Agreed, it was quite long, and quite good. I'm just trying to put some caveats that may not be obvious to some.
You went from start to finish and skipped everything in between. A tank is only as good as the raid behind it. If the raid is dead, you are dead. Is this your fault? Likely not, because the DPS was too stupid. Again, these are not progression raiders.There is also absolutely ZERO reason why a tank that stacks EHP would somehow become squishy, even in a "non-optimal" raid environment. And if their healers are doing something wrong, well then that's the healer's fault, not the tank's, and a tank gearing for something other than EHP will not help that and in fact may hinder it.
If the healer does something wrong, then they aren't ready for progression raiding.
A tank who EHP stacks at the expense of threat stats will see your words "there is never a time when you have to worry about threat" and then not understand why the raid wiped and they got benched unfairly. Again, not a progression Raid Leader.
In these situations, threat has value to tank TTL as the DPS will have finished the job before you even approach tank minTTD (or minTTDwH). If the DPS slow down to do things like reduce threat or let the tank regain aggro, that increases the required minTTDwH. A tank's job is to hold the line for the DPS to their job; if you are trying to gear to hold out indefinitely, then you are approaching the comical point that Cider talks about where future raids consist of tanks and healer only. Just as you covered how you considered at what point avoidance looses its value, which we naturally get from our gear, there is a point where threat looses its value to tank TTL, namely if your threat outstrips the ability of your DPS match your TPS, which we can naturally get from our gear under ideal circumstances. For those non-ideal situations, either your rely on threat misdirection tools or you compromise by gearing for threat.
But this site is not just for the upper echelons of WoW. A lot of people from all walks of WoW Life read this. That is all I am trying to say. People don't willingly misread/misinterpret your work, they come here just not knowing any better.
You can only gear for EH or Threat, gearing for avoidance has been beaten to death. Obviously, gearing for threat detracts from the healer cushion, but if your DPS is dead because they pulled threat, then I submit you aren't in a progression raid, go back to the previous raid and gear up. Because you assume you are probably geared when in fact you also have to consider at 3.3.3, we have people going from heroics to ICC pretty quickly, and they don't always have the requisite threat stats innately built in. They can mitigate this somewhat with threat stats, until they do get the gear to support it. That's the whole point of introducing gems and enchanting. However, if you are indeed in a true progression situation, threat gearing is a waste, I would agree, and even in near-progression situations you are not hindering things, you are merely masking another problem.
Yes, we are reading this. I don't think people disagree with the premise of the work, but as Satorri pointed out the game is a pretty dynamic balance, it's not difficult to wander into the "But what about this...?", with the consequence of making this much larger than you either intended or have the stomach for.As for that second paragraph, I have no idea what you are talking about, or it's relevance in this thread. That and I also think you're completely wrong about a progression raid being able to function perfectly with 4 resto druids and a disc priest. I also do make the ending conclusion that the math breaks down at some point due to the granularity and discrete nature of healing and incoming damage respectively. Even HoTs are granular. That's why I say DPS is Science, Healing is Art, Tanking is Strategy.
I will admit I know the least about healing mechanics, however I have talked this over many times with my Holy Pally GM and he has confirmed every word of it.
Are people actually reading this or just taking little nick pick things and assuming I don't cover it because I didn't word it exactly the way they wanted me to?
Where I was going with this was the relative value of discrete heals vs continuous heals on EHP. Instinctively, yeah, it's a pretty bad idea to take a 4-tree battery into a progression fight, but the point I was trying to make is that when you are dealing with a large health pool, Rolling heals become MUCH more powerful. With a small Health Pool, not only are large heals generally wasted as overheals, the value of a HoT goes down as it basically does nothing. But with a small health Pool, a Druid will struggle to hold up a tank while a Holy Paladin manage to do so (until he possibly goes OOM trying to keep up the tank, depending on the Pally gear and skill). With a larger Health Pool, the Nuke healer is still overhealing due to the discrete nature of the heals, but the HoT healer is now truly healing at maximum potential because all the heals are not being wasted. The only reason why in practice this may not work is sheer throughput rate of a HoT heal on a single target, which is why they druids got hasted HoTs, to address this issue (and the reason why in Druid T9 they experimented with critting Rejuvinates in 4pcT9). You can further split this down to stamina and mitigation, where the stamina gives you the cushion to roll more HoTs on the same target without overhealing, while the damage reduction components help bridge the gap between high incoming damage rate vs the relatively slower healing rate coming in from HoTs. Avoidance, even at high levels, would result in wild swings on HP which a HoT simply cannot compensate for. You alude to this by talking about the "stochastic nature of incoming damage" and saying that incoming heals is also granular and not continuous, but in point of fact, taking it to the extreme you CAN make healing damn near continuous with enough rolling HoTs (think sawblade profile of tank HP over time, as compared to a square wave with a discrete healer). I've watched tank HPs litteraly zoom back up with the speed almost matching a discrete heal with 3 druids stacking full HoTs on a tank, but with the added benefit that its nearly effortless to maintain even in a moving fight.
Incidentally, what do your Druid healers say about this? I bet they have some interesting perspectives as well.