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Thread: Tank Classes Differentiation, Viability and Encounter Design

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leucifer View Post
    Just feels to me like Blizzard is making World of Warcraft a little less colorful.
    I guess I don't see it the same way. Or more, I think there is the key distinction I mentioned above between depth and complexity. Right now there is a decent amount of complexity. Complexity here meaning many ways to do the same thing.

    For example, if you take a simple concept of avoidance (ha ha simple), we have 3 final stats/abilities that are our avoidance: dodge, parry, and miss. To influence these three items that all have about the same end result (parry has the added parry haste element which is small but not insignificant), we have dodge rating, parry rating, defense rating, agility, and baseline scaling talents. Just considering dodge chance that is 4 separate inputs. If you were to reduce that to dodge rating = dodge chance and nothing else contributed that would make it simpler (less complex) but would it take any depth out of the game?

    If anything the proposed mechanics changes for tank functionality *increase* depth, I think, while reducing complexity. What I take from the notes, for example, is that now dodge is not the same end result as parry. So they have different implications so it is not just 2 routes to get the same thing, each will have a different effect in how you feel to heal as a tank.

    On the other hand you see the removal of defense. Generally speaking, the #1 objective/criteria for Defense is that you have a minimum to not be crit. When you're a new max-level tank that's a concern, but when you reach higher level of gear it is very easy to make that cap (by design expecting the upcoming removal of the stat, I'm sure). Once you meet the uncrittable point then it becomes more challenging to take as a stat. It still gives you 4 more small values which vary depending on tanking class. Some of these values aren't transparent and we forget that because we've passed macros and addons around the community that show us what the game does not show us clearly. Removing Defense does not reduce depth, only complexity. It wasn't really a question of whether or not you needed the minimum threshold to be uncrittable, but afterwards it just duplicated other stats effects.

    The key to depth as opposed to complexity, in my opinion, is the ability to have a tank set multiple points of balance just by adjusting their talents and gear. If every tank has the same best stat to stack no matter what (say pure Stamina) and there is one talent spec for every Prot Warrior, that is not depth on the preparation side, no matter how many different stats you actually have. If it is rare or hard to ever get more value from Parry rating than Dodge rating, then you never really gem for Parry rating and it's wasted complexity (complexity that does not contribute to depth).

    The desires I see from the development team are really awesome. They want to make more elements a player choice, and make it such that there is more than one way to accomplish your goal. *That* is depth, and it leaves room for people, not automatons who just follow *the* only way to do it brought to you by the think-tanks.

    There is always the question of how well they'll pull it off, but generally I've been satisfied that even when they don't get it just right on their first try, they're always working to fix it, they're always working to nudge the system back to a sustainable state.

    Where do you feel like you're losing depth though? (I'm reluctant to use the term color as that often enough seems like a synonym for complexity, i.e. you can have 200 shades of green but how many of them are truly distinct or will help you make a nice picture when combined)
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leucifer View Post
    Feel your pain. I'm one of a few people who even attempts top tank with my DK on mine. The stats you tell me.... shocking.

    Agree with you on Cataclysm. I'm going to hang up my hat (minus the post I just dropped.... slow repsonse. heh) on the topic.

    Yeah..... I agree with the basic gist of what you say.
    LMAO.... and yes... should be interesting to see what happens next.
    The stats only get more halarious as you pan out to see the broader raiding community. If you want a (slightly depressing) laugh, head over to worldoflogs and browse hardmode parses for a few hours, you'll be able to count on one hand the number of dk tanks you come across, and most of them will be tanking maybe 1-2 encounters (encoutners where they are the third tank, such as putricide). Look at early kills on 10man hardmodes and you'll see almost a total absence of dks due to the fact they bring close to nothing in terms of raid synergy and we cannot even debuff our target's ap.

    I agree with you, cata is most certainly going to shake things up again. Those changes are far too sweeping to not break the current mold entirely. I just hope the devs make some attempt to do their homework and understand why we were completely left out of this tier of progression.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    The desires I see from the development team are really awesome. They want to make more elements a player choice, and make it such that there is more than one way to accomplish your goal. *That* is depth, and it leaves room for people, not automatons who just follow *the* only way to do it brought to you by the think-tanks.

    There is always the question of how well they'll pull it off, but generally I've been satisfied that even when they don't get it just right on their first try, they're always working to fix it, they're always working to nudge the system back to a sustainable state.

    Where do you feel like you're losing depth though? (I'm reluctant to use the term color as that often enough seems like a synonym for complexity, i.e. you can have 200 shades of green but how many of them are truly distinct or will help you make a nice picture when combined)
    If that is their goal I think they are sadly loosing touch with their own reality. The theorycrafters do not generate 'best' setups for the various tanking classes based around stats so much as they do encounter design, sustainable HPS from healers, and capacity of the tanks to deal with those things. There wouldn't have been a "STAM IT OR GTFO," feeling throughout this expansion had it not been for infinite holy light spam, never-ending disc-priest bubbles, and nearly 100% uptime on inspiration-like buffs. There wouldn't have been an extreme withdrawl from the DK class if they hadn't created several encounters that arbitrarily elevated block to god-like levels of effectiveness. There wouldn't have been such heavy-handed nerfs to our orignial raid-wide auras if we hadn't started this expansion with nearly every encounter giving us 1min burst effects to mitigate with IBF and our dps brothers ringing off the charts with amazing dps.

