This is partly a dig at the Warrior thread (partly because someone mentioned there would never be a druid itemisation thread as the best items are blatantly obvious), and partly because I'm interested in actually getting the best gear/best performance out of my character.
I'm quite interested in seeing exactly what people value as a Druid tank. Personally, I look to stack armour and HP (as that's generally what druid's are good at from a stereotypical view) and then look to get at least a decent amount of dodge (30%+), as well as getting 420ish defence minimum. However with the agility->dodge ratio being so low (14agi->dodge or so) it makes stacking avoidance pretty easy, and I'm considering if this is really the way to go for some fights at least - take in to consideration that I'm practically never MTing things, but I offtank a lot (gruul, magtheridon channelers, hydross adds, etc). Dodge is quite nice but I prefer the armour/hp as a pure buffer. On mag I was tanking an add and with 35% dodge I went through a string of 9 hits without it missing me - if my dodge was higher it's possible that I would've avoided one, but with my armour it may be that I took just little enough damage to be healed without actually dying, and that the higher dodge chance wouldn't have saved me regardless.
This leaves me with a few items that I percieve to be a lot better than many of the alternatives - Verdant Gloves, Umberhowl's Collar and Supple Leather Boots are the main pieces that I use. All quest rewards, and all massive armour-stacking pieces rather than avoidance based although all do have at least a small amount of agility on them. All my items are this basic premise: Get as much armour and health as possible (clefthoof legs/chest for health and sockets for meta gem, the quest rewards for armour, T4helm/shoulders for a mix of both, and looking to get both t4legs/chest) and then worry about getting the dodge% later, mainly by getting one item that stacks it almost entirely, or through enchants.
I'm also wondering how many people value Earthwarden over alternatives - I would personally prefer the epic staff from Botanica - although it's 200 armour less, it's also ~2.5% dodge more, and another 30 or so stamina more which is around 500hp in bear. 200 armour is around 1100 in bear though, which currently is a ~1.2% mitigation difference for me while hovering around 20k armour (although pure mitigation status means it's actually 3.5% difference in incoming damage). Although I like dodge and stamina, I really like to see 70%+ damage reduction, and while raiding with Inspiration proc up i'm just over 72%, which is really nice - however this means I'm pretty close to the cap and it's possible a bit more dodge would be advantageous over stacking more armour. It seems to me as though the natural order of preference would be Earthwarden -> Feral Staff of Lashing -> Wildfury Greatstaff, but I'm still not sure about which way round the Earthwarden and Feral Staff should be.
Also, what do people think about +hit/feral combat skill and it's impact on tanking? I've used both Terestian's and the Earthwarden for tanking, and can't honestly say I've noticed any difference between the two even though the Earthwarden should be coming out on top, mainly from a parry/dodge point of view. Using the FSoL you miss out on the hit/feral combat rating. Generally threat isn't much of an issue, but i still rage when a mob starts moving to me after fairie fire, then I get a parry/miss/dodge on mangle AND maul, and then the lacerate misses straight after too.
Last edited by dukes : 03/16/07 at 1:17 AM.