The Light and How to Swing It: We should never have had a block chance mastery

The early block cap

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

While we’re on a tear talking about what’s been going wrong with tanking in Cataclysm, perhaps we should talking about the mother of all design mistakes foisted upon paladins in this expansion pack. I talk of the block cap in general and the idea of having the protection paladin mastery revolve around block chance in particular. While achieving the cap and working around it is in many ways fun, it was also a terrible move on the part of the class designers to allow such a possibility, for multiple reasons.

The mechanics of block chance

A huge part of the what makes buffing block chance a bad design flows from how WoW operates the combat table. To briefly explain: Whenever a boss attempts to hit you, a 1-to-100 die roll is made, and the outcome lands on a scale that is constantly shifting based on your stats. At the lower range are outcomes like avoidance and block, and at the higher range are outcomes like normal hit and critical hit.

As your avoidance and block chances increase, because they’re at the lower end, they eventually crowd out the stuff at the higher end. With enough avoidance and block, normal and critical hits fall off the table. The roll is restricted to within that 1-to-100 range, and you just can’t roll anything but what you’ve stacked the deck with anymore.

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The Light and How to Swing It: We should never have had a block chance mastery originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 20 Jan 2012 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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