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Wrathblood

[Prot] 5.0.4 - Somebody that I used to know

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Oh, duh. ShoR too, alomg with auto and CS/HotR. Thanks, afraid Id forgotten one.

So, J and C, for example, use different combat tables, but afaik they work the same in game, in that 7.5% hit and exp will cap them both equally.

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Oh, duh. ShoR too, alomg with auto and CS/HotR. Thanks, afraid Id forgotten one.

So, J and C, for example, use different combat tables, but afaik they work the same in game, in that 7.5% hit and exp will cap them both equally.

The only benefit for Expertise is getting to the soft and hard caps, where your Spells no longer miss (7.5% Hit + softcap 7.5% Expertise) and where your CS is no longer Parried (I don't recall what percentage the hardcap is at, i think 12.5%?).

With Judgment being reverted to a Melee hit that does Spell damage that is never Parried or Dodged, Expertise does nothing for it; That is why per point Hit is worth more than Expertise until the Hit cap.

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Well, there's benefit of getting part-way to a cap. If you have 4% Hit, you can still get misses but you won't get as many of them. And to a player, whether the ability is on the spell hit table or melee hit table, if you're at 7.5% hit and exp you can't tell the difference if its an ability that can't be Parried. Hit-cap and soft Exp cap is a guaranteed hit either way. But a Parryable (or, indeed, blockable) hit isn't the same.

Wait, can you clarify that? Are you saying that HoW and J can be neither parried nor dodged? Because I just had a HoW be dodged against Ultraxion on Wed.

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In 5.0.4 it is now possible to dodge ranged physical attacks, making hunters value expertise for the first time. This is probably the explanation for a dodged HoW.

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In 5.0.4 it is now possible to dodge ranged physical attacks, making hunters value expertise for the first time. This is probably the explanation for a dodged HoW.

Actually no. J is a melee attack with increased range (as opposed to a ranged attack), and I do believe (I'll go and find a reference link in a second) that it had its dodge/parry flag turned back off after having had at least dodge turned on for a while in the beta.

Edit: No, the dodge/parry flag is not turned off in the latest tests I could find, it was Theck speculating that it may be considered a bug in a blue response (that J is flagged for dodge/parry), but the main gusto is still that J is a melee attack with an increased range.

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I have a question about blockable hits. Did this mechanic change with 5.0.4? Before, I only saw ShoR hits being blocked but never parried. Can other skills now be blocked from the front too?

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Its not entirely scientific, but looking back over this week's raids I used close to 900 Judgments. I was prot for roughly 2/3 of those, and in that Prot gear I'm at roughly 280 Hit and 130 Exp (sort of convenient I hadn't yet decided to shift to Hit/Exp yet). Over the week, I had a number of J's Miss, but had zero J's be Parried or Dodged. I had ~155 HoW's over the week and WoL recorded both Misses and Dodges. Also, WoL recorded zero blocks against me over the week, I'm more inclined to believe that WoL is tracking things improperly than that bosses no longer block, but this isn't sufficient evidence for a conclusion either way.

Checking other logs from paladin tanks seems to echo this. After looking through logs with thousands of collective J's, I have seen zero Dodges or Parries. HoW appears to be Dodge able but I have seen zero Parries.

Hmm. This could go either way. I feel comfortable that HoW is considered physical attack (unclear if its melee or ranged) which cannot be parried. But I'm going to need to go through a bunch of Ultraxion logs to see what J is. I feel comfortable that it cannot be parried or dodged, but that doesn't tell us if its a spell or a weird ranged melee attack that cannot be dodged or parried. The boss dummies appear to still be borked, so need to go through a bunch of Ultraxion and Morchok logs and compare the results with the tanks' gearing, looking for evidence as to whether or not Exp is doing anything.

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Judgement was a spell at the beginning of the beta and then reverted back to a melee attack a couple weeks ago for PvP reasons.Blue post

It could be dodged/parried at the time, but this was a bug that is now fixed. Yet another blue.

I do remember another post that stated that HoW was intended to be dodge- but not parryable. Can't find that one right now though.

Oh and just on an unrelated sidenote: Despite the statement that resistances would be gone, the mechanic itself is still in place and functioning. Items like [iTEM]Mirror of Broken Images[/iTEM] still work as they used to.

