Over the weekend, I leveled a new Worgen Druid in Eff the Ineffable, with the intention of maybe someday running some instances or… who knows?

From 1 to 23, it was a pretty smooth ride. I enjoyed the 100% completion of Darkshore quests, Skinning was as easy as I expected in that bear-and-cat saturated zone, and my Death Knight sugar-momma fed plenty of gold for equipment and training.

At level 23, I decided to see how the Druid stacked up as a low level instance tank.

Before I took this step, I checked my tools.

Solid gear – check. I bought from the AH, had a few nice quest rewards, and generally made sure that I had solid Stam/Agi gear with some hit rating and relatively high iLevels for the armor rating.

Skills – check. I had Enrage for instant rage generation, Mangle and Maul for single target threat, Growl for regaining threat from overzealous DPS, Demoralyzing Roar to help cut down on incoming damage and Skull Bash for those delicious spell interrupts.

What I didn’t have, of course, were Feral Charge, Feral Faerie Fire, or Swipe.

In fact, at level 23, two levels prior to Glyphs, I couldn’t help but notice that I had nothing to serve as AoE threat generation at all.

At least… I didn’t to a casual observer.

Time to bring out the tricks.

First, marking targets. Telling everyone who to focus on killing first will help cut down on most of the AoE threat issues. If I put my Skull (accessed by assigning Skull to F1, X to F2 for second kill priority) then the DPS should know who to focus on… and let me worry about the rest.

Second, overcoming healer aggro.

An experienced healer will know that they gain aggro from the amount they actually heal, WHEN it heals someone. That aggro is on a point for point basis, but divided amongst the number of mobs in the entire linked group. One point of healer aggro on a tank when the tank is fighting only one mob applies one full point on the mob, but that same point when the tank is fighting two mobs gets split up – 1/2 a point on mob one, 1/2 a point on mob two.

So how to compensate? The best way is for the healer to NOT cast any heals until they can clearly see the tank has aggroed everything. Even something as inherently weak as modern Swipe, in the hands of a tank, can overcome group healer aggro. That’s why healer aggro is divided in the first place. Healers get protected by the tank, DPS need to check their own six and be careful.

Without a Swipe, though, how does a healer keep from being swarmed by all the mobs in a four to six mob pull?

This is where Thorns and self-heal HoTs come into play for a Bear. You stand there in caster form, mark your primary kill target with Skull, cast Rejuvenation, Regrowth and Thorns on yourself, flip to Bear and run in.

Charging in, of course, would be preferred, but we ain’t got Feral Charge yet.

With the 12 second Rejuvenation, that HoT lasts long enough for Regrowth’s cast time to go off and still be viable for the 6 second Regrowth duration. Thorns has a 20 second duration, so it’s even better.

When you run in and tag that first mob, make darn sure you try to reach melee range of any casters. If not, well, thats what those HoTs on you that YOU cast are for; you’re generating your OWN healer aggro for yourself. 

Anyone in melee range, of course, will also be getting tagged by your Thorns and helping you out on AoE threat. Mangle and Maul as appropriate.

If I only had Swipe, Feral Charge and FFF! Ah, the joys of playing mob pinball. /sigh.

With these tools, plus Tidy Plates / Threat Plates, I figured this was totally doable.

Of course, there is one key ingredient that I had neglected to check.

Group willing to actually work with me for one f’ing second?

Um, nope.

Stockades. Seems simple, right?

I felt really, really bad for the healer. They seemed nice, they were polite, they stood up for me after we wiped on the first pull. But after the third time dying, I certainly didn’t blame them for leaving.

So, what was the problem?

The DPS, two Hunters and a Warrior, actually attacked while I was still running up. I hadn’t even gotten close enough to face pull and boom!

So mobs are on the three DPS and their pets, but not ALL the mobs of the group. I grabbed one of them, and started trying to get the rest, and the healer panicked, exacerbating the problem by frantically casting heals to try and keep all the DPS alive… bringing the remainder of the mobs down on her head.

We rezzed and ran in, and the healer, bless her soul, told the DPS to give me a chance to grab aggro before they opened up.

