Week 4 Challenge - LEARNING IS FUNFind something you only know a little bit about, learn something new, and tell us what you learned.
So my challenge is - how to grin and BEAR it.
I haven't really bear tanked properly in a raid since Karazhan, way back when. I even had to tank up for Zul'Gurub back in the day which was bloody scary. People laugh when I say that I used to tank, because the idea of it is so foreign (almost as scary as when Fue tells me he was healing). Tanking full time is challenging and most tanks are quite emotional and get cranky and burnt out, so we do go through a fair few. I'm hoping Mists will produce a few monk healers and tanks for our raid teams and that people will start coming back to raiding.
So, should I learn about tanking in Cataclysm, or research what I should be doing in Mists? I decided to just look at Mists, because I figured by the time I learnt all about bears in Cataclysm, it would all change come the expansion.
Sunnier's Art of War is where I would go if I wanted to read about Bear tanking. Call me sexist, but a girl tank just seems rather cool to me - I'm a bit tired of hearing that girls only heal or play a ranged DPS. So to be different maybe I'll try to learn bear tanking and I'd better learn it well because there will be a hell of a lot of criticism! Besides, going tank for Mists is good for dungeoning, because I am sure I can find a healer (cough, Lushnek) to accompany me and get our "stuffs". So I went to see what she had to offer me in terms of teaching a new bear.
So I started with reading Bears Still Need More Flavor. This post talks about the changes with Mists, what talents bears have lost and what could we do to improve the Guardian spec of Druid. I realised that this post was a bit beyond me, because it assumed I had some knowledge of Bear, which I don't. So it looks like I need to go even further back. Maybe I should go back to Cataclysm bear tanking so I can get my head into the basics so I can understand what all these clever people are talking about.
Sunnier has a rotation to follow in her Bear Guide:
Bears follow a priority system. This is the most basic rotation, though there are variations depending on whether you want to maximize threat, damage, or damage reduction (I’ll get into those later). Remember that you can pull with Faerie Fire (Feral) and don’t forget to apply Demoralizing Roar as soon as you have a decent threat lead.
Multi Target (more than 3)
- Mangle, whenever it’s available.
- Maul if you have 70 or more rage. It’s off the global cooldown, so you can hit it at the same time as other attacks.
- Lacerate, get 3 stacks while still prioritizing Mangle when it’s available.
- Pulverize, if you have 3 stacks Lacerate and the Pulverize buff not up or about to fall off.
- Keep Lacerate on the target for Berserk procs.
- Use Thrash and Lacerate as a filler, when you have nothing else to do. Thrash is our second best threat generating attack, behind Mangle. Even on single target.
Multi target is closer to an actual rotation. It should look something like this:
Thrash -> Swipe -> Mangle -> Swipe -> repeat.
Don’t forget to apply Demoralizing Roar as soon as you have a decent threat lead, and use Maul if you have extra rage.
OK, I have no idea what Pulverize is. I don't think I have that ability. Let me check my talents - oh there we go, I don't have Pulverize as a talent. No wonder I don't know what it is (I am specced kitty after all!). Well, ok, maybe this is one of those things that need I need to go practice. But I have no gear - well I do, but it's all cat gear, and I'll be damned if I'm going to carry healing gear, PVP healing gear, kitty gear AND bear tank gear. Though... if I do that, I may have a 4th set to transmog. IDEA!!!
|OMG I love this picture! It's by NightblueArt for the WoW TCG|
Next stop, the Inconspicuous Bear. This is one of those Team Wafflecast people I think! Ooh look what a nice banner on their blog! Whoops, I was supposed to be looking at Bear tanking - phew, there's even a whole forum on it! Looking at it, it's great! This is what I need to read. I am trying to figure out what stats to stack and what are hit and expertise caps and things. Ooh, here's a bit on stats and reforging. This whole bit is interesting:
There is no “tanking leather” and getting dodge as secondary stat means suboptimal gearing, you should be filling your gear slots with x/Mastery gear. Beyond that, Expertise/Mastery and Crit/Mastery gear choices are the absolute best. However, because there are stats better than Mastery (Agility and Dodge), you should not be reforging or gemming towards it.
For reforging, the best course of action is reforging the least wanted stat into Dodge Rating. This is the best support for survivability, while simultaneously keeping our avoidance above the plate tanks. The Reforge priority is as follows, from least wanted to most wanted:
Haste to Dodge.
Hit / Expertise (if beyond soft cap), if no Haste, to Dodge.
Crit >= Expertise (if below soft cap), if no Hit or Haste to Dodge.
Mastery, if no Haste, Hit, Expertise or Crit, to Dodge.
So what's hit cap? Oh I see, here it is. 8% (961 hit rating) is what I should be aiming for. Expertise soft cap is 26. Same as cat. Is there a certain amount of Dodge I should have? Surely Dodge is a good thing for a tank, but I can't figure out how much I should have, or what's a good number.
|"Insignia Taken" - by Sleepingfox|
OK, I think I have a bit of a rotation out, and I have a vague idea about stats. Maybe now I can look at some of the Mists of Pandaria stats I'm supposed to be aiming for. This is what I got from Inconspicuous Bear's Mop Guardian Bear spreadsheet:
- Dodge > Crit > Expertise = Hit > Mastery > Haste
- ~5 RPS leading to a ~50% Savage Defense uptime (in practice will be slightly less with RNG causing rage clipping and starvation)
- 10 RPS is the theoretical Soft Rage Cap, 20 RPS allows us to keep FR up fulltime too.
- Beyond Rage Cap, Hit Haste Crit and Expertise lose all of their value.
- Mastery is pretty crap at the moment (Dodge is ~2-3x better)
OK the first line I can understand. The second line... what's RPS? Rage per second? I think that makes sense since it's rage that funds all our bear activities. And what's FR? Sigh, I really need to go do more reading.
I am almost ready to give up here. I was reading Tzufit's post about Intentionally Undergeared: The Role of Instinct in Skill, and this bear thing doesn't come naturally to me. When I read about druid healing I know exactly what's going on and I can understand when people are describing something, but this all sounds a bit like mumbo jumbo. Lucky I'm only going to start learning it during the expansion so that I won't look like a total nooblet. I hope.
|This is me - Noob Tank|
I think I've embarrassed myself long enough. With this amount of homework I've done, I hope that I can do a little bit of bear tanking myself without being laughed at to much. The thing that really petrifies me is being terrible at it, and all my friends and guildies laughing at me or talking about me behind my back about how crap I am. I don't feel like that about my healing, even if I am the lowest on the meters these days, because I know that I am good at what I do. Sounds conceited though, doesn't it? But it's true, I know healing but I don't know this tanking business. I guess talking about it isn't going to solve anything, I just need to get out there and do it.