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Thread: Incoming Druid Tank dps nerf and Protection Warrior comparison and rotation changes.

  1. #1
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    Incoming Druid Tank dps nerf and Protection Warrior comparison and rotation changes.

    *Disclaimer: This has basically been copy and pasted from my post on the offical blizzard EU forums, since im not getting alot of feed back off of the players there.

    so here goes...


    At first when i heard the changes on the ptr i must admit i was a bit "rly blizz rly" just out of class bias
    i mean fair enough i highly out dps my other counterparts at this time in raids and pretty much every other tank on the server apart from 1.

    But i troll Wol regularly and starting sniffing around out of curiosity and eventually came across this website.

    http://stateofdps.com/index.php

    It basically compares class/spec DPS taken from the top parses on WOL, now adjust the settings to include tanks and also adjust it to the top 40 parses. I'm mainly interested in the top 40 because as stated on the website.

    "I know that this is a very small data set and contains some of the most hardcore players in the world; that said, it also is a list of players who are Doing It Right™ and pushing the limits of what is possible for their class."

    (and thier also in decent gear)

    This is the first website i've come across of its type and its a godsend to have some hard numbers to go on and not just generalization and conception.

    Now regarding those actual numbers, if you look across all the listed fights you'll notice that warrior tanks and druids are actually fairly even, druids ahead by a very small margin on most single target fights and ahead by a decent margin in others that favour thier abilities (take berserk on omnitron adds as an example). Paladins are behind by a fair margin and DKs are really really below par. Now this holds true on AOE encounters such as halfus for paladins and DK's but warrior dps is miles ahead and i mean miles.

    This can be seen alot more clearly by using the "Track dps changes" tool and putting the tank classes damage output into graph form.

    Now from looking at that, i do have to admit a nerf on our dps is needed, especially when you take into account encounters with soft enrage timers such as council or cho'gall where a tank class pulling 2k more dps could be the difference between a wipe and a kill on progression.

    This case however really holds true for Warriors aswell if all 4 tanking clases are to be brought into balance for damage output. (paladins are staying where they are in the patch notes whilst blood dks are getting a decent buff)

    for those who live under a rock: the ptr notes for feral bears and warriors are as follows.

    Bears.

    •Lacerate damage has been reduced by approximately 20%.
    •Mangle (Bear Form) weapon damage (at level 80+) has been reduced to 235%, down from 300%.
    •Maul damage has been reduced by approximately 20%.
    •Pulverize weapon damage percent has been reduced to 80%, down from 100%.

    Right thats a flat 20% single target, no grey area, theorycrafting or anything needed to see that.
    It also makes Lacerate inferior to swipe damage for single target, and even though lacerate has a decent threat modifier its going to drop behind an aoe ability on our priorities list.
    Thats just wrong, although not a real issue game breaking issue its poorly designed in the same way that Whirlwind was a warriors hardest hitting ability on single target through the whole of WotLK uptil 4.0, not as wrong granted but i can't see this being an intentional change to the druid rotation.

    Warriors.

    •Heroic Strike damage has been reduced by 20%.
    •War Academy no longer buffs Heroic Strike or Cleave. It now buffs Mortal Strike, Raging Blow, Devastate, Victory Rush and Slam.

    Now again from trolling Wol roughly 30% of warrior single target dps come from heroic strike.
    so 20% of 30% is a 6% overall damage nerf.
    The war academy change means that warriors will no longer gain 15% crit from heroic strike which nerfs its damage further, however it will buff the damage from devestate which is a no cd ability. It really is too early for me to crunch the numbers on this but take it as no nerf at all.

    Sketchy math isn't a favourate pursuit of mine but 6% (even if a little off) is a damn sight lower than 20%. There is also no AOE nerfs in sight or even been mentioned or hinted at for 4.0.6 when their aoe DPS is waaaaaaayyyyy ahead of the 3 other classes.
    There are also no DK aoe buffs.

    Edited by Mjelkor on 14/01/11 10:34 (UTC)
    But that isn't my only concern over the warrior changes, theres alot of math and testing going on over at tankspot and EJ and with the current Ptr changes in effect Devestate actually overtakes Revenge on a Warriors single target rotation for both DPS and TPS. Now i played a warrior tank in Wotlk when this rotation was in effect through togc and into ICC before they buffed revenge and the rotation is braindead easy, way too easy; it took the fun out of the rotation for me and allowed me to min/max my tps with very little effort and basically turned revenge into a never used ability when rage starved.
    This makes me learn towards the opinion that this is another unintentional oversight by the development team whilst trying to fix another problem (in this case the amount of damage in a DPS warriors rotation from heroic strike).