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Interesting. I hadn't seen that first blue post (not enough pvp, I guess) but I saw that second one and thought it was just a smidgen too vague to confirm that J was now a no-parry/dodge but it certainly is a vote in favor. Some pvping should confirm the melee vs spell part. Next week I was planning on running hit-capped but low exp anyway and that should confirm it.

Edit - Also, as a side note, I've started on a fairly substantial rewrite of the OP to incorporate synergies and some other stuff. I'll make a post when its done.

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Theck, EF's HoT effect is not intended to scale with Bastion, to prevent it from becoming the defacto talent for that tier.

The intent has bounced around a few times on beta already in this case. In any event, there's no danger of it becoming the de-facto talent. EF's HoT currently does about half as much healing as SS grants absorption. If EF's HoT portion got the full benefit from Bastion (~150% more healing in high-mastery gear), EF would at least be a contender. I'd still take Sacred Shield, because absorption is generally preferable to healing and wouldn't incur an opportunity cost. But at least it wouldn't be quite as much of a no-brainer.

<edit> Catching up, regarding J and HoW: J is a melee attack that cannot be parried or dodged. HoW is a ranged attack, and is therefore subject to hit and dodge, but not parry. We've tested both of those fairly exhaustively over the last few beta patches before 5.0.4 went live.

As for the rest: AS, HoW, Cons are all spells (and cons rolls hit/miss per tick), as are our L90 talents. CS, HotR(phys), SotR are basic melee attacks.

<edit #2> Also, I've updated my spreadsheet to include the Draenei racial hit bonus and toggle-able raid buffs.

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Incoming health buff and SS change.

After consideration, we are a bit worried about paladin survivability as well. Shield of the Righteous, buffed by mastery, is a massive amount of mitigation, but the risk is that whenever paladins didn't have it available, they'd risk spike damage. (As an aside, it was also weird for paladins to suddenly be the spikey tank after years of being the opposite.) We're going to increase the Stamina benefit of Guarded by the Light from 15% to 25%.

One additional paladin note is that we are moving the initial tick of Sacred Shield to the end. We didn't want players to feel like the right way to play was to constantly cancel and overwrite the bubble.

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Cleanse Macro

#showtooltip Cleanse

/cast [target=mouseover,exists,help] Cleanse; [target=target,help] Cleanse; [target=targettarget,exists,help] Cleanse; [target=player] Cleanse; Cleanse;

Hand of Protection Macro

#showtooltip Hand of Protection

/cast [target=mouseover,exists,help] Hand of Protection; [target=target,help] Hand of Protection; [target=targettarget,exists,help] Hand of Protection; [target=player] Hand of Protection; Hand of Protection;

Interrupt Focus Macro

#showtooltip Rebuke

/cast [target=focus, exists, harm] Rebuke; Rebuke;

Because I like to simplify things, with the macros all being the same spell, you can make it easier. In addition to not needing the spell after the showtooltip, you can just put each condition (in the order of most important to least) in their own set of brackets, then follow it with the spell. Also, with mouseovers, if you dont have one, it ignores it, so no need to have the exists in it.

#showtooltip

/cast [@mouseover,help][@target,help][@targettarget,exists,help][@player] Cleanse
Other useful things, one of the later posts mentions having a friendly as a focus (for purposes of Rebuke), you can do something like this:
#showtooltip

/cast [@focus, exists, harm][@focustarget, exists, harm][ ] Rebuke

Notice the ending [ ], that just tells the macro to behave normally in the even none of the previous conditions are met. If you have a [@player] in there for a good spell (like the cleanse) there is no need for this.

If anyone wants help with macros, I love making them. Before they added the mage portal drop down boxes, I made a macro that managed to get all SW/IF/Darn portals and teleports into 1 button :)

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Macro creation is something I'm not overly proficient with. If anyone has ideas for more I'm happy to include them.

Additionally, I've just finished a significant rewrite of the OP. Among other things, I've standardized a lot more stuff when describing abilities (what kind of attack it is, along with an explanation of what it does and what is required to cap hitting with it, how hard it hits, coefficients, range, cooldown), redid the rotation and pull part a bit to include the effect of talents, stat weights, targets for ShoR uptime, and generally included a lot more discussing how the various stats and talents synergize with each other, and the implications for gearing strategies. As always, if anyone spots anything that's obviously wrong or just badly explained, please let me know.

