Block value versus Stamina...

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Block value versus Stamina...

Postby Eloff » Wed May 09, 2007 5:11 pm

I started attempting to compare the value of block value (BV) and the value of straight stamina to tanking. The number one problem is that BV's value varies greatly by the size of the incoming hit and how much you've already stacked. (Basically, the more BV you stack, the better it compares to stamina...)

The upcoming change to Ardent Defender is a huge buff to BV's worth. The great thing about BV is that it gets applied 'after' the damage has been reduced from other sources. So when we start taking 35% less damage at <40%, our block values will be blocking an even larger chunk of the incoming hit.

In simpler terms, if an incoming hit deals normal damage of 615 each, and you have a BV of 400, and you've pushed crushing blows off the table:
If you miss, dodge, parry... you take zero damage.
If you block while at 40%+ hp... you take 215 damage.
If you block while at <40% hp... you take ZERO damage! (Pair this with EIGHT charges on holy shield and let's just call you Mr. Invincible...)

This sounds too good to be true, until you up the damage to the bigger numbers you'll take from bosses...

I'm only going to be very vague with my numbers as actual results are only going to apply to specific situations. Remember, BV scales in value (compared to stam) the higher the number you stack it to.
For comparison, I looked at incoming hits of 2k, 3k, 4k, and 5k. I used my current blocks of 285 in normal crush/avoidance gear, and 385 in BV gear. Assuming I have 12k hp (buffed), I looked at the numerical number of hits I would have to take to be put to exactly 0 hp. I also ignored the <40% hp rule out of pure laziness... so actual ratios should be slightly higher than I listed in practice.

With a 2k hit, the extra 100 block was the equivalent of 87 stamina.
With a 3k hit, the extra 100 block was the equivalent of 50 stamina.
With a 4k hit, the extra 100 block was the equivalent of 38 stamina.
With a 5k hit, the extra 100 block was the equivalent of 28 stamina.

Keep in mind that 100 block only takes 77 BV because of our +30% BV talent.


Basically, I'm going to give 1 BV the equivalent value of .75 points of stamina for gear comparisons. And when I go up against bosses that hit harder than 4k, I'm going to use either straight stam gear, or my normal crush/avoid type gear. (Great example is the difference between wearing Dauntless Handguards and Gauntlets of the Chosen...)


5 man trash? Always go with +block value.


If someone else can think of a more scientific approach to making an accurate comparison... please help.
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Postby Aergis » Wed May 09, 2007 5:32 pm

Interesting stuff. I think a comparison between BV and stamina is tricky to value though, since they compliment each other in the same way that AC and hp do. The more hp you have, the better benefit you recieve from BV in terms of effective health.

A better comparison might be between BV and AC since they are not inherently related, but both affect effective health by reducing damage. You are spot on with the value of BV increasing dramatically when damage is reduced. AC is the opposite, gaining more value as damage increases.

Finding a baseline of damage per hit, we could start to evaluate a few things. First, how much AC is equal to BV. Second, we can try to determine a cutoff line where the damage level makes BV more valuable than AC and vice-versa. Third, we can start planning to swap rings or cloaks etc to cater to the specific bosses to gain the best advantage of mitigation to HP.

I'm going to go play with my tanking simulator now... :lol:
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Postby Eloff » Wed May 09, 2007 6:01 pm

The sad news is that after you do a thott seach of all items with +block... you only find a handful. It takes some very specific gearing to raise BV to a high value.


Nevertheless, I think this clearly shows the value of the Gladiator's shield wall. Only Azure-Shield of Coldarra / Shield of Impenetrable Darkness have more block value, but that extra 9 points of BV comes at an expense of at 611 armor. I haven't done the math, but I'm guessing that 611 armor wins out. On top of that, it also has at least 12 more stamina. It takes my vote for 2nd best tanking shield in the game. The new Aldori Legacy Defender barely comes out ahead...
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Postby Eloff » Thu May 10, 2007 3:31 pm

The path we follow... pwns my post! But I claim first post rights to the idea, as I made mine first...

Lol!
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Postby Aergis » Thu May 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Nope, Benediction beat you to it by about 2 months.

http://maintankadin.failsafedesign.com/ ... sc&start=0

Specifically :

It just happened that with the items i picked up, it turned out with what ended up seeming to me like a "block value significant enough to possibly be a way intended to compensate my naturally lower hps".

"Is stability only achievable through 490 def, crush immunity, and stacking hp/dodge like warriors, or could it be that blizzard is making another way possible for paladins?"
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Postby Julian » Thu May 10, 2007 4:45 pm

I think the concept here is very much on point.

