Black Ox Statue Guard Targeting Issue

90 Pandaren Monk
17265
Hail. The fellows and I over in the Elitist Jerks forums' Brewmaster Monk Thread (http://elitistjerks.com/f99/t131791-like_water_brewmasters_resource_2_13_13_a/) have recently uncovered an issue with Black Ox Statue's Guard target priority.

While we were under the impression that it behaved as a smart heal, in effect, it works as follows: Whenever Black Ox Statue casts Guard on a target, it chooses the member of the raid with the lowest current health value (not percentage).

That's it. This means it will overwrite continually on a single target (the least geared member of the raid) during fights without persistent aoe damage, and I believe this to be an unintended consequence.

Here are 40 seconds from a fellow EJ contributor's combat log for Black Ox on a recent Wind Lord Mel'jarak kill:
[20:32:14.093] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 530157)
[20:32:15.292] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 526798)
[20:32:17.729] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 507494)
[20:32:19.713] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 483304)
[20:32:20.535] Maylow gains Guard from Skally (Remaining: 473605)
[20:32:22.756] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 467406)
[20:32:26.945] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 477314)
[20:32:28.961] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 474348)
[20:32:30.591] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 462411)
[20:32:33.022] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 446612)
[20:32:33.404] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 446612)
[20:32:34.183] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 446612)
[20:32:36.605] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 429218)
[20:32:38.224] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 421042)
[20:32:39.048] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 421042)
[20:32:40.642] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 383270)
[20:32:41.861] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 383270)
[20:32:42.277] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 383270)
[20:32:43.453] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 375985)
[20:32:44.658] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 366664)
[20:32:45.938] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 366664)
[20:32:47.633] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 341485)
[20:32:47.906] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 341485)
[20:32:49.490] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 333825)
[20:32:52.064] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 325795)
[20:32:53.122] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 319088)
[20:32:54.428] Hains's Guard is refreshed by Skally (Remaining: 319088)

Why, that's almost problematic, I say!
Here is a total of my Guards cast last night during H-Wind Lord Mel'Jarak:
http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/qtobm9dw9gw8yu9y/spell/118604/?s=9749&e=10033
I cast 75 Guards on Jellogtwo for a total of 1.3 M actual absorption (91% of Guard value cast was overheal) compared to 7 guards on Chubathingy (#2 on Guards received) for a total of 1.0 M actual absorption (55% of Guard value cast was overheal).

The Statue works well on fights featuring consistent AoE damage. Here is a total of my Guards cast during my best performance on H-Empress Shek'zeer:
http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/bxuqulc2fw8xvu3g/spell/118604/?s=7426&e=8247
The #1 target received 19 Guards for 4.3 M actual absorption (34% overheal), the #2 target received 15 Guards for 3.8 M actual absorption (36% overheal) and the #3 target received 10 Guards for 3.8 M actual absorption (23% overheal). This is a much more balanced distribution of Guards, and I feel reinforces my line of thinking that the Ox Statue's Guards are supposed to scale extremely well and be a substantial source of raid absorption, and that the issue with the chain-casting on a single target during fights without persistent raid damage is a design oversight.

Our suggestion is that the Statue deprioritize targets already affected by Guard. We have discussed several courses of action, and you can find them in full detail on pages 11 and 12 of "Like Water:" (http://elitistjerks.com/f99/t131791-like_water_brewmasters_resource_2_13_13_a/p11/).

I fully agree with the assertion that causing Black Ox to prefer targets who do not already have a Guard could cause balance issues on fights that allow us to AoE heavily, as we could blanket raids in shields at a rate that would make ICC Discipline Priests jealous. As such, we think that a short ICD (say, 5 to 10 seconds) to limit the potential number of active shields may be necessary and appropriate. Increasing the amount of damage required to cast a shield is a similarly effective method of reducing Guard blanketing (this is scheduled to happen in 5.2).

So, I request further investigation into Black Ox Statue's Guard targeting, because chain-gunning shields onto a single target during fights without regular raid damage is problematic.
Edited by Llarold on 2/27/2013 5:21 PM PST
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100 Blood Elf Monk
16830
I don't think replying to this post on this older subject is in the realm of necro, but I absolutely agree with your request for a prioritization of guard not being cast on party members with guard up already.
I raid brew master and it would be nice to know that this guard is being utilized to a fuller extent rather then spammed on some random person in raid over and over again over healing for so much.
Edited by Pandaleche on 4/15/2013 7:20 PM PDT
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