of Hodir quartermaster), or for Inscriptionists.
Cloak: Enchant Cloak -- Major Agility, or Engineering/Tailoring enchants.
Chest: Enchant Chest -- Powerful Stats.
Bracers: Enchant Bracers -- Greater Assault, or Leatherworking enchant.
Gloves: Enchant Gloves -- Major Agility, or Hyperspeed Accelerators (Engineering).
Belt: Eternal Belt Buckle.
Legs: Icescale Leg Armor
Boots: Enchant Boots -- Superior Agility or Icewalker if you need the hit.
Weapon: Weapon enchants are a more complicated subject. It is best to use Rawr or Toskk's to decide which is best for you. These tools are discussed later in the guide. Generally though, if you are below the crit cap, Mongoose is the best enchant, but after the crit cap Black Magic is better. (Yes its weird, but it procs off mangle and shred.) Berserking and Enchant 2H Weapon -- Massacre are also viable options, with berserking being a little better in most cases.

D. Gems

Gemming can be confusing for new ferals so I will break it down as simply as possible and then go into more detail.

The Meta gem is a Relentless Earthsiege Diamond. Use a single Nightmare Tear in a blue socket where it will give the best socket bonus (usually the most agility). Use a single Deadly Ametrine in a Yellow socket where it will give the best socket bonus (usually the most agility) unless you are crit capped, in this case use a single Deft Ametrine. These will take care of your Meta and the requirements for it. Otherwise gems are as follows:

1. Use ALL Delicate Cardinal Rubies if you do not fall into any of the categories below.

2. If you have the Grim Toll, the Mjolnir Runestone, or the Needle-Encrusted Scorpion, use Fractured Cardinal Rubies until your Armor Penetration reaches 735 for the Grim Toll, 788 for the Mjolnir Runestone, or 722 for the Needle-Encrusted Scorpion. Then gem the rest for agility using Delicate Cardinal Rubies.

3. If you can find two trinkets better than the ones above and you can reach 1100 or so Armor Penetration WITHOUT a proc from gear + gemming all Fractured Cardinal Rubies, then use the better trinkets and gem all Fractured Cardinal Rubies until ArP reaches 1400, then gem Delicate Cardinal Rubies.

4. If number 3 is true AND you are crit/ArP capped, use Precise Cardinal Rubies or Rigid King's Ambers until hit/expertise capped.

5. If number 3 is true AND you are crit/hit/expertise/ArP capped use Quick King's Amber unless according to the line on the graph below you should be gemming strength, if this is true use Bold Cardinal Rubies. If your crit and attack power are higher than the graph goes to, simply continue to follow the general trend of the line, attack power scales linearly with crit so the line will continue to go up. Although, if you're at this point, the graph won't really matter, gem haste.

Your browser couldn't load this image.

So in more detail, while ArP was reduced by 12% in 3.2 it is still a viable stat when used with the proper trinkets or even without trinkets (at very high ArP levels on gear). The ArP cap is the point at which all of the target's armor is ignored for non-bleed effects. However, reaching the ArP cap (or "Hard Cap") with gems and gear is very difficult. In order to reach this one of three trinket's may be used, the Grim Toll, the Mjolnir Runestone, and the Needle-Encrusted Scorpion. When these trinkets proc it is possible to reach the ArP "Soft Cap." This is the point at which the sum total of ArP on the trinket proc and gear reach the hard cap. The hard cap for ArP is now 1400, with soft caps for Mjolinar Runestone, Grim Toll, and Needle-Encrusted Scorpion of of 735, 788, and 722 respectively.

Again, one should also note that with ICC gear increasing stats again it may be possible to hit the hit/expertise/crit/ArP caps all without an ArP trinket. When total ArP increases to the point where almost all of the ArP gems have been replaced with Agility, it may be time to find a better trinket and re gem to hit the hard cap of 1400 ArP.

E. Glyphs

For feral dps the major glyphs that are required are: Glyph of Rip and Glyph of Shred, and Glyph of Savage Roar.

One minor glyph should be Glyph of Dash. None of the other minor glyphs really affect dps so they're really just a matter of preference. I use Glyph of Aquatic Form and Glyph of Challenging Roar (for those times when you have to pop into bear because the healers failed).

