Posts Tagged ‘Parry Haste

07
Aug
10

Discussions on Halion Tanking

WoW Versus my Job

My job has been getting in the way of my ability to main tank all of our progression runs for the past few months. My transition to a new (old) role in my company has hindered my attendance and my concentration when it comes to raiding, preparing for raids, blogging about raids, and everything else that had to do with my obsession with WoW. I have gotten to the point where I get my WoW fix only three days a week, the rest of the time, baring a huge guild scandal (which has been known to happen and require me to log on early in the morning to talk to our other Co-GM) I am away from the game and away from my ability to talk and think about it.

As a result, we have had some new tanks working on halion hard mode, and more specifically being the shadow realm tank. From my understanding, as I have never tanked outside in phase 3, it is a fairly trivial tank and spank job for one of the tanks, and add duty for the other. As for the inside, and the shadow realm, there are all sorts of fun things that you have to deal with. Over the few weeks our guild spent on Monday nights wiping in 10 man learning the fight, I got a good look at the fight from all aspects, and learned what gear to wear, how to use it, and when to use your cool downs.

It was interesting to hear that quite a few of our tanks, dps posing as tanks, and everyone in the raid in general had a hard time with the cutters. The laser beams of death are a simple mechanic which is only muddied by two factors: your tanks ability to rotate on a dime, and your raids ability to react quickly when they get the mark. From my perspective, the only difficult time a tank should face is when one of your tank healers gets the mark and has to run when trying to heal you. This is intuitively the best time to use cool downs, health stones, trinkets, etc.

Back to our tanks trouble though. I have been hearing that most of our stand in’s have been having issues with confidence when it comes to rotating the boss. I guess I have to explain all of the different tanks we field and when we use them to understand how this is such a broad based problem. I have been the main tank of the guild for quite some time, and have been part of the tanking rotation for the entire expansion. As tanks have come and gone, I have done my best to replace them. We currently have a talented tanking roster of two protection paladins and a protection warrior. This is bolstered by a trial druid tank, and three dps capable of tanking (DK, Warrior, and Druid).

Each of these players has been asked to step up at one time or another on this fight, and each of them have had an issue with either wanting to tank or being an effective tank. We have had issues with single target threat, being able to execute the rotation in the shadow realm, lack of gear to handle hard mode 25 man hits, in ability to pick up the adds, and general sub par play by some. In the end our other main spec tanks are doing their job well, and a few of our very talented players can sub in from a skill stand point but their gear is not up to snuff. This brings me to the topic at hand that I wanted to discuss. If you thought that was a long winded intro, I have apparently been away too long!

Gearing for Hard Mode Halion

A discussion has broken out on our class forums between myself and one of our best players (a shadowmourne wielding death knight who used to MT back when his guild was a top 100 progression guild in the TOTGC days). The discussion centered around his concern that he was getting gibbed by halion on phase 2 inside the portal. He saw that there was some parry hasting leading to his demise, but overall he was not geared enough to take back to back hits.

This lead to an evaluation of his gear, and a personal reflection on what I would wear to the party when I get a chance to walk in there and tank. For me, armor has always been an attractive stat, and should not be discounted, however with the impending breaths that the boss pumps out, you want to consider stamina a great option as well. The gear set that I am leaning towards will put armor in the forefront of my mind, however at a certain point, the DR will become too steep and I will rather use stamina to bolster my survival and effective health.

If you look to combine the priority of stamina and armor, and in addition try to increase your expertise to respectable levels so that you have the threat to not threat cap your dps and prevent a good percentage of parry hasting, you can create a fairly well rounded gear set. Most of the gear that we will wear for the encounter will be best in slot gear from an effective health perspective. The areas where we can manipulate gear to achieve an elegant solution to threat, expertise, and survival, are few and far between, however important to understand. Legs, trinkets, weapon, cloak, and rings are slots which will give us the opportunity to modify gear to achieve a desired outcome.

What I was looking for when it came to assembling a set was to trade up some of the armor pieces for large chunks in stamina. With the issues that our guild has been seeing, trickle down deaths are not as prevalent, it is the burst damage you need to sustain when a healer is preoccupied with saving themselves. While armor is still very powerful, there is a balance which needs to be considered before going for all of one or all of the other. If I can manage it, I will work on putting together some testing on Halion hard mode, where I will wear full armor for a few fights and break down the damage, and threat out put, and then swap over to a more balanced set with more stamina, hit and expertise to see how that shapes up.

