3.3.3 Tomorrow? Probably...

So, let's talk a little bit about Mangle. Mangle is going to get some MUCH needed love by way of having its damage increased by 10% glyphed, and lasting a full minute on targets. There are two aspects of this change worth noting: first, the fact that the Shred rotation is going to be MILES easier to kept up in a dynamic situation and will likely cut down the ramp-up required in most encounters past the first Mangle (it also means that if you have an Arms warrior present, Trauma will NEVER fall off... Kittycleave looks even stronger); secondly, it means that we have to rethink whether Mangle-spamming in PvP is a viable solution for certain comps. In order to do that, we have to run the numbers... again. A while back (something like June of last year), I ran the numbers of Mangle; however, the base numbers have since changed a bit, so we'll update the entire view on this post.

Revised math -

SR = 1.3
Mangle (Shred) = 1.3
RaT (Shred) = 1.2
Crit = 2.0
Predatory Instincts: 1.1
Crit meta = 1.03
Savage Fury (Mangle) = 1.2

(2.25 * x + 666) * 1.3 * 1.3 * 1.2 =
4.563 * x + 1350.65

Shred Crit:
(2.25 * x + 666) * 1.3 * 1.3 * 1.2 * 2.0 * 1.1 * 1.03 =
10.34 * x + 3060.57

With 50% crit, we can work out Shred's average damage per cast:
((4.563 * x + 1350.65) + (10.34 * x + 3060.57)) / 2 =
(14.903 * x + 4411.218) / 2 =
7.4515 * x + 2205.61

and now we can work out the average damage per energy:
(7.4515 * x + 2205.61) / 42 =
0.1774 * x + 52.5145

(2.0 * x + 566) * 1.3 * 1.2 =
3.12 * x + 882.96

Mangle Crit:
(2.0 * x + 566) * 1.3 * 1.2 * 2 * 1.1 * 1.03 =
7.06992 * x + 2000.79

average the damage:
((3.12 * x + 882.96) + (7.06992 * x + 2000.79)) / 2 =
(10.18992 * x + 2883.75) / 2 =
5.09496 * x + 1441.87

average damage per energy:
(5.09496 * x + 1441.87) / 34 =
0.14985 * x + 42.41

Shred vs. Mangle (DPE):
Shred: 0.1774 * x + 52.5145
Mangle: 0.14985 * x + 42.41

====== New Glyph of Mangle ========

Proposed Mangle:
(2.0 * x + 566) * 1.3 * 1.2 * 1.1 =
3.432 * x + 971.26

Proposed Mangle Crit:
(3.432 * x + 971.26) * 2 * 1.1 * 1.03 =
7.776912 * x + 2200.87

Average damage:
((3.432 * x + 971.26) + (7.776912 * x + 2200.87)) / 2 =
(11.208912 * x + 3172.13) / 2 =
5.604456 * x + 1586.06

Average Damage per Energy:
(5.604456 * x + 1586.06) / 34 =
0.164837 * x + 46.65

Shred ADPE vs. Proposed Mangle ADPE:
Shred: 0.1774 * x + 52.5145
Mangle: 0.164837 * x + 46.65

Now, these damage-per-energy numbers are a bit out of the ordinary... what do they mean exactly? Obviously, you have gathered that they mean that if one could use a 1-energy Shred and a 1-energy Mangle, this is how to calculate the average damage (assuming a 50% crit rate; it gets a little more complicated with any other crit rate). What does this mean, though? Well, we could walk through an example with a base 500 damage in cat form to see...

Shred (Nothing)
hit: 2034
crit: 4609.12

Shred (Bleed)
hit: 2542.51
crit: 5761.40

Shred (Mangle)
hit: 2905.72
crit: 6584.46

Shred (Mangle+Bleed) -
hit: 3632.15
crit: 8230.57

Mangle (Current) -
hit: 2442.96
crit: 5535.75

Mangle (3.3.3) -
hit: 2687.26
crit: 6089.326

However, all we see here is that Shred will out-damage the new mangle in basically every situation EXCEPT when there is a Mangle and Bleed present on the target (Shred with one or the other is largely a wash... it's a difference, but it's small enough for the energy-consumption difference to take over). Also, we see (as expected) that Mangle(Current) to Mangle(3.3.3) has gone up roughly 10% in damage.

Bah... none of this is horribly useful unless we look at it from the point of view of REAL damage (i.e., Resilience considerations) and combo points (i.e., Energy impact)... so, let's do that!

Okay, through the magic of the internet, I went off and wrote a couple of java programs to simulate the differences between the best-case examples to see which would be better.

