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Torn

DW Tanking Builds 3.3 - updated 12/01/10

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Just a friendly reminder for all the people popping in to "help" the thread by saying "we held aggro with <said> spec!" - could you *please* post TPS results for averages. That's what this thread boils down to - how much TPS does DW Tank specs actually out put.

Now, back to the fun.

Impurity - it's a wonderful talent but there's too many "filler" I need to get. Now, with 3k AP we're receiving an additional 750 (spell?) damage...which is amazing. This is what it looked like: http://talent.mmo-champion.com/?deathknight=0050000000000000000000000003250535100532010301000100100005230105003105000000000000000&glyph=000000000000

Epidemic may not be as wonderful as we originally thought, plus, with a Frost build it only effects FF seeing as our rotation is starting to leave out PS.

Necrosis...that's some thing I'm waiting judgment on until I get factual numbers. In theory it'll be nice. But then comes SoD (which is amazing for my repair bill) but holds no real factor over other talents we have to pass up.

BCB is filler that increases our Parry Gibbing and is only effected by 1 disease. So, for those talents what did we pass up?

Bladed Armor.

BotN which enables an additional HB every other rotation, with the effect still persisting with Pest - it's a very nice talent for AoE pulls (which is the entire game so far.)

GoG. People are up in arms about this. Increased Crit for 2 moves used constantly by +45% and an extra 6 seconds of mitigation - I'll wait for numbers on this, too.

Tundra Stalker - Exp which we won't need as much with the Frost rotation and increased 10% dmg which makes HB/FS even larger. (IT, too, but it's not a truck.)

Not taking Bladed Armor with Impurity is a large issue seeing as it's roughly 500AP for us. I, for the life of me, can't find a solid spec that has Impurity in it while still grabbing FS..this is the closet I can figure: http://talent.mmo-champion.com/?deathknight=0050000000000000000000000003050535100532012301000101000005230105003105000000000000000&glyph=000000000000

Which leads back to the passing of BotN and BA - missing that HB starts defeating the purpose of grabbing Impurity (Yes, it will effect 2 HB in a row but that 3rd HB...maybe I'm being greedy).

I'm also seeing a mindset of pushing for TPS while mitigation comes second or even third in people's mind. We can't forget about our healers - we don't want them to hate us even more. GoG is very nice for *that* reason and adding in +Crit dmg.

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wowscrnshot010309125903jz7.jpg

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H UK run showing details for HB, buffs were horns and spell power totem. Not the best numbers as it was just a quick run testing the spec out so I didn't wait for KM procs for alot of trash, but the damage HB does when it crits is more than enough to hold aggro.

With horns up I have 16.XX% crit and KM procs come often.

When I was DPS specced Necrosis was already doing a very low overall percentage of damage, I don't see how its justified for a 5pt talent.

I also agree with the whole mindset about TPS over mitigation, what good is our TPS when we die? Sacrificing all those mitigation talents that ALSO boost AP for filler talents just to get to impurity just doesn't seem worthwhile.

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Is there a good way to measure threat outside of dungeons? (some kind of target dummy, just for threat?

---

Some math regarding FS vs. DC:

According to [1] the threat values of FS and DC are identical to their damage. DC has an attack power coefficient (APC) of 0.15 according to [2].

Untalented, this means:

FS damage: 60% weapon damage + 150

DC damage: 443 + (AP x 0.15)

Impurity increases the DC APC to ~0.19 (1.25*0.15). Morbidity boosts DC by 15%.

FS gets a bonus damage of 57.3% from Glacier Rot, Black Ice and Tundra Stalker.

Neither FS nor DC can be dodged, parried or blocked. In 3.0.8, FS will consume less RP (if glyphed).

Looking at how DC and FS scale with AP, I came up with this plot:

2_DC_vs_FS_1.jpg

In case I haven't missed any bonus modifiers, FS seems pretty much A LOT better than DC. This makes reaching Impurity by giving up FS even more questionable.

[1]: Death Knight Threat Values

[2]: DK Attack Power Coefficients

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Not the mention FS benefits from KM. But either way dropping just GoG is bad enough, anyone have the math comparing 45% critical damage bonus and 25% from AP? Keep in mind GoG also increases IBF duration so even if impurity comes out slightly on top the IBF bonus should at least balance things out, from a tanking perspective anyway.

