Thursday, November 20, 2008

[Druid] Now that's an armor nerf

The bear armor change has been announced. Here's the relevant text:

This is an update to my previous post on Feral armor changes.

ARMOR
As previously announced, we are changing the way bear armor works so that bonus armor on items does not receive the bear armor multiplier. Specifically this means that weapons, trinkets, rings, necks and cloaks with bonus armor will not be multiplied by the bear bonus. Only cloth and leather will benefit from the Bear and Dire Bear multiplier.
We are compensating Ferals for this armor loss by improving the Survival of the Fittest talent. In addition to its current effects (stats and crit prevention), it will now also increase armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 22/33/66%. That should be very close to your current armor bonus. This makes Survival of the Fittest rather over-budget by talent standards, but we figured it was one talent we can be pretty certain most tank-oriented druids will have (and to be honest nearly all Ferals).


These changes will be in place in the next patch. This patch will ship sometime before the 3.1 major content patch featuring the Ulduar raid.


With respect to the esteemed bloggers Karthis and BBB, the recent announced change to armor and how it works is a huge nerf.

It is bad.

It is not good.

I did the math before this and showed that, but this time other folks jumped in and did the math for me. On the main forums, we have this nice bit of math:
pre nerf
armor from leather: 3326
other armor: 3980
total armor: 7306
bear armor: 37772
mitigation %: 69.42


after this nerf takes effect we will see the following, with no gear being changed out.

armor from leather: 3326
bear armor: 28544
other armor: 3266
total armor: 31810
mitigation %: 58.46

That can't be right, can it? Yes, yes it can:
Surprise, surprise Blizzard botched it

Tier Set (10 man) : 2294 + 952 (item level 200 bracers, belt, waiste) = 3246
Tier Set (25 man) : 2350 + 978 (item level 213 bracers, belt, waiste) = 3326

Stuff getting lost :
Cloak of the Shadowed Sun http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40252 490
Defender's Code http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40257 850
Offering of Sacrifice http://www.wowhead.com/?item=37638 550
Amulet of Autopsy http://www.wowhead.com/?item=39246 350
Keystone Great-Ring http://www.wowhead.com/?item=37784 490
Gatekeeper http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40370 448
Origin of Nightmares http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40280 714

Total: 3892

Old multiplier : 5.17 = 37.3K

New Multiplier 8.58 tier + 1.1 other = 28.5K + 4.3K = 32.8K

Enjoy the nerf and broken scaling mechanics. The correct number for it not to be a nerf was .91 if anyone cares.

I mentioned what the 'right' number was going to have to be in order to make this not a nerf, and how hard it would be to balance early tanking if that number was used. However, if it was NOT used, bears suddenly have a huge gulf of mitigation relative to other tanks. And that's what we're seeing now.

Essentially what we're seeing is that druids lost the ability to wear two armor trinkets at all. Or if you like, they took out the usefulness of Defender's Code. Here's the thing though - druids were balanced around trinkets like that. This change was supposedly specifically made so that druids wouldn't have to go to extreme efforts to get something like it or Offering of Sacrifice, but with this change it is essentially like not having armor trinkets at all.

Which leads to druids at the higher end of the scale having significantly less mitigation than every other tanking class. Yes, DKs will actually have more mitigation.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, the way to fix this was to do exactly what they did in some form and give some other scaling mechanism back. When they removed bonus armor from leather before, we got Protector of the Pack. With this...there's nothing. I argued before that some kind of nerf was necessary so that druids didn't hit the armor cap too early, and I still believe it - but they also needed to change something in druid mechanics to compensate.

We didn't get that change.

So...basically we're looking at being the tank with about the same mitigation as a warrior from armor, less avoidance, less ohshit buttons, and no block mechanic to increase mitigation.

Charming.

32 comments:

Felkan said...

Where did you take into account the SotF armor boost? Is it applied before or after the bear multiplier?

Felkan said...

And does TH get applied before or after the SotF boost?

Felkan said...

And while the blue post doesn't state this, are they going back to a 400% bear modifier? Or keeping it 370%?

Kalon said...

