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Thread: Why We Do What We Do (An in depth explanation of EHP and ICC 3.3.3 tanking mechanics)

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Avoidance contributes to the pace of the damage you take. It interrupts the constant flow. Many people have accurately recognized that this makes the damage less predictable, but have mistakenly extended this to be a bad thing. The issue is that you will *not* take damage when you are sometimes expected to. This is *not* the same as taking damage when you are expected not to, which *would* be a problem. It is a slippery distinction, but an important one. This stigma has haunted avoidance for a long time, and is part of what gave birth to the church of "EH is the only smart thing to do for progression." The gospel is not without merit, but its tenants are often not understood by its devotees.
    This is an exceptionally good point--one which is often mis-represented in these types of discussions.

    As someone who has alternated between tanking and healing in high-end raids, I can say that avoidance is never a negative thing. It can only be a positive thing. If you want to just stand there spamming heals, you always have that option. They won't do anything, but it won't hurt either.

    However, tank avoidance gives healers the ability to choose their actions more freely: toss off a GCD on someone else, move out of fire, recover a touch of mana, refresh HoTs, etc. Avoidance buys time and time buys flexibility.

    Even if they do not gear for avoidance at all, it's a good idea for tanks to understand the impact of avoidance on their healers. So often I see the fallacy that avoidance is a negative impact on healability, and it simply has no merit. If you are healable without the avoidance then you are at least as healable with the avoidance and most likely more healable--in addition to being more likely to allow your healers the ability to do other things which will benefit the raid.

    I good practical example for this that always comes to mind for me was back in Black Temple when I was always one of the primary healers on the Gaithos tank in the Illidari Council. Gaithos could hit like a truck but hit slowly as well. When the tank took damage he took shittons of damage, when he didn't you knew you had 2s of breathing room. Avoidance on the tank meant that: a) I could move out of bad stuff without the tank dying, b) I could throw a Flash Heal or Renew on someone who was low on health and at risk of dying to bad stuff, c) I could regen some mana or use a mana cooldown/mana regen tricks without risking the tank on a very mana-intensive fight. At no point was I saying to myself, "I wish the tank got hit by every swing so his damage was more predictable!"

    So, as Satorri says, the healing element is where things get complex, mostly because healing is a limited, triage-based resource in addition to healers typically having to be more concerned with interrupting what they were trying to do for various reasons. This is not something that is easy (or even possible) to model.
    Last edited by Kojiyama; 06-19-2010 at 03:00 AM.
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  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    As someone who has alternated between tanking and healing in high-end raids, I can say that avoidance is never a negative thing. It can only be a positive thing. If you want to just stand there spamming heals, you always have that option. They won't do anything, but it won't hurt either.

    However, tank avoidance gives healers the ability to choose their actions more freely: toss off a GCD on someone else, move out of fire, recover a touch of mana, refresh HoTs, etc. Avoidance buys time and time buys flexibility.
    I agree with the first part I quoted - avoidance is a very good thing. No, it's a Very Good Thing.

    The second part I don't agree with, on most fights.
    The thing is, I choose my gear based on the hard fights. Fights where I have a very real chance of dying. So I look to those fights for guidance.
    And in those fights, there are many situations where you can die within a second. Avoidance doesn't change that fact, it merely changes the chance of it happening, which means that a healer still needs to land a heal in that second. EH either makes it possible for the heal to be smaller, or it buys me another second.
    So as far as I can see, the situtation is opposite from what you describe. (But only against those hard hitters.)

    Oh, and please don't use the word "triage" unless you are actually making a choice who gets to die. If you just need to decide on who gets the heals first, it's duage.
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  3. #103
    The whole healing-modelling gets even more interesting once one includes the different healing curves of the healers, and their different reaction abilities.

    As a Shaman personally (and one constantly assigned to tankhealing), I will use a mix of Riptide, Lesser Healing Wave and Chain Heal as my go-to tankhealing spells. Depending on pace of damage and damage around the main tank.

    However, since Riptide and CH supply me with a near-infinite amount of Tidal Wave charges I can and frequently will "spike" my healing into double hasted Healing Waves. Which drains mana fast, so I can't keep the maximum-output up for any extended stretch of time.

    But I am able to supply 1,1s casting Healing Waves reflexively when I see a tank is still at non-full health after my last heal and I "feel" the next swing is incoming.


    This is very different from a Paladin's output which is of equally distant spikes on both tanks. Mine is in smaller spiles but sometimes has more rare, really large spikes in it.
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  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martie View Post
    The second part I don't agree with, on most fights.
    The thing is, I choose my gear based on the hard fights. Fights where I have a very real chance of dying.
    I think I can see where you're coming from here. The fights that are usually labeled as "tank limiting" fights are the ones where the tank gets the ever-loving snot kicked out of them (a la Festergut, Lich King, and in the magical sense, Sindragosa). Those are the fights where we, as tanks, want to feel like we're not intensifying the work for the healers, and want to feel like we didn't gear ourselves into more gib scenarios where we died with minimal possibility of being saved.

    The funny thing is that these fights actually make gear changes *less* meaningful, and really hang a heavy hat on CD usage. These are the perfect fights for the marginal demonstrations of value you get from swapping gems, etc. This is where you say, 2 hits will kill me, so it makes little difference if I add 1k more health. And what is 1% less chance to get hit, or 1% less physical damage *really* in the face of 30k hits ever 1-1.2 seconds.

    The fine print is that avoidance can actually be a really big deal here, but because it doesn't apply on every swing (meaning you still get kerrrushed sometimes) it feels less appealing. The focus is on the times where you die, though, as opposed to the times where the healers *didn't* have to land that clinch heal because you avoided one more attack. Health still has its value in tiny chunks too, of course, because of the nature of healing with pulses that may not pass the full scale of your deficit. And the tiny margin reduced on every swing makes every bit of health that much more helpful and not just through the EHP filter.

    My usual refrain is not to uphold one value over another, but instead to actually understand the value of each tool and use them accordingly. I usually only feel the need to get involved and get pushy when people make blaring statements like, "this is awful it does nothing for me!!" when they're mistaken.


    Also, triage is appropriate. It does not mean to specifically select people for death in the US anyway. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triage
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  5. #105
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    Indeed, triage doesn't mean someone will die--it means someone can be chosen for death depending on how the prioritization impacts them. Timing is important here.

    I think one of the biggest issues is that tanks often underestimate good healers and their ability to grasp the nature of the situation. Yes, there are time when you shouldn't take your eye off the tank, even if they avoid something. It's up to you to know this.

    However, there are just as many times when you know the pattern of damage and can see that an avoidance with incoming or just landed heals means you are 'free' until the next swing timer. (Which is between 1.4 and 2.4 seconds depending on the situation, historically.)

    This is important knowledge. Like Satorri says, it's a bit of a fallacy that healers just stand there casting their heal on the tank 24/7. Most fights nowadays have movement in them as well as supplemental damage that they can assist in healing. Avoidance gives healers more flexibility in how they choose their actions.

    (EH does as well, of course. Not saying otherwise. However avoidance halts the incoming damage in a very dramatic way that has slightly different applications than figuring out what you can do between 100% and 0% of a tank's health bar. Both are useful, but different.)

    As I mentioned some pages back, even a Burst Time model ranks Stamina as the most powerful stat in almost every case. I certainly don't advocate stacking avoidance, and this thread isn't about that anyway. However, I do think it's important to consider some of the knock-on effects avoidance has in practical scenarios.
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  6. #106
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    To add a little bit to this discussion, I finally leveled a healer and have been healing at 80 for almost a month now. I've been up to 10/12 ICC10 normal and 7/12 ICC25 Normal (all are PuG runs pretty much). I'm a disc priest so it might be a little different for me especially since I tend to raid heal more, but for example last night in VoA 10 I had two tanks that were barely 40k+ BUFFED tanking torovon. Both had avoidance trinkets and random defense and avoidance gems in their gear mixed in with some stam. Now, I'm pretty certain that these tanks didn't really understand proactive cooldown usage, but one of the things I did notice is that if they got a bad avoidance streak, then just dropped like a rock if pennance wasn't off cooldown. So basically if they got 2 bad hit streaks within 7 seconds or w/e pennance is, they died (which caused 4 wipes before I finally just left and went to bed).

    When they did avoid stuff though it was really nice because I could kinda leave them alone for a little bit and sheild the raid and stuff (the first healer I was paired with was awful and I was doing ~70% of the healing). I guess learning to watch tanks closer is something I should work on personally as a healer, but I feel like if they had been geared with more armor and stam that I could have healed them up with Flash Heals instead of relying on how fast pennance got out the initial heal to keep them up when they took it to the face.

    Idk, this is all kind of rambly because I feel like I don't have enough experience yet as a healer to make more accurate judgements, but I do have to say I find healing to be the most dynamic and... well... artful than tanking or DPSing. Sure there's skill involved in both, but it seems like healing is about being 1 step ahead of the game and making the intelligent move just before you need to make it.

    TL;DR: I TRIED HEALING AND IT'S REALLY FUN!
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  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    However, I do think it's important to consider some of the knock-on effects avoidance has in practical scenarios.
    You know, that's a very good point. I kinda focused on the negatives of avoidance over EH and only barely touched on the reduction in the chance for taking a "worst case scenario" burst. A lot of the stuff is things you can learn when tooling around with the spreadsheet that I've STILL been to busy/lazy to update and put back up, lol, but something that maybe should be layed out.
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  8. #108
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    My thing about avoidance is when the hits come in Bursts of small hits i don't see why i shouldn't (basically adds) The only time i break out the avoidance stuff right now is when i go back to ulduar. I will most likely be Tanking the Adds of heroic ignis again (10 man hard mode ulduar is quicker and has better itemized loot than ToC10 IMO) So i will use ick's and Lavanthor's talisman (mixed with some block gear gemmed Avoidance) to just avoid getting hit ALOt (our DPS isnt the best i will have Every possible add on me for about a minute) and the last time i did it i never even took a large enough streak to worry about my health at all. In theory i could have eaten every hit (i think with my avoid set i sit at 92% miss/dodge/block/parry) but thats really hard to do. there is a time and a place for everything. Avoidance isnt worthless but shouldn't normally be what you aim for.

  9. #109
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    As much as I love tanking, I still rate my progression healing in TBC to be the most fun I had in raiding all-around. Healing is the most complex of the three roles in a raid, which I personally enjoy. Tanking is a great thing to do--which is why I can never make up my mind as to which role to play and seem to swap every expansion--but healing is considerably more interactive and complex.

    The other nice thing about avoidance as a Disc Priest is that it saves your shields and makes them more effective over the same period of time. You always need to be prepared to handle scenarios where tanks don't avoid (it happens, no matter what)--but when they do avoid and you know they have a shield sitting on them already, it does give you some freedom to at least spend a GCD or something else, knowing you have a nice buffer.

    When I heal, I typically have the MT as my primary target and do anything on the raid via Clique + Grid. This lets me keep a very close eye on the MT (even if I'm not a MT healer) and watch the frames for incoming hits, Dodge/Parry combat text, and incoming heals.
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    You pegged it on the healing needing to be one step ahead; there's definitely a big 'reward' when you guess or plan right on a heal and it lands just as someone takes a chunk of damage. It can be a lot of fun.

    Of course, there are fights where it's completely boring too.

    I'd like tanking to be a lot more proactive; both dps and healing reward planning, but tanking basically requires it or ignores it.

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    I think good warriors can be proactive with their use of cooldowns since they have a lot they can use (shield block being the one that's easiest to use as a pre-emptive cooldown), but most of the best cooldowns (last stand/shield wall for warriors for example) just HAVE to be saved either for that "OH S*** I'MA GUNNA DIE!!!" times or specific times that the encounter simply demands (like late impales on gormock).

    However none of that is nearly as complex as the planning and proactiveness that healing requires. Who is mostly likely to take damage and let my PoM bounce? My shields are down, weakened soul is on the raid, what's the best way to get them up? When do I use renew when raid healing? The proper use of PoH and Hymns. Mana management is sometimes an issue too at lower gear levels (either if you have low gear levels or your tank does). I healed some tanks that were not doing the gormock taunt rotation properly and I pretty much had to spam flash and got almost no regen time, I didn't pay attention to my mana and was OOM as the worms spawned and the tanks still had stacks of the impale bleed. I hit my shadowfiend but it wasn't nearly in time, by the time I was casting a heal again a tank died. I didn't plan far enough ahead (though arguably that was the tank's fault more than mine).

    A lot of time in healing if someone dies it just feels like if you had planned better you could have kept them alive even if it was technically their fault for standing in fire too long or whatever. It takes a lot more planning then I thought. Even disc which everyone has said, "oh that's just EZ mode OP healing, all you do is cast bubble!" still takes a lot of planning because to play it properly you do a LOT more than just cast bubble.

    I certainly have a lot more respect now for people that are exceptional healers. It's really cool to see the other side of the tanking/healing paradigm now too.
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  12. #112
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    Another thing that you've probably not really encountered yet since you've been running pugs is the feeling of healer coordination and how awesome that can be. Basically think about the situation you failed in (or the tank failed in) above, where you ran OOM. A good healer team will be able to have some other healer realize this and flip over to cover that or hymn to give back mana or call for an innervate or blow a CD. And the best will do this without talking at all.

    Healing has a lot of the proactive requirements of good tanking and the foreknowledge combined with something tanking almost never has - quality teamwork within the discipline. Tanking rarely has fights that require more coordination between tanks than when to taunt. Healing has this virtually every single time.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by felhoof View Post
    Another thing that you've probably not really encountered yet since you've been running pugs is the feeling of healer coordination and how awesome that can be.
    There are two parts of healing that I find most fulfilling:
    1.) 5-man healing with a sense of *just enough* effort. Minimal over-healing, but no one dies or is unnecessarily threatened.
    2.) Raid healing with a group of co-operating, friendly, smart healers.

    Few things feel as good to me as working with 2-5 other people and having us work as a tightly knit, instinctively organized unit. It feels like you're really doing something right. And the difference between that and running with ego-driven healers and blind over-healing pugs is like night and day.

    Man, you're making me want to go heal some raids!
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    Oooh I've definitely experienced that already. Most PuGs I do are with one of my best friends in real life who just happens to play a holy pally and he is ridiculously good, one of the best I've ever seen if not the best. In 25 man PuGs we pretty much carry the healing and do ~60% of the total healing done usually.

    Blind overhealing PuGs are DEFINITELY the difference between night and day. I've group with a couple of just terrible resto druids. One was actually high on the meters but he wasn't healing anything significant. If I focused on tanks then ranged started to die. If I focused on ranged then the tanks started to die, it was really bad. Another druid in a VoA10 (that also had terribad tanks) was only doing about 1.4k HPS compared to my ~5k HPS and I just could not keep the tanks up without ranged dying, but that druid also had 50% of his healing in healing touch so... ya, lol.

    The only time my friend and I have had trouble healing is on BQL. We did it in 10 man and we both had crazy HPS out numbers but I just couldn't seem to keep the raid topped off as disc with all the raid damage we picked up 3 healers and 1 shot it after that.
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    Perhaps I have rose-tinted glasses, but I actually remember more tank-centric coordination of that nature way back a long time ago. Especially in 40-man raids, there was a very distinct "tanking team" that was pretty unified in the guilds I was a part of back then. Of course, that was also a time when you could both DPS then shield swap and tank patrol adds as 31/5/15 and such at the same time...which just doesn't happen anymore.

    Don't know if it's just the way things are designed now for AoE tanking, the reduced raid sizes, or just the dynamics of tanking--but it does seem to me that it's become a bit simpler of a task over the years. Healing, on the other hand, has just gotten more complex as time goes on. (In classic, it wasn't nearly as dynamic as it is now.)
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    Perhaps I have rose-tinted glasses, but I actually remember more tank-centric coordination of that nature way back a long time ago. Especially in 40-man raids, there was a very distinct "tanking team" that was pretty unified in the guilds I was a part of back then. Of course, that was also a time when you could both DPS then shield swap and tank patrol adds as 31/5/15 and such at the same time...which just doesn't happen anymore.
    There was more of this back in the day, IMO. At least in TBC there was.

    While there were a bunch of single tank fights in BT, the multitank fights required significant coordination and trust. Bloodboil, RoS, Council and Illidan all required quite a bit of communication and being able to rely on the other tanks and being aware of what they were doing. Kalecgos, M'uru, KJ were all multitank fights with a lot of that as well. Even Twins had it. Brutallus had the standard two tank taunting mentality.

    The only fight that really seemed to come close to that for me in WotLK was Sarth3D. While there was a lot of working with other tanks, it was mostly two-tank fights and you didn't have a team, you had a partner. And most of the time you were out there just doing your own thing.

    I was really hoping that with 4 viable tank classes we'd have something of a tanking renaissance for group tanking and more of a requirement that there be multiple tank fights. Instead we got an emphasis on 1 or 2-tanked fights.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    Perhaps I have rose-tinted glasses, but I actually remember more tank-centric coordination of that nature way back a long time ago. Especially in 40-man raids, there was a very distinct "tanking team" that was pretty unified in the guilds I was a part of back then. Of course, that was also a time when you could both DPS then shield swap and tank patrol adds as 31/5/15 and such at the same time...which just doesn't happen anymore.

    Don't know if it's just the way things are designed now for AoE tanking, the reduced raid sizes, or just the dynamics of tanking--but it does seem to me that it's become a bit simpler of a task over the years. Healing, on the other hand, has just gotten more complex as time goes on. (In classic, it wasn't nearly as dynamic as it is now.)
    I too remember these days, even in early BC, hydross, alar, kael, vashj, those were fights where the tanks really had to work together. Now-a-days it is "taunt when I get this debuff" and that is about the end of tank co-ordination. It saddens me.

    edit: to add to what felhoof said ^



  18. #118
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    Ya, I agree a lot. In TBC I had a couple AWESOME co-tanks, but it was more of a partner than a team. The 3rd tank fluxuated a lot but from Gruul to KJ I had the same pally tank as my co-tank. He was amazing and it was awesome to have such an amazing co-MT.

    I think in WotLK this idea of an "off tank" has largely disappeared. Ya there are some fights that you have distinct OTs (Ignis, Rotface, and Marrowgar are the three that come to mind) but most fights both tanks end up doing the same thing at different times (LDW, DBS, Festergut, Putricide P3, Sindragosa, VDW, etc. etc.) and fights where tanks aren't doing the same thing they're usually doing different things of equal importance (Gunship, Putricide P1-2, Blood Princes, TLK, etc.).

    I will say though, it seems easier to carry a group as a good tank than as a good healer. But I agree healing is still complex and probably more complex in WotLK if you do it right, however mana isn't as big of a consideration as it was in TBC/Vanilla (but I heard downranking was hard).
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  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggathon View Post
    Blind overhealing PuGs are DEFINITELY the difference between night and day. I've group with a couple of just terrible resto druids. One was actually high on the meters but he wasn't healing anything significant. If I focused on tanks then ranged started to die. If I focused on ranged then the tanks started to die, it was really bad.
    Our MT has a couple healer alts and I have a paladin who is dual Ret/Holy and we were healing in ... I forget, honestly, I think it was ICC10 with some hardmodes. In any case the "High on the meters but not healing anything significant" thing is a really weird phenomenon that we experienced. Since I was on my paladin and she was on her shaman it was fairly simple for us to just split up tanks vs raid and cover each other while the other healer (I believe a holy priest) basically healed nothing. We did largely do it without talking too...it was clear when one of us switched up and straightforward to switch gears. It was really odd to see everyone at about 30-ish% on the healing meters since it was clear to us that the holy priest was essentially doing nothing useful...not really sure how that happens.

    Healing isn't hard, persay, but it can be frustrating if you're not part of a good TEAM of healers...which is why pugging healers is and always will be hard. All it takes is one bad healer to poison the experience for everyone (at least when the point comes that you can't cover for the bad person).

  20. #120
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    When I first red this thread a few weaks ago, I was really impressed and so changed my remaining dodge gems for stamina ones. Now I have programed a small simulator which allow many things but that is not currently releasable (still need a lot of work, so it's far from being the case) nor verified by anybody except me. It's still incomplete too... I still think the results are of some value.


    The conditions of the simulation I'have done to determine the value of stamina versus dodge for each class are the following.
    A boss hit physically the tank with the following caracteristics.
    120000+-10000 every 1,2+-0,2 seconds
    70000+-5000 every 4+-0,2 seconds
    20000+-0 every 1+-0,2 secondes


    Heals are following :
    10000+-2000 every 1,3+-0,2 seconds
    20000+-4000 every 2+-0,2 seconds
    3000+-500 every 0,5+-0,2 seconds
    20000+-4000 every 2,5+-0,2 seconds


    There is no justification for my choices, I only wanted to have approximately one death every ten minutes.


    For the MT, I took 4 characters in 264 gear using RAWR.


    Conditions are following. Each point represent 15 hours of simulation. The graphs looks like a band as a result of alea in the simulation. It also gives an idea of the error.
    For each class, the graph shows the evolution of the number of deaths by adding a gem of stamina or dodge.


    Here is the graph for Warrior
    http://img155.imageshack.us/i/warstmvsdge.jpg/
    DK
    http://img714.imageshack.us/i/dkstmvsdge.jpg/
    Druid
    http://img443.imageshack.us/i/druidstmvsdge.jpg/
    Paladin
    http://img408.imageshack.us/i/palstmvsdge.jpg/




    For the warrior, it looks like 1 gem of stam = 2 gems of dodge.
    For the DK, 1 gem of stam = 2,4 gems dodge
    For the paladin, 1 gem stam = 1,8 gems dodge
    For the druid, 1 gem stam = 5,5 gems dodge.


    On a side note, you can see that the druid dies less than any other class. The good result from blood DK tank comes from abusive usage of death strike (every 5 second which prevents him from having a good aggro). I will reconsider this later.


    As I said before, these results come from only one source (me) and still need a lot of verification.


    The conclusion is that for warrior or paladin (still if the results are confirmed), gemming stamina is the best unless you have a 9 (equal)/12(better) stamina socket in which case you might consider avoidance.


    The difference between stamina and dodge is not so great as I was expecting, apart for druids.

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