Remove Advertisements

Avoidance as an Effective Health stat?

Warning: Theorycraft inside.

Moderators: Fridmarr, Worldie, Aergis, theckhd

Avoidance as an Effective Health stat?

Postby Elysdeon » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:59 am

Hello all,

First, a quick intro. I've been playing since the beginning of WotLK, and my first tanking experience was taking my warrior in ToC with my guild just before ICC opened. I've played prot warrior, prot paladin, and right now my blood DK is my main. The thing I like most about tanking (and to a lesser extent, healing) is that unlike DPS, our jobs are a bit more open ended. DPS rarely has a reason to throttle their output, but tanks constantly have to survive the here-and-now, using resources to stay alive now while also trying to pool them for the next big attack. It's my favorite part of the game.

I'm also an optimization junkie. In my job that translates mostly to human-factors type decisions, but unfortunately it requires about zero math. This is part of why I have a very helpful custom UI with WeakAuras that support my decision logic, but also depend heavily on theorycrafters for numbers, stat weights, etc. However, I'm interested in starting to get into harder theorycrafting with SimCraft and possibly some other tools. (Theck's Monte-Carlo time-to-live scenarios are really interesting to me.)

Now to my particular question!

Most discussions I read in the various tanking discussion threads center on "how much stamina is enough," and "mastery vs avoidance." The standard answers are "enough to survive 2-3 full hits to cover your string of bad luck" and "mastery, because you can control it when you need it, and because it is guaranteed to smooth incoming damage to give healers time to react. This is better than hit-or-miss avoidance."

The thing that I am most interested in and haven't seen a lot of discussion of (and maybe it's out there, but I haven't seen it) is a discussion of how avoidance and absorbs scale and interact with one another. I can't shake this crazy idea that avoidance, when combined with an absorb, actually is an effective health stat because it prolongs the duration of absorb effects (fewer hits land, therefore each shield lasts longer). While the hits that land will be less likely to be blocked (if you reforge/gem for avoidance rather than mastery), it is also more likely that you will have an absorb shield in place from your own abilities or one of the raid's healers. Not only does this apply to normal absorb shields, but also to charge-based damage reduction spells where the limiting factor is the spell's cooldown like Bone Shield and Earth Shield. The fewer hits I take, the higher uptime I have on those shields, to a point where I begin to approach 70-80% uptime on those buffs where the gaps can be bridged with other avoidance spells/trinkets. If a tank could reach a point where avoidance was high enough that he has an absorb in place each time he his hit, does he effectively begin to look like a block-capped tank?

So...is there a good discussion of this somewhere? How might one begin to model it? Is this an idea that seems possible in concept but isn't borne out by the numbers?
Elysdeon
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:37 am

Re: Avoidance as an Effective Health stat?

Postby Thels » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:14 am

Avoidance isn't effective health, since it's unreliable. You'll sometimes get avoidance streaks, and sometimes be left without any avoids.

If you have 50% avoidance (higher than most people have it), there is still a 6.25% chance that a string of 4 attacks will all connect. During a 10 minute fight with a 1.5 second boss swing timer, you'll get on average 25 strings of four attacks that all connect, so regardless of how much avoidance you have, you must still be able to survive streaks of bad luck.

Avoidance does synergize well with absorbs, as an avoided attack keeps the absorb alive. Paladins only have Sacred Shield, which is going out of the window in 5.4, so this synergy doesn't bring much on the table for us. Naturally, thanks to Blood Shield, DKs see more use from this synergy than we do. However, you only see this synergy when you are actually avoiding at least one of the attacks, which is already a moment where your damage intake is lower. The moments where you really need it, those times where you're not avoiding any attack, are the times where the synergy does nothing for you.

Note that this assumes you're tanking a single boss. When AoE tanking, this synergy will become much more apparent. But Avoidance on itself is already more reliable when AoE tanking.

If you get 4 attacks per 6 seconds, it's obvious that good or bad luck can lead to 4 or 0 avoids. (6.25% chance each for both opposites.) If you're tanking 6 mobs, and thus get 24 attacks per 6 seconds, the chance on either extreme is insignificantly small.

