Miss Kitty is at a New Domain!

•August 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

You may continue following me at craftymisskitty.com and updates to this page will be discontinued.

FBN quick update

•July 24, 2009 • 5 Comments

A small continuation of my Feral by Night review: I realized that my review lacked some screenshots to show what’s included with the addon. I made a few screenshots, then, with everything shown, including all the customizable menu options. It’s important to note that all the displays there can, in fact, be hidden. Also note that I’m using Event Alert, not the included Omen of Clarify proc display. You can also see these add-ons: Bartender4, Autobar, Fubar, Xperl, Quartz, Recount, and EventHorizon. FeralbyNight includes all the semi-transparent displays, including the health and target health box, stat calculation box, cooldown monitor, and trinket internal cooldowns. To name a few. The bar with counters is FeralbyNight’s answer to tracking timers. The square with timelines is EventHorizon’s answer. And the third display tracking timers, is Quartz, though I’m using that for other abilities, particularly other group members, and not primarily for druid DPS timers.

Patch Changes. Feral Nerf, AGAIN?

•July 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I like discussing class changes. It’s just as important to understand the current standings of a class, as it is to know the future plans for it.

Currently on the test realm, we have:

~Enrage: This Bear Form ability now generates 20 rage initially, and 10 rage over the next 10 seconds. The armor penalty is unchanged.
~Swipe (Cat): Percent of weapon damage done reduced from 260% to 250%.
~Mangle: Ranks 4 and 5 base points reduced by about 11%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
~Rake: Ranks 6 and 7 base points on initial and periodic damage reduced by about 7%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
~Rip: Ranks 8 and 9 base points and points per combo point reduced by about 6%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
~Shred: Ranks 8 and 9 base points reduced by about 10%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
King of the Jungle: This talent now reduces the mana cost of Bear Form, Cat Form, and Dire Bear Form by 20/40/60%.
~Primal Tenacity: This talent no longer reduces the mana cost of Bear Form, Cat Form, and Dire Bear

Just in case you’ve been a hole and haven’t heard, feral is getting nerfed again. Bears and Cats, while enjoying the sleek new looks, will also be doing less DPS and taking more hits. The DPS nerf, looked at one way the nerf is a flat amount of damage per special attack. All the primary DPS talents are being reduced in base damage: Mangle, Rake, Shred, and Rip. Mangle by 11%, Shred by 10%, Rake by 7%, and Rip by 6%. Clearly the emphasis can already be seen on the direct damage, as opposed to bleed damage, though both are being reduced. Swipe is also being reduced from 260% weapon damage, down to 250% weapon damage. My word! That’s a lot to cover. First though, let me give you some things to be happy for. One, because this is a base reduction to damage, calculated before applying Attack Power bonuses, it’s a lot less than it sounds. The better your gear, the less you will notice this. Secondly, because of the changes to Emblems, most of us soon will be in the category of having enough pure stats not to notice. Finally, only the last 2 ranks are affected by this, meaning that most levelling druids won’t be affected.

But there is some slightly bad news, at least if you are stacking armor penetration. See here’s why, if Shred damage is being reduced by 10% that is a base reduction of 96.525 per shred. That doesn’t mean it’s a straight 96 damage reduction, however, that would only be the case if the enemy had 0 armor. The amount of damage reduction the boss has before any armor penetration (but after faerie fire) would be roughly 29%, and with BiS Ulduar gear this will become roughly 16%. This means that a druid with the armor pen soft cap will lose about 13 points of damage more each Shred than a druid with no armor pen. OK, so not much of a loss. 68 damage per Shred, or 81 if you have 566 Armor Pen. Give or take a couple, since my numbers were rounded due to laziness. It’s going to be a few hundred DPS. We’re not worried about it. I did the numbers here just as a demonstration to see for myself how much it might affect armor penetration scaling. The answer was as I expected, the difference was negligible. A lot more of my damage is coming from Attack Power than from the base damage. In Perspective, my Shreds average 4053 each when they don’t crit, reduced by 81 it will still be pretty powerful.

