This is going to be a very hard post to make.

I’ve been avoiding facing it for a while now, but I owe it myself to stay on target here. I started the blog by talking about Bear Tanking, and when something this drastic happens, it’s time I say so.
 
I’ve lost that Bear Tank feeling.

That’s not just a whimsical pop culture reference, it’s the closest I can come to the truth of what has happened to me.

A core belief of mine is that everyone has their own preferences in playstyle.

It could be as broad as melee versus ranged, or as narrow as instant attacks versus slow cast times, and anything in between. Visual feel, lots of buttons available to always have something to pop, fewer controls and lots of dead time to watch surroundings, everyone wants something unique to them.

There are raw numbers, which determine a baseline potential for a class. And then there is that amazing feeling, when you just “get” something, as if you and the class were meant to be as one that take you beyond numbers (or bring you to where those numbers say you can be).

It’s not just good class design, although that has a lot to do with it. Every class out there will have someone who, when they try it, find a second skin they pull on and become one.

For me, right from the beginning the Bear Tank was The One. The class that, when I pop Bear form, it’s instinctive, natural. Everything made absolute sense and went from being mechanics or buttons to press and instead became an obvious way of life.

Bear Tanking was as natural as bouncing.

What has happened to me is that as the mechanics have changed over the years, the class numbers may have improved in effectiveness or balance, but the class stopped being a perfect fit.

The fur felt a little tight around the wrists. I started feeling lower back pain from the new posture. Whatever you want to call it.

It didn’t happen all at once, but the addition of Active Mitigation has taken it the rest of the way. It’s no longer just a bit of a bad fit, now I just don’t have fun as a Bear tank in a real content group.

I can still Bear Tank, but I feel no joy at the thought. Not anymore.

And I HATE HAVING LOST THAT JOY.

That’s what it’s come down to. I no longer tank naturally or instinctively. It is a struggle for me now, to incorporate Active Mitigation in an intelligent way into all of the other changes, and still maintain spacial awareness of where the party and the mobs are so I can grab and maintain threat.

Perhaps I am simply not capable of playing at that level anymore. Maybe the problem lies entirely within my range of ability.

As a Bear Tank, or as any tank for that matter, when I manuever into the pull, I know where the bad guys are, where all entrances into the area are in case of new adds, I know where the rest of the party is and where they are moving to in relation to everything else, I know how much threat I have applied to whom, and who needs more, who is next on my priority list, and what to anticipate.

I find that, in adding Active Mitigation into the mix as buttons that I need to hit in different priority sequences, which can take some or all of my generated Rage away from my threat generating attacks… I can no longer keep all of it going all the time.

It’s a stupid analogy, but it’s true. There are too many balls in the air for me to juggle, and stuff gets dropped. What do I lose track of the most? Dodging, Frenzied Regenerating, and balancing charges/cooldowns against Rage volume timing.

I could learn it. I could force myself to just get out there as a Bear and solo groups in the Summit and try and try and try. I’m sure that, after a while, it would get better.

But I don’t know that I want to. It’s just not… it’s no longer fun for me to be a Bear. And while I know I could attain the skill level I expect out of myself, that’s not the same as finding that sense of joy, or that magical conenction to the class.

I don’t have that feeling that I once cherished, that sense that I was totally in tune with the environment and could have the time to look around me and see the bad guys and grab them before they ate someone’s face off, and see when someone is pulling and swap targets and taunt it off, and all the other little things that need me to be paying attention to the environment instead of my cooldown timers.

It sucks. I miss it. I really do.

I know that, just as I have lost that Bear Tank feeling, others will have found the changes bring the class more in line with their ideal. There is a balance in these things, and somewhere out there are new Bear Tanks that feel like the class has finally ‘clicked’ with something within and they are rocking the charts and their groups.

I wish them well.

For now, the only class I am playing since the changes that really has that perfect fit for me is Beartrap, my Beastmaster Hunter.

I haven’t wanted to admit it, but Beartrap the Hunter has become my new main.

I leveled my Druid to max first, and I focused on my Druid for everything up to now, but I have to admit it to myself. I don’t want to play my Druid in groups anymore. It feels… wrong.

