Archive for the 'Kitty Kat' Category

The 4.06 Kitty

It’s 6am and the servers are already down and 4.06 is upon us. No I’m not up this early in anticipation of 4.06 but this is what happens when you have a baby at home, you’re up at all hours of the day and night. Lets take a look at whats coming in 4.06 and how it affects us kitties. Full patch notes can be found here.

 

4.06 Druid Changes

  • Rake damage has been reduced by 10%.
  • Rip damage has been reduced by 10%.
  • Mangle (Cat Form) weapon damage percent (at level 80+) has been increased to 460%, up from 360%.
  • Shred weapon damage percent (at level 80+) has been increased to 450%, up from 350%.

Lets start by discussing the PVE implications, first off the biggest and most important change to hit us in 4.06 is the reduction of overall bleed damage (rip & rake reduced by 10%). This change is primarily fueled by the current strength of feral dots in Arenas which is too strong. To compensate the reduction in damage, we are getting an increase in Mangle and Shred damage. While its hard to say whether the damage will normalize to the same level as it was previously, one thing is for certain is that the strength of the Mastery stat will not be as high as it was previously. Currently our dot damage between Rip/Rake makes up more than 50% of our damage spread, which will undoubtedly decrease with 4.06. The effectiveness of Mastery will now affect less than 50% of our damage which can give rise to to increase valuation of other stats like hit/haste. With current ilv 359 gear, you still will not reach the crit cap so current gear choices should not change. However with heroic (ilv 372) gear that may be a possibility. I haven’t actually looked into it but probably should in the near future. For now, all existing thoughts previously discussed remain valid. For a summary of my gear discussion, you can find it here.

  • Barkskin is no longer dispellable.
  • Entangling Roots now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
  • Hibernate now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
  • Nature’s Grasp now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
  • Skull Bash’s lockout time has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 5.
  • Infected Wounds now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
  • Berserk (instant Mangle proc) now has a new Spell Alert identifier. In addition, Berserk no longer breaks Fear or makes the druid immune to Fear.
  • Shapeshifts: Entering or leaving a shapeshift no longer cancels root effects. It continues to cancel movement slowing effects.
  • Bloodlust, Heroism, Time Warp and Ancient Hysteria can no longer be cast while in Arenas.

The PVP implications are pretty significant for kitties, not only are our dots being reduced, we are also losing our mobility within arena as well. One of the reasons why feral is so effective is our ability to get out of any snare and stick to targets, keeping obscene amounts of pressure with little downtime. With Berserk no longer breaking/immuning fear and the removal of the ability to shift out of snares, I have to question the future ability of feral druids in arena. Granted, you still have instant Cyclones and shortened Roots, you still have the ability to control, just not as strong. I still have yet to put a real focus into arena (just doing my 5 wins a week to cap for now), one thing is for certain it will be more challenging going forward.

  • Mount Up: This guild perk now applies to Flight Form and Swift Flight Form as well.
  • Omen of Clarity can no longer trigger from helpful spells (aka heals), unless the Restoration talent Malfurion’s Gift is chosen.
  • Prowl is no longer broken by enemies using Demoralizing Shout or Demoralizing Roar.
  • Worgen and troll druids now have new art for Swift Flight Form.
  • Blood in the Water: Timing on this effect has been improved so that Ferocious Bite will immediately refresh Rip, rather than be slightly delayed (which gave a chance for the Rip to expire despite being refreshed)
  • Feral Charge: Cat should always turn the druid around to face the back of the target.
  • Glyph of Ferocious Bite now correctly augments the Ferocious Bite tooltip.

Finally some general updates, the two of interest with PVE implications are that Feral Charge will always turn your kitty facing the back of a target. A change which isn’t really necessary but kind of nice, one less thing to worry about. Finally, the FB glyph change. I’m not really sure what this means, does it mean it wasn’t working properly before? What is the intended effect then?

