Saturday, June 13, 2009

Why aren't you people Defense Capped?

A friend of mine once asked why it is that people who play wow are often as bad at the game as they are. I often ponder that question and wonder just how it is that people ca do as badly as they do, that somehow they can't tank, or dps, or even heal [and of all the things that people do, the only way you can really fail at the one is if you just sit there and stare blankly at a wall while your party is dieing. Anyway needless to say, you can find these people if you're just willing to step into say a Heroic Instance.

Now I know, I really shouldn't be going into these things, but I love free badges so that I can start to collect my horrible pvp gear [I suck at pvp, I can't help it]. Oh and its also nifty to make 10 a day so I can turn them into a a delicious frozen orb and sell that for 75 gold, or turn that into an icy prism, and sell whatever is inside [it's a lot like those wonder ball adds you see on TV years ago, just sing the tune whenever you make an Icy Prism]. Also for my kitty DPS set, I'm still looking for some gear from Gundrak, Culling of Strath, and Nexus. And from the looks of things, I will see these items about the same time they actually let me DPS for Ulduar 25.

But today's story is about people who think they can tank. Now druids out there, I don't know what it is that spares you from this, but usually when you insist you can tank, you have also bothered to take the tanking talents and I thank you for this, because lets face it, where others lack in gear we can simply make up for in talents. And usually when you suggest you can tank, you understand that you can swipe spam your way through a heroic and I don't pull aggro while I'm healing or dps'ing.

No, instead I'm looking at you Warriors, Death Knights, and Paladins. Less so on the Paladins and more so on the Warriors and Death Knights, especially the ones who are running Prot / [unholy / frost] as their off spec. Listen to me please, because I don't like dieing, and I like being blamed for your death even less so. If you aren't at the minimum of 535 defense rating [As I understand this is across the board], you need to do some normal instances, get some rep, and spend some money on gemming and enchants. But please stop blaming those around you for your failure.

The reason that there is a "Soft Defense Cap" is to give people an idea [and by idea I mean minimum] to shoot for when they are going to be getting beaten in the face by a mob. As you may have noticed that is the actual rating [see diagram 1] Where you see that "400" that needs to be "535" in order to tank a heroic, this scales with I think "540" for Naxx 10 and 25. Now there are also some health requirements and preferably some armor, but most people don't seem to understand the concept of defense so I'd like to focus on that first.

Druids, you have another method of making sure that you can actually tank something with your face, and that comes in the form of Survival of the Fittest. Pictured to your left. Once you have that as a druid, you meet the same 540 defense as the rest of your tanking classes. Now to make up for this, Blizzard thought it would be funny if they instead took things away from us. In recent patches our health has been cut down, as has our armor, and don't you dare stack Stamina as a bear or I will reroll the opposite faction and come to your server and beat your bear face in until you learn. Well that seems a bit extreme, but the point is that you need to learn to tank. Bears have really one thing going for them [dodge], and you dodge chance should be close to 40% once you're gemmed, enchanted, and maybe in a bit of heroic gear. I think I had 42% dodge and 29k armor with 28k health unbuffed. This might be a bit steep to get as a bear not having stepped into heroics, but we can help you out there too

First, make sure to do your Argent Crusade Dailies to, this will get you either the Staff of Feral Furies or the Silvery Sylvan Staff depending on Faction. These come with nifty bear stats and it will make a great weapon to start tanking heroics in. Also be sure to get at least honored with the Sons of Hodir. It doesn't seem like a lot, but their shoulder enchant can really help any druid. If you're not sure how simply follow the guide here to start your chain. It may take a bit, but it will prove handy later.

Even if you aren't an insanely rich druid, you could also use the money from the Argent Crusade Dailies in order to get some Trollwoven gear [or make it yourself if you went leather working]. It provides Expertise, Stam, and Agility which are the stats we're looking for when you want to tank.

Now that we have a shoulder enchant available to us, a staff, a decent belt and a decent pair of shoulders we can start looking at other things [this is all about not jumping in before you are ready]. First go ahead and put a belt slot on that belt [with the eternal belt buckle]. You can really never have enough gem slots. If you aren't insanely rich than simply slap a green +agi gem in there, if you can drop the gold go ahead and put +16 gems in there, by now someone on your server almost has to make them.

This will also give you some money to pick up a Durable Nerubhide Cloak, they go for cheaper [it seems] than their Ice Striker Cousin [I don't know why, they really are better] and they can give starting bears a lot of useful stats including dodge. Also just slap the +22agi enchant Or +16agi if you are penny pinching. The +16 only cost 9 infinite dust and its part of the training that most enchanters get so ask around as infinite dust is usually 35-50ish gold / half stack [10]. You'll notice a lot of this pre bear tanking stuff is really dependent on doing a few dailies, saving up, and spending the money on gear.

Once you've done that, you should be start at least running some heroics [as a tank]. The rest of your gear hopefully consist of some quest blues / greens [There is a quest for Normal Utgarde Pinnacle that drops a nifty helm for druids]. Don't use the Eviscerator stuff, its for the most part PvP centric and won't help you out a lot in an instance. What you can do however is go after the BoE drops from heroics, as they usually sit at a low price in the Auction House. These include things like the "King's Square Bracers", "Leggings of Violet Exstanguination", etc. Look for high stam, expertise, and dodge.

But seriously folks, I'm glad you're reading this because it means you've taken the time to research what it is that you need to tank heroics. Please don't walk into a heroic under the defense cap or wearing DPS gear.

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