Thursday, June 28, 2007

Protection Tree Tweaks

Here's a stab at some tweaks that I think would improve the Protection Tree and tanking for paladins:

In my opinion the need and effort involved in getting to an uncrushable state warps the class in many ways. For example, you simply cannot evaluate a lot of paladin tank gear as you would not wear it solely because of uncrushability.

We don't really know how a paladin raid tank would perform in true paladin tank gear. This is because if she was in true paladin tank gear, she would be crushable, and thus pointless. Similarly, a talent such as Redoubt is useless after uncrushability is achieved.

So I solve the problem Gordian-Knot-style, and simply fold uncrushability into Shield Specialization (additionally reduces chance of crushing blow by 5/10/15%).

Additionally, Blessing of Sanctuary is removed, and Kings moved into its position. With the smaller raid size, there are not really enough paladins to put all required blessings up, and Sanctuary is usually dropped. Kings is a good blessing, but not necessary in 10-man content, and only one paladin in 25-man content needs it.

I added a Fear Immunity, Blessing of Courage, into the 11-point slot, making it reasonably accessible to all specs. It's a short duration blessing, modelled after Blessing of Freedom.

The final change was to swap Weapon Expertise for a talent that returns mana when blocking. Because we are paladins, it is extended to return mana to the entire party. Seems in theme, but makes us different than warriors, as a paladin tank would more likely be put in a caster group.

We retain our strengths of being really good on fast attack or AoE fights, but we still have our weaknesses of lower health and damage mitigation than warriors.

We also get a lot more freedom to gear up. Basically, I'm tired of wearing warrior tanking gear, and would really like to wear paladin tanking gear.

Edit: Hmm. It appears that the talent tree site is down. Hopefully the description above is enough for people get the idea.


  1. So, you're going to kill AOE grinding by removing BoS for the sake of raiding?.. Gee thanks a lot. Kill a blessing that the AOE levelers use for the sake of raid tanking. Raiders are what, 15% of the WoW population?..

  2. Yes, yes I am. AoE grinding is amusing and fun, but reducing you to killing 4-5 mobs at a time instead of 6-8 is an acceptable trade-off.

    Plus you get mana back from blocking, which decreases downtime as well.

  3. I like the general idea but have a huge issue over the Kings changes. This is the best buff in the game as it scales with gear and I believe useful from everywhere from solo to 25 man. Decently geared tanks will get more out of Kings than Fort and I already get more out of Kings than AI. Having to spend 10 more points in Prot and give up my 41 point holy talent is a deal breaker for me.

    This brings me to the Seal of Courage as a 11 point talent it is far to accessible to other builds given it’s really a tool for MT’ing and as such should be higher in the tree. I even think it’s too powerful for 21 point and maybe should be somewhere after you have reckoning as by this time you are committed to a Tanking primary role (excluding half baked Reckoning/SoComm builds)

    I love the Mana on block idea as atm if we get a good amount of avoidance we are penalised by not taking damage and in return regenerating mana. Sharing a small % of that regen with party fits the classes support framework well. However a Paladin that feeds and Shadow Priest Mana than then feeds the Paladin Health and Mana back might be a little overpowered.

    I like the Blessing of Sanctity and as such would like to see it remain as a trainable blessing. I’m planning a respect to Prot after I get my Nether ray just to get a feel for tanking again so that if a Tank isn’t around I have the option to just repec and these changes would be welcome.

    Druids seem to be the only true Hybrid working at the moment we often have 3 Restro, a Doomkin and a Feral in 25 mans and yet 7 out of 9 of our raiding Paladins are Holy and the other two are Ret.

  4. Kings vs Courage was something I was debating. Courage at 11 points makes it easy for paladins to take over the role of dwarf priests, and also help druid tanks or warrior tanks. It makes the blessing generally available to the Horde as well.

    Courage at 21 essentially means that it will be a fear break only paladin tanks will have.

    Kings is very good, no question, but I'm not sure it's absolutely necessary in 10-man content, and in 25-man content, one paladin speccing for it isn't so bad, just have one pally be part of your tank corps.

  5. To be honest, though, the really important change is folding uncrushability into Shield Specialization. In many ways, it has the potential to completely change the way you gear up a paladin tank.

  6. Then make Fear ward a class trained skill for Priests. I think having near all the Paladins capable of protecting against fear in the raid would trivialise Fear as a raid mechanic. Alliance would have far too many wards against fear and Blizzard would have to start using silly things like Terror effects and we’d be back to square one with no protection against it.