So, my level 85 (now 87) Hunter is my new main, and not my level 90 Druid.

It’s sad, and in admitting this to myself and to you, I feel like I’m letting everyone down. As if I have a responsibility to be the Bear Booster until the end of time. BBB can’t ever not be in love with Bear Tanking.

I’m still in love with being a Bear Tank. It’s just that the Bear Tanks I am in love with are no longer the Bear Tanks I’ve got.

What I’m hoping is that in time the class will change and evolve in a new and different way, and bring it to a new place that gels with me again.

Never say never.

Until then, I will remain a big bear butt, but that butt will have a Hunter running along behind me, pretending she’s in charge.

I don’t know what else to say, except,

well SHIT.

42 Responses to “The End of a Druid Tank”
  1. SirFWALGMan says:

    If it’s not fun then it’s not fun. Good luck with your new hunter. I have to admit the hunter class is pretty awesome right now. I have been leveling my mage and my hunter to level 87/88 so I can park them in Halfhill and do farming while I level my next character. I find the hunter a lot more fun right now.

    Rogues and Druids (feral) seem the least fun right now to me… all that could change though.. and I still have to level my little monk up to see if I enjoy that.

  2. It isn’t just you. I also loved bear tanking. But now with MoP, I regretfully had to spec out of bear.

    What with so many damn abilities to keep track of, active damage mitigation, paying attention to mobs, I can’t even watch the raid anymore. Being a raid leader and a bear tank is all but impossible for me, and if it comes down to being a bear or playing with my friends, bear has to go.

    Ideally, most of my abilities should fit into 5 or so keys, and I should never have to pay attention to anything but my health and the fight. Rage should be something that I should only need to look at if the fight is at an easy point, and never something to micromanage in tough situations when I’m dealing with confusing and complicated fights.

    As a bear, I used to love the thrill of throwing myself into the face of a bunch of mobs, maybe moving a bit to keep them from getting behind me, keeping an eye on my healer, and watching the boss while I made some gnarly crunchy facemauling smackdown. Not juggling a buff and a debuff and cycling three damage reducers and doing a rage active rotation while trying to fit in two aoe attacks and two stun/interrupts and using talent abilities and.. what the hell have I become, an accountant at tax time?

    Heck, i used to macro my two aoe’s into a castsequence macro just so I could get it down to one button. Can’t do that anymore.

    There is a reason nobody’s tanking randoms these days.

  3. Ted says:

    I went through the same thing at the begining of Cataclysm. My Paladin just didn’t fit anymore. I may have just been burnt out on tanking, I’m not sure. It was asuch a battle to get accepted as a Paladin Tankin tBC and then in Wrath every patch some tank would go from stupidly overpowered to nigh useless. I switched over, ironically enough, to a hunter for Cataclysm.

    When I came back to WoW after my brief time in SWTOR, I knew I wanted to try my Paladin again. I love the theme of the class, the theme of spells, and the ideal of the holy warrior rushing head long into battle to save his friends. I took Honorshammer all the way to almost 90. I should ding it tonight.

    So all that to say, I know how you are feeling, and yes, maybe one day you’ll return. Have a blast with the hunter in the interim.

    • Thomas says:

      Honorshammer oh man, do you know I started a paladin just because of your blog? Sorry John but I had to give a shout out to Honors.

  4. Celendus says:

    I’ve found active mitigation to be an easier pill to swallow on a paladin tank, fortunately. My standard active mitigation choice is also my only offensive HoPo dump, so it’s not possible to forget that I have it. I do wonder what they’d have to do to my paladin to drive me off, we’ve changed *so* much over the years.

  5. Theodoxus says:

    I am sad for you Bear, but I am glad that there are others that feel the same why I do. I tanked, but never seriously. I’d generally tank dungeons while leveling for the faster queue times. The last raid I tanked was ICC when it was current. Cata was all resto druid, all the time.

    Needless to say, the change to active mitigation has made me swap out all my tanking specs for dps. My paladin, who was always only prot and holy has been pure joy as ret. I went through Jade Forest as Prot, as I went through questing in Cata as Prot, but Ret was so much faster and easier, and still not particularly squishy. My DK I switched to Unholy for all the fun little things they get. My warrior, I haven’t really done much of anything with, but I know I won’t be tanking.

