4.01 Kitty Primer – What You Need To Know

Alright kitty fans here we go.

The big awaited 4.01 is at our doorstep so its time to get ready and be prepared for some big changes. With that being said, lets take a look what we should know going into 4.01 and how we can be better prepared for the big shift come this Tuesday. For the latest patch notes, check out this link and also check out MMO-Champ’s extensive resource list for 4.01 here. Remember, I am not providing step by step guides on what to do, what to gear, what to gem. That’s not my style, instead I am looking to bring awareness to changes and provide insight on how to approach them (same approach I’m taking, since nobody knows all the answers) so that you can make decisions that best suit each individual player’s gameplay/gear/situation.

*Update 10/12/10: Added greater details and thoughts into The Changes/Spec/Reforging/Gem sections & Added new Abilities section
*Update 10/21/10: Updated Gear and changed recommendations for Reforging/Gemming

The Changes

  • New 31 Point Talent Tree
  • Introduction of Reforging
  • New Glyphs
  • New Gems
  • Justice/Honor System

The Gear

I’ll be the first to admit that I do not have a solid grip on what will be considered “BIS” come 4.01. All of our items are essentially changing with the removal of Arp which is summarized by this blue post.

Quote by Eyonix (Source)

If you are a melee DPS class, druid tank, or hunter, expect to see:

  • A lot more Stamina. Bear-form Stamina scaling will be lowered as a result.
  • Strength if you wear plate. Agility if you wear mail or leather.
  • Existing Attack Power becomes Agility and Stamina.Armor Penetration becomes Haste or Crit.
  • No Intellect on melee gear. Hunters won’t need Intellect since they will no longer use mana. Shaman and Retribution paladins will get mana and spell damage in other ways.

With so many items changing its probably a little too early to make those types of decisions and personally I don’t like (or know how) to do the math behind those calculations. Perhaps someone smarter than me might do those calcs for the benefit of all us kitties out there (*cough* Kalon) and if I see something Ill be sure to share. I will say however that with the expansion looming, it is best not to try and invest too much time into replacing an item here or there for a couple of extra pts of dps for 7 or less weeks. All of those efforts will be wasted pretty quickly into Cata so its probably best to just use what you have and go with it.

*Update* Kalon made his BIS post which can be found here.

The Spec

4.01 introduces the new (or return of) the 31 point talent trees, which naturally will require a completely new spec. Blizzard has redesigned these talent trees with the intent to remove the “fluff” and “filler” from the trees so that every talent is meaningful and not just points to put into to get deeper into the tree.

To understand what our new spec will be, first you’ll need to look into the secondary tree (Resto) to see the amount of points required. Specifically, looking at the restoration tree you’ll see we are interested at a maximum of speccing up to Master Shapeshifter. This will require a total of 6 points, which at lv 80 means we will have a total of 30 points remaining. This is a problem since we need 31 points in the Feral tree to spec down to Berserk. So at lv 80 we need to make some adjustments and reduce the # of points spent in the Restoration tree. Instead, we will be speccing only 3 points into Heart of the Wild, leaving 33 points remaining (0/33/3).

Working through the tree there are logical choices in point distribution so I will not discuss the core 31 points to get to Berserk (if you disagree feel free to discuss in comments). Instead with a base spec of 0/31/3 we have 2 points remaining that can be filled into optional talents that are more survival/raid buff based. Your options are:

  1. Infected Wounds (1/2) (Utility)
  2. Nurturing Instinct (1/2) (Survivability)
  3. Survival Instincts (1) (Survivability)
  4. Predatory Strikes (1/2) (Greater DPS)

0/31/3 with 2 additional pts available

At this point, it really depends on your style and what you feel comfortable with. You have 3 options in greater dps, greater utility or greater survivability. Personally I am not a fan of the PVP oriened nature of Predatory Strikes so I am passing on that. I also have no survivability issues so I am dropping my final 2 points into Infected Wounds. (Rarren’s Spec)


