Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Stat changes in Cataclysm: Protection Paladin Style

Hey Gang!

So, Blizzard has finally announced how the stat changes might look when the new expansion comes out. Very very interesting. The blogosphere has Es'ploded with theories on how this will affect their classes and gear choices & what sandwiches taste better with Milk. You know.... the World (or Warcraft) will change as we know it now.

/scratches chin

If you are interested in the whole thing, here's the link to MMO-Champion where they have it laid out pretty nicely.

Now, I'm only going to look at the stats that will be effecting Protection Paladins/ Tanks in general. Obviously this is all speculation but who doesn't love to try to piece out what the Developers are trying to do.

Stamina: apparently there is going to be more of it. The Dev's say that they want big health pools to even out the spiky incoming damage. This will allow for healers to not be sweating so much if you, the tank, hit a really bad RNG string of hits from a boss. I'm excited to see how big average tanking health pools are going to get 75k? 100k? I can't really remember what my health pool looked like in TBC but I'm around 45-50k health in our 10-man ICC runs. Another interesting note that I caught was that DPS & Healer health pools were going to be MUCH larger than they are now. Health pools are sort of like a tank's epeen. My health pool is bigger than yours sorta thing.

Block Rating: Apparently, this is going to be staying on tanking gear but really revamped. It will now mitigate 30% of incoming damage that is blocked. Block rating will improve the chances of this happening but it will not be nearly as often as it is now. With this so called, "Not nearly as often" speech, I'm thinking that something will be done with our Holy Shield spell. It currently has 8 Charges that can be used depending on how fast the swing speed of the Mob/Boss is. I'm wondering if they will take this number down or if it needs to be used up more quickly before it expires. I'm going to believe this to be the first option because I don't think that blizzard really wants to screw with our rotation (969). If they did the second option, maybe the cooldown would stay the same but those charges only had 5 seconds or something to be used up. I'm pretty interested in this stat the most out of all because of how much the Paladin tanking style will change because of it. Cool stuff.

Parry: Ok from what I understand is that now, when you parry, 100% of the damage is missed and you swing faster. With this change, 50% of the damage is avoided from the next two swings "if they hit at all" What an interesting idea. So technically you will be missing 100% of 1 hit out of two. This seems to me like two swings where you are "blocking" 20% more damage than you would if you were to actually Block the incoming damage. Thus, making Parry a pretty sexy stat if you ask me. They also took out that stupid Parry haste mechanic. No more Parry gibing yourself? I never quite understood it anyways so good riddance really.

Armor: Other than them saying that they [aka the Developers] want to change the scaling of Armor on gear, they want to bring other armor types (Cloth, Leather, Mail) up on the amount of armor that it has on it. The example that the Blues give is a normal Tank has around 26-28k armor where the most decked out mage has around 2k. That is a little ridiculous really. Another great point that was brought up was who are the real losers in the Armor department and it isn't the clothies.

Ok here's a question for you... who dies the most in your raids? I'll give you 10 guesses and the first 9 don't count.

Answer: Rogues!

Clothies have ways to boost their armor and give themselves distance from Bosses who could violate your trust. Rogues on the other hand, they poke the boss in the backside and dance with the big boys.

I think that this is a good direction to head in if they want survivability to beef up a bit.

Two stats that are more or less, going away are:

Block Value: As I talked about before, you will no longer see Block value on gear as a stat since now there will be a constant 30% damage reduction every time you block. That's HUGE! Right now, when I block, I probably mitigate 1.5-2k damage per blocked hit. That's absolutely nothing when a boss hits your for 25-35k a hit.

To give you a mental picture of how HUGE (if they were to implement this however):

Let's say you were greeted by a very angry dragon who apparently you insulted by claiming that she bad breath that could kill a Rhino in its path. She decides that she wants to turn you into a crisp then snack on you later.

With the current block this would be like going into the fight with a feather pillow and hiding behind it. I'm pretty sure I would be wetting my plate by then, creating horrible rust problems in the future.

With this new proposal, this would be like going into the fight with Bomb Shelter Door. Bravery would throb through your veins as you pummel that stupid dragon to death then to the Macarena on her dead carcass (sorry I'm a human female, we have the crappiest dance... we get it)

The only way that I could figure out how this would be even remotely possible would be to nerf the Block rating by a metric ton. Because if you at least blocked every hit (not including Misses, Parries, & dodges) these bosses would have to hit like WAY more than your health pool could ever be or if RNG was unkind that day, you would end up as a smear on the floor before any healer could have time to use a single GCD. This is something that Blizzard is trying to go away from so I'm assuming that with the E-peen Health pools that tanks are going to have to soak up normal (none mitigated/ avoided) hits a lot more often but when these actions do happen, it's like a healer vacation.


Defense Rating: /waves goodbye and boots it out the door

As the levels grow, so does the amount of Defense we needed on gear to hit the cap. 540 Defense for Raid tanking wasn't all that difficult once you started receiving big gobs of it.

Here is how I saw gearing up for tanking when WotLK started.

Ding 80: Options are crafted gear and a measly few questing pieces along the way. The crafted gear was great because it got you to defense cap but it didn't have much else because of the itemization. So you start tanking heroics... oh look something shiny that I found in the armpit of this dead boss. Let's equip it because it's pretty much green across the scale... oh wait... I can't use it because I won't be Defense capped anymore. I guess I'll wait until I get enough badges to purchase Heroic Emblem Pieces that have quite a bit of defense on it.

Once you got past the awkward phase of Defense, it becomes too much. By the time you are in T-9 you have SO much Defense you don't even know what to do with it. Blizzard made it so that the stat itself wasn't wasted like Hit rating is for DPS (or healers if you're Fulguralis). I believe a nice transition would have made this MUCH easier. For lower level gear having blue gem slots because you are Defense capped with the Crafted gear, then slowly have gear that's an upgrade for you in heroics with gobs more yellow gems for Defense balancing.

Anyways, Defense rating is gone.

But Fuu, how will we become uncritable?!

Great question little one, how about using Righteous Fury. Flip it on & you're now defense capped. Bingo Bango Bongo, you're a druid :P

Again, this is ALL speculation from what I've read thus far from sources (MMO-Champion and other bloggers). It's actually really fun to dream of one day tanking with a Fire resistant Bomb Shelter Door. Fuu is really going to have to renew her Stormwind Gym membership if she's going to tank with the big boys. Carrying around that crap is heavy work and I don't want man arms!

What stat changes are you excited about? Is it the Armor change for you Rogues out there? I'll bet it is ;)

<3 Fuu


  1. Hey Fuu! Well you know I don't have a pally tank but I soooo agree with what you said about rogues. When I am healing I get really annoyed when that rogue dies. I sometimes want to earth shield them. I always ask why rogues die more than other people. Ya feral druids and rogues are the only leather wearers that get right up in the bosses face... umm... butt w/e. But druids have ways to survive! Druid set gear usually has more stamina cuz we have the bear tanks too. But best survival for druids--> barkskin. So I am even excited for those rogues to be easier to heal.

  2. Darnkness/DevinewrathMarch 4, 2010 at 2:40 AM

    I am stoked for my rogue main's survivability with the armor change and the health pool increase. It'll be nice to avoid random one-shots and to have the same repair bills as everyone else in a raid.
    Also, for my pally tank, I LOVE that Defense Rating is going away. I'm not the best geared and I flirt with the defense cap, so having to regem if my upgrades are low on defense is always possibility and hugely annoying.