Threat changes

I’ve been plugging away at firelands with my guild, levelling alts, and looking for interesting things to post about recently, and Ghostcrawler’s new blog post certainly got my attention.

Here’s the link: Dev Watercooler — Threat Level Midnight

My takeaway from this was:

  1. New tanks in heroics currently have a shocking time holding threat from geared players, so this change makes their life easier, hopefully reducing the barrier to entry level tanking.
  2. Heroics will soon become like the Wrath-era AoE festival. With threat levels being a non-issue in heroics everyone will AoE, and expect tanks to survive that. This will work fine with decent gear, but not so well for new tanks.
  3. The fact that a frost Death Knight can catch up to an equivalently geared tank’s threat on a raid boss is just wrong, and this change should address that.
  4. Dps classes can now do their job without worrying about threat unless they do something dumb, like pulling mobs before the tank or using AoE attacks in the first second or two.
  5. The Vengeance changes may work slightly in favor of druids, enabling bigger Savage Defense  shields earlier in a fight. The overall effect of this is likely to be pretty small.

The discussion about longer term changes to tanking mechanics is interesting. I quite like the idea of making defensive stats more active. Savage defense is a pretty boring ability at the moment, and totally out of my control as a player – on average I get a decent shield, but I can never guarantee one when I need it.
Combining an active defensive ability with the existing druid tank rotation will be challenging, since there is already a lot going on. It’s not a trivial matter to keep Pulverize up at 3 stacks, Demoralizing Roar active, Thrash active as much as possible and use Mangle every time it is up. I’ve had to resort to specific power auras to manage it better (after looking at my logs and being slightly horrified by some buff up-times).

Overall I like the changes, some problems are being fixed and there will be future work on a tank’s ability to control their own survival. This all seems good to me!

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