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Raiding with ferals, moonkin, shadowpriests, etc


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#1 Liandra

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 08:19 AM

Hello fellow raiders,

I'm wondering how other guilds/raids deal with "non-standard" specced classes.

1. Do you have any Shadow Priests in your raid? Does it help to have one, for added Warlock DPS?

2. Do you have any Bear Tanks? Do they tank raid bosses?

3. Do you have any Cats? Would you take a Cat over a Rogue? Why (not)?

4. Do you have any Moonkin? Does the +3% spellcrit aura compensate for the lower DPS?

5. Do you have any Protection Paladins? Do they actually tank Big Stuff?

6. Do you have any non-healing Shamans? What do they do? (I'm alliance, no experience with Shamans, but felt I had to include them here)

7. Or do you think any or even all of the above are ridiculous, and you should never have one of these in your raid?

[Edit: added numbers to questions]
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#2 Mochiloc

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 08:35 AM

Hello fellow raiders,

I'm wondering how other guilds/raids deal with "non-standard" specced classes.

1. Do you have any Shadow Priests in your raid? Does it help to have one, for added Warlock DPS?

2. Do you have any Bear Tanks? Do they tank raid bosses?

3. Do you have any Cats? Would you take a Cat over a Rogue? Why (not)?

4. Do you have any Moonkin? Does the +3% spellcrit aura compensate for the lower DPS?

5. Do you have any Protection Paladins? Do they actually tank Big Stuff?

6. Do you have any non-healing Shamans? What do they do? (I'm alliance, no experience with Shamans, but felt I had to include them here)

Or do you think any or even all of the above are ridiculous, and you should never have one of these in your raid?

I numbered your questions.

1. We have had shadow priests in raids, but they never really use shadowform unless its on farm status content. Shadow priests are horribly inefficient for horde and can't do much damage.
2. We have people with great gear, a Bear co-tanked Firemaw and Ebonroc today, but we have never actively used a bear tank on any encounter (except Jin'do).
3. We have feral specced druids, but they heal, and mostly DPS on trash and easy bosses.
4. No, moonkin are completely worthless.
5. Not yet
6. We have Shamans that suck at healing, but at least they try. Some of them try to Windfury and Chain Lightning but they never get really far without being ridiculed.

I don't think any spec in the game is ridiculous, because after all it is a game. As long as people do their usual raid role of healing when they are told to, and know when to heal and when they can take it easy and DPS a bit, it doesn't really matter. Some of our better healers have been offspec for extended periods of time in the past and present. It's all about timing, really.

#3 Bill

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 09:06 AM

I played a shadowpriest and raidlead a guild to the beginnings of Bwl. I was more often than not top on the ranged caster dps meter (as horde) and having 4 warlocks or more in a raid (4 warlocks in my group for Ve) would result in my contribution to dps being more that enough to justify my raidrole. If you min maxing a raid 2 warlocks are only needed and as such shadowpriests have little use (even less use on horde) but in many many guilds where you might actually have a decent amount of warlocks in raids, a shadowpriest is better used instead of a 5th or 6th warlock, and of course can be a very good healer when you are low on healers. I can only imagine how much better I would've done on alliance.

Being a shadowpriest does mean you need to farm alot for comsumables.. but I did that.

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#4 chalon

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 09:33 AM

1. No. We only field 2 maybe 3 Warlocks, no point to have a Shadow Priest. I'd rather bring another Mage, Hunter, or Rogue if I want DPS. And without a doubt, a Holy/Disc or Disc/Holy priest is a far better healer than a Shadow one.

2. We have had people bear tank in limited capacity, but typically only on farm-mode content or trash. The only time we had someone actually assigned to tanking on a boss was for add tanking on Majordomo.

3. We have some people specced Feral, but no they don't actively DPS in cat -- well, except for our P1 Nef strat (we typically field 15-16 healers and only 3-4 druids, so on P1 Nef rather than worrying about aggro we let them go cat). In a normal situation they don't DPS though, they heal. There is 0 reason to bring a cat over a rogue. Rogues do far more DPS.

