Regional FlagTanking changes are based on a flawed premiseSource
Target Source
#0 - 2010/10/16 06:49:17 AM
So while we have seen no end of complaints about the tanking changes, this isn't another of those threads. What I wanted to express is that I believe that the changes made to tanking are based on a flawed premise.

Basically Blizzard has tried to suggest that:

Allowing people to AOE their way though instances trivializes the content.
It's too easy to AOE tank packs because tanks can produce too much AOE threat.

While the first point has validity, the logic of the second point is flawed.

The reason why it was so painfully easy to AOE through instances was not because of the tank's threat; it was because of the DPS' ability to do large scale AOE damage to mobs that really didn't have significant pools of health.

Why is threat not responsible? Let's examine a simple point.

With a well geared healer, no tank is needed for heroic instances. As it stands now, many people are learning that they don't need a 'tank', they just need a well geared healer who can heal through the damage. With 4 DPS the mobs die so fast that the 'tank' role becomes redundant. This is proof positive that the tank threat changes are based on a flawed premise.

It's also a clear indication that the tank and 'AOE threat' was never the real problem. What's more, trying to artificially slow down the instance pace by slowing down the pace of the tank only serves to encourage people to eliminate the tank role all together.

What is the 'real' problem? The power of DPS and the relative weakness of mobs in instances. Both of these factors - in their own ways - have contributed to the issue that was faced by Blizzard.

While these mobs may have been tuned for level 80's in 'lesser gear', as newer and newer gear improved the damage and healing output of players (and the threat output of tanks), the mobs in these instances have remained the same. Their health and damage output is the same as it was, and yet it is being suggested that it is solely the tanks that enable groups to AOE their way through instances.

Such logic is flawed.

The outcome of this flawed logic is a decision based on this flawed logic. As one can expect, the decision attempts to address an issue that doesn't exist. If you were to take a fresh group of players, all with no better than 'blue' gear from early in WotLK, you would find that things wouldn't be so easy. With less DPS output that means more damage on the tank, and that means more pressure on a healer that doesn't have the same kind of healing output. The outcome is that things would not be the same.

So how should this issue of AOEing through dungeons have been handled?

Frankly, it shouldn't have been 'handled' at all. It should have been left alone. Why? For the same reason we have a game whose balance is far from ideal. Once the highest level becomes 85, balancing tanks for level 80 instances is something that will only complicate matters. Furthermore, was it really necessary to make the change for less than 8 weeks of playtime before Cataclysm?

Who is to say that come Cataclysm we won't see the same problem with groups able to AOE down packs with ease once they 'gear up'?

"If it does they'll just do the same thing." (IE, alter tank threat)

There is one problem with that though. Just like tinkering with player damage can affect both PvP and PvE in different ways, so does tinkering with threat. Raid instances have much different demands, so balancing tanks for instances is just asking for trouble in raids.

Bottom line: Tanks were never the reason why groups could AOE their way through instances. As such, making changes based on that premise is flawed logic.

All that's been done is to exchange one problem for another.

Blue Poster
Target Source
#11 - 2010/10/16 08:36:03 PM
Q u o t e:
Allowing people to AOE their way though instances trivializes the content.
It's too easy to AOE tank packs because tanks can produce too much AOE threat.

You're conflating two different problems, both related to AoE.

Problem 1: Mage uses Blizzard every pull. Starts to wonder what that Frostbolt button is for.

Problem 2: Warrior uses Thunder Clap every pull*. Starts to wonder what that Shield Slam button is for.

* - Yes, I know you need to TClap for the debuff, at least on dangerous pulls. But the debuff lasts a long time. There is a big difference between generating threat with Shield Slam / Devastate / Revenge and using Thunder Clap for the debuff and just using Thunder Clap to generate threat.

AoE balance for both dps and tanks (hell, for healers too for that matter) is very delicate. If the numbers are too low, then it's never effective to use them. BC felt like this for much of the duration. If the numbers are too high, then it's always effective to use them, particularly given how easy it is when you don't have to pick out individual targets.

In both cases, the problems come down to repetition. Most endgame players kill a lot monsters. When every fight feels similar, because you approach it the same way with the same tools, then it's easy for boredom to set in. Ideally, you'd go from say a 5 pull to a 2 pull to a swarm to a single target boss to a 5 pull to a 3 pull to a boss with adds, and so on. But even in that situation, if the pacing is too predictable then you fall back into a pattern and boredom can get in again.