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The Way of the Shield: Protection in Cataclysm


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#41 Jyynx

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 06:05 PM

Belicia, Divine Guardian in Cataclysm does not affect the Paladin, so we cannot count that as one of our short cooldowns. I'm trying to find the blue link here, but the gist of it was that Blizzard did not want us sandbagging with DG as an extra boss cooldown, and completely ignoring it's intended purpose of cutting down AOE damage taken by the raid. So they simply made it a non-issue.

#42 [ Duracell-]

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 06:22 PM

Don't forget we have Guardian of Ancient Kings on a 5min CD. I believe they intend for that to be our major CD.

So we have Divine Protection and Ardent Defender as a minor CD, Guardian of Ancient Kings as a major CD, and Holy Shield as a short mitigation spell like Shield Block.

#43 frmorrison

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 10:08 PM

;1709598']Don't forget we have Guardian of Ancient Kings on a 5min CD. I believe they intend for that to be our major CD.

So we have Divine Protection and Ardent Defender as a minor CD, Guardian of Ancient Kings as a major CD, and Holy Shield as a short mitigation spell like Shield Block.


There is a talent for Guardian that says 10/20/30 minutes off the cooldown. I believe they meant 1/2/3 minutes, and Guardian reduces damage by 50%.

For comparison, DK cooldowns are Vamp Blood (LoH?), Bone Shield (Divine Prot), WotN (AD), IBF (Guardian), and Rune Weapon (Holy Shield), so Paladins have the same number (if you count Lay on Hands).

The new Divine Protection is nice for the other two Paladin specs, in that they have a cooldown to use that doesn't lock them out of Bubble or Wings.

#44 Lanlaorn

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 01:09 AM

The DK "LoH" is eating your ghoul, not Vamp Blood. Curiously Vamp Blood's 35% healing received for 10 seconds on a 1 minute CD is now actually equal to Divinity (not taking glyphs into account since they repeatedly told us not to).

I really wouldn't call Argent Defender a minor cooldown though, the mitigation may only be 20% but it's other effect, as currently worded, means that you literally cannot die for 10 seconds. That completely trivializes something like Mimiron Plasma Burst.

#45 Barogorn

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 01:56 AM

I really wouldn't call Argent Defender a minor cooldown though, the mitigation may only be 20% but it's other effect, as currently worded, means that you literally cannot die for 10 seconds. That completely trivializes something like Mimiron Plasma Burst.


Is that how AD is working on beta's current build? If so it definitely is not a minor cd. I would not imagine that going live, there is more than likely a debuff to prevent it from triggering more then once in the duration of the cd.

#46 Lanlaorn

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 03:57 AM

I've seen it described as such by others (who are presumably in the beta) and that's what the text literally says but I cannot confirm it myself, unfortunately.

#47 Mex

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 04:40 AM

There's no way that Blizzard is going to give a tank 10 (?) seconds of absolute immunity from death. It will almost certainly be changed to suit the current functionality, ie 'dying' will remove the buff, or at the least add a CD that prevents it from triggering again for however long.
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#48 Chicken

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 02:08 PM

There's some potential issues with the fact that Vengeance and Touched by the Light's spell power conversion do not interact with each other.

Due to the fact that our abilities are typically balanced around the mix of attack and spell power increasing our strength currently provides, it means that if we add a large amount of extra attack power without adding extra spell power it could cause our ability priorities to change. Specifically our abilities that do not scale with spell power would gain in importance as Vengeance provides more attack power, as abilities that do not scale with spell power gain damage faster from attack power than the abilities that scale with both attack and spell power do.

While I suppose that does add a bit of extra complexity to our ability using decisions, it also lacks transparency to those not completely familiar with the underlying mechanics of how our abilities scale. They could easily remove the potential for this behavior by simply making Touched by the Light's conversion Attack Power based, much like the similar spec bonuses Retribution Paladins and Enhancement Shamans get.

#49 Jawbone

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 04:54 PM

There's some potential issues with the fact that Vengeance and Touched by the Light's spell power conversion do not interact with each other.

Due to the fact that our abilities are typically balanced around the mix of attack and spell power increasing our strength currently provides, it means that if we add a large amount of extra attack power without adding extra spell power it could cause our ability priorities to change. Specifically our abilities that do not scale with spell power would gain in importance as Vengeance provides more attack power, as abilities that do not scale with spell power gain damage faster from attack power than the abilities that scale with both attack and spell power do.

While I suppose that does add a bit of extra complexity to our ability using decisions, it also lacks transparency to those not completely familiar with the underlying mechanics of how our abilities scale. They could easily remove the potential for this behavior by simply making Touched by the Light's conversion Attack Power based, much like the similar spec bonuses Retribution Paladins and Enhancement Shamans get.


Or simply make Vengeance give up to a maximum of half the AP value in Strength. eg, instead of 5000 ap, give 2500 Strength. 90% of the +stats talents are gone, and all tanking classes like Strength.
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#50 Lanlaorn

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 05:27 PM

Does Strength still affect block value somehow? Strength converts to parry rating for DKs so that would be 1.25% of your health as parry rating. For even a 100,000 HP tank that's 1250 parry rating. Some tanks also have +%Strength talents while others do not (and the only source of +%AP is a raid buff),

It would probably be simpler to just change Touched by the Light rather than Vengeance. Also they already took a step in this direction, changing HotR to work off weapon damage not weapon DPS (i.e. from not scaling with Vengeance to scaling with Vengeance).

#51 Noraj

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 11:17 PM

Does Strength still affect block value somehow? Strength converts to parry rating for DKs so that would be 1.25% of your health as parry rating. For even a 100,000 HP tank that's 1250 parry rating. Some tanks also have +%Strength talents while others do not (and the only source of +%AP is a raid buff),

It would probably be simpler to just change Touched by the Light rather than Vengeance. Also they already took a step in this direction, changing HotR to work off weapon damage not weapon DPS (i.e. from not scaling with Vengeance to scaling with Vengeance).


Block value to the best of my knowledge is to be a constant percentage of the damage of the blocked attack, allowing it to scale, which is why the extra 15% Holy Power block chance attached to Holy Shield is such a boon as a mitigation cooldown. So no, strength shouldn't have any impact on the amount blocked, though Mastery should affect this percentage.
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#52 Nal

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 05:43 AM

While the fact that Inquisition and Holy Shield are mutually exclusive buffs does allow you to choose between extra mitigation or extra threat in theory, as long as Holy Shield is to be required to get comparable mitigation as other tanks, we can assume that on progression content the choice between mitigation and threat will effectively not exist. With the new mana models, progression content is made to be challenging through the potential of running your healers out of mana, which can be alleviated through mitigation as that'll reduce the amount of mana your healers need to spend. A well balanced fight, in other words, will just barely allow your healers to last through it when you have the same kind of mitigation as the kind of tank that the fight is balanced around does.


I think the opposite is likely true. Block is going to be worth roughly 6-7% extra damage mitigation. It's RNG based mitigation, and depending on how much reaction time they bake into things, it's going to clock in at less than 6-7% healing mana saved. And that's only healing mana for whoever is healing the tank.

Increasing tank mitigation (especially one that's RNG based) isn't a particularly effective way to preserve healing mana. Raid DPSers are going to have a far greater determining factor, both in terms of avoiding avoidable damage and (most importantly) by ending encounters more quickly.

If things are tuned so tightly that both (i.e. great dps, excellent tank mitigation) are required by even the better guilds, then obviously I'll be wrong. But then there really won't be many people raiding that content anyway.

#53 Chicken

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 08:37 AM

I think the opposite is likely true. Block is going to be worth roughly 6-7% extra damage mitigation. It's RNG based mitigation, and depending on how much reaction time they bake into things, it's going to clock in at less than 6-7% healing mana saved. And that's only healing mana for whoever is healing the tank.

Increasing tank mitigation (especially one that's RNG based) isn't a particularly effective way to preserve healing mana. Raid DPSers are going to have a far greater determining factor, both in terms of avoiding avoidable damage and (most importantly) by ending encounters more quickly.

