Hellfire Citadel Part 1

I thought I’d get on the ball nice and early and post the first part to Hellfire Citadel. There is a dedicated Raid Strategies forum over at the Fluid Druid where you can share your experiences and see what other Feral’s are doing. I recommend that you have a look.

Hellfire Assault
Not a great first encounter for Feral’s given it’s an AOE fight with lots of short lived adds. What I’ve found is best is to tab Rake and Thrash, but mainly focus on the mobs with the larger health pools such as the Hulking Berserkers. You don’t want to be wasting energy on Shred’s. Using Swipe may yield some extra combo points so I use it when I see Savage Roar coming close to an end, usually around 10-15 secs to ensure I get to 5 combo points. It would be really interesting to hear what other Feral’s do on this encounter given how poor it is for us.

Iron Reaver
A much better encounter after Hellfire Assault. This boss gives you a lot of time to focus on single target dps. During the air phase, use your speed boosts to get around to as many Volatile Firebomb’s as possible and Rake them. A few things I need to work on are moving out of the way of Blitz and avoiding the Fuel Streaks. I play with my graphic settings pretty low so I have to turn them up to be able to see the Fuel Streaks more clearly, like in the Nibbleh Brawlers Guild encounter.

Comparing graphical settings

This screen shot is from the Brawlers Guild, but you can clearly see the difference changing the graphical settings makes. Adjusting your projected textures and particle density may make it easier to see the fuel on the ground.

Kormrok
Another great single target encounter, with a little bit of AOE thrown in. This fight I feel is very similar to the Kormog encounter, in execution and in name. Roll your defensive’s during Pound. When the tanks get stunned by Explosive Burst, use Stampeding Roar to help the raid move away. Make sure that you have it glyphed. Thrash and Swipe when the hands spawn. Remember to switch from the boss to your own hand so that your melee attacks are hitting it. A few times I’ve forgotten to switch and my hand hasn’t gone down as quick as others. If you end up getting positioned slightly away don’t panic because you will be surprised how far Swipe can reach.

The globules that spawn during the encounter are 100% avoidable. In fact there is actually an achievement to not get hit by any. Using Ask Mr. Robot’s combat logs I am able to see how much the raid and myself takes. This week I achieved my first goal not to get hit by any globules and got the achievement. As a raider, I encourage everyone to make this one of their goals as well.

Being a good raider is not just about dps, it’s about survival (how much dps does a dead raider do? ZERO!), it’s about situational awareness, and it’s about doing what needs to be do for the success of the team. Reducing the amount of damage you take reduces the toll on the healers concentration and mana. Ask. Mr. Robot gives you a reliable way to track this and compare your performance week to week. Check it out.

Screen shot of the Ask Mr. Robot combat infographic showing avoidable damage for the globules. If you don't get hit you get the achievement.

Screen shot of the Ask Mr. Robot combat infographic showing avoidable damage for the globules. If you don’t get hit you get the achievement.

High Council
I FEEL THE NEED, THE NEED, FOR CLEAVE!
Get your bleeds rolling both on Gurtogg Bloodboil and Blademaster Jubei’thos. If you happen to have two sets of gear, you will want to focus on crit/mastery for bleeds over the normal crit/multi stat priority for single target dps. Run out if targeted with Reap and drop it as far away are you can. If you get targeted with Fixate, make sure to roll Rejuv’s on yourself and use Survival Instincts as necessary. Each raid probably handles it differently. We started out kiting the boss, but after some attempts we assigned a healer to the targeted player and a designated spot to run do.

During Blademaster Jubei’thos’ Windwalk phase roll some Rejuvs and focus mainly on getting as many Rake’s up as you can. This goes doubly so if you geared for mastery. Trying to Shred will leave you energy starved and reduce your dps. I had a hard time seeing the Wailing Horror‘s and actually died on some attempts. Don’t be afraid to run out and use Survival Instincts. Depending on which order you take the bosses down in, you may be affected by Tainted Blood, so paying close attention to your HP is really important.

Kilrogg Deadeye
Your role may vary on this fight depending if you are selected to enter the Visions of Death or stay out.

If you stay out it’s straight up single target dps. You will more than likely be on interrupt duty for the Hulking Terror’s Rending Howl. Good chance to cleave both the boss and the add. Similar to Brackenspore you can use a Focus interrupt macro or just stay on the add until your turn interrupting is done. Typing “/focus” will bring up your focus frame. You can make a macro that is simply “/focus” too.

