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Posts with tag crushing-blow

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, "Wrath," and crushing blows


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we examine the roots of the uproar over the proposed Heart of the Wild nerf, and also ask ourselves if it wouldn't just be easier to reroll a Death Knight and have done with it.

"Why would you title the column this way?" you ask, as you reach for your "Please fire _______ from WoW Insider" form letter. "Crushing blows are out of the game, dipwad."

Well, yes. The crushing blow is technically out of the game, but another and worse mechanic has taken its place.

In this article I'm going to try to explain the source of "shield tank" frustration over health pools -- and why they are correct to see it as a problem -- and the Druid tank's unhappiness over the nerfing of Heart of the Wild -- and why Druids are also correct to see it as a problem.

Why the crushing blow was important

One of the biggest differences between pre-Wrath and Wrath tanking is the absence of the crushing blow. If you're unfamiliar with the term, then as a very simple explanation: any given raid boss had a 15% chance per melee hit to perform a 150% damage attack, which was also known as the crushing blow. It was typically a big damage spike and could lead to a wipe on progression content, with healers struggling to compensate in the small window of time before the boss' next attack landed. Burst damage is very unwelcome as it's often the greatest contributing factor to tank death. This is why reaching crit immunity is still so important to all tanks, and why the ability to avoid or absorb crushing blows was a fundamental part of pre-Wrath tanking mechanics.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Bear armor woes in Wrath to be addressed

You may recall a while back that we covered the problem with bear tanks in Wrath of the Lich King. In short, the new shared gear itemization between Rogues and Feral Druids is leaving bear Druids incredibly starved for armor and stamina. Extra stamina and armor is wasted on rogues, but is mandatory for Bears. Bears, therefore, have suffered.

Ghostcrawler has now let us know that the dev team has noticed the problem. The justification, of course, is as usual: They want less useless stuff to drop. Ideally, itemization should be tight enough that there is a high chance of people getting stuff they can use off a boss, even if that means 12 other people in the raid can use it as well.

Filed under: Druid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

Crushing blows (mostly) removed in Wrath as raiding changes

I'd be smiling in glee if I could figure out how to close my mouth. We've known for a while that the developers have wanted to remove crushing blows, but now it looks like they're starting the process for good: Ghostcrawler has confirmed that crushing blows will now occur only when a mob is 4 levels above you, rather than 3. Since "Boss" mobs are automatically 3 levels above the max level, that means that if you're running level appropriate content, you should no longer have to worry about crushing blows at all.

As Ghostcrawler explains it, crushing blows were originally meant to discourage you from attacking high level mobs and to make bosses more challenging. Now, they serve only the former purpose, and Blizzard is working on other ways to make bosses challenging without making them so random.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum post of the day: A crushing blow to Warriors?

Due to itemization and abilities, Warrior and Paladin tanks currently have a greater ability to avoid Crushing Blows than Druid tanks. In the near future, this may become a moot point. Khurg of Spirestone, a Tauren Warrior, worries that Warrior tanks may become somewhat obsolete with the removal of Crushing Blows from boss mobs and a potential thirty second cool down on Shield Block. He asked "What will be the purpose of defense in WotLK ?" The following response from Rawglrlrgll of Lothar was that the defense statistic prevents critical strikes and still buffs the chance for avoidance.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Raiding, Death Knight, Forum Post of the Day

Maximum stamina

If you want to live through any boss fight as a tank, the one thing that you need above all else is health. Stamina, which gives ten health for every one point of stamina, is by far the most important stat that a tank needs in order to do their job well. No matter if you have reached the armor and defense cap, or if you're producing more threat than your DPS can keep up with, you won't live for a lick if you don't have enough health.

Defining minimum health is an important concept in end game raiding and groups. For most instances, a minimum of 10,000 to 11,000 unbuffed is needed. This will at least let you take a few blows from a boss before dying, hopefully enough blows that the healer will be able to get off a few heals on you. For more entry level raiding environments, it's necessary to have unbuffed health between 11,000 and 12,000. If you've got 11,500 hit points going into Kara, you'll probably be able to reach 13,000 health fully raid buffed. This will let you survive a good portion of Kara, which means you can get more gear, which begets more health in the long run.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion

A small defense skill change in 2.4 could herald larger things

Bear tank approves of no more crushing blows.It seems like a small change, but it could be the herald of something larger. It's a change to the way the defense skill is described in-game in patch 2.4, as reported by World of Raids. I'll let them describe it:

* Old value: Higher defense makes you harder to hit and makes monsters less likely to land a crushing blow.

* New value: Higher defense improves your chance to dodge, parry, and block attacks, makes you harder to hit, and makes monsters less likely to land a critical strike against you.

So what does this mean? They've added things that have always been part of the skill, but have not been explicitly mentioned on the defense tab before, but what's most intriguing is what they've taken away.

I'll explain after the jump.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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