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DW Tanking Builds 3.3 - updated 12/01/10


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#41 Zerath

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 06:06 AM

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.

#42 Torn

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:15 AM

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.

#43 Asari

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:32 AM

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...

#44 Oathof Chaos

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:33 AM

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

#45 Asari

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:36 AM

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.

#46 Oathof Chaos

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:42 AM

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?

#47 Torn

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 08:02 AM

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

#48 Teme

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 08:32 AM

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?

#49 Harion

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 09:58 AM

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 , 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

#50 Aldriana

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 01:25 AM

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.

#51 Omnomnom

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 04:41 AM

So: it's true that some effects - Rune Strike, for instance - are significantly less good for DW than they are for 2H.


Depends on your meaning. If you mean 'less good than the 2h' then yes, if you mean 'less good for DW builds than they are for 2h builds' then no. Its certainly not been proven that RS are not a must-use on DW tank builds. Certainly a deep frost DW tank has more than enough RP to use one nearly every time its up, other priorities like HB aside.

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*.


However so far I have yet to see any numbers that prove BCB is a better tanking talent to have than it is DPS. Unless you are going deep enough in unholy that you want to pick it up on the way, but in itself, its not a must-have tanking talent. On the contrary, I fully expect DW to end up the better tanking specs just because they will be fiddled about with less. Blizzards design philosophy both in the past, present, and upcoming in the future, has shown that the class/specs that are played with least, perform better in the raiding environment over a longer period of time. Oh other specs in the revolving nerf wheel may temporarily be better at some functions, but thats the thing about wheels, at some point you get back to the bottom.

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.


Tanking in mail? Although trying to find mail with str, agi & no int on it will be night on impossible ;)

#52 Aldriana

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 05:41 AM

Well, let me clarify. Rune Strike costs the same amount of runic power whether you use a 1H or a 2H; but it does significantly less damage with a 1H weapon. Hence, whether it's worth using or not, it's decidedly less efficient and converting runic power to damage, meaning that if you have a fixed amount of runic power, it's going to result in less damage and threat with a 1H weapon than with a 2H weapon. So Rune Strike is *less* good for a DW spec. That doesn't mean it isn't still good, of course - but you do lose some damage due to doing it one handed versus 2 handed.

Regarding BCB - it may be, or it may not. It's certainly too early to say for sure. It's certainly much (much!) stronger for DW than it is for 2H, which, again, doesn't mean it's going to be worth using, but it certainly warrants consideration. Again: I'm not saying DW tanking is or isn't going to work, or that any particular talent is or isn't necessary; I'm just pointing out the factors that work in it's favor - then we have to do the theorycraft to figure out what actually works best.

I suspect tanking in mail is a very bad idea; I suspect where Agi is going to come in is less the plate pieces and more the rings/amulets/cloaks/etc. If you can make Def cap without using standard tanking pieces in all slots, using some pieces that would normally be characterized as hunter/shaman/rogue/whatever rings/amulets/etc. might prove to be valid way of continuing to boost avoidance while also getting good threat.

#53 Teme

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 11:35 AM

Like I mentioned earlier, if you are DW tanking you should have more than enough DEF providing you have atleast Seal of the Pantheon which allows you to have atleast 1 or 2 slots free for DPS gear (rings usually). I agree AGI is a good stat for DK tanks as it gives crit and dodge.

If your build includes KM then its essential to have some crit in your gear otherwise those 5pts are wasted. If you are going for a frost build then going into BCB will waste too many filler points to reach it not to mention for a very marginal threat increase and increased chance of getting parried.

I recommend this Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft if you decide to put points into KM, I have been using it for awhile now and I have no AOE threat issues as the increased crit from dark conviction really helps with KM procs. After the first DnD rotation you just use it like the 44/27 build but you just prioritize RS for RP dumps.

#54 Aldriana

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 11:44 AM

Dare I ask why Morbidity and Epidemic rather than Tundra Stalker? I wouldn't imagine that you'd use D+D and Death Coil enough to justify taking those over 10% Frost Damage and 5 Expertise. D+D will be helpful for pickups, but I rather imagine once you get into a sustained AoE tanking duration you'd be using IT/Pest/HB/HB rotations rather than D+D.