The last thing I'm considering is whether to include a more robust opening overview that explains how to put together and play a Prot pally in a couple paragraphs. On the one hand, I think it would help a lot of people. On the other hand, EJ isn't really "Prot pallies for dummies". Pondering whether to just leave it alone or find a way to make it worthwhile.

Edit - Charybdis, you know, I think I barely mention SS at all and I'm not even sure I put it in the list of abilities. Good opportunity to make sure its properly covered. Is that health buff on live as well or just beta?

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- At level 45, take Sacred Shield. Its the best one for tanking.

Why is Sacred Shield the best for tanking? I understand that SS gives you the most healing/absorb over time but I question the value of that. In my personal experience, tanks tend to die from burst damage and not because they happened to take slightly more incoming DPS than incoming HPS for a longer period. SS is also always active and doesn't do much in periods where you don't take damage.

Personally, I think Selfless Healer is the better talent because it gives you yet another tool to combat burst damage, especially if you combo it with Glyph of Flash of Light and follow up with a WoG. That's in addition of SH being great raid utility for pretty much any encounter but more specifically for 2 tank fights where you can FoL your co-tank when he takes burst damage.

I suppose where you stand on this topic comes down to how you think about overall damage vs burst damage (if it wasn't obvious by now, I think the latter is much more important to deal with).

I think it's a rather interesting topic because us DKs had a similar discussion with our T75 talents. One gave more Death Strikes per minute (=more overall healing/absorbs, the Sacred Shield equivalent) whereas the other let you store charges to use when truly needed at the expense of losing some Death Strikes per minute (the Selfless Healer equivalent) and so far the latter seems to be winning simply because it puts you in control and tanks are more scared of burst damage than anything else.

(If you need a more Paladin specific example, think back about when Holy Shield was made a cooldown. I believe you lost overall damage reduction but you gained a truly powerful CD instead and I'd wager people prefered HS as a CD over the static +10% block value you lost to gain it.)

We may ask a dps warrior to start with TC after the pull (if our Bear isn't available for some reason) for reliability purposes since I'm not quite sold on Hit/Exp as being worth capping/soft-capping (I'm working on estimating the relatively variability of damage intake from Hit vs Expertise vs Haste vs Mastery to convince myself). I missed my initial HotR on H10 Ultraxion this week on our initial attempt, the healers were apparently asleep, and he promptly 3-shot me (2 90k hits and a 70k hit).

I wouldn't worry too much about accuracy capping just for applying Weakened Blows on the pull. Most bosses don't start at their full damage potential so if it doesn't go up instantly it's not a big deal. Plus, you generally will also start fully shielded and hotted up. I don't think your Ultraxion death was caused by the lack of Weakened Blows atleast. :v:

(And since it was mentioned earlier: DPS DKs cannot apply Weakened Blows, it's a Blood specific talent.)

That said, accuracy still has value for your mitigation. Avoidance may or may not offer you slighly more damage reduction over time but this harks back to what I mentioned earlier: Total damage taken or burst damage taken, what is more important? And how important is being able to react to it to yourself instead of relying on avoidance? Accuracy will increase your HP generation which in turn means you can ShotR/WoG more often. Losing avoidance means you will have to do so more often. However, avoidance is a fickle thing and just because you have 33% avoidance doesn't mean you will dodge every 3rd swing after all. You could go for a while without any avoided hit at which point you better hope you have some HP ready to react to that (the reverse is true as well; you can just as well run into lucky avoidance strings but since that isn't potentially lethal we care less about it).

And this isn't even accounting for the increased DPS you will do if you gear for accuracy. Tank DPS is going to matter quite a bit more than it did in Cataclysm with the new Vengeance (not that I don't think it wasn't important already) so that's one more point in favor of accuracy stats.

Just out of curiosity, have people been holding onto 3+ HP yet when they are fine on health so they can use it when you start getting hit again or are you going for highest ShotR uptime, no matter what?

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Speaking from a healer perspective (and tanking as prot paladin sometimes) I can only agree with you on the value of accuracy stats (in combination with mastery of course) vs avoidance stats.