    In short, I don't think we'll ever get away from obviously superior setups be they based on stam, armor, effective health (combining the two), avoidance, or a combination of the three. What they ought to be striving for is either getting raiding guilds to bring every class of tank (allowing them to explore unique tanking approaches and niche roles) or making encounter design forgiving to tank setups enough that we never see another disaster like Sarth, Anub, or Arthas where one or more tanks are left to scratch their head wondering why they were not considered.

  4. #24
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    When looking at stats alone, we see a lot of redundancy. I believe Blizzard is making the right call here. Regardless, I think that skills could become more uniform yet not identical for different tanks. it's hard to define how it differentiation and similarity can be balanced to allow better class balance while still maintaining uniqueness. I believe that currently classes are too different to aloe balance, especially when it comes to the amount of attention and focus required by each class.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    I guess I don't see it the same way. Or more, I think there is the key distinction I mentioned above between depth and complexity. Right now there is a decent amount of complexity. Complexity here meaning many ways to do the same thing.
    Complexity and depth are interrelated, but not necessarily fixed as to how they act upon each other. I'll agree with that. As to complexity being many ways to do the same thing, in a broader view, all of these things, defense, parry, dodge, miss, block, armor.... they all serve to keep a tank alive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    For example, if you take a simple concept of avoidance (ha ha simple), we have 3 final stats/abilities that are our avoidance: dodge, parry, and miss. To influence these three items that all have about the same end result (parry has the added parry haste element which is small but not insignificant), we have dodge rating, parry rating, defense rating, agility, and baseline scaling talents. Just considering dodge chance that is 4 separate inputs. If you were to reduce that to dodge rating = dodge chance and nothing else contributed that would make it simpler (less complex) but would it take any depth out of the game?
    LoL.... Yeah, simple. Well, in the suggested case above, why not simply make dodge = to a some mathematical derivative of agility, since that is the overriding "stat"? That is in fact a variant of what we have now really. It's just that we can have modifiers to it in the form of armor bonuses and talent bonuses, rather than straight "agility" bonuses.

    Consider this: what's the real difference between the two pieces of armor?

    2000 armor 2000 armor
    +20 STR +20 STR
    +20 AGI +20 DODGE
    +20 STA +20 STA

    It depends on what AGI translates to versus DODGE. In the current system, a hunter is going to look at that first one and go "I want this". The warrior currently may not, depending on how "dodge" translates out to their effective dodge percentage. Yes, I am leading somewhere with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    If anything the proposed mechanics changes for tank functionality *increase* depth, I think, while reducing complexity. What I take from the notes, for example, is that now dodge is not the same end result as parry. So they have different implications so it is not just 2 routes to get the same thing, each will have a different effect in how you feel to heal as a tank.
    Ok. I see what you're saying here and put that way, I think it's great. However, knowing how that new system is designed, which would you rather have a higher percentage on? Dodge (100% mitigation) or Parry (<100% mitigation)? Blizzard will have to be careful not to reduce the value of parry and block so much that they become "pointless".

    Going back to my example, consider now the last bit of information and think of this:
    Who would be better at surviving a boss fight?

    Rogue Warrior
    20,000 health 24,000 health
    6,000 armor 14,000 armor
    40% dodge (due to agility) 15% dodge
    20% parry 25% parry
    0% block 15% block

    Remember, Blizzard said they are reducing the value of plate armor versus the other armor types and bringing stamina more in line across classes. Granted, this all might be skewed as we don't know exactly how the stats are going to pan out in the Cataclysm system exactly, but the system, if not balanced out right, you end up with a very real chance that you create just a new imbalance (which in all likelihood, despite all the play-testing in the universe, is going to occur, and Blizz will have to continue with their patches and modifications). Imagine, for a moment, that agility is ramped in such a way that it allows for a very high dodge percentage. You could end up with rogues, bear druids, and hunters quite possibly having a much higher effective damage mitigation than a "tank". It depends on the scaling. I'm certain that Blizzard will seek to avoid this, but I think in the first month we'll see some interesting things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    On the other hand you see the removal of defense. Generally speaking, the #1 objective/criteria for Defense is that you have a minimum to not be crit. When you're a new max-level tank that's a concern, but when you reach higher level of gear it is very easy to make that cap (by design expecting the upcoming removal of the stat, I'm sure). Once you meet the uncrittable point then it becomes more challenging to take as a stat. It still gives you 4 more small values which vary depending on tanking class. Some of these values aren't transparent and we forget that because we've passed macros and addons around the community that show us what the game does not show us clearly. Removing Defense does not reduce depth, only complexity. It wasn't really a question of whether or not you needed the minimum threshold to be uncrittable, but afterwards it just duplicated other stats effects.
    Blizzard has already said that they will create some way to make tanks "uncrittable", such as frost presence, defensive stance, etc being the "uncrittable form". This too, is ripe with opportunity for abuse if not balanced out right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    The key to depth as opposed to complexity, in my opinion, is the ability to have a tank set multiple points of balance just by adjusting their talents and gear. If every tank has the same best stat to stack no matter what (say pure Stamina) and there is one talent spec for every Prot Warrior, that is not depth on the preparation side, no matter how many different stats you actually have. If it is rare or hard to ever get more value from Parry rating than Dodge rating, then you never really gem for Parry rating and it's wasted complexity (complexity that does not contribute to depth).
    Now, I completely agree with you on this one. One of the things I love about this is the potential to free up some of the classes from the "I want to do X, so I must choose talent Y" sort of thing that we currently have. It's one of the things I like about the DK class, as maddening as it can be. I CAN tank in any of the three trees, but it also takes a good understanding as to what each talent brings to the table, and building those in a cohesive manner. Seeing the other classes broadened in that sense, allowing for more functional creativity with the builds, I think is great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    The desires I see from the development team are really awesome. They want to make more elements a player choice, and make it such that there is more than one way to accomplish your goal. *That* is depth, and it leaves room for people, not automatons who just follow *the* only way to do it brought to you by the think-tanks.

