In the weeks since that post I’ve become a lot less concerned with min-maxing and have adopted an “all-purpose” build; prioritising stamina, then expertise and hit caps, then mastery. I try to keep the option open for swapping in more mastery for any block fights where I can, but the thing is; I’ve yet to reach any point anywhere in the game where the amount of damage I’m taking is significant enough that I feel compelled to min-max my damage reduction stats. Brief periods of danger can be dealt with easily by hitting Enraged Regen in combination with a health-boosting CD/trinket, and any high-damage phase is predictable for easy CD timing.
Overall, I just don’t think that healer mana is anywhere near as affected by me as by all the DPS carelessly soaking avoidable damage. As long as I am playing properly and using my damage reduction and control abilities reasonably intelligently, my damage intake is fairly predictable, and I might as well be contributing what damage I can.
That’s all I have to say about theorycrafting, I suppose. But I do want to talk about how ridiculously fun prot warriors still are. It just feels very active, like you have a tool for every situation. And while the all-purpose combo of Charge-Thunderclap-Shockwave-Revenge-Shield Slam is what I end up doing 80% of the time, it’s the trickier pulls that make it all worth it. The ones with multiple casters to shut down, or mobs with irritating abilities that you just want to control as much as possible.
We still have an amazingly versatile toolkit [though I miss my single-target stun] and the best mobility of any class in the game. Executing one of those pulls where you zip around like a madman sweeping all the mobs into a neat pile and then BOOM stun the whole pack in place– wrapped up like a gift you’re presenting to the DPS– it’s a great feeling.
I have a fond memory of the first time I tanked that trash before Elegon, realising a fraction of a second too late that oh shit this mob was about to knock me over the edge of the platform and oh fuck there I go… but having my well-developed Heroic Leap reflex kick in to instinctively leap straight back to solid ground again.
Then the second time I tanked that trash, the exact same thing happened.