I want to take some time and lay out for you, gentle readers, how I feel the State of Warrior Tanking is at this present time in-game and some of the solutions I have in mind. I had a super huge post typed out but I decided it would probably be nicer to all of you if I broke it down into sections, this it the first part entitled “Buffs and Debuffs”.
Before you start reading, I want to make it clear that I’m not really pissed off or emotional about the state of Warrior tanking, it’s just that I feel there are some things that need to change if the idea of tank homogenization that Blizzard has in their minds is going to work. This is especially important to me because my guild’s three raiding tanks are all Warriors; we have no Paladins, no Druids and only one casual Death Knight tank.
Buffs and Debuffs
Problem: We are the only tanking class that doesn’t bring some kind of buff that isn’t covered by another class.
- Sunder Armor: Sunder Armor used to be the realm of Warriors only but that’s changed since rogues can now put it up in the form of Expose Armor. If you really wanted to, a Hunter could bring a Worm to a fight and use it’s Acid Spit ability.
- Commanding Shout or Battle Shout: You only need two different warriors to keep both Battle Shout and Commanding Shout active. Odds are good that your Fury Warriors are also rocking 5/5 in Command Presence, making their Shouts better than yours anyway. If you have a Retribution Paladin with Improved Might, then Battle Shout isn’t going to be used in the first place.
- Demoralizing Shout: A decent debuff, particularly useful on melee bosses but, again, this can be put up by any other Warrior or even a Druid with Demoralizing Roar.
- Vigilance: The only real “buff” we have that no one else does, it’s really nice in instances where instant taunts are necessary, but it seems as if it’s going to be providing Blizzard with a design problem. I will discuss this in more detail later in the “Threat vs Damage” post coming up in the next few days.
- Thunder Clap: This ability’s claim to fame is it’s 20% attack speed reduction on the targets that are affected by the debuff, which is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand the debuff allows us to slow the attacks speeds of a huge amount of targets all at once, making it one of the most healer-friendly spells to use during AOE tanking. On the other hand, it’s this debuff that Ghostcrawler stated during WotLK Beta was going to keep Thunder Clap’s AOE threat and damage under that of Consecration. On boss fights, Paladin tanks can automatically apply the 20% attack speed debuff by putting points into Judgements of the Just and doing their normal rotation.
Compare this to other tank classes who bring some pretty wicked buffs:
- Blessing of Sanctuary: Considered by many to be the tanking buff, Blessing of Sanctuary will pretty much guarantee that your tanks will never run out of rage or runic power. This buff has no equal among other classes meaning no other class can bring this powerful ability to your raid other than a Protection Paladin. If you’re lucky a Holy Paladin might spec into it when making some crazy spec for 3D Sartharion like Polgera did.
- Blessing of Kings: In 3.1 Kings will be baseline for all Paladins but at the moment this still stands. Unless you have a Retribution or Holy Paladin who is nice enough to pick up these talents then you might miss out on this fantastic buff if you don’t have a Protection Paladin along.
- Leader of the Pack: 5% increased critical strike change to all melee and ranged targets in range of the buff. If the druid gets Improved Leader of the Pack they also heal when anyone under the affect of Leader of the Pack deal a critical strike.
- Blood Aura (Blood DKs): 4% of the damage dealt by players affected by this buff is transferred straight back to those players as heals. Assuming a DPSer does 1,000,000 damage over the course of a fight, this Aura is passively healing them for 40,000. That isn’t a game-changing amount of healing but it’s certainly better then nothing.
- Unholy Aura (Unholy DKs): Raid-wide 15% movement speed increase. Buffs like these are getting more and more needed as the fights in the game keep moving toward heightened levels of movement.
- Frost Aura (Frost DKs): A passive 80 (1 per level) resistance to all schools of magic if you’re near the Frost DK, that’s pretty nice on fights like Sapphiron and we don’t know if Blizzard is going to be throwing in more resistance fights in the future.
- Improved Icy Talons (Frost DKs): This buff provides the same kind of returns as Improved Windfury Totem and it doesn’t even have to be put down again and again like the totem, it just auto-refreshes when Icy Talons is used.
- Hysteria: A buff that is a huge 20% damage increase for physical damage dealers, provided they get enough heals not to die.
- Make Shouts into auras. This was mentioned in TankSpot and it’s something I really agree with: make “shouts” into auras similar to the aura for Draenei, but base it off of stance. For instance, while in Battle (or ‘Zerker!) Stance the warrior projects a Battle Aura, giving the same buff as the shout without having to cast it every two-minutes, for Protection Warriors give them Commanding Aura and have it apply the health bonus to all surrounding raid members.
- Change Vigilance. I would personally suggest removing the 10% threat siphon from Vigilance and instead making Vigilance an alternative to Blessing of Sanctuary which could be buffed onto the entire raid, or make it an aura that surrounds the Protection Warrior while he’s in Defensive Stance that grants the same bonus as Blessing of Sanctuary, perhaps rename Vigilance to Improved Commanding Aura. This would eliminate the problems with Vigiliance that I will outline later in the “Threat vs Damage” section of this topic while also fixing the inherent problem with Protection Warriors not bringing any buffs that aren’t either covered by other classes or are, in s0me cases, subpar to the ones that other tanking classes bring.
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It seems like about a couple of months now, but Kadomi over at Tank Like A Girl gave me a shout out for a little game called “Sixth of Sixth”. The premise is simple: go into your World of Warcraft folder, find your sixth screenshot folder and post the sixth screenshot in that folder.
I don’t have any screenshot folders so I just grabbed the sixth screenshot and boy howdy is it awesome:
Baby Spice + Mechano-Hog = Win. I love it.
Popularity: 61% [?]