How to Make Tanking More Interactive

The Problem with Passive Tanks

One of the questions I saw popping up a few times in the Ask a Dev: Tanking thread concerned the lack of active defenses for tanks. That is, tanks rely on passive stats like dodge, parry, block/Savage Defense, and base damage reduction to survive. Death Knights, with Death Strike, Blood Shield, and a handful of minor cooldowns actually have a healthy amount of active control over their defenses, so this question doesn’t apply to them as much as it does Druids, Warriors, and Paladins.

Continue reading “How to Make Tanking More Interactive”

The Best Part of the Dungeon Journal

My guild is semi-hardcore. We try really hard to stay in the US top 100 (and usually fall just short), we raid every weeknight, and we often have to develop strategies for bosses that haven’t been the highlight of a TankSpot of Learn2Raid video yet.

A semi-hardcore guild like mine doesn’t jump into a fight blind. No, we’ve had a hundred or so guilds do it before us; ours is not the place to reinvent the wheel. Instead, we scour the parses of guilds that have successfully completed a fight. We google the far corners of the internet searching for incoherent hints and pieces of strategy, put them back together, and assemble a plan.

Continue reading “The Best Part of the Dungeon Journal”

How to be a Feral Hybrid

Ferals, with two roles smushed into a single specialization, are the strongest hybrid in the game. To make the most of your chosen feral spec, you should learn how to play both cat form and bear form to the best of your ability.

I spend about half my progression raids as cat, half as bear. While I think part of this is due to my guild’s Divine Guardian guilt (“we really like bears, but Divine Guardian is just so overpowered that we’re forced to use two paladin tanks; here, have a dps cookie”), it’s unmistakeable that bears bring the best off tank dps around. Bear and cat specs are nearly identical, and their gear is interchangeable. Holding your own as a bear-cat hybrid will take some extra gold and preparation, but the end result is that you become invaluable to your guild as both a tank and damage dealer.

Apparently a bearcat is actually a thing.

Continue reading “How to be a Feral Hybrid”

4.2 PTR for Ferals — A First Look

The newest PTR has been released, and so far things are looking good. First off, here are the patch notes as relating to druids.

Many crowd control abilities no longer cause creatures to attack players when they are cast. The creature will not attack the player when the crowd control wears off, and nearby creatures will not become hostile to the player either. However, if a visible player gets too close to the target creature, the creature will remember and attack the player when the crowd control effect wears off. The intent is to make it easier for dungeon groups to manage crowd control assignments and pulling packs of hostile NPCs. The abilities affected by this change are: Hibernate, Entangling Roots, Wyvern Sting (will still cause hostility when it begins to deal damage), Freezing Trap, Polymorph, Repentance, Shackle Undead, Blind, Hex, Bind Elemental, Banish, Seduction.

Continue reading “4.2 PTR for Ferals — A First Look”

Thoughts From My Free-to-Play Days

I started out my MMOing career with free-to-play games, commonly abbreviated as f2p. Actually, it probably went more like chat rooms -> Neopets -> free MMOs, but I’m not here to talk about internet creepers or angel paintbrushes. I think I started playing MMOs about a year before WoW came out, and then well into the first two years of its existence. The last two years of high school were spent with my face buried in a CRT monitor, burning away six to eight hours a day grinding in these games (high school is a weird time for most people). Thanks to that, I’d like to think I know (or knew) a bit about hardcore f2p MMOs.

Continue reading “Thoughts From My Free-to-Play Days”

Tank Comparison: Low Level Abilities

Even with the upcoming changes to Swipe, I still believe that bears are way too weak at low levels. Their passive and active defenses are frighteningly low, and they have very few tools to do the job until later in the game. In this post I will compare the rate druids learn tanking skills to the rate other tanks learn them, and show exactly where low level druids fall behind.

Continue reading “Tank Comparison: Low Level Abilities”

What’s happening to bears in 4.1?

Quite a few people have asked me about this, so maybe the world needs to know!

Here’s the TL;DR:

  1. Bears will be have comparable AoE mitigation to other tanks.
  2. Bear damage has been increased, as well as AoE threat, but single target threat remains the same.
  3. Bears get a few quality of life changes and should probably take a look at their spec.

From ALAMO teeches u 2 Burnin Croosaid!

Continue reading “What’s happening to bears in 4.1?”

A Tank Comparison: Cooldowns

Today I’m going to look at tanking cooldowns. This is not supposed to be an argument over who has the best cooldowns or who is overpowered or blah blah blah. This is a learning exercise so that everyone can better understand their tanking teams. Remember that cooldowns are not balanced in a vacuum; Blizzard takes everything into account when they balance tanks, not just your damage reduction cooldowns.

All pictures are from Wowhead.

Continue reading “A Tank Comparison: Cooldowns”