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Thread: Survival Instincts: A (Somewhat) Official Guide to Druid Guardian Tanking

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q_221 View Post
    Well, I've swapped over to Incarnation, and I basically haven't looked back. It's a boatload of threat, pretty much guarantees I won't drop for its duration, and allows me to pop a useful cooldown every 90 seconds in addition to saving my tank CDs for fight-specific issues. My only issue is that I can't figure out what I'm supposed to be doing with it on AoE fights. Generally my rotation is Mangle-Swipe-Thrash-Swipe, and it seems like with Incarnation all I could really do would be changing that to Mangle-Swipe-Swipe-Swipe when I don't need to refresh Thrash. Should I just be avoiding popping Incarnation when the fight mechanics don't permit Mangle spam?

    It's good to hear you guys agree on the 15% cap: I was having a hard time understanding why the first 7.5% is more important than the second, aside from OT considerations. Is there a specific crit number that once you hit, you should start moving towards expertise? Is it worth reforging haste into expertise on pieces where we don't need other reforges?

    I'm not sure how convinced I am on Agility. I've had a heck of a time digging up numbers for what Agility converts to, but everything I find says 1259.52 Agi per 1% crit and 951.16 Agi per 1% dodge. For ratings, 600 crit rating per 1% crit and 885 dodge rating per 1% dodge. I don't think there's anything that directly affects Agility besides Mark of the Wild's 5% boost, and nothing that affects Crit rating besides Bear Form's 50% buff (and nothing that affects Dodge, we're just gonna look at them both pre-DR).

    You can do the calculations yourself to verify, but I'm getting .4000% crit off of 160 crit rating versus .1334% crit off of 160 Agi, and .1766% dodge off of 160 Agi versus .1808% dodge off of 160 dodge. This means that if there was a Crit-Dodge gem (I'm aware they're both yellow) we'd actually get more mitigation from gemming that than pure Agi. And the guide doesn't suggest gemming for dodge anyway, so we'd probably stick a 320 Rating gem in there for .8% crit, which is a pretty significant 2% crit boost off of 2-3 gems. That's about as significant as gemming choices get. As far as bonus power on Cenarion Ward, I'm getting about 500 extra healing per Cenarion Ward with an extra 160 Agi, and 450 extra healing per NS'd Healing Touch. I'm less confident on those numbers, but if they're right they're basically rounding errors on your health bar.
    Incarnation, when I use it, is a very fluid thing depending on the situation. I use it as a burst offensive/defensive thingy -- Mangle spamming to get enough Rage to use a full charge Frenzied Regen.

    On giant add packs, I usually hit Mangle-Thrash-Mangle-Thrash (I advise against using Swipe -- it does less damage than Thrash even before the DoT when you have high Crit). This is because if you have add packs of that size, they're all hitting you at the same time (Wind-Lord Mel'jarak's adds are a prime example, as are the Vampire Cave Bats on Tortos) so keeping your SD up is vital - and Thrash doesn't give you Rage.

    The only time I ever use Swipe is when Thrash is on cooldown and I need to keep multiple things glued to me.

    As far as when to push Expertise, I don't have hard evidence in front of me (yet), but I'd advise in order: 7.5% hit, 7.5% expertise, 400K stam in bear, 30% crit, 15% expertise, 40% crit, then Agi/Haste as your preferences go.

    Both NS and CW can crit, and are buffed significantly by any of the Agi buff trinkets as well as when you have Heart of the Wild running. Renewal only ever gives you a flat percentage of your health, on the slowest cooldown of the three heal-based talents on that tier.

    You are correct that gemming for pure Crit gives you more crit than gemming for Agi, but Crit without Agi is a damage multiplier on less base damage and no dodge benefit. If you think of Agi as its own form of hybrid gem (aka AP/crit/dodge), then pure dodge and pure crit will outdo the AGI gem in their own bailiwicks, naturally.

    Naturally, if you're not concerned about your damage output at all, you could go for pure Expertise in the red slots, but I dual-purpose some of my tank pieces in my cat set, which is another reason I go with pure Agi in a lot of my red slots.

    I'm interested in knowing what you would recommend for red slots yourself, then, assuming you match the colors:
    Hit/Exp? Agi/Crit? Exp/Crit? or something else?

    -Tielyn

  2. #62
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    Wow, I should probably redo some of my stats then: I'm on 38%-ish crit and I'm still at 7.5% expertise.

    Are you running Heart of the Wild, and if so, how is it working out for you? I've been running with Nature's Vigil since hitting 90 and am reasonably happy with it. I am concerned that I can't actually quantify how useful it is: it might be overkill, since it's generally popped in conjunction with Incarnation or Berserk, which usually guarantee I'm going to be OK on health for the next 15+ seconds.

    Regarding AGI: from a mitigation standpoint, having 2 Agi gems is worse than 1 dodge and 1 crit gem for dodge/crit. While it is a hybrid, you have to factor in the AP to bring it up to parity, and I'm not convinced that we should really be looking at damage output when trying to optimize a tank, unless all other things are equal. We're not looking at crit for the damage multiplier, we're looking at it for the 15 extra rage we get. If you're trying to optimize for cat obviously Agi is optimal, but at that point you're basically just off-speccing bear, so theorycrafting isn't really even a consideration.

