Theorycrafting Part 1 : Ferals and the Restoration Tree

Alright folks listen up! Wrath of the Lich King is just around the corner, and it was announced by Bilzzard that they will be releasing patch 3.0 in the ‘coming weeks’. I’ve finally decided that it’s probably about time I took a long hard look at the new talents offered and try to build accordingly. Links will be added to this mini ‘table of contents’ as the posts are made.

Part 1 : Ferals and the Restoration Tree

Part 2 : Feral Skills Tier 1-3

Part 3 : Feral Skills Tier 4-6

Part 4 : Feral Skills Tier 7-11

Part 5 : Skill Options Breakdown

Wrath Kitty DPS Leveling Build 1.0

Wrath Kitty DPS Leveling Build 1.1

Wrath Kitty DPS Leveling Build 1.2

I’m going to go ahead and break down every skill in each tier and talk a little about why I’m either choosing or not choosing to take it. Keep in mind that I’m attempting to build this as my DPS spec. Blizzard has stated that they want ferals to have to choose to either dps or tank through their spec, and this is something I’ve seen to be true in trying to build a spec from scratch.

First I’ll start with the restoration tree: (I’ll only comment here on the skills I did choose to take)

Furor: Rank 5/5

Gives you 100% chance to gain 10 Rage when you shapeshift into Bear and Dire Bear Form or 40 Energy when you shapeshift into Cat Form.

This skill, all 5 ranks of it is not only necessary to gain access to the goodies farther down in the resto tree, but it is absolutely essential to being able to Powershift. Powershifting is the act of shifting out of then back into cat or bear form when energy/rage is at 0 in order to gain the ‘free’ 40 energy/10 rage that furor gives you. I don’t reccomend doing this as a bear, leave the druid stance dance to the kitties k?

Naturalist: Rank 5/5

Reduces the cast time of your Healing Touch spell by 0.5 sec and increases the damage you deal with physical attacks in all forms by 10%.

First glance at this you might thing ‘huh?’ but notice the last part. ‘Increases the damage you deal with physical attacks in all forms by 10%’. This scales as 2% – 4% – 6% – 8% – 10%. This is my first sticking point I’m not alltogether sure about. I don’t need all 5 points to be eligible for the next tier and if I sacrifice some points in this skill I can put them elsewhere. (I’ll go more in depth about my different options in another post.)

Natural Shapeshifter: Rank 3/3

Reduces the mana cost of all shapeshifting by 30%.

At first blush this is a skill I’m tempted to write off. It’s something that is very handy to have in PvP when you’re changing forms almost constantly, but during the regular course of PvE I don’t find myself running out of mana much, even with copious use of Powershifting. Investing 3 points in this talent, however, is necessary to unlock Master Shapeshifter. (More on that in a moment)

Omen of Clarity: Rank 1/1

Each of the Druid’s spells and autoattacks has a chance of causing the caster to enter a Clearcasting state.  The Clearcasting state reduces the Mana, Rage or Energy cost of your next damage, healing spell or offensive ability by 100%.

As of right now this skill is the whole point of a feral going this deep into the Restoration tree. Free attacks = good. However, with the next skill I intend to take I’m beginning to re-think OOCs necessity. Like I said before, I’ll hunker down and get to the nitty gritty in a following post. Suffice to say, this is one I’m wavering on. A note: As of BC this skill needs to be cast. It was said that in WotLK it will be passive. I don’t see anything about it being passive on the tooltip but I’m assuming it will say something about that when it shows up in our spellbooks.

Master Shapeshifter: Rank 2/2

Grants an effect which lasts while the Druid is within the respective shapeshift form.

Bear form – Increases physical damage by 4%.

Cat form – Increases critical strike chance by 4%

Moonkin form – Increases spell damage by 4%.

Tree of Life form – Increases healing by 4%.

This talent scales from 2% on all effects. I am very seriously pondering dropping Omen of Clarity to be able to afford two points into this talent instead of 1. The increased critical strike percentage for kitties is invaluable. There’s a fine line that cats have to tread between attack power and crit chance in order to maximise DPS. (I’m very sorry, but I saw a nice graph on AP vs Crit Chance on Elitest Jerks once but I can’t for the life of me seem to find it.)

That’s it for the Restoration tree as far as ferals are concerned (both Kitties and Bears). Tomorrow I’ll post the first third of the feral tree. As I’ll be touching on every skill there weather or not I choose to invest points on it I’ll be splitting the feral tree up into 3 separate posts. Post 2 will be to the 3rd tier, post 3 will be tiers 4 through 6, and post 4 will be tiers 7 through 11. That leaves post 5 for going in-depth about the skills I’m unsure about.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Feel free to post in the comments section or e-mail me (info on my about page) If you see I’ve stated something wrong or have some constructive criticism please supply pertinent links or the theorycraft behind what you have to say yourself. I’m a very novice theorycrafter and I don’t pretend to know everything.

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  • Comments (5)
    • Faerun
    • August 28th, 2008

    It would probably help if you told us what this spec was for. Is it kitty PVE dps? PVP spec? Kitty/OT spec?

    If you ever want to tank you’re going to want Survival of the Fittest. Not only does it increase all your stats by 6% it’s probably the ONLY way in WotLK to become uncrittable since we so far there isn’t any +defense on leather.

    Infected Wounds is probably required for PVP, but I don’t think you’ll need it (at least not 3 points) if you’re going to be doing PVE, might want to trade one point into King of the Jungle to help kitty dps.

    Also, Rend & Tear is not that great of a talent, especially considering you don’t take Feral Aggression. Tossk is saying that the most likely dps rotation is going to be mangle 2 SR, 5 Rip (the numbers being how many combo points you try to get shredding). Although with the new energy ticking policy (energy regens in caster form) there has been some talk about mangle 5 FB 5 Rip, but they’re (EJ) not sure if you can sustain that much energy regen. But I think then you’d also want Feral Aggression along with Rend & Tear.

    You can find Tossk’s kitty dps calculator at the bottom of http://druid.wikispaces.com/ToskksDPSGearMethod

    Another thing to think about is on the beta forums we’ve been hearing about a kitty/bear split in the talents that may require an overhaul of the trees. So they also may change drastically soon. Or they may just add a few points at the higher levels of the tree to pick between kitty and bear.

    • Tigerfeet
    • August 28th, 2008

    Thank you so much for the suggestions Faerun! I’m planning for this build to be primarily dps/leveling with some PvP spice thrown in. I haven’t exactly decided what I want to do at end-game yet though I know it’ll be a toss-up between bear tanking and kitty dps. Most likely when I get that far I’ll have two common specs and gear.

  1. Nice post. Really well formatted and easy to read. I should pay more attention to those sorts of things.

    On Omen of Clarity – in a 3 minute fight, right now, it procs about 4-5 times. That’s 4 or 5 extra shreds or mangles (hopefully shreds). Assuming just 4 extra shreds, you’re talking somewhere in the neighborhood of 12000 damage, which is a DPS boost by itself of about 3-4% depending. And it scales with the length of a fight. Considering that Natural Shapeshifter does nothing for cat dps now that powershifting is nerfed, Master Shapeshifter is pretty expensive. I would still recommend maxing it if you have the points to spare, but OOC’s one point blows master shapeshifter’s 5 points out of the water.

    And keep in mind that they’re going to increase the proc rate of Omen of Clarity significantly as well. 🙂

    • Tigerfeet
    • August 28th, 2008

    Kal – oh-ho-ho! I did NOT know that! I really do need to get off my butt and look into a guide about how to get the most out of WWS parses. *hrmmmm*

    This is why I never really try to theorycraft xD What I’m attempting to do here is make a skill plan for myself, and hopefully putting my reasons for taking what into ‘plain english’ to help out other ferals.

    For my tanking I just grabbed a cookie cutter build and I feel kinda like I’m cheating. I’m looking forward to putting the extra effort into deciding what to do come Wrath.

  2. Everyone should try to theorycraft. Gotta start somewhere, and it’s way better to try new things and be wrong than to just grab whatever some random dork on the internet says is great and go nuts with it. Even if you end up going to a cookie cutter design, at least you’ll understand why.

    Making a talent/skill plan is a good idea, and I applaud it. Keep it up!

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