The chance that you avoid none of the attacks is less than 0.000006%.
The chance that you avoid exactly 1 attack is 0.000143%.
The chance that you avoid exactly 2 attacks is 0.001645%.

I lack the mathematical background to calculate it further, but you can see that it's practically guaranteed that you'll avoid at least a couple of the attacks, and quite likely more than just a couple, unlike against a single boss, where the chance of not avoiding a single attack is quite present.
ImageImage
User avatar
Thels
 
Posts: 1257
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 7:30 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Avoidance as an Effective Health stat?

Postby Worldie » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:34 pm

Thels wrote:Avoidance isn't effective health, since it's unreliable.

Essentially just this. No reason to even discuss the math about it.

Even with very high avoidance and tanking a thousand mobs, there's still the chance to be gibbed if all attacks connect.
You are going to explain to your healers that "you got unlucky" when they complain to the raid leader?

Also healers nowadays (and have been doing so since TBC) just bomb you with heals all the time, whenever you dodge or not. Dodging half of the attacks is only going to mean half of the heals have gone to overhealing. It won't reduce the mana the healers have spent, nor the amount of time they spend casting.

Plus, you can't dodge magic attacks and several tank-killer abilityes.

Those reasons are why avoidance cannot under any circumstance be defined Effective Health, unless you can reach 100% avoidance.
theckhd wrote:Fuck no, we've seen what you do to guilds. Just imagine what you could do to an entire country. Just visiting the US might be enough to make the southern states try to secede again.

halabar wrote:Noo.. you don't realize the problem. Worldie was to negative guild breaking energy like Bolvar is to the Scourge. If Worldie is removed, than someone must pick up that mantle, otherwise that negative guild breaking energy will run rampant, destroying all the servers.
User avatar
Worldie
Global Mod
 
Posts: 13347
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:49 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Avoidance as an Effective Health stat?

Postby Elysdeon » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:59 pm

Thanks for the replies Thels and Worldie. Some of your numerical examples made me appreciate the value of consistency a little more. (Note: in the stream of writing this and thinking this through, I began to come over to favor mastery over avoidance intuitively in some ways, especially after my first set of examples. I will probably want to play with and see the numbers myself sometime down the road once I learn SimCraft just because I love doing what-ifs. I suspect I will find that my ideas are only beneficial towards the extreme (read, un-reachable) ends of the gearing spectrum...like Worldie said: 100% avoidance. Read or ignore this post as you choose; I'm just leaving it up here since I bothered to write it in the first place!)

Specific to Worldie's comment: I realize that there are a lot of unavoidable attacks. My train of thought was that if you avoid more attacks that *are* avoidable, you will have absorbs in place for the ones that aren't.

Thels wrote: Avoidance does synergize well with absorbs, as an avoided attack keeps the absorb alive...The moments where you really need it, those times where you're not avoiding any attack, are the times where the synergy does nothing for you.


My contention is that the synergy of avoidance and absorbs from avoidance streaks results in more and larger absorbs in-place at the start of a bad-luck streak, and that *is* the synergy.

I think that ultimately this will come down to actual numbers, because the tradeoffs being made have to be examined. Take these two scenarios:
-Rating conversion is such that reforging/gemming pure mastery yields 100% CTC a la Cataclysm. Absorbs will constantly be eaten away by attacks both big and small. An unlucky series of hits (which is more likely to occur) will begin with a smaller absorb in place.
-Rating conversion from above is also such that gemming/reforging avoidance yielded 95% avoidance. On the 5% of the hits that landed, 100% would first have to penetrate any absorbs in place before they could do damage. Any unlucky series of hits (which would be less likely to occur) begins with a big absorb taking the first hit(s).

The key variable here is the actual size of the absorb shield. If the max shield was 10% of my health, then the unlucky streak with the avoidance build has to do 110% of my health to kill me. With the mastery build it has to do 140% (30% inc damage blocked + the 10% shield).

