Thursday, May 5, 2011

[Bear]Oh, the joys of savage defense continued

I've talked about how Savage Defense likely would work and how good or bad it'd be, how it works on the PTR and how it continued to work there, how SD uptime works, how good and bad it is against specific fights, and then later comments on SD in cata, especially after we found out that the combat logs are probably bugged.

To be clear: I don't like the mechanic. I don't like that it is a static amount of damage in a world where almost all other mitigation mechanics are percentages. I don't like that it has weird interactions with multiple mobs (though at least that is better with 4.1). I don't like the interaction with vengeance.

But today: I really don't like how weak it is, and I really don't like the bugs in it.

I did some study on the mathematical importance of having Pulverize and having good pulverize uptime, and the results really shocked me. You can find the long topic at the wow forums, but the basic info is that I wrote a simulator that would simulate a boss attacking and dodging and then tested a few sets of values of avoidance, hit, crit, expertise to see what would happen - specifically what would happen when you assume pulverize isn't there and you lose the 9% crit.

I expected that it wouldn't be that big a deal in terms of uptime of savage defense. And boy was I wrong! Pulverize, depending on your gear level and avoidance/crit/cap levels, is equivalent to having about 5-6% block% for a paladin or warrior. In other words, you block 5-6% more of the attacks that land with pulverize active 100% of the time.

That's huge! That'd be a big, BIG bonus for a paladin or warrior. It sounds great! And for the first time I have a nice, simple way of testing various uptimes of Savage Defense in a way that is actually simulated and not entirely theoretical.

Then I dug into it some more. That 5-6% block? Well, on a boss that does 70k damage after armor (which would be one of the more harder-hitting bosses in the game currently, like Atramedes, but not as bad as Nefarian) this would be the equivalent of reducing the average attack damage (average after avoidance, blocks and not blocked) from 35.5k to 36.7k. And that's assuming a 20k shield - which as you'll see isn't a fair assumption.

Huh. That's...disappointing. And that's on something that hits every 2.0 seconds for 70k. For things that hit harder, it gets worse. For things that hit more often it gets MUCH worse; many many more missed attacks means that blocked attacks are even less frequent and less useful when they do happen. it's not as great as we thought. It's not as great as Tangedyn's spreadsheet would indicate or my prior calcs indicate or Rawr indicates. That's not the end of the world, and we never thought it was THAT good, right?

Then today there's a post on SD being 'nerfed'. And the usual folks say logs or GTFO, and that's fair, so they're actually produced. And you see things like this:

[00:55:48.039] Beradon gains Savage Defense from Beradon (Remaining: 18267)
[00:55:54.475] Beradon's Savage Defense is refreshed by Beradon (Remaining: 15009)
[00:55:56.929] Atramedes hits Beradon 54922 (A: 21286)

That's right; SD got refreshed by a later SD proc, but because vengeance was lower the SD shield it created was actually smaller. In other words, it'd be better to not have attacked during that time. That means that any streak of avoidance actually hurts mitigation down the road. Bleh.

There are countless other examples in that post about SD not working the right way with multiple mobs, but we don't know whether that's an actual bug or just issues with the combat log. It effectively makes it impossible to determine the actual usefulness of savage defense from log parses, however; either the log is telling us the truth and SD is bad, or the log is lying but we don't know how badly.

Man, do I hate this ability. So very, very much. I guess the good news is this: Savage Defense is going to be less and less relevant as we get better gear and as we face bigger mobs, so after a while it won't be worth worrying about.


Anonymous said...

Man, do I hate this ability. So very, very much. I guess the good news is this: Savage Defense is going to be less and less relevant as we get better gear and as we face bigger mobs, so after a while it won't be worth worrying about.

SD not working will get more relevant as haste all ready sucks, crit feeds it and hit/exp do a combo of feeding SD + threat.

So that will leave bears with nothing beyond agi/stam, which come from iLvl, to impact tank power stats. As other wise grabbing the gear gear with the highest amount of possible dodge reforge in the tier will always be the best option.

That is really lame.

Anonymous said...

