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Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.X)

Warning: Theorycraft inside.

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Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.X)

Postby sculder » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:26 pm

Updated for Cataclysm

Patch 4.0.3a comes with a few important changes for paladin tanks, outlined below:

Divine Bulwark: Now increases your chance to block melee attacks by 18% (up from 16%). Each point of Mastery increases block chance by an additional 2.25% (up from 2%).

Holy Shield: Now increases the amount your shield blocks by 10% (changed from +15% block chance)


What does this mean?
Short answer is that it makes block cap harder to obtain, given the loss of 15% from the old holy shield. However we do gain (2 + (0.25 * points of mastery))% chance to block, which will help cover the gap a little bit. So at 80, it will still be very possible to reach block cap. It is also worth noting that given the block changes, you will nearly always gain more avoidance from reforging away dodge or parry to mastery. At 85 this math will change slightly, so there will be more updates as we get closer to that point.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

MASTERY AND BLOCK

What is it?
Blizzard wrote:Here’s how the system works: As you spend points in a given talent tree, you’ll receive three different passive bonuses specific to that tree. The first bonus will increase your damage, healing, or survivability, depending on the intended role of the tree. The second bonus will be related to a stat commonly found on gear desirable to you, such as Haste or Crit. The third bonus will be the most interesting, as it will provide an effect completely unique to that tree -- meaning there will be 30 different bonuses of this nature in the game. This third bonus is the one that will benefit from the Mastery rating found on high-level (level 80 to 85) gear.

One of our primary goals with Mastery is to give players more flexibility to choose fun or utility-oriented talents rather than make them feel obligated to pick up “mandatory” but uninteresting talents, such as passive damage or healing. (For examples of the kinds of powerful but boring talents we’re talking about, take a look at the talent tier just above the 51-point talent in many of the existing trees.) In a sense, Mastery makes it so every talent in (just for example) a rogue tree essentially has an invisible additional bullet point that says “…and increases your damage by X%.” This way, if you choose a talent like Master of Deception (which reduces your chance to be detected while stealthed) or Fleet Footed (which affects movement), you won’t feel like you’re giving up damage in exchange for utility.

Simply put, mastery is a system of passive bonuses 'awarded' to a player upon selection of a talent tree specialization. One of these bonuses will provide an effect completely unique to the talent branch of the class it belongs to. For us protection paladins, our mastery is Divine Bulwark. (explained more below). It is worth noting that you must train mastery from your class trainer before being able to benefit from it.


Divine Bulwark (Protection Paladin Mastery) in 4.0.3a
Wowhead wrote:increases your chance to block melee attacks by 18%. Each point of Mastery increases block chance by an additional 2.25%

At level 80 (on ptr 4.0.1) it takes 45.9 mastery rating to gain 1 point of mastery. This means that for every 45.9 mastery you have from gear either by gear stats, reforging, socket bonuses, etc, you will gain 2.25% more block chance through Divine Bulwark.


Block Changes with 4.0.1
WowWiki wrote:As of Cataclysm the mechanics behind block will be changed dramatically. Instead of blocking a flat amount of damage you will then always block 30% of the damage, with block rating still defining how often you will block.

A blocked attack will now be mitigated by a static percentage (30%) instead of an amount modified by your block value, which was the old system.

Holy Shield Changes with 4.0.3a
Holy Shield now increases the amount your shield blocks by 10%. This means that when holy shield is up, our blocks will mitigate 40% of incoming physical damage (can also be modified by +BV meta)



REFORGING

Credit to Polonadis:
As we all know, when patch 4.0.1 hits the live servers, a new feature - reforging will become available. This service provided by NPCs located in every major city allows us to chage 40% of an unwanted or less desirable stat into one we need provided that it is not yet present on the given item. Base stats cannot be reforged, though, with the exception of spirit.
It sounds pretty simple in theory, but can prove more difficult to master in practice. So how should we - prot paladins - use this featire to maximize the potential of our character?
First we need a little bit of theory. (See "Defensive Statistics Theory" below)


