No addons, no problem
One of the trickiest things about new patches is dealing with addons that aren’t working on day one. This is especially tricky for Feral Cats. The video below puts best how crazy it can be to try and keep track of what’s important for Feral Cats without using addons.
As someone that has dealt with this issue again and again I have compiled a list of things that can help you overcome a lack of addons while doing Cat DPS.
I’m assuming that you don’t need addon help to realize if you have the long-term buffs associated with PVE/PVP. You might be responsible for applying Mark of the Wild. Check for that. Got it? Done.
If you’re using an addon for self buffs, I hope you’re using it to keep track of things like:
Omen of Clarity
Trinket Based Buffs
The nice thing about most of these buffs is that it’s not direly important to be aware of when they fall off. The exception of course is Savage Roar. With Melee damage making up a significant portion of your overall DPS, keeping up Savage Roar can mean at least a 5% total damage difference. Luckily for us, Blizzard shows the player’s self-buffs along the top right. So you should see:
Your current tabard
Mark of the Wild (if your own)
Leader of the Pack
(Any other self-buffs you have/gain)
The important part of that list when you’re playing without addons is the “self-buffs you have/gain” This means that while you have Savage Roar up, it will be there. Also important to be aware of as well is that it will be blinking. Any buff with a time of less than one minute remaining will be blinking to let you know that it is about to expire. So the first buffs after the long-term/permanent ones will be your own short-term buffs, which include Savage Roar, Trinkets, Predator’s Swiftness, etc. If you really want to make it easier to see the short-term buffs, try enabling Interface -> Buff and Debuffs “Consolidate Buffs”. This will make an icon with a number on it appear at the far right with a number on it. Hover over the icon to see all your long-term buffs.
This may be a no-brainer for players that already use the Blizzard stock UI for keeping track of friends and foes. For players that use things like Pitbull, X-Perl, or Shadowed Unit Frames, Grid, or Healbot, this can be quite troubling. Here’s what we normally use Unit Frames to keep track of:
Party/Raid member’s health/mana
Our Combo Points
These days, most of the frames you want to move can be moved without the aid of addons. You can also go into the Interface -> Combat Setting and enable “Target of Target” to see, well, your target’s target. You can also go into Interface -> Unit Frames and enable “Use Raid-Style Party Frames”. At this point you can customize them in the Interface -> Raid Frames area. The new Blizzard raid frames show incoming heals, debuffs, buffs, and are very customizable.
You will want to keep track of both debuffs place on you, and the debuffs you place on others. Debuffs place on you is the easy part, those show up below buffs place on you, with just a bit of space between them vertically. Debuffs that you place on others is an entirely different matter. Some of the stuff you’ll need to stay aware of are:
As a DPS, the most vital on the list are Faerie Fire, Mangle, Rip, and Rake. One of a nice ways to make this clearer on your target, because other people’s buffs can easily get in the way, is to go to Interface -> Buffs and Debuffs and consider checking the “Castable Debuffs” b ox. This will make it only show your own debuffs on the target. This can obviously be tricky if another player is casting something like Faerie Fire or Mangle because if they are, you don’t have to, and you’ll want to know if their debuff is up.
If you use something like Bartender or Dominos, then patch day may very well represent your personal version of hell. For me, this is certainly true.
I use Bartender to show me 4 action bars on top of one another, with icons for 1 through =. The bottom bar is 1 through =. Above that is those with Shift. Then above that is with Control. Above that is with Alt. I normally just use 1-6 (with Shift, Control, and Alt 1-6 as well) for a total of 24 buttons.
Couple this, with the 4×5 grid on the right of my minimap, which shows the button placement for my NumPad, which I also use at times.
There is no simple fix for this. All of your keybinds will need to be fixed in the Interface -> Keybinds menu. You may have been wondering why I have my abilities bound to both 1 through 6 and my NumPad. It was due to a combination of bad patch days, and trying to improve my arena prowess that I learned to use all my abilities on my left hand. The abilities on my NumPad (right hand) are seldom used anymore, but occasionally come in handy.
Here is what you need to have ready to go:
Interface – > Action Bars Enable Bottom Left, Bottomw Right, Right, Right Bar 2.
This will give you 1 through = bar
Shift 1 through = above that
Control 1 though = to the right
Alt 1 through = (recommended descending order) on the Right (left of the two)
And Misc extras on the Right (right of the two)
What also can help is a good mouse. The Razer Naga is favored by many players, but to me it’s just way too many damn buttons on the mouse, I just can’t find a good use for that many. Recently I invested in a Logitech G700 mouse and I haven’t looked back.
Buffs – Savage Roar, Interface -> Buffs and Debuffs “Consolidate Buffs”. Makes SR easy to see. It will be blinking.
Unit Frames – Interface -> Unit Frames “Use Raid-Style Party Frames”. Interface -> Raid Frames Configure those frames up.
Debuffs – Interface -> Buff and Debuffs “Castable Debuffs” so you can see yours alone. Don’t enable this if it’s important to you to see other people’s debuffs.
Action Bars – Interface -> Action Bars Enable Bottom Left, Bottomw Right, Right, Right Bar 2. Make sure you visit Key Bindings and set everything up.
If I left anything out, or you have any questions, please let me know. I would love to make this topic as in depth and accurate as possible.