MoP Beta – Initial Tanking Thoughts

So I have to say that I am not happy with where tanking seems to be going in MoP.  Before I get ranting too much let me first state a few given points.

  • Yes I know it is Beta and abilities can and will change.
  • Yes I know that threat is screwed up for Bears, not even going to go there.
  • Yes they did talk a little about this in a Dev Blog Months Ago

So given this what should I complain about?  Well simply Active Tanking sucks as implemented for Bears.

In a post I made when the Active Tanking Dev Watercooler I gave my initial reaction and concerns about what they stated in the Watercooler post.  I just reposted it recently for reference since it was one of the posts that got lost in the void when there were server issues a couple of months ago.

Of the 3 models GC, and Blizzard, presented there the method they have implemented for MoP is option 3.  Which is the best of the 3 options.  So it really comes down to the core mechanics of the class and how they active style is implemented with them.  I have not tanked yet on my Warrior and will most likely need to do so now.  Because in general I am on the much more laid back casual side of the group of players I interact with regularly in game.  With the new model I have major concerns about the long-term effect the reaction, counter action and reaction to counter action to first reaction these mechanical changes will have on the player base.

There is one clear line to be drawn from the fiasco that was Cataclysm at release.  Blizzard in its infinite stupidity decided to make healing matter and healing game play tough.  So we went from an expansion Wrath where the only thing hard to find for LFG was a Tank because “tanking” was boring and had some stupid gearing requirements, yes I still remember defense stat Warrior and Paladin Tanks…..

Anyway the result of making healing a very Active and Intense activity was guess what?  NO ONE WANTED TO HEAL IN THE LFG!!!!

So guess what is going to happen, again mind you, when tanking is made even more of a pain in the ass than it is today?  NO ONE WILL WANT TO TANK IN THE LFG!!!!


So this then gets into another whole issue that I know is a major war with in the player base.  There are those players that enjoy what is challenging to them encounters and pushed to their limits all the time, and at the other extreme where they like to log in and have fun, be challenged occasionally if at all as they find the game a place to go and relax.  I am much more the later than the earlier, and given the difficulty and other issues early in Cataclysm… many of the player base are or at least were before leaving WoW.

Of course at preset, 3133 guilds on 25-man and 36283 guilds on 10-man have defeated Madness of Deathwing.

I went back to a post in Sept 2011 to get some of the ICC numbers as the number of guilds going back and doing old content for achievements and transmogrification gear has gone up greatly recently.  At that time 11567 guilds on 25-man and 48523 guilds on 10-man had competed ICC normal.  I do not look at hard modes because they are really nothing more than added difficulty to the same encounter for no reason other than bragging rights and the majority of the player-base never sees them when they are current content.

I think in addition to the added difficulty of encounters and healing mechanics in Cataclysm the largest reason that killed thousands and thousands of 25-man guilds was the change to the lock out system such that 10 and 25 man are on the same lock out.  This was a prediction made by many in the 25-man raiding scene pre-Cata.  Oh well the player base was right yet again and it took Blizzard damn near 2-years again to admin they MAY HAVE made a mistake.

Well this turned a bit more negative than I was initially intended.


Ok now after jumping the shark time to get back to Bears.

Having ONE ability that generates Rage when used is stupid and is not about managing a resource.  It is all about spamming that ONE button every time it is off cool down to active one or 2 powers that use the equivalent of 2 uses worth of rage and have 1/4 the cool down, WTF????

This will also apply to Warriors so I will go general and not bear specific.  There is also a 4th option or a refinement to the 3rd option that GC described in the watercooler post.

The 4th option is a combination of the 2nd and 3rd options and I will describe what I think the model would look like.

There are 3 main components to the one resource system that Warriors and Bears find themselves in.

  1. Resource Generation
  2. Factor 1
  3. Factor 2

In the case of Tanking the Factors become Threat and Mitigation, in a DPS role they become Damage and Debuffs.  In the case of the warrior class what is mitigation for tanks can be Debuffs for the DPS version I am thinking of a damage dealing decrease that some classes get, I can’t remember off the top of my head at the moment if there is such an ability at the moment.

