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?
- 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)
- 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.