Regional FlagWhy was threat decay scrapped?Source
Target Source
#0 - 2010/09/28 03:24:05 PM
Q u o t e:
We actually never implemented threat decay. We're not sure we'll need it.

That's from GC. How come? I was kind of excited about the idea of threat decay. It's an elegant solution to many of the existing quirks and problems with tank threat. The mechanic could have been very simple: "All threat against all creatures is reduced by 5% per second"

The upshot would be that threat would depend more on recent actions than long past ones. In particular, anything beyond the last 20 seconds would be nearly irrelevant. Here are some interesting and beneficial results of this model.

* There would be no such thing as "enough" threat. Tanks would be unable to simply ignore a mob or slack off after building a large threat lead, because decay would cause someone else's threat to win out within 20 seconds (even the healer's if the mob received no other attention).

* There would be less variability between encounters. Currently threat is a non-issue on any fight where dps swaps off the target for any length of time. Threat decay would reduce that effect considerably.

* It's easier to tune the numbers over a 20 second window than over a complex 5-8 minute fight. Threat per second would become a much more reliable metric. If a decent dps put out 5k TPS, then an excellent tank might do 10k TPS (resulting in a healthy buffer), a mediocre tank might do 6k TPS (passable, but less room for error), and a bad tank might do 4k TPS (meaning the dps must hold back, or risk pulling).

* They could make more threat management tools available without upsetting the balance. Misdirect, tricks, ice block, etc would still be potent if used correctly, but their effects would largely fade away after 20 seconds. These and other abilities could play a more central role in the strategy of an encounter, but decay would ensure that they weren't make-or-break.

Why did such an interesting idea get canned?

Blue Poster
Target Source
#20 - 2010/09/30 01:25:47 AM
We still like the idea and it might return someday.

We scrapped it because we didn't think it was necessary and we wanted to focus on things we thought were necessary. We ended up changing threat modifiers quite a bit and getting rid of a lot of the threat management talents. Furthermore, Vengeance is keeping tank dps up pretty well in beta tests -- often 75% or higher of dps. Finally, it was causing a lot of concern among tanks. The intent was to make threat generation more engaging, ultimately to make tanking more fun. But I think we ended up changing so many aspects of tanking (large health pools so avoidance matters more, less AE tanking, mana mattering more, Vengeance, etc.) that changing threat on top of all of that just seemed to some* tanks to be that final straw that made Cataclysm tanking feel totally unfamiliar to them.

* -- This kind of thing is always subjective. We didn't poll every tank; nor would we put a lot of weight on that anyway. Instead, we read a lot of forums and talked to a lot of tanks we knew to gauge whether this was something they were excited about or not. We know there are tanks that hated the idea and those that will be sad to see it go, as is the case with almost any design change. I offer all of that footnote just to try and stave off some of the inevitable threads that will launch from this one. "Healers don't like running out of mana -- remove that. Warriors don't like rage normalization -- remove that." We welcome your opinions on all of those things, but encourage you not to search for the magic switch that will get us to change out minds in areas where we disagree.