Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives is supposed to explore issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, does what no one seems to want, and discusses playing a druid in the game as it is still known, rather than the expansion that is still two months away. Although it is likely Wrath of the Lich King will worm it's way in somehow.
I'd like to take a minute to talk about a mechanic that has defined the Feral Druid tanking philosophy, even though you might not know it.
I'm talking here about Crushing Blows.
A Crushing Blow is an attack made only by NPCs that does 150% of normal attack damage.
A Crushing Blow can happen if the NPC you are fighting has a base weapon skill 15 or more points higher than your base defense skill. Base defense skill is the only thing that counts towards the chance of a Crushing Blow; Defense Rating and Expertise are of no help whatsoever.
At level 70, if you are fully trained up, your defense and weapon skills should be 350 each.
Raid Bosses are level 73. They have 365 weapon skill. That's 15 weapon skill points higher than your possible defense.
Do you see the connection, my friends? If you are main tanking a raid boss that is level 73, then you are susceptible to Crushing Blows
As you might expect, tanks wish to know how to avoid taking these suddenly massive chunks of damage, if at all possible.
You may have heard before that Paladins and Warriors can "push Crushing Blows off the table", but you might not know what that means, exactly.
What kind of table is it? A nice mahogany? Teak? Perhaps inlaid parquet? Are they pushed off the table vigorously, so that they clatter all over the floor?
You may also have heard that having your attacks Parried by a raid boss can cause BAD THINGS to happen, especially if you can suffer from Crushing Blows.
Well, let's talk about this whole thing a little more after the break, shall we?