Warrior Mastery + Armor/Block

Class Development
What's the fate of Warrior mastery for protection?

With the way armor interacts with block (ie. the more you have the less damage you block), it seems that at protection warrior's Critical Block mastery will get ostensibly worse or even irrelevant as we gear up in the later raids of BFA.

Is there any thoughts about rehashing it to better behave with the changes to how armor interacts with block value, and if so, will it be divergent from what warriors typically do? Will we finally relinquish the status of "the shield tank" or will we get a double-down and have our block values ignore the shift as to encourage critical blocking?
They added block value to shields which scales your block DR accordingly. That will offset the armor gains in later tiers of gear.
Yea Reese already freaked out about this and got a half response.... hopefully we will get a full response about how they want block to fully work in BfA
04/11/2018 06:11 PMPosted by Gumble
Yea Reese already freaked out about this and got a half response.... hopefully we will get a full response about how they want block to fully work in BfA


Correction: I was more worried that SOTR would minimize the effectiveness of Holy Shield but that's not a Prot Warrior issue. :)
Finalboss has some info on that regarding armor and block.
Has there been any sort of official statement about armor and block? The notion of armor reducing block % seems so weird to me that my first thought is that it is just some alpha wonkiness rather than a deliberate change.
04/12/2018 12:15 PMPosted by Weihuu
Has there been any sort of official statement about armor and block? The notion of armor reducing block % seems so weird to me that my first thought is that it is just some alpha wonkiness rather than a deliberate change.


What's weird about it?

They want more passive defensive scaling, so they added armor being increased by your primary stat.
The value of block now passively increases as you get more and more gear, most notably from shield. Block as a mechanic still scales somewhat linearly throughout the expansion, instead of double dipping with the increased survivability from having higher armor contribution on top of it.

All they did was change the flat percentage base that block provides to enforce that notion that gear doesn't matter as much on tanks in legion (which is 99.9% true within reason). Base AM tools, despite what some people preach on these forums are quite powerful in Legions iteration. The amount of effective health provided by blockable attacks is the equivalent of about 20-25 itemlevels in raw stamina and secondary upgrades.

The primary concern on the alpha forums is because of how holy shield interacts with inherent block percentage, but from the blue post I've more or less gathered that the diminishing block percentage ignores how holy shield will function so it doesn't lose any form of value with more gear.

Since you're a monk, I'd probably expect some REALLY heavy BrM changes in terms of how they handle incoming damage in the next week or two. They've basically outright said they're changing the model, and aren't sure how BrM is going to fit into that yet, but I'm expecting either IBS to no longer feed into stagger, or changes in the way stagger is calculated by default.
04/12/2018 01:10 PMPosted by Disowns


Since you're a monk, I'd probably expect some REALLY heavy BrM changes in terms of how they handle incoming damage in the next week or two. They've basically outright said they're changing the model, and aren't sure how BrM is going to fit into that yet, but I'm expecting either IBS to no longer feed into stagger, or changes in the way stagger is calculated by default.


Yeah, I'm curious how they're going to do that, if they don't straight up change Brewmaster's Balance into the Agility/armor bonus. The most likely things, to my mind, are them building an equation that either slows Stagger damage or increases Gift of the Ox damage credit based on Agility... But it's possible they'll come up with something less convoluted.
04/12/2018 02:14 PMPosted by Kirango
04/12/2018 01:10 PMPosted by Disowns


Since you're a monk, I'd probably expect some REALLY heavy BrM changes in terms of how they handle incoming damage in the next week or two. They've basically outright said they're changing the model, and aren't sure how BrM is going to fit into that yet, but I'm expecting either IBS to no longer feed into stagger, or changes in the way stagger is calculated by default.


Yeah, I'm curious how they're going to do that, if they don't straight up change Brewmaster's Balance into the Agility/armor bonus. The most likely things, to my mind, are them building an equation that either slows Stagger damage or increases Gift of the Ox damage credit based on Agility... But it's possible they'll come up with something less convoluted.


Well, they just removed IP for Prot Warriors, which had the implication of being able to sponge extremely heavy hits. I'm thinking they'll probably start by lowing total amount that can be staggered and raising the baseline armor value to compensate, while breaking BrM's ability to sponge extremely hard hitting blows.

My real wonder is after they are done messing with stagger is if they'll leave purifying brew as is, or if they'll change it to an outright heal.
04/12/2018 01:10 PMPosted by Disowns

The value of block now passively increases as you get more and more gear, most notably from shield. Block as a mechanic still scales somewhat linearly throughout the expansion, instead of double dipping with the increased survivability from having higher armor contribution on top of it.


This is the right idea. Since there have been a lot of questions about this--

Block seeming to decrease when you gain armor is mostly an artifact of how we're currently presenting it on the character sheet (which might be worth revisiting). I'll keep using Shield of the Righteous as the example since it's a large temporary armor change.

Block now uses similar scaling to armor itself, for the reasons mentioned in my other post (briefly--it's more gear-driven and makes upgrades matter, and allows content to be tuned around higher block values as you proceed further into the game). When you gain a massive amount of armor from Shield of the Righteous, you're now at a higher point on the armor DR curve. So adding a fixed amount of armor, which is essentially what block is doing, translates to a lower %.

This is no different from how gaining a buff for X armor would appear to add less mitigation (as a %) if you had Shield of the Righteous up--i.e. the way armor as worked for the whole history of WoW. Block just happens to be called out as its own % on the character sheet, so this is more visible. In all cases, gaining more armor will further reduce damage from both blocked and unblocked hits.

We of course could make abilities like Shield of the Righteous increase block value as well as armor, so the "block %" stayed similar. But I'm not sure that's what you'd actually want from a gameplay or balance perspective. That's basically saying we'd give block more value during the time when you're already protected by Shield of the Righteous. That's the opposite of the usual desire (it would increase damage variance). Letting armor DR work using its natural mechanics, causing an effect like block to have more % value when you have lower armor, seems better.

Summing up, I hope that clarifies a bit more what's going on, and so far I think the biggest outstanding question is whether there's a clearer way to present the block information on the character sheet.

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The first direction we're likely exploring for Brewmaster is to make Stagger the mechanic that is driven by Agility, and ultimately make sure it has similar scaling to the armor-based mechanics on the other tanks. This would not necessitate any large player-facing changes to how Stagger works or how you use it.

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Also, an upcoming alpha build will have a reduced % on all the effects that translate primary stat to armor. They're too high right now because a recent change reduced armor values across the game and didn't change those abilities to conform. It's just a math fix, when it happens.
So basically blocking is just a random armor boost for that attack. Maybe a clearer way to show that intent in a tooltip would be

"You have an X% chance to block, adding an additional Y armor for that attack, reducing damage by an additional Z%" (Z in this case is additive to your armor DR for the total DR %)

or

"You have an X% chance to block, adding an additional Y armor for that attack, reducing damage by Z%" (Z in this case is the equivalent, multiplicative damage reduction post armor)

or

"You have an X% chance to block, adding an additional Y armor for that attack, reducing damage by a total of Z%" (Z in this case is the total mitigation including both armor and block)

My choice would be the second. It jives the most with how block works and is presented now, a random chance to take a certain % less damage, multiplicatively. It also matches well with how the combat log displays blocks.

Block value on the shield would simply be the Y armor that blocking adds, assuming it already isn't and there aren't other things that affect block value besides the shield.

That shows both the end result and how it gets there. In particular, that blocking actually has something to do with armor, when previously it didn't.
Presenting Block as adding "armor" runs into problems where you can block something that Armor (as in the character stat) doesn't protect you from. The most obvious example is Holy Shield, although there are plenty of other special attacks in the game that Block works against but Armor doesn't protect you from.
Well, holy shield is going to be a special case either way because they said they intend to disconnect it from block% anyway. Or at least from block%'s scaling with temporary armor buffs.

But yea, that is true of, say, elemental auto attacks that are still blockable.

Although the current iteration is going to be misleading about those in its own way. The % will be wrong because you'll be on an entirely different part of the DR curve than the tooltip assumes. At least I'm assuming that blockable, non-armor attacks wouldn't include your actual armor in their calculations, else you'd have a situation where using SotR or other armor boosts makes you take more damage from those attacks.

I don't think you are ever going to have a tooltip for this new block that is fully accurate, but I think presenting it as armor at least gives a rationale for how it works the vast majority of the time, in particular why using something like SotR seems to make you block less damage.
04/12/2018 04:47 PMPosted by Sigma
Block seeming to decrease when you gain armor is mostly an artifact of how we're currently presenting it on the character sheet (which might be worth revisiting). I'll keep using Shield of the Righteous as the example since it's a large temporary armor change.

Block now uses similar scaling to armor itself, for the reasons mentioned in my other post (briefly--it's more gear-driven and makes upgrades matter, and allows content to be tuned around higher block values as you proceed further into the game). When you gain a massive amount of armor from Shield of the Righteous, you're now at a higher point on the armor DR curve. So adding a fixed amount of armor, which is essentially what block is doing, translates to a lower %.

This is no different from how gaining a buff for X armor would appear to add less mitigation (as a %) if you had Shield of the Righteous up--i.e. the way armor as worked for the whole history of WoW. Block just happens to be called out as its own % on the character sheet, so this is more visible. In all cases, gaining more armor will further reduce damage from both blocked and unblocked hits.


Thank you for posting again. This information is very helpful.

With the issue presented in these terms, its actually much more clear the relationship with Block Value and Armor. I agree that the character sheet is an issue since the UI considers them separate stats framed in separate terms. For the sake of clarity, I think it would be prudent to change it.

04/12/2018 04:47 PMPosted by Sigma
We of course could make abilities like Shield of the Righteous increase block value as well as armor, so the "block %" stayed similar. But I'm not sure that's what you'd actually want from a gameplay or balance perspective. That's basically saying we'd give block more value during the time when you're already protected by Shield of the Righteous. That's the opposite of the usual desire (it would increase damage variance). Letting armor DR work using its natural mechanics, causing an effect like block to have more % value when you have lower armor, seems better.


