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Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Warning: Theorycraft inside.

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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby Dazhbog » Sun May 17, 2009 12:26 pm

Panzerdin wrote:No it doesn't. If your healers are doing their jobs right, there should always be at least two on the MT. If one moves to avoid a Shadow Crash and misses a cast, then the other should be more than able to help keep the tank up. Vezax takes three hits to kill a tank, there's no way even a tank with no avoidance at all should be dying. It's a problem with your healers, not your tank.


Vezax hits my tanks for, at the least, 19k damage and change (my DK and I are about 200 damage difference). However, the DK is smoothing out a lot of the incoming damage because he gets hit 30% less often then I do (65% versus 75% avoidance):

My damage on Vezax
DK's damage on Vezax

The lack of DPS spikes on the DK (I twice go over 5k DPS incoming, he's pretty much under 3k) has everything to do with the avoidance difference. The average hit on the DK was 19.2k, while my average blocked hit was the same. Our health pools are nearly identical (42k buffed).

Oh, and the 4 30K hits on me were while we were wiping at the end, I ate the flame nova and stopped tanking.
Last edited by Dazhbog on Sun May 17, 2009 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby Panzerdin » Sun May 17, 2009 12:57 pm

But total damage taken doesn't matter a damn. What matters is being able to deal with the damage you take. Don't get me wrong, reducing the frequency of no-avoidance strings is great. It's just that being able to take an extra hit during them is better. Your healers are casting on you whether you take damage or not, and they can heal you even if you get hit every time, so that isn't a problem. What is a problem is you taking burst damage (e.g. Melee hit + Parry + Random environmental damage) and dying from it. Once you can eliminate that, by all means stack avoidance, but hoping you avoid that hit that will kill you rather than being able to take it is suboptimal.

With the example given, your spike damage intake is no smaller than the DKs, it's just that he takes avoidance strings less. Having avoidance just reduces the frequency of things you should survive anyway; having EH actually means you're more likely to survive them.
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby Dazhbog » Sun May 17, 2009 1:41 pm

Reducing/spreading out incoming damage on the Vezax fight is crucial, due to the fact that the healers are fighting a losing battle with their mana. Yes, I can eat every hit and be healed up in between, but it is a major drain on the healers' resources. Not only that, but if the DK is taking the same damage on a hit, and taking it less frequently, he's straight up taking less damage then I am over the course of the fight. In other words, when we do take a hit, we're both okay, but the DK will take those hits less frequently, which means a) I have a higher chance of taking a 1-2 punch, which means a lot of healer output needed and can potentially kill me, b) the DK is taking less damage overall, which again acts to conserve healer mana, and c) in a fight where healers are having to move due to shadowcrash/mark of the faceless/getting to mana pools, more avoidance means greater windows for heals to land.

Which implies the avoidance is a rather strong survival mechanism, particularly for the Vezax fight where getting the EH to survive a third blow straight up is, well, nearly impossible.
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby Panzerdin » Sun May 17, 2009 2:13 pm

Dazhbog wrote:Reducing/spreading out incoming damage on the Vezax fight is crucial, due to the fact that the healers are fighting a losing battle with their mana. Yes, I can eat every hit and be healed up in between, but it is a major drain on the healers' resources. Not only that, but if the DK is taking the same damage on a hit, and taking it less frequently, he's straight up taking less damage then I am over the course of the fight. In other words, when we do take a hit, we're both okay, but the DK will take those hits less frequently, which means a) I have a higher chance of taking a 1-2 punch, which means a lot of healer output needed and can potentially kill me, b) the DK is taking less damage overall, which again acts to conserve healer mana, and c) in a fight where healers are having to move due to shadowcrash/mark of the faceless/getting to mana pools, more avoidance means greater windows for heals to land.

Which implies the avoidance is a rather strong survival mechanism, particularly for the Vezax fight where getting the EH to survive a third blow straight up is, well, nearly impossible.

