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  1. #1
    The Hatchery bigolbear's Avatar
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    Dec 2009

    Default druid: bear form tanking - a comparison, issues and bugs.

    Druids come in many flavours.

    We have no doubt seen many:
    wolf druids - they are popular and seem to make for semi decent self sufficient mele.
    elemental caster speced - they work, not as much oomph as a sorc but more defence and easier heals.
    healer speced druids - they work for questing - debate is still flowing as to how well for raids.

    In this post I aim to address the concept of bear form druids, the kind we see the least of.

    Now wheras a wolf is designed to do mele dps, a bear is designed to tank.

    end game bears gain
    +15% ac.
    +4 con.
    +50% threat.
    single target intimidating attack. evey 12 seconds.

    They may also gain:
    15% heal amp or a small bonus to PRR dependant on prestige.
    up to 6DR after performing an intimidate.
    BUGGED: +2d6 force damage to enemies below 50% health - this feature is described as having 100% proc rate, it does not.

    They do not gain:
    BUGGED?: bonus to threat from having a sheild equiped after performing an intimidate - Im of the opinion this is a bug, my character clearly has a sheild equiped - they should gain the bonus.
    BUGGED?: sheild bash attacks - Im not certain whether they should or not to tell the truth, im aware that druids attacks when wild shaped are a special case scenario.
    BUGGED?: viable access to combat expertise as even animal form attacks count as spells and thus suffer the hefty cool down penalties.
    Heavy armour/tower sheilds: by default a druid does not have these, any druid serious about tanking will either splash fighter for these feats or splash monk for earth stance.

    In comparison to a stalwart:
    stalwarts in stance gets:
    +3 ac
    +6 intim.
    +3 max dex.
    additional blocking ac/dr.
    40 prr.
    +150% threat.
    +6 STR
    +6 CON
    +3 to all saves
    +40% ac.
    +20% hit points.
    +6 DR at all times.

    I believe the base damage per attack of a fighter stalwart and a STR/CON based druid will be comparable assuming the druid has TOD rings.

    All this puts a bear form tanking druid significantly behind in perfromance compared to a fighter stalwart.

    Now Id like to take this point to try and be clear - THEY SHOULD BE A LITTLE BEHIND because a druid is not a specialist at any one thing. The trouble is when it comes to tanking, the nature of the beast is its some what all or nothing. If you cant hold agro vs the high damage dealers you cant tank, its a prety binary equation - and curently bear form tanks are woefuly under powered.

    My suggestion there fore is as folows.
    Bear from to grant + 50% stacking threat, +2 stacking STR/CON and +10% ac, +15% hit points, +10 prr
    Dire bear from to grant + 100% stacking threat, +4 stacking STR/CON + 20% ac, +30% hit points, +20 prr
    Animal form spells to be changed to work diferently - SEE BELOW (WILD SHAPE ABILITIES)
    Natures warrior to grant bears: + 10/ + 20 prr.
    Capstone to grant bears : 1.5 x cool down for non amimal spells, +10 prr.
    revisit the bear from attack animation - its is slow and sluggish with horid delays - bears should have the exact same attack rate as a sword and board user.

    All of this will STILL put a stalwart ahead by a significant margin in terms of defence - especialy AC, but should give bears a decent chance of holding agro. It also gives a flavour to bear tanks in that they will resemble 'meat bags' with lots of hp but easier to damage in comparison to an armoured humanoid.

    Now lets take a look at epic destinies.

    The obvious tanking destiny is unyeliding sentinal. On the surface this desiny offers equal benefit to both stalwarts and bear form tanks. When we dig a little deeper tho...

    All the abilites that grant additional weapon effects may bug out on a druid. The reason is that there are only so many 'slots' for additional weapon effects, and much of a mele druids dps comes from these - TOD rings, natural weapon bufs etc.

    Now one point about running a druid is their versatility - and we all love versatility right.
    It seems to me that there are 4 or 5 abilities (ie spells) for each wild shape form. Much of a druids versatility is supposed to come from the ability to change form quickly and easily.

    There is a significant problem tho - each ability(spell) is treated seperately and every time a druid wild shapes they need to rearange their damn task bars/hot keys. This is frankly a pain in the butt and leads most druid players to 'picking one form'.