One of the neatest additions to 4.01 is the ability to “reforge” your items and convert 40% of secondary stats to any other secondary stat. Secondary stats specifically are Critical Strike Rating, Dodge Rating, Expertise Rating, Haste Rating, Hit Rating, Mastery RatingParry Rating, Spirit.  This is a fantastic as we’re all aware of how limited hit gear is for kitty kats and also with the removal of Primal Precision, a need to obtain expertise as well now.The tricky thing here is that in the past we’ve been accustomed to know that if its a red slot gem X and if its a yellow slot gem Y etc. While this is still true this is an added layer of complexity as now we have an option of reforging items to get stat X or Y and we do not necessarily have to gem for it anymore. Specifically, this now gives us the ability to swap crit into hit/exp without having to gem for hit/exp. This also allows us to gem for socket bonuses as well which is an added bonus.

For a full explanation of how Reforging works, take a look at the wowwiki page (source)

How to Prepare: It’s a little difficult to prepare ahead of time since Reforging is currently not yet available in game. However the general idea come 4.01 will be to do the following:

  1. Reforge your the highest secondary stat available that is not Hit or Expertise (aka Crit or Haste)
  2. If Crit = Haste, reforge Haste over Crit
  3. Reforge all slots into Mastery

The Gems

Forget everything you knew about gemming because as of 4.01 its all changing. Here are the things you need to know:

  • Arp is no longer a stat available in 4.01
  • Some gems are having their colour changed (ex. hit gems are changing from yellow to blue)
  • Gem slots on items are retaining their colours and are not changing
  • Due to the new talent trees, we are losing Primal Precision and will no longer have 10 Expertise
  • The PVP gem vendor will no longer exist come 4.01

So what gems will be using? Here’s a list of potentials:

Delicate Cardinal Ruby (+20 agil) (Red)
Precise Cardinal Ruby (+20 exp) (Red)
Quick King’s Amber (+20 haste) (Yellow)
Rigid Majestic Zircon (+20 hit)  (Blue)

Deadly Ametrine (+10 agil and+10 crit) (Red or Yellow)
Deft Ametrine (+10 agil and +10 haste) (Red or Yellow)

Accurate Dreadstone (+10 exp and +10 hit) (Red or Blue)
Glinting Dreadstone (+10 agil and +10 hit) (Red or Blue)

How to Prepare: If you’re Justice Point capped, might as well spend badges on gems now instead of paying for gems later. Similarly if you’re honour capped, might as well spend honour on gems while you can as that option will be removed come 4.01. Seeing as everyone will essentially be required to regem in someway shape or form, the cost of gems will most likely go up and will cost you a pretty penny. So stock up now while you can. What gems specifically to buy is a very difficult question to answer. It completely depends on what gear you have, what colour slots they have and what/if you are planning to reforge. General rules of thumb to work by are:

  1. Gem Hit into Blue slots
  2. Gem Agility into Red slots
  3. Gem Agil/Haste or Agil/Crit into Yellow slots depending on how your crit/haste levels are

The Glyphs

The glyph system is getting a complete revamp on how it works. Currently we have Major and Minor glyphs however this will change into Prime, Major and Minor glyphs. Essentially Prime = Major and Minor = Minor with Major begin a new category. If you’ve been on the PTR you’ll have noticed you can actually see every glyph that is available but you need to actually acquire the glyph to learn it. Once you’ve acquired it, it will become permanent in a library of glyphs and can be pulled from your inventory at any time. I’ve listed off the glyphs that are of interest to us and depending on how things pan out on live it may change but I’ve highlighted the ones I’m going with. I think the big change really is moving away from Savage Roar and moving to Tiger’s Fury. With the announcement of a 15% damage boost for 6s via Tiger’s Fury (source), having a 15% dmg boost every 27s  seems to outweight a static 5% from Savage Roar which now only affects white damage instead of all damage.

Prime Glyphs (*Gylphs I’m going with)

Major Gylphs (*Glyphs I’m going with)

Minor Glyphs

How to Prepare: Buy up/create all your glyphs now so that come 4.01 you can learn them all and be on your way.

