About talent tree "bloating" and reduction

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Postby DeadMilliken » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:02 am

Ferrosis wrote:
Belarkan wrote:
Ferrosis wrote:what will Combat Expertise enable you to tank that you are currently unable to tank?

It will make the encounters less random since we'll have more life.


I didn't know that Combat Expertise would effect the placement of Infernals on Prince or the grouping of people on Shatters.

Seriously though, if you are already MTing HKM/Gruul/Mags do you really think that an additional 10% health is going to change much beyond people's perception?

(I conceed that it will, perhaps, enable some gear changes to allow for more avoidance or threat - hence my original question - what gear is being rotated in/out.)

People's perception of your tanking ability DIRECTLY CORRELATES to what you get to tank. Never underestimate that.
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Postby Lore » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:05 am

Here's a "baseline" Warrior tanking build that picks up the "essential" talents and only enough extra stuff to get down the Prot tree: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=LV0cZZcEtohMzceot

Look at the options available to that build. It's all situational/flavor stuff. You could pick up Imp Heroic Strike, Focused Rage, or Imp Sunder to spend less rage on threat abilities. You could pick up Imp Shield Wall for a longer duration on your "oh shit" button. If you do a lot of 5-mans, you could pick up Imp Revenge or Imp Shield Bash. A lot of Warriors drop points in Deflection once their gear can put them over the defense cap as well, and in raiding situations where there's another Warrior with Imp. Thunderclap you see a lot of OT warriors dropping the Arms tree to get Commanding Presence and Booming Voice in the Fury tree.

Now look at the "baseline" Tankadin build, which again only takes enough extra stuff to get down the tree: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=sZVhxIx0zMgqtV0x

Looking at options available, the choices made have a lot more impact - and you've only got 5 points left to spend (and even then that's assuming there's someone else there to cast Kings). In order to really get anything out of the "optional" talents, you've got to sacrifice other high-impact talents.

Hell, look at what that build DOESN'T have, and then compare that to what the baseline Warrior build is missing. Reckoning, Imp. Judgement, Spell Warding, Imp. SotC, Guardian's Favor, and Blessing of Kings all have a lot bigger impact than spending 3 less rage on your Sunder Armor.

So basically the difference is, while Warrior talent customization tends to just be flavor differences, Paladin talent customization can have a profound impact on your role as a tank. There are no talents in the Warrior Prot tree that you look at and say "You'd have to sacrifice too much to get that." Meanwhile, the Paladin Prot tree has talents like Imp. Devotion, Imp. Concentration Aura, Imp. HoJ, Stoicism, and now Reckoning in 2.3 that are largely regarded as a waste of talent points because you'd have to give up a much larger benefit somewhere else to get them.
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Postby Lore » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:14 am

Ferrosis wrote:what will Combat Expertise enable you to tank that you are currently unable to tank?

For one... bosses you haven't killed yet. Might not make the difference entirely on its own, but it will certainly help, especially since it works hand-in-hand with Ardent Defender to make our automatic shield wall work a lot more like an automatic shield wall.

For two, I think that's kind of an unrealistic way to compare it to other talents. Sure, a Paladin that currently tanks everything that their guild intends to kill can probably skip on it without any real concern... but what other talent are you going to take that's not as good as 10% more stamina AND fewer dodges and parries? That's generally why it's considered a "must-have" talent - the benefit is so good you'd be crazy not to take it.
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Postby Questioner » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:17 am

Lore, I would agree with you if it were not for one thing. You picked ardent defender but you did not pick imp shield wall for the warrior (similar talents I would argue, hence my point). That puts the two much closer (two talent points instead of 4).

It also goes to show how big of a boost it would be for prot to have parry (in ret) moved to tier 1. Which, incidentally has nothing to do with slimming down the prot tree.
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Postby Dorvan » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:36 am

Fundamentally, here's the problem I see:

-- If Blizzard designs a prot tree with a whole lot of points, from a min/max point of view as a tank you're obligated to simply dump more and more of your talent points into the tree, winding up with a cookie-cutter spec

-- If Blizzard has a more slender tree, there aren't any meaningful choices to be made and the Prot portion of any tank build is still cookie cutter.

I haven't fully thought this idea through, but consider the following:

-- What if Blizzard capped the amount of point you could put into any one tree?

Now at first this seems limiting, but consider what it means. Blizzard could design point heavy trees with lots of interesting options without "forcing" players to spec only into that tree to maximize their effectiveness, and consequently giving them meaningful interesting choices between talents. Obviously it would require some significant redesign of many trees, but it's an interesting idea imo, as I think spec would be much less "cookie cutter".
Last edited by Dorvan on Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lore » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:41 am

Questioner wrote:Lore, I would agree with you if it were not for one thing. You picked ardent defender but you did not pick imp shield wall for the warrior (similar talents I would argue, hence my point). That puts the two much closer (two talent points instead of 4).

It also goes to show how big of a boost it would be for prot to have parry (in ret) moved to tier 1. Which, incidentally has nothing to do with slimming down the prot tree.

The reason I didn't put imp shield wall is that, while Ardent Defender has to be specced to have any effect, Warriors can still use the baseline, 10-second shield wall without speccing Imp. Shield Wall. If you don't spec Ardent Defender, you don't have it at all.
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Postby Grothnir » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:09 am

What it boils down to is this: Warriors have better core-competency for tanking. They have more baseline tanking abilities than we do, and most of them are quite functional, if not optimal, with zero talent points spent. Spending talent points optimizes those abilities, right from the outset. Our talent points have to establish core-competency before they can optimize. And even when talents achieve parity, it takes a larger investment to get there.

Deflection is a good example of this latter issue. They need put only 5 points into Arms to get it. We need to put 10. And the first 5 in that case aren't even that great at endgame (nice for leveling, however, when paladin tanking gear is still nonexistent).