    To me, it’s like jumping from algebra to calculus. Even with the basic fundamentals (which I’ll admit, I don’t have nearly as well as you), adding more complexity to my rotation wasn’t the solution to my level of tanking fun. I’m not sure which dev(s) thought tanking needed more… action, but I wholly disagree.

    Thank goodness for scenarios and their lack of need for tank and heals…. oh wait.

    /shakefist @ Blizzard.

  6. Gus says:

    I know the feeling hitting the active mitigation drains rage much faster than you can generate it especially at <heroic gear levels the thing is
    1 you don't have to keep it up all the time
    2 as you get better gear you shouldn't feel the need to have it active all the time and thus you can focus on tanking "the old way"

    The thing is healers don't have the gear level yet to support that play style and if you have gear close to that groups will want to pull the whole room
    Since you can obviously take it.

  7. errol says:

    My great bear mentor is moveing on. I don’t like all the changes my self. But in end. If I hit all the extra buttons. And time them right. I may be more bullet prof then ever. It is a bit much. I frequintly hit savage defence with my back turned. Makeing it 60 rage for nothing. Spending to much time looking at cds. And not my screen. But since my only toon. I will try too keep the great bear tradition. You instilled in me intact
    Ty my friend. Ill play the proud beer. Tho some time my back turned when my dodge at max.
    Enjoy your hunt. Without change life gets dull

  8. Elwyyn says:

    I’m glad it isn’t just me; I thought I was going nuts. I have never commented, but I have been a fan of BBB since a friend recommended it when I first started tanking with my druid. Over the years I have loved tanking with her and have never changed specs, bear tank was for me. With the new changes and my overloaded bars I have been stumbling through tanking trying to figure out what I’ve been doing wrong, so as I usually do I came here to see if there were any related posts that could point me in the right direction. I plan to stick with tanking on her as I hope with time and some research someone will post that they found macros or a rotation that makes sense. But until then I tank for my guild and no one else so they cannot laugh at my little Elwyyn as she stumbles along messily trying to keep everyone alive and well. If anyone has any tips or links that could help I would be most appreciative. And BBB have fun with your hunter mine used to be #4 but she is replacing my lock in the #2 spot, atm they broke my lock and she has been assigned to farm duty.

  9. Saffron says:

    …/shuffles feet
    Uh, idk, I still <3 dearest Laia. Maybe I need to play her more before the ennui sets in?
    You've got a tank in me for now, at least!

  10. Symbiode says:

    Don’t feel like you’re letting anybody down, anyone who’s been reading your blog for awhile is most likely less interested in bear tanking strategy and more interested in your fun stories and ramblings about WoW and other things. If a hunter fits for you, go for it! You can always rename yourself to Big Red Bear Butt if needed ;)

  11. Faye says:

    You have to do what makes you happy. After all, this is a game, right?

    I know what you mean though. In the beginning of Cata, nothing on my druid felt right. I didn’t want to raid on her at all because healing felt awful. And also, she was a giant cow instead of a tree. Whoever that toon on the screen was, it wasn’t me anymore.

    Happily for me, eventually druid healing clicked into place again, and I wasn’t quite so miserable playing her. The fact that I was miserable at all, yet kept playing her is a little hint into the fact that perhaps I took this game too seriously. We’ll see how this time around.

  12. Digitaldreame7 says:

    I’ve felt this way about my DK since MoP. I like fast paced combat. I seem rune starved since the new patch. This might be gear, but,, reall I never felt that way even pre Cata. DK tanking now has a lot of downtime and i’m not so sure I like it. I too will probably making my 88 hunter my main over my 90 DK

  13. Ben says:

    Bear I think most of your readers will have seen this coming for a while . I was a little surprised when you said you were going to be a bear tank raider :) It seemed a little out of the blue. Its not why I’m still reading , gave up bear tanking long ago and wow not far into cata.

    But you know you are a Huntard right :P !

