Monday, December 7, 2009

Hello Kitty

I talk a lot about Wow. Just ask my fiancee. She has begun to time how long I can go without bringing it up*. I play a feral druid named Shizumaru on the server Dethecus-US. I have been a hardcore raider since the Molten Core days (except during BC when I didn't play for...certain reasons).

I'm starting this blog to share my experiences in the WoW universe and any knowledge I've picked up in the years doing it.I have heavily experienced all three roles of this game (tanking, healing, dps). But honestly, I just enjoy damage dealing the most. I find it to be the most fun to min/max (gear wise). While healing and tanking are both very fun, I get very tense when I do either since pressing one wrong button could get everyone killed.

A quick background on my character history
During Vanilla, I played a Troll Mage and a little before BC I switched to a Holy Human Pally (both in naxx) At the beginning of Wrath, I played a Troll Death Knight to try out the new stuff. It was fun, but I wanted to heal again.. So, I finished leveling my Troll Priest. I healed through most of 3.1 and 3.2 but quit due to reasons I mentioned earlier. I have been playing a feral druid (at 80) for about 2 and a half months now. While that may not seem like a lot, my previous experience made it easy to learn.

But anyway, enough about me, let's talk about kitties

The first thing I'd like to talk about is the talents in the feral tree and the few in the resto tree we take. I'm going to use my talent spec as an example. 0/55/16. This spec is based on maximum single target and AOE DPS. I do not take Improved Mangle since I always raid with an arms warrior (more on this later).

Each point placed in this will reduce the energy cost of almost every ability you will use. (5/5)

Feral Aggression
The amount of points you put into this will depend on how many points you have left to spare. Each points you place into this will increase the damage of your Ferocious Bite by 3%. While a damage increase is always welcome, FB is a small percentage of your damage. So, points are better spent elsewhere.

Feral Instinct
While some might argue that buffing an AOE is very situational, many fights require heavy AOE burst at times. I like to max this talent out.

Savage Fury
For two points, the damage of your Mangle and your Rake is buffed by 20%. This is a must have.

Thick Hide
This is a tanking talent. You do not need this for damage dealing.

Feral Swiftness
Each point in this will give you 15% faster moving speed in cat form (up to 30%). This is incredibly useful. There are many fights where this talent is a life saver. (Ex: any void zone, fire, Icehowl's charge, switching colors on twins, etc...) Plus some extra dodge in case you pull aggro.

Survival Instincts
This cooldown will "temporarily grant you 30% of your maximum health". What this means is, if you're standing in the fire a little too long, this talent could save you. Using this ability will not only increase your maximum health by 30%, it will also increase your CURRENT health by 30%. Think of it as a temporary health potion.

Sharpened Claws
This talent will increase your critical strike change by 6%. This is required to access two mandatory talents.

Shredding Attacks
Reduces the energy cost of your Shred by 18 energy. Since Shred is our main attack this is a must have talent

Predatory Strikes
This is one of our biggest attack power increases. 3 points in this will increase your attack power by 150% of your level and 20% of any attack power on your equipped weapon . Also, it has a pretty nifty proc you can use for instant wraths (very situational)

Primal Fury
This is one of the most important talents in the whole spec. What this does is: each time an ability that can generate a combo point crits, you will receive an additional combo point. The spec relies on this.

Primal Precision
You receive 10 expertise for spending two points in this talent. Not expertise rating, but actual Expertise. As a melee DPS, this is priceless. Also if a finishing move fails to land, you will be refunded 80% of the energy spent. This will very rarely happen.

Brutal Impact
This is a bear talent.

Feral Charge
One of those fun one point talents.You can use this during knockbacks, air impales, kiting, getting begging Yogg's brain, or any whacky use you find for it to save your life.

Nurturing Instinct
This is a PVP talent. You will not need this for damage dealing. On a side note, I have been considering taking this talent specifically for Valithria Dreamwalker in Icecrown.

Natural Reaction
Another Bear talent

Heart of the Wild
This is a 10% attack power increase. Definitely worth 5 points.

