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Posts with tag sacred-duty

Vengeance, threat stats, and the future of tanking

Personally, I love Vengeance, even with all of its ups and downs and redesigns. But a recent discussion of Vengeance by math guy Theck over at Sacred Duty has hit the forums, and Ghostcrawler responded with the following.

Ghostcrawler - Why make vengeance so complicated .. really.
We don't want tanks to do awesome damage just for being tanks. We want tanks to do awesome damage when they are actually tanking. That remains the governing philosophy behind the design.

Remember, Vengeance doesn't exist to give tanks something fun to do. It exists solely to make sure tank threat stays high when DPS characters are gearing for higher DPS while the tanks gear primarily for survival. Tanks only need to generate high threat when they are tanking, and typically threat is the most important on the most dangerous opponents, which also tend to be those who hit the hardest.

As an aside, if I was able to design WoW solely for me, threat would still be an important stat to gear for. Raiders would scoff at tanks who stacked only Stamina as being bad tanks because they couldn't hold aggro. It was fun for me back in BWL to try to generate higher threat than the warlocks. I don't think it was that fun for the warlocks though. I don't think it was that fun for the rest of the raid when I screwed up e.g. my Heroic Strike use and caused us to wipe without them feeling like they could do anything to resolve the situation except stop DPS. Fortunately, I recognize that WoW would have far fewer players if I got to design it totally around what I find fun. :)



Here's the thing: I used to gear for threat. As recently as early Cataclysm, before the 500% threat increase, I was arguing for hit and expertise gear on tanks. Threat stats and threat generation were important parts of gearing a tank. A good tank didn't just ignore those stats. Granted, I've always tanked on a warrior, and that's been the lowest damage (and thus, lowest threat) tanking class since The Burning Crusade. But I was always motivated to put out as much threat as I could feasibly arrange and stay alive.

So now I'm forced to consider: Is this a case where Ghostcrawler should be designing for himself? Yes, I understand the argument that it's not fun for DPS players to have to throttle themselves. But are our only options Vengeance and massive threat or throttling?

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: Prot talents 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 soon, an entire flight of black dragons. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to gregg@wow.com.

If you saw my column last week, you'll notice that I've been less than thrilled with the way the protection tree had been progressing in the beta. Sure, things have been getting better, but it has felt as if the whole tree is fairly unsettled. With the latest build, we're finally starting to see things get a little smoother and the mechanics to make a little bit more sense. Keeping Holy Shield up is easier than in previous builds, and a lot of depth to the types of strategies we can have while tanking has greatly improved. Also, our mastery bonus has been official revealed.

I'm going to use the same type of disclaimer that I did on the ret talents article. These may not be the talents we'll end up seeing when the expansion hits, but they're getting there. Some talents will look pretty close to how they exist currently, while others have absolutely nothing to do with their current versions. Let's go take a look.

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

Insider Trader: Profession-specific buffs part 3

Mining
Miners are given Toughness, an ability that at max rank, awards +50 stamina. This is a lovely bonus for tanks! A tank's talents will take this well beyond +500 hp, and stamina is also multiplied by buffs and talents such as Blessing of Kings (and not all stats are). This is also going to be helpful in PvP, where stamina is especially important.

Herbalism
Herbalists get Lifeblood, a self-heal, that at max rank, awards +2000 HP over 5 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown. This can be used in or out of combat, and the spell effect entails flowers sprouting up from the ground all around the character.

It is difficult to gauge the actual benefit of this ability across classes and in different situations. In the last few seconds of a close fight, where it is you or them, even a small boost in HP could bump you up to victory. Then again, tanks benefit more from stamina due to talents that factor in your total stamina to then award you with extra stamina (Sacred Duty), increased power (Touched by the Light), and other benefits. It is also difficult to say whether an extra boost in damage might also be worth more than this small heal in a tough spot.

Almost all classes find this ability helpful while leveling and soloing. Raiders will often use it to top themselves off or buy some time until their next heal.

Skinning
Skinners become Masters of Anatomy, and gain 32 critical strike rating, which is equal to 0.70% crit. This is especially useful to classes who have talents that boost stats based on your crit rating, increase your crit by a %, or where your crit rating actually grants you other stats, such as mana for holy paladins.

The Skinning and Mining bonuses equate to about 2 gems worth of stats, and Lifeblood is all about how you use it.

Conclusion and Comparison
As you can see, for most of the professions, the benefits and stat increases are approximately equal. Let's use spell power to demonstrate this:
  • JC: +39.
  • Enchanting: +38.
  • Inscription: +37.
  • Tailoring: 250 SP for 15 seconds of every 45 seconds+. This averages to +83 SP in ideal conditions (meaning, it procs on your next heal after the cooldown is up). In fact, it will likely always be under, though somewhat near, this ideal. A more realistic average is +75 SP.
  • LW: +37.
  • Blacksmithing: +38.
  • Engineers: +18 and a parachute.
  • Alchemy: +37.
As you can see, the profession bonuses are basically equivalent, and this is true across each stat. There are some exceptions. As I noted earlier, the Engineering enchants are not only meant to increase your stats, but also combine your gadgets, absorbing them into your everyday armor. Without this absorption, the only way to use them would be to take off your super special raiding/PvP gear in favor of a piece of gear or trinket that you carry around for special occasions. Because of this convenience, they seem to eat up itemization points.

Still, there are several that are still worth taking, even over other options available for that slot. The Tailoring enchant noted above is currently being debated as OP, and may be subject to tweaking in the future. It is also worth noting that because this is a passive proc, it is not always going to be utilized. You might proc it near the end of a fight, for example, or when you're topping someone off between pulls, and waste most of the added spell power.
Each week, Insider Trader takes you behind the scenes of the bustling sub-culture of professional craftsmen, examining the profitable, the tragically lacking, and the methods behind the madness. Check out part 1 of this Guide to Profession-Specific Buffs!



Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Guides, Buffs, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

Time is Money: Saronite


Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply).

Saronite translates into easy WoW gold, and can be farmed in massive quantities in Sholazar Basin, Icecrown and Storm Peaks. Wintergrasp is also a great place to farm it, despite being ground-bound.

Miners
Sacred Duty, a prot pally blog, recently posted an excellent example of a simple yet effective saronite farming route in Icecrown.

If you cannot fly yet, I highly recommend Sholazar Basin. Follow the rivers, run around the pillars, and circle the province perimeter. In fact, pretty much anywhere you go, you will find saronite, and the mobs are mid-seventies, unlike the heavy hitters in Icecrown.

As for Storm Peaks, make sure to fly up where you would think you have no business being. Giant cliff walls that stretch for miles and random peaks may be boring, but they do contain nodes.

An hour could easily grant you a few hundred ore. Before you smelt it, check your AH prices for ore versus bars. Because two ore go into a bar, you will want to smelt your ore into bars to sell if one ore is worth less than half of one bar. Otherwise, sell the ore! Jewelcrafters will buy it up for prospecting.

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Filed under: Mining, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Economy, Jewelcrafting, Features, Making money, Time Is Money

The Daily Quest: Of Titans and Moonkin


We here at WoW Insider are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.
  • Lorecrafted asks an important question: What came first, the Titans or the egg? Wait, I meant Old Gods. Titans or Old Gods.
  • World of Matticus's Sydera takes a close look at healing through Freya in Ulduar. As always, a great resource for healers of all flavors.
  • Sacred Duty is making the most out of Mining in Icecrown, and they're willing to show you how, too!
  • The Druid Team goes where many have hoped someone would've gone before: Balance Druid spell rotations.

Filed under: Druid, The Daily Quest

The Light and How to Swing It: It's good to be the king


It's a phenomenal time to be a Paladin these days. Let's face it, no matter how we spec, we're actually wanted all throughout Northrend. As Holy, we've got spots in parties, raids, and refreshingly even Arena teams of any bracket. As Retribution, we're actually sought after in groups and -- paired with the right teammates -- can actually shine in Arenas, too. Protection Paladins are just about the best tanks in the game right now, even in raids, what with all trash being AoE'd to kingdom come.

Patch 3.0.8 has a few changes that should boost us and balance us in some areas. One big change is how Divine Shield, Divine Protection, and Avenging Wrath cannot be used within 30 seconds of each other anymore, and the removal of Forbearance from Avenging Wrath once again. This reworks the quick fix post 3.0 where Retribution Paladins were devastating opponents with wings and a bubble. It wasn't the most elegant solution and hurt Paladin tanking about as much as it toned down Retribution dominance in PvP. With Patch 3.0.8, Paladin tanks can look forward to frontloading massive threat comfortable with the thought that Divine Protection is a mere thirty seconds away. Furthermore, Divine Protection no longer has a penalty, making it nearly identical to a Warrior's Shield Wall. That's right, Tankadins get even better.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Some Paladin changes announced for patch 3.0.4

A lot of hints and news on the upcoming patch 3.0.4 have been dropped on the forums recently, so like other WoW Insider writers have mentioned on and off, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw it on the PTR in the coming weeks. Before we get ahead of ourselves too much though, there was a lot of neat Paladin stuff announced by Ghostcrawler yesterday. A lot of it is simple stuff we've sort of expected would happen, but there's still some interesting new stuff in there.
  • Divine Shield: Penalty changed so that all damage done is reduced by 50% instead of an attack speed penalty.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

Paladins to receive some Blizzard love


Reader VyseV1 took some time off from lurking on the official forums to point us in the direction of a post where Ghostcrawler responds to some Paladin concerns... with love. Alright, I'm exaggerating, but at this point, after the class has been dealt some severe nerfs, his responses are more than encouraging. In particular, he mentions that the eventual plan is to put Divine Shield and Avenging Wrath on the same 30 second cooldown, indicating that the Forbearance hotfix was a mere band-aid.

Ghostcrawler also mentions that Divine Shield's attack speed penalty -- a remnant of the days when Paladins largely got majority of damage from auto-attacks -- will be revised to a reduction in total damage done. This means that Sacred Duty will likely be reworked to accommodate this change. One of the more interesting points that he brought up applies to all mana-based classes but is great news for Retribution Paladins who have paltry mana pools: Blizzard will be changing mana drain effects to take away a percentage of total mana instead of a flat number.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Forums

[EDITED] Patch 3.0.2 primer for Protection Paladins


It's a sweet time to be a Tankadin. I know that AoE tanking is no longer the exclusive domain of Paladins, but that's cool. With the changes to the way tanking works now, tanks generally generate threat by dishing out more damage... and boy does a Protection Paladin deal damage. Because Protection is the tanking tree, a PvE-oriented endeavor, I'm going to put away my PvP-fanatic hat aside and focus on a build that is optimal for tanking. Don't worry, even in this spec Paladins are still formidable. That's just the way it works in the new world.

We see a big change right away on the first tier with Blessing of Kings made accessible to all. It's not quite the baseline spell we've been asking for, but it's close. Some players can choose to pick up a scaled down version for less than five points, but since this is standard raid fare, we're throwing in 5 points here including Improved Blessing of Kings. We're also going to pick up Divine Strength on this tier, which was moved from the Holy tree. It's important to note that pretty much everything we use scales off attack power now, too, so more Strength means more pain. And more pain means more threat. Strength also contributes to block value, so we'll be looking to get Strength in our gear, too.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

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