Ask The Devs #9 - Tanking (Questions)

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Warrior tanks currently seem to be a distinct disadvantage when initial threat is concerned. Paladin tanks have their wings, Feral Druids have berserk, and DK's have a very high tps output all around as picking up threat stats directly improves their survivability. Do the dev's see this as an issue and if so do they have any plans to help warriors put out more initial threat before vengeance has been ramped up?
Will we see a tanking Legendary sometime soon?
CtA doesn’t seem to have fixed the dps queue wait overall. To create a larger tanking community will some specs be changed to a tanking spec to create more tanks? (such as beast mastery hunters using their pets to tank, or combat rogues using tricks of the trade and a lot of dodging and evasiveness for example). It’s crazy, but crazy enough it just might work!
With so many blood DKs unhappy, how to do plan on changing our mastery and fixing the QoL issues blood DKs face?

Are there any plans to change Darkmoon Card: Earthquake to bring it in line with the other Darkmoon cards soon?

Surely you've heard the metric ton of QQ about this thing's dismal (given current health pools) on-use effect but, more to the point, why is this the only current Darkmoon card that even HAS an on-use effect as opposed to a "chance on equip" one?

Could be a wonderful pre-raid tanking trinket with a "chance to increase Mastery by X for Y seconds" proc, for example, but right now it's just kind of sad.
In 4.2 since the plate tanking classes are having their dodge chance unaffected by agility and having a flat value, does that mean there will be actual tanking gear itemized for heroic level content instead of the current situation where tanks use the Heroic Cloak of Biting Chill/Necklace of Strife, and leg armor enchants that are itemized semi decently?
I have a paladin tank.

Ever since Cataclysm, tanking has felt less like tanking and more like DPS. Sure, I have a couple of cooldowns that reduce the damage I take, but what class doesn't? The bread and butter of my rotation is about doing as much threat as possible, which is another way of saying that it's about doing as much damage as possible.

Is there any way to bring back the feeling that I have to protect myself to succeed?
Right now the Mastery systems for each tank are out of whack to varying degrees, some changes are being tested (and to date, rejected) to keep paladins from block capping for example.

So discussing the Masteries,

Warriors-Do we expect to see any changes to how shield block (the button) works, since it currently looks to be steadily decreasing in value for physical damage? Moreover this single button carrys a lot of "weight" as it tries to do a number of different things at the same time.

Paladins-How do you intend to stop Paladins from Block Capping? Simply reducing the "block rating" from each point of mastery, but if so will they be compensated in some other way (Say more block value or similar?)

DK-DK mastery is all kinds of messed up for a variety of reasons, and many are advocating scrapping it altogether and implementing a "block" that's more in tune with the other tanks. Do you see anything like this happening? Do you favor trying to tweak the current system as scaling problems happen? Something else?

Druid-Druid Mastery (and DK mastery) fall short when it comes to AoE tanking, and moreover don't allow for "Capping", like the Paladin and potentially Warrior ones do. Any plans to change the former, and if paladin capping is allowed will there be tweaks to allow other classes to "cap" so that mastery becomes similar to the old defense rating?

Finally, Mastery has kind of turned into the "Stack it at all costs" stat; some may advocate stamina for certain hardmodes, but otherwise for most of the tanks, it's mastery to the sky (at least till capping). Are there any plans to increase the value/soften DR of dodge/parry, or perhaps allow armor gems, or make other "choices" for tank gearing?

Edit: The fine fellows in the tanking forum pointed out that we're only allowed one question per post, so: Having read the spiel above, what are your intents toward the various faults in each tank's mastery and mastery in general?
Blood DKs get outbreak. Fully talented, that means 32 seconds of debuff uptime. They are then required to use IT & PS to put up debuffs (or are forced to get the debuffs from another source). To use IT or PS means losing a rune that could have gone to DS. It also means a longer amount of downtime before the next DS. This means the DK must chose between losing all DS healing and mastery mitigation for a rune cycle while they apply debuffs. At the same time, the 32 seconds means the DK has .5 seconds of overlap or they have debuff downtime.

What is being done to bring DK debuffs inline with other tanks?

EDIT: Math and wording by Dosvidanya to help me make it more politically correct ;)
Guardian of Ancient Kings is quite boring for Protection paladins when compared to Retribution and Holy, as it is essentially the old version of Divine Protection with a fancy spell effect.

It certainly fills a needed niche for paladin tanks, but is there any chance of a more interesting implementation in the foreseeable future?
Currently the unforgiving nature of players in the LFD tool seems to be scaring tanks away from queueing, despite an incentive. Are there any considerations for revision to the Cataclysm threat changes or vengeance to perhaps relieve some pressure from inexperienced tanks?
Have you ever thought about having a dedicated ranged/caster tank spec? For example making the warlock Demonology tree into something like Feral druids (dps/tank roles).
Back in WotLK tanks were meant to do their job of holding aggro and soaking up damage, back then any dps a tank made was just extra dps. Nowadays in cataclysm tanks are doing a lot more damage than they used to, now instead of being way below the dps the tank can actually pull out a decent amount of dps to be just below or even on par with the dps roles (at least in 5 mans). Unfortunately now that tanks are basically also counted as having a 4th dps in the group some tanks get a little to overwhelmed and begin to worry about how their dps is doing when they’re job and main focus is to be on holding aggro and surviving and they sometimes forget that they’re not supposed to be a 4th dps role. How do you plan to fix this mentality? Will tanks be brought in line to WotLK where it is apparent that they were there to actually tank and not be a 4th dps?
The Vengeance mechanic seems somewhat flawed from it's original goal (to keep dps from "creeping up" during a fight). Right now threat matters a great deal in the early 10-20 seconds of a fight, and then when Vengeance stacks high enough, becomes a laughable notion for the rest of the fight barring some deaggro mechanic or dps inflation buff that the tank can't get.

This has a few effects:
1) Expertise and Hit are greatly devalued, and pieces with either are completely avoided when possible
2) "Zerging" dungeons where it feels like you want to immediately pull, again and again, with almost no downtime between mob pulls to let vengeance fall off.
3) Warriors in particular struggle with the early portion on a raid boss pull, since there are no wings/berserk to use for an early boost, or an ability like runestrike that can't be dodged or parried. A missed shield slam creates a very messy situation from the start.
4) There's a very big gap in a tank's damage between "I have vengeance" and "I don't have vengeance", which is very noticable while soloing, trying to pvp, or even dpsing a boss when the original target for an offtank has died.

So, are there any plans to change vengeance mechanics to be stronger at the beginning of fights and less overpowered at the end, or to simply have it matter less by giving tanks more base damage and lowering the Vengeance intake?

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