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Thread: What do you feel is not fun about tanking?

  1. #1
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    What do you feel is not fun about tanking?

    I apologize in advance, as it may seem like I am on a crusade about this as I have posted on my blog and on tankspot about this before as well as on the beta forum (http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...38260&sid=2000), but this time I would like to take a different approach.

    Tanking has become less and less enjoyable as wrath has progressed. As a tank I feel like I am simply a DPS who attacks from in front of the boss, which is no fun anymore because of how unimportant the threat game has become. Even things once vitally important to the success of encounters no longer maters, how you position bosses (using eredar twins as an example of how being 2 feet off could lead to a tank death of LoSing healers or 2 feet the other way and the raid gets bombed because the adds make it up the ramp). Cooldowns have gotten shorter so you may think that using them is more skillful, but in fact it is the exact opposite, using cooldowns has become boring because of the scripted nature of the encounters, bosses use "x" hard hitting ability every 30/45/60 seconds that if you do not use a cooldown on you die, nothing reactionary/skillful about it. The gemming and enchanting game has been completely taken out of our hands, if the fight is progression, stam everywhere, if it is farm content, hit and expertise to try and max DPS. This used to be an extremely fun part of tanking, carrying around different gear sets for different fights and working out which ones to use when. Surviving as a tank is almost solely in the healers hands now-a-days, I want to move some of our fate back into our own hands.

    Finally, the AoE game. Blizzard has started to cut down on this, WW is not the only example, almost every offensive AoE has been cut in 1/2. But that is not going far enough, as long as tanks have abilities that hit unlimited targets, the AoE run and gun heroics will continue.

    Some suggestions that we have come up with:
    -cap all tanking abilities at 4 targets, with big cooldown abilities like shockwave remaining frontal cone for emergencies. This would bring back the CC game as well as bringing back single target abilities into the AoE rotation.
    -give all tanks more short cooldowns as they have done for DKs. I am not asking for things like clones of spell reflect, but against a pure melee mob shield block has the potential to be extremely overpowered. Every class should have an ability from 1 of these categories:
    • major reduction cooldown: shieldwall, IBF, divine protection (which druids currently lack)
    • health cooldown: last stand, SI, Vamp blood
    • small melee only cooldown: shield block, barkskin (reworked to only affect melee damage)
    • small spell only cooldown: spell reflect (reworked to reduce the damage taken by spells if the spell is not reflectable, possibly from a talent), AMS
    • activated self heal: enraged regen, frenzied regen
    • DS: judgement of light and imp LOTP, and the new blood craze, need to be reworked to function more like DS
    This would open up a lot of options for encounter designers as well, as in some cases (warriors) a class has so many tools they are just not allowed to use them. Being able to use spell reflect again but the designers being allowed to do that and not make guilds feel a warrior MUST main tank that fight for example. Homogenization is bad for the game, either take it all the way or don't do it.
    -dual rotations, the ability to change a rotation from a max DPS rotation to a max survival rotation (this will tie into the next one as well). Say for example that devastate increased your armor by 5% for 5 seconds, but HS increased your damage by 5% for 5 seconds, but using either cancels the buff of the other. You get to choose yourself if you want a little more damage or a little more survivability.
    -rotational buffs, this one is kind of weird.hard to explain so I will just give a link http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...60&sid=2000#80. The idea is basically that doing a perfect rotation will give you a buff while getting lazy and sloppy with your rotation will punish your survivability.

    Please keep this a discussion thread, bringing up new ideas or ways to improve the ones already suggested.



  2. #2
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    WoW is for casuals now - all those things you described make the game too hard for casuals and Blizzard knows where the real money is made.

    I never understood the concept of "If I play perfectly the game should get much easier" - you're just making it easier for the people who don't need it and harder for the people who can't handle it already. Perfect rotation = buff? Why do you need a buff if you've got a perfect rotation.

  3. #3
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    It is not about being easier or harder, it is about having fun playing a tank. Right now, there is no difference between a DPSer and a tank, except where you attack from. It is about tank balance, and having tools you cannot use (such as spell reflect and disarm).

