This blog started out as my way of having a place to get down my thoughts and suggestions on playing a Feral Druid as a tank.
I also love to just ramble on about whatever, but really, I called it the Big Bear Butt because I loved the bearing, and so figured that was what I’d be talking about.
That has remained true, but for other reasons than I originally thought. It’s the only class I really think I know how to play, and the only class I think about and whip up tests and stuff for.
Over the years, I’ve made a lot of characters.
On my main server right now, this be what I’ve got;
- 80 Tauren Feral Druid main spec with a Resto chaser.
- 80 Nelf hunter Beastmaster with a BM off spec. What? One specced for instances, and one for faster flight speed while farming.
- 80 Draenei Shaman Healer main spec with a “beat the face with a mace” off spec.
- 80 Belf Pally Retribution main spec with a Prot off spec that, frankly, is used more often. But I’m a supaflyretpally in training! I swear! Jong is mah hero.
- 75 Human Rogue running as Combat Daggers. Why? I wanted to have the best of both worlds… Combat spec because that’s what Cassie runs as and can advise me, and daggers because I get to play with all the “dagger in main hand” toys when stealthed.
- 73 Draenei Priest Shadow main and only spec. I’ve got this massive mental block agasint playing this character, and I don’t really know why. She’s been level 73 since two weeks after Wrath was released.
- 43 Human Mage – Frost all the way, baby. Only play this with Cassie as a team.
- 41 Orc Warrior – Prot spec all the way, mostly leveled in instances.
- 24 Dwarf Hunter – placeholder for a Cataclysm something or other, have no bloody idea.
- 1 Draenei Hunter – name placeholder for my Cataclysm Troll Druid. Hee hee hee… “Gummybear”. As soon as I saw the Troll form colors, I couldn’t resist.
So, I’ve got two openings for Cataclysm characters in my list, and 8 characters I really like.
Ignoring my placeholders, I have 8 characters, and of those characters I’ve got 11 spec playstyles to know.
Where am I going with this?
Of those 11 specs, there is only one that, when I log in no matter how long it’s been, I don’t have to ask myself, “How the hell do you play this character again?”
And that’s the Bear tank Druid. Not even Kitty, I don’t kitty anymore. If I’m killing, I’m Bear.
Every other class/spec I’ve got, if I haven’t logged in and played for a couple of weeks, when I log in, I look at my button bars for a few minutes, and even more fun, check out my Vuh’Do settings, and try to remember how I used to play it.
The Feral Druid (not Resto spec, either, just Feral side) is the only one I don’t have to do that with.
To me, that helps explain one of the many reasons that when I talk about classes on this blog, I only really talk about Feral Druids. It’s the only one I grok. The rest I enjoy, I can play, and I like to think I can squeeze some good results out of. I do make a solid effort to learn a class, test things and practise skills and get smooth and natural before I ever join a group.
But there is something about my Feral Druid that I connect with differently than the others.
Just last night, been messing around for two weeks now on Rogue and Starcraft 2, I decided it was Prot Warrior time.
I logged in, loaded up my Warrior, and I had to stop and look at every button to remind myself what they do, and how I’d been using them in battle.
“Where the hell is Charge? Oh, damn, I only get that in Combat Stance. Oh, right, stances, damn. Oooh, when did I get a button that lets me break fear every 30 seconds? Sweet!”
Am I the only one running around with more characters than I’ve got mental capability to stay 100% on top of?
I’ve mastered the Bear tank, that’s for sure. So I’ve got one spec of one class I can claim to have mastered. I’m sure others would disagree that I’ve mastered it, but screw them.
For groups, I’m pretty solid with about ten seconds notice on Resto Druid, BM Hunter, and Ret Pally. That’s it. If I want to play reasonably well, tolerably well by my standards in a group, the Shaman on both Healing and Enhancement, the Paladin on Prot, and the Warrior would all need a few minutes of sniffing around to pick it back up.
The Rogue I’ve been playing in groups, but I still don’t think I’ve done more than scratch the surface of what she could do. That’s just embarrassing.
My Mage, I love my Frost Mage, but she’s never done a dungeon. Strictly a duo team player. And my Priest? Fugedaboutit.
Seriously, am I the only one? The only person that has settled for having fun, and stopped trying to master every character I’ll ever play in a group? Not because I wouldn’t like to master them, but simply from having too damn many to pick from at any given time? No matter how much you play, somebody gets put on the shelf for a while.
At this point, I seriously have just one goal before I take a character into an instance with strangers; be skilled enough to be sure I’m not going to embarass myself or make stupid mistakes.
Master the class? Yeah, pull the other ones, they’ve got bells on.
I dunno, maybe I’m too hard on myself. But when I put my abilities as a Druid Tank up in comparison with the other classes I play, I certainly can feel the difference.
Prot Pallies shouldn’t have to spend a few seconds searching for the Divine Intervention button when they need it, right? They should just know exactly what to hit and when, where it is, and wham. If I can’t, if I have to search my button bars to remember where I put it, I think that says it all.
Anyone else? Do you play one main at elite level and have others you’re good with? Do you play 10 level 80s all dual specced and you’re master of every single one of ’em?
Or are you somewhere in between?
I think it’s funny sometimes, coming back to a character I haven’t played in a while… it’s like driving a Yugo for two years, and then pulling the GTO out of the garage for a run. “Okay, which one is the gas HOLY SHIT THIS THING IS FAST!!!”
It’s also one of the reasons I like seeing people who really do master their class. I can see someone take their specialty out on the open road, let ‘er rip, appreciate the skill that took, and admire the hell out of it.