It didn’t matter. They never gave me more than a single GCD to do anything before opening up, and this inevitably resulted in mobs attacking DPS, healer trying to keep them alive, and then free mobs running for the healer.

With my wonderful system, if nobody ever actually attacks ME, then the self-cast HoTs and Thorns do exactly diddly and squat for threat generation. Nothing. So I got a chance to grab one mob before I got to watch the parade run right by me.

As I said, the healer was a trooper, but three wipes pretty much signaled that some people you just can’t teach. You can’t heal through stupid.

I was disgusted.

Sure, I know the tricks. But that doesn’t do me a damn bit of good if the rest of the group willingly choose to shut their brains off, ignore the plan, do what they want and then blame it on the tank if they pull aggro.

But what is more frustrating, is knowing that if I were playing a Warrior, I’d have Charge, Thunder Clap, and 2 points in Blood and Thunder to have nearly instant Rend DoT application on all targets in the group I just whacked.

I’m sorry, but I feel that this situation is pure bullshit. Maybe I’m missing something obvious, and if so I’m sorry for being stupid, but how is giving Warriors easy AoE threat abilities early on and Bears nothing a reasonable decision?

So, I’m not happy. I’m feeling a little pissy about it. I don’t mind having to squeeze out every ounce of usefulness from my tools to make something happen, I (like many of you) was a Bear tank in Burning Crusade when Bear tanks weren’t ‘cool’. I never saw it as cheating, I saw it as a challenge; make it work.

I guess the core problem I have is that there is a LFD tool, and I could take advantage of it… but the people in that channel seem to be getting trained by other tanking classes to just go all out balls out and not worry about their threat or target selection.

Without ez mode AoE threat abilities of my own at this level, that leaves me as the sucky ‘LRN2TANK’ dude.

And that SUCKS.

I guess the moral of the story is… only play with close friends that have a clue, wait until I’ve got some more tools, or re-roll Warrior, right?

54 Responses to “Beary dissatisfied with low level instances”
  1. Chris says:

    The tools they give a low level druid seriously make me wonder if they are trying to phase out bear tanking.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I do wonder what they’re intention is towards the Bear spec of the class. It would be nice to think that all classes and each spec of each class is equally well regarded and designed for in the development team, but truthfully, the Devs wouldn’t be human if they each didn’t have favorites, likes and dislikes, personal opinions. I think there are some that various team members are naturally drwn to, and that get a little bit more polish or finish than others.

      Obviously it’s only my opinion but there are times when something like this seems to show that Bear druids aren’t really on any particualr Dev’s radar. After all, if it was a class you loved, you’d probably be looking to make sure it was as viable as other similar classes when it comes to performing a class function such as successful tanking. You wouldn’t need someone to point it out to you 5 months later down the road.

      • Suxxy says:

        Ctrl-Alt-Del knows what you mean.

        I’ve bear-tanked since BC. But in Cata, I’ve changed my main druid to Kitty mainspec, while retaining Bear offspec. I also have a Warrior tank which I leveled from 80-85 mainly in LFD.

        I really enjoy Kitty dps, Bear tanking is stressful, Warrior tanking is fun.

        It’s sad, and my other 2 ferals are sitting at 80 going nowhere.

    • Tesh says:

      I wanted to try Bear tanking as I leveled, but it just didn’t work well for these reasons. I also wondered if Blizzard just didn’t know or care.

      …I wonder that about a lot of things, actually.

  2. Tempurus says:

    I’ve been levelling a warrior tank myself (83 now) – and as a long-time bear I was amazed how versatile warrior tanking is compared to the bear. Warrior tanking toolbox is much bigger than bear’s – with amazing abilities like Spell Reflection, Disarm, Victory Rush. Not to mention, warrior Charge generates rage, instead of just costing it…

    Bear tanking needs a complete overhaul – and I am not talking about “let’s cut 1.5 sec from Mangle cooldown and increase its damage by 17.23%” fiddling but a complete “let’s ditch everything and start over” change. The dwindling numbers of bear tanks speak for themselves.

