Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Fear of MoP Random Tanks

It is only a few weeks away before we get to test out our new skills.  While over all I am not really as excited about this expansion as I was about cataclysm I am looking forward to something new to do and that means the prepatch is something I am looking for to so I can play with the new skill trees.

I've been spending the last few weeks playing different things and taking a break from the game for the most part but that does not mean I don't like the game any more or don't think about it.  It just means I am bored with it.  So any change or addition right now would be a good thing.

Oddly enough, even doing DS normal will be fun again once we get the new talent changes, so we get a chance to check out our new rotations and abilities.  From a damage dealer standpoint not a lot has changed but from a tanking and healing perspective there are a lot of changes to deal with.

All healers are adjusting once again with sweeping changes.  The standard mana cap is going to be something we all need to get used to when healing but I doubt it will take all that much time to get used to it.  It will just be something that takes a little bit of time to adjust to.

I have a feeling that stacking regeneration will be in vogue for a while when we are all learning to adjust and then we will start taking away from regeneration once we got a feel for it.  Worse case scenario should be that healers will need to stop and drink a lot at the get go. 

Hopefully the mana cap will be enough to ease the lower gear issues that we had in cataclysm for healers.  Most healers when they were coming up will tell you the same thing.  At the start their heals did not seem like they had enough power to them and they did not have the mana to use their fast expensive heal in a pinch.  The mana cap might make that fast expensive heal more of an option at lower gear levels becuase we are not restrained by having less over all mana.

So healers are going to have to make some adjustments and it will not be easy for them I am sure but they do not hold a candle to what is to be expected from tanks.  Tanks have the biggest change coming and it is about time in my opinion but in a way I am really scared by the change.  Not from a tanking perspective, but from a healing perspective.

Active mitigation for tanks will be an adventure for anyone that has never played a death knight tank.  Those that have played one will have an idea how it feels already.  While it is both an interesting turn of events, no more rage starvation for bears or warriors, it is also something that will have a learning curve that might leave many late generation tanks scratching their heads.

For the average raider I don't see it being too much of an issue.  It is just a change in their style of play but it does not change what they do.  Tanks are used to using cooldowns and all that this is changing really is instead of having the cooldown at a set time, like once every three minutes, they have it all the time providing they have the resources to use it.

From a personal perspective I think this could bring a great deal of fun to what has become the most boring role in the game by a large margin, tanking.  That is from the playing it myself angle of course.  The playing with people in randoms when I am not the tank part of it scares me.

For anyone that has ever healed before they will know exactly what I am talking about when I say this.  You can tell if your death knight tank will be good or bad within 3 pulls, sometimes even only 1 pull.  The active mitigation design means that there is no such thing as an average tank, there is good and bad.  No in between.

There are good death knight tanks and there are bad death knight tanks.  There are no average ones.  There are ones you can get by with, depending on the content, but that is about it.  When healing you notice things like this.

When we were doing the zul grind from hell and I would get a death knight tank it was always a gamble.  I've had death knight tanks where I ran though the whole thing, never needed to drink once and barely needed to throw more than a few small heals here and there while rolling an HoT at most.  Then there were the death knight tanks that I was blowing everything I had, even raid cooldowns on trash, just to keep them alive and the group alive.  I needed to drink after every single pull.  Both death knights could be in the exact same gear so it was not a gear issue, it was a pure skill issue.

With that said, I love they are bringing skill back to tanking.  From a me playing it standpoint.  I hate it from a some random person playing it.  I have faith I can learn how to be good at it but my faith in the average player is not very high.  Most players really can't learn, at least it seems that way in randoms.

I think blizzard forgot that most tanks, random ones more so, are only tanks for the quick queue and the super easy game play.  Tanking takes little to no skill if you have a smart group behind you and only some skill in aggro management and patience if you don't.  Usually for the non death knight tank there was never a need to worry about cooldowns and most random tanks didn't even notice that they had them. 

Of all the roles it is the least demanding skill wise because of that and most random tanks are perfect for that because their built in mitigation would usually be more than ample for most random content.  They have no skill they just beat on things and taunt once in a while.  That is your random tank.  Don't get me wrong, I am not saying tanking takes no skill, I am just saying that a less skilled tank can easily get away with doing their job now, but they won't be able to come MoP.

When they make all tanks active mitigation tanks that means they are going to be making all tanks death knights from a healers perspective.  This means that no longer can they get by only holding aggro, they have to take an active role in keeping themselves alive.  With the built in mitigation it made it a lot easier for healers.  A lot of what would hit them was naturally lowered or avoided.   Now with active mitigation they are going to need to worry about keeping themselves alive.

With all those nightmares I have about those horrible death knight random tanks it has me thinking if they are making a mistake doing this.  It means that all tanks will have to use their cooldowns.  I wonder if you asked the average pug tank to name their cooldowns and tell you were they are bound 90% would not be able to tell you what they were or where they are bound, or even on their bars to be clicked. 

