We Didn’t Need Pants Anyhow

The recently-announced Vengeance revamp gives me a chance to revisit one of my favorite rants.  Vengeance isn’t exactly a new topic for us, as you may already know.  I’ve covered it in this blog post, and this one, and Mel’s covered it here and here.  As much as I like beating a dead horse, I’m going to leave it to the reader to revisit those posts and bring themselves up to speed, so I can focus on the more immediate issue, which is what effects this new implementation brings to the table.

The Good

First, the good:  the new ramping mechanism is great.  Vengeance feels good when it behaves like a permanent, static buff that boosts your damage, and a better ramping system facilitates that.  It’s more or less what Mel and I suggested in several previous blog posts, among other places.  This system mitigates some of the reliability issues by stacking the buff faster and extending the buff on an avoid, finally conquering the RNG monster.  This is the sort of change we’ve been hoping for since the mechanic’s implementation.  So hooray for small victories.

Unfortunately, that’s about the only good thing I have to say about the new system.  Now for the bad.

The Bad

I don’t think this will truly fix the 5-man damage discrepancy that Ghostcrawler described.  The over-representation of tank damage in 5-mans is primarily caused by AoE on trash groups.  Looking at boss parses alone, the discrepancy resolves itself, and DPS specs easily out-damage the tank.  It’s only when looking at overall damage done that a tank pulls ahead, and Vengeance isn’t really the root of that problem.  I’m fairly certain we’re still going to be on-par with our DPS counterparts in that regard.  Our AoE damage sources simply aren’t as limited as a DPS spec.

The lack of a cap will cause a variety of problems.  For starters, Vengeance will now be a significantly larger part our our AP than it was before, which means the damage disparity between tanking and not tanking is going to increase.  In a follow-up post, Ghostcrawler quoted some numbers for warriors – around 25k AP baseline, and an additional 68k AP from Vengeance.  With numbers like that, well over 2/3 of our output will be dependent on Vengeance. This “on/off” damage discrepancy was a major issue with the mechanic already, and it’s going to be worse now.

As an example, consider early-fight tank swaps.  When I taunt off of another tank, and they have full Vengeance while I have none, it is very difficult to maintain aggro.  Frequently, the other tank just tears aggro back through brute force, even if all of my abilities connect.  There’s literally nothing one can do short of taunting it back (and remember, we’re losing our second taunt) or having the other tank stop attacking.

It’s not a fun or intuitive mechanic to have to stop attacking when someone taunts off of you.  It’s just annoying and frustrating, because it’s another one of those instances where the game asks you to stand around and wait rather than continue to be active and engaged with the boss.  It also heavily encourages you to use a threat meter just to monitor these situations (so you know if you should hold back). While the faster ramping of “new Vengeance” helps combat this, the discrepancy in damage output is going to make it worse overall.

In addition, “new Vengeance” is going to make protection leveling even more excruciating.  I’ve been leveling as protection on the beta, and I can tell you that it’s abysmally slow because during questing, you simply don’t have any Vengeance to work with.  I made this point rather well in the previous blog post, and I encourage you to read (or re-read) it rather than reproduce it here.  Suffice to say, there’s no way in hell I’m going to level as protection when Mists goes live.  It’s simply not efficient or fun.  I’m going to give in and go retribution for the bulk of it, only switching to a tank spec for dungeons.  It simply doesn’t make sense to level as protection when everything dies 5 times faster as retribution.

The lack of a cap introduces even weirder effects that I don’t think were explicitly intended.  For example, a tank’s DPS is primarily determined by the boss’s DPS rather than our own gearing.  That takes control out of the hands of the player and reduces or eliminates the effect that Vengeance was intended to fix in the first place – namely that tank damage should scale with gear.  Now, our gear scaling is basically irrelevant, because our scaling is primarily determined by raid content.  A newly-minted character will do as much DPS as a heavily-geared character while tanking the same raid boss.  That revocation of player control is really demoralizing.

Worse yet, the newly-minted character may do more damage than the heavily-geared tank, because he’ll have less armor.  If the new Vengeance value is calculated as post-armor-mitigated boss DPS, which is how it’s been explained, then we’ve introduced the same inverse-scaling paradigm that we had before Vengeance.  To do more DPS as a tank, you’re encouraged to sacrifice survivability in the form of armor, or in a more general sense by standing in fire and/or taking unnecessary damage.  We’re back to the “tank with your pants off” paradigm of Wrath.  Rather than keep wearing your tanking gear for 5-mans, you should swap to Ret gear.  With the introduction of Challenge Modes, this is an even more serious issue than it was when 5-mans weren’t much more than a stepping stone to raids.

