I’ve been kind of “afk from internets” this week as I had a pretty big software deployment happening at work that I was handling. Thankfully that all went pretty well, and now that I’m not stressing about that I can look at posts and changes from the past couple of weeks.
“GC, just a quick clarification. The new Armor Damage Reduction formula used for 86+ characters: Armor / (Armor + 4,037.5 * Level – 31,7117.5)
Does this continue on to level 93, similarly how the current Cata formula worked to 88 until this expansion? or is there another formula for level 91 and beyond?”
It continues on to level 93. Just to clarify to make sure there are no misunderstandings, adding denotation for which variables are of the target and which are of the attacker: DamageReduction = TargetArmor / (TargetArmor + 4037.5*AttackerLevel – 317117.5)..
This won’t mean anything to you unless you’re a mathy type. Basically just a confirmation of the damage reduction formula that Armor uses. The obvious follow-up question to this is “Will Guardians ever Armor cap?” The short answer is “no”. I have a post planned that will have a longer answer in the next few days.
To provide an update on tanking mechanics, I want to comment on Mastery for Guardians and Brewmasters. This is somewhat of an over-generalization, but tanks typically care about 4 things when gearing in decreasing order of importance:
- Survive the maximum burst damage of the encounter (aka Effective Health)
- Minimize healing needed (aka Damage Reduction + Self Healing)
- Hold aggro on whatever you’re needed to hold aggro on (aka TPS)
- Maximize damage dealt (aka DPS)
#4 is generally much less important than #1-3, and overlaps with #3 heavily when considering gear. And #3 is relatively easy these days anyway. So, usually it just comes down to #1 and #2.
Stamina primarily helps with #1. Dodge primarily helps with #2. Most other stats help with resource generation, which typically translate into #2. Mastery for Guardians and Brewmasters is in the somewhat unusual place of helping with both #1 and #2 significantly.
If you compare Mastery to Dodge for a Brewmaster, as a few theorycrafters here have done, you can see that, purely in terms of how much they reduce your damage taken, Dodge wins by a considerable margin. We balanced it that way, because we give value to how much it helps with #1 as well. Obviously, helping with #1 has some value, because you care about Stamina. We see Mastery for Guardians and Brewmasters as sort of a hybrid between Stamina and Avoidance, in terms of how it helps improve your character.
It’s easy to objectively compare the value of two stats in terms of how much they help with #1, or how much they help with #2. But comparing some amount of help with #1 to some amount of help with #2 is much more complex and subjective. It’s an interesting choice that tanks have to make all the time, and one of the most successful choices in gearing that the game provides (Stamina vs. Avoidance being the primary way that choice is expressed). So, that means balancing a stat that provides a mix of both can be complex and subjective as well. After much deliberation, we’re going to try valuing the effective health benefits of Mastery for Brewmasters and Guardians significantly lower than the damage reduction benefits, and adjusting the Mastery conversion rates to reflect that.
Hopefully this provides a bit of background and perspective about the complexities underlying even the simplest of changes: In the next build, you’ll find Mastery for Guardians providing 1.25% Armor per Mastery (up from 0.65%), and for Brewmasters providing 0.5% Stagger per Mastery (up from 0.3%).
I didn’t want to cherry pick lines out of that since it was too important of a post. Essentially Blizzard had placed a much higher value on something we like to call “Effective Health” or “EH”. This is really just a different way of looking at unmitigated damage vs your health pool. Using EH allows you to easily derive values for how long you will live given a certain set of circumstances. This is called “Time to Live” or “TTL”. EH is calculated like this:
YourHP / (Total Percentage Damage Taken)
For Guardians we can expand this a little further to:
YourHP / ((1 – Armor Damage Reduction) * (1 – 0.1))
The “0.1″ above refers to the Weakened Blows debuff you put up by pressing Thrash. The reason EH is important is because each fight as some sort of “uber combo” which is the maximum amount of damage you can receive in any interval. On Madness it is Impale + Melee Swing, Haggara is Focussed Assault, etc. As a tank you must have enough EH to survive this predetermined amount of damage. However you not only have to consider the amount of incoming damage, but how quick/efficient your healers are at reacting to incoming damage. If you have really awesome healers then you will not need anything over barely achieving the “EH threshold”. However if your healers are kind of average you might want a little more. This is usually what the whole “Agi vs Stam” debate comes down to.
