Is the 4.2 Battle Shout nerf intentional?

90 Human Warrior
9620
I want to preface this by saying that I am in complete agreement with the idea that plate tanks should not desire Agility on actual gear. I think it was unfortunate that that's what some top-end tanks did this tier, even though it had more to do with the lack of 372 tanking itemization than it had to do with Agility being good.

There's a significant side effect of the Agility change for plate tanks, however, and even though it's possible that the increase in Parry from Strength (to 27%) was intended to offset the damage, this will remain a substantial nerf as-is.

In Cataclysm, Battle Shout (Horn of Winter, Strength of Earth Totem) went from being a completely terrible buff that no one cared about, to a very significant buff for both tanks and dps. Currently on Live, it provides a variable buff of about 1.7 to 2.5 percent avoidance, depending on diminishing returns and the class of the tank. It is one of the rare few buffs that actually matter to tanks, and it is nice having a buff from someone else actually be important (the only other external buff that substantially reduces physical damage taken is Inspiration/AF).

The 4.2 change, while serving the legitimate purpose of making Agility gear undesirable to plate tanks, also brings with it a significant nerf - plate tanks will be losing the dodge portion of Battle Shout avoidance. The harm that this nerf will cause will vary - Druids will be completely unscathed, Paladins will be hit the worst since Paladins currently get more benefit from Agi than other tanks. In addition, lesser-geared and newly-85 tanks will be hurt moreso than high-end tanks due to Battle Shout being a flat buff.

I realize that not everyone might understand just how important Cataclysm Battle Shout is to a tank. So here are some numbers -

My warrior (368 equipped, 13/13H and fully heroic raid geared)
- 33.43% total avoidance unbuffed, 35.25% with Battle Shout + Mark, a gain of 1.82% (1.02% dodge, 0.80% parry)

My druid (353 equipped, does not raid)
- 40.17% total avoidance unbuffed, 42.42% with Battle Shout + Mark, a gain of 2.25% (2.25% dodge)

My paladin (341 equipped, new 85)
- 26.84% total avoidance unbuffed, 29.27% with Battle Shout + Mark, a gain of 2.43% (1.56% dodge, 0.87% parry)

The current version of Battle Shout gives a roughly equal amount of avoidance to all three tanks once diminishing returns are accounted for. Unfortunately, the 4.2 change will take away the dodge contributions of Battle Shout from the Warrior and Paladin, making it a 0.80% and 0.87% avoidance buff instead of 1.82% and 2.43% respectively. At the same time, the druid continues to retain a full 2.25% avoidance. The 4.2 patch is already providing a fairly-large, separate buff to Druid tanking, as well as a nerf to Paladin tanking, so I don't feel like a disparity in avoidance from buffs is warranted on top of that.

The change in Parry from Strength does very little to make up for this. It hurts lesser-geared tanks progressively worse, as they don't have gigantic amounts of Strength to make up for such a large loss. My Paladin stands to gain 53 Parry rating, a paltry 0.20% avoidance. My heroic raid-geared Warrior will gain 81 Parry rating, about 0.32% avoidance. Both of them lose a considerable sum of avoidance, while the Druid loses nothing. While I understand and respect that different tanks are different (and should have differing amounts of total avoidance), I don't feel like Battle Shout of all things is the place to differentiate them. There currently isn't a disparity, so I don't feel like there suddenly should be one.

There are several ways to solve this disparity, while still keeping the desired outcome of Agility gear being undesirable to plate tanks. One method is to make it so that Agility from sources that are not gear (Battle Shout, Mark, flasks, Tol'vir pots) will still contribute to dodge for plate tanks. This seems like it might be complicated and difficult to hotfix in time for 4.2, though that doesn't rule it out as a future solution. Another method is to give Battle Shout/Horn of Winter/Strength of Earth Totem a flat, undiminished 1% parry chance, to make up for the avoidance that plate tanks are going to be lacking. There is a precedent for this (Rune of Swordshattering), and the only side effect of this change is a meaningless, very minor avoidance buff for rogues, hunters, and enhancement shaman. Such a change would mean Battle Shout gives my Warrior, Druid, and Paladin tanks 1.80%, 2.25%, and 1.87% avoidance respectively (instead of 1.82%, 2.25%, 2.43%), which combined with the Parry conversion change would mean the Paladin only loses a tiny sliver of avoidance, instead of a very harsh drop. It doesn't quite eliminate the disparity between Druids and non-Druids at the new-85 level, but it does reduce it to the point where it won't be a big, confusing hole. This change seems like it might be easier to hotfix in before 4.2, to do something about the problem before it occurs.

