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Paladins are the worst tanks?

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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby Nèlya » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:57 am

Since 4.3 I'm raiding in a 10-man raid, with a few friends from my guild and other people of the server. (My guild organised 25-man raids in BC and Wrath, with a decline in server guilds ranks during wrath and recruitment attrition, reduced to a 10-man guild after the 4.2 summer. Sadly my guild died about the same time as Ragnaros...)

This group of people from other guilds is not perfect, with people not exactly reliable, and we play only one night per week. But the skill level is quite good (compared to the server population in general) and we cleared normal and started some hard modes quickly.

The main healer is the raid leader, a holy paladin. My co-tank is from my guild, a DK. We know each other only in game but have really friendly attitudes and talk a lot about tanking and our classes, or other things. We fought the same fights in the same raids for some time now, we have comparable knowledge of the fights, of classes mechanics, and I think a similar skill level (when his crappy connection allows it ;p). As we raid always together, we also have similar gear level.

Even if I agree that being "good" at tanking is the most important thing we bring to the raid, I noticed the variations between our classes during Cata. We both know that we can tank anything and happily swap roles on 1-tank fights when we feel it, for any personal or in game reason. But we can't stop others from commenting on the classes relative powers (one of the most frequent conversation in this games I would say !). It has been seen and said by many (they are certainly wrong to focus attention on this I agree) that up to 4.2 with the block cap recently completed, I was "the tank", and since 4.3, classes changes and magical bosses encounters, he is now "the tank".

The holy paladin is the key issue in this story :)
He always tries to solo-heal normal fights for fun, and he is clearly biased and wants the DK tank in many situations, being magical bosses, particularly hard modes, or for his "funny solo heal" (not funny to me!).

We discussed a lot about the evolution of raids, and my reaction to all that was that I really don't like the new raiding environment I can get from the game. I am tired of 1 tank fights, since I joined the raiding tank's population in BC and in the 25-man format. There was more space for multiple tanks. We are both needed, we both largely prefer the tanking role to the dps one. But we are constantly forced to swap specs in this tiny 10-man format, and iirc, one tank fights tends to become the norm also in the 25-man format ? (And no 25-man raids is not an option on my server, and server transferring again all my characters also is not). Seems to me that the tanking role is not a great source of inspiration for blizzard these days...
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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby Shoju » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:01 am

There are several reasons that he would prefer a DK tank over a Paladin tank for solo healing.

1.) Glyphed DK 4 pc Tank set bonus.
2.) If the Healer has been healing the DK for a time, he probably has a good idea on the "swing" of the Death Strikes.
3.) DK's do kick other tanks in the teeth on magical damage fights.
4.) Glyphed DK 4 pc Tank set bonus.
5.) It is my personal belief, that DK's have the superior "soloing" toolkit, which could be put into play in a situation where heals are "light"

I know it would be frustrating to be the "other tank" in a situation like that. I have been wrestling with my own desires to suit up on a boss that we are stuck on and tank it, because I know that it's one of the few fights where my tank spec would shine. (H:Yor).
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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby theckhd » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:44 am

That said, I don't think "solo-healing farm content," especially normal-mode farm content, is at all useful for evaluating tank balance. For example, paladins could solo-tank Madness before the debuff went in, just by lining up cooldowns and exploiting immunities (BoP/DS). Does that make them the OP tank for heroic progression content?
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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby econ21 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:54 am

Nèlya wrote:I am tired of 1 tank fights,


That's a good point. While any tank might be able to tank the content, if you only need to pick one, there is going to be pressure to pick the one which has the best tanking class. If two were the norm, there'd be less pressure - in part because you'd likely want two different classes to reduce competition for drops.

I've been fortunate to be "the tank" for my guild but I suspect that's in part because we felt we only really needed one "main" tank and other guildies did not want to cause any personal difficulties by contesting the spot. If we'd needed two "main" tanks, one would have happily taken that role and probably preferred it (I suspect at least two fellow guildies would prefer to tank but are typically dps or heals main spec).

I am talking about 10N, where the only fight we really need a solid second tank is Warmaster Blackthorn. We need a second tank on Ultraxion, but the damage is not too high and I stay in on all the hour of twilights. A cat goes bear for the adds on Spine and for the Terrors on Madness.
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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby theckhd » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:21 am

Even heroic 10 suffers from one-tank syndrome. In our alt run, we use two tanks for H. Morchok, H. Ultrax, and (soon-to-be H) Warmaster. Everything else is one-tanked by our paladin.

I actually find it surprising you have someone go bear form on spine for bloods. I just tank them as an affliction lock by shadowbolt/dotting them and letting Shadowfury/Cunning of the Cruel/dots whittle them down. The main thing is to keep them off of healers, but any caster with inherent DR (moonkin, spriest, lock with soul link) should be able to "tank" them for the 10 seconds or so they're alive.
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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby gronc2 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:35 am

hey we are doing heroic yor tonight, does divine guardian stack deep corruption? I will be using mirror, glyped DP and prismatic elixir any other suggestions?