Justice/Honor Points

With 4.01 all badges will be transferred into Justice Points and all sources of honor will be converted into Honor Points. This will simplify all your different sources of badges/honor which can be calulated by MMO-Champ’s calculator (source). Note that there are hard caps for both Justice and Honor points so anything above and beyond 4k will be converted into gold. The conversion rates are different for different types of badges/honor so make sure you take a look at the calculator to see what your return will be.

How to Prepare: This really depends on you and what you value as your priorities. If you aren’t capped, chances are you’ll be letting it ride. If you are capped then it depends what you value more, money or items. For example, if you are capped you could use your excess honor/badges to buy gems or heirlooms. Gem’s you’ll be needing to regem all your characters so that’s a win-win situation. Heirlooms on the other hand are also an option, if youre planning to do any lvling might as well buy them now. However on the other hand if your’e short on gold, perhaps you’d rather just let them all convert into gold.


38 Responses to “4.01 Kitty Primer – What You Need To Know”

  1. 1 Nich October 11, 2010 at 12:38 am

    I am reasonably sure that there is a grace period between 4.01 and 4.03, where the cap for Justice and Honour points will be soft, not hard, for the conversion.

  2. 5 Kal October 11, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Just FYI – there is no honor vendor for gems in 4.0.1. They’re gone. But the cooldown for alchemy transmutes is also gone, so you should be able to recoup that fairly nicely.

    I’d say to reforge everything to hit and expertise, because while you can get a red gem for expertise agility trumps everything so much that it’s worth it just for that. All your gems should have agility on them, and socket bonuses should only be done if you can get agility with them for the most part. Since you can’t get agility from reforging, might as well turn that into hit and expertise.

    • 6 Vallen October 12, 2010 at 10:04 am

      Hey Kal,

      I called honor vendor for gems = pvp vendor so I did cover that.

      You make a good point about reforging expertise on top of hit since Agility will provide AP & Crit which is “double bonus” whereas gemming for Expertise is just one added stat. Ill make some adjustments to my post, thanks as always 🙂

  3. 7 Bear Pelt October 11, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    I…. need a hug T_T
    Last night’s clear of the Lich King will probably be one of the last times I’m doing decent DPS for a while.

  4. 9 nin October 13, 2010 at 4:43 am

    Why take Brutal Impact over certain other utility talents? I see many do, but I don’t really see the alure of that talent. What’s the benefit?

    • 10 Vallen October 13, 2010 at 9:50 am

      Brutal Impact is just as much a utility talent as any of the other ones available.

      Remember that Skull Bash as a 1 min cooldown and is essentially useless like Maim or Bash as a reliable interrupt. 2/2 Brutal Impact reduces the cooldown by 50s putting it at 10s making it viable like a rogue’s kick.

      Beyond the 2 pts in Brutal Impact you still have 2 excess pts (as discussed in my post) which can be dumped into more utility or survivability depending on what you prefer.

  5. 11 Goodmongo October 13, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Looking all over at the various forums it seems the kitty spec is dead for now. DPS is way down. I’ve seen reports of people going into ICC last night and doing half of what they did before in DPS.

    Maybe you have other results but so far I can’t find a single person who is happy with the changes to kitty DPS right now.

    • 12 Vallen October 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm

      Testing tonight in ICC, we’ll see what happens.

      I don’t play kitty because “it does big deeps”, I play it because I enjoy the concept and style of play. I played feral in vanilla before it was ever considered viable. I played it in TBC when it was barely viable and I played it in wotlk which it was very viable. It is really irrelevant to me whether I do 5k or 20k dps. I play it because I love the class.

      Also, think you need to realize that its not “kitty changes” that are causing our damage to be way down. The primary reason of this is the removal of Arp which affects any class that had heavily relied on it like warriors.

      Shit always has an always will hit the fan when pre expansion patches come out. It’s really nothing new.

      One Word: Relax.

      • 13 Goodmongo October 13, 2010 at 3:13 pm

        Vallen, I hear where you are comming from, I really do. But honestly why would a raid leader take a kitty when they can get crazy DPS from other classes. We are down right now. Some say 20% I think closer to 50%.

