Calling druid tanks bad?

90 Night Elf Druid
CFT
10670
Thrash, Swipe, Demo Roar. After that the rotation is Lacerate/Mangle/TAB/Thrash/Swipe/Lacerate – lather, rinse, repeat. Hit Mangle every time Berzerk procs.

I tend to favor Charge. If I’m “doing it wrong”, then you’ll just have to elucidate the secret technique that makes Bear group pulls as easy as Paladin/DK group pulls.

You're doing it wrong.

Swipe -> Thrash -> Swipe -> Demo -> Swipe -> Thrash -> Swipe -> Mangle. Repeat.

The only reason you used Lacerate in an AoE pull was because Swipe/Thrash weren't sufficient. Now they most definitely, 100% are, (probably closer to 125% or 130%), so you will never use Lacerate again in an AoE situation.

Maybe when you're doing 3 or less targets.
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90 Night Elf Druid
5900
03/30/2011 4:05 PMPosted by Arielle
Swipe -> Thrash -> Swipe -> Demo -> Swipe -> Thrash -> Swipe -> Mangle. Repeat.


Depending on how jumpy your DPS are and if they actually target the Skull, you might consider swapping Demo with Mangle in that sequence.
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90 Night Elf Druid
CFT
10670
03/30/2011 4:10 PMPosted by Gaiah
Swipe -> Thrash -> Swipe -> Demo -> Swipe -> Thrash -> Swipe -> Mangle. Repeat.


Depending on how jumpy your DPS are and if they actually target the Skull, you might consider swapping Demo with Mangle in that sequence.

If DPS are actually targetting correctly you can drop all of the Swipes and just use Thrash to maintain group aggro.
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90 Night Elf Druid
5900
03/30/2011 4:12 PMPosted by Arielle
If DPS are actually targetting correctly you can drop all of the Swipes and just use Thrash to maintain group aggro.


Touché.
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90 Tauren Druid
GLM
7700
Ahti, well, how hard do the adds hit? I, embarassingly, have no idea. 8k/swing? So, you're blocking, say 4k/swing. If SD goes for, say 12k/proc, and you've got 35% crit, then you're going to be getting perhaps 1.5 procs/swipe worth 18k. Lets assume including auto-attacks and Thrash magically somehow puts you on the same schedule as the mob's swing speed, and you're absorbing 18k/swing cycle.


I am not Ahti but I can answer your question..:X
Those adds deal 15-20k damage per hit when there are six of them.
Edited by Dules on 3/30/2011 6:43 PM PDT
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85 Night Elf Druid
8135
03/30/2011 4:12 PMPosted by Arielle
If DPS are actually targetting correctly you can drop all of the Swipes and just use Thrash to maintain group aggro.


You can but you won't because you'd lose SD procs.



03/30/2011 6:42 PMPosted by Dules
Those adds deal 15-20k damage per hit when there are six of them.


Which will mean that this change helps very little there.
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85 Human Death Knight
11920
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2356431


Lacerate bonus threat has been removed and replaced with increased initial damage done.

Swipe (Bear) cooldown has been reduced to 3 seconds, down from 6, and is now trainable at level 18 (training cost has been reduced). In addition, the bonus threat from this ability has been removed and replaced with increased damage done.

Thrash bonus threat has been removed and replaced with increased damage done.


Oh snap
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85 Tauren Druid
12725
Aww bugger, so Thrash and swipe didn't get an increase in TPS, they just moved the threat from a bonus into actual damage? Don't get me wrong I like damage over hidden bonus threat, just not sure if that is a threat buff like people were thinking it would be.

3 cheers for lacerate doing damage instead of bonus threat, having a crappy (joke amount) of damage on your main filler attack felt bad.


Damn it, now I have to go DL the 9 gig PTR client to test this stuff out.

Thank you Blizzard! I've gone from not giving a toss about 4.1 to wanting it ASAP. Things are defiantly looking up for bears.
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85 Tauren Druid
2855
I took about a year and a half break and just now got back to playing again recently and just hit 85 last weekish. It was tricky getting used to life with Swipe on a cooldown, but after playing a bit I haven't really felt it too difficult.

For a pull, I mark a skull to burn. I enrage, Charge, queue a Maul for my main target, then hit Swipe and Thrash. By the time the first target is burnt, I've got a pretty good handle on aggro on the rest of the mobs. It's not as easy as tanking on my paladin alt, but it's not hard either. I find it way more engaging at least than smashing Hammer of the Righteous at least.

