So a quick running through the talent tree for Cata, gives me something like this as a potential kitty spec.
EDIT: I messed up on protector of the pack and so I change my most likely spec to this.
(This is all done with no math behind it, just trying to work it out in my head.)
If you want to play around with some points Feral Agression may not be necessary if there’s not enough slack in the priority list to stick in Ferocious Bite. Although, I would think with the haste changes, where haste causes energy to regain faster, there would be even more slack, not less. And with the new Nom Nom Nom, I think this is a keeper.
Improved Mangle – I put one point here, because I had one left over. With Mangle being bumped up to a minute, I’ve felt less and less need for this talent. But if you were really looking for max dps, this seems to be the best spot to stick it. (Although, this is one of those instances where modeling the changes might really make a difference, but given the low portion of our damage that comes from mangle, I doubt it.)
A bunch of things were moved around and a lot of dependencies were removed. Only changes are listed below.
Actually cutting this because it’s getting far too long.
Shredding Attacks: Moved to the 2nd Row.
Feral Charge: Moved to 3rd Row.
Predatory Instincts: Moved to 3rd Row.
Improved Feral Charge: (New) “Increases your melee haste by 15% after you use Feral Charge (Bear) for 8 sec, and Ravage will temporarly not require stealth for 3 sec after you use Feral Charge (Cat).” This definitely has some possibilities. More on opening moves further down.
Sharpened Claws: (original) No longer available.
Nurturing Instinct: Moved to 4th Row.
Fury Swipes: (New) “When you auto-attack while in Cat form or Bear form, you have a 6/12% chance to gain an extra auto-attack on the same target. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 sec.” This, along with the changes to dots, show me more and more how, along with agility for AP & Crit, haste is going to be huge for kitties. More haste = more attacks per second, quicker accumulation of energy, more ticks of dots, more Fury Swipes procs, and more OOC procs. It will no longer be, AGI vs STR or AGI vs ArP, it will be “When is it better to have AGI and when is it better to have haste?” I’m torn on whether this will impact the value of hit. Right now, hit is nice at certain points, but not vital. With Fury Swipes, not missing seems like it may be more important too. The flip side being, that with more haste, energy is regenning faster, thus more yellow attacks. Now obviously I don’t know the stats on the gear or how much it would require to get to this point, but I wonder in the back of my head, the haste soft cap for kitties being tied to energy regen. Can we get haste up to the point, where we regen enough energy to shred after each GCD?
Primal Fury: No longer requires Sharpened Claws.
Heart of the Wild: Moved to row 5. No longer requires Predatory Strikes.
Survival Instincts: Moved to row 5.
Predatory Strikes: Moved to row 5. Changed from 3 possible points to 2. Now reads, “Increases the critical strike chance of your Ravage by 25/50% on targets at or above 90% health, and your finishing moves have a 10/20% chance per combo point to make your next Nature spell with a base casting time less than 10 sec. become an instant cast spell.” Again with ravage changes, definitely have some opening move thoughts later.
Endless Carnage: (new) “Increases the duration of your Rake by 3/6 seconds and your Savage Roar and Pulverize by 3/6 seconds.” This is more of the “more forgiving” nature to the kitty tree that they are adding. Faery Fire (Feral) is at 5 mins in PvE, up from 40 secs. Mangle is up to a minute from 12 secs. This will put rake up to 15 seconds and Savage Roar up to 40 seconds with 5 combo points. Rip glyphed is at 16 seconds, 22 with glyph of shred if you hit 3 shreds and potentially ongoing with well timed Ferocious Bites at a boss less than 25% with a talent we’ll see later. Can we stop now? Yes this will still require a lot of attention being paid, but please don’t take too much more of the challenge away!
King of the Jungle: Moved to Line 7.
Leader of the Pack: Now requires Heart of the Wild.
Primal Tenacity: Reduces damaged taken in kitty while stunned is reduced to 5/10/15% down from 10/20/30%.
Infected Wounds: Now a 2 point talent down from 3. You get the same effect when 2 points are in it as you did with 3 before.
Primal Madness: (new) “Tiger’s Fury and Berserk also increases your maximum energy by 6/12 during its duration, and your Enrage and Berserk abilities instantly generates 0/12 Rage.” So I guess technically, if you pop Tiger’s Fury between 41 and 52 energy you get extra energy out of the deal. Berzerk can now be popped at 100 energy and you might be able to get an extra tick or two before going all John Madden. The haste changes might have an effect on this as well. It probably will need some modeling to figure out how effective this is.
Improved Mangle: I’m a bit confused on this one. Some sites list is as only having the first two points of the 3 it currently has available and but say it is a 3 point talent…
Nom Nom Nom: (new) “When you Ferocious Bite a target at or below 25% health, you have a 50/100% chance to instantly refresh the duration of your Rip on the target.” First of all, they all say “Name Not Final” all I can say is, please please keep it! This looks great for closing, you can boost your DPS through the roof towards the end of the fight. You basically can keep rip going, while getting the benefits of the high damage FB. As long as you can get 1 combo points between bites. Nom nom nom goes the kitty!
Primal Gore: Outta here! That’s how all DoTs work now!
Pulverize: (New) “Deals 100% weapon damage plus additional 786 damage for each of your Lacerate applications on the target, and increases your melee critical strike chance by 2% for each Lacerate application consumed for 10 seconds.” This is obviously for bears and definitely needs some clarification. Requires Primal Gore.
Wow! You made it this far? Cool.
So opening moves, was something on my mind. With Feral Charge allowing your to ravage without stealth, it no longer necessarily becomes, run in and start your “rotation.” Feral charge, you then have 6 seconds while you can still ravage which talented has an +50% chance of critting. So, FFF, Charge, Mangle, Savage Roar, Rake, Ravage, then start settling into your routine, would seem to be the way to begin. All this is subject to testing of course and is assuming that your tank can hold aggro from all that damage right off the bat. And we haven’t heard anything about cower being fixed yet, so don’t depend on it.
There’s a 2 talent point talent over in the resto tree now that will give you 4% increased damage to claw and shred, in place of Improved Mark of the Wild, so we now can easily be replaced by drums for that buff, assuming the drums are in Cata.
A lot to digest and a lot of exciting new theorycrafting coming soon as Cataclysm draws near. I’m excited and skeptical all at the same time.