Wow tank gear
As someone who really enjoyed earning Proven Defender, and then pushing beyond it, it saddens me that my desire to earn the Artifact Challenge tint is far less then earning Proven Defender ever was.
There are a few reasons for this.
In the Proving Grounds, the encounter was focused on keeping the NPC alive and staying alive, while dealing enough damage or ensuring enough survivability, that you could progress through the waves.
The tank, had to establish aggro on groups of various sizes, deal with illusions which would:
- Drop threat
- Would do a point blank area of effect attack (so they couldn't be tanked next to the healer)
- Deal with environmental hazards (fire) which would hurt then, or they could use it for an advantage and hurt the incoming enemies
- Hit exceptionally hard (enrage)
- Have a frontal stun attack
- Nuke the tank / healer
- Would 'add' to the fight while the tank was already bu
- Would stack damage over time debuffs on the tank
All of which are things a tank would have to do in a dungeon or raid setting.
The NPC Monk would either heal the tank, do single target damage, or AE damage, but and this is important - consistently be doing *something* if the waves were active.
The earn the Proven Defender title, the tank had to perform correctly against each successive wave for 30 minutes straight, while also dealing with each wave dealing more damage then the last.
The encounter was scaled to item level in Warlords, and I feel really identified the role tanks would required to play in a group setting, and a tank who could hit endless 30, likely really was decent at their class and spec and you could tell they invested the time.
In contrast, the Artifact challenge for tanks has:
- A NPC who spends most of his time idle (despite being one of the strongest Priests in the entire WoW universe).
- A Mini-Boss you can't really tank, due to Aura of Decay, but need to interrupt, which most tanks have to do in melee
- A Group of Adds who will kill the tank if they get their Nether Storm cast off for any given amount of time
- A Set of Eyes which will knock you backward (and possibly off the platform) while looking directly at them (and are immune to physical damage for Guardians).
- Infernals which consistently reanimate and have an attack which will knock you off the platform (even if you are not hit by the animation)
- A Nether Shard Cost (for any attempt past the first)
- A Building requirement (which it spends more time being unavailable, then available).
Why this feels bad:
I have one of the strongest lore characters in the game in my group, and he spends most of his time not doing anything. He's not hurt mind you. However his smite deals very little damage, and he will, at times decide to randomly stop providing the healing orbs he places out. If he does decide to give you one, it may be next to him, inside the aura of decay, or on the other side of the platform. He is exceptionally inconsistent and while the Orb does heal the tank to full and disorient all the enemy npcs the sad fact is I'd rather have the monk from the Proving Grounds because at least when she's not healing me, she's helping in other ways.
I have an additional NPC who spends the entire first half of the fight in a bubble. While she's not in danger, and doesn't take damage - you can't get her out, and feel bad that you are doing all the heavy lifting.
The Infernals are fine, if they can fix the issue where they knock you back, even if you are not hit (animation and hitbox seem different) and act as a soft enrage.