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[Feral-Bear] Thrashing around 4.2 (OLD)


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#41 baneberry.dalaran

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 05:53 PM

While I'm posting, I'd also like to bounce my thoughts about savage defense off the people here. I'm sure that this is not a groundbreaking statement, but I think that SD is the worst mastery of the tanking classes. I believe that it pigeonholes bears into a permanent OTing/add role because of it's inferiority to block and massive death strike shields. The solution to this would be to revert one of the two changes that Blizzard made to SD from Wrath to Cata, either give us the chance to proc on periodic crits, or turn it up to 65% base. I prefer the former of these, as a more consistent shield would give us a more block-like mechanic, instead of the sudo-block that we have now. While i'm sure that the math on sims don't back up my feelings on the matter, and most bears have come to accept SD in all it's glorious inferiority, watching SD uptimes/absorbs compared to my warrior counterpart's blocks is pretty disheartening.


I agree, that SD is the worst Mastery, but what we lose out in some fights, especially fast hitting block-able encounters we do make up with a couple things.

1) more armor, I have about 9-10% more damage mitigation from armor than our other tanks

2) higher avoidance via base dodge talents.. although its not the difference of WOTLK, and I ahve not compared the difference since the agility/parry changes for plate tanks since 4.2

3) more passive reduction on all attacks, 18% with NR, that is is 8% more than other tanks

4) arguable the best magic resistance in non-burts fights.. 24% passive reduction on fight with constant magic damage like Bethtilac, Rhyolith, and Ragnaros

What sucks about this is that it makes our damage mitigation all passive, and lowers the skill required to play it well compared to the other tanks. It was great when I was raid leading, because I could focus on the raid vs my survivability. Now that I am not leading anymore, my bear doesn't feel very interactive, although still very capable.

#42 Jackaran

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 08:54 PM

SD may be weak compared to the other tank's mastery but, it's suppose to make you more interested in watching your rotation and focusing on the fight. Remembering prior to having Savage Defense, it made gearing easy. With it added (and after 4.0's changes), now we're being told to balance between Crit, Mastery, Agility, Attack Power, Dodge, etc. Take a moment and imagine if SD had a 100% proc on crit and a 6 second CD like LotP, It would make Mastery better but, it would potentially make mastery / SD worse. Blizzard compromised with Bear tanks also by allowing SD to stack whenever it procs instead of overriding itself.

Most people who play their class shouldn't have to focus on their character, they should have to focus on the encounter. You learn when to use your characters abilities as you progress through content, you have already done this, so it seems boring to you. A lot of tanks I've talked to liked T10 because it gave us another CD with our abilities and made the game more interactive during achievements and heroic encounters.

While we're on the topic, it's my opinion that a tanks survivability should be based on ability activation or their ability execution. Example: Swipe procs a 1% dodge increase for 3 seconds stacking 5 times or Mangle procs 5% Attack Power into an absorbing shield, stacking 5 times, Growl increases agility by 2% for 4 seconds.

WoW currently has this in reverse, every time you enrage you deal more damage. Every time you shield block, you do more damage.

#43 Reesi

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 03:44 PM

As for the Stamina vs Agility stacking argument, you should evaluate it on what you prefer your raid dynamic to be and what your raid leaders are looking for.

That being said, it is my firm belief that Stam stacking is required for 90% of heroic mode fights right now (6/7 actually so I guess it would be more like 85%). Every fight that you would be tanking as a bear has a large bleed, incredibly hard hitting mobs (alysrazor adds 100k instant enraged hits are fun) or consistent large spell damage hits that make stacking agi, while still viable, inferior to stamina stacking. And the fight that you are stacking agi (Baleroc) is only if you're OTing Decimation Blade hits, and it's not for the savage defense uptime, it's to squeeze out all of the dodge possible from your gear.

Truthfully, I haven't felt that way about the need for Stamina in heroic encounters, though I've been an Agility junky since the start of Cata raiding(and am not as progressed as quickly). I much prefer gemming Agi and then adding in a bit of Stam here and there as I think I need it through Flasks and Trinkets. The only fight where I thought that necessary was Beth'tilac in phase 2 (192k hits are awesome). I can see its merits, truly, but for me and my raid, it hasn't been an issue. Usually once I get a pattern down with CDs, my HP doesn't matter beyond the minimum threshold.