Man, do I hate this ability. So very, very much. I guess the good news is this: Savage Defense is going to be less and less relevant as we get better gear and as we face bigger mobs, so after a while it won't be worth worrying about.

How would mastery not being good matter less when gear improves? As combat rating increase if mastery ends up sucking then all combat ratings also suck as all of them except haste impact SD uptime.

So bears would be in a iLvl matters and naught else ergo PvP or bust situation. With the rating stat on PvP gear being reforged into threat or dodge. Nothing else would matter so why not?

Xarnen said...

Food for thought: What if dodge rating went away and we got our dodge chance directly from haste(in addition to agi of course)?

Copey said...

So with all the boo, plus the hiss attributed to Savage Defense, does this mean we are more free to reforge more stats into Dodge?

For example, I have tons of bear gear with Crit and Mastery on there as the only two lesser stats. I have been leaving those as is, and reforging Haste into Dodge when available. If SD is bad, and as you gear up in raid epics “not worth worrying about”, does that lesson the importance of Crit and Mastery? Or at least Mastery, since Crits gives us rage?

I might be missing some important info on this thought process…I’ve regrettably been the lead healer for the raid I run in my guild since Caty dropped. I literally had too many tanks that wanted to raid.

Kalon said...

Anon1: as your gear improves, whether it has haste, crit, exp, mastery, or hit doesn't matter since it'll make very little difference anyway relative to the gains you'll get from more stam/agi.

Thus, it's basically ilvl and reforging the highest stat to dodge regardless of what it is. Which makes PvP gear...much more desirous.

Xarnen: that would help...some. Then haste would be awesome, mastery would be okay, and the rest would be meh. The real problem is that ultimately bears don't care that much about any of these things since savage defense is so weak relative to avoidance. You can fix that by making the secondary stats do something bears care about - or you can fix it by fixing savage defense. As it stands ilvl is king - not only for the higher agi/stam, but for the higher armor as well.

Copey: you should already have been reforging your highest non-mastery stat to dodge. This changes nothing, save that it's likely more important to do so.

John said...

Hello Kalon. Was not sure where to post a question - so thought I would here. It centers around the use of RAWR. For bear tanks which I am(Shatterhorn - Arthas), you can choose RAWR to optimize either mitigation or survival, on the tank side of things. I try to be a good little bear and improve mitigation, dodge, health pool and threat. This issue with RAWR is that it does not take into account threat - and thus the optimizer wants me to change gear that may not be appropriate given the whole picture. This has been frustrating to me as everybody seems to rave about RAWR and I can't seem to find that kind of use for it. Can you comment on that, maybe here or future post??

Thanks for all your hard work - much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Hi John. I took a look at your character on the armory and noticed a few things. Because of the way vengeance works, threat isn't really an issue except during the opening moments of a fight. You really shouldn't reforge to get more hit and expertise for raids. You seem to have a pretty good idea of what you're doing overall though. Also, for your other trinket I'd recommend Fluid Death from Valor vendor or Tia's Grace borth reforged into dodge to replace that Unheeded Warning. Concerning Rawr, once you have loaded your character into the program, click on the Options tab and it allows you to set your threat level. I actually use "Almost None" because of my earlier statement about threat. I don't claim to be a great expert, but if you want to check out my character it is Awto of Emerald Dream-US.

Anonymous said...

Totally lost on agi vs stam now for my bear tanking due to 4.1 and RAWR seemingly changing its stat ratings.
I read agi stacking was the Cata way and stam stacking was the way of WotL (and the dodo for that matter). If I use RAWR straight up for my bear, it basically wants me to get mitigation and survival to be almost equal. Due to that mentality, it is telling me to stack stam for nearly everything! Awto (last post below) has tons of agi, and hardly any stam gems.

Please let me know, are we to stack stam, or agi, or an even steven approach on them both?

Also, is armor best of all? Reason I ask is because Wowhead's stat ratings give armor such a high rating, the Bedrock Talisman is rated best in slot trinket, and the 316 Heart of Thunder is rated higher than both Symbiotic's and a mess of other stuff that RAWR had rated much higher (like Fluid death reforged to dodge).

Any help would be greatly appreciated....