Fun?! There's no place for fun! This is a game dammit! Games are for winning!
Seriously though, that's a big part of why I have been Blood this long. When they fixed some pretty big holes in tanking as Blood for 3.1 I decided to give it a go. It really just appeals to my personal tastes.
Before they added ToT and flipped the talents around, Frost tanking always felt a little blah because I felt like I needed to lose certain play style elements, or not use them well in a tank spec. I loved dpsing as dual wield frost (even before the talents actually supported it). Now it feels pretty great, to Blizz's credit.
I've mentioned before that I've now dual tank spec'd as Frost and Blood. I started as Frost so I'm the most used to it, but I have to say Blood is fun - I love watching my health rocket up when I pop VB. I'll use Blood for Gormak or the Twins or if the healer is weak. However, I feel like I can take more of beating in Frost.
The only issue with Dual wield getting the expertise up. Now part of this is my own fault, since I upgraded (in some respects) Boundless Ambition and the Goulslicer, but all in all ti's been fine.
Whether or not rune tap is good for you is really a function of your guild. Are you in a hardcore guild with many of the same players each night, and always 2-3 hunters? Well then 4 talent points for threat just isn't a big deal.
Are you in a more casual guild that frequently has PUG healers? Improved Rune Tap would make more sense.
The point of blood isn't really the self healing. It's a nice side benefit, but the real point (and Satorri disagrees with me on at least one of these points):
1. Best EH because of VotTW.
2. Vampiric Blood is arguably the best tank cooldown in all three trees (UA might make a comeback if this heavy melee damage trend continues). WotN is also excellent for taking big hits in progression content.
3. Superior ST threat (DW frost might take this title now, but with the lack of WoW logging analysis site with TPS correctly coded in, it's hard to know).
There are arguments for an against it, but the unarguable point remains that it is a situational talent, whereas some talents are always useful.
With the ICC25 weapons, wow, the oblits would be out of control.
Though I think any dk tank with a 290dps 2hander is going to be tough to beat.
I'll throw a parse out when we do our alt-25man ICC tonight and I tank it up with her. Not in this thread since it's not the focus, but I'll post it. Also I'll look through worldoflogs from the same fights of dk tanks who are clearly 2h spec(blood/uh).
Self healing while tanking is the main reason I'm DK and probably won't change to any other tank. RT/IRT, Death Strike, Mark of Blood, Vampiric Blood...I want it all!!
In 3.2 I went Blood because my 2-hand Frost spec simply wasn't pulling the threat needed. I went Blood because of Threat. To me, the self-healing was just part of Blood's survivability. Instead of heavy mitigation, I had heavy self-healing. It wasn't the point of Blood spec. There really is no single point. No spec in the DK talent pool is that one-dimensional, thankfully.
I think the "point" system of classification here is too vague.
From now on we are going to say that the "expected usefulness" of a blood is to be both Maximum EH, and self-healing along with great single-target threat. There, done.
You don't see it that way? I'm sorry, get off your high horse and look at both sides of the coin, it's not about your opinion, it's about the collective opinion.
Eh, it's just different terminology. I would term it the "method of Survival" of Blood is self-healing (Maximum health pools affects that, though I wouldn't say it's maximum EH because it doesn't effectively give more proactive mitigation). And the "method of Threat" is maximizing two-handed weapon of DPS.
We can toss around different terms all we want, but that avoids what I was actually looking at. And that's that many people don't look at taking a certain spec for one thing, and those that do don't always do it for the same reasons. Which is also why method probably works best here.
I could say the expected usefulness of Blood, for me, was its increase in threat, its method of dealing with damage was not what I expected to be useful. Or I could say that the method of Threat in Blood, in 3.2 was superior to that of Frost and so I took it. I also took with it the method of Survival, whether or not I took it for that reason or whether or not that was the expected outcome.
I think the terminology is going to skew people coming into this thread and having their own say.
We need to use all-encompassing terms such that there are no "contrary thoughts on partial ideals."
