PDA

View Full Version : Blizzards with more to say on block



Krisby
05-28-2009, 01:02 PM
Itemization
Tanking Stats
Avoidance is good because it removes a lot of damage. Avoidance is bad because it is unpredictable. If you stack too much avoidance, you are likely to give your healers coronaries.

Mitigation (armor and straight damage reduction) is good because it's consistent. As you all point out, you can start to learn how much a blow will actually do to you. Mitigation is bad, from a player's perspective, because it can't save you. If you have 10 health and dodge, you might live. If you have 10 health and hope your armor will save you... well, it won't. You become the dreaded mana sponge because you are never avoiding damage completely.

Mitigation also has a risk from a design-perspective that when fights get too predictable they become too easy and unexciting. Imagine a tank with 75% damage reduction and no avoidance. You could calculate from the moment of the first attack whether you will survive the encounter. Heck, you might be able to not even heal the tank and know you'll survive depending on the specific abilities used by the boss.

Block as a mechanic is somewhere between avoidance and mitigation. Ideally it removes a fair amount of damage (vs. all damage) reasonably often (vs. rarely). If block is up 100% of the time it just becomes armor that you improve through a different stat. We have let block chances creep up frankly because the amount blocked is pretty trivial when bosses are hitting for 40% of your health pool every swing. If this still strikes you as too RNG, imagine abilities like Shield Block and Holy Shield that could guarantee 100% chance to block for a short period of time.

We don't think block is cutting it as a mechanic, but the direction we are likely to take it is probably more of a change than you are considering.

We also don't think it's necessary that every tank rely on avoidance, block and mitigation in equal amounts. They can't get too far apart or someone will come to dominate for certain encounters, but we don't think the tanks need to be completely homogenized to get what we want either.

If (to make up numbers) the DK and druid get hit for 20K every swing that hits, but the warrior and paladin get hit for 24K half the time and 16K half the time, then that seems like it would work. When the boss emoted that his big hit was coming, you could make sure you had your cooldown ready to guarantee a block.

[...] I agree that nobody wants to be the tank that avoids, avoids, avoids and then gets hit for 4X normal damage. (Then again, part of the problem we had with DKs last patch was their avoidance was just too high.) In my example, the shield-using tanks get hit for 4K more damage 50% of the time. If you're calling that "spike damage" and saying it's unacceptable, then I'm afraid nothing can be done to salvage differences among the tank classes. (Source)

Krisby
05-28-2009, 01:06 PM
*wanted to put my reply under the entire post since it kinda stands on its own*

Saying that changing block to a 50/50 chance to either take 24k or a 16k hit is more in line with what they want to do is interesting but also worries me. I definatly see issues with strings of 24 k hits before the boss is ever half life which means healers will have times of lots of heals or not. I think a flat % reduction would be more beneficial and stop making block so scary for healers and dps. If its a chance and one higher than other tanks to get a hit for more than we wont be chosen to tank as much.

Shadevarr
05-28-2009, 02:37 PM
I can see blizz fixing block woes with 2 very easy changes.

1. add " increases your shield block value by 10/20/30/40/50%" to shield specialization
2. lower one-handed weapon spec to 3 talent points for warriors so we can get full shield spec.

swelt
05-29-2009, 03:45 AM
"We don't think block is cutting it as a mechanic, but the direction we are likely to take it is probably more of a change than you are considering."

This was a line at the end of GCs rather long post. It has me thinking that a tweak of values isn't what's in store for block, but a more fundamental mechanic change.

In days of yore, the shield block mechanic for warriors meant that it was guaranteed to reduce 2 hits every 10 seconds, with a chance that it'd reduce additional hits. As a by product, it also prevented crushing blows which ended up taking on a life of their own. As an aside, I honestly don't believe this stuff was designed that way, it just evolved. Crushing/glancing were mechanics to control levelling progression that bled over into raid content and stuck for a while. I don't think the shield block ability was *designed* to prevent crushing blows, but it certainly ended up being it's main function and so when crushing blows were removed from the raid game, the shield block mechanic went away.

