In case you missed it, my column for WoW Insider this week discussed feral tank/DPS hybrids again. Kal and I (along with others) got into a good discussion in the comments, which I’d like to explore more thoroughly, since I believe both sides to the argument have merit. Let’s look at things from a time management perspective:
First, theorize a fight with the following parameters:
- Length: 8 minutes, given current raid DPS.
- Tank death at some point in the fight.
- Brez not possible, to make things easier. (Either someone else died earlier, or the boss kills half the raid before the rez goes off, or whatever.)
- It takes your guild 5 minutes to rez/run back/drink/rebuff/etc.
So, there’s three scenarios.
1) Raid wipes. 0% chance of successful kill. Time lost = rez time + time elapsed during the wipe. (Let’s say you die halfway in, so say 5m + 4m = 9m).
2) Herobear fails. Time lost = Scenario 1 time lost + herobear time. (Let’s say you extend each wipe by 2 minutes.)
3) Herobear succeeds. Time lost = 0 minutes.
Given the above, it’s an easy calculation: Herobear needs to succeed only 22% of the time to make it a worthwhile choice.
Obviously, you can tweak the parameters some based on your perceptions, which will affect the calculations. Longer runback times or quicker herobear fails (which tend to be my experience) will decrease the success rate needed to be worthwhile.
Why am I looking at this from a time management perspective? Well, I figure for most guilds, the majority of their time is spent on farm content. Anything that speeds farm content = more gear/more reps on progression content. For top-tier guilds, unless they deliberately choose to use a feral DPS as an temp OT (say as a drake tank on H Halfus), this won’t make much of a difference, as they generally spend less time on farm content, and are good at fast wipes. They also are more likely to be challenging content that has a DPS check as a part of every encounter (vs. normal where many fights simply test execution, like Atramedes or V&T). Oh, and it’s also much less useful in 25man raiding.
I’m rambling, but I think my final point is this: You already have a choice between marginal DPS talents (Primal Madness, Predatory Strikes) and personal survivability talents (Nurturing Instincts, Perseverance). I simply propose that bear talents are a third option; not always desirable, but very useful in the right situations. (It absolutely rocks for heroics.)