    I'd be running Expertise for red socket bonuses, especially since your recommendation is to prioritize 15% Exp over going from 30% to 40% crit. It's the most useful mitigation stat in red, and it's likely pretty relevant to DPS as well if that's a concern. As for the specific gem, that's likely going to depend on what your other stats are, but I'd expect the choice to be Exp/Crit.

  3. #63
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    Gemming should allways come first in priority, as such gemming pure expertise is a waste. If you are only sitting on 12-13% expertise then just wait for some more gear. If your gear is relevant for the tier (500+) then I would try Crit/Hit gems in blue sockets.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tielyn View Post
    Naturally, if you're not concerned about your damage output at all, you could go for pure Expertise in the red slots, but I dual-purpose some of my tank pieces in my cat set, which is another reason I go with pure Agi in a lot of my red slots.

    I'm interested in knowing what you would recommend for red slots yourself, then, assuming you match the colors:
    Hit/Exp? Agi/Crit? Exp/Crit? or something else?

    -Tielyn
    red slots for me are always the same choice, exp/crit. i still dont see the value in gemming agi compared to double value sec stat gems

    recently i started gemming crit/stam in blue spots due to the simple fact that i am at a wierd point in my gear where i have too much hit. Otherwise i always gem hit/crit in blue

    i am currently rolling with hit and exp hard cap and around 60% crit, about 15% haste and a shamefull 19% mastery (this is raid buffed)

    as to your comment about aoe packs tielyn, i am not sure if your theory is correct, sure on paper it looks like swipe does less dmg, but i think you forget the fact that swipe does 30% more dmg on bleeding targets. Removing swipe from your aoe threat rotation might be a mistake. I will have to check again if it maybe scales differently with vengeance so that you could come to the conclusion where swipe is useless.

  5. #65
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    Tier 15 is draining more Expertise out of my gear on the pieces I'm replacing, and I'm seeing more Haste in its place. Fortunately I have an LFR Renataki's Soul Charm, which has a chunky amount of (1218) Expertise all its own, but now I have too much Hit even when I reforge it out, since the Vicious Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault has a lot of hit (1467), but the agi boost on proc is a lot to give up. So I may wind up gemming for expertise just to stay at or near the 15% cap.

    Nah. I didn't forget Swipe does 30% more damage on bleeding targets, but the damage it does has that factored in according to WoL -- I have a bear offtank with a rotation that has equal amounts of Thrash and Swipe in it, and their Thrash always does more damage overall with the dots factored in (and without dots factored in, too). This is consistent over months of raiding.

    From last week's Horridon best attempt, for example, they show the following numbers (they started on Horridon and got the poison pack on the second door):

    Thrash: 6.5M, 33 hits averaging for 21.8K, 14 crits for 44K, 78.3% dot uptime.
    Swipe: 1.2M, 30 hits averaging 19.6K, 16 crits for 39.1K.

    With the dots factored in, Thrash is 41% of her damage, Swipe is 7.8%.

    On the same fight with the same raid buffs, somewhat better gear and starting on the adds, I'm doing:
    Thrash: 10.7M, 51 hits averaging 25.2K, 27 crits for 56.1K, 83.3% dot uptime.
    Swipe: 3.1M, 50 hits averaging 23K, 42 crits for 45.1K.

    Thrash is 47.7% of my damage with the dots added in. Swipe is 13.9%, despite having 15 extra crits added to the total.

    As you can see, Thrash's base damage is higher for both bears, and then with the dot thrown in that's just icing on the cake. While you could in theory use Swipe instead of Thrash so as not to waste your dots, you're also wasting that valuable fish-for-Mangle GCD button press by choosing Swipe instead. There are three reasons to use Swipe over Thrash:

    a) Avoiding friendly fire dots (Maddening Shout on Spirit Kings, MC on other boses).
    b) If you have a high Vengeance Thrash dot ticking on a boss.
    c) Thrash is on cooldown.

    If Swipe were off the GCD I'd be definitely more apt to hit it more often, but since it shares that cooldown, I want/need to keep those Mangles coming, especially when surrounded by the proverbial school of piranhas.

    PS. I've gone ahead and changed the gemming recommendations based on your collective feedback and added 15% Expertise to the priority list. Thank you for the input.

    -Tielyn
    Last edited by Tielyn; 04-08-2013 at 04:44 PM.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tielyn View Post
    Tier 15 is draining more Expertise out of my gear on the pieces I'm replacing, and I'm seeing more Haste in its place. Fortunately I have an LFR Renataki's Soul Charm, which has a chunky amount of (1218) Expertise all its own, but now I have too much Hit even when I reforge it out, since the Vicious Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault has a lot of hit (1467), but the agi boost on proc is a lot to give up. So I may wind up gemming for expertise just to stay at or near the 15% cap.
    Really 15% isn't that important for bears as say a prot pally. For normals your goal as a tank is to do as much damage as possible while timing your survival CDs with boss abilities. Until you start doing heroics (or maybe the last few bosses of normal) unless you get absurdly lucky in drops you should be sitting around 10-13% expertise. Better off letting your expertise rise passively with gear since you will have more item levels of stats to reforge. Time you need 15% expertise you will have it.

  7. #67
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    Oh, definitely with you on that 'doing as much damage as possible' thing. :} But placing on WoL ranks aside, I'm still a tank, and high DPS output should be secondary to survivability (as someone told me awhile ago, 'if you want to be a DPS, just be a DPS'), and as Teng and company have said, anything that causes you to miss is a Rage loss. What I see expertise as is another stat to balance in there along with crit, hit, and other stuff, and what I'm doing is giving the 15% expertise pole a chance for a month or two so I have some good data to work with before trying something else (high Haste maybe, considering all the Haste I'm getting on my gear...).

