I’m writing this as a player who almost strictly does Rated Battlegrounds in terms of PvP. It’s been my main reason for playing this game for several expansions now. One of the toughest things to find is a decent flag carrier for flag maps. So few people enjoy filling that role. But I have to wonder - and I think the answer is easy - if it would be so much easier if every tank spec were viable in some respect. The more tanks that are available, the more groups will run, the larger the PvP community grows.
The Current Meta
While we often hear about how there are certain “niche” areas that certain specs can fill in any type of game play (i.e. Affliction Warlocks can be devastating in a rot comp, but frankly, Destruction winds up being more useful 99% of the time), the fact is that there are only two viable tanks in RBG’s right now: Vengeance Demon Hunters and Guardian Druids. VDH specialize in mobility and kiting with a decent amount of cc to slow/silence/incap enemies, but are susceptible to heavy melee and dying in a stun lock. Druids are incredible damage sponges and also somewhat mobile and have their own kit to control several enemies at once, but don’t have a ton of great options against hard casters and heavy spell damage.
Those are two of the six tanking specs. Right now, the other four just don’t have anything that lets them compete
DPS classes that differ in their roles in RBG’s. Some are more about spread damage, others are hard-casters focusing on lining up a couple big casts, others make great base sitters, and still others are great for trying to solo cap a base or guard a friendly flag carrier. Healing classes have different roles as well. Some have massive single-target healing, some have cooldowns that make them pump instant-cast heals, some have huge absorbs, and some have a high number of HOT’s that they keep up consistently on multiple targets. So - why not give the other six tank specs a similar niche?
How to Do It
Quite simply, the sole purpose for these changes is to make the other specs good flag carriers. There’s no hiding from it, but there’s really no reason to do so. UHDK’s take Necrotic Strike to reduce healing in PvP in every situation they play unless they’re playing arenas against a double-DPS comp where the opponents have minimal self-healing. Why not have similar Honor Talents for these tanks? Here’s a few ideas I’ve had that I think would fit in with the overall class fantasy for a few of these underrepresented tanks
DK’s are the slow-marching, inevitable harbingers of doom, yes? DK movement in PvP is much slower than any of the other tanks. Why not double down on the “inevitable” portion by adding a talent that drastically reduces the effect/duration of CC/snares? Now, they’re going to take a massive amount of damage if they’re slowed down significantly, yes? So how about another talent that drastically increases the amount of leech the tank has? Good synergy there, makes BDK’s sponges that have the most effectiveness when they’re able to feed off of enemies via damage. Something like a Vampiric Aura?
Prot warriors would be cool if they had something to reduce their cooldown on Intervene/Charge/Heroic Leap and either grant more self-healing or increase the effect of Ignore Pain. Maybe some sort of twist on the once-loved Gladiator Stance (R.I.P.<3). Make it so they’re significantly more mobile when there are enemies or teammates around, but not so mobile when they get out into the open solo
I would love to see Prot Paladins get some sort of talent that makes Avenger’s Shield silence and snare every target it hits (maybe reducing the number of targets hit to compensate) and Consecration to increase damage done and healing received drastically while standing in it. This would make Prot Paladins excel at being offensive while carrying a flag - sitting in flag room on cap, your healers are keeping you up, and you’re burning down the enemies trying to kill you, interrupting casters/healers. That’s your niche
I honestly haven’t played these much at all. Really don’t feel qualified to offer thoughts
I know it’s late in the development stage, but this would really provide a great boon to RBG play. It would also open up more comps, and allow those classes’ other specs to develop a role on the teams as well