Showing posts from October, 2009

Chilling Therorycraft

There are simply some people in the world you listen to on certain matters. When it comes to deep Tankadin theorycraft, the person I listen to the most is Theck of Blackrock. The guy is a math genius, but he also knows how to unpack his findings and make them understandable to meatshields like me. He did a lot of math, made some really cool looking charts, and then he unpacked his findings. I give you now Theck, Bringer of Numbers and Pounding Headaches So to tally it up: * T he value of avoidance is unchanged in terms of raw rating->% conversion * The value of dodge is unchanged relative to parry in all reasonable circumstances * The value of avoidance for reducing total damage intake is weaker, because we're effectively hitting DR earlier than we would be in the absence of IR. * The value of avoidance for reducing spike damage events (i.e. N consecutive hits) is noticeably increased, by more than a factor of 2 for N=2 (0.49% per point at 60% avoida

Feeling a Chill....of the Throne!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, today we bring you a blast from the past. Put your hands together and give a big Honors Code welcome for the return of Sunwell Radiance! Yes, after talking about how much the Developers hated having to use it and how they would be super careful to not let themselves get into this situation again... For Icecrown Citadel, we are implementing a spell that will affect every enemy creature in the raid. The spell, called Chill of the Throne, will allow creatures to ignore 20% of the dodge chance of their melee targets. So if a raid's main tank had 30% dodge normally, in Icecrown Citadel they will effectively have 10%. Why are we doing this? The high levels of tank avoidance players have obtained is making the incoming damage a tank DOES take more "spiky" than is healthy for raiding. Ideally, tanks would be receiving a relatively constant stream of damage over time. This allows healers to better plan their healing strategy, broaden t

My Tankadin UI Guide, Part 4

Part I Part II Part III Part IV These are the final addons I use in my Tankadin UI. Curse you, Perry the Platypus (Decursive) If you don't get the reference, it's from Phineas and Ferb. It's a really fun show that I watch with my daughter. Like all great kid's shows, it throws in some humor for the adults as well. Decursive is a little addon I have to help me, well, decurse. Of course Paladins can't decurse, so it helps me de-magic, de-disease and de-poision, but decurse just sounds better. Basically what happens is that when one of my team mates gets an afflication that I can do something about, their box will light up and a counter will start counting up the number of seconds they have whatever poison, disease or magic debuff. I left click on their box and that will cast Cleanse on them. This is very similar to using a Mouse Over macro, only all the mouse over stuff is built in. I first started using Decursive for tanking Steelbreaker on Iron Coun

My Tankadin UI Guide, Part 3

Part I Part II Part III Part IV I love the information I can get out of PowerAuras, but I still need more. What Just Happened? (TJH) When I hit Divine Protection aka Bubble Wall, it would be helpful for my healers to know that. What would be even more helpful is for them to know when it falls off. Now I could announce that over vent, assuming I see it, but instead I use a mod called ThatJustHappened (TJH). I set up ThatJustHappened to announce when I pop Divine Protection, and when it falls off. It also announces whenever I get an AD save. TJH does require a little bit of setup for each event you want it to announce. I recommend you check out the MainTankadin thread for a list of TJH settings. Bosses are Deadly (DBM) Many times you want to pop your cool downs in response to something particularly nasty the boss is doing. Knowing when he's going to do those 'bad things' is generally pretty helpful. I use Deadly Boss Mods to give me the low down on what&

My 'Stance' On Paladin PTR Changes

We know interupt this UI series to bring you late breaking news from the PTR. Let's go to our man on the scene, Todagrond for more on this story. Thanks Honors. Yes, we've got news from the PTR and it's not looking too good for Paladins. # Sacred Shield: The damage absorption effect from this ability now triggers only once every 30 seconds. # Talents * Holy o Infusion of Light: This talent now also reduces the cooldown on the effect of Sacred Shield by 12/24 seconds. * Lay on Hands can no longer be cast on yourself. * Protection o Divine Guardian: This talent no longer increases the amount of damage transferred to the paladin from Divine Sacrifice. Instead it causes all raid and party members to take 10/20% reduced damage while Divine Sacrifice is active. In addition, the duration has been changed to 6 seconds, however the effect does not terminate when Divine Sacrifice is removed before its full duration. That's the latest from the PTR. Back to you, Hono

