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Thread: Dual Wielding DKs: Demystifying the Myth.

  1. #1
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    Dual Wielding DKs: Demystifying the Myth.

    DK Dual Wielding: Can it be done? Does it Exist!?

    ADDENDUM: This is pure, and complete theorycraft. As it stands now, there has been no tests by myself or by any individual with the gearset needed to make dual wield DK tests versus two handers. Until the gearset is put to the test, this is purely speculative!!! Please don't take this as a end to the debate..this is more theorizing about the possibility that DKs dual wielding can potentially be as good as two handed tanking.

    Alrighty, now that people have been debating this for ages, it’s time for us to figure out the issues at hand. To be honest, I’ve tried to avoid this as I’m not the strongest tank in the game, however I did start this little match to a roaring fire and many people are still talking about it to this day.

    Of course, I mean the dual wield versus two handed weapon fighting for tanking as a Death Knight.

    History:

    Once upon a time, Death Knights were given two options: Use two one handers or use one two hander. This was how Blizzard decided to make Death Knights. See Highlord Morgraine? Two handed swords. See the 4 Horsemen? Well..they usually have two handers. Conflict!

    However, with the introduction of both abilities, people started to think about the following: could you potentially dual wield tank as a death knight and have it viable?

    The theory comes out of this:

    Entrance of the Expertise skill has caused people to gripe about weapon skill being lost, but many tanks started musing the use of this rather underrated skill. For DPSers, this meant a way to lower pesky dodges while attacking from behind. For tanks however, this skill also had a very nice addition: lowering parry chances done against them.

    It is important to understand why dual wielding never worked for a warrior in the first place. First, the shield gave so much armor that it was ludicrous to even bother thinking of putting a second weapon for threat purposes. You just became too squishy. Furthermore, the introduction of Parry enhanced attacks was introduced in 2.0 and that made the debate about dual wield tanking dead: every time your attack was parried, you sped up the mob’s attack speed and with crushing blows in the game, that would seriously be bad (At this point, only paladins had a surefire way to actually get out of the crush issue, however they can’t dual wield, the poor suckers.)

    In comes the Death Knight Hero class, which allows people to dual wield, like a warrior, or use a two hander. They are also deemed to be a tank class, given a presence which pretty much acts like a shield. Interesting. However, this class now works a lot like a druid as it cannot block and must use avoidance. Hrm...this brings an idea up!

    Musings of the Tonypablos:

    By this point, I’ve been visiting Tankspot and playing around with my DPS warrior. I was so discouraged with how the DPS warrior was going that I had decided to switch over to my Death Knight like I originally had thought. However while leveling, my mind came back to dual wielding and it’s possible use in a tanking situation. Let’s face it: tanking with two weapons is so much cooler than one two hander.

    It is as this point that I started thinking about it.

    My first thought was to get rid of Parry Gibbing ideas. Studies have shown that most if not all bosses have anywhere between a 12 to 14 percent chance of parrying an attack. This is not good when you have two weapons hitting and they both have the same percentage for you to get parried. The key here is getting rid of this as this would cause more chances for you to get wtfpwned by some hard hitting attack.

    Furthermore, Crushing blows were removed from the game come 3.0. With this removal of the system, this effectively removed the primary concern of dual wielding: get parried, get the chance of getting smacked in the face by a crushing blow causing your healers not to react fast enough to heal you. This was no longer the case, and the damage that was coming in was a simple melee attack...which could be avoided. Death Knights are avoidance tanks. Everyone agrees with this statement right? Everyone repeat after me (Death Knights are avoidance tanks). Repeat that till it’s stuck in your head. Now, with that in mind, we should potentially be able to avoid a melee attack that was sped up by our innate stats. By having enough parry and dodge, this should allow us to avoid any big hits. At most, you would be a solid normal damage shot and if your healers are any good, they’d be fast to catch it (Yes, I presume your healers are that good. Mine are.)

    So, what we have now is this:

    If bosses can’t crush, and can only do one normal damage, then a normal damage could definitely be healed through even if you get parried. Let’s face it, you’re going to get parried with a two hander at one point unless you reach the cap as well. Let me state this: You will parry less with a two hander. No doubt about it. You will get parried less than a two hander UNTIL you cap, where it doesn’t matter. However, the question is this: Can you afford to take an extra hit?

    The answer? Probably. Why? Because you’re working on the idea that you’re an avoidance tank. I will be listing a set of gear that you can work on getting that works with dodge, parry and expertise that will be pretty strong in it’s own way. However it’s noted that a lot of this is very circumstancial; you have to have the proper gearset to get to the cap. Is it important to get to the cap? Yes. Can it be done before hitting the cap? Probably, depending on how your stats are evaluated.

    Now, let’s get to the point:

    Dual Wield tanking would prioritize their stats as the following:

    - Defense cap
    - Expertise
    - Strength
    - Dodge/Parry

    As nice as Stamina is, it could be ranked about the same spot as strength, but sometimes lower than dodge/parry. Now this is going to get people to scream “YOU NOOB!” but think about it: If you’re an avoidance tank..well your whole point is to avoid damage. Besides, nowadays all our pieces come with Strenght/Stam, so it really doesn’t matter. =/

    Again, you’re bound to get hit. Don’t ignore your stamina because when you get hit, you’re going to take damage. And it’s a bit more than Warriors, paladins and druids right now so be cautious.

