Long time lurker, first time e-mailer. I loved when you were on the BRK podcast and you were my inspiration to actually roll a Druid. I am trying to be the best druid I can be, so I am reading everything I can get my hands on. Main spec is tank, off is resto. I read something the other day and I had a question. I decided to throw it your way and see what happens.
From the post:
Druid tanks do not need Defense gear.
The Survival of the Fittest talent reduces the chance to be crit by 2/4/6%, which means a Druid tank can achieve uncritable by only taking 3/3 SotF.
However, Defense is not totally worthless. Once you reach ~50% Dodge, due to diminishing returns, stacking Defense actually becomes better then stacking more Dodge.
Begin to stack Defense only after you have reached ~50% Dodge.
Note: Like with Crushing Blows, you must be Defense capped at 400 to be crit immune.
I understand that Crushing Blows are different from Crits. And maybe this is a stupid question, but is Crit Immune and Uncritable the same thing? I though that with 3/3 SotF talent you were Crit immune period. You could walk out there with your bare bear backside (pun intended) and be crit immune. You do need the defense to be crushing blow immune, and I am ok with that.
Love the blog. I am in the process of Tattooing the Beginning Wrath tanking guide on my arms. :)
Urak level 65 Driud on Cenarion Circle
In continuing this trend where I answer emails, here is another one on another topic of long discussion, Defense and Survival of the Fittest.
Great email, Uruk. Thanks for the kind words!
The first part of that is the unstated expectation that your base Defense skill, which levels up as you take some smacks in the face, is at 400. If it is at 400, and you have 3/3 in Survival of the Fittest, then yes, even stark naked, you are uncrittable.
Uncrittable, Crit Immune, these are all terms developed by idiots like me that have to make the terminology for these things up as we go along. They all do basically mean the same thing; The boss enemy, that is exactly 3 or less levels higher than me, cannot score a critical strike upon me.
The math aspect to this is that Defense skill reduces your chance to be Dodged, Blocked, or Parried, as WELL as reducing the chance that you will be hit with a critical attack.
I flat out refuse to go over the combat table in detail again, I did it years ago in a Shifting Perspectives article for WoW Insider/WoW.com, but in effect what kind of attack event that can occur has a place in a combat table. If you get high enough in some categories, such as Parry, it can push other attack possibilities right off the table. If you want to melt your brain like I have, you can find out more on your own at the www.wowwiki.com website.
What’s important to the discussion is that the Defense skill you need to push critical strikes off the table changes depending on the level of your attacker, in comparison to yours.
Bosses in level 80 raid instances are set at an effective level, for the sake of Defense and what you need to hit them, at level 83. Survival of the Fittest provides exactly enough protection from critical strikes to remove the possiblity that a level 83 raid boss could critically strike a level 80 Bear Druid, when properly specced. Yes, even if naked.
What Survival of the Fittest does NOT do is provide any of the other bonuses to Dodge, Parry or Block that Defense skill does.
Now, the reason Defense skill is not considered a primary stat for Bear tanks is the same reason they gave us SotF; Bears cannot Parry or Block attacks. Therefore, we were previously (in Burning Crusade) stacking tons of Defense Rating on our gear to become uncrittable just like every other tank class, but we weren’t getting any benefit from the Parry and Block portions of the itemization.
Yes, there was a lot of whining about this fact. Including from me.
I personally did not resent it all that much… because the perception at the time was that Bear tanks weren’t supposed to be viable in the first place. I was too busy working at pioneering Bear tanking and proving them wrong than in whining about my Defense Rating.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. :)
There’s a few things to keep in mind about the SotF. First, the crit rate of enemies 1, 2 or 3 levels above you rises at a normal rate. Starting at 4 levels or more above you, the chance that they can successfully crit you rises dramatically. It just takes off like a rocket. If you are level 76 tanking a level 80 opponent with SotF, expect to still be crit at times. Also expect yourself to miss a lot. SotF, as I said, was aimed at erasing the critical strikes from enemies three or less levels higher than you, the situation that max level Bear tanks would encounter in raids. It doesn’t make you crit immune from everyone as you level.
Second, Critical Strikes as mentioned are not the same as Crushing Blows.As far as I was aware, Crushing Blows were removed from the game entirely. They just don’t happen anymore. Maybe I’m wrong on that, I’m at work and can’t access research sites or log in to check records, but that is my understanding. I don’t believe it’s a question of level or gear or Talents, I believe that Crushing Blows themselves were simply removed. Maybe that’s only from level 71 – 80 content, though.
Finally, as far as the Defense stacking versus Dodge stacking. As I said, Bear tanks cannot Parry or Block.
This next bit requires understanding itemization a little bit. Gear that is item level 200 and blue (rare) quality has a certain number of possible stat points that can be spread amongst armor value and the other stats and abilities. An item that is level 200 and purple (epic) quality has a larger budget of points.
Either way, when comparing two items of item level 200 (epic) side by side, for the same equipment slot, they are each supposed to have an equivalent number of potential points that could be allocated to stats.
Therefore, when analyzing gear upgrades, if an item is very good, and comparable to another, but the difference between them is that one has Defense Rating, and the other has Dodge Rating, then the Dodge Rating one is considered more valuable to a Bear tank because none of the itemization points were wasted on stat benefits Bears don’t get. Bears get all the potential benefit from Dodge Rating, and only get the Dodge benefit portion of Defense Ratings’ Dodge, Parry, Block and reduced chance of Crit.
This is where you see the phrase “that item has wasted stats” for some gear, because if the item didn’t have points allocated to that stat, then maybe something useful on the gear would be higher instead.
Oh, and I’m not going to go into the point allocation of gear itemization any deeper. I could, like how points get allocated if there is only one stat on a piece of gear rather than two stats, or three. But I won’t because my head still hurts from having combat tables brought to mind. Hint; if all stats on the gear are useful, then having more than one stat on the gear provides more total benefit, because you get more stat per point allocated if it gets broken up among multiples. No, I don’t know why.You might see an item with 55 Agility, and another that has 35 Agility and 35 Stamina. Oh, and no, 1 Agility does not equal 1 Stamina as far as point allocation goes, Stamina is actually cheaper when allocated than other stats, so you might see a 35 Agility/35 Strength side by side with a 35 Agility/50 Stamina… sigh. Shut up, Bear, you don’t want to start that discussion. Right, shutting up now.
The end result is that I think I broke down all of this Dodge versus Defense stuff in greater detail in my sticky on the website sidebar about Level 80 Hit Rating, Expertise and Dodge. I may be wrong, though. If you’ve got more questions (or just want to chat), just respond in the comments.
Thanks for the email, Uruk!
I hope I answered your questions in some way!