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Bizarre Stat Priorities in 5.0.4

September 6, 2012 Leave a comment

There are just under 3 weeks left until Mists of Pandaria, and thus, just under 3 weeks during which your Humble Narrator must still concern herself with proper tanking form. I can’t work up the give-a-damn to completely rework my spreadsheet for less than a month of play – especially since most of the theorycrafting resources I rely upon, most notably Elitist Jerks’ rating conversions, have not updated their level 85 stat values, focusing instead on the upcoming level 90 formulae. I don’t begrudge them their focus on MoP – if I were upgrading, I’d focus on it too.

I’ll probably get the expansion eventually, once the sting of rage’s death has died down a little. Despite its increased power – I’m not so divorced from reality as to claim that the warrior changes weren’t a significant buff! – all I can see when I watch my rage bar stand, unmoved, in the face of a boss hit, is a mockery of the class I once loved.

To the point, and more importantly, on from the melodrama! Combat statistics received some major overhauls this patch, most notably with the introduction of the two-roll system for block; and of course, our own stat priorities widened to include hit and expertise.

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Patch 4.3 Valor Point Picks (For Warriors)

December 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Veneretio used to post his emblem-purchased gear picks every major content patch, before his untimely retirement. I of course am no Veneretio, but since I have to construct my pick order myself now, I submit them for popular consumption.

  1. Forgesmelter Waistplate – Belt – 1650 VP
  2. Signet of the Resolute – Ring – 1250 VP
  3. Guardspike Choker – Neck – 1250 VP
  4. Indefatigable Greatcloak – Cloak – 1250 VP
  5. Bladeshatter Treads – Boots – 1650 VP (These are BoE – use an alt to buy them ASAP if you have one.)
  6. Ring of Torn Flesh – Ring – 1250 VP
  7. Chestplate of the Unshakable Titan – 2200 VP

Note that only numbers 1-4 are best in slot pre-hardmode; whether or not you want to buy 5-7 will depend on if better has dropped for you already.

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Categories: Gear, Tanking Tags: , , , ,

4.3 5-Man Tanking Upgrades

November 17, 2011 Leave a comment

As you probably know, in patch 4.3, in addition to the Dragon Soul raid, Blizzard is releasing three new Caverns of Time-themed 5-man heroics, which will drop item level 378 gear, including a full tank set. This will give us a nice selection of gap fillers and minor upgrades for raiders, and a whole new baseline set for the non-raiders still stuck in 353 Troll gear.

As usual in any gear discussion, the rankings here are based on my own warrior’s gear set unless I state otherwise. What is an upgrade for one tank may be a downgrade for another, so please take recommendations with a grain of salt, and when in doubt, spreadsheet it out for your own character.

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A Guide to Reaching the CTC Cap as a Warrior

November 9, 2011 11 comments

What is CTC?

CTC stands for Combat Table Coverage. Every time an enemy swings at you, the Combat Table is what decides whether you dodge, parry, block, etc. “Coverage” is what percent of the time the swing is not an unmitigated hit: so, your combined chance to block, dodge, parry, or be missed.

Full CTC happens when your chance to take an unblocked hit is 0%. This is called the CTC cap or block cap. It is sometimes also called being unhittable or being uncrushable.

When do I have full CTC/What is the CTC cap?

When your combined Miss+Dodge+Parry+Block = 102.4%.

Why 102.4% and not 100%?

102.4% is what it takes to be unhittable versus a raid boss. Against a level 85, it would be 100%.

Every level of difference between you and the thing that’s hitting you subtracts 0.2% from your Miss, Dodge, Parry, and Block. Raid bosses are considered by the game to be 3 levels higher than you, so your Miss, Dodge, Parry and Block are a combined 2.4% lower than their default displayed values. So we need a displayed CTC of 102.4% (against a level 85) in order to have an effective CTC of 100% (against a level 88).

Why is the CTC cap important?

The primary responsibility of the tank isn’t to take as little damage as possible, but to take damage in a predictable and healable manner. When you are below the CTC cap, melee swings can do 100% damage, 70% damage, 40% damage, or 0% damage to you, and your healers have to be prepared to heal you up from a 100% swing, even if they’d rather be helping someone who, say, lagged in the fire. Reaching the CTC cap means you’ll never take another 100% hit – the most your healers have to be prepared to heal you up from is a 70% swing. This makes it easier for them to deal with other players and mechanics, because they can trust you never to take a spike from a white swing.

That said, reaching the CTC cap is an option, not a requirement. If you decide it’s not for you, that’s fine.

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Shield tank damage reduction spreadsheet – updated for 4.2

June 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, I never did publish this in 4.0. And by 4.1, I figured it was pretty much unnecessary.

But 4.2 is coming up, and there have been some major changes in stat weights for plate tanks!

  • Agility is now worthless as a mitigation stat for plate tanks.
  • Parry from strength has been slightly increased.
  • Holy Shield has been redesigned away from 100% uptime, making the value of mastery to paladins more dependent on playstyle.

I feel like this is as good an excuse as any to release the damage reduction spreadsheet I keep alluding to. So here it is, in its full, updated-for-4.2 “glory:”

damagereduction_4.2.0

If you’re reading this in the future, the above link may be broken or out of date. Please see the Spreadsheets category for the most recent version.

The spreadsheet is appropriate for both paladins and warriors.

The main difference between my spreadsheet and the other gearing tools/spreadsheets I’ve seen for shield tanks is that it takes into account Shield Block (and now Holy Shield) uptime in its calculations, which slightly boosts the value of mastery, parry and strength for warriors* (and now mastery for paladins) the higher its uptime is.

Feel free to play around with the spreadsheet, and please point out any errors you notice.

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Signet of the Elder Council, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Agi

February 11, 2011 5 comments

Sorry bears, I’m leaving you out today, because I know you already adore agility.

This is the Signet of the Elder Council.

It is the second best tanking ring available pre-raid for warriors and death knights of the mastery-stacking variety, after the Elementium Moebius band – and only because the Moebius band has a gem slot.

It is the best tanking ring available pre-raid for paladins.

And it’s an agility piece. Read more…

Button’s Cataclysm Pre-Raid Best in Slot Lists

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve never really understood having a single “best in slot” list for tanking (or healing) gear. It makes sense for DPS, since in most cases what you need won’t change by the fight. Sure, you’ll have your occasional caster bosses or fights where you attack from the front, where melee could use more or less expertise; but generally these are fights where the raid is struggling with execution, not with DPS.

Tanks, on the other hand, have a lot to gear around. There are fights where sustained threat matters and fights where sustained threat is a joke; fights where armor and avoidance matter and fights with 100% magical damage (or nearly); fights where the most important thing is to take as few hits as possible, fights where the most important thing is to take as little damage as possible, and fights where the most important thing is to take as small of hits as possible; and of course, fights which call for X, Y or Z type of magic resistance, while gear of that resistance type is useless on most other encounters. To say that a certain gear set is best-in-slot can only really be done with reference to what it’s best at.

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