We changed how Vengeance works.
Vengeance is intended to let tanks generate additional damage and threat as content levels rise, despite not gearing for it (or at least not primarily). We're changing the design to let Vengeance play better with active mitigation, but the new design has some other advantages many of you will like.
As most all of you know by now, the idea of active mitigation is that the buttons a tank presses directly contribute to mitigation and survival. In some cases, this is timing-centric, such as Death Strike. In others, it's both timing-centric and also involves balancing how you spend your resources among multiple abilities, such as Savage Defense vs. Frenzied Regeneration or Shield Block vs. Shield Barrier. In the latter case, it's important that both abilities are compelling and compete well with each other. We are changing Vengeance to let those abilities be balanced.
I'm going to use Savage Defense (a short duration large dodge buff) and Frenzied Regen (a large instant heal) as examples. Getting the balance between SD and FR right is challenging. We want SD to win on average, but you're limited on how often you can use it, and it's not necessarily reliable -- sometimes you really need a heal NOW, and so FR is the right button. SD should win, but FR shouldn't be too far behind, and they should scale similarly.
SD scales with the incoming damage: if BossA hits you for 60k, and BossB hits you for 120k, then SD is twice as valuable (in absolute terms) on BossB than on BossA. FR scales with your attack power: even a few 5man trash mobs will cap out your Vengeance, so your AP will be the same on BossA as on BossB. FR isn't any stronger on BossB than BossA.
On top of that, AP and boss damage scales differently as ilevel rises. We tried a solution to that problem where FR scaled exponentially with AP in the last build. That has worked fairly well, but still failed at keeping SD and FR balanced when boss damage was significantly different from the baseline we used as a tuning point. For example, 25-player raid bosses hit twice as hard as 10-player raid bosses, which makes SD twice as valuable.
But wasn't this post supposed to be about Vengeance? Currently, Vengeance increases your AP by 5% of the damage taken, stacking up to the cap, which happens quickly. We are changing Vengeance to increase AP equal to 5% of the damage you take for 20 sec. This buff will "roll" so that as it gets refreshed the unused part is added to the new buff, similar to how Ignite or Stagger work. The net result will be that Vengeance stacks by the amount of DPS being thrown at you over 20 sec. There is no cap.
-- Avoidance will not count against you. Avoiding an attack will extend the current Vengeance stack back to 20 sec (as if you were hit again for the same DPS).
-- Blocks, absorbs, Stagger and Shield of the Righteous will also not count against you. The damage before these effects is used for the Vengeance calculation.
-- To reduce ramp up time, we bump you up to halfway to whatever your average Vengeance level would be based on each individual hit. Essentially, we skip the first 10 sec of ramping.
-- Tank damage in 5-player groups will decrease. We think this is a good chance because it is weird and demoralizing when tanks consistently top damage meters in dungeons.
-- Tank damage in 25-player groups will increase. We think this is a good change because it makes tank DPS as relevant in 25-player raids as it is in 10-player raids.
-- With this change, Brewmaster damage will be extremely overpowered. We will fix it, but you may get a build where they are ludicrously good.
The rest of this post is nitty gritty details for theorycrafters. You do NOT need to read or understand this in order to effectively play a tank.
-- Whenever you get hit, Vengeance is added based on the damage of the hit before block, crit block, absorbs, stagger, and Shield of the Righteous.
-- Whenever you avoid an attack from a mob where MobLevel>=TankLevel-3, your existing Vengeance is extended to 20sec remaining.
-- Based on how hard you're hit, we estimate how high Vengeance's equilibrium point will be: DamageTaken / 1.5.
-- If you're not at least half that high on Vengeance, we bump you up to that amount
-- The new Vengeance value is calculated as: 0.05 * DamageTaken + OldVengeance * OldVengeanceSecondsRemaining / 20
-- Frenzied Regeneration and Shield Barrier's formulae have changed to:
Frenzied Regeneration at 60 rage: max(2*(AP-Agi*2), Sta*2.5)
Shield Barrier at 60 rage: max(2*(AP-Str*2), Sta*2.5)
-- Yes, these do mean that it uses your AP without base AP from Str/Agi (but does still slightly include AP from Agi/Str when you've got the 10% AP raid buff or other +%AP buffs).
-- Please feel free to ask any questions you have about the mechanical details of this.