I’ve been playing WoW quite a bit lately. A short time ago I got a DK to 85, and while he’s ostensibly main-spec tank, I haven’t actually tanked anything in a random in any of the Cataclysm dungeons. So, dual-wield Frost second spec it is.
I also levelled up a druid, in a cat-based Feral spec, which I’ve been enjoying quite a bit. The character was originally only supposed to be a bank character (hence the name ‘Morcasha’), but then Zoe and I wanted an enchanter, and so we needed to get Morcasha to a higher level. And I just kept going, because it was fun, and because I read a post on Gevlon’s blog about skinning crocolisks in Tol Barad or something for easy money.
As I was traipsing around Twilight Highlands in the last few bars of being level 84, helping out the dwarves with their wedding (best questline ever, btw, and also Keely Dunwald is kinda cute), I decided to see what it was like being a bear. This was not entirely out of the blue: I’d done a random a few days earlier wherein the tank abandoned us at the last boss, and one of the DPS asked me to tank. I was like “lol no” (paraphrasing here), because I had no idea what I was doing in bear form. So anyway, turns out it’s not really that hard! Certainly less buttons to push than cat form, although since my UI was set up specifically for cat, it didn’t work so well for bear.
So I bought dual spec and made the second spec pure bear. And lo! I am almost indestructible when taking on normal mobs! In cat form, when levelling, taking on more than 2 mobs at once is a risky thing, as you are rather squishy and your heals barely do anything (healing for ~4K out of 75K at level 84). In bear, though, with a proper bear spec: bring it on! Obviously it’s news to nobody that a tank-specced character can survive better, but it’s surprising just how much difference a few (really a few – maybe 5 or so) talent points in different places can make; going into bear form in a spec optimised for cat DPS doesn’t really help much: sure you can get aggro better, and are slightly tougher, but you’re missing the uncritability, damage-reduction and Pulverize talents that are pretty much the point of being a bear tank.
World of Tank
Now that I have this lovely bear spec, what could I do with it? I mean, it’s not like I tank much on my DK, despite being much more familiar with tanking that class because of my experience in Lich King. Then again, it might be precisely because of that familiarity that I’m reluctant to try it: I want to try new things. Bear tanking is something I’ve never done, and I’m curious to see how it plays.
Perhaps once I get more familiar with the Cataclysm instances I will try tanking them on my DK, too. He’s certainly better-geared than the druid, and like I said, I pretty much know how to play the class already (I even levelled him in tank spec). Honestly, though, I’m not sure. Before I stopped playing WoW last year, I had a warrior tank that I really enjoyed playing, much more thank a DK. I think it was something to do with the mobility, and the variety of abilities at my disposal, and from what I’ve read and in my limited time with the spec experienced, bear is quite similar.
Speaking of tanks…
If you’ve been reading Tobold’s blog lately, you’ll notice he’s been posting a lot about World Of Tanks, a free-to-play team-based tank warfare game. I don’t know much about it beyond what I’ve read on Tobold’s blog (and the occasional Rock, Paper, Shotgun article), but it does sound interesting. I imagine it as a sort of slower-paced Counter-Strike, although that may turn out to be laughably far from the truth. No matter, it’s definitely something I’m going to look into, perhaps to the extent that I forget about WoW for another four months. I shall report back here if/when I have anything interesting to say about the game.