Another strange oddity: consider that most protection paladins used a combination of Tier 12 retribution and Tier 12 protection gear for Ultraxion progression, because both 2-piece set bonuses (to CS and SotR, respectively) were large enough to offset the AP loss by using last-tier’s gear.  If personal stats are less important to DPS, and we offset or make up for the STR-based AP loss by losing a bunch of armor, those set bonuses will continue to be obscenely powerful in T14+ content.  This is the sort of unintuitive behavior that this version of Vengeance can cause.  I’m sure they can (and will) nerf the T12 set bonuses, but that’s just a band-aid fix to cover up the underlying mechanical problems with Vengeance.

The Ugly

Tank DPS is also going to vary significantly across content in this system.  Our output will fluctuate wildly with encounter mechanics, specifically bosses with large variances in time-off-target.  Or for that matter, sections of an encounter where one tank is taking most of the damage, leaving the off-tank doing very little.  And there will be a huge variation in damage not just between 10-man and 25-man versions of content, but between normal and heroic versions of that content.  I can see that being a huge balancing nightmare on several fronts – a retribution paladin does similar damage whether you set the boss to normal or heroic mode, but your tank’s damage may vary by up to a factor of 2.

I also don’t see the point in having a significant difference in tank DPS between 10- and 25-man versions of content.  Tank damage may be a smaller proportion of raid DPS in the 25-man format, but it’s no less important.  For bosses with reasonably-tuned enrage timers (i.e., almost every meaningful heroic mode), tanks were already doing what they could to optimize damage.  It really doesn’t need to be normalized to keep the players happy, and I doubt it’s a significant hurdle in balancing the encounters given the array of other, more noticeable differences between the formats.

Another side-effect of our DPS being dependent on boss DPS is that it opens up some really bizarre situations for our rotation.  Our abilities don’t scale equally with AP, and as a result our optimum rotation changes based on whether we’re at 0% or 100% Vengeance.  Amplifying this effect and making it vary per encounter is even worse, because it means that our ideal rotation can now change from boss to boss.

Now, you might say, “But wait Theck, DPS specs change their rotation from boss to boss too.”  And you’d be right, but only in the trivial sense.  They may perform different actions for different numbers of targets, or bosses with strange special abilities.  But they don’t change anything when going from Patchwerk #1 to Patchwerk #2, which is their basic “nuke a single target” rotation, the bread-and-butter of their class.  But with “new Vengeance,” a tank’s ideal rotation could be different depending on which boss they’re facing, what phase it is, and whether they’re the main- or off-tank.  That’s not just unintuitive, it’s frustrating and annoying, especially for less experienced or less hardcore players.

Why this change?

I also don’t think a change is required.  Active Mitigation already gives us an incentive to care about our rotation, this new version of Vengeance isn’t  needed to achieve that.  The new version doesn’t do anything to scale tank threat with tank stats, and converts it to a mechanic that exists solely to make tanks contribute more DPS in raid content.  The problem is that there’s no reason for tanks to do more damage in raid content anymore.  In Meloree’s words:

..we could do zero DPS in raids, and be balanced around doing zero DPS in raids, and the encounters could be balanced around that, and it would be fine.  We have an incentive to run our rotation, thanks to [Active Mitigation].  Imagine Vengeance was along the lines of “You do 100% less damage in raids, but no mob will ever stop paying attention to you unless someone else taunts it.”  That’s not all that far off from current threat mechanics, barring the low-vengeance swap.  And it’s not all that far off from how important tank DPS isn’t in 25H content.  That Vengeance isn’t really that much of a stretch.  But it would really suck if we did zero actual damage while solo.

The point is mostly that new Vengeance and/or high tank DPS isn’t in any way required to cause tanks to engage in content, or for balance.  Doing big numbers is fun, sure.  I’d be annoyed if we did, in fact, do zero damage.  But it’s not mechanically required in any way that tanks do damage in raids.  It might be simpler if they didn’t do any.

If the rationale is that this version helps tank survival abilities scale equally with incoming damage, as Ghostcrawler suggested in his post, then AP is hardly the most intuitive stat to use for that purpose.  There are better ways to do that, and the alternatives don’t open a Pandora’s Box of unintuitive side effects. If the problem is that WoG and Shield Barrier don’t stay competitive with SotR in 25’s because they are being balanced around 10-man damage intake, it would be simpler to give WoG and Shield Barrier the Death Strike treatment.  Give them bonus healing based on recent damage taken.  It’s essentially the same mechanic, but confined to the appropriate area of applicability, without all the side effects.

And it’s one step closer to “why bother having tank gear at all anymore.”  This solution encourages tanks to move further away from “stack survival” and towards “stack just enough survival, then DPS.” Our returns on DPS stats will be a disproportionate increase to RDPS thanks to the goofy amounts of AP we’ll be sitting on.

How to calm Vengeance

My recommendation is to re-institute a stamina-based cap on Vengeance AP, which is basically reverting the change (but keeping the good changes to ramping).  That ties it back into our gearing and keeps our output more constant from situation to situation.  I think it was already a bit much that half of our AP was dependent on a boss hitting us, having 2/3 or more of my output being dependent on it just feels depressing.

Though as I’ve been saying for a long time now, Vengeance just feels like a fundamentally flawed mechanic.  The problem that Vengeance was intended to solve was always a “numbers problem.”  And instead of getting a “numbers solution,” it got a complicated, unintuitive, and frankly un-fun “mechanics solution.”  Instead of seeing a nail and grabbing a hammer to fix it, a developer saw a nail and decided to smack it with the business end of a power drill.  It doesn’t feel elegant or right, and both of those factors permeate into how it feels while playing.

When does Vengeance feel like it’s working properly?  As I said before, it feels right when you don’t notice it’s there.  In other words, when it acts like a permanent, always-on, static AP buff.  Whenever that condition is violated, Vengeance feels clunky, frustrating, annoying, fickle, and all-around a pain in the ass.  If there’s one mechanic I absolutely loathe about tanking, it’s Vengeance, because it’s out of my control and often tries to subvert what I’m trying to do.  It’s one thing for a boss to do that – they’re supposed to be working against me.  My own abilities shouldn’t be.

So, once more with feeling, I appeal to the developers:  Fix Vengeance properly, once and for all.  How, you ask?  The same way I suggested in February:


Vengeance – Your attacks deal 50% more damage to NPCs.  This value increases as you gain more Stamina.

That’s it.  That’s all there is to it.  It’s a simple solution that fixes every single one of the problems with Vengeance without creating any new ones.  No more pathetic DPS while soloing or off-tanking.  No more taking your pants off on farm content to make sure the boss hits you hard enough to hold aggro.  No more giant threat differentials or aggro losses immediately after a taunt.  No more concerns about excessive tank DPS in PvP.  And it fulfills the stated purpose of Vengeance: our DPS will still scale with a “tanky” stat.   You get the same net effect in a more elegant, more intuitive, and just plain better form.

Yes, it introduces an artificial difference between PvE and PvP.  But the recent hotfix does that anyway, and the current form of Vengeance isn’t much less artificial than what I’ve proposed.  As they learned with Colossus Smash, sometimes the best solution is to recognize that PvE and PvP are different beasts, and adjust accordingly.

If the developers are absolutely dead-set on tanks doing more damage in 25-man raids than 10-man – despite the fact that I haven’t seen a good argument for why they should, and despite the fact that it’s going to be a divisive feature and increase the animosity between 10’s and 25’s – then there are easy ways to do that.  Vengeance could scale with party size:

Band of Heroes – Your fellow adventurers inspire you, causing your attacks to do X% more damage to NPCs for each player in your party or raid.

X can scale with stamina and be chosen differently for 5, 10, and 25-man groups.  It’s not elegant in its conception, I’ll admit.  It’s artificial.  But it would at least work, which is something I’m not convinced the new version of Vengeance will.  And arguably, the current version hasn’t been doing all that well either.

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46 Responses to We Didn’t Need Pants Anyhow

  1. Christoph says:

    Great article.

  2. I tried questing as Ret, don’t know if it was the gear difference as I bought vendor gear in Townlong which was lower than the prot gear I was in but I was getting absolutely destroyed by world mobs. Went back to Prot and only died when not paying attention and could actually handle groups of 2+.

  3. Ohgodbees says:

    I can’t agree enough with this. It’s an overwrought solution to a (relatively) simple problem. I also seem to be rare in this, but I enjoy and am proud of my tank DPS. While not a top priority, it’s fun and something else that helps my raid get kills. Vengeance makes that an RNG nightmare that feels too much out of my control and it’s frustrating to hit like a wet noodle when I’m not actively tanking the boss.

