We have been following the conversation about tanks in our new PvP mode, Solo Shuffle. Tanks have long been a design challenge for PvP as their abilities and tuning are intended to allow them to survive against multiple enemies or Dungeon and Raid bosses. In Battleground modes, like Capture the Flag, where a large team killing a specific player is the primary objective, the existing design for tanks can work well. One team needs to coordinate their burst and crowd control against the other team’s tank and healers use of their defensive abilities and positioning. But, in the case of Arena, the general survivability of tanks (particularly when they are also good at dealing damage or healing their teammates) can be a frustrating experience to play against.
Our first attempt at addressing this problem in Solo Shuffle was to replace healers with tanks in matches where they were involved and to pair strong off-healing tanks (specifically Protection Paladins) against each other. The feedback we have heard from you is that these matches are not enjoyable for the other players and more needs to be done.
We want to make it clear though, excluding tanks from Arena or Solo Shuffle is not an option we are exploring. We create content that is available to everyone no matter their specialization and there are some players who enjoy playing one class or specialization. We do not want to isolate those players and believe there are more design options for us to explore.
As we continued to discuss the best solutions to the system and how to create a more positive experience in Solo Shuffle for all players, we decided to make the following changes to tanks in Solo Shuffle:
Protection Paladins will remain classified as “healers” and will only be placed in matches where the other healer is also a Protection Paladin.
The remaining tank specializations will be classified as a damage dealer, with a maximum of one tank damage dealer permitted in the match.
Alongside these updates, we will be looking closely at and actively tuning tank abilities in PvP, specifically around how they fit in Solo Shuffle.
These changes will soon be live in the Dragonflight beta and are planned to be available in the Dragonflight pre-expansion patch with phase 2 during the week of November 16.
As always, we appreciate your feedback. Please continue to provide feedback via the forums or to @WarcraftDevs on Twitter.