Ask The Devs #9 - Tanking (Answers)

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Q: What are your intentions with each tank's mastery and mastery in general? – Migol (NA)


Death Knights: We’re pretty happy with how mastery has turned out. It does have the oddity that it scales down in value with your mitigation, but also up in value with your health. But it does indeed scale up pretty smoothly in value, and doesn’t have any unintuitive breakpoints or anything, so we’re happy with it.


Why do you not like Blood DK's as people, Blizzard? This completely ignores the entire point that the Blood DK's as a community has.

Death Strike is not going to scale properly with Mastery. We are not likely to clear content in large numbers, if anyone can clear later tier content at all as a Blood DK. Yes this is an assumption at this point, however, it is one I feel safe making.

Our system of Runes, Runic Empowerment, is clunky and prone to forcing things that are not fun when being asked to play a video game. We basically have a mini-game within the game that we simply must play in order to get anything done.

Here's, "The List:"

- Blood Shield
- Blade Barrier
- Bone Shield
- Death Strike
- Runic Empowerment
- Heart Strike
- Blood Boil

These are the areas Blood DK's consider there to be issues. There's already numerous tanking forum threads on each of these, and in whole that's the sum of our chosen spec.

We fight ourselves just as much if not more so than the boss/mobs in game when playing.

Q: Do you plan to bring other tanks to the same level as Death Knights who have a lot of advantages over other tanking classes (easier to heal, quite a number of various safe abilities, etc.)? - Меланори (EU-RU)

A: Death knights are a somewhat different style of tank compared to the others. They take significantly more damage than other tanks, but then heal/shield that extra damage back instead (and sometimes more). Due to taking more damage, and that damage coming in spikes, they’re also the most likely to die to unexpected burst (such as when they don’t have runes up to Death Strike, have no cooldowns available, and fail to dodge or parry a few attacks in a row. They also have more personal impact on their own survivability and mitigation than any other tank, by tying much of their performance to Death Strike (and especially optimally timing their Death Strikes). So in the hands of a really skilled player, they can do some amazing things, but not usually much better than the other tanks. We’d actually like to head more in that direction with the other tanks (making them tie more of their defensive performance to their ability usage), in the future.

Apparently Blizzard gets at least some of what we have issue with, just not all of the issues in total. The spec is not fun, and the blue quote about Blood DK's being challenging and fun is not the correct word order for something meant to be fun and done in one's off time.
Just curious, are these proof read?

It's all well and good to say that:

06/08/2011 09:26 AMPosted by Kaivax
Tank balance overall is in a really good place.

But then to say:

06/08/2011 09:26 AMPosted by Kaivax
Death knights are a somewhat different style of tank compared to the others. They take significantly more damage than other tanks, but then heal/shield that extra damage back instead (and sometimes more).


And then, I'm really shocked by the comment:

06/08/2011 09:26 AMPosted by Kaivax
Overall, we don’t want tanks to have 100% guaranteed threat on a pull, so we don’t want to buff that aspect of Vengeance, but we also don’t want DPS specs to constantly have to throttle the DPS they can deliver midway through a fight, so we have to strike a balance.

Didn't this sort of thinking cause the need to create CTA for tanks? Here I'll help you. Get a fire mage with high crit, and have him cast a spell. Vengeance helps hold aggro after rotations, and mid fight switches. The intitial aggro has been an issue. Now I've seen you guys actually try to make that easier in the PTR, but I KNOW dps has had to throttle back on more than one occassion for the non elite/0-13 tanks. And that my friends is why CTA is around, right?
Now I do get they choose the questions and only generally the highest voted will get answered if they choose to answer. That out of the way...we did vote for these questions so you can't really blame them.

Blame the others who voted for such stupid questions. Or depending how many they chose like this hehe.

Either way this one was pretty bad compared to numero 7.

Yes, but who in their right freaking mind asked about the damn leg chants or taunts missing, and then outvoted the DK's about rune tetris or any of the other 30+ GOOD questions?

There is no way in hell the leg chants and taunts got more votes.
/throws hands in the air and walks away in disgust
The intitial aggro has been an issue. Now I've seen you guys actually try to make that easier in the PTR, but I KNOW dps has had to throttle back on more than one occassion for the non elite/0-13 tanks.

But that's not what he said. He said the Design Teams don't want DPS to have to lay off mid-fight - the start is when they SHOULD be very careful, hold back DPS, let the tank get this threat, then they can go all out.

Initial Aggro is less about tank specs and more about DPS being able to control themselves.

For example, I'm the interrupter on Heroic Halfus. I have the role to specifically stay on Hal and interrupt his AOE Shadow attack. I have to be EXTREMELY careful about aggro several times in a fight - off the pull, when my tank clears stacks, ect. That's being a good DPS.

Now let's pretend that after Halfus is at or below 50% and he starts doing the AOE Knockdowns, he reset aggro - if he dropped threat there, yes, that is a time when I'd like a tank ready to taunt and get aggro back very fast. But right now ,there's nothing like that, at least in T11, nothing with a giant reset mid-fight (well, Chimerian, but that's different).

