Archive for the “Bear Tankatude” Category

A Rogue, a Druid and a Priest walk into a bar.
The bartender asks them what they want.
The Rogue says, “Gimme some fresh leather gear, heavy on the agility and crit. I’m DPS.”
The Druid says, “I’ll have what he’s having. I’m a tank.”
The Priest says, “Gimme some rings, necklaces and trinkets heavy on intellect and spirit, I’m the healer.”
The Druid says, “I’ll have what he’s having. Sometimes I’m a healer.”
The bartender says, “Hey, who do you think you are, pal, a hunter?”
The Druid says, “No, that’s my alt. Hey, you got any BoE epics that I can need roll for him?”

I read somewhere that you’re supposed to open your speech with a joke. There you go.

I checked. It didn’t say it had to be a funny joke.

About this Priest thing.

I re-rolled a Priest, dear lord help me a gnome Priest, and went Discipline spec.

I dinged 15 yesterday, and immediately stopped questing. I went LFD as the healer, and leveled to 20 by the end of the night.

This may surprise you, but Priests don’t heal anything like Druids.

Bubble? BUBBLE?!?

Man, I’m a Druid tank, we were taught to hate and fear that bubble.

The bubble meant we no get hit in face. If we no get hit in face, we no get rage. If we no get rage we no hit bad guys. We no hit bad guys, we no get aggro.

We no hold aggro, and that dumb son of a bitch that bubbled us on the run in just died screaming “Tank? WTF?!?!”

Years of training have taught me to sneer at bubbles.

To be a Bear Tank, you gotta be fast and you gotta like pain. You eat it like candy. The more I get hurt, the more dangerous I become. But you got to be durable, too. Real durable. Most ain’t. 

You want to bubble me? What do I look like, a Paladin? “Ack! My bubble popped, they can touch me with their gooey zombie hands, I just had a bath last week, run away, run away!”

Bear tanks do it in the buff.

Just sayin’.

While I’m kidding my fellow tanks, I’ll acknowledge the Warriors and Death Knights for keeping it real and getting down and dirty with us.

Warriors: “Look, last time they took a swing at me, I felt something get through. I’m telling you, bolt on another couple steel plates, and this time, weld some more damn razor fins on top. If they’re gonna hit me, I want ‘em to suffer, damnit.”

Armorer: “But you’re already layered in 6 inches of steel with blades and spikes over everything but your asshole. If I add any more you’ll need a crane to get into combat.”

Warriors: “What? That’s unacceptable! I expect blades and spikes everywhere! Especially protecting me arse! Get weldin’!”

Death Knights: “… What do I care if they hit me? I’m already dead. If they cut off my fist, I’ll just choke them to death with it. Dirt? Slime? Have you SEEN what I clawed my way out of to get here? A little slime just adds color.”

I kid because I care. (bonus points if you know where that line came from, it’s one of my favorites.)

Back to the topic!

My Priest is specced Discipline, because Hedwig told me to. I wish I could say that I researched it, but I’d be lying.

I asked, “Which spec is the one that you think would be most fun to level as for pug healing?”

I was told Disc.

From what I understand as a Druid and Hunter aficionado, Priests what spec Disc can do this thing called Atonement Healing, which means that when you DPS the bad guys with Smite and Holy Fire, part of the damage you do heals the people around you in a completely uncontrolled fashion.

That sounds fascinating.

The more DPS I do, the more healing output I have? Really? God bless you, Blizz, you’ve given Healers a reason to obsess about damage meters too. That took skill.

Of course, from levels 15 through 20, I ain’t got Atonement yet. In fact, I only just got Holy Fire.

What I’ve got, are a damn expensive bubble, a Flash Heal fast big spendy heal, a piss poor long cast meager Heal, and a Renew instant cost HoT.

That’s enough for going on with.

First thing I noticed… son of a, really? REALLY? None of my caster cloth Heirlooms have Spirit on them? Really?

Way to encourage overpowered tanks and heals in the leveling pugs. /sarcasm.

No, by all means, let’s maximize DPS burst damage, we don’t need mana to keep idiots alive while they stand in the fire.

That’s okay. It’s better than being poked in the eye by a banana… or even a pointy stick.

I did, in sequence, Ragefire Chasm, Deadmines, Wailing Caverns and Shadowfang Keep.

In two of those, I zoned in at the first boss, to find the tank and DPS all looking at me, like I better not suck.

In each one, three of the other four people shared guilds. The tank was always one of the folks with two guildies.

I’ll give the tanks I saw credit. They tried. There were marks, there was an orderly progression, there was movement.

