Thursday, July 23, 2009

[Druid]Nerfing stamina the right way 2 - more examples

In the last post, I mentioned a way to make druid stamina scale at any level of gear in a reasonable way compared to other tanks that would require very few nerfs going forward. Basically, it uses the same idea that bear armor had and only uses the bear multiplier for stamina found on leather and leather alone. Everything else just gets the normal feral multipliers, same as cat form does currently.

And by far the biggest concern in the comments (both here and at the WoW forums) was that this was way too big a hit on the starting druid and the midrange druid, and that they'd be hurt the most. (the second was 'would this be fun and is it even necessary, which I'll address tomorrow).

Before I give the answer to this, I want you to think about this for a bit. For starters, I gave an example of a druid not in BiS (myself) and compared them to other tanks and how they were - and trust me, I'm no where near best in slot geared. That gave an idea of what the scaling would be like if you didn't go full stam on everything - it was almost 2.5k difference compared to the best in slot full stam gearing druid.

Now, think about what the actual change does. It emphasizes stamina on leather first and foremost - that's unchanged. It then nerfs stamina from gems, enchants, and buffs.

Lower level gear, by comparison, is not affected nearly as much. There aren't nearly as many gem slots as higher tier gear (point of fact, this is one of the biggest ways that items are an upgrade for bears right now - if they have another gem slot). If you're starting out, you're not going to have the best enchants in the universe. In a heroic, the only buff you're going to count on is mark of the wild.

In short, the worse-geared druid will be affected by it, but not nearly as much.

That's the theory. Let's look and see what it's like.

First up, a bear geared in some of the better gear that they can get that is not a BoP from heroic or above, is not crafted with Ulduar items, is not from a raid or is otherwise easy to get. Note that some of this is expensive - the trollwoven set is expensive, after all. But it's worth it, and it's reasonable otherwise to assume a tank would try and get some of these. The enchants are cheap and favor stamina to some degree simply because the agility enchants are expensive. No profession bonuses are used, and rare gems are used only in a couple places and aren't perfectly ideal. This also means that the total stamina multiplier doesn't include kings, so the total stamina is .1486x normal, and the non-bear multiplier is only 1.189.

Again, gear lists at the end.

slot leather nonleather gem enchant other
head 69
0 0
49 0

shoulder 79
0 30
75 0

chest 169
72 8
bracers 61
24 6
117 0

hands 71
0 18
belt 72

legs 67
0 45
feet 61
0 18
34 12








total 649 371 108 125 212

Now, here's the best in slot values (just the totals)

slot leather nonleather gem enchant other
total 781 828 569 222 426

That's right. Compared to the best in slot stamina, the preheroic only loses about 132 stamina directly from leather. Part of that is using the Polar chestpiece - which is perfectly normal for early bears to do. Part of it is simple: there simply isn't that high of scaling between stamina pieces per itemization level.

But look at the gems! 461 stam just from gems. And the nonleather pieces are huge too - 457 stamina difference. And that's the part that's getting nerfed the most.

The final numbers for the preheroic geared bear with few enchants are thus: they start at 23.2k health. With the nerf, they lose 2420 health, bringing them to 20.6k health. That's a bit low, I think. One easy way to fix this would be to include the base stamina (121) as part of the bear multiplier. They'd then go to only losing 206 stamina total, or 2060 health and bringing that preheroic-geared bear to just about 21k.

Now a reasonable comeback here is that, much like the heavy clefthoof set from TBC, bears could be forced to depend on the Polar set simply because it gives way too much stamina. And that's fair. It may be reasonable to simply apply the stamina bonus on all gear but not enchants, gems and buffs. That would help quite a bit in the low-end case, still nerf those best in slot druids with massive enchant and gems, and help scaling otherwise. Just food for thought.

Okay, what about a more modestly geared druid than yours truly? I'll try this with one of the forum naysayers - Azshannya of Kirin Tor. They're modestly geared, only having a couple of pieces from Ulduar 25, a couple from U10, and the rest from Naxx and various other places. They've gone another route, choosing to maximize armor whenever possible. They start out at 44172 total health after buffs (again, 25-man). What do they get knocked down to?

slot leather nonleather gem enchant other
head 90
56 37
88 0

shoulder 85
18 0
84 0

chest 100
48 0
bracers 57
0 40
150 0

hands 75
0 0
belt 75

legs 99
24 55
feet 57
0 22
94 0








total 638 611 170 154 426

Again, comparing to best in slot:
slot leather nonleather gem enchant other
total 781 828 569 222 426

The leather total doesn't increase that much. The gem gulf is still ridiculously huge though. Might be interesting to consider just nerfing gems, no?

However, the total comes to something a bit alarming - this druid would lose about the same as what I would - 4450 health. That's quite a bit, bringing them down to just above 40k health. Is that reasonable?

It might be. The thing is, this druid didn't gear for stamina only. They don't have a second stamina trinket, their professions aren't stamina-centric (at least one of them), they've enchanted for armor and avoidance over stamina in many places, etc. Whereas that comparable warrior or paladin is putting stamina in every single slot they possibly can. It might be the case that this is too much, too. Is it fair that warriors have to gear for nothing but stamina, but bears have the luxury of branching out? I don't know. It feels like this might be a bit too extreme to start with. Then again, one of the goals was to nerf bears so that they wouldn't have to be nerfed again.

On some of the commenters (Nandy and others) that mentioned that they're only 3k ahead of other tanks in their guild - I'm really curious now. My suspicion is that there are either buffs that are missing or that the gear isn't perfectly full - on stamina centric, or professions aren't. I could be wrong, in which case this would put that bear behind the warrior. But again - might not be so bad.

Anyway, tomorrow I'll talk about the fun factor of it a bit more - where the summary is "My wife is more often than not right".

Gear lists:

Preheroic Azshannya
Head Eviscerator's Facemask Weakness Spectralizers
Neck Torta's Oversized Choker Mark of the Unyielding
Shoulders Trollwoven Spaulders Valorous Dreamwalker Shoulderpads
Chest Polar Vest Tunic of Indulgence
Waist Trollwoven Girdle Belt of the Tortured
Legs Mind-Expanding Leggings Proto-hide Leggings
Feet Jormscale Footpads Dawnwalkers
Wrist Drake-Champion's Bracers Thrusting Bands
Hands Handwraps of Preserved History Dislocating Handguards
Finger1 Ring of Earthen Might The Leviathan's Coil
Finger2 Iceforged Battle Ring Gatekeeper
Trinket1 Goblin Rocket Launcher Essence of Gossamer
Trinket2 Scarab of Displacement Defender's Code
Back Durable Nerubhide Cape Cloak of the Shadowed Sun
MainHand Stave of Shrouded Mysteries Origin of Nightmares
Ranged Idol of Terror Idol of Terror


Paul said...

"On some of the commenters (Nandy and others) that mentioned that they're only 3k ahead of other tanks in their guild - I'm really curious now. My suspicion is that there are either buffs that are missing or that the gear isn't perfectly full - on stamina centric, or professions aren't. I could be wrong, in which case this would put that bear behind the warrior. But again - might not be so bad."

With full raid buffs I hit 50591.
Nandy of Medivh

With full raid buffs Zeel, our warrior hits 46405.
Zeel of Medivh

With full raid buffs Tippo, our Paladin hits 46816.
Tippo of Medivh

We all 3 are JCers, but they do have a better second profession for sta than I do. Warrior has BS, and the paladin has enchanting. I have Inscription. I could add 50 sta to make my lead higher.

We all pretty well go for the decent socket bonuses. Myself for the sta/agi bonuses, them for the dodge rating/sta bonuses. We could all probably increase our hp by a good bit if we did full sta gems.

Its more like a 4k lead. I coulda swore the pally hit over 47k, he must of changed something. Probably changed some 24 sta gems into shifting.

While I am here, how do I calculate my final hp with a spread sheet a lot like the one you did. Do I simply add the 2255 from shout and 1300 from flask? Do I just multiply my total sta by x? What would x be? I already added a food section for that 40sta.

Finally, I agree, it might not be so bad if we are behind them. With our armor lead the way it is now.

Toskk said...

Hi Kalon,

Just a quick note after reading over the posts about Stamina multipliers.. the feral talents are additive with each other, rather than multiplicative (essentially all talents are). So Imp. Mark of the Wild + Survival of the Fittest is a x1.08 combined multiplier. Keep up the good articles :)


Anonymous said...


Bears might be a little overpowered right now, but I place the blame more on itemization than on our stats. One of the greater problems that nothing I've seen focus on yet is Hit/Expertise. I saw the thread on the forums about avoidance being nearly the same. I've seen numerous other threads about it and blogs. They all focus on avoidance and mitigation, without including those two stats, which are pretty important stats to both bears and cats (although expertise to a much lesser extent).

You take a look at most plate tanks, and they're loaded with both. My guild is just starting Ulduar-10 hard modes, and we have tanks of all 4 classes (myself being the only bear). While the other three have about 4-5k less health than I do, all 3 of them have have significantly more hit/expertise than I do (and unlike most tanks, I gem/enchant for hit/expertise when I can). If I'm not mistaken, the DK and the pally are both at the hit cap, and I know one of them is at the expertise cap. All while being defense capped, having avoidance/mitigation nearly the same as myself (within 5%, and probably closer). My hit on the other hand, while gemming/enchanting for it, is 2% below the cap (knowing that decimals are rounded off) and my expertise sits around 8% - about 8% below the hard cap. What do I have over them? Oh, I crit about 10% more than any of them.

Don't nerf the bears. Fix their itemization and give leather more hit/expertise.

Thessaly said...

I (Thessaly of Kargath) end up with 49.2k health raid buffed including shout. Our Protadin (Mikerk of Kargath) hits just under 48k. Our Warrior (Ghorlack of Kargath) is also just under 48k.