    With the full 15% (okay, 14.45%) expertise, almost all of my attacks hit. I'm using trinkets that boost my Agi (which incidentally boosts my AP -and- crit -and dodge, as you recall) on random procs, and I'm still getting in the 45% crit range on average, and when both trinkets and Dancing Steel are running at the same time, I'm putting out some pretty impressive numbers while still being expertise capped.

    What the mental headspace I'm working with here is:

    Expertise or Crit or Haste, where high amounts of one are roughly equivalent to the others at some quantity, but only Expertise has a cap where extra Expertise doesn't do you further good (can you still be crit capped?). Crit is higher damage potential with a tradeoff on reliability if you didn't cap Expertise, Haste is more rapid secondary Rage generation, and Expertise is reliability traded for higher spike DPS (assuming you got it from Crit).

    (My guild isn't going very far these days due to some key people having RL tanking them in various ways, so having the experimental time on the same bosses is as good a way as any to pass the time. )

    -T.

  8. #68
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    yes you can be crit capped,IIRCwhiteswings crit cap at around 75-80% tanking into account the 4.5% crit suppression and 25ish% glancing blows. Yellow attacks just have the crit suppresion to worry about so its 95.5%.
    Harsh Words and Steel: A Protection Warrior Guide
    MoP RPS Calculator

    Hunters, Just get a Sporebat, most LFRs will be missing that buff.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tielyn View Post
    Oh, definitely with you on that 'doing as much damage as possible' thing. :} But placing on WoL ranks aside, I'm still a tank, and high DPS output should be secondary to survivability (as someone told me awhile ago, 'if you want to be a DPS, just be a DPS'), and as Teng and company have said, anything that causes you to miss is a Rage loss.
    If you raid in 10s then I would be weary about that statement although the recent nerfs in 10s do swing slightly in your favour. Nerfs and such aside, raids seem to be balanced with tank dps in mind so your raid does rely on you for it. Not to say tank dps is negligible in 25s though, it's still great to have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tielyn View Post
    Expertise or Crit or Haste, where high amounts of one are roughly equivalent to the others at some quantity, but only Expertise has a cap where extra Expertise doesn't do you further good (can you still be crit capped?). Crit is higher damage potential with a tradeoff on reliability if you didn't cap Expertise, Haste is more rapid secondary Rage generation, and Expertise is reliability traded for higher spike DPS (assuming you got it from Crit).
    It's quite a nice tier with lots of variation of incoming damage and brings up questions on the best way to deal with it. One thing you can add to expertise though, if you are at low HP and your mangle doesn't connect then you go splat.

    Here's a quote from Sejta on how to handle fights: "Overall easiest way would be to go with the dps setup and then just change metagem/RPS reforge/trinkets/flask/food if needed."

    I believe the RPS reforge was: Crit > Haste > Hit = Exp -- Mostly used for fights where you spam FR (Bleeds/dots/magic based)

  10. #70
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    It looks like post 2 has been overwritten with post 3 so post 3 is repeated twice but post 2 is missing. I.e. sections IV to VII are missing from the guide!

  11. #71
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    Replaced part II from an old backup. Thanks for pointing that out!
    Last edited by Tielyn; 04-15-2013 at 03:47 PM.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revlash View Post
    If you raid in 10s then I would be weary about that statement although the recent nerfs in 10s do swing slightly in your favour. Nerfs and such aside, raids seem to be balanced with tank dps in mind so your raid does rely on you for it. Not to say tank dps is negligible in 25s though, it's still great to have.
    Bears do pretty great DPS regardless, though. We're gemming for Crit when other tanks are gemming for Parry. I don't think we should gimp our RPS (and gemming for Agi over Crit/Exp really is doing so). We should be contributing our part pretty easily without pushing our AP up. You're going to be a lot better off tightening up your DPS's work than trying to push out extra numbers by weakening your tanks.

    I've been messing around with a spreadsheet to try and figure out what stats are best rage-wise, and came up with a few things.
    - I have about a 30% rate for Mangle: that is, 30% of your GCDs will be Mangles (barring ones spent on Cenarion Ward, Swipe, etc).
    - White hits are about 75% of rage generation on a "normal" rotation (no Incarnation or anything). If you need to stay low on threat during a swap, just auto-attacking should do fine at keeping rage up and threat generation down.
    - Rage generation priority seems to be Exp/Hit>Crit>Haste. This is calculated on my gear (35% crit, 9% haste, 13.5% expertise), so it may not be true for everyone, but it seems to follow the numbers we were already using.

    I'm going to see if I can figure out how Mastery stacks up versus RPS in terms of physical mitigation next. You can basically model Savage Defense as 30% dodge (45% with 6/9 uptime), so that side should be pretty easy once I work out armor mechanics.

    EDIT: Please disregard stat priorities. Must Tova has varying weights from what I've seen, and I'm going to defer to his spreadsheet until I find a flaw with it.
    Last edited by Q_221; 04-24-2013 at 01:43 PM.

  13. #73
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    One thing I'm noticing (not yet confirmed) is that higher values of Haste seem to affect Lacerate and Thrash's dot ticks. If that's true, then having Crit _and_ Haste is suddenly more appealing because DoT ticks can crit on their own. On single targets, a well-maintained Lacerate seems to do more damage than any other attack if you can keep it up approaching 100% uptime.