The rest of the DPS, on the other hand…

I’m gonna keep healing pugs. It’s certainly entertaining.

What I have to decide is how I’m going to handle the DPS players.

When DPS players attack whatever they feel like without paying any attention to aggro or the tank, what should I do?

When DPS players stand in bad stuff and their health plummets, what should I do?

It looks at first glance like there are two ways I could go with this.

I could try to teach the DPS the consequences of their actions, in the hopes that they will learn what not to do in a very darwinian way. It would also be an investment in the mental health of their future healers.

The mind I save could be my own.

All that I would have to do, is closely monitor the reasons the DPS take damage, and make a conscious decision to withhold my heals if I don’t approve of their behavior. 

The other way I could go would be to ignore what any of the rest do, keep my head down, and do everything in my power to keep everyone alive, starting with me, then the tank, and then everyone else in that order.

Now, if I just do my best to keep everyone alive and do my own job, I’ll be benefitting myself a ton.

I’ll be forced to learn how to heal as efficiently as possible, using the right heal with the right cost and cast time for the purpose at hand. I’d HAVE to, because I’d never know when the group would all decide to take a swim in lava for shits and grins.

I’d get smooth, short runs. If I keep everyone alive, then there would be less deaths, less downtime for run backs and rezzes, less QQ, less drama.

Overall, it would be a decent experience, and I would be as happy in the short term as possible.

In the long term, especially if most healers act like I do and try to heal everyone just to benefit themselves with smooth, drama free runs, then the players will never be forced to learn anything beyond “Blow all cooldowns, stand still going all out, move to next group. Rinse and repeat.”

That will lead to healers that might be trying to learn themselves getting treated like scum for not being overpowered and capable of handling idiots with the self-preservation instincts of a lemming and the life expentancy of a mayfly.

There is a fallacy at the heart of my dilemma. I’m sure you caught it, my friends.

I said there were two ways I could go… and that’s not true.

There is a third way… I could do my own job the best I can, but also watch the actions of other players, and offer unsolicited advice in a friendly, non-aggressive way if I have suggestions on how players could improve their teamwork.

The question really comes down to, is it any of my business how anyone else chooses to play their character?

And even if it is, where is it my responsibility to make other people play the way I think they should, and punish them if they don’t?

Are the lower level dungeons there for pure fun, anything goes, you pays your money the same as everyone else, you takes your chances on what you get?

Are the dungeons there as a proving ground, a place to learn how to play your class and role in a group environment?

Are they a little of column A, a little of column B?

If they’re just there for fun, even only partly for fun, then it’s none of my business how other people play.

I queued up as a healer, and nothing in the PUG checklist said, “You are signing up to heal this group, unless people in it do stuff you don’t like.”

There are no conditions placed on the other members. They signed up to pew pew or stab stab, or tankity tank, and I signed up to heal. I’d be flat out wrong to not heal.

Low level dungeons can be a great place for people to start learning how to play their class and role, but you don’t get all the abilities at the beginning that you do at max level. I think the current system was designed to introduce players slowly to the concept of the abilities and how they are used, giving us time to get the hang of what we’ve got before adding more.

If we can’t practise at low levels the way we’ll be playing at max, then it’s meant for fun as well.  

So, the way I see it, I can see people act like idiots, and I can blog about people acting like idiots, and I can put idiots on ignore if they do not play their characters in a group setting the way I would like them to.

But where the line is drawn, is where I can control my own actions. If I don’t like how people act, then I change my own behavior. I either don’t queue up, I choose only to queue with friends or players whose style I know, I queue but place people I don’t like on ignore so I don’t see them again, or I mention during the run, in a non-aggressive way, things I would ask players to do to help the run go smoothly, and offer guidance and suggestions to be helpful.

Regardless of what else I do, if I queue up, then I made a commitment to either play my role the best I can, or leave the group as an acknowledgement that I cannot handle the conditions and give the group a chance at a healer that can. 

It’s funny, isn’t it? It’s exactly the same as approaching runs as a tank, except the tank is expected and encouraged to lead, and part of leadership is establishing clear expectations for the team.

The healer is a more passive. You follow along, keep up, mana up, and try to keep everyone alive.

You are used to persevering through the tough places, to enduring in frustration but keeping your mouth shut and following the tanks lead.

I wonder how long I can go leveling as a quiet, dutiful healer before I crack?