The difference is less than 2k in any case, even if I were to swap to a second stamina trinket. I could swap some Shiftings to Solid, but that basically comes down to swapping 66 sta for 80 agi when you account for set bonuses. I could maybe pull 3.5k ahead with a second sta trinket and regemming for pure stamina.

I think that next patch (216 sta trinket, anyone?) this will definitely become more of an issue. But right now I don't think we're so far ahead as to require massive adjustment, especially given our relatively lackluster damage reduction cooldown.

Paul said...

"Don't nerf the bears. Fix their itemization and give leather more hit/expertise."

Now that is just silly. Come on now. I just dropped gatekeeper for the hodir10 ring and I am still over the hit cap. I also have 31 exp from gear, 10 from talents. If I replaced my back, a trinket, and legs I can be hit and exp capped in the same set. If anything we have it MUCH better than plate classes in that part of itemization.

Scaling is certainly the issue imo.

Anywho wru Felhoof! This idiot, and by that I mean myself, needs to know how to calculate our hp!! =*(

Kalon said...

Paul - really quickly, since I don't have much time right this second - all you do is take the stamina difference after you've gone through the multipliers and then multiply that by 10. 1 stam = 10 HP. That's it.

What I did to figure things out is to simply load everything in Rawr, see the health total, then figure out the difference in stamina and manually compute the health difference. That's it. Hope that helps.

Paul said...

Thanks man, that fixed it! I was forgetting the whole fact that we had base stats. >.>

Thessaly said...

Here's our stats from just before tonight's Steelbreaker pull, fully fluffed. While we do have an edge in health and armor, I don't think it's so gross as to warrant any massive adjustments.

Thessaly (Druid)
49.3k health
32.9k armor
47.69% dodge

Mikerk (Paladin)
47.9k health
28.2k armor
28.37 dodge
20.55 parry

Ghorlack (Warrior)
47.1k health
27.8k armor
27.74 dodge
19.45 parry

Michael said...

My toon Roots sits around 52k fully raid buffed, a solid 5-6k above any of the other tanks I used to run with. JC/LW, pvp shoulder enchant, 2 shiftings 3 solid prismatic and the rest solid make it pretty easy to do. Two things I'd change: wrist from 10man XT hardmode, and praying to see Twisted Visage drop which would put me around 250 Hit with 32 expertise. (My hit is godaweful right now, but even with hit food no one pulls off me outside of gimmick fights)

Some of these naysayers look like they prefer dps leather to better itemized tank leather. I'd take a 4k hit if it truly fixed the problem, but I'd be concerned about leveling a druid as a tank and starting off endgame with these changes(my first pull in Heroics+polar gear in Nax10 I sat at 28k)

Anonymous said...

I might be ignorant, and I dont want to offend anyone, but I truley dont understand why you want Hit rating for a tank!

Threat on a single mob/boss is, in my opinion, no issue. It is AoE threat that might be troubelsome.

If you cant keep agro just let the other tank taunt the boss and taunt the boss back imideately.

Expertise is not that great either (for mitigation). Acording to my calculations (not shown) 2,5 expertise is equal to 1% less damage taken (on avarage) and if you dont have above 10-12% expertise you can expect to take 2 parry haste in a row on a boss fight (10 min). Since most tanks tank with less then 10-12% expertise, expertise is not some thing to die for (:p) to get.

Anonymous said...

Edit: 2,5% expertise = 1% less damage taken.

Kalon said...

Continued in part 3 here:

Toskk - I had no idea they weren't multiplicative. Huh. So imp Motw + Hotw+SotF are actually just a straight 1.18 multiplier? Weird. Not a big deal, but it makes the numbers slightly off here and there. Good to know.

Anon - I don't really care about hit/expertise. My threat is fine, and it has been for a while. When I've got good gear my hit is usually close to the cap and my expertise is well over the dodge cap. Giving bears more of this will just make rogues and cats miserable without really gaining anything, and it won't make PvP gear any less awesome.

Thessaly, thanks again for taking the time to do that. Same to you, Paul.

Michael, I am a bit worried about the beginning level bear tank too. I'm very tempted to just go buy some bad gear and go to town with it, and see how I can do. I think that with conquest badges coming out this really won't be an issue; it'll be so easy to get better gear that you'll be shooting up gearing in no time.

Anon - hit is useful for a number of things, like taunt resists, picking up loose adds, and doing more damage. While it's not crucial, it is important. And many bosses can't be taunted and threat is very important. I don't value hit a great deal relative to other stats, but saying it's of no value is a bit silly. Same with expertise. That being said, I don't really care if more hit/expertise shows up on gear. I want the other stats to matter more.

Anonymous said...

Tanking is not just about health pools. Warriors, paladins and DK have FAR SUPERIOR mitigation cooldowns. Nerfing bear health would absolutely require improved CDs, otherwise who in their right mind would ever use a bear to tank? Blizzard has stated on many occations that they do not want 4 identical tanking classes, and it seems everyone else wants them to all be the same.