[FAQ]Working theories of raiding at level 80
Okay, seeing as these are pretty much the basis of raiding, and yet they are frequently asked questions lately, I’ve tried to compile a list of the various axioms you’re expected to be aware of before asking a question. Obviously, this is work in progress, and some of the info may be out of date or simply subject to my human flaws. Any feedback or corrections appreciated.
- Blizzard intends that all tanking classes should be able to make viable main tanks for every single encounter in the game; currently, this seems to hold true
- Downranking spells is no longer an option, since all ranks now cost the same percentage of base mana. (speaking of which, I'd like to have a small section about the concept of base mana)
- Avoidance ratings now suffer from diminishing returns (a detailed, although math heavy explanation of what that means can be found in the Combat Ratings at 80 thread), and diminishing returns are not the same for all stats. The more of one rating you stack, the more you will need to get for a point of the respective stat.
- The GCD is 1.5 seconds for all classes except Rogues, Druids in cat form, and Death Knights in Unholy Presence which have a 1.0 second GCD.
- Haste does lower the GCD in case of spells, up to a maximum of 1.0 seconds. However, it does not lower the GCD of any melee or ranged ability.
- Swapping weapons resets the swing timer and uses up a GCD. However, it seems that you can swap weapons during a GCD.
- All raid bosses in WotLK have the 13083 armor.
Hit rating: reduces your chance to miss your target. The current chances to miss a raid boss (and as such the hit rating gaps to be filled) are as follows:
- 8% (263 hit rating for melee classes) for ranged, all special melee (yellow) attacks, as well as all attacks performed with a single weapon equipped; all + hit talents lower this gap by 32 hit rating for every 1%.
- 27% for melee auto attacks while dual wielding; this hit deficit is unreasonable to assume will be capped. You still want the 8% hit cap on the specials, and there is nothing wrong with going over that as a dual wielder.
- 17% (446 hit rating) for spell casting classes. All + hit talents lower this cap by 26 hit rating for every 1% chance.
Pets now share the owner's hit ratings. Also, talents increasing hit chance also affect the pets.
Expertise: reduces the chance your target will dodge or parry your attacks.
Players can only dodge or parry attacks made from their frontal 180 degrees. Bosses, on the other hand, can dodge attacks from all directions. They're still subject to the same 180 degree restriction in case of parry.
26 expertise (214 expertise rating) to completely nullify the 6.5% chance of the target dodging your attacks.
56 expertise (460 expertise rating - according to the latest tests) to completely nullify the 14% chance of the target parrying your attacks. This should only concern the tanks, and not at the expense of avoidance, mitigation or stamina.
These numbers do not include various talents and racials.
Defense: Its main benefit is that it reduces the chance you will be critically hit by melee attacks.
140 additional defense skill (or anything over 540 defense skill) (689 defense rating) to completely nullify the 5.6% chance of being critically hit by a melee attack from a raid boss or +3 level mob. Feral Druids have that covered with 3/3 Survival of the Fittest. Being immune to melee criticals is a must for raiding tanks.
However, each 1 point of defense skill (4.92 defense rating) alters the following things by 0.04% each
- increases the chances to block, dodge and parry
- increases the chance to be missed
- decreases the chance to be crit or dazed
That means that even after reaching critical immunity against raid bosses, defense will not be a wasted stat, even though for pure avoidance and mitigation, you will still gain more benefit per itemization point by stacking each stat individually.
As Moogul pointed out, make sure you have 689 defense rating, and don't let the tool tip fool you if it shows 140 defense for less than that amount of rating.
Parry mechanics : (or why attacking from behind is a good idea) Taken from Quigon’s The Protection Guide thread:
When a parry occurs, the target that parried the attack has a chance of having the current swing hasted, as follows:
* If the next attack would normally occur within 20% of your weapon speed after the parry, there is no effect.
* If the next attack would normally occur between 20% and 60% of your weapon speed later, it happens 20% of your weapon speed later instead.
* If the next attack would normally occur more than 60% of your weapon speed later, the time until your next attack is reduced by 40% of your weapon speed.
This applies to both players and most mobs and bosses when they parry an attack. However, parry haste can be deactivated for specific creatures and particularly hard hitting mobs (Blue post)
- Crushing Blows are no longer an issue as far as raiding is concerned. They still exist in the game, but can only occur if the attacker is at least 4 levels higher. With enough avoidance, they can still be pushed off the attack table, and in all other respects, they still function as before.
- Glancing Blows only occur on players’ and pets' white MELEE attacks, and only against mobs of equal or higher level. The damage on a Glancing Blow is reduced by the difference between the attacker’s weapon skill and the target’s defense skill. Against a boss mob, Glancing Blows do roughly between 70 and 80 % of normal damage.
- Glancing Blow rate against boss mobs is estimated to be around 24%.
- Apparently, but not fully confirmed, in WotLK, there is roughly a 6% chance of a glancing blow against an equal level mob.
Thanks to Vulajin and Latitio for finding and pointing out the changes to the mechanic.
Resilience is, by design, a pure PVP stat. However, some of its benefits sometimes come in handy in the realm of PVE.
1 point of resilience (81.97497559 resilience rating, rounded up to a more convenient 82 rating) provides the following benefits:
- reduces the chance you will be crit (applies for both physical and magic attacks) by 1%
- reduces critical strike damage taken by 2.2%
- reduces the effectiveness of Damage over Time effects by 1%
- reduces the amount of mana lost via drain spells by 2%
1 point of resilience (82 resilience rating) can, thus, sometimes substitute 25 defense skill (123 defense rating) for a 1% reduction of your chance to be crit. It should be noted that defense is strictly better than resilience, in terms of gains per itemization point, and as such the former should be preferred, unless in exceptional circumstances. Resilience has a built in cap of 33% crit damage reduction, but no caps on its other effects. That cap would translate to 1230 resilience rating (or 1229.625 rounded up), and it would also grant 15% less chance of being crit, 15% DoT reduction and 30% less mana lost through drain spells.
Thanks Aerynlore for bringing this up and for the benefits of resilience table. Also, thanks to Prinsesa for the point about the patch 3.0.3 changes to resilience (here) and the numbers on the resilience cap.
For purposes of calculating damage done. lowers the target’s armor, and as such, its damage reduction against your physical attacks. Short version is, the more ArP you stack, the more physical damage you deal. That does not mean that ArP is the ultimate solution for a dps increase. In certain circumstances, depending on a lot of factors, such as your class, spec, existing ArP, other stats and target’s armor, investing in ArP might yield a smaller dps increase than another stat.
Currently, 15.39529991 (15.4, rounded up) Armor Penetration rating reduces the target’s armor by up to 1%. There is no known limitation to how much ArP you can stack. Aside from the obvious 100%. After all, when you reach 0, no extra percentage will ever help you.
Armor Penetration is factored into the calculations after Armor reducing effects like Sunder Armor or Expose Armor; this is still a dps gain, but it less substantial than you would expect. However, the benefit of ArP is that it applies to all abilities that deal physical damage (and thus are subject to a target armor check); regardless if they are white or yellow hits, instants, next attack, or if they have a cast time.
All ratings values were taken from Whitetooth’s Combat ratings at level 80 thread. Thanks.
Class Specific Info: (Not yet complete)
- Death Knights’ attacks use the melee hit rating formula. The exceptions to this are Icy Touch, Howling Blast and Death Coil which use the spell version of the formula. (Thanks, Illundai. More on that Here );
- Death Knight abilities DO NOT use spell power;
- Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle grants 25 defense skill.
- Druids can NOT parry attacks while shapeshifted
- Cats and raptorsare generally the best non-BM pets; Devilsaurs are the best exotic pet, and come off roughly equal to the former two, but the size may prove a downside; Spirit Beasts and Wolves are also great options.
