Tuesday, June 30, 2009

[3.2] Tier rewards, etc.

Two big changes in the last 24 hours to how raiding will work in 3.2. Okay, three, but I'm not talking about the whole raid lockout extension thing.

The first is that there will be no slot-specific tokens for tier gear. This means that instead of dropping the shoulderpads of the hobo vanquisher, or whatever, it'll be 'regalia' - and with regalia you can buy any piece of tier gear at the appropriate level.

The second bit is that only the top level (ilvl 258) gear is purchasable this way; all other gear can be bought via Emblems of Triumph.

I was going to post something about this, but Graylo beat me to it, saying almost precisely what I was going to say and my reaction.

I have a couple of reactions to this. On the positive side the token change is a good idea. It will make the tokens more useful, and few of them will go to off specs or shards soon after the patch.
On the flip side, I have a big problem with the lower to levels of tier sets being purchase able with emblems. First of all whats the incentive to buy the 232 iLevel tier set when the 245 ilevel tier set costs just 50% more? When you get enough Emblems to buy the first level of gear you will have a choice. To I spend all the badges now and wait 3 weeks to upgrade, or do I wait a week and get even better gear?
Obviously we don't complete know how the system will work, but there are a lot of potential problems. If the Tier tokens are to easy to get, the emblem tiers will be almost completely ignored. If the tier tokes are to hard to get then it will take a really long time to build a set. Finally as I said above there is no real incentive to go for the 232 iLevel set.
I think they need to scale it back to a little more like the current system. Have the top level tokes drop off of 25 man raids. Have a lower level token drop off of 10 man raids, and I think it would be a great idea to have the lowest level tier be purchasable with emblems. That way all three levels have some level of desirability.
I really couldn't agree more. I don't understand why having a piece of gear 33% cheaper would make you want it at all if it's 13 levels below what you have. I don't like the pressure that this puts on raiders to make them almost universally have to do 10-man and 25-man content as much as they can early on in order to get more tokens for their tier gear. Will loot drops be like Sarth, where there's a satchel of gemsEmblems instead of a token drop, and people will fight over those?

Mostly, I really don't like the pressure this would put on hardcore raiders to do as much content in one reset (10 and 25) as humanly possible. I don't mind that for basically 3-4 weeks worth of grinding anyone can get tier 9 gear (3 triumph tokens from daily heroics * 7 days), but it really bothers me that the 232 items are essentially pointless and that there's such a huge incentive to run as much content as you possibly can.

I think that 3.2 is something of an experimental playground for Blizzard. There are a lot of changes to the fundamental raiding paradigms (week resets, gear availability, armor design, trash vs. bosses, 10 vs. 25, BoP trading) that I can't help but think Blizzard's throwing a lot of stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks.

And just so it's clear - there's absolutely no reason to get the lowest tier gear at this price level. None. It is always going to be better to get the higher tier whenever you can, even if it takes you another week of heroics. There are no bonuses for cats or bears that are so essential you must have them now now nao.

Monday, June 29, 2009

[General]Well, that was fast

Another PTR, and bam! T9 changes for all tanks.

Paladin 2p is going for Hand of Reckoning instead of Righteous Defense, which is good; RD is almost never used by comparison any more.
Paladin 4p explicitly reduces the forbearance penalty.

Druid 4P is now reducing the cooldown of Barkskin by 12 seconds (was 10% more barkskinny goodness)
Warrior 4P is now reducing the cooldown of shield block by 10 seconds (was 20).

While I miss the thought of being ridiculously OP, it was pretty clear with some basic math that 30% barkskin wasn't going to see the light of day. Though I'll be surprised if 90-second divine protection for paladins lasts.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

[General] Tier9 bonuses for all tanks

MMO champion has the procs for the various T9 abilities for all the gear. And...well, let's just say that apparently the even-numbered sets will be 4 fite, the odd will be 4 bear.

To be really, really clear: These are almost certainly not the final versions. They might not even be correct. Some of the bonuses make zero sense, like adding .01 seconds to the damage of immolate. So take these with a grain of salt and don't get too attached to them.

But let's take a look at all of them, starting with the druid:

This is an interesting change for bears. The 2p bonus is decidedly lame unless we're facing huge amounts of random dorks or something (more on that in a bit).

