Still another few weeks, months before I can play classic.
In the meanwhile I am reslly curious what the general consensus is towards tanking feral bear?
In vanilla they had their successes but the general opinion was they were only usefull for a few niche situations.
Now that classic has landed what is changed or are bears still shunned from parties, raids.
Really curious to hear your classic bear experiences and your list of pro's and cons.
If anything, Nost and other Pservers has shown they are more than fine. Didn't APES even clear all bosses with one, even Naxx?
The stigma is still there, and many will argue for needing a warrior. And that may stick for a while.
But if you want to tank as a bear, I really don't think you will, long term, have issues finding groups. Show you can and you are good. I think due to all the PServers and theorycrafting, we'll see more "memespecs" and such as well.
Bear tanks are fine. If you're going to be playing casually, then bear is a good choice.
As a feral druid you level really quick. Top 3 in leveling speed in the game imo. Bear can tank anything in the game tbh, the issue is mostly that there's not a lot of gear at the higher end of the spectrum. In fact, basically none past BWL. Warriors are tankier and more reliable, but in my opinion, players know what they're doing and healers can manage mana through the dmg just fine. On top of that, you bring great buffs and utility.
In MC, you'll usually go in with 4 tanks. If the #3 or #4 tank is a bear, then you have an amazing melee crit buff to give to the melee group, and do dps when not tanking, and have a combat rez.
In my view, bear tank is THE ideal 5 man tank because they can generate multitarget threat better than warriors, and there are a lot of sizeable pulls in endgame 5 mans. You will be absolutely fine going bear. There will always be that dumb 5% of players who have weird views about the game, but you should have no issues.
Temaius - Paladin
We had a similar topic a couple weeks ago, check it out here
And you should definitely read Taladril’s Treatise on Druid Tanking in Vanilla. It is the definitive work on the subject and it will teach you everything you want to know on the subject. But it boils down to yes, feral druid tanks are viable and can tank all 5-man dungeons as well as most raid content. Their role in raid content is primarily going to be an offtank. Feral druid tanks are not the best tank, warriors are the 'best'. But if warrior tanks are #1, feral druids are closer to #1a than #2. I'd go into reasons why, but Taladril's work is going to explain it better than I can so start there.
Since all that has already been covered, I can go into my experience as a feral tank up through level 43 at least. I have no problem finding work. When I join groups as DPS, more often than not the group's tank just sucks and I get frustrated. If the group sticks together for multiple runs then I typically move into the tank role and take it away from the guy. Not due to feral druids being inherently better than any other as a tank, but there are just a lot of people playing the tank role very poorly. When I do tank people usually add me to their friends list at the end of the run and they invite me to come tank for them the next time I log in. There are a lot of bad tanks out there.
Your ability to play the role is more important than the spec or class at this level. In 5-man dungeons your own personal skill is going to determine whether you suck at tanking or are good at it. I've played with a couple of really good prot paladins so far and sometimes I invite them to my own dungeon groups so I can practice healing. I've also played with a bunch of really bad warrior tanks. Bad enough that I actually wrote their names down to avoid grouping with in the future. On paper the warrior tank is 'much better' than the prot paladin, but in this content it just doesn't matter and is completely trumped by how well you play it. This carries over to you as a bear tank. If you're good, people will want to play with you.
As far as raiding goes, I've never really raided so I don't have first hand experience to share with you. But from what I know, it seems like every raid has a spot for a feral offtank. Maybe just one, but there are spots out there for you if you can take them.
Just don't suck at being a tank and you'll be fine.
If I wanted to tank, I would play a warrior because they are the premier tank. However, bear tanking is valuable and every raid (even hardcore raids) can make a spot for a feral because they provide value. We run 3 raid teams and each team has a feral. While this could be categorized as a "meme" spec, I often feel guilty placing it in that category because it outperforms every other "meme" spec. The only issue ferals EVER have in vanilla is a lack of gearing opportunities due to poor itemization on leather gear. When you see how strong this spec can be while wearing horrible gear, gear from ulda, level 40 world epics and patchwork blue gear to tank in raids, you wonder what it would be or could be if the game had better gear that was accessible for ferals.
Ferals are not shunned from parties or raids, BUT it is my experience that every druid I have came into contact with wants to play feral. So you will be fighting the stigma of playing a meme against some who dont understand the value a feral can provide and then the minimal opportunity of getting into a raid due to competing for very few raid spots as a tank/druid.
Once you get into a raid spot and have secured a tanking position, you will be good to go.
If you are interested in tanking in a raid, you either need to build a team or network with someone building a team. There are very few opportunities to level as a solo and then stumble into a raid spot as a tank. These spots are reserved for core members that have displayed loyalty to the team. Teams just invest FAR too heavily into their tanks to take a chance that they will flake out.
As a GM I get messages everyday from warriors and druids requesting tank spots. I have never heard of these people before and they dont seem to grasp the duty that comes with a tanking role. These arent typical raid spots that are just given out to anyone who applies. One of the recommendations I have for my ferals is that they are willing to be flexible. This is the core of what a feral does in raids. There are circumstances where a feral will be asked to put on his resto set (even while speccd as feral) and there are circumstances where that feral may be asked to respec for the needs of the team. If you are unable to compromise your own play and adapt to the needs of the team, you wont make a good feral and you wont make a good druid. Being that my druids do this, I plan on playing with them all the way through Naxx and keeping them as ferals as often as possible.
