I didn't see a post up on it which I think it was because nothing was set in stone.
Maybe I missed the thread covering this, but part 2 of the 10K dev thread covers GC's thoughts on some possible ideas beyond 4.1 for tanks.
One topic we’ve been discussing lately is the role of Hit and Expertise on tank gear (or more precisely, plate tanking gear). The conventional wisdom is that Hit and Expertise are threat stats, and you may need to swap them out with some of your mitigation stats depending on the situation. Realistically, unless you severely overgear the content, we don’t think that is actually true. Tanks almost always worry about survival first and foremost, which totally makes sense, and are willing to trade off threat stats for better mitigation in almost all situations. It’s much harder to progress if the tank explodes than it is if the cat occasionally pulls aggro. (It’s not quite that simple, but I’m going to gloss over details and exceptions since I spent so much text on the preamble up above).
Once upon a time, taunts could miss, and so Hit was marginally more interesting than it is today. Once upon a time, having a boss parry your attacks could speed up its swing timer, which turned Expertise into a (often weak) survival stat. Boss parries felt very random though, both in the sense that sometimes the tank would suddenly take much more damage than anticipated and there was no easy way to know which bosses had parry speed up. (Today, you can assume none of them do.) Until recently, interrupts could miss, but asking a tank to stack a bunch of Hit just for those few opportunities when they were probably going to hit anyway but disaster would occur if they did not felt crummy too.
The problem is that there aren’t a lot of stats that are interesting to tanks. Stamina and Armor are great, but their stat budget is often in lockstep with item level. (It would be interesting to consider if we could make that not the case once again, but that’s the topic for another blog.) We got rid of Defense as a stat that tanks needed to worry about. We have managed to make Mastery pretty good to excellent for tanks, so that’s at least one stat they like to see. Dodge and (if you’re a plate-wearer) Parry are good, and slightly interesting because of talents like Hold the Line. But beyond that, it starts to go downhill. Sure Haste and Crit can sometimes be fun, but really they often aren’t worth the trade off. That leaves us with Hit and Expertise. We’d like to make them more interesting to tanks. But how?
One way is by turning them into defensive stats. They are defensive stats for Blood death knights, because the DK self-healing is tied into Death Strike, which can miss. It might be possible to do something similar for the other classes. Imagine if Shield Block had to actually hit the target. Presumably you raise your shield, but not high enough to intercept the incoming blow. Now hit becomes a mitigation stat for warriors as well. We might have to adjust the mitigation amount on Shield Block or give warriors a small Hit bonus so Hit capping wasn’t totally unreasonable, but you get the basic idea. You could do the same with paladins (make Holy Shield more interesting?) and druids as well (Savage Defense could proc on a hit).
Is this a good idea? We’re not sure yet. You won’t see this change in the 4.1 patch for certain. There are trade-offs to making Hit and Expertise more valuable. Gearing as a tank might be more fun for experienced players, but it also might be more challenging for less experienced players. The number of struggling tanks in your Dungeon Finder groups might go up. Some less knowledgeable players (and to be fair, this stuff doesn’t exactly explain itself on the character sheet) might stack Hit way too high at the expense of a more valuable mitigation stat, such as mastery.
It is the kind of thing we’re talking about though, and if you want to make a contribution to the tanking forums but aren’t quite sure on a topic, here is one potential possibility.
-Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer of World of Warcraft. He still has Buru’s Skull Fragment.
I didn't see a post up on it which I think it was because nothing was set in stone.
I didn't want to repost, but thought it was kosher food for thought
I don't see how this is an improvement. Gearing for mastery vs gearing for hit is not any more fun than the other. The suggested proposal does nothing to impact how the role is played, so does nothing to increase the enjoyment of playing the role (unless you love math).
For comparison, a Resto shaman can stack haste for quicker heals and more GCDs to work with. Other shamans prefer Mastery as it increases the value of heals on lower health targets (the closer to dead you are the more it heals). It changes the way you cast your spells and a shaman who used the haste play style on a mastery shaman wouldn't perform very well.
