Monday, April 07, 2014

Tank Vengeance and Resolve

Most of the WoD patch notes are fairly straightforward. But there is one part I don't really understand:
  • Vengeance has been removed and replaced with a new passive ability, Resolve. 
  • Resolve: Increases your healing and absorption done to yourself, based on Stamina and damage taken (before avoidance and mitigation) in the last 10 seconds.
I understood Vengeance. Vengeance boosted the damage and threat of the tank who is actually tanking, not one acting as DPS. It was important to differentiate between the two types, in order to prevent tanks from pushing out actual DPS characters from the raid.

However, as I understand it, Resolve means that a tank who is not taking damage is squishier than a tank who is taking damage.

But if the tank is not taking damage, does it really matter that she is squishier?

Or to put it another way, there's an equation that should balance in a successful fight:

Incoming Damage = Healing from Others + Self Healing/Mitigation + Healing/Mitigation from Resolve

Why not just remove the Resolve term?  You could directly boost the self healing/mitigation or lower the incoming damage, and the equation would still balance. Removing Resolve would simplify things, and not create weird situations like a successful parry/dodge streak that causes Resolve to drop off.

I understood the purpose of Vengeance, and why it was structured the way it was. But I don't understand the purpose of Resolve. I don't see what it adds to the game.


  1. Sounds to me like if the tank is doing what they should be doing, they should be taking damage and getting a boost on healing and absorption. If the tank isn't doing that --like the tank isn't maintaining aggro or is running DPS in tank spec-- then the tank doesn't get that boost.

    I think the key part is "done to yourself". Does that mean self-heals only, or heals done to you?

    But I do have to agree in that it seems needlessly added.

  2. Resolve is there to be tanky against Raid bosses but not against normal daily quest mobs nor in PvP situations.

  3. Kring, if it's not in PvP situations now, I think I can predict it will be there eventually.

  4. From what I've read, the devs really like the defensive side of Vengeance. The Resolve side, as it were. The problem is that the offensive side gave inconsistent results for dps for tanks. Some fights tanks would be the top dps, other fights they would be below a healer. By decoupling the two tanks can have a consistent, predictable dps level - the goal being to have a dps amount around 75% of a normal dpser -- with the added bonus that leveling as in tank spec won't be so painful.

    It also means that if there is a one tank fight you can stay tank spec and do reasonable dps for a fight. Which is nice for early progression fights if the normal tank accidentally dies. Just taunt and away you go, giving the raid a chance to decide when or if they want to bres the dead tank.

    It will be interesting to see if Resolve generates the same healing amounts as Vengeance currently can on some fights. On Thok, for example, Word of Glory/Eternal Flame can heal you to full in a few seconds when Vengeance gets rolling. When a self-heal turns into an ongoing Lay on Hands you've got an encounter breaking situation.

    All this said, this is alpha so until we're closer to release I not going to get too excited either way about the changes. :)

  5. Here's the problem: you're not considering things like Shield Block versus Shield Barrier.

    Let's say Shield Block reduces damage by 30% for 6 seconds and the boss hits every 2 seconds for 100 damage.

    Now let's say Shield Barrier absorbs 90 damage.

    Both of these mitigate the same damage every 6 seconds.

    But what if the boss only hits for 50 damage? Now Shield Barrier is twice as strong. Or what if the boss hits for 300 damage? Now Shield Block is three times as strong.

    Resolve exists to scale the flat absorbs/heals (like Shield Barrier, Frenzied Regeneration, etc) at the same rate as the percent reductions (like Shield Block, Savage Defense, etc).

  6. Balkoth, if the problem is a mix of percents and flat amounts, wouldn't it better to change abilities to all use percents or all use flat amounts?

  7. Nope.

    Let's say it's all percents and thus Shield Block reduces damage by 30% for 6 seconds and Shield Barrier reduces damage by 90% for 2 seconds (same deal, right?).

    But now imagine the boss has an special attack which applies a debuff that makes the next special attack do more (like a breath that deals fire damage and increases fire damage taken by 100%) and this fires every 10 seconds and the debuff lasts 30 seconds.

    So you'd swap every 3 stacks, right?

    Nope! Because you could use Shield Barrier to reduce that hit which should deal like twice your HP down to 20% of your HP. Even an attack which hit you for eight times your maximum health could be reduced to 80% hit -- which would be a hell of a lot of stacks. In fact, you'd never need to swap. Any hard hit of damage which occurs less often than you can Shield Barrier is irrelevant.

    So let's go to the reverse and say we go to flat absorbs. How would that even work for Shield Block?

    Absorb a flat amount per second? Then that's less effective against slow attacking bosses which might only hit every 2 seconds and more effective versus fast attacks.

    Absorb a flat amount per hit? Then that's less effective against hard hitting bosses and more effective against fast attacks.

    Absorb a flat amount? Then that's Shield Barrier.

    The best case scenario would be something like using Shield Block builds an absorb shell every second that stacks with itself -- which would mean it becomes TOO powerful if you happen to dodge/parry a few attacks because then it applies that absorption to a single attack.

    So then you'd have to do stuff like remove the absorb on a dodge or parry -- except then what if you parry a weak add's attack and then eat a hard boss hit to the face?

    Then on top of that you have stuff like Savage Defense which gives a Dodge increase so that's a whole new bag of worms.


    ...we could just make Shield Barrier absorb more against harder hitting mobs so it stays roughly equal to Shield Block.

    The main idea, actually, is that Shield Block is better at mitigating overall damage but Shield Barrier can be used to deal with known spike damage or in case your HP dips low. It's meant to be a tradeoff.

  8. Removing Resolve would simplify things, and not create weird situations like a successful parry/dodge streak that causes Resolve to drop off.

    Doesn't the part of the Resolve explanation where it says "before avoidance" means that even if you parried/dodged 100%, you'd still get the buff?

    Anyway, I have to wait and see more of what they're going to do for WoD, but my first blush impression of this change is that it lets them improve tank DPS so that they're not far behind (letting them continue on with their design of making tank jobs being more about active mitigation), while also benefiting said active mitigations still. And it also gives them some room for more... unusual tank types or abilities then they have currently.

    For example, take a look at the difference between the Guardian and the Warden in LotRO. Guardians are the very typical tank, which wears heavy armour and a shield, and reduces damage as much as they can. Wardens, on the other hand, wear medium armour and don't get any kind of armour modifier like Druids get; instead, they make up the difference through self-heals and absorption.

    What if, say, Druid or Monk tanking was changed to not be based on high Armour like stuff is currently, but around giving themselves HoTs and damage shields? Heck, in fact, what if they did that for the Warlock tank they've been kind of talking about bringing back...!