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Cataclysm Tanking – my concerns

August 23, 2010

1) Vengeance:

Meant as a cushion to alleviate late expansion differences between dps and tps, this will allow a tank’s stamina (always the number one tanking desire) to boost their damage/threat. The implementation seems clunky according to the pwnwear forum testers (it is going up and down really quickly which means a very jagged threat generation profile) but we can hope this will change. In general it is a good idea but being such a new concept, I imagine it will need a lot of iterations. But is it a mechanism that is consistent between tanks to the point of not even changing the name? It has to be customised to the different classes to stop those that gain more benefit from stamina stacking (bears) from getting huge threat advantages but I do wish they’d bothered to give it a little more class flavour. Somehow bears taking Vengeance on their foes seems wrong to me.

2) Healing Styles:

I may not be a healer but what affects them affects my survivability considerably. According to Blizzard, they want less spike damage and more steady attrition. They want to run healers out of mana rather than forcing them to have itchy trigger fingers. If this works then tanks will be taking a lot more incoming damage and have to rely on cooldowns to avoid dragon breath a lot less. Personally, I think this will make tanking less fun as it will move tanking further towards choosing the right gearing strategy and less towards using my cooldowns at the right time. Hopefully I won’t be macro-ing my cooldowns to my threat rotation so as to gain the greatest possible long term benefit to the healer but it is a worrying possibility (I note that this is exactly what I did with Barkskin throughout Naxx because it technically mitigated the most damage that way and the cooldown was not strong enough to really work as a panic button). Bleh!

3) AOE:

I’ve already posted at length about this but I should put it in. I like the aoe style of tanking. It is fun, relatively easy and gives a wonderful feeling of power. If I can only stand up to one or two mobs then I don’t feel as if I am very survivable. The point of being a tank is being able to survive lots of people wanting to kill me. Mind you, this is all a matter of degree. I’d quite like healers not to shout at me to pull more groups.

4) Block:

Block/Savage Defense/Life Shield. I still don’t know how they will balance and if they’ll balance. I suspect this will be the area which makes or breaks Cataclysm tanks as being equal or overpowered. I haven’t worked out what they are doing with this yet though so can’t do more than flag it.

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