World of Warcraft CM Lore clarifies Blizzard’s planned threat changes

    
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but it's EXTREME

Some World of Warcraft tanks were somewhat alarmed to discover that some taunt ability tooltips had changed on the PTR to remove mention of the bonus threat generation those abilities typically provide. After a couple of days of speculation over whether this indicated a mechanical change to the taunt mechanics, Community Manager Lore popped by the forum thread to clarify that “the threat bonus from using taunts is now being removed” and that it was “a tooltip change that was made entirely for consistency; every taunt increases threat generation while it’s active, but it was only mentioned in the tooltip for a few of them.” It’s unclear, as some forum-goers have pointed out, why Blizzard’s solution was to remove the additional (and potentially very useful) information from the tooltips that already had it rather than to add it to the ones that didn’t.

Moreover, although the initial change in question turned out to be only a tooltip edit, there is nevertheless a change to the threat-generation mechanics heading to the 8.1 PTR. Essentially, while tanks will still benefit from a few seconds of increased threat generation after using a taunt, the potency of that bonus is being reduced.

The provided rationale, which has been met with what we’ll generously call varying degrees of agreement from posters, is that the threat-generation bonus from taunts is “pretty massive,” which Lore says is “a holdover from when it was first added in Mists of Pandaria,” when the now-removed Vengeance mechanic caused tanks to deal “huge amounts of damage,” thereby generating extreme amounts of threat, which meant that taunts needed to provide extra threat generation to allow tanks to gain and keep threat during tank swaps. The team is going to try the feature out on the PTR “and see what happens.” According to Lore, “Our expectation is that there is no tangible effect on your gameplay.”

In other World of Warcraft news, Blizzard continues to tweak its planned changes to Azerite traits. Players aren’t thrilled about that either.

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Ben Stone

I suspect this is their attempt to make skittering M+ affixes harder to manage as a tank. For most content that doesnt threat wipe its largely irrelevant.

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Tobasco da Gama

I think I ended the article more confused than I was going in, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t Matt’s fault…

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Bannex

Nerfing tanks ability to hold aggro does not mean dps learns how to play better. The only thing this accomplishes is people that want to stay tank will roll whatever the #1 tank class is and the rest go WQ until they get bored.

They’ve tried this before, hope you enjoyed the 45 min dungeon queues because it’s about to go to 3 hours.

Normal and heroic versions of dungeons and raids should have simpler tanking mechanics. Mythic versions should have threat reduction mechanics and other stuff that makes it more difficult for tanks. Blanket changing threat mechanics is asinine that results in a lot of frustrated tanks.

Andy McAdams
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Andy McAdams

But it might be nice to see a demarkator (in repair costs) against the DPS who also understand threat mechanics and play their classes accordingly instead of ‘ZOMG USE ALL THE THINGS RIGHT NOW MUST HAVE MASSIVE NUMBER BIGGEST OR IT DOESN’T MATTER’ mentality a lot of DPS.

I mean, I know it probably won’t play out that way, but I do fondly remember the days when threat mattered and I’d have to back off my rogue rotation to not accidentally pulled agrro.

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styopa

Heaven forbid anyone have to work to hold threat anymore; this would require DPS to perhaps do something more judicious than OMG HIT EVERY BUTTON I CAN DPS!!!ELVENTYO)NE@#(*&@( WOOO!

Yes, I mean actually acting like a PARTY instead of a handful of people individually racing through contents for the sweet, sweet, Skinner-box dopamine hit of loot at the end.*
*that will, in Kandy-Krush WoW will always be perfectly suited to your toon and their spec, of course.

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Tim Johnson

Tank is the hardest to fill roll already, Decreasing the number by increasing the difficulty specific to the role via this method isn’t going to help things. What you are describing here works when playing a game that hasn’t spent almost a decade being about a random dungeon queue. It’s one thing when playing a game where all groups are planned and are built around needing good open communication. Wow has been designed around random people being able to group up and go for almost 10 years now. Changing threat to make the position that is the most demand in that system harder but not more interesting isn’t going to improve things.

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Bannex

This doesn’t result in more aware dps. This results in tanks getting yelled at and dps still doing what they do.

If they’re going to nerf threat they need to bring back dps threat wipe abilities. This won’t end well as is. And if anybody believes lore in that this won’t change anything then why are they doing it? Blizz has proven lately they can’t back up anything they say anymore.

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Andy McAdams

That was one thing I noticed – my only threat dump capability as a mage (I’m leveling one right now) is Invisibility — which takes 3 seconds to take affect and I’m generally dead by the point anyway making me “well, what the is the point of this ability then?”

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Ben Francis

The point of those abilities was always to use them as you saw yourself getting near the top of the threat meter. They were not intended to be an “Oh crap I pulled aggro” threat wipe.

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TheDonDude

You heard it here first, folks. Blizz is threatening changes to the lore!

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Loopy

Back in vanilla, tanks struggled to hold threat, and it was up to the entire group to manage their damage output to ensure that the tank will continue holding the mobs. This progressively changed over the years to the point where threat doesn’t matter in the slightest, as DPS will never steal threat off the tanks, regardless of their damage output.

I’m curious as to what Blizzard is trying to accomplish here. Are they trying to make threat matter again? A slight decrease in threat generation will not accomplish this, and i’m not sure that i see how it will significantly impact tank swapping in raids.

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Dantos

Didnt they already try that somewhat with cataclysm? I remember threat being harder when that released vs wrath. People werent happy back then either.

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Iain B

Back in Vanilla we had a warlock that, due to either ignorance or alcohol (most likely alcohol), would never hold-back during the Nefarian add waves and would constantly cause wipes from his crazy threat generation. We finally had to tell him to use his lower-level spells to keep from constantly pulling all the adds.

Ahh, the good old days.

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Tim Johnson

I think they are struggling to find ways to make tanking interesting, they think by doing the threat thing, they will increase difficulty and make it interesting since tanks will need to work harder.. the problem is it’ll just push out the borderline tanks and create a bigger tanks shortage then already exists. I think the better bet would be to create more interesting mechanics for tanks in encounters, things that are hard because they are new not hard because they decided to under tune the role.

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Andy McAdams

because they decided to under tune the role.

Is it really under-tuning the role, or making the role matter again as more than a meat shield? I feel like less threat generation would make the role more meaningful– there would be a learning curve to be sure, but I wonder if it wouldn’t make it better overall.

As a DPS, I miss the fact that I used to be considered a better DPS because I knew when to back-off to not pull aggro and I was good at managing my own threat generation. I think that would make a big difference with making DPS feel more engaging to play instead of just maximizing DPS.

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Tim Johnson

The problem isn’t being more meaningful, the problem is losing tanks. As a primarily dps player, i’m already in a 45 to 75 minute queue to do a dungeon. If we have more tanks step out because they don’t have the “skill” needed to generate threat Vs. equal or better geared DPS it creates an issue.

You as a DPS may feel that well this is a DPS needs to slow down issues, i’m sorry but that’s not how the Tank is going to see it. They are basically telling the tank that randoms are not something they are going to want to do, because they don’t know the party they are going to get.