*patch patch patch patch*

August 4, 2009

So apparently it’s 3.2 day. My deepery will be getting nerfed by a bit, and I DON’T CARE. Because it’s new Tauren cat form day, and that is possibly The Most Important Thing in WoW.

…look. I’ve been playing a feral druid since I played at ALL, starting about five months after the game rolled out. I thought Tauren cat form was awful then, and nothing has happened in the intervening four years except that I kinda got used to seeing it. It helps that you rarely see that topheavy asthmatic-monkey face from the front but…yeah. I keep expecting to faceplant mid-Feral Charge, dragged down by the weight of those gargantuan horns. And I’m an RP nerd, so it helps that Rashona’s model in my head has always been a Savannah Huntress with discreet little horns, but nothing will compare with getting that underpolyed abomination of a cat form off my screen. Rawr.


Accidental Efficiency

July 16, 2009

Following the advice of the nice-as-long-as-your-question-is-suitably-esoteric guys at Elitist Jerks, I’ve started stacking Armor Penetration on my gear. Tonight’s my first chance to see how well it works in a 25-man, but it seemed to function nicely in our 10 last night. When I had time to pay attention, in the midst of assorted mad scrambles for survival.

Because as it happens, the running joke in my raid is “it’s not a facepull, it’s accidental efficiency!”

Our ten-man took it to a new level last night, when we…um, kind of accidentally killed XT on Hard Mode.

It WAS an accident. Totally not my fault, and never mind the ferocious bite or the shredding or the berserk or the…um, anyway, I blame the mage. Because we’d been off for a couple of weeks, and as the health on the Deconstructor’s Heart dropped to 10K, this little voice in the back of my head started going “Wasn’t there something I was supposed to remember about this?”. And then at 5K this little voice on Vent (OK, it was our resto druid, and his voice is a perfectly reasonable level) started going “Um, GUYS…?”, and then the Heart went *splat!*, the raid leader started calling instructions, and I turned to my husband and announced, “We’re all gonna die.”

Cue kitty dropping every cooldown on the bar every time it came up. Berserk happened. Adds happened. “We’re all gonna DIE.”

Bombs happened. “We are ALL gonna die.”

Tantrums happened, and happened. “We’re all gonna- shit, he died.”

So, accidental hard-mode XT, one-shotted, without a single death on our part. Damn, I love my raid sometimes.

..we followed it up with an unintended triple trash pull going up to visit Hodir. Om nom Berserk/Swipe, is all I have to say. (Mostly because what I *actually* said would probably burn out my monitor screen if I posted it.)

Basic cat DPS, or “Hey! The MT told me you had catnip!”

June 12, 2009

So I have an awesome druid friend who’s relearning the Way of the Kitteh, and rather than /whisperspamming “Oh, and I forgot about THIS part!” in the middle of a boss fight, I figured I’d just write it out.  I’m concentrating on raiding DPS at the moment, since 1) that’s largely what I’ve been DOING on Rashona lately and 2) raiding DPS reflexes will serve perfectly well for solo grinding.  (Y’know what?  If you’re solo grinding, leave the cat gear on, go bear, and beat the tar out of six or seven mobs at once.  It’s efficient and oddly therapeutic.)

The first thing, which I STILL sulk about, is that to maximize your DPS, you  have to streamline your talent tree for kitty, kitty, kitty.  I love the Swiss Army Knife nature of druids and am not happy about having to further specialize within a talent tree, but none of the hybrid-feral specs I tried out worked with my hyper-competitive perfectionist streak left me capable of what I know I can do.  So currently, for cat-spec I’m running 0/55/16, with Furor, Naturalist, Omen of Clarity and the Natural/Master Shapeshifter talents in Resto.

So: actual raiding deeps.

The most obnoxious thing in an instance, as far as I’m concerned, is the AoE pack.  Spiders in Naxxramas, XT’s buddies in Ulduar, and I tremble to think what they’ll be in Icecrown.  Geists, probably, because geists squick the hell out of me and Blizzard clearly knows this.

Anyway.  AoE packs are evil and nasty because they’re…well, boring.  Swipe, swipe, pop Tiger’s Fury to fill your bar back up, swipe, swipe, and then wait for your energy to regenerate while praying for a Clearcast to break the boredom.  It feels horrendously inefficient.  It is horrendously inefficient, but you’re still going to be dishing out more hurt than you would if you stood back and Hurricaned with your no-spellpower-havin’ feral self.  (If you want to get fancy, on scattered pulls like the Razorscale dwarves, you can build up a couple of combo points on something while the tanks are manuevering your targets into position, then pop a Savage Roar before going to town with the swipe.  30 percent more damage is FUN.)  If there’s time before a boss pull, by all means drop Berserk and REALLY dig in, as long as you have an AoE tank you trust.

