Tanking will never be as accessible as other roles in WoW. It requires a certain way of thinking to properly grasp tanking concepts. Most bad tanks will never grasp those concepts, regardless of how streamlined they make the stats. I really hope that they are successful with their plan to kill the aoe zerg-fest style of tanking in Cata. We'll see how good some of these Pally tanks are when they have to position their Consecrate so that it won't break CC.
Originally Posted by Trogdorrior
with the exception of top end raiding, tanking just isn't that hard. It's not like people don't struggle with dps or healing either. Each one is unique, but not terrible confusing to at least be decent at it.
Well, for any role to be considered hard the content has to be hard. But even in easy content, it's blatantly obvious whether it's a good tank or bad tank in your 5man pug, even without checking their gear.
I believe that tanking, healing, and DPSing all require a similar level of skill of become an absolute master of your role. I just think that tanking is a bit more "outside the box" thinking than doing your DPS rotation on the skull target, and therefor has a higher barrier to entry.
Well, a dps' role is far more than just killing the skull if they are good at what they do. They should be using their interrupts or other utlity abilities to assit the entire group. Personally, I think any dps that just runs rotation and kills mobs without doing anything else is far below what should be "average" for a dps player. A good dps will also modify their output based on the needs of the tank and healer. If anything, I would argue that tanking is actually more straightforward (not less difficult) as all you're really required to do is make sure those mobses keep punching you instead of other people.
Every class and role needs to know their abilities and when/how to use them. You're supposed to learn all your class's capabilities as you level up. So I would say step #1 in being good at your role is learning what tools you have available to perform that role. This is universal to all the roles.
But lets look at a scenario where a new player has been leveling up solo questing for a while, and now they want to try out running an instance. If you're a in a DPS role, not a whole lot has changed. You need to learn how to make use of group oriented buffs/abilties, that you have to let the tank do the pulling, and that you have to manage your threat, but for the most part you're still doing the same routine you used while soloing. If you're in a tank role, you have much more to learn. You need to learn about pulling, pacing, awareness of the other group members, mob positioning, encounter awareness, and more. The tank doesn't have to be, but typically is a leader in the group. There's also more pressure on you to perform, as 1 bad tank in a 5man is much worse than 1 bad dps. To some people these tanking mechanics come naturally, but many struggle with them and it's obvious when a struggling tank is in your group.
Think of it this way: would you rather have a DPS in your group who doesn't know what threat is, or a tank in your group who doesn't know what threat is? Which do you think would have a better chance of performing their role after you've given them a brief description of how threat works?
You make a good point, but you don't take into account that there are alot of people who level by tanking. This is very common these days because of the LFG system, so people are just as likely to learn how to tank while leveling as they are learning how to dps.
I can't tell you how many times an epeen obsessed dps has wiped a group because they pulled aggro, died, setting the mob loose on the healer. All the while good tanks are working to wrangle their mobs back towards them and average tanks are running around frantically and dying after the healer dies. A bad dps in a group with a good tank is worthless. A good dps in a group with a bad tank can easily manage their output and abilities to make sure the tank doesn't lose threat.
Just some thoughts. AND.... In any of these cases, having more stam would be the best possible chance for survival.
Absolutely, and I think that's a wonderful thing. If anything, I wish there were more tools that would help new players learn the basics of their role in a group. It would be cool if there were "dungeon tutorial quests" so that people could practice tanking, healing, or even DPSing in a group setting with NPCs playing the rest of the roles in the group. That way a brand new tank could have a bit of practice before stepping into a dungeon for the first time. Currently, the only way to get better at tanking or healing is to, well, tank or heal, and many people out there lack the patience to deal with somebody who is brand new to their role (or the game in general).
Originally Posted by Trogdorrior
I also know a few people who love playing WoW, have multiple 80s, but refuse to raid because they feel they won't know what they're doing and they'll just be a hindrance to the rest of the group. Something similar could help these people as well, because the only way to learn to raid right now is to know people who are willing to take you on their runs.
But you do not consider everything. In a worst case scenario, a tank who stacks avoidance to the exclusion of stamina will be more of a mana sponge than a tank who stacks stamina to the exclusion of avoidance, because healers have less time to react. The stamina tank will require fewer heals to keep alive. An avoidance tank will avoid worst case scenarios more often than a stamina tank, but he will also be less equipped to survive it.
Originally Posted by thegreatheed
In the end, a balanced approach is best. Build up a minimum amount of health that ensures you can survive the worst possible spike damage the boss can deal before you realistically can expect a heal, then from there, build avoidance to ease the mana burden on healers. After a certain point, additional stamina risks becoming pointless; if you never go below 2000 health ever, you could have spent over a 100 stamina on other stats.