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Instead of trying to theorycraft about DW tanking, has anyone actually had success tanking all of Naxx 25 or Malygos as a DW tank? Is it even realistic to discuss it at this point and time?

Heroics are one thing. Raids where some people are critting for 20k and you're not are another.

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Instead of trying to theorycraft about DW tanking, has anyone actually had success tanking all of Naxx 25 or Malygos as a DW tank? Is it even realistic to discuss it at this point and time?

Heroics are one thing. Raids where some people are critting for 20k and you're not are another.

It's rather pointless until patch since DW Frost tanking will be superior. That's why I was keeping questions/thoughts in the Tanking thread until patch.

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It's rather pointless until patch since DW Frost tanking will be superior. That's why I was keeping questions/thoughts in the Tanking thread until patch.

Superior to what?

2h frost tanking is getting a buff as well. In addition the 25 defense skill to two handers probably outweighs any defense benefit you might get from DWing. Of course the counter to this argument is that with two weapons you can put 2% parry on each and still have the defense bonus.

So really it comes down to:

Total tanking stats (stam, dodge, parry, defense, hit, expertise) of DW vs. 2H

Threat generation of DW vs 2H

Damage difference due to parry between DW and 2H

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Getting extra DEF is not the only reason we DW, its also for KM procs to generate threat. Having a slow 2H trying to proc KM with an already bad 7-8% crit just doesn't work.

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Superior to what?

I can only guess but I think he means "superior to DW tanking before 3.0.8".

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Superior to what?

I meant DW Frost Tanking 3.0.8 will be superior than DW Frost Tanking on current Live.

I can only guess but I think he means "superior to DW tanking before 3.0.8".

Correct, sir.

Getting extra DEF is not the only reason we DW, its also for KM procs to generate threat. Having a slow 2H trying to proc KM with an already bad 7-8% crit just doesn't work.

Adding on to this - it's also been shown and proven how any class able to DW it turns out superior than 2H in the long run. Granted, a few of us are "jumping the gun" but it's worth the test to see what happens.

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Adding on to this - it's also been shown and proven how any class able to DW it turns out superior than 2H in the long run.

Yes... for DPS. Warriors can dual-wield, but they don't dual-wield tank, not even for threat-sensitive fights.

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Warriors get a large amount of their mitigation from a shield, as well as having abilities like Shield Slam and Shield Wall that require having a shield equipped. If abilities like Rune Strike and Icebound Fortitude required a 2H weapon equipped then nobody would be seriously thinking about DW tanking with a death knight either.

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Right, but the quote I was responding to was saying that DW has always turned out for the best in the long run. It's true that it's always turned out best for DPS, but we only have one historical data point for DW scaling for tanks: warriors.

Basically I don't think that it's valid to claim that DW is inherently better or worse for tanking based on how well it has worked for DPS in the past. If you just want to talk threat, then sure; I suspect DW threat will scale better than 2h threat. But threat isn't all there is to tanking, of course.

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Warriors get a large amount of their mitigation from a shield, as well as having abilities like Shield Slam and Shield Wall that require having a shield equipped. If abilities like Rune Strike and Icebound Fortitude required a 2H weapon equipped then nobody would be seriously thinking about DW tanking with a death knight either.

Rune Strike pretty much does require a 2 hander if you want to seriously consider it as a means of threat generation. Currently my RS crits are 6-10k depending on the fight and armor. A one hander will NEVER do that much. And the frequency of use depends on you getting hit, not a mob avoiding you. So DWing offers no benefit at all as far as rune strike goes.

The only real threat comparison I can see between DW and 2H is the use of Howling blast. But that's going to be the same between them... and OB might do more damage single target than HB (it does for me anyway). FS and RS and all your other strikes will generate higher threat as 2H.

You'll never get hit capped as a DW tank. You can get 9% hit and expertise capped, but that's about it. In order to pick up the skills that DW normally uses to do damage, you have to give up a lot of tanking ability - there just aren't enough talents. Either you drop talents that generate threat through skills in order to increase threat from auto attacks, or vica versa.

