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Thread: Bear tanking, MoP beta changes so far.

  1. #41
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    Right. What I meant was that I'm used to the current (live) route where the first thing that hits you gives you most of your Vengance stack right there, and where because I'm a monsterbear I have to give my OT a giant head start for threat by starting in cat form because even with their full Vengance stack my initial rotation sometimes pulls off of them.

    (From WoWhead's comments under Vengance):
    in patch 4.3 Vengeance will not ramp up slowly as now, but it will give you 33% of dmg taken on the very first hit, instead of 5% each hit like now. And it will never go below 33% of dmg taken in the last 2 secs. However, it will go slowly up from there, like it does now. So instant 33% of dmg as attackpower(maximum 10% of your hp), and it ramps up 5% each hit from there. And it will never go below 33% of dmg taken the last 2 secs as long as you are being hit.

    Now, it may well have been that I was wandering around fighting weak-hitting trash mobs at the time, so the Vengance was falling off as fast as I was getting it, and I haven't been in a situation where I'm tanking with an OT yet, but this was the first time I've watched it actively tick up over time, (in the past I haven't needed to worry about threat since Wrath) and it's definitely way slow to get FR's heal component to remotely pretend to be useful.

    I think, however, in a lot of ways it does put it on par with the power of the Paladin's WoG heals; part of the other thing the patch did was it removed the 50% Flash of Light crit bonus chance on the shield thingy that they have. So you can't do the trash pack trick where you kill the weakest mob and then score a 51K Flash of Light heal, and supplement it with the occasional WoG. And you can get to 60 Rage about as fast as you can get to 3 Holy Power to access your WoG (roughly 9 seconds or so if you HotR/CS, then Judge, then HotR/CS again when it's up) so once you have your full Vengance stack, it's about the same power, except the Paladin's version can be buffed by a whole bunch of ShotRs in a row. The pally version doesn't rely on Vengance; the bear's does.

    I'm at work, but I'll do an apples to bears comparison as soon as possible and report back.

    -Tielyn

  2. #42
    The pally version doesn't rely on Vengance; the bear's does.

    Prot Paladins gain Spellpower from AP.

  3. #43
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    Aha, so I see...

    (just did the research) ...Via the revamped 'Guarded by the Light. (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=85646/guarded-by-the-light') 50% of AP as spellpower, none from other sources, which means their WoG and Flash of Light -also- relies on Vengance. No wonder the pally heals seem weaker from a standing start versus while I'm trying to heal in combat. So they are much closer than I realized....

  4. #44
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    New patch changed the way that FR worked to have a static value based on your current Stamina, thank gods. It started when I first signed in at 29K and change, and stayed there consistently despite one to five mobs whacking on me, so Vengance AP didn't do a thing for it. I got a helmet upgrade from a quest which had additional Stam and Agility, and it made my FR break 30K heals according to the tooltip and corresponding numbers when I used it. It does not crit. I like 30K more than 2,279 from a standing start by far.

    Ran my pally a bit as a comparison - thanks to the SHotR buff and shield block, he's noticeably less squishy than the druid - of course, this is due to the fact that you have to actively keep your SD up and the only heals you have are from FR. So the one-or-the-other dodge/heal paradigm still hurts us, while the pally has one damage shield, two heals that are based on AP-buffing spellpower (I got heals that cleared 41K on the paladin). 30K heals is enough to slow down the bleeding, at least until the healer gets to you, so if it stays there, it's... meh-okay.

    The change to Vengance excites me considerably more. It means that 'monsterbear' mode is not dead.

    -Tielyn

  5. #45
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    Okay, less impressed in practice.

    So far, Vengance scaling does not trip on my level 89 druid, because at present taking the formula max (AP-2xAgil),(Sta*2.5):

    Stamina is at 12,834.
    Multiply by 2.5 to get 32,085. Which is exactly what shows on the tooltip for Frenzied Regen.
    Agility is at 6.757
    AP is at 13,853.
    AP - 2* Agil = 339. Which means in order to overcome your base Stamina FR, you have to be taking damage at a rate higher than 31K over 20 seconds.