On Vezax, where letting your healers stopcast is an advantage, you have a point. Anywhere else, no. As for a third hit being unsurvivable, if EH is conferring no benefit at all, then clearly you take Avoidance. I'm not saying Avoidance is bad, just that EH is better.
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby majiben » Sun May 17, 2009 9:01 pm

Healers aren't going full throttle 100% of the time. All but holy paladins have clutch moves to heal a tank who takes 2 or more hits in a row.
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby Panzerdin » Mon May 18, 2009 8:58 am

Majiben wrote:Healers aren't going full throttle 100% of the time.

Then they're doing something wrong, because they should be.
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby majiben » Mon May 18, 2009 9:25 am

They can't simply. Most healers have the equivalent of a nitro boost or over drive. These bursts aren't available 100% of the time and even when they are, they will quickly be drained of resources. You don't expect druid healers to swiftmend and use nature's swiftness on every cooldown do you? Those act as clutch moves to use for recovering from any number of events including a long string of hits. It simply isn't practical for you to expect healers to heal you as if you had no avoidance because strings of 10 hits aren't common. They will still have very high HPS, close to the DPST you would get with no avoidance but it is wasteful of raid resources to meet it fully.
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby moduspwnens » Mon May 18, 2009 11:06 am

Panzerdin wrote:Secondly, EH is a great thing to have. However, the progression is very jerky. Either some extra EH lets you survive the next hit, or it doesn't. Whether you can take 2.0 hits or 2.9 hits is irrelevant, because the third hit still kills you. So by all means stack EH, but don't stack worthless EH. Getting to the next EH 'level' (i.e. being able to survive an extra hit) is the best thing you can do to improve your survivability.


This is one of the things that bothers me to see repeated. Majiben has already jumped on it, but I thought I'd add my two cents. Just because you're not a full integer hit above does NOT mean it's frivolous to get more EH. That would only be the case if you weren't getting heals. Being able to take 2.9 hits is a LOT better than being able to take 2.0 hits partially due to the fact that healers aren't 100% on their toes at all times (and much of the time, for good reason), but also because of small heals. Druid HoTs, Earth Shield, PoM, Beacon heals... if you get any of those after your second hit, that'll probably nudge you into being able to barely handle that third. Healers don't heal in integer amounts and you aren't being topped off 100% of the time.

I tend to gem generally for stamina but use hybrid gems for good bonuses and enchant for whatever grants the most bang for the buck. I certainly don't begrudge tanks (especially Paladins) for doing what the OP is doing, though. We're still at a health disadvantage to other tanks.
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby Panzerdin » Mon May 18, 2009 11:34 am

Majiben wrote:They can't simply. Most healers have the equivalent of a nitro boost or over drive. These bursts aren't available 100% of the time and even when they are, they will quickly be drained of resources. You don't expect druid healers to swiftmend and use nature's swiftness on every cooldown do you? Those act as clutch moves to use for recovering from any number of events including a long string of hits. It simply isn't practical for you to expect healers to heal you as if you had no avoidance because strings of 10 hits aren't common. They will still have very high HPS, close to the DPST you would get with no avoidance but it is wasteful of raid resources to meet it fully.

Actually, if they're geared, then in current content I'd expect Holy Paladins, Disc Priests and Resto Shamans to just sit there spamming heals on me the entire time. Why? Because they can.

As for the rationale regarding integer hits. Your healers are healing you the whole time (see above). Therefore, you're getting heals. Lots of heals. If the heals are enough to keep you alive, you will be over that mark anyway. If they aren't, you're going to die long term anyway. Think about it:

I'll assume 20k HP and 10k boss hits, because it's easy.
You are hit for 10k
You are hit for 10k
Your healers heal you for 10k
You are hit for 10k
You are healed for 2k (HoT etc.)
You are hit for 10k
You die

Now, with 29k
You are hit for 10k
You are hit for 10k
You are healed for 10k
You are hit for 10k
You are healed for 2k (HoT etc.)
You are hit for 10k
You are healed for 10k
You are hit for 10k
You are hit for 10k
You die

You may well buy yourself more time, but ultimately, if your healers spamming won't keep you up on one integer margin (+ periodicals), it won't do shit for you before the next either. On the other hand, if it will, you're fine in both scenarios.