So with 3 options and pick 2 we get 3 combinations.

1 & 2, 2 & 3 and 1 & 3, all abilities that have no cool down or a short cool down should do one of the 3 combinations.  The magnitude of the effect should be based upon the length of the cool down, GCD ignored of course.

Giving Us for Tanking:

  • Resource Generation & Threat – (A)
  • Resource Generation & Mitigation – (B)
  • Threat & Mitigation – (C)

Now there could be a few abilities that only do 1 of the three but if they do it they should do it spectacularly and be on a good longer cool down.  If resources are consumed then the effect should be even greater.

So in a normal 1 target tanking scenario, if empty on resources you would most likely have a pattern like the following.

A … B … C … A … B … A … B

I used … because there should be room between cool downs, GCDs and buff duration to working in other abilities that are either AoE, the rarer longer cool down single effect abilities or more powerful longer cool down versions of A, B or C.

Now for AoE tanking there would need to be at least an AoE equivalent of A so that you can keep regular threat up on multiple targets.

On the positive, I like how Arms for Warrior is feeling a the moment, I still think it could use refinement and an extra rage generation ability like what I talk about here but over all the DPS version of the paradigm works better than the tanking version for Warriors.

After I copy over a DK pre-made to the Beta Server and Tank the opening instance on all 4 tanking classes I will have more to say.  At this point there is no way in hell I am leveling a Monk up to Tank on it as I do not have that amount of time.


Posted in Game Mechanics, World of Warcraft

2 comments on “MoP Beta – Initial Tanking Thoughts
  1. Vixsin says:

    I’m not entirely sure that I agree that making healing challenging was the root cause of healers not wanting to LFD. Rather, my perspective was that the problem was that healers were put at the center of a paradigm shift, from the WotLK environment of spam healing to win, to the early Cata environment of triage. The general populace, at the release of Cata, really struggled to understand the concept of “I’m at sub-100% health but not in danger of dying” because that had been pounded into their heads in Wrath. I remember that I spent a good deal of time while gearing up Vixsin, explaining to PuGs that I didn’t have the mana to keep them topped, that they needed to use personal CDs to stay alive sometimes, and that they couldn’t mindlessly spam with no concern for the fire under their feet. So I don’t think it was the challenge that pushed so many healers away at the start, but rather the perception that many players had that their deaths were automatically due to healer failure (which was more often the case in the previous expansion). No one wants to be perceived or to actually be the cause of a group’s failure, and if you have to go through that experience instance after instance, it really rubs you raw.

    So, when talking about tanking, I’m not sure it’s appropriate to draw the line and say “If you make tanking harder, players won’t do it”. I think that’s one factor that plays into people disliking characters, but I don’t think it’s the sole reason for any exodus. With the introduction of the watercooler discussions, Blizzard has the opportunity to educate the player base more, so that they aren’t relying on tanks or healers to explain a paradigm shit, which in turn, will ease the stress associated with playing that role.

    • Malchome says:

      From your comment I think we disagree on the shades of the same color. There was an overall difficulty increase with Cataclysm on all roles. Threat mattered, dps not standing in fire mattered and healing mana mattered. At the intersection of all of those the healer was the one dumped upon by the player base.

      Depending on the tuning of tanking we are looking at a similar trend going into MoP but for the tanks. For to major reasons.

      1 – Tanking is going to be completely different and since Rage in particular plays differently now many Warrior and some Bears are not going to like it. So we will already be short those players who use to like to tank on their Warrior and or Druid in queue.

      2 – If the tuning of Dungeon and Heroic Dungeons are such that an average tank player and average healing player can not have success with out a lot of pain and effort then we are going to see both of those roles rare in queue, until such a point comes that the gear form Raid Tier 1 or 2 is common and we can just brute force encounters.

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