The idea of shaman tanking in Cataclysm doesn’t seem to be popular at MMO-Champion, or on the official boards.

But some people are asking: Why the hell is Blizzard giving us taunts and threat-generating abilities in some of our revamped skills and talents?

Here’s the tooltip for Rockbiter Weapon:

Imbue the Shaman’s weapon with the fury of the earth, increasing all threat generation by 30% and reducing damage taken by 5%. Lasts 30 minutes.
( Unleash Weapon : Unleashing this enchantment forces the target enemy to attack you for 5 sec. )

Aside from the fact that few people are going to be doing any serious content with Rockbiter as their weapon imbue, why bother giving a DPS spec a threat-generating ability?

Some point to nebulous rumors about a return to mandatory crowd control and kiting in heroic dungeons, and they argue that with the re-balanced Stamina pools, Shamans might be viable tanks or off-tanks. But that line of thinking got shot down pretty quickly:
“Shaman are not tanks. They are balancing out health pools between dps and healers and casters with *plate dps*, but not tanks’ health pools. Tanks will still have a higher health pool and more tools to mitigate damage than plate dps will.”

Of course, with re-adjusted health pools, forging, gems and careful use of talents, some players are guaranteed to try Shaman tanking, out of boredom if anything else. I tried it a few times myself, including a short-lived and hilarious – but semi-successful – stint as an off-tank on a Karazhan run a few years ago.

But one thing’s for sure – Shaman players don’t want to be tanks, and they’d rather have Blizzard’s designers use development time to fine-tune Enhancement as a DPS spec, rather than make a half-hearted stab at situational tank viability.

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Comments
  1. Rakhman says:

    I have no idea what that Rockbiter is all about, are they trying to make it viable for shaman to tank low end dungeons (like level 20 ones), before we dump Rockbiter and go for Windfury Weapon imbue?

    Reducing damage taken by 5% ain’t going to help much against a real elite, mail armour won’t cut it compared to Plate for defense, and I’m not gemming stamina either. Where is our “crit immune” talent if we are seriously going to tank stuff? Hopefully if it doesn’t show up then maybe Rockbiter is merely to provide an option in low level dungeons, and not because Blizzard expect us to somehow OT in raids.

    The gear requirement for tanking is utterly different to the stuff I look for to increase Enhancement DPS, and I won’t be interested in getting high-armour and stamina mail either.

    • Nicholas says:

      I just want to point out that rockbiter weapon is now a level 75 enchant so not for level 20 at all. Who knows what it is meant for

  2. If this do this they have got to be stupid. idk why you would want to mess with a class that was never ment to be a tank in the first place…

  3. Arxonis says:

    I think you are looking at it the wrong way, we are not melee tanks.

    We get these tools the same reason warlocks get “searing pain”, We will most likely have a role as a ‘ranged’ tank, think mimiron’s head, council fights etc.

    And so ‘rock biter’ and ‘frost shock’ increased threat generation have a purpose, it’s a small ninche and i don’t see us enhancement use it unless it is to kite a mob away from the pack that isn’t immune to slows but is to everything else (A mob in DM heroic need to be dealt with that way)

    I personally see it more an elemental thing, hence ‘ranged’ tank abilities.

    • dr says:

      actually shams WAS meant to be tanks… in early vanilla, but they got rid of that idea. You gotta admin there is not enough tanks around, giving tanking spec for more classes is a good idea!

    • Takaminara says:

      One clear statement here: Why risk the life of one of the best current dps instead of getting a ranged, like a hunter or a frost mage to do the kiting. Enhancement is a melee based dps tree and while there are numerous ways of kiting, only thinking of rockbiter+FS is just rediculous.

  4. Knarledhorns says:

    i dont think rockbiter is for low lvl dungeons if you dont get it til lvl 75….

  5. Ruagh says:

    Having some aggro generation doesnt make you a tank.
    there are a couple of bosses in the new raids on wich this might be usefull.
    Like on the last phase of Chimaeron to gain aggro above other dps and try to kite the boss around for a bit while running away as a wolf
    Or on the adds on Nefarian it might be usefull to be able to get aggro and kite them around for a bit.
    Also if you get it macro’d so you can switch fast to it it can help you in some hc’s when a tank dies. I myself have tanked the 3rd boss in stonecore for about 30-40 secs on my shammy without a shield or my weapons imbued with rockbiter.
    If i had my weapons imbued id probably last even longer

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