An Ex-Gnome Tank's World

The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be

July 20th, 2008 Posted in Class Discussion, Theorycrafting, Wrath of the Lich King

The NDA has been lifted on Wrath of the Lich King. While it was active, I’ve refrained from speaking about what’s coming, because speculation and rumour are just that. Rochelle made that mistake, and denounced the leaked talents as fake, and now here they are confirmed. Of course, things might change some more between now and live, but it’s interesting to see what’s coming up. It’s a big change in the way things are done.

No more Crushing Blows. That’s the big implication of what we’re seeing. It’s huge, and it looks like Warriors are being repositioned slightly to be more in the manner that Druids tank now. It’s fair that we’re no longer going to be the primary anti-magic tanks – that’s the Death Knights’ job – and versatility is remaining the name of the game.

The change to Anticipation simultaneously concerns me and excites me – from its current 20 Defense it’s being switched to 5% dodge. That’s a massive increase in the avoidance that it gives, but on the other hand, it’s going to make gear flexibility harder. One of the big reasons I currently have 5/5 anticipation is the extra cushion this gives me to swap in resistance and avoidance gear and still remain uncrittable without resorting to Resilience.

I’m having a hard time imagining what Improved Shield Block is for now – previously an essential talent, I get the impression it’s going to be relegated to the league of useless. My main concern is current bosses with the new talent trees – suddenly I’ll be taking a lot more crushing blows because they are still present on the table and I can’t guarantee to block them. This is concerning, and I hope something is done to current bosses to address this.

A combination of Improved Shield Bash and Shield Mastery are going to make for big Shield Slam crits – just the ticket for keeping threat. Add to that Sword and Board and suddenly Shield Slam is even better for threat than before. I look forward tostrings of Shield Slam crits with this (yeah, yeah, I can dream).

Safeguard puzzles me a lot – yes, it’s going to be something you can do as an offtank to reduce incoming damage, but I’m concerned that encounters are going to be written into the game that require timely use of the ability. Talents shouldn’t be required for any encounter. Similarly Critical Block just doesn’t do anything for me, unless we start getting to 50% block value through gear (and how I don’t want that to happen), and even then it looks like a rage starvation opportunity more than anything else.

Finally we have Shockwave. It’s nice, an upgraded Concussion Blow, but I do wonder how often I’ll actually use it. One of those “Oh, $£%!” talents, I guess.

I’ll leave you with this build, which I’m pondering for when WoW 3.0 comes out, most likely a month or so before the expansion. I should mention I’m planning on levelling as Protection, and probably ending up with something like this.

  1. One Response to “The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be”

  2. By Kadomi on Jul 21, 2008

    I have no idea what kind of build I am aiming for to reach the magical 80. Will I go Fury again? Possibly. I was pondering a Fury/Prot hybrid mix, much like the one I used to hit 70. At the same time I love tanking so much that I might be tempted to level as Protection. I’ll just have to see how it all plays out.

    I never thought about old bosses still crushing and us being unable to do anything about it. That’s worrying. The new Shield Block is still the change that puzzles me the most.

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