Tanking for Dummies

Procs, twitch factor, and the Global Cooldown
April 22, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Rants, Talents | Tags: , , , ,

Allow me to begin with a caveat: I love the changes to protection in Wrath.

The increased damage?  Awesome.  AoE Tanking?  Hey, I love actually being invited to tank Heroics.  Shockwave?  You gotta love it for keeping trash from sneaking behind you.

I just have one teeensy complaint.  After a great deal of testing (by which I mean playing the game, particularly in high intensity Ulduar) – I have to beg: Can we please take procs off the f***ing global cooldown?

Sword and Board is awesome.  I love the idea of having more options to hit people with my shield.  Some day, I hope that Blizzard puts in the title Spartan just for nutcase shield lovers like me.  But damned if it isn’t the pinnacle of irritating to have that thing proc and then have to wait for the global coodown to actually use it.

And if it procs in the last 1.5 seconds of the cooldown on Shield Slam?  Then I have to wait longer than if I hadn’t had it proc at all.  Yes, I understand it is rage free – a happy thing when I am soloing one lonely non-elite, of level mob.  You know how often that happens?  NEVER. I would go and intentionally pull another mob before I would put myself in such a situation.  Healer has enough mana = keep pulling.

I would much rather the Sword and Board proc be off the global cooldown than it be free.  Not that I wouldn’t want it to be both mind you.  I mean, what is the purpose of adding twitch to class mechanics if your reactions need a second and a half delay to be worthwhile?   Am I supposed to be jamming on my shield slam button like that?  Why even bother starting the clock on the buff or having the sound effect/swirly shield thing until the global cooldown is up?

I dare say that Warriors aren’t the only ones that might have some beef with this.  I could think of a few Hunter abilities that work similarly.  I’d like to think that Blizzard wants to award my swift reflexes.

But there is another reason to do this: Devastate.  Outside of stacking 5 sunders on a target, the best use of Devastate is to try and proc sword and board.  The TPS is painfully low compared to any other tanking ability.  Devastate needs some love badly, it is a talented ability for goodness sake, and I can’t think of anything off the top of my head that would increase Devastate’s viability (other than an outright threat increase) better than taking Sword and Board procs off the global cooldown.

In the mean time, if you hear the mad clacking of a keyboard that is me hitting my Sheild Slam repeatedly durring my regularly administered one and a half seconds of pain.


8 Comments so far
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Warrior tanking is NOISY. I haven’t noticed this so much on mine-I’m too busy panicing to note my own noise level-but when I was sitting there casually hitting Holy Light over and over, the clackitty clackitty of the boything’s tanking behind me was…impressive.

Post Patchwerk, it wasn’t unsual for the MT to go “Hold on…someone else tank the trash for Grobb, my wrist hurts.”

Which is totally not really related to your post, so I’ll say that I agree…I hate seeing the proc light up and not being able to use it!

…so I’ll spam the button until I can…

Comment by Ambrosyne

@ Ambrosyne – I will admit I have gotten “Tanking Wrist” myself, though, it’s more about heroic strike spam than anything. You feel it though when you suddenly reach for the shield slam button and your finger pops. All the more painful when it does nothing because it’s still on the Global Cooldown.

Irony is when you get your repetitive stress injuries from the video games you play for fun rather than work.

Comment by Tarsus

I figure my nt52 gamepad paid for itself in reduced medical bills alone.

Comment by Karl Gallagher

I caused permanent damage to my hands in my first year in undergrad playing SNK fighting games >.<

More on topic, this was one of the things that we (by which I mean warrior players) identified in beta and begged to have fixed in some way. While removing it from the global cooldown has implementational (in that it adds additional conditional overheads) and networking (in that the GCD is in place as much to control incoming data to the server as to limit ability use, if not MORE so) issues, I believe the most popular suggestion was simply to have sword and board proc shield slam directly without the need for an additional button press.

Given the recent change to the highly analogous death knight talent Sudden Doom (which gives heart strike a chance to proc death coils; used to be free, now automatic and free), this approach is at least technically feasible. So it’s at least an argument worth revisiting, now.

Comment by Yuki

Even THINKING about Patchwerk gets my hands and wrists hurting. Granted, my rotation isn’t the most smooth and efficient, and when the poo hits the fan I have a tendency to start facerolling and filling my screen up with “not ready yet,” but still. Three of my most-used whammies (Revenge, Shield Slam, Devastate) are not only all on my right hand, they’re hit by the same finger, my right pinky (they’re on 0, -, =). Hyjal’s famous “eight exciting and dynamic waves of trash” usually ended up with me having trouble at work the next day, and yes, I type a lot at my job too.

Yuki, that’s a great idea. Although I’ll admit I preferred the old way of Sudden Doom on my DK.

Comment by Linedan

@ Karl – Back in the day I had a “Claw” which was a precursor to the NT52. I wish I could say that it helped, but it mostly just delayed the inevitable.

@ Yuki – That is an awesome idea. Someone get the crab on the line.

@ Linedan – I have them spread out a little more over two fingers, but it doesn’t help too much more.

Comment by Tarsus

@Linedan: It’s less interactive, to be sure, but it’s a good tradeoff not to lose deeps/teeps to GCD capping.

Also, HAI LINEDAN! (I’m secretly Metharme. And by secretly I mean not secretly.)

@Tarsus: A lot of the changes that’ve come since release were things that we tried to sell them on during beta; goes to show that persistence does occasionally pay off :D

Comment by Yuki

@ Yuki – I will have to keep my fingers crossed then.

Comment by Tarsus

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