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Thread: Armor vs Stam: Effective Health

  1. #121
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    I think the jist of this is that we're all arguing extremes, when in reality, like Kojiyama states, we're trading a small amount of stam, for a small amount of avoidance. The end result is unless someone gears entirely for avoidance and will even take a lower stam ITEM that favors avoidance or someone does the opposite (dunno exactly how that works but imagine it can), the differences are drawn, between 6-15 stam, and 10-15 avoidance stats from gems, and largely, rings and trinkets. THAT is where I think people are misconceiving the large discrepancy between EH vs. Avoidance.

    If you wear 2 avoidance trinkets, say... the new dodge one from ICC, and Onyxia's versus someone who wears a Satrina Trinket and Heart of Iron (or the new ICC one whichever). Then you're gonna talk about a 4k hp swing. Rings are another one that are tricky to balance because you see things that have Armor, you see ones with defense/dodge/parry, you see ones with hit, and then you see ones with stam + sockets (read more stam). Likewise, I think the bigger argument that will creep up in a realistic form, is whether we want to wear the tier pieces (which favor avoidance slightly with potential to reach heroic upgrades) or the off pieces (which favor EH, especially with all of the bonus armor pieces). If we're gonna draw conclusions, AND use math, I think it's best to use concrete examples by either plugging in multiple sets of gear using what's available, or argue the difference between trinkets. the GEMS for the most part are very small and inconsequential.

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  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martie View Post
    I've got 14 gems in my gear.

    I'd say 3k hp is quite attainable from just gems. Add enchants, and the difference between an avoidance stacker versus a stam stacker could easily top 5k health.
    I wasn't talking about Avoidance stackers vs. Stam stackers, Kojiyama cleared up my point very well.


    However, what I'm confused about, is why avoidance has entered into this thread at all? I mean, I admit I bit the bait a little. But this thread isn't about avoidance vs. stam or even avoidance vs. effective health. It's about armor vs. stam in the encompassing umbrella that is effective health. Avoidance is not being debated.

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lulia View Post
    I wasn't talking about Avoidance stackers vs. Stam stackers, Kojiyama cleared up my point very well.


    However, what I'm confused about, is why avoidance has entered into this thread at all? I mean, I admit I bit the bait a little. But this thread isn't about avoidance vs. stam or even avoidance vs. effective health. It's about armor vs. stam in the encompassing umbrella that is effective health. Avoidance is not being debated.
    Because people get uppidy about EHP vs. Avoidance.
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  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    I don't see how this is any different than the opposite misconception that when you gem or gear toward avoidance that you will be running around with 25k buffed HP and not be able to survive the most light of breezes without dying instantaniously.

    Both are hyperbole, and neither make for very compelling arguments.

    As for the "people use math too much" argument, well.. that's pretty weak, IMO. Blizzard balances based on math. The game's foundation and what determines what happens in our virtual world of raiding is based on math. Math determines every function of how the game operates and while common sense and experience play a major part in making a great tank, ignoring math for a tank doesn't make any more sense than ignoring math as a DPS class.

    Yes, we could argue what 'feels' better, but that doesn't always offer compelling results. Many DPSers who ignore math will gravitate towards builds, gemmings, or gear that give them "big numbers", for instance, and probably feel like they do massive damage when, in reality, they have created a non-optimal scenario for themselves.

    I think the simple fact that blizzard nerfed avoidance in order to lower the incoming hit sizes should be ample practical proof as to what the value of avoidance is.



    People who match socket bonuses to gain more avoidance at a minor tradeoff of health lose nowhere near that. First, a number of the sockets will be blue anyhow, which will always get Stamina gems. Second, people matching bonuses almost always use 15 Stamina gems. Third, almost 80% of tanking socket bonuses nowadays are Stamina. Generally, you're talking about "losing" 6-9 Stamina for 10 Dodge or Defense Rating in 2/3rd of your sockets. That is generally going to be less than 1k health, even counting chest/shield enchants.

    I meant more gems and a single trinket choice will often result in a 3000 HP loss, which IS a lot considering current tank balance. Look at Gormok's melee+impale+stomp when we started ToC, look at Fusion Punch, look at heroic Plasma blast, look at Unbalancing Strike. All of those were abilities where 2-3000 life could constantly mean the difference between life or death.
    I should have phrased it differently. With the way a lot of encounters are balanced you gain nothing by socketing and trinketing for avoidance and can sometimes hurt yourself for progression.

