#1) We have abilities to hit mobs before everything's grouped up too, they're called Mangle and Maul. People **** but I have NEVER lost a mob to AoE (without it dying before it reaches the dps) unless it was one that hasn't reached me yet. And for those pulls that are tricky to hold onto for whatever reason we have Berserk. If that thing isn't always on cooldown you're wither CCing down to one mob, approaching a nasty pull where it WILL go on cooldown or you're doing something wrong.
I get what you're trying to prove, but the fact is that while Bear AOE was nerfed to the @#%^ing ground, Paladin and Death Knight AOE was buffed.
Personally, I couldn't give a **** what Maul and Mangle spam does in an AOE situation. If you're telling me that you can run in and Thrash, Swipe and Mangle/Maul, while your group spams AOE, and not lose aggro, you're either running with a guild or a Hunter/Rogue using MD/TotT. All it takes is one Howling Blast or a Whirlwind and you've lost aggro.
I know, because I've tried it. Full DPS gear, I lost aggro to a Whirlwind over two layers of Thrash and a Swipe. **** Mangle and Maul spam. If you're fighting 5+ mobs, you don't have enough GCDs to apply threat to all of the mobs before some random scrub pulls aggro.
Naturally, the solution would be for people to not be scrubs and hold back, but why should they when Paladins and Death Knights just /rofl through that kind of AOE with ease? Again, I know this because I've got a Paladin as well.
As a Druid I have battle rez, as a Druid I have Tranquility, and I'm savvy enough of boss abilities to use them while tanking.
Good luck using your Feral Tranquility while tanking a heroic or raid boss. Hello instant death. At the least, you'll be taking more damage than Tranquility makes up for.
#3) your "unique to the class" buff doesn't stack with other mp5 or AP buffs. You have a unique combination but a Felhunter's (int/mp5) more unique than you are. Only a mage can cover his int part while AP's done by DK tanks, Marks hunters and Enh Shamans.
Paladins have more flexibility with buffs than the Druid regardless.
#4) Ok, here's where Berserk comes in. You throw a shield every 15 seconds for good damage, I make at least three enemies explode every 3 minutes. Faerie fire pulls just fine (unless Avenger's Shield includes a fixate it's not going to be enough to stop a nova-ing DPS) and skull bash trumps the shield, as you said.
So you can explode stuff every three minutes. My Paladin can explode stuff every pull. GG. And Avenger's Shield hits for 10k+ - on three targets - and silences them - and the cooldown can be reset via using your main AOE ability.
I haven't played a Pally but I did just get an IM from a friend leveling a druid for the first time about how much he's enjoying it compared to his, says he feels a lot more flexibility.
Flexibility isn't all. Sure, Druids can decide whether they want to go Thrash and pray, or Tab-select and Lacerate/Mangle, but in the end, you're forced to take the most efficient route - regardless of your class. And if he's referring to Feral being very versatile then I agree. It just doesn't do much for us when we're tanking.
To name some utility tools that my Paladin has:
Reduce group damage taken by 20% every two minutes.
Reduce someone's threat output.
Turn someone immune to physical damage.
Turn a killing blow into a 15% heal.
Heal himself for 100% of his health every 7 minutes.
Heal himself for 20-30k health every four GCD (two GCD if talent procs).
Remove diseases and poisons while tanking.
Silence three targets from ranged distance.
Stun every undead, demon, dragon and elemental around him every 15 seconds while dealing damage to them.
Those are just abilities that my Druid doesn't have. 20% 1-minute CD and 50% CD are of course also something my Paladin has. The only thing he doesn't have is the +healing taken buff from glyphed Frenzied Regeneration, but he's got a passive +6% healing taken and a 30% chance on self-healing with WoG to get an extra for free. Hello 50k health in two GCDs.
And once the patch hits, he'll be able to interrupt spell casts every 10 seconds without having to spend two talent points on it. Oh, and he already gets more +spell damage via his specialization than a Druid gets +spell healing via 2/2 Nurturing Instinct.
The only thing Druids have to their advantage right now is the ability to perform two roles in a group without changing talent spec. Except, we kinda suck at that as well, since we can't have six Prime Glyphs.
I get that you want to defend your class, selebrin, but if you don't know how the other tanking classes perform in the game, you shouldn't try to compare them. I'd love to be able to say that my Druid is okay, but I'd be lying, because I've seen what the other classes can do. And it hurts my soul that the class I've loved through the last six years is being ripped apart, piece by piece, in the name of homogenization.
Druid tanking has been gimped to a degree where, if you've played the other tanking classes, it just doesn't make any @#%^ing sense anymore. As a Druid, you have to bend over backwards to do what other classes take for granted.
Ghostcrawler can bite me.
Edit: Note that I'm not comparing survivability here. I know that the classes have about the same avoidance and mitigation. What I'm comparing is utility, of which the Bear Druid has very little compared to every other class. Rebirth and Tranquility are nice spells, but if you're tanking, it's rarely usable since the incoming damage is increased by a lot when you shift out. And my Paladin's AOE heal isn't on an 8-minute cooldown and can be cast while tanking. Edited, Jan 20th 2011 5:24am by Mazra