I'm not gonna poo poo the upcoming changes, anything that makes it easier is cool with me.
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85 Human Warrior
11430
03/30/2011 03:03 PMPosted by Dosvidaniya
Your vengeance will go up (unless capped; in which case it stays the exact same).


Why does bear Vengeance go up? Am I missing something?

Actually, the interesting thing about adds with the new SD is that the math is very nearly the same as it is for bosses. As such, SD's strengths and weaknesses can be boiled down to these three things:

(1) SD is stronger the faster the enemy's attack speed is, all else equal
(2) SD is weaker the higher the enemy's total DPS is, all else equal
(3) SD is weaker the more time you spend not being attacked (and therefore not having vengeance stacked)

If druids are still weak add tanks, it wouldn't be a symptom of druids being bad at tanking adds, per se. It would be because adds do more damage per second than bosses, or because add tanking is often a periodic rather than constant thing.


I think that what I take issue with is point #1.

It's true that SD is stronger the faster you're getting attacked, because it decreases the likelihood that you'll overwrite a previous SD proc.

The problem is that the upper bound on this is set extremely low compared to blocking (and compared to Blood Shield, I guess, although I'd prefer to stick with the blocking comparison for simplicity's sake). And many encounters already have add situations that push past that upper bound.

You don't need that many adds hitting you (and they don't need to be hitting that hard) before you reach the point where the probability is that every single Savage Defense proc is consumed before you can possibly generate another one. Past that point, you'll continue to take more damage, but Savage Defense won't get any better - whereas for a warrior or paladin, block will scale upwards indefinitely.

Again, I'm not saying that Savage Defense should be as good as block - at least, not unless they're going to nerf druid advantages elsewhere. And maybe the right thing to do here is just to wait and see - with higher armor and dodge, druids take less damage per hit and take damage less frequently, which may make the upper threshold somewhat higher than it intuitively appears to me.

But the changes don't appear to address what I see as the major problem with Savage Defense in add situations, so I'm still skeptical.
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85 Night Elf Druid
8135
03/31/2011 07:39 AMPosted by Ahti
But the changes don't appear to address what I see as the major problem with Savage Defense in add situations, so I'm still skeptical.


Yup.

The core problem is that once you hit the Vengeance cap SD stops becoming a Cataclysm Block mechanic and becomes instead a WoTLK block mechanic, except without some of the advantages Warriors/Paladin block had in add situations then.

So we get extra armor/avoidance to compensate. But as content scales we'll likely fall behind again and require additional armor/avoidance buffs. With shield tanks becoming unhittable and the effective return of crushing blows, we'll likely require a Stamina buff as well.

This change fixes one of the auxiliary issues with SD. It does not fix the core problem, (possibly) unless they also have a Vengeance revamp in their pocket.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
13385
Well, wait. My understanding of the problem with SD pre 4.1 against adds isn't that it has a lower cap, but that its simply far less efficient. You put up at 15k SD proc which gets eaten entirely by the first 4k add swing. So, its potentially absorbing a decent amount of damage, but its actually absorbing much less. Post 4.1, that SD proc will absorb the full 15k before going away, making it vastly more efficient in reducing damage taken.

It sounds like your concern is that in a situation in which you've got a bunch of adds, and each individual add is hitting hard enough to take out an entire SD proc per swing. Sure, I'd agree that a shield tank would likely fare better (though it depends on the details of how the SD procs work. If they stack then Bears will probably surpass shield tanks in this regard), but I'd also that you're getting into a range of incoming damage in which its kinda on the fringes of being tankable at all, and there are other factors at work.

If you've got 6 mobs swinging at you for 20k/swing, then a warrior can block perhaps block 24k/swing cycle (assuming 40% average block, two miss/dodge/parried and 1 creeps behind you and thus is unblocked), whereas a bear is going to be blocking maybe 12k/cycle (1 12k procs)? A pretty substantial gap.

However, a paladin would be just as badly off. Why? Because the lack of AoE swing speed slow or attack power debuff means that 5 of the 6 adds will be swinging 16% faster, and hitting for 11% more damage, meaning an extra 27-28% more incoming damage.

If we assume a paladin would put up the same results as the warrior in the above example (who would be taking ~56k damage per swing cycle), the paladin will be taking 28% more damage or roughly another 15k damage, basically in line with the gap between warrior blocking and druid blocking.
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85 Night Elf Warrior
10285
03/31/2011 08:51 AMPosted by Kalisti
The core problem is that once you hit the Vengeance cap SD stops becoming a Cataclysm Block mechanic and becomes instead a WoTLK block mechanic, except without some of the advantages Warriors/Paladin block had in add situations then.


