• Bares mostly like the taste of fase!

Tag: Legion

TiB in 2017

January 2, 2017

Hello Guardians!

It’s obviously been a very long time since I’ve written anything on the main blog. There’s a couple of reasons for that which I’ll go into shortly. Further, I wanted to set some expectations for the blog going forward. Much of this won’t come as any surprise, and is probably pretty obvious to be honest. Still needs to be said though.

What Happened

The short answer why I haven’t been posting much is that being a GM in Legion takes a fuckton of effort. I’m sure there are ways that I could be delegating more or doing less, but the truth is I invest a lot of myself into the guild, and that doesn’t leave much to go around for the rest of the stuff I’ve historically been doing. In Warlords there was only one thing to worry about, which was raiding. Now we have a lot more.

I’m not trying to give the impression that I dislike the expansion, I actually quite enjoy it. I don’t really have opinions on most of the systems since almost none of the negatives have affected me in any way. I understand that a lot of people don’t like the legendary system, but at least Guardians mostly don’t have the problems of other specializations.

The long answer is, “I’m bored with the questions people are fixated on.” Or more accurately “I don’t really care about stats.” My attitude can be attributed in no small part to Sunnier’s “Stat Apathy”, but to be honest she’s right. Stats on a single item are going to make an almost inconsequential difference to your success. So small that it will – in 99.9% of cases – be overshadowed by individual performance. Stats start to matter when you consider them on a macro level, or which you start counting them in large amounts. But the sad truth is you’re only really going to have one or two options for a slot in a raid instance, so you’ll pick whichever one has either (a) the highest item level or (b) your preferred choie of secondary stats.

The biggest reason I stopped hanging out in the Guardian Discord channel is I was getting to stressed from having to justify my responses to questions about personal preference between two items whose differences are compeltely trivial. I just don’t care enough about the question to devote my cognitive resources to answering it. I like Discord in some ways, but I think it has also fostered a culture of “I’ll just ask instead of thinking for myself” for the most trivial things. That scares me.

So when I become disinterested with a subject, I don’t care about devoting effort to supporting discussion about it. There are others who can and will do that instead, and that’s fine. Power to them.

What’s Next

We’ll start with the things I will no longer be doing:

  • Stat Weights
  • Maintaining SimC
  • Video Guides
  • Written Boss Guides
  • Loot lists

Basically anything that involved day-to-day work or adjustment is thrown out. I don’t have the time or the effort to care about things that are in the end meaningless, done better by other people, or I no longer have the capacity to produce. That means once Khaelyn completes the ToV guides (if she even does, it doesn’t matter at this point) there won’t be any more. I’m fine with that, and it’ll remove a sense of obligation to do things that honestly, other people are doing way better to begin with.

If that’s what I won’t be doing, what will continue to happen?

  • Guardian Guides (here and WoWhead – and I swear if you post something about malware I will punch you)
  • Gameplay Analysis (things like talents, set bonuses, legendaries, cool trinkets, etc.)
  • Patch Updates
  • Podcast

All of these pieces of content are fire-and-forget, with little maintenance required. The podcast especially is where you will find most of the ongoing discussion of week-to-week things since it’s much easier to simply word vomit than type something coherent for people to read.

The last thing I wanted to mention was the forums. Maelfus and I need to sit down and talk about their future and what I want to do with them. I don’t know yet. Maybe they’ll simply be a way to host the guide, or maybe I’ll use them to post TC work when doing gameplay analysis. Either way, I expect something will change.

I also want to remind everyone that I’m not making any commitments about how often I’m going to post or anything like that. When I have something that I think is useful to say and I want to talk about it, I’ll put it up. Otherwise I won’t. I’ve been paralyzed by the sense of obligation that Legion thrust upon me intially, and it’s only really since Blizzcon that I’ve come to understand that it’s not really my problem.

So really, thank you Sunnier for reminding me to do what I want to do first.

