Thursday, October 22, 2009

[Druid]Random thought for bears out there

Don't have the time to flesh this out entirely, but just a quick thought:

What if bears didn't use melee DPS gear for their tanking gear - they used leather spellpower gear instead?
What if the DPS role for bears not tanking wasn't cat - it was moonkin?
What if the secondary talent tree for bears wasn't resto, it was balance?

Some quick advantages this would confer:
  • the visual representation of a bear in caster form would look like other druids, not a hodgepodge of horrible rogue and druid gear. Honestly...are you looking forward to this?

The face of the druid in T10

  • Much easier to gear up for the most part. Instead of competing with almost all other melee DPS for armor drops, you'd be competing with resto and moonkins for their drops. How easy is it to get a complete set of moonkin/resto gear without really trying? Dunno about you, but I've found it really simple.
  • Jewelry would be shared with other tanks just as it is now, so nothing easier or harder than it is currently.
  • Brings more druidry back into bears. Instead of being a warrior clone, this allows bears to really open up some of the spellcasting abilities. Improved thorns, insta-cast wraths and starfires, that sort of thing. Would it be interesting to have the bear primary AoE ability not be swipe - but be hurricane? Would being able to do casts in bear form be interesting? Would a rotation of mangle/lacerate/starfire/wrath/moonfire be more interesting, especially if some of that depended on proccing an OoC? Would it be more interesting to spend mana instead of rage?

  • Bear and cat wouldn't go together well, and you couldn't easily have one set work for both. On the flip side, it's better for moonkin/resto hybrid dual speccers.
  • Gearing for the weapon would SUUUUUUCK. How much competition is there for caster staves now? Great, you're fighting every single mage, priest, warlock, moonkin, tree, and possibly some hunters (because hunters always roll on staves druids want, no matter what).
  • Stat allocation and whatnot would be even more arcane. Expertise wouldn't be around - so how would you get it? Hit, crit, haste would all be there - but now you've got int and spirit to somehow convert reasonably. (one easy solution: make int = strength (it has the spellpower coefficient right now anyway), spirit = strength, and either force bears to enchant/gem for expertise and stamina (not horrible) or have some secondary conversion. Also, get rid of savage defense entirely)
And the big one:
  • Many, many ferals like to be able to do bear and cat. That's where they're comfortable. That's the history of ferals. That's the feral tree, right there.
Anyway, just an idle thought while I wait for something to build.


Veyska said...

*twitch* That would quite possibly drive me away from main and thus the game entirely. Been feral since classic and been doing progession raiding as feral (feral/resto hybrid in classic) since shortly after hitting 60.

However, I would be amused and happily /cheer if panzerkins were given more love. :-P

Thessaly said...

Another major issue would be that often cloth is BiS for boomkins, so instead of "just the boomkins/resto" you're then competing against half the raid for one drop. Would almost be worth it to not have to suffer through the hodgepodge of rogue offset with druid set pieces.

It would certainly be an interesting and bizarre sort of synergy though. The disturbing thing is that it wouldn't really be any more kludgy then what we have now.

Willowbear said...

Okay Kalon what have you been smoking? mmmkay....

Phil Jackson said...

I don't feel that the logic behind the stats would make much sense. Blizzard seems to be trying to make stats and gearing more reasonable so I'm not sure if this would gel with this philosophy. But who knows I wouldn't care too much.

Alaron said...

No matter how you slice it, it's going to be awkward fitting 4 roles into 3 talent trees.

That said, your idea has a lot of aesthetic appeal. :)

Samuel said...

If done right, I would probably embrace something like this.

That said, what I would REALLY like to see would be for a Feral game play that was unique, or at least more Druid based, it can be the same for Cat and Bear, but no more watered down Rogue and Warrior.


bbr said...

It's the rogue set. But I suppose most of the agi off-set leather will also look like this.

Who knows until 3.3 is actually released though :)

Honors Code said...

As a Tankadin, I know a thing or two about using Mana to tank.

