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Thread: Defense Removed in Cata. and the Future of Tanking.

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    Defense Removed in Cata. and the Future of Tanking.

    So this was posted on MMO recently. MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft Guides and Raid Strategies

    Getting rid of Defense in Cataclysm
    The reason we want to do away with defense isn't because it is a "cappable" stat. Hit is interesting in that you need a certain amount but no more and have to make gear choices accordingly rather than just gemming and enchanting your best stat everywhere and using the highest item level piece that drops without other considerations.

    There are several reasons to get rid of defense:

    1) It's a confusing stat with its "cap" that isn't really a cap.
    2) It contributes to avoidance inflation.
    3) It's not of the same value for all 4 tank classes.
    4) If you have a bunch of dps that can't hit, you'll probably just progress more slowly. If you have a tank that can be crit there's a chance you can't progress at all.
    5) It contributes to tank scarcity. Ideally an Arms warrior should be able to go Defensive Stance and grab a shield to tank a 5-player dungeon (though not a raid). When every dps warrior (though the same is true of all tank classes) needs a full set of tank gear to tank even easy heroic content, it's harder to fill your Dungeon Finder groups.
    So I'd like to take a look at their "reasons".

    1) It's a confusing stat with its "cap" that isn't really a cap.
    Defense is not confusing, its well documented and simple for anyone to understand who takes a minute to read about it.

    2) It contributes to avoidance inflation.
    I could be wrong but is this not already fixed with diminishing returns in place? All they would have to do is change the point at which they start diminishing.

    3) It's not of the same value for all 4 tank classes.
    This could be corrected through talents.

    4) If you have a bunch of dps that can't hit, you'll probably just progress more slowly. If you have a tank that can be crit there's a chance you can't progress at all.
    Being defense capped is not a huge undertaking. But when they design gear without it, I think of ZA, I can see where this would be a plus.

    5) It contributes to tank scarcity. Ideally an Arms warrior should be able to go Defensive Stance and grab a shield to tank a 5-player dungeon (though not a raid). When every dps warrior (though the same is true of all tank classes) needs a full set of tank gear to tank even easy heroic content, it's harder to fill your Dungeon Finder groups.
    I find the gear argument lacking due to the badge reset environment we find ourselves in, where anyone with the motivation and time can gear up even an off spec rather quickly.

    No matter how many "tanks" are created due to this there will never be enough to make the Dungeon Finder groups fill faster. Some people like to tank some people hate it. I don't believe that will change just because a DPS class is able to. If someone wanted to tank and DPS they would utilize the Duel Spec option in that way.

    The Dungeon Finder is a bad argument for this change. The simple fact is some people only use it to get their 2 frosts per day because the have run all these heroics (aside from the new 3) more then they care to count. They are old and boring. While I like the New Dungeon Finder, I think classes and specs should be balanced around the actual content, not a feature in the game.

    Here's another post in the same thread on MMO:

    Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator)
    Tanking without defense stat in Cataclysm
    Without a defense stat there should not be a huge gear requirement to tank 5-player dungeons. It would be ideal if say an Arms warrior could go Defensive Stance, maybe use a shield, and be able to fill the tank role in any normal dungeon or even the easier heroics.

    You will still likely need a Prot-spec warrior (or the equivalent of other classes) to MT actual raids. (Source)

    Protection in PvP
    Prot in PvP is something we're keeping an eye on.

    So far, it doesn't seem like Arena teams are stampeding towards Prot the way they did Ret and Unholy when those specs were overpowered. Now, representation is not a great way to balance, but it can be a good red flag. We're also likely to nerf specs even if they aren't highly represented when they are just really annoying to play against or are capable of success without a great deal of skill.

    Nerfing Prot isn't something we'd do without a lot of thought. There are no easy knobs to tweak. We'd have to be very careful about nerfing their survivability to avoid PvE consequences. We could nerf their damage, though we've also taken great pains to boost tank damage overall as a way of making the dps stats on tank gear more attractive, letting tanks feel like they are contributing more to their group, and just because it's fun. (If you are asking yourself why tanking needs to be fun, you might want to ponder that question next time you're waiting for your Dungeon Finder group to fill.) Finally a lot of the utility we added was to make tanking more dynamic so that tanks were doing something besides just spamming their defensive and threat moves. Sure Warbringer doesn't have a big role on many boss fights, but it can be really useful on all of those encounters leading up to the boss fights. We don't want the tanking trees to be 25-30 talents of nothing but "you take less damage."

    Furthermore, it's clear some players' reaction is just that "Prot has no place in PvP" even though we've been pretty consistent about saying we'd like to get all 30 specs viable. Make sure you're commenting on the actual effectiveness of Protection PvP and not just complaining because you see people using the spec at all.

    [...] It's okay to use a PvP strategy based on survivability. It's only a problem if you aren't giving up much damage to go that route. Giving up utility is a trickier thing because we want everyone to have a lot of utility, and in fact the Cataclysm talent tree design is to give players many utility options. Giving up utility almost always leads to a more boring play style. Sad

    [...] I used Prot warrior examples, but I was really talking about tanking specs in general. (Source)
    Right away this strikes me as concerning:
    You will still likely need a Prot-spec warrior (or the equivalent of other classes) to MT actual raids.
    "Likely"? What does that mean? Sounds like the phasing out of pure tanking specs to me and making a DPS able to do either role. Whats next, DPS that can tank and heal as well?

    How far does it go before were all the same class with the ability to heal, dps, or tank with different ability names slapped on the spells?

    I wish they would stop trying to make everyone completely equal. It is impossible to do unless we are all the same. The fun from this game comes in the form of diversity in my opinion. Different classes, roles, races, and abilities.

    Blizzard has a hard enough time balancing the 4 tank classes as it is, now their going to throw this DPS/tank aspect in as well?
    Last edited by Bodasafa; 12-28-2009 at 11:08 PM.
    There is something so appealing about backhanding someone across the face with a shield.

  2. #2
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    Don't look up, the sky is falling. /sarc

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mavfin View Post
    Don't look up, the sky is falling. /sarc
    I apologize if I came across as too "OMG" in the OP. But I believe these are valid concerns. The biggest one being DPS classes that can tank. I have less of an issue with them removing defense, although most their reasons for removing it seem rather off.
    There is something so appealing about backhanding someone across the face with a shield.

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    The only thing that makes me sad is that If they remove Defense, Sharicasmi(Enhancement shaman on chromaggus, look him up) wont be able to tank.
    Last edited by Lakshata; 12-28-2009 at 11:02 PM.

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    As I see it the problem is not a tank shortage, its a population boom of DPS players.
    The difference between the two is one of perception. There is no functional difference between the two.

    In both cases, the fix is to get people who are currently playing DPS to do some tanking.

  6. #6
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    It seems like they want to get back to the vanilla way of tanking - I remember being Arms back then, and still being able to tank most of the instances out there (of course, any serious raid tank was protection spec, but for anything before that, any spec could do it). I remember them saying that was one of their goals before Lich King came out as well, but then prot spec turned out to be so good, there was no reason to change specs for farming and such (my secondary spec is fury, but I never change to it).

    It's going to be an interesting world for everybody when Cataclysm hits, that's for sure.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zyffyr View Post
    The difference between the two is one of perception. There is no functional difference between the two.

    In both cases, the fix is to get people who are currently playing DPS to do some tanking.
    I caught that too after I wrote it and removed it from the OP, you are right in that regard. However I don't think their approach will work. Making a DPS able to tank is not going to make people who did not like to tank all the sudden change their mind.
    There is something so appealing about backhanding someone across the face with a shield.

  8. #8
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    Tanking is not just "loldps with a shield." Unless you're in VH. Then I want to gouge my eyes out, the trash is so slow and boring.

    Tanks control the pull speed of the group, have to keep an eye on healer mana, mark or go out of the way to neutralize significant threats to the party so the dps don't lolaoe the mobs and let the healer get cced, make sure the dps know what they're doing on fights, and when the healer's getting bored pull three more groups so the healer has something to do and the tank actually gets some rage/mana/runic power to work with.

    If you didn't get a tank that did all these things and you didn't wipe repeatedly, your group consisted of competent, overgeared dps and a similar healer, and even then you might have wiped a couple times.

    If instead you had an average assortment of other players (1 good dps, a reasonably reliable healer, one dps in all badge gear with the unobtainable slots filled with naxx10 and toc5h epics and either another such dps or someone in blues), you wiped on the second boss in, the top dps got mad and left, the tank got embarrased by his lack of skill (or healer if you got a bad healer) and blamed everyone else, then left, and whoever was left re-queued and hoped for a better tank or slogged through the dungeon, cursing their luck. And it sucked.

    I support punting defense rating on tank gear. You'll still know who the good tanks are anyways. Being able to tank in dps gear for heroics will just make them go faster, and quite frankly, I already have a hybrid set for just this purpose.

    Stamina, Armor, Avoidance, Hit Cap, and Expertise Cap are already plenty of "you must be this tall to tank" indicators for me.

    With regard to talents: the designers have stated that they finally realize talents that give numerical bonuses are boring. You state that talents should be employed to ensure that tanks have the same overall avoidance, but that diminishes the flavor and gearing of the class you impugn later by complaining about homogenization of playstyle. At the moment, warriors and pallys block dodge and parry, dks dodge and parry, and bears are rare, awesome, and only dodge. Talents that give them the same level of avoidance would be easier to balance if they all gave the same level of avoidance. Hence, everyone has a 5% dodge 5-point talent already. I'd much rather have a system where the numerical bonuses are solely on the gear (that's why better gear is more fun, after all) and the talents are more like damage shield, vigilance, and improved disarm.

    Also, dear blizz: in future gearsets, please have tier itemization resemble the frost emblem badge chest.

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    The removal of defense is good in my books.
    Xíanth <Valkyria>

  10. #10
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    I HATE (read despise, detest, abhor) the dumbing down of tanking by removing defense. It limits *MY* choices on what I want to do.

    I find it sad that their "fix" for not having enough tanks is to make tanking trivial. You can try to defend it, but that is what they are trying to do. Will these "DPS" tanks be as good as regular tanks? Not at first, but look at how Utility used to be something that was included in balance (hence hybrids were never as good as a main spec class at one particular role) and now if you class can think about performing in a role, they try to balance so that you are on par with anyone else who can do that role.

  11. #11
    Discussion regarding upcoming Cataclysm changes and their effects on the game is perfectly acceptable. Discussion along the lines of "Blizzard is RUINING THE GAME" and "WTF BLIZZ Y U H8 TNAK" is not. This thread is almost entirely the former.

    If you wish to discuss the issue, please do so in a calm and logical manner. We're not interested in reading about your conspiracy theories.
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