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Thread: In Defense of Block Rating

  1. #1
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    In Defense of Block Rating

    In Defense of Block Rating
    Punch me in the face ~ Thugthedum

    Block rating seems to be a misunderstood stat by many tanks. People have thought wrongly that block was avoidance (like dodge, 100% reduction). People have confused block rating and block value. People have even stated, wrongly, that 25% shield block was required for some reason. This has been disproved over and over by smart tanks doing the warrior community a service. In the process, however, block rating has been vilified. "It's a paladin tanking stat" I've heard more than once.

    I suggest that while block rating has some obvious misconceptions and limitations, a tank should not shun it or avoid it just because of these problems. Block can be very useful.

    Many tanks working their way through Karazhan for the first time will eventually notice that their threat per second rating seems to be going down; maybe right around the time you pick up Boots of Elusion or Moroes Pocketwatch.

    It happened to me; I worked hard to get the Aldor Vindicator's Hauberk, Boots of Elusion, and Pocketwatch - I worked hard enchanting everything I could find with agility for the dodge value, and I worked hard getting the pattern for the Felsteel Longblade to increase my dodge via agility. My dodge rating was a thing of wonder; and without really giving up much stamina.

    And I wasn't getting any rage. My defense skill was 540, dodge was 25%.

    I clearly remember looking over a combat log from a wipe to try to see what had gone wrong. I remember, on that fight specifically I was rage starved, and more than once skipped an occasion to shield block to get extra rage. I was consciously aiming to take damage so as to increase my rage, because I was worried about my threat output. I died when I took four hits in a row followed by two crushes.

    Unlucky? Yes; sort of - but remember, I was skipping the shield blocks that would have kept me alive because I was being rage starved. I was overgeared for the fight, in other words.

    Many tanks carry around tons of gear for different situations; lots of warriors in T4/5/6 either complain that they are rage starved in heroics or carry "older" gear around so they'll get more rage.

    In that grand tradition, I recommend to the aspiring tank as they find themselves rage starved and therefore threat reduced that they focus on increasing block rating.

    Keep the Vindicator's Hauberk in your bags; it's a wonderful avoidance piece and you'll need it. But tank 90% of Karazhan in the Jade Skull breastplate. Jade Skull is a high block rating, high stamina piece, that on the surface looks inferior to the Vindicator's Hauberk in every way. But you're going to get more rage wearing the Jade Skull.

    Same goes for the Boots of Elusion - keep them, but get Battlescar and tank in them. Don't equip the Moroes pocketwatch for what should be an easy fight - trade it out for a high stamina piece like the 51 stam trinket or the 45 stamina engineering trinket. Or even the Terrokar Tablet for the hit rating.

    To sum it up: dodge is a great way to make a hard fight easier; but Dodge can also make an easy fight harder. And in that case, trading dodge pieces for block rating pieces can be your best friend.

    Thoughts?
    Melissa Theuriau is not a marmot.
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  2. #2
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    I think that issue with your post is that you are going under the assumption that the only way to gear up as a tank is to stack Avoidance. I think you'll find around these parts that a number of tanks advocate stacking Armor/Stamina/Block Value. What this results in is taking steady smaller hits and hitting for massive numbers with Shield Slam. It's a fantastic balance as it lends itself to High Threat and a great barrier against Burst Damage.

    Block Rating frankly is a very weak stat in my opinion. If you need to block you simply use Shield Block.

  3. #3
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    Thug,

    I like the article. It's generally all good advice, and what you are saying contrasts what many people suggest about it being a worthless stat. Including myself!

    Two things need to be true for your information to be accurate. First, you can't be dealing with Crushing Blows -- which, yes, includes most of Karazhan and all 5-man content. Second, mobs in question need to be attacking fairly quickly or have a generally low damage output.

    With both of those being true, the point stands. This is information I may include (with credit) for a 5-man guide, because you've worded it well.

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    first of all: thanks! Cider, Satrina, Kenco are all writers I've been reading over and over for months now, so I consider it a bit of an honor that you have positive things to say.