  4. hey theck, first of all, thanks for contributing so much to the protection community. i like your idea better than any vengeance mechanic that has ever existed or probably ever will exist. But if you could have it your way, like you pointed out about it being a numbers problem, needing a numbers solution, wouldn’t you just balance tank damage? and maybe add some mechanics to all tanks that reward their damage for mitigating damage, similar to reckoning on live, but something cooler than “next four weapon swings.”

    i’ve always prefered prot over ret, especially in pvp situations, so vengeance obviously has no effect, so even though my prot pally has the best available gear, my damage is roughly half of ret damage, and don’t get me started on 20 second WoG compared to ret’s 10 sec cd. yes i’m talking about cata…b/c i’m still upset about cata. anyways my point is, if tank damage (AND utility) was truly balanced, not weak but not overpowered either, then i would be a happy camper. as long as idiotic, counter-intuitive mechanics like vengeance exist, i’ll be looking for a new game to take up my time instead of spending it with my girlfriend.

    • Theck says:

      The reason I didn’t suggest just buffing tank damage is because it’s a PvE solution. A class that’s two or three times as hard to kill but does nearly the same damage would be unbalanced in PvP.

  5. Dan says:

    Another alternative solution to the swap problem – taunting causes you to gain 75% of the vengeance stack of the target’s current target.

    • anafielle says:

      Ehehe. I could see tanks stealing Vengeance off each other!

      • Dan says:

        actually, stealing vengeance off of each other is good for tank-swaps… you want the (now) off-tank to be pulling less threat than the (now) main-tank. The 75% is to avoid taunt/taunt to suddenly have super AP on both – maybe it _transfers_ 75% vengeance (so the old MT has a much lower value) – to avoid that… Really want I want is that the old MT’s dps decays and the new MT tanks DPS increases so that by the time the ‘forced’ attack portion is done, the new MT is outgenerating the old MT..

        • Theck says:

          You could imagine just swapping the two tanks’ Vengeance values on a taunt. That would alleviate a lot of the tank-swap issues. That’s better for the taunt-er, but worse for the taunt-ee (they lose a bunch of Vengeance).

  6. Xpariah says:

    Excellent post and an excellent blog. I’m sad I’ve haven’t ventured into this space before but I imagine I’ve found a new place to visit. I haven’t combed through all your posts relevant to MoP but I’d enjoy seeing your input regarding tank disparity (if it exists) and what the overall advantages and disadvantages are to the individual classes capable of fulfilling this role. If this idea seems too elementary, I’d understand but I always enjoy hearing the opinions of other well-thought tanks.

  7. Cheysuli says:

    Actually it seems that you are upset that you can’t do same damage as dps spec. Vengeance was introduce because tanks had problems with threat in late tiers of expansion, not to boost tanks damage.

    Quoting “It simply doesn’t make sense to level as protection when everything dies 5 times faster as retribution.”
    I can only say that It simply doesn’t make sense why tank spec should kill everything as fast as dps spec while taking 5 times less damage.

    Anyway recent change was made because of new survival abilities.

    It’s okay when tank is doing big numbers while tanking. It’s not okay when tank is doing big numbers while not tanking, because then there is no point in having dps spec at all.

    • Nooska says:

      While I don’t find fault with the premise of your argument, I do find fault in the “solution” – as one of the main problems mentioned is that you play “wet noodle” as offtank.

      Its okay that a tank is outputting a good amount of dps, whether tanking or (currently) not tanking. I’d even go so far as to say that its okay that a tank does good dps even when not tanking and not required to tank (anymore) in an encounter – like ascendant council phase 3, one of the tanks is just a dps deficiency to be overcome (especially on heroic).

      • Cheysuli says:

        That’s exactly the problem. If it’s okay for tank doing good dps when not tanking, then you can force people to go protection for higher survivability. This can end up with 10 tanks in progression group. It seems you think you are compelled to do competitive dps as a tank. That is just not true. Fights are tuned around raid dps, not personal dps. Increasing tanks dps would just led to increase in dps requirement to kill a boss.

        Also author mentions WotLK paradigm of “tanking with the pants off”. That is absolutely wrong. In WotLK tanks were doing this because they had serious problems with threat. This is far from what can happen. Also mentioned problem in regard of Challenge modes is just nonsense because of normalized gear.

        The only problem right now is tank swapping, but this problem existed long before the introduction of vengeance. Some tanks just can’t understand that they need to stop using their high threat abilities until the second tank has his aggro secured.

        • Theck says:

          I think you’re misunderstanding many of my points, and wrong on several other points.

          Nobody, myself included, has suggested a tank do equivalent damage to a pure spec. That’s a strawman that you have introduced. I have absolutely no issue with tank damage being 30-50% that of a pure spec, as it is in raids. What I ask for is *consistency*. Let it be the same 30-50% whether I’m raiding, soloing, etc.

