Posts Tagged ‘Best in Slot

29
Jan
10

Best in Slot? It depends…

Between all the stuff going on I have been neglecting the blog quite a bit lately. The now 20 page thread on armor versus stamina over at MainTankadin is hard to keep up with, and when you get behind you have about an hour of reading at the least to catch up. Also our guild has been having some issues which have occupied a lot of my time. For once it is not attendance, but given the circumstances and attitudes of the past week, I think I may welcome the 20 raider Wednesdays to the 35 players and drama now. Honestly with all of the discussion about armor versus stamina, it is hard to think about anything else to blog about, however I will not indulge in more of that banter, the discussion has been beaten to death in my opinion.

Achievements galore

Last night we went into ICC 10 man and decided that since we had a great group we would knock out all of the achievements. Unfortunately we decided this after we passed up Lady Deathwhisper, so I have one more to go on the available content.

I was surprised at how easy they were. We were plowing through the instance one shotting everything that was trivial and taking a few attempts here and there to understand some modified strats for the achievements. What it came down to is that we still wiped on blood princes more than any of the other fights. Queen was a one shot, dances with oozes on putricide was a one shot, Rotface was the only other boss where we needed a few attempts to get dances with oozes.

Best in Slot dogma

In light of the long thread that started early in the week, which has morphed from a flame thread to a very important piece of our communities theorycraft, I wanted to talk about the concept of best in slot when applied to tanks. For a few months now on MainTankadin, there have been many threads and posts regarding the 3.3 Best in Slot lists. All of these have contained the question “when are we going to see your BiS List?” Well I believe that we have gotten to the heart of the matter to why you have not seen one yet. If we have learned anything from this 20 page thread, it is that there are a lot of different variables which we must take into account when trying to gear ourselves for a fight.

I used an analogy regarding Theck’s great work on Total Effective Health (TEH), and I believe that it can not be said enough with regards to gear selections and making generalizations about best in slot gear. The analogy says that

A hammer is an amazing invention that changed the way in which we perform construction but you should never use a hammer to put a screw in a board….

While this is a bit anecdotal, it proves a point regarding Theck’s work. You have to understand the purpose of the tool and use it only when it is applicable. The same goes for general gearing philosophies and gear sets. An extreme example of this lies in the passively unhittable set, aka the Anub’arak Hard Mode gear set. While it is powerful when tanking 4 adds during the Anub’arak encounter, you would not want to wear it to any encounter in ICC. The same holds true to a lesser extent for any of your other gear sets (if you have them), or your coveted BiS gear.

The gear on your back is only as good as the knowledge you use to apply said gear to a specific encounter. I am going to repeat that statement, bold it and italicize it because it is just as important as understanding what gear to wear to be a good tank, why there is a defense minimum, and what stats you should prioritize. The gear on your back is only as good as the knowledge you use to apply said gear to a specific encounter.

Before you walk into an instance, as a member of your main tanking core, you should understand what each boss does, what your raid will need to be doing, and what you can do to make the rest of your raid’s job easier. Once you have understood all of this, you can then tailor a gear set to help you ensure either maximum survival, maximum threat, or a balance of each depending on the fight, and its ease of completion with in your guild.

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12
Dec
09

New thoughts on threat

Who Doesn’t Want More Threat?

I was reading MainTankadin a few days ago and I came across Theck’s newest calculations on the best weapons for threat in 3.3. While I will have to say that we are a long way from having the instance on farm and as a result, letting me crack some heads for 10k sustained tps, it got me to thinking about the gear and when I want to pick it up. As most of you know, I am an avid gear swapper. I probably swap gear as much as anyone else in the game, and I consider it a testament to the knowledge of the encounters that I possess as well as a greater understanding of my role and when and what I should be doing. I love it when I see other tanks swapping out their gear. When we get a new recruit and they all of a sudden have a different gear set on, it makes me smile.

Back to the topic at hand. I wanted to discuss the options we have for threat weapons and I noticed that because of the boss where our best in slot tps weapon drops is already available, it would be important to get that information out there sooner than later. I started a discussion on my guild forums regarding the Bloodvenom Blade, asking our rouges if any of them would want it for their main spec. The responses I got brought out the loot whore in me. The overwhelming response from our guilds rogues is that they would rather stick with mutilate, and not go for combat till it proves to provide more sustained dps. This means that I don’t feel as bad if I take one the next time it drops (as one already has and went to a rogue for offspec). Why all this discussion about a rogue sword and who cares, well I will elaborate. Here is the Bloodvenom Blade:

It has a little bit of everything. It is slow, with nice top end damage, and comes along with all the stats you want for a threat weapon, hit, attack power, and agility. ¬†While it has armor pen, and that is not ideal for us, it is still by far our best option when it comes to threat weapons. Now before you go and post a comment that asks “Where is the defense?” Well you don’t need the defense on this weapon. You will have plenty of defense from your gear alone to keep you over the minimum, and besides that you only use a threat weapon when you have gimmick fights like Hodir Hard mode, or if you have something on farm. I personally will be using one of these bad boys for most of ICC normal once I pick it up, as the fights seem pretty straight forward and I wont need my Progression MT set for a lot of them. Before the second question pops into your head, that one where you wonder well why not any of the other dps weapons? Here is your answer. Theck did his usual great analysis for all of the different weapons that are available to us and posted this graph in the MATLAB TPS thread:

I also posted this in my guild forum thread when someone asked what is 1V, 3C, 3R? While I would think that most of us can interpret the meanings of this legend, there are some people that come here that are not seasoned paladins. For clarity’s sake, 1V refers to placing one point into Conviction, 3C refers to placing three points into Crusade, and 3R refers to placing three points into reckoning. What this graph shows us is that the Bloodvenom Blade is best in slot when it comes to threat producing weapons. The good news for us is that it is not a weapon that is currently used by rogues in their main raiding spec, and it drops off of Deathbringer Saurfang. Since we already have access to the normal version of this weapon, which happens to be second best over all, we have the ability to pick this up.

