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Bear Tanking in MOP
  • Finally got the beta stable enough of my laptop to check out the tanking changes. Bears have some fairly big changes with the active tanking model. This is how it lays out:

    • The absorb shield from Savage Defense is gone. Bear Mastery now increases physical armor.
    • You now no longer generate rage from taking damage. You build rage from Mangle (6 second cooldown), auto attack and Enrage (1 minute cooldown). Manage gives you 5 rage per hit, and auto attack gives around 5 rage per it.
    • To generate rage you need to hit the target. Hit now becomes a fairly important stat for Bear tanks.
    • You have 2 ways to spend rage. The new Savage Defense which increases chance to dodge by 45%. The new Frenzied Regeneration which heals you an amount based on your AP. Both cost 60 rage. Savage Defense apparently has 3 charges so you can use it 3 times before you need to spend more rage however this didn't appear to be working for me
    • There is a third may to spend rage and that is Maul (30 rage). You should pretend that Maul doesn't exist for the moment.
    • Single target skills are Mangle (6 second cooldown) and Lacerate (3 second cooldown). Yep the Paladin model is now the Bear model.
    • AOE skills are Thrash (6 second cooldown) and Swipe (3 second cooldown). Neither generates rage.
    • Both Lacerate and Thrash ticks have a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle allowing faster rage generation.- Pummel and Demoralizing Roar are gone. The AP reducing effect is now part of Thrash.
    • AGI now no longer appears to increases dodge as much as on live. I went from 39% dodge on live to around 15% on Beta. Some of this is due to the loss of talents. Reforging everything to dodge appeared to give me a 2% increase in my current gear. I did not try re-gemming to dodge.

    I did a couple of runs on the current instances (queuing for the new instances was bugged at the time I was on) so if you want to know how it plays, it plays something like this:

    Until you build up enough rage to use Savage Defense you take a decent amount of damage so the healer needs to be awake on the pull. On trash pulls I found that Barkskin -> Thrash -> Swipe -> Mangle -> Swipe -> Lacerate -> Thrash. This effectively keeps Bears GCD locked as you will be pushing a button every 1.5 seconds. On multi target fights its difficult to generate rage quickly as you can't use the Mangle procs from Lacerate/Thrash quickly as you are having to Swipe ever other GCD to keep everything on you.

    Healers now need to be on the ball when you pop Savage Defense as once it expires you are back to ~15% dodge you get slammed especially on large pulls. As Savage Defense does nothing against casters so Bear tanks will now need to do their homework on trash and bosses so they know which ability is better to spend the rage on.

    In terms of stats mixing Cat and Bear gear is now going to be much harder. Unless I'm missing something AGI is now a terrible for Bears and there seems to be some confusion at the moment about the priority order of the other stats.

    They've managed to reduce the buttons down to a manageable number but its annoying being GCD locked and the annoying cool downs on the AOE skills are still there. It's going to be annoying to have to double gear as a Feral but I guess that brings us into line with other classes.

    Still a lot of theory crafting to be done, especially around talents but on a whole I do kind of like the changes providing they fix some of the rough edges.
    Post edited by Zoriana at 2012-05-29 13:18:08

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