It only occurred to me today that I have been less that diligent about my blog over the past few months. I have seriously been so swamped with work because of a project which has deadlines looming on the horizon, that I have not had any time between work and Raiding to write down anything. I have a few things I wanted to talk about, and will more than likely rock a double post today because I have a little window of opportunity to do so. The first thing I wanted to talk about was an issue that has cropped up in the past few weeks for me. If you read a lot of MainTankadin, you may have already read about it, but since I can post pretty screen shots and show you my world of logs parses here, it will be a bit more complete.
Issues with Threat
WHAT?!?! I know what you are thinking, I am a prot paladin, I don’t have threat issues, I have a face roll class which produces enough threat to walk away from the computer to get a drink mid trash pack (by the way, I have done this before). Well sadly, I have been running into some major issues with my threat production lately, specifically I am threat capping some of my dps. This frustrates me more than almost anything, because it means I am not doing my job.
At first, I thought it was because of the lack of tricks and misdirects that I was having so many issues, because they are a significant amount of threat when you break it down. But alas, that was not the case. After the second week in a row of threat issues, I went to world of logs and took a look at the parses which highlighted some of the issues which I was having. There were a few things that I wanted to do to solve this problem, before I found out the root cause, and they were pretty spot on when it came to solving the issues.
After examining two boss fight parses, it was clear what the issue was. I needed more chance to land attacks. My expertise is below 26 in my end game progression set, and my hit is extremely low as well. If you take a look at the log, you can see that there was a significant amount of dodges, parries, and misses.
I apologize that we can not line up the abilities with the statistics, but I could not maximize my window enough to get both the abilities and the misses on the screen (side note, WOL should have a freeze panes function). The top picture is a summary of my missed abilities on 25 man hard mode fester gut on the 13th of this month. The bottom picture is a breakdown of my Hammer of the Righteous ability. As you can see, I have some major issues with landing my attacks. While hit alone, or expertise alone can probably mitigate the issue, to solve it, I needed to gain a good deal of both. Part of my issue is I was thinking in the past. My gearing philosophy for almost all of the fights in ICC is stuck in the past.
A change of perspective
One of the things that I had not taken into consideration regarding the solution to my problems was the 10% buff, both from an increase in dps and an increase in health. The fact of the matter is that our dps are pumping out quite a bit more than they were a month ago. We have been showered with 277 dps gear, and painfully short on healing and tank gear. While this has proven to be beneficial to fast clears of the instance, it does not help with our looming progression of heroic Lich King, or the fact that I am out geared by my dps counterparts. In addition to my dps doing more damage, and increasing their throughput, I have been getting more health from the zone wide buff.
I know what you are thinking, “well duh dummy.” With the increase in health, I have been quitely enjoying the massive health pool that I have and thinking about all of the increased effective health I have gained over the past few months. However, at the same time, I have not been taking into consideration the fact that my increases in effective health have not translated into increased threat as well. I am not gaining any new gear, so I am not gaining marginal increases in strength, hit and expertise on my gear. This has been part of the problem that has blindsided me.
To counter this, I had to convince myself that I was no longer in danger of causing a wipe by tank death. I successfully did that after forgetting to swap out my threat gear, which places me painfully low in terms of effective health gear, during one of the encounters later that week. After tanking a hard mode boss with less than 40k hp unbuffed and 30k armor, I guess I had proven that my healers can handle some small sacrifices in survival for threat purposes on the farmed content.
Changes in gear and changes in threat
After my abysmal showing that week, and my analysis of the parses that came out of it, I decided to modify my gearing philosophy for all but a few bosses. For the bosses in the lower spire, Rotface, Festergut, Blood Princes, and Dreamwalker, I was going to wear a more threat centric gear set. Now, I am not talking about my pure threat set which sacrifices all effective health for pure strength, crit, hit, and expertise, but a set that trades a bit of armor for hit and expertise. To do this, I only switched three pieces of gear. I dropped out the Pillars of Might, My Winter Cloak, and my weapon, to pick up a significant amount of hit and expertise. In place of those three items, I used the heroic version of the Legguards of Lost Hope, The heroic Version of the hit Cloak and the Heroic Facelifter from ICC 10. This put me comfortably at 243 hit and a bit over the expertise soft cap.
While this may have not been the ideal decision if I was looking to maximize my effective health, it has become clear that my survival is no longer in question for most bosses in the instance on hard mode. As soon as I made the switch, I noticed a marketable increase in my threat production and my ability to stay ahead of the dps. As you can see below, there was a drastic change in my total miss rate by just swapping out two pieces of gear. Now while there may have been a bit of luck in this comparison (as there are not enough data points to make this a statistically relevant evaluation), it shows generally that a few pieces of gear will make the difference, and increasing your expertise and hit will help with threat.
Other thoughts on the matter
When I first started to notice that I had issues with threat, my mind immediately thought of all of the threads on MainTankadin where people say they have threat issues. More specifically, it went to the replies that tanks like Meloree and I make to them explaining that it is more than likely an issue with their rotation and that a WoL parse would show us that. I was worried for the first time that I was not as good with my rotation as I had previously thought. I was worried that I was selling something I couldn’t do myself. That was the first thing that drove me to scrutinize the parses, and I was relived to see that it was not the case. However, for anyone who is having threat issues, I would suggest that you try and find out the root cause of the issues on your own at first. If you can not figure out how to solve said root cause, then there is a wealth of knowledge to help out with that, but nothing can beat you solving your own problems because you learn so much and grow from the experiences.