3.2 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

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3.2 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:31 pm

Please keep this thread on-topic.

It's an advanced training FAQ for how to be an end-game MT, and get the most out of this site.

This thread is going to be an "Advanced mode" version of my Basic Training FAQ.

Philosophy of the FAQ AKA: Knaughty is biased

This guide is for experienced tanks. If you're a new tank, a re-roll, re-spec or whatever, go read my Basic Training FAQ, and the things that it links to. There will be stuff in here that talks about nuanced examples of edge cases, boss-specific mechanics and debatable talent choices. If you're not already a pretty good tank, it may just be confusing.

This guide will NOT assume you're a Maintankadin Forum Veteran. Something that has come up pretty clearly in a few recent cases is that there is a large base of "assumed knowledge" that the forum trolls here assume Everyone Knows. Some of us (who? me?) are occasionally somewhat rude about pointing that out. A better solution is to have a decent Advanced Mode FAQ.

This guide will probably end up biased. But I will try to avoid it. I'm a progression oriented MT boss-whore in a small, focussed, hard-core guild on a low pop server. While I am putting on my "nice person" hat, I'm still a grumpy opinionated curmudgeon underneath.

It won't cover I can tank that ret-spec. 3.0 content was easy. Even Sarth+3 is easier than most of 2.4 Sunwell (yes, even the 10-man version). Yes, this means you could spec PvP ret and tank most of 25-man (prob all of it with enough gear/healers). Or other silliness (2-h tanking, SoB tanking, etc). But the FAQ will largely be focussed on progression tanking. This means that skipping mitigation talents to pick up DPS talents will basically be wrong by definition. That said, I will cover why you want the mitigation talents, give some detailed info about them and potential trade-offs, etc. Anyway, 3.2 hard modes are hard.

This FAQ will gratuitously steal from content that is already here. One of the main points is to get new people up to speed quickly. Thus things like, one-post summary of Psiven's TPS thread.

Provisos

3.2 and beyond only I'm not going to cover historical stuff. Go look up the 3.0 versions if you're interested. I did in-place updates from 3.1 -> 3.2, and thus 3.1 versions are gone.

Generic gearing I'm not going to do "best in slot" gear-sets, other people do them and have more time that I to keep them updated.

No silliness This won't cover ret or holy "tanking" specs for doing silly shit like soloing old content. There's plenty of threads on how to solo Garr already.

Ratings are Fungible

You gear is a collection of many parts, and the sum of those parts needs meet particular breakpoints to be able to easily tank particular things.

This means that sometimes you're better off picking things on the basis of itemisation points. It comes up most frequently with Enchants, which aren't balanced. Take the shield slot: you can get +20 defence rating, which is worth 20 item points. Or 18 stamina, which is only worth 12 item points. Even though we really like stamina as tanks, the defence enchant is the better one. It also means that we can swap +defence gems out for +stamina, which gets you a lot more stamina in those gems slots. Same for chest - 22 defence vs 275 health? That's only 22 stam, less than one rare stam gem, where the enchant is substantially more than the equivalent defence gem.

I'm also not very interested in what item is "Best in Slot", because you don't tank 1/17 of a boss with one item. Your gear is a SET - and your other 16 items can and will alter which item provides the best balance to your entire gear-set. You also don't get to go to a vendor at the end of Naxx-25 and say "Can I have the three specific items I was after, that's my share of the loot". You get what drops.

It's also worth remembering you're gearing a guild not your toon.

Please keep this thread on-topic.

It's an advanced training FAQ for how to be an end-game MT, and get the most out of this site.
Last edited by knaughty on Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:27 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: 3.2 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:32 pm

Index

Knaughty's Basic FAQ Short sharp shock to get you started.

This thread: http://tinyurl.com/mt-t202

Sub-topics

The guts of this FAQ are a series of one-post summaries of various tanking topics. I'm not claiming this is all my own work - in a lot of cases there will be links to the detail elsewhere, by other people. Anyway... here's the topic list:

Talents - How to spec tanking, and some analysis of the "debatable" talents.
Glyphs - We actually have decisions to make in 3.1! ZOMG!
Rotation AKA 969 - The basics - what buttons to press and WHY
Optimising TPS - If you're looking for more DPS/TPS - how to get it without dying.
Macros & Scripts - stuff to make you look good to your raid, or help you work out shit without a calculator.
Mana Management - was a non-issue in 3.0, but 3.1 brings some new options.
Professions - tanking implications are minor, but I'll cover them.
Gear & buffs - Knaughty & Levie's What not to wear!† † May not include content by Levantine
Gems and Enchants - Gear checks by tier.
User Interface - You're a tank. You need good intel on WTF is going on.
Reserved -
Fin! -
Last edited by knaughty on Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:14 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: 3.2 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:32 pm

Talent options

Ulduar & 3.1 brought major changes to the talent options for Paladins. The Holy tree was always slim - about 51-53 points got you all your PvE healing & utility talents, this remains the case in 3.1. This lightweight design has now been extended to both Retribution and Protection - both trees are "complete" with ~53 points invested.