  14. Gameldar says:

    I can understand where you are coming from. I’ve laboured about main changes in the past, and was considering it again for MoP. My internet name is tied to my old main my warrior that I don’t play all that much any more (I really really would like to – I like warrior tanking, but warrior dps/pvp is not for me). But I’m bearing it up, and enjoying it, but at the same time I’ve really been enjoying being a dps and particularly as queue times are pretty minimal (and you can queue for PvP and PvE at the same time!!) I’ve been running as dps a lot more lately, not least because it gives me a chance to a) do my tillers dailies and b) see the dungeons/LFR first before I have to tank them.

    I miss bearcatting, but I am enjoying active mitigation. Levelling in dungeons I didn’t really get it so much, but stepping into Coren Direbrew to tank as a level 89…. I just got it. It was frantic and crazy and I was getting pounded but I could tell when I didn’t have Savage Defense up and it was tanking like I hadn’t done since early wrath.

    Since I started playing kitty at the end of Cata (dropped my boomkin offspec) I’ve fallen in love with the maintain too many things at once play style – I really like kitty and sub rogue for that reason. Bear now has that to a degree while still being highly active in terms of pressing buttons and doing stuff. The one part I don’t really like is that swipe does nothing towards your mitigation and in big groups I find I start to lose aggro sometimes because I’d much rather press FFF, Lacerate or Thrash before hitting swipe. But at the same time I’ve been enjoying playing my DK again as well their self healing is amazing, and I love the multiple little cooldowns to watch and use… and I like the gaming of Runic Empowerment (which is now optional) and I like that they actually have space to watch those things and what is going on. I’m playing him because I need spirit’s of harmony for the inscription staff!, but I could see me playing him a lot more (and frost is a mindless, fast and fun dps spec too).

    Mind you… I couldn’t really do any of that tanking without quite complex weak auras – they make it so much easier to track what needs to be tracked.

  15. Grimmtooth says:

    I know that feels, bro, though in my case it was how BM Huntering seemed to be a bit less … beastly. The new MoP BM Hunter is a lot better, though not perfect, but I do enjoy it so much more than it used to be.

    On the other hand, they so totally NAILED it for Warlocks in this expansion. So it goes to show, there is always hope. Here’s hoping.

    Meanwhile, welcome to the club. Kibble’s in the back, by the still.

  16. Elladrion says:

    I know that feel, man. I had the same reaction to a lot of the cataclysm changes. It simply sucks watching from the inside when something you love gets changed into something you don’t. It’s not the same thing as burning out or getting sick of it, because you can always stop and come back if you feel like it, but when the thing you love is actively changed then there is no going back. You either like the new incarnation or you’re stuck yelling angrily in guild chat about how much better you liked it before X Y Z happened.

    For me it was my hunter in cataclysm. I spent all months looking forward to having focus instead of mana, and when I finally tried it out it just wasn’t me. It worked, it was effective and put out good numbers and I finally made myself learn it and become good at it, but I hated it the whole time and my hunter, my first real alt, sat idle for most of cataclysm, I just simply didn’t enjoy it anymore. Fortunately, I LOVED the changes to my ret paladin even while everyone around me hated it, and he remains my main and for now my only 90.

  17. E says:

    I leveled my hunter first, and have been alternating between my DK and my pair of Druids as to two caps out next. I’m really enjoying bear tanking at the moment, but the DK is still so stupidly OP that it can’t help but by fun. And with easier to use self-heals on Boomkin (and my Stag form for easy herbing)…I’m rather loving life right now.

    All I can say is…play what feels right. People are going to read you whether you write about bears, the cub, or some random rock concert you’re going to. You’re just that good a writer.

  18. Navimie says:

    Though at first I felt from the title that this would be a sad post, and perhaps it is, there is some joy still there, and that is that you still love the game. Though I wonder what will happen to your blog… will it change from Big bear Butt to Big Bear Trap Blogger? I doubt that very much.

    And are you letting us down? I’m not sure, since I have to admit, the last time I read a post about your bear tanking might have been about the time I wrote a post about druid healing…

    :P /hugs to Bear. Or Bear trap. Whatever works :)

  19. Alburet says:

    I completely understand wher ya coming from BBB. When they launched the changes for tanking I was okay lets figure this out. But since then meh, not happy like you said way to much to keep track of. So now I tank for my friends and thats it. e’s still my main since i dont raid but it’s lost that something that made me want to jump into random dungeons and just eat faces off. Oh well after I have all the reps out of te way i will start in on my many mnay alts and tank with my bar when my friends call me to service.