If things are tuned so tightly that both (i.e. great dps, excellent tank mitigation) are required by even the better guilds, then obviously I'll be wrong. But then there really won't be many people raiding that content anyway.

In that case we run into one of the other issues with the current design for Holy Shield and Inquisition however. If the mitigation bonus is too small to matter, then we simply won't be using Holy Shield and gaining 30% extra holy damage at all time, despite the intent for Holy Shield to bring us up to the same amount of mitigation as the other tanking classes. The problem with that design should be clear: If the mitigation doesn't matter, we end up with Prot Paladins being the superior tanking choice through having the option to drop a large part of their 'baked-in' mitigation for extra damage.

#54 Nal

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:28 AM

In that case we run into one of the other issues...


Quite right.

If Inquisition remains as is for some other game design reason (offtank DPS balance), then I'm not sure what they can do to compel paladin tanks to spend holy power on a defensive ability given the % of tank mitigation that's passive save for attaching a holy power resource requirement to the tanking cooldowns.

And I'm not sure the tank cooldowns are used often enough to make the resource an interesting gameplay component, though they would certainly be a more compelling use of holy power than Inquisition.

I have other ideas on what they could do with holy power, but none of them compete well with Inquisition and they just feel a bit kludgey.

#55 Tharia

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 11:53 AM

No matter what, the ability we end up using (Holy Shield or Inquisition) will be just like another ability with a cooldown and not a reason to "manage" Holy Power. There will be a small choice involved whether on a given encounter one is better than the other, but that's basically it.
I'm thinking we need a (possibly random) way to generate more Holy Power than necessary just for the upkeep of Holy Shield/Inquisition (1HP per blocked/avoided attack?) and some (spammable) "finisher". Maybe some MASSIVE Shield of Righteousness. This would give some appeal to avoidance and using Holy Shield. This would also solve the problem they are having with ShoR right now. (MMO-Champion BlueTracker | Paladin: Shield of the Righteous). And as an added bonus, this would also solve the problem that protadins are the only tanks that do almost full tps without actually tanking anything, making them supreme offtanks.

#56 Mex

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 01:22 PM

Threat generation on progression content will be managed in the same two ways that it always has -- tanks executing appropriate rotations, and DPS using appropriate threat management tools. Holy Shield will be the de facto consumer of Holy Power on non farm content, with the possible exception of bosses which have both a) A very low proportion of damage from blockable attacks, and B) A fairly high threat / DPS requirement.

Tank gearing typically has a fairly minimal effect on healer mana, but that effect does exist, and is extrapolated by risk of death. The faster / deeper a tank spikes, the higher the amount of overheal a healer is required to tolerate in their healing. 10k hits becoming 20k hits doesn't have the same effect on healer mana as 40k hits becoming 50k hits.

I think that holy shield and block in general will both play important parts in our defensive gearing and playstyle strategies. Apart from the advantage inherent in blocking 3 hits for 30% over dodging 1 for 100%, our mastery bonus will feed fairly heavily into the reasoning behind funneling holy power into holy shield, as it seems as though mastery will be a fairly attractive stat for tanking.

Inquisition will most likely be relegated to use on farm content / very specific fights. We may see situations where it behooves us to switch between Inq and HS in a single fight (eg Rag style P2, where boss disappears (no incoming damage) and adds rapidly spawn (threat important!) at certain intervals), but I think the vast majority of the time we'll be using holy power to fuel holy shield.
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#57 Elimbras

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 02:44 PM

Some bosses might hit tanks very lightly (Saurfang is the last example in mind : you don't care a lot about your tank mitigation (in fact, you care about your tank avoidance, but for specific reasons), because this won't save you lots of heal or mana.

And whilst threat is not a big issue on Saurfang, additional damage is always nice, and threat should be more an issue in cata than it was in ICC.

#58 Exemplar

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 09:03 PM

Question about the new Ardent Defender: During the 10 seconds, if you "die" multiple times, will it restore you to 15%? Or does the first "death" restore you to 15% and end the buff (closer to how the live passive version produces the debuff which prevents re-proc)?

