MMO-Champion - Threat Needs to Matter
Threat Needs to Matter
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
A tank’s job is to protect the group. A big part of that is controlling the enemy. A big part of controlling the enemy is staying alive. Tanks have a lot of tools to stay alive, and mastering those is a major component of learning to play a tank. On the other hand, some of these tools are on long cooldowns, and on some encounters they are intended for use at specific moments in the fight. Furthermore, staying alive isn’t the sole responsibility of the tank, because there will always be one or more healers present whose job it is to keep the tank alive. As such, staying alive can’t be the only thing tanks have to focus on.

So, let’s back up a moment to controlling the enemy. “Control” includes things like positioning the boss, or doing specific things at specific times, such as swapping with an off tank. It also includes making sure the boss doesn’t attack anyone else. That’s where threat generation comes into play.

If threat generation is too easy then the entire risk of the encounter drops. Newsflash: we don’t actually want encounters to be easy. We want encounters to be fun, and for most players, that includes both rewards and risks.

We want tanks to care about the buttons they hit instead of just relying on auto-attacking to control their target. We don’t necessarily want very complicated tank DPS rotations, because as I mentioned above, tanks do have other things to keep track of. But we want their combat abilities to be engaging. Good tanks should be those who control, survive, and generate sufficient threat.

On the other hand, when threat is too hard to maintain, it can be exasperating. Tanks get understandably frustrated when the game is asking them to do something but not giving them the tools to do it. The non-tanks in the group also become frustrated, because they feel throttled. It’s one thing when overcoming the boss is challenging. It feels worse when you know that another player is standing in your way, keeping you from achieving your top performance.

We don’t usually want DPS classes to have to stop attacking in order to keep from generating too much threat. We do want players to pay attention. We don’t think it’s too much to ask for DPS and healers to wait a couple of GCDs for the tank to get the enemy under control -- we’re not asking for five stacks of Sunder Armor these days. What we really mean by proper threat management is knowing things like when it’s time to go all out, when it’s appropriate to use a threat-reducing cooldown, and most importantly, which is the right target to be attacking. I’m not trying to bash pugs here, but I am amazed at how often a nuker will pick a random target instead of the one being tanked, then blame the tank for not holding aggro (and then blame the healer when they die). In short, if threat is too easy, the game is boring. If threat is too difficult, the game is frustrating.

How then do you guys (and the developers!) know when threat is a problem? Here are some handy guidelines.

-- If a tank is trying to generate threat on a single target, and it runs off to kill a DPS class, that’s a problem.

-- If a tank is trying to generate area threat on a group, and the tanked things are running off to kill healers, that’s a problem.

-- If Vengeance falling off causes the tank to lose threat, that’s a problem.

These problems can have a couple of causes. It could be a problem we caused, meaning that even an expertly-played tank has low threat generation because our numbers are undertuned. Or it could be that only an expertly-played tank can generate threat because you’re asked to manage too many abilities. Or it could be that Vengeance is the only thing allowing you to generate enough threat because the size of the buff is masking low threat generation from your abilities. It could also be a problem you need to fix on your end: if someone is nuking or cleaving a random target on a group pull instead of assisting the tank, that’s not the tank’s fault.

Now, there are things we don’t like about threat as a mechanic. It’s fairly gamey as game mechanics go and we think there are probably better ways to communicate it to players. There are some mods that do a very credible job given the limited information we provide, but overall we’d like to present threat better since we’re asking you to take it seriously in the PvE game.

-Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer for World of Warcraft and the skipper of a very nice ship where they serve cute sandwiches with the crust removed. And gin.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Threat Needs to Matter started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 67 Comments
  1. omidmash's Avatar
    Making threat in Cataclysm is hard bro.
  1. gorelather's Avatar
    Buffing tanks and nerfing healers. This has got to be my favorite expansion ever!
  1. Haxon's Avatar
    This is just great! Love blizzard atm! )
  1. fangless's Avatar
    So far in raids, threat isn't really an issue unless someone attacks at the same time as the tank.

    There are so many portions in these encounters where DPS has to attack something else, interact with a different mechanic, or whatever, that usually tanks get 100% dps time on the main boss and threat isn't a factor in the fight.