    I do have some questions and a clarification though:

    Why does the above imply that "you can't be dealing with Crushing Blows "?

    I don't mean to advocate avoidance tanking - if it sounds that way, I should probably edit it a bit. I think stamina/armor balance is probably the most important thing; but there are many times a tank will be choosing between the high dodge and the high block rating item, and I'm simply advocating they take the high block rating one in most cases. Maybe the post could use an edit in that regard.

    I see block rating as a "lesser of two avoidance evils" - not a stat to gear for specifically.

    Does that make any sense?

    Personally, I gear towards stamina, armor, and block value once a base 490-500 defense is assumed. I think the next stat I'll "go overboard" with is +hit; I'd like to be raiding at around 5-10%. I think evilempire's guides stats 8.6% as the "don't need any more" cap, but I'd have to check. I raid at 15,103 HP unbuffed, 14k armor, 500 defense, 23% block rating and 300BV. I'd love to improve that last number, specifically.
    Last edited by thugthedum; 07-26-2007 at 03:06 PM.
    Melissa Theuriau is not a marmot.
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  5. #5
    Interesting.

    Block rating's something I've really been interested in looking into, primarily because I haven't yet seen any huge importance in it. I personally just stack stamina and try to keep dodge and parry around 20%, which they are without even trying. I'm also trying to work on a hit rating and block value set for threat generation. All of these stats have immediate visible results, so they're easier for me to come to conclusions on what I like. But if someone's willing to look into block rating, I wouldn't say no to it.

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    So is your primary point: When over-gearing an instance use Block Rating over Dodge so that you don't get Rage starved?

    If so, that seems fair to me.

    That being said, I think you need to clean up your points a little because with the equipment choices you are making give the article a bit of scattered feel. I'd recommend more headings and that you re-consider some of your examples. (the boots one in particular rings a bell)

  7. #7
    If I wanted to do an easy instance, wouldn't I just either put all stamina gear or or a few dps pieces? I don't see how block rating helps for easy stuff, anymore than putting on pure stamina and/or dps gear on.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by thugthedum View Post
    Why does the above imply that "you can't be dealing with Crushing Blows "?

    (...) there are many times a tank will be choosing between the high dodge and the high block rating item, and I'm simply advocating they take the high block rating one in most cases. (...)

    I see block rating as a "lesser of two avoidance evils" - not a stat to gear for specifically.

    Does that make any sense?
    It doesn't make sense for tanking raid bosses, because until you can reach 102.4% (or whatever the number is...) total miss+dodge+parry+block without the use of the Shield Block ability, the only way to make yourself immune to Crushing Blows, even if temporarily, is through the use of the Shield Block ability.

    Since Shield Block only gives you two charges per use (in other words, the buff wears off once you've blocked two attacks), and because your chances to miss / dodge / parry remain the same while Shield Block is active, increasing your chance to be missed / dodge / parry actually makes it less likely that you will block, meaning that you keep your Shield Block charges longer on average.

    Increasing your Block Rating only makes a difference during those times where you don't have Shield Block active, and will not reduce your chances of taking a crushing blow until your total miss / dodge / parry / block reaches 87.4% or higher.

    I'm also not advocating for stacking avoidance excessively high, but it is true that pure avoidance does in fact reduce your chances of taking a crushing blow on fights where you are spamming the Shield Block ability.
    Last edited by Armstrong; 07-28-2007 at 01:42 AM.
    Armstrong
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    Quote Originally Posted by veneretio View Post
    So is your primary point: When over-gearing an instance use Block Rating over Dodge so that you don't get Rage starved?

    If so, that seems fair to me.
    Hmm. Makes it seem a little foolish, huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by veneretio View Post
    That being said, I think you need to clean up your points a little because with the equipment choices you are making give the article a bit of scattered feel. I'd recommend more headings and that you re-consider some of your examples. (the boots one in particular rings a bell)
    Excellent points. Battlescar are parry oriented, not block rating specifically. I think parry is an awesome stat, but it doesn't help the article any I guess. The Boots of Elusion just have too much darned dodge on them for many situations.

