You made the Bear cry!

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?

32 thoughts on “You made the Bear cry!

  1. Not sure if this was mentioned before – only skimmed the responses.

    However as for minor glyphs – I do not have rebirth as a glyph. not because I’m cheap… Hell I just finished insane on my druid, and lemmie tell ya, that darkmoon fair didn’t get any cheaper with the launch of cata.

    the minor glyphs for druid are amazing! I personally use dash, challenging roar, and aquatic form.
    -I’m a sucker for movement speed. and carrying reagents isn’t bad for me. Granted I do have them at all times, but I’ve run out once or twice.

    Long story short – the lack of the rebirth glyph isn’t that far fetched. our minors are much more then cosmetic.


  2. Long before dual-spec, I used to swap specs on a regular basis (funded by the guild <3) – sometimes several times in one raid. I maintained 3 separate sets of gear. and filled whatever role was needed. Now I'm working on my second 85 druid =P. It's just a fun class to play given the tremendous flexibility. Druids have too much utility to not take advantage of it when the situation arises. Even a weak innervate can save a healer. A well-timed battle rez can save a group/raid wipe. Cyclone, skull-bash, etc. to shut down a caster for a few seconds.

    In the case of the anonymous cat? There's no consequences – and he was taking advantage of that. As a pugged member, he can get away with pretty much anything, and no one could do anything aside from a vote kick. Bad show on his part? Totally. You can add him to ignore while in the instance though, so you never group with him again. My ignore list is so long =(.


  3. Sad to say, I’ve seen this story before. Only worse. Same situation – tank dies, no brez and no bear. After we all ran back to our corpses, the kitty then won the roll on the battered hilt.

    /smack forehead


  4. mind you … there was the day I popped bear form while in resto spec … I think my furry tree got roasted … bad experiment … okay well trying to work off the wrong keys didn’t help … sigh … it was one of those moments that spotted the joy of rapid roll changing 🙂


  5. IMO, as a dual-feral druid that used to be bear/tree… there is never, ever, ever, ever, EVER any excuse for you not to be prepared to battle rez.

    End of story.

    And you are absolutely right, BBB. My guild’s groups tend to be a little druid-heavy, but we’ve had Kitty druids, Boomkin druids, and even the occasional Tree pop into bear form to finish off a fight. There is no reason not to…


  6. To be honest, i am surprised by this post. Till now, you had a more relaxed attitude against your fellow wow players. Suddenly, you make a post and you are bashing another player for his lack of knowledge. How well do you know that person? Is this his first toon? Is this an alt? How well does he know the game? How much time did it take for him to level to 85 and acquire the gear for the heroics? Do you have the answer to this questions? Did you talk to that person before you make a post and trashing him, even though you didn’t mention his name?

    A friendly advise: Don’t expect people you meet only once in the game to have the same level of knowledge with you. The fact that you are playing a druid for that long is completely different from the fact that a random person you meet in a dungeon plays a druid.


    • Just because Bear doesn’t know a player’s life history doesn’t mean he can’t make a judgement call on his level of play. One has nothing to do with the other. BBB also mentioned that the one incident he chose to highlight his point wasn’t the only one. So apparently there was a lot more FAIL going on than he relayed here.

      I like this post. I think it’s a bit of a wake up call to people who play such a versatile class that there is indeed a lot of utility that they may be missing. I do have to agree with Mama Druid’s post above, though. That player probably thinks of himself as a kitty. End of story. Not as a pinch hit heals/tank. But maybe, just maybe, s/he will read this blog, recognize him/herself and learn something. We can all hope 🙂

      I like that BBB didn’t name names, as I know that I’ve definitely had some less than stellar moments while learning my class, and would hate to be bashed in public for some of them. But I do think this post is valid and appropriate. Keep up the good work Bear 🙂


    • Given that Heroics means either lvl 80 or 85 … and given the author BBB talks about his lvl 85’s a lot, i’m going lvl 85, it’s probably not a new character. I’m usually in tree form and I’m not always that good at remembering to shape shift, but I do have my reagents (on my unglyphed druid) and the glyph on my other.


