Armor vs HP Math Help

Warning: Theorycraft inside.

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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby Koatanga » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:16 am

Fridmarr wrote:Your argument that armor is always better, even in a purely physical fight, is wrong

To be accurate, that's not something he believes.

He gems for stam, even when stam/agi would give more armour. Chest is enchanted with 275 health, where +10 stats would give more armour and block value. Weapon has titanium chain instead of agi or mongoose. 2 purple gems in gear, both being expertise/stam instead of agi/stam.

So regardless of the Armour > all mantra, he's not really gearing that way.
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby Meloree » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:33 am

In a staggering display of bad luck (or possibly good luck), today I took 18 hits in a row at Festergut during a 3-stack. I had somewhere north of 40% post-chill raidbuffed avoidance. 0.01% chances happen.

I was wearing full armor gear, to generate a parse with it. Basically my armory right now, except that I wore a stamina trinket instead of corpse-tongue coin. Around 58k raidbuffed hp, for reference, and 35700 armor unbuffed. Full raidbuffs were in place, but I didn't note down the total. The difference between my normal progression oriented gearset, then, and what I wore today is roughly 4k raidbuffed HP against 2700 armor - glyph and onyxia ring for ashen verdict ring and another stamina trinket. I used an indestructible pot, but no cooldowns - I don't get to use any there, we still play games with our feral kitten, although the fights are getting too short for him to really generate a good parse. That's offtopic.

It's worth noting that there's more than enough healing incoming. The holy paladin didn't even feel threatened enough to ramp up to holy light. I can't find a location in the log where I was at risk of dying had I worn one gearset or the other. The average hit would have been ~1200 larger, I would have taken an extra ~21600 damage over the course of those 18 hits. AD never triggered, and wouldn't have ever triggered in the other gearset. Blood Draining never triggered. I was in no real danger the entire time. That's not really surprising, it's a normal-mode boss.

Here's the log. It probably qualifies as a pretty good worst case for Festergut. Make of it what you will.
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby Paxen » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:33 am

JamesVZ wrote:The whole point, the whole reason I came here is because I have yet to see a Paladin stack armor in any significant degree, even though it gives better returns for just about every tank pressuring fight you can think of. These two logs represent the very essence of the debate. We've said why, conceptually, that armor stacking is good. We now have logs that show a very large gain from it. I'd say it's extremely relevant for every single tank out there to consider that maybe, just maybe the effective health/TTL formulas they're using to gear their characters aren't quite as good as they thought they were.


I think, that to prove that armor saves healer mana and (more importantly!) gcds, you have to show that replacing stamina with armor actually changes healer behavior. Otherwise the argument that it makes it "easier for the healers" is invalid and we're back to comparing what stat let's you survive longest.

My main is a resto shaman, so I mainly heal the raid, but lately I've been assigned to tank healing on festergut (25). I'm not in any sort of cutting edge guild, but we did at least down twins heroic before 3.3 so I hope my viewpoint isn't too invalid.

During fester 2- and 3- stack, I'm not really looking at the tank's health. I'm weaving Healing Waves with Riptide/Chain Heal (for Tidal Waves), spamming non stop, and I'm really watching my mana more than his health. HW spam eats shaman mana like it's hot cakes, but if I start healing reactivly the tank dies. The heal has to be started before the hit lands. If he's on 100%, spam heals. If he's below 100% hope you're already casting, or blow Nature's Swiftness and hope you won't be behind again. Did one of our tanks take less damage than the other? It's not important. If we got through 2 and 3 stacks without a tank death it's all good.
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby Shadow » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:20 am

Paxen wrote: If he's on 100%, spam heals. If he's below 100% hope you're already casting, or blow Nature's Swiftness and hope you won't be behind again.


I agree with this 100%. My main is a resto druid, and I frequently get moved from raid to tank heals. On 2 & 3 stack festergut, it's nourish spam while refreshing HoTs between casts, and hoping that I don't fall behind because of the extra gcd.

