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Thread: Improved defensive stance: why so much negativity?

  1. #1

    Improved defensive stance: why so much negativity?

    For Warriors:

    I've noticed that in "Ideal" tank specs, there is never any points in Improved defensive stance. I don;t know why. Especially since once you start with raiding, you begin to see an increase in casting. Maybe I'm just crazy, but that seems a little... off.

    I've been critisized before for my choice in speccing, but I believe that when you start raiding, it;s important to:

    A) take points out of improved taunt, as any good party knows when to hold back on DPS if you can't keep agro up
    B) Put points into imporved Defensive stance and Improved Disarm if you haven;t already. Mitigation is a good thing

    C?) This is just my theory, but I believe that "Last Stand" becomes a little less useful in raids. If a tank gets into a situation where the healer has to heal others fast, it certainly helps, but this happens less in raids as there is usually a healer for each tank. My guild also has a third healer for group heals, I don't know how that plays out in other guilds. But usually, unless my healer is dead, I don't need Last Stand. When I remember to pop it, it usually means my healer IS dead and I'm just putting off the inevitable. If you have an extra point to spare, I say go for it. But only if that point really has no use anywhere else. Thoughts on that are highly appreciated.

    When next I log in, I'm repeccing myself thusly:Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    As you can see, I have taken Last Stand outta the picture for this particular Spec, instead choosing to put my final point into Anger Management. I'm usually against the skill, but then I re-thunk it and figured I was gonna be using HS more often thanks to suggestions from this site, so I decided to go for it.

    And to those who ask why I didn't go for cruelty: I once substituted Anticipation with Cruelty. Still think it wasn't a good idea? Plus, I've been raiding just fine w/o it. The extra 5% dooesn't wow me.
    I tank, therefore I am.

  2. #2
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    Firstly, you accidentally linked the standard 12/5/44 tanking build.

    The main reason most tanks don't take improved defensive stance is it's just not that great. Magic damage accounts for a very small percentage of overall incoming damage such that its benefit just isn't that great. Additionally, it doesn't actually grant 6% reduced spell damage, it's actually only 5.4%, due to the way Defensive Stance and the talent interact. It's basically only worth it for really high magic damage encounters (Hydross).

    Improved Disarm is probably the worst talent in the entire protection tree. The gains of the talent are small, and most mobs you'd care to use it on are immune to disarm anyway.

    Last Stand gets more useful, not less useful, as you progress. When your gear is better than your content, you don't need it. But when you get to true progression content, Last Stand is a wipe preventing talent. It's a huge return for such a small investment. There's absolutely no reason not to take it. It's one of those talents that when you do need it, you're really glad you have it.

    It's fine if you want to drop Cruelty. Those points are a very small threat increase, and are mostly only taken to improve DPS when not tanking.

  3. #3
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    Can I ask how far into raid content you are? From the looks of things you are early in as later in the piece a lot of the talents you frown on are really useful. I never used to pick up imp taunt but since starting hyjal it became a mainstay. I get what you mean by players learning to hold back but by putting points in imp taunt they don't have to. They can pull aggro on trash and I can intervene, taunt and continue what i'm doing while the other dpsers continue nuking hard. In hyjal especially this is very helpful when your dps are aoe'ing a lot and you may not have a lot of single target threat on one or two mobs. Just my take on it anyway....

    Not putting a point in last stand is just silly. I can't think of any other talent at that level that i'd prefer over it purely as an "oh shit" button. "OH SHIT" buttons are the difference between downing a boss and wiping in the same way that aggro dropping buttons help dps. Especially when learning new content.

    Anger management is a wasted point. It provides sweet FA rage for a whole talent point. If you're that rage starved in encounters then put on some dps gear.....

    Bottom line is that trash should never wipe you. If you're putting points into things that mitigate trash damage (like imp revenge/disarm) then something's wrong. Focus on making yourself a small brick when bosses are hitting you.

    Again, curious as to what level of content you're tanking atm?

  4. #4
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    My thoughts on Cruelty are as follows: It gives about 3% more threat iirc, if that is true and your at or around 1200 tps before it you'd be around 1236 with it. That extra 36 tps may not sound like much but that 36 tps on your end can equal 50-60 dps on a locks end in a raid setting. Multiply 60 dps over, say, 4 minutes and the lock was able to do an additional 14.4k damage. now if you multiply that by all the dpsers in your raid, I'll use 15 for the sake of ease, and all of the sudden your raid was able to do an additional 216,000 simply because you put 5 talent points there. Now, obviously my math is rough and I would love for someone to come and polish it up (overhaul it) but you get my point. It's a very good investment.

