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Posts with tag protection-paladin

Warlords of Draenor: Tanking and the future

One of the things I'm thinking about lately is how tanking is changing in Warlords of Draenor. In at least one major way, it's not changing - Active Mitigation established itself in Mists, based in part on DK tanking in Cataclysm, and it's going to be front and center in Warlords of Draenor. But right now, AM tanking heavily relies on four stats (depending on the tank class) and all four of those stats will be gone come Warlords, meaning that we're looking at a pretty significant change depending on the class. The remaining stat, mastery, is probably going up in value, and in addition, we'll have crit, haste, readiness and multistrike to consider. But stats aren't the whole of the game, and they're not the whole of the changes, either.

In addition to new stats, there are the abilities each tank will see affected by readiness to consider. There are also Draenor Perks for each tank spec, granted randomly as we level from 90 to 100. There are changes in what abilities exist, in what specs get them. Vengeance is gone, replaced with Resolve, buffing our self heals and absorbs. In short, while the basic idea remains the same - generate resources via attacks to spend on damage reduction in one fashion or another - how we go about it, how it interacts with us has so many changes that it's worth discussing in length. There's so much change coming in that I don't pretend I'll catch all of it, which is why we have comments, after all.

So what do I expect to see out of tanking coming 6.0? It should be noted, this discussion is based on the Warlords alpha patch notes and such datamining as I've looked over, and I freely admit I only tank on one class, so while these are general observations I may be missing key class specific factors.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Level 80 paladin solos some Mogu'shan Vaults bosses, gets Vengeance hotfixed


A great video is making the rounds right now of an exceptional player using some unintended consequences to solo multiple bosses in Mogu'shan Vaults -- and as a protection-specced paladin no less! He apparently downed Stone Guard, Feng, and Elegon before Blizzard caught wind of the escapade. You can see a video of the Elegon kill above.

How he pulled this off was by taking advantage of a series of design choices that Blizzard made, combining them all into a hilarious example of the law of unintended consequences in action.

To reach a decent item level, the paladin equipped various bind on equip rares that drop in Mists zones which all had a required character level of only 80. And because he was only level 80, he was avoiding the combat ratings drop-offs for levels 81 and 86 that a normal character wearing those pieces would be subjected too. This would allow him to get an insane amount of secondary stats like haste (I've seen that he had 95%!) and mastery (88%, apparently).

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Filed under: News items

The new tanking threat paradigm and you

If you're wondering what all the fuss about Ghostcrawler's latest dev watercooler post is about, well, you should probably go read it. Some of these changes have already gone live on the realms, while others won't until the next patch. The basic gist is as follows:
  1. Threat generated by tanks has been increased from 300% of damage dealt to 500%. What this means in practice is if your tank is doing 5k DPS, you'd need to do over 25k DPS to pull threat off of him or her. (You need to do roughly 110% of tank threat to pull once he or she has aggro, so you'd actually need to do 27.5k DPS to pull off of a tank doing 5k DPS.) This change was hotfixed in, so if you're noticing your tank is suddenly doing a lot more threat per second, that's why.
  2. The way Vengeance stacks is going to be streamlined. Vengeance currently ramps up somewhat slowly. In the current model, every time you take damage as a tank, you gain 5% of the damage you take as attack power. So if you're hit for 20,000 damage, you gain 1,000 attack power. As you take more and more damage, this stacks up to a maximum of 10% of your health, so for a tank with 165,000 health, this caps at 16,500 attack power. In the new version, when a tank takes that 20,000 damage, he or she will gain one-third of the damage of the attack as attack power immediately, or 6,600 AP. This is more than six times as much attack power gained as in the current model. Vengeance will otherwise work the way it does now.
These two things combined by themselves mean that, except in cases where the DPS simply blows all their cooldowns immediately upon seeing the trash coming or as soon as they see the boss while the tank is sitting down to eat, threat will be almost trivial for a tank to gain and maintain. In addition to this revelation (which we are already starting to play with right now, as I experienced in a recent pickup Zul'Gurub instance), Ghostcrawler talks about how tanking will be redesigned to remain active with this new design philosophy.

This is really groundbreaking stuff, and it means that patch 4.3 will see the complete dismantling of the legacy of vanilla WoW tanking design. Once, gaining and keeping threat was the most important role of the tank, more important even that survival, and many endgame tanks were warriors 31/5/15 specced into Defiance in the protection tree to ensure threat. These changes can be seen as driving a final nail into that kind of tanking's coffin.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight

Ask the Devs Round 9 mitigates your tanking questions

Ask the Devs is back for Round 9, which deals with the most awesome role in WoW ever -- tanking. Of course, coming from a tank, that might be a bit biased -- but deal with it, healers and DPSers. I've got creatures to keep from punching you in your squishy little faces.

Of note this time around is Blizzard's tough time dealing with tanks wanting threat stats (hit and expertise) and the current struggle with making it work. Currently, in cutting-edge content, threat stats are pretty good for initial aggro, but over time, Vengeance does its job admirably and keeps bosses on tanks with relative ease. I think that design decision is hitting the sweet spot, but it begs the question of why even have the threat stats in the first place?

Blizzard also discussed the mastery bonuses for each tank. The devs feel that death knights and druids are doing pretty well, all things considered, and that paladins and warriors have a similar problem in "capping" mastery, but that paladins are more susceptible to problems. There is still the sentiment in the community that Blizzard needs to add its own visual threat meters or some type of aggro status, but there is a reluctance on Blizzard's part to clutter up its own default UI -- understandable, but this may potentially be a part of Blizzard's forthcoming (but not discussed) "how to tank" solution.

Buried in this discussion, however, was a little tidbit about patch 4.3. Blizzard states that the design for the patch 4.2 legendary, Dragonwrath, has wide appeal to a number of staff-wielding ranged DPS classes. However, it then mentions the "patch 4.3 legendary" and its more narrow appeal. Will we be seeing a tanking legendary in the near future, or potentially another healer item? We do know for sure that it will not be as widespread, class-wise, as Dragonwrath, so we can only sit back and assume. What is interesting, though, is that patch 4.3 also looks to be a raid tier and not a patch 4.1-style dungeon content update. Could patch 4.3 be bringing us the War of the Ancients raid that we have been eagerly anticipating, especially with the return of Nozdormu and his crazy time antics? Only time (heh) will tell.

Also, don't expect a new tanking class any time soon. Hit the jump for the full question and answer session.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Ghostcrawler: Vengeance not a fun toy for PvP

A lot of people seem somewhat terrified of the new Vengeance mechanic and how it might play in PvP. People are always leery of tanking specs in PvP, due to the general tendency of people playing in arenas and BGs to want to, you know, kill the other guys. Tanks are generally designed to be harder to kill, which tends to make people nervous, especially when tanking specs saw increased damage output in Wrath of the Lich King and went from "Hey, guys, look, it's a free kill!" to "Wait, you mean trying to burn down the dude specced and geared to not die is a bad idea?"

The forums seem to be rampant with terror that Vengeance will rule them all. I personally don't see the concern. Vengeance doesn't stack up terribly fast and it falls off fairly quickly; you'd need to focus fire a tank for significant levels of damage while he was being focus healed (and you'd need to completely ignore his or her healers) in order for Vengeance to really be a concern.

But don't take my word for it -- just ask Ghostcrawler. Not only do the developers not think Vengeance will be an issue in PvP, if it turns out to be, they'll just turn it off.

Ghostcrawler - Re: So Vengeance... am I doing this wrong?
Q u o t e:

In group PvP, there is an answer to vengeance. Don't attack the tank. Vengeance is a really good idea imo. If you are sitting on a tank and stacking that buff up, why shouldn't they do comparable damage? And from my experience, even with a max stacked vengeance, the coils between blood and unholy are relatively the same. Also, there is more to DPS between the two specs than Deathcoil. Even if someone is sitting on my blood DK I can assuredly say Unholy and Frost do more overall DPS, in pvp.

If a couple of people are beating on a tank, Vengeance isn't likely to stack very high. You need to take damage that is a big chunk of your whole health pool, which typically only bosses are available to provide.

Now if you have several folks beating on a tank flag carrier, then Vengeance may stack up, but once you have several people, you almost certainly have a way to dispel the Vengeance or just CC the tank.

If Vengeance ever gets to be a problem in PvP, we'll just remove it, plain and simple. The mechanic is only there to help with raid gear scaling, not to give tanks a fun toy for PvP.


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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Cataclysm tanking changes expanded

If you read Fox's post yesterday, well, I hope you braced yourself for more changes. Because here they are. When the devs said more specifics were coming soon, they were not kidding us. Also, Fox is mean to tanks, but he's a DPS player; we're used to their silly little ways. Anyway, let's take a look at the newly announced changes, shall we?

