Wednesday, July 22, 2009

[Druid] Nerfing stamina for bears - the right way

I'm back to hiding behind spreadsheets!

On the official forums, there's a lot of talk about nerfing druids health once again now that DKs have been brought down to the level of mortals (or at least, undead mortals...err...).

And for the record: I agree with it. I've agreed with it for a while Given non-pvp gear/polar gear and comparing best in slot pieces with all tanks across the board, druids have about a 7k health lead over warriors, paladins, and any non-blood DK right now. That's before epic gems and before the DK nerfs as well, so if anything this gulf will only increase in the future. That's about 15% more health than other tanks. Now, part of that is that druid itemization is shockingly 'better' than a lot of plate tanking itemization; there simply aren't that many hardmode T8.5 items out there that are exceptional, and there are quite a few hardmode leather items that are. But it's a continued saga from WotLK release, and it'll continue.

The fact is that bears aren't quite on a level playing field. They haven't been for some time - basically, since crushing blows got removed. With that removal, the idea of bears being the high armor, high HP tank just doesn't make sense. It made sense originally in that bears were supposed to be this buff, hard-to-kill thing that took tons of damage too; that was the concept. Along the way, though, they got about the same avoidance as other tanks, higher health, and higher physical mitigation. They also got pretty decent magical mitigation too. And they ended up taking exactly the same hits without crushing blows.

But without crushing blows, why does a bear need higher health and armor than another tank? This might make sense if avoidance numbers were far apart from each other, but it turns out that this really isn't the case; avoidance is largely close to each other as tanks. So they're taking about the same incoming damage physically. And with Protector of the Pack, they're taking about the same magic damage.

And barring cooldown use, it doesn't make sense for one tank to simply be better in all ways than other tanks.

Now, you can't take cooldowns out of the equation entirely. That's not reasonable, especially with the design of so many fights being 'blow cooldowns in scary place and survive'. But balancing around lack of cooldowns with average mitigation doesn't make sense either; it means that either you're the best tank because cooldowns don't matter, or you're the worst because you do. There's no middle ground.

Part of the real problem here is how well bears scale with only a couple stats. I've talked about this before and predicted the actual gain bears would get, and have been largely accurate. The biggest deal here is, of course, how well bears scale with stamina. Specifically, for every point of stamina on gear, enchants, gems or buffs bears gain the following multipliers:

1.25 for bear form
1.1 for heart of the wild
1.1 for Blessing of Kings
1.06 for survival of the fittest
1.02 for improved mark of the wild

For a grand total of 1.63 stamina for every stamina point. Now, part of this is to make up for the deficit in stamina on leather vs. plate tanking gear; leather has about 25% less stamina than plate, so that makes sense. And most other tanks get close to the same kinds of multipliers other than bear form for their stamina; 1.1*1.06*1.02 is a 18% multiplier for base stamina, which is in line with other tanks to a large extent.

But what doesn't make sense is the bear multiplier applying to everything else. For example: a warrior gains about 1.16x stamina per point of stamina after all buffs. A druid will get 1.63 stamina for every point. So improved fort gives 214 stamina normally; for a warrior that will be 249 stamina. For a bear, that's 350 stamina - a difference of 101 stamina!

Just from fort.

Similarly, every solid sky sapphire gives a warrior about 26 stamina. It gives a bear 39 stamina.

Every leg enchant gives a warrior 64 stamina. It gives a bear 90.

Heart of iron gives a bear 265 stamina; it gives a warrior only 188.

These sorts of things are why bears get nerfed every patch. With that high of a multiplier, bears simply win more every time they get an upgrade relative to other tanks. Warriors have some compensation in that they have higher base stamina and they get things like a gun slot and typically more gems, but that's a static value; by comparison, bears simply have a huge multiplier to wield scarily away. And at some point that isn't going to be balanced.

Which requires a nerf - until the next time.

So let's try a thought experiment (with math!) What would happen if the bear stamina multiplier applied only to the stamina on leather, and only the base stamina? In other words, all stamina found on non-leather (cloaks, trinkets, rings), all gems, all enchants, all buffs - they're all going to only be given the non-bear multiplier, which is 1.1 (hotw) * 1.1(kings) *1.06(sotf) * 1.02 (motw) = 1.31, about.

