Block Value / BoSanc Concerns @ Tankspot

I’ve just posted a fairly lengthy update on Tankspot regarding recent changes to Shield of Righteousness and Blessing of Sanctuary on the PTR. Head on over if you’d like to take a look.

July 11th, 2009 by Lore | 1,244 Comments »

3.2 Commentary III: Ardent Defender

So, they seem to have refined AD mechanics quite a bit as of the latest PTR build (10072), since my initial observations a couple posts ago. I like where it’s ended up, I think.

To clear the air, since it’s gone through a fair amount of changes as well as bugs since the initial PTR push, here’s how it works right now. There are two main and separate effects, a damage reduction effect and a Guardian Spirit-esque “save” effect.

The damage reduction effect works very similar to how the talent currently works on live, with one minor (yet important) change: hits that reduce your health below 35% have the portion that takes you below 35% reduced as well. Basically, any and all damage dealt to you below 35% gets the reduction. This fixes the long-standing leapfrog issue with the talent and basically ensures that it will always come into play, no matter how hard the boss is hitting. A great fix overall that will give us a little more survivability against the slow, hard hitting bosses that we’re currently pretty weak against.

The save effect works like this: when you “die”, you are immediately healed for 30% of your max HP. The amount of HP it returns is increased by Defense skill and caps out at 540, so tanks can generally count on getting the full 30%. You still take the full amount of damage from the hit (what would have been overkill damage is subtracted from the amount healed). When this happens, you get a debuff that doesn’t let it proc again for 2 minutes. For a little while on the PTR, the debuff was also removing the damage reduction effect, but this is no longer the case — the two are completely separate.

Both changes combined are best viewed as massive increases to effective health. The damage reduction effect can be mathed out to pretty much a direct 15% EH increase. In a perfect world, that would also be the case on live, but the leapfrog issue prevented it from living up to its full potential before.

The save effect could be considered a semi-permanent EH increase as well. Remember that effective health is really just a representation of how much raw damage it takes to kill you. As long as the save remains active, a boss will have to hit you for however much health you have left + 30% in order to kill you (and the 30% DR will be active for all of it). This goes away as soon as it procs of course, but the effect is pretty large.

It is technically possible for the save to go off and you still die. This is mostly so that Paladin tanks can’t survive things that are designed to be unsurvivable, but it does mean that, in some very specific situations, you could find yourself dead through AD. I’m not terribly worried, though. Even at 1 hp, a tank with a max health of 50k would be able to take what would normally be somewhere around a 21k hit if they were at 100% and still live, and that’s a very unlikely situation.

All in all, things seem to be shaping up quite nicely.

July 9th, 2009 by Lore | 2,227 Comments »

3.2 Commentary Part II: The Commentening

So, I got a chance to hop on the PTR for a little while yesterday and play around with the Ret changes. Three things stuck out:

  1. The CS change is less noticeable than I expected
  2. I do a lot more damage
  3. Art of War/Exorcism is even more laughable than I thought it would be

Really though, it’s almost impossible for me to not have Art of War up when I want to hit Exorcism, even on the first one in the rotation (since I want to prioritize instant strikes to stack up SoCorr quickly). The only change adding anything interesting to the Ret rotation right now is 4-second Crusader Strike, and that’s only because it means I have fewer free GCD’s.

I need to take a close look at the rotation to really figure out if there’s any shifting in priority, but the whole thing felt pretty natural with the standard CS > J > DS > Cons > Exo priority. I’ll try to get more precise numbers up here when I can.

Oh, and I didn’t have the mana issues everyone’s complaining about. I was able to sustain my rotation for a good 7-8 minutes before OOM, and that’s without any of the important mana buffs aside from JoW. I do think CS should have its mana cost scaled back, but if it doesn’t, I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal.

June 26th, 2009 by Lore | 1,672 Comments »

3.2 Commentary

Seen these yet? Good.

Protection

Uh, lol? Ardent Defender is overpowered. My only concern is that they’ll “fix” it by adding an internal cooldown to the damage reduction effect (they did the exact same thing with DK’s), thereby making it unreliable for surviving the “hit a cooldown when this happens” boss mechanics that were the whole point of giving us a new cooldown anyway. I’d much rather see AD keep the mechanics exactly how they’re listed in the notes, but make it a 2-minute cooldown ability with a 10-15 second duration. Hit the button, and for 15 seconds I take less damage from hits that would drop me below 35% with the Guardian Spirit effect as a backup. That seems pretty solid. Having it up all the time is pretty overpowered though.

Block value buff is kind of surprising and should put us in a really good place as far as physical mitigation goes (assuming you like block value gear, which I do). The ShoR nerf doesn’t come close to offsetting it — even if only half our block value is effected by the buff, that’s still a 50% increase.

SoV/C change is kind of puzzling too. I wonder if they’ll try to find a way to keep Prot from using it, since it’s pretty much just a ridiculous buff to Prot threat which we were already more than fine on.

At any rate, Prot is looking really good in 3.2.

Retribution

Pretty disappointed here. They were supposed to give Ret a new playstyle that wasn’t just “push whatever your tastiest button happens to be at the moment.” As it stands right now, here is what will change for me as a Ret Paladin in 3.2:

  • I’ll cast SoV every 30 minutes instead of SoB
  • I’ll Crusader Strike every 4 seconds instead of every 6

That’s about it. I’ll probably swap out the Exo glyph for SoV for 10 free Expertise, and I’ll have to drop a bunch of the Prot tree (farewell, Divine Sacrifice) to put 5 points in Seals of the Pure. I’ll continue to not spec Seal of Command (SoV will do far more damage assuming you can keep a 5-stack up),  and I might shift some points into Vindication to save our Warriors some rage.