It doesn't matter too much that stacking avoidance yields overall less total damage taken, according to thecks calculations on sacredduty, because we healers will overheal a tank most of the time due to hots and stacked heals, but are more likely to waste quite a significant amount of mana with fast heals (which may end up in overheal nonetheless) when the tank takes spiky damage.

Thats the reason why I would heavily favor accuracy+mastery on a paladin and warrior. They may take more damage but it will be less spiky overall and will therefore be less likely to trigger those "warning signals" a healer sees if tank health goes below a certain trashhold.

But that is also the reason why a protection paladin should choose SS in my opinion. The shield will lessen the overall damage and I doubt a SH heal would make a huge difference in regards to burst damage. SH would most likely only cause 1 more heal from a healer to be overheal, since it is highly unlikely that you wont receive any heal at all after taking a big hit (which is quite unlikely with the avoidance+mastery+SS approach).

Of course there may be certain fights, where SS will be quite "useless"... the thrash ability of sha of fear or anger, can't remember which one has it, comes to mind or a fight where the classic tank swap is enforced by some mechanic and a SS is already available from a healadin.

p.s.: sorry if some points are not quite understandable or may not come across as I intend, my english is not the best at the moment and I'm a bit sleep deprived...

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Oh, I updated the whole accuracy part in the OP (what?!?! people aren't re-reading all 20k words obsessively, looking for points I might have edited?). After crunching some more numbers, I decided that I am indeed sold on the value of Hit, but I remain a skeptic of Expertise.

In a nutshell, Exp not working on J is a big Achilles' heel since J is 3/8 of our potential HoPo generation (not counting talents. If you take SW, J is bigger than that), making Exp ~62% as good as Hit. By my math, this puts it behind even Haste both in terms of Damage Reduced and, I believe, ShoR uptime and while Exp was well behind Mastery in Damage Reduced already, I believe Mastery also will do a better job of smoothing incoming damage.

The damage smoothing vs ShoR uptime metric comparison is something I'm struggling with right now. Mastery, for example, does a lot of things to improve the smoothness of your damage intake and while part of it is controllable, adding more Mastery does nothing to let you incrementally control it *better*. Expertise and Haste do let you control it better, but they do it in different ways. Expertise lets you more reliably make use of your stream of potential HoPo, while Haste increases your stream of potential HoPo by making the potential HoPo happen closer together, shortening the time you have to go without HoPo on average. In a sense, Haste reduces your mean time between HoPo generation while Expertise reduces the standard deviation of their variability. Weighing these different kinds of variability reduction against each other is thwarting me so far. In terms of overall stat value, I'm comfortable that it goes Mastery > Haste > Expertise, but if I try to break the value of the stats down into their component parts, it gets a lot hazier.

Another tricky point is that while Control > Damage Reduction in general, there's clearly a point at which that's no longer true. Each itemization point of STR will save 3-3.5x as much damage as those itemization points put into Expertise. Is the improved control worth that? I'm not sure.

I've decided to add a 3rd gearing option, "Control" to go with "Avoidance" and "Mitigation". In the Control set-up, you go for Hit cap and then Exp hard cap (Exp sees no drop off in increasing HoPo generation until you hit hard cap, though certainly variability goes down as Exp goes up) before stacking Mastery. I don't think its the right approach, but its consistent and I understand its logic, making it similar to the Avoidance option in that sense.

Edit - What's the coefficient on FoL?

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Oh, I honestly didn't reread the whole thing, but I guess I should, now that it is more polished than right after the 5.0 release.

I wasn't quite aware that expertise was that much worse than hit but I guess I am not quite used to J generating HP since I didn't ret with 2p13 at all^^

So in terms of raw damage reduction, regardless of spikyness, the different approaches look something like:

1. "avoidance": dodge/parry (balanced according to thecks formula) > str > mastery > others

2. "mitigation": mastery > accuracy stats = haste > rest

3. "control": accuracy stats > mastery > haste > rest

And with increasing control/consistency you will gradually take more total damage?

I think Blizzard actually did quite a good job this time, because gearing is not just "get CTC and afterwards either stam or avoidance" anymore but much more subtle.

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Some of the details are off, but generally speaking that's right on the different approaches. At 85, STR > Parry/Dodge for "avoidance", and "mitigation" is really more Mastery = Hit > Haste = Expertise but you're basically right.

