Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Usefulness of Block Rating to a Tankadin

How much Block Rating is useful on gear? That’s a question a reader asked me as he began to look at the new gear from Ulduar and from the new Emblems of Conquest vendor much of which is loaded with Block Rating.

Block Rating is the easiest and most efficient way to get to what is called the Block Cap, or what used to be called Uncrushable at Level 70 before Crushing Blows were changed

The Block Cap is a combined Miss, Parry, Dodge, and Block Rating of 102.5%.

Once you reach that point, any additional Block Rating is not helping you.

Oh, it’s still calculated into your Block percentage, but because of the way the attack table works, once you have more than 100% of combined Miss, Parry, Dodge and Block Rating, the game engine (which is what decides what happens in WoW) will not count it. . If you need a refresher on the Attack Table and how it works, I recommend Winchester’s Maintankadin 101 guide.

“Picture it like a table, and there is only room for 100 plates on the table. 1% stands for 1 plate, you arrange the plates from left to right. When you're Block Capped you've basically just pushed the "hit" plates off the table to make room for the avoidance ones, because they have a higher priority.”

You are 'capped' on the amount of Block you can have. It should be noted that since Holy Shield was changed to have its duration be longer than it’s cooldown, it is now safe to assume 100% uptime on Holy Shield when calculating your Block Cap.

When this happens, you should start replacing Block with other avoidances (namely Dodge and Parry).

Being at the Block Cap is very helpful because it means that every unavoided attack from the Boss will be a Block. Paladins are probably the easiest tank class to keep Block Capped 100% of the time.

Each Block takes off damage equal to your Block Value. If the Boss hits for 15,000, and you have 1500 Block Value (not unreasonable), you effectively shave off 10% of the damage each and every hit that isn’t outright avoided. That can add up to a huge amount of damage reduction over the course of the fight. Our last battle with Kologarn, I blocked 12 times and saved myself from tanking over 23,000 damage, which works out to rougly a 6.6% damage reduction over the course of the fight.

To reiterate, because it doesn’t suffer from Dimishing Returns, Block Rating is the fastest, easiest, most efficient way to get Block Capped, but once you are there it looses its appeal completely and becomes useless.

So is all the Block Rating on the new Ulduar/Emblem gear good? It depends on your current gear and how the upgrade will affect you.

I would suggest that the Developers should examine combining Block Rating and Block Value into a single stat called Block. That would allow Block to remain useful regardless of if you are over the Block Cap or not, and remove the confusion between Block Value and Block Rating.


Evonath said...

It'd be difficult to take 2 stats (an absorption amount and a chance to absorb) and combine them, from a mathematical standpoint. From a programming standpoint, it's even more complex due to how the gear has been implemented into the game.

It's the same reason why Pre-WotLK gear is a bad mix for Paladins, and the devs have no plans on changing it. Meh... of little concern unless you are an old-school purist.

Thorned said...

Thanks for the interesting blog about block :-)

I'm still not clear which way i want to go as a tank.. I have a lot of gear for both ways (avoidance and block cap) but I just can't decide. At the moment we are slicing our way through Ulduar heroic and the bosses hit like a truck. Even if I reduce every hit by 1600-1700 thats still sometimes 20-25k coming through, making me wish for some more avoidance so I won't get hit at all.. :(

I just can't make up my mind on this one

btw, can it be that you only have 2 of possible 3 jc only dragoneyes in your equip at the moment? :)

Honors Code said...


I don't see where it would be a problem. Strength gives Block Value. Just have Block Rating also give Block Value and change Block Value gear to Block Rating.


I was experimenting with some different gearset when I logged. You only see two Dragoneyes equiped, the third is in a piece of gear in my bags. I'll make sure I have all 3 when I go into Ulduar.

Etherel said...

I have to go with Evonath on this one, though for different reasons.

If everything just gave "block" it would have a major issue with itemization values. Suddenly instead of just providing an "avoidance" stat, it also provides a "mitigation" stat, making it worth twice as much. Therefor effectively all benefits from "block" would have to be half of what they are now (2% block rating might change to 1% block rating and 30 block value or 60 block value might change to 30 BV and 2% BR)

And as soon as you reach the block/hit cap, you'll still have a problem with wasted stats. Sure those wasted stats may be Distributed and linked with usable BV, but you'll still end up with the same %Block over 102.4% as with the old system.

The only real difference this system could give would be for players who happen to have a lot of Block Rating gear with very little Block Value gear. I personally (Etherel - Doomhammer) try to stack gear with Block Value and avoid gear with JUST Block Rating.

A consolidation change would actually be harmful for me, because I avoid Block Rating wherever possible.

What would be nice is to only change the distribution of Block Rating on gear. Drastically cut the amount of gear with Block Rating, and any gear that does have Block Rating, reduce its amount and convert some of it to Block Value.

The problem isn't with the stat. Block Rating is awesome in small quantities. The serious problem is its abundance. We're drowning in a stat that needs to be taken in small doses. If Blizzard just made Block Rating a "rare" stat and replaced a lot of it with even Block Value, it would be so much better.