Let’s talk about another change from the PTR that’s coming our way. The Developers have acknowledged they aren’t ready to make major changes to Block just yet, but they are putting in a temporary solution of increasing the block value we get from items, but not from shields.
Here’s the official word:
Block Value: The amount of bonus block value on all items has been doubled. This does not affect the base block value on shields or block value derived from strength.
On-Use Block Value Items: All items and set bonuses that trigger temporary increases to block value have been modified. Instead of increasing their block value amount by 100% like other items, they have all had their effect durations doubled. This applies to Glyph of Deflection, Gnomeregan Autoblocker, Coren's Lucky Coin, Lavanthor's Talisman, Libram of Obstruction, Tome of the Lightbringer, Libram of the Sacred Shield, the tier 8 paladin Shield of Righteousness bonus, the tier 5 paladin Holy Shield bonus, and the tier 5 warrior Shield Block bonus
I’m currently using a whopping total of 3 items that would qualify for the change in my main tanking set. Tier 8 Shoulders, Bindings of the Hapless Prey, and my T8 gloves. Doubling the Block Value on those items would yield me an increase of 167 Block Value. Pardon me if I don’t get up and cheer.
It would be even less if I wasn’t using Hapless Prey. The only reason I’m wearing those bracers is that I’ve hard horrible luck with drops. I saw Bracers of the Unholy Knight once in all my time in Naxx and I passed them to a Warrior who was wearing a level 77 blue. I’ve never seen the bracers from Flame Leviathan drop, and I’m starting to wonder if they exist. I guess I could by the Bracers of Dalaran’s Parapets, but they are really just a sidegrade.
In addition, the Tier 7.5 Shoulders and Tier 7.5 Gloves are fairly close to the T8 ones. That makes sense because they are only half a tier ahead. So effectively, I could be seeing a zero increase in Block Value from this change.
However, the change to the On-Use Block Value Items will be a big buff to the Libram of Obstruction. The Libram provides 352 Block Value every time we Judge. With its new 10 second duration, it means that in a proper 969 rotation, judging every 9 seconds, the buff will never fall off. We will have a constant 352 Block Value from the Libram.
So I’m personally looking at an increase of 352 to 519 Block Value depending on how I chose to gear. That will be further increased by the Redoubt talent, so it will end up being 457 to 675 Block Value. I’m still not going to be jumping for joy.
Even if the Developers doubled Block Value across the board, which they aren't, I’d go from 1500 to maybe 3000. It’s still not much in the way of mitigation against the 20k+ hits you see.
I believe Tanks will continue to go for pure avoidance like Dodge and Parry and get enough Block Value from Strength and their shields to maintain threat. Block Value as a mitigation stat will still be lacking in 3.2. I think the Developers knwo that and I'm looking for a big announcement on the future of Block, and tanking in general at Blizzcon.