    Also, forget about low-level PuG tanking, on any class. I did and I don’t regret it – I started tanking in Northrend. There seems to be a mentality “I pull what I want when I want” in low-level groups – and it is insanely frustrating for both healer and tank. I don’t need to waste my time (and nerves) in a group where DPS pulls a boss while healer has just started to drink and tank is in no position to quickly get aggro. Forget it, DPS, I will not tank for you.

    I’ve suggested it before – when DPS pulls, ask them not to. If they won’t stop, start votekick – and if that fails, leave yourself with the message that you will not tank for pulling DPS. If it takes such DPS six tanks and three hours to do an instance, maybe they will either realize what they are doing wrong or simply quit WoW in frustration. Either way, tanks will only win from this situation.

    • Shatamall says:

      I’ve suggested it before – when DPS pulls, ask them not to. If they won’t stop, start votekick – and if that fails, leave yourself with the message that you will not tank for pulling DPS. If it takes such DPS six tanks and three hours to do an instance, maybe they will either realize what they are doing wrong or simply quit WoW in frustration. Either way, tanks will only win from this situation.

      I usually just let whatever they pulled eat their face, then pick it up. After a couple of times licking the floor, they tend to either get the picture, or drop group. Less stress on my part that way. :D

      • Shane says:

        hahaha, I do this now in lvl85 heroics… I know one person who has realised this that I regularly tank for… I like mobs that eat dumbass retards… I did that last night to a healer who thought it would be fun to run into the stone troggs in HoO while I was trying to avoid them… I kept on running to the next lot and didnt even turn around to help lol. Saying that, it was the same group that wouldnt get out of the purple stuff for Alpha Beams, and at one stage it was just me left fighting the boss trying to stay alive with no healer no dps… I failed :(

        • Shane says:

          Ummm, I just realised what I wrote. I didnt mean “dumbass retards”… I was thinking it and sadly I wrote it. I really meant “dumbass DPS”, Im sorry if I offended anyone.

    • Joel says:

      As a healer, this is easy to enforce. When I see someone pulling who isn’t the tank, I let the fight finish then announce, “If you aren’t then tank, when you pull, I’ll let you die.” Then follow through. The tank generally cooperates. The key is to announce it. Then they know what’s happening.

      I can’t see a way for the tank to enforce this by himself though, because healers generally don’t like to let people die.

  3. Jinni says:

    I know how you feel, I am leveling a troll druid and aoe threat is very low. However I did notice that demoralising roar gives a good amount of threat in those situations, as well as thorns when you can. Of course if the party is a bunch of tools, nothing can save you, I agree that low level groups (and sometimes high lvl) think everything is “easy mode” when sometimes its not.

  4. idfriendly says:

    I have leveled a Worgen Druid to 80 as a Bear tank, just reaching Vash’jir this weekend, and I agree with you 100% about the state of Druid tanking at lower levels. It wasn’t much better at higher levels, mainly due to the mentality of DPS who don’t care about marked targets or waiting a few seconds for a tank with low AoE threat to get aggro on a group. Once I got to Northrend, the groups didn’t get any better, but I had the talents, spells, and skills to make up for what the group lacked, and I did alright. I tanked all of the Northrend dungeons except the three highest levels. But it was stressful. I had a healer drop group on zoning in, just because, as he put it, “Oh god, a Druid tank.” I can remember a Zul’Drak run where a Death Knight was blatantly competing with me, in Blood Presence, taunting mobs and generally being an ass until we kicked him. I’m debating whether to continue tanking in Cataclysm, or change to Restoration. Overall I’m more comfortable with healing, and although it can be stressful as well, it doesn’t feel like the Druid healing spec is as disregarded by Bliz developers as the Bear spec. Feral tanking definitely needs a complete overhaul, but I doubt it’s high on the Blizzard priority list. Somewhere below new hairstyles, I’m sure.

