Life after 4.0

With all the crazy new shenanigans going down, now’s as good a time as any to get my thoughts sorted out about the whole thing.  It’s been a week and a half since 4.0 went live, and I’ve tanked the whole spectrum (heroics, raids and pugs).  There’s positive highlighting and negative highlighting, as with most major changes.

How survivable are we? Are we still good tanks?

Very and yes.

With the introduction of Mastery and the changes to Savage Defense, our survivability in raids has sky-rocketed, even with the decrease in armor and even with the increase in damage some of these bosses have gotten.  In addition, ICC has had its dodge debuff lifted, so the chances of getting a savage defense absorbed hit is inflated.

I, myself, am taking considerably less damage than I was before 4.0 came out.  Some of that is more dodging, yes, but a lot of that comes from large Savage Defense absorbs, which, by the way, IS affected by Vengeance.  The more damage I take, the more AP I have, the bigger my shields become.  It’s insane.  And it may or may not be causing me to “stand in fire” for vengeance.

Compare, for example, my logs from this week(and last week), to the week before 4.0 came out:  This week –   Pre-4.0 Keep in mind, that my avoidance was higher, and that the Pre 4.0 fight was slightly longer so I had 1, maybe 2 more soul reapers slapped on me, but… Overall, 2+ million less damage taken?  That’s not even fair!  And yet it’s so beautiful I could cry.

Bears are still very much excellent tanks.  Our single target threat has the potential to be off the charts(and by extension, our DPS), and our AoE threat is nothing to sneeze at.  I know plenty of you probably just gawked at that last comment.  I’m okay with this.

Vengeance – I’m in ur raid, stealin ur dps

Vengeance is… interesting.  I like it, but I hate it.  The mechanic itself feels very broken, and is incredibly overpowering at 85.  I have a feeling it’s going to be toned down or changed somehow.  No DPS likes being taken out by the tank on damage done.

However, that’s precisely why it’s so much fun and why I like it so much.  The amount of damage potential bears had pre 4.0 was pretty good, compared to the other tanks.  The amount of damage potential bears have now, with vengeance, is insane.  Seeing those huge numbers and my DPS creeping up the charts, bypassing all the BiS geared DPS, make me giggle like a little school girl.  In fact, the only thing that’s more giggle-inducing right now is tab-dotting SW:P on my Shadow Priest and running around like an idiot just so I can see an army of shadow clones create a wave of shadowy death and destruction. (Hide your kids.)

If vengeance is so fun, why do I hate it?  Well, several reasons.  For one, it’s starting to feel like a crutch and like I can’t operate or hold threat from my guild’s DPS without it.  Example?  I did an Ulduar 10 for random achievements (fork-in-eye).  The entire time I was struggling to keep my head above the DPS because I simply wasn’t taking enough damage, even in DPS gear, so my threat remained relatively low.  Vezax was terrible.  Like I said, you start to look for ways to take more damage so you can hold threat (or to see bigger numbers).  Something tells me that’s not the intent.

Another, while I understand why it happens, is it decays so quickly when you aren’t getting hit and when you’re out of combat.  One moment I could have 70% vengeance, a few seconds later, I could have dropped below 50%.  Dodge directly affects vengeance gain.  I believe, in combat, vengeance decays 5% every 2 seconds, regardless of whether or not you’re getting hit(10% out of combat).  If you get a string of dodges in a row, your vengeance will be dropping, though hopefully by then you’ll have a big enough threat lead that it shouldn’t matter.

Vengeance does not gain when an attack is fully absorbed and will only calculate the gain based on how much actual damage you took on a partial absorb.  This works against our Mastery.  The more Vengeance we have, the bigger our bubbles are.  The bigger our bubbles are, the less Vengeance we gain.  The more Mastery we have, the bigger our bubbles, the less our Vengeance.  See how this works against itself?  While I don’t see this as an issue now, or for the first few tiers of raiding in Cata, it could become an issue to the point where we may have to reforge out of mastery.


There will be more to come in the next few days; I had to break it up more than I thought.  Stay tuned. :)

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15 Responses to Life after 4.0

  1. Aqusinna says:

    20K Mangle Crits are fun!

  2. tbot says:

    Something is very odd in the soulreaper data between the too parses.
    The application was hitting for about half as much. Also… which lk was this?

