• Bares mostly like the taste of fase!

Tag: set bonus

6.0 Patch Survival Guide

October 14, 2014

Introduction

Hello Guardians and welcome to the survival guide for the meaningless 4 weeks prior to Warlords! I may sound like I’m joking, but only partially. This won’t be a full “Warlords Guide” because Warlords isn’t done yet. The best I can do at this point is tell you what has changed thus-far, and maybe make some educated guesses as to what might happen once you hit level 100. If you’ve been paying attention to my twitter feed you probably know a lot of this already. Additionally if you have any experience on the PTR or Beta, you will already know all of this information. That means there’s no reason for you to read further.

For everyone else though, read on!
 

Resolve

The first and largest change to tanking in this patch (and next expansion), is the elimination of Vengeance. It has been replaced with a new ability called “Resolve” which functionally does the job – at least defensively – that Vengeance used to do. The difference is that it provides a multiplier on all self healing and absorption affects. Providing a technical description of how it works is going to be meaningless to most (but if you want one check out these three posts). All you really need to know is:

  • Just like Vengeance, you gain more Resolve the more damage you take in a 10s window.
  • Resolve no longer has diminishing returns in AoE situations, but it does diminish at higher and higher levels of damage.
  • Resolve does not affect percentage based abilities such as Ysera’s Gift.
  • Resolve is much more responsive to changes in damage intake than previously.

 

Stat Changes

As with any other expansion patch, there are a number of changes to both primary and secondary stats that you will probably want to be aware of. Before we get into that though you should be aware that all of the numbers you’re going to see in patch 6.0 will be a lot smaller than what you’ve been used to these past few expansions. It otherwise doesn’t mean much, but the “stat squish” may take a little getting used to for some people.

  • Agility now only grants 1 Attack Power per point, no longer grants increased Melee Critical Strike, and grants 80% of the Dodge Chance that it did in Mists.
  • Stamina now grants 60 health per point. “Base Health” has been removed, there is now only base Stamina.
  • Dodge, Parry, Hit, and Expertise ratings have all been removed. As a result of this change bosses will no longer Parry or Dodge attacks from the front.
  • Multistrike rating has been added. Multistrike is a chance to trigger an additional hit for 30% damage.
  • Versatility rating has been added. It provides a small boost to damage and healing, while providing an even smaller amount of damage reduction.
  • Bonus Armor has been re-added. It now also additionally provides one Attack Power per point.
  • Mastery now grants additional Attack Power.
  • Weapon DPS now increases at a rate of 1 for every 3.5AP.

There are some additional Guardian specific stat changes that I will cover a little bit later on.
 

Damage Patterns

One of the largest changes to tanks in this patch and the next expansion comes not to tanks themselves, but rather the things that will be hitting them. Throughout the past several expansions tanks have only really been threatened by “bursts”, or when a combination of melee hits and special abilities dealt a lot of damage to tanks in a short period of time. Common examples include a melee/impale combo from Heroic Beasts (ToC), and a Horridon “wombo-combo” of Melee+Triple Puncture+Dire Call. Blizzard has decided that they don’t enjoy the arms race of trying to kill tanks as quickly as possible, and then having to give tanks ways to prevent that from happening. Since Guardians lived through an entire patch cycle – really 1.5 patches since these problems existed in T14 too – I’m not too broken up about this. Further Guardians have always been one of the best tanks at reducing total DTPS, so this change can only be a good thing for us.
 

Movement Speed

A quick note on one of the under-represented changes in the next patch – movement speed. Previously in WoW all movement speed increases were multiplicative with each other (except those which were exclusive). In Mists a lot of speed boosts were made exclusive to each other to prevent people from reaching light speed. It made sense – sort of – but was really complicated and a lot of people didn’t understand what was exclusive with what.

In Warlords, movement speed has been streamlined (much like the rest of the game). All movement speed increases are now additive. This means that a boot enchant plus Feline Swiftness will give you a total of 18% increased movement speed (above whatever form you are in). Any further modifiers like Stampeding Roar are just added on top of that.
 

