Armor my big furry bear butt, that is.

Oh, wait, I’m missing half the sentence….

“They’re letting me keep all the lovely armor on my big furry bear butt.”

Ghostcrawler posted an update providing more details on the Armor changes in the pipeline. A very specific, incredible update.

I mean, seriously… he sets down what they’re doing, how they’re changing things to compensate for it, what effect on our gameplay they expect it to have, and when we can expect to see it go live.

That’s like, the definition of how to provide me a happy-happy update.

Enough of my babble, here’s what GC said;

This is an update to my previous post on Feral armor changes.

ARMOR

As previously announced, we are changing the way bear armor works so that bonus armor on items does not receive the bear armor multiplier. Specifically this means that weapons, trinkets, rings, necks and cloaks with bonus armor will not be multiplied by the bear bonus.

Only cloth and leather will benefit from the Bear and Dire Bear multiplier.

We are compensating Ferals for this armor loss by improving the Survival of the Fittest talent. In addition to its current effects (stats and crit prevention), it will now also increase armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 22/33/66%. That should be very close to your current armor bonus.

This makes Survival of the Fittest rather over-budget by talent standards, but we figured it was one talent we can be pretty certain most tank-oriented druids will have (and to be honest nearly all Ferals).

FERAL ATTACK POWER

We are no longer going to have weapons in the game which improve feral attack power. Instead, your attack power will scale based on the dps of the item. Practically speaking this means almost no change for any gear you currently use — you should not see your dps change.

What it does mean is that we can create the occasional dps staff that could be used by druids or hunters (or very undergeared warriors), and that Ferals may occasionaly use two-handed dps maces.

We are going to convert all existing Feral staves over to this new system (but again, you should not notice any change to your dps).

We are also adjusting the UI so that when druids look at these weapons, you will see what the improvement will be to your damage in forms. This does not mean we are no longer going to create bear and cat weapons, just that those weapons will be slightly less niche than they are now.

These changes will be in place in the next patch. This patch will ship sometime before the 3.1 major content patch featuring the Ulduar raid.

So… are there any questions?

Effective Armor and DPS will remain close to current levels, after the changes. So what is this doing for us? Or to us?

Well… as has been said, while having an item like the Badge of Tenacity with it’s equipped armor will still be nice and useful… without an applied multiplier, it’s going to be perfectly viable, when faced with the choice of another Trinket with stats that boost our tanking in some other way, to be able to look for an armor upgrade elsewhere that is massively affected by the multiplier to make up for that lost armor.

Hey, let’s look at this seriously, before starting to moan about the ‘good old days’ of Bear armor.

Yes, our bear armor has been awesome. I, personally, have always loved being a big furry tank.

But our itemization has come with a cost. And one of those costs was the pain of choosing between a massive armor upgrade from an item… or an item that provided Hit Rating, Expertise, Haste Rating or DPS boosts that would improve our ability to generate and maintain constant reliable threat.

We have long been in a position where we could ‘no brain’ it for gear choices. Did it have tons of armor affected by the multiplier, plus Agi (Or Dodge/Defense) and Stamina?

Then you take it and shut the heck up.

And we would work up our Mitigation/Survival gear lists, and fine tune them, and at the end of the day, the question we would get most often is, “But what do we do about our Misses? Our high rate of Parried attacks? Our occasional Growl getting resisted? Our low Spell Resistances?”

So… I’m optimistic. I am. I like where we are at now, I really, really do.

Our Mitigation against Spell Damage alone is worth the price of admission to 3.0.1, not to mention the crazy Threat generation.

Hey, who could have imagined before the big patch that we would never even notice Salvation being removed?

It’s things like this, however, that I’d like you to bear in mind, when you email me asking when I’m going to release a bear tanking gear guide for Wrath…

My answer?

“When we have a reasonable expectation that the way things are now will last more than a week.”

Look, use the best stuff you get now, and if it has Armor, Stamina, Agility, Hit Rating, Expertise, Defense Rating, Dodge Rating, Haste and Crit, don’t throw it out if you’re undecided. Hold on to it. We’ll work it out later.

For example… there are two Trinkets that you get from two different quests in the same area, the First Mate’s Pocketwatch from The Jig is Up, and the Fury of the Encroaching Storm from Return to Atuik.

Both are clearly awesome DPS trinkets… but the Haste Rating makes them both pretty darn nice for Bear Tanking threat and DPS generation, if your other stats allow you to use them.

Would I choose them to tank with over Hit or Expertise? Well, no… but I just wanted to highlight how awesome those two trinkets are, to be honest.

