WoW Tank Threat Change means we now essentially tank without threat

Recently World of Warcraft changed threat for tanking so significantly that it is essentially gone as a concern for tanks. This has made some players very happy as it made tanking a whole lot easier and allowed DPS to get involved sooner and harder in fights. Before getting into how to tank now that the system has changed let’s look at the changes.

World of Warcraft Tanking Threat Removal

The change made was essentially that tanks generate 500% additional threat from all damage caused allowing them to hold threat off DPS with greater ease. The old threat boost while tanking was 300% instead of 500%.

For more details and a complete review on what this change meant, you can check out the article: Threat Change: Blizzard Removes Threat as a Concern for Tanks!

Player Reaction to Blizzard Removing Threat

So far player reaction has been very polarized on the change. Many players are extremely upset about it calling it yet another dumbing down of the game. Other players are very happy about the change due it being easier to tank and hold threat, or DPS being able to do more.

The tanks I have talked with tend to really dislike the change and say that they didn’t need it to begin with. The thought being that it was a challenge for them to be able to build proper threat and that required at least some skill. The only time DPS pulled from them is when they were idiots and hit wrong targets or hit to early, and making threat even easier just allows that to happen more.

DPS and Healers seem to like the change a lot more than the tanks do. This is because targets are locked onto the tank sooner and they can hit almost any random target and not pull threat, making their jobs easier.

How to Tank with No Threat

You can now get away with tanking from the next room thanks to the Threat Change that was made.

I am very tempted to just put a picture of someone face rolling here, and call it a day.

So you know what? I did!

I went into an instance, grabbed a bunch of creatures, and handed my wireless keyboard to my son and sent him around the corner. I had pre-bound all the different tanking abilities to a bunch of random keys and taken off the movement bindings. I moved with my mouse and he rolled his face around on the keyboard to use the abilities.

He thought I was nuts, and I probably am, but he also thought it was funny and so he humoured his old man and played along.

You know what? It worked, random button mashing held threat!

That’s a pretty sad statement in my opinion.

Ok, How to Really Tank with the Threat Change

Ok, now that I have had my fun, onto what you really need to know about tanking with the threat change.

The issue is now almost never going to be about keeping threat on a single target since you will be miles ahead of anyone else. The issue is going to be making sure you hit as many multi target abilities as possible to ensure you hold all targets on you right from the start.

With this threat change DPS is really going back to the Wrath of the Lich King AOE DPS method and not paying attention to targeting at all. Even single target DPS is running into combat and hitting whatever they damn well feel like. This is what Blizzard has essentially told them it is ok to do, and they are doing it.

Your new tanking priority is to grab as much threat on as many targets as you can so that nothing moves, as no one else is going to check what you are hitting any more.

Tanking Rotation Changes to Deal with Threat Change

Before this change a tank's main priority when dealing with groups of trash mobs was to deal light AOE damage initially on the pull to ensure that secondary targets moved to the tank to fight. Once there they would stay there while we focused on our main target that all DPS was focusing on killing. Just before it died we would switch to a new target to build enough threat so that players could move to it right away when the first one died. The fight would continue in this manner until all the enemies were killed.

Now our priority really has to be multiple target threat at all times when in random groups. Players were used to being warned to watch threat and keep target priority, now they are taking it for granted that everything is locked down all the time and not paying any attention to anything.

The abilities you use will depend on the class of tank you are. For example, as a Paladin, Crusader Strike is essentially gone from any rotation other than single target boss fights. Also Wrath has moved up in the priority sequence to hold multiple enemies.

What DPS Should Know about Dealing with the Threat Change

All of the above has been aimed at tanks, and how we deal with the change. However, a big portion of that is based on DPS not dealing with the change correctly. The correct way for DPS to deal with the threat increase is…

…to completely ignore it.

That’s right, you should stick to your old methods for DPS. Stick with single target abilities, follow the tank's target, don’t randomly select targets, give the tank some time for threat a the start of a fight, and everything else you have been doing since day one.

If DPS did this then tanks wouldn’t have to change either, and any instance run would be much smoother.

The Messiah’s Final Word on Tanking without Threat and the WoW Tank Threat Changes

As you can probably tell, I’m still a bit bitter about all this. Most tanks are.

When someone can randomly press buttons and hold threat now, it’s a pretty sad statement on the game.

When DPS takes the ability to target whatever they want, use whatever abilities they want, whenever they want, and think that is a good thing, that is an even worse statement on the players of the game.

World of Warcraft - Related Content
Threat vs. Survivability | WoW Tank Guide | Class Guides
Threat Change: Blizzard Removes Threat as a Concern for Tanks!

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.