    Also, your comments are very degrading. Why does someone automatically suck at the game because they are a casual? Hell, right now, I am a causal, I play 1 night a week, we kill heroic LK on Tuesday night and until this week had nothing to do the rest of the week.

    edit: as a war, if you would hold agro pressing nothing but devastate for a 6 minute boss fight, or even more if doing so was your highest TPS, would that be fun? Ignoring sword and board procs because you never use shield slam anyway? No, it would not. Warriors have the most fun rotation right now, simply because it is the only rotation that cannot be made into a macro. Interaction is fun, even if it takes slightly more skill than copy->pasting a macro from tankspot that does your perfect rotation and hitting 1 button an entire boss fight.
    Last edited by Darksend; 07-01-2010 at 10:48 AM.



  4. #4
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    While I do want tanking to require a level of skill and not faceroll, I think having an AoE unlimited target move is acceptable because it opens up doors for fight development instead of pigeon holing things into 4 or 4+ adds and just straining X class over Y class. I do like the warrior model though that says you have 1 aoe move, on CD, and 1 conal move on longer CD. So you have something to get quick snap aggro on a large mob, but you need to maintain aggro especially once your dps opens up.

    Not to hate on other tanks but 360 spammable swipe, consecration, and to a lesser extent DnD + blood boil spam just seems to lessen the skill required to tank large quantity of mobs, luckily with RS we already see that using CC is going to become important again, so simply spamming AoE abilities as a tank is a quick way to lead to death, but I don't think it's about unlimited targets, and more about "SPAMMABLE" aoe threat abilities.

    I like that they made our important cooldowns to 2-3 minute cooldowns, this made it so that we could use them in fights when we needed them and not fear wasting them. I do think having either too short, or too many makes tanking become "chain your cd's the entire fight" and that becomes kind of stupid too, if not overpowered. But I dread the days of 30 minute shield wall, etc.

    I think just going back to a good CC centric system is good, it involves the entire group/raid/party, and makes some level of pre-strategy to go in, and lets be honest, being the tank isn't just about making the mob hit you, it's about CONTROLLING THE SITUATION, and pre-engagement strategy is just as important/fun when executed properly. I'm not saying we need uber hard trash ALL the time like TBC heroics, but at least no more dumb AoE fest trash either.

    One thing I also liked was being challenged, whether in game or self imposed. Like running heroics in WotLK. Lets admit it, EVERY tank here who has run heroics as many times as necessary to be in a progression guild, got to a point where we tried to finish heroics as fast as humanly possible. This was fun because it was our own "lol 12 minutes" achievement, but maybe give us some incentive for it too in game, to challenge people to do better. I see this as a problem later on down the road when new tanks want to step into the game and no one wants a "newb" tank so they can get their "12 minute chest" or whatever, but those were fun. Think Zul'Aman, and the challenges that brought initially. I think largely the funnest parts of tanking aren't so much our abilities, but more of the way the encounters were designed. Tanking inherently is about control, and being able to save/protect your teammates. Challenging us with speed runs, or managing around delicate CC is fun (while occasionally frustrating). Interesting fight mechanics are fun. I LOVED doing Thaddius because the tankswap in that while visually cool and mechanically really kinda silly was AWESOME. Fights like BQL are RIDICULOUSLY RETARDED.

    More fights for tanks like A'lar, Void Reaver, LK, Obsidian Sanctum 3 Drakes, or even Thaddius intro, and less BQL, less "stand around during 75% of the fight and only be needed for final phase" like Sindragosa, Kel'thuzad, etc.

