Speculations on armor balancing

Let’s talk about some of the possible ramifications of this armor stuff, shall we?

Just some idle, waiting for Wrath speculation.

Ghostcrawler said;

We are changing the way bear armor works so that bonus armor on items does not receive the bear armor multiplier. Specifically this means that trinkets, rings, necks and cloaks with bonus armor will not be multiplied by the bear bonus. The normal armor on leather will still be multiplied by this bonus. We are also going to remove bonus armor from Feral staves. You’ll get your bonus armor from the leather you acquire.
1) A ring that grants 100 bonus armor will now grant a bear 100 armor (not ~470 armor).
2) Leather legs with 253 armor will still grant a bear ~1190 armor (not 253 armor).
3) A feral staff will now grant 0 armor.

We are making this change because armor is such a good stat for bears that it makes taking pieces with bonus armor a non-decision and we don’t want acquiring these pieces, which tend to not be common, to be so much of a barrier to a druid who wants to tank a raid.

This change will NOT be in effect when Lich King ships. We are letting you know this now so that you don’t go through heroic efforts to acquire items like the Badge of Tenacity, or Defender’s Code. Defender’s Code, with 850 armor, will still be a good trinket. But it won’t be an insanely good trinket for a bear.

We will adjust the bear armor modifiers so that your net mitigation does NOT go down with these changes. Let me repeat: this is not a nerf to Feral armor. It is a change to the amount of armor you get from gear with bonus armor.

I’d like to call your attention to that last line.

We will adjust the bear armor modifiers so that your net mitigation does NOT go down with these changes.

Let’s start by thinking about what is implied there… and then realistically think about what will have to happen.

As of right now, the armor modifier for mitigation is built into the core Dire Bear form ability.

Regardless of your spec, whether Balance or Resto or Feral or cross-specced, if you shift into Dire Bear form, you get 370% increased armor contribution from items applied to physical damage mitigation.

This used to be 400%, and provided the core of our damage mitigation. With Patch 3.0.2, we received the dual changes of Bear armor mod reduced to 370%, and Protector of the Pack adding 12% damage mitigation.

All other things being equal, this was a net improvement, because armor only provides damage mitigation to physical attacks. Protector of the Pack applies to all damage types.

If you are specced 8 points into the Feral talent tree, you can get 3/3 Thick Hide, which increases your armor contribution from items futher by 10%. Noted? Okay, let’s ignore that going forward.

All of this is just to nail down the point that, previous to the patch, you got the vast majority of your damage reduction just from wearing high base armor and shifting to Dire Bear.

After the patch, part of our mitigation was moved much deeper into the Feral tree, armor on leather itself (except for PvP gear) was reduced, and Dire Bear armor reduction was also reduced, so just as an example, Resto Druids in PvP became significantly squishier in Bear.

But what would happen if, as has been implied by GC, the armor we lose from Rings, Trinkets, Necklaces and Cloaks were made up by once more increasing the Dire Bear form armor multiplier?

If that were to happen, then every Druid regardless of spec would gain the increased armor modifier benefit of Dire Bear form as soon as they shift.

Now, you may say to me, “So what? Say we had 5k armor from all our gear multiplied to 23.5k, and now we get 2500 armor boosted to 23.5k. What’s the difference?” (It’s just an example, ok, please don’t quibble about the math).

The difference is, Resto-specced Druids are not now generally wearing the high armor value Rings, Trinkets, Necklaces and Cloaks that the change would be intended to compensate for.

So in PvP, Resto druids would be able to shift into Dire Bear and get much higher damage mitigation than they are seeing right now, without losing the effects on Items they would prefer.

Does anyone really think that, in an effort to improve itemization for Feral Bear tanks, they are going to make changes that are going to severely improve Resto Druid PvP survivability in Arenas?

Yeah, me neither.

So I’m curious to see how this really gets implemented.

I would not be surprised to see Thick Hide buffed a great deal, but moved much deeper into the Feral tree.

Or even the creation of a new talent, deeper into the tree, that would serve the same function.

Or even a special version of the Dire Bear form, like Grumpy Bear or Arctic Terror Bear deep in the Feral tree that has an increased armor modifier that other specs won’t get. Who the heck knows?

I just have a real hard time seeing Dire Bear form’s armor multiplied to the extent that it would have to be, to compensate for losing those spots, while staying open to all Druids regardless of spec.

Let’s use some real math here.

My Druid is still using the following items;

I’m getting a total of 1938 armor from those pieces. We’ll ignore Thick Hide right now, and just look at the 370% armor modifier.