Hey, Felkan - lots of posts. :)

The SotF multiplier can be taken into account anywhere; that's how multipliers work. It doesn't matter if you do 4.7*1.1*1.66 or 1.66*4.7*1.1. It ends up being a total of an 758% armor gain from leather armors.

Same goes for thick hide; it's all multiplicative.

Dunno whether they'll be going back to the 400% armor multiplier. I don't think they are; that was primarily a pvp nerf as well as having the advantage of nerfing bears.

Mitch said...

I honestly think they still don't understand how much us druids love armor. Out of the rings/cloaks/trinkets/weapons I have used, only one spot didn't have boatloads of extra armor on it: the one trinket slot I used for stam or the pocket watch (depending on the fight). I think they undervalued how much importance we would place on these items and the multiplier is lower because of it.

Kalon said...

Hey, Mitch - thanks for coming by.

And I 100% agree. Throughout the Beta GC continued to say how druids kept overvaluing armor; it took basically everyone from EJ, Toskk, and Astrylian to convince him how good armor was.

And even then we got notes like "I think you'll find armor isn't as important as it used to be".

I'm not actually in love with armor. We hook up now and then, and it's great, but I don't love it. If we got something to replace all that lost armor, like parry or (even better) an offensive stat to defensive stat conversion, I'd like that more. Instead...well, armor just got VD.

Karthis said...

Hey Kalon,

A couple of considerations after reading the latest that thread has to offer:

1. I'm not sure that the guy you quote has the cloak armor quite right. From what I'm reading the base armor from cloaks will get the full dire bear multiplier, and then the extra armor will get only the 1.1 multiplier.

2. The armor set used in those calculations is an ideal gear set assuming the very best +armor trinkets/rings/cloaks/weapons drops. For players in lesser (more realistic?) gear the disparity is not nearly as bad, and in fact can even come out as a mild buff. (see posts 88 and 111 in the thread, for example).

3. None of the discussions thus far have looked at what a druid could gain by picking other options instead of the high-armor options - only what is lost if we desperately cling to those high armor pieces. This feels wrong-headed, but I don't have the time right now to explore that.

Kalon said...

Hey, Karthis -

Nah, cloak armor is correct, or assumed to be correct. The 'cloth/leather' part refers to the non-leather gear per normal. Cloaks aren't going to be multiplied; GC has stated this several times.

Now, if you want to say that base cloak armor will be multiplied we can figure out the math that way - we're looking at 150 armor base for the lvl 213 cloaks, so after a 8.58 multiplier we'll get 1137 more armor than was listed. Still well short of the 5-6k.

And yeah, the armor disparity is not nearly as bad going into Naxx. If you don't have defender's code, it's about equal. If you don't have it or offering of sacrifice, it's actually a buff. The problem with this is that it shows bears are scaling worse as they get more gear, relative to other tanks. Bears in full Naxx-25 gear were already shown to have slightly better mitigation and worse avoidance than blocking tanks. With this change they'll be far worse in mitigation after Naxx.

Now, Naxx is trivially easy to tank. So 'who is the best tank for Naxx' really doesn't matter. But Ulduar and beyond? It matters quite a bit. So I'm not as concerned about where bears are as they've just dinged 80; I'm concerned post-Naxx, when blizzard will assume everyone is in full Naxx gear and will have tuned accordingly.

In terms of gains, we aren't gaining a lot. Armor was incredibly cheap, itemization wise, and the slots with armor tended to have more stats that druids wanted anyway. The big exception is something like Darkmoon Card:Greatness - getting 90 agility base and 190 agility amortized is pretty decent.

But 4% dodge doesn't make up for 10% physical damage reduction.

Anonymous said...

I dont believe you. Grats on being able to multiply & add up, but I dont believe you one jot. Blizzard are not that stupid, and this purile "them against us" mentatlity is just the sort of nonsense that the forums are full of. Dont be spreading unsubstantiated rumors...

Oh too late, you already did. Well, you are not an authority and Blizzard are far smarter than that. This is an announcment, not a live implementation. Why would Blizzard break their own game... Think before you post fear mongering. Blizzard are always many steps ahead of theorycrafters, and if bear mitigation is way below the other classes, then they will fix it. Something as obvious as this wont even go live.


nor will you ever be. This change is not even live.

