Real tanks at last?

| Saturday, July 19, 2008
The changes to prot make me happy. Very happy.

Proactive aggro generation: It's about time. This will make our off-tanking far better. It will make single-target tanking much better. It won't do much for AoE, but we didn't have any problems there anyway.

Shield of the Righteous will probably get nerfed, currently it looks overpowered. But even then, it will still be amazing. We finally have an aggro generating ability that scales with a tanking stat.
Hammer of the Righteous confuses me a bit. With our current tanking weapons (caster with 41 DPS) it seems worthless. Using melee weapons would make it much stronger, but would we then be gimped on spell damage? Perhaps the stam->SP will be enough. I'm worried that this talent may turn out to be useless, even with a decent weapon. While the weapon will help with this one spell, white damage is not a significant source of aggro for us, so gearing for this talent may be a false benefit, that we'd still be better off with a caster sword. Maybe this is intended to add options when picking gear and weapons, but options sounds a like like contradictions.

The switching of divine strength into prot is interesting. It would have make perfect sense to me if precision was still in there, but that is gone. Does this mean strength will mean something to prot paladins now? With new spells giving aggro from block value and weapon damage, perhaps it is so. On the totally unsupported rumor that may have even just been my imagination front (no seriously, eat a box of salt with this), I think the strength->block value ratio is getting buffed.

Guarded by the Light: More mana efficiency as our gear improves? Hell yea! This might actually fix my complaint with tanking, that aggro and mitigation work against each other. Now as we avoid more we spend less mana, so it might even this out. Combined with getting aggro from BV and tanking might actually make sense!

Judgements of the Just: We really did need some sort of tanking debuff. Now we seem to have our own version of imp TC. Previously we either needed a prot warrior to TC for us (and why not just have him tank?) or end up taking 20% more auto-attack damage from bosses. That's one of those weaknesses that once you notice it you go "wow, how did that remain for so long?"

Divine Guardian and the healing effect on Touched by the Light seem like they could be useful in PvP or when switching to fights that need fewer tanks. Or... Pop DS, throw sacrifice, get a priest to use pain suppression, and mages might be able to more safely AoE without having to wait for aggro. It should be interesting.

My current mood is non-cautious optimism.


Kaziel said...

First off as far as Touched by the Light's STA to Spell Power conversion, it should be more than enough. Assuming approximately equal growth in both areas, you should be fine with it as it is. Right now my Paladin is working his way through ZA and is geared up to the point where he'd be good for SSC/TK and okay for starting in MtH/BT (thank you 2.4 badge bought items). He has approximately 1,500-1,600 STA fully raid buffed, which would equal 450-480 Spell Power. Discounting any buffs he could receive or put on himself (because those would stack on the Spell Power he gets from Touched by the Light), he has 446 Spell Power. Basically, I could drop all the Spell Power he has right now, and assuming I kept the same amount of STA, he would be perfectly fine, in fact he'd be doing better than he is right now.

Now, as for Hammer of the Righteous, I view it as the biggest sign that we don't need to stack Spell Power anymore. There were other hints we should move away from it such as Touched by the Light and Divine Strength being in the Prot tree, but a spell that flat-out says it uses weapon damage is a sign I don't think anyone can miss.

I believe that it's Blizzard's intent that we are to use the same tanking gear as Warriors, and to a limited degree Death Knights (only difference being that Warriors and we use Shield Block Rating and Value and DKs don't). And personally I'm quite pleased with this development since it will mean less development time on different types of tanking gear and more time on new encounters and new content.

Also remember that now both factions have access to a Seal of Blood type seal (the Alliance's one is called Seal of the Martyr). Since both factions have a non-talented Weapon Damage based Seal there's even more of a reason to use a weapon with high DPS. I could imagine that part of the reason they gave the Alliance Seal of the Martyr was to move them towards being more STR centric and less Spell Power centric.

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