Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This Song Hits the Wrong Notes

iccbuff What I am about to say may come as  a bit of a surprise to you, but, as a Tank, I’m really not digging like Hellscream’s Warsong. Now that’s ironic because I’m pretty sure we would not have killed Arthas without the buff. Let me give you two reasons why I’m not excited about each incremental increase in the buff.
Every time the buff increases, my job gets harder. The buff increases damage dealt. Nowhere in there does it talk about increasing Threat. Now I would figure that since Paladin threat is just our damage times our Righteous Fury modifier, that our threat would be increased as well, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. For pretty much all of Wrath, the only times I’ve had threat problems have been gimmick fights like Malygos or Hodir Hard Mode. Now it’s like I’m back in tBC. In those opening moments of a fight, I can and have lost aggro to just about everyone in our Raid Group. This is especially true on a fight like Sindrigosa where I have been wearing Frost Resist gear. If my opening Avenger’s Shield misses, I’m in deep trouble. Thank the Devs I have two taunt buttons.
I’m not sure if DPS is scaling better than tanks, or if there is some other mechanic at work here that I’m missing. And it’s not just me. I checked with Boston (Blood Death Knight co-Tank) and he’s having the same problems. Our 10 mans don’t always have a Rogue or Hunter for Misdirects and Tricks of the Trade so we can’t rely on them. I’m at a loss to explain it.
The buff is certainly a huge aid in keeping tanks (and DPS/Healers) alive during encounters. While I may be a little envious of Bluevine (Blue’s Feral Druid alt) ability to hit over 80k health (dude, what DID you do?), I can’t remember the last time Tank death was the leading cause of a wipe for our group. This is more a testament to our outstanding healing team than to any tanking I’m doing. I generally one of the last players to die on any attempt. My death is only because we lost a healer, or Boston called for a wipe because we lost too many DPS/Healers.
What bothers me about the buff from a Survival standpoint is that it renders most of my decisions moot. This was brought out the other day when answering questions about gemming for ICC and when to switch over to full on stamina gearing. Gemming is one place where we really get to fine tune our gear. But in the end, it really doesn’t matter. The truth is the 15% buff in ICC makes a much bigger difference in defeating content that what you've gemmed. As someone who tries to make good choices in his gear, it’s deflating to realize that those decision no longer make a significant difference.
Take Action
@FiestTheRogue on Twitter suggested I need to get more Expertise and Hit. I couldn’t agree more on the Hit part, but I’m already Dodge capped on expertise with Seal of Vengeance up. To get more hit I need the Ring from Gunship. We only seen it drop one time. I could also look at replacing my gloves which are from Blood Queen with the Emblem ones. I don’t need survivability as much any more, but I need threat. I plan to start using more threat centric pieces once I can obtain them.


Turiel said...

Couple things Honor's:

DPS will inherently scale better with a % damage increase due to the fact that they do much more damage than you do, and you are right, a flat % to damage will not always equal more threat. Especially considering a tank is not hit capped (while every dps is hitcapped) that increase will be felt very hard when you miss. This being said, at this level of raiding it really shouldn't be an issue for your dpsers (I hope) to be able to still use omen, and to not open up as hard as humanly possible, unless they want to watch a 3 second wipe...

As for gearing into it, the general idea would be that you could run with less heals, or heals that are able to contribute to dps, if you are able to survive better. OR you can choose to keep the healers (with their increased healing as well) at their same level and then decide to contribute to more DPS (and threat) as a tank. In the end it would be specific to each fight (more or less dependent on how much care the healers would have to have watching the raid) to see where each decision would be beneficial, and I don't think it would be much of an issue.

With all this being said, I would say I probably would get used to this as the new model of raiding suggests that tanks WILL have HP pools that large compared to the incoming damage, and there will be less need for twitchy tanks who struggle at staying up... but then what will Blizz do to make their life more interesting? I see either:

A. make the tanks move more (I.E. more adds, or fire they have to move out of)

or B. Make threat an issue again (I'm not too sure blizz enjoyed the 10 second waits that tanks had at the start of fights in vanilla)

Who knows, it'll probably be a combination of the both.

As you alluded to- better problems to have than bosses that hit way too hard!! (See: ToC Heroic)

chillen said...

As you probably know, Wrathy made a post about this last week:

I'm changing my gemming strategy now that the 15% buff is live so that I gem all my yellow sockets (where I can get +9 stamina or greater as a socket bonus) with Vivid Eye of Zul (+10 hit/+15 stam) until my Hit rating is about 200. I also always make sure a Draenei is in my raid party, which brings my effective Hit rating to about 230. I'll be as close as I can to the hit cap (within 1%)without giving up much survivability. Currently, my hit rating is around 150 , so with the removal of about 5 Enduring Eye of Zul (+10 defense/+15 stam) I'll lose about 50 defense to gain 50 hit. I think the extra threat for the loss of survivability will be a reasonable trade-off.

What's my main Again? said...

One of my fellow officers made an interesting comment last night... he said he can't wait to see what happens when ruby sanctum comes out and everyone wonders what happened to their dps.

Makes me wonder if inflating the raid's power is the way to go instead of nerfing the content itself. Especially if it does start changing how we gear towards content only to have everything change when the next raid dungeon comes out.

Anonymous said...

I run a DK tank with gear very similar to Boston's (main difference being him using Brytroll and I'm using Ramalamadingdong). The main difference is he seems to be running a blood spec and I've chosen to go with a frost spec. I mention this because I'm finding it odd that you said he's having threat problems too. Maybe it's the difference in Icy Touch between blood and frost, but I never have threat problems since the buff to Icy Touch unless I've got some crazy 11k dps warlock or fury warrior breathing down my neck. Just offering this up as a point of comparison.

Blue said...



Ellevis said...

Well at the moment neither of us are having threat issues but I think what Honors is doing is looking towards the future as the buff reaches 30%.

Gryphonheart said...

"As someone who tries to make good choices in his gear, it’s deflating to realize that those decision no longer make a significant difference."

I don't think that the decision is no longer making a significant difference, but rather the buff is challenging your current ideas on stat values. Deciding how to gear is now more important, because if you just blindly go all-out survivability without reevaluating how that choice will affect you, you'll just end up becoming an unkillable "tank" that can't hold aggro.

The question now is how much survivability from gear can/should you give up in exchange for threat generation before you become too squishy to tank effectively? And to be honest, it seems like a more fun question to answer than "how high can you get your effective health to go?"

However, I'm not looking forward to the buff going away in Ruby Sanctum and seeing the tanks that swap to gearing for threat suddenly become super squishy. =\