Once more unto the masteries
*updated 14/5: from the datamined information from Nihilum, it looks like the absorb might be c.100% of your death strike and then will scale higher than that with the mastery stat. Obviously numbers will change but could be a hefty amount especially as it scales with stamina which will be high in Cataclysm. Whatever else this may make blood tanks even better at extre soloing.
Well, a little information came out of the alpha on Healing Absorption.
From the Pwnwear forums:
“Each time you heal yourself via Death Stike, you gain a percentage of the amount healed as a damage absorption shield.”
I still have worries. Death Strike is used fairly often and heals fairly hard (though the latter does not matter as they can set the percentage at whatever they like to balance it; even multiples if necessary). Allowing incidental self-healing would probably have made it harder to understand, model and adjust and lead to another rollercoaster of buffs and nerds.
It’s a shame that the special heal of Rune Tap will not allow you to give your shield a strong boost before a big hit though. That is the sort of proactive, intellect-based tanking I enjoy and which I think is the mark of a good DK tank.
It is also going to be annoying if healers permanently keep you at 100% so you never heal for the full amount and so never have a full strength shield. I don’t look forward to that argument with my healers: “look, keep me at 80% all the time please. Less and I lose threat, more and I lose survivability.” To be honest, this I expect to change to work off overheal.
Obviously there is more to know in terms of numbers but of the more philosophical questions, only one other really remains. Will the shield be refreshed and boosted (like a reverse Deep Wounds) or will we have to stagger Death Strike so as to maintain maximum uptime. I really hope the former as the latter would be needlessly complex and force you to prioritise between a possibly life saving selfheal, and the need to get a strong shield in place for the next blow. Mind you, that would be proactive intellectual tanking!