Magic Numbers and Stat priorities

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Magic Numbers and Stat priorities

Postby Gish » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:30 am

I've finally got my pally's gear up to a reasonable level and have been running friends through various heroics. I thought it was about time I read up on this whole tanking thing - my main is a hunter, so anything more than MD and autoshoot is pretty new :)

I've read through some of the guides, but have a couple of questions so thought I would ask. Some of these seem to be subjective questions, depending on what's being tanked where, but looking for some advice.

In terms of magic numbers, I think I should be looking to achieve:

Defense: 540 makes me uncrittable; stacking more appears to be a waste, hence should not gem for additional Defense?
Avoidance: 102.4% makes me uncrushable; is this just the total of parry, dodge & block from the paper doll? It appears that Agi is best stat for avoidance, but how does that match with Str for Block and extra TPS? When gemming would you take Agi/Sta over a straight Agi gem?
Hit: 230 (as a Dranei); Would you gem for Hit over Avoidance?
Expertise: 26 (?); Worth gemming for?

I think I should be prioriting Defense > Avoidance > Hit > Expertise?

This is me: http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sheet ... am&cn=Gish

Any other advice would be warmly received.

Gish
Emerald Dream
A reformed Hunter
Last edited by Gish on Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Magic Numbers and Stat priorities

Postby Epimer » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:14 am

Hi Gish,

first off, your armory link is broken. I think you want an "eu" in there somewhere - is this you: http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Emerald+Dream&cn=Gish ?

Second of all, I think you'll find a lot of answers to your questions in this guide. The long answers to most of your questions are "it depends on your own situation", unfortunately, although there are some general rules of thumb.

As long as you are tanking raids, and are running with more-or-less equally geared players, you do not need to gem for threat stats (hit, expertise). The only magic number we're really concerned about is 540 defense, and take hit or expertise as it comes on gear. Defense over the "cap" (this community tends to prefer "minimum" for this reason) still provides useful amounts of avoidance, but is generally not gemmed or enchanted for about 540 because of the opportunity cost relative to picking up stamina in those same slots.

The gemming and enchanting guide covers this stuff and also links to a very useful discussion about the relative costs of trading avoidance for stamina in terms of gemming and enchants for each slot.

Also, don't worry about 102.4%. Crushing blows effectively do not exist in raiding any more (WotLK changed it so that only mobs 4 levels above you can crush; boss mobs are level 83), so being "uncrushable" - "block-capped" being preferred terminology these days - isn't particularly useful for boss encounters (there are 1 or 2 exceptions involving add tanking).
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Re: Magic Numbers and Stat priorities

Postby Gish » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:51 am

Thanks Epimer, fixed the link. The evil IT people here block almost everything :(

I like the idea of looking at the opportunity cost of gem / socket bonuses, that makes a fair bit of sense to me.

The part that doesn't is not being hit capped. Maybe that's the hunter in me, (if you cant hit, you cant kill it). I was thinking there was a trade off between straight health (I live longer), avoidance (I live longer, am easier to heal) and threat (I keep aggro and dont let other people die).
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Re: Magic Numbers and Stat priorities

Postby Epimer » Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:23 am

The thing with hit is, as unintuitive as it may seem, you can hold aggro with 0 hit. It's a great threat stat, but you should be prioritising your survivability above your threat/damage output in content that's challenging for you or your group, simply because if you can hold threat with 0 hit (and you can, provided you're doing your rotation correctly) then any additional threat is wasted. The associated dps isn't, of course, but upping your personal dps contribution is best saved for farm content or stuff you significantly overgear. Most of the abilities in your threat rotation work off melee hit, so if it helps you can rationalise it in terms of the 92% of your attacks which are landing hit hard enough for you to keep aggro, and that's all you need.

Unfortunately, for most of the content you'll be running for upgrades (ToC10/25, maybe some ICC10 once you're running out of upgrades there) there isn't much of a survivability trade-off between stamina and avoidance. In ToC in particular, most of the sequences of events which can kill you will not comprise avoidable attacks (Gormok Bleed + Impale application + regular melee in a short time window; Icehowl stunning you then meleeing you while you can't dodge, parry or block; a Jaraxxus Fel Fireball when no-one's bothered to dispel his +damage stacking buff), which means avoidance isn't really going to do anything to aid your survivability. That's the reason why stamina gemming is generally the way to go.

The gemming and enchanting guide has the proper detail on this, but straight avoidance gems are a poor trade-off and if you're going to be matching +6, +9 or +12 stamina bonuses then do so with hybrid gems. You have to decide for yourself which of these is worth picking up, but an example would be to ignore +6 stamina bonuses (30 stamina gem in those slots), and pick up +12 and +9 stamina bonuses which require red gems (10 agi/15 stam gems in those red slots).
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