Sunday, July 26, 2009

PvP Threat

I defer anti-melee class arguments that were promised last week to a more general topic: how to lower your pvp threat. I know what you're saying; you're saying, Ihra, that's ridiculous and it's why you don't see prot warriors in battlegrounds. I argue differently. The definition of threat is, I believe, "the likelihood of a monster attacking you", and that definition is just as true in pvp as it is in pve content. The problem in pvp is that it's more dynamic and not set on some arbitrary set of numbers in Amount of Damage/Healing Done. What makes you threatening in pvp?

1) Anything huge and flashy. MC as an s-priest for example, as my wife observes, is going to get you targeted in a hurry as soon as that wears off. But in terms of being a tree, anything like Tranquility (or Hurricane, if you're thinking of doing some dps for some bizarre reason) that lights up the screen and draws attention to you. If you're multi-healing in a BG stick with spamming wild growth as soon as the cd is up.

2) That which draws attention to you as a healer. I don't know what that signifies to other classes, but for a tree it is very simple : being a tree. People see the tree, they know you're healing and they will jump you. Which is not to say, "don't be a tree", b/c there are fairly significant armor bonuses associated with that, but our mana efficiency from ToL form, as of some patch a while ago that I didn't even notice till it was pointed out to me, no longer actually requires you to be IN tree form. Just have the talent. Basically, if you're not a target, stay out of tree form. If you think you're going to become one (or if you are already), pop that tree like nobody's business. How do you not be a target to begin with? --

3) Keep your distance. I in particular have struggled with this b/c I like to RUN STRAIGHT INTO THE HOT ZONE. Lag behind in a fight, and stay behind. Many people in bgs (and to a lesser extent in arena) will stick on their first target, so just make sure that that target isn't you. Also,

4) Use natural obstacles to your advantage! Ever notice all those bushes in AB & WSG? Those are not for show. I know it seems corny, but hide in the bushes and you're going to be targeted a lot less. Some of those, especially in AB, are very close to nodes which means you're not going to be able to observe #3, but if you're in the middle of a fight you should probably be popping tree anyway...which here has an added bonus b/c what blends into a shrub better than another plant?


In other news, I had to ditch my arena partner b/c something went screwy with his account, but I hooked up with a warrior and we went 9-1, also giving me the [Hot Streak] achievement which was, well, hot. There's a hump here b/c his original team went 2-21 or something terribad like that so the System now thinks his team has a matchmaking rating of like 600. Lamesauce. Oh well, we'll pull it up eventually.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rogues can't kill me!

Two notes of interest --

1) A couple teams apparently hit 3k ratings last week, which is supposed to be impossible, but isn't. Response: some would claim the arena system is broken. Other more rational beings, and I would tend to agree with them, interpret this as meaning that in fact it's not just the players who don't understand the system. The designers also have changed and tweaked everything so much over the course of S6 that they too have no idea what's really going on.

2) I read somewhere, I don't remember where, that DK/tree is one of the best 2s comps ever, which is great news b/c that happens to be what I'm running right now. And World of Ming just confirmed it as one of the best ways to get to 2350! I guess that explains going 9-1 last week, but it doesn't really explain the 2-13 the week before unless you want to call that learning jitters from a new comp and a new battlegroup :-p.

EDIT: I remember now. It was in the course of checking up on those 3k teams, and one of them was a DK/tree combination :-).

Anyway, main course. Many people ask me, "WTF do you do about rogues?". Ha, I try to make myself sound more popular. Actually, one person asked me that b/c they were spamming dalaran general chat for resto pvp advice and I happened to be around so I answered his questions, thus feeling like a rock star while at the same time feeding him what I sincerely hope were good tips. I generally laugh at rogues, unless they're paired with good dps who ALSO simultaneously jump me, and even then it's not so much the rogue as the combination of the two. Three tips:

1) If you think you might be facing a rogue, or if it's been confirmed b/c they opened on your partner, PRE-HOT yourself. I read somewhere, from the rogue side of things, that a good rogue team will be watching to catch you with your pants down to do a quick switch onto you and bam-o. I sometimes pre-order Abolish Poison as well but it depends on how much of my attention is being absorbed at the time. At any event, don't give them the window they're looking for. Remember that HoTs are largely preventative in any case; we don't have a big heal for spiky rogue bursty damage so if they're hitting on you you better already be countering it, which leads to

2) for the love of all eight-legged deities, do not cast anything with a cast time. Yes, sometimes it's unavoidable, but as someone who has a rogue and their six billion stuns, you do not want to be locked out of your nature spells for six seconds. Do you. If you have the pre-hots rolling, you have a swiftmend available. If things get really, really dicey then you can do a NS+HT, though it's best to save that if you can for your partner. Obviously if you're gonna die though, you don't have much choice. Without you your partner is dead. My warrior partner over on ED once snapped at me after a match to watch my own health first and the rest would take care of itself. Exaggerated from his stress at losing, but the general point I think is valid.