So that 1938 armor from Items is currently worth 1938* 3.7+1938=9108 armor in Dire Bear form.

After the proposed change, those items would be worth a flat 1438 armor, with Earthwarden being worth zero. A net loss of 7670 armor.

So, the Dire Bear armor modifier would have to somehow take my leather gear and boost it up to add 7670 armor to break even. Hmm…

I’m wearing, as leather gear;

So from leather I’m getting 2396 armor, which comes out to 2396*3.7+2396= 11261 armor.

So before changes, I’ve got 9108 armor from Items, and 11261 from Leather, for a total of 20369.

After the proposed change, at 370% armor modifier, I’d go from 20369 to 12699 armor.

So what Ghostcrawler is proposing is to increase the Dire Bear armor modifier so that the 11261 armor from Leather would make up for the 7670 armor I lost from items. Right? 

So we need 2396 base armor*new armor modifier+2396+1438 base Item value to = 20369.

Well, it turns out that an armor modifier of 690% would result in a grand total of 20366 armor.

(Edit: There was a small mistake in my math that I have corrected. The first pass I forgot to remove the 500 armor value from Earthwarden as an existing post-fix armor value. I’m glad I re-read that. Sorry.)

Again, just using my own gear, it would have to go from 370% to 690% for me to break even.

Think about that. How likely is that? And I’m still using all the armor items that supposedly they want me to get away from. If we were to remove the 1438 item armor, we’re talking an armor modifier of 700%.

No, I think I’m going to go out on a limb and state that I do not believe that Dire Bear form is going to get a flat armor modifier boost applying to all specs that brings it from 370% to 690%.

Feel free to disagree. Hell, maybe we’ll get all get a 700% or 800% buff. It’s a crazy world, after all, and it’s just a game. I wouldn’t complain at all, that’s for sure. It would make my survivability as a tank a lot easier, so sure. Go for it!

But I still doubt it, simply from a cross-spec PvP aspect.

It’s also interesting to speculate on what standard they will be using when it comes to what they think we would have equipped at 80 to raid as tanks.

After all, we haven’t seen level 80 equipped Bear tanks yet outside of Beta. The game is supposed to be balanced around level 80 raiding, and Bears are supposed to be comparable to other tanks.

So they are going to have to determine where our armor is supposed to be at those levels of play as Bear tanks to compare to other tank classes, and then determine how close to that value we could get with 370% armor modifier with only the existing leather armor that is properly adjusted for Rogues.

And then they will have to increase our armor modifier or play with our talents in some way to make up for the shortfall, without making us weaker than otehr tanks, or stronger.


Look, I know that sooner or later this will all get worked out, but let’s be honest. This is going to be a huge amount of work, and it’s not going to happen overnight.

And you know the game of yo-yo Blizzard is playing with Retribution Paladins right now?

Yeah, we’ve got our turn coming. Bet on it.

What I’m hoping is, we’re either going to see it happen early enough that everyone will be able to plan for 80 with the changed stat values in mind… or it will happen late enough that we’ll be able to tank effectively through 5 mans and quests until everyone hits 80 and starts raiding and gets comfortable, and only THEN will they change up on us, before we get much past Naxxramas and we will be able to adjust our expectations with everything we need already in place before we pass on too many drops.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The Developers go through Hell trying to balance things out fairly, don’t they.

In this case, all of this and the inevitable QQ is going to come from a Developer desire to make it easier for us to get a drop we can roll on, without endlessly passing in the hopes of seeing that one item with Armor… that the Warrior will ninja, damn him.

Not that I’m still bitter over that Iron Band of the Unbreakable that bastard Fury Warrior rolled on in Old Hillsbrad because he ‘might want to tank someday’.

No, not at all.

That prick.


44 thoughts on “Speculations on armor balancing

  1. I just wanted to point out that the comment specifically stated that BONUS armor would not be multiplied in.

    Badge of tenacity HAS no bonus armor, it has a flat 308 armor on it. Bonus armor is a green stat on armor that adds +150 armor on top of the armor that would already be on that item. ( I believe that number is from elitiest jerks, gear point value caluclations )

    The iron band of the unbreakable has no bonus armor on it and is still +170 armor, its just not green BONUS armor.