Update: Thanks to Some Random Guy, who reminded me I didn’t finish this the way I intended. I need to clarify a little bit about the bubble mechanic. As Some Random Guy said, the bubbles were changed a while back so your rage generation will still continue even while bubbled. Also, rage generation mechanics in general were modified so more of your rage comes from damage you deal in comparison to damage received than it used to in the time I was talking about. So, the days of having to strip naked to get rage back while running through content you vastly outlevel are pretty much gone. I fully intended to mention this in the post, but got distracted by shinies. I failed at closing the circle. /sigh.

Comments 38 Comments »

I had another post planned, but I just had to get this out first.

Last night, I ran a few Heroics. I’ve been enjoying them quite a lot lately, mostly because I’m running with full guild groups more often than not.

Even when we wipe repeatedly on silly stuff, nobody gets all cranky at someone else. People are more likely to own up to their own mistakes, and take the ribbing. It’s also a lot more satisfying when things go tits up and the team pulls out a win anyway. You know, one of those shared feelings of accomplishment that you will carry with you out of the instance, into the rest of the game where you’ll see those same people again.

I do feel sad that, for a game that is so strongly tied into building communities, the PUG system makes it so easy for people to wander anonymously from group to group without ever building a lasting connection with someone else.

Say what you will about the game and how it’s grown over the years, even with the insanely long wait times it was nice to run content with people you knew were from your server. Win or lose, good times or bad, you were meeting and getting to know other people you could run into on your server again, and it was always worth putting actions and behaviors to names.

If they were really nice (or good) they could go on your friends list, and if they were horrible, you could put them on ignore. And if you added a comment to their name, then when they did a paid name change to escape their well deserved reputation, you could track them!

Not that I ever did that. Ahem.

I got my own invite to the guild Legatum Ignavis during Burning Crusade based on my behavior in a pug group doing Escape from Durnholde Keep. The guild master happened to be in the run, and thought well enough of my behavior to offer me an invite. I don’t think my performance had anything to do with it; I think it was simply that I was unguilded, and I wasn’t an overt asshat. Legatum Ignavis was a guild of very nice people, and I was overjoyed to join.

It’s pretty hard for something like that to happen now. For better or worse, you have to learn different ways to meet someone than just running a pug with them and getting to know them by their works.

On the other hand….

There is a lot to be said for doing runs with people you’re never going to see again in your F^%ing life.

I ran some Heroics last night. 

One of those runs involved myself on my Hunter, Matheo on his MM Hunter, Asco tossing some Paladin heals, and two other pugged additions, both Druids. Bear tank, Kitty DPS.

I really didn’t pay them any mind at first. I was distracted by talking in vent. I spent my time talking, listening, and playing my Hunter. I wasn’t studying other players and judging them. I wasn’t watching the Bear tank to see how he was doing (or see if I could learn something nifty from how he handled the instance), and I wasn’t watching the Kitty DPS except to see that the Kitty was a cute pinkish-white color.

That changed fast.

The Bear tank was fine. He was just there for bidness, didn’t break out the mad tanking moves but he never had much trouble. How much of that was having two Hunters using Misdirect every time it was off cooldown in conjunction with Multi-Shot, I couldn’t tell you. I can say that even if he didn’t want aggro, he got it.

The Kitty Druid, on the other hand….

I sometimes see things that make me say “I ought to pull your Druid card”, but they’re mostly jokes. Everyone has a bad day, makes mistakes, does something silly, or just doesn’t know any better.

I’m saying, I’m pulling that Cats’ Druid card, ripping it up, and setting the pieces on fire. Then I’m gonna piss on the ashes.

Once I started watching, there were lots of other little things I picked up on, but this one scene should say it all.

One pull, multiple mobs. The Bear tank dies. Kitty DPS, two Hunters, two pets, Misdirects frost traps… we keep burning them down. We can do this, easy.

The Bear tank asks for a fast Brez.

The Kitty takes the time to type, “Can’t, I don’t have reagents.”

The Kitty, I will add, is dealing with the loss of the tank by DPSing the mobs while staying in Kitty form.

So. Much. Fail.

There was actually shouting going on in our vent channel. I about lost it, and Elo wasn’t far behind.

How the f^&k do you play your Druid to level 85, gear up far enough to enter heroic instances as a Feral, and never, ever bother to get the minor Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth?

There aren’t that many minor Glyphs to choose from! And if you just recently changed specs? The Glyphs last forever! You learn it once and use it whenever you want! There is NO EXCUSE for not having that Glyph!

Now, if for some strange reason you don’t know anyone in the entire game that can make you a Glyph, and you’re too cheap at level 85 to spend 40 gold on the damn thing… how do you not buy reagents, while at the same time KNOWING that your Rebirth requires them?

“But wait Bear”, I hear you cry, “Calm the heck down! Maybe they’ve used Rebirth SO MUCH that they just ran out of their stack of reagents, and forgot to buy some before queueing up!”

My answer to you for that one is, how the f*&^ do you play as Feral Kitty DPS, with all that the gear for Kitty entails, and then when the tank dies and it’s you and two hunters, you DON’T POP BEAR FORM TO CLOSE OUT THE PULL

How can you play a Druid, the class of flowing versatility, and yet be so rigid in your playstyle that you won’t even shift to save your own bear butt and the smaller butts of your party?

Please. Let this be a reminder to you. If you are going to play with others, make sure you’ve got at least the basics of your class understood.

Being fully prepared to Bear tank if you want to Kitty is NOT necessary! You don’t have to be in a mixed BearCat spec, you don’t have to be in tanking Glyphs, you don’t have to practise tanking at all.

But DO take the time to shift into Bear form, arrange some abilities on your bar, and put on that bar your Mangle, Swipe, Growl, Survival Instincts and Frenzied Regeneration. If things go all wahooni shaped, at least know you’ve got a Bear form that immediately makes you as tough as a dedicated tank to fall back on, with self-healing and health buffing abilities RIGHT THERE to pop, and some threat generating abilities to give you a chance to pull crap off the healer.

You can still pull it out of the crapper. You could make the difference. It takes 15 seconds of thought and preparation.

Oh, and please… if you’re too cheap to buy a Glyph, bring some reagents, okay? For me? And have Rebirth on your bar somewhere?

You don’t really want to see a grown Bear cry, do you?

Comments 32 Comments »

To the point.

Blizzard has announced that they’re gonna try bribing people to get them to queue as tank in the “Looking For Dungeon” random people-matching tool.

They gussied it up to make it sound like DPS players may end up just as scarce some day and would see the bribes too. Call me cynical, but while I play a character in a virtual world, I like to think my common sense is still fixed in the real one.

It’s a Call to Tank. It’s possibly a Call to Heal. DPS are not, I say again my last NOT, going to see any bribes out of this.


I’m not gonna argue the potential effectiveness of their chosen motivational technique. I don’t have the figure(s) for it.

I could go on at length, as others have, and as The Daily Blink so evocatively depicted, by claiming that all this will do is bring more unqualified people to queue as tanks, increasing the crushing unhappiness of those trying to get a run.

I know that when I spend 40 minutes in a queue, I’m not thinking to myself, “Boy, I can’t wait to get a tank so we can go win.”

No, what I’m thinking is, “Boy, after waiting for 40 minutes for this to pop, I sure as heck hope this group doesn’t suck. I’ve already blown half my night.”

But I’m not gonna delve into that.

What I want to ask is, “Is that the best they could come up with for a bribe?”

Look, you want me to tank a random, and we’re talking a 100% random because to get the bribe you’re not allowed to queue with ANY friends, not even a healer you trust, then you better make it worth my while.

What’s that? You say the super short, almost non-existent delay tanks get should be bribe enough?

I agree. You’re right.

But it’s not, is it? If it was, Blizzard wouldn’t be making an attempt to add an additional incentive to get us to queue up.

So… everyone here heard the old joke?

Two guys are working on fixing a car. One turns to the other and asks, “Hey Joe, would you suck a guy’s dick for a billion dollars?”

The other guy thinks about it for a minute, and then says, “Yeah, sure. If someone offered me a billion dollars, you’re damn right I would.”

So the first guy asks, “Would you suck my dick for a dollar?”

Joe looks pissed and says, “Hell no! What do you think I am?”

And the first guy says, “We already established that, now we’re just haggling over the price.”

You may ask yourself, “Did he just call all tanks…?”

My answer to you is, no. No, I did not.


I can tell you one thing for sure and for certain. If Blizzard expects me to be a whore, the price you’re offering ain’t anywhere NEAR high enough for me.

I may have shocked quite a few of you by using the language I have.


I have never seen anything inherently wrong with shocking people, if it helps to get them seeing things from a different point of view. If you want your worldview coddled and wish to avoid anything that might harsh your mellow, then I suggest you leave the internet entirely. Or try to stick to websites that show nothing but cute cat videos, like I do.

I do not queue as a tank for LFD. Ever. I, personally, love tanking above all other group roles available in the game, and yet, I do not queue for randoms as a tank.


Because of the attitudes I encounter when I’ve tried. The behavior. The abuse.

I’ve talked about it plenty of times before. I’m not going to rehash that either, Rebecca did an outstanding job of it yesterday.

