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"A treatise on Paladin Tanking"

Warning: Theorycraft inside.

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"A treatise on Paladin Tanking"

Postby anariana » Wed May 30, 2007 7:52 am

This is my first post on these forums so I first wanted to say Hello.
The reason that I post today is that I want some opinions from experienced tanks. When TBC came I rerolled and have been protection ever since. As I finally hit 70 and got my attunments I re-joined my raidgroup who had started working on Karazhan while I was leveling. My gear is still a bit bad (10k HP and the Libram left for uncrushable). I have done a try at Attunemen but my healers had problem keeping me up so I've mostly been trash tanking and healing on bosses until I could upgrade my gear more.
As part of a disscussion on what improvement could be made for me, one of our resident theory-crafters decided to take a closer look on paladin tanking and this is what he came up with:

At first, I was really impressed. The potential for burst threat generation is amazing and in an undead place like Karazhan it’s even better. I would really take a very skilled warrior to live up to a rather average paladin tank in that area. Putting the ease of group tanking and triple target taunting on top of that, it makes the paladin tank a damn hot choice.

On the defensive side, the paladin is no protection warrior, no news here, but when you look at actual application of damage avoidance and mitigation, you’ll very quickly see that getting a crushing blow here and there once in a while isn’t really that big of an issue. It’s not ideal, but not really that much of a problem either. Same to some extend applies to critical hits. Considering the paladin tank would spend more time as OT then MT, some additional healing shouldn’t be that much of a problem, considering that a huge chunk of it would be covered by already occurring overhealing on warrior tanks.
I did a little boring math and ended up with less then 10% additional healing required – something that every raid should be able to handle easily.

As a matter of fact, a paladin can become uncrushable using the proper gear and Holy Shield. Actually in this area the paladin will do a better job then a warrior after 2.1 since the amount of charges per time will be higher then on Shield Block.

A paladin can also become “uncritable” like a warrior, simply by wearing warrior gear. This route however is more of a theorycraft exercise since it’s not viable due to a massive hit the threat generation making a such geared paladin a great tank who can’t hold aggro worth a damn – at least when not tanking undead mobs.

However, by definition the paladin’s damage reduction talents are significantly lower then those of a protection warrior. A protection warrior reduces all damage by 16% while the paladin tank by only 6%. In case of spell damage, the paladin receives 10% less damage while the warriors receives 16% less and is able to avoid spell damage with Spell Reflect in many cases.

Gear is a real problem. To bring the rather complex problem down to a simple sentence: a paladin tank needs 3 more stats on his gear.
This leads to the fact that a paladin will never reach the defensive numbers of a warrior tank, it’s plain impossible due to WoW’s item design system. Having a lower base stamina doesn’t help here either and the HP boosting talents of both classes differ only in 1% in favor of the paladin.

Considering the above downsides, a paladin can still be a great tank on the same level as warriors or druids are. Compared to a warrior however, the paladin needs to be significantly better geared to mitigate the same amount of damage. This is the point where the paladin tank concept fails for me, since the actual raids show the exact opposite situation of what the paladin needs: when we hit a new place, we will be by definition undergeared, not the other way around. Interesting logic there, Blizzard…

Conclusion so far: paladin tank is a secondary choice. If you have a warrior or druid tank, you take those over a paladin any time of the day, especially once you are past Karazhan.

When we look ahead into future raiding, the situation becomes even worse for the paladin. In the raid places ahead of us, starting with real 25 man ones, a tank is facing massive spell damage that requires Spell Reflect, Mana Burn and even Silence rendering the paladin tank completely useless. To make things worse, even SSC has bosses designed for warrior and feral tanks requiring 15k+ HP – a value that’s close to impossible for a paladin tank to reach by then.
The final end to paladin tanking right now is The Eye: silence and magic-immunity combined with massive spell damage leaves the paladin tank either dead or unable to tank.

