It is time for a real treat. Nothing less than a fairly easy overview on how to dps in raids as a feral cat druid. There won't be anything easier than "fairly easy" when it comes to feral cats, since they're arguable the most difficult class to do nice damage with (just count the good feral cats you know and that's your proof). Love is stepping in and writing this one, since I don't know jackbanana about dpsing as a druid. He wrote it for our guild (although he's actually the only active feral cat in it at the moment, where are you feral cats?), but I thought anyone could want to see it (I've got his permission for this, I think). If you're interested, Love has also shared his connosseurship on a post about Cataclysm Feral Cat Talent Changes.
Feral cat's rotation, isn't really a rotation, and it's sort of complex even in its simplest form, but I'll try to list the core rules in order of importance.
The idea isn't to keep your "rotations" perfect, since that is impossible, but don't let that get you down - instead try to break the lowest priority rule.
- Maintain Savage Roar, any amount of combopoints will do.
- On clearcast: Shred
- If at or below 35 Energy, and if Tiger's Fury is up, use it and immediately use a Combo skill or Finisher to avoid overcapping
- If over 80 Energy, Berserk (wait a few seconds if your TF buff is up and you'll still manage to use Berserk twice in the fight)
- Maintain Mangle debuff (ignore this rule if there's an arms warrior in the raid, or bump it up a bit if there are many classes in the raid dpsing with bleeds
- Maintain Rake without clipping
- Rip at 5cb pts
- If Rip and Roar are too close to each other in duration, attempt to desync them by using a low cp Roar (They can't run out at the same time, as it would cause considerable downtime for one of them, namely Rip)
- Faerie Fire up! Best if it's done in the pull, causes very little threat, so a heroic throw/icy touch will hold. Refresh when pooling.
- Shred for combopoints - This rule will happen quite often despite being far down
- Pool to 80-85 energy, shred to avoid overcap. If you go over that amount, the Gods of Blizzard will give you a clearcast and make you overcap, which will hurt your brain.
Example start of a dummy-style fight:
Faerie Fire while running towards the boss -> Mangle to give peoples bleeds a buff -> Roar to boost your own damage -> Rake -> Shred -> Tiger's Fury for more energy -> Break the rule about not zerking with TF buff up and use Berserk -> Shred once or twice, depending on if your previous skills scored crits can gave double cmbpts -> Rip -> Shred -> Probably need new Roar here -> Probably need new Rake here -> Priority list will probably be at the bottom now which will lead to: Shred like a madman and retain buffs/debuffs aka. John Fucking Madden
Most guides will tell you to also use Ferocious Bite when Roar and Rip are over 8 seconds duration and your energy is 35-40, but I disagree. You need at least TF to have a reasonable chance to get a short Roar and 5cps to Rip up without too much downtime.
Rip can crit for something like 10k when fully raid buffed, and if a Fer. Bite causes more than 6 seconds of Rip downtime, it's a probable dpsloss. Ideally you shouldn't be in a position during Berserk where you'd want to FB, but that is probably the only time where it might be good.
I feel I'm starting to rant, so I should probably stop right here to avoid overcomplicating it ^^ There are a thousand small details and rules that will further increase your dps as a feral, and the more you manage to take into account, the better. But keeping it simple, managing the top5 rules and avoiding damage/debuffs will help the raid more.
Oh, and hit the buttons hard! A true feral has to buy a new keyboard every other raid! BLARGHBLARHG! **