#0 - 2008/10/24 07:46:55 AMThanks to Vindictive on the US server Lightning's Blade for this guide
This is a guide for Druid Tanks that want to know what's been changed in 3.0.2 and WotLK including what your gear goals should be, how you should spec, your attack order etc.
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Post 0 - Fundamental Changes in 3.0.2 / Stats & Gear
Post 1 - Abilities & Talents
Post 2 - Glyphs
Post 3 - Threat Generation
Post 4 - Basics of Tanking
Post 5 - Q & A
Fundamental Changes in 3.0.2
Armor and Dodge
As many Druids have pointed out, Druid Armor and Dodge have been significantly reduced with the latest patch. This is an obvious cause for concern.
However, if you look at the overall changes made in 3.0.2, you'll see that many changes were made to compensate for these reductions.
Boses no longer do Crushing Blows - This greatly reduced the damage that bosses deal.
Protector of the Pack reduces all damage taken by 12%. This not only helps with physical damage, but now also gives Druids damage reduction vs magic attacks as well.
Survival of the Fittest now makes us 100% crit immune without the need for Defense or Resilience which allows us to Gem and Enchant for Agility or Stamina etc.
Also remember, the gear druids use to tank has changed drastically with 3.0.2 so you'll need to select your gear, gems and enchants accordingly. If you tank in your old tanking gear or don't have some of the new key talents, you'll likely take tremendous extra damage.
These changes put us in line with, not better or worse then, the other tanks. So please give it a try before you consider these overall changes a nerf. So far from my testing, I have found that Druid tanks are both very effective and very competative. Thank you.
Bonus or "green" armor has been removed from WoW. You'll find all of your old tank gear now has far less armor then it used to. As well, The Dire Bear form armor multiplier has been reduced from 400% to 375%. These changes were made to prevent Druid tanks from being able to reach the Armor cap and to keep our mitigation in line with the other tank classes.
Note: There is still some "green" Armor gear in the game, such as some pieces of PvP gear. I assume this was an oversight that will be addressed by Blizzard soon.
Feral Tree "bloat"
Blizzard has radically changed the Feral tree to force Druids to focus on Tanking or DPS or have a partial build that is good (but not great) at both. Many call this bloat, but it was intentional on Blizzards part.
Mitigation now has diminishing returns
Dodge, Block and Perry now have diminishing returns. This means that the more +Dodge you stack, the less value each additional point has. In other words, the rating co-efficients become worse as you get more rating.
While still in the game, Crushing Blows can only occur if you are fighting targets that are at least 4 levels higher then you. This means, for basic tanking purposes, Crushing Blows have effectively been removed and you do not need to worry about them unless you are to low level to be tanking the instance, in which case, Crushing Blows are the least of your problems.
Potions in Forms
Druids will now be able to use Potions, Health Stones and other such items while remaining in their current form. This means no more shifting to caster form to drink a potion. Blizzard has also limited everyone to 1 potion per fight.
Enchants in Forms
Proc enchants will now work in all forms making many Enchants very viable for Druids to use.
Blizzard made some very fundamental changes to threat with the 3.0.2 patch.
1. Threat is now built into bear form - your party no longer needs salv or other such abilities to reduce their threat. In fact, Salvation has been removed from the game.
2. Threat generation by tanks has been significantly increased - Blizzard wants threat to be a factor in fights, but does not want threat to set the DPS cap as it currently does. So expect it to be easier to hold agro going forward.
Stats & Gear
With the 3.0.2 patch, Blizzard made a lot of big changes to how Druid tanks are expected to gear, gem and enchant for tanking. This is a review of the most important stats for Druid Tanks and how they effect you.
High Armor is very important to Druid damage mitigation. The more armor you have, the less damage you take from every non-magic attack. So having more armor means you will be able to live longer because you will be taking less damage from each attack.
With the changes in WotLK, it will now be near impossible to reach the Armor cap, but Armor is still an excellent stat to stack that does not have deminishing returns. So the more Armor, the better. This is the best stat, point for point, for Druid Tanks.
In BC, 14.7 Agility provided 1% Dodge and 1% Crit as well as 2 Armor per 1 point of Agility.
With 3.0.2, it now takes ~30 Agility to get 1% Dodge/Crit at level 70 and it will take ~40 Agility to get 1% Dodge/Crit at level 80. Armor per Agility will not change.
However, despite it's reduced effectiveness, Agility is still an extremely valuable stat for Druid tanks because it provides 3 seperate and very important benefits - Dodge, Crit and Armor. This makes it excellent for survivability and threat and should be picked up whenever possible.
As with every class, the more stamina you have, the longer you can stay alive and the more time your healers have to heal you.
As a Druid tank you benefit far more from +stam over +health because when you go to Bear form you get 1.25 times more health from Stamina then everyone else. This Bear form bonus does not apply to +health.
Because of our natural "Bear" bonus, Stamina is very important for Druid Tanks.
Dodge lets you completely avoid attacks by, well, dodging them. The more dodge you have the less hits you take which greatly increases your survivability.
Dodge can be obtained from Dodge Rating, Agility and Defense. However, it's generally considered best to get your Dodge from Agility gear, gems and enchants.
Dodge Whether through Dodge Rating or Agility, is an excellent stat to stack until you reach ~50% Dodge. However, after that point, diminishing returns reduce it's effectiveness.
Due to the change to Survival of the Fittest talent which now reduces chance to be crit by 2/4/6%, the value of Defense has been greatly reduced because you can achieve uncritable by only taking 3/3 SotF.
However, Defense is not totally worthless. Once you reach ~50% Dodge, due to diminishing returns, stacking Defense actually becomes better then stacking more Dodge.
Begin to stack Defense only after you have reached ~50% Dodge.
Hit & Expertise
Hit & Expertise are very good stats for maintaining high DPS (and thus threat) in a fight as both help you to hit your target more often. However, If you do have a choice between +Hit and +Expertise, you should go for the +Expertise gear which will help reduce the number of times the boss Parry's your attacks.
Strength provides 2 Attack Power per point, making it a very good stat for increased Threat.
+crit provides more crit% per point then Agility and so is a very good stat for increased Threat.
Haste does very little to help Druids in Bear form as it has no effect on your primary threat attack, Mangle or on your primary AOE attack, Swipe. So Haste is best avoided for tanking.
Resilience no longer plays any significant role in Feral Tanking.
Gear, Gems and Enchants
Generally, Druids should gear in this order for Tanking:
Dodge to ~50% then Defense
[ Post edited by Vindictive ]