    And yes, math is overused. People will always cite the mythical monster, the perfect beast that hits for perfect 22,500 damage melee swings every 2.2 seconds without any spell damage, instants, stun abilities, or other fight mechanics. This perfect monster will hit you in the following fashion if you have 33% avoidance - hit - miss - hit - hit - miss - hit - hit - miss. This monster is the only monster I will use in my avoidance discussion
    Math has it's place, but too many people don't understand the mechanics behind the numbers.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    I meant more gems and a single trinket choice will often result in a 3000 HP loss, which IS a lot considering current tank balance. Look at Gormok's melee+impale+stomp when we started ToC, look at Fusion Punch, look at heroic Plasma blast, look at Unbalancing Strike. All of those were abilities where 2-3000 life could constantly mean the difference between life or death.
    I should have phrased it differently. With the way a lot of encounters are balanced you gain nothing by socketing and trinketing for avoidance and can sometimes hurt yourself for progression.

    And yes, math is overused. People will always cite the mythical monster, the perfect beast that hits for perfect 22,500 damage melee swings every 2.2 seconds without any spell damage, instants, stun abilities, or other fight mechanics. This perfect monster will hit you in the following fashion if you have 33% avoidance - hit - miss - hit - hit - miss - hit - hit - miss. This monster is the only monster I will use in my avoidance discussion
    Math has it's place, but too many people don't understand the mechanics behind the numbers.
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  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    I meant more gems and a single trinket choice will often result in a 3000 HP loss, which IS a lot considering current tank balance. Look at Gormok's melee+impale+stomp when we started ToC, look at Fusion Punch, look at heroic Plasma blast, look at Unbalancing Strike. All of those were abilities where 2-3000 life could constantly mean the difference between life or death.
    I should have phrased it differently. With the way a lot of encounters are balanced you gain nothing by socketing and trinketing for avoidance and can sometimes hurt yourself for progression.

    And yes, math is overused. People will always cite the mythical monster, the perfect beast that hits for perfect 22,500 damage melee swings every 2.2 seconds without any spell damage, instants, stun abilities, or other fight mechanics. This perfect monster will hit you in the following fashion if you have 33% avoidance - hit - miss - hit - hit - miss - hit - hit - miss. This monster is the only monster I will use in my avoidance discussion
    Math has it's place, but too many people don't understand the mechanics behind the numbers.
    The two are not tied together.

    Trinkets and gems are two entirely different subjects. I'm pretty sure most, if not all, tanks carry around 4-5 trinkets and swap them between fights. This is easy to do and does not impact the rest of your gear whatsoever, so I'm not sure why it's even being brought up. Sometimes I use double health trinkets, sometimes I use armor trinkets, etc.

    In the case of your examples, I'm pretty sure you're missing my and other people's points almost completely. It is not hard to determine how much health you need for a given encounter, beyond that additional health's value is very dependant on what you are trading it for and it sometimes will be a gain and sometimes will be a loss. A good example is TotGC, where the health threshold for Warriors is basically around 49k-50k health. Beyond that it doesn't matter. I haven't died due to my health in TotGC since they fixed Gormok parry-hasting. This health threshold was achievable within around a week of TotGC opening. There was no need to continue to slap Stamina gems in every socket that moved beyond that.

    I'm also pretty certain that I understand the mechanics behind the numbers having tanked virtually every boss since WoW's release. Given the experienced nature of most of the people citing math, I'm not sure it's a good argument that math is bad because people citing math don't understand how the game actually works.

    People often avoid math because it's easier to avoid math. The math isn't always straightforward. (As evidenced by your example of how math would model avoidance streaks, which actually is not true at all since most models works based on probability of worst-case distributions, not average chance.) However I pretty strongly believe that as long as the input data is correct, math is generally going to be more correct than sticking your finger up in the air and saying, "the wind says, stack more Stamina!"