For a tank, making hit determine if your avoidance is going to work will only be noticeable to the healers and on fight parses. It won't change how your buttons are pressed and it won't change how you think about your role, except that you now have another stat to fill. It could work if Expertise gave you a chance on avoidance to activate one of your abilities or give you a buff that made you react differently. For example, perhaps 26 expertise could give a warrior a 10% chance to proc Impending Victory at any stage of the fight. Now the stat becomes a little bit more attractive since it can add to tank self healing. Obviously the numbers I suggested weren't done with balance in mind so they'd need to be tweaked :P.
I understand what GC is trying to do, but I feel tanks already have more stat juggling to do than most other roles without throwing another less interesting stat in the mix.
Edit: From a PvP perspective it would probably work better if something like Impending Victory procced on a chance from avoiding an attack so it doesn't just become a passive heal and remains more of a defensive/survival stat.
Last edited by Petninja; 03-26-2011 at 06:18 AM.
to a degree, expertise was a defensive stat before the parry haste mechanic was removed. Blizzard got rid of it. I think agility had a lot of potential for plate wearing tanks prior to the release of 4.0, but that also was removed. At the end of the day, Its just really hard to implament any 1 stat thats going to be apealing to all tanks out there. The idea of the defensive stat was great, that is, 1 stat having an effect on several other stats. However, at the end of the day ( in wrath ) stam was king. so it was really pointless. I would welcome a reworked defensive stat... somthing that perhaps increased armor values and/or avoidance. Or somthing that increases the parry and/or exp/hit value from strength, but only for the reason that "I THINK" it would be fun to play with. However, in a more practical sense, any added stat would probily be nightmare.
"Dear Santoro, Your wisdom has enlightened me. Thanks!"
One of the issues may be from the damage side. Other than stam, which applies to all damage taken, there really is not a stat to play with that effects magic/disease/poison etc type damage; we stack avoidance for physical, the old agility went to armor again physical, mastery goes to physical, but there's really no choice to make, other then stam, for non-physical type damage. Unless you look to trinkets, or the odd exilir. I don't know if it would be fun to play with a resistance type stat, but it just seems the playing field they're trying to improve is limited; but I like the fact that they think about it and try to improve.
Which stat would need to be changed?
Currently we get:
Stamina = more health, more potential AP from vengeance
Strength = AP and parry rating
Agility = crit and dodge chance
Mastery = block chance/absorb mod/heal mod
Hit rating = chance to hit
Expertise = chance to not be parried or dodged
In essence, hit and exp are "boring". I don't think it is a good idea to have more than two stats deriving from a basic stat, that just makes it even more complicated to choose between two items, and we may end up with tier-below items being better than current tier items (like 245 epics beating 264 epics because they had ArP on them). However I don't like the idea that avoidance gets tied into a chance, stacking probabilities only makes for longer odds of something happening.
I could, however, see something like "your expertise increases the [damage blocked by your shield/absorbed by savage defense/heal from death strike by x%]" and "your hit chance increases the efficacy of your [demo shout/thunderclap debuffs] by x%". That would make for an extremely interesting discussion around what is better in the end, avoidance, parry, dodge, mastery, expertise or hit rating.
Along the lines of Petninja's comments...
Stats in World of Warcraft have largely fallen into a category of being a gating mechanic. You need X amount of various stats to be able to survive, do enough damage or heal enough to move on through various tiers of raiding or what have you. Gating mechanics are not fun, not in the slightest, but they're important to games like WoW in order to make sure that people don't breeze through all of the content and then are left with nothing to do. They're required to keep people playing.
Still, if a game isn't fun, you're not likely to keep a large subscriber base for very long. There are little tricks that you can do to keep people coming back, small rewards and achievements that entice players to keep playing. However, in the end, if the game itself isn't fun, you'll struggle to maintain retention. This is the problem the development team is faced with. The best games can manage to streamline gating mechanics with fun mechanics, effectively masking the fact that you're doing "work" to "achieve" something.
