In previous guilds I was in, I always had a tendency to OT. I loved playing what I always thought was the optimal OT. The tank that can hold aggro and have a huge health pool but do decent damage if needed in cat form. Even in single tank fights, I could be the one to jump up and save the day if the tank went down.
When moving from the feral role to the moomkin role, it took a change in mentality to approach fights. These are just a few of the things I had to change my thinking on handling fight mechanics.
1) Specific time for specific actions – Yes, there are times as feral tanks where we need to blow cooldowns to help protect ourselves or give healers some time. However, when holding aggro, it just seems fine to push three buttons to keep Mangle going, Lacerate up, and dump rage with Maul while throwing in the occasional Swipe. Do not think I’m saying that feral tanking is easy. Not by any stretch. But as a tank, as long as I had aggro and I was staying alive, I was doing my job. However, when I started playing moomkin, I found that I was having to pay attention to additional details to maximize DPS. Did I Faerie Fire the target? Am I in lunar or solar eclipse? Although the eclipse is finished, do I still have a cooldown where I should still be casting the opposite spell to proc the other eclipse? Are my DoTs up? Am I clipping my DoTs? What is my Starfall’s remaining cooldown? What is my treant’s remaining cooldown? Forgetting just one of these and my performance suffers.
2) Different raid awareness – When tanking, I knew if I had to move a boss or keep him there or whether I needed to taunt. However, when moving to moomkin, I had to realize that it takes a completely different raid awareness to play a ranged DPS. First, I had to start watching aggro meters more closely. This was especially true during Lunar Eclipse and Starfall. Second, range became more important in two respects. First, I didn’t want to be close to anybody else in some fights due to fight mechanics. Second, it also took looking at the range for targets and location to be able to DPS. For example, in Blood Council, the tanks are in three different locations. Normally, where I start a fight, I can hit all the targets at once except for Prince Keleseth, who is being ranged tank. If I see it jump to him, I know I have to move.
3) Different fight strategy – Tanks and ranged DPS tend to have two different strategies for every fight. For example, in Saurfang, it is alternating tanking and taunting while avoiding AoE like Swipe around the Blood Beast to prevent them from pulling onto me. Now as boomkin, I tend to use AoE with Typhoon/Starfall. In addition, I actually have to watch for Blood Beast aggro. This is just one example of a fight where your strategy changes when moving from tank to ranged DPS. This is true for every fight you encounter as well and you have to learn those mechanics from the ranged DPS perspective. I also had to learn what was optimal for each fight. In Rotface, I could move with each Slime Spray and move back behind the boss afterwards. However, when learning the fight and learning that Rotface has no cleave, it means that I learned that I only have to move if the Slime Spray is in my general direction. Learning that I could stand in one place until absolutely necessary to move helped increase my DPS drastically.
However, with both classes, I learned that the biggest thing is research. Just like life, you never stop learning your class or spec. In my next blog post, I’m going to review my guild history and talk about how I moved from very casual guilds to hardcore guilds and what you need to do if you are ready to take the plunge into progression raiding.