Ability Pruning

One of the biggest wholesale changes to this expansion is the number of abilities that have either been completely cut, or in some cases restricted to only certain specializations. I’ve included a quick list below of what has changed. It’s not in any particular order but I’ve separated them into New, Removed, and Changed. I’ve also left out abilities that have extremely niche use – such as Moonfire – which you may or may not end up binding.

New:

  • Critical Strikes (Passive) – Adds 10% Critical Strike chance. This is to at least partially make up for the loss of Critical Strike chance from Agility.
  • Mana Attunement (Passive) – Doubles mana regeneration. Added to make up for the mana regeneration loss from Leader of the Pack‘s removal.
  • Shred – Added because Mangle was made Bear-only.
  • Bladed Armor – Every point of Bonus Armor also grants 1 Attack Power. Added to give Bonus Armor an offensive function, and to keep it firmly as the #1 stat.
  • Resolve.
  • Survival of the Fittest (Passive) – Gain 5% more Mastery Rating from all sources. This is our “attunement” – meant to indicate what our primary stat should be, and it’s correct.
  • Ursa Major (Passive) – Auto Attack, Mangle, and Lacerate tick Multistrikes grant 2% temporary HP for 25 seconds. Recalculated every time a new event triggers (like Resolve).

Removed:

  • Rake – Made Cat-only.
  • Vengeance.
  • Bear Hug – Some will likely be sad about this – looking at you Lyfa, Ahanss, and Buraan – but the reality is it was too niche of an ability to be used all that often.
  • Rip – Restricted to Feral only.
  • Swipe – Combined into Thrash.
  • Pounce.
  • Track Humanoids – I *think* this was made baseline with Cat Form, but don’t quote me on that.
  • Hurricane – Restricted to Balance only.
  • Leader of the Pack – Restricted to Feral only.
  • Nature’s Grasp.
  • Innervate.
  • Ravage.
  • Hibernate.
  • Might of Ursoc – We were handily winning the “tank cooldown competition”, so something had to be removed.
  • Tranquility – Restricted to Restoration only.
  • Enrage – Never really did much, so removing it makes sense.
  • Maim – Restricted to Feral only.
  • Symbiosis – I’ve already commented that this is a good thing, but yay!

Changed:

  • Rejuvenation – Now heals for 228% of spell power. Only pertinent to questing or Heart of the Wild usage.
  • Bear Form – No longer increases Haste and Crit rating from items. Armor bonus reduced to 250%. Stamina bonus reduced to 20%. Haste now reduces the GCD and the cooldowns of Mangle and Maul.
  • Mangle – Now generates 10 Rage when used. Hits for 300% Weapon Damage. Cooldown reduced by Haste.
  • Maul – Now hits for 120% Weapon Damage. Cooldown reduced by Haste.
  • Savage Defense – Now has a 12s recharge. 2 charges.
  • Thick Hide – Now reduces magic damage by 10%. Reduces the chance to be parried by 3%.
  • Revive – Mana cost reduced to 4% of base mana.
  • Travel Form – Flight, Aquatic, and Travel forms have been combined into a single ability that automatically switches depending on what you are doing (jumping, swimming, etc.).
  • Thrash – Now deals 117% AP on hit, and 40% AP per tick. Generates 1 Rage every time it deals damage. No cooldown.
  • Faerie Fire – Now deals 32.5% AP.
  • Primal Fury (Passive) – Melee Critical Strikes now only generate 8 Rage.
  • Tooth and Claw (Passive) – You can now store up to 2 charges. Reduces the damage of the next auto attack by 240% AP.
  • Lacerate – Now deals 115% AP on hit, and 29.22% AP per tick per stack. Generates 2 Rage on impact. No cooldown.
  • Infected Wounds (Passive) – Now only triggers from Mangle.
  • Survival Instincts – Now lasts for 6 seconds. 2 Charges. 2 minute cooldown.
  • Mark of the Wild – Now also grants 3% Versatility.
  • Frenzied Regeneration – Now heals for 600% AP at 60 Rage.
  • Mastery: Primal Tenacity (Passive) – Our Mastery now generates a shield whenever we take physical damage equal to 1.5*Mastery percent. Some sources of damage (bleed, sonic) will not generate a shield. The value of this shield is not reduced by other absorption affects. If a shield is already active, receiving physical damage will not generate a new shield unless the current shield size is <= 20% of the size of the shield that would have been generated. Also increases Attack Power by 1*Mastery percent.

