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.