Today's theme is stamina

| Friday, May 22, 2009
JC gems are getting nerfed. Their BoP gems will no longer be prismatic. This means that JC tanks can no longer stack stam and get free stats in the process from the socket bonuses. I find this to be perfectly reasonable. The bonuses are there to discourage stacking one stat to the complete exclusion of others.

[Oops] I forgot to add: min-maxing with professions is a fool's quest. Everything at the top gets nerfed: professions, specs, classes, arena teams. If you change your profession to try to get the best, you are changing your profession to one which will be nerfed. When it gets nerfed, don't complain, you would have been safe originally. Average is average. It moves slowly. The top moves a lot. If you want a roller-coaster, then go for the min-max professions, class, spec, whatever. I'll stick with whatever is fun for me. It is a game after all.

On the subject of stam stacking: it's a bad idea for 99% of tanks. I'm underestimating. But what about effective health? Psh. It matters for only a very few rare encounters and odds are, you're not doing any of them. In fact, it doesn't matter there either. Let's see why. Effective health is about time to live, about how much damage you can take before you die. What's the difference between 40k EH and 41k EH? Not much at all. Unless you're taking damage in 1k doses, the odds are very low that you're going to die with 40k and wouldn't have with 41k. If you're taking damage in 1k doses, you could get by with far less anyway. Odds... those are the reason avoidance stacking gets bashed. Avoidance is a gamble but health is certain, except health isn't certain to save you anyway. Avoidance at least means that on lower burst fights your healers can relax or maybe switch specs to DPS.

This doesn't mean that stam doesn't matter. If you can't take one hit, you're too low no matter your avoidance (okay fine, 100% avoidance rogue tanks worked on a couple fights in BC). After that, what are you going for? Two hits, three, three with an AoE? There are various stepping stones of useful health. Which one are you aiming for? Maybe you can't add it up, so you just stack stam and hope you're at the next one. Fine. However do not assume that extra stam is helping you or your raid. Consider that the 1/100 time when a little more health would have saved you, a less laggy healer would have done the same, or a little more avoidance.

While we're on the subject of health and enough: 22k is enough for early heroics like Utgarde Keep. I switched from my rogue to my warrior to tank H UK. I get the invite and they ask:
"Are you tank specced?" Yes.
"Are you in tank gear?" Yes.
"Your health is really low." It's enough. I tanked this yesterday.
"Did you finish?" Yes...
This was with the engineering gun, BS helm, and pants from H VH. I was well over the defense cap. Compared to what my paladin started with, I was overgeared.

There are times for certain types or amounts of gear. Early heroics require very little gear. Later ones more. Naxx more, Ulduar even more. Heroics don't require much stam, they tend to favor avoidance because few bosses hit especially hard. Trash favors block, bosses favor avoidance and stamina. This has an important lesson: don't try to imitate the gearing strategies of super-high-end tanks and think that will make you better. It won't. They're not gearing for the same content as you and they don't fight the same way.

Okay, tangent time. During some of my readings I found claims that poverty is caused by culture. Okay, not that bad of an idea, I see some truth to it. But the attempt at practical application tended to be fail: reversals of cause and effect. Poor people act trashy while rich people are classy, clearly poor people are poor because they have no class. All we need to do is introduce some class and they'll be all better. It doesn't work this way. Sure there are practical things like "wear pants and don't swear so much during job interviews" but that's not the aim of so many of these analysis of culture and poverty. When I started this I remembered how it was related to the gearing thing... Oh right. Acting like the elite does not make one elite.


Stabs said...

I think you're not really getting Effective Health as a concept.

"Unless you're taking damage in 1k doses, the odds are very low that you're going to die with 40k and wouldn't have with 41k"

OK, say you're tanking a boss that hits for 20K. The 40K tank can take 2 hits the 41K tank can take 3 hits. I bet you the 2% more avoidance the 40K tank has won't make him a better tank for that fight relative to the 50% better I Can Take Hits factor.

Of course usually even raid bosses hit for a lot less than half a tank's health so you're talking about 5% avoidance vs 5% effective health and a situation where the boss needs 4-5 hits to kill you. Well the danger of dying comes when there's a parry haste sequence or some special attack at about the same time as a normal attack or both or some other combination where a flurry of attacks land. Possibly as a moment when your healers are all moving. The I can last a little longer factor beats the I may not take so much damage factor in terms of seeing you through that spike (unless you get lucky with avoidance).

Have a read of Ciderhelm's original article on this

Regarding idiots refusing to take you to pugs, idiots are idiots. But just because they're idiots doesn't mean you can just do the opposite every time and be optimal.

Klepsacovic said...

I'm getting it, I'm just not stopping at saying "bigger number is better" and assuming that the situational use of it always wins. The chances that the extra health will save you are just that, chances. Will it happen? Sure. But in my opinion, it's when you're at the very edge of what your raid' gear can handle. Only two types of raids are in that position: extremely fast progression guilds (Ensidia) and stupid guilds who think it's more productive to wipe for a week than to get better gear for a day and wipe for the remainder of the week (a few guilds I've been in). EH is for the extremes of good and bad. I am at neither, so it's not a particularly useful concept for me.

Stabs said...

But in my opinion, it's when you're at the very edge of what your raid' gear can handle.

yup, that's exactly what Cider has always said.

Klepsacovic said...

I've noticed I tend to go back and forth on EH. It's an important concept, but I can't seem to figure out how important. Some of my inability to accept it probably comes from my hatred of it since it favors high-armor, high-health classes: druids and DKs, rather than my preferred paladins and warriors. Even more though, it encourages us to go against our design as blockers, towards stam stacking at the expense of other stats, especially BV.

My overall feelings on EH: It's the result of bad design but it's not going to go away.

Fish said...

Ugh, this is going to be a huge pain for those of us that socketed the +41 stam gems in semi-permanent items (do I think I'll be getting an upgrade to the tempered titansteel helm? not bloody likely). My theory on gearing has always been: there are a lot of stats I need, I want to get as much of as many of them as I can.

Klepsacovic said...

@Fish: Ah yes, the classic gear strategy: "What's your priority stat?" Re: "iLevel."

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