4. No, Moonkin are worthless.

5. Uh well, we have one specced to 21 prot for Blessing of Sanctuary. Never tank anything, no. They could probably tank some MC fights, but there isn't one fight in BWL beyond that I could see a Paladin being terribly useful as a tank.

6. Not Horde.

7. Not ridiculous, no. But definitely off-specs hurt quite a bit on learning content.


As an aside, is your guild really named "big mammal" or something?

#5 Mosh

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 10:22 AM

Being a shadowpriest does mean you need to farm alot for comsumables.. but I did that.

Then what happens when you get to a fight like Patchwerk where everyone has to farm a lot of consumables, and suddenly you're not close to the mages and warlocks?

#6 Shalas

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 10:36 AM

1) Yes, but they don't dps in raids, and no.

2) Yes, and occasionally. We've had bears tank all of ZG/AQ20, used to always use one on Broodlord (higher average damage taken, but no chance of getting instagibbed even unflasked), and sometimes have one tank Fankriss if we're short on warriors.

3) No, No, because they do a lot less damage and generate more aggro.

4) No, not even close.

5) Yes, and he tanked Onyxia once. Did a worse job than our warrior app who refused to use any stances other than Battle.

Bears have some advantages over warriors, so they at least have the potential to be good. Most other offspecs are just bad in raids.

#7 Liandra

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 10:36 AM

1As an aside, is your guild really named "big mammal" or something?

Our guild used to be called Magnae Mammae, which is latin for Large Udders - or Big Boobies. Take your pick. However, someone reported our guild name for violation of Blizzard's ToS, and the GM agreed, so we had to change our guild name. Our guild is now called MM.
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#8 Icantregister

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 11:48 AM

3. We have some people specced Feral, but no they don't actively DPS in cat -- well, except for our P1 Nef strat (we typically field 15-16 healers and only 3-4 druids, so on P1 Nef rather than worrying about aggro we let them go cat). In a normal situation they don't DPS though, they heal. There is 0 reason to bring a cat over a rogue. Rogues do far more DPS.

(7. Not ridiculous, no. But definitely off-specs hurt quite a bit on learning content.)

Addressing these points. How do you weight the crit aura, CR and innervate into the DPS debate? What is better, the better Rogue DPS, or the mediocre cat DPS incl. the utility?

#9 Mistaya

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 01:43 PM

-Alliance if it matters

1. We do, I believe 2 of our priests are curently shadow. Vampiric embrace is very good for fights with a lot of splash damage. They do have very good DPS gear however.

2. Some places we love our bears. AQ trash packs for example, all of our druids are in form (they tend to get killed horibly otherwise for some reason.) Our druids tend to wear their AQ sets for the 5pc 20min battle rez, so are very used to popping in and tanking something if needed. We dont use bears as main tanks, but we do allow them to offtank in place of a dps warrior on most trivial encounters (anything pre-naxx). None of our druids are less than 21 resto though.

3. No. Cat DPS is inferior to rogue dps.

4. We have a great balance druid (30/0/21). Even he knows moonkin sucks.

5. I don't think we have any full prot paladins. Bear tank > paladin tank and the druids are more than willing so its never ever been neccesary. Ever.

6. ------- (alliance)

7. Druids on the whole can be very viable without being 31 resto. (All our raiding druids are 21 resto by choice.) Whether the balance split for long range casting+mana efficient heals, or like me the feral/resto who can depoison through 9k+mana buffed for those long decurse fights, you don't really have to force ALL your druids into swiftmend. (The 1 or 2 with the most +heal will probably have it by choice anyways.) Cats... I love catform but its really not viable in most encounters, or simply less useful than a rogue would be given the same spot. Moonkin's 3 spell crit aura does not make up for its lack of healing ability, a balance druid is viable but he can stay casterform and heal where needed between starfires to be much more useful to his raid. Shadow priests can be viable if properly geared and lend themselves more to a warlock heavy raid. I can't see any real use for a tanking paladin, to be honest. No comment on shaman spec viability.

