Tiers Are The Silent Language Of Grief

As you may have noticed, the PTR went up recently.  And with it, we got some reveals of our set bonuses for T16.  Let’s take a brief look at them and ponder their usefulness.

2-piece bonus

The 2-piece bonus grants us one holy power for every stack of Bastion of Glory consumed.  This is a really interesting effect because it has a few potential uses.

First, it removes the opportunity cost of using Word of Glory as an emergency heal.  Using WoG means you’re giving up 3 seconds of Shield of the Righteous coverage, which can often mitigate more damage than WoG will heal.  Getting that balance point right can be tricky, and the set bonus makes that choice easier.  Since both WoG and SotR are off-GCD, you can WoG and SotR yourself in rapid succession during a danger period. This set bonus makes the WoG+SotR combination a very potent anti-spike technique, which should mean it’s a great damage-smoothing effect.  Once I have tank metrics properly implemented in SimC, we’ll be able to see exactly how effective it is for that purpose.

Second, and more subtly, it gives us a reserve bank of holy power.  Boundless Conviction already gives us a reserve of 2 holy power to work with, and smart paladins use that to great effectiveness.  This set bonus turns Bastion of Glory into a secondary reserve, such that if we’re in trouble we could fire off a WoG to gain up to 4 holy power instantly.  Pulling that off at max effectiveness will be a little tricky, as you’ll need to pick your order of operations properly to make sure you cast a 1-HP WoG.  But even if used inefficiently, this is a potent effect because it gives you extra SotR coverage whenever you deem it necessary.

But the third (and in my opinion game-breaking) use is the one that’s likely to get this set bonus nerfed.  And that’s the combination of 2-piece T15 and 2-piece T16.  The latter removes the opportunity cost of WoG, making it essentially free.  The former gives you 15 seconds of 40% block that isn’t affected by diminishing returns every time you cast WoG.  While HP generation rates are not quite to the point where we can keep that up 100% of the time, they’re not that far off.  You would need to generate 3 stacks of Bastion of Glory every 15 seconds, or one SotR every 5 seconds.  Right now, most players are casting SotR every 6-7 seconds.  As players approach the 50% melee haste soft-cap, 100% uptime of Shield of Glory should become a reality.

I think that this is probably an issue, because 40% block is almost certainly strong enough to sacrifice two slots of higher-ilvl T16 gear.  Especially if you can use two pieces of heroic, double-upgraded T15 tier.  I expect this interaction will trigger some sort of change as soon as Blizzard finds out it exists.  They could nerf this set bonus or swap it with the 4-piece to ensure that the 2T15+2T16 interaction is impossible.  They could also just nerf the T15 2-piece bonus and leave the T16 bonuses in-tact.  As we’ll see in a second, the 4-piece bonus is considerably weaker, so my vote would be to swap them.

4-piece bonus

The 4-piece bonus grants us a heal over time after Guardian of the Ancient Kings (GAnK) expires.  The amount of healing is determined by the damage we take during GAnK.  Blessing of the Guardians is the HoT spell, so we know that it ticks every second for 10 seconds.

Unfortunately, when I tested it on the PTR it seems the HoT amount isn’t being calculated, because the buff would appear and expire instantly.  In fact, the only reason I knew it was there (and could determine the spell name) was that it showed up in Recount/Skada as a heal that produced 0 healing.  So at this point, we don’t know what damage value it will use.  I’m assuming it will be post-mitigation (unlike Vengeance, which is pre-mitigation), but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether it will use damage done before or after absorb effects are taken into account.

That said, it may not matter that much.  This set bonus is incredibly weak, so as a 4-piece we may just skip it entirely.  You’re generally going to use GAnK in one of two situations.  The first is a predictable period of high damage, and it’s rare for that period to last the entire duration of GAnK.  The second is a situation where something goes wrong and you use GAnK to buy your healers time to recover.  In both of those cases, the HoT is showing up after the danger period is passed, so it’s not terribly effective.  Your healers may be able to ignore you more than usual after GAnK ends, but apart from that the set bonus probably just creates a bunch of unnecessary overhealing.

There’s also tank swaps to consider.  If you and your co-tank are taunting so that you can alternate cooldowns to survive an extended phase of intense damage, then it’s very likely that the HoT will end up ticking on you when you aren’t even tanking.  With some smart pre-planning you could arrange to chain GAnK and Divine Protection, and maybe the HoT will be enough of a buffer that DP will be a sufficient cooldown.  But that’s still a pretty niche application.  A set bonus that’s effective on only one or two fights in an entire raiding tier is a set bonus you’re probably safe skipping.

But the biggest Achilles heel of the 4-piece bonus isn’t the effect itself.  It’s what the effect has to compete with: the superior itemization of higher-ilvl thunderforged off-set pieces.  Which raises a more general point about paladin tier itemization.

Itemization

We don’t have any information about the itemization of tier 16 yet.  The T16 pieces have identical stat combinations to the T15 ones, so I’m assuming that they are all placeholders. That may be a good thing though – while it doesn’t give us any information, it means that maybe there’s still time to influence a change.

Our T15 set was a bit of a letdown for a few reasons, the first and most obvious of which is the set’s itemization.  It feels like a form of punishment to wear our tier gear, because we have to suffer a lot of dodge/parry itemization that we don’t want just in in order to have fun set bonuses.  The incredibly low value of dodge and parry for us also meant that those fun set bonuses weren’t terribly effective either; as we’ve shown, the bonuses don’t even make up for the loss of haste and mastery incurred by skipping thunderforged haste plate gear.

I know I found myself in the situation where I had heroic thunderforged off-set pieces before I had access to heroic tier, which made the decision to skip the set bonuses fairly easy.  And that was a little disappointing, because I would much rather be excited about tier items than feel ambivalent about them.

But an even more important effect is psychological – it feels like our tier set is not being designed for us anymore.  Either because the itemization team doesn’t know what paladins like, or because the developers themselves aren’t sure what we should be wearing.  The game is giving us conflicting messages.  The speed, fluidity, and fun of haste-stacking gameplay that Sanctity of Battle gives us make it clear we want to gear for haste.  But our tier itemization is the disapproving nanny “tsk tsk”-ing, wagging her finger, and suggesting that us naughty haste-stacking paladins should cut our hair, get a job, and go back to wearing respectable tanking stats like dodge and parry.

Since it’s “our” set, it should really feel like it’s made for us.  Obviously the itemization doesn’t have to be perfect.  I don’t expect gobs of haste on every piece.  But it should be on some of them, and for T16 maybe even most of them.

To be more explicit, what I’m suggesting is a paradigm shift in how paladin gear is itemized.  As an example of what I have in mind, let’s consider the other classes for a second.

  • Warriors and DKs get combinations of hit/exp/mastery/dodge/parry, again because those are the core tanking stats the classes are designed to use.  DKs get a very small benefit from haste, and warriors get a small benefit from crit, but neither is large enough to warrant gearing for them.
  • Monk and druid tier has combinations of hit/expertise/haste/mastery/crit, because those are the core tanking stats the classes are designed to use.  They can certainly wear dodge and parry gear, but the benefit they get is small compared to haste, mastery, and crit, so they don’t want them.

Paladins are somewhere in the middle now.  We get warrior/DK itemization even though we have little interest in dodge or parry. We’ve moved to a more monk- and druid-like active mitigation model, where dodge and parry give us much smaller benefits than haste and mastery.  In a sense, we’ve moved on to a WoW 5.0 active mitigation scheme, yet we’re still being itemized as if we were WoW 4.0.