Mainly, I don’t queue because I got tired of being called fail if I put up a crowd control mark, fail if I paused so a healer could recover mana, and got sick and tired of arrogant DPS chain pulling the mobs FOR me if I kept to my own pace anywayc.

So. I stopped queueing up as a tank in LFD because of the abuse I was receiving. Chance at loot and Purples and points to buy loot were not more valuable to me than my self-respect.

Apparently, I am not the only one whose sense of self-respect is strong enough to refuse to put up with abuse.

Blizzard’s answer to this dilemma is to offer us better bribes. To up the offer. To raise the price the’re offering.

To haggle over price.

Okay, if that’s where you’re going with it, fine.

All I can do is ask myself, “What would it take to get me to put up with the abuse and start queueing again? Especially when I only get the rewards by running without a single friend for moral support?”

Would a non-combat pet do it?

Hell, no. And this is coming from an outspoken advocate of pet collecting. I’ve got a LOT of pets on my main, and I’m telling you, no. Not with the pets that they are suggesting they are offering.

Now, IF they added into the pool those pets that you CANNOT get except by spending money or having taken part in a previous promotion.. pets that you only got by buying a Collectors Edition, or through the Trading Card Game, or through the Winter Olympic PvP event, or by playing the game in other countries, or by personally attending a Blizzcon in France…

YES, that would be enough to encourage me to queue.

Yes, I know. I know exactly what that makes me. I never said I wasn’t, I just want to haggle over the price. :)

It’s the same with mounts. Sure, they’re offering a chance, a slight chance, for mounts… but they’re mounts that the exact same tanks have a chance to get by soloing the original instances, without deling with idiots.

But Blizzard has said up front that the mounts you WOULD want, the ones only obtainable in raids like Karazhan, The Eye, or the now-defunct troll raid aren’t included.

Well, geez. If the tank really wanted the mounts you’re offering, they would have gone soloing the dungeon already. Offering a rare chance to get it doesn’t help.

And just how long will someone stay interested if you make it a really rare drop? If they drop fast enough, again, incentive gone, I get my desired  mount, I stop queueing. Make it so it almost never drops, and much like the two handed epic BoA sword in Archeaology, after people try long enough, either they get it and quit, or they just quit.

Now, if you added ALL the potential mounts, and I mean ALL of them, both factions, every special faction, every instance and every raid, AND all the mounts you could only get from attending events or from the Trading Card Games…

YES, then I’d do it. It would be more exciting when you never knew if you’d see something actually special.  God forbid you get offered a reward someone would want.

Even then, I will only do it for as long as it takes to get the rewards I want, and then I’m gone.

So, just as Rebecca says, as it is now, it can only be a temporary measure, lasting only so long as it takes the tanks to get what they want, and then they vanish into the mists.

And if Blizzard tries to extend how long the increased quantity of tanks lasts by reducing the drop rate of the good stuff? Then they increase the chance the already tired and frustrated tanks will say “Screw that for being a suckers game” and quit anyway, and those same tanks will NOT be all that interested in trying again in the future if they ‘up the drop rate’ or something.

It’s a plan for a brief burst of increased tanking… by those who want what they’re offering, and I’m not one of them.

What is this going to accomplish?

I honestly don’t know. I’d tend to think it will encourage anyone currently on the fence about trying tanking for the first time to give it a go, but it does nothing to address the rampant asshat issue, so, those same people will have the same chance of getting burnt out or frustrated and quitting anyway.

What I do know is that Blizzard may think I’m a whore, but I ain’t gonna blow ‘em for what they’re offering. Up the ante first and then we’ll talk.

You can start by putting that Spectral Tiger Mount up in the rotation. That would be a good way to tell me you’re serious about wanting me to queue.

Comments 112 Comments »

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?

Comments 54 Comments »

According to MMO Champion’s latest patch 4.1 update:

  • x Swipe (Bear) cooldown has been reduced to 3 seconds, down from 6.

  • What else can I say? Except about bloody time!

    No, wait, there is ONE other thing I could say…

    Why the hell are obviously needed things like Swipes’ cooldown being reduced left as something to go live at some future date, but they can completely jerk Priest healers around on a whim every other day on hotfixes?

    Never mind, happy Bear is happy that of my two AoE abilities, Thrash and Swipe, one of ‘em might be useable against trigger happy DPS in pugs a touch more often. (No I don’t call Maul an AoE any more, lol)

    Just you wait, though… next update on the PTR will be a 50% reduction in Swipe damage output. Just sayin’.

    Oh, and Death Knights… grats on your new Rebirth!

    Comments 20 Comments »

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