    Now, threat wise, you’re going to be using Runestrike a whole lot more. You might wanna macro every single damn button you will push to light up Runestrike because trust me, as an avoidance tank, this will light up more often than you think. The theory behind how Dual Wield can potentially out threat two handers is thanks to quicker Runestrikes by dual wielding. However this will potentially be offsetted by the fact you’re going to miss. A lot. With both weapons. However, a lot of your attacks are spell hit based anyway which means you’re really shooting for 17% spell hit. Hopefully tank gear will come with hit rating. (Sorry Sattori, I’m still not convinced it’s melee hit as of yet. Show me that WWS soon damnit. =) )

    End ideas:

    A lot of people will argue with this idea. Heck, we’ve seen it already happen on the forums. Many people will say that we’re stupid and that even Blizzard stated that two handers are the way they want DKs to go and they will purposely nerf dual wielding if it ever gets beaten in the method of tanks.

    This post is not in any way whatsoever to discredit which way is better tanking. This post is to show that dual wield tanking IS viable under the right conditions. It just requires people to look a little bit more on the expertise side instead of pushing solely on avoidance. However, not only do you gain avoidance by reducing the chances of a boss to parry your attacks by stacking expertise, but you also raise your tps because you get rid of that parry chance and you get rid of the dodge chance as well. That is always something people need to think about behind their heads when it comes to an expertise piece.

    Any comments and talks are surely suggested and wanted and again, this is more of an informational tool for people who want to dual wield. Look, DKs are the most flexible class I’ve had the pleasure to play. Play the class the way you want.

    Let’s recap real quick:

    -Both are viable, however both require different sets of idea and priorities. I would sorely push on at least getting half of the expertise needed, which is 27, before attempting to DK dual wield. This will at least lower the chances of you getting parry gibbed by half, and raise your TPS decently.

    - In a min/max setup however, dual wielding will always fall short of damage mitigation. Why? Because it always will be about double the chances of you to get parried by a boss compared to your single two hander. Until you remove the parry chances from the board, two handers will be the more solid mitigation type of tanking. Threat however, is up in the air at this point and I personally think dual wielding could potentially pull ahead here. Numbers would be nice, but by this point, if you guys haven’t realized that i’m not a math geek, I don’t know what else I can say other than I DON’T DO MATH!!! X.x

    I sincerely hope this informs a lot of people about this topic. If you have any questions about dual wield tanking, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Spec:

    Go with a frost spec honestly. No offense, but you sorely need the mitigation talents in frost to pull this off properly. This is because you could potentially take 50% more damage if you are very unlucky (Pray to the gods you’re not.) Suggested spec I’d like to say is the following:

    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=j0EZGgezheb0hoVosx0x0h (Bite me, I’m at school and this computer has IE 5..so outdated x.x)

    Rotation:

    Possible rotations with this could be IT > PS > BS > BS > HB with a FS dump

    The reason you’re using HB instead of OB is because it doesn’t reflect weapon damage, which is what you’re losing going from a two hander to two one handers. That is also the reason why you put 3 points in Unholy instead of the normal two in Epidemic: You’re going to be reusing your rotation a lot before Epidemic would come into play.

    By all means if people have a better idea..hit me up with it. I was just writing how it could be doable. Not a sure all be all guide about it lol

    Gear to hit up for dual wield (Aka Dream Gear):

    http://www.wowhead.com/?compare=40718:40297:39704:40565:39398:37645:43988 :40345:40426:40589:40387:40345

    Some of this gear may be interchangable from time to time. Also, Kaze didn't list any belt or bracers. That'll be left to preference for any player for perhaps higher avoidance items instead? Hint hint? Also, no trinkets have been placed. Again, higher avoidance ftw?

    *many thanks to Kaze for posting this up when he did because without him and listening to my ranting, this would really never of gotten off the ground.
    Last edited by Krenian; 01-01-2009 at 08:56 AM. Reason: Corrected some wording.

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  2. #2
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    Thanks Tony. =)

    A few things I can offer.

    First off, a lot of people throw the argument of parry-haste and ZOMGtheyllpwnurfaceyounub around, but not a lot of people seem to actually understand how parry haste works, so let me explain it as best I can.

    Bosses (you can practically ignore most other smaller mobs since they'll have a whopping 4-5% parry chance) have a set swing time. Many of them are squarely at roughly 2 seconds, there are some who swing substantially faster but these same bosses (Mother Sharazz and Patchwerk for example) are incapable of parrying for this very reason. So, when the boss parries your attack his swing timer is reduced to 20% of the maximum value regardless of where it is. It cannot be moved to less than that. So, what this means is, if he JUST attacked (100% of swing time left) and he parries you, he just ignored 80% of his swing. If he is down at the last 15% of his swing, the parry does not speed the attack up. If he is half way through his swing timer and he parries, he cuts 30% off his swing time. This is typically, statistically, averaged out to roughly 40%, which is the number that gets thrown about by the knowledgeable.

    So here's some simple numbers to give an illustration:
    2.0 sec swing timer, 4000 damage per hit (after all your mitigation)
    => zero haste and this will be 2000 damage per second

    Let's say over a 60 seconds of a boss fight, pure auto-attacks, no expertise:

    <<With nothing else happening the boss will hit 30 times for a total of 120,000 damage>>
    Case #1: Warrior with a typical tanking sword (1.5 sec swing time)
    60 seconds is 40 attacks by the warrior, if the boss parries at only 10%, he'll parry 4 of those attacks. If every parry is the worse case scenario, then the boss gets 4x0.8 more swings, or 3.2 more swings, round down to 3, and add that to the 30 swings normally, so we have 33 swings or 132,000 damage (a 10% increase). Remember, best case scenario is zero haste, if we use the 40% average, that's only 1.6 more swings, with conservative rounding up, that's 2 more swings or 128,000 damage (7% increase).

    Case #2: Bear Tank, feral attack speed is 1.0 sec without modification
    In 60 sec that is 60 attacks, 10% parry means 6 swings will be parried, worst case scenario is 6x0.8, or 4.8 rounding up to 5, that's 35 attacks for 140,000 damage (17% increase). 40% average would be 2.4 more, rounded off to 2 is 32 attacks and 128,000 damage (7%).

    Case #3: Death Knight with a big 2-hander and a slow speed of 3.5
    This will be roughly 17 attacks, 10% parry chance, we'll round up to 2 parries. Worst case scenario would be 1.6 additonal swings, or rounded off, 32 or 128,000 damage (7%). Average of 40% and we have rounded up, 1 more swing or 124,000 damage (3%).

    Case #4: Death Knight dual wielding with two classical tanking weapons (1.5 sec)
    This would be 80 attacks, 10% parry translates to 8 parries. Worst case scenario is 8x0.8=6.4 round down to 6 extra swings, for 144,000 damage (20% increase). 40% average is 3.2, round to 3 extra swings, for 132,000 damage total (10% increase).

    Case #5: Death Knight dual wielding two slow tanking weapons (2.4 sec)
    This would be 48 swings, 10% parry, round up to 5 parries. Worst case that's 4 extra attacks for 136,000 damage (13% increase). 40% average translates into 2 extra swings, or 128,000 damage (7%).

    So, to sum up (using 40% haste averages, with better numbers):
    Warrior (classical tank weapon) = ~5% increase
    Bear Druid (feral attack speed) = ~8% increase
    DK (slow 2-hander) = ~2.2% increase
    DK (dual wield classical tank weapons) = ~10.7% increase
    DK (dual wield slow tank weapons) = ~6.4% increase
    DK (dual wield slow main hand, fast off hand) = ~ 8.5%

    I added the last scenario because this is the setup I'd likely use, I'll get more into that below. This is based solely on auto-attacks, but auto-attacks are only half the picture. There is also the matter of special abilities.

    For warriors, the standard rotation will be made primarily of Shield Slam, Devastate, and Revenge. Shield Slam and Devastate can be parried, Revenge can not. You will be using these abilities on the GCD, so every 1.5 seconds. In that 60 second window that is 40 GCD's. Let's do some practical consideration, if a warrior has a total 60% chance to dodge/parry/block to proc Revenge, they'll receive 18 chances to Revenge (and our warrior never misses that option). We'll also say he Tclaps twice to keep the debuff up, and demoralizing shouts twice as well for the same reason. So, 22 if the lucky warrior's CD's are unparriable. 18 of those attacks can be parried, 10% rate means an additional 2.4% damage increase, and realistically there won't be THAT many actual revenges, but we'll use the conservative number, add it to the warrior's auto-attack for a grand total of 7.4% increase.

    For druids, they have swipe, lacerate, and mangle that will be the main use of cooldowns, all of which can be parried. We'll say 2 demoralizing roars for the debuff, and 2 faerie fires for the same. This means a whopping 36 moves can be parried for an additional 4.8% damage increase. Added to the auto-attack value and you're looking at a 12.8% increase.

    For DK's it gets a bit more complicated. The moves you use and the number you can fire off aren't just restricted by the GCD, particularly while tanking, and there are more than a few moves that are not susceptible to parrying. One additional move that limits our vulnerability is Rune Strike. Each time we dodge or parry we get a Rune Strike that will replace our next attack with an added damage and threat move that cannot be parried. In other words, this means our avoidance actually is doing double duty at reducing our parry haste vulnerability, except unlike revenge where it makes our next special move safe, it makes our next auto-attack safe.

    So, let's consider a big 2-hander with an Unholy tanking spec. Let's take a rigid rotation (ick) where we're fighting a boss (single target, no aoe needed). If we keep DnD up that would be DnD > IT > PS > BS (> UB/DC's slipped into cracks) in set 1 (10 sec), ScS > ScS > BS > BS on set 2, PS > IT > ScS > BS > BS on set 3, DnD > ScS > BS on set 4, PS > IT > ScS > BS > BS on set 5, ScS > ScS > BS > BS on set 6. DnD and IT are not parriable, so 20 attacks out of 25 attacks are parriable resulting in a 2.7% increase. Alternately if we go single target only moves, we'll say, IT > PS > ScS > BS > BS on odd sets, then ScS > ScS > BS > BS on evens. That's 24 of 27 parriable, or an 8% increase. Now, if we give the DK a 50% avoidance (entry level tank gear say, with Blade Barrier up, misses don't count), then 15 of the boss attacks will generate a Rune Strike opportunity, though sadly our slow swing speed means we can only use half of them, so 7 rune strikes instead of 7 of the 17 auto-attacks. 10 auto-attacks means a 1.3% increase in boss damage. Combined with our DnD rotation that puts us at a 4.0% damage increase, or single target strikes, an 9.3% increase.

    Now let's consider a deep frost spec with my preference, a slow weapon in the main hand (to maximize the instant weapon damage strikes), and a fast weapon in the off-hand (to encourage procs, of say Killing Machine). Now, with the frost spec, the special rotation will look like IT > PS > HB > BS > BS on odd sets, and we'll do a FUFUFU combo of OB > HB > OB on the even sets, with lots of FS's thrown in the middle. Now, take note, IT, HB, and FS cannot be parried. That means that a total of 15 moves are parriable, resulting in a 2% damage increase. Now because we're dual wielding, with that same 50% avoidance, we get to use all of the Rune Strikes! 15 of our 64 auto-attacks are now no longer parriable. The auto-attack vulnerability is now down to 6.5%. Combined with our specials we're looking at a total of 8.5% increase.

    So, to sum up this section, we're looking at:
    Warrior = 7.4%
    Bear = 12.8%
    DK (2-hand Unholy) = 9.3%
    DK (dual wield Frost) = 8.5%

    (bearing in mind that the spec plays a major part for the DK but with the same set of gear the 2-hand unholy knight has a larger vulnerability than the frost dual wielder. The bear actually has an even higher chance than either.)

    This is where we start to consider the nature of each sort of tank. Bears will have the most armor and the most health, and probably about 45% avoidance (entry level dodge+miss). Warriors will have less armor, less health, and only 35-40% avoidance at equivalent levels, but they have shield block to functionally add ~5% damage reduction to their armor, they also have Def stance to offer 10% damage ignore to physical damage. Death Knights will have a margin more armor and health than a warrior, they'll have about 55-60% avoidance (dodge+parry+miss with Blade Barrier) at the same level gear.

    So Bears will suffer the largest damage increase due to parry haste at the base, but they can dodge and eat more than a warrior. The warrior will take more of the hits but take less damage from a given hit. And the Death Knight will avoid more hits than any other, though he may take the hit a small margin harder than the warrior, unless of course he has one of his CD's up.

    Now the final major factor to consider on the survival front: expertise. 32.8 expertise rating relates to a 1% parry neglect. On our calculations, that is a 10% reduction in the % posted above (i.e. expertise will have a bigger effect on damage reduction the larger your % increase is). In reality it is slightly less, closer to 7-8% reduction in the vulnerability. Currently, Blood can offer 11 straight Expertise (independently worth 2.75% parry neglect), while Frost and Unholy can each offer 5 (1.25%). This makes also brings Blood into a more reasonable range to be dual wielding, though it will be more vulnerable than frost due to the reliance on more parriable attacks. Just for shits and giggles:

    Blood, dual wield slow main fast off, 64 auto-attacks. IT > PS > OB/DS > HS > HS on set 1, HB > HB > HB > HB > OB/DS on set 2, IT > PS > HS > HS > HS > HS on set 3, OB/DS > OB/DS > HS > HS on set 4, the repeat 1 and 2. That's 27 parriable, or a 3.6% damage increase. We get our 15 rune strikes, leaving our auto-attack parry haste at 6.5%, for a grand total of 10.1%. Remember this spec gets more than double the talented expertise base of the frost spec, so can nearly even them out. Maybe not as much better as we might of hoped, but the expertise talents certainly have their value now don't they.

    End result? For purposes of survival, you're looking at DK's in the middle of a +/- 2% damage increase on bosses due to parry haste. this is a gross simplification since the nuance of this damage increase will vary in implication for each type of tank. Namely warriors will get hit more, but for less, death knights will be hit less, but for more, and bears will get more parry hasted ouchies but they'll see the smaller % damage increase because of their larger health pool and heavier armor.

    (/bow, math nerd at your service)
    ================================================== =

    Now to shift gears, consider why we would want to dual wield as a Death Knight while tanking. For starters, with the current state of tanking gear, it's not just possible, it is reasonable to be hit capped in normal tanking gear once you get past the entry level and into the epics (though it may mean you're hunting more specific pieces depending on your luck with drops), that means you'll never miss with your specials regardless of your weapon choice. For auto-attacks (white damage), with equivalent item level you can get 2 one-handers with better combined dps than a 2-hander. This is regulated a bit with the increased miss chance. The upshot is that your white damage will be higher with 2-handers, but because of the nature of many of our DK moves (again depending on spec) we'll lose other dps for the decrease in instant weapon damage. This isn't quite as bad as you might think, let me give some real examples:

    Broken Promise
    (2.5 speed, 392 avg damage, 1-hand)
    Death's Bite (3.4 speed, 693 avg damage, 2-hand)

    Both same item level. The 2-hander has a bit better than half again the base damage of the one hander, and most of the strikes based on weapon damage use only 30-60% of that damage in part of the strike damage. Incidentally for Frost, IT and HB two major damage contributors don't scale with weapon damage at all, similarly Unholy's DnD, disease damage, and UB are not at all affected by weapon damage. Arguably Blood would be most susceptible since Heart Strike is 60% and Oblit is 100%.

    So, in DPS tests, which I have done a lot of, a smartly geared and spec'd dual wielder can pretty much match the dps of a 2-hand wielder with a different spec, but here the major variable is the player, since they need to select a smart spec for their weapon setup, pick smart talents, and gear to use that spec well. Certain specs gain a lot with dual wielding, such as Killing Machine with some buffed auto-attack crit. So, if we consider that an equal footing (allowing that person to person you'll have preferences and perform better with certain specs and styles), then the last thing to consider is the weapons themselves!

    What can we get from dual wielding, and what can we get from 2-handers. Well, currently there are no 2-handers with defense/parry/dodge on them, there are however plenty with piles of strength and stamina. A quick perusal of equivalent 1-hand tanking weapons versus smart DK 2-hand tankers is that you can get roughly the same amount of stamina from either, but the pair of 1-handers will get you less strength and more direct tanking stats (def/parry/dodge), and 2-handers will get you more Strength and possibly other combat stats (crit/hit/exp, or icky haste/armor pen) but lack the defensive values.

    Really, to me, it's all a wash. You can dual wield or 2-hand, it's all perfectly feasible. If you dual wield it is not a signed death warrant, spec will determine your vulnerability and it is possible (as shown above) to dual wield with one spec at lower risk than a 2-hander with a different spec.

