Regional FlagCurrent Prot Warrior Model Is Not Fun (Show MVP Posts)Source
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#1 - 2012/04/05 07:19:00 AM
Before I begin, let me say that I COMPLETELY agree with where Blizzard wants to take tanking. It is much more interesting (and fun!) to give tanks more control over their own survivability. As it stands now on the beta, it takes more skill for a tank to actively mitigate and avoid damage than it does on live, and this is a good thing. Again, I completely applaud the direction that Blizzard is taking tanking.

However, the current active prot warrior model is not working properly, and I am going to briefly list my major reasons why I do not find it to be fun.

1. Mastery. Mastery. Mastery. All of the other tanks (save for Prot paladins) have a mastery that provides them with a guaranteed chance to reduce damage. Much like the AM button Shield Block, prot warrior mastery only gives us a CHANCE to take less damage. I'm not necessarily advocating for homogenization here, but since Blizzard has put Shield Block on a separate dice AND removed our ability to CTC cap, prot warrior mastery is currently the weakest of the pack and will surely make us the least desirable tank when MoP drops, especially when we are all undergeared.

2. The "rotation," or lack thereof. The single target prot warrior rotation is not active or fun by any means. You keep revenge, heroic throw, shield slam, and shockwave on CD and spam devastate when you have nothing else to use. You don't use heroic strike unless you're trying to grab opening burst threat; instead, you wait for your rage bar to hit 60 rage and then you hit shield block. This is not active by any means. Hitting the devastate button over and over is boring, and it makes my finger hurt :(

3. Shield Block is a vastly inferior CD compared to Death Strike, Guard, and Savage Defense. What makes the latter three cooldowns so great is that you are guaranteed to take less damage. With shield block, there is only a CHANCE that you won't take less damage, save for the melee attack after you hit SB. I like the idea with Shield Barrier, though; and, I like being able to choose between Shield Barrier and Shield Block.


1. If you want to keep mastery the way it is, give warriors a one or two more attractive CDs. Several people in this thread already have pointed out that all of the other tank classes (Prot Paladins included) have multiple cooldowns to deal with different situations. Prot Warriors do not have this. It would be OK if we could still CTC cap, but we are guaranteed to be the squishiest tanks in MoP if you keep things the way they are now.

2. Make Shield Block block ALL incoming attacks for the next six seconds. If MoP were to release tomorrow, prot warriors would be the worst tanks in the game largely because of Shield Block. Conversely, you could make the shield block CD provide a flat physical damage reduction, much like Shield Barrier, which provides a flat magic damage reduction.

3. Increase rage generation from auto swings and/or Devastate and other free abilities. The rage gain could be something marginal like 3-5 rage, and even that would make a huge difference. It is a little weird not receiving rage from taking damage anymore, but I can completely deal with it if you could slightly increase rage generation from Shield Slam and auto attacks. I understand that Blizzard does not want tanks swimming in infinite rage, but the rage bar right now is like a very slow-moving energy bar, and it is not fun.


I think that Blizzard is taking a step in the right direction with making tanking more active. However, I am skeptical about how this will work with Prot Warriors. I have been playing this same character since 2005, and this is the first time in my WoW life that I have ever considered not playing him. I know this is anecdotal evidence, but it is significant if I, one of the biggest prot warrior nuts in the world (of warcraft), is considering abandoning this character.

tl;dr: Ghostcrawler said in another thread that they aren't trying to nerf anything; they just want to make it more fun. I COMPLETELY get this and I want tanking to be more fun. So far, however, every tanking class that I have tried (save for the Guardian Druid because I have not tried that) is infinitely more fun than playing a prot warrior. I feel as if we prot warriors are old straw dogs who are trying to relive their glory days back in vanilla and BC.

Edit: I've updated this post based on some of the datamined information that we have. Also, I've thrown in a few more suggestions based on my own thinking and the excellent feedback from players in this thread.

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#63 - 2012/04/07 04:30:00 AM
There is always a risk of jumping into a thread like this to only touch on a couple of points that it will derail what is a pretty interesting discussion. However, I did want to respond to a few things.

1) We still think the overall design of tanks attacking in order to build up resources for defenses is a sound one. In a world where threat isn't hard to maintain beyond the first few seconds, we believe tanks would quickly grow uninterested in their rotation if it wasn't tied to defense. (The reasons we don't think managing threat is fun gameplay after the first few seconds is something I've gone into before, so I won't belabor the point here.)

2) We agree with the feedback that warriors, and to a lesser extent paladins, aren't getting enough out of their block abilities (Shield Block and SotR). We erred on the side of making them forgiving so that tanks wouldn't worry about splatting if they failed to use one of those attacks, but we think now we were too conservative, to the point that they don't feel (to use a word many posters have used) visceral. You should notice a change in incoming damage when you use these abilities. So we are trying the following changes. Let us know how they feel.

  • The next iteration of Shield Block we are going to try is that it blocks ALL attacks for 6 sec. Furthermore, those blocks have a chance to become critical blocks, which keeps mastery relevant.
  • We think Shield of the Righteous needs less tweaking since it already has a damage component; it is noticeable when it gets used. However, to make sure it also provides survivability, the initial automatic block will reduce 75% of damage while any subsequent blocks during the 6 sec duration will block for 50% of damage. (A normal block is 30%.) Those numbers are subject to iteration, but again the idea is that mastery will still affect SotR's mitigation.
  • We also agree that the Guardian druid combination of mastery and Savage Defense feels too passive in comparison with the plate tanks. We are going to change Savage Defense to a chance to avoid damage, which gives it more parity with say the warrior. The warrior has a reliable block, but a more random mastery, while the druid has a reliable mastery, with a more random "block." To partially offset this change, Frenzied Regen will do all of its healing instantly.
    3) We understand that as players, you want to minimize the randomness of tanking. That makes you good tanks. But as designers, we have to make sure that randomness has its place. Randomness is one of the challenges in the game -- by design -- that you need to overcome. Tanking with randomness eliminated would be static and repetitive. You wouldn't have "oh snap" moments where you or a healer had to use a cooldown. You could probably predict from that first boss swing whether you'd win or lose the fight, since every swing would feel about the same way. Of course we don't want tanking to be brutally frustrating, but we don't want it to be effective yet boring either.

    4) We also understand that long-term Protection warriors aren't yet feeling that frenetic, button mashy playstyle with which they have become familiar. We are experimenting with a new proc, currently called Ultimatum, in which Devastate has a chance to make the next Heroic Strike or Cleave free. We don't want to return Devastate to Sword and Board however. Shield Slam (and therefore Sword and Board) provide rage, which is a mitigation resource now. Having Devastate lead to better mitigation would mean you had to prioritize the no-cooldown Devastate above other attacks such as Storm Bolt. Hopefully the Ultimatum implementation will deliver that "fish for procs" feeling of the old Sword and Board, while giving offtanks a more dynamic rotation (since they can't rely on Revenge).

    5) We don't think it's critical that all tanks have the same number and character of cooldowns. In fact, we think doing so would make all of the tanks play too similarly when what we actually want to do is give them each their own character, provided each can still tank any content in the game with a reasonably similar amount of effort. We give everyone a Last Stand and Shield Wall equivalent and try to have another option or two. It's okay that Blood DKs have a lot of cooldowns -- that has always been a DK thing -- as long as they aren't much more effective than other tanks.

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    #71 - 2012/04/07 05:24:00 AM
    While I agree with the idea, its a little extreme atm, druids have a full 7 cds, + SD, DK's still have a ton. Warriors are stuck with SW, and rallying cry which normally gets raid priority.

    Rallying Cry and Last Stand no longer share a cooldown. You can use Rallying Cry to help the raid or to help yourself as a mini Last Stand.

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    #76 - 2012/04/07 05:36:00 AM
    This brings Druids and Warriors closer together, but Paladins will be left in the dust with this change. Warriors will be block capped while still having a chance to block for more than Paladins (other than the initial block after using SotR). I really like the concept of shield tanks block capping with their active mitigation up, but Paladins need to get similar treatment.

    We're only talking about 6 sec though. That's not many boss attacks. The optimal situation for the warrior is around 3 attacks that do 60% less damage, while for the paladin it is 1 attack at 75% and 2 attacks at 50%. The worst situation for the warrior will be 3 attacks at 30% and the worst situation for the paladin will be 1 attack at 75%. The chance of the paladin having the worst case situation should be lower though, and if two unblocked attacks back to back can kill you, then the encounter is probably overtuned (because what happens when you don't have Shield of the Righteous available?)

    In addition, paladins have a potent self-heal in Word of Glory and a paladin at 5 Holy Power can probably generate a new Holy Power for a second cooldown (5 - 3 + 1 = 3) faster than a warrior at 100 rage can generate 20 rage for a second cooldown (100 - 60 + 20 = 60).

    The numbers may not be perfect yet, but they seem within the realm of tuning.

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    #77 - 2012/04/07 05:40:00 AM
    Does that mean you're going to stop designing encounters that demand use of raid cooldowns at specific events, like the Mutated Corruptions using Impale on the Madness of Deathwing fight? Because I can't see how this is going to work out if not only you have to save cooldowns for "oops, RNG hates me and everything I stand for" as well as the current "boss uses an ability, you DIE." If the fight does both, that will significantly reduce the margin of error for getting it right -- which is also frustrating.

    And there's the not impossible chance that when all is said and done, the RNG is being unkind and you're plumb out of buttons to hit. Then what? You die and get told it's "fun"?

    RNG is often unkind, but you should always have sufficient tools (as a group) to handle it. The application of those tools to the problem at hand is one of the things that separates good guilds from great ones. If you are dependent on the tank getting lucky to survive then you're probably doing content too difficult for your group (which you can often solve by improving your gear) or we screwed up the encounter tuning somewhere along the way (which you can often solve by going to the forums). :)

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    #80 - 2012/04/07 05:45:00 AM
    So.. instead of automatically randomly procing Savage Defense, I must hit a button so that maybe I will have a Savage Defense proc? Huh?

    In a nutshell, but that's really the equivalent of the warrior hitting Shield Block and hoping that all of that mastery gives her a critical block, while your armor from mastery is always reliable.

    Part of the reason the druid mechanics worked out as they did is that we needed to make haste and crit reasonable survival stats, since they appear on druid gear.

    Again, don't confuse "As a player, I want to minimize RNG to make myself a better tank" with "The designers should minimize RNG because that makes me a better tank." I'd wager you'd be bored if combat was that predictable. :)