Last week, Armory Data Mining updated itself for patch 3.3.3. The site is fascinating and I recommend checking it out to see how everyone out there is speccing, gearing, gemming, and the like. It’s an interesting peek into the vast multitudes that play this game and how they play it. And, most importantly, it provides a view of how many people are playing the game correctly–ie, by the established and settled baselines widely understood among more top-end players.
While poking through the site I was floored to see just how many people were “doin it rong,” so to speak. As a caveat, I know a lot of surveyed characters may be fresh 80s, or abandoned characters from when the standards were different a year ago (or whenever). However, in the grand scheme of things, it’s shocking how many widely recognized “knowns” are ignored. I’m going to go through a few data points in this post just to show the more interesting things I noticed.
(Note: Unless otherwise stated, percents given are of level 80 Paladins.)
No one is using Shifting Dreadstone. For gems, the popularity (according to the site, popularity correlates to total numbers of gems compared to the number of characters with at least one gem) of red slot gems are 38% for Regal Dreadstones, 21% for Defender’s Dreadstones, and 15% for Dreadstones. Shifting isn’t even on the board, it’s popularity percentage is less than 10%.
You and I both know that when you’re gemming a red socket and going for that socket bonus, you want a Shifting Dreadstone. According to Theck, Agility is 83% as effective as Dodge for avoidance and, thanks to Agility giving Armor, each point of Agility is 4% more effective than Dodge when it comes to reducing damage. The fact that this information is so widely unknown among the surveyed masses is discomforting.
35% of Prot Paladins are using a +stats chest enchant. Look at those numbers. This I can only explain via simple ignorance. The standard for chest enchants should be this: if you’re under the crit cap, enchant +def, if not, enchant +health on your chest. Never, ever should you use +stats. Much for the same reason we avoid Nightmare Tears, the stat spread just isn’t as good as solid defense or solid hp.
63% are using Armsman on their hands. I can see the allure to this enchant, and hell, even at end game there can be some honest disagreement over what is better. Nonetheless, personally, I would always rather enchant for survival than for threat. So while this isn’t egregious or anything (definitely not on the level of no one gemming Shifting), it’s still fascinating to see how vast the appeal of this enchant is.
32% are using Blade Ward. This I’m sure can be explained away by those 32% being completely ignorant of how awful this enchant is. Which is a shame, because if they even did a cursory Googling, they would find that Blade Ward is widely derided as a bad enchant.
Only 15% are using the pvp shoulder enchant. Again, this is probably one of those counter-intuitive, makes no sense to the layman kinds of things, but unless uncrittable, you really want to have that +30 stamina shoulder enchant. The return on investment is much better than any of the Hodir shoulder enchants. It’s somewhat distressing on 15% of the Prot pallies out there have gotten that message.
On the other hand, there is the “holistic” gearing argument–that most of that 85% are T10-geared tanks that have enough stamina and are scaling back to emphasize damage reduction through things like avoidance–which is a valid philosophy at a certain gear level. Nonetheless, I find it hard to believe that that 85% is made up of just people who need the defense and people who are being holistic.
Glyph of Divine Plea is nowhere near as popular as it should be. GoDP has a popularity (same formula as gems above) rating of 63%. Judgement 60%, Seal of Vengeance 48%, Righteous Defense 26%. Those are my big four. Contrawise, here are some facepalm ones: Holy Light 25%, Flash of Light 19%, Consecration 29%, Seal of Wisdom 16%. The list goes on.
Only 18.4% of Prot Paladins use a 53/18 build. And of those, only 10% use the cookie cutter build we know and love. The rest somehow are across the board on 53/18.
34% of Prot Paladins take Seals of Pure, while only 24% take Crusade. And as we all know, Crusade builds are more threat than SoP builds.
1% of Prot Paladins take Eye for an Eye. What is this I don’t even. I’m hoping this is from a pvp Prot build… oh, how I hope.
62% of Paladins put points into Divinity. There’s some merit to this talent in harder content where trickle-down deaths are frequent and every ounce of healing matters. 62% of Prot Paladins are not currently in that content. This is another case of the talent “sounding” good and people putting points in without determining if the talent is best for them or the content they are currently tanking.
22% of Prot Paladins take Vindication. Sigh.
85% of Prot Paladins take Judgements of the Just. This is somewhat heartening.
54% of Prot Paladins take Divine Guardian. This makes me sad. This talent is so key and has so many, amazing uses that it’s a shame for anyone (let alone 46% of all Prots) to pass this up.
Ultimately, what I’ve learned from perusing the wealth of information compiled by this site is the wide disconnect between those that look up information on the net, and attempt to better their character and playstyle through the resources available to them, and those that wing it or (more likely) are unaware of what kind of treasure troves exist out there for the taking (or have consulted out of date/just plain wrong resources). A lot of what I listed above will more or less seem obvious to you or me (with some debatable exceptions), and yet it all might be considered arcane knowledge to others.
There are many horses out there that must be brought to water, methinks.