Ribeye

Level 80 Tauren Feral Druid

  Ribeye is the toon that I consider as my main, and will likely remain so. He was one of the characters that I made as a part of my grand plan to represent all classes and professions. Being that he’s a Tauren, I used his natural inclination towards Herbalism and paired it with Alchemy for his profession set. Rib was initially planned out as my healing character, and he was actually Resto-specced all of the way to level 68. Sometime around then, I decided to go Feral “just to finish out all of the quests”… and I’ve never really been able to go back to Resto.

  I love healing with him, it’s great fun. In fact, it’s a point of pride to me that his healing gear is good enough that, were I to spec it, I’m easily on par with any other healer in my Guild. In BC, I could heal any regular 5-man very effectively without even respeccing from my 0/47/14 build… it’s just that, well – I’m a tank now. On the nights that I could raid, I was the the one in the Guild that drew tank duty for Gruul, Magtheridon, and anything else that we were after. It’s an honor to do it, for sure – and it’s kind of a curse, too. I’ve built Ribby up to be a stout enough tank that I don’t often get a chance to use any other toon in a raiding situation, because he’s usually the one that represents the best option to tank.

  Honestly, I don’t think for a moment that I’m the most skilled tank in my Guild. I’m probably somewhere around #3 or 4, really – and that’s on my best day. But, this is a Druid, and Druid tanks are really simple in raids. Once you gear them out right (and Ribby has every tank-related Badge reward, plus everything tank-related that he could use from available content), they’re pretty darn durable. I don’t need to remember to hit shield block, spell reflect, or any of that. Just hunker down and Mangle-Maul-Lacerate away. That’s the simple version, real tanking is much more complex – but for most any boss fight, once you have the right movement mechanics down, that’s really about all that there is to it.

  I really started to grasp the power of a Druid tank during the last Winter Solstice event, when Omen roams Moonglade. I had only recently dinged 70, and my gear was scarcely good enough to tank heroics at that point, so certainly a long ways from where I am now. Anyhow, I was putzing around Moonglade for the festival and eventually wandered over to Omen. I enjoyed watching him punish one noob after another that ran up thinking “I’m gonna solo him!”, but I eventually started thinking “I wonder how hard he’s hitting?” So, full tank gear and in I go for a data sample. Predictably, he mopped the cobblestones with my furry butt. Not so predictably, the combat log results looked manageable! I got to thinking how fun it would be for a couple of Hordies to show the gathered Night Elf Hunters and Gnome Rogues how we roll, so I messaged a friend of mine who has a Holy Paladin in the top Horde Guild on the server to see if he’d be interested. He was, and the two of us hooked up with a level 68 or so Resto Shaman and kicked off the fun. I’m sure that we were pretty amusing to them for a bit as well, 3 Hordies going at it with the Big Boy… but we hung in there! After a few minutes, they started to believe, with more and more people gradually joining in from both Factions until – about 15 minutes later (!) – we dropped him! That might have been my first intentional screenshot moment.

  Since hitting 80, Ribeye has fallen back to more limited duty. I’m still pretty off-put by the continual flux that is Feral Druiding, so I haven’t really put the focus into it that I should. He’s managed enough heroics, plus a few forays into Naxxramas, that he’s at least serviceable in nearly all of the 10-man content for tanking, and into the 25-man “Onyxia style” stuff too, but really not much beyond that. I’d like to get him a little more time, but I’m hitting a similar issue with using him vs. Manchego that I had with tanking – namely, my regular group is fairly dependant on Manch occupying a healer slot, so I just can’t afford to play as Rib. So, I’ll continue to pick up what I can with him, and he’ll use up a spot for a raid ID when Manch has one. It’s a slower developmental curve, sure – but I’m tanking infrequently enough now that it’s kind of fun again.

Feral Ribby

Feral Ribby

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