    I'm finding I do less damage with a Crit+Spell Reflect meta in my helm instead of an Agi + 3% Crit Damage, comparing identical fights. Not sure how often 1% spell reflect helps, even with the Just What It Says on the Package thing there, but it is arguably better than the Dodge + 1% Shield Block Value that another bear I know is currently sporting.

    I spoke to a feral druid about Agi versus Mastery for damage, and they suggested Agi for red slots (Mr. Robot does the same recommendation.) I think there might be some correlation between Agi as the base damage to multiply by when you crit, versus having so much crit at the cost of Agi that you're multiplying a significantly smaller number. Hopefully when you do your calculations, you can take some time to swap out some Crit for Agi gems and see what the numbers look like?

    Also, I've been experimenting this week in LFRs and 5 mans with deliberately choosing Swipe over Thrash whenever Thrash doesn't need to be refreshed. I managed to get Swipe's damage up to 20% of my damage on Tortos's vampire cave bat adds, but Thrash still came out way the heck on top _and_ I noticed myself running into issues with rage. Average and min/max damage is roughly the same, minus the dot, but I have to stand by my earlier thought on that 'it's not significantly better than Thrash for damage and you're costing yourself Rage by using it.'

    -Tielyn

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tielyn View Post
    One thing I'm noticing (not yet confirmed) is that higher values of Haste seem to affect Lacerate and Thrash's dot ticks. If that's true, then having Crit _and_ Haste is suddenly more appealing because DoT ticks can crit on their own. On single targets, a well-maintained Lacerate seems to do more damage than any other attack if you can keep it up approaching 100% uptime.

    I'm finding I do less damage with a Crit+Spell Reflect meta in my helm instead of an Agi + 3% Crit Damage, comparing identical fights. Not sure how often 1% spell reflect helps, even with the Just What It Says on the Package thing there, but it is arguably better than the Dodge + 1% Shield Block Value that another bear I know is currently sporting.
    I was under the impression either Stam+Armor or Stam+Spell damage taken was optimal?

    I spoke to a feral druid about Agi versus Mastery for damage, and they suggested Agi for red slots (Mr. Robot does the same recommendation.) I think there might be some correlation between Agi as the base damage to multiply by when you crit, versus having so much crit at the cost of Agi that you're multiplying a significantly smaller number. Hopefully when you do your calculations, you can take some time to swap out some Crit for Agi gems and see what the numbers look like?
    I'm confused... Are we trying to optimize for DPS again? Obviously Agi is going to boost your damage a lot more than Crit will: it's designed that way, AP is a lot more valuable than crit for raw DPS. But this is a tank thread, and other than tiny boosts to your Cenarion Ward ticks, AP does nothing for survivability. Your crits get an extra 15 rage regardless of how much damage they do, and an Agi gem is worth like a quarter of a Crit gem towards that rage.


    In new business, I've been playing around with Incarnation versus Soul of the Forest.
    Assumptions
    - 30% of GCDs are Mangles (I'm reasonably sure this is correct, I worked out a way to simulate the rotation in terms of Mangles). This assumes no Swiping, and that every GCD is spent using either Mangle if available or Lacerate/Thrash/FF.
    - Incarnation uptime is spent spamming Mangle.

    In 3 minutes, you should average 36 Mangles (180s * 1GCD/1.5s * .3Mangles/GCD). This means Soul of the Forest will provide 3*36=108 additional rage per 3 minutes.

    If you instead take Incarnation, you'll have a period of 30 seconds where you can Mangle continuously. You would normally have 30*.3/1.5= 6 Mangles during that period: instead you will have 30/1.5=20. This is an additional 14 Mangles, which provide 5+(crit*15) Rage each. This means Incarnation breaks even at a mere 18% crit, so is likely better for almost all bears.

    Note that this requires spamming of Mangle: losing a Mangle opportunity is a lot more problematic here than it is with Soul of the Forest. This may mean that Incarnation is less favored when you're AoE tanking and can't afford to spam single-target abilities. Also note, however, that the Mangle uptime is assuming Mangle-proc abilities are always being used, which is not likely the case in an AoE situation.

    Raw numbers aside, Incarnation is a lot stronger on a tank-swap fight, where Soul of the Forest is likely going to waste whenever you don't have the boss (since you'll be rage-capping fairly easily and regular Mangles may not even be possible due to threat). You can pool rage, pop Incarnation right at the taunt, and immediately have two SD charges active and a third coming up fast.


    I'm going to experiment with dropping Cenarion Ward: while I recognize it's the biggest in terms of throughput, I'm not sure that's actually helping that much, as a lot of the time when my health drops healers are already topping me off and it just ticks overheal. Having a bigger 1-shot, longer-CD ability may be more effective, since then I can actually get myself back up after something like a Tortos bite, before my healers start throwing big heals on me.

  15. #75
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    I'm not a big fan of stam metas, because the extra stam does very little for you if you're doing your rotation right -- once you have Vengeance higher than your 2.5(ish: I know they buffed it recently) xStam FR limit, both FR and Tooth and Claw ignore how much Stam you had. On the other paw, the side benefits (2% armor reduce and 2% spell reduce) are a little more appealing -- but those are (IMHO, very IMHO) from the days that you didn't get way more armor and spell reduce benefit from Mastery.

    That being said: if you're finding yourself being squishy, there is nothing at all wrong with picking one of those two metas as long as it's not hurting your rage generation notably.

    As far as the crit versus agi meta goes, I'm in experiment mode, and I'm also still a bearcat at heart, which means my gear doubles as feral gear whenever I'm not tanking. So I tend to balance my gear around some level of DPS-capability, and with my raid group, we definitely need it sometimes (when your tank is in the top 3 of your group's DPS on most fights, there's a need). Hence my leaning slightly towards _some_ agi gems in my armor sockets. So I was taking your suggestions and comments to heart and using less Agi than Crit to see what the difference was.

    As a side discussion, though, I'm halfway wondering how much Blizz expects tanks to contribute to the damage pool. Our Vengeance buffs our damage output as a side effect, which makes it easier for us to hold threat, but now our Active Mitigation is also buffed by Vengeance. A tank that is being hit for more damage does more damage in return, and a part of my personal fun in this is seeing how I can optimize my damage upwards a little more.

    It makes a difference sometimes.
    I've been running with a different group in ToES lately, some friends who needed an emergency tank when theirs up and left the server. They finally got a fresh tank in last night, and so I was asked to bring my 'lock instead. And what had been a cakewalk fight for Tsulong at 5:47 the week before suddenly became a 7:43 enrage timer fight.

    The healers were the same. Most of the DPS were the same, as well as one tank. The difference was that we swapped our a feral cat druid, a mage, and my bear for a hunter, myself on the warlock, and a pally tank. Part of it was that we were missing a heroism; part of it was that the cat -> hunter was a loss of 30K DPS, and the bear-> paladin swap was worth another 19K (46K effective to 27K is a noticeable chunk).

    If your group is all 100K DPSers, tank DPS doesn't matter. If none of them are breaking 70K, it definitely matters. So I do admittedly have some focus on what amount of damage I leave out there on the boss.

    Also, I really like your logic on Incarnation's utility in tank swap fights, and I'd like to quote you on that with your permission? And what are you swapping out Cenarion Ward with? NS/HT, or Renewal? (memo to self: I really need to get that numbers comparison done...)


    -Tielyn

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tielyn View Post
    I'm not a big fan of stam metas, because the extra stam does very little for you if you're doing your rotation right -- once you have Vengeance higher than your 2.5(ish: I know they buffed it recently) xStam FR limit, both FR and Tooth and Claw ignore how much Stam you had. On the other paw, the side benefits (2% armor reduce and 2% spell reduce) are a little more appealing -- but those are (IMHO, very IMHO) from the days that you didn't get way more armor and spell reduce benefit from Mastery.

    That being said: if you're finding yourself being squishy, there is nothing at all wrong with picking one of those two metas as long as it's not hurting your rage generation notably.
    Good to know: I think I'm still in the squishy phase myself, but I'll play around a bit. I do want to point out that if we're doing this, I'd strongly encourage the crit meta, because other than that really small amount of crit, the Agi/crit damage meta is the "gemming for Agility" thing all over again.


    As far as the crit versus agi meta goes, I'm in experiment mode, and I'm also still a bearcat at heart, which means my gear doubles as feral gear whenever I'm not tanking. So I tend to balance my gear around some level of DPS-capability, and with my raid group, we definitely need it sometimes (when your tank is in the top 3 of your group's DPS on most fights, there's a need). Hence my leaning slightly towards _some_ agi gems in my armor sockets. So I was taking your suggestions and comments to heart and using less Agi than Crit to see what the difference was.

    As a side discussion, though, I'm halfway wondering how much Blizz expects tanks to contribute to the damage pool
    ...

    The healers were the same. Most of the DPS were the same, as well as one tank. The difference was that we swapped our a feral cat druid, a mage, and my bear for a hunter, myself on the warlock, and a pally tank. Part of it was that we were missing a heroism; part of it was that the cat -> hunter was a loss of 30K DPS, and the bear-> paladin swap was worth another 19K (46K effective to 27K is a noticeable chunk).

    If your group is all 100K DPSers, tank DPS doesn't matter. If none of them are breaking 70K, it definitely matters. So I do admittedly have some focus on what amount of damage I leave out there on the boss.
    I'm strongly of the opinion that if you're in this position, what you need is to get your DPS off of their asses. You're going to get far better returns from a class that's designed to do that than trying to turn your tank into a pseudo-DPS source.

    While I expect Blizz wants us to do non-zero damage, I'm not convinced they're really pushing limits on tank DPS in enrage timers. I regularly out-threat and out-DPS OTs of every other tank class, including ones that outgear me by a decent bit, and that's with my expertise/crit focus. If they're expecting us to stack Agility to maximize our dps, are the poor sods who are running with a Warrior and a DK tank just out of luck?

    Also, I really like your logic on Incarnation's utility in tank swap fights, and I'd like to quote you on that with your permission? And what are you swapping out Cenarion Ward with? NS/HT, or Renewal? (memo to self: I really need to get that numbers comparison done...)
    Permission granted. I'm going to try Renewal for now: I'm having a hard time finding a source for Healing Touch scaling, but the number I'm getting from WowDB puts me on 61k heals. I'm at about 600k buffed HP (plus situational bonuses from Might of Ursoc and resto shaman Ancestral Vigor), so that makes Renewal 180k, which should be an amazing "panic mode" cooldown (and is more than the two NS-HT's I'd have in that time). I don't consider the extra utility from NS-Rebirth to be worth anything: with any other druids, warlocks, or DKs able to bres, and the limit on them per fight, it's going to be really rare that you're asked to be the one resurrecting, and even then there's a decent chance you won't be tanking the boss at that time.