This does not bode well for healers that are also getting another big change and having to relearn things as well.  Every run will be like the bad death knight runs where you needed to drink after every pull and wipe a dozen times a run because they can go from 150K to 0 in one global on trash packs as I had seen happen dozens of times in zuls when a death knight tanks picked out 4 mobs and did not think to use a cooldown.  All tanks will now have that happen to them all because somebody, the tank, doesn't know how to hit shield wall.

Tremble in fear healers of azeroth, you are about to meet a foe more dangerous than any you have ever faced before.  The pug tank.

In less then three weeks most likely, the nightmare begins for healers.

You are not prepared.


  1. Tanking has always been the role with the highest skill floor and the lowest skill ceiling, in my humblest of opinions. It takes a good deal more effort to be passable but, once you're there, it doesn't take long to become good (sticking a pin in the DK model for now).

    Unfortunately, when the active mitigation model was announced I canvassed every tank I knew and they all pretty much said the same thing:

    "Threat was fun; why did we lose it?"

    There still has been no reasonable answer as to why the threat model of WotLK was jettisoned and Vengeance was brought in. I know the logistical reason (so tank threat could scale), but it wasn't necessary because decent tanks weren't being out-gunned by their damage dealers who had a clue.

    I worry about active mitigation because it's either too important to the point where bad tanks just get destroyed, or it's not important enough and you'll barely feel the difference between a warrior using Shield Block or one using Heroic Strike.

    The biggest problem I have with it, however, is that warriors are simply no longer warriors. Things like threat starvation or funky gear progression were acceptable because the class was still a blast to play, and infinite rage was a perk on raid bosses; the Yin to early Yang.

    Now, even warriors are stuck with a red focus bar in place of rage and a slow-paced design that doesn't necessarily punish bad play, but it doesn't really reward good play. Ultimately, it's biggest problem, is that it's no fun.

    Mists of Pandaria has a lot of great things coming in the form of content and new features to play. But from a half-decade career warrior, it's the death of my class.

    I hope that idiot Greg Street is proud of himself.

    1. As I wrote before about both tanking and healing, yes, they are the hardest to start with, but the easiest to finish with whereas DPS is the opposite. The better you get, the harder it is.

      I think they did that so tanks could do more DPS being it seemed that is what everyone liked, they liked seeing big numbers. Vengeance was an effort to make tanking a version of DPSing. In my opinion at least. I think even a few of the blues at one point pointed toward that being the idea even if they never said so directly.

      I love infinite rage on raid bosses but I hate late in the expansion like now where I go into a dungeon and I can not hold mobs because I have no rage to do anything. That was always the issue with rage. They could have fixed it easy enough by just making at least 1 single target ability cost no rage and generate rage instead, sort of how cobra/steady costs no focus but generates it for a hunter. They did not need to go to this extreme. But I think the late game situation I just mentioned might be one of the reasons they are doing it like this.

      He has been destroying the game one bad decision at a time. I've said it before and I will say it again, how the hell does he still have a job.

  2. With the one constant complaint about LFD (besides the social issues) being too few Random Tanks in queue, I wonder wether making Tanking require more skill will improve queue times.

    On a more personal level I wonder wether the pre-patch will already bring the 'Dynamic' Quest reward system (and removal of Librams etc.) or if we still have a good month to wrap things up (I assume Sccholo and SM will be getting the axe on MoP release, being 'pure' content).

    (btw: Sony has been moving on Vanguard F2P, now Greens and Craftables will apparently be usuable without rental fees. For me, this means they are actively looking at how the pricing affects the game, which imo is encouraging, as it displays more awareness than the current WoW Devs).

    1. It might hurt queue time a lot being many of those "new" tanks will end up getting kicked because they just can't cut it.

      I think they missed the idea that they need to make tanking and healing easier if they want people to do it more. As it stands there is so much pressure in those two roles and that is why there are not many of them.

      I do not think the quest changes are coming in the patch, but I could be wrong. The offhand thing I think is in the patch however.

      Never played vanguard. Maybe I will look it up with the 2 or 3 weeks left I have for farting around without WoW so to speak.

    2. Wait, wait, wait, wait. You want tanking and healing to be easier? If you make them any easier you might as well not have those roles at all and my imagination fails me as to how it could operate without the holy trinity. I guess there would be a lot more moving out of stuff and every class would have to have a self healing ability.

      If you make the roles super easy then you might get more people playing it but you'll lose a lot of the people that currently do. I mean the roles are easy enough as it is right now, it's the people you have to play with in order to do those roles that make it stressful.

      I get your point about pugs and queue times but I want tanking to be more challenging not less. If that means that I can't get into a group in a decent time as a dps so be it. As a tank I always ask in guild before I queue anyway, playing with guildies is worth more than a bag. That means they can skip the queue and I know other tanks in guild who'd do the same for me. I guess that makes it harder for people without a guild or friends which is why LFG was created I guess, so you can do dungeons without forming your own group.

      However, I don't think queue length should impact on class/spec design. I want tanking to be more challenging and active mitigation is a step in the right direction for that. I'm not one of those without challenge there's no fun, but when there's zero challenge the fun is a lot less. It's like you were saying the other day if they make it too easy, too instant, then it's not so fun anymore. Maybe more people will play a tank if there's more to it than just tank and spank.

    3. I do the same, I will only queue with guild mates usually as a tank. Screw the bag. I do healer for the bag.

      Being devils advocate, most people do not play well, so yes, it needs to be lowered to their level. How many tanks have you seen in randoms not even be able to hold one mob with the 500% threat boost and vengeance on their side? How many 397 item level healers have you seen go oom 30 seconds into a fight because they do not know mana management? Too many. And they blame it on healing or tanking being too hard. They are not too hard, those people are too lazy to learn how to play correctly.

      Being we can not take the lazy out of those people and they are the majority of the gamers, again as devils advocate here, the game needs to be moved down a notch to their level.

      As a tank I am loving the change, it might make tanking exciting again and I can only imgine what I can do soloing now with cooldowns always available. I am happy with it. What worries me are the other people in the game mostly. They will not be able to handle it. Not sure if you agree, but I still say most players are not very good.

      For each person like you or I that looks forward to more active tanking there are 100s that will never be able to handle it.

    4. I started to say "well that's not my problem. why should we dumb the game down for them?" and then I heard myself. I'm not an elitist and I always roll my eyes when the best raiders want the game made harder. I'm not quite sure how on heroic mode it could be made harder in lots of cases as it is. After all the encounter has to be doable by somebody. I've written posts and told other people that we're all different and what's one persons truth about how something is, isn't the same for others. That we're all right, no-ones wrong as it's just how it is for you.

      So self that was a very bad thought. I don't know what the answer is then. You and I would like more challenge, more things like active mitigation but you're right there are 100's that won't be able to handle it. I agree with you about the general state of the players. However, like your post the other day said if you give the masses what they want, all instant gratification then they'll leave, they'll be nothing more for them to do. Plus all the people that do enjoy a little challenge won't stick around either. It's a tough one.

    5. It really is a hard problem and people, myself included, do not give blizzard enough credit for the task they have at hand. They need to make it easy enough so that the masses can get somewhere while not making so easy that the better players, even average ones like myself, leave. Because if we leave there will be no one to carry them through even heroics and then they would need to make it even easier which becomes a snowball effect. Make it too easy and people will leave and make it too hard and people become frustrated.

      I think the key word here is "heroic" those should be the hard modes for people that want the challenge and everyone else should be allowed to have the same flavor of game but in normal mode. The people is the x-box generation which seems to be all the new players demands that they should be able to do everything.

      So the question is, should blizzard stand the hard line and say no, heroic is heroic, if you can't do it that is what normals are for and carry that though even to dungeons?

      I am all for everyone being able to do everything but I am also against making it so I finish the content in 2 months. Honestly, I've been playing for years and I have never cleared a normal mode as fast as DS. Not even close. It was way too easy.

    6. A couple of things:

      1) if you do Dungeons solely with Guild groups, there is no need for the LFD instant-teleports etc. Such mechanics only realy make 'sense' for those who are from dying Realms/Factions, have odd hours etc.

      So ipso facto tuning LFD/R to Guild groups would be a fallacy, something that Cata start (and the Zuls) brutally showed: if you make the game about grinding points that will get you Gear that is obsolete next Patch, Daily heroics have to be as challenging as Dailies ie not at all and fast.

      2) therein lies of course the core problem: 'End Game Is King' is a fallacious, deterimental game concept, as it basically does what Beau Hindman said lately in his soapbox at Massively :it drives away the core gamer that just wants his virtual world.

      By concentrating on the 'PvE Progression Fiends' (the more apt term for Raiding hardcore, as hardcore behaviour can be found in other content types as well ie Chinese Twinks) and their minority pursuits, Blizz dug a hole for themselves: on the one hand, they want to please the original target audience for raids, on the other hand they have to tune it so the 'X-Box generation' wil be able to play it, resulting in a situation that isn't really satisfactory to anybody, but most especially to those for whom that whole 'Raid Progression' nonsense never had any appeal to begin with.

      Killing off levelling and thereby the world pleased the instant-grat players, it pleased the Methods etc. as they could get to the 'real game' ASAP, but it left everybody else out in the cold.

      3) I liked Tanking but I stopped after The Shattering, as there was no point to it anymore in the content I liked (the classic Dungeon crawls): PC's are so powerful they're not needed, Patrols etc have been stripped, and the maps don't really require learning anymore (if at all).

      4) Not everybody relies on/uses add-ons.

      This of course also makes tuning harder than it would be in a normal game (ie one without allowing what too often basically amounts to cheats).

