Ardent Defender: This talent now reduces damage taken below 35% health by 7/13/20% instead of 10/20/30%.
Ardent Defender finally got the hit that many had been expecting. It was slipped into the patch notes on Sunday.
On Wednesday, Ghostcrawler had posted:
I understand that a lot of players who post here think that paladin tanks are in that situation now and DK tanks are in the reverse situation where they struggle with a lot of fights. But they are not in that situation, at least not yet, because we don't see the widespread swapping. That suggests that perhaps the advantages concluded from theorycrafting aren't so massive that tank swapping conveys a huge advantage. It could very well change over time to get that way, but it hasn't happened yet. We've been talking about potential DK buffs for 3.2.2 and we even know how we would nerf Ardent Defender when and if we think* it has gotten out of control.
So between Wednesday and Sunday, Ardent Defender got out of hand?
Then on Friday, GC posted this: EH is very important. But it is not the all there is to tank balance. I suspect even the players that first came up with that way of describing survivability would admit that it gets focused on too much these days.
This is important to the discussion because it is the EH increase of Ardent Defender that was nerfed. In its current incarnation, AD can be theorycrafted out to be a 15% increase in EH. By reducing the damage reduction from 30% to 20%, will make it only an 8.75% increase in EH.
So on Wednesday, the Developers didn’t feel AD was out of hand, and on Friday, they thought the community was making too big a deal out of the EH increase.
Then suddenly on Sunday, AD was out of hand and the EH increase was so important it had to be nerfed. I've seen politicians flip flop less.
Ghostcrawler also posted that: We want the paladin currently at level 74 to feel like she's going to be able to fill a tanking role by the time she's geared out
Well, if I was that Level 74 Paladin, I would be concerned
The Developers get accused sometimes of caving into the whiners on the forums, and making changes simply to placate them. When they make such sudden and seemingly capricious changes in direction, even reasonable players, which I’d like to think I am, start to wonder.
I’m amazed by the number of people; Paladins included who accepted this nerf with a ‘had to see that coming’ type of attitude.
Ardent Defender is our second cooldown, similar to Last Stand, which by the strictest definitions is a 30% EH increase, twice that of the current AD, and three times the nerfed AD. Of course Last Stand is temporary and AD also has the guardian spirit effect added.
Maintankadin.com is down right now, so I can’t see what the reaction has been there. I’d really love to see what Lore, Theck, Modus, and the crew have to say. Many times those guys help me understand things better.
I tend to think that this is largely just a theorycrafting nerf. Due to the way Ardent Defender works, you aren’t going to really see the difference unless you are parsing logs and seeing a reduction in the amount of damage absorbed by AD. For most players, it will be a feel thing. Paladin tanks will feel a little squishier and a little harder to heal, but it will be difficult to pin the exact cause on the AD nerf.
But Paladins, after being behind for all of Burning Crusade and the first two tiers of Wrath, were finally competitive. Now, we’re being hit in both EH and Threat. The roller coaster ride I feared seems to be coming to fruition.