Threat as a mechanic

General Discussion
Remember when threat mattered?

I raided extensively in Vanilla. My guild downed the Twin Emps in AQ40 not too long before BC came out and we spent a little time in original Naxx.

I know nostalgia and rose colored glasses. But one thing I loved during vanilla playing as a lock was that threat mattered to DPS classes and actual DPS was threat-limited independent of spec and gear. Or DPS was heavily dependent on the tank's gear and abilities relative to the gear/spec/abilities of the DPS.

The reason this was so fun for me was that DPS was constantly riding the aggro line: too little output and the healers couldn't keep the tank up or you risked the enrage timer, too much output and you risked pulling aggro and wiping the raid. The same thing was true for dungeons.

Not so much about perfecting rotations, but instead about timing. Do I risk casting this shadow bolt now knowing that I am specced SM/Ruin and my last crit may have put me dangerously close to pulling aggro. Maybe I need to wait a second or two. Or maybe I need to change to a less bursty spec (like demo) where I will put out less DPS but not have to worry about pulling aggro?

Hunters and Rogues had threat dumps. The other DPS classes didn't (Soul Shatter was introduced in BC if I remember correctly).

There were still movement mechanics and moving out of the fire mechanics in Vanilla raids. But I loved that threat mattered. Many bosses had threat resets and you had to be aware of these. But there was something very visceral about riding the aggro line. For me, it was much more fun than memorizing movement dances or rotations.

Or rather it added another level of complexity--if you were geared and specced the right way you had the potential to put out so much damage that you stole aggro and instantly died, often wiping your group or raid in the process. Learning how to find the Goldilocks point of not too little or not too much made me log in night after night. And finding the "perfect" spec that balanced my talents and gear against the tank's talents and gear was a moving target that I thoroughly enjoyed playing around with. Timing casts based on where I was on the threat table and not just spamming buttons.

There were several raid bosses where this mechanic didn't apply and you needed resistance gear to survive, which seriously gimped your DPS.

Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed the different boss mechanics that have evolved over the various expansions (though I stopped raiding after Wrath).

This is a nostalgia post. I hated having to log in 30+ min before a raid to farm shards for the night. I hated that bag space became a mechanic that influenced my ability to raid (soul shards for locks, ammo for hunters).

But I really loved having to think about and manage threat as a DPS. I miss it. Don't expect many to agree with me, but I think it was a fun mechanic in the mix.
Oh my Heavens, now that there's literally NO way to get past a bosses 16% chance to parry any attack, and given how trashy rng in this game is, may we literally never see threat as a mechanic ever again.

No thank you, goodbye.
Could be worse. Ever try Champions Online? Healing generated more threat than any "tank" ability, so group "tanks" always ended up being healers that spammed heals on themselves while the rest of the group killed. It was awful.
That's a 50dkp minus!!

Man, I miss when this game was fun. Tension makes for hilarity.
Honestly threat as a mechanic for dps/healers was boring. dps/spam heal > get high aggro > either use an aggro dump or stop dpsing/healing for a few seconds

It was hardly interesting and I'm glad it's not relevant anymore.
I'd rather watch fight mechanics and graphics than a threat bar.
The threat game was not particularly interesting when it, at times, forced dps to effectively sit around doing nothing.
While I agree that threat for tank gameplay should not be a non-factor, as it currently is, looking back to Vanilla models of threat is unwise.

For tanks, maximising tps was not only a matter of proper ability usage, but largely dependent on gearing optimally for threat stats, which often came at the expense of survivability stats. Hence, threat sets, block sets, avoidance sets, etc. This problem has been fixed with the current gear design philosophy, but threat has been reduced to a state of irrelevance with the design shifting in favor of active mitigation.

I do enjoy the active mitigation system, though it is not as revolutionary or exciting of a change as Blizzard insisted it would be. What is more disappointing is that the other aspect of tanking gameplay, threat generation and management, has been effectively phased out in favor of AM. I would enjoy seeing a healthy balance between the two.
08/09/2015 04:38 PMPosted by Meldrath
Or rather it added another level of complexity--if you were geared and specced the right way you had the potential to put out so much damage that you stole aggro and instantly died, often wiping your group or raid in the process.