Kalon said...

Hey, Anon -

That is of course your prerogative. While blizzard is a very smart company in general, they have been known to make mistakes from time to time. TBC could easily be known as 'trying to keep the bear down' as blizzard tried again and again to introduce mechanics to make feral druids not the best choice for every situation; the only way they succeeded was by putting in arbitrary mechanics that required a warrior or paladin to tank an encounter.

And that was all because they did not understand how well bears scaled with agility and armor and assumed ferals would want to have a lot of strength. Oops.

I don't think this rumor is particularly unsubstantiated, either. If Blizzard changes their mind and decides to not implement this change the way they stated it, that's one thing - but then you're betting on them saying something to the public and not actually doing it. At least I'm taking blizzard's representatives at face value. You're believing they are lying to you.

This really made me laugh though:
Blizzard are always many steps ahead of theorycrafters

Ha. Hahaha. Ret paladins in particular would get a kick out of that one.

Anonymous said...

Kalon,

I completely agree with you that this is a nerf. What's sad about it is Ghostcrawler specifically stated in the original "Feral Changes" post that this will NOT be a nerf. I'd like to give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt and say that there will be another change before implementation, but I'm not holding my breath.

P.S. Keep up the good work, man. Recently found your blog and it's an excellent resource. I especially like the pre-naxx tank gear list.

Figgster said...

When I first saw this change, I hoped it might actually free up some gear choices for pre-Naxx and Naxx level content. For characters with gear level 200 or below (note that this means no Defender's Code), it's definitely a buff as far as armor is concerned. However, it does very little to give us more itemization choices.

I sat down and made a spreadsheet of all of my former gear chioces at iLvL 200 before and after the change. There's actually very little difference in my theoretical armor value (a change of +300).

But when I started going through gear lists on wowhead, there's only 2 pieces of gear I would change.

Changes to ideal iLvL 200 gear
Previous - Cloak of Armed Strife
New - Durable Nerubhide Cape

Previous - Badge of Tenacity
New - Darkmoon Card:Greatness

I would still be using the Amulet of Autopsy, Keystone Great-Ring, Nerubian Shield Ring, and Offering of Sacrifice.

Once a character gets above iLvL 200, the avaliable accessory pieces become a nerf (Defender's Code and Gatekeeper are the big ones). I can see an obvious reason for us to want to move away from those being so damn good, but my concern arises when looking at how we will match up to other tanks. While it's true that any of the four classes could tank naxx, and that isn't a problem in smaller guilds, when you move past those two pre-conditions then everyone starts looking at tank comparisons. That has never boded well for druids...

Upon further inspection of the gear lists, I now realize why every other accessory item doesn't look as pretty as armor. All of the other accessory items that have agi or dodge on them are also loaded down with dps stats. There aren't any real non-armored tanking accessories that don't have str on them.

Karthis said...

@Kalon:

1. I think the cloak thing in the post you quoted is still up for grabs. I was not trying to claim that it would make up the difference all by itself - only that the math as you posted was probably not complete. (Still need to see if GC clarifies)

2. I take a bit of issue with the fact that you speak of post-Naxx raiding as if it were something that was understood and known. It is anything but - it's completely undefined at this point.

I would assert that if the current armor, even with nerfs, is sufficient to get through Naxx, that is good enough. (Maybe not optimal, or desirable - but good enough.) Keep in mind that post-Naxx gear will probably have some way to make up the difference. Hell - maybe this change is necessary to keep us well away from the armor cap post-Naxx. (Speculation, of course.)

3. I will not mourn the passing of min-max stacking of +armor from the druid play book. Not one bit. So long as we're still viable tanks through the end game, that's all that matters to me. And I honestly remain unconvinced that this change (if it survives the PTR) will render us obsolete.

4. GC just posted in the WoW thread we both linked. He's #317. He reiterates the reason they're making the change (better itemization) and says that he'll get back to the community after "running the numbers". The thread will definitely be worth monitoring.

