Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

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Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby Digren » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:34 pm

Read This First

If you want to bitch about the change, use the Frustrations thread in the General forum. If you want to talk about other parts of the patch, use the Patch thread in the general forum. If you want to talk about the theorycraft as someone works out the new mechanics (assuming there's someone to do them), use one of the threads in the Advanced Theorycraft forum.

This thread, is to discuss and gather effective advice for gearing around the change, because by the end of the week there will be 1500 paladins wondering what to do about it.

What Does the Change Mean

The question you have to ask yourself is: "What do I want to have an excessive amount of?" Almost any encounter is survivable with a little less of something. What should that be for a tank?

1. Threat? What is the value of excessive threat? It might encourage your DPS players to play their best, to get as close to you as possible, but that only works to an extent. Any time your threat lead is consistently more than about 25% or so, you probably wasted it because the extra threat didn't affect anyone else's behavior. Hence, extra threat can be wasted.

2. Mastery? Sure, you can have more combat table coverage than you need to survive the encounter. You have good healers, right, you can learn to handle your spikes? I find that mastery is a great thing to stack, because it makes your damage intake smoother and makes your healers happier. And happy healers is a very important part of every raid, even ones that are well-past wiping to the content.

3. Stamina? Sure, you can create padding and the appearance of spike mitigation through stamina. It's the biggest component of effective health, and thus stacking stamina is one of the best ways to ensure you'll survive as long as possible in even the worst scenarios. That said, given the two I think at this point stacking mastery is better. It's not that easy to select for stamina except where it's directly up against mastery, so once you have a baseline amount, you should be fine.

4. Something else? What else do you think is more important than one of the above? How many of you would say "Holy Power generation". Is that really more important than all of the above?

Based on the comments below, many people immediately redesigned their gear for expertise and hit, before setting foot in a raid to feel it out. Others who didn't make any changes, walked into raids and found them little changed. In other words, other buffs made to our threat compensate for the nerf. Sure, some people may look at misses and panic, but that's getting caught up in the details.

Don't be hung up by a mechanic. You need sufficient threat to do your job. You don't need more. And you don't need guaranteed Holy Power for either.

What to Change

So, based on these conditions:
1. I've always been an effective health tank. Planning for EH always meant planning for worst-case scenarios. With Cataclysm, though, our larger health pools meant that we could plan less often for the worst case and more often for averages. Until we can block cap, we pretty much have to play this game of odds.
2. A tank who is not both melee hit and hard expertise capped could fail to generate an excessive string of Holy Power. With no hit or expertise, the chance of this could be pretty high. The odds get better the more we have.
3. According to the pre-4.0.6 math, expertise up to the soft (dodge) cap was our best threat stat.
4. Rebuke has no effect on this. When we need rebuke, we can strap on hit gear if necessary.

I suggest:
1. Use Seal of Truth over Seal of Insight
2. Use Glyph of Seal of Truth to pick up 10 free expertise
3. Humans: stick to maces and swords over axes
4. As always, have a trinket, maybe a pair of gemmed/enchanted gloves, and a flask and food for hit rating.

That's it.
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby Sur-Pseudo » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:50 pm

I would agree --

For single-target, boss encounters...

Expertise to soft cap first (though waiting for evidence to confirm it's worth it / close enough to worth it)

Hit, while working on more abilities, is still less threat per rating point -- Expertise works double on the specific mechanics that generate holy power up until soft cap, and 481 expertise is a lot easier to get to then 900-some hit rating, and you get twice the benefit (~-13% miss chance for 480 points vs. -8% for 920ish points)
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby Sur-Pseudo » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:52 pm

and due to the large amount of ~13%, I think we seriously need to theory craft the effects of expertise on Holy Power generation, but as you said -- Advanced forum for that ;-)

The big question is, is the 2% avoidance loss worth a 13% gain in Holy Power generation (or close enough to really be tanks-opinion)
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby Brutalicus » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:20 pm

Just to share my experiences on live servers tonight, I went with my guild to BWD up through Maloriak (though I DPSed Magmaw). This is only my second lockout of actual raiding, so take that into consideration when you hear about my night.

This change felt like psychological warfare to the normal-mode 10 man tank. I could still do my job well enough (~2% hit and 16 or so exp glyphed), but my threat generation and healing were as shitty as they've ever been. As Digren says, there were many, many strings of no HP generation and thus no opportunities to use a 3HP SoR or WoG. More than anything it messed with the rotation I've gotten used to since 4.0 launched. I had to shake the certainty of using a 3HP finisher after every third CS/HoR.

I'd love to see some more concrete experiences from those with more than a week of raiding under their belt, especially about the gearing. I agree with Digren though, for the time being, I don't think I'll reforge away any hit or expertise (if I even was in the first place) and I think I might pick up a couple hit/exp enchantments. It'll be a shame to lose some avoidance, but all those misses that were just an annoyance before were getting to be a real pain tonight.

for reference, my stats are:
ilvl 351 w/ no BoP raid epics. Gemmed for stam/mastery and enchanted for avoidance.
12.32% Dodge
12.33% Parry
50.09% Block
2.88% Hit
16 Expertise

Anybody else have experiences to share?
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby Arincia » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:59 am

I did some raiding in 25 BWD (magmaw, omnitron council and wipes trying to progress on altremedes). I spent about 5 minutes on a target dummy earlier to see if i could handle .5% hit and 16 exp. After getting frustrated with it i did some minor changes (2 gear swaps 1 weapon enchant swap and 1 wrist enchant swap and reforging) to get to 26 exp and 4.5% hit. Cost me 4% ctc. Using hit food+elixer got to 7.5% hit. I did't notice any threat problems or HP problems at all on the bosses. But i did feel a lot more spiker having gone from 93% ctc to 85%.

On one hand my HP generation was very stable with almost no noticeable difference from before but the loss of ctc made me a feel more spikier then before. If i were to recommend any gear changes it would be to have 1-2 high exp pieces to get soft capped. Preferably a mastery/exp piece. Beyond that some additional hit if you happen to get it (bringing you around 4-5% hit to reduce it to 12-10% miss chance) and you should be fine. I know if i had some more options of gear available to me like tier helm/shoulders or the exp/mastery helm it would be different for me on my gearing (work with that your given by the gods of loot drops).

But given the linear fashion of hit/exp/mastery and the Diminishing Returns on avoidance I'd say soft cap is easily worth the 1-3% avoidance you give up for it. I'm not sure i'm comfortable with so much loss of ctc rating for hit rating and may scale back on it unless aoe threat becomes really demanding.

Soft cap is worth reforging for. (trade away avoidance for it wrist enchant is great trade off imo)
Hit cap is situational. (cost lots of avoidance and ctc have some options to swap into if needed)
Hard cap exp is not worth it. (my experience of almost hit capped and soft cap exp almost like before patch)
Hit+soft exp set if you need to swap into otherwise soft cap+w/e hit and max mitigation.
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby bads » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:10 am

While I certainly think it is an inconvenience and an annoyance, I really don't think the change merits any serious reevaluation of your overall gearing strategy. If you are looking to improve your dps/tps the expertise soft cap remains your priority, and presumably expertise slightly increases its lead over hit.

I am curious as to the impact that this change will have on grand crusader's dps/tps value since we will inevitably run into empty globals while below the hit and expertise caps that gc procs could potentially fill.
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby inthedrops » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:11 am

Last night I just opted to not break rotation, and just live with whatever holy power I have. So if ShoR is up in the rotation, and I only have 2 holy power, so be it.

I'm waiting on the theory craft that says it's better to bork your rotation and miss a GCD in order to get a 2 HP ShoR than it is to use a 1 or 2 HP ShoR. Once I'm in WoG'ing mode, I can safely bork my rotation and wait for 3 HP.

Another thing I stopped doing is DP + Inquisition on the pull. I now definitely DP + ShoR early on just so I can be sure to get one decent attack off in the first 12 seconds.

So thanks for starting this thread, I'm anxious to see what the appropriate thing to do now is.
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby econ21 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:49 am

Digren wrote:The last thing you need to do is overreact with gearing and revert to some "instinctual" set without any justification.

The first thing I did was revert to an instinctual set. :wink:

I only run 5 mans at the moment, so raiders can put me on /ignore, but from a heroics perspective, I have been inclining towards a threat set for a while now. This just pushes me further towards it. There are several good reasons why threat matters more for 5 mans than implied by the conventional, raid-oriented, wisdom of reforging threat stats into survival - this change just adds another[*].