Reforging as it relates to Tankadins
Reforging can only be performed with secondary stats; The secondary stats relevant to tanking are Hit, Expertise, Dodge, Parry, and Mastery. (You could also include critical strike rating and haste rating, but that;s another thread altogether - I'll let Meloree handle that one). So why would we want to reforge? Reforging is a tool to fine tune your gearsets to better suit your needs. Beyond the obvious reforging of hit/expertise to reach their respective caps for threat and dps, we can perform other reforging to fine tune our avoidance to exactly where we want it to be. For patch 4.0.3a and Cataclysm in general, reforging avoidance (dodge/parry) to mastery will almost always yield a reduction in damage taken. Let me elaborate:



Defensive Statistics Theory & the Block Cap

Dodge/Parry Diminishing Returns
Both dodge and parry ratings suffer from diminishing returns which means that the more of the given stat we accumulate, the less effective it becomes at providing the stat (it requires more and more rating per point). The same rule applies to dodge gained through agility (the curve starts at about 0,02% dodge per point of agility), and to parry gained through strength (patch 4.0.1 introduced the formula that gives us a flat number of 0,25 parry rating per every point of strength we gain - base strength excluded).

The current (4.0.3a) Derevations for dodge and parry DR points are calculated below by theckhd. Calculated points are "break-even" points where reforging dodge/parry [below the relevant point] to mastery will yield you more theoretical damage taken.
theckhd wrote:H = hit size
A = Avoidance
B = Block

Damage taken = H(1-A-B)+0*A + 0.6*H*B = H(1-A-0.4*B)

Now trade avoidance dA for block dB:

DT'=H(1-(A-dA)-0.4*(B+dB))

Diff=DT'-DT=H-HA+HdA-0.4HB+0.4HdB-H+HA+0.4HB = H(dA-0.4*dB)

Thus, you take less damage if the avoidance you lose is less than 0.4 times the block% you gain.

Assume 10 of each stat. Mastery is fixed at 179.28 rating per point of mastery, and each point gives us 2.25% block. 10 mastery therefore gives us 0.12550%% block, and we'd need 10 parry to give us less than 0.05020 avoidance for the trade to be worthwhile.

According to the MATLAB model, that occurs when you have 942 parry rating (5.139%), or 10.139% parry on your character sheet. At level 80 it's only 234 rating (4.997%), still around 10%.

It's the same calculation for dodge, but we have slightly more base dodge at level 80 (5.5182% with base AGI included) and slightly less at 85 (3.9705% with base AGI). So at 85, it would be 8.9705% dodge, and at 80 it would be 10.5182%.



"Block Cap" - What is it?
Being "block capped" means that you will block every melee hit that is not avoided by a dodge or parry. The block cap is at 102,4% and is the sum of dodge, parry, opponent's miss chance and our block chance. We get about 36% of combined block chance and avoidance for "free" : 5% base block chance + 16% block from mastery, 5% miss and approximately 5% dodge (depending on race - base agility). This means that we need about 66,4% of combined block chance and avoidance from gear to reach the block cap.

Useful in-game macro for avoidance:
Code: Select all
/script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("Need 102.4 combat table coverage to be capped. Currently at: "..string.format("%.2f", GetDodgeChance()+GetBlockChance()+GetParryChance()+5))


It is worth noting here that certain buffs will affect your total avoidance. As of 4.0.1/4.0.3a these buffs are:
Code: Select all
- Kings/Mark of the Wild
- Horn of Winter / Battle Shout
- Agility/Strength Food
- Blessing of Light, from last word

Irrelevant buffs are not listed, such as DBW procs or DC:G procs, because it is assumed for this thread that you will be using tank relevant items. Overall these buffs will give you roughly 3-4% more avoidance, though the exact gain will change from character to character. It is important to factor these buffs in when trying to reach block cap, as it can be assumed you will have them in a raid setting.