The way I look at it: after a wipe when I check over the last few moments of battle on the logs and I look at the overkill on me I don't think I've ever thought "man if only I stacked a few % more dodge everything would have been ok" but every time I see (Overkill 273) I think "Man that's one stam gem. If only I had stacked a little more stamina." This is why I stack Armor, because Armor is best :P.
@Tankette - The fact is there are lots of ways to add stamina (gems, enchants, food) but really only better gear to add armor (outside of 2 or 3 slots with +armor enchantments). Which is where the idea of 'stamina stacking' comes from. It's a direct response to the mechanics of the game. If armor enchantments/gems were a comparable option to stamina I think you'd see 2 groups of tanks. Those that choose to go with Stamina and those that prefer armor. Those that like big HPs versus those that want to limit mana drain. Though OOM hasn't been an issue for a while in WotLK. Maybe there will be more armor enchants in Cata. Both are likely to be preferred over avoidance though since avoidance was already seen as overpowered and needing to be nerfed.
Originally Posted by MellvarTank
As for the homoginization of the game. Players of ALL classes and ALL specs are cookie cutters of each other. The reason for this? Games always trend toward optimization. As the mechanics change so do the optimization.
Whether its an AoE tank spec, a single target tank spec, a raid support tank spec, a threat tank spec, or a DPS tank spec, each has a 'optimized' configuration. Each class/role has a BiS set of gear that as boring as it is, is worked towards by nearly everyone, because that set of gear represents your ability to maximize your contribution to the raid. And even these 'different' variations only vary by a few talent points, and then only in tertiary abilities.
It's a complete fallacy that there will ever be a wide range of optimized specs. As was said in another thread, WoW is a game of inches, a couple HP here, a few points of damage there, multiply that across 17 slots, 25 raiders and you have 425 'tiny' improvements that can drastically improve your raid. There are very few "Blood Draining / Mongoose / Bladeward" scenarios where the preferred option depends on your play style rather than any inherent advantage one has over the others. Players will always try to find the single best item/enchant/gem for that slot to maximize their contribution to the raids.
WoW, like all video games, is linear and finite. As such it's pretty easy to establish a optimization strategy. If it were more like paper and pencil RPGs it would be different, but that requires a much more expansive set of possibilities. More than 2 or 3 gear options for iLVL 264/277 per slot.
Now, what could be done? (Back to the OP)
Well, first, understand that Blizzard thinks avoidance is too powerful already. That's why Chill of the Throne is in place. So buffing avoidance is going to be a non-starter. You have to have a completely new mechanic system. Some initial and poorly formed ideas...
A) Make gear irrelevant and traits/attributes more relevant - or at least gearing. Instead of adding more gear, limit gear. Go to a DnD style system where you have some 8-12 different suits of armor and with certain limited bonuses - and that's it. Then increase the talents available with several 'end tree' talents. Right now talent trees are 90% homogeneous I would guess. The only way I could see this working is if each talent tree were expanded by 4 or 5 times. This might require completely eliminating several classes as the sheer volume of work would be massive. But this is probably the only way that someone that prefers to be a damage sponge and feels scars are marks of pride wouldn't feel homogenous with someone who prefers to a nimble dancer, gleefully laughing as the attackers grunt in frustration about not being able to hit. And the expanded trees would have to be roughly equally in effect so it really would be a "Blood Draining / Mongoose / Bladeward" situation where your style dictated which talent path you took rather than advantages of one over the others.
B) Hire some of these math guys on Tankspot and elsewhere that work out all the complex interactions to balance the avoidance stats versus armor versus stamina. Right now armor and stamina are preferred because the avoidance option for that enchantment or gem slot offers less survaibility than the stamina option. This could mean adjusting stamina #s down, armor #s down or increasing avoidance numbers.
C) The only other thing I could think of is multi-attack bosses (think 4 arms, each with a sword) that inflict a smaller amounts of damage but more rapid. So not only do you need adequate HPs but also some avoidance to avoid being completely overwhelmed by a death of a 1,000 cuts. Again though, with avoidance already seen as too powerful, requiring Blizzard to make bosses hit for more and more with each swing because fewer and fewer of them land, it would be hard to imagine this mechanic really working out.
Ultimately I don't think there is any 'tweak' you can do to make Avoidance on par with EH in terms of surviability without huge structrual changes to game mechanics, up to, and possibly including, nerfing armor and stamina. Your entire goal trying to make avoidance equitable to EH is completely blocked by the fact Blizzard thinks Avoidance is too powerful already OR too difficult to build boss encounters around in WotLK. In either scenario I don't think there is any tweak available to make avoidance more desirable.
I don't think it's so much more 'outside the box' as how critical it is that you're tight in your rotation and aware of everything around you.
Originally Posted by NewfieDave
DPS doesn't pop their trinkets in a timely manner is far less damaging to a boss fight than say a tank forgetting to taunt Gormock at the right time. I don't know about healing, never done that in a raid, but tanking is far more mentally taxing than DPS-ing (again with the caveat you're on progression boss-fights - not when you're tanking UK with an ICC25 geared group).
I'm not sure the pure mechanics are much more challenging, it's how much more precise a tank has to be over DPS. Miss one mob in a group of 5 and it starts pounding on your healer and it's wipe time. Don't use CDs correctly and it's wipe time. Don't manage threat/taunts/etc and it's wipe time. Tanking requires you to be mentally more aware than DPSing.
So it may not be more difficult, but it does require more precision.
I view stacking avoidance as leaving your personal survival as a tank up to Fate/RNG/the big Strip of Bacon in the Sky/whatever.
I view stacking stamina as leaving your personal survival as a tank up to your healers. Which makes me cringe some days.
I view stacking mitigation as leaving your personal survival as a tank up to YOU. The problem is, we can't cap armor or resistances that easily.
If blizzard wants to make me a happy panda tank, I want to see armor gems, resistance gems, and gear choices like the frost resistance sets, but across the board. I challenge any person to find somebody who would stack stamina over mitigation as long as the budget was equitable between the two choices.
To build on felhoof, why even have dodge/parry/block on gear? Just have DPS stats and a whack of sockets to put % based avoidance. So a person could get say 10-20% avoidance by gems, and have a 50% dodge on 10 seconds with a trinket. Or stack armor for standard stuff. Or stack resistances for magic fights. And have fights where sheer stamina is the way to go.
Smarty Pants are stacking armor trivializing the encounter? Put a bleed. Or magic. Or whatever. Multiple damage sources were always popular, and they should stick to it.
I'd stack Sta over block... XD Of course block is the bastard child of mitigation and avoidance...
Originally Posted by Insahnity
I think what you are forgetting is the amount of unavoidable damage being thrown around. Any tank will tell you it is great to avoid a few hits. It is a fact though that there is so much damage we simply can not avoid. That means that we have to gear for more stam.
If, and that is a big if since I don't see it happening, they made it so that we could dodge/parry/block magic attacks you would see avoidance become much more in demand. Then you would see some tanks that specialize in avoidance, and some that specialize in high hp. Right now though all the avoidance in the world won't help you. Too much of the damage is unavoidable. Just look at ruby sanctum for a great example.
HP is static. It's not dependant on chance, luck, or anything else. More HPs means that you can take more abuse, hands down. Unless my logic is completely utterly wrong, I would assume that the ideas of dodge, block, and all that other stuff was created as a second layer of tanking, with the first core layer being how much abuse a tank can take if everything hits. I would assume, when planning anything, you start at a constant of 100% and then work in ways to bring that percentage down later. I mean, when you build a skyscraper, you don't build it assuming that there is 25% chance that it will never go through an earthquake or a tornado or whatnot, you start assuming the worst and mitigate from there. So yeah, from a really general standpoint, lots of HP is always the way to go.
What if the model of healing is making you think a bit more about who to heal.
Say, instead of having 2 raidhealers and 1 tankhealer, you have 3 healers doing both.
If you tank is low, you'll throw him a few quick heals, if your share of the raid is low, you'll leave it for the other healers. If your raiders are all good, and your tank just needs to be topped up, you'll go with the efficient heals.
Shit hits the fan and everyone is low, you go for instant heals on the tank and multi-target heals.
I'm fairly sure I saw somewhere that Blizzard want healers to think about who they're healing, and at which H:M ratio, and to me this seems very refreshing.
And how many here have seen Cataclysm stats? For all we know, we might be seeing a complete U-turn on tanking stats, where stamina is hardly needed on top of what's already on your gear, and you'll go for avoidance or threat instead, depending on what you prefer or need.
If you take 1/6th of your hp every 1 second, that's still 6 seconds before you absolutely need to be healed, to me this seems just fine, it makes healing less spammy, and you get to throw a heal on the raid once in a while, even on tank healing duty.
The only thing I at the moment can see as a counter to this is if you don't have mana to heal both the raid and the tank, in which case, you'll wait, or interrupt your heals if they're a waste of mana.
