#0 - 2010/09/18 12:40:12 PMBlame Heavy Repercussions for this and probably other forthcoming nerfs to Shield Slam.
When Damage Shield was taken away (along with a ton of other aoe capabilities on all tanks), they needed to create something new to have enough Prot Tree talents ...rather than something really new though or a revamping of damage shield, they brought back the previously cut "Shield Block Button=Double Damage" function and made it into a talent.
Right away this flagged me as a "bad idea". A periodic doubling of Shield Slam's damage caused us no end of trouble through all of Wrath because of PVP, creating a need to nerf shield block value, warbringer, and shield slam's damage ceiling multiple times. I was happy to see it gone when I logged into beta; instead Shield Slam hit "naturally" hard 100% of the time without being overpowered.
Shield Slam at 85 hits for varied amounts thanks to Vengeance, but it could range from 6k-10k with crits of 12k-20k, which is a perfectly good amount when you figure that random level 85 mobs are at ~70k health; it takes a goodly 5-15 seconds to kill one on your own which feels about right. As in Wrath though, doubling Shield Slam breaks the whole scenario; you get 12k-20k hits with crits going bonkers.
Of course it had to be nerfed, I understand that that it's hitting too hard. The problem is that it's only hitting too hard when the stars align for crits during an infrequent cooldown, it's fine otherwise. We would have been far better off with the shield slam that always hit decently, now we're stuck with "weak except when shield block is running" again. Note-before anyone says that they're balancing it out with Devastate, the "buff" to devastate doesn't remotely cover the dps loss from base shield slam being nerfed by one quarter; devastate's hitting for ~2k in beta right now at 85.
I'll also bet that even with this nerf, the fact that we can double shield slam's damage means that our hardest hitting ability is going to need nerfs again in the future. It's based on AP now remember, and all that an enterprising prot warrior would need to do is throw on some DPS/PVP gear gemmed for strength, and macro shield block+some AP on use Trinkets and wait for inner rage to proc/be pushed, and they could easily "break" it again. Doubling our highest damage ability for short periods of time on a 30 second cooldown is just a bad recipe; we're noodles when it's not doubled and we're in our regular gear, but align the stars, some other abilties and some gear uses, and we'll need nerfs again.
Moreover, Shield Slam right now is a narrow focus of the Prot spec; every piece of our class and rotation seems to revolve around it. Shield Block doubles it. Devastate and Revenge have a chance to proc it. It's by far our heaviest hitting ability, and many talents either support it or the s+B duo directly. We need to move the focus away from Shield Slam IMO; instead of having Heavy Repercussions there, why not put in a talent (or just change this one) to improve Shockwave, Revenge, or heroic leap? Or even just give us Bloodrage back as a talent, that would be very useful to prot right now in many situations.
Hell, a prot talent that modified heroic leap for us would be welcome, with a 333 ilevel, 2.6 speed weapon it's hitting for 1357 damage...but don't worry, it's a Massive1357 damage. In all seriousness, Prot gets nearly nothing from Colossus Smash or Heroic Leap (not usable on bosses), and Inner Rage is...well, it's a mess, right now it's pretty much always on for Prot against 5-man bosses, and with the new proposed button, it's likely to just get macroed to our attacks, or else completely ignored depending on the final rage equation. We could really use a talent that made one of our new "toys" something that Prot could employ in raid scenarios.