I'm curious to see someone try to tank 25 mans as DW post-patch. So far I've yet to see anyone even do heroics successfully without a hunter to misdirect them or just incredibly abysmal DPS in the group. Maybe the no-CD HB will help, but I seriously doubt it.

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Adding on to this - it's also been shown and proven how any class able to DW it turns out superior than 2H in the long run. Granted, a few of us are "jumping the gun" but it's worth the test to see what happens.

Sadly people seem to either forget this, concentrate on current math, or just plainly wish it wasnt true. Its not going to change anytime soon.

Blizzards *basic design* of weapon swing-timers favors dual-wielding in PVE, 2h in pvp. In every class that can do it (where the option is 2h or DW, for the purposes of warrior/paladin tanking, the shield is a weapon) Its built in from the very bottom.

Lower damage on swing but higher swing speed favors extended fighting where there are no surprises. (And there are no 'surprises' in raiding) The consistency of non-2h builds revolves around their predictable output. And raiding is all about reducing anything resembling randomness. Higher damage on swing, but slower swing speed is always going to be more favorable the shorter the combat takes. Which is why 2h builds are much more effective in small groups than raids.

The problem is, without fiddling around with all the extra attacks, there is no possible way *currently* to make 2h damage/threat to the level of a dual-wielder over extended periods of time. Because everything that makes it match it, also increases its effectiveness in the shorter time periods, which then makes it vastly preferable to DW. And thats when the PVP whine starts up. Bumping up the threat but not the damage is a bad idea for obvious reasons.

When they DO fiddle around with the extras trying to balance 2h with DWers, you end up with Ret paladins who bounce up and down the DPS charts everytime they are patched. But the playerbase goes along with it because at least Blizzard *appear* to be doing something, despite knowing perfectly well without a major overhaul of the basic weapon mechanics its not going to solve anything.

And this is what is going to happen to the DK-2h's for the indefinite future. DW'ers will get to a static point sometime soon where they are considered balanced PVE-wise. Especially for the purposes of tanking. They are practically there now. However once the PVP nerfs (and they are coming) start hitting the 2h-builds, the same ping-ponging of effectiveness will carry on.

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Yes... for DPS. Warriors can dual-wield, but they don't dual-wield tank, not even for threat-sensitive fights.

It's already been stated but warriors don't DW due to a shield is one of their main threat builders and mitigation. Makes sense for them not to DW tank.

Right, but the quote I was responding to was saying that DW has always turned out for the best in the long run. It's true that it's always turned out best for DPS, but we only have one historical data point for DW scaling for tanks: warriors.

Basically I don't think that it's valid to claim that DW is inherently better or worse for tanking based on how well it has worked for DPS in the past. If you just want to talk threat, then sure; I suspect DW threat will scale better than 2h threat. But threat isn't all there is to tanking, of course.

Have you been following these threads at all? We're specifically talking about what puts out the most threat for specs.

Now, you're also commenting on how you don't think it's "valid" to make a claim yet I have said "There's no proof to any of this until patch releases with final numbers and I will physically be trying this."

What is there to tanking besides mitigation and threat? People are already showing the theory behind Parry-Hasting isn't as bad as once thought. Add in to our damage reduction is actually higher in the patch coupled with the buff to UA (glyphed even more so), just in case a parry haste would happen.

As of right now with 2H - the only complaint from healers is I don't take enough damage outside of 3dSarth.

Yes, we lose the ability for Stone Garg but it's still possible to carry around a 2H for those moments you would need one if DW does show better TPS.

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Rune Strike pretty much does require a 2 hander if you want to seriously consider it as a means of threat generation. Currently my RS crits are 6-10k depending on the fight and armor. A one hander will NEVER do that much. And the frequency of use depends on you getting hit, not a mob avoiding you. So DWing offers no benefit at all as far as rune strike goes.

Pop in Glyph of Rune Strike and watch your Killing Machine procs. Rune Strike does make sense as a DW tank.

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Pop in Glyph of Rune Strike and watch your Killing Machine procs. Rune Strike does make sense as a DW tank.

