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Are tanks pointless?

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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby Nikachelle » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:01 pm

Malthrax wrote:Is it at all possible that adding a tanking legendary would increase the number of people actively playing tanking characters? in a good way?

Maybe, but it would be rather pointless. Any tank that's actually going to be eligible for the weapon (in the eyes of their guild) is going to be someone who has been there through previous expansions. And there's always at least ONE of those in every guild. Which is what makes it hard to find a main tank position in already well established guilds.
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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby Bladesong » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:04 pm

Wow, this is one of the most thorough derails I've ever seen :D

On Topic: Playing Devil's Advocate, the intent of making threat trivial and adding a more active mitigation system seems to be a move towards making tanking more of a unique experience, rather than just a DPS subset. It will, of course hinge on their ability to make active mitigation engaging, and have room for exceptional players to shine, but not have failure be completely punishing - in other words, a very fine line.

What I don't understand is why the threat increase is causing so much concern. Hasn't threat already been fairly trivial for raiders for the whole expansion? Isn't this just a quality of life improvement for under-geared and/or under skilled tanks doing previous content? If you need more than just survival to keep you interested, then focus on actual damage done instead of threat - it's nearly the same thing and contributes more to the raid.

Off Topic - I laughed my ass off at the D&D comparison! Not only because it's so true, but because my first MMO was Dungeons & Dragons Online, which had NO concept of threat and mobs would sprint right past Warriors and go to town on healers and casters. As someone who has played D&D since the early 80's I was crushed that the game sucked so bad. The Gold Box D&D games were soooooo much better.

Off Topic - I completely disagree with the assessment that dps has some kind of easy job. It could be that I've been playing my tank(s) long enough that I've got a good grasp of how to manage my cooldowns, but right now it is my *opinion* that tanking is actually the easiest of the three jobs. There are some Firelands fights, like Beth'tilac and Alysrazor that I thought were easy until I went in as a healer with a group of friends who are casual and not fully T11 geared. My guild even tried running Beth'tilac on 25 to help gear people up and it was a cluster f***
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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby Shamora » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:04 pm

Malthrax wrote:Also, although every prior legendary has been a weapon, there's nothing saying a tanking legendary HAS to be a weapon...


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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby Steve » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:25 pm

Tanking is as much a social construct as a game mechanic.

It's the inevitable result of specialization, which is a human/social phenomenon. Even in the PvP style encounters people mention, the function of mitigating damage done by a specific opponent is employed -- whether that be in terms of stuns, snares, and other forms of crowd control. That function is usually assigned and typically done so in regards to some criteria, not all of which will include game mechanics.

That would be true even in the case of a more arcade style dodge/parry/block system. If a threat component were involved, you'd probably still choose the people to tank the encounter who were best at dodging/parrying/blocking. If threat worked differently, you can be nearly certain people would try to reverse engineer the AI and figure out how to get the enemy to attack the players best equipped in terms of game mechanics and playing skill to deal with it.
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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby Sabindeus » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:23 pm

Shamora wrote:
Malthrax wrote:Also, although every prior legendary has been a weapon, there's nothing saying a tanking legendary HAS to be a weapon...


Talisman of Binding Shard


... was never in game.
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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby lythac » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:35 pm

Sabindeus wrote:
Shamora wrote:
Malthrax wrote:Also, although every prior legendary has been a weapon, there's nothing saying a tanking legendary HAS to be a weapon...


Talisman of Binding Shard


... was never in game.


Dropped once, before it was removed from loot tables. The guy got to keep it.

From my understanding.
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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby bldavis » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:56 pm

lythac wrote:Dropped once, before it was removed from loot tables. The guy got to keep it.

From my understanding.

that is what i heard too
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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby Koatanga » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:59 pm

Bladesong wrote:What I don't understand is why the threat increase is causing so much concern. Hasn't threat already been fairly trivial for raiders for the whole expansion? Isn't this just a quality of life improvement for under-geared and/or under skilled tanks doing previous content? If you need more than just survival to keep you interested, then focus on actual damage done instead of threat - it's nearly the same thing and contributes more to the raid.

