Theckhd, maths guru, delivers Icecrown answers

My gratitude to Honors for tweeting this. Theckhd is a serious maths guru. He worked out the avoidance value of expertise. He has now looked at the -20% dodge aura and I’m basically going to adopt his findings as Fact, because (a) I can’t fault it, and (b) if it’s wrong, he’s humble enough to correct himself (he did this in the expertise analysis) pretty rapidly.

Theckhd’s post is on maintankadin (scroll down to near the bottom of the thread). I’ll copy here most of his key statements.

I won’t go on about what I said the other day and where I was right or wrong. Who cares. Here’s the current state. I have mixed in below Theckhd’s points with mine; he’s indented in colour.

You gain less damage reduction from avoidance at low levels than at high levels.

Going from 70% to 70.5% avoidance decreases melee damage taken by 1.66%.
Going from 50% to 50.5% avoidance decreases melee damage taken by 0.99%.

(If you’d like more maths on why avoidance at high levels is seksay, see Tankspot.)

The itemisation value of dodge hasn’t changed; you can ignore the -20% reduction if you’re trying to work out how much dodge an item gives you

Despite the fact that you’re now going from 50% to 50.5% instead of 70% to 70.5%, you’re still getting 0.5% avoidance for those itemization points. So the itemization->avoidance value is unchanged.

Since we’re all well above the 20% dodge threshold, the value of dodge relative to parry is unchanged.

The 0.5% avoidance you’ve gained is now much weaker at reducing incoming damage.
In that sense, the value of avoidance has dropped compared to pre-patch. From that point of view, it makes Stamina stacking a stronger strategy than avoidance stacking.

Spike damage: at low avoidance levels, increasing your avoidance has a larger effect on reducing spike damage than at high levels.

You reduce the chance to take 2 hits in a row¬†more by going from 50-51 than you do by going from 70-71. This is also the reason expertise is relatively strong contender (on appropriate bosses) as far as reducing spike events when one has high avoidance. If your avoidance is low, you’re usually considerably better off stacking more avoidance than stacking expertise.

Note that you’ll still take fewer overall spike events with more avoidance, but each extra point of avoidance you add gives you less return at that level.

So Icecrown is a 40% nerf to total damage reduction, but a 200% buff to reducing spike damage events. Most of us are more than willing to make that tradeoff, since the consensus seems to be that spike damage is the most dangerous thing in current content, and the most likely thing to kill us.

Stamina vs avoidance

The amount of dodge you get per rating is certainly going to be far weaker now than it was when we were at 40% avoidance without IR, which artificially inflates the value of Stamina in a strict “per itemization allocation” analysis. But there’s certainly an argument to be made that avoidance is a decent survivability stat, especially if you want to consider spike damage.

So do I stack stamina or avoidance?

The reason few people “like” avoidance now is that many of the spike damage sources in ToC are unavoidable. If Icecrown uses a lot of similar unavoidable spike sources, then avoidance will still be viewed as a weaker stat. If most of the spike comes from (unavoidable ability)+2-3 boss melees, then avoidance is still a pretty strong contender. Better yet, if the boss has an avoidable special ability that’s used fairly frequently (like a 5k strike that gives you a stacking damage increase debuff, cast every 10 seconds), you might see people shift back towards avoidance gemming.

Thanks to Theckhd

Why not show your appreciation by sending him a PM on maintankadin. Here’s his thread again.

My view

remains that we should stack stamina unless:

(a) healers go OOM, which is unlikely with current encounter design and is more often caused by low DPS

or healers simply cannot generate enough heals/second to keep the tank up.

(b) the encounters are materially different so that avoidance becomes more valuable [meaning, the encounter mechanics are different to Coliseum].

(c) you start dying from a series of unavoided hits, aka spike damage.

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3 comments to Theckhd, maths guru, delivers Icecrown answers

  • Veneretio
    Twitter: veneretio

    I don’t agree with your (a) view on reasons to go the route of Avoidance instead of Stamina. If healers are going OOM, it has more to do with lack of DPS and really nothing to do with whether you gear for Avoidance or Effective Health. The reason is that healers can’t risk canceling heals or reactive healing really at all on a tank. As a result, you do basically the exact same amount of healing on an Avoidance tank as on an Effective Health tank.
    That said, I do fully agree with points (b) and (c). Especially (c).

  • Gravity
    Twitter: gravitydk

    I will reword (a), you’re right, it was mixing two issues: OOM and HP/s. The HP/s issue does also occur if their gear isn’t powerful enough relative to the incoming damage though, and I agree on reflection with current content mechanics OOM is most likely due to low DPS. I hope healers however get a more strategic healing style, so they don’t have to all just spam heals (ie. going to GC’s point the other day).

    Update: re-worded it.

  • The thing that I disagree with is the relative danger of spike damage. It’s entirely dependent upon the design of the encounter. Spike damage events are so dangerous in the current raiding climate because they combine unavoidable burst damage (ie. Impale, Fusion Punch, Collapsing Star), with proportionately high melee damage. If they tone down the melee damage of the boss encounters in ICC, then it’s a net buff, but that’s because the damage output is being nerfed. If you were to just hack 20% dodge off the tanks and throw them in against Heroic Gormak, the tanks would take even more damage, and the damage would be less spikey, but the peak damage would remain the same. In the end, it’s not simply the spiky nature of the damage that’s dangerous. What’s dangerous is the peak damage, the unfortunate confluence of events that causes multiple blows to land within a window so small that it’s unreasonable to expect any heal to land in that timeframe. The Impale+DoT+Melee instagibs that all tanks have seen on Gormak are going to persist, unless the encounters in icecrown are planned with preventing those sort of things from happening.

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