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3-12-2009 @ 11:18AM
Having tanks be more homogenized makes sense the larger a group you end up with. Assuming that the goal is for any tanking/healing class to be able to do any content, it breaks down like this:In a five person group, you have 1 tank, 1 healer, 3 dps. Every tanking and healing class needs to be able to solo tank/heal a 5 man. Since 5 mans are pretty easy, this isn't a problem.In a 10 person group, you have 1 tank, 1 OT (maybe), 2-3 healers, 6-7 dps. Again, every tanking class needs to be able to MT, healers have some overlap so if you have one spec that isn't really strong at a specific role, it's still okay.In a 25 person group, you have 1 main tank, however many OTs, 4-7 healers, and however many dps. You've got more than enough room for healers to overlap and compensate for differences in healing style, but you still only have one main tank. Healing in larger groups, like DPSing in larger groups, is a group effort. Tanking relies on a group of course, but in the sense of actually doing the job of generating threat and taking damage, if you want all four tanking classes to be able to do the job, all four have to be fairly similar in terms of ability to generate threat and deal with damage. As I see it, that's a good goal, so I'm okay with the homogenization there.
3-12-2009 @ 5:51PM
I would argue that the current state of the various tanks and their strengths mimics the variety of strengths that the various healers offer. DKs are especially good at magic damage tanking and also do well at AOE threat. Druids are best for large amounts of mixed damage types, a runner-up on high magic damage bosses, and excel when exploring unknown content where massive health is the only answer until you know better. Paladins are especially good at fights that require high mitigation or maximum possible AOE threat. Warriors are good middle-of-the-road tanks for most situations and also excel at mobility and snap threat.25-man Naxx with 3 warriors? 3 pallies? 3 druids? 3 DKs? Doable... but not necessarily the easiest. A mix of tank types makes things more manageable if you know which to use for which wing and which boss, with a respectable amount of overlap. Ulduar will likely cause us to re-evaluate those tanking strengths and leverage them where possible to help increase chance of success. Healing should be the same, and it sounds like it will be.A lot of the homogenization of tanks centered around the fact that their abilities were too far removed from each other for each tank to insure some chance of success in all encounters. Druids and warriors before they had AOE threat-generating abilities as of patch 3.02 were going to be woefully inadequate in fights that required holding aggro on multiple targets. We'd have ended up with paladins being chosen almost exclusively as both MTs and OTs in Naxx, otherwise.Conversely the point as it relates to healing is that holy paladins in their current form are a little TOO different from the other healers, and this is what's becoming a problem. Especially with the upcoming changes. Holy Shock and Beacon of Light will not be enough to alleviate the monotony or the singular role they'd be forced to play as MT + 1 OT healer and cleanse-spammer.
3-12-2009 @ 8:51PM
I'll definitly agree that the tanks still have, and should have, their own strengths. However I think you hit the nail on the head with the comment "their abilities were too far removed from each other for each tank to insure some chance of success in all encounters". There's a different between what's optimal and what's feasible. If you have 7 raid slots for healers, the chances of those all being the same class are pretty low, and it makes sense that encounters be designed to be extremely difficult if for some reason you tried to bring 7 of the same healing class. However, every tank you bring after the MT eats up a dps spot, and even with dual specs, I don't believe that the goal is to be forced to swap tanks per boss, or even to be forced to have some respec per boss. There was a time when end game content was reliant on min-maxing, requiring a group to pull people in for a single boss, or bring a spec that was only useful for a single boss, but I think that the devs are trying to get away from that philosophy, which means the goal is for ever tanking class to be feasible for every encounter.
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