Okay, there are other nice Trinkets… Foresight’s Anticipation in Dragonblight, which really is pretty darn nice, the Crusader’s Locket, Fezzik’s Pocketwatch… ahh, the fun!

Okay, those technically aren’t Bear Tanking trinkets…

The Trinket I want right now for Bear tanking drops in Heroic Azjol-Nerub from Hadronox… the Essence of Gossamer.

Notice how it doesn’t have armor on it? But I am going to be all over that sucker.

Okay, this started as “Ghostcrawler is awesome”, and ended up as “Trinkets I am drooling over”… where did this post go wrong?

So, I’ll end it with the greatest Trinket in all of creation….

The Super Simian Sphere.

Man, having played Super Monkey Ball a LOT, that’s just… that’s just hilarious. And Epic!

27 Responses to “Armor my furry butt!”
  1. Bigheart says:

    I’m soooooo confused. Hit, haste, expertise! What’s a bear to do?!? Give me back my armor!

    Heh, it really does make things more interesting and I have no idea what stats to take yet. I mean really, what stats are going to be the most important? Do I need to generate more threat? Will I need to minimize misses? Will I need more mitigation? *sigh* *shrug*

    I guess keep me informed and we’ll see where 3.1 takes us eh?

  2. Mitch says:

    I got a neck piece with 300-something armor on it the other day in Halls of Stone. I was so happy I got it then, but right after remembered it wouldn’t be worth as much when they fixed the armor stuff >.< Oh well, at least we will have a larger selection of gear to choose from.

  3. Mike says:

    Since i never used a Badge of tenacity, one of my rings does not have armor and niether does the feral staff, does that mean i will get an increase of armor value for free?

    I mean, you had, let’s say 25k armor, and with the change you will still have 25k from a plus in leather gear armor. If my leather gear gets buffed, won’t i get more?

  4. bigbearbutt says:

    Mike, you are absolutely, totally, 100% correct.

    If we are not, at the moment, using much in the way of armor on our items… then this is simply a free armor increase for you.

    However, what this is aimed at is really more for those folks that have previously min/maxed armor for Mitigation value, and therefore have stacked gobs of armor everywhere they can and plan to continue the trend at 80. They are trying to offest the armor loss they anticipate the change will create.

    So yes… if you are just getting into bear tanking or are looking at where we will be at 80, I’d say one immediate effect this has, is making it far easier for us to obtain target armor levels right at 80, without having to farm instances for those rare and precious armor value items.

  5. Mike says:

    hehe…thanks for the response.

    I have disregarded armor as an important stat (despite what others were saying) since before Zul’aman was even introduced. It ws a good stat, don’t get me wrong, but the rings i was using where not based on how much armor they had, but on stamina and def/dodge.

    And since we won’t be trying to get hit capped anytime soon, i’ll deffinetly not look for armor on gear. Whatever comes is good enough. Stamina and agility are what gets me going.

    Cheers and thanks again

  6. ARA says:

    Thanks for the great write up as always. Its a fantastic change. We’ll have to *think* for a change about what gear items to take, and when to use them. Hey – just like warriors have to. I was always miffed that the badge of tenacity (purchased from the AH) lasted me all the way to the end. Its much more fun to have a large variety of choices, so there is no one ultimate piece in slot.

  7. Felkan says:

    Is the SotF armor boost bear only? Does it apply before or after the bear multiplier?

  8. Simon (Agito on Drenden) says:

    This is actually a nerf, BBB. Check out Think Tank for the math. http://wowthinktank.blogspot.com/2008/11/druid-now-thats-armor-nerf.html

    I thought it was a nerf when I first read it, but I was hoping for someone better at the theorycrafting to confirm my suspicions.

  9. Simon (Agito on Drenden) says:

    Oh, and I wasn’t impuning your theorycrafting skills bud. :) Loves yer blog, bro. :)

  10. Tigersoul says:

    One question about the removal of Feral attack power on weapons GC mentioned…

    Does this mean that my +894 Feral AP Gladiators Maul http://www.wowhead.com/?item=28476 (68.7 DPS) will now be less powerful than the +776 Feral AP Bramblethorn Greatstaff http://www.wowhead.com/?item=35807 (74.4 DPS) Howling Fjord Quest reward I JUST VENDORED LAST NIGHT?? DOH.

  11. bigbearbutt says:

    Eh, I totally disagree with your conclusions, Kal. Respectfully, of course.

