[Cata] Tanking (and Healing) mechanics
So I was bored at home and started thinking of the incoming changes on how tanking and healing are going to be changed in the future and it left with me a lot of ideas as well as questions. I know this is a bit early, as Beta hasn't even started yet, but atleast it would be a good exercise :)
* Apart from the fixed chance to Miss, Dodge will be the only way to full avoid an incoming swing.
* Parry will reduce an incoming attack by 50% in damage, as well as the next attack.
* Block will reduce a fixed percentage of an attack, starting at 30% and most likely increased by talents such as Critical Block.
* Avoidance totals will be far lower(the minimum will be ~5% per avoidance). This will come from both steeper rating conversions as well as the fact that 'boring' talents such as Anticipation and Deflection will be changed/removed.
* Healers will have to start choosing between the cast time, healing per second and healing per mana of their spells rather than just spam their highest healing output spell blindly. (=Mana Matters)
* Healers will be allowed to react on damage taken rather than cast heals 'just in case'.
The first thing that popped to my mind when I read the Parry changes was "Diminishing Returns!!". Either the next incoming damage will simply reduced by 50%, which means that the more Dodge/Parry/Block you have, the less it reduces totally. Thus the better your gear, the less effect 1% Parry has as a total. The other option is where you gain 100% Parry chance for the next attack, which means you'll 'lose' the ability to block, reducing overall value of block chance. This ofcourse raises problems for things such as Critical Block. I will eagerly await to see what kind of model they will use once beta opens up :)
Second thought that came to me was "So Bears are all-or-nothing tanks? Bears will only be able to Dodge (or be missed), so how will they counter this spikyness for the healers? Either they will need a larger health pool to allow healers more breathing room, or they will have to have more Armor to make up for the parry/block mechanics the other tanks have. Either way, this would put them far on top on the EH list, which can cause potential balancing issues (I'm thinking 8-9 healer raid setup to go through a Patchwerk kind of fight). The only viable solution (besides letting them Parry) I see would be to rework Savage Defense to absorb a percentage, similar to the block/parry mechanic, but at the same time, it should not be benefitting from increased avoidance chance, as it does now. That would be unfair to the DR of Parry the other tanks are stuck with (and will eventually cause disparity due to gear level).
And last but not least, I am looking forward to the proclaimed shift towards healer mana efficiency and the less bursty nature of boss damage. Most interesting will probably be how much avoidance will be worth vs stamina. Will avoidance stacking be thing to do once a boss can't hit you for more than a third of your health pool? Will healer mana last on simply choosing the right spells or will tank gear have a big enough impact on it to shift the current gearing dogma to dodge/parry/block?
So what are your thoughts on the (proposed) changes? What do you expect, hope for or bet your money on?