Monday, 31 December 2007

Pre-Raid DPS Gear

OK, I said in my first post that it's quite easy to gear yourself up as a kitty drood before going near a heroic or raid instance and without endlessly farming instances for drops. Emmerald's List is a good starting point and I understand that the guys over at RAWR are working on a kitty version of their app to go alongside the bear one... Hurry up already guys 8-)

Just to throw my two penn'orth in though, this is the way I went.


Helm of the Claw - Quest reward from The Warlord's Hideout
Natasha's Pack Collar - Quest reward from The Hound-Master
Blackened Leather Spaulders - Revered with Kurenai
Dawnstrike's Cloak - Quest reward from Down with Daellis
Nomad's Woven Cloak - Quest reward from Bring Me The Egg! is better to be honest but I just couldn't land in the nest and gave up in disgust. Maybe I'll have another go sometime when I'm bored.
Hauberk of Karabor - Quest reward from Varedis Must Be Stopped (There are Aldor and Scryer versions of this quest)
Ferocious Bands - Quest reward from Escape from the Staging Grounds - Don't let the fact that these are green fool you, they are some very nice dps wrists
Fel Leather Gloves - BoE Crafted - Requires a LW who is Friendly with Consortium
Naaru Belt of Precision - Quest reward from How to Break into the Arcatraz (I've still got to get this quest completed). For Scryers, Socrethar's Girdle from the quest Turning Point is even better.
Clefthoof Hide Leggings - Quest reward from Showdown (Not to be confused with the tanking legs Heavy Clefthoof Leggings!). I got lucky and Midnight Legguards dropped from heroic Slave Pens while farming rep. The clefthoof are marginally better but I just can't quite force myself to give up that purple - shame on me 8-(
Fel Leather Boots - BoE Crafted - Requires a LW who is Honored with Consortium
Overseer's Signet - Quest reward from Shutting Down Manafroge Ara (Aldor)
Slayer's Mark of Redemption - Quest reward from Dissension Amongst the Ranks...
Figurine - Nightseye Panther - Unfortunately this is BoP for Jewelcrafters and requires Revered with Cenarion Expedition. However, most droods will be going for Earthwarden anyway so the rep requirement should be easy enough.
Hourglass of the Unraveller - This is a departure from my policy of listing craftables or quest rewards. However, you should really be thinking about farming Keepers of Time rep for the tanking shoulder enchant anyway and it drops in Black Morass.
Don't get me started on this! There isn't one, not unless you get lucky like me and have Idol of Feral Shadows fall into your lap
Fleshling Simulation Staff - Quest reward from Nexus-King Salhadaar. Don't go for Wildcaller but take the Hauberk for your chest, unless you already have better. These are both stand-ins until you get Earthwarden anyway.

This get you nicely over the hit cap and, gemmed and enchanted should put you at about 32% crit and nearly 2,500 AP.

In a future post I may do the same for my bear gear but there are lots of bear gear guides out there already.

If I've missed anything or got something wrong, don't hesitate to let me know.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Sometimes life just ain't fair

I had my next post half-planned in my mind already, until I read Big Bear Butt's post of yesterday.

Shitty thing to happen at any time, but an even worse thing to happen at this time of year when we should all be looking forward with hope and anticipation.

Drop by his site and show him and Cassieann some love.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

First blog

Hi all and welcome to my blog about how purrfect it is to be a feral kitty drood!

This is my first ever post on my first ever blog so please be kind but please also comment so I can get better next time.

First things first though...'s not that I have anything against feral tank droods; on the contrary. I've often dropped into bear form to main tank or off tank for crowd control. My main problem is, I'm actually not very good at it. I'm fine on a single mob (even though my TPS is a little low at the moment - more on that in future posts) and OK on 2 mobs if everything is under control, but after that things get a little scary.

I have seen a bear in our guild multi tank 3 mobs in a heroic with no CC and a couple of our biggest raid dps laying into them. I was trying to keep up dps while scrabbling under my computer desk to find where my jaw had dropped to.

Feral droods CAN tank - I can too... just about, but I get more utility from my drood as a kitty.

With that out of the way...
If you want to dps with your kitty, don't let anybody tell you that you're just a wannabe rogue. You're not, you're different. Rogues and kitties are different and each has their place; having levelled both to 70 and geared them both out to pre-raid quality I think I'm allowed to comment.

What follows are my top reasons for loving my kitty.

While it's true that, given equally geared and skilled players a rogue will do more dps than a kitty there are some fairly simple things that will work in your favour (and that's before we come onto the utility aspects of a drood).

