Thursday, March 19, 2009

More on tier set bonuses: are they a testing ground?

Going over the newly-released tier 8 class set bonuses, it occurred to me: maybe these set bonuses a testing ground for new class mechanics?

A number of set bonuses cause certain dots to crit. They seem at first glance to be ludicrously overpowered. Are they simply using the bonus to test the effects without them going class-wide? This way fewer people will complain about nerfs if the changes have to be rolled back. Maybe in 3.2 the set bonuses will be changed and the critting ability rolled into the base abilities of the class, or talents.

Also, Protection warriors get a set bonus where Shield Block also grants you 20% reduction to magical damage taken.

Um...guys? It seems like that set bonus is going to be required for warriors for any fight like Sarth 3d that dishes out big bursts of nigh-untankable magic damage. I'm already hearing reports on the PTR of bosses that require a DK tank with clickable anti-magic cooldowns. Compared to DKs, warriors and paladins heavily lack on-demand defenses against magical damage. Hopefully this set bonus will be rolled into the base ability, and paladins will also be given some similar anti-magic clicky to make hard modes a bit more fair to small guilds like mine who don't happen to have a DK or Feral druid to tank those encounters.

Otherwise, you're going to see that same crappy phenomenon I was bemoaning in my last post: Warriors holding on to 4-piece tier 8 in their bags to allow them a fighting chance to tank a firebreathing boss in tier 10, since otherwise they'd just have to sit out for a DK.

And for the record, I think shield block should have also worked on magic damage from the moment Wrath was released. The fact that the devs haven't added it in yet is a travesty.

Seriously, get your act together, Blizz. It really shakes my faith when some guy who spends an hour a day reading about warcraft can see these things coming a mile away (as does the entire WoW community), and yet the people whose job it is to design the classes just don't seem aware of this stuff.

So I prefer to think it's an intentional testing ground, and many of these changes will be rolled into the classes themselves or talents once the devs see how they pan out in practice.

Fingers crossed.


Ixobelle said...

there used to be a lot of spell damage reduction talents warriors had, but nobody bothered to put points in them (opting instead for crit talents or whatever). This was back when warriors were THE tanks, ad when I used to play one.

I just looked over the talent tree for prot tanks and don't recognize *anything* (although it all looks pretty sweet, I may need to run my scrub second warrior I tagged along on RAF with my priest from 68 to 80 for my next project).

I really don't think it's as doom and gloom as it seems. There are passive always on reductions avail, and stuff like "spells miss you 4% of the time". I think the 20% reduction (ten seconds at a time every one minute, btw) won't make or break a tank that doesn't have it. It'll be NICE, but not NEEDED.

Hatch said...

It won't be needed 90% of the time. But I'd argue it's absolutely necessary for Sarth with 3 drakes. During the window when the last 2 drakes are both still up, Sarth's breath hits the main tank for 70k-ish. That's twice the HP of a well-geared tank, and it's not mitigated at all by armor. So unless those talented bonuses like "spells miss you 4% of the time" add up to more than 50%, the tank is instantly dead. Warriors and Paladins currently have only one long-cooldown ability each that reduces magic damage by a large percentage (for warriors, it's shield wall).

Meanwhile, bears (currently, not in the new patch) have much larger possible max HP pools and DKs have...let me count...4 different cooldowns, all on 1-minute timers, that can protect them from a large percentage of incoming magic damage for a few seconds. So a DK can chain those together to get through a series of 70k breaths, and a warrior simply doesn't have that option. There are other ways to get around this (Hand of Protection and Holy priests come to mind), but DK's have a gigantic advantage here in the only hard mode challenge currently available in the game.

And GC has said that they want to keep that type of "controlled crushing blow" in the game. So I expect there to be hard modes in the future where a warrior or paladin tank is simply not adequate for the task because they don't have as many short-term anti-magic clickies as a DK does. Hopefully I am wrong. But I plan to do all hard modes in 10-man (going for rusted uber-drake mount), and my guild has a paladin and warrior tanking. So dear god do I hope I'm wrong, or else I might as well just grab my ankles now.