5. I concede that there may be no easy replacements (at the moment). As I said - I hadn't had time to dig into the loot lists and play with weightings on Loot Rank. Perhaps one of the solutions here is to make some decent alternatives to the high armor tanking items.

Kalon said...

Karthis -

I do think that the cloak situation should be cleared up, and it's not set in stone - but it's very likely that bears won't multiply it. It's easier from a coding standpoint to simply multiply all armor in a specific slot than a 'type' of armor. As an example, think about how many rings have armor on them, and how many rings have 'additional' armor.

I absolutely agree that you can't speak to what Ulduar will be like or what it will require. At the same time though, we can surmise what level of gear it will require. While some of T5 didn't require much in the way of farming T4, T4 and T5 got released simultaneously. By comparison T6 very much required some gearing up in T5 to be able to compete; Naj was a gear check and Hyjal required a ton of farming just to walk in. Sunwell was the same way. I think it's reasonable to expect that blizzard will balance based on the notion that people going into Ulduar have most of their T7 dealt with.

So while we don't know what the encounters will be like, we can surmise what the gear requirements will be early on.

We can also talk about relative values to other tanks as well. With this change, using Naxx-25 level gear, druids will have less mitigation than warriors at the same gear level. They'll have less avoidance than warriors at the same gear level. They may put out better damage, but that's contestable. Now, if post-Naxx has a way via gear to make up this difference, we'll be looking at the same situation we saw in TBC - ferals must get that gear, and that goes against the notion that they want to give ferals choices.

So that leaves, basically, a mechanic change.

Like I said, T7 is easy enough that there's no need to take the 'best' tank to the situation. But when you're having to deal with harder content that you don't outgear, this will factor in.

It's good to see GC looking at the numbers again; the value of making posts like this and on the boards is that GC has been good about listening to reasonable information.

And thanks again for replying :)

Keith said...

From my (Caelean's) post over on BBB:

OK, more definitive answer, using Rawr, and manually fudging the armor values, so there could be an error:

With the Tier 7 set, and these items (which may not be optimal for post-nerf)...

Pre-nerf: Offering of Sacrifice, Defender’s Code, Gatekeeper, Keystone Great-Ring, Cloak of the Shadowed Sun, Amulet of Autopsy

Post nerf: Valor Medal of the First War, Repelling Charge, Hemorrhaging Circle, Keystone Great-Ring, Cloak of the Shadowed Sun, and Heritage

We end up with 14.40% damage taken pre-nerf, and 15.94% damage taken post-nerf, for about a 10.6% increase in damage received. And about two thirds of the difference is due to the armor on the staff (staff of the plague beast), vs. The Undeath Carrier, which I hadn't been addressing in my first analysis. If they convert armor on the staff to defense or dodge, that may address a significant portion of the discrepancy.

Armor goes from 41651 to 32926.
Dodge goes from 35.28% to 37.89%
Miss goes from 7.38% to 8.14%

Note that DPS and threat went up by almost 100 / second and 200 / second respectively, (~7%) so all is not lost, but that's not quite our primary concern as MT. (Although it might be possible to find another more tank-y item to swap in at the cost of some of the threat.)

Looks like we're almost precisely 1000 armor off, or 320 points of +dodge (defense, agility, etc.) to equalize it.

Kalon said...

Hey Keith - thanks for coming by. Very interesting and good analysis, too. I think that Darkmoon Card:Greatness will win out over the two avoidance trinkets in general, and many will want to have a stamina trinket for no real good reason. I'll check this out later too; one thing I think you might've missed is using raid buffs too. Still, your analysis is going to definitely be in the ballpark of what's correct if it isn't perfect.

Like I said elsewhere, while this is a nerf it's not clear whether it's a catastrophic nerf. What I'm more worried about is scaling after this effect.

Keith said...

Thanks. I just picked some random items that seemed reasonable and dropped in Naxx; I haven't done enough research yet to have a solid feel of what would be optimal, especially "post nerf". But they probably aren't unreasonable choices.

And just for the record, I was assuming that the armor on the cloak was not multiplied by the bear bonus at all. And yes, raid buffs were turned off.