F. Rotation

Besides gear level the most influential thing affecting kitty dps output is the rotation. The feral dps rotation is arguably the most complex rotation in all of WoW. It is, in fact, not a rotation at all. The basic premise behind the rotation is keeping buffs on your self and debuffs on the mob at 100% uptime. Here's the breakdown:

1. When running in to dps cast Faerie Fire (Feral).
2. No matter if you have another druid or a trauma warrior open with Mangle, this will give you a combo point on the target. If there isn't another druid keeping up Mangle or an arms warrior keeping up Trauma then Mangle keep up needs to be kept up! If there is someone applying the debuff, drop Mangle from the rotation.
3. Use Savage Roar, and keep it up! This is the most important one.
4. Use Rake, and keep it up!
5. Shred for combo points
6. When you reach 5 combo points (cp) use Rip. (Always use a 5 cp Rip, never lower).
7. Continue to Shred for combo points while keeping the rest of your buffs and debuffs up.
8. When Tiger's Fury is off cd, use it, but never use it if you have more than 25 energy or so.
9. When Berserk is off cd and you have time to really wail on the target pop Berserk. When using Berserk you need to if at all possible wait until Tiger's Fury is off cd to use right before Berserk, this will give you the maximum amount of energy while Berserk is up.
11. When deciding to renew a debuff on the target there a a few general rules: If Rake will run out, use Rake, when Rip is running out make sure you have 5 cp to use on a new one, however if Rip and Savage Roar have 10 seconds or more or if you can use Tiger's Fury or Berserk you can use the 5 cp to use a 5 cp Ferocious Bite. Once the bite is off, Shred for more combo points while keeping up the normal buff and debuffs.
12. When everything else has been taken care of, and you are simply pooling energy, use Nature's Grasp as this can then proc Omen of Clarity.
13. Use ALL Omen of Clarity procs for shreds.

When using Rip or Rake, try not to clip the DoTs. Allow them to run the full timer even if it means just sitting there Shredding. Rake, if clipped may consume energy, do its initial damage, but not reapply the DoT because the last time it was used there was a trinket or some sort of proc making it better. It is currently being discussed on the forums whether this is how Rake is supposed to work. Rip will not allow you to clip the previous one if it is more powerful because Rip does not have initial damage.

G. Things to Note

-Topic: Hysteria

Cats are the best target for Hysteria:
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 elemental and not physical. Dancing Rune Weapon scales only half with Hysteria, Summon Gargoyle doesn’t at all.
Enhance Shamans – A good portion of their damage is elemental. 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 elemental and their pet wouldn’t benefit from Hysteria.
Retribution Paladins – A very big portion of their damage is elemental.
Rogues – A good portion of their damage is elemental.

Cats benefit by far the most from Hysteria as 100% of our attacks are physical and Berserk will stack with 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! In order to maximize Hysteria you should make a macro for using berserk that reads something like:

/use Berserk

Replace Deathknight with your DK's name. Since in most fights berserk is used off the start, when given Hysteria it is extremely easy to pull aggro, to solve this you might add in the macro:

/use Berserk

Replace Pally with a pally you have talked this over with prior to the encounter.

-UPDATE: Cower is no longer a legitimate threat dropping ability! With current gear levels where they are, using Cower will reduce threat by an amount nearly equal to the threat gained by a single auto attack. It is now useless to cower, therefore be even more careful not to pull threat. Dead DPS is bad DPS.

-When AOEing open with Rake, this will give you a cp to use on Savage Roar. Once Savage Roar is up your damage is increased by 30% which, when applied to AOE Swipe is massive damage. When Swiping mobs simply make sure all the targets are in front of the cat, target the closest mob and spam Swipe.

-One really great video for Feral DPS is located here, however, he will tell you to spec into Survival Instincts. If you are having such a problem dying that you need to waste a talent point on a 3 min survivability cd, you may need better healers.

-There are several programs such as Rawr or Toskk's that can be used to decide on gear upgrades quickly (I find Toskks better than Rawr), however, relying on these programs is a dumb mistake. They are frequently inaccurate and are often buggy. The best thing to do is know enough about your class/spec to decide for yourself.

Special thanks to all the guys over at Elitist Jerks. Credit to many of the calculations go to them.

Feel free to message me in game with questions.

/target YOU

Happy Shredding!