In Protection, this was achieved via the deletion of Kings (now baseline) and the conversion of most of the very deep prot talents from 5/5 to 3/3, without reducing their overall effectiveness. Basically, 53 points gets you what you had to spend 60 points on before. Similar changes were made to the Ret tree - instead of needing 61 in ret to complete their PvE setup, it is more like 53.

3.2 brought minimal talent changes.
Ardent Defender went from good to "Most powerful tanking talent in game" - utterly mandatory now.
Vindication went from PvP to very good PvE debuff talent - same as Imp. Demo Shout or Imp CoW, and we have the easiest time putting it up of all classes. My warrior MT loves the fact that I stick Demo up now.
SotP didn't change, but SoV did - it now has a significant damage proc on melee swings when stacked to 5. This makes SotP pretty good, especially in Ulduar where Crusade is poor.
Reckoning went from utter rubbish to "almost OK". Still worst TPS talent, but not completely laughable.

Throughout this section of the guide I'm indebted to PsiVen's original TPS work, but I'm currently using Theck's MATLAB thread for TPS comparisons.

Cookie cutter build design

Step 1: Don't die

We're a tank. Our primary job is to live. Thus, you take all primary mitigation talents. Then, you take the basic TPS and rotation talents required to be able to tank (eg: 1/2 Imp Judge so you can do 969).

Basic tanking talents

Impossible talent build, of course. We need to put 3 more talent points into Tier 1-5

Justifications so far:

1/2 Spiritual Atunement?
See below on how not to go OOM. Short version is that 2/2 is radical overkill. Certainly for boss fights, 1/2 is plenty, trash you just need to be careful with maintaining high DP uptime and low use of Consecrate. Chain-pulling trash so DP uptime is 100% will be good for your mana, so long as your healers can cope. Only fight that 1/2 is marginal for is Vezaxx hard-mode, which I've tanked with 1/2 with minor threat-cap issues for ranged. Everything else, 1/2 is plenty. Even more so in 3.2, when Sanc includes stamina and "Kings vs Sanc?" doesn't come up as a major issue in a pally-light 10-man.

3/3 One Hand Specialisation
We also take 1HS, as it is our best TPS talent by roughly double, and we have to take something to reach the bottom half of the tree - all sensible tanking specs will have 1HS.

3/3 Touched by the Light Second best TPS talent after 1HS. Nothing to collect that gives more DPS/TPS. Also has a little utility when soloing in ret gear and you have to heal yourself.

3/3 Ardent Defender
As of 3.2, AD is ridiculously OP. Almost 3% EH per point, plus bonus death avoidance (was 5% per point before 3.2.2)

Step 2: Fill to 53 points in Prot

We need to put 3 points in Tiers 1-5 somewhere. What are our options?

Good Choices

Divine Sacrifice Nerfed in absorption terms quite badly from infinite to 150% of health. But buffed in that the CD was unlinked from bubble, so you can pop it more flexibly (so long as you can live...)

I was a fan of the 3.0 version, and used it pretty much every Sapphiron & Malygos kill, even when I was tanking those bosses, still took it in 3.1 for Ulduar hard modes. Worst case, you can steal some damage from the other tanks during trash to regen some mana, best case it's a handy raid-wide CD during an AE phase, or an external CD for hard modes.

Divine Guardian Well... it's OK. Tiny buff to DS. Tiny buff to Sacred Shield amount (Holy Paladin version still better, even unimproved). Big buff to SS duration, so at least you're only wasting GCDs once a minute instead of twice. More important now the Holy Paladin can't stick it on every tank in 3.2.

Imp HoJ Base CD is a minute. We take that down to 40 sec due to JotJ in Tier-10. So if you get Imp Hoj, you have a 20 sec CD stun. Still too slow for NukingBossWhoNeedsToBeInteruptedOrHeNukesYourFaceOff, but pretty nice for trash, and hand for covering boss interrupts if your rogue stood in FIARITBURNZ! I'm not a fan, but some people swear by it. 20 sec CD is still too long.

Reckoning Changes to SoV in 3.2 make this a decent talent. Still our worst TPS option, but "OK" simply because it is right there and very easy to get. May be quite OP in 3.3 for trash (no trash in 3.2).

"Meh" (at best) Choices

Divinity This talent is bad for Holy, let alone Prot. If you're over-healed (the norm), it has zero impact. Skip it. We already have a +6% healing received aura that the other tanks don't need, adding in another 5% isn't going to help.

Bad Choices

Stoicism / Guardian's Favour I'm ignoring these right off the bat. Next to nothing in PvE will dispel, and you don't much care if your stuff is dispelled anyway. Very few things stun. Buffing your Hand spells is also pretty useless for PvE. These two talents are for PvP. NB: Guardian's Favour is good for Anub hard mode, since it lets you BoP first person in first burrow phase and 3rd person in 2nd burrow phase. Makes ice-patch-kiting easier. If you're not doing Anub-hard, ignore it.