          Similarly, nobody has suggested that we should do competitive DPS, nor have I assumed that this would make bosses easier to kill. That’s actually a really stupid assumption to make in the first place, for all of the reasons you gave.

          Tanking with pants off in Wrath had nothing to do with “serious threat problems.” A competent tank had no problem holding threat in heroic raids. The problem that led to pants-less tanking was that resource generation was tied to taking damage (Spiritual Attunement). As such, if you were appropriately geared for heroic raids, you took so little damage in normals and 5-mans that you were resource-starved.

          The problem of tank swapping did NOT exist long before the introduction of Vengeance, because it is a problem CREATED BY Vengeance. Before Vengeance, there was no threat disparity during a taunt. My co-tank and I are both capable of doing X DPS, so if I taunt and perform my rotation properly, I keep aggro. Period.

          With Vengeance, he’s doing 2X-3X damage and I’m doing X damage. If we both wail away at our rotation perfectly, he wins and re-gains aggro unless it’s late enough in the fight that the 10% threat threshold is unattainable in 5-10 seconds. if it’s early in the fight, that forces him to either stop attacking, watch his threat, or drop Righteous Fury until I build up Vengeance.

          • cheysuli says:

            Tanks were resource starved and that led to serious threat problems. I remember pulls without rage very well.

            If you’re saying that it doesn’t matter what dps tank has, then why do you care at first place. If tank’s damage is not important, then this whole discussion is pointless. When second tank taunts boss, then first tank just stops using his abilities. End of problem. If tank needs to do his dps rotation perfectly after having boss taunted off and reaggro him, then he’s noob a should switch to dps spec. Tank is not there to do perfect rotation.

          • Theck says:

            The “Great WotLK Threat Crisis” is a myth, at least for paladins. I and several other tanks were there, we saw it, and we never had threat problems, even with no hit/exp. Warriors might have been in a different boat, admittedly, since they don’t start with full rage bars.

            Again, you’re missing the point. It doesn’t matter what the balance point is, as long as that balance point is consistent. It’s not fun or engaging to stop attacking when someone taunts off of you. It’s not fun to do pathetic DPS in some situations and reasonable DPS in others. The fact that good tanks do these things does not make them fun, just necessary.

    • Theck says:

      Vengeance was introduced to solve a problem that didn’t exist in raiding. Good tanks did not have threat problems in later tiers of raiding. Vengeance “solved” the problem of under-geared tanks not being able to hold threat against better-geared DPS, which only occurs at lower levels of raiding and 5-mans.

      In any event, nobody here is confused about the intent of Vengeance. It’s not the intent that’s horribly flawed, its the implementation.

      Adjusting Vengeance to fix survival abilities is, as I said, using the wrong tool for the job. It would be much easier, and have fewer unwanted ramifications, to just fix the survival abilities properly.

      • cheysuli says:

        If nobody is confused about the intent of Vengeance, then why is your whole article about tank’s dps? But look at your “February suggestion”. You just want to increase tank’s damage based on how much stamina they have. This is absolutely against recent changes to Vengeance. Vengeance was changed so your defensive abilities scales with incoming damage. What you propose is just flat increase in DAMAGE. If you just want to do more threat, you can always just increase threat modifier. You’re just talking about how much you hate pathetic dps when tanking or soloing. Again, if you want to do damage, go dps spec

        • Theck says:

          First: the whole article is about tank DPS because that’s what Vengeance affects. It would be pretty hard to write an article about the weird and unintuitive effects caused by DPS fluctuations without discussing DPS.

          Second, note that the previous version of Vengeance increases a tank’s damage based on how much stamina they have, exactly as the “February suggestion” does. That’s not “against” recent changes to Vengeance, insofar as the change to Vengeance wasn’t prompted by gear-based threat scaling. It was changed to solve a separate problem, one which could have been solved in other (and in my opinion, better) ways.

          Your solution to every complaint about pathetic DPS is “well, go DPS spec.” That doesn’t cut it. There’s a valid discussion to be had about exactly how much DPS is reasonable for a tank spec to do, and how much variation (if any) there should be in that value between solo, 5-man, and raiding play. “Suck it up” isn’t helpful, nor is it helping further the discussion at all.

          • cheysuli says:

            You’re right, suck it up is not helpful in any way. But you are describing a problem here I just don’t see. You want consistent dps between raids, 5-men or soloing. Let me say that almost no dps has consistent damage in raids, 5-men or soloing. Dot classes just sucks on short fights, some classes has long ramp up time and noone see that as an issue that should be balanced by some special mechanic. I play all four tank spec on live, leveled them as tanks and regularly doing 5-men raids and daily quest. And I have never thought about low damage. It’s a bit slower, but still quite quick, and as I said lower. Tank doesn’t worry about hp or resources. You’re just rushing through.

            Quickly to your February suggestion. It’s not the same because it’s just flat increase. You’re missing that incoming damage to AP part, that is imporant. There was a cap based on stamina, so your AP just didn’t go to stars.

            And one more thing, because I can’t respond to previous thread. It was no fun as dps to stop your rotation, because tank was resource starved and had problems with holding aggro. I remember TBC days where dps were regularly at 100-105% of tanks threat at the end of fight. Believe me that there was absolutely no fun in aggroing boss after 5 minutes in fight without any ability to do something about it but stopping your rotation. I am so happy that these days are over.

          • Theck says:

            Again, you’re interpreting my statements the way you want them to be interpreted, rather than the way they were said.

            Yes, damage variances exist for other classes. Some classes DO suck on short fights, multi-dotters obviously excel against multiple targets, and so on. Unfortunately, that’s all completely missing the point, because you can make the same statements about tanks. Some tanks have better AoE damage than others, some do more on 2-3 targets due to certain skills that cleave automatically, and so on. All of these are situational, organic, encounter-based variances, and there’s nothing wrong with them.

            However, the variances I’m talking about are completely different. Does a DPS class suddenly suffer a 50-75% damage penalty just because he’s not in a raid situation? No, of course not. But a tank DOES, because of Vengeance. That’s not at all comparable, because it’s not organic or encounter-based. If you compare a plain Jane Patchwerk mob out in the world to a plain Jane Patchwerk raid boss, the DPS spec does more or less the same DPS to both. The tank does 50-75% less. Why? How is that even remotely intuitive?

            Note that raid buffs don’t count here either – again, both classes are equally affected by that factor. Damage variance due to raid buffs not at all comparable to the Vengeanced-based variances I’m discussing.

            Regarding the Feb. suggestion, again, I disagree. Old vengeance was flat stamina-based AP. My suggestion was also flat, stamina-based AP (note that it wasn’t a flat 50%, it was stamina-based). The incoming damage to AP part is what “new Vengeance” introduces, and it doesn’t do so for DPS reasons at all. It does so for the benefit tank survivability skills like WoG and Shield Barrier.

            I am with you on the “no fun as DPS to stop your rotation” part. I can completely agree with that sentiment. But I’m also not suggesting we return to that paradigm. Tank DPS and tank threat are two completely separate issues. We can easily do low DPS while doing very high threat. That’s just a matter of setting the threat modifier appropriately (and the current 500% modifier is fine for that; doing 30-50% the DPS of a pure spec means doing 150-250% the threat of a pure spec).

    • Theck says:

      Also, forgive me for being uncouth but…
      “Actually it seems that you are upset that you can’t do same damage as dps spec.”
      Where the FUCK did you get that impression? Did you even read the article? Because nowhere in it did I even come close to suggesting what you quote.

      • cheysuli says:

        Quoting “Suffice to say, there’s no way in hell I’m going to level as protection when Mists goes live. It’s simply not efficient or fun. I’m going to give in and go retribution for the bulk of it, only switching to a tank spec for dungeons. It simply doesn’t make sense to level as protection when everything dies 5 times faster as retribution.”

        You have problem with dps spec killing mob faster than tank spec. You don’t care that dps spec can efficiently kill only one mob at a time, while tank has no problem with pulling several mobs. Actually it is problem for dps spec to pull more than one mob at a time. So in order to be fun as a protection, you want to be killing machine as a retribution but endure way much better. This just doesn’t make sense.

        • Aredyl says:

          I apologise for jumping in on this, but its not about Protection being on par with Retribution or any other DPS spec; its about consistancy. Its really disheartening to have Vengeance play such a huge role in a tank’s dps. With the current Vengeance mechanic, tank dps widely varies depending on what they are doing.
          Tanks in raids are capable of doing 20k dps on single targets due to Vengeance easily doubling their AP.
          In 5 mans, their dps drops a bit since Vengeance is not stacking as high.
          While soloing, Vengeance becomes a small part of their total AP.

          It is simply no fun to feel very strong in one aspect of the game (raiding) then feel like we’re hitting with a wet noodle in another (soloing), all in the name of trying to keep balance in a third aspect of the game (PvP). DPS specs do not have to face this huge disparity in dps, therefore its simply more fun to play a DPS spec where Vengeance fails.

