The chill of IC: Less dodge for tanks & more healing for healers?

Okay, so I’ve held off from posting about the mechanic in Icecrown Citadel that reduces tank dodge by 20% (Icewell Radiance). Personally, I don’t think it’s going to have that big of an effect on druids (either the tanking kind or the healing kind). And yes, I do care, since one of my guild’s main tanks is a feral druid bear.

Why it’s not bad for Bear tanks was already covered over at Think Tank, and he said it better than I could. I still wanted to go over a few points, especially for the healer crowd.

  • In short, it hurts all tanks, and it doesn’t seem to hurt bears more than other tanks.
  • While this same thing happened in Sunwell, IC is going to be much less difficult than Sunwell. So, it’s not going to hurt as bad as it may have hurt in Sunwell.
  • The encounters will be balanced around missing that dodge rating. This means that the encounters will do slightly less damage than they would have done without the debuff. If it’s part of the tuning process, it’s a help (by reducing spike damage) rather than a hindrance, especially with all the advantages .
  • Next, it will only be in Icecrown Citadel, so people tanking Naxx, Ulduar, & ToC won’t have to deal with it. It just means you will have to gear up before tanking IC, but I wouldn’t expect someone wearing blues to survive even without the Radiance debuff.
  • So, my conclusion is that the sky isn’t falling for bear tanks in Icecrown Citadel.

Sunwell Radiance also benefits druid healers, or at the very least it doesn’t hurt them.

I want to put in this quote here real fast:

The whole point of this change is so bosses can hit less hard but more often, for the same damage over time but with fewer deadly spikes

  • What this means is that when tanks take more rapid, smaller hits, it actually benefits HOTs. A dodge meant that our HOTs didn’t tick that swing. A smaller direct hit means that our HOTs are more likely to tick more often, and that those HOTs are going to be more meaningful. In this case, the glyph of rapid rejuv may really help tank healing in some fights where you get more ticks more often (needs more experimenting)…
  • Since druids don’t have damage prevention spells or effects, this benefits druid healers. Fewer deadly spikes means that there is less reliance on the damage prevention to save the day (so to speak).
  • Other healing classes benefit in other ways, since less spiking damage to tanks means that you can possibly use your longer cast time heals more often without threat of death.
  • When tree druids are primarily assigned to raid healing in 25-man raids, it doesn’t matter what kind of damage the tank is taking, realistically. However, in 10-mans (especially), druids are more likely to tank heal, since HOTs plus nourish is so powerful, and you may not have a paladin healer to keep up the tank(s).
  • Less random “omg he 2-shot you” deaths benefits everyone. Also, if it’s the same damage spread out over more hits, then it’s not a different amount of total healing done, so you probably wouldn’t know about this dodge change if you didn’t read about it places like here…

So, in conclusion, this change looks bad, but if the intent is just to spread the same amount of damage over more hits, druids (both the furry and the leafy kind) will not be disproportionately penalized compared to other classes. So, yay for druid fun in Icecrown Citadel! I’ll see you there!

I don’t normally raid on the PTR, because I like having one area of the game where I don’t burn out super fast (and seeing all the bosses on the PTR means that it takes out all the thrill of going into the dungeon for the first time on Live). I ducked into IC one day to look at the gunship battle with Fimlys from twisted nether (apparently, you can’t 2-man the 10-man gunship battle, lol). I am keeping a pretty close eye on the reporting of what is happening in those dungeons, and I’m really excited about some of the new boss mechanics (like the boss where we have to heal the dragon back up to full sounds like so much fun).

3 Comments

  1. Posted November 2, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    If people would only bother to think a bit about why Blizzard is adding changes, we wouldn’t get people freaking out about this change. Though I don’t raid, I’m still glad Blizzard is adding it, since I heal as well as tank on my druid, so I understand the issue from both sides.

  2. Lissanna
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Since druids don’t have block or parry, it would seem like the change would have to hurt druids more, so I can see where the “freak out” druids are coming from… but Think Tank’s numbers are pretty convincing that it won’t disproportionately hurt druids. So, I have faith that it will work out fine. :)

  3. Brent
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    This actually starts to bring Druids back into the MT Healer role too, as HoTs will work much better with a smooth damage profile. Yay! *happy tree dance*