GC's latest blog, Active Mitigation Playstyle

General Discussion
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08/16/2011 06:45 PMPosted by Thalbane
never trust the company to "fix" an issue it always ends up worse then before.
I really think the OP is spot on (thumbs up). I've been tanking heroics since BC as a tankadin and we keep on changing designs (a lot). I hated the change that made Word of Glory on a 20s, since it reduces my choices on what to spend holy power on (and, besides, made me feel less like a holy warrior and more like a... warrior).

As a tankadin, I have holy radience, had word of glory to save others (pretty useless now), hands, several survival cool down, etc.

Now you're going to make me holy dk? As opposed to a warrior in a skirt? And the pendulum swings. Very few people have pleasant things to say about DK tanking. Why would you want to take a population that you don't have enough of and make them more like a struggling tank (i.e. dks)?

I really don't think that the argument the Blue made that if everyone was on the DK model already, we wouldn't be concerned (since that would be the status quo). I find that line of reasoning so faulty, i.e. if we were all failing, then we'd be level with our peers, so failing wouldn't feel bad (the only thing I agree with is that it wouldn't feel as bad, but it would still be lousy).
08/16/2011 08:22 PMPosted by Jaxl
Blizzard is beyond reproach when it comes to both gameplay and class balance, and the new refinements to the tanking role will once again prove this.


Tank as a DK in end game content and come back with a little perspective please.
I can say I'm not the best nor the worst tank. Though I can say that since the release of Firelands and the new exspanion in general, I personally have completely stopped playing Dk class. Nothing is fun about it anymore.
Why play a dps or tank class that is broken when you have 3 other class's that can do both, and much much better.
IMO blizzard needs to just stop period trying to "fix" things, and teach "players" how to play. If something doesn't of how to tank or even play there class, oh well. Just doing a little reading and research fixes that, maybe you all should open a school to actually teach people how to read so they could actually play, not "fix" issues that "you" think are broken.

My 3c
I had posted earlier to compliment Blizzard for making tanking easier to help solve the lack of tanks. Now I do not tank, because one stressful role is enough, and players in the randoms already expect tanks and healers to carry them. So I have felt if I were to embark on learning a new role like that, it would just be too painful.

If what I am discerning here is true, that in actual fact Blizzard is going to make tanking yet harder, then I am at a loss.

That will have a terrible effect on this game, so I hope I am understanding this wrong.

But if this is in fact yet another of GC's bad decisions, well I guess some of you guys with Blue text will be paying the price, because do not think for a minute losing another few hundred thousand subscriptions will not result in layoffs.
This isn't a thread about threat. The new threat system is completely separate from this.
This thread is about Blizzard feeling that the Blood tree actually works, and for reasons unknown to me, think that its a good idea to give this playstyle to all the other tanks, when the evidence we have is QUITE contrary to what they believe.


You misunderstand. The issue isn't with the model in a void, its that its inferior to every other tanking model. If a CTC tank can devote half the amount of attention to rotation as a DK tank and do the same performance wise, then that is an issue. If all tanks become similar to DKs in difficulty, which is to say exponentially harder, then its a non-issue. The point is were being left behind in the current model; the DK model in a void is probably the single best designed spec in the game.
I've been watching my favorite game of all time get beaten and butchered since 3.0. I'm reaching a point where I wish they'd either just leave it alone or finish killing it once and for all.

Things like this are just depressing.
Right now it's tough for DK tanks because they're the only ones on anything resembling an active mitigation model. The one active mitigation guy is going to look like he's working harder than the passive mitigation guys because, in a lot of ways, he is. If all tanks had worked this way from the start, it would be the norm, and nobody would be worried about jumping onto that model.

We've already established that threat isn't making for very compelling encounter design, and removing it offers us the ability to get creative with some of the mechanics that we're using; both in encounter and class design. In a world with no threat management, and no active mitigation, that doesn't leave a lot for tanks to do though. We think that making tanking more active, and focusing that activity around mitigation (which feels immediately useful) will generate some very rewarding gameplay. We want the act of tanking to be engaging, interesting and fun. We think the path forward will offer more of that for all the tanking classes.

Also, I've seen a number of references to making tanking easier in this thread and elsewhere. "Easier" isn't really the goal. The goal is to discard a mechanic which we don't think is working particularly well anymore, and replace it with something more focused and interesting. Doing so should also have the effect of allowing tanks who aren't as geared still do their job when grouped with players who outgear (or even outlevel them a bit). They'll still be responsible for doing a good job, but their absolute ability to hold the attention of the boss won't be a factor; their ability to play well and mitigate damage will be.

We're aware of player concerns about Blood tanking, and we'll work to ensure that Blood tanking will continue to be viable and effective into the future. On that note, we're interested in addressing some of the concerns that have been expressed about the spec (potentially as soon as the next major patch), though we want to accomplish that goal without sacrificing what sets the spec apart and makes it interesting.


I am very worried about these proposed changes. Some of us raid lead, and I can't imagine being more distracted than I already am on fights like Alysrazor or Rhyolith for example and still being able to effectively raid lead. Who's that bored of tanking that you feel it's necessary to change the other 3 tanking classes to that of a DK? This constant changing of what it means to tank and how we accomplish the role has got to stop. You're driving this game into the ground and making the most stressed players you have more stressed.
From what I know, all tank classes are about equal if someone knows how to play them well.

My issue is that when you have a sub par DK you REALLY know it. The margin for being just "okay" is very slim. You are either really really good or really really bad and squishy to boot.

I personally like DK tanking because I am VERY involved in keeping myself alive. To be honest I feel that the majority of this games population doesn't want to be challenged and push their skills each time they play. They just want to play.

If any other tank tree becomes as involved as the DK tank tree people will quit tanking all together. Remember, DK's are apparently geared for more experienced players. Make every tank like that and you will cut the tank population drastically.

I hope they are real careful with how they do this. I don't want to tank again but if the queue times get up to an hour plus I may be forced to play a tank or quit.
I don't think anyone here that is qq about this post really understands the meaning behind what the Daxxarri is explaining. Read it till you understand it. It makes a whole lot of sense. Blizz is trying to make tanking more interactive, fun and less of a chore. QQ some more people.



"Don't be afraid of change"
"Evolve with it, don't fight it"


The complaints are stemming from the fact that they're wanting to model the other tanks after the worst raid tanks in the game because they think the system "works" even though the people actually playing the spec at the highest levels have been telling them "No, the system you put into place for us is actually quite broken and dysfunctional." since Cataclysm was being beta tested.
Well they arent saying that they want to model everything on the current blood dk. They just want to use the active mitigation model, which when done right will be an improvement.
Bliz has said they understand that players don't like it when they log on and have changes made to their class constantly (via patches or hot fixes). I can vouch for myself and my friends this is very true.

Players are leaving this game due to monotony and apparently designer fickleness (apparent, but from a player perspective it sure feels that way!). You aren't releasing compelling content and you are constantly making major changes to how we play our classes.

Monotony might make people quit this game and possibly wait till the next big mmo comes along, but designer fickleness will make me think long and hard before buying Titan (if that's the next big mmo). And that will be because I no longer trust Bliz to put fun first. They've become Sony/EA in my book. No better, and perhaps worse, since they seem to be bound and determined to grind the game into the ground.

So many decisions are so bad (from a fun/variety perspective), it isn't even funny. As someone pointed out in a thread I started saying I missed H-FoS, H-PoS, H-HoR, those dungeons were part of the whole daily heroic rotation, they merely had gear level requirement. Whoever at Bliz thought that running the same 2 troll dungeons 7 times a week (for non-raiders) would be fun needs to take game design 101 class, imo. I love tanking heroics (or did, hate it now due to running ZA/ZG too many frikken times).... but I can't wait to stop now. And while the awful behavior we see in LFD is part of the issue, I really blame Blizz and the un-fun choices they are making left and right these days.


The complaints are stemming from the fact that they're wanting to model the other tanks after the worst raid tanks in the game because they think the system "works" even though the people actually playing the spec at the highest levels have been telling them "No, the system you put into place for us is actually quite broken and dysfunctional." since Cataclysm was being beta tested.
Well they arent saying that they want to model everything on the current blood dk. They just want to use the active mitigation model, which when done right will be an improvement.


Eight months into Cata and blood DK's aren't done right. That makes me question the ability of Bliz to get big changes to Pally's/Wars/Druids done with any semblance of rightness.
08/16/2011 09:26 PMPosted by Rauth
You misunderstand. The issue isn't with the model in a void, its that its inferior to every other tanking model. If a CTC tank can devote half the amount of attention to rotation as a DK tank and do the same performance wise, then that is an issue. If all tanks become similar to DKs in difficulty, which is to say exponentially harder, then its a non-issue. The point is were being left behind in the current model; the DK model in a void is probably the single best designed spec in the game.


No, it absolutely is not the best designed spec in the game. It is not fun to have to worry about whether you're going to drop dead because you hit Death Strike too early, or it missed, or you just can't use it because all your runes are on cooldown. It's not fun to have chunks of your mitigation directly linked to putting all your resources on cooldown.

The block mechanic works, and it works well for a reason. It lets you put that little bit of focus to the other tasks you're required to do as tank without being insanely stressful or dangerous to the group. Need to stop attacking a mob because of an encounter debuff? My paladin can do it no problem. The DK just started taking considerably more unmitigated hits. Diverting your attention to pick up adds that just spawned? Using global cooldowns on taunting or Death Grip? Lets hope you get a bunch of dodges and parries there, cause if you're taunting or chasing down an add you're probably not using Death Strike. It's unnecessary randomness in a game already suffering from a player base with a lack of skill and motivation to tank.

I said it in the original announcement thread and I'll say it again here. If their idea of "fixing" tanking makes my paladin as much "fun" as DK tanking currently is, I won't be tanking anymore. And when the game starts running out of tanks and the LFD finder breaks an hour for DPS queues, I may start to reconsider if the game is worth playing at all. I'd rather be fighting for threat again than deal with this. Don't fix what isn't broken.
This isn't a thread about threat. The new threat system is completely separate from this.
This thread is about Blizzard feeling that the Blood tree actually works, and for reasons unknown to me, think that its a good idea to give this playstyle to all the other tanks, when the evidence we have is QUITE contrary to what they believe.


