So I've been really wrapped up with this whole "Swipe is now useless" problem which is currently plaguing Bear tanks. I've done a lot of math on the problem (which has been linked everywhere from Ri to MMO Champion - go me!), and apparently people just don't understand how Base Damage + AP Coeff abilities work. It's very frustrating.

Regardless, I should be updating this more often.

Anyways, latest info in the Bear world.

1) Swipe iz broke.

As previously mentioned, Swipe is broken. It doesn't do what its supposed to do. Worse than that, it does less damage (at least according to current info) than Thrash. This means that once you hit 81, you take Swipe off of your actionbar. Period.


Granted I won't know for sure what will be happening until I hit 85 myself, but that just sounds absurdly dumb. More info will follow after Dec 7.

Additionally the tooltip for Swipe doesn't account for the recent 17% nerf. So if you're attacking an unarmored target and wondering why the numbers don't match, multiply your TT damage by 0.83 to get the actual damage. The TT also includes any damage modifiers to Swipe (2pct10), so don't remove things that shouldn't be.

2) Fasc made a spreadsheet!

Link: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1083360391

This is Fasc's Bear Mitigation spreadsheet. It breaks down the various stats into different weights to give you an idea of what stats are valuable, and what aren't. As expected Haste has the lowest value of all (by a factor of 4 - lol). So if you find Haste, change it to Dodge ASAP.

In that thread I asked him about the possibility of making a "Bearpoints" mod. If you have (or still do) tank as a Plate tank, you'll know of a mod called "Tankpoints" which breaks down the various stats on an item to tell you how valuable it is with a common value. It'd be pretty cool if Bears finally got something similar.

3) Ri made a levelling guide to 85

Ri (Reesi, @Reesify on Twitter) made a levelling guide from 80-85. I'm a big fan of her work, it's all really good stuff. Go check it out.

Additionally we're trading back and forth on a pre-raid gear guide. I'll hopefully have my selected choices up this weekend. Maybe. We'll see.

If you're interested in following her stuff, go to http://www.theincbear.com - I definitely recommend you check it out.

4) Thick Hide iz broke.

It's granting far more bonus armor than it should be. Don't know why it hasn't been fixed yet, but it sure is amusing.

5) I'm going to be making a Bear damage / coeff spreadsheet from 10-85.

That's right. I'm gonna be doing a spreadsheet.

To be fair I will likely only do this once. I don't fancy re-levelling a Druid every time Blizzard introduces some changes to Bear abilities. That said it is definitely something I'm interested in doing, if only to give myself a better understanding of how the abilities all work. I'm scared I might find out things that I don't really want to know.

That's all for now. Hope to do another post this weekend.



So I promised a post last night. However my procrastinating nature got the better of me, and I decided that since nobody actually reads this thing, I can just do it later.

I may or may not end up doing a post tonight. League of Legends and TV tend to take up most of my free time. And trolling the WoW forums.

List of things I need to cover:

Patch 4.0.3a.
Fasc's Amazing Bear Spreadsheet
Lissanna's Levelling Guide
Reesi's Waffle game.


So you want to be a Bero....

DeathKitty Tanking Guide Part 1: "So you want to be a Bero..."

I hope at least one person gets that reference.

In order for me to impart my knowledge and experience unto others, it's important to start from the basics - From the most basic functions and actions which make a tank what he/she is. With that in mind, what exactly is a "tank"? What do they do? What do they not do? How do they know when to do what?

Those are the sorts of questions that a lot of people and/or tanks out there don't really understand or know the answers to. If you don't know these simple things you can perform the task of being a tank, but you'll never have the awareness to be exceptional at your role. However if you do, there's nothing you won't be able to beat.

What is a "tank"?

A tank is someone beefy. That likes getting beat up. Like an actual tank.

In all seriousness though. A tank has 3 main responsibilities:

1) Make sure the right big baddies are hitting him/her and not the squishies.
2) Make sure said baddies keep hitting him/her until they die or circumstances change.
3) Do their best to not die.

#3 tends to disqualify pretty much everybody that isn't built to tank in the first place. It's fairly easy to make people hit you as any class, and still fairly easy to make them keep hitting you. It's hard to stay alive while doing so. Thus you end up with specific talent trees in specific classes that with the correct items, are designed to survive a long time in that situation.

What does a "tank" do?

To examine this, lets simply elaborate on the previous three responsibilities.