What I would like to see is an acknowledgement by the developers that they understand we’ve evolved as well.  And that acknowledgement would come in the form of a paradigm shift in our tier itemization.  Rather than being stuck with warrior/DK itemization on our tier, I’d like to see us get combinations of hit/exp/mastery/haste/parry.

This itemization scheme has several advantages:

  • It would shift our tier itemization to be more in-line with what we actually value
  • It would eliminate dodge+parry combination pieces, which literally feel worthless to many paladins.  While we may suffer one or the other on a piece with another strong stat, like a hit/dodge or expertise/dodge item, double avoidance gear is the first thing we toss aside or disenchant.  A large part of the reason the T15 4-piece is not attractive is because we can replace a dodge/parry piece with well-itemized off-set, which provides a huge performance difference.
  • It would send the message that Blizzard understands how prot paladins work
  • More importantly, it also sends the message that Blizzard supports haste as a true tanking stat for us.
  • Not only that, but putting haste on our tier does a much better job of informing the masses that “hey, haste-tanking is a thing” than any blog post or patch note ever will.  A large majority of players don’t do any research outside of the game, and may have literally no way of knowing that haste is a good stat for them.  Putting it on the tier will force them to consider that, and may even lead them to ask around to find out why.

Note that I’m only talking about our tier gear here.  I don’t think dodge/parry off-set items need to go away – in fact, I think off-set itemization can remain entirely unchanged.  Those pieces still have value for other tanks and can be gap-fillers for unlucky slots.  Though given that DKs don’t seem to care for dodge/parry either, it may be worth reconsidering dual-avoidance itemized pieces entirely.  However, that’s not a pressing issue.

It’s just the protection paladin tier itemization algorithm that really needs to be re-evaluated.  Otherwise we’re in for another tier of ambivalence towards (or outright avoidance of) set bonuses because they’re tied to gear that isn’t designed with a protection paladin in mind.  And I really hope that doesn’t happen, because I’m sort of tired of skipping set bonuses.  It takes a lot of fun out of the game to see all of your friends and teammates be excited about completing their 2- and 4-piece sets while you’re unable to muster up more than a “meh” because your spec’s bonuses just aren’t worth it.

TLDR

T16 2-piece bonus is very good, possibly to the point of being broken.
T16 4-piece bonus is very weak, probably to the point of being ignored.

Protection paladin tier itemization really needs to catch up with protection paladin gameplay, or else we’ll continue to ignore non-broken set bonuses in favor of gear that fits our play style.

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70 Responses to Tiers Are The Silent Language Of Grief

  1. Paendamonium says:

    I really think that we (and hopefully Blizzard) are moving completely towards a tanking itemization scheme without dodge/parry. As you point out, at this point monks, druids and paladins will value at least 2 dps stats over dodge/parry, and at this point I suspect (at least from my forum wanderings) that many dks also prefer mastery/haste over dodge/parry. It really feels like if protection warriors can get a more sizable benefit from a dps stat (which it looks like Blizzard is aiming for, with the crit buff on 5.4 ptr), then dodge/parry really don’t have to be itemized any more, and their passive damage reduction could be sent into other passive effects, or things like strength gives parry and agility gives dodge, etc. I personally doubt we would see that radical a change in this expansion, but it’s something I hope they pursue for the next one!

  2. Tanned says:

    Theck, I really respect what you do. It seems like your post is an opinion piece suggesting what Tier should be: “designed for us” you say.

    Could it be that the developers have a different design in mind for set bonuses? I.E., tier bonuses are great for casuals who don’t understand anything, but for really high-end raiders, they are meant to be optional? Ghostcrawler suggested that they wanted a design where tier bonuses are not mandatory and that people consider taking off-pieces.

    You can question the merits of the design decision, but I think its an actual design decision. The developers are well aware of Paladin Haste/Mastery stacking and have posted on it a number of times.

    • Theck says:

      I would actually argue the reverse: tier bonuses are often terrible for casuals who don’t understand anything. Set bonuses frequently add some interesting variety to a rotation and force you to play differently. The T16 tank 2-piece and T16 ret 4-piece are both good examples of this. A casual player is far less able to take advantage of those sorts of set bonuses than an experienced player. Passive bonuses (like +10% SotR mitigation) are more or less skill-neutral in that regard.

      It may be that they don’t want tier bonuses to be mandatory, but I think they’ve swung too far in the other direction. The existence of thunderforged gear weakens the benefit of set bonuses already. Combining that with an itemization scheme that doesn’t match up well with class mechanics makes tier more or less irrelvant, or actively worse than non-tier.

      And keep in mind that this is not an across-the-board problem. Other specs have tier gear itemized according to their spec’s overall goal. You do not see Brewmaster or Guardian gear stacked with dodge, for example, because those aren’t core tanking stats. This is a specifically prot-paladin problem, and it’s all due to the fact that Sanctity of Battle changed our gearing priorities, but itemization hasn’t changed with them.

      • Tanned says:

        Re: Tier bonuses for casuals, you’re probably right. My point was overstated. What I meant is that the 2p does change play style, but I don’t see the 4p doing the same. A casual who is wearing 4p, who doesn’t stack haste/mastery, and just slogs through abilities sporadically, will just pop on 4p and see modest survivabiltiy increases.

        The other points you make about inconsistency are well-taken. One issue Blizzard *does* have is that its classes apparently get different amounts of attention. This is probably the result of not choosing a new design direction for tanking stats for all the tanking classes.

        Druids and Monks get very good itemization for their setup. DKs and Warriors have to sit on the old tanking model of Dodge/Parry because they don’t have anything better to do. At least Paladins have the option of something better.

        • Theck says:

          I think the ideal situation would be to move warriors and DKs to a dps-stat-centric model as well and do away with dodge and parry, but that’s not a change that would come in 5.4. Cross your fingers for 6.0?

          In the short-term, though, I think the solution is to just adapt our tier itemization model. As you said, the developers are certainly aware of the haste play style. I’d argue it is now the dominant play style for our spec, in fact. But that message never seems to have been sent to the itemization team, so they’re still itemizing us the same way they would a warrior or DK.

          Part of it is probably that it wasn’t a completely intentional shift. I don’t think Blizzard intended for Sanctity of Battle to re-write paladin tanking the way it did, so it’s not that surprising that they didn’t plan for it and brief the itemization team. But it’s here now, and they seem to be rolling with the idea. If they like that direction and want to encourage it, then it’s time everyone was on the same page, including the itemization team.

      • bryjoered says:

        I really disagree that paladin’s should share gear itemization with plate DPS i.e. Haste/Mastery. Blizzard should instead make dodge/parry once again valuable for the paladin, I’m sure they didn’t intend for haste to be such a good stat. They should completely eliminate the synergy between paladin active mitigation and haste to accomplish this. Dodge/Parry gear has no other use in the game, but for plate tank paladins, as one of those plate tanks, should value the same stats as the rest of us. :)

  3. Wrathblood says:

    Theck, I like Haste as much as the next paladin tank, but when SoO hits aren’t we going to be in danger of soft-capping Haste? How badly does Haste’s value drop once you get to ~20-20k while raidbuffed? BL + HA was a pretty freaking awesome combination when MoP first hit (even with some minor GCD issues) but it feels like increasingly less of a deal with all the Haste we’ve already got piled up.

