WoW: The Meatshield Inn

LtWarhound wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

You guys are missing the point. Blizzard's goal is to make all stats equally valuable. That's what they design to. Players have come in with this idea of 'This stat is best!' and break that system. That's why stats will never be perfectly balanced, and it's also why they don't *have* to be perfectly balanced.

Sorry, no. Just no. If Blizzard designs the game so the red cars go faster, then it doesn't matter if the intent is that all colors of cars go the same speed. The players aren't making red the fastest color, Blizzard did. So, yes, the stats have to be balanced, and only Blizzard can make that so. And damn, just damn, having done software testing, I can tell you that's one of the first things I would have done, crammed each stat to the max individually, and analyzed the results. That Blizzard didn't is pretty embarrassing. Its really basic.

Also, I'd Looooooove to hear you explain those two sentences I emphasized in the quote.

Equally valuable doesn't mean equally effective. From a tanking perspective, parry and dodge accomplish the same thing: no damage taken. Armor and Block both reduce damage taken. Is dodge more valuable than parry? Is block more valuable than armour? All the stats, taken as a group are what makes tanks function. sacrificing the amount of other stats to max out block will only even out damage taken. Overall, it will increase the amount of damage taken by reducing the amount of damage mitigated completely by dodge and parry.

Boss X hits on plate for 10k each swing. Over 5 minutes, he'll hit the tank every 5 seconds. Parry Haste has been disabled(And is honestly retarded if you ask me).

Tank A stacked mastery to wind up with the following: 18% dodge, 18% parry, and cap block to 102.4%. 36% of the time, he takes no damage, the remainder he takes 6k per swing.

Tank B took what was on his gear and came out with 24% dodge, 24% parry and block out to 92%. 48% of the time he takes no damage, and only takes full damage 6% of the time. 6% of 12 hits per minute over 5 minutes is 3.6 hits, we'll round that up to 4. So over a 5 minute fight Tank B took 40k more straight up damage, but dodges 80k more damage than Tank A.

Obviously, all of those numbers are completely and utterly made up. However, that's the gist of what Blizzard is designing to.

In all fairness to Blizzard, that's about where warriors are on live. I ran a bunch of numbers, and can share them in painful detail if folks want, but I did see that maxing block through mastery was able to smooth out my damage numbers by reducing the overall number of full hits I took and converting some blocks to critical blocks, but I am taking more overall damage than before. However, the numbers are very slight (0.5% more damage overall in exchange for 5% fewer unavoided/unmitigated hits coming through). The only issue warriors had (which it appears that they fixed) is that more mastery made shield block more and more worthless (since we got closer to 102.4% naturally, making the bonus 100% block mean less and less). I think warriors are probably close to the idea they're striving for (though I'd like to see a little bit more of a swing being possible, which the adjusted factors at 85 may cause to happen).

Where they seem to have gone awry is with paladins (and with druid Savage Defense/Vengeance). In those cases, I'd have to agree that they didn't cover their basic testing scenarios. They should have taken all four tanks (and really all 30 specs) and done some sort of scenario testing to see what happens when mastery is stacked to the exclusion of all else. They really ought to have some sort of scenario testing that would allow them to analyze extreme numbers of any particular stat to see what the impact is. Especially given the number of times they've run across these problems. Unless they've designed the system rather poorly, it should even be relatively easy to use the actual engine to generate some of these scenarios. After all, with dps specs, we can even perform that analysis ourselves using the testing dummies using the game engine.

AnimeJ wrote:

Equally valuable doesn't mean equally effective. From a tanking perspective, parry and dodge accomplish the same thing: no damage taken. Armor and Block both reduce damage taken. Is dodge more valuable than parry? Is block more valuable than armour? All the stats, taken as a group are what makes tanks function. sacrificing the amount of other stats to max out block will only even out damage taken. Overall, it will increase the amount of damage taken by reducing the amount of damage mitigated completely by dodge and parry.

Boss X hits on plate for 10k each swing. Over 5 minutes, he'll hit the tank every 5 seconds. Parry Haste has been disabled(And is honestly retarded if you ask me).