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  5. #5
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    Ya, like, here is the progression of WoW as I see it:

    Vanilla - Blizzard kinda floundered around trying to figure out what it wanted to do with encounters/gearing. There was 1 teir set for any class, even if they had multiple specs/rolls. 40 man raids, yadda yadda. I think a lot of this was trial and error. The cool thing they did though was that they had a lot of really cool encounter designs and by the time they got to AQ40/Naxx60, they had a good idea of where they were going and continued that trend in TBC

    TBC - the ending instances of AQ40 and Naxx were really hard, and a lot of people really liked that, however Blizzard made 2 fatal errors.
    1) The first raid to come out was a 10 man raid, down from 40. This broke up a lot of guilds and making the jump from the 10 mans to 25 mans also got kinda difficult and took people a while to get used to.
    2) The original Karazhan was actually pretty hard. It was the entry level and pretty much only raid possible and a lot of groups just couldn't clear it, even ones that had been farming BWL at 60. Again, they had a lot of good design, but because it was hard people started not wanting to do it as much especially when the rewards weren't that great.

    Blizzard figured this out pretty quickly though, they nerfed kara and buffed the gear and the rest of the expansion was pretty legit. But it was here that theorycrafting started to thrive.

    In vanilla there wasn't much point in doing a ton of theorycrafting, gearing choices were pretty linear and there weren't any gems and enchanting was pretty much obvious (hint 30sp > 3 int). Sure there was some, and it became big in AQ40/Naxx60 were encounters became a lot harder and strategies and optimization were key, but so few people did those that it wasn't a huge deal. Really the main stuff that was theorycrafted was specs, and even those were typically linear.

    Then TBC comes along with a lot more "Green" stats (expertise, hit, sp, spell pen, armor pen, on use things, on equip passives, etc. etc.) and the community (especially the ones that were optimizing in Vanilla) started to theorycraft to find what was optimal. Gemming also added to this in a big way.

    So now blizzard is trying to figure out how to not making theorycrafting a science project, some things simply weren't obvious as to what you should use. While yes it was fun to balance stats and have all kinds of different gear, it wasn't for the feint of heart, especially in sunwell.

    Now they don't want it to be as "mathy" even though it's more fun to figure out complex optimizations, I just don't think that will happen again. I agree with stgeorge that WoW is now for casuals, that really is where the real money is at. ICC is the TBC equivalent of BT or maybe Sunwell and the first half of the instance is easily PuG'd. That did NOT happen in TBC but it makes content more accessible.

    Honestly I think the "complex" optmization that you talk about (which I love, even though I'm the self proclaimed 'stam czar' I'd love to see more complex decision making then, LOLSTAMANDARMOR) is great for those of us that like to theorycraft and think about the game and do all kinds of crazy math, most people DON'T want to do that.

    That and if gemming is straight forward it's a lot easier to tell if someone knows their stuff or not, lol. I really don't want to have to bust out a spreadsheet for every warrior app if I have to figure out why they optimized the way they do.
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  6. #6
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    I don't define casual by play time, you can be hardcore once a week or casual 7 days a week.

    I'd say you're hardcore if you're killing heroic LK.

    Casual is people like me and about 60% of the raids out there who still struggle and wipe endlessly on Putricide and Sindragosa with a 25% buff or the 95% of raid attempts still wiping on "normal" LK.

    This game is very hard already for most of the world out there and Blizzard's intention for Cataclysm is to increase new subscriber rates at the acceptable expense of increasingly harder-to-please long-time players.

  7. #7
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    The most fun thing about swipe spam for AOE tanking kaz, if you stop using it even for a single global, you lose agro. That is really the crux of the problem for druids, and thrash is not going to help that at all.

    I guess my biggest problem with cooldowns right now is they are not a choice, every boss either does not need cooldowns at all, or does a huge ability on que that you MUST use your cooldown for or die.

    And yes encounter design is the huge thing right now that makes tanking boring.



  8. #8
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    For me what isn't Fun about tanking is block. At a certain point i had enough block value to block about 2.5k damage all the time. With upgrades that number is dropping lower and lower down now to around 1.5k. So What was once a good shave of damage is now very minor, and more so that my once damage off button for melee heavy fights of shield block, is now a shave CD that i use every Chance i get rather than saving it for rough patches. Block seems to scale with the buff at least so i shouldn't whine to much but the lack of BV on higher end gear kinda stinks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darksend View Post
    The most fun thing about swipe spam for AOE tanking kaz, if you stop using it even for a single global, you lose agro. That is really the crux of the problem for druids, and thrash is not going to help that at all.

