Blizzard's Current Direction With Prot Warriors

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Blizzard's Current Direction With Prot Warriors

Post by Heartwood » Thu Sep 04, 2008 1:58 pm

From here.

Wall o' text coming...

As I said before, whether Protection shoud be viable for PvP is controversial. People on the extreme of both sides of the debate should be able to see pretty clearly that there are plenty of others who don't see their point of view. It's not an argument that is going to be won by debate, consensus or vote.

As I've also said, there are some things we want to do with Prot to improve it. We could make a very fat, very boring tree with 30 talents that promise excellent passive mitigation. I don't think that's going to make warriors any more fun to play. Here's what we'd like to do instead:

Add some more fun abilities to the tree. Warbringer is one such ability. It may not be something everyone will use, and honestly, we're cool with that. Some talents should be optional. We also know some tanks, even hardcore endgame ones are excited about the ability. As a tank it could be a good source of rage (Yes, we know you lose all your rage when stance dancing -- the design of Warbringer is not that you stupidly lose all your rage when you change to Battle Stance and then say oops.) It could also help your mobility on fights where you need to zip around a lot to put out fires -- that's part of tanking too. It's not all sitting there and getting hit by Brutallus.

To make room for some of those abilities, you have to have some options. The classic tanking build from BC doesn't leave you a lot of free talents. We need to combine a few mitigation talents together to buy you some space. Also, must haves like Imp Heroic Strike and Imp Thunder Clap may not be must haves anymore, because...

We're buffing Prot's dps. A lot. This is going to help with threat, and will make doing dps with a prot build (whether as OT, MT, leveling or doing daily quests) more fun. A lot of abilities that do +threat now are going to be doing +damage instead. You are going to see crits from Thunder Clap and Conc Blow that might blow your mind. You're going to hit Thunder Clap and have mobs stick to you long enough for you to use some other abilities. Oh and If you haven't tried Retaliation while tanking yet, it rules. For those who never got to enjoy the joys of Shield Slam with crazy +block, you'll soon get to.

Warriors lost a very comfortable tanking niche with the removal of crushing blows. We need to make sure there are still good reasons to take a Prot warrior. Vigilance and Safeguard are good starts there, but we're also looking at buffing signature abilities like Spell Reflect. A lot of the recent changes were intended as buffs, not nerfs. We'll get you your Expertise back. We'll get you your cheap Devastates back.

As we start to get the talent trees in better shape, we're going to be able to get a better handle on the state of balance. Simultaneously, people in the beta will start venturing into heroics and Naxx. This will start to give us some data for the first time on whether L80 Prot warrior threat or mitigation is too low compared to other classes. If it is, we'll fix it.

I mention that because we designed Vigilance not as a band-aid to fix Prot warrior threat (because we don't know if it's too high or low yet) but because we thought it would be fun. Use it on that reckless warlock who likes to pull aggro and you turn a weakness into a strength. Use it on your fragile healer and you can, yanno, actually *protect* them. Instead of having to say "Please wait for 3 Sunders before you attack" maybe people will say "That tank has Vigilance -- no way you'll pull off him."

We're not done with the trees yet. We still welcome your feedback on these concepts and abilities, but all this rerolling talk is quite premature... and almost always is. ;)
At the brink of danger I stand. Clad in armour, shield and sword in hand.

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