The 4 piece, to me, reads "We're very sorry about your bad cooldowns. We're very sorry about your bad cooldowns". A 30% barkskin every minute is approaching IBF-levels of awesome. If they wanted Druids to be the next DKs, this is a good way to do it. Between a druid's innate damage soaking ability and this set bonus, they'll be in pretty good shape. A really excellent ability.

Blizzard got a bit lazy with the set bonuses in general though. For instance, here's the DK version:

Dark Command, shockingly, is the DK taunt. Hmm. The 4P bonus improves each tree's 2-minute cooldown to 1 min 40, which doesn't sound awe-inspiring. Helpful, sure - it's basically a 16% improvement in the cooldown if you're using it every time - but that's over a long duration. On a lot of fights that'll mean you might get to use it once more than you would have.

The Paladin one is awfully familiar...

Wow...another 2 seconds off of taunt. Thrilling. The 4p bonus is similar to the DK one; cutting it from 2 minutes to 1.5 is good, but does it actually do much? It's not nearly as game-defining as the barkskin one. I also bet they forgot about forbearance stopping this from working at all, but I bet that's at least their intent.

Finally, warriors! And I bet you can guess what the 2p bonus is:

Oh, those tricksy Blizzard people. Intervene with a shorter cooldown - that might be actually more useless than growl having a shorter cooldown. Though at least it doesn't run into the stupid diminishing returns that the taunts do.

The 4-piece for shield block, however, is really intriguing. This would cut shield block down to 20 seconds, which basically means shield block is active fully half of the time. While this isn't as game-changing as the 4pT8 bonus in the sense that you can't plan on stopping special attacks with it, the amount of threat and damage mitigation this should stop should be decent. This effectively allows for a much higher block rate overall (half of all attacks will be blocked for sure, and they'll be blocked at the 200% block value) as well as a much higher amount of damage blocked. Depending on gear, this'll be close to a 2% mitigation boost by itself.

I'll have to figure out more on what the cat bonus is, by the way, but for now it doesn't look that impressive to me. Rake's duration increased is nice and should add another shred in the cycle, but 5% more rip crit and FB crit just seems not all that hot.

Oh yeah, one last tidbit: the tanking T9 idol:

Before you go gaga, I'm assuming that the mangle only applies to cat, not bear. If it didn't, it would be one amazing idol. As it stands it's going to be a nice way to combine the best of two idols without having to go crazy to get both. 200 dodge rating is a bit higher on avoidance than Corruptor, and 200 agility is a much better boost than Ravenous Beast or Worship.

Monday, June 22, 2009

[3.2]Thoughts on the new emblem system

Copey asked this a couple days ago:

I think the biggest deal in the current patch notes is that they stepping away from the different tiers of emblems that are offered, and making emblems of conquest drop from heroics and T7 10 man raids. This will be a huge boon to people that don’t or can’t run Uld 25 man because they can now purchase iLvL 226 gear and never step into Uld 25.

It’s like back in BC where you could get Black Temple level gear just by farming Kara for 22 badges a week. What are your thoughts on this?
Lots of other bloggers have chimed in here and there. I wasn't going to bother because it didn't seem that big of a deal, but what the heck.

First off, the basics: everything that did drop valor or heroism will now drop conquest. Daily normal and heroic runs will drop triumph emblems. The 10 and 25-man versions of the new raid will also drop triumph. The new 5-man dungeon will also reward triumph badges.

That's the new rules.

What this means, practically, is that anyone will be able to get ilvl 226 gear fairly quickly. It also means things like older WotLK content will be valuable to run, in a similar way to how Kara was before.

It means that 10-man Naxx and 25-man Naxx will drop the exact same badges if you care, so the only real advantage to running 25-man is to get a couple pieces of loot and do 25 people at the same time instead of 10.

Heroics will be fairly valuable, but more importantly the dailies will be very valuable and sought out after; 2-3 triumph emblems a day is (at current tier prices) a piece of tier 9 (or equivalent) gear in a month, assuming you do no other raiding.

For the record: this is a good thing.

I have never had a problem with folks getting geared up at a faster pace as an expansion goes along. Point of fact I think it's pretty stupid to think otherwise. Why should anyone care how fast someone else gears up? Why should that matter? If you're worried about achievements, it still doesn't mean that they'll have cleared the places you have. Giving a bunch of people 226 or 239 gear doesn't mean they'll be able to faceroll Sarth3D, much less much of Ulduar. And even if they do clear it later - how does that reduce your accomplishment?

