Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag bear-tanking

Shifting Perspectives: The joy of panic

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, it can happen to you.

Back during The Burning Crusade, I knew an extremely disgruntled warrior tank (not Matthew Rossi) who was generally mad at the world about everything (again, not Rossi) and considered the universe to be implacably biased against his good self (may I repeat, not Rossi). While summoning raid members to Tempest Keep one evening, we were having a nice chat, by which I mean grousing about the hassle of tanking Al'ar in the age of the missable taunt.

"&%*," he said. "Bears have it so easy. I have to &%($*% macro Shield Block to every $#$(%* ability in my &%()#@ action bar so I don't get ^%$(#( crushed. Not like you. You just sit there and ^%*#%( live through everything."

"I'm sorry," I said, although I wasn't really. I envied warriors for many reasons, but Shield Block spam was not among them, and I was privately glad that despite the bear's many issues, I didn't have to keep hammering one button every few seconds just to stay alive.

(Beta players are already reaching for the Valium. They know where this is going.)

I'm not yet in the Mists of Pandaria beta, but while reading through the news emerging from the servers, I had to spare a thought for my Angry Warrior Tank friend of yesteryear and how &%#(%* pleased he'd be to hear that we now know his #$^@%# pain.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Why PvP gear isn't necessarily a stupid idea

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, Allison is somewhat startled to discover that one of her long-held convictions is not necessarily right.

On the few occasions when I can be convinced to do a gear post for bears, I've generally shied away from including PvP gear. This is actually a complete turnaround from our situation in The Burning Crusade, when Arena gear was an absolute godsend due to the bear's desperation for critical strike reduction. The now-vanished talent Survival of the Fittest (the modern Thick Hide) gave us flat 3% crit reduction, and then we had to scrounge the last 2.6% in the interest of not being stomped into oblivion by a raid boss. Not surprisingly, most players wound up using a few pieces of PvP gear to reach the all-important crit cap, because resilience reduced your chance to be crit in PvE as well.

But ever since that changed, I soured on the use of PvP gear in PvE. Resilience is now completely wasted in PvE content, you can't reforge it, and you'll only ever get one other secondary stat on PvP pieces anyway.

"Pooh, pooh," I said.

"Threat generation," I said.

"Why would you want to gimp yourself with so much useless itemization?" I said.

"Three bags full," I said.

However, I couldn't help but notice that PvP gear was still crammed with all manner of agility goodness, and then there's the minor point that Kalon is pretty much always right. So I decided to try a little experiment to see how much the average player would be gimping himself by using a full set of PvP threads. Pay attention, children, because this is the last time for several minutes that I will be heard to utter the following words:

I was wrong.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing a bear druid in patch 4.2, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we want the damn fire kitty staff.

Hail, bears. This week, we're going to finish off our look at bear gear in the post-4.2 world. Our first installment, covering the helm through boot slots, went up last week. Today, we're going to look at rings, trinkets, weapons, and relics.

As a note on the PVE versus PVP discussion that broke out in the comments last week, I have to admit that I'm still not very fond of PVP gear. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say I'm not fond of an overdependence on PVP gear. The more arena and battleground pieces you add to your set, the more that you're likely to encounter threat generation issues.

Even haste (garbage stat that it is) does more for us than resilience, which does precisely nothing in PVE content. So I'm hesitant to endorse widespread use of PVP gear in PVE. If you have the opportunity to use a few suitable pieces, go for it; just check its ilevel to see the gear to which it's roughly comparable. Be aware that its use comes at the cost of stat allocation that could've gone to something useful.

As before, if your bear is completely new to level 85, our first set of bear gear guides may be more immediately useful to you.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing a bear druid in patch 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, it's not like we're doing dailies for our health.

Mmmm. Fresh meat gear, nicely charred by all that flame-broiling action in the Firelands these days. High time to update our gear lists!

Stat priority for bears in patch 4.2 remains armor, stamina, agility, mastery, crit, expertise, hit, and haste. Rather than rehash territory we've already covered in our first set of bear gear guides for Cataclysm, the lowest piece I'm going to list in each slot is the best available piece from 5-mans, reputation, or the new Molten Front vendors. If you're starting from absolutely nothing and need some ilevel 333/346 gear to tide you over, I would recommend the previous bear guides. Otherwise, your goal should be to get to at least the lowest piece in each slot on this list.

As always, I'm bypassing PVP gear because so much itemization is wasted on resilience. However, if you want to use it and you've got a better piece than would otherwise be available from PVE, knock yourself out. This week, we'll cover the helm through boot slots, and next week, we'll tackle rings, trinkets, weapons, and relics.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Guide to patch 4.2 for bear and tree druids

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we've returned from the Angry Dome.