It is far, far easier for a kitty to reach the hit cap than it is for a rogue; we only need +142 whereas rogues (assuming they are dual wielding as they should be) need something crazy like +615 before talent reductions. The bottom line is that, for a dual wielding rogue, being hit capped is not really feasible. Once hit-capped, particularly on bosses, you will really notice the increase in your damage. In the same way that your first priority on your bear gear should be getting crit-immune, your first priority on your kitty gear should be getting hit-capped.

Secondly, because it is so much easier for us to get hit-capped we don't have to trade off against attack power as much as a rogue needs to do. Add to that the number of easily obtainable two-handers with insane amounts of AP in forms and you should easily find yourself with more AP than your comparable rogue.

Finally, gems and chants... again because it is easier to get hit-capped, we don't have to waste gem and chant slots on anything other than raw power; go for agi, str and AP in that order and you will soon find that a hit-capped kitty with 2,500 AP and 33% crit is easily achievable pre-raid. That's a pretty awesome dps machine!

Crowd control
You will often hear "The problem with kitty droods is they have no CC; at least with a rogue you have a sap". True, we don't have sap and a truly skilled rogue can sap one and stunlock another so they are better when CC is needed.

Setting aside the situational roots, hibernate and cyclone, it isn't true to say that we have no CC ability though. Off tank anyone?

With a decent set of bear gear you can easily keep the first target amused while the party burns it down, pop out to caster form, heal yourself and then switch back to kitty to put some nice deep scratches in the backs of the mobs the MT has been looking after.

Caster helper
Ah, the old standby, innervate. In theory, post-patch it should now be possible for feral tanks to insta-shift and innervate; I haven't tried it but, in any case, in practice the tank is likely to be pretty busy. Much easier for a kitty dps (who shouldn't have anybody beating on them) to do it. Let's be honest, your feral mana pool is hardly going get the real benefit.

One last word on Innervate - don't forget the dps casters. A lot of healing gear has so much mp5, and with longer fights having required talent changes to boost mana regen, a lot of healers these days don't have many OOM problems other than on bosses. So don't forget to look out for any mages or boomkin buddies that could use a mana boost.

True, as a feral, your Hurricane dmg is never going to rival that of a mage or lock. However, you are in a good position to deal with the unwanted attention these firework displays tend to attract!

Position yourself between the tank and the casters and let him gather them up. Barkskin and join in the pyrotechnics with the others but when the mobs break from MT, shift into bear and swipe away to protect your clothy buddies.

Combat res
Nuff said... it's uber. Difficult to use as a tank, trivial to use as a dps. With you in the party, healer or tank death doesn't necessarily mean a wipe.

You CAN heal
When you chose feral over resto you didn't lose those healing spells, you know? They're still there and if they're not on your combat bars, stop reading right now and go put them there! If the healer is having a hard time keeping the tank up, take a moment in caster form to stabilise the situation then go right back to ankle biting. If, god forbid, the healer dies and your combat res is on cooldown IT IS NOW YOUR JOB to keep MT alive.

MT death
For preference here, combat res. However, sometimes that just isn't an option - commonly because the boss has turned on you or has gone straight for the healer. Remember, just because you're in kitty gear, it doesn't mean you can't tank. With the stamina and armor boost from your cuddly bear you may well be in the best position to take over.

Quite simple - shift, growl, tap the mob on the ankle and away we go again.

My shining moment...
...was with a PUG. We were quite far into the instance and it wasn't the best of groups... you know what I'm saying!

Annnyyyywwaayyyss, we start in on the boss and MT is holding aggro well, my dps rotations are in rhythym. Mage is getting low on mana but priest is doing fine, so I pop out to innervate the mage and lay a few HOTs on the tank to ease things along. I don't know what happened exactly (maybe an unlucky series of misses) but all of a sudden the mob breaks for the priest. Before MT can get the situation under control the priest and the mage are dead... shit, combat res is on cooldown. So I pop out and do my best to heal the MT. The boss is low on health but MT is even lower and MT goes down despite my best efforts. Final option, I drop into bear and tank him myself with the rogue laying into the dps. I insta-shift a healing potion at one point, set off frenzied regeneration at another and finally the boss drops. Phew take a breath...

...hey, what's this? Rebirth cooldown is gone! I res the priest who resses the others and phat lewt is shared by all.

Now, tell me again about utility?

Final thoughts
  • Love your kitty; every kitty is special
  • Care for your bear; make a point of getting a decent tanking kit
  • Don't forget the catnip

Final, final thoughts...

First post on first blog, please leave a comment...