  20. Wintur says:

    I feel the same way, bear tanking has been on a slow decline through Cata and is at an all time low for me now. I used to love my bear tank, sure I had an alt DK tank, but the bear was my first love…the first class that as you put it fit right. I miss being able to tank, and keep track of the raid, and the mechanics, and to still have a little time to admire the beauty of the dungeon and of the bosses. Now all i have time for is watching those darn CD’s. I may try my had at healing once more, but my druid may just fall into the background.

    I am going to give monk a shot and see how I like healing or tanking with them, maybe even try finding a place for my DK again. I may even try DPS again, even though I ultimately found it boring…plus you don’t get much time to look around at your surroundings when your in the DPS race.

    I still am in love with bears, and want to be one, but its disappointing that I just don’t like them very much any more.

  21. Malk says:

    At the other end of the spectrum – I am immensely enjoying my fuzzbear as an alternative to my tankadin main. In fact had I not told my raid group that I intended to carry on raid tanking for them as a tankadin in MoP…I would prolly have levelled the fuzzbear first. Indeed half the excitement of reaching level cap was that I was finally free to level said fuzzbear!
    Also: I imagine that (like myself) most regular readers will continue visiting here regardless of whether you play a fuzzbear or not! (Though I still hope there is some joy to be rediscovered for you in the fuzzbear spec sometime in the future^^)

  22. I’m only sad because you’ve lost your Bear Tanking feeling, and I’m sorry for that.

    But go forth and conquer on your hunter, man. It’s supposed to be fun, after all. :-)

  23. Michelle R says:

    My main is my rogue, she was my first character and I’ll never delete her, well there was that once but it wasn’t my fault and I got her back :P, strangely my hunter was my second character that I created and she sat on a back burner for,well years, I just couldn’t get the hang of playing her. Instead I decided to level a feral druid and shadow priest. I finally leveled her in Wrath and started understanding her more and enjoying exploring with her and now my BM hunter is my favorite. I’m not sure where to go with my druid or my priest at the moment, I don’t group up very often since I never know when I have to go afk, so solo dps is the easiest with them.

  24. Oestrus says:

    At the end of the day, you will still be a bear – in personality, in sheer size (I’ve seen pictures of you), and everything else – regardless of whether you are playing an actual bear in World of Warcraft or not. And that’s why people enjoy reading your blog and keeping in touch with you. That won’t ever change.

    I felt everything you feel right now when Cataclysm came and Blizzard changed resto druids completely. I loved playing Oestrus and it still makes me a little sad that to this day, I still can’t heal a 5m dungeon with her. Resto druids changed too much and I wasn’t able to adapt like other people did. I still have hope that someday the changes will come back around and go full circle and one day I’ll be able to pick up that toon again and recreate the magic.

    Maybe that might happen someday for you, too!

  25. Zwingli says:

    I’m in agreement with others. I’m sorry that you went through this. But, I’m glad that you still find fun in the game. As Grimm said, “Welcome to the club!” Yes, the kibble is in back; but I know where he hides the catnip! ;)

    Z

  26. Thunderspank says:

    Hey BBB, play what is fun. :) If you’re enjoying your hunter, we’ll just imagine you to be a hunter with an inflated posterior.

    That said, here are my thoughts as one rage tank to another.

    As a prot warrior using rage for Active Mitigation was jarring and threw me out of my groove. I was rage starved and I hated it. And to add insult to injury, those misses/dodges/parries bugged me too. So I went and reforged into melee hit cap and expertise hard cap (for level 92, not 93). This has made my rage generation very smooth and predictable which in turn lets me run a heartbeat in my head for when I need to be hitting my AM buttons.

    When I bear tanked in Cata, I had a feel for when swipe/thrash would be coming off CD and could then use them. Now on my warrior, its the same… I try to be aware of my current rage but really, for trash (which is when positioning, add awareness, watching entrances and additional attention is most warranted) I can almost put my AM on autopilot because I know how long it takes me to get enough rage to hit those buttons on average. If I get some more revenges / blocks in the extra rage they bring is gravy.