This is exactly why threat isn't relevant anymore unless you're in LFR and the tanks are just pathetic. DPS stands for damage per second, not how much damage can I deal before the boss decides I'm hitting him too hard and I need to back off.

08/09/2015 04:45 PMPosted by Citadel
While I agree that threat for tank gameplay should not be a non-factor, as it currently is, looking back to Vanilla models of threat is unwise.


Threat absolutely matters between tanks. One tank dishes out too much threat and he takes an extra stack of bad and potentially throws the fight out of whack. Granted you're not likely to see this in an organized raid group unless one of the tanks just has a significantly better weapon (because the other's hasn't dropped, for example), but threat is still a very real issue for tanks to deal with between themselves.
With as much healing that needs to go out now, no, just no. I don't miss healing threat.

Threat absolutely matters between tanks


and any tanks who have been raiding for more than five minutes know that, on a switch, you essentially sit on your thumbs for a few moments after your co-tank taunts. That is not only boring, but very bad design.
I'd rather have iightly tuned dps checks on top of a metric ton of bad to dodge, than worry about some stupid threat bar
08/09/2015 04:51 PMPosted by Citadel
and any tanks who have been raiding for more than five minutes know that, on a switch, you essentially sit on your thumbs for a few moments after your co-tank taunts. That is not only boring, but very bad design.


Only when both tanks are similarly geared. I've had bosses come right back to me because some undergeared tank couldn't outthreat me. That's why I said it's a nonissue in organized groups but it's still an issue for pugs and LFR.
08/09/2015 04:54 PMPosted by Demues
I'd rather have iightly tuned dps checks on top of a metric ton of bad to dodge, than worry about some stupid threat bar


Which would be precisely why threat has been virtually phased out as a relevant factor now.
A mechanic which directly punishes only the other raid members for the individual tank's inability to meet expectations is well beyond the limit of what constitutes punishing gameplay design right now.

08/09/2015 04:55 PMPosted by Bearmug

Only when both tanks are similarly geared. I've had bosses come right back to me because some undergeared tank couldn't outthreat me. That's why I said it's a nonissue in organized groups but it's still an issue for pugs and LFR.


That is pretty much entirely an issue of "too stupid to push the right buttons" than it is a gear issue.
I'm with you OP...bring it back...stop the ezimode approach
And locks stopped DoTs as quickly as a freight train stops. Riding the edge of the aggro line was a thrill if you were good at it.

Then omen came around and ruined it.

Although winning on threat and dps was fun.

And dear Twisting Nether did I hate farming shards for raid nights.

Between summons and cookies I barely had any usable bag space.
08/09/2015 04:57 PMPosted by Litesalad
I'm with you OP...bring it back...stop the ezimode approach


You would be back here the first LFR you joined where you had to keep Soul Shatter on cooldown and twiddle your thumbs while Johnny Casual struggles to find the Shield Slam button begging for them to "fix threat".
08/09/2015 04:59 PMPosted by Citadel
08/09/2015 04:57 PMPosted by Litesalad
I'm with you OP...bring it back...stop the ezimode approach


You would be back here the first LFR you joined where you had to keep Soul Shatter on cooldown and twiddle your thumbs while Johnny Casual struggles to find the Shield Slam button begging for them to "fix threat".


He's never raided, don't worry about that poster.
I think harsh language and such should be added to the threat table.

"Attack me, you ugly son of a motherless ogre! Or are you too much of a dim-witted truffle-snorting gnoll?!"

That sort of thing really should get the boss' attention.
Back in classic I used to think mages were suicidal. Dang did they die a lot.

So I started watching them a little closer.. and started to notice there was always a point where they clearly did or said something to the boss.. the boss turns at them angered... and then the dps died before the tank had the boss again.
08/09/2015 04:45 PMPosted by Citadel
The threat game was not particularly interesting when it, at times, forced dps to effectively sit around doing nothing.


This is why threat in its current state is a good thing, having to loaf around as a dps was really lame.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum