earth to druids… come in please…

October 30, 2009

There’s a post over at wow.com that has set me a bit of a challenge. The post is about bear tanks, but makes the valid point that we don’t have any clear data on the popularity of the various druid forms. There’s a pretty simple reason for that – the armoury data doesn’t provide any direct way of getting such a count.

Still, we don’t let little obstacles like that get in our way. What we need are some data items that can be used as proxies for what we want to count. Unfortunately I’m far from being a druid expert, so I’m looking for suggestions on what items to use.

What we basically want is a talent, or a glyph (or maybe a gem) that bears will want to equip and cats not. And then something that’s vice versa – something that cats will have and bears not. One talent or glyph, or several… whatever makes the most sense. All suggestions on this are most welcome.

(Thanks to the commenters who have already made suggestions on other threads; I’ll be taking those comments on board.)

If I can get suggestions for both talents and glyphs then I can run more that one query and see how well the numbers match up.

I’d imagine that, with dual specs, players who liked both forms would have a spec for each. In any case, going from specs to forms and getting a count against the total druid population should tell us something interesting.

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12 Responses to “earth to druids… come in please…”

  1. Eq Says:

    Glyph of Roar = 100% Tanking
    Glyph of Survival Instincts = 100% tanking (maybe pvp?)
    Glyph of Maul = Tanking = 100% tanking.

    Glyph of Rip = Cat DPS
    Glyph of Shred = Cat DPS

    I would also look at the talent Thick Hide, I would think this would be mainly for Tanks as well.

  2. Eq Says:

    Euhm Glyph of Roar, should be of Growl, darn those friday mornings.

  3. Keltar Says:

    Natural Reaction,thick hide and Protector of the Pack are the talents that any feral druid takes. (2 of them only active in bear form.) If not they are playing some strange spec version of it.
    For glyphs:
    -Growl
    -Survival Instincts
    -Maul
    -Frenzied Regeneration

  4. sollaires Says:

    Protector of the Pack is a core bear talent as well. Pure cats won’t waste points on this one.

    Predatory Instincts on the same tier is specifically a cat talent.

    Each of these are 3 points talents that only buff cat OR bear. They’re deep enough that it’s very hard to get both of them.

    I’d guess these are better predictors than glyphs as I see feral druids with poor glyph choices all the time.

    Taking a super quick look at talentchic.com, the top feral builds all seem to have PotP or PT but not both. I can see some builds having both of these but they would definitely be a “hybrid” build that allow tanking or DPSing in the same fight and that’s rarely needed anymore.

  5. K Says:

    People make individual choices for their glyphs, but many of them improve abilities that are only available in one form or the other. A quick rundown of feral Glyphs:

    Glyph of Mangle – both forms have a mangle ability, this could be used in both

    Glyph of Berserk – both forms have berserk available, this could be used in both

    Glyph of Savage Roar – Savage Roar is only available in cat form.

    Glyph of Rake – Rake is only available in cat form.

    Glyph od Shred – Shred is only available in cat form.

    Glyph of Rip – Rip is only available in cat form.

    Glyph of Claw – Cat only ability. Claw shouldn’t make it onto a feral druids bars after they get mangle, so using this glyph is pointless.

    Glyph of Survival Instincts – Survival Instincts is available in both forms, but glyphing for it would mostly make sense to a bear.

    Glyph of Growl – Growl is only available in bear form.

    Glyph of Maul – Maul is only availble in bear form.

    Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration – Frenzied regeneration is only available in bear form.

    Hope this helps!

  6. Veyska Says:

    *Natural Reaction* and *Protector of the Pack (both talents) seem to be bear-only talents far’s I can look at the them. Infected Wounds and Thick Hide also tend to be bear-ish, but not exclusively so I wouldn’t rely on them. Bears aren’t likely to have Nurturing Instinct but I see a lot of cat specs without NI as well. *Predatory Instincts* is primarily cat. Right now King of the Jungle’s probably mostly cat, but that’ll start changing I suspect once top-end druids get their hands on T10 bonuses.

    *Glyphs of Maul/Frenzied Regen/Growl/Survival Instincts/Challenging Roar* are all bear-ish.
    *Glyphs of Savage Roar/Rip/Shred* are all cat-ish.

    As far as gems, bears aren’t likely to use str & ArP gems and cats aren’t likely to use sta, but most other gems (like agi/sta or even agi/hit) can crop up in both specs. Bears use Austere Earthsiege for their meta generally and cats will use Relentless Earthsiege (though Chaotic Skyflare’s pretty good too).

  7. Kadaan Says:

    On the talents side, these are important tanking talents skipped for dps:

    Thick Hide
    Survival Instincts
    Natural Reaction

    And these are important dps talents skipped for tanking:
    Shredding Attacks
    King of the Jungle
    Natural Shapeshifter
    Master Shapeshifter

    Hybrid specs will often pick up the 3 tanking talents as well as the first 2 dps talents, and drop something else like Infected Wounds and Primal Precision.

  8. zardoz Says:

    Thanks all. I’m out of internet range for the weekend BTW, so don’t worry if you don’t see your new comment till Monday.

  9. Grimmenthal Says:

    Just a point: I know a few feral druids (myself included) whose primary spec is a cat-bear hybrid PvE spec, and whose secondary spec is a feral PvP spec. This is for those of us who enjoy both PvE and PvP, and the all-purpose PvE spec is great for off-tank types who often play both bear and cat roles within a single fight.

    I’m kind of curious to know how many others are doing this as well, but I’m sure it’s a doozie to figure out with datamining.

  10. zardoz Says:

    Yes, it does get a bit complicated…

  11. Omen Says:

    You may be able to isolate the unkown specs by focusing on feral druids that are actively raiding. Check the achievements to set a raider criteria and you will probably see a lot fewer specs show at that point. Then again, your results may not be generalizable to the entire 80 feral population either.

  12. zardoz Says:

    Using achievements is a good idea, but I suspect the that the same basic issue will come up – the distribution of specs just doesn’t tend to cluster around the bear/cat poles.


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