While I'm posting, I'd also like to bounce my thoughts about savage defense off the people here. I'm sure that this is not a groundbreaking statement, but I think that SD is the worst mastery of the tanking classes. I believe that it pigeonholes bears into a permanent OTing/add role because of it's inferiority to block and massive death strike shields. The solution to this would be to revert one of the two changes that Blizzard made to SD from Wrath to Cata, either give us the chance to proc on periodic crits, or turn it up to 65% base. I prefer the former of these, as a more consistent shield would give us a more block-like mechanic, instead of the sudo-block that we have now. While i'm sure that the math on sims don't back up my feelings on the matter, and most bears have come to accept SD in all it's glorious inferiority, watching SD uptimes/absorbs compared to my warrior counterpart's blocks is pretty disheartening.

I dislike our Mastery a lot. I really think they should just bite the bullet and make all blocks relatively uniform. Ours not scaling with incoming damage feels like a huge liability on any fight that increases boss damage. I'm not entirely sure changing it to be 65% is the answer, however, as that does completely trivialize older content. Putting it back on periodic crits, at the very least lacerate, as well as on Fury Swipes would be a potential answer. The only problem I see with that would then be SD munching since SD will overwrite a larger shield even when it's smaller.

I don't, however, see a disadvantage to making SD scale like block against incoming damage. Seems to me, the only reason it's being kept as a gear scalar is due to flavor, and for whatever reason, Blizzard thinks it scales just fine. The only hitch would then be what the heck our Mastery would do. Keeping Savage Defender as is would cause the same issues as a 65% base absorb, so changing it to increase the chance on a crit would seem to be the best conversion.

#44 Melthu

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 04:52 PM

The only problem I see with that would then be SD munching since SD will overwrite a larger shield even when it's smaller.


Why would this be a problem? Savage Defense is based on your AP, not the size of the hit that triggered it. A 1k Lacerate tick crit would give the same size shield as a 35k Mangle crit, assuming equal AP at the time of the crit. Unless you're talking about something else?

As far as Savage Defender, the reason it was implemented in the first place was to make bears care about stats other than stamina and dodge/agility. It's performed fairly admirably in that respect, as literally every stat on gear provides a defensive increase to some extent. Maybe not a whole lot for haste, but something like crit now offers a reasonable amount of defensive benefit. It's doubtful that the devs will change Savage Defense in a way that removes this effect.

#45 Reesi

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 05:16 PM

Why would this be a problem? Savage Defense is based on your AP, not the size of the hit that triggered it. A 1k Lacerate tick crit would give the same size shield as a 35k Mangle crit, assuming equal AP at the time of the crit. Unless you're talking about something else?

Perhaps I was unclear. Let's say you proc a full vengeance SD, then afterwards you dodge a few attacks, causing Vengeance to go down and SD to not be consumed(also assuming no other AoE effects to affect Vengance). If you proc SD again after that within the 10s duration, having not consumed the large shield, the next SD will be smaller due to the loss in Vengeance. That smaller shield overwrites the larger one.

It's very rare for that type of interaction to screw with mitigation, and the logs that I noticed it in (Sinestra), it happened to me twice, I think. It's what happened with DKs and DS before they changed it to be additive, though with Bears, it's not that much of a problem because of the frequency of our crits compared to a DS.

Hell, it might not even BE an issue with Lac ticks procing SD since it would be more frequent during vengeance decay.

#46 wired2thebrink

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 08:48 PM

Personally the changes to druids are a bit indifferent at the moment. it’s like we have someone changing our stuff to sort PVP or dps issues and then someone comes along with totally different ideas to make changes to tanking and survivability.

Consider before previous patches with my character.

I had 50% crit over 51% dodge and armour mitigation in the 70% mark. We also had extra 10% stamina bonus.
Of course those days are gone and we have what we have.
Around 30% crit and dodge and 64% approx reduction and a lot less stamina than we could have had.

So druids have been stacking heavy stamina for last couple of patches and its worked fine and indeed help with Boss fights with savage defence as the vengeance ranks up.
But many boss fight mechanics now call for tank swapping or running about up and down a spider’s web for instance. In this time we have the chance to lose our vengeance stack and thus our AP goes back to normal and I’m back to my 6kish SD shield that may or may not be up when I engage the boss or target again.

Add to the mix now the removal of basic threat on most of our rotation attacks as bears. We can't always use berserk for every pull or when threat is sticky, we can’t always rely on misdirect or melee /healers not to over aggro in switches of fight mechanics.

Now one thing i have been doing is using my dps trinkets in trash pulls. This works and from gear that other druids have got from recent stuff in firelands the added agility and base damage they are kicking out we have less of a threat issue ( I normally switch to unheeded warning and fluid death ). The dps trinkets solve hit cap base damage and also add around 700 agility very quickly .
Agility as we all know is dodge, AP and crit etc and we don’t need to harp on about that , but the “get me out of jail” usage of the tank trinkets and the stamina is missed when things get sticky.