Roughly speaking, at level 85, "control" will take 10% more physical damage than "avoidance" and "mitigation" will take perhaps 5% more. In return, "control" will be able to manage probably 8-10% higher (depending on talents) ShoR uptime than "avoidance" plus "control" will be able to use that uptime somewhat more precisely.

If you have 2 HoPo, CS is 3 seconds from being off cd, and Impale is coming in 4 seconds, "control" can breathe easy knowing ShoR will be up in time to cover it, "mitigation" will probably be fine, but might not be, and "avoidance" is kinda crossing their fingers and hoping for the best.

The reason I'm not more of a fan of "control" is that I think you can accomplish its biggest goals just by managing your HoPo more carefully. You should really never be in the situation above. If you're taking the next impale, its no secret when its coming. When the impale actually comes, you should be sitting on 5 HoPo and with your rotation lined up (last night I was tanking 10H Madness with a DK and we were discussing whether we could have handled the Impales without using any of our *own* cooldowns, much less any external ones). "control"'s higher ShoR uptime is certainly nice, but I don't think its even as valuable as Mitigation's higher block% which people usually forget about. Sure, if a fight involves big random, unblockable physical attacks then higher ShoR uptime would be better, but that doesn't happen much.

I agree about liking Blizzard's handling of gearing this time. For reforging gear, I can think of situations in which any stat except Spirit or Crit could be optimal for reforging to. That's pretty amazing.

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Another tricky point is that while Control > Damage Reduction in general, there's clearly a point at which that's no longer true. Each itemization point of STR will save 3-3.5x as much damage as those itemization points put into Expertise. Is the improved control worth that? I'm not sure.

I've decided to add a 3rd gearing option, "Control" to go with "Avoidance" and "Mitigation". In the Control set-up, you go for Hit cap and then Exp hard cap (Exp sees no drop off in increasing HoPo generation until you hit hard cap, though certainly variability goes down as Exp goes up) before stacking Mastery. I don't think its the right approach, but its consistent and I understand its logic, making it similar to the Avoidance option in that sense.

Edit - What's the coefficient on FoL?

While it is interesting to see how much damage each of the gearing options takes, wouldn't it be best to add a more balanced set as well? As you implied earlier, at some point adding more of the same stat will have diminishing returns on your survival/damage intake because you will have enough of that stat to get enough HP/min, avoidance or ShotR damage reduction that you are better of focusing on a different stat.

For clarity, think of it like Stamina. It's important but you only need to get "enough" of it before you start focusing on other stats and we need to find said sweet spot:

In theory, once you get "enough" HP generation through accuracy to be able to WoG/ShotR every X seconds, you should focus on Mastery. Avoidance also interacts with how much constitutes as "enough" HP generation on average because it allows you to save HP on every avoided hit (i.e. I like to think that every avoided hit from a boss with a 1.5 sec swing timer is 1/3rd of a HP through Crusader Strike you just got for "free" because you don't need to use WoG/ShotR due to not taking damage) but avoidance isn't very reliable and doesn't help you on magical or unavoidable attacks - so it's behind Mastery.

So how much is "enough" HP generation and what is our X? My gut feeling would be that once you can ShotR/WoG in response to every 4-5th boss swing you should be fine. With the 1.5 sec swing timer most bosses have that's every 4.5-6 seconds before avoidance (your base avoidance of 20-25% should give you another +1.5 secs time on average).

Once you meet that criteria, get more Mastery to make WoG/ShotR more powerful, especially for telegraphed attacks.

But that's just my take on it, really.

FoL has a a 112% SP coefficient so at 120k AP (which is not that hard to get from Vengeance) at level 90 it should heal for ~80k. Now looking closer at the Sacred Shield scaling, WoWDB shows the latter at absorbing 117% of SP every 6 seconds which renders the comparison moot if the SS numbers are actually accurate (definitely did not see that coming). :x

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SS is pretty amazing. Looking at WoL for this week, I tanked the the first 5 bosses of DS (all on heroic 10s, solo tanked Hagara, Yor'sahj and Zon'ozz, and I tanked second against Ultraxion) and we were 2-healing with resto shaman/resto druid.