On the other hand, if the absorb shield is 100% of my health and I have 95% avoidance, the streak has to do 200% to kill me. At a high avoidance, it is likely that the full 100% shield will be in place at the beginning of the streak. With the mastery CTC build, the streak has to do 260% damage to kill me from a 100% shield, but more than likely part of that shield (the extra 60%) is already gone due to non-avoided attacks.

For a more concrete example; take a charge-based shield like Bone Shield. It has 6 charges that are consumed on-hit for a 20% damage reduction that can be refreshed every minute. If a boss swings 40 times in a minute and I avoid 34 of those (85% avoidance), even the ones that hit will hit for 20% less. (Factoring in the ICD of the charges would lower avoidance required to extend Bone Shield coverage to a full 60s). I guess the tradeoff here is whether or not the (theoretical) amount of mastery rating required to reach the (theoretical) 805 avoidance would reduce more or less damage. Perhaps I go with 70% avoidance so I take 24/40 hits, 6 of which are reduced 20% and 6 which aren't, but the gain in mastery minimizes the amount those hits dig into my HP pool.

Well, sorry this post got so long and probably not very clear. I guess the only way I'm going to figure this out is to get cracking on SimCraft as I have time later!
Elysdeon
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:37 am

Re: Avoidance as an Effective Health stat?

Postby Worldie » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:08 pm

/hug

Avoidance used to be a viable gearing strategy back in TBC, when you could reach extremely high avoidance values (see screenshot from last pre 3.0 TBC day)
Image
With trinkets popped I could effectively reach 100% avoidance making myself immune to damage for 10-12 seconds.

Also, back in that days, we were dealing with white swings from bosses actually cutting over half of your HP, and you literally not being able to survive 2 hits without being healed in between (to the point that tank healers in sunwell progress had to time their casts so they'd have a heal landing every second). At that point, dodging a hit was a HUGE help to the healers who could have a second of breath or even cancel a heal, saving some hard-to-come mana at that time.

Things have however changed since then. Melee swings don't (usually) cut so much HP pool and you can usually survive 2-3 hits without being healed or with your own self heals. Tank cooldowns also were non-existant in TBC (bar a 30 min cd shield wall for warriors), while now every tank got a big arsenal, usually 5-6 cooldowns, + externals, to pop in case of panic, and "big hits" are meant to be cooldowned through rather than avoided.
Healers also now have (bar in very starter tier) infinite mana. My priest can essentially spam a tank non stop for 6-7 minutes without any mana tide or innervate or even shadowfiend and not go oom. So it hardly matters to me if a tank dodges a hit or not, I will spam him anyway. Plus there's spammable shields now, that didn't exist back then, and that effectively add to the tank's HP.

What all this meant is why the so called "Total damage taken" doesn't matter anymore. Avoidance will (and does a decent job at it) reduce your average damage taken, but what matters is surviving spikes. Spikes are unavoidable, all the time (bar some very rare exceptions like tortos's snapping bite), and when they are avoidable, it's only so druids can survive them with savage defense (while other tanks just eat them with AM abilities).

I hope I shed some clarity for you on why avoidance is now considered so bad that all tanks (not just paladins) avoid it like plague on gear.
theckhd wrote:Fuck no, we've seen what you do to guilds. Just imagine what you could do to an entire country. Just visiting the US might be enough to make the southern states try to secede again.

halabar wrote:Noo.. you don't realize the problem. Worldie was to negative guild breaking energy like Bolvar is to the Scourge. If Worldie is removed, than someone must pick up that mantle, otherwise that negative guild breaking energy will run rampant, destroying all the servers.
User avatar
Worldie
Global Mod
 
Posts: 13347
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:49 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Avoidance as an Effective Health stat?

Postby Thels » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:32 pm

Elysdeon wrote:-Rating conversion from above is also such that gemming/reforging avoidance yielded 95% avoidance. On the 5% of the hits that landed, 100% would first have to penetrate any absorbs in place before they could do damage. Any unlucky series of hits (which would be less likely to occur) begins with a big absorb taking the first hit(s).


Simply no.

Let alone that reaching 95% avoidance is simply impossible to even come close...