    Last Stand is awesome btw, never leave shatt without it.

  5. #5
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    Just as one should gear for the encounter, so too should you spec for the encounter as well. Imp Defensive Stance is definitely worth it for a number of fights.

    For a more practical look at this concept applied to SSC, here's an article:
    How to spec for Serpentshrine Cavern - Warriors - TankingTips.com

  6. #6

    thanks

    As always, your comments are highly appreciated.

    As for the content I'm in right now: mainly ZA and Kara.

    I've somehow managed to mess up getting this edited with everything in it three times, so here;s the short responses:

    Imp. taunt: Not really using taunt atm. Maybe when I start doing Hijal more seriously than just clearing the first few mobs for epics and Hearts of Darkness, I'll reconsider.

    Last stand: Okay, I'll re-spec that in. I don't usually remember it, but this conversation should help me remember. I'll take ut anger management.

    Disarm: I haven;t found a mob with a weapon that was invunerable to disarm yet, and alot of big bosses have weapons and CAN be disarmed.

    Here's how my speccing should turn out:WorldofWarcraft.com -> Info -> Classes -> Warrior -> Talent Calculator

    further comments are appreciated.
    Last edited by Shinpachi22; 08-01-2008 at 09:18 AM. Reason: oops! forgot to type everything
    I tank, therefore I am.

  7. #7
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    Imp Disarm isn't worth taking. Maybe if I were doing progression-raiding on Attumen, but seriously that fight is so simple for people starting Kara that you shouldn't need it.

    Last Stand is one of the defining warrior talents. That extra "Oh-Shit" button is one of the things that gives us an advantage over the other tanking classes.

    Imp Defensive Stance is useful if you're tanking something that deals a fair amount of spell damage in bursts, but for many people it's just not worth it.

  8. #8
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    It seems very expensive for 3 TP for a 'mere' 6% and having a 6k hit knocked to 5640 hardly seems worth it. Like most others I've avoided it as I'd rather float the extra points in Shield wall, anger management, improved taunt.

    However when content changes, for me it was Council, ROS & Archie, when it changed from farming to progression, and from being a new guild tank to a regular tank. Threat is fine, but surviability, especially when some become a challenge (archie thread, heh). I'd rather have LS than the piddly Imp def stance, as sh!t happens, or you can take a couple of heavy hits, be rage starved, loose a healer etc. Something like Bloodboil where you can loose someone in BB, means you may have to suck that attack for a few seconds, and if it's been messy with dead tanks, healers, or you're stacked to the gunnels it can be the difference between a wipe and a kill.

    It may not work for you but like others I've yanked points out of improved taunt (fine in Hyjal, not in BT) and put them into it. This will help on farm content (Gorefiend/RoS) and on Archie which I need to work on. If you read tactics/boss abilities for your current content, and see whether you will be taking heavy magical damage, compared to threat, need to taunt etc, then you can make your own mind up to suit your own playstyle. not intended to be arsy, but i've tried minor tweaks from other people's specs and it wasn't 'me'.

    For T4 I wouldn't bother, beyond that I'd look more seriously at what I was tanking and who I was with (healers vs suicidal dps), and ironiclly my new spec isn't that far estranged. I use to run with 4/5 cruelty*, as that seemed the set to 'float', eventually decided I could loose points in anticipation (gear), Anger management (tried with & without, gone for without/survivability) & bin taunt altogether. The extra point in cruelty and a better weapon has ramped threat nicely (I didn't see 3/3 imp def really worth it) and 2/3 in imp def as a survival compromise.

    *Tried without it and it just felt wrong.
    Last edited by Dunmail; 08-01-2008 at 09:11 AM.
    Former TBC/LK Tank
    Waiting for Dunmail Jnr to sleep to enable online gaming.

  9. #9
    Look at my further notes on top, the ones that you likely DIDN'T see. And dunmail, you have a point on the imp. D stance. I'll re-hash my current sheet and see how it plays out.

    does imp. revenge proc regularly and usefully?
    I tank, therefore I am.