  5. Tsudrats says:

    There was something you did miss … the option to vote out players. Your plan was not just solid, it was … well darn wish I were your healer … :) and the behaviour of the dps is exactly the poor behaviour the wolk dungeons taught could be got away with. If it were not server shut down as I write, I’d be tempted to come roll a healer (oh yer mmm probably another druid hmmm) and come scare those dps guys with you.

  6. Aiida says:

    I don’t have much to say that others haven’t already said. I’m leveling my first Alliance toon, a druid, and like others have said, when it comes to low level instances bears don’t have the tools. I thought about doing a Zul’Farak once upon a time and looked at what I had and quickly decided not to. I’m in northrend and I feel comfortable in the dungeons there and tanked Utgarde Keep on Sunday and managed to do okay. Was one person that pulled aggro from me, but he apologized. Having said all of that, I will be healing in Cata content. I think bears can still get it done, but do in fact need a bit of tweaking to get that aggro on groups.

  7. Abruk says:

    I’m on my third attempt at a druid and I’ve queued into three low level instances as DPS but ended up tanking on all three and you’re right the tools just aren’t there. In the last month or two of wrath I leveled up a warrior tank and they do have some of the tools earlier, but I still ran into some of the same problems with the warrior in groups. Ranged dps pulling before you even slap the first mob, groups opening up with AoE, not being able to generate rage because of these pulls going wrong. Low level runs can just be a nightmare, with or without aoe tools.

    There needs to be some kind of feedback system in place so that when a hunter range pulls before you even mark targets they get a jolt of electricity from the mouse or something. That might be the only way to stop them.

  8. Baberth says:

    I spotted this same issue – and had similar ideas on what would be needed and happen – back when 4.0.1 hit. And that was in October!
    No, I’m not implying you’re slow on the uptake; just that it’s months later and there’s still no fix in sight.

    The changes they made to the order of the spells being given were nonsensical. While it doesn’t matter at end-game, people do want to go to dungeons at the level they’re designed for, and if a Bear Tank is involved prior to level 35 [I think it is?], all it takes is 1 fail player in the group – no matter which role – and it’s almost a guaranteed doomed to failure.

  9. Thom says:

    The lack of AoE threat generation on a low level Bear is … yeah. It’s nasty.

    When I was leveling my Druid, I decided to tank. After all, I’d tanked on my Paladin, on my DK, and on my Warrior. What could be hard about Bear tanking?

    I can say I successfully tanked every single instance up to Gnomer while dealing with the LFD fodder, and then gave up on it. The only reason I was able to do it was because I had tanked as a Warrior back in TBC when Thunderclap only hit 4 mobs and didn’t out-threat healing aggro in Heroics. And even for me, it was not fun to only have single target attacks.

    DID YOU HEAR THAT, GHOSTCRAWLER!?! LOW LEVEL DRUID TANKING IS NOT FUN!

    Seriously though, I hope they fix it.

  10. Ahaja says:

    I have been healing for 2 years now, I heal on Paladin, on Shaman, on my beloved Druid, only Priest healing isn’t fun for me. than i get and insane idea a month ago. i offspeced my lvl 74 druid for feral bear and started to tank. and i loved it. it was fun. yeah, it was hard, especialy for me that has never ever tank anything befor. some groups was awfull, but some was really cool – they were patient, keeping they dps low to make sure i don’t have to much problems with aggro and were helpful and told me what should i work on or what is best way to make some pulls.
    2 weeks ago my friend make me re-roll new bear druid and he rolled shaman to heal me. we are running instances together (im lvl 26 now) and it is not so bad too. well, at least since i have Faerie Fire. holding aggro on group of mobs isn’t easy but it is doable, but still i will kill for Trash on lower lvl than 81…

    anyway – of you want to tank low lvl instances with druid you will need a lot of patience :)

  11. Askevar says:

    Ironically I had a similar experience on the Death Knight I rolled over there in Eff the Ineffable. I hit 58 and figured that since I’m a pretty experienced dk tank on my main that I could easily compensate for the lack of DND. I set up my bars like my main has, and double checked everything before queuing in the dungeon finder. Like you, I didn’t count on a mage and feral druid intent upon aoeing before I pulled [they even pulled FOR me]. They couldn’t pay attention to what I had marked [skull died last in fact] and all they wanted to do was QQ. Obviously because I’m a dk, I suck at tanking.

