Monday, May 07, 2007

Quick Background on WoW Combat

This is in response to a couple of comments to earlier posts. It's a quick, simple explanation of how the hit table works in WoW. It should provide enough background for the previous few tanking posts. I posted this as a response on the WoW forums. If you want additional information, check out the tanking guide Fortifications by Ciderhelm.
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Imagine that everytime the mob swings at you, there is a table of possible results and a number from 1 to 100 is rolled. The number rolled is matched to the table entry, and that entry is the result of the attack. For example, a simple combat table might look like:


Roll Result
----- ------------
41-100 Hit
26-40 Crush (150% damage)
21-25 Critical (200% damage)
16-20 Block
11-15 Parry
06-10 Dodge
01-05 Miss

This is basically what happens in WoW when a mob attacks you. As you increase your defensive stats, the chances of each event change. If you have 490 Defense, criticals disappear from the table. As the block/parry/dodge/miss entries grow, they "push off" the upper entries.

So after getting a lot of tanking gear, the table might look like this:

Roll Result
----- ------------
91-100 Crush (150% damage)
51-90 Block
31-50 Parry
11-30 Dodge
01-10 Miss

Notice how hits have been pushed off the table entirely? And now you only have a 10% chance to get crushed?

If you got 10% more block/parry/dodge/miss, crushes would be pushed off the table entirely. You'd still take damage, because you take damage everytime you block. But you wouldn't take non-blocked hits, crushes, or criticals.

Because crushes are the last things to be pushed off the table, achieving this state is called being "uncrushable".

12 comments:

kiryn said...

I remember this being explained to me about a month ago (after playing for almost two years), from a "how damage mitigation and avoidance works" post on the forums. Really helpful for me since my warrior recently got to 60 and will be expected to tank things that actually require knowledge of tanking soon enough. (Previously, my only 60+ alts were classes who would never tank so this knowledge wasn't crucial to my survival.)

I can understand how some people might have misconceptions about this aspect of the game, and it's always nice to have the numbers right there in front of you in this kind of situation. It's surprising how simple it is.

Kaziel said...

Ah ha! Okay, thanks for posting this. I didn't realize that all avoidance fell under the category of one roll. This information was probably so well known amongst the tanking community that no one really bothered to mention it. And it's not needed to be mentioned because "everyone" knows it. To those of us who have been outside of the tanking community, and are just getting in, it's not well known. So without someone repeating it in a place where everyone can read it, it's not helping (Having it be in a post from 10 months back isn't helping, and that's probably why I couldn't find it).

Also, I was going through the Paladin and Warrior tanking sets on WoWHead. I'd recommend checking they out side by side... it's interesting, specifically the stamina values. While in the lower tiers (4 and 5) we still have less Stamina than Warriors, the difference shrinks between 4 and 5, and most interestingly by Tier 6 we actually overtake them (not by much, but hey... we still get more haha!).

I was thinking about it, and what initially starts out as our weakness (needing Intellect and Mana regen) in later game turns around and becomes our strength. The reason why is because after a certain point, more Intellect and Mana regen won't really help. The amount of mana regen needed is probably more than we can get, but (for example) having 10,000 mana instead of 8,000 won't turn the tide of battle. So once we figure out and reach an ideal number for mana, we can stop worrying about Intellect. Also, in this vein is spell damage. As we go through tougher and tougher raid instance we need to ramp up our spell damage, but only by small amounts I would imagine.

Warriors on the other hand are going against tougher and tougher monsters who have heavier and heavier armor. Since they will get more and more armor as they progress, and will go against harder mobs as they progress, the amount of rage they will generate will probably go down over time. So they have to keep working on getting more Attack Power, Agility (for crits) and Strenght. Also, base damage is the only stat they can increase that will improve their threat generation, and they increase it nearly as easily as we can, since a few (if not a majority) of their threat generating abilities are not damage based (Armor Sunder comes to mind).

