Sunday, August 1, 2010

Kitty DPS

My foray into Feral PVP these past two weeks has me thinking I might be ready to add some Feral Cat play to my raids and heroic runs.  I did level from 1 to 70, and 70 to 80 as feral but haven't played cat since last Fall.  I had a lot of trouble adjusting to the cat play style as I had been a main tank up to SSC/TK in BC before respeccing to Resto and Balance to finish out my raiding until WotLK.  And in WotLK I've only raided as Balance or Resto.  Typical cat play style while questing is vastly different from that used while raiding and so I had a lot to learn yet I've long thought about giving it a go.  I'd very much like to be able to switch between ranged and melee specs for certain fights and since my Balance and Resto sets are full T10 I've been able to pick up 4 pieces of Feral T10 recently.  I still need to upgrade some of the 226/232 off-set pieces but I've got a good enough start to put in some practice soon.

Up until recently (and yes this is the thread I was referring to in my UI post) I had been using the default UI, and although I use several mods I've generally steered clear of using any mods that placed elements in my field of view.  My biggest problem was being able to keep all my dots up and maintain enough energy for combo point generation and savage roar but regardless of how much I seemed to try I would let things fall off and suffer the DPS Loss because of it.  I read a lot about it at the time and the consensus seemed to be to use those mods that did in fact put elements in your field of view.  But as my UI was fairly crowded already I didn't want to go down that road and eventually went back to my more familiar ways of Balance and Resto.  I'd decided I didn't want to tank in WotLK but I'm rethinking that at the moment as well.

So now that I've taken the leap and set off down the custom UI path things are a lot cleaner and I have vastly more screen real estate to work with and the elements in my field of view are't so much of a problem they once might have been.  I still need a little help with cat abilities however and there are a couple ways I think I could address this, as I believe the issue was more about not having learned the specific timing involved in ability use.  I could use Power Auras, which I've started using recently for Moonkin and which does add some elements in my field of view.  I've always had trouble seeing when my Eclipses occur when I was in amongst the crowd, and even more so when there was another Moonkin in the group with me.  When you have two Moonkins standing near one another in a scrum it's difficult to see right away whether an Eclipse was mine or his.  I've begun using Power Auras to give me a better visual.  I can use it for tracking my dots and to let me know when specific abilities are require or available but I don't believe, in this case, Power Auras would be the best solution.

A second solution would be to use one of the "move suggesting" mods that are available.  I've looked at Feral by Night before but never really like it, and it hadn't been updated in some time.  Faceroller: Feral is another of the mods I've looked into recently that looks very promising.  Feral by Night was recently updated though so I'll probably end up trying both and seeing which one works best for me.  Either mod would be a crutch but they should help me figure out my timing issues and I'd expect that after a while I'd be able to continue on without them.

I've been doing a lot of re-reading Cat threads on the official forum and over at Elitist Jerks and I decided to take the advice of those more knowledgeable and go with the pure DPS cookie cutter build instead of picking up some of the utility talents I probably would have gone with otherwise.  I re-spec often enough as it is and don't normally run around with a PVP and PVE spec for each tree.  So normally I run around with my PVE Balance spec that I raid and PVP with, and either my PVE Resto spec (raid and PVP with) or the past couple weeks Feral Bear for PVP.  Thus my normal inclination would be to include as many utility talents as I can to help with PVP as well as with raiding.  In this case I think I'm going to need as much help as possible though so I decided to just go with the power.

Gear wise I do need a little help, but I've got a good start I think.  Tosks DPS Gear spreadsheet and RAWR are very good utilities to help with that.  While Tosks is very similar to the MAXDPS site I'd recommended some time ago, it's tuned to Feral cat only.  RAWR is the better tool, in my opinion, if you want to try out multiple pieces for each slot as unlike Tosks or MAXDPS, the stats are updated in RAWR on the fly.  Two of my pieces for my cat set are 226 with all the rest being 232, 245, or 251/264 although one of my trinkets is ilevel 200.  Starting Wednesday night I'll be running in a regular 10-man ICC hard mode group so I don't think it'll take me too long to get everything upgraded.  Then the fun will begin.