    Obviously we can always stack more STAM instead for survivability, but if you’re running 10N, won’t there be a point where perhaps STR will start looking attractive?

    • Wrathblood says:

      Oops, meant 20-25k haste, not the oddly specific 20-20k.

    • Theck says:

      50% melee haste is 21250 haste rating, so around the 20k mark we’ll start running into GCD-capping problems. I’m nowhere near that, but I also raid 25H and have a stamina bias. 10-man raiders are more likely to be running into that 20k haste ceiling next tier.

      That said… even if they’re hitting that ceiling, they’re still not going to want dodge/parry. They’ll either want stamina for survivability or STR for more DPS. So I don’t think it undermines the central point that our tier ought to be itemized with us in mind. Players that normally gem for haste may start shifting to Stam or STR, but that’s still better than having a bunch of excess dodge rating.

  4. alrinea says:

    for me, the most interesting bit is gonna be seeing how much hit/expertise ends up on all of the gear. from what i understand the highest gear available in 5.4 will be heroic bloodforged gear with 2/2 upgrades, putting it to 582 ilvl. i am sure all of you know of the hit troubles bestowed upon us by the fabled feather and us barely being able to reforge it all away xD

    • Theck says:

      I still feel like the hit/exp situation requires some re-evaluation. I could imagine a situation where hit/exp weren’t on gear, but were available via gems and enchants. And hit-capping vs. a boss would require an exact multiple, i.e. 2 hit gems and 2 expertise gems. That would allow stat inflation with ilvl while still keeping the amount of hit/exp required mostly constant and easily attainable.

  5. Kal says:

    It’s difficult not to treat your posts as gospel. I do kinda view them as an emerging manuscript that I tend to be preachy about (sometimes with religious fervor, especially hit/exp capping). I’ve even quit a raid team after they told me to either drop hit/exp and reforge/gem for max avoidance or I would be off the team. For me, such an action is an outright rejection of the Prot Pally playstyle, and lazy tanking besides. I am flexible on how much is “enough” stamina (all 10man normal here), and what balance of haste and mastery I take (typically enough mastery for a 50% SotR). I am not flexible about caps. I will cap.

    My confidence in your posts is not religious, though, in the sense that you have some sort of “revealed wisdom”. You don’t. You have math and science. Almost all of it is over my head, but my trust in numbers is not blind. You make statements that are falsifiable, and subject them to peer review (not a peer here, fyi, not at all). In my opinion, this is a far better way to engage the evolution of Pally tanking rather than just picking ideas that sound good, and thick-headedly following them to the exclusion of all other “noobs”.

    So thanks for all your contributions.

    • ShOTRdin says:

      The bull-headedness of non-Protection Paladins who haven’t read any theorycrafting since before MoP is quite disheartening. Even members of my raid team have called me out on haste-stacking (especially when we first started doing it), wondering why it is I wasn’t stacking Mastery or Avoidance instead. Thankfully, I was able to explain the reasoning behind haste-stacking (thanks, Theck!) and they now just make tiny light-hearted jabs at me whenever I happen to mess up during a fight.

      • Kal says:

        A light-hearted jab seems like typical teasing. Good team dynamics, in the sense that it’s just a bit of pressure to always improve. Sounds like you have a group that listens, and I hope to soon have that myself.

        There seem to be two things that continues to be stumbling blocks to helping people understand Pally stats:

        One is the change to Grand Crusader, which people will read about without dipping into any numbers or checking any commentary, then sweepingly assume that avoidance is now the best, and any Pally still stacking haste is out of date.

        The second is the two or three options that sites will give as stat priorities. First off, it’s a false equivalence. They are not equal options. Also, the cap and stack haste priority will be called “control/threat”, and since many people don’t bother to understand precisely what we are controlling, they assume it’s a “max threat, OMG don’t loose aggro, must control boss/adds” concept, rather than a control over incoming damage. So they continue calling it “gemming for DPS, not survivability”.

        Maybe we should add some pathos to our logos. Theck’s ethos is established, but what’s a new recruit going to do other that an appeal to his authority?

      • trystero says:

        I want to share this story: in the middle of tier 14, I was searching for a new guild to raid with. I had a Vent interview with one GM/RL whose many honorable and venerable titles included “paladin class leader” (is this 40 man?). Prior to going on the market, I did some napkin reforging and was quite proud of my exact 15% expertise rating. And when the first thing out of his mouth was, “I’m looking at your expertise here,” I beamed with pride, prepared to be complimented on this exactly perfect number, a commodity as rare in our universe as life itself.

        “It’s way, way too high.”

        For a few minutes I thought he was testing my resolve: assume a contrary position and see to what lengths your applicant will go to defend himself. That’s something I’d have done. No, I realized that this man had no clue about paladin tanking, as he was dead serious about what he considered my greatest offense: “Here you gemmed straight Haste to avoid a Parry socket. Your priorities are all WRONG. Parry’s a huge stat for us right now and Haste is a DPS stat. It does nothing for us.”

        • Duns says:

          Unfortunately, I too have fallen victim to this mentality – I recently guest tanked the first 3 bosses in ToT 10 man for a friend’s guild on one of my off nights. My partner tank (from the host guild) was also Prot Paladin – he was geared for avoidance/mastery and had marginally more stam than I possessed.

          We made our way through the 3 fights as planned, and the only glaring tank deaths seemed to occur when a healing assignment was derailed for whatever reason. Of course, my DPS was usually at least double and often triple the other Paladin’s (and the only melee member, a DK), which proved beneficial as the DK was very low for the content.

          At the end, one of the healers complimented me in /raid, “Wow, you sure are easy to heal!” Another member of the group remarked, “I’m sure glad we had your great dps, our DK’s is really low because he usually tanks this.”

          Well, the DK turned out to be that guild’s Raid Lead and Tank Lead. After raid, he whispered me and thanked me for participating. He also inquired if I would be interested in running with them again, but emphatically requested that I go get some “tank gear” and maybe visit a website to get my new “tank gear” properly gemmed and reforged before I do.

          I respectfully referred Him and his Paladin to Sacred Duty, particularly some of the most recent posts that validate the current state of Protection Paladin – apparently to no avail as I have not been invited back, nor has that guild’s Paladin tank changed his gearing strategy one bit.

          Ah…the the narrow minds. Thanks Theck for enlightening us and backing it up with math.

    • Bram says:

      Reading your posting, I am very happy my group is open and listening to me. I explained them in a posting on guild forums, why I do gem/reforge how I do and it helped. They got aware of advantages I bring and having it backup-ed by WoL and Skada, I never heard a single complain. Rather I do hear comments like “Wow. Bram’s insane dps hits us again”… Now I never expected to hear that as a tank before.

  6. Aribethe says:

    While theoretical coverage might near 100%, do you think we can actually perform well enough to hit that? My current theoretical coverage is a decent amount over my actual, and I don’t think I suck that badly on my rotation. If it reached say 120% in theory, then I think it would be humanly possible to hit 100%. Also is 100% coverage that bad? Warriors can keep Shield Block up at a very high uptime if they solely focus on that, and with critical blocks their DR easily can match ShotR on average. Yet my understanding is they favor Shield Barrier over keeping Shield Block up. I will need to test on a dummy with my Warrior again, but in the past 30s of keeping Shield Block up wasn’t impossible and even then the gap in coverage was maybe 10s out of every 40. If 100% ShotR was so strong I think Warriors would be focusing on Shield Block, which they don’t. The only advantage of ShotR would be physical damage specials that can’t be blocked. If it were magical specials, Warriors would have an advantage with Shield Barrier.

