Stan

Changes to Block in Battle for Azeroth

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A blue post explaining changes to tank's Block in Battle for Azeroth.

Game Designer Sigma posted a blue post dealing with tank mitigation yesterday and today he's back clarifying how Block will work in Battle for Azeroth.

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The value of block now passively increases as you get more and more gear, most notably from shield. Block as a mechanic still scales somewhat linearly throughout the expansion, instead of double dipping with the increased survivability from having higher armor contribution on top of it.

This is the right idea. Since there have been a lot of questions about this--

Block seeming to decrease when you gain armor is mostly an artifact of how we're currently presenting it on the character sheet (which might be worth revisiting). I'll keep using Shield of the RighteousShield of the Righteous as the example since it's a large temporary armor change.

Block now uses similar scaling to armor itself, for the reasons mentioned in my other post (briefly--it's more gear-driven and makes upgrades matter, and allows content to be tuned around higher block values as you proceed further into the game). When you gain a massive amount of armor from Shield of the RighteousShield of the Righteous, you're now at a higher point on the armor DR curve. So adding a fixed amount of armor, which is essentially what block is doing, translates to a lower %.

This is no different from how gaining a buff for X armor would appear to add less mitigation (as a %) if you had Shield of the RighteousShield of the Righteous up--i.e. the way armor as worked for the whole history of WoW. Block just happens to be called out as its own % on the character sheet, so this is more visible. In all cases, gaining more armor will further reduce damage from both blocked and unblocked hits.

We of course could make abilities like Shield of the RighteousShield of the Righteous increase block value as well as armor, so the "block %" stayed similar. But I'm not sure that's what you'd actually want from a gameplay or balance perspective. That's basically saying we'd give block more value during the time when you're already protected by Shield of the RighteousShield of the Righteous. That's the opposite of the usual desire (it would increase damage variance). Letting armor DR work using its natural mechanics, causing an effect like block to have more % value when you have lower armor, seems better.

Summing up, I hope that clarifies a bit more what's going on, and so far I think the biggest outstanding question is whether there's a clearer way to present the block information on the character sheet.

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The first direction we're likely exploring for Brewmaster is to make StaggerStagger the mechanic that is driven by Agility, and ultimately make sure it has similar scaling to the armor-based mechanics on the other tanks. This would not necessitate any large player-facing changes to how StaggerStagger works or how you use it.

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Also, an upcoming alpha build will have a reduced % on all the effects that translate primary stat to armor. They're too high right now because a recent change reduced armor values across the game and didn't change those abilities to conform. It's just a math fix, when it happens.

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Interesting, I didn't even know SotR changed from a total % damage reduction (~50-60%) to only increase armor. This severely hits SotR as a mechanic. Where I'd previously use SotR just when a big baddy is about to finish a large damage magic ability cast (To both "soak" the damage from the ability and auto attacks it does later), this is just no longer the case.

 

I wonder if other tank classes keep their total/magic damage mitigation or if they'll also be slammed similar to Protadins.

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1 hour ago, Yridaa said:

Interesting, I didn't even know SotR changed from a total % damage reduction (~50-60%) to only increase armor. This severely hits SotR as a mechanic. Where I'd previously use SotR just when a big baddy is about to finish a large damage magic ability cast (To both "soak" the damage from the ability and auto attacks it does later), this is just no longer the case.

 

I wonder if other tank classes keep their total/magic damage mitigation or if they'll also be slammed similar to Protadins.

Well, Ignore Pain was removed from Prot Warriors the other day. Stagger for Monks was nerfed so it's only "partially effective" vs Magic dmg. Whatever that means. Marrowrend for DK's only works against Physical dmg now.

Edit: Don't know about DH's or druids.

Edit2: Seems like Stagger only reduce magic damage taken by 20% now, from the previous 40%

Edited by Weltenfeind
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I've read the other post just now (I must have missed it somehow) that was linked in the article. So the plan is to make magic mitigation for tanks a lot lower with the intent of "This ability pierces your active mitigations". This is very similar to how it used to be in Vanilla and TBC (Although in those times, there weren't really any active mitigations other than big CD's).

 

This does mean however that recovery will be even more useful now that it will be harder to mitigate those abilities. Abilities like Death Strike and Frenzied Regeneration will likely be saved (without wasting them) to recover quickly after those hard hits. Of course, this is already the case right now and previously, but some classes might not have these powerful recoveries (Warriors and Monks).

