Tanking paradigm moving forward

Class Development
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I think Nighthold taught us some valuable lessons about tank balance, however I think going in the direction of homogenization is the wrong one. With better design and balance, I think there could be very interesting gameplay with tanks.

Problems

1. Some tanks (Guardian, Brewmaster) were just too good at dealing with both Physical and Magical damage.
This one speaks for itself. When you have tanks with no weaknesses vs. tanks with weaknesses, it's really a no brainer that you'll pick the tank with no weaknesses.

2. Raid encounters amplify this imbalance
You might have the best physical damage tank in the world, but if there's negligible physical damage in the encounters, that tank is still not going to be good.


Solutions

1. There needs to be a better balance of the tanks in game.
I think it is actually a good idea to have some tanks stronger at physical or magical than others, but not both like it was in Nighthold. Each tank should have strengths and weaknesses. This way every tank will get to shine and there wont be homogenization. Here is what I think the devs should aim for:
70% Physical, 30% Magical
Protection Warrior
Strengths: Best physical damage tank by far
Weaknesses: Cannot handle magic damage as well
I
I
60% Physical, 40% Magical
Protection Paladin
I
I
50% Physical, 50% Magical
Brewmaster Monk
Guardian Druid
Strengths: all rounder tanks
Weaknesses: does not particularly shine in any encounter
I
I
40% Physical, 60% Magical
Vengeance Demon Hunter
I
I
30% Physical, 70% Magical
Blood Death Knight
Strengths: Anti magic tank.
Weakness: More vulnerable to physical damage
Unfortunately it was more like 80% 80% for Guardian in Nighthold, so it will probably skew your perception a bit. Now you are probably thinking: wouldn't I just change tanks on a fight by fight basis? Thats where #2 comes in:

2. Raid encounters need a good balance of physical and magical damage
Despite the complaints about magic damage in Nighthold, I think it was a good thing. It added an extra element to tanking. The only problem was Guardians/Monks had too many tools, and there wasn't enough physical damage for Warriors to shine.

With balanced tanks and a more balanced distribution of Physical and Magical damage encounters, what will happen is all the tanks will shine and we will see a much healthier distribution of tanks in PvE. If you have a raid encounter where phase 1 is 65/35 physical/magical, phase 2 is 50/50 and phase 3 is 35/65, there is no longer a "best" tank to bring on an encounter by encounter basis.
I think having such a huge difference in ability to deal with magic or physical damage between tanks is a bad thing.

It should never be to the point where switching tanks on a per fight basis depending on the majority damage type is a preferred option.

Honestly tanks should be differentiated by how they mitigate damage not the amounts they mitigate.

Some variance in ability to deal with certain damage types should exist but it shouldn't be to the point where taking a specific tank is always the best option for a certain encounter.

A well geared and played blood dk shouldn't lose out to a lower Ilvl and skilled warrior for a physical fight just because of class design.

Or I guess they could openly abandon the bring the player not the class philosophy but I can't see that going well.
03/15/2017 03:22 PMPosted by Kranik
I think having such a huge difference in ability to deal with magic or physical damage between tanks is a bad thing.

It should never be to the point where switching tanks on a per fight basis depending on the majority damage type is a preferred option.

Honestly tanks should be differentiated by how they mitigate damage not the amounts they mitigate.

Some variance in ability to deal with certain damage types should exist but it shouldn't be to the point where taking a specific tank is always the best option for a certain encounter.

A well geared and played blood dk shouldn't lose out to a lower Ilvl and skilled warrior for a physical fight just because of class design.

Or I guess they could openly abandon the bring the player not the class philosophy but I can't see that going well.


Couldn't have said it better myself. +1 from me.
03/15/2017 03:06 PMPosted by Ikhj
it's really a no brainer


The Blizzard balance team will surprise you.
03/15/2017 03:22 PMPosted by Kranik
It should never be to the point where switching tanks on a per fight basis depending on the majority damage type is a preferred option.
That is why balanced raid encounters are critical to the success of this idea.

What if you had a raid encounter where phase 1 was 65 physical 35 magical, phase 2 was 50/50 and phase 3 was 35/65? Or one where p1 is 20/80, p2 is 40/60 and p3 is 90/10? Now there is no clear winner.
Tanks need equal ability but done in different ways. Strengths and weaknesses should come with how abilities are handled, not in ability to handle. Example: Tank A handles mechanic by regen, Tank B handles mechanic by absorb. Not all tanks need regen and not all tanks need absorbs, but all tanks need to be equally viable.
Paladins handle mechanics by bubbling?
DKs the Anti-magic tank? LOL. Someone tell the OP that our "Anti-Magic" ability is awful and on a 45 second CD. At one point it was pretty awesome. Now its utter crap.

Also, OPs ideas are terrible.. so Blizz will naturally be implementing them in 7.2.5.
The tanking paradigm moving forward:

You don't play Guardian Druid, you don't raid or progress at all.
The situation around Nighthold, tank balance, and magical damage has spawned a lot of discussion for us in recent weeks, ranging from immediate balance concerns to philosophical issues of how magic damage should be used. We do feel that the damage profile in Nighthold caused tanks to be less balanced than we'd like on a handful of encounters.

Abilities like Spell Reflection and Empower Wards are no worse than Mark of Ursol, when fighting a boss that does an occasional large magic attack that threatens to cause a killing spike. In fact, Mark of Ursol is usually weaker, because you trade one activation of Ironfur for it, whereas there's no similar downside to activating Empower Wards. The time this situation is flipped on its head is an encounter like Krosus, who somewhat rarely does a white autoattack but stacks a heavy consistent magical DoT. In this scenario, Mark of Ursol is essentially a free no-cooldown anti-magic "cooldown", and we see this as the largest cause of the current behavior of Guardians in Nighthold.

For the long run, a lot of the feedback on this forum has correctly identified some of the challenges and tradeoffs in how this should be addressed. We do want tanks to have variance in how well they handle different situations, but we also want interesting encounters like Krosus and Etraeus that challenge them on unusual axes, all while not making it feel overly bad for a raid group attempting something with the "wrong" tank. That's something we're going to continue to revise for future tiers of content, but of course that more philosophical discussion won't affect Nighthold.

For the short term, we are not adjusting Guardians in the 7.2 patch because 1) we avoid imposing significant nerfs at this point in a tier to a spec that many people have gotten comfortable completing the content with, and 2) the solution is likely not just a numbers change, but more fundamentally rethinking Mark of Ursol. With that context, the buffs to Protection and Vengeance aren't intended to bring them up to the level of current Guardian, but are intentionally small adjustments to help people who are trying to finish Nighthold now.

As people's focus turns more to Tomb in upcoming months, we welcome any discussion about to what extent people see similar problems arising there, and whether further class changes (beyond reexamining Mark of Ursol) are warranted for long-term balance outside of the specific context of Nighthold.
03/15/2017 07:25 PMPosted by Sigma
For the short term, we are not adjusting Guardians in the 7.2 patch because 1) we avoid imposing significant nerfs at this point in a tier to a spec that many people have gotten comfortable completing the content with, and 2) the solution is likely not just a numbers change, but more fundamentally rethinking Mark of Ursol. With that context, the buffs to Protection and Vengeance aren't intended to bring them up to the level of current Guardian, but are intentionally small adjustments to help people who are trying to finish Nighthold now.

As people's focus turns more to Tomb in upcoming months, we welcome any discussion about to what extent people see similar problems arising there, and whether further class changes (beyond reexamining Mark of Ursol) are warranted for long-term balance outside of the specific context of Nighthold


Isn't this the absolute best time to visit nerfing Guardians? We're just about at the end of a raid tier, you'd think you would want to visit what makes them so strong. A nerf to their mastery seems like the best bet. You nerfed/destroyed DH mastery because it was strong at high levels, but druid mastery has been allowed to stay incredibly powerful.

It distresses me as a tank to see another tank with on average 30-35%~ more HP than me, while also receiving more heals, and calling it 'ok'.

Just odd that Warriors were struck down so quickly compared to Guardians.
03/15/2017 07:25 PMPosted by Sigma
For the short term, we are not adjusting Guardians in the 7.2 patch because 1) we avoid imposing significant nerfs at this point in a tier to a spec that many people have gotten comfortable completing the content with


Oh, you mean like how you nerfed Ignore Pain 3 weeks into Emerald Nightmare.
03/15/2017 07:25 PMPosted by Sigma
we welcome any discussion about to what extent people see similar problems arising there, and whether further class changes (beyond reexamining Mark of Ursol) are warranted for long-term balance outside of the specific context of Nighthold.

In the long term, Protection Warriors need better solutions to scaling. Ignore Pain's scaling is terrible, while Guardians are going to have close if not more than 9 million health coming from Tomb. Our set bonus is extremely detrimental, and it's not changed for some time. My guess is it's still being worked on, but there's little hope to see it being reworked to something useful considering what we got this tier compared to the other tanks.

03/15/2017 07:25 PMPosted by Sigma
With that context, the buffs to Protection and Vengeance aren't intended to bring them up to the level of current Guardian, but are intentionally small adjustments to help people who are trying to finish Nighthold now.

They don't remotely bring us close. We're still in the same spot as before, but we simply take LESS damage during that period of time. 7.2 comes around, these changes still won't be helping us. Ignore Pain still needs attention to its scaling. We have a very low health pool, and compared to the damage we're taking were not scaling as well as Guardian Druids, who get tons of scaling health with their mastery and bear form.

There's tons of work that still needs to be done to bring us in line.
The difference between guardians and other tanks is that guardian has both an active magic damage reduction and lots of cooldowns that are designed to counter both magical and physical damage, while other tanks have either 1, but not the other. The difference being that after the magic damage spike comes in, such as gul'dans fel sythe, the guardian can continue tanking him with the cooldowns used for his fel sythe while other tanks have to blow another one.
03/15/2017 07:25 PMPosted by Sigma
The situation around Nighthold, tank balance, and magical damage has spawned a lot of discussion for us in recent weeks, ranging from immediate balance concerns to philosophical issues of how magic damage should be used. We do feel that the damage profile in Nighthold caused tanks to be less balanced than we'd like on a handful of encounters.

Abilities like Spell Reflection and Empower Wards are no worse than Mark of Ursol, when fighting a boss that does an occasional large magic attack that threatens to cause a killing spike. In fact, Mark of Ursol is usually weaker, because you trade one activation of Ironfur for it, whereas there's no similar downside to activating Empower Wards. The time this situation is flipped on its head is an encounter like Krosus, who somewhat rarely does a white autoattack but stacks a heavy consistent magical DoT. In this scenario, Mark of Ursol is essentially a free no-cooldown anti-magic "cooldown", and we see this as the largest cause of the current behavior of Guardians in Nighthold.

For the long run, a lot of the feedback on this forum has correctly identified some of the challenges and tradeoffs in how this should be addressed. We do want tanks to have variance in how well they handle different situations, but we also want interesting encounters like Krosus and Etraeus that challenge them on unusual axes, all while not making it feel overly bad for a raid group attempting something with the "wrong" tank. That's something we're going to continue to revise for future tiers of content, but of course that more philosophical discussion won't affect Nighthold.

For the short term, we are not adjusting Guardians in the 7.2 patch because 1) we avoid imposing significant nerfs at this point in a tier to a spec that many people have gotten comfortable completing the content with, and 2) the solution is likely not just a numbers change, but more fundamentally rethinking Mark of Ursol. With that context, the buffs to Protection and Vengeance aren't intended to bring them up to the level of current Guardian, but are intentionally small adjustments to help people who are trying to finish Nighthold now.

As people's focus turns more to Tomb in upcoming months, we welcome any discussion about to what extent people see similar problems arising there, and whether further class changes (beyond reexamining Mark of Ursol) are warranted for long-term balance outside of the specific context of Nighthold.


No offense to you sigma but that reads a giant copout.

We've been telling you what the issues are with prot warriors for 6+ months and you're only getting around to talking about it now? And you won't be fixing anything in an indeterminate amount of time? And we're supposed to be happy with this answer?

Every week my raid group is smaller and smaller by 1-2 people and you guys taking stances like this and your insane grinds are the reason why.
03/15/2017 07:25 PMPosted by Sigma

For the short term, we are not adjusting Guardians in the 7.2 patch because 1) we avoid imposing significant nerfs at this point in a tier to a spec that many people have gotten comfortable completing the content with,


Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but is he really acknowledging that Bears are OP and saying that we're OK with that and are just going to continue to allow them to be OP? If Bears ALREADY have no weaknesses as many seem to think then changing up the damage output of the next Raid Tier does NOTHING. Bears will still be the best overall tank and will still be the most desired tank. Changing Raids does not affect class balance, tuning classes does. I am baffled at their logic.

Saying you don't want to change a class up because people are familiar with it is the most asinine thing I've ever heard. It's NEVER stopped you from slamming down the nerf hammer before.
Ok so do you have anything to say about literally making warrior weaker for the sustained damage scenario outlined above?

And not wanting to disrupt existing players with a nerf is a cop out and you know it.

It has never stopped you before and if you had any decency you would at least buff the other tanks to be on par. That way you could have your cake and eat it.

Also how the hell are you ok with this situation continuing going forward?

IP has significant scaling issues that will only get worse and just stated you have no intention of doing anything to bring tanks up to par with guardian which you refuse to nerf.

You have literally just told us all to re-roll if we want to be competitive.

Just wow.
so basically we have to wait until 7.2.5 and hope you guys make adjustments

I still want to feel like a slow moving juggernaut like i was promised. I feel slow..but i dont feel like i hit for crap

For the long run, a lot of the feedback on this forum has correctly identified some of the challenges and tradeoffs in how this should be addressed. We do want tanks to have variance in how well they handle different situations, but we also want interesting encounters like Krosus and Etraeus that challenge them on unusual axes, all while not making it feel overly bad for a raid group attempting something with the "wrong" tank. That's something we're going to continue to revise for future tiers of content, but of course that more philosophical discussion won't affect Nighthold.

For the short term, we are not adjusting Guardians in the 7.2 patch because 1) we avoid imposing significant nerfs at this point in a tier to a spec that many people have gotten comfortable completing the content with, and 2) the solution is likely not just a numbers change, but more fundamentally rethinking Mark of Ursol. With that context, the buffs to Protection and Vengeance aren't intended to bring them up to the level of current Guardian, but are intentionally small adjustments to help people who are trying to finish Nighthold now.

As people's focus turns more to Tomb in upcoming months, we welcome any discussion about to what extent people see similar problems arising there, and whether further class changes (beyond reexamining Mark of Ursol) are warranted for long-term balance outside of the specific context of Nighthold.


This is so hypocritical its not even funny.

You had no problems smashing Warriors with the nerf bat re: Ignore Pain. You had no issues giving BDK's back our ONLY baseline DR Cooldown towards the END of EN, yet you don't want to change Druids?!?!

As mentioned above, BLIZZ SHOULD be tuning numbers NOW, as you have the data you need, in-fact you have months of it. Not try to do a numbers pass BEFORE a raid tier of which you have NO data. That is honestly the stupidest thing Ive ever heard. I used to be a business analyst, and reading that line almost made me cry.

BTW - I noticed still no input on BDK and its problems.... Does anyone who sits behind a desk there, even know what a BDK is?

I really want what ever drugs you're smoking. Its obvious a lot of you don't know what direction you want to take tanks, other then Druids.
here are the current number of parses for Spellblade mythic

Druid Guardian 1,598
Paladin Protection 595
Monk Brewmaster 551
Warrior Protection 486
Death Knight Blood 435
Demon Hunter Vengeance 235

druids only have 3x the next closest....no problem?

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