    • Theck says:

      First: we’re talking about different things. I’m talking about 100% coverage of the 40% block chance buff from the 2-piece. That only requires 9 holy power every 15 seconds, or 0.6 hp/sec. With 0% haste and no talents (heh), we start out at around 0.4 hp/sec So 50% haste will just about get us there. Divine Purpose or Holy Avenger should make that fairly easy to exceed.

      Second, 100% SotR coverage would be incredibly strong, to the point of being game-breaking. Shield Block is designed to be limited uptime – in the steady state, it cannot exceed 66%. You can beat that over shorter time windows by pooling resources and incurring more downtime while you’re not tanking, but we can do the same thing with SotR.

      More importantly, they’re designed around having over 60% uptime on the buff, just as we’re designed around having <50% uptime on ours. Tanks are not balanced in the absence of their active mitigation effects. Ours is much stronger, and our uptime, stamina multipliers, self-healing, and the rest of our toolkit is all designed around that strength. Doubling SotR uptime is much, much more game-breaking than doubling Shield Block uptime. Especially since it works on things that cannot be blocked (which again, they’re designed around – that’s what Shield Barrier is for).

      • Aribethe says:

        Sorry, misread about the 100% uptime. However, i really don’t think 40% block at 100% uptime is gamebreaking. Also. Shield Block is not 66% uptime at a steady state. Just because its 6s and 9s cd per charge doesn’t mean its 6s coverage for every 9 seconds. 66% would be using 1 charge only: 6s duration and 9s cd. There are 2 charges for Shield Block, its much better than 66% uptime for a steady state.

        • Aribethe says:

          0s: SB1
          6s: SB2 (SB1 wears off)
          9s: SB1 recharge
          12s:SB1-2 (SB2 wears off)
          15s:SB2 recharge
          18s:SB2-2 (SB1-2 wears off)
          21s:SB1-2 recharge
          24s:SB1-2 (SB2-2 wears off)
          27s:SB2-2 recharge
          30s:SB2-3 (SB1-2 wears off)
          33s:SB1-2 recharge

          add inifinitum…..

          Its rage limited at best, not CD limited. On a dummy its possible to get ~30s out of every 40 coverage with some initial rage pooling. The charge mechanic doesn’t really do anything but keep you from spamming it, and makes you maintain it.

          • Theck says:

            See post below – you can’t do that with Shield Block. The “SB2 recharge” occurring at 15 seconds doesn’t happen at that point, it happens at 18s, 9 seconds after SB1 recharges.

          • Theck says:

            Corrected series, starting with 120 rage:
            0: SB1
            6: -SB1, +SB2 (really SB2 can happen anywhere earlier too)
            9: SB1 recharge
            12: -SB2, +SB1
            18: -SB1, SB2 recharge, +SB2
            24: -SB2
            —- at this point, you’re at the end of your above-average uptime. You have 3 seconds of downtime before SB1 recharges again at t=27, and from that point onwards you’re limited to 66.66% uptime (i.e., in the steady state). Observe:
            27: SB1 recharge, +SB1
            33: -SB1
            36: SB2 recharge, +SB2
            42: -SB2
            45: SB1 recharge, +SB1
            53: -SB1
            56: SB2 recharge, +SB2

            etc. 6 seconds up, 3 seconds down, 6 seconds up, 3 seconds down. 2/3 uptime.

        • Theck says:

          That’s not how Shield Block (or any other spell with charges) works. Both charges don’t recharge simultaneously. If you have 2 charges and a 9 second cooldown, you can only ever cast 2 of them every 18 seconds in the steady state. Thus, 66.6% uptime.

          You can front-load it for higher short-term uptime if you “prime” your warrior with resources. For example, if you have 120 rage and blow both charges, you have 12 seconds of uptime. After 9 seconds, the first charge has recharged, but it takes another 9 seconds for the second charge to recharge (i.e. it becomes available at t=18). When you front-load it like this, you can get 100% uptime for up to about 24 seconds (cast again at t=9, and again at t=18), but then there’s a 3-second downtime gap before your next cast at t=27. From that point on, you’re cooldown-locked and can never achieve more than 66.6% uptime.

  7. Zothor says:

    I wish, after passing on multiple heroic tier pieces already, that I had any faith this would happen.

    Sadly, the fact that they made thunder forged again (which entirely marginalized tier from a smoothing standpoint) means that either they don’t understand or don’t care.

    If anyone is ever on Perenolde, 50k gold says our tier 16 has zero haste on it at launch. Sigh #justhiretheckalready

    • blizzhoof says:

      I’m not a pessimist, but I wouldn’t dare bet against you. I will be floored if our Tier 16 has haste on it at all. Heck, I’ll be surprised if there isn’t at least one piece with dodge and parry on it.

      Beyond that, they can’t even figure out good set bonuses. Don’t get me wrong, the 2pc is overpowered, but it’s also a bad set bonus. It will totally screw with our rotation and the way we tank. It will basically be bad to ever cast a WoG with more than one holy power because you’ll be wasting it. Our rotation will end up revolving around getting five stacks of BoG and then using a one holy power WoG. It will feel weird and it’s pretty stupid. They should rethink both set bonuses.

      The 4pc is further proof that Blizzard isn’t listening to the tanking community or even considering damage intake profiles. HoTs suck. Besides the fact that SS is an absorb, we don’t pick up EF because it’s a HoT and HoTs have an exceptionally high overheal % on tanks in most encounters.

      Basically, I’m just really frustrated with the way Blizzard is treating us from an itemization standpoint. They have more than enough information from the tanking forums, this website, and many others sources. At this point, it’s obvious that they just don’t care.

      • trystero says:

        My disappointment with this tier’s bonus is the same as next tier’s: having to balance a weird mechanic. I was pleased to eventually read that the set bonuses for T15 were worth ignoring so I didn’t have to add yet another buff tracker and I didn’t have to counterintuitively heal myself to increase my block chance. That’s my biggest problem with both set bonuses; they’re clunky and illogical. I know it’s a bit murky to begin talking about realism in World of Warcraft, but consider the absurdity in weaving Word of Glory into a rotation: “Let’s put my shield up for defense…and now l shall heal my…non-existent wounds…because these leggings empower my shield, somehow, when I heal!” I hate “gaming” mechanics, and that’s what this really feels like.

  8. Aresius says:

    Personally, i think Blizz doesn’t give us the itemization we want because they believe many players that do not follow current theorycrafting would feel like they no longer have available prot gear.

    I still see protection paladin players asking in forums why the hell people tell them to use “dps” gear with haste. I would guess many more don’t even bother to go to a forum.

    To me it would be understandable to expect that, if a player had believed that warriors and paladins want plate with dodge and parry to tank since he started playing years ago, he could take it the wrong way if suddenly the only paladin tier option has haste. Might think its a bug, might think blizzard is killing the tanking spec. Might even realize its a change of tanking paradigm, but rather then glad, he would be angered by a change on a game he has played so long and liked as it was.

    To me its a simple “dont anger a part of the player-base” marketing decision.