Step 3: A dozen points left... now what?

OK, you've stuck you 3 points in the start of prot in your choice. You have the 5% parry and 1/2 Imp Judge for 969. Where do you put your last 12 points?

Choices:
• There's no full-time mitigation talents (though Vindication is pretty close).
• The only accessible "tanking CD" talent is Improved Lay On Hands.
• There are DPS/TPS talents in Ret, or SotP in Holy.

What to do?

First: Ignore what Holy and Ret are doing.

This used to matter, we no longer care. Make sure someone is judging Light, and someone is judging Wisdom. It all just works now.

Second: Rank TPS Options: Crusade (only if already unlocked by utility talents) > SotP > Conviction (only if already unlocked)) > Reckoning.

Third: Think about what utility talents you want. Vindication is almost "must have", PoJ is nice.

SotP and Crusade are same TPS on normal mobs, Crusade is double against undeadanoids. SotP beats Conviction, but Tier-3 of Ret now has Vindication and PoJ, both of which are pretty good (especially Vindication).

It is worth noting that Imp LoH is a powerful CD - 20% physical mitigation. 11 min CD is painful, but vs big hits, it is almost as good as Shield Wall.

If you want the CD? Spec 12/53/6 - Imp LoH is good.

Step 4: Ret filler in Tier 1 & 2

Bad choices are all bad. Pursuit of Justice is lovely, but is in Tier-3, competing with Conviction. Take it if you like running fast more that hurting things (my view is that PoJ is better).

• HotC is covered by Ret but is great if you don't have one.
• 2/2 Imp Judge is OK for trash, doesn't help for bosses (except Vezaxx hard where you're not consecrating due to OOM). Still, it's a useful point, and we're having trouble finding any.
• Imp Might is OK as well.
• Benediction is still "nigh" useless... but a tiny bit of useful is still something.

IMO: Just grab 2/2 Imp Judge, and stick the last 3 points any damn place, it doesn't matter. I use HotC for the 10-man utility.

Final spec boils down to one of these, on the assumption that you value utility ahead of TPS:

4/53/14 That's what I'm used for the first few weeks of 3.2, while we were still concentrating on last couple of hard-modes in Ulduar-25.

0/53/18 This is what I switched to this once we unlocked Coliseum hard-modes. Currently 2 points moved from DG to Imp. HoP for Anub hard.
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Re: 3.2 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:32 pm

Glyphs With thanks to Majiben

Mandatory

Major
Glyph of Divine Plea Looks "Meh" - 3% mitigation while DP is up? Except it synergises with GbtL, which means it is up 100% of the time vs a boss, and most of the time vs trash as well. And yes, it does stack with BoSanc, etc. Grats, our first "mandatory" glyph.

Almost Mandatory

Glyph of Seal of Vengeance 10 expertise skill (!!) is a lot more hits connecting for a tank with a minor mitigation component due the reduction in parries. This Glyph is grossly over-budgeted - a normal major glyph is maybe 1 talent point. This one is more like 5. Anyway, it's our best TPS glyph by a large margin, while simultaneously providing a tiny bit of mitigation via reduction of parry-haste.

Recommended:

Major Pick one, doesn't matter which, all three are OK. For Ulduar hard-modes, taunt glyph is probably best.

Glyph of Righteous Defence This was awesome until we all switched to using a real, single-target taunt. 3.1? Meh. 3.2 - works with our single-target taunt. Thus, back to Never miss with a taunt.
• Never have the Holy Priest get his face ripped off because your taunt resisted.
• Never wipe because you stuffed up a tank swap.

Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous Four-target cleave. Nice for trash.

Glyph of Judgement Increases your damage & threat for no downside.

Minor

Glyph of lay on hands Hey, 5 mins off the CD is nice.

Situational:

Major

Glyph of Salvation 20% off damage taken, 10 sec duration, 2 min CD. Powerful CD with a serious downside. If the situation suits it, this could be a rather OP glyph. EG: Tanking Steelbreaker as last to kill. You have huge time to build a threat lead, then have a goddamn mountain fall on you and probably need to chain CDs, same as Sarth+3. Thus: Situational

Glyph of Avenger's Shield Gives you a move worth weaving into your rotation. The TPS gain on boss fights is minor (on par with one extra HotR every thirty seconds). The loss of utility for trash and Heroics is huge however. Apparently nice if you PvP prot-specced. I'd avoid it, especially since we lost Exo as a ranged pickup ability.

Minor

Glyph of Sense Undead - With the large number of undead in T7 this was awesome. Remember to turn on Sense Undead! Crap in Tier 8 & 9, but what else you going to take?

Third Minor Glyph: There's nothing actually useful for tanking. Pick something useful to you. I use Kings so I can buff the whole raid without going OOM.

BAD!

