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Thread: The Four Different Tanks (Comparisons)

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    The Four Different Tanks (Comparisons)

    This thread will be dedicated to theorycrafting and discussing the differences between the four tank classes. Since Ciderhelm removed the restrictions in his last post on the frontpage, I took the liberty to start this.

    The following things are for this thread:

    - Class differences and where you think one or the other class will surpass the others etc. Feel free to give good and informed comparisons on the classes.

    - Your thoughts and opinions about why this or that class will be overpowered/underwhelming in comparison with the rest.

    - And everything in between.

    The following things are NOT for this thread:

    - Whining about why this or that class obviously will be the superclass when it comes to tanking. Keep it civil and be reasonable in your arguments.

    - Neglecting to acknowledge other people's points and opinions on posts that you have made in this thread.

    - Not backing up your statements by either showing videos/spreadsheets/screenshots/documented proof or similar.

    Keep it civil, I hereby declare comparison discussions open for business . I also ask the moderators to keep this thread strictly enforced.

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    I reserve the right to close this thread and issue infractions and/or bans the moment I see our ToS violated. So think twice before you post here, this is a great opportunity for us to share knowledge, but I will not allow it to degenerate whatsoever.

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    What do Paladin tanks do when not Main tanking (essentially DPSing for a boss fight)? Warriors and Druids can still generate a fair bit of rage through auto attacks, and also have procs to allow some abilities to be used with no rage cost.

    I'm not sure if Paladins have similar talents. But not having played one, I could forsee them having an issue when they are not needed to tank for a certain fight. How long can they go before going OOM? Do they have ways of regenerating mana, or is it simply not an issue? I understand they will not need to maintain the same rotation they would while tanking, but they would still want to do more than just auto-attack I would think.

    That was the first thing I thought of with these new changes.
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    Way to kill the conversation, Kaz.

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    Sorry Cider lol.


    Andenthal, that's part of the fix of the dual specs isn't it? You can respec to ret or whatever by the touch of a button in between fights much like a warrior will probably either dual spec himself dps, or some variation of a dps/threat/prot build.

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    One thing that went through my mind when these changes were announced were that I as a protection warrior no longer have any frustrating obstacles for tanking situations. The biggest problems I had were generating rage (and because of that, threat) when over-gearing an instance in tank gear, and AOE tanking (particularly with BC) The recent changes gave warriors ways to combat both of these scenarios.

    That said, I think this thread is more for the other tanking classes. I'm in the mindset that the Warrior easily has the tools for all available tanking situations. In order for me to start discussion, can someone name a few things that certain tanking classes can substantially do better than others? Is it safe to say that Warriors are the baseline tanks?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazeyonoma View Post
    Andenthal, that's part of the fix of the dual specs isn't it?
    Well I guess that about solves that query....
    Not sure why that never crossed my mind.
    Last edited by Andenthal; 10-16-2008 at 05:26 PM.
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    Well, no mystery, most people know the base abilities of tanks, right? Well the fundamentals of the classes haven't changed, but each of the classes have had their weaker aspects buffed to bring them closer to but not past the others. (In case you're wondering, my warrior and paladin were always tanks, and my druid had a decent stint at the beginning of her career as one as well. On the Beta I tank regularly with my DK.)

    Warriors:
    Base: Plate Armor+Shield, Dodge/Parry/Block
    How it plays? We have strong talents and gear for both mitigation and avoidance, and we have serious single target threat tools that rely merely on hitting (though they get nice buffs from damage as well). We have Shield Block which was/is a powerful survival tool (though now it's not a hit as soon as it's up to avoid crushes). Our weakness? Multi-target threat. To hold a crowd we needed to be working hard, hitting Tclap on CD, cleaving like our life depends on it, and tab-targetting heavily. It's not impossible, but in a larger raid situation anything more than 5-6 mobs and you'll have serious problems keeping them all pinned down (might even struggle with that depending on how quick you are and how smart your dps is). Our aoe threat has been very much improved, Tclap hits everyone, and Shockwave is a nice directional aoe threat producer. What's more we have damage shields to establish baseline threat on anything that hits us. Does this allow us to rival a paladin? No. Not even close, but we run no risk whatsoever of losing threat to a healer most of the time, and we can even hold our own through AOE pulls if we have a little lead in. We also got some nice abilities for additional stuns, we can use Beserker Rage in defensive stance (yay fear immunity and additional rage from getting hit), not to mention charge in combat and in defensive stance. We also have had our damage dialed way up on most abilities and we have an enrage keyed from dodge/parry/block negating the one drawback to defensive stance. We are still rock-solid solo tanks, but now we are more mobile and large group tanking is easier. With the new shield block and the availability of both Zerker Rage and Bloodrage, rage doesn't often seem hard to come by, even if you overgear the instance/situation a bit.

    Paladins:
    Base: Plate Armor+Shield, Dodge/Parry/Block
    How does it play? I haven't gotten to play my paladin in the beta, or with the latest build, so I can't speak with authority, but. Paladins rule the aoe tanking circuit. Why? Simple, a dozen ways to build reflexive/passive/regional threat on everything attacking us. Holy Shield, Ret Aura, Blessing of Sanctuary, Consecration, etc. We get major mitigation from all the shield buffs and Holy Shield, and great life span from Ardent Defender and the talented stamina buffs. We're solid tanks, every bit as able to be uncrushable (past tense now) as warriors. Weaknesses? Scattered gear requirements hurt. You need to balance mitigation with spell power, mixing casting weapons, warrior gear, spell damage trinkets, funky enchant mixes. You have moves that benefit from spell and physical hit ratings, and it's all a big tailoring game to the needs of the pull and instance. So what's new? We still own AOE tanking. Now we can stack, more or less, the same gear as any prot warrior. We have talents that support tanking weapons, we get spell damage from stacking stamina, we get even more shield block value than ever so we can rely on our powerful mitigation mechanism there as well as our threat from blocks. We also now get melee de-hasting that was a warrior only debuff before that will be applied constantly, and while I'm not totally sure that our mana will be eased significantly, I can see where that would be possible. Blessing of Sanctuary is now also an amazing buff for all your tanks and a significant value to the entire raid.

    Druids:
    Base: Leather Armor x4 from Bear form, Dodge only
    How does it play? Bears had some of the best threat in the game, and some of the strongest base mitigation. They could armor cap and eat hard hits for breakfast. They did good damage and despite having a single avoidance stat could still hold their own in that department. On top of that, Feral Combat was the one spec in the entire game that could serve two different roles with 100% ability just by switching gear sets, which was a huge boon to raids. Weaknesses? Well, never being able to avoid being crushed is a major liability and arguably the one thing that kept them from main-lining as tanks in serious raids. Also, there were a variety of effects that bears couldn't make use of (not that they didn't have their own alternatives) because of the nature of feral weaponry and feral attacks. What's changed? Well, we've lost the ability to switch gear and switch roles, but in 3.1 that won't matter, you can switch specs and now Bears will tank harder and cats will dps harder. Bears now have a serious advantage of not needing a drop of defense on their gear to be uncrittable. That should not be underestimated. With Crushing Blows no longer an issue Bears can't be marked behind for that either. If Bears ever had trouble with larger pulls that day is done, Swipe can slash everything in front, and that is an improvement (though arguably this leaves Bears with the least multi-target tankability). Bears are still beasts when it comes to mitigation, and they should totally hold their own as single target tanks with a warrior. The only forseeable spot where bears fall behind (and I'm sure this will be remedied if it becomes apparent) is in late endgame scaling of the new improved Strength => Block issue. Otherwise, Bears start ahead of the pack thanks to Survival of the fittest.

    Death Knights:
    Base: Plate x1.6, Dodge/Parry
    How does it play? We have no past to compare it to, and really there's not much present since they don't hit prime time until Wrath drops. That being said, I am intimately familiar with the pros and cons of DK tanking. For starters we do not have block for mitigation and while we have an armor bonus to offset the lack of a shield, that's not quite up to level. However, we have the potential to have the strongest avoidance of any of the classes, and we are the one and only tanking class that can carry on 100% on threat without ever being hit (Bears/Warriors need to be hit for rage, more or less, and Pallies benefit from the heals a great deal, though both have been off-set with the new talents and spells). We also have the most powerful anti-magic tools currently available. For mitigation we have roughly the equivalent of Plate+Shield armor value with none of the block, but we also have some powerful short CD buffs to our mitigation (IBF with talents is 18 seconds of 50% damage reduction with a 1 min CD, Unbreakable Armor is 25% more armor for 20 sec on a 1 min CD plus some serious avoidance buffing, Bone Armor gives you roughly 12+ seconds of 40% damage reduction every minute, etc). Death Knights also get one of the most fun abilities in the game, and it has great tanking value: Death Grip! You can grab a target from across the room and make him snap right to you (comes with 3 second mocking blow type effect free!). I suspect DK's might have the most trouble starting off since their avoidance probably won't start much different from the rest and their mitigation will be behind the other three, but once you start packing on the gear, they should fit right in with the rest (though with slightly spikier healing needs).


    So how do they compare overall? I suspect they will be significantly close in performance. Will they be overly homogeneous? Hell no. Each maintains something distinct. Warriors are the jack of all tanking trades, they can do most anything passably. Paladins can hold a crowd better than any other. Bears take a beating like no one else can. And Death Knights can soak casters and survive bursts better than the rest. No one is horribly inept or weak on a particular front, and I expect you'll see a lot more difference (recognizable) simply from player skill.

    I look forward to getting deeper into this with specifics, but I figured a nice general synopsis would be a good starting place. =)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andenthal View Post
    What do Paladin tanks do when not Main tanking (essentially DPSing for a boss fight)?
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    Paladin vs Warrior is where I've concentrated most of my focus. The differences are very small. For main-tanking:

    Warriors have a mitigation advantage where there is predictable burst at 40 sec CD or more. Best example I can think of is Stomp at Brutallus - Shield Block is awesome for that fight. On top, they have Last Stand, and a bigger toolkit (more taunts, Spell Reflect, etc).

    Paladins have a small mitigation advantage against unpredictable burst via Ardent Defender, and an pretty decent mitigation advantage against steady damage due to Holy Shield. Pally advantage scales pretty fast against small, fast hits - dual-wielding, for example. Pally mitigation vs, say, Illidan would be very, very good compared to other tanks. Bubblewall stacks with Ardent Defender (and, say, a Nightmare Seed) which gives a pally amazing mitigation for a few seconds - almost as good as 2.4 era warrior shield wall and better than 3.0 Shield Wall.

    Warriors provide more buffs and debuffs, but the small number of pally ones are each better.

    Overall - pretty well balanced. 3.0.2 is missing another 3% damage reduction in the pally prot tree, and they don't have Divine Plea (72) or Shield of Righteousness (75) yet.

    Will see how it plays tonight in Sunwell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaughty View Post
    Divine Plea at 72
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    71, 72, it's not 70 so it doesn't matter!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaughty View Post
    Paladin vs Warrior is where I've concentrated most of my focus. The differences are very small. For main-tanking:

    Warriors have a mitigation advantage where there is predictable burst at 40 sec CD or more. Best example I can think of is Stomp at Brutallus - Shield Block is awesome for that fight. On top, they have Last Stand, and a bigger toolkit (more taunts, Spell Reflect, etc).

    Paladins have a small mitigation advantage against unpredictable burst via Ardent Defender, and an pretty decent mitigation advantage against steady damage due to Holy Shield. Pally advantage scales pretty fast against small, fast hits - dual-wielding, for example. Pally mitigation vs, say, Illidan would be very, very good compared to other tanks. Bubblewall stacks with Ardent Defender (and, say, a Nightmare Seed) which gives a pally amazing mitigation for a few seconds - almost as good as 2.4 era warrior shield wall and better than 3.0 Shield Wall.

    Warriors provide more buffs and debuffs, but the small number of pally ones are each better.

    Overall - pretty well balanced. 3.0.2 is missing another 3% damage reduction in the pally prot tree, and they don't have Divine Plea (72) or Shield of Righteousness (75) yet.

    Will see how it plays tonight in Sunwell.
    I've not played a paladin, but I am a Tank lead in our guild. I respect the different buffs and talents of our tanks. What I want to know is what paladins bring that is an equivalent to Demoralizing shout and Thunderclap. To me these are significant mitigation debuffs and frequently on hard hitting bosses I (ms spec) will debuff for the tank(s), since I'll have one or both improved, example Bloodboil. I know there's a talent for ret (?) that reduces stats on a boss...what else is in your bag of tricks?
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    Unfortunately that talent doesn't work on bosses (except Nefarian for some reason).

    As far as mitigation goes:

    Well, our only real answer to TC is our Judgment of the Just which is the same debuff as TC, but only on one target (up to 2 if we get all fancy like).

    We don't have an ability completely analogous to Demo Shout. The closest thing we have is Blessing of Sanctuary, which reduces damage taken by 3%, but it might come at the cost of BoK, depending on your raid composition/specs.

  16. #16
    To interject real quick, despite how similar the classes have become you still can't really make 1:1 ability comparisons. I often see people comparing things like Divine Protection to Shield Wall and going "Our Shield Wall does 10% less, we're inferior" without realizing that Ardent Defender more than makes up for it.

    So, trying to find the Paladin's demo shout is probably a meaningless endeavor. Plus, you don't have to be a Protection Warrior to apply it.
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    Judgement of Justice, essentially the same as Improved Thunder Clap except it only works on the target you're using Judgement on. Duration is 20 seconds, best Judgement cooldown is 8 seconds (and will often be 9), so you can only use Judgement on at most two targets simultaneously.

    Meanwhile, Thunder Clap affects all targets within its radius, debuffing all of them at once.

    Combine it with Shield Block, which is more effective than Holy Shield in that it doesn't have charges, but it does have a 40/50/60 second CD, where HS has 8 seconds. Paladins also have Redoubt, but when both Redoubt and Holy Shield are up, each block eats a charge from each, making it significantly weaker than it would be if that was not true. It does also mean that paladins will have 60% higher block chance than warriors while both are up and Shield Block isn't used. Ardent Defender will also kick in a lot more when fighting multiple mobs, assuming you take enough damage to even get that low. Critical Block ends up pretty much on the floor here unless you're tanking half a dozen heavy hitters. Funnily enough it also means that Shield Block becomes more of an avoidance button.

    I'm willing to give paladins the AE-threat mantle due to Consecration, but warriors have better mitigation over all. Both classes have absolutely insane amounts of block, however, so it ends up not mattering much. There's no limit to the amount of mobs either class can tank, so as long as you're certain they're not getting behind you, thus bypassing your parry, dodge and block, it's going to take an avalanche of small-hitting mobs to get you down with even just a single healer on you.

    Meh, I don't know where that analysis came from. It's also completely my own opinion, as I haven't actually tested any of this.

    EDIT: Oh, yeah. Assuming you ARE tanking avalanches of mobs... carry an extra shield in your pack, just in case.
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  18. #18
    Ardent Defender+Redoubt+Holy Shield make up for Thunder Clap when AOE tanking I think.

    Also you meant Judgements of the Just, Judgement of Justice is something entirely different :P
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  19. #19
    Personally I'm super overjoyed that all the tanks have more versatility now, and I think its really going to open it up for more people getting in there and experiencing content. Granted, we all have our "niche" but at least this way, if you have the skill to use them, you have many more tools at your disposal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lore View Post
    Ardent Defender+Redoubt+Holy Shield make up for Thunder Clap when AOE tanking I think.
    Well, it would be more like TC + Critical Block + Shield Block (kinda iffy on this one, depends on the situation), but I think the mitigation realm is fine on both sides.

    Our AoE threat realm is interesting. On the paladin side you have Consecration and guaranteed Ret Aura. On the Warrior side you have Damage Shield, Thunderclap, Vigilance, and Ret Aura if you are in a 25 man (maybe not in a 10 man though). I like how the two sides are implemented differently.

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