Well I was wrong about a few things. Since I posted that not only did I complete leveling my Rogue and start to get some gear for him (two pieces of T8, and various Naax-10/25 and Heroic gear) but I also leveled mining and engineering up for him as well. But it kept bothering me that I chose the Rogue over the Druid. You see, I’m very attached to my Druid, so I shelved the Rogue for a while and went back and finished leveling the Druid.
Weeks later my Druid now has two pieces of T8, some Naax-25 gear, and a few pieces of the new ToC Heroic gear. I should also have my first piece of T9 today as well. As with the Rogue I’ve now had opportunity to raid a few times on him and I can say definitively that I was indeed wrong on a few things. Rogues do not, in any way, have an advantage in AOE. I was simply doing it all wrong on the Druid before, and Rogues obviously can not spam FoK as much as I had originally thought they could. Point of fact, Cat Swipe hits a hell of a lot harder than FoK does and there is no way any Rogue is going to keep up with Swipe on Berserk (1 min cooldown). I hit 19k dps on a trash pull in Naax-25, and regularly hit between 12-14k. Wow is right.
I’ve pretty much gone back to playing my Druid as my “alt” for the past few weeks but I’m still struggling with the “rotation”. Cat DPS is a lot like Ret Paladin in that there isn’t really a rotation at all, just a priority list. You have a set pattern for opening (Mangle > Rake > Savage Roar > Shred > Tigers Fury then > Shred/Shred > Rip). According to all the research I’ve read I am supposed to keep Mangle up (if no other Feral Druid or Arms Warrior), Rake up, 5-cp Shred then Rip, as well as Savage Roar. I haven’t figured out how. I have nearly 50% crit and I just do not get enough combo points in order to keep Savage Roar up all the time. In fact if I waste CPs on Savage Roar I find there are periods where Rake and Rip are off and I have to wait to build back up to them. Very frustrating. I’ll get it eventually.
However, tanking on a Druid is now even easier than it was in BC. I’m absolutely loving omni-directional Swipe, and threat is really a non-issue in WotLK so good tanking comes back even more to the abilities that separated good tanks from great tanks in BC — Situational awareness, an ability to adapt on the fly, and mental agility. People have fallen out of the practice of waiting to DPS on trash or bosses, so you need to be able to gather up trash groups and establish threat on everything within 1-2 seconds, as well as be able to keep a look out for patrols or strays at the same time.
I have a long way to go yet. In the DPS vein specifically, but if things start working out in the way I’m hoping they will I am seriously looking to supplant my Death Knight and make my Druid my main once again.