The Bear post
Explains stuff like what the stats mean and how you should be looking to gear yourself.
----------------------------------------------------------------The Basics - Stats
I'll start off similar to the Cat post, by explaining the (important) stat conversions. Bear form is for tanking, therefore your tanking stats are the most important part of your gear, in general. Each is explained per point.Diminishing Returns on Avoidance
With the introduction of patch 3.0.2, the way avoidance is calculated has changed somewhat. Before WotLK, avoidance became more powerful the more you had of it. This can be seen by considering the extreme example where if you're at 0% avoidance adding an additional 1% will increase your expected time to live by 1% while adding 1% while you're at 98% avoidance already will increase your expected time to live by 100%. These days, the more you have of a certain avoidance type, the less raw avoidance you'll get from 1 additional rating (or agility). This doesn't mean that avoidance gets weaker the more you get of it, but rather that this superlinear scaling of pre-WotLK has been dampened to something more linear.
In the following, all rating-to-avoidance ratios will be given before these diminishing returns are factored in. This means that ingame, you will get slightly less benefit for each point. How much less exactly and a more detailed treatment of the new ratings can be found in the Combat Ratings at level 80
thread.Armor now and in the future
The way armor works for us has been changed in patch 3.0.2. Prior to this patch, we used to have alot of armor (close to or at the armor cap), but were vulnerable to crushing blows. In an attempt to make all tanks more equal, Blizzard removed crushing blows from PvE raids and lowered our armor. This was done by removing all bonus armor from leather gear. Bonus armor is the armor that is on top of the base armor that any item already has, it was generally shown in green ingame. Additionally, the bearform armor bonus was reduced from 400% to 370%. High-armor rings, trinkets, etc still exist and we still have more armor than other tanks.
In order to stop Druids from being tied to the very few high armor jewelry pieces for the entire expansion, armor benefits from all items except the 8 leather slots will be reduced in a future patch. The bearform modifier will no longer apply to rings, trinkets, necklaces and cloaks (they will just provide the armor that is shown) and we will receive no benefit from armor on weapons. To compensate for this loss of armor, the bearform modifier will be tweaked. In what way this'll be done is not known yet, but Blizzard ensured us that the goal is not to nerf Druid armor, but rather open up more itemization avenues for us.
For now, armor is still the best stat to get, but don't go overboard trying to get that last piece of +armor jewelry while you have a perfectly fine avoidance equivalent for it.Mitigation Stats
Stats and what they give you. Brackets are raid buffed values while the normal ones are unbuffed. All values are assuming HoTW and SoTF. All values are per 1 point of stat.
Agility = 0.0254% (0.027984%) dodge. 1% dodge needs ~39.31 (~35.73) agility. 2.12 armor per point of agility (this armor is unaffected by the bearform modifier or the Thick Hide talent).
Dodge Rating = ~0.025% dodge. 39.35 dodge rating per % dodge.
Stamina = 15.9 health (17.49 health)
Defense = ~4.92 rating per skill, 1 skill = 0.04% dodge, miss, anti-crit. 25 defense skill,
or ~122.96 defense rating, for 1% less crit/more dodge/more miss.
Armor = 5.17 armor in bearform if the armor comes from items. 1 armor if it comes from buffs/enchants. See the note on armor above.
Armor remains the best scaling stat. Agility is next, with dodge rating very closely following in terms of pure avoidance, but it doesn't have any of the additional benefits of agility. Defense rating is no longer required, since Druids are passively crit-immune with 3/3 Survival of the Fittest. Defense rating still improves our avoidance, but you need about 50% more for the same gain that dodge rating provides.
Stamina remains more or less the same as it was. We get alot of health per point due to the various %-modifiers. But once you have enough health to comfortably survive whatever burst damage a boss can throw at you, any additional stamina is of relativley low value.Threat Stats
In general threat-generation of all tanks is quite high compared to that of DPS classes. That doesn't mean that threat is a non-issue, it's just less important than it used to be. The stats that have value for threat are detailed below, with normal values being unbuffed and bracketed being buffed, assuming HoTW, PotP and SotF.
Strength = 2.2472 AP per point (2.719 AP per point)
Agility = 1% crit per ~78.62 agility (1% crit per ~71.47 agility)
Critical Strike Rating = 1% per 45.91 rating at 80
Hit Rating = 1% hit per ~32.79 hit rating
Attack Power = 1.06 (1.166) AP per point.
Expertise Rating = 1% reduced parry/dodge chance per ~32.79 rating.
Agility features pretty heavily in both the tanking and mitigation stat lineups - it's a very good multipurpose stat, and will be very useful on gear that you use for both bear and cat forms.Hit Rating and Expertise
Hit rating gives 1% hit per ~33 rating.
Expertise gives 1% less parry and 1% less dodge per ~33 rating.
There are a lot of good available items now that contain hit or expertise. Expertise is of approximately double the value of hit rating up to approximately 185 rating, then levels out to about the same value. Consideration of the other stats on the item that the expertise/hit is on also needs to be made to make a final decission.