Make sure the right big baddies hit you.

If you've been playing any sort of MMO for any length of time, you'll know that certain fights can have many different monsters in them. As a tank, it's important to know which ones you are supposed to have beating on you, and which ones you're not. A simple example to illustrate this would be the Blood Prince Council encounter in Icecrown Citadel. The tank that is responsible for tanking Valanar and/or Taldaram never wants to have Keleseth turn around and start casting Shadowbolts at him. This will usually constitute an instant death.

Make sure the baddies keep hitting you.

It's one thing to get something to start hitting you, it's another to make it keep hitting you. You need to know the best way to use your abilities to maximize the amount of burning hatred the baddie has for you. This is a term called "threat". The more of it you have, the more damage or healing someone has to do to make the guy angry at them. Remember the goal is to have the baddies hit you, and not the squishy ones in the dresses.

Don't die.

Most big bad boss monsters have an ultimate abilitiy that they use to inflict severe pain on whoever they are hitting. In some cases the healers will not be able to keep up with the level of incoming damage. In these cases a tank would burn a "cooldown". That is they would use an ability that reduces the amount of damage they receive for a short period of time. Doing so allows the healer(s) to catch up with the incoming damage and prevent you from dying. This is a good thing, because if a tank dies everyone else usually quickly follows suit.

Which brings us to....

How do you know when to do what?

Honestly, this is more practice more than anything. I've tanked for about 3.5 years across 3 different sets of raid content. I've done 40 person raids, 25 person raids, 20 person raids and 10 person raids. They're all different and they all require you to adapt. Even 5 person dungeons are different from each other. The way you learn how to properly tank an encounter is simply through repetition. However there are certain skillsets and knowledge you can learn without repeating an encounter over and over again until its drilled into your skull.

That will bring us to Part 2...



Seriously guys, this is really getting old.

This week we had two epic batches of "QQQQQQQQQQQQ", and one justified concern from the Feral community. One of them was vaguely justified, however it was based on false and/or incomplete information. The other epic one was completely unjustified and makes me /facepalm. The third is definitely justified and just confuses the hell out of me why it would even happen.

Change #1: Abilities based off of weapon damage (like "% weapon damage") now scale. Everyone thought that the abilities were being uber nerfed. However within 10-15 minutes it was clarified to be scaling (like spells) from 1 - 85. I saw at least 6 Feral rage threads within 15 minutes when this showed up on MMO-Champion. All of them made me /facepalm

Change #2: Leader Of the Pack Self Heal changed from 8% heal to 4% heal. This is in line with other self-healing ability nerfs to DKs and Warriors. At most it hurts soloing. Oh noes. At the root of it it's a scaling issue with huge health pools. Self healing for 12k every 6 seconds is kind of an absurd proposition, even if your max health is 150k.

Change #3: Leader Of the Pack mana return reduced from 8% to 4%. This is ridiculous. This basically kills Feral PvP outright. Unless mana pools somehow double without increasing spell costs (which is impossible) this makes any sort of competitive Feral PvP impossible. I think this was either a typo, or an over zealous coder hitting both numbers without intending to. I fully expect it to be reversed.

That's your Feral changes for this week.



Or at least that's what a lot of the ignorant Feral Druids out there think.

Here's the relevant changes:

  • Savage Defense reduced to 35% of Attack Power from 65%. No longer procs from Lacerate tick crits.

  • Bear form Stamina bonus lowered to +10% from +20%. Stamina bonus from Heart of the Wild lowered to +6% from +10%.

  • Survival Instincts lowered to 50% reduction from 60%. Cooldown reduced to 3 minutes from 5 minutes

The first two are merely balance changes. However they also happen to be the ones people are most upset about. Why? Because people don't know how to lern2math before crying "OMGWORLDISENDINGBBQ!!!!11oneone"

Bears were massively overpowered in Cataclysm before these changes were made. I mean really, how could 20k absorbs triggered on crit not be overpowered? What about health pools 20-30k larger than other tanks? How is that not overpowered? It was actually so bad that tanks other than Bears were getting 2-3 shot by bosses. I mean if what you want is to be overpowered then fine, cry nerf. But if you want a game worth playing you'll know that's a really stupid idea.

The main opposition to the 3rd change comes from people that dislike "homogenization". Homogenization is necesarry for adequate tank balance. You can't design encounters to be equal for all tanks if some of them lack the necesarry abilities to tank the encounter correctly.