    If that is the case, then the bonus armor on trinkets ( max 300 ) rings ( max 300 ) neck and cloak ( max 300 ) is only 900, not the 1438 you calculate, and both the trinkets are flat armor, that adds 300 more. So you SHOULD be losing the weapon( 500), rings (300 ) and cloak ( 150 ) or 950 armor. but the rest would be multiplied back in. so with your numbers, 1938 – 950 = 988. That 988 would then be applied to the multiplier for dire bear form, taking you back up to 3655 armor ( not including thick hide )

    (That being said, its also not entirely out of the realm of possibility that GC misspoke/typed, and misused the term bonus armor )

    That still hurts, but it can be worked around. Bears will still gear for armor, But now an item wont be specifically BEAR TANK items becuase of a green armor figure on that ring or cloak. I think THAT is what they are going for. They spent all that time stripping the bonus armor off leather items, so that bears would not feel obligated to take it( and so we wouldnt hit the armor cap “too soon” )But bears STILL stacked armor bonuses, over other stats. They dont want to hurt the other tanks by stripping the bonus armor off rings, cloaks, etc, so they are tuning our spec so that we cant use it. I think the plan is to take thought out of the gear design process so that all tank gear will be rolled on by all tank classes, and not be pigeonholed to a specific class, like it was before. ( feral attack power anyone? ) This would prevent specific classes running the same instance over and over and over again for a single drop, ( suneater anyone? ) for that one upgrade thats useful, but could run multiple instances, to get drops that are generally good for anyone.

    They keep talking like the stats we NEED to stack now are attack power, haste, and crit. But i have yet to see a bear comment anywhere from beta that that is what they want. We are STILL stacking armor, stamina and agility. And oddly, we are not having any difficulties tanking in that gear. Hell, there is a multi page debate now about how, once again, PVP gear is the best gear to tank in over the Tier 7 druid set. They throw ominous threats in the forums about how bears are going to want to stack threat stats to tank. To compensate for that, blizz is making that gear worthless to us, to try and steer us back to thier vision of “fun bear tanking”

    I find it particularly amusing that they want to reduce the armor bonus on weapons so it no longer adds to our tank stats. The vast, VAST, like 99/100 tank weapons in the game with armor on them are FERAL ***KING weapons. With feral stats like FERAL ATTACK POWER. If they dont want the armor to count for our mitigation, thats fine, but turning a stat USELESS on one of the FEW weapons designd for us, well, all I can say is FU blizzard. You had better not leave that stat there, make it useless, and leave item points spent on it or you are gonna have some seriously pissed off ferals of ALL shapes in the game. Perhaps “amusing” was the wrong choice of words 😉


  2. Ghostcrawler has previously posted that they will keep all tanks balanced, even if it means adding parry to bears.

    Given that they can’t give us 690% armour without arenas becoming drowning vortexes of QQ and that dodge suffers diminishing returns above ~50%, this might yet come to pass. In which case those rings with armour, parry & def will still be good rings to all tanks. Me, I’m rolling on them all until I know better. And the rogue pieces too. And the caster items in case they screw us over and I need to respec…just kidding, honest!



  3. I think you’re barking up the wrong tree here by analyzing Armor as the only mitigation stat. Ghostcrawler himself has chastised druids for overvaluing armor as a the sole be all and end all tanking stat above all others.

    His words were “net mitigation”, not “net armor”. A slight increase to Thick Hide would net us some of the difference, but there are a lot of things Blizzard can do to achieve this claim.

    For instance:
    – boost dodge provided by talents (Feral Swiftness)
    – boost Protector of the Pact to increase mitigation directly
    – alter the amount of armor/dodge received from agility
    – factor strength into some of the tanking equations

    Basically, we aren’t going to be seeing high armor values anymore. An equally geared warrior will have the same armor as a bear druid, the difference will come in the alternate mitigation factors. Warriors and Paladins get shield blocking and parrying. A difference will need to be equalized here for Druids (and to a lesser extent, Death Knights). I forsee that Druids will either get parry, or our dodge will be going up dramatically.


  4. My druid seems squishier(is that a word). I worked so very hard to aquire my Earthwarden and now it is just another weapon.
    OK, I’m over it. Lets get on to level 80 and see what Northrend has to offer.


  5. I got half way through the comments & it’s time for bed, so I’ll apologise if this has been said:
    Perhaps they’ll give us shield & block *shudder*
    Make us stand in Grizzly Bear form with sword & board.
    Make all the tanks exactly the same.

    No thanks.

    ok, I went further than “out there”, I went “beyond”, sorry. (Did I mention it’s late & I’m tired?)


  6. Long time reader, I can’t remember if I ever commented before. First and foremost, thanks for the wonderful website you have put up and continue to maintain at your own cost, it serves us bear community well – let me just say I started my feral druid by following most of the advice on your blog. Mage is my first char, but druid is my true love.

    just wanted to let know that I share exactly the same sentiments of all serious feral tanking bear loving community.

