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Thread: Cataclysm - The End of EHP?

  1. #1

    Cataclysm - The End of EHP?

    Preparing for Cataclysm - The End of EHP?

    Apologies if this has been brought up before on these forums.

    A slight introduction, I have been tanking on various classes since 2004 and have been an EHP model supporter since its earliest inceptions.

    So I am sure we have all kept in the know about the various changes to raid mechanics and overall tanking changes that are going to come with the great Cataclysm. Now, just like all other tanks, I do my pondering on the great questions of WoW in the shower. So as I was showering this morning I thought to myself “Will Cataclysm swing the EHP vs. Avoidance debate in the other direction?”

    The reasoning behind this thinking is that the tanking model that Blizzard themselves have leaned towards on Cataclysm is that tanks will no longer be going from 100% to 50% in one swing and damage will be managed in a much more controlled manner, coupled with healers who no longer just proactively spam heals but rather reactively adjust to the incoming damage.

    Of course it is still far too early to tell how well their implementation of this model will materialize in the actual client but provided that they do a decent job of it, one can speculate that where before a tank with an EHP maximizing mindset may aim to have the necessary EHP to take 5 hits, this number might be of no significance to a Cataclysm tank.

    Therefore doesn’t this model inherently kill EHP by making EHP a given? With endgame content tanks Health Pools likely to be way into the 100,000+ range and a mindset that a tank is going to have to take some sustained damage to actually die from it, instead of an average 2-3 hits for mid-level EHP tanks, maximizing EHP seems to lose its current appeal as any respectable raiding guild will have healers who are able to react within the first 1-2 hits to get heals on the tank, even if engaged in building Chakra, Holy Power, wrestling the 5 second mana regen rule or whatever.

    As I am not currently in beta, I am only working from the knowledge that has come down from the various beta testers and Blizzard themselves, so all these numbers are speculated. Say this “managing” of damage makes a tank who would previously be able to eat 5 hits on pure EHP now be able to eat 7-8+ even against a raid level boss. Combine this with good reaction time healers who are going to have a heal going on the tank after the first 1-2 hits and it becomes an interesting argument that aiming to completely avoid an attack becomes more appealing.

    My office tank friend and I have been talking about the interpretation of the Cataclysm tanking model and he suggested that perhaps the shifting of the model will not increase EHP across the board but rather it will make linear EHP be more effective (i.e. reduce boss damage output), however I am leaning towards thinking it is a little bit of both. Looking at some of the Cataclysm gear, one can expect to be decked out in +500 Stamina and above items and linearly increasing armor value on upgrades (closer and closer to the Armor damage reduction cap) at the start of the level 85 raiding scene and with that kind of health pool freedom the 102.4% avoidance mountain doesn’t look that big anymore.

    Why go for, say, 2 more hits of EHP when you already have more than enough to give your healers a buffer? Why not go for that extra 1% dodge or parry and remove 100ish entries from the RNG hit spreadsheet? The way I am thinking about it, EHP is no longer something to aim for and maximize but is rather like…the defense cap was in TBC and WotLK. You get to an acceptable level of EHP through items, gems and enchants and start focusing on avoidance. As you get better items that inherently have more Armor and Stamina, and you can maintain a high level of EHP without working towards it, you shift your gemming and enchanting priorities towards avoidance as well.

    A somewhat meaty counter argument was brought up to me by a healer friend of mine. With mana management actually once again coming into the field in Cataclysm, EHP no longer becomes about you but rather about the healers. You increase the length of the buffer that a healer has and therefore let them utilize their mechanics to the fullest. However I do not see any healer letting the tank eat 3-4 hits unhealed regardless of what mana management they may have going on. Furthermore, it is all relative with numbers. If I can for example make a choice between two EHP trinkets which give me an extra boss hit worth of EHP or say two avoidance trinkets that give me a total of 3-4% of total avoidance (307 to ~410 RNG entres now on my side), the chance of complete avoidance may even be a friendlier option towards the healer.

    Once again, this is all relative to what kind of items are available in Cataclysm as I haven’t had a chance to really examine what kind of tank trinkets are going to be making an appearance.

    I would love to be able to get into the beta and mine some numbers to put this theory into a quantifiable example but for now, it remains just this, a philosophical rather than a scientific discussion.

    Any input on whether there could actually be some “meat” to this argument? Or am I missing some giant factor that hasn’t sunk in with my coffee just yet?