Tank A stacked mastery to wind up with the following: 18% dodge, 18% parry, and cap block to 102.4%. 36% of the time, he takes no damage, the remainder he takes 6k per swing.

Tank B took what was on his gear and came out with 24% dodge, 24% parry and block out to 92%. 48% of the time he takes no damage, and only takes full damage 6% of the time. 6% of 12 hits per minute over 5 minutes is 3.6 hits, we'll round that up to 4. So over a 5 minute fight Tank B took 40k more straight up damage, but dodges 80k more damage than Tank A.

Obviously, all of those numbers are completely and utterly made up. However, that's the gist of what Blizzard is designing to.

In the long run I can definitely understand your position regarding the mix of mitigation & avoidance, but there is also very much a priority order.

For instance, if you have the choice of Dodge vs Parry, you'll want to go with Dodge simply because you'll passively get Parry from Strength anyways, but the amount of Dodge you get per point of rating is still better than Parry, they aren't equal. Whether that's due to the Strength conversion I'm not sure, but I do remember seeing my pally have far less Dodge rating to end up at the same amount as Parry. Diminishing Returns over time though agrees that in the long run, these two you'll want to equal out, since as you stack one, the other is more valuable.

Block versus armor though, Armor wins. They aren't really on the same level, especially for anyone that cannot Block Cap (either currently or ever), Armor reduces every physical attack, Block only gives you a chance, and eventually even after Block Cap, that amount is static. The reason Block was so appealing is that it allowed Warriors and Paladins to have consistent incoming damage - something that won't be possible now until a later raid tier.

I'll definitely look into get some mind-boggling math numbers up based on the Mastery boosted vs. Mastery Ignored comparison, but what it'll really come down to is whether 10% additional block value is really worth taking X amount of full hits.

As far as the balancing around pallies & warriors being block capped compared to DKs and Druid, it was looking slightly better balanced once Pallies and Warriors could do that, but DKs and Druids still leading by a decent margin with their absorbtion/soaks. Without that option, it's looking like DKs just took a big lead (looking at how they aren't being nerfed like the others. Of course, Bliz has already said they don't care about imbalances at 80, and I think part of what I'm seeing is the Paladin's lack of a third 'oh crap' button they won't get until 81 (Guardian of Ancient Kings).

For instance, if you have the choice of Dodge vs Parry, you'll want to go with Dodge simply because you'll passively get Parry from Strength anyways, but the amount of Dodge you get per point of rating is still better than Parry, they aren't equal.

Actually, that isn't true. They are (supposed to be) equal now in point for point scaling and DR. You get dodge from dodge/agil and parry from parry/str in (I think?) equal amounts.

Will look for the information on this.

edit:

Yeah all tank threads on EJ speak of Dodge = parry as far as point scaling and DR. I can't find anything that says if str to parry is the same as agil to dodge so I could be smoking something there without testing it later tonight.

Remember too that the philosophy of tanking has changed fundamentally in Cat. The balance they acheived pre ICC was:

1) Tank avoidance increased dramatically compared to health pools. This led to:
2) Bosses had to hit extraordinarily hard, since so few hits actually landed. This caused:
3) Healer discomfort at having to spam heals for the one time a hit got through. Which brought us to:
4) ICC, where Blizzard gave up, apologized for not understanding their own game mechanics, and issued Icewell radiance.

Blizzard has *apparently* learned from their 3 year old mistake. Health pools are, at 85, more in line with expectations of avoidance. Gear inflation has been culled by not having both 10 and 25 person ilvl tiers. Blizzard can make bosses that don't hit so hard, which dominos into giving healers a chance to save a GCD and re-introduce making healers worry about mana.

Hopefully, things will work out. . .

Unless Blizzard misses the mark, and block capped paladins and druids stacking vengeance-fueled Savage defense become such impenetrable bomb shelters that Blizzard has to once again make bosses punch off 51% of their health each swing. Sorry, hunchback, you just broke the phalanx of inter-related goals.

Blizzard's goal is the opposite of its playerbase (which is what causes all the confusion regarding stat balance). Blizzard wants tanks to be relatively squishy so they can make bosses hit softer so they can mitigate (eliminate?) the spamfest healergasm that WotLK turned into.

