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Thread: Paladins as Tanks

  1. #1
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    Paladins as Tanks

    The following was a response of mine to a topic at Maintankadin forums.

    What is required to make Paladins an equally attractive tanking option?

    -There's virtually no way you aren't going to lead against the Warrior in Avoidance and "uncrushability." The person judging your status as a tank needs to understand this.

    -Paladin Threat scales well (so does Warrior Threat, thanks to +Hit and SBV). It is understood that you can gain a great deal of Threat by adding +Spell Damage to your gear; however, it is also true that Threat production in raids has not been the primary purpose of the Paladin due to the Off-Tank role many assume, be it by prejudice or practicality. This allows flexibility in gearing to the point where most Paladins do not need +Threat anywhere but on their weapon.

    In addition, both the Paladin and the Warrior are capable of producing more Threat than standard gearing allows. This is due to the ability to switch separate pieces of gear in. As you are keenly aware, Paladin Threat in 5-mans scales far better than Warrior Threat (yay, Rage); in raids, both classes keep in pace.

    To prove yourself as a tank, it may be helpful to fine tune some of your gear for situations where you are asked to tank initially. Do so in such a way that you can demonstrate very high Threat-Per-Second output -- higher than normal -- and win over the DPS'ers as well. There are many Warrior tanks who do not fully understand how to maximize their own Threat, so if you show the skill, that should draw considerable attention to the possibility of Main Tanking.


    -The major balance issue comes in Effective Health. If you can match or exceed the Effective Health of a Warrior, you are equally suited -- if not a bit more suited -- to tanking a good deal of content. Granted, not all of it, because there are some unfair restrictions in the form of Silence gimmicks, etc.

    Let's assume for a moment that reaching "uncrushability" causes a disparity in Karazhan. Let's further assume that many new raiding guilds -- most of which are the ones that Paladin Main Tanks are going to be popping up in -- are going to determine their prejudices in Karazhan and Gruul's Lair.

    The disparity in Karazhan is such that a Warrior can more easily obtain a higher Effective Health -- that is, the combination of Stamina, Armor, and Shield Block Value that determines the amount of raw damage a player can survive. A Warrior may come out in this gearing process with much more survivability, simply because it is easier for him or her to reach uncrushability. However, as Paladins are aware, the Warrior uncrushability is not absolute, and has a weaker foundation than Redoubt.

    Finally, let's make clear that the Warrior and Paladin meet together in terms of later raid content. If the Paladin can maintain a tanking position in later raid instances (SSC, TK, etc), he or she will reach all of the Effective Health minimums of the Warrior. Conversely, the Warrior will be gaining the absolute and reliable uncrushability of the Paladin as his or her Avoidance rises. Short of gear discrepancies and gimmick fights on the part of Blizzard, there is no reason a Paladin cannot Main Tank every fight in World of Warcraft.

    Now, let's backtrack. The problem comes out of the realm of theorycraft in Karazhan. The Warrior is not absolutely uncrushable, but he or she appears to the raid to survive longer and last through bigger hits. Healers feel they are having an easier time with the Warrior because -- when he or she isn't being crushed -- the Warrior is soaking up damage. Nevermind that the Warrior is also occasionally dying outright to "perfect storms" of damage and crushing blows, the raid is willing to accept that occasional wipe as they do every wipe... pick it up and try again (and try to pass blame off on a healer, of course).


    All of this is just my viewpoint. Assuming I was mostly accurate on this -- and please correct me if I wasn't -- I would simply give this solution.

    To be equally attractive to Warrior tanks, do everything in your Holy power to get more Armor, Stamina, and Block Value.

    Do not sacrifice your uncrushability, but go above and beyond in gearing when in Karazhan or any early tanking. Yeah, you have to work harder than Warriors, but that's not to say the good Warriors aren't passionately doing the same (ideally too many of those aren't in your guild!).


    For the record, nearly every e-mail or PM I've received has pretty much left me with a better impression of Paladins as tanks. Again and again I am finding Paladins who have considerably better Effective Health than lazy Warriors in their guild. This morning, I was shocked to compare armorys of two guildmates on a server in the EU -- the Paladin had 10% more Effective Health (factoring in Defensive Stance!) than the Warrior. This, on top of having better Avoidance and uncrushability left me a bit at a loss as to why the Warrior was being chosen.


    Another poster here brought up the question, paraphrasing, "If we stack Armor, won't we be like Druids?" No. This is due specifically to the relationships that produce Effective Health. Druids -- while good tanks in their own right -- require an additional 50% Effective Health to be as reliable as tanks as Paladins or Druids. In other words, the Armor they have is the only way they can reliably overcome the crushing blows that Warriors or Paladins don't have to worry about as much.


    Anyway, here's a link that might be of interest on this discussion:
    http://www.tankspot.com/index.php?pa...ffectiveHealth

    There is a calculator on the right side which can help determine your Effective Health, though I haven't added anything for the (6% is it?) damage reduction of a Paladin.


    Thanks, and tank well,
    Ciderhelm
    http://www.tankspot.com/

  2. #2
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    i certainly agree that pallys are great tanks on the TPS side. However, atleast to start off in kara they need to pay a great deal more attention to their gear due to the fact that it is harder for them to gain uncrushability in their stats. That and that alone may be a deciding factor since your average pally vs your average warrior the warrior will be easily uncrushable and the pally wont.

    however, i gladly enjoy sharing the tanking roll with good tankadins. They are great to work with and often i find they compliment well what i fall short of!

  3. #3
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    That explain why warriors are better, but you will still get paladins who question "Why WON'T Bliz make us just as good?"

    The answer...Who cares as long as they can get the job done.

  4. #4
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    honestly atlantian the uncrushable isnt that hard for them its the fact that at pre-kara short of running lots of easy heroics the gear isnt there to get them to decent stam levels. An equivalently geared prot pally about 2 weeks before I started kara and I were comparing stats. He had roughly 9500 hp compared to my 10.8 at the time around 3% less dodge parry iirc was about 2% less but he had roghly 29% block. was not prot spec so no vitality or bonus defense.

    with his avenger shield?(dont remember pally skill name) active he had less than 1% chance of crush and a week later had fixed that problem at the cost of roughly 100 hp.

  5. #5
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    all i meant was that in kara/pre kara they need to spend more gem slots and more gear focusing on avoidance. thus leading to that health gap. thats all. I suppose i worded it badly

  6. #6
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    A naked paladin have less HP than the same naked char but a warrior class. I don't know the numbers but could be like 500-1000 less HP.

    In summary, TBC raiding is easy. 9/10 encounters can be summarized with 1 phrase. Stay out of the fucking fire.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narshe View Post
    A naked paladin have less HP than the same naked char but a warrior class. I don't know the numbers but could be like 500-1000 less HP.
    At level 70 it's 1200. Every paladin knows this. It's probably pointed out to be one of our larger flaws.

    PS: I came here from over at the MainTankadin forums.

  8. #8
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    honestly i think the only time this would ever actually be a factor would be when starting gruul's. and mebbe first few weeks in ssc after that the gear should be there(assuming non crap drop rates) to make effective health sufficient altho i do think warrior tanking would be slightly preferable but not extraordinarily so. I personally am a huge fan of prot pallies altho since BC a large portion of horde side ones arent very good, the few i do find that can handle the role instantly add them to the 'ol friends list.

  9. #9
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    My view is (and has been for a while) is not that Paladins should be 100% on par with Warriors, but they should have generally equal roles with each one having a niche that they can fill. For example, with Paladins having 8 charges on Holy Shield over 10 seconds (essentially twice the amount as a warrior) that makes them ideally suited to deal with physically oriented bosses.

    On the other hand, warriors with spell reflect and various interrupts are much better off fighting mobs that are either pure casters or mix up casting with a fair amount of physical damage. Paladins would not be ideal for a physical/magic caster mix, since in order to get enough resists to survive the magic side, they would be unlikely to remain uncrushable.

    By creating a role for each class, but not so specializing the class that they were unable to survived on the type of boss they are not "made for" you would create a situation where all tanks are needed, but any one can substitute in a pinch.

  10. #10
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    The only problem I see with that Alixander, is that if tanking encounters start going down that route, it might lead to "required" niche tanks. Blizzard seems to like overboard on one or the other.

    The other issue might be the use "of" spell reflects and interrupts on caster bosses. Interrupts work on virtually no bosses unless it is a gimmick of the fight. Same with spell reflect. The most spell reflect does on most bosses is just negate the damage you take, but doesn't reflect any of the damage back.

    I don't know though... I completely agree that paladins should be excellent tanks, I'm just concerned that these sorts of issues "can't" be balanced equally without homoginizing one or both classes somewhat. = /

    Perhaps this "Death Knight" hero class business (if true) is a method they hope to use to test out methodologies to made each class useful, if only by combining aspects of several? (Chromatic tank anyone? :P)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaiden View Post
    The only problem I see with that Alixander, is that if tanking encounters start going down that route, it might lead to "required" niche tanks. Blizzard seems to like overboard on one or the other.
    I don't really see that as a problem, but that might just be me. As it stands right now, you use your best overall tank, which is, in most cases a warrior. Paladins don't have a place because Warriors are, for all intents and purposes, singers from an Annie Get Your Gun musical... You know... "Anything you can do I can do better; I can do anything better than you."

    And buffing the general tanking ability of Paladins isn't the answer. If you keep buffing them, eventually the Paladin will be deemed as "superior" to the Warrior, just like the Warrior is deemed "superior" to the Paladin right now. As long as neither class has a specific niche they fall into, whichever class is considered the top dog will be the one that's demanded until the other is brought on top. By giving each class a specific role to fall under, you ensure the long-term value of that class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaiden View Post
    The other issue might be the use "of" spell reflects and interrupts on caster bosses. Interrupts work on virtually no bosses unless it is a gimmick of the fight. Same with spell reflect. The most spell reflect does on most bosses is just negate the damage you take, but doesn't reflect any of the damage back.
    Spell reflecting, even if it's negating 1/2 of the incoming spells is vastly superior to current paladin spell defense. We have Hammer of Justice (a stun which rarely if ever works on bosses), the talent Spell Warding which lowers our incoming spell damage by 4%, Righteous Fury which lowers all damage by 6%, and the Paladin auras which give resists (but this can be applied to Warriors so that's a negated point). Warriors have interrupts (that occasionally work, which is more often then stuns work), the 10% reduction from Defensive Stance, the additional 6% from Improved Def. Stance, and 100% damage negation from Spell Reflect. Seems like a definite advantage to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaiden View Post
    I don't know though... I completely agree that paladins should be excellent tanks, I'm just concerned that these sorts of issues "can't" be balanced equally without homoginizing one or both classes somewhat. = /

    Perhaps this "Death Knight" hero class business (if true) is a method they hope to use to test out methodologies to made each class useful, if only by combining aspects of several? (Chromatic tank anyone? :P)
    That may be their plan, and if so I think it's a bad one. From the rumors I've heard so far, Death Knights are not an upgrade from current class, but a new class to be added to the mix once it's unlocked. The reason I think it's a bad idea is what about the people who want to tank on their (Paladin/Warrior/Druid)? It wouldn't bother me, because tanking is more important than tanking on a certain class, but for others they want to play a certain way, and by introducing a penultimate tanking class, the others will become a secondary or tertiary choice which would not sit well with many players.

  12. #12
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    To be fair, Spell reflect seems to come in handy about as often as hammer of justice does =/ As I said, not a lot of things are actually influenced by it, be it reflection or negation. However, I will concede the point that interrupts work more often than stuns do.

    As for the "death knight" thing, I agree, I'm really hoping it's just rumor. I don't really like the idea of leveling a character.... again... just to do the job I'm currently doing, but better.

    EDIT:
    'cause i speekz emgrish gud

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alixander View Post
    At level 70 it's 1200. Every paladin knows this. It's probably pointed out to be one of our larger flaws.

    PS: I came here from over at the MainTankadin forums.
    Don't forget about the ranged slot, with the crafted gryo gun that easily pushes it 1600.

    That explain why warriors are better, but you will still get paladins who question "Why WON'T Bliz make us just as good?"

    The answer...Who cares as long as they can get the job done.
    Especially when you are looking at a first kill situation, the Raid Leader tends to care a lot. Buffs to pallys aren't the complete answer, though I think a few tweaks (like a dual use stat) would make a lot of sense. Ultimately, some encounters probably should be more pally friendly.

  14. #14
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    I have over the course of the last few months ha the opportunity to tank with 2 pally tanks (one about equally geared as me and one less so - our new OT) and I must say they make tanking Kara (can't speak for anything higher) a joy. Pallys often quote the less hp, spell interupts, stance dance and 10% vs 6% damage (although I thought I saw somewhere that due to the order things are taken into account this is only 1.2% or so - might be wrong). But having said that apart from initial weeks on Prince and Nightbane I'm pretty sure our pally could MT most if not all bosses.

    Personally it would be nice to see Pally's with a similar amount of health - but then it would be nice for warriors to have a way of frontending threat and multi-threating better too - I can never keep agro on the trash pulls before Moroes or on the Black Morass adds, which any pally has no problem in keeping.

    With pally tanks you need: a guild who accepts them, a pally tank who understands that he has to work as hard for his spot (I've met many who think just because they've specced prot they should be MT) and a warrior/bear tank who they work well with.
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  15. #15
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    A dedicated pala is always better than a tier6 lazy warrior.

    In summary, TBC raiding is easy. 9/10 encounters can be summarized with 1 phrase. Stay out of the fucking fire.
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  16. #16
    It is entirely possible that paladin tanking becomes good at the T6 level or higher. The problem is surviving as a tank to that level.

    The thing is that paladins have to outgear their raid a little bit to tank properly. We don't work well when we are undergeared. For example, I have not seen an pre-Kara tanking set that does not include the heroic Libram. So a paladin tank has to run heroics before being able to take on Kara. A warrior can tank in Kara at a earlier point in her lifecycle.

    This puts the paladin behind the warrior for gear upgrades and a place in the raid. So the problem compounds itself, as the warrior gets better gear faster, and becomes a better tank.

    We have to gear differently for raids than for 5-mans because of uncrushability. We cannot wear good paladin gear, we have to wear warrior avoidance gear. For example, despite Righteous Armor looking like it's tanking gear, no paladin entering Karazhan would wear it. And often times you end up making compromises on Stamina and Armor to get the necessary avoidance. For example, the standard boots are Flesh Metal Greaves from Mana-Tombs. (I'm actually really annoyed by this, as I have these gorgeous paladin tanking boots from Heroic Sethekk that I can't wear. )

    So initial raiding gear is one large issue for paladin tanks.

    Another issue is a lack of mitigation. A warrior has Thunderclap, 10% melee reduction, 16% spell reduction. A paladin has 6% melee reduction, 10% spell reduction. Vindication might be a reasonable analog to Thunderclap, but it doesn't work on bosses.

    We also have a distinct lack of "outs" compared to a warrior. No Shield Wall, Last Stand, or a Fear break or Spell Reflect. We have one reasonable out in Imp Lay on Hands, but getting that causes problems when allocating talent points. Our standard out is Divine Shield, (the bubble), which we can't use when tanking because the mob changes targets when we pop it. Actually, if we could use the bubble while tanking, that might go a long way to equalizing things. 12s of Immunity every 5 minutes would be a really strong advantage.

    As well, healer/tank is not as good a combination as tank/dps. Fights which require fewer tanks rarely require more healing. It's better to have a tank that can add more dps than a tank which can add more healing. If Karazhan is normally 2 tanks/3 healers/5 dps, in a 1-tank fight going 1 tank/3 healers/6 dps is better than 1 tank/4 healers/5 dps.

    Finally, paladins are superb healers, and that means there's a lot of pressure to heal. Healers are rare. Tanks are rare as well, but DPS is common. So it's a lot easier to shift a DPS warrior to tank, than it is to shift a healing paladin to tanking. This is what happened to me. I started Karazhan as a tank, but one week one of our Holy paladins was away, so I shifted to Holy to cover. We ended up recruiting another tank before getting a healer, so I had to stay Holy.

    Additionally, the other healer off-specs are pretty strong. For example, consider a priest, paladin, and warrior. You could go "paladin tanks, priest heals, and warrior is dps". But arguably, going "warrior tanks, paladin heals, and priest is dps" is a stronger combination, even if the two tanks are equal. There is no real synergy in the first combination, but there is strong synergy in the second.

    Basically, paladins are really good tanks for content your raid is geared or overgeared for. But when your raid is undergeared, you really want a skilled warrior at the helm.
    Last edited by Coriel; 08-05-2007 at 10:30 PM.

  17. #17
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    My experience with tankadins is, give them alot of mobs and they are happy. They excel at tanking multiple mobs.

    My guild has 1 tankadin and he is able to hold his position damn well. Fully raid buffed he has roughly 2k less hp then me. But he makes that up with his skill. When doing Hyjal he's always the one tanking the ghouls, when going towards solarian he's the one pulling the massive amount of adds and tank them.

    So, if you play your paladin well, and you went for tank mode and you are in a guild that accepts it. Go for it. I myself love the tankadin in the guild

    I do believe however that for a tankadin it's harder to get the gear etc. to be an effective tank. So if you go for one, be prepared to do alot of instance runs etc. to be effective,

  18. #18
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    In my experiences and from reading here I've more or less thought of my time I've been spending as a Protection spec, and what my thoughts were, and my "journey" if you will on becoming properly geared.

    I first off was very worried about my abilities. Since I myself had played through some beta and all the pre bc raids. People naturally become acustomed to "warrior=the tank." Blizzard being part of those people. They intended on it even. So for roughly 2 years or so now thats been the deal. Bring in protection warriors as needed to cover what your raid was going into.
    So when my guild was short on tanks earlier this year, I decided I would try it. I was quite nervous about the decision. Cause I had a respectable set of healing gear amassed, and as holy you pretty much have an easy time scoring groups. I had the fear that if I went protection, all of that would be gone. I was even moreso concerened about how my real life friend a protection warrior and gm would react to this. We had honestly laughed at tanking in mention with paladins in the past. I was quite suprised when he said "Well I figure it this way, you wouldn't do it if you didn't think it would work." This was a double edged blade for me. I felt great because he was my friend, gm and the mt saying "give it a shot i support you." But at the same time I'm not in a hot seat. I felt that I HAD to over achieve. I was now in the view of the guild as a whole as protection. He threw cider's guide at me, and hundreds of sheets and tons of data and it was overwhelming. Cause 50% or something of that applied to me or what I could do, the other half was still quiet dark in mechanics. There's still even debate about the vengeance seal.
    But through that of wanting to make good of my friends faith in me and from personally wanting to be able to snuff doubts out, I ended up spending alot of time away from my Hunter main to really grab gear.
    I feel personally that how your friends, people in guild, server feel about the Paladin and what it can do is directly effected to what they see in front of them. I was doing a heroic the other day and a warlock outwright said they didn't like paladin tanks. He stayed in group and near approaching the third boss he plainly typed out "I've changed my mind about paladin tanks, their better than warriors." The gm warrior was with me in the run, his stats are all better than mine, I didn't know how to react to that because he was sitting right there. But he didn't mutter a word about it. It's something I respect because I hope that he just saw it as a way of letting me know I was alright in peoples eyes. Was is it because I knew the lock didn't like us, that I tried even harder? Or was it because this was a polar opposite of what he felt about a paladin. I'd like to think it might of been a bit of both. But moreso he just had an honest experience and changed his mind. I replied back in the chat "I'm not better at all, just different."
    Which I know this post is somewhat lengthy but it leads up to some important points in my mind.
    As the lead designer said, "its how well someone plays, not their class." I remember people in guild smashing tier 2 players when they only had blues from 5man/quests. Simply cause they were great players. This isn't to say dreador is a bad warrior at all. Just a point that playing effectively, creatively, and on point will go really far. A favorite quote of mine is
    "As my father taught, 'Training will raise your shield to the blow, but courage fills the gaps the shield leaves open.'"
    Someone that steps up with full belief in what they bring to the table will make a better tank.
    Of course theres better roles that each class brings. Mages were loved in parts of mc for decursing. But it didn't stop people from crushing mc with a low amount of them. It wasn't even a matter of working harder, just different.
    A problem I believe in the "i'm better than you" realm is that the pointing isn't really doing anything really, your pointing a finger at something, and thats it. This is only self destructive. Time spent doing this is less time spent on helping either the warrior or paladin considering a protection role. If there wasn't so much pride pinned, people would realize theres not that big of a difference at all that people make out.
    The gear problem isn't limited to anyone. Warriors will speak up on stats they find cruddy or inadequate. Hunters doing the same, etc. Paladins are in the same boat as many people. In terms of finding gear, I never had an issue. I'm scaling quite well to my guilds raids. We as a whole do activities together. I've been amasing a nice stack of badges from heroics and pieces of gear as have they. They'll turn it in for a piece, and I'll do the same. Would I love to see some more gear that says "stam,int,spell dmg,mit,avoidance" in a tastier display? sure I'd love it but I bet warriors want to see their gear have their tastier stats just as much as I do.
    There's ways around everything in this game. Its merely left up to our personally creativity and willingness to share it with many people.
    There has been times when we've taken majority of undergeared people into raids and its never an issue. As long as people do their jobs in a decent manner everything works out.
    If there's trouble like this then its time to sit back and think. Having a superb geared tank in comparison to the rest of the raid isnt bad at all. You want your tanks to be dressed to the hilt.
    Longwinded yes, but I felt it was important to pound home that how the person plays impacts more of your thoughts on how a class looks to you than gear does.

  19. #19
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    A pally tank applied to our guild, and we are looking for a pally. My question is wether we should accept him as a tank, or make him respec to heal if he wants to get in.

    Our guild has Kara/gruul on farm and is starting SSC.

    He has:

    Unbuffed hp: 10117
    Armor (w/devotion auro and no other buffs): 13365

    How would this compare tanking-wise to a warrior? What could we expect him to be able to MT (could he do Kara), and what could he OT?

  20. #20
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    The Armory

    I think he's done some heroics and not done kara.

    For the rest of our guild: One of our 2 MTs just quit. So at this point I'm basically the only progression MT. (I have 16990 armor 15943 hp unbuffed right now)
    Currently for tanks we have 3 warriors and 3 druids. We also have 1 warrior who is an alt of one of our shadow priests, and is actually our 2nd best geared tank. He is considering switching to the warrior as his main. We have another druid who is the alt of one of our healers, who is fairly well geared as well.
    Our other two warriors are new and are in the 13khp/13k armor range probably, starting to get Kara gear. Our druids, I'm not really sure. They can MT kara, they cant MTstuff beyond that I would think, but theyre fine for OTing anything.


    We're looking to add about 1 more tank, and we have no pally tanks right now. We also are in need of a bit more healers, so if he was to heal he would fill a need there.

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