Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Command Me

I would think this would go almost without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway. The opinions expressed in this blog are just that, opinions. They are based on my personal experiences in game as well as research done by various sites, but influenced to the greatest degree by the posters on Maintankadin. Where there is math and other factual supporting evidence, I'll do my best to cite it.
3.2.2 hit yesterday. I could certainly feel the threat nerf, but it's not like I'm suddenly behind now. I'm much more in line with my DK co-Tank, and still have very little trouble holding threat off most DPS. There's a really well geared Mage and Hunter in our group who can really push it early on in fights if they don't Feign/Invisibility. They were pulling in the same situation pre-patch as well, so I doubt the patch was the reason.
I'm also really happy to report that our Healers reported little to no difference in healing me. The nerf to AD was hardly noticeable, much as I expected. Unless you are parsing logs and checking damage taken week after week, you probably won't notice it. I can't imagine a post-wipe debrief where you are saying, 'Yep, we wiped because AD was nerfed.'
I do want to address one Ret change. As you may know, or if you didn't know, you'll know now, Seal of Command was buffed in Patch 3.2.2.
Let's take a look at the new and improved Seal of Command. For just 3 easy installments of $19.95 you can get:
•Seal of Command: This ability now chains to strike up to 2 additional targets when it is triggered by an attack that can only strike a single target.
So does Seal of Command have a place in a Protection Paladin's build and rotation?
Survey says..............
NO.
You Seal of choice is going to remain Vengeance.
Why would I say this? To quote Eadric the Pure.
HAMMER..... OF THE...... RIGHTEOUS!!
Hammer the current target and up to 2 additional nearby targets, causing 4 times your main hand damage per second as Holy damage.
Protection Paladin already had a 'Holy Cleave'. What's more, by using Seal of Vengeance with Hammer of the Righteous, you're spreading the Holy Vengeance Damage over Time component to all 3 mobs. So you've DoTs ticking on three mobs and you are building your Vengeance stack so when you switch to another mob, you 5 stack is already there allow you to get the 5 stack extra swing proc from Seal of Vengeance.
For trash clearing Seal of Vengeance should out threat Seal of Command and save you the talent point.
You could always try Seal Twisting with SoC and SoV. Just keep in mind that only your auto attack will proc SoC. Are you going to use a global Seal Twisting, that could have gone to a judgment/Shield of Righteousness for...a proc that is intended to be used with high damage weapons? I haven't seen any math, but I don't think you'd see even an extra 100 tps being generated from SoC weaving, if any extra is generated at all.
Also remember than if your glyphed for Seal of Vengeance, you'll lose 10 Expertise SKILL (not rating).
If you wanted to, you could build a Heroics talent spec that took Seal of Command, and full reckoning, but I don't see much point in building a Heroics only talent spec, unless of course all you do is Heroics. Hmm, that actually might make sense. I still think you'll be better off with Vengeance, but it might be fun to give it a try.
I know from runs on my Hunter alt that people are clearing Heroics using Seal of Wisdom, so I'm sure it can be done.
But for this Paladin, it's not worth the talent point.
EDIT!
The math geniuses over at Maintankadin have crunched the numbers on Seal of Command.
Here's what they have to add:
SoV is consistently ahead in threat by 1.3k or more TPS, depending on spec. SoR is in second place, with SoCom coming in last place. Now that SoCom and SoV both scale with weapon damage, there shouldn't be a situation where SoCom ever overtakes SoV (like we saw occurring with SoB in previous patches).

So it's going to be roughly a 350 TPS gain on trash by switching to SoCommand, as compared to keeping a 3-stack of HV on everything and tab-targetting. It gets even stronger should h drop to 2 or 1, but gets weaker on longer-living trash (which could feasibly reach a 5-stack of HV). It will also weaken somewhat as the number of mobs increases since it's fairly easy to keep a HV stack on many different mobs, but seal of Cleave won't hit more than 3.

Keep in mind this should be compared to the threat loss incurred by dropping whatever talent you skip to pick up SoC, which would presumably be Conviction. That would be roughly 50 TPS spread amongst as many targets as you tab-target between, or 17 TPS on 3 targets.

