Monday, January 26, 2009

[Druid]The Anti-tank part 2: stats, case study and more

This is a followup to my previous article on maximizing tank DPS and cat DPS in the same gearset while being a good tank. the Apparently I'm reporting on trends that have been going on for, like, ever - as the readers let me know how they'd been tanking in DPS gear for ages now. Oops. Sorry for jumping on the train late, guys. :/

First off, Mekias recommended that I post the unbuffed stats in the same gear to give folks an idea of where they should be, roughly. Here's the bear ones:

Health: 27949
Agility: 1463.724
Armor: 33738.45
Stamina: 2035.2
Dodge Rating: 20
Defense Rating: 15
Resilience: 0
Dodge: 43.56819%
Miss: 4.523326%
Mitigation: 70.93945%
Avoidance PreDR: 55.48667%
Avoidance PostDR: 48.09152%
Total Mitigation: 84.91512%
Damage Taken: 15.08489%
Missed Attacks: 7.6306%
Highest DPS Rotation: 1958 DPS, 4409 TPS
Highest TPS Rotation: 1926 DPS, 4445 TPS

And the cat:
DPS Points: 3165.549
Survivability Points: 214.38
Health: 21438
Attack Power: 10519.55
Agility: 1324
Strength: 111
Crit Rating: 382
Hit Rating: 235
Expertise Rating: 146
Haste Rating: 339
Armor Penetration Rating: 326.4
Avoided Attacks: 0.8331783%
Crit Chance: 42.70936%
Optimal Rotation: Mangle+Shred+Rip+Roar5
Optimal Rotation DPS: 3165.549

I'm not thrilled with the small amount of stamina on the gear; having only 27k unbuffed is pretty flimsy for a bear. But it's certainly doable for the content, especially with that high of avoidance. The biggest slot that I dislike is the trinket slot. There's just really no good choices for double-duty items there other than the DM:G agility trinket. This might be a reason for me to go JC after all; the trinkets they get can be tailored for some tanky-goodness and some DPS fun.

As to how well it works - well, last night was the first time this week that we've been able to raid. Stupid lag. I got to be in on a lot of the fights with this gear strategy. Here's what I found:

  • Swipe - cat is insane. Just insane. Hit something with a rake, SR, swipe, TF, swipe swipe. Things die. If you want to make other people feel bad, after that TF hit berserk. Get 7k DPS for a trash pull. Profit.
  • For trash at least, this is perfectly fine for tanking. No problems at all.
  • I was able to reliably get about 3.2k DPS on most fights, and that's with substantially less gear than I posted. Some fights were better than others, and I need to get better at the rotations, but it was certainly competitive dps if not ideal.
The end of the night had me on DPS on KT. I was feeling pretty good on this. I had done decently on Sapph and was starting to get into a groove. Went through the waves in phase one just fine, got ready to start DPSing -

And then our MT went down almost immediately to two uninterrupted frostbolts. I switched to bear, taunted and tanked him till the end. I had about 34k HP, I believe. I don't think there were many problems keeping me up. There were some...amusing side effects of me tanking that I hadn't thought of.

For starters, having that low of HP while tanking (yes, _only_ 34k) made his frostbolts hurt quite a bit. Not insurmountable; one time I had to hit SI, but that was about it.

In 25-man, I cannot stress how important it is not to maul (when you have the glyph) when a melee gets MCed nearby you. Because maul? Does a lot of damage. It does enough to kill your guild leader and your best warrior DPS. If you aren't thinking about it and are swiping to maximize threat like you should be, you might really pwn their asses. (sorry, Baelor and Juliand) You can't stop doing threat moves, of course (he drops aggro at that point) but you can stop doing some of the multitarget threat moves.

And with all of this, I did 2700 DPS as a tank. Yikes. Of that, probably 50-100 DPS was on my own guys. :p

So the beta test of the antitank system appears to be pretty decent. I am tempted to recommend using Essence of Gossamer instead of Grim Toll in it; you'll gain almost 1500 health, not lose a ton of DPS or TPS, and would be more well-rounded. Really depends on the encounter, I think.

A couple people asked about what spec I'd recommend for this. This is the one I'm using. It sacrifices imp Mangle and imp LotP for shredding attacks, KotJ and primal instincts. I miss imp lotp quite a bit soloing, but I don't miss it at all in raids. I'm still tempted to switch out primal instincts for ilotp, since I do a lot of soloing.