It's great to start off with a full resource bar, but it's much harder to fill her back up.

You also have to think about all the various boss dynamics that would really hurt a spell using, mana using tank like silences, mana burns and vezzax regen stopping aura.

I think Rage is the better solution for tanks.

Xarnen said...

Here's a though that although a bit a long different lines might add some more druid flexibility to the mix.

What if druids had a cooldown like ability that converted a percentage of their highest stat at the moment (e.g stamina for bears) to a stat that another druid form desires (say intellect for moonkin). It would activate the ability to switch to any form with its buffs and spells/abilities for a short duration. For example say you're a resto druid and a tank goes down. You activate the CD and go bear and help offtank. Or as a bear...activate the moonkin ability and do fire off a hurricane with some oomph to make a nice pull.

The problem with the idea may lie with special talented skills like mangle, wild growth, typhoon etc. Blizzard may need to have a vehicle-like bar of some sort to bind in the abilities to make a bit more seamless.

Just another random thought and it may fit with blizzard wanting druids to shift more.

Copey said...

As a bear tank with a moonkin offspec, I'd like to say I think being able to shoot a few balance spells here and there WHILE in bear form would be AWESOME.

Heck, leave everything like it is, including my 6000 mana. Have my attack power in bear form converted to spell power when I do balance spells in bear. The limit on mana would mean it would be situational. Like, pulling with Hurricain. Shooting off a OoC insta starfire. Having another Dot or two to put up for extra threat.

Regular bear moves would still cost rage rather then mana.

Kalon said...

Veyska - yeah, I suspect a lot of ferals would feel the same way, though it might change if gameplay was suitably awesomed.

Thessaly - the idea in my mind was that you'd want to make sure that you got only leather drops - because of the armor (which would still be the same as it is now). So cloth bracers wouldn't be in such huge competition.

Willow - it was thought originally in response to Allison Robert's excellent WoW insider piece.

Phil, I can see that; at the same time, the logic behind the stats is almost incidental now. It's stamina (which is on everything), ilvl for armor and agility. Agility is the only 'bear' stat - and it's the weirdest one, because all other tanks don't use it!

Alaron, you're absolutely right; it's weird to think about. I wonder if a better solution would be to make feral of both forms (bear and cat) use caster gear for their damage, and make the differentiable thing whether it has offensive stats like hit on it as to whether it goes to cats.

Though I'm sure that would freak people out even more. :)

Samuel, that's exactly the point. I'd just like bears to be more...druidy. Or at least less badly played warrior-y.

bbr, I know that's the rogue t10. The point is that throughout the expansion, bears have had to use rogue looking pieces as their best pieces more often than not - because their tier wasn't good, because it was the 'hard mode' piece, whatever. Stands to reason you'll be wearing a couple of these pieces again. And while I like the t10 druid look, I think the t10 rogue look on a tauren is decidedly stupid.

Honors Code, I used to play a pally too - and trust me, rage isn't that special of a mechanic. I agree that mana use sucks in a few cases. At the same time, rage right now isn't a mechanic for bears; it's only paid attention to in cases when you're not actually tanking or you're about to start tanking. Any time you're actively being hit by anything? You don't think about rage. That's a stupid mechanic, honestly.

Xarnen, that's a neat idea - but I ask what problem that's trying to solve. It sounds to me like you'd like to make it so bears could do better when not being forced to be bears. That's not a great niche, and it's not something I want to do most of the time.

Copey, some hybrid mana using/rage using thing might be interesting, especially if it works like a lunar/solar eclipse rotation. You know, where you don't build rage super fast so you have to use mana until your rage bar is sufficient, then you can spend a lot of rage and get mana back. That could be an interesting push and pull.

Michael said...

I would really like to see ONE set for all speccs - with the various forms converting stats into form specific talents

for instance - bears: int would convert into expertise or dodge, wisdom into savage defense proccs or regenerate HP (instead of mana).
Gems, enchants and juwelry might be used to specialize further.

