Friday, January 8, 2010

Bears make the best Raid Leads

At least I think so. But I could be biased.

Bear tanking isn't hard. In fact, if there's one criticism I hear most often about tanking as a Bear it's that it's boring. "You just spam Swipe and Maul." And while it is more complicated than that, if we're being honest here, it's not by much.

I can honestly sleep through my tanking rotation most of the time. Especially on bosses. Maybe all tanks eventually become as familiar with their own rotations as I have with mine. I don't know. But I do know that the timing is so ingrained in my muscle memory that I never have to look at my action bars to see when my cooldowns are up or where to click next (yes, except for Maul and Growl, I'm a clicker). My hand just moves and things just work.

This frees me up to watch every other little thing going on in the Raid. And I do my best to keep a steady stream of communication open with my raid.

Take Jaraxxus, for instance. If you listen to our Vent during that fight, I'm almost constantly talking.

"Incinerate on S, heal S. Portal opening. Incinerate gone. Mistress up, DPS switch. Fel Flames on D, run away. Nether Power. Incinerate on R, heal R. Nether Power gone. Mistress down, back to the boss. Incinerate gone. Mages, watch your threat. Volcano incoming. First infernal up. Fel Flames on M, run away. Second Infernal up. Infernal aggroed on M, get it back."

Even though the majority of our raiders have DBM running, and I keep mine announcing to the raid, things just seem to run tighter and more efficiently with that open line of voice communication. People respond to it better. DBM is just information and warnings. But a voice of knowledge and authority is an order. People respond much more readily to orders, especially when they're willing to be lead. This isn't just true in WoW, but in any team activity. (I play hockey and have seen this to be just as effective on the ice.)

Yes, there's more to being a Raid Lead than just calling out what's going on in a fight. But I'd say it's one of the most singularly important things a raid lead can do. And given the overall simplicity of a Bear tanking rotation, I still believe there's no class better suited to doing just that than we are.
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