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On “Rotations” and Priorities

October 4, 2011

While this blog has sat silent for many, many months, I have still been continuing my Cataclysmic adventures in World of Warcraft. I have been raiding (very successfully!) with my guild <The Darkside> on Khadgar-US, and I am still able to consistently put out DPS that rivals many other classes in my guild. As we don’t have any other Druid Kitties in the guild (although we do have some wonderful Druid Bears) people often ask me how I do what I do, and why. I have finally decided after many years to put together a post including my “rotation”,  how it optimizes my DPS, and what each move does in the most simplistic terms.

I’m going to break it down into a few different parts: The Opener, The Combo Point Builders, and The Finishing Moves.

The Opener

Everyone knows that a pickup linecan really affect the impact you leave on someone. If it is cheesy, you won’t do well. (No one ever really falls for those, “Hey! Are your legs tired because you were running through my dreams all night!” crappola). You don’t want to obsess over it so much you can’t think about anything else, but you do want to put some thought into what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. Your opening move as a Druid Kitty should be no different! Don’t just run in there and blurt out whatever first comes to mind. Let’s stop and think about it, and figure out the best way to head into the situation.

My preference is to FERAL CHARGE, if at all possible, to the boss. This will let us stand back, observe the situation, and like a lioness hunting in the wild, we can see the absolute best instant to strike, leaping in and landing safely behind the boss to start our smack down. This gives the Tank ample time to head in, pick up the boss, and properly position him while we remain at a safe distance, but the swiftness of our Feral Charge means that we won’t be the last to get to the DPSin’. When you’re ready, head on in there.

An extra bonus of being able to Feral Charge in to the boss, is that with the 2/2 Talent STAMPEDE you will be granted a free (as in no energy needed) non-stealthed RAVAGE. Ravage does a nice bunch of damage and is a great way to start off the fight.

Some bosses do not let you use a feral charge to get to them. If this is the case, then prowl on over to the boss, Ravage, and continue as below. If you can’t prowl for some reason or feral charge, you can always skip right to the action as described below.

The Combo Point Builders

These three different attack moves are going to take up the bulk of your time and attention: RAKE, SHRED, and MANGLE. You are already very familiar with these three by now I’m sure. Using each with grant you one, or, when you crit, two combo points thanks to the talent PRIMAL FURY. A brief review of each of these three will help us understand which order to use them in, how often, and why.

RAKE - DoT that does bleed damage over 15 seconds.
SHRED – burst damage and counts as bleed damage.
MANGLE – burst damage that increases bleed damage over 1 minute.

Since both Rake and Shred basically count as bleed damage, and Mangle increases bleed damage, it is common sense to use Mangle first. Mangle lasts for 1 minute, so you want to use it at least once every minute. Next, I use Rake, as it does damage over time it makes sense to get it ticking as soon as possible. Rake lasts for 15 seconds, and does a fair amount of damage, so you want to keep this up at all times. This leaves Shred. Shred does burst damage and a lot of it. Once Mangle and Rake are taken care of, you are going to use Shred to build up your combo points.

Sometimes you can’t get yourself properly positioned behind the boss to use your Shred ability. In this case, I use Mangle to build my combo points and hope I can get some butt kicking shredding (literally) in soon.

The Finishing Moves

Now that you know how to get combo points in the proper order, it is time to spend them. But like any purchase, you have a few options and have to weigh which you would like to get when.

RIP - DoT that does a lot of damage over time. Lasts 16 seconds no matter how many combo points used, but each added combo point increases the amount of damage done.
SAVAGE ROAR – Increases damage done. Each combo point extends the amount of time it lasts for. 3 CPs = 32 seconds. 4 CPs = 37 seconds. 5 CPs = 42 seconds.
FEROCIOUS BITE -Burst damage, where each additional combo point means more damage done. If the boss is under 25%, thanks to BLOOD IN THE WATER, not only will it do burst damage, but it will also refresh your Rip.
MAIM – This will stun a target temporarily, but since this takes combo points it is less useful than SKULL BASH. You will only use this finishing move on very select few fights (like on Ragnaros’s add phases), or in PvP.

