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  1. #1

    Default Is bear form viable?

    I haven't seen much discussion on how the enhancement pass effects druids. Want to know if a melee druid tank in bear form is a viable build. Previously the consensus I've seen is that it was bearly (pun intended ) viable, but with very low DPS due to the slow attack speed. Have the enhancement changes helped or hurt druid animal forms? Does anyone have any new ideas that may help bears specifically?

  2. #2
    Bwest Fwiends Memnir's Avatar
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    I'm not an expert on how animal forms used to work... I didn't try them much before the EH pass. I still don't like em very much - but figured I'd try a melee Druid out with the changes. (before yesterday, I only had a caster/SH Druid)


    I like Bear form now that I can use fatal Harrier with it. Unless I'm mistaken - that used to be a Wolf Only stance, yes? I'm finding that with enough enemies to fight and I can maintain five stacks of Harrier... it's pretty cool. The PRR from bear form helps a ton, too.


    I'm finding some of the furry-love. Not quite there yet... but finding it. Overall, I think the EH pass has bumped up my impression of Druids quite a bit.
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    Community Member Soulfurnace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleTimb View Post
    but with very low DPS due to the slow attack speed. Have the enhancement changes helped or hurt druid animal forms?
    That is correct. Bear attack speed was downright terrible. (I still used it in necro one, but purely because I felt like being a fuzzy bear)
    I haven't test a bear since enhancement pass (Gimme some time), but before enhancement pass it was viable purely becase a druid can heal itself.
    You'd have been better off as either wolf or elemental. Unless bears got a serious attack speed boost, I won't touch them. (beyond being a fuzzy bear for the hell of being gimped)

    Quote Originally Posted by Memnir View Post
    Unless I'm mistaken - that used to be a Wolf Only stance, yes? I'm finding that with enough enemies to fight and I can maintain five stacks of Harrier... it's pretty cool.
    No, Fatal Harrier was usable by anything...
    Personally, I was using Fatal Harrier as a fire elemental with two deathpicks and body of the sun. Good times.

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    Community Member Havok.cry's Avatar
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    I use bear form when I fight skeletons at low levels, because it breaks their DR... no experience with it otherwise. If I ever flag my druid for Abbot and am not the healer for some reason, I would fight it in bear form, again so I can break the bludgeoning DR.
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    Community Member Hendrik's Avatar
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    For me, Bear Form is situational - I'm primarily Wolf.

    However, I do use Bear Form to tank the Stormreaver now.

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  6. #6

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    I've made it to 10th level in my static group running exclusively as a bear tank. So far it's working very well. I took cleave and great cleave to help with the attack speed, and switched from reeving roar to fatal harrier. With a 10% alacrity item and fatal harrier I see a marked difference in my attack speed. I tend to favor the cleave and great cleave attacks over the other bear special attacks as they seem to proc faster. The new enhancements give a meaningful PRR and a little bit of AC, so I do see some decent damage mitigation even running at level elite quests.

    All in all, it's working well so far but I'm starting to get concerned about my damage output plateauing as I get to higher level content.

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    Community Member Bilger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleTimb View Post

    All in all, it's working well so far but I'm starting to get concerned about my damage output plateauing as I get to higher level content.
    That's one of the big things about forms there isn't a die increase or (w) increase after get dire bear. So dps does plateau at a certain point and with slow animations is hard to keep aggro off of others. At least that is what the end game bear druid we have in guild always complains about.

    Don't get me wrong he does a good job tanking, but needs more time than a normal fighter, pali, or ,monk tank to build up aggro enough to hold for encounter.

    Then again my guild does things a lot different than most we don't brute force things. We use tactics and actually use tanks in raids like FOT even on EE. Tanking is still extremely viable in this game people just don't use it much anymore.
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    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bilger View Post
    That's one of the big things about forms there isn't a die increase or (w) increase after get dire bear. So dps does plateau at a certain point and with slow animations is hard to keep aggro off of others. At least that is what the end game bear druid we have in guild always complains about.
    To the op bear form has too slow of attack speed to be viable past breaking skelle dr at low level.

    To Bilger

    This is only true for a pure bear tank.

