[PvE] Is Feral DPS worth the trouble?

Druid
I've been working to get back into Feral DPS after a break and it seems so complicated to do right. The rotations of other classes are so easy in comparison. I'm just wondering if there is a payoff at the end?

In other words, do you feel like when you master all the:

Timers (Savage Roar, Rake, Rip, Faerie Fire, Tiger's Fury, Thrash on clearcast)
Combo points (when to Savage Roar, when to Rip, when to Ferocious Bite)
Power management (if you throw in an extra Shred, you'll miss the optimal time to get a Rake)
Positional requirements (within melee range and behind boss)
DoT management (when to overwrite DoTs because of attack power gains)

that you gain an advantage over other classes? or do you feel like you do all of this and you're just breaking even?
To make the most out of the Feral "Rotation" is very difficult. However if you do it right Ferals do very well on Single target fights. The reward is worth the effort.

Multi target fights, or any fight with lots of target swaps we are VERY weak on.
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feral dps is in a good position.
False.
Although normally I would agree that our numbers drop on target swapping encounters, we can do phenomenally on some AoE fights.

It's hard to tell me I am False but still agree with me. Target swaping fights are not AOE fights.

- The Stone Guard example doesn't really prove we are good at target swapping fights. It does show some very high numbers. The reason behind these is the massive damage boost offered in the Heroic mode. However how good we are is shown by looking at the #2 Feral on the list. The 2 rogues in his raid CRUSHED him. He had 200k dps for the #2 Feral, while one of the Rogues did 250k dps which was only good for 32nd. For general standings on this fight, Rogues, DKs, Moonkins, Mages, all do better then we do. We are about on par with SP's, Monks, Ele Shaman, and Warlocks. We are average here.

- Feng is neither a target swapping fight, or an AOE fight. It is a long single target dps fight which will give a 7-10 second burst for AOE only on heroic, and only 2 times. If a Berserk is lined up for that one quick brust we can game some numbers to look better. As a 9 minute single target fight its pretty much our perfect setup. Ferals are also helped by the fact that Feng has an FU caster time when he boosts his chance to miss. Ferals always have an advantage with our bleeds in cases like that.

- Windlord is a really unique fight as no raid boss has ever required a 3 minute sustained AOE phase. We do really well here as we have HotW which is the best AOE in the game. Our normal Feral AOE abilities are strong, but need longer time because our AOE is so expensive and has lots of down time. We also get the added benifit of making combo points while swiping. For the rest of the fight its single target which all the ranged have to move a lot for. Again our bread and butter.

You should also not cherry pick between Heroic, and Normal, and 10/25 man to prove a point.
11/19/2012 04:02 PMPosted by Tinderhoof
We do really well here as we have HotW which is the best AOE in the game


If only I wasn't required to kick a Mender =(
11/19/2012 06:48 PMPosted by Saeilfa
If only I wasn't required to kick a Mender =(

That sucks. DK's, Warriors, Shaman (enh) and Palis are so much better for doing that because it doesn't cost them resources. Why are you stuck with it?
DoC on rake and rip too mate
Because our rogue and I are the only melee (and I mainspec tank usually). In saying that, I still love DPSing the fight with substituting Shred for Swipe and Thrashing when TF is available (to keep up the DoT) or on Clearcasts.
11/19/2012 10:41 AMPosted by Tinderhoof
Multi target fights, or any fight with lots of target swaps we are VERY weak on.

To which fights do you refer?
I can't really think of a fight this tier where we aren't pretty strong. Maybe not the best, but still very strong.
11/21/2012 12:35 AMPosted by Stenhaldi
To which fights do you refer?


Amber shaper maybe?

That one is a lot of target swapping, although numbers are a little out of whack there depending on who gets constructs in p2 and 3.
Worth the trouble? well lets say there are many other classes that can do a lot better with a LOT less trouble :I
Blizzard doesn't design this game to reward more demanding specs over the less demanding ones. If you choose to play feral, you are choosing to play the most complex melee spec. It's not the best, but it is good. You'll always find a place in a raid this tier.

It's an enjoyable spec because it lacks any real form of rotation, instead offering the player an ever shifting priority list depending on a number of drastically different short duration and short cooldown buffs for dots.

To its advantage and disadvantage, Feral is capable of very effectively adapting to different types of fights by choice in 4th and 6th tier talents, allowing them to seriously increase their aoe damage with heart of the wild on a fight like wind lord, or excel in important burst areas by taking talents like incarnation and nature's vigil on a fight like the heroic version of wind lord, for example. As for the aforementioned drawback, to perfectly take advantage of these talents requires a complete reoptimization: whereas with a Dream of Cenarius/Soul of the Forest build, mastery is your most valued stat and haste your least, heart of the wild optimization is nearly the exact opposite, with haste being the most important.

To add to this, feral has immense raid utility, with instant 100% brez, tranquility, ample raid healing, symbiosis, stampeding roar, spot tanking, and heart of the wild. And the cherry on top is incredible durability with 3 powerful survival cooldowns, plenty of self healing, and 20% extra healing received. Few specs offer anywhere NEAR this kind of versatility.
Simple question to be asked, OP. Do you enjoy it? It has been what I've asked myself every single expansion. Never once have I said I did not enjoy feral dps. Therefore, no matter if I'm top or bottom of the charts I continue to play my feral.
11/21/2012 02:54 AMPosted by Treeba
I can't really think of a fight this tier where we aren't pretty strong. Maybe not the best, but still very strong.


That's my thought as well. There are a couple of fights for which I wished I played a rogue, but only because of the singular strengths of the rogue class (blade flurry and feint), not from any unusual weakness of the feral spec.

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