I wanted to state this is kind of a rant but also has some views on defense that I have had for a while. If you want to see what my toon it is here
The state of Defense:
Defense is a stat we all have to maximize to survive when a new level cap is added. You must be able to reach a certain point so that you are not crit and in doing so remove much of the randomness of the damage you take. In BC the cap was 490 def which at the time wasn't that hard to reach or maintain. Eventually all your gear allowed you to increase that number enough were you could start min/max the other stats you had to maximize the stats you wanted to be the highest.
Today the cap is 540, a little more difficult to accomplish at first and requires tons of def on the gear including gems and enchants. The same occurs as gear gets better your able to again min max def rating with gear without worry(this is around tier 7.5 and 25man loot).
There is a problem with this system in that in my opinion this stat is a detriment to tanks. It is a must you become uncrittable which means that's the only stat you care about until you reach it and even then at the beginning you keep watching new gear and see how much +def it gives and if you can remain equal to your current rating.
The problem at hand:
The fact that we have to focus on this one stat above all else limits us in many ways. Usually you are able to choose which stats you want to work on. Do you want the highest stamina? The most armor? the highest avoidance? The most DPS? These can only be worked on after you are defense capped. You are constantly monitoring your +def to see if you drop below 540 and cant work on the stats you want most. There is no choice.
There in lies the problem no choice. You are required to hit the +def cap no matter what. You can not tank without it. You will die and everyone else will too because of your choice. Its a stat and number you must have before you tank heroics or raids or some instances.
In Comparison: DPS and Healers
Here in lies my problem. Where as we have to maximize one stat to tank. Other roles do not. I know your going to say its situational because you need certain max stats to dps or heal otherwise you are useless. But in a very real way you are not required to. If you are a healer and dont have high crit, spell power, spirit, and other stats you can still run raids and heroics. You may do worse and some encounters will be hard you can choose what stats you want to increase. You are not useless if you are not hit capped. You can still heal and still do runs. Same with dps you may not have the best dps because of your lack in stats but you will not wipe the entire group if your not capped on a certain stat.
From the very begining as a tank you MUST have 540 def. There is no wiggle room in that. I cant choose gear based on a stat I like I must keep an eye on +def and if the gear is less +def then what im wearing than I must choose to leave it alone.
I have proven this with my own healer here
As soon as I hit 80 last friday I was able to get into heroics, and even raids 25 and 10 man versions. I was able to get gear without watching and maximizing one stat. This is a flaw in this system. As a tank you should be able to do the same thing but you can not.
They should be able to fix this in some way or another. I think its a broken system that limits our usefulness and more in point limits our ability to choose. We should be able to enter as a new 80 heroics and raids without 540 def or at least stop making us worry about hitting that cap from the start. If your a tank you should be automatically uncrittable and you want to maximize your stats for other reasons.
I am personally tired of min/maxing everything and having to pass on upgrades because the +def is lower than what I am currently wearing were as it is an upgrade of stats I want to increase instead.
The problem I see with your post is that yuo're focusing too much on defense as a single stat with no benefits. Defense gives dodge/parry/block, and thus is not a useless number that we as tanks have to reach for minimal return.
540 Defense is not at all difficult to achieve. A fresh level 80 warrior has several options in terms of acquiring and maintaining the cap: regular instances, crafted items which give a TON of defense, and quests that reward excellent tank blues. The day after I hit 80, I had 550 defense and 22k HP. Plus, the defense cap for heroic instances is only 535, making it that much easier for tanks to get the gear they want faster.
There are several ways to reach cap without sacrificing the stats as well. The Seal of the Pantheon from regular HoL, with 65 defense gives starting tanks a significant boost. Defense elixirs also help. As I mentioned before as well, it's not a do-nothing stat, it grants avoidance.
While I agree that DPS and healers have it easier in that they can lie about their stats and there would be no way to check (a tank's HP, while it shouldn't be, is the determining factor for many people on the level of that tank's gear), they in truth have the same restrictions set on them. DPS in the beginning must focus on hit rating, a stat that actually does nothing but reduce the miss chance, and healers focus on mana regen (either through spirit or mp5 on gear). A smart leader will check the stats of everyone, not just the tanks. A bad healer can lead to a dead tank, and bad dps can lead to an OOM healer, subsequently leading to a dead tank.
My point is that if you really have an issue with your defense rating, try downgrading your gear (especially your shield) to the titansteel set, since you'll probably end up doing that anyway if you ever end up tanking Sapphiron with frost resist gear. I'm assuming yuo're stuck in limbo between heroics/naxx10 gear, since if you had the BiS, you would easily have reached cap with plenty of stretch room.
The problem I have is how easy it was for me as a brand new 80 holy pally to go into naxx 10 and naxx 25 and do well without worrying about having hit a cap. And I have had the titansteel stuff and slowly replaced it. Its a stat that yes does help other stats. But you shouldnt be REQUIRED to do it. I should be able to have say 539 def and +1000 HP if I want. But you cant. Its about the choice not about my limitations.
I've been alt raiding with a prot warr recently, and cider's easy 540 defence guide was - well - easy.