    There is a second issue in that animal form abilities are considered spells - this absolutly should not be the case. It prevents bear tanks from taking advantage of the feat combat expertise, and wolf dpsers from taking advantage of things like madstone rage.

    Id there fore suggest:
    each wild shape form to get 1 to 5 abilites that are locked out by druid lvl - these abilities MAY have a spell point cost but do not count as spells - instead they count as tactical abilities with a cost - like stunnign fist.
    The wild shape feat will grant 5 extra free feats which can be dragged to takbar slots - called wild shape ability 1 to 5. When a wild shape form is assumed these ailites will be filled in by appropriate abilities to that form. This system will also pave the way for things like polymorph and shapeshift spells to easily grant abilities relevant to form.

    roar: change to - perform an intimidate check + gain 50% threat.
    rising fury: looks great in principle, in practice not so much. id suggest lowering cool down so it can be kept up.
    unstopable: this is prety darn useless, infact its more like suicide mode. change to:
    you cannot cast spells for the duration, your animal abilities are unaffected. gain +5 damage, imunity to hold, sleep, paralysis, energy drain, every attack you perfrom has both a chance to stun and a chance to trip based on 10+ half druid lvl + wisdom mod + relevant tactics, duration 15 seconds - cool down 1 mins. you are considered raged.
    Tremor: performs a great cleave attack (+2W) that tips opponents on a failed REFLEX (curently fort wich is odd) save DC = 10 + half druid lvl + wisdom + vertigo mod.

    and lastly.....

    Gearing a druid is a royal pain in the backside - especialy if you go outside the norms with your build. There are very few options for natural materials, even many of the obviously natural material named items arent. I find it somewhat ironic that the same update that druids were introduced natural material gear was removed.

    1. wooden towersheilds to drop as random loot.
    2. darkleaf to be added back to random loot.
    3. brigandine, and splint mail to be added back - each with a 50% chance of being either wooded or metal.
    4. hide armour to come back.
    5. various named items to be changed to natural materials - eg stone meld plate to be 'stone'
    Ex Euro player from devourer: Charaters on orien(Officer of Under Estimated & Nightfox): Wrothgar, Cobolt, Shadeweaver, TheMetal, Metaphysical, Allfred, Razortusk and many more.
    stuff by me:

  2. #2
    The Hatchery bigolbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    shameless bump....

    this thread has been read by 108 lurkers. Still no comments.

    I was hoping for a little feedback on my ideas and opinions, some info and tips from other bear form druids, would it have helped if i USED ALL CAPPS!11!!!! in an angry tone?
    Ex Euro player from devourer: Charaters on orien(Officer of Under Estimated & Nightfox): Wrothgar, Cobolt, Shadeweaver, TheMetal, Metaphysical, Allfred, Razortusk and many more.
    stuff by me:

  3. #3
    Community Member Dakau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    East coast


    Speaking as a healer I see it not so much a bear/druid problem, rather a lack of tanking ability in the form of feat, ED's and enhancements.

    I have a guild mate that has spent the time to farm the best gear and build a tank. He is a fighter and he has the same compliant that you have.
    how can he keep agro when barbs are citing for 8-10k and sorc are popping 6k crits spams.

    I Would be nice if people let a tank do his job but from my experience most people don't get it until they do Epic elites, when CR 54 are one shoting casters.

    Here is what we have learned. Give that tank time to build threat and win. Tanks of all kinds just don't have snap aggro. I will say that pally tanks have the best from what I have seen. Tanking is really a team effort/awareness. Most pugs if not all will have neither.

    With the content just released (u17) and the lack of Crowd Control dc's hitting reliable, I think a good tank strategy will bubble to the top. I mean after all a good tank holding aggro is crowd control right.

    Keep at it and find a group to run with is all I can suggest.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jessterman615 View Post
    STRESS(n.)- The confusion created, when ones mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the living (fill in the blank) outta someone who desperately needs it.

  4. #4
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    You myself and a few others have made comments about the bear form....

    I havent seen any dev input sadly...

    DDO is about doing damage and as you go up levels that said damage grows...
    if it doesn't something is wrong. At level 8 either the form Dire bear or the form
    Winterwolf hits its cap between levels 8-25 you will do the same
    amount of damage. There is no damage curve it is a flatline.

    Now wolf form has that nifty 30% attack speed.....where as Dire bear appears to
    some crazy delay every time i start an attack sequence i have to stand on 2
    hind paws and then start attacking....and when useing ability's there of course
    is cool downs built in and serious delays. The whole combat sequence is a complete
    mess. I can go out of bear form and just swing a basic quarterstaff or sword and
    kill faster than in said form.

    Now the aim was bear form to be a more durable form that wolf and that its
    strenght lay there. It doesn't.

    Druids limit to their gear "currently" in game penalizes them so much that it barely
    evens them out ac wise. The 4 con hardly was a start.

    ◦Form specific spells need to just become "abilities" and not be dependant on mana.
    Have them granted at their set levels as they currently are its balanced.

    Have druids gain a .5 bonus to their animal form based on druid levels+primal levels.
    If players splash 2 or 8 levels of druid they will not be able to max out their damage
    like a level 20 druid in full bear or wolf form.

    ED Primal
    Give this destiny a passive that actually grants a .5 damage boost to animal forms
    or even but it in their tree, much like "A Dance of Flowers" from the GoF destiny.

    Fix the bloody sequence for bear form and fix the animation issues for climbing ladders
    opening doors and such.....after my 3rd ladder or lever or door i just give up on the
    form and stop using it just out of frustration.


  5. #5
    Community Member Disavow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Kentucky, USA

    Default All of this

    No shameless bump here, inc wall of text? I see that others have had this same issue. I really really really want to have a good bear tank. I have devoted this toon to getting bear tank gear, and when I get to 20+ I will have a good 140-50ish AC and about 125 or so PRR with evasion. A lot of people would say AC is worthless, I disagree TO a degree, and just want to do it. That being said.

    My attack speed makes me want to turn into a human again, although I know the wolf is about attack speed and the bear is about tanking, no other sword and boards attack this slow, with this little benefit. I don't even seem to attack the mob correctly, like the inverse hit box doesn't line up with where you are swinging.

    Swinging, yes... this. Every time i go to attack a mob, I have to rear up to start the attack sequence, I attack about 4 times, then see myself settle back down to the ground, which also prevents attacking. The sequence is then repeated. Pretty much no other class has this problem. Though wolf form does have a slighter version of it, wolf doesn't have to deal with attacking slower than an actual bear...

    Combat Expertise. I took it finally and was like "Yay! I'll take this over Power Attack easy" Not so sure anymore. It seems that the Wild Shape and Combat Expertise negatives to spell Cool down... STACK... THEY GD FREAKING STACK! I couldn't figure out why I wasn't able to cast literally anything for the longest time.

    Tested with Greater Vigor, Cure Serious Wounds, Jump, Resist Energy. Yes, I tested it with every spell to get the times correct.

    Not Wild Shaped, no Stances : 3 Seconds. Simple Global Cool down.

    Wild Shaped: About 6 seconds. That is something I've gotten used to, and since the cast time is unaffected I can deal with that just fine.

    Not Wild Shaped, but With Combat Expertise on: ~8 Seconds. Once again I can understand this a bit, its not overly excessive once you get a bit used to it. This affects every spell in the game.

    Wild Shaped, With Combat Expertise On: ~19 - 20 seconds.... Yes. Count it. That is simply ********.
    (On a side note, using Combat Expertise while Wild Shaped, triggers a Global Cool down similar to casting any non Wild Shape spell.)

    This is ridiculous. A lot of people will say something like. Easy, just turn it off when you need to heal, then switch it back on again. Uh-huh. Turning it back on, there's a 2 second delay where you can only move, and then you can attack for the next 4 seconds while your spells come off cool down. Try attacking as a bear for a while.

    When I do hit epic levels, YES! Woohoo! Way way WAY better weapons right!? Wrong. As above has mentioned, there are better on hit procs and whatnot, there is however any reason for me to stay in bear form when I hit for a greataxe, when every greataxe beside me is hitting for 3 greataxes, and doing it quicker, without a paws before and after my swings (see what I did there? :P). I agree entirely with the suggestion above about increasing druid damage per level.

    Other Epic Destinies add caster and damage levels, to druid, cleric, favored soul, wizard, sorcerer, bard. Seriously, even ranger and paladins get bonus to the levels in regards to casting if they are in certain destinies (And lets face it... it does.. what for them? Yay smite evil and....lay on hands and....and.....). So in conclusion here, I know you can add levels to a class to help determine class level for their abilities.