In summary:
Healing sufficient - you're both fine
Healing insufficient - you both die

Actually, having written that out, it looks seriously flawed. Let me think a while.
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby Rhiannon » Mon May 18, 2009 8:39 pm

If you have grim reaper or something similar going on in the background and watch how your health fluctuates over time, it's not always a case of dropping to half and being filled a second later. At least in my case, depending on the nature of the fight and the number of healers I assign myself it can bounce between 40 and 80% for several seconds without getting fully topped off. Claiming you're going to get fully topped off every 3 seconds is very naive - or my healers are doing something very wrong. It simply isn't the case that healers can always sit there spamming heals on you non-stop.

Examples:

Kalagorn - two of your healers gets gripped, then another gets eye beamed - a second or two of weak healing follows as healers on different assignments switch to cover (tank should blow a cd to cover this eventuality, but still)

Auriaya - feral defender stuns one healer, other gets feared for whatever reason (lack of tremor totems or whatever)

Thorim - two healers have to move from the trail of lightning just as he lands an unbalancing strike and tanks are switched, healing isn't as quick to ramp up on new tank as it should be

Mimiron - One healer has to move from rocket, pewpew laser barrage forces two others to move

Vezax - (more so on 10 man with two healers) - both healers go for a saronite vapor, one gets mark of the faceless and has to move out of range, other moves in a bit, leading to low HPS input for a short period

By your logic of healers standing there spamming non-stop, there's no point taking on more hp/armor if it doesn't give you the means to take another full hit in a certain period of time, and there's no point taking on more avoidance as your healers would be spamming you anyway. In practice, adding hp does give breathing room for healer errors (either forced by the fight or player error), as does adding avoidance.

Furthermore, with the prevalence of absorption effects around now - specifically PW:S, DA and Sacred, there's no real standard melee hit anyway. A boss might swing for 65-70k on 0 armor. On 29k armor, 23.7k - 25.5k (say 22 - 23.9k after BV - but even your BV isn't constant if you're still using the LoO). If inspiration is up, that 29k becomes 36.25k, and the hits become 20.4k - 22k (18.7 - 20.3k with 1.7k BV. Then you throw in disc PW:S that can soak in excess of 7k damage, plus divine aegis procs and sacred shields, and you get a melee swing variance between ~11k and 24k depending on what shields and procs are up at the time.
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby Panzerdin » Tue May 19, 2009 12:12 am

I'm wrong.
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby majiben » Tue May 19, 2009 6:39 am

Happens to all of us, just see the combat table thread.
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby Panzerdin » Tue May 19, 2009 9:17 am

Yup, now we just need to get Theck.
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby Conaan! » Tue May 19, 2009 9:49 am

screenshotting

but what panzerdin has said, is partially correct, if a hard mode was about high amount of tank damage and a dps race (like a mini brut) then technically it would be best to get enough EH as possible to survive a full hit, and not over, and use whatever slots you have open from EH to avoidance

as an example, 3 pieces, 3 EH, 3 avoidance, and say 1 piece of EH lets you survive 2 hits, 2 pieces lets you survive 2.2, and 3 lets you survive 2.4, then it would be best to use 1 EH piece and 2 avoidance

but since this scenario is not in ulduar, its something we should just keep in our minds for whenever it pops up
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Re: Ulduar hard modes and how to approach them

Postby Panzerdin » Wed May 20, 2009 2:24 am

I'm actually partially correct on any encounter, it's just that it isn't feasible to calculate whether a given value of EH is of benefit or not, and how often.
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