Feral Kitty Feedback Pre 4.1

90 Worgen Druid
9045
I just wanted to present my thoughts on Feral Kitty such that my concerns could be a) noticed and b) addressed , however miniscule the possibility may be.

Most of this has been said, time and again on various forums, here, in the US and on various blogs I read. I have seen very little, if any, feedback from Blizzard for Druids, which has surprised and disappointed me.

Im sure some will agree in part and others will disagree.

Alas, my thoughts and concerns.

1. Performance/DPS – I was reasonably happy with Feral dps when we started this content. As things progress though I’m becoming increasingly disappointed. For a variety of reasons I seem to be slipping behind my contemporaries as they scale well and I stagnate.

When you look at raid parses ( www.stateofdps.com , www.raidbots.com) and when you look at Sim results ( http://simulationcraft.org/406-7/Raid_T11_372.html ) you quickly see that Feral dps is poor on almost ALL fights. We perform poorly on AOE, on target switching and most annoyingly we dont even do so great on tank n spanks where we traditionally shine.

I would also suggest that our numbers are inflated by the benefit of DI. Unfortunately we aren’t the primary recipient of this buff so its mainly the lucky few who get DI who manage to achieve the poor dps results recorded above whilst the rest of us do even worse!

2. Melee/Positional – This (to an extent) contributes to the poor dps above. Melee and particularly those with positional requirements (e.g. Feral Cats) seem to have been a little shortchanged. There is so much going on around the boss that it is very difficult, sometimes impossible, to get your rotation right or even use your bread and butter attack (shred). I read that such guilds as Paragon have readily accepted that taking more ranged and benching melee is preferable for progression raiding. This is a worry.

3. AOE/Swipe - Swipe seems to have been badly reduced in effectiveness. Indeed it is all but useless apart from against very large packs of non-elite mobs when fueled with a TF/Berserk. I, for one, have started either single target focusing or tab mangle/rake/rip on multi-mobs. It doesn’t work well. Trash is less of a worry to me as bosses with add packs. I’m still being asked to help clear adds yet I’m fairly useless at doing it. We currently have no effective AoE or cleave like damage. Whilst it hasn't happened to me as yet, Im aware of some Ferals being benched on fights because of this.

4. Rotation ‘dumbing down’ – This is a matter of opinion, some seem to like it simpler…I don’t. I much preferred it when SR was more important, when weaving FBs in at the right times allowed me to excel and doing it wrong caused my bleeds to drop and my damage to plummet. It meant being good resulted in strong performance. There is much less encouragement to ‘play well’ now imo. The latest development where FB is only a positive dps influence after target hits 25% health is a tragedy.

5. Archaeology – Minor point but nothing at all for Feral Cats. Could something be added? I actually enjoy archaeology (sick I know) but I am currently only looking out for OS gear sadly.

6. Legendary - Have we ever had one? Isn't it time? :) I see a caster weapon is about to be added…looking at the dps stats this is only going to widen an already significant gap isn’t it?

7. 80 - 85 skills – Awful. I am disappointed that I only received one usable skill from 80 to 85. I am even more disappointed that it was stampeding roar. It is an ongoing joke with my guildmates how bad it actually is. Short duration, minor run speed increase to those within 10 yrds of me...its really not good.

8. PvP induced changes - In my (very) limited PvP experience I cant say my bleeds seem to cause the opposition half as much of a problem as the various threads I read on here, I still get completely torn apart...but then Im a total novice. The berserk and shapeshifting changes seemed harsh to me but I’ll leave that discussion to those who know better.

9. Tier Gear - The T11 Tier bonus makes no sense to me whatsoever, pls add shred in addition to Mangle.

10. Bugs – Rip still performs oddly. It seems to drop off early (according to my timer bars). I can’t always refresh it. It would be much more effective if it just worked like rake.

11. Bad Talents – Primal Madness is useless. I’ve toyed with keybinding a cancel button to use when I’m low energy but it’s impossible to get that right and frankly it’s ridiculous I have to try. Is it useful to anyone for anything as it is?

12. Cower – Make it always hit please.
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90 Tauren Druid
17130
Pretty much I agree with everything that you've said. Well-stated, my hat comes off to you. Just for those that are going to say "Ferals in our guild thrash everyone else, herp derp, you don't need buffs, lololol" and so on, I'll repost something here that I put in another thread earlier today:

"...empirical data ("Ferals in our raids are doing great DPS so they're fine, but Affliction Warlocks are at the bottom so they need buffs") is a bad way to define average DPS; there are huge modifiers in individual players - for example, skill, access to gear (what if there are no other Rogues or Ferals in your guild but tons of cloth DPS?), use of consumables, etc. Simulations are also not a great thing to look at as they put everyone on a Patchwerk style fight with no movement, so the classes with a more complex rotation don't actually get a really good look, because the computer always plays perfectly. The only true test is to look at averages on Stateofdps or World of Logs; there you can easily see Feral Cats starting high and moving down the chart as people move into heroic gear."