  7. Loving this blog, even though I don’t have to time to check it out very often.
    Not so much into endgame stuff but have played to endgame with tanks/brutes on COH/V, now working my way up on wow & have just started a Stoneskin on Forsaken World. Don’t always agree with this blog but even then I’m finding lots of common ground.
    On wow I have 49 characters over about 6 servers. Play a variation of races & classes but Trolls & Nelfs as boomies/healers & Taurens & Vorgen.
    Taught myself to tank wow using a Dwarven Pally & Tauren drood both with their xp turned off @ 18 to just drill the techniques – make them instinctual & keep checking against my personal best.
    So yeps, I am seriously into the versatility of the druid.

    Not sure that I’m that good a player of one yet. Would like to be but… each role is one thing – erm, 4 things; but playing them all at once in pvp – is not something I’m doing well yet.
    Bears certainly don’t feel very versatile when tanking for quite a few levels. After playing them for a while though, they do seem to develop a perspective on the range of play of other players – albeit close to the ground.

    Someone is always going to stuff up somewhat. That seems to me to be a given. I figure a big part of the teamwork skill-set comes into play then. Do the other players make it worse? Do they identify the mistakes & what should have happened. Do they in fact actually offer advice in a way that is palatable or user friendly? Given that the person on the other side of that keyboard could be & one day will be a 15yo w’ Aspergers, a 40yo w’ a broken heart, an attractive banker w’ boderline personality disorder, etc. So, gotta say I’m very interested in what they say after it all goes pear shaped… and what happens then.

    A team that copes well with that sort of moment tends to be the one I’ll tank or heal or run with through anything.

    I concur with a number of posters here so


  8. Honestly, I wouldn’t be overly surprised if your random kitty DPS doesn’t have any buttons on his hotbar in bearform.


    • This should never be an excuse. Switching from cat to bear automatically brings up a new hotbar. So, unless someone literally never switches to bear (and doesn’t know that there is a bear-specific hotbar), the player should have already populated the hotbar with bear abilities.


      • Exactly. If you have never switched to bear form before, ever, the hotbar is empty. My kitty bar was empty from disuse, since I spent most of Wrath in bear or moonkin. I’ve since come to realize the OP-ness of kitty in leveling (but I looove flight form for collecting-type quests).


  9. Methinks they might have thunk, and still do, that they are a cat. Not a druid. There are actually quite a lot of druids nowadays. I think because of players such as you described. They chose to play a druid to be a cat. Others chose the druid class to be a funny owl creature with the funny Chris Farley dance. Etcetera, etcetera. They know nothing of their other abilities… most certainly a reason for those of us who chose the class specifically for the variety and the challenge to learn how to play the various roles well, a very darned good reason for us to cry.

    There’s been many a times I have shouted at druids in my party. “OMG, you are a druid! Toss a heal/Shift to bear/Stealth around the corner/NINNERVATE THE HEALER OR WE ALL DIE… SHIFT OUT OF CAT AND NINNERVATE!!!”



  10. I play a Druid *because* I love the shiftability. Yeah, it means I have to be able to use all my tools… but that’s why I chose a Swiss Army Knife class to start with. Because I like that flexibility and want to have it matter.

    …I’ll never understand some players.

    …but that’s normal.


    • This.

      My girlfriend, who played a resto shaman at the beginning of Cataclysm, used to get mad at me when I would heal, decurse, etc. as a kitty in dungeons. It was like I was stepping on her turf. But seriously, at that point dungeons were pretty tough. And the lock we usually ran with was doing gobs of damage, and I wasn’t, and the tank was usually taking tons and tons of damage. My 23k mana wasn’t going to allow for much, but if throwing a Healing Touch or two would help, particularly with a free proc, I did it. And if Mr. Tank died, I was there in ‘bear’ to pick up what I could.

      Fun stuff, shifting is. 🙂


  11. Add me to the list of druid players who abolutely failed at shapeshifting in times of need. I completely sucked at feral (either bear or kitty). I was either boomkin or tree. I could do both of those well. And I did routinely help out with healing during heroic runs if the healer had trouble or died but tank? I had no clue.

    I will say that I almost always played with my husband on his hunter. If the tank went down it was pretty automatic for him to get out the tank pet and pick up aggro ASAP. I would throw heals at the pet (even if I was not the healer) until the healer caught on to what was happening. And I HAD THE DAMN GLYPH so I could brez the tank.