From the healer's perspective, we don't notice the difference between a 23k hit and a 25k hit. The heal should have been coming before the hit ever landed. So you take what, ~20k less damage through the course of the fight? Ok, that's 2 nourishes I don't have to cast. But if having to cast those 2 extra heals was really going to hurt my mana that bad, I don't belong on that content anyway.
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby Trase » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:58 am

A note on Wiingman's log (forgive me if I missed it because it was 1 am and I was half asleep while looking):

I queried the log for Ancestral Fortitude and Inspiration during the 3xInhaled Blight portion of his tanking and only found one occurrence of Inspiration that was active for roughly 40% of that portion and found no Ancestral Fortitude. That alone would account for most of the higher than usual average physical damage intake since he was missing a -10% Physical Damage taken buff for 60% of that portion of the fight.

NOTE: Would someone mind double checking behind me for those buffs? Currently at work and can't access the log.
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby bashef » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:10 am

Paxen wrote:I think, that to prove that armor saves healer mana and (more importantly!) gcds, you have to show that replacing stamina with armor actually changes healer behavior. Otherwise the argument that it makes it "easier for the healers" is invalid and we're back to comparing what stat let's you survive longest.


Once again though, this is a red herring - nobody is suggesting that stacking armour allows your healers to slack off/change healing pattern/whatever, nor that they save mana. Even at 5% additional damage reduction, which is just about as extreme as you could get, healing simply doesn't happen at a sufficient level of granularity to react to this. I don't think anyone is arguing this, and if they are it's a distraction from the real point.

Nor are we really talking about whittling down; we all agree that a downward spiral of 10-15 seconds of damage without entirely sufficient healing to meet this is an extremely unlikely way for tanks to die. We're talking more standard burst windows of 2-3 seconds: melee+special+melee on one of the 2 second swing bosses (so the totality of the damage arrives in 2.4 seconds debuffed); three unavoided attacks in a row from Festergut at 3 stacks (60k+ in just over two seconds). The argument is that some measure of healing occurs even in these short bursts, as do absorbs, and all of that effective healing and absorb can be treated as health for the purposes of determining the value of armour.

Taking Theck's example stats, for the Glyph to beat the Key you need to receive 24k healing with the quoted health and armour in the burst for the glyph to win (assuming it's 100% physical damage). Sound like a lot? Not really. A single holy paladin's HL will crit (@ roughly 60% crit) for that, with Light's Grace, Judgements of the Pure, raid buffs and quite unspectacular haste one of those will land every 1.5 seconds or so. Add in hots, absorbs, incidental heals, aoe heals, never mind a second tank healer, and 24k healing received in two seconds begins to seem extremely low indeed, especially since we have to assume that healers will react to the onset of the danger time by using their own personal cooldowns.

Honestly, I'm not sure what the result of the discussion will be. There's a strong argument to be made that now isn't the best time to be looking for these answers either, since few people are wiping on current content because of tank death, and we've already established that the way we gear won't be significant enough to facilitate a change in healing patterns to prevent raid deaths. Assuming a real tank killing boss shows up on heroic modes (and I'll bet Festergut will be that, if not more as well) we could look at wipe logs and try to get a handle on it for that fight's danger period. We can at least look at current logs and attempt to determine things like the amount of healing (effective, which will depend on boss damage, and total which we can use as an upper bound assuming it will all be used) received during potential burst scenarios, even if they aren't killing anyone at the moment. With that data we could begin to develop models which address these issues.
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby Paxen » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:59 am

bashef wrote:Once again though, this is a red herring - nobody is suggesting that stacking armour allows your healers to slack off/change healing pattern/whatever, nor that they save mana. Even at 5% additional damage reduction, which is just about as extreme as you could get, healing simply doesn't happen at a sufficient level of granularity to react to this. I don't think anyone is arguing this, and if they are it's a distraction from the real point.


