With all the crazy new shenanigans going down, now’s as good a time as any to get my thoughts sorted out about the whole thing. It’s been a week and a half since 4.0 went live, and I’ve tanked the whole spectrum (heroics, raids and pugs). There’s positive highlighting and negative highlighting, as with most major changes.
How survivable are we? Are we still good tanks?
Very and yes.
With the introduction of Mastery and the changes to Savage Defense, our survivability in raids has sky-rocketed, even with the decrease in armor and even with the increase in damage some of these bosses have gotten. In addition, ICC has had its dodge debuff lifted, so the chances of getting a savage defense absorbed hit is inflated.
I, myself, am taking considerably less damage than I was before 4.0 came out. Some of that is more dodging, yes, but a lot of that comes from large Savage Defense absorbs, which, by the way, IS affected by Vengeance. The more damage I take, the more AP I have, the bigger my shields become. It’s insane. And it may or may not be causing me to “stand in fire” for vengeance.
Compare, for example, my logs from this week(and last week), to the week before 4.0 came out: This week - Pre-4.0 Keep in mind, that my avoidance was higher, and that the Pre 4.0 fight was slightly longer so I had 1, maybe 2 more soul reapers slapped on me, but… Overall, 2+ million less damage taken? That’s not even fair! And yet it’s so beautiful I could cry.
Bears are still very much excellent tanks. Our single target threat has the potential to be off the charts(and by extension, our DPS), and our AoE threat is nothing to sneeze at. I know plenty of you probably just gawked at that last comment. I’m okay with this.
Vengeance – I’m in ur raid, stealin ur dps
Vengeance is… interesting. I like it, but I hate it. The mechanic itself feels very broken, and is incredibly overpowering at 85. I have a feeling it’s going to be toned down or changed somehow. No DPS likes being taken out by the tank on damage done.
However, that’s precisely why it’s so much fun and why I like it so much. The amount of damage potential bears had pre 4.0 was pretty good, compared to the other tanks. The amount of damage potential bears have now, with vengeance, is insane. Seeing those huge numbers and my DPS creeping up the charts, bypassing all the BiS geared DPS, make me giggle like a little school girl. In fact, the only thing that’s more giggle-inducing right now is tab-dotting SW:P on my Shadow Priest and running around like an idiot just so I can see an army of shadow clones create a wave of shadowy death and destruction. (Hide your kids.)
If vengeance is so fun, why do I hate it? Well, several reasons. For one, it’s starting to feel like a crutch and like I can’t operate or hold threat from my guild’s DPS without it. Example? I did an Ulduar 10 for random achievements (fork-in-eye). The entire time I was struggling to keep my head above the DPS because I simply wasn’t taking enough damage, even in DPS gear, so my threat remained relatively low. Vezax was terrible. Like I said, you start to look for ways to take more damage so you can hold threat (or to see bigger numbers). Something tells me that’s not the intent.
Another, while I understand why it happens, is it decays so quickly when you aren’t getting hit and when you’re out of combat. One moment I could have 70% vengeance, a few seconds later, I could have dropped below 50%. Dodge directly affects vengeance gain. I believe, in combat, vengeance decays 5% every 2 seconds, regardless of whether or not you’re getting hit(10% out of combat). If you get a string of dodges in a row, your vengeance will be dropping, though hopefully by then you’ll have a big enough threat lead that it shouldn’t matter.
Vengeance does not gain when an attack is fully absorbed and will only calculate the gain based on how much actual damage you took on a partial absorb. This works against our Mastery. The more Vengeance we have, the bigger our bubbles are. The bigger our bubbles are, the less Vengeance we gain. The more Mastery we have, the bigger our bubbles, the less our Vengeance. See how this works against itself? While I don’t see this as an issue now, or for the first few tiers of raiding in Cata, it could become an issue to the point where we may have to reforge out of mastery.
There will be more to come in the next few days; I had to break it up more than I thought. Stay tuned. :)