Good post, but one thing that was missing was the energy reduction on Shred. GC posted here that it was reduced to 50 energy base so whilst Shredding Attacks reduction is a lower energy reduction, the total energy for a Shred will now be 40 instead of 42.
How exactly is Dot-extending going to work? As far as i have been able to make out it will just be the last tick+the max duration of the new dot that will remain, so clipping much too early will still be an issue?
How is haste affecting Dots? Haste will add extra ticks during the duration of the dot, depending on certain breakpoints of haste.
Thanks Vaccine, I've been having a hard time remembering what's public and what's not.
It's not entirely clear yet, at least not to me, how dots will work with haste and clipping. My guess, based on my poor understanding of Everlasting Affliction mechanics (which GC said is similar to how all dots will work in Cata) is that the duration of your dot remains unchanged. For example, untalented Rake ticks every 3 seconds for 3 ticks total over 9 seconds. Now you get 10% haste so ticks come every 2.73 seconds. You get a third and final tick at 8.19 seconds, but the Rake debuff stays up for the entire 9 seconds. Now you use another Rake at 8.5 seconds, extending the duration of your Rake back to 9 seconds. At 10.92 seconds you get your 4th tick, at 16.38 seconds you get your 6th tick, and if you don't refresh Rake again the debuff finally falls off at 17.5 seconds. So you actually get an advantage by "clipping" your Rake since the tick timer keeps rolling.
It will be interesting how Ravage buffs pan out. Since we've gained 4 (6 if you include Shredding Attacks) damage boosting talents for Ravage it may well become a viable pve opener, the question is whether it will gain more utility over the course of a fight as spending four talents to buff an ability that is really only viable for 10% of a fight and directly after a Feral Charge seems wasted. Perhaps it could become a part of our rotation like Arms Warriors gained with the Sudden Death talent which changed a finisher into an RNG proc.
It seems to me as though classes are gaining 'phases' just as bosses do. The Demo spec for example uses Soulfire more often under 25% health as it gains benefits from talents. Feral could become something like Boss > 90% health. Ravage > Shred; 89% - 25% 'normal' rotation; > 25% nom nom nom abuse. It certainly makes for more dynamic play.
My belief (don't want to cross the alpha wall here) is that they are planning on increasing Ravage's coefficient. At some point, however, I'd imagine you'd run into threat problems. That's what'll kill it for PvE, with the exception of things that aren't tanked (think Bone Spikes).
Unless I'm misreading Primal Madness, it looks pretty useless for (good) cats, since we're not energy-capping to begin with.
Maybe I'm reading the tooltip for Predatory Strikes incorrectly, but to me it seems like the health condition is based on your health, not the target's. Therefore it could be used at any time during a fight, as long as you are above 90% health, making the talent much more useful.
Edit: Okay sorry about this confusion, I was basing this off the wowhead talents which just have "at or above 90% health" where on mmo-champion it does have the target health part.
The tooltip states "Increases the critical strike chance of your Ravage by x% on targets at or above 90% health". It pretty clearly refers to your target's health, not yours.
That said, there's still a lot we need to know before we can make judgments about Ravage's usefulness in PvE. If it's not superior to the normal rotation without the increased crit chance then the small handful that you can fit in at the start of a fight will have minimal effect on your overall dps. If it is better than continuing your normal rotation below 90% then Improved FC at least may be worth the 2 points, even if you'd be better off not pursuing Predatory Strikes.
Forgot the SotF change, thanks Kal. Regarding FB, what I meant by "proper timing" is that you want to make sure you can get another 5 combo points up before Rip needs to be refreshed again. In today's world it's mostly a foregone conclusion that you'll have those combo points up in time, but we're supposed to have a much lower crit rate in Cata which means slower combo point generation. Also remember that nearly half of Rip's duration today is tied to glyphs, which could change in Cata. As always, without knowing more it's hard to say exactly how things will pan out.
