More thoughts on tanking design

This one’s a quick one.

If you hated the Cataclysm prot warrior (some did) you and I are in a fundamental disagreement on how prot should go, I think. I think prot should do great AoE damage, be incredibly mobile, and have a toolkit good enough for any encounter, while not necessarily being brokenly OP for any specific mechanic. Frankly, I want cheesing mechanics like the ones pallies have gone from the game entirely – immunities shouldn’t exist, and neither should passive stuff that just prevents a death like Purgatory. If they must exist, all tanking classes should have one, but I’d be happier were they gone.

I really don’t want warriors to feel any more like paladins than they already do, which is why I suggested letting warriors tank with a 2h and shield, and removing 1h weapons entirely from warriors. We’re in real danger (and have been, historically) of being seen as in competition with paladins, and as we saw in Throne of Thunder fights like Horridon often push warriors (and other tanks, but I don’t care about them) to the wayside when paladins can simply cheese the mechanics. To be fair, just having a paladin in your raid means any tank could cheese Horridon.

I really loved being a prot warrior back in Cataclysm – I felt strong and like I really contributed. No one tanked adds like a warrior, not even DK’s with their Death and Decay. We were ideal kiting tanks. We were very solid tanks on pretty much every fight in Dragon Soul – you could even argue we were the best, without ever being ridiculously over the top. I liked it.

Like I said the other day, prot warriors are stronger now (even if I don’t agree with the general consensus that we’re super OP now and all raids should have one) and the numbers in Siege bear that out – protection warriors went from 2.5% of players in heroic raids to 3% at a time when prot warriors dropped overall. This is indisputable – there are significantly less prot warriors now than there were even in patch 5.4.2, but man, the ones that are left are tanking, and they mostly replaced pallies and DK’s to do it. The perception of their OP damage (based almost entirely on heroics, not normal modes) is a big part of why this is, because before 5.4 the little acknowledged secret was that protection warriors were in fact excellent tanks, they just did less damage.

What’s not getting as much attention is the 2 piece Tier 15 and Tier 16 protection bonuses, which bring warriors closer in self-healing parity to other tanks. These really need to get folded into our kit. When a class needs a 2 piece just to be viable, that 2 piece shouldn’t be a 2 piece at all, it should be an ability.

Anyway, that’s what I thinking today. Expect a more in-depth post on arms this weekend.

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