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GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

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GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:13 am

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2084250
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2511333

Ghostcrawler wrote:One topic we've been discussing lately is the role of Hit and Expertise on tank gear (or more precisely, plate tanking gear). The conventional wisdom is that Hit and Expertise are threat stats, and you may need to swap them out with some of your mitigation stats depending on the situation. Realistically, unless you severely overgear the content, we don't think that is actually true. Tanks almost always worry about survival first and foremost, which totally makes sense, and are willing to trade off threat stats for better mitigation in almost all situations. It's much harder to progress if the tank explodes than it is if the cat occasionally pulls aggro. (It's not quite that simple, but I'm going to gloss over details and exceptions since I spent so much text on the preamble up above).

Once upon a time, taunts could miss, and so Hit was marginally more interesting than it is today. Once upon a time, having a boss parry your attacks could speed up its swing timer, which turned Expertise into a (often weak) survival stat. Boss parries felt very random though, both in the sense that sometimes the tank would suddenly take much more damage than anticipated and there was no easy way to know which bosses had parry speed up. (Today, you can assume none of them do.) Until recently, interrupts could miss, but asking a tank to stack a bunch of Hit just for those few opportunities when they were probably going to hit anyway but disaster would occur if they did not felt crummy too.

The problem is that there aren't a lot of stats that are interesting to tanks. Stamina and Armor are great, but their stat budget is often in lockstep with item level. (It would be interesting to consider if we could make that not the case once again, but that's the topic for another blog.) We got rid of Defense as a stat that tanks needed to worry about. We have managed to make Mastery pretty good to excellent for tanks, so that's at least one stat they like to see. Dodge and (if you're a plate-wearer) Parry are good, and slightly interesting because of talents like Hold the Line. But beyond that, it starts to go downhill. Sure Haste and Crit can sometimes be fun, but really they often aren't worth the trade off. That leaves us with Hit and Expertise. We'd like to make them more interesting to tanks. But how?

One way is by turning them into defensive stats. They are defensive stats for Blood death knights, because the DK self-healing is tied into Death Strike, which can miss. It might be possible to do something similar for the other classes. Imagine if Shield Block had to actually hit the target. Presumably you raise your shield, but not high enough to intercept the incoming blow. Now hit becomes a mitigation stat for warriors as well. We might have to adjust the mitigation amount on Shield Block or give warriors a small Hit bonus so Hit capping wasn't totally unreasonable, but you get the basic idea. You could do the same with paladins (make Holy Shield more interesting?) and druids as well (Savage Defense could proc on a hit).

Is this a good idea? We're not sure yet. You won't see this change in the 4.1 patch for certain. There are trade-offs to making Hit and Expertise more valuable. Gearing as a tank might be more fun for experienced players, but it also might be more challenging for less experienced players. The number of struggling tanks in your Dungeon Finder groups might go up. Some less knowledgeable players (and to be fair, this stuff doesn't exactly explain itself on the character sheet) might stack Hit way too high at the expense of a more valuable mitigation stat, such as mastery.
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Petrus » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:27 am

To be honest, they'd either have to start putting hit/exp on EVERY piece of gear (leading to it being the reforged stat every time, e.g. T11 shoulders, Ironstar Amulet) or make it REALLY desirable before we start stacking it.
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Sedona » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:44 am

My impression of this blog was that he was insinuating that these changes would make hit/exp more desirable so you don't reforge out of all of it, but that you are concerned with it. And instead of having to cap like a DPSr, your talents will also give a portion of the hit required to cap. This change would just require more pieces with Hit and Exp, but we wouldn't need every piece with hit/exp on it. DPSrs don't have hit on ALL of their gear either.

I strongly support this idea. I almost squealed when I read it. I don't think I'm the only tank that is sad about the state of threat stats these days. Back in Wrath, my goal was to do as much DPS as I could after I had content on farm. That was exciting to me. My DPS and thus threat was exciting. I remember having to watch myself with some of my OTs during tank switches because of how I was gearing. It made me feel great. And it's depressing to me that the state of tanking has boiled down to Mastery.

I hope these changes take place so I can fiddle with my gear again. I liked the thought put into my gear. It maybe just me. Well it isn't. A good few of my friends agree that tanking isn't as important as it used to be. In hopes to get more tanks in queues, Blizz has made our role easier. This change could make finding a good tank even harder. And I don't see it as a bad thing.

These are my views at least. They are strictly opinion.

EDIT: I did want to mention that as much as I think these changes will do a world of good for the role that I think the real villain for tanks these days in Vengeance. A nerf to Vengeance would make Threat Stats useful again. I guess it's really a matter to Blizz as to which change is easier to implement and balance.
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Petrus » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:55 am

I don't think I'm the only tank that is sad about the state of threat stats these days. Back in Wrath, my goal was to do as much DPS as I could after I had content on farm. That was exciting to me.