    The other thing worth noting here is that people often speak on this topic as if it is class agnostic. It really isn't. Each class has its own mechanics and ways of looking at the relative value of Stamina, other forms of EH, and avoidance. What makes sense for Warriors doesn't always make sense for Paladins or DKs. This is worth considering very strongly.
    Last edited by Kojiyama; 12-17-2009 at 03:35 AM.
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  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    The two are not tied together.

    Trinkets and gems are two entirely different subjects. I'm pretty sure most, if not all, tanks carry around 4-5 trinkets and swap them between fights. This is easy to do and does not impact the rest of your gear whatsoever, so I'm not sure why it's even being brought up. Sometimes I use double health trinkets, sometimes I use armor trinkets, etc.

    In the case of your examples, I'm pretty sure you're missing my and other people's points almost completely. It is not hard to determine how much health you need for a given encounter, beyond that additional health's value is very dependant on what you are trading it for and it sometimes will be a gain and sometimes will be a loss. A good example is TotGC, where the health threshold for Warriors is basically around 49k-50k health. Beyond that it doesn't matter. I haven't died due to my health in TotGC since they fixed Gormok parry-hasting. This health threshold was achievable within around a week of TotGC opening. There was no need to continue to slap Stamina gems in every socket that moved beyond that.

    I'm also pretty certain that I understand the mechanics behind the numbers having tanked virtually every boss since WoW's release. Given the experienced nature of most of the people citing math, I'm not sure it's a good argument that math is bad because people citing math don't understand how the game actually works.

    People often avoid math because it's easier to avoid math. The math isn't always straightforward. (As evidenced by your example of how math would model avoidance streaks, which actually is not true at all since most models works based on probability of worst-case distributions, not average chance.) However I pretty strongly believe that as long as the input data is correct, math is generally going to be more correct than sticking your finger up in the air and saying, "the wind says, stack more Stamina!"

    The other thing worth noting here is that people often speak on this topic as if it is class agnostic. It really isn't. Each class has its own mechanics and ways of looking at the relative value of Stamina, other forms of EH, and avoidance. What makes sense for Warriors doesn't always make sense for Paladins or DKs. This is worth considering very strongly.
    I still stand by the buffer argument, but hey, to each their own. Sometimes it depends on playstyle and how the healers play. We've been around this block several times. I still agree completely with Edgewalker, especially based on my personal experience and having tanked every single hardmode and boss with the exception of unnerfed sunwell (which I really wish I would have gotten to, but I rolled my warrior too late) in the game. Well... I haven't tanked ICC25 yet either b/c of work, but I could go on a long tangent here. I won't.
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  8. #128
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    Indeed, that's true enough.

    My main point is that the hyperbole goes a bit too far on both sides of the argument. The people who edge a bit more toward avoidance, especially when looking at the math behind it, are doing so to allow the mechanics of avoidance to leverage the health we have and provide a larger buffer period that we would simply stacking Stamina. Both stats work together with eachother.

    There is often this demonizing argument that if you take an approach like that, somehow you become a flimsy paper tank with 25k health socketing dodge gems in ever slot and not touching anything remotely resembling a Stamina item.

    That isn't really the case. If you optimized based on the formula I linked on the previous page, as an example, you would find that you'd end up with a set with around 50k health, probably using EH trinkets, and have more than enough Stamina to survive everything. The reason being if you fell below a certain amount of Stamina, the math supports the fact that you would die quickly, regardless of your avoidance.

    It's not really either/or, it's both. Blizzard balances around both, so it makes sense for us to do so as well. Now, this still ends up with various biases based on experiences, healers, and all that as you say--but there's no reason to turn it into a holy war with dramatic examples that in no way mirror reality.
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  9. #129
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    And I can agree to that to an extent, but a lot of times advocating EHP only to a minimum line then stacking avoidance can get you into some real trouble. Sometimes not everything goes according to plan, and on a fight where you're supposed to have a healer, one gets boned, or d/c'd, or gets a snobald thrown at her, or gets poisoned and no one breaks him out for a few seconds, etc. etc. etc. I have been in MANY a situation, especially in PuGs or hardmode progression, where I've ended up with way less than 10% hps, and if I hadn't stacked stam, or sacrificed as much as possible and gotten the blood draining enchant as was the case with anub the way I had, I would have ended up dead.