Legion Talent Review

July 3, 2016

Hello Guardians!

For a long time now there hasn’t been many details to talk about that weren’t totally subject to change, or simply easier to talk about on TankCast. However we’ve entered the tuning phase of talents now, and since most of them are mechanically fine it makes sense to finally examine them and see where they are in terms of effectiveness. Obviously some talents are more of a feel or playstyle choice, but there are definitely still informed decisions to be made. So let’s get started.

Level 15 Talents

We have one talent with a very defined offensive and defensive benefit in Brambles, and two talents that generate more Rage which can be used for both offense and defense in Blood Frenzy and Bristling Fur. The quesiton is how good are they at each? Since Brambles is obvious, we need to first figure out how much damage Rage contributes. Since the only way to convert Rage into damage is with Maul, we just determine how much damage one Rage is worth. To do that we follow some simple steps to find the damage-per-Rage (DPR) of Maul:

  • First we define how to calculate the desired value: DPR = (Melee * Multiplier * Versatility * Artifact) * (1 + (Crit+0.1))*(1 – Armor DR)/Rage Cost
  • Then we remove terms that duplicate for Brambles: DPR = (Melee*Multiplier)*(1+(Crit+0.1))*(1 – Armor DR) / Rage Cost
  • Since we know that the biggest difference the Maul Crit trait will cause is 9.1%, we can replace it with an additional constant: DPR = (Melee*Multiplier)*1.091*(1 – Armor DR) / Rage Cost
  • Fill in known constants: DPR = (Weapon DPS + (AP/3.5))*1.5*1.091*0.68/20
  • Simplify: DPR = 0.055641(Weapon DPS + (0.28571*AP))

So it really comes down to how much weapon DPS you have which determines your total Maul damage. The overall contribution from AP is only ~1.5897% per Rage, but how does that stack up for each of the talents? Blood Frenzy is 0.66 RPS per target (or 1 RPS per 1.5s melee), and since Brambles also scales with the number of targets attacking you that is never going to be enough Rage income to overtake Brambles. However Bristling Fur scales with incoming damage, so generally it will end up generating more Rage over time except in sustained AoE situations. Is it enough? The easy answer to that question is unsurprisingly, math.

  • Determine Rage needed to equal Brambles AP coefficient: 0.01589719011X = 0.24 = 15
  • Determine Rage needed per Bristling Fur use: 40*15/1.5 = 400

That tells us the absolute most you would need is to take 400% of your HP in damage when Bristling Fur is active and then spend all of that Rage on Maul. Reality is probably somewhere closer to half that value, which is ~200% of your hp in damage (to get 200 Rage) which is close to 40% per melee swing, which we’ve been told is not going to happen. Therefore we can draw the conclusion that neither Bristling Fur nor Blood Frenzy will ever be equal to Brambles for pure damage. But what about survival?

Let’s start at the other end. Blood Frenzy gives one extra use of either Ironfur or Mark of Ursol every 67.5s per target. The easiest way to look at it is in terms of EHP which simplified, is (HP / (1-%DR)). Using that we can determine how much of an increase in EHP one MoU gives:

  • %EHP Increase = (HP / (1-%DR2)) / (HP / (1-%DR1))
  • Add known Magic DR: %EHP Increase = (HP / 0.567) / (HP / 0.81)
  • Simplify: %EHP Increase = 0.81/0.567 = 1.4285714285714285714285714285714 or 42.857% more EHP for ~10 seconds or so after traits and talents

Unfortunately Ironfur isn’t so easy. We know that any equal percentage increase in Armor generates the same constant amount of EHP, which means the percentage increase in EHP decreases as Armor increases. Instead we’ll have to think about it slightly in the abstract. Consider that the EHP increase from one Ironfur is some value Y. We know that Brambles is esentially a flat EHP bonus since it applies to every damaging event you receive. Therefore in the case of Blood Frenzy, we’re looking at 45 melee swings at 0.24AP each, for a total of 10.8AP. Let’s use a real-world example to see if they’re comparable using a Beta 110 PvP Premade which has 2,296,297 Health, 5572 Armor, and 17,705 AP.

