In particular, what we’re really interested in is how much hit and expertise we really
need to maintain Shield Block. We know that 6.667 is the theoretical limit, but we also know that it isn’t sufficient in practice because rage generation isn’t a nice, smooth, continuous thing. So let’s try and determine exactly how much hit and expertise it takes to push 90% spikes below an acceptable threshold – let’s say 0.001%. To do that, we’ll take the control/balance gear set and just hack away rating until we get to zero. Technically we’d be able to allocate that itemization somewhere else (say, mastery), but for this calculation we’ll pretend that we can’t, and that we’re simply losing itemization. Maybe it’s being shifted to Stamina, for example. The reason is that it will give us a better “worst-case” estimate on our hit and expertise needs. Since the 4-attack moving average seems to have the worst time with 90% spikes in the avoidance gear set, we’ll use that.
If we perform that calculation, it looks something like this:
Spike damage presence vs. combined hit and expertise percentage. The inset shows an expanded view of the results above 15% combined hit and expertise. The dotted line on the inset is 0.001%.
With no hit or expertise, our spike presence (the percentage of events exceeding 90% throughput) is a little over 3.5%. It drops fairly dramatically with hit and expertise up until about 10% on the x-axis, where it’s starting to slow down in effectiveness. The surprising part here is just how much hit and expertise it takes to eliminate those spikes. Even at 15% combined hit and expertise (5% hit, 10% expertise), about 0.03% of all events exceed the 90% spike threshold. While that’s certainly not a lot of spikes, it’s still well above our self-imposed 0.001% limit. It isn’t until around 21% combined hit and expertise (7% hit, 14% exp) that we consistently drop below 0.001% spike presence, and it’s only above 22.3% hit and expertise that we finally hit zero. The behavior in that final section of the x-axis is a little easier to see on this semilog plot
, for those that are interested.
So while it’s not critical to be exactly at hit/exp cap, this plot tells us that we start opening ourselves up to 90% spikes if we’re even 1% shy of the cap. It also suggests that warrior rage generation is “bursty” enough that it pays to be well above the theoretical minimum rage threshold for Shield Block, because a missed Shield Slam at the wrong time is all it takes to create a dangerous spike event. As such, it’s probably not a bad argument to maintain caps if you’re going with a control strategy.