Being called upon to DPS on Patchwerk last week(Not my idea. My raid leader suggested it after I posted a respectable 6th on a Twin Emps kill), I came to the realization that I really don't know all that much about the optimal attack cycles for a feral druid in cat form for dps. (For those of you that wanted to know - I came in 12th, after shifting to heal when tank 3 died at 20%, with 170k damage done, 2123 AP, 36.25% crit, beating all the warlocks, 3 hunters, and 2 frost mages)
The primary cycle that I kept going to was essentially just spamming improved Shred and using rake as filler to get more combo points for my big hitting Ferocious Bite. After the fight, the cycle seemed, well, rather inelegant, and more of a brute force system of attacking then an optimal dps cycle. I used Bite under the premise that it would crit at least a third of the time for 2700+, which far outweighs the damage from Rip, and I also assumed that Rip would be quickly pushed off. Maybe this isn't the case, which might change the analysis.
My question to the ferals out there is simple: Is there a better way? I feel like I'm missing something drastic that would up my dps more. I've heard a lot about powershifting, and after many of my bites, I would immediately shift out to regain the 40-60 from furor which lead to a marked improvement.
There's gotta be more then this, or maybe Blizzard didn't give this much thought and this is the best a feral can manage. Heres to the wish there is something more efficient out there.
I'm not a feral, so take my opinion for what it's worth. First off, mandatory "LOLFERAL" comment. While 6th on twin emps definitely is respectable, perhaps you should show that damage meter to the mages and warlocks you beat, light a fire under their asses. That said, feral dps isn't something to sneeze at.
Anyway, with that out of the way, I would say if you can maintain a position behind the mob, you should always use shred. At your AP level, I don't think it's worth it to use Tiger's Fury, since that skill doesn't scale. Rip has better efficiency than ferocious bite, but as you said, it will probably get pushed off. Unfortunately, I would say the boring cycle of 5x shred -> ferocious bite is probably your best bet.
Disclaimer: no idea what powershifting is, first time I've heard of it.
yeah, i expect quite a few lolferal comments. It was pretty much pinch dpsing and hopefully it lights a fire under the asses of those I crushed. I just was wondering if there was more I could do.
Powershifting is abusing furor, which means you constantly shift in and out to regain 40 energy quicker then sitting there waiting two energy ticks. Its essentially a ghetto adren rush. The issues it brings up are its mana intensiveness and its lack of synergy with shred (48 energy)
basicly you force a shift in/out of catform, paying the hefty mana cost to use the Furor talent in tier 1 Resto to bounce back energy much faster than standard energy regen. Often combined with the BWL druid trinket (use: for the next 20 seconds, all shapeshift mana cost is reduced to zero, 5 min CD).
Think 'ghetto adren rush' (what my druid guildies call it).
I've never heard of powershifting but if I had to venture a guess, it's using the Furor talent to its maximum potential by shifting out when you are at 0 energy from Ferocious Bite, then shifting back in at 40 energy to start off, 60 if you wear wolfshead, and getting your first energy tick fairly rapidly.
Sounds like a real pain to do with feral mana, and I can't remember if there was a global cooldown associated with shifting back in cat. If there is, it means the pitiful gain of a 20 (or 40, which sounds better, although that means lolgimping with wolfshead) energy tick for shifting in and out because assuming near perfect human reaction time, you lose 2 seconds of energy regeneration (20 energy), resulting in furor's effectiveness being reduced by half.
Not to mention the time you spent shifted out could had been used for autoattacking. Sounds like an unnecessary headache. Then again, I might be completely wrong on what powershifting is. Edit: Boo Oggie and Zyla beat me. Long posts ftl
Great site that includes a list of the best cat form feral gear in the game, and a cat form DPS simulator:
The max theoretical cat form DPS uses a Shred x 5 -> Rip -> Shift -> Repeat cycle. With the best gear in the game and every conceivable buff, the calculator reports ~600 DPS.
