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Ciderhelm
08-19-2008, 01:02 AM
I'm going to pose three specific but distinct questions for the community. Fair warning: This discussion crosses into a territory we normally avoid; as such, responses to this thread are going to be subject to heavy moderation. Expect this to be our focus through the weekend.
Question 1 -- Abilities
What abilities do all tanks need and what abilities do you feel make your specific class unique?

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
When you're in a raid and you are not able to tank due to encounter limitations such as a boss that only requires one tank, what role could you perform that would make raid groups less likely to swap you out? (Note: This is not asking for an explanation of current mechanics, but roles that would make sense for your class in the future)

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
What are the most enjoyable and memorable encounters you've been in as a tank, and why? (Any size, from 5-mans on up)
Rules


Responses should be entirely devoted to answering the questions.
Responses should be class specific to the character you've invested in the most.
Responses must not involve class comparisons and must be related to tanking.
This is not a debate thread.


As with the previous discussion, I'll go ahead and start. I'll keep my answers focused on Protection Warriors.

Question 1 -- Abilities
I believe as many general abilities as possible should be given to each class. For instance, the ability to handle incoming magic damage through class design or through specific abilities should be equal across all tanking classes. I also believe that any anti-CC abilities (such as Berserker Rage for Warriors) that are going to come into play in raid encounters should be available to anyone who can tank.

The only ability I've felt has defined the Protection Warrior has been Shield Slam (http://www.shieldslam.com/). I suspect many would agree. The functionality and the scaling of it was so unique after the Shield Block Value change that it allowed for a lot of fun feats, gave Protection a burst-damage utility attack similar to other trees, and gave us some fun tricks to show off.


Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
For Warriors and tanks in general, there are three possible routes that I would be happy with.

First, DPS. For Warriors in particular, this has been the core of our class for when we're not tanking and it makes the most sense, since DPS increases for Protection in raids also translates to DPS increases for Protection outside of raids.

Second, debuffs. While applying a slowing debuff or an attack power debuff is by no means necessary, it does add value while we're in the raid. If there were specific debuffs available to tanks that was best used by players not tanking, this would make sense.

Third, damage soaking. While there are abilities that reduce the target's chance to Hit and their Attack Power, there aren't many that actually transfer the damage to another player. While Intervene is nice for Warriors, something a little more stable for all of the tanking classes that would allow, say, a maximum of ~10% damage transfer or damage removal from the primary tank to the other tanks would help. For instance, if the goal was that raids would need 4 tanks for raid content, then a buff or aura that stacked 3 times for 3% damage each would be valuable to a raid. It would also fit squarely with a design that all tanks would appreciate. However, this kind of change would need to be tertiary to the other roles as it would not in itself make raiding enjoyable.


Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
I tend to enjoy encounters which are designed for multiple active tanks, particularly when they involve coordination among the tanks. This also produces virtually the only kind of environment where a tank can really pull of amazing feats to save the raid -- picking up more mobs than you're supposed to tank or grabbing an unexpectedly loose mob is what makes things exciting. Having all tanks adjust on the fly because one has died and being able to recover from it is an amazing feeling. I'll go ahead and list the ones I thought were handled best in relation to this (though I liked plenty of single-tank encounters as well!):

Vaelastrasz/Huhuran/Kel'thuzad/Bloodboil -- Tank switching occurred because of incoming damage, and occurred as a result of tanks working closely with each other. Broodlord and Void Reaver fit here as well, though they require significantly less coordination.

Firemaw/Ebonroc -- Tank switching occurred in a very specific manner related to the encounter mechanics (knockback/healing debuff). This made the use of Taunt important.

Nefarian/Gluth -- Two-tanking Nefarian w/o Fear Ward, was something that Horde tanks took pride in. Gluth took this a step further by adding a debuff you wanted to have wear off, forcing Alliance to ease off Fear Ward as well.

Molten Core/Razorgore/Noth/Karathress/Al'ar/Vashj/Kael/Azgalor/Thaddius/Illidan -- The idea of having multiple decently-difficult adds in an encounter seemed to taper off after Molten Core, but they really made the encounters more fun.

Patchwerk -- Four tanks perilously close to death spamming Shield Block for dear life, developing potentially debilitating carpal tunnel on wipe nights? Count me in. This differs from secondary attacks on Supremus/Mother/Halazzi in that the tanks were planning health bars and fighting their keyboards like mad to make it work.

Four Horsemen -- By far the most enjoyable and satisfying tanking encounter that I have seen in an MMO.

Hypatia
08-19-2008, 01:46 AM
Oho! Very interesting. Some quick answers now. I'll likely expand later.

Question 1 -- Abilities
All tanks need to be able to take damage from serious boss fights, with both magic and melee damage. There can be some variation, but once the difference gets up to around 10% there's a hurdle that's difficult to overcome. Below that, there's some wiggle room. There's some room for variation between burst and overall damage input, but in general people will always prefer the "non-bursty" tank, because bursts are just too hard to deal with. (Note that this could change if we start seeing healers regularly OOM again with LK changes, or if bursts are smaller and more recoverable.)

All tanks need active powers they can use (note that word active, it's going to come up again) in case of emergencies, or to deal with fiddly little pieces of fights. If there are fights that absolutely require defense against a certain boss ability, all tanks need some way to deal with that (even if it's not the same way for everyone.) For example, imagine a boss that deals a predictable burst of magic damage which can be Spell Reflected by a warrior. Another tanking class might have an ability that makes them immune to all damage for a short period of time, but unable to move (while retaining aggro). Another might have an ability sort of like Cloak of Shadows that could reduce the damage and allow them to keep fighting. If the burst is a fast DOT, perhaps another tank could have a short self-HOT fast enough to counter it. Short form: Every boss ability that requires a regular counter should be counterable by a reasonable tactic on the part of any tanking class. If they require a little bit of help from Fear Ward, say, that's okay--but if they require a dedicated team of priests to provide rotating Fear Wards, that's right out.

All tanks need the ability to generate good amounts of aggro on enemies of all levels. Again, reasonable variation is.. well... reasonable. And again, 10% is probably a good rule of thumb for the maximum difference between tanks at a given gear level. (i.e. the difference between the best and the worst choice for a given encounter and role should be 10% at most.) This includes any conceivable scenario where threat has to be generated--the obvious cases are "one big boss tank and spank" and "lots of little guys AoE them down". However, there are others. Examples that spring to mind are small group tanking (i.e. two tanks, three mobs: you tank one and I tank two, we should each do about as well if we swapped it to I tank one and you tank two) and off-tanking on aggro-swap fights (that is: everybody should be able to build similar levels of threat when they don't actually have aggro.)

These three areas are the core needs of all tanks: taking hits, dealing with unpleasant and unavoidable dangers, and holding aggro.

As for what makes warriors unique... Shield slam has definitely been a big winner so far, as Cider mentioned. The patch where SS was added had a pretty awesome effect on the fun-level of my warrior. I'd say that before that, Warrior tanks just didn't really have anything cool. I mean... Sunder Armor? Really?

However, I think that Spell Reflect and Intervene also have their place. Spell Reflect's major flaw is that there's a lot of stuff (not even boss abilities--look at Karazhan!) that it just doesn't work on. If it could be made to always work to at least some degree (even if that's reducing the next magic damage taken from any source by 10% on things that are otherwise "immune") it would be a lot more satisfying. As it is, it's kind of frustrating to try it on things and have it almost always do nothing at all.

But if I had to chose one of just SR or Intervene, I think I'd pick Intervene. The damage prevention is nice, but the stylish way you zip over to save your ally is what really makes it kick. Again, it has some issues (can't help with magic, awkward with a boss that does giant cleaves if the next hit is a cleave and you're in the melee pack again before the cleave happens coughBloodboilI'llNeverDoThatAgaincough), but it's good.
Going to delay the rest for now. Dammit, it's entirely too late for me to be up. Damn you, Ciderhelm!

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable

Hypatia
08-19-2008, 01:51 AM
Gah. Sorry for the multi-post. I forgot this forum is not editable and quoted myself. :l Clearly I need to sleep.

Ciderhelm
08-19-2008, 01:56 AM
Quite alright! I'll delete your second post in short order (or change your settings a bit so you can edit).

Alent
08-19-2008, 02:15 AM
Difficult questions... I'll cover both my characters again, but due to the hour I will cover Paladin in a second post.


Druid

Question 1 -- Abilities

All tanks need a: primary threat pump, secondary threat pump, Filler moves, at least one short and one long range interrupt, one or more stuns, the ability to remove a buff at varying degrees of power, Precise pulling tools, positional preparation ability (feral charge/intercept/shadowstep/etc.), several panic buttons for survival (berserk is a step in the right direction. now give us Barkskin (Feral)), and several panic buttons for threat.

Abilities that make my class unique... that's hard. the defining trait of druid is that we're copied from other classes. In so much as this, our shapeshifting is our defining point. We have a few other interesting quirks: Faerie Fire (Feral) has an odd but special place as the most accurate pulling tool in all of tanking. Powershifting strategically to burst rage or break immobilization and slowing effects is powerful where allowed.

As a result of being a mix match of classes, I find it rather unfortunate that from our Feral ability list and tree, which is loaded with things stolen from warriors and Rogue, we managed to not get a single panic button of our own or from either class.

Our most powerful threat pump, Mangle, hardly even seems defining. It's rather strange, it's just a button on my hotbar, feeling rather naked with so many empty slots nearby it. I hit 2, 3, 4, 4 the same way a warrior does. (for the curious, I have heroic threat pump on next attack where warriors have revenge) it's Shield slam with an interesting debuff on it instead of a dispell.

I feel we would be more "unique" as tanks if we were to be given combo point based attacks in bear form. As it stands we use rage the same way warriors do, it would be fascinating if we used both rage and combo points and used finishers as our secondary threat moves/utility. This would be a most effective way of giving us abilities like snares, attack or casting speed reductions, etc. while still not stepping into the realm of the random number generator (the current infected wounds talent, which really sounds like it belongs on the Death Knight- aren't diseases their thing?) or stepping on the toes of warriors (giving druids spamstring, etc.).

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking

A difficult question, Druid balance has always been predicated on the concept of cat DPS when not tanking and being available to Rebirth. I would offer that this is not what our value when not tanking is, at it's core. in effect, we are a buff class. Gift of the wild is a powerful buff that raids expect. Leader of the Pack is a versatile utility buff that allows melee to heal themselves to a point. we have heals that can "supposedly" be used, but only end up making the real healers laugh. Interestingly, using these heals and/or Rebirth takes away leader of the pack from our raid group - a conundrum.

I would like to see this expanded further, to us being able to provide mid combat buffs and heals of a defensive nature to our raid. Battle shout and other offensive buffs are solidly the territory of the fury or MS warriors and I would never wish to step on their toes, nor would I wish to become a regular healer when not tanking. However, I sadly do not have much in the way of suggestions for changes to make. All I can really say on the topic is that I feel strongly that our "non tanking" role should not be predicated on DPS, CC or healing, but rather that we be focused on a defensive role with defensive buffs. Leader of the pack is, a defensive healing buff - the crit chance merely serves to heal you more often. Give us more in this vein.

As an odd note, it could be interesting to have "lick wounds" or something in cat form that could be used to clear bleeds. But that's about all that's coming to mind at this hour.

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable


The list is fairly short, but:

#1) Casting rebirth while tanking Halazzi.

#2) Casting our last rebirth on a DPS'er while cleave splitting mother Shahraz, who contributed the extra DPS for us to get our first progression kill! Our other feral druid, who was main tanking Shahraz, blinked a few times and went "woah!" in vent when he realized what I'd just done.

#3) Threat fights with other tanks on Void Reaver. I love threat fights.

#4) tank swapping with bloodboil when the bloodboil groups weren't screwing it up for the tanks, if for no reason other than the fact that I had to intelligently add or remove threat moves based on the situation, rather than mindlessly spamming my threat rotation.

#5) Picking up one of the horsemen my first and only time doing the four horsemen, at level 70. I panned the camera and just happen to see the tank assigned to him drop and went bear and charged him, taunted, and pulled him back in position. The fight gave a full raid of T6 players a hard time and we lost two tanks- obviously a testament to the quality of the design.

Kazeyonoma
08-19-2008, 02:20 AM
Protection Warrior

Question 1 -- Abilities
What abilities do all tanks need and what abilities do you feel make your specific class unique?
I think all tanks need some sort of AOE viability, the ability to put out threat when they aren't being the main target (something like saberlash for rage/damage or hurtful strikes can be reworked to be less streaky), reactive buttons, and the ability to contribute raid utility. I think a lot of this has been addressed by Blizzard in the beta which is a great thing but I still feel that warriors contribute the least to raid utility. We have 1 buff that each warrior can bring, and if you have 2 dps warriors then it's already covered per party. Something raid wide, or just a longer duration in general would be amazing. The intervene mechanic, as useful as it is and as we can see from the talents in wotlk, is being pushed to be used more often but unfortunately, it falls short of a useful ability unless you have godly reaction times in raids (since most dps classes get 1 shot by bosses in which case an intervene won't save them unless you had some amazing reaction time). I think the greatest ability warriors had that made them unique was shield slam. It was amazing, snap aggro, scaling threat with SBV, good damage, dispelling buffs, and all this with a shield. It's the reason WHY so many people watched the movie '300' and IMMEDIATELY screamed "PROT WARRIOR!" when Leonidas shield slammed faces to the ground. I understand that we're now sharing a lot of our defining abilities with other classes come WotLK, which I understand as a necessity for their usefulness as a MT, but I'm concerned that with the abilities being distributed (again a good thing in my opinion), what is helping to keep our class unique? I hope Blizzard can come up with something amazing to fill in for Vigilance now that Shield Slam is trainable.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
When you're in a raid and you are not able to tank due to encounter limitations such as a boss that only requires one tank, what role could you perform that would make raid groups less likely to swap you out? (Note: This is not asking for an explanation of current mechanics, but roles that would make sense for your class in the future)
Everyone knows that MS PvE warriors provide huge raid utility through their AP increase to the melee group (especially if they have Solarian's Sapphire equipped) and the 4% raid wide debuff on the boss. I think the ability to switch specs with a cooldown between 2 specs for free would be pretty sweet. You could either switch it up into a more utility class, or into a dual wield fury machine that many warriors have made a name for themselves as. Since warriors are a melee only class, we really have limited viability without any form of CC or raid buff. I think obtaining some sort of buff that could be useful to the entire raid would be great. We've seen that druids are kept in raids because in kitty form they can put out a decent amount of dps. The change to devastate helped to bridge that gap for us prot warriors, stemming threads here that even brag about how great dps they were able to put out. Maybe with new itemization for str, this gap will further be closed for prot dps but an active mindset to help bump the dps numbers on a prot warrior's dps would be a good thing to have in Blizzard's minds. I believe raid flexibility and raid buffs are what determines who gets to stay and who gets to go.


Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
What are the most enjoyable and memorable encounters you've been in as a tank, and why? (Any size, from 5-mans on up)
Seriously, every raid I've ever encountered (Karazhan, Zul'Aman, Gruul's Lair, Magtheridon, Serpentshrine Cavern, Tempest Keep, and Mount Hyjal) I thought were very memorable. Simply because I got to raid. The sheer fact that I was accomplishing something with a group of people that we couldn't do without the respective help of the others was something that made me feel great. Tanking every boss I could, or dps'ing down a bosses health bar, alongside friends made this game great to me. Probably the single greatest event while tanking though that I'll never forget is going into Shattered Halls. Accidentally fearing a mob through a wall somehow, and having to take on 8-9 elites all simultaneously. The priest healer called a wipe but the warlock and rogue said, No way... and I began thunderclapping and tab devastating all over the place to protect the healers. 20 minutes later, and with the warlock and rogue dead and ran back into the instance, blowing my AOE fear twice, and an oom ret paladin turned healer, and an oom priest, we downed all 8-9 elites without a complete wipe. This was endearing to me because it was one of the first few times I spec'd protection after getting to 70, after reading guides on how to tank, and gearing up as best as I could, and being told by my friends that I couldn't be the MT for a guild because I didn't know how to tank. I showed them. =P

Urhan
08-19-2008, 02:36 AM
(Prot Warrior)

Question 1 -- Abilities

The essentials for a tanking class are high health and armor, some form of damage reduction, a way to generate enhanced threat, and a means of regaining aggro once it's lost. Beyond those baseline abilities, I'd like to see as much variation as possible in the tools each class has to tank with, even if that means some tanks aren't suitable in certain roles on some fights (that seems to me like something that should be addressed as a level design issue, not a class balance one - if Class X can't tank in a given situation, make sure there's some other way for them to be useful.)

For prot warriors, the shield is really what defines the class; it needs to play an even bigger role for us offensively and defensively - particularly offensively. More variation in shield itemization would be nice, too - rather than just one upgrade every tier level, I'd like to see a variety of specialized shields.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking

Being able to do a useful amount of raid dps wouldn't be unwelcome, but I can see how that could create a balance problem when paired with our survivability. Alternately, it would help our non-tanking viability to give us significant raidwide buffs that can only be applied when we're not tanking - for example, via an ability that only functions while the warrior remains in battle or berserker stance. I like the general idea of abilities that reduce damage on other players; however, it concerns me that this might lead to pigeonholing us into "off-tank" status.

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable

Vashj - brutal to learn, but a great test of all the key elements of tanking - survival, threat, and situational awareness.
Ossirian - good test of both mobility and threat generation (assuming you don't cheese it by using the not-quite-an-exploit.)
Gruul - a tank-and-spank with enough additional challenges to keep it interesting, particularly for the offtank.

And any fight where all of my special abilities - spell reflect, taunt, stuns, shield slam buff removal - actually function properly on the mobs involved.

dotOrion
08-19-2008, 03:06 AM
Question 1 -- Abilities
What abilities do all tanks need and what abilities do you feel make your specific class unique?

