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Adventures in Beta: Off-spec tankland


One of the first things you'll notice in The Burning Crusade is that just about everyone is an "off-spec." Since the primary focus of the first months of TBC will be to level as fast as you can, most people choose the highest damage-dealing talent build they can have for more efficient soloing. This makes perfect sense while everyone's soloing, but what do you do when you get into an instance? The old paradigm of "warrior, healer, three damage-dealers" goes out the window.

The most startling boost to off-specs is what's happened to feral druids and protection pallies. Before BC, almost all parties used a warrior as a tank. But because of increased threat generation for properly-specced druids and a general increase in paladin tanking abilities, both druids and pallies have been tanking endgame instances without too much difficulty. Druids now have better threat generation than warriors, making them possibly superior tanks for aggro-sensitive fights. Monday night, I tagged along as what I assumed to be an experienced bear druid tanked two wings of Hellfire Citadel without issue -- and then changed into nearly full Tier 3 to show us that this wasn't exactly what he usually did in instances.

Given that warriors were always the primary tanks of Warcraft, it's not surprising that the new competition from paladins and druids has some warriors a bit miffed. In a totally non-scientific poll on the beta forums, 90 percent of respondents preferred non-warrior tanks for 5-man instances (according to the poll's author, a rogue.)

What do you think? Should paladins and druids have equal tanking skills to warriors, or should warriors always be the first choice when a party is looking for a meat shield?

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