You misunderstand. The issue isn't with the model in a void, its that its inferior to every other tanking model. If a CTC tank can devote half the amount of attention to rotation as a DK tank and do the same performance wise, then that is an issue. If all tanks become similar to DKs in difficulty, which is to say exponentially harder, then its a non-issue. The point is were being left behind in the current model; the DK model in a void is probably the single best designed spec in the game.


Totally disagree. If you're saying this from a perspective of which tank gets benched, then yes, it won't necessarily be the DK if the change to active mitigation goes through for other tanks.

However, the DK might fare even better, since they may have less competition as the a large section of current non-DK tanks quit in frustration. Since this change is unlikely to cause an equal number of dps and/or healers to suddenly jump up and want to tank instead because the active mitigation model is sooooo cool, it will also hurt casuals who want to have less than a 30m q time to pick up 70-140 vp.

But oh well. Bliz says they know what they are doing. What do we know?
Right now it's tough for DK tanks because they're the only ones on anything resembling an active mitigation model. The one active mitigation guy is going to look like he's working harder than the passive mitigation guys because, in a lot of ways, he is. If all tanks had worked this way from the start, it would be the norm, and nobody would be worried about jumping onto that model.

We've already established that threat isn't making for very compelling encounter design, and removing it offers us the ability to get creative with some of the mechanics that we're using; both in encounter and class design. In a world with no threat management, and no active mitigation, that doesn't leave a lot for tanks to do though. We think that making tanking more active, and focusing that activity around mitigation (which feels immediately useful) will generate some very rewarding gameplay. We want the act of tanking to be engaging, interesting and fun. We think the path forward will offer more of that for all the tanking classes.

Also, I've seen a number of references to making tanking easier in this thread and elsewhere. "Easier" isn't really the goal. The goal is to discard a mechanic which we don't think is working particularly well anymore, and replace it with something more focused and interesting. Doing so should also have the effect of allowing tanks who aren't as geared still do their job when grouped with players who outgear (or even outlevel them a bit). They'll still be responsible for doing a good job, but their absolute ability to hold the attention of the boss won't be a factor; their ability to play well and mitigate damage will be.

We're aware of player concerns about Blood tanking, and we'll work to ensure that Blood tanking will continue to be viable and effective into the future. On that note, we're interested in addressing some of the concerns that have been expressed about the spec (potentially as soon as the next major patch), though we want to accomplish that goal without sacrificing what sets the spec apart and makes it interesting.


I am very worried about these proposed changes. Some of us raid lead, and I can't imagine being more distracted than I already am on fights like Alysrazor or Rhyolith for example and still being able to effectively raid lead. Who's that bored of tanking that you feel it's necessary to change the other 3 tanking classes to that of a DK? This constant changing of what it means to tank and how we do has got to stop. You're driving this game into the ground and making the most stressed players you have more stressed.


Again, I do not understand it enough yet to know for sure, but despite what the majority DPS seem to think tanking and healing are harder, more stressful and less forgiving already, and that is why there are fewer tanks and healers than DPS.

It is going to deal a body blow to an already reeling game to take the most difficult and stressful role and make it yet more difficult.

If you really want to make a role more difficult, then make the over-populated DPS role that way, and bring it up to the other two.

It seems like what you are about to do is going to make queue times rocket up, make fielding competent raid teams yet harder and going to drive a lot more of your paying customers out of the game.

This game is really going to be hard pressed to recover from another bad decision with the eons it takes for you to ever admit yet alone correct a mistake.
08/16/2011 07:03 PMPosted by Raginbull
no i think blood dks do have it worse than bears we may only have 2 cooldowns but bears have it easy atm if you know your class and your spec is good bear tanking is alot easier than a blood dk we are soak tanks


Bear tanking is only easier because we have rage to play with. And even then, I have a situations where I'm starved for it.
This does not increase the level of intelligence behind the player playing it, who has to time 2 CDs (Frenzied Regeneration is only a viable CD if they glyphed for it, and even then your healers have to react to the CD) nor does it make us take any less damage or suddenly and magically pick up a 2nd mitigation.

But I'm not personally here because I'm trying to say bears are worse off. I'm saying, we're in the same damn boat, and it would be nice to see Blizzard address the real issues instead of trying to pull out poorly-done excuses that only lightly skim what needs to be done. Just because we don't have a shield shouldn't mean we're inferior to those who do.
I, for one, am happy with the changes. The threat change is bittersweet. It seems like it will help in aoe situations but in single target situation, I won't notice any difference. I raided on my paladin tank for a long time. When 4.2 hit, I decided to switch to the DK. I know about the shortcomings, I just liked the control of active mitigation. It's not perfect, by far, but I like timing my DS and coming up with a strategy for when and how to use it. If they made other tanks like this, I would be encouraged to tank even more. I was bored on my paladin tank...bored stiff during raids. I need to be more actively engaged and an active mitigation, if done right, is something that will do it.

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