The notion that other people can somehow reduce what you did by doing it thanks to easier times or easier loot seems...weird to me.

Furthermore, gearing people up faster is crucial to the success of the game. You can't have people go through long slogs to get to the point where you're at as an expansion moves on; otherwise, you'll never be able to get new players in. They'll see this progression path of months and months and simply say fuck it. Or you'll try and recruit but they'll never be able to participate in progression with you, or at least not for significant amounts of time.

Furthermore, heroics had to be buffed. Heroic content was being utilized at an all-time low, and one of the reasons was simply that raiders had absolutely no need to run heroics. Not even laughable, quick ones. They didn't need emblems. They didn't need drops. They didn't need anything; it was just a waste of their time. This is a great boost to the heroic system, and that's good; as I've said in the past, heroics are where you meet future guildies, it's where you try out new specs, it's where you learn to raid. It's important for this to be a vibrant part of the world, and the only way to do that is to actually reward it.

So almost entirely I think it's a good idea.

Where do I think they went wrong? Well, I don't like that both 10 and 25-man drop the same thing. Why? Because I think (at least early on) this can put too much pressure on raiders to have to raid both if they can. In the same way that Kara being a heroism pinata last expansion was somewhat annoying, I think that this could be problematic. I'm not sure what I'd do here; I'd probably have some kind of quest or reward system that had a 1-week lockout and rewarded badges on the first boss killed of a certain name, but didn't after. That way no matter what flavor you choose you'd get the badges, but you couldn't double up on them. You could still run the 10 for loot or whatever, but it wouldn't be as needed.

But really, that's about all I feel is a flaw. If nothing else, raiders know that they completed things months before other people. That alone is achievement enough.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

[Druid] 3.2 patch notes

I'll probably do a much bigger in-depth post about the Paladin changes in the released 3.2 patch notes, but that's going to take a while. My short feeling is that they're a bit overpowered and will likely be toned down a bit, but they're close to being reasonable.

Druid changes, however, are a lot easier. And they're only really applicable to cats (at least feral-wise). Here are the relevant ones:
  • Mangle: Ranks 4 and 5 base points reduced by about 11%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
  • Rake: Ranks 6 and 7 base points on initial and periodic damage reduced by about 7%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
  • Rip: Ranks 8 and 9 base points and points per combo point reduced by about 6%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
  • Savage Defense: The animation for gaining this buff will no longer make the bear stand upright
  • Shred: Ranks 8 and 9 base points reduced by about 10%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
  • Swipe (Cat): Percent of weapon damage done reduced from 260% to 250%.
Now, what does this mean, the 'base points reduced by about x%" I'm not sure yet; no one is. But this is what I interpret it as: it is reducing the static coefficient in the damage formula. For example, here's mangle (rank 5

Mangle the target for 200% normal damage plus 634 and causes the target to take 30% additional damage from bleed effects for 12 sec. Awards 1 combo point.
And this is for mangle, so the damage is being reduced by 11%. The way I figure, it means that instead of the damage being 200% * (base damage) + 634, it will be 200% *(base damage) + (634*89%).

Is that a big nerf? Nope, not at all. On the EJ forums, they figure the net result for someone in pre-Ulduar BiS gear (so Naxx gear) is going to be about a 1.8% reduction in overall damage. As you increase your gear, this will only decrease.

Of course, this might not be how it works. It might be significantly more. But it's hard to interpret it any other way, especially with the 'scaling with AP is unchanged' part.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

[Druid]Cat gear list for Ulduar LIKE A BOSS

As requested, here's a gear listing for Ulduar for cats. This one is a bit different. The listing that it's derived from is using FeralByNight's loot rankings, which I've found to be very good. They favor armor penetration over agility for normal cases, though both are much higher than anything else, and they both do not particularly favor hit or expertise capping.

Some things to note about them. First off, do not get armor penetration unless you can get at least 200 ArPen. The way armor penetration ends up working is that it helps more the more of it you have. Which means at lower levels...it's very unimpressive.

Furthermore, it really hopes that you have either Grim Toll (from Naxxramas) or Mjolnir Runestone (from normal mode Thorim) . The point at which you get 100% reduction of armor is at 1220 armor penetration. If you have Mjolnir, the 'soft cap' for armor penetration is 566. If you have Grim Toll, it's 609. This combined with the proc from the trinkets will give 100% armor pen, which is as high as it goes. This means that if you have those trinkets, you should reach those values (566 for Mjolnir, 609 for Grim) and then switch to gemming and gearing for agility. (thanks, Avathar!)

