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4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Get help with your character's gear

Moderators: Fridmarr, Worldie, Aergis, Sabindeus, majiben, lythac, Digren

Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby BF-Alamexia » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:37 pm

I actually kind of like Scales of Life. Symbiotic Worm is kind of useless as you approach the CTC cap, anyways, although I can see someone using something like Moonwell Phial over Scales of Life.

Still, I bound the use of Scales of Life to Word of Glory and it's a bit more healing then when I need it.
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Vlesk » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:12 am

A best in slot list would be nice.
While Mirrored Boots, Dargonax Signet, Helm of Blazing Glory and the Tier Shoulders are technically listed as BiS, you wouldve overwhelming amounts of useless Mastery.
Prioritizing Stamina after reaching the Blockcap means you want to find out the best way to reach the blockcap which will grant you the biggest amount of stamina (and 4-piece tier 12)
while wearing Spidersilk Spindle and Scales of Life (cuz it saved my life plenty of times)
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby yappo » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:08 am

Vlesk wrote:A best in slot list would be nice.
While Mirrored Boots, Dargonax Signet, Helm of Blazing Glory and the Tier Shoulders are technically listed as BiS, you wouldve overwhelming amounts of useless Mastery.
Prioritizing Stamina after reaching the Blockcap means you want to find out the best way to reach the blockcap which will grant you the biggest amount of stamina (and 4-piece tier 12)
while wearing Spidersilk Spindle and Scales of Life (cuz it saved my life plenty of times)



And you just explained why we can't have an absolute best in slot list :D
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Vlesk » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:01 am

I didnt :>
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby yappo » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:52 am

Vlesk wrote:I didnt :>


But you did :D

Those items are indeed best in slot until you 'break' certain conditions.
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby econ21 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:08 am

But it's an interesting question, what is the best gear set? Rather than think about best in each slot, think about the best combination of gear. You could have a best for stamina and best for avoidance.

I suspect a mastery heavy set of gear is best for stacking stamina as it allows you to gem and trinket for stamina. I am not sure about best for stacking avoidance - I wonder if reforging means it does not matter too much? Have a lot of mastery gear? Just reforge it to avoidance.

A related question is what are the best trinkets? Here, we would look at the on use or proc aspects more than the primary stat. But what the primary stat is - mastery or stamina - will have implications for how much mastery you want on the rest of your gear.
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Torias » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:59 am

It's certainly a question, I don't honestly agree that it's very interesting. BiS lists are generally not very useful nor educational.

A tool like Ask Mr. Robot can be used for generating a best-in-slot list (at least for a given set of stat weights and within reasonable error margins) however given the nature of the problem unless you have every single piece of gear on the list the list itself is meaningless and worse, misleading as it will tend to cause people to think of it as a "check list". However the BiS list itself is not linear, having 60% of the items on it does not place you at "60% progress to BiS". The stat-weights change relative to one another for any given increase in any stat, certain break-points are passed, etc.

I suppose I just really don't see the point in finding a solution to the problem. The best trinkets question is even harder to approach and somehow (I think) even less useful: Not only would the objectively "best" trinkets vary with each set of gear like any other gear set, they depend so much on the fight and external factors. Take the Symbiotic Worm and specifically its proc as a simple example:

Symbiotic Worm procs 963 mastery for 10 seconds when reduced below 35%, at most once per 30 seconds. The value of that 963 mastery depends on your total CTC (if you are near the cap some non-trivial quantity will be wasted, effectively making it an e.g. 600 mastery proc, 400 mastery proc, etc.). However it also depends on the nature of the fight. What damage is liable to bring a tank below 35%? What damage is liable to occur in the subsequent ten second window? How much of that damage is blockable? The trinket is also devalued by the skill and gear of your healers. The less often you dip below 35% in a fight, the less valuable it is.

For both BiS comparisons and trinket comparisons I honestly feel it is far more effective and useful in the long run to provide people with the tools and knowledge they require to make informed choices for themselves when presented with a given situation, rather than taking the route of decreeing the "best" gear set, which is a concept that collapses under very little weight.
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby econ21 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:44 am

Torias, I take your point about a BiS gear set and not having every single item in the game, but I think to some extent Digren deals with that objection with the concept of tank stages that define available gearsets. He links chardev models of gearsets for tanks of each stage that are close to BiS gear sets for each stage. It's just that now, they may need updating (e.g. the ready for raiding tank should have three bits of T12 and the 365 gear, not T11 and 359). Maybe heroic raiders are spoilt for choice (with heroic T11 and T12) but for lower stage tanks, there's a fairly small set of desirable gear that most tanks have or aspire to have.