    I spent 900g on Badge of Tenacity, badges and badges on tameless breeches, embrace of the everlasting, ring of the stalwalk defender, etc. Do I feel screwed by Blizzard, xxxxing hxxx yes.

    From 370 to 690 will not get my vote, I reckon it will just tip the balance that much over and hard to juggle without insanely amount of work.

    Here’s an idea, have parry rating work for bear .. lol… a have two big fat solid hard paws, we can use it to parry stuff yeah? Give us a talent call Harden Paws or some thing, so we can parry and everytime we parry, we generate rage…

    yup I am bored at work.. haha


  7. Terarian, you totally missed the point.

    I didn’t compare Feral Druids to Ret pallys, I compared the current bouncing of hotfixes that the Devs are implementing trying to properly balance Ret Pallies without going too far in the nerf direction, a very difficult task, with the number of hotfixes and corrections I expect Feral Druids can someday expect to see when armor adjustments go into play, based on what I feel will be a smiliar attempt to hit a figure, through trial and error, without overly buffing or nerfing the tanking.

    But thank you very much for taking your misinterpretation as a launching point for QQing about Paladins with bad attitudes. Appreciate it.

    Yes, I know that sounds snarky. But I don’t know you, just your comment, and come on, is this even remotely the place for that comment? You may be a great person, but there are abundant locations to QQ about Paladin attitudes. I respectfully submit that a Feral Druid blog article about armor ain’t it.


  8. Personally, I don’t think that this is a great idea – concentrating all of the multiplied armor over fewer items means more potential for the entire equation to become volatile. When only a few factors are determining the ultimate number, it increases the odds of the druid winding up either woefully underarmored, or drastically overpowered with only a few changes to gear. Allowing the multiplier for armor from non-leather pieces creates a smoother curve; besides, any serious raid tank is already stacking those trinkets and rings anyhow. Why open the door for undergeared players to take the spotlight? Learn your skills, pay your dues, and you can fill those slots with all of the items that you’ll need for maximum mitigation. It really wasn’t that hard before, and I don’t know why the driving desire to dumb it down for everyone should impact the feral spec so drastically.


  9. I think this problem is going to fall in to the category of “too hard to solve without majorly breaking something”. I think they are either going to have to back off on this decision or …. I wonder if this could force them to give us some form of parry/block mechanic to make us on par with other tanks.

    Either way I would hate to go from having the most armor of the tanks to by far the least. Going from having 35k armor not long ago to having 23k armor (what I have currently due to the recent nerf) in BC to wearing the same equipment and having only 14k armor in LK (if the 9k or so bear armor nerf for rings/trinkets etc occurs). It just seems so unnatural.


  10. I like a bit of contention – keeps things interesting – but dont compare ferals with ret pallies. Ret pallies were decimating BGs for a couple of weeks, causing serverwide misery. Their class has not been spoiled, it has been corrected to make the game fair. The ones complaining the hardest refuse to admit how deeply broken their class was before the adjustments. If you’re overpowerd, your class is broken. Not many forum posters cared enough about the game to admit it (for obvious unsophisticated reasons)

    Also Blizzard are dealing with a LOT more factors when designing classes than even the jerkiest of elistists could get close to. Some of the qqer’s arguments in all the class forums are painfully oversimplistic.


  11. I can really understand why they want to change the armor mechanics.

    Basically, any item with +armor is worth 5 times as much to a bear as any other class.

    This isn’t like “Well, strength is slightly better than agility for DPS”. This is “completely ignore any other item, even something +30 item-levels higher, if the lower level item has +armor on it.” (The Mark of Tyranny, a level 60 +180 armor trinket, was the 24rd best tanking trinket in the game, for example. The 23nd best was the guardian’s alchemist stone. Even the level 50 “Smoking Heart of the Mountain” was half as good as Moroe’s Pocketwatch!)

    So that means that they have to have regular upgrades to armor trinkets, rings, and necks. Or else there’s nothing in those slots to be upgrades for a bear. Which means that bears go through entire raids with no upgrades available in most slots, which is no fun.

    So I think it is the right idea, but I think it will be hard to get things rebalanced.


  12. Ara
    There’s no such thing as being “over-geared” on armor. When you’re at the armor cap and get an item that puts you farther over the cap, you start juggling gear to add in additional dps pieces until you’re back down at the cap. That’s exactly what the metal-junkies do when they’re at the avoidance cap. There’s no use having 125% avoidance, so you pull out some pieces until you’re back to the cap. I would much rather be at the cap subbing in more non-tank gear than desperately grabbing any piece that has more armor on it.

