Blood tanks, my feedback on Cataclysm beta

I posted these thoughts below in the new thread on official beta forums, which I’m hoping will become a DK Tank thread. It has some great points in it before my post, which are worth reading too.

In our pwnwear forums, we have a thread which will talk mostly about AOE Tanking.

It’s valid that the earlier point that casting death strike effectively puts bone shield on cooldown.

The 3 rune DnD makes it an opener, combined with blood tap/ ERW being required to grab streaming adds, we are left being a tank who can pull every 30s or so. You may need to wait up to 10s after a fight has finished before pulling the next pack, since one of your runes for DnD might still be warming up.

Thus, we’re struggling with streaming adds

Our tanking cooldowns compete with our AOE attacks. There’s too much contention for blood runes.

Off-tank: I haven’t been able to log on and test RE yet, but earlier post on how a blood off-tank will struggle is something I’m concerned about. No scent of blood and an RE that costs twice as much (DC instead of RS) could lead to problems, not sure yet since it depends on the encounters; we just need to have more threat than the dps/healers.

Scarlet fever requires blood boil, at the moment, so you really want to keep that debuff up. However, it doesn’t scale with epidemic, so you have 30s. Paladins’ changes give their Vindication debuff (the equivalent) with the attacks they’ll use in their normal rotation. Very nice!

I’d like that treatment to us too, add the debuff to heart strike. (If that’s a PvP problem, then de-emphasise blood for PvP altogether. Paladins who PvP’d in prot spec caused problems in WotLK, so why not keep PvP out of blood and remove the new strangulate-cooldown talent Hand of Doom).

The structure of talents to get the debuff for free, with Crimson Scourge, I’ve said before, is an awkward and inelegant solution. It’s not Blizzardy! There’s this big chain of talent and attack dependencies to get the debuff up for free: get the 5 talents you need, cast PS before fever fades, then cast blood boil within 10s (if you have a spare blood rune, which you don’t actually consume when you cast the blood boil thanks fo the Crimson Scourge)… I mean, try explaining all that to a new tank. It’s complicated, and not cool.

Sub-tree: Since DnD is three runes, the unholy sub-tree has lost a lot of its appeal for blood tanks. Frost sub-tree isn’t much better. Blizzard should try to tune the talents so they have secondary benefits which appeal to tanks, such as epidemic also extending our scarlet fever, or

The improved blood presence secondary benefit really needs to be changed to something a tank will use. Currently you’d only use it if you’re offtanking in a fight where you can safely be in a dps presence, and even then it’s illogical, because it gives you stamina!

Paladins get a secondary benefit of more mana when they block or dodge; how we get a benefit like that (like Dirge), giving RP when we use HS or DS (which would still help off-tanks).

Discuss

If you’re not in beta, join our discussion on DK AOE tanking over here.

Also, remember to vote for which class I should test next. If you’ve not registered on the pwnwear forums, it’s really easy and fast. Join the largest DK tank community on the web.

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