Zarhym - Re: Upcoming Tanking Changes
Here are a few additional changes we are making which will be applied in patch 4.0.3a:

  • Guardian of Ancient Kings -- Damage reduction changed from 60% to 50%. Cooldown still 2 minutes (talented). Duration still 12 seconds.
  • Icebound Fortitude -- Damage reduction changed from 30% to 20% (or 60% to 50% talented). Cooldown still 2 minutes. Duration still 12 seconds.
  • Shield Wall -- Damage reduction changed from 40% to 50%. Cooldown still 2 minutes (talented). Duration still 12 seconds.
  • Glyph of Shield Wall -- Now buffs damage reduction by 10% (to 60%), but only adds 1 minute of cooldown.
  • Survival Instincts -- Damage reduction changed from 60% to 50%. Cooldown reduced from 5 minutes to 2 minutes. Duration still 12 seconds.
  • Bear Form -- Stamina bonus lowered from 20% to 10% and Heart of the Wild health bonus from 10% to 6%. Bear health should be close to plate tank health with this change.
  • Vigilance -- No longer reduces damage by 3%, but will still reset Taunt cooldown and provide Vengeance for the warrior.



In addition to these changes, there was much expounding on the tanking design philosophy, which we will cover after that jump I hear so much about. Being a tank (and thus kind of slow mentally, according to Fox ... man, see if anyone taunts for him in Cataclysm dungeons), I need to go over these things in detail.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Beta: Holy power questions

Holy power is the big conversation topic for paladins right now (well, that and mobility in PvP -- but that's always a topic of conversation for paladins). For those of you who have been out of the loop, Blizzard announced during its last developer chat that for the betterment of the class, paladins would be receiving a new resource called holy power. This would be used in conjunction with mana for a variety of new and existing abilities.

So after having played with holy power on the beta realms, we decided to ask our Twitter followers if they had any questions or concerns about this new system for us to look into.
Soranomaru asks:

"How fast does it accrue? How do you spend it effectively? Is it a mechanic to empower spellcasts or another ressource like mana?"
Short answers: Currently, every 3 seconds for ret, 4 seconds for prot, and 6 seconds for holy due to the abilities and talents they'd be using to earn it. Usually, three points is the most efficient. It's a secondary resource, like runic power is to runes on a death knight, and there are certain abilities that use it and other abilities that have nothing to do with it.

Long answers: Holy power is a secondary resource that you'll have along with your current mana bar. As retribution and protection, you'll be using Crusader Strike to build up your holy power points (HPP). If you're holy, you'll still have access to Crusader Strike, but you will also be using Holy Shock to build up that HPP. The most HPP you can build up at a time is three, so you'll be earning and spending fairly quickly. Some abilities give a flat rate based on how much holy power you put into it (Word of Glory), while others get much more efficient with the more points used (Templar's Verdict).

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Beta: New talent trees for paladins

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge -- and soon, an entire flight of black dragons.

Last night, Blizzard released the new talent tree system onto the beta realms for people to take a gander at and test out. Each class is at various stages of done-ness, with some needing pruning, others needing tuning and still others just need another iteration or two before truly being ready. Paladins fall into that last category, along with three other classes.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the beta patch notes, with bold added for emphasis:

Cataclysm Beta Patch Notes - Build 12479
While this is a first pass on all of the talent trees, death knight, druid, paladin, warlock, Arcane mage, and Assassination rogue trees are not as far along as other specializations.

...

Paladins
* We are in the process of overhauling many paladin talents, spells and abilities. Expect updates in upcoming patches.


Things like more healing abilities for holy, Holy Shield moving from a maintained ability to a tanking cooldown, and three new planned but unimplemented attack abilities for retribution are all in the pipeline, as well as a shakeup of the talents we've already been provided. So, without further ado, I present a first draft of the paladin talent trees.


The Light and How to Swing It tries to help Paladins cope with the dark times coming in Cataclysm. See the upcoming Paladin changes the expansion will bring. Wrath is coming to a close and the final showdown with the Lich King is here. With Cataclysm soon heating things up, will you be ready?

Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing a new level 80 tankadin, part 3


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon an entire flight of black dragons.

First up, I'm looking for action screenshots of retribution and protection paladins. They can be any level between 1 and 80. I'll be using these for header graphics like the one above. Please send those as well as any other comments to my email at gregg@wow.com.

Secondly, this is it. We're almost done. We're finishing our final installment of how to gear your new level 80 protection paladin. If you've been reading our previous weeks of this guide, you know that we talked over reputation and profession gear as well as all of the various dungeon gear you can nab. This week we're going to be taking advantage of all of that dungeon running and spending our badges with a look at all of the badges from Frost to Heroism (and yes there are exactly 7 useful items that you can trade Emblems of Triumph down to Emblems of Heroism for ... and 6 of them are epic gems).