I think that's exactly what James has argued, as he says that armor is hands down better than health, beyond what math can prove. If you admit that more armor will not change your healers actions, you admit that more armor will mostly just lead to more overhealing - until the point where that armor prevented a death that stamina would not have prevented, if such a point exists in the encounter.

I believe you can find that point mathematically, as Hamlet said and Theck just found with the trinket. This means that armor and stamina CAN be directly compared with numerical values to see which gives greater benefit for preventing the burst, and you might as well express this number in hit points, as Theck did. Armor and stamina essentially do the same thing, allow you to live through a burst situation. The other effect of stamina, easing the load on healers, is irrelevant for situations where tank death is the main threat.
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby rathe » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:22 am

Yeah I think the original argument was that stacking armor means that healers have an easier job, can watch tv more often and such. I was a holy pally through most of our bc progression content and I was wondering if things have changed for healers, but shadow reinforces what I saw. Healers do not heal less because you took 2k less damage hypothetically. They heal to top you off to stay in the game. Even more so, the way that we healed progression content was to get cast bars and make sure that we were timing our heals separately. We didn't go "oh I noticed he can usually survive two hits and if I time this right I can just holy light to make up for it". Main tank healers keep healing main tanks. As a tank, your job is to make sure you survive between heals. Armor helps with this, avoidance makes a great case here so don't ignore it, stam helps too. Nobody here ever said they don't love armor. We have plenty of engineers on this board including me. I also bring indes pots to raids. But I gem and trinket for stam.

If you want to go from the side of the healer, we noticed when you had a string of unavoided hits first and foremost.
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby bashef » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:42 am

Actually I think the original argument was something along the lines of "Amour is amazing, you're all a bunch of mindless sheep for stacking stam when you could be using armour instead" without any real justfication besides the "I've killed harder stuff than you" defense. It was only really with Hamlet's contributions, and James's much more measured tone in the later parts of the thread, that a substantive argument was made, or at least (some of) the readers here inferred one.

The amount of armour and health which are available when one swaps between available gear simply isn't sufficient to change healing patterns. You can't argue that, it's patently untrue. Even if it did, the likely more efficient option would be to use one fewer healer and have all the others go at max spam as normal (I'm sure ballpark damage reduction necessary to get you those extra gcds, or use more mana efficient spells, would be about the same as that necessary to drop a healer altogether).

The important point is that extra armour does not need to lessen the healing load for it to still be better than the stamina alternative. Whether it is or not depends purely on the magnitude of effective heals and absorbs in the burst scenario.
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby Paxen » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:48 am

bashef wrote:The important point is that extra armour does not need to lessen the healing load for it to still be better than the stamina alternative. Whether it is or not depends purely on the magnitude of effective heals and absorbs in the burst scenario.


Exactly. For me, at least, what I learned here is that armor and stam is much more equal than I thought, and that it varies between fights, not only with what % of damage armor mitigates but also with the length of burst and incoming heals.

I'll be buying the triumph armor trinket now, and use it on those fights where I think it's better than stam trinkets.
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby theckhd » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:11 am

JamesVZ wrote:The whole point, the whole reason I came here is because I have yet to see a Paladin stack armor in any significant degree, even though it gives better returns for just about every tank pressuring fight you can think of. These two logs represent the very essence of the debate. We've said why, conceptually, that armor stacking is good. We now have logs that show a very large gain from it. I'd say it's extremely relevant for every single tank out there to consider that maybe, just maybe the effective health/TTL formulas they're using to gear their characters aren't quite as good as they thought they were.

I mean, feel free to bring up any various points in my log parsing against me, but a 10% damage reduction is a huge, huge benefit and it's pretty much all gotten via badge armor pieces. Sure, 'effective health' might work in some bizarre scenario we simply haven't seen yet. Maybe Sindragosa, depending on breath frequency and melee damage. Maybe. For every other encounter that you're being pressured on, you're going to want to stack armor. Show me evidence to the contrary.