Major
Glyph of ConsecrationThis interrupts your optimal rotation, and reduces your TPS. Additionally this makes add pick up on a mobile fight harder as you can't move your AoE threat as often. This would actually be a good glyph if it was one second (and perhaps "minor").

Glyph of SoR Was almost decent when it was 30%. Back to 10%, and sucks.

Glyph of Exorcism Was nice back when Exo was instant. Now crap.

Glyph of Spiritual Attunement
Majiben wrote:If you find yourself to be a permanent off tank this glyph can let you strech your resources a little farther but every tank that sees a boss now and then should know how to manage their resources properly without this glyph. Additionally, it provides no benefit if you already have the mana for a full rotation.

Knaughty says: "Mana Efficiency is for people not tanking enough mobs" Moved from "Meh" to "Bad". Learn to manage your Blue Rage Bar.
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Re: 3.2 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:33 pm

Tanking Rotation, AKA 969 With thanks to Psiven & Theck for all their work on TPS & 969.

Why we use 969

Paladin tanking moves are all instant-cast, on the GCD, and have cooldowns. Most of our abilities are pure threat moves, Holy Shield is excellent mitigation, we want close to 100% uptime (it also provides decent threat). Judgement is one of our weaker threat moves, but also applies a variety of debuffs on the mob and also procs our tanking Libram (the BV one is the only tanking Libram at the moment).

We have more moves than we can actually use - under most boss-tanking circumstances, every single GCD will be used. The 969 rotation can be mathematically proven to be the best possible TPS rotation - Psiven has done this in his monumental TPS sticky. What follows is a very brief summary of his findings. Credit his, mistakes mine.

Although I talk about "best" and "worst" moves in this section, our worst move (HotR-single-target) still does 75% of the DPS/TPS of our best move (ShoR), so it isn't worth losing half a second to dead time to switch from worst move to best move. Given that a half-second delay in order to go from worst->best isn't viable, ANY tanking rotation with dead-time in it is automatically a non-optimal rotation.

Dead-time = mathematically non-optimal TPS rotation. Any suggestions of "I use a weird rotation and just take a 0.5 second break every so often" cannot be as much TPS as 969.

The GCD is 1.5 seconds, and is checked client side, so Internet lag/ping is a non-issue (within reason - past about 500ms everything goes to hell). Human reaction time doesn't change the results either.

We have two moves that are on 6 second CDs, which is 4 GCDs - HotR & ShoR. Both moves are very good - ShoR in particular is our best DPS move. HotR is weak single target, but amazing for 2+. So that's half our GCDs gone. So we have half our GCDs left.

We have three moves on 8-10 seconds CDs - roughly 6 GCDs: Consecrate, Judgment & Holy Shield. We want HS to have 100% uptime, but it has 10-sec duration and 8 sec CD, and 9 seconds = 6 GCDs, so we use HS every 6 GCDs.

So we're using some things every 4 GCDs and some every 6 GCDs. Which lines up in 12 GCDs - our rotation is 18 seconds long. Once we get HotR, ShoR & HS in, we end up with just enough GCDs left over to get Consecrate and judgement in every 6 GCDs as well.

The base CD of Judgement is 10 seconds - that's more than 6 GCDs - so we have to talent it to 9 seconds. But we've already shown that dead-time reduces our TPS under all circumstances, so there isn't any point dropping it to 8 seconds, because 8 isn't divisible by 1.5. We have a GCD at 7.5 seconds - but we can't judge then, too early. And we don't want dead-time, so we use something else and now we get to judge at 9 seconds. Thus: 1/2 Imp Judge.

Once Judge is in, we're down to one GCD free every 6 GCDs. We insert Consecrate, with 8 sec CD, and we get to 8/9 uptime - about 89%.

Psiven did a whole pile of analysis trying various different options using 8 second Judge/Consecrate, and there was no solution that provided higher DPS than judging/consecrate on 9 sec CD.

This has been confirmed (again) in compelling and accurate detail by Theck. Go read his sticky.

How to do 969

OK, so all our GCDs are full in theory, how do you actually execute 969?

Short Version: Watch this YouTube Vid. Just don't click (obviously).

Long version follows...

Well, we know our cycle is 18 seconds / 12 GCDs long, and that 4 GCD abilities use half and 6 GCD abilities use half. These abilities are referred to by the CD length - 6 seconds and 9 seconds.

We want no dead-time, and we know we're using every single GCD. So what order to use abilities?

If you work it out, you discover that the only way to avoid "GCD collision" (two abilities coming off CD at the same time) is to swap back and forth between the 6 sec and 9 sec abilities. If you start with 6699, you shortly hit a point where either two abilities com off CD at the same time or no abilities are available at all. It's the latter one that stuffs you - you just had a whole GCD of dead time.

So you have to go "969" (or 696). Short-Long-Short-Long. If you do that, you will always have an ability to use every GCD, and will be able to use each ability immediately it comes off GCD.