    Taking my last Ultraxion fight from Sunday on live, I took 1,691,962 damage over 204 seconds (noting that a chunk of this is the Hour of Twilight 82,656 hit that happens once every 90 seconds. Divide by 204 to get 8293 damage per second. Multiply by 20 to get 165878. Vengance is 5% of that, which is... 8293?

    Which means if I'm doing the math right (feel free to correct it, of course) that FR will not scale on Ultraxion. It will get added to your AP to make you a little bit beefier same as usual, but you are stuck with the floor heals from Stamina at least at level 89 (my current level).

    Problem is, you're taking 165878 damage over 20 seconds, and assuming that you get two FRs off during that time, 3 if you're lucky, you're healing 90K, leaving 50K unfaded. And while you should never be able to solo Ultraxion... you can see that it takes something hitting harder than a boss to make FR budge.

    Assume the best case, 9 seconds between FR casts, over 20 seconds, you get two of them, healing for 60K. In order to overcome your ability to heal yourself, mobs need to do more than 60K / 18 seconds, or 3333/second.

    I picked a fight with 6 ordinary world quest trash mobs. Problem was that those 6 mobs were hitting for 5-7K every 3 seconds or so, and there were 6 of them, which is 14,000 damage / second. Needless to say, they munched me despite pulling all my tricks in the book - Renewal only slows down how fast they can kill you, and even with Barkskin, SI, and every FR I could work, plus lots of dancing and Nature's Grasp, they did enough to take me down twice. :|

    Then I came back with my paladin who was a level lower. Using a combination of the absorbs from SHtoR, judicious use of Holy Light, and the occasional WoG, all of which did more than 40K heals, from the same amount of Vengance. I survived the same gods be rotted set of mobs without resorting to bubbling, Lay On Hands, and only one cooldown at the front while I found the right rotation to keep generating Holy Power. The big difference? Paladins get to double dip their heals - you can heal from Holy Light while the buff from SHoTR is up, giving you the ability to heal while you're less hurtable, and take advantage of the SP buff from your Vengance.

    If they change the scaling for the Agi part, this might be workable, but for the time being, it's not yet ready for prime time. I should not need a pocket healer to level. :|

    -Tielyn

  6. #46
    You aren't using the new Vengeance formula based on unmitigated damage.

  7. #47
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    ...tried tanking DS today...

    ...and got my tail handed to me. :| Admittedly, it was bugged in DS in that I got -no- Vengance stacks, which made threat generation interesting, but besides that, not being able to keep SD up constantly (which was all I was doing, since FR was useless) meant that the healers were having serious troubles keeping me upright. Both tanks were bears, and both of us were getting our faces eaten by a boss which I handlily took down an hour later in live on Heroic. With the same character, only four levels lower.

    Conversation I had in /raid while we were coming back from the wipe:
    The other bear tank: "Yeah, I'm not sure what they did to bears, but it's jacked."
    Me: "oh, believe me, I know. I've been talking about it over on the Tankspot forums."
    The shammy: "Yeah, I have a bear/tree too. Look what I'm not playing right now."
    One of the monks: I have a bear/boomy. Bear tanks are definitely not the favored tank come next expansion, sorry to say.

    I really hope they fix this.

    -T.

  8. #48
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    Tielyn, Please understand that we're not meant to be able to keep our active mititgations up 100% of the time. We're especially not meant to keep our active mitigations up 100% of the time when we have 3 tiers of gear yet to come. You should not be expecting to be able to have the perfect defence before you've even set foot in the first HC 5 man, the idea is that at the end of the expansion you should be getting close to and occasionally achieving that goal. If you could achieve that goal before the first tier of an expansion then there's not exactly alot left to do except stack stamina, which isn't really all that interesting. You have to have room to improve significantly as the expansion progresses. It's fundamental to the game that each time a new expansion comes out tank survivability resets otherwise tanks would just become invincible, the same happens with healing, suddenly they go from being able to toss heals around and nearly completely ignore mana as a concept, to having to be stingy as hell and make sure every heal counts. We saw this in wrath where Anub'arak HC went from being a face roll @80, to being a guaranteed P2 wipe @85, same with Halion as dispels which where cheap became relatively extortionate. So you know at 89 have a 1 level advantage over the boss. that gains you +1.5% dodge & miss on your CTC, and your 1.5% more likely to crit, and your armour is slightly more effective, But on the other hand at 89 as opposed to 85 you need what, double the amount of ratings to achieve the same amount of a given stat. The only stat that has actually improved as you leveled is your effective health, leveling is essentially the same as tossing out all your secondary stats and shoving stamina where they went. You've turned yourself into a giant mana sponge. WHich isn;t such a great thing when your healers are suddenly having to get to grips with OOming as something they actually do

    The vengeance not stacking thing is not a bear problem. Warriors, Paladins and DKs are all suffering with it. Hopefully this bug serves to illustrate just how powerful a tool FR is, given how weak you perceive bears to be without it. Would you really expect a Holy Pally who generates only a third of a holy power per holy shock to function as well as one who didn't have a gypped generation rate? would you really expect a Melee DPS whose weapons had been bugged so their base weapon damage was only a third of normal to keep up?

    TL;DR, Vengeance matters, secondary stats matter, with that in mind Bears are fine.

  9. #49
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    Tengenstein -

    What I was expecting is what has happened each of the previous expansions - once you outlevel and outgear the content, you should be able to walk through it just for kicks and practice. Each expansion has always included new wrinkles and new challenges to tanking, but with enough practice you should be able to get the hang of it -- that is the spirit of tanking, to me.

    I do not expect to be invincible. That wouldn't be fun. I do, however, expect to be a tank, trading durability and the responsibility to gear/spec/skilltrain for taking the hits as opposed to the hitting or the healing. The notion that a dungeon four levels lower than I am which I seriously overgear (I'm at something on the order of 420ish) should kick my furry butt solely because of a mechanics change I have been actively practicing with for weeks strikes me as very wrong. We made three attempts, and in all three, we only made it past the first black blood phase on Normal Morchok before the healers were OOM on a level 86 and level 89 bear. Whereupon Morchok punted both bears, and oneshot his way through the level 85 DPS. The only thing that not having Vengance did was make it so I had to work to keep threat off of the monks. I don't know if it would have raised my FR up past the 31K ceiling, but it didn't, and the 31K heal wasn't cutting it.

    The differences are that on live, I have 26% more dodge and a passive damage absorb shield. With my current level of mastery, my live 85 with lower level gear absorbs more damage from armor due to level scaling. I can unreliably push my dodge to about 58% dodge, which is useful only for melee swings that happen in a 6 second window. Back in Liveland, same day, heroic boss, my Vengance sat at 15.3K, so unless the capless version pushes it higher, we actually _are_ at stam stacking to get your FR up higher.

    If Blizz's intention is to make any dungeon hard for you as a tank, so it's always a challenge (the 'we artificially downscaled your gear in Temple of the Jade Serpent for Beta testing made me raise an eyebrow), I accept that as a 'working as intended' and will work with it.

    If this is still a 'we're tuning it still', I also accept that. But right now it's an 'ouch, damnit, stop breaking my class/spec'.

    If this goes live, however, I have a problem with a dungeon that I have run for months and can do with my eyes closed right now, at 85, going from 'one night, 2.5 hours clear with breaks' to 'your bear tanks are horribly squishy and can't stand up to the same boss' overnight. Especially if they do what they did for Cata -- putting out the system changes a month before the game comes out and we can level. I remember we lost about 5 or 6 on our server due to the inability to hold trash pack threat (Swipe went from GCD to 6 second cooldown and you didn't get Thrash until level 81, but OTOH, those were the Wrath bears who never knew the trouble of 'Swipe only works on 3 mobs in front of you' issue that was fixed when it went to 360 mode.)

    When four separate strangers in a PUG raid have come to the same conclusion on their own, that their raid groups are considering setting their bear tanks aside if this trend stays, then I feel I have a right to wince.

    All is not lost, however. I think I may have found a tuning that works better (glyphing for FR so it doesn't heal you but buffs the heals you get) -- however, this takes away your only non-cooldown heal.

    I'm a stubborn bear. This has been my character for years, and I've stuck it out through change after change, but as a raid leader I can't in good conscience field tanks that can't hold up to a boss pounding. If it means sitting myself, changing mains, or giving up tanking, I will for the good of my raid team. It just makes me sad.

    -Tielyn

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tielyn View Post
    I picked a fight with 6 ordinary world quest trash mobs. Problem was that those 6 mobs were hitting for 5-7K every 3 seconds or so, and there were 6 of them, which is 14,000 damage / second. Needless to say, they munched me despite pulling all my tricks in the book - Renewal only slows down how fast they can kill you, and even with Barkskin, SI, and every FR I could work, plus lots of dancing and Nature's Grasp, they did enough to take me down twice. :|

    If they change the scaling for the Agi part, this might be workable, but for the time being, it's not yet ready for prime time. I should not need a pocket healer to level. :|

    -Tielyn
    To me it simply sounds like you have yet to discover how to play a guardian Tielyn, 6 randoms mobs won't even get close to killing you.
    To name just one, MoU affects your FR same way it affects Renewal, other then that your tool-box as guardian is bigger then currently on live.

    So far on beta, the only time I've died was to a silver rare monk sitting outside a cave where his spinning crane kick hits for 140k per tick, and that was only until I found the way to kill him, other then that I've tried taking on 8 - 12 random mobs in all levels to see how far you can go, which only becomes an issue in Dread Wastes where some of the mobs stuns you for a few seconds. (Didn't pay attention to how many of them there were in a cluster, so it came close at times)
    Personally I feel we are in a very good place these days.

    On the other hand, is this the "official" guardian thread for MoP?

  11. #51
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    Heh. About as official as 'it's the only one, I started it because there wasn't one, and other folks keep posting to it,' but hey, it's beta. Nice ta meetcha - I'd love to hear your insights on what you're doing. Because if I intend to stay one of our guild's main tanks, I am more than happy to listen to what is working as opposed to what I've figured out.

    I'm using Might of Ursoc, Barkskin, SI, and relying on SD whenever I think I need it (which should not be every fight for normal world trash, IMHO). I just didn't mention MoU because at least last time I checked, it doesn't affect FR, which is based on Stam, which doesn't get increased by MoU. I'm finding that now that I'm level 90, using glyphed FR with Nature's Swiftness/Healing Touch is more of a reliable lifesaver, since I can use it once a minute, and with Dream of Cenarius, sometimes it crits for 132K. Looks more like an unreliable Lay on Hands.

    Try picking a fight with the mantids in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms or whatever it's called. There's a six to eight pack that pulls as a set, and those ate me two nights ago two fights out of three. Or maybe at some point if you're on Lost Isles we can meet up and talk shop.

    -Tielyn

  12. #52
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    I'm currently working on a more official guide for bear tanks. Should be ready to post in a day or two; depends on whether or not I can get my live version working to put some raid time in.

    A couple of quick notes to add some value to this post:

    - Vengeance does eventually win out over 2.5*Stam for FR. It just takes a meaty hit to bump it up, and lots of little sustained hits will not build it fast enough. So it does help with big spike damage in its own way in that it increases your ability to recover from the hit faster assuming you have enough Rage sitting around unused.
    - I'm finding that prioritywise (not damagewise), Lacerate = FF = Thrash, in the sense that all three can trigger Mangle procs. It looks like the bleed ticks from Lacerate and Thrash don't trigger Mangle, only the attack does. This comes from testing around 2 hours on various mobs by getting Thrash and Lacerate x3 up, then hitting escape to stop attacking and only refreshing Thrash/Lacerate when they were about to fall off, and I didn't see a single Mangle proc from a bleed. So hitting whichever of those three is off cooldown (slight priority given to Lacerate since it does more damage with 3 stacks) seems to be a good rule of thumb, if you disregard threat/damage for a moment. It also seriously improved my survivability factor since I was actively fishing for Mangle procs instead of passively waiting for them to happen (which was the earlier beta version of Lacerate - the bleeds had the chance of the proc occurring @ 12% stack).

    Overall, the beta experience has been fun. I'm glad I got in and got to see development at work.

    -Tielyn

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