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Thread: Armor vs Stam: Effective Health

  1. #21
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    There's a funny thing about gauging this sort of health-sink survival thinking. It has built in assumptions that don't often get rehashed or reminded to people because the people who have been doing this for a long time take it for granted.

    Often we assume the healers' input is simply as much as is needed and either they can go forever, or they designed their gear to go as long as is needed. I wrote a whole thread about this that is far more sticky-worthy than this (as the specifics will change in this particular relationship endlessly). You simply need to recognize the needs of each stat:

    1.) Your total health needs to be high enough to take the hits you're getting (see: mitigation). You must survive 1 hit, you really should survive 2 hits, and if you can survive 3 hits that's good but becoming less frequent, all without heals.

    2.) Your mitigation needs to be high enough that your total health is sufficient for the above standards. It is simpler to see things in terms of Effective Health in that respect, but then you never actually see the boss's unmitigated damage so it is less helpful in that respect.

    3.) Avoidance allows you to break up the incoming stream of damage to create longer spaces between hits, or a less consistent stream of damage. This allows for catch-up if healers fall behind or are distracted. It also is independently responsible for a lot of damage avoided.

    Overall, mitigation and avoidance are terribly important for the amount of healing you require. If you could have 200,000 health but no mitigation or avoidance, you would not be more pleasant to heal, you'd be a mana-sponge. Just because that makes it predictable does not mean it makes it more pleasant for the healers.

    So from a healer standpoint, mitigation is what determines how hard they have to work, how much mana they have to drop, and how much attention you need.


    If I had to guess about what we'll see in the Clysm, I'd say you can expect our avoidance to drop substantially, and for bosses to become less a matter of stepping in front of the 18-wheeler and doing everything you can to weather massive blows. The focus will move away from hardcore tank survival and towards the whole group having to navigate the encounter more equally. But that's just me guessing.
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  2. #22
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    I honestly hope you're right Satorri. i think that the current tanking dynamic is reaching its breaking point. You can only continue to make the fights a matter of taking bigger and bigger hits before the margin for error becomes so small as to be a little ridiculous. If you run with 45k health and the bosses are hitting for 40k, you are now at a point where your healers never do anything but spam heal the tanks (we're already at that point), and tanking itself becomes an extremely one-dimensional role: get enough EH between armor and stamina to survive the big hit, and that's that.

    what's happened to avoidance is a perfect example: it doesn't matter to a healer how much avoidance you have, relatively speaking. once you get past a certain level of content, you can't simply wait for the tank to take damage and then start healing. you have to assume that the tank is going to take damage before your heal lands and cast while they're topped off. if you wait until the hit lands, the tank will probably drop before your heal goes off. this basically means that even if the tank avoids the hit, and your heal is just overhealing, you still can't afford to miss that heal in the event that the tank doesn't avoid the hit. this means that healers need to basically have endless mana pools, yet another thing that blizzard is trying to find a way to make less trivial.

    they've come up with some great ways to make tanking and healing more interesting in the past. i'm looking forward to seeing how they move forward on solving the problem of making boss tanking less one-dimensional.
    Last edited by lyd; 09-30-2009 at 10:29 AM.

  3. #23
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    I do have to say that tanking anub adds is quite a bit different from the normal stack EH shenanigans. But with the exception of that, I do have to say you are correct, tank gearing has been pretty 1 dimensional.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggathon View Post
    I do have to say that tanking anub adds is quite a bit different from the normal stack EH shenanigans. But with the exception of that, I do have to say you are correct, tank gearing has been pretty 1 dimensional.
    I actually enjoy tanking multiple adds alot more than main-tanking. it's liberating to throw on my Onyxia Blood Talisman and Black Heart while, say, tanking onyxia whelps, instead of getting an anxiety attack every 2 seconds when half my health disappears in one hit while tanking a boss, even though I've doubled down with +340 stamina from brewfest trinkets.

  5. #25
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    And that's why I expect we're in a for a good paradigm shift in the next expansion cycle, Lyd. Blizzard has acknowledged that the direction we're pointed right now is not a sustainable, or fun one. The way crushing blows weren't fun and could just randomly crush you, healing probably not able to save you. The problem in the tank/heal dynamic right now is two fold:

    1.) Healer mana is still not really an issue, or not enough of an issue. For many it's better/easier to just spam heals whether or not they're being particularly efficient. So long as that is the case, EH will still be the most popular method for tank gearing.

    2.) Avoidance being as high as it is, damage has to be balanced to really hurt when it connects. This both elevates the need for avoidance, and makes it that much more difficult to heal if mana was a concern.

    I look forward to the day when balance is properly restored and healing becomes a matter of when again. I've spoken to several younger healers who don't know what cast/cancelling is. A technique which was designed for this sort of big damage hits, but is harder and unneeded when you can spam your biggest heal with minimal concerns for your mana pool.
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Overall, mitigation and avoidance are terribly important for the amount of healing you require. If you could have 200,000 health but no mitigation or avoidance, you would not be more pleasant to heal, you'd be a mana-sponge.
    .
    That's simply not true.
    Mana really isn't an issue with the way content is currently designed, and the hardest content is designed where healers never stop casting heals (and the damage spikes aren't avoidable).
    Content is balanced for pure HP pools, avoidance is just a nice secondary stat that comes with gear upgrades.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    Well, you stated in an EH set. Not every item has to be stacked with health even in a health-oriented set. Like I mentioned, it's highly dependant on the fight and if you have reached a comfortable EH threshold or not.

    Glyph of Indomitability is most likely going to be your best bet if you are going for pure EH in a 2nd trinket, however The Black Heart is an extremely good trinket all-around.

    EH USED to be just an overused statistic, now it's overused and almost irrelevant.
    Also, Ony Blood Talisman is nice for anub tanking.
    Otherwise it's an HPless trinket with the worst avoidance statistic and no "On Use Effect".

    In my full HP set I have about 45K unbuffed, there are fights where I drop the 245 Jugs Vit for Glyph of Indom, but it's a different scenario in that it doesn't involve trading constant survivability for randomness and excess wasted Ilvl stats.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    Otherwise it's an HPless trinket with the worst avoidance statistic and no "On Use Effect".
    Actually, Parry is by no means the worst avoidance statistic anymore--nor is the huge amount of Defense Rating on the trinket.

    In many endgame sets, Parry actually provides more point-for-point avoidance than Dodge, due to the extreme amount of Dodge Rating on most of the best all-around items. (e.g. if you look at Xav's Armor gearset, for instance, he actually gets about 8-10% more avoidance per point from Parry given his current level of Dodge Rating and need to clear out space for the Use: Glyph effect.)

    There is definitely a cross-over point that many high-end tanks reach where Parry is more valuable than Dodge. Defense Rating is also very consistantly good nowadays for Warriors at basically every gear level. Either way, Onyxia Blood Talisman is going to be worth around 2.3% avoidance (in addition to Block%) at many gear levels, which is pretty decent for an avoidance trinket.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    That's simply not true.
    Mana really isn't an issue with the way content is currently designed, and the hardest content is designed where healers never stop casting heals (and the damage spikes aren't avoidable).
    Content is balanced for pure HP pools, avoidance is just a nice secondary stat that comes with gear upgrades.
    You misunderstand 2 things: the way the game is working functionally, and what I'm saying.

    For the former, avoidance may be a tricky value in that, if you don't keep your health up, stacking it is just making your health boom and bust against the heavy hits, but don't mistake the fact that the current avoidance values (the *reason* boss hits are so big), even when not stacked on their own, are responsible for a staggering amount of damage reduction on how much we actually take.

    For the latter, mitigation and avoidance *are* what determine how much damage we take. Period. That healers spam heals, and with good gear can put out heavy amounts of HPS when needed, simply makes it reasonable to stack heavy health pools. If you were completely negligible in avoidance and/or mitigation (which we can't be because gear comes so well-rounded), your healers would not like you next to the tank who just plain takes less damage, even if you had piles of health. At least not my healers. I don't know how yours think or feel.

    I don't see the current system as optimal for gameplay, but I also have no illusions about what is doing what. Just because it works doesn't mean it's smart.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    You misunderstand 2 things: the way the game is working functionally, and what I'm saying.
    .
    Not really, but again I suppose we will have to agree to disagree.

  11. #31
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    well here's the point that can be extrapolated: if you had 0% mitigation and 200,000 health, you would need far more healing than a tank with 65% mitigation and 50k health. the point being that below a certain point of *mitigation*, your healers would simply not be able to keep you up, unless you stacked more healers into the equation, which is a waste of resources.

    if you had 0% *avoidance*, I think edgewalker is correct, because current content is overbalanced toward big tank damage, and this means that tank healers have to literally spam the tank non-stop with the assumption that they will *not* avoid the next blow. overhealing is acceptable in this regard, because if you wait until the tank takes damage to cast your heal, they'll probably drop. and this approach has pidgeon-holed blizzard's design team into equipping healers to be capable of spamming heals ad infinitum, which means giving them effectively endless mana pools.


    this is all conceptual though. there will, of course, never be a point where a tank will ever have 0% mitigation or 0% avoidance. I think we can agree that blizzard's current scheme for balancing content is a dead end. avoidance is a joke now because healers assume you will be avoiding 0 attacks. mitigation, however, retains its value and can be reasonably measured for relative benefit in terms of stacking armor versus stacking stamina.

    Edgewalker: regarding on-use effects on trinkets: it follows that if a trinket gives you an avoidance-based use effect, that it's really not much good to you or your healers, because at higher-level content, they are healing under the assumption that you won't avoid the next hit. this of course, only applies to boss tanking. avoidance is still very useful when tanking multiple adds, in which case, an on-use avoidance proc could be quite useful.

  12. #32
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    That's not exactly accurate though, Lyd. Avoidance is disparaged because it's not consistent, expectable reduction on each hit. But it is an overall damage reduction, AND an average dps intake reduction, especially when our avoidance is nearly on par with our armor for %.

    So, in that sense, avoidance is functionally the same as armor if you're considering how much damage your taking vs how much healing you need to be kept up.

    Your first point, I think, is the important one. I'm not saying avoidance is better or worse than any other mitigation, or health, what I'm saying is that mitigation and avoidance play a role in how much damage you actually take.

    Off the top of my head, Anub hits for 25kish after armor/stance etc, yeah? That means his raw damage is somewhere around 85k on a 2 sec swing timer?

    If you have zero avoidance and zero mitigation, you're taking 42.5k dps, 85k per hit. With no avoidance there's no interruption, so it's constant, so your healers in turn just spam their heals. Typical peak hps right now for a well geared healer is around 5k give or take for class? That means it will take 8 healers to keep you alive. You would also need HUGE heals coming in constantly with HUGE health to offset that 85k on each hit, but that's obvious.

    Now let's say you have your full armor (we'll average at 65% reduction for ease). Now Each hit will do ~30k. With zero avoidance, the hits coming in are constant and without interruption. Healers just have to spam heals to keep you up. 30k per hit, 2 sec swing timer is about 15k dps incoming. Armor cut it to a third (obviously). So, to keep you up you need 3 healers at peak output spamming their heals. Easy, predictable, but even with the state of mana, I promise you your healers will strain. Even if they don't, there's also the factor of the encounter mechanics. Most encounters don't let healers stand still and spam. If you have 4 healers (only on you mind you) and 2 of them have to miss a cast to move, you die.

    50% avoidance added to that cuts the total damage you take in half. The hits are still the same size, so your health pool is important for that, but honestly, you think it would be better where you had a massive health pool and healers just had to spam to keep you up?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  13. #33
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    you think it would be better where you had a massive health pool and healers just had to spam to keep you up?
    not at all. but I think the point you just made about avoidance is directly related to the problem with blizzard's current approach to content: underneath the current system, if a healer has to stop casting to dodge raid damage, and the value of avoidance is that it gets the tank through those moments when healing stops, then it follows that the only thing the tank has to rely on at that moment is their avoidance, which is a pure RNG moment. this means that there will be situations where the success of the raid has very little to do with skill and very much to do with how the d100 roll happens to land at that very moment.

    so in other words, we are barreling towards an inevitable point where the only way to get through an encounter is to pray your tank dodges the boss's attack at the moment you have to stop casting to avoid raid damage as a healer. and since returns from avoidance are regressive due to DR, this guarantees failure a small percentage of the time as encounters become more extreme. Blizzard already knows that they are headed for this point anyways, and presumably wants to fix it, so it's neither here nor there. the point is that the current value of avoidance is marginalized by the fact that it plays a part in a flawed system that reduces the role of player skill and becomes a question of luck.

    as far as your example relates to the question of avoidance on the total healing needed to keep a tank up over the course of a fight: it doesn't matter that avoidance reduces your total damage taken, because healers are currently equipped (and expected) to heal as if the tank will not avoid the next hit, i.e. as if they had 0% avoidance. the overhealing that occurs if they do avoid the next hit is an acceptable loss, because blizzard's approach to balancing content, which I think we agree is a one-dimensional dead-end, demands that they be able to do so. so in the event that the healers have to dodge raid damage and stop healing, and the tank must rely on avoidance to live, which I think is the benefit your expounding upon, you're now dealing with a situation that represents a blaring design flaw, because in that moment, avoidance-based RNG is the only thing that will keep you alive.

    so even though you are correct that avoidance could save a tank when healers stop healing to dodge raid damage, it follows that to guarantee success, they would simply have to bring more healers so that the raid isn't relying on the tank's avoidance RNG to win the fight, which once again, marginalizes the value of avoidance. it doesn't make it useless in any sense, but the way content is balanced currently, the only time that avoidance really shines is when you are tanking multiple adds, or when human error leads a healer to take longer to restart healing than is safe, and the tank's avoidance keeps them up through that human error.

  14. #34
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    It's not as if this hasn't been explored quite heavily in the past, though.

    http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f200/...y-results.html

    Pretty much everything in that thread is still valid now. :P

  15. #35
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    omg kojiyama, I've never seen that thread before, I think I've just decided how I'm spending my lunch hour.

    Thanks so much!

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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    That's not exactly accurate though, Lyd. Avoidance is disparaged because it's not consistent, expectable reduction on each hit. But it is an overall damage reduction, AND an average dps intake reduction, especially when our avoidance is nearly on par with our armor for %.
    Except a huge amount of damage is magical in nature or happens in a form that is completely unavoidable. Stamina and Armor have the benefit of always mattering, avoidance doesn't, and thusly healers always heal like you aren't going to avoid anything.

    "So, to keep you up you need 3 healers at peak output spamming their heals. Easy, predictable, but even with the state of mana, I promise you your healers will strain."

    It doesn't matter how much avoidance you have... that's how healers HAVE to heal regardless. We had this argument a while back where people on this forum lambasted me for saying that healers generally don't reactively heal hard content, and that's still the case. It shouldn't be, it's poor game design, but that's just how it is.

    And yea Lyd, I know. I was just saying that the trinket has NO redeeming qualities, no exceptionally powerful on use, and it's avoidance in nature makes it extremely bad for the ilvl.

  17. #37
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    Here are some stats I pulled from a recent raid:

    Onyxia - 75% of damage on the tank is physical.
    Beasts - Only about 35% physical damage
    Jaraxxus - 80% of damage is physical
    Twin Valks - 55% of damage is physical (this could probably be reduced by playing better)
    Anub'Arak - MT takes 77% physical, OT takes 88% physical.

    While there are some fights where a "huge" amount of damage is unmitigable, on the majority of fights, damage on the tank is mostly normal, mitigable damage, with a few spikes from magic on non-mitigable stuff thrown in.

  18. #38
    Why has noone mentioned Brutallus yet? :P

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by drae View Post
    omg kojiyama, I've never seen that thread before, I think I've just decided how I'm spending my lunch hour.
    seconded.
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  20. #40
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    The problem is that while the base damage is usually physical, it's the non-base damage that (combined with base damage) kills tanks. Tanks don't die to Anubarak melee; they die to melee + slash + leeching swarm. Tanks don't die to Jaraxxus melee or Mistress of pain melee; they die to it + legion flame + lightning + other random aoe. Etc, etc.

    Similarly, a lot of times tanks don't die to a string of hits within a short time (other than Gormok). They'll die because they took a few hits, went down quickly, then couldn't catch back up as their healers tried to heal them up. One problem with EH is that it assumes constant and instant healing back to full, but the reality is typically heals are in a HPS situation and do take time. While stamina helps with bursts of damage, armor helps with both burst and lower hps.

    Finally, armor has another advantage that stamina doesn't on Anub'arak; stamina means more health, and more health means greater amounts of damage and greater amounts of healing on Anub'arak. Armor does neither of these things.

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