    7. 1) I usually only do them on my tank with full guild or needing one person. The instant teleport to the dungeon makes life easier, so it still servers a purpose for a guild group. Not to mention that makes it a random dungeon. If you walk into a dungeon there is nothing random about walking in. You get into the one you walk into. So yes, randoms for guilds are still useful.

      2) We have discussed this before. Blizzard is continually destroying the game in an effort to make people get to end game faster when still more than 50% of the subscribers do not have a max level character.

      I agree, they need to stop that design and put more effort into making the trip to max level as important as being max level being there are as many people traveling there as there are ones already there.

      Lets not even mention that only 7% of the max level players even raid. That is more proof that funneling into end game is a bad idea.

      3) That is the cata design of making tanking as boring and easy as possible. Hence the reason I said it is currently, in theory, the easiest role in the game.

      4) Blizzard has said themselves that raids and dungeon are designed to have people use addons. Yes, they can be done without them by a good player but they are not, repeat NOT, optional. You need addons to play the game. Blizzard themselves said so.

      As such, it does not make tuning things harder. They are designed to for people with addons. They are not designed for people without them.

    8. ad 1) yes they make things more convient, but that doesn't mean they are good design (Bartle had a great article about it back in 2004 or so) or NECESSARY. By removing people from the world, they make it more empty, and hence result in e.g. less World Pvp opportunities between equalish parties and so forth.

      The Random bribe is both the reason why a 'Random' has 'meaning', and why so many Instances have people in them that don't really want to be in them - aggravating all the trollish behaviour etc. (in e.g. LFD TBC Heroics and Wrath heroics, now that they aren't curent content anymore, there are far more people that actually want to be in them , and as a result people interact much more cordial).

      The LFD function has its merits, they should not have included the Random feature and bonus.

      ad 3)

      Partially, it more had to do with a more Loot-shop design of the Dungeons (which tbh started with TBC; both e.g. Shadowfang Keep and Hellfire Ramparts are castles, but I think we agree only the first really 'felt' like a castle) and the increase in power, period.

      Tanking has been made easier, but nothing beats DPS as easiest to play (which is why it's basically the only thing I ever do in case I do use the LFD)

      ad 4) and there you have it ^-^

      Besides being silly and lazy design - if players bascially NEED certain interface options etc. to clear 'pivotal' content, they should be part of the standard game, not provided by outside sources - I'm willing to make a bet that, just as with the 'everybody is interested in Raiding'-myth Blizz has perpetuated, the majority of the player base does not use outside programs to play a 12+ game.

      Now, with a Freemium title, such a thing doesn't necessarily matter, as the 'big whales' spend the money for the extra content etc. that keeps the game afloat for the other 90% or so (Big Point used much lower percentages, but I can see the Turbine titles having higher numbers, as they generally appeal to an older demographic; Grumy Old Men may have this lawn thing but we do also have the disposable income :P ).

      But with 'one sub fits all' games like WoW, this is actually pretty inexcuseable, especially because (as we both have talked about till death) they have bascially removed all the other content.

      I wonder how many flaming in LFD happens because those who use addons can't phantom other players don't, even while pretty understandable (it doesn't exactly say on the box 'this game can't be used without outside programs'; note that I personally disagree with that, though then again I am not interested in either Raiding or Arena)

    9. I think blizzard can fix a lot of the issue itself if it just incorporated DBMs into the design.

      Instead of making it that people have to get outside help they should put everything you need in game. That is what really separates the people that play, good and bad, the good ones know what can make them better and go out and download it while the bad ones don't. Not saying there can't still be bad players with the addons, but it would surely limit them.

  3. When reading through your post I started to get a little cross with the "tanking is currently the easiest role" business. Then I actually thought about it and realised that in general terms you're right.

    A good tank can compensate for a lot of things. You said that healers know within a couple of pulls if the tanks any good. Well a good tank can tell that about the rest of the group. So if a situation turns bad (but not really bad) a good tank can turn it back by regaining the adds that someone else has pulled. People pulling adds off tanks is rare now due to the threat buff but that doesn't stop them from not using their eyes and pulling other packs. They can blow cd's to keep themselves alive if the healers not so hot. A good tank will do all the interrupts themselves in a pug as you can't trust anyone else to do them.

    A tank can though, with the current system, turn up, hit stuff a few times and then afk practically. There's no worry about threat and particularly in the HoT dungeons, or the old ones now we overgear them, nothing hurts that badly. So if you tank like that then I guess it is pretty easy.

    I think tanking is too easy. I like the move for active mitigation and I wish they'd remove that massive threat buff. However, tanks have other difficulties aside from their role as they're generally expected to lead pugs. They're expected to know every encounter, mark for cc or kill order, pull intelligently so not to pull both a regular pack and a wandering pack.

    Can you tell I'm a tank? I love tanking and I do try my best to be the best tank I can be. I'm not the best tank in the world but I always give my best. I also play a healer and I find that I have more control as a tank than a healer over the fate of the group. Yes I can heal like crazy as a healer but if the tank is like tissue paper or can't keep threat then I'm going to get chewed on - and be unable to do much about it. As a tank if I blow everything I can save most situations even if that means I'm the last one alive, at least I can mass res them.

    Having said all this I don't pug tank. I refuse point blank to tank LFR and I don't like random LFG either. If you get me as a tank I'm with a friend or guildmate.

    Anyway I'm not too sure it'll be as dramatic as you say. Yes I've had some truly awful DK tanks which put me off playing one for some time. However, I always put that down to starting at level 55 and not having the right gear, or knowing much when you get those tanks in TBC dungeons. I took my copied paladin tank (from April so I didn't have the gear I do now) and soloed Stonecore up to Slabhide. I do that a lot on live (farming the mount) so I know what the pulls feel like. If anything it was almost easier than on live and on live I have better gear.

    Now if only I could have Eternal Flame AND Word of Glory like I could when beta first started. More self healing please.

    1. Tanking is actually difficult, if doe correctly, and if the people around the tank are really bad. I know when I tank and have a lesser geared healer I step it up or DPS that love to attack before I do I keep on my toes. I am not great by any means, but it is not always easy. But as you noticed, I was not talking about the little things. I was talking the role in theory. Hold aggro. In theory, with the 500% buff, it is easy in a random setting and even easier on boss fights with no adds. As you said, they can go in and basically DPS and then AFK after 20 or so seconds. Thus why I said it was currently the easiest role.

      I am with you on doing all that stuff. I do it while tanking as well. Bad DPS that attack before I even get to the mobs however make my life a living hell and that is also why I do not pug tank ever.

      I happen to disagree with the tank / healer in charge thing. When I heal I always feel as if I have more power over the group to lead. As a tank people never listen. Perhaps it is the bad rep tanks have. But as a healer, people listen to me. Maybe it is just the luck of the draw with the groups I get. I do not mind healing pugs but I will not tank them. Very rarely at best.

      Roll a hunter if you want to solo stuff. I've been soloing VP and SC since the expansion came out and I first hit 85. ;)

      I even was soloing it on heroic because I forgot the mount dropped on normal. Hunters are way better than paladins for soloing. Some things at least, as long as there is no unavoidable damage.

    2. If no flag is selected, tank is chosen as leader by default because well, that is how the game works. Tank is in charge. People never listen to the tank? That's quite funny really, when I say something in party chat people do what I say. They don't argue, they don't question. Even if it's me intervening in an argument over loot or over low dps or whatever. And I've done so many randoms with complete strangers I'm already talking about 4 digits. And you do have a lot more control as a tank. If I'm gonna sit in bad with the mobs and the dps will dps them there since I'm not moving (dps seem to be blind to environment half the time), all you can do is either heal me or let me die. This is why I think the healer role sucks, because you have to cover for people's mistakes and they don't even realize they are making mistakes, even if you point it out. They survived, didn't they, so quit complaining /sarcasm. And you can't really prevent anything. If you're on a priest you don't even have a stun or interrupt, it's disheartening.

    3. People view tanks as arrogant jerks and most of the time they are. Heck, I would say 50% or more of the time they are. No one listens to the elitist jerk in their group because they think they are gods gift to the world. That elitist jerk is the tank.

      You mention that all the healer can do is heal you or let you die. That my friend is power.

      If I were healing I let you die, then heal the DK DPS that knows how not to stand in stupid until the fight is over. When it is over I rez you and tell you not to stand in stupid next time or you are going to end with a huge repair bill.

      That is power. As a healer I am the leader in a random. I have purposely let tanks die many times and will continue to do so. I even tell them I will let them die if they do not do what I say. I have never, not once, ever been kicked on any healer in any dungeon at any level of the game.

      When I say in chat, do not follow the tank, because he is pulling to fast, the DPS stays there with me, the tank runs in a dies. That is power.

      It is the tank that gives the healer that power because of the history of arrogant tanks in randoms.

      Perhaps it is the person at the keyboard, me in this case, that takes lead. You might have no issues as a tank because you take lead well but in my experience at least in 4 digits as each a healer and a damage dealer but much less as a tank because I rarely queue as one, I have never seen a random tank that was capable of leading anything. Explaining a boss fight? Yes. But leading. Nope, never.

    4. Thank you for illustrating perfectly why if you do Tank LFD, doing so as Protadin is usually the least of a hassle :P

    5. Tank - Paladin

      Healer - Shaman

      DPS - Hunter

      Those are the three best classes to play each role in random content.

      Paladins can handle themselves and heal as well can do some decent offense.

      Shaman have a suitable off tank in the earth elemental, an interrupt and CC as well as heals and many utility tools that can help a healer.

      Hunters can solo nearly everything, so doing it a group makes it easier for them and add to the fact that if things get really bad they can just FD.

  4. Having been a tank for a little over 2 years, and finally getting into healing in the end of Cata, I know exactly what you mean.

    I've tanked a few of the normal dungeons on beta (only levelled to 87 so as not to spoil too much content for when MoP rolls out) both on my bear and on my DK, and I have to say I like the way it feels. It took some getting used to at first, of course, but generally I don't think it'll be as bad as you think. Of course, maybe it's because I *have* been a tank for so long that i've not had had nearly as many chances for "bad tanks" as you have, but I dunno. I think it'll definitely make the bad tanks stand out more, but all in all, I don't really think it'll be all that terrible.

    But then, maybe i'm just too optimistic for my own good xD

    1. I just worry about the wait everyone else will end up having because of it. I am sure the tanks that "just don't get it" will keep getting kicked and that will make everyones wait longer.

      I see a bright future for scenarios because of this. Is the future of dungeons guild runs only?

    2. Remember start of Cata? Tanks getting kicked for not cutting it will not be a problem. They will just not play them if they can't get through an instance easily as a tank and get yelled at. I remember people telling me the queue was 30mins to 2hrs then. People remembered they had a tank lying around only when the 5x modifier hit.

    3. That was more a gear issue than a skill issue and tanks were being blamed for healer failure and DPS failure.

      The tanking itself was harder because the tank is usually the leader the group and needed to mark and call for CC. Many packs had a few casters that needed to be handled and any decent tank can round them up but with gung ho DPS it makes it harder, with people refusing the CC it makes it harder.

      The tanks were not the issue at the start of cata, tanking was always easy in cata. It was the other players that made it hard.

      I am talking the role. Not what the people around you make the role be.

      The role of tank is the easiest role in the game. No doubt, hands down.

      The role of tank is also the hardest role in the game when surrounded by idiots.

      I am not talking about who someone is surrounded with, I am talking about the role in and of itself.

  5. Sort of unrelated to the actual post but since mentioned twice... How does being a, say, ranged dps in a random heroic (for example Blackrock Caverns, don't know, pick one) require more skill than being a tank in a random heroic?

    1. I could go into detail but the best way to explain it is look at the statics.

      How many bad DPS do you see in randoms that can't even do the minimum required damage? 50%, 60%, maybe even 70%?

      Being so many damage dealers can not do the bare minimum needed to complete the dungeon that is proof enough that it is harder.

      Or as I like to say to all the people that say DPS is so easy.

      If DPS is so easy then why are most damage dealers so bad?

      Because it is, in theory, easy. It is not, in practice, easy.

    2. Tanks and Healers are singular roles in 5-mans, DPS is not. That makes it easier to slack off without any results as a whole, especially because Tanks can do a whole lot of damage nowadays (though not to the absurd extend of e.g. Warrior Tanks in early Dungeons ).

      I do wonder though: if DPS is the 'hardest' to do, and 'most do too little damage', are you trying to say that the vast majority of LFD 'pops' lead to incomplete runs, and that bad DPS is the cause of this?

      Also, if DPS is the hardest role, and Tank the simplest, I still haven't seen a convincing argument why the LFD queues aren't flooded with Tanks, it would be to be expected that finding DPS would be the hardest then.

    3. Yes, a fair deal of the bad runs, maybe even a large portion of the bad runs, is because of bad DPS. Not because of bad tanks or bad healers. The tanks are "good enough" and the healers are "good enough" but with bad DPS they end up looking bad. All the pressure is on the DPS to step up and sadly most can't. DPS is the hardest role. Proof is that so many are bad at it. If it were easy there would not be so many bad at it.

  6. IMHO tank and healer are the hardest not because of any actual mechanic, but because you TAKE responsibility. There is only one tank in a group, and only one healer, but 3DPS. So as DPS you can "hide". Controversely DPS have all the voting power. Socially not a good situation.

    As with the coming chages, I would make the following bets:

    a) fewer tanks, fewer healers, and fewer DPS in LFD; longer queue times for everyone. Especially after MoP hits, for 2 reasons. Once the overgearing is at an end, crying about and votekicking tanks and healers will reach epic proportions. Fortunately the new micro-dungeons will draw of a lot of DPS .... until they realize, that execution is to be the key

    b) scenarios will be hard... for about 2 weeks, before they are adjusted and all special effect brought to a level that you can simply zerg everything down

    c) achievement runs in dungeon will be next in line for adjustment

    d) with patch 5.0.6 the role of active mitigation will be adjusted in a way to make it relevant only in heroic raids.

    e) 6 weeks after expansion hits 10% of the WoW population will have seen everything, leaving only repetition and grind. By new years eve about 30% will have seen the end raid boss.

    f) despite everything, subscription numbers will continue to drop after a short peak

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

    1. On b - In Beta, scenarios are already not hard. It's as casual at it gets. Some of them you would need close to entire group AFK to fail, and most can be soloed - though might take a while alone.

      For example, on Unga Island mobs steal your brew... then move and dance with it 50 meters up the beach - you can always go and get it back.

      Scenarios are not hard content, challenge dungeons are aimed on that part.