        But what makes it really bad is warlocks are up around 25%, mages are up even higher. Not to mention shadow priests, hunters, even boomkins.

        I played in BC and kitty spec was viable. I remember doing top 5 DPS in 25 man raids all the time. But as I said right now kitty is dead as far as raiding is concerned. I bet I can put on my 4500 GS boomkin gear and do much better then my 6100 feral GS set. On a target dummy my shadow priest (granted this was ptr at the time) in 4100 GS was doing the same damage as my kitty.

        Here is why I’m concerned. I have almost all of my achievements and all the ‘cool’ things on my druid. I really want to continue this. There are a couple of things in Ulduar and ICC that I still need to accomplish. But I won’t be able to do them as kitty spec. So that means either gearing as boomkin or not doing them. For me right now my druid is being ‘punished’ and not a viable toon till this is fixed.

      • 14 Vallen October 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm

        Like I mentioned previously, these changes affect any class that has a high reliance on Arp. So is a raid leader going to remove all ferals, dks, warriors from raid bc of this change? highly unlikely. Remember this is not just something that affects ferals only, it affects all melee. So really don’t compare against a caster, compare against people who are being affected by the changes in the same way.

        Kitty spec in TBC was barely viable if you consider power shifting and mangle stacking as “working as intended”. If you were doing top 5 dps then either you are amazing or your raid dps was poor. Kitties were never designed to be competitive in TBC. Then again, that’s just my take on TBC feral raiding, you can beg to differ if you choose.

        Finally, your last statement to me tells me you know what you are going to do, you’re just complaining because you dont like it. You want to stay on your druid to finish off what you started in Ulduar/ICC so do it. Who cares if you do 5k or 20k dps. If a raid leader is ready to give you the boot this late into an expac because of a nerf to melee dps then I think you need to find a new guild. Also, not sure if you knew but Ulduar is kinda old content and is easily zergable regardless of what spec/gear you have.

        Again I will reiterate

        Relax, its day two of 4.01.

  6. 15 Apsalar October 13, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    It isn’t just ArP that has nerfed the dps of feral druids – until yesterday my kitty had around 10k attack power unbuffed…now it has 6.5k due to the loss of feral attack power on all gear. My critical strike rating has dropped by nearly 10% because of the reduction of crit gained from agility. Some of my gear seems to have had it’s stats reduced for no apparent reason – a piece that had 122 critical strike rating now has 108. Our tier 10 set bonus has been nerfed and our idol now gives no special ability. Unlike most other classes, we have lost a huge amount of our damage-producing stats without getting anything to replace them. I started playing WoW when WotLK was already out so my kitty has always been uber. I am really upset that it has been nerfed and judging by the way Blizzard nerfed shadow priests and then never fixed them, I hold no great hopes that they will be fixing kitties.

  7. 16 Ilnezhara Eonar October 13, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Yeah, my raid pretty much told me to pick one of my geared toons to make my new main. Since we had an Enh sham quit, that’s what I chose. I enjoy it but it’s not kitty.

  8. 17 Vallen October 13, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler
    1) We think Fury, Arms, Feral cat and Retribution dps is too low and we will be buffing them.

    Relax Folks. 🙂

  9. 18 Oruam October 14, 2010 at 1:20 am

    hoping the buff it’s in white damage. iwent from 14kdps to 6.5 with same rotation of 3.3.5 just a little change at 20% cuz blood in the whater

    • 19 Vallen October 14, 2010 at 9:14 am

      Not to say what dps you should or shouldn’t be at but your rotation changes more than just blood in the water at 25% (not 20%). Hoping to write something up about it in the next few days

  10. 20 Goodmongo October 14, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Vallen, I also read the blue. It says two things to me. First they admit it is a problem and things were way out of wack. Secondly, it also tells me this might take a few weeks to get right but they will be adjusting it before Cata hits.

    You were right and I was wrong to an extent. But in my defense I’ve been saying since July that things were bad and all the time I was told ‘don’t worry about it’. When it hit live with nothing really done, and no blue saying that they would do anything, I because really frustrated.