The "best" tank we currently have for MC is a feral. His TPS currently outmaches any of the other tanks and while buffed he sits well over 300 fire resist. While tanking Rag, he resists almost every knockback and takes almost no damage (compared to other tanks). We often use him as a main tank. For Ony, he easily uses pummelers to keep himself around 5th on threat going into phase 3, making it easy for him to pick Ony up during her final phase. On fights where there is a specific kill order, he has high mobility and works as an excellent tank to drag mobs to the kill spot and on AoE encounters his AoE threat is unrivaled. We play to his strengths and avoid his weaknesses and he adds value to our team because he understands his own short-comings and strengths. He does not have an ego and he puts in more effort than any tank I have ever played with. I wouldn't recommend playing a feral because I believe it requires too much effort to be worthwhile and I think most who attempt it will probably fail... But if you are capable of playing this spec at a high level and you can network into a tanking role you are absolutely viable. Of the 10 druids that try, 2 will be capable and 1 of those wont be able to maintain the consistent effort (farming pummelers etc) required to perform longterm. The 1 that can do this will struggle to find any opportunity, but if he can, he can provide his team infinite value. The rewards for his efforts are questionable at best due to the poor loot table that ferals get to look forward to. For the druids who choose this path, the loot is not their motivation.
Thx guys for extensive and well argumented replies.
I am very aware of the jack of all treades history feel towards druids.
My primary question now: is the general opinion still that biased and negative towards ferals? Or have things changed for the better?
Like I said, I've never had a problem finding a group as feral for either DPS, tanking, or even healing and I'm level 45. I prefer to tank, and I'm gearing towards tanking, but any time I want to do any role I've not had a problem getting a group.
The bias against feral tanking seems to have disappeared largely during the privater server reign. They were commonplace and more aggressively theorycrafted and utilised throughout progression in vanilla private servers, so have become much more prevalent.
You will see feral tanks MT/OT in a lot of progression guilds on Classic. They wont be as common as prot warriors, but they will definitely be there.
This pretty much summarizes the most objective view on Feral Tanks in Classic.Stfuppercut wrote: ↑1 year agoThe only issue ferals EVER have in vanilla is a lack of gearing opportunities due to poor itemization on leather gear. When you see how strong this spec can be while wearing horrible gear, gear from ulda, level 40 world epics and patchwork blue gear to tank in raids, you wonder what it would be or could be if the game had better gear that was accessible for ferals.
One of the recommendations I have for my ferals is that they are willing to be flexible. If you are unable to compromise your own play and adapt to the needs of the team, you wont make a good feral and you wont make a good druid.
We play to his strengths and avoid his weaknesses and he adds value to our team because he understands his own short-comings and strengths. He does not have an ego and he puts in more effort than any tank I have ever played with.
For the druids who choose this path, the loot is not their motivation.
Thank you for confirming this.
Much of the right things have been said. I would only add some of my experience concerning your original question:
More often than not, when I get messaged directly about dungeon groups, people are asking me to tank.
- Of course one reason is, tanks are hard to find.
- Second reason is, people are aware now that druids are tanks
- Druids are actually preferred as tanks for the trendy "melee- or spell-cleave" dungeon farm groups
- High population means more item drops, so supply should be "high"
- Usually the feral population should be in relation to the overall population, lower, if anything
- Still, the price is higher, which means more people must be playing druid tanks
- Possible source of error for this: prices I have as comparisons were pserver communities
Also, people seem to be aware of the early advantages that feral tanks have over warriors.
I know of at least 2 Raiding Guilds on my server (Gehennas EU Horde) that have Feral MT's and many more as 2nd/3rd because:
- It is much cheaper for Ferals to obtain Fire Res gear early
- Threat output is insane with Pummelers at a stage where most warriors don't have great TPS gear yet
- While there isn't much gear for us in MC, Feral tanks have almost no Loot competition
All in all excellent news, glad to hear the private server era has had its benefits.
In vanilla they had their successes but the general opinion was they were only usefull for a few niche situations.
Yeah, I don't remember seeing many druid tanks back in the original game. However, keep in mind that the current talent build for Druids did not exist for most of the game. Dire Bear Form only offered something like half the armor bonus that it does now up until AQ40 or something in the original game. We were too soft and squishy to tank things until our talents got buffed at some point. And then even after the talents were buffed in the original game, it took a while for the players to catch on. But here and now with Classic, I feel like most raid teams have a feral tank. Not all of them, but most of the raid teams I know of run one. It's definitely not a rare occurrence like it was a long time ago.
~~14 months or so into Classic and I am still maining a feral raid tank. I have been the 3rd tank on my raid team since it began about a year ago. I've never had any problems tanking things in or out of raids, and I really like the flexibility to kind of do whatever outside of it. When we were grinding bugs for our scarab lord, I stayed full feral spec but spent a few weeks out in Silithus in 8/8 T2 healing and stealing tags.
I've since levelled up my gnome warrior Pippina and done some raid tanking with it as well. The warrior is definitely the premier tank class and has a lot more abilities and attacks to juggle which makes combat more involved. I enjoy the more simplified combat that my bear tank offers, requiring less attention to my attacks and abilities lets me pay more attention to situational awareness and lets me keep my eyes up on what is going on around me.
So as kind of a 1 year+ report card, I rolled a Feral tank on launch and stuck with it for the entirety of Classic so far. I haven't regretted it once and am very happy with the class and role I picked before launch.
With my druid tank i've cleared the raids including AQ and it was awesome experience. It started as an alt project with some guildies organizing pugs, then most of these alts had better gear then some mains. Except me because most of the upgrades have no hit on them so until i get the infamous drake fang talisman, or boots of shadowflame or band of acuria i cant really equip those upgades. Ofc everyone needs those items so it gets really frustrating if someone gets them and on the next raid they wont even show up coz... you know its a pug.