There are two separate points I want to touch on here:

1) To be fair, we are planning on stacking armor. Meloree probably already has all of the badge armor pieces. My planned heroic load-out has included the badge chest, gloves, cloak, and belt since the point I sat down to work through the math of different gear combinations. Part of that is that armor is a good source of effective health, part of that is that I like armor (and mitigation in general), and part of that is because there aren't (with the possible exception of Sindragosa) any large 1-shot magic bursts in Icecrown yet.

2) That said, I think a lot of the people in this thread are putting words in your mouth at this point, or at least stretching your argument to an extreme. I believe you're saying that we've been tunnel-visioning into maximizing EH when we shouldn't have been. And I think you're right - for the most part, we've been focusing on the zero-heal situation, which favors EH stacking. Looking at the logs, it's clear now that you will run into trickle-down deaths where armor is significantly more valuable than a simple EH comparison makes it out to be.

Which is actually the root of all this argument anyway. I worked through the "total EH" math not because I like to post math, but because I found that I was often being asked questions like, "Does it make sense to wear armor trinket A instead of a Stamina trinket B?" or "How much armor does trinket A have to have to make me more likely to survive a burst than stamina trinket B?" It was clear to me that this was something that hadn't been worked out yet in EH theory, and it seemed like the logical way to answer it.

I don't think you're suggesting stacking armor at the expense of raw EH or stamina everywhere. Obviously you're not discounting EH entirely. As others have noted, you stack stamina gems as well, because you're smart enough to know that you do need EH to survive burst. But you're being more careful about your efficiency decisions - you're not trading stamina for armor in cases where the efficiency is poor (i.e. gemming agility over stam), but you are trading it where the efficiency is better (trinkets).

Whether consciously or subconsciously, you also have chosen an armor to stam equivalency in your gearing choices. Your stamina gems are proof of that - if you really thought stacking armor was always better than stacking raw EH, you'd have agility gems. So there is some efficiency level at which you're willing to trade armor for more EH. Of course, the efficiency of Agility gems is horrid, so that doesn't narrow it down much. But there are more realistic examples - if you didn't have access to the Glyph of Indomitability, but you did have Defender's Code, would you wear that over a Satrina's?

What this all boils down to is that we (or at least I) have been undervaluing armor in our gearing decisions. That's not because EH is only valid in 'bizzare' situations - we've seen log examples of exactly the type of situation where that comparison is valid in this thread already. But those zero-heal situations aren't the only situation, and may not even be the more common of the two, which is where we erred.

I must say that this thread has been an eye-opener for me. It's made me rethink my opinion of Armor for one, and it's made me regret purchasing the Key just for the emotional satisfaction of getting rid of an older item. Most importantly, it's forced me to reevaluate how and when we apply the EH metric to gearing decisions. So despite the amount of stubbornness on my part you had to smash through earlier in this thread, and the vitriol it took you to do it, my hat is off to you sir.
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby halabar » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:25 am

bashef wrote:Actually I think the original argument was something along the lines of "Amour is amazing, you're all a bunch of mindless sheep for stacking stam when you could be using armour instead" without any real justfication besides the "I've killed harder stuff than you" defense. It was only really with Hamlet's contributions, and James's much more measured tone in the later parts of the thread, that a substantive argument was made, or at least (some of) the readers here inferred one.


This, along with a good deal of insults from James, and clear goal to attack Theck.

Thankfully, some better heads finally prevailed.

But, as others have mentioned, we haven't seen the critical points yet, and as the healers mentioned, they really aren't looking at those differences. If the healers and tanks are doing their jobs, the wipes are coming from dps being stupid, or bad luck. Hard modes may change that.. :-)

I'd like to still see the math to work out that armour/stam ratio, but, unless I get it a stable guild again, it's not likely to make much difference for me because a) my gearing choices are limited and b) so much of that ratio seems to depend upon raid buffs and healing which will change from week to week for me.