    As always, with our glorious DK class, what wins out at the end of the day is a smart player who selects their talents, their gear, and their move priorities smartly. Be adaptive, be creative, and you can achieve far more than the sheep who do one thing or another on the direction from someone else without really understanding it themselves.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the Info, I am currently DW tanking atm just because I needed the two defensive swords to reach 540.

    just thought i'd point out a number error

    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Case #2: Bear Tank, feral attack speed is 1.0 sec without modification
    In 60 sec that is 60 attacks, 10% parry means 6 swings will be parried, worst case scenario is 6x0.8, or 4.8 rounding up to 5, that's 35 attacks for 140,000 damage (17% increase). 40% average would be 2.4 more, rounded off to 2 is 32 attacks and 128,000 damage (7%).
    Cats have a 1.0 attack speed, Bears have a 2.5 attack speed (at least they did when I was tanking on my druid at the end of BC)

    So case #2 would have 24 attacks per minute, so 2.4 parries... 2.4x0.8 = 1.92 ~ 2 extra attacks per minute bringing it to 32 attacks in a worst case causing 128,000 damage (7% increase) and on the average case 2.4x0.4 = 0.96 ~ 1 extra attack per minute bringing it to 31 attacks bringing the damage to 124,000 (3% increase)

    so adding this new number (it appears that you're using the average case moving forward) to the number you got from the special attacks for bears we get a druid effect of 7.8% which would put them very close to warriors

  4. #4
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    Here is the short answer, 4 words

    Hands off my Weapons!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sent View Post
    Cats have a 1.0 attack speed, Bears have a 2.5 attack speed (at least they did when I was tanking on my druid at the end of BC)
    And here I knew that, and I ALWAYS seem to forget that. It's been ages since I tanked as a bear. Thanks for adding the correct values.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  6. #6
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    Have you done the math on the overall avoidance/survivability loss stat-wise you suffer from stacking enormous amounts of Expertise gear, compared to standard tanking gear?

    Just looking at your sample gearset - you have almost no dodge rating, so is there actually any benefit to be had if you're intentionally stacking expertise to reduced the parry frequency?
    Xav
    Formerly Xavastrasz
    Quote Originally Posted by Rak View Post
    control+c control+v amirite?
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    Hell no, its Xav, he is gonna type that bitch till his fingers fall off.

  7. #7
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    good post. the gearset you posted in the other thread was a great guideline. although i will say that i see alot of people saying that 2h offers more mitigation on the reduced parry-gib chance alone; this doesn't take into account the fact that 2h'er's are generally not itemized for tanking. i would argue that, in terms of raw mitigation, 2% parry rune + FC rune + tanking itemization on 1h weapons washes with a 2h that has 4% parry or the new +def rune, assuming a modest amount of expertise, which most tanks will have anyway given the way tanking gear is itemized these days. no tank should really be without a modest amount of expertise if they want to maximize their TPS.

    i would also point out that the parry gib charts from E-J which show an increased likelihood of death from parry gib given how hard a boss is hitting don't take into account class-specific mitigation. they are just straight auto-attacks. the correct model for those charts would be very complex, and would probably involve some fairly articulate functions. suffice to say, the parry-gib issue is not nearly as bad as people claim it is, and will rarely be the singular cause of tank death in a raid setting. in fact, i have yet to hear accounts of it happening consistently to DK tanks who choose to DW, while on the other hand, i have seen several accounts from Tankspot posters who have had success as DW tanks. that being said, until i start hearing how awful DW tanks are doing in the end-game, i really don't see it being a progression-breaking issue. do which one you prefer, and strive to be the best at it.

  8. #8
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    I'm not seeing the massive dual wield HIT penalty discussed at all. How will that affect things?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonypablos View Post
    Now, threat wise, you’re going to be using Runestrike a whole lot more. You might wanna macro every single damn button you will push to light up Runestrike because trust me, as an avoidance tank, this will light up more often than you think. The theory behind how Dual Wield can potentially out threat two handers is thanks to quicker Runestrikes by dual wielding. However this will potentially be offsetted by the fact you’re going to miss. A lot. With both weapons. However, a lot of your attacks are spell hit based anyway which means you’re really shooting for 17% spell hit. Hopefully tank gear will come with hit rating. (Sorry Sattori, I’m still not convinced it’s melee hit as of yet. Show me that WWS soon damnit. =) )
    Quote Originally Posted by veneretio View Post
    I'm not seeing the massive dual wield HIT penalty discussed at all. How will that affect things?
    Sooo... yeah.

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    Honestly I don't understand what the fuss about dual wielding is.

    If you tank while dual wielding, you intentionally gimp yourself. End of story.

    This wont stop you from doing 5man content or raiding, but no one should fool themselves or others into thinking that dual wielding is somehow equal to tanking with 2H weapon. If your friends and guild are ready to put up with it then cool, go ahead and do it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xav View Post
    Have you done the math on the overall avoidance/survivability loss stat-wise you suffer from stacking enormous amounts of Expertise gear, compared to standard tanking gear?

    Just looking at your sample gearset - you have almost no dodge rating, so is there actually any benefit to be had if you're intentionally stacking expertise to reduced the parry frequency?
    One benefit would be just the simple remove of dodge and parries the boss can do to you. This alone will cause a TPS upgrade, as I'm sure you're well aware in any case

    However, having been skeptical about this myself, I tested out the gearset, and this was without any gems and the simple enchants and got the following:

    2.6k ap,
    943 Str
    135 Agi
    1670 Stam
    457 Expertise Rating (Which is above the cap without the need to use any talents which increases expertise)
    191 Dodge
    671 Parry
    792 Defense (Wow. o.O)
    26.8k armor
    with a 5.94 chance to hit with melee

    This translates into the following:

    19.22 dodge
    29.35 parry
    13.24 miss
    which means about 38.19% hit chance onto you.

    That's without having anything proc off your Blade Barrier which will give you a flat out 10% extra. This brings you up towards nearly 65% avoidance, about as much as you would be as any type of DK. In short, the gearset I put in more pushes on you parrying your mob's attacks than anything else.