You could also look at this post by Alaron on The Fluid Druid (http://fluiddruid.net/2011/02/the-sky-is-fallingno-the-sky-is-stable/); he quotes numbers from WoL, which, as I said above, is really the only reliable source of information that we have on REAL, FIGHT-BY-FIGHT numbers; simulators are ok for general DPS balancing (ie, "Class X is doing 50% less damage than everyone else, they need buffing"), but you can't say "Class Y is doing fine on sims, so they don't need to be looked at", because again, as I've already said, those sims give everyone perfect stats and rotations and don't take 1) more complex rotations, 2) positional requirements or 3) potential uptime into consideration (for example, if melee were balanced around having...say...70% of the uptime of a ranged class, but did more damage while they were on-target, then simulators would put all melee as massively overpowered as they give everyone 100% uptime).

2) The Shred positional requirement is extremeley frustrating and has been for years, but is more noticeable than ever in this tier with fights like Al'akir and Argaloth.
3) Swipe is incredibly weak both for Cats and Bears - not much else to say. You're better off Raking multiple targets than Swiping unless there are more than something like 5+ mobs.
4) The rotation certainly became easier in Cataclysm, but that's not entirely a bad thing - I personally like the Savage Roar change, as it was a big help when you've got Rip and Roar about to fall off, and it helps us in PvP.
5) There's nothing for max-level Agility users at all from Archeology which was a bit of an oversight considering that's 4 classes you've left out in the cold (Enhance, all Hunter specs, all Rogue specs, Ferals).
6) We've never had access to a Legendary weapon, and I'll say it's about damn time. Provide one for tanks that provides a class-specific 2H or 1H/shield combo in the same way that Atiesh worked in Naxx40.
7) Our 80+ skills are extremely weak. Mushrooms got a nice buff in 4.0.6, but obviously that's a Balance spell so doesn't really help Ferals; Thrash is a tanking tool but should be placed much much earlier in the levelling curve; Stampeding Roar is a joke that doesn't actually help PvP Ferals at all and barely provides a boost for PvEers. It needs its cost removed and its range increased, and should provide an additional effect (ie, break/immunity to movement impairing effects).
8) The Berserk and Bleed nerfs were fine, but the shapeshift change was complete overkill; boost the cost of Cat and Bear to 10-15% of base mana (approx 2500-3000) when used to break a root, or allow us to talent Stampeding Roar as detailed in (7), followed by a glyph that cuts the cooldown by 60 secs at the cost of it no longer affecting friendly targets.
9) Nothing to say, having it only proc from Mangle, which we want to minimise use of, and having us lost it when we shift out of Cat, when the identical DK and Warrior bonuses proc off of their normal rotations is absurd.
10) Agree with this, I'm still sometimes losing Rip ~1sec before it's due to drop off.
11) Agreed again, I've been saying this since the beta - Primal Madness is garbage, and anyone that talents it will be laughed at.
12) Sure, why not; we're one of very few classes that actively avoid Hit
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80 Gnome Warlock
250
Good points all.

Hopefully we see buffs coming to kitty druids in 4.1... or better yet, sooner than that since ferals are at the very bottom right now.

- Primal Madness needs to be fixed, it's under budget, close to worthless 2 points.

- We already saw AoE buffs for several classes (shammy, ret pala, warriors) in 4.1 patch notes, cats need to be included too, as other classes just crush them on add fights. Consider giving Cats their own version of Trash that spreads dots around.

- Stampending Roar - it's garbage. It's close to useless as a selfish speedbuff, since it doesn't stack. Cat druids only go from 130% to 140%. At very least you'd have to make it raidwide + improve the speed buff + possibly remove the energy cost. The range on it is currently so pathetic, that it can only be considered a cruel joke. Preferrably give it some other function too (like breaking roots in PvP or a minor +DPS function for PvE).

TL;DR: Cats suck in 4.0.6 with the best gear, both in single target and add fights. Without changes, this already large gap will only grow in 4.1 as the gear improves.
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89 Worgen Druid
6895
agree with all of this except


25/02/2011 2:38 PMPosted by Dabeasty
4. Rotation ‘dumbing down’ – This is a matter of opinion, some seem to like it simpler…I don’t. I much preferred it when SR was more important, when weaving FBs in at the right times allowed me to excel and doing it wrong caused my bleeds to drop and my damage to plummet. It meant being good resulted in strong performance. There is much less encouragement to ‘play well’ now imo. The latest development where FB is only a positive dps influence after target hits 25% health is a tragedy.


