Last week I was asking around for some tips on evaluating dps classes with World of Logs and my guildmate Jaymz was kind enough to write a post on Feral Kitties which he said I could post here (thanks!). My full guide on evaluating raiders (especially healers) with WoL can be found here.
Here are the things you should be looking for when evaluating Kitties.
First thing you do is find out what buffs they are responsible for. If there is a Bear in the raid the Kitty would not be responsible for Faerie Fire nor Mangle since the Bear would take care of those. But if there is no Bear, a Kitty should keep up Faerie Fire.
Go to the individual player’s Details page and go to the Buffs Cast tab.
This should be 99% uptime or very close to it. The only downside to Faerie Fire is that it is on the spell hit table which requires 17% hit to guarantee no misses, and no good Kitty is going to get 17% spell hit, so there are some instances where the uptime will be slightly less. You can determine if the kitty is missing or simply isn’t applying by checking the Expression Editor (spell=”Faerie Fire”). FF is on a 6 second cooldown so there shouldn’t be too much downtime regardless. A properly specced Kitty will apply all three stacks of Faerie Fire with 1 button press and it will show in the Expression Editor as such. This debuff lasts 5 minutes with one application.
This is another debuff that should be up 95% or more of the time, if the Kitty is responsible for keeping it up. Keep in mind Arms Warriors, Sub Rogues, and Feral Bears also apply this debuff so a Kitty won’t need to use Mangle if you have one of these in the raid. This should be re-applied approximately once a minute. There is no benefit to refreshing this debuff early except when you can’t get behind the target. This debuff is extremely important to Kitty and overall raid dps and no bleed should ever be applied without this debuff on the boss.
You want Rake’s uptime to be 90% or more (great Kitties will keep it up 95% +), provided you have proper uptime on the boss. Rake lasts 15 seconds when properly specced, thus you should see applications every 12-15 secons. Due to how often Rake ticks it is accepted and recommended to refresh it with < 3 seconds remaining on the debuff, or < 7 seconds if you’ve just used Tiger’s Fury (see below). The first application of Rake will be without Tiger’s Fury, but it should be re-applied after using Tiger’s Fury the first time, and then use the rule above.
The uptime on Rip should be 90% or more. Rip should be applied with 5 combo points and you want its first application to come after your first Tiger’s Fury so that it is buffed (All this can be checked using the expression editor timeline for the two spells). There are many outside factors that will affect Rip. Unlike most DoTs, Rip can not be re-applied with a less powerful Rip (judged by attack power and/or agility), you will get the error “A more powerful spell is already active” if you try, thus any buff that gives a temporary increase in Agility will cause Kitties to have to let Rip drop off before they can reapply a new one. This will affect the uptime. Rip can be extended by either Shred or Mangle. It starts off as a 16 second debuff but can and should be extended out to 22 seconds with Shred (or Mangle if you can’t Shred the boss). Like Rake, Rip should be refreshed with < 3 seconds remaining on the debuff when no outside buffs prevent you from doing so.
Should have at least 90% uptime. There are some fight mechanics that hurt this if there are periods of downtime off the boss or the fight is extremely short. This buff is not as important as the debuffs listed above and thus should be the first to suffer when the Kitty has to change targets or move off the boss for any length of time. You want to apply this buff with 5 combo points when you can but it is not absolutely necessary, if refreshing it early with fewer will help maintain all other buffs and debuffs by all means do so. It’s the buff itself that matters not the length of the application.
This buff outside of the Kitty’s control, but should have relatively (based on finishing moves used) good uptime and can be used very effectively if the kitty needs to Rebirth someone (The kitty should build 5 combos, use a finishing move – Rip, Savage Roar, Ferocious Bite – and then Rebirth on the next GCD, thus making the Rebirth an instant cast). This can be used for an emergency Healing Touch if the situation is extremely dire.
This will proc anytime a Kitty uses Tiger’s Fury or Berserk. The Kitty should use up all of their energy before this buff falls off. If they don’t they are hurting themselves, because the extra energy gained disappears when the buff does.
