It's good to step back from the healing job every now and then and experience something different.
I finally got Kae (my feral on Alliance) up to 80, mostly through doing the Tournament dailies from 77+, which net between 10 and 20% of my xp bar each day, and doing the Sons of Hodir questline. At various free points I had over the past week when I didn't feel like grinding the dailies on my horde characters, I decided to jump into some PuG Naxx raids. I was worried about how I'd do given that my gear was entirely composed of level 70 epics and a couple quest blues, but I had a really good time.
I have decided that feral is more fun to play than my rogue, mostly because of the mechanic change to Tiger's Fury with the talent, making it pretty much restore your energy bar once every half minute or so (something my little assassin doesn't have). I find managing the feral timers more interesting than juggling SnD (Slice n' Dice) and rupture and poisons, though in concept it's not all that different.
I had a blast shredding things to death, and somehow managed to net around 1900 dps in the 10-man, and 2300 in the 25-man. I seriously wasn't expecting to be that high with the gear I had and lack of experience; somehow I managed to top the damage-done meters in the Naxx10 run, though I think a factor in that was the DPS warrior having to AFK continuously (he said his mother-in-law accidentally set her car on fire... O.o ) and the ret pally kept having to go prot to OT.
I used the importance ranking of Savage Roar > Rip > Rake, while working around keeping Mangle up admist the sporadic Traumas. Swipe did some massive damage and I found a great love for OoC procs during trash, though I was a good kitty too who paid attention to when I might need to swap bear and save the healers. There was a resto druid in the 10-man raid who did a good job of saving my fuzzy tail when swipe pulled threat :) ...and they had me OT a couple bosses as a bear. Good experience all around, though I was sad that both pugs fell apart ~2 hours in from people having to leave.
I walked out from the raids with a 213 belt and T7 legs, which make me feel a bit more comfortable about advertising myself as a possible tank for instances (though I am still remarkably squishy compared to the tanks I'm used to playing with). Again, I wish that I could group her with those in my horde guild so that I could do some serious work with her (tanking off-night heroics and Naxx10s), but I doubt the game will ever allow such cross-faction cooperation... I shall have to make do with the antics of puggers. :)
Regardless, it's been fun to shelve the heals and just tear into things again with a cat model that is sleek and pretty. I doubt I'll have time to spend more than an instance a week with her, but it's worth it, because I have honestly missed the feral side of things. I love healing, but I love being a clawed fury, too!
(I also enjoy doodling her...)
As an aside, I'd like IceHUD to include a timer bar for Savage Roar, like it does for SnD. For now, I just use Debuff Filter to watch it.
Trading gold for game time is good for everyone
14 hours ago