Tanking in World of Warcraft has always been about getting the bad guys attention, keeping it and then absorbing their rage filled blows until your team mates can kill him off. Now with the recent announcement and hot fix by Blizzard to in essence eliminate threat from the equation, this basically removes the biggest component of tanking in the worlds most popular game and leaves the role to become nothing more than armored meat shields.
I have never been a fan of the threat tanking mechanism from an immersion stand point. It never made sense to me why a dangerous being with planet ruling ambitions would become so single focused that a trash talking, shield slamming gnat would garner all of their hated blows even while other gnats slowly killed them with fireballs, shadow bolts and arrows from behind. However I also understand its need as a game mechanic and therefore I didn’t mind its inclusion in tanking.
Blizzard has finally thrown in the towel and has given up on the balance issues inherently derived with trying to maintain a game mechanic vs. the desires and demands of its player base to help them with aggro control. Now without the need to watch aggro or worry about the incoming insults from over zealous DPS when a wipe occurs, a tank needs only to get the baddies attention and then proceed to take hits from them. So is this the end of tanking specs in WoW? If a DPS geared Paladin or Warrior garner enough health to survive the onslaught will they be all that is necessary to win a fight? I guess we will find out, but one thing is certain tanking guides have just become a lot easier and so has tanking.