So what should you reforge?

As of cataclysm it is impossible to reach block cap, even with current raiding gear. While this will probably change as we progress further into the cataclysm tiers, for now the best thing you can do for survivability is reforge to mastery. You can safely reforge dodge, parry, or threat stats to mastery down quite low and still be gaining more mitigation through mastery. It is somewhat important to note that prioritizing the block cap in your reforging efforts may limit your tps output. Reaching the block cap will likely require the reforging of most of your gear pieces, leaving little room to reforge for hit/expertise if you don't have the right gear. In cataclysm, having a very low hit% is a given, especially in lower ilvl gear.

While some will choose to reforge for hit and expertise, My raiding experiences thus far have led me to advise the following: stack mastery in favor of dodge/parry to achieve as much avoidance percentage as you can. This means reforging away your highest stat (dodge/parry) to mastery on every piece of gear that isn't already reforged. Threat stats are almost trivial due to the high tps output we have mid to late fight, and the help of tricks/MD at the start of the fight makes it that much easier. If you maintain a proper rotation threat should only be an issue early in the fight, which is easily aided with tricks, misdirect, and AW.
Last edited by sculder on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:50 pm, edited 21 times in total.
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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby sculder » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:27 pm

I've reached the block cap - now what??

If you've managed to reach block cap in Cataclysm by following this (or a similar0 guide, you probably have a lot of mastery (block). If that is the case then your dodge and parry percentages are probably lower than optimal as a result of reforging. Once capped you can safely reforge (or un-reforge) mastery to parry or dodge. This will help reduce your overall damage taken by allowing you to avoid more attacks rather than just block them. If you've reached the cap and your threat output is an issue, you can reforge (or un-reforge) mastery to hit/expertise to give yourself a threat boost.

Changelog

10.15.2010 - Clarified some wording ambiguity throughout
10.18.2010 - Added the section concerning confusion over the DR points
10.18.2010 - Restructured a large portion of the post for readability
10.18.2010 - Added section "I can't reach the block cap - help!"
10.18.2010 - Added section "I've reached the block cap - now what??"
12.20.2010 - Updated for Cataclysm
Last edited by sculder on Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:07 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby Phonic » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:55 am

This is a great consolidation of information :) Thanks for the effort.

The only thing I can suggest adding (and I know this is posted elsewhere, but since we're making a guide here...) are values for hit cap and expertise (soft/hard), so that people know what they can aim their reforging at after they've reach block cap and minmal Dodge/Parry DR.
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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby KysenMurrin » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:27 am

From the official stat changes post:
Shield Block Value - There are some effects that increase the Block value by a percentage, but this does not exist as a stat.

Now, this could be referring to the Warrior Mastery, but I notice the Meta gems still give Shield Block Value. Does this mean Eternal Earthsiege Diamond increases your block's damage reduction?

Edit: the level 85 version is +5% block value.
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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby sculder » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:08 pm

KysenMurrin wrote:Does this mean Eternal Earthsiege Diamond increases your block's damage reduction?


Somewhere along the line I read a blue post that said block value is supposedly going to raise your block chance somehow. Being that I can't find any info on this in the first few pages of searching, I'd have to dig into it a bit more in order to be sure.

edit: judging by the 5% -> 1% BV on that meta that i failed to notice... I'd say that BV still does contribute to damage reduction. This is merely an educated guess, as I haven't been able to find any concrete answers yet.
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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby Glatston » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:58 pm

ok with that said I should be shooting for the following:

[No buffs]
Dodge: 21.28%
Parry: 21.56%
Block: 40.13%

Does mastery = your block because if not then I am going to have to add a ton of block as I dont think mine is even close to that. I will have to wait for game to be back up to check.