In those days, the shield block ability was best suited to slow hitting bosses, where you could completely rule out crushes. Dual wielders would eat through the shield block charges quickly leaving you vulnerable to crushes (albeit they tended to be smaller ones, and thus nicely offset by block value).

What I wonder is whether we'll see a return to the original intent for the shield block mechanic, but baked into the stats and passive rather than going back to a button you must press every 10 seconds. i.e. block reducing up to X hits per Y seconds by a non-trivial amount. Something not unlike the new druid savage defense mechanic. Something which is usable in some way vs a variety of different bosses.

/ramble

minrog
05-31-2009, 01:59 AM
My problem with the mechanic he describes is that some tanks will have completely predictable damage intake while others fluctuate 20% in damage either way.

The boss is hitting one tank for 45k, 45k, 45k over and over and on the gimp tanks it goes from 36k to 54k to 36k randomly. One tank won't get killed in one hit and the other one will. That's just Bad Design (tm).

The other thing that is off base is the "when bosses are hitting for 40% of your health pool every swing". Ulduar 25 bosses are hitting for 27k hit points on me quite a bit. When I'm stammed out I sit between 40k and 41k health (buffed) so the bosses do more like 65-70% of my health pool each attack. It might only be 40% of a Druid or Death Knight's health total but there are supposed to be 4 tanks.

I can't help but think when they say "bring the player not the class" they really mean the good players will reroll instead of holding on while the ship sinks. :P

Hayate
05-31-2009, 06:55 PM
Every Day going on raid I felt i am tanking with out my shield. LOL

Jackace
06-01-2009, 01:25 AM
[...] I agree that nobody wants to be the tank that avoids, avoids, avoids and then gets hit for 4X normal damage. (Then again, part of the problem we had with DKs last patch was their avoidance was just too high.) In my example, the shield-using tanks get hit for 4K more damage 50% of the time. If you're calling that "spike damage" and saying it's unacceptable, then I'm afraid nothing can be done to salvage differences among the tank classes. (Source)

This is the part that worries me the most. Comments like this give me the feeling that the developers just don't "get it" when it comes to effective health or time to live.

Scotteq
06-01-2009, 03:51 AM
Here's the whole thread - World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Any block fix requires a 100% block rate (http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=17367979360&pageNo=2&sid=1#32)


*****


I'm of the opinion that Blizzard understand more about the game than many of the players give them credit for. It's just that Blizzard's goals ("Make the game do~able but challenging, and keep players on their toes"), are different from the desires of much of the player base ("Remove the RNG from being a factor so we can do step A, then step B then C, then Loot")

Besides differences in classes, just take a look at itemization with Ulduar gear: You can argue the stats are more poorly distributed than even Naxx - i.e. After Defense, Expertise is a primary stat for Prot Warriors (#1 threat stat, reduce the dreaded Parry Gib). Yet, there is very little of it on the great majority of the available drops (although a few have a lot). Certainly, Blizzard understand the importance of this stat to Prot Warriors. So why is it harder to get? IMHO, they want Threat to be more of a problem than it is, and they want the RNG to drop a hasted Parry~driven attack on the tank from time to time.

In the case of "Shield Tanks": Block was OP on Naxx Trash, and arguably somewhat balanced on some/many of the bosses in Naxx. But in Ulduar, it's very very weak. Blizz are saying they understand it's not serving the purpose any more, and this is in agreement with the player base. So it's clearly going to be changed sometime in the future. They're just saying that Block being always up equates to merely having more Armor, and that that's not desirable becuse it's too predictable and boring and brings little/nothing to gameplay. And I'm really sure (the Prot Warriors, anyhow) absolutely do not want a return of the Crushing Blow mechanic where our ring fingers join our index fingers at the orthopedic surgeon because we have to spam Shield Block in addition to Heroic Strike... again...

While some in the community may choose to view the situation as Blizzard Not Caring/Understanding the needs of the community... I'm taking the view that they're simply trying to come up with something more interesting, and that one of the (strong?) candidates on the table is something the community havne't thought of yet. You may not agree, but it's definitely a more entertaining viewpoint than adding to the chorus of "Blizz Are Dum".