The exact order doesn't matter - you can tune it to suit your personal preferences or the boss/trash mechanics. Just make sure you start with short-long-short-long and after that you're locked into 969 - just hit each ability as it comes off CD.

You can macro it to two buttons if you want - you have a "short" button and a "long" button, and your tanking rotation becomes 12121212. There are pros and cons - I don't do it, I prefer flexibility of order, and the ability to totally control when I use Consecrate.

Should you weave long CD moves into 969?

Short Answer: No.

Really, Really, Long Answer: Go read Theck's MATLAB thread
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Re: 3.2 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:33 pm

Optimising TPS

This got a hell of a lot simpler in 3.2. Substitution rotations are mostly moot, and SoEmo deleted.

Rotation Substitution / Glyphs

Note that due to Exo having a cast time, AS Glyph is a big utility loss, which means there's basically no substitution options in 3.2

Seal of Blood
Deleted, FINALLY. DIAF, SoEmo.

Expertise & Hit

Read Theck's thread, about page 40 onwards.

Short version:
On bosses, when using SoV: Hit is our best TPS stat after Strength, Expertise is a little behind Block Value but scales better.

Thus: Put together a tanking set that stacks Hit, Expertise, & Block, and use that set as your TPS set (and also as your trash set).[/s]

You want hit/block for trash because the fights are so short and the hits so light. Missing a pair of opening moves can kill a careless DPS or healer on trash, where on bosses people can wait a few secs, and the hunter MDs will save the healers.
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Re: 3.2 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:33 pm

Macros & Scripts

Max Camera distance
/script SetCVar("cameraDistanceMax",50)

So important I'm doubling up on it.

For everything else, read Chloe's sticky
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Re: 3.2 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:34 pm

How to not go OOM: 102. Updated for 3.1, no changes for 3.2

• Put up Sanctuary instead of Kings.
• Use less CC.
• Pull more.
• Divine Plea. Use it.
• Modulate your TPS. (Skip Consecrate)


If Divine Plea + BoSanc + 1/2 Spiritual Attunement aren't returning enough mana, you're not tanking enough. Start tanking more mobs, and thus taking more damage & avoiding more attacks.

3.1 changes

• Healer mana regen nerfed.
• SA is now a talent, we take 1/2
• Protection get to refresh Divine Plea by hitting things. :D

Mana Expenditure

• Hammer of the Righteous: 6% base mana; 6 second CD
• ShoR: 6% base; 6 sec
• Judgement: 5%; 9 sec
• Holy Shield: 10%; 9 sec
• Consecrate: 22%; 9 sec

Skip Consecrate: Mana per second: 3.66% of base mana per second = 161 mana per second.

Full rotation: 6.11% = 268 mana per second

Divine Plea Numbers

Full buffed, you have about 7.5k mana. Divine Plea returns 25% of your mana over 15 seconds, that's about 125 mana per second.

Sanctuary Numbers

• Pure avoidance at level 80 is about 50%.
• You'll block most of the rest.
• You get about 120-130 mana for every mitigated/avoided hit.

Grab a standard heroic-instance trash pack. 4 mobs, 1 on whom is a caster. Three beating on you for not much.

• Three mobs @ 2 sec swing speed, DPS start on the caster.
• Assume the pack takes ~25 seconds to kill (almost one AS CD).

How much mana?

• Caster gives you none from BoS, only SA.
• Melee are going to swing at you about two-dozen times, half avoided, rest blocked.
• About 20 out of 24 hits are going to proc BoS, giving you 40% of your mana back over the life of the pack.
• About half will also do damage and give you some mana via SA (see below)

BoSanc is giving you something like

Spiritual Attunement Numbers Assumes 1/2 SA

Your healer has roughly 20k mana. You have 6k. When you take damage, he transfers mana from his blue bar to your blue bar. How efficient is this transfer?.

Paladin healing you:
Base mana 4,394

• Holy light at 2k spellpower hits for ~10k.
• Costs the Holy pally 1.3k mana, gives you 500 mana
• If the pally crits, the heal hits for 15k and only costs the paladin 517 mana.

• Flash of Light costs 308 mana. 123 mana on a crit.
• FoL heals for 3.3k, 5k on a crit.
• ZOMG! he spends 123 or 308 mana to give you 150-250.

Assuming your holy pally is vaguely competent (or just spams FoL), he can transfer his mana bar to your mana bar at almost 100% efficiency.

(Holy) Priest Healing You:

Base mana 3,863. Total mana ~20k, spellpower 2k.

• Renew: 656 mana. ~6.9k healing.
• Flash Heal: 590 mana. 4k heal. Only 440 mana if it topped you off.
• Greater Heal: 1050 mana. ~9-10k. Only 788 mana if it topped you off

Harder for a holy priest to transfer mana over 100% efficiency, but their mana regen is very strong.

Tree/shaman healing you

Do I need to belabour the point? More of the same. They can transfer their 18-20k mana pools to your blue rage bar at almost 1:1, and regen a hell of a lot faster than you.

