Slightly off-topic; did Mag last night. I went bear facing a Channeler's back on the pull and slapped a Mangle when we opened up. I had 5% hit and my Earthwarden. He parried. From behind. I guess I'm just not understanding combat mechanics, because I figured that to not happen. Either they're not supposed to parry someone behind them or I got unlucky with the 0.6% not-hit gap.
JUICE! Aww I'm sorry. Did... did anyone want some juice?
There's a pretty common latency or client/server sort of issue where you'll get parried while behind the mob. I've definitely had shreds parried on my druid and backstabs on my rogue. If I weren't behind the mob, I shouldn't even be able to do those attacks.
It's not common enough to put into a model of the mechanics, but it's certainly common enough that almost everyone who plays a positional melee character will have seen it at least once.
You're forgetting the 28 crit rating it's "use:" ability gives. When that's active, this neck is better than anything else in the game. Lets face it, Blizzard is pulling the same crap they did in MC, BWL, and Naxx, real upgrades for our "off-specs" don't exist past Karazhan.
Malazaar, what cycle do you use on Aran ? Since he is so hard to position for Shred, I usually Mangle then Rip at 5 CP. Seems like an obvious question, but I haven't been on enough kills to get good data.
Actually, shred positioning isn't that bad. It takes more work than a stationary boss, and sometimes, aka flame wreath, you simply can't reposition before it hits and/or he is constantly changing his targets, sometimes even you! That said, mangle if you would otherwise waste energy, otherwise, just wait til you can get in position to shred again. Also, as his armor is fairly low, FB might work better if you have gotten the hang of power shifting.
It's really not that easy to keep the cycle running on aran - positioning is hard, especially if you happen to hold aggro. If i can't shred and can't move behind him (due to flame wreath, explosion or aggro) i just save energy up to 81, at which point i just use mangle (less damage is obviously better than no damage).
On the other hand - aran's total lack of any armor (or so it seems) makes more than up for it. I just recently got to dps in karazhan (i usually have to tank) so my experience in that instance is limited as dps.
On that subject - has anyone worked out the point at which a shred is better than an untalented bite ? I usually just go on shredding til mangle wears off before biting - it just seems to be a total waste of energy (sometimes 5cp noncrits around 1000 damage).
Edit: @Maratai: Actually, you'd have to have around 70% crit for FB to surpass Rip (even on a zero armor target and exlusively using 35 energy FBs).
Do you guys power-shift with furor? I usually hop out and in between energy ticks (when my current energy is between 0-5/6), and from what I can tell, the staff pretty much always swings in that split second while i'm in cow form. I haven't done enough logged runs to tell if it really helps much.
Depends I think. While a white hit in caster form should add more dps (assuming you've maxed out weapon skill) than a white hit in cat, sometimes you might have gotten 2 hits in cat depending on the swing timer. Plus you miss the chance to proc 20% energy from 2 piece Malorne. Not to mention that a slight drop in fps could cause you to lose an energy tick. I think the important thing is to only powershift when the GCD is up - this way the shift in -> out is pretty much instantaneous and I'm fairly sure you don't even lose an auto attack in cat.
i don't have my numbers on me, but i sat in 2 classes one day and did rough theorycraft on comparing hourglass vs dragonspine for a feral druid.
assumed 2600 Ap 33% crit ( 35% w/ hourglass ), T4 2pc bonus, OOC; I found that dragonspine would be about equal with 2ppm, 1-2% dps increase with 2.5ppm , and 5%+ increase with 3ppm ...
the benefits assume that more white hits with haste allow more chances for OOC and T4 to proc, since they both seemingly have no internal cooldown. Also, since Hourglass does have internal cooldown, our high crit is "wasted".
As well, I'd like to comment that I use abacus along with dragonspine, so I attempt to stack +energy / +free attacks, and in my experience it works well. There are times when I have "unlimited energy" and am more or less waiting on global cooldown, or get to throw an extra shred out while waiting for my last 5/5 Rip to drop.
Using this bias, I stack agility over AP, and hang betwen 90-110 +hit.
I have been #1 dps on prince kills over a flasked hunter, a flasked shadow priest ( only +900ish shadow though ), and assuming I don't die, can be top 5 on Gruul effortlessly. I understand these numbers can be meaningless without considering the rest of my raid, but I do not understand for a second why people have beliefs that druids can't top dps meters.
EDIT: I'd like to add that even with Abacus + Dragonspine + Bloodlust up, Tiger's Fury still blows.
Perhaps I'm just more of an excel n00b than I thought I was, but is there a way to take Emmerald's spreadsheet and update it to include higher base stats? I'm way off from the stats he uses.
Unbuffed: 2500ap 34 crit 5.7% hit
Also, I am still a bit confused on the relative usefullness of feral weapon skill. I have 91 hit rating as well as 18 feral weapon skill from Clefthoof Hide Leggings. I'm trying to determine if the Lower City ring would be better than Band of Ursol (23str 12agi 22sta).
So the Lower City ring with 20 FWS rating would give you 5 FWS resulting in: + 1 hit, + 1 crit, -1 mob_dodge, -3 mob_parry. -Mob_parry should only come up while tanking, and I'm not sure how the -mob_dodge works, but at the minimum you could consider 1 FWS rating = .8 hit rating + 1.1 crit rating for item comparison purposes.
I plugged your stats into Emmerald's spreadsheet and with the FWS rating conversion:
Shapeshifter's Signet = 111.4 Kity points
Band of Ursol =83.9