Regional FlagCataclysm: Druids & the Parry/Block ProblemSource
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#0 - 2010/03/01 10:02:50 PM
Based on the just-released information, not being able to parry or block is going to be a huge handicap for raiding Druids in Cataclysm.

This isn't because it will inherently make us weaker; even with the changes to parry and block, it's probably possible to balance a theoretical Druid with only dodge with a theoretical plate tank with dodge, parry, and block.

The problem is itemization. Any item with parry, block, or both is likely to be very undesirable to Druid tanks, and will likely be a downgrade from items 1-2 tiers lower.

Why will this problem likely be worse than it is now?

1. There will be 2 wasted stats which will be common on tank gear, instead of just one. (You don't see block on much tank gear currently).
2. With our Stamina multipliers reduced (and EH probably less important), the increased Stamina on the higher-tier item will be less likely to make up for the avoidance/threat loss, as sometimes happens now.

Why is this a huge problem?

Bears will gear up more slowly than plate tanks, since they have fewer gear choices. This means that when a guild starts doing the hard content, the Bear will likely be weaker as it will be less geared.

What are some solutions?

1. Allow Bears to parry and block. The argument that this breaks flavor is nonsensical; with low-level NPC bears able to parry, not being able to parry breaks flavor.
2. Let Bears use block and parry rating on gear. These stats would be translated to stats we can use.
3. Design Bears to not share tanking jewelry with plate tanks.

EDIT: To clarify a couple points....
1. I am not complaining about not being able to dodge/block itself being a balance issues. My point is that not being able to use parry rating or block rating is a serious itemization problem which, if not addressed, will cause Bears to gear up more slowly on average than plate tanks.

2. The sky isn't falling. But based on the information we've been given so far, it seems likely that an existing Bear problem will get a lot worse in Cataclysm. The point of this thread is to discuss this issue and provide feedback so that if it is a problem it can be fixed before it's too late.

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#80 - 2010/03/02 06:34:26 AM
If druids have lower avoidance (assuming you call the new parry and block avoidance), then they'll have higher armor and health to compensate. There is no reason druids must have block and parry to be competitive. They really haven't missed it much in WotLK.

I think the only real risk to druids from a design paradigm perspective is the risk of being a mana sponge. Druids were worried about that coming into this expansion, but as we've seen, it wasn't an issue. With mana mattering more, it could be, but high armor will still help with that.

The comment about leather was just that if leather provides as much health as plate, then the Bear multiplier doesn't need to be as high for druids still to have higher health than other tanks.