Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we are proud to welcome a new generation of cats.
Of the three druid specs I cover in the Tuesday column, I think it's arguably toughest to gear a cat. Bears are pretty straightforward; they want armor, agility and gobs of stamina. They're not particularly fussy about the array of DPS stats that otherwise infests melee leather, and because all three of their primary stats appear in spades on PvP gear, they've got another set of reasonable options as long as they're willing (and able) to dump some threat.
Trees are even easier. If leather with spellpower drops, the rest of the party/raid groans, and you'll often get these items whether you wanted them or not. For a long time I've wondered if the continuing popularity of the tree has anything at all to do with how easy it is to build a functional healing set even when you're not trying.
Cats, on the other hand, tend to face a lot more competition. They have neither the bear's indifference to DPS stats, nor the tree's benefit of playing a relatively uncommon armor/stat combination. As a cat approaching the end game, you'll probably find yourself rolling against a beggar's army of melee and hunters drooling over melee leather.
Two words: armor penetration. These days every Two-Hand-Harry and Shadow's-Edge-Sally has a raging lust for armor penetration, and we band of buggered restricted to melee leather are paying the price.
Oh well. This article gave me an excuse to dig up a bunch of cat-related YouTube videos, and you can't stay mad for long.