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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby theckhd » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:47 am

gronc2 wrote:hey we are doing heroic yor tonight, does divine guardian stack deep corruption? I will be using mirror, glyped DP and prismatic elixir any other suggestions?

Divine Guardian does not (it's not a heal), nor do any of the other raid cooldowns except Tranquility. For the love of $deity, do not Tranquility during Deep Corruption. Unless you're calling a wipe, in which case definitely do so, it's hilarious. Note that WoGging yourself does not stack the debuff, so during purple you should be doing so to help your healers.

On our first (admittedly, 25-man) kills I was using mastery/prismatic elixirs, glyphed DP, and Mirror. My co-tank was using the Sindragosa trinket from ICC25H as well, which let him cover the entire 3-stack period with resist cooldowns and DP. It's more common (I think?) to alternate 2 stacks of the debuff on each tank, but we tended to cheese it by loading one tank down and cooldowning through it all. Note that you can DP before the actual cast to mitigate some of the direct damage as well. Also note that you can bubble to avoid the damage.

If you're doing 10-man and two-tanking, 1) Why??, 2) You can completely ignore all of that because the debuff on 10-man is a joke. Just wear whatever. Probably DPS gear, since with 2 tanks you might need the extra DPS.

If you're doing 10-man and one-tanking, 7 stacks of the debuff hits about as hard as 2-3 stacks on 25-man, which is enough to be dangerous. Basically wait until you get 5(?) stacks or so and start chaining cooldowns, probably trinket->DP->GAnK/AD as necessary. I don't think you get more than 8 stacks or so (maybe 9 if you're unlucky). Our paladin tank doesn't have mirror, so we just make do without. I think we have her use SoI and chain WoG to help with that.
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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby Shoju » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:58 am

The fact that the Sindragosa trinket is "good" 100+ ilvls later is humorous to me.
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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby theckhd » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:02 am

Shoju wrote:The fact that the Sindragosa trinket is "good" 100+ ilvls later is humorous to me.

I was kicking myself for disenchanting it. :/

But I completely agree. That said, it's mostly because of a lack of interesting tanking trinkets this xpac. If we had another magic resist option from cata, we'd have used it.
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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby warden » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:13 am

Our first 25 man kill involved one DK tank with his own cooldowns and the BH and Sindragosa trinkets and one incredibly frusterated warrior tank with his own cds, external healers cds, 4 battle rezzes, and a failed holy pally app. I found it hillarious until three kills and two holy pallies later I had to offspec-heal it :-/
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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:53 am

theckhd wrote:That said, I don't think "solo-healing farm content," especially normal-mode farm content, is at all useful for evaluating tank balance. For example, paladins could solo-tank Madness before the debuff went in, just by lining up cooldowns and exploiting immunities (BoP/DS). Does that make them the OP tank for heroic progression content?


Yeah, I tend to agree.  What we are talking about here are different ways to reduce risk, and the value of those methods.  If you are purposely adding risk for some reason, that's fine but it's hard to resolve back into the conversation.  Though, it does highlight the point, that as stress builds on the healers, tank damage can matter quite a bit.  Your source of stress is artificial but I think that piont still holds.

After reading Shoju's comments, I'm gonig to try to explain my position again.  I agree with most of what folks are saying (and I don't think folks are understanding that part), just not the conclusion.

Part of the reason I don't think wipe stats matter all that much(in this context, they certainly matter during a raid), is because I kind of treat it like a hybrid multi roll system.  Not just a single role system where whatever caused the failure is all that matters.  If you are using a tank that has a 15% chance of dying due to normal damage, if everyone is doing the right thing, then that 15% true even if no one dies in a fire.  You still need to clear that hurdle indpendent of dying in a fire (kind of).

Now, in reality it's not exactly independent, but in a bad way.  As people start taking more damage due to mistakes, slow reaction time, etc, that 15% chance for tank failure starts jumping up because healers start getting stressed and running out of bandwidth, or the fight lasts longer or whatever.

 The reason I say that class balance is as important for non cutting edge guilds, is because they are constantly adding additional stress on their healers, even when you compensate for their better gear.

For instance, lets say performance (not standing in a fire) is the first roll for success, and then tank survivability is the second.  Anything above 70 for performance gives you a chance to beat the encounter, below that and you essentially wipe to dying in a fire.  However, the more you are above 70, the smaller your next roll can be.  So in my hypothetical if you roll a 100 for performance, lets say your chance for tank death is 10% and by the time you reach 70 for performance, your chance for tank death is 30%, and rate at which tank death percentage rises is not linear as more mistakes occurr the difficulty rate escalates more and more rapidly.  (Yes totally contrived numbers).

Cutting edge guilds have no handicap, they are fully capable of rolling 100, non cutting edge guilds though do have a handicap, say something like -10 (though that depends on the guild and encounter, it can be considerably larger for some) to all their performance rolls, because they almost always have some stress based on performance, and simply lack the reaction and situational awareness of the top end guilds.  Higher gear can slowly reduce that modifier.  Now those numbers are assuming the same tank, if you are using a tank that inherently has a higher percentage of failure, the baseline is higher and the increase in risk is higher and faster.  So the fact that non cutting edge guilds are nearly always lower in performance to cutting edge guilds adds emphasis to the damage taken by the tank.