    Now back to Bears...

    Yes we do do alot of damage for a tank class, but we also do so at certian costs to our survivabilty.

    - We have by a small margin the smallest of the tanking classes Health Pools
    - We have 4-5k less armour than the block based classes depending on gear.
    - Dks have some very nice self healing
    - The way our savage defence works means we take a considerable amount more damage when tanking more than one target compared to the block based classes, this incoming damage is also alot more spikey and harder to heal.
    ( not sure if DK's suffer from this issue as at the time of posting im not 100% sure on the mechanics of Blood Shield)

    Now i actually like the way it is at the current point in time whether intentional or not each tank class has a certian niche atm which makes them more suited to certain encounters whilst not making the encounters much easier to deal with a certain tank class and alot more difficult with another.

    You have an encounter that demands high tank mobility - Bring your Warrior
    You have an encounter where your healers need to be moving alot - Bring your DK
    You have an encounter where you need raid utility and a very sexy Raid wall - Bring your paladin
    You have an encounter that demands your raid pull as much dps as possible - go to your Bear....

    With the upcoming Nerfs to druids dps that niche is gone and although we have some nice magical damage mitigation in the form of 2 cds and 6% passive from speccing i can't think of any possible scenario where bringing a bear tank to your raid will benefit you for an encounter over another tanking class.

    I woudn't mind this nerf in the slightest if they gave us back some of our survivability in the form of more EH or more armour. I also woudn't mind it if they stuck to their reasoning and brought warriors down to the same level but alas...

    anyway if you took the time to read all that i thank you and any contructive feedback is welcome.

    p.s sorry about the typos and spelling

  2. #2
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    I could be mistaken, but didn't bears recieve a notable increase to their Armor on PTR? So the whole damage vs. survivability context there is a bit skewed if it is not taking into account the survival increases coming as well.

    Personally, I'm willing to give up some of my damage (although there is no white damage nerf, so it's a tad less) for a notable bump in armor.

    That said, I do feel like the Feral Bear nerf is a bit on the lazy side and missing the subtleties of how Bear DPS works. There are certain scenarios where Bear DPS is extremely high and others where it is high but not 20% higher than other tanks.

    A flat decrease is pretty short-sighted. I would have liked to see some more precision in these changes.

    First off, 20% is too convinient of a number to be precise at all. It's a number picked from thin air. Nobody sat down and figued out exactly how much Bears should have been brought down compared to other tanks. Perhaps it should have been 17%, maybe it should have been 12.5%, or maybe 8.541%--but '20%' is just sticking one's finger up in the air and making something up. Blizzard has enough data to do better than this.

    Secondly, it should be aimed more specifically at certain things. Could Mangle serve to be reduced? Yeah, probably. It hits really hard. Did Lacerate need to be reduced when it's already one of our weakest abilities and only contributes between 1-3% of our damage? Highly doubtful. If anything, Lacerate should have been buffed a bit in damage if you ask me. Did Thrash need to be changed at all? Kinda doubtful.

    My guess is that, in reality, any downward adjustment for Bears should have been in the realm of 5-10% and Mangle and Maul should have bore almost all the weight of the change.

    A 20% flat change is probably going to have to be adjusted later--my hunch is that it will end up bringing Druids too low in addition to making Lacerate even less attractive than it already is. (I find it strange that just a few days ago they talked about wanting to make Haste attractive for Bears via Lacerate scaling, which is pretty silly considering how poor Lacerate is right now.)

    For Warriors, Revenge certainly needs to be buffed. A lot.
    Last edited by Kojiyama; 01-14-2011 at 04:32 AM.
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  3. #3
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    koj you pretty nicely summed up my thinking. except that warrior dps also needs to come down.

    Mangles a tricky one to nerf aswell, it does do ALOT of damage and also alot of snap threat but its also on a 6 second cd, so if your first one misses you have a problem and pretty much have to use your Berserk out of its preferable timing in the fight to prevent initial aggo problems. I would have liked a more balanced ability table in terms of aggro and threat generation. Lacerate also accounts for 9-11% of my overall dps but thats both initial damage and tick damage so im not sure which you were referring to.

    and as of the latest PTR notes theres no current armour buff. That was posted on the first day of notes on mmo and has caused me no end of grief.
    latest notes can be found a bit deeper in.

    http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/1...updated-jan-12

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    I was primarily counting DoT damage. (Since that's what the Haste change would apply to if they make it.)

    However, I'll note that I use Lacerate as a lower priority as Thrash is actually more damage and slightly more threat once you get 1 Lacerate up for the Mangles. So, pretty much only prio 1 stack Lacerates and then 3 -> Pulverize -> 1 to keep the Pulverize and Berserk buffs up as much as possible. So my Lacerate usage is probably a bit lower than those who don't use Thrash in their rotation.

    Protection DPS should go down with the Heroic Strike change by a fair amount. Some of this will be recouped by the Devastate change but not nearly all (or even most) of it. So, Protection Warriors will be seeing a drop with the patch. Not as big as Druids, but still a decent drop.

    Personally, it's probably best for them to focus on buffing Blood and Prot Paladin single-target DPS a bit more than nerfing Druids at this point. It's not like tanks are blowing DPS out of the charts in raids. (Something like 50% of the max DPS at the moment. In heroics it can be totally different, but that's skewed a lot by AoE scenarios.)

    Wowhead's talent calculator is also showing that Thick Hide gives a 78% increase to armor instead of 33% with 3 points... so, that was the datamined change. Is that just a tooltip update to something that is already live, or did they simply not mention it in the patch notes? I should hop on PTR and find out!
    Last edited by Kojiyama; 01-14-2011 at 05:04 AM.
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  5. #5
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    theres a roughover of the heroic strike nerf in the post and i think its around a 6-8% overall single target nerf.

    This thrash news is interesting to me... is this with or without the 2 set bonus?

    If you could let me know about the affiars currently on the ptr that would be great or anyone reading this on the ptr tbh, will try to get on it as soon as i can but i can't log on for more than 2 seconds to do dailies without getting dragged through a heroic.

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    ive actually had better feedback on this post in 5 minutes that 4 hours on the blizzard forums

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    I don't want to deconstruct class comparison too much, but right now, if you take away the situational hasard where you need solid dps from the tank, or some insane defensive cooldowns, etc. You need all tanks to perform 5 basic roles in PVE:
    - Generate more threat than DPS on a single target
    - Survive blows from a big single target that is supposed to challenge your survival
    - Generate more AOE threat than dps (by AOE, I don't mean 2 or 3 targets, I mean whelps on Halfus or any kind of 5+ wave of adds)
    - Survive damage from an aoe pack that is supposed to challenge your survival
    - Move, in, out, left, right, etc.

    These are of course open for debate, but I feel they are, if you will, the 5 typical activities we engage in.

    And as I look through the 4 tank classes at the moment, here is my analysis.

    Druid:
    Single threat: great
    Single survival: ok
    Aoe threat: poor
    Aoe survival: poor
    Movement: ok

    DK:
    Single threat: ok
    Single survival: great
    Aoe threat: great
    Aoe survival: ok
    Movement: poor

    Paladin:
    Single threat: good
    Single survival: great
    Aoe threat: good
    Aoe survival: great
    Movement: poor

    Warrior:
    Single threat: good
    Single survival: good
    Aoe threat: great
    Aoe survival: good
    Movement: great

    So based on those ratings (again, looks formal, but it's just my opinion), I would say that:
    - Druids are currently the worst tank, by a small margin, and exclusively because they shouldn't be tanking multiple mobs ever if you can avoid it. Improve Savage Defense to be less clunky, and the class will be fine.
    - DK are great, but they need to heal a little less, and mitigate a little more. They also have a little too much hp. To be well rounded, they could use a little movement boost. Unholy presence feels a little "meh" to use.
    - Paladins are just awesome, except on movement. But if you gave them movement, they would pretty much be the best tank, guaranteed.
    - Warriors at the moment are my personal favorite choice, because they are ok at eveything, but their movement is just unbelievable. Anybody who frequently tanks Atramedes or TAC probably secretly wishes their main were a warrior right now. I know I do :]

  8. #8
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    Druid AoE threat is at least 'ok', and most likely 'good'. Certainly wouldn't put it at poor. Survival due to SD mechanics is another issue, though--so survival makes sense. (SD in general needs to be significantly improved. It doesn't work very well, IMO, as evidenced by the fact that Mastery remains an extremely weak mitigation stat for Druids.)

    (Why is Paladin AoE survival greater than Warriors, btw? With Shockwave and Shield Block as tools, Warrior AoE survival is very strong.)

    Such comparisons aren't totally all that useful in terms of analyzing narrow changes though. The real question to be asked is: do any tanks need anything right now, or do any tanks do something a bit too well now?

    I would say Bear DPS is a bit too strong, for instance, but not 20% too strong. Heroic Strike was also quite broken and needed to be fixed. SD is not a great mechanic and Druid Mastery is quite weak. Warrior Mastery is still hard to understand and balance. Revenge is too weak. I would rather see Paladins/DKs brought up to the damage of Bears/Warriors rather than significantly reducing Bears/Warriors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    I would rather see Paladins/DKs brought up to the damage of Bears/Warriors rather than significantly reducing Bears/Warriors.
    i think that could work nicely too, although ret paladins would be really fooked then

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    and yes koj yes.... warrior aoe dps is MILES ahead of the other 3 classes, it doesnt matter at the moment since the only fight they can put it to good use on is halfus but there will be more bosses like that in the future and its best to balance them now and not after paragon take 5 warrior tanks to an aoe party.

    Savage defence i find actually works well on the normal mode bosses especially coupled with a paladin healer (or two). But i've found it lacking as i have come up against the harder hitting bosses like Cho'gall.

    there was a really old post on these forums i think by you actually regarding SBV back in ulduar and it can also be used for our mastery in this case.

    "Take a phone book and hold it up to someone trying to punch you in the face... does a pretty good job of protecting you right?"
    "Now take the same phone book and hold it up to a guy with an AK-47, you can fill out the yellow pages all you want... your still fucked"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjoldir View Post
    But i've found it lacking as i have come up against the harder hitting bosses like Cho'gall.
    They are in the same boat as dk when it comes down to really hard hitting bosses (Chimaeron HC!!), at least on 10 man it's almost impossible for a blood dk to tank during a feud phase. They won't survive the two break - double attacks and it really feels like you have to cheese/stack certain classes to beat heroic encounter whatsoever.

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    klausi are you running with 1 tank for this encounter or something?

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    are you usin 1 tank on this encounter or something ?

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    k this forum is fooked.. sorry about the double post

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    Wait.... they finally buffed bear armor? It's about time. When I have to remove my shield and pants to drop enough armor to be at bear armor... Blizz screwed up.

    I'm holding out on forming an opinion on these changes until they go live though, as it is going to change up the game a lot. I suspect I'll be logging/testing some things once they are live. Hello gold lost in respec's!
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    I do really struggle to see how Feral tanks needed a 20% damage nerf, the only thing i can think is that people are using bear form in pvp and it is doing too much damage (i know im guilty of it). Most of the recent patch changes seem to be related to PvP balance.

    I'm also guilty of topping the dps meter on our first Halfus Wyrmbreaker kill as a feral tank - but that was the 12th of December - not like our dps even had all their bis heroic gear then, where as i'd been very lucky with drops, and leaden dispair and alchemy stam trinket meant my Vengance was stacking at a very high level. I don't top the meters there anymore, however im normally above some of the single target only dps - especially if we have whelps as i will bezerk and mangle 2 drakes and the boss on pull.

    My main concern is not really the dps nerfs feral bears are getting - threat is really a non-issue so far, im more concerned with the SD mechanic and the quality of other tanks compared to feral druids - especially if the previously mentioned armour buff does not turn up in the next patch. I feel Feral are pretty much behind in all area at the moment other than versatility and damage output.

    I have levelled my Prot paladin to 85 and gave him crafted epic shield and belt, his ilvl is 341 iirc, and he already has similar levels of avoidace (dodge+parry) and more armour mitigation than my druid who is full 359 geared. Once i get better gear on the paladin, statistically he will be streets ahead of the Feral druid (my beloved main since TBC).

    The thing stoppping me switching already is Paladins suffer for magical damage and they are not very mobile - also when stunned they have only armor to rely on, where as druids can get lacerate/thrash tick crits giving them an SD shields even when stunned.

    I will continue to play druid and have begun experiementing with different gemming/flasks and trinket combos to help mitigate the problems of the hard hitters like Chim and Cho'gall. Fortunately I have excellent healers in my guild or i suspect i would already be more serious about switching to my prot paladin.

    Interestingly I dont have a protection warrior in the guild so i cannot compare with them, however my other main tank is a blood DK - he has served me very well so far - however i feel he is getting squished a lot more than me, and is more susceptable to quick deaths than me especially with the hard hitters.

    I'm just looking through some of our WoW logs, but with only Cho'gall and Twilight council on there recently (our upload bugged this week) there is not really much meaningful data to go over.

    I will try to post a log from Omnitron this week where both myself and the DK tank (in theory) should be taking a similar level of damage.

    Our log from Maloriak should be interesting too, as it will have a prot pally and a blood DK tanking the adds - they should 'in theory' take similar dmg levels as they do try to even out add numbers after initial threat.

    I don't think any of the tanks are really in a bad place at the moment, however im sure my opinion of that will change when we start on heroic 25m in the next few weeks!
    Last edited by Changer; 01-14-2011 at 09:21 AM. Reason: spelling

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    Druid AoE threat is at least 'ok', and most likely 'good'. Certainly wouldn't put it at poor. Survival due to SD mechanics is another issue, though--so survival makes sense.
    I beg to differ. When compared to the other classes, if for example you want to tank the dragon whelps on Halfus while the dps focus them, Swipe + Thrash won't let you hold aggro unless dps give you something like 6-8 seconds. A Warrior or a Death Knight can pull these and hold them until death from second 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    (Why is Paladin AoE survival greater than Warriors, btw? With Shockwave and Shield Block as tools, Warrior AoE survival is very strong.)
    Their overall block chance is higher. But yes, SW and SB do balance things out. Point taken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    Such comparisons aren't totally all that useful in terms of analyzing narrow changes though. The real question to be asked is: do any tanks need anything right now, or do any tanks do something a bit too well now?
    I understand that, but I think sometimes it is easy to get lost in details and debates such as "you have ardent defender", "yeah but you can tranquility", "yeah, but our anti-fear is gone", etc. Which ultimately, are not things that make or break fights.

    Right now, the difficulties you encouter when aoe tanking as a bear (both threat and survival) really make me say that bears are the "worst" overall tank, granted, only by a small margin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    I would say Bear DPS is a bit too strong, for instance, but not 20% too strong. Heroic Strike was also quite broken and needed to be fixed. SD is not a great mechanic and Druid Mastery is quite weak. Warrior Mastery is still hard to understand and balance. Revenge is too weak. I would rather see Paladins/DKs brought up to the damage of Bears/Warriors rather than significantly reducing Bears/Warriors.
    I agree with all of that. I would add that I would like the AOE gameplay of bears to be a spammable swipe (fix the numbers for it to be balanced) and a 6 second thrash to prioritize over it. It would make for smoother gameplay than the clunky two 6 sec-cd abilities imho.

  18. #18
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    The bear tank in my guild kills my AoE threat when I'm in survival gear. Bear AoE threat is not as bad as people are making it out to be.
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    I don't have any recent logs to compare to, but I noticed when we were in Tol Barad the other day that our Paladin tank and I took almost identical damage over the entire fight. This would be great at first glance--except for the fact that my gear is significantly better than his. So I was a bit disappointed with that.

    (Then again, I did a lot more DPS than him as well. Part of this is just how Druids scale better with gear, though, due to the regular addition of Crit as a mitigation stat. And the fact that Agility is generally more effective than Strength at DPS increases.)

    I don't think Bear AoE threat is particularly weak, unless there are so many NPCs (that don't die quickly) that you can't feasibly tab-Mangle enough of them between Thrash CDs. (It also depends on the way your DPSers play to some extent as well.) Once you have Lacerate on 3+ targets, you can Mangle almost every GCD between Thrash CDs, which makes AoE threat fairly easy to pump out.
    Last edited by Kojiyama; 01-14-2011 at 09:40 AM.
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    I've not tried to tank the Whelps AoE on Halfus as my strength as a bear will always be to tank the main guy. However i would not have a problem with it if i had to - as the previous poster stated - 3 lacerates and tab mangling will keep them on you. That said - we tend to point dps the whelps one by one as i feel AoE is majorly ineffective in Cataclysm, so AoE tanking really isnt much of an issue except trash.

    Still its is ok at best due to the cooldowns, especialyl when compared to a prot paladin using inquisition - every one of the GCD's can be used to AoE threat other than judgement.

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