I agree with this given the knowledge you presented above. Having abilities like SOTR flatten the damage intake curve instead of causing ping-pongs is better. When I press SOTR, I want to know that I'm 100% safe. Additionally, it keeps it effective against everything, even mechanics that can't be blocked e.g. Forging Strike.

04/12/2018 05:52 PMPosted by Ariellè
Presenting Block as adding "armor" runs into problems where you can block something that Armor (as in the character stat) doesn't protect you from. The most obvious example is Holy Shield, although there are plenty of other special attacks in the game that Block works against but Armor doesn't protect you from.


I think this is a very important point. Antorus has a number of "special cases" that need to be clarified with the systemic changes to tank mechanics. You have magic attacks that can be Blocked by a Warrior. You have physical damage that ignores armor. You have physical dots that can be blocked with Holy Shield. You have tank busters that can be blocked. You have tank busters that can't be blocked.

Are there going to be more consistent rules about what is blockable, what uses armor, what ignores armor, etc? Because in Legion raids, it really is all over the place and there is no way to really know without digging into logs.
I think part of making this clear also comes into making sure that damage is labeled correctly.

An example of this is the Rogue ability Shadow Blades that makes some of their abilities deal Shadowstrike (Shadow + Physical) damage instead of just Physical.

I would probably argue that Magic+Physical damage should be used to label abilities that can bypass armor but still be reduced by Blocking (and the equivalent mechanics on non-shield tanks). Then pure Physical attacks use armor+block and pure Magical attacks bypass both. I don't know if this is the intent (e.g. the reason why Shadow Blades does what it does now) but it seems like a reasonable way to label damage as "if you block your safer here"

Then if we want to be thorough, the block tooltip could call out such mitigation separately (which would also potentially leave an opening for that line to change for Holy Shield paladins).
04/12/2018 06:49 PMPosted by Angua
I think part of making this clear also comes into making sure that damage is labeled correctly.
I don't think there are any PvE abilities that aren't labeled with the correct damage type. At least none that I can think of.

04/12/2018 06:49 PMPosted by Angua
An example of this is the Rogue ability Shadow Blades that makes some of their abilities deal Shadowstrike (Shadow + Physical) damage instead of just Physical.
But this would be a PvP only scenario though, which is subject to a completely different set of rules.

04/12/2018 06:30 PMPosted by Reese
Are there going to be more consistent rules about what is blockable, what uses armor, what ignores armor, etc? Because in Legion raids, it really is all over the place and there is no way to really know without digging into logs.
With regards to physical damage it has generally been pretty consistent, no? Bleed and Sonic (i.e. special types of physical damage) ignore armor, but that is all as far as I remember. I agree that the rules for blocking are significantly more vague, and hopefully we can get more clarity on that going forward.
04/12/2018 07:36 PMPosted by Ariellè
With regards to physical damage it has generally been pretty consistent, no? Bleed and Sonic (i.e. special types of physical damage) ignore armor, but that is all as far as I remember.


As far as I remember, there was one exception to this in Legion; Harjatan's Jagged Abrasion mechanic respected armor.

If they did it once, they could always do it again.
I'm not saying that abilities are mislabeled, at least not by current expectations. But rather my example was simply to say that the combat engine can represent physical-magical combo attacks, and using that ability would be perfect for explaining what kinds of Tank abilities and statistics work against what kinds of damage.

So you have your typical Physical damage attack => Armor and Block mechanics work with this type of damage.

Then you have Magic-Strike damage => Armor doesn't work, Block mechanics do.

And finally you have Magic damage => Neither Armor nor Block mechanics work.

Makes for a simple rule that you can apply to almost any ability.
04/12/2018 06:30 PMPosted by Reese
Are there going to be more consistent rules about what is blockable, what uses armor, what ignores armor, etc? Because in Legion raids, it really is all over the place and there is no way to really know without digging into logs.


This is pretty much the million dollar question right now.

There's several raid mechanics that if the same things were introduced in BfA would exclusively be Warrior problems, because our AM wouldn't do anything against. Shield Block should at least provide some form of flatline damage reduction against abilities that are not blockable, or all physical abilities should be blockable even if they bypass pure avoidance.

As much as people hate the word homogonize, maybe that's a good thing in this case. Make all boss type mechanics of a certain style follow the same rules. When one bosses "tank buster" ignores armor, it should be flagged as a magic source of damage, and when it's physical it should always be blockable and respect armor DR's.

04/12/2018 04:47 PMPosted by Sigma
Summing up, I hope that clarifies a bit more what's going on, and so far I think the biggest outstanding question is whether there's a clearer way to present the block information on the character sheet.


I think this is needed, and I think what's even more needed is more clarity in the dungeon journal about what abilities follow what rules. Right now in Legion, there's a Warrior spreadsheet about what can be blocked, what can be avoided via pure avoidance, and what is classified as an AoE ability (avoidance stat kicks in).

These kinds of information sets should be readily be available in game, or like I mentioned earlier all follow the same set of rules.

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