    If you use wraps you can get the die step increase from epic wraps.
    If you splash monk you can get their die step increases so an extra 1[w] with 8 levels of monk if you splash that high.
    If you are using handwraps reinforced fists works.
    If you are using handwraps monk past life active feat works.
    If you are centered and using handwraps a dance with flowers t1 monk ability works

    While how much monk I would take varies depending on build I would never take less that 2 monk on an animal form druid now, and I'll probably take at least 5 so that I can grab as much as I want from shintao etc because shintao is actually one of the better sources of devotion for animal forms as they lost all devotion spwr in the animal form tree and the caster tree has nothing an animal form based druid would really want.

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    Community Member Bilger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    To the op bear form has too slow of attack speed to be viable past breaking skelle dr at low level.

    To Bilger

    This is only true for a pure bear tank.

    If you use wraps you can get the die step increase from epic wraps.
    If you splash monk you can get their die step increases so an extra 1[w] with 8 levels of monk if you splash that high.
    If you are using handwraps reinforced fists works.
    If you are using handwraps monk past life active feat works.
    If you are centered and using handwraps a dance with flowers t1 monk ability works

    While how much monk I would take varies depending on build I would never take less that 2 monk on an animal form druid now, and I'll probably take at least 5 so that I can grab as much as I want from shintao etc because shintao is actually one of the better sources of devotion for animal forms as they lost all devotion spwr in the animal form tree and the caster tree has nothing an animal form based druid would really want.
    O I know all that. My reply was based on full pure druid, monk was never mentioned in what he said or I completely missed it. (which is possible lol).

    You are completely right though on die increase. As a bear tanky type completely reccomend what you are saying. The bear tank in my guild is slightly a purest at heart and doesn't splash very often on any characters.
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    The Hatchery MRMechMan's Avatar
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    The dancing alone makes bear form viable.

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    Community Member HatsuharuZ's Avatar
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    I wish that bear form's natural weapon was more powerful in order to offset the slow attack speed. It would be nice if it received 1.5x strength modifier to damage like two-handed weapons do. No glancing blows or anything, just the damage mod.

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    Default Bear build reverse engineered

    I'm going to use this thread as my thought pad:

    Standard DnD tank: Plate 'n Shield bear:

    You can twf as a bear even with a shield equipped, since a bear shape shifts the shield and is fighting unarmed. So want all 3 TWF Feats.

    If you want to be tanky, it helps if your pet and summons are tanky as well so you can all share hits and aoe heal with mass, so not too many levels from druid, and mass regen (druid 17).

    Want at least 100% HAMP, So Human 30% HAMP modifiers, EN Wall of Wood or conv. bracers of parrying combined with PDK gloves (or EE WoW) for 200% healing received.

    You want Cleave/GC/WW for AoE aggro, so need lots of feats. Also want tower shield/heavy armor for PRR, so probably a level of fighter at least. Need a defensive stance for ED interactions, and want dodge to unlock dodge enhancements, but you get both on way to WW.

    The weapon would need to have solid damage procs, so short sword proficiency since rogue short swords have the highest damage procs in the game. The new EE short sword has 20-80 magic damage on hit, and Celestia would also be amazing since you can socket it with devotion (neutral good only). A radiance wolf collar would also be fantastic. You also get short sword prof from a level of fighter.

    Want quicken, because otherwise a 2.5 second sleet storm cast or mass regen while getting hit for 200 a whack in EE doesn't work since concentration skill becomes moot.

    You want Shield Mastery and Imp Shield Mastery, so you can twist for PRR and double strike.

    You want PRR of around 100, which you get from heavy armor 25, shield mastery feats 10-15, improved combat expertise 20 (twist tier 2), Legendary Shield Mastery 15 (twist tier 2), 15 PRR (bear enhance), 15 (socket), and 60 PRR natural shielding for pet/summon (twist tier 2)

    2-2-2 twists is 45 points, or level 4 out of 5 on all destinies,

    You want to be able to accomplish this all with base character and twists, so you can level and play in whatever ED you want. You can twist primal shout for hp or renewal/cocoon for healing if you are in unyielding.

    Feats:

    Dodge > Mobility > Spring > Combat Exp> WW > PA > CL > GC > TWF > TWF#2 > TWF#3 > Quicken > SM > ISM > Heavy Armor > Short Sword Prof

    That's 16 feats. You get 10 feats by lvl 27, so you need 6 more but only get 3 splash levels to get them. Fighter gives you 3, since it gives heavy armor and short sword prof for free as well. You get 1 more free from Human, which leaves 2 more feats of above from up to 2 monk, 1 fighter, or 1 Wiz. Look at the enhancements and figure out what you want. PM Wiz gives mana and hp, Monk lets you also gain die steps and dps with handwraps, higher saves, and evasion. Fighter gives higher level fighter enhancements.

