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When to go Bear

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When to go Bear

Postby BigTwoHorns » Thu May 12, 2011 2:44 pm

So I am sure that I am not the only Feral out there that has run into a situation where you need to go bear to A) Save from a wipe because the MT died or is close to it B) Survivability, meaning you are about to die yourself. My issue is that (stated in another topic) some MT's hate a druid going bear. Understandable, you queue for DPS not Prot but that's why druids are so versatile right? A few times this week a helped save from a wipe by going bear, hitting FR and SI pulling the aggro from the tank so the healer can work thier magic on them and once in the clear I go back to Cat so what's the problem? You almost never hear a healer QQ because you went caster and hit Tranq to help them out, so why do the tanks QQ because we go bear and if you do need to go bear, when is the best time? Let the discussion begin......
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Re: When to go Bear

Postby Sylvaneart » Thu May 12, 2011 2:54 pm

You don't pull off the tank period. In a raid/5man everyone has a job. There is a difference in helping and taking over. A self heal here and there will help the healer but might make others mad as your DPS drops. Tanks(myself included) HATE when someone pulls. The reality is that if i am tanking and have no defensive CDs left, the healer is allready casting a monster heal on me. You pull off me. I get my heal but you don't have my HP and now in 2 short hits you are near dead becouse the healer isnt paying attention/not expecting you to take so much damage. Now i taunt back and start taking damage again and the healer is busy trying to keep you alive but i am now taking the damage. It gets caotic and uncontrolled. If the tank dies go bear. If the healer dies throw some hots. If the tank obviously missed a mob go bear taunt and bring it to the tank. But if you are a cat. You have to trust that the tank and the healer can do there jobs.
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Re: When to go Bear

Postby felhoof » Thu May 12, 2011 3:30 pm

Yeah, I fundamentally disagree with sylvan.

You can pull off the tank. It's not that big a deal. It can sometimes make a tank's life harder, and sometimes can make a healer's life harder - but it can also help. It can help add another 150k damage to the MT so that they can be healed back up. It can help deal with an annoying add and stacking of debuffs. A lot of time it can help with healing overall; many times a healer can heal more damage when it is spread out compared to not.

Usually healers will prioritize healing a tank over a DPS, so sylvan's thought of a healer scrambling like mad to heal a DPS doesn't happen. They'll put the big heal on the tank, let a dPS dip or die, and throw out a heal if they can. For them, you messed up and took damage. It's just not that big a deal.

To me, it comes down to ego. Healers don't have a problem with other folks healing because in raids collaborative healing is what happens anyway. They're used to healing in groups and working with others. Tanks are used to working with other tanks, or tanking alone. They don't look for help from DPS and are essentially only interested in the healing that they get. That's not true all the times, but it's certainly true often. So when you switch to bear and get aggro, you're not 'helping' - you're telling that tank that you don't think they can do their job or that they're not doing a good enough job.

I used to think that way too - that somehow a dps pulling off of me was an affront to my honor. Now I just don't care or actively am fine with it. If it's helpful - like if I'm getting wrecked and they do it to give me a break - I thank 'em for it. It can be a good save some times. Other times I just let it go as someone being a bit overzealous on threat. It's really not a big deal so long as things die and we live, and it can be the difference between a kill and a wipe.

As to waiting for the tank to die or waiting ofr the healer to die - that's stupid. If you see a problem that you can somewhat help it is a GOOD thing to do what you can before that problem becomes critical. I don't wait to tranq if things are going south - I tranq. That's being proactive, and that should be encouraged.

the tldr version: Tanks have bigger egos than healers. Many tanks are childish and don't want anyone to do anything to challenge their view of being awesome. Other tanks are control freaks and need everyone to do everything they say. Neither view is particularly valid.

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Re: When to go Bear

Postby Sylvaneart » Thu May 12, 2011 3:42 pm

Well there you have it. Fel is THE best feral out there just ask him. I disagree with you. If there is a stacking debuff then it isnt a simple pull off it is a planned mechanic. Not what this is about. Your healers suck. The healers i run with pugs and guildies try to keep everyone alive. Of course they prioritize the tank. Did i say they where going to let him die to keep the other person alive. Nope. You even said it yourself - For them, you messed up and took damage. So you are saying it is messed up to pull. Something that is helpful is not a mess up. I do agree that for you it comes down to ego. In the end you agreed with me. But you started all this saying you disagreed.
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Re: When to go Bear

Postby felhoof » Thu May 12, 2011 4:07 pm

Sometimes things don't work out. Sometimes in a pug the healer isn't doing a great job. Sometimes in a pug the tank isn't doing such a great job. I run a lot of times not under my tank or I don't tank all the time when I run. I've run with bad tanks, I've run with bad dps and I've run with bad heals.

