At what point does Shield Barrier become...

100 Human Warrior
12580
More effective than Shield Block for absorbing/ reducing melee damage?

Meaning I have the most vengeance that I can get?

What is the theoretical threshold that barrier becomes better?

This is kind of a stamina question.
Edited by Kerex on 4/20/2013 9:41 PM PDT
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90 Pandaren Warrior
15860
If it absorbs more than block blocks.

which isn't often
Edited by Ðemolition on 4/20/2013 9:17 PM PDT
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14 Night Elf Druid
0
Never. The stronger the melee attacks are, the better Block becomes.

Barrier only ever absorbs maybe 1 and 1/2 attacks (assuming the attacks don't change in variety).

The only time where you'd barrier spam over block for melee attacks is if there was a boss that started out doing something insane like 500k swings, then started ramping down a lot. That way your Vengeance is still higher (you'd be Blocking early on though).

Other than that block is always better.

Vengeance specifically scales so that Barrier maintains the same relative strength to the amount of damage you take. That means when I say Barrier only ever absorbs around 1 and a half attacks, that applies UNIVERSALLY. And if you're mastery stacking like you should, it makes Block better in that regard, both for damage smoothing and less damage taken overall.
Edited by Kangarooster on 4/20/2013 9:30 PM PDT
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100 Blood Elf Priest
14930
More effective than Shield Block for absorbing/ reducing melee damage?


Basically, it doesn't.

For total damage intake, they're fairly close, but using block and feeding any extra rage to barrier will reduce more than just using barrier. Additionally, the damage will come in more consistent chunks, since block reduces everything and barrier is all-or-nothing.

What barrier is good for, aside from magic damage, is burst damage.
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100 Human Warrior
12580
I think there might be a formula for it.
As it stands, a blocked attack in Shield block will block 30% of the melee swing.
Lets say that during that shield block we are attacked 3-4 times for 100,000 dmg per swing
this means that we will block anywhere from 90k-240k dmg at least during shield block (factoring in critical block). The point where Shield barrier would become more effective would be if you can throw up a shield for more than the most possible amount of damage blocked. This would mean with full vengeance, a shield barrier of at least 240,001 damage.

Am I wrong with my napkin math?
Edited by Kerex on 4/20/2013 9:37 PM PDT
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90 Pandaren Warrior
15860
That doesn't actually happen though.

Nothing will hit you hard enough to give you 8 billion vengeance to be invincible with barrier unless its trivial content/adds that cant break a stock barrier
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100 Tauren Druid
13265
Am I wrong with my napkin math?

No, but you're forgetting that barrier's based on incoming hit size as well (albeit indirectly, through vengeance). You won't have that high of a barrier with those melee swings unless something else is coming into play.

Anything that increases vengeance relative to blockable damage can make barrier stronger relative to block. These include avoidance, most notably dual-wielding mobs with their high miss penalty (think windblades on shek'zeer), armor, damage reduction effects/CDs, magic, bleed, or otherwise unblockable damage mixed in with melee hits, and so on.

But for pure melee swings, these don't come into play often, so block is going to outscale barrier pretty much always.
Edited by Ahanss on 4/20/2013 9:45 PM PDT
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100 Blood Elf Priest
14930
Am I wrong with my napkin math?


Misguided. You don't want to take an absorb followed by a string of full hits. It's spiky, stressful to healers, and sudden damage intake like that is more likely to result in your death. Total damage intake numbers will mislead you on which is better.

If you actually want to see how it maths out, Theck has run sims on it. It tends to me more complicated than napkin math can reasonably tackle, since you have to account for variable levels of Vengeance, higher rage intake from crit block enrage, and block scaling with mastery.
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14 Night Elf Druid
0
Am I wrong with my napkin math?
You're not wrong, but like I said, the way Vengeance works is that Barrier will scale with the amount of damage you're taking. Therefore, Block will ALWAYS be superior since Barrier always does the same relative amount of absorption.
These include avoidance
Avoidance doesn't necessarily increase Vengeance though, it just resets the timer on it - which changes the value of Barrier on TOP of Barrier gaining strength versus avoids.

It's pretty complicated honestly. But in the end what we want is damage smoothing, and block does that.
Edited by Kangarooster on 4/20/2013 10:40 PM PDT
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100 Tauren Druid
13265
Avoidance doesn't necessarily increase Vengeance though, it just resets the timer on it - which changes the value of Barrier on TOP of Barrier gaining strength versus avoids.

That was changed in 5.1(?) (I honestly don't remember what patches did what) to where it grants vengeance based on the mob's average swing damage. Then in 5.2 it was fixed so weakened blows doesn't reduce that average swing damage :D.

It only resets the timer if you avoid a special attack, like garalon's swipes.

The main thing is that having higher avoidance means you'd block less during block, while barrier would absorb the same amount of damage. Purely theoretical, though, except in extreme cases where mobs get huge miss chances.

