Best More threat (&dps).
2nd best: Even more effective health (more room for surviving errors)
Least beneficial: More avoidance.
What happens when you add avoidance is:
1) You have a greater chance of taking no hits over a period of time, thus rage starving you so you fail to use some GCDs. You also get a lot less average rage over time and thus generate less threat. (Bad)
2) You have a smaller chance of taking eating hits in a row (Good). Thus there are less 'dangerous' occasionas when a missed heal or mistake could kill you.
3) You healers get LAZY. They stop precasting because youre not tkaing damage, or they sneak some raid heals in there becaue youre at top and not taking damage. This can cause you to die when the burst DOES come (which it will, just less often). It is far, far easier to heal a target that consistently loses moderate %ages of their health, than one that goes in streaks of not taking damage and then takes larger %ages. Because the healers get lazy during the avoidance streaks, and then when the damage comes its a larger %age of your life AND sometimes they arent prepared for it.
4) Your healers save mana more often by canceling casts. This can be good however it only matters in cases where your healers wouldve gone OOM. Healers rarely go OOM in my experience, except in extreme cases )like when several healers die and those who are left are trying to do everything at once).
Finally there is the sexiness of effective health and threat, and the unsexiness of avoidance.
Generating more threat = sexy.
Doing more dps while tanking is sexy.
Having a bigger number of HPs is sexy.
When avoidance doesnt work = not sexy.
When avoidance works A LOT (dodge streaks) = NOT ACTUALLY SEXY because you have no rage to do ANYTHING, and your healers are doing nothing when they could easily just be healing you.
I personally find no use for a 'avoidance' set. There IS use for a 'passive uncrushable' set, once you can make it, and it it doesnt sacrifice too much stam/armor to achieve (i.e. if you use a lot of block rating to do it). So essentially an 'avoidance' set is an uncrushable set that isnt actually uncrushable yet. It sacrifices stam/armor for avoidance but doesnt manage to give protection against the big killer: crushes.
Passive uncrushable set is like an avoidance set that ALSO eliminates crushes, which makes it worth it. (Because not being able to be crushed is actually worth a significant amount of effective health)
If a lot of it is from armor and block value, which it should be, then youre really not taking much more damage than anyone else.
Also an avoidance tank's healers end up with a lot more overheals. The dodges usually just cause overheals. They dont cause you to need less healers or anything. That avoidance tank needs the same amount of healers for the times when they DO eat the burst damage. Its just that those healers spend more of their time not doing anything (but they cant do something else or slack off for a second).
I see what you're saying crimson, and i've heard the arguments against avoidance. Rather than give my well-rehersed counter-argument i'll just say that its not my style and i don't enjoy it.
For me its alot more fun to have strings of dodge and parry and to give my healers time to regen in a boss fight and/or do backup and raid heals when i'm ok. Like you mentioned before this can cause my healers to get lazy, which is always a risk, but i trust them to make the right descion on to focus entirly on me, or to spread themselves out. If you'd like a classic rebuttle of avoidance versus EH i can give it to ya tho. A healthy mix of both can't hurt, as others have said. You sure your examples are anecdotal? or just theory? Often when i'm tanking we require less healers and we have the same amount of overheal when our EH tank is tanking.
Crimson, you are really downplaying the effectiveness of avoidance. It is NOT as bad as you make out.
A tank who has focused on avoidance will not always see 10 avoided hits in a row. He'll see 2 in a row, 1 hit, 3 in a row, 2 hits, 2 in a row, 1 hit, etc.
While dodge "streaks" do happen, they aren't that common.
Joanadark has explained the strengths of avoidance best: Effective Damage Frequency, or EDF. Basically, it means that with avoidance, you minimize the chance of taking two hits back-to-back. You spread the damage that you take out over time. To paraphrase Joana, "EDF works because healing is not just a hole you pour mana into." You minimize mistakes, you try to cover up for the human factor.
Also, there is a point where additional stamina does nothing. Zip, zada, zilch. Let's say an EH tank is fighting a boss that gives as his absolute maximum 12,000 damage in 3 seconds. The tank has enough healers that after 3 seconds (which is the cast time of a Greater Heal), they have healed him for 13,000 damage.
Let's assume he has 20,000 health. If the healers slack off to the point that he takes another 4,000 damage in the next second before all the heals land, he will have 17,000 health to survive the next spike with, enough to survive if the healers slack off again. It shouldn't have to go that far, though. Assuming the healers do NOT slack off at all, he has 7,000 health that does jack. His health never goes below 7,000. He could have used those itempoints to get more threat, get more avoidance, whatever.
The reason EH works is because it's difficult to find that sweet spot where additional health does nothing, especially on encounters you do not have much experience with. You will never really go wrong with EH -- the tank in the example doesn't die, for instance -- but just because it works does not mean it is the best way to do it.
The absolute best way to go for a tank is to get enough avoidance that he regularly spreads out the damage that he takes, but also has enough EH to survive the spikes. EDF+EH.
Dovie'andi se tovya sagain - it's time to roll the dice
One thing worth thinking about: if avoidance works for you, who cares what the community thinks? "If it ain't broke..."
There is no such thing as "absolute maximum" damage spike because "shit happens". Your healers can get dragged into watery graves, get silenced, need to move, just plain die, disconnect, lag, spill coffee on the mouse, get distracted by theirs moms or angry spouses, have their dogs jump on their laps, and so on. Anyone can come up with 1000 creative ways to cause your healers job can suffer some seconds of interruption in a 10 minute long battle.
The very definition of EH is tied to your time-to-live. The more EH, the more time you give your healers, the more provision you give them for bad things. Avoidance helps too in those dire circumstances, except it is not reliable as EH.