I'd also like to take a quick look at Fury Swipes, mostly because I'm not confident on my math. If there was no cooldown on the proc (but assume that a bonus swing couldn't proc another one) the talent would be a straight 4% buff to white damage per point. With today's ratios of roughly 35% white damage that would be a 1.4% damage increase per point (not to mention additional OOC proc opportunities), a pretty solid investment. Unfortunately the 6s cooldown makes things a bit trickier.
Let's say that after all haste effects you have x swings per second, so every time Fury Swipes procs the next 6x swings are not eligible to proc. This is where I'm less confident - once the cooldown is over I believe it would take an expected 8.3 swings to proc again, right? That's 100/12 at 3 talent points. So this would mean that 6x / (6x + 8.3) of your swings are not able to proc Fury Swipes. Even with no haste on gear and ignoring all other sources, with Windfury alone you have 1.2 swings per second, meaning 6*1.2 / (6*1.2 + 8.3) = 46.5% of your white attacks are not affected by Fury Swipes. This reduces it's effect using today's ratios from 1.4% damage per point to 0.75%. Still a reasonable investment, especially as the feral tree is pretty lean in its current state when it comes to dps talents (even taking 2/2 Improved Feral Charge and Predatory Strikes, should those prove to be worth taking, you have enough points to get 3/3 Fury Swipes and all other dps talents except Improved Mangle, which is still a much worse talent). But it's certainly a weaker talent, and it actually gets worse (relatively, not absolutely) with haste.
I think it might be a better implementation to make the next X attacks after getting a proc be unable to proc rather than using a static amount of time, which would prevent the poor scaling it would have if left as is. In it's current state it also leads to weird haste breakpoints. At any given haste level you have an integer number of swings that are always ineligible after a proc. More haste will bring your first eligible swing closer and closer to the cooldown until it crosses over, suddenly bumping up the number of ineligible swings after each proc and reducing the value of the haste that brought you over the threshold. This is probably a small enough effect that it won't have any real bearing on gearing decisions, but it is there.
Agreed, and I really dislike the current implementation. We're designed as a quick-hitting class that doesn't hit hard, but hits a lot; a proc'ed second hit doesn't really do much. It's fine for bears, but I'd like to see the cat proc be a small amount of energy regen (introduces some good RNG, replaces the previous function of Revitalize, no tricky on-hit procs to balance around, synergizes well with the new Primal Madness talent, etc.) Let's say I'm leveling a new kitty druid, what do I want more?
A) an occasional extra melee attack that shaves another 7% HP off the mob I'm fighting
B) an occasional energy proc that lets me hit another Claw immediately, instead of waiting for regen
So this would mean that 6x / (6x + 8.3) of your swings are not able to proc Fury Swipes. Even with no haste on gear and ignoring all other sources, with Windfury alone you have 1.2 swings per second, meaning 6*1.2 / (6*1.2 + 8.3) = 46.5% of your white attacks are not affected by Fury Swipes. This reduces it's effect using today's ratios from 1.4% damage per point to 0.75%.
The math is correct. I came up with the same number using a slightly different method:
Expected number of swings to proc = 1/0.12 = 8.333(repeating).
The talent adds 1 free attack each (6x + 8.3) swings which is (6x + 8.3 + 1) / (6x + 8.3) damage increase for white damage. With x = 1.2 and white damage set as 35% of total damage, that yields 0.75% total damage increase per one talent point.
The more haste you have, the worser the talent gets, which is rather weird. It can also be solved by leaving out the "cannot be procced next 6s" part and lowering talent's proc chance.
It's a dump talent and shouldn't make it out of beta in it's current state. I think GC said DPS talents should be about 1% per point and due to poor feral scaling ours are usually a bit more than that even. A lower ICD or significantly higher proc rate should do it. I wonder though if the additional hit can proc Omen of Clarity and whether you factored that in? I know thats still a tiny fractional increase but still worth noting.