And to be clear, I don't disagree with block being better for melee damage.
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100 Human Warrior
12580
04/20/2013 09:44 PMPosted by Nerfheals
If you actually want to see how it maths out, Theck has run sims on it.


Can you provide a link to theck doing warrior sims?

All that I've seen are the paladin ones
Edited by Kerex on 4/21/2013 12:05 AM PDT
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90 Tauren Druid
13005
only use barrier for attacks that can not be blocked.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
14930
If you actually want to see how it maths out, Theck has run sims on it.


Can you provide a link to theck doing warrior sims?

All that I've seen are the paladin ones


http://www.sacredduty.net/2012/09/18/l90-warrior-mitigation-followup/

EDIT: keep in mind that was written before the 10% AP scaling nerf to SBarrier.
Edited by Nerfheals on 4/21/2013 12:53 PM PDT
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100 Human Warrior
12580
Thank you for the link
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90 Human Priest
8320
Shield Barrier becomes better than Shield Block in the following cases:

  • The boss is about to perform a particular spike damage mechanic which is unblockable (magic, certain specials, etc.).
  • A mechanic occurs if the boss is able to successfully damage you but the effect doesn't trigger if the damage is absorbed AND you can fully absorb the hit.
  • The boss transitions to an exceptionally low damage phase where one Shield Barrier can eliminate virtually all the damage for its duration due to high Vengeance coming in.
  • You don't have the rage for Shield Block and the boss's next attack will kill you if not mitigated.
  • You do have the rage for Shield Block but the next attack will kill you through a regular block but not through a barrier.
  • You don't have the rage for Shield Block and the boss is about to feedback/drain your rage somehow (been a long time since this was a mechanic).
  • The first is a pretty regular occurrence, but the rest are all either non-existent in current content, very hard to judge on the fly, or more issues with your healers/fight mechanics than concerns for you to deal with.
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    90 Pandaren Warrior
    15860
    The boss is about to perform a particular spike damage mechanic which is unblockable (magic, certain specials, etc.).


    This isn't always true, see Triple puncture, to a lesser extent elegon, etc

    If they melee you right before and after you want block up, with a smaller barrier/cd for the hit

    A mechanic occurs if the boss is able to successfully damage you but the effect doesn't trigger if the damage is absorbed AND you can fully absorb the hit.


    To be more specific, Static Wound on Jinrohk.
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    14 Night Elf Druid
    0
    And Infected Talons on Ji-Kun.

    Haven't fully tested (read: haven't paid attention to) whether or not this is how Malakk's Frigid Assault works. 99% sure it will only not apply the stack if you dodge, though.

    Basically we still barrier a lot, it's not even really a loss as long as you don't sit on 2 SB charges forever. But we have the rage income to do both fairly regularly and if you're barriering very often versus pure melee/blockable damage, you're gonna end up taking spikier damage, if not necessarily more overall damage. Spikes kill tanks.
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    90 Pandaren Warrior
    10250
    Even if we assume Shield Barrier and Shield Block were equal for reducing damage, Shield Block would still generally end up being superior, due to Critical Blocks. When a Warrior Critical Block's, they proc Enrage. If Raid-Buffed to around 66% Critical Block chance, then you would recover 20 rage per Shield Block.

    6 second buff time / 2-second swing timer = 3 attacks per Shield Block
    Based on your armory, round a 33% chance to parry/dodge miss, so two attacks will be blocked, 1 to be parry/dodge/miss .

    This leaves 2 attacks to be blocked. 2 * 66% to critical block = 1.2 Enrages
    1.2 Enrages = 12 Rages (average rage per Shield Block)

    Each Shield Block provides 12 rage per usage over what Shield Barrier would provide (0).

    This implies that if the two Shield abilities were equal, then Shield Block would remain the superior choice, since it would generate more rage than Shield Barrier (making it a "cheaper" action).
    Edited by Thurash on 4/22/2013 6:09 AM PDT
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    90 Human Priest
    8320
    04/22/2013 01:39 AMPosted by Ðemolition
    The boss is about to perform a particular spike damage mechanic which is unblockable (magic, certain specials, etc.).


    This isn't always true, see Triple puncture, to a lesser extent elegon, etc

    If they melee you right before and after you want block up, with a smaller barrier/cd for the hit

    A mechanic occurs if the boss is able to successfully damage you but the effect doesn't trigger if the damage is absorbed AND you can fully absorb the hit.


    To be more specific, Static Wound on Jinrohk.


    I would argue that Triple Puncture is not a spike damage mechanic so much as Triple Puncture + double melee swings is, but that's semantics.
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    90 Dwarf Warrior
    14765
    The OP raises an interesting question that's not really answered here. Let's pretend we're fighting a boss that doesn't have any big spiky abilities, but is using a mix of physical melee hits and constant magical/bleed damage. At what percentage of unblockable damage relative to the total damage does shield barrier prevail over shield block, assuming that the total damage is actually threatening to the tank? (Let's say a third of the warrior's health every 2 seconds).
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