So I think until druids start to gear up ,we are going to have this stamina vs. agility question for a few months.
Personally i like having tonnes of stamina but the other tanks now are about the same, so we have to look at our next best friend which is agility. So I'm trying out changes , i have reforged to get hit and soft expertise cap to help with both threat but also if you miss, dodge or parry you don’t get your 50% chance at a SD proc.So whatever you got in the way of stamina or agility it won’t matter if you are just not landing hits enough times when it counts. So the caps solve 2 problems we have at THIS TIME(probably be different in a month or 3 of gear gains).

I've then gone for agility and with Pulverise up i got 40% crit or more. I also have more armour, AP and dodge all of which work before vengeance is even ticking up so pull wise and changing tank or mechanics mid fight I’m better off. Let’s face it the tactics needed in many fights now don’t allow for tank and spank for a good percentage of the fight.

So I’ve gemmed to match my sockets: Red=agility, blue=stamina (the odd hit gem) yellow =dodge+stamina. This way I get more out of my gear for my gold spent and also if I have to go cat mode when a tank switch occurs or it becomes a one tank and spank phase at the end of the fight I’m not as useless as I would be full of stamina

I say give back 50% dodge days
Regards
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#47 Lazaren

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 02:30 AM

I dislike our Mastery a lot. I really think they should just bite the bullet and make all blocks relatively uniform. Ours not scaling with incoming damage feels like a huge liability on any fight that increases boss damage.

I suspect the buff to Natural Reaction was intended to address this discrepancy. It doesn't make our mastery satisfying but it'll be interesting to see how it plays out once Warriors and Paladins are consistently block capping.

The scaling issue is something they must be thinking about, though. Next time you tank Baleroc, read the tooltip on Blaze of Glory. ;)

#48 Nihlo

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 11:10 AM

I've got a question regarding the add-tanking at Alysrazor. Since threat doesn't matter, what would be the best damage-rotation a bear could do ? and do you change items or reforge for this fight ? For example dodge -> crit or something like that ?

#49 Jackaran

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 01:18 PM

I've got a question regarding the add-tanking at Alysrazor. Since threat doesn't matter, what would be the best damage-rotation a bear could do ? and do you change items or reforge for this fight ? For example dodge -> crit or something like that ?


I personallly, would do my standard rotation Faerie Fire(feral), Mangle, Lacerate x3, mangle and Maul OR mangle and Thrash. Maul as the rage dump and extra damage.

Keep in mind, Mangle is your strongest direct damage ability. Lacerate (via Berserk talent) damage proc's resets the CD on mangle thus you can hit more often with mangle. So if you're looking for pure damage, Mangle will do it but, don't neglect Lacerate x3 + Thrash + Maul.

Lacerate and Thrash amplify the damage of Maul, which isn't too terrible of damage. 4.2 made Maul suck compared to its days of glory but, currently it's still good damage if you have both bleeds active.

#50 Reesi

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 04:08 PM

I've got a question regarding the add-tanking at Alysrazor. Since threat doesn't matter, what would be the best damage-rotation a bear could do ? and do you change items or reforge for this fight ? For example dodge -> crit or something like that ?

Leaving out Pulverize is a mistake when it comes to Bear DPS. The 9% crit is no joke. You Maul when rage allows (which on Alysra Hatchlings is all the time - and its damage isn't small), but otherwise, it's the same priority system we would always use. Priority, not rotation.

Expertise is far and away the best stat for Bear DPS(next to weapon dps). The Hatchlings are level 87, so you will only need 24 expertise if you choose to reforge for more DPS.

#51 Daler

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:20 PM

I personallly, would do my standard rotation Faerie Fire(feral), Mangle, Lacerate x3, mangle and Maul OR mangle and Thrash. Maul as the rage dump and extra damage.

Keep in mind, Mangle is your strongest direct damage ability. Lacerate (via Berserk talent) damage proc's resets the CD on mangle thus you can hit more often with mangle. So if you're looking for pure damage, Mangle will do it but, don't neglect Lacerate x3 + Thrash + Maul.

Lacerate and Thrash amplify the damage of Maul, which isn't too terrible of damage. 4.2 made Maul suck compared to its days of glory but, currently it's still good damage if you have both bleeds active.


Unless I'm misreading this, you're suggesting prioritizing a 3 stack of Lacerate too highly. Prioritizing Thrash below a 3 stack of lacerate is a poor idea for both TPS and DPS. You should be following the priority in the OP or the guide on TIB to maximize DPS. Lacerate's primary roll in our DPS priority list is as filler and for Berserk procs (and of course for Pulverize), it's not greater DPS than Thrash.

