Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper.

President Kennedy was right. We should also rest our hopes on flasks, elixirs, and foods. In my ongoing mission to bang my melee-hunting head against the wall in the most efficient way possible, I put together a list* for myself of the more useful self-buffing items. This isn't a terribly informative post, I know -- I'm mainly putting it here for my own reference. I've got a few thoughts at the bottom that might interest you, though.

Isn't it something, the way so many people overlook scrolls?

Elixirs - Battle

Elixirs - Guardian


Foods - Self

Foods - Pet


Stormchops is a very cool item for solo AoE farming, but it has a terribly risky quality in groups: it breaks CC. This may change in patch 2.4, when a number of AoE attacks will be changed so they don't hit CC'd targets.

Hit is a squirrely kind of stat, with some people claiming it's overrated, and others insisting it's the fastest way to improve their dps. I tend to the idea that since all my threat currently comes from raw damage, Hit very likely is my most important stat in my role as a tank until I'm capped. That really elevates the importance of Spicy Hot Talbuk. In an ideal group, with Heroic Presence and a moonkin's Improved Faerie Fire, I may be able to pass on that food and use an agi or stamina booster instead.

* The values in square brackets are TankPoints values for my current gear. Interestingly, the TankPoints value for Major Agility + Major Defense elixirs together is 1661, not 1641. In either case, the two together are theoretically superior to the Fortification flask alone.


Geoff said...

I know "hit is the best stat, until capped, period" is conventional wisdom, but for Gweryc, I think there's a real case for agility instead.

20 hit rating provides 1.27% to hit. Using a miss rate of ~13% and crit/hit ratio of ~30%, that's about 1.1% more DPS from physical attacks. (Because of the one-roll system, hit rating converts misses to hits, but generates no extra crits.)

With Lightning Reflexes, 20 agility is 26 AP and 0.625% crit.
0.625% crit is about 0.5% more physical DPS, and additionally you get 26 AP, which is maybe 3 DPS. 3 DPS = 0.6% of your physical DPS at 500 DPS.
So if your personal physical (non-trap, non-pet) DPS is 500 or less, 20 agility is probably more threat than 20 hit. You will also get more Mongoose Bites and thus more threat, but I don't know how to model that. More Kill Commands and better pet stats add no threat, but add DPS. And, uh, 0.1 DPS more on Immolation Trap! Overall I would say it's a wash threatwise, but 418 TankPoints from agility makes it a blowout, 1% dodge and 50 armor is measurable mitigation.

On the other hand, hit increases and smoothes your threat; agility increases it less consistently, which does matter. Hit should definitely be your second priority, it's a super stat up to the cap. But as a melee hunter, I'd argue agility gives you more utility, offensive and defensive, than any other class or spec. No other class gets and needs AP/crit/dodge/armor, and you even get a 15% bonus, so stack it up!

BTW, have you noticed if any of your melee abilities cause threat not based on damage? Just curious, I know abilities with roots/snares sometimes cause additional flat threat.

Geoff said...

Oops, I was stuck in Blessing of Kings mode and miscalculated. It's more like 24 AP, 0.58% crit, 46 armor, 0.92% dodge. That bumps the DPS where equivalent threat is generated very slightly down (maybe to 480), but I stand by my stat.

Gweryc Halfhand said...

Thanks, Geoff. At the risk of making a really, really bad pun, that's some serious food for thought.

I'm in the middle of a grand experiment now, actually, that will tell me all kinds of things about my threat, hit, etc., so we'll come back and revisit all this very soon.

Anonymous said...

There are a couple of things that you should keep in mind, considering that you're not a "conventional" tank. First, none of your abilities generate additional threat, and in fact, Hunter mechanics tend to shy away from threat since most Hunters are working from range and are trying to specifically dump threat.

Three things dramatically reduce threat generation for any tank, whether their class was intended ot tank or not: misses, dodges and parries.

Misses are counterbalanced by Hit Rating; dodges & parries are counterbalanced by Expertise. You're going to have an especially hard time getting any mail items with Expertise, particularly because Expertise only applies to melee attacks and most "hunter" loot is designed for ranged combat. That being said, you can get the necklace from Heroic badges, specifically designed with tanking mechanics in mind, that has a lot of Stamina, Hit and Expertise. Parries, in addition to causing 0 threat, have the added problem of increasing your targets attack speed by 150% for 5 seconds, which means you're going to take more damage.

While geoff makes some good points as far as Hit vs. Crit is concerned, in terms of tanking, misses account for the largest amount of lost threat potential. Yes, your overall DPS as a melee hunter-tank is going to be roughly equivalent to your threat generation, crit should come secondary to hit; the more often you miss, the less threat you generate.

Another thing of note is that you can generate "free" threat by using Mend Pet. Since you're healing a target, you get threat for it. Also, using Mana Potions, Healing Potions and Healthstones all generate threat equivalent to the amount of health/mana returned. Also, use of Fel Mana Potions is probably your best angle here, since it returns mana over time and gives a guaranteed 3200 mana. Additionally, since hunter mechanics don't work off of spell damage, there is no drawback to these potions. And they will very likely overcome some of the mana issues that you've posted about in the past. ;)

Gah, back to Hit Rating and percentages. Against a level 73 (boss level) mob, miss chance for 2H weapon (and ranged weapons, interestingly enough) is ~8% and for dual-wield is ~28%. All bosses have an innate 5.6% dodge and 5.6% parry rate. A level 70 mob (non-boss) has a miss chance of ~5% for 2H (25% for dual weild) as well as 5% dodge and 5% parry. All of these numbers are vs. a level 70 opponent.

Expertise reduces both dodge & parry in concert. 15.77 Hit Rating = 1% Hit and 5 Expertise Rating = 1 Expertise = 0.25% reduced chance to be dodged & parried.

Geoff said...

Aw crud, I have to backpedal, again - I was misinformed, and the current consensus is that all physical yellow attacks are two-roll, which increases the value of hit vs. crit and pushes break-even down to about 300. I still think agility's mitigation makes it better overall, but hit is the top threat stat, no question. (It's tragic how little you get from AP.)

The guy above me has a great point, expertise is doubleplus as precious as hit, since it provides double the hits and prevents parry bursts.

Aeldritch said...

When you're planning out what consumables to use, I'd go with agil elixir/ fort elixir instead of defense elixir. That way you can use a protection scroll as well.
Remember that scrolls are great but that they can't be used if you already have that stat buffed more from something else (e.g., you can't use a stam scroll if you already have fort from a priest).

Gweryc Halfhand said...

Actually, that seems not to be true about scrolls and potions in the case of a defense elixir and a protection scroll. If you look at the picture of me tanking Midnight you can see those two buffs right next to each other.