More to come!

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25
Jun
10

Tanking Caps and You

Gearing Philosophy and Necessities…

I received a tweet this morning regarding hit and expertise caps and what one should focus on first, and I thought that the 140 character limit of twitter was just not going to cut it for a proper response, so here is a more detailed and informational (hopefully) response to the question:

AndrewAnderson5 Wrote: @AvengingWrathy I got a question in regards to pally tanking. is it better to be hit capped, exp capped or both?

Well the short and simple answer is Neither. It depends on your gearing philosophy and goal of the gear set. Hit capping will help with your threat, and ensuring that your taunts land every time (if glyphed and melee hit capped). Expertise is a threat stat first, and on bosses where parry haste is enabled, a defensive stat as well.

Hit rating

With a hard melee cap of 263 hit rating or 8% hit, you will never miss a hit which you attempt. In addition, if you are glyphed for Righteous Defense, then you will never miss a taunt either, as your taunts are spells and the glyph will give you an extra 8% hit to get to the spell hit cap. With the advent of 3.3, we have new threat stats which sit at the top of the charts, and your question has some merit for the changes we have seen. First and foremost, it is important to understand that if you cap hit, you will remove the chance to miss from the attack table. What this means is that your swing is left with three options, land (hit or crit), dodge, or parry. In order to eliminate dodge from the attack table, you have to get to the soft cap of expertise, or 26 rating. This will leave only parry on the attack table. Parry is quite a bit more expensive to remove from the attack table because of its added threat of parry hasting.

While we have proven that all but two of the bosses in ICC have parry haste turned off, and the two that do are for the most part more threatening with their frost spells, it is still worthy of note to understand that there is a defensive characteristic to the stat. Theck has proven that Expertise is 83% as good as Dodge when it comes to pure avoidance. This only is applicable for bosses which parry haste. However there is always the added bonus of removing dodge and parry from the attack table. Once you have reached 56 expertise, you will land every hit you attempt on a boss.

Now on to the pretty pictures, because that is really what helps me understand things. Hit rating is something that will obviously help us with our threat, however it has no effect on our ability to mitigate damage. Hit is something that you want to start stacking if you are having problems with threat capping your dps . Hit has a great relationship with threat, and is the second best threat stat out there, and  is illustrated by this lovely graph I ninjaed from Theck over in the 3.3 Stat Threat Analysis thread at MainTankadin. If you observe the graph you will find the following:

No surprises here. Hit drops off when you reach the melee and spell hit caps. Everything else is pretty much the same, with slight scaling of damage-increasing stats until you reach the appropriate caps.

The interesting thing to note is that after about 50 hit rating, STR increases enough to equalize the two stats. Note that this is with 0 expertise rating from gear; at the expertise soft cap this number will go up. What this means is that if you’re really optimizing for threat on a limited budget, you’d want to balance hit, expertise, and STR. On the other hand, it’s hard to come up with a rule of thumb for this, since it will depend on your current STR, hit, and expertise values. In practice it will be more common to just gem STR if you want sustained TPS, and hit if you want snap threat. The difference in sustained will be small enough (~2-3 TPS per 10 points of rating or stat) that hit is probably the better choice. – Theck

Expertise Rating

As you can see, This graph is a great example of how hit is one of your best threat stats out there, and even better, a great seg-way into how great expertise is for threat! Expertise has long been established as a threat stat, and all of your melee have been soft capping since day one of Wrath of the Lich King. Why haven’t we really concerned ourselves with it as much though, is because until 3.3 ShoR was not able to be missed, parried, or dodged. And as it is one of our best snap threat generators, it was something we didn’t have to worry about. Now that it can be dodged, parried, and missed, expertise has shot up into the best threat stat out there. As you can see below, expertise is by far the best threat per second stat that we have out there.

…Expertise has risen to top dog status with the change to ShoR. As always, expertise loses effectiveness when you hit the soft and hard caps (82 and 328 rating or 26 and 56 skill after talents, respectively), and damage-increasing stats scale differently above and below those caps (see the different slopes on the STR and BV lines in the three regions).

Past the soft cap, expertise drops back down to be roughly equivalent to AP for threat purposes. That would put it at a “don’t gem” level as far as threat is concerned, though there are also avoidance benefits to consider. – Theck

So as you can see, both of these stats are valuable but the question still remains, which one first?

Hit or Expertise First?