TLDR summary:

* Don't spec SoCom for single targets
* For trash tanking, SoCom is a viable choice, though a costly investment just for trash.

7 comments:

Grimadin said...

I can say that I definitely felt the threat nerf from the patch. There is that slight time at the beginning of the fight where people have a chance to pull now. I see my tps in the range of 7.5k instead of peaking to 9k, when I get to stand there and work the rotation. The biggest notice was the decrease in my spell power. Unbuffed I am down to 730ish from over 850ish.

What does this all mean to me? Not a whole lot. Given the initial couple of seconds to position and start my rotation, there was still no one close to pulling off my in Onyxia last night. I did have a couple of tense moments with over eager dps attacking before I was in position though. To those people all I have to say is "Its a big room... and a LONG run to the other side. Don't lay in until I am there!". Threat still no problem... big rooms and long pull distances... PROBLEM

Crofe said...

@Grimadin that's the biggest problem I have with DPS when I'm tanking. They don't understand that when the mob is running at me, I'm not generating (much) threat on it, *especially* if it's not the one I'm going to be "targeting"

Although I never tanked at the time, I really, really miss the mindset of DPS in EQ. But EQ was a different game, and things died a lot slower.

As a paladin, that's more troublesome than other tanks imo. Warriors (and Bears, I think) can charge in, effectively getting a few seconds of extra threat before the DPS can even get there. DKs can DG something and pretty much point out what the DPS should be attacking.

There's only two times I seem to lose aggro. 1) DPS starts in too early or 2) DPS is focusing on a mob that I'm not.

Honors Code said...

The math geniuses over at Maintankadin have crunched the numbers on Seal of Command.

Here's what they have to add:

SoV is consistently ahead in threat by 1.3k or more TPS, depending on spec. SoR is in second place, with SoCom coming in last place. Now that SoCom and SoV both scale with weapon damage, there shouldn't be a situation where SoCom ever overtakes SoV (like we saw occurring with SoB in previous patches).

So it's going to be roughly a 350 TPS gain on trash by switching to SoCommand, as compared to keeping a 3-stack of HV on everything and tab-targetting. It gets even stronger should h drop to 2 or 1, but gets weaker on longer-living trash (which could feasibly reach a 5-stack of HV). It will also weaken somewhat as the number of mobs increases since it's fairly easy to keep a HV stack on many different mobs, but seal of Cleave won't hit more than 3.

Keep in mind this should be compared to the threat loss incurred by dropping whatever talent you skip to pick up SoC, which would presumably be Conviction. That would be roughly 50 TPS spread amongst as many targets as you tab-target between, or 17 TPS on 3 targets.

TLDR summary:

* Don't spec SoCom for single targets
* For trash tanking, SoCom is a viable choice, though a costly investment just for trash.

Grimadin said...

Thanks for the great write up, once again Honors. SoComm is a ret seal, and it should stay a ret seal. Glad to see our math crunching friends have proved as much.

@Crofe - I play a pally tank, and a resto/elemental shaman, so I see it from both sides of the fight. I wish everyone would roll tank/heals some of the time to understand the mechanics of a fight other then "BIG NUMBERS". Might make them show some restraint before popping cool downs on the pull/intentionally targetting something that no one else is on to maximize dps time etc...

Torquemada said...

As a Tankadin, I agree that SoCasino is not worth the talent point. However, I DO have it in my ret spec, and for multiple mob fights/bosses/trash it is GLORIOUS.

I haven't noticed an issue with threat, though our guild warlock who doesn't know how to hold back on the throttle didn't raid with us last night. I DID notice that my SoV stacks are doing much better damage now that it isn't bugged so that all stacks were doing damage based on the lowest number of stacks on the target.

Tabogon said...

I don't have dual spec yet, but I do have SoComm in my spec for 2 reasons: Soloing seems a lot easier and quicker with it and, since soloing takes up most of my time online, it seems like a better choice over -2% mana cost or 1% crit. Just my opinion.

I did test out the threat of SoComm on trash pulls in a hand full of heroics last night and can say that it was NOT an improvement. I saw it peek higher, but I also saw it deminish rapidly as well when switching targets.

BigFire said...

I use Seal of Cleave for soloing daily while in retribution spec. Other than that, little to zero change for me on protection side.