Shred Rotation (with zero interruption over 3 minutes):
~8500 dps (with my PvP gear on)

Mangle-spam (with zero interruption over 3 minutes):
~7500 dps (with my PvP gear on)

Well, that's pretty sizable; if you have zero interruption, the Shred priority rotation is about 1000 dps better (duh). However, PvP is SOOOOO dynamic that it ends up causing LOTS of little interruptions; CCs peel you off long enough for SR to drop and you have zero CPs on anyone, you have to target-swap meaning no Mangle/Bleed on your target and maybe SR just fell off, etc >_<. The real point here is that the Mangle-spam option is MUCH closer to the best-case Shred rotation, yet it requires MUCH less ramp-up (just SR).

Therefor, we can safely assume that our target swaps are going to be MUCH more powerful. So much so, we can actually say at this point that the Mangle-spec in PvP (on non-kittycleave teams where the debuffs will be provided for you on hardswitches) is actually going to be better DPS, DPE, CP-gen, and basically more reliable damage output.

BTW, for anyone savvy enough to be able to fiddle with Java, here are the links to my source (in case you wanted to test my maths or see it in action):


Well, we're all hoping that 3.3.3 drops tomorrow, and if it does I will likely be switching to the Mangle-spam spec and testing it out with (hopefully) Feral+Marks+HPally...

I'll report more as it comes to me.


Here's a funny video of a 2800+ team on our BG. The run RestoSham+Disc+ProtPally...

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Bladestorm: Warriors can now be Disarmed while under the effects of this ability.


Guntir's pally is now 4/5 Furious with some decent purple off-pieces (and he has a pvp trinket now)... so we're going to start playing Feral+Hunter+Pally pretty soon (probably not this week). In fact, I'm so disenfranchised with Feral+Hunter+Disc at the moment that I'm trying to talk them into rolling Marks+Resto+Disc for 10 matches this week to see what happens. I've seen this comp run this season, it's the #1 team on Retaliation; it's very strong, but my off-set is not amazing by any stretch of the imagination.

We'll see. The brostorm nerf is amazing... if nothing else, Bio should be able to re-actively disarm the Warrior with Chimera Shot to lessen the damage a bit. All things considered, it's a good change.


Speaking of Guntir's pally... here's some 2s footage of Feral+Holy. We haven't worked out all the kinks yet, and Guntir's pally is still pretty squishy when you get right down to it (only 600 resil >_<), but we did alright; we hit 1300 so he could buy his belt...

Watch live streaming video from reygahnci at livestream.com

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I have no idea who cares...

... but I got this going on now:

Guntir didn't get one... which is lame because I don't care about the single-player basically at all. The multiplier is where it's at... but in all seriousness, I'm prolly not going to play it much at all (though I will have to find some bugs and report them so they keep me viewed as a valuable beta tester... which MAY be why Guntir didn't get one. I like to do bug reports basically every time I see something in a beta, whereas Guntir basically doesn't report anything at all as far as I can tell).

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What the mangle....

* Mangle now increases the damage of bleed effects for 1 min. (Up from 12 sec)
* Glyph of Mangle: This glyph now provides 10% increased damage done by Mangle instead of increasing the duration of the debuff.

Very interesting...

1 minute duration on Mangle will REALLY be handy in PvP.


FUCKBEANS... totally tanked this week... we're down below 2100 again (2095 or something) after going 18-20 (or so). Again, Blizz just seems to hate us on Wednesdays, I'm not really sure why. We get nothing but 1800 RMPs and TSGs and get 2400 RMPs and RLSs or Double-healer-warrior comps. BAH... we're going to try again on Monday, and if we have any success at all, we're going to skip the entirety of next week and wait for the following Monday... we feel like we have better luck on Mondays for some reason... we'll just have to wait and see.

Renting the staff worked out just fine... it's a technique I'm going to remember and use at the beginning of every season.

I think that if 3.3.3 drops soon, I will probably end up trying out the Mangle spec with Bio and Guntir. We have to target-swap a lot, and the Mangle buffs have gotten Mangle to the point where it does decent damage and requires only SR as ramp-up, so target swapping is pretty good.

Guntir is getting his Pally up too... he's 80 and getting furious gear. We did 10 matches as Feral+holy in 2s (with him sporting a pro 14k HP) and went 4-6 at a staggeringly-high-given-he's-never-pvp'd ~1800 MMR. The funny thing is that this comp completely counters Pally+Warrior, and will LIKELY counter Druid+Warrior too... we'll have to see. The Mage+Rogue, Mage+Lock, Mage+Priest teams are likely to lose to Feral+Holy as well... Hand of Freedom just completely screws Mages over.

The EVENTUAL plan is to get him a furious set and try out some Kittycleave (War+Fer+Pal) with our old warrior friend, Seere, who has since moved on to greener pastures with a TSG comp (though he's only at 1950... don't tell him, but I'm secretly rooting for him to have trouble hitting 2k so he'll come back and play with us). Bio (our hunter) is really starting to irk me... he doesn't know a lot about classes other than his...