This question has to only be answered after you have asked yourself another question, what am I trying to achieve? What I mean by this is that you have to ask yourself if you want to just increase your threat generation, do you want to ensure that your taunts never miss because you are tanking adds on LK or doing DBS, or is it that you are concerned about the stats from a survival stand point. Because the two stats bring two different benefits to your character, and remove specific things from the attack table, they have a situational purpose, and they are both powerful when employed properly. Hit capping your tank will ensure that you never miss a taunt. This would be something that is essential when taunt swapping is very, very important (such as Deathbring Saurfang), or if you need to pull adds off your main tank (as you would in the OT role of the first phase of the Lich King encounter).

If you are strictly trying to produce more threat because you are threat capping your dps, then it has been proven above by Theck that Expertise is now the number one threat stat for paladins until they reach the soft cap of 26 expertise rating. After that you would want to focus on Hit Rating to the 263 mark. If you take a look at the graph below, you will see that each of these is increasingly important as your strength gets higher.

The amazing news here is that STR has finally been un-seated from the top spot [with respect to TPS increase]. Above 1942 unbuffed character sheet STR, both Expertise (up to the soft-cap at 26) and Hit (up to the a few %, see hit graph) give better TPS per point of rating.
We had already expected this would occur for hit, but the real news is expertise. The ShoR change has drastically changed our reliance on expertise. Soft-capping expertise at 26 becomes highly recommended.- Theck

So, Theck has taught us that Expertise is now the most valuable threat stat up to the 26 rating soft cap. But it is also important to note that the more strength you have the more valuable your hit and expertise are. From a gearing stand point, you should probably try to get to the expertise and hit caps via gear itemization, and gem pure stamina if you want a kick butt threat set.

The third, and for the most part irrelevant (because parry hasting is turned off in most of ICC) option: if you are looking to increase your survival via one of these two stats, then you want to focus on hard capping your Expertise. This is possible in current gear levels, and is quite easy as a matter of fact. However, you will be sacrificing overall mitigation and effective health to reach the plateau of 56 expertise rating. I have two different options of gear sets when it comes to hard capping, however both of them sacrifice a lot of armor and health to get there. If you are looking for plain survival, I would stick to the effective health gearing philosophy of stamina and armor stacking.

Hope this helped!

16
Apr
10

Suffer, mortals, as your pathetic magic betrays you!

Distractions, Obligations, and Absence

As some of you have noticed, I have been very bad at posting as of late. It has been a long month, with Elayn getting Married, work getting very busy, and progression in full swing. I honestly do not know where to begin with all of the things that have happened in the past month or so. After some contemplation, and the help of one of the hottest search engine topics that bring people here, as well as my fun instant gibs which have been happening as of late, I have settled on my first topic of discussion on my return from extended writers block!

Apparently my soul was consumed, multiple times

I think I have heard the following quote way too many times in the past few weeks, but all things considered this is one of the most fun fights I have had from a gear tweaking perspective in a long time…

You are fools who have come to this place! The icy winds of Northrend will consume your souls!

After looking back on the recent posts regarding content, I have been slacking quite a bit. It has been a few weeks since we hit 10/12 hard modes, and had killed both lady deathwhisper and sindragosa. However, that doesn’t mean that our guild doesn’t still find some difficulty in these attempts. We have gotten to the point where we can basically clear the entire instance on hard mode, save one or two bosses in a single day, however that doesn’t mean that we don’t have our issues with a certain angry female frostwyrm.

I wanted to take some time to discuss the 25 man version of  Sindragosa Hard Mode, including my thoughts on gearing, tanking, and some of the things that I have done to help make this encounter a bit easier. We probably spent two nights on this encounter in order to get it down, however for us it was not an issue of learning, but an issue of survival. After about 5 attempts we had gotten down the ice block positioning, line of sight issues, and overall strategy for phase 1/2. We were doing well but people were dying, including the tanks. I would say that about one in three wipes was due to my death.

This is the first time in a very, very, VERY long time that I have been a consistent cause of a wipe. I went into the encounter with the same philosophy as the 10 man when it came to survival. The frost breath was the major threat to my survival due to burst damage death, so I geared to combat that. I wore my full frost resist set, which had me sacrifice health and armor for 524 frost resistance.

