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Thread: Tanking Topics #4: Cooldowns

  1. #21
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    (This is why Sartharion is fun as a drake or adds tank, because there's so much to react to rather than simply the mob in your face).
    Agreed. I tank Drakes on this fight and its like a dance, its fun and challenging. I think I've got it down pretty good and if only we could get people to stay out of flame walls and swirlies, we'd have it licked.

    I think "big" cooldowns being on a 3-4 minute timer is a nice sweet spot that allows tanks to use things reactively in the fight to relieve stress or save a wipe, but not encourage or enable the dangerous linking of permanent cooldowns.
    I like this idea alot because it puts the decision in the tank's hands instead of robotically mashing a button whenever it lights up and staggering CDs to always have something going on. It 'feels' right to know you have to hunker down because you assess a situation or a problem and while you don't have to blow shield wall on a wipe and go without the next time, once you use it, its gone. So you are forced to use it wisely.

    Something Cider has said in the past is that you should never die with a CD up. I can live with that as long as it is understood there are situations where you might as well keep it holstered. Sarth 3D, first Flame wall eats 7 people, yeah, go ahead and wipe it. Its not as punishing to go ahead and blow them these days and I think that's just right. I wouldn't mind seeing them handled exactly like health potions. Once per fight.
    your hat may be nice, but I have the little white tank top that says Legendary right across my boobs. I win. (or more correctly, H wins)

  2. #22
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    I wouldn't mind seeing them handled exactly like health potions. Once per fight.
    *nod* I think that this would be the best situation. Knowing when and when not to use a CD is part of what seperates the great tanks from the good/decent ones. Making it a chain just more and more mooshes the skill out of the equation. Takes no skill to click a button every 20 seconds as opposed to making a .3 second decision to use one of your two abilities that should save you (assuming healers are solid) or save the raid.

    (And yes... I said "mooshes". Want a phoenetic on that? Well too bad. Say it how it's spelled.)
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  3. #23
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    I wonder if this problem would be alleviated if Cd's went the way of the potion. Wherein their timers wouldn't refresh during combat. Maybe have the smaller 1 minute Cd's have multiple charges in combat in addition to a the timer. You would still be able to chain CD's but it would be for a very definite period of time. Just a thought.

    *Edit crap someone beat me to it*

  4. #24
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    Maybe have the smaller 1 minute Cd's have multiple charges in combat in addition to a the timer. You would still be able to chain CD's but it would be for a very definite period of time. Just a thought.
    Actually... That's a really neat idea imo. That would also allow Blizz to leave the CDs at a smaller buff rather then move them all up to 40-60% damage reduction to balance the longer CD for example (in the case of shield wall and wannabes).
    Last edited by Jayson; 03-05-2009 at 07:27 AM.
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  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    On the other hand, the idea of taking an active role in reducing incoming damage is intriguing. In BC, we were forced to build threat. SB was so integral in our rotations that it was standard, not something you thought about, you just did it. Other than that, you went with what you had, your gear selection/acquisition/customization (all pre-combat concerns) and the healers take care of the rest on the damage reduction/survival front front. Factor in 'oh crap' buttons in there.
    Not really - remember pre-nerf Brutallus as a warrior tank. Reducing incoming damage while still generating insane threat was your job. Chaining Ironshield Potions, rotating trinkets and nightmare seeds and if necessary your oh crap buttons when stomp was coming. Pretty much everyone completely regemmed for avoidance as well.

    Or pre-nerf Kael - I don't know how all guilds did it, but in our guild I (or our other MT) used to eat the first pyroblast in the face by using cooldowns (fire protection pots / nightmare seeds / PW:S / the health increase from my bulwark of the ancient kings) and only use the shield's ability for the second and then interrupt the third.

    The point is twofold (1) the damage incoming was in one-shot territory but not by a lot, it was in the region of 24k IIRC (warrior with improved defensive stance and the legendary mace buff) and in full T5 gear (ZA wasn't out yet) a fully buffed stam warrior had about 20-21k HP ... so we were only 25% short HP wise of the point we needed to be to live, and it was only 4K in magnitude (gettable through cooldowns).
    (2) No matter how good you were you could not chain cooldowns indefinitely I think I worked out I could survive 8 pyroblast rounds before I would just run out of cooldowns. (The fight was brilliantly tuned of course and if you got to that 8th round your weapons were going to despawn before you could kill Kael).

    Looking at Sarth ... (a) the damage you can take is more than twice your fully buffed health and (b) deathknights can chain cooldowns indefinitely - they in fact don't even need external assistance except when both shadron and vesperon are up, whereas a warrior or paladin needs help as soon as shadron lands and have fewer cooldowns available.

    As for the OP - well it's nice to see the obligatory "we're not calling for the nerfs" statement but in reality we are. Because they are required. DK cooldowns are overpowered for PvE and PvP. Giving them to all tanks doesn't really make sense, putting the cooldowns up on DK abilities makes far more sense, as does bringing WotN exactly into line with AD.
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  6. #26
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    We would still like to have tanking "flavors" as you put it, but I want to be a little careful when I say that because some people have taken that to mean that their class won't be good enough to tank the content they want.

    If druids had gigantic health pools but lower mitigation and avoidance than a warrior, that would be tanking flavor. It would mean you heal the bears a little different -- they might drain more mana, but the damage would be more predictable. In really long fights, the warrior might have an advantage. In a fight where a boss hit quickly for less damage per hit, the warrior might have an advantage. In fights with periods of really big damage, the druid might have an advantage. In magic fights where armor was less of a factor, the druid might have an advantage. This is just an example. Our overriding concern is making sure the tanks have the tools, threat and mitigation they need to tank. A secondary concern is making sure they don't feel too similar.
    That was from a tankspot news posting on 08/13/2008. Unfortunately Blizzard cleans up posts, so you can see that far back on the tanking forums and they have taken down the beta forums.

    That's unfortunate because I can remember a lot of discussion around DKs being anti-magic tanks, then the expectation that they will be able to main tank, then the discussion about their dependency on cooldowns etc. None of which are easy to find now.

    The point? The current shape of tanks is not accidental. That's not to say that they meant to gimp anyone, whether it happened or not is in the eye of the beholder.

    This is a well thought out discussion. I personally would not be interested in a tandem survival rotation, tanks don't really need that kind of micro-management to deal with as many main tanks also have raid leading responsibilities. There are better ways to do hard mode than precision cooldown rotations, that just really sounds not fun.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratholorn View Post
    As for the OP - well it's nice to see the obligatory "we're not calling for the nerfs" statement but in reality we are. Because they are required. DK cooldowns are overpowered for PvE and PvP. Giving them to all tanks doesn't really make sense, putting the cooldowns up on DK abilities makes far more sense, as does bringing WotN exactly into line with AD.
    Well its more akin to saying that one mechanic that a certain class has can be used to break the game mechanics. (Like that damn princess in Mario 2). WotN needs to be addressed but it doesn't need to be the same as AD. Different abilites can work differently (profund I know) as long as they don't trivialize a main mechanic of the fight, I'm ok with that and I think most other people are too.

    It also doesn't necesscerily have to be a nerf, unless you consider changing a fight breaking mechanic into a more powerful but balanced one, then yes yes it does.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ipick View Post
    Well its more akin to saying that one mechanic that a certain class has can be used to break the game mechanics. (Like that damn princess in Mario 2). WotN needs to be addressed but it doesn't need to be the same as AD. Different abilites can work differently (profund I know) as long as they don't trivialize a main mechanic of the fight, I'm ok with that and I think most other people are too.

    It also doesn't necesscerily have to be a nerf, unless you consider changing a fight breaking mechanic into a more powerful but balanced one, then yes yes it does.
    AD needs to be brought in line with WotN and warriors could probably stand to have a counterpart. This is one talent that needs to be globally homogenized.

  9. #29
    How i long for the old days where all I had to worry about was if my AD was going to leap frogged
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alent View Post
    AD needs to be brought in line with WotN and warriors could probably stand to have a counterpart. This is one talent that needs to be globally homogenized.
    As a Paladin, I disagree. AD does need a buff, it's pretty much useless as is unless you are soloing or on trash. But I think that WotN is a very neat specced into ability. Does it need a nerf? Yep. Probably something along the lines of an internal CD of a couple minutes (and probably a buff to the mitigated amount if that were done), like a free baby Shield Wall on Passive.

    The primary issue I see is with the CD chaining as has been stated, if DKs had longer CDs then yes, WotN would still be pretty powerful on hard hitting bosses, but it wouldn't be game breaking. CD chaining is going to break tuning...
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  11. #31
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    I could see something based around the shield for warriors, rather than another copy of the same. Something like any hit that would reduce you under 35% health is blocked and your block value increases by some amount for that block.
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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alent View Post
    AD needs to be brought in line with WotN and warriors could probably stand to have a counterpart. This is one talent that needs to be globally homogenized.
    I disagree here. WotN just needs to be rebalanced. Instead of 15% damage reduction on a killing blow, it could simply have a more powerful proc, or have an internal CD, or be a heal or block a certain amount of that damage, etc etc. Theres lots of ways to be different but still be balanced.

    * Edit * Grammar
    Last edited by Ipick; 03-04-2009 at 02:45 PM.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratholorn View Post
    Not really - remember pre-nerf Brutallus as a warrior tank. Reducing incoming damage while still generating insane threat was your job. Chaining Ironshield Potions, rotating trinkets and nightmare seeds and if necessary your oh crap buttons when stomp was coming. Pretty much everyone completely regemmed for avoidance as well.

    Or pre-nerf Kael - I don't know how all guilds did it, but in our guild I (or our other MT) used to eat the first pyroblast in the face by using cooldowns (fire protection pots / nightmare seeds / PW:S / the health increase from my bulwark of the ancient kings) and only use the shield's ability for the second and then interrupt the third.

    The point is twofold (1) the damage incoming was in one-shot territory but not by a lot, it was in the region of 24k IIRC (warrior with improved defensive stance and the legendary mace buff) and in full T5 gear (ZA wasn't out yet) a fully buffed stam warrior had about 20-21k HP ... so we were only 25% short HP wise of the point we needed to be to live, and it was only 4K in magnitude (gettable through cooldowns).
    (2) No matter how good you were you could not chain cooldowns indefinitely I think I worked out I could survive 8 pyroblast rounds before I would just run out of cooldowns. (The fight was brilliantly tuned of course and if you got to that 8th round your weapons were going to despawn before you could kill Kael).

    Looking at Sarth ... (a) the damage you can take is more than twice your fully buffed health and (b) deathknights can chain cooldowns indefinitely - they in fact don't even need external assistance except when both shadron and vesperon are up, whereas a warrior or paladin needs help as soon as shadron lands and have fewer cooldowns available.

    As for the OP - well it's nice to see the obligatory "we're not calling for the nerfs" statement but in reality we are. Because they are required. DK cooldowns are overpowered for PvE and PvP. Giving them to all tanks doesn't really make sense, putting the cooldowns up on DK abilities makes far more sense, as does bringing WotN exactly into line with AD.
    Point taken. Indeed all of those things are part of the warrior tank's toolbox. I farmed quite a few herbs on my alt for the seeds and mats for Ironshields, though admittedly my BC guild hopping left me well short of Sunwell content. I do, however, remember Kael and his hosing the MT in the face with pyros.

    If anything, you're making the case, however for the remainder of my post in that I don't think warrior tanks are thrilled with the prospect of having CD's (and effect) of specific skills adjusted to be used repeatedly as a matter of course in a boss encounter as opposed to handling a specific threat and at the tank's discretion.

    In a way, at least to my way of thinking, the addition of active damage reduction has the net opposite intended effect and instead, automates a warrior's decision making process.

    This is, of course, a little simplistic. Hodir on PTR as an example. When he gains the buff where he deals ~40K frsot damage hits, you have to react to the situation, not just mindlessly spam the CDs when they are up. So, as I originally said, I'm not 100% sold and frankly, I don't do the math and testing. I copy off of the paper's of the smart kids like Satrina, Xav, and Cider.
    your hat may be nice, but I have the little white tank top that says Legendary right across my boobs. I win. (or more correctly, H wins)

  14. #34
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    I personally do not like the use of cooldowns in the game. There are many things about tanking that I enjoy and thrive off of, one of those things being the ability to do my part very proficiently which directly results in the raid's success. Because of this, I do not mind having cooldowns available to me to use in fights when things are not going 100% ideal. With that being said however, I have never liked ANY encounter that relied on a cooldown being blown in order for the encounter to continue.

    Alot of the posts in this thread site back to Sarth with 3 drakes simply because there are times where cooldowns are the ONLY way to save the tank. This is an extreme example which definitely takes the highlight of wotlk, but it is by no means the only one. Maexnna (or however you spell it) with her webwrap while enraged is another mechanic that generally forces a high gearset or a cooldown to be used while in it. Unlike Sarth however, this boss is capable of being outgeared and strategically healed using HoTs to make the cooldown not mandatory. But even in this encounter, my reliance on my cooldowns is a large piece of the fight. In effect, the fight is designed around this aspect rather then something else. It is something that I have never enjoyed or found fun in an encounter.

    It used to be that last stand and shield wall were things you hit if it was going to save the raid. The cooldown on last stand was so long that most the time you would end up wiping rather then using it because it didnt feel like the right time, and you werent going to get it again. With the changes of this expansion, these cooldowns have seemed far less restrictive and more beneficial to surviving encounters, but have slipped into the realm of being required for fights of many different natures.

    All of this falls in line with the way in which the game is trying to increase it's difficulty level. It used to be that encounters were hard because people had to know what was coming and position/react accordingly in order to not kill themselves/raid. This was apparent with virtually every single boss from Kael'thas to Illidan to Gurtogg. The difficulty of the encounter did not by any means come from how well your tank rolled his cooldowns, or how many different patches you could drop to keep the tank alive even when he shouldnt be. I very much wish that this focus came back in line into the game. I like having cooldowns, but my best case scenario is never having to use them.

    This problem is even further expanded by having cooldowns mandatory on set schedules. If I absolutely MUST hit a cooldown at some point during a fight, but 15 seconds before that point something goes wrong and I hit a cooldown to stay alive, then I have just forced a wipe on the raid because suddenly my required button isnt up when I used it in the situation it was designed for.

    It would be nice for developers to reconsider why the "ohshit" button exists and keep it simply as that. A button that can assist when things dont go according to plan, but not something that sets the plan for the fight to follow. I am okay with DKs having a cubic asston of cooldowns as long as it isnt something they are ever required to push. Right now, that is not the case. It tries to put the "difficulty" of the encounter less on mechanics and raid synergy and more on proper button pushes of key individuals. It may still prove to add a challenge, but it really seems to take away from the idea of the buttons.
    "If I'm doing a fight and I need more threat... I try harder. If I'm doing a fight and I need my taunts not to miss, then I wear hit." -Veneretio

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satrina View Post
    I could see something based around the shield for warriors, rather than another copy of the same. Something like any hit that would reduce you under 35% health is blocked and your block value increases by some amount for that block.
    Perhaps it could be tied to Critical Block somehow?
    your hat may be nice, but I have the little white tank top that says Legendary right across my boobs. I win. (or more correctly, H wins)

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson View Post
    The CD chaining potential is just too high to be ignored, but their damage intake is a bit high when no CD is up. Increase baseline survivabilty through perhaps a stance modifier or something along those lines while lengthening the CDs on IBF, VB and perhaps others. One DK asked earlier what do you then do about PvP survivability.
    Empirically false, I'm afraid.

    Death Knights take less damage than warriors even when their cooldowns are down. Death Knights have more parry, more dodge, and more armor than an equally geared prot warrior. There are also talents that make them take considerably less magical damage even without using cooldowns (spell deflection, for one). Unless there are reductions to these values on the PTR that I failed to notice.

    This is a good article. I hope it's taken seriously. Kudos on being even-handed with each class.

  17. #37
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    Empirically false, I'm afraid.

    Death Knights take less damage than warriors even when their cooldowns are down. Death Knights have more parry, more dodge, and more armor than an equally geared prot warrior.
    No really, it's not false. Check the numbers from Xav's testing. DTPS is considerably higher on the DK and it is an issue that has been known about for some time. Of course in this case SPECIFICALLY there are multiple factors to look at, but it is a known issue. Without CDs DKs take the most damage overall. Yes they have the highest avoidance, health and armor of the plate wearers, but they have no stance modifier, nor do they have any way to "block" lower amounts of damage. Please check the data.
    Last edited by Jayson; 03-04-2009 at 03:07 PM.
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  18. #38
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    Playing a bit of devil's advocate here, what is wrong with trivializing content for a group of extremely practiced individuals? For a high end raiding guild, wouldn't it provide them a bit more fun to be forced to chain CDs to be successful? Perhaps encouraging higher level raid content for these types of people that casual gamers don't get to participate. If the chaining of CDs was to be promoted then I think there could be some interesting things that could be done (think of things like the combat 'wheel' in EQ2).
    I understand that you're just offering a countering view with this, I'll offer my opinion as to why even then it's a bad thing, and Sarth 3d is a good example.

    For Sarth 3d, it's well established that a DK is the only tank capable of "solo" chaining cooldowns to survive this.

    For more advanced and skilled guilds, this makes them a default choice because it allows them to concentrate more heavily on general DPS and healing responsibilities.

    For a less advanced or skilled guild, or simply a smaller one that doesn't have a better class mix, this becomes their ONLY option because they simply can't pull off the other ways. Worse, they may not have the DK available and are actually forced to play better than more hardcore raiders just to complete the same content because they miss this one very precise asset.

    For something as specific as Sarth 3d, maybe this is ok. After all, it is the "hardest mode" and encounter in the game, and once we reach the pinnacle of hard mode, some specialized play might be in order.

    The problem starts happening when this kind of cooldown chaining becomes par for the course to even see content in the first place. When this happens, classes(not just tanks) incapable of participating optimally in this chain lose raid spots, directly counter to the "bring the player not the class" mantra.

    As far as addressing it goes...I'm in favor of longer cooldowns, as they have been implemented since the game began. If this means DK abilities(in particular) need a boost to justify their longer cooldown, so be it. Cooldowns have traditionally been a "get out of jail free" card, so to speak, and I personally prefer it that way.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satrina View Post
    I could see something based around the shield for warriors, rather than another copy of the same. Something like any hit that would reduce you under 35% health is blocked and your block value increases by some amount for that block.
    I actually like this for the flavor, but you would have to have some kind of modifier for spell damage vs melee damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ipick View Post
    I disagree here. WotN just needs to be rebalanced. Instead of 15% damage reduction a killing blow, it could simply have a proc, or have an internal CD, or be a heal or block a certain amount of that damage, etc etc. Theres lots of ways to be different but still be balanced.
    Replying to this and below at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson View Post
    As a Paladin, I disagree. AD does need a buff, it's pretty much useless as is unless you are soloing or on trash. But I think that WotN is a very neat specced into ability. Does it need a nerf? Yep. Probably something along the lines of an internal CD of a couple minutes (and probably a buff to the mitigated amount if that were done), like a free baby Shield Wall on Passive.

    The primary issue I see is with the CD chaining as has been stated, if DKs had longer CDs then yes, WotN would still be pretty powerful on hard hitting bosses, but it wouldn't be game breaking. CD chaining is going to break tuning...
    AD is fundamentally flawed in that as a survival "button" (and I use the term loosely), it's effect cannot be quantified. I've seen a plethora of posts over the last year where people were trying to claim it was worthless or godlike based on slanted hypotheticals... but in general the problem with AD is that in any situation where it could be leapfrogged, it becomes an unquantifiable element. Sarth breath can leapfrog it easy. If sarth breath leaves you at 4% hp, AD saves you from his melee? better than nothing, I suppose... but you're still likely to get taken out with the next melee swing.

    Step forward, WotN is ~always~ there to save you. Is this a problem? I don't think so. I find the unknown to be more frustrating/infuriating than the known in this case. I would rather deal with a guarantee than a chance, and in any situation where I know ardent defender can be consistently leapfrogged, I generally let one of the other tanks have their turn. (Momma said knock you out, Sarth w/ drakes.)

    Obviously, I ~can~ tank those fights. I have enough of a stam/avoidance blend that I could tank faerlina with ease, I can get lv 80 fire resist greens to get the stam and resists to soak breaths. By the design of panic buttons like WotN and vampiric blood, our DK is just better at both. Sure, Ardent defender might help keep me up after sarth's breath, but it won't help me against his breath at all. In any situation where ardent defender would reduce breath damage, the breath will kill me.

    Sartharion doesn't do two breaths in a row, but fastforward to Hodir who chains 40K frost swings. The only way I could see Ardent Defender being useful vs frost swings is if you had the frost resist gear to bring them in line with the melee swing that procs them. Admittedly - I am a fan of resist gear. I always have been, my first MMO, resist gear was a huge and involved portion of the game. I would like to see us get tier appropriate fire, nature and shadow resist gear just to even things out - I think it's silly that only frost resist gets it's day in the sun this xpac.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson View Post
    That is exactly what DKs need. A side-grade. The CD chaining potential is just too high to be ignored, but their damage intake is a bit high when no CD is up. Increase baseline survivabilty through perhaps a stance modifier or something along those lines while lengthening the CDs on IBF, VB and perhaps others.
    Wait, hold on there. How on Earth (erm, Azeroth) can DK damage intake be too high when their CDs are down? Since 3.0.8 they have more stamina, armor, and avoidance than a warrior or prot pally, so unless I'm missing something really obvious there is no possible way that can be true, unless the implication is that everyone is too squishy.

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