Just looking at boss fights, I had ~95% SS uptime, and SS was 35% of my total healing received. SS "took care of" more damage than Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, Riptide and Earthshield, combined. It absorbed an average of 13k per absorb, and I had 201 absorbs over those 5 fights. Since it was only 12:44 worth of boss fights, I was clearly averaging more than 1 absorb per shield refresh, meaning my average refresh was for significantly more than 13k.

My self-healing was actually astonishingly high. Adding everything up, I was responsible for 45% of my total healing, and that was despite self-casting WoG exactly once and not using LoH at all. Can that be right?

Edit - I'm afraid I have to disagree with your take on HoPo generation, though. I don't think there's an "enough" level for HoPo generation. While its perfectly fine, advisable even, to "bank" extra HoPo in case of emergency, you really want your ShoR uptime to be as high as possible. And while there are times when WoG is the right move, ShoR should be the default use for HoPo and should consume the vast majority of our HoPo.

If WoG or another reactive move was our main HoPo use, then I might agree with your take on avoidance, but its not. ShoR is primary and its proactive. You can't know ahead of time whether you will Dodge an attack and thus not need to use ShoR against it. That's how DKs work, not Paladins I'm afraid. Rather, you want to just keep ShoR up for as many attacks as possible and hope for the best.

This is why the Avoidance stats and the Mitigation/Control stats don't really play well with each other, by the way. Its nice to avoid an attack and its nice to have ShoR reduce damage by more, but you can really only do one or the other at a time which is why those stats make each other worse, not better.

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I actually find myself casting WoG often enough. But I use my paladin for the most part when A) raid NEEDS a tank just to happen, or B) running heroic HoT 5 mans. I play dps so much that I do not often care to raid tank. So I guess the point of this post is that it varies from situation to situation. I often have macros for tanking that utilizes putting my healer as my focus, and so that when I right click certain spells (heals, cleanse, LoH, Hand of Sacrifice, AoE taunt before it was removed, etc) it would cast on the healer. I also picked up Divine Purpose for the 75 talents, which I must say in a couple of fights procced A LOT. Seriously. I had 4 ShoR back to back off of just 3 HoPo for the first one. Then followed it up with a WoG on myself cause I could.

Edit: Read it and fixed a few grammar issues.

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Edit - I'm afraid I have to disagree with your take on HoPo generation, though. I don't think there's an "enough" level for HoPo generation. While its perfectly fine, advisable even, to "bank" extra HoPo in case of emergency, you really want your ShoR uptime to be as high as possible. And while there are times when WoG is the right move, ShoR should be the default use for HoPo and should consume the vast majority of our HoPo.

If WoG or another reactive move was our main HoPo use, then I might agree with your take on avoidance, but its not. ShoR is primary and its proactive. You can't know ahead of time whether you will Dodge an attack and thus not need to use ShoR against it. That's how DKs work, not Paladins I'm afraid. Rather, you want to just keep ShoR up for as many attacks as possible and hope for the best.

This is why the Avoidance stats and the Mitigation/Control stats don't really play well with each other, by the way. Its nice to avoid an attack and its nice to have ShoR reduce damage by more, but you can really only do one or the other at a time which is why those stats make each other worse, not better.

Yeah, I agree there is a good chance I might be overestimating the reactive nature of the Prot Paladin active mitigation because that is what I am used to from playing my DK. But I am not convinced that it is ideal to just try to increase ShotR uptime without regard of your own health (let's ignore telegraphed attacks for a moment, ShotR usage for that isn't going to change regardless of which method you use). Using a 40%+ damage reduction ability while you are at full health just doesn't seem effective because you are safe as it gets at 100% health. Wouldn't it make more sense to use it when you are, say, half health? As long as you don't die with the ShotR buff up, you don't waste damage mitigation and doing it this way allows you to make your survival more likely.

Maybe comparing ShotR with Shield Wall will help illustrate my point further: Do you think that using SW at full health is better than using it when you are low and truly need it (assuming you don't wait long enough so that you actually die with the SW buff up because you used it at too little health for the damage reduction to actually help you survive the next swing)?

It also makes avoidance easier to swallow if it happens while ShotR is up. If you avoid swings at full health with ShotR up it feels like a waste. If you avoid swings at low health even with ShotR up you still achieved the goal of buying more time for your healers to bring you back to full health, didn't it?