    Druids and monks can get away with different stats:
    -Monks are brand new so no veteran would freak out to learn they “tank with dps stats, how different!”.
    -No one ever understood druid tanks, so they can do whatever! But seriously, druids have a long tradition of “recycling” leather dps gear intended for rogues/kittens, so its already in the “wow collective memory” that they use dps stats.

    Plate tanks don’t have a easy way out and will continue to be subject to “conservative” player-base pressure.

    And our gear will continue to look like “traditional plate”. Devs will just put the relevant bonus on the 2-piece, knowing all serious players will skip 4-piece for better itemized gear, and they will balance the class around this.
    Deliberately. As it is now.

    • blizzhoof says:

      No, the only reason they think that way is because it’s what Blizzard is throwing at them. Those players look at how our tier is itemized and they see that they can’t get any pieces that have haste on them from LFR/Coins if they are rolling as a tank.

      Blizzard is explicitly telling those players that haste is bad. That’s why they are so confused when other players who have done their research try to teach them otherwise. If Blizzard wasn’t forcing dodge/parry gear down their throats, then they wouldn’t feel that way.

  9. ShOTRdin says:

    Short, sweet, and to the point. Thanks for another great post, Theck. I’d like to think, though, that someone at Blizzard is paying attention to what you have to say. I believe I remember seeing blue posts quoting you with regards to haste-stacking on Protection Paladins, and you’re the one that’s been spearheading both Pallycrafting and the Haste-stacking paradigm. To think that someone at Blizzard isn’t at least looking at what you have to say would be unrealistic, I think. Whether or not they decide to do what you suggest, though, is another story altogether. in the end, I agree that the 2- and 4-piece bonuses should be swapped (I remember reading the one thinking “Whoa!” and the other thinking “Meh”). Here’s to hoping!

  10. Jackinthegreen says:

    Theck, do you think you adding the spike metrics in SC will start getting other classes to work on their own versions? And hopefully people who actively support theorycraft based on those too?

    Regarding stats though, it’s possible one of the things the WoW team still wants to keep are tanking stats in general because it would be seen as “homogenization” if tanks suddenly swapped to using DPS gear. I agree they probably didn’t realize SoB would turn pally tanking into what it is, but hopefully they can use that data to test for the next expansion and hopefully make “DPS” stat choices more of a niche thing for the plate tanks akin to DPS using a difficult-to-use rotation or something that would net less than 5% gain.

    • Theck says:

      Some of the other tanking modules are already maintained – the warrior one is, for example. I’m not sure about the others, but hopefully good tanking metrics will attract other theorycrafters. Maintaining a class module isn’t all that hard, really.

      As far as stats: if the intent is for us to use dodge/parry, then the class has a design problem. You can’t design a class in such a way that it values haste and expect players to ignore that. The class design needs to work hand in hand with the itemization. So going forward, we either need the itemization team to embrace haste as a real tanking stat for us, or we need a redesign (or removal) of Sanctity of Battle so that we value dodge and parry over haste.

  11. Lakh says:

    Re: the 4pc.

    It seems to me that one of the potentially better ways of using it would be to use GAnK 9.5 seconds prior to the massive-dragon-breath attack. So that it smooths & lowers damage going in, is up for the predictable burst & then immediately runs out, so the period after the attack gets the HoT plus SotR/DP/WoG.

    Which doesn’t strike me as the sort of playstyle that Bliz typically likes to encourage.

    Very interesting point about the secondary bank via Bastion.

    • Lakh says:

      Derp.. I mean 11.5 seconds prior of course ><

    • Theck says:

      That seems like you’d just be wasting GAnK uptime to gain HoT uptime though. I’d feel safer having GAnK centered on the spike, so that you’re more likely to be at full health before it and less likely to die from the adjacent melee.

      The sad part is that it almost doesn’t matter how big the heal ticks are. Unless they were literally 50% of your health, at which point you’ve basically got a Lay on Hands HoT ticking on you, which is pretty powerful. But any post-mitigation amount is going to be much less than that.

      • Lakh says:

        Yeah, that was about my conclusion too tbh. They’d need to cut it down to something like a 2-3 second HoT, at which point it’s in WoG/LoH territory.

        Really hoping they don’t take up your idea of swapping the 2pc & 4pc bonuses. I’d much rather see the T15 2pc deactivated.

        I don’t see them suddenly starting to throw haste itemisation onto our gear at this point in the expac, I see that as a change for next expac when the casual portion of the userbase will have time to adjust.

        Hence swapping 2pc & 4pc would end up with our final tier being “do I want shit itemisation & a great set bonus, or great itemisation & a shit set bonus?” – which might be a genuine choice, but isn’t a fun choice.

  12. Iscoutyou says:

    The main reason that the 2p is broken is that combined with DP it allows you to keep an uptime of SotR far above 100%, probably in the areas of 110-130% depending on DP procs.

    The fact that the 2p lets us get 100% SotR coverage is just gamebreaking for paladins

    I mean, yes I understand how well it synergizes with the T15 2p, but really, the 100% SotR uptime seems far more appealing to me. Still, throwing in a T15 2p you could probably achieve 100% SotR uptime + a high uptime of T15 2p, but that is secondary to me as I do not random damage reductions as much as static damage reductions.

    • Thels says:

      100%? Really? That would be totally broken.

      Hmm, let’s do some calculations here. Let’s assume for the moment that we have 50% haste, not too unlikely with 5.4 gear, and it makes calculating a lot easier.

      The first time we need to get 15 HoPo manually, but that’s only once for the entire duration of the fight, so let’s ignore it for now.

      We cycle 5 3 HoPo SotRs and then 1 1 HoPo WoG, so every cycle costs 16 HoPo, but returns 5 HoPo for the next cycle, thus, a cycle costs 11 HoPo, and grants 15 seconds of SotR uptime.

      Let’s take 2 minutes from a fight, so we can pop HA exactly once. We need 8 cycles of 15 seconds of SotR uptime, so 8 cycles of 11 HoPo, for a total of 88 HoPo every 2 minutes.

      During 2 minutes, at 50% haste, we press CS/HotR exactly 40 times, and Judgment 26 times and a bit, for a total of 66 HoPo.

      Our HA covers 6 CS/HotR presses and 4 Judgment presses, for a total of 20 extra HoPo, which brings us to 86 HoPo.

      That would mean that we need 1 Grand Crusader proc per minute to indeed cap on SotR. Each additional proc allows us to underperform slightly.

      Ok, there’s no way this could go live. If it would, then Haste would be our best DPS stat AND our best survivability stat, and it would be like having permanent shield wall up in physical oriented fights…

      It would also dumb our play down, as it’s suddenly best to macro SotR (and perhaps even HA) in with each of our HoPo generators.

      • Theck says:

        To be fair, 50% haste won’t be as easy to hit as I think most are assuming. Even Slootbag is only at 41%, and he’s in nearly ideal haste gear. Though he’s also using T15 4-piece, which gives some holy power.

        He’ll easily hit 50% haste next tier, but the average raider probably won’t. That said, the extra SotR uptime from the 2-piece is still going to be incredibly strong.

        • Slootbag says:

          Let’s not forget that my “2-piece” gear set has me at around 44% unbuffed. Add elixir on top of that and we’re getting close. Next tier should indeed see 50% unbuffed, especially if these relatively poor tier bonuses stick (and we use those delicious thunderforged haste off-pieces).