And as luck would have it, the loot gods were pretty favorable to me last night too - both the T7 chest and Journey's End fell into my hands. Those are going to be pretty big for DPS, the chest is great for normal tanking, and threat should be fun. I would like to upgrade my boots, my neck, my rings, my cloak and a trinket - but those should all be minor upgrades at best. I also got berserking on the staff. I'll let you know what the uptime I see is. My math says that it's going to not proc that much at all, but we'll see.

One thing's for sure - being able to look at gear and wanting the DPS stats on it makes me a lot more interested in raiding and gearing up.


Karthis said...

"One thing's for sure - being able to look at gear and wanting the DPS stats on it makes me a lot more interested in raiding and gearing up. "

Oh man - DPS has really kept the game fresh for me..... I look more forward to the fights where I get to go all out kitty (and try to race Flyv) than those where I pull tanking duty now. :P

Also, the gear that really gets me excited is the DPS stuff, not the tanking gear.

Mitch said...

After getting lucky on nearly every feral staff up to Naxx 25 I cannot get Journey's End to drop :( I guess the averages have to catch up somehow.

Grats on yours though!

Anonymous said...

Well dont forget we're doing fantastic dps + total damage as tanks too. Sure, I wear quite a bit of dps gear for trash too. But from what I've seen there's no way in the world warriors or pallies can keep up in total damage: our swipe, glyphed maul and beserk mangles just do too much damage. I keep worrying about a damage nerf to bears, but so far nothing has been said.

Yup, got a journeys end the other day too. Did you notice the enchant visual doesn't show (at least mongoose doesnt) It's now my main tanking weapon for all but patchwerk, malygos25, sarth25. Until i pick up the other weapons from naxx, of course.

Copey said...

I’m in need of some advice kind of along this line.

I assume your cat gear is at the hit cap, which helps your dps a lot I'm sure. For those of us that are not quite up to your level yet, do we need to be hit capped on our bear gear as well? I end up DPSing a lot in raids, and have some +hit gems in my gear that is also my tanking gear. I'm coming up on high level JCing myself, and am wondering if I should be getting those big +hit gems or the big +stam gems. It kind of looks like with large enough avoidance that the +hit would be pretty nice, but my dodge is only at like 33%.

Flyv said...

Welcome to the other half of being a feral druid :-P

Olvar said...

Congratulations on your newest gear additions, Kalon!

Speaking of damage, which means threat in our case, there is a thread about feral threat issues post 3.0.8 on the official forum. Since I'm on a European server cannot really take part in that discussion:

Did any of you notice something similar?
I wasn't too sure at first, but then I noticed something:
I went from Wildfury to Shrouded Mysteries after the patch (that's about 600 FAP more) and after some DPS guys told me I probably had threat issues I use Titansteel Destroyer for trash at least (again roughly 400 FAP more).
Sure, I'm quite behind most of my guild mates in terms of equipment, but a 1000 FAP increase after the patch to keep up with them? That's just insane! I really doubt the improved mitigation is *that* good that I have to go to such extremes.

Another thing:
Does anyone know if the 50% threat increase for Swipe did go live? I don't find anything about it in the official patch notes...

Armin said...

I'm not a frequent poster or such sort, but i'm an avid reader. from past experience however i would like to offer an advice and hope you guys understand what i'm trying to say.

it is true Cat dps is right now high. higher then it used to be anyways. it's also true that dps'ing as a Cat means maintaining a semi-complex rotation. this however does not change the fact that Cat dps is easier to obtain then other classes. Also please understand that we ferals are twice hybrid. hybrid as a class (druid) and hybrid as a spec. Everybody knows that bear specced ferals can do Dps. what few understand is they can actualy do alot of dps. and this is not because of spec(if you wish so i will elaborate).

what i'm trying to say is soon more and more ppl will see this and they will complain. a hybrid class doing more damage then a pure dps class? shedding light onto such matters and advocating them will bring bad news to ferals soon enough. Blizzard has historicly nerfed classes that stepped out of line instead of fixing the classes that actualy had problems more then enough or even failed at understanding what caused the problem and doing unnecesary nerfes.

Icaobus said...

The main reason i like feral druid is that i can do good dps(pvp) and get begged to join a group as tank. So this "anti-tank" concept is ideal for me.

But i couldn't help but notice that the equipment you recommend have about no defends rating. I'm new to being a feral druid and tank. And to be honest i'm not that good in it yet :)

But i'm reading up on sites like this and ask advice to guildmembers. And most of the time i get the advice to try getting the defends cap to avoid critical hits when tanking. But then again when being cat i have no interest in defends rating.

So my question is: can i still be a decent tank for heroics and OT for raids without the defends cap when i'm using "anti-tank" gear?

Olvar said...

I guess your guild members don't know much about the new druid tanks (I once had an otherwise knowledgable priest ask me how much defense I had). Since you don't get any defense rating on leather items you'd be very hard pressed to become crit immune with the little defense on cloak, trinkets, and rings. Actually, I think it would be pretty much impossible to reach.

To become crit immune druids have to take three points in the talent "Survival of the Fittest", then they are automatically crit immune even against raid bosses (level 83):

Since the new armour factor is on that talent as well, you should have it anyway if you want to tank.

To round up the defensive talents I'd also add:

"Thick Hide" (even more armour)

"Feral Swiftness" (4% dodge)

"Natural Reaction" (6% dodge and more rage)

"Protector of the Pack" (12% damage reduction, which is especially useful against casters)

Due to the reduction of deminishing returns through expertise "Primal Precision" could be seen as partly defensive as well

The remaining talents are up to your taste.
I guess one could tank without some or even any of these talents, but in that case there would be a huge increase in incoming damage.

Icaobus said...

Thx for the answer.
Putting defense rating aside will make it alot easyer for me.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought - drop one point from PI and one from IW to get your 2/2 ILOTP. It means your healers will have to work a little harder keeping you up (lower IW), but the raid effect of ILOTP may well be a net gain.

NB I couldn't find Primal Instincts in my talent tree... ;)

Kalon said...

Sigh. Stupid power outages. Third time I've typed this.

Karthis - the dps competition thing is a lot of fun. :)

Mitch - good luck with your staff dropping :)

Anon1 - my JE doesn't show anything either, and I'm bummed.

Copey - if you're hurting that much for avoidance and stam, I wouldn't do this. Go for stam until you get more geared, then go for agility.

Flyv - It should be 'welcome back'. I always did cat dps back in the day, and missed that part of a feral - until now. It's good to be back.

Olvar - I have seen personally threat reduced. I'm not sure why yet. I need to test it. The 50% swipe threat boost was live before 3.0.8. I'm not

sure whether or not it is now.

Armin - I do hope that if they choose to 'fix' this problem, they do it with forethought and feedback. I don't mind if they change it so that

bears need to have more tanking gear to tank in or that bear talents and cat talents are exclusive, but I do hope it's not just 'nerf all bears to the ground'.

Icaobus - as Olvar said, you don't need any defense if you have 3 points in survival of the fittest - and you should definitely have those three points.

Anon2 - I think it'd have to be two points from PI or RnT. Neither is a real attractive option, but right now I'm leaning towards PI. We'll see. I do a lot of threat and damage with maul, and PI does nothing for bear right now. I won't give up IW; I need it while tanking Sarth.

Copey said...

I should have added my other stats in my original question about +hit. I was asked to tank a raid last night, and I was right at 35k Health, 35k Armor and 33% Dodge raid buffed. I currently have some expertise/hit gems in my gear, (because it shares rolls with me cat gear) and am wondering if I even need to worry about the hit cap when tanking. I ask specifically because I can now make the JCing trinkets for tanking and DPS, and can start making the big JC only gems. And it will be expensive to regem them. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

@Copey: The easy answer to your hit question is no you don't need to be hit capped too tank. Hit doesnt hurt, but it certainly doesnt need to be capped for you to be a good tank. If your having threat problems , then sure a little hit might help, but I would go for strength or agility before hit.

Anonymous said...

So Kalon, I was just reading around tankspot and thinking about my bear damage.... I was #4 out of 25 in total damage during a wing of naxx25 tonight - tanking on trash + bosses, with a tiny bit of kitty thrown in on some trash. The only time I slipped down to #8 was on Loatheb because of the buff everyone gets. Is that ridiculous or what? Maul is now critting for 7.8K, making up 54% of my total damage. And I'm not even doing this whole kitty gear tanking gig (except journey's end). This is with traditional mitigation gear, gems & enchants. I agree with your post a while back that cause some controversy. Our spec is broken I tell you. Broken! As for heroics, there is no way any guild dps I've run with can top me on the charts anymore. What the hell is going on???