A change in plans

It was apparent quite early on that this gear set was not going to cut it for this encounter. While the frost breaths hit very hard, the problem during the hard mode attempts is that her melee hit even harder. This was due to the lack of armor and mitigation that I had. As I slowly began to understand, something needed to be done. I initially swapped from a resistance flask to a health flask. This made a bit of a difference and I found that while I was still tap dancing the AD line frequently, I wasn’t dying as often. Who said 2,000 health wasn’t a make or break? (I’m an elixir spec’ed alchemist).

After swapping out one more pice of frost resist for my T10 277 chest, I was down to 370 frost resist and significantly more armor and health. This made quite the difference, and tank deaths dropped considerably in P1. In comes phase 3, out goes Wrathy. I was back to square one, and with the increased coordination and issues which present themselves in phase three, it was back to the drawing board, to squeeze a bit more survival out of my gear. I swapped a few things around and got to the point where I felt there was nothing else I could do to increase my survival. I was still at about 370 frost resist, and I now was trading some expertise on my weapon for blood draining and the Last Word proc.

After a few more attempts wearing said gear, we pulled, we executed, we conquered. Sindragosa was dead, and we were a 10/12 guild. It was a good feeling to get this boss down. The attempts which we did on sindragosa were for the first time, something to be proud of. Every boss which we have encountered has required a few hours of attempts and a handful of wipes in order to learn the execution and fine tune it enough to get a kill. This boss was a bit different. It was the first time where some of our newer (read non sunwell raider) members started to complain about how “hard” this was.

I for one welcomed the challenge and enjoyed the small step up in difficulty. It was the first time where we spent a significant amount of time on a boss in order to kill it since Anub’arak. And even then, anub was a special case because of holiday absences, and attendance issues. We ended up going very healing conservative with 8 healers, and 15 dps. It was something which stabilized the raid and allowed for the healers with Unchained magic to stop casting and just wait it out.

The second coming of Sindragosa

After the raid reset, we were hell bent on spending lots of time on putricide and getting that encounter in the books, but we wanted to clear the instance first in order to maximize the gear upgrades we could get before pulling the good doctor. We blazed through the instance, on shotting the lower spire, crimson hall, and Dreamwalker. In comes Sindragosa. While I was no where near as optimistic to say that we would one shot her, I was not prepared for what was about to take place.

With a new week, new challenges presented themselves. I was aware that frost resist was not as powerful on hard mode as it is on normal mode, simply because of the size of her melee and cleave swings, so I geared accordingly. I dropped all the way down to 270 or so frost resist, meaning that I was only wearing one piece of frost resist and the FR aura. I was sitting at about 61k hp, 39k armor, and 45 expertise, and we were running with 7 healers since we were missing one of our main healers for the day. That is when a long lost friend reached out and slapped me across the face…

PARRY HASTE… and…. DEAD!

I took a 32k hit, a little more than a second later a 29k hit, then less than a second later a 35k hit. 96k in two seconds. I was floored. I thought to myself, well that is what parry haste does, it is something I am going to have to deal with but I am doing my best with 45 expertise, its far more than my off tank has about 30 expertise, and I thought that it was going to be a little wake up call from the RNG gods. Boy I was wrong!

Two of the next three attempts were a result of parry haste gibs. It was time to do a bit more juggling of the gear set. I ended up with 52 expertise, trading about 1000 effective health for that extra little assurance that parry hasting was going to be a non issue. Although I have a few more points to go, it was enough to only see one more the rest of the night. After about 10 attempts, the boss was dead, and we were on to putricide with about an hour and a half left in the raid night.

Good News, Everyone!

NOT, well sort of…. We pulled putricide after discussing some strategy and as soon as the first plague went out, the entire melee bounced it around. We recovered from it and made it to the transition phase. It was sloppy, painful and over all our first major issue of the encounter. After a long but constructive discussion regarding positioning for the transition phase, we pulled again, and did much, much better! The good news was that we had made it to 50%, the bad news was that we had less than 2 minutes on the enrage timer.

The sustainability was there, but the dps was not. It was getting late and we had a few people that were not going to be able to make a Sunday raid, so we decided to do one last attempt on putricide, and then swap it to normal and clear the instance. On our last attempt, we tweaked yet a few more things, and got him to the second phase transition at 35% with 3 minutes to spare on the enrage timer. Unfortunately, our green ooze dps was lacking, people started blowing up and eventually we died. However, the silver lining to this is that after three attempts on hard mode putricide, we are already at Phase 3!

In the end we swapped the instance back to normal mode and cleared it in short order. Once again, a two day raiding week with 10/12 hard modes in the book….




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