    Since TBC days I decided to make my druid my one main going forward. I ahd a rogue and warlock but liked druids. So when achievements hit this was the toon I invested the time in. So this nerf became sort of personal to me.

    Finally, yes our raid in TBC had a number of people not number one in their class. But like you I really worked at learning how to play and probably got 99% out of my kitty while the others got by with 80% of their class.

    • 21 Vallen October 14, 2010 at 10:07 am

      I would say there’s a right or wrong, just differences in opinions. There are some (like yourself) that are a lot more proactive in voicing concerns and there are some (like myself) that tend to let things work themselves out.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with having passion for your class as long as it is constructive. Those out there that are saying “if you dont fix my toon I’m deleting and unsubscribing from this game” provide no value and really are just fueling unnecessary drama.

      Now, here’s where I agree with you in that if come cata these problems still exist and it hinders my ability to level then yes I have some beef with Blizz. But until then, I’m giving them a 7 week grace period to rebalance the game.

      • 22 Goodmongo October 15, 2010 at 9:55 am

        I just can’t win for losing. Here they fix the dps for kitty and I’m all ready to get my very last achievement in ICC for the 310 drake. Only to find out the drake is no longer 310. I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry.

        At least i can continue playing my kitty spec and getting to know the rotation again.

  11. 23 Ella October 14, 2010 at 9:59 am

    What is the actual cat crit cap? I cant seem to find it anywhere 😦 any help would be much appreciated!

  12. 26 Trasformi October 14, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    As a player obtains more hit and expertise rating, the cap number increases, but it may never exceed 71%, as there will always be a 24% chance of a glancing blow, and a 5% chance of a crit suppression.


  13. 27 Goodmongo October 15, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Valen, the work from MEW is really saying to forget hit/expertise and go with agility> mastery> haste. Some targtet dummy work also is supporting this. What have you seen or heard?

    • 28 Vallen October 15, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      I just wrote up a new post on reforging/gemming.

      The more and more I tweak, the more and more I’m ignoring reforging for hit/exp and pushing more mastery. So to answer at this time I would value Mastery the highest over anything. Hit/Expertise I still think rae important, perhaps not to cap but a relative amount. Agility you;ll be close to cap with sufficient gear and haste is basically dead last:(

  14. 29 Minotaure October 24, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Hiya Vallen,

    Great site, I’m starting to explore more Feral blogs beyond the usual theorycraft grind. It’s fun to find other Kitties who appreciate our superiority to all the other specs (especially Boomkins, bleh) 🙂

    I just wanted to put in my two cents after reading your posts about gemming/reforging. I went along with Mew’s Relative Stat values when choosing where to put points, and I think it’s turned out well. I hit about 11.5k DPS on the boss dummy, self-buffed, in basically all 264 gear. I gemmed/enchanted for Agility and then reforged straight Mastery, taking points away from either Crit or Haste, depending on their RSVs (Crit is less valuable when you’re over the cap). I have minimal Hit/Exp, and it can be annoying getting a string of misses – especially in the first 15 seconds – but I’ve found that my DPS has improved, likely for these reasons:

    – Bleeds can’t miss once applied, and they count for over 50% of our damage now
    – We can safely clip the last tick of Bleeds, which means that we have a few spare GCDs to keep our Bleeds applied, if we miss the first try
    – Cat DPS is complex, but we don’t use every GCD; few Cats spam Shred to 5 CPs and immediately use a finisher – we have room in our rotation for misses without losing DPS (besides maybe the Energy lost from misses)
    – The lengthened Bleed and SR timers have given us even more breathing room

    I’m pretty curious to see how our damage percents and RSVs change when we level to 85.


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I’m Retired!

As of 04/04/2011, I have officially retired from WOW. This blog will remain as a archived resource for those who know that CAT DRUID IS 4 FITE!

About Me

A blog for the ramblings and thoughts of Vallen, a full time raiding cat druid from Auchindoun-US with a passion for raiding & achievements. An avid wow player since 2004.

For any questions or concerns contact me via comments or e-mail

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