Then suddnely all the other forms would not feel so useless as they are at the moment, and we would have a real difference between Druid and Rogue gear.

but that's just me
Rauxis, chosen of CAT

Zax said...

Though this might sound interesting, but druid already has quite a lot of options. He can dps as a moonkin or a cat, he can tank as a bear and heal as a tree. An for all of this you need special talents and skills.
So tanking moonkin would need tanking balance talents and talent skills to taunt, oh shit cooldowns and so on. Moreover, he would need a whole new set of leather and while druid itemisation is poor already, I regard this as gaming style just for fun. :)
Still, healing from ILotP with loads of SP would look nice.

Anonymous said...

While I definitely agree that rogue-style pieces mess with my style, and it's going to be particularly bad in T10 (please please please let me love my set pieces other than the helm), I like being able to switch my pieces between my cat and bear sets too much.

I'd much rather see some of the gear competition spread around by putting the warlocks in leather, and hopefully see some better itemization for leather caster DPS and less of a deathmatch bloodfeud for cloth come out of it.

Jewbacca said...

I'm also in the camp of wanting to find something to make feral tanking interesting. I think the concept of a moonkin tank is interesting, but I echo the rest of my brethren that it is probably too big a shock to those that appreciate the synergy between bear and cat.

Perhaps as they gave us a feral 'faerie fire', they should find ways to incorporate feral versions of our Balance talents such as Moonfire, Roots, etc to give us more utilities at our disposal while in bear/cat form yet still not giving us the heals in form of a paladin tank.

I mean - Blizzard did give us back the mana bar visibility while in forms -- what harm would there in being able to use it? It might give new light to a talent to increase our spell power (I believe it's just healing atm) by our agility.

Anonymous said...

I think the concept of a caster tanking class would be really fun and could make form some cool mechanics.

What if you could spec into Brambles for something like "Reduces chance of Entangling Roots to break when the target is damaged to 0%" or an improved Cyclone that allows the cycloned target to be damaged.

Just some silly thoughts, but with all the different caster classes in the game, why can't there be one that tanks with the use of bubbles, health drains, or what ever?

Althalas said...

I always though that the druid talent tree should include a stat shift talent.

Super feral caster guy - while in bear/cat form all +int stats on gear is converted to +AGI.

or something like that. This would let you take caster gear if you choose. Then they can stat caster leather to work both ways. They want us to get +31 int/agi. It works out great.

The other good part about this is that you can CHOOSE to do it. You do not have to take the talent. You can pick up all the rouge gear you want and still have it work. But if you are dual specced cast/feral you get a lot more options open to you. And it will not mess with the rouges at all.

Rewts said...

Why shift as much? Imagine you have 2 bears in the raid... One specializes in casting and mitigation (and looks like a bear with antlers even) and the other specializes in damage and HP regen (perhaps more feline in appearence). The casting bear sits back more and nukes/slows without having to shift, maybe helps to provide a mitigation aura specifically to other druids, while the regen goes in and eats melee faces?
Imagine range tanking the casters in a mob without being in melee range?
Ok, maybe this is far beyond what Blizzard means by hybrid, but potentially awesome nonetheless.

On a side yet still somewhat related note, I've always wondered why as we progress through druid quests we don't grow antlers or pick up bark-like skin... seems all notable druids went through a physical transformation as they learned.

dtc said...

So I kinda skimmed cause there were a lot of posts, but I have always thought it would be cool if the tanks spec for druids was moonkin, and we pull threat from all spells. I have never put much thought into how that would work for druids, but more for the game itself. If you increased the differentiation between what kind of tanks you need for certain encounters you could really open up the game more. For instance bosses that are more susceptible to caster's would need a caster tank to hold agro. Or perhaps if bliz designed bosses that attacked using range and needed a lot of LOS within the strat, you would then need a ranged tank, ie. boomkin tank, could also be uses often for kiting adds throughout encounters, could be cool.
I don't know if this would improve druid game play much, but it would give end game design more creative options (and after years of primarily tank and spank, we need it).