Wednesday, October 15, 2008

[Druid] A trinket you've probably forgotten about

With 3.0.2, we're all back to pre-Kara days of armor while having really huge amounts of stam, strength and random stats that don't mean as much as they used to. Sniff, sniff...I'll miss you most of all, agility.

First off, all PvP gear in 3.0.2 retained its bonus armor. This means that the brutal dragonhide set is by far the best gear for tanking (save for the broken harness of Carnal Instinct, which presumably just missed being nerfed). Vengeful is pretty good too, especially certain pieces. You'll trade some agi and some strength, but if you can replace the gloves and the helm or chest with vengeful/brutal pieces, you should be a bit better off for mitigation.

But who cares about that? Let's go for the big leagues. Let's go for...

Living Root of the Wildheart.

This little gem drops from Hydross. Most everyone ignores the thing; after all, proc rate trinkets are unreliable at best, and this looked like another one of those examples where somehow, Blizzard expected a druid to be tanking, doing cat stuff, blowing crap up and then healing all on the same go. Those usually suck, right? I mean, look at the asstacular Ashtongue Talisman. I think I went and looked up what this did a long time ago and then ignored it from then on. I mean, the bear version isn't special when you're armor capped and the cat version only gives 64 stre...

Wait a sec.

We're no longer armor capped. We're not even close to armor capped any more.

And this proc gives 4070 armor.

I haven't tested this live yet. What the comments say is that the proc rate appears to be about 3% per swing, lasting 15 seconds, and that with a normal bear attack rate you can expect about 50% uptime. 2000 armor, amortized over time, is a really large win; this gives more armor than badge of tenacity does on average.

It'll be hard to give up something like the Commendation, but right now this is strictly better than Moroes (as it's up more often) and is probably better than badge. It'll help a lot with dealing with post armor-nerf blues. Check it out if you haven't.


Anonymous said...

Did you tank in live 3.0.2 yet? Im sure you have which is why I dont get your post. I tanked faster & better than ever last night, with 15k less armor, and a 0/56/5 spec. Oh yes, boss health was nerfed by 30%, but it felt more like 70%. AOE tanking kicks ass. Raid bosses were dropping LIKE FLIES.
Things have changed; let go of the high armor past.

If you declare that the best tanking gear comes from arena, then that's a misleading statment to make, and goes against Blizzard'd design changes. Yes, it may be the "best" in one respect, but if you're 25x overgeared for current content with arena gear, and only 20x overgeared with non-arena gear, does it matter?

I plan to PVE the way blizzard intends it, and I hope your post doesnt provoke people to feel they need to pvp in order to pve.

Having said all that, thanks for the tip! I did keep that trinket, it was gathering dust in the bank, so I 'll take it for a spin. But tbh the fights are a joke. I fully expect we'll be clearing t6 for the first time with ease, and a couple of bosses in sunwell.

Kalon said...

Hey, anon - thanks for stopping by.

I actually haven't tanked in 3.0.2 yet. We spent most of the night either DCing or fixing addons. Yay, for those fun times. I did go and try out mongoose on supplicant groups, and yes, it is damn fun to kill 30 supplicants and the elite that goes with them. I so missed AoE tanking on the paladin.

The best tanking gear does come from arena. It's not misleading, it's simply a statement of fact. Do you need it? I have no idea, to be honest. I doubt it seriously. Brutallus, possibly, but I don't know how hard he hits yet. Same goes for M'uru adds. Other than that I doubt there's a single boss that hits hard enough physically for it to seriously be a make-or-break thing. Yes, it goes against blizzard's design changes (in theory; in practice PvP gear is better at every ilvl for bears compared to similar pve gear from now until sunwell) and yes, it's an oversight on their part, but at the same time if you are wanting to eek out that last bit of awesomeness, go for arena gear. And if you have a couple pieces in the bank, use 'em.

On that note - blizzard's 'design changes' tend to always leave druids in an odd place. In TBC that meant stacking agility for both cats and bears even though Blizzard intended us to use strength. It meant ignoring the Pillar of Lol because it simply had no avoidance. It meant that PvP gear was often desired to reach uncrittability because it was so much easier to use vs. defense and the PvP gear was actually better itemized for bears. Druids have a long history of adapting in ways that Blizzard designers didn't expect them to.

What I didn't say was that everyone must run screaming for arena gear and that they'll be unable to tank without it. I don't think most people will absolutely need it. But if you've got a few pieces of gear? Oh yeah, they're pretty good to have.

I'll not let go of the high armor past, because armor is still the single best stat to stack for a feral and will be so throughout WotLK (until we hit that armor cap again) Since the armor nerf this has become more true, not less. Hence why Living Root of the Wildheart is so good by comparison. I suspect that Living Root will remain one of the better trinkets until 80ish, when you can get the first blue armor trinket. And that brutal arena gear may remain best in slot until Naxx. So it's not like it's useless now; it helps out on the leveling, grinding and instancing in WotLK as well.