  17. #77
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    This discussion is something that seems really odd to me.

    My understanding of vengeance is that your base AP (aka what you'd be getting from Agi) is really negligible compared to what you'll get from vengeance, ergo stacking agility as a tank is NOT a good way of increasing your dps, but instead you're better off stacking hit-the-boss stats like hit and expertise (and once you cap those, whichever works out as best for your DPS after that, be it crit or haste since tanking mastery will tend to defensive (right?)).

    Is there some reason that doesn't hold true for bears like it does for other tanks? Or is this about when you're not actually tanking? If so, I'd think your non-tanking DPS would be negligible compared to your tanking DPS anyway, since you don't have vengeance stacked.

    Basically I can't see a reason for tanks to stack agi (or str, if you swing that way)...and so this discussion is confusing to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gravy
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  18. #78
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    Jan 2010
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    238
    Ion --

    I don't have an answer for you on that yet as to why dropping Agi dropped the damage. I _think_ the culprit is most likely the missing 3% crit damage from the Agi meta. One of those 'diagnose the effects as X or Y things.'

    I probably wasn't clear when I mentioned earlier that part of the reason that I have some Agi on my gear is because I use it for my cat set, where Agi is very important. Bonus side effect is that the Agi does contribute AP/crit/dodge versus straight crit from a standing start (albeit less of it), and there's a part of me that still remembers when Agi was the thing to use in red slots (Wrath + Cata days) so I'm slightly biased towards some Agi when I shouldn't be.

    One thing of note, though, is in non-raid situations, while leveling and in some of the early 5 mans, that Agi does make a difference because the hits aren't enough to push over your Vengeance cap. Like when I'm doing dailies or playing around with the elite rares on the Isle of Thunder, they tend not to raise my Vengeance over 5K, so having that bigger base is some level of help. The other thing was the latest Cenarion Ward buff, which I have mixed feelings about recommending, but on paper has the highest output of the three per minute. CW is affected by non-Vengeance spellpower, which is directly derived from Agility (so Agi boosting trinkets like the Renataki's Charm are really good for CW users.)

    The other thing about it is that it helps indirectly on the start of a pull -- it gives you an advantage when you're up against DPS who like to pre-pot and burst on the first few seconds of a fight. Once you have enough Vengeance stacked up on you, nothing can take it away, but we've all run into the DPS who like to jump the gun and pull with a ranged attack before you get there. It also makes tank swaps smoother as the two of you trade places on Vengeance buff sizes and stops the OT from pulling back from you so easily if you start from 0 Vengeance + X AP from Agility as opposed to 0 Vengeance + less Agility.

    Q_221:
    As far as 'I need to get my DPS off their tails and push their numbers'? I agree with that. But I'm on a server that's about seven years old (est. March 2006), with our raiding population diminishing badly over the last few years; our best guild is the one 25 man guild on the Hordeside that is 12/12 ToT with 1/12 heroics, and the remaining raiding guilds are 9/12, 5/12 (this is the best Alliance-side guild), and four 3/12s right now, then we get to those of us who just have Jin'rokh down. We've lost two more of our 'heavy' raiding guilds to other servers, and four once-successful guilds have imploded since MOP hit, so pickings of good raiders have been slim and the ones that are left are there due to family and friends connections rather than progression raiding. To wit: 'we don't have enough heavy raiders on the server to be picky or pushy when we're struggling to get 10 some nights to go at all.' Some of us have banded together to lend/loan extras and alts to other guilds at need, but of course, that locks people to someone else's lockout, and alts are rarely as good as mains.

    As GM/raid lead, I should be able to push people to get better, but I can't push their buttons for them, and the best I can do is shove gems and enchants and Tankspot/Noxxic/Icyveins posts in their mailboxes, and hope for the best.

    I will say one thing, though -- having to carry the weight of a DPS myself and being healed sometimes by healers who rank 11% percentile on WoL has certainly helped me hone my own game... you learn to get a feel for the people DPSing and healing behind you, and adapt -- but it also makes me wince when I run into that bear in LFR that is stacking nothing but Stam and just spamming Maul without even making the attempt to use Savage Defense. Because (I think) I know better.

    ( I do want to reiterate one thing: I do not claim to be the end and last word on bears. I am very, very, open to critique, criticism, and conflicting advice from folks. The main reason I put together the guide was that I wanted to help out the community and I see myself as a contributor and fellow researcher rather than the authority.)

    -Tielyn
    Last edited by Tielyn; 04-24-2013 at 03:55 PM.

  19. #79
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    Mar 2013
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    10
    Quote Originally Posted by Tielyn View Post
    Ion --

    I don't have an answer for you on that yet as to why dropping Agi dropped the damage. I _think_ the culprit is most likely the missing 3% crit damage from the Agi meta. One of those 'diagnose the effects as X or Y things.'

    I probably wasn't clear when I mentioned earlier that part of the reason that I have some Agi on my gear is because I use it for my cat set, where Agi is very important. Bonus side effect is that the Agi does contribute AP/crit/dodge versus straight crit from a standing start (albeit less of it), and there's a part of me that still remembers when Agi was the thing to use in red slots (Wrath + Cata days) so I'm slightly biased towards some Agi when I shouldn't be.

