Friday, July 21, 2006

Tanking Idea: Fear Immunity

Okay, here's a random idea to help improve factional balance AND help us tank.

1. Take Fear Ward away from dwarf priests, and give it to Troll Priests.
2. Make paladins immune to Fear.

Now, Horde gets easy mode on bosses that fear. Instead of having to stance-dance, their priests can Fear Ward them like Alliance does now.

Alliance-side, because paladins are immune to Fear, they become a viable choice for tanking Fear-based encounters like Magmadar and Onyxia. (Or you can have a stance-dancing warrior, but the paladin has an actual advantage.)

This choice also makes thematic sense. Paladins are stalwart defenders of the light. Being immune to fear fits that vision of the paladin.

As well, it shores up one of our big weaknesses in PvP. Because of our lack of speed and range, Fear hurts us far more than any other class. A fight between a paladin and a warlock/priest actually becomes interesting now.

Edit: Okay, as the comments are indicating, a passive immunity to Fear is probably too extreme. How about a self-buff/debuff that breaks Fear and grants immunity for 10s, but increases damage taken by 10%? Maybe make it 'Unyielding Faith', and have the talent be "Improved Unyielding Faith", reduce damage taken by 2/4%?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's make Paladins immune to everything. Kk?

Anonymous said...

This idea is unrealistic and simply put, bad. Passive immunity is not something you hand out, even based on lore. In fact, Paladins already have Unyielding Faith.

Forsaken were originally classified as Undead, and thus were immune to Sleep, Charm, Polymorph, and Fear, while being subject to a Paladin's abiltiies and a Priest's Shackle Undead. This was grossly overpowered and as such, it was removed rather quickly when Blizzard realised the affect on the game. Undead were too strong vs a number of classes, but too weak vs others. Since class designed was based on class vs class rather than race vs class, Blizzard fixed both with one fell swoop, changing Undead to Forsaken.

Also, Paladins do not have any weakness to fear. I have quite a few friends who play Paladins in major guilds, and they often talk about the class or let me see it first hand. With decent gear, a Paladin can instantly kill any warlock pet, and then burst a warlock to dangerous levels before his first or second fear. Keep in mind that fear breaks on a damage check, so Blessing of Sacrifice breaks fear very quickly, with diminishign returns for the warlock. Without fear, Priests would fall over dead if a Paladin simply looked at him. The only defence mechenism they have is fear; without it they are dead in a very short time frame.

GSH said...

I have a 60 Paladin and a 60 Horde Warlock. Fear does not break on a damage check. It has a chance to break, but unlike other CC, it's not guaranteed. Why do you think the standard practice for 'locks is to DOT things up and then Fear?

It is possible that priests may have a really hard time. Like all ideas I propose, they are more thought experiments than anything else, and need testing.

But from personal experience as a Warlock, keeping a paladin feared is a trivial exercise. I mean, it's not like it's hard to see them running very slowly towards you.

Anonymous said...

That's why I said on a damage check. Damage over time spells do not break the way normal damage does. A check is down when you take damage, however, for a dot, it is down every 33% of the duration. Try it for yourself, Blessing of Sacrifice on 3 or more targets will almost instantly break any fear as each tic is treated as a seperate event.

This is what I don't understand. Paladins don't run any slower than other classes. Infact, I'd wager that they run faster - since they are not subject to snares that are on the majority of classes the majority of the time.

I wonder, how well geared are you? Gear does more for certain classes than others, and Paladins are certainly one of those. All the Paladins I know have Sulfuras, Avenger or better.

GSH said...

A paladin needs to run back into melee range. That's where the extra time comes from. A warrior will charge/intercept, a rogue will vanish/stealth and sneak up on you, the other classes will just nuke you from range.

This is practical experience from a warlock speaking, not just a paladin.

And no, I'm not geared. There are CT Profiles on the sidebar. But expecting every paladin to have Tier 2.5 and Sulfuras is excessive, in my opinion.

Azreal said...

I have a warrior and a rogue, and I must say those abilities do not come into play as much as one would hope. Cleanse does more for Paladins against Warlocks and Priests than Intercept and Vanish do. First of all, Vanish is not possible if you have a damage over time spell active on you. Since even Deep Wounds from Whirl Wind keeps you out of stealth, I'd much rather be a Paladin in those cases.

The main problem doesn't stem from fear. Paladins are better off closing in than other classes, since they do so unsnared and with the ability to use that downtime to cleanse and instant heal. The main weakness, in my eyes, is the inability to interupt spell casting. They must do more damage than other classes due to their limited ability to interupt healing. That's why gear makes a Paladin exponentially better; while a rogue can always interupt a spell at any gear level, a Paladin has a limited number of time to kill a healing class, or one that can kite. If I can close in on a priest for 6 seconds, I better be able to kill him in that time, or he will heal himself and I have to begin anew. Also, Rogues and Warriors have a very large number of interupts, and it extends their survivability by a huge margin. They simply do not have to take damage from some spells, and since they can interupt healing, they need less time to kill healing classes. Add that to their greater DPS, and is no wonder Paladin classes strugle versus healers.

Many of the weaknesses of Paladins can be made up through the use of itemization and engineering. An Iron Grenade is a ranged interupt that can be thrown while moving in any direction. This adds so much more killing power versus a healing class, as you can interupt another heal, giving you potentially 5 more seconds to kill them, or push them to the sub 20% limit.

I'd also agree that expecting every Paladin that level of gear is a bit of a stretch. While I have that myself, I believe a majority of people are in Blackwing Lair gear, or at the very least a combination of PvP gear and MC ZG AQ20. Gear is much easier to get from older content as new content is released. Even though I haven't gained any gear upgrades on my warrior for almost a year, he still has Blackwing Lair gear and a decent weapon, Spinal Reaper.

Azreal said...

I guess I didn't really address the original topic. I also agree that passive immunity is much too strong and in no way balanced. However, Paladins could really benefit from a less random interupt mechanic. Hoping for Seal of Justice to go off on your one swing isn't ideal. If you have your heart set on fear, then perhaps proposing a change to Unyielding Faith to be more like Berserker Rage.

GSH said...

Maybe I should make my anti-paladin strategy clearer. I don't actually attempt to kill them in BGs. I just Fear them. No DoTs or anything. My aim is to remove them from the fight, until they can be focus fired down.

Paladins are really vulnerable to this sort of tactic. Hamstring, Disorienting Shot, Earthshock appropriately, Counterspell, Sap. There are a lot of ways to remove a paladin from the fight, without actually killing them.

As a warlock, my gear is not good enough to kill a paladin on my own, especially the epic-geared ones I see everyday.

A passive immunity is probably too extreme, I agree. The problem is that if it's a buff, then you can just cast it on warriors*, and if it has a cooldown, the cooldown has to be shorter than two fears in a row. At that point, it may as well be passive. Warriors have to switch stances to access their Fear-breaker, which is a significant cost, but paladins have no equivalent cost.

Maybe a self buff that increases damage taken by 10% but breaks/makes you immune to Fear for 10s?

I'm just carving out a niche for paladin tanking, and I think Fear-based fights are a good target. Not too common, very thematic, and something the Horde already complains about with Fear Ward.

*This actually is the problem with Salvation. It's clearly meant to help paladins tank, but it makes warrior tanking even better.

Azreal said...

Actually, in beta, Paladins would cast the equivalent of Blessing of Fury on warriors. I never understood where the desire to tank arose from. To me, it is the least exciting thing you could possibly do in a raid. Healing requires awareness of other people's hit points, what can damage them, how far they are, where you need to move to in each case. Tanking is the repeated spam of a few select keys for 5 minutes straight. There are only a few fights in which you have to move more than one step.

Either way, it's simply not possible for a Paladin to ever tank in a raid setting without a compete overhaul of the current combat system. Yes, Paladins can tank most encounters. However, those with a periodic aggro wipe are very difficult, as they you lack a snap aggro ability. I've played, and tanked with, both a Warrior and a Paladin in end game raiding content. That being said, warriors will always be better tanks, in terms of mitigation, aggro generation and having a superior ability management system.

Warriors can not only use gear with better mitigation, such as Wrath armor, but Paladins need more stats to tank, as they need everything a warrior does in addition to intellect. Defence Stance reduces all incoming damage by 10%, the use of Shield Block allows Crushing and Critical hits to be pushed off the table, and they have several other emergency abilites like Last Stand and Shield Wall that can save them in unfortunate cirumstances. Also, it is unlikely for high end raiding guilds to give an excess of tanking gear to a class that doesn't perform as well. Due to the min max nature of hardcore players and their respective guilds, it is unlikely they Paladins would receive certain items until a majority of warriors had them. While I'm sure there are some guilds open to new ideas, the words Paladin and tanking and not synonymous.

Warriors also have a superior aggro generation system. They possess a snap aggro ability, taunt, which allows they to gain aggro after someone pulls, and more importantly, after they are hit with an aggro reducing or aggro wiping ability. There are some encounters that a Paladin will never be able to tank efficiently in at all, such as Broodlord, Battleguard Satura, Twin Emperors, etc. This is because they are unable to regain aggro in a timely manner after their aggro has been wiped or reduced. If you are not familiar with the mechanic of Taunt, it gives the warrior threat equal to the highest player on the aggro list. In order for anyone to pull aggro, they must do 110% more than the highest person. Thus, with a taunt, it is possible to instantly and effective regain aggro after losing it.