  • Using the values above we know that the you will gain ~1,202,296 EHP with each Ironfur application.
  • Since we would be adding HP for Brambles, we remove the DR to find that we need a total of 714,549 to match Ironfur.
  • 10.8 * 17,705 = 191214 which means Brambles will never come close to Blood Frenzy, or subsequently Bristling Fur.

Now, these assumptions ignore that Ironfur would only last ~10 seconds. However I believe that limitation is handily countered by the fact you can apply the Ironfur whenever you want within those 67.5 seconds, and that EHP has consistently been demonstrated to only valuable when you need it. We also know that HP scales a lot faster than AP making it impossible for Brambles to catch up from starting values this low. Thus while Brambles is clearly far and away the best DPS talent of the three, both Blood Frenzy and Bristling Fur handily defeat Brambles for pure survival.

On the topic of Bristling Fur vs Blood Frenzy, I think Blood Frenzy is a little bit too weak in comparison. There are almost never situations where 3-4 targets are active for long durations. Usually you only end up with 1, or possibly 2. Sometimes you have a large number of targets for 5-10 seconds, but that’s not enough to justify taking Frenzy for difficult content. There should still be a gap, but maybe one not quite so large. I’d suggest nerfing it to 0.75-0.8 Rage per % HP in damage taken.

Level 30 Talents

The only change for movement talents is that Guttural Roars replaces Feline Swiftness (which is now part of Feral Affinity). However there’s a new, additional problem for Displacer Beast. Legion introduces a new “shapeshifting cooldown” which is incurred every time you change forms. That means every time you use Displacer Beast you are prevented from using any damaging abilities for 3 seconds. You can still use cooldowns and trinkets, but that’s not much consolation. Unfortunately this change means that use of Displacer Beast is going to be further restricted to only those instances where a blink is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately I think this punishes Guardians the most out of everyone.

Guttural Roars will end up being the default talent for most raid scenarios since Stampeding Roar can function as both a personal and raidwide movement increase. Wild Charge is clearly great for solo, 5 person, and pvp content. I think Displacer Beast will be the odd one out for this set of talents.

Level 45 Talents

Here we have the new quasi-support “affinity” talents. We’ll set aside Restoration and the passive effects for now, and just look at the pure DPS output of Balance and Feral. To start with, Feral Affinity grants a 35% bonus to energy regenration which is multiplicitive with Haste. However we’ll start with a base value of 135 Energy per second (EPS) for now. Since we don’t have to worry about Primal Fury it’s easy to approximate ability usage.

In order to “accurately” (at least within a reasonable measure of error) we’ll define a cycle as 30 seconds, since that works for both Feral and Balance fairly well. Within that window for Feral we know there will be 1 Thrash, 1 Rip, and some number of Shreds. We also know that we’ll start with 100 Energy and gain 10*1.35*(1+Haste) energy every second. Combine all of that information and we can come up with a formula to approximate Feral Affinity DPS.

  • DPS = ((Melee + Shred)*Armor) + Rip + Thrash
  • Add unique variables: DPS = ((1+Haste)*(Weapon Damage))*0.68+(# Shreds*13.74/30*(Weapon Damage/2)*0.68+(AP*0.6186/30)+(AP*2.19/30)+(80*0.14*AP/30)
  • Determine Shreds: DPS = ((1+Haste)*(Weapon Damage))*0.68+(((20+(30*10*1.35*(1+Haste)))/40)*13.74/30*(Weapon Damage/2)*0.68+(AP*0.6186/30)+(AP*2.19/30)+(80*0.14*AP/30)
  • Simplify: DPS = ((1+Haste)*(Weapon Damage))*0.68+(((20+(405*(1+Haste)))/40)*0.31144*(Weapon Damage/2))+(AP*0.46695333333333333333333333333333)
  • Fill in Sample PvP Data: DPS = ((1+0.1033)*(12750))*0.68+(((20+(405*(1+0.1033)))/40)*0.31144*(6375))+(18450*0.46695333333333333333333333333333)
  • DPS = 9565.611+23171.7795+8615.288 = 41352.6785

