Bear mitigation vs. other tanks

85 Troll Druid
14750
There are other threads about some of the other issues that Guardian druids have, with the rotation being clunky, etc. but I'm wondering whether anyone else has noticed that druids take substantially more damage than other tanks even when using their AM abilities. This isn't a whine about "you changed the game Blizzard, now I have to adapt," because I was actually looking forward to the new system, and there are some really nice utility changes like being able to brez in bear form. I like the idea of using rage for mitigation and not DPS/threat.

What I'm concerned about is that it seems like bears take substantially more damage than other tanks, even when AM abilities are being used. Right now it's not a huge deal as we have the 35% debuff and vastly outgear the content, and I was able to clear heroic DS post-patch without issues, but when MoP comes out I'm worried that bears will be severely underpowered compared to other tanks and I'm starting to wonder whether I ought to level my prot warrior instead. I do a bit of pugging old content and I'm already starting to hear people say things like "they really ruined druids in the patch, I don't like healing them anymore" which I initially dismiss as their experience with bears who haven't adapted, then notice how much more healing is going out to me than the other tank.

The main issues I think are that with SD not having 100% uptime even in an infinite rage scenario, we go through periods of extreme squishiness, and the fact that FR is often either overhealing, or causes healers to overheal. As other druids have suggested, it should be an absorb like warriors have considering the formula is the same for calculating the amount. I don't know how Blizzard can think a heal and an absorb for the same amount are equivalent in balancing tanks.

I've looked at the recent blue posts on both the US and EU forums, and haven't found anything addressing tank balance. It'd be nice to hear something whether it's "scaling will fix it at 90" or "we're planning to address it in 5.1/5.0.x" or even "its fine, learn2play." I've been playing a bear tank since TBC and enjoy it a lot, but I'm not going to be a drag on my raid by playing a gimped spec and I'm starting to think a reroll is called for, which Blizzard has said in the past is their "test" for balance.
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90 Troll Druid
17280
Haven't read your full post, but heres a comment from Ghostcrawler:

at the moment DKs and Brewmasters require too little healing and warriors and druids require too much healing. Paladins are in a good place and serving as our target. Our solution to the rage tanks is probably going to be to give them more rage to use their defenses more.


Sauce: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/6471837579#3

So basically, bears are going to receive a buff, probably a rage gen one. I'd prefer more mitigation but i guess we cant complain : P
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90 Tauren Druid
11045
We are greatly susceptible to spike damage due to the rng nature of dodge, when it works it cannot be beat when it doesnt we take massive damage.

I agree with you on FR, except on heroic yor sahj were we planned to let me heal myself with FR and a beacon from the pally (which worked great), when i would pop SD and not dodge and find myself at 30% hp and hit FR it either pushed all of the heals the healers were casting to over heal or their heals landed and FR went to over healing.

Haven't read your full post, but heres a comment from Ghostcrawler:

at the moment DKs and Brewmasters require too little healing and warriors and druids require too much healing. Paladins are in a good place and serving as our target. Our solution to the rage tanks is probably going to be to give them more rage to use their defenses more.


Sauce: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/6471837579#3

So basically, bears are going to receive a buff, probably a rage gen one. I'd prefer more mitigation but i guess we cant complain : P


and that is the problem you could give us a constant 100 rage and we would still be highly susceptible to spike damage.
Edited by Uzumatii on 9/3/2012 10:25 AM PDT
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85 Tauren Druid
11485
I like frenzied regen the way it is. The glyph kind of sucks though compared to the instant heal it provides. That needs to be changed or increase the duration of the glyph for longer than 6 seconds.

Non glyph though its an amazing heal that scales with your AP. The more vengeance you have the bigger the heal. The trick is just timing to use it at the right point so it doesn't over heal you.

Savage defense is a bit underwhelming imo. When you look at warriors they spend 20-60 rage for an absorb that works 100% of the time. They get shield block for 60 rage that works 100% of the time.