    Also ironically, I didn’t touch the healer’s mana myself on the few pulls I was able to make and execute.

    I finally told them that if they couldn’t work with me, to just please kick me. They did – mid pull.

  12. Gumii says:

    To tell you the truth I didn’t see any of these issues. I didn’t do a lot do dungeons leveling since I wanted to see the new quest content but every time I did there were no major issues.

    Yes other people pulled (warriors, enhancement shammys, rogues) but if they didn’t die, they didn’t die. I would whisper the healer and say “Let ‘em die if they’re dumb”, heck I even out right told a pali once “I’m going to watch you die” and he went splat because he didn’t wait for the tank (tough love).

    You have to remember Blizz has said that they really don’t pay attention to lower level balancing. This includes tools available, how does a warrior or druid keep up with consecration when a druid doesn’t get any kind of AOE until 25 with glyphed maul? You have to concede to the fact that these people have as much, if not more, armor/mitigation as bear at lower levels. 15-80 dungeon is a completely different battlefield compared to cata instances so you have to adapt to it.

    Is all this right? I don’t know, thats a whole ‘nother debate.

    However once you hit 85 and you’re gearing up things are pretty smooth, Swipe and thrash give a lot of agro, skull bash kinda works as a ranges silence, cd give the healer a chance to save/regen mana. any gloom and doom about dropping bear tanks is just silly.

    Wait for 4.1: swipe CD getting halved, we get a root break back with feral swiftness, we’re going to be bad ass once again.

  13. Jack says:

    Low level bear tanking aoe threat generation in one word: thorns.

    If your group sucks, they’ll pull aggro before things starting hitting you and the pull goes to pot . . . otherwise, thorns does it. Cast it, run in, Demoralizing Roar gets everyone’s attention on you, thorns starts generating threat.

    Now, obviously, it’s not as nice as Swipe or even the Maul glyph. I’m very happy to have those on my now level 39 Worgen Bear. And it’s kind of pain losing rage between pulls to cast Thorns. But whatever. They’re low level instances. If you lose aggro . . . well, things don’t really hit all that hard anyway until about SM – Cathedral. People will live long enough for you to pull dudes back.

  14. sirfwalgman says:

    Um Jack no have reading comprehension.

    Warriors are fun. :). I am leveling a DPS one now. Flew through 50 levels easy. It is so much fun charging and victory striking mob after mob. No downtime. No nothing. I have never bear tanked but I Feral Cat PVP a lot! Good luck with your baby bear.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I agree, fury warriors are op. Since I’m not one of those people outraged when others are having fun I’m fine with that.

  15. Rafon says:

    Sorry to hear that bear tanking is less than fun at lower levels. I rolled up a paladin for hahas, tossed him some heirlooms, and started crushing lowbie instances. I was able to pull multiple groups and keep all the mobs with captain america and essentially “faceroll.”

    So I can definitley see where I could have a “meh, tank will pick it up” attitude to lowbie instances after feeling like a monster on my paladin.

    My only note is that druids are essentially 4 classes in one, so giving all the “tools” to lower level druids could be a tad overwhelming for newer players. Paladins seem to share a lot of spells between specs that are drastically affected by talents, so they can secretly dump more utility on them early. I know that probably isn’t too comforting, but is it possible thatt other specs or roles are better fleshed out for druids at a low level?

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Thats a great point, I don’t call for more tools, just unlock swipe a teeny bit earlier.

      • Fangtastic says:

        Unlocking swipe earlier will definitely do it. Like another commenter suggested, demo roar might be very useful too in addition to your thorns+hots strat. That said, if an idiot decides to pull your non primary target off you there isn’t a whole lot you can do. Maybe they can give tanks the ability to cc their own dps for 5 seconds of the pull? :D

        That said, when tanking at 85, threat is SOOOOO much easier in random heroics on my bear than my warrior. Charge in, rend, thunderclap, cleave, shield slam (skull), shockwave… is great in theory, but before that first thunderclap goes off some idiot is attacking something other than skull leading the pack to split. The bear is easier because you can thrash while heading in and it really does seem to have a lot more threat than plain (non rend) TC.