What would that mean?

Let's take my current character in their balanced set as an example. This doesn't take into account sockets or anything like that, but it's otherwise correct. It doesn't stack stam exclusively, has a few shared slots with cat that use agility, has a mix of agility and stamina enchants when it made sense, and only uses one PvP piece (the bracers). I also have JC and LW for my buffs. A full list of the gear can be found at the end.

Here's the breakdown of how stam looks on that gear:
slot leather nonleather gem enchant other
head 99
73 37
neck
94


shoulder 67
24 30
back
84


chest 119
82 10
bracers 73

90
weapon
121


hands 93



belt 73
60

legs 114
48 55
feet 90



ring1
84


ring2
89


trinket1
162


trinket2




fort



214
motw



51
base



121
total
728 634 287 222 386


That's right. 728 stam from the leather only. 1529 stam from everything else.

With this setup we have roughly 3690 stamina currently, after all buffs save food. If we applied the bear multiplier to stamina only on leather, what would be the result?

3191 stamina.

In practical terms, this is a reduction of almost exactly 5k health in this situation. This bear would go from 48.7k to 43.7k, give or take a bit. Now, 43.7k sounds awfully low compared to some other tanks, I will admit - but that's just my general bear prejudice talking. As far as tanks in a similar gear set, it's almost precisely on the money; this is a tank without any hardmode gear, not fully T8-upgraded in all slots and only wearing one stamina trinket.

So that's...actually pretty close to reasonable. It's a big nerf, mind you, but the value is pretty good and it wouldn't require a lot of balancing relative to warriors (which I'm considering the benchmark right now). Let's take the next test case - the bear best in slot. This will be without any PvP gear or polar gear, and while it will gear for stamina heavily, it will not do so at the cost of juicy bonuses or socket bonuses. It will use two stamina trinkets though. Again, full list of gear at the bottom.

At the start, this bear would have 57.7k health. A similarly geared warrior has about 50.5k health.

slot leather nonleather gem enchant other
head 122
73 37
neck
96 47

shoulder 96
48 30
back
96 24

chest 127
72 10
bracers 61
24 90
weapon
129 36

hands 93
47

belt 65
72

legs 127
72 55
feet 90
30

ring1
96 24

ring2
94


trinket1
162


trinket2
155


fort



214
motw



51
base



121
food



40
total 781 828 569 222 426


In this example, the bear has 2826 stamina from all sources, of which 2045 is from non-leather and 781 is from leather. Currently that bear has 4621 stamina.

With bear only applying to leather? 3952, or a loss of 668 stamina, taking their health from 57.7k to 51.0k.

Which is again almost exactly the same as a similarly equipped best in slot warrior with a similar gearing strategy (it's about 1k higher). Which is just about perfect.

What's good about this strategy is that it's future-proof. Bears will scale a bit faster than warriors, but that's acceptable to blizzard (as shown by paladins in TBC) so long as it's not by more than 10% or so.

What's not good is that without that health lead, druids become much less interesting on certain fights because of their lack of potent cooldowns. So if this did get changed, I would hope that the cooldown situation would also be addressed.

Now you might say that you could get to this result in other ways - and you could, at least to start with. You can remove HotW's bonus, which would reduce health by about 3.5k to 4k. You could nerf SotF and MotW as well. The problem with all of these things is that it still leaves bears with a huge, huge stamina multiplier as a base. Sure, it's a nerf now, but it would mean that bears would still get 30 more stamina than a warrior for every 100 stamina they both get. Eventually, that will break. This way, it won't break until sometime well past the end of the expansion; it can't, since the numbers are essentially the same for all tanks.

Furthermore, it means a lot of degenerate gear choices go out the wayside. Gem slots are not the sole arbiter of whether gear is awesome or not. DPS jewelry becomes somewhat more usable.