My Tankadin UI Guide, Part 2

Part I Part II Part III Part IV In Part 1 of my UI guide, I talked about the frame layout and action bars. Now, I'm going to go into some of the other addons that help me assess the situation and react appropriately. I've often compared Tanking to driving a car. You are constantly checking a hundred things at once : your speed, whose behind, in front and to the side of you, how far you are from your exit, what's on the radio, tiny, almost imperceptible corrections to keep your car between the lines, etc, etc. It's similar with Tanking. You have to check the position of the Boss and often specific parts of the boss like a tail, the position of your raid, your threat rotation, the overall threat situation, what big nuke the boss is winding up, what your buff/debuff situation looks like, etc, etc. Information Overload (PowerAuras) What I need more than anything else is information. By knowing what is going on and what's coming, I can figure out what I n

My Tankadin UI Guide, Part I

Part I Part II Part III Part IV The most common email question I get is "I love your UI. It's sessy, just like you. How can I get my UI to be as sessy as yours?" Too many times, all you get as an answer to someone's UI is a list of Addons. But you never get the instructions on how they got there. Fear not, gentle reader. With my recent Faction Change, I took the opportunity to rebuild my UI from scratch. I'm going to walk you through the process step by step. What Do We Want? Before you start, it's a good idea to think about what we want in a good UI. Now, I am a no fuss guy. I like to do a minimum amount of tweaking to get my UI right. Ultimately, any time I spend futzing around with my UI is time I could be having fun in game. One of my main concerns as a tank is being able to see just what the flux is going on in the raid. I want as much of my screen dedicated to the playing field as I can get away with. My next priority is to see who the

Divine Sac Change I Can Understand

Divine Sacrifice has been redesigned - Damage which reduces the Paladin below 20% health will break the effect. So that solves the question of when it will break. All the raid needs to do is keep their Paladin above 20% for the 10 seconds it's active and you get a 20% damage reduction to the entire raid. Personally, I don't tend to use Divine Sacrifice very often as I'm usually main tanking and it's more of an offtank skill. I'm spec'ed into it to get to Divine Guardian for longer and more powerful Sacred Shields since we don't run with any Holy Paladins anymore in my Raid group. However, Raid Leaders have found Divine Sacrifice to be a very powerful tool for certain parts of certain encounters like Anub'arak Heroic when he's in Phase 3. Matticus of World of Matticus told us on Friday night that all his Rets and Holys are speced into it. Now I had meant to get this into my Monday Shoutout post, but I forgot. I also neglected to add this.

Monday Shout Out

This is going to be kind of a quick post. First off, I'm working on the UI guide which should be finished this week. From a single post, it's grown into a 3 post series. I'm going to have to coin my own term like Big Bear Butt did with Bearwalls. Round Table Friday night, I made it home in time from an absolutely wonderful Anniversary night out with Mrs.Hammer to join up with Nibuca, Fimlys, Matticus of World of Matticus , Stoneybaby of Big Hit Box , Graylo of Gray Matter, and Saresa of Destructive Reach. We had a fantastic time discussing some of the changes that happened in 3.1 and 3.2, as well as discussing what's coming up in 3.3. I came away very impressed with the other members of the panel. They are as intelligent and well spoken in person as they are in their writing. Matticus reminded me a lot of Grant Imahara , and I absolutely loved listening to Saresa's accent. Stoneybaby made great points throughout the discussion and I came away from th

Four Alarm Fire

We've been extending our Ulduar Raid ID with the express purpose of finishing off the hard modes in Ulduar that have eluded us to this point. Our current target is Mimiron's Firefighter hard mode. This was our second night working on Firefighter. Our first obstacle we face is keeping your humble author alive during Plasma blast in Phase 1. I can Divine Protection the first one with no problem. After that it gets dicey. Our healers are a Holy Priest and a Resto Shaman so our external cooldowns are limited. This just happens to be a mechanic that really shows the weakness of Ardent Defender as a cooldown. It will proc, but I will still die on the next pulse. While it would be easy to say that I'd survive with Last Stand/Survival Instincts/Vampric Blood, I can't say for sure. I might have died with those, too. On our initial attempts, we went with 3 healers, and that usually meant we got a 3rd plasma blast. We were pretty much out of tricks at that point. I kept th

Link Love and Culture Shock

For all your Tankadins needs, today Righteous Defense has a great post on " 5 Ways to Increase Your Threat ". Rhidach is a fantastic Tankadin blogger. If you are at all interested in Tankadins and raids, he ought to be in your feed reader. Not much happening in my world at the moment. We did another Ony/ToC/VoA clear on Tuesday. Then I hopped over to my Druid alt. I always knew the Horde had different sensibilities. But I wasn't quite prepared for what my Druid found. Apparently, this is what becomes of Druids who fail the Horde.