        I’m just sad… my bear is ilvl 342, my warrior 349 and I do about 10K dps tanking on my bear versus 7K on the warrior. Tank dps doesn’t matter – except I’m using it here as a measure of the threat I am able to put out. Warriors have no answer to berserk-mangle-spam either – the threat output is ridiculous.

        Its a shame that bears are so hosed at lower levels that no one wants to level them.

        • Shatamall says:

          Maybe they can give tanks the ability to cc their own dps for 5 seconds of the pull? :D

          Please. Oh, please. I so want this. :)

          Just turn around, Rawr at your dps, then go pull. That would be awesome.

        • Suxxy says:

          Fang, have you tried Inner Rage then Cleave spam on your Warrior? Talk about overpower aoe.
          As far as dps goes, warriors special moves provide more TPS than DPS, and that’s what tanking is about.

          • bigbearbutt says:

            Damn it, no matter what I do, your comments end up in the spam filter. Sigh. When you post Suxxy, just please be patient, I make sure I wade through the scum filter looking for yours.

          • Fangtastic says:

            Didn’t they remove the threat modifiers on the abilities in patch Cataclysm? Now the threat boost is from defensive stance which I assume (with no validation!) that it would be similar for bears?

            I spend a lot of time rage starved on my warrior in heroics (not raids). Not so on my bear. I will try Inner Rage with cleave spam, that does sound very interesting.

            Thanks!

          • Suxxy says:

            B3, That’s ok, most of my thoughts belong in the scum bucket, but I try to make sense when posting ;)

            Fang, no idea on the science behind it, but my bear does about 8k Dps and 15k Tps, where my warrior does 6k Dps and 20k Tps, so there’s something happening for Warriors and not Bears.

    • Tesh says:

      “so giving all the “tools” to lower level druids could be a tad overwhelming for newer players”

      On this I disagree. Yes, Druids are essentially four in one, but they only actually *do* one job at a time. The overall toolset doesn’t really count when you’re looking at what they do in that job. Very new newbies might get lost, but if you’re digging into dungeons as a tank, you should have a pretty good handle on what you’re doing.

      I wrote about it a bit over here, specifically about Druids and how they get balanced (about halfway down the page):

      http://tishtoshtesh.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/balance-part-2-asymmetry-and-art/

  16. Shatamall says:

    Blizz knows that it’s a problem. Blue Post

    That being said, I haven’t tried low level druid tanking in quite a while. I’ve got a level 14 worgen druid (made to run through the starting area quests), so I might level her a bit more and see how it goes in RFC. If you’ve got trigger happy dps like that, I’d honestly let them pull whatever aggro they want and I’ll start picking up mobs as they got close to the healer (play more defense than offense, IMO). Once everything is stuck to someone, I’d think about maybe growling a mob or two off the dps, if they looked like they needed it.

  17. Hugmenot says:

    One possible solution is to run dungeons with only one or two other people that you recruit via the trade channel. Undermaning dungeons is what I like and I developed quite a large friend list over the years.

    I suspect you will wipe far less often in groups of three if you apply the strategy you outlined above.

  18. Grayzzur says:

    See, after the first wipe and then the continued stupidity on the part of the DPS, I would have mentioned to the healer that they may just want to let the DPS die. That usually solves your problem one way or another (they get in line or they drop group or, if they have a majority, they vote kick you and you get to re-queue with no penalty).

  19. Mhorgrim says:

    Brother,
    I feel for you. I am a warrior tank. I never have issues with threat gen unless DPS decides to be tanks before a pull/charge. I have often wondered why they so screwed over bear tanks. I tried it once, fired the toon by my first instance because there just wasnt enough threat gen in the immediate hits. When you deal with crazy puggers that want to rush all around instead of practicing good technique. But I do think Blizz does a dis service to bear tanks. Either take them out completely, or revamp with at least some sort of charge or growl or something to deliver the goods and keep the aggro.