    Monks receive their damage per level based specifically and evenly on the number of class levels obtained. And they do it quite well regardless how some don't like the change to multiple d6 dice. Hell, Monks DO get that beautiful ED ability that increases it further. I love that one.

    Once again concluding that you are able to add extra damage dice to a class that has an innate ability to do damage without being physically armed (Wraps being physical (in comparison to nonphysical (like incorporeal)), however the fist itself is the weapon (I R Programmer, I love nested code))

    I won't even bother with the lack of gear that druids have available to them. Others have complained (rightfully!) and even laughed at the audacity that when droods came out they at the same time lost things like dark wood breastplates and hide armor. If I were putting something this big into a game, I would add more items they could use at every level, and I would make sure to not make them even druid only. It blows my mind that instead of adding available gear, they instead took a good deal away. I won't go into this, that's just my 2 sense (get some).

    I know that this is but one aspect, of one class, out of thirteen, in a game full of issues. However, in design, it does not matter on the size of the issue, but on the size of the impact to the people who it effects. It is still the DDO that I love, and I love playing it. Please read this and others that come with the same conclusion, and most importantly let it keep your attention.
    Khyber - Disavow Faith - Aleiya & Aleiyna Deadbrighter - Beautious Lillium - Unibody - Jemmis Truly Outrageous

    Ghallandra - <Anonymous> You don't want to know anymore, nobody does.

  6. #6
    Community Member Disavow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Kentucky, USA

    Default bump

    shameless bump
    Khyber - Disavow Faith - Aleiya & Aleiyna Deadbrighter - Beautious Lillium - Unibody - Jemmis Truly Outrageous

    Ghallandra - <Anonymous> You don't want to know anymore, nobody does.

  7. #7
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by bigolbear View Post
    BUGGED?: bonus to threat from having a sheild equiped after performing an intimidate - Im of the opinion this is a bug, my character clearly has a sheild equiped - they should gain the bonus.
    I guess the rationale is that technically you're considered unarmed while in animal form, so you lose out on the Intim bonus. But since we get to keep the PRR & doublestrike bonuses from Shield Mastery, it seems odd (and annoying) to lose out on the Intim bonus.

    As far as armor goes, our options are pretty limited:

    • Lootgen or crafted outfits & leather while leveling
    • Named non-metal armors like Parasitic Breastplate, Rakshasa Hide, Leaves of the Forest, etc.
    • Dragonscale from GH (heroic & epic) and Cormyrian

    For shields, is there anything better than Wall of Wood for a high-level druid?

    My bear druid is currently lvl 19; about to start running Druid's Deep for WoW & LotF (knock on wood). I originally planned druid 13 / ftr 6 / wiz 1 (NW II / SD I); but after discovering the Intim bonus to shields didn't work and being told Defensive stance is bugged in animal form, I LRed into pure druid.

    My view is bear druids aren't intended to be "real" tanks: they don't get the threat amp, PRR, and AC bonuses of SD / DoS builds; and the strict limits on armor & shields (esp. if pure) limits their gear options. Instead, they feel more like guard-based casters with an emphasis on survivability who can act as backup tanks; better suited to soloing or filling the tank role in a PUG. The main problems I have with mine are (A) the two best guard effects (Wild Healing and Essence of the Turtle) have such a low proc chance (5%) that they don't happen nearly often enough (esp. compared to Shrike which procs on 20% of atks w/IC:Blunt); and (B) the difference in atk speed between bear & wolf forms is just too great - the melee DPS of bears frankly sucks. In essence, the survivability bonuses from bear-form aren't nearly enough to offset the DPS loss; add the fact that wolf druids will be generating temp SPs much faster, which means they can spam lower-lvl spells & wolf atks more frequently, and you find yourself wondering why you even bothered.

  8. #8
    Community Member Chimeran1's Avatar
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    Apr 2008

    Default Any more updates on this?

    How to make a decent epic Bear?
    I know I can bump the strength way up to 48+ same with con and the stun is good.

    How to get some better dps ?
    48 strength crit for 300-400damage, seems very low.

    Attack speed animation still so slow.
    My problem is I like the dire bear, how come DDO made them so useless?
    I returned after 2 years and started playing my Bear, so far I have not seen another bear in 4 days.

    Come on DDO, sort it out. Some basic changes.
    Stroke the fur, be the fur

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