You're right, though, the Rip debuff would have very little chance of surviving for the full duration. As long as you have mana to support shifting after each Ferocious Bite, it would come out ahead in a real boss fight.
Now to more serious things. Maybe you can add a moonfire while shifting out to further icrease your dps.
One more thing...shifting out dosent cancel your auto-atack ? I dont think is that much of a huge increase in dps if you losing white hits.
Did you run a recap or something .. to see the percentages of your dmg ( white / yellow dps ). If so you can have some data and compare.
And also..the main question about patchwerk : Is a feral druid viable as a HS tank ?
[Rune of Metamorphosis] and power shifting is fun for some burst. Other than that, I'm still waiting for the pre-TBC talent revamp before I want to even consider feral dps >_>
1) Shifting does not turn off auto-attack, nor does shifting out of forms activate the global cooldown. You also get one attack with your melee weapon on the previous 1.0s cat form swing timer.
2) Powershifting is most effective if you are using a Wolfshead Helm instead of an Eyepatch/Guise/Southwind. With a Wolfshead on, the cycle could look like this, even assuming you don't get an energy tick until a full 2s after the initial shift.
0.0s Shift in - 60 energy
1.5s Shred - 12 energy
2.0s 32 energy
4.0s 52 energy - Shred - 4 energy
4.2s Shift out
5.5s Shift in - 60 energy
6.0s 80 energy
7.0s Shred - 32 energy
8.0s 52 energy
8.5s Shred - 12 energy
8.7s Shift out
9.0s Shift in - 60 energy
10.0s 80 energy
10.5s Shred - 32 energy
12.0s 52 energy - Shred - 4 energy
12.2s Shift out
13.5s Shift in - 60 energy
14.0s 80 energy
15.0s Shred - 32 energy
And the cycle stablilizes under 2 repeating iterations. As soon as you have 5 combo points you just replace the next Shred with an FB and immediately shift out/in to gain another 60 energy after FB drains your bar. If you have natural shapeshifter or use Rune of Metamorphosis this kind of shifting output is obviously much easier to maintain. In any case, you'll probably be popping mana pots and dark runes like crazy to keep it up. Rune of Metamorphosis is best to use after you are stone cold OOM and Innervate yourself, giving a longer time under the unbroken cycle while Innervate brings you back up to full.
Imp Shred is good for PvE DPS. I don't have it currently as I'm levelling, and shredding opportunities are few and far between.
Shifting to Cat does initiate the GCD IIRC (is trying to recall how fast it happens when I do shift->tracking).
And yes, 5 Shreds -> FB is about the maximum DPS when debuff slots are hard to come by.
A more interesting question in this thread would be:
What is the optimal Feral Cat DPS Cycle in TBC? (with all the debuff slots you need?)
Take this with a grain of salt as I am mostly resto (til the expansion), but that power shifting cycle that Kazanir posted seems to be a horrible waste of mana/effort. Using just that 1 15-sec cycle you posted would drain pretty much your entire mana pool, not to mention Innervating yourself with the ~90 spirit you are likely to have in all feral gear would make priests cry =(.
As far as cycles, this is how it breaks down the way im looking at it (which Im sure is wrong)
Shredx5 -> Bite = 280 total used Energy, or 28 sec, for (Shredx5 + Bite dmg / 28 sec)DPS
Shredx4 + Rake -> Bite = 280 total used Energy (192 from Shreds, 35 from Rake = 227 Energy, which would put you in the 240 total regen tick, but youd need 35 more energy to Bite, which would take another tick +2 Energy) for less dps.
Shredx3 + Rakex2 -> Bite = 260 total used Energy (144 Shreds, 70 Rakes = 214 Energy, +35 for Bite puts it in the 240-260 tick) for even less dps.
