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Thread: Blood Tank Talent Mechanics

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    Blood Tank Talent Mechanics

    So as I start to get more in depth with my talent allocation I have come to a mid ground. I see people argue about which is best and all the rubbish. I want to really know from some other sources who can speak from experience.

    Pretty much everyone has told me to dump Rune Tap. Makes sense due to the fact it's just a waste on a GCD most of the time.

    But the argument for me that confuses me is between Bloodworms and Sudden Doom. I hear people argue this all the time. Bloodworms +HoT and +Damage, but the damage is AI damage, which does nothing for your threat, so does this actually help you at all when 90% of the time your going to have a healer? Sudden Doom +15% to throw an extra free DC. That's Damage = Threat.

    Another one is Will of Necropolis vs Ravenous Dead. WoN only helps you out if your at 35% or knocked to 35% and at a 15% damage reduction, which can be good for heavy hitters, but RD gives you a 3% Strength boost, so +Parry and +AP and Damage = Threat .

    Any inquiries?

    Just wondering what everyone's thoughts are on this is one.

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    I like Rune Tap and I use it fairly often - we've had the debate over this on the forums and I'd say people are split; Ravenous Dead, threat's not an issue for me so I go into WoN (if my Pally can have Ardent Defender, then my DK can have the ghetto version). Once you get beyond the necessary talents, you're pretty much free to put your own mark on your talents. In mine the one point in Unholy Command is the result of hitting "Learn" too fast and not realizing I had put a point there. Wife was probably taking to me....

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    53/8/10(AoE spec) is what I use for heroics and Valithria Hard Mode. Otherwise I'm in my 56/8/7 spec. I take rune tap because an extra heal especially when VB is up is nice. I only find myself using it if I see myself start to drop or if the healers get to a point where they can't heal for whatever reason.

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    WoN versus Ravenous Dead isn't even an argument... WoN wins out hands down for every tanking scenario. Threat is not an issue as a DK.

    Sudden Doom versus Blood Worms is also fairly straight forward... Blood Worms can cause parry death, don't add to threat, and heal insignificantly. Sudden Doom works for AoE cleave threat and adds directly to damage / threat as well on your most used ability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by t3hp00ky View Post
    Pretty much everyone has told me to dump Rune Tap. Makes sense due to the fact it's just a waste on a GCD most of the time.
    The value of Rune Tap is simple. If you use it, it can be very powerful. If you do not use it, it is a wasted 1-4 points. Using it takes practice and timing.

    So, if you take it, practice using it, and get good at popping it when it matters. If you don't take it, you won't destroy your ability to tank, and if you never learned how to use it, you won't miss it. I would contend that the people who don't take it and are advising you to do the same, never learned how to use it to maximum effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by t3hp00ky View Post
    Bloodworms +HoT and +Damage, but the damage is AI damage, which does nothing for your threat, so does this actually help you at all when 90% of the time your going to have a healer?
    Self-healing is not wasted. Think of it this way, every bit of healing you provide is that much less healing your healers need to do on you.

    That said, on Bloodworms, the problem is four-fold:
    1.) You already identified the first and least important issue. The worms are pets and do not contribute to your threat.
    2.) The worms have no protection. Any aoe, aura, or cleave will kill them. That *greatly* reduces their uptime on many bosses and means they offer you next to nothing.
    3.) They are not scripted the way other full-blown pets are. They attack the target from wherever they spawn, which is at your feet. On anything that parry hastes that can become a big deal. This is less of an issue in ICC since the only targets that parry-haste also swipe, so the worms won't live to cause a problem.
    4.) Their damage and therefore healing scales with AP. Your AP does not scale terribly well as a tank. So, the scale of the healing in highest content is not terribly remarkable relative to Rune Tap, Mark of Blood, etc that all scale with your health.