Now that I’ve bored everyone with some numbers. Bottom line: don’t worry about your DPS. If it’s good, it will stay pretty good. If it’s bad, it will be worse but excellent gear will be just around the corner, so to speak.

Next up, feral tanking: I’m not going to dole out numbers on this, mostly because I’m lazy, but also because I have the legitimate excuse that, even though I am a tank, this is not primarily a tanking blog. Suffice to say that I am unhappy with the changes. I feel like bears are being forced into being mana sponges with their sub-par damage reduction and avoidance, and forced to go with their only tanking advantage: HP stacking. I don’t know what to say to that. It’s not and never has been my preferred style of tanking. I’m beginning to feel, in very nearly every practical encounter, less effective than my counterparts. That’s why, though people are largely agreeing that this reduction is smallish, “only” ~5% dodge.. I am bitter over getting yet another nerf. Druid tanks aren’t far from their counterparts, however they are enough less viable in encounters for prejudices against them to stick. I feel it.. and I think this was the last thing we need. Proof positive that I chose wisely in focusing on DPS when I came out of TBC, even though during TBC I was frequently tanking and enjoyed it immensely.

FeralByNight, a user review

•July 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So maybe you’ve been playing your druid for while, and been overwhelmed like many by the amount of timers to keep track of. Perhaps you’ve even experimented with addons that help watch these for you. You might have heard of an addon called Feralbynight and maybe you’re wondering if being suggested moves is a good way to go. It could be that you’ve heard it’s pretty good, but you’re still unsure about relying on code to make decisions for you. And rightly so, as you may guess sometimes there are situations that an addon can’t predict. Not so fast! Just because it can’t tell you everything, doesn’t mean it won’t be useful for you. And after hearing what other people have to say about these types of addons, it got me to thinking about what FeralByNight does, and doesn’t do, for me. I had a genuine realization that, the best part isn’t even that the addon makes the DPS cycle simple. The truth is, I have less to distract me. I’ve heard people argue that, with practice, you can keep make decisions for yourself that will increase DPS depending on circumstances the add-on isn’t aware of. And I won’t argue that there are times I might use a move suggested to me, then realize I shouldn’t have. This happens rarely enough that I don’t really worry about the DPS difference, quite honestly the reminders to use Tiger’s Fury and Berserk help me more than I could be hindered, as does reminders to refresh Rake. I also react more quickly with the add-on to reapply everything than I otherwise would. I view it as an overall DPS increase. But even this isn’t the most important thing to me. What makes the biggest difference, in my personal experience, is the sheer time I’m not spending watching timers go off and the focus I’m not using on fancy timer addons. I can shift my focus away from an otherwise complicated DPS cycle, and back to the fight mechanics. Ever died in a void zone because you were looking somewhere else? That’s what I’m talking about here. My reaction time to circumstances in the raid that require my attention is so much greater for using FeralByNight. So long as the DPS is similar to what it would be if I were engrossed in my timers, I view it as an excellent tool for raids, most especially those with elaborate raid mechanics. When I’m the bomb, I move immediately. I have time, I daresay, to notice the healers are struggling and throw out an innervate, or to barkskin/pot/heal. I just plain notice more as I am DPSing, enabling me to react better to every circumstance.

I also notice what FeralByNight misses, though I see fight specific modules in the works and I can only approve. FBN, first of all, often suggests Tiger’s Fury and Berserk. I rarely follow the Berserk suggestions because timing is so important on most bosses. On XT I wait for the heart to lay into it. And even if FBN started heeding this, if your raid is weak on heals, it’s better to use Berserk before the first heart phase. FBN can’t decide everything for you. I can tell it certainly tries to! What it can decide for you is when to Ferocious Bite, when to refresh DoTs and SR. My own experiments have found these suggestions to be very reliable, and an increase in DPS even if you know the rotations pretty well. Incorrect suggestions are frustrating, granted. And sometimes, FBN fails to suggest anything for a few seconds, listing no move or current move even with enough energy for one, meaning players must be able to react and decide on their own what to use. It doesn’t remove the need for the player to use their own judgement on things, and that’s an important distinction. Making the cycle easier, in no way removes the need for every feral to understand what their cycle is.

FeralByNight also comes with many optional and often unnecessary displays. It has a far too large OoC proc display. I watch this proc with EventAlert, so I have this disabled. Luckily, if desired, the options allow you to remove and resize everything. A good thing too, because right now these extras are not all that attractively displayed. Nightcrowler seems to have the start of some good ideas with many of the displays, but lacking in appearance and intuitiveness. I had to read the options menu to discover what quite a few did, at all.

Despite a couple of down sides, I believe the net worth is there, and is enough for any feral to give this Addon a serious try.

Bear form

•July 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Continuing my screenshots display, here’s a compilation of bearform screenies off the PTR. These are the all new models. As you’ll see, the old gaping jaw has been replaced by a toothy grin. It’s an improvement and I think quite funny. The variety of styles is disappointing here. I managed to get a comparison shot of the NE and Tauren white bear forms, they’re standing next to eachother. One thing you won’t notice easily is the size difference. The Tauren bear form is much bigger than NE! I also felt it was more attractive, not just for white but for every other type, too. Personally, I believe the NE cat model wins but the horde bear model hands down beat out the alliance one. So, without further ado, I give you the new bear form:

New Models – PTR screenshots

•July 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I decided to visit the PTR and check the goodies a few days back. Finally got some screenshots assembled! I’m including all the cat varieties for now, check back soon for some bear wonderfulness. My feelings are very mixed right now about the changes. I want the models very much, and the cat, well.. it looks great really. Yet I can’t help but want to ask for more. I know I know.. it’s been years coming to get this much. Well, I’m sorry folks. But honestly the different models don’t nearly look unique enough. It’s almost as much as well, just adding a better model but only having the 1 option. And don’t get me started on bear form.. ugh. But that’s a topic for another day. Anyways enjoy the screenshots.

PTR models

Still Casual

•June 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

You’re not going to believe this, but.. I’m casual.

I play WoW and I play often. I raid seriously and I take my performance seriously. If I’m not doing the very best I can, using the gear I have, including making good gear choices, I’m disappointed in myself. But I’m not hard-core. Wait.. what?

Look, I enjoy playing, a lot, and if I am in a team I want to give them my best show. It’s IMPORTANT that I do all that I can. I expect others to do their best and to try. If they don’t have time to learn their class, and/or get the gear, I expect them to do the raid a favor and sit out.

So why am I casual? It is because, I am here socially. My availability does not affect who I play with, and I don’t want to have guildies leave because they went to school, switched jobs, got married, moved somewhere, or whatever else. I advance as I am able, and even if I’m behind on my server, I enjoy being at the top in my guild and helping others along. It’s not about the gear I have, the gear is good enough for 25 man Ulduar. It’s not about the time I spent, more than I even like to admit. It’s the attitude, and the type of atmosphere I look for. I don’t want to be put down for making mistakes, even stupid things like standing in the fire. Heck, sometimes you’ll get a lag spike, sometimes you’ll just plain become distracted. Hard-core raiding is less forgiving, and less flexible with schedules or life changes, or ‘well my buddy wants to join the guild so we can play together’ type of issues that arise. I see it as a sacrifice both ways and in no way do I mean to devalue hard core raiding. They sacrifice something in the process of seeking the most finely tuned team for progression. We sacrifice something in the process of seeking an inclusive and relaxed environment where we can hang out with all our friends – high or low. Everyone plays for a reason, but I play to be social and I don’t enjoy the idea of changing the group I play with every time my availability shifts.

I think this epitomizes the type of guild I joined. I joined a guild who’s goal is to meet with friends and like-minded individuals regardless of circumstances, including which game they play. You read that right, they’ve stayed together not only despite serious real world changes, but also cross-platform. I’m not always going to know the people in the other game, but the point is, I’ll always be in a casual atmosphere that recruits in a manner emphasises attitude instead of skill and time. I love having a mature group to play with and, if another MMO comes along, I’ll hopefully be able to meet up with old friends as well as new. I feel pretty blessed that there is such a coalition so well suited to my own playstyle, and happy that I will be accepted no matter how my situation may change. So what can I say? Thank you, Asher.

 
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