Like this design for FB imo. In wotlk FB wasn't such a big dps increase and risky and random.
But in total i liked the design more in wotlk indeed.
Edited by Trigota on 28/02/2011 08:53 GMT
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85 Night Elf Druid
12245
I agree with most of your points except 4 and 9 seem to conflict. You complain that the rotation is dumbed down but want T11 moved to mindless shredding dumbing it down further? I'm happy with T11 because without that it would be even dumber at the moment. FB needs a buff to bring it back in >25%.

I'd love a Legendary but it will likely never happen. Maybe we could share a staff/bow with hunters like the old MC quest reward but probably not. So many more people are pleased when they make a caster staff or 2h sword or 1h axe theres not much incentive to make a 2h agi staff/mace.

Archaelogy will hopefully be fixed with new items in 4.1. From the limiting to 200 fragments it would seem they will keep adding things, and Agi should be top of the list given the complete lack of anything currently.

The other thing as I said in the other thread on this is the huge disparity between Feral and Moonkin DPS.
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85 Worgen Druid
8225
I agree with most of your points except 4 and 9 seem to conflict. You complain that the rotation is dumbed down but want T11 moved to mindless shredding dumbing it down further? I'm happy with T11 because without that it would be even dumber at the moment.


4p T11 bonus stinks because it forces ferals to spam an inferior ability more than they would normally do. Other classes get their bonus by doing what they would normally do anyway.

Oh and it also drops off if you're forced to shift out of cat form for whatever reason, that's another thing that other classes don't have to worry about.
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85 Pandaren Shaman
8000
Legendary? You're not going to get one any time soon I'm afraid. You're the only spec out of...30(?) that typically uses a staff for DPS. Of course you can use 2h maces as well, but that's essentially the same pool Shadowmourne was on. If that was a mace you'd have had your fun stick but it didn't happen.

They said staff is next. I think the next one after the staff most likely is 1h melee, the last one of that was Black Temple off Illidain.

At any rate, Ferals do indeed need a buff. Our feral druid was typically in the top 5 and since the patch he's rarely been up there anymore. Both in ranks and actual DPS. Relative to both the rest of us and his DPS pre patch.
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90 Night Elf Druid
11545
Legendary? You're not going to get one any time soon I'm afraid. You're the only spec out of...30(?) that typically uses a staff for DPS. Of course you can use 2h maces as well, but that's essentially the same pool Shadowmourne was on. If that was a mace you'd have had your fun stick but it didn't happen.

They said staff is next. I think the next one after the staff most likely is 1h melee, the last one of that was Black Temple off Illidain.


Except there's been 3 onehanded (2 in a set) legendaries. ALL of which were CRUCIAL as they were used for the content coming later and made an immense difference in clearing it.

Ferals have had access to one in total, and one that is 99% pointless being that you had to clear all of the content in a expansion to get it, making it redundant at that point.

ALSO, while there's merely one specc that uses a staff as a melee weapon, there's 2 classes that CAN use them, and if you change it to a polearm, even more (though realisticly you'd have to make a str and an agi version to make it properly usable by all classes/specs that can use polearms).

One of those classes (hunters) are also amongst the classes that haven't had a legendary that made appreciable difference in raiding (their legendary bow was again a drop from the FINAL boss in an expansion and thus irrelevant to raid progress).

While a dps caster weapon apparently is next (and again, no dps caster weapons have been in the pool of weapons that would make a difference raidwise), there's no reason whatsoever that the next one couldn't be one usable by ferals.
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90 Worgen Druid
9045
26/02/2011 9:43 PMPosted by Vaccy
I agree with most of your points except 4 and 9 seem to conflict. You complain that the rotation is dumbed down but want T11 moved to mindless shredding dumbing it down further? I'm happy with T11 because without that it would be even dumber at the moment. FB needs a buff to bring it back in >25%.


I contemplated that very point myself before posting. Whilst I agree that having to Mangle for the Tier bonus adds some complexity it is simply not an acceptable solution to the problem. Better to remove this enforced mechanic (which completely runs against our optimised rotation) and add the complexity back in elsewhere (FB, more importance on SR etc) imo.