          • cheysuli says:

            I understand that point, but there is one important difference. Purpose of dps spec is damage, purpose of tank is survivability, tank’s dps is just added bonus. When tanking I just don’t care whether I have 5k dps, 10k or 30k. My role is absolutely different. As a dps I don’t care that tank is first in damage meters on heroic spine. What you’re trying to say is that survivability and threat mechanic should be balanced about tank’s dps. It’s the same as trying to balance dps classes about their survivability.

          • Theck says:

            Except, they are. DPS specs ARE balanced around their survivability, both in raids and in solo-play. That’s why you don’t have DPS specs with 50k DPS but only 10 hit points and 5 armor. Solo play IS considered when determining what the “right” amount of survivability is for a DPS spec.

            SImilarly, solo play should be considered when determining what the “right” amount of DPS is for a tank spec. It’s a quality of life issue, not a balance issue. Can they design tanks such that they do 1% of a Ret’s DPS, and balance raids properly around that? Of course they could. But it would be stupid to do so, because it would make tank’s lives miserable in other aspects of the game, particularly solo play.

            Your role in a raid is only a part of what makes up your class kit. I know this, the devs know this (as is clear from the way they tune and balance every class around multiple factors). You’re the only one trying to argue that it isn’t.

        • Theck says:

          Aredyl already covered most of this, but either way: No. You’re still putting words in my mouth. I do NOT have a problem with DPS specs killing a mob faster than a tank spec. I have explicitly stated, several times now, that DPS specs SHOULD kill mobs faster than tank specs.

          What YOU seem to have a problem with is anything approaching equity. Maybe a tank can pull more mobs at a time, but he can’t kill them as quickly. It’s all well and good if I can pull 3-4 mobs and tank them to death, but if a DPS spec can pull and kill 8 mobs, one at a time, in the same amount of time, you still have a significant advantage.

          I don’t want to be a killing machine as protection. I want to see our damage be more consistent across different content types (excluding PvP, for balance reasons), and I want to feel like protection is a valid leveling spec that won’t put me at a huge disadvantage in the 85-90 race. And right now, that simply isn’t the case.

          • cheysuli says:

            Sorry man, but you are saying contradictory things. Let me quote two sentences of yours.

            First: ” I have absolutely no issue with tank damage being 30-50% that of a pure spec, as it is in raids. What I ask for is *consistency*. Let it be the same 30-50% whether I’m raiding, soloing, etc.”

            Second: “It’s all well and good if I can pull 3-4 mobs and tank them to death, but if a DPS spec can pull and kill 8 mobs, one at a time, in the same amount of time, you still have a significant advantage.”

            Let me analyze this. You think that tank should do 30-50% of dps spec. That means, if
            tank can kill 4 mobs at specific time, dps should kill at least 8 mobs at the same time so dps is consistent. Yet you are very unhappy about this. Recently I leveled guardian druid, blood dk and brewmaster monk to lvl 90 on beta and I just can’t agree with you. Leveling in tank spec is by far quickest and easiest way to level to 90. To kill 3-4 mobs as a tank takes as much time as dps needs to kill 2 mobs. And after all this, tank just doesn’t need to rest and regain hp or mana, dps has to worry about this all the time (with few exceptions, like dps with pets). Not to mention accidental ninja pulls and so on. Tank is just rushing through leveling not worrying about anything. That is huge advantage.

          • Ohgodbees says:

            You forgot to post where he was being contradictory, but you’re great with the straw men.

          • Theck says:

            Those are not contradictory statements at all. You’re simply ignoring context.

            You can’t compare AoE damage to single target damage. I think that a tank should do 30-50% of a DPS spec TO A SINGLE TARGET. Hence, while pulling mobs one at a time, the DPS spec should be able to kill 8 for every 3-4 I’m able to kill.

            AoE DPS is generally a completely different story, because you do MORE DPS in an AoE situation. As Ghostcrawler said, the “benefit” of choosing to be a tank is that I can survive more mobs at a time. For that benefit to properly manifest itself, it means that a tank should be able to pull multiple mobs and gain an efficiency advantage from it.

            So if a DPS spec can kill 8 mobs in time T (including time running to and from each mob), then a tank should be able to kill at least 6-7 mobs by rounding them up and AoE tanking them in that same time. Our single-target DPS may still be 30-50% of a Ret’s, but our AoE DPS against several mobs should be nearly equivalent to a Ret’s single target damage.

            Note that the Retribution paladin STILL DOES MORE AOE DPS THAN US in this case. But they can’t take advantage of that while leveling, because they don’t have the survival tools.