If you do not have these trinkets, armor pen is still as valuable, and there will be no soft cap.

Also, this list (like all static lists) does not take into account the value of set bonuses. Here's the skinny on that:

  • 2pT7 is very, very good. By Rawr, it's ranked at around 400 DPS by itself. That's probably a bit high, but it's very strong. If you can, the best pieces to use as your T7 bonus are the legs and gloves. This is not because they're the strongest; it's because they're less bad of a difference compared to the absolute best pieces out there. If you don't have those pieces and have other pieces that are better, this is going to differ for you personally. For me for example, it's better to have legs and shoulders. Ideally you will not break this until you get 4pT8 or equivalent hard-mode Ulduar gear.
  • 2pT8 is also very, very good. Rawr ranks this as about a 100 DPS upgrade, but in my experience this is higher. More clearcasting procs on bleeds is excellent, and has essentially doubled the amount of clearcasting procs I get in a fight. The best (again, assuming you have everything you possibly could) two pieces are the head and the shoulders. And this will differ for you as well, though practically the head is best in slot for cats.
  • 4pT8 is not that special of a bonus for DPS. It helps with more ferocious bites, and potentially your uptime, but it's not amazing. However, having 4pT8 helps simply because the itemization on the T8 gear is quite good. I would not break 2pT7+2pT8 until you have 4pT8, and only if you have 8.25 gear.

Now, onto the listing. The important thing to understand is that I have listed the gear not by overall ranking (which you can see from the above link) but by the boss that drops it. The reasoning is because I find myself constantly looking at any given boss for the gear that they drop and wondering where that piece specifically ranks. The rankings per slot are listed, so you don't have to wonder, as well as the difference between it and the best overall piece. This way you should be able to instantly look up a boss and figure out whether or not you care about a piece of loot for your situation and your gearing choices. Normal and Heroic listings are both here, as are whether the gear is hard mode or not.


Normal Mode:
  • None
Heroic Mode:
The Relic Hunter's Cord is second only to the normal, hardmode Yogg Saron drop. It's very strong, and you should hope to do more trash to get it.

Flame Leviathan:
Normal Mode:
Heroic Mode:

Mechanist's Bindings are actually #3 - Wowhead hasn't gotten information from Algalon 25, and hasn't seen Solar Bindings yet. They're also not that good compared to Wristwraps of the Cutthroat or Thrusting Bands; they should be a fairly low priority. Pyrite Infuser is stellar if and only if you're not remotely close to being hit capped. If you are, it's much weaker than some of the trinkets, but it's a good option if you aren't.

Normal Mode:

Heroic Mode:
The Band of Draconic Guile is very strong, and the only thing that beat is are hard mode fights of Normal Iron Council, two Algalon quest rewards, a 10-man Algalon drop and Ignis. Definitely prioritize getting this if you can. The Proto-hide leggings are BoE and are a very good upgrade from Naxx directly, though Leggings of the Honored are better if you have that.

Ignis the Furnace Master:
Normal Mode:

Heroic Mode:
As stated in the Razorscale blurb, Cindershard ring is the other exceptionally strong piece. The only things better drop either directly from Algalon or as part of the Algalon questline. Flamestalker boots are also very good, and are a good substitute if you can't get Iron Council to drop Runed Ironhide or can't afford Footpads of Silence. Relentless edge is okay but there are far better options to be found. The gloves are a slight upgrade from some Naxx-25 gear.

Normal Mode:
Heroic Mode:
XT's normal mode is quite decent. The shoulderpads are great until if you need a good offset piece to complement your 2pT7+2pT8, the ring isn't too bad, and on hard mode he drops the best wrists until Algalon-25. By comparison, heroic has only one thing to offer, but it's quite nice. The only other better weapons in the game are either from hard modes or from General Vezax, and it is a decent upgrade from anything in T7. It's especially good if you go bear as well.

Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
Spire of Withering Dreams is similar to Relentless edge but just a bit better - and it has the armor pen. Shawl of the Shattered Giant, despite its large difference in value, is actually quite strong - only a couple of hard mode and the Iron Council cloak below beat it. Wrathstone is pretty good and should be an upgrade from most Naxx items, though of course Grim Toll doesn't beat it by itself.

Iron Council:
Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
The legs from IC Normal aren't special, but the ring is pretty decent and just barely below the top heroic normal one. From Heroic, the best boots drop on an easy mode kill (at least in theory) and the best shoulders by a long, long margin drop on the hard mode. They're about 4 points higher than the next best option and have more sockets than any other choice, making them a high value. And the cloak is the best non-hardmode cloak as well. Really, Iron Council is a great source of gear, at least on heroic.

Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
By comparison, Auriaya is stingy. The Nimble Climber's Belt is still better than anything from T7 - but just barely, and the Gloves while good aren't significantly a large upgrade over the T8.25 gloves to justify using them unless you don't have either T7 or T8 gloves.

Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
The normal legs are really only a stopgap; do replace these if possible. The back is not at all bad. The Winter's Icy Embrace is very strong, and if you can is a good place to not have any tier gear; the only upgrade is a hard mode piece that's even better. Frigid Strength is okay, but it is only just barely better than the conquest piece from Dalaran (Broach of the Wailing Night); I'd recommend passing it to those who like strength more. Finally, Drape of Icy intent is not quite as good as the cloak from Vezax but is much, much better than anything before it, and should be a strong upgrade.

Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
Thorim doesn't drop much, but what he does drop is a doozy. The Embrace of the Gladiator is likely the best piece of any gear you can get short of a weapon. Mjolnir Runestone is the best trinket assuming you don't have Grim Toll. The Conqueror Head is one of the better T8 pieces to get, given that the only upgrade is minor and the 2 piece bonus is so strong. Guise of the Midgard Serpent is also a good piece, and if you don't have an upgrade yet this is great. And while the Valorous Shoulders aren't the best, they're only a couple points away from anything that isn't from a hard mode, so definitely consider them if they'll give you a set bonus and you won't break your T7.

Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
In case you're curious, Dreambinder also drops from Algalon. The gloves are another good spot to get a T8 piece, as there is no hardmode gear that's really a large upgrade, and they're only a minor difference from the best in slots. Even at T8.10 ,you may not replace them for a while. Seed of Budding Carnage is the best in slot, but don't kill yourself getting it - it's only 1.5 points higher than the badge equivalent in Dalaran. For heroic, the conqueror legs are a decent choice to get 4pT8 but because there are hard mode pieces that are better AND there are normal modes that are better, it isn't the best option. Nymph-heart charm is worse than the Dalaran neck. And yes, Dreambinder is amazing.

Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
On normal, the head is another strong option. The hard mode head by comparison really isn't; it's almost certainly not worth breaking your set bonus if you have either T7 or T8 for this. Still, it's an option - and they're goggles! The cape is horrible for you by comparison. For heroic, the gloves are a very strong piece for both cat and bear, and the only reason you'd not want to use them is that the difference between T7 and T8 at the glove level isn't as big as it is on other slots like legs or shoulders. The belt is another decent choice (and very good for bears) but there is definitely better.

General Vezax:
Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
Weapon city! In particular, Lotrafen is the best non-hardmode weapon that is obtainable, and Tortured Earth isn't far behind. Idol of the Corrupter appears to be affecting mangles on every cat mangle, which means that is may be the best idol for cat DPS if you mangle at all. The rings and necks aren't anything special - even Metallic Loop of the Sufferer isn't all that great, though it beats most Naxx level gear. Finally, the Pendulum is essentially best in slot, though it still is likely not going to be a significant upgrade from the Dalaran badge gear.

Normal mode:
Heroic mode:
Not a lot of special stuff from the normal mode; the chest piece is decent but not phenomenal, and the neck is horrible. But from Heroic - the shoulders are good, the trinket is the best one next to Grim Toll/Mjolnir, Earthshaper isn't stellar but is an upgrade from Journey's End. Hard mode he drops the second best weapon in the game and the best legs by a longshot - fully 7 points higher than the next option, 3 sockets and loads of agility and armor pen.

Algalon The Observer:
Normal mode:

Heroic mode:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

[Druid]Content is coming, I promise!

Yep, I've been a lazy bear and haven't updated of note in a while. There's at least one big article coming this week, hopefully. In the meantime, I thought I'd make y'all laugh: here's Tun of Ensidia talking about how he does DPS and tanking.

