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Thread: Shield Specialization... why?!

  1. #1
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    Shield Specialization... why?!

    I am constantly confounded as to why people choose Shield Specialization over focused rage and improved disciplines.

    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    ^ That is the spec I've used since 3.1 (pre 3.0 I had the points in ID in Cruelty).

    My opinion on block rating has always been that block itself isn't that great. It's gotten a lot better with critical blocks and much better with the increased critical block chance in 3.2.2, but if you're going for an avoidance stat, I'd always choose to dodge and parry over block. Even though the ivalue for block is a lot less than dodge or parry, overall damage reduction for 1% of block at 1800 BV (which gets you capped when you hit shield block) you'd need roughly 6% block, which is about twice the ivalue of 1% dodge. (I think the number is about 3% block to 1% dodge, depending on your dodge level of course).

    If you really need to block, and especially now that T9 4 set is out, you hit shield block. It's awesome for add tanking, depending on how hard the boss hits it can be better than shield wall. In my EHP gear I can critical block for almost 8k. Tanking anub adds (heroic 25) I literally take no damage.

    The numbers I've seen have shown that 3 points in focused rage give you more rage than the 3 extra points in shield block (calculate from 3 guys, not 5, 'cuz everyone has 2 by default). If I'm getting rage starved I would much rather have a 17 rage SS, 2 rage revenge, or 12 rage devestate than if I block I get 5 rage. That depends on if I block! Almost no gear these days has block rating that is good. I don't think there is any on either my EHP set or my threat set (lots of great block value though). Therefore I sit really low, something like 12 or 14% chance to block. So if I'm having rage issues I'm relying on a 17% chance to block + parry/dodge to get 5 rage? Whereas with focused rage I already have 3 rage taken off the ability I need, which both helps prevent getting rage starved in the first place, and if you are getting rage starved it helps you be able to use an ability faster.

    So why... dear lord why... are so many people specing into Shield Specialization. The ONLY reason I can see it is because block is pretty good add tanking on Anub25 heroic.

    But again... Shield block is there and it negates the need for block rating at all, and with T9 4 piece you can have it up on every add wave.

    So... what gives? If someone gives me a good explaination I'll go home and respec immediately, but so far neither the math or the practicality make any sense to take points out of focused rage, imho.
    Last edited by Aggathon; 09-27-2009 at 10:13 AM.
    [Today 09:38 AM] Reev: The older I get, the more I think those Greek philosophers were just annoying hipsters.
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  2. #2
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    The extra block provides extra survival. now that critical block has a 60% chance its even better to pick up. and the 5 rage on dodge block or parry makes up for focused rage.

    Edit. Being raged starved in a raid is hardly ever an issue, so the increase rage cost on abilities isnt that big of a deal.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by squats View Post
    The extra block provides extra survival. now that critical block has a 60% chance its even better to pick up. and the 5 rage on dodge block or parry makes up for focused rage.

    Edit. Being raged starved in a raid is hardly ever an issue, so the increase rage cost on abilities isnt that big of a deal.
    If you want to keep HS uptime at 100% for threat (or cleave for Anub), then yes, you can get rage starved very easily on a lot of fights, especially LJ or Anub'Arak add tanking. What I'm saying is the ability shield block negates the need for the 3% extra block in general.
    [Today 09:38 AM] Reev: The older I get, the more I think those Greek philosophers were just annoying hipsters.
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  4. #4
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    I have never ever been rage starved on Anub tanking adds spammin cleave full time. Tanking 2 adds with shield speciallization is pretty sick rage generation and there is no reason to use focused rage. I am usualy using a block set when i tank adds and i am around 100% Dod/parry/blck. Since threat is not a big deal anymore with the massive buff to devastate i took points out of Deep wounds so i could still pick up both imp disciplines and full point in shield Spec. This works great for me, maybe it something u could try and see what you think of it.

  5. #5
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    One thing to remember is that many people like to do more than tank end game raids. Many people do triple duty - tanking end game, tanking farm content and tanking 5 mans - whether just for something to do, to help guildies or for badge farming. In addition not all of us run with two tank specs (some of us like to slaughter things from time to time).

    In that environment SB is a superior talent to FR in that it produces rage when you aren't taking damage due to your awesome gear and giving you the ability to use your abilities. Focused Rage provides no benefit if you have no rage with which to use those cheaper skills. Yes, in a NEAR rage unlimited single target encounter FR pulls ahead I imagine but the trade off for utility and ease of play when not in that circumstance is minimal and when in a truly rage unlimited encounter it doesn't matter which talent you have.

    One last thing to mull over, and maybe a person with a greater love for recreational mathematics can give an answer to this. That is since you generate 5 rage on every dodge, block and parry there might come a time with high enough avoidance and block where the difference in RPS between Shield Spec and FR becomes truly unnoticeable or might even favor Shield Spec. Remember as you avoid and mitigate more damage rage from damage taken decreases and the likelihood of having enough rage to sustain ability use through avoidance streaks goes down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonan View Post
    One last thing to mull over, and maybe a person with a greater love for recreational mathematics can give an answer to this. That is since you generate 5 rage on every dodge, block and parry there might come a time with high enough avoidance and block where the difference in RPS between Shield Spec and FR becomes truly unnoticeable or might even favor Shield Spec. Remember as you avoid and mitigate more damage rage from damage taken decreases and the likelihood of having enough rage to sustain ability use through avoidance streaks goes down.
    Hrm... that's a good point, especially if you combine it with Tizak's comment that if you wear the right stuff you could get to 100% dodge+miss+parry+block. I shall investigate further.

    Also Tizak, I would love to see your gear setup but your armory link doesn't work D=
    [Today 09:38 AM] Reev: The older I get, the more I think those Greek philosophers were just annoying hipsters.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggathon View Post
    Hrm... that's a good point, especially if you combine it with Tizak's comment that if you wear the right stuff you could get to 100% dodge+miss+parry+block. I shall investigate further.

    Also Tizak, I would love to see your gear setup but your armory link doesn't work D=
    with DR's it is near impossible, if not just impossible, for warriors to get to 100% without shield block up. close, but not quite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by squats View Post
    with DR's it is near impossible, if not just impossible, for warriors to get to 100% without shield block up. close, but not quite.
    Minus virtually all of the tanks tanking Anub adds for heroic Anub...
    (Also you need slightly over 102%, not 100%)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    Minus virtually all of the tanks tanking Anub adds for heroic Anub...
    (Also you need slightly over 102%, not 100%)

    Every tank I've looked at though is under 80%.

    They're all at around 28% dodge, between 20-24% parry. Enough defense for about 7-8% miss, and then between 14-17.5% block. Like... at best they're getting to 80%. I don't get it. I guess add the 5% boss miss naturally, but still, not 102.4%.
    [Today 09:38 AM] Reev: The older I get, the more I think those Greek philosophers were just annoying hipsters.
    Twitter @Aggathon || @Tankspot || Twitch.Tv/Aggathon

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggathon View Post
    Every tank I've looked at though is under 80%.

    They're all at around 28% dodge, between 20-24% parry. Enough defense for about 7-8% miss, and then between 14-17.5% block. Like... at best they're getting to 80%. I don't get it. I guess add the 5% boss miss naturally, but still, not 102.4%.
    It is exceptionally easy to put block gear on up to 50% if you have any of it. Finding the best mix of pieces to get you up to that while keeping your actual block value high is slightly more complicated. Suffice to say, it is a very different gearset than an effective health one (which holds those low block % numbers).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnuss View Post
    It is exceptionally easy to put block gear on up to 50% if you have any of it. Finding the best mix of pieces to get you up to that while keeping your actual block value high is slightly more complicated. Suffice to say, it is a very different gearset than an effective health one (which holds those low block % numbers).

    I spec'd out of focused range and into 5/5 shield spec last night for anub attempts. I had pretty much infinite rage if I hit shield block, without it though I sometimes did have rage issues, but it wasn't too bad, for that fight the extra avoidance is probably good.

    Does anyone happen to have a list of best block gear?

    Last night I had just under 3000 BV fully buffed, 52.2khps buffd, and probably around 75% unhittable. I seemed to tank 2 adds just fine (we use paragon's double tan strat).

    A lot of people are saying they just have warriors tank everything. With shield block up I can see this as more than viable, but after it drops we're kinda hosed, do they rotate cooldowns on tanks? How do they handle the fast cast times on shadowstrike? I know a lot of the original 1 tank strats was pre-holy wrath nerf, where they'd basically just set up a stun rotation on the mobs and they were stunned 4/5ths of the time, and when they weren't stunned warriors had shield block up. Since this is no longer viable what are people doing?

    I think I may go re-post this in the strat forums too.

    Also getting him to 30% right as he burrows is frustrating.
    [Today 09:38 AM] Reev: The older I get, the more I think those Greek philosophers were just annoying hipsters.
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  12. #12
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    The reason I spec into this isn't so much for an overall increase in rage. I do it so I know I can establish solid aggro early in a fight. If you start tanking the boss and it can't manage to hit you, you can have a few scary moments on threat. I like knowing that I will have enough rage to make something happen right at the beginning of the fight.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggathon View Post
    Every tank I've looked at though is under 80%.

    They're all at around 28% dodge, between 20-24% parry. Enough defense for about 7-8% miss, and then between 14-17.5% block. Like... at best they're getting to 80%. I don't get it. I guess add the 5% boss miss naturally, but still, not 102.4%.
    Tip: not everyone logs out on his unhittable set

    The World of Warcraft Armory

    This is somewhat the set. You can exchange some avoidance to BV if needed, use the EoC legs or change the trinkets, but this is pretty much the base gear.
    [Tank Addict]

  14. #14
    I'm only 95 percent un-hittable fully buffed. I'm still missing 2 crucial pieces that I never picked up for a block set and with these i would be right around 99 percent.

    All of my gear I use for this is gemed and enchanted for avoidance. Mainly defense gems with the exception of defense/dodge to fufill the defense/SBV meta. I only have like 27k or so HP unbuffed? 35k or so buffed. Agility and Defense elixirs. Gnomer auto blocker and the Lathor's? trinket from Heroic VH, the one w/ SBR and SBV on use.

    There are really only 2 packs of adds where its really sketchy. What I do is wait for the adds to come in, put up shield block then tab cleave while I'm waiting for a shadow step when it happens I shockwave or if they havent tried by the end of my shield block I shockwave anyways. Then a paladin holy wrath's. By the time this is over you have basically experienced around 15 seconds where you are basically taking no damage. The adds should die shortly after this.

    Another thing to note is that from my experience when I stun them shortly after they arrive with shockwave close to shield blocks end duration and then holy wrath shortly after, each stun seems to "reset" their shadowstep cast. Either way you still need single target interrupters as back up on them. With mind numbing its a one second cast and any class should be able to interupt it if im able to shockwave in response to a shadow step cast.

    The packs right before he burrows we do not AOE until after he burrows so these are the crucial times where it is easier to get "RNG"ed but the majority of the time you will be the only person to die and you can get battle rez'ed and continue.

    I debate about the trinkets I use but the on use SBV is just too powerful in this fight. Every one is attacking like 4 times a second or something i think? and extra 200 SBV could very well be 3200 damage reduced a second.

    Also one thing to note where the mobs attack so fast basically it appears that when all 4 attack it is quite possible that any shields and possibly critical block? all "proc" of all 4 attacks. For example the old BC chest runes that absorb damage will absorb from all 4 of their attacks that land at the same time. Same thing w/ priest shields and paladin's divine shields etc. I'm assuming that the attacks happen so fast that for whatever reason these abosrption effects happen for all 4 attacks that land.

  15. #15
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    With my block set I am at 102% unbuffed, raid buffed I cross over the 102.4% mark = unhittable. Combine that with over 3k block value unbuffed but at the cost of over 10k hp.

    Keep in mind the set is a large waste of resources to enchant, gem, setup, etc and really has no use other then Anub'arak ad tanking & 5m heroics for fun, but it is still very doable.

    I logged out in my off-spec fury set but if anyone is interested i'll logout in my block set tomorrow so you can get an idea what would be needed to become unhittable.

    For Anub'arak add tanking keep in mind you only block if the mob is directly in front of you so must be very careful to position yourself correctly and not get hit in the back.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bishoptwo View Post
    I'm only 95 percent un-hittable fully buffed. I'm still missing 2 crucial pieces that I never picked up for a block set and with these i would be right around 99 percent.

    All of my gear I use for this is gemed and enchanted for avoidance. Mainly defense gems with the exception of defense/dodge to fufill the defense/SBV meta. I only have like 27k or so HP unbuffed? 35k or so buffed. Agility and Defense elixirs. Gnomer auto blocker and the Lathor's? trinket from Heroic VH, the one w/ SBR and SBV on use.

    There are really only 2 packs of adds where its really sketchy. What I do is wait for the adds to come in, put up shield block then tab cleave while I'm waiting for a shadow step when it happens I shockwave or if they havent tried by the end of my shield block I shockwave anyways. Then a paladin holy wrath's. By the time this is over you have basically experienced around 15 seconds where you are basically taking no damage. The adds should die shortly after this.

    Another thing to note is that from my experience when I stun them shortly after they arrive with shockwave close to shield blocks end duration and then holy wrath shortly after, each stun seems to "reset" their shadowstep cast. Either way you still need single target interrupters as back up on them. With mind numbing its a one second cast and any class should be able to interupt it if im able to shockwave in response to a shadow step cast.

    The packs right before he burrows we do not AOE until after he burrows so these are the crucial times where it is easier to get "RNG"ed but the majority of the time you will be the only person to die and you can get battle rez'ed and continue.

    I debate about the trinkets I use but the on use SBV is just too powerful in this fight. Every one is attacking like 4 times a second or something i think? and extra 200 SBV could very well be 3200 damage reduced a second.

    Also one thing to note where the mobs attack so fast basically it appears that when all 4 attack it is quite possible that any shields and possibly critical block? all "proc" of all 4 attacks. For example the old BC chest runes that absorb damage will absorb from all 4 of their attacks that land at the same time. Same thing w/ priest shields and paladin's divine shields etc. I'm assuming that the attacks happen so fast that for whatever reason these abosrption effects happen for all 4 attacks that land.

    Thank you very much for this information sir. I've been trying to find someone that can tell me exactly how this is done.

    What packs are sketchy? I've been using T9 4 set so that I can shield block on every add wave, I can re-gem and re-enchant for more avoidance and such, switch some trinkets around, etc. However if I'm still only around 80% avoidance or so is tanking 4 without the avoidance suicide? or should I be alright. From your information it seems like once shield block wears off you can pretty much just chain stun lock them 'till they die.
    [Today 09:38 AM] Reev: The older I get, the more I think those Greek philosophers were just annoying hipsters.
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  17. #17
    With our strat the 2nd and 4th pack will stay up the longest (these are the sketchy packs) because we make everyone normal DPS Anub until he burrows, then we aoe the adds down. I have glyphed and talented shield wall so I pair this with a SBV trinket for these packs also.

    It's not really that you can keep them stun locked but it's basically impossible for you to die through shield block, then shockwave stun, then another aoe stun (holy wrath/shadow nova). And like I stated there is almost an internal timer when the mobs will try to cast the first shadow step and if you stun them before or during it, it feels like it "resets". This is not based on fact but I can shockwave them myself then call for another aoe stun when i feel that this internal timer is about to happen and 95 percent of the time they will never try to shadow step while they are alive and if they do there is usually 3 or less alive b/c a normal target capped cleave will have killed one early or something.

    Also 4 piece is useless, you can only use shield block once a pack anyways. If you are able to hit it again 30 seconds later the mobs are dying too slow. From what I can tell ours usually die 15ish + seconds before the next wave. The waves happen every 45 seconds. Our AOE sucks too we aren't really blessed with excess OP aoe classes for this encounter. With really good AOE these adds should easily die in 25 seconds.

    I modeled my minimum stats from Premo's kill, Xav opens his character sheet after he dies and I assumed I needed at least those stats unbuffed to do it. I was actually around 2.7ish percent SBR below his stats and still am b/c I have yet to get 2 pieces I need out of Ulduar. I would say you want at least 95ish percent unhittable before attempting this though. That's about what I have and I am able to tank it fine. Now if only our healers could keep ppl alive in p3.

  18. #18
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    I tried to explain this before in another thread, but I explain my thoughts on Sheild Spec vs. Focused Rage.


    Focused Rage - Cuts the cost of rage on all abilities.

    Shield Specialization - Gives you rage.

    If you dodge a few times in a row, one will slow down your rage loss, while the other will compensate with more rage. It's a preference thing mainly, but imo, Sheild spec will likely get you out of a rage starvation issue faster assuming high avoidance/block levels. Like I said though, mostly preference.
    "It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bishoptwo View Post
    With our strat the 2nd and 4th pack will stay up the longest (these are the sketchy packs) because we make everyone normal DPS Anub until he burrows, then we aoe the adds down. I have glyphed and talented shield wall so I pair this with a SBV trinket for these packs also.
    Good to know, I've actually kinda wondered what guilds have been doing in regards to this, a lot of times our dps falls just short, I'm sure the setup with 1 frost is a different strat... I may come find you and talk to you about it in game if you're okay with that. Also, when do you use heroism?

    It's not really that you can keep them stun locked but it's basically impossible for you to die through shield block, then shockwave stun, then another aoe stun (holy wrath/shadow nova). And like I stated there is almost an internal timer when the mobs will try to cast the first shadow step and if you stun them before or during it, it feels like it "resets". This is not based on fact but I can shockwave them myself then call for another aoe stun when i feel that this internal timer is about to happen and 95 percent of the time they will never try to shadow step while they are alive and if they do there is usually 3 or less alive b/c a normal target capped cleave will have killed one early or something.
    I actually think you're completely right on this, I've been messing around with stuns and timers and if I use mine at the right time they never do shadowstrike.

    That's about what I have and I am able to tank it fine. Now if only our healers could keep ppl alive in p3.
    ouch =P
    [Today 09:38 AM] Reev: The older I get, the more I think those Greek philosophers were just annoying hipsters.
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  20. #20
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    Aggathon,

    To come back to your original question: Why spec into 5/5 Shield Specialization?

    You got all the best answers under the sun accept everyone missed the fact that I do not believe you understand fully how the new changes work.

    Take a peak at it again: Shield Specialization - Spell - World of Warcraft

    Notice the last line: "has a 100% chance to generate 5 rage when a block, dodge, or parry occurs."

    I think that will make the logic of taking 5/5 shield spec make more sense to you. You will gain rage on all your forms of avoidance/mitigation not just blocks.

    And then of course all the other good reasons to take it that everyone has pointed out comes into play: extra survivability, specialized gear sets, etc..

    Hope that helps!

    //kak
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