Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Blizzard Requests Feedback on Protection

On the Beta forums, Ghostcrawler has requested feedback about the Protection tree. Here is my response (also posted to the thread).

Which talents are fun vs. which ones aren't

Talents which are fun:

Reckoning - flurry of numbers is always cool ... plus it has History with Kazzak :)
Holy Shield
Avenger's Shield
Hammer of the Righteous
Ardent Defender - solo play only ... you really notice it in solo play and leveling, coming to the edge of death. It's not fun in group play, as you really can't tell if it is kicking in or not.

Talents which are not fun:

I wouldn't say there's any talents I dislike having to take. Even Redoubt is useful when leveling or when you are still crushable. It was just annoying when it become redundant after we became Holy Shield-uncrushable.

Oh, one talent I dislike is Deflection in the Retribution tree. I keep wanting to make a Protection/Holy build, but I have to dip into Retribution for Deflection.

Areas in the tree that tie up too many talent points vs. areas that feel barren

Pretty much everything from Tier 6 upwards is mandatory. Very top-heavy.

Tier 3 has a lot of nice talents, but Tier 4 is barren (for PvE usually). I usually skip Tier 4. As well, Tier 3 is awkward, because you have to get Kings and Improved Righteous Fury, leaving you with 1 point. So you end up putting a single point in something and leaving a talent unfilled.

Talents that feel mandatory vs. talents that feel fun but optional vs. talents you'd never get

Mandatory - Everything from Tier 6 up (maybe excepting Guarded by the Light), Kings, Imp RF
Fun but optional - Reckoning
Never Get - I don't think there's any talent I would never get. The old Sanctuary came closest to that, but the new one looks quite good.

One last thing about Protection. You have the main chain at the heart of the tree (BoSanc-HS-AS, and supporting talents), which you pretty much have to pick up, as that's the "engine" which drives the tree. All around that main chain are nice talents, but they all cost 5 points. That's where the bulk of the "bloat" comes in. The main chain is mandatory, and to get any of the surrounding talents costs a lot of points.


  1. There's one other thing which I don't believe that anyone has mentioned yet:

    Making Righteous Fury a physical buff.

    Mage armour is. Warlock armour is. Nobbling our threat generation on Gimmick fights intended to wipe party or raid Buffs just leads to other tanks being taken by necessity. That, needless to say, is bad raid design. Alternatively they could drastically reduce the cost of RF, preferably to below that of a Seal.

    Some Mana Burn protection deep in Prot would also be pretty handy unless Blizzard intent to implement Rage Burn and Runic Power burn in future encounters.

  2. Redoubt is not a fun talent at all. All it does it make Shield Spec worth 8 points instead of 3. Remember that there are no crushing blows in wrath so your whole reasoning for taking it is moot. This is the definition of bloat. If you really like it don't make it mandatory for tanks to take it for shield spec. Alternatively make it worth one talent point or something. Prot forums have been whining about this for ages.

    I'm also confused about Divine Guardian. When is a tank gonna use that? Maybe when they are the OT as some sort of raid mitigation thing? It seems much more of a holy or ret talent since bubbling as prot means that everyone is going to die.

    Sacred Duty is great for the stamina, but the attack speed penalty bonus is completely wasted in prot. I often wish that I could take it and Crusader strike though. Having no attack speed penalty would let me burst people down as ret while immune.

    Your comments make me think that you don't play prot much, which is fine, but there is a lot of room for improvement in the tree imo.

    Agreed on deflection though, I have often wanted to have a holy/prot hybrid but cannot since I am basically required to take points in the ret tree. We dont make good off tanks, but we make passable off healers.

    Sorry for the wall of text... you hit a nerve on this one for me.

  3. Sorry, one more note. Kings feels like a mandatory talent. The only time you don't take it is when there is another paladin.

    /Agree with Zebra and RF. Purge should not be able to remove a 6% damage reduction at the cost of 8% base mana when RF costs 24% of base mana. There is no reason why RF should be so expensive especially when the two builds that take improved RF are mana starved as is (ret and prot). Basically you cast RF once at the start of the match and then never cast it again since it costs so much.

  4. What if Divine Shield were changed to not make the paladin immune to damage, but rather absorb damage, like a Power Word: Shield? It would make the paladin immune to all negative effects, ie. debuffs, interrupts, crowd control. The shield would absorb an absurd amount of damage, let's say 10 times the paladin's max health. That way, the paladin would not lose aggro when it is cast, and all other aspects of the spell would remain functionally the same.

  5. Joshe, that might be a little too powerful. It's arguably better than Shield Wall, and available every 4 minutes.

    We do get a mini-Shield Wall in Divine Protection (50% damage reduction every 5 min). I think that's a good compromise.

  6. I just threw out 10 times as an example, but you're right that it's probably a bit much. Maybe two or three times the paladin's max health would be more reasonable. Most raid bosses could cut through that in 5 to 7 seconds if the paladin tank is absorbing 30% of the total raid damage on top of the boss's melee damage.

    I didn't know Divine Protection was being changed. In light of that, the Divine Guardian talent could include an improvement for DP, such as more damage mitigated, shorter cooldown, or some other cool effect. If that were done, then DS would remain the same presumably.

  7. As a prot, I would only use the "Safety bubble" if I really hated who I was grouped with lol. JUST KIDDING :D

    I am currently static with a Lock and there are times when I know that we are going to die no matter what we do so I pop on the Safety bubble & cheese it. I do this so that I can come back & rez him without having to body run or take the ding on my armor. I mainly feel that it's just nice to have around as an "Oh crap we're dead" button :D I would be sad if they took that away from me because moving about in Outlands would be much slower if I couldn't jump off of a mountain.

    Now if they replaced that with what Joshe & Rohan were talking about, that would be SWEET!

    Go Blizz Go!