Just reading the talent I would guess the first, but would like to hear from someone who has actually tested.
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#59 Zalinda

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 02:47 PM

Tank gearing typically has a fairly minimal effect on healer mana, but that effect does exist, and is extrapolated by risk of death. The faster / deeper a tank spikes, the higher the amount of overheal a healer is required to tolerate in their healing. 10k hits becoming 20k hits doesn't have the same effect on healer mana as 40k hits becoming 50k hits.


The plan for Cata is that this does become a much more important issue.

A tank gearing for sta only will take so much actual damage that healers can't keep the tank alive or they go oom. Blizzard very much want tanks to consider how their gearing will affect the healers in the raid they're tanking.

#60 Charybdis

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 04:49 AM

Question about the new Ardent Defender: During the 10 seconds, if you "die" multiple times, will it restore you to 15%? Or does the first "death" restore you to 15% and end the buff (closer to how the live passive version produces the debuff which prevents re-proc)?

Just reading the talent I would guess the first, but would like to hear from someone who has actually tested.


The latest changes include a clarification on Ardent Defender, as well as some new mechanics to other abilities.

Ardent Defender - Activate to reduce damage taken by 20% for 10 sec. While Ardent Defender is active, the next attack that would otherwise kill you will instead cause you to be healed for 15% of your maximum health.
Vindication - now gives your Holy Wrath a chance to reduce physical damage done by the target by 10% for 30 sec. (Old - Proc from all damaging attacks, 10 sec duration)
Guarded by the Light has been revamped - Increases your Word of Glory by 20/40% when used to heal yourself. Any overhealing will create a protective shield equal to the amount of overhealing that lasts for 6 sec (last part NYI).
Grand Crusader now has a chance to reduce the cooldown of your next Avenger's Shield instead of Holy Wrath.
Ret: Improved Crusader Strike is back as a Tier 3 2-Ranks talent. Reduces the cooldown of your Crusader Strike by 0.5/1 sec.


The change in Vindication actually seems pretty good since every other tanking class has a true AOE ability to reduce physical damage. I'm slightly worried about the "chance" part in there though since Holy Wrath has a 15 second CD and there's no way to change it barring possible glyphs. Grand Crusader no longer affects Holy Wrath after all. I'm thinking they'll redo it to always grant the damage reduction in lieu of all other tanks getting 100% on theirs.

Edit: Looking at MMO-Champ's most recent talent calculator, full Vindication is listed as always granting 10% physical damage reduction from Holy Wrath. It's a nice change and the only thing they could do to make Vindication better would be to have it use a melee-hit ability instead of a spell-hit to get rid of the random misses that will happen unless we're capped on spell hit.

GbtL looks great although juggling it along with Holy Shield and Inquisition may or may not be so good. The choices are compelling but we might not have enough Holy Power going out to make them worthwhile. Crusader Strike is the only way Prot can generate Holy Power as far as I see and it's a 4 second CD. Holy Shield and Inquisition are exclusive with each other. With CS at 4 seconds our best use of it for Holy Power leaves us with CS at 0, another ability used at 1.5, then we have to wait an extra second from 3 to 4 otherwise we delay the next CS to 4.5. Technically we aren't GCD locked but the extra wait every two abilities feels awkward. We have enough abilities in our toolkit to always have something to cast between each CS, but instead of the 69696 rotation we need to base everything around the 4 second CS.

Edit: Some other things I noticed on MMO-Champion are Touched by the Light still granting 30% extra healing on crits, and how they show Prot getting Judgements of the Wise for mana. Look at MMO-Champion - Paladin Cataclysm and scroll down to see Prot's Primary Skills section. It hasn't been updated with the Avenger's Shield no-daze change and it is still beta info to take with a grain of salt, but if this were to happen then Divine Plea doesn't look like it'd be used for mana or glyphed for tanking since it would reduce Word of Glory's effect to half. The self-heal and possible shield through Guarded by the Light would outweigh 3% damage reduction and using it for threat certainly seems reasonable given how DK's and even the occasional Shaman tank currently get good threat from healing.




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