What makes you think that on the 5% of the hits that landed, 100% would have an absorb? In 5% of the cases, the previous hit also landed. In other cases, your absorb just ran out.

And that is part of an unlucky string. Sacred Shield for example ticks every 3 attack swings for most tankadins out there. So regardless of whatever happened before, every string of 3 attacks will always have a Sacred Shield affecting them already. And with an avoidance as high at 50%, that still leaves a 12.5% chance that 3 attacks in a row will miss and are only affected by one Sacred Shield, regardless of what happened before. The refresh time for Blood Shield is longer than for Sacred Shield, so it's even worse.
ImageImage
User avatar
Thels
 
Posts: 1257
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 7:30 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Avoidance as an Effective Health stat?

Postby Worldie » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:52 pm

That without also considering that shields can (and often are) be eaten by damage auras / aoes.
theckhd wrote:Fuck no, we've seen what you do to guilds. Just imagine what you could do to an entire country. Just visiting the US might be enough to make the southern states try to secede again.

halabar wrote:Noo.. you don't realize the problem. Worldie was to negative guild breaking energy like Bolvar is to the Scourge. If Worldie is removed, than someone must pick up that mantle, otherwise that negative guild breaking energy will run rampant, destroying all the servers.
User avatar
Worldie
Global Mod
 
Posts: 13347
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:49 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Avoidance as an Effective Health stat?

Postby Elysdeon » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:25 am

First things first guys; I do appreciate the conversation. Like I said, I enjoy the optimization and it's fun to think of concepts, but oftentimes the right answer comes down to the exact math/numbers and I don't always have the time/knowledge to figure that out.

Worldie wrote:/hug

Avoidance used to be a viable gearing strategy back in TBC, when you could reach extremely high avoidance values (see screenshot from last pre 3.0 TBC day)
Image
With trinkets popped I could effectively reach 100% avoidance making myself immune to damage for 10-12 seconds.

Also, back in that days, we were dealing with white swings from bosses actually cutting over half of your HP, and you literally not being able to survive 2 hits without being healed in between (to the point that tank healers in sunwell progress had to time their casts so they'd have a heal landing every second). At that point, dodging a hit was a HUGE help to the healers who could have a second of breath or even cancel a heal, saving some hard-to-come mana at that time.

Things have however changed since then. Melee swings don't (usually) cut so much HP pool and you can usually survive 2-3 hits without being healed or with your own self heals. Tank cooldowns also were non-existant in TBC (bar a 30 min cd shield wall for warriors), while now every tank got a big arsenal, usually 5-6 cooldowns, + externals, to pop in case of panic, and "big hits" are meant to be cooldowned through rather than avoided.
Healers also now have (bar in very starter tier) infinite mana. My priest can essentially spam a tank non stop for 6-7 minutes without any mana tide or innervate or even shadowfiend and not go oom. So it hardly matters to me if a tank dodges a hit or not, I will spam him anyway. Plus there's spammable shields now, that didn't exist back then, and that effectively add to the tank's HP.

What all this meant is why the so called "Total damage taken" doesn't matter anymore. Avoidance will (and does a decent job at it) reduce your average damage taken, but what matters is surviving spikes. Spikes are unavoidable, all the time (bar some very rare exceptions like tortos's snapping bite), and when they are avoidable, it's only so druids can survive them with savage defense (while other tanks just eat them with AM abilities).

I hope I shed some clarity for you on why avoidance is now considered so bad that all tanks (not just paladins) avoid it like plague on gear.


Thanks Worldie. That makes a lot of sense.

Thels wrote:
Elysdeon wrote:-Rating conversion from above is also such that gemming/reforging avoidance yielded 95% avoidance. On the 5% of the hits that landed, 100% would first have to penetrate any absorbs in place before they could do damage. Any unlucky series of hits (which would be less likely to occur) begins with a big absorb taking the first hit(s).


Simply no.

Let alone that reaching 95% avoidance is simply impossible to even come close...

What makes you think that on the 5% of the hits that landed, 100% would have an absorb? In 5% of the cases, the previous hit also landed. In other cases, your absorb just ran out.