An aggro snap button like shield slam or mangle, a rage dump like maul or heroic strike, some defensive measurements like thunderclap and demo roar/shout, some form of AoE damage with decent threat like swipe or consecration, a reliable and fast way to pull (fast tanking-oriented ranged weapons, feral fairie fire, avenger's shield if it was single-target).

You could tune the defensive abilities to better complement the tank design (like a feral druid, usually better at migitating slow, hard hitting bosses, would get a demo roar that reduces more attack power than a warrior's demo shout) or to compensate for them (same example as above, but warrior gets a better demo shout so he can migitate slow, hard hits a bit better.)

In my opinion, Mangle is a defining skill for feral druids, because it combines the aggro snap of a warrior's shield slam with the lasting debuff to help out DPS similar to the Sunder Armor debuff (but better because it boosts bleeds which are not affected by armor)

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
When you're in a raid and you are not able to tank due to encounter limitations such as a boss that only requires one tank, what role could you perform that would make raid groups less likely to swap you out? (Note: This is not asking for an explanation of current mechanics, but roles that would make sense for your class in the future)

At the moment, a feral druid can help out with innervates and battleresses, just like any other druid. The other utility options are Leader of the Pack, the Mangle debuff, Feral Fairie Fire, and Demo roar if you go bearform.

Leader of the Pack is a nice buff for physical DPS, but perhaps the healing should be innate to LotP and Imp LotP could be similar to Hunting Party (chance to restore rage/energy/mana/runic power) - you don't really take a feral druid as DPS for the healing component of LOTP at this moment, just for the crit.

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
What are the most enjoyable and memorable encounters you've been in as a tank, and why? (Any size, from 5-mans on up)

Gurtogg Bloodboil -- working together with the other tanks to stay very close in total threat and threat generation, finding out ways to force a switch, etc.
A real (tanking) team effort.

Hydross the Unstable -- forced tank switching because of resistance and precise positioning combined with the need for fast picking up of adds. A bit chaotic, but an adrenaline-packed fight IMO.

Netherspite -- a 'go all out' fight with a twist. Tanks don't have to worry about aggro when standing in the red beam, but you can't stand in it forever.
Requires coordination from most of the raid for beam switching.

Thaddius -- again a coordination-heavy fight. First the two sub-bosses, then the + and - game on Thaddius himself. Even switching from one side to another after a polarity switch can get a lot of people killed, but when you have a system going, it's all execution.

Armageddn
08-19-2008, 03:15 AM
Warrior

Question 1 -- Abilities:

a)I think all tanks should be able to withstand all kinds of incoming damage magic and physical alike

b)I think all tanks should be viable at single target tanking as well as aoe tanking.

c) I think all tanks should have some kind of "Oh shit"- button to some extent.

As a warrior i feel that there are a number of abilities that makes me unique:

a) Shield slam: I think this is a defining ability for a warrior that bares a big shield and slams it into someones face :P aside from it being a huge tanking and threat ability i love the dispel procc and the fun it adds with the big numbers

b) Stance Dance I just like the idea that we don't have to depend on a fear ward to handle CC

c) Shield Wall I love it, I mean the moment you press that button you feel like a stone giant even for a couple of seconds you can take anything that the enemy can through at you


Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking:

Well I think it's not that much about the dps a warrior can do when not tanking, I mean it's definitely a big plus but you give the tank who is taking the hits the opportunity to take his mind off of all the details like shouts and debuffs he could just stand there and pull all his focus into the boss abilities and the positioning and threat.


Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable:

Well where should i start there are so many aspects to this

a) Stance dancing, Archi, Onyxia, Nefarian, as i mentioned before stance dancing is just a defining ability to me

b) Threat fights, RoS, Goerfiend, i just like to let the dps go crazy without pulling aggro

c) Tanks coordination, Kalecgos, Bloodboil, I just love when it clicks between the several tanks, communication and understanding

d) The big bad bosses with a ton of incoming damage: Brutallus, Patchwerk, i respect my healers for pulling that off

e) And The Four Horsemen i mean bringing 6-8 warriors to a raid was just fun, Truly an amazing fight

Oliria
08-19-2008, 05:00 AM
Question 1 -- Abilities
I for one think that each tankingclass should have different abilities to counter different types of bosses. having a tankcomposition with all the available classes, lets say 4 tanks, warrior, DK, pala, Druid. Each of these classes should be able to tank the bosses you face - BUT I would like to see that every class has something speciel that makes them preferable on that and that encounter. Thereby leaving the old MT role, and making all four tanks maintanks once and a while. I play a warrior, and as Ciderhelm said Shield Slam is really what makes tanking fun, big crits is fun even for tanks. What I would like to see is more active abilities, things you need to think about when to use - they say they're gonna change shield block into something more fun, a short CD shield wall or something, this is exacly what I mean - break our standard and boring 6sec rotation, with shield block every 10 secs, its boring as hell, MAKE TANKING INTERACTIVE!

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
Rather construct bossfights in a way that requires an active job of the remaining offtanks. Not necessarily offtanking, but maybe helping the raid avoid some kind of damage? blocking the way for "lazer-beams" or whatever, something that requires the tank to think and act!

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
I mentioned that I prefer fighst with miltiple tankroles, vashj and kael comes to mind, they were great fighst with alot of tankroles. many of these fighst have already been mentioned by others but: the 3 dragons in BWL, tankswitching and taunting was actually really fun. Firemaw especially, positioning is something I feel was forgot when TBC came out, and taunting the boss off in the crucial moment before Wing buffet was a great offtanking role!
Hydross for having 2 MT's and several offtanks, while also having a positioning aspect. Tho I hate bloodboil, it's a cool fight for a tank. Nefarian was great too, it also had multiple tankroles - tho it ended up with just one MT and nothing to do (as alliance atleast).

I could go on, but I think you get the point. My final point and something I think is the most important for blizzard to think about, is that tanking in TBC has been boring and easy most of the time. DPS'ers are pressed harder and harder every fight, healers (as always) is stressed and under pressure in almost every fight. But tanks... most of the time they just press a boring standard rotation without too much concern, while the 3 offtanks watch television! WE WANT MORE CHALLENGING TANKMATERIAL! Make taking as hard and stressing as healing! make it active and fun!

my 2cent!

bakunin
08-19-2008, 05:10 AM
1) All tanks need something they can do to aoe tank through heals at least, though we shouldn't all be equal. I think what makes warriors unique is we are the masters of melee combat. We can not escape, cc, or heal. We must go toe to toe with our enemy and eat what we get. Our high health and superior mitigation define us.

2) //edited: Read the question and read the moderation rules. - Cider

3) shattered halls heroic is a blast as a warrior. Pugging that with a skilled group was the best 5 man I ever ran. In raids I love any big hitter that makes me nervous from start to finish.

Widdox
08-19-2008, 05:53 AM
Going to start with Question 2:

I would love to see some tank synergy during boss fights, that create situations for two or three tanks to be greater than one. Something like Intervene, but make it so there is a down side unless coupled with a second OT. Just a few examples off the top of my head. Some paladin related some not.

For example:
"Shield Guard"
Boss is hitting Tank Alpha. Beta "shield guards" Alpha so that Alpha takes 30% less damage. The ability lasts 20 seconds but has a cooldown of 30 seconds. After the 20 seconds buff, Alpha takes 15% increased damage from the boss. Charlie uses his shield guard on Alpha to remove the debuff, and the rotation continues.

Example #2:
"Helping hand"
"Hand your shield to target player. Threat generated while Helping Hand is active by you is misdirected to target. Target receives benefit of your shield armor but is unable to use weapon based attacks. Ability lasts 15 seconds."

Example #3:
"Guardian of Salvation"
"Targeted player threat generated is split with player. Player cannot move or use abilities while guarding target. Target also recieves 30% less damage."

Example #4:
"Guardian of Light"
"Targeted player's heals are 20% more powerful. Player cannot move or use abilities while guarding target."

Example #5:
"School Prankster"
"Tie the shoelaces together of target, when target goes to move, you automatically emote laughter at target."

Caulle
08-19-2008, 07:12 AM
Question 1 -- Abilities
I think all tanks need a variety of similar abilities so that no matter who is stepping in to do the job that they can get the job done, but no boss should have an ability that is impossible for another tank to counter. Illidan's Shear for example.

What I like about my warrior that makes her unique are the number of "Oh shit" abilities I have available. Many a time we've avoided a wipe because I've been able to shield wall through heavy damage, or Last Stand at low health.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
Prot DPS isn't *that* bad if you're wearing DPS gear. Fury/Arms DPS however is bad if you have to wear tank gear. That, in a nutshell, is my biggest problem when you're not tanking because you constantly fall into one of those two categories.

DPS, imo, is the only real thing that's fun on a boss fight if you're not tanking, unless you have a steady supply of things to off tank. Anetheron and Azgalor provide a lot of work for an off tank throughout the entire course of the fight which is fun. Nefarion forces you to tank for the first 5 minutes, and then stand around trying to do DPS in tank gear which is not so fun.

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
Nefarion (Memorable) - I pointed out that this fight sort of sucked as an off tank once you got past phase 1. However, one of my most memorable boss kills of all time was when I was an OT on this fight. The main tank died from poor healer judgment and Nefarion looked at me because I was actively maintaining #2 on threat. I tossed a shield on and spun him back into position and finished off the fight. It felt amazing preventing the wipe, and it was the only time I was thankful about being in tank gear to DPS.

Twin Emps (Memorable/Ejoyable) - Despite their huge degree of difficulty, I throughly enjoyed this fight because you had to be so surgical. A second delay could get you killed, or worse allowed them to heal. This was probably one of the most rewarding boss kills for me of all time.

C'Thun (Enjoyable) - I love this fight. So chaotic, but so much fun. Running around in 4/5 Conqueror's with Ashkandi wailing on tentacles and being mindless DPS for a change was awesome.

Flamegor (Memorable) - This fight needs off tanks for a reason. We had an unfortunate attempt where all the off tanks were dead by 40% and I was the last one standing. Instead of calling a wipe, they kept going and he kept dropping aggro like clockwork. Knockback, aggro loss, chase him down, taunt, reposition, repeat. It was the most intense 3 minutes of tanking in my life, and it saved us 20 minutes worth of wipe recovery.

Illidari Council/Anub'Rekan/Major Domo (Enjoyable) - I love movement based boss fights that require constant movement of the boss. It's challenging because there's a much higher element of danger than just standing there.

Patchwerk/Teron Gorefiend (Enjoyable) - Of course I love a good tank and spank. Patchwerk for the shear "Dead god please don't one shot the tank" and Teron for the TPS epeen and being able to pull far enough ahead of your DPS that they can go full out, which in turn lets them have more fun.

Horacio
08-19-2008, 08:19 AM
1- Abilities.

I've always considered warriors to be the gritty, blood and guts type tank and our abilities should reflect that. As currently build, our threat rotations are an all out assault on the mob. I think the move to incorporate Strength, AP and damage in general as a key factor in threat generations is a welcome move. Currently its all based on modifiers and inherant values. I think being able to actually hurt the mob in order to hold its attention is more in line with what warriors should be.

That said, I like having a variety of tools at my disposal and rather than a strict rotation, having if/when questions to constantly process makes it challenging. When to use HS, for example but additionally, when sword and board activates shield slams off the CD.

I enjoy having Shield Slam as a critical utility for building threat. I'd love to see some way of incorporating a debuff or the magical effect removal function. I love the visceral feel of connecting on a solid SS and I think that is the closest we come to a defining ability. Warriors are masters of weaponry and and armor and I'd like to see us continue along those lines and remain the blood and guts tank.

2- When not tanking I see us as support DPS. Again, this synergizes some with the idea of putting a greater emphasis on damage output from tanks in tanking gear and through a few talents. Sure there are some encounters that require a singel tank but there are many more protracted battles that present a main boss with multiple minions. Currently, once an OT gets their target down, if they are a warrior, they can only contribute weak damage the rest of the way. WotLK appears to be improving on this.

Fully protection specced, there is no reason a tank should be able to equal the damage output of a fury warrior or other DPS classes but they should be able to produce meaningful DPS, perhaps 75% of a full DPS class given full damage oriented gear.

3- Best Boss Encounters

Illidan - I'm a little biased because I got an unexpected shot to tank Illidan last night. Its a fun fight and he hits like a train...well....on me in my flea market gear, lol. It pushes you to perform certain tasks (shield blocking shear), be mobile (out of the flame crash) and build threat like a madman. And you get a few breaks to catch your breath as the different phases occur. I don't like the fact that feral druids cannot mechanically tank that fight. Its just not good design to specifically exclude one class of tank.

Nefarian - A truly epic encounter. as Cider alluded to, two tanking the fears was a bear and I was Alliance without a dwarf priest so no totems, no WotF. But we got it and put him on farm. It also made for an exciting moment one night when the MT went down and I was able to pick him up and finish the fight because I was keeping my aggro high.

Nighbane - Really a neat fight and got the fear down with a timer long enough that it forced you to break it but didn't jib you with a CD when you needed to break.

Broodlord - I honestly loved this fight and it spoke to the bllod and gut warrior mentality. It was a back alley brawl and he hit relatively hard for a boss of his stature. We used to see how long we could hold him before the knockbacks became too much of a threat reduction. I successfully held him start to finish once. Usually, he bounced around until about 20% when he turned on the Ashkandi warrior and splattered him across the wall.

lirael
08-19-2008, 08:27 AM
Paladin

1- Abilities:
All of you have mentionned the same list of abilities that all tank should have so i won't add to it.

Unique to paladin: a palatank can tank the whole world in one go as long as the heals keep coming... The main problem is our serious lack of oh-shit abilities. If it is going badly for us, well, it is unlikely to get better unless the healers can haul our butt out of the hole. This makes paladin particularly suited for encounters with a lot of small slaps in our faces. Unfortunatly, these encounters are not in high end game.

2- value when not tanking:
For farming: if I put on a mix of spell damage/high block rating stuff, i can farm a lot of mobs relatively quickly.
In instance: the best bet is the healing set in the back pack. With the right itemisation (loads of mp5 + mana potion) you can offer a very good healing support for a encounter.
BG: it can surprise few to encounter a pally tank. They expect an easy kill and have this hard to kill beast. Good for carrying a flag.
DPS: useless.... a bit of burst but nothing for the long run.

3- Memorable:
- To me more is better... i just like pulling loads of mobs at the same time. It makes me happy every time to finish a fight with full health and full mana (usually means that the healer/healers have nothing left but it is worth it)
- When you start a pug with someone asking you if paladins are viable as tanks and AoE tank the whole lot with the DPS running after you to keep up :)
- 5 man instances: most of them can be done very quickly with a good heal + AoE DPS... The shattered halls are the best. Such a good fun to be high in the DPS list.
- Kara is the best instance for fun value...

Tatt
08-19-2008, 09:07 AM
1. I have always felt that tanks should have some kind of splash damage attack, even if it was just a weapon enchant specifically for tanking. You are hitting mob A, and whether it was in the form of damage or even just threat, that your attacks also helped glue the mobs next to it to you. The only word I can think of to describe it would be "Awe", as in the mob next to the one you were attacking was knocked back or just frightened enough by your attack that it focus'd on you without you actually targeting it. As if it was identifying you as the most dangerous target in the party and focused on you the way a raid or group will focus on the hardest hitting mob first and cc the rest.

2. I think the way they are changing tanking stats in the xpac will help prot dps considerably. The biggest problem I ever had with prot dw devastate was unless it was decided before the fight that you would not be tanking, just changing your weapons doesn't do much for your dps. By making strength a tanking stat, now tanking gear will also have a large amount of dps stats in the process.

3. Never played before BC came out, so my favorite tanking experiences are probably considered pretty lame, but I honestly remember the first time I managed the fight sequence in blood furnace where you have to grab 3-4 mobs 4 times before you get to the boss. That to me was one of the first times that I felt like skill as a tank made us win, instead of everyone else killing stuff while I ran around like an idiot.

Hypatia
08-19-2008, 09:10 AM
Thanks for taking care of my multi-post, Cider!

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking

The BC answer to this is "not bloody much". Being the debuff person so that DPS warriors don't need to do it isn't a great answer here. Not a great answer at all.

DPS as protection spec can be fun, but the DPS produced is not the world's greatest. It gets notably less lame in situations where there's a lot of raid damage flying around to keep the fires burning. But still, it doesn't really keep up. As fights get tighter and tighter on requirements (as they do with progression), it becomes more and more painful to have more tanks than you absolutely need. If prot warriors could routinely do 90% of the DPS of a DPS warrior in all sorts of conditions, that might be nice, but... that's still enough less DPS (especially counting the issue of getting DPS drops) that it would make more sense to swap. And even if it doesn't lead to a swap, switching to DPS isn't really... tanky.

TK and SSC had a number of places where having 4-5 tanks (one feral) was a workable option, and not much in the way of DPS races. In MH and BT, having more than three isn't really workable. Because of the mechanics of some fights, having less than three isn't an option either—but those three-tanks-needed fights seem kind of like a band-aid: they feel like they're there just to keep tanks in work. Some trash requires a bit more, some requires a bit less. All in all, this variability in tanking requirements is kind of a downer. I mean, what would a raid ever lose by having only a single tank in the raid for Archimonde or Gorefiend?

I think the right answer is to steal from JoanaDark's comment about (more or less) "when you are tanking, you are alone", and look at ways to change that. We all know that some multi-tank fights are among the most fun tanking fights in the game... but it would be nice to have that multi-tankness be part of the tanks at times rather than part of the bosses.

Another thing to note (and this is what I was talking about when I said I'd mention "active" abilities again in the future in my first post) is that the activity from the backup tanks should be actual activity. On Mother Shahraz, we use a druid MT, with me and a pally in avoidance gear soaking the hits. I typically keep commanding shout, thunderclap, demo shout, and sunder armor up while I'm standing around... but I could practically just plant myself on the tank spot and then go AFK until the fight is over.

That is clearly the wrong kind of multiple tank participation.