    Quote Originally Posted by t3hp00ky View Post
    Sudden Doom +15% to throw an extra free DC. That's Damage = Threat.
    Sudden Doom is essentially a damage buff on HS, nothing more, nothing less. The value of the buff scales with whether or not you have Morbidity and/or Glyph of Dark Death. The glyph is rare on tanks unless they're deliberately setting up for threat. Without the glyph but with 3/3 in Morbidity, though, the talent is still not the biggest threat value you can get. It is definitely better than Ravenous Dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by t3hp00ky View Post
    Another one is Will of Necropolis vs Ravenous Dead. WoN only helps you out if your at 35% or knocked to 35% and at a 15% damage reduction, which can be good for heavy hitters, but RD gives you a 3% Strength boost, so +Parry and +AP and Damage = Threat .
    Yes, Ravenous Dead increases your Str which in turn increases your AP and Parry. That said, the scale is very small. 3% more Str for the best geared tanks in the game will amount to less than 0.5% parry chance and only 100-150 AP. For 3 points that is a very weak value. Much of the budget is spent on buffing your ghoul which does nothing for your threat, and little for your survival, if anything at all as a Blood tank.
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    Rune tap can be very powerful when used correctly. I think of it like any of my Defensive cooldowns. Each one has its place and time where it is most useful. The problem with rune tap is it is reactive instead of proactive. Its not like you can use it in advance. So most of the time you wait for a situation where it can do some good... which frequently means you do a big honking overheal or die anyway. Still its useful and relatively free, save for the cost of talents.

    Bloodworms, yea they suck.
    1, They scale really terribly.
    2, They spawn right at your feet and are suceptable to AOE+Cleaves.
    3, The likelihood of a 100ish heal saveing your ass in any type of progressive encounter is very slim.

    Sudden Doom is not terrible but it falls into the catagory of not reliable. For threat its too random to rely on and the damage of deathcoil as a tank is quite pathetic. If deathcoil had a Massive +threat buff in frost pres, then MABEY it might be worth the investment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrekgar View Post
    which frequently means you do a big honking overheal or die anyway. Still its useful and relatively free, save for the cost of talents.
    Very nitpitcky on my part, but I usually average 10-20% overhealing depending on the scale of the content (lower on hard modes, with higher use count).

    The funny thing is, I didn't think about it until just now, but Rune Tap may be almost if not more powerful than WotN with the one major exception being that you have to use it while WotN is passive. Mebbe I go do some math. =)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vrekgar View Post
    Sudden Doom is not terrible but it falls into the catagory of not reliable. For threat its too random to rely on and the damage of deathcoil as a tank is quite pathetic. If deathcoil had a Massive +threat buff in frost pres, then MABEY it might be worth the investment.
    While I agree that it isn't a talent to take for 100% *reliable* threat, I would be careful not to take it as a detractor. It only improves your threat, and sometimes that less reliable burst threat can be a very big pleasant deal. I usually just sit it low on priority because of all the other delicious talents you have to work to get, and with WotN at the bottom of the tree, that means you end up spending a lot of points in Blood already.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    The funny thing is, I didn't think about it until just now, but Rune Tap may be almost if not more powerful than WotN with the one major exception being that you have to use it while WotN is passive. Mebbe I go do some math. =)
    Common sense and game mechanics will save you some time and tell you that it isn't, unless you are talking really trivial or lower end content.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    I would contend that the people who don't take it and are advising you to do the same, never learned how to use it to maximum effect.
    That's simply a fallacy in logic also. I like it for 1 or 2 fights in the game. However generally it falls in my personal category of useless / overrated / not worth 4 points. And yes, I know how to use it correctly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    Common sense and game mechanics will save you some time and tell you that it isn't, unless you are talking really trivial or lower end content.
    You assume. My point is, WotN will reduce the damage you take at or below 35% health by 15%. Rune Tap will instantly pop you up by 25% health the moment you use it (at least). It is entirely possible that the one time pop can outweigh the best possible procs of WotN, but I would have to do the math to figure it out, which I am not going to do at the moment. Maybe if I have a chance after lunch, I can sketch it out a little more clearly.

    You ought to look into there being a possibility that there is more than one way to do things. Just because *you* like it better doesn't mean it is min/max'd better, and just because it is min/max better doesn't mean it is the only good choice. You are quick to dismiss and rarely seem willing to be flexible or open-minded.
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    Rune Tap has saved me more times than I can count, and has made a kill happen when otherwise it would have been a wipe if I died. An ability capable of such a feat is far from useless and is very powerful indeed. I agree with Satorri that anyone who tells you to dump it probably doesn't know how to use it properly, and I would add 'or is simply stubborn in incorrectly thinking its worthless.'

    I agree with alot of your viewpoints Edge, but this is one that I think you are way off on.

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    Illustration time!

    Here's a thought that occured to me, relative value of WotN vs Imp Rune Tap.

    First some necessary points:
    1.) These are fundamentally and non-exclusive tools. I haven't seen anyone yet choosing between them. So this is not a fuel for that fire.
    2.) WotN is a passive skill with a very specific situational proc and it is hard to illustrate exactly how useful you can expect it to be as the circumstances will be very significant.
    3.) Rune Tap is entirely dependent on the use of the player. If you don't hit it, it is wasted. If you don't have good timing you can heavily affect the margin of its value in generic situations.
    4.) We're comparing 3 pts in WotN to 4 pts in Imp Rune Tap because it is convenient. =)

    In order to compare the effects we need to put them on even ground, conveniently there is such a place.

    In order for WotN to proc you have to go below 35% total health. Conveniently, in this zone you cannot overheal with Rune Tap. This is not a comparison of A *or* B, only marking the two side by side for actual effect in scale. To that end, we'll use the two extremes of application on the assumptions that:
    1.) The tank *can* be saved (it is possible that neither would save you if you get killed fast enough).
    2.) The tank is sufficiently skilled to use Rune Tap on demand (not a leap).

    So let's look at a couple extremes that would favor each talent. We will use a standardized tank packing 70k health. We will ignore avoidance and mitigation will be built into the hits used for the example. We will use the current ICC buff at 25% (with the 70k health including that buff). Triggering WotN with 70k health requires passing the 24.5k health threshold.

    Situation A
    The tank takes a single heavy spike that drops him to 10% health. We'll put that massive hit at 50k. This triggers WotN which means the hit will be reduced by 15%, so the reduced value is 42.5k or 7.5k healing no longer required.

    Alternately, when the tank takes the hit and immediately pops Imp Rune Tap, he then is refunded 25% of his max health for a 17.5k heal, or 17.5k healing not required.

    Looking at the dips in comparison, WotN has the advantage of being passive and requiring no action from the tank, but has a smaller value in damage saved. That save, however, also happens before the damage is taken meaning the tank only dips to 14.5k health.

    The Rune Tapping Tank, however, does dip to 7k health before springing back up to 22.5k health. In this example because the hit was going to be non-lethal, the vulnerability from Rune Tap is only meaningful if that last 10% damage could be dealt before the Rune Tap is used. Reflexes determine the life-saving effect.

    In this case, you can see what I'm talking about where Rune Tap *could* have a larger absolute effect.

    Situation B
    To find our break-even point for the scale of healing saved of the two abilities for our tank, we will need for the total damage reduced by WotN to equal 25% of his total health in less than 30 seconds. Or in equations:

    15% x (sum of damage taken in 30 sec) = 25% x 70,000
    sum of damage taken = 17,500 / 0.15 = 116,667 damage in 30 sec (3,889 dps)

    3.9k dps taken is not an unreasonable amount for an ICC tank, although it will have to happen in such a way that you take that much damage dancing you below 35% health. Let's describe a reasonable situation where that could happen.

    If you took a 30k hit, that dipped you below 35% health (meaning you started below 54.5k health or 77.9% health each time), three times in 30 sec (once per 10 sec), that would be enough to do slightly more than break even with one use of Rune Tap.

    Situation C
    Let's push it to the opposite end of the spectrum. We're going to get a very large, but hopefully vaguely plausible effect out of WotN.

    A tank with 50% avoidance getting swings thrown at them once per second for 30k damage can expect a hit every 2 sec on average. We'll say that you have an awful 30 seconds where your healers are only able to pull you up high enough not to get killed, but not so high that WotN stops proc'ing (i.e. after each heal you have between 30k and 54.5k health). 30 seconds will be 15 hits for 30k before mitigation on each hit.

    Each hit will be cut by 15%, or 4,500, so each hit will land for 25.5k. 15 hits at 4.5k saved will be a total of 67.5k healing no longer needed. In that time you would get only one use of Rune Tap for 17.5k, so WotN will add up to almost 4 times as much in total effect.


    I will leave it to the reader to decide where on that scale they expect to fall for the sake of total scale of the two combined. But here are the raw assumptions and nitty gritty values:

    => A single non-lethal hit on the tank will result in a larger raw value from Rune Tap, but the player's reflexes leave the possibility for a killing blow before you can fire the Rune Tap.

    => In order for the total values to match, the tank will have to take ~120k damage in 30 seconds, where each hit causes the tank to dip below 24.5k (35%) health in order for WotN to match Rune Tap in total value given.

    => If the tank is getting crushed constantly, WotN can amount to notably larger total values of healing not needed than Rune Tap, provided you exceed that 120k total damage in hits that drop you below 35% within a 30 second window.

    All of this is working from a 70k health base, and Rune Tap has an inflated value from the ICC bonus to healing.

    The lower your maximum health becomes the smaller the value of Rune Tap becomes and the more easily the same size hits can trigger WotN. *However* the lower your health the higher your chance of taking a lethal hit becomes where neither ability can save you.
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  13. #13
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    my head, was just exploded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanzer View Post
    Rune Tap has saved me more times than I can count, and has made a kill happen when otherwise it would have been a wipe if I died. An ability capable of such a feat is far from useless and is very powerful indeed. I agree with Satorri that anyone who tells you to dump it probably doesn't know how to use it properly, and I would add 'or is simply stubborn in incorrectly thinking its worthless.'

    I agree with alot of your viewpoints Edge, but this is one that I think you are way off on.

    I USE Rune Tap on a few select fights. GENERALLY I do not like the ability, I think it's 4 wasted points. For 9/12 ICC bosses it just doesn't have a place, in my opinion. I don't mean to sound like it's totally useless, just that it's not the end all be all of DK tanking. I would rather have Imp. DS or WoTN any day of the week.

    Double Edit - Why do people always throw in the "use it properly" part of Rune Tap. You hit it when your low, or after damage spikes. I think level 55s figure that out day one


    @ Satorri - Arguing with you is generally a waste of time. WoTN is not a situational proc... it's an every boss every fight heroic PvP raid hard raid heroic raid hard boss easy boss proc. It happens every time you can ever die, ever, for anything, regardless of how much damage and what kind of damage is hitting you. It takes no skill, no reaction time, no latency factors, no human factors. It is the PERFECT tanking ability. It should also be noted that it has no cooldown, has no rune cost, and is located in a much easier to reach zone in the latter blood tree.

    Arguing the single performance of WoTN vs. the single performance of Rune Tap is completely and totally pointless. The mythical math boss, as people need to remind you, doesn't exist. There are very few situations in WoW where you take one timed hit and can hit Rune Tap (hence why it's so freakishly good for HM LK)... most of the time it's a flurry of smaller hits, an area in a rune blackout, a combo of hit / magic / hit.

    Rune Tap probably feels more powerful offhand to the inexperienced tank or someone not tanking higher end content, but it's not even a comparison worth debate in reality.

    Edit - And I fully accept that there are a lot of ways to do things. However outside of HM LK most high end tanks didn't have Rune Tap which was my only reason for that statement, not that people should base decisions off what other tanks are doing anyways. If you re-read my post I openly said that I use it myself for HM Sindra and HM LK.
    Last edited by Edgewalker; 06-23-2010 at 06:16 PM.

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    Why are you guys debating Talent A vs. Talent B when you can pick them both up and maximise survivability ?

    A spec as simple as this: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#jcEMqI0Is0obssxhxZ0x has both WotN and Imp. Rune tap while maintaining all the other base threat/mitigation talents. Where else would you put the 4 points ? Scent of blood, sudden doom ?

    I can't see any other talents that are worth dropping rune tap for and would let you gain a decent amount of threat gen or mitigation.

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    Pretty close to what I actually use, only 2H swapped with Aboms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    1.) These are fundamentally and non-exclusive tools. I haven't seen anyone yet choosing between them. So this is not a fuel for that fire.
    The comparison was not for a "take one or the other" point. I wholly endorse both. My point was only to compare their scale, and I did that by putting them side by side where WotN actually does something to make it a somewhat equitable comparison.

    I didn't say anything about this above, but imagine now combining them. Your health drops, WotN softens the blow, and Rune Tap springs you back up. Instead of saving 5-7k *or* 17.5k healing, now you've saved 22-25k healing in one GCD's span, and you can do it with minimal interruption to anything else you do.

    My only point is that people foolishly attribute the waste of Rune Tap to the nature or design of the talent. The *only* way it can be wasted is by not using it well. That doesn't mean you have to take it, but it certainly means that you are over-stating things to say it is a talent not worthy of anyone's attention.

    The same, of course, is true of WotN. And happily they are not exclusive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    Arguing with you is generally a waste of time.
    See, I stopped trying to have discussions with you a long time ago. Talking to you is like trying to discuss religion with a zealot. You *cannot* be wrong until you actually figure it out for yourself, until then everyone is presumed dumb, inexperienced, or overly technical. There are shades of value between *must have* and *worthless*.

    I only tend to answer you in the hopes of diluting your absolute statements full of your value judgments, much more so than they are giving helpful advice. Some people will agree with you, but the people who are looking to understand why will only get the do/don't message without understanding, and have come away with little of value.
    Last edited by Satorri; 06-24-2010 at 05:02 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    I USE Rune Tap on a few select fights. GENERALLY I do not like the ability, I think it's 4 wasted points. For 9/12 ICC bosses it just doesn't have a place, in my opinion. I don't mean to sound like it's totally useless, just that it's not the end all be all of DK tanking. I would rather have Imp. DS or WoTN any day of the week.
    I have all three.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    There are very few situations in WoW where you take one timed hit and can hit Rune Tap (hence why it's so freakishly good for HM LK)... most of the time it's a flurry of smaller hits, an area in a rune blackout, a combo of hit / magic / hit.

    Rune Tap probably feels more powerful offhand to the inexperienced tank or someone not tanking higher end content, but it's not even a comparison worth debate in reality.
    That's where the 'use it properly' comes from. There are more than just LK soul reaper/Sindy Melee/breath combo situations that its extremely useful. And being able to identify those times, and use the ability that very split second is part of using it properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    Edit - And I fully accept that there are a lot of ways to do things. However outside of HM LK most high end tanks didn't have Rune Tap which was my only reason for that statement, not that people should base decisions off what other tanks are doing anyways. If you re-read my post I openly said that I use it myself for HM Sindra and HM LK.
    I see you saying that so much, and I wonder why. Of the thousands of guilds out there, especially ones who are on Heroic LK now, you know every DK tank and keep up with them and know they didn't/don't have rune tap? I've run with rune tap from the very beginning, since ToGC and before, and I can name several others off the top of my head who have as well. High end tanks. Making general sweeping statements like that is usually a bad thing, and doesn't do much for credibility. That is where the 'stubborn' and 'incorrectly thinking' comes from.

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    Well that's the thing, right?

    Even if the whole (small) group does it, that doesn't make it best, not best, viable, not viable, smart, dumb, or otherwise. It just makes it the popular choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanzer View Post
    That's where the 'use it properly' comes from. There are more than just LK soul reaper/Sindy Melee/breath combo situations that its extremely useful. And being able to identify those times, and use the ability that very split second is part of using it properly.

    I see you saying that so much, and I wonder why. Of the thousands of guilds out there, especially ones who are on Heroic LK now, you know every DK tank and keep up with them and know they didn't/don't have rune tap?
    Well, yea, back when I was competitively progressing I did try to keep up with most of the DK tanks in top 150 guilds or I would browse their armories. I did like to see what other people were doing, what worked for them, etc. Using it properly to me consists of two things - one you don't overheal with it, and two it isn't a situation where you would have immediately been healed to full regardless before the next source of damage comes in. Healing is completely spammed, which takes away some of the coolness of the ability in a raid. In 10 mans it definitely is a little more powerful.
    Effectively healing with Rune Tap to me is not a marker of success, healing where you would have otherwise not been healed to full is. The nature of mana, paladins, and content right now is what leads me to believe Rune Tap is a little less effective than people think it is, and of my deaths without Rune Tap, only maybe 1 that I can remember in the past few weeks would have been preventable had I had it at the time.
    I would be willing to bet that if most of you uploaded real time logs you would see a Rune Tap heal, and enough incoming heals to be healed to full regardless of the Rune Tap heal, and then the next damage source.


    I will agree with you in that I totally phrased and approached my argument poorly.

    Let me say it in another way - Rune Tap is a very useful survival tool. For myself personally, outside of 2 select fights, I would rather do the small amounts of extra damage and threat with Sudden Doom and HS spam because I haven't died on them, or been close to dying, in about 3 months. I still do pick up WoTN however because it is a little easier to pick up without sacrificing any of my core talents I enjoy, it only requires 3 points, and it mindlessly activates when I am doing easier farm content and trying to maximize damage and threat (leading to constant rune blackouts).

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