This leads to only one conclusion: paladin is a great class for instance tanking, but serious raid tanking is simply not an option unless Blizzard redesigns encounters. It also means that it is simply a waste to invest into paladin tanks. It might sound harsh, but that's just the way Blizzard has put things for paladins.

Any raid that is serious about raid progression does not want paladin tanks. We of cause are not that hardcore, but have to ask ourself the same question. What do we do if we establish a paladin tank who then turns out to be unable to fulfill his role and will need to be replaced with a feral or a warrior? Is it even worth going there? SSC and The Eye might seem like something in a far, undefined future, but time always moves faster then you expect it.


Some of these things doesn't match the impression I've gotten. I'm mainly thinking of details like the the viabilty of warrior gear, I had a feeling that CB with a spelldamage enchant as well as ring enchants should last me quite some time. But I've heard the same things about the Eye... so I wonder if the future is as grim for me as he fears?
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Re: "A treatise on Paladin Tanking"

Postby Caerdwynn » Wed May 30, 2007 8:03 am

anariana wrote: On the defensive side, the paladin is no protection warrior, no news here, but when you look at actual application of damage avoidance and mitigation, you’ll very quickly see that getting a crushing blow here and there once in a while isn’t really that big of an issue. It’s not ideal, but not really that much of a problem either. Same to some extend applies to critical hits.


I stopped reading after these sentences.

Not that big of an issue? When one crushing can wipe a raid and waste 20 minutes, I call that a big issue.

*shrug* Just my jackass opinion.
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Postby Lore » Wed May 30, 2007 8:07 am

Your theorycrafter has a lot of his information wrong.

First and foremost, becoming uncrittable is something EVERY tank does, and is not a "massive" hit to threat generation.

Secondly, Warriors do not reduce ALL incoming damage by 16%. They have 10% reduced physical damage from defensive stance, and another 6% reduced SPELL damage from imp. defensive stance. That puts them at 10/16 where we're at 6/10, still a difference but not nearly as bad as he puts it.

A paladin tank also does not need 3 more stats on his gear, I don't know why he thought that. The only stat we *need* that Warriors do not is spell damage. However, we do not need Strength.

I've been able to get well over 15k HP raid buffed with no commanding shout. I know some Tankadins who are over 15k HP completely UNbuffed.

He also seems to have read part of my thread about The Eye and decided that meant Paladins can completely not tank there. This is untrue. It's a bit annoying, but it's workable, and as far as anyone else is concerned there's no difference. Silence and mana burns make things annoying, not impossible. Also, we've killed Void Reaver and High Astromancer Solarian, and I've tanked all the trash on the way to both (which is just about all the trash in the instance) - there are no magic immune mobs.

Oh, and hi, I'm a Paladin tank in a guild that's serious about raid progression. My armory is a bit off at the moment while I'm in the middle of getting my gear restored, but I'm confident that the other members of this forum will back me up.

EDIT: And yeah, like Caer said, his statements about crushing blows and crits betray that he really doesn't understand tanking all that well.
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Postby Jensaarai » Wed May 30, 2007 8:40 am

Echo Lore, complete BS.


Not able to reach 15k+ HP by SSC? Wake up buddy, I had over 17k last night with no flask and I still need a new neck, shoulders, chest, shield, and trinket before I go into SSC (or I'd like to).

Uncrittable wearing "warrior" gear? I prefer 'wearing "tank" gear.'

uh oh quiz time
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Endüre - 85 Prot Warrior (Lost Isles - US)
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Postby Sabindeus » Wed May 30, 2007 8:43 am

what Lore said. this guy doesn't know what he's talking about.
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Postby Kathryn » Wed May 30, 2007 9:55 am

I can only Echo Lore here. This guy has 1) pre-conceptions and 2) mis-information.

Druids are Better OT, but we are definatly better than Druids as MT atm. The fact we have access to Potions, AD, and arguably Plate (warrior ish) gear makes us once we get some epics on us (ie: when you get a full Karazhan Tank set and some T4..), we are better than druids right now.
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Re: "A treatise on Paladin Tanking"

Postby Raskii » Wed May 30, 2007 10:56 am

Basically just going along with everyone else here in agreeing with Lore. This guy doesn't know tanking in general, let alone Pally tanking.