    I guess my biggest problem with cooldowns right now is they are not a choice, every boss either does not need cooldowns at all, or does a huge ability on que that you MUST use your cooldown for or die.

    And yes encounter design is the huge thing right now that makes tanking boring.
    I think druids just need a major revamp for tanking. Pallies, Warriors, and DKs all have relatively dynamic things they can do compared to druid, especially for AoE. I've seen plenty of warriors that aren't good at AoE because they don't know how to do it properly but druids really are just swipe spam.
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  10. #10
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    Honestly, what currently isn't fun for me is Tanking random PUGs. Especially when you are a new to heroics and the first thing people say is "The tank sucks he has a low GS. Get out of our pug n00b" *boot*

    Before a mixture of the new kick thing, and the few pugs that understood "Hey I'm new to tanking this Dungeon", I was constantly getting kicked for low GS. I have an okay GS now so I don't get kicked immediately, but how does one learn if they don't actually have a chance to do it? There is only so much that can be retained from guides and videos.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinytankz View Post
    For me what isn't Fun about tanking is block. At a certain point i had enough block value to block about 2.5k damage all the time. With upgrades that number is dropping lower and lower down now to around 1.5k. So What was once a good shave of damage is now very minor, and more so that my once damage off button for melee heavy fights of shield block, is now a shave CD that i use every Chance i get rather than saving it for rough patches. Block seems to scale with the buff at least so i shouldn't whine to much but the lack of BV on higher end gear kinda stinks.
    Yeah, but Cata will make BV a non-issue. Block will be a percentage of incoming damage, not a static value. Makes block less valuable in small-hit situations, but much better vs big-hitters. For example, Kologarn used to hit my warrior (in appropriate gear at the time) for ~18K. I was blocking about 1500 of it, 3K on a critical block. In Cata, that would be (w/o talents or any modifiers) 5400, or 10800 on a critical block. MUCH more useful. Block will actually be useful mitigation, not a gimmick.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Darksend View Post
    And yes encounter design is the huge thing right now that makes tanking boring.
    I would honestly expect it to remain boring. As long as raids are 2 tanks + 23 others, the encounter designers are likely going to target the difficulty at the 23 people instead of the 2. There are a few fights that were tank challenging this expansion, but the difficulty is much more targeted at those 23 others (especially the healers).

    As far as "what makes tanking not fun" goes, I got a bunch of "not fun" last night in RS. Like everyone else who raids, no one uses CC until that last big trash pack in RS decided to be difficult. OK, so we break out the raid icons, and CC it up. Now the pull becomes trivially easy, I'm tanking 1 mob, let it nearly die, pull the next one, repeat. Boring to tank, boring to heal, boring to DPS. I was reminded of SSC/TK, marking up all that trash and burning them down one at a time. Actually maintaining agro on groups of mobs is more fun than just burning 1 down, breaking CC, burning the next one down.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggathon View Post
    I think druids just need a major revamp for tanking. Pallies, Warriors, and DKs all have relatively dynamic things they can do compared to druid, especially for AoE. I've seen plenty of warriors that aren't good at AoE because they don't know how to do it properly but druids really are just swipe spam.
    I would have to agree. I deleted my 80 bear because I was bored with it. I still enjoy tanking on my warrior and my new DK. Face it, bear AoE is utterly mindless. It was pretty fun once or twice doing whelps, but it faded after that.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnbreaker View Post
    I would honestly expect it to remain boring. As long as raids are 2 tanks + 23 others, the encounter designers are likely going to target the difficulty at the 23 people instead of the 2. There are a few fights that were tank challenging this expansion, but the difficulty is much more targeted at those 23 others (especially the healers).

