Monday, May 11, 2009

A Side-Effect of Easy Tanking

It occurred to me that Ulduar has managed a feat that I have long wanted in raid fights: mechanics that make the ranged DPS run all over the place, while ignoring the healers. And it's all due to the Wrath changes that made tanking much easier.

In Wrath, it's a lot easier for tanks to generate threat. This has made tanking 5-man instances much easier. Not everyone is happy with this development, citing that 5-mans have become about AoEing everything down, but I think that in general it's made it easier and more fun for tanks and less skilled players.

Because of the easier threat generation, the tanks have a large lead in threat over the dps. In Ulduar, this has allowed many fights to use "Runes of Power". These are area effects where anyone inside gets a boost to their damage. As Runes of Power appear and disappear on the map, the ranged DPS has to run from one Rune to another. In TBC and 1.0, these mechanics might not have been as useful, as DPS were more likely to push threat and steal aggro.

These Runes generally do nothing for healers, so healers are free to ignore them. But DPS has to keep them very much in mind if they want to do maximum damage.

Of course, there's a limit to how much you can do with Runes of Power, as you can't make them too important without leaving melee behind. Still, it's a pretty clever mechanic that takes advantage of the greater threat generation in order to make a more interesting fight, while sparing the healers.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

The runes often only increase DPS, not TPS.

Klepsacovic said...

Easy tanking was probably a necessity. Let's face it, people can only keep track of so much, or at least an average player. If fights are going to be more interesting: mobile, um... mobile? and also mobile, tanks have to be able to focus on more than just perfectly executing an aggro rotation or risk dead DPS.

It's all part of the general trend of identifying challenges which are challenges and eliminating those things which are annoying.

Paul said...

Heroics and 5-mans were always meant to be easy. I kinda hated the TBC heroics where you actually needed raid gear to do them effectively.

As for "easy tanking" I don't see it really. The only tank and spank fight I've come across thusfar in Ulduar is XT-002. Everything else requires situational awareness and/or mobility. Threat gen's definately more straightforward than it was pre-Wrath but we'll see where it stands when DPS gets T9/T10 gear.

Gibbiex said...

Heroics were meant to fill the gap between level 80 instances and Naxx. They do that very well. Many of our guildmates struggle in these instances because of poor gearing; and i'm sure we have all been in heroics where the only guy who did the instance before was you. Heroics are essential if raiders are going to learn and gear up, making the transition between solo and group play. My lament is that they are quickly becoming obsolete as only casual guilds like ourselves have a need for doing them.

Elleiras said...

That's an interesting point; I hadn't thought of it quite that way before, but I suspect you're right.

I'm glad we're spared the rune dance, for the most part. Freya is annoying enough, what with having to stand next to mushrooms to escape the silence. An entire instance of that would drive me crazy!

Saravid said...

To be honest I miss TBC difficulty heroics. The reason 5 man's were harder then wasn't because of a tanks lack of ability to aoe tank, though that was part of it. The main reason however was that anymore then 2 heroic mobs beating on your tank meant that he was taking a TON of damage. Unless you were really overgeared you couldn't survive tanking a 5 pack.

Now yes facerolling 5 man's and heroics can be fun in the lolIjustpulled4groupsandlived sort of way but it does nothing to teach people how to be better players. My ulduar 25 man group just made it through the outside bosses into the antechamber and the FIRST trash pull we sheeped 2 targets.

What happened next? Why people aoe'd broke the sheep and we wiped. People have been conditioned into aoeing everything to death which I'm sorry doesn't help when you run into a situation where that just can't happen.

So as far as training people how to play heroics are doing a terrible job at that. And as far as needing the gear? I'm sorry no. Give me any class any spec and 2k gold and I can have you a Naxx viable whatever. Every dps can do 2k with BoE gear and every tank can have 25k hps w/o ever touching a heroic.

The gear is there people are just too lazy to get it.

HP said...

I actually hate that tanking is so easy because a lot of tanks think that as long as they have threat or the gear, it means they are good, which is NOT the case.

Tanking is more involved than just threat (some tanks still fail at that) and taking hits, which is more gear dependent. Tanking is also about using all your abilities at the right time and your placement. This all comes together in a package into something I like to think of "tank sense" and that takes time to refine.

Trust me, a healer notices the difference between a good and a bad tank, especially as the difficulty in a fight ramps up.

Galoheart said...

Saravid said:

"To be honest I miss TBC difficulty heroics. The reason 5 man's were harder then wasn't because of a tanks lack of ability to aoe tank, though that was part of it. The main reason however was that anymore then 2 heroic mobs beating on your tank meant that he was taking a TON of damage. Unless you were really overgeared you couldn't survive tanking a 5 pack".

I actually miss the challenge that was Heroics in TBC. Based on my expericence i'm going to agree on what Saravid said there as well.

HP said:
"I actually hate that tanking is so easy because a lot of tanks think that as long as they have threat or the gear, it means they are good, which is NOT the case".

I actually hate that Tanking is so easy that everyone thinks you can faceroll and tank. And thats how may people seem to think of it now.

I miss the TBC Heroics and Instances when a tank had to use Judgement and keen awareness of what mobs did and aggro distance and how to pull groups and CC mobs to manage the pull. In all of Wrath I've barely ever seen any thing that resembles CC in any way. And thats not good training in Heroics going to harder Raids for some dps that have never learned to CC or how to CC and dps around CC'd mobs.

For example all you see In Heroics almost all you see is flat our AoE and though the Tank job may be easier in Wrath I very much miss the TBC dungeons where it took some skill and awareness to tank.

Chad S. said...

I'm a fan of Hodir, because tanks have the potential to stand in the sunbeams if they're creative about positioning (getting melee dps behind him, and in beams, is priority one).

Without them, tanks suffer for threat vs some classes. With them, threat is insane.

andrew said...

5 man tanking is easy now because warrior and druid QQ about over geared paladins easy mode tanking of heroics in TBC.

i tank heroics and 10 mans with both a paladin and a death knight. paladin tank is just far superior. incoming dmg is smoother more healable(my priest friend just uses renew and pw:s on my paladin). the paladin's actual tanking spec and tank abilities give you an actual rotation versus the death knight which has no set rotation other then rotating between nukes and survival abilities (gee do i scourge strike now or do i death strike).

dps in heroics like to do things that prevent proper positioning and cause bad things to happen.

i get tired of going to a heroic with healers in 25 man gear and failing their job causing a wipe in a wotlk heroic.

Dyermaker said...

Apparently one of the side-effects of easy tanking is a disappearing Rohan. Two weeks is killing my daily habits. :)