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Thread: DW tank weapons

  1. #1
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    DW tank weapons

    I am about to switch to dw tanking and I'm confused on what weapons I should use. Is it alright to use 2 fast tank weapons (1.5-1.6 speed) or do I need to have a slow MH and a fast OH?

  2. #2
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    Ideally, slower is better to maximize DPS. For tanking, I would focus on having the main hand be slow, then the offhand slow also. If you don't have an alternative, got MH Slow, OH Fast, or MH Slow, OH 'stat stick'. Problem currently is that most tanking weapons are itemized towards 2H or warrior/paladin mechanics. I can't think of a respectable 'slow' tanking 1H, so you may end up using a MH Slow DPS weapon, with a OT Fast Tank weapon.

  3. #3
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    I have seen a few DK's using fast/fast. For example The World of Warcraft Armory

  4. #4
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    Thanks for responding.

    The only slow 1h tanking weapon I know of is broken promise from 25 man naxx.

    that's why I am asking, why does the MH need to be slow is there certain attacks the benefit from it? or is it just for better dps/threat?

  5. #5
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    Burnished Quel'serrar is fairly slow (2.0 speed) and not main-hand or off-hand, but I'm not sure if you'd consider it a genuine tanking weapon.

  6. #6
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    If you prefer fast/fast your goal has to be 30+ expertise without gems, if possible.

    Take a look at the article Gravity wrote.

    3.22 Death Knight dual-wield tanking | pwnwear

  7. #7
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    speaking as an avid DW'er: DW tanking basically introduces the expertise soft-cap as a new "mandatory" stat the same way that 540 defense is mandatory. this means that you may end up making some strange gear choices in order to maintain 540 def and 26 expertise concurrently, depending on your gear level.

    at higher levels of progression, expertise is sprinkled on everything, so it becomes less of an issue. you should *avoid* gemming for expertise, but that does not mean you'll suffer greatly if one or two of your gems have expertise on them. I have 2 10exp/15stam gems in my set currently. if you have to gem more than 2 of your slots for expertise, than I'd advise waiting until you can put together a gearset with more expertise on it.

    you can use 2 fast tanking weapons without having to worry too much. the common wisdom is that you need to bump your expertise up to 30 to decrease the additional parry-haste liability caused by a faster main-hand weapon, although this is something that I've been questioning recently because many bosses who hit hard enough for it to be a problem have parry-haste turned off. against these bosses, using a fast tanking weapon creates no additional liability. and the additional parries on a boss that doesn't hit big and fast won't create a significant survivability issue because the added contribution of parry-haste from slow to fast tanking weapons is rather small. this is indicated by the fact that you only need to generate 1% less chance (30 exp versus 26) to parry your attacks in order to even out the liability for a fast weapon with a slow weapon. keep in mind that this observation is only true if you start from the soft-cap. below the soft-cap, the math behind parry-haste on fast/fast becomes increasingly bleak. above the soft-cap, it is increasingly trivial.

    here's my armory link:

    The World of Warcraft Armory

    I just replaced one of the brewfest trinkets with the onyxia blood talisman, which put me way over defense cap and sets me up to be able to DW quel'serrars from the 10/25 man and create a pretty mean avoidance/mitigation set (i'm told that the buff has 80% up-time, although I don't know if they stack or if one just overwrites the other). after frost presence, current health sits at about 32.4k unbuffed. if i were to switch out the blood talisman for the other brewfest trinket, i'd be at about 34.2k. if i re-gemmed my defense gems for stamina on my current gear, I'd sit at around 33k w/ the blood talisman equipped. i don't have plans to do that currently, since i'm trying to grab both versions of quel'serrar, which would mean i'd lose @ 60 static defense from my tanking weapons and i'd have to re-gem all over again. but given how brutal the DR is on avoidance, I may just use both brewfest trinkets until I actually have both QS's in hand.
    Last edited by lyd; 09-24-2009 at 06:50 AM.

  8. #8
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    My view is that you need 30 expertise. It's notable that Lyd and others have shown it's not mandatory to be 30+ though (ie. you don't instantly die at 27 expertise).

    My rationale for recommending 30 is this:
    • a tank should have 6.5% expertise for threat reasons alone
    • therefore it's (a) your goal if you're below it (b) the minimum you should maintain
    • warriors have the same interest in expertise
    • if you want to compare to a warrior, your point of comparison is going to therefore be 6.5%
    • a DW DK's chance of being parrried is equivalent to a warriors when they're +4 expertise over the warrior
    • which is therefore 30 (because 26 expertise = 6.5%)

    You could do it with less, it's not like < 30 expertise = "I lose button", but I think my logic is a sound basis to say 30 is the recommended minimum for DW tanking.

    My post does say "don't gem for expertise" but on reflection, that's a bit binary. I think the stam/expertise gem Lyd mentioned is a fine choice. Particularly in light of how expertise can act like an avoidance stat.

    I'll go edit that in.
    Last edited by GravityDK; 09-24-2009 at 06:43 AM.
    The DK tank site: pwnwear.com.

  9. #9
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    I think the important thing for people to keep in mind is that it's a game of degrees and inverse relationships; gradients, and not absolutes. for example: would the avoidance stats on a fast tanking weapon cancel out parry-haste liability on a slow dps weapon, assuming you're at least soft-capped on expertise? I don't know the math off the top of my head, but I think given 2 weapons, a slow dps weapon and a fast tanking weapon, you could calculate a point of expertise rating at which the trade-off is no longer worth it. above a certain expertise rating, the trade-off would pay out greater dividends in additional survivability than it would in additional liability through hasted attacks. assumedly, this is true at the soft cap for a slow MH and at 30 for a fast MH.

    @Gravity: keep in mind that I still use a slow Main-hand (Broken Promise), so 27 expertise is more than I need to overcome a warrior's parry-haste liability. It is correct that fast/fast DW weapons require +4 expertise to even out with a warrior at the soft cap, so 30 expertise is a good number to go with. But the thing to take away from this discussion you put nicely: if you DW fast/fast with only 26 expertise instead of 30, you're not going to instantly die. In fact, I would argue that you'll still be able to tank most, if not all the content currently in the game assuming your gear level is appropriately high. The concurrent concern of the set-up, however, is its effect on your threat generation. I'm unsure whether or not a fast/fast set-up, even with the Runestrike change, can currently put out competitive threat at the bleeding edge of current content. although I am quite confident that the weapon damage on the 2.0 Quel-Serrars is more than enough to create competitive threat at high levels of progression

  10. #10
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    Aye, it's common (and easy) to go into a black/white view of tanking, when really there's a continuum.

    I fell into it with the earlier version of my post, saying "do not gem", when in fact the expertise/stam gem isn't all that bad, just within limits (I went with 2).

    Like Satorri's post lamented once about poisoning our own water, the broader community can be harsh, particularly on something as emotional as dual-wielding.
    The DK tank site: pwnwear.com.

  11. #11
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    Weapons can be changed to fit the demands of an encounter, even in combat between phases. Never forget that - dual wield presents perhaps the greatest opportunity to customize your threat and survivability to the encounter at hand. I typically have 6 different 1h's on me: two tanking weapons with swordbreaking, two slow-dps weapon with swordbreaking, and two slow-dps weapons with razorice/fallen crusader. This provides a wide scale of threat/survivability options, particularly with the ability to combine any two.

    That said, I'll be running around 2h'ing for a while at least... I have a new toy to play with while I wait for my dual wield set to catch up on item level.

    -Splug

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pruke View Post
    I have seen a few DK's using fast/fast. For example The World of Warcraft Armory
    Should be noted however that he is also gemmed, specced, and overall geared like someone who is confused how tanking in this game works.
    I'd give him a 3/10, especially considering how progressed he is :\

    I personally prefer slow/slow, and eat the defense and avoidance loss for optimized threat.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    Should be noted however that he is also gemmed, specced, and overall geared like someone who is confused how tanking in this game works.
    I'd give him a 3/10, especially considering how progressed he is :\

    I personally prefer slow/slow, and eat the defense and avoidance loss for optimized threat.
    Often, there is a logical explaination for things that seem odd - especially when it's cited in an armory link by another player a few days earlier. There is more than one simplistic goal in tanking, and as such there will likely be multiple logical configurations, simply due to the nature of attempting to maximize orthogonal objectives without an eloquent optimization formula. As such, there exists the potential for multiple dispositions, and likely, more than one performs similarly enough to make distinguishing effectiveness non-trivial - at the very least, without personal investigation of the alternatives.

    -Splug

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splug View Post
    Often, there is a logical explaination for things that seem odd - especially when it's cited in an armory link by another player a few days earlier. There is more than one simplistic goal in tanking, and as such there will likely be multiple logical configurations, simply due to the nature of attempting to maximize orthogonal objectives without an eloquent optimization formula. As such, there exists the potential for multiple dispositions, and likely, more than one performs similarly enough to make distinguishing effectiveness non-trivial - at the very least, without personal investigation of the alternatives.

    -Splug
    Well, sometimes. Not that spec though. Not that gear.
    I can see where he is at progression wise as well, and have tanked everything and beyond what he would be tanking... a reason simply does not exist

  15. #15
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    Experimenting with a modified spec or wearing mixed/maximum ivalue for Leviathan/just plain random sets of gear are always possibilities for random armory links. Even disregarding that, I really don't see what the major panic is; there's nothing blatant like an obliterate-based build without anihillation. Gems are fitted to match sockets where the bonus is >=6 stamina per gem, otherwise blue. Avoidance is favored over threat. Given that you've made no more direct commentary than "it's bad because I said it is," I'm not sure what else you're looking at.

    -Splug
    Last edited by Splug; 09-26-2009 at 09:47 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splug View Post
    Experimenting with a modified spec or wearing mixed/maximum ivalue for Leviathan/just plain random sets of gear are always possibilities for random armory links. Even disregarding that, I really don't see what the major panic is; there's nothing blatant like an obliterate-based build without anihillation. Gems are fitted to match sockets where the bonus is >=6 stamina per gem, otherwise blue. Avoidance is favored over threat. Given that you've made no more direct commentary than "it's bad because I said it is," I'm not sure what else you're looking at.

    -Splug
    1/5 Necrosis, 1/3 Subversion, 1/2 Aboms Might, Defense Gems period, 2 Threat / 10 parry to gloves at 150 hit rating, Glyph of Disease over Glyph of Vamp Blood when clearly going for 4 piece bonus, no continuity between glyphing and enchanting.
    It's not off the wall bad, but it's not someone I'd use as a model tank ever.

  17. #17
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    The "best" way is not the only way.

    I actually enjoy the fact that there is room in the game to do things that aren't min/maxed optimum without dooming your raids to failure.

    That said, there is something to be said for choices made absent-mindedly or ignorantly, or with a lack of attention, rather than sub-optimal choices made knowingly.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    The "best" way is not the only way.

    I actually enjoy the fact that there is room in the game to do things that aren't min/maxed optimum without dooming your raids to failure.

    That said, there is something to be said for choices made absent-mindedly or ignorantly, or with a lack of attention, rather than sub-optimal choices made knowingly.
    There is a difference between only accepting the "best" way, and specs that are emulated without any purpose or logic behind them.
    I was simply warning that the linked armory was not a great example for aspiring tanks of any level

  19. #19
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    i'm curious as to how a blood tank can justify not taking improved blood presence for the +10% to healing effects. does the amount of overhealing that occurs after a certain level of progression make this +10% redundant?

  20. #20
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    1/5 Necrosis, 1/3 Subversion, 1/2 Aboms Might, Defense Gems period, 2 Threat / 10 parry to gloves at 150 hit rating, Glyph of Disease over Glyph of Vamp Blood when clearly going for 4 piece bonus, no continuity between glyphing and enchanting.
    I really don't see any problem in that whole list. 2% of auto attack + rune strike damage should be a larger (or at least very comparable) contribution than ~4% of heart strike alone, making it the superior choice assuming Bloody Vengeance remains active. I haven't tanked as blood in quite some time, so unfortunately I don't have any wmo data to reference on that - I'd have to run a test spec and see how it works out first. The first point in abomination's might has drastically higher marginal utility than the second point. Average uptime for the 1/2 should be in the 75-85% range depending on rotation; the second point is only covering that last 15-25%. The inconsistent uptime is acceptable for a 10-man environment and redundant anyway for a 25-man raid with a regular enhancement shaman. Defense gems provide avoidance and trigger yellow socket bonuses, as well as contributing to Icebound Fortitude's effectiveness; the stat doesn't stop working at 540 defense. Glyphing for a set bonus that isn't there is a very odd argument, given that glyphs cost maybe 5 gold to exchange if the set effect suddenly becomes available (and don't require going to town).

    The only moderately legitimate point is the avoidance glove enchant while at 5% hit. Given the armory was linked to reference a dual-wielding frost character, that should not be a large shock; the last 3% would have come from Nerves of Cold Steel. Furthermore, while hit as a tank is an effective means to generate threat, this returns to the entire threat relative to avoidance scenario. TANSTAAFL. Itemization and gemming spent on hit rating comes at the price of survivability stats such as stamina or avoidance, or parry-reduction via expertise. That's a design tradeoff between two different goals, and one that seems completely logical if threat is the lesser concern.

    "No continuity between enchanting and glyphing?" Perhaps that's true, I'm not sure; I'm an engineer, not an artist. I'll leave determining the aesthetic value of equipment and spec choices to professionals in the field. From a functionality perspective, I don't see a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by lyd View Post
    i'm curious as to how a blood tank can justify not taking improved blood presence for the +10% to healing effects. does the amount of overhealing that occurs after a certain level of progression make this +10% redundant?
    10% healing for 2 talent points would be excellent, however there's a problem: that part of the talent is only applied while in blood presence, making it moot for tanking. The frost/unholy presence effect is to retain 4% of your damage done as healing, which given the sustained heal income will only increase your time from full -> 0 by a very small amount.

    -Splug
    Last edited by Splug; 09-28-2009 at 12:23 PM.

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