It’s worth noting that I’ve excluded all multipliers which are common between both affinities. This includes Versatility, Crit, Mastery, and Artifact Traits. Haste is included because it impacts each of the specs very differently. Additionally I accounted for Cat Form’s doubled AA damage by dividing the Shred multiplier by 2, instead of doubling the AA damage. So, let’s move on to Balance.

Surpriingly Balance is much easier to calculate. All of the spells are purely based on AP, and the only ability that has a varying number of casts in a 30 second window is Solar Wrath. Everything else is fixed. There will be 3 Starsurges, which also means 3 empowered Lunar Strikes and 3 empowered Solar Wraths. There will also be 2 Moonfires and 3 Sunfires. All remaining time is spent on regular Solar Wraths, since its AP/Cast Time value is higher than a regular Lunar Strike. We then combine all of that information to again, come up with a formula to approximate Balance Affinity DPS.

  • DPS = (3*SS+3*ELS+3*ESW+2*MF+3*SF+((30-Total Cast Time)/(1.5/(1+Haste))*SW))/30*NI
  • Add unique variables: DPS = ((3*1.1*4.5*AP)+(1.2*3*3.5*AP)+(1.2*2.2*3*AP)+(2*(0.45+(4*(1+Haste)))*AP)+(3*(0.9+(3*(1+Haste)))*AP)+(((30-(3*2/(1+Haste))-(3*2.5/(1+Haste))-(8*1.5/(1+Haste)))/(1.5/(1+Haste)))*2.2*AP))/30*1.2
  • Simplify: DPS = (35.37AP+(2*(0.45+(4*(1+Haste)))*AP)+(3*(0.9+(3*(1+Haste)))*AP)+(((30-(3*2/(1+Haste))-(3*2.5/(1+Haste))-(8*1.5/(1+Haste)))/(1.5/(1+Haste)))*2.2*AP))/30*1.2
  • Add sample data: DPS = (35.37*(18500)+(2*(0.45+(4*(1+0.1033)))*18500)+(3*(0.9+(3*(1+0.1033)))*18500)+(((30-(3*2/(1+0.1033))-(3*2.5/(1+0.1033))-(8*1.5/(1+0.1033)))/(1.5/(1+0.1033)))*2.2*18500))/30*1.2
  • DPS = (654345 + 179938.4 + 233649.45 + 206186.2)/30*1.2 = 50964.762

So we can clearly see that Balance pulls ahead of Feral pretty substantially. Interestingly enough it appears to be purely because of Nurturing Instinct granting an extra 20% spellpower. If that was reduced back to being equal, Balance and Feral would end up being pretty close together. However I don’t know what the consequences would be for the intended target of Resto, but that would be easy to solve by having Resto grant a healing bonus of some kind. But one remaining question is how does this compare to Guardian DPS?

  • DPS = (4WD*1.2*Mangles*1.15*Armor) + (2.4AP*Thrashes + 0.15AP)*1.15 + 1.2*(0.45AP*Moonfires + ((0.5/2)*Haste)) + (1-Mangles-Thrashes-Moonfires)*2WD*1.2*Armor + Melee*Armor + (Maul*WD*Armor)/3
  • Insert formulae and simplify: DPS = 1.9332857504WD*Haste + (0.4AP*Haste+0.15AP)*1.15 + 0.43AP*Haste + 1.632WD*(1-0.20889*Haste – 0.1666666666666667*Haste – (0.125/Haste))
  • Add sample data: DPS = 1.9332857504*(15937.5)*1.1033 + (0.4*18450*1.1033+0.15*18450)*1.15 + 0.43*18450*1.1033 + 1.632*15937.5*(1-0.20889*1.1033-0.1666667*1.1033 – (0.125/1.1033))
  • DPS = 33994.5945591351 + 12546.3321 + 8753.03055 + 13469.20634270108 = 68763.16355183618

