I just posted this on the WoW forums. Thought it might get more thoughtful discussion here though.
I have been reading tank forums (mostly Tankspot) for quite a while now, and understand that the tanking model may change significantly in the next major expansion. Dodge and parry are changing (right?) and maybe block as well. Also the rage/RP generation mechanics may change along with cooldown importance/timing and threat too? So...
I came up with a suggestion on a way to change game mechanics for tanking, to hopefully make tanking more fun, challenging, and different from DPSing, significantly.
**Make "On Use" tank abilities, able to be used only if selected as Talents, for "Block", "Dodge", and "Parry".**
How this would be interesting:
- Have the appropriate stat on gear (say, Parry) reduce the cooldown timer on your Parry ability (like Haste for that ability's cooldown timer only). Same for Block and Dodge. Perhaps a 10 second or 12 second base cooldown on each of these abilities, which scales quicker with more of the given stat.
- Put these on the Global Cooldown. Tanking will be less about "maximize my dps/threat rotation while passive effects keep me alive" and more about "maximize my survival rotation, and dps/threat generate in-between hitting my survival buttons." (maybe make parry/dodge/block generate Threat by using them too)
- On fights where survival isn't as much an issue (but maybe threat/enrage timer is), tanks can consciously increase their threat/dps by using their dps/threat abilities more and survival abilities less. Also as gear increases and survival isn't in danger, tanks will be able to increase dps consciously.
- Involve them in resource generation as well. Perhaps "generate 10 rage" / 400 mana / XX runic power each time you use your Parry/Dodge/Block as a way to recapture the resource you aren't getting by not taking as much damage. Allows more use of your dps abilities by having resources you generated with survival abilities.
- Coordinating with healers for planned usage times would make group communication more interesting too. If I can tell my MT healer "use Hymn of Hope now, I'll avoid the next 3 attacks" by stacking my Dodge then Parry then Block all in sequence (after waiting for them to all light up) that would involve some skill/coordination.
Drawbacks: a completely different model for what parry/dodge/block do to my character would take significant re-coding, testing and fine-tuning. Also, I don't PvP hardly ever and am sure balancing these abilities for PvP would be rough.
Letting tank players have more control though of "I want to avoid THIS attack" instead of uncontrollable RNG deciding when that happens seems like more interesting gameplay as a tank to me. Generally having more buttons to press, more often, for "make me survive" would provide more distinction in tanking, as a role far different from dps. I have always really enjoyed "Spell Reflect" as a prot warrior, making a similar buttor for Dodge, Parry and Block would be cool.
Dunno if Blizzard or other players have considered and trashed this type of idea, but I love this game and if it can be more fun in the future, good.
Well, my thought is mainly that now, my buttons usually go...
"Shield Slam - Revenge - Devastate - Devastate -.... repeat x infinity", with an occasional shockwave/thunderclap. Shield Block once per minute, either on cooldown or when a known spike is incoming.
These are all attacks. They all do damage. I am attacking the mob actively with each button.
The sole exception on a reasonable timer is Shield Block (+ spell reflect for a miniscule # of pulls). If I even need to use Shield Wall or Last Stand in a given pull, it's usually an "oh-sh!#" moment where someone screwed up. My own decision-making and involvement in my survival as a tank is pretty minimal, most consisting of gear/talent decisions made well prior to the fight. *When* (if) I mitigate, it is unpredictably based on some RNG percentages.
Consider instead a rotation that consisted of:
"Dodge - Block - Shield Slam - Parry - Revenge - Dodge - Devastate - Block - Thunderclap - Shield Slam - Devastate - Parry - Block - Revenge - ..." all of which were active button pushes.
Maybe that seems overwhelming, tanking would be too hard for some people. I think it would be cool, though, to know *I* decided to Parry that swing. I actively "tanked" because I decided to mitigate damage, as opposed to attacking more.
Just like the healer gets to say "I am throwing my big heal / AOE heal *now*" and see a result where they actively healed, and a DPS gets to say "here comes my finisher / lava burst / bloodstrike" and see damage get done; now a tank gets to play at tanking "using my dodge" - see, the dragon missed!
Based on class - yes. Maybe DK's get inherently more Parries available (shorter cooldown) and druids get lots more Dodges or a block-like ability.
It appears the developers are interested in making more significant gameplay changes in the next expansion. Focus, new stat system, etc. I think this would be the opportunity they have to make a major change in tanking style by having all mitigation abilities be active and not a %-based proc. It would certainly allow a lot more different playstyles (or skill levels) for different fights, since the range of abilities you'd have available to use at any given moment would be higher.
I like the idea but there would be a great decline in the amount of tanks because how difficult it would be and threat would be a major difficulty, also i think it would end up at starts of fights tanks getting as much aggro as they could and then the second half of the fight just spamming dodge/parry/block, it would be quite cool but it would never work
Parry, dodge, block should all remain as "automated" abilities.
I LIKE some of the concept though. I think it'd be fantastic to see a defensive bonus tied to an offensive move.
Let's say.... Mocking Blow.... hit would now do damage.... high threat.... and at same time, have it increase parry X amount for 5 seconds. I think it'd be good to see offensive abilities tied into defensive ones. You use charge..... or a similar ability.... dodge cannot function for 5 seconds after this (since, it's a committed rush to a target).
And improved shield block that, while reducing damage significantly (like 50%), also lowers threat and reduces damage on next attack 20% (since, the player had to really brace their shield to block that hit, and again... committed to defense more).
Think, like Hysteria. +20% damage is great..... but it comes with a price.
Age of Conan is a great example of active tanking and why its terrible. You could active dodge and block attacks, but they usually ended up just making fights tedious and positioning nightmares. Tanks have plenty to do, and giving us all Carpel tunnel isnt making anyone happier.