There's a lot of wrong in there. But my favorite part? How he completely and utterly misuses Rawr despite the whole 'relative stat values' warning. Anyway, it's worth a read, and maybe worth discussing; in particular, it's interesting how much he values crit chance.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

[Druid]On the new NE cats...

My wife had this awesome and astute comment to make:

"They are a lot more pally cat than alley cat :P "


They look okay, but I'm shocked seeing the other three forms how little the palette changed and how meh they are compared. The others totally wowed me. These...not so much.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

[Offtopic] Recruiting!

Fire and Blood is the premiere horde 25-man raid guild on the US Central Time PVE server Quel'dorei. FnB was founded by a small group of dedicated, experienced and mature players in early 2008 who re-rolled fresh characters after playing on the European servers.

After recruiting quality players, they proceeded to clear SSC within 4 months of guild's founding and quickly cleared TK, Hyjal and BT in the following 3 months. By the time the Sunwell nerf came live, they had killed Brutallus, and achieved the horde-side progression lead. Post nerf, they proceeded to clear all of Sunwell.

After WotLK, they have maintained their standing as the No. 1 horde guild on Quel'dorei, being the first horde guild to clear Heroic Naxxramas, Malygos and Sartharion with 3 drakes. They continued into Ulduar, achieving the server first horde-side Mimiron, General Vezax and Yogg-Saron kills.

They are currently the No. 1 horde guild on Quel'dorei and are working on hard modes for Heroic Ulduar. They also have dedicated 10-man teams to achieve Normal Ulduar hard modes. To continue their successes, they are currently looking to add quality, dedicated raiders who can bring a mature attitude to our 25-man group. Their raid days and times are Wed., Fri., Sun. & Mon. from 7-11pm Central Time.

We are especially interested in the following classes/specs:
Druid: Feral (DPS and Tank) & Boomkin
Shaman: Elemental & Resto
Death Knight: DPS & Tank

If interested, please visit their guild forums at http://fireandblood.yuku.com/ and fill out an application or whisper any of the following characters in-game:
Baelor - Guild Leader
Stegho - Raid Leader
Coldravice - Officer

Monday, June 1, 2009

[General] World of Logs! And cat pics...sometime

Totally unrelated to block, I have to pimp out my new favorite raid toy - World of Logs. World of Logs is a log parser similar to WowWeb Stats and Wow meter online. However, it adds a lot of amazingly useful functionality right out of the box:

-Graphical interface with really nice snazzy design.
-graphs of dps, damage in, and healing that show how a fight went (along with a bloodlust area, even!)
-easy tracking of where people died and when
-properly associating shields to who did the shield, showing how much the shield shielded for (yes, this includes savage defense)
-much better log parsing capabilities
-much better splits, with quick links to boss kills, wipes, trash, and other goodies
-Really nice graphs that are similar to recount with pie charts
-Much faster response time on loading reports
-much faster loading of files

So far I've found nothing bad about it. Go check it out!

Also, here are placeholder images for the new cat forms. When they're available they should automatically pop up here.

First one:


[General] The future of block part 4 - healing

The last post on the whole block wackiness got some really good comments, and I had been planning on talking about the healing aspect more anyway. But before I get to the comments, let's talk about a world for healers where the avoidance a tank has is drastically reduced, their worst-case mitigation is very similar between tanks, and block does a lot more but the average damage is still around the same as the dodgy tanks.

Clearly in a world where tanks get hit more often, they would either need to be hit for less or get a lot more health. Traditionally tanks have had about twice as much health as their DPS counterparts after buffing. Sometimes it goes a bit higher, but usually not much. This is by design; this way heals for a tank can also heal non-tanks when they take raid damage without having some huge gulfs, and the heals are going to be (mostly) similarly effective. In other words, it's okay to do about 1/5th of the health in damage to a tank and also do 1/3rd of the possible health in damage to a DPS, since these are both around the same amount of damage.

So there are ramifications for tanks having significantly more health than they do now. But if you don't give the tanks more health, what do you do?

One option is to tone down the damage dealt to the tanks, as I mentioned previously. The problem with this is that the heals are still for the same amount. When a healer can heal for about 1/5th of the total health a tank has in basically one GCD, it's not particularly scary if that tank gets hit for 1/5th of their total health every GCD. That means one healer can basically keep up with the damage on a tank, and that's pretty boring from a healing perspective.

