I've been playing a resto druid for a long time. Over the last few months I've made a pally and leveled it to 80. I am trying to settle on gear and can't figure out which is better to have. A spell power weap or a Defense weap. I've read up on this and seen a lot of various opinions and reasoning for why you do X or Y but not really anything I can hang my hat on.
For me it boils down to this line of reasoning. It seems that with a defensive weapon your blowing the biggest chunk of your spell power (in a single slot) out the window. Kind of weakening who you are (a pally) to be a warrior. I would think if your hitting your caps (defense and such) having the spell power would up any heals you had to do, consecrate, and perty much any other ability that does not go up with AP. I know you don't need it to hold aggro with "touched by the light" but for me it comes down to a synergy of the class. Does any other class have some abilities that go up with spell power only and AP only? Everything a warrior gets helps all the warriors abilities, everything a feral druid gets helps all his feral abilities. However has it stands now if a pally works on AP some of his abilities are going to be worse off for it, he will be weaker and I would think overall a worse off pally.
I check a lot of gear and try to pay attention to what a pally tanking in a group I heal for is like. Does he need more heals or less? is he doing more DPS or less? and so on. I don't really notice much difference in heals but I DO see a difference in how the group moves along overall.
Defensive weapons still seem a lot more popular then spell power though. so I worry my gut is wrong
Idealy I'd love to know see how the mechanices are. Is AP and SP on a 1 to 1 ratio for upping damage with the pally abilities that they both DO help? or is AP getting more bang for the buck? anyone running around with both a great defense weap and a great spell power weap and has ran the numbers (tanking) with em both? I have a lot of spell power on the druid and I wonder if I just don't notice how much worse off a pally with the spellpower weap is because I'm overwelming his defeciency with healing. I would really like to see how much more healing is required for a pally without the SP weapon over with. How much more DPS he kicks out with and without it. How much more (or less) threat he is making.
Mostly I am hoping to get a definitive answer on which is better to have with numbers I can hang my hat on.
It bugs me that I have to chose SP or AP and if I go AP, because more defensive stuff is on AP weapons a lot of my spells suffer for it. It sure would be nice if Blizz made a weapon with dodge/parry/defense AND spell power. Then I could just run with that and not wonder if I am doing the wrong thing.
Surly with touched by the light stamina IS spellpower? I'm not a pala tank so of course my opinion is not as relevant... However, lets take Slayer of the Lifeless as an example. With touched by the light, not only does it have all those lovley tanking stats on it it has ~20 SP too (might be closer to 17). From everything I've read Pala tanks now use exactly the same gear as warrior tanks and rely on stamina for their SP.
As stated above, a normal tanking weapon will be better. Check out PsiVen's weapon spreadsheets on the Maintankadin website (google it). Due to HotR, the threat scaling of STR, and the way our spells scale, spell power weapons will be inferior threat to a standard tanking weapon in most cases.
"having the spell power would up any heals you had to do"
The accepted wisdom, and my own personal experience says that a solid tanking weapon is the ideal choice for tanking as a paladin. That said, if you are intending to do actual healing while prot, then a SP weapon will beat a tanking weapon for that task without question. But you can swap weapons in combat, so there are no situations where you couldn't use a real tanking weapon while tanking, and a SP weapon while healing, because you wont be doing both at the same moment.