    To me, I don't really see that as an issue. Usually tanks are given something else to worry about, beit positioning or whatever. I doubt they considering piling on threat as a fun mechanic to their class :P
  1. Lotena's Avatar
    I'd imagine another really big part of tanking is positioning. It wouldn't hurt for them to fix the way mobs follow the tank because it is irritating as hell.
  1. mi33's Avatar
    Just remove tanks and leave 2 roles - melee and casters. Saves both players and developers trouble of too long queues.
  1. Buzlight's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mi33 View Post
    Just remove tanks and leave 2 roles - melee and casters. Saves both players and developers trouble of too long queues.
    thats just retarded
  1. Kelathos's Avatar
    "Threat Needs to Matter"

    Great, so when are the threat reduction abilities of DPS being removed or equalized? Perhaps they meant to say threat needs to matter for some classes.
  1. Alianthos's Avatar
    Eeeeeh... Is anyone experiencing pbme with threat ? Seems a complete joke to me so far.
  1. Captaincrab's Avatar
    Am I the only one who doesn't quite get the point of this thread? Is tanking easy at this time and nerfs are coming? Is tanking hard at the moment and he's trying to calm down people complaining about threat?

    I play a bear currently (raiding, 4/12 atm) and I have like zero issues and find it easy cept when my first mangle is parried.

    However I play with a paladin who absolutely struggles with threat. Usually it's ok, but I can understand the frustration, and have a hard time believing that it will get easier for him.

    Then again... I did gear to have exp soft cap and hit cap so ... /shrug.
  1. Kawakazi's Avatar
    The only time threat has come into play so far is when a dps attacks something that doesn't have any sunder stacks, the target that has enough aggro on it to keep it from eating a healer. I just let the dps die if they do it more than once though.
  1. Fortera's Avatar
    I'm so tired of hearing about that pompous ass' yacht.
  1. Jaerin's Avatar
    I’m not trying to bash pugs here, but I am amazed at how often a nuker will pick a random target instead of the one being tanked, then blame the tank for not holding aggro (and then blame the healer when they die).
    This is by far my #1 frustration as a tank. I would say its about 20-30% of the trash packs that I will hit the main dps target with all my single target hits, hit my AE's to pick up other targets, and yet an offtarget ends up running off towards a DPS even though I've never even targeted that mob. I either have to try and taunt it and hope that it sticks long enough to get to me for additional threat or I have to running after it which just adds additional chaos to the mix.

    Also people with ranged silences have got to me more conscious about getting casters to come into the group. I don't know how many times I've had a caster sitting in the middle of a bunch of CC'd mobs casting at a healer/dps only to know that I run a real risk of breaking other things by running in after it. We are here to work as a team. We should know what roles people need to take in the group, but when it comes down too it in the end you're all in it together.

    #2 would be the people who queue up knowing they only have like 20-30 mins to get the run done and expect you to just fly through it will no regard for anything. Dungeons take time again...be patient people are still learning the fights.
  1. Skiathos's Avatar
    "If a tank is trying to generate area threat on a group, and the tanked things are running off to kill healers, that’s a problem."

    Yea, its a tank not knowing how to play his class problem, or a dps problem, or a healer problem.
  1. Jaerin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lotena View Post
    I'd imagine another really big part of tanking is positioning. It wouldn't hurt for them to fix the way mobs follow the tank because it is irritating as hell.
    Agree 100%....I'm constantly having to move around and adjust because mobs decide that to hit me they need to run half-way through me...Or hitting me with melee attacks even though I'm obviously more than 8yds away from their hit box. Why am I losing threat on this mob to only realize the red text at the top says you're too far from your target.

    Very frustrating, but I definitely do NOT want a return to WotLK trash.
  1. Deathsvenom's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Buzlight View Post
    thats just retarded
    Oh do i ever agree with you..This is what blizz gets for litch king and basically handing loot out instead of making ppl earn their loot. As For threat yah i thing all those nerfs to tanks really made it harder on threat BUTTTTTT if ppl hold off on attacking the mob before or at same time as tank it can be handled pretty good. PPL just need to remember how WOW was at lv 60 and get used to the fact strategy is a must again and the days of zerging are over.
    DPS can't just be worried about being number one on the meters anymore .
  1. Oceane's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Skiathos View Post
    "If a tank is trying to generate area threat on a group, and the tanked things are running off to kill healers, that’s a problem."

    Yea, its a tank not knowing how to play his class problem, or a dps problem, or a healer problem.
    Don't leave anything out Captain Obvious.
  1. Vallenwood's Avatar
    tl;dr - L2P. Basically what you wanted to say right Blizz?
  1. tengobotas's Avatar
    This whole post seems like its been made because theyre about to implement some big change....
  1. Dread Pirate Roberts's Avatar
    I like the yacht part.

    Everything else is old news...

    ...wait, he's mentioned the boat before, hasn't he?

    What's the point of this post then, GC?!

Site Navigation