Color me worried.
As much as I can appreciate what the Devs are doing to Feral tanking and DPS changes with more gear options and the like I can’t help but be concerned about the future and how we are going to be perceived socially after the change.
In BC we were for the most part regulated to OT status, more or less a redheaded stepchild of tanking and DPS. Of course this was mostly perception as many druids proved they could MT and DPS with the best, but perception more or less still dictated our involvement on the end game raiding level.
Now in Wrath we get a Quasi AoE ability and fights were made so that we no longer have attacks coming from bosses that we cannot defend. So here we are wide open to start filling MT roles right?
Well I don’t know… realistically most guilds already have warriors entrenched as MT’s and Pallies still thought of as the AoE adds specialist. It more or less leaves as the OT/DPS role we are used to… which is fine with me by the way however…
Before we would go to a raid and at least where weapons were concerned we had our feral staff to get and that was it. Now we are going to possibly want a nice 2H or 1H tanking mace that most guilds are going to naturally assume will go to the MT or even Pally adds tank before a feral druid even having a shot. Irregardless if the mace is better than whatever feral staff that drops I doubt seriously the guild would be happy if you out DKP the MT for an Epic mace. So are we really getting anything? The same thing is going to apply for trinkets or necks that include something like block or parry if they end up giving bears that mechanic as well.
I guess if you happen to be your guilds established MT it just means you have a shot at getting geared up faster, however if you tend to be OT/DPS or 3rd Tank/DPS option do you really see having this gear sharing as a positive? I know I don’t and I will be surprised if I don’t get at least a little hostility the first time I want to roll on that DPS Epic leather the rogues are drolling over or the Mace the warriors specifically have been waiting multiple runs for. I don’t see how I am going to get a rogue to believe those leather shoulders are a big tanking upgrade and that I am not trying to steal DPS gear from them like the old days.
Bottom line is you have to questions how much of the social part of the game the Devs understand. Sure, before we might have had to wait a long time for an upgrade or farm a certain area or location for weeks for a certain peice of gear but after years of not competing with other tanks for drops and being thought of a 2nd or 3rd option for tanking most fights do you really see this change being welcomed with open arms?
I guess only time will tell.