And I've seen many times when things are rescued when things go wrong.

As an example: ToT, 5 pull before first boss. Tank marks two CC targets. Both get CCed, 3 invaders come in. Tank is just getting wrecked. Plate DPS peels one off and starts tanking it while two others survive. One of the CCs gets expired, so I target that one explicitly and get aggro on it. So now we have the tank tanking two mobs, the plate DPS getting one and me attracting the attention of the caster and kiting it. The healer is able via CDs and aoe healing (it was a holy priest) to heal the group a lot better; prayer of mending works great when three people are taking damage. Eventually the first mob dies and the tank picks up the plate DPS target, the plate DPS picks up the caster and I dot everything and we win.

If we hadn't done that the tank would have died. If I don't pick up aggro on the other caster mob the healer gets wrecked and we wipe.

Another example would be when a hunter peeled and kited a mob while I went and grabbed a PAT. Our DPS was low and I was top DPS during the dungeon throughout the whole thing, and things were dying slower than I wanted. This was in stonecore on the trash before Ozruk and I was grabbing one of the ogres who pats. The hunter peeled off a berserker so that we weren't getting both whirlwinded and shockwaved, and we dealt with the rest of the pull. It was hard, but doing it then instead of waiting for the ogre to get to me likely saved us.

Nope. You even said it yourself - For them, you messed up and took damage. So you are saying it is messed up to pull. Something that is helpful is not a mess up.
For the healer, a DPS dying is not a critical concern. That doesn't make it a messup that a DPS dies or takes damage and it can be beneficial. Most healers I've played with will try to keep DPS alive, but they won't freak out and forget about the tank to do so. Your example was that they'd reprioritize healing that DPS and the tank would die in that time - and that doesn't happen very often. If a tank is taking tons of damage they're not going to stop healing the tank to heal some random DPS who also takes tons of damage.

I'll restate it, since you seem to be confused: for a good healer a DPS is largely expendable compared to a tank. For a good healer a DPS dying is not the end of the world. And if it makes the healer's job easier, it's definitely not a messup - though as far as they're concerned you taking damage is ultimately your responsibility.

So no, I don't agree. I don't think that taking damage as a DPS is always the worst thing that you can do, and I certainly don't think that pulling aggro when a tank is having problems is the worst thing that you can do or is even a problem.

In a perfect world, sure - don't pull off the tank. In a perfect world you wouldn't ever need to. We don't live in a perfect world and bad things do occasionally happen. Slavish obedience to rules just results in failure when things don't work out perfectly. As a feral - as a druid - you have a lot of options at any given moment. The difference between an ok player and a great one is being able to recognize when those rules can and should be ignored and when you can use that versatility you have.

Going back to the earlier point about why tanks get more butthurt than healers - again, I think it has to do with the collaborative nature of healing in general. It also has to do with the relative shortage of tanks. Tanks don't like to have to deal with shit. Their job is already annoying at times, and someone going bear and grabbing mobs is often someone being a dick when they don't have to be. Tanks in general tank partially because they like to be in control, and a DPS not doing...well, DPS is them not being in control. Some folks deal with that better than others.

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Re: When to go Bear

Postby mekell » Thu May 12, 2011 4:41 pm

It honestly sounds like we are talking semantics. There's a time and place for almost anything, given enough iterations and the perfect set of circumstances. There's never ever going to be one perfect answer that will work for every situation.

I can think of atleast once on halfus with Slate up and both tanks ended up with a high stack of healing debuffs (because of a mistaunt/refresh debuff) and i had to go bear to allow for enough time for one of their debuffs fall off. Certainly not a normal occurance, but it saved that from being a wipe and start over.

There's a time and place for sticking with your role, but forgetting that you are flexible enough to fill in situations in a pinch like that, is borderline silly.

All that to say, the answer to your question highly depends on the situation. In most cases, in a pretty predictable and controlled environment, stick with your role. In the rare, unpredictable situation, its a toss up. Swapping temporarily to another role can save the day, or it can cause more confusion. It just depends on the situation.
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Re: When to go Bear

Postby Qbear » Thu May 12, 2011 4:54 pm

Despite my name I try my best to not go bear, using a pug 5man for example if I'm ever actually in one as a dps I find myself going bear to save my own life in order to stop the damage I take from simply pulling aggro by out gearing the tanks. This is of course my fault and while the tanks do get upset for the aggro pull and the fact that they can no longer regain aggro due to the fact that I am a bear I do not feel horrible if I end up dieing from lack of heals.

