Friday, October 14, 2011

Tanking Legendary

We've been collecting materials as we kill bosses in Firelands and as I watch our Shadow Priest picked for the Legendary collect them, I feel a pang of jealousy. We didn't do a lot of 25-man content in Wrath, but I did run some 25s with big guilds, and I felt the same pang watching their DKs and Priests collecting Shards for Shadowmourne and Val'anyr.

And next tier, I'll watch our Rogue collect the Fangs of the Father.

At this point, every role has had a legendary except for tanks. Healers have had Val'anyr, melee DPS have had the Warglaives, Sulfuras, Thunderfury, and Shadowmourne, hunters had Thori'dal, and pretty much every caster could use Atiesh and Dragonwrath.

You could make the point that Death Knights used Shadowmourne to tank, but that still left 3/4 of tanking classes without a tanking Legendary.

Point being, tanks have never had a legendary tanking weapon, and a lot of the reasoning behind it is that there are way too many tanking classes that all use different weapons.

The bigger (and real) reason is that if you have a Legendary that only one or two tank classes can use, every raid will drop the other tanks to make room for them. If a raid was tanking with a DK and a Druid, they would drop one or both to bring in a Paladin and Warrior if there was a Legendary shield, and they would certainly be right to do so. And that completely screws up the tanking population and rightly so, isolates and insults those who can't get it.

Tanks are generally the characters who gear up the fastest in raids - they have little competition over drops and the more geared your tanks get, the easier it is for the raid to progress as they can ignore the "tank can't take hits" problem and focus on other issues of the raid. Tank gear matters and I can see balance issues with giving one tank a legendary and essentially making him a Main Tank which is a concept I absolutely loathe.

There are two tanks, they both do their jobs, swapping from one duty to the other as benefits their class abilities best. But I digress.

You hear about Blizzard doing a tanking legendary in the same way that they did Quel'Delar. It comes close but I can see Blizzard's point in rejecting that model for a legendary - something like that makes for an awesome questline and an epic item, but not for a Legendary weapon that needs to be instantly recognizable, is iconic, and, well, Legendary. An item, of monumental power, not something with multiple models.

So how do you reconcile this? I might have a thought.

Make a Legendary Mace.

Every tank class can use Maces. The model can stay the same.

Tweak it so that it can be used two-handed by Druids and DKs with a boost to stats to make up for a missign off-hand, and keep the same model for it across the board.

It is the same weapon in essence, it's just that Druids and DKs need to use it two-handed. Whatever stats and bonus it has should probably be tailored to tanking to keep it from DPS hands and you could probably have a tanking legendary.

Would I rather have a Palain specific questline and build a Holy Aegis that will sing with pathos and grace? A shield that would be a beacon in the darkest of places? A barrier against the most grievous harm?

Absolutely. But, you know. I'm willing to share with the other classes and settle for a mace. I'm sure there are other solutions out there, but I think this is a reasonable one even if it would require Blizzard to scale the item a bit differently between the 2-handed and 1-handed versions of it.

There are solutions out there, and I hope Blizzard keeps this in mind going into the next expansion.

1 comment:

  1. I would really like a switch over to more malleable legendaries, but with the rogue-only Fangs of the Father it seems that Blizzard is tending to to narrow down class options rather than open them up. A pseudo-legendary like Quel'Delar, set up as a drop from the new 5-man dungeons would be awesome though.