How threatening

So I was browsing MMO-Champion earlier reading a few quotes from posts of Blizzard representatives and came across a few statements directed towards warriors in relation to tanking, even more especially: threat output. The particular quote I focused on goes as:

Earlier in the beta, we removed the Defiance talent. It was a mandatory talent since encounters were designed around the very safe assumption that all Prot warriors had it. So Defensive Stance ended up generating more threat.

More recently in the beta, we did a similar thing with Salv. We pulled Salv as a blessing some time ago, so we baked even more threat into Defensive Stance (and equivalents for other tanks).

If this makes it easier to understand, imagine that everyone except the tank always has Perma Salv up and every tank has Defiance as a core ability.

Now this is a huge change and, in many ways, a great change – tanks get threat and have to worry less about burst or aggro-happy people who tear loose and die and paladins end up less mandatory because salvation is already included in automatically in every tank class.

Unfortunately, rogues are not considered a tank class.

Now, I’m not too worried, not yet. The main tank of my little community was a warrior long before her recent swap to Paladin, so me actually having Blessing of Salvation to rely on at all is a pretty new thing – I have made a servicable offtank without it. Lacking it just means actual damage have to be that much more careful when I go maintank, especially when I need to use avoidance gear.

At this point there really seems to be two ways roguetanks might have to keep up on threat output – one being the current incarnation of the Unfair Advantage talent which at present quite frankly is totally crazy. The threat output (not to mention the pvp utility versus anything melee) of it would be utterly insane and the going opinion within my local group is that it’ll either get an internal cooldown and/or some other limits.. or simply be redesigned entirely again.</p<

Of course, they could always keep it as it is, move it to the subtlety tree and I would be a happy tank. But.. let’s face it, that isn’t going to happen πŸ˜‰

The other and more safer-seeming alternative seems to be simply relying on the combination of the Setup and Honor among Thieves talents and the potentially very high combo point gain you might push while tanking between the two of them. So every time you dodge your target (or fully resist one of their spells – Cloak of Shadows anyone? πŸ˜‰ ) you gain a combo point plus every time one of your group gets a critical hit with a spell or ability, you gain a combo point. Both capped at once per second of course, but unless Blizzard does something excessively bothersome like make their internal cooldowns shared (sounds utterly unlikely) or whatever, the theoretical combo point output is.. well.. quite frankly.. impressive.

I’m hoping that the addition of pretty much just cranking out finishers at a much higher rate than before would generate some pretty sweet threat, but it’ll all have to be tested how extensively it lives up in practice before there’s any extensive word on it.

Blizzard aren’t done by far either, so lots of things can still happen. I don’t expect I’ll be doing things akin to tanking the Wrath equivalent Prince Malchezaar anytime soon once the expansion hits, but if I get to keep enough avoidance and threat generation to be the handy and reliable offtank of the group, I’ll be a content rogue.

I’d say happy but, well.. after takning Prince Malchezaar.. off-tanking isn’t quite as exciting, or awesome, by comparisson. πŸ˜‰


4 Responses to “How threatening”

  1. 1 bbr
    September 9, 2008 at 13:24

    Just imagine, if we had max avoidance.
    And unfair advantage.

    Every single hit against you would be reflected.


  2. 2 bbr
    September 9, 2008 at 13:27

    It’d be nice if they considered rogues as viable off tanks though.
    15 seconds evasion is rather short.
    Some sort of dodge or increased parry while using feint perhaps, would mean we will lose threat, but also not get killed while we hold aggro.

  3. 3 Nhani
    September 9, 2008 at 13:31

    Not all avoidance is consisting of dodges, of course πŸ˜‰

    Still, with all the itemization for agility come Wrath.. I’d think a rogue aiming for it could likely easilly hit a passive dodge% of around 40% without going deep subtlety for the +agi talent. Evasion adds that up to 90% (with the remaining 10% eaten up by misses and parries)

    I very much expect Unfair Advantage to be massively nerfed or redesigned, a main hand melee strike back against 90% of all incomming melee damage for 15 seconds is just insane, especially against dual-wielders. Imagine the forum drama!

  4. 4 Nhani
    September 9, 2008 at 13:47

    Well avoidaince isn’t that big an issue – you don’t need to be invulnerable, just sturdy enough. I have about 49.50% dodge (+10.5% parry, +5.5% miss) unbuffed in my regular threat gear, and I regularely off-tank Karazhan and have even maintanked a Black Morass Heroic with just that 65.5% + buffs.

    Sure, you need a tad more once you get up to the really nasty 10-man bosses (or just full immunity at 25-man stuff), but I’ve stood up against Nalorakk for almost a minute (not counting a double burst of evasion) with that when the warrior tanks died, so it’s not like you need to hit the magical full melee immunity to be an off tank.

    The real issue really is threat – that’s part of why you’re doomed to be an off-tank too: you need that threat lead since you have no taunt or other emergency ability to drop when someone decides to throw the crit streak from hell or just opens up a can of concentrated pew pew.

    I’d love for rogues to have some form of taunt (like mocking blow or whatever) or a defensive stance or whatever. I wouldn’t mind sacrificing from damage for it so long as I could maintain enough threat output. That said, it will likely never happen since so much of the playerbase thinks it’s completely against the nature of the class (I obviously disagree, but what can you do πŸ˜‰ )

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