#showtooltip
/cast [@focus,exists] Skull Bash; Skull Bash

If you have to go into the Visions of Death, your number one goal is survival. There were times were I could spend the entire during in  Cat Form, but to ensure I got my 20 stacks, I would often switch to Bear Form. Going Bear allows you to spam Thrash and use rage on Frenzied Regeneration. Roll Rejuvs on your group and use Survival Instincts as necessary. Using Typhoon, Ursol’s Vortex + abilities from other classes, you may be able to keep the adds contained to an area to leave yourself more room to move around. Might be worth trying with your group.

A few notes on the Visions of Death

  • If you are selected to go to into the Visions of Death, ask to be placed in the second group. When you come up with your damage buff it will line up with Berserk and Incarnation coming off cooldown from being used at the start.
  • I was experienced what I think was a bug, where I would “die” inside the vision and get teleported out. Sometimes I would be “dead” on the ground but then be rezed by the encounter and not have enough mana to shapeshift. I think this is similar to what Holy Priests were experiencing with Spirit of Redemption.

Gorefiend
This fight is similar to Kilrogg. If you get sucked into Gorefiend’s stomach, dps the trapped souls down. Throw some heals on the healing adds with Rejuv’s and your Predatory Swiftness procs. The trapped souls can be stunned and knocked back. I’ve found Mighty Bash and Typhoon useful. I even used Maim on one that was about to enter the centre. If you get teleported in at the start when Incarnation is up, you can use Rake to stun the Trapped Souls.

On the outside you will be interrupting the Bellowing Shout on the tank add. There is an option in DBM to turn on specific alerts for interrupts if you are on duty. This is also true for Kilrogg. Be sure to have a look at it. If you get targeted with Touch of Doom, run out of the raid. You can use glyphed Stampeding Roar to help raid members with Shared Fate. Use Dash to get away from Gorebound Constructs when the focus you. These adds speed up the longer they are on you so holding off on using Dash for a few seconds might keep you alive a bit longer.

DBM

Settings in DBM for individual boss mechanics. Special warning for interrupting Bellowing Shout is circled.

Stay tuned for the next part in the Hellfire Citadel series. Coming Soon (TM).

What are your thoughts on Hellfire Citadel so far? Any fights that you think are good or bad for Feral? Are you required to interrupt or do you get to tunnel? Let me know what your thoughts are. You can leave a comment on the post, send me an email at fileunderferal@gmail.com, send me a tweet @Elamari_ or leave a comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.

~Elamari

Patch 6.2 Feral Druid Changes

Patch 6.2 arrive tomorrow and with it comes the new raid Hellfire Citadel. Feral’s are also receiving a small single target buff, much like most other patches. Patch notes can be found here, an (old) Shifting Perspectives right up is at Blizzard Watch, and the PTR discussion at the Fluid Druid is still going.

Single Target Buffs
Again we are receiving some single target buffs.This is to keep us competitive in the single target / two target cleave niche. However I think this highlights our poor scaling. We saw similar sized buffs in Patch 6.1 and in mid-cycle patches in past expansions. Savage Roar has something to do with it I’m betting. They can’t really buff it more than what it’s currently at so we see buffs in other areas.

  • Rake now deals 10% more damage.
  • Rip now deals 10% more damage.

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Cat Nap #11 – Final Boss Feral Druids in Warlords

Final Boss are doing another episode on Feral Druids. This time Stenhaldi is back along with Pawkets. I’ve come up with a few questions which I’ve sent in, but I’m not sure if they’ll make it on the show. We’ll have to watch and see. They steam their show live at http://www.twitch.tv/FinalBossTV. The show starts at 6am Australian Time or 4pm EST (American time). If you miss the show live you can see it on the Final Boss YouTube Channel or via podcast.
Main Show
After Show
1. What can be done to address Feral’s weak AOE damage? Does the buff to Thrash help at all?

2. Does the buff to Thrash make it worth using in the single target rotation?

3. Has Feral’s bad AOE affected the specs representation in mythic content? I see a lot of hyperbolic comments of people being “forced” to play a different class or switch to boomkin or being sat entirely. Do these claims have any merit?

4. Is Savage Roar set too high at 40%? How does this affect the spec with regards to:

  • How punishing is it for new players and does it make the skill cap too high? Or is that the design intent of the spec? Seems counter intuitive with the Glyph of Savagery.
  • Scaling – We get incremental buffs each patch, could something else be done?
5. Any thoughts on reworking Druid Talents?
  • We have two CC tiers with little impact on game play, some options have extremely rare niche uses.
  • More diversity of the level 90 talents, with Dream of Cenarius being the only real option.
6. Thoughts on Claws of Shivallah? Has it been successful? Does it get much use by PVPers or new players? It’s told to be avoided in all PVE guides. Should it be reworked or removed?
7. Haste historically has been a bad stat for Ferals. Any ideas on how to address this moving forward?

 

Hope you are feeling refreshed after our Cat Nap.