            So, in short, there’s no contradiction in my statements at all. You simply misinterpreted the statements by comparing apples to oranges.

  8. Omega says:

    As usual i agree. Vengeance is a mess. I know GC also mentioned somethinga bout wanting 25 to do more damage then 10 man cause the bosses do DOUBLE damage to tanks, and if our mitigation scales with our attack power, our active mitigation should supposedly counter this somehow. Yet somehow i feel even that goal failed in regard to shield block doesn’t change value, and shield barrior is not intended to be used in most cases, in fact it’s still woefully inadaquate. Not sure about where paladins sit, but the argumenta bout improving active mitigation by letting your AP be higher in harder content so they scale better, seems moot to me when it’s not actually doing that.

    • Theck says:

      This “fix” was primarily to address WoG and Shield Barrier, I think. Whether it accomplishes that or not, I’m not sure. But it does seem like a backwards approach to the problem. The simpler and more logical solution would have been to simply give WoG and Shield Barrier the Death Strike treatment. Let Shield Barrier heal for X, where X is the maximum of (base+y*AP or 20-second-time-averaged DTPS). Problem solved, in EXACTLY the same way it’s solved via Vengeance, but without all the side-effects.

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  12. Aredyl says:

    I feel Blizzard needs to look at the root problem again, which tanks simply do not scale well in damage in compaison to DPS. DPS are stacking haste and crit while tanks are focused on dodge, parry, and stamina – which pushes the gap wider as these numbers increase. It would make sense to impliment a mechanic to compensate for this difference based on the gear values of dodge and parry, but they gave us a mechanic that is based around incoming damage.

    It seems it would be easier to have dodge and parry increase AP (or possibly increase crit and haste values). It would scale more in line with tanking gear, which would avoid the “pantless” or dps-gearing options. It would also give tanks more consistancy between raiding, 5 mans, and soloing.

    It would have less effect in PvP since gladiator gear does not contain these stats. Reforging gladiator gear to gain these stats would lessen the effect of this mechanic in PvP since one can only reforge 40% of one stat for this benefit.

    I think this system would be considerably better than using the current Vengeance system and its flaws. I am pretty sure this has been recommended by the community (its a sound idea) but I would love to hear opinions on this.

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  15. Chud says:

    Very good post Theck, too bad these days Blizzard is more preoccupied with implementing quick band-aids which will fail in a few months then actually finding a solution to the problem. (sorry for the crappy english)

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  17. md096 says:

    The vengeance change (in addition to WoG and shield barrier) heavily impacts druid’s frenzied regen (FR), a heal that works about the same as shield barrier (except it is a direct heal ofc, not an absorb). At low levels of vengenace, such as when soloing or even 5 mans, FR can almost be taken off the toolbar, it is just bad, and they are still chasing the best formula for it and I fear this vengeance change is just a simple way to make it an attractive button. With the change, a druid, and I imagine warriors and paladins, are groing to find that these heavily AP affected abilities at any given moment during any given fight could be the best, dead-worst, or who knows where in-between button to properly expend our resources. I will be honest, I am not that hardcore, and I will see needing an addon that pretty much tells me when it is right or wrong to use this heal or save my rage for another mitigation tool that may be soon off CD. That is not fun, I do not want to play the watch the add-on game, or even the watch the in-game icon and game (what the hell am I supposed to do w/o an addon, tool-tip the icon or open my character sheet and look at my AP?). The DPS and swapping issues not withstanging, which are valid, having to guess or use an addon to tell me how to constantly change my rotation (from boss to boss, phase to phase, whenever) is not going to be fun at all.

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  19. How about instead of choosing between avoidance and threat, we had something like this?


    Whenever you dodge or parry an attack while auto-attacking, you have an X% chance to make an extra attack for damage.

  20. Anon WoW Tank says:

    GJ Theck, Excellent Article.
    I leveled a Tank through MoP, 85-90, as a sort of test, and it’s one the Vengeance mechanic failed miserably.

    It was a painfully slow grind. Every single-target fight lasted well past a minute, due to Vengeance being required to inflict damage. My DPS was abysmal. I watched as DPS specs facerolled their way through the same fights in ONE-FIFTH the time. This is not an exageration, their DPS was roughly 5 times higher.

    AOE pulling saw slightly better results, and I was able to ramp my Vengeance up around 8k-10k. But in the time spent gathering all those mobs and then AOEing them down, I watched a Mage do the same thing via control as opposed to mitigation. With the exception he was able to AOE his group down in about a third of the time.

    Down with Vengeance!

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