On the opposite side, Void Reaver style fights ought to be pretty rare as well. In this case, everybody is fighting to build threat as fast as possible. Every tank in the fight is pouring on the abilities, trying to be efficient, trying to gain extra power to use more abilities, etc. It's purely a race for the tanks, and everybody is running hard.

That's not the wrong kind of multiple tank participation, but it's also not what every fight should be.

The happy medium is one similar to what we have now, with a mix of fights requiring different tanking components (single target, forced aggro swaps, complications requiring willful aggro swaps, groups of bosses, bosses with swarms of adds, untankable, exotic tanking, etc.) The key difference, though, should be that tanks should have the ability to reinforce each other or the raid (if they're free) in all of these scenarios.

And that reinforcement should fit under the thematic umbrella of tanking: Soaking damage, holding aggro, dealing with nasty boss stuff.

Demoralizing Shout and Thunderclap show one method of helping that extra tanks can do—but it's not very satisfying. For one thing, it's a pretty passive thing to do. You can do it while DPSing. In fact, DPS warriors are often called upon to use these abilities so the tank can concentrate on building threat and surviving. Intervene for warriors is a more active ability that's interesting, but it's more useful as an emergency measure than a general utility. It also can't be used effectively if the "non-tanking tank" is set up to DPS: you need a shield to use it, you need to be in defensive stance, and you need good gear to take a normal hit from the boss. The primary place I've seen this used is on Gruul to split damage input to the MT during silences, since silences come less often than the cooldown of Intervene, and since you can often afford to have one extra tank here who's not really contributing damage.

So... what are the ingredients for an "off-tank" role that would be truly satisfying? It should be something that involves active work, but not at the same fever pitch as the MT. It should be something that tanks bring to the fight and other roles don't—not something that can be applied by non-tanking members of the same classes. Its effectiveness should be improved by many of the same attributes that improve actual tanking.

Finally, it should optimally be something that continues to improve with more tanks around, making tanking a "team sport". The optimal scenario would involve situations where having only one tank was a drawback, having two tanks was reasonable and workable (and expected), having three tanks would continue to improve the situation (although perhaps not as much as the second tank did), and having more than three tanks would exhibit clear diminishing returns. This would have the potential to make the choice of "do we put another tank in this slot or another healer or another DPS" interesting at all levels of play.

I think my best bets fall into a handful of categories:

First, methods for sharing damage taken with the MT. This decreases the burst damage pressure on the MT while maintaining a similar healing load for the entire raid. The 10k damage is done and has to be healed, but if it's done as 6k/4k, the healers gain a lot more reaction time.

Second, methods for reducing damage taken by the MT without sharing it. This would decrease the total healing load on the raid, so it should probably reduce the damage taken by the tank less than a damage split would. Perhaps the base 10k hit is reduced to 8k in this case: it requires more burst healing on the MT, but more mana is conserved over the course of the fight.

Third and fourth, either or both of the above two mechanisms could apply to raid damage as an "umbrella" instead of to the MT. This would allow tanks to soak damage directly for the raid, reducing incoming environmental damage or damage from swarms of mobs. (That last is sort of like demo shout, only in this case it feels more "active".)

All of the above four items ought to represent tactics that are unworkable if the person using the ability isn't in tanking gear. Intervene's real limit is "can you take the hit you just asked for?". The same thing should apply here. If the person splitting damage with the MT applies their own armor total to incoming melee damage, then they need to be geared up as a tank to provide that defense. Likewise, magic damage could be mitigated after the split by resistances, etc. The role of the "defender"'s HP pool should be clear. For something that doesn't actually involve the "defender" taking damage, the damage prevented from harming the MT could be based on the defender's stats. (I'm more in favor of the damage sharing, to be honest, since it feels more like tanking when you take actual damage. Still, variety means different classes can get different abilities.)

A fifth ability that an extra tank could provide is something that augments the aggro generation of the MT. This is currently the province of hunters with Misdirect. It's unclear to me how this ought to work. If it were a "you get 10% of the threat I generate" kind of aura, a DPSing member of a tank class would clearly provide better support than a tanking member. One possibility would be to tie it to the "defender" abilities described above: you can only give aggro to the MT if you're willing to take part of his damage load.

A sixth ability (which, surprise, we've already seen!) would be a mechanism that allow reducing the damage of other raid members. This is something some tanks seem to be getting already. To make this active, though, it would be better to have it be something based on the "protected" individual losing aggro equal to a portion of the aggro the tank generates. Having it be a flat percentage of the defendee's aggro produciton means you can provide that utility to the raid while AFK, which is undesirable.

Finally, team emergency buttons. Intervene is a good example of this, actually. It can be used to try to defend the MT against a big hit when they're low on health, or it can be saved and used against burst damage abilities with predictable timing. Similar (but different) abilities could do all of the sorts of things described above, only "more so" and for a shorter time. Intervene is basically damage splitting that's complete (0/100) and which has a longish cooldown and only lasts for one melee strike. Another potential (different kind, though) of emergency button might be a quick "burst down threat" or "burst up threat" on a longish cooldown. Or a targeted Cloak of Shadows, or... etc. Again, these ought to be things that require tanking gear to do well.


Sooooo, anyway. That was long-winded. The core idea is: Tanks should be able to contribute in tanky ways when not tanking. This means that their tank gear should contribute towards their performance, and that the utility they provide should be related to the core tanking abilities: soaking damage, managing aggro, and mitigating disasters. While other classes (or tanking classes geared and/or talented for other roles) might have some of these abilities as well, tanks ought to be the best at providing this service. These abilities should be active—you need to feel like you're actually working to do the best job you can—you might be able to slack off more than the MT, but not much more, and you certainly can't go AFK for any length of time. Adding more tanks should provide more of this sort of utlity... to a point. Assuming that there is a "goal number of tanks in the raid", having one less tank than the goal (in any fight) should be workable but uncomfortable. Having one more tank than the goal should provide an interesting trade-off of survival for DPS. Having more than one extra tank should feel inefficient. Having more than one missing tank should feel deadly.
Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
Hmm. My first time dealing with the "aggro reducing knockback" was on Broodlord Lashlayer. The hectic pace of "fight fight fight for agggggro!" was tremendous fun. This was near the time I started raiding, so I was excited to be tanking anything at all. That may color things.

The drake fights were also all pretty enjoyable. I recall taunting Wing Buffets and sailing across the room. Tanking in BWL definitely felt like a team effort, most of the time.

Getting in line for Vael to see how many tanks would die tonight was always a rush, although I joined my first WoW raiding guild just after they had finished with him.

I liked Battleguard Sartura a whole hell of a lot—I'd heard so many times that "stuns aren't useful in raiding" that I laughed in delight when I realized how useful they were on Sartura. In general, I think this was satisfying because it was an "exotic tanking" fight in which the enemies were still tanked by tanks. Our strategy was to burn down one add, then put three tanks on Sartura and two on each of the remaining adds. The add tank teams would use taunts and stuns to maintain control, while the Sartura team used a taunt rotation shouted on vent (our MT went hoarse more than once on that fight.) Usually one of our adds would be down just in time for a Sartura tank to die and need replacement. Crazy and different and fun.

Princess Huhuran was a tremendous pain in the ass because of the resist gear requirements, but was otherwise pretty interesting. Kurinaxx and Fankriss gave a sort of preview of what was going to happen here, what with the stacking debuffs and need to swap tanks around. But the reality of the fight was a different thing entirely. Having to swap between more than two tanks, while maintaining the highest possible threat output to burn Huhuran down quickly... It was a great payoff for the introduction of a new sort of mechanic to the game.

Since I never made it to the really really fun fights in Naxxramas pre-BC, I think my favorite boss was the Twin Emperors. There was nothing really all that technically challenging here, but it was the first fight where I was one of the MTs for every kill. I was the tank who would tank Vekni'lash at the start of the fight, and I was the tank who could routinely land demoralizing shouts without aggroing any stupid yellow bugs. So I enjoyed that a lot.

As for memorable moments... There are an awful lot of "oh my god, we finally got that boss down"s that everybody gets ecstatic about. But I think the memory I'll never forget is when I tanked Prince Malchezzar through phase 3 with... a fishing pole. ^_^;;; Whoops.

I guess I remember the painful more than the pleasant. :D

Kavtor
08-19-2008, 09:17 AM
Question 1 -- Abilities

The damage reduction debuffs (thunder clap / demo shout) are required on a primary mob. The new warlock CoW, and attack speed debuffs for other tanks gives a raid plenty of wiggle room. Blizzard has solved that problem nicely.

Many people have mentioned Shield Slam, but not mentioned the Dispel effect. There haven't been a lot of chances to use it in PVE content unfortunately. But it is fun being able to dispel bloodlusts on BT trash mobs. Since a variety of caster classes also have dispel mechanics, it is something that can give warriors a unique ability that wouldn't require a protection warrior over the other tank classes.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking

This provides an interesting challenge. While not expected to tank at all on a fight, a prot warrior can provide some DPS, but not enough for a progression encounter with a hard berserk timer. I think it's acceptable to respec for a progression fight where we need to provide a different roll, -if- it's expected that gear progression will soon allow us to keep the same spec & raid group for the entire zone.

Applying debuffs was helpful, and still gives us some utility. Blizzard has provided more debuff options, but in WotlK I can still provide debuffs while the main tank can use threat abilities instead of debuffs, or the warlock can use a damage curse.

The trick is giving us an active roll. The saber lash soak is a pretty dull roll on Mother Shaz, but better in ZA, where both tanks are active in different phases. A flame tank on illidan past phase two has a similar dilemma. Nightfall was fun while it lasted. An item that would be too crippling for a primary DPS class to use, but would scale well enough in tank gear to provide some benefit. Nightfall's base DPS was so low that it wouldn't scale well with the hit / crit / haste that a prot warrior doesn't have in tank gear, but it provided a reasonable raid buff.

The challenge is both in class design and encounter design. Giving warriors more tools to actively prevent and manage damage in encounters, and more opportunities to use the wide variety of abilities that we already have would be nice. ( interupts, disarms, stuns, slows, etc ) Active use of those abilities gives a great deal of control in 5 mans, but always seem less useful in raid encounters.


Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable

Trying to solo tank RoS phase 1 with block value, consumables, and cool downs is an interesting challenge.

The coordination and intensity of Vaelestraz is certainly memorable, as are the add control encounters like Razorgore or Gothic. Allowing those mechanics to provide good encounters with out being rendered obsolete with better AOE tanking is an interesting challenge.

Fights where you get to do a variety of different kinds of tanking are fun. Like Kael and Vashj.

orcstar
08-19-2008, 09:24 AM
Question 1 -- Abilities
What abilities do all tanks need.
->Soak damage, from 1 or more mobs, keep their attention, some method to get the attention of a mob instantly.

What abilities do you feel make your specific class unique?
->I play a warrior, and one of the most fun and frustrating things about him is the rage mechanic. (while bears also have it) I think that's what makes my class really unique. Take for instance magical classes: they all have a mana bar and they cast spells. There are lots of things which are the same for mana users, only the spells they cast are different, the mechanic is the same. Rage is unique.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
->When you're in a raid and you are not able to tank due to encounter limitations such as a boss that only requires one tank, what role could you perform that would make raid groups less likely to swap you out? (Note: This is not asking for an explanation of current mechanics, but roles that would make sense for your class in the future)
->I'd like ways to make other tanks perform better. Maybe some whispers in the bosses ears to make them extra mad at the current tank. Not so much a misdirect but a threat booster for the one having aggro.
Instant boosts to the performance of a single player based on a rage mechanic. Some sort of rage dump which makes a targeted player become berserk for 1/10th seconds for all the rage you put in it (dumping 100 rage in it would net 10 seconds). Or maybe even a group.

One of the things I'd really like is some shield mechanic and a taunt which works in pvp.
:You shield a player absorbing x damage or x% for a specified time.
:You taunt a player, targeted players target is switched to you for 5 seconds.
In general, more ways to play prot in pvp other then tanking Stormpike.(I played another mmo before wow and there a tank could taunt in pvp and the target player would have his target switched to you instead of your squishy mate, that enabled a lot of fun tactics which made tanks also desirable in pvp.)

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
What are the most enjoyable and memorable encounters you've been in as a tank, and why? (Any size, from 5-mans on up)
->Killing Hex-Lord with a PuG, I like the fight, the odds were against us and still we pulled it off.
Memorable: My first time tanking (and killing) nightbane, mostly because when he was at 25% and Landed I had 3 misses/parries/whatever in a row which made him go after my teammates, 4 people were dead before I managed to get him back. Amazingly we managed to kill him thanks to very skilled teammmates. This was a very important encounter for me because it opened my eyes and now I'm not only stacking stamina anymore but also hit and expertise.
Not really memorable but certainly enjoyable: Tanking Twin Emperors as a 70. I haven't had the joy to play endgame as a lvl 60, I stepped in too late so I had never done the fight, we only wiped once.

Tanking *cough* kiting the striders on my *cough* shaman *cough* *cough* *cough* I'm a reroller and I don't think I'll roll back to my shaman. DPS:slamming one button (if paired with a sp 2) Healing: you might as well turn off all graphics and fill your entire screen with health bars, you don't see much else during a fight anyway, no, I don't want to go back.

Chunes
08-19-2008, 10:43 AM
From a Protection Paladin's Perspective:

Question 1 -- Abilities
What we all need to have:
1) An active means to mitigate incoming damage and boost threat (stance/aura/form)
What we all should have:
1) A active means to mitigate incoming spell damage
It's no secret we paladins covet the warrior's spell reflect as well as their ability to inturrupt (yes they require stance changing in some cases, but at least you have them right?) At present we have 2 abilities that add up to a meager amount of passive mitigation/spell avoidance, i have not bothered to spec into either talent ever.
2) A fairly uniform assortment of "oh sh!t" buttons
This is being addressed in wrath from what i have been reading w/ the paladin's shield wall-esque form of bubble and a parallel to last stand in our modified lay on hands, i am content with those changes
3) An active means to counter fear based effects
Nothing is more aggrivating to the prot paladin than running around in absolute terror. It is fundamentally against our lore as well, being justified in our faith in the light and having umpteenmillion points of experience facing some of the most horrifying things the undead has to throw at us, one would think we'd be hardened or dare i say, immune to fear by now. On the subject of lore, why are we not immune to disease either? wasn't that supposed to be a pretty big perk to being a paladin?

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
For the paladin specced prot in the raid, we bring several things to the table:
1) Buffs, wipe prevention and Ressurects
DI's, blessings galore, and one more person to help rez in the event of a wipe are oil to the gears of a raid.
2) Semi-decent off healing ability
I'll be the first to admit my heal gear is pretty terrible. A ragtag assortment of KZ/ZA throwbacks gets me just barely over 1.3k+ heal. 5 Holy lights and i'm out of mana and in that heal set my HP is roughly cut in half. Fights like Naj'entus i almost feel like a liability in my heal gear because i'm only 2k over the minimum necessary to survive his shield pop damage. Nevertheless, some heals is better than no heals right?
3) Swarm pack add control
Fankriss comes to mind for an encounter the modern prot paladin would have excelled at. The tanking warrior has his work cut out for him with the main raid boss, but who will take care of the numerous adds that are summoned in the fight? Prot pallies bring a great degree of control to swarm based elements in encounters

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
- Being able to tank a pretty decent amount of bloodboil's non-felraged phases with clever use of trinkets and bubble to clear the acid stack
- successfully tanking the murlocs in the tidewalker encounter
- etc etc. Prot pallies have come a very long way from relative obscurity and discrimination, to progression tanking any boss that does not mandate spell reflect and in some cases, stance dancing.

TomHuxley
08-19-2008, 10:44 AM
POV: Prot Warrior

1-Abilities:

I am not a big fan of giving all tanks the same abilities. That said, all tanks need to have a high enough combination of HP, mitigation, and avoidance to tank the vast majority of fights. If AOE fights are going to become more commong, then all tanks need some ability to hold large groups of mobs off the healers. I don't think tanks need to have specific counters to every boss ability (e.g. sheer) but I do think that their other abilities should give any properly geared tank a shot at any encounter - it's not fair if a bear cannot tank Illidan regardless of gear, skill, and choice of fellow raiders.

Importantly, I think any tank needs to be able to build threat when they are an OT, and that threat needs to be sustainable through a long fight (e.g. rage production, mana regen/efficiency, etc). Also, some form of interrupt is useful, especally for 5 and 10 man content.

As for warrior specific abilities, I have to agree that shield slam has been one of the defining abilities. That said, I have always thought that all of the melee-specific abilities like disarm, concussive blow, and spell reflect were fun and made a lot of sense for a melee tank. One of the sources of endless frustration is when a boss is simply "immune" to one of these abilities. Sure, some bosses appear to have their weapons physically attached to their bodies, so disarm wouldn't work, but if there isn't a logical reason for an ability to fail, then it should work, even if perhaps a boss recovers much faster from the disarm, SS, etc.

2-Value when not tanking

Obviously bringing some level of non-crippled DPS is good. Maintaining shouts and debuffs for the MT is very useful. I could see hamstring or some other movement-impairing effects becoming more important as a form of CC if encounters start to emphasize mobility and larger numbers of mobs.

3-Memorable

I really enjoyed threat fights (e.g. Void Reaver). Once I learned to use a stance dance macro I've learned to absolutely love fights where it is appropriate (the first time I downed Nightbane without any sort of fear ward or tremor totem was one of my favorite fights of all time).

I really, really like tanking multiple mobs via tab selecting and cleave (with the occasional shout and TC), but the efficacy of that method depends not just of skill (yay!) but also on your connection and/or sever lag (boo!). There may not be a way around this without some sort of AOE spell (which is not really what I want) but it's very frustrating.

There is a class of fights (Moroes, Netherspite, Lurker, HKM, A'lar come to mind) where you have to execute as a group, but recovery is still possible by an aware tank as long as it's just one or two mistakes (as opposed to Metheridon or Gruul, where someone elses mistake often = instawipe).