I agree here. I like threat stats at times, but when we're doing hardmode raid encounters, I can't afford to give a damn about them. I wish I could. I liked having a few% hit and expertise so that I could push threat and stay ahead of DPS... but at the same time, I don't want the stats now because survivability is so important that any threat stats are wasted stats.
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Nalyn » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:56 am

Petrus wrote:To be honest, they'd either have to start putting hit/exp on EVERY piece of gear (leading to it being the reforged stat every time, e.g. T11 shoulders, Ironstar Amulet) or make it REALLY desirable before we start stacking it.


All they would really have to do is make hit rating also increase your chance to block, and expertise increase your chance to dodge/parry, or your chance for opponents to miss. Effectively, it's the same thing GC described. (sort of like str converts to parry rating for everyone now?)

On top of that, if you made hit/exp convert at a... meaningful, but lower, rating ratio to defensive stats, along with the fact that they can be effectively capped, would make it in your best interest to stack the offensive stats first, then to stack mastery, or avoidance after.

I dunno, it doesn't seem to be THAT hard to make it work.

However, towards the original post by GC... if you want threat stats to matter again, make vengeance NOT stupid. The reason no one cares about threat stats is that beyond the first 20 seconds of a fight, you're so far ahead, that you don't need them. Changing, or nerfing, vengeance would have the effect of making people care more about hit and expertise.
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Arianne » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:02 pm

I liked it when it was expected that we were hit capped and expertise capped for most fights, but I think it doesn't work with how Cataclysm is currently designed. The boss fights, particularly heroic modes, are balanced around a tank having geared entirely without hit or expertise and with the hit/expertise on items reforged to defensive stats (mastery or avoidance). The reason for that, of course, is that high end guilds pushing content had their tanks gear that way even when the norm during Wrath was to be hit and expertise capped. So in order to make Cataclysm more challenging, they had to assume that everyone was geared that way.

Since they were assuming that everyone was gearing that way and they wanted to balance for raids that didn't have a rogue/hunter for permanent threat directs, that meant that they had to add Vengeance in order to have tanks able to keep threat. So, here we are with the 'right way' to do it being to ignore/avoid hit and expertise on gear. Which leads to heroic tanks having huge issues because they lose threat (because they're following the advice of people for raid tanking) and heroic pugs having issues because of that.

So in order to bring the pug experience to a better level, they need to make hit and expertise worth something again so that people are expected to have at least some of them. Personally I think they should fix Vengeance to be something that is on tier gear for tanks (as a bonus 2 piece bonus) and that bonus scales on each tier set (so for example t11 may say 'Grants 2% Vengeance' while t12 may say 'Grants 5% Vengeance' and t13 may say 'Grants 10% Vengeance'). The bonus to this is that they can change it for each class depending on what's needed (ie: Bears need 5% more vengeance than other tanks to make savage defense scale properly with block and blood shield).

I have a threat set for Maloriak adds that I wear that's got 2% hit and 26 expertise (mostly because there's not very many good hit/avoidance pieces that I can get). So I don't see that hit/expertise are entirely dead and I don't want another conversion stat for tanks (ie: hit to dodge) and I don't like the idea that you need hit for your mitigation cooldowns to work.
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Saler » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:11 pm

Arianne wrote:
So in order to bring the pug experience to a better level, they need to make hit and expertise worth something again so that people are expected to have at least some of them. Personally I think they should fix Vengeance to be something that is on tier gear for tanks (as a bonus 2 piece bonus) and that bonus scales on each tier set (so for example t11 may say 'Grants 2% Vengeance' while t12 may say 'Grants 5% Vengeance' and t13 may say 'Grants 10% Vengeance'). The bonus to this is that they can change it for each class depending on what's needed (ie: Bears need 5% more vengeance than other tanks to make savage defense scale properly with block and blood shield).


The problem at the moment with changing vengeance is that raids are balanced around the dps being done in 10/25s and if you reduce the tank aggro then dps will pull aggro. I already have to use hand of salvation on dps in a number of the heroics and that would be even more pronounced if the boost from vengeance was lowered.


With the dps increase coming in t12, I really wouldn't want to be doing less threat. At 5 min enrage timers, dps having to stay low for 20% of the fight would cause significant problems, particularly for 10 mans.
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:13 pm

Saler wrote:The problem at the moment with changing vengeance is that raids are balanced around the dps being done in 10/25s and if you reduce the tank aggro then dps will pull aggro. I already have to use hand of salvation on dps in a number of the heroics and that would be even more pronounced if the boost from vengeance was lowered.