And to clarify 4566 additional armor in bear form to equalize the results. That's 602 points that get the full multiplier (758%) or 1000 points that get the bear multiplier. Cloaks would account for about 1/4 of that. Swapping the armor on the staff/mace might account for another piece.

As far as scaling, though, I'm not sure it makes THAT much difference. Assuming that various bonus armor items scale at roughly the same rate as regular leather armor, it shouldn't change our crummy scaling much. (And keeps us further from the armor cap, where armor does stop scaling.)

Anyway, let's see what GC says.

Flyv said...

At least they overloaded the Survival of the Fittest talent. I was afraid it would be attached to Protector of the Pack or Thick Hide, two talents which I'm hoping to skate by without having for an offtank/cat dps build. But I can't imagine any feral not taking Survival of the Fittest.

Olvar said...

First of all, it really sucks that as a European player I don't seem to be allowed to take part in such discussions on the official forum. Otherwise I would have had some comments on the earlier Swipe issue as well...

Someone on the forum did some math that if you get roughly 50% of you bear armour from Leather items the change will actually buff your armour. If it's more on the trinket/ring/amulet/weapon side, then it's a nerf.
I'm pretty sure that it's a nerf at Naxx equip level, as I lot of posters have shown (although in some cases their math seemed to be a bit off).

One thing is for sure: Darkmoon Card: Greatness will replace Badge of Tenacity. Apart from its effect on dodge, with an average of 190 Agility up it should provide 380 armour compared to the 308 of the Badge.

But I fear that a lot of feral tanks will still feel the need of having to have armour trinkets to buff our main means to reduce burst damage. And the more they nerf bear armour, the more such trinket will become interesting again, no matter if the armour is multiplied or not.

What other options for trinket do we have now? Basically Agility, Stamina, and Dodge.
For Agility nothing comes close to Darkmoon Card: Greatness. Are there any good trinkets for this stat anyway?
For Stamina there is Essence of Gossamer and probably a lot of other gear, due to the fact that probably all tanks love to stack life in some way or another.
Are there any Dodge trinkets apart from Moroes' Lucky Pocket Watch and some BoP Jewelcrafting products anyway?
In the end I guess there won't be that many trinket options after the change, which makes it even more likely that feral tanks will roll on armour trinkets.

As for rings, a lot of the tank ones are rubbish, because they have Strength, Parry, and/or Block on them. There are some few with dodge, but we probably could just as well try to get Rogue rings with high Agility and Stamina.
My assumption is that one strategy behind making armour on rings count less is the fact that they don't have to adjust tank rings to druids, because we have to go for DPS rings anyway.

For cloaks again, why does there have to be Strength on any decent tanking cloak?
I mean, Durable Nerubhide Cape would be *the* feral tank cloak for a long time if it just had Agility instead of Strength!

In the end I'm still concerned with the fact that a lot of tank items simply don't work too well for druids. If they *really* wanted to give us more options they would add more tank items of use for druids. Otherwise they simply shifted the problem from accumulating armour to rolling against Rogues.

qwerty said...

It's good to see GC looking at the numbers again; the value of making posts like this and on the boards is that GC has been good about listening to reasonable information.

First, let me say I'm a huge GC fan. I really appreciate him communicating with us and he appears to be an earnest and reasonable guy. That said, is anyone else getting alarmed at just how bad Blizzard is at understanding and working with druids?

Perhaps a good time to sit down with a calculator and 'run the numbers' would have been before communicating this change, or better yet *back in the damn beta* when stuff like this is supposed to be sorted out.

I first got the inkling that GC (who is normally quite competent) had no clue about life in bearville when he was arguing in a thread about how we over-value AC and how he'd be surprised if bears were not using an assortment of trinkets as opposed to slavishly going after armor. Eventually, the crowd of pitchfork wielding bears wore him down and made him see the light, which I think led to this change. Except, we still lack better options for itemization (his noble goal) and instead we lose ground on mitigation.