Tiger’s Fury has a 30 secon cooldown and should be used on CD, always! Kitties want to do their best to apply and refresh bleeds (Rip and Rake) when this buff is active. They also want to use this just before they cast Berserk. Properly specced (King of the Jungle) a Kitty will regain 60 energy on top of Tiger’s Fury’s natural 15% damage increase. The Berserk buff itself will prevent you from using Tiger’s Fury. This, combined with the energy boost, damage increase, and timing, is why you want to use TF before Berserk. Of course you don’t want to use this when you’re already full on energy because then the 60 energy you would gain is a waste. So target switching or downtime off the boss will have some effect on TF usage. With 4 piece T13 every time TF is used the Kitty will gain the Stampede buff (see below).
This buff makes all abilities cost half as much energy and has a 3 minute cooldown. Normally this should be used early and then again when it’s available. However, certain bosses like Zon’ozz and Hagara have phases where they take extra damage and the Kitty should use Berserk at those phases, even if it results in less uses per fight. When possible using Berserk with Heroism is also advised.
Omen of Clarity procs, which make your next ability free of cost – are not controllable by the Kitty and should be used to Shred on single target or to Swipe when there are 4/5 or more targets. Some Kitties use OoC procs during Berserk and with 5 combo points on Ferocious Bite, this is perfectly acceptable and can be a dps increase as long as it doesn’t affect the uptimes of any other Buffs or Debuffs.
Barkskin has a 1 minute cooldown and should be used when the Kitty is taking heavy damage. Most fights have a phase or mechanic that this is saved for. If there isn’t a specific phase but there is raid-wide damage going out this should be used often.
This buff is gained after using Feral Charge (or with 4pc T13 after using Tiger’s Fury). It allows the Kitty to use Ravage without stealth or positional requirements once within the next 8 seconds. This Ravage will also not cost any energy. More about Ravage! in the “Damage by Spell” section.
King of the Jungle
This will proc each time Tiger’s Fury is used in Cat form or Enrage is used in Bear form – divide energy gained by 60 and it should match the usage of Tiger’s Fury.
Other buffs/debuffs you might see on this tab are trinkets, weapon procs, potions, etc. If there are potions or on use trinkets listed they should be used along with other buffs like Tiger’s Fury and Berserk. In general though other things listed on the Buffs Cast tab are not controlled by the Kitty themselves.
Examples: Fiery Claws (2pc T12), Fury of the Beast, Beast Fury, Devour, Matrix Restablized, Leader of the Pack, Lightning Strike, etc.
Damage by Actor
This is where you can see if the Kitty is attacking the proper target. Due to Feral Swiftness and Feral Charge a Kitty should have good uptime on targets if they are switching when appropriate. Due to the ramp up time of Feral DPS, uptime does not translate into high DPS however, especially if the new target dies fairly quickly.
Damage by Spell
Here you can see the abilities that make up the Kitty’s damage. The order that the abilities will appear will depend heavily on how the player has geared and the encounter itself. Heavy mastery gearing will result in much higher bleed damage (Rip, Rake), while Haste gearing will mean much more damage from Shred and melee. Please note that neither gearing method will always make one ability be the top damage, it will simply increase the numbers those abilities do.
Rip, Rake, and Shred should always be high on this list and things like Mangle (except on fight like Ultraxion where you can’t get behind the boss) and Ferocious Bite should be low.
You can see Dodges (Do), Misses (Mi), and Parries (Pa) on the far right, if they occur. As an in general rule Parries are very bad because that means the Kitty is in front of the boss, so either the Kitty or the tank are in the wrong position. Dodges and misses are less of an issue because unlike most classes Kitty Druids aren’t GCD capped and many don’t actively seek Hit and Expertise caps. However, if the Kitty is having issues with keeping their bleed uptimes high, a quick easy fix outside of practicing the rotation is to get more Expertise and/or Hit.
On a normal boss encounter you shouldn’t see things like Ravage, Maim, Claw, or Pounce listed here unless there are unusual boss mechanics (interrupts for example). The one exception is the Ravage! that is free after using Feral Charge. This Ravage! should match the number of Stampede procs. It should be used after Tiger’s Fury when possible. However, if the Kitty has 4 piece T13, this changes. Tiger’s Fury will proc Stampede so the Ravage! from Feral Charge should be used before Tiger’s Fury, and then the new one should be used within the damage buff increase of Tiger’s Fury (6 sec duration).
There are many more ways to use World of Logs to help improve or evaluate Kitty Druids. You can use the Expression Editor to check bleed clipping and DPS CD stacking, for example. But this is the “quick” (haha) and easy way to evaluate a Kitty at a glance.
In short it’s all about UPTIME, UPTIME, UPTIME!