Friday, April 24, 2009

The Bear is Back!!!

One of the nice things about my life is that I have so much vacation time stored that if I don't take, on average, a half day a week off, I'll go over the limit of vacation days that you can accrue. So, I decided that rather than taking "on average" half a day off a week, I'd take exactly half a day off per week. I still have enough time of that if I decide I want to spend a month or two in Europe, I can but it also means that when it's 75 degrees outside and the first truly spectacular afternoon of the year, I'm sitting in the sun instead of sitting at work wishing I was outside.

Now mind you, the day star is so bright that I can really only make out black writing on a white background - meaning that I can't play WoW, but that's a cross I'm willing to bear.... So to speak...

But speaking of speaking about bears... I have REALLY enjoyed having Hiahotah as a bear again. I enjoy Wintergrasp more. I find the abilities far less constricting than death knight tanking. I've missed the feeling of nigh-invincibilty I used to have back in BC. But it's also nice to know that I have a powerhouse healer at the ready with just the click of a few buttons... And I won't have to reset all of my toolbars... That's the big perk for me.

I've also been enjoying being able to take my druid out in public without worrying I'll be ganked by two lowbie rogues working together. I had a plan a few months ago to heal for tanking loot and, for the most part, that plan has worked out. I've gotten any number of instance drops that fell to me because I was the only one who could equip them. I also picked up a TON of emblems of heroism to augment my tanking set.

I've also been enjoying questing in cat form. That's something I've missed. And Wintergrasp is fun again. I can actually participate a little more actively than I could just standing and healing "whoever was close by". The other day, I solo'd a ret paladin when he caught me at 75% health. It felt good (incidentally, they're harder to tank than warriors and rogues. You can still sort of do it but you have to be smart about when you use your stuns and frenzied regeneration).

The one complaint I have is with the improved Mark of the Wild. Two ranks and they not only improve MotW, but they also increase all of your stats by 1% each. Which means, I pretty much _had_ to take it for tanking. No choice really. You really have to take it. More stamina. More dodge. More attack power. More mana. Faster regeneration (even though only nominally). Yes, please.

The problem is that I had to give up either two points in Furor or two points in the feral tree. I opted to give up two in furor in favor of "potentially lowering melee speeds". But now I'm sometimes caught without rage. It's fine if we're stringing together fights, but last night trying to do a timed CoS run, we had to wait a full 2 minutes for Arthas to show up (which ultimately cost us the drake) and all of my rage decayed. So when I couldn't generate threat on the first three mobs in the Town Hall, one of them wtfpwned a consecration happy paladin.

Druids really only have swipe and demoralizing roar for AoE threat generation and they require rage. It's fine once the fight had gotten going, but at the start, it can result in dead dps. I've had to resort to using Enrage... Something I've never really done.

It's not a real problem and the benefits outweigh the costs... It's just something new to adjust to. And maybe I'm not even the one who has to adjust... Maybe I'll just let the dps figure out my rage generation problem on their own.

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