Tanking in Wrath of the Lich King

There was a blue post recently in the WotLK beta forums about what Blizzard envisions tanking to be like for the 4 tanking classes in Wrath. In case you missed it, here it is:

Threads have popped up in several class forums that seem to be converging on a few of the same issues. So rather than cross-posting a lot, I thought I would start a new thread.

Tanking design:

1) Our goal in Lich King is for all 4 tanking classes to be viable.

2) We would like for tanking to be a little more fun. I’m going to leave this vague on purpose, but it is definitely a concern.

3) In 5-player instances, most warriors, druids, paladins and death knights should be effective tanks. The healing specs may have a harder time than the dps specs. Arms wariors, Fury warriors, Ret paladins, Ferals and most DKs should do fine.

4) In 5-player heroics, the expectation is that the tank has a heavy investment in tanking talents and appropriate gear. Arms warriors might have trouble tanking a heroic unless they overgear the instance.

5) For raids, we want all 4 tank classes to be viable. If your group has e.g. a Prot paladin and Feral druid as main tanks with appropriate gear and reasonable skill, you should be good to go.

6) This is a shift in philosophy for us. Previously, we sometimes tried to steer Ferals as being better off tanks than main tanks. We also expected specific classes to appear in the raid. Our new assumption is that you might have any of the 4 tanking classes as a tank. We are trying to achieve as much parity as we can among the 4 tanks without making them too similar. If nearly all guilds want the same class as their MT, we’ve failed.

7) This is a big one: the game isn’t finished. We aren’t spending too much effort yet to make sure mitigation, threat and tools are similar across the 4 classes at level 80 in blue or purple gear. Likewise, your talent trees and core abilities aren’t finished. Tanking (and PvP) need to have a lot of other pieces of the game in place before we can really get the numbers right. It’s fine (useful even) to point out when you feel a particular ability, talent, class or build is too good or not good enough. But please don’t infer the work in progress as a reflection of our intent. If we end up changing our minds or if things don’t work out, it will be posted here.

8) There are a lot of changes in Lich King that change tanking and raiding in general. I won’t list them all out here, but keep in mind things like itemization changes, widespread raid buffs, consumables, UI changes, etc. Just keep them in mind. We’re not in Tempest Keep anymore.

You can read more here: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=8765643774&sid=2000

We’ll see how it pans out but one of my bigger concerns is that tanks in general are going to become more homogenized and very similar.


  1. deathgiver says:

    from what i gathered from that they’re basicaly saying we want all tanks to be similar but don’t worry they won’t similar. then again my bliz to english translation is a bit rusty.

  2. deathgiver says:

    they won’t be similar* typing this right after waking up aparently has its flaws.

  3. it looks liek they are saying ANY warrior, pally or tank class, regardless of spec, should be able to pull off tanking…my concern is then why have a Prot Spec anything? IF you can be just as effective as a different spec?

  4. They’re saying that warriors, druids, paladins and death knights are all capable of tanking if specc’d for it. They’re also saying that each class is unique. Therefore blackthought, you’ve read the post wrong. Perhaps it would be a good idea if tried to read the post over. If there is no prot spec then there’d be no specified tanks and how is it that any other tanking-able classes specc’d different could possibly tank? Please use your head. Blizzard is not ignorant or thoughtless when it comes to designing the game.

  5. Im a pally tank and i have gotten a few single target tools that have evan the game a bit i get tired of hearing how warriors are beter boss tanks then pally’s well not so much anymore TY bliz