New Tank Hotfixes

August 17th, 2011 by Setta

So it’s been a while since I’ve said anything here but the newest hotfix is worth mentioning.

As far as our progression is going, we’re still doing well and will have Lord Rhyolith in the next week.  Great job team!

On to the hotfixes:

  • Threat
    • Threat generation for all tanks has been increased to 500%, up from 300%. This applies to warriors in Defensive Stance, death knights in Blood Presence, druids in Bear Form, and paladins with Righteous Fury.
    • Vengeance should no longer be generated when damage is fully absorbed by damage shields. When the shield breaks from damage or damage is partially absorbed, the amount of Vengeance generated is equal to the full amount of damage taken (including the damage absorbed.)
    • More information can be found in our latest Dev Watercooler.

These changes while simple are amazing in my mind.  Some folks really like threat as a mechanic, but as a five year tank veteran, I hate it.  To be honest, threat is either there or not.  It’s not a terribly exciting mechanic:  If you pull threat, you’re dead.  If not, you live.  Tanks, after the initial 30 seconds, have almost no chance of actually losing threat anyway so it’s just that first 30 seconds that ever matter.

As said in the Watercooler discussion, threat has quickly become a stat that most folks don’t pay attention to and really is an outdated concept.  Overall I’m looking forward to the change that will make tanking more focused on what we do: absorbing hits from the boss and mitigating damage.

Also, some interesting patch notes for a hotfix – Rhyolith was nerfed bigtime.

Lord Rhyolith

  • The explosion damage radius of each Magma Meteor just before Lord Rhyolith should now more closely match their spell effect visuals.
  • Volcanoes should no longer emit plumes of smoke while they are dormant.
  • Concussive Stomp should no longer knock nearby players back.
  • Magma Flow lines are now 30 yards long, down from 40 yards.
  • Rhyolith now activates volcanoes less often on normal difficulty.
  • Stepping on an active volcano now removes 16 stacks of armor, up from 10.

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New LFD Incentives (Tank Bribes?)

April 7th, 2011 by Setta

Dungeon Finder:  Call To Arms (4.1)

Setta - Tank Bribery

So, I’ve been reading a lot of comments and posts about the new Dungeon Finder: Call To Arms that blizzard is planning on introducing in patch 4.1  (Source).  There’s been a lot of drama over the decision though the patch isn’t even out yet.  Let’s go over some of generalized comments on what people think.

  • Awesome, I’m a tank and I do Heroic Randoms, this is great news!
  • WTF, why is Blizzard giving MORE things to Tanks?
  • WTF, why is Blizzard catering to the hybrid classes again?
  • Huh, this affects me but I’m not sure what I think about it quite yet.
  • Awesome, I’m DPS and I get better queue times.
  • Oh noes, more bad tanks!

Overall everyone has a slightly different opinion on how this will affect them.  DPS seem to generally be unhappy that Tanks / Healers will be getting rewards for queuing into the Dungeon Finder and they will not.  Others are happy that queue times will shrink down.  Others think a ton of DPS / Healers will switch to tanking to get the benefit of the new goodie bag.

Let’s go over this just for a moment.  Queue times for DPS are absurdly long.  As a tank, I generally never notice this until I decide I want to try knocking heads in my retribution spec for a while.  Then comes the 45-60 minute queue time.  That is a bit ridiculous and it’s no small wonder why people are so upset.  So, to offset this, Blizzard has been trying to think of ways to generate more tanks and healers in the system.

With that in mind they decided a good idea would be to offer additional incentives for the less represented roles (Tanks and Healers) so they would have additional reason to join up into the LFD Tool.  Naturally they tried to avoid incentives like Justice, Valor, Honor or Conquest Points as that would tend to disrupt their current gearing model.   Additionally this wouldn’t work out for long as soon the less represented roles would be geared out and have less of a reason to join again.  So they went with gold, gems, pets and rare mounts.  Overall this is a pretty effective “bribe” as shown by the sheer number of people upset or very happy with the change based on the rewards presented.

Why do people keep referring to this as a Tank Bribe?  Well, so far as we have seen, tanks are definitely the least represented role.  Why?  We’ll get to that.  So these rewards will typically be given to the tank as the call to arms will usually be that role.  Now what would this do?  This will bring out a few tanks who had no reason to queue up anymore (no reward from heroics normally, typically from high gear levels), convince several hybrids that are capable of tanking to start trying their hand at tanking and possibly get several people to switch mains.

Overall this will mean a higher population of tanks.  That most people seem to agree on as the rewards offered in the goodie bag are fairly well accepted as good rewards.  What type of tanks?  Well, there will be the high geared tanks (which everyone wants to start queuing more often), the medium geared tanks (which most people will accept) and the ungeared tanks (previous DPS or new which no one wants).  Skill levels will naturally be varied as well – obviously those with more time spent as tanks (and probably more gear) will be the best received.  There will be completely clueless people joining up as tanks, possibly will full DPS gear and a shield.  Several people are really concerned about that.

But, in the end, this will increase the tank population.  Bad / rerolled / DPS tanks will either stick with it, get better and get more gear, or they’ll quit out.  Old tanks that are interested in the rewards will probably be in it for the long haul as the rewards that most want (pets and rare mounts) will take a while to achieve (as anyone who has done Baron Mount Runs can attest).  Why will they take a while?  Because low drop rates (sub 1%) combined with 40 minutes per run will result in a very low chance of the Called role to actually get the rarest mounts.  It merely provides a means of which for them to access it a little faster than usual (instant queue versus travelling around the world to specific dungeons and farming).

So the queues for DPS will likely decrease from this change.  How much?  No one really can say but if the rewards are enough (which for me I know I like the rewards) then it will generate more people in the dungeon queue.  Overall that’s a pretty win-win situation.  Naturally DPS is a bit left in the dust when it comes to the rewards but at least the reward here is shorter queue times.  For all the complaining, this is a step forward for Blizzard in an attempt to figure out ways to bring more tanks to the table.  Maybe not the best, but definitely a step.

~ Setta

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