I agree threat has been trivial for quite some time now. I have had issues with Vengeance this entire xpac - providing way too much threat when we don't need it and not enough when we do. But now that threat is officially being considered something that tanks should not have to think about, the game is officially changing from an interactive model to more of a single-player, you-vs-the-mob concept. I don't think that's a good place to go, and I think the less people relate to one another in game, the less compelled they will feel to maintain their subscription.
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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby Steve » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:26 pm

Koatanga wrote:I think the less people relate to one another in game, the less compelled they will feel to maintain their subscription.


I suspect the logic is that the threat mechanic, on balance, incited more negative player-to-player interaction than positive. I have no firm opinion on whether or not that's the case, though I'd be inclined to agree with them.
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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby masterpoobaa » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:58 pm

Steve wrote:
Koatanga wrote:I suspect the logic is that the threat mechanic, on balance, incited more negative player-to-player interaction than positive


*whispers*Because they fooked up the RDF system so there is next to zero behavior accountability*whisper*
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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby Flex » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:59 pm

Koatanga wrote:But now that threat is officially being considered something that tanks should not have to think about, the game is officially changing from an interactive model to more of a single-player, you-vs-the-mob concept.


Man, people really want threat to matter. I honestly don't care which aspect they ever decide to promote. Threat or Survival, makes no difference to me, as long as both aren't pushed equally because you just end up in a "wait for sunders" situation that I doubt many people would find fun to go back to.

So the general feeling I get is that survival is the "duty" part of tanking and threat is the "fun" part.

masterpoobaa wrote:*whispers*Because they fooked up the RDF system so there is next to zero behavior accountability*whisper*


There is no way to create an automated accountability system that is fair. Personally I get one bad egg for every 50 good eggs when I use the dungeon finder.
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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby rodos » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:19 pm

Who else remembers CircleMUD (and related codebase) games that had no threat system? All mobs (that weren't specially scripted) had a fixate mechanic. First person to get agro kept it until they were dead or a warrior used "rescue" (a.k.a. Righteous Defense) on them. Those games didn't even have positioning, so once the fight started there wasn't really anything for a tank to do but scream at the clerics for more heals. I can't say it was particularly fun game play, but the meta-game of gearing up before hand, and of leading the raids, was enough to keep people interested in the role.
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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby yappo » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:55 pm

rodos wrote:Who else remembers CircleMUD (and related codebase) games that had no threat system? All mobs (that weren't specially scripted) had a fixate mechanic. First person to get agro kept it until they were dead or a warrior used "rescue" (a.k.a. Righteous Defense) on them. Those games didn't even have positioning, so once the fight started there wasn't really anything for a tank to do but scream at the clerics for more heals. I can't say it was particularly fun game play, but the meta-game of gearing up before hand, and of leading the raids, was enough to keep people interested in the role.


That's not entirely true.

First person to get hit remained the target until said person vanished from the 'room'. While not formally recognized, init() and similar implementations in reality created an encounter stack, so having two platies entering the 'room' first (given a mob that required more than one player to kill) would enable you to swap from one platie to another (by having target number one leaving the 'room' and reentering.

And there were also some awfully bugged MUD:s where mob-life would reset on target leaving.

But apart from that you're correct.
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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby fuzzygeek » Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:05 pm

Ah, MUDs. I lost a good portion of my undergrad years to a Diku (Copper ][, then Sojourn). I still have the sourcecode for Darkover and Shadowed Realms.
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Re: Are tanks pointless?

Postby PsiVen » Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:15 pm

Tanks are a natural extension of optimization while playing games. If you're looking to maximize your chance at victory, you should make sure the enemy's biggest attacks are focused on someone who can reduce that damage as much as possible. Not everybody enjoys the mathy-protecty side of games, which is why tanks aren't the most popular... But it's important to separate their skillsets. Tanking is the concept of controlling your enemy's attacks, and every "team" game has it to some degree. It's essential to thought-provoking gameplay.

So no, tanks aren't pointless. If you take away tank classes, you will still have tank roles, just poorly optimized hard-to-control ones. If you take away that control, you have nothing but RSTS which gets quite dull.
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