So obviously Guardian DPS (on a single target) approximation beats the pants off of either Feral or Balance Affinity DPS. That’s clearly not the intention because you have no reason to ever shift except for resto, because there’s no benefit. Plus this doesn’t talents or cooldowns. Expect significant buffing of both in order to make them remotely viable beyond passives.

As for, Restoration, it ends up being the only affinity with a distinct survival benefit. This also means it will end up likely being the default selection for most people. I doubt many people will end up using Feral or Balance for actual DPS outside of Mythic raiding or possibly PvP, since those are generally the situations where maximizing DPS is of reasonably high importance. That’s fine, since it harkens back to the Bearcat era anyway.

Level 60 Talents

Here we have the new and consolidated crowd control talents. None of these have changed in function, which means Mass Entanglement is still effectively useless. You’re left with a choice between Mighty Bash and Typhoon, so you’ll end up picking whichever one is most appropriate for the situation. It’s quite a shame that Mighty Bash, out of all of the possible talented stuns for tanks, is by far the worst. Hopefully some tuning ends up being done. Maybe the Guardian version of Bash should be a cleave? I don’t know, but certainly something.

Level 75 Talents

These talents are all about active Rage generation, or generating additional Rage from rotational abilities. At least on paper anyway, in reality you end up with 3 talents that have varying levels of Rage generation and DPS benefit – which is what makes a good set of talents anyway. In any case Soul of the Forest is a good baseline to start with, so let’s look at its total Rage generation. Thankfully the formula remains (almost) unchanged from Warlords, so it’s pretty easy to evaluate.

  • RPS = ManglesPerSecond*Rage
  • Insert formula: RPS = 1/(1/((0.2*(1/(GCD*2))+(0.8*0.2)*(1/(GCD*3))+(0.8-(0.8)*0.2)*(1/(GCD*4)))))*5
  • Convert to Haste: RPS = 1/(1/((0.2*(1/((1.5/H)*2))+(0.8*0.2)*(1/((1.5/H)*3))+(0.8-(0.8)*0.2)*(1/((1.5/H)*4)))))*5
  • Simplify (<3 Wolframalpha): RPS = 1.044445H
  • Sample PvP Data: RPS = 1.044445 * 1.1143 = 1.1638250635

The reason I converted it to a simple equation based off of Haste (or rather, Wolframpalpha did) is because Galactic Guardian also scales from Haste, and I needed a common way to compare the two. In any case, the result is a reasonably simple and accurate equation for determining the tangible value of Soul of the Forest. If we’re to compare it to Galactic Guardian, we need to come up with a way of calculating the number of procs per second.

  • RPS = (Melee+GCD+Thrash DoT)*15
  • Convert to Time: RPS = ((0.1*(1/(2.5/H)))+(0.1*(1/(1.5/H)))+(0.1*1/3))*15
  • Simplify (<3 Wolframalpha): RPS = 1.600005*(H+0.3125)
  • Sample PvP Data: RPS = 1.600005*(1.1143+0.3125) = 2.2828

We can see from the start that Galactic Guardian is nearly twice as good as Soul of the Forest before even considering the fact that GG also scales with the number of targets since it triggers per damaging event. That’s a little unfortunate. GG should be better, but not that much better. But what about Incarnation?

We know that for Rage generation purposes all Incarnation does is remove the CD from Mangle. However that also means you don’t generate any Gore procs because you aren’t pressing buttons other than Mangle (in terms of the best case survival scenario). So at best we’re talking about ((30/(1.5/H))*6)/180 or 2/3H RPS. That’s…..pretty bad in comparison to either of the other two talents. However Incarnation definitely has a redeeming quality in that it allows us to do huge burst DPS for cleave or AoE situations. That fact alone means it will likely see huge amounts of play in Mythic+ dungeon content.