In a raid setting I can't even recall the last time I ever went bear. Due to taking 20% increased healing in cat form with SI as well as barkskin I find that if I ever would have to go bear usually means that we're doomed. The only time I've found bear form helpful is if we're progressing on a fight and the tanks have died. Bear form mixed with Fregen and SI can be powerful enough to keep the attempt going just long enough to see if you can land a kill.

However, going bear to stop inc damage in order to simply save myself in a raid setting I've never done. Usually after barkskin and SI if I would then need to go bear for Fregen there's a good chance I'm doing something horribly wrong and could stop myself from going bear on the next attempt with such things as fixing my position on an encounter when raid damage is heavy.

I agree with Mekell going bear form is more of a reactionary feeling instead of something I'm actively thinking about. While our damage is currently nothing to brag about a feral cat's survivability definitely is brag worthy. Usually on fights where most of the raid members die and we're screaming for those left alive to lay in I'm more often then night one of the people laying in and not laying down.

Again I do have the privilege of looking at this from a higher end raiding stand point where most of the time people are playing at the top of their game so going bear loses its flavor to me. I can definitely see how pugging a lot of current raid content how having that extra defensive could prove valuable. Though losing the extra healing and a whole heck of a lot of damage to stay alive a minimal amount of time extra? I'm not quite sure all that would add up to a boss kill unless the only people who have died in your raid group is the tanks and a few of the dps. Then by all means do whatever you can in order to stop "squisher" classes from going down first.

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Re: When to go Bear

Postby felhoof » Thu May 12, 2011 5:12 pm

Again I do have the privilege of looking at this from a higher end raiding stand point where most of the time people are playing at the top of their game so going bear loses its flavor to me. I can definitely see how pugging a lot of current raid content how having that extra defensive could prove valuable. Though losing the extra healing and a whole heck of a lot of damage to stay alive a minimal amount of time extra? I'm not quite sure all that would add up to a boss kill unless the only people who have died in your raid group is the tanks and a few of the dps. Then by all means do whatever you can in order to stop "squisher" classes from going down first.
I think this is a false comparison and not one anyone brought up; it's not about going bear to avoid dying when you pull aggro. The question is when you choose to go bear in order to pull aggro to do certain things, such as take debuffs a tank was taking (and about to die from), taking extra mobs for a couple seconds, taking some hits so the tank can get back in good healing straits, etc.

I don't think anyone's advocating going bear just to live a bit longer, though occasionally I'll do that when the hunter forgets I'm not the tank on an alt-10 man and MDs to me. (bastard!) It's about when you can use bear tactically.

One of the biggest kudos I got from my play against HM LK25 was on our second kill, where he was down to 16% and the tank just died; I ran across the room, taunted him, kited him for a bit while the tank rezzed and got taunted back. That's the sort of thing the OP was talking about.

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Re: When to go Bear

Postby archury » Thu May 12, 2011 5:17 pm

Going bear and taunting off the MT can hurt as much as it can help. Be cautious!

It can be useful in specific situations, MT dies (go for it!), taking a debuff, or even absorbing damage, but the healer and the MT need to know ahead of time.

They each have their own cooldown usage, taunt usage, and healing priorities, and all of those are affected by you taking aggro and requiring tank-healing. If you give them notice before a fight where it may be required, it could be very useful, but if you do it on a whim you're simply bringing more chaos into the fight.

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Re: When to go Bear

Postby felhoof » Thu May 12, 2011 5:22 pm

My wife -who played a healer for a long time - her and I used to run with a fury warrior who was hot stuff and often pulled aggro. He loved playing with her because she'd actually heal him. She always used to say that it was fun playing with him because at least she had something to do on heroics. :) And when it was a problem or she couldn't heal both me and him, she'd choose me, saying simply that she viewed him as a 20k power word shield that ended up killing a random DPS when it popped.

I thought that was awesome. I look at it more like a DPS taking a turn on RoS phase 1, but a taunt from a DPS that takes 80-100k damage is 80-100k damage not going to the tank. That can help some times, organization or no. It's especially good when a cat with thick hide does it; then it's basically like another tank at that point.

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Re: When to go Bear

Postby Qbear » Thu May 12, 2011 5:38 pm

BigTwoHorns wrote:So I am sure that I am not the only Feral out there that has run into a situation where you need to go bear to A) Save from a wipe because the MT died or is close to it B) Survivability, meaning you are about to die yourself. My issue is that (stated in another topic) some MT's hate a druid going bear. Understandable, you queue for DPS not Prot but that's why druids are so versatile right? A few times this week a helped save from a wipe by going bear, hitting FR and SI pulling the aggro from the tank so the healer can work thier magic on them and once in the clear I go back to Cat so what's the problem? You almost never hear a healer QQ because you went caster and hit Tranq to help them out, so why do the tanks QQ because we go bear and if you do need to go bear, when is the best time? Let the discussion begin......