    So where early on AM occupied maybe 50% of my attention, now its mostly in the background with a cursory glance at my rage bar because it is predicatable and thus not demanding my attention throughout.

    For boss tanking, it varies boss by boss and on incoming damage patterns so the right time to use AM is a little more involved. But then you’re usually not worrying about many new adds while main tanking the boss so you can focus on rage and timing AM around boss abilities.

    Enjoy your hunter, your bear will be around if and when you want to pick up tanking again!

  27. Xaeth says:

    I’ve been following your blog off and on since TBC when I first became a bear tank and I loved bear tanking then, it’s trickier and more complex now, but I think I love it more than ever, I can bank rage during the easy phases then rock a 45% dodge cooldown for almost 30 seconds uninterupted if I get some lucky crits, timed with a dodge trinket/symbiosis on a monk you’re untouchable. I also LOVE having a self heal, particularly for really tough tank fights like Elegon, since it scales with AP it makes it really effective against hard hitting bosses. A 300K self heal whenever you have 60 rage is just insane.
    It’s taken me the past month to get used to it, the first time we hit Heroic Dragon Soul after the changes I got stomped. Not even a polite death I was getting absolutely battered. We have so many cooldowns it’s easy to forget to use them, (Nature’s Vigil I keep forgetting) but once it clicks you can really do some amazing things.
    I hope someday you’ll come back to your bear, I’ll probably keep checking your blog, (your cub reports are brilliant) but best of luck with the hunter thing. I’ve been leveling my monk and he feels so similar to my bear except, he’s so much more mobile, we’ll see he’s only level 40!
    For now and always a follower,
    Xaeth

  28. Katzbalger says:

    I know what you mean, I used to love my bear but 5.04……yeah, it just doesn’t ‘feel’ how it used to. My hunter has always been my main, but the bear was close behind. If you miss tanking, I’ve found that my much neglected prot warrior, a character I never really enjoyed that much and leveled mostly to do Shadowmourne, now feels great fun, it seems to click with me the way my bear used to.

  29. Rauxis says:

    For me once again GC proved he knows a lot about balancing – and next to nothing about fun.

    As tank I’ve always had 2 completely different experiences – raiding and 5 man dungeons. In 5 mans everything is about reacting to trash and adds. Boss encounters are very quick – when compared to the time you spend getting to them. In raids it’s the boss that counts – trash is simply trash and over quickly.

    So when tanking raids, I know the feeling well of *press one macro button to maintain threat every 1.5s*. With the changes to threat even that was not necessary – you could simply let auto-hit be enough and wait for the few moments of movement or CD usage. Still – it was at least for me FUN. It was fun trying to increase my pitiful DPS, there was anxiety to use the right move at the right time, to time your CDs, to watch out for your fellow raiders – for me it was absolutely enough to do.

    Same way I do not need triage to have fun as a healer, I don’t really need the added complexity of active mitigation. It’s not fun that you need to watch (standard UI unless a lot of addons are deployed) the bottom of the screen, the left top corner and the right top corner (buttons, SD buff, debuffs on boss) more then the actual encounter!

    At least for bears this AD concept sounds great in theory (well, not even that great for me), but completely fails to deliver. Especially for bears, where you do not have any visual feedback! And considering the almost “semi permanent offering of a satchel when queuing as tank” I’m pretty sure there are now less tanks than before. Would be interesting to see how queue times would develop without the scenarios :P

    Still with all the ranting – I love bear tanking too much, and still take up with it’s downsides. But I understand everyone who just throws a towel.
    Good luck on your hunter :)
    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

    • bigbearbutt says:

      “But I understand everyone who just throws a towel.
      Good luck on your hunter :)”

      huh. You’ve got a good point, that’s what I’m doing.

      I tried to keep plugging away at it, and making it work, but I’ve given up. I’m playing something different now, and I’ll come back to my Druid every day and toy around a little bit, try different stuff and see if I can find that magic on switch again.

  30. Tehclaw says:

    Im with you there my friend. I’ve always come back here to check up the latest and quite actually I’m not surprised of the retirement. After banging my head in the screen on multiple occasions to get that “feeling” back, i realized it’s gone. Tried my monk to 90, but it’s just not what I wanted.