 

Talents and Glyphs

Very little has changed in the area of Talents and/or Glyphs. Other than the obvious – removing Glyphs for which abilities no longer exist – so this section will probably be a lot shorter than the others.

Talent Changes

  • Ysera’s Gift – Now heals for 2% HP every 5 seconds.
  • Renewal – Now heals for 22% HP when used.
  • Cenarion Ward – Now heals for 879.9% of spellpower over 6 seconds.
  • Typhoon – Range reduced to 15 yards.
  • Soul of the ForestMangle now generates 5 additional Rage.
  • Nature’s Vigil – Now heals a nearby friendly target for 40% of the damage done. Excludes Thrash, and obeys the new smart healing rules. That means there’s no guarantee it will heal you if you’re the most injured person.

Your obvious question is going to be “What talents should I take?” Well not much has really changed. What you’ve been taking for the past year (or more) is still decent. I’ll still make my recommendations though, which are in the short list below:

  • Level 15: Whatever you want. No changes to this tier, so continue to use whatever talent you prefer.
  • Level 30: Cenarion Ward has the highest throughput on this tier, but comes with the 30 second cooldown and the fact that it’s a HoT which means it might get sniped by your actual healers. Renewal is still pretty bad so you can safely ignore it unless you need an instant heal off the GCD.
  • Level 45: Nothing changes here. You basically just lock in Typhoon, even after the range nerf.
  • Level 60: Soul of the Forest. Force of Nature‘s previous “issues” still remain, which makes it an incredibly difficult talent to use. Incarnation is still a good burst talent, but for throughput over time it is very much inferior to Soul of the Forest as you’re no longer replacing 0-Rage GCDs with Mangles.
  • Level 75: Nothing changes here. You pick the same talent that you would have picked before.
  • Level 90: A sort-of minor change here. Nature’s Vigil is now horrible, and since Heart of the Wild has a very narrow niche (Do you need DPS/Healing when you’re not tanking?) your default talent here is now Dream of Cenarius. There is currently a bug where it is not scaling with Attack Power, but it still beats the pants off of Nature’s Vigil.

Glyphs

None of our glyphs have actually changed. However they have swapped around a little bit in terms of which glyphs you will want to have, and which ones have become niche. Since everyone should have the Glyph of Grace anyway, I’ve only listed the possible major glyph options below:

  • Survival Instincts – Now a niche glyph. A 3 second duration isn’t long enough to buy your healer any time to recover, but it is still most definitely enough time to handle many boss mechanics. Consider this an optional glyph.
  • Stampeding Roar – Mandatory. There’s no reason not to have this glyph. Not only is there nothing worth replacing it for, but the increased range is pretty mandatory in a raid scenario.
  • Maul – Might as well pick this up when you’re going to be hitting more than one target. Again, nothing better to have in this slot.
  • Fae Silence – This is the most interesting one. Now that Faerie Fire is out of our rotation – thanks to the removal of the cooldown on Lacerate – this glyph becomes very appetizing. Not only does it function as another interrupt, but gives you a way to move casters without having to rely on others to interrupt.

 

Rotation and Rage Generation

As you’ve probably noticed from the Ability Changes section, a lot of our Rage generation has shifted to being active – i.e. you have to press buttons – rather than the form it existed in Mists. I like this change as it gives you a greater degree of control over how you generate Rage and when. The best part is the actual rotation hasn’t changed at all. It’s still exactly the same as it was in Mists:

  1. Keep Mangle on cooldown.
  2. Keep Thrash up.
  3. Fill with Lacerate.

Easy as that. Of course the L30 and L90 talents can add some additional spice (Cenarion Ward and Dream of Cenarius respectively), but the real complexity doesn’t start until level 100 and you get access to Pulverize. For now though, you’ll just have to live with those three abilities. With the removal of Lacerate‘s cooldown Faerie Fire no longer has a place in the single-target rotation. It’s used for pulling (or possibly interrupting) only.

For AoE, just spam Thrash and keep Mangle on cooldown. Now what do you do once you’ve generated Rage? Well, the priority of your Active Mitigation abilities has changed a tiny bit.