What I was discussing in the section I was quoted on was more based off of the OP's B) Survivability, meaning you are about to die yourself. Going bear has it's uses as I pointed out awhile back in another post for our first kills on Cho'gall I'd go bear and taunt at range to eat the fury cast in order to stop the tanking from eating that debuff. If including older content then bear form has even more uses as many things do given a larger time frame to look at. As Archury said taking a debuff, eating damage (perfect example eating the double attacks on chim in order to stop it from hitting a tank with break) or when the Tanks go down are usually the only times I feel the need to bear up.

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Re: When to go Bear

Postby mekell » Thu May 12, 2011 5:47 pm

Its definitely a reactionary thing for me (since im not a tank, and dont have tanking talents), completely dependent upon the situation. As arch mentioned, in those situations, communication is crucial. Your team needs to either be aware that its going to happen before hand (planned) or notified that it happened in the spur of the moment (unplanned).

In pugs, communication is mostly non-existent and unfortunately these are the types of groups that probably will require the most of this (at least unplanned occurrences). . In core teams (be it 5, 10, 25 man) these unplanned occurrences will be less likely. More likely are the ones that have already been mentioned, chimaeron double attack for example, but the rare unplanned ones do happen (see previous anecdotes).

Since its not clear from the post what the context of the question is (raid, core, pug, 5man, etc) I am left with just trying to speak in as specific generalities as i can (hows that for an oxymoron!).
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Re: When to go Bear

Postby BigTwoHorns » Thu May 12, 2011 5:48 pm

Exactly what I am talking about Fel, I'm not looking to take the tanks spot, I'm not even geared right for my roll as it is so I definitely couldn't carry the rest of the group but just to take some of the damage to prevent a wipe and at times have died doing so but the group makes the kill. Our class is in the game for a reason so why not use it when needed?
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Re: When to go Bear

Postby CaptainCub » Thu May 12, 2011 8:44 pm

There have been plenty of times during BC when cats would go bear and save the day: the raven guards in Sethekk Halls were pretty rough on freshly geared lvl70 tanks, same for some trash packs in MgTerrace and many other instances. Even now I see myself go bear to bash lethal mobs instead of wasting CP's on maiming. Last time I pulled an actual boss was Heroic Halfus when we first downed him and he killed the tank at about 5% boss health, I rocket boosted away from melee range and taunted. Not sure it was the smartest move since it probably caught the guys on interrupt duty off guard but I did it instinctively. It has to run through our veins or something.
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Re: When to go Bear

Postby BigTwoHorns » Thu May 12, 2011 9:35 pm

Never have I gone through a fight and thought that half way through I'd be going bear. It just happens.
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Re: When to go Bear

Postby shinryu » Fri May 13, 2011 12:16 am

For what it's worth, if we're talking like random 5mans and such, I only go bear IF the tank dies off, usually I can change and get off a taunt on something quick enough, and since my "improper" spec also has the talents to be crit immune (since I pulled them off 3 other worthless points for some of the gimmicky ways our raid team does things), I can even last usually enough to stay alive to kill whatever. But yeah, I mean if the tank is alive and you go bear and try pulling without their prior knowledge or anyone else's just because you see it being a wipe situation otherwise, that's kinda being dumb imo as you don't know if that healer will save them or not...

Also, pulling aggro as a kitty = being a badie as well, I mean you're not doing yourself any favors even if you think it could save the day somehow. I'd be willing to bet most of the time one would end up dead and looking like a bad dps who can't watch his aggro rather than understanding any intent of trying to spare the tank a second or 2 of damage...

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Re: When to go Bear

Postby BigTwoHorns » Fri May 13, 2011 11:44 am

I have obviously not said that I have been running 5 mans since my guild is mainly family with not enough members to support 10 mans yet so there is where my point of view is coming from. I apologize for not stating before in my OP. With that said, I had this exact situation come up in ToT last night at Ozumat when the MT died and I went bear. Without a hitch the healer saw my switch and dealt the heals. I pulled the Bohemoth that was on the tank and kited and also pulled a Mindlasher that was going for the healer. Dps was on the other Mindlasher when they started dipping. Before you know it it was a wipe with me dying first because without DPS there isn't much you can do especially on Ozumat so the healer prioritized. After everyone released there were no hard feelings and one "at least we tried". I think that most party members would at least like a chance at not restarting.
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