 

4.06 Druid Related Changes

  • The Honor Commodities and Justice Commodities Vendors now sell raw tradeskill materials. These are not intended to be a cost-effective source of these materials, but an option for players with lots of Justice or Honor Points who have already purchased all of the gear that interests them.
  • All PvP 4-piece bonuses have had their flat stat values cut in half. Primary stats are very powerful in Cataclysm, so much so that players were considering using PvP gear in PvE just because of these primary stat bonuses.
  • PvP enchants are properly valued and attached to Honor Quartermasters and Tol Barad/Baradin Hold Quartermasters.
  • Three new bracer enchants are available. They increase Agility by 50, Strength by 50, or Intellect by 50 respectively. Item level 300 or higher required. These new recipes are rare world drops.
  • Meta gems with the Chaotic and Relentless prefixes now have a requirement of 3 red gems.
  • New meta gems have been added: Agile Shadowspirit Diamond (Agility/3% critical damage), Reverberating Shadowspirit Diamond (Strength/3% critical damage), and Burning Shadowspirit Diamond (Intellect/3% critical damage). These new recipes are unbound and can drop from any Cataclysm creature. The new meta gems have a requirement of 3 red gems equipped.
  • Vivid Dream Emerald (new gem) provides resilience/spell penetration and can be purchased for 3 Illustrious Tokens.

From the PVE perspective, thank you Blizzard for finally fixing Meta requirements. It was absurd to try and meet the requirements of existing metas and really the only thing that makes sense is to have a 3 red gem requirement. So its nice to finally see this corrected after at least 3 months? Not really sure why this was changed in the first place. Keep in mind that not only will you looking for a new Meta but also a new bracer enchant (+50 Agility) come 4.06. Remember that regardless of any changes, Agility is still your top stat so the more agility you can get through the new Meta/bracer enchant the better.

From the PVP perspective, we are finally getting PVP related enchants from TB. I assume they will use the TB tokens, which I’m sure will be nominal in cost. Also with the new resil/spell pen gem you can actually reach the spell penetration cap with less excess and less gem slots. The cap in Cataclysm is 195 and currently all that is available is the Enchant Cloak – Greater Spell Peircing (+70) as well as Stormy Ocean Sapphire (+50). So technically at this time if you wish you cap, you can either do Cloak + 3 Gems (70+50+50+50 = 220) or do 4 Gems (50+50+50+50 = 200). With the introduction of the new gem, we can use Cloak + 3 Gems (70+50+50+20 = 190) leaving us just 5 under the cap and saving a gem slot.

4.06 Other Changes

  • All guild banners now reward bonus reputation in addition to honor and experience.
  • Once a guild hits level 23, the daily cap on experience gained is removed.
  • Players can now see the status of Tol Barad on the World Map no matter where they are. The time to the next battle is displayed by zooming into the Tol Barad section of the map. The current controlling faction can be seen on the Eastern Kingdoms map.
  • Daily quest creatures, herbs, minerals, etc. will only spawn when Tol Barad is in the quest phase between battles. There will be 5-minute and 1-minute warnings before the quest phase ends. The quest phase ends 15 minutes before the battle for Tol Barad begins and queuing is made available. At that time any players in the daily micro dungeons will be ported just outside. This does not apply to Tol Barad Peninsula or the daily quests there.

Finally just some minor details, with the adjustment to guild banners to affect reputation these will be useful for boosting rep during grinds (or even for The Insane? yay). The other point I’d like to discuss is the removal of the guild cap once a guild hits lv 23. This kind of makes sense but doesn’t at the same time. By removing the cap, it gives guilds the ability to push the lvling of their guild for the Realm First! Guild Level 25 It is only fair that a guild should be able to dictate their ability to rush if they choose to. However at the same time, now you have a disgusting grind ahead of you to try and hit 25 first. While I understand its only a Feat of Strength I don’t like the fact that larger guilds have a much bigger significant advantage purely based on size and not skill.

 

 

4.06 overall has some needed and warranted changes so I am looking forward to seeing how things will turn out. Expect some simple dummy tests similar to what I did previously to see if there are any significant changes to our gameplay.

Cata Kitty Gear Choices – The Logical Approach

Hello Kitty Fans,

Its been a very pretty long break since my last post and a very long break since my last real contribution to the kitty community so lets get this blog back on the right track! Today, I’d like to talk about gear choices, no I’m not talking about looking at math, theoretical formulas and simulators to determine what gear to use. That is already done by plenty of people who know what they’re doing, and also unfortunately by some who don’t know what they’re doing. Instead (like always) I’d like to try and use a different approach and use logic to identify the best gear choices, a method that hopefully anyone and everyone can understand.