    It's like I see dodge as too powerful a stat, and too plentiful - and if a tank isn't thinking, and just reads about how wonderful it is, they're going to end up watching their threat drop more and more. The first few pieces I happened to find that I could replace high dodge items with happened to be high block rating.
    Last edited by thugthedum; 07-26-2007 at 04:02 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armstrong View Post
    Since Shield Block only gives you two charges per use (in other words, the buff wears off once you've blocked two attacks), and because your chances to miss / dodge / parry remain the same while Shield Block is active, increasing your chance to be missed / dodge / parry actually makes it less likely that you will block, meaning that you keep your Shield Block charges longer on average.

    AHH!!!!! Now I get it.

    Hmm. So block rating actually makes shield block protect me less. OK! Time to re-think my post.


    Wait wait wait; this all applies to the fight we're working on right now in fact. We're working on the Prince - and reading through my combat log, it seems most wipes are me dying to a hit or a crush, even though I was trying hard to keep shield block up ALL THE TIME. And I did notice, the first fight I only took two crushes - subsequent fights I took 5, 9, 14 - lots more! The change I made was that our first attempt I was geared for avoidance, with high dodge - and subsequent fights I was stamina geared (and my particular stamina gear is high block rating and low dodge: Jade Skull > Vindicators, Rocket Launcher > Pocketwatch).

    So!

    My stamina chest, since it's the Jade Skull, causes me problems on fights where the shield block is critical!!! My Vindicator's Hauberk only reduces stamina by 11 as compared to Jade Skull, and no more armor I don't think, so I'm not trading too much stamina for the 46 defense rating and 19 dodge I hope?

    zOMG this has been hugely helpful.

    OK this week I'm going to gear stamina/armor first, then dodge/defense and see how it goes.
    Last edited by thugthedum; 07-26-2007 at 04:09 PM.
    Melissa Theuriau is not a marmot.
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  11. #11
    Prince is a prime example of a fight where stacking avoidance is more beneficial than stacking stamina when you gear is still a mix of 5-man blues and a few Karazhan epics (it starts to matter less when you can hit 17k armor and 18k health without consumables ). He attacks very quickly during phase two, eating up your Shield Block charges and making you susceptible to taking Crushing Blows for a greater number of the swings made against you.

    Stam and armor buffs still play a big role here, but debuffs like Scorpid Sting and Insect Swarm also contribute hugely to reducing the number of Crushing Blows you take during phase 2.
    Armstrong
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  12. #12
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    Done and done.

    Thanks a million.

    Edit:
    Scorpid Sting - WoWWiki, the Warcraft wiki does look really nice for this fight, yes. If I remember my combat tables properly, I should be around 17&#37; to be hit, 15% to be crushed, 0% to be crit against the Prince. Is this then going to make me 12% to be hit 15% to be crushed? Or will it detract from both hit and crush?
    Last edited by thugthedum; 07-26-2007 at 04:53 PM.
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  13. #13
    Normally it substracts 5% from your opponent's chance to hit.

    The important part however, is that while Shield Block is active, your opponent's chance to hit, crit and crush are pushed off the attack table entirely by the added 75% chance to block. And because your chance to be missed takes priority over your chance to block, Scorpid Sting effectively reduces your chance to block by 5% while Shield Block is active.

    This is a good thing, since the lower your chance to block, the longer you keep your Shield Block charges, and the longer you remain immune to crushing blows.
    Armstrong
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  14. #14
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    One more time! Re-write:

    In Defense of Block Rating
    Punch me in the face ~ Thugthedum

    Block rating seems to be a misunderstood stat by many tanks. People have thought wrongly that block was avoidance (like dodge, 100&#37; reduction). People have confused block rating and block value. People have even stated, wrongly, that 25% shield block was required for some reason. This has been disproved over and over by smart tanks doing the warrior community a service. In the process, however, block rating has been vilified. "It's a paladin tanking stat" I've heard more than once.

    I suggest that while block rating has some obvious misconceptions and limitations, a tank should not shun it or avoid it just because of these problems. Block can be very useful.