  • For encounters with primarily avoidable damage – which is most of them – use Savage Defense as often as possible.
  • For encounters which feature auto-attack damage – again, most of them – use Tooth and Claw whenever you will not need to refresh Savage Defense shortly.
  • If you’re going to Rage cap and can heal, or are about to die, use Frenzied Regeneration.
  • It is no longer important to dump as much Rage as you can into DPS. Make sure you’re pooling Rage prior to executing a tank swap.
  • Use cooldowns as appropriate for the encounter. Using Barkskin on the pull is encouraged, as it gives you a bit of a buffer before you can generate enough Rage to start using AM abilities.
  • Berserk (and Incarnation I guess) should no longer be saved as DPS cooldowns. Use them as survival cooldowns instead.
  • Since Resolve only affects heals you do to yourself, try and avoid using Cenarion Ward or Healing Touch on others. Exceptions can obviously be made.

In other words you should be spending time attempting to train your brain to not be a damage bot anymore, but rather acting like an actual tank. Use your abilities to improve your own survival as much as possible. DPS is something that will be done purely as a by-product of being a good tank.
 

Stats and Gear

My general response to questions about gearing for a pre-expansion patch is “It’s only 4 weeks who gives a shit anyway.” That being said if you are the type of person that likes to min-max for meaningless content there’s a few things you will probably want to be aware of.

Remember that a full Warlords guide will be coming at launch. Hope this helps for now!

Hello Guardians!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these. Primarily the only changes we’ve had thus far have been Alpha and/or Beta changes. Since they’ve been heavily subject to iteration and change, I didn’t feel that commenting on them would be particularly helpful. Now that we’re ~6 weeks away from the 6.0 pre-patch launch, it’s time to get a little more serious. You can definitely expect these posts to be regular from now on.

Build 18816

Bear Form Stamina bonus reduced to 20%.
Empowered Bear form reduced to an additional 10% Stamina.
Ursa Major now only lasts 25 seconds.

All three of these changes are a direct result of general tank tuning. Celestalon has made the comment last week on twitter.

All tanks. Current plans: Tweak the design of Resolve. Lower tank health. Lower tank mitigation. Lower boss damage.

It’s pretty clear that only the first objective made it into this build (that we know of). So we’ll have to wait and see for the hidden stuff (Resolve, Boss tuning), and the additional changes to tank mitigation.

CeleryTweet1

Basically the changes are fine and you shouldn’t worry about them. As long as bosses are tuned appropriately, it doesn’t matter what our HP is. I’ve included an updated EH graph below, which shows that the relative EH for different stats hasn’t really changed. Item Level is still going to be the primary driving factor – between Stamina and Armor – followed by Multistrike.

EH_Graph

Tooth and Claw now only reduces the damage of the primary victim.

This is just a tooltip correction. In previous incarnations it never included context for Glyph of Maul. So now the tooltip tells you what we already knew it did from day 1.

2t17 now reduces the cost of Maul by 10 Rage while Tooth and Claw is active.

Great change. Instead of offering a refund which could result in wasting Rage accidentally if you Mangle while using Maul and one and/or both Crit, it now just reduces the cost. The net change is 0, but I know it will feel much better to play with.

And that’s it for this build. I think it was done in the middle of the most recent round of tank tuning, so we have some changes out of context. Hopefully the next build will provide us with more information. I know that there are still a lot of “trap talent” problems (mostly thanks to Pulverize), and while there is definitely still time to address them I think we’re running out of runway.
 

How to Make Crit Cool

I put up a thread on the forums recently intending to prompt discussion on how to make Crit a cool and effective stat in Warlords. Currently it’s at the absolute bottom of the pile – similar to how Ferals feel about Haste – and that isn’t great for the spec. So I’d love to hear everyone’s ideas on how to make it an interesting and effective stat!

The most basic (and easiest) method is to rip-off Riposte. But that’s boring and uninteresting. Do you have any neat ideas? Tell us!
 

Sneak Peek

I wanted to let you in on posts for a couple of topics that I’ve been thinking about. The first is Mythic: A Conversion Journey (don’t worry I know I suck at titles). Our guild is going through the steps to convert to a Mythic guild from a 10m right now, and having a decent amount of success. I think it would be valuable to share that information with everyone else, since I’m sure there are others that are either going through the same thing, or are about to.

