Ask The Devs #9 - Tanking (Questions)

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Will bear tanks get an addition to their talents or tanking abilities to make them feel less like they are wearing tissue paper in early dungeons?

The first 25 levels as a bear tank seem extremely rough in terms of survivability and AoE threat. While the AoE threat isn't a primary concern nor should it be a habit the survivability makes it hard for new tanks or new to druid tanks get a feel for the class. Is there a chance for a re-working of thorns to allow a small bonus to low level tank armor and/or be an activated ability to control thorns as a small AoE threat ability?
The gain from each death strike is rather sizable. DKs can perform various activities to boost the number of strikes and the value of strikes. This is commonly referred to as rune tetris. The success of these activities varies per DK. Many DKs spend a large amount of energy to try to game these systems and fall short with a significant loss for each shortcoming. Because of our mastery mechanics, this means they slip even further behind other tanks.

Is the margin of error for this class within an acceptable level?
Are there any plans to update the leg armor in 4.2 now that the plate tanks receive no dodge from agility? Maybe introduce a new leg armor patch that adds str/stamina, or a mastery/stamina?

Any plans for an Enhancement Shaman tanking spec in the future?? :-)
Shield tanks (Warriors and Paladins) are approximately twice as popular as non-shield tanks (Death Knights and Druids), based on the best player-available data. Why do you think this is so, and do you have any plans to make non-shield tanks more attractive to play?
Any thoughts toward a buff of Rallying cry? As a raid save it has very limited use compared to the Paladin's 20% reduction; lasting only 10 seconds, and moreover losing that health when it ends makes it problematic whenever the aoe burst you're trying to help mitigate is occurring more than once.
Hi, I play a Bear and a Prot Pally. I spend a fair amount of time theorycrafting survivability, mitigation, and threat. Right now the disparity in mastery values between my two characters is extreme. My Prot Pally is starting to eyeball hard capping his avoidance at 102.4 for a 41% damage reduction on every single melee swing, where my druid even in full BiS is only scratching a 70% Savage Defense absorb rate on incoming melee swings at roughly 24k fully vengeanced up. I recognize that bears have a massive armor difference for the most reliable damage taken on unmitigated melee swings, and that they are unparalleled aoe tanks and threat builders, and that is our niche right now. My issue is that as we start to gear up, bears are going to start scaling down because of a lack of value from mastery when tanking hard hitting boss mobs capable of hitting in the 3 or even 2-shot range. Are there any plans to level the mastery playing field between the massively overvalued shield classes, the decently balanced DKs, and the relatively undervalued bears. Please note that I do not feel there is an imbalance between the classes as a whole right now, simply the value of mastery.
As damage increases, healers will need to use their largest, most inefficient heals more regularly to keep up. That’s fine and was all part of the design. We just didn’t want players to opt out of mana regeneration too early in the content because then Spirit (and mana-related procs) on gear wouldn’t be attractive, and because we’d have to balance difficulty by making the tanks die in a couple of GCDs if not healed continually.

Given that current heroic encounters have bosses capable of three shotting tanks, we're fast approaching death within a few GCDs already. Avoidance and block still help, but EH is becoming rather important. Non CTC tanks will be a significant disadvantage if we hit the 2 shot melee range.

What's to stop the bosses from hitting 2 shot range because of the large mitigation from avoidance and mastery combined with healer regen?
While I hate to call for a Nerf to my own class, the damage a feral druid can do while off tanking is staggering when compared to the other three classes. In one spec I can do DPS on par with the rest of my raid and sacrifice a very minimal survivability loss. Is this a design intent or more of an unforeseen side effect that will be remedied.
With the changes to dodge and parry in cataclysm, what is the design purpose in having two stats that do the exact same thing?
So there seems to be some confusion about the Holy Shield change. It was included in a PTR build, then reveresed, and now it seems to be back in. It would be nice to get a definite answer about that. And perhaps an explanation of the thoughts behind it if it's meant to go live, as it seems to go against the stated design goal of making block-capping easily achieveable.
Disease upkeep for DK's can be really detrimental to DK's at times are you guys fine with how this is playing out? Disease upkeep for the other 2 specs is fairly automatic with little to no cost, while bloods survivability is put in a bad situation to maintain theres.
Tanking trinket procs seem as though they rarely get used. Most of the current Cata trinkets require that a tank fall below 35% health. This rarely procs on non-hard hitting bosses (exceptions can be made on add tanking or fights like Chimaeron). What is the current stance being made for future tanking trinkets.
For Blood DK's, our Dodge/Parry actively fights against our Mastery. Hits we avoid/parry away actually reduce the amount of damage we take; while good, our Mastery heals us for the minimum of 7% of our HP, and adds based on damage intake. As gear improves, we will heal for less overall; our minimum heal may not be up to the bar of the end-game raiding content at that time.

What can be done to address Blood DK's' problems of Dodge and Parry fighting against our Mastery?
For engineer tanks, this expansion is starting to go sour.

Cogwheels for example looked to be exciting and implied that we'd be able to use them over the course of the expansion, but thus far it looks like we're not getting any upgrades for them or our goggles in tier 12. Likewise, our various "Tanking Tinkers" have seen nerfs or misfires added that make them unusable in raiding; to top it off our armor tinker for our gloves isn't static, seems very low to begin with, and puts various important tanking trinkets on cooldown when we use it.

Can we expect to see any changes occur in the cogwheel department, or a tanking tinker with static stats, or a belt tinker we don't have to fear wiping the raid with?
With the nerf to WoG, and threat being a non issue past the initial moments of a raid fight, are there any plans to increase the uses for holy power for a prot paladin?

Right now it feels I hit WoG, and hit a shield of the righteous while I wait for it to come off cooldown. I am not feeling the choice that this change was suppose to bring.
It seems like Druids and Death Knights gain a mitigation benefit to reaching certain levels of hit and expertise, whereas Paladins and Warriors do not. Are there plans to increase the value of hit and expertise for Paladin and Warrior tanks, and if so, can you share your ideas thus far?

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