    Now this is also dependant highly on boss mechanics. We are going to see hardmode bosses where it looks like avoidance will be straight up better for the raid benefit, and I fully admit that. In the end, gear for the fight, but you've (I use you here in the 2nd person plural, not saying you in particular Kojiyama, just avoidance advocates in general) also got the recognize that 1000 HP really can save you. A lot of it can depend upon how your raid functions too, how good or bad your healers are, etc. etc. etc. It's really hard to nail down specific numbers and be able to say, "well see the math, even accounting for boss mechanics, says avoidance is better." when in practice a tank may die and have an overkill of 186 (I've actually seen that happen).

    I guess what I'm saying is that people should look at both sides of the argument and understand both before anyone jumps on anyones back. Me personally, I used to be a "balance" kinda guy, I re-did my entire tanking philosophy for EHP and I've been much much MUCH more successful since then.
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  10. #130
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    Of course, which is why it's all situational. I don't disagree with most of your points at all.

    There just seem to be a number of misonceptions, realistically. For instance, the simple fact is that even mathematical formulas that say to match socket bonuses in most cases will also say to wear EH trinkets.

    The value of both stats is actually fairly close together and typically the reason matched sockets work out in favor of unmatched sockets is that the budget value of the socket bonuses is enough to shift the value the other direction. It is a minor increase in survival probability, but one nonetheless. However, if I can eek out an additional 1-2% of the item's value out of it in survival time terms, it makes sense to me to do so.

    However, large amounts of Stamina will also be very good as well and further magnify the value of your existing avoidance. Stacking avoidance won't always give a positive result. Using the Onyxia trinket isn't better than using Satrina's, even if you like avoidance. Likewise, +20 Dodge Rating gems are never better than +10 Dodge/+15 Stamina gems, so you can see the razor's edge of the distinction there, even from the standpoint of advocating the value of avoidance.

    To get back on the original topic though, Armor is almost always the biggest winner on the math front, since it combines the value of both factors into one stat. Not only due you assure yourself extending your survival time, but lowering the average hit magnifies the value of both your existing Stamina and Avoidance values in a strong fashion. Armor is a very, very good stat for the budget cost and, at lesat for a Warrior, is almost always going to be the best option in any slot where bonus armor is available.
    Last edited by Kojiyama; 12-17-2009 at 05:16 AM.
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  11. #131
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    Edgewalker makes a really good point, when he says that Blizzard balances around the rabid stam-stackers. It's not strictly true, but it's certainly true for, say, US-top-50 guilds. The EH thresholds on Algalon or Yogg0 or Steelbreaker last - the last real tank-check hardmodes, at least for paladins, weren't easy to manage in Ulduar gear without pretty rabid stamina stacking.

    ToGC isn't really an instance to take overly seriously, the first 3 bosses are drastically undertuned - Gormok was undertuned before he got hit with the nerf-bat. Up until Anub'arak, there certainly weren't any EH minimums that you really had to work for, but there was also a disproportionately low reward for avoidance. Gormok Impales, Icehowl stuns, Jaraxxus can only kill you with a fully empowered fireball, Twins is all magic damage. Anub MTs face a gearing challenge, in that while a certain amount of EH is required for the freezing slash combos, the big reward statistic in the fight is NR. One generally doesn't care much about avoidance there, one stacks up as much NR and armor as one can so as to beat the EH minimums by as little as possible, to minimize boss healing.

    I don't know what we'll see in ICC, for sure. I'm personally betting that EH will be the way to go for tank-check hardmodes, and my progression gear is gemmed and enchanted accordingly. ToGC hasn't given me the opportunity to collect 2 sets of tier gear to gem/enchant for avoidance as well, nor has it given me 2 sets of ilvl258 offset gear. Some luck with loot drops over the next 2 months will probably remedy that problem, and I'll have a worthy avoidance set to go with the worthy EH set. I'm betting, based on past history in WotLK, that it won't get a ton of use.

  12. #132
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    Well, Blizzard almost certainly balances encounter damage around an entire model of incoming damage, otherwise they would not have rebalanced mobs specifically to account for a 20% reduction of avoidance--nor would they have accurate figures for doing so.

