What every warrior wants

“We need to get bigger guns. BIG FUCKING GUNS!”

- Dick Durkin, Split Second

It’s true. It doesn’t matter what spec, or whether we prefer to solo, raid, or PvP, all warriors want bigger guns. Bigger axes. Bigger spikes on their shoulders. It’s a warrior thing.

And of course we always wish we could do more damage, even protection warriors hiding behind a shield the size of France. In fact, especially protection warriors.

To understand why this is, you have to understand how tanking has changed in Wrath. It used to be all about threat and survivability. You kept the mobs away from your squishies and didn’t die. If you could do that, you were a tank. If you could do that while walking backwards, you were a raid tank. If you could do all that while walking backwards and remembering to interrupt and spell reflect as appropriate, you were golden.

But with the addition of the Death Knight, two new paradigms hit WoW tanks.

  • The paradigm of threat based on damage.
  • The paradigm of all tanks are equal.

Now we have four different types of tank. Notionally they all are equal and it doesn’t matter which classes a raid decides to take, they can all tank almost all of the content apart from the odd specialist enounter. But some tanks are more equal than others. Of Teeth and Claw sums the situation up. Death Knights and Druids do a lot more damage than the shield tanks while tanking. They also do a lot more damage while off tanking (ie. not tanking but using a tank spec). They can also tank all of the encounters.

It’s not a problem in itself. Current content doesn’t lock anyone out, we just have to be cool with the notion that another tank could do exactly what we do but with an extra 500-1000 or so dps, which is significant on progression raids or dps fights.

Then there are paladins who are still probably the strongest AE tanks in the game and are weakest at … actually not weak at anything at all. They also put out a fair bit more threat and damage than warriors although not in the same class as the Death Knight/ Druid.

This was not intended as a whine post. It was just brought home to me last night when we spent a few hours wiping on 25 man Malygos. One of our raid leaders is a protection paladin (why oh why do I always end up playing the same class or role as a raid leader? It means you’re always second choice for whatever it is you want to do) so he decided that he would tank the boss and I could off tank.

This is a three phase fight. Off tanking involves grabbing a few mobs at the start of phase 2. The rest of the time, you’re on dps duty or flying a drake around. The adds are hard hitting, which meant that I needed to spend the whole fight in tank gear. I didn’t even hit 1k dps (for comparison, this was way below the tank). This fight is also a dps race, and I have never felt so much like dead wood in my raiding life.

If I could have put out as much damage as our druids, I would have doubled my dps. That’s a big difference on a progression fight which is a dps check. Far far too big a difference.

Patch 3.1

So excuse me if I lack excitement over the patch notes. What we need is more damage to bring us up to par with the other tanks. That means more damage while tanking and also more damage while not tanking in protection spec. Buffing devastate would be an obvious choice here, it could only benefit deep protection warriors.

Will we get it? I don’t know. There’s nothing in the current patch notes to hint that they might be looking at this. I’d be surprised if they do, I suspect that the main goal of the patch is to sort out PvP in time for the tournament.

Asking for more damage for tanks feels somehow wrong. We never wanted to have to compete on the damage meters. We just wanted to grab adds and hug them close and hide behind our big arse shields and keep everything nicely controlled. But the new paradigm is not one that warriors were designed for.

We could use another pass.