    Allowing a Paladin to Raid as Protection spec is all well and good but forcing the raid to bring them for Kings isn’t wise as you only want a small number of Tanking Paladins in the guild anyway.

  7. Yeah I guess I am losing site of the big picture a little. We are far to dependant on Warrior Tanking gear and giving us a little free crush immunity would go along way in allowing us to chase spell dmg and int.

  8. The advantage of doing Courage as a paladin blessing the way I have is that the number of people who can be protected is limited. One person per paladin.

    Secondly, because it's a Blessing it will replace the Greater Blessing on the target, giving another reason to use it sparingly.

  9. I know next to nothing about PvP, but I know that some locks are frustrated about the growing number of ways to break fear, and I know that BoF is considered to be among the most important Arena skills (up with Moral Strike). A skill that can break fear that's reasonably accessible to what's already one of the most widely represented arena spec/classes (Holy Paladins) might have undesirable effects there.

    I in general kinda like your changes, though I don't know a ton about tanking. (Only what I've read.) I support alterations to prot itemization/tree/style that play up the differences between prot pallies and the other tanks, rather than changes that try to make pallies more like warriors. (i.e., pally spell reflect, pally shield bash, etc.)

  10. If it were me, I'd move Holy Shield down to 21, keep Blessing of Kings at 11, and Blessing of Courage to 31. That way, a few more paladins can spec for healing/off-tank, and serious tankadins can bring the fear break. It wouldn't be overpowered - make it so that it's 5 seconds of fear immunity on a 30 second cooldown. That way, you'll have to time it just right so that it's used preemptively.

    70 paladin, Runetotem

  11. You nailed the core issues spot on - in order to gear up to uncrushable we have to sacrifice mana and spelldamage, which diminish our ability to hold aggro, and forget about resistance gear altogether.

    As others, I'd leave Kings right where it is and move a Seal of Courage much deeper down the prot tree. This way, you avoid giving the already over-represented arena pallie yet another additional big plus (and the supplemental cries for nerfing), incentivize taking a pallie into a raid's tanking team, and increase the options for a tankadin to dabble in arena without respeccing to holy.
    Mana regen on shield block is absolutely mint.

  12. Also, all though I cannot see your proposed talent tree, there are 2 things wrong with the paladin talent trees concerning tanking at the moment. Firstly, the prot tree is bloated - way too many "must have" talents. But I can deal with that. Most serious warrior tanks invest 45+ in their prot tree. The advantage they have is that they only need 5 points in their arms tree for 5% parry, while we need 10 points in our ret tree. Plus, our only "oh sh!t" button is in holy, and you need 11-12 points in that tree to get that... so basically, you either have to coordinate your specs with your other paladins and make sure that they take and use Improved Lay on Hands, or gimp your tanking to get it.

    70 paladin, Runetotem server

  13. Considering boss-type mobs only have a 15% chance of a crushing blow, your change to shield specialization would make paladin immune to crushability with a passive (not even fire-and-forget) talent.

    Warriors, who can consistently avoid crushing blows for the most part, have trouble against fast hitting bosses.

    What would the point of holy shield be then? To reduce like 300 (without the 15% extra from shield specialization) damage from attacks? Thats not even a third of a renew tick from a well-geared priest.

    Also, I like the idea of blessing of courage, but like someone else mentioned, it would be too strong in PvP. Fear is the only spell that can somewhat reliably crowd-control the paladin (and freaking Curse of Tongues). Everything else can be broken by Blessing of Sacrifce anyway.

    Your intentions are good, but total immunity to crushing blows and crowd control is not the answer.

  14. What would the point of holy shield be then? To reduce like 300 (without the 15% extra from shield specialization) damage from attacks? Thats not even a third of a renew tick from a well-geared priest.

    Massive amounts of threat? Holy Shield is really strong threat-wise.

    Against slow, hard hitting bosses, we still have the flaws of lower damage mitigation and health than a warrior.

  15. The problem still exists that many of the changes you propose, and the tweaks other have suggested would only be usefull in the end-game.

    While you call the AoE grind "amusing and fun" it's still a key part of pally leveling. What do you want everyone to do, level as Ret spec?.. (groan)

    The talent trees aren't just for lvl 70.

  16. Massive amounts of threat? Holy Shield is really strong threat-wise.

    Oh, I know. But with the changes you are suggesting, we'd be wearing lots of spell damage gear anyway, and honestly, threat has never been the problem.