          Good post Theck, I hope with the swap of the 2 bonuses they will completely re-design the 2-piece for T16, because at it stands there is no incentive to really obtain 4 pieces of tier in T16. The 2-piece is overall worthless, and the 4-piece is mediocre at best, and this is assuming you use both situations (GotAK and 5 stack BoG) on CD, which in actual encounters you don’t because you often need to save them or have them available for predictable (or oopsy daisy) situations, further taking away from their potency.

          Not really sure how they make the Warrior/Monk/DK 2-piece bonuses for T16 and then serve us what they did.

          Maybe the true bonus is in Sacred Shield going baseline and rolling blanket EF on ourselves for double coverage now ;)

          • Theck says:

            I’m not sure I’d go as far as to call the 4-piece worthless. it does allow you to get 100% uptime on SotR at your haste levels. That’s probably a significant enough smoothing benefit to make up for a decent bit of haste. It won’t provide the same DPS benefit though.

            I love getting the old Sacred Shield back as Holy Shield. But I think the new version of SS is pretty competitive with EF. In fact, I’d argue it’s probably flat-out better – a 30% health absorb bubble right when it’s most useful. Reminds me a little of the old (wrath-era) Ardent Defender talent, but far less OP.

          • Slootbag says:

            (Can’t respond to your post, thread too long?)

            I called the 2p worthless and the 4p mediocre :P I stand by that, keep in mind spamming 5 BoG every time isn’t really ideal, having that BoG for uh-oh moments has saved my tail a nice number of times.

            As far as the new SS goes, that’s a moot point. They have reverted everything for that tier. Fwiw I think the new SS was a little weak, reason being is they played around with Selfless Healer to benefit with BoG too, and it will make it quite potent for 4p especially, also EF was ticking for silly amounts (because it benefits from BoG, surprisingly…)

          • Theck says:

            There’s a limit to thread nesting, it gets a bit silly when the posts are only 4 to 5 words wide.

            Yeah, losing the “oh shit” button of WoG feels like a steep price to pay, but the payoff is never taking a full-sized hit. Luckily with SimC we’ll finally be able to formalize that thought and see what the cost is.

            Regarding the L45 talent tier: where are you seeing that they reverted it? This morning’s MMO-Champion build still shows Holy Shield as prot-specific and the new version of SS, in addition to the Bastion of Glory change (which may very well make Selfless Healer competitive again).

          • Slootbag says:

            It was in a Blue Post yesterday, which is also on MMO. I should have clarified, they will be removing it, not yet though.

            Taken from the post:
            “Sacred Shield
            Regarding Sacred Shield, we tried giving the talent as a baseline ability to Protection, but we’re unhappy with that experiment and are likely to revert the change. We agree that the current (old) version of Sacred Shield is more attractive to Holy than the (new) version. We also would likely have to nerf Protection to compensate for getting Holy Shield in addition to another talent. Overall, we think the current (old) version of Sacred Shield is a better design. Perhaps we can still make Sacred Shield more attractive for Holy and Retribution, and make the other two talents (Selfless Healer, Eternal Flame) more attractive to Protection.”

            A couple of things for SH and EF which may help your considerations out (did some PTR testing).

            EF ticks scale from Bastion, I was hitting 100k+ ticks at about 200k Vengeance. Ironically this is the case on live too. Unless I missed the memo, I thought EF HoT was not supposed to benefit from BoG?

            The way the BoG/SH works is the following (since the wording is poor):
            – BoG does not get consumed when healing others with 3 stacks of SH with either Wog or Flash (SH behaves normally as it does here and WoG provides no extra benefit to others from SH)
            – WoG does not benefit from your SH stacks when healing yourself, it only consumes BoG, exactly as on live
            – The change relates to — Each stack of BoG ALSO increases the strength of your next Flash on yourself by 20%/stack (ontop of the instant cast from 3 stacks of SH). So this means at 5 BoG stacks a free, instant, 100% increased Flash Heal, which consumes both BoG and SH stacks, but saves you the 3 HoPo which you would have consumed using traditional BoG.

            Neat little perk to save HoPo. and the Flash Heal heals for slightly less than the 3 HoPo WoG would. It is also worth nothing, that consuming the 5 stack BoG through this method (ie Flash Heal) did NOT proc the 4-piece T16 and give the extra HoPo. I’m assuming this is an oversight from Blizzard, for now at least. If they added this interaction it would boost SH and our 4-piece in combination together quite nicely, not that it would be more appealing than current Sacred Shield :(

            That was a mouthful.

          • Theck says:

            Thanks.

            You missed the memo, EF ticks have been scaling with BoG since at least 5.2, and I think earlier than that. I’m pretty sure it was in the patch notes, but it may have been a hotfix. I can’t remember, but I can probably dig up old testing results to nail down a date if necessary.

            I like the new implementation of SH, which is why reverting the SS change makes me sad. It would be nice to have some choice in T45 talents again, and as long as the strong version of Sacred Shield is in that tier, EF and SH won’t see much/any use.

  13. Schroom says:

    I personally don’t really even like the 2 piece (except the T16+T15 combo that’s OP, sure!). A good Pallytank never drops below 3 HoPo (with intelligent use, waiting for a generator to be up before using SoTR) leaving us with a potential 6 seconds SoTR to build up Holy power, usually followed by another Hardcooldown (like DP, AD a.s.o.) when SoTR ends. (double ShoTR is only used IF needed)
    Using the 2 piece with 5 stacks of BoG and 1 HoPo would be a win in SoTR uptime, but it takes a way our bug Oh-&$#! Button. Generating even more overheal should not be the goal to aim.

    so there are 2 points I don’t like here:
    1. without the set. If you play it right, WoG should be used extremely rarely, and only if needed, but then it’s a live safer. You lose that ability with the set -> less flexible play style.
    2. nearing the 50% Haste, you should generate more than enough HoPo to survive any Boss nicely and always have that SoTR when needed -> thesis: 2 piece screws up rotation, and makes it unnecessary complicated. Again less flexibility.

    The thing I don’t like on the whole Tier is the theme around selfhealing. Tanking should be about mitigation, not healing up damage you don’t take anyway.

    TLDR: I see the 2 piece, by it self, as nice to have. But the offset pieces, if blizzard follows their way in T16, will be too juicy to not take them (here we agree \o/). also for 10 man you are concerned about DPS, so more Haste (to reach that 50%) and more strength will be winner I guess.

    other question will there be a post about how to proceed after reaching 50% haste? in terms of survivability I guess stam and mastery are the strongest stats, sounds logical. but what about DPS? Strength? Crit?

    • Thels says:

      I’m not so sure about losing that Oh Shit button at all. We have a pretty thick blanket of SotR around the moment we game it:

      At 3 HoPo, 4 BoG and a HoPo generator coming off CD we use SotR, bringing us to 0 HoPo and 5 BoG.
      We press the HoPo generator to bring us to 1 HoPo.
      We use WoG to bring us to 5 HoPo and 0 BoG.
      We use SotR to bring us to 2 HoPo and 1 BoG.

      Remember that we also used SotR last CD, so we should have 4.5 to 5 seconds of SotR coverage right there. At decent haste levels, it’s entirely possible that we’ll get back to 5 HoPo within that coverage, and the next SotR would bring us back to 2 BoG.

      So we’re back up to 2 BoG before SotR falls off, and from experience, a 2 BoG heal is already quite a massive heal at decent vengeance levels.

