Vengeance, threat stats, and the future of tanking

Personally, I love Vengeance, even with all of its ups and downs and redesigns. But a recent discussion of Vengeance by math guy Theck over at Sacred Duty has hit the forums, and Ghostcrawler responded with the following.

Ghostcrawler – Why make vengeance so complicated .. really.
We don’t want tanks to do awesome damage just for being tanks. We want tanks to do awesome damage when they are actually tanking. That remains the governing philosophy behind the design.

Remember, Vengeance doesn’t exist to give tanks something fun to do. It exists solely to make sure tank threat stays high when DPS characters are gearing for higher DPS while the tanks gear primarily for survival. Tanks only need to generate high threat when they are tanking, and typically threat is the most important on the most dangerous opponents, which also tend to be those who hit the hardest.

As an aside, if I was able to design WoW solely for me, threat would still be an important stat to gear for. Raiders would scoff at tanks who stacked only Stamina as being bad tanks because they couldn’t hold aggro. It was fun for me back in BWL to try to generate higher threat than the warlocks. I don’t think it was that fun for the warlocks though. I don’t think it was that fun for the rest of the raid when I screwed up e.g. my Heroic Strike use and caused us to wipe without them feeling like they could do anything to resolve the situation except stop DPS. Fortunately, I recognize that WoW would have far fewer players if I got to design it totally around what I find fun. 🙂

Here’s the thing: I used to gear for threat. As recently as early Cataclysm, before the 500% threat increase, I was arguing for hit and expertise gear on tanks. Threat stats and threat generation were important parts of gearing a tank. A good tank didn’t just ignore those stats. Granted, I’ve always tanked on a warrior, and that’s been the lowest damage (and thus, lowest threat) tanking class since The Burning Crusade. But I was always motivated to put out as much threat as I could feasibly arrange and stay alive.

So now I’m forced to consider: Is this a case where Ghostcrawler should be designing for himself? Yes, I understand the argument that it’s not fun for DPS players to have to throttle themselves. But are our only options Vengeance and massive threat or throttling?


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Vengeance, threat stats, and the future of tanking originally appeared on WoW Insider on Fri, 10 Aug 2012 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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