Chill of the throne
Quote from: Daelo (Source)For Icecrown Citadel, we are implementing a spell that will affect every enemy creature in the raid. The spell, called Chill of the Throne, will allow creatures to ignore 20% of the dodge chance of their melee targets. So if a raid’s main tank had 30% dodge normally, in Icecrown Citadel they will effectively have 10%.
Why are we doing this?
The high levels of tank avoidance players have obtained is making the incoming damage a tank DOES take more “spiky” than is healthy for raiding. Ideally, tanks would be receiving a relatively constant stream of damage over time. This allows healers to better plan their healing strategy, broaden their spell options, and simply give more time to react. Tanks could use their cooldowns more reactively. Instead, the current situation is that if we make a hard hitting melee boss and a tank doesn’t avoid two successive swings then the tank could very well be dead in that 1-2 second window. The use of reactive defensive abilities instead becomes a methodically planned affair, healers have to spam their largest heals just in case the huge damage spike happens.
We’ve been trying to do a fair amount to mitigate the effect of high tank avoidance on the encounter side of things during this expansion with faster melee swings, additional melee strikes, dual wielding, narrowing the normal variance of melee swing damage, and various other tricks. There’s a limit to what we can do, however. So to give us a bit of breathing room we’ve implemented Chill of the Throne. Going forward past Icecrown Citadel, we have plans to keep tank avoidance from growing so high again.
We’ll have this on the PTR soon so players can see the effects inside Icecrown Raid.
Let me start out by saying that it has been a long and fun debate with most of the tanking community over gemming philosophies and the balancing of stats versus the stacking of stamina, but after a long and arduous journey, I am stepping down off my soap box and crossing the picket lines. Blizzard has beaten me into the ground and my philosophies on gearing have changed to adapt to the times. Every piece of gear that I will get from now on will follow what most of the tanking community already does, stamina, stamina, and wait for it….
With the advent of the Chill of the Throne, and the base reduction of dodge by 20%, my theories on avoidance are really going out the window. Currently I sit with about 65% raw avoidance and 53k hp raid buffed with food and flask. If you look at other paladin tanks in our community who gear for pure stamina, forsake the shoulder, chest, and shield enchants, and also dual stam trinket, they buff up to aroun d 60% avoidance for an extra 4-5k hp. With the reduction of avoidance by 1/3 of my total avoidance, it is no longer valuable for me to continue to strive to get that number up. Instead I should gear for pure stamina, and hang up my avoidance hat, so that I can take more back to back hits. Currently my philosophy is that if I can avoid taking back to back hits, then a smaller health pool does not matter. Now, I can say that I will be taking back to back hits quite a bit more often. As a result, I have to prepare myself for that, and give my healers breathing room to get me back up to full. The introduction of Chill of the Throne will place all of the value of survival in the theory of Effective Health.
Now I want to clarify that while I have been a very outspoken and passionate advocate for balancing your set and trying to gear for avoidance, this does not mean that I ever had pipe dreams of walking up to a hard mode ToTGC boss with 45k hp raid buffed and a ton of avoidance. The theory and the discussion was all in the name of min/maxing. When you look at the pure stamina tanks, they only have a few thousand more health than me at the cost of a few percent avoidance. The first, and most important role of a tank, is to ensure that you can survive the encounter with out giving multiple healers heart attacks. Once you understand that you have a cushion of health between the bosses attacks and death, what you do from there is your own opinion. I chose avoidance and armor, others chose stam, but we both made sure that we lived first.
Where to go from here?
I will not be regemming and re-enchanting the gear that I already have, for Trial of the Grand Crusade, it works, my healers are used to my damage, and I have never gotten a complaint that I was “Hard to heal.” However, from here on out, every item I pick up from Trial of the Grand Crusade will get stamina gems and stamina enchants. That means that my 258 gear set will be all stamina going into Icecrown. And in all honesty, I only have 5 or 6 pieces of gear left to be BiS in 258 gear, namely the trophies for the T9.258.
If I got my one wish…
I had hopped that blizzard would counteract the growing phenomenon of stam stacking by creating more fights like General, or even creating a raid wide aura for mana regen. This would be something that would truly reward the tank that gears for avoidance and mitigation, this would validate my hard fought battle with the paladin community. Alas, we are recreating the mistakes of the past and this time I fear they will be even worse than sunwell. The bosses are probably going to hit hard and fast, and our avoidance will be down to nothing. With the fact that healers have an infinite mana pool and the damage that is going to be put out will be considerable, the only option tanks have is to stack a lot of stamina.
My vision of Chill of the Throne would have been something along the lines of mana regen reduction for healers. I am not sure how you would employ such a technique, but you could work out some sort of equation that would work for healers only, because as much as our stamina and health pools are getting out of control, so are the healers mana pools and regen capacity. This seems more along the lines of what blizzard has done throughout the entire expansion. Their solution to creating difficult fights is more damage, more places, more often. The concepts to employ this may have changed, may have been resurrected from Council in Black Temple, and some of them are just plain old do not stand in the fire.
If we could reward smart play, the tanks ability to mitigate and avoid damage, as opposed to soak it, and mana management on the part of the elite healers, we would once again be in a nice balanced place where the talented players would see results when it came to progression, and the people who were along for the ride would be dead on the floor as they were in BT and Sunwell. I remember the days of split second decisions, heal the dps in the fire or heal the tank, one or the other, and make it an efficent heal because your potion is on cooldown and your mana pool is at 15%. I found that there was a different caliber of healer in a successful raid back in Sunwell.
Such is the way of the world. Change is good, and change happens for a reason. The truly successful are those who can adapt quickly to a changing environment and tanks are the best of the best when it comes to that. I will see you all in the “50k unbuffed health” pool…