(Time to live doesn't change for either scenario but you shift your ShotR usage to where you are most likely to die.)

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I'm not so sure Shield Wall versus Shield of the Righteous is an effective comparison since SW is an ohshit cooldown while SotR is closer to a rotational ability. Having played both DK and pally, I'm not even sure if there's a good equivalent rotational ability between the classes.

As far as Shield Wall (and similar abilities like Icebound Fortitude and Guardian of Ancient Kings) go, the choice on whether to use them at high or low health will depend on the situation:

The pros of using CDs at high health are more peace of mind for the healers, which might be enough to keep you from getting too low in the first place. This also has the advantage of mitigating damage before it even happens, and as such is proactive. This might also let the healers conserve mana for when the shit does manage to hit the fan.

The cons of doing so might be that it's not available if you do start getting pounded and end up with low health during the cooldown, thus needing a different and possibly worse CD to get you by. It might also lull the healers into thinking you're easier to heal, so when an unlucky hit streak happens their reaction times aren't as good.

The pros of using such CDs when low on health are that if the damage is consistent then it means the healers will almost certainly be able to keep up if they're on their toes. It might allow them to use cheaper/slower heals and not have to go batshit crazy in an effort to get you up.

The cons of doing so are that you didn't really lower the damage that got you to low health in the first place, which is probably the most important part. The CD might not even be needed because the burst was survivable without it and you can be brought up to a good health level without needing to change anything. Put another way, it might turn into a reactive ability that didn't really do anything because there wasn't much for it to do.

So which way is best? It'll depend on the situation, not just the encounter itself but how well your healers respond to damage. Based on my experience healing as well as how my healers have communicated while I tanked, I've had better a better experience using CDs while I was high on health. I've generally had good or excellent healers who knew the encounters decently though, so it will probably change based on how well they perform and how well they know what's going on.

If I were to play in MoP, I'd probably use SotR more while I had higher health so that my healer(s) weren't so stressed seeing my health rollercoaster.

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A few comments:

Tyvi: I consider SS a better anti-burst tool for several reasons. One you seem to have already discovered - that the SS absorb bubble is actually larger than the FoL heal that Selfless Healer will grant you. Another is that SS cannot be lost to overhealing, while your FoL can be (as can WoG). SS guarantees ~100k absorb during any burst window, which isn't EH, but plays a similar role. Furthermore, SS costs you a GCD to put up, but doesn't necessarily cost you a GCD during the burst window. SH does, which may mean delaying HP generation that denies you the SotR or WoG that would save your life.

Wrathblood: Regarding exp and haste, recall that stat weights are very sensitive to gear. For a nearly naked paladin, my analytical calculations showed haste and expertise more or less neck and neck as far as TDR value, as is shown on the first two graphs. Stack some hit and expertise, though, and haste pulls ahead of exp. Add some mastery and exp falls even further behind. But add some haste, and suddenly exp gets better and catches up, surpassing haste once again.

This is part of the reason I took the time to write the spreadsheet I linked earlier. It's going to be nigh-impossible to come up with one set of TDR stat weights that's "true" for all gear configurations. Even two different paladins using the same "control" scheme may have different stat weights due to having picked up significantly different pieces.

I think the general point, however, is that if you're following a "control" strategy, you're not doing it for TDR anyway. You've already decided to toss out the high-TDR stats (dodge, parry) in favor of low-TDR stats that give you more control. As a result, I don't think it's necessary to use TDR to justify your stat priorities in the control scheme - it's clear that you want hit and expertise to smooth HP generation and give you control, and it's clear that you want haste to increase your generation rate and improve SotR uptime. I think that exp>haste in that scenario simply because a missed HP generator at the wrong time is far more destructive than losing a percent or two worth of SotR uptime. Expertise gives you more control than haste does, in short.

Other news: I've finished running some Monte-Carlo sims that support the analytical results. I'll be posting them this week. I'm hoping to be able to address the "smoothness" question with them as well, because now I can generate statistics regarding the moving average of DTPS to characterize spike damage events (and, for example, show them on a histogram so we can see how things change by stacking different stats).

Also, it looks like Eternal Flame has received a stealth buff. The HoT is now being affected by Bastion of Glory.

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