Reasonable people have been saying "give Blizzard time, they'll get this right, and a cripple with a broken shield could tank Naxx anyway", but, if bears are substantially worse than warriors or paladins in the first few months of Wrath, it will be long hard slog to shake that reputation later. Also, they have continually *not* gotten it right. What's worse, they seem to not even own a calculator.

I'm getting really tired of swimming upstream to tank. I'm reminded of ZA where I hated knowing I had an entire raid instance with no useful gear for tanking. I wish I had taken the time to reroll and level a warrior (despite loving the versatility of the druid), but I trusted Blizzard to 'get it right'. I'm really regretting that now, althought I won't know for sure until the dust settles and I see if druids are getting benched en masse in favor of other tanks.

But more than any one issue, the impression I get is that they don't understand how bears work (despite it being fairly simple) and are just flailing about without a sound approach to tackle these issues.

Mekias said...

The main problems I'm having is:

1) Lack of itemization for bear tanks

2) Scaling issues long-term

Both of these have been brought up already but there's no doubt that these problems have zero solutions in sight. With the loss of armor and resilience (although this wasn't heaviliy used), we're left with stam, agility/dodge, and maybe some defense (albeit sub-optimal). Finding gear with just those few stats is very difficult. It seems to me as though we have even fewer gear choices than we had before.

I'm hoping the scaling issue is figured out before the next raid instance comes out. I have faith that Blizzard will re-run the numbers but I don't have faith that they will properly understand the problem and make an appropriate fix.

Daenon said...

Kalon,

The point some of your opponents in this tread are trying to make is that the whole righteous indignation, or 'outrage' routine is not of this time anymore. And doesn't suit you of all people at all.

Ghostcrawler has clearly shown he will do what's best for the game and even if he breaks a few hearts between then and now, I and many others with me are convinced that when all is said and done, the game will be better. You only need to realize one thing to know how true this statement is and that's that a better game continues to make money. That's all theres to it and it's something Blizzard is a master at.

Now obviously I don't begrudge you these kinds of posts entirely, because they are exactly the kind of feedback people like Ghostcrawler need. However, the flippancy the permeates some of the stuff you and others write, give these kinds of articles a doctor House'esque quality and that is really not something I think is appropriate at all. Especially considering the group you represent is a minority in this game, one which I'm a part of as well.

Now that I've written this reply and then read your article again I have to admit that it might not be entirely deserved, as your post wasn't as I made it out to be. I guess I've just become so annoyed with some of the angsty attitude many bloggers show towards Blizzard these days the dam just broke for me at the wrong blog. So please consider it a rant against the topic and not the poster :)

Kalon said...

Olvar - thanks for coming by. :) One good dodge trinket is Valor Medal of the First War, which is also easy to get. And yes, there aren't a lot of trinket options in general unless you look for DPS trinkets. The big buff here is that bears will be able to reasonably switch trinkets out from time to time, which is nice - and they'll be able to do so in both slots without hugely penalizing themselves. And that all being said - yeah, there are quite a lot of tanking items that simply work 'meh' for druids now that armor is the way it is. And unless druids get a mechanical change, that's how it's going to be.

Mekias - thanks for coming by. :) Yep, that's the big issue that I'm concerned about, and it will continue to be a concern through Ulduar, most likely (at least according to GC's reply). I don't expect them to make any druid mechanic changes until 3.2, similar to what they did for prot paladins in 2.2. Which sucks, but all I can do is try and use the math, speak up, and make sure Blizzard is aware of the suboptimal situation.

Keith - thanks again for doing the math on that. The big problem with scaling like that on leather is simply that it only scales with ilvl, and not hugely. In that prior blog I mentioned how you can expect somewhere between 100 and 200 armor per piece when you upgrade ilvl, which is decent - but think about what other stats we'll be getting on that armor. A bit more stam, a bit more agi. That's about it. If every time we get an upgrade to a slot we get somewhere between 5-10 stam and 5-10 agi and 100 armor, we'll quickly start to lose ground to the plate wearers who get that same armor gain and combine it with more stam, more defense, more block value, and more strength - all in that 5-10 range. That's the real concern.

And a static multiplier on one stat will only help for a bit.

