I had planned to write this at some point, but in the latest 6.2 Patch Notes the buff that caused Frenzied Regen to refund any excess Rage has been reverted. I’ll be the first to admit that I thought the original buff itself didn’t really mean much. It’s not like it would change anything about how you played, right?
Turns out….not so much.
Prior to the buff originally appearing on PTR, each of our AM abilities had its own faily well defined role:
- Savage Defense: Used to mitigate avoidable damage, primarily melee attacks.
- Tooth and Claw: Used to mitigate melee attacks.
- Frenzied Regeneration: Used to recover from any kind of damage, although primarily magic and bleeds.
Everything has a very well defined role, and there are choices you can make between each ability in a given moment. Do I need healing? How much Rage do I have? Will I waste resources? These are all questions you should be asking yourself every time you’re going to press one of these three buttons. But everyone knows that, we’ve had this set of abilities since the start of Mists.
The single biggest point to remember is that with the refund Frenzied Regeneration became 100% Rage efficient. You would always receive the full benefit from it in either healing or refunded resources. Initially my reaction was “Nahhhh it doesn’t make a difference”. But I had to do my due diligence and find out what would happen in a situation resembling mythic T18. Special thanks to Grafarion for giving me the information I needed to run this.
Note that this set of sims was run with the following parameters:
- Both 2t18 and 4t18 bonuses were enabled.
- I used a set of gear that approximated a “BiS” set excluding trinkets.
- I used a raid event to simulate tank healing. Note that this artificially devalues the 2t18 because it’s not actual healing.
- Damage profile approximates what has been experienced during mythic HFC testing (thx Graf!).
- The standard set of talents were used in both cases (CW, SotF, DoC, Pulverize).
- The SD profile attempted to take advantage of the set bonuses as much as possible by spamming Frenzied Regen when SD was up.
- The FR profile spammed FR on CD.
The results, as you can see, are a little odd. How is simply spamming Frenzied Regeneration reasonable for survival at any level of content, let alone mythic? How is FR able to make up that amount of difference in damage intake? Well, the answer is that it’s not only FR doing the job.
Consider for example what actually happens in a 12 second window when you do, or do not, press Savage Defense. Assume for the moment that you have ~17% Dodge (like our sim), and ~50% Mastery (a bit over the sim, but eh).
- Total avoided attacks: (12 / 1.5) * (0.2 – 0.045) = 8 * 0.155 = 1.24
- Total attacks absorbed by Mastery: (8 – 1.24) * 0.5 * 0.5 = 6.76 * 0.5 * 0.5 = 1.69
- Total hits: 5.07
- Total avoided attacks: (12 / 1.5) * (0.2 – 0.045) = 8 * 0.155 = 1.24 + 1.8 = 3.04
- Total attacks absorbed by Mastery: ((4 – 0.62 – 1.8) * 0.8 * 0.5 * 0.5) + ((4 – 0.62) * 0.5 * 0.5) = ((1.58) * 0.8 * 0.5 * 0.5) + ((3.38) * 0.5 * 0.5) = 0.316 + 0.845 = 1.161
- Additional reduced damage: (4-0.62-1.8)*0.2 = 1.52 * 0.2 = 0.316
- Total hits: 3.483
As you can see it’s Primal Tenacity doing the real heavy lifting, cutting the difference between the two down to 1.587 melee swings. Not only that, but this is before the FR build has expended any Rage at all while the SD build has already used 60. Now, add to this the ability to spam FR without any regard for whether or not you would normally be wasting the Rage, and you can see how the constant stream of healing would fare better in terms of consistent survival than the irregular avoidance of SD.
Remember that this comparison is still valid without the refund, which is something that has been discussed on the forums to some extent. However the important difference is that you have to be very concious about when you would FR, rather than spamming it willy-nilly without a care in the world. The former promotes good decision making, while the latter is merely a “roll face on keyboard” level of engagement. You can argue that FR having a refund mechanic is a QOL improvement – I certainly did – but it turns out that it’s too good without reducing FR’s effectiveness somehow.
Nothing has changed. You still want to use SD primarily. However you will prefer FR over T&C when SD is up – making for some interesting on-the-fly decisions while tanking difficult content, especially mythic.
I do want to impress upon people that simply because interesting decisions are involved, that doesn’t negate the need for a useful Rage dump. Maul is quite simply too anaemic to fill that role currently. 20 Rage for less than 1/3 of a Mangle‘s damage? Don’t make me laugh.
It would be a nice change to have in the future, but for the current state of Guardian making FR refund Rage doesn’t make for good gameplay. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this revisited in 7.0.