Unfortunately, Paladins will get a bad rap in the lower raid instances for tanking, and if we ever become equal to Warriors in the higher ones, and it's going to be hard to push back the to the front. The whole "First impressions" problem, as it were.

Kaziel said...

Additional note: The info on WoWHead that I said to check out is updated info from the PTRs. These are likely to be the new stats for our Tier sets, which is worth checking out in and of itself.

GSH said...

Warriors on the other hand are going against tougher and tougher monsters who have heavier and heavier armor. Since they will get more and more armor as they progress, and will go against harder mobs as they progress, the amount of rage they will generate will probably go down over time.

This is incorrect.

Tanking warriors gain most of their rage from taking damage from the mobs, not from doing damage. As the mobs get tougher, they do more and more damage, which translates into more rage for the warrior.

In general, a warrior has no rage issues on cutting edge content. Often, she will be gaining rage faster than she can spend it.

It's amusing, but a high level warrior can have rage issues on lower level content. Because of her higher mitigation, the mobs just don't do enough damage to her to generate the required rage.

Also, warriors can stack shield block value (for Shield Slam, I think) as well as AP to generate additional threat.

Keiya said...

(Interesting blog by the way, good reading :D)

Paladins also have a similar issue regarding mana generation from SA in lower level content. I usually have to downgear out of my full tanking set, otherwise I don't take enough damage to get mana back from heals.

GSH said...

True enough, but at least we get to start with full mana. :)

Anonymous said...

Good stuff.

Yes, in Defensive Stance a warrior generates rage from damage taken.

Tanking well in a level-appropriate instance takes some skill, or at least active attention. For example, a protection warrior with improved shield block needs to use the ability to push crits off the table.

Using the WoW armory it's not too difficult to find warriors in big guilds with defense up over 500, so I am surprised that the threshold is only 490. But this applies to physical damage in a laboratory situation.

There are a number of factors that influence the physical damage equation, including buffs and debuffs, stun (preventing the tank from using abilities), and multiple attackers.

And, of course, many bosses rely upon non-physical attacks for damage. A truly well-equipped and well-researched tank will eventually have resist gear for specific bosses.

--Doeg

Kaziel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaziel said...

Using the WoW armory it's not too difficult to find warriors in big guilds with defense up over 500, so I am surprised that the threshold is only 490. But this applies to physical damage in a laboratory situation.

I think the reason for this is the desire for true uncrushability. In most most cases with Paladins and Warriors, as long as you have a shield and have enough points in Protection spec, you get an ability that will increase your block percent chance to 100% or closer. Of course, during the few halves of a second when it's down, you're completely vulernable. So people go for getting more Defenese and other stats to push their combined Block, Parry, Dodge, and chance to be missed up to the magic number, 102.4%, even when their blocking ability is down. 102.4% is the amount required to push crushing blows off the table against someone or something 3 levels higher than you (i.e. most raid mobs and bosses).

Josh said...

The reason many well geared tanks have 500+ defense is because their gear comes with loads of defense. I personally have been trading out my defense-rating gear for pure mitgation/avoidance gear, like my exalted Violet Signet tank ring for Dath'Remar's Ring of Defense, and Strength of the Untamed for Steam-Hinge Chain of Valor. Lots of the top-end tank gear has "too much" defense, so going over 500 can't be avoided without downgrading gear.

-Baelor, 70 paladin
Runetotem server

Sylvina Solaris said...

Very quickly here btw... your blog inspired me to get my own blog to write down my feelings about the Paladin class and my experiences/ideas.

Seal of Blood

Keiya said...

A lot of tanks have 500+ defense because it's a relatively easy way of increasing your avoidance/block, until you can afford to buy better gems or get better gear (afaik approx 14.8 defense rating is 1% avoidance/block: 0.25% to miss, block, dodge and parry).

There is a 490 defense cap, but ONLY for critical strike mitigation, not for avoidance/block (that gets mixed up frequently). I think it was Tseric who was quoted confirming it.

...err or something like that /sleepy