For 5 mans, meeting caps is rather less demanding - since we only fight L87 opponents, we only need 6% hit and 24 expertise (for soft cap). I've experimented with various gearsets and focussed on some items for Level 2 and 3 tanks that can be helpful in meeting those caps: either the Triton legs (expertise) or the JP legs (hit); the TH rep helm (expertise); the Ramkahen wrists (expertise); the BS shield (hit); the Red rock ring from Therazane (expertise); and the Umbriss band (hit). If you leave the threat stats alone on these items, they can get you quite far without a massive CTC cost - either because they come with a lot of mastery out of the box or because reforging the avoidance instead of the threat stat still gives you decent CTC gains. Your weapon and weapon enchant are other degrees of freedom (e.g. Cookie's tenderiser with a weapon chain). I still need to use a hit trinket, but otherwise, it is relatively painless. For example, I can choose between:

A. Survival (ilevel 352 pre-raid gear)
- 90.86% CTC; 1% hit; 17 expertise
i.e. vs L87 opponent 4% chance to miss; 3.5% combined chance to be dodged or parried

B. Threat cap (changes helm, relic, rings, hit trinket and hit weapon + chain)
- 85.98% CTC; 6% hit, 24 expertise

I am pretty sure I will go for threat for 5 mans - 5% less CTC for 7.5% more chance to land a blow sounds a fair trade. For raids, I will wait to hear from raiders although my instinct is to try to get by with the survival set.

[*] Pre-existing reasons why tanks running 5 mans should not neglect threat stats:

(1) As one player out of only four dealing damage, your individual contribution to the party's dps is non-negligible; especially if you PUG with sub-par dps some of who may contribute little more damage than you do.

(2) With lower vengeance and a higher proportion of trash than in a raid, keeping aggro can be more of an issue; especially if you PUG with dps who go nuts.

(3) With less scarey mobs than in a raid, survivability is less of an overriding concern, especially as the PUGs are now better geared and more experienced than early in Cata.

(4) You are more often expected to interrupt; 2nd boss of BRC and 1st boss of ToT are examples, but more routinely a lot of trash packs contain casters who tend to be the more dangerous mobs.

(5) Most basically and subjectively, WoW is a game and games are supposed to be fun. As a tank, it can be frustrating to be flailing around, failing to connect. My AS was flying off into the sky so often, I felt like I was playing frizzbee in a dungeon rather than tanking. Now that such fails delay our big moves, it will be even more irritating. By contrast, shield slamming mobs is fun. This argument applies less to raiding, of course, which is serious business.
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby Aerron » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:04 am

The only thing I did different last night was to take my two brand new gem slots in my BoE crafted Chest and Belt, and put Hit/Exp gems in. Doing a Normal 10 man raid in which I MT'd 5 bosses (BH, Mag, Omni, Maloriak, Atramedes) I really noticed almost no difference in my HP generation. I can only remember two times when CS missed and I sighed and added 2 more steps to my rotation.

Minimal change to my CTC, minimal change to my Rotation.

EDIT: just to be clear, I was add tank on Maloriak, which I consider the more important/dangerous job of the two.
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby lythac » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:11 am

Digren wrote:I think that's it for now. Don't go crazy and regear for hit and expertise until you see the real impact of this change on your survivability and threat.

For me Mastery is still king. Every piece of gear should ideally still have mastery but both Hit and Expertise as the other stat have had their worth increased vs dodge or parry. I would still say to reforge away from the hit and expertise, but the 60% you have left remaing is now not a total waste.

Elementium Earthguard's worth for example has increased in my view.
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby Killian » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:26 pm

Well, I did exactly what Digren warned against and incautiously reforged and swapped pieces with desperate abandon trying to get as close to the Expertise and Hit caps as possible. I'm in nearly-full epics; my guild is about 9/12 at the moment (technically 8/12; connection troubles have wiped us at 1% on AC every time we've gotten close. we'll get it this week!).

I went from a full Stam/Mastery setup to sacrificing about 13% table coverage (~72% down from a little under 85%) to just barely touch the dodge and hit caps (nailed dodge cap but only got to +7.99% hit /wrists). I tanked all of BWD except Nefarian plus Halfus and V&T last night. I definitely felt spikier (which I felt was hugely mitigated, incidentally, by one of our two Holy priests switching back to Discipline), but I was frustrated enough by my only-slightly-stifled HP generation even then that I think I would have ended up a frothy-mouthed nerdzerker otherwise. (My healers claim to not have noticed, but they are proud.)