  20. Mondria says:

    I’ve leveled a warrior, palladin, DK, and druid to 85 tanks. Bear is by far the hardest to tank instances during the leveling process. In my opinion, people who tank often, make the best dps classes because they know the tank mechanics. Every 5 man I have the tank on focus so that I’m always attacking what the tank is regardless if the tank marks targets or not. Unless it is a bad tank, or maybe the tank is slightly undergeared, I never pull aggro off the tank. If I get a threat warning I just stop special attacks for a few seconds and only use auto attacks. When I do tank, if DPS is acting like morons, I let them die and pick up the mob after they take a dirt nap.

  21. Rauxis says:

    The class designer have NEVER in the time I played WoW really considered impact of their changes outside end-game. Mid-WotLK there was this big change in Mana management (didn’t really help, most end game raid healers still did not go oom), but leveling a caster (especially 8-20) was kill one mob, drink, kill one mob, drink….

    Swipe needs to go back to it’s original place – if I remember correctly it was the first attack I got for my (various) bears at lvl 12ish?

    It’s simply proof that Blizz does not really listen to the forums (ok – almost never…). Both the swipe and the mana problem where listed numerous times during PTR

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

  22. shelly says:

    I just took a druid through the dungrons up to about 40ish and every instance before I trained swipe I told people I don’t have any aoe damaging threat. Thought about rejuving, thorning and regrowthing myself when I could but then decided that most of the time the dps won’t want to wait for that so I went in naked and tried to pull again quickly as long as the healer had sufficient mana to help off set the dps pulling for me.

    I figure I will start marking mobs come outland content, I am hoping by that time people will be over their “I haz aoez” phase.

    All this is hordeside on a battlegroup(area) that seems to be relatively thin in characters compared to what I have seen ally side. They may have been more willing to work with others just to get the job done.

    And yes, every other tanking class seems to have almost everything they need by the time they can do dungeons.

  23. iceveiled says:

    This scenario pretty much described every other pug I’ve experienced leveling up my own worgen druid slowly since cata came out (I’m level 45 now, and I’m healing instances, not tanking).

    I’ve been able to keep everybody alive for the most part (there have been a handful of wipes in the dozens of pugs I’ve done..it happens). Usually the wipes are aggro related. Sorry mages, my HoT’s can’t keep you alive with 3 elites pounding you, and I’ve gotta keep my cooldowns for bursty damage on the tank. Next time watch your aggro.

    I’m having fun though. I’ve never leveled a healer before. Mana management is interesting. There’s only been a few boss fights where I got uncomfortably close to not being able to get a heal off, but usually that’s because things went wrong and people took avoidable damage.

  24. Endyme says:

    I have an Effer myself, a wanna be disc priest (already have one at 85). She’s only level 10 atm, but I’ve only put in one nights of work on her. I’m sure if I queued for an instance once I get more leveled, I’d find the healer version of these issues. If it’s not DPS and/or the tank not willing to wait until I sit and drink to get back the mana I used up trying to keep them alive, it’s being berated for being a fail healer if anyone dies (God forbid it’s their fault for initiating the pull before I was ready or they were fully healed from dying before). Usually a good healer/tank combo can overcome some fail, but you can only do so much.

  25. Catal says:

    On one hand, my current bear baby has been a TON of fun, on the other hand I’ve never imagined tanking could be this challenging. Maybe they should swap swipe for that kitty dps cooldown? Tiger’s something. I had that by RFC, but no aoe.

    And there’s another interesting phase right around level 55 when you have a second prime slot, but you’re 10-15 levels away from any of the abilities the primes modify. It really, really feels like bear leveling just wasn’t considered. They tacked the bear abilities in wherever they needed filler in the kitty tree. Maybe they just assume no one bears unless s/he has to at end-game?

  26. *vlad* says:

    I think you are worrying too much. If dps pull aggro, let them deal with it. As a healer I have no qualms about letting dps die, none whatsoever. Rather them than me.