And I should give up what for that, exactly? Does Rune Strike even trigger KM? I'm not so sure it counts as an auto attack.

Icy Touch? No.. that 10 RP is pretty sick, especially when DWing...

Unbreakable Armor? God no, not after the patch...

Bone shield? Not if I got deep enough in unholy to get it...

IBF? Well, since I wouldn't use SS or OB as DW tank, this is probably the best replacement...

AMS? It's only like 2 seconds now... that's probably replaceable... too bad I only get 3 major glyphs.

Too bad there's no HB glyph.

RS makes sense no matter what spec tank you are. But as 2 hander you'll get much better usage out of it. As a DW the best thing that can happen is you get an avoidance string and knock off a bunch in a row - except then you're out of runic power and can't drop an IBF when you need to, or do anything else that requires RP. That's assuming its macroed of course. Some people don't macro it, and maybe when DWing it's more feasible not to. But if you don't play to use it every time it's up...

And of course you can always use that glyph when you're 2 handing - except there's more options since SS and OB are useful. Although one can argue you can do an odd 2 hand build using HB over oblit...

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Rune Strike pretty much does require a 2 hander if you want to seriously consider it as a means of threat generation. Currently my RS crits are 6-10k depending on the fight and armor. A one hander will NEVER do that much. And the frequency of use depends on you getting hit, not a mob avoiding you. So DWing offers no benefit at all as far as rune strike goes.

If I'm not mistaken, Rune Strike works whenever either 1) Your attacks are parried or dodged, or 2) If you parry // dodge an attack or 2) Both

It states "Whenever an attack is parried or dodged."

If this point is true, then the higher your avoidance, the more often you'll be able to use Rune Strike.

If this point is false, then Rune Strike will begin to taper off in effectiveness depending on how close you are to the Hit and Expertise Caps.

And this will dramatically change how we perceive Rune Strike as a valid TPS builder, or DPS enhancer, or neither.

This might bring up another point though... if it is indeed a decent TPS builder, having high enough Avoidance would proc Runic Strike more often (and since it's "Next melee strike" it'll happen more often as a DW), which would make up the difference in Threat lost due to the less amount of damage output from a single Rune Strike from a 2h build.

Then you add in the procs from Rune Strike given from the actual parries and dodges from the fact that as DW Tank, we'll not be hitting the Hit or Expertise cap anytime soon, we'll have to test if the Rune Strike Threat generated from the near constant string of Rune Strikes would overtake any other threat generated from any other RP dumps.

Just my 2cp

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If I'm not mistaken, Rune Strike works whenever either 1) Your attacks are parried or dodged, or 2) If you parry // dodge an attack... it states "Whenever an attack is parried or dodged."

If this point is true, then the higher your avoidance, the more often you'll be able to use Rune Strike.

If this point is false, then Rune Strike will begin to taper off in effectiveness depending on how close you are to the Hit and Expertise Caps.

And this will dramatically change how we perceive Rune Strike as a valid TPS builder, or DPS enhancer, or neither.

You're mistaken.

Rune strike only pops when YOU dodge or parry an enemies attack. The higher avoidance you have, the more it goes off.

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You're mistaken.

Rune strike only pops when YOU dodge or parry an enemies attack. The higher avoidance you have, the more it goes off.

Then the tooltip needs more clarification. Either way, my question still remains, would the TPS generated from a near constant (hopefully) string of Rune Strikes out-threat any other RP dump?

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And I should give up what for that, exactly? Does Rune Strike even trigger KM? I'm not so sure it counts as an auto attack.

It triggers KM according to my combat log. Could be a bug or could be intentional since RS is not instant but "on next melee" ( = autoattack swing).

Regarding glyphs: IT, UA, RS looks like a pretty good choice to me

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RS is essential now and even more so in the upcoming patch, it hits and crits harder than anything but HB and at 20 RP its better to use over DC and FS when runes are on CD and a lot of the time RS is up immediately after the previous one so maybe DW can get more/faster consecutive RS's than 2H?

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The fact about RS is simple: it's the best RP dump we have BUT: in DW we won't have enough RP to spam it.

