With the new Beta information up the change, or rather lack thereof, that interests me most is that of fear. Druids got a new way to break fear, Warriors can stance dance their way out of it every 30s, this leaves the other main tanking class* as the only one with no way to avoid fears. I won't consider Death Knights since I don't know enough of them to really say whether they are Main Tanks or not, their lack of armour seems to suggest they might have a niche role in tanking that isn't specifically Main Tank (who by definition should be able to tank anything), however this needs a real look at instance / raid tanking to confirm.

Getting back to my point, Paladins, the Defenders of the Faith, Warriors of The Light, Faithful Champions, turn tail and run at any chance we get. In the Warcraft Games Arthas stood amongst his enemies (with Uther and many others), and fought, ressed and even mass resurrections his followers. In short, the background idea makes the idea of a Paladin running away from at least Undead and Demon fears unlikely, these are the enemies of the Paladin, why would we run. Giving us no way out of fears also means that our use as Main Tank needs to be considered closely, why give a Paladin a slot on Archimonde as tank when a Warrior won't eat up your Fear Wards (ok I can argue why, but after seeing the fight its really not a dps race, its a "don't stand in fire", "Press tears hot key before dying" fight). The answer is that you don't, you take pity on your Paladin tanks and let them leech or respec Holy for the night, and thats not a good situation for a tank to be in, the viability on any fight must be considered for there to be a reason to take you along, and for the game to really support 4 tanking classes.

What fights should be like is Reliquery of Souls, part 1 favours a Paladin in block gear, part 2 really doesn't favour a Paladin, and part 3 really favours a Paladin, its slightly unbalanced in favour of the Paladin here but the idea is sound, a fight which favours at least 2 classes of Tank and can be tanked by any of them. Archimonde on the other hand, his fears hitting the Main Tank doesn't add anything to the fight, for a Warrior its a button click, for a Paladin or Druid its a Fear Ward. Hitting everyone else means you need to worry about the Main Tank dying, but hitting the Main Tank simply means the boss might run around a bit and maybe crush the tank, its not a real issue, its a mechanic that pretty much penalises lag, the penalty is the same if the tank stands still and everyone else runs around, except that making the tank run reduces the truly viable tanks down to a Warrior.

Stupid mechanics are fine, some of them are fun and interesting, Kael'thas Sunstrider making it hard for melee to hit High Astromancer Capernian is fine, because the two warlocks that tank it can solo her while you go on with the fight. Making life harder on the tanks, and making sure that two out of the three classes that could tank a fight are sub-par is not a fun mechanic, you don't tend to see people ever saying "A Warrior can't tank that", what you see is "A Paladin / Druid would be better", and thats the situation that we want to get all the tanks to, preference yes, bench warming no.

* At current the Main Tanking classes are Warriors and Paladins due to the availability of crushing blows which can severely mess up a Druid's day. This isn't to say they can't main tank, since I know they can but its a potential liability on things like shear from Illidan that most guilds would rather not deal with. The fact that both Paladins and Warriors lack a real not-tanking role also means that Feral Druids tend to get shunted into the DPS / tank when needed role rather than being allowed to tank fully, I would like to see all of the classes get a fair shot at this really rather than forcing off-tank status onto at least one class.

6 comments:

Verolia said...

Bah!

Paladins have a way to become fear immune. Use your priests to your advantage. We have fear ward, every single one of us, and its mostly lying there waiting for its CD to be used.

Tell your priests on certain fights, that they need to fear ward you. 3 Priests can keep you fear warded for an entire fight, like Archimonde, and Voodoo has done with 2 and a little luck.

2ndNin said...

:P yeah, but why not fear ward yourself and keep 2 or so healers in the game healing through a fear than use it on the tank? What about runs with no priests?

The point is that there is a major gap in tanking for paladins that is only solveable with third party classes, tanking classes should be self sufficient for the most part such that any tank is capable of tanking any boss, with preferences for specific ones on specific fights. Forcing us to use fear wards means the raid as a whole suffers.

Verolia said...

Blessing of Protection? The one that doesn't drop aggro?

I have no idea but I understand your point. There is a reason why warriors are better single target tankers, they can stance-dance, and why pallies are better AoE. I dont think there is one aoe fight where the pally can get feared.

I understand if you were to be the main tank but for fights that fear, (archimonde for example), wouldn't you already have your trinket equiped? why not pop it then?

2ndNin said...

Bubbles drop aggro.

trinket is once per 2 mins.

Paladins can MT, fearing the Tank isn't a good mechanic unless thats the only fear or its small groups, thats something you can apply tactically, a mass fear is simply a lazy tool of a dev, it doesn't add anything to the fight (if it did the fear would be irresistable).

The point is that you have 1 remaining tank class thats fearable, the goal of making all 3 tank classes viable with a fear mechanic the way it is is not viable, its just a silly hurdle in the way of progression. On Archimonde the fear is meant to risk the dps (doomfire + fear = lol deaths), and the healers on the MT (fear ward rotation to keep at least 2 healers on him/her). Fearing the tank makes little difference to that other than to make Warriors the preferred tanks. Thats not a fight mechanic, thats a silly game mechanic

LarĂ­sa said...

I don't know enough about tanking to comment on this from a techincal sort of view, but I really must say I loved your lore-angle of the fearing: it doesn't make sense that the paladines, of all classes are cowards.

Isn't it quite rare that we think about what classes should be and not be from that aspect?

It's quite refreshing.

2ndNin said...

Lore wise many classes don't make sense, Paladins are standoff healers (at the back), fearable tanks and burst dps machines (in WC3 they were essentially slow killing hard to kill units more like a bear druid than their current incarnation).

Warlocks tend to sacrifice their pets as the damage is higher and the pets themselves are hard to keep alive. Warriors flip their stances and tank, again in WC3 the warrior classes were more melee orientated (Avatar form etc).

The lore aspect gets really dropped and its a true shame, the game itself should reflect its lore, for example the Ashbringer, a famed paladin for killing undead so fast they formed literally a pile of dust beneath him, imagine if the story ran that he got feared and ran away... or Uther the Lightbringer, chain feared and dotted to death. It just doesn't fit the lore, many of the classes could do with being brought into line, I would love to have my Felguard actually a force to be reckoned with, using my abilities to maximise his effectiveness rather than him being a 200dps melee mob that dies a lot. Make the lore fit the class, or vice versa and it makes it easier to select your class at the start, and to be happy with the overall vision it will have.

In many ways I dislike the changes in WoTLK from a Lore perspective, paladins shield slamming and suchlike doesn't fit my idea of the Holy Warrior, thats more warrior territory, but a battle ressing healing class, short ranged and powerful heals and meleeing seems a lot more like what a healing paladin is in the background.