    As far as "what makes tanking not fun" goes, I got a bunch of "not fun" last night in RS. Like everyone else who raids, no one uses CC until that last big trash pack in RS decided to be difficult. OK, so we break out the raid icons, and CC it up. Now the pull becomes trivially easy, I'm tanking 1 mob, let it nearly die, pull the next one, repeat. Boring to tank, boring to heal, boring to DPS. I was reminded of SSC/TK, marking up all that trash and burning them down one at a time. Actually maintaining agro on groups of mobs is more fun than just burning 1 down, breaking CC, burning the next one down.
    hrm, guess that shows the difference, we only cc'd the commander, and we 3 tanked the other mobs by splitting them into separate groups, ended having to hold aggro on 2 or 3 of them at once, in specific positions, and was still fun to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turelliax View Post
    I will never be a kaz.. no one can reach the utter awesomeness of you.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazeyonoma View Post
    hrm, guess that shows the difference, we only cc'd the commander, and we 3 tanked the other mobs by splitting them into separate groups, ended having to hold aggro on 2 or 3 of them at once, in specific positions, and was still fun to me.
    Yeah, we were doing 10-man, not 25, so we just had one tank pull the commander out, and the other tank held the group while we killed it, then killed the commander, who, by himself, hit like a girl.

    On the 3rd miniboss, we had the tanks positioned so they could grab the adds, one each to a side, as they spawned, while still being beside each other to swap on the miniboss.

    I wasn't tanking last night, since they needed me to heal. I do whatever role isn't covered, but I still get to tank a lot.

  16. #16
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    The buff that the commander gives though increases damage of allies based on how many allies they have next to them, not necessarily the commander being next to them, so if all you did was pull out the commander while the tank held the others, it wasn't really addressing the problem unless you dps burned the commander so fast he never got his shout off...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turelliax View Post
    I will never be a kaz.. no one can reach the utter awesomeness of you.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazeyonoma View Post
    The buff that the commander gives though increases damage of allies based on how many allies they have next to them, not necessarily the commander being next to them, so if all you did was pull out the commander while the tank held the others, it wasn't really addressing the problem unless you dps burned the commander so fast he never got his shout off...
    He was calling out his buff, but it wasn't buffing them that I could tell while healing the tank that was on his buddies. <shrug> Maybe I was just healing through it. Dunno. I figured it was a short-ranged buff, because I didn't see any buffs popping on them.

    Could have been bugged or something, I guess.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Kazeyonoma View Post
    we only cc'd the commander, and we 3 tanked the other mobs by splitting them into separate groups
    When it became clear that the large pack would benefit from using CC, we CCed the crap out of it. Since it wasn't trivially easy to AoE down the trash pack like everything else in WotLK, we made it trivially easy by CCing everything. Sure, we could have probably CCed less stuff, but once you break out the CC, why not go the distance with it?

  19. #19
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    I think the thing that really makes tanking boring is repetition. It plagues everyone when people do the same content multiple times, but I think it's even worse for tanks.

    Reason being is that the upgrades in gear don't have quite as much of a "instant gratification" factor that it does for DPS and healers. Yea, I can watch my health pool climb with each upgrade I get but when it comes down to actually playing the encounters, nothing changes. I stand in the same spots, use CDs at the same scripted time, and taunt trade when needed. Yea, it's the same for DPS and healers but they get to see progressively bigger numbers as their great level increases, and they see the difference during the encounter.

    Forgot to mention that a lot of fights are just plain boring to tank. For example: Saurfang, Blood Queen, Rotface (except for the kiter)...all you really do is just stand there and taunt when needed...if you even need to do that.

  20. #20
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    Maximizing my threat gen was fun for me in BC (didn't get much further than T4 pre-3.0), I think Blizz made a pretty big mistake when they minimized the importance of our threat to the extent that they did. Having our threat matter would give us a reason to balance the stats on our gear around 1) survival and 2) capping our DPS, rather than the way it is now. The reward for a perfect rotation should simply be more rDPS.

    I also enjoy fights that require proper positioning of a boss or mob, or at least make success more likely if the boss or mob is positioned well. Way too many static fights in ICC. Any encounter where positioning and threat are inconsequential gets old really fast.

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