Monday, April 20, 2009

[Druid] Limited Savage Defense analysis

This was taken from my recent Razorscale kill. On this I tanked sentinels and then Razorscale when we got him to 50%. It's not the best representation of a tank&spank, but it should do for a general value. Specifically it should be nice because according to WWS, I received all of two Essence of Gossamer procs, and no power word: shields for the entire fight. Thus almost all the damage absorbed should be from SD and SD alone.

Here's the relevant part of the WWS:

Because I was facing adds and not the boss for half of the fight, the overall avoidance value is much higher - especially since it was sentinels who have a high miss rate (21.6%) due to their dual-wielding.

For this specific encounter, I absorbed 24.3% of total attacks. This was a total of 112188 damage on 71 hits, which is 1580 damage per hit and right about where we would predict it. This was 15.5% of the total damage I received as physical damage, and of the 100 hits I took 71 were absorbed.

What's interesting is that the uptime is much, much worse than what Rawr would predict it to be. With multiple adds beating on me and with their having such a high avoidance, the uptime should be close to 90%. 71% is pretty low. This is due, in part, to weird overlap issues, and partially due to the bugs associated with SD.

Also interesting is how good it was at absorbing damage. This is one of the better places where SD shines; on this fight I put on extra armor (trinket + neck) and basically 'blocked' 25-30% of all damage from each sentinel. The sentinels don't hit hard except for whirlwinds, and the other adds hit almost trivially. Thus, SD should shine as a mitigation tool, and it did okay. This was, oddly enough, a higher block rate than either warrior both in blocked damage and blocked procs. It was also about half as much that was blocked (in damage and in procs) as the paladin.

The next trick is to not be doing tanking the next Razorscale kill and see how other tanks do at the same damage.

By comparison and to show how bad it can be, let's look at the XT-002 encounter. I was offtanking pummelers on this fight. And they're...not dual-wielding and there aren't as many of them. The encounter I'll be checking out is here:

This one didn't do nearly as well. A total of 147 hits, of which only 54 were absorbed - which is a 36.7% absorption rate and an overall block rate of 23.1%. The big problem here was the atrocious avoidance rate. This, more than anything else, should scare you some; avoidance for druids is going to go way down with the focus on stamina in Ulduar being so important, which means that SD is going to have worse and worse overall uptime. What's interesting is that SD procced a total of 197 times in this fight, yet only 54 were absorbed. That's a LOT of overlapping hits, possibly - or a lot of bugged absorptions.

Finally, we get to our horrible tries on Ignis. On this I was tanking Ignis the entire time, so we should see how well SD does against a single target which does massive physical damage slowly.

On this, the uptime was much better. 25 total hits, of which 21 were absorbed is very good and what we'd expect from something like Rawr. Except...that's not all SD absorption. Part of it is Sacred Shields (I received 8). That explains why the average absorb value was so much higher (1740).

Also, SD procced a total of 89 times on this attempt, yet only 21 hits were absorbed. That's shockingly bad.

Finally, the total damage that was mitigated from total absorption was only 7.5%, and that was after armor. When factoring in my armor (and I almost certainly had inspiration/fortitude up) I was looking at around 69% base mitigation. And BoSanc. So the overall physical damage I was taking before armor/bosanc was close to 1.45 million damage. Based on that, SD absorbed a total of only 2.5% total damage. This means practically even if I had 100% total uptime, SD's absorption would have been roughly equivalent to Blessing of Sanctuary's mitigation. If that.

So the long and short of it is that SD really shouldn't factor much into your gearing decisions. While crit rate in theory helps, the bugginess and overlap factors kill this as a really heavy contribution. AP does so little against a single hit that it's better to stack armor; AP and armor are almost 1:1 in value, and armor's much cheaper to itemize on. Avoidance does help, at least. Still, SD doesn't really make PvP gear less viable. It doesn't make polar gear less viable. It doesn't significantly change the game for heavy-hitters. For light hitters it does pretty well, but the chances that you'll want to gear for small hitters is fairly slim.

I'll try and do more testing of SD, but keep in mind that I don't raid often - and when I do, chances are I'll be DPSing as much as tanking.

On a side note, DPS as a cat is quite good, especially with dual specs. It's still as fun as before, and it's great to compete with rogues for top DPS. And as Karthis stated, it's really awesome to see 33k Ferocious bite crits on XT's heart.