Once you're uncrushable, tanking stats can basically be divided into two categories: evasion and mitigation.

Mitigation stats increase the size of the spike you can take without dying. Evasion stats decrease the chance that you'll take such a spike, and also may have an impact on how quickly your healers spend mana depending on the healing strategy being used.

Evasion stats are: defense, dodge, parry, agility.
Mitigation stats are: block value, armor, stamina, and to a very small extent strength in that it impacts block value.

In a nutshell, I'm of the opinion that evasion stats are poor for us (past what we need to get uncrushable) and that the correct strategy for us or for any other tank is to stack mitigation as high as it will go. There isn't a dramatic difference in purpose between armor, stamina, and BV; all of them make the worst-case scenario of you getting hit a lot less dire.

It's good to see that other people also share this opinion.
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Postby Lore » Thu May 10, 2007 5:05 pm

There's a balance between avoidance and mitigation. Most often the best tanks - the ones that are "easiest" to heal without being a mana sponge - have a health mix of both. For Paladins, reaching uncrushable forces us to lean a little more on the avoidance side of the balance, I believe. So, once you're uncrushable, I think it's in the best interest of a rising tankadin to start working on getting his or her hit points up.

Of course, once you start really getting into the raid gear, especially after 2.1, it'll be much easier to do both.
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Postby Everlight » Thu May 10, 2007 7:20 pm

This is pretty tentative, seat-of-the-pants maths here, so don't take it as totally precise.

For Stamina versus Block Value, yeah, I'm getting convinced. The main thing I look at is a stat's value in terms of itemization points, since when it comes to it, we need to get the most bang out of our itemization buck. So, from

http://www.wowwiki.com/Formulas:Item_Values

We find the following itemization costs;

Block Value = 1.538 Block Value per iPoint = 2 Block Value per iPoint with Shield Spec (interesting)
Stamina = 1.5 Stamina per iPoint = 17.49hp with Sacred Duty and Blessing of Kings per iPoint
Ratings = 1 Rating per iPoint = 0.05% Dodge per iPoint

Now, since stamina is non-scalable with incoming damage and so is Block Value, we can pretty easily compare the two without taking any note of the damage we're receiving. We need to block 8.745 attacks per fight for an iPoint of Block Value to be worth an iPoint of Stamina. Blocking more attacks per fight raises the worth of Block Value.

Interesting results. More work is needed here to determine how good itemizing for Block Value is versus Stamina, this is just a pretty rough bit of math.

Now, for the next bit. How good is Block Value versus a Rating? Let's compare Dodge Rating. In order for Block Value to match Dodge, we would need to Block 0.05% of incoming damage with it. For one iPoint, we would need to be receiving hits of 4000 damage for one iPoint of Block Value to equal one iPoint of Dodge Rating.

This greatly surprises me. Note though, this assumes that you are crush immune, so every hit will either be pure avoidance or blocks. If you are receiving regular hits as well, this all flies out the window and Block Value starts to dramatically diminish in worth.

Assuming I didn't stuff up my maths, this indicates that Block Value is actually quite powerful once you've reached uncrushability, for mobs that hit for under 4000.
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Postby Everlight » Thu May 10, 2007 10:03 pm

Right, I thought the Ratings vs. Block Value stuff was too good to be true. It is.

The crunching above about Block Value vs. Stamina remains valid, though I'd still consider Stamina to be weightable more highly on account of non-blockable damage (magical damage etc).

However, with Ratings there's something important to remember. They add more effective time-to-live the higher your rating is. That is, 1% dodge rating is worth more when you have 50% pure avoidance than when you have 0%. Ratings scale proportionally to your current ratings, and scale proportionally to the incoming damage from attackers. Block Value scales inversely proportionally to the incoming damage from attackers and proportionally with your current block percentage.

What the heck is Time To Live?

One way you can look at mitigation is how much of a mob's base damage it needs to put into you in order to kill you. Ignoring armor (since armor isn't being compared here and you can only get armor mitigation through a blocked hit if you're uncrushable - and the percentage mitigated is the same), if you have 10k health and do not avoid any damage, you will take 10k damage before dying.

If you have 10k health and avoid 50% of all incoming damage, you will take 20k damage before dying.

Applying TTL to Dodge

Let's say you are at 0% avoidance. You get 1% dodge. That 1% dodge increases your time to live by 1/(1-0.01) = 1.01%. Not much. You'd dodge 1% of incoming attacks.

Let's say you are at 50% avoidance. You get another 1% dodge. That 1% dodge increases your time to live from 200% base to 204.08% base. Say what? Look at the next example.