    • Reesi says:

      Overall, there seems to be a 5-10k difference in the first soul reaper hit and I did notice last night that the frontal damage almost never needed to be cooldowned. It felt… wrong. :/ But, even with the damage nerf(The only explanation… damage taken felt like a joke last night), I would still be taking less damage from Soul Reaper.

      Also take into account that I had Survival Instincts (60% damage reduction gogo) for 2 of those reapers. Take this log: which is the second night of 4.0. I only took about 100k less damage from reaper. The real damage reduction is from his melee and avoiding/absorbing large hits.

      It is also Heroic Lich.

      • Aqusinna says:

        I went thru 10 man heroic over the past 2 nights, on Festergut I took about half the damage that my counterpart DK took…And I ate both third enhales. Then on Rotface I took less damage then a couple of the DPS (DK kite tank, me on Rotface).

      • tbot says:

        I guess WoL is just not showing what I really want to know. The average dmg is rather misleading.

        How are you handling soulreapers in 4.0? You have SI for 2, What combinations are you using for the others? and are you getting outside CD help?

      • Reesi says:

        Tbot – I’m doing: Barkskin/Enrage, Warrior Shield Wall(he taunts before the debuff to avoid valk pick ups), Bark/Enrage, SI, Bark/Enrage, FR, Bark/Enrage. If I split up barkskin and enrage, which is entirely possible now, I don’t ever need outside help. We also get through the soul reaper phases fast enough that I don’t need to call for externals unless something else goes awry.

        And yes, the times I use FR, it’s completely unmitigated. My healers probably hate me for it, but I have yet to die from it. :P

  3. iixii says:

    Would it be possible to see your UI? I’m curious to see your set up for tanking.

  4. Vouivre says:

    Posting in Ri’s blog

    And I totally just misread “blog” as “bra” and got all excited :(

    • Vouivre says:

      Do you think they’ll change the rate Vengeance decays at and make it proc off absorbs as well? I think they made it so you get rage even when you absorb damage before, rite?

      • Brahmandir says:

        I would think that they might do one, but I wouldn’t think that they’d do both.
        I could see changing it to proc off of avoidance/mitigation (Savage Defense, Shield Block, etc.) so that tanks with exceptional mitigation (e.g. those gearing for mastery) wouldn’t be left out in the cold as far as Vengeance gains were concerned, although it seems like a much simpler fix to just reduce the rate at which it decays to avoid the issue altogether.

  5. Rustafur says:

    This is going to hurt me a lot to say this, but…

    The Vengeance/Savage Defense mechanic tells me one thing: Gem for Stamina, and nothing else.

    More Stamina = More attack power from Vengeance buff (and thus more aggro). More attack power from Vengeance Buff = more damage absorbing from Savage Defense.

    I’m anti-oversimplification, and yeah you are missing out on some crit strike and some attack power from the loss of Agility you would get if you were to gem for socket colors and bonuses; and maybe I’m putting too much weight into our two new key tanking mechanics. But I just don’t see how stacking the single attribute that buffs both of our new, and important, tanking mechanics is the wrong way to go.

    Reesi, somebody, anybody, please tell me I’m wrong here!!!

    • Aqusinna says:

      so 1 Agility= 2 AP right?

      and 30 stam x 10%(vengence) = 3AP

      Seems to me that in a situation where vengence can be maintained (IE Raid bosses) Stam is the way to go…other wise I think it is the same as always:

      Gem Stam until you are able to survive the encounter then gem Agility….. Over simplified I know.

      • Aqusinna says:

        correction to account for my idiocy:

        20 Agility = 40 AP
        30 Stam x 15.159375 (conversion to health) x 10% (vengence) = 136 AP

        The statement is still the same, Stam all the way (except for easy stuff where you can’t keep vengence stacked)

  6. Rustafur says:

    Thanks for the input Aqusinna :)

    I concurr, I ran some numbers last night on my Bear and came up with similar results to yours. In my current gear I gemmed for socket color (Blue = Solid Zircon, Red = Shifting Dreadstone, Yellow = Deadly Ametrine), then gemmed for all +30 Stam gems and found that now, more than ever, you need to gem for Stam. The higher health pool gave me a higher Vengence AP boost that higher potential AP more than made up for the lack of initial AP loss I got from loosing all the Agility Gems by gemming for Stam. That higher AP total also gives a you greater damage absorbtion pool from Savage Defense.

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