Expertise has a secondary effect of reducing parries. Mobs have an effect where when they parry it hastens their next swing by ~40%, therefore reducing/removing their ability to parry can have a large effect on incoming burst damage.
Hit rating has the secondary effect of increasing taunt hit. This can be very important for particular fights and so it may be worth putting together a secondary set of gear with capped hit rating (9%, ~295 hit rating, and a
). Note that Growl has a base misschance of 17% (like spells) and it needs a combination of the glyph and hitrating to hitcap normal attacks to never miss. Instead of the glyph, you can use more hitrating, but since any hit over 9% only affects Growl, this extra hit is fairly useless.
----------------------------------------------------------------Roles, Gems, Enchants and Professions
There are two main roles that you will take as a feral while tanking: Main tanking, in which you are the number one tank tanking the boss, and offtanking, where you are either soaking damage on a fight such as Patchwerk, or tanking a mob for a short amount of time/limited periods, like Anub'rekhan. When MTing, survival stats are generally superior. Armor is our best-scaling stat for now, but this won't be so in the future. Generally, a balanced set of stats will perform better than stacking a single stat. Obviously, every encounter has different requirements; a fight with alot of burst damage calls for more stamina, while a boss that does alot of damage, but in a steady, predictable stream is more easily tackled with high avoidance. In the offtank role, agility place a major role, since it is both a very good avoidance stat and a good threat/DPS stat.
Coming on to the topic of gems, this makes it fairly easy. You either go for pure Stamina, Stamina/Agility or pure Agility. If threat is a concern, then Expertise is probably the way to go.
Again enchants are dependant on role in the raid, so these can vary. Generally stamina and agility are very safe bets. For boots, the combination enchant of stamina together with runspeed is strongly recommended. Though hard to quantify, runspeed can be a major bonus in alot of encounters.
A table of how run speed enchants stacks with other bonuses can be found here
The main professions in the game are Tailoring (craft), Leatherworking (craft), Blacksmithing (craft), Alchemy (craft), Jewelcrafting (craft), Engineering (craft), Inscription (craft), Enchanting (gather/craft), Herbalism (gather), Mining (gather), and Skinning (gather). The general rules are that gathering professions are good for making money, and crafting professions are good for making lumps of money if you can get rare items, or making nice stuff that you can use.
All crafting professions have some sort of crafter-only benefit, ring-enchants being one example. These benefits are generally fairly balanced. For all the details, see WotLK Profession Thread
. Right now, there are no really worthwhile BoP craftable items available. Chances are that these might be added in later raid dungeons, but only time will tell.
Ignoring perks that have no effect on raiding (such as desirable trading products or cost reductions), Jewelcrafting gives you access to BoP gems that have 35% more stats than epic gems of the same type (27 instead of 20). Additionally, these Dragon's Eyes are so-called "prismatic gems", which means they count as all colors, making it easier to obtain socket bonusses and meta-gem activation. The number of prismatic gems you can have equipped is limited to 3.
Leatherworkers gain the ability to apply "fur lining" to their bracers. This doesn't stack with enchants and increases stamina by 90 (I've not found a comparable normal enchant yet, but the itembudget of the top bracer enchants points at a ~40 stamina value for such an enchant). Enchanters gain ring-enchants, +24 stamina per ring. Blacksmiths can add a socket to their gloves and their bracers. Scribes will be able to make BoP shoulder enchants (details unknown to me as of yet). Tailors can create "Embroideries", which are cloak enchants. The DPS one gives you a chance that your attacks ignore 1000 armor, no tanking embroidery seems to be available. Alchemists have a passive ability that increases the duration of flasks and elixirs by 100% and increases the effect by ~30% (exact value differs per flask/elixir). In addition, alchemist stones are available that increase the effect of potions by 40% as well as provide stats (100 AP, 50 critrating) in a trinket slot.
Engineers can create special enchants with various effects such as rocket launcher on gloves, a 340 haste for 8 seconds clicky on gloves or a sprint-clicky on boots.
As for the gathering professions, skinners gain 25 crit rating, miners 500 health. Herbalists get a 3min cooldown HoT (self-only) that heals for 1800.
Gathering skills are good if you want to make money (generally herbalism and mining are better than skinning) or to support a main skill (skinning is good if you have leatherworking, generally). The gathering perks are generally not as strong as the crafting perks and only skinning provides a direct DPS benefit.
Major glyphs that are relevant for bears are:
- Makes FR into a more formidable panic button, handy, but situational.
- Only good for certain fights that depend on taunts landing.
- An 18 second debuff with a 6 (or 4.5) second cooldown is overkill, this glyph isn't for tanking.
- Very powerful when tanking more than 1 mob. It needs a bit of care around CCed mobs though.
- Not necessarily a tanking glyph, but still quite useful.
And minor glyphs:
- For the regular swimmer.
- Of situational use, but it can come in handy.