Anonymous said...

In regards to Anonymous' comment, I can't help but agree with Kalon. I've got 7/8 T6, and I still tend to tank in various pieces of S3/S4 arena gear. No one is "provoking" people to go and PVP to PVE, but for the folks who are interested in pushing their gear and play to the max, they're going to do whatever it takes to eke out extra itemization benefits.

That being said, people are clearing Sunwell with ease in about an hour or so. Sort of gives the proverbial finger to the guilds who've been killing themselves on M'uru pre-patch, but I suppose that's how it goes. I think we'll probably see how much content we can ten man tonight.

And. I may try out Balance. There are a stupid amount of great talents available in that tree, and I've still got a few T6 tokens uncashed.

Additionally, any idea of what raid/unit frames mods are working right now? I'm getting mixed reports, and X-Perl destroyed my UI.

runycat said...

Okay, for some reason I got logged out. I just posted that last comment.

Kalon said...

Hey, Runy :)

On addon hell, ugh. I did get a version of xperl that seems to work just fine - though it took a couple attempts. Even didn't have to kill the wtf stuff. Same went for bartender. CT_Viewport worked without updating. Omen works fine now. Itemrack got updated recently and looks great, though I had heard bad things about Outfitter. When I get a computer that can do so I'll put up some links.

The one I haven't been able to replace is decursive. Also, quartz appears totally fubar. And as usual auctioneer is messed up.

runycat said...

Interesting about X-Perl; I picked up one version of it yesterday, but maybe it's already dated. Bartender4 is great. Looks like I'm having issues with:

Outfitter (yeahhhhh, going to check out ItemRack)
Quartz (sadpanda)
Cartographer (and various plugins)

and the like. I'm going to have to do some straight up process of elimination when I get home.

Anonymous said...

Understood thx for the response Kalon. Yes, I just got the impresson you had missed how ridiculously easy the game is, so theorycrafting from former ways of doing things, while fun, doesnt mean anything in the world of warcraft we'll be playing tonight. If you're 7/8 t6 and you needed to farm some linen in westfall, you wouldnt use a flask and a food buff, would you, even if you wanted to "push yourself to the max"? That's kinda how the 2 raids I did felt last night - just plain silly - and that was my basic point.

runycat said...

All right. As for all those add ons I listed (including Quartz!), they've all been upgraded as of last night and now function in a mostly correct fashion. I'm just going to keep updating them every day.

Another interesting observation: last night, when the instance servers on Doomhammer finally started working, we blew through Heroic SH with four people in less than 20 minutes (with me rockin' the Bacon on my Paladin). We did the same thing again with me on Runy and a friend on his Pally tank (with Heroic/Kara/some Badge gear), and let me tell you, his multiple mob TPS seemed a lot better than mine, at least, if you're comparing Swipe v. Consecration.

I had heard that Swipe was scaling pretty poorly, but I'm not sure if that's still the case. Have you seen any evidence of this? Additionally, I was taking a metric fuckton of damage (although admittedly, I had like 7+ mobs on me at times). I'm interested in seeing how this plays out in a raid environment (we're considering seeing how much T5 content we can 10 man).

Time to go check out EJ.

doug said...

Any more word on the value of the Root trinket? Based on this post I took the trinket and by-passed two other nice upgrades from Hydross - ring of lethality and shoulderpads of the stranger. Rawr doesn't seem to factor it in it's calculations yet.

Kalon said...

Hey, Doug -

I've not been able to do hugely formal testing on it, but so far all my wws and runs have shown about the same 3% proc chance per hit that other tests have. That results in about a 38% uptime on average, which gives this a value slightly below badge of tenacity but still higher than any other trinket, according to Rawr. It will provide on average 1550 armor for a fight. I had to manually add this to Rawr to get it to work - if you put in that it has an armor value of 299, you'll get the 'correct' results for it.

It's a bit problematic in that you can't control it. But if you need it, it's quite good. Another advantage is that the proc for cats is very strong now (+65 strength), which makes this one of the better trinkets to wear when you know you're going to have to do both cat and bear in the same fight.

doug said...

Thanks Kalon. RAWR has the strength at 32. If I adjust that to 65 it comes out much better, in the top five. Is that correct? Or did RAWR's setting take into account the proc rate and average the +65 number out to 32?

Kalon said...

Hey Doug -

Yep, the proc rate is averaged in to the value to give the 32 strength. Remember that that's only for cat, not for bear - for bear, you should put in 299 armor as the average value. (it's probably a bit more than that, but that's close)