    One thing of note, though, is in non-raid situations, while leveling and in some of the early 5 mans, that Agi does make a difference because the hits aren't enough to push over your Vengeance cap. Like when I'm doing dailies or playing around with the elite rares on the Isle of Thunder, they tend not to raise my Vengeance over 5K, so having that bigger base is some level of help. The other thing was the latest Cenarion Ward buff, which I have mixed feelings about recommending, but on paper has the highest output of the three per minute. CW is affected by non-Vengeance spellpower, which is directly derived from Agility (so Agi boosting trinkets like the Renataki's Charm are really good for CW users.)

    The other thing about it is that it helps indirectly on the start of a pull -- it gives you an advantage when you're up against DPS who like to pre-pot and burst on the first few seconds of a fight. Once you have enough Vengeance stacked up on you, nothing can take it away, but we've all run into the DPS who like to jump the gun and pull with a ranged attack before you get there. It also makes tank swaps smoother as the two of you trade places on Vengeance buff sizes and stops the OT from pulling back from you so easily if you start from 0 Vengeance + X AP from Agility as opposed to 0 Vengeance + less Agility.
    You've made a number of references to threat issues: is that a problem you find yourself having when not gemming for Agility? You clearly have more experience than me on these things, but whenever I'm tanking a boss I have no trouble outracing the other tank and DPS, and often find myself having to stop my rotation and just auto-attack while off-tanking. I just don't find threat to be a problem. The obvious exception is when a DPS decides he wants to pull, but either I catch it and taunt off him, or the boss 1-shots him, and he learns or gets kicked. That's not something we should be adapting our gear for.

    (sidenote: if you have DPS pre-potting and you have trouble keeping threat, opening with Incarnation-NV is a pretty nice counter, and it's unlikely you'll need to tank swap in the first 30 seconds of most fights).


    Q_221:
    As far as 'I need to get my DPS off their tails and push their numbers'? I agree with that. But I'm on a server that's about seven years old (est. March 2006), with our raiding population diminishing badly over the last few years; our best guild is the one 25 man guild on the Hordeside that is 12/12 ToT with 1/12 heroics, and the remaining raiding guilds are 9/12, 5/12 (this is the best Alliance-side guild), and four 3/12s right now, then we get to those of us who just have Jin'rokh down. We've lost two more of our 'heavy' raiding guilds to other servers, and four once-successful guilds have imploded since MOP hit, so pickings of good raiders have been slim and the ones that are left are there due to family and friends connections rather than progression raiding. To wit: 'we don't have enough heavy raiders on the server to be picky or pushy when we're struggling to get 10 some nights to go at all.' Some of us have banded together to lend/loan extras and alts to other guilds at need, but of course, that locks people to someone else's lockout, and alts are rarely as good as mains.

    As GM/raid lead, I should be able to push people to get better, but I can't push their buttons for them, and the best I can do is shove gems and enchants and Tankspot/Noxxic/Icyveins posts in their mailboxes, and hope for the best.

    I will say one thing, though -- having to carry the weight of a DPS myself and being healed sometimes by healers who rank 11% percentile on WoL has certainly helped me hone my own game... you learn to get a feel for the people DPSing and healing behind you, and adapt -- but it also makes me wince when I run into that bear in LFR that is stacking nothing but Stam and just spamming Maul without even making the attempt to use Savage Defense. Because (I think) I know better.

    ( I do want to reiterate one thing: I do not claim to be the end and last word on bears. I am very, very, open to critique, criticism, and conflicting advice from folks. The main reason I put together the guide was that I wanted to help out the community and I see myself as a contributor and fellow researcher rather than the authority.)

    -Tielyn
    I certainly understand your difficulty, and it may make sense in your case to gem AGI. But you're dealing with an extremely specific situation: you're carrying subpar DPS, and you don't have the server population to draw in replacements. Given that and your own significant experience with the spec, you're making a call to try and hybridize your character to deal with this specific situation.

    The problem is that this is a general bear guide, and I'm concerned that a new bear is going to stumble in here and think gemming AGI is the way to go, because the guide author is doing it. We're trying to get new guardians to be the best bears they can be, and you're advocating a method that just isn't optimal unless they're under the same conditions you are: even then, it's something they shouldn't be attempting unless they're experienced enough to decide it for themselves, as you did.


    In other news:
    I hate to appeal to authority, but I do want to point something out: Sejta, DREAM Paragon's guild leader and guardian tank, appears to use the Exp/Hit>Crit>Haste>Mastery/Dodge priority that I've been pushing. It's difficult to tell if he's prioritizing Exp over Crit or the other way around, as his iLvl is so high he's already at the parry cap, but at the very least we can tell he does care about maxing Expertise, and places it above Haste. And thanks to the Agi debate that's been raging, we know it's not just to maximize his DPS contribution, since he'd be better off gemming Agi in that case.

