Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Question for Trees: Mitigation in Ulduar


Occasionally, I'll be featuring some guest posts on my blog. Today, our resident rawr-tank, Aeman, brings up an interesting point about our role (or lack thereof) as damage mitigators.

Hi trees!

I was going to write a post for Averna about tanking in Ulduar. Specifically, I was going to write about adjustments I made to my tanking spec because of the heavy hitting bosses in the instance (compared to the pantywaists in Naxxramas). I was specced for threat to keep ahead of our extremely... zealous hunters in Naxx, but in Ulduar I've scrambled for every scrap of survivability I can find. When a trash mob can 2-shot you, you know you've got problems.

My Exhibit A, my golden child, was of course Steelbreaker. You stand him on a Rune of Power and try and eat one of his Fusion Punches, and you'll quickly discover a new meaning of the word "floor". Hodir's Frozen Blows, hitting the tank for 40k while the rest of the raid is sucking down 2000dps AOE damage? Ow.

As I was writing this, I realized that you trees probably don't care too much about what *I'm* doing to survive Ulduar's bosses. The important part is that I put my pants back on, get out of Aquatic Form, and hit my Mangle button, right? So I figured I'd try and offer you some tips to work *with* me/your tank so we ALL survive and get shiny epix. Back to Steelbreaker I went. The first Punch, I always throw up my Barkskin to reduce the incoming damage. But Punches come too frequently for me to mitigate every one, so I depend on my healers to throw me one of their awesome preventative/mitigating abilities.

...And I realized that druids don't have a single ability to help their tank prevent, mitigate, or avoid incoming damage. Not one. Tons of HOTs, a big heal, even a reactive heal in Living Seed... but no shield. And that's kind of a glaring omission in my mind. There are attacks in this game that WILL one-shot a tank who doesn't have a mitigation ability active, and resto druids just can't care about it. What's the point? You don't have any ability that could make a difference against that attack, no matter how awesome a healer you are.

So I got you guys this:

Yeah, I know you already have a talent with that name, but that's not the point. What do you think? Do you wish you had a preventative ability? Does not having one make your job harder? Do you think (or have you found) that it affects your perceived viability in high-end content?


16 remarks:

Averna said...

Aeman sent this to me on a whim, without me actually asking for a post, and I think it's a really interesting read. Priests have shields, paladins have bubbles, and we have.... nothing.

I've always thought it would be nice to be able to cast Barkskin on someone else. I remember during Sarth + 3, he would Flame Breath (which was buffed to the point of a one-shot) the tank and there was nothing us druids could do about it. Priests and pallies were in a specific order to shield Aeman up one by one, and trees could never be in that line up.

I can't think of any damage-mitigating abilities that shaman might have. They've got Earth Shield, but that has a similar mechanic to Living Seed - the target takes damage, and THEN they get healed. Am I missing an ability here?

Corgii said...

He does bring up a good point that I think the Devs should address. I think making Barkskin castable on our targets would be a great idea!

Lovely post; nice to see that a fellow druid of a different spec can relate to us!

Aertimus said...

Now THAT would be a barkskin worth talenting into. I'm sure you would hear OP complaints from Shamans though, since we already have Living Seed, like Averna said.

Najtrok said...

Think about us not being designated to do that. We achieve a great HPS output (though paladin does to). Hot alle targets and assume a fight where they tick (take Mimiron or Steelbreaker Aura).

Thats where we shine. And the Priests shine in either shielding (disci) oder great heals and rescue skills (holy).

Discipline is even especially tuned to mitigation. Now while I would agree that a paladin can even outheal us on group heal, since with enough haste and crit he spams his great heals at low cast time while not going oom. I remember our healadin that insane HPS outputs. A waste as a tank heal, much greater group heal.

Now why start a discussion about all this? Because I want to point out that we are not meant to have those abilities and I would drive us even more in the "bring the player not the class" direction, which sucks. Since this brings all classes close together.

Differences fade and thats what makes it bad.

Dont give aus mitigation. But balance other classes around their mitigation.

I think shammis suck while palas are too strong. Druids are probably a small bit too strong, but nothing of a big deal. Priests are where we should meet I thnik.

Just dont get different classes do the same thing.

Alaron said...

Heh, this would definitely tip the balance back towards resto being OP in PVP. I like it, but don't think it would ever happen. If it did, the CD would have to be increased significantly, or you'd run into guilds stacking resto druids for chain barkskin.

spinksville said...

I always wanted barkskin to be castable on others for my druid. I agree though, all the other healers have some way to help prevent incoming damage.

Lissanna said...

My raid with 5 druids would be unstoppable!

Modpal said...

I think I would have to agree with a few of the other replies, giving us this new barkskin would just be another 'all healers are the same' move, I think I'd like to remain special and unique amongst healers.

Roman said...

I agree with Najtrok. Every healer has it's own role. And I personally just FEEL like being a raid-healer, as a druid. We could help to heal a tank. Well, we always do. But I know that a disc-priest or a paladin will do a better job keeping a tank alive. And I will throw in some HoTs just to make sure they do. And then I'll cooperate with holy priests and shammies to make sure no one else dies too.
Trees are for everyone! Not just a single person =)

tankhealdps said...

That's an excellent idea.

I came up with a few abilities a few days ago that would be nifty for a druid to have which I threw on my blog, but this, never came to mind.

Dejablue said...

Keeping our hots on the main tank has always been our way of "shielding" the tank, minimizing spike damage. Though the idea is exciting I've no wish to continue this path to becoming a homogenized healer where we all have the same roles.

Jong said...

I disagree.

Druids don't have a clutch mitigation spell, but druids are the coolest. so it balances out.

Jack said...

I think each fight in Uld gives each class a perk to work with. While sometimes you have to adjust your play style with the comp you have. Btw, do you swipe like crazy before those big attacks hit? I'm not sure if people really use that bear wall for MTing big hits.

In the hodir fight for example, its a fairly easy fight for trees IF people have some resist gear with them since the aoe and debuff damage are all frost anyway and the buffs from npcs help compensate for the crappy stats. The pallys in my guild cant heal as well during frozen blows since the raid is too spread out.

And most of the time our healing assignments is group based, being in range of your group is so damn hard on Hodir, cant imagine Pallys on raid heals lol. And the Freya fight is just insane ahhh i hate that witch.

Roman said...

Uh! Uh! I know! Val'anyr is MEANT for druids, because we have no damage-mitigating abilities so far :D

Averna said...

@Alaron: Not sure that raids would start stacking druids for Barkskin. Do raids specifically stack priests for PW: shield? Not really - and Barkskin has an even longer cooldown than that (1 min. as opposed to 15 seconds). I'm not saying it wouldn't cause some balance issues (esp. in pvp, like you said), but I don't think it would be as OP in PvE as one might think, compared to other damage mitigating abilities.

@Jack: Typically on Hodir, we spread our healers out around the room, trying to keep sides even (if we have 3 shaman, we'll put one on the right, one in the middle, on on the left, etc) and you basically just heal who you can when they're in range of you. It's a rough fight, though. LOTS of rolling hots.

@Roman: LOL.

coil said...

"Btw, do you swipe like crazy before those big attacks hit? I'm not sure if people really use that bear wall for MTing big hits."

On any fight with big damage, I'm swimming in rage so I'm using an ability every GCD. I use Lacerate rather than Swipe on Steelbreaker - it's better threat until your AP is very high, and Lacerate bleed crits proc Savage Defense.

On Hodir, it's generally Swipe and (glyphed) Maul spam if there are frozen NPCs near me; otherwise Lacerate again.