Well, so much for my idea of doing a post a week. I’m trying not to be unhappy about that, but it’s difficult.
A lot has happened lately. The new semester began at work, invasions happened (yay–4 new 100’s! Hell, I even dinged my bank toon) and Legion dropped. Hedwig and I hit 110 together, and we’ve been working our way through world quests and dungeons with our new guild (more on that later). Throughout leveling I poured all of my artifact points into my Claws, so that I could tank for guild groups, but now that I’m hitting more dungeons alone and my Claws take around 10k points to bump, I’ve started investing more points into the Fangs.
I must say, I like the new spell structures. Check out the before and after screenshots:
Look at my bars, how clean and Zen things got! Of course, a new widescreen monitor and 950 video card didn’t hurt either.
The thing that I miss most, though, is losing Mark of the Wild. That was such an iconic spell, which had been with me though every expansion. I loved being out in the world and buffing lowbies, an elegant gesture for a more civilized age on Azeroth. RIP, lil’ purple paw.
I said I was going to look at Feral talents, and I like to think I’m a bear of my word, so here we go. Again, this is just my opinion from playing with the talents on my own. I’ve not really done a ton of research into them, nor charted my artifact path as carefully as I probably should have.
Predator definitely looks good for maximizing uptime while out doing world quests alone, but I usually solo things in bear spec; they don’t take that much longer to die, and what I lose in speed I make up for in being able to round up 4 mobs at a time. Lunar Inspiration might be a better choice once I get more haste and energy isn’t as much of an issue, but I don’t need yet another DoT to keep track of, and at 30 energy, it’s a pricey one to boot. I’ve taken Blood Scent, as bleeds are really the cornerstone of the spec; in fact, I think of cats as physical damage warlocks, who Rake, Rip, and Thrash up their prey then stun or kite the mob until it falls apart. Also, it’s hard to say no to a set-and-forget talent that gives me a 10% crit bump just for using any of my most important spells, right?
Renewal looks pretty nice for soloing, but I’m still going Wild Charge for the mobility.
My earlier assumption about Feral Affinity making me able to do okay on DPS in bear spec was not accurate. It really is a very poor substitute for full-on kitteh. However, I’ve had to suddenly tank in the regulars we’ve been doing, so I think Guardian Affinity will be a good and permanent choice, even if I no longer have to pop out into humanoid form for Rebirth. I just can’t resist tanking. I suppose the reflexes are too ingrained.
Mighty Bash all the way. I can single out a caster mob, pop Rake for the stun, crank up to 5 combo points, then Maim, Skull Bash when that expires, and if it’s still alive (which with AOE damage is often unlikely), Mighty Bash. Poor bastard may never get a cast off.
Now this is an interesting choice. At first glance it seems like Savage Roar would be the best one, but its uptime has been seriously nerfed, so it’s not as attractive of a choice. And I hate juggling buffs and debuffs. I know that some folks get off on a rotation perfectly executed, on renewing Rip just as it’s about to fall off, but I don’t see cat that way. It’s not about precision strikes; leave that to the rogues. Cat should be all about “Sneaky kitty…sneaky kitty…sneeaaaaky kiiiitteeeeh–RAWR RAKE SHRED THRASH CHEW CRUSH BONE MAKE FLESH INTO CONFETTI HA YOU’RE DEAD ROLL AROUND IN THE BLOOD LIKE CATNIP THEN PROWL…sneaky kitty…sneaky kitty.” Finesse shouldn’t enter into the equation. I’ve gone with Incarnation, which along with Bloodtalons and my post-Warlords stock of Draenic Agility Potions is a great way to quickly ramp up damage in a boss fight.
Jagged Wounds looks good for the burst damage, but I’ve gone with Sabertooth, and it’s really streamlined my rotation. Once I get Rip up, then I can just Ferocious Bite my way to the loot, occasionally refreshing Rake and Thrash while jumping out of the bad puddle on the ground like a–well, like a me on a hot tin roof.
Bloodtalons used to be the thing, but I have to say Brutal Slash is SOOOOO much fun on trash, or it was right before the gear reset. I could pop it and boom, I’d hit 90k on the meters. This was fun, especially because cats have had historically bad AOE damage. However, I recently moved back to Bloodtalons, so I’m usually bottom of the trash DPS, but I can make up for it on the boss fight, where I’m usually at or near the top of the meter thanks the potions and previous talents. The trick to utilizing Bloodtalons to its fullest is to make the most of Healing Touch proc, and make sure you have enough energy pooled to get off a couple of Shreds or a Shred/Ferocious Bite duo right after. I’ve put
Healing Touch Regrowth on a hot key on my game pad, and I use this macro
/cast [nomod,@focus,help,exists][nomod,@target,help,exists][nomod,@player] Regrowth
/cast [@party1,mod:ctrl] Regrowth
to help me put it where it can do the most good. The first thing I do when I land in the dungeon is make the tank my focus, since extra healing on the tank is rarely misplaced.
Now that I think about it, I’m going to experiment with putting on the healer instead. Clothies seem to be taking a lot more AOE damage this expansion, and if my wife doesn’t have to heal herself, she can worry about me more. See, that’s being a considerate husband ☺️
If there isn’t a focus set, the macro will put the Regrowth on me, which isn’t a bad thing when soloing, but kitty is a great chance to show off the support class aspect of druids, so I really like to use the heal on my group whenever possible. Why contribute in only one way when I can do more, right?
That’s all for now. Keep your claws sharp!