This is why I think that SD and Blood Shield need some kind of upper bound on the amount of a hit they can absorb in one go, so they never become a WotLK-type block.

The very valid concern has been raised that this could lead to a never-dropping absorb. Don't really have a solution to that, some ideas maybe but.. iono. I'm glad I only play games ;)
Edited by Charsi on 3/31/2011 9:28 AM PDT
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85 Human Warrior
11430
03/31/2011 08:51 AMPosted by Kalisti
So we get extra armor/avoidance to compensate. But as content scales we'll likely fall behind again and require additional armor/avoidance buffs. With shield tanks becoming unhittable and the effective return of crushing blows, we'll likely require a Stamina buff as well.


I don't know if I agree with that or not. Whether Savage Defense is just doomed to scale poorly relative to block strikes me as a complicated question to answer that depends on a few different things.

Whether it'll still be broken against AOE mechanics when these changes happen strikes me as a great deal more straightforward. It strikes me as pretty unlikely that these really move the dial on bear AOE tanking very much.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
13385
Druids will require additional buffs if blockable incoming boss damage scales faster than Stamina (and thus Vengeance driven Bear AP) and armor. At this point I think its too soon to tell if it will or not. Certainly that was true with Arthas, which is still fresh in people's minds and thus the obvious point of reference. But it really wasn't the case with, say, Halion or Illidan or Sunwell other than Brutallus.

Blizzard could go in a variety of directions with this, and, I'd argue, even in a worse case scenario Bears are extremely unlikely to be worse off than Warrior were against 25m heroic Arthas and warrior still got kills against him. Depending on how Blizzard structures the encounter, Bears might not be at a disadvantage at all.

That having been said, some kind of cap on SD's upward absorption capacity per swing would make things a lot easier to balance, I suspect.
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85 Human Warrior
11430
It sounds like your concern is that in a situation in which you've got a bunch of adds, and each individual add is hitting hard enough to take out an entire SD proc per swing. Sure, I'd agree that a shield tank would likely fare better (though it depends on the details of how the SD procs work. If they stack then Bears will probably surpass shield tanks in this regard), but I'd also that you're getting into a range of incoming damage in which its kinda on the fringes of being tankable at all, and there are other factors at work.


I just don't think that's true. I also think that Blizzard LOVES approaching the fringes of "barely tankable". I think they have a history of pushing tanks to that point. I think Halfus-heroic tanking whelps+drake does that, and I think that 6 Maloriak-heroic adds (or 9 Maloriak-normal adds) does that.

However, a paladin would be just as badly off. Why? Because the lack of AoE swing speed slow or attack power debuff means that 5 of the 6 adds will be swinging 16% faster, and hitting for 11% more damage, meaning an extra 27-28% more incoming damage.


I'm skeptical of this thinking.

I think the reality is that AOE mitigation just simply doesn't matter most of the time. Nobody dies to Nefarian adds because they have Savage Defense instead of block, or because they can't apply an AOE attack speed debuff - they die to Nefarian adds because they don't have a good movement strategy that prevents the adds from refilling their energy bar before they expire. If you want more applicable examples: I don't think anybody wipes in heroics because they can't block, or can't apply an attack speed slow to a whole group of enemies at once. They wipe because their healers don't manage mana properly, because they aren't focusing down the right targets first, because their DPS is bad, or because their tank simply doesn't know how to use cooldowns.

Now, in those few situations where you REALLY care about your AOE mitigation, a DPS warrior or DK can easily provide the attack speed slow, and even a moonkin can provide Demoralizing Roar. Getting those two debuffs is pretty trivial.

Strapping a shield to a bear is not possible in-game (currently). There's a pretty big difference between "I can't apply debuffs in AOE" and "Savage Defense stops about the same amount of damage against 4 mobs or 40 mobs."
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85 Human Warrior
11430
Certainly that was true with Arthas, which is still fresh in people's minds and thus the obvious point of reference. But it really wasn't the case with, say, Halion or Illidan or Sunwell other than Brutallus.


I disagree with some of your examples (...the memories of parry-haste death on Halion-heroic are still too sharp, perhaps) but I agree with you in principle on this. They've also made other efforts this expansion to de-emphasize EH.
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85 Night Elf Druid
8135
The very valid concern has been raised that this could lead to a never-dropping absorb. Don't really have a solution to that, some ideas maybe but.. iono. I'm glad I only play games ;)


A never-ending shield would be a good thing, IMO, if block tanks are unhittable. It's the closest equivalent and way to avoid the crushing blows problem.



03/31/2011 09:26 AMPosted by Ahti
I don't know if I agree with that or not. Whether Savage Defense is just doomed to scale poorly relative to block strikes me as a complicated question to answer that depends on a few different things.


Druids will require additional buffs if blockable incoming boss damage scales faster than Stamina (and thus Vengeance driven Bear AP) and armor. At this point I think its too soon to tell if it will or not. Certainly that was true with Arthas, which is still fresh in people's minds and thus the obvious point of reference. But it really wasn't the case with, say, Halion or Illidan or Sunwell other than Brutallus.


We don't know for sure, but it's likely that boss damage will be scaling faster. This is because in addition to wanting things to be harder in general, bosses will have to hit harder to keep the healers challenged despite healer regen improvements.

Blizzard could go in a variety of directions with this, and, I'd argue, even in a worse case scenario Bears are extremely unlikely to be worse off than Warrior were against 25m heroic Arthas and warrior still got kills against him. Depending on how Blizzard structures the encounter, Bears might not be at a disadvantage at all.


Warriors were bad against Arthas himself, but they were excellent add tanks. If such an encounters were to exist with current mechanics, Druids would be far worse off than Warriors were then because we wouldn't be good at either role.

03/31/2011 09:41 AMPosted by Ahti
Nobody dies to Nefarian adds because they have Savage Defense instead of block, or because they can't apply an AOE attack speed debuff - they die to Nefarian adds because they don't have a good movement strategy that prevents the adds from refilling their energy bar before they expire.


That brings up another point: part of the Druid AoE weakness is a toolbox issue. We don't have an AoE stun/snare/etc. and so have a hard time controlling groups of adds.
Edited by Kalisti on 3/31/2011 9:54 AM PDT
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85 Human Warrior
11430
03/31/2011 09:51 AMPosted by Kalisti
Druids would be far worse off than Warriors were then because we wouldn't be good at either role.


I don't really think anyone has demonstrated this conclusively anywhere. What are you basing this claim on? Because it hardly seems intuitive to me.

03/31/2011 09:51 AMPosted by Kalisti
That brings up another point: part of the Druid AoE weakness is a toolbox issue. We don't have an AoE stun/snare/etc. and so have a hard time controlling groups of adds.


Snares and stuns hurt more on Nefarian adds than they help, in my opinion. I use Shockwave infrequently on Nef adds, and don't Piercing Howl at all.

That said, I see your point (Maloriak-adds, for example, are a place where Piercing and Shockwave both really shine).
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86 Draenei Paladin
10225

Says the player who raid tanks only. News Flash, most tanks arent raid tanks, FYI. I know its hard to imagine but not everyone in this game sits around slaying pve dragons 4-5 nights a week and some people enjoy the more casual content. Too bad people like you turn their noses up at people who are casual, thus holding the druid class back.

you, arielle and fasc (good riddance) are the biggest distraction to getting druids fixed and working properly. Try to say otherwise but you keeping druid bugs secret a long with your realy bad attitude towards anyone who is not a t-11 raid tank or anoyone who questions the terrible state of druid aoe tanking/mitigation pretty much says it all.


Its realy sad that the devs put so much confidence into your opinions and views of the druid class.


Ummm, I only raid 2 nights a week, three at most if we so desire and the longest raid I have had with this guild is 3.5 hours at a time. I'm 9/12 with my current guild, which I haven't been with that long (came in as their new off tank with no Cata raid background) and have only just seen Cho'gall and Nef with them. So no, you don't need to spend 40 hours a week raiding to get anywhere. Stop saying casuals can't raid please.

For druid tanks it has to do with AoE threat that makes it so much harder on them. I know on my mage alt I am very careful in the rare event that I have a druid tanking. I single target when they have multiples and focus on their focus. I know it is especially difficult for them at lower levels.

This is not to say a Druid tank cannot tank multiples at max level. I was MT on Mal one night and we had a Druid tank who was just learning to tank come in that night. He did struggle with the adds a bit but we still one-shotted the boss. I'm really not sure why I wasn't on the adds for that one, but he did very well for his first time as a tank in that fight (he has healed the fight).
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