Home > 3.3, Alts, PTR/Patches > Sunwell Radiance, Take 2 – Chill of The Throne

Sunwell Radiance, Take 2 – Chill of The Throne

Now for a topic that should be out of water on a blog mostly dealing with shaman, but it is a hot topic, and my history being a former MT compels me:

Yesterday (maybe the day before?), it was announced that Icecrown Citadel would feature a buff to mobs called Chill of The Throne, which will basically mean tanks will have 20% less dodge than what their character sheets currently show. This is Blizzard’s “solution” to the current problem arising since ToC: Tank avoidance. My paladin, who is nowhere near best in slot gear, can reach 50% combined dodge and parry in raids; I would not be surprised if top tier tanks were capable of approacing 60%. Current dungeon design basically makes it necessary for Blizzard to have bosses hitting for truckloads of damage when they do connect with an attack, since so many of said attacks are being completely avoided.

My initial reaction to this announcement, aside from “Welcome back, Sunwell Radiance!” was regarding feral tanks. We have a bear tank, and a fine one at that. Dodge is their primary avoidance stat, since they do not have parry, nor can they block (although block is mitigation). The only thing I can think of is that bears feature dodge to the degree that the other tanks have dodge and parry combined; ie, a well-geared bear would be around ~50% dodge. I am not an expert in the field of feral (although I will be learning since I have my druid right at 70 now), so I can only hope my guess regarding their dodge compared to dodge + parry for the other tanks is reasonable.

Another point, brought up by our DKs: Rune Strike. As a foreword, I know very, VERY little about DK mechanics. RS is the primary threat generating attack by DK tanks, supposedly, and that it requires them to dodge an attack in order to be able to use it. It’s basically their version of a warrior’s Revenge ability. Warriors have shield slam, shockwave, and devastate, so even with reduced revenge opportunities, warriors should be okay. Still, though, threat generation by these two classes could be reduced, but from my experience, tank threat is never a problem in fights where there are no “storm cloud”-esque gimmicks.

Something else of consideration: Block tanks. The general idea behind CoTT is to smooth out damage on tanks. Instead of there being giganto-humongous hits weaved in between dodges and parries, tanks will get hit more, but for less damage per hit. In theory, this will help out with healing, and make healing more dynamic, I suppose, since you won’t have to sit their and spam your biggest heals in the event a tank takes 30k worth of a punch to the face. What form of mitigation works great against fast, lighter-hitting mobs, though? You guessed, it: Block. Warrior and paladin tanks are capable of easily being over 3k block value in raid settings, so I wonder how a balance will be achieved. I would not be surprised to see most guilds veer towards having warriors and paladins being their main tanks.

Yesterday, Ghostcrawler went on a posting spree in defense of CoTT, and at the same time acknowledges that they, the developers, brought this upon themselves, and in turn the player base. He posts an response to the most obvious “solution” that players have thought up: Itemization, or how it’s “too good”.

If we had avoided avoidance on tank gear, then every piece of tank gear would have hit and expertise (and maybe crit, haste and armor pen). Stamina and armor are static amounts, and if they were not, then those pieces immediately become the only pieces players would pay attention to.

Armor hasn’t been an entirely static amount. Cases in point include the Saronite Plated Legguards and the upcoming craftable tank legs from the Ashen Verdict. Ok, so they are both leg pieces, but they go to show that there are still pieces of armor that feature more armor than equal-ilvl counterparts. Defensive gear could features loads of expertise, if they wanted to go that route. The hard cap for expertise is somewhere around 60 for bosses, if memory serves me correctly. Hit could also be featured; I’ve noticed a dearth in hit on gear from ToC, for my paladin’s hit has plummeted from hit cap by over 100 points. In it’s place, my avoidance has skyrocketed by a good 4-5%.

I definitely agree with GC that this issue is mainly an item level problem. I was honestly flabbergasted when the ToC loot tables were being discovered. All the gear we had worked on acquiring over the months from Ulduar would be totally obsolete by the time we’ve farmed ToC. Yes, this is a nature of the beast that is a MMO, but the piece-by-piece stat upgrades going from Ulduar to ToC gear was a bit much. Hell, to be honest, I figured ToC gear was going to be sidegrades to Ulduar loot: Items that would fill in “holes” in the loot table for some classes (such as a non-hard mode mail bracer that elemental shaman would use). This would’ve left Tier 9 to come out with ICC, instead of it now being T10.

With the defense stat out of the equation come Cataclysm, tank avoidance should stabilize to a degree that gives Blizzard developers some more leeway with how they design boss encounters, instead of “omg make it hit for 100k unmitigated so that when it hit it actually does damage lolol”. Unlike many forum-goers, I’m not blood-boiling angry at Blizzard for the introduction of CoTT; I fully understand the logic behind it. I am also glad that they acknowledge that it is their own fault they had to tack it on. They made their bed, and now they must sleep in it. Unfortunately for the player base, those that enjoy the game and want to carry on into ICC and beyond, they must lock the handcuffs on the bedpost around their wrists and sleep in that same bed.

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