I'd like to disagree on the comment made about learning new content. Shadow priest silence was very valuable in helping our alliance guild learn cthun, as an example. Most encounters recently have had some kind of gimmick, and off-specs occasionally bring abilities to the table you might be lacking otherwise.
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#10 CrazyCarl

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 03:01 PM

For raiding situations, IMO most, if not all, off-specs are worthless if you're trying to maximize raid efficiency. They can bitch and moan and say they can do their just just fine as a DPSer, but they'll never do as well as they would if they were specced for healing. Sure, maybe they can do it fine or better than others with their spec but, again, they'l never do as well as they would if they were specced for healing.

#11 Illimin

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 03:09 PM

From the point of view of a very young raiding guild with pre-Rag mc, Ony, pre-Ossirian aq20 and zg on fairly confident farm:

1. One. Our warlocks are terrible, but we consider him worth our while merely for VE which makes things a lot easier on under-resist-geared melee dps (mostly trash) and his own dps which he keeps impressive through liberal consumables and intelligent gear decisions. He also buys straight +heal gear when it cannot go to a pure healer for use when he heals (usually his melee passive regen is more valuable than subpar spot healing, though.)
2. We've used one of our ~4 ferals for several bosses as appropriate but they recognise that they are more valuable healing or dispelling most of the time.
3. The ferals mentioned above are all 30/21 or 31/20 with cat talents. Unfortunately, cat damage mechanics are unfavourable but our ferals can spend their dkp exactly as rogues; a recent zg yielded Foror's Eyepatch, Might of the Tribe and Blooddrenched Handgrips for a particularly lucky one. He spent the entire raid in healing gear performing as a healer very admirably. He won the blue rolls and paid dkp on the epic. He offered to pass all to rogues but the rogues present decided neither were greatly significant upgrades for any of them.
4. We have one 31/0/20. When we have too many healers he is thrown to the casters and spams merrily with them, but most of the time he's in optimal healing gear, performing his "class role". He buys dmg/heal over heal gear whenever he can get away with it, though.
5. Just one, and he's deep for pvp. He doesn't claim to be able to tank anything and we don't use him for tanking anything (except bubble pulls most MCs as a joke); he's just as valuable a *person* as anyone else and wears his healing gear for most encounters (he's 11 ret, so some holy.)

With particular reference to point 3, we like to think we take a humanitarian stance on raiding - certainly our pve progress is significantly slowed because of it but it makes for much more good cheer, and reminds us of our roots as a social guild. We will likely maintain this policy (no prioritisation) as we move into bwl. We're lucky in that our druids see the importance of healing and spend dkp on healing gear whenever possible, but are not restricted as such. They make their own decisions.

Generally raiding with off-spec members seems to have this air of.. toleration involved, like they're lesser people because they play non optimal class/spec combinations (in terms of the game world) and don't deserve the endgame experience. We aim to change that perception, or at least ignore it completely.

(I'm a rogue, by the way.)

#12 Icantregister

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 03:12 PM

For raiding situations, IMO most, if not all, off-specs are worthless if you're trying to maximize raid efficiency.

I always wondered about this. I have read already a few times that a Bear tank in blues actually surpasses a Warrior tank in Blues (due to better scaling or so - not me who said it). What speaks against having a Bear tank when you start MC then? Especially considering the fact that it is easier to gear up, let's say, 3 Warriors and 1 Bear instead of 4 Warriors?

In case people are interested, I could make a Bear Profile with just using Blues to compare using WoW Equip. However I am not sure how off topic that is - and I'd also need someone to make a Warrior Profile (I am not too versed about Warrior gear in Blues).

EDIT: Forgot a word

#13 Icantregister

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 03:41 PM

In case people are interested, I could make a Bear Profile with just using Blues to compare using WoW Equip. However I am not sure how off topic that is - and I'd also need someone to make a Warrior Profile (I am not too versed about Warrior gear in Blues).

I was bored and actually went ahead and did a Bear profile. 3 Drops are from ZG, another 1 is a Quest Reward from ZG and 1 Blue is from the first AQ20 boss.

Here are the stats I came up with:

Druid in Blues
Level 60 Night Elf Druid

Stats
Strength: 124
Agility: 189
Stamina: 272
Intellect: 127
Spirit: 116
Armor: 2619
Health: 4323
Mana: 2869
Arcane Resistance: 10
Fire Resistance: 12
Nature Resistance: 17
Frost Resistance: 7
Shadow Resistance: 7

Bonuses
Equip: Increased Defense +29.
Equip: Increases your chance to dodge an attack by 4%.
Equip: Improves your chance to hit by 1%.


