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With Blizzards comments yesteday about nerfing haste for prot pallys, and with a bit of time to kill at work, I took a bit of time to look at the possibilties of how the nerfs could come, to make haste less attractive, or to make parry/dodge more attractive.
As you can see from my gear, acheivements and guild, I am not a hard core raider. My guild is still trying to do the normal ten man raiding. We have a good group of people however the last 6-7 weeks we have had 4 hospitalizations and 2 people go on week long vacations. Such is not easy on a raid group of semi-serious casuals.
Anyway, my raiding experience has mainly, this expansion, been in LFR and doing heroics. My prefered gearing priority is Haste, after Hit and Exp caps, as you can see. I personnally would prefer to keep the current status quo, as without at least 9-10% haste the Prot Rotation was unbearably slow.
However Bliz seems to want to change things. Thinking through the issue I wrote down a few ways that Bliz could change the way Prots work with Haste, under three categories, of Minor, Moderate and Severe. As each section implies first are Minor changes to Prot that could change the relationship of Prot and Haste, Moderate changes are the middle of the road and Severe would be brutal changes in gearing, with pros and cons for each choice.
1)nerf haste scaling
Increase the amount of haste that prot needs to reach 1% haste, reducing it's effectiveness at damage reduction compared to
pros - makes parry/dodge/mastery more attractive by making haste less
cons - mastery still highly valued above parry/dodge which may lead to a mastery stacking over haste stacking with parry/dodge still valued very low
2)reduce dodge/parry DR
Reduce the rate that dodge and parry ratings diminsh in value with regards to diminishing return
pros - increase value of dodge and parry relative to haste mastery
cons - does not change the overall issue with passive stats in a active mitigation taking model, where haste increases possible player activity through compressing the rotation
3)put SotR on GCD
Give Shield of the Righteous a 1.5 second spell Global Cool Down
pros - will reduce the effectiveness of haste through setting a "soft cap" were the value of haste will be limited past reducing the GCD to 1.0 seconds
cons - will add an additional cap to gearing, which bliz has said they don't like. Will encourage all prot pally gearing styles (avoidance/hit/exp, haste/hit/exp, mastery/hit/exp) to hit the new haste soft cap to optimize SoTR usage.
1)Increase base CD on CS and HotR
Increase the base Cool down on Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous to match Judgement (6 seconds)
pros - will increase the amount of haste needed to reduce holy power generating cool downs making it less attractive
cons - will lead to significantly reduced Shield of the Righteous uptime requiring a buff to maintain current damage taken per second models. Will significantly slow down prot pally rotation by adding a 3 second gap between holy power generator cycles (CS/HOTR > Judgement > 1.5 sec GCD > 1.5 sec GCD > repeat).
2)Add HTL type effect on Dodge/Parry
Add an effect on Dodge or Parrying attacks, similar to Warriors Hold the Line (example: Grand Crusader procs on Dodge and Parry, After a dodge or parry your next Shield of the Righteous effect lasts and additional 1 second, after a dodge or parry your next holy power
generator will generate an additional holy power)
Pros - Will tie Passive mitigation directly into our active mitigation either by increasing it's usefulness or by increase it's uptime. Would reduce the "spiki-ness" of an avoidance build.
cons - due to the increase uptime in our active mitigation a nerf to that would be necessary to maintain current damage taken per second models.
3)Add haste to prot pally teir
Adjust current and future teir gear stats to make room for an amount of haste.
Pros - Would increase the viablity of the Paladin teirs for those who prefer to use a Haste or Mastery gearing priority.
Cons - Pallys who want to gear for Avoidance over haste/mastery would be forced into taking an unwanted stat. Would encourage Pallys to only go for the pieces of that teir that suited their gearing priority unless the 4pc bonus was exceptional or required for that teir.
4)Allow haste pieces to loot table for LFR for prot pally
Allow gear that has haste to be on the loot table in Looking for Raid for Protection Paladins.
Pros - Would allow Prot Paladin's who want to gear for Haste to do so whithout having to que as dps.