The reason being, the fact that you picked it for threat, does not mean it didn't come with the survivability. That should be recognized in all posts, in all perspectives, since it does come with the package, and should!
If you pick DW Frost(as I have) you're doing some flavor but it's expected usefulness is the high threat in both ST and AOE, along with the best passive mitigation to both magic/physical damage you can get in the dk trees.
This is off topic though and trying to uniformly determine terminology is only going to increase the off topicness of the posts, I completely concede!
My point is if RT is making the difference between success and failure you need to sort out your healers.
If you need more than #2, #1 won't save you.
- RT 20% health 1 min CD 4 talents
- DP 40% health 2 min CD 0 talents
Nothing here determines alone whether you live or die. They either contribute to winning, or they contribute to losing. That's it.
Nothing ever happens where it is the sole proponent of you dying.
You can never fully predict what will happen in an encounter that rolls a dice, only in retrospect can you see what happened and try to plan for it next time. Even such, something else might happen next time and you can't plan for everything that can lead to a death.
Healer get's MC'd and you IRT, you might survive due to IRT.
Healer get's MC'd and you don't have IRT but you have a HS still, you might survive due to the HS.
Healer get's MC'd and you don't have IRT or an HS, but another healer notices and comes over, you live due to awareness.
Come on, there are literally thousands upon thousands of things that could happen.
Nothing ever is completely just one thing here.
The point is the same argument people take blood draining(it can help, though nothing "saves" you completely and not having it just contributes to less things possibly saving you).
Let's look at Blood as a progression tank. By and large, the tanks in the leading guilds don't take IRT. MoB wasn't even a popular choice (more so now because of faster, smaller hits). That leaves... Improved Death Strike.
We don't take Vendetta, Bloodworms, or IBP. VB gives us +heal, but doesn't make us heal ourselves.
The only reason I give MoB a nod in my spec is it's ability to matter in a stun situation.
Raise Dead is on a 3min CD. Also DP requires two GCD's (most tanks tend not to start the fight with a ghoul). BT is off the GCD.
Shrug. I've had Rune Tap in the past (Like Naxx/heroic level) and ultimately it's a bit hard to swallow at a 4 talent point investment. I can almost never think of a time in a raid where it would've saved me, it's not a huge amount of healing, and as mean or cliche as it is, your healers ARE fully capable of keeping you up without it. Cooldowns are great and necessary, but as a blood DK you already have multiple strong ones (IBF, VB, Trinkets, AMS [works to save you on a great deal of fights])...VB is up often enough that it's usually enough even if your healers are slow, or if the damage is predictible you can sit on your FU runes for death strikes like Vezax or Fusion punches or whatnot.
Blood IS a 'self healing' style tank, but you already have the tools available to do this without burning such a large amount of talents. Now, all of that said...the way the talents in the blood tree are set up you can easily drop subversion and a bit of SoB or something for it if you really want to, but I think most of the time when people hit it and think they just saved the raid it's probably just an itchy trigger finger - your healers are watching your health just as closely and aching for the chance to show you they can keep you alive :) Put some faith in em if at all possible.
Everyone should keep in mind Blood tanking is completely situational to both your raiding environment and your playstyle. If you have weak threat, you can pick up Subversion, or Sudden Doom, or even Necrosis. Personally, i run anywhere from 7.5k to 10k TPS on a single-target boss, without any of those talents. My guild uses 1 resto druid, and typically 1 priest, so the extra RP isn't always there from Revitalization, so i'll use a point in Scent of Blood to maintain constant Rune strikes.
I personally will use Rune Tap for progression. (Top 20 World guild) I even glyph for it, allowing me to heal myself from anywhere from 15k to 25k for a single blood rune. The threat from Glyph of Death Strike isn't even needed. My guild typically runs light on healers (to attempt to top world DPS marks) and this has saved me in a few situations.
The ability to CHOOSE your talents, understanding your abilities and properly executing is what seperates world class tanks from mediocre, not what the 'average joe' DK tank says on the forums.