    They most likely have numbers for a target amount of Stamina and avoidance for all given content tiers and balance around those. Getting ahead of behind on either of those targets will have specific bias-inducing results--sometimes it will make it easier, sometimes it will make it harder.

    In regard to ICC, given GCs statements and the mechanics seen so far, I would actually wager that they will be making an effort to actively encourage the use of avoidance. Saurfang already does this and I wouldn't be super-surprised to see some stuff like this in the future. But this simply goes to the point of gearing for the fight in question.
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    Yeah, so far they're actively making an effort to encourage avoidance. By making bosses which don't threaten the tank in any way whatsoever, but provide a raid benefit to not getting hit. That's nice, and all, but we've yet to see if they can make a heavy-hitter in WotLK that rewards avoidance in any meaningful way. So far in WotLK, avoidance is a secondary survival stat. Saurfang doesn't change that, it takes survival out of the equation, instead.

    If he hits for triple what he does now, in heroic mode, I know what gear I'll be wearing. It'll be stamina and armor to cross a fairly hefty 2-hit EH threshold, avoidance be damned.

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    Funny story, I was curious to see what would happen, so I went on the PTR.

    I took my live set (back pre-3.3) which is pretty much all stamina with a few Agi/Stam gems in red sockets, two pure stam trinkets, and SSG rune on my weapon. That put me at about 56% total avoidance and 39.7k health unbuffed (Frost Pres, HoW included).

    To see how extreme a swing I could get I swapped every socket to pure epic dodge gems in red sockets, and dodge/stam in blue sockets. I swapped my stam trinkets for Ony's Blood Talisman (big Def and big Parry), and my crappy old Medal of Valor (only recently got a better dodge trink =D) for the other. I swapped my weapon rune to SS.

    The end result was my health plummeted to 30.0k, and my avoidance shot up to 68% (again Frost Pres and HoW included). With raid buffs it worked out to about 40k health and 73% avoidance.

    I went out, unbuffed, in Unholy spec without Bone Shield applied, to do one of my standard tests on the giants on the ramparts on the edge of Icecrown. I laughed at a few things.
    1.) They so rarely hit me that I didn't even use my Gift of the Naaru to keep my health up. No DS either. But these guys don't usually hurt *that* much (my standard Blood rig just leaves me overhealing obscenely up to 3-4 giants).

    2.) Rune Strike was proc'ing so often I had nearly no normal melee swings and I was threatening total RP starvation if I slowed down my rotation for a second, and that was with 3/3 in SoB and 2/2 in Dirge.

    I am fully aware that with 40k raid buffed in ToGC I would be in serious danger against Gormokk and Anub (and still in a somewhat risky position with the others), but you can't tell me that getting hit by only 1 hit in 4 will really be a bad thing (note: none of my other gear changed so my mitigation remained the same, hits would not have been any bigger than before).


    So, as long as we're talking about the extremes of all-health-all-the-time compared to WHOA-Avoidance! The swing can be as much as 10k+ health and 12-15% avoidance depending on what class you are and how you swap.

    My standard set could actually have a bit more health if I dropped a chunk of armor and dodge from some item choices and gem sockets (Agility/Stam and socket bonuses...). So the step from extremes would be even bigger on that front.



    I think Kaze hit the nail on the head. This isn't a "All STAM!" "No, all AVOIDANCE!" argument. They both have their value, but making extreme cases helps no one.

    If you don't like the idea of avoidance that's fine, but don't decry it as wasteful or useless that's misguided hyperbole. If you think the stam-heads are too extreme, that's fine, love your avoidance and leave them to their health stacking.

    Edge said right as well, there's plenty of avoidance on gear, you don't need to add any to do just fine, and vice versa, there is plenty of stamina on gear, you don't have to add much at all to be at a fairly acceptable level.

    Seriously, no one has added anything to this discourse still, there's no needed for more head-banging.
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  15. #135
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    That's my only caveat though... there have been times, and I imagine there will be again, where you HAVE to stamina stack and stamina trinket to reliably live as certain classes. That's the rub.
    I still miss Sunwell gearing though.

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    It's true, and every fight will ask something different of you.