So if toning down the damage doesn't work, we'd have to up the stamina, right? Nope. The other option is to tone down the damage and tone down the healing done. If all heals did, say, half the healing they do now, tanks could still take less damage but would still require quite a bit of healing.

So let's go with that. We'll have healers healing for half as much (the Sunwell radiance aura part 2: mortal strike aura), tanks being hit for half as much, and tanks avoiding half as often as they did before. Now, it takes on average 8 hits to kill a tank. It also takes on average 10 GCDs worth of heals to heal a tank fully.

Is that fun? Maybe.
Is that scary? Does the tank run the risk of dying? I think so, yes. Why? Because healers aren't going to be able to catch up instantaneously in this system. They don't have to keep their tank topped off at all times, but they will need to keep heals going on them quite often. And while a GCD costs less than it did before, it still is pretty expensive. At the same time, you have the very real ability for some tank healers to actually heal big, efficient heals and spend some time doing it. It's no longer their most efficient heal that's quick.

But there's still a lack of risk, and there's no real reward for doing the 'right' heal. Which means we need one more variable: nerfing mana regen for healers. This really should be done; there needs to be a very concrete penalty between the healers that can manage their resources for a fight and the ones that can't. This is a dividing line, just like tanks and threat/mitigation is, and just like DPS and mobility is. It's not any more, but it should be. The benchmark for hard fights is that healers should basically be OOM at the very end of any fight, and if they messed up they'll be OOM earlier. This makes one GCD less important, but the overall performance of a fight moreso.

My wife brought up an interesting point as part of this - what the current healing model solves. Currently for tank healing the model is really simple: you assign 2 or more healers to heal the tank, and they all just spam heals on that tank in the most efficient, reasonable way they can. There's rarely coordination. There's little to no actual communication. It's just heal, heal, heal. In addition, the raid healers tend to throw heals on the tank too whenever they can - a hot, a pom, whatever. In addition to that, the tank healers do the same thing on the raid when they can.

Which means two things: coordination of healers is at a fairly big low, and (this is the important thing) healing can be made puggable. I hadn't realized this, but it's fairly true. In an environment where people are encouraged to spam heal the hell out of something, it doesn't matter if you have good communication and teamwork and rhythm. You just spam away. And because (for worse) healing is measured often by effective healing and meters, a lot of the time you're rewarded for this behavior.

So if the above things go in (and a bit more), you won't be able to spam heal; it's just not efficient enough. You won't be able to snipe other heals as well; you'll need to stick to your assignment, they'll need to stick to theirs, and you'll need to coordinate. But...that means that pug healers will be pretty disadvantaged. And that's true, but I think that's okay. That also likely makes me an elitist jerk, but so be it.

Let's first go to Shamad's comments:
You're getting into a world of chain reactions if you want to touch the current chances of tanks being 2shotted...lowering avoidance doesn't effect healing, other than to reduce overhealing(currently for paladins in the range of 70%). Now if you want to soften the blows from this, you've eliminated tank deaths completely and trivialized the content....Now you might reduce the amount tankhealers heal for. Except then they become redundant and you'd just have raidhealers heal everything. Unless you change how much raidhealers heal for. And now we're back to damage not being able to kill. And the content is trivialized.
These are all good points (and he raised others that are good), but I think that this model can work. Why? At the very least, because this was essentially the model used in TBC. We had less avoidance at the start, and we had less damage intake coming in, and the heals that healers had were less as a percentage of the tank's health. Tank death was very real and very scary (especially with parry haste being a bigger deal, and especially with crushes existing). Very rarely did two damaging hits kill someone; at worst, it was something like Bloodboil, where multiple bloodboils damaging people killed people eventually as healers scrambled to heal too many people at once. Or a tank simply taking too much damage and the big heals not landing quite in time. Death was quite real - but a lot of times death was caused because a healer ran OOM or didn't get off a heal in time. That's a very different feel than 'people died because I didn't spam enough' . Basically, I think that right now the model is 'heal quickly or die'. I think the model can move to 'heal now and later or accumulated damage will put you too much in the hole and you'll die'.

Seleria commented as well, and I appreciate it:

That being said... Patchwerk remains one of my most exciting bosses to heal. Maybe I'm crazy, but I spend Patchwerk spamming my heart out on my healing assignment (an OT most of the time). There's no moving around in the fight, there's no guesswork as to who in the raid is going to take damage. It's a pretty boring healing assignment, but it's one of my favorite fights to heal.

