Recent GC post on tank balance

Quite a lot of discussion on tank balance, not just pwnwear, wow.com had a (good) post on effective health and also Ghostcrawler’s posted on it.

Here’s an extract from GC, but he said a lot more, worth checking the source too.

On Sartharion +3, cutting-edge guilds who normally tank with a warrior would (perhaps somewhat begrudgingly) use a DK to tank instead because the benefit was so massive. The same thing happened on Vezax where good guilds replaced their warrior tanks with DKs. Death knights were overpowered at the time.

We are not seeing the kind of massive swapping one class of tank for another in ToC or the preliminary Icecrown testing. It’s just not happening. If paladins or druids are too good or warriors or death knights aren’t good enough, we’re just not seeing them getting used for those fights to anywhere near the extent that DKs replaced other tanks on the encounters mentioned above.

Warrior tanks can tank every boss in the game, and more often than not get the world first and server first kills on those bosses. More raids use warrior tanks than any other. Most cutting-edge guilds use warrior tanks. We can’t detect a higher “failure rate” on warrior tanks, and frankly I’m not even sure what that means given that most everyone here agrees there are far more experienced warrior tanks than other tanks out there. Some of you are arguing “when we switch to the undergeared paladin, we do better,” yet very few groups are actually switching. The best we’re stuck with is some kind of fuzzy “it’s harder on the healers,” which is pretty hard to quantify, especially since the healers aren’t running out of mana healing anyone.

This is why the developers keep going back to what we are seeing happening in the game, which is warriors tanking stuff.

[...] Yes, if we see paladins or druids (or warriors or DKs for that matter) repeating what happened on Sarth or Vezax, then we will do something while Icecrown is still relevant.

When is the appropriate time to buff or nerf is something that is always going to be subjective. Buffing someone when we aren’t convinced they need it (assuming it affects relative power compared to another class) is as dangerous as not buffing someone when they do need it.

And again, it’s not as simple as guilds having a favorite tank for specific fights. Druids on Thorim or warriors on Anub adds didn’t cross the line for us, though I understand why it might for some people.

Source.

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5 comments to Recent GC post on tank balance

  • RJK

    I think those “cutting edge” guilds have had the same members for years, and back in the day Warriors were the tank of choice, and thru BC, WOTLk, they didnt re-roll, they stayed with it and found ways to help get those firsts.

  • Warriors are dispropotionately likely to be “tenured” with a guild. A lot of prominant warrior tanks in high end guilds have been tanking since early vanilla. We’re talking a rapport built over the course of 4 or 5 years of tanking. It’s tough to overcome something like that. However, on the flip side, death knights have only been tanking for a year, at most. They simply haven’t had the time to become entrenched, like the warriors have. This means that while guilds are often willing to overlook a deficit in player skill, or encounter balance for a tenured warrior, a death knight is likely to get benched based on the buff nerf waterslide with little regard for a player’s actual abilities.

  • The thing is with tenure as re: warriors and cutting edge guilds is that GC is saying that even with tenure when DK’s were OP that warriors, even tenured warriors in cutting edge guilds were benched.  This is not a case of “Well the warriors been with us a long time and is good so lets leave him in.” so much as the guild making an executive decision based on testable information that a certain class out-performed another to such a degree that it necessitated a change in tanks.
    Since this is not occurring now indicates that something has changed.  As the same tenured warrior tanks exist then the balance must not be so far off that cutting edge guilds, the guilds who parse data as much as Blizzard itself possibly, are not subbing in FotM tanks indicates that the % difference is within a certain margin of tolerance.
    Bottom line;  Tanking differences are so marginal that the most min-maxing guilds and Blizzard agrees that they are close enough that it comes down to player skill and personal preference.  This is the best state of affairs since we’ve come out of Beta World of Warcraft folks.

  • The concept of tenure as a tank makes a lot of sense, for my own part I was a founding member of my guild in 06. But we didn’t start doing anything beyond pugs and 10 mans until Wrath when we went on a real recruiting push. Since Wrath dropped, I’ve been on my DK tanking, and have therefore been the unquestioned tanking officer and guild MT. It certainly has an effect on the perception of my guild on various tanks.

  • GC has some good points but I still feel we need something to compensate with the OMG block value. :)

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