It's my hope that something is done about this before 4.2 actually drops. Battle Shout is an excellent buff for tanks, and I don't feel like plate tanks should be punished this severely just because a few top-end tanks decided to go for Agility gear. Thank you.
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90 Human Warrior
9620
These "small percentages" are actually larger than what plate tanks were gaining by using Agi gear, the whole reason the nerf is happening.

Tanks will do a hell of a lot for more damage reduction.
Edited by Arazu on 6/13/2011 12:54 PM PDT
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These "small percentages" are actually larger than what plate tanks were gaining by using Agi gear, the whole reason the nerf is happening.

Tanks will do a hell of a lot for more damage reduction.

Your post is well written, contains detailed information on the issue at hand, its effects on the affected classes, and potential solutions. Therefore, it will likely be ignored by many and dismissed as "wall of text crits for >9000!"

Anyway, I don't tank and I found it to be an interesting read.
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90 Draenei Paladin
12105
All I have to say is, they probably saw non-druid tanks picking up Signet of the Elder Council and/or Don Rodrigo's Fabulous Necklace because of an absolute lack of properly itemized plate tank gear (by properly itemized I mean with massive amounts of mastery, which is an awesome stat for all classes).

Rather than take the garbage with no mastery in it as intended, people were actually inventive in their min-maxing. And obviously that can't be. So instead of putting the well itemized items in the patch, they decided on this stupid nerf. I firmly believe Battle Shout/Horn/Totem was not even taken into account, as they probably would rather you use commanding shout and leave Battle Shout exclusively for DPS.

God forbid tanks actually try and use gear itemized to make them survive more.
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90 Human Warrior
9620
I think it's perfectly reasonable for Blizzard's overall, long-term goal to be that a dodge/parry item (or worse, a dodge/hit item like Theck's ring) should be better than an agility/mastery item. I do agree that Battle Shout probably wasn't accounted for with this change though, and that's why I made the thread.

All tanks are doing great right now. They are all legit. I'm simply concerned about the Battle Shout change.
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- Hearthstone
100 Tauren Paladin
12695
06/13/2011 12:47 PMPosted by Pámarack
These are such small percentages it really doesn't matter.


So if you played a paladin tank which was fully 359 geared and came across the Eternal meta with 1% extra shield block, you'd just go "omg wtf is this 1% crap" and grab the Austere meta with that extra armor, wouldn't you?

OP speaks so much truth, it boggles my mind. At first, I thought that Blizzard was making my job easier not having to precisely adjust my dodge/parry because of my agility contribution and my lower base dodge, but this thread brings tank number crunching to a whole new level.

I kind of followed the post, but from what I understood and comprehended, this will definitely cause a problem.
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85 Tauren Warrior
11105
I think it's perfectly reasonable for Blizzard's overall, long-term goal to be that a dodge/parry item (or worse, a dodge/hit item like Theck's ring) should be better than an agility/mastery item. I do agree that Battle Shout probably wasn't accounted for with this change though, and that's why I made the thread.

All tanks are doing great right now. They are all legit. I'm simply concerned about the Battle Shout change.


I think you might be right.

The AGI boost off BS is just massive, but it would fit with Blizzard's track record to miss something like this.
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90 Human Warrior
9620
Thanks for the support.
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90 Human Warrior
9620
Hoping for a change before 4.2 goes out.
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90 Human Warrior
9620
Battle Shout is a legitimate source of tank avoidance via Agility and should continue to provide meaningful tank avoidance in the future.
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I'd rather just get dodge added back to agility, since it makes sense and gives us all more options, which is better than having single-use pieces of gear.

