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Posts with tag block-value

The Light and How to Swing It: Tanking stat changes in Cataclysm

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown.

Since paladins are last on the list for the upcoming Cataclysm class previews due to how Blizzard ended up doing the development schedule, we've got another week and a half to wait for our details. I'm not picky as long as it gets done, so there's no reason to really grumble other than having to wait an extra week. However, I thought I'd go over some of the things we do know about Cataclysm for tanking.

Blizzard has mentioned that they're going to rethink tanking cooldowns and has previously asked for feedback on some of the abilities we currently have -- but to what end, we're unsure at this time. What they have told us about thus far is how some of the avoidance stats will be working in the coming expansion. Essentially, the only avoidance stat that isn't changing is dodge, with the others either being overhauled or removed. Let's take a look.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm

Pimp My Profile: Derongar, protection warrior

Welcome to Pimp My Profile, the column in which the WoW.com staff turns zeroes into heroes. Don't think you're performing where you should be? Not sure how your class/spec is supposed to be gearing up? E-mail us with your Armory link, and you might be next to receive our help!

I WANT TO RAID GOOD. Please, teach me to raid gooder than I already raid.

-Derongar
While I believe that your gear is pretty solid (at first I was confused by the lower stamina but then I realized you'd logged out in arms spec but tanking gear) there are a few places that can be adjusted.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Pimp My Profile

Changes coming for Block in Patch 3.2

Well, as we already discussed, block is currently a lackluster stat for tanking. But patch 3.2 has some changes in store, and one of those changes is to how much block value you'll see on just about everything, clearly aimed at boosting block's worth.
  • Block Value: The amount of bonus block value on all items has been doubled. This does not affect the base block value on shields or block value derived from strength.
  • On-Use Block Value Items: All items and set bonuses that trigger temporary increases to block value have been modified. Instead of increasing their block value amount by 100% like other items, they have all had their effect durations doubled. This applies to Glyph of Deflection, Gnomeregan Autoblocker, Coren's Lucky Coin, Lavanthor's Talisman, Libram of Obstruction, Tome of the Lightbringer, Libram of the Sacred Shield, the tier-8 paladin Shield of Righteousness bonus, the tier-5 paladin Holy Shield bonus, and the tier-5 warrior Shield Block bonus.
What this basically means is twofold. First, of course, you're going to be blocking for more damage. Since the amount of block value you get from your shield and from strength will not be affected, it won't be exactly double what you're blocking for now, but it will be close to that much: expect to see at least 75% more block value all told.

Secondly, however, any item you've been using to temporarily double your block value either for mitigation or for threat (I used to keep Coren's in my bags for that very reason) will not provide double the block value on the proc, but rather the same amount for twice as long. To use Coren's as an example, it will now provide 118 block value, and when used will provide 200 more block value for 40 seconds instead of 20.

If anything this will increase block's value as a threat stat (I've seen no changes to abilities like Damage Shield, Shield of Righteousness or Shield Slam) as well as giving it a bit more teeth as a mitigation tool. I don't think it's a permanent fix to block, but as a stopgap measure it should make the worth of it a bit more obvious.

Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Buffs

The woes of Block

In a discussion of tanking mechanics on the forums, Ghostcrawler made a long and in depth post about various subjects that helped consolidate one of the real problems with block and block value in Wrath of the Lich King. Not only is blocking something that only two of the four tanking classes do, but it's a pretty lackluster stat for boss tanking.

  • Block as a mechanic is somewhere between avoidance and mitigation. Ideally it removes a fair amount of damage (vs. all damage) reasonably often (vs. rarely). If block is up 100% of the time it just becomes armor that you improve through a different stat. We have let block chances creep up frankly because the amount blocked is pretty trivial when bosses are hitting for 40% of your health pool every swing. If this still strikes you as too RNG, imagine abilities like Shield Block and Holy Shield that could guarantee 100% chance to block for a short period of time.
  • We don't think block is cutting it as a mechanic, but the direction we are likely to take it is probably more of a change than you are considering.
The problem with block (which is really two mechanics in one, block rating which determines how often you block, and block value, which determines how much damage you subtract from a hit when you block it) is that for trash, it's inflated due to the block chance creeping upwards that GC mentions above. But for boss fights where a boss can either hit you physically for far, far more than you could ever block or hits you with massive magical damage that block does nothing at all against (well, unless you're a warrior in Tier 8 with the four piece set bonus) block has simply fallen behind the curve.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Forums

Lichborne: A Death Knight statistics primer

Death Knight Itemization: This guy is doing it wrong.
Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column by professor Daniel Whitcomb, who totally has a PhD in Death-Knightology from Ebon Hold University. It's the truth, I swear.

I've seen a lot of people asking these questions as we've been getting into the expansion: Now that I am trying to gear by Death Knights, what stats should I get? What's good for a Death Knight? Which armor should I take. We've started getting in that somewhat in the last few columns, with advice on reputation gear and starting zone gear, but I figured today we should delve a little bit more into the why of Death Knight stats.

Today's column will double as a little bit of primer on how Death Knights get their power, and what stats you should be looking for on armor in general to make your Death Knight the best it can be. It's not completely in depth, but it should get you well on the road to understanding just how Death Knights get all that awesome power and sexiness.

We'll have 3 sections today. The Good are stats that are excellent choices for DPS, Tanks, or both. The So-So are stats which still do us some good, but are pretty situational or conditional in their usefulness. The Outcasts are those stats that you should avoid -- Well, I'd say avoid like the plague, but we're Death Knights. We like the plague around here. So I'll just say you should avoid them.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, Leveling, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Shield me, my love

Warriors of all shapes and sizes have one thing in common, their need for a good shield. They are the life blood of any tanking strategy. They give us health, protection, and threat. For a protection warrior, the shield is often time the most important part of their inventory. This is both a blessing and curse. While a good shield can't help a bad tank become good, a bad shield can easily make a good tank bad.

There are a few key stats in a shield to look at. First, the armor – one of the most important stats for a tank. It lets us take less damage from each hit, which means our health lasts longer and our raid survives more. Block Value is another important stat, and helps determine how much damage a shield will outright mitigate when an attack is blocked. Finally, stamina and defense are also always present on a shield, and are again, a key stat for a warrior.

While these stats are beautiful all in their own way, their infrequency in upgrades presents a problem for some warriors. To show what I'm talking about, let's take a look at what shields are available for the protection spec warrior at level 70.*

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion

Getting defensive about Zul'Aman tank gear

Player Faldomar of the Cenarius server has very unhappy to see that much of the tanking gear dropping in Zul'Aman is lacking in Defense. How is a tank supposed to do their job if they can't get the uncrittable benefit of 490 Defense as well as the boost to Block, Parry, Dodge and chance to be Missed?

Community Manager Bornakk responds that Zul'Aman gear is not meant to be a full replacement of Karazhan tanking gear. In fact, the low occurrence of Defense was intentional. Instead Blizzard wanted to offer pieces that filled other stat gaps to compliment alternate tanking styles. Examples are Hit Rating, Stamina and Block Value.

While it would be nice to have a full set of armor catering to our exact needs, the reality is that there are different styles of tanking (as well as healing, dps, etc.) Blizzard has chosen to service all those styles with their current system of modular mixing and matching. And if equipped armor doesn't put your stats where you want them to be, there is also the gem socket system to customize your toon even further.

Moral of the story? Don't expect a custom suit off the rack. An outfit that is going to fit you like a second skin is going to come from attention to detail on your part.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Items, Raiding

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