On the defensive side, the paladin is no protection warrior, no news here, but when you look at actual application of damage avoidance and mitigation, you’ll very quickly see that getting a crushing blow here and there once in a while isn’t really that big of an issue. It’s not ideal, but not really that much of a problem either. Same to some extend applies to critical hits. Considering the paladin tank would spend more time as OT then MT, some additional healing shouldn’t be that much of a problem, considering that a huge chunk of it would be covered by already occurring overhealing on warrior tanks. . .

Wow, there's just so much in this paragraph. . . OK, let's just go through it in order: If you've tanked (or healed, for that matter :P), you know that 99% of the time your tank is going to die to spike damage. Times when you don't have the time to get a heal off because the damage taken is so much more than expected. Very, VERY rarely do you have encounters where the tank dies because the healers can't handle a steady rate of damage.

Also, a Pally should ALWAYS be the MT on an encounter were their tanking. As OTs we have a much harder time generating threat since so much of our TPS is based off reactive damage.

And what the heck does he mean by "a huge chunk of [healing] would be covered by already occurring overhealing on warrior tanks."? Is he saying that he thinks we get healed by that "extra healing" that the Warriors dont get from overheals?!?

As a matter of fact, a paladin can become uncrushable using the proper gear and Holy Shield. Actually in this area the paladin will do a better job then a warrior after 2.1 since the amount of charges per time will be higher then on Shield Block.

Hrm. This appears to be the only paragraph that he actually got right. . .

A paladin can also become "uncritable" like a warrior, simply by wearing warrior gear. This route however is more of a theorycraft exercise since it’s not viable due to a massive hit the threat generation making a such geared paladin a great tank who can’t hold aggro worth a damn – at least when not tanking undead mobs.

Actually, it's FAR easier for a Pally to become uncrittable than it is to become uncrushable. And many "Paladin" tanking items include both Defense and +Spell Damage/Int. It's the uncrushable part that we have to sacrifice our Spell Damage for, not the uncrittable one.

And even when we're just starting out and we DO have to sacrifice some +Spell Damage, we still get enough from our weapon, enchants, and elixirs that we shouldn't have any problems holding agro.

However, by definition the paladin’s damage reduction talents are significantly lower then those of a protection warrior. A protection warrior reduces all damage by 16% while the paladin tank by only 6%. In case of spell damage, the paladin receives 10% less damage while the warriors receives 16% less and is able to avoid spell damage with Spell Reflect in many cases.

I don't even know where he's getting his information, but I hope it's not from a Warrior tank. . . 16% damage reduction? It's 10% vs. 6% and that's applied AFTER armor mitigation. So the practical damage reduction is only going to be 2%-3%.

And, while we do have a little bit of a problem with casters, it's not as bad as he makes it out to be. In any raid there's going to be CC available and, even if there's not, we actually have the same Spell Damage damage reduction as Warriors do thanks to Spell Warding (which, added to Imp. Righteous Fury, gives us 10%).

Gear is a real problem. To bring the rather complex problem down to a simple sentence: a paladin tank needs 3 more stats on his gear.
This leads to the fact that a paladin will never reach the defensive numbers of a warrior tank, it’s plain impossible due to WoW’s item design system. Having a lower base stamina doesn’t help here either and the HP boosting talents of both classes differ only in 1% in favor of the paladin.

Gear is a problem. In fact, it's our single biggest one. But we don't need more stats. We just need different ones. Where Warriors rely on Hit and Strength, we need Spell Damage and Int. And there IS endgame gear designed specifically for us. Hell, you can find some darn good Pally-specific tanking gear without even looking to raids (ok, so this is a bit of a stretch, I don't know that you could realistically get items like Boots of the Righteous Path unless you already have some Kara gear, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN :P)!