    I might have done some math on this, like here http://thebigbearbutt.com/2008/11/05/speculations-on-armor-balancing/

    But the math I did was just tongue in cheek on that post. The title was “Speculating”. Because taking what GC says in a “heads up crew” post and assuming that it is 100% of the sum total of what they are going to do, and then crunching numbersbased on that assumption while making WAG gear assumptions about what the Devs are assuming you’ve got equipped at 80, and then using that as the basis to scream nerf is… well, it’s funny is what it is.

  12. Tess says:

    Great gobs of gooey fun BBB. If it is a Nerf (as currently described) it most likely won’t be by the time they implement it. I think reading the words of what GC wrote vs the whole idea of the article is odd. GC is basically saying “it won’t hurt you in the end” and that is what i focus on. Who cares if how he says it sounds odd or the math isn’t quite right yet. look at the point more than the words themselves. Love the Trinket info, I think we are going to see a ton of differently clad bears that you did not see pre WOTLK, which will be very nice. Keep up the (very)well written updates for us.

  13. Kal says:

    and then crunching numbersbased on that assumption while making WAG gear assumptions about what the Devs are assuming you’ve got equipped at 80, and then using that as the basis to scream nerf is… well, it’s funny is what it is.

    To be clear, BBB – it’s not a nerf to you. For folks that weren’t going to see Naxx-25 and aren’t hardcore raiders, it’s a fairly significant buff.

    As to making gear assumptions and whatnot, this is based on what people are wearing in the beta and based on the parses from those runs as well as based on what GC said. It hasn’t hit the PTR yet, so clearly we can’t test it. Still, it’s odd that you could look at losing 6000 armor and argue reasonably that this isn’t a nerf.

    Either one of two things are true: either bear armor (even after the 400-370 nerf) was still too good in Naxx and beyond, or bear armor was fine. If the former was true, it means that at release bears were simply the best tank around by a good margin (and GC actively lied to us). If the latter is true, it means that this is a nerf. Neither is a particularly good thing.

  14. Aerth says:

    So then: Staves for Bears and 2H Maces for Cats.

    Assuming these items are designed to be sharable with the classes that can use them, Staves will be high stamina, incredibly high agility, and come with AP and crit rating, because melee staves can only be used by Ferals and Hunters. 2H Maces will have STR, STA, and a variable amount of crit, hit, expertise, haste and armor penetration because of the needs of several DPS plate classes.

    It’s doubtful we’ll see 2H Maces with Hunter stats. Physical Staves though, that’s still only Ferals and Hunters. Warriors with staves are… silly.

    Unless!

    Brewmasters.

  15. bigbearbutt says:

    Thank you for your reply, Kal.

    To be clear, BBB – it’s not a nerf to you. For folks that weren’t going to see Naxx-25 and aren’t hardcore raiders, it’s a fairly significant buff.

    I like that line the best.

  16. Caelean says:

    Based on my preliminary analysis, it doesn’t look like a nerf. This is because, while certain armor items are getting nerfed, there’s perfectly good items without bonus armor that are available in those same slots. When you swap those items in, with higher dodge, agility, and defense, and factor in the 66% armor boost, your total damage received will be less (although maybe a bit more spiky.)

    Using lootrank.com, with a weight of 4.43 for agility and dodge, 2.79 for defense, 0.59 for armor, and 1.69 for expertise (the old bear template with a 0 value for stamina), the best Naxx level trinkets, necklace, cape, and rings are worth 2696 tank points (dodge, miss, and armor mitigation.)

    Rerunning the same query with armor of 0.1, to represent no multiplier, I get 1704 tank points from the best gear. (It should probably be more like .13, so we’re erring a bit low for the post-patch results.)

    The 10-man tier set has 3246 armor. Adding the 66% to it, we get 2142 bonus armor. 2142 armor is worth 1263 tank points, for a total of 2967 tank points post-patch, for a net increase of 271 points, or equal to about 61 dodge points or 1%.

    You can plug in some other numbers once we get solid results for level 80, but the agility:dodge:defense ratios are at least pretty close. And I’m not looking at Stamina or other stats, but it looks like the new gear is overall a slight improvement there as well.

    (Items being compared:

    Pre-nerf: Valor Medal of the First War, Defender’s Code, Gatekeeper, Keystone Great-Ring, Cloak of the Shadowed Sun, Amulet of Autopsy)

    Post nerf: Valor Medal of the First War, Repelling Charge, Hemorrhaging Circle, Keystone Great-Ring, Cloak of the Shadowed Sun, and Heritage.)

  17. Caelean says:

    OK, more definitive answer, using Rawr, and manually fudging the armor values, so there could be an error:

    With the Tier 7 set, and these items (which may not be optimal for post-nerf)…

    Pre-nerf: Offering of Sacrifice, Defender’s Code, Gatekeeper, Keystone Great-Ring, Cloak of the Shadowed Sun, Amulet of Autopsy

    Post nerf: Valor Medal of the First War, Repelling Charge, Hemorrhaging Circle, Keystone Great-Ring, Cloak of the Shadowed Sun, and Heritage

    We end up with 14.40% damage taken pre-nerf, and 15.94% damage taken post-nerf, for about a 10.6% increase in damage received. And about two thirds of the difference is due to the armor on the staff (staff of the plague beast), vs. The Undeath Carrier, which I hadn’t been addressing previously. If they convert armor on the staff to defense or dodge, that may address a significant portion of the discrepancy.

    Armor goes from 41651 to 32926.
    Dodge goes from 35.28% to 37.89%
    Miss goes from 7.38% to 8.14%

    Note that DPS and threat went up by almost 100 / second and 200 / second respectively, (~7%) so all is not lost (and it might be possible to find another more tank-y item to swap in and reduce threat), but that’s not quite our primary concern at MT.

  18. Clapus says:

    So where does defense fit into bear tanking stats now. I haven’t seen much gear with defense on it. What stats do I need to remain a viable 5-man tank?

  19. Clapus says:

    Copied from another post……..

    We don’t need defense at level 80 (or really, at any level) after having 3/3 survival of the fittest. However, it still provides dodge and (more importantly) miss. With the way diminishing returns works, defense is only very slightly worse than dodge on a per-point basis. So while you shouldn’t gem for it over dodge or agility, it being on gear is A Good Thing.

    …is this true?
    So is it sta, agi, dodge, or some other combo for choosing gear?

  20. Kranik says:

    This is a fantastic change. This now means Druids have a greater range of what types of gear they can choose from. Heck we can get that cool looking mace we always wanted instead of the dopy looking staff. Plus trinkets without armor, woot. Though I really find it amazing about how many people misunderstand or don’t bother to really read the Blue post. This is not a nerf. It just simply allows us more options. Of course the numbers are probably not going to be exact but the developers are attempting to keep everything basically the same and give us more item choices. Savage roar is not being nerfed. Dps of the weapon is converted into attack power. So that attack power is used by savage roar and all the druid skills. I encourage people to just go take a look at blue post on MMO and see how badly people responded to it. I really wish folks would read or at least wait till this is implemented to reserve harsh judgment. MMO link with comments below http://www.mmo-champion.com/index.php?topic=27162.0

    Also to Clapus, though BigBear has already explained it in his next post. Stam, agi, dodge > def. Def helps but not much. Having def replaced with one of those other stats is most always a better solution. Def does not hurt, but having def instead of another stat still feels like the rings/necks/cloaks are better or more itemized for the other tanks than for us. At least it does for me. If anything I am tempted to take the dps rings with agility and stam for tanking. However from the stats it still seems that those Stam/Str/def/ rings may be the better bet for tanking overall. But really that’s a whole other discussion.

  21. Kallume says:

    So the current tanking staves/maces (mace = Earthwarden, example) with Armor bonuses on them will be changed upon the release of this patch?

  22. Smid says:

    They will change. But not armor. They should stay the same armor, its just not multiplied anymore. But the feral attack power should disappear.

  23. Smid says:

    Ok, so important question…

    After the previous armor change, high pve armor drops and multiplier adjustment, they didn’t change the high armor of PvP S1/S2 (I’m guessing S3 and S4) items. So is it now trivial with new multiplier to hit the armor cap using a few PvP items?

    If they nerf the PvP items, then pvp kitty armor is nerfed. So its not quite a simple solution. Not unless they start having adjusted armor for an item in bear form vs kitty…

  24. Cody says:

    I know I’m a little late to the party here, but..

    Let’s say I have a value of 6.79 “tank points” = 1 point of agility. If 41 agility = 1% dodge, then 1% dodge = 278.39 tank points.

    If 122 defense also = 1% dodge, can I then say that one point of defense gets me 2.28 tank points? I mean, is it just basic math there or am I missing something? Since we’re crit-immune via talents, I’d taken defense out of my gear comparison formula.

    Thanks!

  25. Krissander says:

    Can anyone explain to me simply where u get all the numbers and multipliers from, and what i need to get to be a good tank, can we be good tanks compared to warriors and dks?

  26. Ronne says:

    Anyone think they should have a a Druid armor set with stats built for tanking? Why are their no druid tanks in the game anymore?

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