Cons - Would increase the amount of gear available to Prot's beyond what is possible for other plate taking specs. Pieces that would be effected would be Haste/Crit pieces as well as Haste/Mastery, Haste/Hit, Haste/Exp which would lead to Protection Pallys gaining access to offset pieces easier than other plate tank specs, in LFR, unless gear is updated on an individual basis, rather than by spec. May encourage Protection to go for heavly into enchanting to gain additional benefit from the influx of gear, that may or may not apply to their paticular gearing priority.
1)Remove (accuracy) on all haste pieces
Remove all expertise and hit from any piece of gear with Haste.
Pros - will devalue gear with haste for Protection pallys as any piece of gear with haste will need to be reforged or gemmed heavly to compensate for the lack of hit and expertise that is highly valued in the current active mitigation model.
Cons - May cripple the dps of dps specs that use haste gear as they will need to adjust gearing stratagies for the lack of expertise and hit on haste gear, by reducing dps stats or avoiding upgrades in favor of maintaining expertise and hit caps.
2)Remove parry/dodge on prot pally teir
Remove all avoidance stats on prot pally teir gear and exchange it for amounts of haste, mastery, hit, expertise.
Pros - Will solidify for the community that haste and mastery are the primary stats for Prot Pally's which will give the devs two gearing priorities to balance for rather than three.
Cons - will remove a gearing priority for some Prot pallys who like gearing for avoidance. Might lead to Prot Pallys gearing for crit or gemming for strength rather than traditional tanking stats in an effort to gear for DPS rather than taking roles which may result in Prot-Dps priorities, or in the case of gemming for strength, to shore up parry chance while increasing dps.
3)Remove sanctity of battle out right for prot, reduce CD's to compensate
Remove Sanctity of Battle for Protection Paladins, then reduce the base cool downs of all abilities effected by it currently to compensate for the loss of haste
Pros - Will completely devalue haste for Protection as a valuable stat except in the case of reducing the golbal cooldown on certain abilities or in the case of meeting haste break-points for Sacred Shield and increasing healing procs from Seal of Light.
Cons - Will remove one gearing priority completely for Protection Paladins. Glyph of Battle Healer and Seal of Light for tanking will need to be reviewed and adjusted to take into account slower attack speeds. Protection dps will be effected negatively due to the loss of the effects of haste compressing the rotation. Will encourage mathing out "soft-capping" haste break-points based on item level to increase the benefit of Sacred Shield as much as possible without taking increased damage by reducing Mastery, Parry and Dodge too much.
4)Remove sanctity of battle for Judgement, CS and HotR, reduce CD's to compensate
Adjust Sanctity of Battle for Judgement, Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous and reduce the base cooldowns to compensate for slower holy power generation
Pros - Will have a consistant rotation based around known occurances of holy power generation and haste gearing would be for increasing the opportunity to use fillers during a rotational cycle. Would still allow for benefit from haste beyond just for Sacred Shield and Seal of Light Proc's.
Cons - Protection dps will be effected negatively due to the main attacks of the rotaion not being compressed in the rotation. Might require teir by teir adjustment to filler abilities due to haste break-points increasing the availability of fillers in the rotation, rather than compressing the entire rotation. Would encourage Protection gearing for haste to hit specific break-points based on item level to increase dps and the benefit from sacred shield as much as possilbe without taking increased damage by reducing mastery, parry and dodge too much.
I would prefer that things stay the same. Given that Boss damage increases consitantly in further raid teirs Prots will want to slow down how much Haste is stacked, for those that do, for a more hybrid model that will result in increased Holy Power Generation as well as a stronger Shield of the Righteous, however if Bliz does intend to change Prot pallys, with regard to Haste, Parry and Dodge, then I would prefer a reduction of the Diminishing Return on Parry and/or Dodge and/ or Adding a HTL type effect for Prot Pallys.
I don't really consider any of the "severe" choices viable that would not break so many other portions of game-play, however choices have been made in the past that have reduced the effectiveness of other specs and classes, compared to others in the same role, to worthlessness so its not out of the realm of possibility.
Anyway, these are just meaderings of a bored persons mind while at work not working.
Edited by Raeph on 1/25/2013 8:20 PM PST
In my ideal fantasy universe, id like to see them remove dodge/parry from gear. Just bake it in to strength/agility. Then make haste, mastery, and even crit valuable to all tanks in some way to both increase mitigation and dps.
