Warrior Mastery + Armor/Block

#1 - April 11, 2018, 11:53 p.m.
Blizzard Post
What's the fate of Warrior mastery for protection?

With the way armor interacts with block (ie. the more you have the less damage you block), it seems that at protection warrior's Critical Block mastery will get ostensibly worse or even irrelevant as we gear up in the later raids of BFA.

Is there any thoughts about rehashing it to better behave with the changes to how armor interacts with block value, and if so, will it be divergent from what warriors typically do? Will we finally relinquish the status of "the shield tank" or will we get a double-down and have our block values ignore the shift as to encourage critical blocking?
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Game Designer
#10 - April 12, 2018, 11:47 p.m.
Blizzard Post
04/12/2018 01:10 PMPosted by Disowns

The value of block now passively increases as you get more and more gear, most notably from shield. Block as a mechanic still scales somewhat linearly throughout the expansion, instead of double dipping with the increased survivability from having higher armor contribution on top of it.

This is the right idea. Since there have been a lot of questions about this--

Block seeming to decrease when you gain armor is mostly an artifact of how we're currently presenting it on the character sheet (which might be worth revisiting). I'll keep using Shield of the Righteous as the example since it's a large temporary armor change.

Block now uses similar scaling to armor itself, for the reasons mentioned in my other post (briefly--it's more gear-driven and makes upgrades matter, and allows content to be tuned around higher block values as you proceed further into the game). When you gain a massive amount of armor from Shield of the Righteous, you're now at a higher point on the armor DR curve. So adding a fixed amount of armor, which is essentially what block is doing, translates to a lower %.

This is no different from how gaining a buff for X armor would appear to add less mitigation (as a %) if you had Shield of the Righteous up--i.e. the way armor as worked for the whole history of WoW. Block just happens to be called out as its own % on the character sheet, so this is more visible. In all cases, gaining more armor will further reduce damage from both blocked and unblocked hits.

We of course could make abilities like Shield of the Righteous increase block value as well as armor, so the "block %" stayed similar. But I'm not sure that's what you'd actually want from a gameplay or balance perspective. That's basically saying we'd give block more value during the time when you're already protected by Shield of the Righteous. That's the opposite of the usual desire (it would increase damage variance). Letting armor DR work using its natural mechanics, causing an effect like block to have more % value when you have lower armor, seems better.

Summing up, I hope that clarifies a bit more what's going on, and so far I think the biggest outstanding question is whether there's a clearer way to present the block information on the character sheet.


The first direction we're likely exploring for Brewmaster is to make Stagger the mechanic that is driven by Agility, and ultimately make sure it has similar scaling to the armor-based mechanics on the other tanks. This would not necessitate any large player-facing changes to how Stagger works or how you use it.


Also, an upcoming alpha build will have a reduced % on all the effects that translate primary stat to armor. They're too high right now because a recent change reduced armor values across the game and didn't change those abilities to conform. It's just a math fix, when it happens.