Stats being effectively passive is the problem. If stats made an active difference in how you played your character, that's what would make them fun. Choice is a fundamental "fun" mechanic in a game. When you give players the option of doing things differently, of customizing play to their style, it becomes more fun for them. The problem is that, with the more choice and options you give, the more things you have to balance and the more of a headache it becomes for development teams (think back to their reasoning for paring down Deathknight options for tanking and DPS).
For instance, let's give Warriors an ability called Flurry, the ability scales with Haste. The more haste you have, the more attacks it gets off. Now we'll make another ability called Piercing Blow, this ability adds a multiplier to your crit rating for damage. The more crit you have the more damage it does in singular blows and the higher chance it has of landing critical blows.
Now we could get all mathy, but we'll assume the numbers are balanced so that comparative amounts of Haste and Crit would do the same amount of damage. Obviously, you want more than one ability in your rotation, but we're trying to simplify here (this should just go to show how complex it can get though!).
So, what's the problem? Haste affects Piercing Blow and Crit affects Flurry. This means that one ability is likely still "better" than the other, and min maxers are going to exploit that difference. You could code the abilities to not be affected by various stats, but that gets complicated, and, remember, that we're actually doing this for a handful of abilities, as, even if parts of the rotation are similar, you'll likely want to differentiate a couple of different abilities. Doing this for 3 specs for every class, for various stats, becomes unwieldy. And so it's easier to simply make most stats passive. But as long as they're passive, the only "fun" out of adding relevance to stats is for people who like to calculate the min-max potential of any given stat.
I don't see Blizzard finding an "easy" solution to this dilemma. If they want stats to be more fun, then they're going to have to deal with the complexity of making stats have an active role in playstyle.
I think it's fine to have hit and expertise as "threat"-skills. Threat should be a part of what tanks are concerned about. At the moment most of us simply don't really care about it. Sure, it may be close in the first few seconds. But for the most part of most encounters threat is just meaningless for everybody. Just because Vengeance is so redicilous high compared with everything else we bring. Adding hit and expertise or switching around some talent points just alter how fast you will be unreachable by anybody else. But as soon as this point is reached, non of them really matter anymore.
That's something that could be changed. It would be much more interestiong as making stuff more dangerous in the next tier to make use of additional defensive mechanics and stats. Again. That would be some kind of Wrath again.
It's good that we don't need hit/expertise to beat special mechanics. But now they could get interesting for what they are. I think that balancing talents AND gear somewhere to get the best mix of threat and survival would be interesting.
I have no desire for Threat to become a major part of what Tanks need to worry over. Tanks have enough to worry over if the encounter is balanced correctly. If an encounter is boring, it's boring, we shouldn't have to handicap our threat to suddenly make it interesting. Rather, the encounter should be made more dynamic for Tanks instead, more kiting and abilities to watch for. And if an encounter is designed properly I don't want to have to worry about dying, losing threat, and watching for X, Y, and Z of an encounter. That's not fun, just stressful.
The problem is that all tank gear is ending up looking very much the same. We have 3 stats that we want (mastery/dodge/parry) and 2 we probably don't. We pick up items with hit and expertise for 'threat sets', but they aren't truly desirable rewards since they end up getting left in the backpack for the biggest baddest bosses. Loot is a huge part of the basic appeal of WOW, and if Blizzard can't make us feel excited about getting that next drop, they are in trouble*. "Yay, another mastery/parry boot drop" is not as compelling as "this item is particularly awesome because it has XYZ itemisation which is unusual and very good for my class".