The second topic that I wanted to talk about – and have wanted for a while now – is Guardians: Outstanding Issues. The problem with a post like that is it requires some data in order to be able to do. If I know that data is going to change soon – like we know right now – then continuing to work on it with the current set of conditions is pointless. I definitely need to wait for the Resolve changes to be public before I can start on it, but hopefully at that point we’ll have another tuning pass done. Then I can really start gathering a lot of useful sim data.

That’s all for now!

Hello Guardians!

I have a lot of things to cover, so this one may be longer than normal. Most of it is just general tank stuff, but there are a couple of Guarfdian-specific things I’ll cover as well.
 

Buraan Joins TiB!

This is by far the most important piece of news I have to announce. After Wens quit because of R/L and my own guild’s inadequacies, there’s been a distinct lack of heroic-level content on TiB. I’ve always maintained that the best theorycrafting is done by 1 part math and 2 parts practical experience. With that in mind, I needed someone to pick up the slack in terms of heroic content.

Who better to have talk about it than (agruably) the #1 Guardian in the world? Yeah, I don’t have an answer to that either.

In any case, it is with great pleasure that I announce Buraan as the new contributing author for TiB. He’ll be covering heroic progression content through SoO and hopefully beyond.

Obviously you should follow him on Twitter and watch his stream as well.

Welcome!
 

PTR Changes

There are an absolute fuckton of these this time around. I’ll try and make sure I catch them all.

Vengeance now grants Attack Power equal to 1.5% of the damage taken, down from 1.8% (The tooltip said 2% but it was actually 1.8%).
Tanks no longer receive Vengeance from many persistent area damage effects (standing in the fire) or from missed attacks (dodging and parrying an attack will continue to work as it has before).
There are now diminishing returns on Vengeance gains while tanking multiple targets. Each additional target grants progressively less Vengeance.

The first two are pretty obvious. Vengeance was getting out of control compared to tank survival, and standing in fire to increase your Vengeance was a design oversight anyway. It’s the last one that’s rather vague. Thankfully Lore posted some details for us:

The basic, concise explanation is as follows: The Nth strongest (based on pre-mitigation average auto attack DPS) mob that has hit you in the last 5 seconds grants 1/Nth of full vengeance with their attacks. N is recalculated on every hit taken.
So here’s an example. Say you’re tanking 3 mobs – we’ll say it’s a boss and two adds. The boss has pre-mitigation average auto attack DPS of 1500k, one add does 400k, and the other add does 300k. The game will form a list of those mobs from 1-3, like so:
1. Boss: 1500k DPS, 1/1 (100%) of normal vengeance is granted
2. First add: 400k DPS, 1/2 (50%) of normal vengeance is granted
3. Second add: 300k DPS, 1/3 (33.333%, repeating of course) of normal vengeance is granted

This would of course continue as more mobs are being tanked (granting 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, and so on). Also, if the second add were to land a hit at any point when the first add hasn’t attacked you in the last 5sec (such as if it swings first), that attack would grant 1/2 Vengeance instead of 1/3.

So the example Lore gave is totally unrealistic. In order to put it in perspective I came up with something that most Guardians are probably familiar with: Heroic Tortos Bats. Details below (note this for 10m heroic):

A Vampiric Cave Bat on 10m heroic has an autoattack DPS of ~85k (taken from a friend’s log from last week’s kill using approxmiate Mastery values) give or take. Click here for log.

Which means under the current Vengeance scenario we’d cap out at around ~240k (20 * 85000 * 0.018 * 8) after 20 seconds. The bats die long before that happens though.

Under the new scenario we’d end up with: 30 + 15 + 10 + 7.5 + 6 + 5 + 4.28 + 3.75 = 81.53.

Slashlove (one of the Tanking forum regulars) made a quick post positing that using 1/sqrt(n) would be a better idea than simply 1/n while accomplishing the same goal (Source). Let’s look at what happens then:

30 + 21.2 + 17.3 + 15 + 13.4 + 12.2 + 11.3 + 10.6 = 131.