    There is always the question of how well they'll pull it off, but generally I've been satisfied that even when they don't get it just right on their first try, they're always working to fix it, they're always working to nudge the system back to a sustainable state.
    Having more than one way to "skin a cat" is always fun. And you're right, THAT is depth.

    And you're right, they are always willing to chip away at it and fix it. All of that is good. However, at the same time, we're scrapping a system that has to be continually nudged and dragged back to a sustainable state, for another system that will need to be constantly nudged back to a sustainable state? There need to be some valid reasons for doing this. Improved gameplay? Making it more fun for those participating? Great reasons. Simplifying a system solely to reduce the amount you have to adjust it? Risky. Potential to alienate a lot of your following.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Where do you feel like you're losing depth though? (I'm reluctant to use the term color as that often enough seems like a synonym for complexity, i.e. you can have 200 shades of green but how many of them are truly distinct or will help you make a nice picture when combined)
    The area where I feel like we're losing depth, honestly, is that in trying to establish a better balance between classes, we're going to lose a bit of what makes each class unique, a specialist. I had to explain it to a buddy of mine yesterday in rather simple terms. Imagine if you will, that I'm wearing plate armor.... and you're wearing your clothes. Now, we're both going to go out to the garage, grab a couple baseball bats, and start taking turns hitting each other in the chest. Ok, first hit, I crack you with the bat. Your cloth armor.... your clothing.... is going to do what for you, realistically? It'll help staunch the blood when I eventually break skin. My armor.... my plate... is going to take a beating, and I might get sore eventually, but I'm going to fare a lot better than you, even if you had a leather jacket on or a mail vest on over the shirt. So, in reality, my plate armor provides MUCH higher damage mitigation than any of the options he has. So, when Blizzard says, plate/mail/leather/cloth will be closer in the armor values, to me, that seems like blurring the lines of what makes each class unique. That to me rings of "we're going to give in to the cloth wearers who are tired of being so squishy, and make their 'armor' (lol) more resilient". So, are we going to tune down their damage output to make up for that? And if/when that occurs, when do we jump to make that different?

    Heck, why not have all characters start at a baseline model, and have them develop out their specialty based on talents solely?
    That way, when I dual-spec, my dps talent build can be "mage", and my tank spec can be "warrior"? That's fantastic and amazing depth. I mean, already as it is, a DK, Pally, Warrior are all sub-specialties of a "plate-wearing melee combat character". Why not allow you to start with a baseline model, and specialize at your choice on being one of the three, and then specialize again under those if you choose?

    I'm certain that the changes will be none of those things, and that it won't be as drastic as all of that. At what point though does Blizzard say, "look, this is World of Warcraft, and we're not changing THIS because that is part of the core and foundation of the game"?

    I'm looking forward to Cataclysm, and I think the changes will be good, if a little uncomfortable for a while. Like buying a new pair of jeans and breaking them in. It's just that I really hope that the changes give use more real choices, and not just turn this into "World of Nerfcraft", simplification for the sake of wider appeal. I LIKE that I've gotten better as I've learned more about the game. I like that when I played "casually" that I could still have a lot of fun. I do like a lot of the changes, like the better accessibility to raiding. At the same time, I'd like to see them keep enough to it where there always presents more to learn about a class, just another thing more that we can aim for to tweak and squeeze more out of our toons.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proletaria View Post
    If that is their goal I think they are sadly loosing touch with their own reality. The theorycrafters do not generate 'best' setups for the various tanking classes based around stats so much as they do encounter design, sustainable HPS from healers, and capacity of the tanks to deal with those things. There wouldn't have been a "STAM IT OR GTFO," feeling throughout this expansion had it not been for infinite holy light spam, never-ending disc-priest bubbles, and nearly 100% uptime on inspiration-like buffs. There wouldn't have been an extreme withdrawl from the DK class if they hadn't created several encounters that arbitrarily elevated block to god-like levels of effectiveness. There wouldn't have been such heavy-handed nerfs to our orignial raid-wide auras if we hadn't started this expansion with nearly every encounter giving us 1min burst effects to mitigate with IBF and our dps brothers ringing off the charts with amazing dps.

    In short, I don't think we'll ever get away from obviously superior setups be they based on stam, armor, effective health (combining the two), avoidance, or a combination of the three. What they ought to be striving for is either getting raiding guilds to bring every class of tank (allowing them to explore unique tanking approaches and niche roles) or making encounter design forgiving to tank setups enough that we never see another disaster like Sarth, Anub, or Arthas where one or more tanks are left to scratch their head wondering why they were not considered.
    THIS.... is an awesome post. And I think you really hit on something with this one Pro.

    The players adjusted to the mousetrap the devs built, then the devs changed the mouse and the mousetrap, and we adapted the mouse they gave us to the mousetrap they built again, ad infinitum, ad naseum.

    I guess what we're seeing with Catacylsm is Blizzard saying "yeah, we broke it, and we're going to rebuild it".
    Hope they learned from it and develop encounters in the expansion that allow for more than one approach.

    Damn good post though Pro. A LOT of great points.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leucifer View Post
    THIS.... is an awesome post. And I think you really hit on something with this one Pro.

    The players adjusted to the mousetrap the devs built, then the devs changed the mouse and the mousetrap, and we adapted the mouse they gave us to the mousetrap they built again, ad infinitum, ad naseum.

    I guess what we're seeing with Catacylsm is Blizzard saying "yeah, we broke it, and we're going to rebuild it".
    Hope they learned from it and develop encounters in the expansion that allow for more than one approach.

    Damn good post though Pro. A LOT of great points.
    Shh, don't make it look like i'm constructive. lol

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proletaria View Post
    Shh, don't make it look like i'm constructive. lol
    Oops. My bad.

    What I meant to say was geez.... stfu Proletaria. You don't know what you're talking about. Crazy freakin' wingbat.........
    All this crazy talk about making encounters where all tank types can reasonably perform or at least contribute and doing those encounters in a way where there are multiple possible approaches to tackling the same problem.... sheesh. You go doing dumb stuff like introducing logic and stuff and we all will go straight to hell.

    lol

  9. #29
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    Imagine if you will, that I'm wearing plate armor.... and you're wearing your clothes. Now, we're both going to go out to the garage, grab a couple baseball bats, and start taking turns hitting each other in the chest. Ok, first hit, I crack you with the bat. Your cloth armor.... your clothing.... is going to do what for you, realistically? It'll help staunch the blood when I eventually break skin. My armor.... my plate... is going to take a beating, and I might get sore eventually, but I'm going to fare a lot better than you, even if you had a leather jacket on or a mail vest on over the shirt. So, in reality, my plate armor provides MUCH higher damage mitigation than any of the options he has. So, when Blizzard says, plate/mail/leather/cloth will be closer in the armor values, to me, that seems like blurring the lines of what makes each class unique.
    If your buddy puts on four winter jackets and your plate armor is halved in thickness, then the two of you have been brought closer in armor value while still having distinct armor types. He'll take a little less damage from each hit (still wouldn't want to be him though!) and you will get sore faster, but you're in no danger of being replaced as a tank. Or as GC put it:

    Plate / Cloth Armor differences
    Plate will still possess much more armor than cloth, the difference just wont be as significant as it is now.

    [...] posted something similar in the Cataclysm forum, but let's look at actual numbers. A level 80 Prot warrior in Icecrown gear unbuffed has like 45,000 health and 30,000 armor. A level 80 mage in Icecrown gear unbuffed might have 20,000 health and 2000 armor. Yes, 2000 armor. We have a lot of room to narrow the gap a little. It's a big gap.

    [...] Someone (Angua?) had a post awhile back that explained this using numbers. Cloth won't have as much armor as plate. But maybe it will have half as much armor as plate instead of one fifth as much armor as plate (or whatever the ratios end up being at higher levels).

    Really, cloth isn't the issue, since cloth wearers have spells to buff their mitigation. Leather wearers are the ones who end up the most fragile. Mail would be bad too except that shaman can use shields when needed and hunters typically don't get hit by melee much. We just want to bring things a little closer to each other. It's easier to establish a baseline for how hard a particular attack should hit for when one dps spec isn't literally four times as survivable as another.
    Some actual numbers from my top geared guildies (we are casual)
    Class...........Health....Armor
    Pally Tank.....45394....31221
    Hunter..........23294....13523
    Rogue...........24464.....7643
    Mage............18943.....2227

    That's a lot of room to play with.

    Imagine, for a moment, that agility is ramped in such a way that it allows for a very high dodge percentage. You could end up with rogues, bear druids, and hunters quite possibly having a much higher effective damage mitigation than a "tank".
    Wouldn't diminishing returns on Dodge and Parry prevent those sorts of shenanigans for Rogues, Cats and Enh Shamans? Or does stacking Agi circumvent DR?

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    I think we've illustrated the point: There is a heck of lot more to fear from these sweeping changes than there is to look forward to. Hold on to your assets tanks; we're going to be in for a bumpy ride.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proletaria View Post
    I think we've illustrated the point: There is a heck of lot more to fear from these sweeping changes than there is to look forward to. Hold on to your assets tanks; we're going to be in for a bumpy ride.

    I may be wrong, but I'll put my trust in Blizzard. Like you mentioned, there are just so many balancing issues when it comes to encounter designs in the sense that everyone is viable, yet some encounters favor some classes or to be exact: some classes require better performance/attention in some encounters and therefore are harder to play with than others. I think that if anyone can bring balance to tanking classes it's Blizzard's devs. And although I'm sure we'll see many more issues that require attention after Cataclysm is released, I would say I expect a better polished expanssion this time.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrael View Post
    I may be wrong, but I'll put my trust in Blizzard. Like you mentioned, there are just so many balancing issues when it comes to encounter designs in the sense that everyone is viable, yet some encounters favor some classes or to be exact: some classes require better performance/attention in some encounters and therefore are harder to play with than others. I think that if anyone can bring balance to tanking classes it's Blizzard's devs. And although I'm sure we'll see many more issues that require attention after Cataclysm is released, I would say I expect a better polished expanssion this time.
    Kudoz to your optomism. I'll believe it when I see it. Honestly I haven't seen many things i'd call well planned balance changes for tanks this expansion. While i'd certainly like to believe that this psudo-"from scratch" approach to the whole deal could bring about a new era of parity: I doubt it. As i mentioned before: what is good and what isn't has as much to do with the encounter as it does the skills, talents, and stats of a given tank. As long as encounter design continues to come up with repeated discrimination against a certain tank (or tanks), espcially on key progression content (ie. final raid boss encounter for a new raid), we're going to see a continued push toward re-rolling to suit the needs of the guild. GC stated last week that he liked the idea players re-rolled to have fun with a new class. While that correlation of the encounter teams' design and his opinion on rerolling is nothing more than an odd coincidence (I somehow doubt they seek to get tanks to re-roll each content patch). I certainly don't think it bothers them to have blatantly imbalanced content. They've been unapologetic about each and every encounter that violates the "bring the player" mantra, and at this juncture we're more used to hearing about how important unique traits of the tanks are (ie. it's ok to be sub-par at Lich King, you're an amazing tank for uh.. Toravon!)

    To be completely fair, they're catering to a fan-base that is overwhelmingly non-regular-guild-raider: people who do more of their content in pugs, and rarely see anything before a slew of nerfs or stat buffs via new badge gear. In an environment like this, there really is much more leeway since not many of those players will even get to a hardmode end-of-raid encounter, much less see it in it's orignial tank-discriminating glory.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proletaria View Post
    As i mentioned before: what is good and what isn't has as much to do with the encounter as it does the skills, talents, and stats of a given tank.

    Very true.

    Unless I am mistaken, they (Blizzard) have said on several occasions that encounters are taken into consideration when balancing classes. If all encounters were patchwerk-like scenarios, then we might have seen balanced tanks. But then the game would've been dull.


    So what we see is that:
    1. Encounters are interesting and require different tools to handle with. that's great!
    2. Another great thing is that each tanking class (or spec) provides a totally different gaming experience. Amazing! (seriously)

    But...

    As mentioned in my OP, these two elements conflict with balance.
    1. Boring Patchwrek-like encounters enable class balance.
    2. Another way to balance tanks would be to create one single tanking class (with different titles: DK/Druid/Warrior/Paladin).

    It is sufficiet to fully implement only one of these horrible solutions in order to solve balance issues once and for all. But unlike the concept of "viability", there are different levels of implementation so we don't have to look only on the extremes. There might even be some creative solutions for maintaining differentiation through other concepts. Imo, increase skill similarity, create another variables for differentiation (for example - automation/manual control of certain aspects of tanking).


    [Off the current thread's topic:
    Automation is implemented in the game today. The most obvious example being an automatic major survival CD a certain class has.]

  14. #34
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    @Prolet Beware. =) You're speaking in the voice of the chronic criticizer. The people who step up and say, "God Blizzard! You're doing it all wrong! You've failed over and over! What the hell?!" don't really help and generally leave me asking why they still play the game they have such disdain for. I know you're not really meaning to go that direction, at least not that far, but...

    In any situation we can pick through any system's faults and tear it to pieces for where it isn't as good as it could be, but that doesn't really help anything if you don't have a mind of how to fix what you think is wrong. And just because you can see what is wrong with it and Blizz didn't wheel out a fix for it already doesn't mean they're sitting around with their thumbs in their respective bums.

    Usually what it means is that the solution is a lot more complex than you might think, or that they apparently easy ways to fix the issues would have other consequences making it not really a fix at all.

    Generally speaking that is what I see. Blizzard making careful fixes. They are rarely intentionally heavy-handed, though some of their changes have more serious repercussions than anyone expected.

    But coming from your DOOM statements, I ask two questions: Why do you still play the game if you think so little of its structure? And why do you come to the forums to post about how poor you think it is? Why bother?


    There is an important but often overlooked distinction between what players (particularly the sheeple) *think* is necessary or best, and what the actual value or functionality of things are.


    (and Leucifer, there is a distinction between being uncrittable in pve and being unable to be crit. Look at Survival of the Fittest for Bears to see the distinction for balance of stances making you "unable to be crit." It is also probable that they'll make it a PvE-only effect the way they're making Resilience only work in PvP.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
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  15. #35
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    Hmmm.... just some thoughts:

    Quote Originally Posted by Bladesong View Post
    If your buddy puts on four winter jackets and your plate armor is halved in thickness, then the two of you have been brought closer in armor value while still having distinct armor types. He'll take a little less damage from each hit (still wouldn't want to be him though!) and you will get sore faster, but you're in no danger of being replaced as a tank.
    Well, one, I'll be laughing my ass off at my buddy, the Stay Puft marshmallow man.

    Your point is valid. My counterpoint though is, the t-shirt he was wearing originally, is the lvl 10 armor he wore, while the 4 winter coats may be the uber magical weave he now wears (it is fantasy after all, right?). On the flip side of that coin, my plate armor is the nice iron goodness I picked up at level 40 (remember, it isn't given to us right off the get-go, we have to EARN our better armor), and by level 80, well hell, I'm basically wearing some form of unobtanium, right? I mean, We're talking titansteel, the stuff of the gods here, correct? So, are they scaling in the same fashion? I mean, hell, in reality, a steel chest plate may not stop that bullet that a kevlar (which is technically a "superfiber") vest will.

    Realistically though, at what point would the warriors, realizing that their armor is outdated and no longer sufficient for protecting them from say, oh, maybe magic missiles flying from the fingertips of the clothie, and say, we need to adapt our methods and "technology" to suit the new battlefield? Historically speaking, warfare has always been a HUGE motivator when it comes to technological developments and the warrior has ALWAYS been looking for the next best killing device.

    So, that in mind, if a warrior class finds themselves losing ground, they usually look to new methods to gain an advantage in combat (a nice historical reference, certain clans welcomed the introduction of firearms in feudal japan in order to overcome their adversaries, despite the code of bushido). Warriors, historically speaking, are usually pretty open-minded when it comes to accepting new means to do their trade better.

    So, my thought, sure, give the mages better armor. In turn, address some of the issues the "warrior classes" have found to be troublesome and deal with it effectively.

    But again, we deal in fantasy........

    Quote Originally Posted by Proletaria View Post
    I think we've illustrated the point: There is a heck of lot more to fear from these sweeping changes than there is to look forward to. Hold on to your assets tanks; we're going to be in for a bumpy ride.
    Now, just my opinion here, but I agree that we're in for a bumpy ride. I think when Cataclysm releases, the plate wearing classes will give a collective "holy sh*t!" as we initially struggle. I also have a TON of faith that we, the "warrior classes", will do exactly what history shows to be true..... that the warriors quickly adapt and adopt new tools and techniques for survival.

    I do think at some point, about 2-3 months after the release, Blizzard will give us a "my bad", tone down some of our new-found ways to beat or make the most of what they give us, and make some changes to offset what we lost.

    On a final note, I do feel bad for clothies and anyone wearing leather in WotLK, because a lot of the stuff in it hits HARD. More than a few times when I played one of my alts after having played my plate wearers, I sat back and thought, "damn am I crazy squishy or what?". Even with my shaman, I noticed a big difference between mail armor in BC and mail armor in WotLK and was thankful for my ability to heal. I think the change is meant to address some of the PvE issues that people found leveling in WotLK in those regards. But I also think Blizzard will overdo it initially and have to step back a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Proletaria View Post
    Kudoz to your optomism. I'll believe it when I see it. Honestly I haven't seen many things i'd call well planned balance changes for tanks this expansion. While i'd certainly like to believe that this psudo-"from scratch" approach to the whole deal could bring about a new era of parity: I doubt it. As i mentioned before: what is good and what isn't has as much to do with the encounter as it does the skills, talents, and stats of a given tank. As long as encounter design continues to come up with repeated discrimination against a certain tank (or tanks), espcially on key progression content (ie. final raid boss encounter for a new raid), we're going to see a continued push toward re-rolling to suit the needs of the guild. GC stated last week that he liked the idea players re-rolled to have fun with a new class. While that correlation of the encounter teams' design and his opinion on rerolling is nothing more than an odd coincidence (I somehow doubt they seek to get tanks to re-roll each content patch). I certainly don't think it bothers them to have blatantly imbalanced content. They've been unapologetic about each and every encounter that violates the "bring the player" mantra, and at this juncture we're more used to hearing about how important unique traits of the tanks are (ie. it's ok to be sub-par at Lich King, you're an amazing tank for uh.. Toravon!)

    To be completely fair, they're catering to a fan-base that is overwhelmingly non-regular-guild-raider: people who do more of their content in pugs, and rarely see anything before a slew of nerfs or stat buffs via new badge gear. In an environment like this, there really is much more leeway since not many of those players will even get to a hardmode end-of-raid encounter, much less see it in it's orignial tank-discriminating glory.
    Agree. Blizzard has been unapologetic in many circumstances. My best example of this..... how many of us have seen various encounters and said.... "hey, this is just like X boss, but a slight bit different"? That to me doesn't reflect a search to create an encounter that "brings the player" or even a flexion of the creativity engine. And to dismiss ANYTHING as an "odd coincidence".... please tell me that GC did NOT say that.

    Everything is a reaction/action based on something. There are no "coincidences". "We;;, these players re-rolled to try new content. It's just an odd random act." My ass. The player re-rolls because of several things I believe:

    1) They find the other class or some aspect of it fun or more fun
    2) They find the current class abysmally un-fun
    3) They are trying to gain some sort of advantage gameplay wise that they feel cannot be accomplished with their current class.
    (which ties in to some degree with #1)

    And as for the non-regular-guild-raider, I only recently joined a guild that supported my goals of raiding. Previous to that, a lot of what I did was pug or just casual play and PvP, and I can say, some of the changes they make, it even left me scratching my head and thinking "WTF were you people thinking?" Just because I wasn't an active raider didn't mean that I didn't understand the reaching impact of certain things. Sure, all these changes they made to DK's made us "more balanced" in PvP. It also damn near ruined us as tanks and made us more challenging to provide competitive dps. Don't believe me? Start running random pugs as dps and tell me, how often do you see a DK tank? Or better yet, just sit back and examine the numbers in your guild or another guild on your server. Ask them how many of their raid tanks are DK's, warriors, pallies, and bears. I'll bet you that DK's sit at the bottom number-wise. Why is that? I mean, aren't they supposed to be a "hero class"? Aren't they plate-wearers? What's the point in providing a class plate armor if they aren't meant to BE tanks? They sure as heck can't do raid healing.

    I really think a huge part of this "balancing problem" stems from PvP. This insane drive to make 1v1 PvP balanced. Blizzard.... GIVE UP THAT IDEA. You're trying to make rock/paper/scissors an even fight. It isn't. Never will be. You want to know what the real problem is Blizzard? That ignorant people in PvP think they should be able to do it all on their own and fail to ever accept that the classes are "supposed" to work in conjunction with each other, like in raids, to achieve goals. Quit listening to those idiots. Let them FAIL because they choose to be a lone wolf and wonder why they get their asses handed to them by a well-organized group of players (please note: plural). Don't screw up the composite structure and the way the classes CAN work in concert with each other just to appeal to a few QQ'ing anti-social creatures who fail to realize they don't exist alone. I mean, isn't this a "Massive Multi-Player Online Game"? OMG! We might need to interact with other people! *GASP!*


    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    (and Leucifer, there is a distinction between being uncrittable in pve and being unable to be crit. Look at Survival of the Fittest for Bears to see the distinction for balance of stances making you "unable to be crit." It is also probable that they'll make it a PvE-only effect the way they're making Resilience only work in PvP.)
    Really Sat? Huh..... let me see.....

    http://www.wowwiki.com/Defense

    Critical Hit immunity for a level 70 player against a raid boss occurs at 490 Defense and requires a defense skill of 140 (332+ def rating) from gear to achieve.
    Critical Hit immunity for a level 70 player against a raid boss can also be achieved by a Resilience of 5.6% and requires a resilience rating of 221 to achieve.

    Critical Hit immunity for a level 80 player against a raid boss occurs at 540 Defense and requires a defense skill of 140 (689+ def rating) from gear to achieve. Critical hit immunity at level 80 for a heroic dungeon is 535 Defense, because mobs in a level 80 heroic 5-man are never higher than level 82.
    Critical Hit immunity for a level 80 player against a raid boss can also be achieved by a Resilience of 5.6% and requires a resilience rating of 460 to achieve.
    The critical hit % reduction from Defense and Resilience % may be combined to reduce the chance of being critically hit by a raid boss by 5.6% making the player immune to critical hits.

    The first half was from Burning Crusade, the second from WotLK.

    So, where exactly is the "resilience only works in PvP" in that?
    Let's look....
    http://www.wowwiki.com/Resilience

    Resilience is designed as a PvP stat, but benefits both PvE and PvP.

    Hmmm. I say, "WTF?"

    So, here's a CRAZY idea. How about you do away with the defense/resilience issue altogether? Make it one stat. Because honestly, despite the idea that we make defense stance, frost presence, or bear form the tank's uncrittable "gift" for PvE, you're going to still end up qith PvP crying about how you're "biased against them", even though you already gave them a huge gift in making defense PvE only and resilience PvP AND PvE.

    .............

    Again, my thought still goes back to this whole attempt to "balance the classes".

    It's a garbage concept.

    A = B = C = D = E

    I disagree. I much prefer the.....

    "A" might be better than "B" and "C" in some situations, and can give "D" a run for it's money, but solo gets spanked by "E". And all of this is dependent on the player's level of skill. Oh yeah, and if "A" is smart and teams up with a "B" and a "D", they will lay carnage to any "E" that gets in it's path.

    I've said it several times before in posts......

    "Tanks don't operate in a vacuum".

    No one does. You want to be the solo Mr. Bad-Ass I can kill everything by myself? Go play "HALO".

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    But coming from your DOOM statements, I ask two questions: Why do you still play the game if you think so little of its structure? And why do you come to the forums to post about how poor you think it is? Why bother?
    And I'll kinda grant ya this one.

    On the flip side.... Devil's advocate....

    I play it because I like it how it is.... not what they're saying they're going to change it to.

    My own view.... I just don't want to see them screw with something I DO like (despite it's flaws) so much that it becomes something I DON'T like and then no longer have the game I liked playing anymore.

  17. #37
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    Post Clysm was what I was talking about where the intend to make Resilience *only* work against player inputs (and now no longer reduce crit chance, only damage and crit damage). That's why I used the future tense "will."

    For reference:
    Resilience - This will only affect damage done by players and critical damage done by players. It will not impact crit chance, mana drains, or other such effects.
    From here: http://blue.mmo-champion.com/1/23425...m-changes.html
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    @Prolet Beware. =) You're speaking in the voice of the chronic criticizer. The people who step up and say, "God Blizzard! You're doing it all wrong! You've failed over and over! What the hell?!" don't really help and generally leave me asking why they still play the game they have such disdain for. I know you're not really meaning to go that direction, at least not that far, but...

    In any situation we can pick through any system's faults and tear it to pieces for where it isn't as good as it could be, but that doesn't really help anything if you don't have a mind of how to fix what you think is wrong. And just because you can see what is wrong with it and Blizz didn't wheel out a fix for it already doesn't mean they're sitting around with their thumbs in their respective bums.

    Usually what it means is that the solution is a lot more complex than you might think, or that they apparently easy ways to fix the issues would have other consequences making it not really a fix at all.

    Generally speaking that is what I see. Blizzard making careful fixes. They are rarely intentionally heavy-handed, though some of their changes have more serious repercussions than anyone expected.

    But coming from your DOOM statements, I ask two questions: Why do you still play the game if you think so little of its structure? And why do you come to the forums to post about how poor you think it is? Why bother?


    There is an important but often overlooked distinction between what players (particularly the sheeple) *think* is necessary or best, and what the actual value or functionality of things are.


    (and Leucifer, there is a distinction between being uncrittable in pve and being unable to be crit. Look at Survival of the Fittest for Bears to see the distinction for balance of stances making you "unable to be crit." It is also probable that they'll make it a PvE-only effect the way they're making Resilience only work in PvP.)
    Criticism is necesary to explore the depth of arguments. Had I just posted "I think things are going to be jolly and swell." Then we would have left it at that. I'm not aware of too many other forum posters around here who dabble in the deep-rooted problems with the class so I try to stir the pot as I can. When I point out design issues, class discrepancy, or some other tid-bit there is no more point to it than if I had sketched a picture of Hobbs taking a leak on a blizzard logo. In the end, my feedback is not read by anyone who can get it to the devs. That being said, I can try to convince more players in the community of what is going on so that they too can be prepared.

    I still think this game, raiding in general, and to a lesser extend pvp are still very much enjoyable. What I don't enjoy is the development of my class. Call it a rant, call it an autobiography, call it blogging. I'm just here to relate my experience with my dk + my various other alts (most of which are tanks), and try to make sense of it all. Sometimes the most sensible thing to say is "well, we just have no idea, but it doesn't look good."
    Last edited by Proletaria; 03-04-2010 at 11:35 AM.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Post Clysm was what I was talking about where the intend to make Resilience *only* work against player inputs (and now no longer reduce crit chance, only damage and crit damage). That's why I used the future tense "will."

    For reference:

    From here: http://blue.mmo-champion.com/1/23425...m-changes.html
    Fair enough. Point: Satorri.

    Still not a fan of resilience. Removing that might fix some of the issue of "armor" that they're trying to fix. Doesn't having resilience completely negate the point of even having a critical hit rating for PvP purposes? Doesn't that make this....
    Wrathful Gladiator's Claymore pointless for PvP purposes? Your big bump of crit is wasted here, is it not? I would think for PvP purposes, if I'm dealing with "uncrittable" anything, I'd rather have something loaded with expertise that would guarantee that I'm not going to get dodged, parried, or blocked. Correct?
    UNLESS..... I'm hunting people who don't have PvP gear with this thing.....

    I think a lot of the root of the problem Blizzard is trying to deal with is PvE vs PvP. The eternal " I don't raid but why should I not be able to get cool stuff too?" bit. I think that is the root of the problem. In PvP, there's a lot more space for a person to not be part of a group or be a team player. Raids... you'll get chewed up and spat out.

    I'm ranting here now.... :P

    ............

    Quote Originally Posted by Proletaria View Post
    I still think this game, raiding in general, and to a lesser extend pvp are still very much enjoyable. What I don't enjoy is the development of my class. Call it a rant, call it an autobiography, call it blogging. I'm just here to relate my experience with my dk + my various other alts (most of which are tanks), and try to make sense of it all. Sometimes the most sensible thing to say is "well, we just have no idea, but it doesn't look good."
    I share the feeling on the DK. Nerf.... nerf..... nerf..... nerf.... oh wait! 3.3.3 we're getting something that's making us a little better? Did I miss something? Did the DK dev sneak something in past the other devs? Holy crap Batman!

    .... Waiting for cats and dogs to love each other next..... Middle East peace.... and a million dollars to appear in my bank account next......

    ....................

    One final thought, an editorial if you will:

    I totally dig the quest to make Shadowmourne.
    I wish Blizzard would incorporate more stuff like that for casual players. Not just the usual "craft an epic weapon" crap out of blacksmithing, which I really kind of miss. Making my twin Dragonstrike took a good chunk of time and some help from the guildies, but man were they sweet. It was almost a quest unto itself to get the mats.

    I'd like to see more things like that, and make them LONG quest chains. Long enough to give a casual player something awesome to shoot for, but not so horribly wretched that it becomes pointless. Sort of like getting a netherdrake, but for gear.
    An epic quest to recover a long lost weapon or craft something. (not like Quel'Delar.... a better questline with more story elements!)

  20. #40
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    Sorry, Prolet, I didn't mean to dismiss you out of hand, just highlight the distinction between constructive criticism and flaming the design.

    Some of your comments tend to take a "the sky is falling" feeling to them, but I may just be reading too much into it. You find some critical points well, but do you see where they can be repaired, or do you see them as wrong, broken, and needing to just be removed?
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

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