 

We'll probably enter an "expansion era" wherein certain tanks thrive in certain encounters and struggle in others unless these recovery mechanics are also changed to fit the "Healers will just have to heal you up after this happens, regardless of what you do."

 

 

I wouldn't mind it either way, aside from the fact that this would imply there's less for tanks to do. And right now, I already feel I have an easy time compared to DPS roles that have to put in 110% effort to meet the demand for DPS required in progression content (Which right now, is of course non-existent for established guilds)

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So does this means Protection Paladin and Protection Warrior will be viable for PvP again? I remember some insane damage output Protection Warriors could deal in WotLK.

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1 hour ago, Yridaa said:

I've read the other post just now (I must have missed it somehow) that was linked in the article. So the plan is to make magic mitigation for tanks a lot lower with the intent of "This ability pierces your active mitigations". This is very similar to how it used to be in Vanilla and TBC (Although in those times, there weren't really any active mitigations other than big CD's).

I can just tell about Protwarrior, but there has been shieldblock as active mitigation. I remember i had to tank Illidan due to 100% block of his hit. It could be there hasn't been any mitigation on other tanks.

1 hour ago, Yridaa said:

This does mean however that recovery will be even more useful now that it will be harder to mitigate those abilities. Abilities like Death Strike and Frenzied Regeneration will likely be saved (without wasting them) to recover quickly after those hard hits. Of course, this is already the case right now and previously, but some classes might not have these powerful recoveries (Warriors and Monks).

We'll probably enter an "expansion era" wherein certain tanks thrive in certain encounters and struggle in others unless these recovery mechanics are also changed to fit the "Healers will just have to heal you up after this happens, regardless of what you do."

As soon as Blizzard decreases the mitigation, selfhealing gets stronger. I think this is trivial. If you mitigate all dmg, then selfhealing is a nonsense. Other way around - if you mitigate just a small amount, selfhealing is rather strong. This is a bit a misery, all "selfhealing"-tank have to mitigate less then mitigation-tanks. This can lead to a problem on hard-hitter bosses. As long as tanks have different tools to stay alive, there will always be bosses where some tanks are struggeling. Is this a problem? I say yes and also no. It depends on difficulty (normal, heroic, mythic) we're talking about.

2 hours ago, Yridaa said:

I wouldn't mind it either way, aside from the fact that this would imply there's less for tanks to do. And right now, I already feel I have an easy time compared to DPS roles that have to put in 110% effort to meet the demand for DPS required in progression content (Which right now, is of course non-existent for established guilds)

Yes please, give us tanks something relevant to do. But this should more encounter-based than skill-based. Ok, give me a button to press against magic dmg and another against physical...i think this does not change much. But i absolutely agree: atm, DPS is the most difficult part. As long as they dont bring back aggro-management and keep us DPS-racing, this won't change (my opinion).

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9 hours ago, Allseye said:

Yes please, give us tanks something relevant to do.

See...  I just dont get this.

Other than fights like Varimathras, I generally felt like I had something to do.  

If you're bored on Coven you're doing it wrong. 

Even old EN you're dragging Ursoc around the room, keeping him far enough away from the shit that your group doesn't die but not so far that the room fills up... And he was a generally 'boring' fight.

There are countless other examples but I dont feel the need to point out that we're doing something in the fight.  We're keeping people alive in our own way.  

 

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12 hours ago, PatrickHenry said:

See...  I just dont get this.

Other than fights like Varimathras, I generally felt like I had something to do.  

If you're bored on Coven you're doing it wrong. 

Even old EN you're dragging Ursoc around the room, keeping him far enough away from the shit that your group doesn't die but not so far that the room fills up... And he was a generally 'boring' fight.

There are countless other examples but I dont feel the need to point out that we're doing something in the fight.  We're keeping people alive in our own way.  

 

Of course we do. And in mythic there is often more to do as tank. Due to my lack of time, i rarely raid mythic...so it could be my problem i think tanking isnt challenging anymore.

Evtl. is it just me, but i liked tanking much more as i had to play mechanics AND do as much aggro as possible. Tooday it is: taunt, move and press a CD...and do as much as possible dmg. If i want do deal dmg, i play a dd and not a tank. Its just...meh. If you dont get this, its fine. Its not a general statement, its just my feelings about :-) 

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