Warning! This is a long, long post. If you’re not a tank, this really doesn’t pertain to you.
There’s a space for most of the different classes to discuss the nuances of their roles littered in the first couple pages on this forum. There’s a thread for the relevant and upcoming patch changes, and a thread discussing the current raid bosses.
The problem is that my main is currently a feral druid tank. Other than the color of my name in a raid group, I really have nothing in common with the trees and moonkin that populate the rest of my class. Conversely, while he may wear plate and have to worry about being crit immune, my job in a raid is very, very similar to that of my Protection Paladin, Warrior, and Death Knight counterpart.
So, similar to how Blizzard updated their official forums to reflect commonalities in roles, so too do I create this thread specifically for those shouldering the role of Meatshield. DPS and healers beware – we’re probably going to disparage you at least once in the coming discussion. Please take all comments in the cheerful spirit they are intended.
As the guy who just loves giving his metacarpals a workout, I’ll pick the first topic. Everyone’s favorite Developer, Ghostcrawler, recently said the following regarding tanking:
[color=blue] Long-term, the paladin manner of generating AE damage and threat is probably too good, especially given how simple it is. To be honest, we have very mixed feelings on the whole AE tanking game. We brought the druid and warrior more in line with the paladin for fear of recreating the Shattered Halls / Mount Hyjal experience, where other tanks just weren't competitive. What that has led to of course is the AE tank + AE style of damage for almost every pull. You need the tools to be able to tank legitimate adds fights (imagine lots of incoming mobs), but does that mean every pull needs to devolve into that? We'd like to see less AE overall, so buffing everyone's AE tools isn't going to be tops on our agenda. That does however mean that we really can't afford to have a "best AE tank", and while things are more fair there than they were in BC, they aren't fair enough.[/color]
That’s point 4 of 4 – Entire post located here.
The easily excited blog community is already trembling with exhaustion, having spent nearly 48 hours reading secret conspiracies into GC’s text. But the issue remains; crowd control has become progressively less important as WoW has matured. With the advent of the useful prot paladin in mid TBC, and the subsequent buffing of druids ‘and warriors’ AOE capability, the amount of times a mage has to press “polymorph: turtle” or a warlock has to whip out the succubus to seduce something has dropped dramatically. And this has gotten worse in WotLK than it was in TBC – even while paladins consecrated their way through Hyjal, you still needed well implemented crowd control to push through the trash mobs in Magisters’ Terrace. (yes, dps shaman, we all recall your impotent rage at being left at the gate in favor of a chain trapping hunter or a banishing/seducing/fearing warlock.)
So the question, as I see it – if AOE tanking is too easy, are we heading for a reason to remap entangling roots to our toolbar? Can this even be done without upsetting the tenuous balance the four tanks currently share? Are you willing to re train your dps not to hammer the FoKing button over and over again?
My overwhelming and emphatic response: YES. Teaching our DPS kin to be selective in their choices brings back so much of the game that I enjoyed – the tight, technical pulls, the intelligent choices (when was the last time you saw a rogue blind the loose mob tearing after a healer to give the mage the time to sheep it?). I herald the end of massive AOE tanking.