I've been having some difficulties deciding which gear I should aim for to be my "best in slot" for the current content. I'm not sure if I should get, for example, Helm of Vital Protection vs Valorous Dreadnaught Greathelm.
The example is an example of whether to get +hit vs +expertise, but given that armor and stamina are the same it becomes a choice of Block Value vs Parry rating and Hit vs Expertise. Although at first glance it would appear that I should choose expertise over hit due to parry haste I also am at 18% parry and am beginning to hit the DR for parry so the +hit and BV might be more valuable. This is just an example and not really my question and i'll continue with some previous strategies.
Effective health has been the staple of gearing tanks through progression encounters as it gives the most consistent amount of damage taken and anticipated to heal through that said tanks were of course gemming for pure +12/+15 stamina gems in all slots. Gemming for +hit wasn't given any thought as getting a bigger health pool and more armor were key. As tanks and healers began to overgear encounters we would switch more + hit gear for threat etc etc. You all know this I won't try and bore you with this.
Late in TBC expertise was released and many tanks quickly snagged the badge vendor neck and bracers and used them as threat was becoming very important. We lacked TPS in our EH gear and warlocks and CO quickly rode our coattails and we were forced to use more expertise and hit gear. Now that threat is no longer an issue in WoTLK why bother with expertise or hit?
I understand that +expertise is important as it does reduce parry haste from mobs but why bother with hit as it doesn't improve our EH or avoidance? Undoubtedly this entire argument is over gear and gem choices and +hit and +expertise is tacked onto random peices of gear but alas I continue with my question/theory.
For means of EH why don't we simply only wear peices of gear that give us the highest +stamina and +avoidance stats; Parry, Dodge. and also Block Rating and completely forgo expertise and hit.
In all 3 helms I would get +32 stamina 2% armor and another 24 stam gem.
I understand we would hit DR eventually if we continued to follow this trend in all gear and gem choices and maybe when we hit the apex of parry and dodge barely increasing we get +expertise/hit but at this early stage in the game I don't think we'll get there with our current gear choices.
In principle, threat is not an issue generally in these early days of LK. But imagine going into a fight, and missing your shield slam, having revenge dodged for the first few seconds. You can imagine the consequences, especially if it's a burn down fight. Snap aggro is still an issue and all that sweet SBV you have isn't going to do squat if you can't land your moves.
Also, threat is no longer innate and fixed, it's now determined by the damage we do, and our damage actually matters now in fights. Again, without hit and expertise, those damage moves aren't going to land.
So yes, stamina is important, avoidance and mitigation is important, but with the minimums fulfilled, I'd still be doing my darn best to at least hit the expertise soft-cap on dodge before building on hit. Right now, I don't have a problem getting both expertise and hit, heroic & naxx gear are filled with them. Which is great, because it allows me to mix and match with avoidance gear to reach the optimal levels of sta/dodge/block/parry/expertise/hit I need. You're only gimping yourself by actively avoiding all hit/expertise gear because you think you don't need it.
And lastly, I want to state that saying tanks can out-threat dps 4:1 is rapidly becoming a myth that only holds true at 70. Tanking trash packs and trying to hold aggro vs dpsers that output 2.5k dps and beyond is not as brainlessly easy as it was before. And I suspect that balance will continue to shift in dps' favour as the game progresses.