Monday, September 15, 2008

Election '08 -- Meet the Contenders

No, I'm not going political on you guys. I'm not talking about THAT election '08, but something much, much more important. Ok, ok, so it's not really more important, but it's nonetheless a big decision I've been struggling with: Which toon to make my main in Wrath.

As someone with 6 level 70 toons (and a shadow priest that may or may not get there as well), I have plenty of options. Some are mainstream candidates. Others, just third party options that are about as likely to make the cut as Nader. But in the spirit of fairness and disclosure, lets meet all of the candidates.

The Incumbents: It's really hard to decide which one is the true incumbent. One was my main throughout most of TBC progression, as well as during vanilla WoW. The other is technically my main at the moment, but hasn't really done much while in office.

Surania (Druid, Feral): The namesake of this blog, and my longtime favorite. With Surania, I would return fulltime to the tanking scene, and that is a situation the polls say voters (IE: Me and, to a lesser extent, my guild) want to see happen. While Surania at one time seemed to have this election in the bag, recent concerns regarding her ability to tank in Northrend have muddied the waters. Resolution of that problem, alone, could settle this race once and for all!

Kirari (Warlock, Affliction): While he currently holds the title of main, his support has been slipping lately. While he represents the largest constituency out there, the DPS party, the voters tend to want somebody from outside the mainstream. He's not giving up without a fight, though. Over the past months, he's come out with a solid platform of change for the affliction spec, including DoTs that crit, Shadowbolts that. . . can crit, and a very promising, albeit dead, running mate.

The Challengers: While it's most probable that either Kirari or Surania will be taking top billing on my WotLK play ticket, there are some challengers waiting in the wings that still have a chance.

Jasminne (Paladin, Protection): She's not currently a resident of the United Toons of Prophecy, but this gal from The Ugly Future is still eligible. While it would be hard for her to uproot from her kobold family to return to Prophecy, she would not have a problem being accepted there, as she has already performed some threat-keeping missions there. Her biggest strengths are her ability to go head-to-head with Surania as a tank, and her ability to dress appropriately (We hear Surania plans to wear DPS leather, a rather brazen move). She would have the stigma of being an apparent guild flip-flopper to contend with, though, as she would leave TUF in a bit of a bind.

Kibler (Hunter, Survival): A surprise contender in the race, Kibler has started to hint at possibly throwing her hat into the election ring as well. Another member of the DPS party, she has an ace up her sleeve to differentiate her from Kirari: Some of her cabinet members are tanks! Being such a forward thinking bipartisan is a huge plus in today's election, as Polls show that the voter (singular) is very attracted to the tank side of the aisle, but at the same time knows that there's really very limited room for the tanks in WoW Raiding, with only one or two in your average 25-man quorum.

The Green Party: Don't get me wrong, I do like my mage and shaman, but I just don't see them as main-toon material. Even if I wanted to play Chalith as a main, he is currently the leader of the First Bank of Dave, a hard position to give up, especially when it affords you the title of <Grand Magus>. As for Kornaq. . . well, lets face it, resto shamans just aren't doing well in the post-Wrath debates, and Kornaq is the least experienced of them all, to boot.

So, that's the current field of eligible 70s, in a nutshell. And as much as I'd love to enfranchise my readership, I suspect that you all would be a tad biased toward a certain four-footed fleabag (Four Footed Fleabag. . . that sounds like a great Blog Title!).

Oh well, at least if I make the wrong choice, I'm not stuck with it for another four to eight years, eh?


Karthis said...

Silly bear - druids will be fine main tanks. Blue post after blue post has stated this when discussing tanking. A recent example:

Just read the tanking part.

Bottom line: even if we're busted on beta right now, that doesn't mean we won't be fixed by WotLK release date. It'll all work out.

Karthis said...

More blue love today - read the druid section:

SuraBear said...

Yes, I have read all of the posts where Ghostcrawler says feral druids will be viable, and druids will scale. I have yet to see any indication of how they're going to achieve that, though, and with 3.0 patch testing already starting on the PTR, it's looking less and less likely that the issues will be addressed before these changes to our class' function goes live.

Frankly, most of what he has said sounds more like "Druids may get a little base boost, but they will scale just fine". But I just don't see how a class that will be scaling with agility (at a 40-to-one-dodge ratio) and armor is going to be able to competitively scale against classes that scale with agility, armor, dodge rating, parry rating, block rating, block value, defense rating, and strength.

It seems to me that even if we are all equal in Naxx in terms of mitigation, by the time we all hit Icecrown Citadel, bear tanks will have incredible threat, but no mitigation boosts to back it up.

PS: It's nice that they're going to try to avoid encounters like RoS and Illidan where key parts of the encounter require abilities like shield block. However, from what I'm hearing, it's now impossible to tank through nasty enrages like the one Maexxna has.

PPS: Found a link. Paragraph 2.

SuraBear said...

Edit: Forgot to say that the reason bears are having problems tanking through enrages is the lack of a shield wall-like talent. Some form of on-demand mitigation (not just a health boost) is needed.

Druidus said...

Im trying to decide which toons to level to 80 as well... and just like you Im trying to decide between my aff lock and my feral drood...
I love tanking (and dpsing when needed) but looks bad from what I see in wotlk.

In the good side of news: barkskin is now useable in forms... it may serve as a "oh shit" button. Its something...

Stupid Mage said...

Whichever one is your gatherer. If it also happens to be Tank or DPS even better.

Stupid Mage said...

Whichever one is your gatherer, even better if it's DPS or Tank.

Mitch said...

I still think I'll be leveling my druid as a main. The question of how we scale as we continue into later tiers will still come into question, but at the moment we're doing well. It will be a lot easier for them to change druids in the future from a standpoint of gear/talents rather than change how a boss works like they would have to do in BC to make us more viable on certain fights.

The link you show with someone saying they couldn't survive the enrage has their character at 79 weeks after the post >.< I still agree that our 'oh crap' buttons are still lacking compared to warriors and DKs (and our spell interrupt is still lacking), but we should have a shot at all the bosses. This guy may have posted before the barksin in form was added, to be honest.

In entry level Naxx they said we're taking the least amount of damage (assuming we're appropriately geared, of course). How this scales will be the difference, but like I said as long as they only have to change us as compared to boss mechanics we should be alright.

Mitch said...

The post about druids having the best mitigation in tests for Naxx.

Walter said...

So who did you end up picking?

I've got a similar dilema, I have a 70 of each class (well my DK is only 60, but you get the point) and I'm not sure who'll end up being my main at 80.

My holy pally was my main at 60, then my bear druid was 70... but I really didn't like what they did to him with 3.0. I guess I'll have to wait and see how he tanks at 80, but I'm leaning towards my warrior at the moment.

Right now I'd call my druid my OOM tank, lots of health but poor mitigation, lot of work for healers to keep alive.

SuraBear said...

Jasminne won, with Kibler as her running mate (by necessity, he's my miner, she's a JC/Blacksmith). I love tanking, but druid got so boring (Mangle, Swipe, Swipe . . . Profit)

I just feel like I'm actively tanking on Jasminne, not just holding down a button and watching the show. Plus, I don't have to frantically press half a dozen abilities just to get a single emergency button worth a damn.

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