Setting Up The Comparison

First off, we need to identify what we want in terms of desirable stats. I’ve done some work previously using a similar logical approach to determine that Agility and Mastery are our top priorities. Or, in other words in an ideal world, we are looking for Crit/Mastery as secondary stats on our gear. As well, 4PT11 seems to be valuable afterall. I had originally posted that I didn’t like the concept of it or it didn’t seem to make sense but after reading more about how the mechanic works (aka you don’t actually have to apply mangle 6 times a min as long as you keep the stack going) I was wrong. So that being said, that means, we are looking for 4 of 5 T11 pcs and one offset peice that will trump the stats on T11 Lets start bydoing a simple wowhead comparison to identify which items purely based on raw stats (no set bonuses) have the greatest value. For the purpose of this exercise I will make a few assumptions:

  • I will not include any profession items or world drops but I will include trash drops.
  • I will also not include any strength items as this is clearly not intended and I do not promote the stealing of items for other clases (*cough leather on rets/wars wotlk cough*)
  • I will not include Throne of the Four Winds drops as they are extremely random and hard to obtain
  • I will not include PVP items as they are not intended for PVE raiding


Tier 11 vs Offset Choice

Helm: 3 Choices (Stormrider’s Headpiece, Membrane of C’Thun, Tsanga’s Helm)
Hands: 3 Choices (Stormrider’s Grips, Stormbolt Gloves, Double Attack Handguards)
Shoulder: 2 Choices (Stormrider’s Spaulders, Poison Protocol Pauldrons)
Chest: 2 Choices (Stormrider’s Raiment, Sark of the Unwatched)
Pants: 2 Choices (Stormrider’s Legguards, Aberration’s Leggings)

Lets use a very simple method to identify what is valuable. As discussed, Agility (Crit)/Mastery are our most valuable stats so ideally we are looking for Crit/Mastery on all of our gear as secondary stats. The other remaining secondary stats Hit/Haste/Expertise are not as valuable or favorable. However if we had to choose the next most valuable stat, Hit would be next due to its ability to reduce misses. In the Cata world interrupts are extremely important so having more hit for interrupts is always a good thing. So, lets do a simple stat valuation where we can say that ideally we want Crit or Mastery (+1), if we can’t have Crit or Mastery we’ll take Hit (+0.5) and the remaining secondary stats are not favorable (+0). Keep in mind that this sort of comparison is only plausible because the raw stat values are the same on all items just shifted between the diff secondary stats.

Tier 11

Helm: T11 provides Crit/Hit, at least one desirable stat and one semi desirable stat. (+1.5)

Shoulders: T11 provides Crit/Haste, at least one of the two desirable stats. (+1)

Chest: T11 provides Haste/Expertise, both are not desirable stats. (0)

Pants: T11 provides Crit/Mastery, both are desirable stats, we definitely want to use the pants. (+2)

Gloves: T11 provides Hit/Haste, only one semi desirable stat (+.5)

Offset Items

Helm: Membrane of C’thun provides Haste/Expertise, both are not desirable (+0), Tsanga’s Helm provides Crit/Mastery, both are desirable (+2)

Shoulders: Poison Protocol Pauldrons provide Crit/Mastery, both are desirable (+2)

Chest: Sark of the Unwatched provides Crit/Mastery, both are desirable (+2)

Pants: Aberration’s Leggings provide Crit/Haste, of which one one is a desirable stat (+1)

Gloves: Double Attack Handguards provide Expertise/Mastery, of which one is a desirable stat (+1), Stormbolt Gloves provide Crit/Haste, of which one is a desirable stat (+1)

Tier 11 vs Offset

Helm: T11 (+1.5) vs Offset (+2) — Delta (0.5)

Shoulders: T11 (+1) vs Offset (+2) — Delta (1)

Chest: T11 (+0) vs Offset (+2) — Delta (2)

Pants: T11 (+2) vs Offset (+1) — Delta (1)

Gloves: T11 (+0.5) vs Offset (+1) — Delta (0.5)

So, looking at the comparison, the biggest delta is in the chest slot as the T11 chest does not have an desirable stats whereas the offset has both (Crit/Mastery) desirable stats. As well, all other slots (Helm/Shoulders/Pants/Leggings), Tier 11 have at least one desirable stat making the Chest the optimal slot to use an offset piece.
Trinkets Choices

This is probably the most controversial of all the slots. I’m not sure if we can use a logical thought process to determine what items to use since there are so many choices and benefits will differ from boss encounters to boss encounter. I will have to defer this to simulator calculations and personal preference.