And that is part of an unlucky string. Sacred Shield for example ticks every 3 attack swings for most tankadins out there. So regardless of whatever happened before, every string of 3 attacks will always have a Sacred Shield affecting them already. And with an avoidance as high at 50%, that still leaves a 12.5% chance that 3 attacks in a row will miss and are only affected by one Sacred Shield, regardless of what happened before. The refresh time for Blood Shield is longer than for Sacred Shield, so it's even worse.


(The TL;DR to the following below is that yesterday, I realized there is a reason that Theck built the TMI to revolve around a 4-hit moving window and not a 5, 6, 7, etc-hit moving window.)

This is pretty much the conclusion I came to halfway while writing. Like I said in the middle somewhere, my ideas only make sense at (as you pointed out with the 95% avoidance) impossible extremes. If a long avoidance streak meant that absorbs kept piling on, to the point that an absorb shield could stack to take 4 melee hits in a row, then this could *maybe* be a worthwhile idea. But, since avoidance that high can't be reached and absorbs can't stack that high, it's not worth pursuing.

The whole thing clicked yesterday when I started thinking about the post-WotLK stat consolidation/adjustment and the introduction of Mastery. Before stats were organized so cleanly into red/yellow/blue, primary/secondary, and characters could only benefit from one red stat, and things like gemming AP which was a combo of agi+int, etc, Blizz had no way of fine-tuning anything.

Now, everything can be fine-tuned. I guess at its core my idea revolved around that avoidance is point-for-point the better stat for reducing total damage over a long time (something I've read and am accepting unless I read otherwise), and mastery is a better guaranteed reduction in the short term. Obviously it's short-term damage spikes that kills, but what I wanted to know was how the avoidance/absorb synergy shifted the balance between the two. However, I think the answer to that is "Blizz will **always** tune incoming damage patterns to make Mastery and Active Mitigation mandatory for surviving spikes." So, like I said in the TL;DR above, I see why the TMI is built around the parameters it is, and I will be a good tank and continue to stack Mastery.
Elysdeon
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:37 am

Re: Avoidance as an Effective Health stat?

Postby Worldie » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:47 am

You essentially got to the point in the last sentence: Blizzard is nowadays building tank encounters in surviving spikes through AM, and most AMs rely on mastery or anyway on DPS stats or even just on hit/exp caps to be effective.

Stacking avoidance does and will reduce overall damage taken as well, maybe better, than a mastery heavy build would, but will open you to the risk of not having enough mitigation in that few seconds when you actually needed it.
theckhd wrote:Fuck no, we've seen what you do to guilds. Just imagine what you could do to an entire country. Just visiting the US might be enough to make the southern states try to secede again.

halabar wrote:Noo.. you don't realize the problem. Worldie was to negative guild breaking energy like Bolvar is to the Scourge. If Worldie is removed, than someone must pick up that mantle, otherwise that negative guild breaking energy will run rampant, destroying all the servers.
User avatar
Worldie
Global Mod
 
Posts: 13347
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:49 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Avoidance as an Effective Health stat?

Postby Promdates » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:57 am

WORLDIE NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. You removed Grunty! http://nooooooooooooooo.com/
User avatar
Promdates
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:10 pm

Re: Avoidance as an Effective Health stat?

Postby Worldie » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:26 am

Still my SC2 avatar though ;)
Fluttershy time!
theckhd wrote:Fuck no, we've seen what you do to guilds. Just imagine what you could do to an entire country. Just visiting the US might be enough to make the southern states try to secede again.

halabar wrote:Noo.. you don't realize the problem. Worldie was to negative guild breaking energy like Bolvar is to the Scourge. If Worldie is removed, than someone must pick up that mantle, otherwise that negative guild breaking energy will run rampant, destroying all the servers.
User avatar
Worldie
Global Mod
 
Posts: 13347
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:49 pm
Location: Italy


Return to Advanced Theorycraft and Calculations

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest


Remove Advertisements

Who is online

In total there are 2 users online :: 1 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 380 on Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:28 pm

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest