1 0 Tag Archives: block
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4.3: Schrödinger’s block

Another update to the PTR and still no word of a nerf to block for Paladins. I’m not going to be stupid enough to hope out loud that they’ll just buff DKs and leave it at that, content to kick the can down the road to the next expansion’s beta, so we’ll leave my hopes and aspirations in the dark where they can’t be so easily crushed.

I really want to say more about this, but like Voldemort (or, I guess, Bettlejuice), I fear even saying the word “nerf” in any quantity will summon one. Mum’s the word!

In happier news, it looks like Judgement of Truth was buffed to 20% extra damage per Censure stack, which means another 50% damage with a full stack of the debuff on an enemy. Good stuff — thanks to Ret for needing that buff!

Likewise, this explains why the tier 13 two-piece was nerfed by 5%. Judgement doing more damage required the bonus to be tuned down a tad. In any case, I’m going to have to hop on the PTR soon and see what we’re looking at for damage numbers and try to extrapolate out what the two-piece bubbles will look like.

Lastly, a few PTRers noticed that Shield of the Righteous has a new sound effect (ok, a sound effect — does anyone really hear that “whoosh” it currently makes?). It’s kind of a metal clang noise, but without the echo that Hammer of the Righteous has. Here’s a YouTube video where you can hear it:

WoW 4.3 PTR: New SoTR SFX

I like it.

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October 5, 2011
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You’d think the latest 4.1 Sacred Duty change was a big deal, but…

It really isn’t.

First, the change from the latest PTR build is as follows:

Sacred Duty now also procs from Avenger’s Shield. Now lasts 10 sec, down from 15 sec.

On its face, it looks like an awesome change. Avenger’s Shield is sorta a holy power generator now, Grand Crusader becomes a much more useful talent, we get more Holy Power–all together, a great package deal!

So Theck runs the numbers over at Maintankadin and from his various simulations it seems like going from a priority of ShoR>CS>J>AS (our current priority system) to ShoR>CS>AS>J is worth an additional 119 dps at 2% hit/10 expertise, after this change. Basically, that means prioritizing AS over J.

Likewise, moving to a priority where you use AS from a Grand Crusader proc to generate an HP before using CS is worth 160 more dps than ShoR>CS>J>AS. (With 8% hit and 26 expertise, though, putting CS before AS comes ahead, again.)

If you haven’t noticed yet, we’re talking about ludicrously small numbers here. Blizzard obviously intended this change to make Grand Crusader much more attractive as a talent, to needle the legions of tankadins who have forsaken what was assumed to be a great talent by the designers (hell, they designed an official power aura for it). And the best they can do is add another 160 dps to the rotation–a rotation that sims for 14406 dps (using that latter priority system example)–when we use the abilities and talents they cajole us into using.

The root of all evil, of course, is that our rotation is so stupidly simplistic and rigid that we’re really only ever talking about changing what goes in that filler spot. Rather than rant more on the subject though, I’d like to point you to Theck’s comments on the matter. He says it much better than I could.

RIP Block Rating

One last build 13793 change that’ll affect us is Enchant Shield – Blocking is being changed from giving 40 block rating to 50 mastery rating. The enchant is currently worth .45% block chance, while 50 mastery rating is worth .63% block chance. So the change is a minor buff of .18% block chance.

More importantly, this marks the last vestige of block rating being removed from the game. Much like Tarkin announcing that the last remnants of the Old Republic being swept away, so too this shall pass. Farewell, old friend.

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Block capping at 80 with Mastery

Saturday night I hopped onto the beta to screw around with Reforging and see if I could expect to block cap myself come 4.0.1. As many of you know, block capping means stacking enough block chance that ordinary hits are pushed off the combat table, which can pay huge dividends in damage reduction in certain situations. In Wrath, block capping was especially desirable for Heroic Anub in ToGC, allowing you to cheese the damage from the adds.

In Cataclysm, block capping is going to be amazing, if only because it’s going to be like having a cooldown up for every physical hit. With a successful block now reducing any physical hit by 30%, you want to be block capped. (Of course, that also means there’s a cap on our Mastery, because any further dodge/parry once block capped pushes block chance off the combat table, but that’s an issue for another day.)

So the goal is 102.4% total avoidance+base miss chance+block. How feasible in that in my gear set at 80?

Here’s where I was in terms of avoidance and mitigation when standing in front of the Reforger NPC.

46.42% avoidance + 5% base miss + 21% block (5% base + 16% for learning Mastery) = 72.42% avoidance and block. 29.98% short.

I then proceeded to reforge every feasible piece to mastery. Dodge converted over if there was more dodge on the piece, parry otherwise, and equipped the Heroic CTC and reforged that to mastery as well. I attempted to keep dodge and parry at least even, but I had so much more dodge rating that diminishing returns made it so I got a lot more mastery from dodge.

I then dodged over to a dummy, buffed, and put up Holy Shield. This is what I had:

At 42.03% dodge+parry I lost a total of 4.39% avoidance and gained 24.35% block chance from Mastery.

So, with the 42.03% avoidance + 5% base miss + 60.35% block chance, I was at 107.53% avoidance+block. 5.13% over block cap.

Not too shabby.

I’m actually at the point where I should reduce how much Mastery I have, because that 5.13% overage is just wasted block chance. To mitigate this I can swap the Heroic CTC for a stamina trinket, and then dial back some of the Mastery.

Actually, I’m really liking the extra control reforging gives us over our gear and stats. To be able to shuffle around secondary stats like this is pretty cool.

Anyway, once I hit 81 the ratings conversions will shoot through the roof and block capping will disappear until at least the first raid tier (at least according to the calculations done by Zarko in this thread) but I’m excited at being able to taste such amazing damage reduction potential for the next two months.

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Another rating going away in Cataclysm

Warning: This is a Cataclysm spoiler.

Back in May I asked a simple question: if our Mastery is increased block chance, then wouldn’t Mastery rating be the exact same thing as block rating? At the time it seemed like the answer was indeed yes, and that we’d have a horrendously redundant Mastery.

Of course, like I said at the time, things could very well change–and now it seems like they have.

According to a Ghostcrawler post from the Alpha forums leaked onto a site that promulgates Cataclysm leaks, there will be no block rating in the next expansion pack. As he says,

You may notice there are no items with block rating. If we want shield-using tanks to get block, we add mastery to the item.

Well, that settles that, eh?

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June 11, 2010
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Block Rating == Mastery

All standard “this is subject to change” disclaimers apply, but here’s some food for thought of how things stand right now in the Alpha.

We have one stat which will be featured on tanking gear called Block Rating. This will increase our chance to block, and when a block occurs a flat 30% damage reduction will occur. We increase this stat through gear with Block Rating.

There is also a stat called Mastery that we’ll we accumulating. According to the Class Preview, Mastery will affect “block amount”. Blizz clarified this by noting the thematic difference between Warriors and Paladins, as the former blocks for more reduction, and the latter blocks more often.

That’s all well and good, but if you look at the Alpha spells they say our third Mastery is “Increases your chance to block melee attacks.” And, more succintly, “Block chance %”.

So–and maybe I’m jumping the gun a bit here–but doesn’t it seem that Block and Mastery are the same stat?

I know it’s early, and like I disclaimed earlier, everything is subject to change, but hopefully they’re planning to change this. Having two stats do the same thing makes Mastery beyond boring for us, plus will eventually lead to a point where we will likely have “too much” block and have to get nerfed accordingly. Likewise, we could be the only spec with a cap of some sort on the value of our Mastery. That’s not cool.

I’m sure this will change. Right now though, I am filled with trepidation.

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May 11, 2010
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The value of block

With the doubling of block value across items the stat, has become a lot more attractive than it’s ever been. One major reason for this is, as Paladins, we have the advantage of being able to consider Block Value as Effective Health. Because of Holy Shield it’s possible to keep ourselves block capped at all times, which in turn means that every hit we take will be mitigated by BV. So, if you have 2300 BV, it’s like having 2300 more hit points.

As such, when evaluating gear, I’ve started looking at any additional BV stat like it was an additional health stat. Consider the stat this way: Every 114 block value is basically equivalent to 10 stamina.

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August 11, 2009
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3.2 scattershot thoughts

Divine Guardian as a talent is kind of crap now with the nerf to Sacred Shield (only one per target). May be useful if no Holy Pallies are in the raid, but we always have at least one. Because it won’t do much for me for mitigation anymore, I think those two points are going to go somewhere else.

But where? Well, I need to bridge down to the sixth level talents with those two points, so they have to go somewhere in that first half of the tree. Call me crazy, but I might put them in Reckoning.

According to Jasari over at Maintankadin, Reckoning has received a 47% buff of tps per point thanks to the SoV change (assuming a four stack is up). While the tps per point gain isn’t exactly consistent, 2 points in there will net me an additional 66 tps.

Why not Improved Hammer of Justice? I’d rather take a threat increase (no matter how minor) over 20 seconds off an interrupt that is bound to the GCD.

I’m very disappointed about BV threat cap. Gone are the days of my 10-11k ShoR crits, at least for now.

The change to Judgements of Just (can’t be overwritten by a non-JoJ judgement) is pretty awesome however.

Vindication is pretty awesome, and a mitigation talent at that, so it’ll be must have. The points for it though will most likely be leeched over from Conviction (which has a lower tps per point value than Crusade).

Feasible spec come 3.2 would be this, I suppose.

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July 17, 2009
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Our new cooldown revealed, and other changes in 3.2

This is one happy tankadin. Check these changes out:

Currently, we think paladin tanks are almost there and that they just need slightly better cooldowns to handle some of the tougher boss fights. Rather than add a new ability that felt like a clone of another class’s ability, we decided to buff an existing talent that was no longer cutting it. Ardent Defender has two important changes. The first is that the damage can no longer “skip over” the 35% health level – it will always be reduced.


Secondly, it has a new effect that if a blow would kill you, it instead sets you to 30% health. This portion of the ability cannot occur more than once every 2 minutes. Think of it as a Last Stand that you don’t have to push.

I like this, a lot. It’s like a built-in Guardian Spirit. These changes to AD will definitely be a huge improvement over our current weakness to big hits.

A second change to Protection is we want to make sure Blessing of Sanctuary is always the tanking blessing of choice. A likely change here is to have it boost stamina as well.

This is way better than them just talenting the 2% mana gain effect into Kings. Extra stamina is never, ever a bad thing.

We also recognize that block does not provide the mitigation it once did. While we have long-term plans to change the way block works entirely, in the short term we are doubling the effect of bonus block value on items (so jewelry, but not shields).

This is a band-aid that won’t change much. Instead of getting an extra 264 BV in my block set I’ll get 528… woo. Interestingly, I wonder if this will apply to the Librams as well. LoO giving +704 block value sounds pretty awesome.

All in all good changes though. Color me pleased.

Edit: I just saw this in the Ret changes.

We are buffing Seal of Vengeance / Corruption and redesigning Seal of Command with the expectation that these are now the seals of choice for PvP and PvE. Righteousness can remain a tanking seal.

That’s a typo, right? Do they realize that tanks usually only use Corruption for tanking (scary peek into the mind of the developers if not)? In any case, another buff.

Edit 2: Oh, and this also is in Ret changes:

Finally, we are replacing the current effect of Vindication with an attack power debuff that works like Demoralizing Shout. In PvP, Ret paladins can still debuff melee targets, while in PvE they can provide another necessary debuff in the case that the tank is not a warrior or druid. In addition, the talent may be more attractive to Protection paladins.


Edit 3: Ugh, just saw the patch notes. To clarify stuff above (and check out all the new stuff!):

  • Libram of Obstruction and other items that have a duration BV increase instead just have the durations doubled. That means LoO will be constantly up with a 10 sec duration, and my preciousss Lavanthor’s Talisman has a 40 second duration.
  • Blessing of Sanctuary: This blessing now also increases stamina by 10%. This effect is not cumulative with Blessing of Kings.
  • Lay on Hands: The buff from this ability now reduces the physical damage taken by the target by 10/20% instead of increasing the target’s armor. [My threat-heavy spec, noooo! -ed.]
  • Righteous Fury: No longer has a duration or mana cost, remaining until cancelled or death. Also cancelled when a Paladin activates a different talent specialization.
  • Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Corruption: These seals have been redesigned to deal substantially more damage. Now, once a paladin has 5 copies of the debuff from these seals on his or her target, on each swing the paladin will deal 33% weapon damage as Holy, with critical strikes dealing double damage.
  • Shield of Righteousness: Now deals 100% of shield block value as damage instead of 130%.
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June 18, 2009
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The worm turns on block

Oh, for the halcyon days of TBC when Block was the envy of the non-blocking tank classes (er, well, Druids). Now that stat has been getting the short shrift as of late, with the big hits of Ulduar making block all but useless. As this fact has dawned on more and more tanks, the zeitgeist is clearly turning against block.

Doxa has a great post about the inherent issue with the block mechanic on PRF. Money quote:

In the end, the reason tanks die is spike damage and paladins are eating more of it is because the % of damage mitigated through block value gets smaller and smaller when bosses are hitting harder and harder. 1700 damage mitigated is 1700 damage mitigated whether you’re hit for 2k or 30k.

That sums up the issue perfectly. Block is a bum mechanic that is becoming more and more outdated with every raid instance. And thankfully Ghostcrawler has recognized this. He wrote on the forums that:

Block was a fine stat back when bosses could do Crushing Blows. In their absence, it does feel like it has slipped as a source of mitigation. We (the developers and the community) were worried at the launch of Lich King that block would make warriors the best tanks, paladins second, and everyone else far behind. In retrospect we should have been more focused on the cooldowns and number of hits a tank could take in a row.

Which is the crux of the matter isn’t it? Right now tanks live and die by big hits and how they deal with them. Druids soak damage, DKs blow cooldowns and [had] lots of armor, and Warriors/Paladins… um… block? Clearly, in this brave new world of 20k melees, we are at a disadvantage, and something needs to be done.

Furthermore, Ghostcrawler then indicated in a later thread that block was indeed being looked at by the developers:

We don’t think block is cutting it as a mechanic, but the direction we are likely to take it is probably more of a change than you are considering.

Ominous. In any case, based on the example he gives it looks like he’s leaning towards a situation where non-block tanks would continue to use cooldowns/high HP and armor to avoid/mitigate large damage, while the block tanks would have block help them mitigate more damage on some big hits, and they would eat more of the damage on others. Block rating would go down but block value would go up, making block some sort of bastard child of avoidance and mitigation: mitigation on the RNG.

I can’t say I’m completely a fan, although it seems to be a step in the right direction. In the final analysis, giving up a baseline mitigation of around 1800 damage for occasional mitigation of 8000 damage (or whatever it works out to) would be a fair trade for what we need most: better survivability against the hard hitters of Ulduar and beyond.

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May 27, 2009