Other Stats

Back: Cloak of Warding (Armor +70)
Chest: Warbear Harness (Health +100)
Feet: Ash Covered Boots (Stamina +7)
Left Finger: Ring of Protection
Right Finger: Overlord's Crimson Band
Hands: Toughened Silithid Hide Gloves (Agility +7)
Head: Bone Ring Helm (Health +100)
Legs: Blooddrenched Leggings (Health +100)
Neck: Talisman of Protection
Shoulder: Golden Mantle of the Dawn (+5 Fire Resistance)
Left Trinket: Smoking Heart of the Mountain
Right Trinket: Mark of Tyranny
Waist: Belt of Preserved Heads
Wrist: Abyssal Leather Bracers (Stamina +9)
Mainhand: Unyielding Maul (Agility +15)

This turns out to be 6103 HP, 10757 AC and 15.61% dodge in Bear form.
Seeing that Bear Stamina scales better due to HotW, I'll include Imp, Fort and Motw (all improved) which gives 7783 HP, 11173 AC and 16.41% dodge in Bear form.

Considering this is just in blues and the most expensive enchant being 15 Agi on a 2 hander, this is quite impressive. It even surprises me. :)

#14 Zyla

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 04:54 PM

As one of the resident ferals, I feel inclined to add my thoughts.

Bear Tanking- Bears are fabulous tanks. They have all the abilties they need to tank effectively. The only thing they don't have which has been covered many times, is shield wall last stand and lifegiving gem. You can actually pot in bear form while tanking on most bosses, if needed, with a tremendous amount of practice in timing it - something I've learned out of necessity. I've been the lead tank on a majority of my guilds early AQ40 stuff back in the day, but I've been phased out, not because I am sub optimal, but because we needed to get the warriors more experience, and we face a chronic healer shortage in my guild. I've been celebrated in my guild for my skills in this matter, and all the druids encourage my feralness to a large degree.

For the future tho, major itemization issues are coming up:

1. The disturbing stats on Dreadnaught

The armor and sta on Dreadnaught is far and away outpacing that which is availible to bears. We get 0 upgrades from Naxx that are of any true substance.


2. The hard armor cap of 75% DR:
Warriors are pushing 10.5-11k armor, and the cap against level 63 is 17325. There's not much more room for growth. Thankfullly, the expansion will allow bears to push this range with the extra ten levels, which will allow us more breathing room against the 75% armor cap. I'm personally hitting the cap in my full aq40 enabled loadout, sitting at 14.5k unbuffed. With mark, devotion and a stoneshield pot, I'm there. The problem previously was that the bears are pushing the cap - theres no where to improve.

3. Tank gear caught up with us quickly.
Going by the profile, yes, I tanked in blues until i got the full AQ set of Feral Gear. It is fun taunting someone in near full wrath that they suck at mitigation compared to you according to tank points. As I said above, Dreadnaught has just completely obliterated the usefulness of bear tanking. As the itemization goes- so too does off specs, especially so with cats and bears.

Cat Form - Limited usefulness.

I've had arguments with my friend the GM of my guild about being able to cat form in raids. I have the gear to do it, and theres no doubt I would be extremely effective - easily top 10 dps. I've been itching to see just how much I can push it in cat form with a full feral spec (14-32-5). His answer seems to be right on when he tells me that my dps would be better then the people that suck, but worse then the people that are as good.