But i don't see that happening, so the best solution that i think blizzard would go for is to redesign sanctity of battle. Remove the affect haste haste on us, buff the damage we do across the board to compensate, then make dodging and parrying attacks add on a block buff to the end of our next shield of the righteous. Or something like that.
That is what I gathered as well. I think at the very least we can expect a "hold the line" type effect on dodge/parry.
There are a number of different options going this route however it will smack of the class homogenization that they seem to want to avoid so it could be tricky. Or they could do it regardless of the complaints of homogenization. *shrug*
Examples of this could be:
1)Grand Crusader procs on Dodge and Parry
2)After a dodge or parry your next Shield of the Righteous effect lasts an additional 1 second
3)After a dodge or parry your next holy power generator will generate an additional holy power
4)After a dodge or parry your next attack debuffs the target increasing holy damage taken by X%, unlimited targets
5)After a dodge or a parry your next Concecration's first tic will root enemies effected by it for X seconds
6)Successful dodges and parries have a chance of resetting the cooldown or Hand of Sacrafice, Hand of Freedom and Cleanse
That would be cool, but it'd also lead to a lot of butting heads with DPS when two specs have to share the same gear (which is partially what was starting to happen with Prot Paladins). On the other hand, less bloating of loot tables, which is awesome, too.
I think haste being such a good stat for tanking is awkward. Since it doesnt appear on tank gear. My guild mainly pvps so if i want to raid i have to lfr. But why tank it if the gear want doesnt drop when i tank it?
I say if blizz wants to keep haste as a tanking stat parried/dodged atks should trigger a stacking haste effect for prot pallies. That way we still get haste (which we need in current model), but still use tanking gear. Such a buff could also be tied to blocking but that would only make dps even better since you can get haste and mastery on them
That is an issue however the fact that haste is a good stat doesn't seem that game breaking to me. If anything it puts tanks on a level playing field with dps and healers, in that it is possible to increase activity of a spec by using haste.
I don't think there is anything wrong with haste now being good for tanks. I do think that a nerf to haste, sactity of battle or a slight buff to parry/dodge will be coming in the near future.
I just hope that it is moderate or minor change rather that a gargatuan change.
I would just reminds that Blizzard wanted to move on with the Active Mitigation model, and even nerfed Seal of Truth to force us to use Seal of Insight because warriors have to choose between Shield Block/Barrier and Heroic Strike to dump their rage and it was unfair that paladins could still benefit from their Shield of the Righteous damage reduction buff and do damage at same time...
All their choices lead us to go for Haste over anything else, and to be honest, I've never had that much fun on my pally than before.
I started tanking back in Uld, and never stopped until this day, went with ups and downs of prot and i love my spec. Though, with Haste, we're suddenly not only able to do a bit more damage, we're healing back ourselves, have higher Shield of the Righteous uptime, which provides us more damage reduction. That is active mitigation. Not just sit there and hope for a dodge or parry, or even a block to reduce your damage. All that made tanking more engaging and more appealing, the way it was for DKs back in Cata.
Nerfing Haste for us might end up forcing most of us to go back farm content we should be done with, because we won't be the same level we are currently, taking lots of damage and not being able to cover it anymore, and that might mean that we will lose a lot of paladins...
What worries me about the Dev's talk about 'wanting to bring haste back in-line with tank stats', is it seems to show a fundamental ignorance of the mechanics of their own roll systems.
Now that we are on a 2 roll system (1 for dodge/parry/miss, 1 for block), haste/mastery/expertise/hit are ALWAYS in competition with parry/dodge (i.e. the more you stack of one set, the less valuable the other set becomes).
In other words nerfs to haste at this point will only serve to make us stack mastery instead of haste (we'll still ignore dodge/parry), and if the whole set of block-oriented stats gets nerfed too far, we'll just start stacking nothing but dodge/parry and ignore mitigation/threat (personally I hope it never gets to that, since you lose almost any active control over your mitigation).
If they truly want a balance between avoidance and mitigation/threat stats, they would have to completely rework the roll system again, what worries me is it doesn't sound like the dev's get this fact from their blue posts on the subject.
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