* This video on the psych behind loot rewards is very interesting (and a little scary): http://www.escapistmagazine.com/vide...he-Skinner-Box
So looking specifically about how to make hit + expertise interesting: I don't think I'd like to see the death knight model rolled out to other classes. I think something much simpler would work: simply give tank classes some extra mitigation/avoidance as well as the hit/exp. For example, you could give protection warriors an increase in their baseline expertise, but change expertise rating for them such that increases expertise AND parry. You balance the numbers such that a) it ends up being good 'value for ilvl' and b) the bonus it gives to parry works out favourably in the diminishing returns equation. That might mean something like getting 66% of the expertise that you would have had before, but also 50% of the parry. This ends up making a 'mastery+expertise' item pretty attractive for a warrior. You might want to do something similar but subtly different for paladins to make "x item better for paladins than warriors".
For the record, I didn't suggest rolling out a Deathknight model on other classes. I used the history of the Deathknight class as an example of Blizzard's aversion to developing with increased complexity due to choice. More choice tends to be more fun, but also harder to balance.
The problem with simply giving expertise or other stats a bit of a modifier increasing yet another passive stat is that it simply remains passive. If it's passive, it's not fun. At its most basic level, a passive game would mean you run up to a monster and start auto-attacking it and it dies. Just because you get gear which allows you to better kill monsters as you progress doesn't necessarily make it more fun or exciting.
Operant Conditioning isn't scary, it works in every day life. It's how we learn to use things, how we're conditioned to follow basic societal rules of behavior, etc... it's a little trick they use to keep people playing, but if the game itself isn't fun then it has little appeal over the basic gamble, which most people can pull away from in time. Only those with the most addictive personalities need to be worried.
If the developers want to give tanks more stats to pick from they can just make threat matter again, and remove the freebie "can't miss" from some of the abilities. It doesn't even have to be as much of a razors edge as it was in TBC. They could set it up so that a perfectly executed rotation would hold threat a little above the highest threat dpser without hit and expertise, on average of course. After that you would basically choose the amount of expertise/hit you need to account for your margin of error/skill of your raiders. That would make it an interesting stat, since it would be tailored to your own personal situation.
I just don't think I've ever heard someone complain that they have too few stats to juggle. There were people in Wrath who thought that avoidance was superior to stamina, but they stacked avoidance at the cost of stamina, not alongside it. I don't think I've ever heard a caster complain that stacking all Int gems in gear wasn't fun (just perhaps expensive).
The other thing I don't get is why, with all the concern over "less experienced tanks" don't they just give their UI team the task of setting up a help menu. Starcraft 2 got one. It's not terribly useful for high level play, but it's more than enough to get a new player started. All it would have to do is explain the stuff they seem to be worried a new player wouldn't get on their own without a ton of research.
every time you hit a mob while hti and expertise capped your character grows ' fuck off massive angel / devil wings that grant 100% of hit and expertise rating as mastery'
simple, we gem for caps and keep our mitigation and look f'in awesome while doing it.
Watch me play SC2 ladder and enjoy the lolz
and thusly i refer you, chemena my sc2 amigo, to my previous post in this thread.
Watch me play SC2 ladder and enjoy the lolz
Sounds a bit "gimmicky" to me..I'm all for, individualism, and making each Class with the same spec have their own flavors and choices, to separate them from another player of the same class/spec (which was why i liked biugger talent trees) But everyone tends to just flock to the fotw and copy/paste the top guilds' players sheets anyway...I like the direction theyre goin witht his, but if I pop my Shield Block, i expect it to do its job...Adding avoidance to avoidance seems like a big headache...
I do want HIT/EXP caps to mean something again all the old school guys are confused by it. The fact that using HIT/EXP is also a viable strategy but that old school guys are using it for the wrong reasons is just a huge mess. Right now we need Expertise so we don't get dodged and although this helps with threat it is most beneficially used along with Holy Power strategies and is completely unnecessary to hold threat.
I understand they made the rotation more complex to separate the very good from the just ok players. More things to concentrate on and more areas to fail basically.. But the gear change wasn't necessary they can put whatever story line behind it but don't change the basic gear people have always used. I am a new comer MASTERY Paladin Baby and I say change it back to old school so the old school guys understand it.