Understand Divine Sac Change

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the Divine Sacrifice change in 3.3. Divine Sacrifice was : 30% of all damage taken by party or raid members within 30 yards is redirected to the Paladin (up to a maximum of 150% of the Paladin's health). Lasts 10 sec. In 3.3, Divine Sacrifice changes to : The effect of Divine Sacrifice is now party-only and the maximum damage which can be transferred is now limited to 40% of the paladin’s health multiplied by the number of party members. In addition, the damage transferred to the paladin is now reduced by 50% before being applied to the paladin. Finally, the bug which allowed Divine Sacrifice to sometimes persist despite reaching its maximum damage has been fixed. Divine Sacrifice will now cancel as soon as its maximum damage value is exceeded in all cases. Divine Guardian was :Improves the effectiveness of your Divine Sacrifice spell by an additional 10% and increases the duration of your Sacred Shield by 100% and the amount a

Saturday Night Raid

I have to tell you guys about the totally cool thing my guild did for me this weekend. You'll remember that I was benched for Tuesday night's run of ToC and Onyxia. We had more raiders than spots that night. My guild normally has a second run of ToC and Onyxia using their alts. They usually go on Wednesday nights which is my off night. This week they moved the run from Wednesday to Saturday night when I could join them. Now the run wasn't as clean or as fast as our regular Tuesday night run. We had a couple of wipes, but we still cleared ToC and killed off Onyxia. The RNG decided to play a cruel trick on us as Onyxia dropped two Hunter helm and the gun and we had, yes, zero Hunters in the raid. It was really cool seeing our normal Discipline Priest up front with me tanking as a Protection Warrior and my usual co-Tank smashing away with a large mace as Ret Paladin. I really appreciated what the guys did for me. I really thought my best chance was going to be trying to

Trading Plate For Fur?

I completely forgot we didn’t have anything scheduled raid wise for last night. We just weren’t going to have the people we needed for Ulduar Hard Modes or Heroic ToC. So what’s a Paladin to do? I knocked out the Heroic Daily. Many thanks to Blue for helping me put together the group, Donk for agreeing to pew pew, Grim for healing even though he was in PVP spec and Shad for coming along even though it probably cost him the chance to buy his Warlock’s PVP pants from Wintergrasp. (We lost Wintergrasp during the run). I appreciate it guys. Unplanned PVP Afterwards, I headed up to the Tournament to work on some quests. While doing the “kill 10 Risen Soldiers” quest, I was attacked by an Alliance Death Knight. I had 6 Risen Soldiers on me, that I was AoEing, when Mr.DK attacked. I tend to quest in full tank gear/spec. I finished off the Risen Soldiers and turned my attention to the Death Knight. He was at about 80% life from the Consecrates and Hammer of the Righteous, and I was at

I Parried The Query

I received an interesting email wondering about how parry works. When you think about avoiding a Bosses attack your basic options are dodge and parry. Both Dodge and Parry allow you to complete avoid taking damage from that attack, so what's the difference. Dodge is fairly straight forward, you dodge, take no damage and that's the end of the story. Parry is similar. You parry and take no damage, but then your next attack gets sped up. Every weapon has what is called a Swing Timer. This is a measure how fast the weapon can be swung. With few exceptions, tanking weapons come in at 1.7 to 1.5 speed. That means that every 1.5 seconds or so (give or take a little raid buffed haste), you are swinging at the Boss. When you parry, that next attack comes even faster. So instead of swinging every 1.5 seconds, your next attack takes only 1 second. It's a nice benefit, but not without cost. Parry and Dodge both work on a ratings to percentage system with diminishing returns. At lev