    Furthermore, I have not plugged in the bracers, the belt, or any trinkets. As well, I have yet to put in any socketed gems in the gearset (1 metal, 1 of each color) which could be placed in avoidance gems to help out. I'll be honest Xav, I don't have the gear, so I can't test it, but I'm thinking the extra focus on Parry will make up for the lower dodge that you are somewhat ignoring while stacking expertise. Now the above information was put in the deathknight.info theory tank spreadsheet they have, so the validity of the information may or may not be right (Seeing how it's on the only death knight only place that has decent information and is a sticky, I'm hoping that it actually is accepted there as a good paper).

    In the end, one's gonna have to try it and check it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by veneretio View Post
    I'm not seeing the massive dual wield HIT penalty discussed at all. How will that affect things?
    The dual wield hit penalty really is going to only affect the White damage base of your attacks. Either way as a DK, you're going to suffer as a tank like any other class: You're going to be low on hit because there seems to be a huge lack of hit rating on gear. I believe with the gearset above, you can muster a 5.4% hit rating, which is very rough for dual wielding, agreed.

    However consider the following:

    Icy touch, Plague Strike, Howling Blast..three of your main attacks used in your rotation are not melee or physical attacks: They fall under the magic attack hit rating which means they will not suffer the dual wield penalty (Or should not, in retrospect.) However, Blood Strike potentially can. (I seem to remember that this is a physical attack. Bear with me, 90% of the time, BS is replaced by HS for me and I rarely use BS. I just reacquainted myself with it due to being frost spec.) This means out of the four attacks you will use, one attack may fall under the dual wield penalty.

    However, all our attacks are yellow damage. Any attack a Death Knight will do is considered yellow damage as is NOT subject ot dual wield misses. The only class in the game that currently has a yellow attack higher than 8% in melee are TG warriors and that's being removed on 3.0.8

    Therefore you still EFFECTIVELY need 8% to cap your yellow attacks. being 6%, you won't see Blood Strike miss 'too' often (I put '..' as it has happened to get a string of bad luck) but just like Shield Slam, Swipe or the paladin's Shield Slam ability, those can miss. As tanks, we're never really too close to the hit cap, and this is a commonly accepted fact. Therefore, it has to be a commonly accepted fact that Death Knights will never get to the cap.

    To recap:

    - All our damage abilities are yellow damage, and are not subject to the dual wielding penalty. Even Blood Strike, being a physical damage attack, is considered a yellow attack and as such, falls under our yellow attack rule of no higher than 8% rule. Our spells, naturally, will have the same rules as casters: 17%. But that comes with hit rating unfortunately, and even a two handed user will not be able to get rid of that nasty cap unless they push for more dps oriented gear.

    This is me stipulating here. Someone could definitely show up soon and say "Here, i made some gear that gets you over the cap and still defense locked!" However, the argument about prioritizing hit over defense skills could be used a lot more as hit only increases threat management and not mitigation. (Hit won't cause you to parry or dodge more. nor will it remove the potential parry/dodge the mob will do to your attack).

    The ONLY effect that I could see it substancially hurt is your white damage. But seeing how Runestrike is really the focus of what you're using this build, as you're emphasizing mostly on using Runestrike quick and efficiently, white damage really takes a back seat.

    The whole point of Dual Wielding is the following:

    - By having two weapons swinging faster than a two hander, you're throwing out a lot more Runestrikes, which in turn, is your aggro. This will be further pushed when Runestrike's threat is increased.

    - By having two weapons defense based versus one two hander that is offense base, it allows you to get more defensive stats and work as a traditional tank that would be defense focused. This goes against Blizzard's wishes as they've stated they want DKs to use offensive weapons for their threat, but again, we're theorizing in this thread the possibility of dual wielding as a tank, not that it is the best way to go.

    *LET ME RESTATE: BY NO MEANS AM I SAYING THAT DK DW IS BETTER THAN 2H!


    Hope this helps Ven and Xav. Feel free to bounce your ideas back honestly, I'm more than willing to help.

    Oh, for one of the trinkets, I was thinking that huge dodge trinket for 15 badges. I'm not sure how much dodge that equates but that could help with the low dodge rating. I'm sure there's another dodge rating trinket somewhere to boost it up. Also, you could focus on on the belt/bracers having more of a dodge focus than the other stats, which could hopefully push and help your case. The belt and bracers I used for this experiment are the default ones that they give you when you open the spreadsheet. (I formated my PC so I have nothing on it to open excel. Soooo..can't give you the name for the belt/bracers. But it gave me the above stats you see. I also had to manually input the legs because they weren't in his spreadsheet (It's from Malygos so..)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurmeli View Post
    Honestly I don't understand what the fuss about dual wielding is.

    If you tank while dual wielding, you intentionally gimp yourself. End of story.

    This wont stop you from doing 5man content or raiding, but no one should fool themselves or others into thinking that dual wielding is somehow equal to tanking with 2H weapon. If your friends and guild are ready to put up with it then cool, go ahead and do it.
    Comments like this frustrate me to no end.

    You say something and put absolutely no proof or information forward. It's almost as if you're stating "This is this and there's nothing to it."

    Reread my facts and then come back with constructive criticism please. Or at least ONE shread of information that has not been discussed in the thread. Otherwise, all you're doing is being negative about the situation and using hearsay as proof, which doesn't stand high in any form of proof.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonypablos View Post
    Comments like this frustrate me to no end.

    You say something and put absolutely no proof or information forward. It's almost as if you're stating "This is this and there's nothing to it."

    Reread my facts and then come back with constructive criticism please. Or at least ONE shread of information that has not been discussed in the thread. Otherwise, all you're doing is being negative about the situation and using hearsay as proof, which doesn't stand high in any form of proof.
    I'm not trying to offend you, but honestly, your frustration with that comment, is my frustration with this entire thread. I'm not really seeing proof or facts here, I'm seeing a lot of theorizing. The closest you come to actual proof is the gear set you list, but you don't list a similar ilvl DK 2hander list to compare it against. It doesn't matter if the DW one looks good if the 2hander one looks far better. Furthermore, before you can really claim proof, you need some WWS parses pretty badly of it actually in practice.

    So, like it or not... between 2handers and DWing... one has to be better. There's no way to perfectly balance things so it's either your gimping yourself by using a 2hander or you're gimping yourself by DWing. It's gotta be one of the other.

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    Satorri, why would a DK not be able to use all of the rune strike opportunities with a 2H but would on DW? I can't see the reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veneretio View Post
    I'm not trying to offend you, but honestly, your frustration with that comment, is my frustration with this entire thread. I'm not really seeing proof or facts here, I'm seeing a lot of theorizing. The closest you come to actual proof is the gear set you list, but you don't list a similar ilvl DK 2hander list to compare it against. It doesn't matter if the DW one looks good if the 2hander one looks far better. Furthermore, before you can really claim proof, you need some WWS parses pretty badly of it actually in practice.

    So, like it or not... between 2handers and DWing... one has to be better. There's no way to perfectly balance things so it's either your gimping yourself by using a 2hander or you're gimping yourself by DWing. It's gotta be one of the other.
    That's pretty much the point here Ven. A lot of it is theorizing and still needs to be put in practice. Unless someone has been very lucky within the first month and has all of this gearset, we're gonna have to sit and wait to check out exactly what would be the better one. Right now, as it stands, yes, I will conceed that a two handed tank spec will probably be better than a dual wield tanking.

    The purpose of this thread was not to say that dual wielding could be better than two handed tanking, but moreso to inform that there could be another way to tank that people are not looking at. It's really a form of theorizing everything and putting it into perspective and writing as we are doing it now and debating the pros and cons. I listed both above to try to push the idea and see how far we could go with this potential idea.

    If the idea gets shot in the food, there will be no love lost on my end. It will be something that people could say "Ok, here's where people are talking about it, and here's what's the situation with dual wield tanking."

    The foundations of dual wield tanking are there. Now is it better than two handed weapon? Heck if I know, I still don't have the gear. I just got the boots for the set, and the shoulders had dropped but I was AFk and couldn't roll on it (Stupid phone calls). Therefore I'm still building my set to practice it.

    Let me state this: At this time, where the game is right now, two handed weapon is probably better than dual wield because of the absurd amount of Expertise needed. However, the closer the gap closes on your expertise cap, the closer dual wield tanking removes it's problems and the more viable the build becomes to be able to be done. By the cap, I would like to say it's almost equal to potentially a better threat build than a two hander will be.

    Of course, as Ven said..it needs to be tested. Therefore, you dual wielding fanatics, go test with a full set that I listed and give us a report!

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by veneretio View Post
    So, like it or not... between 2handers and DWing... one has to be better. There's no way to perfectly balance things so it's either your gimping yourself by using a 2hander or you're gimping yourself by DWing. It's gotta be one of the other.
    Does this argument apply to Tank Classes as well? One MUST be better than the others?

    Granted that is a simplistic argument but I think the underlying point is that there are lots of factors that go into the determination which is better. Skill of the player, gear, spec, focus of the guild, and even fun.

    There were several cases of Druids and Paladins MTing bosses that didn't have some built mechanic to prevent them to even though they weren't ideal. I don't think that they were gimping their guild because they didn't step aside. In some ways I would bet they were a stronger guild for it.

    I agree that on some level for some criteria, one spec will be better than the other but the sheer venom that some people (and not you) spit out when someone mentions DW Tanking for a DK is a little much. Most (once again not you) do not offer anything other than repackaged quotes that they usually don't even understand the basic mechanics behind.

    I think this sort of discussion is exactly what we need. People putting forth ideas and generating discussion is a good thing.

    I admit that I would love for this to be an option and I will probably collect a DW Tank set just like I collected a passive uncrush set on my warrior. Personally I won't DW because I do think 2H is a better tanking spec and maximizing my contribution to my guild is a priority but I don't look down on someone who says that they are considering it. We won't know just what the effect is until we have some people play with it.

    I think if DW proves viable even if not ideal I think people should take a step back and accept it as an option. We may not be there yet but I like the fact that someone is looking into it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurmeli View Post
    Honestly I don't understand what the fuss about dual wielding is.

    If you tank while dual wielding, you intentionally gimp yourself. End of story.

    This wont stop you from doing 5man content or raiding, but no one should fool themselves or others into thinking that dual wielding is somehow equal to tanking with 2H weapon. If your friends and guild are ready to put up with it then cool, go ahead and do it.
    i have yet to hear of raiding DW tanks struggling with end-game content or holding back progression as a result of their "gimp" style choice. there is plenty of information here showing that the viability of DW tanking versus 2h tanking is debatable. you are assuming the question before it is answered definitively by just writing it off as worse from the get-go.

    to elaborate: the primary issue that we have identified with gearing for DW is you sacrifice pure avoidance for expertise. but expertise helps generate mitigation as well by reducing parry-haste opportunities. it also increases threat by reducing the chance a boss has to dodge/parry your attacks. to put it plainly: you hit more and get hit less for every point of expertise you have, up to the cap. this is arguably as effective as a 2h spec that subs expertise for pure avoidance and generates higher threat from weapon attacks, but due to a lack of expertise, misses more attacks and has a higher parry-gib ratio than a DW tank with high expertise rating. this is where the debate is centered as of right now.

