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Thread: Considering Block

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    Considering Block

    CM's please forgive me, I know there are a lot of threads on Block with the upcoming changes and the discussions. I wanted to put down some raw numbers/mechanics for the current state of things and play with some of the conceptual changes discussed.
    ================================================== ======

    What Block is now:

    Currently, Block (we'll stick with the Warrior/Paladin version, Savage Defense is its own creature) is a static mechanism for conditional mitigation. That means you have a chance to reduce physical damage hits by an amount that can be buffed with gear/stats. Block hinges on two dynamics:

    Opportunity = Block rating and Defense rating/skill give you a % chance to block an attack. The construction of the combat table means that blocks are taken after avoidance (meaning you can think of it in terms of if you avoid 80% and you have 30% block, 10% of that block chance is meaningless and you will always block what you don't avoid).

    Scale = Block value is dictated by the base value of the shield, your block value from items and procs (which is also increased by a % of your strength). This value is currently balanced to be relatively small, in the 800-2200 range depending on gear at level 80.

    The way the system works out is that block is balanced to be reasonable against 5-man instances and multiple attackers, but that leaves it weak against big-hitting bosses. As an illustration kept very simple:

    Tank X has 50% avoidance (miss+dodge+parry), 25% block chance, and a block value of 1000.

    3 scenarios (dps normalized at 2500 dps before avoid/block, except boss who runs 5000 dps):
    (A) Swarm Trash (high count, small hits) = 300 attacks per minute, 500 damage each (after armor for simplicity).

    (B) Bruiser Trash (small count/single, big hits) = 60 attacks per minute, 2500 damage each.

    (C) Raid Boss (single attacker, major damage) = 30 attacks per minute, 10000 damage each.

    Our Tank X will breakdown against each challenge as follows:
    (A) Swarm = 150 attacks avoided, 75 attacks blocked for full value (no dmg taken), and 75 hits at 500 each, or 625 dps.

    (B) Bruiser = 30 attacks avoided, 15 blocked for 1000 dmg off or 1500 dmg taken, and 15 hits for 2500, or 1000 dps.

    (C) Boss = 15 attacks avoided, 7.5 blocked for 1000 dmg off or 9000 dmg taken, and 7.5 hits for 10000 each, or 2375.

    So, in brief, against the many tiny hits, the block effect is significant representing 25% damage reduction (50% from avoidance in all cases), against the slower heavier hits this quickly drops to 10% reduction, and against a hard hitting boss it is a 2.5% reduction.
    This is the fundamental problem with block in the current methodology. Blizzard removed Crushing Blows to make damage less spikey and unpredictable. Totally unpredictable damage isn't fun or challenging, in high end content it just means you can get unlucky and have your tank blow up. Block was a powerful advantage against crushing blows because a blocked hit could not be a crushing blow. With that option off the table, now Block needs to stand on its own. Obviously it has very powerful results on one level but scales very poorly against what you can face. This is not an indication of what you can accomplish with available stats and gear in the game, you can stack massive block values and get a very high effect, though it still scale very unfavorably against bosses relative to other mechanics, and bosses are often the most intense portion of a tanks survival needs.

    ================================================== =====

    What Block could be?

    There are many different options, some easier to handle though admittedly less interesting and potentially a functional removal of block as a unique survival tool. One of the simplest solutions is the currently discussed change to make blocks scale relative to incoming damage. Here's how that could work. *This is strictly my thinking, not rooted in other posts or thoughts, and I don't expect I am the only person to have thought of it this way.*

    To keep the system distinct and interesting, we want the matters of Opportunity and Scale to remain the same. As such Block Rating and Defense's buffs to block chance can and should remain the same. What we change is scale to make it more reactive. The idea is that rather than the shield taking a static amount out (which makes fine sense in a realism vein), the shield instead allows you to "deflect" (thank you Ciderhelm) the hit, taking some of the hit but deflecting a degree of the bulk (which is also technically a realistic usage of a shield though not the only method). How to accomplish that?

    To (relatively) simply convert the current system, Block Value on gear and shields could be converted to Block Value Rating. A new name would be ideal to keep it conceptually distinct for the non-power-gamers. This rating, rather than giving a static value would give a damage reduction %. This change would be identical to the Armor Pen change done back in the beta. This is the point where, if Blizz wanted to add a similar mechanic to other classes they could make this rating more generically accessible. Say, call it Deflection Rating and have it play a role for Warrior/Paladin block mechanics, a DK Parry-based damage reduction, and maybe allow that to piggy back on AP for Bears (replacing would be a nightmare though since they don't use much *tank* gear). The new rating now only needs to be balanced with a relative scale against the block chance, keeping Warrior and Paladin block styles distinct (Paladins block more consistantly for less, and Warriors block less consistantly but can bump that block value up a bunch).

    Using the same sort of math as above to simply represent how this works out:
    Tank X has 50% avoidance (miss+dodge+parry), 25% block chance, and a block value of 20%.

    3 scenarios (dps normalized at 2500 dps before avoid/block, except boss who runs 5000 dps):
    (A) Swarm Trash (high count, small hits) = 300 attacks per minute, 500 damage each (after armor for simplicity).

    (B) Bruiser Trash (small count/single, big hits) = 60 attacks per minute, 2500 damage each.

    (C) Raid Boss (single attacker, major damage) = 30 attacks per minute, 10000 damage each.

    Our Tank X will breakdown against each challenge as follows:
    (A) Swarm = 150 attacks avoided, 75 attacks blocked for 20% reduction to 400 dmg each, and 75 hits at 500 each, or 900 dps.

    (B) Bruiser = 30 attacks avoided, 15 blocked for 20% off or 2000 dmg taken, and 15 hits for 2500, or 900 dps.

    (C) Boss = 15 attacks avoided, 7.5 blocked for 20% off or 8000 dmg taken, and 7.5 hits for 10000 each, or 2250.

    So, now block simply provides in the grand average, (Block Chance)*(Block Reduction) damage overall, regardless of scale or count of incoming strikes. In this case, with 20% damage reduction, that's 25%*20% = 5% damage reduction on the grand average. For the tank however, it will be seen as a larger reduction at specific times.
    For Warriors with less frequent blocking but more control of when they block, this would represent another tactical tool. With Paladins having a more consistant chance to block for smaller amounts, this essentially just boils down to a semi-consistant armor buff in a different form.

    This becomes a major change in the following ways, though, and players need to appreciate what they don't see. First, moves like Shield Block, Shield Slam, etc will need to be recoded. A lot of that will be behind the scenes work that Blizz will have to do, and the testing and trickle down of glitches will be a pain to troubleshoot. Additionally,

    ================================================== ===============================================

    *Opinion/Editorial*
    After breaking it down like this, I feel more inclined to say a new way for block to work could be more fun and more interesting, rather than just making it armor in a different format. I'm going to meditate on this for a bit and see what I can come up with. If anyone has a (preferably well thought-out) idea for a new way for block to work, it would be cool to post it here, in a relatively brief synopsis.
    Last edited by Satorri; 07-14-2009 at 09:16 AM.
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  2. #2
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    (reserved)
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    This seems similar to the math I did in the news post thread.

    http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f64/5...tml#post252783

    Additional percentual reductions are really easy to tune against bosses, but they suck against trash if you tune for bosses. Vice versa if you make it good against trash, it will be way overpowered against bosses. Unless you implement some kind of threshold where it blocks for a fixed amount depending on the size of the incoming hit, but then things get far too complex and fiddly for the vast majority of players and you alienate a lot of people. And how do you tune the tanks? Do you tune based on their overall damage taken (And thusly give the non-shield tanks analogous implementations of their own form of "block") or do you tune on spike damage (which the non-blocked shield tank hits will be) and go into the fuzzy and unpleasant realm of cooldowns and stamina scaling.

    Hrm. Tuning block is hard. :\

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    Aye, you're right. It seems that either system suffers for what you tune the reduction for, but the %-based system at least when tuned for boss values doesn't make you immune to trash, ha ha.

    Wheels need to turn, and I think this is something where we need a real outside the box change, not an adjustment of current mechanics. Blizz has hinted at this as well, though I think right now they want to shift the balance up a little, thus letting tanks block more but capping how high that can go. We're getting into the dangerous territory of significant blocks versus bosses but massive blocks against trash.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Aye, you're right. It seems that either system suffers for what you tune the reduction for, but the %-based system at least when tuned for boss values doesn't make you immune to trash, ha ha.

    Wheels need to turn, and I think this is something where we need a real outside the box change, not an adjustment of current mechanics. Blizz has hinted at this as well, though I think right now they want to shift the balance up a little, thus letting tanks block more but capping how high that can go. We're getting into the dangerous territory of significant blocks versus bosses but massive blocks against trash.
    Implementing a new buff that will be tied into redoubt or the respective warrior talent that scales BV with respect to incoming hit might be the answer. Here is something i thought up - http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f14/5...tml#post254229

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    Warrior's don't have an equivalent, part of the class differences. They get shield blocks with a crit chance instead.
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    I posted an idea I had on a different forum, but I suppose it can go here as well. I think it's somewhat original, but I don't know whether it's a good idea or just making this too complex. Opinons are welcome (I got none so far ):

    ------

    An interesting idea that would be a block that mitigates a percentage of the hit that is equal to the percentage of the tank's current HP (when being hit).

    This change requires:
    1. Lowering avoidance rating by quite a bit on shield tanks (10-20%).
    2. Droping the 100% block chance in Shield Block and Holy Shield.
    3. Adding block value to the percentage blocked, which makes it effective on fast small hitters when the tank is on low HP. It's possible to just scrap BV totally and have ShoR&SS based on strength.


    - This way 'Block' acts as either 'deflection'* or avoidance, depending on the tank's HP.

    - This change will make 'Block' a unique stat that deflects varying damage amounts.

    - Unlike the current block mechanism, it acts as avoidance on high HP. But similar to the current mechanism, it has little to no effect on low HP situations.

    - Warrior's Shield Block would become an minor SOS ability with little effect on higher HP situation, but won't have too much of an impact on low HP situation. The maximum gain of SB would be when the tank is at roughly 50-25% (on a boss that can kill a tank with 2 hits). Critical Block too becomes a relevant ability only when the tank has low HPs. This effect reminds me the Ardent Defender/Will of the Necropolis a bit.


    This is just a general line of thought here, no numbers testing was made and the values posted need balancing.

    Note: Couldn't figure what to do with Holy Shield. AD has an effect that reminds SB and Last Stand (in patch 3.2), so there might be no sustainability value for Holy Shield in this model.

    ------

    Any thoughts?



    * All rights reserved to Ciderhelm

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    In short, block scales % based on the tanks health instead of incoming damage? I think that's equally problematic with the current system. Instead of stacking Block Value directly, you get block value that scales as a % of your stam (another stat you're already stacking) to still give essentially a static block value.

    The problem with static block values being, as discussed above, that if it's scaled high enough to be as helpful against a boss, it will make you immune to trash, while if it is too low (as it is now), it's fine against trash and weak-to-barely noticeable against a boss.

    The mechanic does need to be dynamic relative to incoming damage.

    I'm still brainstorming it, but nothing interesting has come to the surface yet. More thoughts to keep the wheels turning:

    1.) Static values have to be balanced against too extreme a damage range. Bosses shouldn't be remotely on the same range as trash anyway, or they start to lose distinction and the epic feeling. This lends itself to a mechanic based on incoming damage, percent being simplest in concept.

    2.) To be a general survival mechanic, it shouldn't be reduced to a single actionable item, like Shield Block lets you avoid X(%) damage from your next (Y) hit(s), with an appropriate CD. We want something that is more generally and potentially passively available, and for multiple classes, Warrior/Paladin at least.

    3.) Let's make it fun. Though it may be a secondary priority, we want to come up with a solution that will make Block enjoyable, not just an invisible passive health saver. How can block become a more interesting tool?

    Perhaps inspiration from how a real shield is used?

    Type 1: Simple Block. Put the shield out to cover a side/zone against an incoming hit. Let the shield move with the hit but guide the force away from the body, or into a ready structure (side/hip with prepared stance).

    Type 2: Shelter. Bring the shield into the chest, collapse your body against it and behind it, and brace yourself to take a hit straight on.

    Type 3: Deflection. Like a weapon parry, bring the shield out to intercept the incoming blow and divert it's intended path/contact.

    Type 4: Charge/Bash/Counter. Intercept the attacker with a quick hit to choke their swing or compromise their balance so they cannot follow through with the attack.
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    I like the counter/bash idea of a shield and was thinkin about it as well. It'll give shields and blocks a more offensive value which I find very interesting, and I personally think it's te right direction.

    About my post: maybe I misunderstand your reply, but according to the suggestion I posted block is a precentage, not a fixed value. It scales with both the player's current HP precenrage and the boss' hit.

    So for instance, if a tank has 66% HP and takes a 30k hit, that hit will be reduced by 66% (HP%) = a 10k hit. If a tank is on 100% HP the block acts as avoidance and blocks 100% of the hit. It does scale with armor and stamina, but not directly - and there can be gimmick situations in which it's actualy counter intuitive. It all depends on healing input - I'll explain how:

    Let's take that proposed mechanics and say we have have a 10k max HP tank, a 80k HP tank and a poor healer that heals only 5k per cast. Now remember that both tanks can fully block any hit, regardless of their max HP.

    If the 80k tank is on 50%, he'll need 8 more heals to regain his 100% block and practicaly get block as an avoidance stat. Now let's say that our insanely low HP tank is now on 50% HP (5k) that tanks needs a only one heal in order to regain his 100% block mitigation and drastically lower his damage intake. So the 10k tank actually gets more avoidance.

    This is not relevant in most scenarios since it'll take less hits to bring the low HP tank to 50% and thus making him take 50% more damage on blocks. The main point is that it takes less healing to get the low HP tank back on his feet. Therefore HPS has an effect on avoidance/deflection(TM). I'll try working on a mathematical model and get numbers on it. Might be interesting.

    It just shows that the benefit from stamina depends on the healing input.

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    Oh ok, I misunderstood.

    The major problem with that is that it becomes way too powerful, though. If healers spam to keep your health full your blocks could be humongous. Imagine full-blocking 20k swings? If you had 20% block that would translate into 20% damage immunity if your healers kept you fully topped off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Oh ok, I misunderstood.

    The major problem with that is that it becomes way too powerful, though. If healers spam to keep your health full your blocks could be humongous. Imagine full-blocking 20k swings? If you had 20% block that would translate into 20% damage immunity if your healers kept you fully topped off.

    That's the idea. Of course avoidance has to be reduced in order to balance it. It also means that a warrior's damage reduction drops when he or she is on low HP, unless ofc using SB - which makes it a very reactive solution. I think it keeps a unique nature to block unlike some of the more 'simple' solutions.

    Like you said, the current talks about getting block into a simple % reduction of damage is not so interesting, and imo unimaginative.

  12. #12
    The problem with the shield block value to a rating system that yields a percentage reduction is the nerf to AOE/multi mob tanking. In order to combat this nerf we could implement some change to critical block which scales to mob level rather than being a flat 30% chance. Maybe just making this scale to different levels ala the current crit mechanics could do the trick. This would increase the occurrences of higher blocks against multi mob packs albeit a small increase but an increase none the less.

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    I don't think the nerf to blocking little stuff would be a big deal. It would just make Warriors and Pallies a little less crazy against trash packs.

    Right now you can already full block some groups with decent gear, that's riding the edge of too strong and is what Blizz is afraid of in scaling the absolute block values too much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Type 3: Deflection. Like a weapon parry, bring the shield out to intercept the incoming blow and divert it's intended path/contact.