The bottom line for any "off" spec is this -

You really have to overcompensate to be effective, and a substantial amount of this comes from gear. As the itemization goes, so too goes the effectiveness of these specs. You have to work harder at your job in these specs and you need to be on top of everything. The margin of laziness is significantly lower for you. This I think is the primary reason that you don't see many of them in bleeding edge content - the margin of error in places like naxx is so low that it pressures everyone in the raid to perform their roles accordingly. The worst thing that can happen to any of these off specs is to be pressured. Under pressure, cat form pulls aggro and gets himself and others killed...under pressure, an inexperienced bear tank gets himself killed. Under pressure, a shadowpriest goes oom, and is useless to the raid. Its the complexity of the specs that causes the problem. Its the same in any kind of big system. The more moving parts there are, the more likely it is that one of the parts will fail. Offspecs often involve more moving parts then standard specs- and this means the system is more vulnerable. This does not mean that it MUST fail, nor that you can't be tremendously sucessful - some encounters, these specs are glaringly more useful then their plain vanilla "pure" counterparts, and we can only assume that encounter design will continue in this manner - potentially becoming an absolute requirement.

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#15 mnemus

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 05:18 PM

zyla said it all, we're also phasing out one of our most beloved bear tanks for those reasons, he's having a hard time coping but it does seem inevitable. He's done an awesome job so far for us though, even tanking Patchy, but a Dreadnaught Warr in that position is clearly superior.

However, our bear tank is probably one of the few who take it very seriously and really is good at it. Often times people who refuse to switch out of off-specs are not thinking in terms of greatest benefit for the raid, they only rationalize it that way to suit ulterior motives. I mean c'mon Moonkin druid? I think that's when off specs hurt the most.

And while I am all for progression but with all things considered, I think it's a dangerous line to walk when your greatest and only raid strength is min/maxing. So who knows?

#16 frmorrison

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 05:25 PM

2. The hard armor cap of 75% DR:

Is that true? I have seen a picture of a bear druid past the DR mark, and the guy said that he had more than 75% reduction (the tooltip still said 75% though).

I didn't look in depth at this data though.

#17 Zyla

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 05:41 PM

2. The hard armor cap of 75% DR:

Is that true? I have seen a picture of a bear druid past the DR mark, and the guy said that he had more than 75% reduction (the tooltip still said 75% though).

I didn't look in depth at this data though.

We're exensively tested it on the druid forums. It holds true. I have plenty of screenshots of myself with 19k-22k armor, but there is no difference in this past 17325. Ive seen the tool tip say 80% dr, still no tangible difference. This makes things like thunderclap/fury/demo shout/screech extremely valuable.

Drakkdude had a thread about it somewhere I can dig up for you if you're still interested.

EDIT: here https://forums.world...mp=1#post781672, its the second quoted passage on that.

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#18 Liandra

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 07:51 AM

One of the reasons I'm asking this is because we have a few off-spec people in our raid: a Bear Tank, a Cat, and a Moonkin. While I don't doubt the abilities of the players in question (the Bear has tanked the Twin Emps successfully, amongst many other raid bosses), I do doubt the classes, specced that way, and the gear.

It's easier for a Cat to get aggro; the Moonkin doesn't seem to do anywhere near as much damage as the Mages (but it does bring about +3% damage for 4 others), and the Bear often dies first on Huhuran. And I bet we're the only raid out there that lets Moonkins roll on Bracers of Arcane Accuracy together with Mages and Locks, because there is no viable alternative in Leather.

Hence, the question how much we are hampering ourselves through this. We are not a cutting edge guild; we usually have server second/third/fourth kills of new stuff. Therefore I think we view the world a bit differently than the guilds who are competing for world first kills. So, I was curious about what the other guilds out there thought about this.
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#19 Rodent

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 11:24 AM

A BWL geared tank is allready vastly superior to any bear, due to to superior avoidance, defense and shield block. A tank in everything bwl has to offer will partically never be crit, and if he knows what he's doing - almost never be crushed. That alone brings him above a bear tanks mitigation. Now add in parry and the warrior is so far above the bear its not even worth comparing anymore.

#20 Xard

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 11:45 PM

Just curious as to what peoples opinions were on using moonkin druids for ignite rolling. It seems like the spell crit aura would be specifically suited for this play style, and seeing how (at least on horde) our groups with mages in them are normally either all mages or mixed mages and warlocks, I'd think that adding a moonkin in there would give them a nice boost to their crit and keeping the ignite stack rolling.

Of course, looking at the tradeoff of losing another dps class or another healer, I'm not so sure the aura would be worth the time... Still would like to hear some peoples opinions.




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