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing a new level 80 tankadin

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon an entire flight of black dragons.

The quiet before the storm. This is period of time where people are losing interest in their current characters and either start playing less or trying out one of their alts. As such, we've been getting a lot of requests for guides during the end of expansion lull. One of the requests we got last week was a gear guide to your up-and-coming level 80 protection paladin. Whether you're catching up an old character or rolling a new 'toon to try your hand at tanking, we'll show you where to get started.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Daily Quest: I love Explosive Trap too, Euripides

We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: WoW TCG, The Daily Quest

WoW Rookie: Leveling a paladin tank

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. For links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's, visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide.

Want to level your paladin as a tank? You got it! Before the Dungeon Finder tool was launched in December, finding level-appropriate instance groups was well nigh impossible. Occasional knots of newborn death knights might putter about in a favorite Burning Crusade instance to scoop up some gear. The rest of the pre-Northrend instances remained ghost towns, populated only by speed-running level 80s who were farming or running low-level buddies through some quick levels. But the Dungeon Finder has re-invigorated the instances of Azeroth, Outland and beyond. What does that mean for leveling players? If you love to play in groups and instances or if you're looking ahead to raiding and want to lay down your skill base now, you can.

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Filed under: Paladin, How-tos, Instances, Features, Leveling, Guides, WoW Rookie

The Queue: In which protection paladins really aren't that great

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky be your host today.

We'll dive right into The Queue today. No fliffity fluff gobbley gloucke. Straight up answers.

Erika asked...

"Will we be able to go back to classic zones at 80-85 or will it be changed permanently for us?"

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Filed under: The Queue

Patch 3.3 PTR: Ghostcrawler explains Paladin changes

You know how it goes. Blizzard nerfs Paladins, Paladins shake their heads in disbelief, then break out the pitchforks and scream bloody murder for a bit, beg Blizzard not to push through with the changes, and eventually run home and cry into My Little Pony sheets and staining pink underwear. Sure enough, when the recent PTR patch notes hinted at nerfs to the Paladin class, the pitchfork-wielding and bloody murder-screaming ensued. We're now about to enter the stage of bargaining. It's still on the PTR, after all. For those wondering what the bed-wetting ruckus is all about, Sacred Shield was nerfed to proc only once every 30 seconds (essentially proccing only once every cast of the spell unless augmented with talents), Aura Mastery was nerfed to 6 seconds down from 10, and Lay on Hands is being primed to be uncastable on one's self.

Ghostcrawler said that he didn't "want to promise (they) won't change the spell for 3.3," but that players also shouldn't "worry too much on the Lay on Hands change at this point" since it didn't make it to the latest PTR build. He explains in the forums that Paladins are no longer just a support class (as they were for quite a long time), but that all the abilities over time have contributed to making the class feel like a "one-man army" that is able to play offensively, defensively, and essentially take on more challenges without having to change stances, forms, or even specs. In a rather snippy response to a troll crying (with My Little Pony blanket in hand) in the forums, Ghostcrawler simply said, "Dear OP, Bye. Hugs, GC."

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

The woes of Block

In a discussion of tanking mechanics on the forums, Ghostcrawler made a long and in depth post about various subjects that helped consolidate one of the real problems with block and block value in Wrath of the Lich King. Not only is blocking something that only two of the four tanking classes do, but it's a pretty lackluster stat for boss tanking.

  • Block as a mechanic is somewhere between avoidance and mitigation. Ideally it removes a fair amount of damage (vs. all damage) reasonably often (vs. rarely). If block is up 100% of the time it just becomes armor that you improve through a different stat. We have let block chances creep up frankly because the amount blocked is pretty trivial when bosses are hitting for 40% of your health pool every swing. If this still strikes you as too RNG, imagine abilities like Shield Block and Holy Shield that could guarantee 100% chance to block for a short period of time.
  • We don't think block is cutting it as a mechanic, but the direction we are likely to take it is probably more of a change than you are considering.
The problem with block (which is really two mechanics in one, block rating which determines how often you block, and block value, which determines how much damage you subtract from a hit when you block it) is that for trash, it's inflated due to the block chance creeping upwards that GC mentions above. But for boss fights where a boss can either hit you physically for far, far more than you could ever block or hits you with massive magical damage that block does nothing at all against (well, unless you're a warrior in Tier 8 with the four piece set bonus) block has simply fallen behind the curve.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Forums

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