casual cat dps priorities for solo and old

Druid
I normally heal doing LFR, heroics, etc. so the path of least resistance is to alt-spec balance for dailies and attempting to solo old content. Due to my schedule, I can't commit to normal and heroic raiding right now.

I'm considering switching over to cat or bear to keep the game interesting, which I haven't played in quite a while. The bear would be dead simple, but I'm a bit worried that stuff would take a long time to kill. For either spec, the gear would be iLvl 476 or higher and I already have a i484 Inscribed Tiger Staff and all the heroic trinkets, etc.

If I'm not trying to top some dps charts in raids, does the cat priority system get any simpler? Almost all attacks are going to be in front of the target or aoe while soloing. I'm assuming that a lot of mobs would die so fast that maintaining bleed effects wouldn't be as important.

I would hopefully be getting self-heals out of 5 point finishers with Predatory Swiftness and Leader of the Pack heals from crits; I think those are the feral heals...

I guess what I'm hoping for is to make the non-raid play more fun, but not feel like I'm playing whack a mole watching a bunch of cooldowns and waiting for procs. I have a Frost Death Knight that sometimes makes me feel like I'm just waiting and watching buttons on my bar to flash, so I don't want another toon like that.
I'm also looking for a bar layout for the primary cat abilities I would be using so that they are easily reachable under my left hand with the 1-5 or 1-7 keys.

For example, I would think for soloing that I might have Mangle / Shred in a shift macro so that Mangle is my 1 button most of the time, and Shred is available while Tiger's Fury / Berserk is active (assuming the glyph is used). Maybe a Savage Roar / Rake shift macro for 2 and a Ferocious Bite / Rip shift macro. The idea behind the shift macros would be that you are generally needing to do one or the other of the abilities; the downside is that most of the debuffs and bleeds only last 13 or 15 seconds, so that is a lot of shift key usage.
You can also work in alt and ctrl variations.
I can say modifiers work well for me as a kitty. I do things a bit differently though, I have my attacks bound to letter keys, and CDs bound to number keys (which 1-9 are on my mouse).

Examples are mangle/shred bound to the same key, where shift+that key gives me the other. When I'm raiding I just switch it so the modifier gives me mangle (since I will rarely use it), and questing the modifier goes to shred.

I keep rip/rake on the same thing except the modifier goes to rip, since rake is the very first attack I do on targets.

Sounds like you've got a good feel for what's ahead of you. I switch to bear for pulling tons of mobs for one quest, and pretty much kitty everything else. PS procs for me are usually only used after a fight to heal myself up, since everything dies so quickly.
02/05/2013 10:11 AMPosted by Ickoo
You can also work in alt and ctrl variations.


I know I could, but the complexity worries me. As much as I dislike soloing with Balance right now, at least it is pretty simple. I'm hoping to get a kitty setup that makes dailies fast, but doesn't take a lot of thought or practice to get right.
02/06/2013 08:24 AMPosted by Hyrax
You can also work in alt and ctrl variations.


I know I could, but the complexity worries me. As much as I dislike soloing with Balance right now, at least it is pretty simple. I'm hoping to get a kitty setup that makes dailies fast, but doesn't take a lot of thought or practice to get right.


Everyone has their own preferences; the best thing for you to do is probably get on a training dummy and start putting abilities on your bar, in the order you think you'll use them, then start in with making modifier macros, in the order you think you'll use them. Don't forget survival CDs too.
Also, get used to the modifier macros; this is from a few years ago...it actually has a hole in it now.

http://i.imgur.com/skyu8j3.jpg
Also, get used to the modifier macros; this is from a few years ago...it actually has a hole in it now.

http://i.imgur.com/skyu8j3.jpg


Okay, that is scary, maybe I should just bear... ;-)
02/04/2013 08:42 AMPosted by Hyrax
I'm considering switching over to cat or bear to keep the game interesting


Unless you're going to be tanking raids, going Bear is the exact opposite of interesting.

1. Aggro as many mobs as possible.
2. Mash Thrash/Swipe.
3. FR every once in a while.

I did Bear as my alt spec briefly when I tired of Balance. While I was essentially immortal, killing mobs took forever, and doing so was so mindless that I had to read or watch TV while doing dailies.

Kitty is more complex, but faster, and more interesting. And with PS procs, I'm rarely in danger of death.
What I've found so far is that kitty is fine for soloing and questing, but is incredibly annoying in a 5-man or raid environment trying to actually nail even the basic rotation. You can ignore doing it right while soloing and it doesn't really matter, stuff still dies faster than bear and you just worry about doing 5-point finishers to get the heal.
Yeah your rotation in PvE dungeons/raiding will never be perfect without good tier bonuses. And even then things will fall off and you'll have to choose between two different finishing moves.

Mainly you'll want to prioritize Savage Roar over Rip over Rake. Unless there are no bleeds, then Rake is more important than Rip if you dont have 5 CP. Always have one bleed up when using Shred. Like other's have said, have some alternate macros for when you're stealthed or behind your target to simplify your hot bar. Macro Tiger's Fury in to Shred and/or your finishers macro.
02/14/2013 07:32 AMPosted by Hyrax
What I've found so far is that kitty is fine for soloing and questing, but is incredibly annoying in a 5-man or raid environment trying to actually nail even the basic rotation. You can ignore doing it right while soloing and it doesn't really matter, stuff still dies faster than bear and you just worry about doing 5-point finishers to get the heal.
Are you using any addons to track your bleeds, SR, combo points, and energy?
Trying to juggle all of that with the default UI is borderline insanity; having addons to get all of that information centralized makes a world of difference in the rotation complexity.

The solo cat rotation isn't really any different than what you would do in a group environment. The only major change is you generally wont shred often. The rotation doesn't really get any simple unless you're just killing things so fast that you don't really have to manage your bleeds.

I've personally found cat significantly superior to soloing, particularly in old raids. The PS procs for HT heals provided far more survivability over Bear tanking; too much of the Bear kit requires vengeance to function well, which is something you don't get a lot of in old raids.
02/06/2013 08:34 AMPosted by Bm
Thou shalt not play Feral if afraid of many keybinds.


qft

Feral can be complicated, but for dailies/grinding nothing is faster. All the complicated bits are more for maximizing dps in raid settings, feral faceroll mode is just fine for solo stuff.

Typically you'd pop SR(glyphed), then rake>mangle>mangle>mangle>FB dead. Mobs with more HP you'd pop tiger's fury once your energy was low and use rip instead of bite. Feral plows through everything very effectively, much funner than balance. I've raided as other specs over the years, but I always have a feral spec for solo play no matter what.

some of my keybinds for the last 7 years, ymmv
1 -- rip
2 -- ravage/bite macro
3 -- mangle
4 -- rake/pounce macro
5 -- thrash
Q -- cat form macro
W -- roots macro
R -- Wild charge macro
T -- Tiger's fury and trinkets macro
A -- Bear form macro
G -- Shred
H -- Rejuvenation macro
Z -- fly/swim/travel macro
V -- Swipe
B -- Maim

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