Tanks, clearly, don't want to be squishy. We want to be as tough to kill as the game allows, so our healers can polish off a pint of Hennessy v.s.o.p and /flex at critters in between liesurely pressing their heal button.

Dr.Ghastly wrote:
For instance, if you have the choice of Dodge vs Parry, you'll want to go with Dodge simply because you'll passively get Parry from Strength anyways, but the amount of Dodge you get per point of rating is still better than Parry, they aren't equal.

Actually, that isn't true. They are (supposed to be) equal now in point for point scaling and DR. You get dodge from dodge/agil and parry from parry/str in (I think?) equal amounts.

Will look for the information on this.

edit:

Yeah all tank threads on EJ speak of Dodge = parry as far as point scaling and DR. I can't find anything that says if str to parry is the same as agil to dodge so I could be smoking something there without testing it later tonight.

Agility->Dodge % is definitely not the same as Strength->Parry %

Str actually gives Parry Rating, so it is then further translated by the Parry Rating->Parry % conversion and factors into DR in the same way as regular Parry Rating from gear. This is easily verifiable by looking at your character sheet. Threw me for a loop at first, as I couldn't figure out why my parry rating was so high. Agility->Dodge works the same way it always has with a custom conversion rating from Agility straight to dodge %. I couldn't get the numbers to work out perfectly with Kamyndra's various gearing options and what EJ had posted, so I'm not 100% certain, but I'm pretty sure Agility-based dodge (at least that above the base amount of Agility) is still subject to DR. The conversions from Rating->% are definitely identical, as are the DR calculations. That I was able to verify myself with playing around with Kamyndra's gear and a spreadsheet, and my combat logs so far are within expected tolerances of those target calculations.

In the main, that means we'll want more straight Dodge Rating from gear than Parry Rating to keep things balanced, but potentially slightly less Parry Rating than Dodge Rating overall (in terms of what the stats pane says) due to the parry rating that's coming from Strength. That's assuming we see some Agility from other sources though; given how much we saw in Wrath, keeping the stats pane balanced is still likely to be the order of the day as far as maximizing avoidance benefit from gear (given that non-Druid tanks generally see minimal Agility, mainly Kings/GotW).

Zablocki19 wrote:

As far as the balancing around pallies & warriors being block capped compared to DKs and Druid, it was looking slightly better balanced once Pallies and Warriors could do that, but DKs and Druids still leading by a decent margin with their absorbtion/soaks. Without that option, it's looking like DKs just took a big lead (looking at how they aren't being nerfed like the others.

DK absorption isn't nearly as much as you're thinking, though. It relies heavily on player skill and timing, because the player needs to death strike at the right moment for the mitigation to actually work. Also, since it scales directly with the amount of damage the DK is taking, if Blizzard can reduce the damage that the bosses are dealing, DK absorption goes down quite a bit. So if Blizzard isn't having the bosses strike for 70% of the DK's health every 3 seconds, and instead has them hitting for 40% every 5, DK mitigation loses quite a bit of it's edge over the others.

On average, my DK can death strike once every 8 seconds right now(10 seconds for UF runes minus runic empowerment procs). DS heals for 30% of the damage that the DK has received in the last 5 seconds(minimum of 10% of the DK's health), and gets a physical damage shield that's worth 50% of that heal. Mastery increases the shield by 6.25% per point of mastery.

My DK is sitting around 17 points of mastery, which translates to a 105% shield. That means that I'm effectively nullifying 63% of 5 seconds of incoming damage every 8 seconds(assuming perfect play on my part where my DS heal has it's maximum effect, and that I've actually taken quite a bit of damage in the previous 5 seconds), which comes out to about 40% of all incoming damage. If the damage spikes, and I am unable to DS within 5 seconds, I lose out on the absorption. Realistically, with the level 80 healers, I'm probably using less half the heal, which drops the overall mitigation to under 30% of total damage. That's identical to a block capped pally. It's only better if DS can be used for maximum effect, which may not happen, considering that I may need the runes to get the diseases or BB debuff up.