Summary: You do not have a 6k mana pool and no regen. You have a 25k mana pool, it's just that your healer is carrying most of it for you. He can refuel you from empty to full in 10-20 seconds depending on class, if you can take enough damage. He can regen the 6k he just transferred from his pool to yours in about 45 seconds of just standing there.

Neat Trick: Get naked. Get clothed. OK, you just lost 10k health, inc 1k mana. Repeat. This is faster than drinking if you healer is full mana and you're OOM. Create a "get naked" button.

Practicalities and Pacing.

• It's hard to do more than 2 pulls a minute due to AS CD.
• Thus: Every second pack you get to activate Divine Plea, if you let it fall off.

Plea + BoS give you back about half a bar total per trash pack.

What can you cast for half a mana bar?
• Avenger's Shield.
One Consecrate.

IE: You need half a mana bar to pull. Make sure to finish your pulls with half a mana bar so you can pull again.

What does SA have to cover?
• Hammer of the Righteous: 6% base mana; 6 second CD
• ShoR: 6% base; 6 sec
• Judgement: 5%; 9 sec
• Holy Shield: 10%; 9 sec

Mana per second: 3.66% of base mana per second = 161 mana per second.

Thus: Incoming damage needs to be 1,610 DPS and you won't go OOM.

Is this a possible healing rate? Holy paladin casting Flash of Light with ~400ms ping is about 2k HPS. Certainly well over our required 1.6k HPS. A Holy Paladin can do this roughly forever. He never needs to break out a big heal or pop CDs.

Other healers solve the same problem different ways, with the same result. 2k HPS, single target, is ridiculously easy for a level 80 healer to sustain virtually forever.

It's worth noting that at this damage rate, your "Time to live" is roughly 30 seconds. IE: You're dealing with trash packs so goddamn weak that you could tank the entire pack to dead with no heals at all.

So the required damage rate is low enough that you healer can be AFK for the actual combats. Or you can dual-box heal yourself, where you only heal yourself after each pack. If you're actually taking enough damage that the pack can actually kill you if you don't get heals, then you can't go OOM.

TL;DR! Gimmah tips!

• Put up Sanctuary instead of Kings.
• Stop using CC.
• Pull more.
• Divine Plea. Use it.
• Modulate your TPS. (Skip Consecrate)


Main one is: Consecrate is optional. Skip it unless you really need TPS on over 5 mobs. Learn to tank 4 mobs without Consecrate: AS three, Judge 4th, HammerTime!

Once the first couple of mobs are dead, look at Omen? Do you need to be doing TPS? Or do you have ginormous threat bars with piddly DPS threat eeking along at the bottom? Probably yes! At that point, skip everything except Holy Shield and HotR. Holy Shield costs negative mana - three blocks and you're ahead. Hammer keeps SoV ticking on three targets and is thus stupidly cheap TPS.
Last edited by knaughty on Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:15 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 3.2 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:34 pm

Professions

Short Version:
• Drop herbalism, skinning & tailoring
• Engineering gives armour which only works vs physical damage.
• Mining only gives stamina, no Holy/Ret options.

Otherwise: Pick anything.

Long Version:

Firstly: Professions have been rebalanced since 2.4. Switching profs will no longer get you a progression kill that is otherwise unobtainable (Hello LW drums @ Brute). BoP items are far less powerful in general. All crafting professions offer roughly similar bonuses.

So, don't switch profs "just because". You're blowing several thousand gold for under 10 bonus stamina by switching, or getting 50-ish if you had completely useless profession like herbalism. In general, most profs just give stamina bonuses (Engineering gives armour, Inscription gives avoidance).

That said, what are the bonuses each profession gives: (with thanks to Majiben)

If you have no professions at all, JC has always been the best profession, but usually by only a tiny margin. It's also good for making money due to ease of using AH for gems.

Profs that give roughly 50 stamina in 3.1
Blacksmith, JC, Enchanting, Leather-working and Mining all give about 50 stam. JC gives a little more since it activates set bonuses, mining has no holy/ret option. Overall, they're largely equivalent. Rebalanced in 3.2, again, still equivalent.

Jewelcrafting: Everything else got buffed in 3.2, JC got a minor nerf. It is no longer clearly the best trade - merely even with the others. Keep it if you have it, otherwise ignore it.

Black smithing: Two additional sockets that can be socketed with 48 stamina, 32 defense, 32 dodge or some combination. It makes activating meta gems easier in some cases, but usually you'd just stuff stamina gems in the extra sockets. Will scale when epic gems are released.

Enchanting: 48 stamina (or AP, or spell-power)

Leatherworking Wrist Enchants The obvious one is the +90 stamina to wrist. There are AP/spell-power equivalents for your Ret/holy sets.

Mining: 50 stamina. Downside: No Ret/Holy option, unlike all the others above. Unlike most trades, dirt cheap to level (basically free). However, there's no escaping the grind - you can't just "buy mats" - go mine shit. Much faster in 3.0.9 than previously.