Let's say you are at 98% avoidance. You get another 1% dodge. That 1% dodge increases your time to live from 5000% to 10000% of your original. That looks staggering, doesn't it? The thing is, at such extremes, adding 1% extra dodge HALVED the number of hits you received, so it DOUBLED your time to live.

As your avoidances increase, each percentage becomes progressively more powerful, yet does not become harder to obtain (the rating to %age relation stays the same).

Here's the thing. If you've got 12k health, that extra 4.08% time to live is effectively adding 489.6hp. That's starting to get pretty big.

Applying TTL to Block

Now, with Block, the mechanic is different. Assuming you're uncrushable, then every damaging blow (melee only) will be blocked, thus you can apply the mitigation that Block Value provides to it.

The danger is that, while Block Rating scales in value just like any other avoidance, its worth in terms of additional TTL is modified by how much of the blow Block Value is removing.

Let's say you are taking 100 damage a hit and are blocking 50. Each block is therefore taking half of the blow away, so 1% Block chance is worth 0.5% of an avoidance. This gets progressively worse as the disparity between your Block Value and the incoming damage of the mob increases, whereas Ratings don't care how hard the mob is hitting you.

As an extreme, assume you are blocking EVERY SINGLE ATTACK, and not avoiding anything. Your effective avoidance is therefore the percentage of damage you are mitigating with your Block Value. If you are mitigating half the damage, your TTL is doubled

The Key

Here's the key. The higher your Block Rating, the more valuable Block Value becomes (it contributes a larger portion to your Time To Live). But, the harder mobs hit you, the less effective mitigation Block Value is providing you and the less your time to live is. With Ratings, they scale proportionally with themselves and don't care how hard you're getting hit - they remain scalable.

But what about healing?

The assertion that you will be healed at a constant rate regardless of avoided blows is correct, but it's missing one point. Healers tend to save their "emergency" heals for unlucky hit strings, as do tanks (pots & healthstones). You can use those as buffers for dealing with the times that the avoidance dice didn't fall your way.

Conclusion

I'm still looking at Block Value's worth as a replacement for Stamina, but I'm not convinced in its worth as a replacement for real avoidances. The itemization costs are too high for it to really effective as a form of mitigation. Plus, its lack of scalability against seriously hard-hitting mobs is an issue.
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Postby Lore » Fri May 11, 2007 6:45 am

Also keep in mind that additional block rating beyond what you need for uncrushable is completely worthless unless the boss is going to hit you more than 8 times (come 2.1) in 10 seconds.
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Postby Eloff » Fri May 11, 2007 2:08 pm

Against static incoming melee damage, stacking BV is similar to stacking pure avoidance. If I could maintain a block of 980 against constant incoming hits of 1000, adding 10 block would effectively 'double' my TTL. (Same as 98% avoidance going to 99% avoidance). Keep in mind that this blocking example would generate the same results every time. Avoidance would have a degree of probability associated with it.

Hmm....

Do you think we can agree to make a general rule that you should definately stack whichever stat you can get a higher % in? Thus if you can hit 50% pure avoidance and 600 block (462 BV with 30% imp talent), you should use your avoidance gear for all fights where the incoming damage averages higher than 1200? Personally, I'd include the assumption that Ardent defender is going to kick in at <40% and say to go with avoidance only for all incoming hits that are above 1620. (I've also bought into the mitigation wins over avoidance argument...).
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Postby Everlight » Fri May 11, 2007 4:01 pm

Eloff wrote:Do you think we can agree to make a general rule that you should definately stack whichever stat you can get a higher % in? Thus if you can hit 50% pure avoidance and 600 block (462 BV with 30% imp talent), you should use your avoidance gear for all fights where the incoming damage averages higher than 1200? Personally, I'd include the assumption that Ardent defender is going to kick in at <40% and say to go with avoidance only for all incoming hits that are above 1620. (I've also bought into the mitigation wins over avoidance argument...).


Yes, but here's the problem. 600 Block Value is 300 itemization points. 300 itemization points is 15% Dodge.

At 50% pure avoidance, 15% Dodge reduces your total received damage by a further 30%, so the amount of damage received per hit would have to be under 2k per swing for BV to be a better spend of itemization points.

Unfortunately, that's pretty soft when we're talking about endgame stuff. Kara trash hits harder than that. However, in a 5-man where we're talking about hits for < 1k, that's awesomeness.
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Postby Julian » Fri May 11, 2007 4:09 pm

Everlight wrote:
Eloff wrote:Do you think we can agree to make a general rule that you should definately stack whichever stat you can get a higher % in? Thus if you can hit 50% pure avoidance and 600 block (462 BV with 30% imp talent), you should use your avoidance gear for all fights where the incoming damage averages higher than 1200? Personally, I'd include the assumption that Ardent defender is going to kick in at <40% and say to go with avoidance only for all incoming hits that are above 1620. (I've also bought into the mitigation wins over avoidance argument...).


Assuming that the BV-stacking tank and the dodge-stacking tank are taking the same total amount of damage, the BV-stacking tank will have much smaller spikes and therefore be easier to heal.

Since, again, Spikes Kill Tanks, that's a pretty good argument in favor of stacking BV over stacking avoidance *if* you can get the total damage in to be in the same ballpark.

BV doesn't even need to be in the lead-- I'd infinitely rather have a smooth damage-taken curve than have spikes, even if it means that I'm taking more damage total. Healer mana exhaustion is very rarely the reason tanks die in TBC, and when it is it's normally because they had to juice up the inefficient heals in reaction to a bad spike.

So, anyway, I don't think that's a good general rule. I'm not sure what a better rule of thumb would be post-2.1. Pre-2.1, I want to maximize avoidance even against fast, light-hitting bosses, because avoidance helps preserve your HS charges and therefore not get crushes.

Post-2.1, I plan on busting out the +BV kit against anything that hits for about 4k or less.
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Postby Joanadark » Fri May 11, 2007 10:45 pm

An interesting effect of comparing avoidance with block chance for accomplishing uncrushability is the fact that more blocked attacks and less avoided ones means that much larger a proportion of potential redoubt and reckoning procing.

If the large portion of your mitigation is based on block, not avoidance, against a large number of attacks due to a fast attack rate boss, flurry, multi-target tanking, or some other situation where there is any concern about burning through all 8 charges of improved HS before cooldown is up, the fact of those charges being burned up presents the statistical semi-reliable expectation of redoubt being up if/when HS drops.

This is important not just for lasting until cooldown is up again, but for covering the gap of no overlapping in between one HS expiring and recasting the ability again.

With no redoubt up, there is a half second gap of lag/human reaction speed delay where you have no HS up and you are completely crushable.

In addition to the threat side of things, I WANT to be burning as many charges of HS as possible over its duration simply because it is SAFER.

Mostly-burned HSs expiring mean that enough attacks are landing on you to have redoubt covering the transition gap at least *most* of the time, making (assuming you have precisely the mitigation for uncrushable and no more, and are using the HS libram in that calculation) you ~4% crushable for that half-second (since the libram block rating doesnt contribute to redoubt) until you can get HS up once again.

The avoidance strategy would mean that a great deal fewer of the attacks are landing in redoubt-procable blocks, making the chances of redoubt covering the HS-transition gap in this way negligible enough to not be something you can rely on.

Over the course of a long fight, he chances are at some point, or even multiple points, a boss attack will land during that transition gap. And without redoubt reliably up, you will be languishing at 15% crushable, 20% hittable.

While HS remains with a cooldown equal to it's duration, this dangerous transition gap will exist and an avoidance tank will have a significantly greater risk of taking a very large damage spike without even gaining the benefit of block value mitigation on it, on top of being less equipped to deal with and compensate for this same unmitigated crushing blow spike than a blocking-tank would be due to their effective stamina advantage.
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Postby Everlight » Sat May 12, 2007 1:22 am

Joanadark wrote:Over the course of a long fight, he chances are at some point, or even multiple points, a boss attack will land during that transition gap. And without redoubt reliably up, you will be languishing at 15% crushable, 20% hittable.


Sorry, but there's no way you can call a 10% proc chance "reliable". Bear in mind that while Redoubt is up, blocked attacks burn BOTH Redoubt and HS charges.

Even being attacked once every second, you only have a 65% chance of Redoubt proccing during the time that HS is up, and that's assuming you block every single blow (and none are missed, dodged or parried).

Additionally, in order for Redoubt to be of any benefit at all in that kind of circumstance, it would have proc on hit 6, 7 or 8 for it to be able to cover the 2 swing gap that Imp HS isn't covering you. The chance of that happening is, well, terrible. If it proceed on hits 1 through 4, it provides no benefit at all because your Redoubt charges get blown off with your HS charges.

My other concern with this idea, as stated before, is its non-scalability. While I'm convinced on Block Value's worth as a stamina replacement, I'm not convinced on its worth as an Avoidance replacement. It gets worse and worse as mob damage increases. Straight up avoidances don't.
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