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Thread: Need Help Understanding Stam

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    Need Help Understanding Stam

    Let me preface this post by telling you I am a healer. I'm also an officer in a guild and trying to understand Stam and Tanking. I have ran with a lot of tanks, and some one I consider excellent stack stam. Not just a little, but every slot- even picking up JC only for the stam dragons eyes. As a healer I LOVE the stam- these tanks make my life much easier. Both my healers (druid/priest) are in 25 and 10 man ICC.

    Recently we've had some applicants apply for a tanking spot and our tanking officer was horrified by the stam stacking in every slot. I've seen a lot of encouragement on these forums for stam stacking, and I am very confused.

    Our tanking officer wrote this on our forums and I'd like some opinion on this please:

    "So since I've been playing around with my priest and hunter a bit and also sometimes going dps in randoms and also some pugged raids I have noticed an upsetting trend with tanks out there. Alot of tanks are ignoring all stats and stacking nothing but stam, now this is fine in 5 mans but it can become an issue. First off there is a thing called effective health which is what your total health would be stam+armor= EH, I have a table around somewhere but I cant seem to find it but let me break it down barney style...tank 1 has lets say 50k hp and 26k armor not bad and I know people look at HP first....tank 2 has 43k hp and say 30k hp now alot of people would say the tank with more hp has it down better...not exactly if tank 1 and 2 took exactly the same hits with no heals or avoidance/mitagation tank 1 will go down first and that is the jist of EH. Now since all they worried about is stam and left out all the other stats dodge,parry, and block (pallies and warrs) tank 2 which focused on getting a good balance now has more dodge parry and block, again tank 1 with more stam will go down first tank 2 will miss more damage or absorb more with block (called avoidance/mitagation). and finally hit and expertise if they left these out that's trouble, you need to be able to hit your target to generate aggro and expertise if your target dodges/parries your attack they will hit back just a bit harder. Also with the correct amount of hit you do not need to glyph for taunt which is why I see alot of times tanks keep taunting to get aggro but when it comes time for the next tank to taunt it will be immune to taunt big problem. Now if anyone ever has any questions feel free to ask me unless sunshine/dissonance happens to be on, he's alot faster at doing the numbers."


    Thanks for the help!

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    I like your tank officer, he thinks clearly. There are those on here who will differ, but I believe in his approach.

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    No. Just no. Avoidance (dodge, miss, parry) are great and reduce the damage you take. Stacking avoidance is bad because of diminishing returns and RNG. Trying to gem and enchant for the max avoidance vs the max stamina and armor will produce a dissapointingly small avoidance difference vs a significant stamina armor difference. Currently, there are very few ways to increase armor execpt for leathworking kits and the gear itself. Some armor comes from agil and for bears and pallys, an agil/stam gem is a good idea over a pure stam gem if the socket bonus is worth it.

    The key is that you will not find a 50k hp tank with 26k armor to compare to the 43k hp with 30k armor unless they are significantly stacking dodge and parry. In a heroic, this will lead to less damage often but not all the time. When RNG strikes and he does NOT avoid three hits in a row, he will be much worse off but not in any real danger because it's just a heroic. Now take that to a raid. When the 43k hp tank does not avoid three in a row, he is dead and RNG is to blame. When the 50k hp tank does not avoid three in a row, he is alive. The statistical difference between how often each tank will take three hits in a row is very small.

    Armor and stamina are ALWAYS there and never subject to RNG. This is better even if it is slightly more damage over the long term. I doubt your healers are stop-casting and actually reacting to tank damage. They are almost always spam healing tanks. Therefore, RNG avoidance does very little for them either.

    As to hit and expertise, a good tank does watch these and will use only as much as needed. In most cases, none will be needed beyond what is on the gear. IF a tank starts to have threat issues, they first need to look to their spec and "rotation". These will make a much larger difference in threat than eliminating a small percentage of dodges, parries or misses. Tanks have cleared ICC with no problems with 40 hit and 10 expertise respectively although those numbers will be rare beause of what comes naturally on gear and will almost never occur at the same time to the same toon.
    Last edited by sifuedition; 04-27-2010 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Forgot threat

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    I would say he is talking about the basics, of course there is much more detail.