Suddenly much more palatable. Yeah, I like Slash’s better. Another thing to remember is this same logic also applies to Challenge Modes and Proving Grounds, both of which feature a plethora of AoE pulls. So maybe we’ll see a change to this formula, and maybe not. Only time will tell.

So as not to affect Challenge Mode leader boards, the above Vengeance changes will not apply there. For Challenge Modes, Vengeance will continue to work as it did in patch 5.3.

Well apparently time did tell. There you go.

Chance on being hit by a melee attack to gain a 20% reduction to all damage taken for 15 sec. (Approximately 2.57 procs per minute, ICD: 3 sec)

So this is the update to the tanking meta gem that was mentioned last week. The change to all damage reduction by itself is really good, but bumping the RPPM up to 2.57 takes it to almost a 50% uptime (actually ~47%, but hey). That makes it incredibly good, and definitely much, much better than it was before.

Does it compare to the existing DPS LMG? Probably not yet. However I’m definitely expecting that tank RPPM mod to get nerfed with extreme prejudice in an upcoming build. That will definitely put the tank LMG solidly ahead.

Trinket, enchant, set bonus, and legendary meta-gem effects whose triggered effect benefits from haste no longer also have their chance to trigger the benefit from haste. Activation chances for those effects have been adjusted to compensate.

There’s been a whole host of changes to the RPPM trinkets. I took the liberty of updating the RPS spreadsheet with the changes, and here’s the result:

Note, all of these trinkets are the double-upgraded versions. Primarily I’m just trying to show how fucking good Renataki and Bloodlust are now. Everything is basically complete shit by comparison. The new RPS trinkets in SoO don’t even come with passive stats, so they’re fucking awful. Granted almost everyone is going to be using the CDR trinket anyway, but still. It’s good to know what your RPS options are. Special thanks to Theck for helping me sim Bloodlust with the new ICD.

Thick Hide now reduces the cooldown on Barkskin by 30 sec.

I’ll admit, my first reaction to this was WHAT THE FUCK. Then I realized this was probably part of the whole “solution to Nazgrim” thing GC was tweeting about last week. I checked with Buraan, and he agreed with me. So with the CDR trinket we’ll have a 25 second CD on Barkskin (30 / 1.2 = 25). This means that we can have up to 2 minutes and 12 seconds of 100% Savage Defense uptime. That’s actually kind of ridiculous. Close to triple the current value.

That screams broken to me, but what the heck do I know. Everything about this patch screams broken to me. However I wouldn’t be surprised if our 2pc bonus changes as a result.

Dream of Cenarius now increases the Critical Strike Chance of Mangle by 10%. Chance to proc a Dream is reduced to 40%.

I actually just tested this on the PTR. The proc is now 20 seconds in duration, which is pretty incredible. The real question becomes is the Mangle change enough of a DPS gain to offset the GCD loss?

Well the number of procs we get in ~553 gear is: 0.8 * 0.4 * 0.21875 * 60 = 4.2. So that’s 4 GCDs we’d spend per minute (out of 40) on Healing Touch / Rebirth. For the sake of argument let’s assume that all of these GCDs are Lacerates. We then know that Lacerate does 0.616*AP in damage, so missing 4 per minute would be a loss of (2.464 + 1.848) or 4.312*AP in damage.

We also know that Mangle does (0.5*AP) + 7*WeaponDPS in damage. In the course of 1 minute you would have ~13 Mangles (0.21875*60). Without DoC those Mangles would deal 11.05*AP + 154.7*WeaponDPS in damage. With DoC this number increases to 11.7*AP + 163.8*WeaponDPS. A difference of 0.65AP and 9.1 WeaponDPS.

Subtracting like terms we get 9.1 WeaponDPS = 3.662AP. Since we know a 561′s weapon DPS is 8187.5 that means the break even point is (9.1*8187.5)/3.662 or 20345 AP.

So yes, it’s still a DPS loss. How much?

At 200k AP it comes out to around 12k DPS or so. Nothing to sneeze at to be sure, but look at what we gain in return. It’s probably most analagous to the old Battle Healer glyph. Yes we trade a bit of DPS, but we gain a ton of very effective healing in return, plus a little Rage as a bonus. I’ll take that trade any day of the week.

