Since the release of 3.1 there has been a lot of controversy as to whether cat dps is too high. Although there have been a lot of threads of discussion (and by threads I mean mostly qq) there have been few and far Blizzard responses. However, Ghostcrawler has finally come out and made a somewhat definitive statement on the issue. My thoughts are his statement is pretty spot on so lets try and break it down.
Quote from: Ghostcrawler (Source)
Kitty dps is probably a little too high. It’s tricky though because it is a very demanding spec to play well and if nerf it for the best players, the less-skilled ones might really see their dps plummet.
I’ll say again that we purposely designed Ulduar to have a great diversity among the bosses. Depending on which bosses you look at, the list of whose dps is too low or too high changes. If Ulduar had 3 additional or 5 fewer bosses, the answer would probably be different.
“It’s tricky though because it is a very demanding spec to play well and if nerf it for the best players, the less-skilled ones might really see their dps plummet.”
It’s been stated on multiple occasions that kitty dps is a very demanding spec to play effectively. It’s best illustrated by this image. When you first look at the flow chart you may laugh and say “lol funneh!” it’s actually pretty accurate in terms of the thought process you need to go through. Couple this with the fact that majority of feral druids out there are primary bear MT/OT’s and offspecced as cat, there are few and far cat only druids out there who can truly push the theoretical limits effectively. While the theoretical maximum dps of a feral druid is quite high, in reality the execution to obtain those type of numbers is extremely hard and not plausible on many of the fights in Ulduar.
If we take a look at the top dps rankings from Wow Meter Online we see that the ratings are generally dominated by pure dps classes. Yes of course you have your ferals and other hybrids up there in some situations but relatively speaking you can see that the breakdown favours pure dps. Some will say “well those meters are your best guilds and best players with full buffs”. Well duh? This game may be casual but if you want to maximize your dps to your theoretical limits, you have to use every buff available to you. Can a player really complain about not being able to outdps another class without maximizing their own?
“I’ll say again that we purposely designed Ulduar to have a great diversity among the bosses. Depending on which bosses you look at, the list of whose dps is too low or too high changes.”
The whole discussion between pure and hybrid dps is ludicrous. The only pure dps classes in this game are: Mages/Warlocks/Hunters/Rogues. Every other class has the ability to spec into a healing, dps and/or tanking spec which qualifies that class as hybrid. That being said, the only classes that have any justification to say their dps should be higher than a feral druid (or hybrid) would be one of those. Does that mean a Mage should be capable of an arbitrary % dps than a feral druid? No, because you can’t compare a mage to a druid. It’s like trying to compare apples to oranges. You just can’t do it. Unlike Naxxramas, there is no true universal dps stress test to determine what class has the best potential dps. There are fights that cater towards casters and fights that cater towards melee. Naturally a feral druid will destroy all casters on a fight like XT, whereas a caster will destroy all melee on a fight like General. The only class that you can effectively compare to a feral druid is a rogue which in essence is the same type of dps class. That being said, a rogue of equivalent gear and equivalent skill will always beat a feral druid regardless of the fight. If a rogue is having issues keeping up with a feral druid then they personally have skill issues that they need to address that.
What about all the utility a feral druid brings vs a rogue?
True, a druid brings a lot of utility such as lotp, innervate and battle rez. If we assume a feral druid and rogue of equivalent gear and skill, what class is better to bring to raid? The answer I think is, it depends on your raid. How strong are your healers? Do you find your raid in need of rezzing bad players who die a lot? How much AOE is needed on the fight? Does your raid already have a FT bear or arms warrior? Does your raid have none of those isues and can sacrifice all that for more dps? The answer to these questions are probably variable again depending on what fight you are doing in Ulduar.
- A good rogue will always out dps a good feral druid of equivalent gear
- You cannot compare feral dps to another classes unless you take into consideration the context of the fight
- What is better for raids? Feral druid or Rogue? Answer? It depends!
- A nerf may be in order but must be done extremely carefully to ensure the spec remains viable for players of all levels
EDIT: Another blue post by Vaneras, thanks for the catch Mitch!
Quote from: Vaneras (Source)
It is true that Cat DPS may be a little too high, but it is important to also highlight that this is not merely a matter of throwing in a nerf here or there. Adjusting Cat DPS is rather complicated because of the fact that it is a demanding spec to play well.
If we are to adjust Cat DPS, we will have to avoid doing it in a way that makes it a simple matter for the more adept players to adjust, but harder for those of less experience. It is not our intent to punish the less skilled players with a massive loss of damage output.