    the other issue is that DW'ing incurs the DW hit penalty. but frost-spec DK's will ideally be subbing the majority of their MH white attacks with Rune Strikes, which cannot be blocked, parried or dodged. frost strike can also not be blocked, parried, or dodged. Icy Touch is a spell so it isn't subject to the DW penalty, and all of our other weapon-based attacks are yellow attacks and therefore not subject to the DW hit penalty. reasonably speaking, if you were to hit the expertise cap, you'd have 0% incoming parry-hasted attacks, your attacks would never be dodged or parried, and assuming 3% hit from talents and 5% hit from gear, your OH white attacks would only be missing 15% of the time (3 out every 20), while your MH attacks will be mostly replaced by Rune Strikes. meanwhile, 2h tanks will have a significant amount of both white attacks and yellow attacks parried and dodged because they will, at best, have a modest expertise rating. but this is ok because their weapon attacks will do more damage with a 2h, and the extra threat will make up for what is lost by parries and dodges.

    so to recap:


    TPS:

    DW: Lower TPS from weapon attacks, made up by reducing boss's parry/dodge chance and higher runestrike frequency.

    2h: Higher TPS from weapon attacks, but suffers from unmitigated parry/dodge chance on bosses.

    Mitigation:


    DW: 1h weapons itemized for tanking stats, expertise reduces parry-hasted attacks.

    2h: bigger mitigation enchants (4% parry and +def rune) and higher avoidance via subbing expertise for parry and dodge, both of which make up for the lack of tanking itemization on 2h'ers.


    basically it comes down to this: expertise increases both mitigation and TPS, so subbing it for avoidance isn't really a downward step in terms of itemization. with enough expertise a DW will have less parry-hasted attacks than a 2h tank, which by definition means they will generate more and more threat from less attacks dodged and parried. 2h tanks, however, generate more threat from weapon-based attacks, and have higher avoidance, so in the end, it washes out.

    to put the last point another way: avoidance is only mitigation. expertise is mitigation and threat. DW'ing uses expertise to catch up with 2h, and quickly renders parry thrash a moot concern. the DW hit penalty washes as well, since where a DW tank misses, a 2h tank gets parried and dodged. it follows, therefore, that you can be an effective DW tank by gearing for expertise, assuming you gear properly for it, which previous posts have shown is entirely possible.
    Last edited by lyd; 12-17-2008 at 10:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skinzenbonz View Post
    Does this argument apply to Tank Classes as well? One MUST be better than the others?
    well, yes.

    By bizarre coincidence 2 approaches might be equally effective or offer significant tradeoffs but its not very likely.

    For example: Is a slow weapon better for a warrior than tanking with a fast weapon if you have impale.

    math....math....math....math

    No fast weapons are better, move on, nothing to see here.

    If I were handing out Tank loot DK DW would have to be proven superior (and conventional wisdom says it aint) because it negatively impacts loot distribution for other classes.

    Never mind the fact that a number of Blue posts have basically said they want DK's to have the option but they dont like it and will pretty much work to make sure its not the optimal solution to tanking or dps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loquatious View Post
    well, yes.

    Never mind the fact that a number of Blue posts have basically said they want DK's to have the option but they dont like it and will pretty much work to make sure its not the optimal solution to tanking or dps.
    This, sadly.

    Blizzard has stated time and time again: We gave them the option but we will not be pushing ahead with it.

    This could be all moot at one point where Blizzard with ultimately have to nerf dual wielding and make it obsolete. Make Runestrike be only usable with a two hander and that would seriously destroy any viability that Dual Wielding could ever have.

    ...of course..I would never advocate such a change..>.>

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    Quote Originally Posted by loquatious View Post
    well, yes.

    By bizarre coincidence 2 approaches might be equally effective or offer significant tradeoffs but its not very likely.

    For example: Is a slow weapon better for a warrior than tanking with a fast weapon if you have impale.

    math....math....math....math

    No fast weapons are better, move on, nothing to see here.

    If I were handing out Tank loot DK DW would have to be proven superior (and conventional wisdom says it aint) because it negatively impacts loot distribution for other classes.

    Never mind the fact that a number of Blue posts have basically said they want DK's to have the option but they dont like it and will pretty much work to make sure its not the optimal solution to tanking or dps.
    there has been plenty of theory craft posted already to suggest that a high expertise rating overcomes the shortfalls of DW without sacrificing much in the way of mitigation. comparing the debate over DW tanking to the debate over fast v. slow weapons for warriors is intellectually dishonest, because there has been plenty of in-game testing to show this to be the case. there has -not- been alot of in-game testing to show that DW'ing is and will always be less effective than 2h tanking.


    look, the theorycraft doesn't settle the issue. whether you fall one way or the other, we won't know anything for certain until more people start putting the theorycraft to practice, and there is a better consensus on whether or not high-expertise DW tanking compares favorably to high(er) avoidance 2h tanking in terms of both TPS and mitigation. the purpose of the theorycraft is to point out what COULD work, and try it. if it ends up that alot of the folks who try high-expertise DW tanking aren't successful, then we'll have a better idea of where it stands, but for now, we'll have to wait and see.


    and yes, obviously if Blizzard nerfs DK Dual-Wield in the future in any of the previously suggested ways, then the argument will be over, and we can all move on to happier pastures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lyd View Post
    comparing the debate over DW tanking to the debate over fast v. slow weapons for warriors is intellectually dishonest, because there has been plenty of in-game testing to show this to be the case.
    *I* am both intellectual AND honest.

    Slow Weapon & Deep Wounds -- Math Challenge

    This thread took on the question and 1) Worked it out via math and 2) had folks try it in the not so real world and confirm it.

    back to you

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