With the dps increase coming in t12, I really wouldn't want to be doing less threat. At 5 min enrage timers, dps having to stay low for 20% of the fight would cause significant problems, particularly for 10 mans.


I think they could easily lower the cap without lowering the rate of AP gain so that your heroic situations aren't significantly changed while sustained raid boss threat is lowered.
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:14 pm

Arianne wrote:So in order to bring the pug experience to a better level, they need to make hit and expertise worth something again so that people are expected to have at least some of them. Personally I think they should fix Vengeance to be something that is on tier gear for tanks (as a bonus 2 piece bonus) and that bonus scales on each tier set (so for example t11 may say 'Grants 2% Vengeance' while t12 may say 'Grants 5% Vengeance' and t13 may say 'Grants 10% Vengeance'). The bonus to this is that they can change it for each class depending on what's needed (ie: Bears need 5% more vengeance than other tanks to make savage defense scale properly with block and blood shield).


The idea of forcing people to wear tier gear for a necessary class benefit is pretty bad imo.
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby theckhd » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:26 pm

Sabindeus wrote:The idea of forcing people to wear tier gear for a necessary class benefit is pretty bad imo.

It wouldn't be bad if it were a 1-piece bonus. No set so far has been so bad that at least one piece of it hasn't been attractive.

That said, I am firmly in your camp about Vengeance. Lower the cap but keep the stacking rate fixed in absolute terms (i.e. instead of stacking at 0.5% of Stamina per X damage up to a max of 10%, stack at 0.5% per X damage up to a max of 5%, or 3%, or whatever is appropriate).
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:38 pm

I liked Nalyn's idea of converting (at a smaller ratio) Hit and Expertise into Dodge and Parry to make up for the loss of the survival stats if this kind of paradigm gets into place.

I actually gem for expertise(over parry) to the point I am soft capped with the glyph but my hit aint stellar (prolly around 3%) but to be honest, I wish I didn't have to.
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Digren » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:05 pm

Nalyn wrote:All they would really have to do is make hit rating also increase your chance to block, and expertise increase your chance to dodge/parry, or your chance for opponents to miss. Effectively, it's the same thing GC described. (sort of like str converts to parry rating for everyone now?)

They've sort-of already done that. It's called reforging hit rating into mastery, and reforging expertise into dodge or parry rating.

I don't think letting us get the reforging benefit without reforging makes the stats any more challenging. Does hit or mastery rating increase block more? Reforge to maximize. Does expertise, dodge, or parry rating increase avoidance more? Reforge to maximize.

I think giving us some other effect based on expertise or hit is what could make them useful. Like (and I'm ashamed to say this) tying Holy Power generation to them, and then letting us actually use the extra Holy Power in some meaningful way (besides threat).
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Saler » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:10 pm

theckhd wrote:
Sabindeus wrote:The idea of forcing people to wear tier gear for a necessary class benefit is pretty bad imo.

It wouldn't be bad if it were a 1-piece bonus. No set so far has been so bad that at least one piece of it hasn't been attractive.

That said, I am firmly in your camp about Vengeance. Lower the cap but keep the stacking rate fixed in absolute terms (i.e. instead of stacking at 0.5% of Stamina per X damage up to a max of 10%, stack at 0.5% per X damage up to a max of 5%, or 3%, or whatever is appropriate).


I think the rate of decay would have to drop at the same time with that change. While there aren't that many tankswaps where the second tank isn't taking damage at the moment that doesn't mean there won't be in other tiers ( and those we do have can see some issues, particularly with T11.5 geared dps pushing 20k+ compared to a tank starting at 0 vengeance).
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Destruktive » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:09 pm

I actually quite like the idea of needing hit/exp to be able to block an attack. Adds a bit more flavor to how we gear ourselves and most importantly it would be really nice to consistently land my attacks again.

Would be nice to have some hit/exp come from talents, especially exp so we could feasibly hard cap it.
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Re: GC and the possibility of Hit & Exp being tank stats.

Postby Arianne » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:16 pm

Yeah, I don't really like making Vengeance a part of the tier set bonuses, but I don't see a way otherwise to make it scale according to the content. Right now we have the t12 version and it makes threat trivial, but by the time we get to t13 they're going to have to buff it with the DPS we're putting out currently (where I'm down to around 1/3 of a DPS in heroic content but started out at about 1/2 of a DPS in normal content). I mean, the only other way is to have a zonewide buff in the appropriate raids that affects only vengeance (or just not care that people starting out are going to have even larger threat leads over their DPS than we did when we started out).
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