Monday, November 2, 2009

Fur and Fury

Having spent the last week at the SAPTeched and suffering from a generally busy work arena the last few weeks I didn't get around to playing much wow. So little even that I managed to miss the better part of Halloween which is too bad since I was all set up to go for a vicious Rant on how people kill the quest giver in the starting zones, park their oversized orange mammoths over waterpools and what not.

It was a particularly ranty rant which is always nice to do once in a while so I am a little sad I missed the opportunity to let Halloween meet my broadside.

Of course like any good rant it sticks in your system till you let it out so I found something completely different to rant about. Something in a field I previously knew very little about (and probably don't know nearly enough about as it is).

It all started a few weeks ago when I decided I wanted to do something new with my druid. Sure it was nice being a tree and frankly I haven't played any healer type character that's more fun to play than a tree druid whom can literally roll hots over half a raid without breaking a sweat... but when it comes to actually doing something other than healing, healing specs always seem crippled.

You can't kill things... unless you think killing something means applying the single dot you have and then outhealing the bastard's damage.

So I decided I'd look into some bear specs. It combined a lot of the survivability the average tree has with just that much more damage to make trying out the whole feral tree appealing.

And with that I started jotting down an outline for a spec and afterwards started digging for gear. It took me about 20 minutes before I started wondering where all the bear-tank gear was. It took me another 10 minutes to realize that there was no such thing as bear-tank gear. Bear tanks wear DPS gear...

Nothing around that really looked like it could improve damage mitigation... clearly my little furball was just meant to take hits, soak them up and pray for heals before the soaking capacity stopped.

With nothing out there in terms of gear I began to wonder how this would impact the bear tank population on various servers. After all without specifically designed bear tanking gear it means the bear tank is in direct competition with DPS of all types for most of his/her gear.

I never looked at a rogue's DPS gear and thought... hey that stuff would be nice for my bear tank but apparantly I should've all along.

Frankly I never had looked much at non-bearform bears at all... and now that I survey the few bear-tanks my server seems to have I must note that most of them look like they recently stumbled into the leftover bin at some wayward fashion show.
When they're out of form at least... when they're in form they pretty much look like a bear ... which is uneventful in itself.

I didn't shelve my plans for a bear tank but I do have to wonder how appealing a bear tank really is when your gear makes you look like a fashion accident and you have to compete with DPS to get it. And that's outside of 5 man performance which looks like it consists mostly of 'swipe swipe swipe swipe' activity.

Looking at it from a distance I think bears need something... if nothing else something that will allow them to reclaim their identities as tanks rather than an afterthought to the whole 'lets just gear a plate tank' conundrum.

That said, did anyone actually see a bear tank in the last months? I've seen maybe 3 in the last weeks... and that's nothing compared to the oodles of platewearing tanks (mostly pallies) that seem to be all over the place.

Is the bear tank heading for extinction?

3 comments:

Scaramoush said...

I'm not extinct, I just transferred servers ;)

Bears are alive and well, and kicking ass too. Yeah, we share gear with rogues which means more gear competition than the clanky tanks have, but we have such great modifiers that the itemisation isn't much of an issue.

A bear relies on only two stats: agility and stamina. We get tps bonuses from haste and ArP, and crit helps SD uptime, but Agi and Stam are our bread and butter.

We can still look unique in our tier gear, only our offspec pieces look roguish. The worst case had to be the T8 offspec head pieces. That helm looks terrible on a tauren, thank Elune for the hide helm option.

Michael said...

The main tank that I raid with is a bear-tank and is one of the more capable tanks that I've rolled with.

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