Today’s exciting post comes to you courtesy of Theck, patron math saint of the tank theorycrafting community. We’ve been exchanging emails lately, and I got his permission to share some of his thoughts on the blog.
A lot of us have expected a nerf to Word of Glory for some time, and were surprised to see one to CS last week instead. Here’s what our community’s favorite theorycrafter had to say on the topic of WOG, threat, Vengeance, and possible solutions.
First, on Word of Glory:
WoG self-healing is small compared to what your healers are doing, but it’s not insignificant. 1k extra HPS out of 20k total HPS (numbers pulled from our last heroic halfus kill as an example, note that this excludes overheal bubbles and should thus be an under-estimate) is still around 5% of your total healing taken. That’s small, but certainly not negligible.
The problem really isn’t that it’s a large amount of self-healing. The problem is that your only other option is more damage via SotR. And in general, the extra DPS you gain from SotR isn’t going to make or break a kill. On the other hand, that 1k extra HPS, or a lucky WoG at the right time, could prevent you from dying and turn a wipe into a kill. So the issue is not that WoG healing is OP, even if it is much better than what other tanks have; it’s that there’s really no compelling reason *not* to use it.
Unless SotR is necessary to maintain threat or the extra DPS is significant enough to matter, both of which are going to be hard to pull off without retuning the rest of our mechanics (or Vengeance), it’s not going to be an attractive trade compared to more survivability, even if it’s only a small amount. Basically, when threat/dps doesn’t matter, it gets valued as worthless while survivability doesn’t.
On the topic of balancing threat around Word of Glory spam:
To be fair, I’m sure the devs are not ignorant of these facts. It may just be a tricky balancing issue.
Vengeance ensures that a tank following a tight rotation will generate sufficient steady-state threat even without using finishers. On the other hand, a tank that’s a little sloppy with his rotation, or one that makes a sufficient number of mistakes in their ability choices, may still struggle a little for threat. This leads to an interesting question about balance.
Let’s assume that Blizzard balances around the “average” tank, who makes mistakes here and there that break the rotation and result in a slightly lower average threat output. If things are tweaked so that this average tank can hold threat against equally geared DPS, then an above-average tank will have a significant threat surplus. The above-average tank has more threat than he needs, which means he can spend more of his Holy Power on survivability in the form of WoG. Under current conditions, the disparity is so great that there’s little advantage to be gained in using SotR over WoG once threat is established. It’s a choice between a little extra threat and a little extra survivability in an environment where extra threat is unnecessary.
The average tank, on the other hand, is more constrained because he needs some of those SotR’s to hold aggro. For him, the choice is less obvious. The real problem is that we have an interesting choice (Threat vs. Survivability), but balancing constraints make it an uneven choice for tanks of different skill levels.
Later, we were talking about possible changes to WOG. Two interesting solutions I’ve seen, on Maintankadin and on the official forums, would be:
1) Giving WOG a longer cooldown- making it more of a cooldown-heal for Prot.
2) Having WOG proc off the Paladin Tank talent Eternal Glory.
I actually kind of like the idea of WoG as a short-cooldown self-heal for prot. We still have it available for emergencies, some players no longer feel like dumping everything into WoG is the only sensible way to play (because that option is taken away from them), and other players no longer feel like they’re holding back their raid by using SotR. We lose options, which most people would normally complain about (and I suspect many on the forums would), and tightens the gap between “skilled” and “unskilled” (which even more will complain about), but it does so in a way that’s probably better for the class as a whole.
Fascinating stuff! What do you think, dear readers? Are you loving WOG? Do you think it needs a change? What would you do with it, if your posts were blue?
Let us know in the comments!