Profs that you have to think about
Alchemy, Inscription, Engineering have interesting options. Engineering was crap, but the new 800 armour enchant is actually decent. If you lived with Engineering in 3.0, it is lot closer in 3.1. Armor enchant buffed in 3.2, but to be honest, Ulduar hard-modes were finally enough that I gave up on Engineering and re-rolled Blacksmith. Just too weak in PvE.

Herbalism, Skinning & Tailoring are all crap.

Alchemy: Provides 750 hp if a flask is used. If using Elixirs, pick one of each row:
• 400 armour, 375 hp, or 22 defence rating;
• 25 str, 22 agility, 10 stats
Also provides a very nice avoidance/stamina trinket.

Inscription: Assuming Exalted with Hodir: Bonus 37 dodge and 5 defence rating on shoulder enchant. Ret/Holy flavours available. Gives Avoidance, instead of EH. In "Ratings are fungible" terms, is ahead of +50 stam. Anyway, nothing wrong with it, and a great money spinner in 3.0 and briefly in 3.1 as everyone adds a second set of glyphs.

Engineering: Toys & a mote farming tool. Glove enchant is competitive I was surprised, but the 800 armour enchant is actually pretty decent. Sucks vs magic damage, but wins vs physical damage a lot of the time. Ret/Holy option is a crapton of haste - 340 rating (~10%) for 10 secs every minute.

Herbalism: Crap.

Tailoring: Crap.

Skinning: Crap.
Last edited by knaughty on Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:15 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: 3.2 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:34 pm

Gear and Buffs

Obsolete due to Theck's work

Go use someone else's BiS gear post, I can't be arsed keeping this one up-to-date.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:35 pm

Am I geared enough for....

90% of the time, if you're asking this question, the answer is: Yes you have enough gear.

The real question is Does your group have enough skill?

Clearing all content in 3.0 is a matter of co-ordination and skill. There is only one encounter in-game that is a serious tanking gear check, and as a pally, you'll probably never do it: Sarth Duty with +3 drakes.

Sarth+3 is MT'd by a bear with 50k health buffed, or a DK with quite good tanking gear. Nothing else requires really high-end tanking gear. I tanked all content up to and including Malygos-25 without having reached the Superior achievement (IE: I still had level 70 crap on).

Benchmarks for Tier-7

Step 1: Vendor / DE / delete your level 70 crap. There's maybe half-a-dozen pieces in-game that are worth wearing at level 80, and only two outside Sunwell: Shadowmoon Insignia and Commendation of KT. Sunwell tanking plate is pretty crap, but just barely acceptable in a couple of slots if you re-gem it for pure +defence. If you're wearing plate from BT or earlier, you're doing it wrong.

Step 2: Craft enough Tempered Saronite and Daunting hands/legs to get to 535 defence.

You are now ready for heroics Blue gear & 540 defence is enough for Naxx-10.

Step 3: Craft a couple of BoE epics. Titansteel hat/boots/shield (or Engineering goggles). Get to 540 defence. Gem & enchant your gear.

You are now ready for a complete Naxx-25 clear.

Step 4: Once you've cleared Naxx one time, blow all your badges.

You are now ready for Malygos and Sarth+2 (roughly even difficulty).

It is perfectly possible to clear all 25-man content the same week you hit level 80, with nothing but crafted gear. I went close, but weekly reset was badly timed.

Sarth+3 requires that your guild gear up. You will probably not be the choke point - DPS, Heals and the Sarth MT need better gear than you.

Benchmarks for Tier-8

Ulduar-10 drops gear of comparable quality to Naxx-25. This means there's little point doing Ulduar-10 if you have full Naxx-25 gear, unless you do hard-modes.

The following is educated guesses based on minimal feedback from the PTR, and official design goals, as inficated by GC and other blue posts

• Ulduar-10 is designed for people in ilevel-200 epics (Herioc & Naxx-10 epics).
• Ulduar-10 hard-modes will be doable in ilevel-213 gear (Ulduar-10/Naxx-25 level gear) - you will not need to farm 25-man to do 10-man-hard-modes (no Sarth3D equivalent?)

Ulduar-25 is designed to require 25-man gear to clear.
Ulduar-25 hard-modes are designed to require you to farm the zone before you can do them easily.

Completing 10-man hard-modes in Ulduar will provide both training and gear that may be useful for the 25-man hard modes.
Last edited by knaughty on Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:35 pm

User Interface

There's an important distinction to make when discussing a tanking UI that's often conflated: Tanking UI & Raid Leading UI.

Tanks are not always raid leaders, though it is pretty common. While there are some things that are common across both types of UI, some things are different.

I'll cover both lists of requirements. You'll need to decide for yourself how much of the "leader" info is applicable to your role in your guild.

Tanking UI requirements



Leading UI requirements

Read this: http://www.stratfu.com/strats/RaidleaderAddons

Excellent guide. My UI has pretty much the same set of info on it (using different mods), basically via convergent evolution (I finished my UI before finding this guide).