Yeah, changing the way it works. Long term, we want Guardian less focused on dodge more on AM. High armor and health are cool.

At first this caught me by surprise. However after a bit of thinking I realized that this is definitely a 6.0-era change. What could it be? Well a while ago on MMO-Champ (I’ll be damned if I can find the exact post) there was a suggestion to have Savage Defense also increase our Armor. I think that’s the direction GC is talking about here. Cool by me.
 

And one more thing…

Oh yeah. And this happened.

<3

Well another patch cycle is upon us.  I left it pretty late this time (shame on me!) mostly because I was hoping for some sort of better idea of what the EH requirements will be like in Dragon Soul.  I made a fairly reliable estimate based on previous patches, and we’ll see how accurate it is.  Remember that I don’t raid until Thursdays, so I don’t want to hear any complaining if I suddenly change something between now and then.

And lets be honest, one lost raid week isn’t the end of the world and you’re probably better off anyway since Mists is a longggggggg way away.

Bear Changes

120% Armor Bonus for Bear form is now available at all levels, not just after level 40. 

This was done to help out low level Bear tanks and their inherent squishiness.  It’ll have a side effect of making Feral even more broken and overpowered in low level BGs, but nobody claimed the brackets before max level were balanced.  Good change overall though.

Bear Form Bonus Stamina increased to 20% from 10%. 

The stated reason for doing this is to help keep us in line with block-capping shield tanks.  I’d go on a diatribe about how we predicted this back before Cataclysm even launched, but I think that’s old news at this point.  At any rate it’s not so much a good change as a bandaid.  However the hope is that “Mists will fix it.”

Bears and LFR

I had previously stated on twitter that LFR was largely going to be a waste of time for Bears outside of tokens, since we pretty much couldn’t roll on anything.  Thankfully after an empassioned plea to Bashiok the developers added some “special Bear rules” to prevent us from being completely screwed.  Which means now going to LFR to get gear as a Bear is a good idea, especially for Normal Mode raiders.

Notes for Normal Mode Raiding

These notes are entirely based on simulations of 215k unmitigated damage.  There are some things I still want to look at (such as weapon and trinket comparisons), but I can’t do that without more raw data.

  • Get Kiril, Wrath of Unchaining, Resolve of Undying and 2pc T13 bonus ASAP.  Even the LFR versions.
  • You’ll have to farm a lot of VP in order to get all of your offset items :(
  • You’re going to be over the Exp softcap on normal mode unless you use offset pieces.
  • I’d honestly probably use the offset pants instead of the tier pants unless your raid needs the cooldown.  They’re a lot better.
  • The 403 PvP sets are perfectly viable until you get normal mode or higher PvE gear.  2pc is Gloves+Hat.  4pc is Gloves+Hat+Shoulders+Legs.
  • If you’re the first tank for your guild, you should be reforging to Dodge.  If you’re going to be using Cat form often (say as the 2nd tank), then you can use Exp/Crit/Mastery.

You can expect more information in the future as we get more and more accurate results from live servers.

4T10 Set Bonus

October 20, 2010

The set bonus is not broken.

While 4T10 is equipped, you will not take an extra 10% physical damage when Enrage is active, despite what that pesky buff tooltip says.  Guess what?  The old one said Enrage reduced armor.  4T10′s bonus text was not updated to reflect the change of Enrage.  Enraged Defense will always give you 12% damage reduction from all sources of damage, including physical.

There is a simple, very effective, test for this:  Have someone duel you and punch you with no weapons, trinkets, or AP increasing items(AV Rep ring) equipped.  Just let him keep punching you.  Take note of the amount of damage you were taking.  Take that amount and subtract 12% from it (or multiply the damaging amount by .12 and subtract that value from the original).  Use Enrage while getting punched.  The amount of damage you’re taking while under Enraged Defense should reflect the answer you received above, which is exactly 12% damage reduction.

I used a Hunter for this experiment.  I used his pet afterwards to confirm.  I was getting hit for 206, meaning a 12% damage reduction would be ~181.  I used Enrage, and I was getting hit for 180-182.

Again, the set bonus is not broken.  All it is is a case of un-updated tooltip, which Blizzard is notorious for.  You can relax, I promise.