Regional FlagIs Active Mitigation Passive?Source
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#1 - 2011/06/17 03:19:00 PM
In Zarhym’s last post to DKs, he stated
06/15/2011 02:20 PMPosted by Zarhym
One thing we have discussed is giving players more control over whether they make this decision (trading higher risk for higher return) or not.

Blizzard, please start designing in this fashion. There are a number of threads about the change to Holy Shield. Both sides have sound arguments. The arguments all boil down to core concepts when a CD is developed. I understand why you’d want to move to more active mitigation decisions for tanks. However, those current decisions suffer from design flaws (removal of the ability to opt out of the decision is one of them).

The past and most of the current design is such that “active mitigation” means the player is not AFK and that they are hitting the button. Lets be honest, you haven’t had a raid encounter where I could AFK-tank through it since Loatheb. When the player is just hitting the ability without thinking about it, is it really “active” or is it passive? If you made it completely passive, the player still wouldn’t think about it and they would still be using their GCDs. The move to active tanking should consist of a larger requirement than the player be at their keyboard; it should require active decision making.

Almost all “active” mitigation abilities in the game fall into two categories; keep it active abilities or CDs. Both are largely passive. The tank either keeps it active as much as possible (debuffs, SD from abilities, old school Holy Shield, etc.) or they are held in reserve for some emergency. There is no real decision making beyond, “the boss will almost kill me with a breath, use a CD.” It’s largely passive.

The only real decision is for CDs. However, even those struggle to be engaging. The design of current CDs is such that you lose if ill-timed, but you also lose if they are on CD. Both conflict and both are really hard to guess which is better. The result is that there is no real discernable way to tell the opportunity cost. The player simply guesses and makes a binary decision to try to use it with burst (given the number of CDs, this usually means it doesn’t get used much) or they just mash it on CD. There is no real decision making.

In addition, the current design is such that the penalty is just for terrible usage. It penalizes those that are learning. A DK that doesn’t realize they need to be mashing DS is heavily penalized. A paladin that is learning abilities and neglects some is penalized. The penalty is applied to the beginner, rather than those opting for more intelligent play. Is that the goal of active mitigation; to penalize the beginner?

I would think that would be the last goal of the Devs. While they should be at a disadvantage to the skilled, it should be the skilled pushing themselves ahead; not penalizing the beginner that creates the gap. That ability to opt for advanced play and push themselves ahead should be the design behind active mitigation.

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#17 - 2011/06/20 09:28:00 PM
In general we like designs like this a lot. The challenge is that WoW is a game where you are tanking for a group, so there is a substantial social dynamic at play. We don't want things to play out is like this: "Oh, look, our DK tank has the easy mode Death Strike talent. Ergo, he's a bad tank. Let's kick him and get a good one."

Never mind that the DK in question probably tanks better with the "automatic" Death Strike rather than fumbling through the "manual" one. Never mind that the difference between the two is probably not going to make the difference between success or failure unless you are on Heroic raids (in which case why on earth do you have a pug tank?)

Obviously we shouldn't design around misinformation. But at the same time, social pressure is really powerful. If the active / harder-to-use / more pro mode of Death Strike becomes the only acceptable standard, then we haven't accomplished anything but complicate the game.

It's something to think about at least. ;)