Trinket(s): 5 Choices (Fluid Death, Essence of Cyclone, Prestor’s Talisman of Machination, Unsolvable Riddle, Unheeded Warning)

Fluid Death: +321 Hit / Agility Proc
Essence of Cyclone: +321 Agility / Crit Proc
Prestor’s Talisman of Machination: +321 Agility / Haste Proc
Unsolvable Riddle: +321 Mastery / Agility Proc
Unheeded Warning: +321 Agility / White Dmg Proc

Personally, I would prefer to carry Essence of Cyclone with either Fluid Death (for more hit) or Prestor’s Talisman of Machination for maximum Agility. Why Prestor’s over Unheeded? Because white damage makes up less than 20% of our dmg whereas haste affects all of our damage.

Remaining Slot Choices

This is where it gets a lot easier, because of the remaining slots most have almost little to no choice. In other words, Blizzard has simplified the gear selection process by essentially making only one choice available.

Belt: Dispersing Belt
Boots: Storm Rider’s Boots
Relic: Relic of Golganneth
Weapon: Malevolence
Neck: Necklace of Strife
Wrists: Parasitic Bands
Ring(s): Signet of Elder Council, Lightning Conductor Band
Back: 2 Choices (Cloak of Biting Chill, Viewless Wings)

The back is an easy choice as Cloak of Biting Chill provides Crit/Mastery whereas Viewless Wings does not, easy winner.


TLDR Summary

Helm: Stormrider’s Headpeice (T11)
Neck: Necklace of Strife
Shoulders: Stormrider’s Spaulders (T11)
Back: Cloak of Biting Chill
Chest: Sark of the Unwatched
Bracers: Parasitic Bands
Gloves: Stormrider’s Grips (T11)
Belt: Dispersing Belt
Leggings: Stormrider’s Leggings (T11)
Feet: Storm Rider’s Boots
Ring(s): Signet of Elder Council, Lightning Conductor Band
Trinkets(s): Personal Preference/Boss Encounter! (My Choices: Essence of Cyclone with Fluid Death or Prestor’s Talisman of Machination)
Weapon: Malevolence
Relic: Relic of Golganneth

Cata Kitty Reputations

Finally found some time to sit down and write. Today I’d like to talk about faction reputations and how to best utilize them as kitty kats. Reputations are a fantastic quick way to gear up fast in preparation for heroics and raiding. However the rewards that each faction provides are not all equal and there are some that are significantly superior than others so its important to know which reps you work on first. This post naturally will be addressing Alliance but if you’re Horde just swap the appropriate faction.

There are a total of six factions, lets break them down one by one.

  1. Baradin’s Warden Reputation Sources: Dailies & Argaloth
    Vendor: Quartermaster Brazie located in Tol Barad
    Kitty Items of Interest: Unsolvable Riddle (Trinket, ilv 359, Exalted), Spear of Trailing Shadows (Weapon, ilv 346, Revered)

    This is the new Wintergrasp which requires you to have control to maximize your full Tol Barad rep gain. If you don’t have control of Tol Barad you will be limited to dailies in the Peninsula, whereas if you have control you will gain access to Baradin Hold Dailies. The dailies at Baradin Hold change every 3 hours if you retain/gain control so you actually theoretically have the possibility to do up to 24 dailies per day. Above and beyond that there is also the TB boss Argaloth & a TB Win weekly that grants rep as well.

  2. Guardians of Hyjal Reputation Sources: Quests & Tabard
    Vendor: Provisioner Whitecloud located in Mount Hyjal
    Kitty Items of Interest: Acorn of the Daughter Tree (Neck, ilv 246, Revered), Sly Fox Jerkin (Chest, ilv 333, Revered)

    This reputation only provides a 346 neck but a neck can also be obtained through Justice Points. There are no dailies for this faction and your only source of reputation is via the quests in Hyjal followed by the rep grinding through dungeons.