I encourage you to break out of your limitations and live dangerously. There's nothing wrong with getting crit and again in raids & heroics. Nobodys forcing 540 down anyone's necks. It depends on your healers & the rest of the group. Blizzard dont publicly insist people reach 540. Its the players who have worked out this number, and have decided they'd want to do that. When my druid needed defence, I'd often go into instances being a bit crittable, rather than gimp other stats. I was annoyed that I was "supposed" to waste points on a nearly useless stat for druids. Well, the world didn't collapse, I was never one-shotted, healers never ran out of mana, and I became confident that uncrittability is an option, not a requirement when you're starting out. In the early days, my friends and I were far more likely to wipe because we noobed it up. Being crit was irrelevant.
Last edited by Stearns; 03-17-2009 at 01:30 PM.
I've raided with less than 540 defense several times, a few times by accident and a couple times on purpose. Like others have said, the sky didn't fall.
So you're not actually REQUIRED to do it. If players force you to be 540, it's a player thing, not the game.
Also, you mentioned heroics, heroics you only *need* 535 defense. But I know that's not your point.
540 defense, as everyone says, is easy to get. Yes, I understand your point, you can get an undergeared healer or dps and they can do their job, but the thing is healers and dpsers in a raid have support, a tank you really don't. Example, when you ran on your pally, I assume it was 10 man, did you only have one healer? Most groups can run naxx with 2 healers, and if they both are not geared, there will be plenty of wipes, which means they can drag a newly 80 along with 2 geared healers, and the 3rd healer can just soak up some gear and learn the fights, because he technically doesnt need to be there. Same with DPS.
Now, if a DPS wants to do a job how he is SUPPOSE to do it, then like a tank reaches his def cap, that DPS should get their hit cap. When people were first entering naxx, it was a requirement by most groups, now it's like kara and is loleasy so it doesnt really matter, because you have other players that can balance out a lack of DPS. Same thing with a healer, if you want to 2-heal naxx (which is the only real challenge for healers), then you have to be geared as well as skilled.
So yes, we do have an open number to reach it, and it means more if we go under that number, but that's not because others can't slide under that number, it's because they have other people that can pick up their slack whereas a tank can not. And that, my friend, is why I play a tank.
On a magic oriented boss it matters even less since npc spells can't crit (Gothik would be an example).
That said, most heroic bosses aren't going to kill you if you take a crit or two. I can't think of any Lt. Drake equivalent in LK, maybe Trollgore with enough stacks. I did my first 4 or 5 heroics with 22k hp and around 520 defense. I didn't have any enchants cuz I was lazy and (overly?) confident that I could manage. The only boss that gave me any trouble was King Dred and that was more from the bleeds I believe.
Last edited by Muffin Man; 03-17-2009 at 02:47 PM. Reason: your-you're fail
As others have suggested, the cap isn't necessary at this point in time at the level of raid we are at, since everyone outgears the instances available. In fact, if the rest of your raid is geared enough you might be more concerned with threat than defense, an issue many people including myself are facing right now.
But to the point, the reason healers and dps are able to go straight into raiding without having a necessary "cap" to reach is because they don't have one. The stats raid leaders look for in dps and healers have no universal minimum like tanks do. This makes it easy to accentuate a dps' damage output, or a healer's bonus healing. You can't, as a tank, say "well it's pretty much around 540, almost," it's a hard line that is drawn that divides the capped tanks with the non-capped. If you're not capped, a raid leader who has no knowledge of tanking or it's mechanics, and goes solely off what he reads or hears from others will not even consider you, despite your HP. Healers and dps on the other hand, will make it into a raid group with little or no questions, just a quick gear inspection and if there's enough purple text they're in.
In the ideal scenario, everyone will be skilled enough at their class and know their role so well that they would be able to blow through the content in hours, regardless of the gear they have (Ensidia comes to mind). In reality, it's less about the skill and more about the numbers, or who is looking at them. An intelligent leader who understands the minutia of tanks, or is a tank himself will understand that, provided your healers are geared enough, the world won't end if you take a crit.
What I gather from your posts is that the problem is not rooted in your gear itself, it's that uninformed raid leaders are too focused on the tank's stats and not on the rest of the group, specifically the healers. If that's the case, I offer a few suggestions:
1) get a new raid leader
2) suck it up and wear the defense gear you have to please the raid leader
3) lie about your stats
The last one always works for me, another one I like that doesn't help your situation is to dress to impress; wear your highest stamina gear so you get invited to the raid, then when buffs start going out switch into your "real" gear so no one knows the difference >
iirc it is also possible to become crit immune if you stack avoidance and block (so only viable as a paladin or a warrior) to what used to be uncrushable, as blocked hits do not crit.
uncrittability is not a must in most heroics, there are only a couple of bosses that will crit for over 9k (yeah, wow. 9k on a 24k hp buffed tank). Of course frenzies could kill you, that is the point of them afterall, but what is shieldwall for?
I got uncrittable before setting foot in any instance of a higher level than ahn'kahet normal. It isnt hard, it just takes a bit of cash, some gems and some enchanting mats.