Then there’s multi-mob trash – two-to-five pulls that are tougher than the little AoE packs.  My rule of thumb with those is to swipe if there’s three or more, and whittle down the smaller pulls the same way you would in an instance.  For maximum efficiency (or padding the DPS meters, take your pick), I will usually use Ferocious Bite as a finisher if the mob’s at 35% health or less, just because it’s not likely to last long enough for me to build up another round of combo points.  That’s not a hard-and-fast number at all, just what I’m used to; my experience running with the Anvil is that 35 percent is when the mob just starts to dissolve.  And there are few things I hate more than standing there with a dead mob with four combo points on its icon.  Shedding on it just doesn’t give you that same feeling of satisfaction, somehow.

Then, there’s bosses, AKA “sharpen your claws and settle in for the long haul”.  Once you strip away all the bells and whistles and gimmicks of each particular boss, it’s pretty simple: 1.  Keep Savage Roar up on yourself at all times. 2. Keep Rip up on whatever face you are currently nomming.  If you have enough combo points sitting around between 1 and 2 expiring, drop a Ferocious Bite here and there.  (A word about Ferocious Bite: I like it.  I really, really like it.  There’s just something about seeing a big yellow 15000 float up above me that fills my soul with glee.  BUT on a long fight, it’s fairly inefficient.  I generally only use it on three or four points at the most, and only if I’ve got ten+ seconds on one of my Big Two and 20+ on the other.  You can imagine how often this happens.  The PITA factor involved in calculating all this is enough for some people to drop it altogether.)  Unless there’s a special damage phase (like XT’s Heart), launch Berserk as soon as the tank has a solid grip on aggro, because 20 seconds of Berserk is more fun than anything except possibly Bestial Wrath on a hunter.  (Speaking of which, to the hunter who kept stalking Rashona around Eastern Plaguelands so he could tame her and teach her Bestial Wrath: Neener.)

Little things: Tiger’s Fury needs to be hit early and often.  If it’s up and I have less than 40 energy, I will hit it and go shredding on my merry way.  And Rake has been proving itself surprisingly useful with the addition of the Primal Gore talent; that plus Rend and Tear make it a good choice for beating down (relatively) low-health mobs.

So, um, rawr.

June 5, 2009

Moo.  I mean, meow.

So yeah, I succumbed.  Because the WoW blogosphere really needs another feral druid blog, amirite?

And because occasionally I too feel the need to be opinionated as all hell about issues of vital importance such as the new druid forms (1. Yay!!!;  2.  Still yay, but WTF is with the nosering?  I kill things WITH MY FACE, I do not want a nosering getting in the way of this; 3. /target pink nelfkitty, /point, /laugh), the gathering coolness that is swift flight form (see node, get node, instacast and gone,) and my ongoing obsession with sneaking a Ferocious Bite in between the Rip/Savage Roar alternation (I can’t help it.  Seeing a big yellow 14000 flash up in my face makes me happy.  It’s good for morale or something).

(Also, I like parenthetical statements.)

The name is from way, way back in vanilla WoW when my husband der Panzercow and I would go kill stuff, either duoing our way through Silithus or raiding with the Anvil.  I got good at delivering damage but bad at managing aggro, and developed this wonderful Pavlovian tic where, when I heard “SWEETIE!” in a certain tone of voice, I would just hit Cower.  It still works.  “SWEETIE…” *Rashona presses the 8 key, remembers that it’s now Maim, and swears*  Somewhere along the line, I got tagged with “Aggrokitty”.

I have way too many alts, which I may or may not get into, but my main is Rashona, a Tauren druid on Feathermoon.  She’s been feral since day one, back when feral druids were useless for anything but solo grinding.  I enjoy druid healing, but a combination of RP and my own personal preferences mean that she’s spent a grand total of three hours (out of four years’ playtime) as resto. (When dual-specs were announced, I got lots of teasing about my plans to spec Rashona feral/feral.  In point of fact, I did.)  And I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise after four years, but all of a sudden people are asking me about how to play kitties.  So I figured I’d blog about it and see what happens.