Monday, October 13, 2008

The new DPS and Glyphs

DPS is going to change. No longer can you simply Mangle and then Shred to maybe 4 points, maybe 5 points. All of a sudden Rake is quite viable. And Tiger's Fury means something! Not that you'll have to dredge it out of your spellbooks; it's instant, no cast, no global cooldown. Just macro it to your favorite ability (or all of them!) and you'll have it up as often as is relevant to you. Obviously you don't quite want to do that if you're taking King of the Jungle, what with all that wasted energy, but I'm not so I probably will for a while at least.

A good post about the new DPS cycle is over at Of Teeth and Claws, so I won't try to repeat all of it. Basically, our DPS cycle becomes more of a priority list. The simplified version:

1. Tiger's Fury
2. Mangle
3. Savage Roar (on more than 2 points only)
4. Rip (on 5 points only)
5. Rake
6. Shred

Basically you want all buffs and debuffs up, and if they are (or on cooldown in Tiger's Fury's case,) Shred. The start of your rotation should look like this:

Tiger's Fury + Mangle (macro'd!)
Savage Roar (only if Mangle crit)
Savage Roar (only if Mangle didn't crit)
Shred to 5 points

Obviously without Savage Roar before level 75. They should call it Hack and Slash to match the rhythm of Slice and Dice, but whatever.

I ran some DPS tests with a rotation similar to this and found I was doing about 940 DPS, which is a solid improvement despite no longer having Omen of Clarity at my disposal. I no longer expect to be both my guild's top tank and DPS. That's fine with me.

With the patch a lot of other preparation needs to be made. For example, I need to back up my macros because they will be hosted server side now, and I don't want the patch to destroy them. I have also updated my loot lists for my Druid and Hunter, based on new spreadsheets and Toskk's updated method. I still have to figure out what I want to do with my Paladin, and there's no time left! Oh well, at least I have all my talents figured out, that's good enough for now.

One other thing to look at is Glyphs. Being Druids, we really don't have as many glyphs that directly affect us as other classes do. This makes glyph selection considerably easier for us. Our glyphs:

Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration
Glyph of Maul
Glyph of Rake
Glyph of Rip
Glyph of Shred

I intend to take the Maul and Rip glyphs, with intentions to take the Mangle one later on at 80. This is because I believe the other effects are not meant for PvE (Shred) or useless (Rake) or redundant (Growl, assuming it's still affected by hit rating and expertise.) In any case, I think the effects of these glyphs are just more useful in general, since I plan on being flexible enough to be a good DPS. As for the minor glyphs, I plan on going with Challenging Roar, though if something better comes along, it's the first to go, Thorns so that I may actually start using the spell, and Unburdened Rebirth, because it's the best thing to happen to Rebirth since the cooldown was lowered.

Those are my plans for tomorrow (though I guess it's now today, I started writing this at work, but now I'm at home with finally a peaceful moment to myself.) Maybe tomorrow I'll make up some statistics and use them to prove that Eclipse is the central defining talent for Moonkin. You have been warned.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rend and Tear

When I first saw Rend and Tear, I wasn't too impressed, at least from a tanking standpoint. You see, for some reason, in the back of my head, I've always thought of Mangle as producing more threat. Well, with all this talk of Rend and Tear being such an awesome talent for bear threat, I decided to look into it. Here's a fairly representative report of Druid threat, taken from a Brutallus fight:

Clearly, Maul produces the most threat, about 38% of the threat for the Druid's entire rotation. What does Rend and Tear do for this? Well, the damage goes, up and the innate threat stays the same. Since Lacerate is up pretty much all the time, it's like a flat 20% increase to Maul damage. In the case of the druid above, this increases Maul threat by about 16%. This is about a 6.2% increase in threat overall.

This seems like a decent use of talent points. You get about 1.2% threat per point. But, we're not through yet. You see, any self respecting tank will also take Imp. Mangle, which increases Mangle to occur 33% more often. This will increase the amount of damage done by mangle another 33% on average. Maul still goes up 16% with the addition of Rend and Tear. It's just that the impact of this is less, with Mangle doing more damage. In fact, in this case, Rend and Tear is only a 5.8% increase in threat.

We're still not through. Apparently, all the threat modifiers have changed. Let's rework this table to see what the change looks like all around.

With all these changes, looks like Rend and Tear is about a 5.7% increase in total threat. I can't prove this with numbers right now, but Mangle - Bear seems to be doing a lot more damage on the PTR than it used to. However, this is likely due to the Savage Fury change (though the damage seems higher than 20% more.) We'll leave the analysis here though.

I'm still undecided about moving those points. If a 5.7% threat increase is what you need to keep above the DPS as a bear, there's something wrong with your threat. Still, it does allow for more DPS to the boss. I suppose I will have to wait and see how my guild's DPS shapes up in the expansion.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Why convention is convention

So after trying to run Savant as a totally different, unique, 10-man guild that doesn't over recruit and doesn't depend on anything outside of the game to communicate, I've come to the realization that a lot of these things are done by a lot of guilds because its easiest to do it that way. And it works.

As such, Savant is becoming a more conventional guild. Some things I've learned:

- It's impossible to get as many reliable people as you need. Even if that number is only 10.
- You NEED forums if you want to discuss guild matters with your guild.
- Raiding only twice a week is perfectly fine, and trying to be as little of an influence on people's lives as possible makes it pretty easy to get good, fun-lovin' folks.
- Raids will never start when they're supposed to as long as you don't have a full guild.

All in all, I've learned quite a bit, a lot more than my false start trying to run SNAFU. Savant now has a website (which of course needs work.) We now have a clear plan of how many we want to recruit and of what class.

I think this is the best time to try something a little risky, it's sort of like a pregame for WotLK right now, and you have two 10-man instances to try your organization on. If you are thinking of doing something off the beaten path, now's your chance.

The only thing I'm gonna have to figure out when Wrath hits, is how will I deal with people who level especially slowly?