On a side note, I did what felt like 2-3x the DPS I used to, depending on the fight. Yay?

In short, if we had been working on Heroics, I might have created a serious problem for myself, but since we're still doing Normal mode content I felt like I had more than enough slack to burn up hitting the caps. When I get home tonight I'll probably pop open Rawr (are people using Rawr again yet?) and optimize for Mitigation with +=150k HP/hit cap/dodge cap requirements.
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby Petrus » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:50 pm

Personally, I'm hitcapping myself because sometimes I need to be able to hit interrupts without relying on DPS to do it for me. The bonus threat and more steady HP gen is just a bonus. A rather frustrating necessity but on occasion I need to be able to do it. Thus, if I'm in a situation where I'm in our 25man raid and have reliable interrupters, etc., I'll drop some hit rating.
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby Arincia » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:03 pm

Wouldn't reforging into expertise out of avoidance/mastery pieces be enough to almost soft cap at only 1-2% ctc due to avoidance having Diminishing returns? Soft cap would only have us missing 15.5% the time and smooth out the rotation a lot more (possibly more healing from WoG at that point due to more CS hits). I was wondering if that might be most viable trade off to make to increase our overall survival including WoG.

Seems the best route to go imo. I mean we still missed cs before and got no threat (and apparently wog hasn't generated threat in a while) so the only impact it has on when we use our finisher. Given that wog scales linearly just pop it every 3rd cs and nothing changed for the rotation. Just have to use SoR more earlier in fights to get a better lead and have dps hold there guns a bit more. Ill gladly trade avoidance for exp (yay diminishing returns) but i won't give up any mastery. Ill just try to get soft cap as i can and learn to live with a few misses early on. (and btw if your really paranoid just exlixer dance as needed between mastery and exp/hit in fights)
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby Dantriges » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:09 pm

After playing around with some pieces and taking the spare pieces out of the bank with massive mastery that no one wanted, I traded 2% avoidance and some spare life against 2% dodge and soft cap expertise. But well I wasn´t so keen on reforging threat stats anyways. I alreadysuspected that Blizzard doesn´t like the complete dump of threat stats at all and I assume something will happen for all tanks so that threat matters again. At least it will, if they redesign their beloved Vengeance. I wonder what´s keeping them away from it.
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Re: Impact of HP generation nerf on gearing

Postby Extermi » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:22 am

My strategy so far was to switch a +HP trinket against +Hit (and hoping the 7000 HP difference is no make-or-break) and reforging some dodge into expertise, as well as switching in a +Hit/+Mastery ring. My priority for reforging was to reforge to mastery wherever possible, and on Mastery/Something pieces reforge the "something" to Expertise.

In the end, I am now in a mix of blue and purple gear at Exp softcap and Hit Cap. Tanking Heroics and Tol Barad yesterday, it felt no different expect I was running insane DPS - with the biggest portion (on bosses) stemming from CS. The true impact on my survivability will be visible this evening when I raid.

My feelings are a bit mixed. I was used to stay at Hitcap in BC and TBC, because of taunting and because I did not like missed avenger shields at the pull at all. With the Cata focus on mastery, I felt a bit gimped with my resulting low hit stats. Now, having a reason to take hit/exp again because of the much increased "comfort" factor of a stable and reliable rotation is even feeling "ok", since this also improves (mass) taunt and pull aggro (and the new interrupt on some bosses), and, together with the CS buff, allows me to massively contribute to my 10s raid DPS.

Now, we are not in raiding heroics. But I would suspect if you are really top notch the change is not crippling, either, as you will be able to successful wear a survival oriented set, as before. You will still have very controlled pulls thanks to MDs, and the strong CS buff will keep average threat high even when the HP generation lacks. The only thing gimped is the self heal, which is now probably every ~12 seconds instead of every 9 (with ~80% hit chance), if you go for WoG dumps only. Or, as Petrus said, press it every 9s anyway since it scales linearly. As WoG now also does not reset the swing timer anymore, and since ShoR does pale a bit compared to the new CS, it also evens out a bit more.

In the end, my personal learning is that I will probably need a survival oriented set for the progression fights where tank survivability is key, and stay at hit/exp (soft)cap for everything else, helping my raid DPS instead of helping my healers. Lets see how this holds.

Last edited by Extermi on Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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