Well, after pissing off Blizzard for the millionth week in a row, today we're going to turn our attention to slightly less explosive concerns. By the way, "Tank Q&A sucks" is a top search phrase for last week's Shifting. Just thought I'd mention.

As long as we're on the subject of the developer Q&As, I might as well make an uncomfortable segue to observing that Blizzard's now taking queries for the Q&A on healers. Go ask questions! Personally I am very interested in hearing if they're going to update Tree of Life form, or make Innervate a baseline ability rather than the 31-point talent in the restoration tree.

Ha ha! I kid because I love.

On the off chance that patch 4.2 hits today (which it probably won't, but eh), this is a quick and dirty guide to the patch notes that'll concern you if you play a bear or tree druid. If the patch hits next week, we'll keep ourselves occupied making daisy chains or something. Or, if the healer Q&A gets published sooner than expected, I'll write another enraged diatribe for everyone to enjoy.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Blizzard responds to feral druid Savage Defense concerns

Savage Defense, the tanking feral druid's absorption mechanic, is undergoing some changes in patch 4.1 to ramp up its effectiveness to be on par with the mitigation mechanics of other tanks. Forum blue Daxxarri responded to one player's concern that the new implementation of Savage Defense isn't working out so hot. The response discusses client latency, the appearance of shields working or not, and how the combat log displays certain types of information.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid

Shifting Perspectives: Bear weapons, trinkets, and relics

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we continue to enjoy getting hit in the face.

Greetings, druids. This week, we'll finish up our bear gearing guide with a look at weapons, trinkets, and relics; the first section of the guide covers everything else. If you're on the lookout for a more general-purpose guide to the spec, complete with a list of recommended enchants and glyphs, you'll find that in Feral Druid Tanking 101.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing a bear druid at 85


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, we prepare to get hit in the face. A lot.

All right, folks -- time to gear your tanks! As with our previous series on gearing a restoration druid at level 85, we'll be going slot by slot to show you the best available options and where you can get them. I've listed recommend enchants previously in Feral Druid Tanking 101, but I've listed them here as well for convenience.

I received some criticism over the restoration gear posts that they were a bit too thorough, and it was (I think) a correct assessment. I'd been aiming for an Emmerald-like opus, but it wound up being an unwieldy mess in blog format. Here, we'll generally avoid gear below ilevel 333. Why? Because you don't want it. I'm sure it's very nice and it has a great personality, but trust me, I've been down that road. It is the way of pain. I've listed the normal versions of some heroic drops here as a courtesy to anyone who's still leveling up, but items are otherwise ranked according to the desirability of their heroic versions.

This week, we'll do the helm through ring slots. Weapons, trinkets, and relics require a bit more discussion, so we'll tackle those next week.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: A peek at the beta bear


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, we push off from the island of Swipe spam and float toward the ominous continent inhabited by Lacerate spam.

Hail, druids. I've had another week in the beta, and my main's now level 82. While I would love to tell you that all of the bugs we talked about last week have been tracked down and eliminated; that's not the case, so I'm not sure that a big analytical article on abilities that Blizzard's by no means finished with is a great use of our time. But I did tank a very successful Blackrock Caverns run, and Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) recently wrote something interesting about the future of AoE tanking, so today's post is going to take a quick peek at how bears are developing.

Also, there's a great quest in Mount Hyjal where you throw bears off a tree, which naturally I recorded. It recorded upside down for some reason, so I'll have to figure out how to flip it before it gets posted.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Pulling 101: Deeper into the dungeon


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, we continue to get hit in the face.

This week, we're continuing our series on Pulling 101 with a look at what happens during the dungeon itself. I was surprised to discover exactly how much of this advice concerns rage management, but shouldn't have been; any discussion concerning how to pull as a rage tank invariably touches on how to get the most out of an eccentric resource system. A good chunk of this advice will become obsolete as of the Cataclysm content patch, but if you're leveling and gearing a bear through the dungeon finder, there are still an awful lot of 5-mans between yourself and this fall.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Pulling 101: Assessing the group


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them.

For a long time, I've been kicking an article around on the art of the 5-man pull. Knowing how and when to pull is arguably the foundation of a smooth dungeon run, and it's certainly among the first skills that any tank needs to develop. While a not-insignificant portion of one's ability to pull cleanly only arrives courtesy of experience with a wide variety of players, there are a few rules that approach universal status. Moreover, I expect them to be equally useful when I hit the new Cataclysm dungeons and have to figure out how to tank for a group safely in a new environment with new mobs.

The more I wrote on pulling, the more I realized that the subject can be divided into two very distinct categories: what happens before you pull, and what happens while you're pulling. This week's column addresses the former. Everything I am about to tell you in this column is something that you, as an experienced tank, will eventually do in the space of a second without even realizing you're doing it.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: The bear's wish list


Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. Today we gnaw on Alex until he's convinced that we tank, and then restrain ourselves from penning a letter with the salutation, "Dear Santa..."

