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..............
You Seal of choice is going to remain Vengeance.
Why would I say this? To quote Eadric the Pure.
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.
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.
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