    My husband on the other hand also played a feral druid in addition to his hunter. He was a kitty but he was in bear from a lot seems like. It was almost 2nd nature to him to shapeshift and grab aggro when needed. I really kind of envy you and other druids who seem to effortlessly do that.


  12. Counter-story to cheer up the bear. Not too long ago I had to heal my way through a pull when the healer died (battle res on cooldown). Not easy as a feral, but Nurturing Instinct does make it possible (usually). The funny part was the hunter who had apparently never seen someone do that before. Instantly started heaping praise on me. And more praise. And more, into the next pull. And after. I practically needed a shovel to get out.

    Some players really do appreciate a little versatility when they see it.



  13. /tar BBB /soothe

    I heartily agree… srs failcat 😦 I love being a kiiteh but I’m always primed to bear it up if the tank goes down. Since my OS is bear anyway, and some pieces of gear (read tier pieces) are currently shared between specs, I’m actually pretty nifty tanking as catbear. I dont have a true catbear spec, since I’m a terrible doomchicken and a worse tree, I felt it would be a waste if I didnt specialise in both feral specs, but as there are several free points left over from kitteh spec, I put 2 into thick hide just so I could go bear and survive more than 5 secs. I even catbear in raids and survive till the tank gets BRed.

    @anonymous failcat – As for no reagants… F.A.I.L.D.R.U.I.D. Go hang with Fandral Staghelm in Firelands, I’m sure you 2 shameful druidic examples have much in common. Keep your paws OFF my staff!


  14. Even when I was lolretting it I’d have a macro ready to throw on a shield and 1h. Sure it wasn’t as good as cat->bear, but maybe that just demonstrates the shame if a cat failing to do backup.


  15. This post is exactly why my baby druids will probably stay babies. I just can’t get the hang of switching between forms and switching roles on the fly. I learned WoW as a ranged dps, and I”m relearning it as a healer right now.

    While on my druids, I’m horrorstruck at how horrible I am at playing that class. I die constantly while leveling, while my husband shouts at me “BUT YOU CAN HEAL AND TANK! WHY ARE YOU DYING?!?!” 🙂 I was being “that player” that makes a class look bad, so I gave up. Maybe when I have more experience in the game, I’ll revisit that decision, but for now, I’m better off not embarrassing myself. Or making my husband want to throttle me.


    • Leveling is actually a really good time to practice switching forms.

      Pick a group of mobs, say 3-5 mobs, to practice on. Stealth in to attack the first one in the group. Switch to bear and go to town (combo of swipe when off CD, and single target abilities). When you get the pack down to 1 or 2 left (depending on your comfort level) switch back to cat and finish the fight.

      There are details (which abilities to use and when, using combo points before switching to bear, etc.), but those can change with levels. But, the basic tactic outlined above can be practiced at early levels, even before you get the high-end feral abilities.

      After a while, switching forms to match what’s happening in a fight becomes second nature.


  16. Eeeeeek! That’s pretty impressively awful.

    When I was still playing actively, I was a full-time Moonkin. I would occasionally go Bear if the tank toppled over dead and for whatever reason a battle-rez was not an option. I never ever ever played a tank – I was terrible at it! – but by god, if the tank dies, I had every intent of being next in line if everyone else was squishy. (**Exceptions made for plate classes who picked up the mobs before me.) However, I was also the one who started healing if the healer died or couldn’t be resurrected, so take that with a grain of salt.

    Half the fun of druids for me was the ability to pick up the slack whenever something went wrong. Battle rez, tranquility, tank, heal… maybe I couldn’t do it as well as a dedicated [healer/tank/melee/ranged], but I had utility and I was going to make the most of it! It’s a shame more folks don’t treat it that way.


    • I actually main tanked in Vanilla up through UBRS as moonkin. No taunts, but between thorns (back when it was worth casting) and hurricane, as well as a guild that understood it’d take me a moment to get enough aggro to keep it, I did ok. There’s always the greatest single AOE threat spell in the game, too, tranquility.