    He's also running Heart of the Wild, which makes me think a little. I'm having a hard time coming up with a way to quantify the benefits of Nature's Vigil: in theory it's pretty nice, as you end up with 27.5% of your damage coming off as healing. Napkin math: Go with a baseline of 50k dps (might be a little high, but remember it's usually going in combination with Incarnation) and you're doing 13,750 heals/sec, for a total of 412,500 over 30 seconds. That's a nice number, but I'm concerned that it's coming in so slowly that it's going to just turn the next Rejuv tick into an overheal. It's a similar rationale to why I dropped Cenarion Ward: healers aren't going to stop healing people because you've got Nature's Vigil up, it's just not helping fast enough to make a big difference.
    Heart of the Wild isn't great: it's mostly the passive bonuses, unless you really want to stick a Rejuv or two on yourself. But better stam scaling might push down the squishy point, it does actually give you more crit and dodge(albeit very little) and thus better mitigation, and there are situational points where you'd benefit from the active (I'm thinking something like Horridon/Elegon burn phases, where you're pretty much on 1 tank anyway and any extra DPS could help race. Nature's Vigil is nice here too, but it's not helping out your mitigation the rest of the time like HotW is)

    I was pretty happy with Renewal last night: it felt like it was actually making a difference in tight spots. I may try Heart of the Wild tonight. I'll miss the ability to go super nuts on a target, but maybe I can prioritize stam a little less and swap meta gems or shoulder/leg enchants.

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    238
    Oh, definitely, I agree that with top-end gear, crit is the way to go (as I get more gear, I'm transitioning over to full Crit myself). I was looking at Sejta from the very beginning, and he was the first to buck the trend with hit/exp/crit back while everyone else was recommending dodge + mastery, which is one of the reasons that this guide has always suggested those things.

    I think one of the differences though is that Sejta is a high end raider with the Agi on his gear to hold threat just fine -- my guide is intended for use by bears who have just recently hit 90, and will have a lot of threat and squishy-ness issues. These bears are in starter gear, coming up against established raiders in their 5 mans and having those threat issues -- so what I need to do, I think, is adjust the guide to speak a little more clearly to what the gemming/reforging audiences are. I'd already started doing that with the latest edits, but I think I need to be more obvious, sounds like.

    One other thing to note is that whenever you check on him, he's in the last configuration he signed off in. I've noticed that I've been tailoring my talent and glyph choices to specific fights, so if I've been on Will of the Emperor, my talents will look different (because I spec into Feline Swiftness for the dance) than if I'm on Vizier (in which you take out the CC tier completely and definitely do not take Heart of the Wild if you're not one tanking it*, because Vizier always uses your HoTW when mind controls you). I've watched his gear, gems, and reforges evolve over time, and I match it where possible, but the guide itself is not specifically aimed at the expert bears, who (should) know all this stuff already.

    Threatwise, I can feel the difference between two Agi powered tokens and one/two Stam+Dodge tokens when up against both consistent fellow raiders and LFR strangers. Last night I got a Delicate Vial of the Sanguinaire (+dodge, proc is extra Mastery) and decided to try it out in the next LFR. I run my LFRs with a DK tank friend of mine, and normally I am the one that has to back off on threat because my standard tank trinkets are a Vicious Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault (hit, proc agi) and Renataki's Soul Charm (expertise, proc agi) I've 'trained' the DK to be able to go full bore DPS even after a tank switch, since they know I'm good for sustained threat, and suddenly they started pulling individual pack mobs off of me despite using the same rotation I have for months. Moreover, there were suddenly some trigger-happy high powered DPS on the wrong mobs also starting to get high relative threat as well, and I wound up having to taunt a couple of strays back instead of relying on my usual rotation to get snap aggro back. And yes, part of it was likely that in addition to the loss of Agi procs, swapping out Renataki's for the dodge token also dropped 3% expertise, but I still had 11%.

    Should the OT have to back off after a taunt? If you don't know the person, probably. Should the DPS be smart and always assist the tank? Sure, in an ideal world, but in practice, they'll AOE everything and attack what they want to, especially in LFRs where they'll ignore raid markers and hit what they want.

    There's a reason I say things like 'personal preference' and 'your mileage may vary' type things in the guide -- it's because I know that I'm not going to be able to cover 100% of the preferences/options that work best for any given bear.

    My 'test subjects' are myself, two guildies, and three friends, the latter three who decided to dust off their own bears after I'd been tanking for them for a little bit, and made enough of a good impression that they wanted to give it a whirl. It's enlightening to me to talk shop with them in real time as they discover things about the characters that I've talked about working (most cases) or puzzle them (sometimes) or don't quite work (one or two things) and whenever they find stuff, I adjust the guide to match. It's meant to be a living document, just that sometimes it lags behind the curve.

    I'm a little leery about HotW's power of rolling Rejuvs, admittedly -- it requires you to take yourself out of your rotation to HoT people, so it is best used when you're not the active tank. The 6% passive is definitely a plus, but where it shines is the Hail Mary Tranquility you can do that outdoes the standard one by Resto druids. But of course, you can't do this unless you're not tanking.

    Renewal has yet to impress me despite some other bears preferring it. It is more guaranteed health on the moment, true, but in the beginning I was happier with the NS/HT+DoC combo due to its frequency of use ability and the ability to outheal Renewal on the total-per-2-minutes, plus its ability to crit for more than Renewal sometimes. The other end of the spectrum is Cenarion Ward, which I'm more and more inclined to agree with you that its utility isn't quite yet worth it even with its higher frequency of use ability.

    Where I tend to use Nature's Vigil+Incarnation is during high AoE phases (Jin'rokh) where any little bit that helps the healers helps. Right now my healers are hard put to heal through the Lightning phases without blowing some major cooldowns, and that's with help from me or the other bear tank adding our own Tranquility on top of that.

    I am not meaning to come across as discounting your opinions and findings -- just the opposite, in fact. All I'm really saying is that I am writing from people's collective experiences, yours included, and if enough people say something, I add/change/modify things as I go.

    -T.

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