The Art of War/Exorcism thing means almost nothing, assuming Exo keeps its 15 second cooldown. If Art of War isn’t up by the time Exorcism is, I’m doing something very, very wrong. We won’t be able to use AoW on FoL’s as reliably anymore, but we’re also losing all the self-damage from SoB, so that’s not really a big deal.

All in all, pretty disappointing for Ret, and I hope they have more on the way. I’m really not even seeing much in the way of burst reduction, so I don’t know what they hope to accomplish with these changes.

Oh and: /boggle Replenishment

June 19th, 2009 by Lore | 1,707 Comments »

How Downranking Nerfs Ruined Raiding

…or rather, the removal of low-throughput, high-efficiency healing.

A conversation at Tankspot got me to reminiscing a bit about “the good old days” of Level 60 raiding. Specifically, I got to thinking a bit about how healing works now compared to then, and its impact on not only tanking but raiding in general.

When I started playing WoW clear back at the classic release, I rolled a Warrior. However, I spent most of my time then doing 5-mans, PVP’ing, and leveling alts. I didn’t really get a start into raiding until I got my Priest to 60, and joined Months Behind just in time to kill Nefarian (while wearing mostly greens). The vast majority of my Classic raiding experience was on my Priest.

Read more…

June 8th, 2009 by Lore | 3,840 Comments »

Bindings! also Blizzcons!

First article of business: I got my other binding! And… forgot to take a screenshot in all the excitement. I’m still getting the last of the mats together, but holy crap it feels good to finally be free of that stupid rock monster after a year+ of farming.

Also, I’ll be attending Blizzcon this year! Furthermore, Blizzard has been kind enough to supply me with a press badge! I don’t know what all that means really (this will actually be my first Blizzcon) but you can rest assured there’ll be all sorts of neat coverage on TankSpot when the time comes, and I intend to give some updates here as well. If you happen to bump into me, I’ll be the one walking around looking awesome. With a bunch of hot women hanging off of me. And then they all swoon when I say things like “console command.”

Yep.

June 3rd, 2009 by Lore | 1,578 Comments »

HTML:Iframe-inf?

UPDATE: Turns out there was a mystery line of code that was causing the error. I’ve removed it, but please keep me posted if it pops up again. I’m getting in touch with my host to make sure everything’s alright on their end as well.

UPDATE 2: Found another one. Everything should be cleared now.

So a couple people using Avast! have passed along that they’re getting a warning for a worm called HTML:Iframe-inf when they load my blog. I did some digging on the Avast! website and it sounds like this is actually being caused by a virus called virut.h on the user’s PC’s. I have no idea why it’s only showing up on my blog for these people (it seems to single certain websites out), but if you’re getting that warning, it might be worthwhile to check out the info and instructions in the following links:

http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=42290.0

http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=42274.0

If you decide to give that a try, let me know if it works!

May 29th, 2009 by Lore | 5,277 Comments »

Why the DK FP nerf doesn’t fix the problem

I posted this on the official Tanking forums as well, but thought I’d repost it here:

 

Before I begin, I feel it would be beneficial to make a couple disclaimers/introductions to put my words into perspective for those who might not know me already.

I played a Protection Warrior for the majority of WoW classic (though the majority of my raiding experience was as a Holy Priest), a Protection Paladin for the entirety of TBC, and now a dual spec Ret/Prot Paladin in Wrath. I primarily raid as Ret currently due to a handful of reasons, the majority of which have nothing to do with class balance or mechanics. Among the community, I am a long-time staff member of Maintankadin, and have authored many video guides (particularly for Ulduar encounters) at Tankspot. I’ve tanked on all four classes to some degree, although only as a Paladin at 80. Regarding tank balance, I believe Death Knights and, to a lesser extent, Feral Druids are a fair bit ahead of Warriors and Paladins.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s why I don’t think nerfing Frost Presence changes anything regarding the relative value of a DK tank compared to the other classes to the average raiding guild. Read more…

May 27th, 2009 by Lore | 2,510 Comments »

3.2 Jewelcrafting Nerf

Well, that’s annoying.

For those who haven’t seen it yet, in the next major content patch (meaning patch 3.2), Dragon’s Eyes will no longer be prismatic gems. This means that Jewelcrafters (like myself) won’t be able to cheese socket bonuses by, say, putting a +27 Str gem in a blue slot, and will also have to watch meta gems again.

I’m well aware that Jewelcrafting was overpowered, and I agree that something needed to be changed. I’m just sad to see that aspect of the profession go. It’s fun figuring out what slots to put my Dragon’s Eyes in to grab an extra socket bonus. It’s nice not having to worry about meta gem requirements. That, to me at least, is a cooler “perk” for being a Jewelcrafter than just “some of your gems are better.” I’d much prefer they balance the profession by just lowering the stats on the gems themselves.

This also makes me wonder if epic gems are coming in 3.2… which would make the nerf entirely unnecessary.

May 22nd, 2009 by Lore | 1,218 Comments »

Ahhh… that fresh new blog smell

Oh, hello there.

Finally made the jump off of blogspot, in a shiny new WordPress setup with my own hosting! I can do all sorts of fun things now. For starters, look how pretty it is!

If you were automatically redirected here from the old blog, that means my nifty javascript trick worked how I wanted it to. If not, well, sorry I made you click. Either way, the new address is http://lore.ftwgaming.com. Update your bookmarks!

Mind the dust — I’m working on getting everything up to speed here but it might be a little flaky in the meantime. Between Tankspot, Azeroth Advisor, and just good ol’ progression raiding, I’ve been busy as hell lately. Why not throw more onto the pile, eh?

May 20th, 2009 by Lore | 1,823 Comments »