Some encounters will always appeal more to one play style (or class) than other, but the times you snatch victory from the jaws of defeat are the most fun you can have IMO.

bosephus
08-19-2008, 11:45 AM
I play a Prot Warrior.

1. As stated by others, I think a nice baseline between tanking classes is necessary. A panic button or two, a method for generating AOE threat, and the ability to do respectable damage are all things I see as necessary. I take forever to kill those little fiends spawned by Cabalists in Sunwell Plateau. That's just insulting to the class.

2. Value when not tanking: again, as stated by others, it would be great to do some respectable damage. I really like the suggestions provided above for a method to take damage from others. I'm sure there are a few ways that mechanic could be accomplished.

3. Memorable encounters: I can't believe nobody else has said it, but my most memorable encounter was the first time my guild and I successfully completed a ZA bear mount run for the first time. It's 45 minutes of non stop action, with lots of different combinations of targets, both trash mobs and bosses.

Sangi
08-19-2008, 12:25 PM
Prot Warrior here

Abilities

We are meat shields and we protect the group. Our core abilities should allow for us to do this.

All tanks should have the ability mitigate incoming damage of all types to similar levels.
All tanks should have taunting abilities
All tanks should have threat boosting abilities, passive or active
All tanks should have consistent scalable threat generation for all levels of content.
All tanks should have panic buttons that save them from the random number generator.

Value when not tanking
Give us abilities to absorb a portion of incoming raid wide damage. Give us abilities to boost the other tanks on the fight, either their threat or their mitigation. I think that Hypatia covered these really well in her second post. But give them to ALL the tank classes to avoid pigeon holing one or more tank classes into a permenant OT role.

Memorable

Being the last man standing on Leo. Duoing the last H Sethick Halls boss with a healer. Tanking High King as my first 25 man raid boss (and susequently gettting squashed). Prot flag carrying in EotS.

Mangea
08-19-2008, 01:01 PM
Abilities:

I think all tanks should share similar abilities to deal with caster mobs, to handle fear and CC, and to handle emergencies. Panic buttons along the lines of Last Stand and Shield Wall are being shared around, and that’s a good thing. Finally, all tanking classes should have a way to hold a large group of mobs (6 or more) against healing aggro while DPS single targets them down.

I play both a Prot Warrior and a Prot Paladin, and I’ve been able to use a Feral Druid frequently over the last few months, and it seems to me that a Protection Warrior is the most responsive and quick in feel and dynamics, and has the most mobility of any of the current tanking classes. This is what makes us unique. We’re fast. Between Charge, Intercept, and Intervene, Warriors can cover ground much faster than anyone else. Also, our class has excellent control abilities with Shield Bash, Concussion Blow and Hamstring. Whereas a Prot Paladin lays down a Consecrate over a large area (and this works very well), sometimes it feels a little ham-fisted and lacks the finesse and precision that a Prot Warrior has. Being able to run a heroic Magister’s Terrace with only one CC and tank two casters at range with Spell Reflect and two or three melee mobs with Shield Slam, Concussion Blow, etc., and completely work around the CC is a very good feeling. It gives the Warrior a feeling of finesse, control, fluidity, responsiveness, and mobility that I don’t experience with my Protection Paladin.

Value When Not Tanking:

For Warriors, I’d like to see our value when not tanking involve greater DPS and some synergy with the current tank. Off-tank DPS approaching an equally geared Feral Druid (but maybe not matching) would be good. The current incarnation of Safeguard is also good for helping out the current tank.

For Paladins, healing. Every little bit can help, so slightly boosting a Prot Paladin’s ability to heal the group when not tanking would be nice. Additionally, debuffs. Judging debuffs like Widsom, Light, or Crusader have always been helpful, but they’ve been a nuisance to maintain while helping out with the healing after the tanking is done.

Memorable/Enjoyable encounters:

There are three kinds of encounters that I always enjoy. The first is when things go wrong, like when another group is accidentally aggroed. I remember in the old Undead Stratholme runs when someone would get feared into another group, and I experienced that “Freeze Frame” moment when I take in the entire screen all at once, I see all the mobs coming at us, and there’s that instant of clarity. It’s a very brief pause, like a breath inhaled, and then the adrenaline fires the starting gun. From there everything happens quickly and in slow-motion at the same time, and I’m in the middle of the chaos. Cleaves, sunders, heroic strikes, swap to Battle Stance to Thunder Clap (this was before the change), tab sunder tab sunder tab sunder, frenetic, frenzied, furious, and good lord it was fun. I love those moments.

The second kind of encounter I enjoy is the balls-to-the-wall, no holds barred, bare-knuckled, knock-down-drag-out fights where the raid boss is just PUNISHING you, beating down on you relentlessly. Basically, Brutallus. I really enjoy fights where it feels like I’m FIGHTING the boss. Where we’re trading blows and knocking the crap out of each other. Granted, not every boss can be like this. In fact, having more than one per expansion would take away from the awe inspiring quality fights like Brutallus and Patchwerk have. These kinds of fights really make a tank (and everyone in the raid) roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty, and push themselves past their limitations. Having too many would ruin this experience.

The third kind of encounter that I always love, not so much because of the mechanics but rather because of how flat out awesome they are, is fighting dragons. The first time I heard about Onyxia, I immediately knew that I HAD to fight her. Then, when I was finally able to tank her for the first time, I was on cloud nine. It is to this day, bar none, the single greatest epic fight I have ever had the pleasure to tank. I just love tanking dragons. Because, I mean, they’re DRAGONS!

Oh, and fights like Shade of Aran, where I get to DPS, are fun too!

Tenraiel
08-19-2008, 01:05 PM
Prot Warrior

Abilities
Area of effect tanking competency for all classes.
Panic buttons in some form should be available to everyone.
Physical damage handling ability should differ no more than 10%.
Magical damage handling ability should differ no more than 10%.
Threat should scale properly with gear.
Threat should be possible to generate without having aggro.

Value When Not Tanking
I would like to dps well.

I also would love it to be possible to be able to pick up a boss if the tank dies while I'm dpsing. Perhaps taunts could be geared to work on non-tauntable targets if main aggro target dies. Maybe a special taunt on a long cd that will work against non-tauntable bosses. Along the same lines, a long cd that would allow 1 gear swap mid-fight would mean that if a tank goes down I might be able to hop in.

Memorable
High King/Alar/Vashj/Shade of Akama: I love the fights that encourage a tanking team. My favorite channel is the the <guild>tank channel and when a fight has been an effort where the 3-4 of you know you each had to perform to succeed it really makes the special comradery(<- word?, if not it should be) between a tanking team worth a nights repairs.

Kaz'rogal/Teron Gorefiend: I love dps/threat races. Challenging the warlocks to pull threat and keeping the boss on me makes me giddy inside.

Lore
08-19-2008, 01:08 PM
I'll be discussing the Protection Paladin. For the sake of clarity, I will state that, unless I note otherwise, I will be talking primarily in a WotLK context.

Question 1 -- Abilities
I have always considered Divine Shield (and by proxy, Divine Protection) to be the most defining abilities for the Paladin class, and to that end I am very happy to see the bubbles returning to use for Protection Paladins. Divine Protection's status as basically a carbon copy of Shield Wall doesn't bother me to that end (the flavor difference is enough for me). I consider the short-term blessings (Hands in WotLK terminology) to be fairly class defining mechanic as well, though they are not applied solely to the Protection Paladin.

As far as shared abilities go, I'd personally like to see non-mitigation-based cooldowns get a little more play in the expansion. I'm of the belief that, at least with WotLK tanking philosophies, if an ability is not available in some fashion to all tanks, it probably won't see much use in encounter design. I'm inclined to believe that's why Shield Wall has been getting spread around; I'd like to see that applied to non-mitigation-based cooldowns such as Avenging Wrath as well, because I'd like to see fights where boosting your threat in a hurry is necessary.

The only mechanic I feel Paladins are currently unable to deal with effectively is Fear. If Nightbane or Archimonde-style fights exist in Wrath, all tanks need a reliable method to deal with it. Fear Ward is not an acceptable substitute for Berserker Rage in its current incarnation, as it requires so much extra coordination and organization from so many more people that the vast majority of raids would rather just bring in a Warrior tank than bother with it.

That said, I did play a Warrior for a long time, and I consider successfully stance dancing one of the most personally rewarding things a tank can accomplish. I'd hate to see it get left by the wayside. In fact, I wish my Paladin had something like it (at least from an execution standpoint).

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking

I feel that the Protection Paladin has been given a fair amount of non-tanking value in Wrath. With the Spellpower change as well as the Stamina->Spellpower conversion (and bonus to crit heals), it seems as though the Protection Paladin should be able to provide a decent amount of extra healing when not tanking, potentially even changing roles midfight. On top of that, we have the ability to give other players some burst mitigation through Hand of Sacrifice and Divine Guardian. Obviously, time will tell, but I think there is plenty of room for a skilled Prot Paladin to shine when not tanking.

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable

The fights I find the most enjoyable are the ones with mobility, tank coordination, or timing elements; basically any time I have to pay attention to more than just me. I also enjoy raw threat output encounters from a "big numbers" perspective. A few examples:

Mobility - Illidan is the best TBC example, with the careful pathing and positioning required from the flames (and Illidan himself to some degree). My personal favorite fight from a mobility standpoint, however (possibly even my favorite fight to tank in the game) was Ossirian from AQ20. That fight was so much fun; finding the next crystal, running to it, and keeping up with the other tank on threat. Mmmm.

Tank coordination - By this I don't just mean fights like Mother, Supremus, or even Bloodboil where you just have several tanks on one boss. I mean fights where I am actively paying attention to what other tanks are doing as part of the strategy. Honestly, the best example here is Instructor Razuvious as a mind controlling Priest. I had to keep up constant communication with the other priest about which add I was taking, when my shield wall was going down, when my mind control was wearing out, and so forth. I haven't seen that level of tank-to-tank communication and coordination required in any other encounter. The closest is Brutallus, really, and there's no real communication required other than to tell the healers you're taunting.

Timing - Similar to movement fights. Examples would be Illidan shears, or picking up the Rogue on Council. I'm not just standing there spamming my rotation; I'm watching for something, and getting ready to do something special when it happens.

Threat burn - They're generally just "mash your buttons as fast as you can", but it's always nice to see big numbers and hear "OMG so much threat" from your top DPS'ers. Brutallus is one such fight, and Teron Gorefiend (though it's not really required on Gorefiend).

TL;DR version of question 3: I like fights where I've actually got some pressure on me to perform, not just "stand here and don't lose aggro".

Fuzzymuffin
08-19-2008, 02:03 PM
Hello,

I know I'm new to actually being a member but I've been a reader of this site for quite a long time. To that extent I first would like to say hello peeps.

Ok On to the jist of this article:

Question 1: Abilities

To me tanking is about reacting and constantly revaluating the situation at hand. To this extent the snap response maneuvers such as intervene, taunt, as well as revenge and shield slam have been aspects of the warrior I revolve my tanking around. I believe that these features have remained fairly true to our combat style, which is direct and focussed. Such ways that we have to tab from target to target to keep them on us brings to mind the single minded way a warrior should approach a encounter.

I believe having individual strengths is something that should seperate the way tanks are percieved. If you have a warrior in a group combat situation then the warrior needs to know how to hold as much as he can as if CC wasn't an option and to this extent players should be aware to really stick on the warriors main, or focussed target. Though the perception of the Pally tank should be one that takes group encounters as a more leisurely persuit since that is something they do excel at.

Question 2: Value when not tanking

I feel that outside of tanking I should be able to bring a reasonable amount of DPS that will give me a value to the raid, as well as making my buffs to AP or HP raid wide, which is a great fact for the coming expansion. Giving me more snap options to support my fellow tanks would be a great option, knowing that regardless of my gear at the present moment I can jump around and get back into the tanking seat would be a plus.

Question 3: Memorable/Enjoyable Moments

I like it when I can get a good use out of Spell Reflection. The Kael'thas fight in Magister's Terrace is a perfect example where enough time is given for me to build up the rage and then apply Spell Reflect before a the cast gets off. Those sort of reaction moments are priceless and I'm personally hoping that what I'm hearing about Spell Reflect being taken off the GC will make it to launch allowing me to mitigate spell damage at my choosing.

beer
08-19-2008, 02:27 PM
1a. What abilities do all tanks need?

All tanks need a taunt (Snap Agro, set threat to maximum threat on mob).
All tanks need threat abilities that work on AOE and Single Target Encounters (Consecration and Shield Slam)
All tanks need triggered abilities that increase survivability (Shield Wall)
All tanks need triggered abilities that counter boss gimmicks (Shear/Fear)

2. What role could I perform that would increase my raid utility when not tanking?

I would not like to see tanks become pale comparisons of other established raid roles when not tanking. I don't want to get caught giving gimped offheals or putting out pity dps. Instead, I would like to see creative ways to play to the established strengths of a tank. I would like to be able to use brute strength and increased survivability to actively help the raid.

Intervene is an example of an ability that I'd like to see used more in an off tanking role. I'd like to intervene raid members other than the MT that will take predictable single target damage. A good example is right after a quake in Magtheridon. Occasionally, a rogue will be bounced into cleave range, and I can actively Intervene that rogue. Doesn't help all the time, but I've saved a few rogues' lives. I also want a big emote on the rogue's screen that says "TANK X JUST ATE 10K DAMAGE FOR YOU. BETTER THANK HIM!"

I would like an ability to smash a mob into position. There are countless times that I've seen raid tanks have a difficult time getting an enemy in the exact right position. Instead of asking the person to twitch left or right on vent, I'd like to move the mob myself. Perhaps a bull rush ability that just knocks the target back a few feet, or a shield drag ability that attaches the mob to my shield for a second or two while I move him.

I think if you make up two or three abilities that incorporate different nuances of the above abilities, you could keep a tank busy all day. For example, paladins could have an ability that redirects the next 3 damaging spell effects than occur in an area to themselves. Warriors could have a bull rush ability that knocks an ally out of the way of a damaging aoe effect. Druids could have an ability that grabs a dragon by its jugular and moves it 4 feet in either direction. All of these functions are related to tanking, but not exactly tanking. They can also easily incorporate flavor that is familiar to most tanks; in other words, they allow us to get smashed or do some smashing.

3. What encounter was the most memorable to you as a tank?

Garr in Molten Core. This is partly because I was raid leader as well as off tank. Assigning 4 warlocks to 4 adds, and 4 pairs of hunter/tank to 4 adds with no marks was just a big fun party. It gets even more fun if you don't read about the encounter before you try it. See, we had a lot of aoe damage dealers and not as many geared tanks, so we thought just aoeing the first 3 adds would be fine. Too bad they all exploded in our faces and wiped half the raid....

Halgreg
08-19-2008, 03:21 PM
Point of View: Protection Warrior

Question 1 -- Abilities
"What abilities do all tanks need."

Mitigation:
Mitigation buffs on a timer. The best example for me is Shield Block as it gives you 2 charges of physical mitigation (and in the case of crushing blows, avoidance) that the Tank sucessfully activates during the fight. Lighting up Revenge is a great perk. I would love to see a version of Shield Block for spell damage.

Threat:
As many have mentioned, ways to gather aggro. Clever use of the Taunt mechanic can be used with a smart group, but the easiest example is a good ol' Shield Slam crit. High damage, high threat, big reason for some mob to keep his attention on you and not your healing and DPS. That's only for a single target though, so accompanying skills for AOE threat gathering (not thunderclap) is great.

Enemy Debuffs:
One way a tank could lessen the damage done to his group is by making his enemies deal less damage overall. By applying these debuffs, the tank indirectly protects his group. A great example of this is demoralizing shout. I would love to see a version of this shout for spell damage. Another great example is Piercing howl for AOE protection. Keeping a group snared gives whoever drew aggro time to react to a mob coming after him, and gives the tank time to regain aggro since the mob is still relatively close by. To be honest, I wouldn't care so much about shockwave if Piercing Howl was more accessible to Prot warriors specwise, was put on some kind of cooldown timer, and caused a high amount of threat. Disarm, while not useful in the past, is a great way normally hard hitting mob to put up laughable numbers even when faced against a clothie. A Disarm to work on casters, or an AOE Disarm could be interesting.

"What abilities do you feel make your specific class unique?"
Piercing Howl is one of the best abilities I think the warriors have in the form of an AOE unlimited mob snare.

Intervene was a great addition to BC because I would not only use it for saving my teammates, but from bosses like the crazy whirlwinding Leo the Blind, or "getting out of the fire" in the quickest way possible.

I like things to come in threes, so I'd say one last ability would be Disarm. As I said previously, it can make the hardest hitting mobs hit like kittens.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
->When you're in a raid and you are not able to tank due to encounter limitations such as a boss that only requires one tank, what role could you perform that would make raid groups less likely to swap you out? (Note: This is not asking for an explanation of current mechanics, but roles that would make sense for your class in the future)

I'm surprised that wow doesn't have some kind of tank system for grouping. A phalanx of sorts where Tanks in a group can assemble Lineman or Voltron like and be a force to be reckoned with against big raid bosses. Combined mitigation actions from all tanks in the Phalanx could be used to mitigate the raid boss's damage, and combined threat actions from each tank could add to the Phalanx's total threat. This would finally open up some tanking situations to be more of a team sport as JoanaDark said in a thread, much like DPS and Healing.

I'd like Taunt in PVP to cause a debuff on the Taunted player to significantly reduce his damage to any other target except you.


Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
What are the most enjoyable and memorable encounters you've been in as a tank, and why? (Any size, from 5-mans on up)

I've had a lot of memorable encounters, but my strongest one is my first. Lucifron in MC. This was the first major raid obstacle of the first guild I was ever with. The fight was a tank and spank in most regards, but it was the first time we had to think of things like separating the adds from the main boss, establishing a kill order, and staying away from the Imp Cave. Arguably, we had this kind of encounter in UBRS with Drakk, but Lucifron just seemed so much harder, particularly with night after night of wiping on this beast. After finally defeating Lucifron, nothing seemed impossible, and failure on anything else just seemed unacceptable.

breaklance
08-19-2008, 04:12 PM
Question 1 - Abilities

Of the protection warriors I feel with many others that sheild slam was our most defining protection skill. It does decent dmg when geared for SBV, pulling and having your first SS be a crit was a warriors best burst or initial threat. All tanks need initial threat abilities especially for trash pulls where mobs don't hit hard enough, for warriors especially, to have sufficient threat for dps.

Fear breaking does make warriors also unique, doesnt help for instant-cast fears, but this is an ability open to all warriors so I hardly feel it is sufficient to say its unique to prot tanks. It still makes us very nice to have around for certain fights/mobs/encounters.

All tanks need abilities to gain aggro while offtanking. Pallies can't off-tank for pennies given their mechanics. Warriors can if their is sufficient aoe dmg or like gruul the dragonkiller a boss actually attacks the offtank. Druids dont fall into this as badly as palladins or warriors by their rage mechanics. Currently there are many encounters where progression wise it doesnt make a lot of sense to have an offtank and cap your dps under his threat incase the MT dies.

Question 2 - Value when not tanking

To be frank, the only value i find being a warrior who isn't mt-ing a fight, is having a decent fury set. If a fight requires one tank, has no adds, or has aoe adds, id only bring 1 warrior tank period. The "valuble debuffs" of warriors are again given to ALL warriors so a dps war can easily lay out tclaps, demo shouts, and commanding/battle shouts.

I can't even fathom real roles for non-tanking prot wars to have in raids. Currently we are best suited to tank 3 mobs max(granted, yes a better can do more but i've not lived long enough to see a warrior tank a 20mob pull either). Dps is gimped, debuffs can be given by any war, and in the few fights i can think of the ot's job is quite mundane asides from gathering 2nd aggro. Netherspite comes to mind: not in the red beam? get in the green beam - done.

Evelaula
08-19-2008, 06:22 PM
Warrior who raided hard pre tbc and early tbc. Now only raids 10 mans.

Question 1 - Abilities

All tanks need to be able to accept a beating, while dishing out enough of a beating to keep the mobs attention.

I personally think each class should be able to tank 3 maybe 4 mobs.

Basically all tanks should be capable of tanking most non gimmick bosses and if there are gimmick bosses, don't limit it to a single character, make it require a shield or not require a shield so pallys and wars can tank or dks and druids. Dont pigon hole a fight to one specifc class.

Question 2 - Non tanking value

In expac I see great value in 10 mans just being able to spred my shout around. DPS as prot isnt shockingly bad, infact i find it quite adequate.

Perhaps some way to absorb aoe/raid damage onto yourself and have it mitigated. Ie look after the squishys.

Question 3 - Most Enjoyable

- Heroic Shalls in Blues and a few epics
- Nightbane, love this fight. The fear, the pickups, the aoe spawns. So many ways to prove yourself above the rest as a tank.
- Pug Alar kill. Great fun to tank with another compentant warrior.

- ZG (loved the isntance)

AnvilDK
08-19-2008, 10:36 PM
POV Protection Tank (Warrior)

Abilities:
In my opinion a Tank is the person who Mitigate damage the best in a group composition. He takes the least damage and have tools to keep mobs attention. These tools should be readily avalible both in handling single targets and groups of mobs. I will focus more on our utility power since this is the main reason warriors have been so good and powerfull as main tanks.

As a Protection tank I am the most versatile tank. I will disregard threat since that is something all 4 tanks needs to be able to generate and focus on warrior utility power.

Abilities that affect tanking. (Main tanking and Trash Tanking)
Sunder Armor (DPS booster)
Thunderclap (Debuff. With haste changes now debuff casters aswell)
Shield Bash (Spell Interupt. Mainly on trash but selected minibosses aswell)
Shield Slam (Dispell mostly on trash but very powerfull when timed right)
Hamstring (Snare ZA scouts spring to mind)
Beserker Rage (Fear breaker. Staple tanking ability since old days. Dragon fights)
Spell Reflect (Spell mitigation and special avoider. Trash Golems in TK)
Demoralizing Shout (Attack Power debuff does wonders to bosses dps)
Disarm (Does not lower dps but denies special attack while boss is disarmed.)
Commanding/Battle Shout (Group buff. HP or AP)
Rage (the sheer scalability of rage is a big plus for a warrior)
Concussion Blow (Stun Mostly trash fights)
Intervene (Fast approach to save party member)
Taunt (Snap agro ability)
Mocking Blow (second snap agro ability if/when first fail. Longer Cooldown)
Challeging shout (Snap agro aoe. Longest cooldown)
Intimidating Shout (Maybe not the best ability in a controlled enviroment but can be used on trash when your healer needs time)
Intercept (catch the bad guy) Great after knockbacks)
Bloodrage (Helps on rage generation and also a threat booster)

These are the utility values I see as defining for a warrior tank.

Nontanking value.
We have access to warrior debuffs and buffs. We are great at stepping in when something goes wrong. Especially if the mob can be taunted. (There are bosses who are tauntable. Fish in SSC springs to mind) Combined with Shield wall we usually survive through it too if the healers are quick on their feet.
Our dps value should be better now that most of our abilities are based off strenght. Means we can don Arena stuff for high crit chance and see a dps increase. Hopefully we will approach tanking feral cat dps with the right gear.

Most memorable moments.
Well the old we killed Nefarious with all the effort getting there.
Earning my Thunderfury is still the biggest gear accomplishment I have made simply because of the effort/luck factor needed.
Grinding through Karazhan and eventually conquering the dungeon with a casual guild.
Tanking most heroic dungeons successfully as a warrior. (Dont get me started on Heroic SH timed event).


Anvil

Elyvern
08-19-2008, 10:48 PM
Prot war here.

Question 1: Abilities

Large health pools, ability to mitigate damage, generate threat should be givens and shouldn't vary too much between all the tank classes for them to be viable in most fights. Health pool and damage mitigation are most intimately related, and can see-saw along a range to offset one another. Threat generation should be generally the same, since any tank that has trouble building aggro at a viable rate will be at a grave disadvantage.

With regards to prot war, I agree that shield slam and immunity to fear are the 2 defining points to the class. To expand on that, I honestly feel that Protection warrior is one of the best designed classes in the game. In terms of versatility, the range of abilities that can be applied in any situation makes a prot war more than the sum of all his parts.

Below are some things I feel all tanks absolutely need, and to a certain extent, prot wars already have them or are kings in a particular field.

1. Snap Aggro generation

Although not as good as a feral druid, a prot war doesn't have to burn long CDs to get this done unlike a pally.

2. Multiple "Oh Shit" buttons

Prot war win hands down. Pallies and Druids can definitely use a buff in this area.

3. Aoe-tanking

Pally domain, but TC, cleave, tab-devastate can get the job done for a warrior. Druids with swipe does marginally better. New talents like shockwave in Wotlk will make aoe tanking for prot wars even more viable.

4. Spell damage mitigation

DKs will obviously be king in this area. For warriors - it's messy, but def stance, improved def stance, spell reflect can do the job. And that's way more than what druids or pallies have.

It seems that despite the tanking standardisation in WotLK and blizz's announcement that all tanking classes are viable for endgame tanking, some niches continue to remain (warrior - single target, druid - massive armor & health for burst fights, pally - aoe threat, DK - magic dmg). To make all tanks viable for endgame, I feel each class should have buffs that allows them to do a little of what is considered another tank's niche role. For example, it seems that druids and pallies could use some spell damage mitigation for them to do a little of what DKs excel at.

Question 2 - Value when not tanking
I think this question calls for the most reflection, because by the time SWP came along, we were literally dropping tanks (especially prot wars) from certain fights because of the min-maxing nature of the instance.

The obvious answer is dps, and the advantages/shortfalls of that has been covered by many posts.

Hypatia's suggestions for new buffs and utilities are excellent. To narrow that down further to 2 crucial points:

1. The ability to buff the MT's threat generation either through a direct conversion talent or a buff. A buff may be too overpowered however.

2. The ability to mitigate incoming damage to the MT or soak some of the damage hitting the MT through talents or buffs. Think linked health like Twin Emperors, Illidari Council.

The first would benefit guilds that raid with very few hunters (like mine), while the second actually opens a new field for interesting raid mechanics and boss designs.

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
It's to my infinite regret that I only rolled my warrior in time to tank TBC, although I've attempted to go back to 40man raids just to see how's it like from a tank's perspective.

Heroics - I learned the art of multi-tanking in heroic instances like SH, Slab. Getting through those with 1 CC and no wipes always gives a sense of satisfaction.

Nigthbane - Learning to time my zerker rage perfectly to catch every fear and not losing a single person to skellies or the boss is another milestone.

VR - Fight for rage - fun, fun, fun!

Razorgore - I went in BWL recently with 20 people (60-70) and was assigned to tank the legionaires and mages during the egg phase. I managed to pick up 20+ mobs at the end. They didn't hit hard, but the spectacle of having so many mobs trail me while I run to grab another is probably the closest I can get to doing the fight in its original form.

Darmon
08-20-2008, 12:53 AM
1. Abilities
All tank classes need to have a base package of skills, and encounters need to be based on the base package, not on specific class skills.
Survival is what makes tanks different from other group roles. Everyone can pull agro, but not everyone can live after that. There are several skills that helped me as a tank. First thing was beeing in defensive stance with a shield, next was shield block. Later i came to understand that the debuffs like demo shout and thunderclap are also part of my survival kit. Last line of defense are the panic buttons, Last stand and Shield Wall. Most of the time using one of them ment that someone failed in his job, and as such these are not skills ment to exists in the basic package of all tanks. On same level are class specific skills, like stace dancing to break fear with berserker rage or spell reflecting. Yes these are all nice skills to cover-up for group failures, but should never be needed as things that make or break a fight. Encounters should not be designed around them, or the usage of such class specific skills should not make an encounter trivial. As such these are skills that makes warrior tanks unique for survival.
Threat generation is the other most important tank skill. A tank who is alive but everyone around him is dead is not an option. Not much to say here, except that threat generation for warriors was never enough. Yes in ideal condition we can push out a lot of it, yes we can get the job done, but it has allways been like walking on rope. Each new wave of gear, each new raid tier brought little improvement in threat generation. I could push to 1k+ single target threat at kara level, it's almost the same on T6 content because the rage starvation, while dps went from around 500 to over 1500.
Warrior threat skills, and especially protection one, are built around using both weapon and shield, in conjecture with skills that have low dmg output, and big innate threat. This has hold true almost in all wow history. I can't say i enjoy much the sharing of weapon/shield tank style, both inside the class and with other classes. It is a matter of presentation. You have the feral unique style as animal tank. DK has an unique style also as 2H tank ( at least in latest reports, dw is not very usefull for them on tanking ). Paladins are presented as tanking with 1h and shield, and so are warriors. Yes there are class diferences, but it's the same picture. I saw some sugestion to make warrior tanking DW based, in order to keep the unique style. Such a change will shake many tanks, but history has showed that warriors are used to such radical changes, and if the change is benficial and will improve tanking experience, it will be accepted easily.
I do agree with most protection warriors here, when they say Shield Slam is the defining skill in warrior threat arsenal. I watch it grow since the very begin, when it was really, really uselless - 30 rage, no threat scaling with block value, base threat was next to none, up to the current state, where it has become the highest threat nuke of all classes when properly geared/used. Think i ranted enough on this.

2. Value when not tanking
We are warriors. Things are simple: we take dmg or we do dmg.
So far the dmg output of warrior tanks has been severly limited. I do remember the devastate change to work mutilate style, and how many voices were against it. That is one example of the turning points where Blizzard developers chose the wrong path, instead of buffing fury raid abilities.
In order for dps to work for tanks, this have to be balanced around the fact that gear can't be changed during fight. So far the expansion changes are a good step in that direction, making STR a very important tanking stat. But make it unique please. Warrior tanks can stack up STR gear, making them huge AP monsters, but with quite low crit. Bears in present are stacking AGI, and favoring crit based dps. This is one very good diference that underline how unique a class is.
One thing i would not enjoy when tanking are pure buff/debuff roles. I agree that is something that can be done, but the present limits are enough. If i'm OT, i have no problems with keeping up TC, Demo, Sunders for my pala or feral tank. But a dedicated role for that will be a big down for me, for I am a warrior, and i will not spent my time singing Battle Hyms to improve raid dps/reduce dmg taken after my tank role is over in a specific phase.

3. Memorable/Enjoyable
Everything that was a new experience.
Chronological, first was Onyxia, soon after i hit 60 and got some decent tank gear. It was the biggest shock in my tanking history and made me chose to follow to path of MT, instead of splitting into OT/dps roles. I didn't played other MMO's, and it was the first encounter with the fear mechanism/stance dance and agro management/taunt immune. Of course the first raid failed, because those encounter mechanics were years ahead of Scholo/Strat/UBRS. It also was the point i first discovered the tank comunity and resources, first on WoW forums, and next to Satrina's Evil Empire informations. Short to say, Onyxia first kill was a huge thing.
Next was facing Raggy, and the first taste of MT sharing with another warrior. From that moment on, at least on my guild, the MT role faded, we were simply the tanks, and any of us had to be able to do the job done.
Any fight that was above the ussual tank and spank was a good fight, and blizzard have my thanks for offering such a variation, for i never regreted the choice to become a tank and giving up dps and pvp experiences.
C'thun was the last big thing of clasic WoW ( had just 7 bosses down in Naxx before TBC release). The huge sincronization required and the many things you had to watch for, was just mind blowing, but hugely enjoyable.
TBC ment mostly the experience of tanking beside new classes, and the best fight for me was Kaelthas in TK. It was simply the most complex fight ever, with many tanks in it, with many things to watch for ( see the pattern? we all like shiny fast moving things).
I'm still looking forward for SWP, but sumer break was not very kind.

Foolishness
08-20-2008, 01:07 AM
Question 1. Abilities:

I think all tanks should specialize in certain fields, but be gimped in others. However I think all tanks should have the ability to tank all content. However, i would still like to see warriors specifically targeted at tanking heavy hitting single mobs.

Question 2: Value when not tanking

I think all tanks should be valuable when not tanking, but i think this is already mostly the case. However i think different classes should help the raid in different ways, not just DPS and buffs/debuffs.

Question 3.

My most memorable moment so far is tanking kaz rogal for what seemed like forever, with only 1 healer left while 5 rogues burned his last 10%. It makes me feel like i won the encounter for the raid.

Daavos
08-20-2008, 09:32 AM
Question 1 -- Abilities
What abilities do all tanks need and what abilities do you feel make your specific class unique?

All tanks should be able to tank any raid boss, while keeping the feel, "Well a pally would be geat here, but a warrior will be fine" and vice versa.

I think all tanks should be able to withstand spell damage in some form, without the need for pure resistances gear. Defensive rate should should also give you a certain percentage of resistances. Boss fights with pure spell damage are few, or require a herculian effort in acquiring resistant gear that will never be used again.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
When you're in a raid and you are not able to tank due to encounter limitations such as a boss that only requires one tank, what role could you perform that would make raid groups less likely to swap you out? (Note: This is not asking for an explanation of current mechanics, but roles that would make sense for your class in the future)

Free respecs (for all classes) would certainly help. But this will never happen as all players would hearth back to town to tweak their spec for each fight. Maybe the solultion could be only one respec a day?

When not tanking, I slap on my S3 gear spam devestate, shield slam and any utitlity spells that helps the group. I do "okay" damage, but this is only because I have the gear.

I think what Warrior tanks need is an AP buff when they switch into Battle or Zerk stance, but at the sametime your defensive/armor/health is reduced when your not in defensive stance. This way you can still do damage in BS and Zerk, but you can't really take damage.


Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
What are the most enjoyable and memorable encounters you've been in as a tank, and why? (Any size, from 5-mans on up)

Synergy. Any instance where group and I have synergy is a memorable encounter for me. I'm thinking of groups where the dps activily think, "how can I help the tank?" Hunters who can trap square and kite circle while dpsing skull; Mages who run up and frost nova the multiple targets the tank is tanking to prevent runners; Rogues who blind the saped target the moment sap has ended, shadow priest who vamperic touch/heal one of the dpsers to help out the main healer, etc... These are the times I love tanking because the group/raid is activily working together instead of one or two players alt tabing out of wow while macro spaming one button and letting the tank and the healer do all the heavy lifting. A bad pug or complacent players makes me want to quit wow for the night.

Recently I tanked heroic Shattered Hall with two RL friends (mage & healer) for the Trial of Mercy quests. I asked for help from my guild and basicaly no one wanted to come because SH is kind of instance that people are afraid of because the feel the risks of endless wipes are greater the the rewards (I was also fairly new the guild). Why do SH when you can do UB for 4 badges is the thinking. So we pugged in two dps players and we did it with only two wipes that were on the last boss. We got all timers quest completed that we need. I felt a great sense of accomplishment equal to my first raid boss kills, and certain sense of screw you to the dps players in the guild for being afraid to do it.

Shadevarr
08-20-2008, 09:35 AM
1. abilities - All tanks should be able to produce enough aoe aggro to surpass healers, have at least 1 life saving ability (I.E. shield wall) and non-tanking viability (our feral tank is also a 1.2k dps kitty and 1900 +healing).

2. value when not tanking. Druids have this, pallys need a little help on healing and warriors....I hope that all this strength on tanking gear closes that gap.

3. memorable tanking moments!

- nethermancer serpenthea. Healer died right off the bat and had to use everything I could to survive, very stressful and very fun.

- hydross. frost and nature tank died at 15%, so I in mixed gear picked him up and solo tanked him through 2 transitions. Again, stressful but very rewarding.

- Halazzi, intervening a dps'er when he pulled the boss during saber lash phase then getting back to my tanking buddy before I got lashed was again very stressful yet awesome afterwards.