    Many tanks working their way through Karazhan for the first time will eventually notice that their threat per second rating seems to be going down; maybe right around the time you pick up Boots of Elusion or Moroes Pocketwatch.

    It happened to me; I worked hard to get the Aldor Vindicator's Hauberk, Boots of Elusion, and Pocketwatch - I worked hard enchanting everything I could find with agility for the dodge value, and I worked hard getting the pattern for the Felsteel Longblade to increase my dodge via agility. My dodge rating was a thing of wonder; and without really giving up much stamina.

    And I wasn't getting any rage. My defense skill was 540, dodge was 25%.

    Often, in trash fights, I was loosing mobs to players who normally didn't have problems staying under the aggro limit - on easy bosses, I was finding my lower threat output was making the raid slow down.

    Many tanks carry around tons of gear for different situations; lots of warriors in T4/5/6 either complain that they are rage starved in heroics or carry "older" gear around so they'll get more rage.

    In that grand tradition, I recommend to the aspiring tank as they find themselves rage starved and therefore threat reduced that they focus on increasing block rating - for fights where you are finding that it is difficult to keep the boss or trash mob's attention. Less dodge and more block rating often means gear with higher stamina or higher block value, particularly when you are trying to figure out which blue chest you are going to equip.

    In a fight that is difficult because you take too much damage and die, i.e. a fight where you will be using shield block to continue living, you need to make sure your block rating is as low as possible. If you need avoidance for a fight, stack dodge or parry, but avoid block like the plague. The reason for this is that the shield block talent only has two charges - and when you equip high block rating gear you are asking WoW to use those two charges up more quickly! If you have a high dodge rating when you use shield block, you are asking WoW to help you keep the buff up a little longer, as a dodge or a parry does not count against the buff's two block limit.

    So in closing - know why block has limitations, and understand that when you are making your gear choices. Don't just shard every piece you see that has high block rating!
    Melissa Theuriau is not a marmot.
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  15. #15
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    BTW; we downed the Prince that week thanks to the feedback gotten here, and then went on to down Maulgar in the same timer.

    <3 tankspot.com!

    Thug
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by thugthedum View Post
    AHH!!!!! Now I get it.

    Hmm. So block rating actually makes shield block protect me less. OK! Time to re-think my post.
    No thats not it.

    Having less defense/dodge/parry will make your shield block protect your less against fast hitting mobs (since there will be a greater chance of two quick hits, taking you out of shield block, and then a crush). But its a minor factor.

    Now, putting on Jade skull over Vindicator's Hauberk lowes your avoidance, and thus slightly increases your chance of a crushing blow slipping through after two quick hits.

    The reason why shield block rating "sucks" is becasue it DOES NOTHING AGAINST A BOSS. Against a boss oyu are trying to have shield block skill up all the time, and thus your block % will be "all hits that arent a miss/dodge/parry", no matter what your block rating.

    When shield block skill goes down, block rating will still only be turning some normal hits into blocks, not a big deal, it wont stop crushes.

    So on a boss, you want stam/armor/block value most of all, and dodge/defense/parry next, and you dont care about block rating.



    For prince:

    There are two methods of dealing with him:

    1) Stack enough stam/armor so that even if he hits you with multiple hits on a thrash, and you get crushed, you STILL live. This is the best method, but requires very good gear. If you get enough, you can guarantee that you survive. If you dont, youll get crushed an die.

    2) Stack avoidance like crazy, to greatly reduce the chance that he can hit you several times in a short period and kill you.

    With this method you will sometimes get random deaths, but other times you will be able to make it through safely. You wont guarantee success, but you do have a chance at success. This works for people who dont have sufficient gear to do #1. Note that with this method you will have rage problems. (Stretches of no incoming rage). So be careful with your rage, and tell your dps to give you a big lead in phase 1. Tell everyone to not go all out in phase 1, conserve mana, not use cooldowns, etc, and then go all out with everything in phase 2. Use your cooldowns in phase 2: moroes trinket, last stand, shield wall... Pray you make it through.



