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My thoughts on Tanks and trends

15 Aug

I was reading WoW Insider and they had a recent article up that caught by interest.  It was about tanking in the Wrath of the Lich King.

Supposedly, any class that can tank, can tank the regular up-coming five-man content, equally well, without being a tanking spec, except perhaps the Resto Druids and the Holy Paladins.  So says someone from Blizzard.

Only once you get into Heroics and Raiding will an appropriate spec/talent build be required.  And then there’s still going to be flexibiliy in such that there will be no “preferred class” that will do the tanking.  Guilds will be able to pick what they like, not be forced to hire a specific class for the task of Main Tank.  That’s their hope.

Are the folks reporting this stuff from Blizzard drinking the same koolaide as the folks handling the Blizzcon tickets?  I mean, once you’re raiding “progression” content, you will have your tank so refined, so appropriately geared, specced to a criteria package NASA would commend as “overkill”, be working on swing timers, calculating rage refresh rates, uptime on shield block, agonizing over +block versus +defense, the player of that tank’s very breath will be accounted for in the threat generation rotations.  You don’t win by “running what you brung.”  You win by being 100% appropriate to the task, buffed to the maximum extent, with the right elixir and flask and food buffs on, buffed with the right drums of battle, gemmed right, enchanted right, geared right, etc., etc.,.

Hey, I’m all for a more “flexible” approach to tanking.  I enjoyed tanking.  Up to, but not including, my entry into the Heroics.  There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t consider going Prot mode again.  But it is, possibly, not quite the right time for me.  I am really excited about the news that in fact Prot Warriors are going to get a buff to their DPS in WotLK, meaning they’ll be more viable outside of the tanking job.  I want to be my wife’s Shaman’s hero again.

But I don’t think Blizzard can treat all tanks alike.  Prot Paladins handle stuff very different from Feral Druids and Prot Warriors.  And I’m sure the Death Knights will be a whole new animal.

But we’ve also seen indications of a “homogenization” going on in the game, haven’t we?  What things I see proposed for WotLK.  No more+Spell Damage and +Healing.  Now it’s just +Spell Power.  No more +Crit and +Spell Crit.  It’s just going to be +Crit for anything you do.

I’ve heard that Druids are a little worried that they’ll see more gear now appropriate for cat form rather than bear form.  I.e. Druids and Rogues in the same gear.  Just like the push to make +Agility figure into an Enhancement Shamans Attack Power.  Meaning Hunters and Shamans in the same gear.  So we’re going to see Caster Leather (Druids) and Melee Leather (Druids and Rogues).  Caster Mail (Shamans) and Physical Damage Mail (Shamans and Hunters).  Caster Plate (Paladins and Death Knights) and Physical Damage and Mitigation Plate (Paladins, Deathknights, Warriors).

The absurd end of the trend will be three stats:  1) How much damage to others you do (Rage, Mana, Power bar combined into one), 2) How much damage can you repair on others (Mana, but otherwise the same bar), and 3) how much damage you can absorb before dying. 

I might be missing the days of specialization.  And maybe I want a dazzling world where waves wash up on shores, and I can be dapper in my Haliscan outfit.  But then again maybe we need to be simpler in a more complex world.  Getting back to the basics if you will.

Anyway, just me rambling.  :)

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4 Comments

Posted by on August 15, 2008 in Musings

 

4 responses to “My thoughts on Tanks and trends

  1. Darraxus

    August 15, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    To be honest, I would prefer to keep the roles as they are….HOWEVER, I would like for them to make respecs maybe a flat 5 gold fee every time. It wouldnt make it near as painful to swap back and forth.

     
  2. Galoheart

    August 16, 2008 at 7:31 am

    PuGs may get even more interesting in 5 man regular run with everyone trying to Tank. More stuff to blog about it will be.

    I’m sticking to my Nitch being a Dedicated Tank. Always have and always will be just that.

    Might be a good topic of what happens to new Tanks to the core when every other spec can now tank? Do we now get better tanks for the future or worse? Does that lead to potentially better tanks or a real Tank shortage?

    Their are always “Cause & Effects” to consider.

     
  3. orc shaman

    August 18, 2008 at 8:15 am

    I think you’re being a tiny bit unfair on Blizzard here – not that they haven’t earned it…

    For progression raid content yes the tank will be min/maxed to the full. In a hardcore (for want of a better term) guild they’ll undoubtably be a “best” tanking class for each boss, but in a casual guild like mine it’ll be a question of as long as they’ve done their gear preparation any of the tanking classes might tank on a particular raid depending on real life factors.

    Early after the release of BC I found there was no tanking shortage, although there were people who were there to tank but frankly couldn’t. Once all those with an interest in tanking (and hence a modicum of skill) had got their drops then the tank shortage started, and this was exacerbated by dps (usually PvP) spec’d tanking classes being pretty much unable to tank. It’s this latter problem that they’re hopefully addressing.

    On the gear homogenisation thing I’m slightly concerned (e.g. will caster mail have too much crit emphasis for resto, or not enough for elemental?), but as long as it doesn’t go too far towards your “end of trend” scenario I think it’s a good thing. It should certainly cut down on the number of sharded drops in 5 man groups and 10 man raids, and hence increase your chances of getting what you do want from a run.

     

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