      And 6 weeks to "everything"... well, parts of that everything are behind grind for good reason. Focusing on just one part can take 6 weeks easily - though if other content doesn't grab you at all then yes, it might be called "seen everything that interests me".

    2. looks like I sounded here a bit harsher than I wanted to

      I'm not in Beta - if what you describes fits all scenarios, it's worse than I thought. I'm simply following a designer interview, who stated "if you don't do the mechanic right you die, no amount of healing will help you".

      to be clear - grind for me IS content. Getting reputations to exalted can be fun, doing dailies can be fun. But without grind the actual content of WoW is small ... compared to an offline RPG game (which btw just does a better job in hiding grind).

      But a lot of people will race to 90, do a few heroics and finish all raids once via LFR. And then they feel "I've seen everything", and I can't really blame them. WoW always has defined the final raid of a tier as the "Endgame" - so once you defeated it, why go back and do something "less"? Esepcially if the loot you receive is not really "interesting"?

      Blizz faces a similar prolem btw with Diablo :)

      Rauxis, chosen of CAT

    3. They are harder in the way that they have to take responsibility but the active part of the game it is easier. I'm talking about the role and what they are expected to do. Tanks have the easier job based on that.

      You time line might be a little off. Mostly with that 30% having seen it all. We have the 30% debuff on DS and still only 7% of guilds have finished it. So no way in hell 30% will have done it then if 30% can't even do it now with the debuff.

  7. clarifying again - I mean LFR only. Someone who has finished LFR has seen the content- neither normal mode nor heroic are of interest. Like Deathwing - once you have seen the cinematic, there is no real goal left.

    You might be one of them going for a replay, or for achievements, or simply like playing a Mage in this world - but for someone who treats WoW as a "normal" game, after defeating Deathwing ... is the repeat and grind really worth 15 bucks/month? Does it make for such people not make more sense to leave, and come back once a new content patch hits?

    And I'm with you that Healers have the hardest role. IMHO mostly because you have to REACT to health bars AND the 3D visual environment. And brains are bad at doing both at the same time, therefor it causes stress.

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

    1. I have to disagree with your rather dire prediction as you only have to look at the percentage of those who completed raids (and saw the endgame) before LFR was introduced. It would't be an exaggeration to say that the majority of the playerbase didn't see those raids. They weren't all trying and failing to see them either, they just didn't care, they were doing pvp or afking in stormwind or being AH barons. Raiding might be thought of as the endgame but even before Mists (which is bringing more to do at endgame) it's not the be all and end all.

      If they didn't unsub when they never saw the raid, didn't have a chance to see the raid, and likely didn't even want too. Why would they unsub now?

      Now this obviously doesn't apply to everyone but that's the beauty and curse of the warcraft playerbase. It's so vast and everyone is different.

      I predict that Mists will have an easier time retaining subs because of the options it contains. We'll see what happens though.

    2. @ Taitrina

      I think somewhere in the back of everyones mind even if they never raided the fact there was something there that they might see some say kept them playing. I know many people that want to raid but rarely have the time. Or the ability in many cases. They keep going so they can keep getting better and hope the time comes where they can get into a raid and have the time to do it.

      If they can finish it the second they hit max level the whole quest to end game is over, then they might very well unsub. They did what they had never been able to do. I think that is what Rauxis is trying to get at and I agree.

      I think part of the reason for the huge subscription loss in that people have beaten the game. Even if only at LFR. Sure, still not many raid, but the ones that do that do not do normal or heroic, the game is over as soon as they finish LFR.

      WoW has absolutely zero replayability any more. It used to be that it was a grind and that kept you busy. You wanted to switch characters, it took time. You wanted to make one on the other side, it took time. You wanted to be on another server, it took time.

      Now with super fast level, faction change, server change, race change, etc. There is no replayability left in the game. Add to that the approach that everyone can kill the final boss as soon as they meet the level requirement and they have damaged their product more than you can ever imagine.

      @ Rauxis

      I heal so I can agree that healing can be brutally difficult. However, I stand by what I said and will continue to say it. DPS is the hardest role in the game.

      Given a group of all quality player just doing their role. Tanking is easy. Healing is easy. DPS is always a matter of you can put out more, you need to do more, you can get better. It is harder and there is so much more pressure involved. Once a tank can tank it they can't tank it better. One a healer can keep everyone alive no problem they can not keep them alive better. But once a damage dealer can do 30K they can do 32K they can do 34K they can do 36K, they can always get better and the pressure keeps piling. Even if your class maxes at 40K and you can do 40K you will always be pressing to find some way to do 40100 just to do better. Damage dealing, without a doubt, is the hardest role in the game.

  8. I understand your stance on DPS, but I disagree

    Healers feel the same pressure - though mostly in the way "we did it with 6 healers, let's do it with 5 because it will go faster, then with 4 ... ok, you will solo heal".

    Especially in close DPS races I found Tank DPS can make the difference between failure and success as well. Better timing your pull and optimizing your CD usage (hello Sarth 3D when it mattered) also fall into this category.

    During LK times I was in all 3 roles when we pushed for server firsts (unfortunately there were 2 other guilds always ahaed of us). I've missed out Cata, but I don't think this has changed - healer have the hardest job. When playing DPS I always had the least pressure. Pushing for higher numbers was always fun. Tanking and Healing was hard work.

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

    1. The difficulty for tanks and healers is there but in a different way fundamentally. You keep saying but this and but that and are missing the point I believe.

      A tanks job is to hold aggro. Once he or she can do that, their job is easy.

      A healers job is to keep everyone alive. Once he or she can do it, their job is easy.

      A damage dealers job is to deal damage, no matter how much damage they deal they can always deal more, their job never ends and is harder.

      You keep adding but... but... but... I am not talking about but. I am talking about the basic concept of the role. Tanking and healing are easier. Once you can do them you can do them, end of story. A damage dealer can never stop, they need to keep dealing more damage.

      Now for my but...

      But I agree with you. There is a lot more to tanking and healing. A lot more then the people that don't play them know. Admittedly healing is a million times harder than tanking even in manufactured situations, but both are harder then their basic concepts.

      I remember having tanks wear DPS trinkets the first time we downed ultraxion because their DPS mattered a lot. I remember putting more pressure on healers by 2 healing stuff we should be 3 healing.

      But both of those would have not been needed if DPS was better. You would not need to artificially make the tanks job harder and force them to worry about DPS as well as if the damage dealers could do more. You would not need to make it harder on healers and two heal it to bring more DPS if the damage dealers were better.

      See, it always comes back to the damage dealers. If the tanks job is harder it is because the damage dealers are not doing their job right. If the healers job is harder it is because the damage dealers are not doing their job right.

      With good damage dealers doing their job right the jobs of the tank and healers is super easy. All thanks to the damage dealers.

      Even if you disagree with my statement that DPS is harder I am sure you will agree with this one.

      The faster the boss goes down the less chance there is for error.

      Can we agree on that?

      Okay, now who makes that boss go down faster. The damage dealers. All the pressure is on them.

  9. I am totally prepared. My shadow gear and spec are ready to go. :)
    All joking aside, this is what's frightening me about Mists. I suffered through the beginning of Cat where guildies were having to help me heal all guild 5 mans (we'd end up having 2 healers and 2 dps on some bosses), and forget about healing pugs. The combo of completely changing how disc priests healed + mana suddenly mattering + dungeons being difficult almost broke me as a healer. Seriously, if my raid/guild leader hadn't pushed me into healing raids (and lo and behold I could heal those!), I might have gone shadow forever. I still won't heal non-guild 5 mans even though Lyl's ilevel is now 397 and any Cat 5 man should be a breeze.

    Tanking's always been the hardest for me, not because of a skill level thing, but a personality thing. I don't like being in charge and I don't like being the leader. Standing at the back in my sissy robe keeping everyone else up is about as much responsibility as I want. But I've done it enough (and seen enough good ones) that I can at least help new tanks with stuff like "death grip ranged mobs", "an addon like tidy plates might help you keep track of threat on groups", and "watch your healer's back". You know, the basic stuff. I like being able to do that, and it kinda makes me sad that I can't be as helpful anymore.
    I'm going to need to amend my random macro to include "If you don't know when to use your cooldowns, don't bitch at me when I run oom keeping you standing," and also write a "Pain Suppressing the tank because active mitigation" one. Oh, and I'll probably also need to start figuring out when tanks should be using cooldowns.
    Yup, shadow's looking better and better....

    1. I like the pain suppression macro idea. I should use that as well.

      You should be able to heal them no problem in 397 but I know what you mean. If you get people that stand in bad even with that item level you can not keep them up. Stupid can't be healed sometimes.

      I had the same issues with my disc priest when the expansion started. Would only do guild runs and the rare random. It felt near impossible for me to heal a random and there were some fights I just couldn't. No matter how I tried with as many different groups as I was in, even all guild, I could not heal the panther boss in ZG as disc. I gave up playing my priest and went full time shaman because of the bigger heals, the ability to interrupt and CC. I had no problem after doing that.

      Disc seemed to have a huge hump this expansion and once you passed that gear hump you went from not being able to keep anyone up to being a god. Now, even if I do not play it often and am only at 392 I can heal heroic DS with my eyes closed most likely. I would say somewhere around 375 item level I went from feeling weak to over powered. There was never an between point.

      I am sure that with the tanks having to do active mitigation I will be left with the same feeling I was at the beginning of cataclysm. But this time around it won't be me feeling "I" can't do it, it will be me feeling that "they" have not adjusted yet.

      From a healing perspective I am not as scared as the changes to me. It is the changes to tanks I worry about.

      As a tank, I am looking forward to active mitigation because it seems like it will make me feel like what I am doing is more important than just being a meat (fur) shield and doing some DPS. I will be responsible for my own life. That seems like it could be fun.