It doesn't fix the PvP or polar set gear, and that is a legitimate problem. However, PvP gear only gives about a 2k health lead over non-PvP gear, if you use all of it. That's still within a 10% margin of error, and still better than what we have now.

It also doesn't do anything to fix armor. I think that the 4-5% difference in avoidance between the druids and the rest of the tanks can deal with the armor, honestly. 4% more mitigation vs 5% avoidance seems like a wash.

Now, I hear some druids really like having huge health pools. Okay. They also like having huge armor. Hmm. A bear can't have the same baseline mitigation as other tanks but have higher armor and higher stamina while maintaining similar avoidance levels. Either their avoidance would have to be nerfed, or their base mitigation would have to go away.

If you really want to have health and armor aplenty, I think the only way to fix that would be to remove protector of the pack. In that situation, druid health and health scaling would be unchanged (which would break druids later on in icecrown), but their incoming damage would be 12% higher than currently. They could even get a buff to armor to compensate for this. I don't think this is a good long-term design idea, but I can see the value in it; a lot of bears don't care about whether or not they're easier or harder to heal so long as they have tons and tons of stamina and armor. That would be one way to go about it.

Anyway, there's my idea for fixing the stamina issue so that it's no longer so insane for bears. I do expect some criticism here, but try and make it somewhat constructive if you can. Also, check out the gear choices and see if they make sense or not. Enchants were kept the same across both sets for ease of use.



My gear Best in Slot gear Enchants
Head Garona's Guise Conqueror's Nightsong Headguard Stalwart Prot
Neck Boundless Ambition Bronze Pendant of the Vanir
Shoulders Valorous Nightsong Shoulderpads Shoulderpads of the Intruder Great Gladiator
Chest Conqueror's Nightsong Raiments Embrace of the Gladiator Power Stats
Waist Death-warmed Belt Soul-Devouring Cinch Eternal Belt Buckle
Legs Valorous Nightsong Legguards Legguards of Cunning Deception Frosthide
Feet Runed Ironhide Boots Runed Ironhide Boots Superior Agi
Wrist Furious Gladiator's Armwraps of Triumph Solar Bindings Fur Stam lining
Hands Conqueror's Nightsong Handgrips Conqueror's Nightsong Handgrips Major Agi
Finger1 Gatekeeper Fate's Clutch
Finger2 Signet of Winter The Leviathan's Coil
Trinket1 Heart of Iron Heart of Iron
Trinket2 Darkmoon Card: Greatness Royal Seal of King Llane
Back Cloak of the Shadowed Sun Titanskin Cloak Major Agi
MainHand Twisted Visage Dark Edge of Depravity Mongoose
Ranged Idol of Terror Idol of the Corruptor

24 comments:

Jacemora said...

Isn't the biggest issue with getting us inline with other tanks the fact that we have no block or parry?

I was under the impression that was the big argument.

I know they gave us a buggy, gimmicky version of block but everything being the same you are right that we would at a minimum get better CD's to make up the difference.

Kalon said...

Jacemora - not really. It's argued by a lot of misinformed bears that it's unfair that bears don't get parry, but it doesn't really matter. It's not like bears especially would benefit from parry (not having defense as a stat we care about), and the avoidance difference between bears and other tanks is about 4-5%. It's hardly gamebreaking.

As to savage defense, from more and more reports it appears to be doing better, not worse, than block for warriors does quite often. Even taking it away completely bears still beat paladins and warriors on mitigation due to the superior armor.

Grumpy Misanthrope said...

Every time you propose a nerf to bears, you are essentially proposing eliminating bears from tanking entirely. If bears aren't any better than warriors, then everyone is going to force the druid to DPS. And I, for one, HATE kitty DPS. It's boring.

Willowbear said...

@Grumpy: I don't buy that nerf argument. DPS warriors can crank out the hurt and can handle more types of fights than cats. A cat's limitation is due to shred being restricted to a mob's back. That hurts on really mobile fights. So why doesn't that force the warriors into a dps role because druid tanks are supposedly better? It doesn't. And neither will it for bears either.

I was a bear in BC, but was forced into kitty because the raid group I joined had MT warriors already. Not because bears were better or worse.