I haven't read about any RP/sec statistics while tanking (link me to it if you have, maybe I missed it), but, with a cycle like this (thanks to Barden):

[TABLE]sec|Ability|RP after using ability|sec|Ability|RP after using ability

0|PS|10|0|IT|25

1.5|IT|35|1,5|PS|35

3|HB|55|3|Pestilence|45

4.5|BS|65|4,5|HB|65

6|BS|75|6|BS|75

7.5|FS|35|7,5|FS|35

9-11.5sec|pause/Rime proc||9-11,5sec|pause/Rime proc

11,5|HB|55|11,5 HB|55

13|IT|80|13|IT|80

14,5|FS|40|14,5|FS|40

16|IT|65|16|IT|65

17,5|HB|85|17,5|HB|85

19|FS|45|19|FS|45

20,5|FS|5|20,5|FS|5[/TABLE]

we get that after 6 seconds we generated 75 rp, with a fast tanking 1h like [iTEM]40402[/iTEM], a good avoidance equip (>60%) and a lucky avoidance streak, we swinged 4 time (the first rune-strikeable swing is at 1.5, because the boss is swinging us melee) which is 80 RP (4x20rp) which is MUCH better than 1 FS (or 2, after the patch) but, the question is:

DW tanking's weapon are: LOW/FAST or FAST/FAST?

Will we prefer to make 4 rune strikes (which is 40% KM proc) or to make 2 hard hitting RS and get a 20% KM proc?

Are 4 runestrikes (which is 4 dodge/parry perfectly timed in 6 seconds) better than 2 less-randomly RS?

These discussion about RP generation are nullified by this which is: "You dodge/parry? I give you a free runestrike or 1/2 FS" "Oh yay, thanks mate"

Then the tooltip needs more clarification. Either way, my question still remains, would the TPS generated from a near constant (hopefully) string of Rune Strikes out-threat any other RP dump?

Yup, tooltip will be changed in the upcoming patch, source

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Sadly people seem to either forget this, concentrate on current math, or just plainly wish it wasnt true. Its not going to change anytime soon.

Blizzards *basic design* of weapon swing-timers favors dual-wielding in PVE, 2h in pvp. In every class that can do it (where the option is 2h or DW, for the purposes of warrior/paladin tanking, the shield is a weapon) Its built in from the very bottom.

Lower damage on swing but higher swing speed favors extended fighting where there are no surprises. (And there are no 'surprises' in raiding) The consistency of non-2h builds revolves around their predictable output. And raiding is all about reducing anything resembling randomness. Higher damage on swing, but slower swing speed is always going to be more favorable the shorter the combat takes. Which is why 2h builds are much more effective in small groups than raids

Well, you have the right conclusion, but I think the real answer is something a bit more subtle, namely: your autoattack damage as DW scales significantly better with almost every stat than it does with a 2H weapon. You scale better with hit, with expertise, with attack power, and with crit. Haste and ArPen are pretty neutral, but every other stat does significantly more for DW than it does for a 2Her.

Now, this is mitigated by the fact that instant attacks greatly favor 2H, both for their higher base damage and slower speed. Hence, I suspect the intent for keeping 2H DKs balanced is to have them do enough damage from instant attacks to make up the lack of white damage. Whether it will work is of course hard to say - presumably Blizzard understands this effect and is going to try their best.

So: it's true that some effects - Rune Strike, for instance - are significantly less good for DW than they are for 2H. On the other hand, it's also true that you'll do more white damage, and some effects - BCB and Killing Machine, notably - are significantly better as DW. So, it's certainly the case that DW tanking is going to function very *differently* from 2H tanking, that doesn't inherently make it *worse*. The challenge is certainly going to be to get enough hit, expertise, and crit to make the advantages of DW spec flourish in tanking gear. It may not be possible... but it's certainly worth looking into to see if it is or not.

On that note: it seems to me that agility is potentially going to be a very interesting stat for DW tanks. While it's not a great mitigation stat, it's decent, and while it's not the best threat stat, it's decent there as well - particularly with Killing Machine. So it seems entirely plausible to me that we're going to find, when all the analysis is done, that agility will actually be a very important stat for DK tanks. Which is unfortunate, as agility is not a stat commonly found on tanking gear.

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