#52 Rhy

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 04:40 AM

Also, asking your resto druids to keep Thorns up is not a bad idea. The avg. hits for me were around 22k, with a little under 700k damage done on the kill attempt. Sure, not game breaking difference, but it's 'free' damage.

Worst case scenario, you can cast it on yourself before the Hatchling is up, but you might lose a decent amount of rage by switching out of bear.

#53 Xenoborg

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 09:07 PM

Edit: Ok that was a bit whiny, what I'm looking for is confirmation / other opinions on bear trinkets:

I'm not really sure which direction to go with trinkets in firelands. The passive mastery trinkets don't seem great for bears, and neither do uses that prevent/absorb for 20k damage. I played with for a bit, but 1 hit prevented from a dodge seems to far outweigh a 17k heal, especially during large damage phases.

I'm using for the stam/dodge at the moment, and would probably switch to either or both of ultimately, but its still a hard sell.

#54 Vaccine

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 02:47 PM

Trinkets are hard to quantify and they depend so much on the specific fight that the only advice I can give is to try them all. I cycled through about 6 last night before I felt I'd hit the right ones for the encounter we were learning.

For example, I picked up last night and was quite enjoying it for our first Beth'tilac heroic attempts. I wouldn't normally suggest it for most fights (maybe Alysrazor heroics for killing adds faster) but given the nature of P1 and Smouldering Devastation, the uptime is quite high for P1 (about 1/3rd of every top phase) and then the nature of P2 it climbs to 50% uptime on your tanking portions, really good value in my opinion. Whilst the Vial and Phial have more dodge, I felt having this every time I taunted onto me in P2 much more effective than that Vial I was using in my other slot.
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#55 Rahstah1123

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 03:27 AM

I have a question about Heroic Baleroc. This isn't specifically a druid question though. Basically our groups leaders are completely convinced that a warrior tank is far superior to a druid tank for this fight because of blocking mechanics. They claim due to the 'high attack speed' of the boss, that a block tank has a substantial advantage and will take much less damage than a bear tank. However, I've read around a bit and it seems that because of the way Vegence and Savage Defense scale in this fight, higher base magical mitigations, and a much higher chance to fully dodge decimation strikes (which cannot be blocked or mitigated even with SD), druids are atleast as good as any other class tank for the fight, if not better. Does anyone have any deffinative math, logic, or logs that could show blocking tanks being better than druids for this fight or even vice versa?

#56 Odas

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 05:46 AM

Warrior tank post hotfix: World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis
Druid tank pre hotfix: World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis

I truncated the druid tank parse so that the time should be the same. Note the bear was gemmed agi at the time and did not use the baradin hold trinket and consequently took more inferno blade damage but less melee and decimation blade damage. I have not looked into the parses too deeply but it appears that the damage is roughly the same. You can look at some of the other attempts if you want a larger sample size, just make sure not to include the post berserk swings on the tanks.

#57 Rahstah1123

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 06:54 AM

looks like druid damage is a bit more spikey from that post, but the total damage is so close it seems to show they are atleast competitive. Still looking for more input on this, esp the concept that blocking is better than dodging for this fight

#58 Latas

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:16 AM

looks like druid damage is a bit more spikey from that post, but the total damage is so close it seems to show they are atleast competitive. Still looking for more input on this, esp the concept that blocking is better than dodging for this fight


I thought decimation blade couldn't be mitigated but it could be dodged or parried.

#59 Rahstah1123

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 07:41 PM

I thought decimation blade couldn't be mitigated but it could be dodged or parried.


This is correct. The question is if the overall mitigation on other attacks outweighs the ability to dodge the decimation blades. Or if there is some other reasoning a block tank would be stronger. They've claimed "noone who has seen the fight would recommend a druid to tank the encounter". They believe it's due to the mobs having higher attack speeds, making dodge less effective. The group also believes this theory to be true on the hatchlings during heroic Baleroc. Although as I've said the questioning is if the scaling of the sd along with available mitigation cooldowns and completely dodging basic attacks and decimations is outweighed by a block tank's overall mitigation on attacks other than decimation. Also wondering how much effect the higher base magic resistances have.

#60 kalbear

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 08:23 PM

Higher attack speeds actually make dodge more effective, as it is more likely that it will be statistically accurate (IE, if you have 30% dodge the more attacks you take the more likely it is that you actually avoid 30% of damage).

Here's a point in druid's favor: they have the highest base mitigation against physical and magical damage of any other tank. In other words, they take the least damage in the worst case scenario.




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