    Ultimately, Blizz has shot themselves in the foot here. Bears were balanced with other tanks at lvl 70. They could have been easily balanced at lvl 80 just by adding diminishing returns to armor; i.e. set things so that at 80 you need 50k armor for 75% mitigation, and increase the power of items accordingly so that people don’t wear their lvl 70 gear. That’s how all of the other stats work – at lvl 80 you need more dodge rating to get the same dodge bonus. Its really not that complicated.

    Instead they decided in their infinite wisdom (and because its not like they can get fired for screwing up the game) to re-build the entire mechanics of how our class works and what our gear looks like so that all the classes become more homogenized. And much like with ret pallys, they’re doing a horrible job of it.


  13. One last thing – and it’s not a correction, just an addendum. Your math is perfect on this, but it’s even worse at level 80 with Naxx-level gear. With the addition of a second armor trinket and an armor neck, you go from needing about a 670% multiplier to get to parity from what we had before to needing a 1000% armor multiplier, roughly.

    My biggest concern is that they’ll increase the multiplier based on level 70 gear when they’ve been balancing around level 80 values of mitigation among the classes – which will leave bears far behind on how much damage they take relative to other tanking classes.


  14. I always heard about how bear tanks were always capped on armor. I have never understood that. I was 6/8 T6 and had every conceivable piece of gear with +armor (rings/badge/pillar etc) on it before the nerf and I rang up at just over 34k armor. I would love to see a list of gear that someone had that put them at 40k armor naturally. Unless they count someone maintaining healing procs on them (which pushed me way over 40k armor). I don’t understand how armor could have been such a problem that they have had to completely remove the concept of druids being the high armor tank.

    I didn’t really mind them removing the bonus armor even though it felt like I was getting hit much harder than before. At least there was a talent I could grab to sort of make up for it. This is just getting ridiculous though. There is no way they are going to give us yet another form that will give us an ungodly armor multiplier. If they want us to be just healers again they should just stop beating around the bush and tell us. If not then I am guessing that this will be yet another of those “decisions” that will end up getting reversed.


  15. I’m just saying that they used two different terms… Thus I believe they are different..

    First the term used is multiplier (i.e. you go into bear form and get x% more armor from your gear)..
    Second is modifier… This is then different than the 360% or whatever.. This sounds like something internal that they can modify on a per class basis.. Obviously I could be wrong, but just pointing out that they used different terms, thus they might mean different things.


  16. Humph. I just went and spent all my badges on the green armor rings/etc which I hadn’t upgraded yet – cause they were such an incrementally small upgrade – to make up for the armor I had lost in the leather nerf. Thanks a lot blizz. Not that there was anything else to spend them on at this point, but still. With the nerfs I’m down from 33k armor/60% dodge to about 21k armor/38% dodge, and I really feel it. Tanking in T5 and ZA I am relegated now to offtank/kitty dps rather than main tank as our healers are saying that I am much more work to keep healed. Especially since their heals are hitting for about 70% of what they were before the patch.

    It seems like in retuning for lvl 80 content they have taken gear and specs and playstyles that were carefully min/maxed and made them significantly worse than those that were taking a more care-free approach. Our noobs who rather than working hard and often for specific gear were taking what they could get are doing better in many cases. We have a shadow priest now who just started getting geared up about a month before the patch and can easily out-heal our t5-6 geared holy priests who had ~2500 +healing and regularly hit 8-12k heals. That’s kind of a slap in the face for them.

    I just wish they had waited to make some of these changes until we were ready to start leveling again. It has created a lot of bad blood that could have been avoided.

    There’s no way this will work out well until we’re behind the curve. I missed the first month of BC due to work, which meant that when the rest of my guild was working on SSC/TK I was still gearing up with the noobs in kara and quests. Was looking forward to getting into progression early this expansion, but I don’t see that happening as we won’t be fixed until blizz has a representative sampling of players who have completed the first raids to balance us against at 80.

    I am completely underwhelmed.


  17. Maybe I’m missing something with this idea – I probably am – but how about a talent deep in the Feral Tree, say “Thick Hide Mastery” which would *bring back* the Dire Bear Form multiplier on non-armor armor values? It would permit us to reach our current armor values while still allowing a reasonable balance for non-feral druids yet keeping their Dire Bear Form values from going sky-high.


  18. apart from the obvious implications I think this is a counter-intuitive move. You ask the average casual player who doesn’t stand knee-deep in elitistjerks posts about how they would ‘expect’ this to work and they will tell you to simply add all the armor values and then apply the multipliers.

    It’s simply counter-intuitive to apply the multipliers on items excluding their bonus armor aspect.

