Winter Hibernation

Thanks to http://www.wow.com for the picture!

If you are playing currently then you should have noticed a trend with feral druids.  Most feral druids are spec’ed for cat dps.  Feral tanks seem to be a dying breed.  This is a complete reversal from TBC.   Ferals now spec dps and off spec tank.  Why is this so?  Isn’t feral tanking still as good as it was in TBC?  In short, no.  Herein lies my simple one word reason:

Gear

In TBC feral druids had tier gear which added bonus armor and much more stamina than the regular trash and boss drops.  In Wrath this bonus armor has been dropped and feral tier gear more closely resembles that of rogue gear.  On top of this ferals share all of their trash and boss armor drops, outside of tier gear, with rogues and other melee classes.  Blizzard did this to create simpler loot tables after the much larger ones in TBC and Vanilla.  This creates an issue for guilds and their raiders.  The issue is that because a feral is having to share drops with other melee dps it takes much longer to gear a leather wearing feral tank than a plate wearing tank.  So that leads the officers of a guild to question the viability of recruiting a feral druid over a protection warrior or paladin or death knight.  I mean seriously why spend more time waiting for a feral to gear up while competing with melee dps and hunters when a paladin or warrior tank doesn’t take half as much time to gear?  This attitude trickles down to upcoming feral druids and they begin to question even tanking.  This leads to less feral druids tanking and more just going straight dps.  This makes me a very sad bear.

My simple question to Blizzard is:  What was so hard about designing feral druid specific gear that you had to completely remove it?  I understand this would create a sense of favoritism, but overall I think feral druids are the spec that would truly benefit the most from having a specific set of gear for tanking.  Along with many other specs we were mostly ignored until very late in Vanilla WoW.  The Vanilla gear problem was a widespread problem throughout WoW and was reflected in how tier gear for each class was meant solely for one spec (eg. Druid Tier 3- 4 set reduced the mana cost of various healing spells).   In TBC, feral tanking took a front seat and gear reflected this well (eg. Tiers 4-6 had bonus armor and good tanking set bonuses).  Wrath has been Blizzard’s attempt to level the playing field between feral tanks and feral dps.  Bonus armor is gone off all gear.  No longer do you find Strength on feral druid tier gear.  The amount of Stamina has also dropped in favor of more Agility.  This sounds like a good compromise and it does work to an extent, but it does not let a feral excel fully at tanking.  You find no specific leather tanking drops off trash or at random from bosses.  It’s all geared more towards dps and as with tier gear has no Strength.  What happened to our Strength, Blizzard?

On top of this gear from PvE raidng a feral tank has to find some of his finest upgrades from doing Arena.  Arena gear offers high amounts of Stamina and Agility, but at the cost of Expertise, Hit, and other important stats.  This continues to confuse me.  Blizzard, why should a feral tank have to do PvP to get his BiS gear?  Add to this the fact that we can now use polearms and hunters can use staves.  No longer is there a such things as feral staves.   Death Knights, Paladins, and Warriors also roll on polearms so that is extra competition plus the fact that Blizzard is not trying to target these weapons towards one specific class and spec.  Can we just return to the simple days of feral staves?

I understand my opinion on this topic will incite some upset responses, but as with any blog post this is my opinion.  I am a feral tank at heart who has used most of Wrath to test the dps side of raiding.  I vehemently opposed Blizzard’s changes to gear in Wrath and post in countless threads about the issue.  However, I will listen to all sides and promise to keep any debate civil if you wish to propose different points of view.  Look forward to hearing from you all!

Cheers!

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~ by aleanathem on November 18, 2009.

2 Responses to “Winter Hibernation”

  1. I Couldn’t agree more!! I felt wanted as a feral tank in BC we filled a nitch and were rewarded well for filling it. I miss those days that is way I have gone kitty dps and Resto healz. I miss tanking but it’s just not as fun anymore for me.

  2. Hmmm… I dunno, I haven’t seen that in the game at all.

    Weird.

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