The interesting part of the BiS gear set question to me is what happens to a gear guide premised on stacking mastery when you get to the point where mastery has no value? My tentative answer is that the gear guide may still be fine: mastery heavy items may still BiS even after CTC cap if you were wanting to stack stamina and as good as double avoidance if you want to stack avoidance. This is because mastery is not useless after CTC cap - it allows you to gem/trinket for stamina and/or reforge to avoidance (most of us are not at the point where we have so much mastery we can't reforge it). This argument is counter-intuitive but seems logical; I would be interested in other people's thoughts on it.

On the trinkets, I would love to see a boss-by-boss analysis of what to wear. I'll have a search for discussions of this and maybe start a thread if not much turns up.
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Rhiannon » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:13 am

econ21 wrote:The interesting part of the BiS gear set question to me is what happens to a gear guide premised on stacking mastery when you get to the point where mastery has no value? My tentative answer is that the gear guide may still be fine: mastery heavy items may still BiS even after CTC cap if you were wanting to stack stamina and as good as double avoidance if you want to stack avoidance. This is because mastery is not useless after CTC cap - it allows you to gem/trinket for stamina and/or reforge to avoidance (most of us are not at the point where we have so much mastery we can't reforge it). This argument is counter-intuitive but seems logical; I would be interested in other people's thoughts on it.


Once you've enough mastery on your gear that you're able to reach CTC cap, it becomes a question of what you want next, but generally max ilevel you can get while still maintaining CTC cap is a safe bet. Obviously wearing 391 parry/hit in all slots won't let you hit CTC cap, but that gear doesn't exist, and there's enough 391 mastery slots that as long as you have those you have enough itemisation to hit CTC cap with ease. After that point you can opt to reforge for a couple % more avoidance or at least soft exp cap and a few % hit. Given that tank survival is a lot more CD oriented than raw gear on most encounters in Firelands, I'd personally go with a soft exp setup for most fights, and honestly the extra couple of % avoidance you squeeze out by not picking up a few threat stats is fairly inconsequential in most fights this tier.

TL;DR, once you pass a certain ilvl, I'd say around 380 with access to revered mastery trink or spindersilk spindle, gearing becomes pretty simplistic - higher ilvl's generally better. There's a couple of interesting choices around that ilevel - going for 4 piece whilst maintaining ctc cap isn't trivial unless you've got some other nice mastery pieces (hi shannox belt, looking at you!) for example, but generally the choice boils down to roughly, 15% dodge, 17.5% parry with negligible threat stats or 12% dodge, 15% parry with at least 26 exp and ~6% hit, or somewhere in the middle, and you just tweak your max ilevel gear setup towards either direction through the joys of reforging.
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby yappo » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:40 pm

I'd also want to add that it all depends on RNG, which (on average) depends on how well you farm. Yes, farm, not progress.

Take the normal mode raider (because I'll never even see a hard-mode this expansion, so I stick to what I know at least a little about). From a gearing point. Do you prefer to be 6/7 with four Belth kills as the most killed boss, or do you want to be 4/7 with seven Baleroc kills as your least killed boss?

The numbers game can be brutal.

So, what does this have to do with anything? Well, with bags full of different decently recent drops, then you can afford specialized sets. If you're more of a 'what you see is what you get' type of tank, then you're more likely to be stuck with one set only and a few slots where you can swap gear. Most likely trinkets.

Unless you're made of money and your guild is very patient and understanding, you're not going to pop over to Stormwind/Orgrimmar to reforge, regem and reenchant that set between pulls. Ain't happening. Possibly before the pull of that boss you still are trying to down, but not for farm.

So, take a dig into your bags and see what 'sets' you can create. Mostly one CTC and one stamina set, and that only as a result of swapping trinkets. Maybe you have another item or four, but it won't be a 'set'.