    End up with solid PRR, AC, decent dodge, decent hp, decent damage, decent HAMP, weak healing until 19.2 when animal form gets positive spell power, great AoE threat, decent pet and summons, decent mana pool, decent AoE CC. Huge spell cool downs between bear + defensive stance until 19.2. Probably going to fail every single reflex save in the game and get railed by traps/spells, but one can't have everything.

    Edit: will want to test that you still get the shield feats when shape shifted post 19.
    -------------------------------
    But what about earth stance robes bear:

    With 4/2/1 twists you could do earth stance 2 monk with evasion and replace 50 lost armor/shield PRR with 30 PRR from GMOF twist tier 4 and improved earth stance enhancement, and twist in 6 refex from draconic or 1.5 die steps for handwraps. Your AC would be meaningless and PRR would be reduced by 20, and your pet and summons would suffer. Could use hand wraps for die step (devotion socketed knuckles), but would also need a 20% HAMP bracer to replace wall of wood.

    Twists: Stand with stone, dance of flowers or reflex, imp. combat expertise (every single destiny maxed to get this...)

    Dodge > Mobility > Spring > Combat Exp> WW > PA > CL > GC > TWF > TWF#2 > TWF#3 > Quicken > Bulwark > Epic DR

    Total reflex would be 6 stat, 6 monk/enh, 16 gear, 5 druid, 4 morale, 2 feat, 4 epic lvl = +43 (49 with twist, but lose 1.5W). Would still fail 2/3 the reflex saves on EE (1/3 with twist). Would have a nice base damage of 4d12 with new lvl 28 wraps, but no shield based double strike or devotion. Wraps are equal dps to the sword/shield combo with die step, slightly more with twist, but lose two gear slots since you need devotion and HAMP. So overall probably a wash.

    End up with slightly less PRR, decent dodge, decent hp, about the same dps, decent HAMP, weak healing until 19.2 when animal form gets positive spell power, great AoE threat, weak pet and summons, decent mana pool, decent AoE CC. Huge spell cool downs between bear + defensive stance until 19.2. Will avoid 1/3 magic damage at the cost of taking 1/3 more physical damage from lower AC and phys resist. Pets also take 1/2 more damage. Higher ED twist requirements (4/2). Again, one can't have everything.

    --------------------------------------------

    To ponder: how to get EE Wall of Wood on a melee druid...

    To ponnder: value of reflex 50 and evasion.

    To ponder: how to not go OOM on a bear. Need torc?

    ------------------------------------------------

    What is AC really worth vs cr60+ mobs. CE Stance is 10% more armor, bear is 15%, mountain is 5% more

    Plate: So mob hit is cr +10 / 2*AC = 70 / 2*AC

    White dragonplate/WoW = 10 base + 24 AC + 14 shield + 7 prot, 7 natural, 4 dex, 5 (unyielding) +7(shield unyielding) + 9 (unyielding) > ~110 ish AC, so mobs have 32% chance to hit.

    Robes: 10 base + 20 (epic mage armor instead of perfect twf, lose some dps) +7 shield (wisdom or white dragonscale)+ 7 prot + 7 natural + 6 dex + 5 unyielding + 9 unyielidng + 4 feat > ~95 ish, so mobs have a 39% chance to hit, take 16% more damage physical due to loss of AC. Roughly 27% more total with PRR factored in.

    So it is good evasion vs taking full damage from all spells and 33% less physical damage for you and 33% less for pets/summons/hires. Both paths will do roughly the same dps built as tanks. Both will work out in end.

    I'm fairly sure both will be viable as a tank for EE content when 19.2 changes go through.


    --------------------------------------------
    To ponder: if playing in melee without reflex 50 evasion is feasible.
    Last edited by Tilomere; 09-25-2013 at 04:45 AM.

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    My pondering is complete. Bear in mind only my pondering.

    50 reflex + evasion is fantastic, so plate + shield version could bear something fantastic to compete and also deal with casters. The sword 'n board fail every reflex and get railed by traps/casters doesn't bear enough weight.

    Replace natural shielding twist with balanced attacks (tier 3 primal twist, 2 sec knockdown on vorpal). Melee auto attack combined with all the AoE TWF attacks will help protect against anything that can be knocked down, which includes most casters. Comes at loss of pet and summon off-tankyness(unless in PA), but the knockdown will replace pet/summons off-tankyness, and also work against casters. I think this will even up the builds, with both of them being able to bear anything now.

    EE Wall of Wood cannot be solo farmed on an animal form druid. Even in LD, bare bear math says it isn't possible. Need help.

    Mana shouldn't become as much of a problem with pet and summon no longer needed for either build. They are drains on my 25 wolf druid outside of PA with free cocoon/renewals to heal them ... would be un-bear-able outside of PA both builds now.

    TWF is considered a bug now. I don't see how this is that big of a deal. If bear form is reworked, can just spend 1.5M on a few feat changes from TWF to NF to keep on using animal form if necessary, or from SM/ISM to OC/IC for LD elemental dps. The bare bones of the bear build is still quicken/WW/CL/GC/all martial weps/heavy armor, with a polish as the last few feats.

    Edit: I never answered the first question, is bear form viable. Yes, it will be capable of tanking in EE. If that is your definition of viable, then the answer is yes. If best is your definition of viable, then the obvious answer is that a Shiradi sorc is the best and therefore only viable tank. Yes, a shiradi sorc is a better tank than a bugged bear.
    Last edited by Tilomere; 09-24-2013 at 09:24 PM.

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    Hero LOOON375's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMechMan View Post
    The dancing alone makes bear form viable.
    This! Best dance moves in the game.
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    Community Member Havok.cry's Avatar
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    Since the whole point of bear form is the dancing, why not a bear bard? Or better yet a Bear Bard Barb! You could make it a dwarf and it would be a Beer Beard Bear Bard Barb! Will work on a build later, but meanwhile, any suggestions?
    Last edited by Havok.cry; 09-24-2013 at 04:29 PM.
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    The Mad Multiclasser Failedlegend's Avatar
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    @Tilomere: Plate cancels out evasion and since its metal it will boot you out of form

    As for whether or not the bear form is viable..well the answer is plainly a no...its outshined by its wolf counterpart in almost every way and its defensive bonuses are so minor you barely notice, not to mention the fact that their phhysicasl abilities..like roaring and biting things are blocked by rage, anti-,agic cones and all that other fun stuff thast affects spells...except of course you know spellpower or spell DC feats/items or metas...they have all the down sides of being spells and none of the upsides.
    Last edited by Failedlegend; 09-24-2013 at 05:07 PM.
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    Community Member Havok.cry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Failedlegend View Post
    @Tilomere: Plate cancels out evasion and since its metal it will boot you out of form
    IIRC the dragonscale armors are not metal. Right on about plate and evasion.
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    Scholar Of Adventure & Hero Missing_Minds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HatsuharuZ View Post
    I wish that bear form's natural weapon was more powerful in order to offset the slow attack speed. It would be nice if it received 1.5x strength modifier to damage like two-handed weapons do. No glancing blows or anything, just the damage mod.
    I've been thinking along the same lines actually. If bear was given a 150% mulitplier and dire a 200% muliplier for str, that would be helpful, but probably not so over powered min/maxing would utterly break it even with what some people can do because the attack speed is worse than that of ranged.

    Quote Originally Posted by Havok.cry View Post
    IIRC the dragonscale armors are not metal. Right on about plate and evasion.
    Correct. And in addition, Leaves of the Forest. Medium so no evasion either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Missing_Minds View Post
    I've been thinking along the same lines actually. If bear was given a 150% mulitplier and dire a 200% muliplier for str, that would be helpful, but probably not so over powered min/maxing would utterly break it even with what some people can do because the attack speed is worse than that of ranged.

    Correct. And in addition, Leaves of the Forest. Medium so no evasion either.
    Bear could barely bear to be bereft of evasion, that is why I switched in bear knockdown twist so plate sword 'n board bear could bear with casters.

    In 60 seconds, a bear can bring to bear 5 seconds of bear alpha strike, and 12 seconds of each of bear cleave/GC/WW. Bear in mind there is barely is any time left to bring to bear bare bear attacks.
    Last edited by Tilomere; 09-24-2013 at 06:53 PM.

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    Community Member HatsuharuZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilomere View Post
    Bear could barely bear the loss of evasion, that is why I switched in bear knockdown twist so plate sword 'n board bear could bear with casters.

    In 60 seconds, a bear can bring to bear 5 seconds of bear alpha strike, and 12 seconds of each of bear cleave/GC/WW. Bear in mind there is barely is any time left for bare bear attacks.
    Your puns are hard to bear... :P

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