  3. RamkahenReputation Sources: Quests, Tabard & Daily
    Vendor: Blacksmith Abasi located in Uldum
    Kitty Items of Interest: Arcanum of Ramkahen (Head Enchant, Revered), Quicksand Belt (Belt, ilv 346, Revered)

    This rep is important only up to Revered as it will grant the belt as well as the Head Enchant. There is only one daily which grants 250 rep per day so really your only source of reputation is via the quests in Uldum followed by rep grinding through dungeons.

  4. Therazane Reputation Sources: Quests, Tabard & Dailies
    Vendor: D’lom the Collector located in Deepholm
    Kitty Items of Interest: Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal (Shoulder Enchant),  Terrath’s Signet of Balance (Ring, ilv 346, Revered)

    This is the new Son’s of Hodir which grants Shoulder enchants as Exalted. There are many dailies which are rotated per day so that there are 7 available. I believe you start off with less but as your reputation gets higher (friendly -> honored -> revered) you unlock further dailies to boost your rep faster. Rep is also granted from quests and can be supplemented by a rep grinding in dungeons.

  5. Wildhammer ClanReputation Sources: Quests, Tabard & Dailies
    Vendor: Craw McGraw located in Twilight Highlands
    Kitty Items of Interest: Stormbolt Gloves (Gloves, ilv 359, xalted), Swiftflight Leggings (Leggings, ilv 333, Revered)

    This is the first of 2 factions that grant an epic 359 item. There are 5 dailies that are the same everyday. Above and beyond this there are quests that grant rep and you can be supplemented by rep grinding in dungeons.

  6. Earthen RingReputation Sources: Quests & Tabard
    Vendor: Provisioner Arok located in Vashj’ir
    Kitty Items of Interest: Signet of the Elder Council (Ring, ilv 359, Exalted), Softwind Cape (Cloak, ilv 346, Revered)

    This is the second of 2 factions that grant an epic 359 item. There are 5 dailies that are the same everyday. Above and beyond this there are quests that grant rep and you can be supplemented by rep grinding in dungeons.

So, now that we’ve gone over all the different factions, their sources for rep & rewards, what is the best approach? Naturally we want to get exalted with all of the factions (because we’re all achievement whores right?). First and foremost, I like to think of the long run. Yes its very easy to just tunnel one rep and get it to exalted fast but then you’re going to pay for it in the long run because your other reputations will take longer. For example, if you push Therazane to exalted for the shoulder enchants, you miss out on getting rep from other factions while you slowly rep up through the dailies. So this is the route I’ve taken and I would suggest you all consider as well. You may not get the shiney epics as fast as possible but in the long run it saves time.

First, the priorities to me are Therazane, Wildhammer Clan, Earthen Ring, Baradin Warden (to Exalted) and Ramkahen (to Revered). Ramkahen is to revered only for Head Enchant, all others to Exalted for epics & shoulder enchants.

For all these factions, you should make sure that you complete all the quests related to them. The easiest way to do that is to finish all the quests in their related zones. Takes a lot of time but its free rep and there is not daily restriction so it is very worthwhile. Next, you should do the dailies (if applicable everyday to ensure that you maximize your rep gain outside of grinding rep). Finally, pick a rep to focus on (depending on what you feel is most important and start wearing that tabard. Technically the best move would be to do Earthen Ring rep grinding because there are no dailies but I personally choose Wildhammer First.

So to summarize:

  1. Complete all quests in each zone to obtain maximum rep pre daily/rep grinding
  2. Do dailies for respective factions each day to maximum daily rep gain
  3. Pick a reputation to push (ideal would be Wildhammer due to lack of dailies)

I’ll be returning home shortly so expect my posting frequency to increase again soon, until then hope you all enjoy whats left of the holiday season as we enter 2011!

Holiday Update

It’s been 2 weeks since I posted and I apologize for the lack of posting over the past few weeks. Its not something that I do very often and I try very hard to keep the posts coming at a constant pace. That being said, there is a reason for the lack of updates recently and that is because I am actually on vacation with the family and have had limited to non existent internet at times. Unfortunately this is going to have to remain a short post due to time constraints but I just wanted to give everyone an update on whats been going on as well as a taste of what I have in the works coming to a blog near you (in no particular order):

– Realm First! Level 85 Druid
– Worgen or Night Elf, Troll or Tauren, how to make a choice
– Progression path of reputation grinding for kitties
– Feral PVP: The New Frontier

Remember to take time away from the game to spend with family, friends and loved ones as I am sure they have all been neglected over the past few weeks!

ps. Yes I went Worgen, and its awesome!

ALAMO teech a CATTOKISSEM!

Blizzard is in the process of releasing a new community website to coincide with the launch of Cataclysm and with it comes a completely new set of forums. To my surprise today during my perusing on the new forums I realized that Alamo has once again provided us with some new” TEECHS” in the druid forums. If you don’t know who Alamo is, then you my friend have been missing out and need to read this ASAP.

Remember all, it was Alamo that taught us that “CAT DRUID IS 4 FITE”

Written by Alamo (Original Source):

They even maek a new form just for this!!

ALAMO teech abowt the CATTOKISSEM!

HEY GUSY! So ALAMO is just hiburninatin and hafin sum dreem where him is all in sum green thing with floaty bits and elf and stuffs and then him is WAKE UP and heer they got a doragn gonna eat all the world! THIS is sum FANSY STUFF!

A Thing is all carzy now, so maybe alamo gonna rite a thing before hims brekfust, for babee durids and for peeple to understand what a DUIRD DO! So now, while hims all awake and stuffs, ALAMO gonna teech U about this whole stuff!

1) See, Kanye, him dont like a Bush, and Blizzard, they is dont liek a tree! So DURID aint got no more to be a tree. Alamo like a tree, but not when make a leef all over the carpet.

2) They make a new thing, with CAT and KISS! But mostly CAT dont kiss, just jump on a thing and KILL IT ALL DEAD!

4) But Crazed MOON DURID, is ok to make a kiss right on the ECLIPS!

5) But dont only kiss a cat, because u know: CAT IS 4 FITE!

6) So DURID gonna be so storng heer, maybe everbuddy gonna be a durid thees day!

7) We got a bare. Him is not nise bare because him is gonna eat a fase! Bares mostly like the taste of fase!

6) OK now a Bare, him like sum HEVY METAL! BARE GOTTA THRASH. Just liek a thing wares short and high top sneeker and shake long hare reeeely fast! But also, ware sum plug in an ear wen you make this THRASH, becawse it make a thing bleed!

7) Also, all bare make peeple go fast when him RORE!! This is good, because a bare is deseptively fast. A Fast BARE, this is danjerus BARE! Bare don’t even allow in OLIMPIC, becawse wonse upon a time, a bare run a rase in OLIMPIC. Maybe he dosen’t win, but everduddy win after, becawse a BARE EAT ALL OTHER RASE MEN! Don’t rase a hungry bare, is what sumbuddy shuld tell peeple.

8 ) MOON DURID, O yes wow man! Moon Durid hang out with 70’s rock band and now make a MUSH ROOM from a SECRET PLASE! Mushrooms make a thing ECPLOAD! Espeshully a brain, if u listen to a moon durid backwards, u hear some CARZY THING!

9) Everbuddy liek a LOLCAT, make a funny say with a cute picshure! But now, picshure is not so cute, becawse a DURID now haf a TROLLCAT! Troll is make a talk all liek YAH MON. Maybe when trollcat and moondurid make a party together, is nobuddy remember not nothin next day!

10) WOLF MAN can also make a durid. WOLF MAN DURID, O man Alamo dosen’t even haf to wear hims hot topic tee shirt no more! Now got all WOLF and CAT and BARE and MUCHROOM and SEEL and stuff all in same plase!

11) MAYBE I MAEK TOO MANY NUMBER!

More Kitty Play Testing

So through 2 weeks of raiding I’ve been able to put some practice into the 4.01 Kitty Play rotation and am in the process of writing up some thoughts on how its changed since 3.3.5. That post is coming shortly.

In the meantime I just wanted to mention that I’ve changed my Reforge/Gemming scheme once again based on some more test results and I’ve updated my previous 4.01 Kitty Primer posts to reflect this so that it provides up to date information. The scheme I’m using today is:

  1. Gem Hit in any blue slots/prismatic slots.
  2. Reforge your highest secondary stat (that is Crit or Haste) on all items into Mastery
  3. Gem Agility in any red slots, items with double yellow sockets, or if the socket bonus is below 4 Agility
  4. Gem Agility/Haste or Agility/Crit in all remaining yellow slots

I will say that I absolutely hate this template as it completely ignores game mechanics like Hit/Expertise which make for some misses/dodges at interesting times. It’s mostly likely the fact that Mastery’s value is so high at lv 80 and by the time we get to 85 I suspect that this will not be the case for very  long. So I’ll go out on a limb and say this is probably a temporary “best template” until Cata. It tends to throw my ryhthm off quite a bit but, you can’t argue against the #’s.

Maximizing Mastery/Agility while ignoring hit/expertise

Tradeoff of lack of hit/expertise

Edit: Just noticed the 9 mangles, gotta love random other ppl pushing my mangle off and me just putting it back on mindlessly :/

4.01 Kitty Primer – Reforging & Gemming

4.01 has arrived and boy was Tuesday a confusing night.

My original hope was that my 4.01 kitty primer would give fellow kitties enough advance warning to have a better idea of what to expect and also a heads up on what to stock up on for materials. While it served its purpose (it definitely helped me as my reference cheat sheet), it was also lacking and did not answer a lot of outstanding questions. So, I’ve decided to write a followup article that will address what I felt was the most difficult part of 4.01 Kitty Play which is understanding what to reforge and what to gem. One important thing to note is that my analysis is done based on trial and error and has no math involvement. If I wanted to do math I’d go back to school.

For some basic knowledge on reforging/gemming, you can refer back to my original 4.01 Kitty Primer – What You Need to Know post.

*Update 10/21/10: Changed some recommendations to reflect new testing

The Approach

The changes we have seen in 4.01 are actually a lot more significant that people realize. Yes the rotation is still somewhat the same, yes our abilities are still the same. But the way we approach configuring our gear has completely changed and is a lot more complicated than it was in 3.3.5. In the past all you really needed to know is gem to arp cap, hit cap then address expertise if possible. Pretty simple and self explanatory. Today in 4.01 that is completely different. Reforging adds a completely new level of complexity and choice which is fantastic in that you can custom cater your gear as required but it also makes it a lot harder to optimize your gear.

The benefit of reforging is that you no longer are restricted by gem slot colours. You can reforge to any secondary stat that is not on the item. This gives greater flexibility in terms of what items you choose as your “BIS” and also what gems you use and gemming for socket bonuses.

Reforging Approach

First, decide what secondary stat you wish to reforge. Remember the secondary stats you can reforge are Critical Strike Rating, Dodge Rating, Expertise Rating, Haste Rating, Hit Rating, Mastery Rating,  Parry Rating, Spirit. Of these stats, on kitty gear we have Crit/Expertise/Hasted & Hit available for reforging. Naturally we have no interest in reforging Hit or Expertise since we are trying to cap these stats so really our choices are limited to Crit, Haste or Mastery.

So which stat should we reforge and reforge to? At this time, Mastery is the primary reforge stat of choice. Recall that Mastery is currently only available through reforging (will be available from gemming/gear come Cata). In an ideal world I would like to think that reforging would allow for one to add Hit/Expertise to push to the cap but at lv 80 it seems that the value of Mastery is so high its better to just push maximum Mastery. In terms of what secondary stat to reforge, the answer is whichever provides the greater yield of Mastery that is not Hit or Expertise (aka Crit or Haste).


Gemming Approach

Red, Blue and Yellow slots, lets review each one.

Blue slots previously were previously gemmed with 1 Nightmare Tear followed by Arp gems. Recall that this was used to fulfill the requirement of 1 Blue gem in our Meta Gem (Relentless Earthseige Diamond). The Blue gem requirement can now be addressed by +20 Hit which has now been converted to Blue so we no longer have a need for a Nightmare’s Tear.

Red slots previously were gemmed with Armor Penetration gems, our bread and butter. With that now gone we have 2 viable options in Agility and Expertise. Personally I went with Expertise gems to (or close to cap) followed by Agility, more on this later.