  10. #10
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    I'll never understand the attitude towards Imp Defensive Stance that just because it doesn't remove large amounts of damage at T4 levels that it's suddenly not useful. A talent or piece of gear doesn't have to remove thousands and thousands of damage to be an upgrade.. it's still an upgrade. If anything with T4 dpsers far easier to contain than T6 dpsers, Imp Defensive Stance probably makes the most sense at a T4 level since it's at this time that threat is less of an issue.

    The way I threat specing into Imp Defensive Stance is I compare those 3 points to Imp Sunder Armor. If I feel I need more survivability for an encounter, I get Imp Defensive Stance. If I feel I need more threat for an encounter, I get Imp Sunder Armor. A lot of tanks feel 3/3 Imp Sunder Armor is "required", but I think you'll find that it's a fairly minor threat loss. So this is not to say I'm endorsing that threat isn't essentially, my point here is you should be specing into what makes the most sense for the encounter.

    Regarding Imp Revenge, it largely isn't worth it. Most bosses are immune to stun and the stun itself is pretty annoying. If you need to stun things as a warrior that's what concussion blow and intercept are for. Specing Imp Revenge is basically like specing into bringing an annoying rogue that doesn't know how to play with you all the time.

  11. #11
    y'know... I've been using imp. D stance since I specced into prot, I don;t wanna see an increase in spell damage all of a sudden. I'm keeping it.
    I tank, therefore I am.

  12. #12
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    I've been using imp. Rend since I specced into prot, I don't wanna see a decrease in my damage and threat all of a sudden, I'm keeping it.

    Kind of silly reasoning, huh?
    "We actually talked today about adding an item level 300 shirt that did absolutely nothing but mess with mods that attempt to boil down players to gear scores. " -Ghostcrawler

  13. #13
    well, no, it isn't. not on my part anyway. I've been seeing good arguments onboth sides, so I finally just decided to keep it since it has worked for me. If you want too use something like imp. rend (which you aren;t), be my guest. However, I WOULD argue against it, since rend is a technique based on general DPS. for a warrior spec using a big weapon, sure, why not? but in general rend will create little damage and little agro for someone using an average tanking weapon which concentrates on speed of swing, not power of blow.

    if you wanna do tanking based on DPS, switch to pally.
    I tank, therefore I am.

  14. #14
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    The point is that keeping a talent with small benefit just because it "has worked for you" isn't exactly sound logic.

    Odds are you will not notice the increase of spell damage if you drop the talent, because the effect is so small.

    Example:
    If a spell hits for 4k raw damage:
    In defensive stance, the spell hits instead for: (4000)(.9) = 3.6k
    With improved Defensive stance: (4000)(.9)(.94) = 3384
    net gain: 216 less damage.

    Considering that very few bosses have high spell damage to begin with (Hydross, Leo in demon form, Kael'thas, Illidan flames), it's just not that big of an increase in mitigation, especially for 3 talent points. If you're fighting a boss where 50% of overall damage output is spell damage (Most bosses are much, much lower), you're only getting 1% fight mitigation per talent point. It's just not a good investment.
    Last edited by Prunetracy; 08-01-2008 at 12:50 PM.

  15. #15
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    Trust the majority of the Prot Warrior Community. Improved Defensive Stance is one of the talents you take for Progression raiding against enemies with lots of magical attacks (i.e., SSC/TK and beyond), but if your gear is up-to-par for said content, you won't need it.

    Improved Disarm's cooldown alone makes me sick. I refuse to improve it until WLK comes out IF they fix this broken ability. I would, honestly, prefer to spec Imp. Rend over Imp. Disarm, if that puts it into perspective for you.

    I'm a fan of Improved Revenge (yes, pre-WLK) because the stun proc is fairly reliable, but not always desirable. Besides, I think all bosses are immune to the stun-proc, and stuns on trash results in rage starvation. However, it's great in PvP.

    Imp. Taunt isn't worth taking imo, but others may have threat-generation problems without enough hit/expertise to compensate. If you're constantly losing threat, it might be worth taking. However, once WLK hits, it'll be pointless (see Vigilance)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prunetracy View Post
    Considering that very few bosses have high spell damage to begin with (Hydross, Leo in demon form, Kael'thas, Illidan flames), it's just not that big of an increase in mitigation, especially for 3 talent points. If you're fighting a boss where 50% of overall damage output is spell damage (Most bosses are much, much lower), you're only getting 1% fight mitigation per talent point. It's just not a good investment.
    There are decent damage magic elements on Lurker, Tidewalker and various parts of the Fathomlord encounter as well. Al'ar definitely does truck loads of magic damage as does Solarian.

    The point is there are no other magic damage mitigation alternatives.

    0 value vs small value

    Which one wins?

  17. #17
    Also, as a human, I have no special resistance to any kind of magic school, so I take away what I can. I had a friend who healed me from 1-70 b4 he left the game, and as a healer he suggested that I spec into that. basically he said that if it helps keep the healer from feeling stressed to heal even for a few seconds, it's a few more seconds they will be able to keep on healing later on in the fight. And in a long fight, that matters.

    oh, and if anyone was planning to go into rend, I would actually suggest they do deep impale, it sems like a passive ability that saves time and rage. as long as you see yourself critting often, why not?
    I tank, therefore I am.

  18. #18
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    The 5 resistance some races get against a specific school is by no means going to have any noticable effect on incoming spell damage, you'd have to stack resistance gear to see any decrease.

    I dislike deep wounds as I lose some control during trash. If I pick a target and someone carelessly dots another target I like to switch to their target and have mine CC'd, deep wounds prevents that from happening. As for impale, unless you've stacked a lot of crit on gems it doesn't seem worth the points.

    I specced imp def stance through TK and SSC, i'm now dropping it as we push further into BT and am not using it for Hyjal. I find imp taunt immensely helpful in Hyjal, even with a pally tank we often see mobs running off to a lock or mage and it's nice to be able to intervene, taunt and run them back in, on many occasions during this time someone else has pulled aggro and taunt has been coolded down effectively saving the poor bastard from being smashed by an abom.

    It seems to me like you're heading into new content and challenging the tried and true specs which is fine, it shows you're thinking about the future and not just falling into line. And really at the end of the day just try it out and see if it works. But the people here are giving you their take on it and their experiences with the talents you're talking about, you're asking for their opinions so be prepared to accept their opinions even if you disagree with them

  19. #19
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    All Warriors spend 5 talent points to increase their Armor from gear by 10% (Toughness - 2% per talent point). Why would you not spend the same amount of talent points to also increase your magic mitigation?

    Granted there are certain situations where magic damage is non existant. But to say it's "not enough" or a "meager reduction" is a moot point if you spec into Toughness, which has the exact same damage mitigation per talent point.

    6%, is 6%. For each attack it may not add up. But calculate attacks over a 5 minute fight, and you may end up negating 10's of thousands of points of incoming damage.
    Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with the software.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by veneretio View Post
    There are decent damage magic elements on Lurker, Tidewalker and various parts of the Fathomlord encounter as well. Al'ar definitely does truck loads of magic damage as does Solarian.

    The point is there are no other magic damage mitigation alternatives.

    0 value vs small value

    Which one wins?
    I agree with you in principle. Yes, 6% spell damage mitigation is better than 0% magic damage mitigation. But that 6% costs talent points that could be spent elsewhere, it's not as if you're comparing Imp Def Stance to leaving 3 points unspent.

    The reason Imp Defensive Stance isn't that great is because there are generally better options.

    re: Other encounters with magic damage, yes there is magic damage, but what percent of total damage taken does it account for? I'd suspect it's far less than 50%, maybe closer to 10-20%, meaning total mitigation gained per talent point is a mere .2% to .4% mitigation per point. That's pretty weak by any standard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andenthal View Post
    All Warriors spend 5 talent points to increase their Armor from gear by 10% (Toughness - 2% per talent point). Why would you not spend the same amount of talent points to also increase your magic mitigation?

    Granted there are certain situations where magic damage is non existant. But to say it's "not enough" or a "meager reduction" is a moot point if you spec into Toughness, which has the exact same damage mitigation per talent point.

    6%, is 6%. For each attack it may not add up. But calculate attacks over a 5 minute fight, and you may end up negating 10's of thousands of points of incoming damage.
    2% additional armor is not 2% mitigation. I'm honestly not sure if it's more or less than that. What's great about Toughness is that its benefit scales with gear upgrades, and Imp Defensive Stance does not.

    Additionally, since Armor reduces physical damage, it applies to a much, much larger percentage of overall damage taken than magical damage in typical boss encounters.

    Let me be clear: I don't think the talent is worthless. The OP asked why very few warriors take it. The reason is that there are better places to spend those points most of the time. There are a select few encounters where it has a benefit worth the points, but those are the exception rather than the rule, and even for those fights it's not a make or break type talent.

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