A raft of changes
As outlined by GC, here are the actual changes that are currently slated for block:
The chance to block will be handled by a separate combat roll for each attack that is not avoided. In other words, we first determine if an attack misses or is dodged or parried. If it is not, then the attack has a chance to be blocked.
Block will also have diminishing returns, much like dodge and parry. This doesn't mean that the value of block will go down as you get more block. It means that it won't go up by as much when you get more block.
So there are two major differences in the mechanic from what we are currently living with. One, block will have diminishing returns, and two, block will no longer sit on the combat table as its own separate entity but will be a consequence of normal hit being rolled. More on that last point in a moment.
I don't have to tell you these are gigantic changes. What always made mastery such an attractive stat in Cataclysm
was the combination of its providing (when capped) a huge amount of damage reduction against physical attacks and that you could stack it to the heavens with no ill effect right up to the cap. I think it goes without saying that the value of mastery as a stat will be markedly different (for the worse) in Mists
The two-roll two-step
Like I said above, it's been obvious throughout the arc of Cataclysm
that something needed to be done about block. Paladins and warriors had way too much of it, and the concept of block capping has been broken from the very launch of the expansion. This disparity led to buffs being given to druids and DKs in the final half of the expansion which, in the absence of block's potent shadow, will give those two tanking classes a marked advantage.
But I digress. My one major issue with Ghostcrawler's argument and changes is how Blizzard intends to modify the combat table to neuter block. As I've pointed out in the past, the most broken aspect of the mechanic is how it is the easiest stat on the combat table to stack; as a result, one can easily push more damaging attacks (like normal hits) completely off the combat table with the addition of enough block chance. This is less block's fault than the inevitable outcome of a linear system. It's like allowing someone to pour an infinite amount of water into a cup and being shocked when they manage to overfill it.
So the solution, as outlined, is to kinda-sorta take block off the combat table with this fancy two-step of theirs. Instead, in the place of normal hits, we have a new outcome called "flip to page two." Therein, a new combat table is rolled for to determine if an unavoided hit is just a hit or a block. Combine that with diminishing returns, and outside of corner cases posited by GC, we should never see that second combat table being 100% block.
My biggest issue with this is how unnecessarily complicated a solution it is. As Theck outlined in a recent blog post
discussing the changes, creating a second combat table is essentially equivalent to nerfing block chance, but in a much more roundabout way. If the second block table had a 50/50 block chance, then the value of 1 point of mastery goes from 2% block to 1.4% block in a two-roll system.
Was it really necessary to add a second combat table when Blizzard could just nerf the mastery-to-block conversion rate? Much like the implementation of Vengeance
, this is a complication that will only cause more issues in the end than it will fix.
Other tanking changes from GC's post
The Dev Watercooler had a few other interesting points for tanks looking ahead to the Mists
For one, like suspected, magic resistance is getting the ol' heave-ho. (This has just been an awful day for the Mirror of Broken Images
, I'm sure.)
With regards to hit and expertise, boss-level mobs will have a 15% spell miss chance, 7.5% melee miss chance, 7.5% dodge chance, 7.5% parry chance, and 7.5% block chance. It remains to be seen how valuable hit and expertise will be in Mists
, compared to present day. While that 15% spell miss chance looks hefty, apparently expertise will mollify dodge and spell miss at the same time, and then parry. Ultimately, it doesn't appear this will change much for tanks with regards to how we damage bosses.
The Light and How to Swing It shows paladin tanks how to take on the dark times brought by Cataclysm. Try out our four tips for upping your combat table coverage, find out how to increase threat without sacrificing survivability, and learn how to manage the latest version of Holy Shield.