Oh come on, like blogging would be the first thing on YOUR mind with a new expansion out there dangling in front of you!
So, one... two? Two months in now? And I've made some impressions.
I am not pleased with the state of Bear.
In Wrath, Druids were THE tank to beat. Oh, go on, say what you will about Paladins and Warriors. Druids had the spammable AoE snap threat, massive HP pools, and more avoidance and mitigation than you could shake a stick at. I tell you the truth, there is no way that my guild would have downed Sindragosa with a disconnected MT if I was anything other than a druid, putting my fuzzy butt on the line there. 22 stacks of Mystic Buffet, I held her, and was able to properly hand her off to the MT as soon as she reconnected. Had I been able to do it one second earlier, I would have been behind the ice block, been able to drop stacks, and return to the fight.
Now, not so much. Bears are fantastic in single-target fights, just as Warriors are. A Bear's Mangle is analogous to the Warrior's Shield Slam. Both hit like a truck and a half, and fancy mechanics affect it in some way, shape or form, like Shield Block boosting its damage, or Berserk letting us spam a cleaving Mangle for 15-20 seconds. We're great there. No problems with threat whatsoever. But the AoE threat game is dominated by the Death Knights and the Paladins. Now, obviously, I don't expect a tank to be absolutely phenomenal at everything. The last thing we need is Wrath 2.0 to roll back around again. But Bear tanking worries me somewhat, especially given how much of a hell it is to juggle Thrash uptime, three stacks of Lacerate, Demo Roar, Pulverize, watching your rage for Maul, and Berserk proccing mangles.
It's no secret that Bears take the most about of damage when tanking multiple mobs, compared to the other tanks. As far as survival is concerned, Warriors are seen gearing straight Block, to get themselves as close to a passive 30% physical damage reduction as possible. Death Knights, are stupidly hard to kill, what with that one DK Ragewyn soloing Marrowgar. And Paladins, well. You know what I say. Paladins are the cockroaches of Azeroth. Savage Defense sucks compared to Blood Shield + Death Strike. Savage Defense only stops one hit then disappears, regardless of whether it was 1 million damage, or 1 damage. Savage Defense sucks compared to Paladins and Warriors. Their mitigation mechanics are entirely passive, whereas Savage Defense requires continued, active damage output. And it only has one charge. We smack a mob, put up a shield, his buddy taps us for 1/5th of the shield's strength, pops it, and until we get to attack again, we're taking damage. I would like to see Savage Defense be turned into an absorption shield, a la Death Knights, where if the damage doesn't total up to the bubble, it doesn't pop.
I'm also concerned about some fairly large nerfs on the horizon:
- Skull Bash (Cat) / Skull Bash (Bear) now prevents spell from that school from being cast for 4 sec, down from 5 sec.
- Maul now scales from 24% of Attack Power, down from 30%.
- Lacerate now scales from 7.66% of Attack Power, down from 9.58%. Now makes enemies bleed for 35 + 2.56% of Attack Power, down from 35 + 3.2% of Attack Power.
- (Mangle) Mangle (Bear) now deals 235% normal damage plus 681, down from 300% plus 870.
- Pulverize now deals 80% weapon damage, down from 100%. Additional damage reduced by 20% as well, from 450 to 360.
Cat State of the Blog comes next.