Also, if the differences are that minute, with that fuzzy delicate ratio, it's all going to go out the window in 6-8 months when the expansion comes out.
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby theckhd » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:42 am

halabar wrote:This, along with a good deal of insults from James, and clear goal to attack Theck.

To be fair, a lot of that's on my head as well. Had I not been as snarky in my first post, he might not have come back with guns blazing. I went full-on defensive mode, and misunderstood a good bit of his point. Had I focused less on the "your calculations are trash" insults, and more on the meat and mechanics of his point, I might have understood it more quickly and avoided a lot of the ugliness that occurred.

So I'm at least as much to blame for this thread taking the course it did as he is.

I'm just glad that we've managed to get this thread back on-track and turned it into a useful discussion with mutual respect between parties. Even if he still thinks I'm retarded for buying the Key. :P
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby halabar » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:48 am

theckhd wrote:Even if he still thinks I'm retarded for buying the Key. :P
I bought the key first as well, since I also had the HoI. But I picked up the Glyph last night (nothing else to buy with EoT anyway) and I also bought the Cat (armour AND stam upgrade, so there! :-)
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Re: Armor vs HP Math Help

Postby Wrathy » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:49 am

theckhd wrote:1) To be fair, we are planning on stacking armor. Meloree probably already has all of the badge armor pieces. My planned heroic load-out has included the badge chest, gloves, cloak, and belt since the point I sat down to work through the math of different gear combinations. Part of that is that armor is a good source of effective health, part of that is that I like armor (and mitigation in general), and part of that is because there aren't (with the possible exception of Sindragosa) any large 1-shot magic bursts in Icecrown yet.


Man it took me two days to catch up to this thread because its getting pushed so quickly. There is a very, very important point that has been touched on lightly, however I wanted to re-emphasize it. The tools you use are only as good as your understanding of their application. e.g. you wouldn't use a hammer to drive a screw into a board. Likewise, you wouldn't use an EH equation which Theck derived to determine your gear set for EVERY fight (or any fight for that matter).

While I see the true value of armor, and aside from the very antagonistic tones at the beginning of this discussion, they have a time and place. Coming from my personal perspective, different fights call for different gear based off of abilities. I have a both armor trinkets and I wear them every week. I have both ToTC trinkets (245/258) and I wear them every week. I dont have a key because I have the 258 trinket and it was a small upgrade, i will get it eventually though. The formula is to show you some insights into benefits of BOTH armor and stamina. How you apply them is just as important is supporting or refuting one of these stats as more beneficial.

My progression set buffs me up to an option of (and i apologize for the generalizations but I can not log onto wow at work) ~34k armor and 48k hp, or I can buff up to 38k armor and 43k hp. I use both, I love both, and situationally one is better than the other. Raid buffed, if i remember off the top of my head, i can get up to 60 k hp and 37k armor (guess), or 53k hp and 42k armor.

While I gear to carry my raid, aka plan for the absence of heals, it never actually happens. I have yet to die in ICC, and dont remember the last time (save anub heroic) my death was the result of a wipe. We are splitting hairs at this point because we VASTLY out gear the current content. As we do not know what is coming in the heroic modes, this is all speculation. I can survive Fester's third inhale with out CDs, and do every week so that I can bubble off a 9 stack and keep going if necessary. Putricide tickles in P3, and I didnt even consider it a problem when tanking.

We love armor, we stack it, we embrace it, however there are some class differences which may make our choice of trinkets different. Extending the reach of AD is something that comes to mind when we may benefit more from it. The relative gains of 2% armor reduction (Because DR is so heavy at the armor levels we have) is not as valuable to extending that range of a given 30% reduction when you need it most. Also in regards to healing out put and reduction of damage. I would tend to agree with the others here who say that because of the endless mana pools of healers in this expansion the order of magnitude for which armor reduces incoming damage does not affect healing strategies or throughput, it only effects over healing.
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