I know this is not exactly tank related but I have been following Ratshag from Need More Rage who is a tank of sorts but according to his latest post he done hung up his sword and board and bought a ranch in the Barrens.

Need More Rage

Perfect timing since tomorrow is patch day.

Quick question for all the protection paladins out there:

Are there any tanking addons that I absolutely must get? Currently I have Omen 3, which is nice, but simple.

I don't know if I ever plan on doing hardcore raiding, but once mudbunidin gets high enough, I wouldn't mind doing the occasional raid, so I would like to grab any raid tanking addons now so that I am used to them for then. (if that makes sense.)

Tidy Plates: Threat Plates is great. Especially for 5-man content. The enemy name plates change color if you have threat or someone else from your party does. Leaps and bounds more useful than Omen for most of the content you'll see for quite a few months at least.

ELewis17 wrote:

Tidy Plates: Threat Plates is great. Especially for 5-man content. The enemy name plates change color if you have threat or someone else from your party does. Leaps and bounds more useful than Omen for most of the content you'll see for quite a few months at least.

Thanks!!

Now I just have to figure out how to use it.

Catch me online (not hard to do!), and I'll help you with any questions you have about it.

That's a nice mod. Just attention-grabbing enough to be useful without being terribly intrusive.

A paladin question: I finally dinged 81 and picked up Inquisition. It's a holy spell (as opposed to a ret or prot spell), so I'm figuring it's aimed at healers.

Do paladin tanks have any real use for this? Does it fit into the standard rotation? Or is it something you might use if you're having issues with threat?

When I get 3 HP, I either hit Shield of Righteousness or Word of Glory, depending on how the fight's going. Is Inquisition something you'd hit to put extra oomph into, say, Holy Wrath?

I use inquisition in a few situations:

1) When AoE threat is important: Replace CS with HotR and use Inq to boost your AoE threat generation. It works OK at best in my tanking build, as I have specced out of Consecrate and glyphed for single target Avengers Shield, and no refreshes on AS CD, but depending on your spec I think this could be pretty effective.

2) DPS burn phases- With the serious risk of hitting enrage timers in current raid content, DPS burns are critical points where every bit of health peeled off a boss is crucial. When a DPS burn phase begins I continue with my single target rotation until I get a proc of Sacred Duty (shield slam crit), then I build my HP up to 3 > Dump the HP into Inq > pop wings > pop Divine Plea (for another 3 HP) > dump 3 HP on SotR. This gives you a HUGE crit plus a great boost in DPS for the remainder of wings and Inq. My biggest crit so far (I got last night; fully raid buffed) was for 86k.

In pugs I like using it at the start of pulls to generate a good threat lead on the non-skull mobs. Divine plea to get 3HP > Inq > Avenger's Shield > HotR > Consecrate/Holy Wrath. It's by no means necessary, but it gives you a bit longer to spot if someone's attacking the wrong target or something like that.

ELewis17 wrote:

... I build my HP up to 3 > Dump the HP into Inq > pop wings > pop Divine Plea (for another 3 HP) > dump 3 HP on SotR.

Hmmm. I think I might have to go into my macro lab and make a big ol' IWIN! button. I bet an 86K crit is a beautiful thing to behold.

@Sonic: Thanks for that tip. That looks like a nice way to start a pull.

So I am at L37 with my Protection Paladin, and find myself using the following rotation, and would like to know what people think:

Open (at range) with exorcism.
Avenger's Shield
Consecration (when they get to melee range)
Hammer of the Righteous
Holy Wrath

And then continue spamming attacks. I fire off Avenger's Shield, Hammer of the Righteous and Holy Wrath whenever they come up to make sure that the aggro I am generating is spread around to the entire group. I also try to manoeuvre so that all of the targets are in front of me, facing away from the rest of the group. If there are more than a a couple of mobs, i will also pop off Consecration when it is ready again, so that the mobs that aren't getting hit by AS and HW are aggroing on me.

Don't forget Judgement. It's a powerful little attack.

Your opening is fine. But once you gain one more talent point you'll get Shield of the Righteous, which is the cornerstone of a paladin tank's rotation.