Anonymous said...

So the basic problem at the moment is that its buggy and needs fixing? If so, I can live with that. People clearing ulduar already are on the cutting edge of the game and are going to have to deal with bugginess; for most of the players in the game, we're just happy to get to raid the easier instances like naxx, and look forward to ulduar in 6 months time.

Kalon said...

Anon - that's one of the problems. Note that even without its bugginess it would still be a poor thing to gear for anyway; on a fight like Ignis the amount of damage it stops is trivial even if it absorbs against every single attack.

That means you can ignore it.

The bugs make it less useful on multi-mob tanking and in the ideal case, but the biggest problem (in my eyes at least) is that it simply doesn't do enough to make other stats good. That the bugs make that contribution essentially unpredictable just makes it more frustrating.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the quick reply. Well I guess I wont sweat it. From what I understand of warrior block, its similar: great for trash, useless against hard hitting bosses.

Fair enough I suppose. Like all classes, you only get to use a subset of your abilities in raids, from what I understand. A lot you can just remove from your toolbar, since questing, 5 mans, dailies & pvp are all very different activities.

Samuel said...

It seems to be filling the same slot as Block does for other tanks. An efficient tool for dealing with old world and easy content while wearing DPS gear. At this point I just consider it something that makes my DPS stats somewhat help my mitigation, and if you ignore the armor nerf (which was truly for another reason, and not the cause of getting SD) it technically is a buff. =/

Shamad said...

Pretty much where I expected it to be, although I didn't at first consider how dodge effects the uptime of it, but in the end it's still a weak ability.

Proved my gut feeling right then when I said I didn't feel as if gearing would change at all for feral tanks in 3.1 ;)

Ryan said...

a link to a decent ignis attempt.

show up time as 63%

Rahl said...

Hi Kalon,
Nice to see the testing results and that even with a baby bear you are getting some time to play!

Just out of interest, have you reported your findings to blizz.
Im sure they will be interested in your findings and can attempt to fix it so that it procs when it should and blocks when it should also.

It just seems so buggy at the moment!

Willowbear said...

@Shamad: I'm not sure gearing for bear is the same now. The message I'm getting is instead of stacking agi we are stacking sta. Is that true? Does that make polar gear better since it is so sta heavy?

I use rawr a lot to model gear changes. According to it's rankings the Leggings of the Honored is now better for bears and valorous legs better for kitties.

Pzychotix said...

"Also, SD procced a total of 89 times on this attempt, yet only 21 hits were absorbed. That's shockingly bad."

I'm not sure why you pointed this out. Ignis is a pretty slow hitter (around a 3.0 aspd during that parse), and you had a pretty nice run of avoidance of 54%. That has the effective time between hits at around 6+ seconds. It should be no surprise that you're proccing many more times than Ignis is hitting you.

Kalon said...

Psychotix, thanks for writing - and that was something Astrylian pointed out too. I'm not surprised that the ratio was so great; his slow attack speed and tons of non-physical attacks would expect that. What I should've said was that despite having 89 procs on a single target, the absorption rate was at best 84% - and that was with sacred shield procs too. Looking at all 25 attacks, it looks like at least 2 were sacred shield only, so it makes that a 76% absorption rate. Compare that to Rawr's 93% rate, and it's not that great.

Zax said...

I know this is an old entry but I also see this problem, that the breaking point, when an amount of AP is on par with mitigation from an amout of agi/armour, is pretty low. What would certainly help this issue is a possibility to stack SD.
So e.g. lower SD to 15% of AP. Then implement:

Nurturing instinct 2/2 AND Natural Shapeshifter 3/3 - in bear SD can stack up to 2 times, in cat you can proc SD with 30s CD with the basic 15% value, while those 10% are reflected back (subject to critical attack chance ArP and armour mitigation, can't be dodged etc.).
If you have both talents, then it's up to 3 times for bear and 15 CD for cat and with 25% AP value.

The choice of talents, values etc. was just an example, but the point is the should be a way how you can improve this ability from talents.
The hard luck is that Blizz doesn't care about ferals and doesn't give a damn about feral tank and feral cat itemization. I just hate seeing feral set with AP, where should appropriate amount of strength. But this list could be endless x).