I would suggest that anyone who builds multiple sets, especially a threat set, should think about getting this if no one else in your guild wants it. I have used a DPS weapon as my threat weapon for quite some time now, and I have always been happy with the results.

Expertise and 3.3

I also wanted to use this post to talk about some new perceptions when it comes to expertise. While we have always stressed that expertise is a good stat when it comes to threat and “avoidance,” there have been some discoveries about Shield of Righteousness in the past few days. With the changes to Shield of Rightousness, expertise has moved into position as the most important threat stat until you are soft capped. For those of you who have not been following the discussion on MainTankadin, there was a stealth change to SoR that made it act like a physical attack which could be dodged or parried, meaning that our biggest snap threat skill is effected by expertise. The graph below shows that expertise has the highest threat per point until you hat 26 expertise (also known as the soft cap).

It is important to know that while it drops off after you hit the soft cap, and it is no longer considered the best threat stat, once again strength becomes the most important threat stat past the soft expertise cap. Although expertise is no longer the best threat stat once you hit 26, it is sit a very powerful stat when it comes to damage intake prevention, so for your main tank set, more expertise is always ok, until you hit the hard cap of 56 (which is very hard if not impossible to do while maintaining tanking stats).

25
Sep
09

Farming the Previous Instance Tier

Clearing an instance for one piece of gear

I wanted to take some time today to discuss something that is quite frustrating to me, and possibly the greater tanking community from a dedication stand point. At the same time I am sure that the dps community is just as frustrated with blizzards poor stat allocation on certain pieces of gear in each new instance. To clarify, I am talking about best in slot items that come from previous instance tiers. I spent most of my night last night in Ulduar 10 for two trinkets which may or may not drop, the Mjolnir Runestone and the Royal Seal of King Llane. Now while these trinkets are very powerful, the question that I have been asking is as such:

Is it worth 10 peoples time to farm an instance for a slight chance at the hard mode boss dropping a trinket that will increase the raids dps or a tanks survival by a fraction of a percent?

To the individual, these trinkets are very large upgrades. To any melee or marksman hunter, the runestone is a massive upgrade, and will help them reach the armor pen cap quite a bit easier, however, how much dps does the raid gain? The same holds true for the Royal Seal. Although it is a great effective health trinket with a powerful on use, is the opportunity cost of trying to get that trinket worth wasting 9 other people’s time (8 if someone wants the runestone), to full clear an instance that has nothing to offer the rest of the raid. The runestone has a bit more of an argument, as there is not an upgrade in ToTC or ToTGC that compares when it comes to reaching the armor pen cap. The Royal Seal can be replaced easily by the Brewfest trinket (neglecting the on use disparity between the two).

Aside: With Thorim Bugged, I spent all night in Ulduar 10 and we did not get a chance to kill either boss we went in there to kill…ouch

Unfortunately, this debate can be extended beyond trinkets, and beyond ten mans. What about Val”anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings? You could argue that sending not 10 but 25 people back to an instance to clear it at a chance to get a few shards a week, until you have 30, is similar. I personally think that when looking at these instances, you have to understand what the cost and benefit of the item are. With the trinkets, its a few hundred personal dps for one person, or a great stamina trinket that truly only offers an on use over its alternative. With the mace, its a raid wide massive decrease in damage taken. This is a no brainer, and for most guilds, I would assume as long as you have the ability to do three light, you should be striving to complete your next mace.

The great glaives debate

This was an issue that cropped up in a more grander sense in burning crusade. The addition of a set of glaives to a rogue or warrior were a powerful advantage when you were banging your heads up against the Brutallus enrage timer. So, as a result, you took your full raid into black temple, and cleared it every week for that very, very low chance that you were going to get a glaive. This type of raid philosophy leads to burn out at a much quicker pace. I appreciated when Ulduar came out that there was no need to go back to Naxx. Similarly, as a tank, there is really nothing in Ulduar that can not be replaced by something in ToTC (maybe the Heart of Iron, but even then you can use normal and heroic Juggernaut trinkets). We have the luxury of not having to farm something to min/max our gear.

However, there are many upgrades for healers and dps that come from Naxx or Ulduar, as they were progressing to the next level of instances. This means that if they want to min/max, they will be running instances that are boring, monotonous, and the number one cause of burn out. Why go back to ulduar when you went there for four months straight? I believe that the mace is an exception to the rule, but only to a point. If you do not have Val’anyr yet, is it worth it to keep farming? If you have one mace, do you want a second? etc, etc. To me, If you have more than half the shards, you should complete your mace, but after that, you should acknowledge that its not going to happen and move on. The burn out that you will cause as a result of trying to get that next mace is not worth it.

In the end, the current tier of instances does not take that long to clear, and if you are a hard core guild used to raiding 5-6 days a week, you may go back and full clear it one night just to fill the time. However, in my guilds case, we only have two days of mandatory progression raiding a week, some times three if we are close to a kill. In those two days we clear ToTC and all killable bosses in the heroic version on the first night, while wiping all of the second. If you add Ulduar in there, you have increased your raiding by 33%. 10 mans are optional (although with the caliber of guild members that we have, we run 4 normals and 2 heroics a week). After all is said and done, you have four nights of raiding, for the 100% attendance folks, in which you work to gear out your raid as best as possible to help with progression. After all of this is done, who really wants to go back and do it again just to get one person one chance at one upgrade?




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