Thursday, July 16, 2009

[Patch 3.2] I Feel Diminished

Shield of Righteousness: Now deals 100% of shield block value as damage instead of 130%. In addition, the benefit from additional block value this ability gains is now subject to diminishing returns. Diminishing returns occur once block value exceeds 30 times the player's level and caps the maximum damage benefit from shield block value at 34.5 times the player's level. Source)

This news actually came out about a week ago. I wanted to let some time pass before I commented on it because initially I was just mad and that is rarely a good state of mind for a reasoned analysis of a change.

So what does this change actually mean? For a Level 80 tank, diminishing returns start to kick in at 2400 Block Value (80*30). Block Value caps at 2760. Every point of Block Value you get from 2400 to 2760 contributes less and less. For instance, let’s say you’ve got 2400 Block Value exactly. You get an ‘upgrade’ in Tier 9 that increases you Block Value by 80 over the old piece of gear. Your Block Value will not go up by 80 for the purpose of figuring out Shield of Righteousness damage. You will only see your Shield of Rigtheousness hit increase by, I’m guessing at the actual number but something less than 80 let’s say 60.

The bottom line is that your Shield of Righteousness goes from doing 3621 per hit to 3681 per hit.

Your Block Value will go up by 80 for determining how much damage you take off a Blocked hit.

So when you block instead of seeing

Auriaya hits Honorshammer for 13794 (2400 Blocked)
You get

Auriaya hits Honorshammer for 13718 (2480 Blocked)
Your new 80 Block Value item gave you only 60 points for offensive block value, but the full 80 for defensive block value.

Are we likely to start hitting the Diminishing Return on Block Value in anything but a gimmick Block Value set?

A Paladin with his 4 piece Tier 8 set bonus and a Libram of Obstruction is getting pretty close to the diminishing return point. I’m less than 200 Block Value away myself.

I must be using Block gear and gimping my stats, right?
Well, you see, this screenshot was taken in my ‘Boss’ tanking set. That set has exactly 3 pieces with Block Value on them: T8 Shoulders, Gloves and my Bracers of Hapless Prey. I’ve been trying to replace my Bracers for a long time, and just have been unlucky with drops. I’m very excited there’s a new BoE Blacksmithing plan for tanking Bracers next patch.

Both T8 are an upgrade (albeit a minor one) over the Naxx25 Tier 7 pieces in those slots. So 2236 Block Value was achieved without a crazy block value set.

But this change won’t happen until Patch 3.2, that’s the real context to look at it in. At that point (barring additional PTR changes) my Libram of Obstruction will have 100% uptime and my T8 4 piece bonus will have double its current uptime. That means I’ll be sitting at 2236 Block Value more often than I am in 3.1.

Furthermore, in 3.2, I’ll be chasing after my T9 set pieces. Unless I’ve done my math wrong, T9 has more Block Value on it than T8. It also has more Strength, which will further increase our Block Value towards the cap.

The theorycrafting geniuses on MainTankadin have been crunching the numbers and I’d like to share their findings with you.
  • The change to ShoR means that BV is much more limited as a threat stat.
  • Point-for-point, STR > Hit > Expertise, and everything else sucks.
  • In terms of itemization and ipoint allocation, the best way to analyze it is to split it into three regions:

  • If your raid-buffed BV is <2500> BV > Hit > Expertise > AP
  • If your raid-buffed BV is > 2500 but <2950> Hit > Expertise > AP, with BV rapidly declining in value
  • If your raid-buffed BV is > 2950 Hit > STR > Expertise > AP, and BV is worthless for threat
  • Block Value from gear is probably not worth considering as a threat stat for much longer, as we'll start hitting the diminishing returns region just due to the STR on our gear very soon.
  • Hit and Expertise are both solid threat stats, and these changes especially encourage us to start gearing for the hit cap and expertise soft-cap.
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