Survival of the Fittest.
I hate defense rating. That means, I love this talent. Not only does it increase your attributes by 6%, it also reduces the chance that you will be critically hit by melee attacks by 6%. In plate terms, this means you're "defense capped". So, if your tank happens to die, pop into bear form immediately and tank the boss before all the squishies die.

Leader of the Pack
this increases the melee and ranged critical chance of everyone by 5%. Not only do you need this to access Mangle, a good raid leader will probably not invite you to their raid. (unless someone else has it)

Improved Leader of the Pack
While 4% health healed might not seem like a lot, in fights with heavy AOE damage, your healers will thank you.

Primal Tenacity
This is a PVP talent. Don't take this.

Protector of the Pack
At first glance this talent looks great. A 6% increase in Attack Power! SWEET! Oh wait... "while in Bear or Dire Bear form". Don't make the same mistake I made and run around with this for two weeks.

Predatory Instincts
Your critical strikes do 9% more damage. There is no reason not to take this.

Infected Wounds
This is a PVP talent. In a raid, I believe other people bring this debuff.

King of the Jungle
Ax extra 60 energy, every 30 seconds, for using Tiger's Fury. This is so good, that you should be relying on it to be up when you need it.

This is a very important ability. If you're leveling, and just got this, remove Claw from your bar and place this there. Here's the important part of this ability. When you use it, it will place a debuff on the target. This debuff will increase the damage done by all bleeds, on the target, by 30%. That means your Rake and Rip will both do 30% more damage, ONLY when this debuff is active. Therefore, you never want this to drop. The only exception is if you have an arms warrior in the raid who is applying Trauma

Improved Mangle
Before I explain this talent, I'm going to tell you more about Trauma. Trauma is a debuff applied to a target that works the same way Mangle does. If you know you'll be raiding with an arms warrior all the time, then don't worry about taking this talent. But, if you find yourself to have to Mangle a lot, take this talent.

Rend and Tear
This is the talent that makes our "rotation". If your target is bleeding (i.e. rake or rip), your mangle and shred will do 20% more damage. Also, if they're bleeding, your Ferocious Bite critical chance is increased by 25%.

Primal Gore
This talent ALLOWS your Rip (and Bear Lacerate) to crit. This doesn't need an explanation and you should be taking this.

This is the final talent in the feral tree, and my favorite. When you use this talent, the energy cost of all your abilities will be reduced by 50%. That means, your Shred will cost 21 energy instead of 42. This is amazing for us. Use this at the right time, and you will not be disappointed by the results. This will also break fears and prevent it for its duration. WARNING: When using this ability, make sure you're watching the threat meters. You don't want to die in the first 20 seconds of the fight.

Now for our Resto talents. I will only be talking about the ones we can use. (Don't take any talents in the Balance tree. Genesis will not help you)

Improved Mark of the Wild
Many druids tend to skip this talent because they don't read it correctly. This does not only increase the effect of your MOTW. This will also increase your attributes by 2%. It's worth 2 points

We only need 3 points in this. That way we can access the next tier. 60 energy is all you need after shape shifting.

Increases the damage you deal with ALL physical attacks in ALL forms by 10%. Drop five on it.

Natural Shapeshifter
Reduces the mana cost of your shapeshifting spells by 30%. Because no one likes to go out of mana from just shapeshifting.

Master ShapeShifter
Increases critical strike chance in cat form by 4%. You can choose to only put one point into this and put the other into Feral Aggression. It depends on your gear level.

Omen of Clarity
this is another one of those amazing one point talents. With this, your auto attacks have a chance to proc Clearcasting!. This will make your next ability cost no energy. Try to spend this proc on a free Shred

And so we have reached the end of a Feral Cat talent explanation. If you have anything you would like to add, feel free to let me know. I will be discussing our "rotation" tomorrow. Unlike some classes, this is less of a rotation and more of a "priority list". I'll even have a chart for you to look at! But for now, I leave you with a comic. This comic tells the tale of an Undead Priest with pigtails, Ysolde.

*15 Minutes