When I pop SD I'm at 73% dodge which is awesome, but it doesn't guarantee every hit made against me in those 6 seconds is going to be a dodge. I'd like to either see SD up time increased longer than 6 seconds, or lower the rage cost so we can use it more often and lower the dodge it gives you to compensate.
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90 Troll Druid
17280
I'll be honest, im not too fond of frenzied regen. Feels like a "o!@#$" button that has a huge drawback of delaying savage defense. Unless the damage in MoP is very high and that the heals take awhile to heal you back up, im not very overwhelmed with frenzied regen as it is now.
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85 Troll Druid
14750
I've read GC's post, but he puts warriors and druids on the same level and I think druids are substantially more gimped than warriors - my warrior alt with 391 ilvl feels like it's taking less damage than my 408 ilvl druid. If they buff rage gen it won't affect the druid vs. warrior question. Warrior's AM abilities are way better than ours.

I've played a druid tank since TBC, and in that time, I think the most underpowered we've been was the 3.0 patch (before they added the old SD in 3.1), and it didn't really matter then because that patch was such a faceroll. I didn't reroll then, but the current state of druids is worse, and I think now I might.
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On paper, with a 50% chance to crit block for the warrior (nothing too crazy i think).

Shield block gives 6 seconds of 45% reduced damage, by reducing every hit.

Savage defense gives 6 seconds of 45% reduced damage, but it reduces whole hits instead of partial of every.

Overall damage reduction is the same, mechanic is different.

I think we all truly need to stop comparing abilities using DS as a baseline. The mechanics, damage output levels with relation to HP, etc. are all not tuned as to be appropriate.

For example, my monk (with the same 25% stam modifier as a dk, with stam food and flask (free shatt buff) on beta. gemming and forging for expertise/haste (except a stamina meta, but its a cata one cuz i'm not paying 200,000 gold for a frickin meta) is sitting at 505k health at a 478 ilvl.

This gear gets scaled down to a 470 in LFR, so my health goes down a bit in there. but even against the "hard hitter" I've faced, there has never been the chance for me to get globaled, or two-attacked to death when properly using my AM, even when I'm not, it would take a combination of 3 massive attacks simultaneously (basically) to even get me close in there, and as of right now, there are no blackhorn-esq bosses that can do that.

Sha of Fear is going to force tanks to gear a bit differently than their "all around" tanking setup I think. Normally a brewmaster goes for agi > expertise > hit >parry >crit >dodge >mastery (i think, its probably changed some). but for that fight I'm probably going to go agi > expertise > hit > mastery > crit > parry >dodge. since its about burst cooldowns for thrash. I imagine the other tanks will be doing similar adaptations.

An idea to work with SD in it's current iteration is that when it is active, you get a short-duration absorb bubble equal to 20% of the damage taken while SD is active. active, let it stack, and refresh in a way so that it lasts about 4 seconds past the end of savage defense.

This way it scales with content, and it provides a buffer when you roll snakeyes during SD.
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90 Tauren Druid
11045
09/03/2012 11:32 AMPosted by Alifer
Savage defense gives 6 seconds of 45% reduced damage, but it reduces whole hits instead of partial of every.


Except that SD doesnt provide 6 seconds of 45% reduced damage it provide 6 seconds of a chance to reduce damage and when rng fails it is a massive damage spike.

09/03/2012 11:32 AMPosted by Alifer
An idea to work with SD in it's current iteration is that when it is active, you get a short-duration absorb bubble equal to 20% of the damage taken while SD is active. active, let it stack, and refresh in a way so that it lasts about 4 seconds past the end of savage defense.


this is a very interesting idea
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90 Worgen Druid
9760
09/03/2012 10:23 AMPosted by Uzumatii
I agree with you on FR, except on heroic yor sahj were we planned to let me heal myself with FR and a beacon from the pally (which worked great), when i would pop SD and not dodge and find myself at 30% hp and hit FR it either pushed all of the heals the healers were casting to over heal or their heals landed and FR went to over healing.


Maybe a mechanic that returns mana back to healers for overheals occurring a few seconds after a FR or diverts the heal to other members of the group who need it.
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While a refreshing idea, that will never happen, the devs will say its up to your raid to communicate better, most (even the default) raid style frames can be set to show incomming heals.
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90 Night Elf Druid
13785
09/03/2012 11:40 AMPosted by Uzumatii
Except that SD doesnt provide 6 seconds of 45% reduced damage it provide 6 seconds of a chance to reduce damage and when rng fails it is a massive damage spike.


It provides 45% damage reduction on average.

Spike is a very relative term when we're rocking insanely high Armor and Health values. A Paladin that fails to Block takes far more significant spike damage than we do, and they WILL take unblocked hits in a fight, just like we will fail to avoid hits in a fight.
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90 Night Elf Druid
CFT
10670
09/03/2012 10:57 AMPosted by Cards
I've read GC's post, but he puts warriors and druids on the same level and I think druids are substantially more gimped than warriors - my warrior alt with 391 ilvl feels like it's taking less damage than my 408 ilvl druid. If they buff rage gen it won't affect the druid vs. warrior question. Warrior's AM abilities are way better than ours.

"feels like" is not a very useful descriptor. Do you have logs to support this?

I either took substantially less damage than I did last week (on magic heavy fights), about the same (splits), or a tiny bit more (all physical). If the fights were adjusted to have -20% AS I'd probably be seeing an overall buff.

There are some things we're extremely vulnerable to (that they've had to use because of how tanks were designed in Cataclysm) like Armor debuffs, but I don't recall any raid encounter in MoP having one of those.

Empiracally evaluating MoP mechanics on Cataclysm fighst doesn't work. At best you find fringe cases that may or may not actually exist.
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90 Tauren Druid
11045
true but it has a chance to not do anything to reduce damage. The only way a shield block will have a 0% chance to help the warrior is if he doesnt use it.

5% more health is not an insanely high amount over a warrior.

I either took substantially less damage than I did last week (on magic heavy fights), about the same (splits), or a tiny bit more (all physical). If the fights were adjusted to have -20% AS I'd probably be seeing an overall buff.


thats basically my impression from raiding this week taking out the spike damage i took at times from SD failing to dodge anything.

But a tiny bit more physical damage? i notice a 22% increase in damage on landed melee hits vs korkrom
Edited by Uzumatii on 9/3/2012 12:37 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Druid
CFT
10670
09/03/2012 12:34 PMPosted by Uzumatii
But a tiny bit more physical damage? i notice a 22% increase in damage on landed melee hits vs korkrom

I'm talking average damage taken, not individual swings.
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85 Troll Druid
14750
09/03/2012 12:31 PMPosted by Arielle
I've read GC's post, but he puts warriors and druids on the same level and I think druids are substantially more gimped than warriors - my warrior alt with 391 ilvl feels like it's taking less damage than my 408 ilvl druid. If they buff rage gen it won't affect the druid vs. warrior question. Warrior's AM abilities are way better than ours.

"feels like" is not a very useful descriptor. Do you have logs to support this?

I either took substantially less damage than I did last week (on magic heavy fights), about the same (splits), or a tiny bit more (all physical). If the fights were adjusted to have -20% AS I'd probably be seeing an overall buff.

There are some things we're extremely vulnerable to (that they've had to use because of how tanks were designed in Cataclysm) like Armor debuffs, but I don't recall any raid encounter in MoP having one of those.

Empiracally evaluating MoP mechanics on Cataclysm fighst doesn't work. At best you find fringe cases that may or may not actually exist.


Unfortunately I only raid on my druid so I don't have side by side logs to compare, which is why I was asking for the experiences of this forum.

But the guaranteed mitigation of shield block is not equivalent in any way to the RNG mitigation of savage defense, nor is the absorb from shield barrier equivalent to FR. In both cases, the warrior mechanic is clearly superior and the gap only becomes larger if we are forced to gem for stamina to overcome the burst factor.
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both abilities scale with incoming damage, so gearing for stamina will in no way make your FR or SD worse to use. Nothing wrong with having to gear for stam is there?
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90 Night Elf Druid
13785
09/03/2012 02:00 PMPosted by Cards
But the guaranteed mitigation of shield block is not equivalent in any way to the RNG mitigation of savage defense, nor is the absorb from shield barrier equivalent to FR. In both cases, the warrior mechanic is clearly superior and the gap only becomes larger if we are forced to gem for stamina to overcome the burst factor.


And our baselines BEFORE such abilities are better, both in the sense that our guaranteed Armor (and massive Magical Mitigation) mean our worst-case scenario is much better than their own in most cases.

FR healing scales very well and its usefulness should not be overlooked just because it is a heal and not an absorb. Believe me I'd love an absorb, but we got a heal, and it works just fine. Do you even know how much HPS a Bear can self-generate with FR alone? Never mind bonus forms of self-healing from LotP and Talents.

You need CONTEXT to compare the two because we're talking about rapidly reapplied abilities that get used constantly throughout a fight, not just big giant CDs. Things like RNG Avoidance round out better and become more useful as you apply larger sample sizes to the mix. For those that remember and actually experienced it, Deathbringer Saurfang was a fun anomaly in the unending mantra of Stamina is King in ICC. It wasn't so much that you didn't need the EH to survive, you still did; however, he attacked so rapidly that Avoidance actually really played out nicely in showing an appreciable reduction in damage.

If we don't assume any swaps or any downtime for Rage pooling, we're talking 66% uptime on 45% bonus Dodge, which is a ton of extra Avoidance that translates into a ton of extra damage reduced.

You don't like RNG, we get it.

But that doesn't make our system bad.
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90 Tauren Druid
11045
09/03/2012 03:50 PMPosted by Fasc
You need CONTEXT to compare the two because we're talking about rapidly reapplied abilities that get used constantly throughout a fight, not just big giant CDs. Things like RNG Avoidance round out better and become more useful as you apply larger sample sizes to the mix


This is true but take normal mode thrash as an example

warrior pops shield block and blocks every hit of it survives

Bears pop savage defense rng fails and no dodges bear gets battle rezzed

we are the only tank in the game that cannot depend on our active mitigation to do anything.

And our armor does not provide 30% more DR than a warriors armor more like 12 - 15% and he will block every attack for 12 out of 15 seconds. We only have a chance to dodge attacks 15 out of 15 seconds. Pallys bastion can be near 100% uptime and reduces damage by at least 30%

Bottom line is bears will be sat in favor of the other 4 tank classes because raid leaders dont want wipes caused by his tank playing properly and dying anyway
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90 Pandaren Warrior
10250
This is true but take normal mode thrash as an example

warrior pops shield block and blocks every hit of it survives

Bears pop savage defense rng fails and no dodges bear gets battle rezzed


Or, on the flipside,

Bear pops savage defense, RNG success, and dodges every attack and requires no healing.

Given that you have a base 5% chance to miss, with a 45% savage defense (making the base chance of being hit while SD is up being 50/50, before dodge) and add 20% dodge, that's a 70% chance to avoid. The chance to avoid six attacks in a row is is 11.8%. On the flip side, the chance of being hit by 6 consecutive attacks would be 0.0729%.
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90 Night Elf Druid
13785
09/03/2012 04:15 PMPosted by Uzumatii
Bears pop savage defense rng fails and no dodges bear gets battle rezzed


If Bear dies from Thrash on Normal or even Heroic mode... said Bear is undergeared, lacking severe amounts of Stamina/Mastery, or not topped off (which is sad since its a 2.5 sec swing timer).

Yes there is the chance you'll need a lot of healing... but then again that's what a huge FR heal is for. You store up and then spike on Vengeance and practically full heal.

This is a bad example seriously.

09/03/2012 04:15 PMPosted by Uzumatii
Bottom line is bears will be sat in favor of the other 4 tank classes because raid leaders dont want wipes caused by his tank playing properly and dying anyway


No no and no.

We work with a tremendous amount of passive EH with the ability to DRAMATICALLY alter our EH with Stamina/Mastery stacking, even within a fixed ilvl. Things like Sha of Fear's Thrash is a mechanic that we'll use SD to ease healing OR we'll use FR to self-heal for the same purpose, but we'll specifically have enough EH to survive that encounter (which is more than doable).
Edited by Fasc on 9/3/2012 6:44 PM PDT
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