    DKs have some awesome perks in that we can carry multiple weapons with different runes to combine with trinket and gear swapping to effect big swings in health/avoidance or what have you to get the balance you want for a fight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    So you are using a ridiculous trash mob example instead?
    There are extremely isolated times when avoidance wins. I hardly like to use those as examples when for 99% of boss fights this isn't the case.
    Okay boss fights then in 10 man content, Gormok, I outlive our stam tank 90% on heroic and normal, add and mob tanking on almost every boss in the game and main tanking a lot the time, I outlive the stam tank. Simply put I just take less damage less frequently, yes some hits are unavoidable, but a lot aren't.) On Gormok I pure avoid ~ 60% of the melee (recount shows incoming melee misses dodges, parries and blocks) and removes ~ 3-4K ~ from the hits I do take in my block/avoid set. Yes RNG strings a few hits together occasionally but never enough to 100% - dead before a heal comes in.

    Trash pulls first room ICC10: spiders wrap both your healers, you better be able to survive 6-10 seconds while being beat on by 5 mobs or so. I've seen stam tanks die while farming rep here due to not the big hits but the sheer amount of incoming hits as well as magic damage from casters. I was using the example to show a statistical point that draws a direct comparison between a stam and avoid tank in ICC because the numbers are irrefutable. It's a great baseline test that shows how tank A compares to tank B in ICC. And it's not absurd, there's been a few times while farming rep that a ward has popped while pulling the back set or the middle set. And yes you can run out to reset or you can tank it. Myself, I tank it.

    Deathwhisper adds on 10 man are another good test for avoid vs stam as far as incoming damage and the strain on your healers to keep you up while raid healing at the same time. ICC is going to test you and yes people will hide behind thier healers forcing them to compensate for very low avoidance and they will blame the healers when they wipe. But sooner or later your gonna notice the healers talking about how easier it was to keep avoid alive and how stammy kept dropping like a rock. Especially in 10 man where you dont have 6 healers to hide behind and they are busy with the entire raid.

    (Edit) I agree with you on a lot of your points as far as reaching the threshold for stamina to survive the fight but blatant disregard for avoidance once you've reached that threshold is just sheer bad theory, a lot of people read these forums and practice exactly what they see written by respected posters and to call avoidance a joke is horribly misleading for ICC. Balance is essential and yes stam is first till you reach that threshold but avoidance in ICC will be a close second and shouldn't be regarded as a joke for an xtra 2-4K health once your there.
    Last edited by Suicyco; 12-17-2009 at 01:11 PM.

  18. #138
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    Anecdotal data is Anecdotal, I outlive a lot of my avoidance heavier tanks, does that mean I'm right and you're wrong?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suicyco View Post
    Okay boss fights then in 10 man content, Gormok, I outlive our stam tank 90% on heroic and normal, add tanking on almost every boss in the game or even main tanking most of the time, I outlive the stam tank. Trash pulls first room ICC10: spiders wrap both your healers, you better be able to survive 6-10 seconds. I've seen plenty of stam tanks fail repeatedly while farming rep here. I was using the example to prove a statistical fact that draws a direct comparison between a stam and avoid tank because numbers are irrefutable. It's a great baseline test that shows how tank A compares to tank B. And it's not absurd, there's been a few times while farming rep that a ward has popped while pulling the back set or the middle set. And yes you can run out to reset cause all that stam is gonna get you gibbed, or you can be a tank and take a ward with 5 skelli's and a caster and make it. Deathwhisper adds on 10 man are a great example for avoid vs stam. ICC is going to test you and yes you can hide behind your healers forcing them to compensate for your avoidance and you can blame them when you wipe. But sooner or later your gonna notice them talking about how easier it was to keep so and so alive and how you kept dropping like a rock. Especially in 10 man where you dont have 6 healers to hide behind.
    Our last 10 man ICC clear took just under 23 minutes, and the 25 man clear took just under an hour, with 0 wipes, 0 tank deaths. Anecdotal evidence is not even worth saying out loud.

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    I tanked those exact same mobs as you, and since my off tank wasn't even in the zone yet, i held all of them, and I'm a stam heavy tank, see how this anecdotal evidence doesn't really work?
    Last edited by Kazeyonoma; 12-17-2009 at 12:54 PM.

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    I will never be a kaz.. no one can reach the utter awesomeness of you.
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