Monday, October 6, 2008

Preparing Your Tankadin for Patch 3.0: Part 1: General Tanking

10/6 - Part 1: General Tanking
10/7 - Part 2: The New Seal and Judgement System
10/8 - Part 3: Changes to Existing Talents and Spells
10/9 - Part 4: New Talents, and suggested Trees
10/10 - Part 5: The New Threat Rotation or 96969
10/11 - Part 6: Threat Stats for Protection Paladins and Tank Gear Reitemization
10/12 - Part 7: Inscription and Glyphs
10/13 - Part 8: Comparing the 4 Tanks10/14 - PATCH DAY!

This is Part 1 of a series of posts that covers the changes to Protection Paladins coming in 3.0. You could make a strong case that Paladins change more so than any other class, but we are going to start with the changes coming in 3.0 that affect all tanks and tanking in General.

I'm going to assume for the moment that you have no prior knowledge of the changes.

Combined Stats

Many stats that effected spells and melee differently have been merged. Spell Hit and Melee Hit are now just Hit, and it affects both spell and melee. Crit and Haste were also combined to affect both spell and melee.

This is a major help to Protection Paladins. As one of the few classes that was part caster and part melee, it was difficult to balance our gear with both stats. This was most problematic in the area of hit. We needed Melee hit to make sure our weapon hit proc our seal and we needed Spell Hit to make sure our spell did not get resisted. Now with a combined hit, we can address both those needs through a single stat.

The other stat that is merging is Spell Damage and Healing into a new stat called Spell Power. This change turns out to be rather small for Protection Paladins. As I'll detail out in later Parts, Spell Power is less important in 3.0.

What is does mean is that you won't need a Spell Damage Shield and a Healing Shield anymore. For instance, the Spell Damage Shield and the Healing Shield from Kara have nearly the same stats in Beta. I'll keep the Spell Damage one because it has a nicer skin.

Block Value and Strength

In 3.0, 2 points of Strength will grant 1 point of Block Value, and this will be increased by Shield Specialization (which is actually folded into a new Redoubt. More on that in Part 4 of the Series). Currently it takes 15 points of Strength. This will seem like a minor change until we get to Part 6 and talk about the reitemization of existing Tank gear, and Part 3 where we will talk about the importance of Attack Power to a Protection Paladin.

Crushing Blows

Crushing Blows have been changed. Some will tell you they have been removed, but that is not entirely true. Right now, any mob that 3 or more levels above you can Crush. In 3.0, only mobs 4 or more levels above you can crush. Bosses are still treated as being 3 levels above you, ergo, Bosses no longer Crush. The only time you should see a Crushing Blow is when you are leveling up.

If you have made any gearing choices to be 'uncrushable', you can look at changing them.

What today we call Uncrushable, we should now call Unhittable. Note that Unhittable doesn't mean Invincible. Unhittable means that the mob or Boss can't land a normal hit, but they can still and a Blocked hit. You will still take damage, but you will take less damage from a Blocked hit than a normal hit.

Salvation/Tranquil Totem

In a change that will affect more than just the tanking triumvirate, the threat reducing Blessing Of Salvation and Tranquil Totem will be removed from the game.

Many DPSers are worried they will severally threat capped in 3.0. However, my experience on the PTR and Beta shows this will not be the case.

According to a few tests from Lore and Jere, it seems all classes have had their threat reduced by 30%. Paladins with RF, Warriors in Defensive Stance, and Druids in Bear Form all neglect this threat reduction.

Judgement of the Crusader has been folded into the base spells. What this means is that it will feel like Crusader is Judged on every mob you fight.

Also, the tank get new threat moves, that will help them generate more threat. I'll go over the new moves Protection Paladins get in a Part 5 of this series.

What is really cool is that Blizzard has added a new Threat Meter into the game. Currently, Threat Meters like Omen or KTM have to estimate the threat being generated. With the new Blizzard Threat Meter, and it's underlying API call available to the Mod community, we will get actual Threat values. This will be very helpful as we monitor Threat generation in 3.0.
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