      Heck, there are quite a few times where I pop WoG on someone else as an emergency heal, and it pops for over half a million, and that’s without any BoG stacks at all…

      As for the consensus about Haste at 50%, it’s practically useless to continue to stack it. You still gain survivability from it, but not as much as below 50%, and Stamina was already the better survivability stat. You gain practically no DPS from it.

      If you want more survivability, obviously stack more Stamina.

      If you want more DPS, use Strength trinkets/enchants and Crit gems (at decent vengeance levels, otherwise use Strength gems).

      The only weird thing becomes then: If after capping Haste, we want Crit as our second secondary stat, then why have we been ignoring it on gear and reforges?

    • Theck says:

      Yes, I plan on writing a blog post about the 50% haste cap. But I’d like to finish some stuff in SimC first so that I can support it with more up-to-date simulation results.

      • Darrak says:

        If we don’t get tier itemized the way we wish for then maybe the main goal will be reaching 21250haste with 4set on, any thoughts?

        PS: just tried the 4set on ptr and it’s awesome, please don’t let them change it

  14. Thels says:

    It doesn’t seem very likely that they’re going to want to take Haste away from us. From the looks of the Warrior changes in 5.4, it appears they want to bring Warriors and DKs in line with us with being able to put a DPS stat to good use, though it’s Crit, not Haste, for Warriors.

    To me, that seems quite interesting. :)

    • Theck says:

      Warriors were in a weird position, in that no “DPS” stats afforded them any survivability gain. They got nothing out of crit or haste. I’ve talked about why this is a problem several times before on the blog, though it was often the reverse situation (in 4.x they gained rage from haste/crit, we gained nothing from either).

      One fight that makes this apparent is Primordius. A paladin can get several stacks of a haste buff and be significantly more survivable. A DK will get faster rune regeneration, which is at least still something. A warrior would get nothing. And of course, monks/druids kick ass because they get a benefit from all of the Primordius buffs.

      • Lowmaine says:

        To be fair, even with the new change, Warriors won’t really scale heavily well with Crit anyway, it will just become more white noise in our Enrage uptime and a slight DPS boost at the most.

        The main problem is, a Warrior pushing crit has to fully push crit and eschew other stats to do so, which even then, puts him (if he gears like, let’s say, his Fury counterparts) at around 25-30%~ crit at the top-end in best in slot gear for T15. T16, if itemization trends hold, Fury will only be up another 2-3%~ critical chance, fully stacking it and itemizing for it, whereas other classes that can stack it will be nearly pushing 45-50%.

        This isn’t to say that Crit will be worthless for Warriors; far from it. But it won’t be nearly the same level of god-stat that Haste has been for Paladins, or Crit/Haste have been for Druids and Monks. It will be similar to how DKs can gain a benefit from haste, even though it’s a relatively small one and not one a lot of survival-oriented DKs gear for.

        What I’m hoping for, more than anything, is that Blizzard’s doing more finagling behind the scenes regarding Warrior interaction with Crit, and DK interaction with Haste, or even Crit for them as well. Right now, even with the change in place, Warriors won’t really care about Crit, we’ll just have another stat to reforge to once we Crit Block cap that isn’t the parry/dodge that’s slathered all over our gear.

        That being said though, on the note of our set bonuses: 2pc is really really good. 4pc is really really meh. Sounds just like Paladins. :D

        • Theck says:

          Yeah, I think what you’re getting at is a more fundamental problem with the effect Sanctity of Battle has had. I’m sure that initially it was intended to be just like haste for DKs and Cataclysm Warriors, or the new crit implementation for MoP warriors. A small benefit that made specialty raid buffs (Sinestra, Primordius) not useless. And if you just look at TDR metrics, it does that – it’s a very, very weak TDR stat compared to dodge, parry, and mastery.

          Unfortunately, from the smoothing side of things it’s very powerful. And I think that’s the part that got overlooked during beta.

          Which puts us in a weird position – Sanctity of Battle gives a larger benefit than it probably should have, which means that instead of being a small fringe benefit we mostly ignore, haste became front-and-center as a great mitigation stat. And that throws everything off, because you have two plate tanks focusing on dodge/parry/mastery gear and one trying to get rid of it.

          That said, I think this problem would have manifested itself this expansion no matter what thanks to monks. We’ve already seen Brewmasters fare very well in ToT because they gear for DPS stats, so they can play the same tricks that haste-stacking paladins do. The DPS disparity between haste/crit-stacking tanks and dodge/parry-stacking tanks was bound to become apparent either way, regardless of which side of the divide Paladins are on.

          But that’s the fundamental issue – you have a really big gap in performance between those two paradigms, and it’s hard to bring them back together. There are tricks you can play, like dodge/parry -> crit conversions and what not, but those are really just band-aids. In the long run, I think that tanking will be a lot healthier if the divide is abolished entirely. For example, dodge/parry rating goes away, and all tanks gear for haste/mastery/crit.

          • Iscoutyou says:

            I would say that the issue moreso lies in the split CT’s with dodge/parry and block which makes it unviable to stack avoidance+block, which devalues them a lot. Add than on top that the tank damage, especially in 10 man, has been pretty trivial, the giant increase in tank damage as a % of the raids damage, and voila, you got the reason why offensive stats suddenly becomes king. There are several 10 man tanks including myself that favor crit far above mastery/stamina/dodge/parry, simply because the raids dps is a larger issue than my survival.

            So in an expansion where blizzard puts more focus on tanks dps, less focus on tanks survival (or rather so, tanks more able to take care of their own survival regardless of gear/stats, aswell as giving haste good survival increase, we should not be suprised with the outcome.

          • Lowmaine says:

            As far as the idea of the divide goes to, yeah, we were bound to notice with or without Paladins having Sanctity of Battle in its current incarnation. We’d notice when Monks pulled ahead, far ahead, thanks to Keg Smash and crit scaling.

            The main thing would be, the divide of paradigms would still be there, and even with that divide, the only way gear with avoidance would get used is if it was slathered in Mastery, otherwise DKs and Warriors wouldn’t go near the stuff with a ten-foot pole because they would just grab pieces slathered in accuracy/mastery combinations instead. But Strength tanks would be fair lower than Agility tanks in the end, Paladins would just have slightly more interesting gearing through Sanctity of Battle (maybe).

            A lot of discussion has gone on in the tank forums based on an idea, that Avoidance as a stat would have to go away entirely as far as itemization on gear; even more so, using the idea of avoidance to move towards what I refer to as the “Active Avoidance” model, ala Elusive Brew for Monks, which is generated through an offensive secondary stat (Crit) and then converted into an amount of a defensive stat (Avoidance, in this case Dodge); they’re sort of trying to shoehorn the reverse in with Riposte, but it still doesn’t really solve the scaling issue that Strength classes have; Strength doesn’t scale into Crit (whereas Agility and Intellect do, I believe), so Strength user Crit levels are far lower, unless they augment them through other gearing opportunities. That however, ties into what I mentioned earlier when I said it wouldn’t really help, due to Warrior scaling with Crit in general.

            Really, if Blizzard’s been listening to any of the back and forth (which I feel like they have been, if they’re giving Warriors and DKs Riposte), next expansion should serve as a pretty exciting time for tanks from a gearing perspective, at least from a anyway.

            Apologies for the rambling, as it’s late and I should already be asleep >_>;

  15. Schroom says:

    Of course! looking forward to it.

  16. Looks like they did what you said. According to Wowhead’s mined data the 4p has been renamed the 2p bonus and the 2p renamed the 4p bonus.

    • Daishan says:

      Really hope they put some haste on the tier set as well now, as someone said earlier good bonus crap itemization / no bonus good itemization won’t be a fun choice to make.

      • Thiron says:

        Blizzard generally doesn’t really like that Paladin Tanks prefer Haste over tanking stats.
        While it is accepted with some grumbling, and won’t change during this expansion, they don’t actively support it.
        So, there’s absolutely no reason to expect any haste on tier pieces. The best you can hope for is Mastery/Expertise.

        • Theck says:

          I’m not sure it’s fair to make that statement. Their intent is clearly mixed – they gave us Sanctity of Battle after all, and if they really didn’t like it they have the ability to take it away.

          I think it’s fairly clear that the paradigm shift wasn’t intended. But they’ve admitted that people seem to like the paradigm, so they don’t want to kill it off. If it increases the “fun” factor of the game – and many players seem to think it does – they may very well embrace it. They have a track record of doing that when it makes sense.

  17. Keres says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for all your work Theck. Been following your blog for a few months now and its been a great help understanding the new changes.

    I agree with you that the main issue with the tier itemization seems to be that Bliz seems to want us to still gear as if we were in Cataclysm, rather than in MoP. Given how much they have changed things with SoB, making us value haste very highly, their current actions with T15, and maybe with the unreleased T16 (time will tell), seems out of place, unless you consider their actions as wanting to preserve all three main gearing styles for Prot, at least in the near term; Control/Haste, Control/Mastery, Control/Avoidance.

    The Issue with T15, given this line of reasoning, though is that it barely supports Control/Haste, but supports the other two styles quite well, with the mastery/hit/exp/avoid spread across the set.

    If that is their goal, to marginally support all three styles in the tier set, to at least a moderate degree, they will have to add a haste piece in there. Something on the order of:

    Head – Hit/Exp
    Shoulders – Exp/Haste
    Glove – Parry/Exp
    Chest – Mastery/Hit
    Legs – Mastery/Exp

    Or something similar. This would allow each style to get a 4pc, without gaining many unwanted stats. If they choose to go this route then it should carry us well into the next expansion, when who knows what will happen itemization wise.

    Here’s to dodge/parry going away with a greater focus on AM.

  18. Thiron says:

    I remember seeing some Blizzard forum post about Protection Paladins and Haste.
    Simply put, they do know about us stacking haste, but they don’t like it.
    Seems that it’s too late to make haste non-viable, instead they are trying to make Dodge/Parry better (Grand Crusader change for example).
    So I’m sure we won’t see Haste on our tier, simply because the direction we’re taking is not actually wanted by Blizzard.

    And that’s kind of a pity. It would be nice if dodge and parry became a thing of past completely, and instead all tanks would enjoy tanking benefits of DPS stats. Most already do, now we just need to raise Haste value for DKs, and Crit benefit for warriors (they are already getting small crit value in 5.4).
    The only problem would be sharing of items with Plate DPS, but it already happens with leather. Don’t see why not plate too.

    One of benefits of that kind of system would be the option of lowering Vengeance reliance. Or maybe even getting rid of Vengeance completely.
    Why is vengeance even a thing? Scaling. Tier-to-tier threat scaling. Tank players didn’t get any more damage when they got better items, because they only got more of tanking stats, so threat started falling behind. But if DPS stats suddenly become also tanking stats? There is the scaling! It’s even better than vengeance, because vengeance scales from encounters, and this would really scale from gear.
    Change – or even complete removal – of Vengeance in favour of DPS-stat-tanking would solve a lot of tanking issues. Tankswaps. Staying in fire for damage. Outdpsing your DPS, just because of encounter. Trying to solo tank encounters that shouldn’t be. Tank DPS while questing and out in the wild, when you’re not taking any damage.

    • Thiron says:

      But, looking at Riposte, it seems that that Blizzard goes all out to make Dodge and Parry wanted instead…

      • Theck says:

        I think you’re entirely misinterpreting the point of Riposte. It’s not intended to make dodge and parry more valuable, as it doesn’t have a significant effect on mitigation. It’s clearly intended to make up for the DPS discrepancy between the tanks that stack DPS-improving stats (Monks, Druids, and Paladins) and those that don’t (Warriors, DKs).

        That’s why Warriors and DKs get Riposte, but Paladins don’t.

    • Theck says:

      Again, I’m not sure I’d say “don’t like it.” “Didn’t expect it,” certainly, but they’ve also said that they don’t want to kill it off since people find it a lot of fun. Getting rid of it is as easy as flipping a switch (turning off Sanctity of Battle), and they haven’t done that – instead, they’ve started to balance us around having high haste. That’s a good sign in my book.

  19. Troxism says:

    As a DK tank, I am confused why people don’t understand that haste is way better then dodge/parry for a DK. I ran some basic math myself right before ToT came out and Haste is a better mitigation stat for a DK then dodge/parry. Since it’s value is purely based on mastery however, it will never beat mastery, but the fact is ATM the best way to gear for survival on a Blood DK is to stack Stamina (gems and trinkets) > Mastery > Haste, and get as much Hit/Exp as you feel comfortable with (always 7.5% hit over any exp however, since Rune Strike is undodgeable and unparryable and is most of your single target damage)/comes on gear anyways, and avoid Dodge and Parry at all costs.

    I am legitimately confused why I seem to be the only DK who understands that Haste isn’t a DPS stat or why people keep saying Haste (and stamina for that matter, on the tank that is by far the weakest to spike damage to begin with) is a ‘weak stat’ for Blood DKs, because it makes no sense to me.

    • Kal says:

      As a matter of background, I have a Pally and DK tank both geared, but with less experience on the DK in MoP.

      It’s my impression (i.e. I read it on EJ and Icyveins), that DK tanks still stack mastery to the sky, including gems and enchants, using hybrid gems with mastery only to get good bonuses (e.g. askmrrobot has me gemming straight mastery in one slot that would otherwise get me 60 dodge). Haste inherently conflicts with this, simply because haste and mastery are both yellow gem slots. Mastery>haste then just means to reforge out of haste into mastery whenever possible.

      Stamina is only itemized better than secondary stats on trinkets, not gems. Point-for-point, stamina is better than mastery, since it improves the performance of AMS, Rune Tap, an unbuffed DS, and VB, in addition to the passive spike damage smoothing. However, it is not so much better than mastery as to trade off 40-80 stats worth per gem slot.

      As for haste being a “weak stat”, it is less powerful than other stats in terms of mitigation. I don’t know for sure how it stacks up against dodge/parry, and I’d like to see some math on that, but it certainly is weaker than mastery, the most relevant stat to compare it against. My own view on haste for DK tanks is that at the very least, it’s not a wasted stat. Item level upgrades are my first consideration (more stam/armor), then I focus on pieces with mastery on them. So, ilevels being equal I will take a mastery/haste piece before I take any combination of hit/exp/dodge/parry. This is less about the haste not being awful, and more about the mastery being awesome. Haste isn’t “weak.” It’s just not as strong as others. I certainly do not see haste as a “DPS stat” for DK tanks. It is a survivability stat, for sure. However, I am skeptical of it being better than dodge/parry.

  20. ZorKesh says:

    You are the prophet!
    ptr.wowhead.com/itemset=1188
    2 tokens with haste on protection set

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