Considering the above downsides, a paladin can still be a great tank on the same level as warriors or druids are. Compared to a warrior however, the paladin needs to be significantly better geared to mitigate the same amount of damage. This is the point where the paladin tank concept fails for me, since the actual raids show the exact opposite situation of what the paladin needs: when we hit a new place, we will be by definition undergeared, not the other way around. Interesting logic there, Blizzard…

We do need to be well geared, but that's true of any tank, no matter what their class is. And I definitely wouldn't say we need to be "significantly better geared" than a Warrior or Druid.

Conclusion so far: paladin tank is a secondary choice. If you have a warrior or druid tank, you take those over a paladin any time of the day, especially once you are past Karazhan.

To quote an old teacher of mine "Bushwah!" This is 100% opinion.

When we look ahead into future raiding, the situation becomes even worse for the paladin. In the raid places ahead of us, starting with real 25 man ones, a tank is facing massive spell damage that requires Spell Reflect, Mana Burn and even Silence rendering the paladin tank completely useless. To make things worse, even SSC has bosses designed for warrior and feral tanks requiring 15k+ HP – a value that’s close to impossible for a paladin tank to reach by then.

Flat. Out. Wrong.

The farther we get, the better the situation becomes. We start getting more Paladin specific gear and better itemization on our Tier tanking sets. As for the 15k Health. . . I'm a) not even Prot (only have 18 points in it ATM) and b) I've only got 1 piece of Kara gear (Mantle of Abrahmis) and if I buff and pot up, I can break 15K! :shock:

And if Spell Damage or Silence was going to break a Pally tank, then we'd have never been able to tank Steamvaults with it's Oracles or any one of the numerous caster bosses in 5mans.

The final end to paladin tanking right now is The Eye: silence and magic-immunity combined with massive spell damage leaves the paladin tank either dead or unable to tank.

No comment here. I've never even been TO the eye let alone tanked it. However, I will point out that once, people thought we couldn't tank Kara until we did. People thought we couldn't tank Gruul until we did. Well, if it wasn't able to stop us before, I somehow doubt it's gonna stop us now!

This leads to only one conclusion: paladin is a great class for instance tanking, but serious raid tanking is simply not an option unless Blizzard redesigns encounters. It also means that it is simply a waste to invest into paladin tanks. It might sound harsh, but that's just the way Blizzard has put things for paladins.

Again: this is flat out, 100%, pure opinionated speculation on his part.

Any raid that is serious about raid progression does not want paladin tanks. We of cause are not that hardcore, but have to ask ourself the same question. What do we do if we establish a paladin tank who then turns out to be unable to fulfill his role and will need to be replaced with a feral or a warrior? Is it even worth going there? SSC and The Eye might seem like something in a far, undefined future, but time always moves faster then you expect it.

Paladin tanks are relatively new to the game. We come from a class that's generally been relegated to the back, healing. It's going to take some time and effort on our part to change that view.

But, like everyone here, we know that day is coming when Pally tanks and Warrior tanks will walk, hand in hand, down a street strewn with the bodies of our fallen foes (and the occasional Druid that thought he could tank :P)!
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Postby Lore » Wed May 30, 2007 11:05 am

Just to nitpick again, I see this pop up from time to time - Yes, a damage reduction of 10% compared to 6% after armor is only a difference of 2-3% overall, but it's important to remember that 10% compared to 6% after armor is still a difference of 4%. A Paladin wearing the same gear as a Warrior is still going to take 4% more damage than the Warrior would.
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Postby Kathryn » Wed May 30, 2007 11:28 am

Lore wrote:Just to nitpick again, I see this pop up from time to time - Yes, a damage reduction of 10% compared to 6% after armor is only a difference of 2-3% overall, but it's important to remember that 10% compared to 6% after armor is still a difference of 4%. A Paladin wearing the same gear as a Warrior is still going to take 4% more damage than the Warrior would.


Indeed, but i found myself having more armor than my fellow warriors though. And None of the Prot warriors in my guild took Imp Def stance for the 6% magic reduction.
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Postby Sabindeus » Wed May 30, 2007 11:36 am

Kathryn wrote:
Lore wrote:Just to nitpick again, I see this pop up from time to time - Yes, a damage reduction of 10% compared to 6% after armor is only a difference of 2-3% overall, but it's important to remember that 10% compared to 6% after armor is still a difference of 4%. A Paladin wearing the same gear as a Warrior is still going to take 4% more damage than the Warrior would.


Indeed, but i found myself having more armor than my fellow warriors though. And None of the Prot warriors in my guild took Imp Def stance for the 6% magic reduction.


They're dumb.
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Postby Alixander » Wed May 30, 2007 11:44 am

Sabindeus wrote:They're dumb.
QFT.
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Postby Kathryn » Wed May 30, 2007 11:44 am

Sabindeus wrote:They're dumb.


Not really, on a 6000 magic dmg to them, they take 380 more dmg than if they had taken Imp Def Stance, wich is a low portion of a 19k HP pool. And when you consider where they put those point to: Imp thunder clap is more valuable since a larger portion of dmg intake still comes from Physical dmg. Except on gimmic fights like Hydross.

We don't have a lot of DPS warrior (IE: 1)

Before making judgement and calling ppl dumb with WoW Forums 1-liner, at least ask why.

Alixander, leave the QTF quote posts on the WoW forums this is not the place.
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Postby Sabindeus » Wed May 30, 2007 11:58 am

Kathryn wrote:
Sabindeus wrote:They're dumb.


Not really, on a 6000 magic dmg to them, they take 380 more dmg than if they had taken Imp Def Stance, wich is a low portion of a 19k HP pool. And when you consider where they put those point to: Imp thunder clap is more valuable since a larger portion of dmg intake still comes from Physical dmg. Except on gimmic fights like Hydross.

We don't have a lot of DPS warrior (IE: 1)

Before making judgement and calling ppl dumb with WoW Forums 1-liner, at least ask why.

Alixander, leave the QTF quote posts on the WoW forums this is not the place.


You'd have a point if it were somehow impossible to get both Improved Thunder Clap and Improved Defensive Stance in the same build. Since it isn't, those warriors are dumb. There are plenty of fights in the game that do both primary and secondary magical attacks. The only reason not to take this talent is if you're not serious about endgame tanking.

6000 is a significant hit to a 19k health pool. Improved Defensive Stance could be the difference between holding on just a little while longer until the heal lands, or dying on the spot.
Last edited by Sabindeus on Wed May 30, 2007 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Alixander » Wed May 30, 2007 11:58 am

Kathryn wrote:Alixander, leave the QTF quote posts on the WoW forums this is not the place.
Even if I actually agree with it, and have not been the first one to do it lately?

The fact is that warriors have a distinct advantage over us when fighting caster mobs in terms of abilities and threat generation. Maybe I'm biased for being a paladin, but if I played a warrior I would want to capitalize on said strength. But that's just me.
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Postby Sabindeus » Wed May 30, 2007 12:01 pm

Kathryn wrote:
Sabindeus wrote:They're dumb.


Not really, on a 6000 magic dmg to them, they take 380 more dmg than if they had taken Imp Def Stance, wich is a low portion of a 19k HP pool. And when you consider where they put those point to: Imp thunder clap is more valuable since a larger portion of dmg intake still comes from Physical dmg. Except on gimmic fights like Hydross.

We don't have a lot of DPS warrior (IE: 1)

Before making judgement and calling ppl dumb with WoW Forums 1-liner, at least ask why.

Alixander, leave the QTF quote posts on the WoW forums this is not the place.


Just to expound on my reasoning further, I'm not even saying that Warriors who don't take Improved Def Stance don't have good and valid reasons for not taking it. I'm just saying that a prot warrior who intends to tank endgame content that does not take this talent, regardless of how good his reason is, is dumb. That's all.
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