Of course the threat fight that is VR!

Extermi
08-20-2008, 10:49 AM
This is from the view of a protection Paladin

1. Abilities
My take would be that each tank should have:
- sufficient HP and mitigation to tank all fights, be it magic or physical, as MT. No class differences in survivability and threat larger than 5%.
- abilities to tank up to 3 mobs against AOE damage
- abilities to tank even more mobs against healing aggro
- abilities to handle all gimmicks (fear, deaden, shear, ..) required by an encounter at least to an extend the raid progression is not gimped
- abilities to taunt, and a backup/emergency taunt on long CD
- some panic buttons (shield wall, last stand alike) when it gets rough
- ability to deliver more threat on demand (wings)
- A reasonable resource management (energy, mana, rage) that works both in raids and 5 mans without requiring drinking/pot use/extreme aggro sets

2. Value when not tanking
I believe (besides a solid group buff/aura everybody needs to bring) only DPS is what really counts when not tanking. Typically, an additional healer brings nothing since healing will be set up appropriate.

Tanks should, in general, be designed in a way they can also DPS close to the level of a "supporting" DPS class (ret Paladins/ Shadow Priests today) when not tanking, in appropriate gear, meaning you can have 3-4 tank specced players and there will be no desire to swap tanks against DPS when only a single boss is engaged.

3. Memorable moments
Being a Paladin, I mostly recall situations when Mobs run astray, threatening to kill the raid and while everybody thinks its a wipe, you bring thinks back in order with taunt/consecration/shielding a healer

Definitely also good moment was in heroic Ramparts, our first try against the demon boss where after my healer was killed I lived through with the bubble and downed the boss, with the rest of the raid being dead already.

In terms of BC tanking, Hydross and his adds are fun, as well as Gurtogg with its tank swapping (and I even use salvation to control tank aggro mid-fight, while off-healing in the felrage phases - quite some fun and alot to do).

Extermi

Norroar
08-20-2008, 01:16 PM
Protection Paladin

ABILITIES:

1. Definitely would have to say an emergency mitigation ability like Shield Wall. Seeing as it is a staple of many fights.
2. Some form of magic damage mitigation and/or counter other than a percentage of reduction from talents. Especially for use in those "gimmick" fights like Phase 2 Reliquary.
3. A type of reactive threat generation (i.e. Holy Shield but not necessarily with the added avoidance).
4. A casting interrupt that can be viably used against a boss (i.e. Lady Malande).

VALUE WHEN NOT TANKING:
Paladins have always been healers first and foremost unfortunately. Usually that is what is called for when a Protection Paladin isn't tanking. But unless its a fight that really requires more healing then tossing on the healing gear doesn't contribute anything really. The extra buff for the raid is definitely a contribution but its not much. Also abilities like Blessing of Sacrifice and Blessing of Protection as well as some of the Judgements (i.e. Wisdom and Light) can be contributed as well provided the Holy Paladins and a possible Retribution Paladin don't have them covered.
Tankadins definitely are in need of some DPS abilities that don't drain our entire mana pool. The DPS contribution is always going to be viable because more DPS means less time spent on one encounter. DPS can also make or break a lot of fights (i.e. Brutallus, Reliquary) so having some sort of viability would be necessity in the future.

MEMORABLE:
Most definitely Bloodboil. It takes precision and coordination amongst the tanks like no other fight.

Kael'thas was a fun fight, especially during the weapons phase. My guild had me pick up all the weapons and AoE tank them with the exception of the Bow and the Axe. I remember during the first attempts getting nailed because the healers weren't expecting the damage intake.

Illidari Council is another fun fight. I almost always tank the Priest which is fun since I have no usable interrupt and the vast majority of my threat and damage comes from magic. So I sit there and wait for the reflective shield and/or anti-magic shields to go down and then I go to town with everything I've got (Avenger's Shield, Consecrate, Judgements, etc.) until the next shield comes up.

Paynifier
08-20-2008, 01:37 PM
This from the perspective of a protection paladin who sticks to the 5-mans and the occasional 10-man with her friends.

Question 1 -- Abilities

Tools to deal with bursts of damage or oh-shit moments.
Tools to control multiple mobs: be it close your eyes and consecrate-esque, or abilities to 'hold' a mob or mobs in a certain location.
Tools to create threat and/or rescue those in need in a hurry.

What makes paladins unique is they can tank as many mobs as the healer can heal through. They also are self-cleansing, well, except for fears which are a little embarrassing for the daring do-gooder. Alot of paladin skills are passive and reflective, which is amusing, but not always as good as being able to control the behavoir of a mob in the first place.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking

A paladin should be an inspiring presence on the battlefield, urging everyone on to do their best. I would like to do this, and do by buffing everyone with "Kings" but I wish it was a little more interactive than that. :)

Shielding others from damage would be nice, however damage shields do tend to annoy tanks, as it prevents us from replenishing rage or mana. If a way around that could be found, it would be nice.

Healing, of course, comes to mind. But I do wish it was not the traditional sort of stand back and heal type of healing. Paladins certainly do not seem like they should be "lead from behind" sorts. The ability to provide healing or some other virtue while remaining in my tank gear, building up aggro and doing reasonable damage on the mob on the side in case something horrible should happen to the main tank, and thus being ready to take over would be nice.

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable

My realm of experiance is much smaller than most, however I would have to say my favorite fights involve moving around and correct positioning. It is in these fights that I actully really feel as though I'm providing something meaningful to the fight. The rest of the time I just behave as a brick, doing my rotation to annoy the mob, and sucking up heals.

So I liked:

-Dodging out of the fire on Ramparts, while keeping the dragon facing away from the party

-Moving the naga warlord over to each tank in turn so the melee dps could quick jump on the tank when it is being channeled

-Dodging the summoned voidwalkers with the warlock from shadow labby

I also enjoy tanking the Moroes fight, as keeping all the adds in line, while staying second threat on Moroes.

Also memorable are the times when the mob is down to the last precent, everyone but myself are dead, I bubble, and manage to heal/burst the last bit to save the day.

hvidgaard
08-20-2008, 03:41 PM
I'm a Prot Warrior :)

Question 1 -- Abilities
What abilities do all tanks need and what abilities do you feel make your specific class unique?

Currently that would be our 'oh-shit' buttons (aka. Last Stand and Shield Wall) and Shield Slam. This does however give me an advantage to the other tanking classes if the gear and skills are equal. But it comes with a cost, we are not as good to generate threat as the Druids, nor can we match the Paladins AoE tanking. I like the way the 3 different classes are not quite the same. I would really hate if all classes got 'oh-shit' buttons, short cooldown Taunt, be able to tank 5+ mobs and be able to tank any encounter without any kind of sweat. If that becomes the tanking, Blizzard might as well make a new class and call it 'Tanks'!

However, I really like the idea of all tanks being able to tank all encounters, but with twists. Say a Warrior tanking a Paladin prefered encounter with lots of adds (think Illhoof, but harder hitting), it should be doable, but the tank needs help from the raid like 2-4 hunters MD rotate and help with the aggro and a few plate-mates tanking a few adds each. In that way a guild is pursuaved to run with one of each of the different tank classes, but it's not required - Welcome to a guild with 4 Main Tanks that should be tank speced and goodbye to guilds forcing a gimped spec down an OT to maximize dps when not tanking.

In short, give each tank class a niche and design several encounters around those niches but without making it impossible for other classes to tank.
Currently that would be
Druid: Threat sensitive fights and fights with high amounts of burst damage
Warrior: fights with risk of periods of no healing and/or with lots of tank silences
Paladin: lots of adds
Death Knights: spell damage heavy fights.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
When you're in a raid and you are not able to tank due to encounter limitations such as a boss that only requires one tank, what role could you perform that would make raid groups less likely to swap you out? (Note: This is not asking for an explanation of current mechanics, but roles that would make sense for your class in the future)

Warriors being men and women of war, they should do the only thing they know: to kill things. Meaning they should be able to do some decently good dps. Perhaps some Protection specific buffs as well. The other tanking classes should not be as good dps'ers, but instead bring other and substansial benefits like innevate and rebirth. Paladins could be better at healing perhaps, or a general utility class.

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
What are the most enjoyable and memorable encounters you've been in as a tank, and why? (Any size, from 5-mans on up)

Slave Pens and Mech is certainly memorable. Why? because I can tank them with my eyes closed by now.

I enjoy Nightbane because of the stance dancing. Thanks to this fight that is something I find as natural as 2,3,4,4.

I equally enjoy Prince because I really really have to watch my health and use oh-shit buttons. And the thrilling feeling of a reposistion after a bad infernal is nice too.

And High King too, not so much the tanking, but when you get the pull done right (5 hunters make it too easy tho ;))

As for T5 content I haven't done much of it yet, but we're starting next week :D

Alent
08-20-2008, 04:13 PM
So, finally getting around to Paladin.


Paladin

Question 1 -- Abilities

Obviously, everything I said about "common tank abilities" in my first post goes here. Paladin in it's current wrath beta incarnation is better off than druid in that it has almost all of these, with a few key exceptions. We have no precise pulling tool unless we're fighting undead (Exorcism has the same spot accuracy as faerie fire), we have panic moves, panic aggro (Warriors need their own version of Avenging wrath), however, Wrath in it's current build has made two vital, Crippling mistakes by omitting core tanking abilities that paladins will have to compensate for.

The first mistake is the failure to give us a movement skill. Charge has been a staple of the Blizzard Paladin's identity since Diablo 2. Who here who has played Diablo 2 can not remember "the chargadin?" Druids and Warriors both have movement based skills, admittedly warriors having the more restricted of the two. Paladins lack a quick "put me THERE" move for responding to rapid enemy movement or sudden adds, etc. Current BC tanking theory relies on Avenger's Shield to overcome this defeciency. It does not work. We need a charge type ability.

The second mistake is the inability to chain pull. We are defined by paladins that "drink after every pull" and frankly, the only way for us to efficiently chain pull is to intentionally multipull so we're taking damage in such obscene bursts that the healers go oom. This is completely illogical.

Protection Paladins need some form of bloodrage, Divine Plea is NOT going to cut it when it takes more than 50% mana per pull and a pull lasts a minute and Divine Plea's Cd is 5 min. This is exasperated by the currently entertained restrictions on potions. Something needs to be done about this. It is not fair to Paladins and other potential party members to require us to take one or two of our ret brethren along simply to feed us mana so we can tank an instance in a reasonable amount of time. I would suggest as a possibility, some form of "bloodrage" type move that gives the paladin clearcasting so that they can push one to three attacks out when oom once every 30 seconds. Perhaps just give them a lifetap. Call it "Sacrifice". Come to think of it, wasn't that also in Diablo 2?

Perhaps I'm over exaggerating slightly, however I feel embarrassed every time I have to sit and drink between pulls. The dps warriors run out of rage, it drags the run out, it's just not fair when rage and rune based tanks are encouraged to STAY in combat.

To look at the other side of the question, what moves do I feel define me as a paladin... I feel we are unfairly defined by consecrate. It is at best a clumsy solution to building aggro in most situations (1~3 mob tanking is more common than 8+ mob tanking), mana inefficient and it's mana cost is only going up. This is being solved with hammer of righteousness and righteous shield slam. I am satisfied with this.

Avenger's Shield is also a poorly thought out ability that we are defined by. The ability is just a mistake to the point I'm actually somewhat bitter at it. Yaaaay, it has cast time. Yaaay it's expensive. Yaaay it's inaccurate due to travel time. Yaaay it sometimes bounces to pats and pulls mobs that wouldn't pull or aren't even aggro!

The reason the 40/21 talent build has caught on is because people have realized that avenger's shield is actually more harm than good, and the added threat over time from sanctity aura overcomes any threat boon that being able to toss your shield once and then in theory, never again. Tanking doctrine says that because of the 1 (in current beta, 0.5) seconds of 0% active avoidance (longer with pushbacks), you shouldn't use it mid combat. (Obviously skill factors in - timing swings, throwing shields as bosses do channeled raid damage, etc.)

In light of the above, it makes sense to add a new skill that replaces Avenger's Shield as a pulling tool. The new skill needs to be Accurate, instant or near instant and precise. The followup is to change Avenger's shield to be instant cast so we can include it in our long term threat rotation, it would make the inscription to make it a single target nuke that much more powerful.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking

An interesting question because currently prot paladins can presently go afk when not tanking without affecting the raid. their DPS is relatively low compared to what a prot warrior puts out, due to their mana and proc dependance. Similarly, they lack all of the mana efficiency from the Holy tree, preventing them from actually contributing via healing. So, in so much as this, while there's a perception that paladins should heal, there is actually no "strongly defined" role for a non-tanking paladin.

With the changes in the form of the "hand" line, I forsee a "hands on" method of non-tanking contribution becoming strong. DPSers out of control? "talk to the hand!". tank getting beat on? Hand of Light (the reactive heal that I heard pallies were getting... I kinda like the idea of making that the primary prot paladin heal, so as to keep them actively participating in damage while healing.). Rooted? hand of freedom. The system should not stop here. complimenting a ret paladin, you should also be able to "Hand of Endurance" someone, reducing the cost of their abilities for a brief period- perhaps this could double as the aforementioned "bloodrage" type buff.

Similarly, I could also see "hand of wrath", a move that could be used as a temporary DPS buff for various party members. Basically, paladins are in lore, great leaders. there should be something that capitalizes on this in their non tanking role.

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable

Walking into gruuls with Kara gear, and being given no tanking assignment on gruul himself, in favor of a more geared prot paladin with less tanking experience. I gave the prot paladin a 30 second head start and decided to see if I could reach #3 on omen, and how long I could stay #3 on omen. The prot paladin, unfortunately, didn't know how to use their gear. ~*zing*~ to the top of the threat list I went. I found myself with gruul aggro and we nearly wiped when the raid leader demanded I bubble to give aggro back to the assigned paladin. World class fail.

Another good one... hmm. Taking the entire Zul'Farrak Pyramid event in ONE pull, level appropriate. I knew I didn't have the mana endurance to tank it properly. so I yelled "follow me!" in vent and ran down the hill with gusto, reached the bottom and started spamming consecrate and holy shield for all I was worth. The party ran in and threw out their AoEs, it was GLORIOUS! When the dust settled, as my party waded through the ocean of blood, guts and corpses, my stalwart companions turned to me and said "Let's do it again!" to which... The healer logged off.

Lastly... I guess tanking Leotheras the Blind. That fight has always been one I take pride in dominating on my druid, having the tools to dominate it on my paladin made it all the better. Take note, blizzard - Leotheras the Blind was the best 25 man raid battle you've built when it's approached from the nature of having 3+ tanks fight for aggro every threat dump. It just works better than having "one tank" who's solely responsible for picking him up every dump. You have to work for your aggro, and it's not the DPS pulling if you slack - it's another tank.

Bodasafa
08-20-2008, 08:41 PM
Question 1 -- Abilities
What abilities do all tanks need and what abilities do you feel make your specific class unique?

Previous posters have covered this well, so I won't re-hash.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
When you're in a raid and you are not able to tank due to encounter limitations such as a boss that only requires one tank, what role could you perform that would make raid groups less likely to swap you out? (Note: This is not asking for an explanation of current mechanics, but roles that would make sense for your class in the future)

As the game is right now, I honestly dont feel I have any value unless Im tanking. In the future I would like to see the encounters require more tanks, so that a majority of tanks can play the way they want to.... as a tank. I think multipule tank encountes are the best, it really mixes things up. But in the most likely event that wont allways be the case, allowing for us to do more damage or help mitigate damage would be ideal.

Im leaning toward the mitigate damage part. Consider you would be able to use it yourself when you are tanking. But when another class clearly should be the MT, you could still have some value (or worth), by helping them mitigate the damage they take. Im thinking along the line of more shouts. Mabye some specialized ones in the differant trees that have their own unique ablity. The more points you spend in it after the intial to learn it , the stronger it gets. Differant from the current model where you just spend talents to improve current "standard" or "base" shouts.

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
What are the most enjoyable and memorable encounters you've been in as a tank, and why? (Any size, from 5-mans on up)

Gruul - Multi-tank aggro fight lots of fun fighting to get higher on the threat list. Even more fun when your undergeard compared to the tanks above you and you pass them in threat :D

Curator - Because doing huge shield slams during evocation is alot of fun.

Zul'aman - The whole instance. The most enjoyable time raiding in this game for me so far has been with my ZA team that I run every week. Its under a timer right out the gate so you really have to be on your A game as a tank to control the fast paced, chain pulling, chaos. Each boss encounter brings somthing differant to watch out for that makes it challanging. Hex Lord is one of my fav's. The random soul siphon's really keep you on your toes.

Kasath
08-20-2008, 09:07 PM
Question 1 -- Abilities

What abilities do all tanks need and what abilities do you feel make your specific class unique?

All tanks need abilities to make mobs attack them. All tanks need abilities to mitigate damage.

As for what makes my warrior feel different:
- Stance dancing: avoiding fears, intercepting, mocking blows; managing rage and my abilities in all three stances is fun and challenging.
- Intervene: zipping around is awesome. I love charge, intervene, and intercept.
- Multi-mob tanking: lots of people whine about this, but I love tanking 3-4 things on my warrior. I love that it isn't easy-mode.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking

When you're in a raid and you are not able to tank due to encounter limitations such as a boss that only requires one tank, what role could you perform that would make raid groups less likely to swap you out?

There are only two things you can do in WoW: deal damage and mitigate damage. You can mitigate damage by being a tank, by using CC, or by healing. You can deal damage by stabbing stuff in the face.

I don't see warriors healing much, so...

Hook us up with some more DPS. From what I've read, Blizzard is on top of this.

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable

What are the most enjoyable and memorable encounters you've been in as a tank, and why?
- Tanking the Flames of Azzinoth; watching for the beams and coordinating movement with the other flame tank was hard to learn and satisfying to beat.
- Tanking Shattered Halls as a Paladin; CC? What's that? Those 6-7 pulls before the gauntlet are awesome when you don't have to worry about CC at all.
- Anything where I get to intercept and intervene. Nethermancer Sepethrea, after she casts Dragon's Breath and chases down another player.

2ndNin
08-21-2008, 02:43 AM
I play a protection Paladin, currently in T6 content progressing towards Illidan.

Abilities:
All tanks need abilities in the following areas:

Mitigation (Physical and Magical)
Avoidance (Physical)
Single, 2, 3 Target threat generation
Minor AoE capabilities (Hold from a Healer)

Emergency Panic Buttons
Taunt
Spell Caster Handling

Niche benefits
Gimmick role

The break down of this is really as follows, Mitigation of physical and magical damage is really needed, this can be quite small in the case of magical damage, however the overall Mitigation + Avoidance capability of all tanks must be similar (including emergency cool downs if short enough) to make the Main Tank role viable. Magical Avoidance is deliberately left off the list as a Niche / Gimmick role, this falls into something like Spell Reflect.

Threat generation on 1, 2, 3 targets should be possible for all Tanks, with DPS capable of being fairly unrestricted across the 3, so it may be that 1 Tank class specialises in 1, 2,3 target threat equally (so bears mauling 3, swiping 3, roaring 3 etc...) while a Warrior has more single target abilities, single target threat should be similar for all classes.

AoE Tanking falls into the Niche role, while its a requirement to give all classes some way to Tank a group of targets from at least healing aggro (split between all targets) it is not necessary to have it be capable of AoEing down these targets (Seeds of Corruption), this Niche role comes at the expense of OT or gimmick viability rather than MT viability (for example Paladins are better at this due to reactive threat, however as the boss still hits them while MTing they retain MT equal to a warrior, however as we are not getting hit in the OT role our ability there is reduced).

Emergency cooldowns are rather self explanatory, all classes should have 1 short cooldown, and 1 long cooldown ability, so a shield wall type and something else (eg: shield wall + LoH for Paladins), the long cooldown should ideally be a prevent death type cooldown rather than a near death recovery ability (LoH is near death, not death avoidance). More of these can be added through Niche or Gimmick roles, I would like to see a Warrior's Shield wall ability bumped back to their long cooldown, and given something like "Controlled Defense - 5 charges, regenerates 1 per 10 minutes - Use, grants the users 50% damage reduction for 5s" or something similar, making them capable of avoiding short bursts of damage and regenerating over time.

Spell caster tanking, all tanks should have a fear avoidance / immunity ability, and an interrupt (on at least a 30s cooldown). More could likely be added here, however as a base we should be capable of tanking casters (especially in the MT role without relying on another class for key interrupts, there can be abilities we cannot deal with, say 4 fast heals then a big one, we could only deal with the big one, but there should be a mechanism).

Niche and gimmick roles are the major issue, clearly we need to have a role to differentiate us, however if cannot be in MT viability.

Paladins: Increased AoE capability, reduced OT viability, Magical damage abilities.

Druids: Massive physical mitigation, reduced magical mitigation, increased OT viability, Reduced AoE viability (4+ targets) Fluid Hyrbrid

Warrior: Increased debuff capability, movement boosting capabilities, increased taunt capabilities, reduced AoE capability

Death Knights: Increased debuff capability, reduced physical avoidance, increased magical avoidance and mitigation

Each Tank should have a series of bonuses and flaws (so the Paladin threat generation mechanics trading AoE for OT viability, Warriors having less capable AoE, but increased taunt mechanics to allow more control when needed) and a niche benefit, so Paladins ignoring mitigation (boss shield walls?), Druids providing a fluid hybrid capability, warriors gaining movement and debuff capabilities. Each of these should provide us with a reason to be MT in certain fights, and the preferred OT in a fight. MT viability on a generic boss should not be compromised, however AoE, OT and similar can be altered.

Value when not tanking:

Tanks must have value, this can be raw DPS from a Druid, or a shift mechanics for classes like Warriors (make the stances much more class / role defining, but also harder to shift into / out of , so a Warrior in defensive stance is a lot harder to kill than in any other, but can swap to gain large benefits in Fury stance, but is unable to shift back for x minutes, talented ability to reduce this).

Typically healing is the least useful off-role, due to a raid having enough healers or not at the start, ideally the off-role should make us viable to bring along, so something like debuff capabilities, vulnerabilities etc, a raid should want to have 1 of each tank (or 3/4) rather than 2,3 or 4 of a single tank. Put abilities high in the Tanking trees that are defining and powerful, there are few tanking classes and we need to have a defining reason to have us along, nothing that is game breaking in 10 mans, but very valuable in 25 mans ("Spirit of Co-operation: 10 min cooldown, 10 min duration - if there is W, P, DK, D spirits on the target he takes 10% extra damage, booyah!"? :P).

As a paladin we currently lack a lot of off-role viability, I make a reasonable healer in healing gear, and a terrible dps, but I cannot switch this role in combat, this needs to be addressed either in gear or talents to make us more fluid akin to what druids can do now. No tank should be kicked from a raid because the boss needs 1 Tank, either add targets and bosses (and really all bosses bar a few should have mini-bosses or similar, imagine Kael'thas with him starting the fight at the start, you need to handle the weapons, advisers and suchlike without dying, while killing Kael, to make it more difficult he will res his advisers if you don't down him within x of killing the last one).

What I enjoyed?
Probably the most fun fight I have had so far was the pre-nerf Magtheridon, I am strictly a post TBC Tank and not really done older content (I was casual... ), the rotating cube rotation, interesting start and control aspects were good, it would have been better imo with a constant stream of mini-boss types trying to destroy the raid and control Magtheridon (you need to tank the channelers that spawn otherwise they and Mag are banished until you kill a mini-boss controller... :P I like multi-tank fights).

Bloodboil and suchlike are nice, as well with the personal responsibility added to them, however it is perhaps too much given the lateness of the game at the moment where personal responsibility has not been encouraged and ending up dead was not a bad thing.

Dunmail
08-21-2008, 04:11 AM
1) Enough grunt to do the job, and to be able to function (no matter how well geared) and requiring enough brain cells in doing so to remain enjoyable, rather than random button hammering like a 5yo on a console game. It rapidly gets dull quick, when you can do a boss/run on autopilot, rather than having to work technically (*cough *Archie *cough), and get the what ho, jolly spiffing feeling when the boss goes down, especially if you've had to work on a few things to achieve the result.

2) This is the part that does concern me in WOTLK, as damage and so on can be pretty respectable (I've had to request salv as dps a few times), but in a raid Prot build I do feel other classes have better utility. A Raid buff (as above), maybe something unique to the Prot Tree? payback to handing out slam as a 5man tanking shortage? Or, additional usage in the fight mechanics as above would also be appreciated.

3) A Challenge.
i) Archie was a struggle, until I sorted the fear, and tweaked the way I was playing (mouse5 ftw) and people stopped running into fire.

ii) Bloodboil - I love the way you have to work as a 3/2man unit, and providing you aren't stacked up you can help out on the BB by intervening the victim. The one aspect of the new tree in WOTLK I do like is the rescue part of the warrior tree, it does work well with the 'Protection' part of the warrior, which we've had to do with taunt/intervene all through 5 mans, questing and into raids.

iii) RoS. P1 is a bit irritating, but the way you have to watch carefully your position/health is simple and quite clever. P2 Nice team effort on blocking the right ability, reflecting the other one, and how quickly it can go to rat sh!t if one slips through and you eat the stun.
P3 the challenge of generating threat and not blowing yourself up. Been there and done it, but I hated every second of it as it like frantic keyboard hammering like a chimp on sonic the hedgehog than engaging a boss, and my healer felt the same. As Orilia putm we want more challenging tank material, not just the continual dumbing down of stuff and pandying to hormonal brats who fail to grasp fully and act maturely on content. If stuck, read up, ask a few questions, work on something that you/the raid is failing at, then go back and smash it's face in. Not rocket science is it?

Fubar
08-21-2008, 02:33 PM
Prot Warrior

Question 1 -- Abilities
What abilities do all tanks need and what abilities do you feel make your specific class unique?

Needed abilities: high health, high avoidance or mitigation, threat multipliers, panic buttons

Unique abilities: more panic buttons, commanding/battle shouts, intervene, debuffs, just plain better looking then a bear, or a fancy pants paladin.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
When you're in a raid and you are not able to tank due to encounter limitations such as a boss that only requires one tank, what role could you perform that would make raid groups less likely to swap you out? (Note: This is not asking for an explanation of current mechanics, but roles that would make sense for your class in the future)

I've always enjoyed the multitank encounters, I think it's pretty cool to see pallies and bears do what they do best and all of us working together as a function. An off role ability that I think would be cool would be "phalanx." Locking shields with the MT providing more mitigation would be situationally helpful. With the proposed increase in dps, I could choose to dps and debuff; or lock shields, weaker dps, and debuff. If I couldn't have that, I'd like to have a "sacrifice mage" talent, that way when the next numbskull pipes up about how leet sauce he is on the dps meters, I can tell him what I feel about that on the next pull.

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
What are the most enjoyable and memorable encounters you've been in as a tank, and why? (Any size, from 5-mans on up)

The first time in Hyjal. It felt like total war to me. All of us were so pumped when one of the raid leaders said, "tanks...hold the line!" So much was going off, consecrates, thunder claps, demo shouts, cleaves, seeds, novas, arcane blasts....etc, etc.

Lobo
08-21-2008, 05:00 PM
These are from the PoV of a prot warrior.
1.) Abilities:
High Health, High Avoidance, High Armor.
Ability to apply quick burst threat and sustained high threat and the ability to get the attention of several mobs at once.
Access to a variety of "oh Sh*t" buttons that can save the tanks life or the life of a raid member.

2.) Value When not tanking:

No one is going to say that a raid would bring a tank in to DPS so I don't think it's an argument we should be making. Any effort to make us raid worthy DPS as OTs would likely imbalance the class.

I think our OT and nontanking fights, we could be used a buffers/debuffers. More in line with the Tclap, Com shout, Demo shout but offer tanks a more robust arsenal of group/raid buffs and target deffs. If the debuffs are significant enough it could still warrant a raid spot as an OT and still allow me to stay in my tank gear and run intervene routes on the MT and stay available to pick up the boss if the MT drops.

3.) Great Encounters as a Tank:

There are so many really good tank fights out there. Anyone that made me feel like I was really involved in the fight is a good tank fight in my opinion.

Terrybull
08-21-2008, 07:01 PM
I'm a very new warrior tank, but have taken my feral through MH, tanking all but two or three bosses along the way. I'll try and answer this from the point of view of the warrior.

Question 1 -- Abilities
I have quickly come to love my shield. I look at my character's logon screen and he's standing there with his sword out and shield equipped. It looks fantastic and defines him and his class. Being able to shield others with it, like Intervene, would be great, sort of like folding a chick under your wing to protect it. Being able to shield the healer or aoe'ing warlock/mage would be very nice. We don't only take the hits for the raid, we actively protect.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
The only real answer to this has to be dps, but as a tank spec warrior or pally, you'll never do raid level dps. I think our offspec dps needs to be a minimum level of the actual dps classes, as a general rule, be it 50% or whatever is reasonable. A pally offtank might need to be able to offheal well enough to not take the 3rd healer to a 10 man instance.

All tanks excel at soaking damage, so some ability to absorb some of the damage a raid member is taking would be helpful. It would make aoe'ing packs down easier, if you could take the hits for the mage or warlock. Sort of like an aoe damage misdirect, perhaps - Misdirected Anger: Makes the mobs insanely obsessed with you for 10 seconds, directing 30% of all damage they do to you. The lock can suck up the other 70!

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
MgT on the weekend. Healer dead, only me (tanking) and the warlock alive, me mostly dead. Pop cooldowns, hamstring the mobs while the warlock gets agro and runs around dot'ing them. It took us over five minutes running about like tools, but we burnt down the last three mobs in the pack before Kael. I loved it.

Kharne
08-23-2008, 09:44 AM
-Opinions of a WARRIOR (Have been MT for MC, ZG, AQ20, Kara, Gruul, Maggy, Void reaver in TK, All Heroics) -


Question 1 -- Abilities
What abilities do all tanks need and what abilities do you feel make your specific class unique?I think that all tanks need to be able to choose where to expend resources to suit the moment. To be able to choose between threat (some spammable cheap/ some cooldown abilites), spell interupting, group protecting, burst damage survival (high cooldowns + powerful abilities), and general incoming damage reduction (low cooldowns, weaker abilities and debuffs) gives each tank a choice during any encounter.

When you are the only person that can spell interrupt in the group (for example the forge patrollers in Mechanar with the charged fist) you can choose to get some massive threat and then time your GCD for when you think he *might* cast the buff and have shield slam ready. Or when you know the fight is going to take a very long time and healer mana might become an issue (Illhoof back when weakly geared) you can balance debuffing the boss with threat generation to help them out in the long run.

One of my not-so-obvious fave abilities is Challenging Shout. Theres nothing quite like saving everyone when your offtank dies or loads of adds escape and go nuts on your healers. Challenging shout gives you that short period to spam some threat on and/or fear multiple enemies in a fix.

What makes Warriors unique though? Stance Switching to use Berzerker Rage and Mocking Blow. I would like to see more tank-useful abilities placed out of the safe zone that is defensive stance.



Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
When you're in a raid and you are not able to tank due to encounter limitations such as a boss that only requires one tank, what role could you perform that would make raid groups less likely to swap you out?I feel we would do well to continue with our Medium DPS role, but maybe given more interactivity in protecting group members, with short term intervene-like abilites which we could time correctly and save people from damage/debuffs. Also i would like to see an aggro transfer skill, that works in the same way as taunt but on a MUCH bigger cooldown, so you can pick up stray mobs and deliver them to the MT if needed.


Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
What are the most enjoyable and memorable encounters you've been in as a tank, and why?1) Ragnaros - Nothing quite like being knocked back unexpectedly and being quick enough off the bat to switch to berzerker stance and intercept his face, retaining aggro and making the raid say "WTF!". So i guess the fun part is being able to improvise and going beyond the call of duty IF youre extremely quick with a stance change.

2) Vaelstraz - Never have i fought anything where ive felt so small and powerless, and just surviving long enough to get to the 'auto-death' gave me pride and satisfaction that although it was in short bursts. The button mashing required to live that long is impressive :) Similar to this is Prince phase 2, and Halazzi when he is merged into 1. I guess i like having to "go nuts" to survive for short periods between the less harsh periods.

3) MGT Heroic and similar instances - Having so many different types of enemies, with such completely different abilities makes every group fun to setup and play out. Spell-reflect tanking the warlocks, shield bashing the paladin's heals, disarming melee'ers, prioritising CC, ignoring imps for dps to deal with, moving out of the magic domes and more i might have forgotten all add up to quick thinking and full use of warrior abilities.

Groundchuck
08-23-2008, 12:56 PM
1:
The emergency buttons. All tanks should have them for when things go down. The Last Stand and Shield Wall combo of warriors is incredible. My main bear-tank continually mentions how little control of his survivability he has.

All tanks should have a snap aggro ability, like taunt. Seems like this is well in place. I think they should all function the same way with the same cooldown to equalize across tanks.

Like others have mentioned Shield Slam definitely feels unique, with a high damage, high threat attack to lock in aggro early.

Mocking blow as a backup to taunt also feels unique to warriors.

Sunder would be my last qualifier for the uniqueness of warriors. We have a debuff to refresh and maintain that dramatically increases raid damage.

Oh, almost forgot: Stance dancing fears! Fearward has made me extremely lazy, feels dirty to have it as horde.

2:
Pretty much all I can see warriors doing is dps. The new abilities of Vigilance and Safeguard seem to allow prot warriors to increase the survivability of the MT while not tanking, but I'm not sure these are enough to keep a prot warrior in the raid if they don't have proper dps gear.

3:
My single favorite fight would be Razergore, but that's because I got to control him, nothing to do with tanking.

I really like stance-dance fights like Ony, Nef, Archi, and Magmadar. I'm a sucker for the warrior-gimmick fights like Reliquary of Souls and Illidan. I like feeling in control of the fight in more ways than keeping up shield block and doing lots of threat.

Main tanking Illidan is extremely fun.

Brutallus hasn't gotten old yet either. Living in constant fear of being gibbed helps keep me on my game. (never did Naxx, but sounds like Patchwerk was similar)

Bloodboil is awesome. I love having to actually work with the other tanks more than just "you go tank that one, I'll get this one." Vael for similar reasons and Kalecgos too in an odd way.

The ZA bear run goes right up with all of those as my favorites in the game, but that's due to the structure of the event more than anything specific about the tanking. (Zul'jin is fun because of continually re-establishing aggro.)

Elson
08-23-2008, 06:02 PM
Question 1 -- Abilities
What abilities do all tanks need?

Tanks need effective tools for the job. Whatever that job may be, whatever class may be doing that job. I don't think it gets any more complicated than that. Tanks for any given tanking role should be chosen based on dedication, skill, knowledge, attitude, and gear. Really, when a raid leader determines who will be tanking what, they should be concerned with the person, not the class.

What abilities do you feel make your specific class unique?

As a protection paladin I feel that our ranged taunt and avengers shield make us unique in terms of how we deal with adds etc. I also feel that we are rather block centric. Much of current encounter design does not allow us to gear specifically for block value/rating and and still be effective. I feel a sense of loss in that. I am looking forward to the coming expansion when block value becomes a more important source of mitigation for paladins than previously, in addition to the threat we will be gaining from it. I rather enjoy the idea of being a blockadin.


Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking
When you're in a raid and you are not able to tank due to encounter limitations such as a boss that only requires one tank, what role could you perform that would make raid groups less likely to swap you out? (Note: This is not asking for an explanation of current mechanics, but roles that would make sense for your class in the future)


When not tanking there are only four roles I can think of that can be filled in the coming expansion. Dps, secondary damage absorption, buffing/debuffing and healing. Depending on the encounter design, being able to fill one of these four roles effectively would be a requirement to not get swapped out for someone else. I'd like to see more dps/damage absorption roles though. Being there just to put buffs/debuffs up for me isn't fun, and neither is healing.

Meaningful dps is self explanatory, but I'd like to see different mechanics for damage absorption other than hateful strikes etc. I see a lot of promise in the idea of bosses that split their damage between the 2-3 highest aggro (normal 10%/30% rules applied anyways). I like threat sensitive fights, whether they are dps races or fights like void reaver/bloodboil.

Question 3 -- Memorable/Enjoyable
What are the most enjoyable and memorable encounters you've been in as a tank, and why? (Any size, from 5-mans on up)


So far the most enjoyable encounter I have had as a tank has been leothoras the blind. It can be a complicated fight to learn at first, and it was one of the few fights I really felt I was able to use all the tools at my disposal to have control over the encounter. Void reaver/bloodboil was along the same lines, just less exiting with the lack of movement factor.

My most memorable experience though was a previous guild's first Magtheridon kill. Our other tanks had been performing abysmally. Either they didn't gear themselves correctly or just were really bad at their class. My raid leader(who was a tank) still didn't think paladins could tank bosses so these tanks had been wasting everyones time while I tanked one of the first channelers to die.

Then one wipe I ended up snagging aggro after everyone was almost dead, and took long enough to go down that someone said in vent I should solo the guy. The raid leader finally gave in and gave me a shot. Mags died for the first time that night, and we never had another tank issue again when I was the one tanking him

Thrym
08-23-2008, 11:27 PM
1. What abilities do all tanks need?

Like so many others here, I agree that tanks just plain need the tools to get the job done, and that means all tanks. Class shouldn't disqualify someone because of a flat out missing ability, in my opinion, and as such all tanks should have an ability(not necessarily the same one) that can do that job, be it tanking one, many, survival, or reacting to a key component of the fight.

As far as being unique, I think the thing that really labels a warrior is the way he uses his gear to get the job done(not a better/worse gear thing), that is to say a warrior neither uses magic or fearsome form to do his thing, rather than any kind of mystical or magical means. Abilities that display this the most, in my opinion, are shield slam, shield block, and devastate.

2. Value when not tanking.

DPS is the single most significant non-tanking offering, in my opinion. In the future, I'd really like to see this expanded upon. It seems reasonable that a warrior that does not have survival as his immediate concern would be able to lay down the hurt.

3. Memorable/Enjoyable experiences

I love fast paces and multi-target type scenarios. The troll waves in ZF, the gauntlet to Akil'Zon in ZA, the timed scenario that is Black Morass and Mount Hyjal. Tanking these involves alot of moving around, taking targets whether you are ready or not, and some level of thinking on the fly. Other similar examples come to mind in the multi-target but not wave-like fights such as Karithress, Hex-Lord, and Moroes. Potential for strategy and multiple tanks that all need to make it work are good fun.

I also love fights that hit hard--hard enough that healing alone can't keep you alive, but rather you must really do your thing to get it done. Gruul was a rush back when our DPS used to let him hit 15+growths routinely, and the first time tanking Nightbane in over half blues, for example. Buying precious seconds here and there with wisely used abilities makes for a fun fight, in my opinion.

Rakarech
08-24-2008, 03:45 PM
1. What abilities do all tanks need?

The typical stew of physical mitigation and aggro generation, tanks need a way to handle multi-mob situations, mergency buttons to handle anything from lost threat to spikes in health loss, and the rest is really just flavouring.

2. Value when not tanking.

Although DPS is one of the main answers, I actually think it would be interesting to give prot warriors some sort of raid utility buff/debuff that'd be useable by offtanks who are stuck doing dps. Just something to give them added value to encounters. That said, general DPS ability, naturally, needs to be improved upon.

3. Memorable/Enjoyable experiences

Multitanking encounters of any kind, I -love- multitanking as a warrior. I'd rather be trying to handle a six-pull with no crowd control in a heroic five man than main tanking one of the simpler raid bosses any day of the week.

Kord
08-24-2008, 05:03 PM
Prot Warrior OT most of the time.

Question 1 -- Abilities
What abilities do all tanks need?

I agree with the threat grab, threat buttons and all that. From my perspective as the OT I have a few things I feel could use addressing. Some of this is a recap of agreeing with others, so I will just highlight my OT perspective.

The ability to generate rage to make threat possible without relying on incoming damage only (right now we have to Bloodrage ourselves in order to get rage without taking damage, but end up taking damage by loosing 10% health right off the start. This is not a problem in PvE with healers, but it is when you are OT because you don't get much in the way of rage outside this one button. I think the dodge boost to rage is a good start for the MT, but what about OT-ing? It is hard to compete for threat when you can't generate rage (2nd on the threat or even third on some bosses doesn't allow the dps to go hard). The strength stats on armor are a great step in the right direction from what I can see, but I am not sure how effective (not a beta tester).

I think the mitigation for spell damage (right now high hp) would be more "skillfull" if we could get a "Spellreflect" to be on a shorter cooldown via talents instead of 6% mitigation. That type of active skill would require more awareness, timing, and fun.

I think that the way the talents are set up to not work on anything but trash need to be rethought. Why would I spend extra points in a talent to silence it when...it can't be silenced. I like the added direction the wotlk talents are taking by adding a secondary functional ability that adds damage. Koodo's to them for moving in that direction, but keep going in that vein and add synergy...

What abilities do you feel make your specific class unique?

I think the Shield Slam is a unique skill.
I think Spellreflect is a unique skill.
I think that our Shieldwall was a unique skill due to the 75% mitigation...now it is going to be changed to 50% which is kinda a bummer.
Intervene is pretty unique due to its mobility and requires serious awareness and skill to pull off, but our guilds MT uses it in a way that is awe inspiring at times.

Question 2 -- Value When Not Tanking

I would like to see an ability to help mitigate damage from the MT. More of a working in a group mentality similar to the Roman Legion or Spartan shieldwall effect. Nothing says OMGWTF PWN when in "300" Leonidus says "PUSH" and the meatgrinder ensues. Glorius. That's what an OT should help do. Help block attacks or synergy with shield bash to help MT gain threat type skills. Requiring awareness and coordination on both players parts.

I think the melee shield attacks are what make the prot warrior unique. I would like to see more abilities with the shield being a primary weapon and defense instead of feeling like I need to switch to 2 weapon fighting when I am not going to be taking direct damage. Why not make the prot warrior scary with a shield by giving them the ability to minimize spell damage. I don't feel a prot warriors need to do dps, but be valuable in some other way. Spellreflect for another player for the MT?

I do want to see Shield Slam knock the fcker to the ground dazing or stunning them...no main hand weapon needed...causing an execute to pop up when he is on the ground if you want more dps in non boss fights pvp stuff.

Maybe use the thought behind a shield edge to do damage. Shield Punch someone slowing casting time? Just some other uses for being a Prot Warrior besides switching gear into dps to help the raid.

Machus
08-24-2008, 05:05 PM
This is a new warrior tank, levelled half way through BC purely to tank. I'm a semi-casual player so I've only tanked heroics and 10-mans. Before that I played a mage for several years, and the most hardcore raiding I ever did was clearing SSC server first.

In this thread I agree with everything Mangea says in page 3, especially the bit about DRAGONS, as well as with Hypatia's thoughtful analysis.

Question 1: Necessary abilities
All tanks need to do the following things reasonably well, with something like a 20% difference at most between the most suitable and least suitable tank:


Mitigate or avoid physical damage. Any combination will do.
Resist or absorb magical damage in sensible tanking gear.
Generate single target threat to stay ahead of DPS irrespective of having aggro.
Generate AoE threat to hold 3-4 raid adds, or 7-8 instance adds off the healers.
Taunt, stun, or otherwise deal with stray mobs.
Pull with reasonable precision and aggro buildup.
Actively switch between a tanking and a non-tanking mode.

I think all tanks are already fairly well balanced in most of these basic abilities, but there are some glaring issues. Magic resistance definitely needs a re-work, for example by consolidating it into a single stat that's itemized on sensible tanking gear that all tanks can be expected to acquire. Threat generation while off-tanking needs to be looked at. Abilities that didn't scale, such as thunderclap, need to scale and reactive abilities need to be designed so they don't scale too well.

Beyond that I think that flavor differences between tanks are a good thing. It's good that some tanks are good against physical enemies, others at AoE packs, others at magical bosses etc, so long as all tanks can manage the encounter in their particular style. As others have said it's good when the raid feels "A paladin would be great here, but a warrior will do fine". Strengths and weaknesses are fun. What I see as a problem is having progression bosses that strongly favor one or another type of tank. Flavor or gimmick abilities should be found on relatively insignificant "farm" bosses, while gatekeeper (gear check) bosses and final bosses should be fair to all tanks. In practice this means that gatekeepers have to be physical and and final bosses have to be add-based, as they are for much of TBC.

In terms of the defining characteristics of the protection warrior, I see two, maybe three:


Speed and activity. We fight the enemy with a barrage of attacks, or run to the defense of our team mates corralling stray mobs.
Endurance. We can bring down waves of mobs by sheer endurance, so long as some heals keep coming, and we can chain pull.

Druids can also do endurance, but it still feels warrior-like to emerge from a pile of orcs several layers deep, with your rage bar full and eager for the next pull. I'd REALLY love to see Blizzard work on making this more of a defining warrior style, for example by changing rage and mana timings a bit so that a good warrior tank can chain-pull a heroic.

I hear from old timers that stance dancing was a defining feature of warriors because of the stronger restrictions that it involved. This feature of the class looks a bit lost now, and almost meaningless in WLK as far as I can tell from reading the changes. It would be nice to re-work stances so that they do something more substantial (but less annoying than their original design) so that they play a more meaningful role in situations like off-tanking.

Question 2: Value when not tanking
I'm not a fan of this one boss/one tank design that we see in a lot of BC. It's great if you are THE tank, but boring otherwise and it results in excessive gear and spec requirements to make the encounter challenging. I'd like to see raid encounters that involve more numerous, and less stringent, tanking roles. For example there can be waves of adds that come throughout the encounter, or a group of bosses of similar difficulty that have to be brought down roughly at the same time so the early tanks don't get bored. Such raid encounters should be doable with the "right" number and type of tanks but also with fewer, or with more, or with different tank classes, and should make good use of tanks that don't have the absolute best gear.

The core issue with off-tanking is that, with current combat mechanics, the tank with the best avoidance and mitigation is the best one to take ANY amount of damage from ANY number of mobs, so long as they don't die. This means the only opportunity for off-tanks to be useful is to soak spikes or grab mobs that move. If combat mechanics were changed so that a single defender got "overwhelmed" after taking some number of hits per second or some incoming DPS, so that avoidance and mitigation gave rapidly diminishing returns, off-tanking would become a common and meaningful combat tactic.

So, beyond all that there is DPS. I was surprised to find that, once you get some good fury gear, DPS in protection spec is in fact quite respectable. I don't feel stupid DPSing Aran or Aki'zon, but I do feel very frustrated that I have to change gear to be an average DPS before the fight, and if something happens I can't swap to being a good tank mid-fight, and vice versa. It would be great to see some solution to that through gear, talents, or stances. Especially if stances were re-worked to allow a role change in combat, with full effectiveness in the new role but a relatively long cooldown, that would be awesome.

Question 3: Most memorable
Funnily enough, my most memorable and also my first tanking experience was tanking Grosh the fire mage in the HKM encounter as a mage. That is really a tough call, because the raid depends on you for progression in a way that's unusual for a DPS class, you have to do a new thing with a poorly suited class in odd gear, and you have to do it flawlessly in terms of pulling, positioning, and timing of your abilities for you and the raid to survive. That very stressful experience motivated me to level my warrior and play a tank full time.

I'm not sure what this says about proper tanking. I expect I'd get a thrill from punishing fights such as Patchwerk or Brutallus, but I never had the warrior pre-BC and in any case I never reached that level of progression. Maybe having intense burndown fights at lower levels of progression would be a good thing.

I've enjoyed and vividly remember the chaotic Razorgore and Rajaxx encounters, as well as the AQ40 gauntlet, even though I didn't get to tank them at appropriate level. In BC I like timed runs such as the Shattered Halls trial in any role. Mount Hyjal sounds awesome, shame it's in the province of serious raiding only.

As a warrior tank my first really memorable experience was while levelling in RFK, surviving from a bad pull by sheer endurance and strong headedness, with only me and the healer alive. That taught me how tough, and therefore how confident, a warrior can be.

At high level in BC my favourite and most memorable runs are flawless heroic Shattered Halls runs, partly because of the timed element and partly because a warrior has to work to pull that off, and is respected for doing so. Actually most of what I find memorable is well-handled trash runs. I struggle to think of any memorable bosses in the 5-man or 10-man content except maybe Nightbane. Most bosses at this level are fairly boring to tank in my opinion, or they are simply annoying exercises like Netherspite.

My memories of ZA are mixed. I go in PuGs and my best memories are successfully tanking several adds on the way to bosses because of lack of CC or problems with the other tank. The actual encounters are too precisely scripted for my liking, so you can fail by not taunting etc. at the right time but you can't gloriously succeed by taking on more adds, moving, using your cooldowns or otherwise doing something more than what is in the script. When we down a ZA boss I end up feeling that we passed our little dance test rather than skilfully or heroically beat the boss.

Fixer
08-25-2008, 08:04 AM
Fixer, prot warrior on Runetotem:

Question 1: Abilities
A tank should in my opinion be able to tank every boss, it should depend on someone's skill and gear rather than on the class. However, I wouldn't like to see that warriors will be able to AOE tank and paladins have the same abilities as warriors. Let the classes be unique and don't give every tank the same abilities basically. Let each tanking class have a different thing he excells in.
I think the shield slam makes our class unique, and after reading most posts it seems everyone agrees. However, I also like the mobility of the warrior with intervene and intercept combos. That way you can reach Supremus for example before anyone else. The little gimmicks like Spellreflect are nice, but right now they only seem to work in 5 man heroics, so it's merely a gimmick to me and doesn't mmake the class feel unique. The shield wall and Last stand are however unique and vital in almost every fight, it's one of the things that gives warriors a real edge over other tanking classes.
Last but not least would be stance dance, it's a nice variation to your rotation and it always keeps you sharp.

Question 2: Value when not tanking
I would like to see that typical off-tank abilities like thunderclap can be used in berserker stance. It would also be nice if heroic strikes would only generate threat in defensive stance and not in berserker/battle stance. With only these 2 changes and a DPS increase overall a warrior should be able to debuff the boss while doing still decent DPS. You could add a new ability as well, but it wouldn't be necessary I think.
I would not like to see that warriors go charging around in fights, protecting other tanks or the raid. Giving buffs on tanks (dodge or mitigation) makes their incoming damage very unpredictable and crushing blows will be removed as far as I'm concerned, so I don't see the need to intervene tanks or raidmembers for buffs. I'd rather just swap stance, let someone else tank while I do some decent DPS.
I think that even if tanks are able to do all the bufs right now, most guilds won't be using it if that same tank is able to do decent DPS. The tank who is tanking should not get killed by a boss anyway, and if everyone gets some "oh shit" buttons, there is not really anything to worry about. So i'd like to skip that whole thing and just be able to do decent DPS, perhaps with the changes described above.

question 3: Memorable fights.

In my opinion most fight are basically the same when it comes to tanking. Most of the time you don't have to move or do anything at all except your rotation. Bosses like Moroes with some adds might make it more interesting, but actually those bosses are still all the same, the adds do not really hurt and there is not much going on if they run loose. DPS kills it anyway.

I do like the fights where something changes, where you have to be mobile and aware of your environment. Last night I tanked Archimonde again, and that's a fight I really enjoy. It's a glorious fight, where you need to avoid the fires, stance dance, build threat at the start and pray a bit. All those aspects in one fight really makes tanking enjoyable.

Another fight I really enjoy is Nethermancer Sepethrea, the woman in Mechanar with the fire elementals. Every 20 seconds or so you get either disorientated or you get thrown away and lose aggro. She runs off to a party member and that's where the intervenes and intercepts must be used to succesfully survive the fight. Intervening and taunting, using moking blows and doing everything in your power to keep a boss on you is what tanking is about, at least for me :) I like this fight more than most other fight in TBC and right now i'm halfway on my way to Illidan, with 4 bosses left in the Black Temple.

Other nice fights are stance dance fights, stuff like Supremus where you also need to intervene and intercept and Netherspite, where the beams are actually nice. Most other fight are basically the same.

Tanking Shattered Halls heroic as a prot warrior tank is also pushing the limit, and fun to do as long as people don't start using AOE :)

omegadruid
10-08-2008, 08:11 PM
from the aspect of a feral druid


1. abilities, all classes need something to do about casters...while warriors and DK have stuff to protect them and the raid from spell damage, paladins and druids have very little...
all classes also need some way to take the lead in threat in cases of MT death...something like a taunt that can only work within ten seconds of when a player dies and it brings your threat up to the same level as the player who just died...
finally i see a need of some method to multi tank more than three or four foes...


2. value when not tanking...we as druids need very little...with our ability to push out comparable DPS when not tanking...however the other classes need a way to do that...had a warrior tank in our raid...and when we got to a fight where we only needed one tank if i was doing it his damage was less than half of mine right there....


3. most memorable moments
first time tanking a hard raid boss...for me. prince was a challenge for me...because i had a mage who was having fun pulling aggro, and i wasn't too well geared myself...what really made it special was the fact that i lost aggro three times that fight and yet still when it ended only two men were dead...one mage who pulled aggro and our only melee because of enfeeble, and i still had had him beating on me at the very end...i consider it the first true test of my tanking skill.

the second would be tanking gruul at 15 or so growths in cat gear...and surviving that last 5%...true strain on the healers there...but they managed it and boy was it satisfying...