Rip is going to be your priority here. It does the majority of your DPS. As it lasts for (at least) 16 seconds (Glyph of Shred will net you an extra 2 seconds, to a maximum total of 6 seconds each time) you want to always be watching this debuff on your target. It is not the end of the world if it drops off, and in certain fights it certainly will, but this is your priority to keep up. Once you safely have Rip up, you can spend your next combo points on Savage Roar. Using a full 5 combo points will grant you the longest amount of time with Savage Roar up, but if you are still getting the hang of playing Druid Kitty, you can safely go with anywhere from 3 to 5 combo points. You should be able to get back around to refreshing Savage Roar once again within 32 seconds. Ferocious Bite will not come into play unless a few other conditions are met: you have just Berserked and have extra energy to burn, someone has just used Heroism/Blood Lust and you have increased speed, OR the boss is below 25% health. To review, your priority is Rip, followed by Savage Roar, and then Ferocious Bite in some instances, ignoring Maim unless necessary for stunning.

The “Rotation”

Now that we understand (hopefully) the priorities, it is time to put the whole shebang together into something resembling a rotation. Ask anyone who has been a Druid Kitty long enough, and we all will laugh at the notion of a simple rotation. This is no A B B A A B B A; there is no rinse and repeat to playing Feral DPS. While this is what I recommend you do, this is based on a best case scenario, built off of my spec and my experiences (and a little number crunching and research). If you are a beginner, this is what you can strive for, but even an expert would be lucky to be in a fight where they can continuously just follow this “rotation” while DPSing. You need to stay on your paws and judge your situation wisely. Not every boss fight works the same way, and you will definitely have to improvise at some point along your way. The more you play, the stronger your skills (and claws!) will become.

Opener: FERAL CHARGE, then RAVAGE

Step 1: MANGLE, then RAKE, then SHRED. if you have 5 Combo Points RIP, if you don’t then SHRED until 5 Combo Points then RIP.

Step 2: RAKE if needed, MANGLE if needed, and SHRED to 5 Combo Points (3 or 4 CPs may be acceptable dependant on fight) then SAVAGE ROAR.

Step 3: RAKE if needed, MANGLE if needed, and SHRED to 5 Combo Points then RIP.

Alternate steps 2 and 3 until the boss is AT OR BELOW 25%, then:

Step 4: RAKE if needed, MANGLE if needed, and SHRED to 5 Combo Points then FEROCIOUS BITE (which also refreshes RIP).

Alternate steps 2 and 4 until the boss is DEAD!

Extra Extra!

You have more than just these few moves, young Kitty, and you will want to use them.

Feral Faerie Fire – Is a nice little debuff that lasts for 5 minutes. I throw this in somewhere in the beginning of the fight, usually before my first RIP.

Berserk – as stated above, makes you have ample energy by reducing the cost of all your moves – think of it as a half off sale with a very limited time frame! You want to time this with any burn phase needed and/or with your raid’s popping of Heroism/Blood Lust and/or with using a potion. I usually pop Berserk at the very top of the fight since I often have more than 3 minutes until any of the aforementioned situations occurs. This also will make any meter watchers OOOH and AAAH at your DPS for the time being.

Tiger’s Fury – You don’t need to be a technicolor troll to take advantage of this one, and you will be taking advantage of it every 30 seconds. It lasts for 6 seconds, and increases physical damage done. With the talent Primal Madness 2/2 it will also temporarily increase your current and maximum energy by 20, and more importantly with the talent King of the Jungle 3/3 it will restore 60 energy. So you ideally want to use this at below 60 energy, and then again in 30 seconds when you have less than 60 energy again. I don’t look for the exact amount of energy I have when I use it, I just use it when I am low-ish.

Trinkets – depending on what you have, you will want to figure out best when to work using these. I often overlap their use with that of Heroism and a potion and Berserking just so I can go totally crazy for a few seconds there.

Survival Instincts and Barkskin – You should NOT have to rely on these during any fight. You should hopefully have superb healers and should also know your position and have the raid awareness to keep yourself alive. But on some fights, such as Baleroc, where you are purposefully or unavoidably taking more damage than normal, you will want to use these to help mitigate the damage you take. These are also helpful on any progression fight, or really any fight, so long as you don’t have to rely on them for success. These are not an excuse for standing in fire.

