So what’s out ther that we should be concerned about?
As mentioned in a previous article, one of the big questions facing a lot of us with the upcoming expansion is the question of whether or not we’ll stay with our current classes or will we potentially be switching out to another tanking class, perhaps taking a gander at the pandaren brewmaster that’ll be popping out for a completely different look at tanking altogether.
Well, with some of the information out there, that decision won’t have to be made completely in the dark.
From the looks of things, the pandaren will be operating off of a dual resource system much like the death knights. The close range pandaren talent specializations will be using energy as well as an alternate resource called Chi which presumably builds up along side it in much the same way that combo points and runes built up.
The Brewmaster’s skills will operate off of both energy and chi, which will cause the player to think hard about their choice of abilities and create many decision points during a fight where you may prefer to spend that chi early versus hanging onti it a few moments longer to be sure of having the resources available to pop a potentially life-saving cooldown at the opportune moment.
The Brewmaster actually has much of the look of a combination between a tank situational buffing class with a host of abilities that interact in fun and interesting ways. These abilities include ones like “Summon Black Ox Statue” which is a Lightwell style ability that allies can click on to gain a bubble or “Avert Harm” which functions like the ‘raidwall’ already in the game which will reduce the amount of damage that nearby allies will take by X%.
There are also interesting baseline skills that play upon this theme with things like “Meditation” which is a channelled spell that reduces all damage you take by 99% and redirects all harmful spell damage cast against your nearby allies to you but including the factor that being hit by melee range would break the channel.
Interestingly, they seem to be trying to apply the indirect playstyle in regards to the tanking aspect of the class as well, including things like Provoke which functions as a taunt but modifying it if you have a black ox statue down by turning it into an aoe taunt if you provoke the statue instead of a specific enemy.
All in all, it’s looking a lot like the new tanking class is going to be an attempt to introduce a new type of tanking style altogether. The only real question now is: With four tanking classes already in existence, does this new one have enough of a niche to not feel like a copy of one of the other ones?
Only time will tell.