    You’d think they were moving away from the complexity aspect of things by integrating certain attributes and now they do this which as far as I am concerned may indeed be a way to solve the ‘percieved’ problem but is as far from a logical approach as you could be.


  19. Oh Hammaer – I think the problem with green armor values is that bear mitigation because just too good too quickly, and many bears in t6 exceeded the cap by 5k armor. Lots of complaints from high end raiders about this as you can imagine, because it was all wasted item points.


  20. Thanks for a great analysis BBB. I’m really looking forward to these changes, and Im very curious to see how they’ll be implemented. Possibly, as someone said, giving us extra armor from defence? That would be consistent with the concept of defence too. I’d love to have more choices with items; my warrior buddies get to mix n match a whole lot more than we do. A big part of tanking is swapping gear around for different fights: well ideally! I’ve tended to keep the same gear for all fights, with a slightly different dps set for trash, depending on who’s healing.

    For someone who asked about mongoose: I think its so awesome for tanking that I put it on both the forest lord & the pillar of the incredibly low drop rate. Yes it procs all the time when multi tanking, and still often enough on bosses to be worth it, I think. Not sure for cat dps tho.


  21. BBB, thanks very much for doing the math on this. I’ve been using my gut instincts in my arguments, but the math that you’ve just laid out proves what the problem is. I’ve already lost 12k armor from when I was at the cap; I can’t afford to lost another 9k.

    The one biggest factor that sets druids apart from all of the other tank classes is that WE WEAR DIFFERENT ARMOR!!! You can balance the plate armor so that warriors, pally’s and death knights can all use the same gear with no difficulty – they all wear plate & shields, and the basic mechanic for their armor-based mititgation is consistant across all three classes. If you create a plate tank piece (high armor, high stam, high defense, high dodge/parry/block), any one of those three classes can make use of it.

    For bears, we’re rolling on leather armor that would otherwise go to rogues, and possibly shamans & hunters. Those classes couldn’t give a care less about the armor value (hence my resto shaman wears cloth if its got more spellpower). They care about agility, hit rating, crit rating, and AP. If those are the stats on the gear that a bear tank is going to be using, they have to give us some method of using those stats to increase our mitigation. They certainly haven’t made those changes yet, but they’ve already dropped the nerfbomb on our armor.

    Yes, the +armor gear has always been essential to the success of a good druid tank. That’s why when BC came out, every bear tank went out and snagged a set of Heavy Clefthoof. That’s why we still wear our Exalted Violet Eye tank rings, even in Sunwell (well, that and really unlucky drops). That’s why we farmed the snot out of Heroic CE instances for our Earthwarden.

    Now they’re taking away all of these bonuses, and replacing them with…Protector of the Pack? Thanks, but the 12% mitigation I get from that the 12k armor I lost (from 35k to 23k) when they de-buffed my armor. Thus, after tanking all the way through Brutallis, I’m now relegated to 3rd Off Tank / guy who brings his warlock / guy who tanks Karas for alts.

    Let’s ask the big question: was having beartank-specific leather gear really affecting the game in such a negative way that they had to completely remove it from the game? I don’t remember anyone complaining about it. Same thing with the armor multiplier on jewelry. If you don’t want us wearing our level 70 gear, make the level 80 gear better! Its not like any other tank is going to complain that there’s armor on level 80 jewelry – they’ll want it too.

    This is part of an overall failure that’s happening with the entire Lich King rollout. They’re rushing everything out into the marketplace before its ready. In BC, Blizz did a really good job in ensuring that all of the new gear was better than the gear from Classic and that the new content was challenging. Everyone was upgrading from the moment they hit outlands, even Naxx raiders.

    Lich King on the other hand has no decent loot for the first 7-9 levels (see BRK’s blog on levelling his hunter – and he’s only T5). You see T6 beta testers not upgrading their gear AT ALL while levelling to 80. The response from Blizz? Let’s nerf all the gear, spells, and content that we created in BC.

    gg Blizz.


  22. Re: Defense to boost armor

    Right now, defense doesn’t boost Druids nearly as much as other classes. So if +25 defense (at 70) were to increase final armor by 2% (or increase the dire bear multiplier from 3.7 to 3.79), if you could get +300 defense, you’d be talking an extra +24% or about +100% of base armor.

    If the Bear modifier is increased to +500 (600% total), you’d want a maximum defense set-up to give around +150% base to armor.

    That would make all the tanking items with +sta, +dodge, +defense be really useful to us, without making them explicitly required. It would also mean resto-bears might have +500% armor, but they’re not quite as good as a proper tank.