- No weapon enchants currently proc off ranged attacks;
- Windfury Totem does not apply to ranged attacks;
- Autoshot can now fire while Steady Shot is being cast, and as such there is no pressing need to use a macro to sustain your DPS rotations;
- Pets use the owner's hit rating, but do not take benefit from Focused Aim, and scale in various percentages with their master's Stamina, resistances and AP;
- Pets DO NOT scale with the owner's haste, crit, resilience, expertise or ArP ratings. They also do not scale with any other atributes (Str, Agi, Int or Spirit) unless they indirectly have effect on the owner's AP.
- Frost traps do not currently trigger the Lock and Load cooldown, making trap dancing a viable technique still. However, this does not seem like the intended behavior, so be aware that this might be changed soon.
- Poisons use the spell hit cap, but are affected by Precision;
- The most common raiding specs are Mutilate or Combat with either Swords, Fist Weapons or a combination of the two;
- The bonuses of Close Quarter Combats, Sword Specialization and Mace Specialization only apply to the relevant weapon; when dual wielding two different types of weapons, you only gain bonuses from one of the specialization for the attacks made with the appropriate weapon.
- Slam no longer resets the swing time for the next white attack after it is used; it now adds its cast duration to the next swing, however. (2.5 or 0.5 seconds depending on talents);
- Rend is no longer a bad ability, at least as far as Arms specs are concerned.
Death Knight spells don't use the spell hit mechanic, by the way. Icy Touch uses spell hit.
Secondly, unless the formula has changed, it should be 140 defence nessary, and the crit chance is 5.6% base, *from a +3 level mob* (which you should really make clear). This can be derived as: 5% base crit chance, weapon skill increases by 5 per level, 0.04 crit per weapon skill, 3 levels * 5 weapon skill * 0.04 crit = 0.6% crit.
Similarly, defence reduces crit by 0.04%, so 25 defence = -1% crit, 125 defence = -5%crit (equal level crit immunity), and then a further 5 points of defence per level difference to remain crit immune, ergo 140 defence = -5.6%crit (raid boss crit immunity).
This is how things were in WoW and TBC (where 440 and 490 defence respectively were required for immunity), and should continue into Wrath meaning a total of 540 should be required.
Will do on the dual wield and +3 level bits, but I was under the impression that 139.1 defence would still get rounded up to 140 in the character screen, and you'd still have a very slight chance of being crit, hence the 141. And mea culpa on the math, it is 5.6%.
EDIT: Poor choice of words on my account, but what you said below is essentially correct. Rechecking the math and will update.
Defence *rating* will be rounded in how much defence it gives. Ergo, it is possible to have a situation where you have enough defence rating that the tooltip displays it as giving '140 defence', but actually it's giving '139.5'. In this situation, you are crittable, because you don't have 140 defence. If you have enough defence rating to give at least 140 defence actual, you are crit immune.
The ~32.8 expertise grant 1% anti-parry/dodge, which is 4 expertise points.
That attacks use melee hit and spell hit? That would go without saying really.
Or do you mean that the spells (in the sense of "not attacks") Deathcoil, Howling Blast, Death and Decay, Bloodboil, Petilence, Unholy Blight and Hungering Cold use the melee hit and crit tables?
That would be rather surprising actually.
I come out at 205 expertise rating for 25 expertise.
(25/4)*32.8 = 205
Okay, fair enough, apparently I suck at junior grade maths, and doing it on napkins literally doesn't help me a lot. Apologies, will update yet again.
Isn't a bosses dodge chance 6.5%? Which would make the expertise cap 26 or 214 expertise ratin for melee.
Can Resilience get added to this list, please?
Also on the 'to do' list, I'm planning to have a few generic things added, and a class breakdown of a few commonly asked questions. So far, I only have hunters and DKs really figured out, though, so any suggestions are welcome. While we're at it, I may as well show you what I managed to come up with:
TO DO LIST:
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