Two wrongs don't make a right? :)
Edited by Dabeasty on 28/02/2011 09:18 GMT
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85 Tauren Druid
2830
ITT: Feral Druids try convincing themselves that feral druids need buffs even though they already are a very strong specc.
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90 Worgen Druid
9045
Latest.

http://www.simulationcraft.org/406-9/Raid_T11_372_PTR.html

PS: I am aware this is theoretical, simulated, perfect conditions dps. That said, isnt that what we are meant to excel on? Stand and nuke fights?

Throw in encounter mechanics, time off boss, aoe etc and we actually suffer more than most don't we? By the way you can visit the various wologs and stateofdps links to check...wherever you look, Feral is not in a good place.

So Meowzor...thanks for your constructive response, perhaps you have some evidence to the contrary to support your argument?
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90 Worgen Druid
9045
27/02/2011 1:03 AMPosted by Turin
Ferals have had access to one in total, and one that is 99% pointless being that you had to clear all of the content in a expansion to get it, making it redundant at that point.


Which one was that exactly? I am only aware of a Str based 2h mace we would even have considered using but that isnt really ever going to come to us ahead of Str based classes.
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85 Night Elf Druid
2440
28/02/2011 10:18 AMPosted by Meowzor
ITT: Feral Druids try convincing themselves that feral druids need buffs even though they already are a very strong specc.


nice bracers there, fellow feral! :D
i am contemplating over your thoughts, they seem interesting and educational... would you mind expanding them a bit more, please? just as dabeasty mentioned above?
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90 Night Elf Druid
11545
28/02/2011 3:22 PMPosted by Dabeasty
Ferals have had access to one in total, and one that is 99% pointless being that you had to clear all of the content in a expansion to get it, making it redundant at that point.


Which one was that exactly? I am only aware of a Str based 2h mace we would even have considered using but that isnt really ever going to come to us ahead of Str based classes.


That would be Atiesh, in vanilla no feral (or any druid) would get Sulfuras to actually use (aside from sitting in IF with it).
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85 Troll Druid
0
They really need to buff ferocious bite, or make it have some secondary effect above 25% since buffing it damagewise would probably lead to more pvp nerfs that also affect pve.
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80 Gnome Warlock
250
01/03/2011 8:49 PMPosted by Kisse
They really need to buff ferocious bite, or make it have some secondary effect above 25% since buffing it damagewise would probably lead to more pvp nerfs that also affect pve.


Have FB refresh Savage Roar, or something like that.
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90 Night Elf Druid
10500
2) The positional requirement for Shred is really bad in far too many fights which also effects our Rip uptime thanks to the glyph of Shred being useless. Either make the Glyph effect Mangle as well or make the glyph a straight shred increase in dmg and therefore allow us to swap in and out his glyph for the mangle one depending on the fight.
3) Swipe is useless and the most unsustainable AoE in the game. I too have heard cats being benched on certain fights simply because they can't do the AoE required - bring the player not the class my arse blizz.
4) I miss the old SR too and the fact that skill shone through. Now having skill means very little and the fun has left kitties accordingly. The changes are also in my opinion mainly responsible for the por balance being complained about in PvP.
5) I hate Archeology...even if there was a nice shiny for Ferals I wouldn't be chasing it. :)
6) Again, nice for hardcore players but not that important to me....can see your point though and would be nice to see - perhaps a legendary version of the weapon from Onyxia that could change to be more suited for bear/cats?
7) Stameding Roar could be a nice addition to PvE raid survivability now that the speed is increasing but it would need a much lower cooldown and zero cost to make it worthwhile.
8) Personally I thought the Beserk change was harsh given the lack of removing Lichborne from DK's. It was great for PvE yet again a nerf based purely on PvP. Changes to bleeds were understadable but the buffs to Shred to make it better per energy spent than Ferocious Bite was just insane. The shapeshift issue only came about because of the mana cost reduction. Blizz seemed to refuse to take the blame so opted to nerf something different rather than go back on their original mistake!
9) Don't have it, probabaly never will. Looks a bit /meh and very hard to fathom how they thought this was a good idea.
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80 Gnome Warlock
250
So 4.1 patch notes now have buffs coming to PvP kitties.

That is nice, but still nothing PvE related and ferals definitely need some love in that department too.
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28/02/2011 10:18 AMPosted by Meowzor
ITT: Feral Druids try convincing themselves that feral druids need buffs even though they already are a very strong specc.
I might be miles off here, but as far as I know ferals scale very poorly compared to most other classes and specs. Which is why the other classes quickly jump ahead of them as we approach more and more heroic loots.
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85 Troll Druid
5345
The first week of cataclysm was awesome when rake was bugged. Pushing 18k DPS on trash in cata greens and around 13-15k on bosses :D We had our week. Can't complain...
Edited by Zuliya on 04/03/2011 08:15 GMT
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