  23. ROFL, I had the exact same thing happen to me with Iron Band of the Unbreakable! *shudders*

    We’ve all gotta play the wait and see game with this one. Hopefully in the end it all works out, but I dont want to see the class I’ve grown to love come crumbling down.


  24. Of course, I read this MERE HOURS after I spent every piece of gold I had on a shiny Badge of Tenacity. Well, at least I know not to continue to pursue Earthwarden. Thanks for the heads up BBB.


  25. After looking at your math, BBB, I have to agree that dire bear itself getting a +690% modifier is highly unlikely. While I can’t imagine them adding a new talent to address this (which would require druids getting talent points refunded again, shape of the tree change) or tacking it on to something that’s a cat-only talent now (like Predatory Instincts), they might add it to something a bear tank would already take (Protector of the Pack, though that may be overloading the talent) or to something that is roughly in theme (Primal Tenacity, currently not taken in any of my builds as it’s more of a pvp talent). Increasing the armor bonus of Thick Hide would make it far too easy for non-ferals to get, unless they switch it with a talent later in the tree… which would require lowering that other talent’s effect to compensate.

    Frankly I don’t envy Blizzard their decisions here, though I still fear the results.


  26. I expect to see Protector of the Pack pushed up to a higher mitigation value. Since it takes rather a lot of armor to equal a small value of actual damage mitigation, a small change to PotP would pretty easily compensate for the armor nerf, possibly also act as a net buff for druid tanks (even if the resulting *physical* damage mitigation is slightly lower, our non-physical mitigation would be much higher), and it’s already well past deep enough in the tree that nobody but a feral is actually going to end up taking it. This especially makes sense with 3.0.3 changing PotP to a straight mitigation value instead of a value based on the number of people in your party.


  27. Aluminum,

    I put mongoose on my staff of the forest lord, i love it. It procs very often, especially when I have more than a couple mobs to deal with.

    Boosting my agi by 120 gives much more dodge & much more crit which = much more rage and much more fun. 🙂

    However, I have noticed that the proc rate is so looow on single targets, when I am kitty dpsing. Makes me wonder whether it is worth it for that aspect. But then I realize (once it procs) yes, yes it is worth it. 😀


  28. Im very happy with this change, as it makes me not be obligated to roll on items i wouldn’t roll on otherwise if it wasn’t for the armor on them. I really, really wasn’t looking forward to rolling on rings and trinkets with a buttload of defense,parry, or block on them just because of the high armor. All the pallie and warrior tanks in my guild would have ended up hating me. Now we get to have more options as to what we want in what slot. More threat or avoidance? Awesome on use effect?We can finally choose with out gimping ourselfs.I for one couldn’t be more happy.


  29. Bearthooven

    Only if they do an increase across the board for bear form. If it is only for dire bear (or some later form of bear) then you will have a reduction while lvling same also if you can’t access a talent to increase it till beyond 50-60.


  30. I feel the same way BB..

    I was fine searching out those items, and took great pride in having them.
    then when teh first patch came, I rolled with the punches, and am having a blast..

    Now with this speculation, I will again roll with the punches, however I was happy in our little Niche, searching out those green armor items. Having to roll against guildies will suck, being the GM and the RL I was more than happy to see others get upgrades, now i will feel “cheap” taking stuff away from our Rogues/hunters


  31. This will mean we get much higher armour-based mitigation while leveling, since generally the high-armour bits were mostly 70 stuff (exceptions that spring to mind are the rings from HFR and OHB).


  32. I’ll be honest… I wish they’d just leave the armor the hell alone. Give us a few nice items that clearly work best for our mechanics, and leave it at that.

    I have no problem saying, ‘Oh gee, Badge of Tenacity is what I should work for… awesome. Got it, okay, good.”

    And I also have no problem saying, “Hey, those other drops in the raid were equally viable for a lot of classes, but that sucker has armor on it, meaning that the bear tank gets the most use out of it. I’ll keep my hands off your gear, you leave my tanking drop alone.”

    We are a tank rolling against Hunters and Rogues for our tanking gear… come on Devs, give us a break, willyas?


  33. I think the easiest solution may be to just increase the values on our “Thick Hide” talent. Feral druids, or I guess I now need to say, kitty and bear druids, all generally take this talent. PvP resto druids may pick it up, unless the devs move it further down the tree, to prevent the cries of OP Resto Druids in PvP.


  34. Caelean,

    Though I think that could work it essentialy counteracts the entire purpose of blizz making this change in the first place. This change was so that bears wouldn’t be limited to high armor items just like they removed critical strikes so we weren’t forced to make it up in gem slots on gear with no defense or go with pvp gear. Right now we are competing with 2 other classes soon to be 3 for those same items. It seems like they want us to be focused on rogue gear with agility and stamina.