Fetzie
06-01-2009, 05:27 AM
If they change block to be, say, 40% off the hit every other hit, what would the raid leader want as a tank? the one whose damage intake is very fluctuent, 24-16-24-16 or the one whose damage intake is constant: 20-20-20-20? I have talked to healers who say that they prefer a predictable amount of damage to an unpredictable amount even if that amount is more.

What I would like to see is chance to block staying the same, but the way that block value scales become a percentage. This way block would scale with the content by itself. Of course blizzard had to do away with crushes because deathknights would get wiped out as they have no means to hinder them (druids could mitigate them by having capped out armor).

As it is, the block value items tend to go for off spec DKP, which is a shame in my opinion.

Eiz
06-02-2009, 07:51 PM
Block needs to be changed. The chance to block needs to be increased signifigantly... perhaps take of the diminishing returns. The amount blocked also needs to be increased.

Making block more spikey will not work.

Kandiru
06-03-2009, 06:11 AM
Druids block, paladins block, warriors block.

Just add a block mechanic to Dks which is comparable and be done with it.

Block can be very important in heroics, 5mans etc and levelling and it gets less important in raids. This isn't necessarily a problem, just make all tanks have a block mechanic.

mabijaoude
06-03-2009, 07:16 AM
Druids block, paladins block, warriors block.

Just add a block mechanic to Dks which is comparable and be done with it.

Block can be very important in heroics, 5mans etc and levelling and it gets less important in raids. This isn't necessarily a problem, just make all tanks have a block mechanic.

I am pretty sure you missed the point of this discussion, blocking mechanics isn't actually effective. if compared to avoidance stacking, it is pointless to get SBV / SBR. So to give DKs a block mechanic doesn't really make sense.

Biggensak
06-03-2009, 08:49 AM
In Uldar a lot of the issue around tanking class balance is encounter design... Fixing class mechanics like block alone will not fix the issue unless you fully homogenize the tanks or do a better job designing boss fights. This doens't have to mean static fight mechanics that rotate between which tank is best for the job.. it's more designing encounters to allow tanks to more dynamically effect the mechanics of the fight to best exploit their strengths/minimize weaknesses - or perhaps throw in a little more randomness to avoid static "DK is best for boss X, Warrior for boss Y, etc..". If you make the fights static people will eventually theorycraft the best/easiest way to get through it and script their behavior accordingly as they do today (thus DK's are mathematically your most popular hard mode tank in most Uldar encounters).

Perhaps reduce the dependence on level of difficulty imposed through pure math (x boss hits for y damage every z seconds.. repeat) and more based on randomness in not just damage but the overall fight mechanic without tipping all the way to RNG wipes due to impossible to win situations.

Obviously warriors need some serious love, but I don't believe that just fixing mechanics with classes will fix the problem overall. It seems they need to go back to the drawing board and more clearly define the basic philosophy behind each tanking class and double check that they are all actually viable through a range of normal (heroics) and endgame (Uldar - Icecrown) content. As much as people love the new gimmicky encounter designs it really feels like this the weakest part of the new Uldar content in WotLK that has further complicated some underlying class design inconsistencies. (who the hell decided DK's having all of the best tanking mechanics from the other 3 classes was a good idea in any way?)

Jastardris
06-03-2009, 08:52 AM
Druids block, paladins block, warriors block.

Just add a block mechanic to Dks which is comparable and be done with it.

Block can be very important in heroics, 5mans etc and levelling and it gets less important in raids. This isn't necessarily a problem, just make all tanks have a block mechanic.

Druids can block? I don't know much about druid tanks but I thought they only had dodge. I am a DK tank, and I really with they would lvl the field out with bringing up warriors but they have said that they like the hard mode difficulty for warrior tanks. I really am scared I am going to continue to see the nerf bat every patch till warriors are better again. Either way they do need to do something about block because my guilds main tank is a warrior and he generally tanks when we only need one tank. If they don't fix warriors then he will have to learn to DPS and ill have to tank everything, lol.

Kandiru
06-08-2009, 06:57 AM
I am pretty sure you missed the point of this discussion, blocking mechanics isn't actually effective. if compared to avoidance stacking, it is pointless to get SBV / SBR. So to give DKs a block mechanic doesn't really make sense.