    • Winter says:

      Yeah, this. If I’d been your healer, after the second wipe I would have just ignored the dumb asses who pulled aggro and only healed you. I’ve head to pull the “if you don’t listen I will just watch you die” card a number of times. It’s amazing how effective it is.

  27. Alcowpwn says:

    There is nothing you can do about your DPS being idiots. The self HOTs are a neat idea but I’ve never tried them to build threat. In BC I used to pull with Wrath and as many Moonfires as I could get in individual mobs before shifting to bear and charging the primary dps target. As long as the DPS hit skull that worked fine.

    • Alcowpwn says:

      Also forgot to mention that self HOTs may be somewhat self defeating in terms on threat generation. The better your gear the more you avoid and less damage you take = less opportunity for healing. Also it might take a while to get some damage and catch your first heal tick. I would think that this form of passive threat generation would be less effective than active threat generation with some ranged offensive abilities, now that I am thinking about it. I would probably Wrath one, Moonfire one cast thorns, change to bear and attack the primary target.

  28. savvy-savvage says:

    The thorns thing hits so hard I still use it in 85 raids on boss pulls.

    • savvy-savvage says:

      Also just to boost morale, the best geared person on my server is a bear tank and he rocks.

      • bigbearbutt says:

        I’m still not sure where some of this reading into what I said was coming from. After all, I’m talking about a pretty narrow window of early playing, I’m not talking about end game or something.

        Just as you say… Bear tanks at end game that understand what they’re doing are, to the best of my knowledge, doing just fine.

  29. Anstrit says:

    What’s even more ridiculous is the fact that we are the best tank in terms of raw magic mitigation, wtf!

    Seriously Blizz I love my druid, it’s the class that calls to me, and bear/kitty is for me.

    Pallies and Warriors have some much more utilities it’s unreal, when all tanks are supposed to be equal :-)

    Why can’t they make the skill scale with the level on Thrash and make it a trainable ability at like level 20 or so?

    Another thing that bugs me atm is the fact that there is nothing in game to teach players how to tank or heal. The only way you learn is by making mistakes and have to learn from them fast, no wonder that there is a shortage of tanks as it’s very disheartening to be playing a Druid in low level dungeons and have ppl leave like crazy just cos you can’t hold aggro.

    Whereas DPS just wail on a mob…….

  30. Ellifain @ Khaz'Goroth says:

    Same thing with low level pallies im afraid.
    When you can start tanking at 15, all you have is Avengers shield for aoe threat (3 targets). Thats it.
    No consecreate (no matter how munted it is now), no Ret aura, no HotR.
    At 20 or so you get consecration, but thats a massive mana hog and has a long cooldown. Certainly longer than most pulls.

    As soon as you hit level 29 though its gravy. You get HotR and never have to worry about threat anymore an can turn your brain off.
    With 4+ mob pulls I can comfortably sit at the top of the dps charts with average green gear, spamming WoG whenever I get 3 holy power and be generally indestructible.

    I once got 1/2 through Razorfen Kraul before I realised that I was lacking heals and both priests in my PuG were dpsing.

  31. ryanshifty says:

    I used to group with a college buddy who tanked on his bear only when cornered into it. Gave me the impression that bear tanking is frustrating, and the L1-23 situation fits the bill too well.

    Hearkening back to how off-spec plate wearers tanked leveling dungeons, what do you think of rejuv -> pulling as cat to fire 1-2 mangles -> switch to bear? Sure there’s no threat bonus, but having 1-2 mobs giving you some rage (as opposed to none) is an improvement.

  32. Theparanoid says:

    In my onion it not just the low leveler that messed up. But then I canceled my wow account in Jan when I saw all the incoming nerfs in patch 4.0.6. I use to enjoy bear tanking. But know it just sad.

    The way I see bear tanking starts out at like -5 on 1 to 10 scale and by 85 makes it to about a 5. Blizzard needs to either bring bears in line with other tanks or bring the other tanks into line with bears. Seems like bears are the only one that got the catlysim new no aoe tanking mode. Everyone is business as normal.

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