    I miss my bear, but most of all, I miss not being forced to play a game of “Track and Field” Left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right, fill up the power meter then slam the POWER BUTTON… (age dating myself, perhaps bear tanking needs a roll of quarters to help me hit the left right faster..? )

    Gone at least, in my case is the ability to control the battle field, watch the healer, instruct others or remind them when they are standing in fire, zip to the adds, etc..because it seems most of my focus has become a concentrated effort to keep my eye on two buttons. Active and Mitigation.

    Least my DPS alts and healers still for the most part, still do the same as they have before. Maybe we can encourage them to make a active healerator button and a Dps’o'tron button so those that play heals and dps full time can understand the fustration. However I wouldnt wish that upon anybody.

    Take care sir, however i will still lurk in the darkness =) your blog is, just too good to miss =)

  31. Torcthaim says:

    I have mixed feelings about the changes to tanking….on the one hand, it does seem like blizzard wanted to make it so a skilled tank can handle situations that a less skilled tank can’t – I kind of like that. On the other hand, everything else in the game got simpler – talents, rotations, professions. All of them are less complex. It seems odd to make tanking so much more complex.

    Tanks used to have to keep track of just a couple of things – is anyone else getting smacked around? Do I have threat on all relevant mobs? And where is my “oh crap button?” Now you’ve got to manage your dps (because it generates rage), actively manage your mitigation, and contribute to your healing as part of your mitigation. It’s a lot more work and stress (as you said, BBB, too many balls to juggle), and it also makes it harder to strategize. Before, if the tank died first, he was probably doing his job and the healer wasn’t able to keep him up. Now, you don’t know if he wasn’t mitigating enough, wasn’t self-healing enough, or was the healer not doing his part. That’s hard enough with a group of guildies, but in a PUG it just makes the finger pointing worse. No wonder people don’t want to tank (or are willing only in guild groups).

  32. [...] morning, I read Big Bear Butt’s post from yesterday, about his decision to stop trying to force himself to be a bear tank. I [...]

  33. Tesh says:

    Tangentially, the joy of Druids for me was that I could play in Cat form and pop Bear if I needed to tank for a while for whatever reason, then step back and help healing or sling a few damaging spells. Splitting Feral into two specs doesn’t completely kill that ability, but it doesn’t help it either. I loved that I could change role on the fly and fill holes as needed. WoW design keeps digging deeper into the specialization rut, and I’m not a fan of that design.

    …which is why I spend more time with other games. ;)

  34. Siobhann says:

    I get it. I regretfully switched my main from druid healer to shaman healer in Cataclysm. Druid healing just didn’t feel right any more when they had a hard requirement for heavy direct healing in 5-mans. And besides, I missed my tree form. I couldn’t believe how much more fun heroics were on the shaman so my poor Hand of A’dal druid fell by the wayside. I’m not even playing WoW anymore so can’t comment on MoP.

  35. [...] do you do when the world changes beneath you, or when you change… or [...]

  36. Welcome to the Dark Side :D

  37. K says:

    I personally found a big disconnect between single target and multi-mob tanking. I still find single target intuitive with the addition of active mitigation, but can’t find a rhythm for packs. I personally think it’s the lack of a rage-generating AoE ability, but analysis isn’t my forte.

    All the best Bear, enjoy your hunter.

    • Gilgalen says:

      I think that’s pretty much it. AoE tanking does not fit together well. I think bears are the only tank class that doesn’t have an AoE ability to fuel their active mitigation. That and overall I don’t think the rage bucket model works well. My brewmaster has a ton of things to keep track of, but it all flows together intuitively. Not sure what I’m going to do about it though.

  38. Azillero says:

    Blizz screwed up my pally alt with Cata, now I feel they’ve screwed up my bear main with MoP. I rolled the druid from day one (in TBC while raiding on my then main hunter) with the sole intention of being a bear. Now I feel like that is gone. Hell, I don’t even like that it’s “guardian” now. I guess I’ll just play cat since I still love Druid the most.

  39. [...] The Big Bear Butt: The End of a Druid Tank [...]

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