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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby Sabindeus » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:02 pm

Seems to me like this thread should be in Basic Training or Theorycraft? Yes?
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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby sculder » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:28 pm

Sabindeus wrote:Seems to me like this thread should be in Basic Training or Theorycraft? Yes?


maybe now that 4.0.1 is live :/
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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby Sabindeus » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:32 pm

sculder wrote:
Sabindeus wrote:Seems to me like this thread should be in Basic Training or Theorycraft? Yes?


maybe now that 4.0.1 is live :/


yeah that's what I meant... gonna put it in AT&C for now. see if theck wants to sticky it.
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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby econ21 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:46 pm

This is disappointing - with full 264 level tank gear (except shield), I have only 992 dodge rating and 931 parry. With kings, this translates to 22% dodge and 21.99% parry. If I am understanding theckhd's calculation correctly, I already about at the point where switching avoidance to mastery would be not be worthwhile. And I have not reforged anything (21% block). :(

Not to be deterred, I have reforged the highest avoidance stat on each item in my survival set to mastery. I now have 18.36% dodge and 19.72% parry (with kings) together with 40.34% block. By my maths, my overall avoidance has fallen from 50.29% to 50.18%, but I guess it has got less spikey. Maybe with raid buffs, the change would look more favorable.
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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby theckhd » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:21 pm

It's still worth reforging to reach block cap even if it drops you below 21%. You'll increase your total damage taken, but you'll smooth out spikes in the process by guaranteeing 30% off of every hit.

Also, note that the armor on many items has been reduced, but the armor formulas haven't changed significantly. We now get f=12.679 health per stamina (up from 12.1264), so the armor:stam relation is

Code: Select all
dA = 12.679*(K+A)/H * dS


K is still 16635, A is your buffed armor, H is your buffed health. For around 60k health and 30k armor, that works out to

Code: Select all
dA=9.85*dS


or around 10 armor to 1 stamina.

What does this mean in practical terms? By nerfing the armor on items, Blizz directly nerfed their EH without giving you something in return. If you compare the 264 vendor items to other 264 or 277 raid or tier items, you'll find that the 264 items are often a little behind in EH (but significantly ahead in avoidance), and the 277 items are actually ahead in both EH and avoidance (or threat stats). That, combined with the ability to reforge other stats into mastery, generally means that you should drop the armor item if you have another option of equal or greater ilvl available, and reforge some of the new items stats into mastery.
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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby econ21 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:49 pm

Thanks, Theckhd. I am still smarting that they took ALL the armour away from the glyph of indomitability. Which my warrior alt foolishly wasted 50 emblems on buying this week.

I want to ask something a little off topic, but given that we both have warrior alts you may have given this some thought: does the recommendation to reforge avoidance to mastery still hold for warrior tanks? With the critical block mechanic they have, I guess the smoothing damage argument is not as strong but still has some force?

My warrior is worse geared than my pally though (5200 gs vs 5900) so the cost in avoidance may be more significant.
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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby Riusaki » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:14 pm

Divine Bulwark has been buffed in the latest Cata beta build.

"Protection
* Mastery: Divine Bulwark now increases your chance to block melee attacks by 24%, up from 16%. Each point of Mastery increases block chance by an additional 3%, up from 2%."
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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby Phonic » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:21 pm

Riusaki wrote:Divine Bulwark has been buffed in the latest Cata beta build.

"Protection
* Mastery: Divine Bulwark now increases your chance to block melee attacks by 24%, up from 16%. Each point of Mastery increases block chance by an additional 3%, up from 2%."


Yup, so it'll be even easier to reach Block Cap once/if this goes live. Get ready to reforge some stuff back to dodge or better yet, tasty Expertise for threat (based on Theck's latest findings)
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Re: Reforging/Mastery/Block Cap Compilation Guide (4.0.1)

Postby Faolchu » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:26 pm

I'm sorry if this is a bit of a stupid question but a lot of this has gone over my head (in my defence its 2am :P).

But is the 40% block target with Holy Shield active or before you activate it (via 3xholypower etc).


http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Deathwing&cn=Lanila is my current armoury link haven't had much chance to play around with it, if your curious.
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