    Think about it this way: HP is healer reaction time, the more health a tank has, the more reaction time the healer has to get that heal off as the tank may be able to take another (or AoE damage) while the heal is being cast. Armor reduces incoming physical damage, making the hits smaller and making the healers have to heal less. Effective health is both of those things combined to make healers happy. It is incredibly difficult to balance the two properly to maximize your EH.

    Avoidance is RNG based: Dodge, Parry. In ICC, Dodge is reduced by 20%. In game, there are diminishing returns on both (the more you have, the less you get from each). The DR on Parry is MUCH harsher than the DR on dodge, which is why you should never see someone stacking parry gems. DK's get parry from strength. Defense rating increases both. Now the thing about avoidance is reliability. If you have 20% dodge, that means each incoming attack (individually) has a 20% chance to be dodged. What this means is that in 100 hits, if you are lucky you could potentially dodge 100 hits, but if you are unlucky you will take all 100 hits. It does NOT mean that you will dodge 20 out of every 100 hits.

    Block is a form of mitigation, but the mechanic is dated and largely neglected for EH, Cataclysm may revive the "block set" for tanking.

    Who's gearing what? EH. Plain and simple, for progression you gear effective health. What this consists of is armor and stamina balanced for physical fights to maximize EH. There is a guide to EH on the site here (I believe) and Elitist Jerks. Essentially, you can take bigger hits, plain and simple... and what's not to like about that?

    Hit and Expertise: In T9 gear hit was at an all time low, in T10 expertise is at an all time low. The problems relate strictly to threat, and they are non issues if you don't have threat generation problems. Hunter MDs and rogue TotTs will go a long way. If your tank is surviving, that's better than out-threating everyone in the raid 30 to 1.

    As a Healer: You want EH. You want enough stamina that you have reaction time with mechanics/latency to not lose the tank, and enough armor to reduce the 20k hit to a more manageable size. Ever seen a tank go down on Ony 25 p3? Yeah, not enough EH to take a couple of hits without heals.

    I'm gonna start a new slogan, stolen from V8. "Shoulda had EH"

    *********As a disclaimer: THIS IS NOT EH vs. AVOIDANCE. Avoidance DOES help, but due to the fact that it is RNG based, is not actively stacked UNLESS you are running a 102.4% unhittable set for Anub 25 HM add tanking. High avoidance pieces should not be overlooked if the tradeoff in EH is justifiable.***************
    Last edited by MellvarTank; 04-27-2010 at 10:59 AM.
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    What sifuedition said..

    The dodge, parry, block stats come from gear that's generally enough. It's better to live through a hit then hope you dodge it because you stacked a bunch of gems. It just seems to work out better to get the stamina because it's always there, unlike your abilities to dodge, block, parry.

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    2 things:

    1) armor is part of EH, and EH is king, so yes pure stam is fail if you're forsaking armor at it's expense but caveat:
    1a) you can't gem for armor, so you gem for stam, and pick up armor pieces where you can to maximize EH
    2) your officer's assessment of avoidance is skewed. You MIGHT survive longer if you receive no heals because you dodged an extra time over this mythical "relatively same EH but grossly lower avoidance tank" but that's not the real case. here's why
    2a) you can't have more avoidance and more EH, you're almost always sacrificing one for the other or you're gaining in both, that's how our gear is setup.
    2b) you can't look at that model and hope that you avoid more, the higher avoidance tank, is just as likely, to go without avoiding a single hit and dying first, while the lower avoidance, gets lucky and dodges 3 times in a row. Tis the nature of avoidance, it's random, and therefore you cannot rely on it as a survival mechanism in a raid situation.
    2c) you can't look at avoidance without looking at healing. EH tells you how much you can take assuming you take all of the punches in the face without avoiding, this is important because there ARE times when bosses will chain swing you, or use abilities + melee or healers are incapacitated/moving where you're healing input will be low, that is when you need as much EH as possible to survive, avoidance while POSSIBLE to save you, will just as likely fail you when you need it most, having EH at levels where you can take 3 hits in a row or so and survive means that's 3 reliable punches you can take and keep tanking. Avoidance on the other hand, if you look at it from the other spectrum, WITH heals, often times just becomes overhealing. I'm taking a constant swing of damage, healers as i'm sure you're aware of, will be hitting heals on me basically constantly. You can't reliably stop healing me unless you want to risk having to blow a cd or play catchup when i dip low. So you essentially spam heals on me. So what happens with all that avoidance? I take 25k swing, i'm at 60% you heal me back up to full, i take another 25k swing, i'm at 60% you heal me back up to full, i dodge, you still heal me for a ton and it goes to overheal, i dodge again, you still heal me for a ton and it goes to overheal, i get hit, you top me off. And thus goes the cycle. So really that avoidance didn't RELIABLY save you OR me anything. That's the problem with avoidance, it's not RELIABLE.

    The rest of his theory on threat is important but I'll quote another person about threat generation here on the forums:
    Quote Originally Posted by Bodasafa View Post
    Look its not that hit and expertise do not increase your threat, they do. However they do so on a much smaller scale than people realize.

    How all tanks generate threat (Listed from the highest source to the lowest):

    1) Using your abilities properly. This is paramount, nothing increase your threat more than this.
    2) Spec and Glyphs.
    3) Proper use of external abilities such as TotT and MD.
    4) 26 Expertise Skill.
    5) Hit rating.

    Stacking stamina is not mindless unless you do not understand why you should be doing it. Tanks that do not min/max their survival by stacking stamina (or armor where available) through gems and enchants are only doing their raid a disservice. Most tanks including myself tanked Heroic ToGC 25 with as little as 40 hit rating and are now also in ICC with as little as 16 expertise rating. These tanks are working with DPS that are pulling 10k+ on most fights and doing just fine without reaching the hit cap or the expertise soft cap.

    If a tank is having threat issues no amount of expertise or hit is going to correct that, see #1.

    /thread
    Also, taunt has spell miss chance which is 17%. That means even if you're melee hit capped at 8% which gives around 10-11% spell hit, you're still going to be 6-7% away from having taunt not miss. So his information is incorrect, even with raid debuffs which help reduce the spell miss chance, he's still not going to be capped unless he way overgears for hit which is pointless for most fights, so glyphing for taunt for taunt specific fights is very viable (and you just carry a stack of glyphs in your bag, how hard is it to just swap it out on fights like Saurfang?).

    I also don't understand his comparison of a 50k hp 26k armor tank versus a 43 k hp 30k armor tank. I don't think there's any level of gear that you can throw together and lose that much HP and gain that much armor in 1 chunk. You could technically dump 2 stam trinkets for 2 armor trinkets and come close, but even then, chances are you're actual EH is going to be nearly identical.

    Actually, using the EH calculator on Tankingtips.com

    his "hypothetical situation" the 50k hp 26k armor has 128148 Effective Health (EH)
    vs.
    43k hp 30k armor = 120547.

    The 1st (stam stacking lawlz) tank can take a full 7500 more unmitgated damage than the 2nd tank despite the armor difference. So his assumptions are already wrong. If you're gonna talk math, use correct math, or don't use it at all.
    Last edited by Kazeyonoma; 04-27-2010 at 11:15 AM.

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    Kaze hit it on the head. Your officer's heart is in the right place but he has more studying to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreador View Post
    Kaze hit it on the head. Your officer's heart is in the right place but he has more studying to do.
    Well, i am the hammer.... so i tend to hit things on the head no?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazeyonoma View Post
    his "hypothetical situation" the 50k hp 26k armor has 128148 Effective Health (EH)
    vs.
    43k hp 30k armor = 120547.

    The 1st (stam stacking lawlz) tank can take a full 7500 more unmitgated damage than the 2nd tank despite the armor difference. So his assumptions are already wrong. If you're gonna talk math, use correct math, or don't use it at all.
    At the same time, while their EH is quite close, tank 2 will be easier to keep up since he takes less damage, and his blocks are stronger as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martie View Post
    At the same time, while their EH is quite close, tank 2 will be easier to keep up since he takes less damage, and his blocks are stronger as well.
    Unfortunately, this is not correct either. Block is still RNG and the amount blocked is insignificant in relation to thei hits of a raid boss. Additionally, as stated in a previous post, most of the avoidance will result in overheal and will definitely be a small percentage difference (~5% totally avoidance stacked which is not likely to allow the hp-armor ratios of these hypotheticals). In addition, most tank-killing damage is spike/burst damage which will need to be survived long enough for healers to react. The EH tank will survive this every time, the avoidance tank will survive this a percentage of the time based on RNG. This is, of course, assuming the same level of gearing and the same healer ability and reactions.

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    The only thing I will say is that the damage Tank 2 will take will appear smoother and he may very well mitigate more throughout the course of a fight with enough healers and ideal circumstance. EH is about how long from alive to dead (which is all that matters in most cases), and Tank 1 can and will take more damage before he is dead from burst. ie. Tank 1 has more health at 20% life than Tank 2 does, that is what matters, and what EH tells us regarding the question from the OP.

    We can't cloud the question with "if Tank 2 uses x cooldown he lives longer", as EH does NOT factor in the player, only damage from 100% health to dead. Assuming equal skill, Tank 1 will survive a burst of damage that Tank 2 cannot. That is all you can tell from EH.

    Also to add: This is what I mentioned about the balance with EH gearing in my post. It is incredibly difficult to balance your armor and stamina to get the most out of EH. This is where people struggle with the concept.
    Last edited by MellvarTank; 04-27-2010 at 02:49 PM.
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  12. #12
    Quite a lot of things were said, but I believe the answers are a bit too complex and controversial.

    The officer is wrong about a lot of things. He does need to research tanking before making such strong claims. I mean, it seems a bit excessive to believe that all tanks have suddenly gone mad and started stacking stam for no particular reason, isn't it? Anyways, what has been said and argued above in point form:

    1) Stamina is always best for EH both magical and physical, unless the tank has too little armor and a huge load of stamina. This is hard to achieve (if at all possible) even with stam trinkets and stam gemming. As for magical damage, stamina (aside from spell mitigation talents and effects, of course) is the only option.

    2) Avoidance is never worth gemming for. It can be usefull only if the tank dies of spike damage due to numerous unavoided contiguous hits. This is valid only if it's absolutely impossible to heal the tank through that, not because healers need more time for nose picking. Again I have never found myself in a situation like that, neither have I ever gemmed avoidance.

    3) Expertise is mostly pointless, since ICC bosses do not parry-haste (bosses don't hit "harder" after parry, they hit faster) and expertise has no marginal effect on threat.

    4)The usefullness of hit is arguable (I love being capped, but that has to do with being a DK mostly), but most of it should come from gear anyways, so gemming for it won't have a marginal effect. So 15 stam will always beat 10 hit, unless this very 10 hit is what you need for hit capping and you believe that capping would be more important for you than survivability. As for taunts they are spells indeed and reaching spell cap only for never missing taunts is pointless.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterburn View Post
    1) Stamina is always best for EH both magical and physical, unless the tank has too little armor and a huge load of stamina. This is hard to achieve (if at all possible) even with stam trinkets and stam gemming. As for magical damage, stamina (aside from spell mitigation talents and effects, of course) is the only option.
    Keep in mind that you will have different numbers inside the fight. For EH you will get more profit in increasing the stat which is currently off-balance - and I would hardly think you'll go better with Hitpoints in most situations.

    To give examples:
    constant absorb values would increase your HP and thus you would possible be kicked over the edge of chosing a armor trinket over a stam trinket
    same goes for flasks, shouts
    high uptime of damage reducing buffs (ancestral foritude / inspiration, renewed hope, etc.) on the other side would increase the benefit of HP and so on.

    It's also interesting to check the item rankings of Rawr for Surviability if you turn Chill of the Throne on and off.


    Most Tanks just stack Stam because of others doing it - not because of balancing EH - as you can see in a short Q&A with applicants.
    Last edited by Biehler; 04-27-2010 at 04:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazeyonoma View Post
    Well, i am the hammer.... so i tend to hit things on the head no?
    ....or the thumb. I didn't say that though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winterburn View Post
    2) Avoidance is never worth gemming for. It can be usefull only if the tank dies of spike damage due to numerous unavoided contiguous hits. This is valid only if it's absolutely impossible to heal the tank through that, not because healers need more time for nose picking. Again I have never found myself in a situation like that, neither have I ever gemmed avoidance.
    Not true. Effective health is the best way to deal with numerous unavoided contiguous hits in a row. You can't rely on any magic dodge number to get you to the point where you can say that. Especially in ICC where you're already down 20% of your dodge to begin with. That statement would only hold salt if you could get to 102.4% dodge, parry and miss (not even counting block, because then you'd take damage), which is impossible with the gear available.
    Last edited by Dreadski; 04-27-2010 at 04:40 PM.
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    I will quote what I said before showing which bosses tanks have died on and why EH is better for them

    Now think back through all the bosses that could kill the tank through this expansion, Sartharion 3D, Algalon, Gormok, Anub, Festergut, Sindragosa, LK.
    Once you have gotten the main reasons of tank deaths down now think how those bosses killed the tank, to give a short summary

    Sartharion: Killed the tank with huge Flame Breaths, that's right avoidance will do absolutely nothing here. Stamina is the way to go.

    Algalon: At the appropriate gear level you are going to have about 41-43k hp, Algalon is going to hit you like a truck, your health will flicker like a light switch and if a healer has to move and you go for avoidance he will hammer you if RNG doesn't go your way and by the time your healer gets back he or she won't have time to catch up, EH is the way to go here.

    Gormok: Gormok killed tanks with a simple combo, Impale, Bleed, Melee. Now think, the Impale is unavoidable but affected by armor, Bleed is by neither and Melee is by both. Now the bleed which is about 20% of the damage is unmitgable. The only part of this which is avoidable is the Melee, the Melee is only about 30% of the damage, do you really want to pray to the RNG gods to avoid that melee? Go with EH here with a ratio of 1 stam = 14.62 armor.

    Anub: The only time you die is when your frozen and can't avoid, this takes avoidance out of the equation completely. However he penalizes you for more health so go with armor and resistance which are both forms of EH.

    Festergut: He hits like a truck even with your cds up, with your cds up on stack 2 and 3 he can take you down in about 3 hits plus a Gastric Bloat which is magic. Not going to want to go RNG here, the more EH you have the less healers have to heal you up for the next swing to keep you alive.

    Sindragosa: All magic, go stamina.

    LK: Mostly magic when you Safeguard Intervene or taunt switch, either way Soul Reaper is going to hurt.

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    Stam Czar posting in a stam thread.

    What the posts have been saying here are absolutely true. It's looking like since things are winding down I'll be able to make the "why you do what you do" post this weekend that will have an extensive breakdown of the EHP vs. Avoidance arguments including math, equations, spreadsheets, etc.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreador View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterburn View Post
    2) Avoidance is never worth gemming for. It can be usefull only if the tank dies of spike damage due to numerous unavoided contiguous hits. This is valid only if it's absolutely impossible to heal the tank through that, not because healers need more time for nose picking. Again I have never found myself in a situation like that, neither have I ever gemmed avoidance.
    Not true. Effective health is the best way to deal with numerous unavoided contiguous hits in a row. You can't rely on any magic dodge number to get you to the point where you can say that. Especially in ICC where you're already down 20% of your dodge to begin with. That statement would only hold salt if you could get to 102.4% dodge, parry and miss (not even counting block, because then you'd take damage), which is impossible with the gear available.
    I thought I should elaborate on that one.

    Bosses in ICC tend to hit like a motorized sledgehammer. Even those Deathbound Wards can reduce the tank to rubble if healers look away for a couple of seconds. At lower gear levels when making rep runs I used to taunt them off the main tank back and forth along with using up DR CDs to prevent the healers from going bald. In this case avoidance factors into the chance that you won't avoid n hits in a row, which at some particular value of n will inevitably lead to tank's death. This can become a problem with hard and fast hitting bosses. If this chance is high enough, it will happen relatively often and can potentially be quite frustrating for the whole raid. In this case you won't be able to make up for it with stamina, since EH diminished by each hit is tremendous, but reducing the chance of getting n hits in a row by increasing avoidance just might work.

    I realise that the whole scenario is quite improbable, considering the GS at which people start ICC runs, but that's the only case when avoidance might have a point that I can possibly think of.
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    Really? The deathbound wards are immune to taunt I thought...

    But back to the point, the elaboration is still wrong though, because again you are relying on the random to save you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tengenstein View Post
    just don't let them melee you up the bum.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreador View Post
    Really? The deathbound wards are immune to taunt I thought...
    Fair enough, it was a bad choice of words. Taunting in my case consisted of landing a few consecutive icy slams and, once the Ward was onto me, of keeping the aggro with Rune Strikes. After a while I just backed on my threat generation and passed the Ward back to MT. That is not really taunting, but it works identical in almost every sense. Most importantly, it keeps you from swiping ICC floors with your face. I couldn't ask for more, I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreador View Post
    But back to the point, the elaboration is still wrong though, because again you are relying on the random to save you.
    The last statement is wrong, because it is a major overgeneralization and it misses the whole point of arguing EH vs avoidance. The right way to say it is like this, "You shouldn't choose a fractional increase in avoidance over a fractional increase in EH, when those fractions are of comparable magnitude, because avoidance unlike EH is likely not to work." That's why you should choose, say, 300 stam over 200 dodge rating.

    I'm talking about a different thing here. I'll illustrate it with the following example.
    If you have around 40% total avoidance in ICC, your chance of not avoiding 5 consecutive hits from a mob (for the sake of argument, let's say that's the number of hits that will kill you through healing) is .60^5 or ~.078. That means the chance that you die on five consecutive hits is 7.8%. Now, suppose the fifth hit takes you down by around 3k health, so six additional stamina gems won't really save you in this case. However, 120 dodge rating, that add only 3% avoidance, bring your chance of wiping to 6.0% (0.57^5=~0.060), which is almost as low as 3/4 of the previous chance. In comparison to additional stamina, which didn't change anything at all, it is a better choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterburn View Post
    Fair enough, it was a bad choice of words. Taunting in my case consisted of landing a few consecutive icy slams and, once the Ward was onto me, of keeping the aggro with Rune Strikes. After a while I just backed on my threat generation and passed the Ward back to MT. That is not really taunting, but it works identical in almost every sense. Most importantly, it keeps you from swiping ICC floors with your face. I couldn't ask for more, I suppose.


    The last statement is wrong, because it is a major overgeneralization and it misses the whole point of arguing EH vs avoidance. The right way to say it is like this, "You shouldn't choose a fractional increase in avoidance over a fractional increase in EH, when those fractions are of comparable magnitude, because avoidance unlike EH is likely not to work." That's why you should choose, say, 300 stam over 200 dodge rating.

    I'm talking about a different thing here. I'll illustrate it with the following example.
    If you have around 40% total avoidance in ICC, your chance of not avoiding 5 consecutive hits from a mob (for the sake of argument, let's say that's the number of hits that will kill you through healing) is .60^5 or ~.078. That means the chance that you die on five consecutive hits is 7.8%. Now, suppose the fifth hit takes you down by around 3k health, so six additional stamina gems won't really save you in this case. However, 120 dodge rating, that add only 3% avoidance, bring your chance of wiping to 6.0% (0.57^5=~0.060), which is almost as low as 3/4 of the previous chance. In comparison to additional stamina, which didn't change anything at all, it is a better choice.
    This would be valid if heals couldn't keep up with incoming tank damage, which they can.

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