Similarly, as that fresh level 80 holy paladin, do you think you were doing the rest of your raid any favours turning up in quest gear?
Just because the tank minimum is well publicised, doesn't mean that other classes don't have minimum acceptable performance minimums.
Our first night in naxx, I had dinged 80 half an hour previous, regemmed , bought the crafted shield and reenchanted, then used a resillience elixir to make up the difference.
I had the good sense to realise that I was well under acceptable performance, OT'd for the night and worked damn hard on my gear for the following week.
"This is a flaw in this system. As a tank you should be able to do the same thing but you can not. "
No, you shouldn't, no-one should expect to be carried through content on people's coattails, work for what you get, if everyone did this, you'd have a raid filled with suck and fail, and not get anywhere.
Coming from a Warrior's perspective, I can see the OP's point, but I think the key idea to focus on is defense limiting flexibility. If you wear plate, then why shouldn't you be able to tank? We might as well be wearing mail or leather at that point if we can't take a hit. The easiest example I can think of that comes to mind is when a tank goes down and a DPS feral druid goes into bear form to pick up the boss. Despite being in his DPS gear, the druid is uncrittable and can be spot healed until a battle res, or another more suitable tank can take over.
Now, trying to do something like that as a Warrior (or any plate wearer) won't exactly fly. It can come close...I can slap on a tanking shield and weapon, pop shield block, shield wall, and enraged regeneration and hope my healers can heal me through for a little while, but with the crits I simply won't last long.
This could be the design intention and a specific flexible perk of the Druid class, and if so, then that's fine. However, if they were pushing more for Tank Homogenization, then I guess a possible solution would be to grant a passive uncrittability talent to the tanking tree of all the plate classes, then re-itemize all current tank plate defense into dodge/parry, armor and stamina in whatever way they see fit.
Stay strong. Stay smart. All heart.
You'd have flexibility, in that when the mt goes down, you can pick up that mob and tank it, your mitigation is still likely to be horrible, but it can buy you the time you need.
The boss would have to be much more easily dodged/parried, again because defense would not separate the tanks from the dps. Dodge, parry and block stats would have to return much more in terms of the number on the gear than they do now (instead of giving .5% dodge, it would have to give 1% or possibly even 2%), allowing for an already-achieved "unhittable" tank to emerge much more easily.
Many issues emerge when I explored this idea, and I can see why Blizzard has probably thought of this but not run with it. There are too many downsides to a minor issue that isn't even an issue for most tanks.
True, this isn't an issue for most tanks, but I think that's more of how the itemization plays out, which is fine really. It is correct that most tanks don't have trouble with it, so I guess this is more of a suggestion on why even have the "defense minimum" at all since Druids don't have to worry about it.
How they choose to balance that out, either give the other tanks this flexibility, or remove that perk from Survival of the Fittest and make Druid uncrittability based on something else, like Agility instead, still remains to be seen.
Stay strong. Stay smart. All heart.
If we can look past the question of how easy or difficult it is for a fresh lvl 80 tank to hit 540 defense (it's easy, for the record) then I believe the OP has a valid point worth considering here.
It has always bugged me that tanks had a certain threshold of gear "required" (obviously it's not a strict requirement) before entering heroics or raids, where as dps and healers do not. When advertising myself for a pug I am usually asked what my defense is, but when on my healer or dps alt there is usually no such question asked - it's more of a general "feel" (i.e. 1800 spell power for a healer to get into Naxx, etc.).
Now this is probably just a facet of the community more than anything but several times I've been tempted to grill dps on their +hit, etc. before allowing them into my PUGs (particularly after having to endure lvl 80s wearing S2 pvp epics).
Last edited by Erja; 03-18-2009 at 03:52 PM.
DPS is fuzzier because what matters is enrage timers and average dps. But it's still a requirement and only exists in raids (although Eck does have an enrage timer...)
Now if you mean you can bring in an undergeared dps in full greens and have the rest of the overgeared dps carry him, then sure you have a point. But it's because collectively, they still meet the average dps requirement. And to some extend you can do that with healers too.
But isn't being that single point of failure why we signed on to tank?
While I don't agree with the OP specificily, he came up with one hell of a point.
This is the first game that tanks have had to gear a specific way, bar druids.
I like the idea of talents that provide uncrittablity in the way of druids, there being tanks allowing the use of DPS gear and such, thereby increasing threat... now the problem being is the gear thing. I spose all 3 that are left are plate... but tanks rolling on melee, arms/fury/ret/DK gear? I do like the fact that if I bring a druid and a DK OT's to 25's, that anything plate is only 50/50, and if it's block it's MINE
November 23, 2004 8:27:03 AM - Glomgore 10+ Years of tanking? Priceless
Sure they have sockets and enchants but you almost have to put def in them. There are other examples of "upgrades" downgrading your defense significantly. Its aggravating to see something that is suppose to be an upgrade and yet it doesn't meet your def requirements or even half's it.
Its little thing like that annoy me. I am not saying I cant do it. I am saying that we shouldn't have to and upgrades should be just that...UPGRADES. I have rarely on my alt had an upgrade and thought...well it halves my spell power but doubles my int....all the gear is an upgrade in all stats.