Daenon - thanks for coming by. I do admit that I was a bit harsh here, though I didn't think I was ridiculously so. "huge nerf" may be overstated some, but at the same time perhaps it's not; losing another 4k to 6k armor is fairly large, and losing 6-8k armor in exchange for 2.5% avoidance is not small either. I do agree with you that lots of posters do just fly off the cuff without running any math, doing any analysis or otherwise figuring out what's going on, and that bugs me too.

Or we're all just a bunch of emo gits. :)

I've said before that druids needed this sort of change. It makes gear better, it makes druids have a potential to scale better, and it allows for itemization that isn't completely broken for one class. This is the 'bad' part of the change. Hopefully we'll be getting the 'good' part of the change soon.

Kalon said...

Oh, and hey Qwerty - thanks as well.

I don't know about whether Blizzard is bad about running the numbers so much as they may not be great at advocating for feral druids in general. Druids, mechanically, are far harder than any other class to work out and balance simply because of the combination of itemization and abilities they have. What other class can so easily switch from tanking to dps and back using the same gear? That design choice is what gets them in trouble. Pre-BC they decided to deal with this by making all druids heal. But when they decided to make druids viable tanks with actual gear...well, therein lies the problem.

Mostly, I think that they don't do a great job of future-proofing their classes. And honestly I'm not sure they should spend a ton of time doing so. They can usually fix things quickly enough that it will not be a horrible problem for too long, and a part of me believes that their business model is predicated on changing things up every so often so people do switch mains, do spend more time with other classes, do try the flavor of the month.

Make no mistake - druids in WotLK are well off in a lot of ways, and the most important way is that they are considered main tank material by the developers. I just don't think that they're where they need to be yet. But I believe they will get there...eventually.

Keith said...

Hacked Rawr to adjust the item armor values when they were read in... Then picked the items that maximized mitigation. I didn't worry about where they dropped from, so some may be post-naxx or otherwise unreasonable. But results aren't quite as bad as earlier, and are shown below. (This has some raid buffs on, but not all of them. This assumes that cloaks have only the 1.1 multiplier. And this assumes feral staves don't get some compensation for the armor going away.)

Overview is, damage taken goes up from 12.51% to 13.36%.

Pre-nerf:

Head Hood of the Exodus
Neck Titanium Earthguard Chain
Shoulders Valorous Dreamwalker Shoulderpads
Chest Harness of Carnal Instinct
Waist Trollwoven Girdle
Legs Leggings of the Honored
Feet Footwraps of Vile Deceit
Wrist Sinner's Bindings
Hands Valorous Dreamwalker Handgrips
Finger1 Gatekeeper
Finger2 Keystone Great-Ring
Trinket1 Defender's Code
Trinket2 Offering of Sacrifice
Back Cloak of the Shadowed Sun
MainHand Origin of Nightmares
Ranged Idol of Terror
Race: NightElf
Health: 32870.43
Agility: 1108.866
Armor: 45620.88
Stamina: 2810.643
Dodge Rating: 128
Defense Rating: 79
Resilience: 0
Dodge: 39.72715%
Miss: 7.054748%
Mitigation: 76.48608%
Avoidance PreDR: 51.89681%
Avoidance PostDR: 46.7819%
Total Mitigation: 87.48634%
Damage Taken: 12.51366%
Overall Points: 260389.7
Mitigation Points: 79912.66
Survival Points: 139791.3
Threat Points: 40685.68
Highest DPS Rotation: 1865 DPS, 3951 TPS
Highest TPS Rotation: 1837 DPS, 4069 TPS
=============================
Post Nerf:

Head Hood of the Exodus
Neck Titanium Earthguard Chain
Shoulders Valorous Dreamwalker Shoulderpads
Chest Harness of Carnal Instinct
Waist Stalk-Skin Belt
Legs Leggings of the Honored
Feet Footwraps of Vile Deceit
Wrist Sinner's Bindings
Hands Valorous Dreamwalker Handgrips
Finger1 Gatekeeper
Finger2 Keystone Great-Ring
Trinket1 Valor Medal of the First War
Trinket2 Darkmoon Card: Greatness
Back Cloak of the Shadowed Sun
MainHand The Undeath Carrier
Ranged Idol of Terror
Race: NightElf
Health: 32835.45
Agility: 1211.474
Armor: 38484.99
Stamina: 2807.145
Dodge Rating: 212
Defense Rating: 79
Dodge: 42.64711%
Miss: 7.054748%
Mitigation: 73.44194%
Avoidance PreDR: 56.4942%
Avoidance PostDR: 49.70186%
Total Mitigation: 86.64179%
Damage Taken: 13.35821%
Overall Points: 239683.5
Mitigation Points: 74860.33
Survival Points: 123636.5
Threat Points: 41186.74
Highest DPS Rotation: 1894 DPS, 4003 TPS
Highest TPS Rotation: 1866 DPS, 4119 TPS

Kalon said...

That looks mostly right - though that 45k armor pre-nerf looks a bit off. Are you sure that your harness of carnal instinct wasn't the one with 800 armor, and your cloaks weren't the one with 800 armor? Rawr had a bug in it for a while.

Anyway, with those numbers the overall effect is a 6.4% increase in damage taken and the effect of making damage a bit more spiky. Threat is improved slightly, but not amazingly so. That's clearly a nerf (on the order of losing half of PotP's ability) but it's not so much that it should cripple druids.

Thanks for the good work, Keith!

Keith said...

Are you sure that your harness of carnal instinct wasn't the one with 800 armor, and your cloaks weren't the one with 800 armor?

You are correct. That changes things around a bit but hurts both about equally. The new mitigation values are 13.26% and 14.15%.

(It appears there are differences in other stats; I only corrected armor assuming the other stats were about the same.)

Kalon said...

Keith, in case you didn't notice GC has updated their stance again, with more math. He confirms that cloak base armor (and all base armor, incidentally) will be subject to the multiplier, and non-base armor will not.

What's interesting is that Blizzard was going to nerf the armor trinkets anyway, so this is sort of a better way of nerfing that gear. I'm okay with that.

Keith said...

I updated my data on this page, posting as Caelean:

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=12891372479&sid=1&pageNo=20

With cloak armor, we're down to about 4% difference, and that assumes no reitemization of weapons. (And that no 2-H maces give us better mitigation.)

Bulamis said...

If GC's latest comments applied properly, which is better back:

1) Cloak of the Shadowed Sun
+336 Armor (non-scaled)

2) Platinum Mesh Cloak
+13 Defense rating
+1% Hit Rating

3) Durable Nerubhide Cape
+12 Dodge rating
Expertise instead of hit and defense.

Keith said...

I may be reading this wrong, but Rawr reports 7.03 mitigation points, and 17.19 points total (including survival points) per point of (multiplied by 5.17) armor. So that's 1.36 mit points per point of armor in bear form.

So that 333 armor is 453 mit points on Cloak of the Shadowed Sun.

Defense is 19.77 mit rating, so +13 defense is 257 mit points.

Dodge is 23.38 mit rating, so +12 dodge is 281 mit points.

(Gale Proof Cloak is also almost identical to the Platinum Mesh with a +15 Sta, +10 Defense gem, giving you expertise instead of +hit. Rawr is not counting expertise as a defensive stat, so it is probably slightly superior.)

But the fact that they are reasonably close means you have options, which, IMO, is the whole point of this change.

Kalon said...

Bulamis -

I mostly agree with Keith here and with Rawr's emphasis; the Flowing Cloak of Command likely comes out on top. Durable Nerubhide has more dodge but a lot less defense, and that 25 defense is worth more than 11 dodge in terms of avoidance gained. It really depends on whether you need the expertise or not.

Platinum Mesh appears right now to be the best bargain, given that you get high defense, dodge, stam and hit rating (which isn't on a lot of bear gear). Gale-Proof is more customizable but will end to not be as well utilized as the Platinum mesh.

For pure avoidance, go with the gale-proof and an avoidance or avoidance hybrid gem. For threat, go with the Gale-Proof. For mitigation go with Flowing Command.

Which is kind of awesome, all things considered. :)