Your rotation, then, will be something like this when you're tanking in an instance (or fighting multiple mobs in battlegrounds or on quests):

Hammer of the Righteous --> filler --> Hammer of the Righteous --> filler --> Hammer of the Righteous --> Shield of the Righteous

Each time you use the Hammer you get one holy power. Once you get 3, you want to bring the pain with the Shield.

If you're fighting one mob, sub Crusader Strike for the Hammer.

Filler can be Holy Wrath, Judgement, Avenger's Shield and/or Consecration. They all have cooldowns.

Speaking of Consecration, some folks love it for holding aggro and others think it's underwhelming and a waste of mana. I'm in the latter camp at the moment.

Enix wrote:

Don't forget Judgement. It's a powerful little attack.

Forgot that. It always gets popped off when it shows up as being ready as well.

Your opening is fine. But once you gain one more talent point you'll get Shield of the Righteous, which is the cornerstone of a paladin tank's rotation.

2 more for me. I currently only have 2 points in Sanctuary, and Shield of the Righteous needs 3 points.

snip rotation details

Speaking of Consecration, some folks love it for holding aggro and others think it's underwhelming and a waste of mana. I'm in the latter camp at the moment.

With 2 points in Hallowed Ground, the mana cost for Consecration is dropped by 80%, which makes it useful for me, but I may be overcompensating in trying to generate aggro due to my inexperience in how much aggro I am generating on things not being hit by me.

Having Righteous Fury up means that most things will stick to you like glue.

You're right about needing 3/3 in Sanctuary to get Shield of the Righteous -- I read right over that. If you want Shield sooner than later, re-spec and take a point out of Consecration and put it toward Sanctuary. SotR is that much fun.

I always have it up. First thing I check when I log on.

Does SotR scale with the shield you use or level you are? With 3 HP, 138 damage doesn't seem that much. That being said, Consecration is becoming a lot more situational (only at beginning of battle) that I can probably drop one point from it. How do I go about doing that?

Talk to your profession trainer, there will be a chat option to reset your talents. It'll cost a couple gold, and the cost increases each time you respec.

muttonchop wrote:

Talk to your profession trainer, there will be a chat option to reset your talents. It'll cost a couple gold, and the cost increases each time you respec.

Does it reset *all* of the talents, or just a couple?

(Doesn't want to have to try to remember where everything was.)

Not to undermine Enix, but IMO you want to keep using Consecration until you are a master of managing threat on multiple mobs at once, including adds(mouse-over taunt and Hands macros should be nearly second nature). Also, using Consecration now is helping you learn situation awareness. Since you are able to take your focus off your rotation temporarily to assess any incoming dangers.
SotR does get AWESOME once you get 2/2 in Sacred Duty. Yes, 138 damage seems like weaksauce right now, but you are still low level. A few posts above I posted that I had a SotR crit for 86k. That is putting the hurt on!

Shield of the Righteous scales by level. Assuming the slider is correct here, at level 37, you'll deal a base of 294 damage plus attack power (I think). I've never dug deep enough into the math of the game to figure out stuff like that.

The layman's account: It hits like a truck, especially when it crits.

And, yes, your talents go back to zero. I just write down what I want to do beforehand.

Hmm, I will check out those mods tonight when I get home.

mudbunny wrote:

Hmm, I will check out those mods tonight when I get home.

I'll be posting a good chunk of my macros tonight for easy copy/paste into the game.

ELewis17 wrote:

Not to undermine Enix ...

Just a glancing blow!

If I were leveling a paladin tank, I'd make a beeline for Shield of the Righteous. That said, if you're having aggro issues (or even fear of aggro issues), Consecration is worth having.

ELewis17 wrote:

I'll be posting a good chunk of my macros tonight for easy copy/paste into the game.

Excellent. I've got only a few for my paladin and I could always use a few more.

/cast Raise Dead

Arise, thread!

Here's a question that's probably so blindingly obvious that I probably shouldn't ask it, but I'm going to anyway because that's how I roll. And the question:

Do Death Knight tanks not use shields?

I'm assuming blood-specc'd DKs use 2H weapons and not shields, but I can't seem to find my copy of "Death Knights for Noobs" anywhere.