Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I've already said my bit over at MainTankadin...

...but god damn they are making it hard for me to not beat a dead horse!

WARNING: This is a rant.

One of the more frequent comments over on MainTankadin is not what we have, but what we don't have compared to warriors. It's driving me fucking mad. Now, I will admit the difference between health is a justified gripe. If you got a paladin and a warrior in equal gear, unbuffed, the paladin would have less health. This is something that should be fixed, but it can't just be fixed by buffing our health, because then you suddenly have super-healers or even worse... ret pallys in PvP with a ridiculous amount of health who can bubble, heal to full and utterly devastate their opponents. The appropriate fix would be a self buff (maybe combine it with Righteous Fury) that increases our health while it decreases our mana (since when we're tanking we don't need a hojillion mana to survive).

But I digress... the folks seem to latch on to some ability a warrior tank has, such as Thunder Clap or Spell Reflect, and point it out as a major failure in our ability to tank, and that we need a paladin version of that ability in order to ever be accepted as anything but a liability. Again, I'm not denying that paladins need buffing, what we don't need is copies of warrior abilities or something so close that it's essentially the paladin version. For example, one of the suggestions in one of Lore's recent posts was a new seal that made you immune to fear and it's judgment lowered mob attack speed. Sound familiar? If not, that's the effect of stance dancing into berserk stance and I believe another ability which makes a warrior immune to fears combined with a paladin version of Thunder Clap.

My feeling is this: If I want an attack-slowing effect, a AP debuff, a spell reflect, a fear immunity, a shield wall, a last stand, and some other abilities I'm unaware of... You know what? I'll go level my warrior up to 70 and tank with him. And beyond just the fact that I want unique abilities on tankadins, let's presume that we had all those abilities, and our health was buffed to equal to that of a warrior's, and everything else was equal, save that we had a mana bar and they had a rage bar. You know what would happen? Warriors would never tank, unless there were no tankadins in the raid. Because we start out with a full mana pool, and warriors start out with an empty rage bar means we can frontload threat and they can't. Changing one classes monopoly of a role for another is not the right answer. That would also be a giant slap in the face to all of those warrior tanks who enjoy tanking.

Another thing that bugs me is that a lot of people are wanting Holy Shield to play double duty. Have it be our crushing blow removing ability and our resistance fight ability (akin to Spell Reflect). Something like:

Increase your chance to block by 30% and increase your resistance to all schools of magic by 50 for 10 seconds. Deals 155 holy damage for each attack blocked or resisted while active. Damage caused by holy shield causes 35% additional threat. Each block and resist expends a charge. 4 charges.
Now, let's ignore the fact that this would be ridiculously unbalanced vs. instacast spell caster mobs/bosses and in PvP. That much is blatently obvious just by looking at it. But one ability that would make you simultaneously uncrushable and increase your spell resistance. That's beyond broken.

Now onto my point with all this: In 2.1 the devs added Improved Holy Shield, a 2 point talent that buffed Holy Shield in a welcome and surprising way. It increased the damage it did per block (minor buff) but it also added 2 charges to Holy Shield per point. So if you went 2/2 into Improved Holy Shield that changed it from 4 blocks over 10 seconds, which was equal to a warrior with Improved Shield Block to it having 8 blocks over 10 seconds, fully double of what a warrior can do.

This addition is, to me, very telling. It's not unknown that we would have a problem generating threat vs. elemental attack mobs and casters. They could have very well added an aspect to Holy Shield or a separate ability that would give a edge vs magic, but they didn't. Instead they chose to increase our ability to fight melee attack mobs, and specifically fast attack melee mobs. Maybe it was just a case of "hey this would be cool", but I prefer to believe that it the first step down a longer road towards us being the premier melee attack enemies.

Also, to add fuel to the fire, as things are now, we will never ever be as good as warriors on tanking caster bosses that melee. Why? 30% is why. Our uncrushable ability, Holy Shield, gives a startlingly low chance to block when compared to Shield Block. With that in mind, on a resist fight where the mob can crush I find it hard to believe that we will be able to reach the type of resist rates needed to survive the caster part while maintaining our uncrushability. Maybe I'm worrying over nothing and any fight which would be considered a resist fight is designed not to have crushing blows, even if the mob does physical melee damage. But if I'm right, we're just not comparable to warriors for those fights.

Now, as a final note the biggest annoyance I've seen is the belief that just because we aren't the ideal tank, that we shouldn't tank. Will things be harder on some fights? Yes. I'm not going to even kid myself about that. The fights where guilds that accept tanking paladins are at (SSC and TK) were designed at a time when the only accepted tanks in raids were warriors and maybe bears. Since the time of design of those raids, there have been what I consider massive changes to our class. We've been reborn, even more so since 2.1 and the Raid & Dungeon devs are only just now going to be catching up. And while we can't do anything but gauge our value based upon current content, I think it's a mistake to judge our flaws when we are fighting things that were made with warriors in mind. Of course we aren't going to be perfect. But at the same time, if you don't have any tanking warriors on hand we can still do a well enough job to come out on top and get some loot so your forward progress doesn't completely stall.

5 comments:

Michael said...

/Agree

Paladins and warriors are different classes, they should have, and do have, different strengths and abilities in regard to tanking.

I'm all in favor of the Blizz dev's making sure Paladin/Druid tanking is viable in -most- instances/raids, but it should be a Paladin-tanking vs the Mob/Boss, not paladin-tanking vs warrior-tanking. Saying that warriors have X, so paladins should too is no better than a whinny kid complaining about his sister getting more presents at Christmas.

All I've gotta say to Blizz is "Please make sure that Paladin/Druid tanking is a viable option for most encounters". Sure, there can be stuff that pally-tanking is HARD for, and maybe even a couple bits where paladin tanking is next-to-impossible. For PvE arguments, compare paladin-tanking vs the environment, not comparing paladin-tanking to warrior-tanking.

Honors Code said...

"I've seen is the belief that just because we aren't the ideal tank, that we shouldn't tank. Will things be harder on some fights? Yes. I'm not going to even kid myself about that."

And there's the crux of the problem. A raid lead has to pick his roster, why in world would be pick a tank that is going to me it harder on some fights and easier on 0. That's why we have to be every bit the tank a Warrior is, and we aren't, and I've heard of no plans to change that. The next patch is months away at best. How long are we supposed to be patient? More and more Tankadins are reaching the 25 man game and Raid Leaders find us lacking. Something needs to change quickly.

Nifen said...

I agree that I don't want to find ways for paladins to be warriors. And that it's hard to do that when 1) raid encounters have pretty much been exclusively designed around warrior abilities and 2) we don't really have a tanking niche for raid encounters to be designed around anyways, beyond AoE tanking.
As you've pointed out, we may end up as the tank of choice against fast attack bosses, but that doesn't feel right to me.

I've always felt we should remain lackluster in health and removing crushing blows, but have better spell damage mitigation. I mean, we use the holy light regularly, shouldn't we be better at countering spell damage than a warrior? Doesn't that make sense? And a warrior devotes himself purely to his martial abilities, shouldn't he be the best at countering melee? We don't seem to be going that way and it just doesn't make sense to me.

I mean, even though it's not really applicable to the WoW paladin, I just look back at the Diablo II paladin and he could block direct spells with his shield. I don't know if that can be balanced around PvP or whatever. Probably it can't. But I really wish I could see more synergy with different stats so we don't simply gear as Warrior Jr. I mean, strength and agility both serve double roles for a warrior in threat and mitigation. What if improved holy shield allowed spell damage be blocked based on our +dmg? I'm sure balancing such a thing is a nightmare, and maybe impossible, but this is at least a direction that makes sense to me, the current one doesn't.

Kaziel said...

And there's the crux of the problem. A raid lead has to pick his roster, why in world would be pick a tank that is going to me it harder on some fights and easier on 0. That's why we have to be every bit the tank a Warrior is, and we aren't, and I've heard of no plans to change that. The next patch is months away at best. How long are we supposed to be patient? More and more Tankadins are reaching the 25 man game and Raid Leaders find us lacking. Something needs to change quickly.

The purpose of what you quoted wasn't to say raid leaders should pick us when they have warriors at their beck and call. Unfortunately (very much so) answer, right now, is that if there are warrior tanks, pick them. The purpose of what I said, that you quoted was that people essentially act like if their guild's warrior tank(s) is not available (or your guild doesn't have any warrior tanks) nothing's worth doing, and might as well just pack it up and go the hell home. From everything I've read, that's just not true. Yes, it will be harder, but you'll still be getting loot, still be progressing forward, which is the goal of a raiding guild, is it not?

I've always felt we should remain lackluster in health and removing crushing blows, but have better spell damage mitigation. I mean, we use the holy light regularly, shouldn't we be better at countering spell damage than a warrior? Doesn't that make sense? And a warrior devotes himself purely to his martial abilities, shouldn't he be the best at countering melee? We don't seem to be going that way and it just doesn't make sense to me.

Lore-based, it doesn't make much sense. Warriors, if you don't take into account game mechanics would be the obvious choice for fighting physical threats as they are supposed masters of weapons. Paladins would be the natural counters for magic.

This logic breaks down when you consider that a number of spells are designed around reducing a target's mana, in some cases painfully so. Consider Mana Burn... first it hits the player's mana pool, removing some mana, then follows with doing damage of a percent of the mana taken. In a situation like that, a paladin being the tank would be disastrous. And if they designed paladins as the anti-magic tanks and warriors as the anti-melee tanks, while warriors could take on the mob in question, it would be hard either way. Not the answer we want.

There is only a single non-magical ability I know of that is a mana drain and that is the breath attacks from a dragon of the Blue Flight. By having each class fight their opposite not only are they immune to their strengths, they can also bring their strengths to bear against our opponent's weaknesses. Consider also that a heavy armor warrior-type boss will have little in the way of resistance against magical attacks, while a magey-type boss will have less in the way of armor.

Galoheart said...

I've played a Warrior once during the trial period before i started paying for WoW. A NE leveled him to lvl 19, deleted him when i started paying on account and created a Paladin.

I like to melee and though i liked the warrior i wanted the idea of the Paladin been a great defensive melee fighter or protector. To me thats sound like tanking to me back then even if i didn't know what it was then.

I don't want my Paladin to be like a warrior, i want my Paladin to be unique in fighting and ability & skills, different from a warrior. I agree if i wanted to be a warrior i would have stayed one with all that a warrior has. But i wanted to be something different and that's what i hope for paladins in the end and not be like a warrior at all but different. Unique ability to bring to a encounter or raid if that with different skill set to set them apart.

From Maintankadin with the suggestions foating around. I personally like the idea of Paladins having a debuff skill of some kind or that can increase mobs attacking speed but lower their AP, kinda like a reverse JOC kinda. Be nice if Paladins can drop JOC on themselves but it reverses on Melee Mob causing them to increase attack speed, lower their AP but still do the same holy damage as JOC. That would as some have proposed which i also like play to our strenght and ability to wield Holy Shield/Redoubt as a Defender. Senergy with our defensive skills.

Be also nice if every time as some proposed if Blizz can change Redoubt that every time it procs for blocking it also scales up blocking charge % wise to either do more damage with Holy Shield or save charge till spent on hit. Things like that be nice which plays to our Paladins strength defensively on fast melee mobs or bosses or debuff with a ability to make them so. Would be nice for improvement. A deep talent buff for increase stamina be nice, but as a deep spec talent.

I've always also wondered if a paladin is so magical a character then why is it that magic damages can rip us so much and not something to defend is in some way to it. Aura yes, but there other forms of magic that we have no resistance to. Just my though wondering why.

But overall i agree. I don't want to be made into a warrior. I would like usefull tallents or unique tallents and viable ones but not be made like a warrior. That way at the table there is equal room for us as paladins and for warriors and not have to compete. Yes warriors will always be good at some things. Paladins will be good at other things. We both have our time and place on the battle field for the main event whatever it may be. But allow us both to participate in the event that's what we all want equally.

On another note i think it comes down also not to just Guilds but Guilds been a TRUE team. I've always had a issue in WoW looking at this. People want to be guilds in progression, but not always as a unit be a true team that wants everyone to succeed on that team. A team with a Warrior as tank or one with a Paladin as a Tank. Everyone wants the warrior for it seem it will always be easier or better. But why can't a team of folks decide to buck that trend and say well, lets see if we can be a team and win with our paladin as tank? Yeah may not be as easy as having a warrior, but it may be winable still with a Paladin tank if we try...its our paladin as tank. People don't seem to have pride in that.

I've spend a great deal of my life in a team oriented enviroment in manned teams. You been there the same. You were thought as a unit to make a team work or find a way even if its lackluster. Wip it into shape a team. Yes it will have weak points, but every man pulls their weight and cover the weak spot if it exist, don't just forget it because we have a weak spot. That's what good teams do. Yeah we can take a warrior for things warrior good at. Paladin for things its better to use a Paladin or even better use them interchangebly for flexability. But why cant people try to win with a Paladin. In the end i think some people don't want to try.....the road less traveled can be more difficult, not always, but can be. Yet its the road less traveled, because the path easiest is well groomed.