Great points everyone!
I'm personally very partial to avoidance. It just makes things more interesting in my opinion, plus it gives us more to think about such as casters with haste/spellpower/mana per 5 (I'm not extremely knowledgeable on spell stats, but you get the idea). If tanks only have stamina to worry about, well that reduces the need to actually make a decision out of the game, and to be proud that you made the right ones. Personally I have always strove for a balance of the two, enough stamina to handle things such as magic damage or an "I've fallen into a vat of molasses and can't dodge" moment, but while maintaining enough avoidance to take away a good portion of damage. It seems like it will be a question on how to make each equally viable, or to encourage a proper balance.
Some random ideas that may or may not actually work in reality:
- Make stamina a stat derived purely from gear, eliminating stamina gems/enchants.
- Lessen the health gain from stamina gems/enchants to make avoidance more appealing.
- Find a way to let avoidance reduce/avoid magic damage.
- Adjust diminishing returns (I'm not sure of how to modify the equation exactly to get this result), encouraging avoidance but in smaller amounts.
- (In combination with the above two) Have avoidance avoid magic etc. only after a certain threshold by the use of talents or some other way, making high end gemming/enchanting award less physical but larger magical avoidance.
- Only make stam/avoidance gems/enchants but with varying amounts.
- Restrict gems to the appropriate socket color to force variety in gemming.
These are just a few things I've thought of while reading through everyone's posts. The reality of most of my ideas probably would not work without some heavy refinement hah.
One more crazy idea that would required a ton of work to balance properly.
-Make avoidance give a percent to avoid and a constant percent mitigation.
Example: 20% dodge gives well, 20% chance to dodge. If you do not dodge and are hit, it provides a 20% reduction in damage.
Example 2: (after writing the first I realized how rediculous it was) Every 1% of dodge grants 1% percent chance to dodge and .5% or .25% damage mitigation. Possibly only affecting magic so avoidance doesn't impose on armor.
This would require some crazy reworking to not upset the balance for casters and melee in pvp situations.
I like what they doing in cata, parry is now isntead of avoiding all damage, a 50% less damage thing (or something). thats the way to go to make avoidance more attractive, cheaper and not to OP.
I always thought it would be interesting if as you failed you avoid an attack, that you would get some sort of stacking buff to increase the likelyhood to dodge the next attack. It would greatly reduce the change where you have huge strings of hits or avoids.
It's actually 50% per hit for two hits, which I must admit is certainly interesting and I'm looking forward to all the theorycrafting that will come out around Dodge vs Parry (if you have 100% chance of reducing that second swing by 50% it means you simultaneously have 0% chance to mitigate it by 100% by dodging). Drool.
Originally Posted by Krays
But I must say, I completely agree with some of the things posted here - specifically a mechanic to avoid magical damage, a range of elemental damage per raid tier rather than one type to carry you through an entire expansion, the need for more options in terms of gear customisation (Bonus Armor gems!) and so on. The thing is, somehow we need to find a way to incorporate all that stuff without making it mandatory for a tank to carry 18 sets of gear around all the time, not have to run off to re-gem/re-spec for a specific encounter and so on.
One of the things I've liked most about some of the ICC encounters is the strategic use of Aura Mastery for certain resistable spells - it's certainly inline with the kind of thing I'd like to see but, of course, it does nothing to solve the age-old Avoidance vs Health conundrum, as it's simply a matter of picking the appropriate aura and using your spell and impacts gearing choices in no meaningful way.
Perhaps a catch-all "resistance" gem that could be impacted by a tanking ability or cooldown of some form - you pick whether you want extra Armor, Fire Resistance, Shadow Resistance or whatever somehow and then, when activated those gems or that stat then provides to corresponding amount of whatever stat you've asked for. The downside? When you're not using the cooldown, those gems do nothing whereas Stamina gems always provide a passive buff to your health meaning you have to choose whether to have a controllable burst of major benefit or an always-on small benefit. The problem with Avoidance (in its current form at least) is its inherent "RNGness" - few tanks will argue that an EH trinket with an "on-use" Avoidance bonus is a bad thing because, while still reliant on a diceroll, the fact is that it puts a lot of the control in the hands of the tank himself. You can't add the amount of Dodge you'd get from an on-use trinket all the time because it'd be horribly overpowered but for 10 seconds, it puts the tank in a position of control. When you're just a passenger to the whim of the RNG, you don't feel you have any control so you'll err toward the safest option, which is almost always the guaranteed small bonus rather than flip a coin and hope for the bigger one.