We lost to a 1900 RLS and he started bitching because he wanted me to open with Berserk. I spent 15 furious minutes explaining to him that we aren't a cleave team... if I open with Berserk, the Lock won't die and the Rogue will likely have gotten SO AMAZINGLY SETUP on him or I that by the time Berserk is done, I'll be full duration Feared (having trinketed Blind) and they'll kill Bio anyway. I have to save Berserk for after the opener where we deal some significant damage to the lock and I try and pin down the Rogue with Feral Charge (Bear), Warstomp, Cyclone, Entangling Roots, etc.

Kittycleave just seems like a pleasant difference... it's like FRD (Feral+Rogue+Disc), except that your damage is constant, your partner isn't hilariously squishy, and you've got Charge/Intercept/Intervene for mobility (so DKs don't really bother you). We'll just have to see how it goes...

Kyske (Guntir's pally) has 2 pieces of Furious gear now, and he's slowly-but-surely getting more and more. Once he gets a full furious set (and I've washed my hands of the Hunter+Feral+Disc fiasco), we'll try out Kittycleave and see how we like it.

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Season 8; Week 5

Okay, did a good grind last night, but we came up a little short (had to go to sleep to get to work today) and only got to ~2150. We were playing A LOT better than we were last Wednesday night. Our control and communication were an order of magnitude more accurate and therefore, our play showed that (we beat a couple of 2300+ RMPs... that felt good). Unfortunately, today marks the start of Week 5, and that means that our opponents (who haven't bought the T1 weapons) will be getting their T2s (for the most part) and that is going to make melee-heavy teams that much more difficult to defeat.

One thing we are going to do (and I'm kicking myself for not having done it earlier) is that I am going to "rent" the T1 weapon (Bio has been doing this since we hit 2k) for 2 hours and sell it back before it gets locked on me. The nice thing is that I'm a melee class who relies on my weapon, but disarms simply don't matter against me, so I can afford to not enchant/gem/etc and it will still be a rather large upgrade for free only to grind with. Additionally, Blizz's official stance on the matter is that this is "okay" and they aren't banning people for doing it (though it's an exploit in my humble opinion). SO, hopefully we can hit 2200 while renting the T1 weapons, which will allow us less of a discrepancy when facing T2-wielding monsters.

OKAY, the PTR is back in full swing for 3.3.3. Here are the Druid notes so far:

* Nature's Grasp: Now has 3 charges, up from 1.
* Starfall: The damage done by this spell has been significantly increased.
* Typhoon: Mana cost reduced to 25%, down from 32%.

SOOOOOOO, only really balance and resto buffs... there is precisely dick for Ferals thus far. I have been petitioning to get SOMETHING in the way of dispel resistance (particular in light of DKs getting pandered to and gaining "diseases cannot be dispelled off your train via Death Coil" changes to Unholy Blight... bah) to Infected Wounds and Barkskin... but to no avail thus far. Blizz seems okay with the fact that Ferals, once trained, have no escape options AND their defensive cooldown is 100% dispellable... and if we ever manage to get onto a target, 3/4 healers can remove our snare... 4/4 if our target is the healer themselves.

Nature's Grasp could be interesting... it will largely depend on how the diminishing returns on Entangling Roots works and whether you can have multiple targets Rooted (in the case where 2 people are beating on you and you need a peel from both... is it going to root one, then the other, then the first guy again... resulting in no one being rooted for more than 3 seconds?). Blizz still hasn't come to terms with the fact that no one can have Frost Nova because it will just get dispelled... the reason it works so well with Mages is because of Winter's Chill - which gives is a dispel-buffer. We'll just have to wait and see... I honestly don't use Nature's Grasp in PvP at the moment anyway... it's a waste of a GCD in most instances.

However, let's get to talking about more distant changes... Cataclysm stat changes as they pertain to Ferals:

"Attack Power - This stat will no longer be present on most items as a flat value, though it will still show up on some process. Strength and Agility, which will be present on items, will grant the appropriate amount of Attack Power (generally 2 Attack Power per point of Strength or Agility) depending upon which stat a particular class favors. Agility may provide less Crit than it currently does." (source)

This is a pretty big-ticket item for Ferals, given that AP is a lackluster stat for us given how much Feral Attack Power we have currently... although AP will still be useful given that:

"Feral attack power will be gone. The damage of the weapon affects cat and bear attacks like other melee classes." (source)

So, they might actually know what the hell they're doing with this rebalance after all... Feral Attack Power has a LOT of badness involved with it, but if they redistribute damage and rescale Rip and Rake, then Feral Attack Power leaving forever won't be the end of the world (might actually be a buff to scaling with regard to Rip/Rake).

I'll keep posting as new tidbits flow from the devs...

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