Same thing with Improved Shield block and Holy Shield. Improved Shield Block serves the purpose of CB elimination on almost every boss in the game for 11 points. We need 31 points to get the same benefit. I'll grant that ours comes with a greater associated threat increase, but that doesn't change the fact that we can't even get this CORE NEED of a tank without 20 extra points in a given tree, which pigeonholes builds.

And the bells and whistles are even worse. Defiance will give 6 expertise for THREE points in tier THREE as a secondary effect of a core tanking talent. We will get 5 expertise for FIVE points in tier EIGHT. Again, as a side effect of a core talent.... but that's a serious discrepancy in power per point, even leaving aside total point investment, especially since more of their threat generation will be boosted by Expertise. Theirs is closer to being a primary effect, and they get it as a byproduct of an extant talent they ALL already have.

This is why I feel the Paladin Prot tree is a little bloated. Too many talents are needed there simply to catch up to warrior core ability. The Prot warrior is STILL the baseline "tank." When building yourself to tank, you MUST compare yourself to a Prot warrior, because that is the standard set by the community and the game mechanics. And we need 50+ talent points in Prot, IMO, to catch up to the competencies of a warrior with 40 or even a little less in their Prot tree.
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Postby Dragonzbane » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:31 am

Questioner wrote:I see many people claiming they need 1H spec, precision, imp judgement and avenger's shield. These are all threat talents. The warriors talents trees allows for many many more talents to be possible threat talents.

Yet, they are viewed as personal preference there, and mandatory here?

I disagree and here's why:
Warriors have baseline tanking abilities, we do not.

Because of this they can afford to have a lot of "threat talents" and "flavor talents", they don't need to waste talents on tanking Mechanics.

Regardless of all that, Reality > Perception.

Our Protection tree is the most point heavy tree in the game.
Our Protection tree has close to the most 5 point talents in the game.

You think our tree is fine.

But it's not.
Look at all of the other trees for all of the other classes.

Now go back and look at the Feral tree again.
Last edited by Dragonzbane on Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:41 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Fridmarr » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:35 am

It's also not just the prot tree, I don't really want benediction or improved might, but to get 5% to parry which is a very good tanking talent, I have to spend 5 points there. I don't mind having too many good talents, though point allocations and tiers need to handled carefully even then, but I don't like having to spend useless points either.

Warriors, by comparison don't have this problem really, if they want Improved Thunderclap, which is tier 2 arms, they have a good tier 1 talent to pickup, they'd probably have whether then went to improved thunderclap or not. With bloodrage and Tactical Mastery in tier 1 protection being decent enough that once they get geared they drop anticipation they end up with points to play with. Our hand is far more forced in both tier 1 prot and tier 1 ret, we need to spend points there, and we certainly don't have more than one (imo we don't even have one) good choice between the two trees.

I could also live with Sanctuary not being linked to holy shield, though I suppose warriors wouldn't mind unlinking concussion blow from shield slam, but at least their shield spec linkage is pretty nice.
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Postby Zand » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:38 pm

Part of the issue isn't just bloating, it's poor positioning.

There's also just talents that a "tanking" Paladin wouldn't get, but a Holy or Ret Paladin would love to be able to grab.

1.) Redoubt - Ok, this one just needs to get rewritten, and moved. Put something a Ret Paladin would like to get, and put Improved Devotion aura as the pre-req for Shield Specialization.
2.) Guardian's Favor - Rather see this in the early ret tree
3.) All the Tier 4 Talents (Stoicism, Improved Hammer of Justice, Improved Concentration aura). Let's shift one or two talents down the tree a bit to be more accessable to non-Protection Paladins, and put something worthwhile for us here.

I would say some talents need to be shift to 3 pts rather than 5 pts or rolled into combo talents (Anticipation, Reckoning, 1h-spec - 3pts). Roll Spell Warding into Improved Righteous Fury.

Why do we need 2 talents that raise our stam?

Lastly, Give Holy Shield as a baseline Paladin skill, and make Improved Holy Shield the 31 pt talent.

Ok, I really hate that I just rewrote the Paladin talent tree a bit, because I KNOW none of this is going to happen like I'd want it to.

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Postby Melathys » Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:03 pm

there are -two- blessings to pick up in the protection tree. why? we can only have one blessing at a time (assuming self cast). To me, that's a prime example of being bloated. One of the blessings is quite possibly the best buff in the game, the other you need to pick up to get into the 41 talent.
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Postby Zand » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:24 am

You know, if you think about it, we have THREE Stamina buffs in the Protection tree o.0.

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Postby Havn » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:17 am

The biggest problem is how bloated the prot tree is at the top. Tier 7 and 8 are so important to the tankadin come 2.3 and yet there is no way to get those 4 skills without breaking the 41 pt barrier. Which really messes with any sort of hybrid. The problem isn't that we have to make choices it is that we have to make those choices on some of our most important talents. We don't get the choice of more threat or more mitigation. It is lose mitigation if you want to stay at 41pts. It really shouldn't be that way because if you choose holy you already take a mitigation hit. As a hybrid you should have to make the choice of ret/holy. Do you get illumination or do you get deflection/imp judge/impsotc?

Would be nice if blizzard slimmed some things up or just repositioned them.
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Postby Marle » Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:24 pm

I was thinking about skipping Reckoning and Anticipation to free up enough points to spend on the improved Ret talents, then realised that I actually couldn't get further down the tree without spending points on either Improved Devotion Aura (which is quite nice) or the useless talents like Guardian's Favor and the entirety of tier 4 (which aren't).

I don't so much mind having so many 5 point talents, but why do they all have to be at the bottom? >_<
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