Also, kitty dps is far from boring any more. Now that it is priority based it is much more dynamic. The only time it comes close to being boring is on those straightup tanknspank fights. I would argue though that tanking on that same type of fight is a yawner as well.

Just admit it (as I do) that you are grumpy at yet another proposal to take something more from us bears. I hate losing things that reduce my effectiveness.

Travesty said...

I originally typed a long post but apparently it didn't post it, so this is a really rushed summary seeing as I have pizza waiting for me:

- High health and high armor are what bears are known for. That is the perception of the spec and taking that away will hurt an already underplayed spec.

- Using warriors as baseline is a bad idea in my opinion seeing as both the (vocal) warrior community and Blizzard themselves have acknowledged they are probably underperforming currently.

- BiS gear sets are sets 3% of the entire playerbase will get their hands on, as acknowledged by Blizzard. Nerfing because bears have XK health over tank Y in BiS gear is unfair for druids that are levelling or who are simply not in raiding environments.

- Cooldowns are more important than what the official WoW forums are making them out to be. Druids are lacklustre in this department.

- Nerfing Protector of the Pack by 3% (4/9% for 2 talent points) would bring the 'imbalances' closer (isn't the current implementation of Ardent Defender a 10-15% EH talent for paladins??)

- Buffing warrior stamina by 4% (as they are the lowest tank stamina wise) would help them and draw that gap closer.

Overall, I know bears need to be tuned down but I don't think completely ruining the perception the class is known for is the right way to go about it. You hear Ghostcrawler all the time in the forums saying "Bears have the highest health and armor of all tanks, but have no parry and weaker cooldowns..." - when you take away the high health and/or armor, what would you take a druid for?

Innervate and Rebirth are not an answer.

DaveP said...

Hehe, I got ya with the spreadsheet comment did I not? I nailed you, and we've never even met. Your wife agrees, btw :P

Nice post. As I understand it, you're trying to propose a design that will work long term. I'm not always sure Blizzard care about long term design beauty though. Good enough for the next patch is often fine for them regarding bear scaling, even if it means yet another (to some kludgy) nerf in the next patch. I am rather attached to high stamina, since I dont want to be roughly equal in all stats (including cooldowns). It more flavor and more difference. I'd rather take more total damage through lower avoidance, say, and be a bigger burden to healing throughput, than be roughly the same in basic stats across the board. That way there's give and take. Whats the give and take if we have a bit more armor, the same stamina and similar cooldowns? I think that's a worse design.

Blizzard have said they want a raid to feel & play different depending on the tanking classes. If we all have identical-ish avoidance, health, armor and cooldowns, then it's an identical-ish encounter no matter what tank you use, from a pure survivability standpoint. Where's the fun in that?

Kalon said...

Grumpy, that's reasonable. GC has stated that it's tough nerfing an unpopular spec even if they're unbalanced - it just makes people even less likely to play it. My suspicion is that as long as the feral balance isn't so insane, they'll likely not nerf anything.

Travesty, I agree - health and armor was what bears were known for. I did address that a bit, and it's a fair point. A lot of people, myself included, have a ton of fun making healers drool wearing huge amounts of stamina gear and getting to 80k survival instinct buffs.

It might be better overall to let bears be the choice where you have a mana sponge. That might be more fun, and it's about the same as far as balance goes; nerfing druid health by 12-14% or nerfing druid mitigation by 12-14% ends up being roughly equivalent.

Warriors are a reasonable baseline simply because they are far and away the most populous tank, and as such must work for all encounters. Also, most good warriors state that any problems they have are mostly dps and threat related. Survival, cooldowns, health are all fairly reasonable, especially now that DKs aren't quite so insane.

I do absolutely agree that cooldowns are a lot more important in actually choosing who tanks what than is represented. It still is being given short shrift. Cooldowns are the new version of being unhittable, and druids are still in the cold.

DaveP, you absolutely did get me with that comment. :) Though the wife thing kinda creeps me out...