Warriors also have a superior ability management system. Mana is quite limited, and it is hard to regain mana during the course of a fight if you are trying to hold aggro to the best of your abilities. Rage is not only infinite, but it scales as you take more damage. This is painfully obvious in longer encounters, where Paladins are prone to run out of mana.

In reality, Warlocks tank more fights than Paladins do. If Paladins were to get a tanking "niche" that I'd think that Paladins having resist auras would play a part. Perhaps the Auras could also provide the Paladin with -x % of that school of magic for just himself. After all, he is the center of the Resistance Aura and should get a greater benefit.

GSH said...

The desire to tank really comes from the desire of a melee character to be in melee. See my posts on 'What is a Paladin'.

Personally, I don't really want to tank, even though I'm Protection spec. This idea really came from a bunch of different places:

1. A lot of paladins do want to tank a little bit. We get plate armor, it's a shame not to put it to some use. This point of view is understandable, even if I don't share it.
2. I do think paladins need a better defense against Fear. Quite honestly, my warlock should not be toying with Tier 2 paladins wielding Sulfuras. I'm still wearing greens after all!
3. Horde seem to be complaining a lot about Alliance EZ-Mode, one factor of which is Fear Ward.
4. Fear Ward is unfair to human and night elf priests. Race should be a matter of taste, imo.

All those got mixed together and I came up with paladins tanking Fear-based fights. I agree that in 95% of all fights, warriors should be the tank. But mixing it up 5% of the time is worth working for. Keeps things from being overly boring. This way, the paladin has at least a halfway reasonable argument for tanking something like Magmadar.

As for mana, there's Blessing of Wisdom, Seal of Wisdom, etc. Plus, I think that calls to "Innervate the tank" would be quite hilarious. :)

GSH said...

Paladins are better off closing in than other classes, since they do so unsnared and with the ability to use that downtime to cleanse and instant heal.

Wait, where'd this come from?

I don't agree with you about paladins closing in. Any class can stay out of range of a paladin if they care to.

Second, Freedom only lasts for 10s (untalented - 16 w/talents) and has a 20s cooldown. It's good, because it keeps us from falling behind, but it doesn't help us close the gap.

Azreal said...

Holy Shock. Even in my PvP gear, it heals for 750, and can crit for 1100 if I choose it to.

There are very few ranged snares that require the use of Blessing of Freedom to break. Cleanse can remove the vast majority of them, so you should have no problem with closing. Since every class moves the same speed as you do, you should be able to close. The only exception really, is a Hunter with Aspect of the Cheetah / Pack, and then you can get within 10 yards if your only ranged is Hammer of Justice, 20 yards if you only ranged is Repentance or Holy Shock, or 38 yards if you have engineering. I never understood why people claim Paladin cannot close in on enemies. It is much easier to do so than even a warrior who has an ability to do just that. I'm exalted or nearly so with all major PvP factions on both my Warrior and Paladin, so I have extensive experience in the matter.

Azreal said...

Freedom does help you close the gap because people use their abilities with the expectation that they will slow you. A mage uses Frost Nova when you are within a certain range in which he cannot do any damage abilities. Having played a Mage, I understand how crippling seeing a Paladin nearby and knowing he will use Blessing of Freedom on one of the melee classes attacking me and I have no way of getting around it. Also, in the middle of combat with other players, it is impossible to stay out of range of all of them, and much less so ones that are immune or able to break Frost Nova, Ice Armor, etc.

I've come to believe that while we play the same class, our version of the Paladin do not match. I strongly believe that the Paladin class is by far one of the strongest in any aspect of the game. Easily one of the best solo classes, easily the best support class for PvP groups and PvE raiding. Perhaps if your attitude of the class would expand beyond the pessimistic behavior prevailant on the forums you would enjoy playing your class more.

GSH said...

Lol, you misunderstand me. I'm not negative about paladins. I think they are a strong class. See my previous posts on paladins in PvP.

I do think that they are slightly too vulnerable to Fear. Fear causes you to lose ground. Most other slows merely reduce the rate at which you close. Fear actually sends you backwards, which is worse for paladins, because you have to now make up both the ground you lost, and the distance to the target.

But it's not an "OMG, paladins are useless because they get Feared". It's just a weakness, one that you have to take into account when you play. From a pure game balance point of view though, I believe that it would be more balanced if paladins had a way to combat fear (a slightly more reliable method than Unyeilding Faith).

(Notice that I have never complained about pally DPS, which is the traditional forum complaint.)

As for closing, you say that other classes don't take into account that you are unsnareable. Relying on another class to play stupidly is not a good tactic. If the other class just runs, you cannot close with them. But if you do not chase, they'll turn and nuke you.

Finally, balancing around the assumption that all paladins have a specific 31-pt talent, or a specific profession is not fair. You shouldn't have to have something that specific to compete in a balanced game.