- This one is quite handy, being able to get to places more quickly can be a great boost in some encounters.
- Convenience mostly, though chances are your spec won't include imp MotW and another Druid will handle the buff.
- Nice for soloing, little use for raids as boss encounters generally don't last more than 10 minutes. Mostly a convenience glyph.
- Saves you one bagslot, nifty.
is the clear winner for tanking.
is the recommended battle elixir.
are the 2 choices for guardian elixirs.
is the best flask choice.
In a general sense, threat generation for all tanks, and especially bears, is very good these days. Mangle is exceptional as a threat generator, and white hits give a lot of rage, along with the talent Primal Fury which gives 5 rage on a crit (works on every individual crit, so in situations with alot of mobs, you can generate alot of rage; with 15 mobs and 30% crit chance, most Swipes will have 4 or 5 crits, restoring 20 or 25 rage). Also see the hit and expertise section earlier in this post, as gear can play a big role in threat generation.
Maul is a tricky ability at times, it is good for threat generation, but severely reduces rage generation by removing the rage that would otherwise be gained from the white hit it replaces. A crit in good tanking gear can generate a significant chunk of rage (30+) along with the extra 5 from Primal Fury. By converting this attack into a maul, you "lose" the rage you would have gained from the white hit, but it also costs you the rage cost of Maul (10). This means that maul costs you an effective 40 rage or more, which could be used for other special attacks if you're rage-starved. Maul is very useful for getting "snap" agro on mobs though, as it will activate as soon as you are in range. With the
, Maul becomes a powerful tool in tanking 2 mobs, as it generates alot more threat than a single Swipe. With more than 2 mobs, it's still useful, though you can't control which mob gets hit by the extra attack.
In no particular order, the threat moves you should be using:
- Mangle. You should always be using this if it is off cooldown.
- Swipe. You should be using this if tanking more than 1 mob, as long as it doesn't screw up crowd control (sheep/etc). Depending on your gear and precise spec, Swipe might also be better than Lacerate on single targets.
- Lacerate. Most of Lacerates threat comes from a passive bonus threat, the damage dealt by Lacerate only generates half the threat that normal damage would do. Nevertheless, a full stack of Lacerate can be a decent contributing to your threat and your DPS.
- Maul. As mentioned above, Maul generates alot of threat, but has a high effective rage cost.
- Faerie Fire (Feral). This move costs no rage, but still generates a considerably amount of threat. In single-mob situations, it's worth it to use it on every cooldown (provided it doesn't overlap with the use of Mangle or other essential abilities).
----------------------------------------------------------------Threat values for specific abilities
Below is a list of threat values generated by the various bear abilities as gathered by Astrylian on the WotLK Beta realms. First, it's worth noting that both threat-increasing talents and Blessing of Salvation have been removed. The effect that both of these had on threat generation has been added to the passive bearform threat modifier. This means that any bear, regardless of spec, will now be in the situation as if he/she were a Feral Instinct bear with Blessing of Salvation on all other raidmembers. This makes tanking less spec-dependent and reduces the necessity of a Paladin in raids and small groups.
In the list below, the factor 29/14 (~2.07) denotes this passive bearform modifier. For example, dealing 1000 damage with Mangle means that you generate ~2070 threat. A melee DPSer will have to generate 2277 threat (your 2070 + 10%) to pull aggro, while someone at range needs 2691 threat (your 2070 + 30%).
Mangle - Bear: (29/14) * DAMAGE
Maul: (29/14) * (DAMAGE + (424 / #_OF_TARGETS))
Lacerate: (29/14) * (DAMAGE + 1031) / 2
Lacerate DOT: (29/14) * (DAMAGE) / 2
Swipe: (29/14) * DAMAGE
Melee: (29/14) * DAMAGE
Faerie Fire (Feral): (29/14) * (DAMAGE + 632)
Thorns: (29/14) * DAMAGE
Natural Reaction: (5 * RAGE_GAINED) / #_OF_TARGETS
Primal Fury: (29/14) * (2.5 * RAGE_GAINED) / #_OF_TARGETS
Enrage: (29/14) * (5 * RAGE_GAINED) / #_OF_TARGETS
Demoralizing Roar: 127 / #_OF_TARGETS
Challenging Roar: 203 / #_OF_TARGETS
Feral Charge - Bear: 165
Clearcasting: 20 / #_OF_TARGETS
Self Healing: (29/14) * (HEALED / 2) / #_OF_TARGETS (Includes Regrowth, Rejuv, Lifebloom, Frenzied Regeneration)
Barkskin: 92 / #_OF_TARGETS
Improved Leader of the Pack: 0
Infected Wounds: 0
The "#_OF_TARGETS" listed in the Maul formula refers to the
. When you hit 2 targets, the bonus damage of Maul is split between the two, but since Mauls threat comes for a large part from its damage, this isn't a big problem.
----------------------------------------------------------------Other ThingsRawr - A theorycrafting tool for alot of classes/specs, including cats and bears