I've been throwing some possible Bear rotations into a spreadsheet and it's looking to me like Lacerate and Pulverize isn't going to be workable really without some changes, or at least not fun. You're going to be using Lacerate pretty much 50% of the time when tanking, which doesn't really seem a fun or intuitive idea, especially when you factor in miss rate (remember stats harder to get so presume we won't easily be capping hit) and parry rate, theres very little room for anything outside of lacerate and Mangle on CD.
I'm thinking there must be a glyph for either Lacerate or Pulverize, something like your Lacerate applies 2/3 stacks on application, or on crit or something, or one for Pulverize that prevents the bleeds being consumed. Without something like that the Feral rotation really isn't going to be much more interesting than it currently is, its just going to be a different ability we are spamming over and over.
Edit: I'm also assuming FFF will have it's GCD changed.
The more haste you have, the worser the talent gets, which is rather weird.
Well like I said, it does get worse with increasing haste in a relative sense, but not in an absolute sense. That is, as your haste increases the talent has less of an effect as a percent your damage, but the number of actual procs (and thus raw damage) does increase with haste.
The wording on the talent makes me think that it is capable of proccing OOC, but it would be a rather minimal increase. Let's again call x the number of attacks you make per second. At 3/3 Fury Swipes, on average 8.3 / (6x + 8.3) have the potential to proc, with 12% of those actually proccing for a total percent increase in OOC opportunities of (0.12 * 8.3) / (6x + 8.3) = 1 / (6x + 8.3). Again, with no sources of haste outside of Windfury you're looking at about 6.5% more auto-attacks, or slightly more than 2% per point. In a 5 minute fight your expected OOC procs would increase by about 1.3-1.4 with 3 points, or 0.46 per point. Assuming you use that on a Shred you can estimate that Fury Swipes is worth roughly 3.7 energy per minute, and this actually decreases absolutely with increased haste. Worth noting that this is still more energy than Improved Mangle at any conceivable gear level without accounting for the increased white damage.
On the topic of Omen of Clarity, what are we going to do with our extra talent points after we get Omen of Clarity? Blessing of the Grove seems to only be required if you are a Cat or Hybrid. Do we max Perseverance just because it's 10% spell damage reduction, or do we go 3/5 Perseverance so we can dip back into the Feral Tree after we get OoC and max Naturalist?
I note that I find it incredibly odd that they would put Perseverance where Naturalist used to be... Damage reduction is of less use to a Cat than, say, a Bear, but the increased damage is better all-around for all Feral specs... Trust me when I say this. I tried tanking with 3/5 Naturalist and an Armsman wrist enchant so I could go 5/5 Furor once. It was not a good week.
You'd go 5/5 furor. As stupid as that is, that's the natural bonus. That being said, other than perseverance I'm not convinced that you would want to go that much into the resto tree. There are a lot of good threat and utility talents for bears in feral as it is, a lot of simply required talents, and it's tough to cut them. Really, right now cat has almost nothing 'fun' that it must take past the 44/18 points it needs, and bear has far too many good talents + required ones. There should be a rebalancing.
On the bear rotation, I've had the same thoughts as Vaccine. It looks like FF is not going to be a standard threat move and will be an early debuff that then is ignored, but either the case is that pulverize isn't that useful except once in a blue moon and you'll want to do it as little as possible - in which case lacerate and swipe is it for threat - or you'll simply be lacerating x5, pulverize, etc with maul thrown in at high rage. Neither sound like an interesting system. The problem with pulverize is that it works against a lot of the other synergies and abilities a bear has; it removes bleeds, it removes the bonus maul gets from a bleed (potentially), and it discourages rolling a lacerate stack. I'd like it if pulverize was more of a defensive choice and gave a cooldown similar to shield block or something like it, so that the choice would be to keep lacerate rolling and do more threat, or remove the lacerate stack for a defensive CD of sorts.