I'm actually looking for something of a shorter-term fix, something that will at least last throughout the rest of this expansion. The longer term fix requires remaking druids significantly. Giving them far more synergy and use from their DPS stats, making avoidance and block work better together, and normalizing all mitigation and health to some baseline (not the same, mind you, but equivalent values, so you may have more health but take more damage). I agree that if you don't have any real differences in tanks that there's no massively compelling reason to bring one over another. I keep getting shot down for saying that tanks need niches of some kind. I think that even if all tanks have the same capabilities in terms of base mitigation, avoidance, health and cooldowns, you'll still have reasonable differences. Mostly, I think you'll get back to defining who tanks a boss as the best player for that boss, not the best class.

DaveP said...

I apolgise for the wife comment; it was unnecessary and I was trying to be clever. I think blizzard are aiming for a very high ideal: different tanking classes, that feel & play different, that have a different effect on the raid, yet can tank all bosses more or less as well as each other. Its a very tricky problem to solve, and I dont think many players appreciate quite what they're trying to do, as lost as they are in the day to day currents of strong minded forum folk. When GC said recently they felt feral was one of their success stories, I think that went way over most people's heads. Still, their high ideals are what makes the game so popular imo, no matter what a minority of players may think, so I feel it all works out in the end.

Did you see that comment from ciderhelm recently, saying that they parsed the tank damage on hard Vezax, and found no significant difference in total damage taken between a blood dk & a warrior? That to me is a perfect example that bring the player not the class is working better than many think, since its the polar opposite of conventional wisdom. If that is true (and why would he lie?) it means blizzard are doing a much better job of tank balance in the context of real game play - which is all that matters - than some people believe.

Travesty said...

I'm glad to see I wasn't totally off with my post. I was in a bit of a rush and realised it turned out into more of an essay than a summary. xD

I think this is why any nerf would have to be something that wouldn't be detrimental to the class in the sense of making us incapable of tanking any encounter in the game, or make it harder for levelling, or for people who are not raiding.

We lack an "oh-shit" cooldown that pretty much stops damage from happening in amounts that matter. Barkskin is great over time but 20% damage reduction on bosses that are constantly swinging for 20k does nothing. SI is not really all that great at that either. It'll perhaps save you for 1 hit, but full on damage still needs to be healed up with the extra hitpoints.

I really like the mechanics of the Frenzied Rejuvenation glyph, and think something like bonus healing to bears done would be something interesting to explore. If they took out a chunk of armor, which I can see happening more so than a stamina nerf (as that would also inadvertently nerf SI), I'd like to see a talent granting 5-10% bonus healing received to druids in bear form.

It'd remove the squishy-effect that was felt by so many druids at the very beginning of the level 80 experience (gearing up for feral tanking was a pain apart from the few craftables) and help off set more healing being required for a significant armor nerf. I can perhaps see them changing Survival of the Fittest to 25% bonus armor.

Derrick said...

I think a much better way to go, if somewhat depressing, is to just reduce the stamina bonus bears get and compensate by increasing the stamina allotment on leather gear in general.

Thus, Leather awards the same stamina on gear per item budget as Plate; but bears gain the same effective stamina per point as warriors do.

Given that, warriors and druids suddenly scale evenly. A +sta gem gives a warrior the same benefit it does a druid. It's a simple change, and it allows both classes to scale equally with gear.

Torosso said...

To me this is very similar to how the armor multiplier on bear form works now.

It only applies to the cloth and leather items (including the cloak base armor).

I think that it could be done with out much trouble (if the cloak stam was included to make it consistent).

The question is "Are bears going to be that broken in IC?" Maybe but then they will wait until the IC patch to make the next change to Bears.

Very interesting

doug said...

- BiS gear sets are sets 3% of the entire playerbase will get their hands on, as acknowledged by Blizzard. Nerfing because bears have XK health over tank Y in BiS gear is unfair for druids that are levelling or who are simply not in raiding environments.


So with these nerfs how can bears start tanking heroics and naxx?

All the bear nerfs are for close to BiS bears not the bulk of bears.

What about 10 man only bears?

What about just starting to raid bears?

It is all based off your main point of feral (dps/tank) druids scaling too well of too few stats.

doug said...

Kalon please do these comparisons for starter bears, non-BiS bears, 10 man bears and bear with out hard mode gear.

Compare that to other tanks in the same situation and then make an assumption.

Bear has too much scaling off too few stats, SD did NOTHING to fix this.

That is what needs to be addressed at the same time.

Sorry if I am coming off all salty and angry but I want bear to be viable and fun for non-BiS bears.

Xarnen said...

@Derrick
The problem with that idea is that you now start give rogues a ton more stamina, and there may be a dps survival/pvp balancing issue with that.

I like the idea proposed of reducing the mitigation of PotP, and perhaps changing that talent to a more threat based mechanic. From my experiences, right now paladins are much much to overpowered with regards to threat. This really has caused some issues on trash packs where the uber-threat paladin with less than optimal survival is blowing all his CDs to survive trash (Ulduar). I end up raged starved because avenging shield is getting such a quick start on threat, I end up rage starved and having to taunt off one just to get some rage dodge. Then a loose one goes after my threat happy mage..you get the idea.

But overall, I like the proposed idea for addressing the high end stuff, and would be interesting to see how it scales through and through from new bears to decked out bears.

Thessaly said...

I'm not quite in BiS (we're in between the two tiers of 25 hardmodes), and I tank alongside a warrior and paladin. We're all JCs, and all have equivalent secondary professions that provide roughly the same health benefit. We've been unlucky on some drops (first HoI dropped last night), but by and large we're pretty equivalently geared.

I'm primarily gemmed for Sta, with shifting in red slots when the bonus is agi or sta, as are the other tanks. Fully raid buffed the difference in our health is maybe 2-3k, not the 7k you cite for non-pvp BiS. Further, I think the numbers for Bears with that level of BiS gear are going to be even lower, since at least a third of those pieces are also BiS for multiple dps. So I don't think the gap is all that huge. Though it does suggest we may start pulling ahead in the next tier.

The biggest issue I have with your solution is that we already don't care about tank jewelry. It already feels like we're getting someone else's itemization. For example, you mention in your bear itemization post that bears should probably pass the neck you list as BiS here to other tanks first. If the sta multiplier were removed, those slots matter even less then they do now. It makes already awkward and uninteresting itemization even more so.

Travesty said...

@Doug

I don't think it's fair to say "nerfs are for BiS bears, not the bulk of bears" - any nerf will have an impact on every bear. Now, obviously those that are in the best gear will be the most effected but I remember having a hard time tanking some of the harder heroics when I hit 80 after the armor nerf.

I just think that this whole situation cannot be properly fixed without a huge overhaul to the bear spec. We need to scale with other stats. We need to care for things other than stamina and agility.

We can't do that right now and any nerf would have to be substantial enough to last for this expansion only and then for the next one they can rework how the class scales and hopefully make us care for more stats.

I can't think of a way to do it right now, but I'm thinking an armor nerf and a bonus healing talent implemented in patch 3.3 to offset poor cooldowns with lower armor.

Travesty said...

It appears I misread what you said, Doug, so I apologise if that's not what you meant.

I have to absolutely agree with Thessaly and the fact of the matter is, my guild will probably never do hard modes in 25 man (irregular attendees, poor coordination), we've done some hard modes in 10 man though and our warrior tank and myself are within 4k, all with preference to gemming stamina.

Kalon said...

All - I've made another post with some more examples of some less-geared situations here:

http://wowthinktank.blogspot.com/2009/07/druidnerfing-stamina-right-way-2-more.html

Go check it out!

DaveP - I did see that comment from Ciderhelm, and I'm amazingly dubious. For starters, DKs got nerfed pretty hard in the damage point, so it's reasonable to think that. But at the same time, unless you're doing something like a cooldown rotation on your tank, the DK will simply take less damage on the surges than the warrior; this can't really be fought. I think that taking anecdotal evidence as proof that everything is perfect is risky.

Travesty, I've heard and felt the squishiness at the heroic level, and I really wish I knew what it was. My guess is that with that low of avoidance savage defense isn't nearly as effective, and between that and being hit more you're taking a lot more damage than other tanks early on. I don't know that more health will fix that.

And I hate the 'healing more' mechanic, personally. Healers can't act on that quickly enough. It isn't intuitive. And most importantly, it does nothing to help you when you're actually taking damage, only helping after the fact.

Derrick, that's a far bigger change than what I proposed. As others said, it makes rogues and warriors all have the same health - but it also means all resto and moonkin now have the same health as a plate wearer. That isn't going to fly.

Doug - check out the stats I provided today and see if that helps some.

Thessaly - you really don't care about tank jewelry? I certainly do. It has high armor, stamina, and often dodge and expertise. I would like to care more about strength and defense, but I'm sure that other tanks would like to care more about stamina like bears do. I feel like it evens out, mostly.

Travesty - the biggest problem isn't nerfing BiS bears - it's nerfing bears who choose to go for stamina over all. The fact is that there's no real necessity to do anything else, and the benefits of doing so are quite high. Bears have the luxury of doing other things (much like they did in Naxx) because their stamina is so high.

So the point is not to nerf best in slot bears; it's to nerf all bears and make stamina not quite so insane, especially in places where bears and other tanks share gear and strategies. At least so goes the theory.

Thessaly said...

Don't care about tank jewelry may have been hyperbole. To say that it's the least interesting part of our gearing might be more accurate. The difference between the various tank jewelry is pretty minor. It's not fun or interesting to compare two pieces to decide which has the fewest vestigial stats. It doesn't feel like a real choice deciding between two necks or rings. It's even worse than our leather pieces, since tank jewelry with agility doesn't exist.

By contrast, on my Protadin or Warrior, all the stats are useful, there's a balancing act to be done between the different types of avoidance, the defense cap to worry about, and the gearing choices are meaningful.

To be clear, I don't think the solution is tank leather or bear jewelry. I think bears need to be dependent on dps stats for avoidance/mitigation. Dps stats need to matter in such a way that two pieces differ in more than just how much sta and agi they have.

The one advantage I see to your solution is that it makes dps jewelry much more viable for tanking and may actually provide some avenue for choices there.

Anonymous said...

Why do you compare health of stamina stacking druid with other tank while saying that he has same avoidance? Other tanks will have over 10% more avoidance, or about same hp with same avoidance.
My paladin alt has 11k less hp and 11% more avoidance raidbuffed for example(65%).

Kalon said...

anon - this post is more than a bit old, and it was before the avoidance nerf that occurred to bears in 3.2. That's one reason that I believe (now) that druids aren't going to be nerfed any time soon; while their stamina is kind of stupid, their avoidance is also fairly low relative to other tanking classes.

Buxton said...

Am I alone in thinking BoK is the root of the problem? This may seem as if its coming from left field, but bear(!) with me.

BoK is the only scaling buff. Back in vanilla beta MotW was slated as being the best buff, but it turned out to be pretty lacklustre. Instead, BoK with its scaling has a radical benefit. Worse that it was originally Alliance only.

It set the trend. In BC both factions got BoK and classes started to get scaling talents. The gap between rich and poor suddenly got wider and the nerf cycles got shorter.

So, first off they need to erase BoK from the game. It was a mistake from day one. Losing it hurts all tanks but bears most. Then lets see where we stand.

Kalon said...

Buxton - I really can't agree. All the tanks have the same 10% buff from BoK, and it multiplies bears no more than other people. Now it gives bears more stamina than others because they have higher values to begin with - but the reason that's the case is because of the base bear multiplier.

The discrepancy comes almost entirely from the bear multiplier combined with direct stamina boosts (like fort) and things that get multiplied more compared to other tanks (such as gems and enchants). That's the real reason.

You could get rid of BoK and it would change the value...slightly. But it wouldn't be that big of an effect and wouldn't change the overall values.

Buxton said...

My point was really that multipliers are bad for balancing. It started with BoK, so I'd like to see some Blizzard admission that BoK was a mistake before they tune down other scalings.