~Elamari

The Fast & the Fur-ious – Guest blog by Cantor, Challenge Modes as Feral in Warlords

So young kitten, you’re interested in the most challenging 5-man content that Warlords of Draenor has to offer? Well, you’ve come to the right place; I’m Cantor, guild leader of Omen on Emerald Dream EU, Mythic raider and 10 year veteran of World of Warcraft, and I’m here to guide you toward your dreams of those shiny, shiny Gold timed medals. I managed to take Cantor, my Feral Druid, through 9/9 Mists of Pandaria Challenge Modes in late 2013, and 8/8 Warlords Challenge Modes in April 2015.

What should I know?

  • Challenge Modes are intense, difficult, timed dungeons that reward a little gear, but mostly bragging rights.
  • Gear is scaled down to item level 630 (heroic dungeon blues). Gem sockets, tertiary stats and set bonuses don’t work in here, and the best way to gear up is just to chain-run heroics until you find pieces with the stat combo that you want; for Feral, this is crit and mastery. Crafting 3 pieces of WoD gear and using the re-roll items until you get the correct item suffix (Of The Peerless) is also a good way to do things.
  • The dungeons are basically the same as in Heroic, but either with mechanics added or the damage ramped up to insane levels.
  • Feral is one of the weakest DPS specs thanks to our abysmal AoE damage; Shadow Priests and Balance Druids also suffer, and Guardian Druids are one of the weaker tanks thanks to their total lack of utility abilities like Anti-Magic Zone, Army of the Dead, Heroic Leap, Roll, Breath of Fire and more; if you want an easy time, go Resto, as they are the strongest healers by a country mile thanks to their run-and-gun healing ability. But hey, we didn’t pick Feral for an easy ride did we?

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Just the tip?

This post is going to be a little different. Rather than focusing specifically on Feral Druids, I want to talk about social norms, expectations and my personal experiences.

The “Event”
A few weeks back asked in trade chat to use an enchanters hut. I was immediately invited to a group by a person, no whispers or anything. I used their enchanters hut and after about 2 minutes when I was finished, I found the player and attempted to trade them a 50 gold tip. This is where things started to go south.

The player cancelled the trade, then began to abuse me through whisper. See the image below for the whisper transcript. I was basically being called cheap for only offering 50 gold, because I would be able to make money of the shards + the service being provided. While this is certainly true in a vacuum there are some issues I’d like to point out in making my case.

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Blackrock Foundry Part 1

My raid team as been steadily progressing through normal Blackrock Foundry and I thought it’s about time to take a look at it from a Feral Druids point of view. One of the advantages of BRF is it’s winged design, allowing for each team to clear bosses in multiple orders. In this post, bosses will be listed in the order we defeated them.

Gruul
This boss is a good single-target dps encounter, perfect for Bloodtalons. There is very little movement and no adds or AOE required. From a DPS perspective, there are only two things you need to worry about. The first is the Cave In ability. This places a void zone on the ground you need to avoid. This is only moderately annoying. It may cause your group to have to move or may block you exit if you get targeted by his next ability Shatter. If you get targeted by this ability, you need to run out of the raid and make sure you are at least 8 yards away from any player. Gruul has quite a large hit box and I’ve found it possible on several occasions to far enough away to avoid Shatter damage, but still be able to dps the boss. This is a good thing to try to increase your dps uptime. However it’s really susceptible to RNG e.g. two people running the same direction, or the tank moves the boss etc… Good introductory fight. Practice your single target rotation.

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Movement Speed in Warlords of Draenor

In this post I’m going to discuss movement speed bonus in Warlords of Draenor, which ones stack, which don’t and how they interact. Rather than me waffling on I think I’ll just quote the developers from the Patch 6.0 patch notes as they explain it far better than I could.

From the Developers
The logic of how various movement speed bonuses stack (or don’t) has generally been inconsistent and poorly explained. Under the old set-up, each movement speed bonus would become more powerful when combined with another, so we would limit what can stack with what, and prevent certain abilities from being used when another one is already in effect. We decided to change the movement speed system to make it more transparent, with rules about stacking that are easier to understand, and with fewer restrictions.

Previously, multiple movement speed modifiers on you were multiplicative, meaning that if you had two different +25% movement speed bonuses, they resulted in a total movement speed of 56% (1.25*1.25 = 1.56).

Movement speed bonuses have been changed to be additive. The previous example with two different +25% movement speed bonuses would result in a total movement speed of +50%. The logic governing which bonuses stack with others has been simplified as well.

  • Movement speed buffs that are temporary or could be applied to other players are considered exclusive, their effects do not stack, and only the highest bonus gets applied (in addition to non-exclusive movement speed buffs).

Source – http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/15682579#movement_speed

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