  2. #2
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    Really the argument hinges around healer mana. If reducing damage over time becomes more important than avoidance will become increasingly important, and frankly I hope it does, healing that way is way more fun than just shield shield shield pom shield ohcraphetookahitstreakpennanceflashoflight shield shield shield pom shield.

    Oh and actually that hit streak runs simulator posted in the EHP thread, you take take it and modify the numbers in there and you can see that once you approach ~70% avoidance the odds of taking a long hit string in a fight diminish greatly.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." -Neil deGrasee Tyson

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redefined View Post
    Any input on whether there could actually be some “meat” to this argument? Or am I missing some giant factor that hasn’t sunk in with my coffee just yet?
    Yes, execution.

    We know their intent. We don't know the item budget of avoidance vs. EHP. We don't know how hard the bosses will hit.
    EHP was king when 2 swings could kill you. It will again be king if they do that again. If you as a tank can survive 5 hits by John Random Boss then, yes, avoidance will matter more than it does today.

    Today we have a choice between mitigation and avoidance. HP is basically the same. Yet mitigation is more expensive than avoid(even after factoring in diminishing returns). I don't know if they want to keep the armor stat. My guess is the answer to that will be no.

    It's too soon to tell.

    SIMON DE MONTFORT, EARL OF LEICESTER
    pioneer of representative government who was
    killed in the Battle of Evesham on 4 August 1265.


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    Imo the argument of big hit swings vs. lots of small fast swings isn't quite right because for all intents and purposes if healer mana isn't really an issue then unless the hits are GIGANTIC (which i would argue relativistically in ICC they're not, I think you see really hard hits but they're on faster swing timers than most of the previous instances, which was the entire purpose of CotT to level out DTPS so it is less spiky) it doesn't matter.

    The fights where avoidance and healer management mattered the most were fights like illidari council where you had to actually wait to see if a tank was going to take that damage before you let your big heal off.

    When mana becomes a consideration as long as a bosses raw damage isn't ridiculously absurd, it becomes far more important to survive over a long period of time than it does over a short "burst" time especially since if avoidance is high the odds of the burst time scenario get smaller and smaller.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." -Neil deGrasee Tyson

    Twitter @Aggathon || @Tankspot || Twitch.Tv/Aggathon

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    Any word on if they're going forward with building in boss expertise which would, presumably, keep effective avoidance at around a specific level throughout cataclsym? I've only heard rumors of it in posts here, but that would seem to be a big factor. If subject to DR and increasing boss expertise it would increase the realitive cost of avoidance to mitigation, though as it's been pointed out, by what degree is unknown.
    An introduction into WarTanking (no longer updated as I've retired from WoW - the concepts will still be mostly accurate but the numbers no longer will be.) - http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...101-The-Primer

  6. #6
    Well they are going to have to do something to avoidance and mitigation. I've been thinking, what happens to gear when we reach the max? What happens when everyone has effectively 70+% avoidance and almost 50,000 armor and there is no way to go up anymore. They would have to do something like a giant stat reevaluation (i.e. 100 = 10 in a re-evaluated stat system that essentially "resets" gear on a higher, previously unreachable level).

    But about your immediate question, what happens when there is no longer an ICC debuff. All the sudden we get our dodge back and our avoidance skyrockets. Are they going to have a debuff for each instance that reduces some stat? That seems like a band-aid to me. I am sure they are planning some kind of re-evaluation of how tanks work for Cata but I personally don't have knowledge on it. Maybe someone else can shed some more.

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    What they're talking about (from what I remember, please correct me if I'm wrong) is giving tanks a massive base HP pool but making healer mana an issue and having tanks get attacked for large hits on very slow swing timers to make healing more reactive than it is now. Basically taking a big hit like that the healer needs to drop a big heal, costing a lot of mana, on you. From there a healer can only land X +/- margin of error heals on you per fight, so you need high enough avoidance that your healer doesn't run out of mana. In theory then the "real" tank death isn't tank HP -> 0 (like burst time scenarios where tanks get hit by breath+melee+cleave all at the same time while their healer's cat jumps on their keyboard), it's healer mana -> 0.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." -Neil deGrasee Tyson

    Twitter @Aggathon || @Tankspot || Twitch.Tv/Aggathon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggathon View Post
    relativistically
    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

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    Aggathon, they're going to do a few things.

    1. Make heals small relative to health.
    2. Make everyone's health bigger.
    3. Make incoming dps smaller
    4. Make heals cost more

    They aren't going to make swings really slow and big specifically (and point of fact in the beta that's definitely not the case as far as bosses go so far). They aren't going to make tank health bigger; they're making EVERYONE's health bigger.

    The long and short of it is that healer mana is going to make more of a difference. It still probably won't be the be-all, end all decider, and there will be times where you will want EH because it's more efficient to the healers to be able to cast their big, slow heals instead of their normal heals, and to do that you need to not die in 6-8 seconds. GC has stated himself that it is unlikely tanks are going to start gemming avoidance, but they might start at least looking at avoidance trinkets and not just looking at stam/armor.

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    That's a really narrow balance they have to nail there. I'll hold my skepticism until it hits live though.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." -Neil deGrasee Tyson

    Twitter @Aggathon || @Tankspot || Twitch.Tv/Aggathon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ion View Post
    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    Lol, princess bride.

    What I meant in terms of ICC is that bosses DO hit harder than in ToGC in terms of raw damage, but ICC25 is a teir up and bosses swing harder but not as hard as they would have if they hadn't implemented CotT. The goal was to get DTPS to be the same but less spike driven. Therefore they made more hits connect, and made hits faster, but decreased how hard the bosses WOULD HAVE hit... aka bosses in ICC25 that are "tank killers" hit for less relative to previous progression proportions.

    Hence, relativistically.

    Blues said it, not me.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." -Neil deGrasee Tyson

    Twitter @Aggathon || @Tankspot || Twitch.Tv/Aggathon

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    Relatively != Relativistically was all I was saying (which is still true, but 100% purely beside the point).

    And I dunno...it doesn't seem that hard to hit given that in TBC a lot of the trinkets that were really good were avoidance trinkets (of course, the Darkmoon cards and the hMgT trinket were also extremely good)...then again that was pre-DR on avoidance.

    It's believable, but not, I imagine, terribly easy (unless, of course, they just decide to not make stam/armor trinkets).

  13. #13
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    Cataclysm - The End of EHP?

    I remeber them saying that they had a goal of making tanks have ~30% avoidance in the final tier by having the rating - skill numbers climb as you gain the next five levels. I realize there are going to be a lot of changes as they iron out but I haven't heard they were changing that goal. If that's true, doesn't stacking avoidance seem like an uphill climb for the returns? Maybe we will need a lot of avoidance just to reach that 30% but we will need it. If so, it sounds like a return of RNG tanking, which doesn't sound fun.

    Was I mislead by unfounded hype on the 30% avoidance end-game or did I miss a "retraction" of that goal?
    "he doens't need healing, he doesn't need healing, he doesn't nee-WHAOSHIT!wtf was that man!". Please stop leaning on TDR. -Teng

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    Keep in mind the fundamental concepts behind effective health and avoidance. While over infinite time, avoidance should average out to be equivalent in value to effective health for the actual observed numbers, in practical application the concept of "absolute survivability" versus "random survivability", the absolute will always win.

    Effective health will in fact always be better for the actual survivability of the tank than avoidance. The tanking model isn't really changing. The healing model is. Ultimately your survivability is still determined by how long you can last without heals. And no matter how favorable avoidance may be, a worst case scenario is always possible where all consequtive hits actually connect. The actual survivability of a tank will always be determined by their effective health. Avoidance just throws in a random factor into the equation where reactive healing may (but never gaurenteed) have more time to react.

    I think people will find healing changes far more than tanking.

    If you can be killed in three attacks from the boss, then the healers have to be able to heal you during that same time. Even if you avoid 1 and it takes you four attacks to die, the healers still have to have been able to heal you as if you never avoided that attack. You got lucky once but you can't guarentee that luck all the time.

    Where I see avoidance fitting in is in the reforging of items. If you have sufficient hit or expertise, you will likely reforge that stat and convert it to additional avoidance such as dodge or parry. As for gemming and enchanting I believe your priorities will remain to focus on effective health. You can't reforge for effective health, so that part of the puzzle would go towards avoidance.
    Last edited by Quinafoi; 07-20-2010 at 11:38 AM.
    "In anything, if you want to go from just a beginner to a pro, you need a montage." /w TankSpot WTB Montage for Raiders.

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    Effective health will in fact always be better for the actual survivability of the tank than avoidance. The tanking model isn't really changing. The healing model is. Ultimately your survivability is still determined by how long you can last without heals. And no matter how favorable avoidance may be, a worst case scenario is always possible where all consequtive hits actually connect. The actual survivability of a tank will always be determined by their effective health. Avoidance just throws in a random factor into the equation where reactive healing may (but never gaurenteed) have more time to react.
    Right, but that's the important thing there - survivability is a measure of how long it takes without heals before you die.

    If it takes you 10-12 seconds to die without heals, you can indeed come up with some random story that gets you in that situation - but it's going to be exceedingly rare. If you can survive for 6-8 seconds without heals, you've sacrificed very little by comparison; the first 6 seconds are hugely more valuable than the last 6. At that point, you should make it easier for healers to heal you - and that is accomplished via reactive healing and avoidance.

    It's all conjecture at this point, but I can very easily see tank EH becoming much less important in Cataclysm. It'll come down mostly to encounter design - just like it did in WotLK.

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    I think it's just going to be kinda black and white. Of course nothing is known for sure yet but here is my educated guess.

    You gem and enchant effective health.
    You reforge for avoidance.

    That's kinda how I see the balance working out. Largely because you can't reforge to get more stamina or armor. Your enchants and gems will focus largely on that half of the puzzle, and reforging will help in the areas it can, avoidance (survivability) or threat.
    "In anything, if you want to go from just a beginner to a pro, you need a montage." /w TankSpot WTB Montage for Raiders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinafoi View Post
    You reforge for avoidance.
    You see, I have serious doubts that reforging will ever really be used, at least if it's still a 50% reduction. Is 1 block as good as 1 dodge? No. Is 1 block as good as .5 dodge? I think so (?).

    I see reforging as being a net loss unless they make it something more like 75% of the original stats. Then I could see it more used. But a 50% reduction, I just don't see it being worthwhile all that much.
    An introduction into WarTanking (no longer updated as I've retired from WoW - the concepts will still be mostly accurate but the numbers no longer will be.) - http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...101-The-Primer

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    Reforging doesn't end up in an item level reduction of the stat allocation to my understanding. The 50% was just how much of the stats that could be reforged.

    For instance if you have this item as a caster...

    400 Stamina
    200 Intellect
    200 Spirit
    200 Crit

    And say you don't like Spirit, you can Reforge Spirit to be Haste (a stat not already present). Then you end up with:

    400 Stamina
    200 Intellect
    100 Spirit
    200 Crit
    100 Haste

    Least that was my understanding of how Reforging was going to function. That it wouldn't actually take anything away from the total value of the item, just reallocate some 50% of one stat to the same value of another stat (Spirit and Haste currently both have the same value on item budget so this would be a 1:1 conversion). My understanding of Reforging is that it would not alter the item level in anyway.
    "In anything, if you want to go from just a beginner to a pro, you need a montage." /w TankSpot WTB Montage for Raiders.

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    Oh, my understanding was you could trade X of stat Y for .05X of stat Z.

    So if you grabbed an agility ring with:
    100 Agility
    75 Crit
    50 Haste

    You could trade the 100 Agility for 50 of any other stat (str, int, etc)
    And the 125 Rating for 62 of any other rating.


    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...25636414&sid=1

    Reforging - While these changes will go a long way to making a wider variety of stats more attractive, we understand that sometimes you simply don’t want more Hit Rating on your gear or you’d rather have more Haste than more Crit. In Cataclysm, we are going to give players a way to replace stats on gear as part of the existing profession system. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll be able to convert one stat to 50% of another stat. While some conversions (like converting Stamina to Strength) won’t be permitted, the goal is to let you customize your gear more.
    But the post is 4 months old, it could have changed then. If there's a newer announcement (I haven't kept up on everything), a 1:1 or even a 1:.8 or so trade off would really encourage it's use.
    An introduction into WarTanking (no longer updated as I've retired from WoW - the concepts will still be mostly accurate but the numbers no longer will be.) - http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...101-The-Primer

  20. #20
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    Personally, EHP is already long dead. Ok, maybe not "long", but in ICC it died. The great majority of raid wipes I was in were not related to "omg the tank died and 5khp more would have saved him", but errors in the execution done by someone (maybe the tank) which screwed things up beyond recognition.
    Sure, in fights like Festergut EHP was "the stat" (at least for the tank, the fight itself is more a DPS race), but the "hard" ones (arthas, putricide, dw) execution >>> tank EHP.

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