28
Nov
09

Breaking down Theck’s newest headache

I briefly touched on Theck’s new formula  a few posts ago, and Rhidach and Honors have done the same, but I wanted to discuss its benefits in the near future a bit more. Currently there is probably only one encounter that you would use this on, and that is the encounter you are wiping on. The problem with this current situation is that there are plenty of smart tanks that are easily available who have cleared the content and can help you with your gear questions. There are no fewer than 5 to 10 posts a day in the Gear Questions and Advice forum on MainTankadin, and these do not include the daily whispers that most top Tankadins get on a daily basis regarding strategy, gearing, and philosophy.

The formula courtesy of Theck, bringer of numbers and pounding headaches…

I don’t know about the rest of you, but just looking at that formula gives me a headache, so why have we been giving this so much attention over the past few days? The values of X and Y in that formula are very easy to obtain via World of Logs or WWS or what ever parse application you use, and they provide for some very powerful information. What we can do with this formula is calculate our effective health for any given death situation. Some of the variables are defined below by Theck, and these account for our specific gear sets, making this formula universal.

The formula uses the following mitigation factors:
Ma is the mitigation due to armor, defined as M is in section I.
Mt is the mitigation applied to physical damage due to talents
Mg is the mitigation applied to magical damage due to talents
Mr is the mitigation applied to magical damage due to resistances

Here X is the percentage of our damage intake that’s from bleed effects, Y is the amount of damage taken from magical sources, and 1-X-Y is the “leftover” amount due to regular physical damage.

Why do you ask is this an important thing to understand? Well as you very well know, I am a fanatic when it comes to gear discussion and theory, and It is where most of my expertise lies when it comes to theorycraft. And, this formula gives us a direct insight into our gearing choices and whether we should be altering our progression gear set for a specific encounter. For those of you who have the same level of math savvy that I do, the following breakdown clears somethings up for us:

The take-home message of these formulas is that armor loses effectiveness linearly with the percentage of “regular” physical damage intake for a given fight. In other words, for a fight with only 50% non-bleed physical damage, armor is reduced in effectiveness by 50%. If an armor trinket is worth 100 stamina on a purely “regular” physical fight, it will only be worth 60 stamina on a fight with 15% bleed damage and 25% magic damage (60% “regular” physical). – Theck

This gives us some insight into whether or not we should be wearing those juicy bonus armor pieces from Icecrown Citadel when fighting progression encounters with in that instance. We have all come to the consensus that bonus armor is a great weapon, and even more over, the armor trinkets that most tanks refuse to wear will have their day in the sun, however, they will be few and far between. The armor trinkets that we have access to through the badge vendors in this tier, and even the upgraded armor trinket with a stamina stacking proc in the next tier, will have specific times to shine, as our block rating gear has on Anub’arak.

It is important to understand though, that the use of these trinkets will be purely situational and most likely in a gimmick set, and not as part of our progression main tanking set. For that set, we will have the Scarab/Juggernaut trinket and the 228 stamina from the badge vendor in ICC. Once again, I give you Theck:

  • Stam is better in general, because it works everywhere. It’s the VISA of EH.
  • Armor is American Express. More exclusive, but very powerful in the few places it should be used.
  • This wasn’t intended to imply that Armor needs to be reworked. I think that Blizz is better off leaving armor as-is. But we need to be able to make intelligent gearing decisions as tanks, and knowing when to use or not use armor trinkets helps us do that.
  • Is this going to benefit the Greater community, or just the number crunchers?

    The true power of this equation is that it will help both sides of the community. First and foremost, this is a better evaluation of the formula and theory of Effective Health. This does not, in any way, change our view on effective health, or how it is achieved. What this does is show us the tipping points in certain encounters where the magic damage or bleed damage has become great enough that armor is no longer as powerful as stamina at a 11.7:1 ratio.

    For the number crunchers, we can analyze our death logs and evaluate our X and Y values to see if we need to modify our gear set to include more or less armor versus stamina, and we can do so in real time with irrefutable data. For those of you that do not do that, but still want to be prepared for the fights to come, The gear gurus of the community are beginning to work together to compile a list of damage sources which result in “spike” damage. What I mean by this is, we are starting to comb through our parses and get the damage numbers for our spike damage events for each applicable fight, and we will, when confident that we have a large enough sample size, publish the X and Y values for each encounter.

    This will provide a great wealth of information which will empirically define what gear sets you should wear for your progression encounter. If you are dying on Northrend Beasts to Gormok’s impale, then you can come look at those relative X an Y values and see if you need to shed or gain some armor for stamina. What is important to understand though, is that this formula is used to provide insight into those burst damage situations, not overall damage mitigation throughout the fight. Meloree and Brekkie brought this up half way through our discussion and they were spot on with their assessment, it is important to understand the following:

    People hear the term EH and they think “that number = my survivability”. In the way you are modeling EH, that is not strictly the case. Tanks gear for EH-contributing stats for progression, this is true, but the ultimate goal is not to maximize your absolute EH. It is to maximize your chance of survival against the primary “tank-killer” scenario of the current fight.- Brekkie

    Conclusions and a path forward?

    The formula gives us a very logical source of theorycraft from which we can make gearing decisions. It requires a bit of manipulation and data gathering, however when that is complete, we can effectively make on the fly decisions during progression encounters about our gearing choices. Where most great tanks do this already using the trial and error method, coupled with a vast amount of knowledge and gut feeling, we can empirically answer the question with a mathematical formula that should be fairly easy to do in between wipes.

    For now, We can go back to Trial of the Grand Crusader and analyze the parses for values of X and Y. As a community we will more than likely come up with an acceptable sample size and get some great values for effective health with respect to the gear we wear. Going forward, I would like to create a spreadsheet for dummies (read myself when I say dummies), which uses simple excel formulas to mimick Theck’s equation and allow anyone to plug in their values to give you your outputs. If the work is on the back end, you can easily create a format where you can plug in your mitigation factors, values for X and Y, and you will have your effective health. Tweaking those mitigation factors will give you a good idea on whether or not you want to stack more armor, more stamina, or even consider a resistance flask.

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    2 Responses to “Breaking down Theck’s newest headache”


    1. November 28, 2009 at 7:23 pm

      I’m really looking forward to seeing what ya’ll come up with from this.


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