Sure, you get more energy for your Bites using the 1x and 2x Rake cycles, but that is not going to make up for the dps loss from dropping a Rake instead of Shred. This also doesnt take into account things like Dodge/Parry/Block/Miss rates, lag, or Blood Frenzy, but it just seems to me that the most efficient way to do it is just what you did: spam Shred as much as possible, use Rake to fill in when it can (cheapest combo point gainer), Bite as a finisher, and powershift after a Bite to gain back some of the energy. Sure its boring, but remember we are just ghetto rogues, its not like we have lots of abilities to choose from for doing dps.
In the expansion however, Im sure this will change as some form of Mangle/Shred cycle with Rip as a finisher will probably be the win, but thats another time and place.
Based on my experience, you can go two different routes with a cat DPS Cycle: close with Bite or a combination of the two (if you have Blood Frenzy; if you don't, there's no reason to use a combo instead of just Rip).
Couple of notes before continuing:
-If you don't have improved shred and don't have a lot of attack power, but have the cat idol and Ferocity + Savage fury, use Claw and shred only on OOC procs (if applicable).
-If you have improved shred, use shred unless you have a really really low AP.
-Always close with Bite on trash; there's just no reason to waste 5 CPs on two rip ticks.
-All of the damage 'cycles' are in psuedocode; sorry if that makes them hard to read, they just make the most sense in my head that way.
-To my knowledge, my rips haven't been knocked off. They're a short duration, high damage, DoT and so Blizz gave them a relatively high priority, as far as I can tell.
Option 1a: Close with Bite, you have 2/2 Blood Frenzy
if(numberCP < 4) Shred;
Yes, it's really tempting to shred for one more CP at 4/5 but you have Blood Frenzy; if you crit at 4/5, you LOSE a combo point in the long run since you can't get 6/5. It's better if you Bite at 4 CP now and THEN crit to start off with two points than it is to lose the one and get a slightly bigger bite, especially considering that it takes 3 ticks of energy no matter what order you do it in. This is probably the best cycle for high crit, high AP cats.
Option 1b: Close with bite, no Blood Frenzy
if(numberCP < 5) shred;
Since you dont have BF, there's no reason to worry about wasted CPs and energy. Always bite at 5 unless the mob is about to die and make you waste CPs.
Option 2a: Close with both, 2/2 Blood Frenzy
if(numberCP < 4) shred;
else if(number CP == 4) FerociousBite;
else if(number CP == 5) Rip;
This is the best cycle for me right now because my Bite crits are only starting to hit 2700 when all of the planets align; a 2200-2500 average crit is much more commonplace and that only happens ~30% of the time. That gives my bite a 1527.5 average hit which is right around what rip nets me as well; another few hundred AP, or more crit, will make bite more worthwhile. Unfortunately, I believe that I'm going to actually lose crit on my next few gear upgrades in favor of high AP gear (my ~1250 AP with mark is kinda low) so rip will probably keep up with bite.
Option 2b: Close with Rip (0/2 Blood Frenzy)
if(numberCP < 5) shred;
It's simple and gives you an acceptable DPS cycle if you're low on AP and crit--barely enough to make shred worthwhile over claw, for example. Definitely gets overshadowed by the other options if you have Blood Frenzy and/or more AP.
A lot of the static damage affects are going away. Rend is getting 5% weapon damage + 26.
Anyways, a moonfire would not be optimal - 1.5 global cooldown. Theres a 1 sec GC on shifting. Whats fun is that if you can swap in a 2h, you can make it obey your 1 sec attack speed if you time it correctly when you shift out. As soon as you shift out you could swing a 3.80 instantly. I almost wonder if you could macro in a gear swap so i could swing, say a tuf when i shift out after the bite.
The majority of my damage was yellow. I would venture a guess that it was no less then 60% looking at all the glancing blows in my log. In a sense, glancings seem to be less of an issue in cat form because the damage reduction is not as big as other classes which rely on their white damage for a majority of their damage.
Also, we can't forget our good friends omen of clarity and kitty seal fate. I found that my bites were worth 2-3 shreds. If that is the case, would it be better to get to 5 as soon as possible?
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