Suggestion -- Cataclysm: On-Use Defensive Acts
I just posted this on the WoW forums. Thought it might get more thoughtful discussion here though.
I have been reading tank forums (mostly Tankspot) for quite a while now, and understand that the tanking model may change significantly in the next major expansion. Dodge and parry are changing (right?) and maybe block as well. Also the rage/RP generation mechanics may change along with cooldown importance/timing and threat too? So...
I came up with a suggestion on a way to change game mechanics for tanking, to hopefully make tanking more fun, challenging, and different from DPSing, significantly.
**Make "On Use" tank abilities, able to be used only if selected as Talents, for "Block", "Dodge", and "Parry".**
How this would be interesting:
- Have the appropriate stat on gear (say, Parry) reduce the cooldown timer on your Parry ability (like Haste for that ability's cooldown timer only). Same for Block and Dodge. Perhaps a 10 second or 12 second base cooldown on each of these abilities, which scales quicker with more of the given stat.
- Put these on the Global Cooldown. Tanking will be less about "maximize my dps/threat rotation while passive effects keep me alive" and more about "maximize my survival rotation, and dps/threat generate in-between hitting my survival buttons." (maybe make parry/dodge/block generate Threat by using them too)
- On fights where survival isn't as much an issue (but maybe threat/enrage timer is), tanks can consciously increase their threat/dps by using their dps/threat abilities more and survival abilities less. Also as gear increases and survival isn't in danger, tanks will be able to increase dps consciously.
- Involve them in resource generation as well. Perhaps "generate 10 rage" / 400 mana / XX runic power each time you use your Parry/Dodge/Block as a way to recapture the resource you aren't getting by not taking as much damage. Allows more use of your dps abilities by having resources you generated with survival abilities.
- Coordinating with healers for planned usage times would make group communication more interesting too. If I can tell my MT healer "use Hymn of Hope now, I'll avoid the next 3 attacks" by stacking my Dodge then Parry then Block all in sequence (after waiting for them to all light up) that would involve some skill/coordination.
Drawbacks: a completely different model for what parry/dodge/block do to my character would take significant re-coding, testing and fine-tuning. Also, I don't PvP hardly ever and am sure balancing these abilities for PvP would be rough.
Letting tank players have more control though of "I want to avoid THIS attack" instead of uncontrollable RNG deciding when that happens seems like more interesting gameplay as a tank to me. Generally having more buttons to press, more often, for "make me survive" would provide more distinction in tanking, as a role far different from dps. I have always really enjoyed "Spell Reflect" as a prot warrior, making a similar buttor for Dodge, Parry and Block would be cool.
Dunno if Blizzard or other players have considered and trashed this type of idea, but I love this game and if it can be more fun in the future, good.