      I do the same thing; in a dungeon if I’m all ZOMGKITTIESMEWMEWMEW and the tank bites it, I’ll ninervaet the healer, switch to bear and RAWR! … they may get me anyway, mainly because I don’t have the bear bubble, but I’m going down on the bounce and swinging. Or if the tank loses one, I’ll shift, growl at it, swipe and thrash to keep its attention and lead it back to the tank. My DPS isn’t always the best because of this, and that most of my gear is gemmed, enchanted and reforged for bear (I’m not super high DPS, buit I am one damn hard to kill cat…), but several times when I’ve gotten a bitching for being the low DPS, the healer will then point out the reason WHY… at which point the tank will shut up and I’ll be able to stay in cat for the rest of the dungeon.


  17. I have to admit to the ‘forgot reagents’ thing once, but it was kind of indirectly. I normally PVP as a cat and run dungeons as a chicken, but we were in H Vortex one day and I decided to go feral for whatever reason. The tank and two of the DPS died on one of Asaad’s ‘triangles’, so I immediately switched to bear (so at least I can take credit for that part!). The healer called out ‘brez the tank’, and during the next triangle, I clicked my Rebirth button, and nothing happened. I did this twice and then, seeing no results, I simply switched back to bear, hit berserk, and we eventually finished him off.

    Here was my problem: since I PVP as feral, I was rocking glyphs that have PVP utility. As such, Glyph of Aquatic Form, which is good for certain BGs (Twin Peaks and Gilneas come to mind), had replaced Unburdened Rebirth (my other minors are Dash and Wild). If I had been a moonkin, I would have been able to rez him, but then again I might have been destroyed first since my moonkin gear isn’t anywhere near as good as my feral gear (esp. for tanking).

    So that was a minor fail on my part, but the boss died, so everyone was forgiving when I explained my non-rez. 🙂

    As far as this person’s total failure to be a complete druid…

    It is definitely frustrating to meet someone in a pug who doesn’t know his or her class. However, it happens all the time. That’s what the kick is for if you choose to use it. Personally, when I’m on my hunter, I have gotten to a point where I half-assume that the person playing kitty doesn’t know how to use all of their tools. And, theoretically, if the group were clicking perfectly, the hunter would take three seconds to dismiss his pet, call his turtle/bear/gorilla, taunt to the pet (and misdirect), and the healer would start tossing the pet some badass heals… but how often does that happen, either? Honestly, it never works with me. Not to excuse him – the druid SHOULD certainly know better – but the fact is that there are tens of thousands of cat druid players who are cat druids because it’s rather easy to play a cat druid. ‘It’s melee – you Mangle stuff and Ferocious Bite, and stuff dies.’ There are lots of those types of people playing, for better or worse. The ‘druid pride/identity’ thing is far from universal.

    If all WoW players read blogs and did research (and read tooltips!), things would be a lot better in-game. But we all know that that’s a pipe dream. 🙂


  18. If I were a better writer, I’d make a Guide to Battle Ressing for Death Knights, Warlocks, and new Druids. Even though they’ve had the ability for weeks now, more often than not I see the DKs and ‘Locks respond to “battle res!” with “huh?”.


    • hahah … that was me today going through my dk’s spell book going ‘oh crap’ brez … where is it … only to be told when trying to cast it … ‘insufficient blah blah blah’ I didn’t read the rest I was dying inside having read bbb’s post not that long before!


  19. You can easily mangle your way to 85. You don’t need another ability, ever, during leveling. So, really, why does it surprise you that some people actually do it?


    • Haha, par for the course. This happens to everybody though. Resto Shaman wont realize they have both an interrupt and an offensive dispel, Ret Pallies wont realize they can hand of salvation themselves to lose threat, or hand of salvation a tank or healer to share some of their damage, or pop Righteous Fury when the tank dies, or Righteous Defense or Hand of Reckoning to taunt mobs off of healer…. And so on, for every class that has a heal or tank spec.

      Bear, you’re projecting an expectation of intelligence, ie “competent until proven otherwise” onto people you don’t know. As with driving, you need to start by assuming the opposite: “incompetent until proven otherwise”. The lower your expectations, the less disappointed you will be by failure, and the more exulted by success (in a pug group). Your best bet is to hope that each person knows at least the role they queued for, though even that can be a long shot.


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