I think tank necks and rings should be removed so agi/mastery pieces can drop more frequently. I'd also prefer agi mainhand weapons.
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90 Human Warrior
9620
I was tempted to pick up some of the Agi gear that some tanks have been using, but being a Warrior I don't get as much from it. Also I do heroic tens with no misdirect, so I can't drop the threat. Dropping a hundred Strength for an extra 0.01% (yes, really) avoidance is something some 25-man tanks will do, but I can't.
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90 Human Warrior
9620
I'll be here all week.
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100 Human Paladin
14965
on the topic of battle shout, it appears as though the tier 12 gear bonus for DKs will never be in effect in raids since the battle shout (when glyphed) always overrides horn of winter. since both warrior and dk tier gear bonuses are conferred when their respective shouts are used, warriors will be fine, but dks basically do not get a gear bonus this tier. that's ridiculous.
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90 Human Warrior
9620
And probably next week.
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85 Orc Warrior
7005
I agree it's a silly change. I know I've always avoided agility if I could, because it just seems wrong (it's why I never wore cloth on my druid/shaman/pally healers, unless it was a mega upgrade over what I was wearing), but I just didn't see this being a huge problem. I'm sure there's tons of other more important things that could have been fixed instead of this change.

P.S. You probably should have posted this in the tanking forums to be honest, might have a better chance of being seen by the right people.
Edited by Pukka on 6/14/2011 7:21 PM PDT
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66 Gnome Rogue
0
06/13/2011 01:48 PMPosted by Arazu
I think it's perfectly reasonable for Blizzard's overall, long-term goal to be that a dodge/parry item (or worse, a dodge/hit item like Theck's ring) should be better than an agility/mastery item. I do agree that Battle Shout probably wasn't accounted for with this change though, and that's why I made the thread.


Dodge/parry items ARE better than mastery/threat items. The only times agility/mastery/threat is better is when your talking about mastery/threat gear or avoidance/threat gear.

Str/mastery/avoidance>str/avoidance/avoidance>>Agility/mastery/threat>str/mastery/threat>str/avoidance/threat>>>agility/threat/threat>str/threat/threat.

06/13/2011 01:19 PMPosted by Nemuraan
And obviously that can't be. So instead of putting the well itemized items in the patch, they decided on this stupid nerf. I firmly believe Battle Shout/Horn/Totem was not even taken into account, as they probably would rather you use commanding shout and leave Battle Shout exclusively for DPS.


More than likely.

06/13/2011 02:02 PMPosted by Palaurus
So if you played a paladin tank which was fully 359 geared and came across the Eternal meta with 1% extra shield block, you'd just go "omg wtf is this 1% crap" and grab the Austere meta with that extra armor, wouldn't you?


Actually the austere meta is better till 86% CTC and then since it works when hit in the back, stunned or feared...its a close call.

06/14/2011 11:23 AMPosted by Arazu
Battle Shout is a legitimate source of tank avoidance via Agility and should continue to provide meaningful tank avoidance in the future.


That's not really thats buffs intention.

It has and continues to be mainly a dps buff. Seeing as a lot of cata was designed solely for the purpose of making the classes work as intended I dont think they really care about a sub 400 dtps increase.

Previously we did not care about agility increasing buffs cause Stamina was our undisputed top stat. Boss creep and healer regen has not yet set in enough for that to happen in cata yet (possible exceptions in Hardmodes)
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90 Human Warrior
9620
There was a debate in early January about whether tank tier legs with dodge/parry were better than dps tier legs with hit/mastery. Most people did go for the dodge/parry (me included), but it was a pretty lengthy debate. Firelands has a lot more of those hit/mastery items to spark that debate all over again.

Battle Shout used to be a dps buff. It became more than that in Cataclysm. It's going to continue to be one for bear druids, as well as plate tanks to a now much lesser extent. Right now it's a similar amount of avoidance for all tanks. In 4.2 it won't be.

Blessing of Might used to be a dps-only buff too. Cataclysm changed it to also be good for healers when it got merged with Wisdom. I'd be equally confused if Blizzard decided to make it so the mana regen from Might only applied to one healer class out of four. That's similar to what's being done here to tanks.

I don't really have anything against Druid tanks, I just don't agree with the disparity and I don't want to lose a chunk of dodge because some tanks that aren't me made some gear choices Blizzard doesn't agree with.
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