Level 90 Talents

The gut reaction to this set of talents is going to be “why on earth would I ever use Earthwarden“? Well we know that Earthwarden is bad for any situation where incoming damage is split between more than one source, because each charge cannot apply to more than one damaging event whereas GoE would apply to all of them within the 2 second extension. So what we need to is compare the 2 second extension on some number of Ironfurs (since if you’re extending Mark of Ursol then GoE automatically wins) to one charge of Earthwarden.

In a 2 second window at 1.5s attack speed we’ll assume that for the best case scenario Ironfur will affect two attacks. Which means GoE has an equivalent of a 15% EH increase spread over two attacks. We know from using our sample data earlier that we’ll end up with an extra 2 seconds of ~1.2mil EHP, while GoE would grant ~400k for the same period of time. However if you’re able to also have one Ironfur up at the same time (which isn’t that unreasonable with full talents) that value jumps to ~675k which turns out slightly better than the additional 2 seconds of Ironfur, and that doesn’t include the starting 3 charges or the fact you will generate them faster than you would a new Ironfur. What does it all mean?

Take GoE for tanking more than one target, dual wielding targets, magic damage, or where self-healing is important. Earthwarden will probably perform better for you against a standard 1.5s (or slower) swing boss. Survival of the Fittest is merely for more cooldowns, similar to where you would have taken the old Bristling Fur. However you might find that it also performs very well in Mythic+ 5 person content.

Level 100 Talents

So that leaves us with the last talent tier, which is really easy to evaluate. We know that Lunar Beam heals for 24*AP total, however that value is also multiplied by Versatility, Crit, and our Mastery bonus. Using the sample data, we can easily generate a total heal of ~691,465. Unfortunately that only happens every 90 seconds. Healing for ~30% of your HP is no small thing, however consider Rend and Tear over the same period. For R&T to equal that, you only have to take (100(691,465))/6 or 11,524,420 over 90 seconds which is ~128,049 DTPS. That’s a pretty trivial number to reach in any kind of content. In all honesty I’d probably cut the cooldown of Lunar Beam in half for it to be a midpoint between R&T and what Pulverize will end up sitting at.

Speaking of Pulverize, it’s a complete waste of a talent at 8%. It needs to be at least 12% for anyone to consider taking it over R&T.


Hello Guardians!

I know it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted anything here. Frankly, there hasn’t been much to talk about until the last couple of weeks or so. What little Guardian news came out was easy to discuss on TankCast. It turns out having a tanking podcast means there isn’t any reason to make blogposts about trivial things. However since the Legion Alpha has begun that’s all changed.

Before I begin I recommend you check out a few things:

  • Troxism’s tanking feedback document based on his experiences so far in Legion.
  • The tanking feedback that Sunnier and I wrote based on our experiences, and talking to other tanks about Warlords tanking.
  • The latest episode of TankCast.
  • Finally, you should read the original two posts written by Celestalon defining the general goals for tank design going in to Legion. Most of the pertinent discussion has already been folded into the original posts, so be careful when reading the rest of the thread. Hopefully all of these items will provide enough context to support what I’ll be saying for the rest of this post.



I want to start off with a topic that’s generally more subjective – how Guardians “looks and feels” in Legion so far. In my opinion at least this area has experienced significant improvement. The new forms and skins all look fantastic. Just look at this!


I’ll admit to being a little sad that “Ice Bear” is actually “Blue Ghost Bear”, but it still looks amazing. In any case Blizzard has definitely hit it out of the park on that one. Plus the thematic changes of switching towards being an actual bear with high health, armor, some self-healing, and magic damage reduction. It’s actually something I’ve been asking for going back to Warlords beta, as I’m sure some of you will remember. Specifically Savage Defense has been replaced with Ironfur and Mark of Ursoc has been added for magic damage. Both feel fantastic. For flavour, Frenzied Regeneration is now a HoT and is based on the amount of damage taken rather than your attack power. Our new Mastery also fits into this motif rather splendidly.