    But anyway, block rating gives basically no benefit on bosses. It just does nothing at all. Its actually quite good on trash (especially multimob trash), if you have high block value and high armor. Youll block large amounts of each of the small trash mobs hits.

    The best way to do heroics when well geared is high armor, high block value and block rating, low avoidance. You still get good rage with the low avoidance, and your high block and armor and blocking most hits means youll take a steady stream of small hits that are easy to heal through. (Each block is also 1 rage). The best way to do heroics when poorly geared is lots of avoidance and accept the occasional wipes do to bad luck, but usually get through safely.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by thugthedum View Post
    In a fight that is difficult because you take too much damage and die, i.e. a fight where you will be using shield block to continue living, you need to make sure your block rating is as low as possible. If you need avoidance for a fight, stack dodge or parry, but avoid block like the plague. The reason for this is that the shield block talent only has two charges - and when you equip high block rating gear you are asking WoW to use those two charges up more quickly!
    No, this still isnt right

    You dont need to make sure your block rating is lower. Having more block rating does not cause your shield block charges to be consumed faster.

    This is yet another one of the many misconceptions that people have about block rating.

    Having more shield block rating, during a time when shield block skill is active, has NO EFFECT. At all. Its not bad or good, its just irrelevant.

    You dont need to try to have less block rating. Its not actually bad for you or anything.

    Its just not any GOOD for you either. So the reason people avoid is is because they want to choose something else INSTEAD of it that does help them.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by thugthedum View Post
    BTW; we downed the Prince that week thanks to the feedback gotten here, and then went on to down Maulgar in the same timer.

    <3 tankspot.com!

    Thug
    Grats on the kills!

    Crimsonstorm is 100% correct by the way. My bad in the first place for using the words "the lower your chance to block, the longer you keep your Shield Block charges" a few posts up. In the context of the Scorpid Sting discussion, it was meant as "while Shield Block is active if you lower you chance to block by adding to your chance to be missed, you keep your Shield Block charges longer". But when taken out of context it can be interpreted as meaning that having less Block Rating is helpful by itself, which is really not the case.
    Armstrong
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  19. #19
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    Interesting thread.

    I think there is a bit of a false dichotomty here though.

    The contention seems to be that for instances/fights when you are overgeared and have too much rage, there is an advantage to stacking Block Rating as this will allow you to have more rage and generate more threat.

    Thus the choice is between Avoidance and Block Rating.

    However, instead of removing Avoidance pieces for BR pieces, why not remove Avoidance for DPS pieces. If you have an a situation where lowering your avoidance is not a problem, surely having additional hit/crit/ap will give a larger rage/threat increase that stacking more Block Rating.

    I've thought about your arguement but I still think that shy of hitting 102.4&#37; passive avoidance for elimination of crushing blows, Block Rating is still an inferior stat for stacking.

  20. #20
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    hrm.....

    I seem to hover around 25&#37; without stacking it. Its certainly not a worthless stat even going max stam/mitigation....Prince as an example, you're going to get drilled and have to hope for a natural block (IE, not buffed w/ SB) from time to time because he's going crazy ex-girlfriend on you flailing axes and what not. There's a rough gear threshold somewhere in there where its fine to just "here I am, jackass, hit me" and decent healers will heal through it, even a crush or 3 that will occur. With SB up every cooldown, they shouldn't come back to back.

    For rage problems being over geared on stuff....well, if you're over geared, you're prolly not the only one so it won't hurt for everyone to hang on a sec....even without stacking avoidance, out there at a certain level of gear, you're gonna have a ton of it. You'll get a few dodge strings and find yourself cussing and screaming at an empty rage bar.

    Meh, I still am not a fan of BR though...I may rummage around my bank a bit and see if I still have my Colossuss trinket thingy from SH....its got 4% block (30? rating) on it. Throw it on for Prince or Moroes or Romeo...all mobs who attack very fast, to test this out some.

    As far as throwing on DPS gear....eh, I've tried it and I've actually acquired a decent set of DPS gear that rots in my bank...I'm far more comfortable in tank gear and if anything, I'll stack on a little block. I seem to manage my rage ok but every now and then I'll run dry.....

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