Armin said...

i will add some more imput based on the last comment.
what you are experiencing is ppl who have yet to get theyr important upgrades or fail at speccing/playing theyr class.

if we are to compare to top notch dps'ers we're not exactly that hot. we do high damage but nothing spectacular.
for example Kalon's posted gear list is about as good as it gets. there are a few better but moust are dead on best in slot for a cat. in average in that gear a cat will pull somewere around 5.5k dps on a standard(Patch) fight. similar geared fury warriors can dish out 6.5k.
we're not exactly topping meters but we are defenetly up there. what we are spectacular about is if you compare us with what we used to be.

so what's wrong here? well what is wrong is we can get high dps with less eq. you don't exactly need a Journey's End to do high dps. it sure helps but it's not the same as another dps upgrading his weapon. for example a warrior going from TitanSteel Destroyer to Armaggedon is a sizable, i'd dare say hudge upgrade.
i remember doing considerable damage with my lvl 73 quest Staff of the Sorrowful Chieftain because Staff of Trickery refused to drop for 3 weeks for me. you don't see that in the other mele now do you? why? becase our damage doesn't depend on the weapon .. but on the FAP we have overall.

and further more. the cat dps talent spec is very very easy to set up. there are no wrongs in picking talents. you have no hard choices (if you are going cat alone) no compromises at all. you can pick all the talents that have "cat" and "damage"(well sort of... you get the point) in them and you end up with the best spec and still get left with some talent points. the challenge is if you wish to spec for bear too. but that is something entirely different.

so in conclusion. we are easy to set up and can do high damage. at the moment our (posibly only) dificulty is maintaining a semi-complex but delicate rotation. let's be "feral" about this stuff and not jump overboard.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Armin but I think you missed my point. I was talking about bear damage, not cat damage.

Copey said...

The same thing happens to me when I tank heroic pugs. I lead many damage meters if I go all out while I'm tanking.

But when I run with my guild? I get blown out of the water, 4th place in front of the healer as it should be. Because they are good players with good gear. I think you just happen to either be surrounded by people that don't put out as hard, because maybe they fell they don't have to, or players that are not geared up yet/still learning thier DKs.

Kalon said...

Copey, I'd use the good trinkets to keep your health up and gem your normal gear with the big agi gems. Those will be good for both cat and bear and you'll be able to swap trinkets for harder fights.

Anon4 - I think doing high DPS on plague wing isn't that surprising given the amount of targets that you can get. Swipe on the gauntlet or on the grub room is pretty insane, and Noth has a lot of fun adds to do damage with. Still, I agree with a future poster - chances are that you're doing more because your DPS aren't super geared yet.

Not touching the 'are we broken' topic for a while though. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm working with a hybrid spec for dps/tanking also. As my role is more towards dps I have a hybrid spec more towards that (really looking forward to dual spec). I'm still able to tank our current content, and do decent dps with gear swaps. I am low on health if I off-tank in kitty gear though, need better gear in a few slots to make up for that.

Sunseeker on Windrunner

Anonymous said...

Quick note, I was fishing when I logged. Have Wraith Spear for dps and the blue Enraged Feral Staff for tanking. (Heigan just won't drop the tanky staff for me)

Sunseeker on Windrunner

Nostraphex said...

I was wondering, is there any "hard" numbers on the difference in DPS between and anti-tank gear/build and a pure Cat DPS spec/gear (assuming +STR gems instead of AGI I suppose)...very curious about this!

Kalon said...

Nostraphex - when I ran it through Rawr with gemming choices being strength instead of agility, I saw a predicted 40 DPS increase. I haven't run it through Toskk yet, but I would imagine it's close. While strength is really stellar, having a difference of 8 agi gems go to 8 strength gems just isn't going to be that insane of a difference, dps wise. Agility isn't that bad, after all.

As an example, the DM:G strength gives 154 DPS in the cat model for me; the DM:G agi gives 139.94. So a difference of about 90 str/agi is worth 15 DPS. That sounds about right to me.

Nostraphex said...

Ah yes, saw that in your first Anti-tank post, thanks for pointing this out again, I've been reading a lot of things on Elitist Jerks about how STR is just "so much" better, but I've always love AGI more for the multiple benefits of the stat.
Anyway, I just got enough pieces to reach the 4-set bonus and Journey's End last night, so I'll try to make this Anti-tank build in the next few days and post comments on it here :)