Yellow slots previously were somewhat up in the air in terms of what ppl gemmed. +20 haste, +20 hit, +10hit/+10exp hell even +20 arp and ignore socket bonuses if you weren’t at cap. Today, these slots should be filled with +10agil and +10 haste  or +10agil and +10 crit to maximize your Agility as much as possible. The choice of crit or haste depends on how close you are to the Crit Cap.

In regards to slot bonuses, as a general rule of thumb I gemmed for socket bonuses as long as the bonus was greater than +4 agility.

Test Results

Below are a bunch of damage breakdowns that I pulled together over the past few days (pre buff and post buff). Along with different combination’s of reforging/gemming. All tests were performed on the Heroic Training Dummy and for a total of 4 minutes. You will probably notice oddities like extra mangles and rakes but I’m human and I’m still getting used to 4.01 Kitty Play so keep that in mind. Whats more important to look at is the damage breakdowns.

Scenario A (Pre Buff, Reforge Hit/Exp/Haste, Gem Agility(R), Hit (B), Agil/Haste(Y))

This was my original thought pre 4.01 as to how we should be reforging/gemming. Reforge the necessary hit/exp then all remaining available reforging into Haste. Clearly I was mistaken, my crit went into the shitter and it just wasn’t a pretty sight. I quickly learned from this experiment that Haste was not the stat to reforge to.

Pre Buff, Pushing Haste

Scenario B (Pre Buff, Reforge Hit/Exp/Mastery, Gem Agility(R), Hit(B), Agil/Haste(Y))

Next experience was to continue reforging hit/exp but take all remaining available reforging into Mastery. Very quickly and very clearly you can see the clear benefit of pushing Mastery which instantly upped my bleed damage significantly and increased my overall dps significantly. For a comparison point of view, I was rocking base mastery (0 Mastery Rating) in Scenario A and 13.21 Mastery (239 Mastery Rating) in Scenario B.

Pre Buff, Pushing Mastery

Scenario C (Post Buff, Reforge Hit/Exp/Mastery, Gem Agility(R), Hit(B), Agil/Haste(Y))

This is the first test I did on Thursday after the buffs made to the base coefficients. I made no changes to my reforging/gemming and kept it the same for comparison pov. As you can see, the jump in dps is pretty significant. Instantly about 3k from doing essentially the same thing.

Post Buff, Pushing Mastery

Scenario D (Post Buff, Reforge Hit/Mastery, Gem Exp & Agility (R), Hit(B), Agil/Haste(Y))

Finally this is my last test, which was to push Mastery even higher by dropping some Agility and gemming for Expertise instead. Recall that the only way to obtain Mastery right now is through reforging so to take up reforging slots for Expertise is not wise or valuable. So through this I’ve pushed my Mastery up to 17.89 (454 Mastery Rating). While there isn’t a significant increase recall that it’s just a small increase in Mastery so we should only be expecting a small increase.

Post Buff, Pushing Mastery Ver 2

Scenario E (Post Buff, Reforge Mastery, Gem Agil(R), Hit(B), Agil/Haste(Y))

This test was done much later than the other tests and personally I dont like this one at all. Mainly because for this test I essentially ignored game mechanics to boost my Mastery/Agility as high as possible. This yielded a Mastery of 21.11 (601 Mastery Rating) What do I mean by ignoring game mechanics? I mean I didn’t gem for expertise and only gemmed hit in Blue slots meaning I was well below both caps allowing for misses and dodges. I don’t like missing so much as it throws off your rhythm but as you can see from the results below, clearly the output dps is significantly higher.

Post Buff, Max Mastery/Agil + Ignoring Hit/Exp

Tradeoff of lack of hit/expertise on white attacks

Conclusion

So to summarize, as of 10/21/10 this is my approach:

    1. Gem Hit in any blue slots/prismatic slots.
    2. Reforge your highest secondary stat (that is Crit or Haste) on all items into Mastery
    3. Gem Agility in any red slots, items with double yellow sockets, or if the socket bonus is below 4 Agility
    4. Gem Agility/Haste or Agility/Crit in all remaining yellow slots

      As always, these are just my experiments, if you’ve found other results that differ from mine, please feel free to share as we all try and figure out what is the best way to maximize Kitty Play.

      Up next on my 4.01 Kitty Primer? Changes to DPS Mechanics and how to adjust. Stay Tuned!


      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.

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