Got some advice from another bear and found some cool advice. One ws to use symbiosis. It was ridiculous the first time i used it, because it was in the heat of battle and I didn't even know what i got it from or what it did. The second time, however I chose the spell b4 we entered the battle and it was consecration (I believe) and it blasted everything in 10 yeard radius for nature damage! What a cool and fun thing to have in addition to my arsenal! Remembering to use it is the only drawback. Also I learned and retooled my talent tree to include mark of the wild vs natures vigil as it has a constant 6% addition, but also allows rejuvination during battle without changing out of bear, which will usually kill me. As to the spamming problem I rearranged my action bar to allow me to select mangle when it lights up. I still haven't managed to keep from spamming totally, but I dont machine gun it anymore, rather I pause a bit with my left hand, allowing the CDs to finish. Not an exact science, but it is still a work in progress.
Tielyn, could you elaborate on this resetting of the swing timer?
Probably using the wrong term there -- GCD timer is more correct. What I was referring to is what happens when you hit a button for any action that triggers the GCD -- Mangle | Lacerate | Thrash | Swipe | FF, primarily. Whichever one you hit locks out the other choices for the duration of the GCD. By hitting buttons at random all the time (aka button mashing), you lose control of what you're actually going to do next, where action choice is crucial. When you hit them while they're on the GCD (dark), you get the little annoying message 'that action/spell is not ready yet' and nothing happens at all.
A good visual demo of this is to line up the buttons above on your action bar, find a target dummy, and hit one of them for a single keypress -- and notice how many buttons go dark with a little clock animation before they light up again.*
Some people get around this by creating /castsequence macros so they only have to hit the same button all the time, and their GCDs are set. But that takes all the choice out of the gameplay because you're locked into the same sequence over and over even when it's not appropriate.
An effective way to use your GCDs is to tap the button right before the clock animation ends (server lag doesn't update your UI until after it's actually ready) -- that minimizes the 'idle' time between GCDs. You should be making a conscious choice of what you're attacking with if possible, because bear 'rotations' are all about priorities rather than true rotations. Sounds like starcruncher is doing better, though. :)
And now I get to make a new spreadsheet with Airo's new numbers. :) Thankya!
* Maul, Savage Defense and Frenzied Regen are not on the (dangit, nearly typed swing timer again) GCD. This means that you can hit them as long as you have the Rage to do it even when your normal attacks are in the middle of the GCD cooldown.
Yeah that's not resetting the swing timer, that's fucking up your rotation.
Maul, Savage Defense and Frenzied Regen are all part of the ones I dont spam. This is because I found savage defense to probably be my most important spell. After speaking to a veteran bear, he told me that his healer found a dramatic difference in his health mitigation by using the spell. for this reason I keep a careful eye on NOT hitting maul and choosing savage defense, if it lights up, which is pretty rare compared to the rest. If I hit maul savage defense will turn off and you have to wait. This sounds a lot like the swing timer you are refering to. I did make an extra button for mangle and I do click on it when I see it light up twice in a row, so I seem to be getting better damage out of that. Bottom line, my DPS has gone from 20k to 40k and I never die unless the healer dies. I took growl off the action bar altogether and so far no negative result, it was a time waster. Thrash does the same job only will keep the enemies on you even if someone else pulls at them after (unlike growl).
One other thing. I changed guilds and my main (excalibr) is now raiding. My GM (warrior tank) has 15% expertise. I remember one of you mentioning that. The idea of never missing is what I want to strive for once I feel I can afford it. I think that will be a while, as the other beneficial spells would take a big hit if I refroged 7.5% to expertise now. I figure once he gets close to 500 I can reforge for zero misses.
Hard capping expertise is far more important for prot warrior than it is guardian druids.
Maul has its own special GCD, as do FR and SD. This is because the latter should be hittable at any time you want to spend your Rage, versus the others (Lacerate/Thrash/Mangle/Swipe/FF) which lock each other out any time you hit one of them, which is the GCD timer I speak of.
Don't blindly assume SD is the right button at all times. I made that mistake in the beginning and recognizing what kind of damage you have incoming is the key.
Off the top of my head, cheat sheet:
SD is better than FR
Will of the Emperor
Grand Vizier Zorlok
Windlord Mel'jarak (if you are the add tank for sure)
Protectors of the Endless (when tanking Kaolan)
Tsu Long (but save an FR for right after the breath)
Sha of Fear
Jin'rokh (attacks that don't land don't blow up the group)
Council of Elders
Ji-Kun (I've been dropping my dot stacks half the time...)
FR is better than SD
Stone Guard (bleeds are the biggest damage)
Elegon (breath attack is the biggest damage)
Lei Shi (primary damage is magic)
Horridon (when on Horridon: Triple Puncture can't be dodged and must be recovered from)
Equal Weight, Situational
-Bladelord Tayak (dodge most of the time, save FR for Overwhelming Strike recovery)
-Garalon (not a lot of melee to dodge, not a lot of Vengance for high FR, so neither are terribly ahead of the other)
-Tortos (as the bat tank - keeping your health above 350K is critical, but not letting the bats get you down that far is equally critical)
-Megaera (early in the fight, SD > FR, later in the fight, FR > SD, since the magic damage gets pretty heavy)
Savage Defense approaches 'less ideal' when the damage from Melee is not the boss's primary source of damage to you, since Savage Defense mainly affects the boss's white swings and a tiny handful of other attacks. On fights where Magic is the boss's big damage output, FR is more preferable. Usually on fights where I have a known, quantifiable big hit coming up (Elegon's breath attack, for example), I'll bank enough Rage to hit FR immediately after the hit happens, which negates the effects of the hit faster than the healers can heal me sometimes.
I'm -very- pleased to hear that you've doubled your DPS while becoming less squishy. A step in the best direction, IMHO. But you'll want to keep growl somewhere on your bar, even if it's hidden under a macro, because when you get to raiding, you'll need to be able to instant taunt off of your co-tank on certain fights -- starting with Stone Guard.
you guys have been great. I ran my first raid 2 days ago and no wipes, on ToT. I was thrown into the last battle though (counsel of elders), simply asked the main tanks what he wanted me to do and it was my first raid. He explained and I did and it went smooth as silk. Also I picked up that new trink that heals you for 64k for 15 seconds. That helps in a pinch.
Glad to hear you've joined the ranks of raiding -and- you got a good co-tank to work with. Those are hard to find.
I'm currently playing with a crit meta gem to see how well it works out, and I have to keep reminding myself that it's less about the big damage (20-30K less average on Mangles in ToT / LFR is a lot to give up) and more about the extra crit chance for extra rage.