Friday, July 3, 2009

Of Warriors and Death Knights

I recently read an excellent post on the state of warrior tanking in WotLK, and it led me to realize that, while the other tanking classes have a wealth of history and knowledge about how to play them, Death Knights, being newer, don't have that benefit.

So, I set out to create this blog. When the will strikes me, I will post on whatever DK tanking topic suits my fancy, and I hope this blog can eventually become an excellent source of information on all things reanimated and suicidal.

Before we begin, some background. I play Horde. I play a blood elf. I play a death knight. I'm in a failguild, but I'm pushing it forward. I play a seriously strange build, I'm a Blood/Unholy hybrid tank. I have cleared 10 and 25 Naxx, OS+2, VoA (with Emalon) and Maly. I have gotten to Auriaya (hereto after refered to as 'crazy cat lady') in Ulduar10. I have never gone chasing acheivements. And last, but not least, Blizzard, in their infinite wisdom, have put my perma-ghoul on a 60 day cooldown for no apparent reason (of which, 19 days remain).

So, in the aforementioned article, the poster wrote about his resurgent love of tanking, and how blizzard seems convinced that warriors need some help to remain viable tanks. Likewise, he points out that warriors threat mechanics are broken at best, and that shield block sucks.

I agree with his assesment that warriors are a bit underpowered in tanking. For current content, warriors need a few changes. Warriors need a more reliable AoE threat generator, and need a threat boost in general. They have little-to-no multi-hit magic mitigation (but what pre-WotLK tank does?) and could use some help in that field. Conversely, their physical mitigation seems to be solid, despite the meh of shield block.

Last night in my Ulduar10, a warrior tank and I teamed up to tank the iron dwarves in the first half of the razorscale encounter. My threat was so solid, that no one could pull anything off of me... including the other tank. Omen read my threat at about double the warrior's single-target threat, and around 10x her AoE threat. This was not a problem for that particular fight, as I am built to handle dozens (if not hundreds in OS+2) of mobs and still be healable. What I do see as a problem, is that I can't think of a fight in current endgame content for which I would say, "Let the warrior tank, they're great for this fight."

I am here to say that the problem is not the warrior tank, but the Ulduar raid. The devs need to create encounters that allow each class' specific talents to shine, and in the mean time, all tanks need to be at least capable of contributing meaningfully to the fights that they are not the best for. (We had wiped around 6 times before the raid finally got fed up and swapped the 2nd warrior tank for my DK, after which it was a oneshot.) To blizzard, I propose that warriors be given a sizeable buff to their single- and multi-target threat generation in the short term, and in the long term, design at least one fight per raid that is much easier with a warrior tanking than with any other tank class.

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