#55 Omnomnom

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 12:00 PM

Not to mention Epidemic is a wasted talent in any deep frost build, because you will be refreshing IT/FF way before it runs out. The extended time is intended for it to increase its damage/effect in non-frost based builds. And to go that deep in frost for tanking and not take rime...well...its a bit odd.

#56 Aldriana

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 12:11 PM

Well, the challenge of Rime is that it breaks the DW cycle. Which is not to say that it isn't ultimately worth taking anyway; however, consider the problem. A usual deep-frost cycle runs IT/Ob/Ob/BS/(HB) - the Rime cycle for Dual Wield would be IT/(HB)/HB/HB/BS. That is, the RIme proc, while it costs no runes, delays the triggering of all runes by 1 GCD. Now, the grace period on rune activation would cover this... but then you don't have the grace period to absorb the Death/Blood rune switching. So it may well turn out that Rime is a good thing, but there are definitely issues with it.

Also note that you're not using Obliterate, and IT is a relatively small portion of your damage, so those parts of the buff don't do a lot for you either. So Rime is of much more questionable utility than for a traditional frost build.

#57 Omnomnom

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 12:44 PM

Well thats a personal gameplay issue I wager. With rime it makes more sense to work off a priority system than a rigid rotation.

Although you are spot on with the GCD there. I expect that will have some tweaks coming its way in the future. And IT is really not that insignificant down there in frost ;) Although it remains to be seen how well it transfers to tanking. The recent DPS parse's in the DWing thread suggest for practical purposes its rather a large amount for deep frosties.

#58 Aldriana

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 12:54 PM

Well, the parses I've seen have it as high as 15%, but a 15% boost to 15% of your damage is... not really that much damage. Particularly since, with Icy Touch preceding Howling Blast in the cycle, it's the move that will most often be benefiting from Killing Machine procs, and, as such, it will have a quite high crit rate even without Rime. Overall, we're looking at a 2% damage increase, maybe less. And a 2% damage increase for 3 talent points isn't *nothing*, but it's certainly less essential than it is for 2H Frost builds, particularly with the Rune/GCD issues.

Edit: Actually, it occurs to me that there's a simple solution to GCD issue; simply do the cycle as HB/HB/IT/BS/HB)->FS. This is of course vastly inferior the first cycle of the fight, an issue that may need to be addressed; but thereafter, you still have Frost Fever up from the preceding cycle so the Howling Blasts do full damage; the Killing Machine procs go more often to a Howling Blast, which is a higher damage move; and you can safely use the Rime procs without lengthening your cycle. The only real problems are 1) if you're not hit capped, you can run into problems with the Icy Touch being resisted, leaving you with 2 blood runes and no Frost Fever up, and 2) The aforementioned issue of ramping up. But in terms of a sustained threat rotation - at least for a hit-capped DK - it seems very likely to be superior.

#59 Eonan

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 05:57 PM

My experience so far with 10/31/30 have been mixed to say the least. Just like with any KM build I am finding that luck has more to do with threat generation (crits) than I would like it to.

I have seen the TPS stay at over 4-4.5k while KM procs are sustained (or within a few seconds of each other). On the flip side I have seen my TPS sink to 2-2.5k when I am starved for the KM procs. My primary (and usually only) rune dump so far is Rune Strike (have it macro'd to my IT key). I am going to try this out with 25 man raid buffs (previously been testing in 10 mans) and see how well it works out.

#60 Teme

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 08:35 PM

I have tried the spec I linked without morbidity and at 15s more on CD it really slows down trash pulls, I put points in epidemic to allow some flexibility between pestilence refreshes.

I have 23 expertise from my gear so instead of tundra stalker I put points into dark conviction as it increases KM proc rate by an substantial amount which to me is worth more than 10% frost damage.

As for rime, HB is still on 6s CD so its not so useful until the CD is removed.




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