Building sets from what you hope drops sometime in the future is just counter productive. Trust me, you can't tank in gear you don't have. Why should you configure your existing gear for it?
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Stubblerump » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:24 pm

I think the argument for a bis list is a valid one. Every piece of gear comes with an itemization cost and return. Some slot pieces are simply better itemized than others (or more precisely, over valued) when you consider the tradeoff that you make between the stats that are on the pieces vs what you can change through gemming/enchant changes, and reforging out of a completely different piece to get more optimal stats overall. If you've used a program like Mr Robot to optimize your gearset, you should understand what I'm getting at. For instance, gemming is a 3stam/2mast tradeoff constant, but if you find a piece that rocks 7stam for a 4 mastery tradeoff, the stam piece is going to provide the better return than the mastery piece regardless of your immediate need for mastery to reach the block cap. I know it's a little counterintuitive at first glance. But again, you take advantage of that overvalued piece by reforging/regemming other pieces. Simplistic as it sounds, you're basically assigning relative numerical values for different stats, and then calculating an overall value for the piece. I think Mr Robot does an awesome job of this, both by letting you determine how you value the individual stats, then calculating an overall BiS list, and showing you how to get the most bang for the buck with newly acquired upgrades by shifting stats through other pieces of gear, that quite often isn't obvious until it's shown to you. This seems a valid approach in that, for tanks anyway, more stam is never a bad thing, and excess mastery can be reforged/regemmed into other useful stats whether avoidance or threat, with trinket swaps having the ability to carry huge gear stat changes in order to take advantage of that over itemization. If we get to the point were you can max mastery after reforging away all available mastery without any mastery trinks/gems/chants, then..well..we'll all be rediculiously overgeared for the content anyway and the game will be essentially broken.

Short answer: there are valid best in slot lists. Just because you have to go one step further and figure out how to make incomplete sets become best for you, doesn't invalidate the concept of bis pieces.
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby bazzur » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:04 pm

Hello Digren,

I got a question at the examples of the gear. Are these exaples for stage 1 and 2 still up-to-date or can I better look at the bottem page for the list with all the items? Hopefully you will responce :).
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby yappo » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:39 am

A short notice to Digren:

Brewfest trinkets probably have a place somewhere.
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby yappo » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:52 am

Stubblerump wrote:
Short answer: there are valid best in slot lists. Just because you have to go one step further and figure out how to make incomplete sets become best for you, doesn't invalidate the concept of bis pieces.


This would still be incorrect.

The relative value of any given stat changes (or rather may change) at given break-points. An example would be the relative value of an avoidance/avoidance piece compared with a mastery/crap piece (assuming other values to be equal).

Until you hit 102.4 you'd want as much CTC addition as possible, but as soon as you break that point mastery becomes devalued. You argue that a mastery/crap (in worst scenarion 'crap' is resilience) with mastery partially reforged into avoidance would be better than an avoidance/avoidance piece with the largest avoidance reforged into mastery, even if the tank reaches 102.4 in both scenarios.

The benefit of mastery is also its greatest weakness. It's worth triple the avoidance in terms of increasing CTC. That also means you devalue it by tripple the loss the moment you have to reforge away from it. A good example is the 384 PvP cloak that becomes a piece of junk if you reforge away 40% of the mastery that has it as second BiS in the first place.

Now, a different approach is obviously to start regemming in order to lose some mastery. At least stamina has a distinct value. You cannot, however, reforge into mastery. Another approach is to swap trinkets, but the problem with this take is that it's very much a one way trip. You just decreased your flexibility as dual mastery trinkets would always be bad, and possibly any combination where a mastery trinket is involved could end up 'wrong' (I don't have the numbers, so I don't know if it's at all possible to hit 102.4 with dual stam trinks).

Anyway, if you can't change your gear into getting enough more stamina to give your healers extra time (ie more overkill isn't worse than less overkill), then something else is preferred. This would hold true even if this something else was getting a marginally higher total avoidance, because a zero damage attack definitely does help your healers, even if you depend on RNG.

Edit: The above argument against extra stamina always being good for you is indirectly tied to the discussion here why SoI is always an inferior seal due to the pitiful self-healing in reality never giving your healers that extra breathing time.
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Re: 4.2 Tank Stages and Cataclysm Gear Guide

Postby Digren » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:15 pm

Can we sum this up with:
Giving generic advice to all tanks isn't easy.
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