Swipe – Ah, my beloved. When people ask how to Druid Kitty, I often just joke that I Swipe, Swipe, Swipe, and repeat. Swipe is still one of my favorite additions to the game, having remembered a time before its existence and written a great deal on it in the past. During raids, it is really only for AoEing down trash or adds. You don’t really get to use it much on bosses, which is awfully fair if you think about it: otherwise, we would be #1 for ever.

Well, I hope this little guide has helped you! If I have missed something, or you have other input, please leave me a comment below.

Thanks again, and as always, happy raiding! <3

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Happy Winter’s Veil!

December 24, 2010

(click for full view)

I hope everyone is enjoying their Holiday season!

 

I’m still about in Azeroth, and recently reached level 85 on my druid on Khadgar(US). I haven’t done many instances yet, and no heroics, and certainly no raiding, but I’m really enjoying all the new content; the zones, the quests, and of course, the new races! I played a Worgen, druid of course, through the starting zone and a bit further and am really enjoying their story line. When I get more time, I will delve into that character a bit more.

Me, personally, I have just finished up my first semester back at college in too many years to name, and working two part time jobs. That right there should sum up the reason I haven’t done too much to revive this blog – but I am still here and I am still playing! I hope to have new content up soon – but I’m not sure how much I will get done before school starts back up in less than a month!

 

I hope everyone has a super awesome Winter’s Veil and that Great Father Winter brings you all that epic loot that you wished for! And, remember, my old Winter’s Veil guides are still up here if you need help with all your achievements! They may be a tad bit outdated, but hopefully still good!

 

May Elune light your path!

-Katharya!

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Somewhere, In Teldrassil…

November 20, 2010

Sometimes retirement is good and well. But sometimes, something more important calls. When I felt that first earthquake, I knew it was time. Azeroth needs me. Who knows what adventures the Catacylsm will hold, or who we will meet along the way.

 

Stay tuned…

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It’s coming…

October 17, 2010

 

I hope I’m not the only NE Druid shedding a tear over Auberdine!

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Hanging up my helm.

March 24, 2010

I guess this will come as no shock to many of you, especially as I haven’t had a real post in many months, and some of you know I quit playing WoW earlier this year: I am officially hanging up my helm with DruidKitty.

The site has meant a lot to me, and still will, as will all my readers, commenters, and fans. I have not lost interest in blogging, but have no real interest in WoW any longer. It’s a great game, and there certainly is still a lot more interesting content coming out, and I in no way hate the game. It is simply that the game has loosened its grip on me that it held so tight for so many years.

Whether you want to call it an addiction or an escape from reality or both, World of Warcraft and I had a really good run. I played actively on my main, Kathoid-turned-Katharya, for well over three solid years. I loved the game, and still do love the storyline, especially that of the Night Elf Druids, and will probably have some interest when Cataclysm and future expansions come out, but I don’t see myself ever getting so deeply involved in the game ever again.

I started playing the game with someone who is now my ex; he was someone who I was in a relationship with for five years. Things were bad. We had bought a home together and so were of course living together. It was a small house. I’ve always loved gaming. I’ve always been a gamer. And I liked WoW. So I started using WoW as an escape; as a way to avoid having to deal with my then current living situation, and having to deal with talking to him about anything on any level. I came home from work, I put the headset on, and I played until I was tired enough to fall asleep.

WoW wasn’t my entire life, but it sure as hell was a huge chunk of it. I had a job, I paid bills, I showered, I ate. I had friends. I spent time away from my computer. But every night I was playing, and most nights I was raiding. Sure, I had to deal with drama in game, but it was so much easier to deal with than it was to deal with all my real life drama.