    Type 4: Charge/Bash/Counter. Intercept the attacker with a quick hit to choke their swing or compromise their balance so they cannot follow through with the attack.
    an idea i have combines the 2 of those for blocks as a whole by possibly keeping the amount blocked the same as it will be in 3.2 but instead a new mechanic similar to parry hasting but instead slowing down the mobs swing speed... i would think this would keep it from becoming over powered against trash and swarms by just kinda slowing them down a bit... and have a more noticeable affect against bosses

    to just throw out a number a 10% increase to the swing timer after a blocked hit on a boss swinging for about 20k every second... you will block the first hit and then the following hit will then take 1.1 seconds and cause you to in the long run take about 10% less DPS... this will also make the blockers more effective against slow swinging heavy hitters

    the only real issue i see here is that maybe the pally could become a little to strong... though at the same time blizzard seems to be looking to buff them but are still relatively satisfied with the warrior

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadwin View Post
    an idea i have combines the 2 of those for blocks as a whole by possibly keeping the amount blocked the same as it will be in 3.2 but instead a new mechanic similar to parry hasting but instead slowing down the mobs swing speed... i would think this would keep it from becoming over powered against trash and swarms by just kinda slowing them down a bit... and have a more noticeable affect against bosses

    to just throw out a number a 10% increase to the swing timer after a blocked hit on a boss swinging for about 20k every second... you will block the first hit and then the following hit will then take 1.1 seconds and cause you to in the long run take about 10% less DPS... this will also make the blockers more effective against slow swinging heavy hitters

    the only real issue i see here is that maybe the pally could become a little to strong... though at the same time blizzard seems to be looking to buff them but are still relatively satisfied with the warrior

    I think you're really onto something here. That is quite an elegant solution for the increased damage taken by block tanks against very heavy swingers. The problem is that it still is worth less as a boss's attacks get higher. Against a boss that does a 20k swing every 2 seconds, on a tank who has 40k health and 2k shield block value, let's assume each attack is blocked. This will reduce the attack to 18k every 2.2 seconds, or a reduction of 18.2%. Against a boss that does 30k every 3 seconds, the blocking would reduce it to 28k every 3.3 seconds, which would be a reduction of 15.2%. Obviously these both seem a bit high, but the point is that against the slower, faster boss, it still wouldn't help out as much, especially considering burst damage could possibly be enough to kill a tank outright with back to back blows.

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    well the other thought behind it is that it gives the healers that extra bit of time to get that heal off and im sure every healer can think of a hundred different occasions where they swear they got the heal off in time... and yes of course it will still have the scaling issues as always but it doesnt totally change block as we know it to say a set % reduction

    having just talked about it with a pally tank friend of mine maybe a thought to help keep pallies and warriors on that same line of pallies block more but warriors block bigger is that a prot warrior can spec into a bigger reduction... maybe only make it 5% base but adding 5% more to critical block that way a pally does roughly block twice as much but dont become seriously overpowered by block every single hit and always slowing down the hits... of course im sure the "block slowing" (just to add a name to it) will need some tweaking though

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    That is a pretty cool idea, let me see if I can figure out the right scale and add an illustration to match the ones I did above.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
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    In my opinion, Warriors and Paladins have to less styles for the shield. Everything is fokussed on the weapon. The Warrior has several Blows and with 3.2, Deva scales a lot better with your weapon. The Paladin has one real shield-based attack and a lot of weapon-based attacks and passive talents.

    All Tanks couldn't gear for Threat and EH at the same time.

    Giving us more shield-talents and active skill would be awesome. Some examples, based on your post above:

    Type 1: Simple Block. Holy Shield (P) and Shield Block + Critical Blocks (W)

    Type 2: Shelter. Redesign Shield Wall Glyph to something like: Reduces the cooldown on Shield Wall by 2 min, but Shield Wall now only reduces damage taken by 40%. Additionally, while under the effect of Shield Wall, you deal X times Y damage (based on block value) to the attacker.

    Same thing for the Paladins, but first change Divine Protection for +60s cooldown and giving us a Glyph to reduce the CD (plus the hedgehog-thing) again. (Balancing between the shield wearers)

    Type 3: Deflection. New trainable skill for Paladin and Warrior.

    Deflection
    Activate: The next incoming physical attack will deal X% less damage, based on your block rating. Everytime, one damage source will reduced, you lose an amount of Y Rage (or Mana) and you cannot deflect any attack for the next Z seconds.


    Type 4: Charge (W - D) -> Charge into an enemy and deal X damage, based on your block value (or Feral Shield-Thing).

    (this could maybe fix the threat problems at the start of the fight and it wouldn't have a game-breaking effect on pvp)

    Greetings Jaydn
    Sorry if my english is'nt so good, it's not my natural language.

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    Gadwin's Block Recoil concept:

    Following a blocked strike the attacker's next swing time is increased by 10%. That number may need to be tuned but let's try that first. Though, do we leave the static block values or make block only slow the next swing. If it only slows, blocked hits do full damage? Doesn't seem very block-y. Let's keep the current low level block damage reduction.

    Tank X has 50% avoidance (miss+dodge+parry), 25% block chance, and blocks reduce the damage taken by 1000, and increase the next swing time by 10%.

    3 scenarios (dps normalized at 2500 dps before avoid/block, except boss who runs 5000 dps):
    (A) Swarm Trash (high count, small hits) = 300 attacks per minute, 500 damage each (after armor for simplicity). This was made on the idea of 10 mobs with 2.0 sec swing timers.

    (B) Bruiser Trash (small count/single, big hits) = 60 attacks per minute, 2500 damage each. Two mobs, 2.0 sec swing timer.

    (C) Raid Boss (single attacker, major damage) = 30 attacks per minute, 10000 damage each. Single mob, 2.0 sec swing timer.

    **All blocks will delay the next swing by 0.2 seconds. Or instead, 25% block chance, with 10% swing time extension will average out to 2.5% increased swing time overall, so total swing count will have to be recalculated**

    Our Tank X will breakdown against each challenge as follows:
    (A) Swarm = 292.68 swings, 146.34 avoided, 73.17 blocked for full value, meaning the tank takes 610 dps.

    (B) Bruiser = 58.54 swings, 29.27 avoided, 14.63 blocked down to 1500 dmg taken, so the total average dps incoming is 976.

    (C) Boss = 29.27 swings, 14.63 avoided, 7.32 blocked down to 9000 dmg, or a final average incoming dps of 2317.
    So comparing to the current method, block still scales with attack swing speed, but it has an added benefit of pushing off more damage depending on block chance (increasing the value of block chance and keeping block value kind of a small deal).

    Against swarms the delay made for an additional 0.6% damage reduced, bruisers were reduced by an additional 0.96%, and boss damage was reduced by 1.2%.

    All in all, I think it's an interesting idea, but it doesn't quite fix the problem with scaling versus scale. It will still make warriors immune to small stuff and only marginally better suited against big stuff. It may require a lot more balancing between block value (balancing down) and de-haste balancing up. I somehow doubt Blizz would go for it since it makes it even more complicated and doesn't actually make it much better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
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    how about?

    I'm not a math wiz nor a theorycrafter - I am just throwing this out there possible discussion - please tell me if this is bad and why etc?

    Take this as a stab at addressing one specific issue - that of block/BV not scaling to matchup against bosses (vs. working well vs. trash).

    Assume we keep block chance and block value as on live currently.

    Then make the following addition:

    When an attack is successfully blocked, the final amount of damage reduction is multiplied by a factor based on the (level? trying to get at boss vs. trash status somehow, will go with level for now).

    Assume a lvl 80 warrior with 1200 bv:

    vs. lvl 80 elite mob, factor is 1, end result blocked=1200.

    vs. lvl 81 elite mob, factor is 1.5, end result blocked=1800.

    vs. lvl 82 elite mob, factor is 2.0, end result blocked=2400

    vs. lvl 83 elite mob, factor is 2.5, end result blocked=3000

    vs. lvl 83 elite raid boss (?), factor is 5.0, end result blocked=6000

    * I know the factor numbers are bad and would need to be different. I am just trying to get the idea across - basically you could keep static block value, and just multiply by an appropriate factor based on level/status of the mob who's attack was being blocked.

    I'm sure there's a better way to model this (other ratings scale against mobs level in the game).

    so what would be wrong with doing something like that for block? You'd still have the chance to block, and the amount blocked could scale effectively for both trash vs bosses...?
    Last edited by Berune; 07-27-2009 at 07:50 AM. Reason: fixed level of raid boss

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