Everyone knows I’m always on the side of forcing your healers to play the game better, but I digress.
In any case Blizzard appears to have come around to what we’ve been preaching since the start of Cataclysm: That total damage reduction (TDR) is a far more valuable number over the course of an entire fight than pure EH. As a result our Mastery has been doubled in effectiveness. It now increases our armor (including Bonus armor, but more on that in a later post) by 0.0125% per point of Mastery. This effectively puts Mastery right behind Dodge in terms of TDR – after you reach the necessary RPS to maintain Savage Defense (again, more on that in a later post).
This is a good thing.
“Is it intended that secondary stats now have twice the itemization budget of primary stats in terms of gems”
Yes. With the possible exception of Spirit, there is little decision in choosing red gems in the live game. Secondary stats are often more interesting in general because there are break points, hard caps, and personal preferences. Any Agi user who eschews Agi is doing it wrong.
This makes sense. In Cataclysm we saw the overwhelming predominance of the Red gem, even for Bears. You only ever used other colours to meet socket bonuses and/or activate Metas. I like that they’re trying to better balance out the effectiveness of gemming your Primary vs Secondary stats. The awesome thing for Guardians is that this means Crit gems are your best friend ever. There are other side effects (like Blacksmithing now being way more valuable than a lot of other professions), but hopefully those will be ironed out in future builds.
“Is it intended that Bonus Armor is affected by Guardian Mastery? For example the Mantid Elixir which provides +2250 Armor is multiplied by the Guardian Mastery for a bonus of 2475 armor (before gear and buffs).”
Yes, this is intended. Guardian Mastery should be a final multiplier on all armor.
While we had observed this happening from Day 1 of Beta thanks to Kiril, we didn’t have confirmation that it was intentional or that it was supposed to apply to Elixirs as well. Another tidbit is that it also applies to the Armor Potion. So you’ll want to have a bunch of those, especially for progression fights. This actually makes Mastery way cooler that it ever was in the past.
Item – Druid T14 Guardian 2P Bonus Reduces the cooldown of your Might of Ursoc ability by 60 sec, up from 30 sec.
This is a straight up buff. The 2pc bonus was absolute shit before. It’s still not that great now, but at least it isn’t terribad.
Frenzied Regeneration instantly converts up to 60 Rage into up to (max(((AP * AP) * 186) / 10,000,000 + (47000% of AP / 100,002.5) * STA) * 1) health.
This is just adding the 2.5*Stamina floor GC talked about in a prior Class Analysis post. Nothing to see here.
Rebirth now gives 60% health, up from 20%.
Single best change ever. Glyph of Rebirth is no longer Mandatory. Win.
Ravage is now Feral & Guardian spec, rather than just Feral.
I don’t even. I literally cannot think of a single reason to use Ravage. Ever. The only thing I can think of is a way to prop up Displacer Beast. But Guardians will never ever take Displacer Beast anyway. So I’ve got nothing. The best thing you can do is go on pretending it doesn’t exist.
Item – Druid T14 Guardian 4P Bonus Increases the healing received from your Frenzied Regeneration by 10% (was 20%) and increases the dodge granted by your Savage Defense by 10%.
I like this. Now our 4pc affects both Savage Defense and Frenzied Regeneration. Big buff for Savage Defense. Good change imo.
Dream of Cenarius now works with instant casts. Now increases the damage done by your next 2 Moonfire or Sunfire casts by 100% or by your next 2 melee abilities by 30%, rather than your next damaging spell by 70% or by your next melee ability by 30%.
As a Guardian……..big whoop. We’re still never taking it. It’s interesting for other specs (Tinderhoof in particular has some interesting stuff for Feral) but still worthless for Guardian.
I think I got everything that’s happened in recent weeks. As always please post in the comments if I missed something or you have questions!