The more time I spent with WoW, the stronger my “friendships” grew with people I knew from the game, WoW tweeps on twitter, and of course, my guildies. I have spent time with several guilds, but none was so tight a group and so great friends as who I found with <Concedo Nulli>. (Or so I thought.) Putting a guild together is seriously hard work, especially when you jump ship to a new server. Especially when you only have a few people to cobble together the makings of a guild with. I was fine with this. I like making things; blogs, art, guilds, doesn’t matter. I like to create. So I started spending lots of time working with our guild leader: coming up with a name, ranks, a website, recruiting, etc etc. And little by little I realized something was happening. Something that felt great. Something that felt special.

This guild leader and I had A LOT in common. We were in similar situations with where we were living: we both were unhappy, relatively “stuck” where we were, and using WoW as an escape to not deal with getting ourselves out of said situation. We would spend nights staying up late talking on vent. And on AIM. Then it led to phone calls. And then it led to Skype. We talked less and less about the guild, and more and more about our situations, and us. And then it led somewhere I could not have ever predicted I would let it go.

We met. And I stupidly fell in love.

Love is not something I ever call stupid. But damn, I was stupid.

We were both so damn gaga that we didn’t do as good a job as we should have with keeping this budding “us” from the rest of the guild. We mixed business and pleasure. I really do not want to rehash any details or relive any of those confusing feelings, so I refuse to get into details. But you could say it did NOT work out. It tore me up, which ended up with me being torn from the guild.

I transferred realms a few times, and ultimately ended up back in <Concedo Nulli> after the guild leader left, but it was never the same. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. I couldn’t turn back the hands of time, I couldn’t undo what I had done wrong, and I don’t honestly know if I would.

For better or worse, it was a wake up call that there are more important things to life than this game. I realized I am so much more than a purple-haired avatar who sometimes take a feline form. I am so much more than someones summer WoW fling. I can do so much more than just slay beasts in game. I realized I could love again, something I was sure I couldn’t do, and I realized that, even though things weren’t meant to be in this situation, that someone could love me, too.I realized life could go on.

So I packed up my things and moved from living in the house I bought with my ex and moved right back into my parents house I had left some five years earlier. And I started over. I got a new job, got a new apartment, and got a new love. I still played WoW a bit, but it really was more out of feeling an obligation to my guildmates than actually wanting to play. So eventually, I let my account run out, and I stopped playing altogether.

Now, on the cusp of another big move – this time from my small apartment I got on my own, to a bigger one where my new love, my fiancé, and I can share and make a home together – I am finally saying goodbye for good to WoW. I’ve learned so much from this game. I can honestly say it made me a better, braver, stronger, more confident person. And writing this blog has certainly made me a better writer, or so I say.

I am in no way done blogging. Once I get my new non-WoW related blog up and running (it’ll be a mix of geekystuff, food, art, photos, crafts, eco-friendly goodness, library nerd stuff, and of course, GAMING!) I will update here again with a link.

For now, so long. Good luck in WoW. Good luck in love.

May Elune light your path. <3

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Why Kitties Are Better Than Bears

January 30, 2010

I probably don’t need to tell you this, but Kittehs are way more OP than bears:

I can has cheezburger?

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Site Updates and Kills

January 20, 2010

As you can see, I did a bit of work on the site – most notably the new banner on the top of the site. I figured it was about time for a new one, what with our lovely kitty forms having 4 toes and all now. (If you’ve forgotten, this is what the old banner looked like.) I also added to and tweaked the content that you see to the right of the site; one of the new additions being that you can subscribe to the site and receive an email update when I write a new post here on Druid Kitty. I’m also working on updating my blogroll – if you have a WoW blog/site/comic/etc, whether it be Druid or not, let me know and I will link to you. All I ask is a link back to my site here. :)

So that is what I’ve been up to, sitewise. How about my in-game happenings? I’ve really been enjoying the LFG tool, and have been working my way towards the Perky Pug (as of right now, I’m 57/100). I’ve also gotten to see a bit of the new ICC raid content. The screenshot above was taken right after my super awesome guild <Concedo Nulli> got their first kill of Marrowgar in ICC25. I’m not raiding on a consistent basis right now, but I have been lucky enough to get in on some 25s and a few 10s with my guild.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. I know this isn’t much of a post, but I swear I’m working on stuff for you! Check back soon to see, or of course, you can just subscribe to the site now with the button on the right!

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