3) Do. Not. Panic. Recognise your mortality, or immortality as the case may be. Remember the cardinal rule of most rogues (combat may be an exception but I don't think you see many of them in arena): opening burst. Again speaking from my (sub) rogue's perspective, you do not want to be anwhere near me the first six seconds after I come out of stealth, but if the mob's still alive after that then trouble ensues b/c my dps goes to hell and gone, at least relative to those first seconds. A lot of people get jumped by a rogue and freeze up / panic. If you must panic, save it for later, b/c doing it at the get-go you're feeding right into a rogue's strongest points. If you can keep your cool during a rogue's opener on you and react appropriately, you'll be much better off once he's blown his opening burst. I have found a wide discrepancy in rogue damage to me, so when he jumps me my first move is to watch how fast my health bar is going down. If it's dropping fast enough to be worrisome, remember that Barkskin is your best friend. If not, keep the hots (because you put them up preventatively...right?) rolling and use Abolish Poison where you would have popped BS.

4) Save the trinket. If you're hotted up a rogue should not kill you in the 4 seconds of CS stun. But he might if he goes straight from that into a 4-5 point KS; use the trinket then.

Next week, barring something more exciting coming up, counters to DKs/Warriors...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

3.2 Resilience And You

Today's topic: 3.2 Resilience changes and what that means for you. To quote the latest PTR patch note changes: "Resilience: No longer reduces the amount of damage done by damage-over-time spells, but instead reduces the amount of all damage done by players by the same proportion. In addition, the amount of resilience needed to reduce critical strike chance, critical strike damage and overall damage has been increased by 15%." A buff, and a nerf, in other words. Which comes ahead? I borrow heavily from wowwiki's formulas here, but currently as stands, the average damage that you take from a spell is as follows:

Average damage = [(Hit*[1.0-(C-res)]) + (Hit*(1.0+B)*(C-res)*(1-2*res))]

C = the critical strike rating of the guy wailing on you,
B = the bonus damage that they get on their crits,
res = your resilience,

all as decimal percentages.

I input an 800 resilience person facing some kind of caster doing 2000 on a normal hit and a 30% crit rate. 100% bonus damage, which is usual for melee, and most casters have talents that will bring their usual offensive spells to that level as well.

Avg damage on a 0 resil person = 2600
Avg damage on an 800 resil person = 2231

which nets to (2600-2231)/(2231) = a 16.54% damage reduction. All well and good. But with 3.2 we have to make two changes to this formula:

1) a resilience nerf. You need 15% more in order to get the same result, which means your 800 resilience is really going to act like 800 * (100/115) = 695.6, or 8.48% instead of 9.76%. Psh.

2) a resilience buff. Now ALL damage, not just crit damage, is reduced. I am unclear on where exactly this is applied, but I can see 2 different scenarios:
2a) It's across *all* damage, applying doubly to crit damage which is already currently reduced. IE, 1% resilience reduces non-crit damage by 1%, and crit damage by 3.2%
2b) It extends only in it's 1% form to the non-crits, leaving the crits alone with its 2.2% current damage reduction.

First considering 2a), the formula reads, if my math is correct,

Inc. damage = ([Hit*(1.0-(c-res))] + [Hit*(1.0+b)*(c-res)(1-2.2*res)]) * (1-res)

Using that formula in my excel sheet, with the new effective resilience, means an average incoming damage of 2077.15, or a 25.17% damage reduction. An extra 8.64% damage saved over the current model, so clearly you're being buffed here.

Secondly looking at 2b), which I think is more likely but you never know, the formula then would read:

Inc. damage = [Hit*(1.0-(c-res))*(1-res)] + [Hit*(1.0+b)*(c-res)(1-2.2*res)]

In our proposed example, that turns into incoming damage of 2136.53, or a 21.69% damage reduction. This is still a buff, 5.16% extra damage is not coming your way, though (obviously) not as much as if the crits against you are getting double-nerfed.

So : YES, you are getting buffed, and fairly massively. If you believe the folks over at World of Ming, and I have no particular reason as yet not to, 2A may actually be the more likely scenario. So hooray for that, now my tree is even MORE indestructible than before.

To bring you back down to the ground: apparently the final bloom on Lifebloom has been reduced by 20%. That's gonna mess with my anti-rogue plans but every buff's got a companion nerf, I suppose.