Now I'd agree this sort of thing isn't true for all fights, and there are certainly cases where the difference in tanks is hardly quantifiable, but I believe there are certainly fights where it is significant and just as significant for non cutting edge guilds as anyone. 

I still find the notion that class balance matters less to lower end guilds, by definition means that pretty much everything matters less for lower end guilds. In the very least, the way we parse out everything from best in slot gear, to enchants, to gems, to talent choices, to gloss over class balance with the, "it does not matter (much/at all) so don't worry about it, just play better" just doesn't pass the sniff test to me.
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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby theckhd » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:37 pm

Fridmarr wrote:I still find the notion that class balance matters less to lower end guilds, by definition means that pretty much everything matters less for lower end guilds. In the very least, the way we parse out everything from best in slot gear, to enchants, to gems, to talent choices, to gloss over class balance with the, "it does not matter (much/at all) so don't worry about it, just play better" just doesn't pass the sniff test to me.

Actually, I think all of that is true. Choosing proper gems, talents, etc. all matter less to a less-progressed guild for the same reason I think that tank choice matters less. I see your point as well though - tank balance could have an effect on the probability of success, and if you're trying to maximize your chance of beating the encounter that's certainly one variable to consider. I just disagree about the magnitude of the effect.

For example, using your hybrid entangled mult-roll theory, the "standing in the fire" roll has the effect of making the "tank roll" worse. For a perfect guild, the tank roll might be 95 compared to 97, but for the less-progressed guild it may be 70 compared to 75. In most cases, I'd argue that the difference between tanks don't always increase significantly in this way - the healer that stops healing his tank might take a slightly bigger risk with the DK than the Paladin or vice versa, but the difference is still up to the personal choices of that player within what his or her class is capable of. And the majority of that "tank roll" failure is just a shared (or inherited) failure from the earlier failure of the raid group.

So my central point is this: the differences on that tank roll due to class choice are often small, and dwarfed by the failure probabilities of various other parts of the raid "machine." The fastest path to success in such a guild is not to agonize over whether they should recruit a DK tank to replace their paladin because of class differences, nor about whether to sit the "good" paladin player for the "crappy" DK player. The fastest path will be to focus on the mistakes they're making (the tanks included) and try hard to eliminate them as much as possible. Which is why my advice to a new tank asking about paladins being the "worst" tanks is "It doesn't matter, you are more than capable of succeeding at the content if you work hard and play well."

Bad Analogy Time: It's like agonizing over whether to drive across town to save a few cents per gallon at a cheaper gas station when your tank has a leak in it. Focus on the bigger problem first, and worry about the smaller issue afterwards if still poses problems.
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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby Fenrìr » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:47 pm

theckhd wrote:If you're doing 10-man and two-tanking, 1) Why??, 2) You can completely ignore all of that because the debuff on 10-man is a joke. Just wear whatever. Probably DPS gear, since with 2 tanks you might need the extra DPS.




I really wouldn't suggest doing this, especially in a guild that already has you slated as being the least favored class.

I do not necessarily agree with the whole '10 man is easier' argument either; especially on heroic progression. Each raid size has it's easier fights and it's harder ones. Yor'sahj, while not as difficult to get the mechanics right as say...Zonozz, was still a fairly difficult fight on 10 man pre-nerf to get CDs right, healers to not pop traq or other AoE heals during Purple, and to actually get people to move quicker for globules.

Personally, I would think the debuff would be easier on 25 as there's more external CDs to use from varying DPS.
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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby gronc2 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:52 pm

I think Theck may have been using the art of hyperbole. I will be one tanking this encounter, and I will use the best gear at my disposal, including my nice shiny souldrinker

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Re: Paladins are the worst tanks?

Postby warden » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:59 pm

Nothing you describe actually makes 10 man mechanically more difficult than 25 man. While I'm willing to entertain that some people believe 10 man can be harder than 25 (although I think they're wrong), everything you mentioned amounts to "playing badly," not a mechanic and will wipe a raid on that fight on either size. Look at the difference in damage from the debuff and consider that despite that huge increase in damage, there is still only 4 stacks of deep corruption available for healing those tanks (most tank deaths on progression Yor'Shaj are due to void bolt stacks+deep corruption).

Back on topic: Gronc, if you're going to be 2-tanking this, gear for your role. If you're going to be tanking an equal share, and your raid's dps is fine, follow the suggestions given in the Yor'Shaj 10 thread for maximizing survival--If your role is only to taunt long enough for the other tank to reset his stacks (For those of us that did this a long time ago, remember the debuff is much shorter than when we did this ourselves), gear for DPS and use cooldowns when you taunt.

Edit: Ah, you're solotanking. Read up on the fight in the 10 man thread, and go prove all your nay-sayers in the guild wrong :-D
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