The situation around Nighthold, tank balance, and magical damage has spawned a lot of discussion for us in recent weeks, ranging from immediate balance concerns to philosophical issues of how magic damage should be used. We do feel that the damage profile in Nighthold caused tanks to be less balanced than we'd like on a handful of encounters.
Abilities like Spell Reflection
are no worse than
, when fighting a boss that does an occasional large magic attack that threatens to cause a killing spike. In fact,
is usually weaker, because you trade one activation of Ironfur
for it, whereas there's no similar downside to activating
. The time this situation is flipped on its head is an encounter like Krosus
, who somewhat rarely does a white autoattack but stacks a heavy consistent magical DoT. In this scenario,
is essentially a free no-cooldown anti-magic "cooldown", and we see this as the largest cause of the current behavior of Guardians in Nighthold.
For the long run, a lot of the feedback on this forum has correctly identified some of the challenges and tradeoffs in how this should be addressed. We do want tanks to have variance in how well they handle different situations, but we also want interesting encounters like Krosus
and Etraeus that challenge them on unusual axes, all while not making it feel overly bad for a raid group attempting something with the "wrong" tank. That's something we're going to continue to revise for future tiers of content, but of course that more philosophical discussion won't affect Nighthold.
For the short term, we are not adjusting Guardians in the 7.2 patch because 1) we avoid imposing significant nerfs at this point in a tier to a spec that many people have gotten comfortable completing the content with, and 2) the solution is likely not just a numbers change, but more fundamentally rethinking
. With that context, the buffs to Protection and Vengeance aren't intended to bring them up to the level of current Guardian, but are intentionally small adjustments to help people who are trying to finish Nighthold now.
As people's focus turns more to Tomb in upcoming months, we welcome any discussion about to what extent people see similar problems arising there, and whether further class changes (beyond reexamining
) are warranted for long-term balance outside of the specific context of Nighthold.
Something I wasn't clear enough about above: re-evaluating
would still be before Tomb of Sargeras. Other broad class tuning based on PTR testing and other data closer to that point would also take place as usual, at the start of the new raid. But that's one concrete item we can already discuss.