What Blizz, however, has taken from "healing is boring"... is "let's send damage everywhere! Woohoo!" There's more raid healing than ever. Let's say you have 7 healers (that's what we run in Ulduar) 4-5 of ours are generally on raid and 2-3 on tanks depending on the fight obviously.

So with your suggestions I guess the end result as far as I can tell is "have tanks take more consistent but weaker hits." Which as you said... means there's less healing that HAS to be done. So you propose that healing gets weaker/regen gets weaker to correspond with these weaker hits... but the raid damage hasn't changed in your scenario. Sure, the tanks can avoid magic damage, but that doesn't do anything for the 22 other people in the raid....
On the other hand--what if you kept the damage the bosses are doing now the same, kept healers the same, but increased the health of the tanks. Keeping your block solution idea, you'd still not be running into "2 hits and you're done," but healing doesn't have to be completely screwed around with that way. Then you run into the pvp issue. No mage wants a prot warrior to wander into a BG and have 3-4 times the amount of health they do.
Yeah, that's one of the big problems with the idea - that if you up stamina on tanks, does every tank class automatically become insane? Do Death Knights now become ridiculous beasts with a tank/pvp merge? Do ferals? Do warriors? I think that's a serious concern. I also think that the big problem is that you need all healers to be able to heal both raid and tanks as needed, and if you have the tools too different from each other, it won't really work out. If flash heal can't do both raid healing and tank healing, it makes it harder for a holy priest to tank heal if they're the ones assigned. If HoTs are best on tank healing, doesn't that make them insanely good on raid healing? Like I said above - tank health and raid health have to be within a reasonable percentage of each other, or the healing just gets too odd and bifurcated.

So basically, I'd argue that all damage would need to be nerfed, all healing would be nerfed, and all regen would be nerfed. That's how big a change this would be.

I wanted to bring this one up specifically:
So I guess the dilemma I see is keeping average health values around the same as they are now (let's say tanks with 40k health) and they're taking less damage overall, that starts to make tank damage on the same order as raid damage so healing classes that are better suited to raid heal are suddenly the only class you want to have around--and homogenizing the healing classes even further probably wouldn't be a really good idea.
That's a reasonable argument even if you do nerf all healing. However, I think that the tank healers would still have some quality in there. For starters, the big, slow heals can be used - and they're a lot more efficient than the raidwide heals tend to be. They're not good for speed or throughput, but for mana efficiency they're awesome. And in a world where healers can go OoM easily, that's where the tank healing niche will shine, I think - in being the efficient healer. Sure, the raid healer can heal the tank, but they'll go OoM a lot faster.

I guess in my world the raid healer would spend a decent amount of time Oo5R, and the tank healer wouldn't. And that's how you'd separate out the two.

Finally, Yi brought up the elephant in the room (and this goes for healing as well):
Tanking diversity is fun because it makes you shine in certain situations. I would argue that the classes are balanced enough as it is; any class can tank any fight in Ulduar if they choose(how painful it is on the healers is another matter altogether--but then again, weren't they complaining about being bored). But certain classes will stand out, like warriors on the screaming mimi or bears on Ignis. Further homogenization, I fear, would come at the expense of non-standard tank class popularity and the "gasp" factor when you do some amazing, class-specific thing.
I really, truly agree. I think that class/spec homogenization really is starting to hurt things, and having more things like this will only be worse. I like the idea of block tanks trading block for avoidance, I like the idea that tank damage is less per hit than it is now, but I also long for the days that you wanted specifically a druid to tank a certain boss, or a paladin for another - because of their specific, unique mechanics. I kind of miss paladins rolling on specific odd pieces of gear and not wanting that tanking weapon because it had no spellpower. I miss druids and their big armor and that being an advantage. If "flavor" of a class really just means how it looks when it does things but all capabilities are the same, why really have that flavor?

I've suggested several times ways that Blizzard can retain tank balance while giving tank niches, but I don't think they'll do this until a large chunk of their populace express dissatisfaction in it. I've thought that healers should have a similar set of niches, and they're closer to it - but even then, they're becoming more and more homogenized. Really, above all I want them to force tanking niches as part of raiding; that you must cover certain tanking niches in 25-man or you will have a detrimental raid. This is fine for DPS and healing; why not tanking? But time will tell, I suppose.