So I was in line at the grocery store the other day when the array of magazines at the checkout stand caught my eye. Useless People Weekly was running a quiz that promised to tell you things you already knew about yourself if you would consent to answer several questions and tally the results.
"Huh," said I. "What a marvelously scientific approach." But it gave me, as they say, ideas.
If you've never played a druid before, are you interested in knowing which spec best suits your personality? If you play a druid, are you interested in being told things you already know about yourself?
You are at the start of a 5-man run. The tank is a total ass and spends the first few minutes snapping at the group and issuing commands. How do you handle this?
- Grit your teeth and get on with it. The DPS queue is too damn long.
- I am the tank. I am the law.
- Rip aggro from the son of a bitch 5 seconds into the pull. Blow all your cooldowns and scream, "Faster, pussycat! Kill! Kill!"
- Question the state of affairs that led to speccing as you did and realize that everyone will blame you for whatever goes wrong with this run anyway.
- "Yeah, melee sucks on this fight. I feel awful for you. Just terrible. Whoops! There's the damage meter. Butterfingers!"
- "SIT down and SHUT the goddamn hell up. I'm pulling."
- "Red rum. Red rum. Red rum. Red rum. Fire kitty staff! Red rum."
- Nothing, just sobbing.
- Hell no.
- Is she single?
- Yes. They knew the risk when they died.
- I'm too busy trying to get my resting heart rate out of cardiac arrest territory after that near-wipe. Really, could the DPS in this raid be more useless?
- Necrophilia is a victimless crime. Don't judge.
- Blizzard hates healers and the Tree lacks the necessary animation to make this dream a reality.
- Ooh, math. Let me get my slide rule.
- I am a large animal without the capacity for abstract thought.
- I don't care if it's an upgrade. I killed and ate the rogue who was my only competition.
- Well, let me see ... I'm actually pretty close to the next Wild Growth breakpoint, but I'd have to regem everything in order to make it. But is that really a good idea when I mostly tank heal, anyway? WG was only 14% of my healing on that last fight, and once I account for the intellect loss it ... hey! HEY! I'm not finished! Don't give it to the stupid priest!
- Deal with the who in the what now? Would this require being social?
- I try to mediate between the feuding parties and stress everyone's common interest in the stability and goals of the guild.
- I started it.
- Look, guys, we've got better things to do than --wait, how is this my fault again? I just logged on! Why are you bringing my mother into this? Oh yeah? Well, screw you too!
- Maintaining the same respectful distance from quarreling guildies as you do from angry bosses is generally good policy in life.
- We are a team! We cannot let these momentary differences divide us! We can overcome the -- f*%$ it, I'll be at the bar.
- Counter every argument made by your antagonist, roll an opposite-faction character to gank his alts, order 30 pizzas to have sent to his address, and spread rumors about an inflatable sheep viewable on his webcam. This is what Clausewitz meant by total war.
- You know what? It's not worth it. If people want to be idiots on the forums, they're free to -- where the hell are all of these pizzas coming from?
- Trap him on an elevated pathway somewhere and Typhoon his ass into the abyss. Laugh merrily.
- You're funny. I don't stoop to revenge. In this spec.
- Quietly stalk him through the entire zone, alternately stunning or bleeding him and then melting back into the brush to restealth. Repeat until the player in question suffers a psychotic episode.
- Nothing. The amount of time and effort involved in killing me was punishment enough.
- Write an impassioned, literate, and expertly reasoned defense of the supposedly overpowered mechanic on the forums. Watch it get nerfed anyway.
- Sit back and relax, secure in the knowledge that nothing could possibly be worse than what happened in patch 4.0.6. Learned helplessness, go!
- Are you kidding? My spec started out so godawful that six years into the game they're still buffing us into something resembling viability.
- Drink heavily. This has all happened before, and it will happen again.
Mostly 1: Congratulations! You're a moonkin!
Long the red-headed stepchild of the druid class, the moonkin -- funnily enough -- was really the ultimate winner of all the Cataclysm changes. For the moment, you're running with the big dogs at the top of the damage meters, but how long is that going to last?
Not long. We know our history. But we also know enough to appreciate the good times while they're around. You're kind of nerdy, aren't you? I mean, more so than usual. But keep kicking ass and taking names, you feathery, pie-chart-making numbers-butt.
Mostly 2: Congratulations! You're a bear!
Wow. You used to be special. You laughed at a raid boss' feeble attempts to destroy you and rocked the only specialized off-tank spec in the game. Not that that was really a great niche, but oh man, those were the days. You had your own gear, your own weapons. You didn't spend half your life looking like you shopped in the Agility Users' Consignment Shop. I ask you -- Ubi sunt?
These days, you're embattled on all sides and face a small and possibly shrinking share of the tank population, and your most distinguishing feature is a giant ass in the center of the screen. That might sound depressing to other players, but screw that! You'll endure. It's what you do. The bear abides. Come at me, bro.
Mostly 3: Congratulations! You're a cat!
In all likelihood, you're also probably a sociopath. Really, you might want to get help for that. You stun, bleed, and bite things to death, had a talent called Feast of Flesh in the beta (later changed to Blood in the Water), and persist in playing a spec that's spent the first portion of Cataclysm battling enhancement shaman for the bottom of the damage meters, so you're also probably a masochist. But you got bears nerfed, so I have no sympathy for you. Monster.
Mostly 4: Congratulations! You're a tree!
Well, you're usually a caster and only sometimes a tree, but whatever form you occupy -- it's your fault. Repeat that to yourself as many times as necessary until you've accustomed yourself to the feel of being blamed for everything. Tank died? Your fault. Mage stood in Le Bad™? Your fault. European currency crisis? Also your fault. At this point you're probably a bitter, vengeful husk of a human being who heals through the power of concentrated hate and has never forgiven Blizzard for killing constant Tree form.
The little voice that has wormed its way into the back of your head whispers: They are all against you.
Shifting Perspectives helps you gear your bear druid at 85, tempts you with weapons, trinkets and relics for bears, then shows you what to do with it all in Feral Druid Tanking 101. We'll also help you gear your resto druid.