    I don’t know what the solution is and as BBB said its going to be tough for the Devs to try and figure this one out. Maybe the solution is some form of Dire Dire bear form maybe with a higher mana cost that is reduced through talents so that while resto druids can use it they can’t without murdering their mana pool.


  35. Caelean, the problem there is that there simply isn’t that much defense on that gear, and you’ve gone from the problem where armor on non-leather gear is required to defense on non-leather gear is required.


  36. Oh I have a question…

    +35 Agility vs Mongoose

    since Mongoose works for us now, ppl have been raving how it is the best druid tank enchant …

    How much better is it? I havent switched over yet, but have been thinking about it..


  37. Well first off, Id just like to say that you are wearing 80% the same gear I am. so grats. youre as good as me (which means nothing LOL)

    Also, I had the same thing happen to me in Old hills when I first starting searching for some pre-kara tank gear… however, I won the roll, /facepalmed the warrior and continued.

    Good work on the speculations, and I will hold onto all my epic leather gear, Tank gear or not until, the dust settles.
    But you wont see me throwing away my badge of tenacity any time soon.


  38. I had a bright idea:

    How about +Defense increases the bear armor multiplier?

    So now all the +defense rings, capes, enchants, etc. become great tanking gear for bears. We want to roll on the same stuff as any other tank.


  39. Fimlys, what yo’d be talking about would be a fundamental change to what armor is.

    The whole point to having an armor value modifier in Bear form, is to have 1 point of armor be worth a certain measurable value of physical damage mitigation.

    So we have a mechanic that increases the amount of effective armor we get per point of real armor, so the value of 1 point of armor remains constant.

    The reason we are assuming that whatever they will do is directly related to armor value, rather than simply increasing mitigations values from Protector of the pack, is that the armor only affects physical damage, and scales with the armor on item upgrades. And of course, because GC specifically said, “We will adjust the bear armor modifiers”.

    Protector of the Pack is a flat value, and affects all damage.

    For myself, yes I’m greedy, I’d be quite happy if PotP were increased… what, more magic damage mitigation? Hells yeah, sign me up baby!


  40. “And you know the game of yo-yo Blizzard is playing with Retribution Paladins right now?”

    One of my guildies logged in after the patch and said, “OMG. Blizzard just kicked me in the nuts.”

    Guess what class he is?

    Thankfully, I don’t have nuts. Blizzard simply punched me in the ovaries. It hurts less. But emotionally I’m still scarred by the ret pally issue.

    Anyway… in regards to kitty tanks, just like a fury warrior can’t just slap on a sword and board and be expected to tank as well as a prot warrior, albeit they can do ‘okay’, a kitty shouldn’t be able to slap on different gear and shift forms and be expected to tank as well as a bear, albeit they can do ‘okay’, especially with most of the druid feral talents applying one thing for bears and another when you shift to cat.

    I don’t know what they’re going to do with bear armor. Maybe indeed give us a Dire Bear Part Deux form that has a higher armor percentage. Because they can’t keep the same armor modifier for feral druids as they do for resto druids. (okay, they can, but it isn’t very fair.)

    As much as I love my druid, the fact that a restoration druid can have more armor with a single click to mitigate all my damage done to it, shift back out of form, HEAL, then shift back into form with the same amount of armor and boosted health… sucks.


  41. I might have missed something in this post, but I think he was saying they are going to change an internal number so that the mitigation you get from the reduced armor is equal to what you would have had before for the higher armor rating.. Not changing the % of armor increase you get from the form. I don’t know if they will do this based on the form itself (so if you are in bear form you get this additional mitigation) or for all Druids.. For all I know they will change their minds when they realize this will buff all other druids either generally in forms or when they switch to bear.



  42. When I play on my baby Warrior, or even when I play on my Paladin I take the same approach in a 5 man. The person doing the job gets first dibs on the loot for that job. The tank gets first dibs on tanking loot, healers get first dibs on healing loot and dps gets first dibs on dps loots. I can’t tell you how many times I passed on DPS Plate boots on Botanica runs I was tanking, or healing cloaks.


  43. So.. umm.. yah.. BALANCE.. Yippie.


    I for see a single point very very deep in the feral tree. Which makes one wonder, how this effects those kitties that like fury warriors are called on to tank. Non prot warriors “should” be able to tank a 5 man with the correct gear. How does this single OMG I haz bear tank point going to effect kitties. ?????


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