12 Raiders for 10 spots

One of the real benefits of blogging is the ability to watch yourself grow. You experience a certain situation at one point in your life's journey and then some time later, you experience that situation again. You would hope that each time you experience the situation you handle it better, with more grace and maturity. You hope anyway. I got a chance to experience that just last night. Several weeks ago, I started taking an absolutely fascinating class on Tuesday nights called "The Truth Project". The class runs close to when we normally start our raid times, so being the conscientious guild member that I am, I left a generic message on our guild forums stating that I would be running close or maybe even a little late on Tuesdays for the next 12 weeks. I happened to know that last night in particular that the class was going to run a little long. So I had a buddy of mine send my Guild Leader an in game mail to let him know. I logged in at about 20 minutes a

Night Falls

"Twilight is upon me, and soon, night must fall. That is the way of the things, the way of the Force." - Yoda, Episode V We didn’t have the group composition we needed last night to continue working on Firefighter. One of our top healers was MIA. So we decided to go play with Sartharion. We ran a matrix of 1 tank, 2 healers, and 7 DPS. Tanking Sartharion himself during Sarth3D was one of those fights that Paladins really struggled with during the early days Wrath of the Lich King. We only had 1 cool down, Divine Protection, and Ardent Defender had not bee fixed yet, so we were a very poor choice. Now, to be fair, we were great tanks for the Whelps and Fire Elementals, so we had an part of the fight where we excelled, but Death Knights and Druids were the best choice for Sarth himself. I always wanted to tank Sarth. There must something in the Y chromosome that causes you to desire to do just that thing that you are told you can’t do. Last night I got my chance. We e

The Last Battle

"You can't win, Arthas... the Light... will... defeat you." Arthas laughed, a deep chilling laugh. "The Light?!? You forget, Paladin, I was once a follower of the Light, naive and blind like you. But now I know. I know its power and I know its weakness. The Light held me back from my righteous vengeance, and from my true power." "Your... reign of terror... is at an end." The dwarf summoned the last of his strength and lifted his mace over his head and charged at Arthas. “FOR BOLVAR!!!!” Arthas brought up Frostmourne and parried the dwarf's overhead smash, then arced the blade and tore an open the dwarf's midsection. Honorshammer fell back and slumped down. "It is only now, at the end, that you understand. Your feeble skills were no match for the power of the Lich King. You, Honorshammer, are now...MINE!" “NEVERRRRRRR....!!” Honors fought to stand, then fell, his mace rolling away from his limp hand. The Lich K

Honors Stats

The Armory only provides unbuffed stats, which is a nice starting point, but I wanted to see what my Raid buffed stats are. Depending on our group composition and resultant buffs, my health runs anywhere from 40k to 45k fully buffed. When the Libram of Valiance procs, the Dodge rate goes to about 30%. Still with the natural 5% miss from Bosses and some Miss from Defense, I'm well over 50% avoidance. The Armory also doesn't give you your Block Value, and I was curious what my Raid buffed block value was. So around 2k is a good approximate for my Block Value. I don't particularly seek out or gear for Block Value, so that's 2k without really looking for it. So you might be asking what gear I'm actually wearing. 245 Dreadscale Bracers (Heroic) Clutch of Fortification Libram of Valiance 232 Endurance of the Infernal Sunreaver Defenders Pauldrons Loop of the Twin Valkyrs T9 Chest T9 Gloves T9 Legs Shiver Aegis of the Coliseum 226 Tier 8.25 Helm (Conqueror's Aegis F

Knocking Out Hard Modes

So Thursday we headed for Ulduar to start working on Hard Modes. We wanted to concentrate on ones we hadn't gotten yet, so we started with Thorim. Lose Your Illusion Now Thorim had been a thorn in my side every time we faced him. I was too slow if I was assigned to the tunnel, but if I stayed in the Arena, invariably one of the DPS or a healer would get killed before Thorim came down. So I took a deep breath and buckled down as we made our pull. I don't know if it's the 232 gear, or if the mobs were nerfed, but they seem to die much faster than ever before. They also didn't seem to hit as hard, so it was a bit more forgiving if I messed up a pick up. In no time at all, Thorim was jumping down into the Arena. There were still two mobs up, so I laid down another Consecrate and hoped it would hold them. My co-Tank, Boston wasn't down yet, so I taunted Thorim and started working on him. We made the first transition well, then when Boston was about to get unba