Monday, February 15, 2010

Starting a fourth tank

Warrior? Check. Haven’t tanked anything more serious than some heroics, and haven’t really done anything with him since 3.1 – but he’s 80 and he’s huge. To be honest, I don’t like him much as a cow though. I much preferred the acrobatics of the NElf to the lumbering cow. I’d like to say that’s why he’s been gathering dust, but the reality is that he’s just not my favorite any more. I do take him out from time to time to listen to Thunderfury though.

I feel comfortable with all three trees, even though I haven’t put them to actual use lately. I suspect that this is because I played Apok for so long, and because the warrior is (at least to me) fairly intuitive.

Paladin? Double Check. Maybe that’s a triple check. While ret is still my weakest of the three play styles, I’m confidant that I could walk into any raid and fulfill any Paladin role. Recently I’ve been dusting off my healing gear, and I’m going to throw myself into a few heroics soon to play with it again. I might even volunteer to heal a few PUG raids – though I’ll be strictly tanking in ICC.

Death Knight? Done, and done. I finally leveled a DK all the way to 80, though I’m probably the last person in WoW to do so. I spend my time on him tanking and grinding leather – I grew tired of paying 300g for a leg kit. I may try Unholy or Blood DPS on him in the near future, but only after I’ve gotten all my triumph tank gear.

But who do you love?

Without a doubt, my Paladin is still my favorite. I am sure that this is partially due to the large gear discrepancy between him (her?) and my other tanks. It also is probably due to the fact that with a 50g purchase and some gear change – my role can change dramatically. Of the three, the DK seems to offer this the least, with DPSing and tanking feeling like the same thing. Get your diseases up and spread, smash your strikes, spread disease again – etc. I’m sure it’s slightly more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it.

By contrast, the Paladin goes from a static 969 rotation to a FCFS type DPS setup. Healing is fairly straight forward, but I think having a smaller toolbox makes for a smarter healer. I can’t just dump a PoM out on the raid, or let a CH bounce to where it’s needed. Unless you’re strictly tank healing in a 25 man raid, each heal cast is a mini triage in your mind. And yes – I did let you die.

Finishing up the set

So now that I have these three, I’m going to start the process of finishing up the tank set. I’ve started a few druids over the years, but never managed to get one past level 20 or so. I’m still debating on how to go about leveling (feral or balance), though I’m sure once I hit 40 I’ll be dual spec’d to feral/resto. I’m fairly confident that if I can get past 40 I’ll be able to make the push all the way to 80 – with a liberal use of the LFD system along the way.

But, why?

I think tanking with all the different classes gives me a better understanding of the tanks I pair with, and the same for healing. Right now we have a tree healer and a feral tank, and I really don’t have a solid grasp on their abilities. Of course I don’t understand our priest well either, but that’s a grind for another time.

My goal is to have the druid to 80 by the end of March, though April is probably more realistic. The first few levels will fly by, but I really only plan to play him with rested XP after 40 or so. This will also give me an opportunity to go through some more of the Horde starting areas – and maybe (this is a big maybe) finally learn how to navigate Thunder Bluff.


  1. I'd highly recommend levelling feral - I levelled as boomkin as soon as I could get the form because well. Boomturkey! But after dying frustratingly often in Northrend I switched to feral and wondered why I hadn't done it 50 levels earlier... It is MUCH more efficient with little downtime, things die super quickly and I actually found it more fun. I didn't expect it because the majority of my characters are casters, but there you go!

  2. Having leveled both a balance and a feral, I'd have to say that feral is easier at the lower levels since there's less downtime. Once you start getting spellpower gear in Outland moonkin gets easier, but it's not really until Northrend that you could probably level moonkin as fast as feral.

    My heart's still with the owlchicken though. <3

  3. from personal experience, kitty leveling rocks and once you get leader of the pack then the downtime is even less with the occasional auto-heals.

  4. Love this. That is exactly why I got myself to finish leveling my paladin, to get the final taste of healing with all 4 heal classes. I feral tanked in TBC and loved it, so I hope you do get your druid up and running. At the very least have fun with improved stealth ala kitty form!


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