Today, druids, I crave your indulgence for wading into a potentially volatile topic, but I think the time has come to address an issue that's divided the druid community into two embattled camps:

Can beast mastery raid?

I kid. I don't know who beast mastery is, and whether he raids or not is a matter between himself and his God. So, rather than pestering some poor bastard over his existential crisis in ICC, I figured our time might be better spent with some observations on how the druid class has fared in Wrath of the Lich King, and more particularly on the things that haven't worked out so well for us. Before Cataclysm's beta starts, I figure it'll be cool to air a class wishlist and get some feedback. UPDATE: And Blizzard has pre-empted me on this.

To be frank, there's something a bit fool's-errandish about the whole enterprise, because we have no idea what kind of content awaits us in Cataclysm, and today's problems may not even exist there. It's an old saw that generals like to prepare their armies to fight yesterday's war, and I'd be lying if I said there weren't an element of that here. I guess it might be more accurate to describe this article as "Things I wish I'd written two years ago" -- when Wrath's beta was on the horizon -- but one of the irritating things about hindsight is that things actually need to be behind you.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: Why effective health needs to die, part 1


Every week (usually), Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we brace ourselves for the howling pack of tanks likely to descend upon us, but -- as we have previously observed -- we are used to staying at the top of someone's hate list.

If you've tanked at all over the course of Wrath, you've probably become familiar with the phrase "effective health." It's a concept that's cropped up with increasing frequency on the tanking forums, and not necessarily in a good way. If you knew nothing of the idea beyond how players tend to use it, you'd be forgiven for thinking that "effective health" is the only metric by which all tanks are measured, and proof that Blizzard either can't (or won't) balance the game. There are very real differences between the tanking classes when it comes to average EH, and this has resulted in some angry discussion when the term is thrown around by players who either don't really understand what it means, or don't know that it was meant to be used in context. Consequently, "effective health" as used on the tanking forums has become an endlessly parroted phrase that's not only starting to lose all meaning, but is also guaranteed to derail a thread once it makes its inevitable appearance.

When I say that effective health needs to die, I don't mean that the concept itself is intrinsically wrong. It's not. But the twisted version of it so frequently used to bludgeon players over class differences is getting more ridiculous by the day, and it prevents or distorts more reasonable commentary on things that are much more likely to kill tanks on hard-mode content.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: An Ulduar class preview, part 3

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, as other people continue their march through Ulduar, I continue to ask myself if it wouldn't be more cost-effective in the long run just to take my ailing graphics card out behind the woodshed and end its pathetic misery once and for all.

Greetings, fellow Druids. There have been a few changes to Ulduar of late which I haven't yet seen play out on the live realms, but most of the changes concerned are nerfs, which should have little impact on overall raid strategy apart from giving you a bit of extra breathing room. Today we're going to address what you can expect from Auriaya and Mimiron. Mimiron in particular was the subject of some concern from feral tanks on the PTR and, well, the mechanic driving that concern is still a problem, but less of one than you might think.

I was originally going to include Freya in this installment as well, but noticed that her two erstwhile comrades were starting to consume rather a lot of space. Suffice it to say that trying to describe these two fights is awkward at best, so I'm restricting myself to as much Druid-centric information as possible rather than describing every possible means of handling the fights.

Oh well. Batting first for us today is sad spinster Miss Auriaya and her smelly cats, although she's a bit complicated to describe:

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Achievements

Shifting Perspectives: An Ulduar class preview, part 2


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we watch the Ulduar trailer again and ask ourselves over and over why Jaina Proudmoore couldn't have been a Druid. The obvious answer is that she just wasn't cool enough, but this is the source of much cognitive dissonance at the moment.

I'm going to take a quick moment from the rest of the column and just write, in case any of the people who made it are reading this, that the Ulduar trailer was so stuffed with win that pieces of win are dribbling out of it into little win puddles and spilling over into the Sewer of Awesome. And, as NaitFury on the MMO Champion thread points out, "Those of you who say it is boring should probably go back to watching another Undead Rogue 1-shot people with Linkin Park in the background." Amen!

We're one week into Ulduar (and by "we" I mean "other people," because the game has become virtually unplayable for me post-patch, and having the game crash my computer every 5 minutes is forcing the Sewer of Awesome to run to the Vast Delta of Self-Pity), so let's pick up where we left off and tackle the Deconstructor, the Iron Council, and Kologarn.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events

Event Date
WoW's 10th Anniversary 11/21 - 1/5
Pilgrim's Bounty 11/24 - 12/1
Darkmoon Faire 12/7 - 12/14
Feast of Winter Veil 12/16 - 1/2

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories