I have seen a lot of threads here where people talk about the relative value of armor versus stamina. A lot of that discussion mentions the fact that many bosses now use unmitigable big attacks, either magic or otherwise. Therefore, people reason, armor is of low value, because it does nothing for the big hits.
I would posit, however, that it is not the big hits that kill a tank, but rather the conjunction of a big hit with a normal swing either before or after the big hit. Those normal swings do tend to be mitigated by armor. So the question is what is the difference in benefit one could receive from say a 170 stam trinket vs. the 1792 armor trinket in this scenario?
I am not a skilled theorycrafter, in that I don't know certain things like when the Defensive Stance type modifiers should be added, before or after amor mitigation, and that sort of thing. Could someone who is good at that look at whether a 170 stam trinket would be better, or a 1792 armor trinket given the following situation?
You are a reasonably geared tank, with maybe 26k armor and 50k hit points. You've just been hit by a 35k megablast of doom which was unavoidable, and a new swing is incoming that would normally hit you for 18k damage. Is the extra armor on top of the stats I already mentioned more useful, or is the extra 170 stamina?
I would say the same thing: gear to the encounter. for example: compare the new Onyxia Blood Talisman to the brewfest trinket. If I am MT'ing Onyxia, the brewfest trinket is more useful because the big damage bursts are going to come from spell damage, meaning a higher HP pool will be more helpful than defense and avoidance. however, the Onyxia Blood Talisman is probably better for tanking the whelps due to the sheer volume of small hits you're taking. in that case, avoiding damage is more useful than having a big health pool, because you don't have to worry about absorbing the big hits.
there are other considerations for some tanks as well: DK's tend to favor avoidance because it increase Runestrike procs and therefore threat. in your mentioned comparison, Blood DK's would favor the stamina trinket because their self-heals scale with HP. A Bear tank, however, might not need the extra HP given their already prodigious health pools.
Neither of you are addressing the point I was making. The point I'm making is that regardless of the fight, only a portion of the big damage spike is coming from unmitigable damage. The dragon's 35k breath attack isn't what kills you. It's the 35k breath attack WITH the 18k melee swing that comes immediately before or after. So for the *combination* of those 2 attacks, does the armor or the Stamina really give you more survivability? So in other words, if the armor trinket mitigates more that 170 stamina worth of damage on the attack BEFORE or AFTER the "big hit," it has a greater benefit than the stam trinket.
What I want to know or figure out is at what values does the armor trinket end up better, not on what encounters.
No, it is value based. I'll give scenarios which aren't based in specific armor numbers, because again, I'm not particularly good at applying them, so I'll use mitigation %.
Scenario 1, HP trinket
You have 50k hit points and 63% mitigation.
Boss uses magical ability of doom and hits you for 35k damage.
Boss's next swing hits for 40k damage unmitigated. Throw in your 63% mitigation and you take 14,800 damage, leaving you with 200 hit points before you can receive a heal.
Scenario 2, Armor Trinket
You have 48k HP and 65% mitigation
Boss uses magical ability of doom and hits you for 35k damage (unchanged).
Boss's next swing hits for 40k damage unmitigated. Throw in your mitigation, and you take 14k damage. Leaving you dead with 1k overkill.
Scenario 3, Stam Trinket, Altered Boss Damage
You have 50k hit points and 63% mitigation.
Boss uses magical ability of doom and hits you for 20k damage.
Boss's next swing hits for 60k unmitigated. With mitigation you take 22,200 damage, leaving you with 1,800 hit points.
Scenario 4, Armor Trinket, Altered Boss Damage
You have 48k HP and 65% mitigation.
Boss uses magical ability of doom and hits you for 26k damage (unchanged).
Boss's next swing hits for 60k damage unmitigated. With mitigation you take 21k damage, leaving you with 1k hit points.
The gap between the two tanks changes as the numbers change. The boss mechanic is the same, just with different values. At some theoretical point, even though the spike damage is magical, the armor will come out ahead because the spike damage is only partly magical. I'm just wondering where that point is.
I have to disagree here, it is very much encounter based. We realize the question you're asking. Best case scenario it's not the melee swing after the 35k damage that kills you, it's the combination of the two, if they happen close enough together that a healer can't get a heal in, then it doesn't matter which one got the KB. Stam is the only one that can help you survive both. Secondly, it makes far more sense to mitigate whichever spikes harder. Take beasts for example. Most of the burst from the Jourmugars is actually from the breath. When he's breathing is the only time I ever die. That's spell damage, and I straight up need a bigger HP pool to survive it, the melee damage is negligible. Same deal with Mimiron and his Plasma blast. We use cooldowns to mitigate the spell damage.
Think of it in PvP terms. You have a rogue hitting you for 2-4k, you also have a warlock on you that can chaosbolt for 12k. You get low, so you use what mitigates the physical damage (IE, Hand of Protection). This would be equivalent to fighting a boss and having so much armor you take zero physical damage. Guess what? The chaos bolt still kills you because you didn't have enough hit points (stam).
I will say it is fight dependant. I would still pref physical mitigation on Twins because most of the tank damage is going to be physical (I.E. when the twin you're not tanking casts the shield/twins pact so that the twin you're tanking starts dual wielding and does double damage to you, this is where tanks are most likely to die on this fight). However if I'm tanking Hodir, I'm gonna do what makes me survive spell damage more because frozen blows is where tanks are more likely to die here.
Aggathon, what I meant when I said value specific, not encounter specific, is that in analyzing this, I'm not interested in who the boss is we're fighting. It could be Onyxia or the Frumious Bandersnatch. I'm caring more about the numbers and values of the attacks. So while you're correct that the encounters differ in those numbers, I'm trying to attack this from a more general point of view than that.
On the WoW Forums someone suggested that I find the break even point for armor vs. Stamina against pure physical damage at a specific tank's gear level, then multiply that by the percentage of spike damage which is physical to find a break even point. Each boss is going to have a different break even point. I agree that mostly stamina is going to have better survivability against most magic using bosses. I want to know at what point the armor gets better.
Although I'm not a serious theory-crafter, I would have to agree with Edgewalker and Aggathon that it's encounter based.
Reev, in your four scenarios, the tanks "values" are not changing from 1,2 to 3,4. What is changing is the altered hits of the boss. In one situation, the boss is hitting for strong melee damage, in the other it is strong magic. That kind of change is definitely based on the encounter and the change in the type of damage, not the tanks current Armor and Health values.
You won't find one number or formula to tell you when armor is better than stamina, unless you are taking your current encounter into your calculations. You can't get the kind of numbers you are asking for from a general view.
I think you can get numbers for what I'm looking for, but I think I'm doing a poor job articulating it, since everyone else appears to be on the same page on a different topic from what is going on in my head.
Taking things from a general standpoint is rough. Most bosses are either physical or magical and it's pretty obviously between the two which is more important.
The calculation for deciding which is better depends on item, gear level, and the % magic damage and % physical damage the boss does for each attack (ie if he can breath and melee at the same time what % the breath is and what % the melee is). I'd have to bust out a spreadsheet and think on it some. Basically you need to find the dmg reduced by the armor and determine if that is a higher amount than the EHP gain from stam. Basically you have to figure out how much less damage you take from 1700 more armor (or w/e the trinket is) for the % of your total visible health of physical damage that the mob could previceably do to drop you from full to dead.
So lets say you have 50k health. Mob breaths for 35k, you get melee hit for the rest of your health for 15k. Is the melee dmg reduction from 1700 armor (so w/e % reduction added on, then take 15,000X1700ACdmg reduction) greater than the total hit points from the stam trinket.
If it's all physical the dmg reduction from armor will skyrocket (this is what EHP calculators say). A rough estimate is that 1500 AC is about 5000 EHP, but that's if 100% of the damage is physical. If only 30% is physical as in the example above, then the EHP from armor would be closer to 600hps, whereas a 170stam trinket will give you 1700 (+ modifiers)
Last edited by Aggathon; 09-25-2009 at 01:58 PM.
For a 1800 armor trinket to win over a 170 stamina trinket, the values have to be extremely high and slanted physically (talking 120+K unmitigated physical damage). Those bosses exist, and they are the bosses I listed above.
There won't be a flat value though, since it is dependent on your class, gear, current stats, and more importantly, the individual factors of each encounter.
I know that it's a very very broad question that has many variables including the current EHP of the tank before the trinkets, the quantity of the damage from the boss, and the ratio of damage type from the boss. A spreadsheet might be a good way to figure that out. I just thought that if I could see someone work the math a little, it might help me get a better understanding of the thought behind a lot of the commentary in these threads, a lot of which seems to just be people repeating something someone else said at some point.
Edit: Looking back at my original post, I did phrase the question as "which trinket is better?" So you were answering my question correctly in that sense. I was just asking the wrong question for the information I was seeking.