Why Strength Sucks

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Why Strength Sucks

Postby Dorven » Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:48 pm

Strength has no place on tanking-paladin items. Why? Because its benefits are not worth its cost on items.

Item points
Each item has a budget of "item points". Blizzard uses these to balance items against each other. The number of points used in an item is a function of its level, its quality (green/blue/purple/etc), and its slot (ie chest items have more points than most items, and bracers have less).

So, when picking items, you want to pick items where the points are spent on stuff that is useful to you (like +Defense or +stm) and not on stuff that isn't (like +spirit).

Which brings us to:

- Every 7 points of strength give 1 melee DPS.
- Every 22 points give 1 shield block.
- Every 1 point of strength costs 1 "item point"

So far, so good. DPS is good, shield block is good. What's not to like? To explain that, I'll need to use some math.

That's base damage. Melee damage is modified as follows before it actually reaches the mob's HP bar:
- it's multiplied by 1.1 by 1H Weapon Specialization
- It has about a 15% chance to miss/be parried/be dodged
- It's reduced by armor - say by 40% for a boss
- It can be doubled by Reckoning. Let's estimate here. A 2.0 attack speed boss will generate one Reckoning proc every 20 seconds, on average. And each Reckoning proc runs for 8 seconds. Allow for overlap and times when you're just not being hit, and we can say that Reckoning is up about 1/3 of the time.

So 1 point of strength adds 1/7 * 1.1 * 0.85 * (1 - 0.40) * 4/3 = 0.107 damage per second. And costs 1 item point.

Doesn't seem too bad? Let's consider spell damage.

Spell damage:
- 1 spell damage costs 0.85 "item points"
- 1 spell damage increases Consecrate damage by 0.76
- 1 spell damage adds 0.092 dmg per second to Seal of Righteousness
- 1 spell damage adds 0.73 damage to Judgement of Righteousness
- 1 spell damage adds 0.05 damage per holy shield block

So if we assume you're in a standard tanking situtation:
- assume you're spamming Rank 1 Consecrate and Holy Shield for the entire fight (and really, why wouldn't you be)
- assume you're hitting Judgement whenever it's up (and have Imp Judgement)
- assume that only two charges from Holy Shield are used

- SoR (base) does 0.092 more DPS. That's modified by some of the same modifers as melee damage - miss/block/parry, 1H spec, and Reckoning. Overall it's 0.092 * 0.85 * 1.1 * 4/3
- Consecrate is doing 0.76 / 8 more DPS
- JoR is doing 0.73 / 8 more DPS
- Holy Shied is doing 2 * 0.05 / 10
That's assuming no resists - if this is a +3 level mob, there's a 17% spell miss chance.
So total extra damage there is:
(0.092 * 0.85 * 1.1 * 4/3 + 0.76 / 8 + 0.73 / 8 + 2 * 0.05 / 10) * 0.83
= 0.258 extra holy DPS.

What's more, that's 0.258 per point of spell damage. Recall that spell damage is cheaper than strength on items. That works out to 0.258 / 0.85 = 0.303 extra DPS per item point.

That's almost three times as much DPS as strength gave us.

Now recall that, for a tank paladin, damage is less important than threat. For a paladin with 3/3 Improved Righteous Fury, 1 point of holy damage generates 1.9 points of threat. So that 1 item point gave us 0.577 threat per second. And that's not even counting the additional threat scaling from Holy Shield, or the sideline benefits of having +spell damage (better healing, more damage from Exorcism)

But wait, you might say, what about that Shiel d Block value stuff? Isn't that useful for tanking too? Well yeah. But it's such a tiny effect. If you buy it directly, Block Value costs 0.65 item points. To put that in perspective:

An item with 44 strength (44 ipoints) will add:
+4.7 DPS
+4.7 TPS
+2 block value

An item with 48 spell power and 4 block value (43.4 ipoints) will add:
+12.8 DPS
+23.5 TPS
+4 block value

But what about retadins?
Yeah, retadins are another story. Ret pallies get more use from strength; for them, it increases Seal of Command and Crusader Strike damage, and is scaled further by Vengeance / Conviction. I haven't done the math though.

In summary
For a tankadin, Spell damage is 3 times more effective than strength for damage, and more than 5 times more effective than strength for generating threat. It's just a waste of points.

- Item formulas from http://www.wowwiki.com/Formulas:Item_Values
- Spell coefficents from the sticky in the Blizzard forums.
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:34 am

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