Monday, April 27, 2009

[Druid]A requiem for a glyph

It is with great sadness that I announce the demise of a dear friend of mine, who took me through wonderful times. Since 3.0 was released and our guild worked its way through Sunwell, then later in the quick clears of Naxx, and even as recently as our downing of Sarth3D it was always a wonderful companion.

Goodbye, glyph of maul. You made heroics a breeze, you made trash pulls in raids fun, you made farming and doing old instances into speed runs, and you made tanking two mobs at once effortless. You even gave my raid joy by killing our GM after he was MCed while I was tanking Kel'Thuzad, and then killing that loudmouth DPS warrior who always gives us shit in the same night.

Yet sadly, you cannot be toggled. And because of that, you are being replaced by Growl.


Because on some things it's actually useful to not tank everything, and on some things it's actually important not to break CC.

The breaking point (hah) was last night doing Thorim's hallway. After trying various things, we decided to try using sheeps to stop the AoE-stunning mobs while we killed the healers (unlike before, where our healers would run up and be killed by the mobs). I'd tank one of the two mobs...and have to do ridiculous gymnastics and aerobatics to try and avoid mauling the sheep's face off while watching for the first boss's Utgarde-Pinnacle like attack, and it was just too annoying. I ended up turning off maul for my attacks, but that's not ideal by any means either.

So today I bid thee goodbye. A moment of silence for this 40% boost to bear DPS on trash.

I'll probably just carry around a stack of glyphs. They're really cheap, and it might be situationally useful to swap them. For now, though, Maul just isn't worth the pain.

Of course, when something takes something away from us, often something is given in return. With that I would like to welcome back an old friend:

Yes, it's wonderful to see you back, CC. We didn't realize how much we missed tanking without you until you were gone.

Yes, I'll have more on the hardmode loot and the PvP gear and where it ranks. In the meantime, why don't you check out Runycat's great list for cat gear?


Karthis said...

As you probably realize I've eagerly awaited the day that this Glyph would die. I hated having to strap it on, and resented the mindless-tanking it was used for.

People didn't believe me when I said that when we finally got real trash it would become a liability..... they claimed there would always be space to safely maul. Surely positioning cc mobs away from tanks was always & universally possible. Hah!

The first thing I did when 3.1 went live was ditch this crappy glyph. good riddance!

Don said...

Don't do it! Let maul live!

Use it with ToggleOnNextStrike, which you previously features on your blog. For trash packs where you need to cc, /tons toggle in advance, and simply don't maul.

I've found that I really don't need the extra threat generated by Maul for single target trash tanking. Mangle and Lacerate work well enough.

Kalon said...

Karthis - heh. I miss it because it made heroics so, so much nicer. And it was fun pulling off of other tanks accidentally. But yeah, it's a liability now.

Don - single-target tanking is precisely where I feel I need maul the most. Maul is 60% of a druid's threat, normally. On fights where the DPS needs to go all-out, I absolutely need to do as much threat as humanly possible. And for that, I want maul on one target only and not to worry about any CC. I also want to do as much damage as I can, and maul is a huge amount of damage too.

We'll see - you might be right, and I still love TONS dearly (adding maul to faerie fire == win), but at least for right now it's not required. Plus I've been finding that I want my growls to hit more reliably.

Bulamis said...

I'm with Don on this.
Its much easier on the short period of time where I need to not break CC and simply use a Mangle/Lacerate/FFF rotation to keep aggro on the single target.

Although I haven't tanked the gauntlet yet and have only been in the arena off tanking Warbringers and/or Champions.

But in general, CC periods are just so short timewise.

Marino said...

I myself thought maul was gonna die too. But I kept him on life support for now at least. Thorim sheeps own of course. But what it the problem with tanking the mob away from the sheeps. You can pull them back and move left & right away from the sheeps.
If the seeps are all over the place and you can't position yourself correctly, you end up doing less threat meaning the rest has to hold back dps... teach the mages to play their class.
Otherwise, let a warrior do the gauntlet and get most of your maul in the arena!

I first thought maul was gonna die due to my experience on Vezax trash, but if the cc is correct the sheeps are never close.

Anonymous said...

Noooo! I thought you were going to say they were removing the glyph from the game, so I was freaked out at first. Because seriously, it might be a little OP to be pulling aggro from other tanks. This is absolutely my favorite glyph and I think you're kind of crazy for giving it up (even though I see your point).

In Ulduar we've only CC'd controlled trash pulls, so this hasn't been a problem for me (yet?). I don't tank Thorim's gauntlet, I tank the waves of stuff in the arena, so I'm not totally familiar with what you're up against.

On a somewhat related note, I'm having trouble adjusting to the 360 swipe. I've gotten in big trouble by hitting stuff that's behind me and it's annoying that I can't control where my swipe is directed anymore. I don't feel like it's made aoe pulls easier, it's just made aoe pulls near CC a lot more difficult for me. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Noooooo x2!

Are you crazy? We've nearly finished ulduar25... I believe I've seen all the tricky trash. The only real CC we use is in Freya's garden, and I always ensure we pull way way back, so I can glyph of maul my way up the damage meters.

Thorims hallway? You gotta be kidding. Why use CC in there? Especially since Thorim is so easy, and you should be working towards hard mode already... which is a speed clear of that hallway.

You'd probably be better in the arena too: great AOE control and more maul damage. We tried with DKs & warriors, but bringing myself in to the arena is what really made it work for our first kill.

I personally think we're going to be AOEing freya's trash too pretty soon. Sorry Karthis, and all those who think avoiding a CCed trash mob constitutes a demonstration of leet tanking skillz :P

Shamad said...

I've never really seen Growl glyph as terribly optional on progression content if you are a tank. Missing taunts is never acceptable and any tank that doesn't take it should not be raiding.

However, I would now replace Maul glyph with Frenzied Regen to make it Growl/Fr/SI glyphs.

Anyway, not an issue for me. /me goes back to casting renews around.

Anonymous said...

The last time I remember a growl missing (where it mattered) was on 4 horseman back in february. Hardly progression content, and hardly the end of the world. Yes we ran back and wasted 15 minutes of raid time. Maybe I've been exceptionally lucky.... or maybe the chance of resist is just very low.

Tarskin said...

27 april, maul memmorial day ^_^

Karthis said...


We had two Druids tanking Kologarn this week... one with the Glyph of Growl... the other without. The difference was noticeable - tank switches can be very important on fights like that, and missing taunts increases the chance that a tank is going to get in trouble badly. (At one point the other bear missed two, if not three, growls in a row.)

Bulamis said...

Yes there is fights where Growl misses can be more deadly than others. (Had one on Auriaya pull, and one tank ended up with 3 cats. :(

And in those cases, I usually will swap a piece of gear or two, just to ensure the higher hit.

Shamad said...

Anon; tbh a Growl missing could never ever wipe 4H, it's such a faceroll encounter really if you know what to do. However, I don't gear, talent or glyph for facerolls, if I did I wouldn't have bothered with mind-numbing naxx-farming for months on end. In Ulduar, growls missing on tank switches or keeping adds off your healers WILL ACTUALLY MATTER. This is a good thing, but it also means any tank who doesn't at least pick up the glyph to try and cap their hit on growl is a bloody risk to the raid.

People need to get over this kind of thinking. A good tank is one who is reliable, and a tank whos taunt misses is simply not that, he's a liability. Staying alive for the full encounter is far more important for all classes and specs than squeezing out that 5% extra DPS. This is why people like Mek of Ensidia favours Tuskar's for healers, because 8% run speed increase can save their lives, even though it does nothing for their theoretical performance.

Yada, something or another, bla.

Samuel said...


runycat said...

I've had absurd issues with Growl missing lately, which is incredibly frustrating now that I've been slowly forced back into the tanking arena, and I, too, am thinking about replacing my Maul glyph with the Growl one.

Honestly? I end up off-tanking half the time in my Cat spec with Cat gear anyway (go ECR healers, lol), and I don't really find myself missing it all that much. I was wrecking CC all over the place tonight on the trash before Vezax. Awesome.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Shamad, in terms of being a founding member of the "people need to get over this way of thinking" club: we've pretty much facerolled Uld25 in non-hard modes; I've tanked my ass off in there (no kitty dps at all except in phase switches, all in tank gear) and without a single glyph of growl to my name. I have not had a single critical taunt resist. I'm also around 220 hit in my standard (ulduar enchanced) tanking setup. Please dont lecture me about how "good tanks need to be reliable". Personally, I'd say good tanks need to tank the content, and then report back. You comment sounds like theoretical speculation to me.

Shamad said...

I'm currently healing the content and have been getting in some tries on some of the hard modes this week. You might be satisfied that your taunts are "good enough", but from my perspective that's a bad habit, taunt resist can get you or other people killed on some encounters, and when some hard modes are tuned quite tightly it's not worth risking wiping a good attempt because of something as stupid as a taunt resist.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, your peen is bigger than my peen.

Kalon said...

First off: Anon and Shamad, I'd really appreciate it if you took this weird peevishness somewhere else. Shamad, it's clear that druid tanking isn't nearly as bad as you or I had thought. I'm sorry that your guild isn't letting you tank as much. Anon of the peevishness, you're right - there's nowhere where Growl is required. At the same time, there are plenty of places where it's an advantage to not miss a taunt. I don't advocate that this is the best way to do things, but it certainly is a reasonable way. And personally, like Runy - I've found a lot of situations recently where a missed taunt sucks and causes more pain than I wanted. Did it cause a wipe? A couple times, yes (on Kologarn once, on getting adds on Razorscale once). Is it that big a deal? Not really. WTB your hit gear though.

In any case, I'd appreciate the negativity and vitriol to be gone. This isn't the official forums, and I'd like to not have to moderate all comments.

Bulamis - I agree, CC periods are short - but they're also crucial to things working. And it's weird, at least on that gauntlet - because it's the stuns that wreck me. I don't care if CC gets broken and he runs somewhere else, but if he runs to me I have a hard time of it. Again, we'll see.

Marino - one of the problems is that our mages are not the best in the universe, so the sheeps do come late. I do agree though - with the crit bonus and the natural damage, I think a druid would be better in the arena and not in the gauntlet.

Anon1 - no removal, just wanted to change things up. It really doesn't matter, honestly; I appear to be the 4th or 5th tank nowadays. So what I do hardly matters.

Anon2 - if you haven't followed around about my guild before, here's the thing: we're not super-serious. FnB isn't ever going to crush the speed records. We'll continue to progress and try, and we'll continue to do better, but things aren't going to be easy all the time - even when they should be. If that discredits my statements or my analysis in your eyes, so be it; I'm a firm believer that the truth and the math requires no experience.

Shamad, I've always felt growl was pretty optional. More recently I've found it being better. Not perfect, but better. I still think it's horrible compared to the breadth of options given to warriors, but for right now it suits what I need it to.

Anon3 - I've been really unlucky, I suppose. I've been hitting a lot of resists on Kologarn, random trash, XT and Razorscale. Nothing that kills me, but something that bugs every single time. At the same time, I've not been aoe tanking much of anything. The nice thing about glyphs is that they're dirt cheap :)

Kalon said...

Tarskin - that was too funny. :)

karthis - am I in your guild? That sounds eerily familiar.

Shamad - I think that's true on a fight where a taunt resist would wipe a raid. If (for example) Brutallus had normal resist mechanics, stacking hit wouldn't be a nice thing, it'd be a requirement. But most of the time - even the things I'm talking about - a taunt resist just doesn't matter that much. It's just a frustration that I'd rather not deal with.

Though this brings up an interesting point - why do people view glyphs as being this permanent thing? You can change them anywhere outside of combat. To me, they're essentially exactly like a flask now; they're cheap to make, they stack quite high, they last for the duration of tries on a boss fight, and they enhance different things.

Runy - I've had surprising success in my cat spec when needing to tank too. It's definitely a lot more squishy, but it seems like a decent thing in an emergency.

Finally Anon - just because things can be done one way doesn't mean that that's the best or even a good way to do them. Ulduar isn't so hard that suboptimal play and choices can't be covered up with other things. I'm not saying you're wrong, and I think Shamad greatly overstates the requirement for Growl, but at the same time saying that just because you've done well without it that it's not good? That seems wrong to me.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for being a peev. You're right, there's no need for it and I felt very bad after I posted. Kind of like eating a bad fast food meal: bad for me, bad for the environment & everyone else. I will self-moderate from now on.

I like the idea of moving glyphs in and out, since they are so cheap. Once again, their design is for options, not must haves, and its fun to do that. Re the hit gear & the wonderful twisted visage: its less than perfect for mitigation, but we dont need high mitigation either so far; its the complex mechanics that cause us problems (see Mimiron! fun fun fight, but my god it is complex and also buggy) Tank death (incl druid tank death) has never been an issue for any boss in normal mode. As always, we wipe when a raid member stands in a fire; its just not so tighly tuned around what your tank is wearing (as you'd expect).

Shamad said...

Sorry Kalon, came on a bit strong.

Like your idea of switching glyphs though, silly as it is I've also been pretty married to the idea of specific glyphs being always on.

And come on, comparing to warrior glyphs...that's just a low blow ;P Who of us wouldn't want their glyphs ffs ^^

Oh and, it's not so much that I'm not "allowed to tank", it's more that I was more needed in another role. I actually find healing to be more challenging on average, and well, I like challenges :)