Barkskin has a new – although it appears unfinished – personal graphic. Some new combat animations have been added to better suit the updated model. All in all the overall game aesthetics of the specialization are fantastic and I look forward to a fully-finished version.

Rotation and Active Mitigation

Unfortunately things kind of go awry from there. Well, partially anyway. The bleed effect on Thrash has been replaced with Lacerate‘s bleed. So effectively Thrash is now an AoE Lacerate. Further, we’ve gotten Moonfire as a – at least it would appear – replacement for Faerie Fire. Lastly, Lacerate now has a 3 second cooldown.

The change to Thrash is one that lots of people – not me – have been asking for, for a long time. Unfortunately it has degenerative consequences to the rotation. Consider the proposed rotation for Legion compared to the previous two expansions:

  • Mists: HT (if needed) > Mangle > Thrash (snapshot – 6sCD) > Lacerate (snapshot – 3sCD) > FFF
  • Warlords: HT (if needed) > Mangle > Thrash maintenance (dyanmic) > Lacerate (dynamic)
  • Legion: Mangle > Lacerate (dynamic – 3sCD) > Moonfire (dynamic)

What you’ve probably figured out is that the Legion “rotation” devolves into a repetition of this sequence: X -> Lacerate where “X” is either Mangle or Moonfire. Moonfire being treated as a filler button because there is no actual reason to press Thrash is just … depressing. How have we gotten to a 3 button rotation that only varies when you get a proc? And even then you just press button 1? How is this fun? There’s no variation, there’s no challenge, and it’s almost impossible to execute it incorrectly. Granted you can add Pulverize – which you likely would for one target – and replace one of the Moonfires with a Pulverize (since you will always have enough Lacerates to refresh it) but…yay?

If there’s no challenge, how are you expected to get any enjoyment out of performing it correctly? I understand that Blizzard wants tanks to have more focus on our Active Mitigation tools and when to use them (thus supposedly shrinking the barrier to entry for new tanks), but since they’re off the GCD they don’t conflict with our primary rotation and thus not exactly hard to utilize to begin with. A lot of the fun in the last two expansions came from timing a Healing Touch to give you the maximum benefit while limiting the impact on your rotation – the fact that tank survival largely degenerated into a world of passivity is a whole other discussion – at least for me anyway.

I think Sunnier said it best when she asserted that tank resource generation was being converted more into a function of time, rather than skill or gear. It makes the outcome easier to balance and more approachable to new players, true. But what’s the cost? Where is the optional complexity we were promised? I don’t see it, and that makes me sad.

Plus the existence of Ion Cannon further confuses the issue. If we’re supposed to time the expiration of Moonfire for a big burst of Rage when we need/want it (which admittedly would be cool), why are we encouraged to shoehorn it in as a filler spell in our rotation? That completely defeats the purpose of Ion Cannon to begin with!

All of my frustration about the damage/resource rotation aside, I really do love the new set of Active Mitigation tools. They feel very “bear-esque” and seem capable at performing their duties while simultaneously having weaknesses that can be used during encounter design, such as bleed damage. As expected I’m fine with this, especially since I’ve been the one asking for these changes for two whole expansions.

End Part 1

When I started this post I didn’t expect to make it a multi-part thing. However I haven’t really had a lot of time to spend with the Artifact traits or talents to form more than a judgmental opinion of them. Some seem wildly overpowered, some seem useless, same old same old. I’ll do another post next week talking about those specifically once I’ve had more of a chance to play with them (since L110 templates don’t exist and I actually have to go GET AP). We’re discussing Guardians over here on the forums, so please post a comment here or on the forums to voice your own opinion.

Until next time!