I’d been mulling this title over in my head for a while, but with the sudden and DRAMATIC change in what my subject matter is going to be, it doesn’t fit so much anymore… But I don’t care. You can sit and wonder just what the fuck I mean by that while I talk about something completely unrelated.
So… Ghostcrawler basically told the world that threat wasn’t going to matter anymore as of a soon-released hotfix. I believe his exact words were “…we’ve gotten over the concept that threat needs to be a major part of PvE gameplay….” I’m still a bit conflicted with what I think about it, so bear with me while I consider some of the finer points of what this means.
DKs and Warriors with no threat drops won’t be splattering themselves nearly as often. (Seriously, retaliation/bladestorm on trash packs is just retarded, and our warrior pretty much dies every single time he does it. Of course, he does so giggling like a madman so, whatever I suppose.)
Lower geared tanks won’t have to worry about throttling raid-geared impatient fucks nearly as much. It’ll still happen some, i’m sure, but not to the degree it’s happening right now.
Taunt-swaps suck for tanks as it is. “FFS, stop attacking so I can generate a bit of aggro!” is something I hear pretty regularly. I’m not a fan of just auto-attacking any more than DPS is, but I suppose it’s less of a big deal for me than it is for them. Just a kind of minor annoyance. In this same manner, i’m not sure how the proposed vengeance change will affect this. Maybe 1/3 damage-dealt-as-vengeance will be enough for this to be somewhat of a non-issue… It remains to be seen I suppose.
Whether blizz wants it to or not, there will come a point where DPS will outgear up and coming tanks so much that they’re going to have to throttle themselves, or become a blood-stained smear on the floor. That’s just the way it’s going to be. I have a story regarding that when I first started tanking that i’ll give later.*
I’m also unsure of this “more active role for tank’s survivability” stuff GC is talking about. This is less of an actual “con” than it is “cautious uncertainty”, but there’s not really a slot in a pros and cons list for that, so I guess it goes here for now.
Overall, the more I think about it, the more the change really doesn’t bother me. It’ll certainly be much easier for new tanks breaking into the scene, especially as it gets later and later into the expansion. I guess I am more indifferent than anything else about the change, because I play a tank who very rarely has to worry about threat being stolen from me. That’s not to say that i’m the end-all be-all of tanking, but it’s more that I overgear 95% of the pugs I run with, or I run with guildies who know how I tank, and know when they can open up full throttle on a mob safely. Now, as to that story I mentioned earlier.
*I first started tanking, SERIOUSLY tanking, in late Wrath, well after ICC had been implemented. Even after the Arthas fight had been out for a while. One of my first times tanking on my druid (probably in the first 5-10 heroics I queued as a tank for), I zoned into Drak’theron Keep. A quick glance at the pugs I was running with showed 2 “…of the Ashen Verdict”, and 1 “Kingslayer”… Of course, they were the DPSers. My first thoughts? “……..fuck.” Luckily, they were REALLY cool about it. I just told them ahead of time that I was pretty undergeared compared to them, so I hope they didn’t mind going easy on me. I think they *did* try to go easy on me, but they outgeared me by so much that it just really didn’t matter. I did everything I could to keep up with them (and did a pretty good job of it, in my opinion), but I just couldn’t NOT lose threat sometimes… okay, a lot of times. I was usually pretty quick with my taunt button though, and I don’t recall anybody dying, so it turned out well. At the end of the run I thanked them and went along my merry way, palms sweating and knees shaking at the trauma that they had just inflicted upon my green tanky self. BUT, I think this made me a better tank, overall. I had to react quicker, target switch more, and OMFG TAUNT YOU SONOFABITCH AUGH a lot more than I had at that point, and honestly, it was STILL one of the most difficult runs i’ve ever had to keep threat off of everyone.
Fast forward a few months to the time that I found myself in a newly formed SiB. A few guildies were talking about running a heroic, and I was like “sure, i’ll tank it for you guys”. Now… something about my volunteering sent a cold chill down my spine as a few of the guildies instantly started going into plotting how best to make my tanking for them “more fun”. Let me set the stage: Paladin healer, Druid tank (me), Boomkin, Destro warlock, and a rogue of some kind that we pugged in. I don’t remember if we were on vent at the time, but I do remember we were in Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom… and I also remember the boomkin splattering himself against the mobs repeatedly. “DOT EVERYTHING. STARFALL! THUNDERSTORM!!!” I also remember my healer crying “NO! PANZERKIN IS NOT FOR TANK! BAD BOOMIE!”. It was a lot less stressful because I knew these guys, but it was still a pretty difficult run, because I was still relatively new to the tank game.
What’s my point in telling these stories? I dunno. In hindsight they’re pretty damn funny, but they also helped shape what kind of a tank I have become, I think. Anyway, sorry about the nost having posted for a couple weeks. I have been absolutely ADDICTED to my warlock lately. He has been stealing the souls of many hordies, and NPCs alike, and is currently level 73. I gave up the initial quest for him to be levelled solely as pvp after a heartbreaking few hours where we lost something like 20 BGs in a row (half of them I had zoned into with 30 seconds or less left before final defeat). Somewhere around the 45 landmark I said “yeah, that’s enough of that” and blitzed my way into Northrend. He is sitting somewhere around the 8000 honorable kills mark, which is honestly more than any of my other toons… go figure, huh?