What I mean is that if block is a useless mechanic for end-game raiding (non-trash/adds) then that's fine, as long as all the tanks have it as a mechanic. Warriors/Paladins already block, druids have a block-like mechanic so if DKs had one as well then it wouldn't matter if block was effective or not for end-game tanking, since all tanks would have the minor benefit as well as being competitive on add/trash tanking.

Making block a powerful mechanic in its own right will be hard without overpowering warriors/paladins. So just leave it as it is and give DKs a block mechanic and balance around that.

Remove block rating from the game, leave BV in as a threat stat (or build it into Str a bit more) Make hit rating increase chance to block as well or something.

Durandro
06-08-2009, 10:48 AM
Druids can block?

Savage Defense gives a similar mechanic.

Really, I'd be thrilled if both Warriors and Paladins got shield-based cooldowns to match that of the Death Knight. Something that really makes you think 'that guy is buckled down ready for a beating', rather then 'how is he defending himself while still fighting at normal effieciency?'

Remember the Human Footmen from Warcraft III? Their shield stance slowed their movement speed in exchange for extra protection from ranged attacks. Having something similar for Warriors and Paladins would be very in keeping with the theme - a cooldown that gives large amounts of damage reduction, but at the cost of your offensive ability.

Or, alternatively (and more easily implimented), get rid of the Shield Block skill completely and put Shield Wall on a 1 minute cooldown (and add deminishing returns in PvP). Then raise the amount of passive block you get from Shield Block Rating so blocks happen more often (in a 'real' fight pretty much every attack would strike the shield, with non-shield hits usually being a killing blow).

To balance this out, remove Revenge procs from blocking. And then to balance out fewer Revenges, increase the amount it hits for.

Oh, and stop itemising gear for SBR and more for SBV. Let's get those Shield Slams higher and higher!

So, overall:
1/ More Shield Wall to reduce incoming damage. Infact, it would almost become part of the 'priority rotation' in non-hard settings.
2/ No Shield Block skill, passive increase (say, 50% more) on blocking.
3/ Revenge doesn't proc on blocks, increased damage.
4/ More SBV on gear.

I can dream, can't I?

Stengel
06-08-2009, 02:37 PM
They don't seem to get it yet.

As someone who has healed a lot, I know exactly what is easier to heal: the guy taking predictable, steady damage.

Even if the total damage taken is more then the other guy who has good avoidance but takes hairy spike damage every so often.

This is because healing isn't reactive in harder content, it's pro-active. You find a rythm and stick to it. The more the tank conforms to that, the better.

Vlad
06-09-2009, 04:33 AM
Personally I don't know why they can't go back to the old block mechanic.
It would make incoming damage reasonably predictable just like it is on DK's and Druids.
The guy above is spot on, steady damage is easier to heal by far.

In other news with the armour nerf I went from being hit for 20k to 25-26k on Vezaxx.. dunno what's up with that :/

Hayate
06-10-2009, 02:53 AM
well, the way I look at it, if they go back to the old block mechanic, on some of the fight, warrior will take minimal damage such as General Vezax, his swing timer is about 6 - 8 second per swing, so yeah, you can pretty much block every attack, that will be OP, blizzard can't allow that.

Durandro
06-10-2009, 03:16 AM
Warriors would still take heavy damage even from a block. It just becomes a constant guarenteed block, much like what Paladins have. At the moment we can get 100% blocks, but only for about a third of the time.

Hayate
06-15-2009, 11:47 AM
well I don't know if DK armor Nerf have anything to do with this, but our DK got hit like wet noodle for sure, but all in all, the different in damage intake between me and him are like 6000k, he normally take like 18k per swing which me i take about 24k, which that is a huge mana sponging in a long term, consider the whole fight is almost 8 min long.

Tarigar
06-15-2009, 12:48 PM
Hayate which fights are you comparing? I did notice that big of a difference when comparing myself to a dk and I had 3 dk's to compare to. I can't pull up any WWS reports to show a legitimate comparison because we don't host ours.

From what I know though there isn't that big of a difference between dmg mitigation.

I am referring to the 6k swing. Not overall.