Regional FlagWhat's wrong with tank niches?Source
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#0 - 2010/03/19 08:30:17 PM
To begin with, Ghost, I have read many, many posts from you and from other Blizz employees, and I have never felt the desire to make a post until now. I may disagree with some things I see written, but it isn’t until I saw what your latest information about where you are thinking about taking tanking in Cataclysm that I felt I needed to say a few things, even if it just ends up getting a one liner from you that reads. “You’re an idiot. you don’t know how to play this game. Quit and go play Star Trek Online.” (P.S. unless you post in blue, don’t bother saying it)

To quote your post from the thread entitled “Please do away with faceroll AoE tanking”

Q u o t e:
And without launching into class warfare again, we think the paladin is a little too good in the AE department so we'd rather bring them down than bring everyone else up.

I respectfully disagree with this assessment. Every other role has their specific items where each class/spec is good with something. That is how the game was designed, and people play the classes that they jive with the best. A tree druid is much better at raid healing than a pally healer, who is much better at tank healing. A Discipline priest is much better at tank healing than a holy priest. Why then, are you trying to force every tank class to be the same?

While I agree that, in minor 5 man instances, every tank should be able to perform decently, I don’t think that every tank should be required or even able to aptly perform every tank role in a raid, 10 or 25 man. If you really want every tank to have equal abilities at everything, you could simply wipe out all four class’ ability to tank and make an 11th class called “The tank”, which would certainly ensure each tank could do everything the same.

I am assuming that this has not happened because you and/or others in Blizz’s design department want to maintain some distinction between the four tank classes. Why not make the differences more apparent, as it was in Burning Crusade?

The problem in BC was that there were not enough tanks out there to satisfy the general population, so Blizz made it so that more people could (and would) tank. They added a secondary spec that is just a click away, they added an extra tanking class, and they dumbed down tanking both in terms of gear, skill, and actual boss mechanics that its gotten boring. Now we have a lot more tanks. The problem is they are BAD tanks who don’t understand even the basic mechanics of tanking, don’t understand how to generate threat with their class, don’t like to move or have to think during boss fights, and then complain on forums about how one or another class is “better” and needs to get nerfed.

Before anybody starts saying that Warriors’s cant AoE tank or DKs cant hold threat, let me state that I have three toons that can tank: A paladin, a druid, and a DK. I have played them all (and experimented with a warrior) extensively in both 5 mans and raid environments. Each has their little quirks. DKs have amazing CDs that a Paladin does not have. My paladin has massive AoE threat, and I can pull 7-8K DPS on ICC trash (for those of you who don’t believe me, I can post screenshots if needed). My Druid is amazing at gathering loose adds, because I don’t have to drop consecrate, I can run and swipe constantly to pick them up much easier than a pally tank does.

Before people start saying that my main is a pally tank and I have no issues with threat, I would like to state, flat out, that it is not true. I am well known on my server to out threat even better geared pally tanks, because I chose my gear and my gemming to be more oriented towards threat generation than stam stacking. I feel that simply piling on the HP is a stupid thing for tanks to do, and I always feel vindicated because I feel that it isn’t just a tank’s job to survive, it’s to survive while actually keeping the boss on you. I personally feel that the tanks who sit and moan about the fact they don’t have threat are bad tanks because they are not doing anything to remedy it except to complain on forums.

Whenever I enter a pug VoA or ICC 10 group, I am well known enough on my server that, even if another tank has 10% more HP than me, that I will be the main tank because I hold threat better. I WORK for threat. My girlfriend, who is a hunter, has been clocked at 15K DPS on some trash pulls, and over 10K DPS on single target (without weird boss things like the Twin Valks) and I will admit, freely, that I need to tell her to watch her threat sometimes, but it also pushes me to up MY threat as well. And this is coming from a tank who (in the same pulls that she is pulling 15K DPS) is on record to pull 8K DPS as a TANK on trash.

As a side note. I use SoV, and I pull off SoC running pally tanks (comparatively geared of course) without blinking.

I feel that it is Blizz’s desire to make tanks more, not less unique recently, your post is only the most recent example of this. Anothe

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#129 - 2010/03/20 02:10:23 AM

First of all, I hope you don't mind, but I changed the topic of the post. We don't think the forum is as useful if every thread is addressed to Blizzard.

Second, we try and prevent homogenization among classes when we can. It's actually very important to us and obviously more important to us than many players who would be satisfied with us just smearing critical abilities across all of the tank classes.

Having said that, we don't think well-defined tank niches are very good for the game. We've even backed off of well-defined healing niches and we'll continue to do so even more in Cataclysm. It comes down to a numbers problem. In a 5-player dungeon you get one tank. If the dungeon happens to be an AE tanking dungeon (Shattered Halls comes to mind) then groups want a paladin and not another tank. Likewise if we positioned DKs as the magic tank, they'd be underpowered on any dungeon without a lot of magic damage. Now maybe that's okay for a 5-player run, but it gets a lot trickier when you're talking about a 10-player raid with 2 tanks. When you're up against the most challenging content, you'd likely want to swap out for the best tank for the encounter, which means keeping a stable of 4 tanking classes ready to come in at a moment's notice. Some amount of swapping is hard to discourage, but we definitely don't want to design dungeons around the expectation that your paladin tank doesn't mind sitting out on the single target fights just to shine on the AE ones. She'll miss out on a lot of badges for one. :(

It is definitely a challenge to keep classes feeling unique while giving players enough flexibility that they don't feel like they constantly have to ask their friends to reroll and / or recruit the missing puzzle pieces into their social circle.