It sounds like you're whining because you want your DPS to zerg them the second you pull and that's just not a very good idea! You should always be very careful with how you approach a just-pulled boss. Personally, I stick to the Mississippi 5 count - a hard 5 Mississippi count before I call DPS in. If we can't do that - if doing that costs us the Enrage timer, then we aren't good enough to do that fight yet and need to get better.
As a tank I still think the threat mechanic is somewhat inverted. I want to be able to establish aggro quickly/immediately, but I want generating threat to be an ongoing challange. Currently it feels more like I struggle to get threat, but have no problem holding it.

As a DPS (warlock) I enjoyed managing my threat more than I enjoy maintaining perfect rotations or getting out of the fire.

Tanks should need competant DPS as much as they need healers. As a tank, I don't care about my DPS. It's really stupid that I do significant DPS when that's really not my objective at all (objective 1: survive and don't kill my group, objective 2: generate threat). Tanks are often proud of soloing Venoxis from X%, and as a healer I often hear, "Don't worry if the DPS die you can 2 man it." In most encounters if the tank or healer dies it's a wipe, but you can lose a dps, 2, or all 3 in many/most fights.

IMO the PVE encounters (particularly in 5 mans) need sweeping changes elevating the importance of the DPS role:
-Give bosses WAY MORE Hps (30mins+ in a que for bosses that take <2mins?)
-Nerf boss damage abilities a lot, so that DPS can make lots of little mistakes, but repeatedly making mistakes or BIG mistakes will make healers go OOM.
-Give bosses enrage timers, HoTs, or whatever it takes so that you really do need dps.
this was very disapointing.......
The truly sad part for us, but the brilliant part by Blizzard here is that because of the CTA, we tanks are going to look like QQ crybabies to the other roles. Like how dare we complain when we get free stuff for tanking?

To those dps and healers I want to clarify something. Our outrage benefits you. There are three issues right now with tanking.

1. A shortage of quality tanks.
2. Wonky aggro effects (see crits pulling off the tank)
3. A lack of tertiary stats like hit, expertise during intitial pulls.

Now feel free to debate the first point, but the other two? I'm sure that most people here have had either 2 and/or 3 happen, and you get a ragequit. Yes, some of it is not marking kill orders. And yes, there are tanks that really just powerleveled just for the goody bag, and aren't all that good. But this is a quality of life issue in our tanks. A goody bag won't fix it, but a bit of fine tuning with our aggro tools will. To Blizzard's credit, they are trying. But when they answer questions as they have here? You will hear a LOT of tanks audibly /facepalm. Perched on Olympus, they have quite a view... but to those in the trenches? We know that things aren't quite "perfect". And I'm not saying I don't like a challenge, but something feels inherently wrong when the first 10 seconds of a fight are the most stressful.
I don't mean to sound jingoistic here, but this Q&A just seems to prove that people outside of the US just don't understand the basic fundamental game mechanics or the current leading theorycrafting behind tanking.

Asking about taunt missing? Thinking you need 5 tank spec tanks for the majority of TBC fights? Thinking you have to cap hit/expertise as a tank these days? What is wrong with these people?
Is is me or we didn't learn that much overall ?

The tank community have serious questions like whats gonna happen to prot pal / prot warrior mastery and block cap (making mastery a poor stat when we hit the cap). We didn't expect that you answer "we know the problem and dev team talk about it"

WOW really ? .. REALLY ???!! Really ... ok you guys would make WONDERFUL Politicians ... the art of giving an answer without answering the freaking question.
(BTW blue already post that answer in the tank forum ... wtb new info)

Taunt missing / stamia + dodge leg ench / reply to someone asking why we don't have 5 tank in a 25 man raid .... seriously almost every single answer in the post are "already know / answered in the past" via blue reply in the past or not important at all (ex: why not 5 tank in a 25 man run).

VERY VERY VERY disappointed in those answers.

Thanks for nothing guys ...............
06/08/2011 09:52 AMPosted by Kleopatra
the 4.3 legendary will have much more narrow appeal

Incoming Agility legendary 1h sword

Or maybe a legendary dagger.

This. Please? I've only ever used daggers on this character, and I've never had my turn at a legendary.
Why do so many people pull out the invalid argument that it's unreasonable to require effort in pursuit of a hobby? What you get out of any activity is a function of what you put into it. This kind of thinking (off-topic, I know) is destroying nonrated Battlegrounds; I'd rather not have it spread to raiding, any more than it already has.
06/08/2011 11:20 AMPosted by Earthquakes
WOW really ? .. REALLY ???!! Really ... ok you guys would make WONDERFUL Politicians ... the art of giving an answer without answering the freaking question.

LOL, I was just about to say I felt like I was listening to a presidential debate when I read those answers.

Whoever wrote this up has a B.S. in B.S.

WTB the ability to thumb down blue post ... this post deserve hundreds of thumbs down ...

very disappointed.

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