Of course all EDF arguments still apply, you NEED avoidance to sparse the damage intake and save your shield block charges more often.
EH+EDF is the way to go for sure, the ammount of EDF being encounter-dependent. My point here is that there is no such thing as a maximum stamina point.
Yes, it fluctuates. I've already said it's hard to judge when and where that sweet spot is. That does not change the fact that it is there.
For instance, go tank Gnomeregan. :P I bet you anything you're way, way beyond the maximum stamina point.
Dovie'andi se tovya sagain - it's time to roll the dice
I'm a Kara tank, MT in my guild. 15,5K unbuffed HP and 16K Armor. (damn armory won't update). Anyway I used to have 23% dodge/ 20% parry and 27% block but I rly hated it. Not enough rage grrrrrrrr. So I went from 13,5k HP to 15,5 and 20% dodge, 18% parry, 21,5% block and the tanking is more fun . I don't have boring healers and the threat is high enough .
So EH gear FTW
Carefish - Fury Warrior - Chromaggus EU
I am much in the same boat as you. I love to try and 'optimise' my gear, and I have a tonne of avoidance.
I believe that avoidance tanking is unpopular for the following reason. To avoidance tank you need to do it properly but you still need to keep your stam high. You cant try to gear for avoidance with the wrong gear. Its easy to slap on the stam like theres no tomorrow, and still keep a minimum avoidance and tank everything that you come across. But to be a good avoidance tank, you need to have huge avoidance, and acceptable health. You also need to be able to make the most of your rage.
Currently I tank hard hitting bosses with about 62% avoidance and 14.5K HP unbuffed. Raid buffed I usually hit about 19200 HP and 64% avoidance. Currently working on SSC/TK bosses. I use Stam/ threat gear to tank soft hitters, trash or for situations where threat is more important.
The avoidance gear is great, i feel like a juggernaught when I wear it. On the other hand I seem to be taking constant spike damage in my Stam gear and it always feels risky when i tank hard hitting bosses in it. The way i see it, my health is only marginally lower than an EH tank but i'm taking a lot less hits. Makes more sense to me.
I also keep an eye on my damage report when i die. In most situations when i die, i take more damage than an extra 1.5KHP would have saved me for.
Anyhow in regards to your question about improving gear, I think there are many great options.
My goal is to significantly raise my HP to a level where it is comparable to EH tanks, while becoming uncrushable and at least keeping the same avoidance, or raising it even further. The idea of being uncrushable, with big stam and huge avoidance at a tier 5 level is a very enticing, and with the new gear in 2.3, i think this goal is possible. The only thing you need to sacrifice is a bit of SBV.
Also, regarding aggro for most fights i am doing, i find threat is of absolutely no problem for several reasons. Main reason is because many of the fights require the DPS engage in other activities or periods of not attacking my tanked target.
Last edited by Foolishness; 12-10-2007 at 08:34 AM.
I've found myself being too one dimensional a couple of times and letting other stuff slide. In my love of more stamina, armor and purples I had swapped out some blues without thinking of what it did to my OT threat when I need to do that since my MT threat was so high.
I think you need to constantly review your armor and gearing choices depending on the role you are expected to fill there isn't a single stat that is ALWAYS worth having more at the expense of everything else. Thank god for Item rack and please blizz 40 slot armor/weapon bags.
amenI think you need to constantly review your armor and gearing choices depending on the role you are expected to fill there isn't a single stat that is ALWAYS worth having more at the expense of everything else. Thank god for Item rack and please blizz 40 slot armor/weapon bags.
;P imo anyways, but do what works best for your individual playstyle, this is just the best possible way to do things, sure going full avoidance you can down a boss, but so can a 10khp tank if he gets lucky enough. Do what you can to best utilize your raids capabilities and your own encounters.
Plus there's the beauty of not going with the flow by being an avoidance tank.
Having both healed and tanked, I can say with certainty that I like a very healthy mixture of both avoidance and effective health. Once you're fairly certain you can survive spikes, try to spread out the damage so that spikes are less frequent.
Now fortunately, as a Paladin, I'm not often in the boat of being mana-starved in boss fights. I might think a bit differently if I had a rage bar.
At the risk of saying what others have said already.
I am one of the main tanks in my guild who is currently at 2/4 TK and 2/6 SSC. I tend to favor effective health over avoidance, but have an avoidance set as well. In my stamina/armor set I am sitting at just over 22k fully raid buffed and 18.2k armor before stone shield potions/crit heal procs. This set also puts me at about 42%ish combined miss, dodge, and parry. My avoidance set causes me to loose about 1k armor, 2k+ health, and gain about 12% pure avoidance.
In most situations I find myself using the effective health set and It has payed off rather well. We finally downed magtheridon about a week ago due to never having the locks online to try him before. I wore my stam gear for this fight and at one point my health dropped to 487 out of that 22.2k. Magtheridon has a huge damage range on his abilities and the amount he hits me for is made even more unpredictable by whether or not I have the armor buff from crit shammy/priest heals active. In a situation like this where the damage range is so unpredictable I have found it is best to have as much effective health as possible because its very hard to tell what that "minimum range" actually is.
Meanwhile on other fights I know exactly how hard I am going to get hit and can figure out if its reasonable for me to be able to survive an extra hit through effective health or not. If I can survive three hits, but not four then it is time for more avoidance/threat depending on what I have the gear for. Personally, I love fights where I know my stam gear won't make the difference because then I can equip my emergency trinkets and have more direct control over my survival.
The bottom line is what you do next is determined by what will give you the greatest ability to survive an extra hit or avoid it if you cannot survive it.