Things I need to classify and explain...

• Omen
• Ora2
• Pallypower
• Tankadin2
• Raid frames
• MT frames
• Marking mod
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Re: 3.2 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:36 pm

Gems

Upgrade everything to the epic equivalent and the advice remains mostly the same
Note that because stam gems are now 30 instead of 24, and hybrid stam/rating gems are 15 instead of 12, the relative value of socket bonuses has been reduced by 3 stamina per socket.

In TBC, this was enough that matching sockets basically went out of style in 2.4 - there was no point, just put stam everywhere.

Unclear is the same will be true in 3.2.

Meta:
Austere Earthsiege Diamond Easy to activate, highest EH vs magic or big slow hits.
Eternal Earthsiege Diamond Avoidance, very good EH vs small hits, threat. Slightly harder to activate.

Austere in your MT hat, Eternal in your TPS/BV/Trash hat.

Blue:
Epic Stam gem I mean.. do I have to say it?
Stam gem

Red:
Use these purple gems:

Shifting Dreadstone EH & avoidance, a little TPS. Probably your best red MT gem.
Regal Dreadstone EH & avoidance. Agility version is probably better.
Sovereign Dreadstone EH + TPS & a little BV. Agility version IS better.
Regal Twillight Opal EH & avoidance.
Sovereign Twilight Opal EH + TPS & a little BV. Drop

Or use these orange gems:
Champion's Flawless Ametrine Avoidance, TPS, tiny bit of BV. Best gem for your TPS set. Drop
Stalwart Flawless Ametrine Avoidance, lots of it. MT set option. Drop
Champion's Monarch Topaz Avoidance, TPS, tiny bit of BV. Best gem for your TPS set. Drop
Stalwart Monarch Topaz Avoidance, lots of it. MT set option. Drop


Yellow:

Enduring Eye of Zul Yellow slots are rare. This gem is awesome, BTW, so never slot a blue gem in a yellow slot with a decent bonus, use this one.
Enduring Forest Emerald

Enchants

Rules of thumb:
Ratings are fungible!: Pick the enchant with the most "item points" spent on tanking stats.
• Defence is your best enchant until over 540
• Defence is still your best avoidance enchant after 540, until block-capped.
• 540 is hard to maintain.
• Enchant to improve an item's strengths, not cover weaknesses.
• Your profession option is almost always better than the base enchant (or stacks)

This simplifies to "enchant defence > all, then stamina if possible". Armour enchants, where they exist, are also very, very good.

Best enchant by slot

Helm [item]Arcarnum of the Stalwart Protector[/item] Twice as good as anything else.

Shoulders Best Inscription of the Pinnacle you can get from Hodir rep.

Cloak: Mighty Armor (225 armour) is competitive with Titanweave once you are past the defence minimum. Some people like 22 Agility, I haven't run the numbers but have an irrational dislike for Agi enchants.

Chest:Greater Defence is your best enchant. Super Health and Powerful Stats are about even in second place.

Wrist: 40 stam enchant

Gloves: Glove Reinforcements is more EH than Heavy Borean Armor Kit (but doesn't work vs magic). Armsman for your threat-set gloves, if you have them.

Waist: Extra socket. Probably with a stamina gem in it, but look at the strengths of the piece and consider your options.

Legs: 22 agil / 55 stam leg patch.

Feet: 22 stam. Tuskarr's if you want the speed.

Mainhand:
Avoidance:
Enchant Weapon - Blade Ward New in 3.1. The proc is less than 4% parry due to diminishing returns. Proc rate, internal CD and source of enchant are all unknown.
Enchant Weapon - Exceptional Agility Some crit and dodge, and a little armour. I'm not a fan, but if someone posts the conversions, I'll stick them here.

EH (sort of)
Enchant Weapon - Blood Draining New in 3.1. The source of enchant is unknown. Proc rate is 50%, stacks to 5, heal goes off when you drop under 35%. 5-stack will take about 10 seconds to reach, and heals for 1.8k - 2.2k, unknown if there is any scaling.

TPS Options:
• Best TPS enchant is Enchant Weapon - Accuracy once you're in full Naxx-25 or Ulduar-10 tanking epics, but it is Expensive! so wait for a good weapon.

Potency is next best, but is very hard to find being a somewhat rare world-drop TBC enchant, so just use Titanium Weapon chain in the meanwhile, as it quite decent TPS as well.

Shield: 20 Defence is substantially better than 18 stam by ilevel. 40 Block Value if you have a "Threat set" shield.
Last edited by knaughty on Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:31 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:37 pm

Reserved

Coz last time I ran out of reserved posts
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Re: 3.1 Frequently Argued Questions. AKA: Advanced tanking FAQ.

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:38 pm

Fin!

Last time I ran out of reserved posts. So this time I'm taking the whole front page.

Officially open to suggestions

Anything you think should be changed this time round?
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