We are making some adjustments to tank survivability based on what we’re seeing in Icecrown Citadel. We feel this is particularly important in preparation for upcoming Heroic attempts. This is tricky and occasionally subjective, so we might very well make more adjustments as we get even more data.
- Sacred Duty now provides 2 / 4% Stamina, down from 4 / 8% Stamina. The cooldown advantages of the talent remain unchanged.
- Frost Presence now provides 8% Stamina, up from 6% Stamina.
- Icebound Fortitude now provides 30% base damage reduction, up from 20% damage reduction. For a geared tank with high defense, this translates to 50% damage reduction, up from 40%.
It’s important to note that we aren’t trying to single out paladins here. We like the tank balance of warriors and druids at the moment, and we have a larger sample size of warrior tanks that we can compare. Another solution would have been to buff warriors, death knights and druids and then increase boss damage accordingly. Obviously, that would have been a much larger change with greater risks and a longer delay.
Though Ardent Defender is always a possible target for changes, we like that this talent provides such a distinction between warriors and paladins. Rather than have all the tanks have the same health, armor, avoidance and cooldowns, we’d rather have four unique tanking classes rather than just superficial or artistic differences. Yes, that design is harder to balance, but we think class distinction is ultimately more interesting, which is better for the long term health of the game. The goal remains to have all four tanks be viable for any encounter, assuming sufficient gear and skill, and any differences in performance on individual encounters to be minor. “Minor” is obviously a subjective term.
Please note that the death knight change will result in a small survivability increase in PvP, which we think is appropriate. We chose it partially with that in mind.